Analysis & Insight

Lisa's Desk

The latest stories and updates

from our Editor-in-Chief Lisa Daftari.

About Lisa Daftari

Not Without My Mullahs: Russia Declines Warsaw Conference After Iran Not Invited

Far be it from Russia to show loyalty in geopolitics, but in this case, Russia says since Iran is not invited to next month’s world conference on the Middle East taking place in Warsaw, they will also turn down the invitation, according to Poland’s foreign minister. The conference, which has garnered much media attention so…

Iran regime forces confront teachers’ protest with tear gas and arrests

A gathering of Iran’s teachers in Isfahan Thursday was met with harsh contact with regime forces who threatened the protestors and sprayed tear gas, forcing them to disperse, according to multiple accounts. The protest was held outside the Department of Education building where current and retired teachers, mostly female, gathered. The teachers chanted, “We shout.…

Israeli-American Israel advocate, Ari Fuld, 45, stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorist

A Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed well-known U.S.-born Israel advocate Ari Fuld, 45, Sunday outside a busy shopping mall at the nearby Gush Etzion Junction. After being stabbed, video footage showed Fuld chasing and shooting the assailant, identified as a 17-year-old from the nearby Palestinian village of Yatta, before collapsing to the ground. Fuld, a father…

UPDATE: Jordan immigrant gets death penalty in Texas “honor killings” case

The Jordanian immigrant found guilty by a Texas jury of killing his American son-in-law and his daughter’s close friend in “honor killings” linked to her marriage to a non-Muslim has been sentenced to death. Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, 60, received the death penalty after being found guilty two weeks ago for resorting to murder in reaction…

Jordanian man convicted of “honor killings” may receive the death penalty

A man of Jordanian descent may receive the death penalty after he was found guilty by a Texas jury of killing his American son-in-law and his daughter’s close friend in “honor killings” linked to her marriage to a non-Muslim. According to prosecutors in Houston, Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan, resorted to murder in reaction to his daughter,…

All-woman jihadi cell arrested for Westminster knife attack plot

An all-female terror cell, the first of its kind, has been arrested and incarcerated for attempting to carry out a knife attack in Westminster, according to the Central Criminal Court. The women, ranging in age from 18 to 44, have been given sentences of six to 16 years. One of the women, Rizlaine Boular, 22, who has been…

Iranian soccer player faces backlash after posing with Israeli counterpart

A chance meeting between Israeli and Iranian soccer players which culminated in a photo and social media post that has since gone viral, is causing a commotion across the web. Israeli international midfielder Maor Buzaglo, 30, who plays for the Maccabi Haifa team was in London where he was receiving treatment for an injured knee…

Iran hijab protester sentenced to two years in prison

Authorities have sentenced an Iranian woman to two years in prison after alleging she was guilty of “encouraging corruption” for removing her headscarf, Tehran’s judiciary announced Wednesday. The woman, whose identity is not clear, was arrested during a protest on Tehran’s Enghelab Street in December. Judicial sources in Iran say the woman intends to appeal…

Evolution of the Hijab Movement: Iran’s Next Revolution?

More than two months after economic pressures ignited mass protests against Iran’s government, the last hope of a grassroots movement against the regime remains with a spark lit by Iran’s women and their courage to remove mandatory hijab, the Islamic head covering. Over 35 women have been detained in just capital-city Tehran since December 2017…

Ahmadinejad harshly criticizes Iran regime’s handling of protests, prison ‘suicides’

Alongside the backdrop of ongoing tensions on the streets of Iran, former President Ahmadinejad entered the scene once again, lashing out at the regime’s handling of recent protests with criticism aimed directly at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Referring to the recent spate of detainee deaths labeled “suicides” by government authorities, Ahmadinjad publicly accused Iran’s Revolutionary…

Iran 'hijab protester' released as fears mount for second woman arrested

The woman arrested in Iran after a video of her waving her hijab on the streets of Tehran went viral has been released after more than a month in detention, according to activists who investigated her case. The woman, whose name has still not been confirmed but is believed to be Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old…

5 terror groups’ calls to Jihad following Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

As world leaders respond to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday of plans to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, terrorist groups are also making their voices heard as they urge Muslims around the world to unite in a call to jihad. Hamas In a live TV broadcast in Gaza,…

Iran court reverses death sentence of popular mystic

An Iranian court has overturned the death sentence of popular mystic Mohammad Ali Taheri for a second time, according to his attorneys. Taheri, 61, a popular and highly-revered teacher, was sentenced to death in August on charges of ‘blasphemy’ and creating a cult. Taheri’s lawyer, Mohammad Alizadeh Tabatabai, announced Monday that the latest death sentence has…

Lawmakers call for more scrutiny of U.S. involvement in Yemen conflict

As the civilian toll in Yemen’s war continues to rise, some lawmakers are beginning to question U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in what’s becoming increasingly known as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. A bipartisan bill introduced last month calls for Congress to investigate U.S. military involvement in Yemen, originally signed off by President Obama,…

Kurdistan vote on independence, Now what?

People across the Kurdistan region of Iraq voted Monday in a historic referendum seeking independence, despite opposition from several neighboring countries. In the final tally almost 93% of eligible voters cast a ‘yes’ vote with close to 73 percent of eligible voters weighing in on the referendum, the head of the Ministry of Peshmerga in…

Five takeaways from Trump's speech at the U.N.

President Trump delivered his first address at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, emphatically taking a stand for American patriotism and issuing stern warnings to global perpetrators. The President conveyed a harsh ultimatum to North Korea over its nuclear tests while singling out Iran as a “rogue nation” that continues to fund terror and to…

Trump at the U.N.- What to expect

President Trump’s message to the United Nations Monday was to focus on reform and to work to reach the organization’s “full potential,” he said in an opening session ahead of his inaugural address at the General Assembly later this week. The President, who has been sharply critical of the U.N. in the past and previously…

Iranian mystic sentenced to death

A popular Iranian mystic jailed since 2011 over ‘blasphemy’ charges has been sentenced to death on charges of creating a cult, according to his lawyer. Mohammad Ali Taheri, 61, was sentenced by a court in Iran Sunday, two years after a similar ruling was overturned. Taheri, founder of a popular spiritual group called “Erfan-e Halgheh,”…

American boy in ISIS video warns Trump “puppet of the Jews”

The Islamic State has released a new propaganda video featuring an American boy who speaks directly to President Trump, calling him “the puppet of the Jews” and warns that “this battle will not end in Raqqa or Mosul;” it will end in the United States. In the video, entitled The Fertile Nation 4, the young…

ISIS in your inbox: Terror group rolls out email subscription service

In its latest attempts to push propaganda and news updates, the Islamic State announced Tuesday it is offering a new email subscription service with the latest from the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq as well as from global strongholds such as the Philippines and Yemen. As coalition efforts against ISIS have intensified in recent months,…

Al Qaeda calls to target 'vulnerable' U.S. rail network

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is encouraging followers in the West to carry out new mass casualty attacks, providing an in-depth tutorial on how to derail trains and listing dozens of ‘vulnerable’ train routes in the U.S. as example targets. Issue 17 of the terror group’s Inspire Magazine includes several articles detailing railways in…

Iran: Officials arrest 6 for teaching Zumba

Government authorities arrested six individuals in Iran for allegedly teaching “Western dance moves,” including Zumba, and creating videos which they uploaded and posted on social media. The six, four men and two women, were reportedly detained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard officers in the town of Sharhoud in the northeastern Semnan province late Tuesday, according to…

Crisis in Venezuela – What you need to know

–Venezuela in turmoil following a contentious vote over the weekend which critics say is an attempt by President Nicolás Maduro to consolidate power. A newly-elected body, consisting mostly of Maduro allies and even his wife, will be given the ability to dissolve state institutions and possibly rewrite the constitution. –40 countries have stated they will not…

ISIS unclaimed baggage: Flint, Paris, Brussels- the work of ISIS?

-FBI investigating stabbing attack on a police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint as an act of terrorism. The attacker Amor Ftouh from Canada reportedly yelled “Allahu Akhbar” before carrying out the attack. -According to the FBI, Ftough seemed disappointed that he didn’t die a martyr in the attack, shouting something similar to ‘you…

American professor held by Taliban pleads with Trump to negotiate his release

An American and Australian professor kidnapped by the Taliban last August have appeared in a new video calling on President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to negotiate their freedom by releasing Taliban prisoners. American Kevin King, 60, and Australian Timothy John Weeks, 48, were both working for the American University of Afghanistan when…

What message was Iran trying to send with its missile strikes in Syria?

What happened? Iran launched a salvo of missiles meant to target Islamic State positions in Syria. Escalation: The missiles represent a drastic escalation on Iran’s part; The first time the country has fired missiles on another country in three decades. –According to Iran’s regime… Iranian media lauded the strikes as a tremendous success, suggesting upwards…

Terror strikes Israel, Mali and France

Israel ISIS claimed a first attack in Israel, when a female border patrol officer was killed in a coordinated stabbing/shooting attack Friday. Three attackers carrying knives and an automatic weapon were shot dead by Israeli police. In its claim, ISIS promised “this attack will not be the last.” Not so fast: Competing claims, however, from…

Germany arrests ISIS Amaq news operative who broadcasted terror claims

German authorities arrested a Syrian man accused of being a member of ISIS and broadcasting the terror group’s claims for attacks in the West to its media outlets in the ‘Caliphate,’ according to law enforcement officials. Prosecutors say Mohammed G., 23, identified by surname initial only, was arrested Wednesday in accordance with Germany’s privacy laws…

ISIS claims twin attacks in Iran. What are the ramifications for the region?

Details. Twin attacks on Iran’s parliament and Ayatollah Khomenei’s mausoleum in Tehran have left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured. Parliament was in session when gunmen, wielding Kalashnikovs, stormed the building. A suicide bomber also detonated. World Reaction. Condemnation from across the Western world, including the US State Department. Terror Claim. ISIS is…

London attack: Are vehicular attacks at all preventable?

