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Breaking News: DEBKAFile

Breaking News from Hot Spots Around the World

  • Five high-rise housing blocks evacuated in London over fire hazard

    June 24, 2017, 10:39 AM (IDT) Five residential tower blocks in London’s Swiss Cottage have been evacuated, leaving 800 households without accommodation, after firefighters said they could not guarantee their safety. They were placed in temporary housing, including hotels and the local library. Thorough inspections of such estates were ordered in the wake of the disastrous fire which enveloped the 24-floor Grenfell Tower disaster, leaving 79 people dead or presumed dead earlier this month. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said Saturday that the evacuation was forced not by the cladding alone – which had magnified the fire at Grenfell Tower - but “multiple other fire safety failures”, including problems with insulation on gas pipes and missing fire doors. […]

  • Saudis foil major terror attack on Mecca

    June 24, 2017, 10:29 AM (IDT) A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque at Mecca as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Saudi security forces said Saturday. Police engaged in a shootout at a three-story house where the suicide bomber blew himself up causing the building's collapse. The blast wounded six foreigners and five members of security forces. Five suspects were arrested, including a woman. Police raids took place in other parts of Mecca as well as Jeddah. Saudi authorities did not name the group which staged the attack. In 1979, Saudi tribesmen, fundamentalist Muslims, gained control of the Grand Mosque and held it for two weeks against a demand to depose the Saudi royal house. Their revolt was subdued only after a special counterterrorism unit from France, summoned by Riyadh, killed most of the assailants. […]

  • A Turkish base in Qatar was revealed by Arab states’ 13 demands

    June 23, 2017, 5:35 PM (IDT) One of the 13 demands four Arab states sent to Qatar this week was the removal of Turkish troops, as well as shutting down the Al Jazeera TV station and cutting ties with Tehran. DEBKAfile reports that Turkey, the only regional Muslim state backing the emirate, recently flew five armored troop carriers plus crews to Doha. They were described by the Turkish high command as the vanguard of a larger force. The list of demands slapped down by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain was presented this week by Kuwait. It included deporting Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leaders who live in Doha and severing ties with those organizations, ISIS, al Qaeda, Nusra Front and all other terrorist organizations. These demands were first put before Doha last month, but were sent again this week when they were ignored by Qatari leaders, prompting an aviation, travel and diplomatic boycott of the tiny emirate and the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Arab Gulf in years. […]

  • First Russian base for SE Syria - near US garrison

    June 23, 2017, 7:52 AM (IDT) A new Russian base is under construction in southeastern Syria at a small village called Khirbet Ras Al-Wa’r in the Bir al-Qasab district (see map.). It brings the Russian foothold to its most easterly point in Syria with a handle for controlling the volatile region, where American-backed and Iranian-backed forces are bidding for dominance from a point not far from the US garrison and the Israeli border. […]

  • Mistrust Deepens as US and Russia Spar at Ever Closer Quarters in SE Syria

    June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM (IDT) They are struggling to control their allies in rival bids to dominate S. Syria. […]

  • Syrian-Hizballah Push for SE Syria Slowed at Daraa by US-backed SDF

    June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM (IDT) The Syrian-Hizballah push for the Jordanian and Israeli border districts is slowed by the Daraa setback. […]

  • Iran’s Big Flop: Own Ballistic Missiles Go Wildly Astray

    June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM (IDT) Hizballah’s boast of Iranian missiles able to reach every Israeli target fades. […]

  • ISIS’ Global Terror Is Resistant to Losses in Syria, Iraq

    June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM (IDT) Even the possible death of its “caliph” Baghdadi will not stop ISIS global terror. […]

  • Al Qaeda’s Leader Offers Muslim Brothers Partnership-in-Terror

    June 22, 2017, 7:55 PM (IDT) Ayman Zawahiri tempts the Brotherhood with a chance to save itself by cooperation in Syria. […]

  • May: Over 600 British high-rises have flammable panels like doomed tower

    June 22, 2017, 4:52 PM (IDT) British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday that there are at least 600 tower blocks throughout the country with combustible cladding that could cause an inferno similar to the one that engulfed London's Grenfell Tower last week. During her comments at the House of Commons, she urged municipal authorities to send samples of the external panels on their buildings to London so that the level of danger can be determined. The prime minister said it will apparently be necessary to find alternative accommodation for those living in unsafe housing. At least 79 people lost their lives in the June 14 blaze at the 24-story tower. […]

  • Russian sources: High degree of certainty that ISIS chief is dead

    June 22, 2017, 3:42 PM (IDT) Sources in the Russian foreign ministry said Thursday: “We can say with a high degree of certainty that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.” Only two days ago, on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov was a lot more qualified about the claimed Russian air strike on Raqqa on May 28, when he said that Al- Baghdad’s death “could not be verified.&rdquo […]

