Lebanese Army Arrests ISIL Top Figure, Kills Three Gunmen

Local Editor

SeizuresThe Lebanese Army intelligence managed today to apprehend terrorist Ahmad Salim Mikati in a critical security operation in Doniyeh, after it raided the apartment he occupied with other terrorists, a communiqué by the army’s Guidance Directorate indicated on Thursday.

Three gunmen were killed and one soldier was slightly wounded during the operation.

Mikati, AKA Abu Bakr or Abu al-Hoda, born 1968, is considered as a top ISIL figure in the north region. He has established cells linked to the organization in the region. He was also planning to carry out a huge terrorist act in coordination with his son who is currently fighting alongside ISIL in Arsal. Moreover, the man had connections with ISIL leaders inside Syria, whereby he has recently sent Lebanese young men to join fighters in Qalamoun outskirts, among whom his nephew, Bilal Omar Mikati, involved in the beheading of army martyr Ali Sayyed.

Furthermore, the arrested was found involved in the events in Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, whereby he led a group of tens of gunmen after he got out of prison in 2010 where he served a six-year sentence for planning for a terrorist attack against foreign diplomatic interests.

His name was also linked to the explosions that hit McDonalds in 2003. He had also participated in Doniyeh events against the army in 1999.

Source: NNA

23-10-2014 – 16:25 Last updated 23-10-2014 – 16:25

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Withdraw from the US-led coalition for war in Iraq and Syria! [PETITION]

Via Syria Solidarity Movement

Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War

1) The recent divisive vote to deploy warplanes, reconnaissance aircraft, support personnel, and special forces on a combat mission to Iraq – carried only by the Conservative government’s slim majority in Parliament – was a bad decision. It will make things worse, not better, for the people of the Middle East and is the thin edge of the wedge to pull Canada deeper into another long quagmire of a war, just six months after the failed twelve-year mission to Afghanistan. Moreover, this instance of mission creep is being conducted without United Nations Security Council approval and is therefore illegal under international law.

2) According to NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Paul Dewar, who was part of the recent Canadian mission to Iraq, the Iraqi government asked that Canada send humanitarian, rather than military, assistance. The Iraqi government also did not request that Canada become involved in Syria. Rather, it appears that it was completely at the initiative of the Harper government that Canadian troops have joined the latest US-led “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who, in 2003, wisely bowed to the wishes of hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets – organized by the Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la Guerre – and refused to send Canadian troops to join Bush and Blair’s previous “coalition of the willing”, has recently spoken out against the present combat mission and urged a massive humanitarian mission instead.

3) Whether or not the Iraqi government has authorized air strikes by foreign powers on its territory, the US and its allies have no right under international law to bomb targets inside Syria, without the approval and cooperation of the legitimate government of Syria.

4) The true purpose of the US campaign against ISIL is not to destroy terrorism. In fact, since at least 2011, the USA and other countries in the “Friends of Syria” Group (FSG), including Canada, financed, armed, and organized a deadly covert war of aggression using jihadi mercenaries against Syria. ISIL grew out of this explicitly terrorist operation against the people of Syria, which so far resulted in about 200,000 deaths, millions of refugees, and the laying waste of much of Syria. In other words, the USA, Canada, and their FSG partners created this terrorist ISIL Frankenstein. In our opinion, the ISIL crisis is being used by the USA and some countries neighbouring Syria as a pretext for bombing for regime change in Syria and perhaps, eventually, other countries such as Lebanon and Iran. The Turkish government’s recent call for a “no fly zone” over Syria is a case in point and reminiscent of NATO’s abuse of UN Resolution 1973 for the illegal overthrow of the government of Libya.

5) The USA has “dirty hands.” Its 2003 attack on Iraq was also without UN approval and left that country in ruins, with at least half a million dead, millions of refugees, and effectively split into three parts. The USA should not be entrusted to play any role in Iraq. In fact, the result of the US and NATO-led “humanitarian” interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Haiti, and Syria has uniformly been to make things much worse for civilians and to destroy the territorial integrity of those countries.

