Tag: terrorism

UK School Girls Going to Fight for the Islamic State

Three teenage girls from Britain have ran away from home. They got on a flight to Turkey and are believed to be travelling to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. The girls are British Muslims. Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew  to Turkey on Tuesday. They were studying for their GCSEs at a school in East London. Before the girls left, Shamima sent a message on Twitter to Aqsa Mahmood, a girl from Glasgow, Scotland, who left the UK in 2013 to marry an Islamic State fighter. It is not thought that the girls knew each other except on Twitter. Shamima’s twitter account is now being monitored by the police. Baroness Warsi, a British politician and lawyer, has said that the Government is fighting a “losing battle” against online radicalisation. She commented that “one of the things that Islamic State has been very successful at is using the internet for their own propaganda”. The girls’ families and school are asking for them to return home and to contact them to let them know that they are safe. Vocabulary: to run away from home (phrasal verb), to monitor (v), to let someone know something (phrasal verb), Baroness (n). Discussion Questions 1) What could the connection be between the three girls from London and Aqsa from Scotland? 2) What is online radicalisation? Do you agree that we are “fighting a...

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Barack Obama says the US is at war

The US president has said the United States are at war with “people who have perverted Islam”. He was very precise that the US is not at war with Islam in general, only with those who “pervert” the religion. He said that the world must confront ideologies that radicalise people. He said that groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda are organised not by religious leaders, but by terrorists. It is these terrorists who must be defeated, not the religion of Islam. The United States have been carrying out air strikes on Islamic State since last year, but Obama believes that military actions will not be enough to defeat violent extremism; communities must do something too. In particular he believes that we must encourage the idea that Islam and Western values can live together peacefully. He said  “Muslim leaders need to do more to discredit the idea that our nations are determined to suppress Islam”. Story and Photo: BBC Vocabulary: to pervert (v), precise (adj), to confront (v), to carry out (phrasal verb), an air strike (n), to encourage (v), to discredit (v), determined (adj). Discussion Questions 1) What do you think it means to “pervert” a religion? Can you give an example? 2) Barack Obama says that communities also need to do something to help fight extremism. Do you agree? What could communities do? 3) The article talks...

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80 people are kidnapped in Cameroon

Vocabulary: to kidnap (v), to burn down (v), to post online (v), to scrap (v), constitution (n), to embrace (v). 80 people have been kidnapped in Cameroon and 3 people have been killed. This happened on Sunday and it is believed that Boko Haram is responsible. Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist group from Nigeria. The name translates into English as “western education is forbidden”. They usually work in Nigeria but have been known to operate in Cameroon and Niger too. The attack happened early in the morning. Around 50 of the people kidnapped are believed to be children aged 10-15. Many houses in the area were also burnt down. Last month a video was posted online from a man who said that he is Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram. The video says that there will be more violence in Cameroon if the country does not scrap the constitution and embraces Islam. It is not known if the video and what happened on Sunday are related. Boko Harim kidnapped 274 schoolgirls from north-eastern Nigeria in 2014. Although around 50 girls escaped, the others are still...

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Police raid in Belgium

Vocabulary: police raid (n), to raid (v), to shoot dead (v), to wound (v), to arrest (v), militant (n), descent (n), to be in police custody (verb phrase) Yesterday Belgian police raided a building in Verviers, Belgium. Two men who were suspected of being terrorists were shot dead by the police. Another man was wounded and arrested. Belgian Police before the raid The police believe that these men were Islamic militants who had returned from fighting in Syria and that they were planning an attack in Belgium. They believe that about 300 people have left Belgium to fight in Syria. As soon as the men saw the police they started shooting at them. Bomb-making equipment and police clothing were found inside the building. It is possible that they were planning to attack a local police station. On the same day, two other men were arrested in Brussels and there were police raids in other towns nearby. These people had been watched by the police for some time. However, after the attack in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, many people are worried that more attacks will happen soon. Last year, four people were killed in a Jewish museum in Brussels. A Frenchman of Algerian decent, is in police custody for this...

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David Cameron wants to ban Snapchat

Vocabulary: to ban (v), network (n), to investigate (v), encrypted (adj), to access (v), to catch (a criminal) (v). David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, has said that he may ban Snapchat, Whatsapp and iMessage if he thinks that they are used by terrorists to communicate. These communication networks encrypt the messages that you send so that other people cannot read them. David Cameron believes this could be a problem for the Police and MI5 who are investigating criminals and terrorists. Currently, British security services do not have access to encrypted messages. Especially after the Paris attacks, Cameron sees this as a big problem. He has suggested banning these message servers unless the government and secret services can access them. He thinks that if the government reads peoples’ Snapchats, they might catch more criminals and terrorists. Read more about this...

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