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Washington: 1:40:14 pm - August 22, 2014 - Jerusalem: 8:40:14 pm - Av 26, 5774


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Pentagon:
Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'


Hagel speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, August 21, 2014.
(photo: Yuri Gripas, Reuters)

The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. military leaders said on Thursday.

"They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon. Asked if the hardline Sunni Muslim organization posed a threat to the United States comparable to that of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hagel said it was "as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen."

Hagel's assessment of Islamic State, which gained strength during Syria's civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer, sounded a note of alarm several days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria.

Ex-CIA Officer:
'There Are ISIS Sleeper Cells In This Country'

A former CIA officer said Thursday he has no doubt Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells are already planted on U.S. soil.

An unnamed U.S. intelligence official told CNN there's already an indication of ISIS sleeper cells in Europe that could target U.S. embassies and other American interests.

Senator Inhofe warns of potential
terrorist attacks on U.S. soil

It is a serious warning coming from Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe as he warns of the potential of another attack on American soil. The senator sat down with Fox 25 to talk about a variety of topics, but as ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the top issue was national security.

“We're in the most dangerous position we've ever been in as a nation,” Senator Inhofe told Fox 25's Phil Cross.

“ISIS, they are really bad terrorists, they're so bad even Al Qaida is afraid of them,” Inhofe said reflecting on the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley. Beyond the beheading, Inhofe said the current terror organizations are not going to stay contained to the Middle East. “They're crazy out there and they're rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major U.S. city and people just can't believe that's happening.”

At least 50 rockets, mortars
fired on southern Israel on Friday


Be'er Sheva shortly after noon rocket attack (photo: MDA paramedics)

Over 50 rockets were fired at Israel's south Friday, with one landing a hit near a preshcool in Be'er Sheva, wounding a man. Another landed meters from another preschool in the south, after a quiet night gave residents a much needed rest from renewed fighting which have seen a record number of rockets slam into Israel.

Earlier rockets fell near a preshcool in Be'er Sheva, wounding a man while another landed meters from another preschool in the south, after a quiet night gave residents a much needed rest from renewed fighting which have seen a record number of rockets slam into Israel.

The synagogue in Ashdod suffered a direct hit from a rocket in the early afternoon hours on Friday. Several suffered from anxiety after the attack and three were lightly wounded.

Netanyahu:
Hamas leaders are legitimate
targets, no one is invincible


Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon (photo: Yaron Brenner, Ynet)

Netanyahu says that Operation Protective Edge is not over; does not confirm or deny reports that Israel attempted to kill Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif; says Hamas and ISIS are "branches of the same tree."

Hamas leaders are primary and legitimate military targets in Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday night, as he explained that Israel’s military operation in Gaza is not over.

Israel has not given up on the possibility of a cease-fire agreement, a permanent agreement, or any other diplomatic solutions, Netanyahu said. What is important is to restore security, whether that happens through diplomacy or on the battlefield, he asserted.

Ya'alon:
IDF will continue to strike Hamas leaders at any time and place

Hamas says three of its top Gaza
commanders killed by Israel

Hamas keeps up rocket pressure on Israel;
man seriously hurt along Gaza border


Rocket damage caused to a house in Nir Oz. (photo: Motti Kimchi, Ynet)

Sirens sound in Be'er Sheva, Gaza border communities; Israel says 223 rockets fired in 116 barrages since Tuesday evening.

Rockets continued pounding southern Israel at noontime Thursday, with 6 rockets hitting Eshkol, 2 near Ashdod, one in Kiryart Malachi, one in Sdot Negev and one near Ramle. In the late morning hours, 3 rockets hit open areas in Merhavim, and 5 hit open areas in Eshkol. Before that, 2 rockets hit open areas in Eshkol. Overnight, 2 rockets were intercepted over Ofakim.

In Eshkol, a man in his 30s sustained serious chest wounds when he was hit by rocket shrapnel.

Haniyeh vows Hamas will 'liberate Palestine'
after top commanders killed by Israel

After the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel, Hamas vowed early Friday that it would be “strengthened” in its quest “to lift the siege on Gaza” and “liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children.”

Hours after the targeted strike on the Hamas commanders, Ismail Haniyeh, the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, released a statement that was read aloud by the Hamas television network.

Haniyeh said that Hamas “was saddened over the deaths of our brothers and commanders who went on the path of great ones.”

“We want to emphasize that despite the pain of their loss, the history of the Hamas movement has proven more than once that it is stronger after every targeted killing of one of its senior members,” Haniyeh said.

Mashaal, Hamas defiant after assassinations

Hamas officials remained defiant Thursday despite the assassination of three of the organization’s top commanders in a pre-dawn strike.

“The Palestinian people have prepared themselves for hundreds of years to fight the enemy until the end,” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadul. “We won’t get tired of fighting after a month, a year or many years.”

“There will be no return to negotiations in Cairo before we have ensured favorable circumstances that will force the enemy to meet the demands of the Palestinians.”

Report:
Qatar threatened to expel Mashaal if
Hamas okayed Egypt-proposed truce

Hamas admits to kidnapping three Israeli teens


(photo: Shaul Golan, Ynet)

Two months after Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah were murdered near Hebron, top Hamas official admits groups' operatives behind 'heroic' kidnap, murder of teens.

A senior Hamas religious figure admitted Wednesday that Hamas had kidnapped and murdered Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah, the three Israeli teens who disappeared June 12th only to be found dead three weeks later after a massive IDF search mission.

Despite Hamas threats, it’s business as usual at Ben Gurion

All flights were operating normally at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv early Thursday despite a warning issued by Hamas’s armed wing in Gaza, officials said.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, told AFP that flights had been disrupted for a brief 10 minute pause but aside from that, everything was operating normally.

“There has been no change to takeoffs or landings. Flights were interrupted for 10 minutes for security reasons but I cannot give any details on that,” he said.

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
August 22, 2014

This Wednesday’s edition:

Audio interview for the week: A Middle East discussion with Bill Koenig and Bill Salus

The coming disintegration of Iraq

How Maliki broke Iraq

Obama: The pinprick President

Libya crumbles, as the United States looks the other way

Friday’s edition:

Iran: Threat not forgotten, with a plan to deal with them militarily

ISIS: 'Apocalyptic, end-of-days vision'

Understanding the Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance

Netanyahu: Radical Islamic terrorism threatens the entire world and it is time for us all to confront it

Americans brace for new wave of Islamic State terror

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - August 22, 2014: Netanyahu calls for world leaders to unite against terror ... Israel continues preparation for Iran … The Israeli-Egyptian-Saudi alliance … American terror threat

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - August 8, 2014: America’s military preparation … Iraq's largest Christian town abandoned … Iraq spiraling out of control ... Stop rewarding Iran …

'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - August 1, 2014: With friends like John Kerry … Kerry's latest cease-fire plan: What was he thinking? … Is the Obama Administration losing touch with reality? … A New American Civil War

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The Islamic State sends a bloody
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August 22 No Miracles -
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August 22: “I Indeed . . . But He” -
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