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Islamic World News (28 Aug 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Libyan PM Blames Turkey and Qatar for Forcing Political Islam on His Country


















Mohamed Ali Mustafa Amar at the Taqwa mosque, where Ayoub El Khazzani once worshiped. Credit Laura Leon for The New York Times

 

Africa

Libyan PM Blames Turkey and Qatar for Forcing Political Islam on His Country

Dozens Killed As Somali Shebab Ambush Troops

Suspected Boko Haram Fighters Kill 3 in Southern Niger

Libyan peace talks stall after negotiator quits

Africa: Islamic Climate Change Declaration Rooted in Faith

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South Asia

Afghan Forces, With NATO Help, Attack Resurgent Taliban

Mullah Mansoor Deployed 600 Militants to Fight Mullah Dadullah in Zabul

ISIL Struggle to Make Progress in Taliban Bastion Afghanistan

Gen. Dostum tells militants in Sar-e-Pul to surrender or face death

Bangladesh Police find copies of jihadist book in Jamaat leader’s press

Bangladesh police arrest 2 more suspects linked to blogger death

Rockets land in former influential jihadi leader’s house in Kabul

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Arab World

Over 45 Terrorists Killed in Syria's Aleppo

Syrian Fighter Jets Kill Terrorists in Hama

Syrian Air Raids Target ISIL in Palmyra Countryside

Egypt court sentences 12 ISIS supporters to death

Saudi airstrikes kill five in northwestern Yemen as ground invasion begins

MERS virus kills 19 in week in Saudi: Ministry

U.N. urged to end Syrian ‘suffering’

Qaeda-led forces advance on Syria airbase

Two Iraq generals killed in Daesh bombing attack

Another dissident dies in Egypt's prison, activists cite medical negligence

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North America

US Asks Uzbekistan to Join Anti-Islamic State Coalition

Feds: Arizona Man Helped Student Get Islamic State Training

Teen to Be Sentenced for Helping Islamic State

ICNA Seminar Prepares Pilgrims for Hajj

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India

Sufi Ideology Integral Part of Indian Ethos: PM Narendra Modi

Hiding Behind Silence, Holding On To Occasional Video Chats

Rise In Muslim Numbers Due To Politics Of Religion: Shiv Sena

Another Pakistani militant held in Kashmir

Dawood Ibrahim not in Pakistan, FO tells India

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Pakistan

Suicide Bomber Kills Himself during Raid; Wife and Sons Also Die

West Should Understand Difference between Islam, Terrorism: Minister for Interior Affairs

Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal Could Become World’s Third-Biggest

Taliban kill pro-government tribal elder in IED blast

Army chief vows to expose elements who helped terrorists

Brahmdagh’s statement a breakthrough: Balochistan CM

Actor portraying Hafiz Saeed in Phantom goes underground

Pakistan, India open diplomatic ‘terror-war’ front

No one will be allowed to kill our children, says Gen Raheel

OIC lauds Pakistan’s role in terror war

Pakistan demands top security for embassy in Kabul

Saudi Arabia executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

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Mideast

Turkey to Join Coalition's Air Fight against ISIL Soon: Pentagon

Iran's Top Security Official: ISIL Building Security Shield for Israel

Palestinians want their flag raised at UN

Palestinians to hold rare congress next month

Arab coalition hits Houthi positions in Yemen

Yemen: No talks with Houthis until arms surrendered

Iranian Deputy FM: Political Solution, Talks to Settle Crisis in Yemen

Iran, China Stress Enhanced Cooperation on Peaceful N. Technology

Supreme Leader Warns of US, Zionists' Continued Hostility against Iran

PKK supporters rally in Istanbul against crackdown on Kurds

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Southeast Asia

Displaced Shia Muslims Remain In Limbo in Indonesia

In Talks, Muslim Rebels Seek Independence in South Thailand

Two men in Malaysia charged over ISIS links

Srebenica Muslim commander charged with war crimes

Wan Azizah: Allah answered my prayers through Nurul Hana

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Europe

Junaid Hussain, ISIS Recruiter, Reported Killed in Airstrike

UK Muslims Turn Pub into Islamic Center

Srebenica Muslim commander charged with war crimes

Sign saying 'Welcome Home' in Hebrew mistaken for Islamic State flag by shocked residents

Bishop killed for refusing to convert to Islam to be beatified

U.S. asks Uzbekistan to join anti-Islamic State coalition

Creating meaningful structures for Moroccan Jewry’s past and future

Residents of a barrio in Algeciras, Spain, recall train attack suspect

Scrutiny Falls on a Spanish Mosque After Foiled Train Attack

France Terrorism 2015: After Train Attack, Charlie Hebdo, French Try To Step Up Anti-Terror Efforts But Brace For More Violence

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/libyan-pm-blames-turkey-and-qatar-for-forcing-political-islam-on-his-country/d/104408

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Africa

 

Libyan PM Blames Turkey And Qatar For Forcing Political Islam On His Country

August 27, 2015

OBRUK (Sputnik) – Qatar and Turkey are to blame for forcing political Islam on Libya, the prime minister of the internationally recognized Libyan government, Abdullah Thani, told Sputnik.

“There are states wishing to impose political Islam on us. Turkey and Qatar, for example, are attempting to impose it on Libya despite the people’s rejection,” Thani said.

That rejection was exemplified in the recent parliamentary elections, the prime minister added.

Thani acknowledged the willingness to cooperate with activists of political Islam as an integral part of the political landscape in the country.

“However, partnership does not imply hegemony, and not only in Libya. Qatar and Turkey have that experience in Egypt, where they strongly support the Muslim Brotherhood,” Thani stressed.

The internationally recognized Libyan government seeks international airstrikes targeting the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, not against political rivals, Prime Minister Abdullah Thani continued in an interview with Sputnik.

The Arab League pledged military assistance during an extraordinary session requested by the internationally-recognized Tobruk-based government last week. The association ruled out targeted anti-IS airstrikes over Libyan territory.

“We asked for airstrikes on IS, not on our political rivals,” Thani clarified.

The prime minister argued for surgical strikes in coordination with the Libyan army because “all parties agree that IS must be stopped.”

The northeast port city of Tobruk government’s call for help came as Islamic State gained control over the northern Libyan city of Sirte, killing up to 200 people in mid-August.

Libya is in need of arms to fight militants and does not consider foreign military assistance to be an encroachment on the sovereignty of the country, according to Abdullah Thani.

“We need weapons and ammunition… But we do not believe military assistance is akin to foreign interference,” Thani argued.

The prime minister said that a lack of weapons and an abundance of people willing to take up arms “creates an imbalance.”

“The international community helped us overthrow the [Gaddafi] regime, but did not help in building a new state,” Thani explained to Sputnik.

Libya has been in a state of civil war since the overthrow of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and is now split into two rival governments. The Tobruk-based government led by Thani is recognized internationally. The country’s capital of Tripoli and adjacent western areas are controlled by self-proclaimed authorities.

On Wednesday,the UN envoy to Libya, Bernadino Leon, told the UN Security Council the rival Libyan authorities were in the “final stages” of forming a national unity government.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/libyan-pm-blames-turkey-and-qatar-for-forcing-political-islam-on-his-country/208990/

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Dozens killed as Somali Shebab ambush troops

August 28, 2015

MOGADISHU - Dozens have been killed in Somalia after Shebab gunmen ambushed an army convoy, officials and local elders said Thursday, the latest battles with the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents.

Shebab fighters launched attacks on the army convoy near the village of Tulo-Barwao in the southwestern Gedo district of Somalia on Wednesday, a region bordering Ethiopia and Kenya, sparking intense gun battles.

Government officials put the toll at 32 Shebab and 11 government soldiers killed, while the Shebab said the only casualties were 19 government troops.

Local elder Abdulahi Halane said around 30 people were killed in total.

It was not possible to independently verify the toll.

“The fighting was very heavy and 32 enemy Shebab fighters, including senior commanders, were killed,” said Nur Mohamud Burale, a local government official.

“We lost 11 soldiers, and 16 others were wounded.

Shebab militants claimed responsibility for the attack.

“Mujahedeen fighters carried out a successful ambush against a military convoy transporting senior apostate officials, killing 19,” the Shebab said.

The Shebab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, and still controls large parts of the rural south.

The fighters launch regular attacks even in the heart of government areas in the capital.

Government and African Union troops last month launched a fresh offensive targeting Shebab strongholds in southern Somalia.

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Aug-2015/dozens-killed-as-somali-shebab-ambush-troops

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SUSPECTED BOKO HARAM FIGHTERS KILL 3 IN SOUTHERN NIGER

28 August 2015

NIAMEY – Suspected Nigerian Boko Haram militants raided a village in southern Niger, killing three people including a soldier, security sources in the West African nation said on Thursday.

The overnight attack took place in the village of Abadam in the Diffa region near Niger's border with Nigeria earlier this week.

"Boko Haram attacked Tuesday night," one military source said. "They killed two civilians and looted shops of goods. We lost a sergeant on Wednesday during a pursuit of the terrorists. But we neutralised them."

A second military source confirmed the deaths. Both sources asked not to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the press.

An estimated 150,000 people have fled to Diffa to escape Boko Haram violence in the past two years.

A regional offensive by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon earlier this year drove Boko Haram from much of the territory it held in northern Nigeria. But the militants have since struck back with a renewed wave of raids and suicide bombings.

Niger's government has placed Diffa under a state of emergency, and authorities there have arrested and imprisoned some 1,100 suspected militants.

http://ewn.co.za/2015/08/28/Boko-Haram-kill-3-in-southern-Niger

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Libyan peace talks stall after negotiator quits

28 August 2015

Libya's unofficial government dropped out of the latest round of U.N.-backed peace talks on Thursday, soon before they were due to start, in another disruption to efforts to end months of conflict.

A representative of the faction said it needed more time to form a new negotiation team after a senior member quit, and would return to the table when it was ready, but gave no indication of when that might be.

The United Nations formally opened the session with other groups in the Moroccan city of Skhirat, but there was little prospect of any progress without one of the main sides in a conflict that has brought Libya to its knees in the four years since the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.

The faction took over Libya's capital Tripoli last year, forcing the internationally-recognized government and its elected parliament to move east.

Armed groups loyal to both sides have continued to fight over territory and resources. Islamist militants, including ISIS, have also gained ground.

The recognised government agreed to a peace deal last month, but the Tripoli faction refused to sign. The latest round of talks was meant to iron out remaining differences.

A senior member of the Tripoli delegation quit on Wednesday following what his political party described as differences with the head of the Tripoli parliament, known as the GNC, over the talks.

Both sides face divisions and pressure from hardliners.

“This is not because we want to leave the U.N. dialogue,” Mowafaq Hawas, a representative of that parliament, told Reuters about the delay.

The United Nations issued a statement saying the Libyan faction had agreed to take part in the next round, but did not give a date.

All sides have been discussing a U.N. proposal that calls for a one-year government of national accord in which a council of ministers headed by a prime minister and two deputies would have executive authority.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/08/28/Libyan-peace-talks-disrupted-after-faction-negotiator-quits-1980.html

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Africa: Islamic Climate Change Declaration Rooted in Faith

27 AUGUST 2015

Cairo — The first Islamic declaration on global climate change was widely welcomed last week for framing the problem as a moral issue and trying to engage the world's 1.6 billion Muslims in efforts to fight climate change.

