Crime Files Network

www.crimefiles.net/info.

Archive for the ‘RELIGIOUS CRIMES’ Category

THE father of Justine Damond, the Australian woman killed by a police officer in Minnesota, has called for justice for his daughter.

“We only ask that the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death,” an emotional John Ruszczyk said outside his family home in Freshwater on Sydney’s northern beaches this afternoon.

The bookshop owner and his family paid tribute to the former vet, with his family supporting him as he faced the media.

“We thought yesterday was our worst nightmare. But we awoke to the ugly truth, and it hurt even more.

“We went down to Freshy beach this morning, and saw the darkness change to light.” he said.

Ruszczyk paid tribute to his daughter, saying she touched many lives.

“Justine our daughter was so special to us, and to so many others,” he said. “Justine was a beacon to all of us,” he added.

ooo

Maryan Herffernan and John Ruszczyk (front), father of Justine Damond, with brother Jason Ruszczyk and Katarina Ruszczyk. Picture: Dylan Robinson

According to the Star Tribune, officer Mohamed Noor violated his department’s rules on the use of bodycams.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Policy and Procedure manual says that any use of force requires the camera’s activation. If things change quickly and the officer is too busy, he or she should activate the camera “as soon as it is safe to do so”.

The cameras record a 30-second video buffer, a so-called “lookback” that allows officers to capture whatever happened in the half-minute before it’s activated.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the actions of Noor, who shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, on Saturday night.

The BCA said in a statement that it will be the Police Department’s job to determine whether the officers officially violated the department’s body camera policy.

Ms Damond’s distraught fiance made an emotional appeal, saying his family is “utterly devastated”.

Don Damond, 50, said the family were “desperate for information” about her shooting — in which he also referred to as a “homicide.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner, after conducting an autopsy on Ms Damond, has issued a statement saying the fatal police shooting was a homicide. She died from a gunshot wound to her abdomen.

Police say officers were responding to a call about a possible assault late on Saturday when Ms Damond was killed. Authorities have released no details about what led to the shooting.

But a history of complaints made against the police officer who shot Ms Damond, including one incident which he is being sued for, has also emerged.

View image on Twitter

A man accused of torturing, raping and detaining women he lived with over more than two decades has been found guilty of a raft of charges.

The 52-year-old’s trial heard allegations that he physically and psychologically abused a succession of women he lived with on the NSW Central Coast between 1988 and 2014.

A jury found the man guilty of 10 rape charges and eight count of detaining for advantage in the NSW District Court on Friday afternoon. But the jury have not yet reached a verdict on three other counts of indecent assault

The man’s trial heard that he beat, assaulted and degraded six women, and one of their children, telling one partner: “I own you. I am the king and you have to obey me.”

The man, who was a member of the Jehovah’s Witness Church, was accused of raping women with household objects, forcing them to eat their dinners off the floor, and hog-tying them and placing them face down in a bath filled with water.

The court heard he allegedly flew into violent rages if the washing was not folded correctly, an ex-boyfriend was mentioned or a sandwich was not to his liking.

One woman was forced to sleep in the laundry, shave her hair and to stay up all night.

“I’m your king. You are my slave you’re never going anywhere. You’ll never escape me,” he allegedly told another woman after raping her.

Another female partner gave evidence in court that the man pummelled her with a piece of wood when she was pregnant.

“Today’s my birthday … I want my son to be born on my birthday,” the man said.

The court heard that he threw bread knives at the woman and beat her unconscious after they bumped into her ex-boyfriend while at the RSL.

“I should have been your first boyfriend. You’re a slut. You should have told me you had someone else before me,” he allegedly said.

I’m your king. You are my slave you’re never going anywhere.

At one stage, the court heard, two of the man’s partners were living in the same house with him. He allegedly owned the only keys to the house, kept the door deadlocked and forbid the women from leaving the house together. He was also accused of forcing them to sexually touch each other.

Crown prosecutor Brett Hatfield told the court that the man forged relationships with young women over time and intended to “frighten such females and to render them powerless” so he could control and dominate them as he pleased.

www.club-libido.com

www.clublibido.com.au

www.mylove=au.com

 

ghost sniper has reportedly killed three Islamic State commanders in Sirte, Libya image www.crimefiles.net

A ghost sniper has reportedly killed three Islamic State commanders in Sirte, Libya.

HE IS the mystery gunman credited with taking down three Islamic State leaders in just 10 days.

But it is not known who the Libyan sniper is, if they’re acting alone, or who they are operating under.

What is known is that rumours of an anti-IS sniper are running rife in the new IS “caliphate” of Sirte, sparking panic and fear among terror group members in the Libyan city.

The most recent sniper casualty was Abdullah Hamad Al-Ansari, an IS commander from the southern Libyan city of Obari, who was shot leaving a mosque on January 23.

Hamad Abdel Hady, a Sudanese national working for the newly-established Sharia court, was also taken down by a sniper’s bullet outside a hospital days earlier, The Libya Prospect reported.

Abu Mohammed Dernawi, who was killed on January 19 near his home in the city, was the second IS leader to be taken down.

Rumours continue to grow that a shooter is systematically targeting IS commanders one-by-one, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.

