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China’s other big business: Harvesting organs from prisoners while they’re still alive

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It has long been claimed that China performs organ removal from executed prisoners for transplants AFP/Getty Images

WARNING: Disturbing content

It’s a story straight out of a horror movie, but it’s been common practice in China for more than a decade.

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State-run hospitals have secretly harvested body parts from tens of thousands of prisoners, removing their vital organs while they are still alive.

Filmmaker Leon Lee has been following the researchers trying to bring down this inhumane and illegal industry. He says what they found was a form of evil we have not yet seen on this planet.

The Chinese government continues to illegally harvest organs from millions of its innocent prisoners despite saying it had ended the practice two years ago, a decade-long study has alleged.

Experts estimate between 60,000 and 100,000 organs are transplanted annually, and the majority of the hearts, livers and other organs are obtained by executing prisoners of conscience.

In all, approximately 1.5 million transplants have taken place at 712 liver and kidney transplant centres across China since 2000, with over 300,000 of those taking place at unregulated centres.

The report also found many surgeons had simply “lost count” of the quantity of transplants they had been asked to perform on a daily basis, with some having undertaken as many as six liver removals in one day.

The findings were published in an update to the 2009 book ‘Bloody Harvest’ and the 2014 book ‘The Slaughter’.

Falun Gong is a unique form of meditative practice established in 1992 and the Chinese government has fought to eradicate it for decades.

It has long been believed Falun Gong practitioners are being executed ‘on demand’ by the Chinese government, to compensate for the country’s shortage of organ donors.

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Most of the victims are thought to be members of the banned Falun Gong movement.

In 2006, reports emerged that the country’s leaders were executing members of the Falun Gong movement — a quasi-religious group with millions of followers, which is banned in China.

“The vast majority are Falun Gong practitioners,” said Lee. “There are also political dissidents and activists. They are taken without informing the family members.

“In a few cases, the family have accidentally got to see pictures of the body, and could see the surgery line. When they questioned the police, they said it had been suicide and they had done an autopsy.”

Matas and Kilgour, both Nobel Peace Prize nominees, have been speaking across the world about what’s happening, despite having had death threats. They want to see the names of those involved go on a list to face the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The report was researched and authored by former Canadian secretary of state David Kilgour, human rights lawyer David Matas and journalist Ethan Gutmann to expose widespread medical wrong-doing in the Asian country

China has denied the allegations, and even made a documentary of its own in retaliation to Lee’s Human Harvest. It claims all organ donors are volunteers, and that the practice will stop in August regardless. Not everyone is convinced.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, has been running an anti-corruption campaign, arresting those loyal to ex-leader Jiang Zemin, who were responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong.

Recent remarks from Xi’s top officials suggest the state is shifting its stance, pointing the finger at former security chief Zhou Yongkang for the organ harvesting.

It looks as though the billion-dollar industry is set to die, but it is far too late for the many victims of this abominable crime.

Find out more on the story and watch Leon Lee’s Human Harvest documentary on the SBS website.

China’s cultural revolution 50 years later

The Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents

The Chinese government officially state that 10,000 organ transplants take place in the country each year, but the trio believe this figure is far lower than the real quantity.

In a statement, Matas said: “We can easily surpass the official Chinese figure just by looking at the two or three biggest hospitals.

“That increased discrepancy leads us to conclude that there has been a far larger slaughter of practitioners of Falun Gong for their organs than we had originally estimated.

“The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents.”

Falun Gong practitioners were forced to undergo medical tests before their results were put on a database of living organ sources so quick organ matches could be made, the authors claim.

In response to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference: “I want to say that such stories about forced organ harvesting in China are imaginary and baseless — they don’t have any factual foundation.”

In 2014, China announced that it would end the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners and move to a voluntary donation-based system.

Last year Amnesty International confirmed China remains the world’s largest executioner of prisoners in the charity’s annual report.

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In 1887, New York State appointed three men to evaluate many possible ways to execute a man—which they did in disturbing detail.

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Government reports rarely make for stimulating reading. That’s because most government reports aren’t about throwing people off a cliff or clubbing them to death.

In 1887, the state of New York published what became popularly known as the Gerry Commission Report. This is one piece of bureaucratic prose that is neither dull nor boring. In fact, it may be among the most macabre and gruesome in the annals of American writing.