But some climate experts from Muslim countries now say that such faith-based messages are unlikely to change national climate policies and may even stoke conflict between religions.

The declaration, issued during the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Turkey last week (18 August), warns that there are "serious flaws in the way we have used natural resources". "We recognize the corruption (fasād) that humans have caused on the Earth due to our relentless pursuit of economic growth and consumption," the statement says.

Quoting the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, the declaration urges governments, corporations and "all Muslims wherever they may be" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, it asks the parties that will sit at the negotiating table at the UN's December climate summit in Paris to reach an "equitable and binding conclusion", and calls on well-off nations and oil-producing states to help poorer countries through "generous financial and technical support".

The grand mufti of Uganda, the nation's religious leader, endorsed the declaration, along with other prominent Islamic scholars, policy makers and leaders of faith groups.

Several organisations have praised the declaration for sending the right message.

"Climate change is no longer just a scientific issue; it is increasingly a moral and ethical one," said Tasneem Essop, from the global climate and energy initiative of the WWF, an international conservation body, in a statement last week. "Most religions view humans as the caretakers of the natural world. And in this spirit, taking care of the environment is a moral duty."

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201508280088.html

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South Asia

 

Afghan forces, with NATO help, attack resurgent Taliban

Aug 28, 2015

LASHKAR GAH: Soldiers from the US-led NATO coalition have joined combat to stop a Taliban advance in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where battlefield success has given the insurgents' their biggest symbolic victory in years and made talking peace a fading hope.

Nearly 14 years on from the US invasion that toppled the Islamist regime after the Septembe 2001 attacks, the Taliban are undefeated and making gains since most foreign forces left last year, but are still far from their goal of retaking Kabul.

A furious counter-assault led by the Afghan army is on in the Helmand district of Musa Qala that on Wednesday fell to the Taliban for the first time since 2007.

“The deputy defence minister is in Helmand right now and an operation is ongoing in full force to retake the district,” said Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a defence ministry spokesman.

NATO's Resolute Support coalition said U.S. aircraft dropped bombs on Musa Qala nine times in the past 24 hours, and that foreign soldiers were also helping on the ground.

“Resolute Support service members are training, advising, and assisting elements of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) operating in Musa Qala,” said spokesman Col. Brian Tribus.

Incipient peace talks collapsed last month after it was announced that Taliban leader Mullah Omar had died two years before.

The announcement was followed by a series of fatal attacks in Kabul. Looking to consolidate his position, acting successor Mullah Mansoor disavowed talks, while commanders in the field have responded with surging offensives across the country.

Hopes for reviving a planned second round of talks have faded in recent weeks, with Afghanistan government sources saying they are unwilling to let Pakistan act as a broker and with the Taliban on the offensive.

“If your enemy feels stronger day by day, it is hard to sit them down for peace negotiations,” said Graeme Smith, a veteran Afghan analyst at International Crisis Group.

“If the government wants to get them to the negotiating table, it needs to stop them taking towns.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203216/afghan-forces-with-nato-help-attack-resurgent-taliban

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Mullah Mansoor deployed 600 militants to fight Mullah Dadullah in Zabul

Aug 28 2015

Amid growing rift among the Taliban leadership regarding the appoint of the group’s new leader, reports have emerged from southern Zabul province regarding preparation for a major clash between rival groups.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was appointed as the new leader of Taliban has reportedly deployed around 600 armed militants Khak-e-Afghan area to fight with the militants of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah.

Reports regarding the possible outbreak of a major clash between Mullah Mansoor and Mullah Dadullah have been confirmed by local residents have who are witnessing growing deployment of militants in Khak-e-Afghan.

This comes as Mansoor Dadullah warned of further divisions among the Taliban militants earlier this month while expressing his deep opposition with the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor as successor of Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Dadullah called on immediate actions to appoint a new supreme leader for the Taliban group who should be acceptable for all.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/mullah-mansoor-deployed-600-militants-to-fight-mullah-dadullah-in-zabul-1441

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ISIL struggle to make progress in Taliban bastion Afghanistan

Aug 28, 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had ambitious plans for Afghanistan, but Taliban resistance, US drone strikes, and a society less scarred by sectarianism mean the extremists have so far failed to repeat their Middle Eastern breakthrough.

The jihadist group, which controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, has been trying for months to establish itself in Afghanistan's eastern badlands, challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

Its franchise in the war-torn country has managed to recruit disaffected Taliban fighters, as the fractious Afghan militant movement wrestles with a bitter power transition.

But the loss of senior commanders in drone strikes and the group's signature brutality, which repels many Afghans, has helped stem its advance.

Frequent clashes and firefights with Taliban insurgents have also hampered its bid to capture significant territory.

"In Iraq and Syria, you might say (ISIL) are in stage six or seven or eight," top US military officer General Martin Dempsey said last month.

"In Libya, they are in stage three or four, and in Afghanistan they are in stage one or two."             

His views are echoed by other NATO officials who say that ISIL in Afghanistan are not yet capable of carrying out the sort of coordinated operations they are conducting in Iraq and Syria, although the potential exists for them to evolve into a bigger threat.

Some Taliban insurgents, particularly in the restive eastern provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar, have adopted the ISIL flag to rebrand themselves as a more lethal force as NATO troops depart after 14 years of war.

The risk of defections grew after the July announcement of Mullah Omar's demise, with many angry Taliban fighters accusing the leadership of covering up the supremo's death for two years.

Some top cadres including Omar's son and brother have refused to pledge allegiance to new leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, saying the process to select him was rushed and even biased.

"The Taliban have no redeeming features," said Mullah Mirwas, a former Taliban militant who is now an ISIL commander in the Kajaki district in the southern province of Helmand.            

Michael Kugelman, Afghanistan expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said ISIL is "flavour of the month right now. It has a dramatic appeal to a lot of alienated militants."        

But the Taliban are attempting to counter that, with an aggressive drive north from their southern and eastern strongholds, as well as a wave of fatal bombings in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Experts say the escalating violence demonstrates Mullah Mansour's bid to boost his image within the Taliban, which could halt the defections to ISIL.

"The Taliban remain a formidable fighting force. It's in a position to fight back and push back against IS inroads," Kugelman said.        

The Taliban has been able to keep IS at bay in eastern Afghanistan."                          

US drone strikes in recent weeks have also dealt a significant blow to ISIL in Afghanistan, killing dozens of suspected cadres, including the group's Afghanistan-Pakistan regional chief Hafiz Saeed.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/isil-struggle-to-make-progress-in-taliban-bastion-afghanistan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=87640&NewsCatID=356

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Gen. Dostum tells militants in Sar-e-Pul to surrender or face death

Aug 28 2015

The First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum has called on anti-government armed militants in the restive northern Sar-e-Pul province to surrender or face death.

The remarks by Gen. Dostum were followed after a visit to Sar-e-Pul province after concluding a major military operation in northern Faryab province.

Gen. Dostum promised that Balkhab district which is now controlled by Taliban militants will soon fall to the control of the Afghan national security forces.

He said he will move towards northern Kunduz province once Sar-e-Pul province has been cleared from the militants, provided that the president and the national security council agrees to proceed.

Gen. Dostum joined the Afghan security forces in the frontline in northern Faryab province earlier this month.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/gen-dostum-tells-militants-in-sar-e-pul-to-surrender-or-face-death-1440

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Bangladesh Police find copies of jihadist book in Jamaat leader’s press

 2015-08-28

Police found almost 500 copies of ‘Chandni Raater Premika’ – a collection of 58 jihadist poems, during a raid around noon on Thursday.

Md Lokman, Jamaat-e-Islami’s vice president for Jamalpur Ward-4, is the owner of Kashful Offset Printing Press in the Jamalpur’s Station Road area. 

Lokman has been absconding ever since the raid, said Jamalpur Superintendant of Police (SP) Md Nizam Uddin at a press conference.

The title ‘Chandni Raater Premika’ roughly translates to ‘Lady Lover of a Moonlit Night’. The sexually charged title appears to be in conflict with the extremist claim about their rejection of so-called ‘unabashed’ women.     

Full report at:

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2015/08/28/police-find-copies-of-jihadist-book-lady-lover-of-a-moonlit-night-in-jamaat-leaders-press-in-jamalpur

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Bangladesh police arrest 2 more suspects linked to blogger death

Aug 28, 2015

Police in Bangladesh have arrested two more suspected militants believed to be linked to the slaying of a blogger in the South Asian country.

Mahbub Alam, an official with the Dhaka Metropolitan police, said on Friday that Kausar Hossain Khan and Kamal Hossain Sardar, both 29, were arrested in raids in the capital city late Thursday over the killing of blogger Niladri Chattopadhyay Niloy.

The 28-year-old, who is also known as Niloy Chatterjee and by his pen name Niloy Neel, was stabbed to death at his residence in Dhaka on August 7.

The official added that the arrested individuals are suspected members of the outlawed Ansarullah Bangla Team, an extremist militant group.

Bangladesh police officials parade suspects Masud Rana (2-L) and Sad Al Nahin (2-R) in the capital, Dhaka, August 14, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Police had two weeks ago arrested two other suspects named Saad-al-Nahin and Masud Rana for involvement in the slaying of the blogger.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/28/426683/Bangladesh-police-blogger-death-Niladri-Chattopadhyay-Niloy

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Rockets land in former influential jihadi leader’s house in Kabul

Aug 28 2015

The house of the former influential jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf came under rocket attack this afternoon.

At least two rockets have reportedly landed inside the house of Sayyaf in Paghman district with sources close to him saying no casualties were incurred.

The sources further added that Sayyaf was not present in his house when the incident took place.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility.

Sayyaf is one of the most influential jihadi leaders and has been harshly criticizing the Taliban group for their insurgency activities.

He once again took a hard stance against the group following a series of deadly attacks in capital Kabul earlier this month which left scores of people dead and nearly 400 others wounded.

In his speech shortly after a truck bombing in Shah Shaheed area of the city, Sayyaf recalled a message to Taliban 15 years ago saying that the slaves and oppressors will die in worst ways.

He said “he had warned Taliban that their masters would arrest them and unfortunately they were used against the Afghan nation.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/rockets-land-in-abdul-rab-rasool-sayyafs-house-in-kabul-1442

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Arab World

 

Over 45 Terrorists Killed in Syria's Aleppo

Aug 27, 2015

The terrorists were killed in al-Sayyed Ali area.

Meanwhile, the army killed terrorists of al-Nusra Front, and destroyed their arms at the Western neighborhood of Bosra al-Sham in the Eastern countryside of Daraa.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 230,000 people, according to reports.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000543

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Syrian Fighter Jets Kill Terrorists in Hama

Aug 27, 2015

The air strikes targeted terrorists' hideouts and movements in the villages and towns of al-Sarmaniyeh, Qaston, Zayzoun al-Jadideh, al-Tanjarah, al-Kahera and at the vicinity of Zayzoun Station, in al-Ghab Plain in Hama.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000563

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Syrian Air Raids Target ISIL in Palmyra Countryside

Aug 27, 2015

The air raids destroyed hideouts and vehicles equipped with machineguns of various calibers belonging to the ISIL terrorists in Wadi al- Mask in the countryside of Palmyra.