However, none of the deaths have been officially confirmed and further information is difficult to verify.

According to local media reports, IS militants carried out a series of arrests and executions in a desperate bid to catch the sniper.

One witness told al-Wasat website: “A state of terror prevailed among the ISIL ranks after his death. They randomly shot in the air to scare inhabitants, while searching for the sniper.”

LIFE UNDER IS RULE

Sirte, claimed by IS more than a year ago, is the first such place to be governed by militants outside of the stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.

The city is strategic given its proximity to both Europe and oil bases.

Not only have radio stations stopped playing music here, but other forbidden things have either been confiscated, destroyed, or replaced as militants extend their influence across the region.

Floggings have taken place along with public beheadings, while IS billboards display propaganda across the city.

However, the hard line rule has reportedly not sat well with locals with speculation the sniper has gained some support among disgruntled locals.

mystery sniper-image www.crimefiles.net

Little is known about the identity surrounding the mystery sniper.

SNIPER IDENTITY

Little is known about the confirmed identity of the sniper, or even if it is indeed a man or woman, or a group of marksmen.

Some reports claim the sniper is a man and is a militiaman from the neighbouring city of Misrata.

Other rumours suggest the sniper “honed his skills in Libya’s uprising against Colonel Gaddafi”, according to The Telegraph.

Local reports claim the sniper could be an American special forces soldier or a Libyan hero who wants to free the city’s residents from IS repression.

ooo

hs-sig-red-on-white

faceless stateless godless cartoon image www.crimefiles.net
According to a BBC article the criminals known as IS seek to eradicate obstacles to restoring their interpretation of God’s rule on Earth and to defend the Muslim community, or umma, against infidels and apostates. Yet they have been denounced by the Islamic Community so they should not be labelled Islamic.

They also seem contradictory because they perform in the most ungodly manner with their brutality and uncaring commitment to life as we have seen once again, this time in France. To say they are terrorists suggests the unofficial or unauthorised use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims but yet they profess to be in pursuit of religious aims so even this term fails to describe them.

Just like Hitler they seem to suggest they are and have superiority and hence can take anyone’s life. We cannot call them a state because a state is a nation or territory considered as an organised political community under one government. They thus have no claim to be Islamic or a State and by their behaviour can only be defined as criminals against humanity. A united call to action through the UN should eradicate these criminals as everyone faces a threat. Targeting their money supply and weapons should be the first task.

Words from ALA not a threat

This latest Muslim atrocity in Paris should be a wake-up call to Europe and Australia that with the huge influx of Middle East Muslim asylum seekers the pool has dramatically increased for the so-called minority of terrorists and extremists to slip through the system. This Muslim terrorist attack in Paris has also indirectly just increased the pool of Australians that will now support the new Islam-critical political party the Australian Liberty Alliance. This Australian is far more afraid of the “minority” of Muslim extremists, the real racists with their Kalashnikovs and suicide vests, than the “minority” of supporters of the ALA, Reclaim Australia, Fred Nile or Pauline Hansons with mere “words” of warning.

10-4-15-HCUK-INTL-email
hs-sig-red-on-white

isis members being executed image www.crimefiles.net

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

Who are ISIS?

ooo

hs-sig-red-on-white

VIEW YOU TUBE BLOODBATH TUNISIA VIDEOS HERE. THE SLAUGHTER OF UNARMED INNOCENTS ON THE BEACH AT TUNISIA BY ISIS COWARD Seifeddine Yacoubi

Seifeddine Rezgui

Terror in Tunisia

Dozens of tourists have died in a surprise gun attack in the Tunisian resort town of Sousse.

Thirty-seven people were killed when a gunman leapt from a speedboat and stormed a tourist beach in Tunisia on Friday, spraying sunbathers with bullets.

The attack happened at the popular holiday resort of El Kantaoui, north of Sousse.

TUNISIA BLOODBATH IMAGES-2  www.crimefiles.net

The gunman reportedly laughed and joked as he selected victims.

It came on a day when terrorists struck on three continents. In France, a lone killer decapitated a man at a liquid gas factory and flew a jihadist flag. In Kuwait, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque that killed 27 and injured hundreds.

Witnesses said the gunman was laughing and joking as he selected his victims, and that he was specifically targeting British, French and other tourists.

German, Belgian and Irish tourists were among the dead and 36 injured after the gunman landed on the beach from a small rubber-hulled speedboat before spraying bullets into the crowds of sunbathers.

TUNISIA BLOODBATH IMAGES  www.crimefiles.net

The cowardly killer has been identified as local student Seifeddine Yacoubi

Witnesses said the gunman was laughing and joking as he selected his victims, and that he was specifically targeting British, French and other tourists.

German, Belgian and Irish tourists were among the dead and 36 injured after the gunman landed on the beach from a small rubber-hulled speedboat before spraying bullets into the crowds of sunbathers.

TUNISIA BLOODBATH IMAGES-3  www.crimefiles.net

A gunman killed 37 people at a holiday resort in Tunisia.

“I ran back, past bodies on the beach to reach our hotel. It was chaos – there was a body in the hotel pool and it was just full of blood.”

