Latest Analysis and Commentary

France: After the Third Jihadist Attack

by Guy Millière  •  July 23, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Successive French governments have built a trap; the French people, who are in it, are thinking only of how to escape. The situation is more serious than many imagine. Whole areas of France are under the control of gangs and radical imams.

  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls repeated what he already said 18 months ago: "France is at war." He named an enemy, "radical Islamism," but he was quick to add that "radical Islamism" has "nothing to do with Islam." He then repeated that the French will have to get used to living with "violence and attacks."

  • The French are increasingly tired of attempts to exonerate Islam. They know perfectly well that all Muslims are not guilty. But they also know that all those who committed attacks in France in recent years were Muslims. The French have no desire to get used to "violence and attacks." They do not want to be on the losing side and they feel that we are losing.

The French army is at the limit of its capacity for action: it already patrols the streets of France and is deployed in Africa and the Middle East. Pictured above: French soldiers guard a Jewish school in Strasbourg, February 2015. (Image source: Claude Truong-Ngoc/Wikimedia Commons)

Nice, July 14, 2016: Bastille Day. The evening festivities were ending. As the crowd watching fireworks was beginning to disperse, the driver of a 19-ton truck, zig-zagging, mowed down everyone in his way. Ten minutes and 84 dead persons later, the driver was shot and killed. Dozens were wounded; many will be crippled for life. Dazed survivors wandered the streets of the city for hours.

French television news anchors quickly said that what happened was almost certainly an "accident," or when the French authorities started to speak of terrorism, that the driver could just be a madman. When the police disclosed the killer's name and identity, and that he had been depressed in the past, they suggested that he had acted in a moment of "high anxiety." They found witnesses who testified that he was "not a devout Muslim" -- maybe not a Muslim at all.

President François Hollande spoke a few hours later and affirmed his determination to "protect the populace."

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Germany: The Terrifying Power of Muslim Interpreters

by Stefan Frank  •  July 22, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • "Everything I told you then is true. ... But the interpreter there told me that a faithful woman must not use words like sex and rape. Words like that would dishonor my husband and our family. She also said that I was a blasphemer, because I went to the police. No woman should report her own husband. The husband must be honored." — "Sali," in an apparent suicide note to her lawyer, Alexander Stevens.

  • "I am aware of statements in which interpreters have pressed and supposedly said to Christians on the way to the police or beforehand: If you complain, you can forget your application for asylum. I often noticed that statements were retracted because Christians were threatened." — Paulus Kurt, Central Committee of Eastern Christians in Germany (ZOCD).

  • "The interpreters are neither employed by the Federal Agency, nor are they in any way sworn in to the legal system of the Federal Republic of Germany. Ultimately, examination of the asylum application is left solely to these interpreters... In our view, a decision-making process such as this, which is practiced on a massive scale, is not in keeping with due process." — Open letter from employees of Germany's Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees.

Hasan (left), a Yezidi refugee in Germany who was threatened by Muslims, speaks to a reporter from German public television about how a government-employed translator deliberately mistranslated his complaint and took the side of his attackers. (Image source: Bayerischer Rundfunk video screenshot)

Alexander Stevens is a lawyer at a Munich law firm specializing in sexual offenses. In his recent book, Sex in Court, he describes some of his strangest and most shocking cases. One such case raises the question: What do you do when interpreters working for the police and courts lie and manipulate? As no one monitors translators, it is likely that in many instances, the dishonesty of interpreters goes undetected -- Stevens' book chronicles the devastating effects one dishonest interpreter had on a case.

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The Palestinians: Refugee Camps or Terrorist Bases?

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 21, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • The 450,000 Palestinians in Lebanon are still banned from several professions, especially in the fields of medicine and law. They refer to these restrictions as apartheid measures. The Lebanese apartheid measures against Palestinians are rarely mentioned in the Western media and international human rights groups. The UN does not seem overly concerned about this discrimination.

  • Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have become in the past few decades bases for various innumerable militias and terrorist groups.

  • The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, is formally in charge of the refugee camps in Lebanon, including those that are now providing shelter to Islamist terrorists.

  • The Lebanese authorities are increasingly running out of patience with the growing Islamist threat.

The Wavel refugee camp for Palestinians, near Baalbek in Lebanon, which is administered by UNRWA. (Image credit: European Commission DG ECHO)

ISIS is on the mind of the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership. Top PA officials have expressed concern that jihadi groups, including ISIS, have managed to infiltrate Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Lebanese authorities are also worried -- so worried that they have issued a stiff warning to the Palestinians: Stop the terrorists or else we will take security into our own hands.

