Kurds Claim ISIS Used Chemical Weapons

A UN arms expert collects samples on 29 August 2013 in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb

The Kurdish government in Iraq says it has evidence examined by an independent laboratory confirming that the Islamic State (ISIS) used chemical weapons against Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

A statement Saturday from the Kurdistan Region Security Council said that the chemical weapon attack involved chlorine gas used in a Jan. 23 suicide car bomb attack in northern Iraq, according to AOL.com.

It said the alleged attack took place on a road between Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, and the Syrian border.  The statement said it happened as Peshmerga forces fought to control a vital supply line used by the Sunni militants ISIS.

The Kurds say samples were analyzed by an “unnamed lab” in an “unnamed coalition partner nation,” which found traces of chlorine.

Did Turkey Provide Weapons To ISIS?

In another twist to the complicated system of allies and enemies of the Middle East, an Islamic State fighter currently under trial in a Turkish high criminal court has implicated Turkey’s state intelligence service in the willful transfer of weapons and military hardware to the terror organization.  This was reported by Today’s Zaman on Monday.

Turkey is also a NATO ally of the U.S.

Mehmet Askar, who was detained together with another 11 suspects belonging to Islamic State and other jihadist groups revealed that in 2011, a planned transfer of arms was hampered by the capture of a key border town by the Syrian army, blocking the route often used to infiltrate the war-torn Arab country.

Askar’s accomplice, Haisam Toubalijeh, also known as Keysem Topalca, who was involved in a weapons transfer thwarted in 2013 by Turkish forces, reassured him that contacts inside MIT, Turkey’s intelligence organization, would help facilitate the movement of the cache, which included some 100 NATO rifles across the border.



Brazilian Man Confesses To Killing 39

According to the BBC, a security guard in Brazil is said to have confessed to 39 killings but had no particular motive and knew none of his victims, as Wyre Davies reports.  The Brazilian police have arrested him and say that the murders occurred over a three-year period.


He was arrested in the central Brazilian city of Goiania by a special police team investigating the murders.

The IB Times states:

“Police said that Gomes da Rocha approached his alleged victims on a motorbike with his face hidden, and that he often demanded valuables from his victims before shooting them and leaving without their possessions. He was arrested Tuesday, after being stopped by police for having a fake number plate on his motorcycle. This led to a search of the home he shared with his mother, where police discovered a .38 revolver, which is thought to be the weapon used in the murders. Gomes da Rocha reportedly confessed to the killings while in custody.”


The BBC:  “(Police) said Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha – who approached his alleged victims on a motorbike with his face hidden – was cold but driven by rage.  Police said he often demanded valuables from his victims before shooting them with a .38 handgun and leaving without their possessions.  Police said the 26-year-old man targeted homeless people, women and homosexuals.”

A police official who had been present at the interrogations told a Brazilian TV channel the killer called his victims by the numbers 1 to 39.  “We have been shocked by his coldness,” the official said.

He never knew those he targeted, police said, and acted out of an inner “fury” that he felt “against everything”, which only subsided when he committed murder.  Police said he would feel remorse after killings, which fueled his anger more.

According to Mail Online, the man had a certain way of killing:  Prostitutes were stabbed. Homeless men were shot. Gays he choked.

Mail Online:  “And young women — the victims he came to savor killing the most — he would shoot in the chest.”


The alleged suspect had also described accurately the locations of each murder and the emotions he had felt at the time, and police said he fired on his victims while cruising the streets.

Investigators said they were sifting through evidence, including closed-circuit TV footage, and had seized weapons and stolen license plates from his grandmother’s home.

Kalashnikov Concern Sanctioned

The Obama administration banned imports of rifles from Kalashnikov Concern, including AK-47 assault rifles, as part of sanctions against Russia. The announcement of the sanctions was made in mid-July.

A US dealer specializing in the weapon has sold out.  

The Atlantic Firearms company in Maryland had shipped hundreds of the weapons as buyers wiped out inventories across the United States.

Gun sales tend to spike whenever American consumers believe that new restrictions are imminent. Mr Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories both caused surges in demand and the same thing happened when President Barack Obama stepped up efforts to pass sweeping gun control laws after the 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre.

It is still possible to import AK-47s made in former Soviet bloc countries like Poland or Romania, or even to buy models produced in the United States. But the Russian-made weapons, designed for the Red Army by Mikhail Kalashnikov, are considered “the classic” by gun aficionados.

The AK-47 buying frenzy presents yet another example of the risk that trying to limit gun sales could create a boom in demand.

“The great irony here is that the threat of regulation has the perverse effect of stimulating sales, and not just by a little,” said Philip Cook, a Duke University gun researcher and author of The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know. “You have millions of extra sales.”

Stephen Teret, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University who studies firearms says, “This is a way for guns to move from the licit to illicit markets.

Gun control advocates argue that buying frenzies are often stoked by the National Rifle Association. 

In a lengthy message to members after the Obama administration’s announcement, the NRA’s legislative organization said: “We of course recognize the important role that enacting sanctions can have in furthering legitimate U.S. foreign policy interests. However, in this instance the extent to which these actions coincide with the stated domestic policy goals of gun control supporters is more than a little unsettling.”

Four days after the NRA’s statement, The Truth About Guns, a popular firearms blog, proclaimed the AK-47 “buying panic begins,” adding, “Once again, the firearms industry owes President Obama a debt of gratitude.”