TBR News September 9, 2017

Sep 09 2017

The Voice of the White House


Washington, D.C., September 9, 2017:” “Here, minus his address, is a communication from a perceptive, and very rare, literate, reader and my answer.

‘I ran into this article in the American Spectator, an apparently conservative/libertarian publication, which disputes the current idea floating around that paving over wetlands increased Houston’s susceptibility to flooding. I’m not too familiar with this publication but the points the author raises are interesting.

Fake News: Ignorant Reporters Blame Houston

I find it interesting that many of the areas hit by these storms are “rapidly growing.” Where are all these people coming from, and why are they moving to these places? Are there any areas in the country from which people are rapidly fleeing?’


The destruction at Houston was due to a Cape Verde hurricane that entered the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, sucked up a great deal of water, made land near Houston and then dumped water onto that area. ‘Harvey’ became stalled due to atmospheric conditions, and continued to dump water onto that area. Houston is quite low and close to the water (it is a port of commerce) and there was extensive flooding.

As far as burgeoning populations are concerned, there is global overpopulation and when this happens, there is overbuilding.

I suggest you look up, and read, Dr. Calhoun’s thesis about behavior with overpopulation.

This was found in the Scientific American in 1962 and precis of this can be found on Google.

Malthus addresses food problems in his essay on population.

Rather a wordy discussion but cogent. He sums it up in his second chapter when he states that population increases geometrically while food supplies increase arithmetically.

Now we read that Hurricane Irma (and no doubt the growing Jose) will do this or that and is caused by a myriad of nonsensical reasons.

The prurient itch to be noticed by others is the main reason for this endless babbling, theorizing and pontificating.

And like a rotting cherry on top of a bad quality sundae, we have the insane rantings of the blogger who attribute the hurricane disasters to such causes as flatulent elk, lesbians, satanists, voodo masters, Tesla death rays and many more culprits. ”



Table of Contents

  • Hurricane Jose: storm nearly ‘category five’ as it follows Irma’s destructive path
  • Staying behind on Florida islands is ‘almost like suicide’
  • Jose, still a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, threatens second blow to Irma-ravaged islands
  • ‘Once the storm starts, law enforcement cannot save you’: Fla. governor issues stern warning ahead of Irma
  • Are Israel and Hezbollah headed for another war?
  • Welcome to 1984: Big Brother Google now watching your every political move
  • Mossad officer leading ISIS as mosque Imam arrested in Libya


Hurricane Jose: storm nearly ‘category five’ as it follows Irma’s destructive path

The system is nearing the eastern Caribbean islands of Barbuda and Anguilla, promising further devastation in the wake of the giant Irma

September 9, 2017

by Martin Farrer and agencies

The Guardian

Hurricane Jose has weakened slightly, but remains a “dangerous category four hurricane” as it heads towards the eastern Caribbean islands ravage by Hurricane Irma.

Jose was about 160 miles (260km) east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday morning and was forecast to hit the outlying Caribbean islands later in the day.

The US national hurricane centre issued hurricane warnings for the eastern Caribbean islands of Sint Maarten, St Martin and St Barthelemy, and tropical storm warnings for Barbuda and Anguilla and Saba and St. Eustatius. A troprical storm watch is in effect for British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John and Antigua.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall north of Tecolutla, Mexico early on Saturday. The storm has since been downgraded to a depression near the Sierra Madre mountains, but officials are warning of “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”

Many of Irma’s victims have already fled their devastated islands on ferries and fishing boats for fear of Jose, which could punish some places all over again this weekend.

“I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to know that further damage is imminent,” said inspector Frankie Thomas of the Antigua and Barbuda police.

Authorities said about 90% of Barbuda, a coral island rising just 125 feet (38 meters) above sea level, had been devastated by Irma.

Its 1,400 inhabitants were ordered to evacuate on Friday to neighboring Antigua, where Stevet Jeremiah was reunited with one son and made plans to bury another.

Jeremiah, who sells lobster and crab to tourists, was huddled in her wooden home on Barbuda this week with her partner and their two- and four-year-old boys as Irma ripped open their metal roof and sent the ocean surging into the house.

Her younger son, Carl Junior Francis, was swept away. Neighbors found his body after sunrise.

“Two years old. He just turned two, the 17th, last month. Just turned two,” she repeated. Her first task, she said, would be to organize his funeral. “That’s all I can do. There is nothing else I can do.”

The dead included 11 on St Martin and St Barts, four in the US Virgin Islands, four in the British Virgin Islands and one each on Anguilla and Barbuda.

Laura Strickling, who lives with her husband Taylor on St Thomas, said they had huddled in a basement apartment along with another family as Irma storm raged for 12 hours.

“The noise was just deafening. It was so loud we thought the roof was gone,” she said, adding that she and the three other adults “were terrified but keeping it together for the babies”.

“We’re obviously worried by the thought of having to do it all again with Hurricane Jose. It’s not good,” she said.

In Mexico, which is also dealing with its most powerful earthquake in a century, Katia was expected to weaken rapidly over the next day, the USNHC said. Category 1 is the NHC’s weakest hurricane designation while category 5 is the strongest. Storms of category 3 and above are defined as major hurricanes.

Veracruz state officials said in a statement that the storm could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people living below hills and slopes to be prepared to evacuate.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico’s national emergency services, said this week that Katia has “worrying characteristics” because it is very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.


Staying behind on Florida islands is ‘almost like suicide’

September 9, 2017

BBC News

Concern is growing for residents in the most vulnerable areas of Florida who have not yet evacuated, as Hurricane Irma edges closer to making landfall.

Despite authorities begging residents of the Florida Keys to evacuate since Thursday, some have opted to remain.

The low-lying coral cay islands are scattered off Florida’s southern coast, with a population of 70,000.

One official warned staying on the islands among storm surge warnings was “almost like suicide”.

The tropical archipelago extends for more than 100 miles off the US mainland, north of Cuba.

