Posted by Kendall Harmon

Around 100 girls are thought to have been abducted in an attack on a school in north-east Nigeria, officials say.

Gunmen reportedly arrived at the school in Chibok, Borno state, late last night, and ordered the hostel's teenage residents on to lorries.

The attackers are believed to be from the Islamist group, Boko Haram, whose militants frequently target schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all (every photo has a story just click on each person)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Theology

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Posted April 15, 2014 at 7:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all and I recommended Kleenex.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMusicSportsUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted April 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One hundred and thirty five civilians have reportedly been killed in North East Nigeria since Wednesday. The killings, which took place in the State of Borno, were carried out in at least three separate attacks.
The attackers are suspected to be from the Islamist Boko Haram movement. Human rights organizations say that at least 1,500 people, half of them civilian, have been killed in the region this year.
Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos in Plateau State which is also in the North Eastern region of Nigeria. Archbishop Kaigama appeals for help and support in tracing the roots of the Boko Haram group in what could prove a necessary attempt to reveal who is behind the group, who provides its militants with arms, what is its scope beyond wreaking fear, death and destruction…

Read and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gunmen have killed 135 civilians in north east Nigeria since Wednesday, a senior official from the region has told the BBC.

Borno state senator Ahmed Zannah said the killings took place in at least three separate attacks in the state.

The attackers are suspected to be from the Islamist Boko Haram movement.

Read it all.

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Posted April 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeff Bauman knows the exact moment his life was changed forever. It was the moment he looked Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the face.

“He just seemed out of place,” said Bauman in his most recent interview with Brian Williams. “Everybody there was having fun, you know, clapping, taking pictures, and he was just standing there with a backpack ... he just looked really odd. So I looked at him and I stared at him.”

And then, in an instant: a flash, and what sounded like a pop, and he was lying flat on his back.

Watch and/or read it all from NBC.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychologyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted April 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Will Ross reports on the challenge of fighting Boko Haram, and watches rare footage filmed by the group of a recent attack.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Nicholas Orogodo Okoh, believes strongly that the on-going National Conference must not fail, saying it is a great opportunity to resolve the challenges faced by Nigeria. He also speaks on the Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed many lives and affected the Church in the North-east and the controversial anti-gay law.

Excerpts from interview:
There are allegations lately that corruption has crept into Christianity with some men of God accused of sharp practices. How do you react to this?
I think you used an omnibus word ‘sharp practices’. I don’t know what it means because it could mean so many things. Can you be more specific?
Corruption has one definition, unethical practice. That is exactly what I am talking about.

Read it all (from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 26, 2014 at 7:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two women who were abducted by Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria have given a rare account of life as captives of the Islamist militants.

"They asked me if I am Christian or Muslim. I said I am Christian," said 23-year-old Liatu, as she recalled her ordeal in the hands of Boko Haram.

"On the 11th day [in captivity], they brought a man to me and said that he liked me and I should convert to Islam so that he can marry me."

She was stopped at a roadblock set up last year by the Islamist militant group. She said any Muslims employed by the government were killed on the spot, as Boko Haram had earlier warned them to leave their work.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 25, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Federal Government yesterday unveiled a new approach to tackling insurgency in the country.

National Security Adviser Mohammad Sambo Dasuki announced the new strategy in Abuja.

He said said the new approach, dubbed "Nigeria's Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism", includes adopting a means of de-radicalising extremists and stopping others from being radicalised.

Other items in the strategy plan are news ways of mobilising the society, strategic public communication and economic revitalisation of the North-East states affected by insurgency.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 19, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A group, Nigeria Arise Against Terror (NAAT), has called on the international community to help the federal government in the fight against terrorism.

NAAT stated this in support of the clarion call by the Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, for global effort to urgently end the orgy of terrorism ravaging the North-east region of the country.

In a statement issued by NAAT Publicity Secretary, Malam Abba Aliyu, at the weekend in Abuja, the interim National Coordinator of the group, Hon. Emeka Kanu-Nwapa, said NAAT had reasons to believe that most of the attacks in the region recently suggested that the war has gone beyond the Boko Haram insurgency and has now gone international.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Worried at the escalating spate of needless bloodletting in some parts of North Eastern states of the country, the Christian Elders’ Forum of northern states has canvassed joint actions of all Nigerians to stop the bloody onslaught which has claimed over 2,000 lives in the last six months.

Chairman of the group, Elder Olaiya Phillips, in a public statement issued in Abuja at the weekend, lamented the alarming increase in the violent attacks by the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram. Particularly, the recent killing of about 60 students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, Yobe State, further heightens concern about the insurgency, the group noted.

Titled: ‘If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will be Next’, Olaiya, in the statement, bemoaned a seeming invincibility of the insurgents. He however expressed belief that concerted efforts of all Nigerians coupled with intensive prayers, regardless of their religious persuasions, would ultimately earn the nation total victory. “We know only too well the many horrendous crimes committed against the Christian community in Northern Nigeria, and also of the crimes committed against our Moslem neighbours by the same people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Iran ordered the Lockerbie bombing in revenge for the accidental shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet by a US navy ship, according to a former Iranian intelligence officer who defected to Germany.

An al-Jazeera documentary, Lockerbie: What Really Happened?, claims the attack was carried out on Tehran’s behalf by the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.

It also says that the bomb was planted on Pan Am flight 103 at Heathrow Airport, not at Malta as suggested during the trial that convicted Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchTravel* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIran

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Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamist militants from the group Boko Haram fatally burned or shot dozens of male students in an attack late Monday on a state college in northeastern Nigeria, officials said on Tuesday. It was the fourth school assault attributed to the group in less than a year.

The assailants, who have vilified public education as blasphemous, then burned down dormitories and other buildings and shot at anyone trying to escape. None of the women were reported to have been harmed.

Abdulla Bego, a spokesman for the governor of Yobe State, where the attacks took place, said the killers had traveled in nine pickup trucks to the attack site, the Federal Government College Buni Yadi, about 45 miles from the state capital, Damaturu. They staged the ambush when soldiers in a military garrison assigned to protect the school were absent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Niebuhr would ask, about drones: “given the resentments among local populations,...how many terrorists are we creating for every one we kill?” What sort of precedents are we creating with a program of “targeted assassinations?” “Will targeted assassinations ever eliminate or even reduce the causes of violent Islamic radicalism?”

So [Andrew] Bacevich thinks that Niebuhr would condemn the drone campaign as ill-conceivedand immoral.

Yes, after 9/11 "doing nothing may not be an option,” but is it the only option? Let the questioning and debate continue, with IRONY not only on our sweatshirts, but as a perspective on what has to be on the minds of the thoughtful. - See more at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/niebuhrian-irony-and-drones-%E2%80%94-martin-e-marty#sthash.P1sXnXFg.dpuf

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsIraq WarPolitics in GeneralTerrorismWar in Afghanistan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Nigerian senator has expressed outrage over the security forces' failure to prevent a second attack on a town by suspected Islamist militants.

