TIME National Security

The Life Awaiting Jonathan Pollard After His Release

The convicted spy has a wife he's never been alone with

While it’s confirmed that Jonathan Pollard will indeed get out of prison on Nov. 20, where he will go from there is not at all clear.

He would be more than welcome in Israel, the country he was convicted of spying for in 1987. But the U.S. Parole Commission, which on Tuesday announced approval of his parole after almost three decades, requires that a parolee remain not only in the United States, but in a specific area, and check in regularly with a parole officer. The terms of Pollard’s release requires him to remain in the United States for a total of five years, and his attorneys say they have already secured him accommodation in New York City.

But Pollard’s lead attorney says he’s hopeful an exception will be made in this case. “I think the parole commission will work out what kind of travel terms are permitted,” Eliot Lauer tells TIME. “We haven’t worked that through with them.”

A hero’s welcome is not all that awaits Pollard in Jerusalem. So does the woman he married in prison, and has never seen alone. Pollard’s first wife, Anne, served three years for her role in the espionage case – he proposed with a ring his Israeli handler had offered in payment then was divorced by Pollard in 1990 after her own parole was completed. Three years later Pollard secretly exchanged vows with Esther Zeitz in Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina. A Canadian, she emigrated to Israel, where they had met during an extended student trip in 1971. She has been an activist for his release, once going on a 19-day hunger strike, but, as the website Jonathanpollard.org plaintively notes, has never been allowed a conjugal visit.

“I can hardly wait,” Esther Pollard said in front of cameras in Jerusalem on Wednesday, after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I am counting the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds until I can take him into my arms and we can close the door on the past behind us, and begin to heal and to rebuild our lives.” She asked for “a bit of privacy, and..to be able to begin to live like normal people, in a quiet and modest life.”

But the Jonathan Pollard sentenced to life in prison almost 30 years ago was not what some might describe as a normal person. The CIA in its “Damage Assessment” of his case outlined a personal history “replete with incidents of irresponsible behavior that point to significant emotional instability.” For example:

“Although Pollard earned a 3.5 grade point average as a Stanford undergraduate from 1972-76, former student acquaintances told investigators that he bragged about his role as a Mossad agent and, on one occasion, waved a pistol in the air and screamed that everyone was out to get him.”

His activity as a spy was not meager; as a civilian analyst employed by U.S. intelligence, prosecutors said he handed over to Israel enough documents to fill a room six-feet wide, by six-feet deep and 10-feet high. The Naval investigator who led the case wrote that Pollard also gave U.S. secrets to South Africa, and Australia, and made overtures to Pakistan.

But he grew religiously observant in prison, and became an Israeli citizen in 1995. Esther Pollard’s voice cracked as she thanked “this whole beloved, beautiful nation that’s stood with us all these years.” Pollard’s lawyer dismissed the notion that he had “transitioned” from American to Israeli during his three decades of incarceration.

“I wouldn’t say there’s been a ‘quote’ transition,” Lauer said. “He’s American. He’s a patriotic American. He violated American law, and he served 30 years for doing so. And obviously he’s very attached to Israel as well.”

Just how attached will become clear when Pollard walks free in the fall.

TIME France

2,000 Migrants Tried to Storm the Channel Tunnel in a Desperate Bid to Reach the U.K.

Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015 in Calais-Frethun.
Philippe Huguen—AFP/Getty Images Migrants walk along railway tracks at the Eurotunnel terminal on July 28, 2015, in Calais-Fréthun.

Eurotunnel called the incident “the biggest incursion effort in the past month and a half”

More than 2,000 migrants tried to breach the Channel Tunnel in the French port of Calais on Monday, in an attempt to reach the U.K., operator Eurotunnel announced.

Several migrants were reportedly injured in what authorities described as “the biggest incursion effort in the past month and a half,” reports the BBC.

For several weeks, large numbers of migrants have tried to smuggle themselves onto trucks around the terminal in the hopes of reaching the U.K. Some 3,000 displaced people — most of them fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in Africa and the Middle East — have set up camp near the port and risk death and injury attempting to cross the channel to Britain.

Since the beginning of June, eight migrants have died trying to enter the Channel Tunnel.

Monday’s mass incursion caused delays to the train service on Tuesday, and Eurotunnel reported damage to fences.

