TRUMP: I ‘couldn’t care less’ if Iran wants to negotiate

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday made it clear that the days for negotiation between the United States and Iran are long over.

The president’s comments come after weeks of escalating tensions between the U.S., culminating in a coup that led to the killing of Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani. Iran retaliated one week later by launching dozens of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq’s Ain Assad air base which housed U.S. troops.

“I think the maximum pressure campaign is working,” White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told “Fox News Sunday.” “Iran is being choked off, and Iran is going to have no other choice but to come to the table.”

O’Brien told Fox News he believes the financial sanctions on Iran will eventually be too much for the rogue state to bear.

“There’s no other way for them to get the money they need,” he said. “What’s going to cause them to negotiate is the pressure on the economy, and when you’ve got students out there chanting ‘death to the dictator,’ and when you have thousands of Iranians out protesting in the street, that’s the sort of pressure that’s going to bring them to the table.”

The president followed O’Brien’s comments with a scathing tweet in which he warned Iranian officials that they are in no position to propose a deal.

“National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran ‘choked off,’ will force them to negotiate. Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate,” Trump wrote. “Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and ‘don’t kill your protesters.'”

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‘NO MORE JOHN KERRY & OBAMA!’: Trump threatens to ‘obliterate’ Iran as tensions escalate

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday drew a clear line in the sand with Iran, threatening to “obliterate” the rogue state as tensions between East and West mount.

The president’s comments come in the wake of Iran’s response to tough new sanctions imposed upon them by the Trump administration, which Iranian officials referred to as “mentally retarded.”

“Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone.”

“The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more,” the president continued. “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry and Obama!”

Speaking at a White House press conference, the president reiterated his threats against Tehran and vowed Iran must not be cleared a path to develop nuclear weapons.

“We’re not gonna allow that to happen, can’t do it,” Trump said, warning Iranian officials to end the “hostility.”

Trump went on to say he hopes Iran gets the “message” from the newly issued sanctions, but warned Iran is “not going to need an exit strategy” should they choose not to comply.

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TENSIONS RISE: Israel and Iran inch closer to war as Israel strikes back against Syrian targets

Jerusalem (The Telegraph) — Israel and Iran lurched closer to an all out war on Thursday after the Israeli military struck “almost all” of Iran’s bases in Syria in response to what it said was a Iranian rocket barrage fired at the Golan Heights.

The exchange of fire was the most direct confrontation between the two Middle East rivals after years of standoff in Syria and came just one day after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Israeli carried out its largest wave of airstrikes in Syria since the 1973 war, striking around 50 Iranian military bases, supply depots, and intelligence sites as well as Syrian regime air defence batteries, the Israeli military said.

“We, of course, struck almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria, and they need to remember this arrogance of theirs,” said Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defence minister. “If we get rain, they’ll get a flood.”

The wave of strikes was in response to a barrage of 20 rockets which Israel said were fired by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard towards the Golan, a mountainous region that Israel annexed from Syria after capturing it in 1967.

There were no casualties on the Israeli side. The Israeli military said its Iron Dome missile defence system had intercepted four of the rockets at around 12.10am on Thursday, while the other 16 fell harmlessly inside of Syrian territory.

At least 23 people were killed by the Israeli strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It was not clear how many of the dead were Iranians. Iran has neither confirmed nor denied that it was responsible for the rocket barrage.

Israel has said repeatedly it will not allow Iran to build up a permanent military presence in Syria and is prepared to go to war to stop it. “Whoever hurts us, we will hurt him sevenfold. Whoever tries to hurt us, we will act to hurt him beforehand,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

Tensions between the two sides have risen sharply since April 9, when a suspected Israeli strike on the T4 airbase in central Syria killed at least seven Iranians. Iran vowed revenge for the bombing and Israel has been warning for weeks that it was expecting an Iranian attack.

In February, Iran allegedly launched an armed drone from Syria into Israel. Israel shot down the drone and carried out a wave of airstrikes in response. One Israeli F-16 was shot down by Syrian air defence systems during the attack, the first time Israel has lost a warplane in combat since 1982.

Britain and the US were quick to issue messages of support for Israel and condemning Iran. “The United Kingdom condemns in the strongest terms the Iranian rocket attacks against Israeli forces. We strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary.

Both the UK and US called on Russia to do more to rein in Iran’s presence in Syria and avoid a further escalation. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, also condemned the attack in phone call with Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president.

The Israeli attacks are likely to strain the relationship between Iran and Russia, who are fighting on the same side in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime.

Israel warned Russia of its intention to launch strikes ahead of time but Russian forces in Syria appear to have done nothing to shield their Iranian allies. Hours before the Israeli attack, Vladimir Putin hosted Mr. Netanyahu as an honoured guest at a military parade in Moscow.

