Al-Qaeda Terrorists have attacked a British Petroleum Natural Gas facility in Algeria and taken dozens of foreigners hostage – including some Americans. Some reports indicate 7 Americans were captured, but other reports put the confirmed number at three:
CBS NEWS: Algeria’s government searched desperately Thursday for a way to end the desert standoff with Islamic militants who have taken dozens of foreigners hostage at a natural gas complex, as the purported militants behind the attack accused Alergian forces of wounding some of the captives.
One Algerian security official told the Associated Press on Thursday that 20 foreigners had managed to escape, including some Americans and Europeans, but the report could not be immediately confirmed.
CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reports the State Department has only confirmed that three Americans are among those taken hostage, and that 10 in total worked at the facility.
The government was in talks throughout the night with the U.S. and France over whether international forces could help against the militants, who have said 41 foreigners, including seven Americans, were being held after the assault on one of oil-rich Algeria’s energy facilities, 800 miles from the capital of Algiers. Two foreigners, one of them a Briton, were killed. . . .
The group claiming responsibility — called Katibat Moulathamine or the Masked Brigade — said the attack Wednesday was in revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s military operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels in neighboring Mali. Militants phoned a Mauritanian news outlet to say one of its affiliates had carried out the operation at the Ain Amenas gas field, and that France should end its intervention in Mali to ensure the safety of the hostages. . . . Read More
UPDATED 1/17/13, 8:32 AM ET: Reuters is now reporting that 34 of the hostages have been killed in an airstrike by the Algerian military:
BREAKING: 34 hostages and 15 kidnappers killed by air strikes by Algerian army – ANI news agency live.reuters.com/Event/Mali_Con…— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 17, 2013
UPDATED 1/17/13, 7:58 AM ET: Reports are breaking that some of the hostages, perhaps 20 of them, including Americans, have managed to escape from their terrorist captors:
BREAKING Americans among 20 hostages to escape from terrorist captors at Algeria gas facilitynyp.st/U3sXZJ— New York Post (@nypost) January 17, 2013
CNN reports they have an email showing a security team at the U.S. Embassy in Libya requested use of a plane from the U.S. State Department – but were denied. It does not appear not having that plane had anything to do with security around U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens the day he was killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. But other investigations are underway to see what happened, and why Ambassador Stevens was even in Libya – much less Benghazi – on September 11 when there had already been recent attacks on the U.S. mission in Libya.
Here is a Fox News video report on emerging details of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, along with three other Americans.
In the video report, GOP Rep. Buck McKeon points out that President Obama is treating this terrorist attack as a law enforcement matter, assigning the FBI to go to Libya. McKeon calls Obama’s response to the attack “a total joke” and “an outrage.”
FOX NEWS: The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last week was a joint operation orchestrated by an Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa and the Islamist militia Ansar Al-Sharia, an intelligence source told Fox News, citing evidence collected so far in the investigation.
About 100 attackers carried out the “coordinated assault,” intelligence sources said, further discrediting earlier Obama administration claims that the deadly attack was a “spontaneous” outburst in response to an anti-Islam film.
Fox News’ sources say the attack came in two waves and involved rocket-propelled grenades, as well as mortar fire, and both the consulate and safe house were attacked seemingly with inside knowledge.
Ansar Al-Sharia is not directly affiliated with Al Qaeda, but has sympathetic goals. Ansar has tried and failed to establish an Islamic state in eastern Libya. The militia is a name adopted by a handful of groups, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
A senior Arab government official told Fox News in December 2011 that it was an effort to “rebrand” because the Al Qaeda name had so much baggage.
Libyan officials are now “absolutely convinced” the attack was preplanned, sources say, adding to recent indications that Al Qaeda was involved, specifically a former Guantanamo detainee named Sufyan Ben Qumu.
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the strike, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. . . . Read More
ABOVE: Raw Video shows aftermath of Muslim Attacks on Nigerian Churches.
