Nigeria’s Stolen Daughters is a moving and terrifying insight into Nigeria’s brutal civil war. On 14th April 2014, 276 school girls aged between 16 and 18 were kidnapped form a school in Chibok, northern Nigeria. They were taken by Boko Haram, a violent Islamic insurgent movement, and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest. Following a global social media campaign around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, featuring global celebrities and Michelle Obama, huge pressure was brought to bear on the Nigerian Government to get the girls back.
Four years later more than 100 of the girls have been freed – they have been kept in a secret safe house in the capital Abuja. For the first time TV cameras have been granted access to the girls and in this powerful 60-minute documentary we follow them as they adapt to life after their traumatic imprisonment at the hands of Boko Haram.
The Chibok Girls live in a gilded cage, cut off from contact with the world’s media and provided with education and counselling that continues as they move into government funded places at the American University of Nigeria.
Their fate could not be more different to the thousands of other Nigerian women and children who have fallen prey to Boko Haram.
In the brutalised city of Maidugari we meet some of these Forgotten Girls. They have deeply disturbing stories of their treatment at the hands of Boko Haram and their troubles haven’t ended on their escape from the forest – in Maidugari they are often treated with suspicion because of their connection with Boko Haram.
Female suicide bombers have killed scores of people in the city. And for the Forgotten Girls there are none of the privileges afforded the Chibok Girls – many live hand to mouth in the slums and refugee camps, abandoned by the Nigerian state.
The following is a script from “The King” which aired on Sept. 25, 2016. Scott Pelley is the correspondent.
The bombs in New York and New Jersey last week brought the specter of terror home, again. It seems no country is safe, but there is one that is beating fearsome odds. ISIS burned through Syria and Iraq until it hit a firewall, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The king, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, is holding the front and sheltering millions of refugees despite his struggling economy, no oil wealth and precious little water. If the king can keep his balance, Jordan may prove that an Arab state can remain peaceful, tolerant, and modern. The arsonists torching the Middle East hope to see him fail.
This is not war. These are Jordanian forces sharpening theiredge on a make-believe town. Some of their weapons are antique. Attack helicopters designed originally for Vietnam. Surplus-armored cars that they found online. Jordan can’t afford the arsenals of its neighbors. Skill is its advantage. And, to hone it, they switched in training from blanks to live ammunition.
Watch this documentary, The King in our Documentaries section.
This is the soldier who ordered the switch. He’s the former head of Special Forces. He is Abdullah II, the king of Jordan.
Abdullah became king in 1999 on the death of his father who ruled 47 years. We met the 54-year-old at his palace in Amman. He knows ISIS by its Arabic acronym, Daesh. But whatever you call it, he says the West doesn’t realize it’s in a Third World War.
Why live ammo we shouted? “Everyone uses blanks, makes no sense,” he yelled. There’s no sense in anything less than lethal because no king of Jordan has ever known peace.
Scott Pelley: This is the mosque that you built in honor of your father….
King Abdullah II: Yeah. I think this is the challenge that we’ve had over the past several years where people look at, you know, is it Iraq this year or Syria next year? Well, what about Libya? What about– Boko Haram or Shabaab in Africa? We have to look at it from a global perspective.
Scott Pelley: All of these things need to be attacked at the same time. You can’t concentrate on Syria one year and then deal with Boko Haram in another?
King Abdullah II: Well, the prime example, it’s as you see certain military successes in Syria and Iraq against Daesh, the leadership, they’re telling their fighters either, “Don’t come to Syria or Iraq,” or moving their command structure to Libya. And so are we going to wait to get our act together to concentrate on Libya? And then, you know, do we wait a year or two to start helping the Africans deal with Boko Haram or Shabaab? So we’ve got to get ahead of the curve because they’re reacting much quicker than we are.
Scott Pelley: The American strategy in Syria and Iraq, as you know, is to use U.S. air power and to train forces on the ground to fight the battle. That has not worked. How do you move forward from here?
King Abdullah II: I think the problem with the West is they see a border between Syria and Iraq. Daesh does not. And this has been a frustration, I think, for a few of us in this area with our Western coalition partners, for several years. You know, the lawyers get into the act and say, “But there’s an international border.” And we say, “For God’s sake, ISIS doesn’t work that way.” So if you’re looking at it and want to play the game by your rules, knowing that the enemy doesn’t, we’re not going to win this.
Watch this documentary, The King in our Documentaries section.
Jordan says it has flown more than 1,000 missions against ISIS in Syria in coordination with the U.S. last year, pilot Muath Kasasbeh was captured. ISIS put him in a cage and made a video as they burned him alive. At the time, Abdullah had two terrorists in jail.
Scott Pelley: Within hours of that video you hanged two convicted terrorists here in Jordan. What does that tell us about you?
King Abdullah II: I think they had to understand that there was no messing around with Jordan. And a lot of those that were involved in killing Muath in that video and those that were responsible for detaining him and processing him through his captivity have been taken down since.
He’s taking down each and every one in the video.
Scott Pelley: You’re going to hunt them down.
King Abdullah II: They have been hunted down, quite a lot of them, and those that are still involved if it takes us another 50 years we will get them.
Those are the rules of his neighborhood. Abdullah reigns over a desert the size of Indiana. To his west, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, north, Syria’s civil war, east, ISIS in Iraq, and south, severe fundamentalist Islam in Saudi Arabia.
It is a collision of tribes and religions not confined by borders. Drawn with a British T-square and crossed by American tanks. In 1990, King Hussein warned George Bush to stay out of Iraq. In 2003, the son of the king gave the son of the president the same advice.
Scott Pelley: It seems like American presidents think they know this region better than you.
King Abdullah II: They seem to understand us better than we know each other. And as a result you can see the train on the track coming to the, to the wreck and we do advise that, if we keep going that way, it’s pretty obvious to some of us what’s going to happen. And you know, you can only express your views as much and as emotionally as you can.
Scott Pelley: You’re frustrated by that.
King Abdullah II: The ethnic makeup of the region is pretty glaringly obvious for us that live in the region, that advisers and think tanks in the West seem to know us better than we supposedly know ourselves. I mean, Syria, when it started, everybody was saying six months. And I said, “Look, you know, if you’re saying six months, I’m saying six years.” We’re in for the long haul, not only in Syria and Iraq, but for the whole region and for the world, unfortunately.
Scott Pelley: But isn’t there gonna have to be a Western army of some kind on the ground in order to take the territory?
King Abdullah II: Enablers. Enablers. Because, at the end of the day, you can’t have Western troops walking down the street of Syrian cities and villages. At the end of the day, you need the Syrians to be able to do that.
Watch this documentary, The King in our Documentaries section.
We (60 Minutes) were on the Syrian border in 2014 as the king’s soldiers reached out to refugees. He welcomed them even though there were already more than two million Palestinian refugees who’ve been in Jordan for decades.
Scott Pelley: Why did you allow nearly a million and a half Syrians to come into your country?
King Abdullah II: Well we really didn’t have much choice. I mean they were flooding across the border, being shot by the Syrian regime. And you know Jordan has always been a place that opens it arms to refugees from many countries, unfortunately. But then it got to a point where, you know, we’re now at 20 percent increase of our population. And the huge burden on our country we’re in dire straits.
Most of them are in Jordanian towns, looking for work, driving up rents, 160,000 Syrian kids are in Jordan’s schools.
Scott Pelley: What’s the breaking point for your people?
King Abdullah II: About a year or two years ago. Unemployment is skyrocketing. Our health sector is saturated. Our schools are really going through difficult times. It’s extremely, extremely difficult. And Jordanians are just have had it up to here. I mean we just can’t take it anymore.
