Tuesday, October 18, 2016

U.S Department of Justice news: Iraqi Refugee Convicted of Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, October 17, 2016

Iraqi Refugee Convicted of Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, the 24-year-old Houston resident charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, has pleaded guilty.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Division and Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Houston made the announcement.
Al Hardan, a refugee born in Iraq, pleaded guilty today to one count of attempting to provide material support – specifically himself – to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Al Hardan entered the U.S. as a refugee on or about Nov. 2, 2009. Prior to entering the country, Al Hardan was in at least two refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq. After being admitted into the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee, he was granted legal permanent residence status on or about Aug. 22, 2011, and had resided in Houston.
In April 2014, federal agents began investigating Al Hardan who had been communicating with a California man whom he understood  was associated with Al-Nusrah front. In those communications, the individual had told Al Hardan that he had previously traveled to Syria to fight for Al-Nusrah and discussed plans to return to Syria with Al Hardan to fight for Al-Nusrah.
Beginning in June 2014 and continuing through 2015, Al Hardan also developed a relationship with a Confidential Human Source (CHS). During that time, they discussed traveling overseas to support ISIL in fighting jihad and various ways to assist ISIL. Al Hardan also said he wanted to be trained in building remote transmitter/receiver detonators for improvised explosive devices, wanted to learn to use cell phones as the remote detonators and wanted to build remote detonators for ISIL. Al Hardan indicated he taught himself how to make remote detonators by accessing online training videos and other resources he found online and showed the CHS a circuit board he built to be used as a transmitter for a detonator. 
On Nov. 5, 2014, Al Hardan took an oath of loyalty to ISIL, according to the plea agreement. Two days later, Al Hardan and the CHS participated in approximately one hour of tactical weapons training with an AK-47 that Al Hardan indicated he wanted.  
During the investigation, Al Hardan had also posted many statements on social media in support of ISIL. One of those included a photo of a Humvee with an ISIL flag. Above the photo, Al Hardan posted, “ISIS yesterday in Iraq, today in Syria and Allah willing, tomorrow in Jerusalem.” He also made numerous statements about his plans to travel to Syria and fight alongside ISIL and become a martyr. In one instance he said “I want to blow myself up. I want to travel with the Mujahidin.  I want to travel to be with those who are against America. I am against America.”
Upon his arrest in January 2016, investigators discovered training CDs on how to build remote detonators, electronic circuitry components, tools used to build circuitry, multiple cell phones (that had not been activated), a prayer list for committing Jihad and becoming a martyr and the ISIL flag. 
Al Hardan has been and will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing, set for Jan. 17, 2017. At that time, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and HSI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Ralph Imperato are prosecuting the case with assistance of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

UK: Spy agencies broke privacy rules says tribunal

UK spy agencies broke privacy rules by collecting large amounts of UK citizens' data without adequate oversight, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has ruled.
Complaints about data collection by GCHQ, MI5 and MI6 were put forward by campaign group Privacy International.
The ruling said some data collection did not comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
But it added that proper statutory supervision was put in place last year.
It was a "highly significant judgement", Privacy International said.
As part of its review of the spy agencies' activities, the IPT examined the organisations' collection of communications data - involving the "who, where, when, how and with whom" was involved in conversations, but not their contents - and personal information about people.
Such data is "vital for identifying and developing intelligence targets", according to GCHQ.
Article 8 of the ECHR states, however, that all citizens have the right to a private life and that any interference with personal data must be lawful and necessary.

"It is very significant," said Graham Smith of London law firm Bird & Bird.
He added that much of the data collection had been carried out under an older piece of law - section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.
"It gave absolutely no clue at all that it could be used for this particular purpose," said Mr Smith. 
"Everyone accepts that what the agencies do operationally has to be secret, but the laws that say what they can and can't do shouldn't be secret."

'Unlawful' collection

An official policy about how such data collection should be carried out lawfully came into force in February 2015 - this was put into practice by the intelligence agencies later the same year.
It included guidance as to how collected data should be acquired, managed and destroyed
The tribunal found that, prior to this, personal datasets compiled by spy agencies did not comply with Article 8 and were therefore "unlawful".
"The powers available to the security and intelligence agencies play a vital role in protecting the UK and its citizens," said the Home Office in a statement.
"We are therefore pleased the tribunal has confirmed the current lawfulness of the existing bulk communications data and bulk personal dataset regimes."
It added that the government was "committed" to providing greater transparency and stronger safeguards for bulk data collection powers available to intelligence agencies.