The “Religion of Peace” strikes again. Of course, it’s the most “radical” = devoted, followers who carried out a series of attacks on churches in Nigeria on Christmas Day.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: THE United States has promised to help Nigeria find the bombers responsible for a wave of attacks that killed dozens in the oil-rich African nation.
Almost 40 people died in a series of blasts, including explosions in two churches on Christmas Day.
”We have been in contact with Nigerian officials about what appear to be terrorist acts and pledge to assist them in bringing those responsible to justice,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Boko Haram, a Muslim sect, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The first explosion struck as services were ending at St Theresa’s Church, near the capital Abuja.
Yemi Ajayi, a police spokesman, said 20 people were killed in the attack.
Another blast went off at a church in the central city of Jos, capital of Plateau state. A police officer was killed in gunfire, a spokesman for the state government said. . . . Read More
The death toll in the Norway bombing and shooting rampage yesterday is now reportedly at least 91 – with most of the dead at a summer Youth Camp on a small island near Oslo. Police have in custody a 32-year-old Norwegian man, believed to be responsible for both attacks:
NEW YORK TIMES: The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.
The police said they did not know if the man, identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. He is being questioned under the country’s terrorism laws, the police said, and is cooperating with the investigation of the attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.
“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference. “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said. . . . Read More
Many are now comparing these attacks to the Timothy McVeigh attack in Oklahoma City.
A youth summer camp on an island near Oslo, Norway has also been attacked – after bombs went off in Oslo earlier in the day. The camp had many children of Labour Party members, and a gunman wearing a ski mask, and dressed as a policeman carried out the shooting that has left an unknown number dead. The shooting at the camp, and the bombings in Oslo are believed to be connected. As many as 30 people are feared dead on the island:
SKY NEWS: As many as 30 people are feared dead in a shooting at a Norwegian youth camp after a bomb hit the capital Oslo killed at least seven.
Shots were fired by a man dressed as a police officer at a youth meeting of the ruling Labour Party in Utoya – an island on the outskirts near the capital.
An eyewitness reported seeing between 25 and 30 bodies.
Norwegian police said they thought there could also be explosives on the island. Around 600 people were believed to be taking part in the summer camp – most of whom were teenagers aged between 14 and 18. Police said that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg had been due to attend the event.
One man was arrested after the incident – he was described as tall and blonde, and spoke fluent Norwegian. Sky sources reported he was shot and wounded during the arrest. Police said they suspected he was linked to the bombing in Oslo. . . .
NRK: – V edkommende was dressed as a policeman when he came to the island. We have great reason to believe that the shooting has a connection with the explosion in Oslo earlier today, says Sem-Jacobsen.
- It’s a political summer camp held there, and with what has happened in Oslo today, it is reasonable to believe that there is a connection. There is a theory we now work out from, he says to NRK.no. . . . Read More
From the Washington Post:
Kvernen also described “another very dramatic situation” on an island north of Oslo where a youth political conference of the ruling Labor Party was being held. Shots had been fired on the island, he said, and one gunman arrested.
Kvernen said that police did not believe that more assailants were currently on the island, but that he feared there would be many casualties.
“This is really bad,” he said. “The police have reason to believe that these incidents are connected.”
An eyewitness to the shootings on Utoya Island, about 25 miles from the capital, said in an interview on NRK television that he had seen at least 20 bodies at the camp. A video feed from a helicopter over the island broadcast on the TV2 channel showed dozens of small colorful tents at a campground that appeared to be about the length of a football field.
Norwegian news media earlier reported dozens of ambulances streaming toward the island from Oslo. . . .
It appears a “prominent jihadist” is saying these attacks are payback to Norway for the publishing of cartoons he deems insulting to Islam:
. . . . A prominent jihadist who goes by the name Abu Suleiman al-Nasser on the Shmukh al-Islam jihadist forum said that the incident was “another message arriving in the countries of Europe from the mujahideen,” according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, a terrorism-monitoring organization. He said that Norway had been targeted because of its involvement in Afghanistan and because a Norwegian newspaper had reprinted controversial Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. . . .