The islands, which are mostly part of Monroe County, are linked to the Florida peninsula by a scenic highway that runs across into Miami.

In 2005 the islands avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Wilma, but the category three storm caused major ocean storm surges that left low-lying areas inundated with flood water.

Much of the Keys have an elevation of just a few feet above sea level.

Key West, the largest island with a population of about 27,000, is extremely vulnerable to the large storm surges forecast by Hurricane Irma (though it has one of the highest points in the Keys at 18ft (5.5m) above sea level).

The area is frequently ordered to evacuate in Florida’s tropical storm seasons.

But some Florida Keys locals, known as “conches”, have developed a tough attitude to riding storms out.

News on Friday that the county’s first responders and emergency staff could be evacuated to the mainland prompted some to change their mind.

Elizabeth Prieto told CBS news that she was evacuating the Keys for the first time in 51 years.

“I’ve been through George, I’ve been through Andrew, and I’ve been through Wilma. But I’m not staying for Irma. No, not happening,” Ms Prieto said.

◾Areas most at risk from Hurricane Irma

Even patients at local hospitals and 460 prisoners from a detention centre have been relocated.

Those opting to stay despite the mandatory evacuation order included the curator and 10 members of staff at Ernest Hemingway’s famous home in Key West.

The museum is now famous for homing 54 cats, which the curator said would be too difficult to evacuate safely on the gridlocked roads.

With some still opting to remain despite the warnings, Monroe County was forced to announce the opening of four shelters of last resort in the area.

But officials stressed services and supplies would not be provided at the shelters.

Once a dangerous storm starts, don’t dial 911 during it because nobody is going to answer,” Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said.

With Irma hours away it is unclear how many have opted to stay on the islands.

The hurricane is on course to reach the islands on Sunday morning.


Jose, still a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, threatens second blow to Irma-ravaged islands

September 9, 2016

by Anthony Faiola, Lindsey Bever, Andrew deGrandpre and Kristine Phillips

The Washington Post

CABARET, Haiti — Hurricane Jose, a powerhouse tropical cyclone barreling northwest toward the Caribbean islands already hammered by Irma, has weakened but remains a dangerous Category 4 storm, officials said.

The National Hurricane Center said that Jose’s maximum sustained wind speed is at 145 mph, as the storm is expected to pass north of the northern Leeward Islands later on Saturday. That’s down by 10 mph from late Friday, when officials said the hurricane was just shy of a Category 5 storm.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to gradually weaken over the next couple of days after it passes the northern Leeward Islands. It will, however, likely throw off tropical-storm strength weather felt Saturday night in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, which also suffered heavy damage during Irma.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Sint Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, also known as St. Barts. The alert for Barbuda, which had been obliterated by Irma, has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning. The islands of Anguilla, Saba and Sint Eustatius are also under a tropical storm warning.

Antigua and the British Virgin Islands are no longer under a tropical storm watch.

The alarming announcement comes as military personnel and emergency responders from the United States and Europe rush to aid those still reeling from Irma, which roared across the same region as a Category 5 storm on Wednesday.

On the devastated island of Barbuda, authorities and private tour operators scrambled to evacuate the remainder of its 1,600 residents, taking them to emergency shelters on nearby Antigua.

Michael Joseph, president of the Red Cross in Antigua and Barbuda, described Barbuda as though it were a tropical ghost town of broken buildings and fallen trees.

“It’s uninhabitable. I would literally say that 100 percent of the infrastructure is gone. Light, water, communication, it’s a total blackout,” Joseph said.

There was only one fatality on the island — a 2-year-old boy identified Friday as Carl Junior Francis. He was found by neighbors the day prior, having been swept away by storm surge as Irma pounded the island and ripped off the roof of his family’s home, the Associated Press reported.

“It was a miracle that there was only one death,” Joseph said.

On Antigua, evacuees were hunkered down and preparing for Jose’s possible hit.

“People are worried, when they see images of Barbuda, that it could be Antigua next,” Joseph said.

In Anguilla, part of the British West Indies, Irma’s fury left homes and businesses shattered across the 16-mile island. Local officials pleaded with residents Friday to take all precautions ahead of Jose to ensure their survival, and they encouraged people to quickly clear existing debris so it could be removed and battened down, as not to pose a threat during the next wave of dangerous weather.

With telecommunication services severed, police traveled the island’s neighborhoods Friday to relay what information they had about Jose’s path, said Patrick Lynch, who operates Roy’s Bayside Grill. Reached Friday afternoon via Facebook, he seemed unaware the storm had reached such ferocious strength.

Though badly damaged, the restaurant was planning to open Friday and serve limited lunch and dinner items. “People need a place to go, connect, talk about what has happened and feel normal for an hour or two,” Lynch said, “so we’re going to try and provide that.

In closing, he wrote: “Please keep Anguilla in the news, the destruction is island wide. The people here are good and friendly. … It is a jewel in the Caribbean, and it needs help.”

The U.S. military has dispatched five warships, as well as helicopters, cargo planes, National Guard troops and thousands of pounds of supplies to help hurricane victims.

The military will provide generators, fuel and gas, water-purification systems and tools to clear roads choked with storm debris, according to the U.S. Northern Command. The Army Corps of Engineers sent teams to U.S. territories to help restore electricity, and National Guard personnel were activated to help with evacuations and search-and-rescue efforts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency spoke of a “complete power/communications collapse” in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but people trapped there have become frustrated and despondent.

Amy Larson, who runs a charter-boat business in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said she has been in Florida as her husband weathered Irma’s wrath on St. John. In tears, she said, “People are very concerned. They want to get off the island. They need supplies. They don’t feel like anybody is giving them any sort of attention.”

France and the Netherlands also moved to respond to some of Irma’s worst destruction on St. Martin, an island they share, and St. Barts, a French overseas territory. The French government deployed 455 police, military and other personnel on Friday, with double that number expected by Saturday.