U.S DoS media note: United States Plays Key Role in International Conference Against Transnational Organized Crime

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 17, 2016

The United States seeks to strengthen global efforts against trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, and other pernicious forms of transnational crime at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) in Vienna, October 17-21. Ambassador Susan Coppedge, appointed by President Obama to lead U.S. global engagement against human trafficking, joins the U.S. delegation which is led by Ambassador Luis Arreaga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and includes officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Department of State.

The UNTOC meeting will gather counterparts from around the world to advance international cooperation and share best practices in the fight against transnational crime.

U.S. goals for the meeting include enhancing the ability of investigators, prosecutors, and others on the front lines to work across borders and cooperate more closely in fighting transnational crime. The United States will take part in side events on the priority areas of combating trafficking in persons and promoting the sharing of electronic evidence.

Monday, October 17, 2016

U.S Department of Justice News: Maryland Man Indicted With Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, October 17, 2016

Maryland Man Indicted With Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

A federal grand jury charged Nelash Mohamed Das, 24, a citizen of Bangladesh residing in Landover Hills, Maryland, with attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. 
The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office.
The indictment alleges that from October 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016, Das knowingly attempted to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely ISIL.  Further, the indictment alleges that Das knew that ISIL is a designated foreign terrorist organization and engages in terrorist activity.
According to court documents ISIL members and supporters have posted identifying information about U.S. military personnel in hopes that those inspired by ISIL would carry out attacks against them. Das allegedly planned to kill a U.S. military member in support of ISIL.
If convicted, Das faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 
An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings. 
U.S. Attorney Rosenstein and Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord commended the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force for its work on the investigation and thanked the prosecutors that are handling the matter.

Dutch ambassador to China suspended

An inquiry has begun into the Dutch ambassador to China, Ron Keller, amid reports that he had a secret relationship with a local employee.
The Dutch foreign ministry said Mr Keller would not remain actively in post while an investigation took place.
An experienced diplomat, Ron Keller moved to Beijing in December 2015 after postings in Turkey and Russia.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Monday that the relationship had only recently come to light.
The Chinese woman worked in the embassy itself, it said, quoting insiders. 
Foreign diplomats in China are often advised against having relationships with local staff because of the risk of a so-called honey trap, involving local women acting as agents for the Chinese government.
The foreign ministry made no comment on the report but said in a statement that it was investigating a complaint and always took complaints seriously.
Mr Keller is currently in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf reports, adding that his return to Beijing is considered unlikely. He has not commented on his suspension.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

U.S Department of State Press: Release of Two U.S. Citizens Detained in Yemen

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 15, 2016

We welcome reports that two U.S. citizens who had been detained in Yemen were released and have arrived safely in Oman. Consular officers from the U.S. Embassy in Muscat stand ready to provide all possible consular assistance.

We are deeply grateful to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and the Government of Oman ‎for their assistance in facilitating and supporting the release of our citizens. We recognize the‎ humanitarian gesture by the Houthis in releasing these U.S. citizens. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of any other U.S. citizens who may still be held.

U.S Department of State Press: An Ambitious HFC Amendment to the Montreal Protocol

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 15, 2016

The world came together today in yet another milestone on the path toward a safer, more sustainable future. In Kigali, Rwanda, I was proud to help represent the United States as the nearly 200 Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to an amendment to phase down the use and production of potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Kigali Amendment we adopted could avoid up to half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
The amendment also amplifies the important message we’ve been sending to industry and the private sector: Entrepreneurs and innovators everywhere can continue to invest in climate solutions with confidence. Nations in every part of the world are committed to changing the course our planet has been on. We are moving toward a more sustainable world – and our pace is quickening.
The Kigali Amendment is just the latest example of the tangible progress the world is making to address climate change. Just last week, the Paris Agreement reached the thresholds to enter into force – the fastest entry into force of a global environmental agreement ever – and we also adopted a measure aimed at carbon neutral growth in the international aviation sector.
It hasn’t been easy to get to this point – and the hard work is far from over. Climate change is a massive challenge, and it will take intense diplomacy, continued innovation, and real persistence to prevail. But in the end, we are all in this together. And our children, our grandchildren, and every one of us will be better off for what the Parties to the Montreal Protocol achieved today.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ambassador ret.Yoram Ettinger: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) guide for the perplexed, 2016

1. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles(in Hebrew – named after the first stop in the Exodus, the town of Sukkota (סכותה)Exodus 13:20 and Numbers 33:3-5 - commemorates the transition of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to sovereignty in the Land of Israel, from nomadic life in the desert to permanence in the Promised Land, from oblivion to deliverance, and from the spiritual state-of-mind during the High Holidays to the mundane of the rest of the year. Sukkot aims at universal – not only Jewish – deliverance.

