Sunday, December 6, 2015

Video - Full Speech - President Obama Addresses the Nation on Keeping the American People Safe

Clinton says U.S. is ‘not winning’ the war against the Islamic State

By Vanessa Williams

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the United States is "not winning" the battle against the Islamic State and called on Congress to update the use-of-force authorization passed after Sept. 11, 2001, to give President Obama more options to fight the militant group. But she stopped short of calling for a declaration of war.
Clinton said she expects to hear Obama discuss an "intensification" of efforts to fight terrorism when he delivers a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Sunday night. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that the president will detail "the steps our government is taking to fulfill his highest priority: keeping the American people safe."
Clinton seemed to think that message might not go far enough. "I think ...that's what we'll hear from the president, an intensification of the existing strategy," she said, in response to a question from George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week." "And I think there's some additional steps we have to take."
Republican presidential candidates who appeared on the Sunday talk shows, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), repeated their attack that the president has no strategy to defeat the group, and called on him to commit to some type of military ground strategy in addition to airstrikes.
"We're not winning, but it's too soon to say that we are doing everything we need to do," Clinton said. "And I've outlined very clearly we have to fight them in the air, we have to fight them on ground, and we have to fight on the Internet. And we have to do everything we can with our friends and partners around the world to protect ourselves."
"I think ...that's what we'll hear from the president, an intensification of the existing strategy, and I think there's some additional steps we have to take."
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who appeared later in the show, said Clinton was playing word games. "They are at war with us and we should have a strategy not just to restrain but to destroy them," Bush said. "We have to get the lawyers off the war-fighters' backs."
Bush joined Rubio and Kasich Sunday in saying that the Senate was right to reject gun-control legislation offered by Democrats in the wake of the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting.
But Clinton, in arguing for additional gun control, linked the San Bernardino attacks with shootings within recent weeks that were no related to international terrorism.
"What happened in San Bernardino was a terrorist act. Nobody is arguing with that. The law enforcement, FBI have come to that conclusion. And let's not forget, though, a week before we had an American assault on Planned Parenthood and some weeks before that we had an assault at a community college," Clinton said.
"So I don't see these two as in any way contradictory," she added. "We have to up our game against terrorists abroad and at home, and we have to take account of the fact that our gun laws and the easy access to those guns by people who shouldn't get them, mentally ill people, fugitives, felons and the Congress continuing to refuse to prohibit people on the no-fly list from getting guns, which include a lot of domestic and international terrorists, these are two parts of the same approach that I'm taking to make us safe."
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also is running for the Democratic nomination, agreed with Clinton about banning people on no-fly and watch lists from buying guns. The two have sparred over his commitment to gun control because Sanders voted a decade ago for a comprehensive gun bill that included amnesty from lawsuits for  gun manufacturers.
Sanders, on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday cautioned that gun control was not the solution to stopping terrorism. “I don't think anybody believes it's a magic formula,” he said, later adding, “I don't think it's very hard to understand that terrorists or potential terrorists should not have guns. People who are being barred from flying on airplanes should not have guns.”
Referring to Obama’s upcoming address on terrorism, Dickerson asked Sanders what he would say to the public if he were president. “What I would say is that we have got to be as aggressive as we can in destroying ISIS, but we have to learn the lessons of the past,” Sanders said. "And that means we cannot do it alone. It must be an international coalition, in which the Muslim nations are the troops on the ground."
Republican candidates argued that prohibiting people on watch lists from purchasing guns was ineffective because the lists are inaccurate. Rubio and Bush noted that the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy's name appeared on a no-fly list. Instead, they say, Obama needs to come up with a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq to reduce the chances of more attacks on U.S. soil.
Rubio, during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," said the no-fly list "is not a perfect database" and "shouldn't be used as a tool to impede 700,000 Americans or potential Americans -- people on that list from having access to be able to fully utilize their Second Amendment rights."
"The first impulse of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is to have gun control," Bush said. "Let's have a strategy to take out ISIS there so we don't have to deal with them here." ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State.
Clinton again rejected the use of the term "radical Islam" arguing "that sounds like we are declaring war against a religion ... I don't want to do that because, number one, it doesn't do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people." She said the term also "helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying we're in a war against the West. You must join us. If you are a Muslim, you must join us."
Donald Trump immediately attacked Clinton, saying on Twitter that she was "afraid" to use that language.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also criticized Democrats for avoiding the term. "This is the problem with the president and with Secretary Clinton, who provide leadership by euphemism. They won't say radical Islamic jihadists," Christie said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"Now, when you say radical Islamic jihadists, they understand, the rest of the Muslim community understands, the folks who are peaceful, and who attend mosques in a peaceful way, work in our country, raise their families, pay their taxes, they know they're not radical Islamic jihadists," he said. "That's why we need to use the words, because it differentiates them from the peaceful, law-abiding American Muslims who play by the rules and raise their families and don't want to see this kind of conduct going on."