Latest on the investigation into London terror attack Death toll remains at seven, with 36 hospitalized 18 in critical conditions Terrorists Named. UK police have named the three terrorists as Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba. Butt appeared in a U.K. Channel Four documentary last year, “The jihadis next door.” Presently police are withholding…

ISIS Philippines militant allegedly threatens to behead Christian captives

As the Philippines army battles ISIS-aligned terrorists in the country’s southern city of Marawi, the fate of dozens of Christians kidnapped by the jihadi group remains in the balance as a new heightened threat may cost them their lives. New video observed by The Foreign Desk has surfaced from the terror group in which an…

ISIS issues call for “all out war” in the West during Ramadan

ISIS has issued a chilling new call for an “all out war” in the West during the holy month of Ramadan. The terror group released its latest propaganda message entitled “Where are the lions of war?” in an audio-accompanied slideshow, posting to encrypted Telegram channels as well as publishing it on YouTube. “O ye righteous…

Manchester Bombing: How did ISIS strike again?

-Identified. Manchester bomber, named by UK law enforcement as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. -Who is he? British born and son of Libyan immigrants who escaped Gaddafi regime. Forensic team still working to formally ID him, blast would have vaporized him. Authorities have also taken into custody a 23-year-old man in connection with incident. -ISIS has claimed…

ISIS urges jihadis to imitate Times Square car ramming incident

Opportunistic jihadis have posted messages urging supporters to carry out vehicular attacks similar to Thursday’s Times Square car crash even as law enforcement officials confirmed that the incident had no connection to terrorism. Pro-Islamic State jihadis shared images and messages such as, “Soon, the vehicle attacks will be witnessed on your streets, by Allah’s permission,”…

Al Qaeda contest in Yemen offers guns, cash prizes in honor of Ramadan

As Yemen continues to battle civil war and stave off famine, militants with the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) branch Ansar Al Sharia are seizing upon the latest unrest to attract people to jihad. This week jihadis launched a contest in the city of Taiz offering prizes, including an automatic rifle, a pistol…

ISIS calls on "Muslims in France" to launch Election Day attacks

ISIS has called upon Muslims in France to “kill candidates” and “burn down polling stations” as the country prepares to vote in the second round of the presidential election this weekend. An article appearing in the French edition of the terror group’s monthly propaganda magazine “Rumiyah” addresses all Muslims in France stating: “Don’t forget your…

Iran clamps down on social media apps ahead of election

Iran’s judiciary has reportedly shut down features within popular social media apps Instagram and Telegram ahead of next month’s presidential election. Over the past two days, Instagram users in Iran report that they have not been able to upload or access “Instagram Live,” a hugely popular extension for the ubiquitous app that allows users to…

ISIS all-female hacking group looks to recruit more women

An all-female division of an ISIS-affiliated hacking group released a video online claiming to have hacked multiple social media accounts. The “Al Khansaa Kateeba” (battalion), which claims to be a division of the notorious United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) released the video over the weekend glorifying the recent launch of its all-girl division, threatening anyone exposing…

US sanctions Tehran’s prison system over human rights violations

Citing deep concern over human rights abuses in Iran’s prisons, the U.S. sanctioned Tehran’s prison apparatus and a key prison official Thursday, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. The sanctions, naming specifically the Tehran Prisons Organization and its lead official Sohrab Soleimani, reflect the latest attempt by the U.S. to combat the Iranian regime’s support…

"Help us stay in our country:" Syrians thank Trump for strikes on Assad

As world reaction continues to pour in following U.S.-launched missile strikes at a Syrian government airbase, notable Syrians and Syrian activists have also been vocal in expressing their support and gratitude. Bana Alabed, the 7-year-old Syrian girl who rose to Internet stardom live-tweeting the siege of Aleppo last year, heaped praise in a series of…

ISIS confirms death of American media maven, FBI “Most Wanted Terrorist”

An American college graduate said to be a recruiter and key operative in ISIS’ media operations and who was wanted by the FBI was killed in a coalition airstrike in January, the Islamic State confirmed. Ahmad Abousamra, 36, a French-born dual U.S.-Syrian citizen has been wanted by the FBI since 2013 over conspiracy to provide…

Exclusive: Iranian-American San Diego man freed from Iran prison

The Iranian-American dual citizen from San Diego who was arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison in Iran has been released on bail, friends of the family confirmed to The Foreign Desk. GholamReza “Robin” Shahini, 46, was freed from the prison he was held in Gorgan after presenting a 200 million Toman bail; Roughly…

Iran warns U.S.: 'Insane armed robber' must leave region

Iran’s defense minister warned the U.S. to withdraw troops from the Middle East, likening American operations in the Persian Gulf to that of “an insane armed robber.” “What is the U.S. doing in the Persian Gulf? They better leave this region and not harass the regional countries,” Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan said Thursday. “Is it…

ISIS hacker who published ‘kill lists’ reportedly killed in U.S. drone strike

The leader of a notorious ISIS hacking group responsible for distributing so-called ‘kill lists,’ has reportedly been killed in a U.S. drone strike. Osed Agha, head of United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) hacking group was allegedly targeted by a U.S. drone strike on the Islamic State’s de-facto capital Raqqa, according to encrypted Telegram messages observed by…

Iran blocks Israeli navigation app Waze developed by ‘Zionists’

Iran’s judiciary has ordered the blocking of GPS-navigation app Waze because the smart phone application was invented in Israel by Israeli “Zionist” developers. Users across Iran have taken to social media over the past week to report outages on Waze, a very popular app utilized by Iran’s Snapp and Tap30, two ride-sharing apps similar to…

ISIS threatens social media networks: ‘Stop deleting our accounts’

It appears ISIS is feeling the pinch when it comes to its social media accounts systematically being deleted by social network administrators. One particular jihadi group took to an encrypted Telegram channel to bemoan the constant deletion of their propaganda channels while also mocking intelligence agencies whom they accuse of infiltrating ISIS channels to obtain…

ISIS using kidnapped Yazidi children in suicide missions

The Islamic State is using kidnapped Yazidi children to carry out suicide missions as the U.S.-led coalition forces continue their assault on the terror group’s remaining strongholds in Syria and Iraq. In a video posted Tuesday, two young Yazidi boys seemingly brainwashed by the Islamic terror group talk about their departure from their Yazidi identity…

Islamic State’s Al Bayan radio station back online

The Islamic State has announced the return of its radio station to the web after authorities deleted the previous domain. The station, Al Bayan, or “The Dispatch” broadcasts programming including hourly news bulletins, reports from correspondents in Syria and Iraq, interviews and music-less Nasheed,s or hymns, which have become synonymous with the terror group’s ghastly…

Notorious French ISIS jihadi recruiter reportedly killed in Mosul drone strike

Rachid Kassim, one of the most notorious French ISIS jihadists, has reportedly been killed in a U.S. coalition drone strike in Mosul Wednesday, according to French media. The 29-year-old radical jihadist had become of the top recognized faces of international ISIS recruits, mostly for his recruiting activities on social media. French authorities believe Kassim was…

Hezbollah's new crowdfunding campaign: "Equip a mujahid"

The Hezbollah terror group has launched an online ‘crowdfunding’ drive inviting supporters to contribute toward the group’s purchasing of military equipment and gear for its militants. The Lebanese-based terror group has created a series banners featuring helmets, bullet-proof vests, guns and ammunition with telephone numbers prominently displayed advising how to contribute. “Mujahids on glorious battlefronts…

European university professor sentenced to death in Iran for ‘espionage’

A scientist working at two European universities has been sentenced to death without trial for espionage charges while visiting family in Iran, according to his family and co-workers. Ahmadreza Djalali, 45, a professor and researcher of disaster medicine at the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIN) at the University of Eastern Piedmont in…

ISIS targets medical school recruits in Sudan

More than 20 British medical students at a Sudan university have abandoned their studies and joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The students, mostly children of medical professionals from the U.K., appear to be among the largest group collectively recruited by ISIS, according to an investigative report by Britain’s Sunday Times. The recruits,…

ISIS unveils first ‘weaponized drone’ in continued battle for Mosul

The Islamic State has released a new video clip showing what appears to be a weaponized drone conducting an aerial attack on Iraqi forces near Mosul. The video clip, part of a trailer released by ISIS’ Ninwah (Nineveh) Province to promote an upcoming video, also features a 45-second burst of ISIS operations around embattled Mosul,…

FBI: Ft. Lauderdale attacker says he acted on behalf of ISIS

Esteban Santiago, the alleged shooter who killed five people at the Fort Lauderdale airport has reportedly told the FBI that he carried it out for the Islamic State, Michael Ferlazzo, FBI special agent, said under oath at a hearing Tuesday. Santiago was denied bond. Santiago, 26, an Iraq War veteran, opened fire at a baggage…

ISIS video taunts 'Crusader' Trump

ISIS has released a new propaganda video featuring U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump in what appears to be the first time in the group’s ‘official’ propaganda videos. Set in Kirkuk, Iraq, the video originates from the Islamic State’s main propaganda arm, as opposed to recent propaganda put out by accounts labeled by experts as ‘ISIS-linked,’ ‘pro-ISIS’ or…

ISIS calls for ‘arson jihad’, singles out Texas megachurch in latest magazine

ISIS is encouraging its followers to focus on a new type of jihad against the West – setting fires. In its latest edition of its monthly “Rumiyah” magazine Friday, the terror group called upon ‘lone-wolf’ jihadis to launch arson attacks, explaining how setting large blazes requires minimal effort in simply obtaining a canister of gasoline—a…

Renewed calls for lone-wolf attacks on U.S., France and Russia

Jihadists on the web have posted a series of messages calling for more attacks in the West, singling out the United States, France and Russia and emphasizing the effectiveness of so-called ‘lone-wolf’ jihad. In the latest instance, on an encrypted Telegram channel seen by The Foreign Desk, a pro-Al-Qaeda online media group called The Isnad…

Turkish imam says chess worse than "gambling or eating pork"

A popular Turkish imam has sparked controversy by claiming that chess is ‘un-Islamic’ and those who play the game are ‘liars.’ Televangelist Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü, commonly known as “Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca,” also suggested those who play the strategic board game are committing graver sins than “gambling or eating pork,” both of which are forbidden in…

