1. Germany: Police arrest 11 over terror attack plan
Eleven people have been arrested after a series of raids across the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse in relation to an upcoming terror plot.
Police told the media that the goal of the attack was to “kill as many ‘infidels’ as possible” through the use of firearms and vehicles.
A team of more than 200 police carried out raids in several German cities early on Friday morning.
The police would not reveal the planned date of the attack, however they allege that the attack was well past the planning stage.
The Islamist group had already organised to rent a large vehicle, while money had been raised and weapons dealers had been contacted.
2. Dutch populist wins provincial elections after Utrecht attack
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An upstart populist party shocked the Dutch political establishment by winning the most votes in provincial elections after a preliminary count in the early hours of Thursday, boosted by a possible terrorist attack this week in the city of Utrecht. [...]
The big winner in the vote was the Forum for Democracy party, led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, which holds just two seats in parliament after entering politics in 2016. On current projections it will have an equal number of seats in the Senate as Rutte’s VVD.
In a speech to supporters peppered with literary allusions, Baudet said the arrogance of the elites had been punished.
“We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world,” he said.
Following the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasizes “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.
3. “Highly profitable scam”: Southern Poverty Law Center “ripping off donors,” former staffer says
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a “highly profitable scam” that “never lived up to the values it espoused,” according to former SPLC staffer Bob Moser.
The New Yorker on Thursday published a scathing essay from Moser, now a Rolling Stone reporter, accusing the left-wing non-profit of “ripping off donors” while turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and racial discrimination within its own ranks.
The SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13 over unspecified conduct issues.
The SPLC announced Dees’ firing after roughly two dozen SPLC employees previously signed a letter to the organization’s leadership expressing their alarm at “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
4. Anti-migrant anger & racial tensions arise in Yakutsk following abduction and rape of local woman
Angry residents held sporadic rallies and trashed migrant-operated shops in Siberia after a man from Central Asia allegedly raped a local woman. The high-profile case prompted authorities to vow crack down on illegal immigration.
Over the past few days, residents of Yakutsk in eastern Russia attacked and harassed migrants from Central Asia. They also targeted migrant-owned businesses.
5. Turkey calls OIC meeting on Islamophobia after NZ attacks
The meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to be held in Istanbul in the wake of Christchurch massacre.
Turkey has called an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the New Zealand mosque attacks and "increasing violence based on Islamophobia."
The country's foreign ministry said in a statement published on Thursday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would chair the meeting held in Istanbul on Friday.
“Turkey, as the OIC Summit Chair, has called upon holding an emergency meeting for discussing the increasing violence based on Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, in particular the terrorist attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019,” the statement said.
6. UK: Five Birmingham mosques vandalised with sledgehammer overnight
Five mosques in Birmingham were targeted by at least one man with a sledgehammer in the early hours of Thursday morning.
A man reportedly smashed windows at the mosques across the city, which has one of the largest Muslim populations in the UK, as captured on CCTV at the Witton Islamic Centre in Aston at 01:30 GMT .
7. Devout Catholic “who used wrong pronoun to describe transgender girl” to be interviewed by police
When Caroline Farrow, a Catholic commentator, and transgender rights campaigner Susie Green, agreed to take part in a television debate about a controversial Girl Guides policy, producers would have expected differences of opinion.
But while the conversation on screen was certainly heated, it was what happened off-air when the pair continued the debate on Twitter that resulted in a six-month-long police investigation.
Mrs Farrow, a mother of five with strong religious views, allegedly used the wrong pronoun when referring to Ms Green's transgender daughter.
8. Man with “Jihadi armband” storms French police station attacking officers
A 34-year-old man in Bordeaux was arrested over the weekend after entering a police station and attacking officers while yelling death threats in the name of Allah.
The man, who was not identified by name, entered the police station around lunchtime Sunday wearing an armband inscribed with the word “Jihad” in Arabic script, French television broadcaster BFMTV reports.
The attack began almost immediately after the man entered the building and it took another officer to deploy his taser and electrocute the 34-year-old to subdue him while he shouted death threats at the officers.
No weapons were found on the suspect and he was soon placed in custody with the Bordeaux judicial police.
9. Omar holding secret fundraisers with Islamic groups tied to terror
Democratic freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has been holding a series of secret fundraisers with groups that have been tied to the support of terrorism, appearances that have been closed to the press and hidden from public view.
The content of these speeches, given to predominately Muslim audiences, remains unknown, prompting some of Omar's critics to express concern about the type of rhetoric she is using before these paying audiences, particularly in light of the lawmaker's repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes in public.
Omar recently spoke in Florida at a private event hosted by Islamic Relief, a charity organization long said to have deep ties to groups that advocate terrorism against Israel. Over the weekend, she will appear at another private event in California that is hosted by CAIR-CA PAC, a political action committee affiliated with the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR a group that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a massive terror-funding incident.
Omar's appearance at these closed-door forums is raising eyebrows in the pro-Israel world due to her repeated and unapologetic public use of anti-Semitic stereotypes accusing Jewish people of controlling foreign policy and politics. With Omar's popularity skyrocketing on the anti-Israel left, it appears her rhetoric is translating into fundraising prowess.
10. Pakistan to fence border with Iran
Pakistan is going to fence its border with neighboring Iran in an attempt to stop militants’ cross-border movement, and smuggling, a Pakistani army general said.
Speaking at a seminar in Quetta city, Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, commander of the army’s southern command, which constitutes southwestern Balochistan province, said the fencing would start from next week, which would help contain terrorism and smuggling, local broadcaster 92 News reported.
Bajwa said the fencing of the border would also improve economy and legal trade between the two neighbor countries.
Tehran has long been accusing Islamabad of not acting against militant groups, which have carried out numerous terrorist attacks in Iran’s bordering province of Sistan-Balochistan.
Pakistan denies the claim.