6) If the Canadian government is sincerely interested in dealing with ISIL, it needs to cooperate with all the governments of the region, including Syria and Iran, as well as Russia and China, to develop a common strategy. That strategy would best be developed at the United Nations where recent resolutions 2170 and 2178 might serve as first steps in a global action against terrorism. To deal with ISIS, the Harper government of Canada could ask the Turkish, Israeli, and Jordanian governments to close their borders to ISIL terrorists and to remove any terrorist bases on their territories. It could demand that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait stop funding jihadi mercenaries altogether. It could call for disbanding the “Friends of Syria” Group.

7) The sending of Canadian forces personnel and equipment the Middle East raises the likelihood of a major confrontation between Canada and Russia, because Russia has important national and traditional interests in the Middle East, where it has a major base on the Mediteranean Sea in Syria. Removing Canadian military personnel and equipment from this theatre of war would reduce the threat of any regional or global confrontation.

8) Canadians are rightly proud of the fact that our post-WW2 history, until recently, was marked by support for international institutions such as the United Nations, for the international rule of law, and for a preference for peace-keeping and diplomacy over war-making.

9) Therefore, we the undersigned, call on all members of parliament to use their individual and partisan influence to withdraw Canada from the US-led coalition for war in Iraq and Syria and also from the so-called “Friends of Syria” Group.

VIEW AND SIGN PETITION HERE

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JSIL vs. ISIS

Israeli soldiers walk in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site, as they visit the site under Israeli police protection in Jerusalem’s old city on October 19, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Ahmed Gharabli)
Published Thursday, October 23, 2014
The Jewish state of Israel in the Levant (JSIL) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are different in many ways. The most fundamental difference is that the former is a recognized state and a member of the United Nations, while the latter is not recognized as a legitimate polity and is considered a political/military terrorist organization. However, the two share core characteristics that define them and by recognising these similarities observers may be able to make predictions about their futures.
Divine right to exist

As such, the Palestinian people are depicted in the official Israeli narrative as the bad people who work hard to inflict damage on the good Israeli Jews.