They’ve had it with unemployment near 15 percent. And, that’s the “official” rate. It’s probably higher. There are more than nine (9) million people living in Jordan, and half are under the age of 24.
King Abdullah II: If anything keeps me up at night, it’s giving the younger generation an opportunity at life. And on the flip side of that, if radicalization is going to imbed itself anywhere in the world or in this region it’s going to be disenfranchised youth. And so if young people in this country are not going to have an opportunity because of the pressure on the economy again, that’s my concern.
He showed us his concern at a multimillion dollar campus built to be his new military headquarters. The king, who drives his own car by the way, took this campus away from the generals and converted it to a citadel of software—a business park for technology. Imagine these logos on the Pentagon.
King Abdullah II: II: I believe the world has a stake in the Jordanian economy, because we are the success story of stability in the region. If there wasn’t a Jordan, we would have had to have created one. So I think the story of Jordan is bigger than the borders of our country.
Watch this documentary, The King in our Documentaries section.
His borders began in 1916 when Abdullah’s great-great grandfather led the revolt depicted in the movie “Lawrence of Arabia.” The king traces his bloodline directly to the Prophet Muhammad. Islamic extremists, he told us, are outlaws that the faith has dealt with before.
Scott Pelley: When you do interviews in Arabic on this subject, you call ISIS the Khawarij. What does that mean?
King Abdullah II: Well in Islam us traditional Muslims it is not our right to call people heretics. God decides at the end of the day. The jihadists take it upon themselves to call the rest of us heretics, us Muslims, you’re in a completely different and worse category. And so in our traditional history, the outlaws, the Khawarij, appeared, really, in the early part of Islam.
Scott Pelley: They were a sect that splintered from Islam in the first century.
King Abdullah II: Yes. And they did horrible atrocities. And as a result the Muslim communities rose up against them and exterminate them. So they appear throughout history from time to time. And they always meet their end. But as extremists throughout all of our religions you know, they appear from time to time.
Scott Pelley: Well, in the United States, many people ask, “What has gone wrong with Islam?”
King Abdullah II: Well, so if you look at the spectrum and understand that 90 percent of us are traditionalists and have an affinity for Christianity, Judaism, I mean we’re all the three monotheistic religions, us being the younger one, and that our faith decrees the understanding of Judaism and Christianity, then we understand where we all are. It’s that misperception with the takfiri jihadists, that’s where the fight is. And they represent probably two percent of Sunni Islam. That’s where the problem is. And if we’re being pushed into the corner through Islamophobia, that’s where the danger is, where we as allies, are not understood.
Scott Pelley: Your concern is that, if Islamophobia takes even greater hold, Muslims who are not radicalized today will be forced into that corner.
King Abdullah II: Well, they’re going to feel isolated. They’re going to feel marginalized. They’re going to feel that, victimized. Which is exactly what ISIS, al-Qaeda want. I mean, you know, why fly two aircrafts into the Twin Towers in New York? It’s to create hatred from the West towards Islam so that you can panic the majority of Muslims to feel that they’re victimized and push them over into the extremist camp.
Pressure on the king is rising. That explosion, an ISIS bomb in June, killed seven Jordanian soldiers. Abdullah closed the Syrian border. In 2014, it looked like this.
Now, with the crossing closed, only the long arm of the U.N. is lifting aid over the line to nearly 100,000 trapped refugees. Jordan says that ISIS has infiltrated the camp on the Syrian side. But, even so, the kingdom has just agreed to set up food and water distribution for those who are stranded.
After obliterating that mock town, with his former unit, the king whispered to us, “God, I miss my old job.” The crown of a prince was lighter when he only had to deal with ancient armor.
He told the men, “Our equipment and vehicles are lacking. We will develop them as soon as we can.”
“Long live the king!” They yelled. “Long live the king.”
You wonder how the kingdom has lived so long with peril on every side. But maybe that’s the key. Treacherous borders are like live rounds in training, they raise the stakes. Jordan endures because the price of failure is much too high.
Watch this documentary, The King in our Documentaries section.
Abdullah became king in 1999 on the death of his father who ruled 47 years. King Abdullah II of Jordan sat down with Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes, and discussed how Islamophobia plays into the strategy of Islamic extremists.
Pelley met the 54-year-old at his palace in Amman. He knows ISIS by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.
But whatever you call it, he says the West doesn’t realize it’s in a Third World War.
Scott Pelley, is the Anchor and Managing Editor of CBS Evening News, Correspondent for 60 Minutes. Nicole Young, Amjad Tadros and Katie Kerbstat are the producers.
President Obama’s nuclear strategy says that while the threat of all-out nuclear war is remote, the risk of nuclear attack somewhere in the world has actually increased. 60 Minutes decided to take a close look at how that attack might occur and found both the U.S. and Russia are developing nuclear weapons that make the once unthinkable decision to use them “less difficult.”
Reporting by David Martin.
Part Three: Picasso Portfolio
Pablo Picasso’s former electrician, 77-year-old Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle, came forward with a trove of 271 never-before-seen Picasso pieces. The revelation of the existence of these works stunned the art world and the Picasso heirs. The Le Guennecs say they were a gift from the master. But were they? Whitaker finds a fascinating story befitting a painter who was probably the greatest artist of the 20th Century.
Reporting by Bill Whitaker, 60 Minutes correspondent.
Many first responders with the city’s police and fire departments lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, and Sargent Major Michael S. Curtin and Gunnery Sargent Matthew D. Garvey, were among the fallen. To honor their memory, Marine Corps Reserve Center Brooklyn dedicated the ‘Curtin Garvey Complex’ along with a 9/11 monument, made partially with steel from the World Trade Center.
The memorial is a representation of the sacrifices Reserve Marines have made for their country for over 100 years. The ceremony was held as part of a series of events taking place in New York to recognize the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Centennial and honor the bond Reserve Marines share with their communities.
Marines from Brooklyn’s 6th Communication Battalion held a dedication ceremony in honor of two fallen Reserve Marines from their unit at Floyd Bennett Field, Aug. 30, 2016.
Sargent Major Michael S. Curtin and Gunnery Sargent Matthew D. Garvey, first responders with the city’s police and fire departments, died to rescue others at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
To honor their memory, the Marines renamed their Reserve center the Curtin Garvey Complex. They also dedicated a monument using steel taken from the World Trade Center as a tribute to the Marines as well as the first responders who sacrificed their lives on 9/11.
“It is important that we come out here and honor our fallen Marines and the sacrifices they made,” said Staff Sargent. John A. Grigg, inspector-instructor cyber systems chief for Direct Support Company, 6th Comm. Bn. “It helps us remember who we are and who we are supposed to be.”
Curtin died rescuing victims trapped in the North tower of the World Trade Center.
Curtin served 12 years on active duty before becoming a Reserve Marine. He joined the New York Police Department in January 1988 and spent most of his career with the Emergency Service Squad units.
“Sgt. Maj. Curtin was my company first sergeant when I checked into 6th Comm. in 1995,” said Master Sgt. Pasquale Foresta, currently the liaison staff non-commissioned officer in charge for Chemical Biological Incident Response Force.
“He was a large imposing man, but he took care of his Marines. I remember wandering the halls, completely lost, when I ran into him for the first time. He had never met me before, but wanted to know all about who I was. It had an impact on me and made me feel part of the unit right away.“
Garvey and his entire squad were killed when the tower collapsed.