The presence was partly to restore public order and combat a wave of looting. Using Guadeloupe as a base, French officials were dispatching military helicopters and civilian aircraft with food, water and medical supplies.

Yet Jose could quickly jeopardize those relief efforts, authorities warned.

“My concern today is that because of Hurricane Jose, we are going to have another period in which transport won’t be operating,” the French health minister, Agnès Buzyn, told French TV. Kenneth E. Mapp, the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, said that Jose’s rain and winds could linger through Sunday or Monday.

At the White House on Friday, President Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, indicated the U.S. had begun evacuating American citizens from the French and Dutch sides of St. Martin ahead of Jose.

Gretchen and Peter Bogacz have been hunkered down since Wednesday at St. Martin’s Hotel L’Esplanade. With no power or running water, they were desperate for information about whether assistance was on the way.

The couple had been heading back to Florida after celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary on the nearby island of Saba. Once Irma cleared St. Martin, they used their intermittent cell service to text relatives back in the United States for help in figuring out how to get home.

But with the airport seriously damaged, there was no way out.

“Now it seems we are trapped on this island,” Gretchen Bogacz wrote in a text message to The Post Friday afternoon. “Food is okay for now but will be getting low in a few days. Doesn’t help to know another … hurricane is heading this way.”

In the British Virgin Islands, residents said they lacked information on aid and relief efforts. Communications were mostly down and many roads were blocked with vehicles, telephone poles, metal roof material and other debris.

Freeman Rogers, editor of the weekly BVI Beacon newspaper and a resident of Road Town, the territory’s capital, said that people at shelters were running low on food and water, clean clothes and medical supplies. He described a sense of frustration about the response by the British government. Prime Minister Theresa May has said that British military personnel have been working “round the clock” to provide relief to the battered islands.

Rogers said residents were most concerned about whether Hurricane Jose would cause further damage.

“People don’t have roofs,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’d be really rough if we got hit with another big hurricane.”

Irma, meanwhile, continued to push west, making landfall in Cuba around 11 p.m. Eastern Friday and gaining strength on its march toward the Bahamas and, eventually, Florida.

The Cuban government moved hundreds of thousands of people away from cities and towns along the coast in preparation for Irma, including some 36,000 tourists from hotels and beach resorts that are likely to be pounded.

While Havana is expected to be spared the worst of Irma’s wrath, cities such as Ciego de Avila and Santa Clara in the island’s central provinces appear at risk of significant damage. State media showed images Friday of soldiers and Cuban civil defense brigades moving residents into shelters.

The government said it had prepared at least 39 caves for use as emergency shelters. Children and elderly residents could be seen in them, eating sandwiches and snacks in the near-darkness.

“People are being quite orderly in terms of leaving their homes and going to safer shelters,” said Richard Paterson, the Cuba representative for Care International in Havana.

And as the rains diminished over vulnerable Haiti, residents and aid organizations began to assess the damage.

In the city of Cabaret, 16 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, Miracle Lafontant, 82, wearily exited her inundated home midday Friday in a ripped and muddied white nightgown.

A devout Christian, she’s a rice farmer who has taken in three orphans — including a teenage girl who lost her mother last year in Hurricane Matthew.

“I was in bed, and I heard, ‘Mommy, wake up, the water is coming in!’ ” Lafontant said. “I got out of bed, but before I could get out the door, it was already up to here,” she said, indicating her upper abdomen.

Behind her home, fields of banana trees and sugar cane obscured rows of flooded houses.

“The storm, she took all my church clothes, ruined,” Lafontant said. “What am I going to wear to church now?”

“But I’m not scared. I am never scared,” she said. “The Lord Jesus Christ was there with me last night.”

Phillips, Bever and deGrandpre reported from Washington. Nick Miroff, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Matea Gold in Washington; Rachelle Krygier in Caracas, Venezuela; and Annabell Van den Berghe in Brussels contributed to this report, which has been updated.


‘Once the storm starts, law enforcement cannot save you’: Fla. governor issues stern warning ahead of Irma

September 9, 2017

by Leonard Shapiro, Mark Berman and Katie Zezima

The Washington Post

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — Hurricane Irma continues to hurtle toward Florida’s doorstep, threatening to ravage the state with destruction not seen in a generation.

As the weather forecasts and warnings from officials grew increasingly dire, hundreds of thousands of people across Florida fled their homes before the rapidly closing window to escape Irma’s wrath slammed shut. Forecasters said Irma, a hurricane of remarkable size and power that already has battered islands across the Caribbean, would approach South Florida by Sunday morning and is likely to slam into the state’s southern tip before tracking north across a heavily populated area.

The track of the storm, however, shifted overnight: The eye of the storm is now expected to head up the state’s west coast, rather than the middle. Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa are now expected to bear the brunt of the storm. But because of the size of the storm, Florida’s east coast remains in danger, including from storm surges that will easily overwhelm some areas. But before the storm reaches the peninsula, the Florida Keys will experience the full force of the storm.

Regardless of its track, all of Florida will likely experience damaging winds, rains, flooding and possibly tornadoes.

“This is a deadly storm and our state has never seen anything like it,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said at a news conference in Sarasota Saturday morning.

Scott implored people living in evacuation zones to leave their homes, telling people on in the southwest part of the state to leave their homes by noon for a shelter or elsewhere.

“Once the storm starts, law enforcement cannot save you,” he said.

Scott said there are more than 260 shelters open statewide housing at least 50,000 people; at least 70 additional shelters are expected to open today. He said the state desperately needs about 1,000 nurses to volunteer in its special needs shelters. Scott said he has spoken with President Trump and William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who have guaranteed all necessary federal resources.

After days of calm, ordinary summer weather, Miami residents woke to powerful wind gusts and bouts of torrential rain before dawn, followed by calm conditions again under low, gray clouds. Irma’s outermost bands appear to have arrived. With the storm still more than 200 miles away, Miami International Airport clocked a wind gust of 57 mph just after 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Nearly 25,000 people have already lost power across the state as of Saturday morning.

