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US Military Warned of Possible Islamic State Attacks at Home

By Reuters

US officials have warned military personnel that Islamic State forces may be planning attacks against them in the United States, ABC News reported on Monday.

A joint intelligence bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security urged members of the US military to erase from their online social media accounts anything that would draw attention from "violent extremists," or reveal service members' identity, the news network said.

ABC said the government indicated late Sunday it had obtained intelligence that Islamic State militants, who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria with the intention of setting up a fundamentalist caliphate, were targeting the United States within its borders. "The FBI recently received reporting indicating individuals overseas are spotting and assessing like-minded individuals who are willing and capable of conducting attacks against current and former US-based members of the United States military," the bulletin said, according to a Reuters source.

An FBI spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the ABC report, but declined to provide a copy of the memo. US Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the advisory "reinforces the guidance that our combatant commanders had put out several weeks ago."

The Pentagon had most recently advised personnel to check their social media after two Canadian soldiers were killed in their country in October in separate attacks that police said were carried out by converts to Islam, he said. "The department has long been aware and mindful of the potential for homegrown extremism and we have continued to encourage and to advise all of our personnel to exercise the maximum amount of vigilance," Warren said.

Israeli-Canadian Woman Believed Captured by Islamic State 'Is Safe'

By Israel Hayom

Gill Rosenberg, the Canadian-born immigrant to Israel who became the first foreign woman to join Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Syria, was reported by extremist Islamic websites to have been captured by Islamic State, but her Kurdish comrades are denying the reports.

The reports, many of them on Palestinian websites, say that Rosenberg, 31, was taken prisoner by Islamic State during battles in Kobani, but do not provide more information. Islamic State has not responded to the reports, and Kurdish officials say they are false and that Rosenberg was not even in Kobani.

The initial reports worried many of her friends, who wrote messages on her Facebook wall. "I hope this isn't true," Chris Levy wrote, "but if it is then I am praying for you." However, another post on her Facebook page is addressed at people concerned about her. "Gill is safe and she is not active on Facebook [be]cause she has no Internet access," her friend Oliver Brimo wrote.


Photos of Israeli Ministers in Nazi Uniforms Spark Police Probe

By Israel Hayom

Police will investigate the source of a series of altered photographs distributed on social media networks depicting Israeli ministers and Knesset members wearing S.S. uniforms. The pictures are of President Reuven Rivlin, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and former Likud MK Michael Eitan.

The decision to open a police investigation was made on Sunday evening after study by the State Attorney Department's Special Issues Unit and the police's Investigations and Intelligence Division. The charge being pursued in the case is insulting a public official, though it was initially suggested that the distribution of the altered photographs might constitute incitement.


UNESCO Seeks to Save Jewish Sites from Islamic State's Claws

By Israel Hayom

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization plans to hold a special session in Paris this week, to discuss ways to save Jewish heritage sites in Iraq from being destroyed by the Islamic State group.

UNESCO recently announced an emergency plan to safeguard Iraq's cultural heritage sites, following growing media reports -- including an Israel Hayom exposé -- that the jihadist terrorist group has been systematically destroying ancient sites.

In its report, Israel Hayom warned of the irreparable damage caused to Jewish heritage sites in Iraq, including the tomb of the biblical prophet Ezekiel outside Baghdad, Daniel's Tomb in Mosul, and Nahum's Tomb near Kush, as well as the destruction of Jewish heritage sites in Islamic State-ravaged areas in Syria, such as the Jobar Synagogue, also known as the Prophet Elijah Synagogue, in Damascus.

Israel Hayom has learned its report had resonated with several international conservation organizations, as well as with UNESCO, which has asked Professor Shmuel Moreh of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who was interviewed in the report, to brief it on the issue and speak before its Paris convention later this week. Journalist Ksenia Svetlov, who wrote the piece, was invited to speak at the meeting as well.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova recently warned that "Islamic, Christian, Kurdish and Jewish heritage … is being intentionally destroyed or attacked in what is clearly a form of cultural cleansing." Other than the physical damage, one of the greatest concerns is that terrorists are plundering ancient sites and selling artifacts on the black market to fund their operations. In a press release posted on its website, UNESCO reiterated that a ban on trafficking in Iraqi cultural objects was adopted by the U.N. Security Council in Resolution 1483 of 2003, and that it is still in effect.


Rabbi Seeks to Bring Back Cave Burial

By YnetNews.com

Israel is dealing with a shortage of cemetery space, and a new initiative in the Etzion Bloc suggests an original solution – exhuming the dead person's remains one year after his funeral and reburial inside an ossuary that is placed inside a burial cave.

This was the customary way for Jews in the Land of Israel to bury their dead during Talmudic times, some 1,500 years ago. The idea is being floated by Rabbi Rafael Ostroff, chairman of the Etzion Bloc Religious Council.

He told IDF Radio Monday: "At this time, burials are being conducted in ways that were not practiced in the Land of Israel during the time of the Mishna and Talmud. Rather, it seems that we learned this from the countries we were in during the period of exile. Now that we have returned to the Land, one of the burial options is something called 'likud atzamot' (literally – 'the collecting of bones'). A person is buried, as is done today, in a regular grave, and a year later, the bones that remain are collected and placed in an ossuary."

The small container with the remains of the dead person is then placed in a special cave alongside many others, and the lone grave is once again free for use.

Rabbi Yaakov Roget, who is considered a world authority in regard to Jewish burial, is not opposed to the idea. "Several elements that turned to us asked us if the burial system of the Mishna and Gemara can be renewed," he revealed. "This is a very big change; in order to decide on such a change, general wall-to-wall agreement is needed. If a wide forum of rabbis allows it, I will agree to go back to it."


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