Obama urges tech, law enforcement to address social media used for plots

The White House is urging Silicon Valley to help address the threat posed by militant groups by restricting the use of social media for planning and promoting violence, a senior administration official said on Sunday.
Last week's mass shooting in California has moved cyber defense against extremists to center stage in Washington.
In coming days, the White House will talk to companies in the tech sector about developing a "clearer understanding of when we believe social media is being used actively and operationally to promote terrorism," said the official, speaking on background.
President Barack Obama sees the need for the sector to work with law enforcement when the use of social media "crosses the line" from expressing views "into active terrorist plotting," the official said.
"That is a deeply concerning line that we believe has to be addressed. There are cases where we believe that individuals should not have access to social media for that purpose," the official said.

Read more at Reuters

President Obama: ‘We Will Overcome’ ISIS Threat

Obama sought to calm the nation amid growing fears about terrorism

President Obama delivered a rare prime time address from the Oval Office on Sunday in an effort to quell fears that the U.S. is particularly vulnerable to terrorism following last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether are we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure,” Obama said Sunday, standing behind a lectern in the Oval Office. “The threat from terrorism is real but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us…we will prevail by being strong and smart.”
Lets make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional,” said Obama, who spoke before heading off to the Kennedy Center Honors celebration in Washington, a trip he almost cancelled for the address. “Let’s not forget that freedom is always more powerful than fear.”
The 15-minute speech was more about reassuring the public than announcing any major changes to the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS, or revealing new details about the ongoing investigation in California. On Sunday night, the commander-in-chief sought to take on the role of the nation’s teacher, soberly outlining the threat of terrorism based on high-level intelligence and giving a broad overview of the existing efforts the U.S. is putting forward to defeat and ultimately destroy the terror network.
President Obama also acknowledged the changing nature of terror amid the rise of ISIS, saying it’s imperative that the American people remain vigilant and aware while resisting urges to discriminate against Muslims and immigrants to America in efforts to keep the homeland safe. He called on all Americans, of every faith to reject “discrimination.” That kind of “betrayal of American values” plays into the hands of groups like ISIS, he said.
“ISIL does not speak for Islam, they are thugs and killers,” the president continued. “We cannot turn against one another by letting this war be defined as a fight against Islam.”
Obama stopped short of delivering news of any new efforts to take out the terror network ISIS, instead insisting that the international coalition the U.S. is leading has already ramped up targeted attacks against the group’s strongholds. The end goal, he said, is to destroy the group, which may have inspired the shooting in California, and bears responsibility for the Nov.13 attacks in Paris.
Since the shooting, President Obama has spoken to both British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande about increasing strikes abroad. The U.K. parliament voted last week to join the coalition air campaign in Syria. But he insisted that Americans would not be drawn into another ground war like in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The speech Sunday focused more on the terror aspect than Obama has in recent days, though he also called for stricter gun control measures—a line that’s drawn ire from Republicans in Congress and seeking to succeed him. “I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures, but the fact is that every intelligence and law enforcement agency cannot identify every mass shooter,” Obama said. “What we can do and must do is make it harder for those to kill.”
Obama did call on Congress to block people on no fly lists from getting guns — a measure that failed in the Senate this week — and urged them to vote to authorize the use of military force against ISIS. “I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united and committed to this fight.”