“It’s not a question of if Florida’s going to be impacted, it’s a question of how bad Florida’s going to be impacted,” Long said Friday at a news conference.

Officials in Georgia and the Carolinas — where heavy rains and flooding are expected early next week — have declared emergencies, but attention remained focused on Florida. Forecasts call for up to 20 inches of rain and thrashing winds no matter how the storm pivots before hitting the mainland United States.

“Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center,” the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 5 a.m. Saturday, Irma had maximum sustained winds near 155 mph and higher gusts as it moved over Cuba’s Camaguey Archipelago as a Category 4 storm, the hurricane center said.

Local, state and federal officials have offered ominous warnings as the storm zeroed in on Florida, making clear how much danger they felt the Sunshine State could face in coming days. Long urged people from Alabama to North Carolina to monitor and prepare for the storm, calling it “a threat that is going to devastate the United States, either Florida or some of the southeastern states.”

About 5.6 million people in Florida and 540,000 in Georgia have been ordered to evacuate.

Floridians are familiar with ominous forecasts and hurricane warnings, and many have painful memories of Hurricane Andrew, which made landfall as a Category 5 monster in 1992, and other storms that brought lashing rain and winds. But when asked about people in South Florida who intend to ride out the storm at home, Long was blunt.

“I can guarantee you that I don’t know anybody in Florida that’s ever experienced what’s about to hit South Florida,” Long said. “They need to get out and listen and heed the warnings.”

Mark DeMaria, acting deputy director of the hurricane center, said Friday afternoon that the latest models showed the storm track shifting slightly to the west, putting southwest Florida in particular jeopardy for the most violent winds, while all of South Florida will have significant impacts.

“We really want to emphasize the very vulnerable Southwest Florida area,” DeMaria said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has warned people that evacuation zones could expand and said that all Floridians “should be prepared” to leave their homes. Scott also has cited the memories of Andrew, calling Irma “more devastating on its current path” and warning that much of the state could be imperiled.

In addition to having intense power, Irma also is an immense storm, with forecasters reporting hurricane-force winds extending some 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending as far as 195 miles out.

Airports around the state said they would suspend flights and cease operations. Publix, a grocery-store chain, announced plans to close stores across the state in waves and did not say when they would reopen. Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Trump, on Friday said that people need to have enough food and water to get by during a period when the rain and wind will prevent authorities from getting to them.

“We have pre-deployed and pre-staged, but we can’t actually get to that final point of care until conditions permit,” he said Friday during a White House briefing.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning covering all of South Florida, where local officials have ordered evacuations along the coast. In Miami-Dade County, the state’s most populous, mandatory evacuations were issued for about 660,000 people, including for Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. It was the largest evacuation ordered in Miami-Dade history, said Carlos A. Gimenez, the county’s mayor.

Miami City Hall, an Art Deco building on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, an evacuation zone, was locked and mostly vacant on Friday. The only vehicle seen in a City Hall parking spot? A black Ford Expedition in the spot labeled for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Many people ordered to leave Broward and Palm Beach counties were directed to public schools, which Scott has shuttered across the state so they can serve as shelters and staging areas for first responders. Many public schools across the state canceled classes, while colleges had also closed campuses and rescheduled football games.

Pompano Beach High School, which is just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean and is normally home to the Golden Tornadoes, was transformed Friday into a haven for about 150 people seeking shelter from Irma. Several volunteers said they expected the school, one of about 20 facilities Broward County is using as shelters, to reach its capacity of 280 people by Saturday.

Those already packed into the school’s cafeteria had one thing in common: They were either unable or unwilling to leave the area, despite a mandatory evacuation order for several sections of the county, including anyone close to the nearby ocean. Only those who had registered starting at noon on Thursday were allowed into the school, and once capacity was reached, others who showed up were directed to venues with larger spaces.

Three Broward County sheriff’s deputies were at the front door on Friday, inspecting all bags for weapons, drugs and alcohol. Two paramedics were assigned to the shelter in three shifts, and two will be in the building 24 hours a day starting Saturday morning, along with at least a half-dozen law enforcement officers. The men, women and children filing inside were greeted by several volunteers and county employees who will be working around the clock starting Saturday at 8 a.m.

They’re staffing a facility that does not quite have all the comforts of home — there are two bathrooms and no showers, cots or WiFi — but there are a few. Two television sets were tuned to the Weather Channel, providing the latest news about Irma’s approach — all of it bad. There also were nine microwave ovens, plugs for cellphones and computers and, eventually, a generator.

Many occupants came fully prepared, with a number of air mattresses, chaise longues and sleeping bags set up in neat rows throughout the cafeteria. Three free meals a day will be served.

Someone brought in stacks of books, and others played checkers, cards, watched TV, read or took naps. An elderly couple came in concerned about keeping their insulin refrigerated. They were quickly assured by a paramedic that the insulin would be stored in a cafeteria fridge and be available any time.

Suzie and Renè Wilhelm were in Florida on vacation from the Netherlands. They were staying at a hotel a block from a nearby Fort Lauderdale beach. Renè Wilhelm, a Mercedes-Benz salesman, said they left Amsterdam for Orlando last Monday, not really aware of the huge storm gathering hundreds of miles away.

“We’ve been coming to Florida since 2000 — Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale — and we had no idea this was happening,” he said. “We’re used to snow, but not this.”

They stayed in Orlando for a day, then drove south on Wednesday, at the time hoping that the storm would veer away from South Florida.

“We didn’t know what to do,” said Suzie Wilhelm, who works in health care. “As we were driving here, I thought, ‘This is a stupid thing to do.’ I called our travel agent in the Netherlands, and also the same company here, to see if they could get us out, but they never even called me back or answered my emails. The woman at our hotel tried to book us somewhere else, but everything was filled.”

They tried one shelter but were told there was no food and that they could not leave if they went in.

“It was terrifying, so we came here,” she said. “You can come and go. People have been very nice to us.”