2. The commandment to erect Sukkot (booths), and celebrate a 7-day-holiday, commemorating the stage of transition, was specified in Leviticus 23:42-43).

3. Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacle) is the only Jewish holiday which is one of the three pilgrimages to Jerusalem (along with Passover and Pentecost) – and therefore named “Holy Reading” - as well as one of the three holidays celebrated during the holy Jewish month of Tishrei (on the 15th day of Tishrei following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and therefore named “Shabbaton,” Sabbatical. Sukkot commemorates the beginning of the construction of the Holy Tabernacle in the Sinai desert.

4. Sukkot has played a key role in the reconstruction of the Jewish Homeland and the ingathering of Jews – and their transition - to the Land of Israel. For instance, the town of Sukkot was the first stop of Jacob the Patriarch upon returning, to the Land of Israel, from a 20-year-long work for Laban (Genesis 33:17).

U.S DoS: Press Statement on International Forces in Upcoming Campaign to Liberate Mosul

Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
October 11, 2016

Recent media reports have speculated on the role that international forces will play in the Iraqi operation to liberate Mosul. As we have repeatedly made clear, the United States supports Iraqi unity and sovereignty. To that end, we believe all international forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of and in coordination with the Government of Iraq, under the umbrella of the Coalition. It is imperative for all parties to coordinate closely over the coming days and weeks to ensure unity of effort in defeating Daesh and to provide for the lasting security of the Iraqi people.

U.S DoS media: Thirtieth Anniversary of the Reykjavik Summit

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 11, 2016

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Reykjavik Summit, when over the course of a fateful two days, the ideas President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev discussed created the foundation of modern arms control and disarmament, helped reverse an arms race, and propelled the negotiation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

During the Cold War, the United States and the former Soviet Union accumulated tens of thousands of nuclear warheads and placed them on missiles and heavy bombers trained on each other’s homelands and allies. Through the bold vision of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev to reduce our nuclear arsenals and eliminate thousands of nuclear weapons and the missiles and bombers which carried them, the threat of a nuclear exchange became far less likely.

The vision of Reykjavik is still alive today. In his 2009 Prague speech, President Obama re-affirmed the U.S. commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing that vision by implementing the New START Treaty, seeking entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and working to negotiate new agreements such as a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

Stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and achieving a world where they no longer threaten our existence will require hard work, cooperation, and patience among all nations. It also requires all countries to abide by and fulfill their obligations. As President Obama said, rules must be binding. That is why we are urging Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty, thus ensuring the Treaty’s legacy of eliminating an entire class of weapons from our arsenals for the benefit of Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world. President Obama warned in Prague against the deadly adversary of fatalism. At Reykjavik 30 years ago, President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev could have bowed to fate, but chose instead a courageous path—one we must continue on today.

Barry Shaw: The Temple Mount The UNESCO Vote And Western Shame

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted on 13th October against the very principles that it was created.
UNESCO was founded in 1945 after World War Two to establish humanity's moral and intellectual solidarity. It says it strives to build networks among nations to enable this kind of solidarity. 
These were its founding principles. Oh, how have the mighty fallen.
With shocking disregard to historic evidence, it insulted and denied the heritage of two of the world's greatest religions, Judaism and Christianity, when it passed a resolution that denied Jewish, and therefore Christian, ties to the Temple Mount
The October vote shattered thousands of years of faith, belief, historical, archaeological and literal fact.
Questions must be raised about why they made such an egregious mistake. Some will point to the Islamic regimes and undemocratic countries that dominate too many United Nations forums and are now dictating how they see the world.
But my beef is with the cynical politics of countries that should know better and must act with moral authority but went missing at this significant resolution.
It is time to name and shame those responsible for the passing of this historic upheaval.