Gunmen believed to be from the Boko Haram group killed several residents and burnt down Izghe over the weekend.

A week earlier, 106 people were killed by gunmen in a raid on Izghe.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted February 25, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indications that the fight against the dreaded Boko Haram is far from being won as the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, yesterday in a new video threatened to kill more prominent Nigerians.

Shekau, whose acclaimed death is still being trailed by controversy, threatened to kill former Military Head of States, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari.

Other personalities on the list of Boko Haram are Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his Borno State counterpart, Kashim Shettima, a former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Alhaji Ado Bayero.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

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Posted February 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Persistent attacks by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s Borno State have forced dozens of clinics to shut down and hundreds of doctors to flee, leaving many residents to seek medical attention across the border in Cameroon, health professionals and residents told a United Nations agency, Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN).

Musa Babakura, a surgeon at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Maiduguri, told IRIN: “There is a growing health crisis in northern Borno, where most doctors and medical personnel have left the area due to security threat[s] from Boko Haram, forcing thousands to seek medical services across the border into Cameroon.

“The whole healthcare system in northern Borno has collapsed.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments
Posted February 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to [Lindsey ] Graham, Kerry gave the clear impression that Syria is slipping out of control. He said Kerry told the delegation that, “the al-Qaeda threat is real, it is getting out of hand.” The secretary, he said, raised the threat of al-Qaeda unprompted. “He acknowledged that the chemical weapons [delivery] is being slow-rolled; the Russians continue to supply arms [and that] we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy. He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al-Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

2 Comments
Posted February 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

World Watch Monitor is curating news coverage of the attacks on [this past] Sunday in north-eastern Nigeria. At least 22 worshippers died at a church in Yola, while 300 homes were burnt down in a village in neighbouring Borno state and at least 52 people were killed. Boko Haram is suspected of carrying out both attacks.

World Watch Monitor is using Storify to collect and organise the widespread news coverage. The Storify report appears below.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 31, 2014 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Late in the evening of November 28 last year, Habila Adamu was at home with his wife and kids in the Yobe state of Northern Nigeria when visitors stopped by. He opened the door, shocked to find gunmen wearing robes and masks.

They demanded he step outside and they peppered him with questions. What was his name? Habila Adamu. Was he a member of the Nigerian police? No. Was he a soldier? No. Was he a member of the state security service? No. He told them he was a businessman.

OK, are you a Christian?” they asked.

“I am a Christian,” Habila said.

Initially fearful, Habila came to terms with the realization that it was the day of his death. He began praying for strength, forgiveness and salvation.


Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeriaAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the Egyptian people were preparing for the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the 25 January 2011 Revolution, and rejoicing after the passing of the new Constitution, the Islamists (Muslim Brotherhood and other groups) threatened that they would demonstrate, yet again, in protest of the removal of former President Mursi.

This morning Egypt woke up hearing the news of several bombs in Cairo; 12 people were killed and dozens injured. It is clear that the terrorist groups are now targeting the police and the army. The day before, six police were shot dead by a group of terrorists at a check-point in Upper Egypt. The Egyptian Security is doing its best to bring security within the streets of Egypt, yet, as you know, terrorist attacks are very difficult to predict and not easy to avoid. The question that needs to be answered is: why have these terrorist attacks happened throughout Egypt only after the removal of former President Mursi? What is the link?

Many Egyptians believe that during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, many extremist groups flourished. Many members of these extremists were pardoned by Mursi and released from prisons. They immediately became involved in the political life in Egypt. Under the current interim government, there is no space for such extremist groups.

These terrorist attacks stirred both anger and determination within the Egyptian people. After the attacks, people gathered from everywhere at the site of the bombing to shout against those groups who committed these criminal and savage acts, and also against the Muslim Brotherhood who supported these groups. Many have expressed their determination to support the police and the army in their war against terrorism.

All churches in Egypt condemned these attacks, including the Anglican Church, and encouraged the Egyptian people to fight terrorism and do their best to build the country.

My hope and prayer is that the international community would stand in solidarity with the current Egyptian Government in its fight against terrorism. I know that most countries have condemned these bombings, but condemnation needs to be accompanied by more practical actions.

Please continue to pray for our beloved country Egypt.

--The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis is Bishop of Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa and President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt

3 Comments
Posted January 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Through US Africa Command (AFRICOM), US Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA), and the Office of Security Cooperation in the US Embassy in Abuja, the United States will be helping stand up the NASOC by providing training and a limited amount of equipment.

From the information I have, it sounds like NASOC will have a force up North to deal with Boko Haram, a force in the South to deal with security in the Niger Delta, a headquarters force to focus on hostage rescue, and an expeditionary force for external use – perhaps to contribute specialized capabilities for peacekeeping operations.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the precise size of NASOC or of its component forces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeriaAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When President Goodluck Jonathan announced new leaders for the defense department, the army, the navy and the air force on Thursday, he did not give a reason. But political consultant Fabian Ihekweme said it appears the president is trying a different approach to the security crisis.

“You may recall a few days ago that a new anti-terrorist outfit has been created out of the Nigerian military. So it is the same new strategy being developed by the president to tackle the Boko Haram menace,” said Hekweme.

Human Rights Watch said 40 people were killed and 50 were injured Tuesday when a car bomb exploded outside a post office in Maiduguri, the original home of the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A car bomb has exploded in the north-eastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 17 people.

The Islamist group Boko Haram said it carried out the attack. A suspect has been arrested, the military says.

The bomb went off near a market, sending up a large plume of smoke. People were seen fleeing the scene covered in blood.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Iraq war may have never been declared lost. But the stunning surge in violence over the past year — and the return of al-Qaeda in the western province of Anbar this month — is forcing Americans who invested personally in the war’s success to grapple with haunting questions.

“Could someone smart convince me that the black flag of al-Qaeda flying over Fallujah isn’t analogous to the fall of Saigon?” former Army captain Matt Gallagher asked on Twitter. “Because. Well.”

Gallagher, 30, who left the Army to pursue a writing career in New York, has kept close tabs on Iraq since the end of his deployment as a platoon commander in the outskirts of Baghdad in 2009. He has a Google alert for Saba al-Bor, a small village northwest of Baghdad where his infantry platoon spent 15 months living in terror of armor-penetrating roadside bombs and in awe of the complexities of tribal politics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsIraq WarPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastIraq

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Iraq's Shiite-led government paused on Wednesday on the brink of a military assault against al Qaeda-linked Sunni militants that posed the risk of exacting a high civilian toll and plunging the country deeper into sectarian conflict.

Senior U.S. officials, including Vice President Joseph Biden, have urged Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to secure the support of local Sunni leaders before attacking to drive the extremists from Fallujah, which sits in the heartland of Iraq's Sunni minority. Many Sunni tribal leaders, alienated and angered by Mr. Maliki, have refused.