Not far away, Bill and Jane Borum, both native Washingtonians and retirees, were reading to pass the hours. They live in a condo at the Bay Colony high-rise in Fort Lauderdale, just steps from the ocean, and left when an evacuation order was issued. They thought about driving north to get out of harm’s way, but traffic was horribly jammed and “we really didn’t have any place to go,” said Jane Borum, who attended Alice Deal Junior High and Wilson High School in Northwest Washington “many years ago” and retired to South Florida with her husband.

“Our kids in Maryland wanted us to fly home, but we couldn’t get on a flight, so now we’re here,” she said. “It’s our first time in a shelter, and the last, I hope.”

Some hit the road but did not want to go too far. Joseph “Tony” Vincent, 82, said he has seen many storms and planned to hit the road for Irma, but he was not heading far away from the Naples Mobile Home Park — he has weekend room reservations at a modest motel just outside the park, along the Tamiami Trail.

Vincent said that even if he had the money, he would not leave his home state because of a hurricane.

“Hell, you’d be safer here than taking a car on those roads,” he said. “You might be killed before you get to Atlanta.”

Some people chose to stay where they were.

Locals packed bars on Friday night in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, drinking and watching the U.S. Open and the Miami Marlins game. At Happy Wine in the Grove there was a 45-minute wait for a table after 9 p.m.

The restaurant informed people that it was business as usual by writing “We’re Open” in big red letters on the plywood that covered its windows. Bartender Edgar Escorche said he had opened at least 150 bottles of wine Friday evening. Parking was even hard to find around the small restaurant.

“It’s been surprising to see all the people going out in the night before the storm,” he said. “We didn’t expect it to be this crowded. I guess it’s the calm before the storm.”

Alexandra Missagia, 47, said she had been working all day prepping her home for the storm, and wanted one night out before she was cooped up during a storm with a still unknown impact on Miami.

“We’ve been working our [butts] off for three days, we just want to have fun,” Missagia said.

Hazel Lamond, 43, said she couldn’t bear to stay home and listen to the news another night.

“I definitely don’t want to watch the weather channel anymore,” Lamond said.

Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill, a South Florida institution, ais known for staying open through holidays and inclement weather. Jimmy Flanigan, the president and CEO of the regional chain, said he decided kept all 23 of his South Florida locations open Friday. They will close Saturday, but Flanigan vowed to reopen as soon as possible.

Business was flush for him on Friday in Coconut Grove, where his restaurant served more than 2,500 meals and drinks.

“All the restaurants slammed and they’re having to stop taking names now,” Flanigan said. “We stay open as long as we possibly can.”

Other Florida fixtures hunkered down. The Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens — otherwise known as Zoo Miami, which sprawls across more than 700 acres and has more than 3,000 animals — closed on Thursday but said it would not be moving its animals.

“We don’t evacuate our animals since hurricanes can change direction at the last minute and you run the risk of evacuating to a more dangerous location,” the zoo said in a statement. “Furthermore, the stress of moving the animals can be more dangerous than riding out the storm. The animals that are considered dangerous will stay in their secure night houses, which are made of poured concrete and welded metal.”

When Hurricane Andrew struck, the zoo was hit hard. Tropical birds were missing, cages torn apart and animals traumatized — although, miraculously, most of the animals were unharmed.

Across the main arteries out of Florida, some trips took more than twice as long as normal. People who fled the state trekked into Georgia and South Carolina, and Atlanta’s downtown was turned into a temporary home for many evacuees. In South Carolina, the attorney general’s office reported more than 200 complaints from residents about price-gouging related to gasoline.

Berman and Zezima reported from Washington. Patricia Sullivan in Naples, Fla., Lori Rozsa in Palm Beach County, Fla., Dustin Waters in Charleston, S.C., Perry Stein and Joel Achenbach in Miami, Anthony Faiola in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Brian Murphy, Jenna Johnson, Jason Samenow and Angela Fritz in Washington contributed to this report.


Are Israel and Hezbollah headed for another war?

September 9, 2017 Israel holds the largest military drill in two decades on its border with Lebanon, stirring fears of another conflict.


by Zena Tahhan

Al Jazeera English

ensions between Israel and its northern neighbours have risen once again, stirring fears of another military confrontation between the Lebanon-based Hezbollah armed group and the Israeli army.

While the border region has remained restive since the 2006 war between the two sides and the discussion of another conflict has become almost constant, a series of recent developments have renewed such worries.

On Thursday, the Syrian state news agency reported an attack by Israeli jets on a military facility in western Syria, killing two people.

Though Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack, a former major general, Yaakov Amidror, told Israel’s largest radio station, the Army Radio, that the attack was an effort to weaken Iran and Hezbollah, who operate in Syria.

Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli military intelligence, also said on Twitter that the attack sent several “important messages”, including Israel’s refusal to “allow for empowerment and production of strategic arms”.

Earlier this week, Israel also began a 10-day military drill, the largest in two decades, on its border with Lebanon. The Israeli army said the main goal of the exercise was to “improve combat readiness on the northern front” and to “adapt the response to the challenges” facing Israel.

The drill comes after accusations by the United Nations envoys for Israel and the United States that the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon was ignoring a buildup of Iranian arms by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, on the Israeli border.

Experts and political analysts say that while a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah is unlikely, the option should not be ruled out.

“Based on the information that we have, I think it is improbable that a war would break out, even though there have been several limited attacks by both parties. However, Israel could surprise us with war in the moment we least expect it,” Kassem Kassir, a Lebanon-based journalist with close ties to Hezbollah, told Al Jazeera.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a bloody 34-day war in 2006 that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,100 Lebanese, the majority of whom were civilians; around 4,400 were injured and an estimated one million displaced. An estimated 159 Israelis, including 43 civilians, were also killed by Hezbollah’s rocket attacks.

