Islam a Good Fit for Indonesia: Ma'ruf Amin
Arabia Defends Letter Backing China’s Xinjiang Policy
Chief’s Hours Long Meeting with Ulema, Minister on Madrassa Reforms
to Press Imran Khan to Take 'Irreversible Action' Against Terrorists,
Facilitate Taliban Talks
Places Sanctions on Int'l Network Involved In Iran Nuclear Program
Omar Says She Will Continue To Be a ‘Nightmare’ For Trump
Couple Rescues Muslim Man From 'Jai Shri Ram' Miscreants in Maharashtra
Fear Forces Pakistan To Shut 20 Terror Camps In PoK
Find Mosque, In the Bedouin Town of Israel, From When Islam Arrived In Holy
Extremism Is A Growing Worry In Germany After Series Of Attacks
every child has access to education
mulls whether FPI worthy of permit extension
meeting with Imran Khan, Trump to seek Shakil Afridi's release from Pak jail
next 'double game': 'Marriage with China, affair with US'
stalls Turkey’s fighter helicopter sale to Pakistan
Court Dismisses Fake Deed Case Against PML-N Leader Maryam Nawaz
urges Pakistan to release professor accused of blasphemy
election underway in merged tribal districts for 16 KP assembly seats
launches money laundering probe against Maryam
wants speedy trial, death for child abusers
categorically rejects ‘baseless accusations’ amid fresh terror wave in
Slams Omar, Calls Her Remarks ‘Disgrace To’ US
Department bureaucrats risk jumpstarting Islamic State resurgence
Salman OK's deployment of 500 US troops in Saudi Arabia
US needs Iran to 'come to the table' for talks
allies in Middle East turning their back on Trump: Analyst
congresswomen get support from Arab Knesset member
Nadu-based radical module busted last week, inspired by global jihadi groups
flags: Supreme Court seeks Centre’s reply
PDP leader’s security officer shot by militants in Anantnag
terror suspects linked to IS, al-Qaeda, SIMI: National Investigation Agency
Court fixes 9-month deadline for ruling in Babri case
Tamil Nadu men were planning terror attacks, through knives, vehicles and
Nadu: NIA raids homes of 14 youths arrested in ‘Ansarulla’ terror case
military aggression against Iran will drag entire Mideast into chaos: Nasrallah
forces wound nearly 100 Gazan protesters
Extends Detention of Iranian Tanker for a Month
Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War with Israel
says seized British tanker now at Bandar Abbas port, crew to remain onboard
vows to shoot down any Iran drones that fly too closely to its ships
Coalition begins operation targeting military positions in Yemen’s Sanaa
between top Bahraini, Israeli diplomats betrayal of Palestine: Hamas
jets pound Iraqi Kurdistan after Turkish diplomat killed in armed attack
liable for Muslim deaths at Srebrenica: Dutch Supreme Court
interior minister warns inflammatory political debate is fuelling extremism
sentenced to death for beheading backpackers in ISIS-inspired slayings
far-right groups use Britain’s extremism definition to argue they aren’t
police raid apartments at centre of suspected ISIS plot
to send $1.6B for refugees in Turkey under deal
Calls for Financial Sanctions on Myanmar, as Country Pushes for Rohingya
Toll In Kabul Bombing Rises To Over 40, Taliban Blamed For The Incident
to talk to Swedish NGO after Afghan clinic closures
Raid Afghan Provincial Police Headquarters
Taliban militants killed in security operations in Afghanistan
Taliban militants killed, detained; weapons, explosives destroyed in Special
artillery strike kill, wound dozens of Taliban militants in Uruzgan province
killed in bomb blast outside Kabul University
Al Qaeda Leader, Ali Maychou. Added to US Global Terrorist List
Commander, 20 Soldiers Killed By Boko Haram In Yobe
Demand Release Of Prominent Cleric Zakzaky
Sentenced to Death for Killing Scandinavian Hikers in Morocco
Mitiga airport resumes air traffic following an air strike
talks with Sudan army rulers postponed: protest leaders
6 aid workers missing in Boko Haram attack
Designates Hezbollah Terrorist Group on 25th Anniversary of Bombing
IS militants killed, 4 wounded in anti-IS attacks in Iraq
Oil Minister Killed in Clashes with Iraq’s Intelligence Forces in Eastern Syria
Turkish Army, Allied Militants Continue Plundering Artifacts in Afrin Region
Tens of Foreign Terrorists Killed, 5 Militant Centers Destroyed in
sanctions two leaders of Iranian-linked militias in Iraq
claims suicide bombing that killed 2 in Egypt’s Sinai
drones attack Hashd al-Sha’abi base in Iraq’s Salahudin Province: Reports
crown prince stuck in Yemeni 'quagmire', seeking US help: NY Times report
At least 20 killed in airstrikes in northern Sinai
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, who is also the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema
Council, said on Wednesday that moderate Islam is the best version of Islam for
need an] Islam that's rahmatan lil alamin, that's a blessing for all
concerned," Ma'ruf said at a seminar organized by the Indonesian Mosque
Council in Jakarta.
said Indonesia needs a brand of moderate Islam that is dynamic, self-aware and
does not play down problems.
moderate Islam should be neither too literal in its interpretation of the Quran
nor too liberal.
too literal means you only allow on interpretation, while being too liberal
means you interpret too much," he said.
also said that Islamic preachers should never incite resentment or hatred in
ulemas like us must do is build a Muslim brotherhood, a national brotherhood
and then a brotherhood of humanity," Ma'ruf said.
seminar was attended by prominent figures from Indonesia's two biggest Muslim
organizations, the Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, including celebrity
preacher Quraish Shihab who also spoke at the event.
Sunday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Ma'ruf had promised to
fight off creeping religious intolerance in Indonesia during an event to launch
the president's much-lauded new five-point vision for Indonesia.
Arabia defends letter backing China’s Xinjiang policy
NATIONS: Saudi Arabia on Thursday defended signing a letter along with 36 other
countries in support of China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang,
where the United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other
Muslims have been detained.
has been widely condemned for setting up detention complexes in remote
describes them as “education training centres” helping to stamp out extremism
and give people new skills.
week nearly two dozen nations at the UN Human Rights Council wrote a letter
calling on China to halt its mass detention.
response, Saudi Arabia, Russia and 35 other states wrote a letter commending
what they called China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.
asked about Saudi’s support for the letter, Saudi UN Ambassador Abdallah
Al-Mouallimi told reporters in New York that the “letter talks about China’s
developmental work, that’s all it talks about, it does not address anything
can be more concerned about the status of Muslims anywhere in the world than
Saudi Arabia,” he said. “What we have said in that letter is that we support
the developmental policies of China that have lifted people out of poverty.”
copy of the letter, seen by Reuters, said security had returned to Xinjiang and
the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there had been
with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a
series of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures in Xinjiang,
including setting up vocational education and training centres,” the letter
Rights Watch UN Director Louis Charbonneau said Al-Mouallimi’s characterisation
of the letter was “a slap in the face of Muslims being persecuted in China,
inaccurate to the point of absurdity.”
this month the United States and Germany slammed China during a closed-door UN
Security Council meeting over the detention centres.
response, China told diplomats them they had no right to raise the issue in the
Security Council as it was an internal matter for his country.
June the United States, Britain and other western countries objected to a visit
by the UN counterterrorism chief to Xinjiang, concerned the visit would
validate China’s argument that it was tackling terrorism.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan spoke with UN Secretary-General António
Guterres ahead of the trip to convey Washington’s concerns because “Beijing
continues to paint its repressive campaign against Uighurs and other Muslims as
legitimate counterterrorism efforts when it is not.”
chief’s hours long meeting with Ulema, minister on Madrassa reforms
The government claims to have achieved significant progress in the Madrassa
Reform Programme under which the religious schools without getting under
government’s control will be registered besides imparting compulsory subjects
like English, Maths etc to offer chain of careers to the students of these
Minister Shafqat Mehmood told The News he wanted to announce in a press
conference on Wednesday the significant progress achieved so far but because of
the Kulbushan case decision, he had to postpone his interaction with the media
on this important issue. To a question, Shafqat Mehmood confirmed that a group
of top Islamic scholars (ulema) of the country also had a meeting with Army
Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday night to discuss the issue of
madrassa reforms. Shafqat Mehmood was also present in the meeting, held at GHQ.
Muhammad Naeem of Jamia Binoria, who was present in the GHQ meeting, told The
News that the Army Chief was very positive and accommodating on the subject of
madrassa reforms to the satisfaction of Ulema and the madrassa boards. Mufti
Naeem said the Army Chief told the participants that the effort is to
mainstream the religious schools to different careers for the students of
madaris like other students of ordinary schools.
Naeem said the Army Chief told the Ulema that he would personally ensure what
the government is doing will not adversely affect the madaris, which will
remain independent to continue with their religious education system. The COAS,
Mufti Naeem said, only asked for the introduction of compulsory subjects like
English, Maths, Pak Studies etc in Madaris so that every student of the
religious schools besides getting his religious degree could also appear for
Federal Board exam and get certificate of Matric and FA and FSc. In this way,
the meeting was told that the students of madaris would have more career paths
and they could join defence forces, become doctors, engineers etc.
Bajwa, according to Mufti Naeem, also assured the Ulema that the government’s
reform programme in no manner will compromise the independence of the madaris.
Mufti Naeem said the Army Chief’s meeting, which started at 5:00pm and
continued till 12:00 am, with ulema was encouraging and positive. When The News
contacted Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, he confirmed that last night
the Army Chief chaired a meeting on the subject. The minister said that there
is a significant progress in Madrassa Reform Programme. He explained that it
has been decided that all Madaris will be registered. These madaris, he said,
will not be under the Ministry of Education but will be affiliated with the
ministry. He said that the Ministry of Education will set up its 12 regional
offices in different parts of the country to facilitate the registration of the
madaris. He insisted that the government is not “taking over” madaris but said
those madaris, which will not be registered will be closed down. Similarly, he
said the madaris, which will be found involved in spreading hatred and
sectarianism will also lose their registration and would be closed down as
second aspect of the Madrassa Reform Programme, he said is the introduction of
compulsory subjects like english, Pakistan Studies, maths etc to enable the
students of religious schools to appear for Federal Board’s Matric, FSC, FA
exams. Shafqat Mehmood said this particular initiative will open variety of
career choices for the madrassa students as well. The minister added the
regional offices of the education ministry will facilitate the madrassa not
only in their registration but will also extend help in other matters like the
issuance of visas for their foreign students. He said depending on the
availability of funding, the government will also financially assist these
madaris in hiring teachers for compulsory subjects.
The United States would press Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is slated
to meet President Donald Trump next week, to take irreversible action against
terrorist and militant groups, and to facilitate peace talks with the Taliban
for an intra-Afghan dialogue, the White House said Friday.
the 66-year-old cricketer-turned politician, is scheduled to meet Trump at his
Oval Office on Monday, the first by a Pakistani leader in nearly four years,
the last one being that of Nawaz Sharif in October 2015.
is travelling to the US at an invitation by Trump and the Administration is
preparing to give him a warm welcome which includes a traditional welcome at
the White House, one-on-one meeting at the Oval Office and a working luncheon
in the presence of several of his Cabinet colleagues and leaders from the
ahead of the visit, a senior administration official ruled out lifting
suspension of security aid to Pakistan unless it sees sustained, decisive and
irreversible action against terrorist and militant groups.
you know, we suspended security assistance to Pakistan in January 2018. And as
of now, there's no change to that policy," the official said in response
to a question.
purpose of the visit is to press for concrete cooperation from Pakistan to
advance the Afghanistan peace process, and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and
sustain its recent effort to crack down on terrorist and militants within its
territory," the senior administration official told reporters during a
official noted that by extending the invitation to Khan to visit the White
House, the US also want to send a message to Pakistan that the "door is
open to repairing relations" and building an enduring partnership if
Pakistan "changes its policies" with regard to terrorists and
the US perspective, the President will be most interested in encouraging
Pakistan to assist in the Afghanistan peace process. "We're hoping that
the discussions are productive," the official said.
Minister Khan's visit is an opportunity to incentivise Pakistan to use the full
leverage and influence on the Taliban to advance the peace process in
are calling on Pakistan for assistance in moving the peace process
forward," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
do appreciate the initial steps that Pakistan has taken to facilitate this
effort. We are reaching a critical juncture in the peace process. We are asking
Pakistan to pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire and participation
in intra-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan government,"
the official said.
that the security assistance to Pakistan continues to be suspended, the
official said there has been only minor exceptions for assistance that is
directly beneficial to US security.
and large that security assistance is still suspended. We will consider
changing that suspension on certain items if Pakistan meets our security
concerns both in Afghanistan, and with regard to some of the externally focus
groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. But as of now, there was no
change to that suspension and security systems," the official said.
the history of Pakistani cooperation with these unhelpful groups, the United
States is "not under any illusion", that the initial steps that have
been taken thus far, the administration is not taking them at face value.
are monitoring the situation. We will wait and see if the steps are made
irreversible and sustainable," the official said, adding that the Trump
Administration has "not made a final evaluation" on whether that's
the case."But we also see that this visit could incentivize Pakistan to
continue down the path that they have started.
facilitated contacts to Taliban and met some of our requests with regards to
the Afghan peace process. We're at a critical juncture and we need to see more
cooperation from Pakistan. They need to use their full leverage in this
endeavour. And so we see this visit as an opportunity to encourage them to do
more," the official said.
with Pakistan will also include potential cooperation on trade, energy and
women's issues. "We want to send that message that the doors are
open," said the official.
the meeting, the White House will encourage Pakistan to "create"
opportunity for enhancing regional economic development and connectivity.
example, we would encourage Pakistan the ease restrictions on trade
transcending Pakistan between India and Afghanistan. And we think this would be
a very positive step and will demonstrate Pakistan's commitment to a peaceful,
prosperous South Asia," the official said.
his maiden visit to the US, Khan will be welcomed by Trump at the White House.
The visit will focus on strengthening cooperation between the two countries to
bring peace, stability and economic prosperity to the region, the official
two leaders will discuss a range of issues, including counterterrorism,
defence, energy and trade, the official added.
among those present from the US side would include Treasury Secretary Steven
Mnuchin; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Acting
Secretary of Defense Richard Spencer and Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff
General Joseph Dunford.
Places Sanctions On Int'l Network Involved In Iran Nuclear Program
- The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on five people and an
international network of companies the U.S. Treasury said are involved in the
procurement of materials for Iran's nuclear program.
are the first punitive steps by Washington since Tehran announced earlier this
month it would increase its levels of enriched uranium that can be used for
announced on July 1 that it had amassed more low-enriched uranium than
permitted under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, marking its first
major step beyond the terms of the pact since the United States withdrew more
than a year ago.
is taking action to shut down an Iranian nuclear procurement network that
leverages Chinese- and Belgium-based front companies to acquire critical
nuclear materials and benefit the regime's malign ambitions," Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
cannot claim benign intent on the world stage while it purchases and stockpiled
products for centrifuges," he added.
Omar says she will continue to be a ‘nightmare’ for Trump
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says she isn't backing down in her criticism of
President Donald Trump, saying she's going to "continue to be a nightmare
to this president because his policies are a nightmare to us."
a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, made the comments as
she spoke to a crowd of supporters who greeted her on Thursday at the
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in the state of Minnesota.
freshman Democratic lawmaker has represented Minnesota's 5th congressional
district since January 2019.
nightmare is seeing the beautiful mosaic fabric of our country welcome someone
like me as their member of Congress,” Omar told her supporters.
are going to continue being a nightmare to this president because his policies
are a nightmare to us,” she added. "We are not deterred. We are not
supporters held signs saying "End racism now" and "I stand with
Ilhan." She told them she was not deterred: "We are not frightened.
We are ready."
was born in Somalia and immigrated to the US as a refugee in 1995 when she was
a child. She became a US citizen in 2000 at age 17.
has been targeted this week by Trump who has questioned her patriotism.
triggered a firestorm this week after he tweeted that the four progressive
members of the US House of Representatives, known as “the squad,” should “go
back” where they came from, even though all are US citizens and three are
other three members of the so-called squad are Rashida Tlaib of Michigan,
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
stepped up his vilification of four liberal female lawmakers as “un-American”
at a raucous rally on Wednesday, in Greenville, North Carolina. As Trump
recounted past comments by Omar, the crowd began chanting: “Send her back!”
told reporters at the US Capitol on Wednesday that Trump is "spewing his
much as he's spewing his fascist ideology on stage, telling US citizens to go
back because they don't agree with his detrimental policies for our country, we
tell people that here in the United States: dissent is patriotic," Omar
attacks have widely been seen as a bid to rally his right-wing base as the 2020
White House race heats up -- at the risk of inflaming racial tensions and
deepening partisan divisions in America.
before Trump turned up the heat on the four Democratic congresswomen of color,
hateful rhetoric and disinformation about lawmakers was lurking online.
inflammatory and inaccurate content has circulated on far right blogs, news
sites and social media accounts about the four female lawmakers since they ran
for public office.
his tweets and harsh comments, Trump has elevated that rhetoric, playing into a
conspiratorial feedback loop that reared its head repeatedly during his
campaign and presidency.