The Syrian warplanes also bombed the ISIL terrorists’ concentration centers to the East of al-Shumra Mountains in Palmyra countryside.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000539

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Egypt court sentences 12 ISIS supporters to death

28 August 2015

An Egyptian court sentenced to death 12 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group Thursday for planning attacks against police and soldiers in the country, a judicial official said, according to Agence France Presse.

Six of those who were on trial are behind bars, while the rest are still at large, the official said.

They were convicted of having joined ISIS -- which has declared a “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria under its control -- and of plotting to attack members of Egypt’s police force and military.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/28/Egypt-court-sentences-12-is-supporters-to-death.html

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Saudi airstrikes kill five in northwestern Yemen as ground invasion begins

Aug 28, 2015

Saudi warplanes have conducted new attacks on Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada Province, killing five people there.

The fatalities were caused in the Razeh city on Friday. Casualties were also reported after Saudi warplanes launched airstrikes on the city of Amran, also located in the country’s northwest.

Meanwhile, in the southwest, Saudi fighter jets conducted four airstrikes on the central security camp in the city of Ibb, the provincial capital of a province with the same name.

Two women were killed and three people wounded in airstrikes on the Majma’ah complex in the province.

Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – to restore power to the fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Smoke billows following Saudi airstrikes in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, August 20, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Over 4,300 people have been killed in conflict in Yemen since late March, the World Health Organization said on August 11. Local Yemeni sources, however, say the fatality figure is much higher.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/28/426687/Yemen-Saudi-airstrikes-Saada-Ibb-Amran

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MERS virus kills 19 in week in Saudi: Ministry

August 27 2015

Deaths from the MERS coronavirus have surged in Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj pilgrimage, with 19 fatalities recorded in a week, according to health ministry statistics.

A total of 502 people have died in the kingdom since the virus first appeared in 2012, according to updated figures posted on the ministry's website, including 19, all Saudis, since last Thursday.

The number of MERS infections has also surged to 1,171 cases, the website said.

A surge in infections forced health authorities to shut the emergency ward at a main hospital in Riyadh last week, after at least 46 people, including medical staff, contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Saudi Arabia, preparing to host more than two million Muslims from all over the world next month for the annual hajj to Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, is the country worst hit by the coronavirus.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/27/mers-virus-kills-19-week-saudi-ministry.html

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U.N. urged to end Syrian ‘suffering’

28 August 2015

The U.N. humanitarian chief urged Thursday the Security Council, its most powerful body, to push for a solution to end the conflict in Syria that has killed more than a quarter of a million people.

“With all the will in the world, humanitarian action cannot be a substitute for political action. The Council must exert leadership to push for a political solution,” Stephen O’Brien said after a short trip to Syria earlier this month.

“It is difficult to find words that would justly describe the depth of suffering that the Syrians face on a daily basis. Having just returned from the country, I have seen a glimpse of this grim reality myself,” he said.

“I left the country deeply saddened and outraged,” he added.

“The needless and immense suffering of ordinary Syrians and the abhorrent destruction this conflict has wrought on the country. I am angry, because we as the international community are not allowed and are not able to do more to protect Syrians who more than ever need our unfaltering support,” he added.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/28/U-N-Security-Council-urged-to-end-Syrian-suffering-.html

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Qaeda-led forces advance on Syria airbase

28 August 2015

Syria’s Al-Qaeda offshoot and other rebel groups advanced on Friday towards a military airport that is the last remaining government-held facility in the northwestern province of Idlib, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front and other armed Islamist groups “seized the entrance” to the Abu Duhur airport after carrying out several suicide bombings on motorbikes and “seizing several positions on its outskirts.”

Syrian state television said the army had “killed a large number of Al-Nusra terrorists and destroyed their arms and equipment” at the facility.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/28/Qaeda-led-forces-advance-on-Syria-airbase.html

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Two Iraq generals killed in Daesh bombing attack

Aug 27, 2015

A Daesh Takfiri militant has killed two Iraqi generals in a bombing attack in the western Anbar province as Iraqi forces advance in the militant-held region.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool said a Daesh militant rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the army convoy advancing toward the provincial capital city of Ramadi in the Al-Jaraishi neighborhood.

The attack killed the deputy head of the Anbar Operations Command, Staff Major General Abdulrahman Abu Raghif, as well as, 10th Division commander Staff Brigadier General Safin Abdulmajid, said the spokesman.

A statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command confirmed the fatal attack.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists began their campaign of terror in the country in June 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/27/426589/Daesh-Iraq-Anbar-Ramadi

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Another dissident dies in Egypt's prison, activists cite medical negligence

Aug 27, 2015

Egyptian rights advocates say another activist opposed to the incumbent military-backed government has died in prison, bringing to 14 the number of such deaths in the North African country.

Human rights activists said Khaled Zahran was pronounced dead on Thursday shortly after admission to a hospital in the central Egyptian city of Asyut, situated 375 kilometers (233 miles) south of the capital, Cairo.

The prisoner, whose health condition had gravely worsened in recent days, died because of lack of medical services, rights activists noted.

The death comes as 37-year-old Ahmed Hamed, father of three children, was pronounced dead on August 21 at a police station in the city of Faiyum, located 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of Cairo.

A file photo of Ahmed Hamed, an Egyptian political prisoner who died while in custody on August 21, 2015.

Two days earlier, a 40-year-old man who had been detained on charges of being a Muslim Brotherhood member also passed away in police custody 15 days after his arrest at a hospital in Matariya district in northeastern Cairo

Human rights activists in the Egyptian capital say the man was in a very critical condition due to torture when he was transferred to hospital.

Nearly 300 political prisoners have died in Egyptian detention facilities since the then army chief and current president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, ousted Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in a coup in July 2013.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/27/426623/Egypt-dissident-death-Khaled-Zahran-Asyut-police-custody

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North America

 

US Asks Uzbekistan to Join Anti-Islamic State Coalition

August 27, 2015

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN—

The United States said Thursday that it had asked Uzbekistan to join the multinational coalition it leads against Islamic State, saying Central Asia's most populous state was free to choose a way of contributing to the fight against the militant group.

"We have asked Uzbekistan ... to join the coalition," Daniel Rosenblum, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, told reporters during a visit to the Uzbek capital.

Uzbekistan, a mainly Muslim nation with a population of 31 million, has been a strategic NATO partner in post-Soviet Central Asia, assisting a U.S.-led war on the purist Taliban movement in neighboring Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led coalition hitting Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq has a military component, apart from efforts to stop a flow of financing to Islamic State, Rosenblum said.

The coalition also gathers information about the movement of people across borders and has five or six other "lines of efforts," Rosenblum said.

"Uzbekistan or any other country can choose to contribute to one or more of those elements," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/us-asks-uzbekistan-to-join-anti-islamic-state-coalition/2935764.html

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Feds: Arizona Man Helped Student Get Islamic State Training

27 August 2015

NEW YORK — An Arizona man was indicted Thursday on charges that he helped a New York college student join the Islamic State in Syria, where the student underwent religious and military training earlier this year.

Ahmed Mohammed el Gammal, also known as Jammie Gammal, was indicted in Manhattan federal court, where the case is being prosecuted. He was arrested Monday in Avondale, Arizona, on a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Manhattan. A bail hearing was scheduled for Friday in Phoenix federal court.

A message left with a lawyer representing Gammal was not immediately returned.

In the complaint, FBI Agent Le T. Nguyen described how the 24-year-old student at a Manhattan school began communicating in August 2014 with the 42-year-old Gammal, who helped arrange for him to meet a contact in Turkey in January. That contact then helped the student get to Syria, the complaint said.

The student, identified in court papers as "CC-1," was described in the complaint as a U.S. citizen who lived in Queens and whose parents live in Orange County, New York.

In the student's communications with Gammal, the contact in Turkey identified in court papers as "CC-2," and with his brother, he sometimes spoke in code, using "Internship" or "Interview" to refer to joining the Islamic State, court papers said.

"This is another example of how social media is utilized for nefarious and criminal purposes around the world," Diego G. Rodriguez, head of the FBI's New York office, said in a release.

New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton said the investigation "demonstrates how easily people can support a terrorist organization without ever meeting, from the anonymity of their own computer and hidden behind obscure social media accounts and the veil of the Internet."

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/08/27/us/ap-us-islamic-state-indictment.html?_r=0

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Teen to Be Sentenced for Helping Islamic State

27 August 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia teenager is set to be sentenced for helping another teen travel to Syria to join the Islamic State and providing other aid to the militant group.

Seventeen-year-old Ali Shukri Amin of Manassas faces up to 15 years in prison when he's sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria. Prosecutors, however, could recommend he serve less time.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/08/27/us/ap-us-islamic-state-teen.html

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ICNA Seminar Prepares Pilgrims for Hajj

27 August 2015

CAIRO – Preparing pilgrims for the spiritual journey, the Education Department of the Islamic Circle of North America announces free online seminar on the Muslim hajj, offering help to would-be pilgrims to fulfill the life-time journey.

"A simple but profound understanding of the ritual of Hajj without unnecessary details," a press release announcing the webinar to be held tonight on August 27 reads.

The course will include basic information about hajj rituals and religious opinion pilgrims might need during their journey.

"Seminar will include presentation, pictures, diagrams, charts as well as Q&A. What ritual is a rukun, wajib and sunnah? What happens if you skip a certain ritual? Find out in this webinar," the statement adds.

The seminar will be conducted by Sheikh Abdool Rahman Khan, a graduate of The Islamic University Madinah, faculty of Shari’ah, specializing in Islamic Inheritance.

Sheikh Khan is the former principal of the Guyana Islamic Institute, a position that he held for a period of eight years. He is the Imam and head of Islamic Studies at the Muslim Community Center of Greater Rockford, Illinois.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/492709-icna-seminar-prepares-pilgrims-for-hajj.html

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India

 

Sufi Ideology Integral Part of Indian Ethos: PM Narendra Modi

Aug 28, 2015

New Delhi: The ideology propounded by Sufi saints is integral to Indian ethos but forces of extremism are trying to weaken it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday as he met a group of Sufi scholars. The scholars asked him to work for development irrespective of caste, community or religion.

During the interaction with the group of 40 Barelvi Sufi scholars, Modi asked them to counter such forces through various avenues including on social media, so that the ideology of extremism does not take root in India.

Image courtesy: PTIImage courtesy: PTI

The delegation members asked him to establish direct contact with Muslims as they expressed concern that certain forces do not wish the Muslim community of India to keep good relations with the Prime Minister, according to a PMO statement.

Modi said the ideology propounded by Sufi saints is an integral part of Indian ethos and has contributed significantly to the creation of a pluralistic, multi-cultural society in the country, the statement said. Warning that forces of extremism are attempting to weaken the Sufi ideology today, he said it is essential for the Sufi saints and scholars to counter these forces through various avenues including on social media, so that the ideology of extremism does not take root in India.