The standoff tests the U.S.'s remaining leverage in Iraq, which has declined since American forces fought alongside Iraqis to subdue Islamist fighters in Fallujah in two large battles during the nearly decadelong U.S.-led occupation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsIraq WarPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastIraq* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 9, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In what looks like another reprisal attack, Boko Haram insurgents yesterday attacked Kayamula village of Konduga local government area of Borno State. They killed nine people, while several residents received gunshot injuries.

Kayamula village is located on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis, a distance of about 10 kilometres away from Maiduguri Giwa military barracks where several members of the Boko Haram sect were arrested and detained by security operatives.

LEADERSHIP gathered from reliable sources that the insurgents invaded the village about 2am and opened fire on residents using AK-49 rifles and explosive devices, a situation that led to the killing of nine innocent people and injuring of several others.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 9, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that twelve Christians were brutally murdered by suspected Boko Haram militants in northern Nigeria over the weekend. According to reports, these Christians were killed in two attacks on separate Christian villages in Nigeria's Muslim majority state of Borno.

The first attack took place on Saturday, December 28, in the Christian village of Tashan-Alede where eight people attending a wedding celebration were killed when militants connected with Boko Haram opened fire on the Christians gathered. According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "One attack took place at a pre-wedding bachelor party. Suspected fighters from Boko Haram opened fire on the group, killing eight people."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted January 2, 2014 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Qatar’s royal family was looking for advice on charitable giving, it turned to a well-regarded professor named Abd al-Rahman al-Nu’aymi. The 59-year-old educator had a stellar résumé that included extensive fundraising experience and years of work with international human rights groups.

But one apparent accomplishment was omitted from the list: According to U.S. officials, Nu’aymi also was working secretly as a financier for al-Qaeda, funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq even as he led campaigns in Europe for greater freedoms for Muslims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 23, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since the army went on the offensive in the north last May over 1,200 civilians have died in Boko Haram related violence up north. The number of Boko Haram attacks has diminished in the last few months but there is still violence, usually at least one major terrorist attack a week plus a lot of less spectacular violence. The Boko Haram sustain themselves by stealing from locals and because these border areas are so thinly populated there are not enough soldiers to guard all of it all the time.

The army is adapting more quickly to new Boko Haram tactics. For example, the army is now sending troops to guard border villages on those days when many local farmers bring in products for sale at the market place.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 19, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The UN says more than 1,200 people have been killed in Islamist-related violence in north-east Nigeria since a state of emergency was declared in May.

The UN said the figure related to killings of civilians and the military by the Islamist group Boko Haram in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

It also includes insurgents killed by security forces repelling attacks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

THE Bishop of Osun North Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Right Reverend A.T Olaoye, at Okuku, has called on the Federal Government to be wary of the military and the police, saying that some of the security agents were thwarting government’s efforts in the fight against insurgency in the country, just as he cautioned the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to exercise caution in the implementation of the new education policy for the state.

Olaoye lamented that “it is worrisome to note that we are still battling with the terrorists’ attacks till now”, accusing some officers in the military and the police for allegedly leaking intelligence reports to members of the Islamic group, thereby thwarting the efforts of the federal government in restoring peace in some troubled states in the North.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism

0 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When I first met Tamerlan Tsarnaev, now familiar as the elder of the two alleged Boston Marathon bombers, he gripped my hand like he was wringing out a rag. It was 2004, and Tamerlan had been in the U.S. for about a year, but he already had an outsize American dream. He planned to box for the U.S. Olympic Team one day, and he wanted to earn a degree, perhaps at Harvard or MIT, and to hold a full-time job at the same time, so he could buy a house and a car. I suggested he forget the house and the car during college, as most American students do. He didn't see why he should.

I was on sabbatical that year, taking classes at Harvard on a journalism fellowship, and had wanted to meet some of the refugees from Russia's war to reconquer the breakaway Muslim region of Chechnya. I expected to write about Russia's Islamist insurgency in the future, and I thought some Chechen expatriates might help me with my stories.

A friend told me that his mother had rented an apartment to some Chechens. He drove me to a weather-beaten three-family home crammed between others in a tattered corner of Cambridge, Mass. I was led up a narrow stairway, littered with shoes and slippers, to their third-floor apartment—the start of a relationship that came full circle last April, when I encountered the Tsarnaevs again under very different circumstances.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilySportsUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

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Posted December 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An attack by suspected Islamist militants on a Nigerian air force base indicates the Boko Haram group retains its military capacity even after a seven-month offensive by government forces.

“It is a big deal, it shows the capability of Boko Haram is growing,” Murtala Touray, senior Africa analyst at IHS Country Risk in London, said today by phone. “For Boko Haram to plan this attack, it shows they are a force to be reckoned with, they can take on the Nigerian army.”

The pre-dawn raid took place yesterday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, about 860 kilometers (535 miles) northeast of the capital, Abuja. Two air force personnel were wounded, 24 attackers were killed and three military aircraft and two helicopters were damaged, military spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement e-mailed to journalists....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 4, 2013 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Intensifying sectarian and clan violence has presented new opportunities for jihadist groups across the Middle East and raised concerns among American intelligence and counterterrorism officials that militants aligned with Al Qaeda could establish a base in Syria capable of threatening Israel and Europe.

The new signs of an energized but fragmented jihadist threat, stretching from Mali and Libya in the west to Yemen in the east, have complicated the narrative of a weakened Al Qaeda that President Obama offered in May in a landmark speech heralding the end of the war on terrorism. The leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, raised warnings in an interview on CNN on Sunday when they said that Americans were “not safer” from terrorist attacks than in 2011.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

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Posted December 4, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Boko Haram militants launched a daring raid against Nigerian troops on Monday in an attack that indicates the Islamist group is still capable of deadly strikes in spite of a six-month military crackdown.

The onslaught by what witnesses described as “hundreds” of militants against a military barracks and an air force base in Maiduguri, the capital of the north-eastern state of Borno, where Boko Haram is strongest, left scores dead, helicopters burnt and barracks destroyed, according to local news reports.

The authorities responded by imposing a 24-hour curfew across the state, and Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, summoned senior military officials to a meeting.

Read it all (if necessary, another link may be found there).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted December 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite this relative calm in urban areas, Boko Haram killings and kidnappings have not diminished. Recent analysis of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker indicates that they have in fact increased.

Fighting has instead shifted to rural areas. The media reports Boko Haram efforts to cut off access on the road between Kano and Maiduguri by targeting truck drivers, whom they behead using chain saws.

There are also media reports of Boko Haram carrying out forced conversions to Islam in rural areas, with the alternative being death.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Maiduguri, the prisoner tells journalists that foreign fighters from three neighboring countries were among the insurgents in the Islamist rebellion, fueling widespread fears of the violence spreading beyond Nigeria.