Couple Rescues Muslim Man From 'Jai Shri Ram' Miscreants In Maharashtra
| Jul 19, 2019
A Hindu couple came to the rescue of a Muslim man when he was allegedly
waylaid, beaten up and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' by a group of 10
unidentified miscreants in Aurangabad on Friday.
incident occurred at around 12.30am at Hudco Corner area of the city.
Patel (28), a waiter by profession, was on his way to home when the bike-borne
attackers waylaid him, asked questions before assaulting and forcing him to
chant the slogan.
couple after listening to the cries of the man, came out of their home and
urged the miscreants to not to harm him. They then took the key of Ismail's
motorbike and ensured he proceeded back home safely. When contacted, the
couple, fearing a backlash from the miscreants, refused to come on record.
in the day, the youth reached a police station and lodged his complaint.
serious note of the issue, deputy commissioner of police (zone-I) Nikesh
Khatmode-Patil, crime branch inspector Madhukar Sawant rushed to the police
station and obtained first-hand information from the complainant.
Begumpura police have booked the 10 accused under stringent sections including
153 (A) (spreading communal hatred as well as for un-lawful assembly and
commissioner of police Chiranjeev Prasad said, “We will not let any sinister
plan or conspiracy to succeed especially the ones aimed at creating communal
unrest and disharmony.”
officer also said that clear instructions have been issued to the authorities
to deal such elements with iron fist.
the officer privy to the probe, maintained that they are not only probing the
case but are also cross-verifying the chain of events as narrated by the
Imran told TOI, “The miscreants after waylaying me, took away my two-wheeler’s
key and after asking questions about my identity, started slapping me before
they made me chant Jai Shri Ram thrice. Around the same time, one of them
kicked me from behind, following which I fell on ground. After hearing my cries
for help, the couple came to my rescue.”
also claimed that one of the miscreants tried to hit him on the head with a
stone but the couple prevented him from doing so.
suspects, who were showering communally-charged abuses, even misbehaved with
the couple for coming to my rescue,” said Ismail.
fear forces Pakistan to shut 20 terror camps in PoK
fear of being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in October
has forced Pakistan to shut down 20 terror camps inside Pakistan-occupied
Kashmir (PoK) this year. Moreover, government data shows that there have been
no reports of infiltration and cross-border action on the Line of Control (LoC)
intelligence sources told The Indian Express that their inputs suggest shutting
down of 20 terror camps from where Pakistan was sending militants across to
Kashmir. This has happened before the FATF meeting in the US in June where
Pakistan’s grey-listing continued, sources said, and is likely to remain in
place until October when a case for blacklisting Pakistan over money-laundering
and terror funding will be taken up by the FATF in Paris.
have been able to shift the focus from ML (money laundering) to TF (terror
funding) in Pakistan’s case in the FATF and we have all seen the results.
Pakistan may or may not be blacklisted at Paris but a serious danger of being
blacklisted, along with the economic consequences of continued grey-listing,
has forced Rawalpindi’s hand,” sources said.
to sources, the biggest evidence of change in Pakistan on terror camps is the
fact that there have been “no reports of infiltration and cross-border action
on the LoC”. This is the first time in nearly three decades of militancy in
Kashmir that cross-LoC infiltration has come to an absolute halt. Sources also
contend that this is bound to have a major impact on the militancy in Kashmir
where security forces continue to conduct intensive counter-terrorist
documents reviewed by The Indian Express, however, display a certain hesitation
in seeing this change from Pakistan as a “permanent change of heart”. An
official note on the situation in Kashmir states upfront that there are “some
inputs regarding activation of launch pads along the LoC”. It further analyses
that “inputs regarding presence of terrorists in launch pads indicate
Pakistan’s design to attempt infiltration/ trans-LoC operations”.
have identified a total of 28 launch pads run by Pakistan across the LoC, both
north and south of Pir Panjal ranges, from where infiltration attempts could
still be made by Pakistan. Depending on the weather and the snowfall, the
period from May to October is seen as conducive for infiltration of militants
on the LoC.
said the declining intensity of ceasefire violations on the LoC also points to
the changed status of activity from the Pakistan side. “Pakistan seeks a
de-escalation along the LoC,” sources assert and that is reflected in the
calibre of weapons that are being used in ceasefire violations.
July 9, The Indian Express reported that of the 181 ceasefire violations on the
LoC in June, 175 involved small arms firing. There were only six instances of
calibre escalation, all of them south of Pir Panjal ranges and the Indian side
suffered one fatal casualty in the action.
security forces have had 71 fatal casualties and 115 non-fatal casualties in
Kashmir this year. Out of 71 dead, there are 15 Army men, 48 troopers of the
CAPF and eight J&K policemen.
in Israel have discovered the remains of one of the world's oldest rural
mosques, built around the time Islam arrived in the holy land, they said on
Israel Antiquities Authority estimates that the mosque, uncovered ahead of new
construction in the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev desert, dates back to
the 7th to 8th centuries.
are large mosques known to be from that period in Jerusalem and in Mecca but it
is rare to find a house of prayer so ancient whose congregation is likely to
have been local farmers, the antiquities authority said.
at the site were the remains of an open-air mosque -- a rectangular building,
about the size of a single-car garage, with a prayer niche facing south towards
is one of the earliest mosques known from the beginning of the arrival of Islam
in Israel, after the Arab conquest of 636 C.E.," said Gideon Avni of the
discovery of the village and the mosque in its vicinity are a significant
contribution to the study of the history of the country during this turbulent
extremism is a growing worry in Germany after series of attacks
Hollstein says he receives at least two death threats a month by mail or by
phone. Though they are scary, they don’t compare to the night 18 months ago
when a man approached the major of Altena, in the west of Germany, at a kebab
man asked if he was the mayor and said, "You let me die of thirst and let
200 refugees into Altena," Hollstein recalled at the time. Then the man
plunged a knife into Hollstein's neck.
who ended up with a 6-inch gash, had became nationally known during the refugee
crisis for welcoming migrants to his city. Authorities believed there was a
political motive behind the attack and arrested a suspect.
then, Hollstein has been outspoken about the need to tackle right-wing
extremism in Germany. Yet last month another politician who spoke out in
defense of migrants, Walter Lübcke, was fatally shot in the head on the terrace
of his home. A man with far-right views was arrested and confessed, though he
death reignited a debate about whether Germany, long praised for confronting
the ghosts of its extremist past, is in fact doing enough to combat far-right
groups in the 21st century. Like Hollstein and Lübcke, politicians and public
figures in Germany who speak out about far-right extremism, migration and
anti-Semitism are often on the receiving end of both threats and violence.
to data released in a report last month by Germany's domestic intelligence
agency, there are 12,700 "violence-orientated right-wing extremists"
in the country — which is more than half of the number of all right-wing
the high affinity for carrying weapons in the far-right extremist spectrum,
those numbers are extremely worrying," Interior Minister Horst Seehofer
said in presenting the report. "The risk of an attack is high."
issue is especially resonant in Germany, given its Nazi past. In the decades
after World War II, West Germany in particular pushed an education program that
attempted to confront the country's history, the Holocaust and the need for
democracy. Seven decades later, far-right extremism is a topic that many
thought had been vanquished, but some experts say that misperception may have led
to a more lax approach than is now necessary.
think it is because of our Nazi past that people don't want to recognize the
threat of the far-right today," said Anetta Kahane, who heads the
anti-racism group, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. "Like an evil child, it
reminds society of other evil members of the family."
the numbers in the recent report haven’t changed much since last year, the
right wing’s slant toward aggression has increased, according to Kahane, who
said that she receives attacks daily on social media.
is becoming more aggressive because they don’t feel enough resistance by the
population or by the government,” Kahane said.
foundation has also received bomb threats, a fake anthrax letter and a fake
explosive device, and right-wing extremists entered or tried to enter the
foundation with video cameras three times, according to the foundation.
is a direct relationship between the high amount of hatred online and people
who are willing to attack others in real life,” she added.
was precisely because of an increase in right-wing sentiment in Berlin that
Ferat Kocak became active in Die Linke, a left-wing party, in 2016. But because
of that activism, he believes he became a target of right-wing extremists: His
car was torched in the middle of the night in January 2018 as it sat parked
next to his parents’ home, where he lived at the time.
said there were two suspects in the attack, but investigations are ongoing and
nobody had been charged.
now regularly receives emails and messages on social media from people telling
him “you should have been shot,” and “you should have been burned, too.”
am afraid. I can’t sleep at night. When I hear noises in the middle of the
night, I get up. I check behind me when I walk on the street. But I won’t stay
still, I talk about it,” said Kocak, 40, who now serves as vice speaker of Die
Linke in Neukölln, a borough of Berlin.
the official figures show that extremist sympathizers comprise a tiny part of
the population, Andreas Zick, who studies extremism at the University of
Bielefeld, estimates their reach is much deeper thanks to social media sites
where others can watch and read about the topic.
has been a normalization of right-wing attitudes in society,” said Zick, who
studies such attitudes in Germany. “The extreme right wing has been more
successful in creating a movement which has strong links into the middle of
and other experts said that normalization has been helped by the presence of
the right-wing political party Alternative for Deutschland, or AfD, which has a
strong anti-immigrant stance and holds 91 out of 709 seats in the German
Parliament. The party has found a strong following, especially in the east.
month, Chancellor Angela Merkel's party ruled out any form of cooperation with
the AfD, saying its rhetoric had contributed to an atmosphere of hate that
encouraged political violence.
Berlin alone, requests on how to handle threats by right-wing extremists by
both individuals and organizations have roughly tripled since 2012-13,
according to the organization Mobile Counselling Against Right-Wing Extremism.
see that the AfD in Parliament is very confident. That also gives right-wing
extremists the confidence to threaten people who stand for democracy and human
rights," said Bianca Klose, who leads the organization. "That is a
Hollstein and other politicians, the antidote to extremism is awareness. They
are now pushing for greater openness and education around the issue.
not enough to make laws, but we need to educate children and parents,” said
Mirjam Blumenthal, the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the Neukölln
years ago, her car was also torched by right-wing extremists. She is unable to
speak about more recent incidents because of ongoing police investigations.
democracy is strong. But our democracy is in danger,” Blumenthal said.
WAN ROSLILI ABD MAJID
Washington Carver once said,‘education is the key to unlocking the golden door
many places around the globe, however, children are denied their right to
education due to reasons such as unaffordability, living in crises such as
wars, natural disasters and epidemics plus inability to meet certain
requirements to enrol into the school system.
barriers exclude 263 million young people from school and deny them the chance
to reach their full potential.
from school will fuel intergenerational cycles of poverty and disadvantage
including socio-economic exploitation and violation of freedom and dignity.
as a fundamental right is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (1948) and many other international human rights instruments including
the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI, 1990).
CDHRI stipulates that,‘every human being has a right to receive both religious
and worldly education from the various institutions of teaching, education and
guidance, including the family, the school and the university’.
emphasis on the above rights and obligations goes hand- in-hand with the whole
of the Islamic system as Islam emphasises the obligations of parents to provide
education which is the right of children. An excellent example of this is found
in the words of religious scholar Luqman Hakim related in the Quran where he
advised his son to obey his parents unless they commit munkar (go against
Allah) to be constant in prayer and to enjoin what is right and forbid what is
right to education is also one of the key principles underpinning the United
Nations Education 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).
aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong
opportunities for all.
Malaysia has given its commitment to all 17 goals under the United Nations SDG
2030 and in particular SDG4, it has not adopted inclusive universal education.
Citizenship is still the basic requirement for enrolment into the national
fact will definitely vanquish the dreams of thousands of stateless, migrant and
refugee children from reaping the benefits of early education.
on data presented in Parliament in 2016, there were 290,437 stateless and
34,600 refugee children in Malaysia.
elementary education, the children will continue to be vulnerable. In many
cases, they were completely denied from enjoying their right to education while
in extraordinary situations, various organisations took remarkable effort to
realise the children’s dream to be in school.
establishment of charity schools, or Pusat Pembangunan Minda Insan (PPMI),
initiated by HALUAN Sabah, is one such instance of realising children’s school
dream. HALUAN is a community- based organisation dealing with an alternative
holistic education for vulnerable groups including stateless children in East
Sabah. In this regard, the participation of non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) is crucial to galvanise the government’s effort in fulfilling the
requirements of SDG4.
its inception in 2011, there are now 11 PPMIs and another 30 more to be
established upon high demand from local communities. HALUAN aims to establish
1,001 PPMIs across Sabah to eradicate illiteracy and minimise school dropout
help realise these objectives, a group of Muslim professionals and NGOs — MACSA
(Malaysian Alliance of Civil Society Organisations) had sent a team of 14
activists, including this writer, to PPMI Kampung Tagupi Laut, Lahad Datu,
programme, named #Tagupi Membaca, was held from Oct 10-13, 2018 and was aimed
at delivering 410kg of reading materials and conducting training and English
classes. The four-day programme revealed the passion that PPMI’s teaching
assistants and students have towards knowledge and education.
impediment would prevent them from constantly engaging in teaching and learning
sessions, be they distance, financial constraint, lack of teaching and learning
tools, or inadequate infrastructure. All of these prove that much more
concerted efforts need to be conducted to ensure the protection of their basic human
right, especially with the announcement by the government in October 2018 to
allow stateless children to enrol into mainstream schools.
PPMI is one possible transit educational centre for those children who are in
the process of obtaining the necessary documentation to enable them to enrol
into national schools.
is an empowering right and an indispensable means of realising the rights of
others. It is also an enabler to allow society to grow.
children would miss the opportunity to develop into productive and
participatory adults if their right to a proper education is taken away.
conjunction with National Reading Month in July, let us give every child and
community the golden opportunity to learn and read, as a literate child makes
for an informed adult.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,‘He who
inaugurated a good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people)
would be assured of reward like the one who followed it, without their rewards
being diminished in any respect.
writer is fellow at centre for the study of syariah,law and politics,Institute
of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM)
government is considering whether or not to extend the mass organization permit
for the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), a hard-line group with a controversial
track record. Its permit expired last month.
Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, who led a meeting to
discuss various national security issues with relevant ministers on Friday,
said officials were in the process of evaluating the organization.
are evaluating [FPI’s] previous activities, the organization itself as well as
its track record [to decide] whether or not the organization is worthy of a
permit extension,” Wiranto said after the meeting.
mass organization permit expired on June 20. The organization has reportedly
submitted documents for a permit extension to the Home Ministry and is in the
process of completing all administrative requirements.
Home Ministry, however, said it would also take into account the opinion of the
public and relevant ministries before deciding whether to issue a permit
its permit expired, calls from members of the public for FPI's disbandment
resurfaced, as some highlighted the organization’s controversial track record,
such as regular raids, violent tendencies and anti-Pancasila sentiment.
online petition urging Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo not to extend FPI’s permit,
which was created and published on Change.org by Ira Bisyir, has garnered
widespread public support, with more than 485,000 petitioners signing up since
it was created on May 6.
leader and firebrand cleric Rizie Shihab, a staunch critic of President Joko
“Jokowi” Widodo, is in self-exile in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, apparently
overstaying his multiple-entry visa that expired last year.
to the Indonesian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Rizieq was staying in the Middle
Eastern country with four other people. Each person is estimated to have
incurred Rp 110 million (US$7,099) in fines for overstaying.
US President Donald Trump, during his meeting next week with Pakistan Prime
Minister Imran Khan, would seek the release of jailed Pakistani doctor Shakil
Afridi who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden, a senior administration
official said Friday.
two leaders are scheduled to meet at the White House on Monday.
is an extremely important issue to the president and the American people. I
think Pakistan could demonstrate its leadership role in the region and among
the international community by freeing Dr Afridi who remains unjustly imprisoned
in Pakistan," a senior administration official told reporters Friday.
being elected as the president of the United States Trump had said during his
campaign that he will get Afridi freed within two minutes from Pakistan.
helped the CIA track down al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in 2011. He was later
arrested and is currently serving a jail-term in Pakistan.
an interview to Voice of America, the lawyer and family of Dr Afridi, expressed
hope that Trump and Khan would discuss his release.
Afridi can't sleep properly due to harsh conditions and sweltering heat as
there is no window in the cell where he is kept. Imran Khan is visiting the US,
but if Dr. Afridi remains in pain, then I think the visit won't be a
success," his lawyer Qamar Nadeem told the VOA.
United States has requested Pakistan to free Dr Afridi, the senior
administration official told a group of reporters ahead of the Monday meeting
between Trump and Khan.
have clearly and regularly communicated this to Pakistan at the highest level
in public and private and will continue to do so until he is released.