Garvey served 10 years on active duty and served in Beirut, Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He joined the New York Fire Department in 1995 and served with the elite Squad 1.
On 9/11, Garvey and his squad members aided in the evacuation of thousands of people from the South tower of the World Trade Center.
“Gunnery Sgt. Garvey was my platoon sergeant and he was a Marines’ Marine,” Foresta said. “He is what anyone would expect a Marine to be. I’ve spent nearly 15 years living in his shadow.”
Curtin and Garvey serve as an example of how Reserves Marines from various backgrounds and occupations answered the call to defend the country during and after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“It is important for young Marines coming up to understand how their roles might change,” Foresta said. “We have Marines who died on 9/11, but we also have Marines who died serving overseas afterwards as well.”
Marines from 6th Comm. have supported both operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, showcasing how Reserve Marines have been willing to trade in their civilian jobs to augment and support the active component in defense of the nation.
“As Reserve Marines we wear two hats, we have to maintain a civilian life and a Marine Corps life,” said Sgt. Lee Falcon, ground radio repair section head for Headquarters and Service Company, 6th Comm. “A lot of new Marines come in and they don’t know what happened here or any of the history of the battalion, so it is good to actually impart that to them through events like this.”
Article references statements made by Sargent Ian Leones with the Marine Forces Reserve.
Watch rare interviews and news reports in our Documentaries section.
NATO and its preemptive war on terrorists in the Middle East: just whose citizens are more important? I raise this question in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Karada, Iraq; in Nice, Paris; and in Munich, Germany; and now Manjib in Syria. The foreboding retribution will only fuel the cycle of killing innocent men, women, children, even babies with impunity. This war has given nations a free pass to kill without consequence.
I was correct on the retribution, and the drone strikes and ground war near Manjib have increased, according to reports from Operation Inherent Resolve. You can watch NATO press briefings, and view unclassified drone-strike footage the same day they are released on our YouTube Military Channel. Additional drone-strike attack statistics will be added soon.
Three Videos Added: Marshall McLuhan: Terrorism and Politics(1984), and Marshall McLuhan Interview – Violence As A Quest For Identity(1977). USA Loves KSA: Camp Hillary Ecstatic To Arm Saudi Terror/tories (2016). Located in mid article.
Why Words Matter.
The religious fanatics terrorizing the world’s population are followers of the Saudi-Wahhabi religion’s law and belief – this fact is undeniable – still, world leaders put on their best poker faces, and tell their citizens that these terrorist groups are a recent development that sprung into existence during the Iraq war.
But I do not believe that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was the origins – whatI DO think, is that it was the catalyst that allowed Wahhabi Extremists to gain a strong-hold in Iraq, after NATO abandoned the Iraqi civilians, knowingly condemning them to their current fate.
Additionally, I put forth that the “Da’esh” roots can be traced back to the Islamic Empire of Saudi Arabia – the granddaddy of religious fanatics.
The evidence is piling up that links Saudi-Wahhabi’s to a high number of the terrorist groups who are spreading Wahhabism like a plague across the middle east. The Saudi’s have been exposed and “reprimanded” for selling arms to the extremist groups – Yet – rather than imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia for their numerous crimes against humanity, the US rewards the Saudi “Royals” with multi-billion-dollar arms sales and oil deals.
The burning question I have is – who has killed more civilians since the New York attack in 2001 – the Wahhabi terrorist bombings and killings in the name of their religion – or the NATO, Saudi, Russian and Israeli preemptive airstrikes and ground wars inside the borders of besieged territories?
Readers who follow our social media sites may have noticed the recent increase of armed conflict related videos uploaded to the Alistair Reign YouTube Channel. There is a purpose to the remodeling of our YouTube outlet into a military channel; it was a natural off-shoot of information gathered during my search to find an answer for the elephant in the room.
Who has killed more civilians?
In this article, I will attempt to provide a clearer picture of the wars on terrorism and their death tolls. But first, an additional question to ponder.
Who has besieged who?
At this point in time – that is a blurred line. Consider how Americans would react if another country took it upon themselves to drop bombs on territories inside the U.S., in the name of killing the terrorists living there of course, and then proceed to kill U.S. civilians in shopping malls, homes and hospitals? I will venture to say the US of A would defend its borders with extreme prejudice.
So, what makes it okay for Americans to impose their war on foreign countries? We are talking about counties on the other side of the planet – with an entire ocean between us – speaking as a US/CDN duel-citizen living in Canada. These fanatical Wahhabi’s do not exactly have a fleet of ships, submarines, or even an airplane that can cross the ocean for that matter!
Surely it must have occurred to the powers that be, that countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, now see the U.S and NATO airstrikes’ civilian casualties equivalent to the carnage created by the Wahhabi terrorist attacks.
The U.S. Drone Wars.
Faisal Jaber, a Yemeni environmental engineer now living in Montreal, Canada, whose innocent family members; a cleric who publicly spoke against the violent ways of the religious extremists, and the other man was a local policeman; were killed together in 2012 by a single U.S. drone strike, in which they were targeted. Both men left behind a wife and young children.
In response to this particular airstrike, Human Rights Watch visited the scene in Khashamir, Yemen. They published a detailed report on the incident saying:
“the strike killed four of the men instantly, hurling their body parts across the grounds. The blast of a fourth missile hit the fifth man as he crawled away, pinning him lifeless to a wall.
“In Khashamir, every man, woman, and child has seen the photos of Salim and Walid Jaber, the cleric and policeman, after they were struck by drone-launched missiles. The images show the men’s bodies charred and in pieces—relatives said they identified Salim Jaber by his cheekbone, and Walid Jaber by the remains of his handgun and his ornate belt.” 
Reflecting on the above carnage, Jaber (seen in video below) said: “Now when villagers see these images, they think of America.”
Jaber continued by saying: “We Yemenis are the ones who pay the price of the ‘war on terror’, We’re caught between a drone on one side and al-Qaeda on the other.
“It would have been easy to arrest the three suspected men, rather than use a drone strike. They could have been stopped at any checkpoint – the closest checkpoint is only 1 kilometer away. The nearest army base is just 3 kilometers away.
“For Americans, drone killing may seem to be an easy solution. And the President seems to prefer to keep the drones’ errors a secret, even where innocents have died. This is a mistake.
“Drone killing is not the solution to the problems that we face in Yemen.
“The American drones simply create more problems, ensuring the next generation of Yemenis grow up feeling worthless, angry and fearful.
“Instead of killing my brother-in-law Salem, the U.S. should have supported him. Salem was an anti-extremist Imam who preached against al-Qaeda only days before he was killed. His speech was so strong and inspiring, I worried al-Qaeda would kill him. I spoke to Salem about my fears.
“He said, “If I don’t use my position to make it clear to my congregation that this ideology is wrong, who will? I will die anyway, and I would rather die saying what I believe than die silent.”” 
The only reason Jaber’s two family members were meeting the other men, assumed to be al-Qaeda, was because the suspected al-Qaeda men had demanded a meeting with Salem, after his public anti-extremist speech. Walid, the police officer went along to provide protection for his family member.
Tragically, instead of continuing in their efforts to build a lawful country and religious freedom, Walid and Salem were killed at the command of a foreign country – NOT the extremists. For the US military, the Yemeni town leaders’ deaths would have been referred to, and normalized, as an acceptable risk of civilian casualties – ACCEPTABLE!
I tell the story of the Jabers, because there is no doubt to the facts presented in this case. Sadly, theirs is just one example among millions of innocent civilians suffering from grievous harm as bystanders to the war on terrorists. Eventually, the US government gave a sum of cash to Faisal Jaber for his family’s loss. The cash was delivered by a US official in an envelope, but it did not bring back the children’s fathers, nor was it enough to secure a future for the families left with no provider – in a patriarchal society where the father is the sole provider.