Both JSIL and ISIS display what might be termed “self-defined righteousness.” Although Israel is a modern state, its politics and treatment of others (Palestinians) are based on religious concepts and principles that can be traced back to the first century BC and the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, someone who would be considered a fundamentalist today. He instructed Jews to have a religious and social identity separate from those of other people (tribes).
Israel introduces itself to the international community as a Jewish state and, based on this interpretation of Zionist Judaism, is a home to Jews wherever they are in the world. In other words, it is a state which includes all Jews but excludes the indigenous people of Palestine, the Palestinians. It uses its interpretation of Judaism to deny Palestinians equal rights and prevent them from accessing their lands.
ISIS believes that it is enacting God’s will and defines itself as the force to enforce the Islamic moral code, religious rituals and law (Sharia). ISIS’ interpretation of Islam goes back to Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) who promoted the idea that Muslims are different from non-Muslims both in their way of life as well as in religious instruction. This notion of non-acceptance together with cultural differences led Ibn Taymiyyah’s followers to the practice of excluding others and in some cases putting them to death. This particular interpretation of Islam also means the rejection of other branches of Islam.
The form of righteousness practiced by ISIS leaders and Israeli politicians is also used to set apart the “good” people from the “bad” ones. The good are those who believe and support their respective political projects while the bad ones are those who stand against them. It is this stance that makes it permissible for Israel to inflict damage on the bad ones and reward the good. As such, the Palestinian people are depicted in the official Israeli narrative as the bad people who work hard to inflict damage on the good Israeli Jews.
Historically, the state of Israel was established on the self-proclaimed primes of the Zionist movement, that anti-Semitism and murder might surge again in the world. Thus, the resurgence of another wave of anti-Semitism will inflict another Holocaust on the world’s Jews. The Zionist movement took anti-Semitism and the Holocaust out of their historical context. In other words, the concepts were given an absolute ahistoric “religious” meaning. Consequently, the “Jews” started to become reified as an ethnic identity and Israel as a refuge for the world’s Jewry from harm.
For ISIS, one of the underlying reason for Muslims’ degeneration over the centuries is that too many people have strayed far from the fundamental principles of Islam. The role of ISIS is to establish an Islamic state ruled by the caliph. It considers itself to be the force that will revive true Islam and create a state in which all Muslims can live in under its interpretation of Islam. Similarly to Israel, where non-Jews are discriminated against, there is no place for non-Muslims to live as equal citizens in the so-called Islamic State.
Both JSIL and ISIS use the self-serving interpretation of religious texts to enact pragmatic politick. The Zionist narrative that gave birth to the state of Israel and is now its officialideology starts with the idea that the Jews are God’s chosen people and that God promised them the holy land. These two concepts of chosenness are ahistorical, unconditional, and self-limited. Thus, settler colonial expansion in Palestine beyond the 1948 borders is seen as the redemption of the biblically named Judea and Samaria for the Jewish people. Putting Palestinian communities under closure during Jewish holidays is usually disguised as a religious instruction and therefore not seen for what it is: a measure of control.
ISIS also claims it is justified in its actions; it considers itself the group fighting for God and enforcing the latter’s instructions on earth. The group’s interpretation of religious texts is based on its spiritual-political leaders’ rulings that place people into two main categories – believers in ISIS’ ideology are viewed as being on the right path for following the “correct” version of Islam while everyone else, including followers of other branches of Islam, is on the wrong path. Thus the expulsion or execution of Iraqi Christians and Yazidis in Mosul who refuse to convert or pay Jizya (a tax paid by non-Muslims) is introduced as a religious instruction that permits politically motivated discrimination.
Indiscriminate attacks on perceived “enemies”
International humanitarian law forbids parties in armed conflict from deliberately launching attacks against civilians but both Israel and ISIS carry out indiscriminate attacks against their enemies, and they cite similar justifications for such attacks, mainly operational reasons.

International humanitarian law forbids parties in armed conflict from deliberately launching attacks against civilians but both Israel and ISIS carry out indiscriminate attacks against their enemies, and they cite similar justifications for such attacks, mainly operational reasons.

JSIL, like ISIS, says that engaging in conflict in residential areas makes it difficult to avoid harm to civilians. Israel, which deems itself “superior” to others, says it launches military operations to prevent harm to its own people whose lives are worth much than those of “others.” ISIS believes it is on the right path and views everyone else as living in a state of sinfulness and, according to the group, sinners deserve to be put to death. Ultimately, ISIS and Israel attack civilians as part of their strategy to dispose of the natives and remove them from their lands. As such, in their quest for control of the land they both practice ethnic cleansing under a myriad of guises.
In areas controlled by ISIS, in both Syria and Iraq, the group has carried out the mass executions of opposition militants captured by its forces and any person who assists its enemies is liable to be sentenced to death. Israel carries out a similar strategy of collective punishment against Palestinian resistance. It used it in its latest war on the Gaza Strip and during the so-called Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09. Even when Israel states that its attacks are intended to kill only resistance fighters, its bombardment of residential areas always leads to the killing of civilians. These attacks are clearly designed to target and punish the combatants’ families and homes.
During Israel’s latest war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, the Israeli army intentionally converted 40 percent of the Gaza Strip into uninhabited land. The Israeli army displaced up to 500,000 Palestinians out of their neighborhoods. This is the same tactic ISIS has been using in vast swaths in Syria and Iraq. The latest incident is the ongoing fighting in Kobane, the Kurdish city under Syrian jurisdiction, where ISIS’ shelling of the city forced the majority of its citizens to be displaced.
Displacement, collective punishment, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in the name of God are but a few similarities between the two entities. It is worth considering how the state of Israel has embraced the legend of the Maccabees, a sect of Judaism which fought other Jews and foreign powers in the name of piousness and righteousness, and how it has incorporated it within the contemporary ethos. The Maccabees were fundamentalists who used violence against their enemies, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and carried out forced conversions much as ISIS does today.
Samer Jaber is a political activist and researcher. He is the managing director for Dar el-Karma Inc. for Media, Researches and Publication. He tweets at @Jerusalem_sbj

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Syrian air force destroys old war jets captured by IS

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-10/22/c_127129677.htm

The Syrian airforce destroyed two timeworn war jets, which were captured by the Islamic State (IS) militants in an airbase in Syria’s northwestern province of Aleppo, a senior Syrian military source told Xinhua Wednesday.