"We do have members of the group from Chad, Cameroon and Niger who actively participate in most of our attacks," he says.

Boko Haram boasts of links to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, adding to the fears of a nation already prone to deadly explosions of tribal and sectarian violence.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 20, 2013 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the gloom of a hilltop cave in Nigeria where she was held captive, Hajja had a knife pressed to her throat by a man who gave her a choice - convert to Islam or die.

Two gunmen from Boko Haram had seized the Christian teenager in July as she picked corn near her village in the Gwoza hills, a remote part of northeastern Nigeria where a six-month-old government offensive is struggling to contain an insurgency by the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group.

In a new development, Boko Haram is abducting Christian women whom it converts to Islam on pain of death and then forces into "marriage" with fighters - a tactic that recalls Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in the jungles of Uganda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The U.S. Department of State designated Boko Haram and a spinoff group called Ansaru as foreign terrorist organizations Wednesday (Nov. 13).

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” is responsible for thousands of deaths in northeast and central Nigeria, according to the State Department.

The group has stated that it desires to establish a Shariah-law theocracy in Nigeria.

Boko Haram has attacked churches, local police stations, the United Nations building in Abuja, local security offices and an agricultural college. In September, a single attack in northeastern Benisheik killed 160 civilians.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here in Africa’s most populous country, where an insurgency by the brutal Islamist group Boko Haram has killed hundreds of people in recent months, it is easy to despair over sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians – and between Muslims.

Yes, easy to despair, were it not for the remarkable example set by an imam and pastor in Nigeria, an oil-producing country on the West African coast whose population is evenly split between Muslims and Christians. The two men are former militia leaders whose forces directly fought each other, yet they reconciled after each was moved by a sermon on forgiveness – one preached in a mosque, and one in a church. They have been spreading the practice of tolerance and reconciliation for nearly two decades since forming the Interfaith Mediation Center here in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria, where I train staff in dialogue techniques that bridge divides of ethnicity and religion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther ChurchesOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Elizabeth and I at the new 9/11 memorial this past Saturday morning--KSH.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography

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Posted November 4, 2013 at 6:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

U.S. and Afghan politicians are in the middle of a heated debate over whether a small American and NATO force will remain in Afghanistan at the end of next year.

But what's a political and strategic question at the negotiating table is an emotional question at bases around Afghanistan, where soldiers watch the discussions with one eye on their sacrifices over the past 12 years and the other on the American withdrawal from Vietnam four decades ago.

In short, they don't want to go home without the win.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorismWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAsiaAfghanistanPakistan* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 28, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been almost six months since the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and left many others horribly injured. the phrase, "Boston strong" with are heard a lot in the days after the tragedy. and recently we saw just how strong are some of them who took the next big steps in their lives....

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism

0 Comments
Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury will visit Nairobi on 19 and 20 October as a guest of the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala.

The purpose of the visit, which has been arranged at short notice, is to be in solidarity with the Kenyan people following the attack on the Westgate shopping mall last month.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

4 Comments
Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Days after the attack, a man who manages a clothing store in the Westgate Mall sorts through damaged shoes, shirts and ties. He's visibly shaken from his trip back into the place he escaped under gunfire. Much of the damaged clothing is from bullet holes.

"These are all waste now," he says. "Even it if it is small hole, it is waste." He says there's no insurance for a terrorist attack, and some of the most expensive suits and shoes are missing.

Other shop owners reported Rolex watches, diamond jewelry and mobile phones looted, allegedly by Kenyan soldiers during the fight against the terrorists. The allegations have shaken people in Nairobi, who just a week ago were hailing the soldiers as heroes.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ever since 9/11, the struggle against terrorists has focused too much on killing them rather than their message. That may change with a new public-private effort to counter the appeal of jihadists with a grass-roots campaign aimed at young and vulnerable Muslims....

[Last] Friday, Turkey and the United States announced plans to raise more than $200 million for a global fund to counter the “local drivers of radicalization to violence.” Much like campaigns against illiteracy or the child sex trade, this one has dozens of countries behind it. A coalition called the Global Counterterrorism Forum will build on the expertise of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Indonesia that have successfully “deradicalized” captured terrorists.

Lessons from those rehab programs can be applied by civic groups and governments to prevent radicalization of Muslims. At the heart of these efforts will be moderate Muslims, such as Islamic scholars or former terrorists, who can effectively deliver the message that Islam does not justify the purposeful killing of innocents.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeTurkey* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted October 2, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Today we are just three weeks away from the first day of GAFCON 2013 and I am eagerly looking forward to welcoming many of you from around the world to Nairobi and All Saints Cathedral. Last week our General Secretary, Archbishop Peter Jensen and our Executive Director, Bishop Martyn Minns, were with me here in Nairobi on a planned visit to review our preparation and we are so thankful to God for his blessing and provision.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary SourceGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGACON II 2013* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

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Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

1. The group was founded by a firebrand cleric called Mohammed Yusuf

Boko Haram is a Sunni terrorist organization that claims links to Al Qaeda and other groups of a similar ideological bent, both in the region and internationally. The group’s current incarnation was founded in 2003 under the leadership of a young Islamic cleric named Mohammed Yusuf. He was killed during a failed uprising against the Abuja government in July 2009 that spread across four northern states, but was successfully crushed by security forces. During the crackdown, Yusuf was arrested and killed while in custody. Since his death, his former deputy Abubakar Shekau has taken Boko Haram’s reins of power and launched a violent campaign largely targeting police stations, federal institutions and Christian villages across northeast Nigeria.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that he reciprocated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sentiments on forging a new beginning but reiterated that the epicentre of terrorism was located in Pakistan.

Addressing the audience during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations, Singh said that state sponsored cross border terrorism was of particular concern to India.

“It is important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndiaPakistan

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Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A few months ago Barack Obama declared that al-Qaeda was “on the path to defeat”. Its surviving members, he said, were more concerned for their own safety than with plotting attacks on the West. Terrorist attacks of the future, he claimed, would resemble those of the 1990s—local rather than transnational and focused on “soft targets”. His overall message was that it was time to start winding down George Bush’s war against global terrorism.

Mr Obama might argue that the assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi by al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate, the Shabab, was just the kind of thing he was talking about: lethal, shocking, but a long way from the United States. Yet the inconvenient truth is that, in the past 18 months, despite the relentless pummelling it has received and the defeats it has suffered, al-Qaeda and its jihadist allies have staged an extraordinary comeback. The terrorist network now holds sway over more territory and is recruiting more fighters than at any time in its 25-year history (see article). Mr Obama must reconsider.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetGlobalizationScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all; appropriate especially for any leading prayers tomorrow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

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Posted September 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Did the masterminds of the Westgate terror escape within an hour of launching the attack? Could the terrorists who remained behind to continue the senseless killing and repulse security forces also slip away unnoticed?