More than two innocent men lost their lives, the children lost their chance at a better life. This was a family of educated people simply tying to live a productive and peaceful life. The children left without fathers – they are the future of the Republic of Yemen, and yes, I too wonder – what WILL they think of the worlds’ lack of humanity?
The Rise Of Terror/tories.
Before this arms-deal-fueled war will ever be won, these terrorist groups need to be seen for what and who they are – Wahhabi extremistsnotIslamic extremists. To that end, from now on Wahhabi is the name I will be using when referring to the “Da’esh” terrorists.
Up until the Wahhabi militia currently known as Islamic State – invading terrorist groups were NOTgiven the recognition of calling their unlawfully occupied territories by an alternative state name. Case in point, I never heard media or governments refer to Afghanistan as the “State of Taliban”, nor was Iraq called the “State of Al-Qaeda”.
The lands that were under Wahhabi extremists’ control were correctly referred to as “besieged” or “occupied” territories.
Leaders refuse to call a spade a spade.
The militia known as Da’esh(an acronym for the Arabic phrase “al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham,” also known as ISIS or ISIL), are a murderous brotherhood of desert tribesmen who follow the misogamist and fanatical Saudi Arabia state religion of Wahhabism – known by many names in other parts of the world – including the Taliban, al-Qaeda,al-Nuestra and Boko Haram.
It makes me wonder, is it the media’s tactic to constantly change-up the name of these Wahhabi terrorists to confuse the average Western reader or viewer?
If so, it is working!
For those Westerns who think using the latest term Da’esh is “politically correct” – all you are doing is saying Islamic State of Syria and Iraq in Arabic. Sooo… no!
The average Canadian and American has no real understanding of the horrific nature of the crimes inflicted on women and children, taking place under the banner of the global war on terrorism, or what is fueling it.
I have come to the conclusion that most people do not want the truth. There is truth to the expression, ignorance is bliss, and it keeps people from feeling accountable for the heinous crimes committed by the powerful military coalitions on the poorest countries.
“Besides,” people I know say, “everyone else is doing it!“
My reply being, “that does not make it right, nor does it mean we should accept our government’s participation.“
Too many people feel justified in backing this war, because they want to believe the invasion and airstrikes on foreign countries are being executed “as humanly as possible” under a worldwide “united front” to protect them.
Why would they think that? Because, that is what the media tells us is happening.
And, if the “credible” corporate media outlets reports it as such – well then, it must be true. Just ask my Mom, she is 84-years-old, and knows all about the war “over there“, because she watches the news stations every day.
World’s War on Terrorism.
I am going to bring Herbert Marshall McLuhan into this topic. McLuhan was a Canadian professor, philosopher, and public intellectual. He passed away at the age of 69 in 1980. His work is universally viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory. On a side note, in his later years he railed against bureaucrats by citing the failure of “the king’s men to put Humpty Dumpty together again.“
But why McLuhan now?
Because – the war on terrorists – particularly the POLITICS of television coverage.
Marshall McLuhan: Terrorism and Politics.(1984).
Marshall McLuhan Interview – Violence As A Quest For Identity.(1977).
Today it is common place to read about the NATO-Coalition forces launching preemptive attacks on foreign land, under the US-led military action known as “Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve”.
Recently the Obama administration released its usual under-reported report claiming that the U.S. government’s war on terrorism has caused only 64 to 116 civilian deaths by drone strikes. However, several NGO groups say these numbers simply don’t add up.
Independent organizations estimate that the number of civilian deaths by US strikes is closer to 8 times that amount. That would bring the number of deaths of non-threatening human beingsup to 512 to 928,who were literally blown into pieces.
Could the “War on Terrorism” (correction: War on Wahhabism), have become so corrupt that allies are killed and enemies rewarded? Time to take a closer look. The increased danger to innocent civilians in countries under attack – was (and still is) deemed as acceptable civilian casualties – in the name of protecting AMERICAN lives.
It was inevitable that allied “world leaders“ would join the American invasion on foreign countries, whether willingly or bullied – they following in suit under the banner of “protecting their own citizens“.
Ironically, ever since the U.S. invasion in Iraq, terrorist attacks have increased by 9-times.
CODEPINK, issued this statement in response to Obama’s recent “transparency” report on drone strikes: “We agree that the numbers are underestimates of the actual civilian death toll. It is impossible to verify the government’s numbers when the administration refuses to reveal their methodology or information on specific strikes.
““You can’t grade your own homework,” as one political analyst noted.
“We know as a fact that the Obama administration is automatically categorizing every adult male over 18 killed by drones as an enemy combatant – and this is outrageous.
“The lack of transparency shows that the Obama administration is using civilian casualty numbers as a political tool to normalize drone strikes.
“In addition to underestimating civilian casualties, the government statistics fail to capture the tens of thousands of cases of lost limbs, partial or total paralysis and other psychological or significant permanent injury caused to civilians by drone strikes.
“The damage done to civilian survivors of drone strikes is often brutal, devastating and lifelong and is completely unaccounted for in the government statistics released last week.” .
The US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which is a semi-covert arm of the military, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are estimated by research groups to have carried out 81 targeted killing operations in Yemen: one in 2002 and the rest since 2009. The strikes by drones, warplanes or cruise missiles by various counts have killed at least 473 combatants and civilians. The United States has also carried out hundreds of targeted killing operations, primarily by drones, in Pakistan and a small number of such strikes in Somalia.
After many years of neither confirming nor denying such strikes, President Obama and other top US officials began publicly acknowledging the targeted killings program in 2010. However, citing national security concerns, the administration has provided only the barest information about individual strikes.
For example, US authorities have not revealed the number of strikes, the number of civilians and alleged combatants killed or wounded, or, with a few exceptions, the target of the strikes. Moreover, the administration’s legal rationale for such killings, outlined in various speeches and “fact sheets” by the government in the past two years, has been inadequate. Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has publicly praised the US drone campaign in Yemen, but his government has been almost as silent as the United States on details.
On December 2, 2001, the UK Daily Telegraph reported that the US had asked the UK for assistance in planning strikes on ‘terror bases’ in Somalia. US special forces infiltrated Somalian waters in 2003 and planted a dozen or more concealed cameras, as part of Operations Cobalt Blue and Poison Scepter, the Army Times revealed.
Below is a current chart of US reported kills in Somalia since 2001:
But the question remains open – do the above statistics represent the true numbers?
How can the US and NATO confidently report the number of civilians killed, when they admit to not always knowing the number, or age of the killed?
US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannenberger denied any civilian casualties in an interview with the BBC. Pentagon spokesperson told CBS News the strike was based on intelligence ‘that led us to believe we had principal al-Qaeda leaders in an area where we could identify them and take action against them.’
But another US official told the Washington Post: ‘Frankly, I don’t think we know who we killed.’
CIA Pakistan drone campaign reported to have killed nearly five times more people under Obama than under Bush. 
All actions 2004 – 2014
Total Obama strikes: 357
Total US strikes since 2004: 408
Total reported killed: 2,410-3,902
Civilians reported killed: 416-959
Children reported killed: 168-204
Total reported injured: 1,133-1,706
Although the CIA did not carry out a strike in Pakistan for the first five months of the year, drones were reported to have killed at least 114 people in 2014, more than in all of the previous year.