And it was important. The ramifications of this execution encyclopedia—officially titled “The Commission to Investigate and Report the Most Humane and Practical Method of Carrying into Effect the Sentence of Death in Capital Cases”—echo still in the courts and prisons of America.

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People implicated in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln await execution by hanging, 1865.

34 Ways to Die

Three men wrote the Gerry report. There was Elbridge Gerry of New York, grandson of another Elbridge Gerry who signed the Declaration of Independence and became the fifth vice president of the United States. There was Matthew Hale, grandson of Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War patriot who famously regretted he had but one life to give for his country. And there was Alfred Southwick, a Buffalo dentist who was the grandson of nobody particularly famous. In 1887, the New York State Legislature appointed this trio to a committee charged with examining all the ways New York State could put condemned felons to death and recommending the best way to do so.

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From colonial times, hanging had been the official form of lawful execution in New York State, but by the 1880s, there was a growing sentiment among New Yorkers that it was barbaric practice. Indeed, there were far too many newspaper stories of hangings gone bad: broken ropes requiring hurried do-overs, incorrectly measured drops resulting in decapitation, and men slowly strangling to death instead of instantly breaking their necks. Such goings-on might be acceptable on the western frontier, but New York prided itself on being the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated state in the Union. There must be a more forward-thinking way to execute a person, it presumed.

Marching orders in hand, the three men catalogued every conceivable method in which the state could dispatch a person from this mortal realm. Then they comprehensively examined the merits of each. The resulting Gerry Commission report is full of lively writing and lurid anecdotes.

In all, the commission evaluated 34 different methods of execution, listing them in alphabetical order. Some methods were described in a single paragraph, while others—which presumably the authors found more interesting—took several pages to illustrate. They are:

  1. Auto da fe (burning to death for heresy)
  2. Beating with clubs
  3. Beheading
  4. Blowing from a cannon
  5. Boiling (“Usually in hot water but sometimes in melted sulfur, lead or the like.”)
  6. Breaking on the wheel
  7. Burning
  8. Burying alive
  9. Crucifixion
  10. Decimation (a military punishment for mutineers)
  11. Dichotomy (cutting a person in half)
  12. Dismemberment (like dichotomy but even messier)
  13. Drowning
  14. Exposure to wild beasts
  15. Flaying
  16. Flogging
  17. Garrote (strangling with a cord)
  18. Guillotine
  19. Hanging
  20. Hari Kari
  21. Impalement
  22. Iron Maiden (A machine in the image of the Virgin Mary equipped with spring loaded knives)
  23. Peine forte et dure (placing heavy weights to stop breathing)
  24. Poisoning
  25. Pounding in a mortar (like it sounds)
  26. Precipitation (throwing from a cliff)
  27. Pressing to death
  28. Rack
  29. Running the gauntlet (being made to walk between two lines of men, each of whom has a club.)
  30. Shooting
  31. Stabbing
  32. Stoning
  33. Strangling
  34. Suffocation

The commission did not pull punches in their descriptions of capital punishment. In their analysis of beheading, they provide numerous examples from England, France, China, and Japan.

“(In Japan) the prisoner’s arms were pinioned behind his back. He raised a weak quavering voice to its highest pitch and screamed out, ‘My friends!’ Immediately an unearthly chorus of wails answered the poor wretch from his friends outside the walls. This was followed by ‘Syonara!’ All was ready; the word was given. Without raising his weapon more than a foot above the neck of the condemned, the executioner brought down his heavy blade with an audible thud.”

It gets more morbid. Under the heading of burning they relate:

“An extraordinary method of this punishment was known as ‘the illuminated body’ and invented by Sefi II, Shah of Persia. The victim was stretched on a slab and fastened to it. Innumerable little holes were bored all over his body. These were filled with oil, and all lighted together. The poor victim perished in the most unspeakable agony.”

Some methods are so bizarre that they seem almost risible, at least at a far remove of time and distance. The commission studied the method of execution they called “blowing from a cannon” based on its contemporary use in the East Indian army, whose soldiers were called “Sepoys.” Apparently, there were two ways for doing this. The report states that “the insurgent Sepoy, lashed to the cannon’s mouth, within two second of pulling the trigger, was blown in 10,000 atoms.” Alternatively, the “living body of the offender is thrust into the cannon, forming, as one might say, part of the charge.”

