Germany charges Iran diplomat detained in bomb plot

BERLIN (AP) — An Iranian diplomat suspected of involvement in a bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally in France was charged in Germany on Wednesday with activity as a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit murder.

Assadollah Assadi, a Vienna-based diplomat, is suspected of contracting a couple in Belgium to attack an annual meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in Villepinte, near Paris, German federal prosecutors said.

He allegedly gave the Antwerp-based couple a device containing 500 grams of the explosive TATP during a meeting in Luxembourg in late June, prosecutors said in a written statement.

Assadi was detained earlier this month near the German city of Aschaffenburg on a European warrant after the couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car.

In their statement, German prosecutors allege that Assadi, who has been registered as a diplomat at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna since 2014, was a member of the Iranian intelligence service "Ministry of Intelligence and Security," whose tasks "primarily include the intensive observation and combatting of opposition groups inside and outside of Iran."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of using its embassies to plot extremist attacks in Europe and warned Tehran that its actions have "a real high cost" after it threatened to disrupt Mideast oil supplies....

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

A Jerusalem court issues temporary confiscation order for 2 Norwegian ships planning to sail to Gaza; if they are intercepted and towed to an Israeli port, their value will be paid to terror victims families as compensation.

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the NGO that submitted the impound claim on behalf of terror victims, says that in the view of former Dep. Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Noam Feig, and Middle East scholar Aryeh Spitzen, the ships are intended to be used by Hamas which is seeking to strengthen its naval forces.

The petition was submitted in the name of the Gavish family which lost the couple David and Rachel, together with their son Avraham, and maternal grandfather Yitzhak Kanner, in an attack on Passover 2002.

It was also submitted in the name of the family of Adam Weinstein who was killed in a 2001 Jerusalem terror attack. Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks and the families submitted claims for compensation from the organization.

Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)
Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)

In 2006, the court ruled that Hamas must pay the Gavish family NIS 90 million. The Weinstein family still awaits a ruling. The Gavish family has yet to receive any compensation, leading them to sue for the ships that are headed for Israel.

“Flotilla organizers come over here every year in attempts to breach the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and violate the sovereignty of Israel,” said Shurat HaDin Director Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“Every year they are stopped by the IDF and their ships are towed to the Ashdod Port and they are sent home as if nothing occurred. This time, the ships will be turned over to terror victims and the organizers will learn that there is a price to pay for their provocations, for assisting a terror organization and for systematic violations of international law.”

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

A Jerusalem court issues temporary confiscation order for 2 Norwegian ships planning to sail to Gaza; if they are intercepted and towed to an Israeli port, their value will be paid to terror victims families as compensation.

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the NGO that submitted the impound claim on behalf of terror victims, says that in the view of former Dep. Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Noam Feig, and Middle East scholar Aryeh Spitzen, the ships are intended to be used by Hamas which is seeking to strengthen its naval forces.

The petition was submitted in the name of the Gavish family which lost the couple David and Rachel, together with their son Avraham, and maternal grandfather Yitzhak Kanner, in an attack on Passover 2002.

It was also submitted in the name of the family of Adam Weinstein who was killed in a 2001 Jerusalem terror attack. Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks and the families submitted claims for compensation from the organization.

Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)
Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)

In 2006, the court ruled that Hamas must pay the Gavish family NIS 90 million. The Weinstein family still awaits a ruling. The Gavish family has yet to receive any compensation, leading them to sue for the ships that are headed for Israel.

“Flotilla organizers come over here every year in attempts to breach the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and violate the sovereignty of Israel,” said Shurat HaDin Director Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“Every year they are stopped by the IDF and their ships are towed to the Ashdod Port and they are sent home as if nothing occurred. This time, the ships will be turned over to terror victims and the organizers will learn that there is a price to pay for their provocations, for assisting a terror organization and for systematic violations of international law.”

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Drone Over Israeli Airspace

The IDF says the Syrian drone that penetrated Israeli airspace was unarmed and likely on a reconnaissance mission.

Syrian Drone

The drone flew 6 miles into Israeli territory. The IDF was tracking it as it came from Syrian airspace, through Jordanian airspace and then into Israeli airspace.

“After we closely monitored the UAV and ensured that all the necessary conditions were met, we decided to intercept it with one Patriot missile,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International and Social Media Branch.

“Our current understanding was that it was an unarmed Syrian UAV. It appears to have been on an intelligence collection mission,” he said, noting that the military was still investigating the incident.

The IDF spokesman released that “IDF officials are currently unsure if the UAV entered Israeli airspace intentionally. The airspace is dense and it is not uncommon for UAVs from other armies to fly in the region. However, despite the amount of armed forces operating in the area, straying off flight paths is an uncommon occurrence.”