And what is the fate of the hostages thought to have been held in the siege? What about the destruction of the mall, did the military bomb it? And who looted the shops?

These are some of the hard questions that Kenyans are seeking answers to as sources reveal new accounts that have not been formally released by the government, further intensifying the mystery that surrounds the four-day siege.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenyaSomalia* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hiding the Christian name on his ID with his thumb, Joshua Hakim approached the gunmen and showed them the plastic card. “They told me to go. Then an Indian man came forward, and they said, ‘What is the name of Muhammad’s mother?’ When he couldn’t answer they just shot him.”

That’s the way it went inside the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall in Nairobi last Saturday. If you said when asked that you were Muslim, you were let go. If you answered no, you stayed. And maybe died.

More than 60 patrons in that upscale mall in Kenya’s capital breathed their last that day, shot dead by Islamist militants from Somalia who call themselves al-Shabab. The massacre was not al-Shabab’s first attack on non-Muslims....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted September 28, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[The heroic man was]...Abdul Haji, the son of a former security minister in the Kenyan government, who had rushed to the mall after getting a text message from his brother who was trapped inside.

"We saw a lot of dead people. Very young people, children, old ladies, you cannot imagine," Mr Haji told the Kenyan television station NTV.

"From what they were doing, you could tell that these were not normal people. The fact that he was making a joke out of this whole thing made me much more angry and determined to engage them, and to shame them."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

0 Comments
Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of the nation's largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a "deadly pipeline" of men and money.

Six years have passed since Somali-American fighters began leaving Minnesota to become part of al-Shabab. Now the Somali community is dismayed over reports that a few of its own might have been involved in the violence at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

"One thing I know is the fear is growing," said Abdirizak Bihi, whose nephew was among at least six men from Minnesota who have died in Somalia. More are presumed dead.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenReligion & CultureViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenyaSomalia* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

American hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s fractious rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed opposition coalition and announced the formation of a new alliance dedicated to creating an Islamic state.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group, which will further complicate fledgling U.S. efforts to provide lethal aid to “moderate” rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted September 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

if the initial reports of the investigation into the latest atrocity are anything to go by, taking retaliatory action against the culprits will not be as straightforward as it was back in the Nineties.

Al-Qaeda has come a long way since its early days, when groups of fanatical jihadi fighters hatched desperate plots to attack the West from remote caves hidden away in the Hindu Kush. These days, as the Kenyan authorities are discovering, al-Qaeda has developed into a truly global brand, a multinational terror force that is just as capable of drawing recruits from the prosperous mid-West of the United States as the slums of downtown Mogadishu.

While al-Shabaab (“the youth”), the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliate, has claimed responsibility for the shopping mall atrocity, Kenyan investigators have been alarmed to discover the cosmopolitan character of those involved in the killings. Apart from the Somalis who took part, the 15 terrorists who stormed the mall at noon last Saturday are said to have included extremists from the US, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Syria, Finland, Russia, Dagestan and Kenya.

Read it all from Con Coughlin.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenyaSomalia

0 Comments
Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

He was known for rapping in an al-Shabab and was the subject of an in The New York Times Magazine. He also went by the name of Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, or "the American."

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaSomaliaAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The terrorist attacks that happened 12 years ago...[yesterday] changed several things about the world, like airport security and the national sense of safety — not to mention the subsequent wars touched off at least in part by the events.

For Muslims like [Iman] Meyer-Hoffman, non-Muslims around her suddenly took an interest in their religion, as it is widely believed a radical Islamist group carried out the attacks.

Michigan is home to one of the largest populations of Muslims in the U.S., with The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. The Fenton area is home to several families that attend the mosque in Burton.

Read it all from yesterday's TC Times paper.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted September 12, 2013 at 7:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington and Somerset County by al-Qaida terrorists reminds the United States of the life-changing aspects of what happened that day.

It is useful that Americans are probably more vigilant as a result of the fatal assaults. Unfortunately, repeated words of caution and fear are frequently used by politicians and others to further their own ambitions.

The length of the ensuing Afghanistan War and the Iraq War, with the loss of life and expenditure of resources, is attributable to the 9/11 attacks. It is inconceivable that the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama could have initiated or maintained either conflict if there had been no 9/11 and resulting U.S. insecurity....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take a look at all the pictures and note there is an autoplay option.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Look at them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Australia / NZ

0 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 11:13 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With the anniversary of 9/11 days away, high school and middle school students mostly too young to remember the terrorist attacks gathered on the aircraft carrier Yorktown and met one woman who will never forget.

Melodie Homer is the widow of LeRoy Homer, co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, one of four the planes hijacked and crashed by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

“For many of us who experienced that day, the word ‘closure’ doesn’t really exist,” said Homer, who now lives in North Carolina with her children.

Read it all from this past's weekend's local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* South Carolina

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We forgot. It doesn’t seem possible, but we forgot. I forgot.

I didn’t forget in the strictest meaning of the word, but I forgot some things. I forgot the anger. I forgot the anxiety and the worry. It’s all still there; it’s just not out on my sleeve where I can see it and know it and live it all the time. But it’s there. It’s in every perfect day, when the skies are blue and the clouds are perfect and the warmth is soft and comforting in an autumn kind of way. Some things were okay to forget or let go of. I swore after 9/11 that I would never set foot in another airplane.

I am writing this on a flight from New York to California.

Is it a good thing to forget pain? Is it something we need to keep in our hearts as a reminder, something to keep us awake, alert, and ever vigilant?

No, I don’t want to remember that.

I want to remember the way the skyline looked before, with the Twin Towers intact. I want to remember a time when most people didn’t know who bin Laden was. I want to know that time when the country wasn’t a place of divide, when terrorism and war didn’t separate us into with us/against us.

But I forgot so much. Seven years have come and gone. In those years we moved on, we lived, we put 9/11 aside with all our other memories that we like to keep at bay. Time is the best medication of all. It dulls the pain, eases the hurt, and assuages the guilt. It makes me forget it could happen again. Time brings complacency.

In that small space between three hijacked planes and color-coded terror alerts, between a small field in Pennsylvania and conspiracy theories, there was a brief, lit-up moment when we felt like one. I remember thinking that this tragedy would fix us instead of break us. I want so much to feel again that hope and unity that existed in the days after the attack. There was proof, ever so briefly, that we could come together as a nation to help and comfort each other, when we were all just human beings on common ground instead of left or right, Democrat or Republican.

Never forget, indeed. Never forget that out of the rubble of tragedy arose a moment when we put everything aside to be one whole nation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted September 11, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the headline in Paris' Le Monde newspaper read "We are all Americans". Liane Hansen speaks with Jean-Marie Colombani, who wrote the article that ran beneath that headline about his reflections on that time.

