OBAMA ADMIN: IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT TALIBAN IS … SICK, JUST SICK.
Watch WH Obama mouthpiece contort and twist the English language so not to call the Taliban a terrorist group like ISIS so to defend the Obama administrations negotiating for the release of Army deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. ABC News’ Jon Karl, not Fox News, ABC News White House correspondent Karl asked White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz how the Jordanians dealing with ISIS is any different than how the Obama negotiated with the Taliban. The stuttering answer from Eric Schultz should not only surprise you, but make you fear for your national security. This is what happens when you put forth lying talking points that collide with the real world.
White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said. “I’d also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency. ISIL is a terrorist group. So we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.” Really, the Taliban is not a terrorist group? You mean the same Taliban that murdered 153 people in a massacre at a school in Pakistan? This White House is nothing more than lying scum that put the United States of America at rick every day. It is one thing to torture the English language over what the word is, is when you are Bill Clinton trying to save his bacon amid a sex scandal, it is quite another when the safety of America and the world is at risk.
FOX News Poll … 47% say Obama downplays threat from Islamic terrorists. JUST 47%, REALLY?
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: You say the United States government does not give in to demands, does not pay ransom. But how is what the Jordanians are talking about doing any different than what the United States did to get the release of [Bowe] Bergdahl — releasing prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay to the Taliban, which is clearly a terrorist organization?
ERIC SCHULTZ, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: As you know, this was highly discussed at the time and prisoner swaps are traditional end-of-conflict interaction that happens. As the war in Afghanistan wound down we thought it was the appropriate thing to do. The president’s bedrock commitment as commander in chief is to leave no man or woman behind. That’s the principle he was operating under.
KARL: Isn’t that what the Jordanians are operating under?
SCHULTZ: Well, I think Jon –
KARL: I mean the Taliban is still conducting terrorist attacks. You can’t really say the war has ended as far as they are concerned.
SCHULTZ: Well, I’d also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. So, we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups. We feel –
KARL: You don’t think the Taliban is a terrorist group?
SCHULTZ: I don’t think that the Taliban, um, uh — the Taliban is an armed insurgency. This was the winding down of the war in Afghanistan and that’s why this arrangement was dealt. Our view is, as the president said at the time, is as commander in chief when he sends men and women into armed combat he doesn’t want to leave anyone behind.
Take a good look at to what the Obama WH does not consider a terror group as they murder innocents at a school
YUP, The Taliban is not a terror group, as says Obama administration
ABC News’ Jon Karl asked how this differs from the U.S. decision to swap Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo Bay — returning them “to the Taliban, which is clearly a terrorist organization.”
“As you know, uh, this was highly discussed at the time and prisoner swaps are a traditional end-of-conflict, uh, interaction that happens. As the war in Afghanistan wound down, we felt like it was the appropriate thing to do. The president’s bedrock commitment as commander in chief is to leave no man or woman behind, that’s the principle he was operating under,” White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said. “I’d also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency. ISIL is a terrorist group. So we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.”
Karl followed, “You don’t think the Taliban is a terrorist group?”
Schultz had some trouble answering.
“I don’t think that the Taliban, um — uh – the Taliban is an armed insurgency,” Schultz said. “This was the winding down of the war in Afghanistan, and that’s why this arrangement was dealt.”
ISIS terrorists storm the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya kill eight and have taken hostages. According to Fox News, a hotel worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said five masked attackers wearing bulletproof vests stormed the hotel after getting past security at the gates, firing in the air before shooting randomly at staffers.
At least eight people, including five foreigners, were killed on Tuesday when gunmen from the Islamic State stormed a hotel used by Westerners in Libya.
The five foreigners, who included two women, died during an attack on the five-star Corinthia Hotel in the capital, Tripoli. Also killed was a Libyan security officer and two of the gunmen, who blew themselves up after being surrounded on an upper floor,
Details of the casualties were given by Mahmoud Hamza, a senior Libyan security official, in an interview with al-Naba television. He did not give the nationalities of the foreigners, although it is understood that British citizens were residen in the hotel at the time of the attack.