After being shot by a Patriot missile the debris fell in and around the Sea of Galilee. All people in and around the area were ordered to evacuate in order for officials to gather all the remains to determine the model and other relevant information.

Israel’s Northern Border

Lately, Syria, with Russian and Iranian support, has been on a mission to reconquer Southern Syria from the Syrian rebel factions. This latest offensive has been highly successful, with one rebel faction after another surrendering to the Syrian forces. Only one area is still under rebel control, the area of Kuneitra, right on Israel’s northern border.

Israel is very concerned over the status of this border. Iran has a very strong presence in this Syrian offensive. Iran has a stated goal to destroy Israel, and their direct presence on Israel’s Northern border is a huge concern to Israel.

Even with this scary development on Israel’s Northern border, Israel has always been clear that it would only get involved against any actions that threatened Israel.


LTC (RRT) Peter Lerner

18h18 hours ago

This is Captain Or Na’aman, she commanded the Patriot Battery that intercepted the Syrian drone today over the Sea of Galilee. One word. Heroine.

Muslims who murdered 16 in Barcelona jihad attack also planned truck bomb jihad massacre at Eiffel Tower

This is the reason for the new fences and barricades around the Eiffel Tower. But why keep bringing in more people among whom will always be an unknowable number of enemy combatants?


“Barcelona Terrorists Plotted Eiffel Tower Truck Bomb,” by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, July 10, 2018:

The 2017 Cambrils terrorists had travelled to Paris the week before their August attack and had plotted to set off a truck bomb at the base of the Eiffel Tower, according to new information obtained by Spanish media.

The attackers, who killed 16 people last August in Barcelona and the town of Cambrils, are said to have travelled to the French capital a week before their attack and had already rented a large truck to carry out their bomb plot, Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia?reports.

According to the paper, an accidental explosion which occurred several days before the terror attack had been caused by explosives that were originally meant to be placed in the truck and set off in Paris. A source claimed that nearly 450lbs of TATP, an explosive favoured by the Islamic State terror group, had been present in the plotters’ demolished apartment.

Investigators also looked into the internet history searches of the terrorists and found what they believed to have been potential targets as one man searched to see if the Barcelona football club was playing a game, and searched other targets such as the?Sagrada Familia basilica?which was revealed as a target last year….

Oslo is Obsolete: Time for a Victory Mindset

...Israel must return to the classic Zionist idea of creating and securing critical mass between the Sea and the Jordan River.

What does this mean? Well, let me give you some examples: On the political side, I praise Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to bring more embassies to Jerusalem. I would add that the Jewish majority in Jerusalem must be strengthened, and there is a need to promote large-scale construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

The future of Jerusalem will be determined, first and foremost, by the facts on the ground – by the clear Jewish demographic majority, which has begun to be challenged.

The Victory Concept requires a clear Israeli claim to Area C. It needs us to set the objective of Israeli sovereignty in this territory, including in the Israeli settlements of Judea and Samaria and in the Jordan Valley.

The Victory Concept requires Israel to take action to stop the Palestinian attempt, supported by the European Union, to take control over lands in Area C.

The classic Zionist approach understood the importance of, and the need to take action in order to see positive change – especially in the demographic balance. It did not attempt to create a false conflict between our territorial and demographic interests.

We must return the issue of aliyah, Jewish immigration, to the very heart of the national agenda. We must take advantage of the opportunities that exist today to support and realize the dream of bringing the Jewish people back to their homeland.

All of these important policy points are guided by the principle of ensuring an “Israeli victory.”

Such a policy must also see a change in the way Israel conducts its public relations around the world, and talks about its principles.

Instead of continuing to swear allegiance to a dangerous and unrealistic idea, Israel’s representatives must begin to tell and explain to the world the truth – the reality and our real interests. We have many friends waiting to hear it – and they are waiting to hear it from us.

The author is the Former Education and Interior Minister and a former member of the Security Cabinet. Based on a speech given at the annual conference of the Israel Victory Project of the Middle East Forum.

Palestinians: Calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital is ‘incitement’


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves in Ramallah, in the West Bank May 1, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The Palestinians consider statements such as “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” and “Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people” as a form of “incitement,” according to a report released on Sunday by the PLO Department of Culture and Information.

The report comes in the context of Palestinian attempts to counter Israeli allegations of anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, school textbooks, mosque sermons and public statements by Palestinian officials. In the past two decades, dozens of reports documenting Palestinian incitement against Israel and glorification of terrorists have been published by various Israeli and Jewish organizations in a move that has seriously embarrassed PA leaders and drawn criticism from some Western donors.

The PLO report – which cites statements made by a number of Israeli officials and politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – also considers calls for combating the fire kites launched toward Israel from the Gaza Strip as “incitement.”

It claims that “derogatory and inflammatory comments and incitement by Israeli government officials and leaders are specifically meant to distort reality and mislead public opinion.”

