1. Kosher store near Paris hit by arson attack on anniversary of Jewish supermarket shooting
A suspected arson attack that burnt down a French kosher grocery store near Paris on Tuesday has revived anti-Semitism fears in France, three years to the day since a deadly assault on a Jewish supermarket by a jihadist gunman. The incident took place in Créteil to the south east of Paris in France's Val-de-Marne department.
The fire at the store Promo & Destock in Mont-Mesly in Créteil was signaled to the authorities at around 5am on Tuesday morning.
2. London Islamic State Sympathiser Planned to Bomb “Smart People”
A self-described “simple man” who had an apparent hatred for people of intelligence planned a suicide bombing in London to take out “smart people”, a British court has heard.
Whitechapel resident Mohammed Kamal Hussain, 28, was arrested with Mohammed Ashfaqur Hemel, 31, last year as he planned to launch an attack, which he identified in communications in code as a “barbeque party”, reports The Times.
Calling himself “Captain the illiterate” — a pseudonym he later explained to police was missing the word “of”, communications by Hussain intercepted by officers included the confession that he considered himself “a simple man” and that “I hate the smart people”, who he wanted to kill.
3. British Army Recruitment Campaign Focuses on Islam, Sexual Diversity
The British Army has been slammed for bowing to “political correctness” after spending £1.6 million on a campaign engaging with gender and racial identity politics and encouraging troops to be more emotional.
Army representatives say they want to encourage diversity of religion, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity with their “Army Belonging 2018” campaign, as well as telling recruits its okay for them to cry.
In promotional videos, voiced by serving soldiers, recruits ask: “Can I be gay in the Army?”, “Do I have to be a superhero?”, and “What if I get emotional in the Army?”
4. A Tunisian synagogue set on fire by Molotov cocktails
Two Molotov cocktails have been thrown at a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, setting fire to the building.
The president of Djerba's Jewish community, Perez Trabelsi, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the attack was perpetrated by two people on a motorbike. He said the synagogue suffered no damage.
“The perpetrators want to sow dissension between Jewish and Muslim communities living in harmony on the island for many years,” Trabelsi said.
A reporter at the scene told the AP the synagogue was empty and the fire was quickly extinguished. The reporter couldn't be identified in accordance with her company's policy.
Djerba is home to Tunisia's main Jewish community. The 2,500-year-old Ghriba synagogue, which was targeted in a 2002 extremist attack, is located on the island.
5. Islamist leader drinks camel urine in Saudi Arabian video sparking debate in Indonesia
A video of an Islamist leader purportedly drinking a mixture of camel urine and camel milk in Saudi Arabia has sparked debate over the health dangers of the practice in his native Indonesia.
Bachtiar Nasir is the chairman of the National Movement of Fatwa Guards Majelis Ulama Indonesia (GNPF-MUI) movement, an organization of hard-line Islamist groups that led last year’s protests against Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, accusing him of insulting the Koran, last year.
In the video, Bachtiar can be seen pouring the amber-colored content of a plastic bottle into a bowl, combining it with a white liquid and then taking a sip from it, describing the flavor as bitter and rich. The video was shared on his Instagram page, where he has half a million followers, last week and it has since been viewed more than 200,000 times, sparking an online debate over the drink's health benefits among all levels of Indonesian society, including politicians, as BBC Indonesia reported.
6. Hungarian and Bavarian leadership offer mutual statement
Below, Hungarian leader Viktor Orban and Bavarian leader Horst Seehofer issue joint statement about migration, the EU, and the Christian nature of their respective territories.
7. Two teenage girl “bombers” shot dead in Nigeria
Kano, Nigeria: Two teenage girls wearing explosive vests were shot dead by soldiers in a town in north eastern Nigeria just days after a blast killed 14 worshippers, militia sources said on Tuesday.
Soldiers patrolling the town of Gamboru opened fire after the two girls, strapped with explosives, refused to remove the vests in the early hours of the morning. A third girl was arrested.
“Three teenage suicide bombers were found by soldiers and two of them were killed while the third was arrested with her explosive belt,” said Umar Kachalla, a civilian militiaman in the town close to the Cameroon border.
“Two of the girls who were walking together were asked to remove their vests but they refused and were shot dead by troops,” he added.
Soldiers spotted the third girl after she abandoned her explosive vest in a nearby empty building, said another militiaman Shehu Mada.
8. Senior Hamas official in critical condition after self-inflicted gunshot
Imad al-Alami, who is a key link between Gaza and Iran, reportedly shoots himself in the head while inspecting his gun.
Senior Hamas official Imad al-Alami, who is a key link between Gaza and Tehran, was shot in the head Tuesday morning, with the terror group’s spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum saying he accidentally discharged his own weapon while inspecting it.
Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidre said al-Alami is being treated at the intensive care unit in Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital and that his condition is critical.
9. Italian psychiatrist: postmodern thinking used to create Islamic Europe
Italian psychiatrist, journalist and TV host gives interview explaining the leftist facilitation of the Islamic take over of Europe, issuing a harsh warning for Italy.
10. Christians in Egypt face unprecedented persecution, report says
Christians in Egypt are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, with attacks on churches and the kidnap of girls by Islamist extremists intent on forcing them to marry Muslims, a report says.
In the past year, Egypt has moved up an annual league table of persecution of Christians compiled by the charity Open Doors. According to its World Watch List, North Korea is still the most dangerous country in the world in which to be a Christian, and Nepal has had the biggest increase in persecution.
But Egypt, home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East, is of particular worry. Officially about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.
The overwhelming majority are Orthodox, with up to 1 million evangelical Christians and 250,000 Catholics. Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on Sunday amid tight security, days after at least 11 were killed in attacks. The president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, attended midnight mass at a new cathedral 30 miles (45km) east of the capital as tens of thousands of armed soldiers patrolled streets around churches all over Egypt.