Sean Penn Discusses Dick Cheney

What does actor Sean Penn have to say about former Vice President Dick Cheney?  On March 18th, he discussed it with talk show host Conan O’Brien.  They also discussed Cuba and ISIS.

Video by Team Coco

ISIS Militant Jihadi John May Still Have Bank Account In U.K. – And Be Withdrawing Money From It

The British ISIS militant known as “Jihadi John” may still have access to a U.K. bank account, claims the publication The Independent.  The 26-year-old Londoner, whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi, has appeared in several propaganda videos showing the brutal murders of international hostages.

However, despite the atrocities he has committed, any assets held by Emwazi have not been frozen by the Treasury, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The newspaper referenced a report by David Anderson QC, which looked into the operation of the “Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (Tafa)” in the year to September 2014.

The act gives the Treasury the power to freeze the assets of individuals and groups who are thought to be involved in terrorism, whether in the U.K. or abroad – even if they have not been charged with or convicted of an offense.

Only 25 individuals are currently affected by the law – and Emwazi is not among them, claims The Independent.

More here:

(Updated post)

The Daily Beast: Confessions Of Australia’s Teenage Suicide Bomber

“He was only 18, but traveled a road from atheism to Islamism to ISIS and self-immolation,” opens a recent article by The Daily Beast news website.

Was he really a philosopher? Or was he a pawn of ISIS?  Or both?

“With my martyrdom operation drawing closer, I want to tell you my story, how I came from being an Atheist school student in affluent Melbourne to a soldier of the Khilafah preparing to sacrifice my life for Islam in Ramadi, Iraq. Many people in Australia probably think they know the story, but the truth is, this is something that has remained between myself and Allah (azza wa’jal) until now,” quotes The Daily Beast.

This was what appears to be one of the last in a series of blog posts written by Jake Bilardi.  Bilardi was an 18-year-old Australian who died last Wednesday after driving an explosives-laden vehicle into a position held by the Iraqi Security Forces’ Eighth Brigade.

Immediately afterwards, fighters for the so-called Islamic State – also known as ISIS – uploaded images of Bilardi embarking upon his suicide operation, and he was identified as the unnamed teenage fighter who has, in recent months, been variously dubbed the “baby-faced mujahid” or the “emo jihadi.”

Since his identity became public, questions have arisen as to how a young and educated man like him could end up on the other side of the world fighting for ISIS, a group that routinely engages in the most abhorrent of war crimes.

In January 2015, a blogger calling himself Abu Abdullah al Australi (meaning he came from Australia) started writing a series of posts entitled “From the Eyes of a Muhajir [Immigrant].” It is impossible to identify the author definitively but he claims to be an 18-year-old convert from Melbourne.

The blogger also claims to have recently “register[ed] for a martyrdom operation” in Ramadi, Iraq, the city in which Bilardi—also known as Abu Abdullah al-Australi among ISIS supporters—is said to have died.

The Daily Beast states his blog has since been taken down and gave a rosy picture of his path toward “martyrdom” – and it may have been just as much of an advertisement for ISIS as a personal story.

More here

(Updated post to correct title)

Are The Iraqi Army And The Kurds Making Progress Against ISIS?


Are the Iraqis and Kurds making progress against ISIS?

Former U.S. Ambassador Chris Hill speaks with MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the Iraqi Army’s efforts at pushing out ISIS from Tikrit and in Syria. The Iraqis have received help from Shi’ite militias in their fight (the Shi’ite groups generally receive some kind of support from Iran).

Iraq and Syria Attempt To Record And Save Art Before It Falls To ISIS

Two temples at the ancient city of Hatra on 27 July, 2005,

In the areas of Iraq and Syria controlled by the Islamic State, residents are recording on cellphones the damage done to antiquities by the extremist group ISIS.

At Baghdad’s recently reopened National Museum of Iraq, new iron bars protect galleries of ancient artifacts from the worst-case scenario.