“There was some damage to our fences — which we’ll have to repair — as they tried to board shuttles. Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage to shuttles,” a Eurotunnel spokesperson told the BBC. “It is an almost nightly occurrence — we’re trying to run a travel business here.”


TIME Congress

John Kerry Urges Congress to Support Iran Nuclear Deal

Congress has begun a 60-day review of the international agreement

(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry warned skeptical lawmakers not to nix the contentious nuclear deal with Iran, insisting that it includes strict inspections and other safeguards to deter cheating by Tehran.

“If Congress does not support the deal, we would see this deal die — with no other options,” Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday as he testified for the second time in a week, part of the Obama administration’s all-out campaign to sell the accord.

Kerry spoke as the administration picked up critical support for the deal from Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., a strong supporter of Israel who referred to his Jewish background in announcing his decision.

“I believe the agreement offers the best option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Levin said in a statement circulated by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is leading the effort to round up Democratic support for the deal in the House.

Congress has begun a 60-day review of the international agreement that curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from sanctions stifling its economy. All members must weigh the deal, but it’s especially a tough decision for those who have a large number of Jewish constituencies because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called it a “historic mistake.”

“I believe that Israel, the region and the world are far more secure if Iran does not move toward possession of a nuclear weapon,” Kerry told members who, at times, blasted the deal.

“Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed,” said Rep. Ed Royce, the panel’s chairman. With Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waiting to testify, he asked if Tehran “has earned the right to be trusted” given its history.

Few, if any, new details emerged from the more than three-hour hearing. Some committee members asked the three officials questions, while others used their time to read lengthy statements in opposition. That left Kerry visibly frustrated and several times he accused the members of misconstruing or misunderstanding the details of the agreement.

“Nothing in this deal is built on trust. Nothing,” Kerry said.

Kerry was asked what would prevent Iran from adhering to the agreement for a short time, and then, in effect, take the money and run toward building an atomic bomb.

Kerry said that was not a likely scenario. He said the Iranian government is under pressure to improve the economy in their country where half the population is under 30 years of age and wants jobs. And he defended the inspection protocol under the agreement, arguing that if Iran tries to develop a nuclear weapon covertly, the international community will know.

“They can’t do that. Because the red flags that would go off — the bells and whistles that would start chiming — as a result of any movement away from what they have to do” to meet their obligations under the agreement, Kerry said.

Faced with Republican majorities in both houses, the administration’s objective was to line up enough support for Obama among Democrats in what is all but certain to become a veto fight this fall.

Congress is expected to vote in September to prevent Obama from lifting sanctions imposed previously by lawmakers, a step that would likely cause Iran to walk away from the agreement. Obama has said he will veto any bill along those lines, and Republicans will need a two-thirds majority in both houses to override his objections.

Apart from Royce, the panel’s senior Democrat expressed reservations about the plan. Rep. Eliot Engel of New York said he has “serious questions and concerns about this deal.”

Engel is a strong supporter of Israel, which vociferously opposes the agreement. Iran has said it wants to wipe out Israel.

The hearing unfolded as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby, dispatched hundreds of its members to prod lawmakers to disapprove of the deal.

On the other side of the issue, seven former U.S. diplomats and State Department officials sent a letter Monday to leaders in Congress urging them to support the pact.

While lawmakers debated the implications of the deal, officials from member nations of the International Atomic Energy Agency told The Associated Press that Iran may be allowed to take soil samples at the Parchin military complex that is suspected as a site of nuclear weapon research, but only under monitoring by outside experts.

The officials said stringent oversight of the soil-sampling could include video monitoring. The samples would be analyzed by the agency for traces left by any nuclear experiments. The disclosures come from IAEA member nations and are tasked with following Iran’s nuclear program. They demanded anonymity because their information is confidential. The IAEA had no immediate comment.

Tehran insists Parchin is a conventional military area with no link to nuclear tests.


Associated Press writer George Jahn in Vienna contributed to this report.

TIME Middle East

Why Turkey Sees the Kurdish People as a Bigger Threat than ISIS

kurdish forces troops fight turkey isis
Rodi Said—Reuters Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters take up positions inside a damaged building in al-Vilat al-Homor neighborhood in Hasaka city, as they monitor the movements of Islamic State fighters who are stationed in Ghwayran neighborhood in Hasaka city, Syria on July 22, 2015.

The Kurds' success against ISIS might encourage advocates of a Kurdish state across parts of Iraq, Syria and Turkey

As Kurdish forces headed to the frontlines to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) this weekend, they came under attack, not by ISIS but by Turkish fighter jets.

“They were going to Kirkuk and Sinjar to fight ISIS,” says Zagros Hiwa, a spokesman for the Kurdish PKK forces. The PKK, The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is a Kurdish separatist group and also one of the forces fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria. They are now also under attack by Turkey.

Last week, the Turkish government announced it was joining the war against ISIS. Since then it has arrested more than 1,000 people in Turkey and carried out waves of air raids in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But most of those arrests and air strikes, say Kurdish leaders, have hit Kurdish and left wing groups, not ISIS.

They say Turkey is now hindering, rather than helping, the fight against ISIS. “Most of our forces that have been targeted were forces that were preparing themselves to go to fight against ISIS,” says Zagros.

Kurds are an ethnic minority that live in parts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. They have been persecuted for decades — from Turkey’s suppression of Kurdish identity and banning of Kurdish language to Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons on Kurdish communities. Their leaders, from the numerous different parties and rebel groups that represent them, have long sought an independent Kurdish state encompassing that territory and have fought against their respective governments to try to achieve that.

For decades, Turkey fought the PKK in a guerrilla war to push for sovereignty in Kurdish areas of Turkey, but for the past two years the parties have had a truce and were engaged in a peace process. In recent days, Turkey has arrested hundreds of Kurdish activists and politicians and hit the PKK with more than 450 strikes, according to Kurdish leaders. The Turkish government hasn’t said how may air raids it has carried out or who were the targets.

Hoshang Waziri, a political analyst based in Erbil, says the Kurds’ recent territorial gains in Syria along Turkey’s border and their increasing political legitimacy in the eyes of the West, have made the Kurds a bigger threat to Turkey than ISIS. “The fear of the Turkish state started with the Kurdish defeat of ISIS in Tel Abyad,” says Waziri.

At the beginning of the year, the Syrian side of the border was controlled by a patchwork of different groups — Kurds, ISIS and other rebel factions. However, in the last few months Kurdish forces have pushed west after re-taking the border town of Kobane earlier this year. They have taken a number of key areas along the border and connected the territory they control. Now the YPG, a PKK-affiliated group, which represents Syrian Kurds, has semi-independent rule over contiguous swathes of the border areas.

Much of these territorial gains were achieved with the help of U.S. air strikes.

The success of the Syrian Kurds, with the support of Turkish and Iraqi Kurds has enhanced the Kurd’s international profile and their self confidence. The Kurdish groups are being seen as the most effective ground troops in the battle against ISIS as Turkey sits almost idle with its well-equipped army on the border. Turkey has even been accused of aiding ISIS by allowing them to move freely in border areas and allowing new recruits to join them.

“The image in the West of the Kurds as a reliable ally on the ground is terrifying for Turkey,” says Waziri. “So before it’s too late, Turkey waged its war — not against ISIS, but against the PKK.”

Turkey has been keen to paint ISIS and the PKK with one terrorism brush. “How can you say that this terrorist organization is better because it’s fighting ISIS?” said Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusogl at a press conference in Lisbon on Monday. “They are the same. Terrorists are evil. They all must be eradicated. This is what we want.”

But some see the war against ISIS simply as a cover for an attack on Kurdish groups. Of the more than 1,000 people Turkey has arrested in security sweeps in recent days, 80% are Kurdish, associated either with the PKK or the non-violent Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), says İbrahim Ayhan, a member of parliament for the HDP. “The victory of the Kurds against ISIS was seen by Turkey has some sort of challenge,” says Ayhan. “This is all seen as a threat by Turkey.”

Ayhan says another threat came from inside Turkey. While Kurds in Syria have gained territory and international recognition, in Turkey, Kurds have gained seats in parliament. In the June elections Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to get the majority it sought while the Kurdish HDP increased its representation.

That left Erdoğan and the AKP struggling to form a government. Ayhan says the AKP needs a state of “chaos” to perusade voters that it is the only bulwark against chaos. As of yet no new government has been formed in Turkey and if that doesn’t happen in the next few weeks, new elections will be called. By that time Ayhad fears many of the leaders of his HDP party will be in jail and some even worry the HDP will be outlawed. At the same time, Erdoğan and his AKP hope they will have shown only they can defend Turkey from internal and external threats.

TIME Libya

Muammar Gaddafi’s Son Has Been Sentenced to Death Over 2011 Libya Killings

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi
Ben Curtis—AP Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, speaks to the media at a press conference in a hotel in Tripoli on Feb. 25, 2011

The court sentenced eight others to death as well

TRIPOLI, Libya — A court in Libya on Tuesday sentenced a son of Moammar Gadhafi to death by firing squad after convicting him of murder and inciting genocide during the 2011 uprising.

The Tripoli court that sentenced Seif al-Islam, who is being held by a militia that refuses to hand him over, also sentenced to death eight others, including former Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senoussi, who is in government custody.

It was unclear whether the sentences in the mass trial of 38 Gadhafi-era figures, only 29 of whom were present, would be carried out. Six others were sentenced to life in prison and four were cleared of charges.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said the trial was “undermined by serious due process violations,” and called on the Supreme Court to independently review the verdict.

“This trial has been plagued by persistent, credible allegations of fair trial breaches that warrant independent and impartial judicial review,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “The victims of the serious crimes committed during the 2011 uprising deserve justice, but that can only be delivered through fair and transparent proceedings.”

Libya has slid into chaos since the overthrow and killing of Gadhafi, who ruled the country for four decades. It is now bitterly divided between an elected parliament and government cornered in the country’s east, with little power on the ground, and an Islamist militia-backed government in the west that has seized the capital, Tripoli.

Since the end of the civil war, Seif al-Islam has been held by a militia in Zintan, which is allied with the Tobruk-based internationally recognized government against the Tripoli one. The court that convicted him is affiliated with the Tripoli-based government. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.

During the trial, Seif al-Islam was accused of recruiting mercenaries who were given Libyan nationality, planning and carrying out attacks on civilian targets from the air, forming armed groups and shooting into crowds of demonstrators. Among the charges he was convicted of were incitement of murder and rape.

Hundreds of militias in Libya are battling for power and turf in a lawless environment has allowed human traffickers and kidnappers to flourish.

The U.N. envoy for Libya, meanwhile, has urged the Islamist-led government in Tripoli to sign a peace deal that would establish a unity government. Members of the Tobruk government and regional leaders signed the unity accord in Morocco on July 11.

Also sentenced to death on Tuesday were foreign intelligence chief Abu-Zeid Omar-Dawarda and Gadhafi’s former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi.


Why Turkey Has Finally Declared War on ISIS

Turkey Syria Attack
Emrah Gurel—AP Turkish army tanks hold positions next to an outpost, near the border with Syria, on July 23, 2015.

After two years of inaction, Turkey has struck back inside its own borders and beyond

For almost two years, Turkish troops sat idly on the country’s shared border with Syria as Islamic militants increased their territory and fought on the frontier. The Turkish parliament voted in October to allow its military to join the fight against the Islamic State or Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) but little happened. Then, early Friday morning, a squad of Turkish F-16s struck ISIS positions inside Syria. It was a quick and significant change in the country’s actions toward the militants.

“ISIS and Turkey had a nearly two-year-long Cold War in which they avoided fighting, with the knowledge that their confrontation would lead to destruction on both sides,” says Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. “That Cold War is definitely over.”

Turkey, a member of NATO, was already a signed ally in the fight against ISIS, but has done little to combat the militants or even restrict their access to Syria through Turkey. Cagoptay says this “open door policy” was meant to allow all fighters who want to oust President Bashar al-Assad into Syria. The Islamist-leaning government in Ankara maintains that Assad is enemy number one in Syria, not his opponents but the U.S.-led coalition has attacked ISIS and al-Qaida-linked groups in Syria but not the Assad regime.

“ The Turkish government thinks only fighting ISIS is just dealing with the symptom and not the cause,” says Hakan Altinay, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Turkey sees the rise of ISIS as a result of Sunni discontent with Assad’s Alawite regime.

The bombing in the Turkish town of Suruc on Monday, which left 32 dead and the death of a Turkish soldier by ISIS fire from Syria on Thursday has made ISIS a immediate threat for the Turkish government. U.S. officials also said on Thursday the Turks have allowed American warplanes to use Turkish bases to attack ISIS.

Altinay says that the recent violence was only a trigger, ISIS’s strengthened position on the shared border and sustained pressure from the U.S. were also factors. “I think that there was one too many reasons to get into action,” says Altinay.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the operations against ISIS were not a one-off, but part of a broader strategy. Government forces also arrested more than 200 people in security sweeps across the country.

For some the question is why it took so long for the Turks to act against ISIS. Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the YPG, the Kurdish group fighting ISIS in northern Syria, has many times accused Turkey of siding with ISIS. “Turkey is helping ISIS and facilitating their moves in and out of Syria, as well as aiding them in logistics and other levels,” says Xelil.

Xelil says he doesn’t trust Turkey’s motivations, believing it to be more of political play than genuine desire to defeat the militants. “All this is connected to the policy of the Turkish state and its interest in pleasing the international community and the world by showing it is against terrorism,” says Xelil. “If the Turkish state was truly serious about fighting ISIS, it would have taken action the day the international coalition was formed.”

Turkey has fought a long and bloody war against its own Kurdish separatists. This has complicated the situation in southern Turkey where Turkish troops — many times targeted by the Kurdish separatists — decide what goes in and out of Syria. Some of the 200 people arrested in in these security sweeps were actually Turkish Kurds who were not suspected of being part of ISIS.

Some analysts speculated that Turkey might prefer ISIS to an independent Syrian Kurdish state on its border, worried it could further motivate Turkish Kurds to reignite their violent campaign for Kurdish sovereignty on Turkish territory. Just this week Kurdish militants claimed an attack that killed two Turkish troops.

But both Cagoptay and Altinay say the delay was Turkey’s desire not to bring the violence of the Syrian conflict onto its territory, despite already hosting more that 1.8 million Syrian refugees. “I think Turkey was between a rock and hard place,” says Altinay of the attempt to balance U.S. pressure to act while not spurring attacks by the militants.

US officials have stressed the importance of Turkey’s active participation in the coalition. Not only do does it have a better equipped and more capable military than the U.S.’s other regional anti-ISIS allies, but also bases with proximity to strategic ISIS locations which will be key for both surveillance and military action. “It’s game changing in that it has given the U.S. the military tool box,” says Cagoptay.

TIME Middle East

Turkey Strikes ISIS After Allowing U.S. to Use Its Bases

Ahmet Davutoglu
Hakan Goktepe—AP In this July 23, 2015 photo, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, center, his ministers, military commanders and intelligence officials gather during a security meeting in Ankara, Turkey, hours before warplanes struck ISIS targets across the border in Syria

Jets hit ISIS bases in Syria as police round up scores of suspects in raids

(ANKARA, Turkey) —Turkish warplanes struck Islamic State group targets across the border in Syria on Friday, government officials said, a day after IS militants fired at a Turkish military outpost, killing a soldier.

The bombing is a strong tactical shift for Turkey which had long been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

A government official said three F-16 jets took off from Diyarbakir airbase in southeast Turkey early Friday and used smart bombs to hit three IS targets across the Turkish border province of Kilis. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of government rules requiring authorization for comment, said the targets were two command centers and a gathering point of IS supporters.

The private Dogan news agency said as many as 35 IS militants were killed in the airstrike that targeted the gathering point. The agency did not cite a source for the report and there was no official confirmation.

A government statement said the decision for the operation was taken at a security meeting on Thursday, held after five IS militants fired from Syrian territory at the outpost and prompting Turkish retaliation that killed at least one IS militant.

The official said the Turkish planes did not violate Syrian airspace.

The bombing followed a decision by Turkey this week to allow the U.S. military to use the key Incirlik air base near the border with Syria to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State, senior U.S. officials said.

Turkey has yet to publicly confirm the agreement, which U.S. officials discussed on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly. Citing operational security, the White House declined to confirm the agreement, but noted that Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had agreed to “deepen our cooperation” against IS in their phone call Wednesday.

The agreement follows months of U.S. appeals to Turkey and delicate negotiations over the use of Incirlik and other bases by the U.S.-led coalition — a sensitive topic in Turkey.

American officials said access to the base in southern Turkey would allow the U.S. to move more swiftly and nimbly to attack IS targets.

On Friday, Turkish police launched a major operation against terror groups including IS, carrying out simultaneous raids in Istanbul and 12 provinces and detaining more than 250 people, a government statement said. The state-run Anadolu Agency said as many as 5,000 police officers were involved in the operation which was also targeting the PKK Kurdish rebel group and the outlawed far-left group, DHKP-C.

One DHKP-C suspect, a woman, was killed in a gunfight with police in Istanbul, Anadolu reported.

Turkey’s moves came as the country finds itself drawn further into the conflict by a series of deadly attacks and signs of increased IS activity inside the country.

Earlier in the week, a suicide bombing blamed on IS militants killed 32 people in a town near the Syrian border.

Turkish officials have raised concerns that the bombing was part of a campaign of retaliation for Turkey’s recent crackdown on IS operations in the country. In the last six months, Turkish officials say, more than 500 people suspected of working with IS have been detained.


Butler reported from Istanbul.

TIME National Security

U.S. Officials Probe Why Tennessee Shooting Suspect Visited Qatar in 2014

Four Marines and One Sailor Killed In Military Center Shootings In Chattanooga, Tennessee
Handout/Hamilton County Sheriff's Office/Getty Images Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez poses for a mugshot photo after he was was arrested on April 20, 2015, on a DUI offense

Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez also spent seven months in Jordan last year with his family

The chief suspect in the killing of five U.S. service members in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Thursday had traveled to Qatar at least once during a trip to the Middle East in 2014.

The reasons for Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s stopover in the Qatari capital Doha or the duration of his stay are still unknown, reports Reuters. Qatar has both native jihadist supporters as well as a U.S. air base.

Counterterrorism officials are also investigating a seven-month trip Abdulazeez took to Jordan in 2014 with his family. Officials are examining whether he became radicalized during this trip, but there is currently no evidence to suggest the 24-year-old had any contact with militant groups or individuals.

Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen of Jordanian descent, opened fire at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga on Thursday, before driving to a naval-reserve facility where he shot and killed four Marines. Three people were injured including a sailor who died the following Saturday. Abdulazeez was killed in a subsequent gunfight with law-enforcement officers.

On Monday, an official close to the investigation told Reuters that there was evidence that the suspect could have had access to jihadist propaganda online.



ISIS Is Firing More Chemical Weapons at Kurds, Report Says

Suicide and roadside bombs have also incorporated chemical agents

The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has been using chemical weapons against Kurdish forces and civilians, according to an investigation in Iraq and Syria, including three known cases in the last month.

On three occasions in the last month, ISIS used chemical munitions to fight the Kurds, adapting suicide bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to include chlorine and other chemicals, CNN reported according to research by two independent U.K.-based groups, Conflict Armament Research (CAR) and Sahan Research.

One of the attacks was “the first documented use by (ISIS) forces of projectile-delivered chemical agents against Kurdish forces and civilian targets,” said CAR.

ISIS forces, for example, has fired munitions at Kurdish positions in northern Syria that had caused loss of focus, temporary paralysis, loss of consciousness and other problems, according to the investigators. At the scenes of one attack, investigators found dark yellow, powerful-smelling liquid leaking from a spent mortar, causing headaches and nausea among the team.

ISIS has been known to use chemical weapons in the past, and with access to weaponized chemical agents, its likely ISIS will continue to use the weapons, according to investigators.


Read next: Children Told to Behead Dolls at ISIS Training Camps

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TIME Middle East

Israeli PM Tweets in Farsi to Condemn Iran Nuclear Talks

Menahem Kahana–Getty Images Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on April 19, 2015.

An agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program is expected to be reached in the near future

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office launched a Twitter feed to express his opposition to the talks over Iran’s nuclear program.

The account, @israelipm_farsi, has uploaded two tweets thus far. The first reminded Twitter users that Iran’s leaders permitted chants against the United States and Israel, including “Death to America!”, during rallies on Jerusalem Day, the annual state-recognized day of solidarity with Palestinians.

Netanyahu has pointed to these chants as a reason to halt negotiations with Iran.

“If the concessions continued even after these unequivocal calls for the destruction of those conducting the negotiations, it seems that there are those who are ready to make an agreement at any price — and this bad agreement is unavoidable,” Netanyahu said while addressing the Israeli Parliament on Monday.

Western negotiators are in the final stages of hammering out an agreement with Iran, which would lift economic sanctions on Iran if the country agrees to limit its nuclear capabilities for the next decade. Diplomats have so far passed three deadlines without a deal.

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