Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

I’m way behind reviewing the books I’ve read this summer so I’m posting this earlier before our usual Leisure Weekend Reading Review…because Pastors need a break sometimes from heavy theological reading!

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.  Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against International Terrorism’s Money Masters. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, November 7th 2017. 304 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book on Israel’s fight against terror.  The preface opens up with the story of the US war on terror of going after key ISIS figures but then Segway to the fact that the US adopted some of the method of the war on Terror from Israel’s own covert war against international terrorism.  But this book isn’t primarily focused on military operations (though it has that in the book) but the side of the war that focuses on defeating terrorist networks by going after its funding.  This work is a fascinating read!


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The other day I saw that Twitter was trending with the hashtag #BoycottDelta.  It was about how supposedly Delta Airlines was racist and bigoted in kicking out a Muslim name Adam Saleh for speaking Arabic.

It’s ironic that the left spends so much time talking about censoring fake news…would be the very ones falling for (you guessed it) fake news.

So to those on the left: If you were guillby trending and think is something on the right, you might be part of the problem.

Here’s David Wood exposing Adam Saleh.  David Wood responded really well and cogently and gives examples to consider just how problematic Adam Saleh’s attempt to get attention is.

Share this with others for the sake of the truth because the truth matters.


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The Looming Tower Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York, NY: Borzoi Book, August 8th 2006. 373 pp.

I knew I had to read this book after seeing many other books on counter-terrorism and radical Islam referenced this work.  There’s a reason why this book is cited often and mentioned in bibliographies: it is a well-researched book on the origins of Al Qaeda leading up to their attack on September 11th.  The author spent five years researching for the book which led the author to travel all over the world.


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not racism

Ryan Grim is the Washington Bureau Chief for the left leaning The Huffington Post.

He has a piece out today titled “Dear Islamophobes: Your Racism Is Putting Us All In Danger.”

Several times in Grim’s article he charged Islamophobes for being racists:

The challenge for the U.S., which Obama attempted to address in his speech on Sunday, will be how to put the racist genie back in the bottle.


Even if deep in your gut you harbor deep fear or suspicion of people you think might be Muslim, do the rest of us this favor: Keep it to yourself. Don’t spread that fear and discrimination in the name of patriotism, if only because it is guaranteed to backfire. Your racism is putting all of us in danger.

I agree with the writer that we should not lash out violently against Muslims and we must be responsible for unnecessary heated rhetorics.  But if you are looking for careful nuance thought in the whole piece from Ryan Grim, chances of that is rather grim.


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My heart goes out to the loved ones of the four Marines who were killed yesterday during the Chattanooga Shooting.  I imagine Liberals and Democrats would want to take advantage of this unfortunate incident to cry for more gun control such as restriction on more weapons that could be purchased and also more areas that are legally gun free zone.

While I do think most gun-control activists are sincere I think many are mistaken at a fundamental level of understanding human nature.  One wonders if they understand the extent of man’s depravity.  I think “Gun Free Zone” that is not enforced with people who are armed is quite a naive concept; in fact it is dangerous and irresponsible on the part of lawmakers and bureaucrats who come up with such a thing.  The biggest problem I think is that it neglect to account for the reality of human depravity, that those who are wicked and sinful and want to carry out sinful terrorist acts are not going to stop when you merely have a sticker that says “No guns.”

Sadly yesterday’s shooting is a case in point:


Original picture SOURCE

Having a picture and a sign that says no guns is just as persuasive to a depraved gunman as an “Obama ’08” bumper sticker is for a Republican in 2015.  It’s “irrelevant” to a simple criminal let alone a committed Muslim extremist.  Actually it is relevant for such gunman: it allows them to face lesser resistance to their wicked schemes.


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13 Hours Bengazi

Purchase: Amazon

This is an account of what some of the men went through during the attack on the United States Consulate and CIA Annex in Bengazi, Libya.  I think the author did a masterful job retelling the story from the perspective of several former military men working for the CIA’s Global Response Staff (GRS) and yet supplemented them with other sources of information in order to clear up some of the “fog of war.”  The author realizes how politically charged the Bengazi affair has been and he tells the readers that those involved in the battle do not necessarily want what happened to become merely political points for or against a political party but for the battle to be respected for its own right.  The book takes more of the perspective of the guys on the ground doing their job that is typical of many military accounts that focus more on the heroism of the warriors involved rather than the political aspect of the battle.  I appreciated this although one can’t help but to feel angry at the incompetence of higher ups while reading the book ranging from the CIA “non-shooters,” the State Department and the Obama administration.  This story also clarified some of the misunderstanding I had of the whole controversy such as how did Ambassador Stevens was separated from everybody else and why was the Ambassador in Bengazi when he was based in the capital of Libya.  Readers will appreciate the bravery of the men of the GRS who despite facing numerically superior forces, willingly went out of the way to save other fellow Americans and kept doing even when they were hurt or low on ammunition.  I recommend this book, lest we forget what happened that day in Bengazi.

