ISIS

LOVE IS BLIND

 

Update:   Hear our interview with Amanda Matti, author of A Foreign Affair, (originally aired on KNSJ radio) by clicking the audio link here.

 

A Foreign Affair, by Amanda Matti (W & B Publishers, Kernersville, NC, 2016, 343 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 1, 2016 (San Diego) - Amanda Matti, an El Cajon (San Diego) resident who served six years in the United States Navy, including a 2005 deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, has written a riveting true story of romance and war; A Foreign Affair. Matti provides graphic details of her experience in a war that many in this country felt never should have been.

READER'S EDITORIAL: 2ND AMENDMENT MISINTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION IS CAUSE FOR PROLIFERATION OF GUN VIOLENCE

 

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. --2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution

By Dennis Moore (a survivor of gun violence)

June 15, 2016 (San Diego)--The framers of the Constitution did not have in mind that the right to bear arms would result in the countless deaths of ordinary citizens by other ordinary citizens throughout our great country by “Glocks” and other semi-automatic weapons at malls and schools. Nor could they have envisioned the shooting deaths of  nine members of a church in South Carolina at a worship service by a deranged young man, as well as the mass killings by gunfire at a theater in Colorado.

KERRY DECLARES “GENOCIDE” BY ISIS AGAINST RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

 

Action is “monumental step forward” – Mark Arabo, Minority Humanitarian Foundation

By Miriam Raftery

March 20,2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Since 2014, local Iraqi Chaldean leaders have been speaking out and urging the U.S. to take action to halt what they termed “genocide” committed by ISIS against religious minorities including Christians, Yezidis, and others.  

HOUSE PASSES MEASURES TO DECLARE ISIS ATTACKS GENOCIDE, CALL FOR SYRIAN WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County ) – The House of Representatives this week has passed two measures aimed at holding ISIS and the Syrian regime accountable for atrocities committed in the Middle East. One would declare atrocities by ISIS to be war crimes, the other calls for a war crimes tribunal to address Syrian actions.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SDSU PROFESSOR JEFFREY MCILLWAIN, AN EXPERT ON TERRORISM AND REFUGEE ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 28, 2015 (San Diego) – In the wake of the Paris terror attacks and the Syrian refugee crisis, our East County Magazine show on KNSJ radio interviewed Jeffrey McIllwain, PhD, an SDSU professor with special expertise on national security, humanitarian and refugee issues who brings a thoughtful, multi-faceted approach to these complex issues.

Hear part 1 of our exclusive interview,  in which Dr. McIllwain discusses options for responding how to balance risk vs. humanitarian concerns in America’s response to terrorism and refugee concerns:  http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/tkozi18tvp/Newsmaker-JeffreyMcIllwain-Pt1-TerrorismIsis_and_Refugees.mp3

Audio: 

U.S. STATE DEPT. ISSUES WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ALERT

 

 

East County News Service

November 23, 2015 (Washington D.C.)—The U.S. State Department is warning travelers about terrorist threats in multiple regions following a spate of terrorist attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali as well as ISIS claims of downing a Russian jetliner.

American citizens are urged to be vigilant in public places and transit, avoiding large crowds and exercising particular caution at holiday festivals or events. The alert does not advise canceling travel plans to any specific region, however.

Travelers are also urged to monitor media for updated information and to be prepared for additional security measures and screenings. Also stay in touch with family members and have a contact plan in case of emergency.  You shold also register with the State Department’s  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Below is the full text of the alert:

ANONYMOUS DECLARES WAR ON ISIS

Photo:  Youtube screen-shot

 

By Liz Alper

 

November 18, 2015 - After ISIS released a video vowing that it would attack several other major cities worldwide, including Washington, D.C., the hacker group Anonymous released its own video stating that its members would unleash "waves of attacks" on the terrorist group, CBS News reports.  ISIS is also known as ISIL, the Islamic State, or by the Arabic acronym Daesh.