The assassin was named locally as Seifeddine Yacoubi, 23, an aviation student from the Tunisian city of Kairouan. The attack was the third of the day by militants believed to be loyal to or inspired by Islamic State.

In the morning, a man, named as Yassin Salhi, tried to detonate gas canisters at an industrial gas factory near Lyon in south-east France. A decapitated head, apparently that of his boss at the delivery firm where he worked, was found with Arabic writing and a black Isil-linked flag was attached to a fence nearby.

TUNISIA BLOODBATH IMAGES-4  www.crimefiles.net

The bloodstained belongings of a tourist on the sand. Photo: AFP

Salhi was said to have had no criminal record but to have been monitored for signs of “radicalisation”.

Shortly afterwards, in Kuwait, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest in a Shia mosque packed with worshippers for Friday noon prayers.

The attack, which killed at least 27 people and injured more than 200, was claimed by the “Najd Province of Islamic State”, a new branch of the terrorist group which sent suicide bombers into two Shia mosques in neighbouring Saudi Arabia last month. Najd is in central Saudi Arabia.

TUNISIA BLOODBATH IMAGES-5  www.crimefiles.net

Tourists console each other following a shooting attack in the Tunisia resort town of Sousse.

It is not clear whether the three attacks were connected or coordinated. But Islamic State’s chief spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, issued a tape warning on Tuesday that Ramadan, the Muslim holy fasting month which began last week, would bring “calamity for the kuffars [infidels]”. There were also massacres by IS jihadists in the Syrian town of Kobane, and by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab movement in Somalia.

World leaders were united in outrage and promised further action to coordinate a response. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, summoned an immediate meeting of the Cobra emergency response committee.

“This is a threat that faces all of us,” he said, at the end of the European Council summit in Brussels. “These events have taken place today in Tunisia and in France but they can happen anywhere. We all face this threat.”

He said there should be a focus on improving counter-terrorism co-operation, but that taking on the radicalisation of young people was perhaps “more important”. He added: “We have to combat it with everything we have.”

ooo

In the United States, President Barack Obama was briefed before addressing a memorial service for the victims of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, last week. “We stand with these nations as they respond to attacks on their soil today,” the White House said.

Tunisia has become a key target for jihadist attacks. It is the one country that has undergone a relatively successful transition to democracy following the Arab Spring, and remained open to Western values. But at the same time it has contributed more foreign jihadists to the war in Syria than anywhere else.

In March, 21 people were killed in an attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis, all of them tourists apart from a security officer and a cleaning lady.

The resort complex that was the scene of Friday’s attack contains several hotels popular with British tour companies including Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook.

After shooting his way through the beach, the attacker made his way towards the hotels behind, before he was eventually shot dead by police. His body was photographed in the street, with a Kalashnikov assault rifle lying next to him.

There was confusion last night over the arrest of a man who was photographed being led away by armed police while a woman tried to assault him. It was not clear if he was connected to the attack.

In the wake of the attack, sun-loungers were used as makeshift stretchers to carry the wounded to ambulances.

Survivors told how they were hit while others were in hysterics as their wounded partners were taken to hospital. Frightened tourists barricaded themselves into their hotel rooms and a pregnant woman went into labour in the confusion.

Olivia Leathley, 24, heard “loud bangs” and saw from her hotel room that people were fleeing the beach, as holiday company representatives blew whistles.

“All of a sudden, from the level just below the lobby there was a huge sound of loads of machinegun fire and one of the reps just said ‘run’. I was crying and we heard the machinegun fire and it was so loud and it seemed like it was just behind us, it seemed so close.”

Ellie Makin, from Ripon in the UK, was on the right-hand edge of her hotel’s section of beach. “All I saw was a gun and an umbrella being dropped,” she told ITV. “Then he started firing to the right hand side of us. If he had fired to the left I don’t know what would have happened, but we were very lucky.”

Tomas O Riordain, from Cork, was in a neighbouring hotel. “It was all over three or four minutes after it started,” he told RTE radio, saying he had two daughters at the beach and “just had to wait and see if they came back”. It was the second time he had been caught up in a terror attack, as he was in Liverpool Street during the London 7/7 bombings.

The Telegraph, London

OOO

Henry Sapiecha

hs-sig-red-on-white

Jury sentences Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by a U.S. jury on Friday for helping carry out the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded 264 others in the crowds at the race’s finish line.

After deliberating for 15 hours, the federal jury chose death by lethal injection for Tsarnaev, 21, over its only other option: life in prison without possibility of release.

The same jury found Tsarnaev guilty last month of placing a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs on April 15, 2013, as well as fatally shooting a policeman. The bombing was one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Tsarnaev, dressed in a dark sport coat and light-colored shirt, stood quietly as the sentence was read, remaining expressionless as he had throughout most of the trial.

During 10 weeks of testimony, jurors heard from about 150 witnesses, including people whose legs were torn off by the shrapnel-filled bombs. William Richard, the father of bombing victim Martin Richard, described the decision to leave his 8-year-old son to die of his wounds so that he could save the life of his daughter, Jane, who lost a leg but survived.