A huge explosion has rocked central Oslo, Norway – including the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. There are reports of a 2nd explosion as well:
CNN: At least one explosion rocked government buildings in Oslo, Norway, on Friday, state TV and witnesses said.
Windows in several buildings had been blown out, and people were in the street bleeding, state TV broadcaster NRK said on its website.
There are conflicting reports about whether a second blast followed the first, which occurred mid-afternoon in the center of the Norwegian capital.
One explosion happened near a government building housing the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, said Linda Reinholdsen, a reporter for Norwegian state broadcaster NRK. Another hit near the Norwegian parliament, she told CNN. Several buildings in Oslo were on fire, she said, and smoke was pouring from them. Walter Gibbs, a journalist with Reuters, said he saw eight injured people, including two or three with serious wounds and one who looked dead. . . .Read More
The Norwegian Prime Minister is reported to be safe.
Here is a Fox News report on Taliban suicide attackers that hit the Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul, Afghanistan today. At the time this report was filed, at least 10 people had been killed and the attack was still on-going.
But the attack has since ended, with Afghan security officials saying 7 people were killed and 8 wounded – not including the six suicide attackers:
VOICE OF AMERICA: Afghan officials say seven people were killed and eight others wounded in a Taliban attack on a luxury hotel in the capital, Kabul, Tuesday night.
The officials said early Wednesday the figure did not include at least six suicide bombers who either blew themselves up or were killed by security forces. They cautioned the death toll could still rise.
Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi declared the five-hour siege of the Intercontinental Hotel over early Wednesday, saying Afghan security vehicles and ambulances were removing the dead and wounded from the building.
A spokesman for the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan said earlier two of its helicopters fired on the roof of the hotel where three militants had taken up positions, successfully eliminating them. The NATO operation appeared to have ended the standoff between the insurgents and security forces.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the group was targeting foreign guests. . . . . Read More
Here is a video report on the brutal murder of a Pro-Palestinian Italian Activist – Vale Vittorio Arrigoni – who spent years in Gaza criticizing Israel and speaking up for the Palestinian cause. He was abducted and hanged by an Islamic Group in Gaza this week. In the report, one of Arrigoni’s friends is heard to say, “I can’t believe that this happened. . .”
UPDATED 2:40 PM ET: Added a more recent report that gives additional details on the bombing. While the report does not say it, I have seen other reports that indicate 1 person has been killed in the bombing.
A bomb has exploded near a Jerusalem bus stop today, reportedly injuring at least 25 people – some of them seriously. Initial reports that it was a suicide bomb are now unclear, with later reports saying it was a bomb planted near a bus stop. More as details emerge. . . .
Here is a video report on the man who killed two U.S. servicemen in Germany this week, and wounded two others in an obvious terrorist attack. The attacker – Arid Uka – was heard by witnesses to shout “Allahu Akbar” as he carried out the attack. Yet, the Obama Administration and President Obama himself will not call it what it is based on all appearances – a terrorist act.
That’s because it does not fit their worldview where Islam is a “peaceful religion” that has nothing to do with terrorist acts that continue to happen. They don’t even want to say the word “terrorist,” and certainly not, “War on Terror.”
But burying your head in the sand does not change reality. We just don’t have leadership that wants to face that reality.
Gateway Pundit has more details on the attacker.
Here is raw security video showing the moment of the deadly terrorist blast at Russia’s Domodedovo Airport yesterday, that killed at least 35 people, and wounded nearly 200 others.
Here is a video report on two bomb blasts that hit the Swiss and Chilean Embassies in Rome today, just ahead of the Christmas Holiday. Both blasts were from parcel bombs, and a third “suspicious package” was found at the Ukrainian Embassy. No explosives were found there. At least one person was badly injured in the blasts.
As of yet, no one has claimed responsibility for the blasts.