According to Lebanese security sources, more and more Palestinians in Lebanon have joined ISIS and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, a Sunni Islamist militia fighting against Syrian government forces. In response, the Lebanese security forces have taken a series of measures in a bid to contain the problem and prevent the two Islamist terror groups from establishing bases of power in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

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Coup Attempt in Turkey: A Feast of Pretexts

by Burak Bekdil  •  July 21, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • Turkey now will be an even more difficult place to live in for dissidents. President Erdogan is already talking about the reintroduction of death penalty.

  • The Security General Department (which runs the police force) issued a statement calling on citizens to inform them about any social media material that supports terrorists, the Gulen organization or that contains anti-government propaganda material.

Turkey's NTV TV shows soldiers involved in coup attempt surrendering on Istanbul's Bosphorus bridge with their hands raised, July 15, 2016.

Everything looked surreal in Turkey; soldiers inviting the head of the police anti-terror squad for a "meeting" only to shoot him in the head; top brass, including the chief of the military general staff, air force commander, land forces commander and gendarmerie commander, being taken hostage by their own aide-de-camps; then people taking to the streets in their thousands to resist the coup d'état, taking over tanks, getting killed, soldiers opening fire at the civilians and finally the victorious pro-Erdogan people lynching coup-staging soldiers wherever they could grab them.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused his formerly staunchest political ally, a Muslim cleric in exile in the United States, Fethullah Gulen, and his loyalists within the military. Appearing before a crowd of party fans, Erdogan pleaded to Washington for "the terrorist" Gulen's extradition.

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Sharia in Denmark - Part II

by Judith Bergman  •  July 20, 2016 at 6:00 am

  • "All the bullying happens in Arabic... The hierarchy of the Arab boys creates a very violent environment. ... I have filmed the particularly vile bullying of a Somali boy. You can see the tears in his eyes. They are destroying him; it is very violent. " — From a dissertation by Jalal El Derbas, Ph.D.

  • Danish teachers are the least respected and are spoken of in denigrating and humiliating terms.

  • "I am not saying that all the Arab children did ugly things, but we witnessed on a regular basis... using derogatory Arabic language towards Somalis and girls." — Lise Egholm, former head of the Rådmandsgade school in Copenhagen.

  • Whether Danish parliamentarians wish to acknowledge this problem or not, they are up against far wider issues than that of religious incitement in mosques by radical preachers.

After the documentary "Sharia in Denmark" embarrassed Danish authorities, the government reached a new a political agreement, which Danish Member of Parliament Naser Khader supported, saying, "this stops hate preachers from coming to Denmark, preachers who only want to come here in order to sow discord between population groups and who encourage violence, incest and pedophilia."

After the television documentary, "Sharia in Denmark", embarrassed Danish authorities by revealing how widespread the preaching of sharia is in mosques in Denmark, the Danish government, in May, concluded a political agreement about "initiatives directed against religious preachers who seek to undermine Danish laws and values and who support parallel legal systems".

"We are doing everything we can without compromising the constitution and international agreements," Bertel Haarder, the Minister for Culture and Church, said about the political agreement.

The agreement centers on a number of initiatives, which are supposed to compensate for the detrimental effects of all the years in which sharia was allowed to spread in Denmark while most authorities paid only scant attention to what was happening. Part of the new effort, therefore, will be the mapping of all existing mosques in Denmark.

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The UK's Broken Labour Party

by Douglas Murray  •  July 20, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • With the prospect of another Labour leadership election now gathering pace, tens of thousands more activists have joined the Labour party. It seems unlikely that they will be "moderates."

  • The election of an Islamist-sympathising, terrorist-sympathising, Israel-bashing hardliner at the head of the second largest party in the House of Commons undoubtedly changes the parameters of political discourse in the UK.

  • However solidly Theresa May's new Conservative government performs, it will always seem the point -- so long as Corbyn is in office -- that you are either for Britain or against it, for the Conservative party or against the country.

  • A fractured and in-fighting opposition also means that there is no meaningful, organised voice challenging the government in Parliament. That principle -- the principle on which our system is based -- needs to work well even (perhaps especially) if you support the government of the day, because the government of the day needs to be kept alert to error and on top of sensible criticisms if it is going to pass the best legislation it can for the country.

UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn (left) appears at a press conference with left-wing campaigner Shami Chakrabarti (right), to present the findings of an inquiry into the Labour party's anti-Semitism, June 30, 2016.