Prosecutors described Tsarnaev, who is an ethnic Chechen, as an adherent of al Qaeda’s militant Islamist views who carried out the attack as an act of retribution for U.S. military campaigns in Muslim-majority countries.

The jury’s decision does not mean Tsarnaev will face imminent death. Defense attorneys are likely to appeal the sentence, a process that can stretch out for many years.

“I know that there is still a long road ahead,” said survivor Karen Brassard, whose left leg was badly injured in the attack. “There are going to be many, many dates ahead. But today we can take a breath, and actually breathe again,” she told reporters.

An appeal could focus on a number of issues, including the court’s denial of a defense plea to move the trial out of Boston or refusal to challenge the graphic photos and videos that the jury saw of the bombs’ detonation and the severe wounds they inflicted.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in this handout photo presented as evidence by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston

“Prosecutors do have a burden of proof to show that people died, but the appeal argument would be that there is a balance to be struck and they went over that line,” said David Weinstein, an attorney in private practice who in prior jobs as a state and federal prosecutor brought death-penalty cases.

DEATH PENALTY CONTROVERSIAL IN MASSACHUSETTS

The death penalty remains highly controversial in Massachusetts, which has not put anyone to death in almost 70 years and which abolished capital punishment for state crimes in 1984. Tsarnaev was tried under federal law, which allows for lethal injection as a punishment.

Polls had shown that a majority of Boston-area residents opposed executing Tsarnaev.

Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev face image www.crimefiles.net

Opponents included Martin Richard’s parents, who said in an open letter to the Justice Department last month that they wanted Tsarnaev to face life in prison rather getting a death sentence that would likely lead to years of appeals, keep the defendant in the spotlight and prevent them from trying to rebuild their lives.

Just three of the 74 people sentenced to death in the United States for federal crimes since 1988 have been executed. The first was Timothy McVeigh, put to death in June 2001 for killing 168 people in his 1995 attack on the federal government office building in Oklahoma City.

Other people convicted of attacks labeled as terrorist by the U.S. government, including 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe-bomber Richard Reid, drew life prison sentences.

Prosecutors focused heavily on Tsarnaev’s turn to radical Islamist views, showing the jury copies of the al Qaeda magazine article that demonstrated how to build a pressure-cooker bomb.

“The defendant claimed to be acting on behalf of all Muslims. This was not a religious crime,” said Carmen Ortiz, the top federal prosecutor in Boston. “It was a political crime designed to intimidate and coerce the United States.”

Tsarnaev’s attorneys admitted his involvement in the attack from the start of the trial, but argued that he was a junior partner in a scheme hatched and run by his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan. Tamerlan died after a gunfight with police four days after the bombing, which ended when Dzhokhar ran him over with a stolen car.

A Roman Catholic nun who is a prominent opponent of the death penalty, Sister Helen Prejean, testified for the defense she had met with Tsarnaev and he told her “no one deserves to suffer” as his victims had. Prejean, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said she believed he was “genuinely sorry” for his actions.

But the jury found Tsarnaev deserved execution for six of the 17 capital charges of which he was found guilty. Those counts were the ones tied to the bomb that he personally placed at the marathon finish line, which killed Richard and 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu.

They did not find him deserving of death for the crimes tied to the bomb placed by his brother, which killed 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, or for the fatal shooting of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.

Tsarnaev’s attorney’s left the courthouse without commenting to reporters.

Tsarnaev himself was impassive throughout the trial, and did not testify in his own defense. He showed emotion only once, when his 64-year-old aunt, Patimat Suleimanova, who had traveled from Russia to testify, broke down in tears on the witness stand upon seeing her nephew. She was unable to compose herself and was excused.

Judy Clarke, defense attorney for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, walks out of the federal courthouse in Boston

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his defense attorney Judy Clarke (2nd R) are shown in a courtroom sketch after he is sentenced at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts May 15, 2015.
Reuters/Jane Flavell Collins
ooo
hs-sig-red-on-white

 

 

Garissa: hostages reportedly in hiding

Kenya: Faculty members and students hide as armed police confront the masked gunmen who stormed the campus early on Thursday, says Robert Alai Onyango, a Kenyan blogger who claims to be speaking to hostages at Garissa University.

Garissa, Kenya:  Kenya’s Interior Ministry said at least 147 students were killed in an attack led by al-Shabaab Islamists on a university in eastern Kenya.

Troops and police killed four members of the militant Islamist group and are rescuing the remaining hostages, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said on television.

Kenyan officials have accounted for 518 of 850 students on the campus, about 145 kilometres from Somalia, where the group, linked to al-Qaeda, is based.

A Kenya Defence Force soldier runs for cover near the perimeter wall of Garissa University College.

A Kenya Defence Force soldier runs for cover near the perimeter wall of Garissa University College. Photo: Reuters

“This is the saddest attack that has happened in the history of Kenya,” Nkaissery said.
Advertisement

Somalia’s al-Shabab Islamist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had released Muslims while killing some Christians and taking many others hostage inside.

“We sorted people out and released the Muslims,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabab’s military operations spokesman, said.
Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Garissa University College during the attack. It’s unknown how many students have been taken hostage.