The men, who were wearing masks and bulletproof vests, then began firing randomly at staff in the lobby. It is understood that a number of hostages have been taken, but the nationalities were unclear.
Security forces then surrounded the building, while residents fled out of emergency exits.
“After being pursued and surrounded on the hotel’s 21st floor, the attackers detonated explosive belts they were wearing,” Issam al-Naass, a spokesman for security services, told AFP.
“It is more than likely that there are hostages held by the gunmen on the 23rd floor,” Essam Naas, a spokesman for Tripoli security forces, told Reuters. “The security forces are evacuating the guests floor by floor. There was shooting between the gunmen and the security forces.”
However, Mahmoud Hamza, commander of Libya’s Special Deterrent Force, told private satellite television station al-Nabaa that the situation was “under control,” though he couldn’t confirm the whereabouts of the gunmen.
I THOUGHT IT WAS AMERICAN POLICY NOT TO NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS?
Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad.
The Daily Beast has learned that the proposal was floated in July 2014 to the then-U.S. ambassador in Qatar by an individual acting on behalf of that country’s attorney general. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of the case, the proposition was made shortly after the Obama administration traded five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Those fighters were also sent to Qatar, where they’re to remain under government watch until later this year. U.S. officials have said they’re at risk of plotting further attacks against the United States.
The proposed swap involving the al Qaeda agent, Ali Saleh Al-Marri, raises troubling questions about whether the Bergdahl trade opened a kind of Pandora’s box, signaling to foreign governments that they can pressure the United States to make concessions on terrorism by trading American prisoners abroad for dangerous extremists held in the United States.
“I believe we must examine the administration’s decision in the case of Al-Marri and determine if his release is connected to negotiations of any kind,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s hostage negotiations, wrote Thursday in a letter to Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the House Armed Services Committee chairman, obtained by The Daily Beast.
Governments’ hostage negotiations policies are once again taking center stage after ISIS released a photograph Saturday showing the apparent beheading of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese men the group is holding. Unexpectedly, ISIS has now dropped an earlier demand of $200 million ransom and says it will free the remaining hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, in exchange for the release of Sajida Mubarak al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber who’s imprisoned in Jordan for her role in an attack on three hotels in Amman in 2005, which killed 60 people. (Read the rest HERE)
Uber-Liberal Bill Maher Calls American Sniper Chris Kyle a “Psychopath Patriot” on HBO’s ‘Real Time’
I GUESS LIBERAL BILL MAHER HAS BEEN GETTING TOO MUCH HATE MAIL FROM THE FAR LEFT TO TALK GOOD ABOUT AN AMERICAN HERO WHO KILLED RADICAL ISLAMISTS …
Bill Maher calls American hero Chris Kyle a “Psychopath Patriot”. The only redeeming quality of far-Left comedian Bill Maher was that he got terrorism, radical Islam and the Islamo-fascist killers who would sooner cut some ones head off than say hello. Or at least we thought. During the latest episode of HBO’s ‘Real Time,’ Bill Maher came out in his condescending tone, “The Hurt Locker made 17 million because it was a little ambiguous and thoughtful, and this one [the movie America Sniper] is just American hero, he’s a ‘Psychopath Patriot’ and we love him” Why, because that’s what liberals do, they mock American heroes because they hate the military. Even though Maher has ripped radical Islam in the past, to the horror of the radical LEFT, it would appear that Maher cannot support an actual American hero he made a difference in killing murderous Islamists.
Maher quoted Chris Kyle stating, “I hate the damn savages” and I love killing bad guys”. Maher then said, that doesn’t seem like a Christian thing to say. Wow really, an atheist like Maher is going to judge an individual it was to be a sniper, to kill the enemy, in order to protect Americans. Welcome to the hateful liberal mindset. Left Howie Dean tried to pile on and make a comparison that there is a lot of anger in the country and the people going to see the movie are angry Tea Party folk. Really Howie? This from Howie “I have a scream” Dean, you seem like a little hate-filled man yourself. Did we also say clueless? American Sniper is #1 at the box office again this week, bringing in over $200 million. Wow Howie, who knew there were that many Tea Party people out there. You better hope not.
