Jerusalem ‘terrorist attack': British-born grandfather and three US citizens identified as four killed in synagogue by Palestinian terrorists

A British-Israeli national has been identified as one of five people killed by knife-wielding attackers in a Jerusalem synagogue today.

Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and three US-Israeli citizens died when two assailants, described by Israeli police as ‘terrorists’ went on a killing spree armed with a pistol and a meat cleaver in a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof  neighbourhood. An Israeli police officer, 30-year-old Zidan Saif, died later after being taken to hospital with critical injuries.

Rabbi Goldberg lived in Golders Green, London, for a number of years before moving to Israel, Haaretz reports.

Haaretz identified the other victims as US-born Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, and Kalman Zeev Levine, 55, both residents of Har Nof, and Mosheh Twersky, 59, the grandson of one of the founders of the Modern Orthodox movement and a teacher at a Jerusalem seminary.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a dual British-Israeli national in Israel on 18 November 2014. ”

Rabbi Goldberg’s cousin, Michelle Hirschfield, said he “was a peaceful man, not politically involved. He only wanted peace.”

Eight others were injured in the attack. One worshipper at the service said about 25 people were praying when shooting broke out. He told Israel Radio: “I looked up and saw someone shooting people at point-blank range. Then someone came in with what looked like a butcher’s knife and he went wild.”

Photos distributed by Israeli authorities showed a man in a prayer shawl lying dead, a bloodied butcher’s cleaver on the floor and prayer books covered in blood.

Police said the attackers, who were shot dead by police, were Palestinian cousins from East Jerusalem.


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a militant group, said the cousins were its members.

Palestinian media named the attackers as Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins from the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber, where clashes broke out as Israeli security forces moved in to make arrests.

The alleged terrorists, cousins Rasan (or Ghassan) and Uday (or Oday) Abu Jamal, residents of Jabel MukaberThe alleged terrorists, cousins Rasan (or Ghassan) and Uday (or Oday) Abu Jamal, residents of Jabel Mukaber

On Tuesday evening, police said they were investigating claims that a Palestinian was stabbed in the leg and hospitalised by three Jewish assailants in downtown Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have attended a joint funeral for Mr Kupinsky, Mr Levine and Mr Goldberg held before sundown outside the synagogue where the attack occurred.

Following the incident, Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, vowed to ease restrictions on carrying firearms for self-defense.

It was not clear when the new measures would be put into place, but Mr Aharonovitch said the rule would apply to anyone licensed to carry a gun in Jerusalem such as private security guards and off-duty army officers, the Times of Israel reported.

Mr Aharonovitch added that the government had instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.

In addition, police officers have raised the threat level in the city to one below the highest, and patrols around religious buildings and holy including mosques and synagogues would be enhanced.

Earlier, Hamas praised the attack, saying it was a “response to continued Israeli crimes, the killing, desecrating al-Aqsa (mosque)”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  condemned Tuesday’s violence as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers and vowed to “respond with a heavy hand”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, the first time he has done so since a recent spike in deadly violence.

In a statement, his office said he “condemns the killing of the worshippers in a synagogue in west Jerusalem”. The statement called for an end to the “invasion” of the mosque at the holy site and a halt to “incitement” by Israeli ministers.

US President Barack Obama also expressed his disapproval of the attack in which three US-Israeli dual nationals were killed, and called on both sides to co-operate with each other and “reject violence”.

“I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem,” Obama said in a statement. “There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians,” he said.

He added: “At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.”

Posted in Islam in Middle East, Islamic terrorism | Tagged | Leave a comment

Islamic State: Boy on life as a hostage: students tortured, beaten and hung; forced to learn the Quran.

In April 150 students from Kobane were kidnapped by Islamic State militants, while they were on their way home from taking exams in Aleppo. Reshwan was held as hostage for four months until he was released in October. Mehrdad Farahmand from the BBC spoke to him on the Turkish side of the border, close to where he lives now with his family.

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British medical student seen beheading Syrian soldier on latest Islamic state video release

British medical student ‘in Jihadi beheading video’: 20-year-old ‘appears next to Jihadi John’ in sickening film

  • Nasser Muthana’s father said he was among the 16 jihadists in the video
  • The Cardiff student previously appeared in an ISIS propaganda film
  • Sickening video posted on YouTube shows body of Peter Kassig 
  • ‘Jihadi John’ warned David Cameron of ‘slaughter on our streets’

By Larisa Brown and Andy Dolan and Daniel Martin for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:41, 16 November 2014 |


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Nasser Muthana is said to appear in the sickening video which shows the decapitated body of an American aid worker [photo: themuslimissue]

A UK medical student was last night suspected of being in an Islamic State killing squad that murdered 17 hostages.