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Garissa University College during the attack. It's unknown how many students have been taken hostage.

Kenyan police officers take cover outside the Garissa University College during the attack. It’s unknown how many students have been taken hostage. Photo: AP

“There are many dead bodies of Christians inside the building. We are also holding many Christians alive. Fighting still goes on inside the college.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the police to speed up the recruitment of police officers to help battle the Somali-based militants after the attack Thursday. Al-Shabaab has escalated the number and deadliness of attacks since 2011 when Kenya sent troops to fight them in Somalia. The group killed 67 people in a multi-day siege of a popular mall in Nairobi, the capital, in 2013.

“My government has undertaken appropriate deployment to the affected area and is fully in charge of the situation,” Kenyatta said. “This is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we continue to confront and defeat our enemies.”
Kenya Defence Force soldiers patrol the perimeter wall where the Islamists are holding hostages and executing Christians at a campus in Garissa.

Kenya Defence Force soldiers patrol the perimeter wall where the Islamists are holding hostages and executing Christians at a campus in Garissa.

Kenya Defence Force soldiers patrol the perimeter wall where the Islamists are holding hostages and executing Christians at a campus in Garissa. Photo: Reuters

The militants may have chosen the university as a “soft target, an area with a big population,” Emmanuel Kisiangani, a Nairobi-based senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said by phone.

“Al-Shabaab usually come up with attacks when they are perceived to be at their weakest point. I think they did this as part of the agenda to assert themselves,” he said.

The death toll in a university attack in northeastern Kenya rose to at least 147 on Thursday, with another 79 wounded, but the siege was almost over, Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said.
Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they were taking shelter from an attack by Islamist gunmen in Garissa, Kenya.

Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they were taking shelter from an attack by Islamist gunmen in Garissa, Kenya.

Students of the Garissa University College get out of a house where they were taking shelter from an attack by Islamist gunmen in Garissa, Kenya. Photo: AP

Nkaissery cautioned that “the operation is ongoing, anything can happen.”

At the same press conference in Garissa, Kenyan Police Chief Joseph Boinet said the east African country has introduced a dusk to dawn (6.30pm – 6.30am) curfew for four regions near Somalia border as a security precaution.

Some students were trapped inside the college campus, the Centre said. The wounded were all taken to hospital, with four in a critical condition. Most had gunshot wounds.
Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard and siege was coming to an end as Kenyan forces moved into the Garissa University College.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard and siege was coming to an end as Kenyan forces moved into the Garissa University College.

Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard and siege was coming to an end as Kenyan forces moved into the Garissa University College. Photo: Google Maps

“We have 49 casualties so far, all with bullet and (shrapnel) wounds,” said a doctor at Garissa hospital.

Kenyan troops have killed two gunmen from a gang of Somalian Al-Shabab Islamist fighters who stormed a university.

“Two of the terrorists have been killed and the security forces are doing their best to free the hostages,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said earlier, with “security agencies intensifying the rescue operation”.
A Kenya Defense Force soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where Islamists are holding hostages on a campus in Garissa.

A Kenya Defense Force soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where Islamists are holding hostages on a campus in Garissa.

A Kenya Defense Force soldier stops a boy from moving in the direction where Islamists are holding hostages on a campus in Garissa. Photo: Reuters

Heavy gunfire and shouts from inside the building where hostages were believed to be held were heard by journalists with the Kenyan troops, as soldiers continued to battle the insurgents as darkness fell, over 12 hours after the attack began.

Soldiers told a journalist at the scene that they had heard screaming from inside the building, including shouts of “Allah hu Akbar”, or “God is the greatest” in Arabic.

One suspected gunman was earlier arrested as he tried to flee the campus.
Medics help an injured person at Kenyatta national Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, after being airlifted from Garissa.

Medics help an injured person at Kenyatta national Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, after being airlifted from Garissa.

Medics help an injured person at Kenyatta national Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, after being airlifted from Garissa. Photo: AP

Police and soldiers surrounded and sealed off the university and were attempting to flush out the gunmen, Police Chief Boinet said in a statement.

“The attackers shot indiscriminately while inside the university compound,” Mr Boinet said, adding that police had been guarding the university’s four hostels at the time.

One student who fled, Njeri Maina, said three assailants entered the university’s main accommodation building carrying assault rifles and grenades.
Students gather and watch from a distance outside the Garissa University College after an attack by Islamist gunmen.

Students gather and watch from a distance outside the Garissa University College after an attack by Islamist gunmen.

Students gather and watch from a distance outside the Garissa University College after an attack by Islamist gunmen. Photo: AP

They shouted in Arabic, then Swahili, telling everybody to lie down before they opened fire, she said by phone.

“I managed to lock myself in a nearby toilet and leave the building through the back entrance after security forces started engaging the attackers,” Maina said.

A policewoman at the scene said two security guards at the campus had been killed and many students remained trapped inside the campus in Garissa, nearly 400 kilometres east of Nairobi.
Local residents donate blood at Garissa hospital after the attack.

Local residents donate blood at Garissa hospital after the attack.

Local residents donate blood at Garissa hospital after the attack. Photo: AP

“Two guards who were manning the gate at the university have been killed,” she said. “We can hear gunshots from inside the compound but at this point we can’t tell who is shooting at who or what.”