All actions 2002 – 2014*
Confirmed US drone strikes: 72-84
Total reported killed: 371-541
Civilians reported killed: 64-83
Children reported killed: 7
Reported injured: 81-199
Possible extra US drone strikes: 101-120
Total reported killed: 345-553
Civilians reported killed: 26-68
Children reported killed: 6-11
Reported injured: 90-123
All other US covert operations: 16-81 Total reported killed: 168-404 Civilians reported killed: 68-97 Children reported killed: 26-28 Reported injured: 22-115
All but one of these actions have taken place during Obama’s presidency. Reports of incidents in Yemen often conflate individual strikes. The range in the total strikes and total drone strikes we have recorded reflects this.
The casualty rate for last year even outstrips 2012 – the bloodiest year recorded in the US’s drone campaign in Yemen when at least 173 people were reported killed in 29 strikes. In 2014 at least 82 people were reported to have died in just 13 strikes.
Rules of War.
During their six weeks in Yemen in 2012-2013, Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed more than 90 people about drone strikes including witnesses, relatives of those killed, lawyers, human rights defenders, and government officials. Human Rights Watch reviewed evidence including ordnance and videos from attack sites. Security concerns prevented visits to four of the attack areas.
With rare exceptions, the US government only acknowledges its role in targeted killings in general terms, refusing to take responsibility for individual strikes or provide casualty figures, including civilian deaths. The Yemeni authorities have been almost as silent. Both governments declined comment on the six strikes that Human Rights Watch investigated.
The strike that killed Salem and Whalid Jaber in Khashamir, Yemen is one of six unacknowledged US military attacks against alleged AQAP members in Yemen that this report examines. Each of the airstrikes bears the hallmarks of a so-called targeted killing, the deliberate killing by a government of a known individual under color of law.
Two of these attacks were in clear violation of international humanitarian law—the laws of war—because they struck only civilians or used indiscriminate weapons.
The other four cases may have violated the laws of war because the individual attacked was not a lawful military target or the attack caused disproportionate civilian harm, determinations that require further investigation. In several of these cases the US also did not take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians, as the laws of war require.
Some of those targeted by US forces as terrorist suspects may not in fact have been valid military targets. Where the laws of war apply, combatants may lawfully be attacked. Persons who accompany or support an organized armed group, but whose activities are not directly related to military operations, such as engaging in recruiting or propaganda, are not lawful military targets.
Where the United States acts as a party to the armed conflict between the Yemeni government and AQAP, US military actions fall within the laws of war. Should the fighting between the US and AQAP not meet the threshold for an armed conflict, any attacks carried out independently of the Yemen-AQAP conflict, including some or all of the attacks detailed here, would fall under international human rights law. Human rights law only permits the use of lethal force where there is an imminent threat to human life.
Beyond international legal considerations, the evidence strongly suggests that the strikes did not adhere to policies for targeted killings that US President Barack Obama disclosed in a speech in May 2013.
These policies, which more closely reflect a law-enforcement model than a war model, provide that the United States will conduct strikes only against individuals who pose an “imminent threat to the American people”; when there is a “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured” and when the target is present. President Obama also said the United States “does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists; our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute.” While the attacks detailed in this report predate Obama’s speech, the White House said on the day he disclosed the policies that they were “either already in place or will be transitioned into place over time.”
The Yemeni government has conceded that two of the six attacks described in this report resulted in deaths and injuries to civilians. It has made payments to families of some of the civilians killed but has failed to adequately compensate many others. The US government has not publicly acknowledged involvement in any of the six attacks, and while US officials say they work with local authorities to provide “condolence payments” to civilian victims, we are not aware of any evidence that it has done so in Yemen. Regardless of the lawfulness of specific attacks, the deaths of numerous civilians and the lack of compensation to most families has fueled public anger and frustration in Yemen against the United States, doubtless to the benefit of AQAP.
Human Rights Watch investigated the six strikes during two trips to Yemen in 2012 and 2013. These attacks, one from 2009 and the rest from 2012-13, killed 82 people, at least 57 of them civilians. At least four of the strikes were carried out by drones, a fifth strike by either drones or warplanes, and a sixth one by cruise missiles releasing cluster munitions, indiscriminate weapons that pose unacceptable dangers to civilians.
This report assesses whether these attacks comply with the laws of war. It also considers them with respect to the guidelines that President Obama disclosed in May 2013 for targeted killings. Those guidelines seem reflective of international human rights law, which prohibits the use of lethal force in law enforcement situations except when absolutely necessary to protect human life.
In addition to the attack in Khashamir, this report details the following strikes:
Wessab, April 17, 2013: Two drones launched at least three Hellfire missiles at a car in Wessab, a township in Dhamar province in central Yemen. The missiles killed a suspected local AQAP leader, Hamid al-Radmi, as well as his driver and two bodyguards. The strike appears not to have complied with the Obama administration guidelines because it appears that al-Radmi could have been captured rather than killed. Al-Radmi was one of the most visible figures in Wessab, traveling openly to mediate disputes among residents, and meeting regularly with security and political officials. While linked to AQAP, it is not evident that he played a role in military operations that would have made him a valid military target.
Al-Masnaah, January 23, 2013: One or more Hellfire missiles launched from a drone killed all four people in a truck in the village of al-Masnaah as they traveled to nearby Sanhan, a town about 20 kilometers southeast of Sanaa, the capital. Two passengers were suspected AQAP members. The two others, the driver and his cousin, were civilians hired by the AQAP suspects to drive them to Sanhan. Depending on the military importance of the two targeted AQAP members, under the laws of war the strike may have caused disproportionate harm to civilians. Yemen’s Minister of Interior exonerated the two cousins of any ties to the targets in a letter to the families, but relatives said neither the Yemeni nor the US government provided the families any compensation.
Beit al-Ahmar, November 7, 2012: A drone strike killed Lt. Col. Adnan al-Qadhi, an officer in an elite Yemeni army unit who was a suspected local AQAP leader, in Beit al-Ahmar, a military town 15 kilometers from Sanaa. The strike also killed one of his bodyguards. Inconsistent with the Obama administration guidelines, the evidence suggests that Al-Qadhi could have been captured rather than killed. Nor is it clear that he played a military operational role for AQAP. In April 2013, AQAP issued a video in which an 8-year-old boy, held with his father, a soldier, “confessed” that military officers instructed him to plant a tracking device on al-Qadhi.
Sarar, September 2, 2012: As two drones flew overhead, two warplanes or drones attacked a vehicle heading north from the city of Radaa in central Yemen. The strike in the hamet of Sarar killed 12 passengers, including 3 children and a pregnant woman, in violation of the laws-of-war prohibition against attacks that do not discriminate between civilians and combatants. The driver and a 13th passenger survived. The strike’s apparent target, tribal leader Abd al-Raouf al-Dahab, was not in the vehicle, and it is not clear that he was even a member of AQAP. The Yemeni government admitted the attack was a mistake but for months provided the victims’ families only limited compensation: 100 Kalashnikov assault rifles and cash for burial costs. Only in June 2013, after Human Rights Watch and other groups raised the case with the United States, did the Yemeni authorities compensate the families for the deaths.
Al-Majalah, December 17, 2009: As many as five US Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles armed with cluster munitions struck the hamlet of al-Majalah in southern Abyan province. Yemeni government officials described the attack as a Yemeni airstrike that killed 34 “terrorists” at a training camp. According to a Yemeni government inquiry, the strike actually killed 14 suspected AQAP fighters, including the apparent primary target, Muhammad al-Kazami, but also at least 41 local civilians living in a Bedouin camp, including 9 women and 21 children. Subsequently, cluster munition remnants killed at least 4 additional civilians and wounded 13 others. This attack may more properly be viewed as a violation of international human rights law. However, even within a laws-of-war analysis, the attack used indiscriminate cluster munitions, and caused indiscriminate and possibly disproportionate civilian casualties. The families have not received any compensation for the deaths or injuries.
