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German police arrest five IS suspects (left) - photo GETTY IMAGES. One of those arrested was Abu Walaa (right), "the preacher without a face" - photo from Youtube.
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Five people suspected of being connected to Islamic State (IS) have been arrested in Germany, one of whom is believed to be a jihadist leader. 

Raids were conducted on apartments in northern and western Germany and on a mosque in Hildesheim near Hanover. 

Among those arrested was a 32-year old Iraqi man, identified by Germany's NDR TV as Ahmad Abdelazziz. Abdelazziz goes by the alias, Abu Walaa, or "the preacher without a face", because of his internet videos showing him wearing black and preaching with his back to the camera. Officials say Walaa was in charge of calling for and organizing jihad in Germany. 

The information which led to the raids was given to German police by a 22-year old jihadist who fought with IS for several months in Syria, but then escaped to Turkey. In an interview with police, this man, named Anil O, referred to Walaa as "IS's number one in Germany". 


All those arrested are suspected of recruiting people for IS and aiding terrorism.



Vocabulary
jihad - a religious war
raid - the act of going to a place and suddenly confronting someone to arrest them or take something from them

alias - an alternate name / identity
in charge of - the boss of something
to recruit - to try to get someone to work (fight) for / with you


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Aaron Driver, 24, warns Canada, "we thirst for your blood." - photo by a video by Aaron Driver
Following a tip from the FBI, Canada's RCMP confronted a man who recorded a video warning Canada against future terrorist attacks in the name of the Islamic State [ISIS]. 

Aaron Driver, 24, was killed while police were attempting to arrest him in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday. The RCMP say Driver planned to commit a suicide bombing in an urban area.

In the video, Driver accuses Canada of 'fighting against the Islamic State' and said, "there's a fire burning in the chest of every Muslim and this fire can be cooled only by the spilling your blood."

Last year, Driver had been arrested in Winnipeg, Canada on suspicion of terrorism. He was released and placed under a peace bond where he agreed not to use a computer, not to move away, not to be in the company of other suspected terrorists, among other conditions.


Vocabulary
RCMP - Royal Canadian Mounted (on a horse) Police
a tip from __ - special / secret information from __

to confront - to suddenly find and meet and interact with
suicide bombing - a person detonates (activates) a bomb that kills many people and kills himself / herself as well
urban area - a crowded, busy area (city, shopping mall, etc.)
suspicion of terrorism - when police believe someone may be a terrorist
peace bond - after being arrested, to pay money and sign to agree to follow certain conditions without going to court

in the company of - being around these people; being in the presence of these people; associating with __
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Aaron Driver told Canada, "You will pay for everything you ever brought against us [IS]." - photo FACEBOOK
 
 
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A Libyan militia soldier fighting against IS - photo by Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
The USA has launched airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces in the coastal city of Sirte, Libya. They included unmanned and manned drone attacks.

The strikes were requested by the UN-backed new Libyan government, Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) which has been fighting IS in the region of Sirte since May. 

Sources say IS had been using violence to impose Sharia law on citizens in the area. 

Libya's prime minister Fayez Sarraj said the strikes caused "heavy losses" and it has been reported that IS has lost a stronghold there.

The attack was authorized by USA president Barak Obama and the Pentagon has said, "These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL [IS] a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies."

Libyan militia have been fighting IS in the region, but much of its government and military has been divided into competing factions since NATO forces brought down former-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

IS arrived in Libya after Gaddafi fell with many of its soldiers coming in from Syria.


Vocabulary
to launch - to send off into the air
coastal - at the coast (next to the ocean / water) 
strike - a (military) attack
unmanned drone - using a drone and no humans
manned - using humans
requested - asked for
UN-backed - supported and approved by the United Nations
to impose - to force to follow

Sharia law - Islamic law used in legal governing
stronghold - a strong position of power
authorized - allowed by a person of authority
militia - citizen soldiers
competing factions - different groups that are trying to get power

to bring down - to cause the fall from power
 
 
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Pope Francis speaks to reporters on his flight to Poland - photo AP
In response to the recent church-attack and slaying of 85-year old priest Jacques Hamel in Normandy, France yesterday,  Pope Francis spoke to reporters on his papal flight to Poland and said that the recent flood of Islamic State-related attacks in Europe are proof that "the world is at war." The pope added, "but it is not a war of religions."

Francis said that all religions want peace, but it is the "others" who want war. He said these people want "a war of interests, for money and resources."

"The word we hear a lot is insecurity, but the real word is war," Francis said.


"We must not be afraid to say the truth, the world is at war because it has lost peace."

Pope Francis is in Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day. 


Vocabulary
slaying - a ruthless (no mercy) murder
papal - relating to the pope
flood - a sudden large amount of something that occurs / is experienced / becomes available
flight - a plane trip

 
 
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Jacques Hamel was conducting morning mass when two attackers stormed his church and slit his throat - photo AFP
Two armed men stormed into a church in southern France this morning and killed a priest and took four people hostage. Police eventually surrounded the church and shot both attackers dead. 

The two men, who said they were of the Islamic State (IS), burst into the church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray while a priest was conducting mass, 
made him kneel, and then slit his throat. 

The priest, Jacques Hamel, was 84-years old and has been described as 'an extraordinary person' by members of the community. 


Witnesses say the attackers recorded themselves and conducted a sermon in Arabic after they killed Hamel.


Some hours following the assault, the IS-related Amaq news agency reported that 'IS-soldiers' were responsible for the attack. 


This follows a recent string of Islamic State-related public onslaughts and massacres throughout France, Germany, and Europe that appear to be happening on a regular basis. 


Vocabulary
armed - having weapons
to storm - to suddenly enter
to take hostage  - to take (kidnap) as a prisoner

to burst into - to suddenly enter
to conduct - to do something (formally)
to kneel - to go down on one's knees
to slit - to make a long narrow cut
extraordinary - very special
a sermon - a religious talk done by a leader / presenter
a recent string - a current course of related events

onslaught - a terrible attack
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French special forces raid the church and shot the attackers dead - photo REUTERS