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Standing up for Saudi Arabia’s ‘Prostitutes’
Last Sunday, history was made in Saudi Arabia when the recently sworn-in Shura Council, the country’s consultative assembly, held its first session with 30 women appointees participating for the first time.
Thanks to a Royal Decree issued by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz earlier this year, room has now been permanently made for women to take part in advising the government on issues that matter.
As such, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council will never again be a “men-only” club.
While most Saudis rejoiced this historic accomplishment; the implementation of the decision was received with the contempt of some who resorted to micro-blogging site Twitter to publicly insult the recently-appointed women Shura members.
Derogatory terms such as “prostitutes” and “the filth of society” were used to describe Saudi Arabia’s finest female academics and technocrats.
These terms are already deemed foul and derogatory when coming from the man on the street. But those behind the appalling statements were Islamic teachers and Sheikhs; a slash of irony unleashed from the men who should otherwise be preaching tolerance, respect and compassion.
‘The Filth of Society’
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Among the “tweeps” who resorted to insults was member of the Islamic Ministry for Da’wah, Guidance and Endowments, Ahmed al-Abdelqader.
“They thought they can mock the mufti by giving these ‘prostitutes’ legitimacy to be in power,” tweeted al-Abdelqader.
Following angry reactions by Twitter users whom objected the cleric’s foul language, Al-Abdelqader said: “We have heard and read many insults against (God) as well as mockery against the prophet, prayer be upon him, and none of those defending (these female) members was angered.”
Earlier last week, another controversial Saudi cleric also attacked the decision to appoint female members to the Council.
“Corrupt beginnings lead to corrupt results,” tweeted Sheikh Nasser al-Omar warning more of what he described as “Westernization.”
For his part, Dr. Saleh al-Sugair, a former teaching assistant at King Saud University slammed the assignment of female members at the council and tweeted: “The insolent (women) wearing make-up at the Shura Council represent the society? God, no. They are the filth of society.”
This wasn’t the first controversial statement by al-Sugair, who is not a cleric but a medical doctor known for extreme religious views.
Last year, he called for a complete separation in medical colleges between male students and female students.
Sharia is against defamation
Last summer, two courageous young female athletes by the names of Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar agreed to become Saudi Arabia’s first ever female participants at the Olympics.
The decision, which was reached at the eleventh hour, saved Saudi Arabia from being excluded completely from the London 2012 Olympics.
At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had insisted that all participating countries needed to have female representation; and even though Sarah and Wojdan knew they lacked the experience to win on the international level, they still agreed to take part and respond to the call of duty.
Instead of praise, the two young athletes received their share of derogatory terms, in a very similar manner to what the ladies of Shura Council had to endure last week.
Wojdan’s father (and her Judo instructor) had pledged to take those who have questioned the morality of his 16-year old daughter and insulted her to court.
As a professional and aspiring Judo player, Wojdan is likely to fight many battles for the rest of her life; however, of all those battles, this legal one has to be the most important, and it must be won.
Of course, the battle will be tough as it will require a much clearer and much stricter implementation of defamation and libel laws, probably under a specialized committee.
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Women at the Shura Council should study this matter and make appropriate suggestions to the government to criminalize and penalize such libel acts.
What will definitely help such a move is that Shariah law is renowned for prohibiting defamation; and it doesn’t make exceptions if the perpetrator is a cleric or not.
Alt-rights that are against Third World immigrants, against Muslim refugees, or against gay men got it wrong. Feminism is the enemy. Nothing else. And because women are natural cowards, the more violence there is, the quicker they will abandon feminism.
Young bank worker researched 'how to die painlessly' before friends found her lifeless body in parked car
An inquest heard how Jodie Anne Jose had a history of depression and had been on anti-depressants for six months before her death
Mirror, 22 JUN 2016, UK
A young woman researched 'how to die painlessly' on her smartphone before committing suicide, an inquest heard.
Jodie Anne Jose, 22, had a history of depression when she went missing from her home earlier this year.
Friends and family launched a frantic search for Jodie as police immediately deemed her a 'high risk missing person '.
Jodie, from Chelmsford, Essex, was later found lifeless in her Ford Fiesta parked outside a railway station.
The young bank worker was rushed to hospital, but later pronounced dead.
Essex Coroners' Court in Chelmsford heard how she was plagued by depression and had been on anti-depressants for six months following an earlier self-harm attempt.
Jodie went missing from her home on March 4, before friends found her ten miles away outside Great Bentley railway station at around midnight.
She was rushed to Colchester General Hospital but was pronounced dead at 2.10am after efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.
At the time of her death, friends took to the social media site to pay tribute to the "kind hearted and beautiful girl".
Megan Smith said: "You were amazing Jodie, so kind and caring there wasn't a bad bone in your beautiful little body. I miss you so much already."
Recording a verdict of suicide, Essex chief coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said: "I have come to the very sad conclusion that she intended to take her own life.
"I have to be sure that is the highest standard of proof, beyond all reasonable doubt.
"Having regard to how she was over the last few months and her previous attempt and having regard to the planning, really that she seems to have intended this."