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In the Presence of my Enemies Gracia Burnham

 Available on Amazon

As we see the increase of Islamic terrorism worldwide, this story needs to be heard more than ever. It is a powerful story of forgiveness and of God’s grace and mercy. The book is an account of Martin and Gracia Burnham, who were missionaries in the Philippines that were captured by Muslim radicals in 2001 and held as hostages in the jungle for over a year. The story is told by Gracia, who survived the ordeal. Her husband was killed during the raid by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that finally freed (and for some, killed) the hostages. Between the time of her capture and the final liberation by the military, the Burnham has gone through seventeen firefights and countless other artillery shelling and terrible ordeals with the jungle. I was drawn by Gracia’s honesty of her shortcomings and struggle during her journey. She was honest in the book of how she felt, including her feeling that God has betrayed her and how she finally coped with the kidnapping. She was also honest about how she felt about the terrorist, and quite understandably. But perhaps most disturbing was her honest portrayal of what drove Abu Sayyaf, the terrorist group that kidnapped her and her husband. It is a frightening ideology of hate and readers but this will come at no surprise for those familiar with the ideology of Al Qaeda and jihad. Although the topic is sobering, the book is by no means hopeless, for as the book progresses you will see the faith of Martin and Gracia grow and being lived out of what it means to bless your enemies. The book also manages to have some funny moments with Gracia’s sense of humor coming out in the book and at times her sarcasm towards the irony around her. You will laugh—and you will cry. Readers will likely be tearful of the moment in the book when her husband is killed—and her final rescue. The book also has a lengthy account of her time after the hostage situation, and how the Lord has worked through this event. An excellent book that I totally recommend, a beautiful testimony of the Gospel applied and a moving account of what it means to be a Christian—even in the presence of one’s enemy.

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Four year old tell off terrorist

It seems the siege in the Kenyan mall by Islamic terrorists is nearly over.  There is a story that is making it’s round on the news circuit of a four year old British boy and his encounter with one of the terrorists that is simply remarkable.  According to a British Newspaper report:

A four-year-old British boy survived the Kenya shopping mall attack after telling an armed jihadist ‘you’re a bad man’, according to the boy’s uncle who has given an interview to a UK newspaper.

After apparently seeing his mother shot in the thigh, young Elliott Prior is said to have confronted the gunman shouting “you’re a bad man, let us leave”.

Incredibly the gunman in understood to have took pity on Elliott and his six-year-old sister Amelie, giving the pair a Mars bar each and allowing them and their mother to leave the chaotic shopping mall in the middle of the terror attack.

Elliott’s 35-year-old mother Amber was reportedly able to grab two more children – including a wounded 12-year-old boy whose mother had been murdered – before exiting the shopping mall and taking the children them to safety.

As the group turned to leave, the gunman allegedly called after them saying the jihadists only wanted to kill Kenyans and Americans, not Britons, pleaded with Amber to convert to Islam and begged “please forgive me, we are not monsters.”

If all this is true, in light of the news that women and children has been killed by these terrorists, it’s amazing this young boy and his family was spared.

Some thoughts on this story:

1.) Here we see that a four year old knows what’s right and wrong and has a better moral compass than the terrorists.

2.) I think most people who read this would agree that moral relativism goes out the window when we are challenged with moral evil in the real world.  I don’t see any news story that condemns the boy with “Who are you to Judge?”  The boy is right on!

3.) This little boy has moral courage!  Likewise, we need to have moral courage like this little boy to confront what is evil.  It does take courage to call out the wicked.

4.) This story confirms what the Bible teaches about the conscience: The terrorist even begged ““please forgive me.”  It’s hard to suppress the conscience 100%, 100% of the time.

5.) The power of the “law” (moral law) is amazing: While it does not always lead people to Christ, it does have it’s effect at times of restraining evil some of the time when the conscience is invoked.

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Knowing the Enemy Jihadist

Purchase: Amazon

A good book, no wonder it’s published by Yale University Press. Few books out there actually examine the theology of radical Jihadists like the way this one did. In the beginning of the book the author argue that some of the West’s attempt at understanding Al Qaeda and 9/11 in purely economic, colonial and political terms fail to do justice in explaining the rationale and motivation of Al Qaeda and similar Jihadist organizations. For instance such narratives have a hard time accounting for the fact that significant numbers of these Jihadists are well-educated and come from well-to-do families. Moreover, the author makes the point that the rise of Islamists’ ideology began before European colonization of Islamic land and even in areas which European colonization never reach. Mary Habeck also note that such narrative by the West tend to ignore what the Jihadists themselves are saying, which reveal more about the West than they do concerning the Jihadists: the West often presuppose that the religious sphere is not important and again this ignores what the Jihadists themselves are saying. This work deals with the ideological roots of the modern Jihadist movement beyond the typical presentation of Muhammad’s imperialism. The auther writes about Wahabism (the kind of Sunni Muslim Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda subscribe to) and it’s founder, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. I like how the book is so detailed about historical Islamic legal reasoning. Readers will be introduced to important historical contributors to the modern Jihadist ideology, such as Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal. These men who lived hundreds of years ago, wrote about jihad including it’s goals and method. Readers will suddenly realize that a lot of the motif in current Jihadist literatures came from these earlier theologians and scholars of Islamic jurisprudence. I appreciated the author’s ability to show us the thinking of the jihadist which no doubt would seem so foreign to many. For instance, Osama Bin Laden and others believed that the Crusades never ended, that modernism in the West is a deliberate poison the West wants to introduce to Islamic land for the soul purpose of destroying Islam. The book also talk about contemporary Islamists and Jihadists. Most frightening in the book is how Jihadists have a plan for global dominion for all to be under Islam and the debate among themselves and in the past with Muslim scholars is whom to attack first: the infidels from afar, “false Muslims” (and what constitute a false Muslim is also another fascinating debate) or the leaders of Islamic countries today (they wish to unite under one world empire under the Caliph)? While the book was written before Arab Spring, one can’t help it but to see some of the policies in these new government seem to be advancing an agenda that’s in step with the vision and plan (such as increasing pressure on non-Muslim, etc). Must read book, I totally recommend it.

