Ahmadi Community Faces Growing Discrimination, Report Says
of India’s Catholic Church and Islamic Organization for Sri Lanka Terror Bomb
Clashes Rock Easter Attacks Town in Sri Lanka
Lanka Plot Was Hatched In Syria In 2017
Muslim Brotherhood, Trump Weighs Siding with Autocrats and Roiling Middle East
Preacher, Anjem Choudary, Returns to London Home
Crossed the Line in Warning over Uighur-Like Fate, Says SIS
Army Keeps Sending Truckloads of Military Hardware to SDF after Declaring End
Laments Deadly Start to Ramadan, Amid Funerals and Debris
Union and UN Support Civilian-Led Sudan Transition
Rows with Mullahs over Plans for Astronomers to Calculate Start of Ramadan
Rejects Eateries’ Petitions for Exemption from Ehteram-i-Ramazan Ordinance
grand terror plot in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives
terms Maryam’s appointment as PML-N vice president illegal
walks out of NA, Senate over petrol price hike
sent to Musharraf in high treason case
Democrat MPs to co-chair Congressional Pakistan caucus
personnel martyred, three injured in North Waziristan attack
books three more terror suspects in Kerala as probe expands
Kashmiri student is in Pakistan jail, says father
army shells forward posts, hamlets along LoC in J&K's Poonch, 2 civilians
security personnel, 4 civilians killed during Ramzan truce last year; 23 ultras
ISIS Radicalized Wealthy Sri Lankan Muslims, Orchestrated Mass Slaughter
storm checkpoint, killing 20 troops: Afghan official
deal with Afghan Taliban can have unintended consequences: report
IS existence in Bangladesh: Home minister
discovers alcohol, weapons in detained Taliban commander’s compound in Balkh
target Taliban militants who were maneuvering for an offensive in Helmand
Narcotics Labs Destroyed, Nearly 200 Taliban Militants Killed, Wounded In Farah
villagers in Rakhine risk running out food amid military siege
with US in Doha stumble over troop withdrawal timetable: Afghan Taliban
peace talks paused for first day of Ramadan
pardons convicted ex-soldier who killed Iraqi prisoner
firm Blackwater training Daesh terrorists in Iraq, eyeing Syria: report
pardons former US soldier who killed Iraqi prisoner
backs Israel '100%' amid airstrikes on Gaza
decries burial of Armenian terrorist's remains
ties with different regions complementary'
foreign minister, NATO chief meets in Ankara
fails to condemn Israeli bombings in Gaza
Camps to Factories: Muslim Detainees Say China Using Forced Labour
Protects Islam, Says Muhyiddin
Expert: SDF Main Loser of US-Turkey Safe Zone Plan in Syria
Morsi to spend 7th Ramadan behind bars: Family
Army Makes Key Advances in Hama, Commences Military Operations in Idlib
Expel US-Backed SDF Militants from Raqqa
Kills 26 in Syria’s northwest: Monitor
two dozen former Izadi captives of Daesh repatriated to Iraq
coalition delegation visits Riyadh exhibit
court upholds death sentences and prison terms linked to terrorist cell
Jihad Debuts New Missile with Attack on Israel, Pledges Bigger Surprises
President: Muslim Countries Must Stop Massacre Of Palestinians By Israel
dismisses US naval deployment as old news
more Palestinian bodies found after Israeli strikes
election board orders rerun of Istanbul mayoral race, angers opposition
high election board rules in favour of re-run of Istanbul election
Haftar Defies Truce, Orders Troops to Fight during Ramadan
Suspected Al-Shabaab Militants in Lamu Issue Chilling Terror Threat
Says African Union to Discuss Sudan Report in Two Weeks
protest death toll hits 90: Doctors' committee
calls for week-long humanitarian truce in Libya as tensions rise
Haftar urges troops to ‘wipe out’ military opposition
by New Age Islam News Bureau
rows with mullahs over plans for astronomers to calculate start of Ramadan
Khan's government faces a clash with religious groups after his science
minister said Pakistan would use scientists to predict when the Muslim fasting
month of Ramadan starts, rather rely on clerics with telescopes.
committee of astronomers and meteorologists would devise a 10-year calendar for
the start of religious occasions that rely on a new moon, said Fawad Chaudhry.
new committee would end annual disputes on whether the moon has been sighted he
has this year again found itself split on whether or not a new moon had been
sighted ushering in a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting.
state-run moon-sighting committee declared the first day of the month should
begin on Tuesday, while a notoriously dissenting cleric declared it was Monday.
five-person committee would include scientists from Pakistan's space agency and
its meteorological department, Mr Chaudhry said.
told Dawn newspaper that: “This will end uncertainty about moon-sighting.” Islamic
scholars disagree on whether the moon must be physically seen for Ramadan to
begin. Mr Chaudhry's plan provoked anger from the head of the moon-sighting
committee, who said he already drew on scientific advice to make his annual
Munib-ur-Rehman, the chief of the central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, accused Mr
Chaudhry of being "unaware of religious matters".
Rehman told Geo News: "I have previously appealed to the premier to let
speak only concerned minister on religious issues."
Chaudhry admitted the plan was likely to face opposition.
calendar drawn up by the scientific committee would first have to be agreed by
the federal government and he said no one would be forced to abide by it.
in Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia and Malaysia, and much of the
Middle East, including Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, began their fast on
more, however, in India, Pakistan and Iran, were due to mark the start of the
lunar month on Tuesday based on moon sightings there.
countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramadan crescent
the evening before fasting begins.
Ahmadi community faces growing discrimination, report says
(Reuters) - Pakistan’s Ahmadi community faces growing institutionalised
discrimination fanned by last year’s election campaign by Prime Minister Imran
Khan, the minority movement said in a report issued on Monday.
a group that originated in British-controlled India in the 19th century who see
themselves as an Islamic movement, are regarded as heretical by orthodox
Muslims and forbidden from calling themselves Muslims or using Islamic symbols
in their religious practices.
face discrimination and violence over accusations their faith insults Islam and
community leaders say legislative moves in 2018 and anti-Ahmadi rhetoric during
the elections have entrenched legalised hate.
have no religious freedoms in Pakistan and recent actions taken by the
authorities mean that the situation is going to deteriorate even further and
make it impossible for Ahmadis to carry on with their everyday lives,”
spokesman Saleem ud Din said in a statement.
discrimination has long been a problem in Pakistan, a mainly Sunni Muslim state
of more than 200 million people, with attacks against Shi’ites, Christians,
Hindus and Sikhs in recent years.
have faced particular pressure since a 1974 constitutional amendment which
declared them non-Muslim and a ruling a decade later by military ruler General
Zia ul Haq explicitly forbidding them from calling themselves Muslim.
major events underlined in the report are a High Court verdict requiring
citizens to declare their religion when applying for identity documents, which
rights activists said specifically targeted the Ahmadi community.
other was electioneering by Pakistan’s main parties, including the prime minister’s
party, in which they have supported religious laws and anti-Ahmadi groups to
curry favour with the religious right.
Ahmadi community, in a statement on the report, accused Khan of fanning “the
flames of religious hatred against Ahmadis”.
office did not respond to request for comment.
Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims. But their recognition of Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad, who founded the sect in 1889, as a “subordinate prophet” is viewed by
many Sunnis as a breach of the Islamic tenet that the Prophet Mohammad was
God’s last direct messenger.
report said 62 Ahmadis were booked under discriminatory religious laws in 2017
and that more than 2,500 anti-Ahmadi news items appeared in Pakistan’s
May, a mob attacked a 100-year-old Ahmadi mosque in eastern Pakistan, spurred
by the words of a cleric.
is not just extremists who carry out hate campaigns against Ahmadis, but the
political class also fans these flames too,” Din added.
of India’s Catholic Church and Islamic organization for Sri Lanka terror bomb
Catholic Church of India and a leading Islamic organization of the country have
issued a joint statement vehemently condemning the Easter Sunday suicide bomb
attacks in Sri Lanka. They also plan to
send an inter-faith delegation as a gesture of their condolence and solidarity with
the undersigned, condemn unequivocally these dastardly acts. The persons and
the groups responsible for the serials blasts are anti-human, anti-civilization
and anti-God,” said the statement signed by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the President
of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and Maulana Mahmood A.
Madani, the General Secretary Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, an Islamic scholars’
coordinated bombings of April 21 by a group of Sri Lankan nationals linked to
the Islamic State group, targeted 3 churches and 4 hotels that killed more than
250 people, including foreigners, and injured over 500.
the perpetrators of the attacks as “the incarnation of the most heinous forces
on the earth,” the two leaders said, “to associate them with any faith would be
most sacrilegious to the faith itself”.
Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, and Madani called on all faiths to “disown
and condemn such barbarous individuals and groups.” “The terrorist attacks become all the more
gruesome if launched under the garb of religion and holy mission,” they wrote,
calling on people of all faiths to “disown and condemn such barbarous
individuals and groups”. “It is our duty,” they wrote, “to expose them and
banish them from civilized society.”
that the attacks on religious places during religious festivals such as at
Easter are perpetrated to create a divide between people of various faiths and
communities, the two leaders expressed their closeness with Christians
everywhere, sharing their sorrows and pains.
CBCI and Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind also proposed to send a high-level delegation of
various faiths to Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of cooperation and
also to offer their condolence to the bereaved families.
message with an appeal to “everyone irrespective of their religion, caste and
creed to come forward to save humanity and to maintain social harmony and
Clashes Rock Easter Attacks Town In Sri Lanka
SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's Roman Catholic Church appealed for calm and an alcohol
ban Monday after clashes between Christians and Muslims in a town scarred by
the Easter suicide attacks.
of security forces entered Negombo to impose a curfew after dozens of
Muslim-owned shops, homes and vehicles were attacked.
Sebastian's church in the town 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of capital
Colombo was one of three churches and three hotels hit by jihadist suicide
bombers on April 21 killing 257 people.
appeal to all Catholic and Christian brothers and sisters not to hurt even a
single Muslim person because they are our brothers, because they are part of
our religious culture," said Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of
please avoid hurting them and try to create a better spirit of understanding
and good relations between all the communities of Sri Lanka," he said in a
video message to the country.
cardinal visited Negombo, held talks with clerics at a mosque and appealed to
the government to shut bars in the Catholic-dominated town known as
"Little Rome", said his spokesman Father Edmund Tilakaratne.
a temporary measure, the cardinal asked the government to order the ban on
liquor sales in Negombo area," Tilakaratne told AFP.
another televised appeal, Ranjith appealed to Christians, Buddhists and Muslims
to show restraint.
suffered the highest death toll in the Easter Sunday attacks that were claimed
by the ISIS. The bomb at St. Sebastian's killed more than 100 worshippers.
top police officer said two arrests were made after the latest clashes and more
suspects had been identified through CCTV footage.
officer said all will be prosecuted under emergency laws approved after the
least three people were injured in the clashes," the officer told AFP.
"Although we have arrested only two suspects at the moment, many more have
been identified and we will go after them."
officer said an alcohol-fuelled dispute between two groups degenerated into the
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a statement the government will
compensate those who lost property in the night-time clashes.
video circulating on social media showed mobs throwing stones at Muslim
businesses, destroyed furniture inside homes, shattered windows and overturned
was unable to immediately verify the footage.
hundred extra troops and police were deployed late Sunday as authorities
imposed a night-time curfew in the town.
government blocked access to WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media
platforms for several hours to prevent what it called the spread of rumours and
videos aimed at instigating unrest.
curfew was lifted on Monday morning and social media was working again by noon
Lanka's main international airport is located in the area, but police said
there was no disruption.
make up around 10 percent of Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka's 21 million
population and Christians about 7.6 percent.
public schools reopened Monday for the first time since the Easter attacks,
with heavily armed police and troops guarding schools.
attendance was poor today, but we maintain a high level of security," the
top police officer said. "Most parents are adopting a wait-and-see
approach and we hope attendance will be back to normal very soon."
country has been under a state of emergency since the Easter bombings.
forces and police have been give sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects.
government has blamed the Easter bombings on a local jihadist organisation
which had pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Lanka plot was hatched in Syria in 2017
The Islamic State chose Sri Lanka to stage a massive attack on Easter Sunday to
tell the world that they exist, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Monday,
amid reports that the plot was hatched in Syria way back in 2017.
said the IS chose Sri Lanka as a target because the terror group has lost the
ability to confront the world's powerful nations.
they chose acountry that had recently established peace to make the statement
that IS still exist," Sirisena told the BBC.
local news outlet Sri Lanka Mirror reported that a group of terrorists who had
gone to Syria to be trained by IS, had struck a deal in 2017 with the National
Tawheed Jamaat to launch a fierce attack in Sri Lanka.
Muslim Brotherhood, Trump Weighs Siding With Autocrats and Roiling Middle East
— President Trump was only days into office in January 2017 when he first began
considering a move with the potential to ignite a firestorm in the Middle East:
designating the Muslim Brotherhood, a sprawling group that reaches from Morocco
to Malaysia, a terrorist organization.
Trump’s hard-line national security adviser at the time, Michael T. Flynn,
started a review of whether the United States should impose sweeping sanctions
on millions of people across the Middle East. But only weeks later, after Mr.
Flynn was fired, the proposal was quashed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis,
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the next
national security adviser.
lawyers had warned that the Muslim Brotherhood did not meet the legal criteria
to be designated a terrorist organization. And in a volatile region where
American troops were already battling Islamist extremists, the three men
believed, taking on the Brotherhood was one fight too many.
men are now gone. So when President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, a strongman
who views the Muslim Brotherhood as a source of political opposition, visited
the White House on April 9 to renew his longstanding calls for Mr. Trump to
target his foes, he found himself pushing on an open door.
Trump administration has resurrected the proposal to brand the Muslim
Brotherhood a terrorist organization, prompting a fierce debate between the
government’s political appointees and its career experts.
designation would impose wide-ranging American economic and travel sanctions on
companies and individuals who interact with the loose-knit Islamist movement
that was founded in Egypt and is recognized as a legitimate political entity in
many Muslim-majority governments.
is the president’s latest major foreign policy decision that appears to have
been heavily influenced by autocratic leaders without first being fully vetted
by career American government officials.
the same time that he was meeting with Egypt’s president, a senior
administration official said, Mr. Trump and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared
Kushner, were being prodded by leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates who also revile the Muslim Brotherhood as a political opponent.
Trump spoke by telephone with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia
on April 9, the same day he met with Mr. el-Sisi.
days earlier, Mr. Trump had spoken with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu
Dhabi, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates; they talked again on
that series of conversations, the White House also announced another reversal
of American foreign policy: In a statement on April 19, Mr. Trump publicly
endorsed Khalifa Hifter, an aspiring strongman in Libya, in his battle to
depose the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all support Mr. Hifter as someone
they believe will stabilize Libya, in part by keeping Islamist political
parties from gaining power.
Washington, the renewed campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood is far from
half-dozen current and former American officials and foreign diplomats familiar
with the push discussed it on the condition of anonymity, several of whom said
it faced legal and policy hurdles and could take weeks to resolve.
of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the current national security adviser,
were already on board with the proposed terrorist designation for the
Brotherhood before Mr. el-Sisi’s visit to the White House, the officials said.
Coates, the senior director of Middle East policy on the National Security
Council whose team is leading an interagency process to explore the policy
shift, also supports the designation. She is a historian of European art who
was hired at the White House after serving as a foreign policy adviser to
Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican with hard-line views on Middle East issues.
is not clear where the acting defense secretary, Patrick M. Shanahan, stands on
the Brotherhood. On Friday, he told reporters that he planned to discuss the
issue with Mr. Pompeo before he expresses his views.
Mr. Shanahan said, concerns about American troops in states where the Muslim
Brotherhood is viewed favorably are “important points.” The Pentagon has relied
heavily on partnerships with Qatar and Turkey to fight the Islamic State or
take on other military priorities in the region; both governments are the
region’s strongest supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
the terrorist designation are United States counterterrorism, intelligence and
defense officials, who worry it would divert resources from demonstrated
terrorist threats, including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, and roil American
relations in the Middle East.
lawyers have argued strongly that federal courts would overturn the designation
and that the criteria for designating a terrorist organization are not a good
fit for the Muslim Brotherhood, given that its members call for a society in
accordance with Islamic law and generally do not advocate for violence.
Turkey and Qatar, the Brotherhood or offshoots are also a recognized political
party or represented in governments in Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Jordan,
Bahrain and Kuwait.
it a terrorist organization would not only jeopardize diplomatic or military
relations with any of those nations, but also “politicize the designation
process, which would undercut the strength of actual designations against
terrorist groups,” said Andrew Miller, a former State Department official now
at the Project on Middle East Democracy, a research group in Washington.
some former Muslim Brotherhood members and offshoots — most notably Hamas, the
Palestinian group whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel — have carried
out attacks. The United States designated Hamas a terrorist organization in
some advisers to Mr. Trump have for years viewed the Brotherhood as a radical
faction that is secretly infiltrating the United States to promote extremist
Islamic law. They see the proposed terrorist designation as an opportunity to
finally take action against the movement.
its frenetic first weeks, the Trump administration had weighed whether to issue
the terrorist designation against both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps, an arm of Iran’s military. But the proposals lost
steam after career government officials objected, and against a fierce public
backlash to Mr. Trump’s travel ban on visitors from several predominantly
Muslim countries and other brazen early policies.
former American official said the State Department has found no new evidence
over the last two years that would make the Muslim Brotherhood a stronger
candidate for the designation. Career diplomats and longtime foreign policy
officials within the State Department do not favor making the designation, the
in the Obama administration had also looked at the potential for designating
the Muslim Brotherhood, but found no basis for it.
State Department controls the list of designated terrorist organizations and,
as a matter of policy, Mr. Pompeo can override government lawyers and the
recommendations of other agencies. The State Department declined to comment on
the continuing review of the proposed Muslim Brotherhood designation.
April 8, the day before Mr. el-Sisi visited the White House, Mr. Pompeo
abruptly pushed through the terrorist designation and sanctions against the
Revolutionary Guards in Iran.
senior Trump administration official said the designation for the Revolutionary
Guards had fueled the White House effort to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a
terrorist organization. But, the official acknowledged, the move against the
Brotherhood was an expansion of how administrations have traditionally used the
terrorist designation process.
official described the internal debate as “an extremely unglamorous process,”
but insisted it was a high priority for Mr. Trump that ultimately would be
officials are also considering whether a narrower designation could survive a
option would be to impose the terrorist designation against only the main
Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt, since that is the one of greatest concern to
even that would be problematic, officials argued, since there have been splits
in the group and defining it is not easy. And unlike the Islamic State or Al
Qaeda, there is no evidence that the Egyptian group has called for, or
directed, terrorist attacks against American interests.
another option, Mr. Trump would issue an executive order against the Muslim
Brotherhood using his presidential emergency powers. It would not declare a new
emergency — like the one Mr. Trump is trying to use to spend more on building
barriers along the border with Mexico than Congress has authorized — but the
order would be attached to an existing terrorism-related emergency.
way, one official said, the president could declare the Muslim Brotherhood a
terrorist organization without going through the State Department.
group of Republican politicians in Washington has for years demanded that the
United States government designate the Brotherhood a foreign terrorist
2017, Mr. Cruz pushed legislation to order the State Department to examine
whether both the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Muslim Brotherhood
should receive the designation.
late 2015, Mr. Pompeo, then a congressman from Kansas, joined other Republican
lawmakers on a measure to put the Muslim Brotherhood on the list of foreign
terrorist groups. Critics have seized on that to accuse Mr. Pompeo of
anti-Islamic views, which he has denied.
Ibish, a senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, said
some Muslim Brotherhood groups in the Middle East no longer cling to the
movement’s dogmatic and transnational roots. He said designating the group a
terrorist organization “would almost in a sense penalize them” for the reforms.
very odd. It’s an anachronistic idea,” Mr. Ibish said. “It doesn’t seem to
recognize the big changes that have gone on.”
Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from London.
hate preacher Anjem Choudary has returned to his east London home amid warnings
that that the extremist group he once led is stirring back to life.
Choudary, 52, was freed from prison in October after serving three years in
prison for supporting ISIS but was initially ordered to stay at a probation
hostel under strict conditions.
was pictured back in his east London neighbourhood on Monday but declined to
speak with a reporter from the Daily Telegraph, owing to the restrictions on
his activities aimed at preventing him from influencing young British Muslims.
senior members of the group have also been released in the last six months
after serving jail terms following a concerted campaign against the group by
National reported last year that Mr Choudary faced more than 20 conditions on
his freedom, including a ban from contacting other extremists, with any
breaches likely to see him returned to prison to serve the remainder of his
hundred followers of his group, Al Muhajiroun, travelled abroad to join
extremist groups in countries including Iraq and Syria or remained in the UK to
commit terrorist acts.
group’s followers included those responsible for the July 7, 2005, attacks on
the London transport network that killed 52 people and the murder of Lee Rigby,
a British soldier, who was run down and attacked by two Britons.
campaigners Hope Not Hate warned in their “State of Hate report” for 2019 that
“Britain’s most prolific and dangerous extremist group is stirring back into
life after two years of relative silence”.
group said Al Muhajiroun was starting to emerge again “albeit on a much smaller
and more tentative scale” with street stalls in east London and social media
appearances by some of its most prominent members.
Choudary himself will not be able to have any contact with any of his old Al
Muhajiroun associates, his release will obviously act as a spur for others,” it
said, warning that younger leaders would become more active to impress Mr
Choudary, a former lawyer, was the co-founder of Al Muhajiroun with Omar Bakri
Mohammed, a former Hizb ut-Tahrir activist deported from Saudi Arabia in 1985.
Minister Theresa May said the authorities were well-equipped to deal with Mr
Choudary after his release.
crossed the line in warning over Uighur-like fate, says SIS
JAYA: Non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam has accused PAS of
crossing the line in asserting that a fate akin to the Uighur Muslim minority
in China awaits Malay Muslims if non-Muslims are left to run the country.
is absolutely no basis for such an assertion which in fact goes against Islamic
teachings of peaceful and harmonious coexistence with other cultures and
religions,” SIS said when commenting on an article in a news portal titled “PAS
warns of Uighur-like fate if infidels run Malaysia”.
article quoted PAS central committee member Mokhtar Senik as saying in a
Facebook post that Muslims in China are prohibited from fasting and practising
my fellow Muslims in Malaysia will take heed.
is the fate this country may face if political power is given to the kafir
(infidels), no matter what kind of infidel they are,” he said.
said PAS’ paranoia and delusion stem from political insecurity and seek to
cause racial tension and distrust among Malaysians who wish to live in a
diverse, inclusive and progressive country.
is evident by their bias and distorted interpretations of ICERD, the Rome
Statute and allegations that the unfortunate demise of fireman Muhammad Adib
Mohd Kassim is a sign of the erosion of Malay rights in the country,” it said
in a statement today.
unfounded insistence that the Federal Constitution is under threat and that
non-Muslims are out to destroy Islam in Malaysia is further proof of their
deliberate attempts to use religion for their own political purposes.
Malaysians against each other is not only detrimental to the rich racial and
cultural heritage of our country, but also impedes economic progress which
should be the priority of all politicians given the financial circumstance we
find ourselves inheriting from the previous administration.”
urged PAS to stop the agenda of deliberately instilling fear and inciting
racial and religious hate among Malaysians.
is a religion of peace and compassion that respects all cultures, and does not
allow suspicion and discrimination simply on the basis of race,” it said.
Army Keeps Sending Truckloads of Military Hardware to SDF After Declaring End
pro-militant Syrian Obeservatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a sum of
65 trucks carrying military equipment and logistic supplies sent by the US from
Northern Iraq arrived in areas under SDF control in Hasaka in Eastern Syria on
SOHR noted that a sum of 1,010 trucks carrying military equipment have been
sent to Eastern Syria by the US during the last few months since it declared
the end of the military operations against the ISIL in Eastern Euphrates by the
US and its allies.
battlefield sources in Hasaka province reported that a US military convoy
comprising several military vehicles and logistic supplies as well as four
covered trucks were dipatched from the same region to a US-controlled military
base in Ain al-Arab (Kobani) in Northern Aleppo.
SOHR had also revealed in April that Washington dispatched new military aid to
the SDF in Eastern Euphrates after it said mission had been accomplished in the
war on ISIL.
reported that the US-led coalition had sent new military convoys, including
tens of trucks carrying military aid and logistical equipment, from Iraqi
Kurdistan region to areas occupied by the SDF in Eastern Euphrates.
added that nearly 700 trucks, carrying vehicles and military and logistic
equipment of the US-led coalition arrived from Iraq to Eastern Euphrates.
laments deadly start to Ramadan, amid funerals and debris
two sleepless days and nights of Israeli shelling and Palestinian rocket fire,
Gazans on Monday faced a first day of Ramadan overshadowed by funerals and the
grim task of pulling bodies from collapsed buildings.
dawn brought a ceasefire of uncertain duration, few Palestinians in the
impoverished coastal enclave were focusing on the sundown feast that is
traditionally the highlight of the day during the Muslim holy month.
Gaza City’s largest hospital, Shifa, relatives of the 21 Palestinians killed on
Sunday - including 12 civilians - arrived to collect bodies for burial and
workers set about rebuilding power and phone lines devastated by the Israeli
bombardment, which also razed entire tower blocks, leaving rubble strewn across
government employees lined up at banks to draw out money they had been unable
to collect during the hostilities.
Israeli military said its tanks and warplanes had hit 350 Hamas and Islamic
Jihad targets in Gaza, including a cross-border tunnel, militant training camps
and places used to store weapons.
Israeli military spokesman said the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and
Islamic Jihad had fired around 690 rockets toward Israel, killing four Israeli
civilians. Calling the barrage “reckless and coordinated”, the military said
240 of the rockets had been intercepted by Israel’s air defenses.
the Sheikh Zayed neighborhood of northern Gaza, residents were in shock a day
after an Israeli air strike killed six people. The four apartments wrecked in
the five-story building were among 600 housing units left destroyed or damaged,
according to the Ministry of Housing.
have never seen in my life more horrifying images than I saw yesterday. I saw
dismembered bodies, burnt up bodies,” said 60-year-old Ziyad Hammash, who lives
in the building across the street.
Usruf, whose cousin, husband and four-month infant child were killed in an
apartment in the northern Gaza Strip, said: “This is a very tough Ramadan. We
will not feel festive.”
she spoke, dozens of men brought the body of the baby home for farewell. Inside
the ambulance was a coffin filled with flesh and body parts.
accused Gaza’s ruling Hamas of trying to pressure it into easing long-standing
restrictions on the movement of people and goods out of Gaza, which Israeli
authorities say is necessary to stop arms reaching Hamas.
the West Bank, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh – whose Western-backed
Palestinian Authority is a bitter rival of Hamas – said it would send
humanitarian aid and food to Gaza.
in Gaza there was pessimism that the latest ceasefire would be a long-term
round is over but I am afraid another will soon begin. We aspire to a day when
nothing of this will happen,” said 55-year-old Adel Mohammad-Ali at one
Union and UN support civilian-led Sudan transition
African Union and the United Nations say they are supporting a civilian-led
transitional government in Sudan following last month’s overthrow of President
Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told reporters after meeting Monday
with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres there is no question of sustaining
the military council that assumed power after al-Bashir’s ouster, saying “it is
he said military members could be part of a civilian government.
have called for a swift transition to civilian rule, and the AU initially gave
the military 15 days to hand over power but extended the deadline to 60 days.
Mahamat said talks are underway.
UN-AU communique welcomes and supports "AU-led efforts to facilitate a
consensual and civilian-led transition, in close coordination with the UN.”
rejects eateries’ petitions for exemption from Ehteram-i-Ramazan Ordinance
The Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court announced its reserved
verdict on Monday, rejecting 262 petitions that sought exemption for their
hotel businesses from the operation of the Ehteram-i-Ramazan Ordinance 1981.
division bench of Justices Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Faheem Ahmed
Siddiqui had heard counsel of the petitioners on May 2 and reserved the order.
court directed all district and sessions judges as well as deputy commissioners
to make sure that no restaurant, hotel, beverage stall and tea shop remained
open at public places except the ones for which exemption had been laid down
under Section V of the ordinance.
court dismissed all the petitions on the ground they did not fall within the
ambit of the exemption and ordered that the deputy commissioners concerned should
ensure that no permission was granted to a restaurant, hotel, beverage stall or
any other business offering edibles, if they did not come under the said
court said that if the petitioners considered they were entitled to benefit
from Section V they might approach the DCs concerned and cautioned that the DCs
could not delegate such power. He had to conduct complete inquiry before
granting such permission, said the judgment.
court said that copy of the judgment should be communicated to all DCs who
would in turn circulate it to their subordinate officers for compliance and
petitioners had sought exclusion from the operation of the ordinance on the
ground that their eateries were situated at places where they could continue
their business in line with the exemption laid down in the ordinance.
court said that the public place was defined in Section II of the ordinance
which included hotels, restaurants, canteen, house, room, tent, enclosures,
road, lane, bridge or other place to which public had access and the places
exempted from operation of the said ordinance were described in Section V.
court disagreed with the petitioners that since their hotels and restaurants
were situated at bus stops they were exempted under Section V and said that it
was not the case because Section V used the word “bus stand” instead of “bus
stop” which did not refer to roadside bus stops.
court said that a bus stand also called a bus bay or bus stance was a
designated parking location. The words “within the premises” used in clause (b)
of Section V of the ordinance itself indicated that it did not refer to a
roadside bus stop or layovers but a separately designated place wherein parking
areas for vehicles, waiting areas for passengers and other amenities were
provided. Similarly, it said, it was not sufficient for a canteen, restaurant
or refectory to claim exemption on the basis of its nearness to a hospital.
court said that a bare perusal of sections 3, 4 and 5 as well as preamble of
the ordinance showed intention of legislature was to promulgate the law to
observe sanctity of the holy month and show respect to fasting Muslims.
was noteworthy that the prohibition imposed by the ordinance applied only
during fasting hours and all the eateries were allowed to resume their
activities after fasting hours. Since the place mentioned in all petitions did
not fall within the exemption given under Section V of the ordinance, therefore
all petitions were dismissed, said the judgment.
court noted that perusal of different sections of the ordinance showed that it
was aimed at inculcating respect and honour of the holy month in the minds and
hearts of Muslims.
DELHI: India's deep state is well versed in the art of intelligence warfare.
Its human intelligence-led inputs to the Sri Lankan establishment, though
unutilised, showed that they were on top of their game. India has been tracking
the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) for sometime now. New Delhi moved with great
alacrity passing on direct actionable intelligence in the weeks and days
leading up to the Easter Sunday bombings. And this happened from material
accessed during interrogations of an ISIS suspect arrested in India.
Sri Lankan government even had a warning that Catholic churches were among the
possible targets. The suspect gave Indian investigators the name of a man -
Zahran Hashmi - he had trained, who is associated with a Sri Lankan extremist
group implicated in the bombings. The shadowy man, Zahran Hashim, was
identified in a video of the purported attackers released by ISIS, which
claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday macabre massacre.
met several top intelligence functionaries to piece together the emergence of
Sri Lanka as the new terror central. While doing so, it unearthed a gargantuan
and deep-seated Lashkar plot which goes back at least 14 years showing how LeT
had invested for years in Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and even Malaysia as part
of a larger encirclement strategy of India.
intelligence has been alive to this and has used all its skill sets and
ground-level inputs to mitigate the terror threat emanating from the island and
other neighbouring countries. It needs to be established here that ISI C Wing
and LeT are two sides of the same coin as far as jihad is concerned.
has been using Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK) as a proxy to radicalise unemployed
Muslim youth in Sri Lanka and coax them to join the NTJ. In parallel, India has
bolstered its security apparatus in Tamil Nadu and Kerala due to the strong
presence of NTJ members in these states.
rise of IS and its vile and noxious thought process of establishing a Caliphate
has found takers in Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives. At least 200-250
Maldivians have reportedly fought for the IS in trouble spots like Syria and
these are mules who make the trek to Yemen where they are further indoctrinated
and trained, then sent on wars sometimes to Mali and Chad for fighting or to
the combat zone in Iraq and Syria to fight under the IS flag.
Tokyo-based online magazine 'The Diplomat' validated this saying a December
2015 report by the Soufan Group, a private intelligence agency run by former
FBI agent-turned contractor Ali Soufan, put out a count of foreign fighters
who'd volunteered to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Four South
Asian countries featured in that list - Malaysia, Pakistan, India, and the
Maldives - sending an estimated 393 fighters among them. It was the island
nation in the Indian Ocean that sent analysts and headlines into a tizzy with
the rise of radical Islam with its bent towards Salafist tendencies. It had by
far the highest per capita fighters in the sandbox.
Indian deep state has been following Islamic militancy in Sri Lanka, a fertile
breeding ground since 2004. The tipping point in the rise of Islamic
fundamentalism in the emerald isle has Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)'s hand prints all
over it. A special group headed by LeT's Muzzamil Bhat from Sialkot and his
lackeys made forays into Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka between 2005
and 2007, knowing fully well that these areas could be used to further their
agenda and to encircle India.
Bhat is one of the planners of 26/11 and is reported to be the architect of the
Chittisinghpora massacre. The entire construct of this plan to use these
countries as a launchpad to train terrorists was part of his larger
FBI in its 26/11 chargesheet named Bhat as D, a key LeT military commander, who
was involved in the Chittisinghpora massacre in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of
President Bill Clinton's visit to India in March 2000.
its second chargesheet, filed in a Chicago court, the FBI named an ISI officer,
Major Iqbal, and four LeT operatives - Sajid Majeed, Abu Qahafa, Abu Alqama and
the unknown Lashkar member 'D'. About 'D' the chargesheet states that after the
arrest of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in Pakistan in connection with the 26/11
attacks, he became the overall operational commander of LeT.
to FBI, 'D', who is yet to be arrested by Pakistan, was a handler of David
Coleman Headley. Headley told Indian investigators that Muzzamil was involved
in the Chittisinghpora massacre. In turn, Headley also said Muzzamil was most
trustworthy lieutenant of Lakhvi and apart from Chittisinghpora killings of
Sikhs, he planned the Akshardham temple attack in September 2002.
to Indian security establishment sources, Muzzamil is a Kashmiri born in 1976.
He is married and his family lives in the Gujranwala town of Pakistani Punjab.
on the other hand, is a planner and his understanding was that with Indian
intelligence and security forces keeping a close vigil on southern India in
those years, he reckoned that taking the training camps offshore would be a
better idea. SIMI was already active in southern India, they had set up a southern
chapter across the four states, while Bhatkal had become a new centrifuge.
central was moving from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to the southern part of
India. Hence Muzzamil arrived in Sri Lanka to test the waters and quickly
realised that there was traction amongst Tamil Muslims after the Tsunami, ditto
in Bangladesh among the Rohingyas between 2004-2008.
RAW which was extremely active in both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka did not allow
Bhat or his henchmen to stabilise their operations.
2011, ably abetted and assisted by ISI officer Amir Zubair Siddiqui (Counselor
in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo), a new name popped up on the radar
- Zakir Hussain - who began to actively consort with and recruit Tamil Muslims
on the island. The plan was to recruit them and unleash hell on diplomatic
missions in Chennai and Bangalore, but RAW once again found the scent and
pursued them to cut off their feed stock of financing, explosives and weapons.
engaged with Colombo and brought it up to speed on Siddiqui's shenanigans who
was then packed off from Sri Lanka. The diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui's plot
was to attack the US Consulate in Chennai, Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru,
Eastern Naval Command HQ in Visakhapatnam and ports across the country.
RAW had blown his cover, NIA moved in to chargesheet Siddiqui who was then visa
counselor at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. Siddiqui was arrested for
allegedly conspiring to attack vital establishments in India and was quietly
withdrawn even before the NIA's request under Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty
(MLAT) reached Colombo.
terror plot was uncovered after the NIA police personnel arrested an ISI agent
Mohammed Zakir Hussain (37) through the 'Q' Branch of the Tamil Nadu police in 2013.
The reason was that he was gathering details about vital installations in Tamil
Nadu and sent photographs to Siddiqui. Hussain used his counterparts Sivabalan
and Mohammad Salim to circulate fake currency in the state.
questioning, Hussain also confessed that he had also used Rafeeque (29) to pump
in fake Indian currency in the state.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr
Firdous Ashiq Awan has termed the appointment of Maryam Nawaz as vice president
of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) illegal and said it portrayed the
dictatorial mindset of that party.
a press conference here on Monday, she said: “Since the PML-N has matured under
the influence of dictators, it still has the habit of ignoring the directives
of the election commission that no convict person can be an office-bearer of a
said the announcement of positions by the PML-N leadership was like
distribution of family assets among relatives, while it should have been decided
by party workers.
about a sudden increase in the prices of essential commodities with the advent
of Ramazan, Dr Awan said it was unfortunate that businessmen were exploiting
said keeping in mind the problems of the masses Prime Minister Imran Khan had
directed the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet to approve a Rs2
billion Ramazan package.
adviser said the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) had reduced the prices of 19
commodities, including pulses, rice, cooking oil and sugar, under the Ramazan
said that the USC would provide a subsidy of Rs4 per kg on wheat flour, Rs5 on
sugar, Rs15 on ghee, Rs10 on cooking oil, Rs20 on gram pulse, Rs15 on moong
pulse, Rs10 on mash pulse, Rs25 on white gram, Rs20 on gram flour, Rs30 on
dates, Rs15 on basmati rice, Rs15 on sela rice and Rs15 on broken rice, Rs15 on
squashes and syrups (1,500 ml), Rs10 on squashes and syrups (800 ml), Rs50 on
black tea, Rs15 on milk and 10 per cent relief on spices.
Awan said the USC had been directed to ensure availability of all daily use
items at its stores.
said that the previous government had announced a Rs1.6bn Ramazan package last
year, but utilised only Rs760 million, while the remaining amount lapsed due to
lack of USC’s capacity.
Managing Director Umar Lodhi said panic-buying was leading to early clearing of
shelves at several outlets of the corporation.
The opposition on Monday staged a walkout from both houses of parliament — the
National Assembly and the Senate — in protest against the hike in prices of
petroleum products by up to Rs9 per litre.
was witnessed in the National Assembly as the opposition members staged a
protest, carried placards in their hands and chanted slogans against the
of the opposition parties also held a press conference after the assembly
session was adjourned till Wednesday and warned the government that they would
bring people to the streets if they [opposition leaders] were barred from
raising their voice in parliament against “faulty economic policies of the
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah stunned the National Assembly
when he said Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif had not resigned from the
office of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman.
the start of the session, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi criticised
Shahbaz Sharif for ‘leaving’ the office of PAC chairman and said the Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP) and the PML-N were supporting him [Shahbaz Sharif] for the
post of PAC chairman.
said the opposition had earlier insisted that Mr Sharif must be made the PAC
chairman despite opposition to his nomination by the government, adding that Mr
Sharif had stepped down without taking into confidence other parties in the
opposition, including the PPP, on his decision.
Sanaullah almost took a U-turn and claimed that Mr Sharif had not so far
resigned from the office of PAC chairman. “Have you received resignation of
Shahbaz Sharif?” he asked Speaker Asad Qaisar.
speaker replied in the negative and said he heard through the media that
Shahbaz Sharif had left the office of PAC chairman.
Sanaullah wondered how the foreign minister had come to know about Mr Sharif’s
resignation. “Has he [Mr Qureshi] talked to Mr Sharif over the phone about his
resignation?” he asked.
said it had been decided at recently held meeting of the PML-N parliamentary
committee that Mr Sharif should not hold the office of PAC chairman because he
could not given due time to the committee owing to certain reasons. The
committee made the decision and sent it to PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif for a
final nod. “Shahbaz Sharif has not yet decided whether he will retain the
office or leave it,” Mr Sanaullah said.
of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said the PML-N had gone to the International
Monetary Fund 16 times during its rule and now the opposition was criticising
the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for dealing with the IMF.
the opposition members staged a demonstration in the house against the recent
increase in prices of petroleum products and walked out the National Assembly.
They also held a press conference outside the Parliament House.
opposition also staged a walkout from the Senate after a speech by PML-N
Senator Javed Abbasi who criticised the government for increasing the prices of
petroleum products a day before the month of Ramazan. “In other countries
prices are reduced before Christmas and Ramazan, but in Pakistan the government
had made a “big increase” in petroleum prices,” he regretted.
of the House Senator Shibli Faraz said the opposition had no courage to listen
to the answers to the allegation it had levelled against the government and
chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told reporters while leaving the Parliament
House that the government had compromised the country’s “economic sovereignty”
by appointing a serving IMF officer as governor of the State Bank of Pakistan
(SBP). “Now the IMF will decide who will be the finance minster and the governor
of the State Bank.”
said the national exchequer was empty when the PPP came to power after the
Musharraf regime in 2008. “At that time we fought for the rights of our people
and despite reservations by the IMF we provided 6.8 million jobs to the people,
raised pensions and launched Benazir Income Support Programme for the welfare
of the people,” he added.
Bhutto-Zardari said if the IMF would run the country it would take care of its
own interest, and not that of people. “No law allows appointment of a serving
IMF official as governor of State Bank,” he added.
co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said after the NA session that he thought that
“the headquarters of the IMF is being shifted to Islamabad”, wondering what the
people of the country would think when serving officials of the IMF were
appointed SBP governor and to other key positions.
outside the Parliament House, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said the government had
made Pakistan “a colony of IMF”. “Bowing his head before the IMF, Prime Minister
Imran Khan has proved himself as coward like Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq contrary
to his [Mr Khan] claim that he is following in the footsteps of Tipu Sultan,”
PML-N leader said the opposition had now decided to oppose the government’s
“faulty economic policies” inside and outside parliament. “We will bring people
to the streets against unprecedented price hike,” he added.
special court in Islamabad on Monday sent a questionnaire to former military
dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in a case pertaining to charges of high
treason against him.
list, sent under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedures (CrPC),
contains 26 queries, including questions regarding the subversion of the
Constitution by declaring the state of emergency in November 2007.
the questions asked are:
it true that by suspending the Constitution, you subverted the Constitution and
were guilty of high treason?
you, as the president, declare the state of emergency on December 15, 2007?
it true that you had taken all the aforementioned measures without consulting
the authorities concerned but in your individual capacity?
was this case created against you? Why did the state and its prosecution's
witnesses testified against you?
it true that you measures have never been validated by any legal forum?
questionnaire was dispatched after the court in the last hearing admitted
Musharraf's plea for adjournment of the hearing of a high treason case against
him till the end of the holy month of Ramazan.
who left Pakistan in 2016 to seek medical treatment but has not returned since,
is facing a treason trial under Article 6 of the Constitution as well as
Section 2 of the High Treason Act on a complaint moved by the federal
US lawmakers announced the Congressional Pakistan Caucus for the 116th Congress
in Houston this weekend, with two co-chair, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a
Democrat, and Congressman Jim Banks, a Republican.
is an important development, which would enable us to work with both
Republicans and Democrats to strengthen bilateral relations,” said Pakistan’s
Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan, who also attended the event along with prominent
members of the Pakistani community in Houston.
would also help in building strong people-to-people and parliamentary linkages
between our two democracies,” said the ambassador who is visiting Houston —
home to one of the largest and most influential Pakistani communities in the
Lee, an old friend of Pakistan on Capitol Hill, reiterated her continued
commitment to strengthening of Pakistan-US ties.
caucus’s revival for the 116th Congress is an important step forward,” said Ms
Lee, the founding co-chair of Pakistan caucus over the years.
will help expand the scope of bilateral ties geared to improving lives and
livelihoods of people in both countries.”
Lee hoped that the PTI government would also work with the Pakistani community
in the US to further strengthen traditional ties between Pakistan and the US.
Jim Banks noted that a “strong and effective” caucus played an essential role
in improving US ties with allied nations and hoped that the Pakistan caucus
would also play this role. He also emphasised the need for a better
understanding between the lawmakers of the two countries.
Khan thanked Congresswoman Lee for her steadfast support for Pakistan over the
years and for her “commitment to a stronger partnership with Pakistan”. He also
welcomed Jim Banks as the Republican co-chair of the Pakistan Caucus.
ambassador hoped that the caucus would “help provide depth and breadth to our
relationship”. He particularly emphasised the need for enhancing economic and
commercial ties that would underwrite durability of Pakistan-US relations.
At least one security personnel was martyred and three others injured when
terrorists attacked a vehicle here on Monday.
to details, the terrorists targeted a vehicle of the security forces in Datta
Khel area of district North Waziristan of Khyber Pakhutnkhwa (KP).
vehicle was damaged in the attack resulting in death of one security personnel
and leaving three others injured.
attackers fled the scene. The body and injured were shifted to Miranshah
security forces cordoned off the area after the attack and launched search
National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the suspected Islamic State terror
module in Kerala has booked three more persons from the state for their alleged
involvement in terror activities, according to sources in the agency.
three men are Abubacker Siddique and Ahmad Arafath from Kasargode and Mohamad
Faizal, a resident of Karunagapally (Kollam).
first two have been detained and the third is still at large, said sources in
the NIA. On April 29, it had arrested a person from Palakkad, Riyas Aboobacker
(29) alias Abu Dujana who wanted to be a suicide bomber.
said all three were in regular touch with Aboobacker and were planning to carry
out terror attacks in the state.
agency has moved a remand plea in the NIA court in Kochi on Monday seeking
five-day custody of Aboobacker. In the remand application it said Aboobacker
plotted a terror attack in Kerala and was in constant touch with many leaders
of terror network including Abdul Raashid Abdulla, the leader of the missing 21
people from north Kerala’s Kasargode who reportedly joined the Islamic State
three years ago.
also said Aboobacker and his associates were trying hard to propagate the IS
ideology in Kerala and desperate to carry out attacks in the state. During
preliminary interrogation Aboobacker reportedly told the NIA that he was
following speeches of Zahran Hashim, brain behind the Lankan bombings and
controversial preacher Zakir Naik, for more than a year and was eager to carry
out a terror attack in a tourist spot in Kerala frequented by foreigners.
also said he was ready for a suicide attack but his friends had let him down by
not providing explosives and logistic support. Following his interrogation the
NIA had raided many hideouts of suspects in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and seized
incriminating documents, sources said. At least 60 people from both Kerala and
Tamil Nadu were under the NIA’s observation.
the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka which killed more than 250 people,
intelligence agencies have increased their vigil in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Two
days ago Lankan army chief General Mahesh Senanayaka said some of the bombers who
carried out attacks in his country had visited Kashmir and Kerala.
Sunday, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said there was no record to
suggest that any of Sri Lankan suicide bombers had visited Kashmir.
A Kashmiri student who went missing nearly five months back from a university
in Noida in Uttar Pradesh is languishing in a Pakistani jail, his family
claimed on Monday. Syed Wahid, 23, went missing on December 12 from a private university
father told police that he recently received a call from Pakistan and an inmate
released from the Pakistan jail informed him that his son was lodged there.
Police sources here said they are trying to verify the veracity of the claim.
Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and small arms firing targeting
forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's
Poonch district on Monday, resulting in injuries to two civilians, officials
violated ceasefire by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing along the
LoC in Mankote and Krishna Ghati sectors of Poonch district, they said.
civilians — Maqsood Ahmed and Ashiq Hussain — were injured in the shelling,
Sunday, a colonel-rank officer was injured in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch in
Pakistani shelling, while a 25-year-old porter suffered splinter injuries when
a mortar shell exploded near him in Keri sector of Rajouri district, they said.
has violated ceasefire by 513 times along the LoC in the state in the past
Pakistani side has suffered five to six times more casualties than the Indian
side in retaliatory action, a senior official said.
security forces personnel and four civilians were killed in militancy-related
incidents while 23 militants were gunned down during a month-long halt in
operations in Kashmir announced by the Centre in the month of Ramzan last year,
the Home Ministry has said.
Centre had in May last year directed security forces not to launch operations
in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan to help Muslims observe the holy month in a
many as 23 terrorists, eight security forces personnel and four civilians were
killed in militancy-related incidents from May 17, 2018, to June 17, 2018,
during the Ramzan truce, Director (S-JK), Ministry of Home Affairs, Sulekha
said in a reply to an RTI application filed by Jammu-based activist Rohit
added that 37 security personnel and 33 civilians were also injured during the
period. Five terrorists were arrested during the truce period, the MHA said.
PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had on Saturday appealed
to the Centre and the militants to announce ceasefire in the state for Ramzan
so that the “people get some relief”.
month of Ramzan is starting after a couple of days and so, I appeal the
government of India that ours is a Muslim-majority state and people here are
facing difficulties. It is a month of prayer and so I request them (Centre) to
announce a ceasefire like the last year so that crackdowns, search operations
and encounters are stopped and people get some relief,” she had told reporters
ISIS radicalized wealthy Sri Lankan Muslims, orchestrated mass slaughter
The suicide bombs were packed with ball bearings, iron nails and the explosive
TATP, all hallmarks of the way the Islamic State likes to commit mass murder.
of the bombers had traveled to Syria. Another trained in Turkey. One man
arrested hours after the attacks had commuted between Sri Lanka and Syria,
leading investigators to identify him as a possible middleman between the
Islamic State and Sri Lankan militants.
Sri Lankan investigators reveal key details from the suicide blasts+ that killed
more than 250 people in churches and hotels across the island on Easter Sunday,
more evidence points to a role by the Islamic State in inspiring — and perhaps
directing — the slaughter.
as the Islamic State has been routed from territories in Iraq and Syria where
its black flag once flew with impunity, the Sri Lanka attacks show the group is
still capable of orchestrating carnage through loyalists in far-flung
outside counterterrorism experts believed Sri Lanka was in imminent danger. But
many Sri Lankans knew that the Islamic State was eyeing them. And some are
furious that multiple warnings went unheeded. They feel their government
essentially allowed more than 250 lives to slip between the cracks. In November
2016, the justice minister told Parliament that more than two dozen Sri Lankans
had recently joined the Islamic State, which he said was becoming a “grave
few months later, a group of moderate Muslims presented police officials with
11 dossiers on local Islamist extremists, including Zaharan Hashim+ , whom they
identified as the “leader of ISIS team in Sri Lanka.”
have identified Zaharan as one of the suicide bombers and possibly the
ringleader. For years, moderate Muslims had expressed concern that Zaharan was
tearing at Sri Lanka’s delicate fabric that spans its Muslim, Buddhist and
Christian communities. They unsuccessfully urged the police to arrest him. Sri
Lankan officials have blamed one another for dismissing detailed warnings about
these threats. The fact that no one acted
the information about a growing Islamic State presence, just as no one acted in
the weeks before the attacks on specific intelligence about possible suicide
bombings, has compounded the grief and anger.
frustrated, but more than that, I am pained,” said Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the
former justice minister, who had spoken in Parliament more than two years ago
about the Islamic State’s foothold. “I was carefully watching their movements.
I knew the
State was preparing for an attack here. Nobody listened.”
Lankan officials say they are “95 percent finished” with the investigation and
feel confident that they have arrested nearly all the accomplices — 140 people
have been identified as suspects — and have recovered their explosives, found
during several raids.
new details of the attacks, including some that suggest a more active role by
the Islamic State than just inspiration from afar, were told to The New York
Times by a senior official involved in the investigation who has also been
briefed about foreign intelligence on the Islamic State. The senior official,
like several others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because
the investigation is continuing.
the bombers were identified by officials as Sri Lankan. And investigators said
that Achchi Mohamed Mohamadu Hassthun, seen on video footage coolly walking
into St. Sebastian’s Church on Easter Sunday wearing a large backpack, was the
bomb maker. Investigators said that they had found bomb-making manuals on his
computer and that he may have trained in Turkey.
to the senior Sri Lankan official, Hassthun built 11 TATP bombs in a garage in
a suburb south of the capital, Colombo, using ordinary household materials,
including huge bottles of glue. Triacetone triperoxide, commonly known as TATP,
is the explosive of choice for Islamic State bombers, including those behind
the deadly attacks in Paris in November 2015.
bomber, Abdul Latheef Jamil, had traveled to Syria. But investigators suspect
he might have been radicalized earlier in Australia, where he studied
authorities believe that Inshaf and Ilham Ibrahim, sons of one of Sri Lanka’s
wealthiest spice traders, possibly financed the whole plot. In a final
voicemail to his wife, authorities said, Inshaf listed the money owed to him
from various people, provided advice on which of the couple’s cars to sell, and
told her, “I am going to God.”
Lankans remain puzzled why some of their most privileged young men would do
this. But the Islamic State ideology’s allure to some of Sri Lanka’s most
well-to-do families has been known for years.
are not individuals from normal Muslim families,” Rajapakshe told Parliament in
his 2016 speech.
said he had based his claims on detailed information provided by moderate
Muslims and government intelligence officers. He and others said it made sense
because affluent Sri Lankans had more time and resources to surf the internet
and find extremist material than those who had to devote all their energies to
making ends meet.
Rajapakshe said, after he gave his speech, he was ridiculed as an anti-Muslim
Lankan officials said the first Sri Lankans joined the Islamic State in 2013 or
2014, around the time the group declared its caliphate straddling Syria and
then, Daya Ratnayake was Sri Lanka’s army chief, and he said the military and
intelligence establishment was paying close attention.
knew what was coming,” he said.
said that the military established special groups to follow radical university
students and online postings. He said the government deported more than 100
radical Islamist preachers, many from Pakistan. And he was aware that Zaharan’s
group on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast was alienating moderates and conservatives
message to the moderates was to keep these radicals with you, don’t kick them
out, don’t isolate them,” he said.
that’s exactly what happened. After Zaharan’s followers attacked worshippers of
the Sufi sect, he evaded arrest and disappeared.
2015, the Sri Lankan government confirmed its first case of a homegrown Islamic
State fighter. Mohamed Muhsin Sharhaz Nilam, a well-respected school principal
and karate instructor from central Sri Lanka, was killed in a coalition
airstrike in Syria.
this time, Sri Lanka’s politics were in upheaval. Voters threw out President
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the strongman who brought Sri Lanka’s decadeslong civil war
to a brutal end in 2009, and elected Maithripala Sirisena, a career politician
from humble roots who presented himself as a democratic reformer.
analysts say that Sirisena was too quick to move Sri Lanka off its military
footing and that he sidelined many good intelligence officers.
who track the Islamic State’s media operations said they had seen few if any
specific mentions of Sri Lanka before the Easter attacks. The Islamic State had
said plenty about slaughtering Christians, but its focus was the Middle East,
Europe and, more recently, West Africa.
Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks, and its
release of a video showing Zaharan pledging allegiance to the group’s leader,
seemed to prove that they at least had maintained contact.
to make the devastating bombs used in Sri Lanka, most experts believe that
experienced Islamic State operatives must have helped.
need expertise to make the bomb, expertise for the detonators, expertise for
the selection of the sites and how to indoctrinate people to kill themselves,”
said Sidney Jones, the director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of
Conflict in Jakarta, Indonesia.
that,” she said, “takes face-to-face training.”
Lankan investigators say they are still trying to determine how that might have
believe that a Sri Lankan man named Sadiq, who has been arrested, traveled to
Syria several times and served as Zaharan’s right-hand man. They also suspect
that the Islamic State encouraged or directed the local group to attack
the Easter attacks, there had been little Muslim-Christian strife in Sri Lanka.
Adherents of both religions are small minorities compared with the country’s
say that all the bombs in packs worn by the attackers were triggered by pulling
a strap. Another bomb had been placed outside one of the churches, timed to
explode around 90 minutes after the first explosions, for the purpose of
killing the emergency teams and officials who rushed to the scene.
failed to detonate.
| May 6, 2019
An Afghan official says the Taliban stormed an army checkpoint in western Farah
province, killing 20 troops.
councilman Dadullah Qaneh said on Monday that the insurgents also captured two
soldiers in the attack in Gulistan district overnight. The fate of the abducted
wasn't immediately known.
Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Taliban still carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan forces even as peace
efforts have accelerated to find an end to Afghanistan's nearly 18-year war.
on Sunday, the Taliban set off a suicide car bombing and stormed a police
headquarters in northern Baghlan province, killing 13 policemen and setting off
a six-hour gunbattle.
A peace deal with the Taliban can carry with it the seeds of unintended and
unforeseen consequences, warns a US watchdog, in its quarterly report sent to
the US Congress recently.
office of the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
(SIGAR), in its quarterly report on the status of reconstruction to Afghanistan
to the Congress, notes that while a peace deal with the Taliban could end the
war, it could also have long-term unintended consequences.
New round of US-Taliban talks to start in Doha: Taliban
Taliban leaders can be persuaded to negotiate with the Afghan government, and
if intra-Afghan negotiations can yield a peace agreement, then some four
decades of war in Afghanistan — and the United States’ longest war — might come
to an end,” states SIGAR in its report. “But no matter how welcome peace would
be, it can carry with it the seeds of unintended and unforeseen consequences.”
report stresses the importance of planning for “the day after” any peace deal
in eight areas: security, civil policing, corruption, economic growth,
counternarcotics, women’s rights, reintegration of ex-combatants and oversight.
“day after” risks “could frustrate the shared goal of a stable Afghanistan”,
which respects the rule of law and is “at peace with itself and its
neighbours”, the report warns.
the “day after” risks, identified in the report, “could threaten US taxpayers’
investment in Afghanistan, set back humanitarian and development programmes,
undermine Afghan government support or even lay the grounds for new or resumed
discord”, SIGAR warns.
identifies eight major threats: widespread insecurity, underdeveloped policing,
endemic corruption, sluggish economic growth, illicit narcotics trade, threats
to women’s rights, reintegration of ex-combatants and restricted oversight.
talks halted for a day
talks between the US and the Taliban were suspended for the beginning of
Ramazan on Monday, with the two sides still grappling over the key issue of
when foreign forces might leave Afghanistan, according to AFP.
political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the talks were taking a break for the
first day of the holy month of Ramazan but would be resumed on Tuesday.
said discussions had become bogged down over the issue of when foreign forces
might withdraw in return for the Taliban security guarantees.
the claim of Islamic State (IS) presence in Bangladesh a part of an
international conspiracy, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan today categorically
said there is no existence of IS group in the country.
came up with the remarks while speaking at a programme at Border Guard
Bangladesh (BGB)-6 head office in Chuadanga to destroy drugs seized during
minister said some disgruntled elements are trying to be heroes using the name
of the organisation.
however, said Bangladesh is on high alert after the Sri Lanka bombings.
said people will not give shelter to these militants.
also said the government will be sympathetic to drug traders who will surrender
in response to its call, warning that stern action will be taken against those
will not turn up.
Director General Major Gen Shafeenul Islam, southwestern region Additional DG
Ainul Morshed Khan Pathan, Khulna Sector Commander Deputy DG Arshaduzzaman,
Chuadanga-1 MP Solaiman Haque Joarder and Chuandanga-2 MP Hazi Ali Azgar Togor
were, among others, present on the occasion.
key Taliban commander was arrested and several bottles of alcohol were
confiscated along with some weapons and military kits in northern Balkh
Ministry of Interior in a statement said the Taliban commander identified as
Yousuf who was arrested in Nahr-e-Shahi district of Balkh province on Sunday
statement further added that 11 bottles of alcohol, a Hookah, an Ak-47 rifle,
an air rifle, a pistol, and other military kits and a vehicle were confiscated.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrike so far.
is among the relatively calm provinces in North of Afghanistan but the security
situation in some of its remote districts has deteriorated during the recent
least eight Taliban militants were killed in the airstrikes which were
conducted in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan late on Sunday night.
Afghan Security Forces observed multiple militants maneuvering for an offensive
attack and ordered multiple airstrikes, killing Eight Taliban fighters,”
security source said Monday.
sources further added “Later during this operation, over 3,000 Kg of home-made
explosive material was captured and destroyed in Nad Ali district.”
to military officials, this month, 28 militants have been killed in Helmand.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrikes so far.
narcotics labs destroyed, nearly 200 Taliban militants killed, wounded in Farah
in the Ministry of Defense have confirmed that nearly 200 Taliban militants
were killed or wounded in joint Afghan and coalition forces airstrikes which
destroyed 68 narcotics labs in western Farah province of Afghanistan.
airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Bakwah district of the province.
carried joint targeted airstrikes in Bakwah, Farah. 68 narco labs, processed
daily $1 million worth of revenue for TBN terrorists, destroyed. 150 TBN killed
& 40 injured,” the officials said.
to defense officials, these labs which were destroyed during the airstrikes
produced, crystals meths, 6 times valuable than heroin!
Ministry of Interior in a statement confirmed that the airstrikes were carried
out in Ashin, Palwashe and Spin Karez areas of the province in close
coordination with the ground forces, resulting in destruction of 68 narcotics
labs and killing of 150 militants.
the meantime, the district administrative chief of Bakwa Abdul Ghafoor has told
Radio Free Europe’s Afghanistan service that 45 people were killed in coalition
airstrikes on narcotics laboratories in this district.
in Myanmar's Rakhine state risk running out food after being under military
restriction for nearly a week.
said the village of Kyauk Tan in Rathedaung township had been completely sealed
off and food supplies were dangerously low, AFP reported on Monday.
said the shortages stemmed from the army's "bullying" tactics. The
residents also called for assistance from the international community.
April 30, security forces stormed the village, picking out 275 men for
interrogation at the local school. Two days later, the troops admitted killing
six detainees and injuring eight more, claiming the men tried to attack and
spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun confirmed 48 more detainees were
released Monday, which would leave about 80 people still held at the school.
Han Than, 22, one of the newly-released people said, "They warned us there
would be harsh repercussions if we travelled to other villages." Than May
Khin's husband, Khin Maung Htay, was one of the men shot dead last week.
latest killings followed the deaths in April of three other ethnic Rakhine men
in army custody.
Taliban militant group says peace talks with the US — which have been underway
in Qatar for months — have stalled over the key issue of a timetable for
American and other foreign troops to pull out of Afghanistan, a longtime
Taliban political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, told the AFP on Sunday that the
two sides have so far failed to hammer out their differences on how to put
their draft agreement on the withdrawal timetable into action.
two sides are trying “to narrow the differences and have an agreement on a
timetable which is acceptable to both sides,” but “that has not been achieved
also explained that nothing would move forward “in principle” until America
announced a withdrawal timetable.
we are not able to finalize it in this round, then ... peace would be far away
rather than being closer,” Shaheen added.
last year, sixth rounds of talks have been held in Doha between the militant
group and US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation
of about two dozen officials in the hope of ending an American war in Afghanistan
that has dragged on for over 17 years.
latest round began on May 1, and it is not clear if the talks were to continue
Monday, which marks the first day of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
negotiations have so far excluded Afghan officials. The Taliban refuse to hold
talks with the government in Kabul, which the militant group views as
illegitimate and a US puppet.
February, Khalilzad claimed progress in the talks, saying that a deal was
within reach by July.
has repeatedly said that for things to progress, the Taliban must ensure
Afghanistan is never again used as a terrorist safe haven, implement a
ceasefire, and speak to Afghan representatives.
Taliban have said they will not do anything until the US announces a withdrawal
this week, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid called on the US to end the
use of force in Afghanistan instead of putting pressure on the militant group
to cease fire.
of such fantasies, he [Khalilzad] should drive the idea home [to the US] about
ending the use of force and incurring further human and financial losses for
the decaying Kabul administration,” he added.
US embassy in Kabul did not immediately comment on the Taliban’s latest
Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the 2001 US-led invasion, but 17 years on, Washington — having
failed to end the Taliban’s militancy campaign — is seeking truce with the
say the militant group is now negotiating from a position of strength as it has
managed to strengthen its grip over the past three years, with the government
in Kabul controlling just 56 percent of the country, down from 72 percent in
2015, according to a US government report released last year.
Taliban have even continued to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security
forces amid the negotiations.
week, thousands of tribal elders and other figures held a rare grand assembly —
known as Loya Jirga — in Kabul to
express their views about a peace deal with Taliban.
the end of that meeting, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered Taliban a truce
talks between the US and the Taliban were suspended for the beginning of
Ramadan on Monday, with the two sides at apparent loggerheads over the key
issue of when foreign forces might leave Afghanistan.
foes have spent much of the past week in a sixth round of talks in Doha aimed
at ending America’s longest war, but the Taliban say negotiations have become
a tweet, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the talks were pausing
for the first day of the holy month of Ramadan -- when Muslims fast during the
day -- but would be resumed Tuesday.
Barakat, the director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in
Doha, also said the talks would resume Tuesday, and that they had made “good
Shaheen told AFP late Sunday negotiations were stumbling over the fundamental
question of when foreign forces would depart Afghanistan.
the US agrees to any withdrawal, it is demanding the Taliban put in place
security guarantees, a ceasefire and other commitments including an
“intra-Afghan” dialogue with the Kabul government and other Afghan
insurgents insist they won’t do any of these things until the US announces a
the end of a large peace summit in Kabul last week, President Ashraf Ghani
offered the Taliban a ceasefire to begin on the first day of Ramadan, but the
on Monday reiterated his call for the Taliban to respect demands from last
week’s “loya jirga” summit that saw thousands of tribal elders and Afghans meet
is a month of peace and reconciliation,” Ghani said.
once again call on the Taliban to pay respect to this month and the demands of
the people for peace and reconciliation reflected (in the Loya Jirga).”
Sunday, at least 13 people were killed and dozens more wounded after a Taliban
suicide bomber and several gunmen attacked a police headquarters in northern
States President Donald Trump has granted full pardon to a former soldier who
was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner.
Behenna, who was sentenced to 15 years for the killing of Iraqi prisoner Ali
Mansur Mohamed, was pardoned on Monday, according to a White House statement.
Behenna’s case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected
officials, and the public," read the statement.
White House said that more than two-dozen generals and admirals, along with
numerous Oklahoma officials, had expressed support for Behenna, an Oklahoma
statement said that Behenna had been "a model prisoner."
move came specifically after Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter petitioned
the Trump administration to pardon the convicted soldier.
deployed to Iraq as an army ranger of the 101st Airborne Division at the height
of the US troop surge in the country. He led an infantry platoon of 18 men.
a deadly roadside bomb on a three-truck convoy, which Behenna was accompanying,
north of Baghdad, Mansur was apprehended as a suspected al-Qaeda militant who
may have helped carry out the attack.
was interrogated by the military but ultimately freed due to lacking evidence
proving he had any role in the attack.
was ordered to transport Mansur back to his village to set him free.
US soldier, however, decided to further "interrogate" Mansur. Behenna
ultimately stripped the prisoner naked, interrogated him without authorization
and killed him by shooting him twice.
stripped him naked to intimidate him,” Behenna later said about the ordeal
during his trial.
told him I wanted more intelligence on local leaders of al-Qaeda, and that I
wanted him to tell me about his stops in Saudi Arabia and Syria, and the
[roadside] bomb explosion. But he kept saying, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ”
killed Mansur by shooting him in the chest and head.
court-martial, Behenna claimed that he had been protecting himself after the
prisoner tried to grab his gun while being interrogated.
Army, however, believed that the argument couldn't be valid because Behenna had
already been pointing his weapon at the prisoner before Mansur could've reached
for his gun.
was consequently found guilty of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone and was
sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009. The US Army Clemency and Parole Board
reduced the sentence to 15 years a year later.
years ago, Behenna was given parole and started working in a ranch.
US invasion of Iraq was carried out in 2003 under the pretext that the regime
of Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No such weapons,
however, were ever found in Iraq.
than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the occupation and the
subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based
investigative organization Project Censored.
notorious US mercenary firm Blackwater has returned to Iraq, a Lebanese
newspaper says, with the private company currently training defeated Daesh
terrorists at a base near Baghdad.
Arabic-language newspaper al-Akhbar reported that Blackwater and other security
firms have been allowed to operate in Iraq since early 2018 under intense US
daily cited sources close to the chargé d’affaires of the US mission in Iraq,
Joey Hood, as saying that Blackwater had transferred US military equipment from
Jordan to the western Anbar Province.
to the sources, the private company is currently training Daesh terrorists at
the Ein al-Assad base which President Donald Trump visited in December.
quoted field sources as saying that trucks carrying Daesh militants were
transferred from the town of Baqouz, the last piece of land which the terror
group held in Syria’s eastern Province of Dayr al-Zawr.
was expelled from Iraq in 2007 after its mercenaries killed 14 civilians in
Baghdad’s Nisour Square in a crime that marked the peak of its violations
against Iraqis during the US invasion of the country.
cited a document from February 2018 obtained by BuzzFeed News that confirms its
document shows that Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC, a UAE-based subsidiary
of a Hong Kong–listed security and logistics company established by Erik Prince
- the founder of Blackwater- is operating in southern Iraq.
to the daily, Blackwater which has changed its name to escape its bad reputation
is seeking to operate in Syria, referring to Prince's remarks earlier this year
when he welcomed Trump's Syria pullout decision and stressed that American
troops in the Arab country could be replaced with mercenaries.
week, the Syrian army and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as
Hashd al-Sha'abi, carried out a coordinated operation with the aim of clearing
the Iraq-Syria border area of remaining Daesh terrorists.
operation came after Iraq and Syria agreed to reopen the al-Qaim border
crossing. Both countries originally recaptured the al-Bukamal and al-Qaim
border region from Daesh in November 2017 but continued terrorist presence had
prevented a reopening of the crossing.
and Iraq have both pledged to step up future security presence on the border in
a bid to secure the strategic crossing. Iraq has planned to install thermal
surveillance cameras and use aircraft to further reinforce security in the
measures come as Iraq, Syria and Iran have sought to step up economic ties by
developing a transnational railway line, along with a road route, linking the
US, however, has been engaged in a military campaign seeking to counter the
emerging regional alliance.
terrorists have also commonly used US presence in the region as a cover to
attack Syrian and allied forces.
have been made about Washington's direct or indirect support for the terrorist
group in the past years.
accounts have emerged alleging airlifts, weapon airdrops and aerial support for
the group, especially as its strength gradually diminished in the region.
President Donald Trump has pardoned a former US soldier convicted in 2009 of
killing an Iraqi prisoner, the White House announced Monday.
signed an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, for former Army 1st Lt.
Michael Behenna, of Oklahoma, press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone after killing a
suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist in Iraq. He was paroled in 2014 and had been
scheduled to remain on parole until 2024.
military court had sentenced Behenna to 25 years in prison. However, the Army’s
highest appellate court noted concern about how the trial court had handled
Behenna’s claim of self-defense, Sanders said. The Army Clemency and Parole
Board also reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him as soon as he was
case attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials and
the public, Sanders said. She added that Behenna was a model prisoner while
serving his sentence, and “in light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely
deserving” of the pardon.
two Republican senators, James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, hailed the pardon,
thanking Trump for giving Behenna “a clean slate.”
acknowledged during his trial that instead of taking the prisoner home as he
was ordered, he took the man to a railroad culvert, stripped him, and then
questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that had killed two members
of Behenna’s platoon.
a native of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, said the man moved toward him
and he shot him because Behenna thought he would try to take his gun.
President Donald Trump on Sunday threw his support behind Israel amid ongoing
airstrikes in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups
Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its
citizens," Trump tweeted.
Saturday, 25 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infant, were
martyred and more than 100 others wounded by Israeli airstrikes.
the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing
but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace - it can happen!"
escalation in the Gaza Strip started when four Palestinians were martyred,
including a teenager, and 51 wounded on Friday in Israeli army attacks on
Hamas-affiliated sites and a separate attack on a rally against the decade-long
occupation and siege of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli assaults were met by Palestinian resistance factions launching 600
rockets towards Israeli settlements, killing four people, according to Israel.
on Monday condemned the burial of remains of an Armenian terrorist -- who
martyred Turkish officials in Los Angeles in 1973 -- in the Armenian capital
condemn in the strongest terms the burial of the remains located in Los Angeles
of the Armenian terrorist Gurgen Yanikiyan, who martyred Mehmet Baydar, Consul
General, and Bahadır Demir, Consul, in Los Angeles on 27 January 1973, to the
Military Cemetery in Yerevan with a ceremony on 5 May 2019,” Turkey’s Foreign
Ministry said in a statement.
action, which attempts to glorify a brutal terrorist as a hero, constitutes a
crime of promoting terrorism and it is unacceptable under any circumstance,” it
also commemorated with respect all the officials who fell martyrs while serving
for their country.
ties with different regions and countries are not alternative to each other but
complement each other, Turkish president said on Monday.
at a meeting of NATO Council and NATO Mediterranean Dialogue partners in
Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalled that 2019 was the 25th anniversary of
Mediterranean Dialogue, 70th anniversary of NATO and 67th anniversary of
Turkey's joining of the alliance.
country will also take over the command of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint
Task Force in 2021," the Turkish president said.
said Turkey would maintain its strong position within NATO and also take the
steps required by its national interests, regional security and stability.
ties with different regions and countries are not alternative to each other but
complement each other," he underlined.
foreign minister, NATO chief meet in Ankara
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
on Monday met in capital Ankara and discussed NATO-EU relations and Turkey's
purchase of S-400 air defense system.
and Stoltenberg gathered at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara on the occasion of
NATO's 25th Mediterranean Dialogue meeting.
a Twitter post, Cavusoglu said: "[We] made evaluations on a wide range of
issues including NATO-EU relations and Turkey's S-400 purchase. Discussed the
preparations of the NATO Heads of State and Government meeting to be held in
at the forum, Stoltenberg said NATO was determined to improve security in the
Middle East and North Africa.
that the world was becoming more complicated and interconnected, he said taking
precautions against terror was better than interventions.
also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit.
"Pleased to be back in Ankara to meet with [President] Erdogan," the
NATO chief wrote on Twitter ahead of his meeting with the Turkish president.
is a highly valued ally and NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey as it faces
serious security challenges," Stoltenberg went on to say.
speaking at a joint news conference, Cavusoglu stressed on need of cooperation
to fight terrorism and irregular migration.
should understand that we cannot reach [desired] results by being selective in
these issues,” Cavusoglu said.
upon Ankara’s procurement of air defense system S-400 from Russia, he said NATO
knows the best Turkey’s need for these systems as the alliance closely follows
the threats in the region.
his part, Stoltenberg said it is Turkey’s own decision to purchase S-400 air
and missile defense system.
at the same time, I am concerned about the potential consequences of the
decision to buy S-400. Because U.S. has made it clear that they will impose
sanctions," he said.
on Turkey's role in NATO, he said Turkey is “an important and highly valued
also plays an important role in NATO’s new training mission in Iraq. It is
strengthening Iraq’s security forces to help ensure that Daesh terror group can
never return, Stoltenberg added.
is also one of the biggest contributors to our Resolute Support Mission in
Afghanistan, helping ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for
international terrorists. Turkey is also helping build stability in the Western
Balkans as part of NATO’s peacekeeping operation in Kosovo,” he went on to say.
has failed to condemn Israel’s excessive and disproportionate use of force
against civilians over the weekend in the Gaza Strip.
government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told a news conference on Monday that Israel
had the right to "self-defense" and to respond appropriately to
rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory.
expressed hope that a ceasefire which began early Monday morning will hold.
Saturday, 25 Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants, were
martyred and more than 100 others wounded by Israeli air strikes, according to
Israeli army targeted some 320 sites across the blockaded enclave, including a
building where Anadolu Agency's office was located.
escalation in the Gaza Strip started on Friday, after four Palestinians were
martyred in Israeli army attacks. Palestinian groups responded by launching
more than 600 rockets and mortars towards Israeli settlements.
Kazakhstan: As Gulzira Auelkhan toiled stitching gloves in a factory in China’s
troubled Xinjiang region, her managers made no secret of where her production
would be sold.
told us openly that the gloves will be sold abroad, so we should do a good
job,” Auelkhan recalled of a labor stint she says was enforced by Chinese
a 39-year-old Chinese citizen of Kazakh descent, says she was part of a network
of mostly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang who pass from what China calls
“vocational training centers” to factories where they are forced to work for
far less than the local minimum wage.
says the education centers are part of its efforts to fight terrorism and
separatism in Xinjiang — a region populated by mostly Muslim minority groups —
and denies any use of forced labor.
rights groups, and former workers like Auelkhan, say the practice used against
Chinese minorities is widespread and at least one foreign company has dropped
its Chinese supplier over the concerns.
says she was transferred to the glove factory at the Jiafang industrial estate
in Xinjiang’s Yining county after spending 15 months in two different
than a million people from Muslim minorities — mostly ethnic Uighurs, but also
Kazakhs like Auelkhan, Kyrgyz and Hui — are being held in internment centers
across Xinjiang, according to a United Nations panel of experts.
has residency rights in Kazakhstan but had traveled to China to see family when
she was detained and put into a re-education center.
said life in the camps was brutal, with residents struck over the head with
electrified batons for spending more than two minutes in the bathroom.
even though they were not free to leave, it was an improvement when she and
hundreds of other camp inmates were transferred to work at the factory,
Auelkhan told AFP in Kazakhstan’s biggest city Almaty.
day we were taken to and from a dormitory three kilometers from the factory,”
she said, hugging the five-year-old daughter she didn’t see for nearly two
we were studying at the camp they told us we would be taught a trade and work
for three months,” Auelkhan said.
said she was paid only 320 yuan ($48/42 euros) for close to two months’ work
before her time at the factory was curtailed in December and she was allowed to
return to her family in Kazakhstan.
average minimum wage ranges between 820 and 1,460 yuan per month, according to
and officials in the region have fiercely denied any connection between the
camps and under-paid labor.
representative of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Government Press Office told
AFP by email that there was “no labor contract between Education and Training
Centers and enterprises” and “no enterprise obtains labor from training centers.”
rights groups insist the connection exists and some companies have started
January, Badger Sportswear, a firm based in the US state of North Carolina,
announced it would stop sourcing clothing from its Xinjiang supplier Hetian Taida
over concerns it was using forced labor linked to the “re-education” campaign.
believes she was only released from forced labor because of a public campaign
launched by her husband and supported by a Xinjiang-focused rights group in
re-education officials had told her and other center residents that they would
be “at (their) disposal” for at least six months, she said.
Kazakhstan’s government is a Beijing ally that positions itself as “the buckle”
in China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road trade and investment agenda, a
strategy for infrastructure and development projects throughout Asia, Europe
diplomats have entered into a dialogue with Beijing over Xinjiang, without
publicly mentioning the re-education centers or criticizing China’s policies.
December a representative of Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry said during a
briefing that China had allowed more than 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs to travel to
Kazakhstan as “a kind gesture.”
ministry refused repeated requests from AFP to clarify the remarks, which lent
hope to many in Kazakhstan that they would be able to bring Xinjiang-based
relatives over the border to safety.
most, however, this has been a crushing false dawn.
a recent visit to the Almaty office of the Ata Jurt rights group dedicated to
supporting relatives of the Xinjiang missing, AFP spoke to several Kazakhs who
claim their relatives have merely swapped “re-education” for other forms of
of them, Aibota Janibek, 34, said her sister Kunikei Janibek telephoned her
from Xinjiang in January after months without contact to confirm she had been
“assigned a job” by the state at a carpet factory in Shawan county.
Janibek has since lost touch with her sister, but heard from other relatives
that she was transferred from the carpet factory to another position.
relative told me she is now at a factory that makes paper towels for
airplanes,” Janibek said.
protects Islam, says Muhyiddin
May 6 — Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has dismissed allegations that
Islam is under threat from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
said one of the biggest challenges the ministry faced for the last one year has
been handling sensitive racial issues purposely created by certain quarters,
besides threats to various religions in the country.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president said by right, the country
should not be wasting time having to face such challenges when people should
have already accepted that Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious
issues has been a major concern for us. We should by now already accepted that
we are all different and learn to live among many races.
it has been so long we lived like this, we should by right be in a position
where we have accepted this and respect each other,” he said during a special
interview ahead of PH’s May 9 anniversary of its first year in office.
said the problem arises when certain people exploit this by picking on
religious issues simply to create racial tension.
said the public needs to understand that when someone incite racial tensions,
they will always have some sinister intention, be it for political gain or to
simply tarnish the PH government.
said law enforcement alone will not solve this problem, but the government
needs the cooperation of the entire community and non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) representing various faiths to come together and stand
has been over 60 years since independence and we need to accept that we live
with other races though Islam is the federal religion.
ministry has a role to play in terms of enforcement but at the same time the
community must be aware as well,” he said.
said allegations that Islam was threatened under PH were completely ridiculous.
position of Islam as a federation of religion has been enshrined in the
Constitution. Allegation that the position and sanctity of the Islamic religion
is under threat is not true at all.”
said police are currently investigating 53 cases of insults against Muslims.
