1. Three Iraqi refugees arrested in foiled German terror plot: Authorities
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, three Iraqi citizens living in a village in northwestern Germany were arrested on suspicion of preparing a bomb for a planned “Islamist-motivated terror attack."
Three men, identified only as Shahin F. and Hersh F., both 23, as well as Rauf S., 36, are in custody. All three have refugee status in Germany.
“From our investigation, we are certain that Shahin F. and Hersh F. had seriously decided to carry out an attack,” said Frauke Koehler, spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s office in a televised press statement on Wednesday afternoon. The third man, Rauf S., was arrested for aiding and abetting the other two suspects in a terror plot.
The men were apprehended in Germany's Schleswig-Holstein region.
When and where the attack was to take place could not immediately be determined, the prosecutor's office said in a statement. "Further investigations must determine whether the accused are tied to any terrorist organization."
2. Martin Hess of the AfD: “Never before in the history of our country did we need ‘Women’s Protection Zones’”
During a debate in the Bundestag on an FDP motion to address security threats by setting up yet another task force to study the issue, Martin Hess of AfD says the time for talk is over. Referencing the recent foiled Islamist terror attack by three Iraqi refugees, he urges his colleagues to acknowledge the immediate problems that have been caused by open borders.
3. Israel begins construction of smart fence along Gaza border
Israel’s Defense Ministry announced that it has begun the construction of an upgraded security barrier along the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
“On Thursday, we began working on the final component of the barrier project along the Gaza border,” said Brig.-Gen. Eran Ophir, head of the army’s fence-building administration. “The barrier is unique and especially suited to threats from the Gaza Strip and will provide a maximum response to prevent entry into Israeli territory.”
The new barrier will be 65 kilometers long, stretching along the route of the border from the new sea barrier near Zikim beach in the north to Kerem Shalom crossing in the south. Made from galvanized steel, it will weigh about 20,000 tons and will reach a height of about six meters.
The project is being carried out by the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department and the Border and Sewage Administration.
The smart-fence is the above-ground part of Israel’s underground barrier, which has a system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to detect tunnels. The Defense Ministry stated that the work on the underground barrier “will continue in parallel to the work on the fence.”
4. Muslim school will not allow girls to eat lunch until after boys have finished, Ofsted chief says
A Muslim school will not allow girls to eat lunch until after boys have finished, an Ofsted chief has told MPs.
Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham is still segregating boys and girls despite a Court of Appeal ruling in 2017 that found it was unlawful, according to Luke Tryl, director of corporate strategy at Ofsted.
Addressing the women and equalities select committee, he said that Ofsted inspectors are trying to hold schools account for discriminating against girls but feel “isolated” when their stance is not backed up by ministers.
“Our inspectors are going out and having to make some quite tricky judgements where there are those potential clashes [between equalities laws and religious freedoms],” Mr Tryl said.
5. Iraqi forces thwart missile launch targeting US base
Iraqi security forces on Saturday foiled a missile attack on Ayn al-Asad air base in Iraq's western province of Anbar, a statement by a security official said.
Units from the Iraqi army found three Grad missiles with a timer attached to them and pointed to the direction of Ayn al-Asad air base, where US forces are stationed. US President Donald Trump had earlier visited the location during his surprise trip in December.
"The Iraqi troops managed to disarm the missiles with only 15 minutes left ahead of their pre-set launch time," the statement added.
6. Swedish student to face trial after anti-deportation protest that stopped flight
The Swedish student who livestreamed her onboard protest against the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker will go on trial on Monday.
Elin Ersson will appear at Gothenburg District Court, charged with violating Sweden’s Aviation Act.
Ersson protested in July last year against the Swedish government's policy of deporting some rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan by boarding an Istanbul-bound flight that carried an Afghan man who was to be returned home after being denied asylum.
With a ticket for the flight that was purchased by the activist group “Sittstrejken i Göteborg”, the activist boarded the aircraft and then refused to sit down until the Afghan man was let off. Flights are not allowed to take off until all passengers are safely in their seats.
Ersson livestreamed her protest on Facebook, where it was viewed over five million times.
Eventually, Ersson was told that the man would be let off the plane and she was also removed by airport security.
7. Australian police disable, arrest man in airport standoff
A man who falsely claimed to have a bomb and menaced a woman with a knife forced the evacuation of Brisbane International Airport for more than two hours in an emergency that police described on Sunday as elaborate and terrifying.
Police ended the standoff late Saturday by shooting the 50-year-old man with non-lethal bean bag shotgun rounds and arresting him. There were no injuries reported, and police said the emergency was not related to terrorism. [...]
The incident began in the terminal's food court when the man pulled a knife on a screaming woman and placed a fake bomb on a table. Hundreds of panicked travelers fled the scene. [...]
The man's first language was Arabic and an Arabic-speaking police officer was at the scene within minutes to negotiate, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.
The man had gone to extraordinary lengths “to create a perception of risk, threat and fear,” Stewart said.
8. Maxime Bernier tweets about failed leftist logic when it comes to World Hijab Day
Leftist logic:— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) February 3, 2019
❌ Wear a Chinese dress at prom
❌ Wear an aboriginal costume at Halloween
❌ Wear dreadlocks if you’re white
❌ Teach yoga if you’re not Indian
= Cultural appropriation
✅ Try on a hijab on World Hijab Day
= Diversity https://t.co/qrLtw1vaE3
9. “I’m going to kill you… Allah Allah”: “Ramblings of ISIS supporter before he stabbed a man in the head” outside a barber shop in Sydney's west
An alleged Islamic State supporter who stabbed a man in his Sydney neighbourhood said he was going to kill him as he aimed repeated blows at his head, a jury has been told.
Ihsas Khan, 25, is on trial in the NSW Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to committing a terrorist act and wounding with intent to murder over the attack at Minto, in Sydney's southwest, in 2016.
Khan is not disputing he stabbed Wayne Greenhalgh but is fighting the charges on the grounds of mental illness.
Mr Greenhalgh gave evidence on Wednesday that Khan said “I’m going to f***ing kill you ... Allah Allah” during the incident which occurred as he was walking near Khan's home. [...]
When police arrived the former alleged self-radicalised Muslim was heard to say “Allahu Akbar' and 'I want to die today”, the court heard.
10. London: “Zombie” knife attacker has soft sentence overturned, jailed
Court of appeal judges have overturned a two-year suspended sentence on a London teen who attacked a car with a large “zombie” knife in broad daylight, ordering he be imprisoned for three and a half years.
There was public outcry after Joshua Gardner was given the suspended sentence for committing the attack in May 2018 in Croydon, south London, when he was 17 years old.
At the time of the original sentencing in November 2018, Judge Anuja Dhir QC handed down the original sentence based on the defendant having “reduced… culpability” after the court had heard Gardner had been “kidnapped” weeks prior, the judge also taking into account the youth’s difficult upbringing.