The group was able to overwhelm Israel’s ground invasion of southern Lebanon and strike military and civilian targets, undermining internal Israeli support for the war and spurring regional support for Hezbollah’s military successes against a state army.

With Hezbollah’s deep involvement in the war in Syria over the past six years, the group and those close to it argue that it has gained a more sophisticated level of tactical experience and weaponry while fighting alongside the Syrian regime and allied groups. Others say the war has worn the group out and prevented it from engaging in a future conflict with Israel.

Yet, on several occasions in the past few years, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened that the group would be capable of invading Israel’s northern region and beyond in the case of an Israeli offensive against Lebanon.

In a speech last year, Nasrallah also mentioned a chemical plant in the city of Haifa where thousands of ammonia tanks are stored as a potential target, threatening death to tens of thousands.

“Hezbollah, after it entered the war in Syria, acquired new abilities and powers that it did not enjoy before the war in Syria. Hezbollah went from fighting guerilla warfare to engaging in professional army-scale battles in areas across Syria for the first time,” Kassir said.

“Also, the coordination that is happening between Hezbollah and Russia – which, for the first time, are sharing the same fighting field – also constitutes worry for Israel. The other point which must be highlighted is that Hezbollah now has a relationship with tens of thousands of non-Lebanese fighters that have participated in the fight in Syria – whether Afghanis, Pakistanis or Iraqis – which could possibly participate in any future confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel.”

Over the course of the war in Syria, Israel has targeted Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys on multiple occasions, saying it would continue to block any Iranian efforts to transfer weapons to the group.

Hezbollah expert Amal Saad said the changing nature of the war in Syria has meant that Israel would no longer be fighting a “localised war”.

“There’s no longer a separation of battlefronts, and Israel has made sure of that because of its aggression on Syrian territory. It has become a very active player on the Syrian battlefront, and therefore, it has ensured that Hezbollah and the Syrian regime remain linked; it’s erased the borders in that sense,” Saad told Al Jazeera.

And while there have been tit-for-tat attacks – including assassinations, attacks on arms convoys, and rocket attacks on the borders – analysts agree these incidents would not necessarily spark a war.

“These are limited attacks or security responses – designed to respond to a single event – which do not warrant a wide-scale conflict. For the two parties to go to war there would need to be aggression of a different level, such as an invasion or large-scale attack,” Saad said.

“Is Israel ready for another round of war with Hezbollah knowing full well that we’re no longer talking about a localised war? We’re talking about a regional war that would involve the participation of all the allied groups fighting in Syria.”

For now, the military drill seems to be a form of psychological warfare intended to make a statement about the Israeli army’s capabilities.

“The exercise has two main objectives: first, training the Israeli army for a large-scale confrontation in light of Israel’s inferior strategic position as a result of the war in Syria, [including] Hezbollah’s growing military capacities in Lebanon [and the] expanded presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed armed forces in Syria,” said Ofer Zalzberg, a senior Israel/Palestine analyst for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think-tank.

“Second, [it is about] demonstrating to others the sheer strength and scale of Israel’s military capacities,” Zalzberg told Al Jazeera.

Still, indicators point to the growing influence of Iran, Israel’s principal enemy in the region, as the reason behind the recent symbolic escalation. Along with Russia, Iran has been able to tip the scales of the conflict in Syria in favour of the Syrian regime. And with the war edging ever closer to Israel’s borders, the Israeli fear of an Iranian corridor through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon has come to the forefront.

“We do not interfere in the question of who will rule in Damascus; we interfere with the question of how strong Iran and Hezbollah will be in the region,” Amidror said in his interview on Israel’s Army Radio.

In the context of the regional divide between the Gulf states and Iran, Israeli officials and analysts have often spoken of an unofficial “moderate axis” of Arab countries that are working behind the scenes with the Israeli government.

In this “alliance”, US-backed countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and several of the Gulf states, as well as Jordan and Morocco, are said to be pitted against “common enemies” Syria, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Saad believes that Hezbollah’s role in the war in Syria has only strengthened the alliance between the latter and added other countries, including Iraq, to what she terms the “resistance axis”.

“Iran is far more influential than the US and Saudi Arabia in the region. That’s very worrisome for Israel and its allies, the tightest of which is Saudi Arabia.”


Welcome to 1984: Big Brother Google now watching your every political move

September 9, 2017

by Robert Bridge


Google has taken the unprecedented step of burying material, mostly from websites on the political right, that it has deemed to be inappropriate. The problem, however, is that the world’s largest search engine is a left-leaning company with an ax to grind.

Let’s face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren’t talking about your average car company here.

The first sign Google would eventually become more of a political liability than a public utility was revealed in 2005 when CEO Eric Schmidt (who is now executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc, Google’s parent company) sat down with interviewer Charlie Rose, who asked Schmidt to explain “where the future of search is going.”

Schmidt’s response should have triggered alarm bells across the free world.

“Well, when you use Google, do you get more than one answer,” Schmidt asked rhetorically, before answering deceptively. “Of course you do. Well, that’s a bug. We have more bugs per second in the world. We should be able to give you the right answer just once… and we should never be wrong.”


Think about that for a moment. Schmidt believes, counter-intuitively, that getting multiple possible choices for any one Google query is not the desirable prospect it should be (aren’t consumers always in search of more variety?), but rather a “bug” that should be duly squashed underfoot. Silly mortal, you should not expect more than one answer for every question because the almighty Google, our modern-day Oz, “should never be wrong!” This is the epitome of corporate hubris. And it doesn’t require much imagination to see that such a master plan will only lead to a colossal whitewashing of the historic record.

For example, if a Google user performs a search request for – oh, I don’t know – ‘what caused the Iraq War 2003,’ he or she would be given, according to Schmidt’s algorithmic wet dream, exactly one canned answer. Any guesses on what that answer would be? I think it’s safe to say the only acceptable answer would be the state-sanctioned conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, an oft-repeated claim we now know to be patently false. The list of other such complicated events that also demand more than one answer – from the Kennedy assassination to the Gulf of Tonkin incident – could be continued for many pages.