US and Yemeni officials did not respond to written questions from Human Rights Watch on the six cases and on targeted killings policies. A Yemeni government official with knowledge of the strikes, who spoke to Human Rights Watch on condition of anonymity.
The official said that the Yemeni government has virtually no control over much of Yemen, and therefore is “too weak” to capture many suspects saying that, “Our security apparatus is in shambles. . . . So what do you do? The easiest option is, you take them out.”
International Law and US Policy.
President Obama did not provide names with his transparency report, nor did he say in which years the civilians were killed, or in which country.
He did not explain how the CIA decided who counted as wrongfully killed, and who didn’t.
The President’s version of transparency – a bare number – does not help the families of the dead. It also does not help us achieve peace in Yemen. I am older and educated, but my worry is for our younger generation. How can Yemen’s young people make peace with the world when their first experience of the U.S. is hovering drones killing innocents, where no-one will admit responsibility?
The legality of a “targeted killing” under international law may depend on whether the attack was conducted during an armed conflict or during law enforcement operations. International humanitarian law, the laws of war, apply during armed conflicts between states or between a state and a non-state armed group. International human rights law applies at all times, except where superseded by specific laws of war.
The laws of war permit attacks only on enemy combatants and other military objectives. Combatants include members of armed groups taking a direct part in hostilities, but not those who play a purely non-military role. Civilians and civilian objects are protected from attack. Not all attacks that cause civilian deaths or injuries violate the laws of war—only those that target civilians, do not discriminate between civilians and combatants, or cause civilian loss that is excessive compared to the anticipated military gain. Parties to a conflict must take all feasible steps to minimize civilian harm, including by not deploying in densely populated areas. States have an obligation to investigate serious violations of the laws of war and prosecute those found responsible.
During situations of law enforcement, in which international human rights law applies, lethal force may only be used as a last resort where there is an imminent risk to human life. The standards set out by the Obama administration for targeted attacks appear to reflect this law enforcement approach, requiring that the target pose an imminent risk to the United States, cannot reasonably be captured, and can be attacked without putting civilians at risk.
However, the administration has not said that it was adopting an approach consistent with human rights law.
Human Rights Watched has warned: “Should the United States continue targeted killings in Yemen without addressing the consequences of killing civilians and taking responsibility for unlawful deaths, it risks further angering many Yemenis and handing another recruiting card to AQAP. In response to these killings, AQAP has issued statements accusing the United States of fighting a war not just against Al-Qaeda but against all Muslims. Residents have set up roadblocks and held demonstrations in which they chant anti-US slogans.“
Spencer Ackerman reported in The Guardian, that the US Justice Department rejected Faisal bin Ali Jaber’s offer to drop his federal lawsuit in exchange for condolences Obama has given to western victims of a 2012 strike.
Faisal Jaber, the 57-year old Yemeni man, had offered to drop a federal lawsuit he filed in June, which sought to establish that the 29 August 2012 drone strike – which killed Jaber’s brother-in-law and nephew – was unlawful.
He already had reason to believe his family was collateral damage of US drone strikes in Yemen, the open secret of US counter-terrorism. He had received a cash payment of $100,000 in sequential bills from a Yemeni official – condolence payments that the US occasionally sends to relatives of people mistakenly killed.
“It is appalling that Faisal was deemed worthy of meetings in Washington DC with White House and National Security Council officials, but that the US is trying its level best to avoid apologizing, and to block his quest for justice by kicking him out of the courts,” Crider added. “There is no good reason that the president stood up in front of the world with the Lo Porto and Weinstein families to say sorry for the US’s tragic mistake, but can’t do so for a Yemeni man.” 
New war, same bad decisions.
“During 2001 to 2005, warlords paid by the CIA helped render ‘seven or eight’ al Qaida figures out of Somalia, Sean D. Naylor of the Army Times reported. This included suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Suleiman Abdallah from a hospital in Mogadishu in March 2003 and Mohammed Ali Isse, a Somalilander captured by warlords in Mogadishu in 2004 and rendered to a warship off the coast of Djibouti, before being imprisoned in Somaliland.
As the Chicago Tribune reported, ‘the Somalis on the CIA payroll engaged in a grim tit-for-tat exchange of kidnappings and assassinations with extremists.’
“However, Matt Bryden, coordinator for the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, told the Chicago Tribune that, in his opinion, the CIA’s cooperation with the warlords was ‘a stupid idea… it actually strengthened the hand of the Islamists and helped trigger the crisis we’re in today.’”
In summary, I am not sure we will ever know the answer to the question of who has killed more civilians. The numbers of civilians killed by drone strikes, according to the United States, are called into doubt by many reputable NGO groups. The numbers of innocent civilians killed by Wahhabi terrorist killing are also difficult to summarize into one tidy number. I WILL venture to say, that in my opinion, the war on terrorism is responsible for more deaths and permanent disabilities, than the terrorists attacks and beheadings.
The military’s hunts for Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein, and al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers hosts this CNN original documentary series, and covers missions set in fascinating locations and time periods from Cold War era Moscow to modern day Iran, from the streets of 1980’s Cuba to today’s bustling Beijing.
These are the true stories of America’s most covert missions, pulled from classified information you’ve never heard…until now.
Season One – Episode Three:
CNN original series is an eight-part look at complex true stories of America’s covert operations.
Rogers was quoted in a recent interview as saying, “In many ways, truth is stronger than fiction. You’ll get to know Sunday night the first woman CIA officer in Moscow. It has all the elements of a great spy movie. Not only does it stand up, it will bring some level of realism to all these fiction shows, which I think are great, by the way. This gives you the real flavor of why those shows are interesting.” 
The newly declassified missions are recounted firsthand by agents from all 16 U.S. intelligence bureaus, providing viewers with unprecedented access to a secret world of espionage. The missions span time periods from Cold War-era Moscow to modern-day Iran, from the streets of 1980’s Cuba to Beijing of today. Among the stories covered are the military’s hunts for Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein, and al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The House Intelligence Committee has released the 28, previously classified pages, from a 2002 congressional investigation into the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Today’s publication of these pages brings to a close a years-long effort to declassify them, which had in recent months gained nearly unanimous support throughout Washington.
The long-secret pages detail evidence linking Saudi Arabia to 9/11, though officials warn that it is merely preliminary and was later dismissed by subsequent investigations into the issue.
There is no single smoking gun within the pages to definitely implicate any senior Saudi leaders for supporting the al Qaeda terrorists.
Read the 28 pages pdf document Here in our Research section.
Yet the evidence is nonetheless likely to inflame the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, which has been rocky for the last year. In the U.S. in particular, release of the pages will likely lead to new scrutiny of the complex relationship between the two nations, which has previously been used as a foil during the political season.
According to the formerly top-secret pages, investigators uncovered “numerous reports” from FBI sources that at least two people in contact with some of the 9/11 hijackers may have been Saudi intelligence officers.
Other evidence pointed to the government laundering money through a mosque in Culver City, Calif., to groups affiliated with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, potential connections in phone books of extremists and the Saudi government and other evidence of ties.
However, the findings were repeatedly characterized as preliminary, and the authors noted that they did not attempt to follow through on the CIA and FBI’s information.