ISIS-linked group calls for New Year’s Eve attacks using horrific images

Islamic State supporters are calling upon jihadis in the West to launch more holiday attacks in an effort to seize momentum after last week’s truck attack in Berlin. In a series of graphical images posted to an encrypted Telegram channel seen by The Foreign Desk, the Nashir Media Foundation, a pro-ISIS media group, urges potential…

Iran conducts ‘war-game’ exercises, threatening to shoot down trespassing aircraft

Iran has kicked off a five-day large scale military exercise in the country’s southern region warning that civilian and military aircraft risk being shot down if they stray into Iranian airspace occupied by the drill. The exercises, codenamed Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 7 or Defenders of Velayat Skies 7, include air defense drills and various missile,…

EXCLUSIVE: American man imprisoned in Iran pens suicide note

The family of an American man imprisoned in Iran has expressed serious concern for his well-being after he penned a suicide note. Robin Shahini, 46, a dual Iranian-American citizen and resident of San Diego for the past 16 years, was sentenced in October to 18 years in prison for “collaborating with a hostile government,” referring…

ISIS-inspired jihadis call for holiday season attacks

Islamic State-inspired jihadis are encouraging would-be jihadis to carry out knife attacks on the West during the upcoming holiday season. The Foreign Desk has obtained access to an English-language encrypted Telegram chatroom where jihadis are posting videos, guides and tutorials, ranging from knife attack infographics to bomb assembly and oddly enough, full-length tutorials on Krav…

New ISIS magazine praises Ohio State attacker, pushes knife-jihad tutorial

As the Islamic State continues to celebrate the ‘martyrdom’ of the Ohio State University terrorist, the terror group is doubling down on their knife attack campaign in the group’s latest magazine, observed by The Foreign Desk. Rumiyah 4, the latest Islamic State periodical, was released Wednesday with new charts and images instructing would-be jihadis on…

Iran jails 12 fashion professionals for encouraging "prostitution"

Authorities in Iran have arrested a dozen men and women working in the fashion industry for “spreading prostitution,” according to online reports. A court in Shiraz has handed sentences of five months to six years to eight women and four men, attorney Mahmoud Taravat told Ilna news. He added that his clients, who he did…

Anwar Al Awlaki: ISIS’ digital caliph preaching from beyond the grave

Just hours after Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the 18-year-old Somali refugee who rammed his car into the sidewalk at Ohio State University aiming to kill pedestrians and then subsequently exiting his vehicle and stabbing his victims with a butcher knife, authorities went to his Facebook page where they would find a number of posts allegedly…

ISIS claims responsibility for Ohio State car ramming, knife attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a car ramming and knife attack at Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, according to a social media post observed by The Foreign Desk. Posting on Telegram in Arabic, the terror group calls Ohio attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan a “soldier of the Islamic State”and claims that he “carried…

Could Hezbollah be in your Thanksgiving turkey?!

It turns out authorities are investigating a major American food production company for having alleged ties with the terror group Hezbollah. According to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, Seaboard Corp., the Kansas-based food provider that brings Butterball turkeys to the market has come under scrutiny for supposedly giving millions of dollars in…

Turkey’s Erdogan still can’t decide who’s more barbarous; Israel or Hitler

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan could not definitively state who was “more barbarous;” Hitler during the Holocaust or Israelis in Gaza. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 Television, host Illana Dayan asked Erdogan if he had any regrets over 2014 comments during which the Turkish President labeled Israel’s actions in Operation Protective Edge as “more…

Al Qaeda: Bannon appointment is “true face of the Trump administration”

Turns out, the liberal media has a new partner in criticizing Donald Trump’s appointment of Chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon—Al Qaeda. Al Masra, a Yemen-based Al Qaeda weekly newspaper, devoted an entire article to Trump’s appointment of Bannon, warning that he will bring “white race supremacy” to the highest levels of the White House.…

Egypt thwarts two ISIS-linked assassination attempts on President Sisi

Security forces in Egypt have thwarted two assassination attempts on the country’s President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi. Egyptian police have successfully dismantled a network of 22 terror cells, spanning almost 300 fighters, with links to the Islamic State terror group, Nabil Sadek, the country’s Prosecutor General revealed Sunday. The plot also involved an attempted assassination…

U.S. House votes to extend Iran Sanctions Act for another 10 years

The House has passed a bill which will extend sanctions against Iran for another decade. With overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans, lawmakers Tuesday voted for an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, ISA, for another 10 years. The ISA targets economic punitive measures against Iran’s energy, banking and defense sectors, in an effort…

Documents reveal ISIS cash-for-terror reward system, Fighters' lust for young boys

Documents recovered from a liberated town in Iraq, including a chart explaining jihadi fighters’ cash-for-terror tiered reward system, give further insight into the corrupt and complex day-to-day function of the Islamic State. The chart, outlining the terror group’s reward system for successful militant activities, was found along with other documents, official papers, religious texts and…

New Al Qaeda Inspire Magazine details NY/NJ bombings, Calls for more lone-wolf attacks

Drawing upon inspiration from the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey, Al Qaeda is renewing its call for ‘lone-wolf’ jihadis to attack the U.S. in a special edition of its digital magazine “Inspire.” Entitled “The 9/17 operations – special issue,” the 16th edition of the terror group’s publication seeks to rally followers by…

ISIS continues its 'Get Out the Vote' jihadi campaign targeting U.S. elections

Islamic State-linked jihadis continued Monday to promote an essay released over the weekend calling for Election Day attacks and the “slaughter” of U.S. voters. Published Saturday by the terror group’s “Al Hayat media center,” a seven-page essay entitled “The Murtadd Vote” or apostate vote, was shared across numerous Islamic State affiliated channels including the group’s…

Al Qaeda leader, former Gitmo detainee threatens attack on U.S. cities

A senior Al Qaeda leader and former Guantanamo detainee in Yemen has called for renewed attacks on the U.S. just days before Americans prepare to vote for a new president. “We pledge and vow to continue fighting America. Hitting, confronting and striking until it falls back behind the seas. None is upon us except by…

Syrian women rescued from ISIS create all-female battalion

A group of Syrian women formerly under the ruthless reign of ISIS gained inspiration by watching Kurdish female fighters and decided to pick up arms and enlist in an all-female battalion to take on their former oppressors. The women have joined the “Women’s protection units” or YPJ, an all-female Kurdish military organization, according to the…

Lebanon: New Hezbollah-backed president vows to liberate "territories occupied by Israel"

Lebanon’s newly-elected president vowed to “liberate Lebanese territories occupied by Israel” in his first speech following his appointment. Retired general Michel Aoun, 81, said no effort would be spared in Lebanon’s effort to “defend itself against an enemy who aspires to control our land, water and natural resources,” a reference to natural gas fields located…

Pro-ISIS media call upon ‘lone wolves’ globally to avenge losses in Mosul

Pro-ISIS media has published a magazine calling upon jihadis in Europe and the United States to avenge Islamic State losses in Mosul by carrying out so-called ‘lone-wolf’ attacks around the world. In the second issue of an English language magazine entitled “Nashir – Now fight has come,” the writers appeal to Muslims around the world,…

Wikileaks email: Senior Clinton advisor says “Israel is depressing”

Wikileaks released the latest dump of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta Friday, now with comments knocking Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an email entitled “Man” from March 18, 2015, Neera Tanden, a senior advisor to the Clinton campaign wrote to Clinton 2016 campaign chairman and former chief of staff…

Al Qaeda belittles U.S. presidential candidates as “mired in criticism and flaws”

Al Qaeda is criticizing both U.S. presidential candidates, scoffing at America’s ‘waning’ influence around the world, in the latest edition of its online news magazine obtained and translated from Arabic by The Foreign Desk. “Some may wonder how the U.S. presidential campaign could only yield two candidates mired in criticism and flaws, and how the…

ISIS armed drone attack kills two Kurdish fighters, wounds French troops: Report

ISIS has used an armed drone to kill two Kurdish fighters and wound French troops, according to a report. In addition, two French paratroopers have also been seriously injured in the attack that occurred Oct. 2 near Erbil, Iraq. The paratroopers were part of the CPA-10, a French paratrooper commando unit deployed to Erbil, Iraq…

Majority of Paris attackers entered Europe posing as refugees

Seven of the nine ISIS jihadis who launched a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last November entered Europe by posing as refugees. The attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis last year, according to Hungarian security officials.…

ISIS-linked group promoting ‘lone jihadi’ tutorials on the dark web

A pro-Islamic State hacking group operating on the dark web has called on Muslims in the U.S. and Europe to launch attacks in their own countries. The ‘cyber Kahilafah’ group issued a message addressing so-called ‘lone wolves’ operating in “Europe, America and Gulf States involved in the coalition fighting the Islamic State.” “We invite you…

Iran: Ahmadinejad continues political comeback as candidates prepare for presidential election

Despite presidential elections still eight months away in Iran, potential candidates have been making their moves early as they take on the challenge to deseat the country’s incumbent Hassan Rouhani. Top military commander and head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds forces Qassem Soleimani and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were among the more familiar names. The…

Al Qaeda criticizes ISIS’ use of women in attacks

An online battle has erupted between ISIS and Al Qaeda over the role women should play in Jihad. Referencing the role of women jihadis in recent arrests in Paris, Al Qaeda is now criticizing the Islamic State for exploiting females in carrying out terror attacks. In a publication by Al Qaeda’s media arm Al Malahelm…

On eve of 9/11 anniversary, Al Qaeda threatens more attacks

Days before the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, terror group Al Qaeda has released a video referring to the day as a “slap” to the U.S. and calling on jihadis to carry out more attacks on U.S. soil. Al Qaeda’s media wing Al Sahab released the video online featuring the group’s current leader…

Iran sentences British mother to 5 years in Evin Prison

A British mother detained in Iran since April has been sentenced in a secret trial to five years in prison on unknown charges, her husband has informed The Foreign Desk. Nazanin Ratcliffe, 37, confirmed her sentence to her British husband Richard in an emotional jailhouse phone call Friday morning. “Five years is ridiculous. For what?”…