Read or listen to it all from NPR.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeFrance

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(You may find the names of all 343 firefighters here--KSH).

On Monday this week, the last of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th was buried. Because no remains of Michael Ragusa, age 29, of Engine Company 279, were found and identified, his family placed in his coffin a very small vial of his blood, donated years ago to a bone-marrow clinic. At the funeral service Michael’s mother Dee read an excerpt from her son’s diary on the occasion of the death of a colleague. “It is always sad and tragic when a fellow firefighter dies,” Michael Ragusa wrote, “especially when he is young and had everything to live for.” Indeed. And what a sobering reminder of how many died and the awful circumstances in which they perished that it took until this week to bury the last one.

So here is to the clergy, the ministers, rabbis, imams and others, who have done all these burials and sought to help all these grieving families. And here is to the families who lost loved ones and had to cope with burials in which sometimes they didn’t even have remains of the one who died. And here, too, is to the remarkable ministry of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, who played every single service for all 343 firefighters who lost their lives. The Society chose not to end any service at which they played with an up-tempo march until the last firefighter was buried.

On Monday, in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, the Society therefore played “Garry Owen” and “Atholl Highlander,” for the first time since 9/11 as the last firefighter killed on that day was laid in the earth. On the two year anniversary here is to New York, wounded and more sober, but ever hopeful and still marching.

--First published on this blog September 11, 2003

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMusicUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remember that the more specific you can be, the more the rest of us will get from your comments--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One of the great themes of the Hebrew Scriptures is that God identifies with the suffering. There are all these great texts that say things like this: If you oppress the poor, you oppress to me. I am a husband to the widow. I am father to the fatherless. I think the texts are saying God binds up his heart so closely with suffering people that he interprets any move against them as a move against him. This is powerful stuff! But Christianity says he goes even beyond that. Christians believe that in Jesus, God’s son, divinity became vulnerable to and involved in - suffering and death! He didn’t come as a general or emperor. He came as a carpenter. He was born in a manger, no room in the inn.

But it is on the Cross that we see the ultimate wonder. On the cross we sufferers finally see, to our shock that God now knows too what it is to lose a loved one in an unjust attack. And so you see what this means? John Stott puts it this way. John Stott wrote: “I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the Cross. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?” Do you see what this means? Yes, we don’t know the reason God allows evil and suffering to continue, but we know what the reason isn’t, what it can’t be. It can’t be that he doesn’t love us! It can’t be that he doesn’t care. God so loved us and hates suffering that he was willing to come down and get involved in it. And therefore the Cross is an incredibly empowering hint. Ok, it’s only a hint, but if you grasp it, it can transform you. It can give you strength.

And lastly, we have to grasp an empowering hope for the future. In both the Hebrew Scriptures and even more explicitly in the Christian Scriptures we have the promise of resurrection....

Read it carefully (noting especially the original setting as described) and read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(History Channel) For 102 minutes on September 11, 2001, the world looked on in horror as terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into New York City's mighty twin towers, destroying the iconic buildings and killing more than 2,700 people. Watch unfiltered videos from nine New Yorkers who witnessed the day that changed America.

Watch them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President and Mrs. Bush, I want to say a personal word on behalf of many people. Thank you, Mr. President, for calling this day of prayer and remembrance. We needed it at this time.

We come together today to affirm our conviction that God cares for us, whatever our ethnic, religious, or political background may be. The Bible says that He’s the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles. No matter how hard we try, words simply cannot express the horror, the shock, and the revulsion we all feel over what took place in this nation on Tuesday morning. September eleven will go down in our history as a day to remember.

Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical schemes. Someday, those responsible will be brought to justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so forcefully stated. But today we especially come together in this service to confess our need of God.

Today we say to those who masterminded this cruel plot, and to those who carried it out, that the spirit of this nation will not be defeated by their twisted and diabolical schemes. Someday, those responsible will be brought to justice, as President Bush and our Congress have so forcefully stated. But today we especially come together in this service to confess our need of God.

We’ve always needed God from the very beginning of this nation, but today we need Him especially. We’re facing a new kind of enemy. We’re involved in a new kind of warfare. And we need the help of the Spirit of God. The Bible words are our hope: God is our refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way, and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

But how do we understand something like this? Why does God allow evil like this to take place? Perhaps that is what you are asking now. You may even be angry at God. I want to assure you that God understands these feelings that you may have. We’ve seen so much on our television, on our — heard on our radio, stories that bring tears to our eyes and make us all feel a sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.

But what are some of the lessons we can learn? First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil. I’ve been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept by faith that God is sovereign, and He’s a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. The Bible says that God is not the author of evil. It speaks of evil as a mystery. In 1st Thessalonians 2:7 it talks about the mystery of iniquity. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Who can understand it?” He asked that question, ‘Who can understand it?’ And that’s one reason we each need God in our lives.

The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of iniquity and evil, but secondly it’s a lesson about our need for each other. What an example New York and Washington have been to the world these past few days. None of us will ever forget the pictures of our courageous firefighters and police, many of whom have lost friends and colleagues; or the hundreds of people attending or standing patiently in line to donate blood. A tragedy like this could have torn our country apart. But instead it has united us, and we’ve become a family. So those perpetrators who took this on to tear us apart, it has worked the other way — it’s back lashed. It’s backfired. We are more united than ever before. I think this was exemplified in a very moving way when the members of our Congress stood shoulder to shoulder the other day and sang “God Bless America.”

Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now, this event can give a message of hope — hope for the present, and hope for the future. Yes, there is hope. There’s hope for the present, because I believe the stage has already been set for a new spirit in our nation. One of the things we desperately need is a spiritual renewal in this country. We need a spiritual revival in America. And God has told us in His word, time after time, that we are to repent of our sins and return to Him, and He will bless us in a new way. But there’s also hope for the future because of God’s promises. As a Christian, I hope not for just this life, but for heaven and the life to come. And many of those people who died this past week are in heaven right now. And they wouldn’t want to come back. It’s so glorious and so wonderful. And that’s the hope for all of us who put our faith in God. I pray that you will have this hope in your heart.

This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we too will be called into eternity. I doubt if even one those people who got on those planes, or walked into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last day of their lives. It didn’t occur to them. And that’s why each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit ourselves to God and His will now.

Here in this majestic National Cathedral we see all around us symbols of the cross. For the Christian — I’m speaking for the Christian now — the cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering. For He took upon himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares “I love you. I know the heart aches, and the sorrows, and the pains that you feel, but I love you.” The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb. It tells us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil, and death, and hell. Yes, there’s hope.