  • Israel to overhaul security at Damascus Gate to foil attacks

    June 22, 2017, 1:38 PM (IDT) In the aftermath of last week's attack on Israeli security forces at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that Israel will conduct an "unprecedented" overhaul of the area's entire security system. He said during a speech in Herzliya that positions, cameras and other assets will be changed in an effort to significantly reduce Palestinian attacks at the gate area where 32 attacks have taken place since 2015. On June 16, a 23-year-old female Israeli Border Police officer on guard duty outside Damascus Gate was stabbed to death during an assault by three Palestinian terrorists on the gate area. All of the terrorists were shot dead.&nbs […]

  • About 30 dead in Taliban bomb attack on bank in Afghan province

    June 22, 2017, 12:22 PM (IDT) At least 29 people were killed and 60 others were injured in a car bomb attack on a bank in southern Afghanistan on Thursday. The bombing targeted policemen and soldiers waiting to receive their pay in Lashkar Gah, the capital of restive Helmand province. However, the provincial governor said that most of the casualties were civilians. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.&nbs […]

  • Pal. leader seeks to force Hamas into war over Gaza crisis: Defense minister

    June 22, 2017, 10:45 AM (IDT) In a speech on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the internal Palestinian conflict over the supply of electricity to Gaza is not going to end anytime soon. He predicted that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is going to halt the transfer of fuel, stop paying salaries in Gaza and continue to cut the flow of electricity in an effort to push Hamas into another war against Israel. Regarding Syria, Lieberman warned the Syrian regime that it will bear responsibility for Hizballah's attempts to establish a front against Israel on the Golan and to smuggle advanced weaponry to its forces. The use of Damascus international airport to smuggle weapons to the terrorist organization is intolerable, and Israel will not hesitate to act once a certain line is crossed, Lieberman said. Even if the US and Russia reach an agreement on Syria it will not hinder Israel's freedom of action on the northern front, according to the minister. However, he stated that Israel has no intention to go to war on the northern or southern front. The defense minister also predicted that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will be resolved in the framework of a future regional arrangement with the moderate Sunni states including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He said the Palestinians are not capable of signing a peace agreement with Israel by themselves.&nbs […]

  • Canadian citizen Ftouhi identified as Michigan airport terror suspect

    June 22, 2017, 9:05 AM (IDT) The man who stabbed a policeman at a Michigan airport in a suspected terrorist attack on Wednesday has been identified as 49-year-old Canadian Amor Ftouhi. Witnesses said he shouted "allahu akbar" before stabbing the officer. Ftouhi, who entered the US on June 16, was reportedly not on any FBI watch list. Officials said they believe the attack outside the TSA screening area of Bishop International Airport was an isolated incident. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched Ftouhi's apartment in Montreal at the FBI's request on Wednesday evening. "We’re seeking search warrants for electronic media, for his vehicle," Detroit FBI Special Agent David Gelios said, adding "We have no information to suggest a wider plot". Ftouhi was born in Tunis, according to the suspect's page on Facebook. […]

  • FBI probes police stabbing at Michigan airport as possible terror

    June 21, 2017, 8:26 PM (IDT) A police officer was stabbed in the neck at Bishop international airport in Flint, Michigan Tuesday. He is in stable condition. The assailant is in custody. The airport was closed and evacuated. The FBI was brought into the investigation of what appears to be a possible terror attack and has promised a statement in a few hours.   &nbs […]

  • Naming Bin Salman Saudi heir impacts US, Israel

    June 21, 2017, 4:05 PM (IDT) The Saudi king’s decision to elevate his son Mohammed bin Salman, 31, to crown prince and heir to the throne, in place of his cousin Mohammed bin Nayef as part of a broad reshuffle, is not merely the internal affair of the royal hierarchy, but a game-changing international event. The king’s son is ready to step into his allotted place in a new US-Arab-Israeli alliance established by President Trump in May, along with the UAE, Egyptian and Israeli leaders. […]

  • ISIS Ramadan offensive hits Europe

    June 21, 2017, 7:49 AM (IDT) Tuesday night, June 20, a terrorist detonated a bomb belt at the Brussels central train station, shouting “Allahu Akbar!”  Police shot him dead. The explosion was small and there were no victims this time, but it was the second Islamic State attack in West Europe in two days, following through on its announced Ramadan offensive, despite setbacks in Syria and Iraq. […]

  • Russian warning: US planes in W. Syria are targets

    June 19, 2017, 4:53 PM (IDT) Moscow Monday, June 19, issued a sharp warning to the United States over its operations in Syria: "Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates River will be targeted." This ramped up Russian-US military tensions in Syria to an unprecented level.&nbs […]

  • Van hits London mosque. One dead, 10 injured.

    June 19, 2017, 12:35 PM (IDT) Police arrested one person after a van ran over worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in north London early Monday. Police report one dead, 10 people injured.. Witnesses said that three men were in the van and one jumped out armed with a knife and stabbed people.  Many of the victims had just left evening prayers at the mosque, one of the biggest in Europe, after breaking the Ramadan fast. […]