Iran Denounces Attack on Its Consulate in Erbil

According to a statement by the Iranian Consulate General in Erbil, on Friday evening, when the Consulate General was closed, certain individuals with political motives attacked the Iranian mission in Erbil. The Consulate General in its statement condemned the aggression, and rejected the notion that it was carried out by the Kurdish people.


According to a statement by the Iranian Consulate General in Erbil, on Friday evening, when the Consulate General was closed, certain individuals with political motives attacked the Iranian mission in Erbil.

The Consulate General in its statement condemned the aggression, and rejected the notion that it was carried out by the Kurdish people.

“Undoubtedly, such moves have nothing to do with the honourable people of Erbil, who remember the brave battle of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces against the ISIS terrorist group,” the statement added, referring to Iran’s aid to Erbil when it was falling to the ISIS terrorists.

The consulate general also urged the authorities in the Kurdistan Region to fulfil their duty to protect diplomatic missions there, Tasnim reported.

The statement came as the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been at loggerheads since the Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence that Baghdad declared illegal.

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region went ahead with its plan to hold the referendum on September 25 although Iraq’s neighbours and countries in the Middle East, including Iran and Turkey, had voiced opposition to such a move and supported the Baghdad central government.

Rotterdam man faces eight years in jail for planning attack on Turkish Consulate.

A 31-year-old man from Rotterdam should be jailed for eight years for preparing to carry out a terrorist attack in the Netherlands, the public prosecution department said on Thursday. Jaouad A was arrested last December following a tip-off from the security services.

At his home in the port city police found an automatic weapon, ammunition and a large number of illegal fireworks containing almost nine kilos of explosives. On his computer they found instructions for making a bomb using gunpowder and 289 IS videos, including executions.

In evidence, the department said the AIVD security service had recorded A talking to other men about an attack on the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam, which is close to his home, the Telegraaf reported.

‘Near me you’ve got the Turkish embassy [consulate, ed]. It’s a 500 metre walk. You walk in and you shoot or you throw something. That is something I can do,’

A is quoted as saying. A told the high-security court in Rotterdam the conversation was much longer than the eight minute transcript provided in court and that the shortened version was out of context. The court will announce its verdict in two weeks.

Read more at Rotterdam man faces eight years in jail for planning terrorist attack

Death Sentence Commuted for Terrorist Convicted of US Consulate Bombing in Karachi.

KARACHI: A convict allegedly belonging to al Qaeda got a new lease of life on Tuesday when the Sindh High Court (SHC) commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment in the case of an attack on the United States (US) consulate in 2006.

A two-judge appellate bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Yousuf Ali Syed, pronounced the verdict, which was earlier reserved by them.

The convict, Anwarul Haq, was handed down capital punishment on March 5, 2008 after an anti-terrorism court found him guilty. The suicide blast on March 2, 2006 near the gates of the US consulate in Karachi had killed an American diplomat, David Foy, and four others, including the suicide bomber. The attack took place on the eve of the visit of the then US president George W Bush to Pakistan.

The investigators believed that the blast had wounded 49 other people and was aimed at disrupting Bush’s visit to Pakistan. However, the American president went ahead with his trip to Islamabad as scheduled.

According to the prosecution, a suicide bomber parked his explosives-laden car outside the naval establishment on the day of the incident and when the convoy of the US official appeared, the bomber rammed his vehicle into the bullet-proof car. The vehicle blew up before landing across a concrete barrier on the pavement of Marriott Hotel.

After the incident, the police had tracked down two suspects, Haq and Usman Ghani, during a raid in August, 2006 in Karachi, claiming that both were involved in the planning of the attack. The police had claimed that they were trained militants with links to alQaeda and had fought against the US forces in Afghanistan.

The police investigators also identified the suicide bomber as Muhammad Tahir who has allegedly planned the attack with Haq and Ghani.

Haq was later sentenced to three counts of life imprisonment and four counts of death penalty, besides imposition of a fine of Rs1.5 million, while Ghani was acquitted by the trial court for lack of evidence. The judge gave him the benefit of the doubt and ordered his release.

Arguments from defence

After the sentence, Haq went for appeal in the SHC. The defence lawyer, Muhammad Farooq, informed the court that his client was falsely booked in the case and the confessional statement was recorded under duress without completion of legal formalities.

He pointed out that there were glaring contradictions in the statements of the prosecution witnesses and their presence on the scene of crime was dubious, while the identification parade was also not held in a proper manner.

Links with suicide bomber

The lawyer also maintained that Tahir, the alleged suicide bomber who died in the attack according to the police, had died somewhere in Afghanistan and on such reports his family had offered his funeral prayers in absentia. He argued that there was no evidence that Haq had any links with the person who had carried out the suicide attack.

“The prosecution has failed to prove its case and, therefore, the appellant client should be acquitted,” Advocate Farooq argued. He also contended that his client, Haq, was presented in the trial court as a ‘facilitator’, not as a ‘key’ suspect in the suicide bombing. He pleaded to the court that the trial court had convicted the appellant and awarded him sentences by ignoring the evidence put forward by the defence during the trial.

“The appellant, Haq, lost one of his legs when he mistakenly stepped over an explosive mine in his hometown of Tank [near North Waziristan],” the lawyer pointed out.