It is hardly surprising to learn that among the nations that eagerly voted for the UNESCO principle that Jerusalem's Temple Mount is strictly Islamic were Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, and Vietnam. 
For the most part that is a given. They are all in denial, ignorant or uncaring about the Scriptures as geographic and historic evidence that the Temple Mount was a Jewish construct.
If the tale of Abraham sacrificing Isaac on Mount Moriah, the site on which the Temple was built is too far-fetched, how about the recorded histories of King Solomon and King David who built the first and second Temples together with the corroborating historic timeline that links both events? 
And if that doesn't convince you there is a treasure trove of artefacts that are scientifically proven to be intricately traceable back to specific periods that prove the authenticity of the Jewish temples and the events that unfolded there. 
Russia voted in favor of the motion, ignoring the millions of Russian Orthodox Christians it insulted by its vote. But, shockingly, both South Africa and Mexico also voted that the Temple Mount is Islamic. Where was their Christian-based conscience? 

Will we be hearing from the radical South African Christian leader, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who often struts the world stage spouting moral and humanitarian values now that the deep center of his religious heart has been surgically removed by UNESCO?  For, if there was never a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount there couldn't have been a Jesus. Ergo - no Christianity!
Not only has UNESCO, with this vote, announced that the Old Testament is a lie, a historical fiction. It also declared that the New Testament is null and void.
There were only six nations that voted against the motion that the Temple Mount has always been and will continue to be an exclusive Islamic holy site were the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia. That's it! Only six nations had the moral courage to deny an obvious and internationally impactful lie.
Perhaps the greatest shame lies with some of the nations that, with the moral cowardice and political cynicism we have come to expect from them in other UN chambers, decided to go along with the intolerant and stupid regimes by abstaining. 
These nations included Albania, Argentina, SPAIN, FRANCE, Ghana, Cameroon, GREECE, Guinea, Haiti, India, ITALY, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, SWEDEN, Togo and Ukraine.
I know that Europe was once a Christian continent but I did not suspect that the religious disorientation of countries like Spain, France, Sweden and Greece would lead them to not look at the meaning of this UNESCO resolution and vote against it for the lie that it is. Have they really abandoned their Christian origins so much that they have already disowned them? Perhaps Sweden will now remove the cross from its national flag?
As for Italy, what can I say? Together with Spain, they were the strong upholders of Catholicism, the Jews will say to an intolerant and anti-Semitic degree. Jews suffered badly in the past in both these countries. We recall the Spanish Expulsion and Inquisition of its Jews, a genocide inspired by the leaders of the Catholic Church.
But Italy?  I invite all Italians, especially their politicians and diplomats that enabled the passing of this obscene vote to revisit the Roman Forum in Rome and stand under the Arch of Titus to look at the ancient carvings depicting the Roman rape of the Jewish Temple. They will see the Hebrew slaves being forced to carry the Jewish relics they plundered from Jerusalem during their conquest, pillage and destruction of our Jewish Temple.
How could they abstain from this motion? Were they reliving yet another plunder of the Jewish Temple by cohorting with the Islamic world? For that's what it looks like to me.
Can we now expect the Pope, as head of the Catholic Church, speak up to denounce UNESCO?  Can we expect to hear the voices of any Christian leader as we are starting to hear those from rabbis in every branch of Judaism?
The shame of UNESCO displays itself in the myopia of countries that once were considered "enlightened nations."
It seems the light of truth and courageous honesty has dimmed in the democratic world. Will we see a new reformation and a return to the moral leadership that the world so desperately needs right now as a result of the profoundly disturbing lurch of UNESCO that has failed in its educational, scientific and cultural responsibilities?
Don't hold your breath.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. 
He is the author of 'Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.'

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ambassador ret, Yoram Ettinger: Host Countries - Beware Of Islam-Driven Terrorism

The following is the latest "20 th",  6-minute-video on-line seminar by Ambassador ret, Yoram Ettinger on US-Israel and the Mideast.  We strongly suggest you to take a good look at the entire series and subscribe to the latest updates directly from Ambassador Ettinger fantastic You Tube channel.