Full report at:

http://www.firstpost.com/india/sufi-ideology-integral-part-of-indian-ethos-says-modi-in-meeting-with-muslim-religious-scholars-2411428.html

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Hiding Behind Silence, Holding On To Occasional Video Chats

By Johnson T A

August 28, 2015

One of them is still listed among India’s most-wanted terrorists despite websites linked to Islamic State (IS) declaring his martyrdom. However, authorities believe at least two others from Karnataka, including the son of a successful Bengaluru businessman, may have joined the Islamic group’s ranks, and died unacknowledged.

NAME: FAIZ MASOOD AGE: 29 FROM: Bengaluru EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Business management graduate

STATUS: Left for Qatar in Sept 2013, went missing soon after If Faiz Masood ever showed a streak of activism during his young life in Bengaluru, it was to canvass for the cause of poor Muslims on his blog. One of the last things he did online while living in Bengaluru, in mid-2013, was to set up a Facebook account for his father’s successful furniture business in the heart of the city. A few months later, in September 2013, Faiz, a father of two, left for Qatar abruptly, without telling his parents anything, and disappeared soon after.

Authorities believe Faiz hasn’t come home or called back since. “He is reported to have gone to Syria via Qatar. He is reported to have died,” said an official. Faiz’s father Masood Ali refuses to believe that. “Whatever is being said about him is false. We do not want to speak about it. You must respect my sentiments,” he said. “We would not like to speak, please don’t approach us,” said Faiz’s wife. The two met at Bengaluru’s Christ College, where they were both students. Faiz did his graduation in business management.

In an online blog Faiz maintained between 2010 and 2011, he sought funds for an orphanage, extolled Muslims to donate blood and talked about a child and a young man in dire need of funds for medical care. “The Muslim community might be a minority in this country but when it comes to the population of slums, we are the majority. Many efforts are being made to improve the condition of people. But unless the realisation and awareness don’t spread among the family (Muslims), things will not change,” he wrote in March 2010. NAME: Mohammed Umar Subhan AGE: Not known FROM: Not known; last address Bengaluru EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Not known STATUS: Went to Yemen in 2008, then Syria; dead A tiny, abandoned office on the first floor of an old building opposite the Sultan Shah Masjid in Bengaluru’s bustling Shivajinagar area is the address security agencies have for Mohammed Umar Subhan. But no one has been at this address for some time now.

 In 2008, Umar left to work in Yemen. From there, he is alleged to have travelled to Syria. A couple of years ago, news came of his death. Security agencies suspect he was killed in Syria. It’s not they alone who want answers. The office was actually rented out for a tiny sum of Rs 110 a month to Umar’s father Mohammed Abdul Subhan, an architect. Around two years ago, Abdul reportedly disappeared, with a rent of nearly a year due. “He had been our tenant for nearly 10 years. The office has been lying vacant. We would also like to find him to collect our dues,” said Deepak Kumar, who owns the building. “We have no contact details for Abdul. We don’t know where he lives. A phone number he provided us does not work anymore.” They know little about Umar though. Kumar said they never saw the son at the office. “We knew he was in some Arab country and that he had got into some trouble and was killed.” A lawyer who has an office in the same building also confirmed hearing about Umar’s death. “We heard he had been involved in some crime and been captured or killed,” the lawyer said.

NAME: Abdul Khuddus Turki AGE: 32 FROM: Bijapur, north Karnataka EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION: Class X

STATUS: Authorities believe killed in Syria; family says alive, in Saudi Arabia The son of a street vendor, Abdul Khuddus Turki went to Saudi Arabia a couple of years ago to work as a supplies assistant in a hospital. Ten months later, he was reported missing. Soon after, allegations that he may have gone to Syria surfaced, followed by claims that he may be dead. “I don’t know why my brother is being linked to a terrorist organisation,” said Turki’s younger sister Asma. “I just spoke to him a few minutes ago. In June, when he was reported killed, we had set up a video chat with him in the presence of local police officials to prove that our Turki was alive.” During the video interaction with the Bijapur police, Turki stated that confusion may have arisen since his passport had expired and he was in the process of applying to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh for renewal.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/hiding-behind-silence-holding-on-to-occasional-video-chats/

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Rise in Muslim numbers due to politics of religion: Shiv Sena

August 27, 2015

The just-released Census figures are “disturbing” and the rise in the Muslim population is because of “politics of religion”, the Shiv Sena has said.

The party, a constituent of the NDA governments in Maharashtra and at the Centre, also said the country is still a Hindu nation that has the “poison of secularism” in it.

“There is no need for active Hindutva forces to go gung ho about the Census figures that have been released. Though these figures are disturbing, we are still ready to take them in a positive way. Counting the number of Hindus living in India today, the country is still a Hindu nation that still has the poison of secularism in it,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece, ‘Saamana.’

“Why is the population of Muslims increasing? If one thinks about it, one will know there is politics of religion behind it. Certain forces have already started thinking about Islamisation of the country and thereby to bring the Mughal rule back. We will not be surprised, if, in the next 50 years, Mughal rule returns to the country riding on the secularism bogie,” it said.

It further asked 96 crore Hindus to unite and counter these (hostile) “forces” and said that activities taking place in “masjids and madrasas” should be stopped.

“Muslim population is increasing because there are no stringent rules of family planning. One man can have four wives and raise twenty-five children. If Hindus feel that this needs to be stopped, they need to use the might of their numbers to force the government to do so,” it said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/rise-in-muslim-numbers-due-to-politics-of-religion-shiv-sena/article7586683.ece?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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Another Pakistani militant held in Kashmir

VIJAITA SINGH

DEVESH K. PANDEY

August 28, 2015

Four others killed in gunbattle with security personnel.

Another Pakistani militant was captured and four more were shot dead in a fierce gunbattle deep in the Rafiabad jungles of Baramulla as the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police wound up a four-day joint operation on Thursday.

The captured militant, who initially identified himself as Sajjad Ahmed, 22, is said to be from Muzaffargarh, on the banks of the Chenab river, in southwest Punjab of Pakistan. Security agencies said the five made up a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) module from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Sajjad was forced to come out of hiding from a natural cave as the Army lobbed “chilli grenades”.

The arrest comes three weeks after another LeT suspect from Pakistan, Mohammad Naved, was captured following an attack on a Border Security Force convoy in Udhampur.

It is learnt that the National Investigation Agency, which is pursuing the Udhampur case, is in touch with the Jammu and Kashmir Police to ascertain if Sajjad had any links with Naved.

Sajjad’s arrest, it is learnt, could give fresh ammunition to India to corner Pakistan at international forums regarding its role in launching terrorists into India.

Sharing details of the operation, an Army officer said: “Based on intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists in the forest areas of Rafiabad, the Army launched a search on Monday. This forced the terrorists to move towards the higher reaches of the Kazinag Dhar Ridge.”

To prevent their escape, the entire area was cordoned off by involving the Special Forces flown in by helicopters. The encounter started on Wednesday morning and one terrorist was killed first. The others fled and took shelter in the natural cave for the night. However, braving the difficult terrain, the forces tracked them down and engaged them.

Tear-gas shells and “chilli grenades” were lobbed to flush them out.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/another-pakistani-militant-held-in-kashmir/article7587451.ece

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Dawood Ibrahim not in Pakistan, FO tells India

Aug 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office denied on Thursday renewed Indian allegations that terror suspect Dawood Ibrahim was hiding in Pakistan.

“Our consistent position on Dawood Ibrahim has been that he is not in Pakistan,” FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said at a weekly media briefing.

Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, according to Indian media, was planning to raise the issue of Dawood Ibrahim’s presence in Pakistan at the now cancelled Pakistan-India NSAs meeting and had prepared a dossier containing ‘proofs’ in this regard, including a list of nine addresses used by him here.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203319/dawood-ibrahim-not-in-pakistan-fo-tells-india

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Pakistan

 

Suicide bomber kills himself during raid; wife and sons also die

TARIQ SAEED | IMRAN GABOL

Aug 28, 2015

TOBA TEK SINGH/LAHORE: A suspected militant blew himself up after a team of police and intelligence agencies personnel raided a house in Pir Mahal town, 25km from here on Thursday.

Toba District Police Officer Shehzad Akbar told Dawn that intelligence agencies had received information that Habibur Rehman, said to be a member of Al Qaeda, was living in a rented house in the town.

When police personnel reached the place the suspect attacked them with hand-grenades causing injuries to two policemen.

More force was called in and efforts to subdue the suspect continued for more than four hours.

According to the police officer, initial investigation showed that a wife and two sons (between five and seven years of age) of the suspect were killed when he detonated his suicide jacket. Another minor child survived the blast.

The suspect was severely injured and was taken to the Toba DHQ hospital and later shifted to the Faisalabad Allied Hospital where he died.

Muazzam Ramzan, one of the seriously injured constables, also was taken to the same hospital.

Inspector Shahbaz Ahmad Virk told Dawn that Rehman, who hailed from Multan, had rented the house about three months ago. He said members of a terror gang busted recently in Faisalabad had informed law-enforcement agencies about the presence of Rehman in Pir Mahal.

He said a van, three motorcycles, four suicide jackets, 10 hand-grenades, 300 bullets, a Kalashnikov, 13 pistols, six mobile phones, a computer and some CDs were found in the house.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203327/suicide-bomber-kills-himself-during-raid-wife-and-sons-also-die

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West should understand difference between Islam, terrorism: Minister for Interior Affairs

August 27, 2015

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday met British National Security Adviser Kim Darroch at 10 Downing Street in London.

According to a press release issued here, both leaders discussed bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between Pakistan and UK and the regional situation. Discussing the ongoing war against terrorism, Nisar said the menace of terrorism was a threat to the region and international peace and tranquility.

"The government and the people of Pakistan are determined to completely eliminate this threat," he added. He said as a result of Zarb-e-Azb operation and pursuing national action plan, the security situation in Pakistan has significantly improved. Discussing regional situation, he said that peace, stability and development in Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan.

The minister said that pursuing friendly relations with neighboring countries on the basis of equality was the fundamental and basic principle of Pakistan's foreign policy. "It is regrettable that our sincere efforts for peace in Afghanistan were subjected to negative and wrong reaction," he added.

Highlighting the immense sacrifices of Pakistanis in the war against terrorism, he said the people of Pakistan expect that there would be no discrimination at international level on this sensitive issue. He said that Islam and terrorism were two opposite things and the West should understand this difference.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/27-Aug-2015/west-should-understand-difference-between-islam-terrorism-nisar

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Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could become world’s third-biggest

August 28, 2015

WASHINGTON - Pakistan, which conducted nuclear tests in May 1998 in response to India’s atomic explosions, is now outpacing its South Asian rival in the development of nuclear warheads and its arsenal could become world’s third-biggest within a decade, a new report by two American think tanks asserts.

“Pakistan has the capability to produce perhaps 20 nuclear warheads annually; India appears to be producing about five warheads annually,” the report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center says.

“But given its larger economy and sizable nuclear infrastructure, India is able to overtake Pakistan in fissile material and warhead production if it chooses to do so.

The report, which was released on Thursday, says Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capabilities, and it could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years.

Pakistan then would probably possess more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and Russia, which each have thousands of the bombs.

Pakistan has never given out any figure about the number of weapons it posses, but, according to published estimates, Pakistan has about 120 nuclear warheads, while India has about 100.