One of the oddest punishments explored was number 25, pounding in a mortar. In Proverbs 27:22, the Bible reads, “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.” This biblical passage evidently prompted a religious Gerry Commission member to consider “pounding in mortar” as a possible method of serving the death sentence. Presumably, this procedure would involve the condemned being placed in a large mortar or similar vessel and then pounded with an enormous pestle. This is much like what happens when one prepares a mint julep, except a condemned prisoner is substituted for the mint leaves.

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SLAIN hitman Hamad Assaad had many notorious acquaintances, including one-eyed Osman Haouchar who was detained last year after returning from the Syrian border where he told authorities he had been carrying out “humanitarian work”.

Haouchar, 27, was a pallbearer at Assaad’s funeral last Friday, and joined the mob of weeping mourners at Lakemba mosque.

Haouchar (middle) was a pallbearer at hitman Hamad Assaad’s funeral image www.crimefiles.net

The 29-year-old Hamad Assaad was gunned down by two black-clad shooters outside his Georges Hall home last Tuesday in front of his mother and 12-year-old nephew.

Haouchar, who lost his eye following an accident with a pistol, was released without charge in November after being questioned for more than four hours by Australian Federal Police.

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Osman Haouchar

When police raided his home shortly after his return, Houchar mocked: “I would like to thank the NSW Police Force for once again wasting Australian taxpayers’.

He had left Australia in the aftermath of another shooting — of a member of Sydney’s well-known Ibrahim family.

Hamad Assaad was executed at his Georges Hall home image www.crimefiles.net

Hamad Assaad

Haouchar’s presence at Assaad’s funeral adds to the web of figures that the contract killer associated with.

Assaad, 29, lived a dangerous life, full of violence and was in constant pursuit of money.

While there was a large crowd in attendance for his funeral, in reality few are mourning the loss of the cold-blooded assassin, who insiders say was “arrogant” and who believed he was “untouchable

Assad was a hitman linked to attempts on the lives of a number of crime families image www.crimefiles.net

Assad was a hitman linked to attempts on the lives of a number of crime families.

His is the third life lost since April as the Western Sydney crime world has erupted in a hail of bullets.

Contract killer Assaad is believed to be behind attempts on the lives of some of Sydney’s most notorious underworld figures and their relatives.

Police also believe he was responsible for the murder of kingpin Walid “Wally” Ahmad.

Assaad was shot multiple times and died on the driveway of his Georges Hall home.image www.crimefiles.net

Assaad was shot multiple times and died on the driveway of his Georges Hall home.

Assaad ripped off drug gangs as he tried to show he was different to other criminals — more dangerous, more money-hungry, more bloodthirsty.

But whereas old school kingpin Ahmad knew he was going to die and accepted it, Assaad didn’t think anyone had the “balls” to knock him.

And that was his undoing.

The 29-year-old assaad died in front of his 12-year-old nephew.image www.crimefiles.net

The 29-year-old Assad died in front of his 12-year-old nephew.

Police fear reprisal attacks in the wake of Assaad’s murder image www.crimefiles.net

Police fear reprisal attacks in the wake of Assaad’s murder

Man shot dead in Sydney driveway was targeted

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“Extremely huge” bribes involved in handing out procurement contracts

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The former manager of a Chinese state-owned coal-mining firm has been found guilty of accepting bribes and given a death sentence.

From 2005 to 2011 Yu Tieyi was in charge of supplies to Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co Ltd, during which time he was accused of taking bribes in exchange for handing out bloated procurement contracts, according to a Monday report from Xinhua. In delivering the guilty verdict, the court in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang granted Yu Tieyi “leniency” for good behaviour, by giving him a two-year reprieve before the sentence is carried out.

The verdict stated the amount of Yu’s bribes was “extremely huge” and the state had suffered “a great loss,” both warranting the most severe penalty — death sentence without reprieve.

However, the court showed leniency because Yu had behaved well during investigation, reported the crimes of his accomplice, and returned most of the bribes.