This guy (the late Chris Kyle) basically says, ‘I’m going to fight on your side. I bet you if you looked at the cross-section of the tea party and people who see this movie there’s a lot of intersection.”
But a funny thing happened after Maher made is mocking and snarly comments regarding Chris Kyle, his guets turned against him. Two of Maher’s guests made the case that there is nuance in the movie, and that it’s not just about “killing savages.” They stated, it’s about the horror of war, the moral struggles a sniper faces and the battle with PTSD that rages on the home front.
“I can’t believe you came away with that impression of the film,” Mr. Stephens said to Mr. Maher. “What I saw was a movie that treats what veterans and soldiers go through in way that was subtle. It was not just about war it was about PTSD. It’s about what the wives of soldiers go through. And by the way the savages he’s talking about aren’t ordinary Iraqis, the savages are al Qaeda killers who put drills into children to enforce orders.”
Comedian Bill Burr backed up Mr. Stephens, telling Mr. Maher “You can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context.”
Bill Maher, calls Chris Kyle, American Sniper, a ‘Psychopath Patriot’
VIDEO – (content warning: strong language)
Is “American Sniper” just a mindless, pro-war action movie with a “psychopath” hero?
That’s what one liberal claimed — but he was quickly contradicted by his own guests.
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” came out swinging against the blockbuster “American Sniper” on his show Friday night, complaining that the film doesn’t show any nuance and merely presents sniper Chris Kyle as an American hero.
“‘He’s a psychopath patriot and we love him,’” Maher said mockingly of the thousands of Americans who flocked to see the film.
EXIT QUESTION: I wonder if the only thing that separated Bill Maher from be beheaded by a savage radical Islamist was a sniper’s bullet if he would consider that sniper a “Psychopath Patriot”?
ISIS Claims They Have Killed One of Two Japanese Hostages … VIDEO Shows Hostage Kenji Goto Holding Pic of Beheaded Body of the Second Hostage, Haruna Yukawa
SICK, THESE SAVAGES HAVE DONE IT AGAIN …
The Islamic State, ISIS, has reportedly released a new video Saturday claiming one of the two Japanese captives had been beheaded. In the video, Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto holds up a photo that shows the dead body of the second hostage, Haruna Yukawa. The video has yet to be verified and there is some question as to the videos authenticity as it is different from past ISIS ones released. However, with ISIS’s record of beheading innocents, why would these savages put forth a fake? ISIS is now issuing a new demand for the second Japanese hostage, to al Qaeda female prisoner in Jordan, , Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi.”
A purported ISIS video posted online today claims the terror group has beheaded one of two Japanese hostages and will execute the second unless an al Qaeda female prisoner is freed in Jordan.
Neither U.S. nor Japanese officials were able to immediately authenticate the video, which did not contain many of the high production techniques seen in earlier ISIS videos nor the typical branding for the terror group.
The video shows a still picture of Japanese television reporter Kenji Goto holding a photo of the beheaded body of Haruna Kuwana.
Clearly reading a message written for him, the voice says ISIS no longer is demanding a $200 million ransom but will free him if the female prisoner is released.
“They no longer want money, so you don’t need to worry about funding terrorists,” the voice says. “They are just demanding the release of their imprisoned sister, Sajida al-Rishawi. It is simple, You give them Sajida and I will be released.”
In an audio tape sent to the family of one of the hostages, Kenji Goto, he appeals for help and say that the other, his friend Haruna Yukawa, has been killed.
As he speaks, Mr Goto is shown in a still photograph, in which he holds up another photograph showing what seems to be Mr Yukawa’s decapitated body with his head lying on his back – a now standard method used by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to display its victims.
“You have seen the photo of my cellmate Haruna slaughtered in the land of the Islamic Caliphate,” he says, addressing the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
“You were warned. You were given a deadline and so my captors acted upon their words.
