From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
It’s As If America’s Been Benched in the War Against ISIS
Egypt launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in neighboring Libya on Monday, hours after militants there released a video purporting to show the mass beheading of Egyptian Christian hostages.
A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio, and said they were “to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers,” the Associated Press reported.
The statement said the warplanes targeted weapons caches and training camps before returning safely. “Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said.
It marks the first time Cairo has publicly acknowledged taking military action in Libya, where extremist groups seen as a threat to both countries have taken root in recent years.
A spokesman for Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni told the BBC that Egyptian jets had taken part in coordinated air strikes on the militant-held city of Derna. Libya’s air force commander, Saqr al-Joroushi, told Egyptian state TV that about 50 militants were killed.
Derna was taken over by an Islamic State affiliate last year.
Don’t worry, Americans, the president is on the case!
French President Francois Hollande spoke by phone with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to discuss the situation in Libya on Monday, according to Hollande’s office. It said the two spoke of the growth of ISIS in Libya and “underscored the importance of the security council meeting and for the international community to take new measures” against the threat.
Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano expressed the growing alarm in an interview with La Republica and urged NATO to intervene “for the future of the Western world.”
“ISIS is at the door,” he said. “There is no time to waste.”
At the door? They’re already inside, no? There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark…
A wary, sucker-punched Denmark kept a high alert Sunday after a gunman attacked a free speech forum featuring a controversial cartoonist, then fired shots near a synagogue before police tracked him down and killed him when he opened fire again.
Two civilians died in the attacks Saturday and early Sunday. Five police officers were wounded, according to Danish authorities.
While the immediate threat seemed to have passed, and investigators stressed there was no evidence yet that the slain suspect had worked with anyone else, police maintained a heavy presence on Copenhagen’s normally placid streets. It will stay that way for a while, Danish authorities said, to help residents and visitors feel secure.
As of Sunday night, police still hadn’t released the name of the gunman, who they said was wearing clothes similar to the synagogue shooter and had two guns when officers shot him to death early Sunday.
Gee, Mr. President, what are the odds of another “random” attack targeting cartoonists and Jews in a major European city, huh?
So where is our president this weekend? Where else?
President Obama is spending most of Monday’s Presidents Day in sunny California before returning to the White House.
Obama, who spent a golfing weekend in the Palm Springs area, isn’t scheduled to leave California until around 2:30 p.m., west coast time.
If ISIS has any members who are caddies, our president will find them.