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has cracked down on deep-rooted corruption since 2013 – with dozens of senior officials investigated or jailed. Known by its Orwellian title, the “Central Discipline Inspection Commission” has netted a number of big fish, including Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) who in September 2014 came under investigation. Oilprice.com named a number of other prominent oil industry figures swept up by the state that year, including:

Bo Qiliang, PetroChina vice president in charge of CNPC’s overseas business, detained on or around May 13;

Zhang Benquan, general manager of CNPC’s Iran subsidiary, detained in April;

Yan Cunzhang, general manager of PetroChina’s foreign cooperation department, detained in April;

Li Hualin, former CNPC deputy general manager, reportedly a target of a Communist Party corruption probe;

Wang Daofu, former PetroChina chief geologist, under investigation along with Ran Xinquan, former general manager at PetroChina subsidiary Changqing Oilfield Co.;

Sun Weidong, former deputy manager of PetroChina subsidiary Yumen Oilfield Co., under investigation;

Yang Guoling, assistant general manager and senior accountant at Yumen Oilfield Co., indicted for corruption.

In March of this year the deputy general manager of Chinese coal conglomerate Kailuan Group came under investigation for “serious violations of discipline”, Reuters said.

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ISIS preparing to execute men allegedly caught spying for the US in Salah al-Din, Iraq image www.crimefiles.net

ISIS preparing to execute men allegedly caught spying for the US in Salah al-Din, Iraq

Paranoia within ISIL’s ranks has resulted in up to 30 members executed on suspicion of being spies.

The number of ISIL officials murdered by their own organisation have increased in recent months as the group begins to turn on itself in fear of infiltration by Syrian opposition, Kurdish militia and Iraqi military personnel.

The extremist group has found new and more tortuous methods of executing “spies” in the hopes of curbing the situation.

ISIL executioners have started to use a gruesome execution method where supposed traitors are drowned in vats of acid, AP reports.

An Iraqi intelligence officer reported up to 10 ISIL fighters had been executed in the city of Mosul in April on suspicion of being spies.

The extremist group has responded to the dissemination of secret information by planting suspected informants with false data and waiting to see how US and opposition forces respond.

Fight for Fallujah: Iraqi forces enter major ISIS stronghold

The Iraqi government says it has begun an assault on Fallujah, the first Iraqi city to fall to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), back in January 2014.
Few expect it to be an easy fight.

Government forces had been surrounding the city for months. And ISIL has had time to dig in and bolster its defences.

Fallujah’s recapture would build on a series of recent victories against ISIL.

And leave Mosul as the armed group’s only remaining foothold inside Iraq.

But will the army succeed? And what would a victory mean for embattled Prime Minister Haider al Abadi?

ISIL fighters are regularly stopped on the streets to have their phones inspected for suspicious numbers or quizzed on specific religious rituals. “Daesh (ISIL) is now concentrating on how to find informers because they have lost commanders that are hard to replace,” said a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Baghdad, AP reports.

The loss of key supply routes into Turkey have reportedly hurt the group financially and forced many fighters to start feeding information to coalition forces in order to balance declining salaries.

Instability in ISIL ranks has become so devastating the group has even turned its suspicions to civilians with suspected spies killed and hung in public places signs placed on their chests proclaiming their crime.

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Battle of Fallujah: Drone video of the battlefield during the pounding of ISIS positions

The battle for the liberation of Fallujah (May 23, 2016): Drone video of the battlefield during the pounding of ISIS positions by Iraqi artillery and rockets. The footage was released by a channel close to the Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades) || Die Schlacht um Falludscha: Drohnenaufnahmen des Schlachtfeldes während der Bekämpfung von IS Verteidigungsstellungen im Umfeld der Stadt.

The murders come as opposition forces push into the stronghold of Fallujah.

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IS has reportedly beheaded its own members for abandoning a post image www.crimefiles.net

THE Islamic State has beheaded 10 of its own fanatics in public after they abandoned their posts, it has been reported.

A Sharia court is said to have found the militants guilty of “high treason” after they fled a battlefront in the north western Iraq city of Mosul.

The troops deserted as clashes took place between the jihadis and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, ARA News claimed.

On Sunday they were beheaded in a public square in the town of Baa’j to the west of the city as hundreds of fighters looked on, it has been reported.