The Syrian airforce has destroyed two old war jets captured by the IS in the al-Jarrah airbase in Aleppo, said the source on condition of anonymity.

He said the IS originally captured three old war jets in al- Jarrah base, adding that the terror group fighters tried to use them but the Syrian airforce carried out swift airstrikes, destroying two of the captured war jets on the runway of al-Jarrah base while the third one was hid by the IS fighters.

He said the search for the third war jet is still ongoing, stressing that the fighter jets were so old and unable to carry out fighting missions.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on October 17 that the IS terror group was in possession of three war jets ready to fly and maneuver in northern Syria. The three war jets believed to be MiG-21 and MiG-23, which are able to fly and maneuver, said the observatory which relies on a network of activists on ground.

It said that IS fighters, who are former Iraqi officers from the military of late Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, were training other experienced IS fighters to fly the war jets, which had been captured by the IS from Syrian military bases in the provinces of Raqqa and Aleppo in northern Syria.

It also said the IS fighters are being trained to use the war jets in the military airbase of Jarrah in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, adding that the base has recently been used by the IS as a training camp.

Citing witnesses in Aleppo, the observatory said some of the people of Aleppo had seen at least one war jet flying at low altitude over the Jarrah airbase.

Meanwhile, the observatory said it had no information whether the terror group has any missiles that could be fired from the war jets.

Iraq: ISIS sets its sight on oil-rich Kirkuk

Security forces supported by tribes take position to fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Ramadi, Iraq, on October 17, 2014. (Photo – Anadolu Agency)
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Since its inception and the beginning of its expansion, ISIS sought to control oil resources and wealth in Syria. Its power extended to Iraq through control of the oil fields in Nineveh and Kirkuk governorates and the raid of the Baiji refinery, one of the largest in the Middle East. In its attempts to capture Iraqi cities, the organization used malicious military tactics, engaging army units in one city and forcing security forces to increase their presence there, then attacking and taking over another city that it considers more important.
Kirkuk – This policy was embodied when fighting on al-Anbar front exploded in the past few days with the ISIS assault against the city of Hīt and the siege on the strategic cities of Haditha, al-Baghdadi, Amiriya, and Faluja. This is in addition to the wide-scale assault on al-Ramadi, the capital of al-Anbar region.
However, exclusive sources informed Al-Akhbar of a large mobilization of ISIS forces around the city of Kirkuk (240 km north of the Iraqi capital) on three fronts.
Eyewitnesses from the city contacted by Al-Akhbar maintained seeing a
“massive mobilization by ISIS in the vicinity of al-Hawija (50 km west of Kirkuk), as hundreds of foreign fighters arrived in the city along with huge amounts of ammunition, heavy weapons, and vehicles.”
Hawija had fallen under ISIS control on June 10, 2014, after the almost complete withdrawal of the four brigades of the twelfth division of the Iraqi army who were charged with protecting the city. The city is the center of one of Kirkuk’s largest districts and is a tribal area with a majority Sunni population.
To the south of Kirkuk in the Daquq district, eyewitnesses also confirmed that ISIS was preparing and rallying its troops for a possible attack on Kirkuk.
On the city’s eastern front, in al-Dibs, eyewitnesses from the region saw large gatherings of ISIS fighters organizing their ranks and receiving a large amount of supplies from Mosul.