While Israel has scored tactical military victories over Iran in Syria, it has struggled with a broader diplomatic campaign to convince world powers to clamp down on Iran in Syria. Mr. Netanyahu travels regularly to Moscow to make this point but his diplomatic efforts have so far yielded few visible results.

Bahrain also voiced support for Israel’s strikes, in an unusual example of an Arab state publicly applauding Israel for dropping bombs on the territory of a fellow Arab state. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations share many of Israel’s fears about Iran.

Israel said the rockets were fired by the Quds Force, the expeditionary wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and accused its leader, General Qassem Soleimani, of personally ordering the attack.

“It was ordered and commanded by Qassem Soleimani and it has not achieved its purpose,” said Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces.

By Thursday afternoon quiet had returned to the Golan Heights and tourists mingled with UN Observers on Mount Bental, a mountain affording sweeping views into Syria.

Nathan Gabah, a 24-year-old businessman relaxing in the late afternoon sun at the beauty spot, said he heard explosions on Thursday morning from his home city of Safed, around 30 miles from the site of the alleged Iranian barrage.

“There was a vroom and a bang, like a bomb,” he said, describing the firing of an Iron Dome anti-missile battery near by.

“I’m not worried at all. Then again I have a friend who is really scared. It varies from person to person,” he shrugged. “It doesn’t feel like we’ve suddenly gone to war.”

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ISIS WARNS TRUMP: Terror group threatens President in disturbing new propaganda video

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Sun) — A CHILLING new ISIS propaganda poster shows US President Donald Trump in chains, dressed in the same orange jumpsuit as so many of their execution victims.

Other twisted videos, uploaded onto the terror group’s social media channels, threaten the West with drive-by shootings.

In the footage, a jihadi dressed in Western-style clothes and a baseball cap, aims a silenced automatic pistol at the driver of a pick-up truck.

The extremists also posted videos of two school-aged boys, one of whom says he dreams of being a suicide bomber for the terror group while the second prays for death to America.

In December, the terror group released a twisted, doctored image of Trump and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu keeling in front of a hooded, Jihadi John-style executioner.

The shocking image, featuring the disupted al-Aqsa mosque, was released as fanatics pledged to carry out lone wolf attacks on US soil in terrifying propaganda pamphlets circulating online.

The latest message comes as the US military sounds a warning that ISIS has still not been completely finished off in Syria.

ISIS forces have all but been destroyed in neighboring Iraq but Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, says it still exists in Syria.

He said the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its ally Russia have not been totally successful in holding the terrain recaptured from ISIS.

He said: “As we look at ISIS in areas where we are not operating… there have been ISIS elements who have been able to come back and take territory [including in] some neighborhoods in southern Damascus.

“We’ve seen ISIS start to resurge in areas west of the Euphrates River.”

The US military is closely watching ISIS in Syria and Iraq, where the militants have lost 98 percent of the land they once held, according to the Pentagon.

Progress, however, has ground to a halt in recent weeks in areas where the US-led coalition is fighting ISIS through the Syrian Democratic Forces due to Turkish military action in the north.

READ MORE AT: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6084248/isis-video-propaganda-donald-trump-threat-shootings/

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‘You’re in violation of EVERYTHING’: D.C. on alert after cryptic warning from Putin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s capital is on high alert following a thinly veiled threat issued Monday from Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In a statement issued by the Kremlin, Putin, angry over a lengthy list of sanctions put forth by President Donald Trump in retaliation for alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, lashed out at the U.S., accusing U.S. officials of breaching “everything”.

“This is outrageous from the standpoint of legality and violates anything and everything,” said the Kremlin, who added it is considering “a large variety of options”.

“This is quite a new phenomenon and we are seeing the first manifestations of its negative impact,” said Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.“Of course, it takes time to analyse it, to understand the extent of the real damage and to work out steps to improve the situation as much as possible.”

What exactly those options are, say insiders, is what is most concerning to military officials.

Putin’s statement comes after the sanctions, coupled with fears over increased conflict in Syria ravaged markets, sent Russian stocks plummeting, leading to the most devastating impact to the Russian economy in decades.

As a result, the rouble fell as much as 4.1 percent against the dollar, its largest drop since 2016.

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia reached a fever pitch last weekend when
President Donald Trump led international condemnation of a reported chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government. A visibly angry Trump warned there would be a “big price to pay” for the Syrian regime and it’s Russian and Iranian backers if reports of the alleged chemical attack were to be confirmed.

This is not the first time that Trump and Putin have gone head to head over the use of Chemical weapons in Syria. Although the two world leaders managed to work out their differences through peaceful negotiation in the past, White House insiders say Trump’s patience is quickly wearing thin.