“In their testimony, neither CIA nor FBI witnesses were able to identify definitely the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the untied States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature,” authors claimed in the report.
“It should be clear that this joint inquiry has made no final determinations as to the reliability or sufficiency of the information regarding these issues that we found contained in FBI and CIA documents.”
Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) cautioned that the document “does not put forward vetted conclusions, but rather unverified leads that were later fully investigated by the intelligence community.”
Many of those leads were chased down in the higher-profile 9/11 Commission investigation, he noted, in an effort to avoid having the public read too much into the initial reports.
Yet the pages nonetheless ought to be revealed, lawmakers have argued, to shed light on one of the darkest days in American history.
“The American people have the right to know the full scope of the matters examined by the joint inquiry, and I have every confidence the public can assess the allegations raised in the 28 pages and the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions on those matters,” Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement.
The pages should “diminish speculation that they contain proof of official Saudi Government or senior Saudi official involvement in the 9/11 attacks,” he added.
The pages have captivated imaginations and taken on an increasingly prominent role as Congress moved forward with legislation allowing Americans to sue Saudi Arabia for any potential role in supporting the terrorists. That bill sailed through the Senate earlier this year, despite vigorous opposition from the White House and Riyadh, and appears primed for action in the House in the fall.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the newly unclassified portion of the 9/11 report “does not change” the administration’s position that senior Saudi officials had no role in the attack.
The Saudi kingdom itself has supported the release of the pages, if only to quiet the lingering allegations about its potential connections to al Qaeda.
Intelligence officials throughout the Obama administration had begun reviewing the pages for declassification in recent months.
Earlier on Friday, the White House sent to Congress a version of the pages that had been redacted to remove sources and methods. Shortly afterward, the House Intelligence Committee approved its release to the public.
In addition to the 28 pages, the director of national intelligence will soon release a declassified executive summary of a joint assessment from the FBI and CIA, Nunes said.
Read the 28 pages pdf document Here in our Research section.
UPDATE July 15th:The truck driver killed by police after mowing down dozens of revelers in the French seaside city of Nice had a “violent” past, but he was not previously the subject of a terrorism investigation, French prosecutors said today.
Officials at a news conference described what they knew about the suspect while confirming that at least 84 people were killed — including 10 children — while 202 others were wounded. Of the 52 people in critical condition, 25 remained on life support, said French prosecutor Francois Molins.
French President Francois Hollande earlier said that those in critical condition were “between life and death.”
The 31-year-old driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, had been detained in March and convicted of voluntary violence with a weapon, although the details of his arrest were not immediately released.
Prosecutors said he was also known to police “due to threats, violence and petty theft” between 2010 and 2016.
But it was unclear whether Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born delivery man and married father living in Nice, had any ties to terrorist groups. (End update).
UPDATE July 14th: French President, Francois Hollande has confirmed that France will extend their state of emergency for a further three months following today’s savage Nice attack.
President Hollande said a further 10,000 military officers will be deployed around the country, with many set to be deployed to help the situation in Nice.
He continued: “I have instructed all regional hospitals to be prepared to deal with an influx of injured. We saw similar attacks in Paris last year and now Nice.”
He used the speech to confirm that France would pay “close attention to tightening borders” and will show “show real military force in Syria and Iraq”. (End Update).
The southern French city of Nice suffered a terrorist attack tonight, as the shooter drove a large semi-truck into a crowd, and began shooting as people were celebrating Bastille Day
At least 74 people are dead according to the French newspaper Nice Matin, with another 42 fighting for their lives in a critical condition in hospital. More than a hundred more people are believed to have been injured.
French officials have confirmed that they are investigasting a terrorist attack and there are reports that there are gunmen on the loose in the city. French TV channel iTele tonight reported that a gunman believed to be one of two terrorists had “holed up in a nice restaurant downtown” but was then “neutralized” by police.
The channel said it is not believed the man had taken any hostages during the incident. The man is believed to have been in the lorry with the driver and fled on foot to a restaurant called Le Buffalo nearby, where he was killed by an officer with a handgun.
On the promenade it is thought that police officers desperately fired on the truck as it was “deliberately driven” for more than 100 metres at people leaving a major bank holiday fireworks celebration.
Witnesses said the truck picked up speed and “rammed” the crowd where it was thickest at more than 40mph whilst the driver fired a gun out of the window. Images then emerged of the cab riddled with bullets.
One eyewitness said he saw the driver emerge with a gun after the truck came to a halt and begin shooting at the fleeing crowd.
French newspaper Le Figaro quoted police sources saying that officers found weapons, guns and grenades inside the lorry cab, indicating it was a premeditated terrorist attack. Police are now actively seeking out any accomplices involved in planning the atrocity and specialist anti-terror detectives from Paris have taken over the investigation from local officers.
Crowds had packed out the city’s main promenade to watch a fireworks display marking Bastille Day, a major public holiday in France, and were beginning to head home when the lorry hit.
One witness reported horrific scenes with “dead bodies everywhere” and distressing video footage emerged of people fleeing the Promenade des Anglais, in the southern French city, in terror. Another said it ran down terrified pedestrians “like ninepins”.
Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but supporters of the DAESH militia group have been celebrating it on social media. It is believed to be the 10th terrorist attack carried out in France since January last year.
A reporter for the Nice Matin newspaper who was covering the celebrations added: “There are people in blood, probably full of wounded.”
Fabien Lallemand said he saw a “huge white truck traveling at breakneck speed” which clearly intended to “mow down the maximum number of people”.
He said: ”I saw bodies flying like bowling pins in its path. I heard noises, screams, that I will never forget. I was paralysed. I did not move.
“Around me, there was panic. people were running, screaming, crying. Then I realized. And I ran with them.”
One eyewitness, Wassim Bouhlel, said he saw the driver emerge from the truck after it came to a halt and start shooting at the crowds.
He said: “There was carnage on the road. Bodies everywhere.“
Police have identified the driver, who was killed during the incident, and it is believed to have been a man who was known to security services. Separate reports emerged tonight that police fear four different trucks are involved, raising fears of a massive organised terror attack.
Christian Estrosi, a leading regional politician in the area, said on Twitter: “This is the worst drama in the history of Nice with more than 70 victims already.“
And pictures posted on social media, far too graphic to publish, showed bodies strewn across the road in a scene of total devastation. The world-famous promenade, next to Nice’s stunning sandy beach, is one of France’s top tourist spots.
Update: The massive suicide bombing in central Baghdad has now become the deadliest attack in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, with the death toll reaching two-hundred-fifty (250) souls, according to the health ministry.
“Iraqi Christians joined Muslim mourners praying for the victims of the blast as the death toll rose above 200 Monday; many children are reportedly among the dead and hundreds of people were injured.
“Rescue workers were still finding bodies in the charred remains of the Kerrada [sic] shopping district after the massive weekend explosion in the predominantly Shia Muslim area of Baghdad. With dozens of bodies burnt beyond recognition, many families are left desperately hoping yet deeply afraid,” said Free Speech Radio News.
Listen to the Free Speech Radio News report.
The attack came on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, and the Karada District was packed with people celebrating Ramadan and preparing for the festival that brings the Muslim holy month to a close.
The “self-proclaimed Islamic State” has claimed responsibility for blast.
CNN reports that “the bombing early Sunday in a busy shopping district was the deadliest single attack in Iraq’s war-weary capital in years, killingat least 215 people, Mohamed al-Rubaye, deputy head of the security committee of the Baghdad Provincial Council, said Monday on Afaq TV.