Egyptian MP calls on women to undergo FGM, reduce their sexual appetite

An Egyptian member of Parliament has called on women to undergo female genital mutilation, or FGM, citing the rising sexual appetites of men largely due to the popularity of sexual enhancement supplements. Elhamy Agina, a parliamentary representative from the Dakahlia Governate northeast of Cairo, responded to recent proposals in Egypt’s parliament aimed at curbing the…

Germany fears ISIS may have infiltrated its army

Senior officials in Germany’s army have called for background checks on all new recruits after discovering that dozens of soldiers with links to jihadi groups have enlisted in the country’s armed forces. More than 60 recruits with Islamist links have already been exposed as Bundeswehr officials hastily proposed a draft amendment calling for new screening…

New evidence Iran evaded sanctions, continued nuclear weapons development with Venezuela

New evidence suggests Iran received help from Venezuela with its nuclear program despite a decade of U.N.-mandated sanctions aimed at curbing the rouge regime’s controversial nuclear and ballistic missile programs. A 2009 document obtained by Brazil’s leading weekly, Veja magazine, shows late dictator President Hugo Chavez signing off on the release of funds to help…

Germany: Amidst refugee influx, child brides as young as thirteen

Lawmakers in Germany are under increased pressure to tackle the country’s growing trend of child marriages, renewing the debate over whether to allow Islamic Sharia law to supersede the country’s legal system when applied to its refugee population. With the wave of more than 1.2 million migrants, mostly of the Islamic faith, coming in from…

Libyan authorities arrest senior ISIS recruiter, former U.S. detainee: Libyan media

A senior Tunisian militant and Islamic State recruiter has been reportedly arrested in Libya, according to local media reports. Zintani forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Libyan National Army arrested Moez Ben Abdulgader Ben Ahmed Fezzani 47, known by his nom de guerre Abu Nassim, last week as he was trying to flee Sirte, Libya for…

Iran to charge detained U.S. man with threatening country’s national security

Iran is preparing to indict a detained U.S. man, accusing him of acting against the country’s national security interests, a source familiar with the case has told The Foreign Desk. Gholamreza Shahini, 46, known to his friends as Robin, has come under the government’s radar for allegedly participating in the Green Revolution of 2009 against…

ISIS releases new version of its Amaq news app, promises enhanced security

Islamic State followers can now enjoy a better browsing experience with enhanced privacy and security when receiving the latest updates from the terror group in the newest version of its Amaq News app released Monday. The app, which channels the latest news, infographics and videos from across the Islamic State, puts the terror group’s propaganda…

Pentagon looking to Israel for Iron Dome-type missile defense shield to protect troops abroad

American defense contractor Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems who work together developing Israel’s Iron Dome—the highly-acclaimed mobile air defense system that has become critical to Israel’s national security—are now collaborating on an American prototype. The U.S. version of the missile system would help protect U.S. forces in advanced combat positions around the world from a…

ISIS releases web-browser plugin for 24/7 news updates

The Islamic State is beefing up its online propaganda and recruitment efforts with the release of a downloadable web-browser plugin for its Amaq newswire. Appearing Sunday on the terror group’s social media channels, a prompt allows users to download a packaged extension file to install the plugin in the Firefox browser and then access the…

ISIS jihadis in Philippines call to target Miss Universe pageant

Islamic State jihadis in the Philippines are plotting to attack the Miss Universe contest that will be held in their country in 2017, according to a secret jihadi social media channel accessed by The Foreign Desk. In a thread posted to a Telegram Messenger group called “IS Philippines supporters,” a jihadi, noting next year’s pageant,…

Pentagon: German rapper & ISIS recruiter Deso Dogg survived U.S. airstrike

A former German rapper and key recruiting figure for the Islamic State appears to have survived an October 2015 airstrike that was initially thought to have killed him. The Pentagon put out a statement reversing its conclusion after New York-based music magazine The Fader wrote a profile of Cuspert, detailing his transformation from rapper to…

Iran Supreme Leader: U.S. created ISIS

Iran’s Supreme Leader has accused the U.S. of creating and supporting ISIS as a means of creating conflict among Muslims and promoting a false form of Islam in the world. In an English language Twitter account affiliated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, tweeted: US aim of making & backing DAESH…

Al Qaeda warns smartphone users: 'The spy is in your pocket'

Al Qaeda is cautioning its followers on the dangers of smartphones that can be used by enemies to track jihadis. In their latest English language magazine, Al Risalah 3, Al Qaeda warns readers, “Next time you search for a spy, just look in your pocket…” In an article entitled “UTOPIA-Smartphone Security,” readers are advised that…

Iran preparing site for new missile defense system

Iran may be readying deployment of its new Russian-made S-300 missile defense system at a military facility on the outskirts of Tehran, according to new satellite images. Heavy construction at an airbase near the Afsariyeh neighborhood in the southeast of the city suggest the location is being prepared to house the guided anti-aircraft missile system,…

ISIS video: Normandy church attackers pledge allegiance to Al Baghdadi

A new Islamic State video features the two men who carried out Tuesday’s attack on a church in France killing an 86-year old priest by slitting his throat, pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. The video, entitled “The 2 attackers of the Church in Normandy pledge allegiance to the Islamic State,” shows…

British grandfather jailed in Iran to be freed "within a week," family says

The family of a British grandfather languishing in an Iranian prison say he could be freed within a week. Kamal Foroughi, 76, has spent the last five years in Iran’s notorious Evin prison after Iranian authorities convicted him of espionage in 2013 and sentenced him to seven years in prison. He was also handed an…

ISIS using encryption technology, eluding Western intelligence

ISIS is increasingly turning to encryption-based technology as it continues to elude Western counterterrorism agencies desperate to breakdown the terror group’s digital footprint. Despite jihadi groups’ widespread and persistent online presence on social media platforms, a complex ‘toolbox’ of encryption instruments are being used by ISIS and other terror organizations to obscure their online communications…

Activists use Pokemon GO to tell the world about Syria's children

Pokémon GO fans in Syria have created a campaign to draw attention to the plight of children trapped by the war in Syria. Images of children holding pictures of Pokemon characters with a plea for help along with the Syrian city in which they’re located appeared on the Internet in recent days, leveraging the popularity…

ISIS in Brazil: Just ahead of Olympics, group pledges allegiance to Caliphate

As fears rise over Brazil’s security apparatus ahead of this summer’s Olympics games, a group calling itself “The Brazil Caliphate” has released a statement on social media pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State. In the pledge issued July 17, “Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil” posted to its Telegram channel…

Al Qaeda in Yemen provokes the U.S. into battle, vows to “liberate Palestine”

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) commonly known as Ansar Al Sharia has unveiled a new special operations training video seen by The Foreign Desk, featuring jihadis taunting the U.S. into military confrontation and vowing to fight to capture Palestine and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. At the Hamzah Zinjibari training camp, militants…

ISIS confirms death of senior militant Omar Al Shishani

The Islamic State has confirmed the death of Omar al-Shishani, a senior ISIS commander who was mistakenly reported dead in March. In a posting on its Amaq newswire, the militant group said Shishani was “martyred in #Shirqat as he participated in clashes to repel the campaign against the city of #Mosul.” Earlier today, CNN reported…

ISIS lauds "results" of a bloodthirsty Ramadan, claims 5200 victims

In a celebratory infographic posted online, the Islamic State is claiming major victory in killing and injuring up to 5,200 people over the holy month of Ramadan. The infographic, lauding the “results” of a bloodthirsty Ramadan, published by ISIS’ Al Naba weekly magazine notes the 14 terror attacks around the globe attributed to ISIS including…

Saudi Arabia arrests two over dog beauty contest

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested two men for hosting a dog pageant in the port city of Jeddah. The men spread word of the contest on social media using the hashtag “most beautiful dog in Jeddah” urging Saudi pet owners to enter their dogs. The best 10 would be recognized, and the top three…

ISIS introduces ‘Golden Dinar’ currency, Hopes it will collapse U.S. dollar

ISIS is now issuing its own currency referred to as the ‘Golden Dinar,’ with engravings bearing the words “Islamic State.” The coins, currently being released in limited quantity, are to primarily be used by traders in the oil industry in areas under Islamic State control, according to reports on jihadi online forums. Activists in Deir…

Iran celebrates “American Human Rights Week,” mocks U.S.’ rights record

Iran is currently observing “American Human Rights Week,” in an effort to shame and mock the United States’ human rights violations throughout history. The government has plastered billboards across Tehran June 26 – July 3 depicting various illustrations of what they deem as unflattering moments in U.S. history, such as the bombings of Hiroshima and…

Islamic State claims killing Coptic priest in Egypt

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for shooting to death a Coptic priest in Egypt Thursday. Father Raphael Musa, the priest of St. George Church in El-Arish in the northern Sinai was returning from mass Thursday when he was shot in the head multiple times by an unknown assailant, according to local police. Shortly thereafter, ISIS…

ISIS-linked group uses Bitcoin to raise funds for weapons

An Islamic State affiliate is using popular digital payment system Bitcoin to help fund the purchase of weapons, The Foreign Desk has observed. In an online campaign called ‘Jahezona’ or “Equip Us,” a Salafi-jihadi ISIS affiliate based in Gaza has been posting infographics of weapons such as heavy machine guns, RPG’s and sniper rifles, with…

Saudi crackdown on ‘un-Islamic’ clothing during Ramadan

A police clamp-down in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan resulted in the arrest of up to 50 men for wearing clothes deemed ‘un-Islamic.’ The men were arrested for a variety of fashion violations such as wearing ripped jeans, Crocs shoes, shorts, necklaces and having Western hair styles. Mecca governor Prince Khalid al-Faisal ordered police to crackdown on…

Pro ISIS group calls for more 'lone wolf' attacks in the West

An influential pro-ISIS group has published a graphic presenting the various methods so-called “lone wolves” can utilize to strike at infidels wherever they live. Despite the back and forth chatter surrounding whether Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had any direct ties with the Caliphate, it appears the ISIS propaganda machine is still interested in exploiting the…

Islamic extremists attack Christian village in Egypt, burn 80 homes

A mob of over a thousand Islamic extremists attacked a Christian village destroying property and setting the homes of over 80 families ablaze over rumors that a Coptic man was converting a home into a church. The attacks, which took place Friday in Egypt’s Qaryat Al-Bayda village, near Alexandria, left two Copts seriously injured and…

