Kayla Mueller’s Parents Hope Daughter Is Still Alive

Kayla MuellerThe parents of  an American woman, Kayla Mueller, a hostage which the ISIS said was killed on Friday when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held, are imploring ISIS to contact them, expressing hopes that she may still be alive.

Mueller was the last-known American hostage held by Islamic State, which controls wide areas of Syria and Iraq.

The parents of Kayla Mueller are imploring ISIS to contact them. They believe or at least hope that 26-year-old humanitarian worker Kayla, had not been killed.

The terror group captured Mueller, an Arizona native, in 2013. It said that a Jordanian airstrike that pounded their de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria also killed her.

The group had beheaded three other Americans, two Britons and two Japanese hostages – most of them aid workers or journalists – in recent months.

Mueller was taken hostage while leaving a hospital in the Northern Syrian city of Aleppo in August 2013.

The group’s latest claim, detailed by the Site monitoring group, came just days after it released a video on Tuesday showing a captured Jordanian pilot, Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, being burned alive in a cage.

Jordan’s King Abdullah, who was in Washington discussing how to deal with ISIS militants when the video was made public, vowed to avenge the pilot’s death and ordered a stepped-up military role in the U.S.-led coalition against the group.

Video Showing Japanese Hostage, Kenji Goto Beheaded Released

Kenji Goto A video has been released online purporting to show the beheading of Japanese hostage, Kenji Goto by Islamic State militants.

The video came less than a week after news of the beheading of another Japanese man, Haruna Yukawa.

Mr Goto, 47, is a popular freelance journalist and film-maker who went to Syria in October, reportedly to try to secure Mr Yukawa’s release.

The Islamic State group had on Sunday, January 25, confirmed that its militants executed Haruna Yukawa, following the release of a video announcing his death.

“The Islamic State has carried out its threat… it has executed Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, after the expiry of the deadline given,” the Sunni extremist group said on Al-Bayan Radio, which broadcasts in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS had on January 20 threatened to kill the two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo hands over $200 million within 72 hours.

In a video posted online, a masked man clad in black and holding a knife stood over the two kneeling men in orange jumpsuits against the backdrop of a barren landscape.

The militant, who spoke in English, demanded “200 million” without specifying a currency, but an Arabic subtitle identified it as U.S. Dollars.

The masked man links the threat against the two men’s lives to Japan’s support for the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

However, Japan said it was trying to authenticate the latest video showing Kenji Goto beheaded.

The video, which bears the same symbols as previous IS videos, shows a militant with a British accent beheading Mr Kenji Goto.

Malaysia Airline Official website compromised

malaysiaA group calling itself “Official Cyber Caliphate” said it hacked the official website of national carrier, Malaysia Airlines (MAS), on Monday, while the airline said its data servers remained intact and passenger bookings were not affected.

The website, www.malaysiaairlines.com, is alleged to show a photograph of a lizard in a top hat, surrounded by the messages ‘404 – Plane Not Found’ and ‘Hacked by Lizard Squad.

In reaction to this, MAS said the website was not hacked, but users were redirected to a hacker website. It reassured that the official site would be back up within 22 hours.

Malaysia Airlines assured website visitors that its website was not hacked and that the temporary defect did not affect bookings. It said user data remained secured.

Reports said the hacked website had earlier carried the words “ISIS will prevail” but the slogan could no longer be seen. ISIS is the acronym of the Militant Islamic State group that has proclaimed a caliphate after seizing territory in Iraq and Syria.

Lizard Squad claimed on Twitter that it would release data from Malaysia Airlines, but did not specify.

It was later discovered that the www.malaysiaairline.com was only compromised and not hacked, information remained intact and the view was as it were before.

ISIS Threatens To Kill Two Japanese Hostages

ISIS_HostagesISIS has threatened to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo hands over $200 million within 72 hours.

The militant, who spoke in English, demanded “200 million” without specifying a currency, but an Arabic subtitle identified it as U.S. Dollars.

In a video posted online on Tuesday, a masked man clad in black and holding a knife stands over two kneeling men in orange jumpsuits against the backdrop of a barren landscape.

The masked man links the threat against the two men’s lives to Japan’s support for the U.S.-led coalition that is fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The masked man in the video identifies the two kneeling men as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who condemned the threat, described it as unacceptable and vowed to save the hostages.

He added that their lives were his “top priority” and that Japan would not give in to terrorism.