Herbert Stein's law, "Things that cannot go on, won't," is one of the best laws of politics. It works for fiscal issues and it usually works for politics as a whole. The British Labour party, however, is currently working to try to disprove this rule. To do them justice they are having a good stab at doing so, which suggests that the maxim should perhaps be re-written: "Things that cannot go on sometimes do."

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The 28 Pages that Damn Saudi Arabia

by A.J. Caschetta  •  July 19, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • More puzzling than the elusive pages from the Congressional 9/11 inquiry is why Obama released them, and specifically, why now.

  • The president apparently believes it will burnish his legacy, embarrass his enemies and make permanent his diplomatic "accomplishments" with Iran. Reminding Americans of Saudi Arabia's Al-Qaeda connections, shortly after the one-year mark of the Iran nuclear deal and before the 15-year mark of 9/11, might also continue to desensitize us to the dangers posed by Iran.

  • Americans suddenly flush with a renewed indignation against the Saudis might not run into the arms of the Iranian mullahs, but some might get distracted from their equally-deserved indignation about Iran's ongoing missile tests, the steady progress Iranian scientists are making at the nuclear plant in Parchin, and their anger at having been lied to again and again.

The White House has finally released the 28 pages that were removed from the 2002 Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. They reveal an intricate web of Saudi nationals radiating outwards from Prince Bandar (right), supplying assistance to Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdar, two of the 9/11 terrorists.

After keeping them secret for 14 years, the White House has finally released the 28 pages that were removed from the 2002 Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks and withheld from the final 9/11 Commission Report. More puzzling than the elusive pages is why Obama released them, and specifically, why now.

The administration claims that the 28 pages clear the Saudis because they provide no conclusive evidence of their involvement in 9/11. While some of the media echo chamber (Time, Al Arabiya, NBC, the Associated Press) were quick to follow the administration's lead by reporting that the pages contained "no smoking guns," they should read more carefully. There are smoking guns that expose the Saudi government as a sponsor of terrorism, and, by proxy, improve Iran's standing in the Middle East.

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Palestinians: The Power Struggle between Young Guard and Old Guard

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  July 18, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Who is supplying Mohamed Dahlan with money? The United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is their cash that has enabled Palestinians in refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to purchase weapons and buy loyalty for Dahlan in preparation for the post-Abbas era -- especially disgruntled young Fatah activists in the West Bank who feel that Abbas and the PA leadership have turned their backs on them.

  • This power struggle will not end with the departure of Mahmoud Abbas. The next Palestinian president will surely be one of Abbas's current loyalists. This in itself will drive Dahlan and his ilk to continue railing against the old guard.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Mohamed Dahlan (right), a former Fatah security commander, have, for the past five years, been at each other's throats. The two were once close allies and had worked together to undermine the former PA president, Yasser Arafat. (Image sources: U.S. State Dept., M. Dahlan Office)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas faces a real threat; its name is Mohamed Dahlan.

Abbas has become obsessed with Dahlan, according to insiders. The PA president, they report, spends hours each day discussing ways to deal with the man and his supporters. And, it is rumored, Abbas's nights are not much better.

Backed by at least three Arab countries, Dahlan, a former Palestinian security commander from the Gaza Strip, seems to have unofficially joined the battle for succession in the PA.

The 54-year-old Dahlan, young enough to be Abbas's son, continues to deny any ambition to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as president of the PA. Yet Dahlan's continued efforts to establish bases of power in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip belie his claims.

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Middle East Strategic Outlook - July 2016

by Shmuel Bar  •  July 18, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • It may be expected that in the coming months, the Syrian efforts to implement "ethnic cleansing" of Sunnis in the north will continue and even escalate, resulting in a growing stream of refugees into Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. This will continue to destabilize these countries and to pose a challenge to a weakened Europe.

  • The overt American support for the Iranian involvement in Iraq will also serve to rally Sunnis to an anti-American position, while actually exacerbating the main problem -- the sectarian divide. Therefore, the American involvement in the Fallujah campaign will not buy it Sunni gratitude.

  • Iran is entering a new stage of war in Syria which evokes the situation that the Soviet Union found itself in in Afghanistan in 1985. Like the Soviet Union in that stage of the Afghan war, Iran has achieved no decisive victory, but has incurred significant domestic opposition to the war and has no additional resources that could tip the scales.

  • The explanation put forward by the American administration that the attacks reflect the Islamic State's "despair" in the face of its defeats in Syria and Iraq over the last months is specious. International terrorism "to strike fear in the hearts of Allah's enemies" has been a hallmark of the Islamic State since its beginning and it does not need the excuse of military defeat in Syria and Iraq to continue to carry out such attacks.

