Archive | February, 2014

Russia’s worries explained in this simple map: Over the last 25 years the EU and pro EU-forces have moved eastwards between 1500 and 1800 km. Red line 1989, yellow line 2014

27 Feb

Screenshot 2014-02-27 13.19.44

Here pictures of “We are all ISIS”-campaign on twitter

25 Feb

There is currently a huge fight going on in northern Syria between the ultra radical puritans of Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al Nusra) and the ultra-ultra radical puritans of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Shaam). Both claim to follow the correct interpretation of Islam. And both claim to be rebel groups fighting Al-Assad, although at the moment they are more occupied with fighting each other.

Pro-ISIS accounts on twitter have started a campaign to prove Al-Qaeda sucks and that ISIS is receiving more and more support.

According to this pro-ISIS account (@abualdawi) people from all around the world are apparently sending in their support in the shape of “We are all ISIS”-pictures. Mostly from Indonesia but also from Sweden, Holland, Bosnia, Canada, Lebanon, Pakistan, India and of course Belgium.

I’ve posted some pics here. My favorite is the first one: The Hello-Kitty ISIS-supporter. ISIS-cake comes in second. Dutch ISIS-soccer guys on Johan Cruyff-field third. Check pics below:






Population equivalents of Pakistan’s provinces and territories

24 Feb

Screenshot 2014-02-24 17.31.13

Link naar gruwelijk filmpje van Vlaams sprekende jihadist in Syrie

21 Feb

Belgian historian and Arabist Pieter van Ostaeyen (on twitter –> @P_vanostaeyen) found this very morbid clip on Facebook:

A Belgian jihadist in Syria celebrates the death of a so called “sahawat enemy” (basically a non-ISIS-rebel) and cursing him. To ridicule the victim even more, somebody has put a cigarette in the dead man’s mouth.

In the second part of this clip the Belgian jihadist mourns the death of three ISIS-fighters who are lying a couple of meters away from the first dead man. The video was posted today on Facebook.

Please do NOT watch the clip in case this kind of videos will upset you!

This is the link. Again: It is graphic.

Amazing camel show by Pakistan’s “Desert Rangers” in Cholistan

21 Feb

By Harald Doornbos (twitter@HaraldDoornbos)

Some places in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert are so remote that jeeps cannot reach it. But camels can. This is one of the reasons Pakistan’s Desert Rangers even today are still using 160 camels to patrol the border with India in the Cholistan Desert in southern Punjab. I had the privilege to see the Desert Rangers in action with their camels during last weekend’s Desert Jeep Rally. Here some of my pictures of this amazing unit performing a camel show in the vicinity of the majestic Derawar Fort.

(Click on pics for large!)

Camels in front of the huge Derawar Fort in Cholistan desert:


I bumped into some Desert Rangers on patrol during Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally 2014. Hot air balloon in background. Stunning scenery:


Camel in gallop. Rider shows skills by staying “in the saddle” without a saddle:


Upside down. Member of Desert Rangers  was able to stand upside-down while came was trotting. Don’t do this at home:


Here a close up of acrobatic action by Desert Ranger who managed to stay on camel while the animal trotted around 400 meters:


Another balancing act by a soldier. Perfect harmony between men and animal using only a rope while camel walked through desert:


Members of Desert Rangers salute superiors during camel show:


Again, don’t try this at home:


Camel of Punjab Desert Rangers chilling out:


Desert Rangers on the move:


Next four pics show precision skills of two Desert Rangers as camels go in fast trod:

IMG_7788 IMG_7795 IMG_7797 IMG_7800

Guests of honor (on top of camels, from left to right): Punjab Rangers Wing Commander Iftikhar, Minister of State Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman (and son) and Punjab Rangers Brigadier Riaz. Many thanks to all three gentlemen for their hospitality!:


Here some use full links:

Website of Pakistan Rangers:

Wikipedia entry on Pakistan Rangers:

Wikipedia entry on Cholistan Desert:


19 Feb

By Harald Doornbos in Islamabad

It looked like the perfect story for the international media, human rights activists and for millions of hungry tweeps around the world looking for anything exciting to fill their generally dull timelines on twitter: A couple accused of adultery had been stoned to death in a remote part of Pakistan – on Valentine’s day.

After details of the apparent stoning emerged in Pakistani newspapers on February 17th 2014 (, the international media quickly picked up the report. Reuters wrote on 18th February a piece with the headline: “Pakistani couple stoned to death for adultery; six arrested” ( News agencies and papers like AFP and The Times of London did the same. TV stations followed suit. On social media, the story received considerable attention. And the many comments were rather predictably. “What a f***** country,” commented @1974Hamilton on his twitter account. While others like @3dogmary wrote: “More religion of peace. Savages. Animals.”

But five days after the apparent incident, the findings of an autopsy report by Baloch authorities in the provincial capital Quetta make it clear that the stoning never took place. Yes – the couple were indeed killed on suspicion of adultery in a remote part of Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province. But no – they were not stoned.