CHRISTIANS EXECUTED BY ISIS; PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS URGED TO TAKE ACTION

October 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Militants with ISIS, the Islamic State, have released a video that appears to show executions of three Assyrian Christian hostages captured  in Syria in February, the Guardian reports. The terrorists are threatening to kill 200 more hostages, including women and children, unless hefty ransoms are paid for each prisoner, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Assyrian and Chaldean Christians have faced genocide at the hands of ISIS for refusing to convert to Islam. International leaders are urging President Barack Obama and Congress to take action, but thus far those please seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Locally, Mark Arabo, a leader in the Chaldean community, issued this statement. “"It breaks my heart to see the continuous bloodshed, and the constant persecution of Christians by ISIS. Scholars, journalists, and the American public are in consensus that more must be done to end this genocide. Yet, our government continues to remain inactive. Every video is yet another reminder of the victims our government has left to rot in Iraq and Syria.”

CLERGY TO HOLD MASS JULY 30 OUTSIDE OTAY DETENTION CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN DETAINEES

 

Faith leaders Mark Arabo to call for immediate release of over 27 Iraqi Chaldean Christians being held for crossing border after fleeing ISIS.

July 28, 2015 (San Diego)- Since the rise of the Islamic State terrorists known as ISIS, many Iraqi Chaldean Christians have fled to neighboring countries. Some have been made it across the Mexico-US border. Now, 27 Iraqi Christian men and women have been imprisoned for over four months after fleeing ISIS. Word has come that their requests for asylum may also be denied, Mark Arabo told East County Magazine.

WHERE ARE THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?

 

Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide, by M.M. Chantiloupe (Xlibris Corporation, 2010, 305 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Although the Iraq war is over, we are still feeling the residual effects of that controversial campaign, and it is put into perspective by San Diego resident M.M. Chantiloupe in her book; Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide. Chantiloupe writes a scathing analysis and rebuke of the Bush Administration in this well-written and incisive book. She asks rhetorical questions that gets us all to think about why we actually went into that war and the harm that it has done to America and Iraq, as well as the world itself. Central in her discussion is the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. Chantiloupe writes in a scholarly fashion her analysis of this war and its residual effects, such as the current threat of ISIS, or the Islamic terrorist threat.

6 SOMALI-AMERICANS FACE TERROR CHARGES, 2 ARRESTED IN SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2015 (San Diego)—The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota have announced that six Somali-American men have been charged with conspiracy to support a terrorism organization, including two who were arrested in San Diego.

ISIS VIDEO SHOWS KILLINGS OF 15 CHRISTIANS IN LIBYA

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2015 (San Diego)—A video released by the Islamic State, or ISIS, shows the apparent killings of 15 Christians in Libya—half by beheading, the rest by shooting. The victims are believed to be Ethiopian Christians, CNN reports.  A message in the graphic 29-minute video makes clear the executions were motivated by religious hate, stating “Muslim blood shed under the hand of your religion is not cheap.”

RAMADI UNDER SEIGE BY ISIS, ALLIES RECLAIM SEIZED REFINERY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ramadi mosque in 2004, U.S. Marine Corps

April 19, 2015 (San Diego)--The battle between Islamic State extremists, or ISIS, is intensifying in the Middle East. Here are the latest developments.

MASS GRAVE FOUND IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s palace in Tikrit; public domain image

April 7, 2015 (San Diego)--CNN reports that a mass gave containing up to 1,700 bodies has been found in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. The bodies are believed to be Iraqi soldiers slaughtered by Islamic State or ISIS forces last summer, according to Iraqi officials.

ISIS SEIZES HUNDREDS OF CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA

 

Trials by ISIS underway as some captives reportedly freed; local Chaldean leaders speak out on crisis

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Open Doors

March 1,2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Fears mount for hundreds of Assyrian Christians taken captive by ISIS last week, amid reports that the self-proclaimed Islamic State militants are putting hostages on trial, though some reports indicate that a handful have been freed. 

The hostages include at least 262 men, women and children taken from villages in northeastern Syria, CNN reports.  Open Doors USA, an organization serving persecuted Christians worldwide, reports the captives include 72 families.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO CHALDEANS, ASSYRIANS AND SYRIACS WORLWIDE

 

By Ben Kalasho, Founder and President, San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

March 1, 2015 (El Cajon)--When news broke six days ago of more than 200 Assyrians kidnapped by (Da’ash) ISIS, I was on a telephone conference with my high profile contacts on the ground in Kurdish Controlled Areas of Northern Iraq discussing the destruction of Iraqi antiquities dating from the 9th Century BC by ISIS thugs. The report came to me that over 200 Assyrians were kidnapped in the town of Tal Tamr in the Hasaka Province, and other villages in Syria including Tal Hurmoz, Tal Shamiram, Tal Rumman, Tal Nasra which are home to many Assyrians and Syriacs.