The court heard evidence from Inspector Paul Butcher who concluded there was no third party involvement or foul play to make him think there were any suspicious circumstances surrounding Jodie's death.
Insp Butcher praised the efforts of Jodie's family in organising an extensive search for her through Facebook .
Jodie had researched how to die painlessly on a phone and written about depression in her diary (Photo: SWNS)
Jodie's sister Stacey Saville said her sibling had written about her depression in her diary and had researched how to die painlessly on an old phone she kept hidden.
She told the hearing: "Jodie had an old phone, she used that because she thought none would see it."
Speaking to Jodie's family Mrs Beasley-Murray said: "She clearly was much loved and had a lot going for her but again I want to express my condolences, I hope you remember all the happy memories of her."
She told them that their love and support for Jodie throughout her life really "shines through".
You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.
Faecal attraction: A beginner’s guide to coprophilia
Coprophilia (also known as coprolagnia) is a paraphilia where people get sexual pleasure from faeces. Sexual excitement typically comes from either (i) watching somebody defecate on somebody else or (ii) they themselves defecating on somebody else. In rare instances, some people may become sexually aroused when they are defecated upon by somebody else. As Dr Judith Milner and colleagues wrote in the 2008 book ’Sexual Deviance: Theory, Assessment and Treatment’:
“Although some authors have defined the focus of coprophilia as the act of elimination (McCary, 1967), others have defined it as the act of consumption of excrement (Allen, 1969). To complicate the definition further, it appears that some individuals may have an interest in eliminating on one’s partner or in playing with the fecal matter. According to Smith (1976), a common analytic interpretation is that the excrement symbolically represents the penis and that the presence of the fecal matter serves as a defense against castration anxiety”
In the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), it is classified under ‘Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified’ (PNOS) along with other paraphilias such as necrophilia, zoophilia, klismaphilia, and telephone scatophilia. As with all paraphilias in the PNOS category, diagnosis is only made “if the behavior, sexual urges, or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning…Fantasies, behaviors, or objects are paraphilic only when they lead to clinically significant distress or impairment (e.g., are obligatory, result in sexual dysfunction, require participation of non-consenting individuals, lead to legal complications, interfere with social relationships)”. The psychologist Dr Tamara Penix (Eastern Michigan University, USA) says there are no data indicating successful treatment of coprophilia.
Surprisingly little scientific research has been carried out on coprophilia, probably because it is so rare. There are certainly pornographic films that include sexual defecation acts (notably some Japanese pornography). Some of these films include coprophiliacs engage in coprophagia (i.e., the eating of faeces and typically referred to more commonly as ‘scat’) which can provides a significant health risk in the form of hepatitis (perhaps another reason as to why the act is so rare). The psychiatrist, Dr Charles Lake (University of Kansa Medical Center, USA) notes that both coprophilia and coprophagia are traditionally considered characteristics of schizophrenia. However, there are case reports in the literature of non-psychotic coprophiliacs with normal intelligence such as one published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 1995.
The most infamous copraphiliac was allegedly Adolf Hitler. This was alluded to in a recent 2011 biography of Hitler’s lover Eva Braun by Heike B. Gortemaker. However, other books on Hitler have been more explicit. For instance, Greg Hallet in his chapter ‘Hitler’s Sexuality’ (from his 2008 book ‘Hitler was a British Agent’) wrote:
“Hitler’s close boyhood friend from Linz, August Kubizek, wrote Adolf Hitler, Mein Jugendfreund (My Youth Friend), ‘Adolf did not engage in love affairs or flirtations. He always rejected the coquettish advances of girls or women. Women and girls took an interest in him but he always evaded their endeavours’…During deconstruction, it is customary that the person is sexually abused in the manner which is most embarrassing to that person. In Hitler’s case, he was sodomised, creating a submissive distant respect for homosexuals like his bodyguards and some of his highest-placed leaders. His natural bent was developed into coprophilia (being shat on)…With each deconstruction an embarrassing addiction is developed and filmed. With Hitler it was sadomasochism, coprophilia and homosexuality. That is, he liked to be verbally abused and slapped around, to have his head urinated on, his chest shat on, and to have sex with men”
The few studies that have been carried out have tended to be done on sadomasochist individuals (although even for sadomasochists this appears to be a rare activity for them to engage in). A study led by psychologist Dr Kenneth Sandnabba (Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland) and published in the Journal of Sex Research surveyed 164 Finnish male sadomasochists and reported that that 18% of them had engaged in at least one coprophilic act (6% as a masochist, 3% as a sadist, and 9% as both). There was no difference in sexual orientation with 18% of heterosexual sadomasochists and 17% of homosexual sadomasochists having engaged in at least one coprophilic act. The results also showed that the sadomasochists were socially well-adjusted and that their SM behavior was mainly a facilitative aspect of their sexual lives.