The special prosecutor informed the court that an accused who was absconding in the case, Qari Zafar, was killed in an attack by the US drone in the frontier region.

In the judgment announced on Tuesday, the SHC commuted the death sentence of Haq into life imprisonment.




US releases recording of ‘sonic weapon attack’ used against diplomats in Cuba


A recording that reveals the sound of a sonic weapon said to have been used against US embassy staff in Cuba has been released.

The high-pitched frequencies are believed to have injured at least 22 diplomatic staff, who suffered problems with hearing, cognitive function, vision, balance and sleep.

The allegations have caused relations between the two countries to deteriorate significantly, just over a year after former President Barack Obama made a historic trip to the Caribbean island.

Earlier this month, 15 Cuban diplomats were expelled from the communist government’s embassy in Washington, DC.

At least 22 people have been hurt by the mysterious high pitched sound.

Any sound played at normal levels is not thought to be harmful to humans but the affected staff said they heard it played at high levels – through what device is unknown.

The recordings from Havana have been sent for analysis to the US Navy, which has advanced capabilities for analysing acoustic signals, and to the intelligence services, the Associated Press reported.

A closer examination of one recording revealed it was not just a single sound. Roughly 20 or more different frequencies, or pitches, are embedded in it, according to reports.

To the ear, the multiple frequencies can sound a bit like dissonant keys on a piano being struck all at once. Plotted on a graph, the Havana sound forms a series of “peaks” that jump up from a baseline, like spikes or fingers on a hand.

“There are about 20 peaks, and they seem to be equally spaced. All these peaks correspond to a different frequency,” said Kausik Sarkar, an acoustics expert and engineering professor at the George Washington University, who reviewed the recording with the AP.

But the recordings have not significantly advanced US knowledge about what is harming diplomats in Cuba and the US government has not officially blamed anyone.

The island’s government, led by Raul Castro, has denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks.

But US officials believe more could be done to prevent them.

State Department Dumped Benghazi Security Contractor 12 Days Before Attack.

A State Department security contractor says that it was asked to provide security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi after a rival company failed to do the job, just 12 days before the terror attack of Sep. 11, 2012, which claimed the lives of four Americans.

Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, a large, Virginia-based security and private military contracting firm, told Breitbart News that the State Department approached the company less than two weeks before Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were brutally murdered.

Blue Mountain Group, the small Welsh security contractor to which the State Department initially awarded the contract over Torres’s bid earlier in the year, was allegedly failing on the job.

Torres, which is owned and operated by U.S. Special Forces veteran Jerry Torres, was initially denied the contract. Before Benghazi, Torres had provided armed guards for the United States embassies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the world. Blue Mountain, which is based in Wales, was apparently largely unknown in private contracting circles that were hired to work for the United States until the fateful attack on September 11, 2012.

“If we had been awarded that contract to protect the embassy compound in Benghazi, those men would still be alive today,” Bradley Owens, the political affairs officer for Torres told Breitbart News.

Owens said that on August 12, 2012 — just six months after Blue Mountain won the State Department contract for Benghazi — State Department official Jan Visintainer asked Torres’s director: “Hey, can Torres perform in Libya?”

Owens added:

We were asked 12 days before the attacks if we can come in and take over security. So they knew it wasn’t safe. Wait, it gets worse. We, of course, said yes. I got an email from our director of operations. We were going to rent a compound that was half a kilometer from the compound in Benghazi.

We were going to have a six-man team on the ground that were all ex-pat. And because of the work we were doing in Libya pre-and-post the war, we had a lot of friends who were Libyan and who knew how to fight.

John “Tig” Tiegen, one of the CIA contractors that responded to Benghazi, and co-author of 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazitold Fox News that the at least four of the local Libyans who attacked the U.S. consulate included guards working for Blue Mountain.

“Many of the local Libyans who attacked the consulate on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, were the actual guards that the State Department under Hillary Clinton hired to protect the consulate in Benghazi,” Tiegen told Fox News last year. “The guards were unvetted and were locals with basically no background at all in providing security. Most of them never had held a job in security in the past.”

In addition, Owens told Breitbart News that the Blue Mountain contractors guarding the consulate were armed with batons. “The security situation had deteriorated, so the Benghazi contract never should have been an unarmed contract.”

Owens said that he told the State Department that it would taken 30 days for the company arrive on the scene and be ready to perform. “They would have had to end the contract [with Blue Mountain] and give it to us. It would have taken us a month to get set up.”

Owens told Breitbart News that he has decided to speak out about Benghazi because of the five-year anniversary of the attack, and because he was released from his nondisclosure agreement (NDA) last year.

“We want the system fixed. We want people punished. We want justice for Benghazi.” He added, “I could have been one of those guys.

“My number one mission right now is to get the word out about what happened,” Owens declared.

Asked why he waited so long to come out with the story, he said, “We waited to come forward because we knew we would get no traction under the previous administration. Now that Trump’s in the White House, and with the new administration, we believe they will take action and make things right.”

Owens also questioned the process through which Blue Mountain had been awarded the initial contract.

In 2013, a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch revealed that Visintainer had told Blue Mountain Group not to speak to the media after the attack.

Update: In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday evening, Torres said: “The U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it.”

Asked if five years after the attack Benghazi could happen again, Torres said, “Oh absolutely. nothing’s changed.”

He said that Visintainer had also told him not to speak to the media.