“According to the autopsy report the man was shot twice and the woman was hit by a shovel or a sharp object on the head,” says Shezad Baloch, a Quetta-based correspondent for Pakistan’s daily The Express Tribune, when contacted by phone. Baloch first broke the story that the couple were not stoned to death today, Wednesday, in an article published on the website of his newspaper. (

The reporter has seen the autopsy report himself and according to him he interviewed twelve people involved in the case, among them a female doctor and a high ranking Pakistani official who both were involved in exhuming the bodies and the medical investigation.

“I have investigated the story for three days now and the part of the stoning is just not true,” Baloch says. Is there a chance the Pakistani authorities are trying to cover up a possible stoning to safeguard the image of the country? “I am sure they are not covering up the truth,” says Baloch, “Because in that case one of my sources would have told me of the record: The stoning actually took place but we don’t want to admit it. This did not happen. I am more than hundred percent sure the stoning did not take place.”

Recently, various stories extensively shared on social media have turned out to be hoaxes or only partly true.

Last month for instance, a dramatic picture of what activists claimed was a Syrian boy sleeping between the graves of his parents in Syria turned out to be part of an art project photographed in Saudi Arabia. (

Only a couple of days ago, a picture went viral of a four year old Syrian boy who crossed alone a desert to safety after he had lost his parents. As it turned out the next day, the boy was never alone. His parents were about twenty steps in front of him. (

“The problem here in Balochistan is that due to low salaries there are not that many good and professional reporters around,” claims Baloch, the Pakistani reporter, “Some inexperienced journalists don’t investigate if a story is actually true. They go after rumors. And the international media just blindly follows.”

According to Baloch “it is rumors, bad reporting and the internet does the rest.”

“Many people think: Oh, it’s Pakistan with those crazy Muslims, so the story of stoning must be true,” says the journalist, who is also active on twitter (@ShezadBaloch) and writes regularly on his blog

“But in my whole life I have never heard of a stoning in Balochsitan,” he says, “In other parts of the country some incidents have happened, but until now not in Balochistan.”



12 Feb

Een man die op twitter beweert dat hij de uit Almere afkomstige jihadist Khalid K. is, heeft een week geleden een foto gepost van zichzelf terwijl hij het afgesneden en bebloede hoofd omhoog houdt van een onbekende man.

De foto is gruwelijk en is zichtbaar onder aan deze blog entry. U dient dus eerst even goed na te denken of u het aankunt om naar beneden te scrollen en de foto te bekijken.

Deze informatie werd me vanavond meegedeeld door Pieter van Ostaeyen, een Arabist die veel onderzoek doet naar radicale Islamisten. Van Ostaeyen’s twitter-handle is: @p_vanostaeyen. U doet er goed aan om hem te volgen.

Het verhaal begint als volgt:

Volgens dit artikel op de website van de NOS ( vecht er een jihadist uit Almere mee in Syrië. Deze jihadist zou Khalid K heten. Hoe kennen we de naam van Khalid K? Wel, hij heeft in 2011 twee weken vastgezeten op verdenking van betrokkenheid bij terrorisme. Na twee weken is hij alweer vrijgelaten door een Nederlandse rechter omdat er (zoals zo vaak) geen voldoende bewijs was.

Na z’n vrijlating is Khalid K. dus vertrokken van Almere naar Syrië. Daar heeft hij zich aangesloten bij de ISIS oftewel de Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. De ISIS is een club die zelfs door Al-Qaeda wordt gemeden omdat ze te radicaal is.

Op twitter wemelt het van de jihadisten en Syriegangers. Maar vandaag meldt een jihadi-tweep in Syrië plotseling in een twitterconversatie dat hij Khalid K is. Ik heb een screenshot gemaakt van deze discussie. De man twittert onder een andere naam, maar in de discussie meldt hij dus dat hij Khalid K is. Ook stuurt Khalid K de link van het NOS-verhaal door naar iemand op twitter. Hier heb ik tevens een screenshot van.

De man die zich Klahid K.  noemt, twittert voornamelijk foto’s van zichzelf in de Syrische oorlog.

Soms houdt hij een paar pistolen vast. Dan weer staat de uit Almere afkomstige man naast een tank. Of hij schiet met wapens.

Hier de foto met de pistolen:

Screenshot 2014-02-13 01.26.06

Ook vandaag geposte foto’s van hoe hij gewapend en samen met een mede-jihadist naast het lichaam zit van een gedode man. Dit is een van die foto’s:

Screenshot 2014-02-13 01.25.46

De een na laatste foto op z’n  twitteraccount is bijzonder gruwelijk. Het beeld toont dezelfde man uit alle andere foto’s die een bebloed hoofd omhoog houdt in de richting van de camera. Ik heb geen zin om het verder te beschrijven. De foto staat hieronder:

Screenshot 2014-02-13 01.28.31