In a follow-up study published in the journal Deviant Behavior, Sandnabba and colleagues analysed data from a subset of twelve men from their study of sadomasochists who had also engaged in zoophilic activities. This group was then compared with a control group of sadomasochists from the same data set but who had not engaged in zoophilic activities. Results showed seven out of twelve zoophilic sadomasochists had engaged in coprophilic acts whereas only one in twelve non-zoophilic sadomasochists had engaged in coprophilic acts. In fact, the zoophilic sadomasochists were more likely to engage in a wide range of sexual behaviours including spanking, gagging, biting, urophilia (urinating on or being urinated on for sexual pleasure), fisting, coprophilia, skin branding, and transvestism (i.e., cross-dressing). The authors concluded that zoophilic sadomasochists were more sexually experimental than the non-zoophilic sadomasochistic controls.
An earlier study on a much bigger sample of paraphiliacs also reported that zoophiles appear to engage in many paraphilic behaviours including coprophilia. In their survey of 561 non-incarcerated paraphiliacs seeking treatment, Dr Gene Abel and colleagues found that all of the 14 zoophiles in their sample reported more than one paraphilia and seven of them reported at least five other paraphilas including coprophilia, urophilia, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, frotteurism, telephone scatophilia, transvestic fetishism, fetishism, sexual sadism, and/or sexual masochism.
There doesn’t appear to be any consensus as to the origins of these highly unusual paraphilias although (as with most paraphilic behaviour) operant and classical conditioning would appear to play a major role. The following example is a self-report that I found in an online discussion group:
“It all started when I was young. I hated white underwear for some reason and when I wore them I’d be turned on. Eventually it felt odd and good that I urinated in them. I wet my bed for days when I was a young boy and stopped when my parents found out about it. When I was young, I hated bowel movements. It felt gross and stuff. After discovering masturbation, I eased my bowel movements by masturbating. It felt good, and my bowel movements weren’t so gross. I don’t know how it happened but the two finally caught up to each other and I became accustomed to the smell when I masturbated. Everything escalated as time went on, I’ve been in this fetish for a while now – since I was 12 years old. I am 18 now”
The origins of the coprophilic behaviour certainly appear (in this case) to be as a result of both classical and operant conditioning. However, other people suggest different etiological factors may contribute in the development of coprophilia. For instance, in Canada, Dave Hingsburger published a case study of an institutionalized and mentally handicapped man who engaged in coprophilic acts approximately three times a week. It was argued that the cause of the coprophilia was the patient’s maladaptive response to a severely limited institutional environment rather than any behavioural conditioning.
Whatever the origins, it is evident that compared to many other paraphilic behaviours, there is a dearth of empirical and clinical data relating to the acquisition, development, and maintenance of coprophilia.
Feminism in Europe makes second-generation male Muslim immigrants suicide bombers. Up to now it's only explosives. But a poison gas attack isn't far away.
Here’s What Actually Happens When You Wake Up During Surgery Let’s talk about the bizarre thing that can happen on the operating table.
1. It's a clinical phenomenon called anesthetic awareness.
'Anesthetic awareness, also known as intraoperative recall, occurs when a patient becomes conscious during a procedure that is performed under general anesthesia, and they can recall this episode of waking up after the surgery is over,' Dr. Daniel Cole, president-elect of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, tells BuzzFeed Life. Patients may remember the incident immediately after the surgery, or sometimes even days or weeks later. But rest assured, doctors are doing everything they can and using the best technology available to make sure this doesn't happen.
2. One to two people out of 1,000 wake up during surgery each year in the United States.
"It's not a huge number, but it's enough people that it's definitely a problem," says Cole. Plus, the true rate could be even higher. "The data is all over the place because it's mostly self-reported." "Ideally, the anesthesiologist would routinely see the patient post-operation and ask them about intraoperative awareness," he says. But this opportunity is often lost because patients are discharged or choose to go home as soon as they can after surgery. "Even if they remember three, five days later, they might feel embarrassed and don't want to make a big deal so they don't mention it to their surgeon. So there can be underreporting of awareness."
3. It happens when general anesthesia fails.
General anesthesia is supposed to do two things: keep the patient totally unconscious or 'asleep' during surgery, and with no memory of the entire procedure. If there is a decreased amount of anesthesia for some reason, the patient can start to wake up. The cocktail of medication in general anesthesia often includes an analgesic to relieve pain and a paralytic. The paralytic does exactly what it sounds like — it paralyzes the body so that it remains still. When the anesthesia does fail, the paralytics make it especially difficult for patients to indicate that they're awake.
4. And it's not the same as conscious sedation.
Conscious sedation, sometimes referred to as "twilight sleep" is when you're given a combination of a sedative and a local or regional anesthetic (which just numbs one part or section of the body) for minor surgeries, and it's not intended to knock you out completely or cause deep unconciousness. It's typically what you would get while getting your wisdom teeth out, having a minor foot surgery, or getting a colonoscopy. With conscious sedation, you may fall asleep or drift in and out of sleep, but this isn't the same as true anesthetic awareness, says Cole.
5. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't usually happen right in the middle of surgery.
"The anesthesiologist is very aware that this can happen and never relaxes or lets down their guard at any point during the surgery, no matter how long," says Cole. "Awareness tends to occur on the margins, when the procedure is starting and you don't have the full anesthetic dose or when you're waking up from anesthesia, because it's safest to decrease the amount of anesthesia very slowly and gradually toward the end." However, this also depends on the surgery and patient... which we'll get to in a little bit.