Pakistan's leadership will be judged by treatment of Dr Afridi, while he
remains in prisons. We are calling on Pakistan to release him," said the
senior administration official.
Dr Afridi as a "hero", the senior administration official said that
he helped the US capture the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, the worst
terrorist incident in history.
is something that is of the utmost importance to us. It is likely to come up
(during the meeting)," the official said, adding that it remains a very
important issue for the US. He has been unjustly imprisoned, the official said.
As Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gears up for his first high-level visit
to the United States, experts believe that Islamabad is playing a 'double game'
in managing affairs between Washington and Beijing — the two rival economies.
remains China's closest ally as it is actively aiding, abetting and promoting
Beijing's strategic goals and hegemony in the region and the world.
Pakistan knows its strategic significance in the region, and hence leaving no
stone unturned to convince the United States to gain financial and military
Siddiqui, a Pakistani journalist living in exile in Paris, said, "Pakistan
is going through economic turmoil and is in need of American financial and
military assistance. It appears things seem to be on the hold and in review
with regards to China's investments inside Pakistan, particularly the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor."
Pakistan military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is accompanying the
Pakistani PM, and is the defacto in-charge of Pakistan, wants to revive and
restart the relationship with the US, and Bajwa knows Washington needs
Islamabad in case of Afghanistan and if there is any conflict with Iran in the
coming days. And therefore Pakistan may once again offer its services as a
rental state," he added.
also knows that the Americans want to restrict the expansionary footprint of
China in the region and therefore Pakistan may go for playing the 'double game'
whereby it keeps the US and China both engaged with Islamabad and seeks maximum
financial benefit from both, and it can do so because of the geostrategic
position it enjoys in the region," Siddiqui said.
Trump administration appears to believe that the pressure it exerted on
Pakistan, in an attempt to soften it over the last year, is what is paying
dividends now with the country goading the Taliban — most of whose leaders take
shelter in Pakistan — to the negotiating table.
reality is quite the opposite.
to seize on President Trump's stated desire to withdraw from Afghanistan,
Pakistan's decision to facilitate the talks has more to do with its keenness to
drive the US out of Afghanistan in order to get the Taliban back in the saddle
it seems to matter little to Trump that he himself recently accused Pakistan of
deceiving Washington over the years by sheltering terrorist proxies such as the
Taliban and the Haqqani network, supporting them in carrying out deadly attacks
against US troops in Afghanistan. Nor does it matter to him that the Afghan
government blames Pakistan, particularly its spy agency, the Inter-Services
Intelligence, for keeping the Taliban militarily and politically alive
throughout these years.
Qureshi, the Director of the Amsterdam-based European Foundation for South
Asian Studies (EFSAS) said, "The foreign policy of Pakistan towards the US
and China might differ, yet it is fashioned through a balance of power
principle, since the destabilised state of Pakistan requires someone to play as
a gyroscope that counterweights the tilted scales and establishes an
it is crucial to note that Pakistan has happened to develop an important and
strategic role for itself as it appears that it is a fundamental ingredient for
China's rise in the region and beyond, through its provision of alternative
energy supplies, transportation routes, and national security.
it remains to be seen whether the country will succeed in clearing all its
woes, considering the rise of extremism in Pakistan and the support to it by
the military establishment. There is a growing realisation throughout the
world, including in the US, that Pakistan has played a 'double game' for
US has stalled the sale of Turkish-made T129 ATAK helicopter gunships to
Pakistan, days ahead of the first meeting between PM Imran Khan and President
Trump, a media report said on Friday.
and Pakistan signed a $1.5 billion deal for the Turkish-made helicopter
gunships on July 13, 2018. The delivery date of the first helicopter was pushed
back after the Pentagon last year “refused” to issue the Turkish firm with an
export license for the delivery of the gunships’ CTS800 engines, which was part
of the T129 ATAK helicopter, the EurAsian Times reported on Friday.
ATAK ia s multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter. Developed by Turkish
Aerospace Industries with partner AgustaWestland, the helicopter is designed
for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments
and rough geography in both day and night conditions.
US’ decision is part of the Trump administration’s move not to provide any
security assistance to Pakistan till the time it takes decisive and
irreversible actions against terrorist groups. While Turkey is exploring the
possibility of engines from other suppliers in Poland and France, the US
decision would delay in delivery of T129 ATAK helicopters to Pakistan. The deal
was for the delivery of 30 of these helicopters.
A Pakistani anti-corruption court here on Friday dismissed a plea against
jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz for allegedly
submitting a fake document in the high-profile Avenfield Apartments case.
45, the vice president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was accused of
providing a fake trust deed during the hearing of the case. The deed was
written in Calibri font in 2006 when the font allegedly was not available for
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved an application before the
accountability judge Mohammad Bashir against Maryam for the bogus trust deed.
after hearing the case reserved the judgment and after a while announced that
the case was dismissed.
was accompanied by her husband, former army captain, Mohmmad Safdar and senior
to the judgement on Twitter, she said that the judge and the NAB made a
spectacle of them in sheer frustration.
said the NAB suddenly remembered that after a year the case was decided, it
should get her punished in the (fake deed) case.
was sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2018 in connection with the case
that pertains to the ownership of the Sharif family's apartments at Avenfield
House, London. The sentence was, however, suspended by the Islamabad High
case was one of three filed by NAB last year in light of the Supreme Court's
verdict against Sharif in the Panama Papers case.
for her in the fake deed case were issued on July 9 days after she posted a
video on Twitter of accountability court judge Arshad Malik, saying that he
awarded sentence to Sharif in Al-Azizia case on Dec 24, 2018 under pressure.
69, is serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since
December 24, 2018 in the Al-Azizia case.
was wearing a shirt with a picture of Sharif that read- "Free Nawaz
Sharif" when she arrived for the hearing.
large number of PML-N party workers protested outside the court in support of
Maryam. Police arrested some of them for causing unrest.
to the media on her arrival at the court, Maryam condemned the workers' arrest
and said the Pakistan government was afraid of her presence in Islamabad.
Days ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s July 21-24 visit to Washington, US
Vice President Mike Pence urged Islamabad to free Junaid Hafeez, a university
teacher arrested on blasphemy charges.
a religious freedom summit in Washington on Thursday, Mr Pence highlighted the
detention of religious dissidents in Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan and Saudi
Arabia. He also asked Saudi authorities to free Raif Badawi, a blogger jailed
for 10 years in 2014 for allegedly insulting religious sentiments.
Pakistan, Professor Junaid Hafeez remains in solitary confinement on
unsubstantiated charges of blasphemy,” Mr Pence said in his address to the
summit meeting attended by hundreds of delegates from across the globe. “And in
Saudi Arabia, blogger Raif Badawi is still in prison for the alleged crime of
“criticising Islam through electronic means.”
Pence said that “all four of these men have stood in defence of religious
liberty, in the exercise of their faith, despite unimaginable pressure”.
the prisoners that the American people stand with them, the US vice president
said: “Today, the United States of America calls upon the governments of
Eritrea, Mauritania, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia to respect the rights of
conscience of these men, and let these men go.”
Pence also criticised Myanmar, China, Iran and Venezuela for their alleged
continued violation of human rights.
also standing up for the persecuted Rohingya people in Burma,” he said. “We
cannot ignore the rise of militant Buddhism against Muslim and Christian
minorities that’s taken place.”
noted that a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya people has
forced more than 700,000 people to flee across the border to Bangladesh. “And
though the United States has repeatedly urged the Burmese government to hold
accountable all those responsible, the government has continued to imprison and
harass innocent men and women,” he said.
the guests invited to the summit was young Rohingya woman who, when just 18,
was thrown in jail for being the daughter of a political activist who dared to
challenge the old military regime.
polling began at 8:00am on Saturday, a total of 2.8 million residents of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa’s merged tribal districts are expected to exercise their franchise
to elect their representatives for 16 general seats of the provincial assembly
in the first-ever KP assembly elections.
Election Commission of Pakistan has set up 1,897 polling stations across the
region, previously called Fata. Of them, 554 have been declared highly
sensitive and 461 sensitive.
in many districts started lining up outside polling stations early in the
morning and reports from the districts suggest that the polling process started
between 8:00am and 8:30am in all districts.
ECP finalised arrangements for elections on Friday and handed over the relevant
materials to the polling staff in their respective areas.
claiming to have adopted foolproof security for the polls, the government has
said 34,497 security personnel have been deployed across the region and they
included personnel of the Pakistan Army, police, Frontier Corps, Levies and
are 285 candidates for 16 general seats, including nominees of Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Awami National Party, Pakistan
Peoples Party- Parliamentarians, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
and Qaumi Watan Party, and independents.
women candidates, including Naheed Afridi of the ANP and Malasa of the JI, are
contesting election in PK- 106 Khyber-I and PK-109 Kurram-II respectively.
the 16 general seats, three are for Bajaur and Khyber tribal districts each and
two for Mohmand, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal districts
each, while the former Frontier Regions of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki
Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank jointly have one seat.
seats reserved for women and non-Muslims will be filled through proportional
representation of seats won by a political party.
candidates are in the running for four seats reserved for women, while there
are three contestants for a seat reserved for non-Muslims.
total of 2.80 million residents, including 1.67 million men and 1.13 million
women, will exercise their right to vote.
the 1,897 polling stations, 482 are for men and 376 for women, while 1,039 are
combined. A total of 5,653 polling booths have been established. They include
3,437 for men and 2,216 for women.
the ECP has deputed 1,897 presiding officers, 5,653 assistant presiding
officers and 5,653 polling officers.
all polling stations are established in the respective constituencies, certain
stations of PK-110 Orakzai and PK-112 North Waziristan-II have been set up in
the adjoining settled districts for internally displaced persons.
polling stations have been established in Kohat for Mamuzai tribe, 23 in Hangu
for Alikhel and Mulakhel tribes of Orakzai Agency, and 13 in Bannu for IDPs of
PK-112 North Waziristan.
ECP has already notified the deployment of the personnel of armed forces and
civil armed forces outside every polling station and both outside and inside
the highly sensitive polling stations from July 18th to July 21 for helping it
conduct elections in a free, fair and transparent manner.
As the Islamabad accountability court on Friday rejected a National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) application seeking legal proceedings against PML-N
Vice-President Maryam Nawaz for using a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield
properties case, the anti-graft body initiated another probe against her in
money laundering and income beyond means investigation.
NAB launched another investigation against Maryam Nawaz, her father Nawaz
Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, her cousins Hamza Shahbaz and Yousuf Abbas, and others
for owning the M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills Ltd.
bureau for the first time summoned Yousuf Abbas for July 23 directing him to
appear before a combined investigation team of the NAB at Thokar Niaz Baig and
record his statement.
NAB has reportedly traced numerous telegraphic transfers (TTs) worth millions
of rupees by the Sharif family and the end beneficiaries included Maryam Nawaz
and other owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills.
bureau may send a questionnaire to Ms Nawaz instead of summoning her,” a source
told Dawn. He said the money laundering evidence against the owners of the
Chaudhry Sugar Mills surfaced during the probe against Shahbaz Sharif and his sons
Hamza and Salman in income beyond means and money laundering case.
the call-up notice to Yousuf Abbas, son of the late Abbas Sharif, the NAB said:
“The competent authority has taken the cognizance of offences committed by the
owners of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills under the provisions of the NAB Ordinance
1999 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.”
NAB asked him to “specify the channel through which payment was received for
exports, including banking accounts where payment was received, country of export,
quality of sugar exported.”
Abbas was also asked to provide details of investment/loans given to M/s Shamim
Sugar Mills Ltd, all TTs sent and received by him and loan of Rs800 million
given to him by various entities as reported in his wealth statement.
Abbas was warned that failing to comply with this notice may entail penal
consequences as provided in Section 2 of the NAO 1999.
the NAB Lahore on Friday wrote to over a dozen commercial banks to freeze more
than 150 accounts of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, his
sons Hamza and Salman, his wives, daughters and daughters-in-law.
the NAB Lahore had written to the Securities and Exchange Commission of
Pakistan (SECP), director general of the Excise & Taxation Department, the
Model Town Housing Society secretary, the Judicial Employees Cooperative
Housing Society secretary, the Galliat Development Authority director general
and others to get attached all movable and immovable properties of Shahbaz
Sharif and his family members.
Shahbaz Sharif on Friday presided over a meeting of the party’s provincial
parliamentarians and vowed to fight “fascist tactics” of the Imran Khan
government against the opposition.
multi-party conference of Punjab leadership will be held on Saturday (today) in
which it will be decided about holding protest rallies by the participating
parties on July 25. We are going to observe July 25 a black day across the
country,” PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bokhari told Dawn after the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister for law and parliamentary affairs Sultan Mohammad
Khan on Friday expressed concern about the growing incidence of child abuse in
the province and called for the speedy trial of suspected child abusers and
death penalty for those convicted for the heinous crime.
to an identical point of order moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Sumaira
Shams and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Nighat Yasmin Orakzai, the minister told the
provincial assembly that there was a need for legislation to address the issue
of child abuse.
said the incidence of child abuse was on the rise in KP and other parts of the
country, so the government should get tough on culprits.
personal desire is the speedy trial of and death sentence for people involved
in this inhuman act,” he said.
minister said parents needed education and awareness to protect children from
absence of cabinet members from the house marred parliamentary business.
Saleem Swati from the panel of chairmen, who presided over the sitting, kept
debate on the questions regarding the defunct Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) and
health and local government departments pending due to the absence of the
Orakzai, who moved four questions regarding the defunct Ehtesab Commission, didn’t
get reply from the government.
lawmakers sought details of the appointment of the acting director general to
the KPEC in 2017, the current status of the DG, assets, expenditure, and number
of cases disposed of by the commission.
relevant department, however, expressed inability to produce the sought-after
MPA complained that the department intentionally didn’t give answer to the
questions. The chair asked the minister to ensure the questions are answered in
the next sitting of the house.
cabinet members, including Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, frequently absent
themselves from the assembly’s sessions despite the speaker’s orders for them
to show up.
the sitting began on Friday, only two ministers and an adviser to the chief
minister were present in the house to respond to the opposition’s questions.
the chair’s attention to the absence of ministers, Opposition Leader Akram Khan
Durrani said on a lighter note: “It seems the government has been contracted to
the law minister to give answer to the opposition on behalf of the entire
however, said the law minister didn’t have the capacity to do so.
law minister said under sub-clause 6 of Article 130 of the Constitution, the
cabinet would be collectively responsible to the provincial assembly.
said the relevant ministers couldn’t show up due to official engagements.
Majlis-i-Amal MPA Inayatullah Khan said the minister was misinterpreting
Article 130 of the Constitution and the assembly’s rules of business.
said Article 130 of the Constitution didn’t mean that only one minister would
come to the assembly or he would be punished for the ‘corrupt practices’ of his
opposition lawmaker said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure the
presence of ministers in the house.
Islamabad has categorically rejected ‘baseless accusations’ regarding the
recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan.
public blame-game is contradictory to the spirit of the understanding between
the leadership of the two countries to address issues through close
coordination amongst relevant agencies,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr
Mohammad Faisal said in a tweet on Friday, suggesting that some Afghan
officials might have blamed Pakistan without raising the issue at an agreed-upon
rejects baseless accusations concerning recent terrorist incidents in
public blame-game is contrary to the spirit of the understanding between
leadership of the two countries to address issues through close coordination
amongt relevant agencies.
- 19 Jul 2019
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the previous month, the leadership of the two neighbouring countries agreed
that no public forums will be used to cast accusations or issue hostile
statements against each other so that bilateral ties can improve and Afghan
peace process can move as planned.
decision was taken during the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad,
where he held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the
country’s military leadership.
condemns all acts of terrorism in Afghanistan and hopes that both sides would
continue working constructively for durable peace in Afghanistan and the
region,” the spokesperson said in another tweet.
elements want to disrupt relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Ahmadzai
said in a joint press conference along with Pakistan’s Minister of State for
States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Shehryar Afridi in Islamabad earlier in
he displayed faith in the ongoing reconciliation process in Kabul, in which
Pakistan has also extended help and support.
development comes amid an unending wave of violence across Afghanistan, where
civilians are being targetted.
slams Omar, calls her remarks ‘disgrace to’ US
President Donald Trump takes fresh aim at congresswoman Ilhan Omar who has said
she would "continue to be a nightmare to” him.
a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives, said Thursday that “his
nightmare is seeing the beautiful mosaic fabric of our country welcome someone
like me as their member of Congress.”
who was speaking to reporters on Friday, said what Omar has said was “a
disgrace to our country."
unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says, 'I'm going to be the president's
nightmare,'" he added. "She's going to be the president's nightmare.
She's lucky to be where she is, let me tell you. And the things that she has
said are a disgrace to our country."
triggered a firestorm this week after he had tweeted that the four progressive
members of the US House of Representatives, known as “the squad,” should “go
back” where they came from, even though all are US citizens and three are
one of the four, was born in Somalia and immigrated to the US as a refugee in
1995 when she was a child. She became a US citizen in 2000 at age 17.
other three members are Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of
New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
asked on Friday that whether the backlash resulting from his comments would
impact him politically, he said he did not care.
don’t know if it’s good or bad politically. I don’t care," Trump said,
"Many people say it's good. I don't know if it's good or bad," he
has now been 21 months since Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. Special Forces and
U.S. air support, moved into Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State. Earlier
this month, I spoke at a Rojava Centre for Strategic Studies conference in
Amudeh, Syria, exploring the Islamic State’s enablers, after which I had the
opportunity to visit Raqqa as the local administration’s guest.
enter Raqqa is to be overwhelmed by destruction. Thousands of former residents
remain in tents at a camp alongside the road outside Ayn Issa. Most would like
to return to their homes just 45 minutes’ drive away, but Raqqa remains largely
destroyed. Driving into town requires passing the shells of apartment buildings
stretching miles. Local authorities have given a face lift to Naim Square,
where the Islamic State executed prisoners and mounted their heads, and
rebranded it Freedom Square. The buildings facing the square, however, remain
are signs of life in the center of town: wedding dresses, children’s toys, and
sweets sold in shops surrounded by rubble. Children played soccer in a stadium
once used as the Islamic State’s chief prison. Graffiti on the stadium wall
cursed the Islamic State and expressed love for Taylor Swift. Unexploded
ordnance slows recovery, as workers clear rubble by hand, and tempers are
short. The biggest obstacle to Raqqa’s recovery, however, lies in Washington
rather than Syria: The U.S. Treasury Department has been sitting on the Office
of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) waiver for the Syrian Democratic Council for
groups in Syria can be an alphabet soup of acronyms but, in short, the Syrian
Democratic Council is the umbrella organization for pro-American Syrian Kurdish
militias like the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the all-female Women’s
Protection Units (YPJ), and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
I first visited northeastern Syria in January 2014, U.S. diplomats had refused
to talk to the Syrian Kurdish opposition out of deference to Turkey. The United
States reconsidered its position due to both Kurds’ effectiveness against the
Islamic State and Turkey’s double-dealing on terrorism. The United States began
talking to the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in December 2015, and almost immediately, the
SDC applied for a U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control
(OFAC) waiver so that they could hire American companies to participate in
reconstruction and so that they could spend their own money in the United
States. The SDC does not ask for handouts: one of the biggest differences
between my most recent trip and my first is that the oil derricks between
Qamishli and the Tigris River are now operating but absent a waiver, the SDC cannot
legally spend money in the United States or elsewhere.
is unclear whether inertia or a misguided strategy motivates OFAC to sit for
years on the pending SDC waiver: The group is pro-Western and cooperates
closely with Washington. The Treasury Department previously granted the Syrian
National Council, the political arm of the Free Syrian Army, a waiver even
though extremists and terrorists have infiltrated the Free Syrian Army. In
contrast, U.S. military members in Syria trust the SDF more than local partners
in Iraq or Afghanistan; there has not been a single instance of SDF men or
women turning on American mentors.
Treasury Department’s inaction not only handicaps diplomacy but also undercuts
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains a core U.S. interest. The Kurds
dislike Assad: He voided citizenship papers Kurds need for school and
employment, and imprisoned Kurdish activists. However, given Turkey’s support
for Islamist radicals and its anti-Kurdish ethnic cleaning in areas of Syria
the Turkish army occupies, Syrian Kurds fear Turkey more. Simply put,
Treasury’s failure is pushing pro-American Kurds back toward Assad.
King Salman has approved hosting of hundreds of US troops in the kingdom amid
rising tensions in the region between the United States and Iran.
to the kingdom’s defense ministry, King Salman has given his approval “based on
mutual cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America” and
Washington’s “desire to enhance everything that could preserve the security of
the region and its stability.”
reported on Thursday that around 500 troops were expected to be dispatched to
the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert area east of the Saudi capital
US military officials told CNN that a small number of troops and support
personnel are already in the air base, with initial preparations being made for
a US-made Patriot missile system as well as runway and airfield improvements.
is expected to fly stealth, fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from
the air base, the unnamed US officials said.
kingdom has not hosted US forces since 2003 when they pulled out following the
end of the war with Iraq. The US troops were present in Saudi Arabia for 12
years, starting with Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when former Iraqi dictator
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
the peak of the Iraq war, 200 US aircraft were stationed at the Prince Sultan
air base, which is situated around 80 kilometers south of Riyadh. As many as
2,700 missions a day were also handled by the headquarters in Saudi Arabia.
2015, the US has been supporting a a Saudi-led war against Yemen that seeks to
reinstall the impoverished country’s former Riyadh-backed officials. The
American patronage has featured aerial refueling, which the US only stopped
last year after the Saudi-led coalition grew independent of it, as well as
logistical and commando support.
of thousands of Yemenis have lost their lives since the onset of the war, and
the country has been pushed close to the edge of outright famine.
year after the war was launched, Trump made his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia,
announcing more than $100 billion in arms sales to the kingdom.
contract for THAAD missile system
a $1.48 billion contract to build the THAAD missile system for Saudi Arabia has
been awarded to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon said on Friday.
November 2018, Saudi and American officials signed letters of offer and
acceptance formalizing terms for Saudi Arabia’s purchase of 44 THAAD launchers,
missiles and related equipment.
April, a $2.4 billion contract for THAAD interceptor missiles was awarded to
Lockheed. some of those missiles are set to be delivered to the kingdom, which
is the United States’ largest arms client, with over $129 billion in approved
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on Iran to “come to the table” for talks,
repeating President Donald Trump's offer that Washington was ready to conduct
the negotiations without preconditions.
Iranians continue to say they will talk about it, but only if the United States
does something. We need them to come to the table, it’s the right way to
resolve these challenges,” Pompeo said on Friday.
comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran, which started
when the US unilaterally withdrew from a multilateral Iran nuclear deal
clinched between the Islamic Republic and world powers in 2015, and reimposed
sanctions on Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who was in New York to attend the annual
gathering of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), had reportedly met
with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Thursday to discuss the possibility of
holding talks between the US and Iran.
Friday, Trump confirmed he had authorized Paul to talk with Iran, although
earlier on Wednesday he denied reports he had permitted the senator to serve as
an emissary to Tehran.
also said that he would join the negotiation process if other senators asked
him to do so.
is a friend of mine, and Rand asked me if he could get involved. The answer is
yes, and if the other senators ask me to get involved, I’d probably say yes
depending on who they were,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday. “I
have many people involved, and Iran is going to work out very nicely. “
has said, “I think there is a possible opening that Iran would sign an
agreement,” which “would be a huge breakthrough.”
think President Trump is one of the few people who actually could get that
deal,” Paul said. “And he will get it because he’s strong, and he is showing
maximum pressure, but he is also willing to talk,” he told Fox News on
the same day, the US, however, imposed sanctions on seven companies along with
three individuals it claims helped procure materials for Iran’s nuclear
marked the first time Washington imposed sanctions on Iran since Tehran
announced it would surpass the uranium stockpile limit set under the Iran
administration of US President Donald Trump and his allies in the Middle East
are unlikely to launch a military strike against Iran, as Washington struggles
to win its allies’ support to forge a military alliance against Tehran, says an
American political analyst.
US is quickly finding all of its allies, including Iraq, are turning their back
on the United States,” said Scott Bennett, a former US military psychological
think [President] Donald Trump is smart enough to realize that if he is seen as
a president trying to start another war, he’ll be very quickly removed from
office and will not work in a second term,” Bennett told Press TV on Thursday.
Trump administration is reportedly preparing to send hundreds of troops to
Saudi Arabia amid escalating tensions with Iran and despite growing criticisms
of Washington’s military ties with Riyadh over the regime’s gloomy human rights
two US defense officials, CNN reported on Thursday that around 500 troops are
expected to be dispatched to the Prince Sultan Air Base, located in a desert
area east of the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
said that a small number of troops and support personnel are already in the air
base, with initial preparations being made for a US-made Patriot missile system
as well as runway and airfield improvements.
unnamed US officials said that Washington is expected to fly stealth,
fifth-generation F-22 jets and other fighters from the air base.
said America’s military presence in Saudi Arabia is mainly aimed at controlling
the kingdom’s vast oil resources.
racially charged attacks by the U.S. president, two U.S. congresswomen on
Friday saw a show of support extended by an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset.
twin letters to Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib posted on Twitter,
and quoted by daily of Haaretz, parliamentarian Aida Touma-Sliman expressed
“appreciation for your tireless work on behalf of the Palestinian people” and
“in light of President Trump’s recent attacks."
added that she would do her best to ensure that the duo can visit Palestine in
the face of Israel possibly blocking them due to their support for the
Palestinian Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
kicked off a firestorm on Sunday when, using a racial slur, he told a group of
progressive Democratic congresswomen on Twitter to "go back" to the
"totally broken and crime infested" countries they come from.
was later confirmed that he was referring to freshmen Representatives Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.
I read of President Trump’s vicious attacks, I was struck by the similarity
between his racist incitement and that practiced by his close ally, [Israeli]
PM Benjamin Netanyahu,” said Touma-Sliman’s letters to Omar and Tlaib.
committed to do “whatever is in our power” to enable the two congresswomen's
announced visit to the Palestinian territories, proposing in her letters to the
congresswomen to meet with "people who are fighting for peace and freedom
from within Israel – Palestinians and Jews alike."
also proposed to share with the two congresswomen "perspective on the
occupation, on the discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens within Israel,
and on the particular challenges facing Palestinian women."
Omar and Tlaib have announced their intention to visit the Palestinian
territories soon, without specifying a date.
said on Thursday he will decide whether he will allow Omar and Tliab to enter
through Israeli border crossings or not.
Foreign Ministry, however, warned that blocking the two congresswomen “would
harm Israel's foreign relations,” according to Israeli daily Haaretz.
DELHI: The 16 arrested members of Tamil Nadu-based radical Islamic outfit
‘Ansarulla’ busted by NIA last week, were inspired by global jihadi groups like
Islamic State/Daish, Al Qaida and homegrown terrorist outfit SIMI. Of the 16
accused, 13 were deported from the UAE in two batches, while three were
arrested from Nagapattinam and Chennai.
on Thursday said the accused persons — nine of who were arrested on July 13 and
the remaining seven on July 15 — had been actively recruiting individuals to
strike terror in India and also routinely posting videos and other jihadi
propaganda material on social media, exhorting their supporters to conduct
terrorist attacks using various methods including the use of explosives,
poison, knives and vehicles.
said Ansarulla, comprising allegedly highly-radicalised individuals residing
within India and abroad, had conspired and conducted preparations including
collecting money to wage war against the government of India with the intention
of establishing Islamic rule in India.
was on Thursday granted custody of the 16 arrested accused by the Special NIA
Court in Chennai. They will be questioned over the next 8 days on their motive,
linkages and plans to perpetrate terror acts in India.
July 13, NIA had arrested nine accused namely Hassan Ali, native of
Nagapattinam; Harish Mohamed hailing from Nagapattinam; Mohamed Ibrahim, native
of Nagapattinam; Meeran Ghani, native of Theni; Gulam Nabi Asath, native of
Peramballur; Rafi Ahamed, native of Ramanathapuram; Munthasir, native of
Ramanathapuram; Umar Barook, native of Thanjavur; and Farook, native of
on July 15, NIA arrested 7 more accused in the case namely Mohamed Sheik
Maitheen, native of Madurai; Ahamed Azarudhen, native of Thiruvarur; Toufiq
Ahmed, native of Chennai; Mohamed Ibrahim, native of Tirunelveli; Mohammed
Afzar, native of Theni; Mohideen Seeni Shahul Hameed, native of Ramanathapuram
and Faizal Sharief, native of Ramanathapuram.
Supreme Court on Friday directed the Centre to respond within two weeks on a
plea seeking a ban on hoisting of green flags with a crescent and a star on it
at religious places and events across the country.
Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairman, Syed Waseem Rizvi, had filed a plea in the
apex court on April 17, last year, seeking to ban hoisting such flags atop
buildings and religious places, stating they are “un-Islamic”.
hereby appeal to the Supreme Court to immediately ban this green flag. The flag
is not related to Islam. It is the flag of Pakistan’s Muslim League,” reads the
petition. Rizvi also states that the use of the pre-Independence flag in Muslim
areas often becomes a reason for misunderstanding and tensions between the two
communities in the region.
green flag with crescent and star owes its origins to the erstwhile political
party, the All-India Muslim League, which was founded by Nawaz Waqar Ul-Malik
and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1906 in Dhaka,” said Rizvi. “However, in the present
day, it is being used by Indian Muslims as an Islamic flag,” he said.
to the petition, the flag represents the political parties of Pakistan Muslim
League and Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid-e-Azam). It also states that the flag
is not connected to Islam and in fact, all the people following the Prophet
Muhammad used to represent black or white flags. A bench headed by Chief
Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard the plea.
petitioner, chief of UP Shia Waqf Board, says the ‘flag’ often leads to
Personal Security Officer (PSO) of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Sajad
Mufti was shot dead by militants in Anantnag district on Friday.
is a relative of PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
officials told the The Indian Express that constable Farooq Ahmad of J&K
Police, who was posted with Sajad as PSO, was shot dead by militants at a
shrine in Bijbehara, Anantnag district, during the afternoon prayers on Friday.
policeman was at the gate when unknown men fired at him,” said a police officer
in South Kashmir. The militants took his weapon too before fleeing, he added.
The PSO was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead.
had a bullet injury on the chest and had already died when brought to the
hospital,” Medical Superintendent, Sub District Hospital (SDH) Bijbehara, Dr
Showkat said. A police source said Sajad was offering Friday prayers since the
last few weeks at the shrine.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday identified the 14 terror suspects
who were deported recently from the UAE and alleged that they were associated
with varied ideologies of the al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS), and the
Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
NIA has alleged that they had come together to form a terror group called
“Ansarullah”, had allegedly collected funds and made preparations to carry out
has alleged that the group members were exhorting others to carry out lone-wolf
attacks using knives, vehicles or even poison. The 14 suspects were arrested
along with two others from Tamil Nadu. They have been remanded in NIA custody
for eight days.
to the agency, the suspects were booked in a case registered on July 9 “based
on credible information received that the accused persons, owing allegiance to
the proscribed terrorist organisations ISIS/ Daish, Al Qaida and SIMI, while
being within and beyond India, had conspired and conducted preparations to wage
war against the Government of India by forming a terrorist gang Ansarulla”.
a statement, the NIA said, “Accused persons have been actively recruiting
individuals to strike terror in India and have also been routinely posting
videos and other jihadi propaganda material exhorting their supporters to
conduct terrorist attacks using various methods, including use of explosives,
poison, knives and vehicles, as means of attack.” Sources said the suspects
were deported from the UAE in two batches of seven with the first landing on
July 13 and the second arriving on July 15. They were taken in a special flight
to Chennai, where they were produced in court.
is suspected that the individuals owing allegiance to SIMI are associated with
Wahadat-e-Islami Hind, an Islamic organisation in Tamil Nadu.
NIA had last Saturday conducted raids at premises associated with three
individuals in Tamil Nadu in connection with its probe into activities of
Ansarullah. Among them, was Chennai resident Syed Bukhari, who is also the president
of Wahadat-e-Islami Hind (WIH).
Sunday, the agency arrested two others — Hassan Ali and Harish Mohammed, both
from Nagapattinum — “based on incriminating facts revealed during searches and
subsequent investigations”. They, along with Bukhari, are already accused in
the July 9 FIR against Ansarullah.
WIH has maintained that it is a religious organisation, in interviews to the
local media, sources in Tamil Nadu Police said intelligence agencies suspect
the organisation was helping fund activities of Ansarullah.
was established in 2009 in Chennai as a religious organisation and soon ran
into controversy, with intelligence inputs suggesting its association with
SIMI, a proscribed organisation. WIH had denied the allegations.
Supreme Court on Friday fixed a nine-month deadline for completion of trial and
pronouncement of judgment in the Babri Masjid demolition case, in which
prominent BJP leaders L K Advani and M M Joshi are among the accused.
in this case must be delivered maximum within a period of nine months from
now,” a bench of Justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant ordered while directing
that the tenure of the Special Judge S K Yadav hearing the matter be extended
till the judgment is delivered.
order means that judgment in the case will have to be delivered before April
judge who is set to retire by the end of September this year had written to the
court saying that despite best efforts, he would need six more months to
conclude the matter.
this, the Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to inform it about
the procedure for extension of service of judges.
for the state government, Senior Advocate Aishwarya Bhati told the bench on
Friday that there was no provision for this in service rules. But the court
referred to a rule under which the service of government servants may be
extended till the age of 62 years if such extension is required in the greater
interest of justice and reasons to be recorded in writing.
bench said it was invoking its inherent jurisdiction under Article 142 of the
Constitution to allow extension of service to the judge only for trial in this
asked the state government to pass necessary orders in consultation with the
High Court within four weeks extending the tenure of the judge who is scheduled
to retire on September 30.
court also directed the Chief Secretary to file an affidavit about the steps
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday identified the 14 terror suspects,
who were deported this week from UAE and alleged that they were associated with
varied ideologies of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and Students Islamic Movement of
India. Along with the 14 suspects, two others were arrested and have been
remanded in NIA custody for eight days. All 16 suspects hail from Tamil Nadu.
NIA alleged that they had come together to form a terror group called Ansarulla
and the accused had also collected funds and made preparations to carry out
terrorist attacks in India, “with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in
India.” It further alleged that the group members were exhorting others to
carry out lone-wolf attacks using knives, vehicles or even poison.
a statement, NIA said, “Accused persons have been actively recruiting
individuals to strike terror in India and have also been routinely posting
videos and other jihadi propaganda material exhorting their supporters to
conduct terrorist attacks using various methods including the use of
explosives, poison, knives and vehicles, as means of attack.”
further claimed that it has booked the 16 in a case registered on July 9,
“based on credible information received that the accused persons, owing
allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organizations ISIS/ Daish, Al Qaida and
SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), while being within and beyond India,
had conspired and conducted preparations to wage war against the Government of
India by forming a terrorist gang Ansarulla.”
establishment sources said the suspects were deported from UAE in two batches
of seven with the first who arrived on July 13 and the second on July 15. The
apprehended individuals were taken to Chennai in a special flight where they
were produced in a court.
14 deported from UAE have been identified as Mohamed Ibrahim, 58; Meeran Ghani,
33; Gulam Nabi Asath, 37; Rafi Ahmed, 55; Munthasir, 39; Umar Barook, 48;
Farook, 26; Mohamed Sheik Maitheen, 40; Ahamed Azarudhen, 27; Toufiq Ahmed, 27;
Mohamed Ibrahim, 36; Mohammed Afzar, 29; Mohideen Seeni Shahul Hameed, 59, and Faizal
is suspected the individuals owing allegiance to SIMI are associated with
Wahadat-e-Islami Hind, an Islamic organisation in Tamil Nadu.
week, NIA conducted raids at premises of three individuals in Tamil Nadu in
connection with its probe into activities of Ansarullah. One among them was
Chennai-resident Syed Bukhari, who is also the president of Wahadat-e-Islami
agency then put two of the individuals — Hassan Ali and Harish Mohammed — both
from Nagapattinum, under arrest “based on incriminating facts revealed during
searches and subsequent investigations”. They along with Bukhari are already
accused in the July 9 FIR against Ansarullah.
Wahadat-e-Islami Hind (WIH) has maintained it is a religious organisation with
no connection to radical Islam in interviews to local media, sources in Tamil
Nadu police said that intelligence agencies suspect the organisation was
helping fund activities of Ansarullah. WIH was established in 2009 in Chennai
as a religious organisation and soon ran into controversy with intelligence
inputs suggesting that it was associated with SIMI, an organisation proscribed
by the government. WIH had then denied such allegations.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday is conducting search operations at
various locations across Tamil Nadu. The raids are being held at residences of
the 14 youths who were deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week
for their alleged association with terror outfits.
raids are being carried out in Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Ramanathapuram
district, the police told news agency PTI without divulging further details.
is conducting searches at 14 locations in TN, which are residences of 14 youth
picked up last week for alleged funding for an Islamic terror module in Tamil
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14 accused were allegedly associated with varied ideologies of the al-Qaeda,
the Islamic State (IS), and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
accused were arrested earlier this week and remanded to NIA custody till July
25. They had been handed over to India by UAE for allegedly attempting to set
up the terror outfit called ‘Ansarulla’. They were brought to Chennai in a
special aircraft and were produced before Special Judge Senthur Pandian of the
NIA court in Poonamallee.
court, after hearing NIA’s arguments, had remanded all the accused to the
agency’s custody till July 25.
accused have been identified as Mohamed Ibrahim, 58; Meeran Ghani, 33; Gulam
Nabi Asath, 37; Rafi Ahmed, 55; Munthasir, 39; Umar Barook, 48; Farook, 26;
Mohamed Sheik Maitheen, 40; Ahamed Azarudhen, 27; Toufiq Ahmed, 27; Mohamed
Ibrahim, 36; Mohammed Afzar, 29; Mohideen Seeni Shahul Hameed, 59, and Faizal
NIA alleged that they collected funds and made preparations to carry out
terrorist attacks in India “with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in
India.” It further alleged that the group members were exhorting others to
carry out lone-wolf attacks using knives, vehicles or even poison.
secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has warned the
US that any military aggression against Iran will drag the entire Middle East
into disarray, stressing that Washington will definitely not be the one who
determines the end of such a scenario.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) has said, the
US is not capable of imposing a military war on Iran. The White House knows
that if a war against Iran happens, the entire region will get entangled, and
the US will not be the one who finishes it,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a
meeting with the visiting Iranian parliament speaker’s special advisor on
international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in Beirut on Friday.
have been running high between Tehran and Washington since last year, when US
President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 multilateral
nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
the US has taken a quasi-warlike posture against Iran and stepped up its
provocative military moves in the Middle East, among them the June 20 incursion
of an American spy drone into the Iranian borders.
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down the advanced US-made RQ-4
Global Hawk over Iran’s territorial waters off the coastal province of
Hormozgan after the unmanned aircraft breached the country’s airspace on a
then described resistance as the sole and most efficient option in the face of
the Israeli regime’s crimes, acts of aggression and excessive demands.
also lauded Iran’s political and democratic plan for a referendum among all
historic residents of Palestine, inclusive of Muslims, Christians and Jews, as
realistic and logical.
occupying Zionists, however, are the most irrational creatures on the earth,
and do not understand anything other than the discourse of resistance,” the
Hezbollah chief noted.
further termed Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli
regime and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,” as hollow, stating
that the Zionists are the root cause of corruption and insecurity in the
also highlighted that Hezbollah bears no grudge against Jews, warning members
of the religious community not to play in the hands of Zionists’ land grab
Hezbollah secretary general emphasized that the anti-Israel resistance front is
now in its best form even though the US and the Israeli regime continue with
their fiendish moves in the region.
are seeking to impede the purge of the last remnants of terrorists in Syria,
and are prolonging the (Syrian) crisis through various means in a bid to
prevent the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. They will fail in
their interventionist policies in the region though,” Nasrallah concluded.
for his part, congratulated Hezbollah’s victory during the 33-day war in July
2006, and discussed latest regional and international developments besides
bilateral political and parliamentary relations between Tehran and Beirut with
the Hezbollah chief.
forces have attacked Palestinians taking part in the weekly “Great March of
Return” rallies, injuring 98 Gazan protesters, according to the Gazan Health
Gazan Health Ministry also said that 49 of the injured protesters had sustained
bullet wounds from Israeli live fire.
paramedics were also among the wounded.
rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. The Palestinians
demand the right to return of those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies
and wounded nearly 18,000 others, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living
— Gibraltar was granted the power on Friday to detain Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker
for another month, keeping the vessel at the center of a big-power quarrel
between Iran and the United States and its allies.
said the Iranian vessel, seized by marines in a daring landing in darkness off
the coast of the British territory on July 4, was suspected of smuggling oil to
Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.
has repeatedly called for the ship's release, denies the allegation that the
tanker was taking oil to Syria in violation of sanctions and says Gibraltar and
Britain seized the vessel on the orders of Washington.
a private meeting of the Supreme Court on an application by the Attorney
General, the Court has extended the period of detention of the vessel, Grace 1,
for a further 30 days and has set a new hearing for 15 August 2019," the
Gibraltar government said on Friday.
denies that it was ordered to detain the vessel, which was carrying up to 2.1
million barrels of oil, but several diplomatic sources said the United States
asked the United Kingdom to seize the vessel.
vessel is now seen as a pawn in the standoff between the Islamic Republic and
the West, with its fate tangled in the diplomatic differences between the EU's
big powers and the United States.
tanker is important because it is part of the wider tensions between Iran and
the United States," said Sanam Vakil, senior research fellow at Chatham
House in London.
EU 3 – including the UK – are caught in between, trying to save the Iran
nuclear deal while also managing pressure from Washington," she said,
referring to Germany, France and Britain. "So there is a big divergence of
strategy on how to proceed and this tanker is a reflection of those
hardliners have repeatedly threatened to seize British shipping in retaliation
for what they cast as London's piracy and Britain last week said it had fended
off Iranian ships that tried to block a British tanker.
Britain, which wants to preserve the nuclear deal, has repeatedly indicated it
wants a compromise over the tanker.
Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain "would facilitate release" of the
Iranian supertanker "if we received guarantees that it would not be going
to Syria, following due process" in Gibraltar courts.
Thursday, Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo held a "constructive
and positive" meeting with Iranian officials in London to discuss the
Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With Israel
tranquil winding roads of Lebanon’s mountainous interior are far from the tense
waters of the Persian Gulf where President Donald Trump says America came
within 10 minutes of war with Iran a few weeks ago. And where, he said on
Thursday, the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone. But if fighting ever does begin,
these hills and valleys near the border with Israel will quickly be on the
front lines. And according to Hezbollah commanders, that moment could be coming
Trump talked of war, he meant a shooting war in the conventional sense. But for
Iran and its allies, it’s Trump’s economic war with its suffocating sanctions
that is bringing the region to the brink of armed conflict. The targets of
Trump’s weaponized dollar increasingly see resorting to military engagements as
the only response left.
in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s commanders are close allies and clients of Iran—and
they are targeted by U.S. sanctions as well. They warn that if the pressure
continues these rugged hills where the Party of God fought bloody guerrilla
campaigns to end 15 years of Israeli occupation in 2000 and repel an Israeli
invasion in 2006 could erupt once again.
this time, they say, the combat will be far more devastating.
forces, battle-hardened in the Syrian civil war, have begun redeploying toward
the Israeli border, not only in Lebanon, but in Syria opposite the
Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights.
fighters who spoke to The Daily Beast say their organization is hurting from
sanctions and ready to initiate hostilities—if and when Tehran deems that
sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” says
“Commander Samir,” a Hezbollah officer in charge of 800 fighters on Lebanon’s
border with Israel. He declines to use his real name because he is not
authorized to speak to the media. “We will fire the first shot this time,” he
military wing has changed fundamentally since its 2012 entrance into the war in
Syria to prop up the Assad regime, transforming into a regional fighting force
the Shia organization inspired by the Iranian revolution that the U.S. lists as
a terrorist group.
Trump offers the reasons he pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran last year,
precipitating the current crisis, he cites Iran’s support for militias that
extend its power and influence across the region as something the U.S. intends
to end—with Hezbollah the main target.
the pressure may actually be consolidating and motivating Iran’s proxies.
is still fighting in Syria while training Iranian allied militias in Iraq and
Yemen. The commander says his organization and Iran have moved past their split
with Palestinian allies over Syria, where they were on opposite sides of the
Syrian revolution as it turned into a bloody regional proxy war, and Iran is
once again providing training and support for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic
a living room overlooking the valleys where he became a veteran, ambushing the
Israeli army and melting away into the surrounding hills, Samir says the next
war will be nothing like those that came before.
underscores the importance of Hezbollah’s positions in the Syrian-controlled
part of the Golan, giving it the ability to open a second front there against
Israel, and boasts about drone capabilities and new anti-aircraft and
anti-naval weapons acquired in Syria alongside a more seasoned fighting force.
wish before the war in Syria was to go and open a front in the Golan but [the
Syrian Government] set a red line,” the commander says, describing the limits
the pre-war Assad regime placed on Hezbollah activity in its territory. “Now
there are no red lines,” he said.
commander acknowledges a new war would bring vast devastation to Israel and
Lebanon, but says the sanctions crippling the Iranian economy and forcing a
large reduction in Iran’s financial support for Hezbollah could make this nightmare
scenario real. Already, salaries for
Hezbollah fighters have been halved, according to the three fighters The Daily
Beast spoke with. But while they are hurting economically, they insist their
organization feels strong militarily.
Iranians have said either we all sell oil or no one does,” Commander Samir says
definitively, describing Hezbollah’s interests in lockstep with Iran’s. Like
the two other fighters that spoke to The Daily Beast, he describes Hezbollah’s
concerns in more regional rather than domestic terms, responding to actions of
U.S. allies around the Middle East rather than Israeli action on Lebanese
any missile hits Iran, it will be treated like Israel did it,” says the
spite of the increasing destabilization of the region since the U.S. pulled out
of the Iran nuclear deal and sanctions started taking hold, the Trump
administration has argued that its policy of “maximum pressure” will force
according to Ahmad Moussalli, a
political science professor and specialist in Islamic movements at the American
University of Beirut, the financial constraints imposed by Washington are
having the opposite effect.
find this axis sees itself as fighting for its existence,” says Moussalli
referring to Iran and its regional allies and proxies. “So they are going to
pull together and strengthen their axis,” he continues, pointing to the way
Hezbollah has been increasing overt political influence in Lebanon while allies
in Yemen and Iraq have been taking more aggressive action.
is not going to sit down, take it and destroy itself from within,” Moussalli
says. “And the only way for them to react is militarily; they don’t have many
other options.” He leaves no doubt that Iran is the power determining regional
responses rather than Hezbollah or any other proxy acting on its own
eruption of shelling between Israel and Gaza ahead of the Israeli election in
May provided some instructive examples of changes in tactics. Commander Samir
points to a threat—which was not carried out—by Islamic Jihad to fire missiles
at the northern Israeli city of Haifa. The threat was a marked change from
recent rhetoric by the Palestinian Islamist faction which had previously taken
the public position of “quiet for quiet,” a term used by the Israeli army to
describe its claimed intention not to initiate armed hostility. “It was a
message from us and Iran,” he brags about the ability to fire at Israel from
the south or the north while contending the choice to do so or not is up to
Tehran. “Islamic Jihad never shoots before calling the Iranians.”
a seasoned Hezbollah fighter in Syria is back in Lebanon after years of bloody
tours in what’s been an unending war. He takes up a nom-de-guerre because
Hezbollah fighters are generally not authorized to speak to media. When we meet
in Beirut, he says that like the many fighters coming back to Lebanon as Assad
consolidates control over much of Syria, he is not being demobilized but rather
redeployed south to the Israeli border.
who finish their mission in Syria go to the south,” Assir says, describing how
his comrades and he have been given new posts since tensions started rising in
the Gulf. “There are some units in Syria but a lot go back to Lebanon or to the
Golan. Thousands have come back.”
success in Syria has reinforced Assir’s confidence and he points to the
tensions in the Strait of Hormuz as the source of the next conflict with
Israel. “The commanders talk about if there is a spark in Hormuz, there could
be a spark in Lebanon,” recalls Assir.
Moussalli sees the prospect for war with Israel, while it looms, probably is
not imminent. He doubts that Hezbollah is eager for a war at the moment. He
says currently Iran is primarily focused on responding in the Gulf area and
and Lebanon will be engaged in war once Europe or Iran completely pull out of
the nuclear agreement,” says Moussalli, arguing war with Israel is still a ways
off. “The issue with Israel is a rather big one,” he continues, referring to
the costs of the 2006 war. “So yes there is pressure, there is the possibility
of war but I don’t think it is near,” he says, believing that if sanctions are
relieved the tension will be as well.
But, “are they ready [for war]?” he adds referring to Hezbollah. “Yes
second Lebanon War ignited in the wake of Hezbollah seizing two Isralei
soldiers and killing three others in a cross border raid in July 2006 and
Israel retaliating with a massive artillery and aerial bombardment of Lebanon.
Hezbollah in turn fired rockets at northern Israeli cities and Israel launched
a ground invasion. The result was the demolition of large swaths of Lebanon,
pulverized by Israeli jets, while Israeli soldiers found themselves in an
unwinnable quagmire and forced to withdraw from a country for the second time
in less than a decade. By the time the shooting ended 1,200 Lebanese – mostly
civilians, 45 Israeli civilians and 120 soldiers had been killed. More than a million
people in Lebanon, a quarter of the population at the time, were displaced and
while there are no official numbers of Hezbollah casualties, the UN estimated
that 500 of the Lebanese casualties were Hezbollah fighters.
assessment of a slower march toward the carnage of an Israeli-Lebanese conflict
more devastating than past ones is echoed by “Commander Ayman,” a Hezbollah
officer currently based in Beirut who also oversees units fighting in Syria.
