Islamist extremist group suspected of carrying out Sri Lanka attacks
The deadliest attack to occur in Sri Lanka since the nations bitter civil war may have been carried out by an Islamist extremist group.
According to the Deccan Chronicle, India’s security forces notified Sri Lanka of the likelihood attacks would be carried out against churches by National Thowheeth Jama’ath’s (NTJ).
NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that came to notice last year when it was linked to the vandalization of Buddhist statues.
Following this letter, Sri Lankan police chief, Pujuth Jayasundara, sent out a notice dated April 11, to his police officers, in which sets out a nation-wide alert, due to the possibility that suicide bombers planned to blow up ‘prominent churches.’
It is important to point out that the police have not commented on these reports, nor have they confirmed that NTJ were actively involved.
These reports are extremely interesting as Sri Lanka’s Muslim population has historically been peaceful, especially in comparison to parts of the Hindu population, which actively took part in country’s civil war by joining the notorious Tamil Tigers.
What do you think about the level of damage that occurred here and the potentially minimal measures taken by Sri Lankan authorities?
Join the conversation by commenting below!
Suspected terrorist Ikar Mao has been given a peace bond after returning to Canada. Terrorism peace bonds are uncommon. According to Global, “Mao is currently the only person in Canada facing a terror peace bond application.”
While Mao was arrested only on suspicion, not any known and actual alleged activity, the bond was granted.
Mao has agreed to 19 bail conditions while living in the Guelph/Brampton, Ontario area pending a hearing on the issue.
Mao had an active account on Couchsurfing.com and managed to raise $20,000 in bail after his arrest.
He is currently wearing an ankle monitor and not permitted to contact anyone “who is involved in or supports terrorist activity as defined in the Criminal Code.”
The FBI has arrested a 27-year old white supremacist who planned to bomb a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado.
The suspect was identified as Richard Holzer. The FBI said that he was allegedly planning to target Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, which is the state’s second-oldest synagogue. Holzer was charged with attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force using explosives and fire, according to ABC News.
Holzer was arrested after he told an undercover FBI agent about his plans. The agent, posing as a white supremacist, found him on Facebook. Holzer told her about him being a skinhead and a former member of the KKK.
FBI said he used multiple accounts to propagate his views. At one point, the suspect posted in a group chat: “I wish the holocaust really did happen … they need to die.”
He wanted to poison the attendees with arsenic and attack the place with Molotov cocktails but later decided he needed something more “explosive.” He eventually chose dynamite.
On November 1, Holzer met three undercover FBI agents at a hotel. They showed him pipe bombs and dynamite and subsequently arrested him. Holzer confessed.
Michael Atlas-Acuna, the president of Temple Emanuel, said he learnt about this when news agencies started calling him for comments. He said the synagogue already has plans for dealing with these situations.
“We take our security very seriously here. We have been since what happened in Pittsburgh … we’re not going to be victimized and we’re going to defend ourselves,” Atlas-Acuna said. “I’ve never been naive to think that it couldn’t happen to us because there’s been other things that have happened in small communities like shooting churches, so I’ve never been that naive.”
“I think that all Jewish communities have to continue to protect themselves. Make sure they have armed guards, make sure they have security. We don’t like the idea that America that we have to deal with this, but again, it’s just a reality of where we live right now,” he added.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has taken to social media to honor the anniversary and memory of two Canadian Armed Forces members who were murdered by terrorists in 2014.
Oct. 20 is the five-year anniversary of the death of 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was deliberately run down while on duty in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Two days later, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down while standing guard at the National War Memorial by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who was later shot dead while storming the halls of Parliament.
Scheer wrote the following message in a Facebook post and on Twitter: “Five years ago this week, two Canadian heroes were murdered simply for wearing the uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces. This tragic anniversary reminds us that Canada is not immune to the threat of terrorism. We must stand vigilant and ensure that we continue the fight against threats to our security. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.”
The attacks were both immediately deemed terrorism, something relatively uncommon in Canada, and Canadians rallied to give their condolences. The attack on Parliament Hill is still remembered on the anniversary each year to commemorate the deaths of the two Canadian Armed Forces members.
“Warrant Officer Vincent and Cpl. Cirillo both had very important jobs: to defend our rights and our freedoms as a people,” Governor General of Canada David Johnston said in 2015. “They stood up for our democratic values of tolerance, of diversity, of equality, of fairness and of the rule of law, by which I mean the constant, relentless pursuit of justice.
“This is who we are. Our Parliament is a symbol of who we are. It too was attacked last October.”
As of writing, the other federal party leaders have yet to commemorate the fallen soldiers on home soil.
A vicious antisemitic attack has left two dead and others injured in Halle, Germany.
The hate-motivated attack on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, leaves the world, and particularly, the global Jewish community heartbroken.
While the two casualties were not affiliated with the synagogue, this horrific act of antisemitic violence is a continued indicator that the rise of antisemitic-based incidents continues to rise around the world, and particularly in Europe.
Fortunately, the shooter, Stephan Balliet was unable to enter the synagogue, but had thrown a grenade at the Jewish cemetery attached to the synagogue, and had supposedly left explosive devices in his car before he fled by taxi, and was later arrested.
Luckily, no worshippers were physically harmed in the attack and are safe.
Bailliet, now in custody, had livestreamed a diatribe mostly consisting of antisemitic, misogynistic, and anti-immigration based slurs on Twitch. The video was also shared to Telegram. Antisemitic comments on the video were reported to have been made on both platforms. The video has been subsequently deleted by Twitch.
It should be known that according to the ADL, “This attack is reminiscent of the Christchurch and Poway shooters, who both livestreamed or attempted to livestream their attacks.”
As English was used in part of the video, it is suspected that the video was intended to be shared with a worldwide audience.
Some of the concerning statements include “I think the Holocaust never happened” and “The root of all these problems is the Jew,” as reported by CNET.
Security around synagogues and other Jewish establishments increased across Germany. The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that “It must be clear that the state takes responsibility for Jewish life, for the security of Jewish life in Germany.”
It is even more worrisome that on the Jewish day of atonement, the German people atone for yet another tragedy that has impacted its Jewish community.
This attack of antisemitic terrorism should never stop the Jewish community from freely practicing their faith. It serves as a reminder, however, that there needs to be continued caution taken towards the safety and security of Jewish people.
While it has been hard to move on from this attack, it is a major indicator that Holocaust and anti-racism based education is a much-needed addition to curricula across the world in educating young people of the consequences of hate.
Jewish people are the unfortunate canary in the coalmine when hatred and terror happen toward the community. It is a major signal of much more severe problems in society, and the need to combat racism in all its forms, and in all platforms, it exists as.