3D Printing Against Daesh: “We Will Recreate What ISIS Destroyed”

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3D technology comes to the rescue after the destruction of several world cultural treasures by the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the United Nations, ISIS has destroyed and damaged 200 world heritage sites along with hundreds of statues and artefacts since 2014.

ISIS’ plan is simple. It is about erasing all traces of previous cultures to establish their own and take advantage of the media coverage following massing destructions of historic sites to grab the world’s attention. In addition, this cultural cleaning is a way for Daesh to finance their activities by selling to dealers and private collectors.

Yet those lost treasures that some call “blood artifacts” may not be lost forever.

Through her digital fabrication and 3D printing project “Material Speculation : ISIS”, Iranian artist and activist Morehshin Allahyari chose to focus on the reconstruction of selected artifacts and statues destroyed by ISIS in Iraq in 2015.

In addition, to repair history and memory, each 3D printed object comprises a flash drive and a memory card. The data in these flash drives contain materials: maps, images, videos and pdf files on the destroyed artifacts and sites. They were gathered thanks to a collaboration with different archaeologists and historians, including and museum staff.

“Like time capsules, each object is sealed and kept for future civilizations.”
Morehshin Allahyari

Just like Murehshin Allahyari artifacts, Palmyra has suffered numerous act of vandalism. The Syrian desert city known as the Venice of the Sands lost the triumphal arch from 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel.

Devastated, many archaeologists talked restoration and reconstruction such as American lawyer/archaeologist Roger Michel. Indeed, as the founder of Oxford’s Institute for Digital Archaeology, Michel has built a 3D facsimile arch from Palmyra’s destroyed Temple of Bel.

Temple of Bel

Thanks to 3D technology, Palmyra’s rose again in London’s Trafalgar Square last April to coincide with world heritage week. It should then travel on to Times Square in New York City.

This 3D replica of the 15-meters arch that formed the temple’s entrance is a gesture of defiance against ISIS’ desire to erase cultural and historical evidence.

“My intention is to show Islamic State that anything they can blow up we can rebuild exactly as it was before, and rebuild it again and again. We will use technology to disempower ISIS.” Roger Michel

Moving for some or uncanny for others, this incredible public display of 3D reconstruction is the proof that new technology can restore entire parts of 20th-century historical sites. Although out of their original context and site, 3D monuments or artifacts might still conserve their precious sense of place and craftsmanship, thus preserving everybody’s heritage.

By Pauline Schnoebelen

Featured image (‘Temple of Bel’): ICONEM is a young Paris based start-up focused on 3D reconstruction and analysis of endangered archaeological sites, which the group considers to be part of our common heritage. To prevent destruction caused by conflict, looting or natural disasters, they send teams on the ground to train people and help them document this heritage.

World Terrorist Group Kill Numbers Ranked

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According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, five Islamic groups topped the list of the deadliest forces on earth deemed “terrorist.”

Islamic group Boko Haram, which operates mainly in Nigeria, but also in Cameroon and Chad, killed the most people in 2014: 7,512 — up 300 percent from 2013.

Islamic group Islamic State killed slightly less — 6,073 — in its Middle East conquests in 2014.

Islamic group Taliban took 3,477 lives the same year in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Islamic group Fulani Militants killed 1,229 in the Central African Republic, up from less than one hundred in 2013.

Islamic group Al-Shabaab — a group affiliated with al-Qa’ida — killed 1,021 people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in 2014.

The Institute for Economics and Peace noted a rise in militant attacks globally — up 80 percent in one year and up 900 percent since 2000. In 2014 there were a total 32,658 deaths due to militancy, compared with 2000’s 3,329.

Terrorist attacks were up everywhere last year. While 80 percent of deaths took place in five countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria — countries in which over 500 terrorist attacks took place within the year rose 120 percent. Sixty-seven countries experienced at least one terrorist attack resulting in death in 2014.