6. Patients often report hearing sounds and voices. "The most common sensation is auditory," says Cole. Patients will report that they were aware of voices, and even conversations that went on in the operating room — which can be especially terrifying if loud tools are involved. "If you look at the effects of anesthetics on the brain, the auditory system is the last one to shut down, so it makes a lot of sense."
And opening your eyes to see the surgeons operating on you? Basically impossible. "First of all, the anesthesia puts you to sleep, so your eyelids shut naturally. Even if you regain consciousness, the anesthesia still restricts muscle movement so your eyes will stay shut," Cole explains. "But there's still 10–20% eye opening when you sleep. So during surgery, we will cover the patient's eyes or tape them shut to prevent injury and keep the eyes clean."
7. Few patients experience pressure (and rarely pain) during anesthetic awareness.
Less than a third of patients who report anesthetic awareness also report experiencing pressure or pain, says Cole. "But that's still one too many, because the patient is kind of locked in and aware of what's happening to them but unable to move, which is terrifying." Typically, sufficient analgesic (pain reliever) is given, so that even if you wake up you won't feel pain. "More often, we use an anesthetic technique which includes a morphine-type drug to reduce pain. But this is really required for when the patient wakes up and they no longer have anesthetic so they are conscious and aware of pain," Cole says.
Even if the analgesic wears off, there should be sufficient anesthesia to keep the patient unconscious and pain-free. "It's rare. You'd have to both have insufficient anesthesia and insufficient pain medicine at the same time to feel prolonged pain during awareness," Cole says.
8. Anesthetic awareness can cause anxiety and PTSD.
"The potential psychological effects of awareness range greatly," says Cole. "It can cause anxiety, flashbacks, fear, loneliness, panic attacks — PTSD is the worse. It's been reported in a small minority of patients, but it can be very severe." says Cole. If doctors hear about someone having intraoperative awareness, they will try to get the person into therapy as early as possible, before memories can be embedded in a harmful or stressful way to patients. "If you were in the hospital for a week and on day two we heard that you woke up during surgery, we'd get a therapist in the same day. We always want to mitigate so we can try to reduce the severity of symptoms," Cole says.
9. It's most often caused by an equipment malfunction.
General anesthesia can either be given intravenously (where all or most is given through an IV) or more commonly as a gas, which you breathe in through a mask. If the equipment in either of these were to malfunction, and the anesthesiologist wasn't aware of it because the signal that gas is too low doesn't work, for example, then patients would stop receiving medication and start to wake up. Again, this is terrifying but rare.
"The anesthesia equipment is like an airplane," Cole says. "The anesthesiologist will do a pre-flight check and go over all equipment to make sure it works. But sometimes, that equipment can malfunction as short as an hour later so it won't show up before taking off." Likewise, there is equipment used to monitor the patient's vitals and brain activity, which can also fail to signal to doctors that the patient is waking up.
10. Less commonly, it's the physician or anesthesiologist's fault.
"Any time humans are involved, human error is always a possibility — but it’s more common that technology fails," says Cole. "Physicians and anesthesiologists are well-trained to look out for signs of awareness during surgery, which obviously includes any movement of muscles and changes in vitals." Since paralytics are often involved, doctors also closely monitor other signs like heart rate, blood pressure, tears, or brain electrical activity for any red flags. However, sometimes patients can be on medications that suppress the body's responses and inhibit the monitoring systems from effectively picking up warning signs of light anesthesia and awareness. These incidences can make it difficult to detect awareness, so physician anesthesiologists must closely watch an array of signs.
11. It is more likely to happen during surgeries that require "light" anesthesia.
Anesthesia also comes with risk factors, and can be harmful depending on the surgery or patient's risk. "Awareness can occur when there is too light of anesthesia, which we often do deliberately for high-risk situations," says Cole. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, high-risk surgeries include heart surgery, brain surgery, and emergency surgeries in which the patient has lost a lot of blood or they can easily go into shock. Or the patient may need a lower dose of anesthesia due to risk factors such as heart problems, obesity, a genetic factor, or being on narcotics or sedatives. "For instance, anesthesia depresses the heart, so a normal dose could be life-threatening to someone with heart problems," Cole explains.
"Sometimes you have to make a trade off," says Cole. "Would you rather have a high level of anesthesia which threatens your body's life functions, or a low level which ensures safety but increases the risks of waking up during the procedure?"
12. ...But if that's the case, your doctor will talk to you about it first.
Patients often feel better knowing that the decreased amount of anesthesia is for their own safety. "We tell the patient that there's an increased chance that you may hear some voices or fuzziness, but if it gets uncomfortable we can tell and will increase the dose," says Cole. "Patients are more understanding and happy when they understand that the risk of waking up is for their own safety."
Also, you should know that if you've had a previous incidence of awareness, that puts you at higher risk for another episode. Cole explains that in this case, doctors will spend a lot of time with the patient and anesthesiologist describing exactly what to expect, so that hopefully they won’t experience it again.