Iraqi army units and Shiite militias during the assault on Fallujah, June 2016.

Saudi Arabia

Approval of the National Transformation Plan

The Saudi Cabinet approved (June 6) the National Transformation Program (NTP), part of Saudi Vision 2030, led by Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The NTP is supposed to be the basis for laying out targets to be met by government ministries and departments. The NTP was well received not only be the Saudi mainstream media (to be expected) but by the Saudi social media that represents to a great degree the public opinion of the younger Saudi generation. It may be expected that Prince Mohammad bin Salman will continue to take steps in the framework of his initiative that will, at least, preserve the sense of momentum and the public support he is enjoying.

Saudi-US Relations

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How Serious Is Sweden's Fight against Islamic Terrorism and Extremism?

by Nima Gholam Ali Pour  •  July 17, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Jihadists who come to Sweden know that there are many liberal politicians looking for invisible "right-wing extremists", and feminists who think what is really important is using "gender perspective" in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

  • Perhaps the Swedish government has a secret plan to convince jihadists to become feminists? As usual, Swedish politicians have chosen to politicize the fight against extremism and terrorism, and address the issue as if it were about parental leave instead of Sweden's security.

  • "As soon as these people... say 'Asylum', the gates of heaven open." — Inspector Leif Fransson, Swedish border police.

  • Experts in Sweden's security apparatus have clearly expressed that violent Islamism is a clear and present danger to the security of Sweden, but the politicized debate about Islamic terrorism and extremism does not seem capable of absorbing this warning.

Mona Sahlin, who was Sweden's "National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism," until she resigned in May amid corruption allegations, is shown posing with Swedish soldiers in Afghanistan in July 2010. The Swedish government's directives to her agency stressed that it is "important that there is a gender perspective in efforts to prevent violent extremism." (Image source: Social Democratic Party)

Like all other European countries, Sweden is trying to fight against jihadists and terrorists, but it often seems as if the key players in Sweden have no understanding of what the threats are or how to deal with them.

In 2014, for instance, the Swedish government decided to set up a post called the "National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism." But instead of appointing an expert as the national coordinator, the government appointed the former party leader of the Social Democrats, Mona Sahlin. Apart from Sahlin having a high school degree, she is mostly known for a corruption scandal. As a party leader of the Social Democrats, she lost the 2010 election, and as a minister in several Socialist governments, she has not managed to distinguish herself in any significant way. Göran Persson, who was Prime Minister of Sweden from 1996 to 2006, described Mona Sahlin this way:

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"Worthless Christians" Treated "Like Animals"
Muslim Persecution of Christians: April 2016

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  July 17, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • "Dr. Berhane Asmelash, a former prisoner and victim of torture, described prisoners being tied up and hung from trees. One form of hanging is known as the 'Jesus Christ,' he said, because the victim looks as though they are on a crucifix." — Eritrea.

  • Five Christian girls were kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam, and forced to marry their captors. — Pakistan.

  • "We expect the Swedish Government and the concerned authorities to immediately make sure that these people are safe. A distinct asylum accommodation for Christians and other asylum seekers is essential. We appeal to you to set off such a place and give the word asylum back its true meaning of protection and safety." — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

  • In his response, the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board said that separate housing for Christians and other vulnerable groups "would go against principles and values that are central to Swedish society and our democracy."

Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II (left) of the Syriac Orthodox Church requested that Sweden's government ensure the safety of Christian refugees in Sweden, by moving them out of asylum seekers' housing where Muslim residents are persecuting them. Anders Danielsson (right), Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, replied that separate housing for Christians and other vulnerable groups "would go against principles and values that are central to Swedish society and our democracy."

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

United States: A pro-ISIS group called the United Cyber Caliphate defaced the website of the Christian Reformed Church in Lamont, Michigan. A 15-year-old girl discovered the vandalism, which consisted of an ISIS propaganda video and Arabic text. The recruiter featured in the video says, "We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses and enslave your women by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us, He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise."

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UK: It Wasn't a Gaffe

by Shoshana Bryen  •  July 17, 2016 at 4:00 am

  • Such was the desire of the European parliamentarians to protect Mahmoud Abbas that his blood libel was erased from all official documents.