However, the report intentionally ignores statements made by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and senior Palestinian officials to the effect that “Jerusalem is and will remain the eternal capital of Palestine.” In addition, PA media outlets, including the official television and radio stations, refer to Jerusalem as the “occupied capital of Palestine.”

The first example of “incitement,” according to the report, is a June 13 statement made by Netanyahu in which he is quoted as saying: “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And it will always be the capital of Israel. It’s been the capital of Israel for three thousand years.”...

The ‘Mustard Seed’ That Liberated Spanish Christians from Islamic Rule

...The Muslims intentionally devastated the region — they later dubbed it “the Great Desert” — ?between them and Asturias. Bertrand elaborates:

To keep the [northern] Christians in their place it did not suffice to surround them with a zone of famine and destruction. It was necessary also to go and sow terror and massacre among them. Twice a year, in spring and autumn, an army sallied forth from C?rdoba to go and raid the Christians, destroy their villages, their fortified posts, their monasteries and their churches, except when it was a question of expeditions of larger scope, involving sieges and pitched battles. In cases of simply punitive expeditions, the soldiers of the Caliph confined themselves to destroying harvests and cutting down trees. .?.?. If one bears in mind that this brigandage was almost continual, and that this fury of destruction and extermination was regarded as a work of piety — it was a holy war against infidels — it is not surprising that whole regions of Spain should have been made irremediably sterile. This was one of the capital causes of the deforestation from which the Peninsula still suffers. With what savage satisfaction and in what pious accents do the Arab annalists tell us of those at least biennial raids. A typical phrase for praising the devotion of a Caliph is this: “He penetrated into Christian territory, where he wrought devastation, devoted himself to pillage, and took prisoners.” .?.?. At the same time as they were devastated, whole regions were depopulated. .?.?. The prolonged presence of the Muslims, therefore, was a calamity for this unhappy country of Spain. By their system of continual raids they kept her for centuries in a condition of brigandage and devastation.

Even so, the mustard seed would not perish. “A vital spark was still alive,” Edward Gibbon wrote; “some invincible fugitives preferred a life of poverty and freedom in the Asturian valleys; the hardy mountaineers repulsed the slaves of the caliph.” Moreover, “all who were dissatisfied with Moorish dominion, all who clung to the hope of a Christian revival, all who detested Mahomet,” were drawn to the life of poverty and freedom, as 19th-century historian Henry Edward Watts put it. By the mid eighth century, the “vital spark” had spread to engulf the entire northwest of the Peninsula.

Over the next three centuries, a number of Christian kingdoms — Galicia, Leon, Castile, Navarre, Aragon, and Catalonia, whose significance and names morphed and changed with the vicissitudes of history — evolved from or alongside the Asturian mustard seed. They made slow but steady progress against the forces of Islam.

Finally, in 1085, and after nearly 400 years of Muslim occupation, the Christians recaptured the ancient Visigothic capital, Toledo. Over the next century, not one but two massive new invasions came from Africa, the first under the Almoravids, the second under the Almohads. Both were committed to the jihad (in ways that would make the Islamic State appear half-hearted). A tug of war between Christians and Muslims ensued until 1212, when the two forces met at the highly decisive battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. Victory went to the Christians: One by one, long-held Muslim cities were liberated by the victors: C?rdoba, for centuries the capital of Muslim Spain, in 1236; Valencia in 1238; and Seville in 1248.

Just as Muslims had for centuries “purified” captured Christian towns and churches “from the filth of idolatry and .?.?. from the stains of infidelity and polytheism,” so now, tit for tat, Christian conquerors and clergymen engaged in elaborate ceremonies whereby mosques and cities were “cleansed of the filthiness of Muhammad” — a ubiquitous phrase in the chronicles of the conquest of Muslim cities conquered — even as Muslim accounts lament over “dwellings emptied of Islam” and over “mosques .?.?. wherein only bells and crosses may [now] be found.”

Only the remote Muslim kingdom of Granada, at the very southern tip of the Peninsula, remained. Surrounded by mountainous terrain and with the sea behind it, Granada was well fortified, inaccessible, and isolated from the rest of Iberia. Moreover, Christian infighting habitually flared out, as Castile, Aragon, and Portugal increasingly jockeyed for power.

On Christmas Day in 1481, Granadan Muslims stormed a nearby Christian fortress and slaughtered all present. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella declared war, so that “Christendom might be delivered from this continued threat at the gates,” as they explained, and “these infidels of the kingdom of Granada [might be] ejected and expelled from Spain” once and for all. After a decade of military campaigns and sieges, Granada finally surrendered, on January 2, 1492.