ISIS militant arrested in Sweden seeks asylum as CIA director warns of infiltration to West

An Islamic State militant was arrested in Sweden this week but is now being held by immigration authorities because he has already applied for asylum, officials said Thursday. The 46-year-old Bosnian jihadist who arrived at the country’s Malmo Airport Monday along with his four children, displayed signs of nervousness prompting Swedish authorities to delve deeper…

Nigeria busts ISIS recruiting cell as U.S. dismisses group's affiliation with Boko Haram

Nigerian security forces have busted an ISIS operation cell, arresting five recruits on their way to Morocco, Libya and other parts of Africa having an Islamic State presence. Intelligence officials within Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) arrested the five suspected ISIS members in the northwestern Kano State Thursday. The individuals were allegedly responsible for…

Liberated from ISIS, Kurdish woman says she'll only wear red for rest of her life

Women in parts of Syria liberated from under ISIS rule have been celebrating their first taste of freedom by wearing bright colors again. Under the Islamic State’s rule, women are held to a strict dress code that requires them to wear only black, baggy clothing that covers their entire bodies and double veils over their…

Hagia Sophia: Protests over Ramadan prayers held at Turkey's historic cathedral

An angry war of words has erupted between Greece and Turkey after Turkish authorities permitted a daily Koran reading to be broadcast from Turkey’s famous Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine cathedral. Turkish national broadcaster TRT Diyanet will broadcast the sahur or Islamic predawn meal along with daily readings from the Koran during the Islamic holy month…

Lisa Daftari at the United Nations: “International Law on Peace and Justice"

The Foreign Desk’s Editor-in-Chief Lisa Daftari appeared at the United Nations Headquarters last week at a gathering of the Permanent Missions to discuss the significance of international law on bringing about global peace. Daftari gave a briefing on the current state of global affairs including the rise of ISIS, the Christian persecution crisis and the…

WWII vet dies on trip to revisit former U.K airbase after 70 years

When Melvin Rector traveled to the U.K. earlier this month, it was a trip long overdue for the retired U.S. Army Air Corps veteran. A World War II veteran, Rector server as a radio operator and gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress,” and he was stationed at Britain’s RAF Snetterton Heath. Rector had always dreamed of visiting the…

Following our report, Facebook removes 'Islamic Female Circumcision' page promoting FGM

UPDATE: Following The Foreign Desk’s report, Facebook removes ‘Islamic Female Circumcision’ page promoting FGM EARLIER STORY: A Facebook community called “Islamic Female Circumcision” was launched earlier this month with the stated goal of clarifying “misconceptions” around the Muslim faith’s practice of female genital mutilation or FGM. The page already has more than a dozen posts, including articles and…

Jihadist website profiting from online advertising, including U.S. companies

A convicted Islamic extremist in Indonesia running a popular jihadi website has been profiting from revenue generated by online advertising platforms according to reports.. Muhammad Jibril Abdul Rahman, whose website Arrahmah.com featuring pictures of beheadings has garnered 600,000, and on occasion upwards of 1 million visitors, a month, has been using platforms such as Google’s…

Iran using commercial airliner to fly fighters, weapons to Syria

Iran is using a commercial airliner with ties to the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to ferry fighters and weapons to Syria. Sanctioned by the United States for its support of terrorism, Mahan Air operates regular flights from Tehran to Dusseldorf and Munich. But now German politicians are seeking to ban the airline for its alleged…

One in five Boko Haram suicide bombers is a child, U.N. report

One in five suicide bombers used by terror group Boko Haram are children, with a large majority of them girls, according to a recent United Nations report. There has been exponential growth since last year in the number of children being exploited by Boko Haram to carry out suicide attacks, the U.N. has discovered in…

Iran says Kim Kardashian corrupting youth, amidst Instagram crackdown

Iran’s internet is broken and Kim Kardashian is getting the blame The Iranian government’s arrest of fashion models with highly popular social media photo-sharing platforms is just the beginning of the regime’s latest crackdown on the Internet and any material deemed ‘un-Islamic.’ Eight models were arrested for allegedly posting photos without the mandatory hijab headscarf…

Iran re-arrests Christian pastor once sentenced to death

An Iranian pastor once sentenced to death for renouncing Islam and converting to Christianity has been rearrested, according to a global Christian advocacy group. Youcef Nadarkhani, 38, was arrested Friday by Iranian authorities along with his wife, Tina Pasandide Nadarkhani, and three members of their house church. Nadarkhani and his wife faced interrogation for several…

Christian refugees report ongoing threats by other migrants in European refugee camps

Christian refugees who have recently migrated to Europe from the Middle East now living in refugee camps in Germany and elsewhere are frequently being targeted, harassed and even receiving death threats for their beliefs, a Christian advocacy group has found. Refugees have reported cases of being treated as second-rate human beings by fellow refugees who…

After nuclear agreement, Iran hosts another Holocaust cartoon contest

Iran is holding yet another Holocaust denial cartoon contest this weekend in which artists will display work mocking and denying the genocide of six million Jews and other minorities. The exhibit, which first took place in 2006, has already received over 800 submissions from artists in 50 different countries, Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency…

Exclusive: U.S. marine held in Iran suing for more than $10m

The attorneys representing Amir Hekmati, the U.S. marine held in Iran for four and a half years, are suing the Islamic Republic of Iran for falsely imprisoning and torturing him. Seeking damages for Hekmati’s injuries, the complaint filed this week states that he was “arrested and jailed on fabricated charges” and routinely “brutally tortured by his…

Gaza kids' festival theme suicide bombs, guns and murder

There are some resemblances to a traditional children’s carnival. The children are dressed in beautiful, bright colors. Young girls are bearing flowers in their hair, and the children moving around to loud, fun music, waving flags and singing songs. The one exception at this children’s festival in Gaza is that the songs, musical acts and dances are…

Israel’s arrest of Hamas 'Tunnel Man' leads to discovery of extensive tunnel network

Another Hamas tunnel—the second in three weeks—giving Palestinians access into Israel was discovered on its border with Gaza Thursday, while Israeli authorities also revealed new information on a recent arrest of a Hamas operative with knowledge of the group’s extensive tunnel network, Israel’s military confirmed. Over the past two days, Israel’s effort to locate tunnels…

Children as young as 9 added to terror watch list, Dutch officials

Children as young as 9 are being added to a terror watch list by Dutch authorities who fear they may have been indoctrinated while living in Islamic State territories. The Netherlands’ General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is now classifying children who received combat training as national security threats, Dutch Daily deVolkskrant reported Wednesday. The news…

Iranian cartoonist jailed for ‘insulting’ members of parliament released

An Iranian woman sentenced to 12 years in prison for “insulting members of parliament” through cartoons she drew has been released after an appeals court reduced her sentence to 18 months. Atena Farghadani, 29, was arrested in January 2015 and sentenced in May of that year to more than 12 years in prison for drawing…

American couple recruiting for ISIS in Syria killed in airstrike

An American husband and wife team who traveled to Syria to join ISIS and recruit Westerns have been killed in an airstrike, according to jihadi social media accounts. The bodies of Abu Isa al-Amriki and Umm Isa al-Amriki, as they were referred to, were discovered in the rubble of their home in Aleppo province Friday. The…

Woman in Iran sentenced to 100 public lashes for extra-marital affair

  An Iranian woman serving a 15-year prison sentence for the alleged murder of her husband will now receive 100 public lashes for her assumed involvement in an extra-marital affair, according to an Iranian news outlet. The woman, known only as “ST” in the news report translated by The Foreign Desk, was sentenced April 27…

Mosul's iconic 'Clock Church' destroyed by ISIS

Islamic State militants in Iraq have blown up the remnants of the prestigious Latin Church, dubbed the “Clock Church” for its prominent clock tower in central Mosul, according to the Patriarch of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael Sacco. Militants cordoned off areas surrounding the church and looted the building for profitable artifacts and antiquities before destroying the remaining parts with explosives,…

ISIS-linked jihadis publish ‘hit list’ targeting US State Dept. personnel

ISIS-linked militants published an online ‘hit list’ targeting State Dept. employees and listing their personal information Monday, as seen by The Foreign Desk. The group, United Cyber Caliphate, a self-proclaimed “hacking” group linked with the Islamic State, posted on their Telegram account a list of 43 government employees’ sensitive information, including home addresses, phone numbers…

ISIS in Libya training women for combat, suicide bombing attacks

The Islamic State in Libya is pulling its female recruits from the kitchen and placing them alongside men on the battlefield, according to a Tunisian family whose daughters have joined the terror group. Olfa Hamrouni, a Tunisian woman from the Hay al-Tadamon district whose two daughters, Rahma, 17, and Ghofran, 19, left home to go…

Iran govt. disqualifies female politician for allegedly shaking hands with a man

A female member elected to Iran’s parliament has been banned from her post for allegedly shaking hands with a man unrelated to her during a trip to China, according to local reports. Newly-elected Minoo Khaleghi, a so-called ‘reformist’ politician who was elected to Iran’s 290-seat Majlis, or parliament, in February denies the allegations. Iran’s strict…

U.S. man detained in Turkey for evangelism released

UPDATE: The Foreign Desk has learned Byle has been released and is back home in Turkey with his family after the judge canceled the detention order, according to family members. Earlier story An American evangelist has been detained without charges in Turkey after authorities there declared him “a danger to public order.”  David Byle, 46, was…

Pakistan fears increase in ISIS presence and recruitment

Islamic State recruiters operating at religious schools and universities across Pakistan have fueled concerns about the terror group’s growing presence, despite Pakistani military campaign efforts to target and crush Islamist groups. ISIS first announced their presence in Pakistan in May 2015, after claiming responsibility for an attack that killed 45 Shia bus passengers in Karachi.…

Boko Haram training abducted women to be suicide bombers

Women taken hostage by African terror group Boko Haram are being trained to be used as suicide bombers, according to a recent report. At least 105 women and girls have carried out suicide bombing missions for the terror group, resulting in hundreds of deaths since 2014, The New York Times reported. Responding to the group’s…