Mr Abe is currently in Jerusalem as part of a six-day tour of the Middle East and is expected to cancel the remainder of his trip and return to Japan to deal with the hostage crisis.

In a press conference in Jerusalem, Mr Abe said he was “indignant” and felt “strong resentment” at the threats, and demanded the immediate release of the hostages.

He threatened that the world would suffer “immeasurable” damage if terrorism spread in the region.

Japan relies on the Middle East for much of its crude oil imports.

ISIS Introduces New Currency

ISIS currencyThe Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has disclosed plans to mint its own currency, in a bid to to stay away from the “tyrant’s financial system”.

In a statement released on Thursday, ISIS said it was planning to mint its currency in gold, silver and copper. The currency will also include seven coins: two gold, three silver and two copper.

According to the terrorist group, the plan is “purely dedicated to God” as it will separate Muslims from the “global economic system that is based on satanic usury.”

Syrian Border Town About To Fall As Islamic State Increases Assault

Syria-Kobani. Turkey’s president has warned that the Syrian State, Kobani is “about to fall” after Islamic State fighters advanced into the south west of the Kurdish town, pressing home a three-week assault that has cost a reported 400 lives.

The prospect that the town on the Turkish border could be captured by the militants has increased pressure on Turkey, with the strongest army in the region, to join an international coalition to fight against Islamic State.

Islamic State wants to take Kobani in order to strengthen its grip on the border area and consolidate the territorial gains it has made in Iraq and Syria in recent months. U.S.-led air strikes have so far failed to prevent its advance on Kobani.

Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, said bombing was not enough to defeat the Islamic State and Turkey had made clear that additional measures would be needed.

“The problem of ISIS (Islamic State) … cannot be solved via air bombardment. Right now … Kobani is about to fall,” he said during a visit to a camp for Syrian refugees.

“We had warned the West. We wanted three things. No-fly zone, a secure zone parallel to that, and the training of moderate Syrian rebels,” he said.

He said Turkey would intervene if there were threats to Turkish soldiers guarding a historic site in Syria that Ankara regards as its territory. But so far Turkey has made no move to get involved in the fighting across the border.

Reuters reports that from across the Turkish border, two Islamic State flags could be seen flying over the eastern side of Kobani. Two air strikes hit the area and sporadic gunfire could be heard.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said it had also documented 412 deaths of civilians and fighters during the three-week battle for Kobani.

On Tuesday, plumes of white smoke rose over eastern and central parts of Kobani and two ambulance crossed the border, travelling from Kobani to the Turkish side.

Islamic State fighters were using heavy weapons and shells to hit Kobani, senior Kurdish official Asya Abdullah told Reuters from inside the town.
“Yesterday there was a violent clash. We have fought hard to keep them out of the town,” she said by telephone. “The clashes are not in the whole of Kobani, but in specific areas, on the outskirts and towards the centre.”

Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, has ramped up its offensive in recent days against the mainly Kurdish border town, despite being targeted by U.S.-led coalition led air strikes aimed at halting its progress.

“There were clashes overnight. Not heavy but ISIS is going forward from the southwest. They have crossed into Kobani and control some buildings in the city there,” said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Observatory, a group that monitors the conflict with a network on the ground. ISIS is a former name for Islamic State.

“They are about 50 metres inside the south-west of the city,” Abdulrahman said.

An estimated 180,000 people have fled into Turkey from the Kobani region following the Islamic State advance. More than 2,000 Syrian Kurds including women and children were evacuated from the town after the latest fighting, a member of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) said on Monday.

Islamic State Crisis: US Coalition Targets I.S Refineries In Syria

IsisAmateur video posted on a social media website on Wednesday (September 24) purported to show U.S.-led air strikes over the Syrian city of al Mayadin.

The video, filmed at night, shows an explosion in the distance and the audio of a male voice can be heard saying, in Arabic: “God is great. American air strikes over the city of al Mayadin”.

Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of the video which was obtained from a social media website.

At least 14 Islamic state fighters and at least 5 civilians were said to have been killed in the air strikes overnight in north-east Syria.

Meanwhile, 24 hours after the beheading of a French tourist in a style very similar to that of ISIS, France has announced that it is not intimidated in the least and would do the opposite of what the extremist group has requested, by boosting its support for Syrian opposition forces fighting ISIS.

Herve Gourdel was kidnapped while on holiday by members of a splinter group allied to Islamic state, who said in the video released online that he was being killed in response to France’s military intervention in Iraq.