The father of Nasser Muthana said the 20-year-old appeared to be among 16 jihadists who were filmed beheading Syrian soldiers in the desert.

The sickening video that was on YouTube for an hour yesterday morning also shows the decapitated body of Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old American aid worker.

Ahmed Muthana said: ‘I cannot be certain but it looks like my son. He must fear Allah now for killing people. How can he expect to face Allah if he is killing human beings?’

Asked if he would forgive his son if he returned home to Cardiff, the 57-year-old replied: ‘No, he must be mentally ill – either that or there is something else not right.’

Analysts believe the murder video is an attempt by Islamic State to provoke the West into an all-out assault and ‘final battle’.

As Jihadi John, the British leader of the killing squad, warned David Cameron of slaughter on our streets:

The former Chief of the General Staff said Britain may need to ‘think the unthinkable’ and send ground troops to take on Islamic State forces;

Mr Cameron said the beheadings underlined the ‘deplorable depths’ the ‘depraved’ terrorists were prepared to go to;

The acts were described as ‘13th-century barbarism’ by former PM John Major;

Friends of Mr Kassig said he may have refused to make a propaganda statement before he was murdered;

Barack Obama described Mr Kassig’s murder as an ‘act of pure evil’.

The footage showed John and 15 other unmasked extremists brutally decapitating Syrian army hostages.

Speaking with his distinct British accent, John issued a blood curdling threat to slaughter people on the streets of Britain.

The Foreign Office said yesterday it was investigating unconfirmed claims that John had been recently wounded in an airstrike by the Americans.

Nasser Muthana appeared in an ISIS video in June
The 20-year-old was a student in Cardiff
The British jihadists’s father said while he cannot be sure, one of the men looks like his son. Muthana appeared in an ISIS propaganda video earlier this year (left) after leaving his hometown Cardiff (right)

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Unmasked: The 16 followers of Jihadi John prepare to behead the Syrian soldiers they have held hostage.Nasser Muthana from Cardiff is to the right of John, who is dressed in black with a balaclava [Photo: themuslimissue]
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[Nasser Muthana is the third jihadi from the right. Photo: themuslimissue]
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[The Syrian soldier beheaded by Nasser Muthana. Photo: themuslimissue]

It is unclear when the horrific but slickly-produced film was shot but it is markedly more graphic than previous videos and the final act of beheading a long line of hostages is not blacked out. Mr Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity, becomes the fifth Western victim to be beheaded.

Last night, the former Chief of the General Staff, Lord Dannatt, said: ‘We need to keep all options open if we are to defeat IS. Are we just going to wish this away, or are we going to take action?’

The Foreign Office confirmed they were ‘looking into’ claims that Muthana, who left his family to train with extremists in Syria, was one of the militants in the footage.

Muthana was exposed as a terrorist in training after he appeared in a recruitment video for the insurgent group in June, devastating the family he left behind in Cardiff after it was circulated on the internet.

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[Nasser Muthana is the second terrorist from the right. Photo: themuslimissue]

wlokareh1.mp4 2014-11-16 16-10-53

A prospective medical student, he was joined in Syria by his younger brother Aseel, 17, who has spoken of his willingness to die fighting. After arriving in the country, Muthana threatened to use his terror ‘skills’ when he returned to the UK.

Charlie Winter, from the Qulliam Think Tank, said: ‘It looks like Nasser Muthana is in the video. The video is far more graphic than other videos. It is reflective of perhaps IS trying to be defiant in the face of increased pressure.

‘Things aren’t going well for them at the moment and this is a message of defiance and provocation.’

In the video, John branded the Obama administration as ‘liars’ for not withdrawing from Iraq, adding: ‘The spark has been lit here in Iraq and its heat will continue to intensify by Allah’s permission until it burns the crusader army in Dabiq.

‘And here we are, burying the first crusader in Dabiq. Eagerly awaiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.’

Analysts said the change of video location to Dabiq – and not somewhere on the outskirts of Raqqa as before – suggested that John and hostages were being moved frequently to avoid coalition air strikes and to thwart rescue attempts.

A friend of Mr Kassig said the lack of a statement suggested he had defied his captors.