In the coming years, the report states, Pakistan’s advantage could grow dramatically because it has a large stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices.

India has far larger stockpiles of plutonium, which is needed to produce high-yield warheads, than Pakistan does.

But the report says India appears to be using most of its plutonium to produce domestic energy.

“The growth path of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, enabled by existing infrastructure, goes well beyond the assurances of credible minimal deterrence provided by Pakistani officials and analysts after testing nuclear devices,” the report states.

A report in The Washington Post said that Pakistani military officials were not available to comment on the report when it was made available to journalists on Wednesday.

It said several Pakistani analysts questioned the findings of the report, saying it is based on a faulty assumption that Pakistan is using all of its existing stockpiles of fissile material to make nuclear weapons.

Mansoor Ahmed, a nuclear expert at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, was quoted as saying by the Post that he suspects that a more accurate assessment of Pakistan’s capability is that it can develop no more than 40 to 50 new warheads over the next several years.

“This report is overblown,” said Ahmed, who was recently named a nuclear security fellow at Harvard University’s John F.

Kennedy School of Government.

“However, what the world must understand is that nuclear weapons are part of Pakistan’s belief system.

It’s a culture that has been built up over the years because (nuclear weapons) have provided a credible deterrence against external aggression.

France has about 300 warheads and the United Kingdom has about 215, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

China has approximately 250.

The report was written by Toby Dalton, co-director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program, and Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center.

Pakistan is believed to use plutonium as well as highly enriched uranium to create nuclear warheads, the Post said.

Dalton noted that Pakistan recently added a fourth plutonium production reactor at its Khushab Nuclear Complex.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/pakistan-s-nuclear-arsenal-could-become-world-s-third-biggest

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Taliban kill pro-government tribal elder in IED blast

August 28, 2015

A pro-government tribal elder was killed in a remote controlled bomb explosion in border area of Bajaur Agency on Thursday. Official sources said that tribal elder Malik Gul Rahim, a leading figure of anti-militant peace committee, got seriously injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted went off near his home at Barchamar village in Chamarkand tehsil of the agency. Rahim died while he was being shifted to hospital. Soon after the blast, members of village defence committee and security forces personnel cordoned off the area and launched a search operation. However, the miscreants managed to escape from the site. Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/taliban-kill-pro-government-tribal-elder-in-ied-blast

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Army chief vows to expose elements who helped terrorists

Aug 28, 2015

PESHAWAR: Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif visited on Thursday Shawal Valley in North Waziristan where troops are engaged in the final phase of the Zarb-i-Azb operation.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, Gen Sharif spent the day with troops and directed them to destroy all hideouts and sever their links with their abettors.

“We will not allow anyone to kill our people, children in this country and will expose all faces who helped them at any stage in any way,” an ISPR statement quoted the army chief as saying.

Security forces launched a ground offensive against militants in Shawal near the Afghan border on August 20. Around 100 militants have so far been killed in air strikes in the area while Lt Col Faisal Malik and one soldier have laid down their lives in an exchange of fire with militants.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203313/army-chief-vows-to-expose-elements-who-helped-terrorists

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Brahmdagh’s statement a breakthrough: Balochistan CM

SALEEM SHAHID

Aug 28, 2015

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has welcomed the statement of Brahmdagh Bugti, chief of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP), in which the self-exiled leader expressed willingness to hold talks with the government.

Terming it a breakthrough, the chief minister said on Thursday that Mr Bugti’s decision to hold talks with the government was a good omen because it would help to resolve the Balochistan issue politically.

Dr Baloch said that from the beginning he had been trying to ind a political solution of the problem.

He said a grand jirga would soon be sent abroad for initiating talks with the exiled Baloch leaders, including Mr Bugti and the Khan of Kalat.

“The grand jirga will comprise influential chieftains of the Baloch, Pakhtun, Hazara and all other tribes besides political leaders,” he said.

The chief minister said that both the political and military leaderships of the country wanted to resolve the Balochistan issue through dialogue and put the province on the path of development and prosperity.

“The military and civilian leaderships are on the same page on this issue,” he said.

Dr Baloch claimed that the Balochistan government did have the mandate to initiate negotiations with the exiled leaders, saying his government was ready to hold talks with any estranged leader.

“Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203328/brahmdaghs-statement-a-breakthrough-balochistan-cm

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Actor portraying Hafiz Saeed in Phantom goes underground

Aug 28, 2015

The actor who plays the Jamatud Dawa (JUD) Chief Hafiz Saeed – alleged by India to be the Mumbai attacks mastermind – in Saif Ali Khan's upcoming film Phantom is in hiding for security reasons, IANS reported.

Phantom stars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif in a story that revolves around the tragic November 26 Mumbai attacks at the Taj Hotel, which killed at least 166 people. The film is set five years after the attacks, when a retired army officer leads a mission to seek out and kill the terror masterminds.

The film, which is based on the novel ‘Mumbai Avengers’ by S. Hussain Zaidi, was recently banned by the Lahore High Court after a petition was filed by Hafiz Saeed. The JUD chief was tried and acquitted by the Lahore High Court in 2010.

Saif Ali Khan's subsequent statement, saying that he has "lost faith in Pakistan", caused an uproar in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203408/actor-portraying-hafiz-saeed-in-phantom-goes-underground

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Pakistan, India open diplomatic ‘terror-war’ front

August 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday said it has asked its ambassadors around the world to inform host countries about India’s sponsoring terrorism in the country, hours after New Delhi opened a diplomatic onslaught by “apprising Australia about Pakistan-sponsored terrorism” on its soil.

“Pakistan’s ambassadors stationed abroad have been instructed to inform their host countries regarding India’s involvement in promoting terrorist activities in Pakistan,” Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a weekly briefing.

“Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN has also taken the international organisation into confidence over recent developments between India and Pakistan, including cancellations of National Security Adviser (NSA) talks,” he added.

The spokesman told the media that the talks were cancelled due to India’s preconditions which Pakistan did not find acceptable.

He added that currently there is no proposal under consideration for a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

On the other hand, in a meeting of India-Australia Joint Working Group on counter terrorism, the Indian delegation gave a “briefing to the Australian side on Pakistan’s complicity in various terror activities” in the country and failure to rein in them.

The Indian side, according to media reports, alleged that the three terrorists who had carried out attacks in Gurdaspur that claimed seven lives on July 27 had come from Pakistan.

They were also claimed that a terrorist arrested in Udhampur belongs to Laskhar-e-Taiba and hails from Faisalabad in Pakistan.

A briefing was also given to the Australian side about the alleged existing terror infrastructure along the border in Pakistan.

Indian media reports said New Delhi was planning to confront Islamabad with all the evidence on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India.

NSA Ajit Doval was supposed to give a dossier to his counterpart Sartaj Aziz about the failure of Pakistan in probing the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.

Pakistan has already strongly rejected all these Indian allegations and has been calling Indians to provide proof to help try culprits, if any.

But, India has been coming with mere allegations and it even did not provide solid evidence in Mumbai case.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/pakistan-india-open-diplomatic-terror-war-front

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No one will be allowed to kill our children, says Gen Raheel

August 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD - The army will not allow the killing of fellow countrymen and will expose all enablers, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif was quoted as saying during his visit to Shawal area on Thursday.

In a series of tweets, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa said that army chief spent the day with troops engaged in the operation in Shawal area of North Waziristan.

At least 203 terrorists have been killed in the multi-pronged operation Shawal valley in North Waziristan.

This was revealed in a briefing given to Army Chief General Raheel Sharif during his visit to Shawal where he spent time with troops participating in operation.

The DG ISPR tweeted that the army chief visited a military post located on a 12,000 feet high mountain overlooking the Shawal Valley, where a multi-pronged operation is being carried out to eliminate terrorists.

He said heights of Shawal mountains have been cleared and main features of the valley occupied and are being sanitised.

General Sharif directed troops to comprehensively cleanse the terrorists from their hideouts, isolate them to their size and sever their link with their abettors anywhere.

The Army Chief declared that they will not allow anyone to kill our people and children.

He said they will expose all faces who helped terrorists at any stage in anyway.

The army chief also said that because of the accomplishments of our troops, the army has no match when it comes to the war against terror.

He further commended troops for their “extraordinary” achievements in the operations.

The operation Shawal was launched last Thursday.

Since May, the military has stepped up operations in the deeply forested ravines of the Shawal Valley – which straddles North and South Waziristan agencies along the border with Afghanistan – and softened militant targets in the valley through continued airstrikes.

The deeply forested ravines of Shawal Valley and Datta Khel are popular smuggling routes between Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, and are dotted with militant bases used as launch pads for attacks on Pakistani forces.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/no-one-will-be-allowed-to-kill-our-children-says-gen-raheel

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OIC lauds Pakistan’s role in terror war

August 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD:- OIC Secretary General Iyad bin Amin Madani appreciated Pakistan’s role in the fight against terrorism during his meeting with Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday and discussed challenges confronting the Muslim Ummah.

Aziz highlighted Pakistan’s efforts to root out terrorism and extremism.

He also briefed the visiting dignitary on the prime minister’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/oic-lauds-pakistan-s-role-in-terror-war

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Pakistan demands top security for embassy in Kabul

August 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Foreign Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah yesterday said that that security of Pakistan’s Embassy personnel and premises in Afghanistan has become a matter of top priority for the Government of Pakistan.

“We have conveyed our concerns to the relevant authorities in Afghanistan.

In response, we have been assured that all possible measures will be taken to ensure the security of our personnel and premises in Afghanistan”, he added.

He said he was not aware of any proposal seeking to fence Pakistan-Afghan border.

He was asked during his weekly press briefing whether Afghanistan has proposed fencing of border with Pakistan as part of border management efforts, the spokesperson said he was not aware of any such proposal.

He, however, said that Pakistan has been sincerely making efforts to promote peace and tranquility on Pakistan-Afghanistan border and added that border issues are also discussed during meetings held between the two sides including military officials of the two countries.

To another question, the spokesperson said Pakistan's role is that of facilitator in Afghan peace process.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/pakistan-demands-top-security-for-embassy-in-kabul

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Saudi Arabia executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

August 28, 2015

Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed a Pakistani man convicted of smuggling drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said in Riyadh. It brought to 128 the number of executions so far this year in Saudi Arabia, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies compiled from interior ministry statements. Zulfiqar Ali Mohammed was caught while attempting to smuggle heroin found hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes firing squads are used. Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a moratorium on executions in Saudi Arabia, criticising the kingdom’s “deeply flawed judicial system”. Under Saudi Arabia’s strict legal practices, murder, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking and apostasy are all punishable by death. Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States.–AFP

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Aug-2015/saudi-arabia-executes-pakistani-for-drug-trafficking

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Mideast

 

Turkey to join coalition's air fight against ISIL soon: Pentagon

28 August 2015

The United States and Turkey have finalized technical details on an agreement to include Turkey in an international effort to bring down the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), fully integrating Turkey into the U.S.-led coalition's air strikes against the militant group, a Pentagon spokesman said on Aug. 27.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-join-coalitions-air-fight-against-isil-soon-pentagon.aspx?pageID=238&nID=87641&NewsCatID=352

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Iran's Top Security Official: ISIL Building Security Shield for Israel

Aug 27, 2015

"Unfortunately, a sedition under the name of the ISIL Takfiris has started in the Muslim world," Shamkhani told reporters in Tehran on Thursday.