“It [ISIS] began using a policy of distraction, diverting the attention of security forces towards one particular goal and at the same time carrying out a surprise attack in another location.” – Alaa al-Juhaishi, military expert

“A close observation of the movements of ISIS allows the prediction of its possible next moves,” military expert Alaa al-Juhaishi told Al-Akhbar. “It began using a policy of distraction, diverting the attention of security forces towards one particular goal and at the same time carrying out a surprise attack in another location.”
“This is what ISIS is doing now in Kirkuk. It created a need to deploy troops to al-Ramadi, Anbar’s capital, and the vicinity of Qarah Tapah east of Diyala. At the same time, it is amassing troops on three active and vital fronts around Kirkuk.”
The city remained under the control of the Iraqi government until ISIS began attacking several of its districts and vicinities. This led to the withdrawal of the Iraqi army’s twelfth division, which was replaced by the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
For ISIS, taking control of Kirkuk is important due to its oil reserves. The city has six main oil fields – Baba Karkar with 433 oil wells, al-Qayara and Ujail with 91 wells each, Khabbaz with 36 wells, Bai Hassan with 196, and Jambour with 25.
ISIS currently controls the majority of the oil fields in Kirkuk governorate, with the exception of the largest – Baba Karkar. The group has begun to extract crude oil from Ujail and is selling it to international mafias.
According to petroleum expert Musab al-Kaabi,
“Kirkuk is one of Iraq’s most important cities in the north, due to its natural wealth, especially in oil and natural gas. It has the capacity to produce 400,000 barrels a day, which could be increased to 750,000 barrels per day in the next few months.”
“Controlling the oil-rich city will provide ISIS with unprecedented amounts of money. In a month’s time, the fields could provide it with millions of US dollars,” Kaabi told Al-Akhbar. These warnings coincided with a statement by the Kirkuk Governorate Council maintaining that security forces have the city under control and are ready to defend it from any attack.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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The Ottawa Shootings and “Canada’s War on Terror”? Media Points to “Homegrown Terror Threat”

Global Research, October 23, 2014
1023 Shooting 287.JPG

An attack perpetrated by armed men took place early morning October 22 on Parliament Hill. One soldier was killed as well as one gunman, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982.

One report says one suspect was armed with a “double barrel hunting rifle”. A journalist on the scene when the incident occurred said she did not see the shooter but was told he was “wearing a black and white scarf with Arabic patterns”. Others who saw him said he had long hair and was masked.

After the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) press conference this afternoon, it was still not clear whether other suspects were still on the loose or even how many there were. Journalists were given practically the same answer for every question:

“it is too early to comment at this stage”.

The goal of the press conference was clearly not to give information, but rather to repeat to Canadians that they must be “vigilant” and report any “suspicious activity”. Many fear the recent events will dramatically increase racial profiling and islamophobia.

This attack in Ottawa comes two days after a man hit two soldiers with his car killing one in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The suspect, a 25 year old named Martin Couture-Rouleau, was later killed by the police after being chased. The domestic terror threat level went from low to medium on Tuesday.

According to testimonies Rouleau had converted to Islam in the past year and was known by the authorities who had confiscated his passport.

Image right: Picture of Martin Rouleau that illustrates the National Post article “‘He seemed like a typical and fairly boring convert’: Inside Martin Rouleau’s rapid descent to extremism

We are being told that he wanted to join in the Islamic State and “wanted to become a terrorist”. The Ottawa Sun goes as far as saying that “family and law enforcement try to find out why he followed ISIS kill commands.” Some reports say he called 911 to say he was doing it “in the name of Allah.”

Although no link has been officially made between the two events, some officials have indicated they could be related. After the first incident, in which a man we don’t know much about acted alone, the media was quick to jump to conclusion: Islamic terrorism.

These two tragedies targeting Canadian soldiers occur as Canada is joining the United States in the illegal military intervention in Iraq. Soldiers were told not to wear their uniforms outside of military bases for their own safety. One Lieutenant said today the killings signal “the end of Canadian naivety” with regards to the “terrorist threat”.

Fear campaign or “very real threat”?