A Kenyan blogger and student, Robert Alai, based in Nairobi, told Fairfax Media he had spoken by phone to three teacher friends who were hiding on the campus. “The attackers were shooting at anyone in sight, inside the college,” he said.

Mr Alai said the attackers may also have used grenades. “Most of the people I’ve spoken to are scared,” he said.
A Kenya Defence Forces tank arrives at Garissa University College.

A Kenya Defence Forces tank arrives at Garissa University College.

A Kenya Defence Forces tank arrives at Garissa University College. Photo: AP

“We heard some gunshots and we were sleeping so it was around five and guys started jumping up and down running for their lives,” an unnamed student said.

Witnesses recount horror of attack

An explosion followed by gunfire woke students at Garissa’s Moi University in Kenya before dawn on Thursday morning.

At around 5:30 am an unknown number of masked gunmen began an assault by tossing explosives at the main gate before storming a nearby girl’s hostel.

More than 800 students attend the university and sleep in dormitories on the sprawling campus on the outskirts of the town in northeast Kenya.

“We were sleeping when we heard a loud explosion that was followed by gunshots and everyone started running for safety,” said student Japhet Mwala.

“There are those who were not able to leave the hostels where the gunmen headed and started firing, I am lucky to be alive because I jumped through the fence with other students,” said Mwala.

Another student, Katherine – who did not want to give her full name – said that when she first heard the explosion and gunfire, “we thought that it was power problems”.

But soon the horror of being caught up in the latest attack by the Al-Qaeda aligned militants from neighbouring Somalia dawned on her.

‘We thought warning was April Fool’

“We started running away,” she said. Katherine and other students fled their hostels and ran to nearby fields where they hid as the gunfire continued.

Rosalind Mugambi also fled to the fields with other students and “bullets following us”. She said some of her friends were injured by the gunfire.

“We saw some blood stains and they were shot,” she said.

Students said that notices had been posted around the campus warning that an attack was possible.

“There were reports of an attack the whole week and even the university administration was informed,” said Nicholas Mutuku.

“But it is like everyone didn’t take it seriously, because it was not the first time such reports were emerging.”

Some who saw the warning notices a day ahead of the attack thought they were an April Fool’s prank.

“Yesterday there were those notices, but as it was April 1, we just thought that it was fooling,” said Katherine.

Christians separated from Muslims

Al-Shabaab, which seeks to impose its own harsh variant of sharia law, had separated Muslims from Christians in some of its previous raids in Kenya, notably late last year in attacks on a bus and at a quarry.

Its repeated raids, together with attacks on churches by home-grown Islamist groups, have in recent years strained the historically cordial relations between Kenya’s Muslim and Christian communities.

Thursday’s attack also marked a setback in a drive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to persuade foreigners the country is safe to visit.

On Wednesday, he urged Kenyans abroad to help woo tourists back despite the wave of militant violence, criticising a warning from Australia of a possible attack in Nairobi and an advisory from Britain urging its citizens to avoid most coastal resorts.

Kenyatta was due to address the nation about the Garissa attack later on Thursday.

Grace Kai, a student at the Garissa Teachers Training College near the university, said there had been warnings that an attack in the town could be imminent.

“Some strangers had been spotted in Garissa town and were suspected to be terrorists,” she said.

“Then on Monday our college principal told us … that strangers had been spotted in our college … On Tuesday we were released to go home, and our college closed, but the campus remained in session, and now they have been attacked.”

Al-Shabaab had previously carried out attacks in Garissa, which lies around 200 kilometres from the porous Somali border.

Many Kenyans living in the crime-ridden frontier regions blame the government for not doing enough to protect its citizens from the militants.

Having declared it would punish Kenya for sending troops into Somalia to fight it alongside African Union peacekeepers, it was also responsible for a deadly attack in 2013 on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.

Reuters, AP, AFP

ooo

hs-sig-red-on-white

 

Nigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria.

Nigerien soldiers hold up a Boko Haram flag that they had seized in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria. Photo: Reuters

Damasak, Nigeria: Soldiers from Niger and Chad who liberated the Nigerian town of Damasak from Boko Haram militants have discovered the bodies of at least 70 people scattered under a bridge, a witness said.

In what appeared to be an execution site for the Islamist group, the bodies were strewn beneath the concrete bridge on one of the main roads leading out of the town.

The bodies were partially mummified by the dry desert air, suggesting that the killings had taken place some time ago.

Weapons captured from Boko Haram by Chadian and Nigerien soldiers are seen in the recently retaken town of Damasak.

Weapons captured from Boko Haram by Chadian and Nigerien soldiers are seen in the recently retaken town of Damasak. Photo: Reuters

Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in a six-year insurgency aimed at establishing an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria. Damasak was seized by the Islamist group in November but recaptured by troops from Niger and Chad on Saturday as part of a multinational effort to wipe out the militants.
Advertisement

Chadian soldiers, who said the bodies were discovered on Thursday, spoke of at least 100 corpses in the area around the dry river bed. A witness was able to count at least 70.

