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British jihadi’s VJ Day plot to bomb the Queen

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British jihadi's VJ Day plot to bomb the Queen

British jihadis plan to blow up the Queen next weekend at an event to mark the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that police and MI5 are involved in a frantic race against time to thwart the assassination plot being orchestrated from Syria by Islamic State commanders.

The extremists aim to strike on Saturday by exploding a deadly pressure cooker bomb during events in Central London to mark the 70th anniversary of VJ Day – Victory in Japan.

Such an attack, if successful, would cause high casualties and represent the realisation of long-held fears of a terror ‘spectacular’ by home-based Muslim extremists.

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Bomb plot: The extremists aim to strike on Saturday by exploding a deadly pressure cooker bomb during events in Central London

Sources have told this newspaper that a specific threat was made against the Queen, triggering an urgent review of security arrangements for next weekend’s events.

Other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Charles, who is identified in intelligence reports as another possible target, are also due to attend.

They will join Prime Minister David Cameron, assorted dignitaries, more than 1,000 veterans of the Far East campaign and their families, and serving members of the Armed Forces.

And with thousands of members of the public expected to line the streets around Whitehall and Westminster Abbey, police fear enormous potential for carnage.

The plot is understood to involve a device similar to that used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing which killed three people and injured more than 260.

In the UK’s most deadly terror attack of recent years – the July 7 London bombings – 52 people were killed and more than 700 injured when four suicide bombers struck on Tube trains and a bus in Central London in 2005.

Typically, having been warned about next week’s planned attack, the Queen indicated her determination to attend the event to ‘honour the fallen’.

Senior members of Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection branch, SO14, have been informed, along with SO1 Specialist Protection, the unit responsible for the security of the Prime Minister and any dignitaries considered to be ‘under threat from terrorist attack’.

The Home Office has also been made aware of the plot.

On Saturday, the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh – a veteran of the war in the Pacific – will first attend a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square. From there dignitaries will move to Horse Guards Parade for a traditional military ‘drumhead’ service, a flypast and a wreath-laying ceremony before the set-piece VJ Day parade of veterans and current troops down Whitehall to Westminster Abbey.

All the events will be broadcast live on television by the BBC.

While hundreds of IS converts have left UK for Syria and Iraq over the past two years, others have been urged to remain in the UK and launch attacks on home soil.

Although The Mail on Sunday understands that no arrests have been made, counter-terrorism officers are monitoring the plot’s development.

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Sources claim that a specific threat was made against the Queen, triggering an urgent review of security for next weekend’s events

Some intelligence reports suggest that the 2pm drumhead service in Horse Guards Parade, just half a mile from Downing Street, might be a specific target.

Led by the Bishop to HM Armed Forces, the Right Reverend Nigel Stock, it will see drums draped with military colours used in place of an altar to replicate services held on the field of battle during the war.

The Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945 – less than a week after the United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – brought the Second World War to its conclusion.

Veterans due to attend the VJ Day parade said yesterday that tight security measures had already been put in place ahead of next Saturday.

They have been told they must provide photographic identification to obtain tickets. For similar events in the past this has never been a stipulation.

Two months ago, a series of terror manuals providing step-by-step instructions on how to launch ‘lone wolf’ attacks on the UK and the West were circulated online. They gave detailed advice on bomb-making, assassinations and firearms techniques similar to those deployed by terrorists during attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France.

After the Tunisian beach massacre, in which 38 tourists died, Mr Cameron spoke of the ‘serious threat’ of an attack on home soil. Although there have not been any successful terror attacks in Britain since Lee Rigby was killed outside Woolwich Barracks in May 2013, intelligence chiefs have foiled a number of plots.

Last November, police stopped an alleged plan to launch an attack on Remembrance Sunday after arresting four men in London and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Last month, police chiefs warned officers not to wear their uniforms to and from work as Islamic terrorists were looking to target officers.

In a separate development this newspaper can disclose that British Special Forces are watching migrants in Calais and Dover to detain IS terrorists attempting to enter Britain.

Buckingham Palace spokesman said of the terror plot: ‘It is not something we would comment on.’ A Scotland Yard spokesman declined to comment.

MOS EXPOSÉ IS PROOF IS THREAT HAS COME TO UK: PLOT SHOWS THAT FROM THEIR BATTLEFIELD, ISIS’ OWN COMMANDERS ARE ALSO DIRECTING ATROCITIES TO TAKE PLACE ON BRITISH SOIL

On the day Britain commemorates the end of one long and bloody war, Islamic State terrorists hoped to begin a new one. The detailed and specific plot to bomb this week’s Victory over Japan Day celebrations is the clearest and most chilling evidence yet of the threat posed to this country by the murderous extremists based in Syria and Iraq.