Despite ban, women take part in “I run Iran” marathon

Update: Despite ban, two women unofficially ran the “I run Iran” marathon Saturday according to an AFP reporter in Tehran. Two women run unofficially on the sideline of the marathon "I run Iran" pic.twitter.com/MoDcXDCQdG — Bahar Shoghi (@baharshoghi) April 9, 2016 Earlier story: Iran will be holding its first running marathon next year, in a…

ISIS schools teaching children bomb-making techniques

Young children going to school within Iraq’s ISIS-controlled territories are being taught fighting and bomb-making techniques, according to a human rights group. Giving children instructional lessons on how to create improvised explosive devices (IEDs) while also teaching from the Quran, ISIS has continuously aimed to brainwash children in hopes of spreading their jihadist ideology. Fear…

U.S. launches cyber war against the Islamic State

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that he has ordered cyber attacks targeting the Islamic State. The Pentagon’s US Cyber Command, which will now broaden its role to participate in the fight against ISIS, according to Carter, has been tasked to launch the attacks, the department’s first mission since it was established in 2009. “As…

ISIS video game encourages players to "Shoot Obama"

Islamic State jihadis in Indonesia have launched a series of video games that encourage players to shoot President Obama and attack Captain America. The games are based on popular American video games and characters and are available on the Android platform. One of the games, “Shoot Obama,” based on the popular game “Archery Tournament,” instructs players…

ISIS Facebook jihad targets Fox News

An ISIS-linked social media account synchronized another online jihad this weekend targetting a Fox News Facebook post. Followers were instructed to comment on a video from Saturday morning’s Fox and Friends, in which hosts Tucker Carlson, Anna Kooiman and Clayton Morris discussed the White House’s omission of the word “Islamic” in the transcript of French President…

Taliban app removed from Google Play Store following investigation by The Foreign Desk

Story updated: See below. An app featuring news from outlawed terror group The Afghan Taliban is available for download on The Google Play Store, The Foreign Desk has discovered. It offers users access to the latest news, official statements, propaganda videos and songs from the authorized website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The app is labeled with…

Terror financing moves underground as U.S. cracks down on jihadi accounts

The closing of thousands of suspicious terror-linked bank accounts has now resulted in a surge of underground accounts and illegal activity, making the tracking and monitoring of these actions a challenge for federal agencies. The federal government has had access to valuable banking information, established in 2001 by the Patriot Act in the aftermath of the…

Who does Al Qaeda want in the White House?

A news publication with ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has published its projections on the U.S. presidential election, predicting who will be the Democratic and Republican nominees and how each individual will deal with the Middle East and Muslims around the world. In an online article published by Al Masra, a…

ISIS forbids remaining Christians from leaving Raqqa

The Islamic State is now preventing the last remaining Christians from leaving Raqqa, Syria, according to activists on the ground. According to the group Raqqa Is Being Silently Slaughtered, which was founded by a group of journalists turned activists, ISIS has put out a new decree preventing both Christians and Armenians in Raqqa from leaving.…

ISIS militants launch Jihad on Facebook posts

An attempt by Islamic State jihadis to rally hundreds of supporters to bombard Facebook posts with pro-ISIS propaganda proved rather unsuccessful, leaving the organizers dumbfounded. Islamic State militants instructed about 400 members in a private Telegram group chat Saturday to “go full force” on an Al-Jazeera Facebook post. They were instructed to counter rumors about…

Brexit: Calls for a U.K exit from the E.U. increase following terror attacks

In light of the Brussels attacks which revealed a serious lapse in Belgium’s counterterrorism measures, the former head of Britain’s intelligence agency has suggested that the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union would improve British security. A British exit, or ‘Brexit’ from the E.U. would give the U.K. more autonomy vis-à-vis the European Convention…

Seeking better ties with Egypt, Hamas removes Muslim Brotherhood billboards in Gaza

Hamas has removed all traces of Muslim Brotherhood signage and banners from the streets of Gaza in an attempt to repair relations between the terror group and one-time supporter Egypt, according to Saudi media sources. It is believed that removing all Muslim Brotherhood slogans and visible propaganda, including pictures of the terror group’s founder Hassan…

White House follows Congress in determining ISIS actions against Christians genocide

UPDATE: Following Congress’ designation, Secretary Kerry announced Thursday that the U.S. has determined ISIS attacks on minorities including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims, a genocide. Earlier story: Pressure is mounting on the Obama administration to take action following a unanimous Congressional vote Monday approving a resolution to designate the persecution of Christians and other minorities in…

Inside ISIS: 2 women go undercover in Raqqa

Two women living under the Islamic State risked their lives to capture scenes of daily life using hidden cameras in the terror group’s de-facto capital of Raqqa. The two women, identified only as Om Omran and Om Mohammad, commissioned by Swedish outlet and CNN affiliate Expressen TV, were able to capture raw footage confirming realities…

Massive ISIS intelligence leak reveals data on 22,000 foreign fighters

If Western countries were ever in denial about their citizens going abroad to fight alongside the Islamic State, as the old saying goes, “The devil is in the detail.” Details- lots and lots of personal details of at least 22,000 ISIS recruits who have joined the terror organization in Syria and Iraq from 51 countries…

Christian missionary, filmmaker arrested in Sudan

A Christian missionary reported missing in Sudan is being held by authorities in Khartoum, The Foreign Desk has learned. Petr Jasek, 52, a Czech missionary and documentary filmmaker, originally travelled to Sudan in 2015. He has been listed as missing since December on Interpol’s website for missing people, according to Czech media. Authorities in the…

ISIS militants force 12-year-old girl to execute five women

Islamic State militants forced a 12-year-old girl to execute five women, including a female doctor who refused to treat ISIS fighters. The killings took place by firing squad in Nineveh, an Iraqi city notorious for ISIS executions, according to Iraq’s Alsumaria News. This is reportedly ISIS’ first time employing a female child as an executioner.…

ISIS now deploying women in combat roles

ISIS in Libya is now using women in combat roles, as well as in suicide bombing missions, according to a Libyan official. The roles of women within ISIS have until now been limited to positions within the Al-Khansaa brigade—a group of women responsible for policing cities like Raqqa, Syria and Mosul, Iraq—to make sure women…

EXCLUSIVE: Jihadis selling U.S. weapons intended for Syrian rebels on Facebook

Jihadis in Syria are using Facebook as a marketplace to buy, sell and barter a wide variety of American-made weapons and munitions ranging from rocket launchers to machine guns. A Facebook page called “The first weapons market in the Idleb countryside” showcases posts with photographs of weapons, claimed to be CIA-supplied, inviting buyers to contact page administrators privately using…

German media: Over 800 have left country for Jihad in Mideast

Over 800 Islamists have left Germany for extremist strongholds in the Middle East, according to German national daily newspaper, Die Welt. An astounding 60 percent of those were German citizens, approximately one-third of whom have already returned to Germany, the paper said. The numbers have alarmed German and European authorities who are scrambling to prevent…

Hamas and Iran look to rekindle relationship

Hamas and the Iranian government are aiming to repair the current strain in their relationship with a “clean slate,” a Hamas official said Thursday in a statement coming on the foot of an eight-day visit to Iran directed at scripting a new chapter based on mutual interests between the terror group and Tehran. “We hope…

Children of Jihad: Iran trains kids for war against U.S., Israel

It looks like summer camp with the bonfires, the obstacle courses, the young children running around the park grounds; except its jihadi training set up by Iran’s regime to prepare young children for the “conquering of Tel Aviv.” New alarming images are emerging from Iran’s ‘Sixth National Children’s Memorial,’ in which children appearing to be…

CIA chief: ISIS attack on U.S. "inevitable," new biological, cyber threats

Attempts by ISIS to carry out attacks in the United States are “inevitable,” CIA director John Brennan said in Sunday night’s 60 Minutes interview. In an interview with Scott Pelley, CIA director John Brennan said that while the U.S. has the “technical capabilities” and the “human resources,” as a country we have to work harder…

He said; She said: Sanders, Clinton spar on normalizing relations with Iran

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred on a number of foreign policy issues at last nights Democratic debate, particularly in offering contrasting approaches to establishing diplomatic relations with Iran. Sanders, who Clinton has repeatedly called out over his lack of foreign policy experience, suggested the U.S. look to first improve relations with Iran and then…

Forbidden love: Valentines Day banned in Iran

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Iranian authorities are reminding citizens and retailers that the holiday is outlawed and that any sales or promotion of Valentine’s Day-related items are also illegal. Iranian police warned retailers against “the promotion of Western culture through Valentine’s Day rituals,” according to The Human Rights Activists News Agency, and that the exchange…

Iran's new app to avoid morality police reportedly blocked

A new app in Iran, Gershad, which warns users about where the morality police are located, has been blocked by Iranian authorities, just 24 hours after its launch, according to some reports. Gershad is a mapping app similar to Waze, only instead of relying on crowdsourced information from users to report traffic conditions, users report…

Surge in recruitment of child soldiers in global conflict, report says

The number and threat of vulnerable children falling victim to the recruitment ploys of armed militant groups is steadily growing and continues to be an area of serious concern, according to a report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The increase in child soldier recruitment is a result of the steep rise…

Iran to unveil drone; Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan to attend ceremony

The Mullahs want to unveil a new drone; and who better to make the presentation than Louis Farrakhan. Iran’s regime will parade a homegrown drone in a ceremony Feb. 11, marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Iranian media announced Tuesday. The drone, known as Shahed 129, which means ‘witness’ in Persian, will be displayed…

Ethnic cleansing: Iran-backed militia seize Christian neighborhoods in Baghdad

Iran-backed militias have seized homes, businesses and cultural sites, including churches belonging to Baghdad’s Christian communities, forcing individuals to resettle and forfeit all their belongings, according to members of the Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament. The militias have targeted properties belonging to Christians, forcing individuals to leave the area, according to Christian community leaders,…

Somalia: Airport video shows worker handing laptop suspected of containing bomb to passenger

A Mogadishu airport security video shows two airport employees handing a passenger a laptop suspected of containing the bomb which blasted mid-flight Tuesday in a passenger plane, according to Somali government officials. The footage shows the workers passing the computer to the suspected suicide bomber after passing through x-ray  and other airport security controls before the…

