war on Jihad

In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

With ISIS surging in Iraq, Europe fears rise in 'jihadi-tourists'

By Matthew Schofield

JewishWorldReview.com |

BERLIN — (MCT) After being injured fighting the Syrian government, 31-year-old Mohannad reached his home in Frankfurt, Germany, with a simple plan: rest, recuperate, then rejoin the fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

As related in German newspaper accounts, which by law couldn't identify him by his full name, Mohannad even transferred the equivalent of $6,800 to a Syrian bank for use by the terror organization. With that as evidence that he was supporting a terrorist organization, German authorities seized his passport and prevented him from returning to Turkey — the jumping-off point for radicals seeking to join the fight in Syria.

But Mohannad was the exception. Officials concede that they rarely have such an extensive file against so-called "jihadi-tourists" to stop them from reaching Turkey — and Syria beyond.

At least 320 Germans and more than 2,000 other Europeans are thought to have made the trip — so many that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan has asked European nations to stop their citizens wanting to join the fight in Syria and now Iraq from traveling to Turkey.

"Preventing people from traveling is really difficult," said Stefan Mayer, spokesman for Germany's national intelligence agency. "We need actionable evidence, evidence we can use in court. Unless we can prove they've worked for a foreign terror organization before, the law doesn't make it easy to stop someone from making the journey."

German courts consistently have returned seized passports before the bearers have actually broken any laws.


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European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove this month noted that the phenomenon of young Muslims leaving Europe to fight elsewhere is decades old. But the current numbers dwarf previous migrations. He described the current flow as "huge."

"Compared to previous jihads, it's unprecedented," he said.

The trend is openly discussed in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy. Europe has long needed immigrant labor, but it has done little to integrate those who come from Muslim regions — North Africa, Pakistan and the Middle East. Their children often grow up without close ties to their adopted nations and end up finding a sense of community online and in the radical splinters of Islam set up to prey upon the lost.

Claudia Dantschke, a German specialist in Islam who tries to identify and counsel families where the young people are at risk of choosing the fight, says the official reaction struggles to keep up with the increased intensity of recruiting actions.

"The public awareness for the problem of young people from Germany joining the jihad has increased, so more families are turning to us for help," she wrote in an email.

But that search for help is countered by what she said was "a massive increase in propaganda from recruiters for ISIS," triggered by the group's expansion in Syria and Iraq, where in the past three weeks it has seized control of major cities.

"A higher number of young people (are) leaving the country with the aim to join the group," Dantschke said. "They have Germans spreading their propaganda on Facebook in German, in groups frequented by teenagers and on pages of people they identify with. The extent and effect of this radical direct approach is a new thing."

How they get into Syria has been much simpler: Turkey.

For at least two years, Turkey has done little to stop would-be fighters from crossing its border into Syria. The lack of official action was an attempt to support the forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and it had unofficial support from nations around the world, including the United States.

But while some of those forces were and remain moderate and dedicated to increasing freedom and democracy in a repressive nation, more and more of the new recruits were seeking to join forces such as the Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate, and ISIS, an organization that began as al-Qaida in Iraq and has split from al-Qaida over tactics and goals.

How many foreigners have fought in Syria is uncertain. Some reports have placed the number of foreigners fighting on the Syrian rebels' behalf at 12,000, with the European share of that at 2,000. But a European Union official who asked to remain anonymous because he wasn't allowed to speak on the record said the number could be higher. "The numbers are more a floor than a ceiling," he said.

Perhaps most worrying to anti-terror experts is that ISIS is now thought to have a war chest worth from several hundred million dollars up to $2 billion. Magnus Ranstorp, a leading anti-terror expert now at the Swedish Defense College, said the concern comes from the fact that instead of relying on donations, ISIS now has what he called "360-degree revenue streams" — meaning revenue from all directions.

For comparison' sake, the current ISIS war chest is thought to be at least 50 times larger than what Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida had at its disposal at its peak. The revenue comes in through kidnapping ransoms, the sale of antiquities, the sale of oil and natural gas from the fields ISIS has seized, plunder from captured banks, as well as road tolls and taxes levied on populations where ISIS holds sway.

The funds allow ISIS to better equip, and better maintain, a larger force.

Ranstorp said he is certain that estimates of the number of Europeans who've joined the fight are far below the actual numbers. With ISIS' success in Iraq, there's no reason to think the trend will reverse soon.

"We've had huge waves going down there after the last couple periods of Ramadan," Ranstop said, referring to the Muslim holy month of fasting that begins this weekend. "We'll see what happens this year."

Also alarming is that while Europeans in the past generally made short trips into Syria and then returned home, many now appear to be committed to stay.

"ISIS today is burning their passports, then issuing their own," he noted. The ISIS passport isn't valid for international travel, but that's not the point in a movement meant to cement an identity through religious zeal.

Anti-terror workers and experts are concerned that those who do return are coming back both radicalized and trained in how to use small arms and explosives.

Already, 100 fighters have returned to Germany. German intelligence officials say that most appear to have no interest in actions in Europe. Still, Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the German national intelligence agency, recently called these people "a special security risk. They are closely monitored."

Still, overall, there are an estimated 43,000 "radical Islamists" in Germany alone. With such large numbers, not all can be monitored all the time. In May, at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, three people were shot to death, allegedly by a returning fighter. Anti-terror officials have warned Europeans to expect more, similar, attacks.

Thomas Strobl, a member of the German Parliament, recently suggested a law allowing the nation to strip "German jihadists" of citizenship. But removing citizenship is difficult, unpopular and isn't thought likely to be successful.

More and more, Europeans are convinced that the only real success in this fight against radical fighters who return is to get to the next generation before they leave to join the fight.

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© 2013, McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.