Britain: Massive child abuse was covered up. BBC: 'Twelve new victims have made allegations of child sexual abuse in Rotherham since a report found at least 1,400 children were abused, police say. South Yorkshire Chief Constable David Crompton revealed the new cases as he gave evidence to a Commons committee.' Read some of the victims' stories here, if you can stand it.
Middle East: Islamic State executes Steven Sotloff. Michael Totten:
When he lived in Benghazi and everyone was heading for the exits, he told me—and I believed him—that Benghazi was the same old Benghazi, by which he meant mostly fine aside from some unfortunate incidents. Dangerous places are often, though not always, less dangerous than they appear in the media. At least they appear that way.
Maybe that's just a trick of the mind. Those of us who insert ourselves into war zones figure out ways to cope with anxiety and get it to drop nearly to zero. The human mind is extremely adaptable, and it’s easier to neutralize fear when it’s faced voluntarily. That’s why I felt calm in Baghdad most of the time. It’s also why exposure therapy works.
Steven was brave and unlucky, but he was not stupid. He knew how risky going to Syria was and, according to Ben Taub, he planned to take a hiatus from this nasty business after one final trip and possibly apply to graduate school in Florida.
The Islamic State took that from him, and they took him from us.
Long War Journal: 'The Islamic State released a video of the execution of Steven Joel Sotloff, an American journalist captured in Syria in August 2013, and threatened to kill a British captive if the US does not halt airstrikes in northern Iraq. Sotloff, who contributed to The Long War Journal in 2011, is the second American beheaded by the Islamic State in two weeks.'
Somalia: US targets Shabaab leader. Arutz Sheva: 'A spokesperson for the al-Shabaad terrorist organization said that during Monday night’s attack of US forces in Somalia, the convoy belonging to the organization’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was hit. The reports did not include whether or not Godane was wounded in the attack.' Long War Journal:
The US military is rumored to have targeted Shabaab emir Ahmed Abdi Godane and other senior leaders of al Qaeda's branch in Somalia as they met at a training camp south of the capital. The US military confirmed it conducted an operation in Somalia yesterday, but did not detail the nature or outcome of the attack.
"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, said yesterday. ...
International: Al-Qaeda ready for anniversary attacks - Debka. Debka reports that
Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches – IS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen - have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2011 attacks on New York and Washington. According to debkafile’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for US targets in the Middle East and Europe.
In the estimate of Islamist experts, the IS and AQAP have decided to delay direct terrorist action in the United States, calculating that an attack on America will have a greater shock impact some time after the first cycle of outrages, toward the end of 2014 or early 2015.
It was this information that galvanized Saudi King Abdullah into warning the West that Al Qaeda’s plans were imminent. “If neglected,” he said strongly last week, “I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America.” ...