Eight individuals have also been charged with insulting Islam and Prophet
said those involved in the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple fracas and
related incidents also faced the full brunt of the law.
said the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim in the incident was used to
create racial tension by certain people, when the issue was between the temple
committee and the developers.
want to remind everyone that the government is the one decided that there
should be an inquest to identify the cause of death for Adib.
on this inquest, all evidence pertaining to the death will be forwarded to the
court during the open and transparent proceeding. For me this is the proof that
the government is not hiding anything and that we have acted fairly,” he said.
urged all Malaysians to be sensitive of other religions and to have a sense of
are one. There is no reason why we must quarrel among ourselves just because
you are Indian and I’m Malay, or you are Chinese, I’m Malay,” he said.
under Dr Mahathir’s leadership
a separate matter when asked how it feels to work under Prime Minister Tun Dr
Mahathir Mohamad for the second time, Muhyiddin said there was no difference at
difference? there is no difference, only the time is different, but the people
are the same, I don’t see any big difference.
only difference is that this time we joined hands to bring down a kleptocracy
government, where issues such as abuse of power was massive. So we were moved
by the motivation to fix the country and the wrong things that was done by the
previous administration,” he said.
said even previously when Dr Mahathir was the fourth prime minister of
Malaysia, there were issues with the government but it was not that serious.
difference working now is the challenges that comes with fixing Malaysia Baru,
many people think we are taking too much time, but they don’t understand that
it has only been a year and there is so much to do.
whatever it is we will try to sort all the problems facing the country soon,”
of social media by government agencies
said the government understands that people want to see government agencies
responding to issues much faster.
understand that this is something we lack and we are trying to improve on this
part. On the part of the Home Ministry we are beefing up our social media team
and will start engaging with people much more,” he said.
said to a certain extent, the public has started to accept the fact that the
government needs more time to see through and find solutions to the problems
the country faced.
people know we are not resting on our laurels and that it takes strong effort
and political will to pull through.
need time over two to three years to sort of set things back in order and
people will see the changes, the changes that are for the betterment of the
country,” he said.
Muhyiddin said he has always reminded all agencies under his ministry about
are here to serve the people and serve the people to the very best that we can.
I had already set a certain standard when I worked in government before in
Abbas told the Arabic-language service of Sputnik on Monday that the US plan to
establish a safe zone in Northern Syria - allegedly to appease Ankara and
convince it to give up its planned offensive on SDF - is, in fact, aimed at
disintegrating the Arab state into several contending territories hostile to
added that Turkey moves along the US goals and plays the role of Washington's
proxy by serving the plan a safe zone, and cautioned that the US is also
playing the SDF through the same safe zone plan which will eventually prove
detrimental to the Kurdish militia group.
said given the destructive and occupation plots of the US and Turkey in Syria
that are aimed at plundering the country's wealth, the region is unlikely to
experience security and stability. "The Syrian nation, including the
Kurds, have come to realize that the US does not support any group for real,
and always uses them as a tool to attain its goals," he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in January that Ankara would set up a safe
zone 30 kilometers deep into Northeastern Syria, a move suggested by US
President Donald Trump.
added that the two sides’ teams would continue to discuss the technical aspects
of the proposed measure along the Syrian border.
President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first-ever freely elected leader, is now
spending his seventh Ramadan behind bars, according to Morsi’s family.
member of Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, Morsi was ousted and
imprisoned in a 2013 military coup after only one year in power.
a statement issued late Sunday, Morsi’s family said that the former leader was
still being kept in solitary confinement.
Ramadan fasting month is coming and Morsi remains isolated amid a deliberate
news blackout on the conditions of his detention,” the statement reads.
goes on to assert that Morsi's son, Usama, was also set to spend his third
Ramadan behind bars “for simply trying to defend his father via legal means”.
family describes the continued incarceration of Morsi -- and his son -- as
“contrary to all constitutions and laws governing justice in Egypt and the
also call on “the free people of the world and international rights
organizations, especially the UN, to pay heed to these ongoing violations”.
that the Muslim world is “living through a genuine catastrophe”, the family
goes on to stress that the Palestinian cause would remain “at the top of the
list of critical Arab and Muslim issues”.
Egyptian authorities, for their part, have yet to comment on the Morsi family’s
Al-Masdar News Website reported that the Syrian Army units backed by the
Russian fighter jets attacked the military positions of Tahrir al-Sham
al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and Jeish al-Izza
terrorists in Abu al-Zohour axis in Southern Idlib and Northern Hama and
engaged in heavy clashes with the militants.
the Syrian Army units managed to take full control of the towns of al-Bani and
al-Jonbara near the town of Kafar Naboudeh and the strategic hill of Tal Osman
that is close to several towns.
source near the front-lines stated that heavy clashes are taking place near the
Kafr Naboudeh front; however, he also pointed out that intense firefights have
broken out along the Qal’at Al-Madiq axis as well.
the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units conducted heavy attacks on
military positions and contact lines of the terrorists in al-Latamna, al-Zuka,
al-Sahriyeh, al-Amiqeh, al-Havash and al-Qarqur in Northwestern Hama and the
towns of al-Fatireh and Ahsam in Southern Idlib, inflicting heavy losses on the
a relevant development earlier on Monday, media sources said that Tahrir
al-Sham al-Hay'at has transferred its strategic centers to the borders with
Turkey as precise and continued airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian bombers
Russian and Syrian bombers conducted over 100 air raids on important military
positions of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at terrorist group across Northern and
Northwestern Hama over the past 24 hours, targeting their contact lines in West
and Southwestern Idlib to Hama, the Arabic-language version of Russian Sputnik
news agency quoted a military source in Northern Syria as saying.
source reiterated that several military positions and arms depot of the terrorists
in the towns of al-Latamna, Kafr-Zita, Qala al-Maziq, al-Hawiz, al-Hawija,
al-Sormanieh and a central communications center of the militants stationed in
Hama and Idlib were destroyed in the Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
local sources in Idlib province pointed to Russian and Syrian precision
airstrikes on Tahrir al-Sham's military positions in Northern Syria, and
reiterated that Tahrir al-Sham terrorists have relocated their important
positions from Idlib to Syria's Northern borders.
Syrian Army's artillery units also hit the military positions of the terrorists
in al-Latamna and al-Zuka towns, destroying several hideouts and military
positions used for attacks by them.
Expel US-Backed SDF Militants From Raqqa
people in the village of Jadideh Kahit East of al-Katameh town in Eastern Raqqa
clashed with a group of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who were arresting
civilians in the region and expelled from the region, the sources in Raqqa
sources pointed to intensified differences and tensions among civilians and
Kurdish forces in Raqqa, and said two SDF militants were killed in a bomb blast
carried out by unknown assailants in al-Shaher village in Eastern Raqqa.
Deir Ezzur province, meantime, the residents of the towns of Sweidan Jazira,
Geranij, al-Mavilah and al-Hasin as well as the villages of Jadid Akidat and
Jadid Bekareh in Eastern and Southeastern Deir Ezzur revolted against the SDF
and their plundering of oil reserves.
civilians also called for expulsion of SDF fighters after blocking Deir
Ezzur-Hasaka Road. The Kurdish fighters attacked the civilians and arrested a
number of them.
a relevant development in late April, people in several parts of Eastern Deir
Ezzur staged protest rallies against the SDF, and forced the SDF militants and
commanders out of the region.
of people in the villages and towns of Mahimideh, al-Hisan, Safirah al-Tahtani,
Safirah al-Foqani, al-Wasiah, al-Mawilah, al-Hasin, Qaribah, al-Azabah and
al-Basirah in Eastern Deir Ezzur took part in anti-SDF rallies over the past
two days, local sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said.
the Syrian army continued its military advances in other parts of Syria over
past 24 hours.
kills 26 in Syria’s northwest: monitor
between Syrian regime forces and militants Monday killed more than 26 fighters
in the country’s northwest, which has seen an escalation in shelling and air
strikes, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
pro-government fighters were among those killed in fierce fighting in the
northern countryside of Hama province, the war monitor said.
militants, including members of al-Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, Hayat Tahrir
al-Sham (HTS), and its ally the Turkistan Islamic Party, were also killed, the
fighting came as regime forces advanced on two villages and a strategic hilltop
in the region, it said.
news agency SANA said Syrian troops launched “intensive operations,” targeting
supply lines and areas where armed groups operate in northern Hama and
region held by HTS has faced intensifying bombardment in the past month,
prompting a new wave of displacement.
Monday, four civilians were killed in shelling and air strikes on Idlib and
neighboring areas by the Syrian government and its ally Russia said the Observatory.
An AFP photographer in Idlib saw several houses completely destroyed by recent
man who lost his wife, his daughter-in-law, and his two grandchildren during
shelling overnight prepared a pickup truck to relocate surviving members of his
family. “I don’t know where I’m going,” he told AFP.
than 140,000 civilians have been forced to flee attacks since February,
Refugees International said on Monday.
is difficult to overstate the urgency of this looming humanitarian disaster if
nothing is done to protect these people,” the non-governmental organization
said in a statement.
than two dozen women and children from the Izadi minority group have been
repatriated to Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, after five years of
captivity at the hands of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in neighboring
informed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language
al-Mawazin news agency that officials
from Izadi House, an advocacy group in the Kurdish-administered town of Amuda
in northern Syria, handed over 27 women and children to their counterparts at
the Izadi council in the Kurdish-populated northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on
March 12, fighters from the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU) reunited a dozen Izadi children with their families.
media bureau of the volunteer forces – better known by the Arabic name Hashd
al-Sha’abi –announced in a statement that the children were rescued after a
delicate intelligence operation.
statement added the children had been kidnapped by Daesh from Sinjar back in
other children from the city of Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul,
were also with the Izadis rescued from Daesh captivity.
Paris-based NGO International Federation for Human Rights said in a report on
October 25 last year that foreign militants, including many of European
origins, were responsible for atrocities and acts of brutality carried out by
Daesh against Izadi Kurds.
August, an official at the Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry of the
semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said more than 3,000 members of
the Izadi minority group had remained unaccounted for ever since Daesh overran
their hometowns in northern Iraq in 2014.
Bozarni said more than 2,500 Izadi Kurds had lost their lives at the hands of
Daesh, while another 6,000 – mostly women and children – had been abducted.
called on the international community as well as the central government in
Baghdad to determine the fate of missing Izadis as soon as possible.
in August 2014, Daesh terrorists overran Sinjar, killing, raping, and enslaving
large numbers of Izadi Kurds.
A delegation from the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition on Sunday
visited the “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” exhibition at the Riyadh National
exhibition, which continues until May 18, virtually reconstructs Middle Eastern
cities affected by terrorism, such as Mosul and Nineveh in Iraq, Aleppo and
Palmyra in Syria, and Leptis in Libya.
by the Saudi Culture Ministry in collaboration with the Arab World Institute in
Paris, the exhibition features videos, photos and possessions of sites
destroyed by terrorism in the above mentioned cities.
Bahrain’s supreme court of appeal Monday upheld death sentences for two men
convicted of forming a terrorist group that attacked security forces.
terms for dozens of others on terror-related charges were also upheld, BNA
state news agency reported.
court, whose rulings are final, also stripped 47 of the defendants of their
court upheld life terms for 19 convicts and sentenced 37 others to between five
and 15 years in jail, the statement said.
men were charged of forming a "terror cell" that carried out a number
of attacks, killing at least two policemen and wounding several others.
were also convicted of smuggling weapons by boat, attacking a prison and
helping a number of inmates flee, and undergoing military training in Iraq and
of those convicted, including the two sentenced to death, are being held in
jail while the rest were sentenced in absentia.
a separate case, the Gulf state's top court upheld lengthy jail terms against
19 Shiites on charges of spying for Iran and plotting to overthrow the regime,
court confirmed life terms for eight of those convicted, 15-year jail terms for
nine and 10-year terms for two others, with the citizenship of 15 of them
Jihad debuts new missile with attack on Israel, pledges bigger surprises
al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, has
unveiled its latest domestic missile by firing it at targets in the Israeli
resistance group released a video on Sunday which showcased the new missile,
dubbed Badr 3, before cutting to footage of it being launched at positions in
the city of Ashkelon, which is located 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Tel
missile carried a 250-kilogram (551 lb) warhead, a major leap from its
predecessor which had a much smaller 40-kilogram warhead.
video shows at least four Badr 3 missiles roaring into the dark of the night on
May 4 and 5. Ashkelon is 13 kilometers north of the fence between the Gaza
Strip and Israel.
al-Quds Brigades warned Israel that “what is coming next will be even greater.”
targets Israeli armored vehicle
Hamas' military wing, known as the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, published a new
video that showed an Israeli armored vehicle being targeted with a Russian-made
Kornet anti-tank missile.
attack took place on Sunday in an undisclosed location north of the Gaza Strip.
conducts first ever drone attack against Israeli military
a separate report, Israeli media stated that a Hamas drone had fired a missile
at an Israeli military convoy.
extent of the damage and possible casualties were not immediately clear.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said, "At this stage, with the strides made in
developing better missiles, not a single point in all of the occupied
Palestinian lands will be safe from the missiles of the resistance."
attacks came in response to a series of deadly airstrikes by Israel against
various targets in besieged Gaza, which began on Saturday and killed 27
Palestinians, including two pregnant women and two infants. More than 100
others were wounded in the attacks.
upsurge in violence came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
ordered his military to continue massive strikes on the enclave.
erupted on Friday after four Palestinians were killed, two in an Israeli air
raid on southern Gaza and two during the regime’s live fire at anti-occupation
protesters near the fence separating the besieged coastal enclave from the
700 rockets were launched from Gaza in retaliation and four Israelis were
killed in two days of hostilities, with more than 80 others wounded.
fumes over resistance's missile prowess
surprising ability to retaliate the Israeli aggression drew an angry response
from US President Donald Trump, who personally threatened residents of the
blockaded enclave with "more misery."
again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups
Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its
citizens," he wrote.
the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing
but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace - it can happen!"
he wrote in a tweet.