13. ALL THAT BEING SAID, the chances of this happening are slim, and medical professionals are doing everything they can to ensure that this does not happen.
According to Cole, it's always helpful to spend some time pre-operatively with the surgeon and physician anesthesiologist going over the procedure and how they'll get you through it safely and comfortably.
"I do something called 'patient engagement' and 'shared decision-making' so I can make sure the patient understands literally everything. Some patients don't want to talk about awareness because it will give them more anxiety, and they just trust us," says Cole. However, even if you aren't at risk, your doctors will be happy to answer any questions you have about anesthesia before the procedure.
If you are still invested in the real estate of European cities, get out! A terrorist attack with chemical weapons will happen. And it won't be just one. Chemical weapons are just so easy to produce.
How men from Africa and Asia can easily migrate to Europe: Western Mediterranean route
The Morocco to Spain route had been a noted pressure point for years – certainly since 2005, when thousands of sub-Saharan migrants made world headlines by trying to climb over the fence in the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
Co-operation between Spain and Morocco has since kept migrant numbers comparatively low on this route. Migrants are also more inclined to depart from Libya because the likelihood of being returned by EU authorities is much lower.
A decade ago, migrants from Morocco to Spain were typically economic ones from Algeria and Morocco, hoping for jobs in Spain, France and Italy. Since then, however, they have increasingly been joined by sub-Saharan Africans, driven northwards by conflicts in Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic. In 2015, Syrians accounted for the biggest share of detections on this route.
West Africans reach Morocco or Algeria via two land routes. One follows the West African coastline; the shorter one crosses the Sahara. The coastal route is naturally preferred by migrants leaving Senegal and Mauritania, but also, often, by nationals of countries further afield - such as Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire or Benin - because the Sahara crossing is judged so dangerous.
There are various reasons for the fluctuation of overall numbers on this route. Spain has stepped up coastal patrols, installed the SIVE maritime surveillance system along its southern border and signed bilateral agreements with Mauritania and Senegal. It has also strengthened border checks at the main ports, a significant deterrent for would-be migrants secreting themselves aboard trucks and containers on ferries headed to Almeria and Algeciras – the traditional method of irregular entry. Rising unemployment in Spain, and therefore fewer opportunities for migrant workers, is also thought to be a factor.
Pro-rape campaigner Roosh V forced to cancel UK 'anti-feminist' meetings amid safety fears
Pro-rape campaigner Roosh V has cancelled a series of meetings around the world amid fears over the 'safety and privacy' of the men who attend.
The self-styled 'anti-feminist', whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, had set up gatherings in cities in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
But in a new post on his website last night, the American apologised to his supporters for having to 'let them down' by cancelling the controversial meetings.
He wrote: "I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meetups can not be made private in time.
"While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meetups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations.
"I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision."
It is understood that a number of the planned gatherings had already been moved to a private property - possibly due to the number of men expected to attend, or for safety reasons.
And while Roosh V is concerned about his members' safety, women in some cities have voiced their own concerns online about the 'neo-masculinist' gatherings.
They have warned other females to 'try not to go anywhere alone' this weekend, The Guardian reports.
The cancellation of Roosh V's meetings comes as more than 25,000 people have signed a petition to ban the 'anti-feminist' from holding meetings in the UK.
The petition against him was started on campaign site 38 degrees and calls on police and crime commissioners, local police forces and the Government to stop Roosh V in his tracks.
It says: "Supporters of known 'legal rape' advocate and 'neo-masculinist' misogynist creator of 'Return of the Kings' Roosh V will congregate on Saturday 6 February, in eight UK cities: Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Shrewsbury and London.
"As he spreads his hateful speech and guides people on how to exploit, manipulate and rape women, he's putting the welfare of women at risk. He needs to be stopped by all genders, within our communities.
"Having written a number of jaw-droppingly offensive blog posts and published books, Roosh V believes that men should stop asking for permission, and that alpha males should slowly break down the confidence in women to get what they want.
"He is a hugely dangerous individual. His fans have extensive forums online, detailing where to 'pick up the easiest girls' in each city, naming bars, venues and strategies.
"Roosh V needs to be stopped. Please sign."
Another petition to ban the leader from holding an event in Cardiff on Saturday has so far gained more than 7,000 signatures and dubs Valizadeh an 'evil man'. It also posts a link to an article about him.
On his website, believed to have had a million visitors, Roosh V claims a solution for rape charges against men would be to “make rape legal if done on private property.”
“I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds,” he wrote.
Cardiff petition signatory Briony J was unimpressed.
“Rape legal on private property?” she said.
“You could be lying in your own bed at night, have your home broken into, and be raped and that’d be legal? I don’t think so.”
Only straight men will be allowed to attend the meeting, and women attempting to enter the event will be filmed and broadcast on his global “anti-feminist” network.
“Sounds like he’s inciting crime – how can that be allowed?” Peter J said.
Valizadeh’s books include “Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays.”
“My niece is at uni in Cardiff,” Julie D said on 38 Degrees.
“I want her and all women to be safe. This filth needs not to come to this country.”