"The terrorist ISIL grouplet is after distorting Islam's teachings on Jihad to reinvigorate the security wall for the Zionist regime," he added.

Shamkhani, meantime, underlined that enemies' plots against the regional nations have proved futile so far, and demanded the regional states to show more vigilance.

In relevant remarks in 2014, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Hassan Firouzabadi said that Israel has created and supported the ISIL terrorist group to ward off danger from its borders.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000436

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Palestinians want their flag raised at UN

August 28, 2015

UNITED NATIONS - The Palestinians on Thursday asked the United Nations to allow their flag to be raised at the world body ahead of next month’s meeting of heads of state.

The move comes as the Palestinians seek to bolster their bid for statehood despite fierce opposition from Israel. A draft resolution was presented to the General Assembly requesting that the flags of the state of Palestine and the Holy See be hoisted alongside those of the 193 member states.

The Vatican and the Palestinians both have non-member observer status at the United Nations. The resolution, co-sponsored by 21 countries including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, could come up for a vote before September 15. The Israeli mission to the United Nations did not respond to requests for comment.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Aug-2015/palestinians-want-their-flag-raised-at-un

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Palestinians to hold rare congress next month

August 28, 2015

RAMALLAH - Palestinian leaders will hold their first congress in nearly 20 years on September 15-16, an official said Thursday, after president Mahmud Abbas announced his resignation as head of a top executive body.

The meeting of the Palestine National Council (PNC), a congress representing those in the Palestinian territories and the diaspora, will take place in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

“It has been decided to ask the Palestine National Council to convene for a session on the upcoming 15th and 16th September in Ramallah,” senior Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmad told AFP.

“The council’s agenda includes electing a new executive committee for the (Palestine Liberation Organisation).

Ahmad said the congress would also discuss the stalemate in peace talks with Israel, among other issues.

Abbas’s allies say his recent moves are part of efforts to inject new blood in the Palestinian leadership.

Critics, however, argue that Abbas is manoeuvring to empower his allies and marginalise opponents ahead of the 80-year-old’s eventual retirement.

Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, remain deeply divided.

Separate, indirect contacts are said to have occurred recently between Israel and Hamas on a long-term truce.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Aug-2015/palestinians-to-hold-rare-congress-next-month

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Arab coalition hits Houthi positions in Yemen

28 August 2015

The Saudi-led coalition conducted a series of airstrikes targeting Iranian-backed Houthi positions in the coastal city of al- Hudeida, Al Arabiya News channel reported Thursday.

The air strikes also hit security forces camps in Yemen's central province of al-Bayda that were seized by the Houthis earlier this year.

They also targeted the homes of some Houthi leaders in Saada, a Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen.

Meanwhile, heavy clashes took place in al- Hudeida between Houthis and forces loyal to legitimate President Abd Rabbi Mansour Hadi.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/28/Arab-coalition-hits-Houthi-positions-in-Yemen-.html

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Yemen: No talks with Houthis until arms surrendered

27 August 2015

The Yemeni government is not negotiating with Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital and much of the north, and demands that they lay down their arms, Foreign Minister Riad Yassin said on Thursday.

“The Houthis and (former President Ali Abdullah) Saleh’s militias must implement the U.N. resolution and surrender their weapons, and only then the dialogue and political process can begin, with the participation of all Yemeni parties,” Yassin told reporters in Cairo after meeting with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Nabil el-Araby.

Referring to reports of meetings in the Gulf nation of Oman, Yassin described them as mere “consultations” between U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the Houthis, aimed at convincing them to implement a U.N. resolution from April.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/27/Yemen-No-talks-with-rebels-until-they-surrender-weapons.html

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Iranian Deputy FM: Political Solution, Talks to Settle Crisis in Yemen

Aug 27, 2015

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's principled approach is based on stopping the aggression against Yemen and settlement of differences through talks and therefore, it supports efforts by the UN secretary-general's representative in Yemen," Amir Abdollahian said during the phone conversation on Wednesday.

"Settlement of the crisis in Yemen needs a political solution, Yemeni-Yemeni talks and all the regional sides' compliance with the method of the talks to resolve the differences," he added.

Amir Abdollahian warned of the danger of spread of terrorism in light of war against Yemen, and invited Sheikh Ahmad to pay a visit to Tehran for further consultations.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 155 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,529 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000339

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Iran, China Stress Enhanced Cooperation on Peaceful N. Technology

Aug 27, 2015

The issue was raised in a meeting between Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and senior Chinese officials, including Chairman of China Atomic Energy Authority Xu Dazhe.

During the meeting, the two sides underlined development of cooperation to utilize peaceful nuclear energy.

The AEOI is willing to develop cooperation with Chinese Atomic Energy Authority on construction of small new power plant with the capacity of 100 megawatts with cost-effective expenses in light of the capability to generate electricity for limited area, produce industrial steam plant and desalinate water.

Salehi and Xu underlined the construction of such power plants to generate a total amount of 1,000 megawatts electricity to supply to the national grid.

The two officials assigned related experts of both countries to consider necessary grounds for the development of cooperation.

Salehi and his accompanying delegation arrived in Beijing on Wednesday morning.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Salehi said Tehran was conducting negotiations with Beijing to construct two 100-MW nuclear power plants.

"We are in talks with the Chinese over the construction of two 100-MW power plants," Salehi said, addressing AEOI staff in Tehran.

He also referred to the contract signed with Russia on building two other nuclear power plants, and said, "God willing, the construction work will start this year."

Salehi expressed the hope that 4 new nuclear power plants would start workshop operations in the next 3 to 4 years in Iran as well.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940605000278

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PKK supporters rally in Istanbul against crackdown on Kurds

Aug 28, 2015

The supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey have launched a rally in the city of Istanbul to protest against Ankara’s growing crackdown on Kurdish militants.

In the early hours of Friday, PKK supporters gathered in the Gazi district of Istanbul to show their anger at Ankara’s recent deadly operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

The protesters reportedly blocked the streets by lighting fires, and engaged in clashes with police forces. Video footage released by Ruptly showed demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and fire bombs at police vehicles.

Turkish forces also used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the angry protesters.

Earlier, clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants claimed the lives of seven people, including a seven-year-old boy, in southeast Turkey.

Ankara said the fighting between the two sides broke out after the PKK militants launched a rocket attack against a military outpost in the district of Cizre in Sirnak Province.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/28/426670/PKK-Turkey-Istanbul-Sirnak

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Southeast Asia

 

Displaced Shia Muslims remain in limbo in Indonesia

August 27, 2015

Hundreds of displaced Shia Muslims in Indonesia's East Java province were told they cannot return to their Madura Island homes unless they abandon their faith.

The Shias fled their homes three years ago, after a Sunni Muslim mob of more than 500 people attacked them in Sampang, setting dozens of homes on fire. Two people died and 10 others were injured.

"There's no progress yet. We came to East Java several times, but all efforts we took resulted in nothing," Muhammad Machasin, director general of Islam Community Guidance at the Religious Affairs Ministry, told ucanews.com on Aug. 27.

"Those living in Sampang think that the displaced Shia Muslims should not return home, and those living in the shelter want to go back home with no condition. But those living in Sampang will allow the displaced Shia Muslims to go back home only if they leave their faith," he said.

"We can't resolve the issue in the near future and can't say when it can be done," he said.

Shias represent a small minority in Sunni-dominant Indonesia, with about 1 million adherents concentrated around Jakarta, and in communities found on Java, Madura and Sumatra.

Iklil Al Milal, a displaced Shia Muslim, said that he and 304 other displaced Shia Muslims will keep urging the government to send them home.

"We don't feel at home here. We have our own villages. We always want to return home," he said.

He said there was a growing anxiety among the displaced over the condition of their homes and property. "Before leaving our villages, there was a land-grabbing issue. Some of us don't have the land certificates. We're worried about that," he said.                               

In an Aug. 26 statement, London-based Amnesty International urged the Indonesian government to take steps to ensure the safe return of the displaced Shia Muslims to their homes.

Full report at:

http://www.ucanews.com/news/displaced-shia-muslims-remain-in-limbo-in-indonesia/74158

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In talks, Muslim rebels seek independence in south Thailand

August 27, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Muslim militant leaders in talks with Thai authorities to end a deadly insurgency said Thursday they are seeking an independent state and are ready to negotiate a solution.

Six insurgent groups, united in a coalition called the Pattani Consultative Council, participated in three days of informal peace talks ending Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"We want to stress that we did not drop our demand for independence. That will be the final aim for the Pattani struggle, but we are ready to sit at the negotiation table to find a solution that will give Muslims the right to determine their own future" in the predominantly Buddhist country, council representative Abu Hafez Al-Hakim told a news conference.

He said the Pattani people will ultimately decide whether the solution will be an independent state or autonomy under the Thai government for the three southernmost provinces. More than 5,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since 2004.

Malaysia, whose northern states border Thailand's south, facilitated bringing the insurgents to the talks.

Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government agreed in 2013 to launch formal peace talks with one militant group, but they never happened following a military coup.

Pattani council chief Awang Jabat said the coalition wants the peace talks to be put on the national agenda to ensure continuity if a new government comes into power.

During the talks in Kuala Lumpur, the coalition sought immunity for the negotiating team to ensure their freedom of travel in the provinces, he said. Meanwhile, the Thai government raised the issues of creating a safety zone and economic development among others.

The government negotiators did not attend the news conference.

Full report at:

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/08/27/6384807_in-talks-muslim-rebels-seek-independence.html?rh=1

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Two men in Malaysia charged over ISIS links

Aug 28, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR - A chef and a financial consultant in Malaysia were jointly charged in the magistrates court on Thursday with arranging to facilitate acquisition and control of property for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Mohamad Fauzi Misrak, 35, who worked as a chef in Singapore, and Rohaimi Abd Rahim, 38, were said to have committed the offence at the Subang Jaya Maybank branch between December 2013 and July 2014, Bernama news agency reported.

The charge under Section 130P of the Penal Code, read with Section 34 of the same Act, carries the death sentence or up to 30 years' jail and a fine upon conviction, said the report.

No plea was recorded, pending a transfer of the case to the High Court, according to Bernama.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/two-men-in-malaysia-charged-over-isis-links

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Srebenica Muslim commander charged with war crimes

28 August 2015

A former Bosnian Muslim commander named Naser Oric was charged alongside one of his former lieutenants Thursday with war crimes during the country's 1992-1995 war, Bosnian prosecutors said.

Oric, who led Muslim forces in the eastern town of Srebenica, and Sabahudin Muhic were charged with the murder of three Serbian prisoners of war in 1992.

The prosecutor's office in the capital Sarajevo said the murders were a "war crime against prisoners".

Oric, 48, was arrested in June in Switzerland on a warrant issued by Serbia, which also wanted to try him for war crimes against ethnic Serbs in Srebenica.

But Switzerland decided to extradite him to his home country, to face charges there instead.

His arrest sparked an outcry among Bosnian Muslim leaders and families of the victims of the 1995 Srebenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces.