Australian police arrested teens that planned a IS-inspired attack

Police in Australia have alleged that two teenagers arrested on Wednesday were about to commit an attack inspired by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The 16-year-old boys were arrested by a counter-terrorism team in a laneway behind a Muslim prayer hall. They were allegedly carrying two bayonet-style knives purchased that day and notes pledging allegiance to IS.

At a news conference, police said the boys had been charged with terror-related offences.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp is reporting that one of the boys is the son of a convicted terrorist. Police declined to comment on that report.

The pair did not appear in Parramatta Children's Court and did not apply for bail which was formally refused.  "We will be alleging this attack was inspired by Islamic State," New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn told journalists.

"We don't have any specific information of a particular target where we will allege that there was going to be an imminent attack."

The arrests were part of an on-going counter-terrorism operation, local media said.
"We have been saying for a long time now that primary for all of us is about public safety," Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan said.

"Anybody who says they've got the silver bullet to youth radicalisation, please tell me all about it," he said.

The arrests comes one month after a 22-year-old man was charged with committing a terrorist act and attempted murder in southwest Sydney.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in September the threat of a terror attack in the nation was "real" after an IS call to followers to target prominent Australian locations.

SDR thinks its all just a result of years of open Muslim Migration to Australia! Kids don't invent this sort of things them selfs all over the world without adults encouraging them by praising terrorism at home.

So if anyone is to blame its the ones ho did grow these youths up and no one else!
Islam has soon killed more than any other philosophy with own laws and so called morale.
All it would take for the western politicians to understand this would be to read the Arab, Pakistani and other Muslim media that is state censored in order to see the hate that the Muslim states own media encourage against us in the west.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Islamic State (IS) defector: We are being forced to stay, everyone I know likes to leave.

Media (BBC)  has discovered the existence of a camp in northern Syria holding dozens of Europeans who have abandoned the Islamic State group, or who were captured during fighting.

Abu Sumail, al Hollandi a Dutch national who joined so-called Islamic State in 2014, speaks about his desire to leave the militant group, and return home. Even if he will have to face hardship for what he has done. Today I just want my normal life back. 


( Inside IS defector camp by BBC News )

Monday, October 10, 2016

Muslim Islamic State 'loses more than a quarter of its territory' in Syria and Iraq

Just as awaited by most Western "Open Source" Intelligence specialists: 
The  So-called Islamic State (IS) has lost more than a quarter of the territory it once controlled, new data shows.

Security and defence analysts IHS say the group's control has shrunk by 28% since its height in January 2015.

In the first nine months of this year, IS' territory fell from 78,000 sq km (30,115 sq miles) to 65,500 sq km - an area equivalent to the size of Sri Lanka - IHS analysts said.
However, IS losses have slowed in the three months to October.
IS has lost just 2,800 sq km (1,080 sq miles) since July.

The slowdown appears to coincide with Russia reducing the number of air strikes against IS targets, IHS has observed.

At the start of the year, some 26% targeted IS, but by the summer it had dropped to just 17%.

"Last September, President Putin said it was Russia's mission to fight international terrorism and specifically the Islamic State," said Alex Kokcharov, principal Russia analyst at IHS. "Our data suggests that is not the case.

"Russia's priority is to provide military support to the Assad government and, most likely, transform the Syrian civil war from a multi-party conflict into a binary one between the Syrian government and jihadist groups like the Islamic State; thereby undermining the case for providing international support to the opposition."

Yet the losses the group has sustained are still significant, OS Intel experts say. IS has been pushed back 10km from the Turkish border, while Iraqi forces have secured Qayyarah Airbase, a key strategic facility 60km south of the IS stronghold of Mosul.

It also lost the Syrian city of Manbij and its surrounding roads, which linked the Turkish border to IS' de-facto capital Raqqa, to US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters in August.
"The Islamic State's territorial losses since July are relatively modest in scale, but unprecedented in their strategic significance," said Columb Strack, senior analyst and head of the IHS Conflict Monitor.

"The loss of direct road access to cross-border smuggling routes into Turkey severely restricts the group's ability to recruit new fighters from abroad, while the Iraqi government is poised to launch its offensive on Mosul."

Should the long-promised and much-delayed offensive against Mosul - expected to begin later this month - be successful, it would be a huge blow the extremists.

Mosul - Iraq's second city, under the control of the extremists since 2014 - is described as the "last bastion" for IS in Iraq, with authorities in Baghdad saying it would spell the end for the group in their country.