On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to lash out at Putin directly over the latest alleged attack, warning the Russian president that there would be a large price to pay if he finds out that Russia was at all involved.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” the president tweeted.

“Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world.

“President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay.

“Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”

In a separate statement, President Trump reiterated his condemnation of the attack and vowed to punish those accountable.

“If it’s Russia, if it’s Syria, if it’s Iran or all of them together, we’ll figure it out,” he said.

In response to Trump’s comments, Mr Peskov said: “We are analyzing the situation. The interests of our country are seen as of paramount importance.”

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THE FACE OF A MAD MAN: Police identify Mark Anthony Conditt as Austin serial bomber

AUSTIN, TX — A man suspected as being the serial bomber who’s acts of terror frightened Austin residents for nearly three weeks has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt.

Police officials identified Conditt as the suspect just hours after the 23-year-old blew himself up inside his car as SWAT team members attempted to take him into custody.

Following up on a myriad of tips, police officials were able to track Conditt after he turned on his cell phone, which phone records show had been in the areas of each of the recent bombings.

Police say tracking the purchase of several “exotic” batteries, which were purchased online by Conditt and used to make the exploding devices also helped them to finger him as their suspect.

“These weren’t your store-bought Duracells,” a law enforcement official told NBC News.

A report published by The Miami Herald shows Partially unsealed federal court documents show that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were preparing to arrest Mark Anthony Conditt on Tuesday on charges he had received, possessed or transferred destructive devices.

According to the report, A U.S. Magistrate Judge heard by phone Tuesday an ATF agent’s request to issue an arrest warrant for Conditt and signed the warrant electronically.

It was when law enforcement agents attempted to carry out the warrant on Tuesday night, that Conditt killed himself inside his vehicle.

Victor Gonzales, the mayor of Pflugerville, Texas said Conditt lived about two blocks from him in a small, tight-knit town located about 20 miles north of Austin.

Lee Rocha, who has lived in the neighborhood for 28 years, said he’d often see Conditt in town and got the feeling that he was somewhat of a loner.

“I never really talked to him, but I’m not really a conversation person,” said Rocha, who told USA Today that he sometimes saw Conditt at a local karaoke bar. “He sometimes came in with others, sometimes by himself. I didn’t get the sense that he was a popular guy.”

Federal officials praised the FBI and local police forces in their identifying Conditt on Wednesday.

“Hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement officers worked together to identify and locate Conditt. I was awed by their professionalism, collaborative spirit, and indefatigable commitment to protecting the public,” United States Attorney John F. Bash said in statement. “I send my deepest condolences to the families of Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason, and I pray for the recovery of the surviving victims of these monstrous crimes.”

Meanwhile, authorities who say their investigation has led them to a “treasure trove of information” are warning the public that other explosives may still be out there.

“We are concerned there may be other packages still out there, we need the public to remain vigilant, especially today as we go through the investigation,” FBI Agent Christopher Combs, head of the agency’s San Antonio office, told reporters.

Mayor Gonzales concurred with Combs’ comments, adding: “We don’t know where this suspect has spent his past 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to make sure that no other devices have been left out in the community.”

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TAUNTING TRUMP: New York terror suspect ridiculed POTUS in online social media posts prior to attack

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The suspect accused of detonating a bomb outside New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal on Monday posted warnings to his Facebook page prior to the attack.

According to a report published by NBC News (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/akayed-ullah-nyc-explosion-suspect-identified-27-year-old-brooklyn-n828361), the 27-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh taunted President Trump via social media, saying that the carnage to come was due to Trump’s failure to protect America.

“Trump you failed to protect your nation,” Akayed Ullah wrote on Facebook prior to detonating a pipe bomb in an underground pedestrian tunnel during rush hour on Monday morning.

Ullah, whose actions, officials say, were inspired by ISIS, triggered the device prematurely and injured himself in the process. As a result, only a handful of victims were harmed by the explosion, which officials say would have been deadly had it detonated at the correct time.

President Trump has said Monday’s attack, which followed a previous attack in Manhattan in October which killed eight people, “highlights the urgent need… to enact legislative reforms to protect the American people”.

“America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country,” Trump said of the event after being briefed by the FBI.

Ullah is currently recovering in a New York City hospital and faces multiple charges stemming from the attempted terror attack including criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism and making a “terroristic threat”.

Ullah also faces multiple federal charges including providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place.

 

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TERRORISM CONFIRMED: Port Authority bombing suspect ‘acted in the name of ISIS’

NEW YORK, N.Y. — An explosion near New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal Monday morning has been confirmed as an act of terror.