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These two liberal ladies couldn’t take the heat and walked out. I wonder if they would walk out of their own bashing of Christians and Christianity.

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Its time that funds to the Middle East get re-evaluated


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I’ve just prayed for our fellow brothers and sisters in India…

A news from the front of CHristian persecution in INdia…


Compass direct News reported that “Emerging facts indicate that India’s largest spate of anti-Christian violence, which has rendered thousands homeless in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, was preplanned. ”

May the gospel advance in that region of India, and the Lord save many of those who were violent to being a new creation, where they would peacefully advance the gospel!

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Lately, the climate in Iraq seems to be moving towards a positive direction.

This is another entry that is of interest of what’s going on behind the scene, with a captured Al Qaeda map, from a recent news source:

A map drawn by Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — who was killed last year by U.S. forces — turned up last December in an Al Qaeda safe house and essentially gave U.S. war planners insight into the terrorist group’s methods for moving explosives, fighters and money into Baghdad.

“The map essentially laid out how Al Qaeda controlled Baghdad. And they did it through four belts that surrounded the city, and these belts controlled access to the city for reinforcements and weapons and money,” said Maj. Gen. Bob Scales, a FOX News contributor who recently visited Iraq.

“And [U.S.-led forces] simply made the decision to reduce these belts one at a time, and essentially what that did was it choked off Al Qaeda’s access to the city. And once that was done, Al Qaeda had no alternative but to leave the city, to leave the belts and to retreat into the city of Baquba,” Scales said.

The map showed four rings around Baghdad, nearly identical to rings former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein once created to protect the city.

U.S. military planners used those maps to choke off Al Qaeda, moving ring by ring, hunting and destroying Al Qaeda in Baghdad, flushing them out of their urban strongholds and picking them off as easy targets in the desert.

The troop surge was announced Jan. 10 and began soon after that. Gens. David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno took a risky but calculated move to send U.S. troops out of main base camps and set up small patrol stations that were jointly manned with Iraqi forces, essentially living among Iraqis in Baghdad. It made it easier for intelligence to surface but made U.S. troops easier targets.

U.S. forces seized on an opportunity as Al Qaeda gathered in the northern city of Baquba. The surge allowed troops to encircle Baghdad, and the insurgents fled into the desert, making them even more vulnerable to U.S. forces.

“What this offensive did is it essentially cut the head off the snake,” Scales said.

The explanation for the turning point came as new reports of a more peaceful Baghdad surfaced.

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If the US announced to the terrorist a truce, and allow the terrorists to flee Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving behind their weapons, because the US would win,

The world would laugh

Yet these Terrorists thinks they are going to win…

And is going to ‘allow’ American soldiers to leave, and leave behind their heavy weapons in Iraq for the Jihadists too…


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Last year, a group of Indonesian men ambushed four girls (men vs girls) as they walked to their Christian school. One of the three survived with serious wounds. The school had been burned down during a previous round of sectarian conflict and later rebuilt.

The police said the heads of the three victims were discovered by local residents some distance from the bodies. The surviving student told the police that there had been six assailants wearing masks and black shirts. The victims were identified as Yarni Sambue (15) Interesia Morangke (16) and Alfita Paulina (19).

The survivor has been identified as Noviana Malewa, who is currently in intensive care at a nearby hospital. The bodies of the girls were left at the site of the attack near a cocoa plantation. The heads were found at separate locations two hours later by residents. One of the heads was found near a church.

They have found the men responsible for the beheadings. Three Muslim men have been charged in the beheadings of three girls in an Indonesian province filled with sectarian tension. More news here, here, here and here.


Update: The “three Christian high school girls who were beheaded” was a Ramadan “trophy” by Indonesian militants who conceived the idea after a visit to Philippines jihadists, a court heard yesterday.

The girl’s severed heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village in Indonesia’s strife-torn Central Sulawesi province, along with a handwritten note threatening more of such attacks.

The note read: “Wanted: 100 more Christian heads, teenaged or adult, male or female…

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