Media activist Abdullah al-Mallah told the news agency: “The militants were found guilty for evacuating a post at the battlefront, where clashes took place between them and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

 “The Sharia Court of Mosul decided to behead them in front of hundreds of ISIS members in order to prevent others from taking such a move without the permission of their military leadership.”

Six of those beheaded were identified as Syrian nationals, while the rest were Western jihadis, according to sources on the ground.

It is not the first time ISIS has used public beheadings as a warning to others to obey orders. Last month the “death cult” executed 73 militant fighters for fleeing from battles with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the Sinjar to the north of Baa’j.

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TERROR group ISIS have been given a taste of their own brutal medicine after a rival jihadist group in Syria released a brutal video showing the execution of 18 ISIS members.

The video, which runs for 19 minutes, shows members of Syrian rebel group Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) dressed in orange and standing menacingly over captured ISIS fighters, chained together with ankle and hand shackles, and dressed in black.

The colours are a sick role reversal on the usual ISIS murder videos, which typically showcase ISIS fighters wearing black while their victims are dressed in orange.

The production mimics many aspects of the ISIS group’s own execution videos, with similar sound effects and visuals.

In the video, Jaysh al-Islam fighters say the ISIS fighters are being executed in part as revenge for the deaths of at least three of the rebel group’s members, who were beheaded by ISIS.

The rebel group also refers to a major battle it fought with ISIS in February. It accuses ISIS of being allied with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against its fighters and those of other Islamist rebel groups.

The video includes starkly sectarian language, accusing ISIS of betraying Sunni Muslims and allying with Shiite Muslims and “Nusayris,” a derogatory terms for the Alawite sect to which Assad belongs.

Condemned  A mugshot of some of the executed ISIS soldiers image www.crimefiles.net

Condemned … A mugshot of some of the executed ISIS soldiers.

“This group claimed to be the mother state and made Takfir on other Muslims [accused them of apostasy], shed their blood and looted their properties and dignities,” one of the Army of Islam fighters says before the video cuts to the executions.

“This is the penalty for what they have committed. We also call on their fellows to repent,” he says.

It also contains lengthy “confessions” from ISIS fighters, who claim that they did not fight against the Syrian army while with ISIS.

The interrogations appear intended to show that ISIS has focused its fight on other opposition forces, rather than the Syrian government.

The last part of the video shows the 18 IS fighters in black, kneeling before Jaysh al-Islam executioners who shoot them in the head.

Role reversal  ISIS fighters were forced to “confess” before their death, a common feature of the group’s own video production image www.crimefiles.net

Role reversal … ISIS fighters were forced to “confess” before their death, a common feature of the group’s own video production. Picture: YouTube

The shots are filmed from multiple angles and include gruesome close-up shots.

The Islamic State group emerged in Syria in 2013, when it sought to merge with Al-Qaeda’s local affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

But Al-Nusra refused the merger, and IS has since been at odds with the group as well as Islamist and moderate rebels.

In the area around Damascus, its forces have battled Jaysh al-Islam and other rebel organisations.

Last week, a video emerged showing IS jihadists beheading 12 men from rival groups, among them at least three from Jaysh al-Islam and one from Jaysh al-Islam and one from Al-Nusra

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Beijing:  Chinese authorities have executed a former billionaire mining tycoon connected to the eldest son of retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, the man who became the focus of a high-profile corruption investigation, state media reported.

China's former public security minister, Zhou Yongkang.

Retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang

Last year China announced a probe into Zhou Yongkang, one of its most influential politicians of the last decade, in a case that has its roots in a power struggle in the ruling Communist Party. Liu was once a business associate of Zhou’s eldest son, Zhou Bin. State media have not explicitly linked Liu’s case to Zhou Yongkang, but reported that his rise coincided with Zhou’s time as Sichuan province’s party boss.

The party has already probed several of Zhou’s proteges, including Jiang Jiemin, who was the top regulator of state-owned enterprises.

China has embarked on legal reforms, including reducing the use of the death penalty, as public discontent mounts over wrongful punishment. Though wrongful executions have often stirred outrage, capital punishment itself has wide support from the public. Anti-death penalty campaigners say China uses the death penalty far more than other countries. The government does not release the number of executions it carries out, deeming it a state secret.

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New York cops ‘assassinated’ VIDEO REPORT NEWS HERE.