“Crews remain at the scene in the Karrada neighborhood where the blast occurred, trying to pull bodies from the devastation. Around 175 people were wounded, Rubaye said.
“And 81 of the bodies are so charred, DNA testing will need to be conducted to identify them, he said.
“One couple at the scene were searching for their teenage son who had gone to a cafe with his friends to celebrate his birthday.
“Another man was looking for five relatives,including children, who were buying new clothes for Eid-al-Fitr – the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan on Tuesday.”
FSRN said, “The explosion was triggered by a refrigerated truck packed with explosives, which sparked an enormous fire in the area filled with well-stocked shops selling goods for the upcoming holiday.
“Iraqi Christians joined Muslim mourners praying for the victims of the blast as the death toll rose above 200 Monday; many children are reportedly among the dead and hundreds of people were injured.”
CCTV said, “Firefighters and civilians could be seen carrying the dead away, their bodies wrapped in blankets and sheets. Smoke billowed from the shopping center, which was surrounded by the twisted and burned wreckage of cars and market stalls. A group of women were sitting on the pavement, crying for their loved ones.”
“Rescue workers were still finding bodies in the charred remains of the Kerrada [sic] shopping district after the massive weekend explosion in the predominantly Shia Muslim area of Baghdad. With dozens of bodies burnt beyond recognition, many families are left desperately hoping yet deeply afraid.
“The attack came on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, and the Kerrada District was packed with people celebrating Ramadan and preparing for the festival that brings the Muslim holy month to a close. The self-proclaimed Islamic State has claimed responsibility for blast.
“The explosion was triggered by a refrigerated truck packed with explosives, which sparked an enormous fire in the area filled with well-stocked shops selling goods for the upcoming holiday.
“Mohammed al Bayd is Vice Chair of Baghdad Community Security. Distraught, he spoke to CCTV in the aftermath of the blast.
““Most of the people in the building were in their 20s, now hundreds of people have been hurt here,” al Bayd said. “The government sits in a chair doing nothing when it comes to security.”
“Security services in Baghdad are fractured into small agencies, and many say they are ineffective. The attack comes just more than a week after U.S.-backed Iraqi forces recaptured the city of Falluja from the self-styled Islamic State.
“Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi visited the scene of the attack Sunday, but was met by hostile crowds who hurled rocks and bottles as he walked through the fire-ravaged area, angry at an ineffective government they say has failed to protect them.”
CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke to professor Joav Toker of the American graduate school in Paris about why these terror attacks are becoming more common.
“The Kerrada blast wasn’t the only attack for which ISIS has claimed credit in recent days. In Bangladesh, seven attackers launched a siege late Friday night at an upscale, international restaurant in the capital Dhaka.
“The perpetrators targeted foreigners, butchering 20 people with machetes before police stormed the building. Sunday, officials identified the attackers; all were well educated members of the Bangladesh elite,” Free Speech Radio News said.
Police killed all but one at the end of the siege; one attacker is in custody.
Both Baghdad strikes are a sign of the Sunni-Shiite tension in the Muslim world. Sunni-dominated ISIS claimed it was targeting Shiite neighborhoods. Karada and Shaab are predominately Shiite neighborhoods.
We welcome comments and conversations. Scroll to bottom of page to use the comment box.
To date, at least one-hundred-twenty-five (125) people have been killed, and around one-hundred-fifty (150) were injured in an explosion now claimed by the Islamic extremist group ‘Daesh” in Baghdad, Iraqi police say. The violent attack Saturday came after the bloodiest month in Iraq in five years, when tension arose between Sunnis and Shiites.
Several Sunnis accused Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s Shia-led government of politically marginalizing them since the ouster of leader Saddam Hussein.
“Earlier this week, at least 12 people were killed and 32 injured in another suicide attack west of Baghdad, where an attacker wearing a suicide vest targeted a Sunni mosque in Abu Ghraib.” 
The mainly Shia area was busy with shoppers late at night because it is the holy month of Ramadan.
A second bomb also exploded at about midnight in a predominantly Shia area north of the capital, killing another five people.
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi was met by angry crowds while visiting the scene on Sunday. He later declared three days of national mourning.
“The bombing in Karrada is the deadliest in Iraq this year and comes a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Falluja from Islamic State (IS) militants,” said BBC News. 
Police said the dead included at least fifteen (15) children and six (6) policemen. At least twelve (12) other people were missing, feared dead.
One senior Iraqi official warned that the death toll could rise still further.
The Daesh – the extremist group of violent barbarians who have unlawfully besieged 14-percent of Iraq – have released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack in the Karada district – boasting that their suicide car bomber targeted Shiites.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the second bombing that took place in eastern Baghdad, (at least not that I can find at the time this article was published).
“The Baghdad attacks come just over a week after Iraqi forces declared the city of Fallujah “fully liberated” from ISIS.
“Over the last year, Iraq forces have racked up territorial gains against ISIS, retaking the city of Ramadi and the towns of Hit and Rutba, all in Iraq’s vast Anbar province west of Baghdad. Despite the government’s battlefield victories, ISIS has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks far from the front-lines.” 
“At least eight people were also killed in two separate blasts in the city of Mosul, a largely Sunni city situated about 400 km (248 miles) north of Baghdad. Twelve others were wounded.
“Another explosion took place in Tuz Khurmatou, a city about 180 km (112 miles) north of Baghdad and a melting pot of Arab, Kurd, and Turkmen residents. Here a suicide car bomber exploded on a commercial corridor, which resulted in the deaths of at least eight people. More than forty (40) people were wounded from the explosion.
“In Nasiriya, a region in southern Iraq heavily occupied by Shiites located 400 km outside of Baghdad, another car bomb killed four (4) people and wounded twelve (12) others.
“Meanwhile, two people were killed and 15 were wounded after a car bomb near a bus station in Karbala, a Shiite city about 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad” reports GB Times. 
Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor writes in his article: “The destruction and death adds up to a clear message from the jihadists of so-called Islamic State. They are saying that even if they are defeated on the battlefield, they can still hit back where it really hurts – killing civilians in the centre of the Iraqi capital, and other capital cities, too.
“IS have just suffered a serious defeat at the hands of Iraqi forces in Falluja. The town, less than an hour’s drive from Baghdad, has been in their hands since early 2014. IS are showing their supporters, and their enemies, that they are not beaten.
“So many were killed and wounded because the streets are crowded at night at the end of a day’s fasting during Ramadan, with thousands in a mood to celebrate.
“It is only realistic to fear that there will be more attacks like this, as IS comes under more military pressure.”
The blast, which struck close to midnight, came from a refrigerator van packed with explosives, reports said.
Many of those killed were children, Associated Press reported. Families gathered on the street on Sunday for news of missing loved ones.
The explosion caused a huge fire on the main street. Several buildings, including the popular al-Hadi Centre, were badly damaged.
Hussein Ali, a former Iraqi soldier, told AFP news agency that six workers at his family’s shop had been killed and their bodies so badly burned that they could not be identified.
Funerals have already begun.
Mr Abadi visited the scene in the morning, and was met by crowds who shouted “thief” and “dog”. Video posted online appeared to show his convoy being pelted with stones.
The BBC’s Ahmed Maher in Baghdad says many people are angry at the deteriorating security situation and the fact that IS managed to reach the heart of the capital.
IS still controls large swathes of territory in the country’s north and west, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
But the group has been under pressure in Iraq and in neighbouring Syria, where it has been targeted by government forces and US-backed rebels. 
A huge clean up operation is underway.
A list compiled by BBC News of the Islamic extremist group bombings since 2016: