On Friday, Sept 3, 2014, Islamic State fighter beheaded Alan Henning, British aid worker and this beheading was released on the internet in a video titled 'Another Message to America and its Allies'.

Alan Henning was kidnapped at the end of last year and the Islamic State showed him at the end of last month beheading video of David Haines. In the meantime, wife of Alan Henning, al-Qaeda and many others appealed Islamic State to release him. Such appeals didn't work and instead Islamic State choose to behead Alan Henning.
Screenshot from the beheading video released
Like in the previous beheading videos, Alan Henning in this video will be wearing an orange jumpsuit kneeling next to a black-clad Islamic State fighter. Before the beheading, both Alan Henning and Jihadi John read pre-written text condemning the authorization of United Kingdom airstrikes on the Islamic State.

Alan Henning said "Because of our parliament's decision to attack the Islamic State, I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision".

Jihadi John said, "The blood of David Haines was on your hands Cameron. Alan Henning will also be slaughtered, but his blood is on the hands of the British parliament".

With these continuous be-headings despite several appeals around the world, the Islamic State showed how cruel they are and how cruel they can be.

World political leaders and religious leaders started condemning the beheading video of Alan Henning.

David Cameron, United Kingdom Prime Minister said "My thoughts and prayers tonight are with Alan's wife Barbara, their children and all those who loved him ... We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice".

Barack Obama, United States President said the death of Alan Henning was a great loss to his family and the Syrian people who he was helping. He said the United Kingdom people miss him too.

"The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of United Kingdom citizen".

"Standing together with our UK friends and allies, we will work to bring the perpetrators of Alan's murder - as well as the murders of Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines - to justice".

"Standing together with a broad coalition of allies and partners, we will continue taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL (other name for Islamic State)".

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said, "I am appalled at the brutal murder of Alan Henning by the evil ISIS (other name for Islamic State), this barbaric killing is an attack against all decent people around the world".

"For weeks now the world has tried to appeal to these murderers to do the decent thing but they have no compassion or respect for human life".

"Alan Henning was a British hero, he put others first and we salute him and his life of service for others. My thoughts and condolences to Alan's family and friends".

"British Muslims stand with Alan's family and vow to defeat this evil ideology and barbaric organisation. Islam not only condemns these crimes but forbids them, those that carry them out are committing crimes against Islam".

After beheading Alan Henning, Jihadi John threatened to kill Peter Edward Kassig, Iraq war veteran who was kneeling in a similar way in a similar suit.

Jihadi John said "Obama you have started your aerial bombardment in Sham (Syria) which keeps on striking our people, so it’s only right we continue to strike the necks of your people".

The officials did not yet confirm the beheading video.
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On Monday, Sept 29, 2014, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister delivered a speech on behalf of people of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly. He mentioned he wanted to speak about the "dangers" the world faces and "expose the brazen lies" spoken against Israel.

Mentioning the 50-day war with Hamas in Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that Israel defended itself from rockets that were fired at them and the terror tunnels, which were dug to kidnap their citizens.

"Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels".
Photo by masaisraelCC BY-ND
Benjamin Netanyahu questioned, "What your countries would do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities" every day when "millions of your citizens having seconds" to find and hide at bomb shelters.

"You wouldn't let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity. Nor would you let terrorists dig dozens of terror tunnels under your borders to infiltrate your towns in order to murder and kidnap your citizens".

Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had to fight a "propaganda war" in-addition. He accused Hamas of using Palestinians as "human shields" and also "used schools, not just schools - UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel" in order to win "world's sympathy".

Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian civilians were "unintentionally killed" when Israel tried to destroy rockets launched by Hamas and the terror tunnels they dug. He said the "heartrending images" during the war gave wrong impression to the world but they were not intentionally targeting civilians and regret for every civilian casualty.

He said that the truth is Israel tried to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties by giving warnings using different ways of communication while on the other hand Hamas deliberately tried to maximize Israeli civilian casualties with rocket attacks and Palestinian civilian casualties by forcing them to ignore the Israeli warnings to evacuate.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas committed war crimes by placing the missiles where Palestinian children live and play. In a way to show the differences between Israel and Hamas, he said, "Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles",

Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Israel's brave soldiers have high moral values compared to any-other army in the world and they "deserve not condemnation, but admiration". He said other than Israel Defense Forces, no other countries army in the history "have gone to greater lengths" to avoid civilian causalities on the enemy side.

Benjamin Netanyahu compared Hamas and Islamic State to be same and both are "militant Islam". He pointed out that the fight with "militant Islam" is "indivisible" and it is everyone's fight. No country is immune to their fanaticism and others will be forced to fight someday as Israel is fighting.

"When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it's set back in every place. That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight".

"The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void".

Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel wants Peace and is ready to work with Arab partners and the international community to fight with "militant Islam".

"Peace ... would enable Israel to realize its full potential and to bring a promising future not only for our people, not only for the Palestinian people, but for many, many others in our region".
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On Monday, Sept 29, 2014, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister delivered a speech on behalf of people of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly. He mentioned he wanted to speak about the "dangers" the world faces and "expose the brazen lies" spoken against Israel.

Photo by masaisrael / CC BY-ND
Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel wants world peace but the peace is in danger because of "militant Islam" and they are fast spreading around the world. Many religions are victims of them, among them first are other Muslims.

"It's not militants. It's not Islam. It's militant Islam. Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights".

Benjamin Netanyahu compared the "militant Islam" to cancer spreading with intentions to "dominate the world" and if unchecked it will disturbs Peace and Security. He suggested the world should try to remove it before its too late.

Benjamin Netanyahu said many countries supported United States efforts to destroy the Islamic State but the same countries previously accused Israel efforts to destroy Hamas.

"They evidently don’t understand that ISIS (other mane for Islamic State) and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree".

"ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control".

"Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master… The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism… and destroy the idol of democracy. Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world".

Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas has an immediate goal, which is to destroy Israel, but Hamas broader objective was to establish a caliphate just like ISIS.

Benjamin Netanyahu said both Hamas and the Islamic State share same ideologies, same goals. Both want to take the world back to medieval period. Some radical Sunnis want to restore caliphate from 7th century, some radical Shi'ites want the return of imam from 9th century. He said these groups may operate at different places, they may target different victims and they may even kill each other for supremacy. However, all of them share "fanatic ideology".

Both are interested in ever expanding borders where there will be "no freedom" and "no tolerance". They treat everyone as "infidel, including fellow Muslims". In their reign "women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated and minorities are subjugated". Sometimes minorities are given unpleasant options like "convert or die".

"Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas".

Benjamin Netanyahu talked about the 50-day war with Hamas in Gaza and the lies that were made on his country and its brave soldiers.

Benjamin Netanyahu even said that for Hamas, Osama Bin Laden is an idol, which is why they condemned when United States killed him. Hamas and their supports cheered in the streets of Gaza when thousands of Americans died in 9/11 attacks.
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On Saturday, Sept 27, 2014, Afghan villagers in a district of Ghazni province hanged four Taliban militants from a tree.

The reasons led to the hangings were what happened in the past week. Taliban militants killed more than 100 locals and beheaded more than a dozen in the area. Attacks by Taliban militants increased recently as the United States forces started leaving Afghanistan.

Almost 700 Taliban militants carried out the assault, which started a week ago. Taliban militants failed to get control over the area as the Afghan army commando reinforcements gave stiff resistance to the militants in the fight and the threat of forthcoming NATO air strikes.

On Friday, Sept 26, 2014, the U.S.-led military coalition aircraft, army commandos arrived to help local army and police in the fight against Taliban militants.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Ghazni deputy governor said, "Coalition jets were in the air, but they did not bombard the area because of fears of civilian casualties".

Four militants were captured and handed over to the locals of Arzakai village. There was no information on who actually handed over the militants to locals or the intentions of such move.

Later, villagers hanged the militants. Does anyone think, the locals should have handed the militants who killed and beheaded their family members, neighbors back to police?
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On Friday, Sept 26, 2014, the United Kingdom Parliament supported the countries participation in the United States led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. The Parliament debated for seven hours on whether or not the United Kingdom should be part of airstrikes. Voting was held which supported the airstrikes 524 to 43. The Parliament only gave clearance to conduct airstrikes inside Iraq and not inside Syria.

The MP's from all the Political parties (Conservative Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats) voted in support of air strikes. Few MP's expressed their concerns about the airstrikes, which they fear, could lead to further intervention in Syria in the future.

23 MP's from Labour Party, 6 from Conservative Party and 1 from Liberal Democrats voted against air strikes. Also, 5 MP’s from Scottish National Party, 2 MP’s from Plaid Cymru, National party of Wales were among the list of MP's disagreed with United Kingdom participation in the airstrikes.

Michael Fallon, United Kingdom Defence Secretary said the airstrikes was just the start of "a long, drawn out campaign".

United Kingdom is planning to send 6 Tornado fighter jets and their crews, surveillance planes to find the Islamic State convoys and its member.
In the Parliament, David Cameron, United Kingdom Prime minister said, "This is about psychopathic terrorists that are trying to kill us and we do have to realize that, whether we like it or not, they have already declared war on us ... There isn't a walk on by option. There isn't an option of just hoping this will go away".

David Cameron said attacking the Islamic State inside Iraq is legal, since the Iraqi government asked for help and attacking the Islamic State inside Syria is illegal, since the Syrian regime never asked outsiders for help. To join the airstrikes inside Syria the Parliament should pass another bill.

Bethany Haines, daughter of David Haine (David Haine is a British aid worker who was beheaded by the Islamic State fighter nicknamed Jihadi John. FBI knows the actual identity of Jihadi John) told in a TV interview that the Islamic State "need to be eradicated" and it doesn't matter whichever country they belong. She said, "They need to be stopped. If airstrikes and ground force is what it takes, that's what it takes".

On Friday, Sept 26, 2014, Denmark joined the United States led airstrikes to fight and destroy the Islamic State. By the time, these two joined, United Kingdom was debating about whether or not to join the airstrikes.

Denmark is planning to send 4 operational planes and 3 reserve jets along with 250 pilots. Along with that a support staff will be sent to the fight and destroy the Islamic State inside Iraq. The personnel will stay and do their work for an extended period of 12 months. Danish Parliament yet have to authorize all this but this is just a formality.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark Prime Minister “No one should be ducking in this case ... Everyone should contribute”.

On Friday, Sept 26, 2014, after 3½ debate, Chamber of Representatives authorized Belgium to participate in the airstrikes for one month. Belgium is planning to send a group of 120 from its military along with 8 pilots.
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On Thursday, Sept 25, 2014, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States internal intelligence agency said they identified the masked Islamic State fighter that appeared in the beheading of two American journalists, a British aid worker and threatened to kill another aid worker.

For some time, British officials had suspicions on a rapper who they thought might flew to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. Now they feel that suspicion was a wrong one.

The fighters speaking in British-accent was a nicknamed 'Jihadi John' who appeared in the recent Islamic State beheading videos. Jihadi John claims they still have 20 more hostages with them. The belief is that he is leading a group of British jihadists named 'The Beatles'.

Intelligence agencies used technologies like voice-recognition, overhead imagery and records of suspected Western fighters in the identification process.

James Comey, director of FBI said they identified the be-header but he didn't reveal the actual name or the place Jihadi John is from. He told reporters "I believe that we have identified ... I'm not going to tell you who I believe it is".

In a video that was released in May 2014, a man used a pistol to shot a Syrian soldier who was loyal to Bashar al-Assad in the back of the head in Syria. The investigators believe this man to be Jihadi John.

Be-headings of Jihadi John

On Aug 19, 2014, James Foley, American journalist appeared in a video titled 'A Message to America' and read a pre-written text accusing the United States airstrikes on the Islamic State in Iraq.

Jihadi John said, "You have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State ... and gone far ... to interfere in our affairs ... You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide. So any attempt by you ... to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people".

Jihadi John then beheaded James Foley and threatened to behead Steven Sotloff if the demands weren't met.

On Tuesday, Sept 2, 2014, Steven Sotloff, American-Israeli journalist, appeared in a video titled 'A Second Message to America' speaking a pre-written text in the similar way accusing the United States about the continuing airstrikes despite warnings.

Jihadi John said "I'm back Obama ... because of your insistence on continuing your bombings ... despite our serious warnings ... So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people".

At the end of the video in a similar way, Jihadi John beheaded the journalist and asked to meet the new demands. In any case if, the demands are not threatened to behead.

On Saturday, Sept 13 2014, David Haines, British aid worker appeared in the video titled 'a message to the allies of America' and read a pre-written text accusing the United Kingdom for joining the coalition with the United States to fight against the Islamic State.

Jihadi John said "This British man has to pay the price ... Your evil alliance with America, which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq ... will only accelerate your destruction and playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war".

After reading the pre-written text, Jihadi John beheaded David Haines and at the end of the video, he threatened to behead Alan Henning, British aid worker.

The United States and the United Kingdom confirmed the authenticity of the beheading videos released by the Islamic State.

Did Jihadi John really carried out the be-headings

In the three recent beheading videos that are released, a black-clad militant holding a knife to a man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in the desert. Both delivers the pre-written text, screen blackouts and shows the pictures of beheaded bodies. The video does not show jihadi John drawing blood from the victims.

Investigations said the way videos are edited shows a possibility that someone else would had carried out be-headings.
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On Wednesday, Sept 24, 2014, the 'Mars Orbiter Mission’, which India affectionately calls MOM, was successfully placed into Mars orbit. It is also called 'Mangalyaan', previously launched into Earth orbit on Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013.

Credit : ISRO
With MOM's success, India joined the list of Mars explorers, which previously included United States, European Space Agency and Russia.

With MOM's success, India became first country to become successful on its first mission to Mars. So far, the World attempted 51 Mars missions. 30 attempts failed including attempts by Japan in 1999 and China in 2011.

Mangalyaan is a beautiful journey from planet blue to the red planet. The spacecraft was integrated on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 and was checked on Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013. Launch rehearsal was performed on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 and the Launch was approved on Friday, Nov 1, 2013.

MOM weighed about 1.337 tons at the time of launch and using the fuel, it weighed 0.55 tons. MOM has an elliptical orbit around Mars with close point at 420 Km and farthest point at 80,000 Km.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) build MOM for its Mars mission with a minimum cost of $74 million. To give a sense, 'Maven' had a price tag of $671 million sent by the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States space agency. The spacecraft was launched on Nov 18, 2013 and arrived Mars on Sept 21, 2014), 'Mars express orbiter' had a price tag of $386 million sent by the European Space Agency (The spacecraft was launched on Jun 2003 and arrived Mars on Dec 2003), 'Nozomi' had a price tag of $189 million sent by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (The spacecraft was launched on Jul 1998 and never arrived Mars orbit), 'Phobos-Grunt' with Chinese satellite had a price tag of $117 million sent by the Russian Federal Space Agency (It is the China's joint mission with Russia. The spacecraft was launched on Nov 8, 2011 and failed to leave Earth orbit), a $100 million was spent to produce the Oscar-winning science fiction film 'Gravity’.

To reduce the cost, ISRO reduced the payload for MOM, which is smaller than the average rocket engine needed to break into Earth’s orbit and its technical equipment to carry out studies, will only weigh 15 kilograms. ISRO sent MOM around the Earth's orbit and increased its orbit using propulsion. ISRO used homemade technology for the project. All these reasons reduced the overall cost of the mission, making this the low-cost mission ever the world has spent for Mars missions.

Over a period of six months, MOM will study about the Mars soil, minerals, heat emission, presence of Methane gas, which is a key element for the presence of life on Earth and the abundance of gases like deuterium and hydrogen for the understanding of any previous presence of water on the Mars surface.

ISRO's motivation to MOM's mission came from the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter success, which found the evidence of water on the surface of the Moon in the year 2008.

ISRO has no plans to relax with MOM's success. They have a mission according to the space department secretary, which includes exploring Sun's corona. Don't forget, we all are alongside you, supporting you and eagerly waiting to taste success on more number of explorations. All the best!
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Author of the blog gSrikar. gSrikar talks about the events happened around the world.

When I started the blog, I had no idea what I really wanted to write. I just simply started writing about random topics, often deleting the previously written ones. Later, focused on writing about the news events expressing my feelings about the issue.
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