Schmidt’s grandiose vision, where there is just “one answer to every question,” sounds like a chapter borrowed from Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, where omnipresent Big Brother had an ironclad grip on history, news, information, everything. In such a intensely controlled, nightmarish world, individuals – as well as entire historical events – can be ‘disappeared’ down the memory hole without a trace. Though we’ve not quite reached that bad land yet, we’re plodding along in that direction.

That much became disturbingly clear ever since Donald Trump routed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. This surprise event became the bugle call for Google to wage war on ‘fake news’ outlets, predominantly on the political right.

‘Like being gay in the 1950s’

Just before Americans headed to the polls in last year’s presidential election, WikiLeaks delivered a well-timed steaming dump, revealing that Eric Schmidt had been working with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as early as April 2014. This news came courtesy of a leaked email from John Podesta, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, who wrote: “I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, he’s ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn’t pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn’t seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going…”

The implications of the CEO of the world’s most powerful company playing favorites in a presidential race are obvious, and make the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s resemble a rigged game of bingo at the local senior citizens center by comparison. Yet the dumbed-down world of American politics, which only seems to get excited when Republicans goof up, continued to turn on its wobbly axis as if nothing untold had occurred.

Before continuing our trip down memory lane, let’s fast forward a moment for a reality check. Google’s romance with the US political left is not a matter of conjecture. In fact, it has just become the subject of a released internal memo penned by one James Damore, a former Google engineer. In the 10-point memo, Damore discussed at length the extreme liberal atmosphere that pervades Google, saying that being a conservative in the Silicon Valley sweat shop was like “being gay in the 1950s.”

“We have… this monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves. Really, it’s like being gay in the 1950s. These conservatives have to stay in the closet and have to mask who they really are. And that’s a huge problem because there’s open discrimination against anyone who comes out of the closet as a conservative.”

Beyond the quirky, laid back image of a Google campus, where ‘Googlers’ enjoy free food and foot massages, lies a “monolithic culture where anyone with a dissenting view can’t even express themselves,”says Damore, who was very cynically fired from Google for daring to express a personal opinion. That is strange.

Although Google loudly trumpets its multicultural diversity in terms of its hiring policy, it clearly has a problem dealing with a diversity of opinion. That attitude does not seem to bode well for a search engine company that must remain impartial on all matters – political or otherwise.

Back to the 2016 campaign. Even CNN at the time was admitting that Google was Donald Trump’s “biggest enemy.”

Indeed, not only was Schmidt apparently moonlighting for the DNC, his leftist company was actively shutting down information on the Republican front runner. At one point when Google users typed in a query for ‘presidential candidates,’ they got thousands of results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Missing in action from the search results, however, was, yes, Donald Trump.

When NBC4 reached out to Google about the issue, a spokesperson said a “technical bug” was what caused Trump to disappear into the internet ether. Now, where have we heard the word “bug” before? It is worth wondering if this is what Eric Schmidt had in mind when he expressed his vision of a “one answer” Google search future?

In any case, this brings to the surface another disturbing question that is directly linked to the ‘fake news’ accusations, which in turn is fueling Google’s crackdown on the free flow of news from the political right today.

In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, poll after poll predicted a Clinton landslide victory. Of course, nothing of the sort materialized, as even traditional Democratic strongholds, like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan pulled the lever for Trump. As the Economist reported: “On the eve of America’s presidential election, national surveys gave Hillary Clinton a lead of around four percentage points, which betting markets and statistical models translated into a probability of victory ranging from 70 percent to 99 percent.”

The fact that Trump – in direct contradiction to what the polls had been long predicting – ended up winning by such a huge margin, there is a temptation to say the polls themselves were ‘fake news,’ designed to convince the US voter that a Clinton landslide victory was forthcoming. This could have been a ploy by the pollsters, many of whom are affiliated with left-leaning news corporations, by the way, for keeping opposition voters at home in the belief their vote wouldn’t matter. In fact, statisticians were warning of a “systemic mainstream misinformation” in poll data favoring Clinton in the days and weeks before Election day. Yet the Leftist brigade, in cahoots with the Googlers, were busy nurturing their own fervent conspiracy theory that ‘fake news’ – with some help from the Russians, of course – was the reason for Hillary Clinton’s devastating defeat.

Who will guard us against the Google guardians?

Just one month after Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States, purportedly on the back of ‘fake news,’ Google quietly launched Project Owl, the goal of which was to devise a method to “demote misleading, false and offensive articles online,” according to a Bloomberg report. The majority of the crackdown will be carried out by machines. Now here is where we enter the rat’s nest. After all, what one news organization, or alternative news site, might consider legitimate news and information, another news group, possibly from the mainstream media, would dismiss as a conspiracy theory. And vice versa.

In other words, what we have here is a battle for the misty mountain top of information, and Google appears to be paving the way for its preferred candidate, which is naturally the mainstream media. In other words, Google has a dog in this fight, but it shouldn’t. Here is how they have succeeded in pushing for their crackdown on news and information.

The mainstream media almost immediately began peddling the fake news story as to why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump. In fact, it even started before Clinton lost the election after Trump jokingly told a rally: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing… I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The Democrats, of course, found no humor in the remark. Indeed, they began pushing the fake news story, with help from the likes of Amazon-owned Washington Post, that it was Russians who hacked the DNC email system and passed along the information to WikiLeaks, who then dumped it at the most inopportune time for the Democrats.

With this masterly sleight of hand, did you notice what happened? We are no longer talking about the whereabouts of Clinton’s estimated 33,000 deleted emails, nor are we discussing how the DNC worked behind the scenes to derail Bernie Sanders’ chances at being a presidential candidate. Far worse, we are not considering the tragic fate of a young man named Seth Rich, the now-deceased DNC staffer who was gunned down in Washington, DC on July 10, 2016. Some news sites say Rich was preparing to testify against the DNC for “voter fraud,” while others say that was contrived nonsense.

