1. Nine more suspects arrested in Morocco slayings
Moroccan authorities say nine more people have been arrested in the slayings of two Scandinavian university students hiking in Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
Morocco's Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations says the latest arrests were made Thursday and Friday across the country. With four other men arrested earlier, that brings the total number of suspects in the case to 13.
Moroccan investigators say those arrested were carrying arms and “suspicious materials” used in making explosives.
The bodies of the women from Norway and Denmark were found near the village of Imlil, a starting point for treks to Mount Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak.
Related: Predators “motivated by rape” butchered female backpackers after “stalking” them up Atlas mountains
DETECTIVES investigating the horrific slaughter of two Scandinavian backpackers in their tent in Morocco believe it was sexually motivated.
It’s thought the three suspects from nearby Marrakech may have stalked Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Norway, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Denmark, before attacking them while they slept on Monday.
The women were found in and outside the tent. One had been decapitated, while the other had a serious throat wound.
But police source told Morocco World News the murder investigation has excluded robbery as the motive because none of the victims’ belongings were missing.
Rather, sexual assault may have been the motive for the crime at a spot six miles from the remote mountain village of Imlil, near the foot of Mount Toubkal, north Africa's highest peak.
It has emerged that the suspects were camped 600 metres from Louisa and Maren.
2. Inside Morocco beheading suspect's squalid home: “Jealous, hunting-obsessed” man held over murder of Scandinavian tourists lived in rundown family house and “refused to allow his wife to leave the building alone after turning to religion”
[...] The developments appear to confirm fears that the attack was planned by a wider Isis network operating in the country, which has not seen a terror attack on westerners since 2011.
Meanwhile pictures have revealed the squalid house of one of the terror suspects accused of the Scandinavian women's murders.
Images show the dilapidated house of Younes Ouaziad, one of four men held over the murders of Dane Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, in the Atlas Mountains.
Family members say the 26-year-old, who lived in grinding poverty at his father's home in the El Azzouzia district of Marrakesh, had repeatedly refused to get a job - even after his wife had a miscarriage.
The obsessive hunter became intensely “jealous” of his wife after he turned to religion, his wife added, forbidding her from leaving the house alone.
3. ITALY: Police block anti-Salvini protest in Florence
Police blocked an unauthorised march in Florence which was organised against the visit of the country’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, on Thursday.
4. Nation of Islam receiving federal cash to teach prisoners
The Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008 to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
A black nationalist group led by Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam preaches that white people are “blue-eyed devils” and Jews are “the synagogue of Satan.” Its leaders have received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019.
The funding was designed to provide “Nation of Islam religious services,” “Nation of Islam spiritual guide services,” “Nation of Islam study services,” and other related programming led by the organization’s leaders, according to Bureau of Prison records. The Nation of Islam has been labeled a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
New York Republican Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told the Washington Examiner the funding was “beyond the pale.”
5. Facebook just can’t stop breaking its privacy promises
It’s Facebook-official: The social-media giant just can’t seem to guard users’ privacy, as it has repeatedly promised to do.
Documents acquired by The New York Times show that Facebook allowed more than 150 companies to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends and other personal data without consent — generally in exchange for Facebook getting access to its “partners’” own collections of data.
Buried deep in the Times’ story is the news that the paper itself got this privileged access. Of greater concern: So did Huawei and Yandex — companies with ties to the espionage-obsessed governments of China and Russia.
Some firms — Netflix and Spotify — even gained the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.
6. Muslims in Europe becoming less secular, more radical
Professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, Felice Dassetto, has claimed the number of secular Muslims in Europe is in steep decline and more are becoming radicalised.
Professor Dassetto said the secular world and its values are becoming less attractive to contemporary Islam and that Muslims are turning toward more reactionary forms of the faith, Il Giornale reports.
“There is a bit of disaffection, but there is no mass abandonment of the faith, the phenomenon affects at most 10 to 15 percent,” Dassetto said, noting that at least 80 percent of Muslims across Europe now claimed to be religious.
Dassetto also noted that Friday prayers in various mosques were seeing more younger Muslims participate and noted that younger Muslims, particularly those in poorer areas, were far more prone to radicalisation.
“Salafism, more than the Muslim Brotherhood, is investing in the socialisation of children and women,” he noted, and added that radical Salafists were using materials to “promote a soft Salafism” centred around the needs of the community and poor which he warned could entice and radicalise young people.
7. Egypt says it killed 8 militants who planned holiday attacks
Egypt says security forces have killed eight militants and detained four more who planned attacks on minority Christians during the upcoming holiday season.
In a Thursday statement, the Interior Ministry says the 12 belonged to “Hasm,” which it says is an armed faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group removed from power in 2013.
It said two of the eight killed were separately shot dead after they opened fire on security forces storming two residences in Cairo. The remaining six were killed in a shootout as they tried to flee Cairo.
8. ISIS 2.0 RISING: Interpol sends SHOCK warning to world of SECOND WAVE of Islamic terror
The world could be targeted in a fresh wave of deadly terror attacks as jailed jihadists are released from prison and battle-hardened ISIS fighters make their way home from Middle Eastern war zones in a second wave of terror, Interpol’s top official has warned.
Jürgen Stock said terrorist sympathisers handed two to five year jailed terms would soon be coming to the end of their sentences and could pose a new threat across Europe once freed. The Interpol general secretary said: “We could soon be facing a second wave of other ISIS-linked or radicalised individuals that you might call ISIS 2.0. A lot of these are suspected terrorists or those who are linked to terrorist groups as supporters who are facing maybe two to five years in jail."
9. Arizona man gets 12 years in prison for helping student join ISIS in Syria
An Arizona man convicted of helping a New Yorker join the ISIS terrorist group in Syria was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in prison.
Ahmed Mohammed el-Gammal, 48, a suburban Phoenix man who sold car parts, was sentenced by Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan federal court.
Gammal was convicted last year for helping Samy el-Goarany, who flew to Turkey in January 2015 and made his way to Syria. Gammal was arrested in August 2015, months before Goarany's brother was informed that Goarany, a Baruch College student, was killed fighting for ISIS.
“The consequences of Mr. Gammal's conduct were tragic indeed,” Ramos said, because the 24-year-old student he helped reach Syria in 2015 was eventually killed in combat.
Yet, he said Gammal was not the “typical terrorism suspect ... the type of true believer” and he doubts he'll commit another crime.
10. Vatican refuses to offer asylum to Asia Bibi
VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Vatican is not offering asylum to a persecuted Catholic woman in Pakistan.
After years of struggle in the courts, Aasiya Noreen “Asia” Bibi — a Catholic mother of five — was acquitted of charges of blasphemy in the Pakistan Supreme Court on Oct. 31. Islamic fundamentalists all over Pakistan immediately began protesting the acquittal. Many of the protesters demanded Bibi’s death for her alleged blasphemy against the prophet Mohammad.
Since her acquittal, Bibi and her family have lived in fear for their lives. Many countries, such as Italy and Canada, have considered offering asylum to Bibi and her family members. Efforts to help the persecuted Catholic family have also been proposed in the United States and the United Kingdom.
But Cdl. Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, has said that the Vatican is not working to offer asylum to the family. He reportedly explained in November that the Vatican is not engaging in diplomatic activity to try to save Bibi, adding, “It’s an issue inside Pakistan, I hope it can be resolved in the best way.”