Michael Downey, a close friend from Beirut, said: ‘I think he refused. He was a man of principle and wouldn’t give into intimidation from thugs. He never took the easy route.’

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Another female victim of Muslim violence, bludgeoned to death, was neglected by UK authorities

If Muhammed Nizai would have been white, would they have shown the same complacency? The British sure don’t seem to care at all about the Muslim problems they have imported, or to protect the public who is now victims to these implants. Another poor woman met a horrendous death bludgeoned to death with a hammer by her Muslim ‘partner’. He was a repeat abuser, a repeat misogynist terrorizer, watching porn in front of the children, and eventually killed her right in front of the eyes of a two-year old.

Kingston Council failed to help woman who was later murdered

Charito Cruz’s relative says social workers should have acted promptly

An independent report has found “unacceptable levels of complacency” at a council which failed to help a woman who was later beaten to death.

Charito Cruz, 37, was bludgeoned with a hammer by her partner Muhammed Niazi, in front of her two-year-old daughter in September 2011.

The author of the Domestic Homicide Overview Report said she was “sad and depressed” at what she had found.

Kingston Council said it welcomed the review and had made changes.

‘Lack of urgency’

Niazi, 32, was jailed for life in December 2012 with a minimum term of 12 years in prison, after he was found guilty of murder.

Report author Davina James-Hanman found the council had ignored two requests from the NSPCC to visit the family home.

The charity was concerned Niazi’s behaviour was becoming increasingly erratic.

Niazi, who wrongly thought his partner had rekindled an old relationship, had taken a paracetamol overdose.

He also watched pornography in front of his daughter and let her play with cigarettes.

He went on to smash his partner’s phone with a hammer, the same weapon he later used to kill her.

Despite being informed of this, team managers at children’s social care did not organise a visit.

The report concluded: “It is difficult to see how this [the murder] could have been predicted but the question remains open as to whether more robust responses may have prevented (Ms Cruz’s) death.”


A mental health assessment on Niazi by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust was found to be inadequate.

The Domestic Homicide Review has said the 2011 assessment which concluded Niazi “was not a danger to himself or others”, was concerning because “safeguarding children and potential domestic violence risks were not assessed in detail”.

Ms James-Hanman said: “The lack of urgency in the responses from children’s social care were indicative of a culture of complacency which is clearly unacceptable within child protection.”

She added: “Whilst it’s very difficult for everyone to be on the ball 100% of the time, we are talking about very vulnerable women and children who do need that level of vigilance.”

Muhammed Asad Niazi
Muhammed Niazi was jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years

In January 2013, a whistleblower, Olivia Butler, who was working as interim head of children’s social care at the time of the murder, told BBC London mistakes had been covered up.

She claimed the council had rejected her advice to discipline two members of staff for failings in the case and she was not supported in trying to improve the department.

Ms James-Hanman said a possible cover-up remained an “open question” – but agreed with Ms Butler on a number of allegations she made.

Her report criticises “retrospective record keeping” at the council, which meant details of contact with Ms Cruz and with other agencies were only put on the computer system after the murder.

Ms Butler said: “I’m relieved that she [the report author], a person with such experience and expertise and integrity, has found some of the same things that I also found that were also extremely worrying to me, and that she’s had the opportunity to put that into the public sphere.”

‘Deep condolences’

The council says it has changed the way information is recorded and appointed new management since the murder. The team leaders mentioned in the report have since left the borough. They were never disciplined.

An Ofsted inspection has not been carried out since the implementations were made. The last two found children’s services to be inadequate.

Leigh Whitehouse, the director of finance at the council and chair of the Safer Kingston Partnership, said practices had not been “as effective and tight as they could have been”.

He added: “That’s definitely something that’s been addressed as part of the work undertaken since the Ofsted inspection.”

He said: “We want, on behalf of all the agencies in the Safer Kingston Partnership, to offer our deep condolences for their loss and to also say sorry for the tragic events that led to this woman losing her life and her daughter losing her mother.”

He denied there had been any deliberate cover-up.


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Video: Parents of Boko Haram kidnapped girls: We can’t sleep out of fear

Rare footage of parents and a neighbour of the missing Chibok girls. Taken before the town fell to Boko Haram on the 14th of November, they tell us what it’s like to live every day in fear for their own safety and the safety of their daughters.

They say the government is doing nothing at all to fight Boko Haram or to find the girls. This means the government is basically collaborating with Boko Haram and supporting their savagery and ideology.

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