There are still few clues as to motive in the shooting rampage of husband and wife Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik that killed 14 people and injured over a dozen more in San Bernardino, California. Federal authorities are currently investigating the attack as an act of terror, with investigators citing evidence they had been radicalized and inspired by Islamic State terrorists — though there is currently no indication that either were directly linked to the terror network. Assault weapons, ammunition, and supplies to make bombs were discovered in the couple’s home. The husband had reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2014 and the wife is believed to havepledged herself to ISIS ahead of the massacre.
“We are looking at everything we can find out about these two killers’ lives,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an appearance on NBC’sMeet the Press on Sunday. But, she said, the nature of the attack and the apparent lack of a link to a broader terror group indicates the “evolving nature” of the threat of terrorism. “We have come from a time of the large scale, planned Al Qaeda style attacks to the encouragement of lone wolves,” Lynch said. “The encouragement of people to act on their own.”
A senior administration official said Sunday that because the San Bernardino shooting was an act of homegrown terror, federal investigators likely would not have detected plans set out by the California couple beforehand. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the New YorkTimes on Sunday that terrorists have “outsourced” attempts to attack the U.S., which calls for a “whole new approach.”
As the 2016 race ticks on, Obama was in the position of having to deliver his remarks as Republican presidential candidates upped their hawkish tones on Sunday talk shows and on the campaign trail. Sen. Marco Rubioblamed Obama for weakening U.S. intelligence gathering, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Obama “hasn’t had a strategy” on destroying ISIS and businessman Donald Trump didn’t rule out tracking Muslims who may be linked to terrorism. “You have people that have to be tracked. If they’re Muslims, they’re Muslims. But you have people that have to be tracked,” said Trump, who live-tweeted criticisms of the president’s speech.
A senior administration official said Obama’s goal on Sunday was to provide context to the American people, and counter rhetoric that can be seen as divisive, particularly among American Muslims. Obama has repeatedly said that without the help of the Muslim community it will be difficult to reach individuals who are susceptible to radicalization. On Sunday, he called on Muslims across America to reject extremist narratives and provide alternatives to those who could be radicalized.

Video - Obama: 'This was an act of terrorism'

Barack Obama speech:‘We must make it harder to buy powerful guns as used in San Bernardino terrorist attack’

Calling the San Bernardino mass shooting a terrorist act, President Barack Obama stressed that the US must adopt rules making it harder for people to purchase powerful assault weapons, as well as ban all those on the US no-fly list from doing so. He also called for Congress to support the war on Islamic State.

Video - President Obama Speaks at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors Reception

Clinton explains why she won't say 'radical Islam'

By Eric Bradner

Hillary Clinton explained on Sunday that she won't use the term "radical Islam" because it "sounds like we are declaring war against a religion."
"It doesn't do justice to the vast number of Muslims in our country and around the world who are peaceful people," Clinton said in an appearance on ABC's "This Week."
    "No. 2, it helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying, 'We are in a war against the West -- you must join us,'" she said.
    Clinton has faced criticism in recent weeks for -- like President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates -- refusing to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism" in the wake of ISIS attacks like the shootings in Paris.
    Republican presidential candidates have argued it's important to denounce, but Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have sought to resist linking the religion to jihadist attacks.
    "They won't say radical Islamic jihadist," said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "Now when you say radical Islamic jihadist, they understand, the rest of the Muslim community understands. The folks who are peaceful and who attend mosques in a peaceful way, work in our country, raise their families, pay their taxes. They know they're not radical Islamic jihadists."
    Clinton said she expects Obama to announce Sunday night during a prime-time speech from the Oval Office an"intensification of the existing strategy."
    She said it's important to fight ISIS via air strikes and ground combat led by Arab militaries -- but also online.
    "We're going to need help from Facebook and from YouTube and from Twitter," Clinton said.
    "They cannot permit the recruitment and the actual direction of attacks of the celebration of violence by the sophisticated Internet user," she said. "They're going to have to help us take down these announcement and appeals, particularly as they get up."