“We have seen the video purporting to show that Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa has been murdered by the terrorist group ISIL,” Patrick Ventrell, a U.S. National Security Council representative, said in the statement. “The intelligence community is working to confirm its authenticity. The United States strongly condemns ISIL’s actions, and we call for the immediate release of all the remaining hostages. The United States is fully supportive of Japan in this matter. We stand in solidarity with Japan and are coordinating closely.”
19 Year Old Shannon Maureen Conley Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison Admitting to Trying to Join ISIS, Become a Bride and Participate in Terrorist Jihad in the Mideast
19 year old Shannon Maureen Conley was sentenced to four years in prison for her efforts in joining ISIS and intent on participating in jihad in the Middle East. Conley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in September. Under the plea deal, Conley agreed to divulge information that she may know about other Americans with similar intentions. Conley spoke at her sentencing in court on Friday and said, “Even though I supported a jihad, it was never to hurt anyone. It was always in the defense of Muslims.” She apologized to the judge, saying she was embarrassed by her arrogance, “I do not believe I am a threat to society and would appreciate an opportunity to prove it.” Thankfully the court did not agree, sentencing her to 4 years as U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore said before sentencing Conley, called her “a bit of a mess. and “to me, it doesn’t seem like she gets it.”
Conley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in September under a deal that requires her to divulge information she may have about other Americans with similar intentions.
FBI agents say Conley wanted to marry a suitor she met online who told her he was fighting with the extremists. She repeatedly told them she wanted to fight alongside him or use her skills as a nurse’s aide to help.
A federal judge gave a four-year prison sentence Friday to a 19-year-old Colorado woman who admitted guilt in wanting to become an ISIS bride and participate in its jihad in the Mideast.
Shannon Maureen Conley is one of the first Americans to be sentenced for conspiracy to support ISIS and received a sentence that was also recommended by prosecutors seeking to send a message of deterrence.
Though the judge initially cited how Conley needs psychiatric care, he sided with prosecutors in the end.
“What is it that will cause others to stop” in the future, Judge Raymond P. Moore said during sentencing.
Before sentencing, Conley wept as she read a statement saying, “It was after arrest that I learned the truth about the ISIS that I was taught to respect.”
UPDATE I: Statement from the Conoly family:
An Open Letter to the President and the American People
Over the last several months my wife and I have received numerous requests for a statement about our daughter Shannon’s situation. Now that she has been sentenced we would offer these thoughts.
We were told at the time of the investigation the Department of Justice (FBI and Federal Prosecutor’s Office) was trying to formulate a better response to young people being radicalized by ISIS and other groups. In doing so the local personnel went to extraordinary lengths to navigate the turbulent waters caused by these events. In our dealings with them we have been treated with respect and compassion throughout this affair. It’s unfortunate the local efforts apparently weren’t viewed as more worthwhile by their superiors.
The strategy of the terrorist is to make the enemy change behavior through the use of fear and to subjugate the enemy by making them live in fear. A tactic of asymmetric warfare is to cause the enemy to expend large amounts of resources dealing with a situation that costs little to create.
We’re told the average ISIS soldier makes roughly $150 per month. The ISIS soldier Shannon had contact with was called Yousr. His actual time on the internet with Shannon was certainly less than one month’s work. The government has now spent tens of thousands of dollars putting Shannon in prison and intends to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more keeping her there.
We’re told the government is afraid that, even if Shannon is not a threat to the public, others may make similar choices. Those people need to be sent a message that if they do they should fear capture and prosecution. Shannon’s continued punishment is to ensure that message is understood by the American people. Additionally the, perhaps unintended, message is the government is willing to sacrifice the future of a 19 year old American citizen to drive the point home.