Speaking to the media shortly after the event, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the Port Authority bomb suspect “acted in the name of ISIS”.

“Preliminary information indicates the attack was committed in the name of ISIS,” Bratton said Monday, adding that the suspect, believed to be an immigrant from Bangladesh, has been in the U.S. for approximately seven years.

The suspect, a 27-year-old resident of Brooklyn, was injured during the attack and was shortly thereafter taken into custody. According to police sources, the man, who has not yet been officially identified, was armed with a five-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub.

Police say the suspect, who they believe was on a suicide mission, managed to only partially detonate the device. Three others were injured in the attack, but officials say those numbers would have been much higher had the suspect been successful in his mission.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident and is receiving frequent updates from FBI officials.

The incident marks the second ISIS-inspired attack on New York City in less than two months. On Oct. 30 a man drove a rented truck into a crowd of people on a bike path in Lower Manhattan. Eight people were killed and 11 others were injured in that attack.

Although ISIS has yet to formally claim responsibility for the Monday morning attack, the Islamic terror group released propaganda last week ordering their followers to strike Times Square.

An image released by the group shows a crowded Times Square scene with the words, “We meet at Christmas in New York…soon.”

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FBI targets black extremist groups as domestic terror threat

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FBI has officially recognized black extremist groups a threat to national security.

In a newly released report by the department’s counterterrorism division (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4067711/BIE-Redacted.pdf) FBI officials call out “black identity extremists” who they say are targeting law enforcement and other government groups with violence.

“The FBI judges it is very likely BIE perceptions of police brutality against African
Americans have become organizing drivers for the BIE movement since 2014, resulting in a spike of BIEs intentionally targeting law enforcement with violence,” the report states. “In all six targeted attacks since 2014, the FBI assesses it is very likely the BIE suspects acted in retaliation for perceived past police brutality incidents.”

“The FBI assesses it is very likely a few of the BIEs who have targeted law
enforcement since 2014 were influenced by more than one ideological perspective” the report continues.

“It is very likely that BIEs’ perceptions of unjust treatment of African-Americans and the perceived unchallenged illegitimate actions of law enforcement will inspire premeditated attacks against law enforcement over the next year,” the report goes on. “It is very likely additional controversial police shootings of African-Americans and the associated legal proceedings will continue to serve as drivers for violence against law enforcement.”

Black activist groups were quick to respond to the report, which they claim is proof of racial profiling.

“We knew that we were likely being watched,” DeRay Mckesson of Black Lives Matter told The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/06/fbi-black-identity-extremists-racial-profiling). This is confirmation that the work of social justice continues to threaten those in power.”

But experts in the fields of social trends say the FBI is right in calling out the threat to law enforcement.

“It’s not racial profiling, it’s violence profiling,” Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, said in an interview with Fox News. “Identity politics can kill, whether it’s white identity politics, which killed in Charlottesville, or black identity politics, which kills cops.”

“We have to be able to distinguish between free speech and violence,” Walter said.
“[Many] longtime [black] activist groups were not obsessed with violence.”

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‘ALLAHU AKBAR’: STABBING OF OFFICER AT FLINT AIRPORT EYED AS TERROR

FLINT, MICHIGAN — The Wednesday stabbing of a police officer at a Flint, Michigan airport is being investigated as a terror attack amid claims by witnesses that the assailant screamed “allahu akbar” just prior to attack.

According to a FBI spokesperson, Amor Ftouhi, a 50-year-old citizen of Canada, entered Bishop International Airport in Flint around 9:45 a.m., dropped his bags and began ranting about people being killed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The suspect then began screaming “allahu akbar”, Arabic for “God is great,” before witnesses say he pulled out a knife and began stabbing Officer Jeff Neville in the neck.

FBI Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios said at a news conference following the incident that Ftouhi shouted “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die” as he was being arrested.

Police confiscated a 12-inch knife with an 8-inch serrated blade covered in blood from the scene.

According to Gelios, Ftouhi was motivated by “hatred of the United States” and there is no evidence thus far to indicate that the attack was part of a larger plot.

Canadian Embassy spokesperson Christine Constantin condemned the attack in a statement shortly after the incident as a “heinous and cowardly act,” and added “our thoughts and sympathies are with the officer and his loved ones.”

Ken Brown, a witness to the attack, told The Flint Journal (http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/06/man_stabs_police_officer_in_ne.html#incart_2box_news_flint) that he was at the airport to drop off his daughter when he saw the officer covered in blood.

“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” said Brown, who says he called for a towel to absorb the flowing blood.

Neville is a lieutenant with the airport’s police department and is expected to make a full recovery.

In a statement released on Twitter, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder asked Americans to “keep the attacked officer in your thoughts and prayers.”

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