  • Unable to countenance even the mildest criticism, and unwilling or unable to engage in serious conversation, even with European interlocutors much less with Israel, Abbas may finally have made the Palestinian cause too difficult for the Europeans.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas receives a standing ovation at the European Parliament in Brussels, after falsely claiming in his speech that Israeli rabbis were calling to poison Palestinian water. Abbas later recanted and admitted that his claim had been false. (Image source: European Parliament)

The naming of Boris Johnson as Britain's Foreign Minister set off in his home country a storm of name-calling and hand-wringing that approximates the Democrat reaction to Donald Trump. Without wading into British politics, there is one specific incident that the Daily Mail called an impolitic "gaffe" that should be assessed at greater length -- and from a different angle:

Last November local [Palestinian] officials called off a visit to Palestine on safety grounds after the then-London mayor told an audience in Tel Aviv that a trade boycott of Israeli goods was "completely crazy" and supported by "corduroy- jacketed, snaggletoothed, lefty academics in the UK."

Palestinian officials accused him of adopting a "misinformed and disrespectful" pro-Israel stance and said he risked creating protests if he visited the West Bank.

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France: The Coming Civil War

by Yves Mamou  •  July 16, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • For French President François Hollande, the enemy is an abstraction: "terrorism" or "fanatics".

  • Instead, the French president reaffirms his determination to military actions abroad: "We are going to reinforce our actions in Syria and Iraq," the president said after the Nice attack.

  • So confronted with this failure of our elite who were elected to guide the country across nationals and internationals dangers, how astonishing is it if paramilitary groups are organizing themselves to retaliate?

  • In France, the global elites made a choice. They decided that the "bad" voters in France were unreasonable people too stupid to see the beauties of a society open to people who often who do not want to assimilate, who want you to assimilate to them, and who threaten to kill you if you do not. The elite took the side against their own old and poor because those people did not want to vote for them any longer. They also made a choice not to fight Islamism because Muslims vote collectively for this global elite.

French police shoot dead a Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist who murdered 84 people in Nice, France, July 14, 2016. (Image source: Sky News video screenshot)

"We are on the verge of a civil war." That quote did not come from a fanatic or a lunatic. No, it came from head of France's homeland security, the DGSI (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure), Patrick Calvar. He has, in fact, spoken of the risk of a civil war many times. On July 12th, he warned a commission of members of parliament, in charge of a survey about the terrorist attacks of 2015, about it.

In May 2016, he delivered almost the same message to another commission of members of parliament, this time in charge of national defense. "Europe," he said, "is in danger. Extremism is on the rise everywhere, and we are now turning our attention to some far-right movements who are preparing a confrontation".

What kind of confrontation? "Intercommunity confrontations," he said -- polite for "a war against Muslims." "One or two more terrorist attacks," he added, "and we may well see a civil war."

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VIDEO -- Daniel Pipes: Jihad Awakens Europe

July 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

At least 84 people were murdered yesterday in France's third major Islamist terrorist attack in less than a year. In our latest video, Daniel Pipes talks about Europe's crossroads: Will Europeans succumb to Islamization, or will they rise to fight radical Islam and hold onto Western values? How it looks so far...

Don't miss our next video -- subscribe free to the Gatestone Institute YouTube channel!

Jihadi Terrorism: You Think It's Just the Jews? Think Again.

by Giulio Meotti  •  July 15, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Last night, at least 84 people were murdered in the French city of Nice by a Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist.

  • Whether you are pacifists or warmongers, gays or heterosexuals, atheists or Christians, blasphemers or devout, French or Iraqis, jihadi terrorism does not discriminate. Every one of us is a target: Islamist terrorism is genocidal.

  • When Islamist terrorists target Muslim dissident bloggers, faraway Yazidi women or Israeli girls, it should concern us in the West. Islamists are just sharpening their knives on them before coming for us.

  • If we do not speak out today, we will be punished for our indolence tomorrow.

The bullet-riddled truck that was used by a Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist to murder 84 people in Nice, France on July 14, 2016. (Image source: France24 video screenshot)

Last night, at least 84 people were murdered in the French city of Nice by a Tunisian-born Islamist terrorist, with dozens more victims wounded. The attacker drove a 19-ton truck into a large crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day, France's national holiday, running down men, women and children over a 2km stretch of road and sidewalk.

On July 2, nine Italian citizens were butchered by Islamists in the assault at a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They were tortured and killed with "very sharp blades" wielded by smiling terrorists who spared the life of those who knew the Quran. For almost a year already, poor Bangladeshis have been experiencing similar shocking massacres. But hose victims were not wealthy non-Muslim foreigners -- they were anonymous Muslim bloggers, accused of "blasphemy" and murdered out with "sharp blades" -- five victims in 2015 and a law student in 2016, as well as a Hindu priest hacked to death.

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