    Hillary Clinton Urges Silicon Valley to ‘Disrupt’ ISIS


    Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that the Islamic State had become “the most effective recruiter in the world” and that the only solution was to engage American technology companies in blocking or taking down militants’ websites, videos and encrypted communications.

    “You are going to hear all the familiar complaints: ‘Freedom of speech,’ ” Mrs. Clinton said in an hourlong speech and question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution’s annual Saban Forum, a gathering that focuses mostly on Israel’s security issues.

    In a reference to Silicon Valley’s reverence for disruptive technologies, Mrs. Clinton said, “We need to put the great disrupters at work at disrupting ISIS,” an acronym for the militant group.

    It was the second time in two weeks that Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, had thrown herself into the brewing battle between Silicon Valley and the government over what steps should be taken to block the use of Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and a range of encrypted apps that are adopted by terrorist groups.

    But it also risks putting her at odds with technology executives and entrepreneurs crucial to her campaign’s fund-raising.

    Mrs. Clinton used the forum to continue staking out a far harder line on Iran than President Obama has in public. She repeatedly threatened to take what she called “harsh” steps at the first sign that Iran seeks to violate commitments it made in the July nuclear agreement, which sharply limits its ability to possess or produce nuclear fuel for the next 15 years.

    She said there should be “no doubt in Tehran” that if the United States saw “any violations in the deal” or an effort to procure or develop nuclear weapons technology, “we will stop them,” including she added, “taking military action.”

    At one point, responding to a question from the audience, she referred to using the “nuclear option” against Iran — usually interpreted as using a nuclear weapon — before her attention was caught by a prominent member of the audience, Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court.

    “Oh, the military option… thank you Justice Breyer, he’s a careful listener,” Mrs. Clinton said, reiterating that she meant a military option to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

    Trump Keeps Insulting Our 9/11 Dead

    By Rick Wilson
    The Republican frontrunner’s attempts to twist the history of a sacred day shows why he’s unfit to be president.