According to the mainstream media, in this case, Newsweek, only batshit crazy far-right conspiracy sites could ever believe Seth Rich leaked the Clinton emails

“In the months since his murder, Rich has become an obsession of the far right, an unwilling martyr to a discredited cause,” Newsweek commented. “On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily, it is all but an article of faith that Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably, by Clinton operatives. If that were to be true—and it very clearly isn’t—the faithful believe it would invalidate any accusations that Donald J. Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in tilting the election toward him.”

Blame Russia

The reality is, we’ll probably never know what happened to Mr. Rich, but what we do know is that Russia has become the convenient fall guy for Clinton’s emails getting hacked and dumped in the public arena. We also know Google is taking advantage of this conspiracy theory (to this day not a thread of proof has been offered to prove Russia had anything to do with the release of the emails) to severely hinder the work of news sites – most of which sit on the right of the political spectrum.

Last November, just two weeks after Trump’s victory, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, addressed the question of ‘fake news’ in a BBC interview, and whether it could have swayed the vote in Trump’s favor.

“You know, I think fake news as a whole could be an issue [in elections]. From our perspective, there should just be no situation where fake news gets distributed, so we are all for doing better here. So, I don’t think we should debate it as much as work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources, have more fact checking and make our algorithms work better, absolutely,” he said.

Did you catch that? Following the tiresome rigmarole, the Google CEO said he doesn’t think “we should debate it as much as we work hard to make sure we drive news to its more trusted sources…”

That is a truly incredible comment, buried at the sea floor of the BBC article. How can the head of the largest search engine believe a democracy needn’t debate how Google determines what information, and by whom, is allowed into the public realm, thus literally shaping our entire worldview? To ask the question is to answer it…

“Just in the last two days we announced we will remove advertising from anything we identify as fake news,” Pichai said.

And how will Google decide who the Internet baddies are? It will rely on “more than 15 additional expert NGOs and institutions through our Trusted Flagger program, including the Anti-Defamation League, the No Hate Speech Movement, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue,” to determine what should be flagged and what should not.

Feeling better yet? This brings to mind the quaint Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards themselves? especially since these groups also have their own heavy political axes to grind.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichai and his increasingly Orwellian company already stand accused of censorship, following the outrageous decision to bar former Congressman Ron Paul and his online news program, Liberty Report, from receiving advertising revenue for a number of videos which Paul recently posted.

Dr. Ron Paul would never be confused as a dangerous, far-right loony. Paul is a 12-term ex-congressman and three-time presidential candidate. However, he is popular among his supporters for views that often contradict those of Washington’s political establishment, especially on issues of war and peace. Now if squeaky clean Ron Paul can’t get a fair hearing before the Google/YouTube tribunal, what are chances for average commentators?

“We have no violence, no foul language, no political extremism, no hate or intolerance,” Daniel McAdams, co-producer of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, told RT America. “Our program is simply a news analysis discussion from a libertarian and antiwar perspective.”

McAdams added that the YouTube demonetization “creates enormous financial burdens for the program.”

Many other commentators have also been affected by the advert ban, including left-wing online blogger Tim Black and right-wing commentator Paul Joseph Watson. Their videos have registered millions of views.

“Demonetization is a deliberate effort to stamp out independent political commentary – from the left or the right,” Black told the Boston Globe’s Hiawatha Bray. “It’s not about specific videos… It’s about pushing out the diversity of thought and uplifting major news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.”

In light of this inquisition against free speech and free thought, it is no surprise that more voices are calling for Google, and other massive online media, like Facebook and Amazon, to become nationalized for the public good.

“If we don’t take over today’s platform monopolies, we risk letting them own and control the basic infrastructure of 21st-century society,”  wrote Nick Srnicek, a lecturer in the digital economy at King’s College London.

It’s time for Google to take a stroll beyond its isolated Silicon Valley campus and realize there is a whole world of varying political opinion out there that demands a voice. Otherwise, it may find itself on the wrong side of history and time, a notoriously uninviting place known as 1984.

Mossad officer leading ISIS as mosque Imam arrested in Libya

August 26, 2017 –

AhlulBayt News Agency

Libyan authorities arrested a leader and mosque preacher of the ISIS terrorist group who later confessed to be a Mossad officer.

According to the Libyan authorities, preacher Abu Hafs’ real name is Benjamin Efraim, an Israeli national operating in one of Mossad’s special units which conduct espionage operations in Arab and Islamic countries.

The Libyan authorities said the Mossad spy has started his career in Libya by leading a 200-member ISIS-affiliated group and moved to Benghazi in disguise as a preacher.

According to them, Abu Hafs had attempted to infiltrate Egypt, adding that the group, under his command, is among the most barbaric terrorist groups which had threatened to export war to Egypt.

The report came in the backdrop of a number of reports that said ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also a Mossad agent although no credible evidence has yet been presented to substantiate the claim.

When the terror outfit attacked Iraq and conquered Mosul some three years ago, numerous reports have surfaced the media disclosing that tens of Mossad agents are leading ISIS fighters.

The report came as speculations are increasing within the ranks of ISIS over the possible successor of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the recent reports about his death.

According to last month reports, ISIS’s leader in Libya Jalalulddin al-Tunisi and ISIS’s leader in Syria Abu Mohammad al-Shamali are the main two picks to lead the terrorist group after al-Baghdadi.

Jalalulddin al-Tunisi, whose real name is Mohammad Bin Salem al-Oyoni, was born in 1982 and is a resident of the town of Masaken in Souseh province in Central Tunisia.

Al-Oyoni has also acquired the French nationality after his trip to the European country before joining terrorist groups in Tunisia in 2011-2012.

Al-Oyoni joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria in 2013 and 2014.

American and Iraqi sources claimed that six commanders of ISIS, including a Belgian-Algerian and a French member of the terrorist group are read to be the successor of al-Baghdadi.

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