If these things are true then we feel the terrorists have won this particular battle in the war on terrorism. Fear has increased, behavior changed and resources expended. We also feel this disproportional governmental response simply aids the terrorist in winning his war by doing for him what he can’t do for himself: terrify the American people. (more here)
Barack Obama Said in SOTU Address that “The State of the Union is Strong” … Frank Luntz Focus Group Calls BS & Doesn’t Buy It
FOCUS GROUP CRIES BS WHEN OBAMA CLAIMS THE STATE OF THE UNION IS STRONG …
Last night during President Barack Obama’s SOTU address, Barack Obama said, “the shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.” Hmm, really? What shadow of crisis has passed that Obama speaks of? Is it the economic crisis that still plagues millions of Americans who face wage stagnation, having to work multiple jobs or lesser ones than they once had? Is it the crisis of a record number of Americans on Food Stamps? Is it the crisis of record low job participation? Or is it the crisis that terrorism is over, even though radical Islam is on the march in the forms of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, etc. So what the hell was Barack Obama talking about … the Frank Luntz focus group was asking the same question as none of them bought Obama’s spin and half of the group voted for Obama. Check out the 18 second mark where the focus groups both call foul.
America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:
The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.
Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.
America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:
The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.
ISIS Threatens to Kill Two Japanese Hostages (Kenji Goto Jogo & Haruna Yukawa) Unless They Receive $200M (VIDEO)
ISIS THREATENS TO KILL MORE INNOCENT HOSTAGES …
The terrorist group ISIS has released an online video on Tuesday purporting to show two Japanese captives and threatening to kill the two hostages unless it received $200 million in ransom. In the video, a black-clad figure, presumed to be Jihadi John, with a knife, standing over over the two kneeling men wearing orange clothing, demanding that the Japanese public have 72 hours to pressure their government to stop its “foolish” support for the U.S.-led coalition waging a military campaign against Islamic State. The $200 million ransom is the same amount that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on January 17 in a visit to Cairo in non-military assistance for countries battling Islamic State.
Two Japanese hostages, one demand from ISIS: Hand over $200 million, or else.
The else being that the pair will meet the same gruesome fate as other captives held by the terrorist group, others who were shown in ISIS videos kneeling in orange jumpsuits in front of masked, black-clad men — just like the Japanese hostages identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa — shortly before being beheaded.
A masked man in the latest video gives the Japanese government a choice to pay $200 million — the same amount of money Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently pledged for those “contending” with ISIS — to free the Japanese men. That deal holds for 72 hours, which would seem to mean sometime Friday since the video appeared on social media Tuesday.
The video identifies the hostages, who are wearing orange jumpsuits, as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa. The Japanese Foreign Ministry’s anti-terrorism section has seen the video and analysts were assessing it, a ministry official said. Japanese media identified the first man only a Kenji Goto.
In August, a Japanese citizen believed to be Yukawa, a private military company operator in his early 40s, was kidnapped in Syria after going there to train with militants, according to a post on a blog. Pictures on his Facebook page show him in Iraq and Syria in July. One video on his page showed him holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle with the caption: “Syria war in Aleppo 2014.”
Goto is a respected Japanese freelance journalist who went to report on Syria’s civil war last year and knew of Yukawa. “I’m in Syria for reporting,” he wrote in an email to an Associated Press journalist in October. “I hope I can convey the atmosphere from where I am and share it.”
Pope Francis Claims There Are Limitations on Freedom of Speech, ‘One Cannot Make Fun of Faith’ … REALLY?
POPE FRANCIS SAYS THAT YOU CANNOT MAKE FUN OF FAITH …
Following the radical Islam terror attack at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that had made fun of the prophet Mohammad in the past, that left numerous dead, Pope Francis stated that there were limitations of freedom of speech and said, “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” Really? SORRY PONTIFF, YOU COULD NOT BE ANY MORE WRONG. So let’s understand this, the Pope thinks that people do not have the right to make fun of religion? The Pontiff made his point by comparing it to if an individual cursed at his mother, that person would be punched. So is the Pope saying that ‘Charlie Hebdo’ brought this on themselves? Would he say the same about a rape victim?
A note to the Pontiff, blasphemy is offensive, cruel and pretty much wrong, but it is not illegal and does not warrant murder.That is what is supposed to separate Christianity from radical Islam. Sorry, but the very essence of freedom of speech is to defend the very words that you would disagree with, offend you and make your blood boil. Wasn’t it Jesus who told us to bless those who persecute us (Romans 12:14), to return love for hate and good for evil (Psalm 109:5), and even to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). Loving your enemies would include supporting the fundamental commitment to free speech, and defending the right of free speech, even, or especially, for those who offend you. Why am I telling a Pope this?