These are just a couple of examples of the continuing efforts to guard the treasures of Iraq and Syria, two countries rich with artifacts created in the world’s earliest civilizations, according to The New York Times.

Yet only so much can be done under fire, and time is running out as the Islamic State moves forward with the systematic looting and destruction of antiquities.

Last week, officials said, the group ISIS (aka ISIL, Daesh) demolished parts of two of northern Iraq’s’s most prized ancient cities, Nimrud and Hatra, according to the New York Times.

Sunday, residents said militants destroyed parts of Dur Sharrukin, a 2,800-year-old Assyrian site near the village of Khorsabad.

Islamic State militants have called ancient art idolatry to be destroyed.  However, they also steal art and antiquities to sell for money.

Officials and experts who track the thefts through local informants and satellite imagery, according to the New York Times.

More here:

Russell Brand: Which Is More Important, Climate Change Or ISIS?


Comedian Russell Brand gives his reaction to Fox News’ coverage of President Obama’s statement that the media overstates the threat of terrorism in comparison to the threat of climate change.

In other news…

The British paper The Guardian has decided to put coverage of climate change “front and center.”

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger: “…changes to the Earth’s climate rarely make it to the top of the news list. The changes may be happening too fast for human comfort, but they happen too slowly for the newsmakers – and, to be fair, for most readers.

“The climate threat features very prominently on the home page of the Guardian on Friday even though nothing exceptional happened on this day. It will be there again next week and the week after. You will, I hope, be reading a lot about our climate over the coming weeks.”

Rusbridger will be leaving the Guardian this year, and he asked himself if he had any regrets.

“Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.

“So, in the time left to me as editor, I thought I would try to harness the Guardian’s best resources to describe what is happening and what – if we do nothing – is almost certain to occur, a future that one distinguished scientist has termed as ‘incompatible with any reasonable characterization of an organized, equitable and civilized global community.'”

In other news…

Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, walked onto the floor of the Senate with what he declared was persuasive evidence climate change is a hoax: a snowball.  Inhofe is the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, with jurisdiction over the climate problem.

The Huffington Post:  “Indeed, even on his own terms, the snowball doesn’t make the point he thinks it does. Climate change produces wild and extreme swings in weather. That Washington, D.C., is experiencing record cold and snowfall is not refutation of climate change, but rather one more data point to add to the pile in support of it.”

Law Enforcement Warning About ISIS And American Youth Sent Out

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent out a joint warning to law enforcement across the country last weekend concerning a growing trend of girls and boys wanting to fight with ISIS, according to CNN.

One official said there was no increase in U.S. government threat levels, although there is heightened concern lately about recruitment of American and other foreign fighters by Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

A DHS official, commenting on background, said the bulletin was issued “to provide further information on the continuing trend of Western youth being inspired by ISIL to travel to Syria to participate in conflict,” says Reuters.

The warning comes in the wake of the detention of a 17-year-old Northern Virginia teen last week, says a law enforcement official who has read the report.

The source says law enforcement is tracking “lots of cases” like that around the country and they’re growing increasingly concerned about the threat.

The warning lays out motivations for boys and girls to join ISIS.

Boys tend to be older when they leave to fight and be a part of foreign fighters, or they want to attack in the U.S.  Girls tend to be younger and have a fanciful notion of what life is like in Syria, and they often want to go over and be Islamic brides.


CNN: Radicalization On U.K. Campuses

CNN takes a look at the life and identity of Jihadi John, as well as at the extent of Islamic radicalization taking place on some British campuses.

Birthday Balloons In Sweden Confused For I.S. Propaganda

TYT Network

A Swedish 21-year-old’s birthday celebration was interrupted by the police, who showed up because birthday balloons hung inside next to the window looked like ISIS propaganda. The young woman, Sarah Ericsson, was turning 21, and had balloons in the shape of 21 next to the window. Flip those around, and to people outside the house, it looked an awful lot like “IS,” or the initials for the Islamic State.