Police commissioner says the two officers ambushed and killed in their patrol car were targeted “for their uniform”.

New York: A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two New York police officers on Saturday (local time) and then killed himself, police said, with a social media post indicating it may have been in revenge for the police chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

The officers were killed without warning as they sat in their squad car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference, flanked by New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Although we’re still learning the details, it’s clear that this was an assassination, that these officers were shot execution style,” said Mr De Blasio.

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Two dead: Investigators examine the patrol car. Photo: AP

Mr Bratton identified the slain officers as Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32. He named the gunman as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, and said he took a shooter’s stance on the passenger side of the squad car, opening fire with a silver semi-automatic handgun. He then fled into a nearby subway station and died there from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

New York police have come under intense pressure in recent weeks, with protests erupting after a grand jury declined this month to charge a white police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during an arrest attempt in July in the borough of Staten Island.

Police union leaders had recently condemned Mr De Blasio for what they call insufficient support of the police, recently circulating a letter allowing officers to request that he not attend their funerals in the event of a line-of-duty death.

At the news conference on Saturday, the mayor tried to deflect focus on the recent tensions. He said it was “a time to think about these families” and not “a time for politics or political analysis”.

Mr De Blasio recalled the emotional scene with the families of the officers at the hospital. The 13-year-old son of Ramos, the mayor said gravely, “couldn’t comprehend what had happened to his father”.

“When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the foundation of our society,” Mr De Blasio said. “It is an attack on all of us.”

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Fatal shooting: Forensic officers look for evidence. Photo: Reuters

Media reported a possible link between Brinsley, who was black, and anger over the death of Garner, based on a social media posting.

A post on Saturday on the site Instagram that appeared to be by Brinsley showed a silver pistol and said: “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours . . .  Let’s Take 2 of Theirs.”

The post included hashtags for Eric Garner and for Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was killed in August by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury last month also declined to indict the officer in that case.

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A police officer keeps guard after the shooting. Photo: The New York Times

The two police-related deaths have sparked weeks of protests in Ferguson, New York and other cities, throwing a spotlight on police treatment of minorities.

Mr Bratton was asked whether there was a link between Brinsley and the protests, and said this was under investigation.

“There has been . . . a very strong anti-police, anti-criminal justice system, anti-societal set of initiatives under way and one of the unfortunate aspects sometimes is some people get caught up in these and go in directions they should not,” he said.

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Keeping watch: Police view the scene from the rooftop of a building. Photo: The New York Times

Mr Bratton added that police would investigate whether Brinsley had been part of protests in New York and in Atlanta, his last place of residence, over the Brown and Garner killings.

Brinsley had shot and seriously wounded his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore County, Maryland, early on Saturday before travelling to Brooklyn, where he had connections, the police commissioner said.

Mr Bratton said there was no indication that the killings were linked to terrorism.

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An administration official said US President Barack Obama had been briefed on the shootings and was monitoring the situation. In a statement, US Attorney-General Eric Holder called the killings “barbarism”.

Police set up a perimeter for several blocks around the street corner where the shooting occurred. Only residents were allowed to cross the police line and the subway line where the gunman shot himself was shut down.

Mike Isaac, a local resident, told CNN that Saturday’s shooting in Brooklyn took place in a largely African-American neighbourhood that had been tense since the protests over Garner’s death.

“The mood is pretty freaked out,” he said.

The protests around the country over police treatment of minorities, which began with Brown’s death, have continued sporadically.

Demonstrators shut down part of the Mall of America in Minnesota on Saturday, one of the largest shopping centres in the United States, a community group said.

Reuters, New York Times

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An Instagram post linked to gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who police named as the shooter of two officers. Underneath the photo ran the words: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours… let’s take 2 of theirs.”

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isis savage murders again warning two image ww.crimefiles.net

THE ISLAMIC British executioner who killed US photographer James Foley is believed to have beheaded US journalist Steven Sotloff in a new video released by the Islamic Savages

The video was released early this morning Australian time, showing a masked militant with a strong London accent apparently beheading a second American journalist and threatening to kill a British captive next.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State,” the militant says.