In the days leading up to Canada’s involvement in Iraq, Canadian authorities have clearly increased their fear campaign.

On October 9, 2014, “Canada’s top intelligence and police officials warned the ‘homegrown terror threat’ is real as authorities disclosed the Mounties are working on 63 active terrorism probes targeting 90 individuals.

“RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told the public safety committee the 90 individuals currently the subject of national security investigations by the Mounties and partner agencies are “related to the travelling group, both people who intend to go or people who have returned and have been referred to us by (CSIS). It’s nothing that I think Canadians need to be alarmed about. I think we’re managing through our collective efforts a response that is . . . appropriate to the nature of these suspected offences.”

Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS director Michel Coulombe said

“The threat is real. Like Commissioner Paulson said earlier, we don’t want to sound alarmist; we’re telling people that they should go about their daily life but we have to be vigilant.”

We don’t know if Rouleau was one of the individuals under investigation, but we can assume he was, since his passport was confiscated for fear he would join a terrorist group abroad.

The public safety minister Stephen Blaney, warned that same day:

Recently our Conservative government announced the listing of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant […] in all its forms and identities as a terrorist organisation making it clear that joining or attempting to join this despicable group is a terrorist offence.

If, as the media report, Rouleau was known by the police and his passport was confiscated because he “wanted to join ISIS” and “wanted to be a terrorist”, Rouleau should have been accused of a terrorist offence. Why was he not?

As for the attack in Ottawa, “RCMP National Division commanding officer and Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the attack caught authorities by ‘surprise.’” It’s a rather surprising surprise, since we were told only two weeks ago by both the RCMP and CSIS that the “homegrown terror threat” was “very real”.

How could that attack in Ottawa be a surprise to the Canadian authorities? We were also told in June: “Iran’s ‘anti-Canada rhetoric’ has officials on guard for possible Ottawa area terror attacks”. This article by the National Post cited an intelligence document which explicitly states:

The National Capital Region has long been considered an attractive target for terrorists and extremists of all stripes…

“The presence of numerous high-profile federal institutions, foreign embassies, military facilities, tourist attractions, and special events make the NCR a rich environment for possible plots by a variety of differently-motivated terrorists,” the report says.

[I]ntelligence officials believe Canada’s top terrorist threat comes from Sunni Islamist extremists — essentially followers of al-Qaeda’s ideology of violent intolerance.

In Ottawa, such an attack would most likely be carried out by a “lone actor” or small group, the report said. The three scenarios outlined in the documents involve an “active shooter,” “bladed weapon attacks” and improvised bombs.

“Simple, straight forward, small-scale attacks, using available weapons and minimal preparation against undefended targets are a realistic match with the actual capabilities of most extremists,” it says.

Global Research will follow this issue closely as more details emerge.

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At Least Five Britons Join ISIL Weekly

Al-Manar

At least five Britons are travelling to Iraq and Syria every week to join the ISIL Takfiri group, the UK’s most senior police officer announced.

BritonsThe figure, according to the Metropolitan police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, represents a “minimum” and “the drumbeat of terrorism in Britain” is now “faster and more intense”.

“We still have an average of five people joining them a week. Five a week doesn’t sound much but when you realise there are 50 weeks in a year, 250 more would be 50% more than we think have gone already,” Hogan-Howe said, adding, “Those are the ones that we believe have gone. There may be many more who set out to travel to another country and meandered over to Syria and Iraq in a way that is not always possible to spot when you have failed states and leaky borders.”

He also expressed concerns about the people who have joined the terrorist group returning to their homeland, saying, the return of “potentially militarized individuals” to the UK “is a risk to our communities”.

“We know that over 500 British nationals travelled to join the conflict. Many have returned and many will wish to do so in the coming months and perhaps in future years,” Hogan-Howe noted.

The commissioner said that since the beginning of 2014 the Metropolitan Police have made 218 arrests for activities related to terrorism, which shows a rise of approximately 70% compared to three years ago.

Source: Websites

22-10-2014 – 12:50 Last updated 22-10-2014 – 12:50

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