And Paul S claimed “those who preach hate are as evil as the terrorist who pulls the trigger.”
The self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” is followed by tens of thousands of supporters on social media, and regularly posts articles campaigning against rape laws and feminism.
His website is believed to be have been visited by more than one million people worldwide.
South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said he has written to the Home Secretary Theresa May asking her to consider the petition.
He said: “It has been brought to my attention that an individual who appears to intend to cause harassment and distress in the furtherance of his agenda – and to encourage and incite others to do so – is encouraging people to gather in Cardiff for purposes that are both unpleasant and potentially unlawful.
“I am reassured that South Wales Police are taking the operational policing issues seriously in reviewing risk and protecting the public.
“I have written to the Home Secretary to ask her to urgently consider the petition.
“It may make sense for people to petition the Home Secretary, who has powers to act in relation to a ban on entering the country, which I do not have, or to petition parliament to secure a debate.”
Arson is the terrorism of the future. Attackers can buy their weapon at any gasoline station, and risk just 2 years in prison.
The Islamic state and WMD: Assessing the future threat
Abstract: The Islamic State is actively seeking weapons of mass destruction and, to a limited extent, it has used such weapons in Syria and Iraq. It is also actively seeking personnel with technical experience capable of expanding its program. The Islamic State’s program faces many challenges and logistical issues, however, that have tempered their ambitions. This means the group is not yet capable of striking Western nations with WMD, though it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy rudimentary chemical devices against the West in the next several years.
“If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir (unbelievers) in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction, even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.”
—Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd.
On November 19, 2015, a day after French police thwarted a second-wave attack by Islamic State terrorists in Paris, France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls raised the specter of the Islamic State deploying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against the West. “I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons,” he told the French parliament. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had earlier sounded the alarm on chemical weapons in June 2015:
“The counter-terrorism landscape is changing so rapidly that long accepted paradigms can quickly become obsolete. Apart from some crude and small-scale endeavors, the conventional wisdom has been that the terrorist intention to acquire and weaponize chemical agents has been largely aspirational. The use of chlorine by Daesh and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development. Daesh is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons.”
In light of these warnings and the Islamic State’s documented use of crude WMD devices in Syria and Iraq, this article explores what is known about the group’s WMD capabilities and the current logistical challenges that are containing its ambitions in this area. The article outlines how despite current intentions and active recruitment of technically trained personnel, the Islamic State is not yet capable of striking Western nations with WMD, though it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy rudimentary chemical devices against the West in the next several years.
Among WMD, nuclear weapons cause the largest amount of destruction, yet they are the most difficult to develop or obtain. To develop a nuclear weapon, the Islamic State would first require enough fissile material[a] to support a sustained chain reaction. The specific quantity required is determined by the weapon design, but generally involves several kilograms of highly enriched uranium. The other significant limiting factor is the scores of physicists, engineers, and metallurgists required to construct the device. Fighting over the past five years throughout Iraq and Syria has created an intellectual drain in the region. In the distant chance that the Islamic State could assemble nuclear scientists to develop the weapon, it would have to conduct tests on weapon designs and construction methods in order to confirm that a nuclear detonation would actually occur in the final device.[b] These tests would easily be detected by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets (ISR), which would presumably trigger a kinetic response from other parties.
Since the Islamic State lacks the personnel and material to build a nuclear weapon, purchase on the black market becomes the most likely path to acquisition. The Islamic State raised this possibility with its May 2015 claim that “it could buy a nuclear weapon through Pakistan within the coming year.” Although the assertion sounds far-fetched, the group has significant liquid assets from oil sales and other sources of revenue. These assets imply that funding is likely not the greatest barrier to purchase of a weapon. The key barrier is availability of material and identification of a willing seller.
The extent of the global nuclear smuggling network was recently highlighted in media coverage of the five-year, joint Moldovan government and FBI probe into the “thriving nuclear black market that has emerged in an impoverished corner of Eastern Europe.” In one instance a sample of uranium that could be used in an atomic bomb was seized. Regrettably, as the coverage noted, most arrests occurred after only a small sample of nuclear material was exchanged; the larger stockpiles from which the samples were taken may remain for sale. The confluence of existing nuclear smuggling networks, the willingness of actors to sell material, even to extremists, and the Islamic State’s financial capabilities increase the likelihood that the group could acquire a nuclear device. However, notwithstanding its desire to possess nuclear weapons, the probability of the Islamic State obtaining and deploying a device remains low.
Radiological Radiological dispersion devices (RDDs) are likely the only radioactive weapons that the Islamic State could employ. Far more simplistic in design than nuclear weapons, these devices feature radioactive material intermixed with conventional explosives. Though they do not produce the mass-destruction characteristics of nuclear weapons such as shock waves, fires, and electro-magnetic pulses, RDDs create psychological impact on affected populations. They are most effective when detonated in densely populated areas; otherwise, the dispersion of radioactive material would do little more than prevent access to the area for a period of time. To attack the West the Islamic State would be required to export an RDD, drastically increasing the risk of detection through ISR and human intelligence.