Pope Francis suggested there are limits to freedom of expression, saying in response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack that “one cannot make fun of faith” and that anyone who throws insults can expect a “punch.”
The pontiff said that both freedom of faith and freedom of speech were fundamental human rights and that “every religion has its dignity.”
“One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith,” he said. “There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits.”
The right to liberty of expression comes with the “obligation” to speak for “the common good,” Pope Francis said, cautioning against provocation.
To illustrate his point, he joked about Vatican aide Alberto Gasparri who was standing nearby on the plane.
“It’s true that we can’t react violently, but, for example if Dr. Gasbarri here, a great friend of mine, says a curse word against my mother, then a punch awaits him,” the pontiff said.
Pope Francis also said that killing in the name of religion is an “aberration,” but adding that those who deride other faiths can expect to provoke a strong, even violent response. An aberration?
“One cannot react violently, but if [someone] says something bad about my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s to be expected,” the pontiff said. “There are a lot of people who speak badly about other religions. They make fun of them. What happens is what happens with my friend [who insults my mother]. There is a limit.”
The pope made the comments during an in-flight news conference from Sri Lanka to Manila, where he took up the second leg of a weeklong tour of Asia. He was greeted at the airport by President Benigno Aquino III and a performance by hundreds of jeans-clad young people. People cheered the pope’s motorcade to the residence of the apostolic nuncio.
In recent days, the 78-year-old pontiff strongly denounced the attack by two militant Muslim gunmen on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical publication that has long derided Islam and other religions and their institutions, including the Vatican.
people jihadists have been killed and a another has been arrested in an anti-terrorism operation in Verviers, Belgium. The individuals are believed to have links to ISIS and to have been planning attacks in Belgium. The operation was intended to check on suspected radicals, one of several being conducted against people believed to have returned to Belgium after taking part in the Syrian civil war. As reported at the Jerusalem Post, public service radio RTBF said there were no casualties among the security forces involved. Two unidentified people were killed and a third seriously wounded. Several others were detained. This comes on the foot-heals of the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 17 dead. Looks like Europe may finally have gotten the wake up call on radical Islam.
Counter-terror police, in a series of raids, rounded up suspects they believed were intent on launching terror operations in Belgium, officials said.
At least two suspects died during the raids, and another was injured, officials told members of the media today. The officials said no police or civilians were injured after the suspects opened fire with automatic weapons.
Two people were killed Thursday in an anti-terrorism operation in the eastern Belgian city of Verviers, CNN affiliate VTM News reported.
The group is believed to have links to ISIS and to have been planning attacks in Belgium, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
Federal Belgian police took at least one suspect into custody near a train station, VTM News said. Further details weren’t immediately available.
Verviers is about 69 miles (111 kilometers) east-southeast of Brussels and 200 miles (322 kilometers) northeast of Paris.
The anti-terrorism raid comes amid heightened alerts in Europe after this month’s attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Anti-terrorism operations were underway in other cities, a senior Belgian counter-terrorism official told Cruickshank.
Amateur Video – Assault rue de la colline, Verviers
The Telegraph – Casualties in Belgium police anti-terror raid in Verviers:
The suspects opened fire on police in Verviers, in the east of the country, before being killed, the prosecutor said. No policemen were injured during the operation, in which 10 buildings were searched.
The group was about to mount terrorist attacks on a “grand scale”, the prosecutor said.
“A second Paris has been avoided,” a ministry of justice source told Nieuwsblad newspaper.
Local residents in Verviers heard a fusillade of machine gun shots and explosions.
A local resident said: “I heard two explosions and saw two young men run away. They were between 25 and 30 years of Arab origin.”
Referring to the raid itself, he said: “The suspects immediately and for several minutes opened fire with military weaponry and handguns on the special units of the federal police before they were neutralised.”
Officials said police came under sustained fire from a flat above a bakery.
After the operation, four Kalashnikovs, bomb-making equipment and police clothing were found, according to local media. Security forces remain in the Verviers area.
Police are expected to provide more details at a briefing on Friday.