CHRISTIANS TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ,

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Islamic State militants

February 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) --Hundreds of Christians in Iraq are taking up arms and training to fight against Islamic State forces and reclaim their towns, the Wall Street Journal reports.

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

INSIDE KURDISTAN'S REFUGEE CAMPS: A REPORT FROM RESCUE TASK FORCE

 

 

 

 

 

Rescue Task Force, a nonprofit international rescue organization that started in East County, now has a team in Kurdistan/Iraq assisting the refugees there. It has been difficult even for major international media to get reports from inside this region, since many news organizations have pulled out their correspondents after the beheading of two journalists by ISIS terrorists (also known as ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Today we received this report from Gary Becks, founder and president of RTF, on the situation he and his team have found there as they work to assist religious minorities forced to flee their homes.

By Gary Becks

October 5, 2014 (Kurdistan)--Less than one mile separated us from ISIS.  It was too close for comfort, but it was where comfort was needed the most.  One of our RTF mottos is: We Go To Where Others Will Not, To Do What Others Will Not’.

In the Nineveh region of Kurdistan (Iraq) there are formal refugee camps set up in proximity to major cities to help the one million two hundred thousand displaced people.

Out here in the hinterland, though, there are tens of thousands of refugees who fled from ISIS into these countryside areas where they had connections and/or to where they feel safer than in the large metropolitan camps.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “WE WILL DEGRADE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY ISIL”

 

Watch on YouTube

Read the President's full address here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- President Obama tonight spoke to the nation , laying out a comprehensive strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorist group that has declared an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, massacring thousands of Iraqis and beheading two captured American journalists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” the President said. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The President made clear that the U.S. will lead an international effort to eradicate ISIL. He assured that unlike the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conflict will not include U.S. combat troops on the ground.  Instead, he laid out a four-part strategy. First, air strikes will target ISIL in Iraq, Syria and wherever else ISIL poses a threat.

ASYLUM BILL INTRODUCED FOR IRAQI RELIGIOUS MINORITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

“We are confident that with the continued support of the citizens of San Diego, we will not only be able to give a hope to the hopeless, but a state to the stateless.” -- MarkArabo

September 9, 2014 (San Diego) – Congressman Juan Vargas is introducing a new bill that would grant asylum for religious minorities displaced by the ISIS, or Islamic State, terrorists in Iraq.

RESCUE TASK FORCE HEADS OVERSEAS TO AID IRAQI CHRISTIAN REFUGEES: $20,000 IN DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR RELIEF EFFORT

 

Photo:  At a recent rally in El Cajon, thousands of local Iraqi Christians implored America to send help for their families in Iraq fleeing genocide

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Rescue Task Force, an international aid group that started in East County, announced today that it will send a multi-national team of veteran disaster responders to help refugees displaced in Kurdistan by ISIS or Islamic State terrorists. The RTF volunteers will bring medical and dental help along with humanitarian supplies.

The group will meet up in California with leaders Gary Becks and Larry Cutting. They will travel to Erbil and then trek to northern Kurdistan.

To date, 1.2 million people have survived the initial slaughter by ISIS forces and have fled to safe havens in Erbil and Kurdistan, faced with a stark choice of fleeing, converting to Islam, or being beheaded.  Most fled with only the clothes on their backs.

ISIS CAPTURES IRAQ'S LARGEST CHRISTIAN CITY: IRAQIS IN SAN DIEGO & MIDDLE EAST ISSUE WARNING FOR THE WORLD

 

"Your sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future…You are in danger." -- Exiled Iraqi Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona

By Miriam Raftery

August 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Qaraqosh, the largest Christian city in Iraq (photo, left), has been overrun by Islamic State terrorists (formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic Sate of Iraq and Syria), CNN reports.

Sean Malone from Crisis Relief International (CRI) sent a heart-wrenching text message stating, “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically.”