The black market is one avenue for the Islamic State to obtain materials that could be used in a radiological device. In the cases investigated in Moldova, nuclear smugglers were purportedly ready to sell Cesium 137 to what they believed was a representative of the Islamic State.
Within the area controlled by the Islamic State, there are two potential sources of radiological material: research facilities at universities and medical devices. Most of the material used in scientific research and medical diagnostics contain limited quantities of radioactive material. A material of concern is cobalt-60, which is used in medical devices and emits gamma radiation. In December 2013, a cargo truck carrying hospital equipment containing cobalt-60 was stolen from a gas station in Mexico. The theft prompted concern among U.S. intelligence agencies that the material could be converted into a dirty bomb. Prolonged exposure to cobalt-60 can be deadly; the timeframe of lethality ranges from minutes to hours depending on the level of shielding.
Since RDDs are no more complicated than an improvised explosive device, the Islamic State certainly has the capability to develop them. There are two significant obstacles preventing the employment of such a device in the West. One, there is no evidence the Islamic State has gathered the necessary radiological material, and two, it lacks access to the target. To transport and move an RDD to a target increases the risk of detection similar to the limits of transporting a nuclear weapon. The detonation of an RDD would have a greater psychological impact on the affected population compared to the physical damage caused by the device. Subsequently, the risk of the Islamic State building an RDD is greater than that of a nuclear weapon, however the risk of actual deployment remains low.
Biological There is little doubt that the Islamic State would like to possess and use biological weapons. A laptop recovered by moderate Syrian rebels during a 2014 raid on the Islamic State stronghold of Idlib allegedly contained files instructing Islamic State on the preparation and use of biological weapons. The laptop also contained safety instructions for the development of microbes in order to protect Islamic State technicians from exposure.
Despite the consistent reiteration of its desire to possess biological weapons, the Islamic State faces significant practical challenges. Like nuclear weapons, the development of biological weapons requires sophisticated personnel and technology that are not readily available in Iraq and Syria. The group could conceivably purchase and smuggle the materials needed to set up a biological weapons lab, however scale would become a significant obstacle given that effective production levels require a facility about the size of a large research lab with the corresponding infrastructure. The Islamic State would also have to contend with quality control issues as well. The power grid and generators in Iraq and Syria are not sufficiently reliable for the refrigerators and incubators needed to weaponize biological agents.[c]
In regard to the difficulties of biological weaponization, the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa proves instructive. The spread of Ebola gave rise to concerns that the Islamic State would attempt to use Ebola-infected individuals as delivery systems for the virus. This non-traditional transfer mechanism could, in theory, infect people around the world. The reality is far different, however. When first infected with a virus, individuals have a low titer count (the concentration of virus in the blood). Once inside the host individual, the virus invades cells and replicates. This progressively leads to higher levels of virus in the body and a corresponding escalation of symptoms. At low levels, the individual is relatively non-contagious and appears normal. It is at the later stages of the infection that the individual is most contagious, but also the most sick and debilitated. Such highly infected host individuals are easily identifiable and often barely able to function, let alone able to execute a clandestine infection strategy. Diseases are not limited by national or regional borders. The introduction of a pathogen in a developed nation would be rapidly detected through bio-surveillance networks.
Biological weapons are very unlikely to be developed by the Islamic State as a mass casualty tool. Western medical countermeasures and response capabilities were able to handle the 2001 anthrax attack and quickly contain Ebola in the United States in 2014. All this suggests the impact of a deliberate biological attack by the Islamic State in the West would be extremely limited.
Chemical In 2013, the Syrian government deployed chemical munitions against rebels multiple times. International pressure following these attacks forced the Assad regime to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and turn over all chemical weapon stockpiles. According to the OPCW, the Syrian government declared 1,308,021 kilograms of both category 1 and 2 chemicals,[d] and the OPCW oversaw the destruction of 98.8% of those declared category 1 and 2 chemical weapons.
Various media reports indicate that the Islamic State is currently employing chemical weapons, specifically mustard agent. These reports also reveal, however, that the agent is crude and has not produced the mass effects typical of a state-run program. There are also signs that the Islamic State “has developed at least a small-scale chemical weapons program, and may have manufactured low-quality blister agent or obtained chemical arms from undeclared or abandoned government [Syrian] stocks.” The possibility that the chemical weapons used may have come from material at undeclared Syrian stockpiles has been documented in various media sources. Examining samples of both the Syrian stockpile and the Islamic State’s chemical weapons would reveal not only whether this was true, but also information about potency and persistence, which is the ability of the agent to linger in the environment before environmental factors cause its breakdown.[e]
One concern is that the Islamic State may take advantage of recruits with knowledge of previous state-run chemical weapons programs in Iraq and Syria. In January 2015, a coalition air strike killed Abu Malik, an Islamic State chemical weapons engineer who had worked at Saddam Hussein’s Muthana chemical weapon program before joining the predecessor group to the Islamic State in 2005. According to U.S. Central Command, “his past training and experience provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability,” and his death was “expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL’s ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons.”