A trail of blackened blood was visible along the side of the bridge facing the bodies, suggesting they had been thrown off the side after being killed. Among the dead was the imam of the town.

A signpost painted by Boko Haram is seen in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, near where the massacre of its residents occurred.

A signpost painted by Boko Haram is seen in the recently retaken town of Damasak, Nigeria, near where the massacre of its residents occurred. Photo: Reuters

All but around 50 of the town’s residents had fled by the time Damasak was recaptured. Those who remained were mostly too old or too sick to leave. The witness said a strong smell of decomposition in many parts of town suggested there could be more bodies concealed there.

Chad’s military spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said the Chadians had asked Nigeria’s military to occupy the town, which lies close to the border with Niger, and would remain there until Nigerian troops arrived.

The regional offensive launched this year with Chad, Niger and Cameroon comes as Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy, prepares to hold presidential elections on March 28.

Nigerian troops cross the Kaffin-Hausa bridge, which earlier had been destroyed by terrorists and reconstructed by military engineers at Damasak in north-eastern Nigeria Borno State.

Nigerian troops cross the Kaffin-Hausa bridge, which earlier had been destroyed by terrorists and reconstructed by military engineers at Damasak in north-eastern Nigeria Borno State. Photo: AFP

At the start of this year, Boko Haram controlled around 20 local government areas, a territory the size of Belgium. With the help of its foreign allies, Nigeria’s army said on Tuesday it had pushed the rebels out of all but three districts.

On Thursday, however, two security sources said that Boko Haram had killed at least 10 people in the town of Gamburu, on the border with Cameroon, demonstrating it can still attack civilians despite being forced into retreat.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the insurgency. His challenger Muhammadu Buhari has campaigned on a reputation for toughness gained when he was military ruler of Nigeria in the 1980s.

A Chadian soldier raises his automatic weapon to have his picture taken by another soldier  in the Nigerian city of Damasak.

A Chadian soldier raises his automatic weapon to have his picture taken by another soldier in the Nigerian city of Damasak. Photo: AP

ooo

hs-sig-red-on-white

 

The stench of the Taliban raises its ugly head again

ooo

TALIBAN insurgents have killed at least 141 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack.

Chief military spokesman General Asim Bajwa said 132 students and nine staff were killed in an eight-hour onslaught at the army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School and six Taliban gunmen in government paramilitary uniforms went from classroom to classroom shooting children, some as young as 12.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (14)

Family grief … The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, a teacher at the school. Picture: AP

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, calling it revenge for a major military offensive in the region.

The militants had been ordered to shoot older students, a Taliban spokesman said.

ATTACK: Taliban bomb blast near US Embassy and Kabul Supreme Court

REVENGE: Afghan mum Reza Gul kills 25 Taliban after her son being killed

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (19)

Massacre … Gunmen reportedly went from classroom to classroom shooting students. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (21)

Tragic … The wounded start arriving at a hospital for treatment. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A teenage survivor described how he played dead to escape the militants as they rampaged through the school, hunting for people to kill.

Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates ducked below their desks when four gunmen burst into their room.

“I saw a pair of big black boots coming towards me. This guy was probably hunting for students hiding beneath the benches,” Khan told AFP from the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.

Khan decided to play dead after being shot in both legs, stuffing his tie into his mouth to stifle his screams.

“The man with big boots kept on looking for students and pumping bullets into their bodies. I lay as still as I could and closed my eyes, waiting to get shot again,” he said.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (12)

Bloodshed … an injured student receives treatment at a local hospital after the Taliban attack that least 141 people dead. Picture: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad

Distraught parents thronged the city’s Lady Reading Hospital in the wake of the attack, weeping uncontrollably as children’s bodies arrived, their school uniforms drenched in blood.

Irshadah Bibi, 40, whose 12-year-old son was among the dead, beat her face in grief, throwing herself against an ambulance.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (4)

Injured … Pakistani volunteers help carry injured students into hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“O God, why did you snatch away my son? What is the sin of my child and all these children?” she wept.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for the army’s continuing operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal area close to Peshawar.

“We are doing this because we want them to feel the pain of how terrible it is when your loved ones are killed,” said TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani.

“We are taking this step so that their families should mourn as ours are mourning.”

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (2)

Heartbreaking … The bodies of those killed are already being retrieved from hospitals. AP/Mohammad Sajjad

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (8)

Hospitals fill with injured … Those not killed receive treatment for their wounds. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Police officials said the attack ended around 6.30pm local time, some eight hours after it began, with all six militants dead.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the attack as a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

“These were my children. This is my loss. This is the nation’s loss,” he said.

Sharif vowed that the country would not be cowed by the violence and that the military would continue with an aggressive operation launched in June in the North Waziristan tribal area to rout militants.

“The fight will continue. No one should have any doubt about it,” Sharif said.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack and promised America will stand by Pakistan in its struggle against violent extremism.

“By targeting students and teachers in this heinous attack, terrorists have once again shown their depravity,” he said.

“We stand with the people of Pakistan, and reiterate the commitment of the United States to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and to promote peace and stability in the region.”