Police and security services are known to be fearful of young Britons travelling to fight in the Middle East and Africa gaining experience on the frontline, then returning home to use it with deadly effect. But the plot revealed by The Mail on Sunday shows that from their battlefields, IS’s own commanders are also directing atrocities to take place on British soil.

Islamist preachers and warlords based in Raqqa, Syria, can easily speak to impressionable youths in London using internet phone applications such as Skype or text chat programs such as WhatsApp.

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While hundreds of IS converts have left for Syria and Iraq over the past two years, others have been urged to remain in the UK and launch attacks on home soil

These services are often encrypted, making it difficult for the intelligence services to crack them – hence the Government’s desperate desire to rush in more sweeping surveillance powers.

The VJ Day plot has all the hallmarks of a modern Islamist spectacular. Adherents to the twisted cult are particularly obsessed by the idea of killing soldiers or police officers in public.

Fusilier Lee Rigby was hacked to death outside his barracks in South-East London two years ago. Last month a 15-year-old from Blackburn became Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist when he admitted urging a fellow IS supporter to attack an Anzac Day parade in Australia. IS also claimed to be the inspiration for two attacks in Canada last year – one in which a police officer was run down and another in which a soldier was shot dead.

IS fanatics would also love to strike at the Royal Family. Four men were arrested by anti-terrorism police just before last year’s Remembrance Day ceremony amid fears of an alleged plot to kill the Queen at the Cenotaph.

IS terrorists are feared to be better trained than those behind failed plots of recent years. It is also aware that a single armed man can cause just as much damage, as can a homemade pressure-cooker explosive used in the Boston Marathon atrocity, the type of device intended for the VJ Day attack.

The threat to this country is constantly kept under review by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, based on MI5’s understanding of possible plots. And although chief constables discussed increasing it to the highest level of ‘critical’ – meaning an attack is imminent – in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings in France, it remains one notch lower at ‘severe’.

As this newspaper disclosed, police and military chiefs have also drawn up secret plans for the deployment of troops in the event of multiple terrorist strikes. Codenamed Operation Temperer, the plans would see as many as 5,000 heavily armed soldiers put on the streets to keep key sites safe.

And the authorities recently tested their preparedness in a major two-day operation called Exercise Strong Tower involving more than 1,000 police officers.

However, senior counter-terrorism figures believe it is a matter of when, not if, an attack succeeds in Britain and this latest plot is unlikely to be the last.

 

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International

Syria al-Qaeda Leader Attacked, Unsure of His Survival

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

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An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Syrian opposition forces, the Local Co-ordination Committees, posted a photo of the car which was targeted for the attack, as stated by them.

Car with roof shattered is shown in photo taken from Syrian opposition activists

The car, in the town of al-Mastuma, was targeted by “international coalition aircraft”, the group said.

Additionally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an al-Qaeda official was killed in a strike, but did not confirm it was Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

The Egyptian, whose real name is Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, was reportedly released from custody by Iran in 2015 as part of a prisoner swap.

Last year, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was reported to have given his blessing to a decision by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to cut formal ties with the global jihadist network.

The Syrian jihadist with ties broken with al-Qaeda had renamed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, as reported by CNN.

According to Ahmad Hasan Abu al Khayr al-Masri, al-Qaeda has embraced the split. The man Masri would replace as an upranking to No. 2 of the leadership position in the terror group, is al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri expressed his opinion on the split in a supportive manner and called for infighting between jihadist groups to end.

Although Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was no longer linked to an external entity, the U.S. still kept it on its list of foreign terrorist groups and continued to target air strikes.

Therefore, in January, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham dissolved itself and formed an alliance with four smaller Syrian jihadist groups called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The move seemed to deem an attempt by the group to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

Tahrir al-Sham as since then fought rebel groups for control of the Idlib province in Syria, implying that it was them who had instigated suicide bombs on Saturday against the military in the government-controlled city of Homs.

Although the death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri is uncertain, the Guardian has stated that he has been killed based off of what jihadists are stating.

The immediate circumstances of Masri’s death were unclear. Video online showed a tan four-door Kia sedan destroyed at a roadside with a large hole in its canopy but its windscreen mostly intact. The location of the attack was unusually far west for a US drone strike.

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International

Honor Killings are Never Justifiable, Not Ever or Anywhere!