Full report at:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/srebenica-muslim-commander-charged-war-crimes-223132341.html#QG2rvza

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Wan Azizah: Allah answered my prayers through Nurul Hana

Suresh Kashuerin

August 28, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Parliamentary Leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, while not implying any “regrets”, conceded that she had been forced to make certain sacrifices like not spending enough time with her children as they were growing up. “The reformasi movement linked with Anwar took up so much of our time.”

“It’s the price that we have to pay, the big sacrifice we had to make, to help obtain justice for the people and the nation.”

She said that she was standing alongside Nurul Hana on Friday as her mother, not as the Opposition Parliamentary Leader or the President of PKR. “These two books she has written are the result of what she saw through her own eyes as she was growing up.”

Wan Azizah was walking down memory lane during the launch of “Saya Buat Papa” and “My Dear Papa” by Nurul Hana, her youngest child.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/08/28/wan-azizah-allah-answered-my-prayers-through-nurul-hana/

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Europe

 

Junaid Hussain, ISIS Recruiter, Reported Killed in Airstrike

27 August 2015

LONDON — A 21-year-old hacker from Birmingham, England, who tapped into American military networks and was a central figure in the Islamic State militant group’s online recruitment campaign, has been killed in Syria by an American airstrike, according to three senior American officials.

The hacker, Junaid Hussain, was a leading member of the CyberCaliphate, an Islamic State unit that broke into the United States Central Military Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts this year. He was considered to be the second-most prominent British member of the Islamic State, after Mohammed Emwazi, a fighter often referred to as “Jihadi John” because of his role in the videotaped killings of Western hostages.

The American officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence reports, said Mr. Hussain had been killed Tuesday in an airstrike outside Raqqa, Syria.

Last week, the White House announced that another prominent Islamic State figure — Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, a deputy to the group’s leader — had been killed in an airstrike in northern Iraq.

The news of Mr. Hussain’s death comes as the Obama administration is debating the effectiveness of the American-led military coalition’s campaign against the Islamic State. The Defense Department’s inspector general is looking into whether military officials have skewed intelligence assessments to present a more optimistic picture.

Mr. Hussain’s unit has been credited with the Islamic State’s adept manipulation of social media to recruit fighters and spread propaganda, and his online activity was increasingly linked to plots carried out far from the battlefields in Syria and Iraq, experts said.

Mr. Hussain, who was believed to use the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani, offered encouragement on Twitter to the two gunmen who staged a shooting attack in Garland, Tex., in May, at a contest for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. After the shooting, Mr. Hussain wrote: “Allahu Akbar!!!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire ... ”

He also used social media to threaten to raise the black Islamic State flag over “10 Downing Street and the White House,” referring to the official residence of the British prime minister.

In June, Mr. Hussain was linked to an Islamic State plot to attack an Armed Forces Day parade in South London using a bomb rigged in a pressure cooker, similar to the one used in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013. The plot was thwarted after Mr. Hussain unwittingly revealed details to an undercover reporter from The Sun, a British tabloid, who was posing as a potential recruit.

Mr. Hussain was prosecuted for hacking in Britain in 2012, and was convicted on charges that he illegally gained access to former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s address book the year before. He spent six months in prison. Afterward he was arrested again, on a charge of violent disorder, and while free on bail in 2013 he moved to Syria.

He was joined there by his wife, Sally Jones, 45, a former punk rock musician from southeastern England who met Mr. Hussain online.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/world/middleeast/junaid-hussain-islamic-state-recruiter-killed.html

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UK Muslims Turn Pub into Islamic Center

27 August 2015

CAIRO – A pub in Derby city in south Britain has been purchased by Muslims after it was offered for sale by its owner, as community leaders promised to turn the building into a community center for Muslim families.

"We've only bought it because it was for sale. We've not precipitated anything," secretary of Normanton's Jamia Mosque, Nazir Hussain, told Derby Telegraph on Thursday, August 27.

The pub, which is one of the oldest in the area, was started as bakery house and later changed to a pub in 1934.

Hussain stressed that the mosque officials had no plans to demolish the building, promising to turn it into a "community building."

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/492707-uk-muslims-turn-pub-into-islamic-center.html

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Sign saying 'Welcome Home' in Hebrew mistaken for Islamic State flag by shocked residents

Aug 28, 2015

Residents of Gardner, Louisiana, contacted the Sheriff's office when they became concerned the signs were terror messages written in Arabic.

But the homemade poster actually read "Welcome Home Yamit" in Hebrew writing.

Police informed petrified locals not to worry about the sign - assuring them that it was no way affiliated with the savage terror group's flag, which bears the Shahada.

It is not the first time panicked onlookers have mistakenly reported seeing an ISIS sign.

Earlier this year a Swedish couple were incorrectly branded supporters of the depraved group when passers by thought the birthday balloons in their window saying "21" actually said "IS".

Police were called out to Fabian Akesson's house after he put the balloons up in the window for his girlfriend Sarah Ericsson's birthday.

Mr Akesson said: "I laughed about it and even showed them a picture that we took. And from that perspective, it looked almost like the letters 'IS'."

But the couple were still asked to take down the balloons to avoid drawing further attention.

And a mum in South Wales was left fearing for her children's safety after the flag outside her home was mistaken for an ISIS logo.

Shazia Ramzan from Newport flies an Islamic flag outside her home as a tribute to a Muslim martyr.

Full report at:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/601328/Hebrew-ISIS-flag-Gardner-Louisiana-America-Islamic-State-Fabian-Akesson

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Bishop killed for refusing to convert to Islam to be beatified

28 August 2015

Bishop Melki, who was martyred during the Assyrian Genocide, will soon be ‘blessed’.

The bishop was killed in Gazarta during the sayfo – “putting to the sword” – of Syrians in 1915, after he refused to convert to Islam.

Earlier in August, Pope Francis approved Melki’s beatification after he determined that Melki was killed in hatred of the faith.

The bishop will be beatified in Lebanon on Saturday, August 29 – the centenary of his martyrdom.

Bishop Melki was born in 1858 and went on to be an Eastern Catholic prelate of the Brothers of Saint Ephrem, and later the Syrian Catholic eparch of Gazarta, where he was killed.

He lived in extreme poverty as a priest and sold his vestments to help the poor.

In the summer of 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested him along with the Chaldean bishop – both were killed for refusing to renounce their faith and convert to Islam.

Melki was tortured to death and decapitated.

On August 8th, Pope Francis confirmed his beatification saying he was killed in hatred.

“A blessed of our church has not been proclaimed for a long time,” said Syriac Catholic priest Nizar Semaan, “Bishop Melki will be the first of the martyrs of the Syrian Catholics of that Genocide to be raised to the honor of the altar.

“His beatification is a gift for all Christians of the East,” he added, “In these times of new trials.”

Fr Nizar said Melki’s “figure shows us the luminous faith with which he lived the terrible persecution one hundred years ago, and he can give hope and courage to all the baptized.”

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Prefect of the Congregations for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, said that the soon-to-be Blessed Flavyānus Mikhayil Melkī is a model of holiness for our time.

Cardinal Amato said: “As it was one hundred years ago, at the time of the martyrdom of bishop Melkī, Christians are denied every liberty, they are forced to leave their homeland, or to convert or die.

Full report at:

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/08/28/bishop-killed-for-refusing-to-convert-to-islam-to-be-beatified/

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U.S. asks Uzbekistan to join anti-Islamic State coalition

28 August 2015

TASHKENT (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it had asked Uzbekistan to join the multinational coalition it leads against Islamic State, saying Central Asia's most populous state was free to choose a way of contributing to the fight against the militant group.

"We have asked Uzbekistan ... to join the coalition," Daniel Rosenblum, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, told reporters during a visit to the Uzbek capital.

Uzbekistan, a mainly Muslim nation with a population of 31 million, has been a strategic NATO partner in post-Soviet Central Asia, assisting a U.S.-led war on the purist Taliban movement in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The U.S.-led coalition hitting Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq has a military component, apart from efforts to stop a flow of financing to Islamic State, Rosenblum said.

The coalition also gathers information about the movement of people across borders and has five or six other "lines of efforts," Rosenblum said.

"Uzbekistan or any other country can choose to contribute to one or more of those elements," he said.

Uzbek officials could not be reached for comment.

Uzbekistan, a gold and cotton producer whose 78-year-old strongman President Islam Karimov has been in power since Soviet days, has been criticised by Western governments and human rights bodies for clampdowns on dissent and basic freedoms.

The authorities have cited a need to prevent any advent of militant Islam in the volatile region for their tough methods.

Full report at:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/u-asks-uzbekistan-join-anti-islamic-state-coalition-214137322.html#sflq6vw

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Creating meaningful structures for Moroccan Jewry’s past and future

August 28,2015

Present in the region, in cities and rural places, for two millennia without interruption – albeit experiencing somber as well as tranquil periods – the vast majority now resides beyond the Kingdom’s shores. 

A distinctive and significant grouping within the world Jewish community (of which between half to one million claim Moroccan descent), this diaspora enjoys a cordial – and officially reciprocated – relationship with its former host country. Indeed, it is frequently stated in public that the nation would welcome the return en masse of its Jewish community. 

As well as the small, resident Jewish population, an important tangible and intangible legacy remains, forming part of the multicultural national patrimony to whose maintenance and restoration Morocco is committed, ideally within the framework ofhuman development.  In addition, the Jewish cultural contribution, lauded in the country’s 2011 Constitution, forms the subject of a conversation that has begun to take place among some of the younger generation of Moroccan Muslims, curious about an aspect of their country’s heritage to which they have little first-hand access.

Admiration – wonder even – is expressed at the community’s continued survival – and at its legitimization, alongside Christianity, in this almost exclusively Muslim state.  At the same time, the economic and cultural reasons for its dismantling from within have been voiced for over a decade and a recent New York Times article poignantly questions who will be left as custodians of this important shared history and urban fabric.

The coming years constitute a critical time for the community, in terms of its demographic, its finances and the care of its heritage, as well as in the broader context of the MENA region and indeed, of global affairs.

Towards a new architecture

o meet this challenge, which also bears the seeds of potential, Mr. Kadoch (whose late father, the highly esteemed Mr. Henri Kadoch, was one of the leaders of Moroccan Jewry in Marrakesh and on the national stage) proposes a two-pronged approach.  Essentially this would involve the complete centralization of the Jewish community and – perhaps counter-intuitively, building afresh. 

In logistical terms, it has come to the point where a decentralized system, which served the Jewish population so well when it was both numerous and distributed across Morocco, is no longer viable. 

In Casablanca then, the effective center of Jewish life and administration since the Thirties, a central committee and a single presidency are envisaged, with regional representatives in other Moroccan cities with small but active congregations (of which there are currently six: Agadir, Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, Rabat and Tangiers).  A further committee would be formed to oversee the care of 267 official cemeteries and over 600 more rural sacred sites (the latter to be found particularly in traditional Amazigh areas).

Two museums of Jewish heritage would be created in the north and south of the country.  Currently one exists in Casablanca – the sole such in the Arab world; the location for the second might well be Marrakesh, traditionally viewed as the southern capital and whose Mellah, dating from the sixteenth century, forms the largest non-Muslim residential quarter in the Arab world.  Finally, a central archive would be opened in Casablanca to house collections of documents, of inestimable cultural value, currently scattered across Morocco.