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (10)

Innocents … Pakistani soldiers transport rescued schoolchildren after the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar. Picture: AFP

Teenage Nobel Peace laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for campaigning for girls’ right to an education, condemned the attack.

“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us. Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” said Malala.

“I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (9)

Worst nightmare … a Pakistani army soldier clears the area outside a school attacked by Taliban in Peshawar as anxious parent wait for news of their children. Picture: AFP

Provincial information minister Mushtaq Ghani told AFP the death toll had reached 130, with a similar number wounded.

The toll was confirmed by another provincial minister.

Mudassar Abbas, a physics laboratory assistant at the school, said some students were celebrating at a party when the attack began.

“I saw six or seven people walking class-to-class and opening fire on children,” he said.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (7)

Violence … The students that survived were left bloody and injured. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (20)

Carnage … Rescue workers transport students from ambulances into hospitals. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

A student who survived the attack said soldiers came to rescue students during a lull in the firing.

“When we were coming out of the class we saw dead bodies of our friends lying in the corridors. They were bleeding. Some were shot three times, some four times,” the student said.

“The men entered the rooms one by one and started indiscriminate firing at the staff and students.”

The school on Peshawar’s Warsak Road is part of the Army Public Schools and Colleges System, which runs 146 schools nationwide for the children of military personnel and civilians.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (15)

Bloodbath … A wounded student said all the children had bullet wounds. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

The schools educate the children of both officers and non-commissioned soldiers and army wives often teach in them.

The attack began in the morning, with the Taliban shooting at random, said police officer Javed Khan.

Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and exchanged fire with the gunmen, he said.

Outside the school, shooting was initially heard along with one loud bang of unknown origin.

Pakistani television showed soldiers surrounding the area and pushing people back.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (5)

On the scene … Pakistani army troops arrived quickly to conduct an operation at the school. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

Later, one of the wounded students, Abdullah Jamal, said that he was with a group of 8th, 9th and 10th graders who were getting first-aid instructions and training with a team of Pakistani army medics when the violence began for real.

When the shooting started, Jamal, who was shot in the leg, said nobody knew what was going on in the first few seconds.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (17)

At the ready … Pakistani soldiers take up position. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

“Then I saw children falling down who were crying and screaming. I also fell down. I learned later that I have got a bullet,” he said, speaking from his hospital bed.

“All the children had bullet wounds. All the children were bleeding,” Jamal added.

“This attack is a response to Zarb-e-Azab and the killing of Taliban fighters and harassing their families.”

Zarb-e-Azb is the official name for the army’s offensive against strongholds of the Taliban and other militants in North Waziristan.

The military has hailed the operation as a major success in disrupting the TTP’s insurgency, which has killed thousands of Pakistanis since it erupted in 2007.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (18)

Safely out … A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from a nearby school during the attack. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (16)

Devastating … Families wait for news and their loved ones at the hospital. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

More than 1600 militants have been killed since the launch of Zarb-e-Azb in June, according to data compiled by AFP from regular military statements.

Talat Masood, a retired general and security analyst, said the attack was intended to weaken the military’s resolve.

“It is both tactical and strategic. The militants know they won’t be able to strike at the heart of the military, they don’t have the capacity because the army are prepared,” Masood told AFP.

“So they are going for soft targets. These attacks have a great psychological impact.”

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (1)

Taliban attack … A wounded Pakistani student receives treatment at a hospital. Picture: AFP

The semi-autonomous tribal areas that border Afghanistan have for years been a hide-out for Islamist militants of all stripes — including Al-Qaeda and the homegrown TTP as well as foreign fighters such as Uzbeks and Uighurs.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out the sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which militants have used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Peshawar has been the target of frequent militant attacks in the past but has seen a relative lull recently.

India has condemned the latest attack by Taliban militants.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (3)

Awful … Pakistani parents react to the news of the attack. Picture: AFP/ A Majeed

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the attack in the north-western city of Peshawar exposed the “real face of terrorism”.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on a school at Peshawar,” he tweeted. “This dastardly & inhuman attack exposes the real face of terrorism. My heart goes out to the families of those children who got killed by the terrorists in Peshawar.”

India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to rein in militant groups operating on its soil.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, and deadly attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants dealt a blow to tentative peace talks in 2008.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (6)

Catastrophic … Parents rush to the hospital to find their children. Picture: AP/Mohammad Sajjad

French President Francois Hollande also condemned what he described as a “vile” attack on the school.

“No words can express the ignominy of such an attack against children in their school,” said Mr

Germany also spoke about the “cruel cowardice” of the Taliban attack.

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (11)

Bloody attack … a family member escorts children from the school. Picture: AP

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement he condemned the “criminal attack in the strongest terms”.

“The hostage-taking and murder of children exceeds in its cruel cowardice all that Pakistan, stricken by years of terror and violence, has known before.

“We mourn with the people of Pakistan the victims of this bloody terrorist attack. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims. For the many injured we wish speedy recoveries.”

taliban slaughter of children graphic images www.crimefiles (13)

Nation mourns … Pakistani children pray during a candle light vigil for the victims of the Taliban attack. Picture: AP Photo/Fareed Khan

Henry Sapiecha

hs-sig-red-on-white

Subscribe to Crime Files Network