Speaking on Europe 1 Radio, Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, whose brief includes internal security, said that the country would not be scared by the militants’ campaign.

“No, France is not scared because it must not be afraid. Fear is a feeling that terrorists want to instil and if fear takes hold it will be a victory of terrorists. France is not scared, and it has what it needs to deal with these abominable crimes, and will fight them.

“It (France) will see this fight through so that the values of respect, tolerance and humanity prevail over barbarism and we will lead this fight at home and abroad.”

There might still be hope for the likes of hostage, Alan Hemming , who is still believed to be alive.

In greater Manchester, about 100 people gathered to call for the release of Alan Hemming, a British aid worker held hostage in Syria.

Supporters wore t-shirts saying “free ‘gadget’ Alan Henning” – a nickname given to him because he was good at fixing things.

IS militants issued a threat to kill Henning in a video released on September 13, which showed the killing of another British man, David Haines.

A ribbon is tied for his safe release but now the UK parliament is due to vote on air strikes against IS in Iraq on Friday.

ISIS Behead British Aid Worker, David Haines

David HainesThe Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), on Saturday, released a video in which a British aid worker, identified as David Cawthorne Haines, was beheaded.

In the video, showing 44-year-old Haines, who was seized in Syria in 2013, is seen kneeling next to his would-be murderer but before his apparent beheading, Haines gave a speech blaming British Prime Minister, David Cameron for his death.

It reads: “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State (ISIS), just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend amongst British Prime Ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans”.

American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff were also murdered by ISIS in the same fashion within the last month.

In reaction, British PM, David Cameron described the murder of Haines as an “act of pure evil” and vowed to do everything possible to find the killers.

In a statement released by the Foreign Office, brother of the victim, Mike Haines said David, a father of two, “was and is loved by all his family” and that he would be “missed terribly”.

ISIS Declares Islamic State In Parts of Iraq And Syria

Iraq ISISMilitant group, ISIS, have declared an Islamic state or a ‘Caliphate’ in some part of Iraq and Syria.

ISIS, in an audio message posted on the internet, also proclaimed their leader, Abu Bakr Al-baghdadi, as caliph and “leader for Muslims everywhere”.

The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and also known as Isis, claims that the Islamic “caliphate” stretches from Aleppo in Syria to Diyala in Iraq.

The move poses a direct challenge to the central leadership of Al Qaeda, which has already disowned it, and to conservative Gulf Arab rulers.

Setting up a caliphate ruled by the strict Islamic law has long been a goal of many Jihadists.

In the meantime, Iraq’s army has continued an offensive to retake the northern city of Tikrit from the ISIS-led rebels.

The city was seized by the insurgents on June 11 as they swept across large parts of northern-western Iraq.

In other news, Thousands of Iraqis have poured into the northern Iraqi town Erbil after conflicts broke out between ISIL militiamen and Kurdish fighters last Wednesday at the christian village of Qaraqosh, 30 kilometers from Iraq’s second largest city Mosul.

The refugees have settled down in cathedrals and other community centers and halls in the christian areas of Erbil but the influx of so many people has stretched the local community to its limit.

In Diyala, more than one thousand families have taken refuge at a camp in the province, as fighting continues between Sunni militants and Iraqi forces.

Iraq’s Army Routs Sunni Militants

IraqiReports say Iraq’s Army has routed Sunni militants in a major offensive on the northern city of Tikrit.

It was reported by the state media that thousands of Iraqi troops backed by tanks and air power had attacked Tikrit from four directions, clearing Isis from the city and killing 60 militants, including some militant commanders.

A spokesman for the rebels confirmed heavy fighting but implied the attack had failed, saying they were pursuing what was left of the army offensive.

The rebels control large swathes of the north and west after lightning raids that captured the second city, Mosul.

The Iraqi soldiers are being supported in the offensive by allied Sunni tribesmen and Shia militias. Army spokesman Lt-Gen Sabah Fatlawi had warned Isis fighters they “now have two choices – flee or be killed”.

United States officials say American troops are not directly involved in the hostilities but the US confirmed that it is flying armed drones in Iraq to protect its personnel on the ground.

Some 300 US military advisers have been deployed to Iraq.

Police officials told AP that fighting to the south of the capital Baghdad left at least 20 Iraqi troops dead on Saturday, with dozens of insurgents also killed.

Another army spokesman told Agence France-Presse that Iraqi forces were also now in control of a key road from Baghdad to Samarra.