Al Shabaab Islamists attack, behead Christians in Kenyan village

Al Shabaab terrorists killed four Christians, beheading one, in an attack in a Kenyan coastal town, according to witnesses. It was in the middle of the night when five or six militants wearing military uniform who spoke Somali stormed a home in the Kaisari area of Kenya’s Maporomoko village, 25 miles away from the Indian…

U.S. Congressmen want a say in Iran election, apply for travel visas to Iran

Three U.S. lawmakers have applied for travel visas to Iran to oversee their upcoming elections and to inspect nuclear sites to ensure that the government has kept its end of the nuclear deal. The trio, Reps. Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), Mike Pompeo and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) also penned a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah…

Super Bowl 50: A closer look at airspace security

With the Super Bowl coming up at San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos, additional safety measures are being put in place to accommodate the more than 100,000 fans who will pour into the Bay Area this weekend. Ahead of Sunday’s game, the Department of Homeland Security has put a…

Migrant crisis: Child brides, as young as 11, arrive in E.U. married, pregnant

  Norway is now considering the appropriate steps to deal with dozens of asylum-seekers as young as 11, who are already married and either have children or are pregnant. According to Norwegian broadcaster NRK, 10 of the 61 married migrants, who came from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq last year, were under 16, Norway’s age of consent,…

Former BBC journalist arrested in Iran

A former BBC journalist and dual British-Iranian national has been arrested in Iran, according to the BBC’s Persian service website. Bahman Daroshafaei was arrested in the Iranian capital Tehran Wednesday, after reportedly being interrogated 40 times over the past few months according to IranWire. No motive has been given, and it is unclear why Daroshafaei…

New Palestinian pop music encourages knife attacks against Israelis

New pop music songs blasting in cars and stores in Jerusalem and the West Bank support and incite more Palestinian violence against Israelis, with lyrics like “Stab, stab!” and “Jerusalem is burning,” according to Public Radio International (PRI). This comes at a time where Israeli soldiers and citizens have fallen victim to a wave of…

Popular fashion models arrested in Iran

Iranian regime officials arrested seven fashion models over the last week or so, according to Iranwire. According to unconfirmed reports on social media, of the seven models, six were women and all had shared photographs of themselves without Islamic headscarf on their Instagram accounts. The models have been named as Melikaa Zamani, Niloofar Behboudi, Donya…

State Dept. strengthens Iran travel warning to U.S. citizens

U.S. citizens traveling to Iran, particularly Iranian-Americans, risk arrest and detention in the Islamic republic, the U.S. State Department said in a travel warning Friday. The notice, which was previously issued in August, updates the last warning specifically for dual citizens, a State Dept. spokesperson told The Foreign Desk. “We just strengthened the language,” the…

Young Iraqi Christian refugee's singing audition goes viral

A young Chaldean Christian refugee in Lebanon, who fled the horrors of ISIS just months ago, is turning heads with her stunning performance on Lebanon’s “The Voice Kids,” an adaptation of the reality singing competition “The Voice.” Mirna Hanna, 11, fled Iraq together with her family after ISIS threatened to kidnap her, according to her…

Kent State Univ. professor investigated for alleged involvement with ISIS

KENT, Ohio — The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating a Kent State associate history professor for his alleged connection to ISIS, according to KentWired, the official student newspaper of Kent State University. Julio Pino has been under investigation by a joint terrorism task force for the past 18 months, an FBI…

ISIS auctions off Christian property in Mosul

Over the weekend the Islamic State began auctioning off properties belonging to Christians. In a move that may suggest the Islamic State is feeling the pinch of repeated airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition on targets including ISIS-held oil refineries and cash reserves, the Islamic State’s police force announced an auction of properties formally held by…

American woman living in the Islamic State mocks men who contact her

An American woman who claims to be living in the Islamic State has taken to social media deriding Muslim men who have attempted to contact her online, stating “My account is for sisters only, so unless you menstruate do not message me.” In a recent message posted to her Telegram, and seen by The Foreign…

ISIS 'lone wolf' guide advises avoid mosques, shave beard, act Christian

Islamic State militants have published an e-book advising ‘lone wolves’ across the world with instructions on how to carry out successful local attacks on behalf of the terror group. Jihadi readers are motivated to plot attacks by following the pointers, strategies and advice offered throughout the document such as cutting beards and adopting one or…

Probe: Spain’s ‘Podemos’ Party may have been given €5 million Euros by Iran regime

Spanish authorities are actively investigating rumors that Iran’s regime heavily financed the activities of the country’s Podemos political party, according to Spanish media sources. The Union of Economic and Fiscal Delinquency, La Unidad de Delincuencia Económica y Fiscal (UDEF), an investigative arm of the country’s National Police has launched a detailed probe in determining whether the…

Girlfriend sabotages man's plans to travel to Syria to join ISIS

They say love can conquer all. Maybe even ISIS? An Afghani man living in Australia, who had been in contact with Islamic State recruiters for months, was going to go join ISIS until his plans were sabotaged by his girlfriend after she saw his airline tickets. Soraya, a Lebanese-Australian high school tutor, arrived at an…

ISIS forcing girls in eastern Syrian province to marry its fighters

Girls from a province in eastern Syria are being forced by extremists to marry ISIS militants or be put to death. Islamic State leaders in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province released a statement last week demanding that parents allow their young daughters to wed ISIS militants or face severe consequences. According to a report from AhlulBayt News…

Pakistani boy, 7, gang raped, murdered in country's Christian district

An abducted 7-year-old Pakistani boy was gang-raped and murdered by a mob of four men, before his body was dumped in fields near Bahawalnagar’s Christian district in the Punjab Province. The boy, whose name has been withheld to protect his family, was reported missing Tuesday night in Bahawalnagar, according to The Express Tribune. His body…

Egypt requests Israel keep Turkey out of Gaza

Senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry officials have quietly expressed concerns regarding the status of a possible reconciliation between Israel and Turkey and the impact that may have on Turkey’s access to Gaza. The prospect of Israel and Turkey resuming bilateral ties has left Egyptian officials concerned, according to Haaretz. Last month, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily reported that…

ISIS e-book advises young recruits on how to tell their parents

An Islamic State member released an e-book advising young people around the world interested in joining The Caliphate, including advice on how to go about informing their parents of their decision to join ISIS. In the book, observed by The Foreign Desk, notorious British jihadi Abu Sa’eed Al-Britani, also known as the Supermarket Jihadi, referring…

Assad government is starving residents in besieged Syrian town

Starving and freezing cold residents of Madaya, a Syrian town north west of Damascus, are calling on the world to help provide aid as they run out of food and prepare to face a brutal winter. According to individual accounts from Madaya, the stranded have resorted to eating leaves and even their pets to survive…

Islamic State operating a 'jihadi technical college'

A new video obtained by Sky News depicts what can only be described as a ‘Jihadi technical college.’ In a video smuggled out of the Caliphate’s defacto capital Raqqa, Islamic State jihadis are seen converting heat-seeking fighter jet missiles into surface to air missiles with the help of their weapons research and development team. Islamic…

ISIS executes female journalist who reported on group's atrocities

Islamic State militants allegedly executed a female journalist who was caught reporting on the terrorist group in the jihadi group’s Raqqa, Syria headquarters. Ruqia Hassan, a 30-year-old University of Aleppo student, whose pen name was Nisan Ibrahim, is the fifth journalist to be captured and killed by ISIS since October. Hassan, who had been reported…

Up to 50 British children are in the clutches of the Islamic State

As many as 50 British children, including young babies, are in the clutches of the Islamic State, it emerged last night. Information from The Times database of 120 former United Kingdom residents who fled to join ISIS revealed that 35 children between the ages of 15 to 18 and more than 60 men between 18…

Iran moves to convert confiscated church grounds into mosque

The Iranian regime is proving its intolerance towards Christians in the Islamic nation once again in an inequitable move to convert grounds illegally confiscated from Assyrian Christian church into a mosque. The property, belonging to Iran’s Assyrian community’s Chaldean Catholic Church in the capital city of Tehran’s Patrice Lumumba Street, was illegally confiscated two years…

Slain Austrian jihadi 'poster girls' gifted as sex slaves to ISIS fighters

There’s new information suggesting that the young teens from Austria who went to join ISIS were served to new Islamic State jihadis as sex slaves before they were killed. Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, both of Bosnian heritage, left their families in 2014 with a note saying, “Don’t look for us. We will…

10 ISIS obsessions you didn't know about…

1. They Love Apps/Social Media Social media account Calling foreign Tweeters and Facebook users out on their “haram” lifestyles and spreading ISIS propaganda, members of the Jihadi group have a strong online presence with thousands of social media accounts on mainstream platforms and not-so-mainstream. They also like to post a lot and very frequently. 2.…

ISIS mutilates, kills woman for breastfeeding in public

The Islamic State’s notorious all-woman Al-Khansaa Brigade savagely murdered a mother who was caught breastfeeding her baby on the streets of Raqqa, Syria. Aisha, a mother of two and a prior resident of Raqqa who fled the ISIS stronghold city after her husband was beheaded for smoking a cigarette told The Sunday Times, “An [ISIS]…

Christian convert arrested in Iran during holiday season

A Christian man was attacked and arrested in Iran just before Christmas, a time when Iranian officials have been cracking down on those celebrating or observing the holiday, according to an Iranian news agency. Meysam Hojjati, a convert to Christianity from Islam, was arrested Dec. 23 by plainclothes officers at his home in Isfahan, where they…

Iranian pastor freed in time to spend Christmas with his family

A pastor was freed in Iran this week after serving five of a seven-year prison term in an Iran prison for distributing religious material to others, according to his fellow church leaders. Farshid Fathi, 36, married and the father of two, was charged with “taking actions against national security,” and unlawfully possessing and spreading Christian…

American woman's website names & shames Saudi deadbeat fathers

Never underestimate the actions of a heartbroken woman. After an Ohio-based woman had the experience of having her baby’s father, a Saudi citizen, flee the U.S. upon learning about his girlfriend’s pregnancy, she launched a website so that other women would not have to suffer the same fate. Jennifer Crystal founded SaudiChildrenLeftBehind.com, a place where…