Full report at:

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/2015-08-28/Creating-meaningful-structures-for-Moroccan-Jewry%E2%80%99s-past-and-future-173038

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Residents of a barrio in Algeciras, Spain, recall train attack suspect

28 August 2015

Flamenco guitars wail from open windows in this humid port city at Spain's southern tip, where the local Spanish is accented with Arabic and the mountains of Morocco loom on the horizon, just across the Mediterranean Sea.

It's here in the Algeciras working-class barrio of El Saladillo, in a stained stucco tenement strewn with laundry lines, that residents said Ayoub el Khazzani spent his formative years, dabbled in crime and then embraced an extreme form of Islam that allegedly led him to plan his most spectacular crime of all: a terrorist attack.

Authorities in France have charged El Khazzani, 25, with attempted terrorism in an attack on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Aug. 21.

Armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and a box cutter, he fired shots and slashed at people before being tackled and subdued by passengers,  including three young Americans vacationing in Europe. No one died. His lawyer said El Khazzani, a Moroccan national, had planned to rob people, not kill them.

The attack, along with the arrests this week of 14 people in Spain and Morocco on suspicion of planning other assaults, shook Spain's Moroccan community, one of the country's largest, oldest and best-integrated minority groups. Spain's frontiers with Morocco, at two Spanish territories on the North African mainland, are believed to be a key entry point for militants traveling between the Arab world and Europe.

The attack also drew attention to the Schengen Agreement, under which residents of one European Union country can travel without a passport to most of the other 27 EU nations. With his Spanish residency, El Khazzani is believed to have traveled easily to France, Belgium, Austria and Germany, despite being on a security watch list in some of those countries for his suspected radical beliefs.

l Khazzani lived in Spain legally for seven years, after arriving from Morocco in 2007 with his parents and five siblings. Spanish authorities arrested and convicted him three times: twice in Madrid in 2009, for selling hashish on the street, and then again in 2012 for trafficking drugs across the border between Morocco and Ceuta, one of the Spanish territories in North Africa (along with Melilla).

In February 2014, El Khazzani told neighbors that he'd landed a job with a European low-cost cellphone company, Lycamobile, and left for France.

"He was a good kid. He used to like to play soccer, and go fishing -- normal stuff," said Rachid Mohamed, who answered the door at the El Khazzani family's fifth-floor apartment Wednesday.

U.S. servicemen, others praised for subduing gunman on train in France

U.S. servicemen, others praised for subduing gunman on train in France

He said El Khazzini's father, Mohamed el Khazzani, a local scrap metal dealer, was so distraught over the allegations about his son, and the TV trucks parked outside his home, that he and his wife fled to Morocco the night before, though he gave interviews to other news media earlier in the week.

Rachid Mohamed, who described himself as a close family friend, acknowledged Ayoub el Khazzani's run-ins with the law but said religion had tamed him. Before he left for France, the young man had started to accompany his father and brother more frequently to the mosque, Mohamed said.

"Around two years ago he stopped going to discotheques and being such a hippie," Mohamed said, referring to El Khazzani's previous marijuana use. "He was getting his act together," including a job painting houses.

By the time El Khazzani left Spain early last year, he was already on the country's security watch list. An alert went out to other countries that he was involved in "radical Islam," French and Spanish officials said. He is also believed to have traveled to Syria via Turkey.

Spanish officials would not specify why they put El Khazzani on the terrorism list. But it could have been because of where he prayed: The Taqwa mosque, considered the most extreme of Algeciras' six mosques, has reportedly been under Spanish government surveillance for years.

El Khazzani turned to religion after his closest companion, his brother Imran, also in his 20s, was deported to Morocco in 2013, acquaintances said.

Officially, the Spanish government expelled Imran el Khazzani because his residency permit had expired. But it may have also been because he had been preaching jihad at the Taqwa mosque, where he served as treasurer, the acquaintances said.

Spanish media have quoted unnamed intelligence officials as saying Imran el Khazzani's role at the Taqwa mosque was part of the decision to deport him.

France cancels sale of warships to Russia, pays Moscow back

France cancels sale of warships to Russia, pays Moscow back

"Both brothers used to come into my shop, Imran and Ayoub, so I recognized him immediately when I saw his photo on TV," said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, grinding keys at his hardware store behind the El Khazzanis' home.

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-spain-france-train-attack-suspect-20150827-story.html

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Scrutiny Falls on a Spanish Mosque After Foiled Train Attack

27 August 2015

ALGECIRAS, Spain — Before he boarded a Paris-bound train last week, armed with an assault rifle and the intent, the authorities say, to carry out a blood bath, Ayoub El Khazzani had spent the final chapter of his troubled time in Spain in this gritty port city, living in a run-down apartment block with his parents within walking distance of the local mosque.

The mosque, Taqwa, was under police surveillance from the first day work started on turning what had been an auto repair shop into a place of worship, Nordi Mohamed Ahmed, vice president of the association that runs the mosque, acknowledged in an interview.

But while the authorities point to the mosque as a crucial part of Mr. Khazzani’s transformation from onetime petty hashish dealer to someone suspected of being a radical, Mr. Mohamed Ahmed said the preaching here was not to blame.

“Women are also allowed to pray here,” he said, “which certainly wouldn’t happen if this was a radical place.”

Still, Mr. Khazzani’s association with the mosque, where his father helped with the refurbishment and remains the caretaker, and where his brother once served as treasurer, was apparently enough to persuade the Spanish authorities to place him under surveillance, too.

His arrest after he was overpowered by passengers, including two vacationing American service members and their friend, has put further — and for those here, unwelcome — scrutiny on the mosque. It has also underscored the Spanish authorities’ intensive surveillance of a quickly multiplying number of potential threats, as in a growing number of other European Union countries, while exposing gaps in the intelligence sharing among them.

The Spanish intelligence services informed their French counterparts that Mr. Khazzani, 25, who holds a Moroccan passport and a Spanish residency card, was a potential threat in February 2014, as he was leaving Algeciras for France. It did little, though, to stall his plan to carry out what President François Hollande of France said would have been “a massacre.”

Before then, Mr. Khazzani had lived with his parents, who had emigrated from Tétouan, Morocco, joining them first in Madrid in 2007 and then here, in one of the poorest neighborhoods of an industrial city. In Madrid, he was arrested on suspicion of dealing hashish around Lavapiés, a migrant district, and was detained twice in 2009.

“He had some problems with the police for carrying hash, but that’s not doing something very bad — a lot of people smoke,” Mr. Khazzani’s father, Mohamed, who still resides here and makes a living collecting and selling recyclable materials, said in an interview.

Mr. Khazzani’s last drug-related arrest took place in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa, in September 2012. A photograph of him then shows Mr. Khazzani with a beard, rather than being cleanshaven as in a police image from his arrests in Madrid.

If his journey from criminalization to suspected radicalization sounds familiar in Europe, it is, and has by now been followed by any number of terrorism suspects, including attackers in Paris and Copenhagen.

Antonio Sanz, the national government’s delegate in the southern region of Andalusia, said on Monday that Mr. Khazzani could be a case of the “merger between radicalism and drug trafficking.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/world/europe/renewed-scrutiny-for-mosque-in-spain-after-foiled-train-attack.html

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France Terrorism 2015: After Train Attack, Charlie Hebdo, French Try To Step Up Anti-Terror Efforts But Brace For More Violence

August 27 2015

For much of the past two decades, French domestic security has been hailed as the gold standard in European defense circles. Where some neighboring nations experienced deadly terrorist attacks, such as the 2005 London subway bombing that killed 52 people, France’s offices, streets and subways remained largely devoid of high death tolls and terrorism.

“[France] had a strong reputation for the simple and striking fact that there had not been any major terrorist attack between 1986 and 2012,” said Frank Foley, a professor at King’s College in London who specializes in counter-terrorism. “People looked to that and said, 'What are the French doing?”

France's reputation for keeping its citizens safe from terrorism took a major hit in 2015 -- first with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January that left 12 at the satirical magazine dead in Paris, then days later with two shootings at a suburban kosher market and again Friday, with the attempted attack on a Paris-bound high-speed train that resulted in terrorism charges for one man. Heated debate among French officials and security analysts has raged throughout the year over the effectiveness of the country’s security mechanisms. While some counter-terrorism experts in France have urged the country's leadership to take a more aggressive approach toward fighting terrorism by expanding the "Sentinelle" surveillance system and special task forces within the national police, other defense experts said they feared all the vigilance in the world could not prevent the inevitable: another terror attack in the near future.

“At the end of the day, no matter how much you improve, the nature of terrorism is that some individuals are able to slip through the cracks” said Foley. Though a large-scale terrorist attack on par with 9/11 was unlikely to happen, he said, when it comes to frequent, small-scale attack attempts, “This is something that society will have to get used to.”

The first re-evaluations of the French domestic security approach began in January after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. In addition to the deaths of 12 people in that instance, four more people were killed two days later in a related hostage situation by a friend of the Charlie Hebdo attackers. The violence rocked not just France but all of Europe, inciting fear across the continent of similar attacks.

GettyImages-461180796

Members of French police special forces walked in Corcy, northern France, Jan. 8, 2015, as they searched for the armed gunmen who opened fire on he French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, killing 12. Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks, French defense authorities have continually reassessed their approach to counter-terrorism.  AFP/Getty Images

French citizens’ wariness of Muslims was further heightened after last week’s attempted train attack, which was staged by a Moroccan national suspected of having links to the Islamic State militant group. Those fears were already well established following the Charlie Hebdo incident, which was perpetrated by two self-identified Islamists, and worries of another Islamist attack have since grown considerably.

“There is a lack of discernment,” said Antoine Sfeir, a Franco-Lebanese journalist who has written several books on Muslims in the West. “The French are convinced that the entire Arab population is Muslim and that all Muslims are possible Islamists,” Sfeir said, adding that most of the Muslim population in France has embraced a secular lifestyle.

France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe, estimated at around 1 million people. Many Muslim families in France have lived there for more than half a century and feel completely integrated into broader society. A portion of the Muslim population, however, has said they feel marginalized by certain French laws and traditions, such as a 2010 law that banned all religious symbols in schools, including the hijab, or Muslim headscarf.

“We talk too much about Muslims,” said Fateh Kimouche, a French activist and practicing Muslim. “When a Muslim is a criminal, we punish him for his Muslim-ness, not his crime."

GettyImages-485079526

French President Francois Hollande (center) said Tuesday that his nation needs to prepare for more terrorist attacks in the future. Hollande's statement came just days after several bystanders, including three off-duty U.S. servicemen, foiled a possible terror attack on a Thalys high-speed train.  Getty Images

The French government, the ministry of the interior and the ministry of defense have responded to fears of another attack through several new counter-terrorism measures instituted in January as well as a revamped anti-terror task force. "We must prepare for other attacks," French President François Hollande said Monday in a statement following Friday's foiled train attack.

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.com/france-terrorism-2015-after-train-attack-charlie-hebdo-french-try-step-anti-terror-2069789

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