Wednesday November 13, 2019
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Terror Strikes Again: Syrian migrant ‘behind German Blast’

The state of Bavaria's interior minister said the 27-year-old man had detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.

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An officer seen leaving the area of the blast. Image source: AP

Ansbach: A Syrian migrant has blown himself up and injured 12 other people with a backpack bomb near a open-air music festival in the town of Ansbach in south Germany.

The state of Bavaria’s interior minister said the 27-year-old man had detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.

About 2,500 people were evacuated from the venue after the explosion.

Bavaria has been on edge since a knife rampage on a train claimed by so-called Islamic State last Monday.

In that attack, in Wuerzburg, an axe-wielding Afghan asylum seeker teenager was shot dead after injuring five people.

A shooting rampage in the state capital, Munich, on Friday left nine people dead but police are not treating it as a terrorist attack.

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The Ansbach blast is reported to have happened at about 22:10 (20:10 GMT) outside the Eugens Weinstube bar in the centre of the town, which has a population of 40,000 and is home to a US military base.

The bomb went off close to the entrance to the Ansbach Open music festival.

Three of the injured were in a serious condition, police said.

Security services have sealed off the city centre and experts are trying to establish the kind of explosives the bomber used.

The Syrian man entered Germany two years ago and had his asylum claim rejected a year ago, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said.

He had been given leave to stay temporarily given the situation in his home country and provided with an apartment in Ansbach, Mr Herrmann added.

The minister said he was “incensed” by the attack which, he said, demonstrated the need to “strengthen controls on those we have living in our country”.

Mr Herrmann said the man had been known to have tried to take his own life twice and had spent time in a psychiatric clinic.

“We don’t know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others,” he said.

However, he added that the bomb in the backpack would have been sufficient to kill and injure many more people.

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Ansbach deputy police chief Roman Fertinger said there were “indications” that pieces of metal had been added to the explosive device.

Witness Thomas Debinski said there was “panic” after the explosion, although some people thought it was caused by a gas explosion.

“Then people came past and said it was a rucksack that had exploded,” he told Sky News.

“After what just happened in Munich it’s very disturbing to think what can happen so close to you in such a small town. (BBC)

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The Death of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

Friedman then gives vent to the bile he has accumulated against Trump for having been at cross purposes with the Deep State Friedman

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Death, Baghdadi, Terrorism
He notes, satirically, how "effusive Trump was of the intelligence agencies who found and tracked al-Baghdadi to the lair in Syria where he blew himself up to avoid being captured." Flickr

In these dark days when terrorism has become a strategic asset, to bump off a superior practitioner like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has implications. Had he begun to serve the interests not of his original handlers but, possibly, their rivals? Has he been eliminated at all? Does his disappearance leave unprotected those oil wells, which his gang or his patrons profited from? Is the drama in murky light, a bait to drag President Trump back to the West Asian arena, which he is militarily withdrawing from? Death.

From the very beginning, Syria was at the heart of the conflict between Trump and the Deep State, which is now accepted even by the New York Times.

In fact, NYT’s Establishment columnist Thomas Friedman, while applauding the killing of the ISIS leader, reveals which side he is on in the Trump-Deep State conflict. He notes, satirically, how “effusive Trump was of the intelligence agencies who found and tracked al-Baghdadi to the lair in Syria where he blew himself up to avoid being captured.”

Friedman then gives vent to the bile he has accumulated against Trump for having been at cross purposes with the Deep State Friedman so obviously adores. “Well, Mr. President, those are the same intelligence agencies who told you that Russia intervened in our last election in an effort to tip the vote to you and against Hillary Clinton.” What does this line of reasoning mean?

Death, Baghdadi, Terrorism
From the very beginning, Syria was at the heart of the conflict between Trump and the Deep State, which is now accepted even by the New York Times. Flickr

When history is written, Trump will be faulted on a hundred counts, and severely. But it would be uncharitable not to note one truth about him: Trump is the only President in recent history who tried to end military conflicts the US was involved in and who did not start a conflict. There have been 13 military conflicts in recent decades costing $18 trillion, by some estimates.