Americans know the kind of fighters we have, so Hezbollah and Iran have been
reminding the world how bad [a war] could be,” notes Ayman. While confirming there is a strict red line
around any attack on Iran, he maintains there is a strong desire to avoid war,
suggesting the blusterous talk of imminent conflict with Israel is designed to
convince the U.S. to abandon its current strategy.
also doesn’t seem very interested in conflict over Lebanon at the moment. While
Netanyahu has pursued a policy of striking Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, he has
avoided another war in Lebanon. Even when Hezbollah tunnels into Israel were
unmasked in January, there was no action over Lebanon.
Israeli wars in Gaza, which have carried low costs to Israeli soldiers and
civilians and have pushed the electorate toward Netanyahu, wars in Lebanon have
had large military and civilian costs for Israel, often turning the electorate
against the government.
asked if Netanyahu thought that the U.S. sanctions he has actively encouraged
could ignite conflict with Hezbollah, the Prime Minister’s Office officially
declined to comment. The Israeli military also declined to comment on how it
sees the current level of tension on its Lebanese border or if its alert level
had changed since Iran started reacting to sanctions, claiming it “is too
complex an issue to explain on the phone or in a statement.”
sanctions and rhetoric continue to escalate.
the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement last Tuesday of fresh sanctions
targeting Hezbollah members of the Lebanese parliament, threats of annihilation
have been hurled back and forth between Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan
Nasrallah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who, not
coincidentally, is fighting for reelection).
a speech last Friday marking the 13th anniversary of the 2006 war with Israel,
Nasrallah gloated about expanded military capabilities and threatened that
another war would “bring Israel to the brink of extinction.” Netanyahu
responded on Sunday by threatening to deal Lebanon and Hezbollah “a crushing
military blow” if Hezbollah attacks.
Monday, European signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,
otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, gathered in Brussels to try to
salvage the agreement that the US pulled out of in 2018. The Europeans hope to
find enticements that will encourage Iran to stay in the deal.
his address, Nasrallah claimed that he didn’t intend to start a war with
Israel. Those sentiments were reiterated by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif in an interview with CNN in New York on Wednesday where Zarif
stated that Iran will not start a war but will defend itself.
sheer destruction a new conflict between Hezbollah and Israel would unleash on
Lebanon leads Moussalli to call it a “madness war.” While Hezbollah’s exact
intentions are unclear, the border between Israel and Lebanon was much quieter
before U.S. sanctions put Iran and its allies on this collision course.
British-flagged tanker Stena Impero was in an accident with a fishing boat
before being detained on Friday, Iran’s Fars news agency reported on Saturday,
quoting an official.
says all 23 crew seized on the tanker are now at Bandar Abbas port and will
remain on the vessel until the end of an investigation, according to Fars.
got involved in an accident with an Iranian fishing boat... When the boat sent
a distress call, the British-flagged ship ignored it,” said the head of Ports
and Maritime Organisation in southern Hormozgan province, Allahmorad Afifipour.
tanker is now at Iran’s Bandar Abbas port and all of its 23 crew members will
remain on the ship until the probe is over.”
United States will destroy any Iranian drones that fly too closely to its ships
and has “clear evidence” that it shot down such a drone on Thursday, a senior
Trump administration official said on Friday.
they fly too close to our ships, they’ll continue to be shot down,” the
official told reporters at a briefing.
on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s claim that a US warship destroyed an
Iranian drone near the Arabian Gulf in another escalation of tensions between
the two countries less than a month after Trump nearly launched an airstrike.
Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases and
denied there was any confrontation with a US vessel the previous day.
country’s Revolutionary Guard said on its website it would release
before-and-after images from the drone — it did not say when — to prove it was
have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” tweeted
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.
Arab Coalition in Yemen said it started an operation to target military
positions in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, according to state TV early on
targets included air defense sites and ballistic missile depots, it added.
coalition said that it advised civilians to avoid going near the target areas.
Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has strongly censured Bahraini Foreign
Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah for holding a public meeting with
his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, in the United States, describing the
meeting as “a betrayal” of the Palestinian cause.
intimate picture of the Bahraini foreign minister with his counterpart from the
occupying regime (of Israel) reflects the involvement of some Arab regimes in
Zionism,” Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wrote in a post published on his
official Twitter page on Friday.
meetings are a betrayal of al-Quds and Palestine, and will not succeed in
falsifying the nation’s awareness and pushing it towards abandoning Palestine
and normalization of ties with the Occupation,” he added.
Bahrain’s main opposition group also condemned the encounter as “shameful” and
“an unforgivable sin,” adding that the ruling regime in Manama “no longer has
al-Wefaq National Islamic Society said in a statement on Friday that Manama’s
increasingly cozy relationship with Tel Aviv “does not honor” the Bahraini
people and their views.
also expressed regret that media outlets as well as some political, social and
religious forces in Bahrain have lauded the Manama regime’s sins and defended
in an interview with English-language The Times of Israel daily newspaper on
the sidelines of the US-led economic workshop in Manama on June 26, the top
Bahraini diplomat recognized Israel’s “right to existence,” saying the regime
was “there to stay, of course.”
did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to …
Israel…. We want better relations with it, and we want peace with it,” Khalifah
pointed to the Arab Peace Initiative as the blueprint for normalization of
diplomatic relations with Israel, terming the Tel Aviv regime’s rejection of
the plan as a “missed opportunity.”
Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, calls on Israel to
agree to a two-state solution along the 1967 lines and a “just” solution to the
Palestinian refugee issue. The initiative has been repeatedly endorsed by the
Arab League in 2002, 2007, and 2017.
Bahraini foreign minister further encouraged Israel to approach Arab leaders
about issues of concern regarding the proposal.
and talk to us. Talk to us about it. Say, guys, you have a good initiative, but
we have one thing that worries us,” he said.
so-called Peace to Prosperity workshop was held in Bahrain on June 25 and 26.
apparently sought to advance the economic aspects of President Donald Trump’s
controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime and Palestinians,
dubbed “the deal of the century.”
fighter jets have launched airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq’s northern
semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, two days after a Turkish diplomat was killed
in an armed attack on a restaurant in the area.
the evil attack in Erbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation
on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)) terror
organization,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
consulate employee Osman Köse was killed on July 17, when attackers made their
move while the Turkish diplomats asked for check at HuQQabaz, a popular
restaurant in an upscale and high-security area only a five-minute drive from
the Turkish mission on the airport road in Erbil – the seat of the Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG).
of the attackers directly targeted the Turkish diplomat at close range, firing
a gun with a silencer. Meanwhile, the other attacker began to shoot towards two
Iraqi customers. One of them died immediately and the other died in the
Turkish defense chief further said targets such as “armaments positions,
lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last
terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” Akar
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between
Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.
behind Erbil attack identified
KRG authorities said on Thursday that they had identified one of the gunmen
involved in the deadly armed attack in Erbil.
shared a photo of the alleged attacker, identified as Mazlum Dag (shown in the
picture below), and asked local residents to help turn him in.
report came as Dersim Dag, one of Mazlum Dag’s brothers, is a lawmaker from the
pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which the Turkish government
accuses of affiliation to the PKK.
Netherland’s highest court has upheld a ruling holding the country partially
liable for the deaths of Muslim men at Srebrenica in 1995, where 8,000 were
massacred by Bosnian Serb forces.
Dutch Supreme court said on Friday that Dutch troops, acting as UN
peacekeepers, had a 10 per cent liability in the in the deaths of 350 Bosnian
Muslims after they were expelled from a United Nations base nearby the staging
ground for the grisly massacre, the worst mass murder in Europe since World War
ruling could set a crucial precedent establishing the liability of national
governments for the actions of their troops while in UN peacekeeping roles. The
Associated Press reported that the ruling, the final chapter in years of legal
wrangling and appeals, has been the longest running-legal battle by the
launched by the families of the victims of Srebrenica.
its ruling, the supreme court in The Hague said the Dutch peace keepers had
evacuated men from their base near Srebrenica in the knowledge that they
"were in serious jeopardy of being abused and murdered".
men were a portion of 5,000 Muslim residents who sought refuge at the UN
peacekeeping base in July 1995 as the area fell under the sway of Gen Ratko
Mladic’s Bosnian forces. Dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia,” the former army chief
was sentenced in 2017 to life imprisonment for his role in the killings.
families of the victims, The Mothers of Srebrenica, were unequivocal in their
condemnation of the Dutch as the ruling was upheld. "They are responsible
and they will always have a stain," Munira Subasic, one of the relatives
who brought the case, said. "We know what happened we don't need this
court to tell us,” she added.
the ruling has not specified exactly what monetary damages should now be paid
to the families, the decision by the court will mean the survivors are likely
to receive thousands of euros from the Dutch government.
a statement in response the Dutch government has said it accepts its partial
liability in accordance with the ruling. The government accepts the verdict of
the Supreme Court", the Defence ministry said. "The state thereby
accepts liability for the damages as determined by the Supreme Court," it
added in a statement on Friday.
upholding the ruling, the supreme court has once again ignored the protests of
the Dutch government, which has said repeatedly that its troops, outnumbered
and lightly armed, had been sent on an impossible mission in Bosnia.
to a 2017 judgement in which the Hague Court of Appeal had ruled the Dutch were
30 per cent liable for the 350 deaths, the country’s Advocate General had
issued a non-binding advisory calling the decision irrational.
2002, a report into the Srebrenica massacre that blamed the Dutch government
and senior military officials for their roles prompted a mass resignation by
the Dutch government.
long-running case has related specifically how Mladic’s forces were able to
pick out men as they left the Dutch base, essentially selecting them for
murder. Bosnian Serb forces trucked off thousands of Muslim men after taking
control of Srebrenica, killing them and then disposing of their bodies in
hastily dug graves.
March of this year former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was sentenced to
life imprisonment for his role in the massacre and war crimes in the former
Yugoslavia during the 1990s. He had evaded authorities for 13 years before his
home secretary Sajid Javid has called on leaders to “moderate their language”
to tackle extremism and cited as an example President Donald Trump’s Twitter
tirade against US congresswomen.
Javid, who is from an immigrant background, said on Friday “myths about
immigration” must be confronted.
Trump was accused of racism this week after he told four Democratic
congresswomen to “go back” to the countries they “originally came from”.
an apparent reference to the President’s comments, Mr Javid said: "I know
what it's like to be told to go back to where I came from."
Javid, whose position in government could be changed next week under the new
prime minister, said extremists use immigration as a “proxy for race”, stoking
up fear about immigrants.
can challenge the myths," he said in a speech titled Confronting Extremism
Together. "So tell your friends, shout it loud and proud: people from
minority backgrounds did not steal our jobs, they're not terrorists, that there
is no global 'Zionist conspiracy'."
Javid’s comments come after 150 parliamentarians signed a statement condemning
Mr Trump for his “outright racist” remarks against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
outgoing prime minister Theresa May described the President’s words as
“completely unacceptable” but stopped short of branding him racist.
survey conducted by Britain’s Independent Commission for Countering Extremism,
set up in the wake of the 2017 Manchester Bombing that killed 22 mostly young
concert goers, revealed that 52 per cent of those polled had personal
experience of extremism.
was shocked that more than half of the respondents have witnessed extremism in
some way, and that two-fifths of them said they’d seen it in their local area,”
the Commission’s lead Sara Khan said.
academic paper published alongside the statistical report warned that the
far-right now had “widespread public support”.
Mulhall, senior Researcher, at Hope not Hate, said far-right demonstrations,
including protests organised by anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson, were
attracting the largest number of supporters since the 1930s.
jihadists were sentenced to death in Morocco for butchering two female
Scandinavian backpackers in an ISIS-inspired execution.
Abdessamad Ejjoud, Younes Ouaziyad and Rachid Afatti were convicted of terror
charges Thursday in the trial over the grisly slaughterings back in December.
Ueland, 28, and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, were fatally wounded Dec. 17 in
a tent on a Christmas camping trip near Mount Toubkal, one of Morocco’s highest
allege that Ejjoud, 25, and Ouaziyad, 27, beheaded the hikers while Afatti, 33,
recorded the slayings on his phone. All three men pledged allegiance to ISIS in
a video before the murders.
trio was sentenced along with 20 other accomplices who received jail terms
ranging from five to 30 years.
El Fataoui, the lawyer for Vesterager’s family, said he was “100 percent
satisfied” with the verdicts.
government’s definition of extremism is so unfit for purpose that far-right
groups with clearly dangerous ideology are using it to “prove” that they are
written about this in a new study published by the Commission for Countering
Extremism as part of a wider set of research aimed at improving understanding
about far-right extremism in Britain.
government defines extremism as the:
or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the
rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different
faiths and beliefs … calls for the death of members of our armed forces (are
own research on the definition looks at how it was used by groups such as
National Action, which gained notoriety in December 2016 when it became the
first far-right group in the UK to be proscribed, or banned under terrorism
legislation. This made it a criminal offence to be a member of the group,
organise meetings and wear clothing or symbols linked to it.
Action was a youth-focused group that adhered to an extremely traditional
interpretation of National Socialism. Routinely glorifying Adolf Hitler and the
Third Reich, the group spoke about the need to undertake a “white jihad” as a
means of establishing a “white homeland” in the UK. While National Action are
easy to mock given the headlines that have accompanied recent successful
convictions – the Miss Hitler beauty competition, naming a baby Adolf and
having swastika-shaped cookie cutters – doing so undermines the group’s very
real commitment to enact extreme violence. Not only had the group begun
stockpiling weapons but they had also begun planning to use them, evident in
plots to kill the Labour MP Rosie Cooper.
though National Action adhered to an extremist ideology and its members engaged
in extremist activities, the government had to resort to using
terrorism-related legislation to ban the group. This is despite the government
stating in both the 2015 and 2016 Queen’s speeches that it would introduce a counter-extremism
bill in order to criminalise “extremist activity”, the current definition of
which is far too broad to be suitable for legislation – a point the former
independent reviewer of terrorism legislation made earlier in 2019. This means
that no group can be banned for extremism under current law.
apart the extremism definition
targeting groups and individuals by National Action on the basis of their
“race”, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity and disability – all of which are
key components of traditional National Socialism – did not contravene the
definition’s quite bizarre requirement to only show respect and tolerance
towards different faiths and beliefs. The definition doesn’t deem being
intolerant on the basis of race, ethnicity and so on as being extremist.
highly unlikely than anyone within today’s British far right would openly state
that they were against “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty”. On the
contrary, many including Britain First, the Democratic Football Lads Alliance
and Tommy Robinson can be seen to actively espouse – albeit with some caveats –
a commitment to Britain and its values as a means of distancing themselves from
Muslims in particular. A number of far-right figures and groups claim to defend
various liberal and civil rights including free speech and gender equality.
weakness of the government’s extremism definition was actually addressed by
National Action prior to its proscription. It stated on its website at the time
there being a bunch of legislation existing against it nobody seems to know
what extremism actually ‘is’ … An extremist is somebody who uses or encourages
illegal violence or terrorism to achieve their goals.
some National Action members clearly had a propensity to use illegal violence
or terrorism to achieve their ideological goals, its rebuttal of the
government’s extremism definition highlights just how little clarity the
definition provides on what is invariably a subjective and contextual concept.
Nor does the definition make any specific reference to violence, thereby
conflating both violent and non-violent forms of extremism.
problem of fundamental British values
to the problem is the government’s insistence on using “fundamental British
values” to define extremism: these are the democracy, the rule of law,
individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and
first appeared in the Coalition government’s review of Prevent – the UK’s
counter-terrorism strategy – in 2011. But at this time, the overwhelming focus
of the government’s approach to counter-terrorism and subsequently
counter-extremism was on forms of that were Islamist and inspired by Islamic
State. While the threat posed by the far right is thankfully now being taken
seriously, the same was not true when the definition of extremism – or
fundamental British values – were conceived. This is part of the reason why the
existing definition fails to take into account of the broad spectrum of
a series of dawn raids on Thursday, German police searched apartments linked to
a ring of suspected extremists inspired by ISIS, detaining six people.
German newspaper Bild reported the raids on the addresses in Dueren and
Cologne, western Germany. It said knives and baseball bats, 20 mobile phones, a
number of external hard drives and three laptops were seized.
in Cologne said they launched the raids against the alleged terrorists because
of suspicions they were planning an attack and in hope of gaining concrete evidence
of a plot.
police chief Uwe Jacob said he was “confident that we will soon be able to
substantiate our threat assessment”.
security forces took action when the principal suspect, a German-Lebanese
Muslim convert known as Wael C, 30, who had made a number of attempts to join
ISIS, moved into the Dueren apartment with another extremist, according to the
second man, identified as Timo R, was also known to have sworn allegiance to
C, originally from Berlin, worked as a temporary imam at the now-banned
Fussilet 33 Mosque Association.
organisation, a known focal point for extremists, was closed by Germany’s
interior ministry over its links to ISIS.
Amri, responsible for the December 2016 lorry attack on a Christmas market in
Berlin that killed 12, had visited the mosque.