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New horror … a new video released by the Islamic State (IS) and identified by private terrorism monitor SITE Intelligence Group shows a masked militant holding a knife before beheading 31-year-old US freelance writer Steven Sotloff. Picture: AFP PHOTO / SITE INTELLIGENCE GROUP / HO

He then introduces a second captive, identified in a caption by name as a British citizen.

The Islamic State group has terrorised rivals and civilians alike with widely publicised brutality as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out on both sides of the Syrian-Iraq border.

In its rise to prominence over the past year, the extremist group has frequently published graphic photos and gruesome videos of bombings, beheadings and mass killings.

SECOND ‘MESSAGE’

The new video, shot with the same high production values as its predecessor, is entitled: “A second message to America.”

isis savage kills steven in pic image www.crimefiles.net

It opens with a clip of Mr Obama vowing to be “relentless” in his determination to protect US citizens from IS attacks.

Sotloff identifies himself in English and calmly explains that he is paying the price for Mr Obama’s policy. His killer also speaks in English.

Sotloff was kidnapped in northern Syria more than a year ago, on August 4, 2013. His family only publicly revealed his captivity last month, having previously requested a media blackout.

Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, appeared in a video released online last month that showed Foley’s beheading. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit against an arid Syrian landscape, Sotloff was threatened in that video with death unless the US stopped air strikes on the group in Iraq.

The previous video was released last month after US President Barack Obama ordered air strikes against the Islamic State.

It showed 40-year-old Foley’s death at the hands of a masked militant who then threatened Sotloff, a Miami-born freelance reporter who has written for Time magazine, Foreign Policy and other outlets.

US officials said they were working to confirm the authenticity of the latest video, and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington would be “sickened” if it proved genuine

FAMILY’S GRIEF

Sotloff’s mother Shirley Sotloff issued a video last week pleading with IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to release her son.

She addressed the leader of the Islamic State group by name and said her son was “an innocent journalist” who shouldn’t pay for US government actions in the Middle East over which he has no control.

A family spokesman said the Sotloff family “knows of this horrific tragedy and is grieving privately.”

The family has not yet been told whether the video is authentic, and do not plan to make any additional comments now.

In a statement, Foreign Policy magazine said it was saddened by news of his death and called him a “brave and talented journalist” whose reporting “showed a deep concern for the civilians caught in the middle of a brutal war.”

VIDEO RELEASE

In the video distributed Tuesday and titled “A Second Message to America,” Sotloff appears in a similar jumpsuit — modelled on that worn by Islamic prisoners being held at the controversial Guantánamo Bay detention centre.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism watchdog, first reported about the video’s existence. Unlike the footage of Foley’s beheading, which was widely shared on Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group, the video purporting to show Sotloff’s killing was not immediately posted online.

Before the video’s release, messages on websites frequented by jihadis warned of a “second message to America.”

However, it appeared that a separate faction of the Islamic State group posted it early to another account before it was supposed to be released.

A later Twitter message apologised for releasing it early and asked fellow jihadis not to “reproach” them.

Sotloff reported extensively on the Middle East, writing for Time and Foreign Policy magazines before being kidnapped by IS in Syria in 2013.image www.crimefiles.net

Kidnapped … Sotloff reported extensively on the Middle East, writing for Time and Foreign Policy magazines before being kidnapped by IS in Syria in 2013.

Third ‘message’ … British man David Cawthorne Haines appeared at the end of the video and was threatened with execution if the United States did not end air strikes. Source: Supplied

British man David Cawthorne Haines & isis slaughterman image www.crimefiles.net

BRITISH MAN THREATENED

At the end of the video, the British executioner threatens to kill a third captive, a Briton, David Cawthorne Haines. It was not immediately clear who Haines was. Officials with the British Foreign Office declined to immediately comment.

The killer specifically mentions the recent US air strikes around the Mosul dam and the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, making it unlikely that Sotloff was killed at the same time as Foley, as some analysts had speculated.

obama-responds to isis threat photo image www.crimefiles.net

AIR STRIKES TAKE EFFECT

Over the weekend, Iraqi government forces with help from U.S. air strikes broke Islamic State’s two-month siege of Amirli, a town where some 15,000 Shiite Turkmens had been stranded.

American air strikes against IS positions and vehicles continued in the wake of Foley’s death, and more than 120 have been carried out, most of them hitting targets around Iraq’s largest dam north of Mosul.

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