ISIS jihadi brags about seizing weapons Israel supplied to Syrian rebels

A jihadi boasted on his Telegram Messenger account about confiscating an assault riffle that he alleged was given to the Free Syrian Army by Israel and taken by the Islamic State in battle: “A customised AK47 made in Israel. Given to FSA as a gift. Taken by Dawlah (the State) as Ghaneemah (spoils.) Jihad is so…

Biting the hand?! Iran announces boycott of 227 U.S. products ahead of sanctions release

The Iranian government has published a boycott list of American-made products ahead of the highly-anticipated lifting of sanctions which expects a flooding of foreign goods into the country, an Iranian news agency reported Monday. Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization has made public the names of 227 American-made goods that are now on an import ban list, Tasnim…

#MyTreedom campaign takes on global persecution with Christmas tree photos

Merry Christmas from…everywhere. Yes, even countries where being Christian is a crime, punishable by death. In the eye of increased Christian persecution around the world, a newly-launched Facebook campaign called My Treedom, posts daily photographs of Christmas trees and holiday decorations from some of the hardest places to live and practice as a Christian. Launched…

ISIS Diaries: New channel chronicles daily life in the Caliphate

If you aren’t inspired to go fight alongside the Islamic State, perhaps hearing their personal accounts will make you change your mind. That’s what the newest ISIS-linked Telegram Messenger account is hoping. “Diary of a Mujahid,” is a new channel showcasing “inspiring narratives” from ISIS fighters in English, directed toward recruiting others abroad to join.…

Facebook declines to remove ISIS page -UPDATED

Facebook declined a request to remove an ISIS-affiliated page in English, replying that the page “does not violate” their “Community Standards.” The Foreign Desk alerted Facebook to the Khalifah News page, which describes itself as an outlet that posts “official material published by the Islamic State” including news, videos, statements, image sets and audio statements…

Telegram Messenger shut down 78 ISIS-linked channels

Telegram Messenger has shut down 78 ISIS-linked channels that the terror group was using to spread its propaganda message across the Internet. Using a recently-launched “Channels” feature that allows messages to be sent to unlimited users and followers, the Islamic State has used the platform to create the “Nashir” channel, meaning ‘purveyor’ in Arabic. ISIS…

ISIS offers Jihadi emojis, beheading & execution sticker set

Instead of a smile, a wink or a frown, imagine sending stickers or emojis of an ISIS flag, the beheading of James Foley or a cage on fire, depicting the burning alive of Jordanian pilot, Moaz Al-Kasasbeh. That’s what the Islamic State is now offering on one of their messenger channels—various downloadable stickers, allowing users…

Ohio man arrested for supporting ISIS, leaking info on U.S. military personnel

Authorities arrested an Akron, Ohio man today on federal charges of soliciting the murder of U.S. military personnel, according to the Department of Justice. Terrence J. McNeil, 25, presented himself in a District Court in northern Ohio on one count of solicitation as a crime of violence, according to Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin,…

Al Shabaab militants swear allegiance to ISIS

ISIS has released a video purportedly showing a group of Al Shabaab militants switching allegiance from Al Qaeda and pledging loyalty to the Islamic State. The video, obtained by The Foreign Desk, shows several dozen young fighters sitting together with one jihadi issuing a call to all Muslims, but specifically the ‘Mujahideen in Somalia,’ to…

Saudi actor arrested after posing for selfies with fans

A Saudi actor and TV personality found himself on the wrong side of the country’s strict penal code after posing for ‘selfies’ with a group of female fans at a mall, according to Saudi news sources. According to The Gulf Times, Abdul Aziz Al Kassar was taken into custody from the popular Al Nakheel Mall…

New ISIS video sends message to Pres. Obama

ISIS has released a new video threatening Pres. Obama and accusing him of “waging war against Allah.” The message refers back to the U.S./Kurdish coordinated raid that freed 70 hostages in Hawijah, Northern Iraq last week. Titled “The reality of the American raid,” the video appears to be a recounting of the attack by ISIS…

ISIS stops women from being treated by gynecologists; Closes women’s clinics

ISIS has allegedly called for the closing of all women’s clinics in Raqqa, the terror group’s headquarters in Syria, threatening to kill doctors, according to a human rights group. This is the latest in the Islamic State’s war on women, raping them, taking them as sex slaves, and forcing young children into marriages. ISIS is…

Iran hosts police brutality conference: US cops "treat blacks like ISIS"

The Iranian regime is exploiting race tensions in the United States between police and African Americans by inviting the families of those killed by law enforcement to attend a discrimination conference in Iran Monday. The third annual “New Horizons” conference will focus on “police brutality against blacks in America,” according to the event announcement. “We…

The awaited Al Qaeda comeback: Syria's Nusra Front releases magazine

Syrian rebels loyal to the Al Qaeda terror organization, released the second edition of its English-language magazine, “Al Risalah,” Sunday. The rebels, who identify with the Nusra Front (NF), Al Qaeda’s local branch, leaked the magazine onto the social media sphere using the group’s official Twitter account, which has still not been removed. The cover…

ISIS releases video in Hebrew with a “message to the Jews”

ISIS has released a video featuring a militant speaking in Hebrew. In a video seen by The Foreign Desk, a jihadist announces a “clear and important message for all Jews, the first enemy of Muslims.” Addressing “Jews who conquered the land of the Muslims,” he warns that the “real war has not started yet,” with…

Telegram Messenger app blocked in Iran

Popular messaging app Telegram Messenger was blocked in Iran for a full two hours, following a week’s interference, according to the app’s founder Pavel Durov. Durov tweeted Tuesday that “Iranian officials want to use Telegram to spy on their citizens. We cannot and will not help them with that.” @CDA Iranian ministry of ICT demanded…

Iran State media: Jason Rezaian "confessed" to running spy ring

Jason Rezaian has “confessed” to leading a network of spies in Iran, working directly with the U.S. to “topple the Iranian regime,” according to Fars News, Iran’s state-run media outlet. In a detailed article, the Revolutionary Guard-backed media outlet accused Rezaian of being the stealthy ringleader of a network of informants working closely with the…

Social media inciting Palestinian violence against Israel

It appears social media is fanning the flames of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens that has escalated over the last month, sending messages praising the perpetrators by calling them “heroes,” encouraging others to carry out similar attacks and warning of more attacks in coming days. Popular Arabic hashtags such as “The Intifada has started,” “The…

ISIS using encryption app Telegram to spread propaganda

ISIS has been increasingly turning to Telegram Messenger, a popular messaging app that boasts end-to-end encryption and self-destructing messages, to continue spreading its propaganda online and delivering its recruitment message. ISIS has been posting frequent updates using the app, showing everyday life under the caliphate, the battles, the martyrs, the implementation of Sharia law – public…

Sorry Syria: Iranians apologize for country's involvement in Syria

Iranian activists have launched a new online campaign to protest Tehran’s involvement in the Syrian civil war and to condemn their country’s support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Launched with a Facebook campaign called “Sorry Syria,” the group highlights the explosion of the Syrian migrant crisis and humanitarian conflict in recent months as “a small…

Iran regime music video blasts US over nuclear talks

A new hit song in Iran probably won’t find its way onto John Kerry’s iPod. “Hotel Coburg” and the accompanying video savages President Obama and the U.S., calling Americans “wolves” and warning Iranians to be skeptical of the ongoing talks between Tehran and six world powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. As Secretary of…

#TBT: Iran’s 2009 Green Revolution, Michael Jackson & the upcoming Iran deal

Six years ago today, round-the-clock coverage of Iran’s Green Revolution came to what is common practice in today’s media world—a complete halt upon breaking news that Michael Jackson had died. Up until those moments, the people of Iran, taking it upon themselves to become brave citizen journalists in a censored and suffocated political environment, posted…

ISIS video claims Assyrian Christian converted to Islam

In a video obtained by Lisadaftari.com, ISIS has reportedly claimed a captured Assyrian Christian has converted to Islam. The video begins with a man pledging allegiance to Allah and declaring Mohammed as the only prophet and concludes with him being embraced by ISIS militants. In February, ISIS abducted 250 to 375 Christians following repeated attacks…

Exclusive: Negotiations underway to free Assyrians held by ISIS

Negotiations are underway between ISIS and the Assyrian leadership in an effort to free the hostages held by the militant group, according to a leader of the Assyrian Patriotic Party. No deal has been struck yet to release the Assyrian hostages held by the Islamic State, confirmed Emanuel Khoshaba, secretary general of the Assyrian Patriotic…

ISIS followers celebrate Jordanian pilot death at outdoor screening party

As people around the world react with shock to the horrific ISIS video of the burning of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, the Islamic State had a viewing party for their supporters who watched the barbaric murder on giant screens and erupted in cheer. A video exclusively obtained by LisaDaftari.com, entitled ‘The Muslims’ delight at the…

Exclusive: ISIS demands churches remove crosses or be bombed

ISIS members marched into a Syrian town Friday evening demanding that all crosses be removed from the churches or have the buildings be completely destroyed, according to the Assyrian Patriotic Party. Two trucks carrying 20 armed ISIS members stormed into the predominantly Assyrian town of Tel Hormizd in Hassakeh and forced the residents to remove…

Update: Saudi king refers blogger case to Supreme Court

Update: In light of international outcry over flogging, the Saudi king has referred blogger Raif Badawi’s case to Supreme Court, his wife tells LisaDaftari.com Saudi Arabia postponed a second round of 50 lashes for blogger and activist Raif Badawi Friday, according to his wife, Ensaf. Badawi, convicted of “writing anti-Islamic discourse online,” and sentenced to 10…

Fox News’ foreign affairs analyst Lisa Daftari condemns Sharia Law at women’s gala at Sultan of Brunei’s Beverly Hills Hotel

Journalist, commentator and Fox News contributor Lisa Daftari, who has extensively covered human rights cases and won critical acclaim for her exclusive interviews, did not hold back her criticisms of countries implementing Sharia Law at the Iranian Women’s Organization gala held at the Sultan of Brunei’s Beverly Hills Hotel Sunday. Lisa was awarded the Maliheh…