The Baghdadi image did have its uses. The last time his photograph appeared on front pages of newspapers was after the Easter Sunday massacre in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April 21. On TV too, Baghdadi was shown claiming the massacre as a “revenge” for the attack on a mosque in New Zealand. French experts, among others, soon established that it was a fraudulent clip — a voice had been super imposed on his visage.

Which outfit would like to stir up a conflict between Sri Lanka’s two frail minorities — Muslims and Christians? New Delhi alerted Colombo as early as April 4, that a major terrorist attack can be expected. How did New Delhi know?

At this time, Sri Lanka was sharply divided between two camps: President Maithripala Sirisena had embraced China’s Road and Belt Initiative; Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was in convulsions to sign the (SOFA) Status of Forces Agreement with the US before the next general elections.

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A puzzle remains. The island nation is at the centre of fierce competition between a rising China and a retreating US for influence in the Indian Ocean. Over 300 people are killed; 500 injured. Among those killed are Chinese Marine engineers. Hotels attacked have Chinese links. Whodunit?

There were stories about Saudis leaving because they had advance knowledge. Supposing the al-Baghdadi clip claiming the massacre had been borne out by facts, which direction would the needle of suspicion point to? Islamic terror? What purpose would that narrative serve?

Looking for simple answers would not help. A small island nation, just recovering from a vicious civil war, would be shaken up by the sheer scale of the massacre, warranting the appearance of intelligence agencies from everywhere — US, UK, Israel, Australia, India. An initial pooling in of intelligence would lead to a penetration of systems until the benefactors achieve their hallowed goal: place roadblocks in the way of the Road and Belt project.

That may or may not have been the plan but police sniffer dogs found something extraordinary while walking through the Jaic Hilton hotel. The dogs stopped in front of an apartment and would not stop barking.

Death, Baghdadi, Terrorism
In fact, NYT’s Establishment columnist Thomas Friedman, while applauding the killing of the ISIS leader, reveals which side he is on in the Trump-Deep State conflict. Flickr

The management cited some difficulties in opening that apartment, national security or no national security. After considerable time had lapsed, two persons claiming to be with the US Embassy turned up. In the room were two “explosive detectors”. The detectors, said the two men, were for their personal security. Just look at the cockiness of this stance. They ignored the obvious fact: dogs would only bark if the detectors had been in touch with explosives. These details are part of the investigations conducted by Dr. Michael Roberts of the University of Adelaide.

Those who tried to foist the tragedy on al-Baghdadi were obviously embarrassed. But, even a fraudulent use of the ISIS chief was possible when he was still theoretically alive. He may be missed. Even NYT’s Friedman, I have quoted earlier, had recommended that al-Baghdadi can be creatively used in the American interest. He advises Trump not to waste his time fighting the ISIS. He wants “Trump to be Trump — utterly cynical and unpredictable.” He continues, “Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbullah’s and Russia’s headache.”

Friedman has not cooked up the theory of terrorism as a strategic asset on his own. He has acquired this wisdom from leaders, including US Presidents like Barack Obama. In the course of a lengthy interview in August, 2015, he asked Obama a very pertinent question. When ISIS first reared its head in Mosul a year ago, why did the President not immediately bomb it out of existence?

Obama stated quite plainly: “We did not just start taking a bunch of air strikes all across Iraq because that would have taken the pressure off Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al Maliki.”

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Obama’s priority was not the elimination of the founder of the Caliphate. His priority was to exert pressure on Nouri al Maliki to vacate the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office. Why? Because Maliki was “brazenly” pro-Shia and had refused to sign the Status of Forces Agreement with the US. Obama’s “one-two” (to use a term from boxing) worked. US pressure, and al Baghdadi’s menacing presence at the gates of Iraq’s capital, helped ease Maliki out. (IANS)