NEWS BRIEFS: International news


ISIS numbers estimated to be up to 31,500

The CIA said Thursday that the Islamic State fighters now number between 20,000 and 31,500, up from an estimated 10,000. ISIS numbers are growing due partially to an influx of foreign recruits. The foreign fighters hail from several different countries, including Western nations like the United States, Canada, France and Germany, said Hamid al-Tamimi, a radicalized student from Saudi Arabia who was captured by Iraqi forces.

President Obama said Wednesday, in an address to the nation, that the U.S. will “dismantle and destroy ISIS.” For more information, including background facts on some of these foreign fighters as well as a further look at America’s intended response to the ISIS threat, click here:


Former Olympian found guilty of shooting his girlfriend

Double-amputee and former Olympian, Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide or negligent killing by Judge Thokozile Masipa Friday in South Africa. The ruling was in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day, 2013. According to a Fox News story, a date for sentencing would be announced later. To read more, click here:


U.S. bishops make a pilgrimage for peace

U.S. bishops began a nine-day Holy Land pilgrimage Sept. 11. They toured East Jerusalem, an important location in the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bishop Richard E. Pates, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace said, “The continuing expansion of the Jewish communities and its implication for a two-state solution has been a concern of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.”

Daniel Seidemann, Israeli attorney and activist also made his concerns known to the bishops regarding a narrowing time frame to promote a two-state solution. For more information on the bishops’ journey and the tumultuous situation in the Holy Land, click here:


Another victim beheaded by ISIS

A video reportedly showing the beheading of British journalist, David Haines by an ISIS terrorist was released over the weekend. Both the UK Foreign Office and the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington, D.C. are working to verify the tape. In the video, Britain’s alliance with the United States as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge of weapons support for the anti-ISIS Peshmerga are cited as reasons for the killing. Both Cameron and President Obama condemned the execution. Haines was taken captive in 2013 while in Syria where he was working for an international aid organization. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

In recent weeks, two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, were also beheaded by ISIS terrorists, and videos of the executions were posted online. To read more about this story, click here:


Terrorist attack failed in Uganda

A terrorist attack was prevented Saturday in Uganda by the country’s authorities. According to a Fox News story, this planned but ultimately failed attack came “just days after the terror group al-Shabaab vowed revenge for U.S. air strikes that killed its leader.” Currently, the authorities have not revealed whether the people they have in custody are members of al-Shabaab.

The Fox News story also said, “The announcement about the arrests was made just hours after the U.S. embassy in Uganda warned Americans in the country that an attack was ‘imminent’ and to stay indoors.” You can read the full story here:

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