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Saturday, March 7, 2015

News from the Fronts


  • Chadian troops crossed the border into Nigeria and ejected Boko Haram from the town of Gamboru, which the group has held for several months. The Nigerian military claimed the country’s sovereignty remains intact. 
  • Nigerian and Chadian warplanes have bombed the jihadist group “out of a slew of northeastern Nigerian towns.” 
  • Boko Haram’s pressure on Maiduguri has “put a stranglehold on one of Nigeria’s key cities.” 
  • The UN condemned the jihadist group’s recent attacks.
  • A suicide bomber killed at least 13 people and injured more than 30 at a bus station in Potiskum in northeastern Nigeria. 
  • The Nigerian military claimed to have retaken the town of Baga from Boko Haram on Feb. 21
  • On Feb. 22, a young girl estimated to be 8-10 years old detonated a bomb at a market in Potiskum, killing five people and wounding dozens. 
  • A Christian missionary from Seattle, Washington was abducted in Emiworo in Kogi state on Feb. 23. 
  • The Nigerian military has increased airstrikes on Gwoza and Bama in Borno state prior to a ground offensive to retake the area.
    Boko Haram killed scores of civilians when it invaded the village of Njaba and drove through 13 villages along the border with Cameroon as it retreated from a Nigerian Army offensive. 
  • Nigerian troops drove the jihadist group from Mafa town in Borno state, Bara in Yobe state and Gulak in Adamawa state during recent operations.


  • French forces killed about a dozen jihadists “in the region of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains” in northern Mali. 
  • The UN’s peacekeeping mission is struggling with persistent insecurity and tensions with the civilian populace.


  • Nigerien forces repelled attacks by Boko Haram on the border towns of Bosso and Diffa; 109 jihadists and four soldiers were killed, and 17 soldiers were wounded. 
  • Shortly afterward, a young boy blew himself up in Diffa’s market, killing five.


  • Boko Haram conducted its first attack on Chadian territory, killing one soldier and wounding four others before being driven back from the village of Ngouboua. The jihadist group has pushed into Chad, Niger and Cameroon recently in its bid to expand its “caliphate.”


  • Algeria announced the founding of a “national monitoring board” to combat religious extremism. 
  • Algeria reportedly declined to join the US-led coalition against the Islamic State after requests from the US and France.


  • Tunisian security forces arrested roughly 100 suspected jihadists in the past three days, some of whom were planning attacks, according to officials. The government also presented video evidence linking some suspects to the Islamic State.


  • Libya's Western-backed elected parliament has withdrawn from UN-sponsored peace talks. 
  • Amnesty International claimed that seven civilians were killed by Egyptian airstrikes in Derna on Feb. 16. 
  • Libya has resumed oil production from Sarir field and oil exportation from the port of Zueitina. 
  • Nearly 15,000 Egyptians have fled Libya after the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by the Islamic State.


  • An IED prematurely detonated, killing two men who were attempting to place the bomb in Samalut, Minya governorate. 
  • Egypt has banned Islamic State videos from the internet. 
  • Qatar recalled its ambassador to Egypt after the latter's airstrikes in Libya. 
  • Pro-army nationalism has increased in the wake of Egypt's airstrikes in Libya. 
  • Egypt called on the UN to lift the arms embargo on Libya to pave the way for security intervention in the war-torn country. 
  • The West has declined to support Egypt's intervention in Libya.
    Four bombs exploded in Cairo, killing one person and wounding at least seven. 
  • The Egyptian military killed dozens of suspected jihadists during operations in the Sinai. 
  • Egyptian President Sisi and visiting King Abdullah II of Jordan urged international cooperation in counterterrorism efforts.


  • The US is sending 20 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles to African Union forces combating terrorism in Somalia. 
  • Turkish special forces arrived in Mogadishu prior to a visit by President Raccip Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Three mortar rounds landed inside the presidential palace compound in Mogadishu; Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. 
  • Fifteen people were killed when government forces clashed with the "moderate Islamist group" Ahlusunah Wal Jamaa in Guricel Town in central Somalia.


  • An Iranian diplomat who has been held hostage since July 2013 has been freed and has returned to Iran. Iranian officials claimed he was freed in a military operation, but Yemeni officials claimed he was released as part of a prisoner swap. 
  • Houthis seized control of the National Dialogue headquarters in Sana'a and demanded former president Hadi leave the country.

Saudi Arabia

  • King Salman awarded Indian cleric Zakir Naik, who runs "Peace TV," with the King Faisal International Prize and gave him $200,000. Naik has called 9/11 an "inside job" and called the US the "biggest terrorist."


  • French lawmakers made an unauthorized trip to Syria to hold talks with President Bashar al Assad. 
  • The Assyrian Human Rights Network claims that the Islamic State now holds 262 Christians hostage after an offensive that took over nearly a dozen Assyrian villages. 
  • The Islamic State's masked British executioner of Westerners has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi from west London. 
  • Syrian Kurdish forces cut off one of the Islamic State's supply lines from Iraq in northeastern Syria. 
  • The US-led coalition conducted nine airstrikes in Syria on Feb. 24-25; three destroyed an islamic State vehicle near Al Hasakah and six destroyed "three ISIL tactical units, an ISIL fighting position and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions" near Kobani.


  • The military claimed that it killed 80 Islamic State fighters as it advances on Tikrit. 
  • The military has also launched an operation to retake Karma. 
  • The US launched 12 airstrikes against the Islamic State near Al Qaim, Fallujah, Haditha, Mosul, Samarra, Taji, and Tal Afar. 
  • The Islamic State torched oil wells in Ajil, and destroyed religious sites in Mosul and Nimrod.
    Massive columns of Shiite militas, including some groups that are listed by the US as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have been leading the fight in Tikrit. 
  • Several photos have been released by the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars showing [Iranian general] Qassem Soleimani on the battlefield near Tikrit. Other photos circulating on social media show the leader of the Qods Force with various Shiite militias taking part in the current offensive in central Iraq.


  • The Taliban killed nine policemen in separate attacks in Uruzgan and Helmand. 
  • A Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people in Helmand. 
  • "Gunmen" killed the executive director for Sayyedabad district in Wardak province.


  1. Dear Mr. Flynn:

    I was caught on the web this morning and found this:

    Do you know of books and other scholarly material about the copying of records throughout history? What about writing on the "tampered" writings of the Church Fathers, and on the "scant" Inquisition records? Or just books on the "intellegent design theory of history" in general?

    Thank you for your time and help,


    1. Such tampering has been much proclaimed, but seldom displayed. It is almost always based on the modern's theory of what the ancient writer must have intended.

      I do not know of any particular books along those lines.

    2. To my knowledge Inquisition records aren't particularly scant, certainly not relative to other contemporary courts.

      I'm pretty sure, for example, that we have better records of the Inquisitions than of the court proceedings in Elizabethan England.

    3. Yes, I'm aware that such assertions are rarely demonstrated. I just thought you might know some good writings on these topics.

      I'm reminded of St Augustine writing about the Manichaeans, as they told him that the Christians had tampered Scripture texts during disputes. In retrospect, he sarcastically comments that "they never provided him the real, untampered copies."

      Christi pax,


  2. If the Inquisition is your standard of bad record keeping, they set the bar pretty low.


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