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I have decided to shed some light on some insights about honor killings, amidst one that occurred in my parents’ home country, Pakistan, yesterday. An upcoming supermodel by the name of Qandeel Baloch was killed by her brother in Multan, Paksitan while her parents were in their bedroom, asleep. The model was allegedly there to visit family or for other reasons. The brother who strangled her to death, reportedly after he drugged her, was interviewed and showed no remorse for his wrongdoing. Of course, what he did is inexcusable in all ways and is unsurpassable as a violation and a wrongdoing!

Baloch’s brother, who took her life, was embarrassed by his sister’s career as a supermodel and was aghast at her actions in this profession. This, however, can never justify the fact that he felt he had to end her life. Not only in this culture, mostly and especially in Pakistan’s rural areas, is this prevalent. It happens in other areas of the world and this is not attributable to Pakistanis or any type of Muslim or the religion itself, Islam. Anyway, surely you can recall the incident that was reported on television a few years ago. A man killed his daughter by running her over with a car, as well as her attempts to kill her boyfriend and his mother. He killed her because she had a boyfriend.

Oppressing women is not taught in any culture or religion, and is inexcusable in any way. A woman has the right to live however she pleases, at least I genuinely believe in this, and she should not have to fear for her life.

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Breaking News

Turkish Military Attempts to Overthrow President

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted to the nation Saturday that his government is in charge following a coup attempt brought a night of explosions, air battles, gunfire and unrest across the capital and left at least 90 dead, 1,154 people wounded and more than 1,000 military personnel detained.

In a press conference at Ataturk Airport, Erdogan said the architects of the coup attempt would “pay a heavy price” and vowed he would “not surrender this country to intruders.”

A senior Turkish official told the Associated Press that 1,563 military personnel have been detained in the coup attempt.

A Turkish lawmaker contacted by Reuters said he and his colleagues were hiding in special shelters in the bowels of the parliament building after at least three explosions near the complex in the capital, Ankara. Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman told the Associated Press a bomb hit one corner of a public relations building inside the parliament complex, injuring some police officers.

Elsewhere, troops also fired in the air to disperse a growing crowd of government supporters at the Taksim monument in Istanbul as military helicopters flew overhead. A nearby mosque made an anti-coup announcement over its loudspeakers.

Erdogan insisted that the coup attempt wouldn’t succeed.

“They have pointed the people’s guns against the people. The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge,” he said. “This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won’t succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything.”

In his TV address, Erdogan blamed the attack on supporters of Fethullah Gulen.

Erdogan has long accused the cleric and his supporters of attempting to overthrow the government. The cleric lives in exile in Pennsylvania and promotes a philosophy that blends a mystical form of Islam with staunch advocacy of democracy, education, science and interfaith dialogue.

Turkey’s allies, fellow NATO member nations and world leaders swiftly reacted Friday to an attempted coup Friday night, which could spur immense implications, not only in the Middle East, but also in the West.

“The United States views with gravest concern events unfolding in Turkey,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.

He said the State Department was “monitoring a fluid situation,” and “emphasized the United States’ absolute support for Turkey’s democratically-elected, civilian government and democratic institutions.”

The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens in Turkey to shelter in place during the attempted coup.

President Barack Obama had been briefed on the situation. “The president and secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected government of Turkey, show restraint and avoid any violence or bloodshed,” a White House statement said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote in a tweet that he spoke with the Turkish foreign minister. “I call for calm, restraint & full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and constitution,” Stoltenberg wrote, without saying what actions, if any, NATO would take. Turkey joined NATO in 1952.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for calm as the world body sought to clarify the situation, said a U.N. spokesman.

“The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Turkey. He is aware of the reports of a coup attempt in the country. The United Nations is seeking to clarify the situation on the ground and appeals for calm,” said spokesman Farhan Haq.

Britain’s government was also monitoring the turmoil. “We are concerned by events unfolding in Ankara and Istanbul. Our Embassy is monitoring the situation closely,” a British foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also said he was “very concerned.”

The foreign minister of Turkey’s neighbor to the east said he was “deeply concerned about the crisis in Turkey.”

“Stability, democracy & safety of Turkish people are paramount. Unity & prudence are imperative,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet.

Slovakia, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, said on Saturday it was following the events unfolding in Turkey with serious concern, and was coordinating appropriate reaction with EU partners.

“Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has been in intensive contact all evening with EU high foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini and other European colleagues,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“He has also been in contact with partners in the Turkish government with the aim to clarify the situation in Turkey and discuss steps that the EU should take with the aim to maintain and support democracy and stability in the country.”

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was “in constant contact with EU delegation in Ankara and Brussels from Mongolia.” She called for “restraint and respect for democratic institutions.”

The Kremlin said it was gravely concerned. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that President Vladimir Putin was being kept constantly updated on the situation in Turkey.

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