I’ve become an old man now. And I’ve preached all over the world. And the older I get, the more I cling to that hope that I started with many years ago, and proclaimed it in many languages to many parts of the world. Several years ago at the National Prayer Breakfast here in Washington, Ambassador Andrew Young, who had just gone through the tragic death of his wife, closed his talk with a quote from the old hymn, “How Firm A Foundation.” We all watched in horror as planes crashed into the steel and glass of the World Trade Center. Those majestic towers, built on solid foundations, were examples of the prosperity and creativity of America. When damaged, those buildings eventually plummeted to the ground, imploding in upon themselves. Yet underneath the debris is a foundation that was not destroyed. Therein lies the truth of that old hymn that Andrew Young quoted: “How firm a foundation.”

Yes, our nation has been attacked. Buildings destroyed. Lives lost. But now we have a choice: Whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people, and a nation, or, whether we choose to become stronger through all of the struggle to rebuild on a solid foundation. And I believe that we’re in the process of starting to rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God. That’s what this service is all about. And in that faith we have the strength to endure something as difficult and horrendous as what we’ve experienced this week.

This has been a terrible week with many tears. But also it’s been a week of great faith. Churches all across the country have called prayer meetings. And today is a day that they’re celebrating not only in this country, but in many parts of the world. And the words of that familiar hymn that Andrew Young quoted, it says, “Fear not, I am with thee. Oh be not dismayed for I am thy God and will give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand upon” my righteous — on “thy righteous, omnipotent hand.”

My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us and will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us as we trust in Him. We also know that God is going to give wisdom, and courage, and strength to the President, and those around him. And this is going to be a day that we will remember as a day of victory. May God bless you all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it silently, and watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw its patches down upon me also
,
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious,
My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,

Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.

--Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & LiteratureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dear God:

Thou who has been our help in ages past, thou who dispenses your comfort to all those who mourn. We seek your grace to strengthen us as we commemorate the lives of loved ones who have been lost on this day of anguish for our country and our world.

Wipe away the blinding tears that plummet down our cheeks like gushing streams of an overflowing riverbank. Our heavy hearts still search for the solace of your guidance through the maze of pain and the myriad of complex issues such tragedy releases.

Though hurt, we are compelled to commemorate those who are fallen on this day. Remember those who may not have lost a life but instead they lost a limb, those who gave their health for our wholeness, those who lost their emotional stability to help us regain our national security.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Through the eyes of a child--take a look (she was a student at Sequoyah Elementary School).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:42 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMusic* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



(Courtesy of Nathaniel Harmon)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:09 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Of all her academic heresies, however, none was more upsetting to [Jean Bethke] Elshtain's colleagues than her support for aggressive military action against terrorist organizations and, a decade ago, her defense of the war in Iraq. Having written about the politics and morality of war since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Elshtain insisted that America's conflict with al Qaeda was not a matter of international law enforcement, as some insisted. It was a war.

Terrorists, and states that support them, are not merely engaged in criminal activities; they are our enemies—in the same way that Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were our enemies in World War II. As she wrote in her 2003 book, "Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World": "With our great power comes an even greater responsibility. One of our ongoing responsibilities is to respond to the cries of the aggrieved. Victims of genocide, for example, have a reasonable expectation that powerful nations devoted to human rights will attempt to stay the hand of the murderers."

That did not mean that force is always justified or that no rules apply. Elshtain was a believer in, and a leading interpreter of, the tradition known as "just war theory." This tradition does not propose pacifism—the view that the use of force is inherently unjustifiable. On the contrary, just-war theory says that in the face of unjust aggression, nations sometimes have a duty to use military force. They are also obligated to fight with all legitimate means to win—to defeat the enemy and halt its aggression.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted September 6, 2013 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Two of the most powerful insurgent factions in Syria are al-Qaeda factions,” Evan Kohlmann, senior partner at Flashpoint Partners in New York, said by telephone. “Even were the Assad regime to fall and there be some kind of takeover by rebels, there’s not a clear understanding that everyone here will be able to agree and form any kind of government.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 30, 2013 at 9:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria have killed an Italian Jesuit priest who disappeared in the east of the country late last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Paolo Dall'Oglio, a vocal supporter of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some Islamist rebel groups, disappeared in the rebel-held city of Raqqa on July 29.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria

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Posted August 16, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eighteen of the 19 U.S. embassies and consulates reopened Sunday after being shut down for a week across the Islamic world because of a terrorist threat.

Even as the diplomatic posts inched toward normal operations, and as Muslims celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan, questions lingered about how pressing the danger had been and whether the threat had yet passed.

The U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, the same nation from which a threat from an al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula earlier this month spurred the State Department to close its facilities, remained closed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the head of the terrorist group’s Yemen affiliate to carry out an attack, according to intercepted communications that have led to the closure of U.S. embassies and a global travel alert, said a person briefed on the case.

In one communication, Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden, gave “clear orders” to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to undertake an attack, the source said. McClatchy newspapers first reported the exchange on Sunday.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism

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Posted August 6, 2013 at 6:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This newspaper is a wholehearted supporter of the United States and its commitment to individual freedom. At the same time we acknowledge that any government’s first responsibility is to protect its own citizens. It made sense to adjust the balance between liberty and security after September 11th. But America’s values ought not to have become casualties of Mr Bush’s war on terror.

The indefinite incarceration of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay without trial was a denial of due process. It was legal casuistry to redefine the torture of prisoners with waterboarding and stress positions as “enhanced interrogation”. The degradation of Iraqi criminals in Abu Ghraib prison in 2003, extraordinary rendition and the rest of it were the result of a culture, led by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, that was both unAmerican and a recruiting sergeant for its enemies. Mr Obama has stopped the torture, but Guantánamo remains open and the old system of retribution has often been reinforced.

Neither Mr Snowden nor Mr Manning is a perfect ambassador for a more liberal approach.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident George BushTerrorism

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Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No fewer than 400 Nigeria Immigration Service officers have been killed by the dreaded Boko Haram since it began it’s violent campaigns against the nation.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Bagudu Atiku, who made this disclosure on Monday in a chat with newsmen at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, said the figure was gotten from the Immigration and Prisons Services during the committee’s oversight functions.

The lawmaker added that in the last one year, the nation had witnessed no less than 11 jail breaks, a situation he described as worrisome.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

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Posted July 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, its civilian and military workforce has grown by one-third, to about 33,000, according to the NSA. Its budget has roughly doubled, and the number of private companies it depends on has more than tripled, from 150 to close to 500, according to a 2010 Washington Post count.

The hiring, construction and contracting boom is symbolic of the hidden fact that in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the NSA became the single most important intelligence agency in finding al-Qaeda and other enemies overseas, according to current and former counterterrorism officials and experts. “We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em” became a motto for one NSA unit, a former senior agency official said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Jeff] Bauman grabbed what was left of his legs, lay back down and was writhing there when Allan Panter found him. Panter, an emergency room physician from Gainesville, Ga., had been in the crowd, too, but was unharmed. He pulled Bauman from the pile of bodies and placed the loose tissue back into his leg. Bauman screamed.