    Because Donald Trump has to destroy everything in his path, why not the true history 9/11? Trump would have us revise and edit our historical memory of 9/11, turning it from a unifying narrative of heroism, tragedy, and war and recast it to serve the political ends of a man unworthy of the presidency.
    Let's be specific, because history matters. Here is Trump's claim, which he’s been obsessively defending for weeks now:
    “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousandof people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
    Trump's Big Lie, as every fact checker from across the political spectrum has verified, is both simple and egregious: “thousands and thousands.” On the most-recorded day of our age, no record exists of “thousands and thousands” because it would have been a story of immediate, devastating consequences not only for the Muslims involved, but for this nation. It would have blown back immediately both on Muslims and on President Bush and Mayor Giuliani, who had called on Americans to refrain from assigning collective guilt.
    Did any American Muslim celebrate 9/11? I'm sure some did. There are assholes in every walk of life, and in a metro area with 10 million people and a nation of 350 million, I'd be shocked if a couple of idiots didn't act out. But it's not a defense of Muslim extremism to stand for the truth of history.
    Despite being called out on this lie repeatedly, Team Trump has produced nothing whatsoever to back up the “thousands and thousands” claim. Instead, they've produced a handful of anecdotes, secondhand news stories and hazy memories of what might have been a trivial number of Muslims celebrating the attacks.
    They've failed—of course—to produce video, photos, news stories, police reports, eyewitnesses, or any other evidence for Trump’s “thousands and thousands” claim, and they never will. And when cornered with the facts, Trump’s talk-radio and online cheerleaders allege that a massive media conspiracy is keeping all the documentary evidence supporting the claim under wraps.
    So why is this different from any other part of the Trumpendammerung cycle of outrageous statements, tornadoes of lies, and shoot-from-the-lip populism? Because we owe history, and the dead of that terrible September day something better.
    We should tell the true stories of that day to honor the memory and sacrifice of those who perished on 9/11 and in the long wars since. We should remember the real events, not transform them into post-hoc, politically expedient exaggerations meant to amplify Donald Trump's bravado.
    The deaths of thousands at the hands of 19 Islamic radicals dispatched by Osama Bin Laden created an inflection point in our history, leading to tragedies and victories, losses and triumphs, in what is becoming a generation of war. We should tell the honest, painful stories of 9/11 because it dishonors the memory of heroes to invent a phony cast of villains when the actual terrorists were terrible enough to tear open this nation's heart.
    Trump is trying to write himself into a heroic narrative at the cost of truth, and of the memories of the real heroes who perished that day. While Trump sat staring at his television and imagining Muslims celebrating, better men and women than he will ever be died in Lower Manhattan.
    They were heroes like Terry Hatton of FDNY Rescue Company 1, who charged in to the Towers without a moment's hesitation, never knowing his wife was pregnant with their daughter. They were men of faith like Father Mychal Judge, who spent his last moments comforting the doomed as the Towers fell around them, praying "Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!"
    They were immigrants to this country like Rick Rescorla—people who fought our wars, embraced our values more deeply than many born here, and died as heroes trying to save his charges in the Towers. They were men like Tom Burnett, whose last whispered conversation to his wife from Flight 93 was, “I know we’re going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it.”
    They were stockbrokers, secretaries, office techs, lawyers, waiters, firefighters, cops, and EMTs with stories of heroism and grace. They were Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and everything in between.
    The families they left behind deserve a truthful recounting of their end and of that day.
    I should know by now that arguing with diehard Trump supporters is largely futile but, if any of you are reading this, I pray you’ll take this issue seriously.
    Two equally grim prospects can explain your behavior. The first that you know Trump's claim is untrue, but enjoy living in his Reality Distortion Field simply to tweak mainstream America and the news media. You've become inhabitants of a funhouse-mirror version of the liberal culture and media you mock: insular, aggressively contrarian, obsessed with narrative over fact and anger over history.
    The second is that you want it to be true so badly that you'll invent an imagined outrage rather than focus on the actual, terrible problem of Islamic radicalism (as we saw this week in California) because that fight is harder, more complex and more painful than the hokey nostrums of Trump's “plan” to fight ISIS. (“Take duh oil! Bomb da shit outta dem!” “Muslim database!”)
    Playing out Donald Trump's lies doesn't mean you're fighting some political correct media trope about Muslims or that you're teaching the press a lesson. It doesn't mean you're confronting radical Islam. It doesn't mean you're bravely revealing a media cover-up. It doesn't mean that you're going to teach the Republican establishment a lesson.
    All it means is you're part of the profoundly recursive Trump dynamic; he feeds your fears, prejudices, and atavistic desires for revenge against your catalog of demons, be they Muslims, Mexicans, or Republicans who fail to kneel before the Donald. You feed his monstrous, boundless ego and like the master con artist he is, he shovels you a fresh line of easily-digested outrage and boob-bait rhetoric.
    Embracing the thoroughly discredited claims of a serial liar and proven fabulist over on this history of 9/11 isn't some bold rebellion or principled stand. It's an insult to the dead.

    Is Erdogan's son the oil minister of the IS?