Wael C had reportedly been known to police for years, he had recently been
recorded as saying he was “planning to ascend to the highest level of
was believed that by this he meant he was planning a suicide attack.
the apartment in Dueren, where Wael C was living with Timo R, police were led
to a construction site in Cologne.
five-floor building, which includes retail spaces on the ground floor, was
searched by bomb detection dogs.
are indications that the canine units may have uncovered explosives at this
employees were detained at the construction site.
are confident there are links between the two men and the wider terrorist
also went to work, to a larger construction site in the centre of Cologne,”
state security spokesman Michael Esser said.
interviewed all employees. In this context, we found that the two people worked
only a small area,” he said.
emphasised that none of the men under investigation have been arrested.
European Commission on Friday adopted a new set of assistance measures worth
€1.41 billion (nearly $1.6 billion), ensuring EU support to refugees and host
communities in Turkey.
to a statement released from the Commission, the program will focus on the
areas of health, protection, socio-economic support, and municipal
new measures are part of the second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in
Turkey, bringing the total amount already allocated to €5.6 billion out of €6
billion since 2016, with the remaining balance due to be allocated over the
summer," it read.
March 2016, EU and Turkey reached an agreement to take stricter measures
against human smugglers and discourage irregular migration through the Aegean
Sea, and improve the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, with the EU
vowing €6 billion ($6.8 billion) to help Turkey care for millions of refugees
hosted in the country.
this new allocation of funds, the EU continues to deliver its support committed
to Turkey, which hosts the largest group of refugees in the world, Commissioner
Johannes Hahn was quoted in the statement as saying.
currently hosts more than 4 million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians,
more than any other country in the world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan previously said that Ankara has spent over $37 billion for the Syrians
EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the
European Council's call for significant additional funding to support Syrian
refugees in Turkey, according to the statement.
Anis Ahmed, Leslie Bonilla
- Bangladesh wants Myanmar to repatriate the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees
who have fled genocide, and a top Bangladeshi official wants international
financial sanctions to back it up.
of the Muslim-majority ethnic group has fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar’s
latest brutal crackdown in 2017, which included mass killings, sexual assaults
and arson. The military has justified its crackdown, which involved mass
killings, gang rapes and widespread arson, as a way of eradicating Rohingya
Minister Abul Kalam Abdul Momen called Wednesday for the international
community to place concerted financial pressure on Myanmar in an interview with
VOA Bangla. More than 900,000 Rohingya live in camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s
Bazar district, straining local facilities and services. Refugees are
vulnerable to monsoon-induced flooding and landslides.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has begun calling for repatriation, telling a
French ambassador Wednesday, “How long will we bear the burden? The sooner the
Rohingyas are repatriated, the better it will be for all.”
said that in the past, Myanmar had fulfilled agreements to repatriate Rohingya
refugees, taking back “most of” the 250,000 that fled in 1992.
believed this time they would take them back, because they assured us [they
would],” the Bangladeshi foreign minister said. “But, they have not created a
conducive environment in Myanmar, so that these people feel secure if they go
his acknowledgement of still-dangerous conditions in Myanmar, Momen told VOA
the pressure to repatriate should be backed up by international financial
U.S. sanctioned Myanmar’s commander-in-chief and three of its highest generals
for “gross human rights violations” Tuesday, but the measure only blocked them
from entering the U.S.
targets, Momen pointed to the Myanmar military junta’s involvement in the sale
of precious gemstones, Singapore’s administration of the country’s main banking
system and heavy Japanese investment.
[the] United States takes the lead and asks all its friends and followers to
put some restrictions on Myanmar, put pressure on Myanmar, they have the muscle.
They have the leverage,” he said.
minister told VOA that Bangladesh would “definitely welcome” a meeting with
U.S. President Donald Trump.
and Russia, two of Myanmar’s more powerful allies, also could hold some sway,
countries, however, have boycotted U.N. talks on the Rohingya crisis. In 2018,
China advocated slashing the proposed budget for addressing the refugee crisis,
reducing by half the original number of nearly $30 million. China’s proposal
didn’t go through, but the country continues resisting talk of sanctioning
Myanmar for its treatment of Rohingya people.
that change? Bangladesh asked China to encourage Myanmar’s repatriation of the
Rohingya refugees, said Momen, and China “assured us they’ll do it.”
Rohingya have faced decades of systemic violence and discrimination in Myanmar,
which sees the group as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. A 1982 citizenship
law didn’t include them as one of 135 recognized indigenous groups, effectively
rendering the population of 1.1 million Rohingya stateless — one of the largest
such communities in the world.
addition to periodic violent ethnic cleansing campaigns, Myanmar’s government
has denied the Rohingya access to everyday services such as education,
healthcare and freedom of movement.
toll in Kabul bombing rises to over 40, Taliban blamed for the incident
casualties’ toll from yesterday’s explosion in Kabul city has climbed to 41 as
security officials blame Taliban for the deadly incident.
Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said preliminary reports
indicate the Taliban group was behind the explosion.
further added that Taliban group usually denies involvement in bombings which
claim civilian lives.
officials in the Ministry of Public Health say the explosion killed 8 civilians
and wounded 33 others.
explosion took place close to Kabul University earlier on Friday.
Afghanistan — The Taliban said they would hold talks Thursday with
representatives of a Swedish non-profit group after threats by the insurgents
forced the organization to close 42 clinics it runs in eastern Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters in southern Kandahar province attacked police headquarters,
killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.
closures of the facilities run by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan in
Taliban-controlled areas of Maidan Wardak province are expected to affect
almost 6,000 people. The clinics in government controlled parts of the province
closures came after Afghan forces last week raided a clinic run by the NGO, in
pursuit of the Taliban. Two staffers died in the raid.
Wednesday, Sonny Mansson, the group’s director, told The Associated Press that
the Taliban threatened the NGO’s staff by saying that if they do not close the
facilities, “it would have consequences for themselves and their families.”
talks are meant “to resolve the situation” in Maidan Wardak province, Taliban
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, though he offered no details on where and how the
meeting would take place.
on Thursday, the Swedish committee was organizing a meeting of aid groups
working in the country to take a united stand and demand protection of
civilians from all sides in Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year-long war.
would like to send a clear message that protection of civilians and aid workers
should be prioritized by all parties to the conflict,” the NGO said in a
statement, expressing concerns over violations in international humanitarian
law and the “increase in attacks on citizens, health care and education
on Thursday, in southern Kandahar province, a suicide attacker detonated his
explosives-laden vehicle outside provincial police headquarters, said
provincial council member Mohammad Yousuf Yunosi. Immediately after the
explosion several other attackers opened fire on security guards with small
Naser Barikzai, spokesman for the chief of police, said at least 10 people were
killed and at least 80 wounded in the attack. He said two police were among the
dead and four insurgents were also killed.
described a powerful explosion that shook the neighborhood, shattering windows
in nearby buildings.
Yousf Ahmadi, spokesman for the Taliban, later claimed responsibility for the
attack in a statement.
Taliban militants were killed in separate security operations by Afghan and
coalition forces in Ghazni and central Logar provinces in central and eastern
203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said the Afghan artillery units conducted
strikes against Taliban positions in Nogha area of Ghazni city. The statement
further added that the artillery strikes killed four Taliban militants and
wounded three others. Furthermore, the Afghan Air Force conducted airstrikes in
Rawza area of Ghazni city killing four Taliban militants, Afghan (Khaama Press)
203rd Thunder Corps also added that the Afghan forces killed three Taliban
militants and wounded two others in Khwaja Omari district of Ghazni.
Afghan Special Forces killed a Taliban militant and arrested 7 others during
the latest operations conducted in the past 24 hours.
informed military sources said Saturday that the Special Forces conducted an
operation in Tagab district of Kapisa and destroyed a small weapons cache.
sources further added that the Afghan Special Forces conducted a similar
operation in Kabul city and detained 1 Taliban fighter.
the sources said the Special Forces conducted a raid in Nahr-e Saraj district
of Helmand, killed 1 Taliban fighter and destroyed 1 IED.
the officials said the Special Forces conducted a raid in Qal’ah-ye Zal
district of Kunduz and detained 1 Taliban fighter.
Afghan Special Forces also conducted an operation in Chahar Bolak district of
Balkh and detained 5 Taliban fighters.
Afghan Special Forces conducted another raid in Khas Uruzgan district of
Uruzgan and destroyed 300 lbs Home Made Explosives, 6 Rocket Propelled Grenades
and a weapons cache.
guided artillery strike killed or wounded dozens of Taliban militants in
southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, the Afghan military said.
205th Atal Corps in a statement said the security forces targeted the militants
in Khas Uruzan district using guided artillery.
statement further added that the strike killed 24 Taliban militants and woudned
the 205th Atal Corps said the strike also destroyed the weapons, ammunition and
explosives of the militants.
least eight people have been killed and 33 others injured in a bomb blast near
a gate to the campus of Kabul University in the Afghan capital.
explosion, caused by a sticky bomb, took place on Friday, according to
bombs are a common threat in Kabul, where militants often stick explosives to
the bottom of vehicles.
police spokesman Faramarz Firdaws said a second bomb was defused near the
group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
incident took place just hours after Taliban militants killed at least 12 and
injured over 80 when they set off two car bombs outside the police headquarters
in the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan on Thursday.
on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the terrorist attacks on
the police headquarters in Kandahar and the Kabul University.
Abbas Mousavi also expressed sympathy with Afghanistan’s government and people,
especially the families of the victims.
expressed confidence that the Afghan government and people “and all the ethnic,
political, and religious groups in the country... will continue on the path to
restore peace and security in Afghanistan.”
US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001. While the invasion ended the
Taliban’s rule in the country, it has failed to eliminate the militant group.
Some 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants as they have
boosted their campaign of violence across the country.
Margot Eliason -
– Ali Maychou holds a leadership role with Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin
(JNIM), a West-African militant jihadist group designated by the US as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and as a Specially Designated Global
Terrorist (SDGT) in September 2018.
was formed by a merger of three existing terrorist organizations in 2017. At
the time of its creation, the group pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda, the
Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden.
to a press release by the US Department of State, Maychou has held a leadership
role with JNIM since its inception. He claimed responsibility for an attack on
a military camp that housed Malian Armed Forces in Gao, Mali, and has had a
role in operational activities of JNIM.
July 16, the US Department of State listed Maychou as a Specially Designated
Global Terrorist. The department also designated Malien Bah Ag Moussa for his
involvement with JNIM.
designation imposes sanctions on “foreign persons determined to have committed,
or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the
security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy
of the United States.”
a result of the designation, “all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which
Maychou has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited
from engaging in any transactions with Maychou.” It, therefore, denies Maychou
access to the US financial system.
to US think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), JNIM’s
ultimate goal is for Mali and the surrounding region to be ruled under Shariah
law. The group seeks to incite the West African Muslim community to “remove
oppression” and expel non-Muslim “occupiers,” CSIS adds.
has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly attacks in Mali, Niger, and
March 2018, the group claimed responsibility for an attack targeting a number
of locations in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, including the French Embassy and
national military headquarters.
attack left 16 people dead, including eight gunmen, Mauritanian news agency
army commander and at least 20 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Boko
Haram insurgents in Yobe State, TheCable reports.
troops were ambushed on their way from Borogozo in Yobe where the headquarters
of the army’s 29 task force brigade to Benisheikh in Yobe, where they have a
forward operating base (FOB).
military source in sector 2 headquarters of operation Lafiya Dole told TheCable
that the incident happened around 6pm on Wednesday.
were on their way to Benisheikh when they ran into the enemy. The commander of
that brigade, a colonel, and about 20 soldiers were killed,” he said.
was reportedly sent to the town and it was confirmed that the brigade commander
had been killed.
the bodies reportedly identified was that of a captain and four soldiers. Their
bodies have since been moved to the 7 division hospital in Maiduguri, Borno
said one of the soldiers who escaped the ambush has returned to the base in
June, at least 28 soldiers were reportedly killed while the insurgents
ransacked a military base in Gajiram, Nganzai local government area of Borno.
demand release of prominent cleric Zakzaky
supporters of Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky have staged several
rallies across Nigeria, demanding his immediate release citing his worsening
protesters on Friday condemned the continued detention of ailing Zakzaky, the
leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
media activists released photos, shown below, of the rally held in Katsina
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-60s, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by
security forces that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons
dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
on Friday, a new photo, obtained by Press TV (seen below), showed Sheikh
Zakzaky and his wife at an unidentified location.
Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), based in London, said earlier this
month that the cleric’s health condition had further deteriorated, since he was
reportedly poisoned in prison.
cleric’s son, Mohammad, told Press TV on July 6 that his father was in dire
need of medical treatment, as “large and dangerous quantities of lead and
cadmium have been found in his blood.” He said that the authorities intended to
murder his father since they refuse to take any measures.
men accused of the murder of two Scandinavian hikers in the Atlas Mountains
last year have been sentenced to death, an antiterrorism court in Morocco
decided on Thursday.
Ueland, 28, of Norway and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, of Denmark, were
discovered dead at their campsite in a remote part of the Atlas Mountains in
December 2018 with wounds to their necks. The incident was labeled by Moroccan
authorities as a terror attack after some of the men involved pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State.
men were tried under an antiterrorism law and were the main defendants in a
case that put two dozen suspects on trial over the women’s deaths last year.
a seven-month trial, Abdessamad Al Joud, Younes Ouziad and Rachid Afati were
sentenced to death, while a fourth man, Abderahman Khayali, was handed a life
sentence, according to Moroccan state television.
others were handed sentences ranging from five to 30 years, in the killings of
the two European tourists. Both women had been studying in Norway to become
tour guides. Their bodies were found at a site that often is the starting point
for treks to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.
of the men involved in the murders had recorded a video in which they pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State, and the women’s attackers had also posted
grisly videos on social media of their murder.
a gruesome clip, posted on social media shortly after the attack, one of the
victims could be heard screaming while a man cut her neck with a knife.
before the ruling, in a room packed with national and international news
outlets and the victims’ families, some of the killers asked mercy from God but
none expressed remorse, according to local news reports. Others vowed they were
innocent of the charges against them.
week, Helle Jespersen, the mother of Ms. Jespersen, urged the court to give the
accused the death sentence for their role in her daughter’s death, according to
space re-opened at the Libyan capital’s only functioning airport, Mitiga, on
Thursday after it was halted following an air strike, according to a post on
the Mitiga airport authority’s Facebook page.
airport authority said carrier companies would begin shortly to receive
passengers to complete the rest of their re-scheduled flights for the day.
airplane coming from Egypt’s Alexandria airport to Mitiga was redirected
earlier Thursday to Misrata international airport, which serves Libya’s
Mediterranean coastal city of Misrata, after Mitiga’s air space shut down,
according to the authority’s Facebook page.
Sudanese protest leaders told AFP Friday talks with the country’s army rulers
have been postponed, just days after the two sides signed a power sharing deal.
talks have been postponed,” said prominent protest leader Omar Al-Digeir.
need more internal consultation to reach a united vision,” he added, with no
new date set for negotiations to resume.
protest leader, Siddig Youssef, also confirmed the talks had been suspended.
Wednesday, the two sides initialled a “Political Declaration” that aims to form
a joint civilian-military ruling body, which in turn would install an overall
transitional civilian administration for a period of 39 months.
Friday’s talks the two sides were to finalize a “Constitutional Declaration” to
thrash out crucial remaining issues.
include whether to give immunity to generals accused of being behind violence
against protesters, the formation of a transitional parliament and the role of
protest leaders said that the three rebel groups that are part of the umbrella
protest movement had expressed reservations over Wednesday’s deal.
going to Addis Ababa to meet the Sudan Revolutionary Front to get their
opinion,” Digeir said, referring to the rebel groups currently based in
are not happy with” the agreement signed with army leaders, Youssef said.
groups had been fighting government forces for years in the war-torn regions of
Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
close to negotiations told AFP that these groups have demanded that the
“Constitutional Declaration” specify that peace negotiations in the three
conflict zones would be a top priority for the new transitional government.
such a peace deal is finalized, sources said the rebel groups want their
representatives to be part of the transitional government.
humanitarian aid workers are missing after terror group Boko Haram ambushed their
vehicle in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria.
driver of the vehicle is reported to have been killed while aid workers are
suspected to have been kidnapped by the group pledging allegiance to Daesh, a
statement issued by the Action Against Hunger (AAH), an international
humanitarian organization, said on Friday.
Director of the AAH, Shashwat Saraf, said a convoy carrying humanitarian
workers to Damasak, head town of the Mobbar local government area along the
Lake Chad area, was ambushed by the Daesh affiliated group on Thursday.
of the drivers was killed, while one staff member, two drivers and three health
workers are missing," he said.
said the organization was deeply saddened by the attack on his colleagues, who
are providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families, affected by
the humanitarian crisis caused by a decade of Boko Haram violence in the
Nations Humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said the
humanitarian community in Nigeria was deeply disturbed by the incident.
said the continuous insecurity in the region has prevented aid workers from
accessing many communities. He expressed concern at the safety of aid workers.