“After so much labor, expense, death, and shedding of blood,” sang the monarchs, “this kingdom of Granada, which was occupied for over seven hundred and eighty years by the infidels,” had been liberated. And it all came to pass thanks to Pelayo’s Asturian mustard seed, planted 1,300 years ago this year.

US Army inks $193 million deal to buy Israeli tank defense system


An American Abrams tank equipped with the Israeli-developed TROPHY active defense system, which protects the armored vehicle from rocket and missile attacks, in an undated photograph. (Leonardo DRS and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.)

The US Army on Tuesday awarded a contract worth nearly $200 million for Israel’s TROPHY defense system to shield its Abrams tanks, according to the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems contractor.

The systems, which block incoming anti-tank missiles, will be supplied to the US Army by the Armerican defense contractor Leonardo DRS, Inc., which partnered with Rafael to manufacture them.

The TROPHY, known in Hebrew as me’il ruach, or windbreaker, is an active defense system manufactured by Rafael that is designed to protect tanks and other armored vehicles from missiles and rockets.

It was first developed by Rafael and the Israel Aircraft Industries’ Elta Group and was declared operational in 2009.


The system is made up of a radar detection system that spots incoming missiles and predicts their trajectories, and launchers that fire buckshot-like metal pellets, which cause the incoming missile or rocket to detonate away from the tank.

The system is made up of a radar detection system that spots incoming missiles and predicts their trajectories, and launchers that fire buckshot-like metal pellets, which cause the incoming missile or rocket to detonate away from the tank.

The deal with the US Army to supply the system and accompanying parts is worth $193 million, Rafael said in a statement.

“Under the terms of the contract, Leonardo DRS will provide the [US] Army with TROPHY systems, countermeasures, and maintenance kits,” the Israeli defense contractor said.

Parts of the TROPHY will be made in the US and some in Israel, according to Rafael.

“Leonardo DRS is proud to be a part of this important effort to bring life-saving technology to our warfighters, and we are actively investing to ensure TROPHY provides a solid, American-made foundation for the Army’s coming Vehicle Protection Suite program,” said Aaron Hankins, of Leonardo DRS, in a statement.

The TROPHY system has been in use in Israel’s Merkava-model tanks since at least 2011, and more recently in the military’s armored personnel carriers.

Rafael said it has supplied “some 1,000 systems to all major Israeli ground combat platforms.”

"I tried to kill the Abrams tank 48 times and failed"

In 2016, the US military announced that it was planning to purchase the TROPHY system to protect American tanks until the US defense contractor Raytheon could produce its own active defense system.

Last year, the US Army said it would be fielding tanks with the TROPHY system by 2020.

At a conference, representatives from the US military said they were impressed by the system’s capabilities from live-fire testing on an Abrams tank equipped with the TROPHY.

“I tried to kill the Abrams tank 48 times and failed,” said US Army Col. Glenn Dean at a defense expo last year, according to the Military.com news site.

The system saw extensive real-world use in the 2014 Gaza war. Though many sustained damage, no tanks were destroyed in the fighting.

Iran diplomat among six arrested for plotting bomb attack at meeting of exiled opposition group

Would the Iranian mullahs try to assassinate opposition leaders abroad? Especially while they are so threatened at home? What do you think?

“Iran diplomat among six arrested over suspected plot against opposition meeting,” by Robert-Jan Bartunek and John Irish, Reuters, July 2, 2018:

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – An Iranian diplomat has been arrested along with two people suspected of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in France attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Belgian authorities said on Monday.

Three other arrests were made in France.

Several former European and Arab ministers also attended the meeting of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – an umbrella bloc of opposition groups in exile that seek an end to Shi’ite Muslim clerical rule in Iran.

Iran’s foreign minister called the news a sinister “false-flag ploy” and said Tehran was ready to work with all concerned parties to get to the bottom of it.

Two suspects in Belgium were intercepted by Belgian police on Saturday, with 500 grams of TATP, a home-made explosive produced from easily available chemicals, as well as a detonation device found in their car, a joint statement by the Belgian prosecutor and the intelligence services said.

The 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, identified only as Amir S. and Nasimeh N., were charged with attempted terrorist murder and preparation of a terrorist act, it said.

The diplomat at the Iranian embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna was arrested in Germany, the Belgian statement said.

Three people of Iranian origin were arrested in France to assess their link to the Brussels’ suspects, a French judicial source said.

“How convenient: Just as we embark on a presidential visit to Europe, an alleged Iranian operation and its ‘plotters’ arrested,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.

“Iran unequivocally condemns all violence & terror anywhere, and is ready to work with all concerned to uncover what is a sinister false flag ploy.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit Austria on Wednesday.

The Belgian statement gave no further details about diplomat, other than saying they were suspected of having been in contact with the Belgian pair arrested.

It said one of those arrested in France, Merhad. A, was a suspected accomplice of the pair in Brussels….