Panter tied a makeshift tourniquet around his right leg, placed a jacket on him and left Bauman so he could tend to the woman sprawled nearby whose eyes were open and empty.

I’m going to die, Bauman thought, lying there alone.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineSports* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted July 9, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Islamic militants attacked a boarding school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Saturday, killing 29 students and one teacher.

Some of the pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack blamed on a radical terror group, survivors said.

Parents screamed in anguish as they tried to identify the charred and gunshot victims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations

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Posted July 6, 2013 at 8:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United States has entered a new phase in the war against al Qaeda and its allies, drawing down from its large-scale combat operations in Afghanistan and moving to more targeted counterterrorism operations where military attack drones will play a major role.

However, the U.S. bishops are now warning increased U.S. dependence on military attack drones for “targeted killings” pose serious moral questions that President Barack Obama, Congress and the U.S. public must consider.

Bishop Richard Pates, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote a May 17 letter to the White House stating that the military use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones” in certain cases appeared to “violate the law of war, international human-rights law and moral norms.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Every American president has faced the same central questions: What is the appropriate relationship between security and liberty? When should the scales tip one way or the other? We have never found a universal answer, which says as much about the enormous challenge our elected leaders accept as it does about who we are and what we value.

Presidents often do what they insist needs to be done to protect their people — and gamble that they'll be forgiven for the inevitable erosion of rights. Congress and the public typically fall in line, particularly in the post-9/11 world. And the nation moves on until the next situation flares.

In general, both presidents and their people inherently believe in America's ability to remain true to its identity and not let others define it, as long as it abides by the country's founding principles. The trouble, or perhaps the gift, is that the framers of our Constitution made sure to include leeway in the ability for leaders to tip the security-vs.-liberty scales when the situation demands.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted May 28, 2013 at 5:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nigeria's military has imposed a 24-hour curfew in parts of the north-eastern city of Maiduguri as its offensive against militants continues.

A statement named 11 areas of the city where people must remain inside their homes until further notice.

Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, has been an important base for Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

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Posted May 18, 2013 at 10:27 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A United Methodist woman in Richmond, Va., said she was acting out of Christian compassion in helping to arrange the burial of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

“Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not hate them after they’re dead,” said Martha Mullen, in a phone interview. “That’s why I kind of got this ball rolling.”

Ms. Mullen, a 48-year-old counselor in private practice who studied at a United Methodist seminary, was distressed at news accounts about the difficulty of finding a burial place for Tsarnaev, who died in an April 19 shootout with police.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropology

1 Comments
Posted May 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Radical and intolerant Islamist leaders preached to crowds of students at almost 200 official events in the past year, according to a study of external speakers at universities including Cambridge, Birmingham and University College London.

Segregated seating for male and female students is understood to have been implemented for at least a quarter of those public meetings held by the Islamic societies at 21 universities.

Two institutions have announced investigations into segregated meetings. But research by Student Rights, which was set up to tackle extremism on campus, indicates that the practice is prevalent across Britain, despite university equality rules forbidding it.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The mystery surrounding the burial of the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev has come to an end. The Boston Marathon bombing suspect was buried this week at a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Va.

According to his completed death certificate, which was released on Friday, Mr. Tsarnaev was buried on Thursday at Al-Barzakh Cemetery, about half an hour north of Richmond. Officials in Massachusetts had said the body was moved to a burial site out of state. But they had refused to disclose where.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

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Posted May 13, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Responding to Carson’s testimony at a House Subcommittee on Africa hearing in July 2012, Subcommittee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), remonstrated that poverty alone does not drive people to violence. And in any case, Boko Haram is well funded by outside Islamists. “Heavy machine guns” and “buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns” are just the latest examples to show that Boko Haram is not just a motley crew of impoverished, marginalized local Muslims. In February 2013 it was revealed that hundreds of Boko Haram members had trained for months in terrorist camps in northern Mali with the local “Ansar Dine” al Qaeda of Mali. Their former chef, explained that he cooked for over 200 Nigerians who had “arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012 in about 300 cars, after al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) swept into the city.”

In its 2013 Nigeria briefing, human rights group Justice for Jos +, a project of Jubilee Campaign USA, remarked, “Ironically, in northern Nigeria, it is Christians who are totally disenfranchised politically, economically, and socially in their own states and by their own ethnic groups due to their religious identity.” This is worse than just “political marginalization,” Mr. Carson! Justice for Jos + continues, “Christians are regarded as inferior to Muslims and suffer ongoing, systematic and comprehensive discrimination even by local and (Sharia) state governments.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

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Posted May 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cemeteries and even some mosques have refused to take his body. His city, Cambridge, has urged family members to bury him elsewhere. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez and local talk radio host Dan Rae want him dumped in the ocean, like Osama bin Laden. Clergy have largely kept mum.

“The only signs of people who are showing some sort of moral conscience are those few who stand with a card near the funeral home saying (burial) is a corporal work of mercy,” said James Keenan, a moral theologian at Boston College. “To say, ‘we won’t bury him’ makes us barbaric. It takes away mercy, the trademark of Christians. … I’m talking about this because somebody should.”

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEschatology

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Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

BOB ABERNETHY, host:....The president referred to self-radicalizing. What—how does that work, and what can the Muslim community do to prevent it?

HARIS TARIN (Muslim Public Affairs Council): Well, the phenomenon of self-radicalization is where individuals who do not find a place in mainstream Muslim institutions, places like mosques and organizations, they don’t find a place for their fiery rhetoric, for their violent, extremist rhetoric, so they go online, and they listen to sermons, and they listen to individuals like Anwar al-Awlaki or Adam Gadahn or other folks who misinterpret the religion to give it a violent, violent ideology, and they fall prey to these individuals who are basically online predators, and they get influenced by these individuals to address their grievances through violence....

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

he surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told F.B.I. interrogators that he and his brother considered suicide attacks and striking on the Fourth of July as they plotted their deadly assault, according to two law enforcement officials.

But the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with the police, ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices, the officials said.

The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they had anticipated, and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided to authorities.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireUrban/City Life and IssuesViolenceYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism

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Posted May 3, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Italian police arrested four men on Tuesday, who are suspected of planning terrorist attacks in Italy, the US and Israel, reports Reuters News. One of the arrested men is believed to be a Tunisian former imam at a mosque in the city of Andria, in the southern Italian region of Puglia, where police said the terror cell was based. According to paramilitary police, the men aimed to train terrorists and send them to fight abroad, and are suspected of conspiracy to commit international terrorism and incite racial hatred.

According to investigators, the four men focused their recruitment activities among illegal immigrants, who were subsequently sent to training camps in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Chechnya. Police described the group as being characterized by "fierce anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment" and an aversion to states viewed as enemies in the context of religious war.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

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Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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