AIRES — Argentina designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Thursday and
ordered a freeze on the financial assets of the group, which has been blamed
for two terrorist attacks in the country.
move coincided with the 25th anniversary of one of those attacks, the 1994
bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital,
which killed 85 people and wounded more than 300 in one of the deadliest
anti-Semitic crimes since World War II.
terrorist designation of Hezbollah, a political and military group supported by
Iran, came a day before a whirlwind visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He
was participating in a regional counterterrorism conference in Buenos Aires and
taking part in a commemoration of the victims of the 1994 bombing of the
Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association community center.
move came as the Treasury Department in Washington announced sanctions on a
senior Hezbollah operative it said had planned the 1994 bombing. A Treasury
statement said the operative, Salman Raouf Salman, had “directed terrorist
operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since.” It offered a $7
million reward for information on his whereabouts.
Pompeo’s trip comes at a time when “the U.S.-Iran policy has been isolated in
Europe and found little support among traditional partners, so the State
Department is looking for unusual allies to tighten the screws on Iran,” said
Benjamin Gedan, an Argentina expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center
can help the United States tell a compelling story of Iran’s support for
terrorism,” Mr. Gedan added.
coming into office in December 2015, President Mauricio Macri of Argentina has
made it a priority to improve relations with the United States.
the government was not just receiving pressure from abroad when it came to the
terrorist designation of Hezbollah, which holds ministerial posts in its base
Eichbaum, the president of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association,
celebrated the Hezbollah designation as “a concrete step in the fight against
terrorism in the region.”
spoke at a memorial service shortly after sirens sounded at 9:53 a.m. on
Thursday to mark the moment of the attack a quarter century ago.
added Hezbollah to a new, publicly available registry of entities or people who
could be tied with terrorists, a list based on information provided by the
United Nations, by the country’s judiciary and by the Financial Information
Unit, or UIF, Argentina’s anti-money laundering organization.
“continues to represent a current and present threat to national security and
the integrity in the Argentine Republic’s financial economic order,” the UIF
said in explaining its inclusion of the group in the new registry.
is a very useful tool that reinforces our legal framework to prevent future
actions related to terrorism and its financing,” Justice Minister Germán
Garavano said. He also said the move has a “symbolic value,” considering that
Argentina’s judiciary has also accused members of Hezbollah and the Iranian
government of taking part in the community center attack as well as a 1992
bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed more than 20 people.
are currently five Interpol red alerts for Iranian citizens and three for
Lebanese citizens that the Argentine courts have accused of taking part in the
community center attack. Iran has long denied any involvement.
quarter century after the attack, the Argentine judiciary has yet to criminally
convict anyone for carrying out the assault. Earlier this year, eight people,
including a former federal judge and a former head of the intelligence
services, were convicted of taking part in a cover-up to obstruct the
investigation into the 1994 bombing.
year, the Financial Information Unit ordered the freezing of the assets of the
so-called Barakat Clan, which is considered the most direct connection with
Hezbollah in the region. The clan operates from the porous tri-border region
where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, an area seen as a hub for illegal
activity, including terrorism financing.
United States Treasury Department has said the head of the clan, Assad Ahmad
Barakat, “has long served as a treasurer” for Hezbollah.
decades, Hezbollah has taken advantage of the loosely regulated region to raise
money and plan possible attacks,” Nathan A. Sales, the State Department’s
coordinator for counterterrorism, said at a forum last week in Washington. “We
assess that some of the planning for the AMIA bombing took place there,” he
added referring to the community center attack.
Seth Jones, a terrorism expert at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington, said that while Hezbollah has long been involved in the
drug trade in the region, “When it comes to Latin America, I don’t see a
stepped up Hezbollah threat.”
added of the designation and the freezing of assets: “I don’t think it gets you
a lot. It’s more of a political step than a financial one, or one that will
weaken it from a paramilitary perspective.”
July 19, 2019
of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the number of
Interpol red alerts issued for Iranian and Lebanese citizens. There are
currently five for Iranian citizens and three for Lebanese citizens, not four
for Iranians and one for a Lebanese citizen.
Crowley contributed reporting from Washington.
July 18 (Xinhua) -- A total of eight Islamic State (IS) militants were killed
on Thursday in an airstrike by the U.S.-led international coalition aircraft in
the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh and an ambush by security forces in the
eastern Diyala province.
the northern Nineveh province, the U.S.-led coalition aircraft acted on
intelligence reports from Nineveh's Operations Command and carried out an
airstrike on an IS hideout in al-Baaj area near the border with Syria, a
statement by the media office of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said.
airstrike resulted in the killing of six IS militants and the destruction of
the hideout, the statement said.
in Diyala, a joint force from the Iraqi army and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi
members killed two IS militants and wounded four others in an ambush between at
a rural area near the city of Jalawla, 135 km northeast of the Iraqi capital
Baghdad, the JOC said in a separate statement.
repeated military operations in Diyala, some IS militants are still hiding in
some rugged areas near the border with Iran, and in the sprawling areas
extending from the western part of the province to the Himreen mountain range
in the northern part of the province.
security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security
forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in
Security Expert Fazel Abu Raghif wrote on his Twitter page that Iraq’s
intelligence forces have managed to kill Abu Hessan in their military operation
in Deir Ezzur.
said that ISIL has now lost all channels and ways to supply financial aid and
finance ISIL commanders, including founder of ISIL’s financial system Mohammad
Jubeir al-Rawi and the terrorist group’s finance minister.
Hessan was in charge of the largest financial supply system of the terrorists,
financing the group through trading oil and oil products.
a relevant development earlier in July, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a
statement declared the killing of a notorious terrorist named Sabet Sobhi Fahad
al-Ahmad who was ISIL’s economic mastermind.
Kurdish-language Hawar News Website reported that the Turkish Army and its
allied militants have plundered 144 archeological sites in Afrin in
Northwestern Aleppo and transferred the looted artifacts to Turkey.
also noted that a sum of 39 ancient hills in different towns and areas of Afrin
have been excavated and destroyed by the Turkish Army and its allied militants,
and said, nearly all ancient sites of the region have been not just looted, but
annihilated. Meantime, a sum of at least 16,000 Syrian artifacts, most of them
from Afrin, are kept at Turkish museums.
a relevant development earlier this month, a government cultural official said
that Turkey is helping the militants in excavation of historical and ancient
sites in the Ankara-controlled occupied areas in Northern Syria as the
terrorists have transferred tens of thousands of artifacts to Turkey.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted Director-General of Syria’s Museums
and Ancient Sites Mahmoud Hamoud as saying that according to reliable intelligence,
Turkish officials along with their allied militants have started excavations
for artefacts in most of the regions and ancient hills of Afrin, including Tal
Borj Abdalou, Tal Ain Dareh, Tal Jandaris and Nabi Hora which are thousands of
noted that the terrorists have plundered about 75,000 artifacts from Syrian
museums, including museums in Idlib and Raqqa, and said that a sum of 25,000
artefacts of Syria have so far been smuggled into Turkey so far.
Syrian official also said that over 1 million Syrian artifacts have been stolen
by terrorists from different regions.
a relevant development this month, media reports said that the Turkish Army and
Ankara-backed militants were continuing to plunder the infrastructures and
artifacts in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
News website quoted local sources in Afrin as saying that the Turkish Army and
its allied militants in overnight excavations have plundered the archeological
works on the hills of the town of Kamrouk in Mobata region in Afrin in
Northwestern Aleppo. The sources noted that the Turkish Army and its allied
militants transfer the stolen artifacts from different regions of Afrin to
the Ankara-backed terrorists still continue their killings and plundering of
civilians' properties and they also abduct people to blackmail their families.
a relevant development in April, the Kurdish-language media reported that the
Turkish Army had strengthened its military positions in areas under its control
in Afrin and set up another military base for Jeish al-Islam terrorists there.
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted local sources in Afrin as saying that the
Ankara Army is presently setting up 3-meter walls in the surrounding areas of
its command centers in the villages of Afrin region, specially in the villages
bordering al-Shahba region.
report pointed to an attempt by the Turkish Army to destroy people's houses,
administrative buildings, schools and water reservoirs North of Jalbareh
village in Shirwa, and said that the occupying army intends to set a new
military base in the same region.
informed sources reported that the Turkish troops are establishing a command
center and a camp for Jeish al-Islam terrorists near Kawa al-Haddad Square.
Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military
source as saying that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets in a joint nightly
military operation pounded 20 times the military positions and movements of the
Turkistani Party terrorist group in the city of Jisr al-Shoghour in
source noted that five centers of the terrorists were destroyed during the
attack and at least 40 terrorists were killed and wounded.
the Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in
al-Sarmanieh region near Jisr al-Shoghour in Southwestern Idlib.
a relevant development on Wednesday, a sum of 6 command centers and an arms
depot as well as military equipment of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) had been destroyed in joint airstrikes
by Russian and Syrian air forces in Hama and Idlib provinces.
Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik News Agency quoted a military
source as saying that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets in their continued
raids pounded the terrorist groups' military positions in the towns of Khan
Sheikhoun, Tarmala, Kafar Ain and the surroundings of Jisr al-Shoghour in
Southern and Southwestern Idlib as well as the towns of al-Hawijeh and
al-Hawash in Northwestern Hama.
source noted that during the attacks, six command posts of Tahrir al-Sham and
Turkistani Party terrorists as well as an arms depot and military base of
Chechen terrorists were destroyed.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian and Russian air forces conducted
several joint military operations against the terrorists’ military positions
and command centers in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib, inflicting heavy
losses on the militants.
Arabic-language website of Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a military source
as saying that the Russian and Syrian fighter jets attacked the military
positions of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay’at and Islamic Turkistani Party terrorist
groups several times in Khan Sheikhoun, Ariha, Ma’aret al-Numan and Jisr
al-Shoghour in Western Idlib and their centers inside the city of Idlib.
source reiterated that several command centers of Tahrir al-Sham and Turkistani
Party terrorists were destroyed during the attack and over 100 foreign
terrorists were killed and tens more were wounded.
also noted that the joint airstrikes on the military positions of Tahrir
al-Sham and Jeish al-Izzaeh in Kafar Zita and al-Latamineh in Northern Hama
left several command centers, operation room, gatherings and military
US added two leaders of Iranian-linked militias in Iraq to its sanctions list
on Thursday, designating them under the Magnitsky Act as “perpetrators of
serious human rights abuse and corruption.”
al-Kildani and Waad Qado both lead militias part of the Popular Mobilization
Units (PMUs) with close ties to Iran.
the leader of the 50th “Babylon” Brigade, is accused by the US of “serious
human rights abuse.”
in Iraq’s northwestern Ninewa Province, the 50th Brigade is accused by the US
Treasury of looting, extortion and intimidation of the local population, making
it “the primary impediment to the return of internally displaced persons to the
US Treasury alleges that al-Kildani can be seen cutting the ear off a
handcuffed detainee in a video that circulated in May, 2018.
the leader of the 30th Brigade, is accused of commanding the brigade while it
conducted similar human rights abuses including extortion, kidnapping, and
al-Kildani and Qado are members of ethnic minorities: al-Kildani is a
Christian, while Qado is a member of the Shabak minority who live around Mosul.
their militias operate as part of the PMUs, the Shiite-majority militias formed
the PMUs are officially led by the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi,
deputy commander Jamal Jaafar al-Ibrahimi, known by his nom de guerre Abu Mahdi
al-Mohandes, is widely seen as the real leader. Al-Mohandes heads the Kata’ib
Hezbollah militia, which has been recently accused of carrying out a drone
attack on Saudi Arabia and has close ties with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary
al-Kildani and Qado, two former governors of Iraqi provinces were also
sanctioned for corruption.
Hammadi al-Sultan, the former governor Ninewa Province, and Ahmed al-Jubouri,
the former governor of Salah al-Din province, both received sanctions for
corruption and bribery.
United States is taking action against four individuals in Iraq implicated in
serious human rights abuse or corruption,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under
Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two people,
including a civilian, and wounded three in Egypt’s restive northern Sinai
militant group says in a statement on an ISIS-affiliate website that an ISIS
militant named Abu Omar El-Seedy had detonated his explosive-laden vest near a
military checkpoint at dawn on Thursday.
security officials had said the bomber targeted an armored vehicle near the
local market of the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, killing a soldier and
a civilian and wounding three soldiers.
drones have reportedly attacked a base belonging to Iraq’s Popular Mobilization
Forces (PMU) in the Arab country’s Salahudin Province.
attack killed one PMU member and injured another four, Iraq’s al-Ahad
television network reported on Friday.
later released by Iraqi media from the assault’s aftermath showed a large flame
in what was reportedly a PMU base near the town of Amerli.
is yet unclear who orchestrated the operation.
the Iraqi al-Etejah television network reported that an American B350
reconnaissance plane had flown over the region a few days earlier.
PMU — better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi — was formed by popular volunteer forces
in 2014 after the Daesh Takfiri terror group launched a campaign of bloodshed
and destruction against the nation.
joined forces with the national army and effectively contributed to its
anti-terror operations. The combined push, which was reinforced by Iraq’s
allies, including Iran, ultimately led to Daesh’s expulsion in late 2017.
Iraqi parliament on November 26, 2016 approved a law giving full legal status
to Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters. Last March, the then prime minister, Haider
al-Abadi, to order the PMU’s formal inclusion in the Arab country’s army.
order would grant the PMU many of the same rights as members of the military,
but it is yet to be fully implemented.
this month, Abadi’s successor, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, issued a decree, calling for
the PMU’s full integration in the Iraqi military.
attack on the Hashd al-Sha’abi base comes as the United States has sought to
pressure Baghdad against the PMU.
has often labeled Iraqi units operating under the PMU organization as being
“Iran-led terrorists groups,” a claim denied by the Iraqi officials.
growing international and domestic pressure, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman's military campaign in Yemen has further pushed Riyadh to plead for
Washington's assistance, according to a report.
waging a prolonged four-year war on Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition has failed
to achieve its announced objective of installing an allied government and
defeating the Houthi Ansarullah movement in the country, The New York Times
cited various analysts as saying.
frustrated Saudis have, however, turned to additional US support in hopes of
achieving a breakthrough, according to unnamed diplomats informed on the
US already provides the Saudis with weapons and logistical support. Riyadh is
seeking additional intelligence assistance and possibly the deployment of
American special forces teams and advisers in Yemen, according to diplomats.
being emboldened by the US President Donald Trump's hawkish administration,
Riyadh is, however, disgruntled with Washington's hesitation to provide the
haven’t the Americans carried out a single operation to help?” asked Mustafa
Alani, a scholar at the Saudi-backed Gulf Research Center who is close to the
reluctance comes as the US congress has pushed to limit US assistance in the
Saudi military campaign following the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic mission in Turkey in October last year.
Thursday, the US House of Representatives voted to pass resolutions that block
certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
President Donald Trump has, nonetheless, strongly defended arm sales to the
oil-rich kingdom. The president has vowed to veto any resolution banning the
an ever-decreasing set of options in Yemen, the Saudis "don’t have the
luxury of walking out of Yemen,” believes Farea al-Muslimi, chairman of the
Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, a research institute in the Yemeni
AGS Institute analyst Kristin Smith Diwan also believes bin Salman's failure to
finish the war, which was largely touted as the young crown prince's
"personal investment", hurts his "credibility as a successful
many people in Saudi Arabia feel this is a wise investment for the future,” she
hastily withdrawal of Saudi Arabia's most prominent ally, the United Arab
Emirates, which was made public last past month, has also prompted many experts
to further question whether the kingdom's is able to continue the war on its
to be more efficient than the Saudis at commanding ground troops, the UAE
helped maintain a fragile network of mercenaries and tribal militia to fight
for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's southern regions.
last week, an official of the Saudi Embassy in Washington said that the kingdom
would rely more on "Yemeni allies" following the Emirati drawdown.
experts believe that rivalries within different militia factions competing over
the void left by Emirati forces, coupled with Saudi Arabia's lacking political
appeal to militia south of the country, may lead to an ultimate collapse of the
coalition's tribal forces.
to the New York Times report, some Western and United Nations diplomats hope
that the Emirati withdrawal, along with mounting international frustration over
the war's impact on civilians, may pressure the crown prince to negotiate a
deal with the Houthis.
Egyptian security officials say airstrikes targeting militants are underway in
the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 20 insurgents.
said that Egypt's air force on Friday hit more than 100 mountainous hideouts of
militant groups in the city of El-Arish and the small town of Bir Al-Abd. The
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to
brief the media.
airstrikes come on the heels of a suicide bombing attack that left two killed,
including a soldier and a civilian Thursday in the northern Sinai town of
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