Many Western countries experienced terrorist attacks in 2014, including Canada, France, Austria, Australia and Belgium, but most of these killings were ascribed in the report to “lone wolf” attacks — contrasted against “Islamic fundamentalism.” The group cited right wing extremism, nationalism, anti-government elements, and other types of of political extremism and supremacism for these attacks. However, attacks numbers were relatively low in Western countries and all countries without an ongoing armed conflict.

Missing South Korean teen training with IS

Missing South Korean teen expressed desire to join IS on social media
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SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean teenager who disappeared near the Syrian border in Turkey last month has been found to be receiving training from the Islamic State (IS), South Korea’s spy agency said Tuesday.

The head of the National Intelligent Service (NIS), Byung-kee Lee reported during a closed-door parliamentary meeting that the 18-year-old, surnamed Kim, officially became the first Korean to join IS. Lee, however, added that his whereabouts are still unknown.

According to a senior official, although the spy agency sent a message to the Muslim militant group to let him return to his parents, the demand was rejected.

Read more: Missing South Korean teen expressed desire to join IS on social media

Police have concluded that Kim has not gone missing, but attempted to smuggle himself into Syria, based on the examination of his social media and computer records.

Kim’s mother told Yonhap News Agency that she has not heard from him since he left for Turkey in January. “I just hope that my son comes back home safely as soon as possible,” she said.

As more and more people started to follow his Twitter account after the news broke out, the South Korean government expressed worry about the possibility that young people might imitate Kim’s behavior. Fortunately, his Twitter account  has been suspended since Feb. 4, but, at the same time, the deactivation could hamper the investigation of  Kim’s recent and future situation.

Meanwhile, three missing British teenagers are also believed to be heading to Syria via Turkey, and one of the girls indicated her support for IS on her Twitter profile, as Kim did.

Foreign members who join IS will get training from the organization, including military exercises, Islamic doctrines and Arabic language class for more than one month.

Who is Kim?

The 18-year-old was a home-schooled student since he dropped out of middle school due to bullying. Kim was preparing for a qualification exam as a high school graduate when he disappeared with a man in a black car in Kilis near Syrian border with Turkey.

By EJ Monica Kim


Yonhap News


Herald Media


Two jihadists executed by Jordan after the murderer of a military pilot

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After the Islamic State released a video showing the execution of a Jordanian pilot Tuesday, Jordan’s responded by executing two jihadists imprisoned since 2006 for acts of terrorism. One woman and one man were hanged early Wednesday morning.

The woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, a 44-year-old Iraqi designated a “sister imprisoned” by Daesh, had carried out attacks in the Jordanian capital a year before her arrest. Sixty tourists, diplomats, and expatriates were killed in suicide attacks committed in three hotels. Al-Rishawi was sentenced to death in 2008 for her participation in the attacks.

The man, Ziad Karbouli, was part of al-Qaeda. He had also been sentenced to death in 2008.

The two executions have been interpreted as Amman’s response to the appalling murder of Maaz Al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian pilot captured on Dec.24 by the Islamic State after the crash of his plane in Syria, where he participated in air strikes for the international coalition against the Islamic State.

The barbarism of the execution of the pilot (burned alive in a cage) raised the emotions of well-known figures in the world of politics.

“This Sunni group is the embodiment of evil,” said David Cameron, British Prime Minister, while François Hollande, the French President, condemned the act as a “barbaric murder.”

In a unanimous statement, the 15 member countries of the UN Security Council also “strongly condemned” a “barbaric and cowardly act which once again shows the brutality of the Islamic State.”

The Islamic state had demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who the Islamic State had held hostage. The transaction had not taken place and the Japanese journalist was beheaded.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had described the killing of Goto as a “vile and unforgivable act.”

In Karak, the hometown of the pilot, some people protested outside a local administrative building. They felt that the government had not done enough to obtain his release.

In the most recent video release by the Islamic State, representatives also list names and display photographs and addresses of soldiers from countries participating in the international coalition, and claim to offer a reward of “100 gold coins” to those who would kill one of them.

Analysis by Esther Hervy

Photo by mhlradio