With the Islamic State’s willingness to use chemical weapons, western nations should be concerned that the group or individuals acting on behalf of the group would attempt to deploy a poison gas device. If it did, the Islamic State would not be the first to attack on a western nation with chemical weapons. The Aum Shinrikyo released sarin in the Tokyo subway on March 20, 1995.
Before 9/11, al-Qa`ida began developing a device called mubtakkar, meaning “invention” in Arabic, to disseminate hydrogen cyanide and other toxic gases. According to journalist Ron Suskind, in 2003 al-Qa`ida operatives in Saudi Arabia plotted to use a poison gas device in the New York City subway system but aborted the plot after the group’s then-deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, decided not to “green light” it. The cell had planned to disperse quantities of hydrogen cyanide gas or another poisonous gas. [f] The simplicity of the design and the relative ease of obtaining some of the chemicals makes it a plot the Islamic State could mimic.
There are several constraints associated with developing chemical weapons. Chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide, sarin, and their precursors are highly corrosive and require storage in highly controlled environments. For example, high temperatures and humidity will affect both the chemical reactions used to make the warfare agents and their effectiveness. The corrosive nature of these agents also makes long-term storage and transportation over long distances very difficult without the appropriate containers and proper environment. When placed in a container, the agents will immediately begin to eat away at rubber seals and the container itself, making leaks inevitable. Such constraints make it likely that any agents developed by the Islamic State would most likely be deployed immediately after manufacture and within close proximity to the territory it holds.
While it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy a rudimentary poison gas device against the West in the next several years, the group would likely need to build the device near the location of the planned attack, requiring it to recruit or plant its own chemists in the West, not an easy feat.
Moving forward, the Islamic State will most likely continue to employ its limited chemical weapon munitions in both Syria and Iraq while seeking the capacity to expand its program to strike at major targets in the West.
The Islamic State’s potential use of WMD poses a greater psychological threat than physical threat to its enemies. While the Islamic State continues to seek and develop WMD, its progress will be constrained by reality. Despite seeking technical expertise and having large sums of liquid assets at its disposal, the Islamic State’s logistical capabilities and support structure in Western nations is limited. Containing the Islamic State needs to remain a priority, however, as further territorial expansion provides an opportunity to acquire new materials.
The Islamic State will continue to employ the simplest and most readily available WMD at their disposal—chemical weapons. The proliferation of this program remains a concern especially with the availability of toxic industrial chemicals that could be modified and dispersed in a chemical attack. While the effects of such devices would be limited to a small geographic area, the psychological impact to a Western nation, for example, would be significant. Current conditions in Syria and Iraq in conjunction with international ISR assets constantly monitoring the area reduce the possibility that the Islamic State will be able to develop any other WMD beyond chemical weapons.
Captain Stephen Hummel is a FA52 officer and currently serving as an instructor in the Chemistry and Life Science Department at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Captain Hummel previously served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and as the USAREUR CBRN plans officer. He is also the author of the 2015 book STRIKE: A Firsthand Account of the Largest Operation of the Afghan War.
[a] Fissile material refers to “a nuclide that is capable of undergoing fission after capturing low-energy thermal (slow) neutrons.”3 Capturing a neutron displaces other neutrons from the capturing material, which leads to interaction with adjacent atoms, which in turn displaces other neutrons. This creates a sustained chain reaction that releases large amounts of energy. The three primary fissile materials are uranium-233, uranium-235, and plutonium-239. “Fissile Material.” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, updated November 30, 2015.
[b] Tests are required to ensure fidelity of the design and build. Such tests do not entail detonation of a full-scale nuclear weapon but rather components of the weapon such as the trigger.
[c] Considering the Islamic State’s tremendous liquid assets, it could be possible for them to purchase the required generators and refrigerators. The process to grow and culture biological agents is neither short nor easy. The equipment required to culture large amounts of biological agents to be used in an attack would need to run for months and the culture areas must be completely sterile and within strict temperature ranges. Logistically, this is extremely difficult. Major research institutions in the West regularly struggle with maintaining sterile environments and contend with failing equipment that runs constantly. Without a reliable power grid, the Islamic State must then provide fuel to the generators, and although the group possesses vast amounts of oil, this does not mean it has the refinery capability to convert crude oil into gas. Furthermore, the equipment would need regular maintenance in a dry, dusty environment. Consequently, it would be an extreme logistical challenge for the Islamic State to maintain the proper environment to culture biological materials.
[d] The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines category 1 chemicals as munitions filled with schedule 1 chemical agents while category 2 chemicals are munitions filled with other toxic chemicals.
[e] If the mustard agent used in the recent attacks came from Syrian stockpiles, it could be confirmed by comparing the composition of components and impurities. A difference between the agents would indicate the inception and implementation of the Islamic State’s chemical weapon program. These impurities provide additional information about the potency, persistence, and absorption capabilities of the agents.
[f] Exposure to hydrogen cyanide gas at sufficiently high quantities is lethal within minutes. The LD50, or lethal dose to 50% of a population, is 2,000 parts per million, which corresponds to approximately 0.2% of the air as hydrogen cyanide. “Environmental & Health Effects: Cyanide Facts,” International Cyanide Management Code for the Fold Mining Industry.
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