ISIS-LINKED BOMB THREAT AGAINST SONY EXECUTIVE DIVERTS SAN DIEGO-BOUND PLANE

 

 

Group ties take-down of Sony game network to U.S. bombing in Iraq

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2014 (San Diego)—American Airlines diverted its flight 362 from Dallas to San Diego, landing in Phoenix after a group claiming ties to the terrorist group ISIS tweeted a threat stating explosives were on board. 

The tweet from the group calling itself Lizard Squad referenced Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley, who was on board.  Earlier today, Lizard Squad hackers reportedly took down Sony Playstation’s network after tweeting that the group had planted the ISIS flag on Sony’s servers. 

The tweet was sent with the hashtag #ISIS #jihad.

LOCAL CHALDEANS FIGHT TO REMOVE ISIS RECRUITMENT SITES FOR TERRORISTS

 

Pins pop up to show solidarity with people displaced by ISIS

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – After finding that the Islamic extremist group ISIS had an Instagram page for recruiting potential terrorists and next finding an ISIS Facebook page boasting of atrocities, Ben Kalasho of El Cajon set out to shut down ISIS online.

CALLS NEEDED TO LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS, REVIVE RESOLUTION, LOCAL LEADERS SAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Assembly Rules Committee has stalled an emergency measure, SJR 17, by Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) that calls for executive action to left a regional immigration ceiling and allow persecuted Iraqi Christians to come to America. 

The measure faces imminent death Monday unless legislators act, said Mark Arabo, national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and President/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association. Concerned citizens are urged to call Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins at (916)319-2078 and Assemblyman Richard Gordon, Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee at (650) 691-2121 today to urge passage of SJR 17.

PEACE MARCHERS IN EL CAJON ASK U.S. & UNITED NATIONS FOR AIRLIFTS, ASYLUM TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

United Nations passes resolution for sanctions against ISIS backers; local Iraqis ask for airlifts to save lives

Hear our exclusive interview with Mark Arabo on progress at the United Nations to save Iraqi Christians, originally aired Aug. 20 on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM:

http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/6scu4kz7x2/Arabo-UNresolutioninterviewfor8-20-14show-FINAlwithrallyclips.mp3

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2014 (El Cajon) – Chanting “Save Iraq, save humanity,” and “Save Iraqi Christians,” hundreds of Iraqi-Americans marched through the streets of El Cajon on Tuesday. Many are gravely concerned about family members trapped in Iraq or who have fled as refugees as terrorists now calling themselves the Islamic State have seized cities across Iraq, torturing , killing or kidnapping those who refuse to convert to Islam.  The community showed support, with many motorists honking horns and drawing cheers.

Speakers, including former State Senator Wadie Deddeh, Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo, and religious leaders also turned out to show solidarity with the persecuted minorities of Iraq.

PEACE WALK TO END GENOCIDE IN IRAQ:AUGUST 19 IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2014 (El Cajon)—Mark Arabo, a national leader among Chaldean Christians in the U.S., has announced plans to lead a “massive” group of Iraqi Christians in a “peace walk to end genocide in Iraq” Tuesday in El Cajon. 

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and other minorities have been displaced from their homes, murdered or mutiliated in attacks by  ISIS terrorists in Iraq who now call themselves the Islamic State. A prayer vigil earlier this month for Iraq Christians held in El Cajon drew an estimated 2,000 people.

PRESIDENT LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQI TERRORISTS TO HALT “GENOCIDE”

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: President Obama meets with national security advisors on August 7 (WhiteHouse.gov)

August 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – U.S. fighter jets today dropped two 500-pound bombs on terrorists’ artillery that were being used to attack Kurdish forces in Irbil, the capitol of the Kurdish province in Iraq. In addition, U.S. planes dropped humanitarian relief to aid refugees stranded without food or water.

President Barack Obama last night authorized the use of force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda splinter group that has renamed itself the Islamic State.  The President also authorized humanitarian aid for victims of ISIS forced to flee their homes or be killed, including persecuted Christians and other religious minorities. The President made clear however that he will not authorize ground troops in the conflict.

Locally the announcement drew praise from Mark Arabo, CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association and a national spokesman for Iraqi Christians.

​"​Our work that began seven weeks ago in Congressman Juan Vargas’ office has resulted in a crescendo of tears, smiles and joy throughout the ​entire Iraqi Christian community​," Arabo said, referring to a Congressional resolution authored by Vargas and drafted by Arabo calling for humanitarian aid. 

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