    BILAL ERDOGAN with his ISIS brothers
    A son of Turkish president to act with oil and other items that captured the IS. The accusations weigh heavily. Some acts exaggerated - and many suspect gives a lot of sense.
    The facts look like this: the end of November, the Turkish military fired a Russian fighter jet from because this was supposed to be penetrated for a short time in Turkish airspace. But why Turkey so dramatically responded since is the subject of considerable speculation.
    On Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey was seeking to protect with the launch of Turkmen settlers in northern Syria.The Turkomans were allegedly attacked the Turkish interpretation for previously by the same fighter. Russian President Vladimir Putin sees it differently: In his opinion, Turkey was seeking to protect their businesses with the terrorist militia IS with the launch - especially his third son Necmettin Bilal Erdogan. Thus, he shall see his business at risk, because Putin bombers systematically destroy oil vices of IS.
    It is one of many theories for the shooting. Nevertheless, there is some evidence to suggest that this is not out of thin air. The 34-year-old Bilal has achieved on paper a flawless resume. Since 2003, he is married, has two sons now. On the prestigious US Harvard University in 2004, he made his master's degree, then worked for a time as an intern at the World Bank. He sits on the board of a foundation, the University Housing builds and operates.
    In 2006, when his father was prime minister for a long time, Bilal Erdogan returned from the United States back - According to media reports, in order to buy a fleet oil tanker. For what purpose, is not really known. What is clear is that he is one of three equal owners of the transport company BMZ Group.
    In 2013, Bilal Erdogan was suspected by the prosecution to wash bribes his father. This was based on a dossier which included photos and phone recordings between Bilal and his father. Then Prime Minister instructs his son, therefore, to let "all the money in the house" disappear. Many described the recording as authentic. Others criticized the call THAT CONDITION artificial and technically not properly accounted for.
    However, there are other inconsistencies. Bilal's Foundation to pay for land on which it plans to build new dormitories apparently rare. So gave the also suspected of bribery businessman Ali Agaoglu the Foundation a 20,000 square meter site. Many suspect he did it receive government contracts and is in turn come easily to building permits.

    Turkish artist to protest poet sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia

    Turkish artist Bedri Baykam will hold a press conference to protest Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to sentence Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh to death.

    Baykam, the president of the International Art Association, will hold a press conference at Piramid Sanat in Istanbul’s central Taksim neighborhood at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 to raise awareness about the impending execution.

    Fayadh was detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 before being rearrested in 2014 and sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes. The sentence, however, was changed to execution upon appeal last month. 

    Saudi Arabia’s justice system is based on Sharia Islamic law, and its judges are clerics from the kingdom’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia, religious crimes including blasphemy and apostasy incur the death penalty. 

    The United Nations also called on Saudi Arabia on Dec. 3 not to put the poet to death for apostasy. 

    “The promotion of such a violent response against a legitimate form of opinion and expression has a widespread chilling effect across all of Saudi society,” said David Kaye, U.N. Special rapporteur on freedom of expression. 

    The U.N. statement from Kaye, Christof Heyns, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and four other independent U.N. investigators said the death sentence was based on a collection of poems and testimony from a single witness, who claims he heard Fayadh make blasphemous comments at a cafe.

    #saudiarabiaisisis - Fundamentalist mosques breeding extremism?

    German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel says Saudi Arabia must stop financing fundamentalist mosques abroad that are accused of breeding extremism.

    "From Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi mosques are financed throughout the world," said Gabriel, referring to the austere version of Sunni Islam of 18th century preacher Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab, who co-founded the Saudi state.

    "In Germany many Islamists considered dangerous persons emerge from these communities," he told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

    Gabriel, who is Chancellor Angela Merkel's deputy in a left-right coalition, warned against alienating Saudi Arabia, a crucial player in the bid to end the Syrian war, with too much criticism.

    "At the same time we must make it clear to the Saudis that the time of looking the other way is over," said Gabriel, who is also economy minister.

    The preaching associated with Wahhabi thought, including a return to Islam as practised by the first generation of Muslims, has been accused of inspiring extremists from Osama bin Laden to the Islamic State group.

    Gabriel, head of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), urged decisive steps in Germany against radical mosques associated with Islam's ultraconservative Salafist strand.

    "This radical fundamentalism taking place in Salafist mosques is no less dangerous than right-wing extremism," he said.

    The head of the SPD parliamentary group, Thomas Oppermann, also urged steps against preaching that contradicts the basic freedoms guaranteed in the German constitution.

    "We will prevent Saudi help in the building or financing of mosques in Germany where Wahhabi ideas are to be disseminated," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

    Wahhabism provided the "complete ideology of the Islamic State and contributes in other countries to a radicalisation of moderate Muslims," he said, adding that "this is something we don't need and don't want in Germany".

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