May 6, 2019
again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups
Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its
the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing
but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace - it can happen!
AM - May 6, 2019
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people are talking about this
resistance groups had previously warned Israel against testing their patience.
staged an impressive counter-attack during the latest military flare-up between
the two sides in November, when it fired more than 460 rockets at the occupied
lands in less than 24 hours in response to Israeli aggression.
for Iron Dome, rest of Israeli missile defenses
missile attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad more than anything have proven
futile the multi-billion dollar Iron Dome missile defense system that Tel Aviv
has long promoted as an agile response to rockets.
it is not yet clear how the system fared against the recent barrage of
Palestinian missiles, the fact that Israel had to accept ceasefire deals both
this time and back in November speaks volumes about the true potentials of the
in November, Tel Aviv's move in accepting truce led to a huge backlash, leading
Avigdor Lieberman to step down as the minister of military affairs. Hamas
hailed the resignation as “an admission of defeat” by Israel and a “political
victory” for the Palestinian resistance.
president: Muslim countries must stop massacre of Palestinians by Israel
President Hassan Rouhani says Muslim countries must take all necessary steps to
mount pressure on the Zionist regime of Israel and prevent further massacre of
made the remarks in a Monday phone call to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
Al Thani, in reference to the recent bloody attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip
by the Israeli regime, which have left 27 Palestinians dead and scores wounded.
erupted on Friday following the killing of four Palestinians, two in an Israeli
air raid on southern Gaza and two during the regime’s live fire at
anti-occupation protesters near a fence separating the blockaded coastal
enclave from the occupied territories.
Israeli military claimed that its initial aerial assault had come in response
to the wounding of two of its soldiers by Palestinian gunfire near the Gaza
is necessary for the Islamic countries to prevent massacre of innocent
Palestinians through their unity and mounting pressure on the Zionist regime,”
Iran's president said in his phone call to the Qatari emir.
also expressed concern about the current humanitarian situation in Gaza,
especially on the eve of the fasting month of Ramadan.
in his remarks, Iran's chief executive referred to re-imposition of unilateral
sanctions by the United States on Iran, noting that the main goal of US
restrictions on Iran's oil imports was to create instability in the region.
also expressed hope that political cooperation among friendly countries would
help maintain stability and security in the sensitive Persian Gulf region.
President Donald Trump withdrew Washington in May 2018 from the landmark Iran
nuclear agreement, reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries -- the
US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- in July 2015. He also
decided to re-impose unilateral sanctions against Tehran.
US administration also said in a statement on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce
Iran's oil exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1
or face sanctions. The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s
eight biggest buyers -- Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea
and Taiwan -- to continue importing limited volumes.
that Iran welcomes any measures taken to restore calm and tranquility to the
region, Rouhani expressed hope that regional problems would be solved through
Qatari emir, for his part, noted that Doha had frequently told Washington and
regional states that differences must be resolved through dialogue and that
Qatar is opposed to any measure that would foment insecurity in the region.
on Monday dismissed as old news a US announcement it is sending a naval strike
group to the Middle East in order to deliver the Islamic republic a message,
Tasnim news agency reported.
National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Sunday that the United States was
deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force
as a “clear and unmistakable message” that it will retaliate against any attack
on its interests or its allies’ by Iran.
statement is a clumsy use of an out-of-date event for psychological warfare,”
Iran’s supreme national security council spokesman Keyvan Khosravi said, quoted
bodies were discovered under rubble in the Gaza Strip on Monday following a
violent escalation with Israel, the health ministry in the enclave said,
raising the number of Palestinians killed to 25.
Israelis were also killed in the two-day escalation that appeared to have ended
Monday morning with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. It began on Saturday with
rocket fire from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, drawing waves of Israeli retaliatory
Gaza ministry said in a statement, the bodies of two people "were found on
Monday morning in the northern Gaza Strip." It named them as Talal Abu
al-Jidian, 48, and his wife Raghda Abu al-Jidian, 40.
ministry spokesperson told AFP their bodies had been found under rubble where
an Israeli strike occurred.
total 25 Palestinians were killed in the escalation, according to the ministry.
top election body has scrapped the result of Istanbul’s mayoral vote and called
for a rerun in response to an appeal filed by the ruling party, sparking
outrage from the opposition that narrowly won the post.
Supreme Election Council (YSK) ruled on Monday seven to four in favor of the
appeal by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party
also ordered that a fresh contest must be held in Turkey’s second-largest city
on 23 June.
Ozel, the AKP’s YSK representative, said the decision was based on unsigned
results documents from the 31 March poll and the fact that some ballot box
officials were not civil servants.
this decision, our demand for re-election has been vindicated,” he said.
the winner of the Istanbul mayoral election, Ekrem Imamoglu of the main
opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), denounced the YSK’s decision as
“treacherous” and vowed to fight on.
are trying to take back the election we won. Maybe you are upset but never lose
your hope,” he told thousands of his supporters in central Istanbul following
the CHP announced that it was holding an emergency meeting after the election
system that overrules the will of the people and disregards the law is neither
democratic, nor legitimate,” tweeted CHP deputy chair Onursal Adiguzel.
to the polls against the AKP is allowed, but winning is forbidden...This is
downright dictatorship,” he added.
elections took place across Turkey on 31 March. They marked the first ballot
box test for Erdogan since he was re-elected last year under a new system of
government, which gives sweeping powers to the president.
the AKP succeeded in securing over 51 percent of the vote nationally, it lost the
race in Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul — Erdogan’s home city where he had once
served as mayor.
Turkey’s High Election Board on Monday scrapped Istanbul election results
showing a painful defeat for President Tayyip Erdogan, responding to his AK
Party’s calls for a re-run of the vote in a decision that hit the lira and
raised charges of conflicts of interest.
the board, known as YSK, had not yet made a statement, the decision was
announced by state-run Anadolu agency and a representative of the ruling AK
Party (AKP), Recep Ozel, who said a second vote would take place on June 23.
main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which in the initial vote on
March 31 narrowly won the mayoralty in the country’s largest city, called the
ruling a “plain dictatorship.”
AKP had appealed for an election re-run after initial results and a series of
recounts showed it had lost control of Istanbul for the first time in 25 years.
was a shock loss for Erdogan who in the 1990s served as the city’s mayor and
had campaigned hard ahead of the nationwide local vote, his first electoral
test since last year’s sharp currency crisis tipped the Turkish economy into
Turkish lira weakened after Ozel, the AKP’s representative on the YSK, tweeted
the decision, and it was at 6.1075 against the dollar at 1730 GMT and on track
for its worst day in more than a month.
lira has tumbled some 10 percent since a week before the initial election.
Suspense over the ruling had left investors worried that weeks of additional
campaigning would divert funds and attention from addressing economic reforms.
was unclear how the CHP and its supporters would respond to a re-run given
suspicions over the YSK’s political independence from the AKP, which in recent
years has centralized power in the presidency away from the central bank,
courts and other institutions.
is illegal to win against the AK Party,” CHP Deputy Chairman Onursal Adiguzel
said on Twitter. “This system that overrules the will of the people and
disregards the law is neither democratic, nor legitimate. This is plain
AKP also lost the mayor’s office in the capital Ankara. With its nationalist
MHP allies, it wanted the Istanbul results annulled and cited irregularities
that affected the outcome, which put it some 13,000 votes behind CHP.
Saturday Erdogan said “it’s clear” the vote was marred by controversy and urged
the YSK to “clear its name” with a re-run.
Haftar defies truce, orders troops to fight during Ramadan
a month into the battle for Libya’s capital, Tripoli, General Khalifa Haftar
and his troops are determined to “uproot” their enemy and continue their
offensive during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
was April 4 when forces loyal to Haftar that make up the so-called Libyan
National Army (LNA) launched a deadly campaign to conquer Tripoli, where the
internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Prime
Minister Fayez al-Sarraj is based.
who commands the LNA, urged his troops in a message late Sunday to teach unity
government forces a “greater and bigger lesson" as the holy fasting month
and soldiers in our armed forces and the auxiliary forces, I salute you in these
glorious days and urge you with your strength and determination to teach the
enemy a greater and bigger lesson than the previous ones, as we’ve always known
you to do, till we uproot it from our beloved land,” Haftar said in the
message, read out by LNA spokesman General Ahmad al-Mesmari.
the event of a retreat by the enemy, troops should pursue it with speed and
force, prevent it from fleeing and wipe it out" with support from LNA air
forces, the message included.
further said Ramadan had not been a reason to halt previous battles against
what he claimed as “terrorism” when he seized the eastern cities of Benghazi
and Derna during clashes in 2017 and 2018.
is the month of jihad,” he said. “Our battles against terrorism in Benghazi and
Derna did not stop in the holy month of Ramadan but we increased our
determination and strength in this holy month.”
message came just hours after the United Nations mission in Libya (UNSMIL)
called for "an extendable one-week humanitarian truce" starting at
4:00 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) on Monday to coincide with the beginning of
the UNSMIL issued the truce statement, artillery shelling could be heard coming
from the southern outskirts of Tripoli, where the LNA has been trying to breach
defenses by the GNA forces.
UN has warned against the "continuing deterioration" of humanitarian
situation in the country.
has been divided between two rival governments, the House of Representatives
based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the GNA in Tripoli. Haftar, 75, who
enjoys the loyalty of a group of armed militia and backing from Saudi Arabia,
the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, has taken upon himself to protect the
government in Tobruk. Armed forces and militia loyal to the GNA have been
President Donald Trump, in a phone call with the military strongman last month,
"recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism
and securing Libya's oil resources," according to the White House.
LNA has almost two-thirds of the country and all oilfields under its control,
and some observers see the West's urge to court Haftar driven by their thirst
for Libya's oil.
United Nations has characterized Haftar’s push on Tripoli as an attempted coup
and warned of a serious upshot.
April 4, fighting has killed at least 432 people, wounded 2,069 and displaced
more than 50,000, according to the UN.
officers in Lamu county are on high alert following a terror-related incident
on Sunday night which has caused anxiety among the locals.
to an intelligence report seen by Nairobi News, heavy gunshots were heard a few
metres from Ishakani GSU Camp and when officers went to find out what was
happening they found messages written in Arabic warning non-Muslims in the
officers noticed Arabic writings on the road which loosely translated to
"Let the non-Muslims prepare for war."
also found the road along the Kenyan-Somalia border blocked by suspected
terrorists who fled into a bush after noticing that the police had arrived at the
incident took place just hours after suspected militants stormed a store in
Mandera and made away with food.
weeks ago, an intelligence report issued by the police warned that suspected
militants from Somalia had crossed the border into Kenya.
says African Union to discuss Sudan report in two weeks
African Union’s envoy to protest-hit Sudan said Monday that a progress report
on the country’s political transition will be discussed by the bloc’s peace and
security council in two weeks.
week has passed and two weeks remain for this report to be presented and
studied and for adequate measures to be taken”, Mohamed al-Hassan Lebatt told
reporters in Khartoum.
May 1 the AU gave Sudan’s military rulers another 60 days to hand over power to
a civilian authority, after they missed a deadline of April 30.
original deadline was set by the AU on April 15, some four days after president
Omar al-Bashir was deposed and a military council seized control of the
said the AU’s peace and security council had given three weeks for the
president of the bloc’s commission to present an evaluation report on Sudan.
case of Sudan... will be gauged in light of the principles and texts of the
African Union”, Lebatt said.
new military rulers and leaders of a protest movement – which has been encamped
outside the army headquarters in Khartoum since before Bashir was deposed –
have held several rounds of talks on the composition of a new ruling council.
by journalists about the likely success of these negotiations, Lebatt said he
had “reasons to be optimistic.”
his “optimism did not deny that there are obstacles and difficulties,” he
discussions over a new ruling body to oversee the country’s transition have hit
a wall, as protest leaders and army chiefs each maintain their camps should
hold a majority in any new council.
protesters have been killed in protest-related violence across Sudan since demonstrations
against ousted president Omar al-Bashir erupted in December, a doctors'
death toll given by the committee is higher than the official figure of 65
killed in such violence since December.
committee linked to the Alliance of Freedom and Change -- the group leading the
protests -- said the first deaths came on December 20.
was one day after a demonstration in the central town of Atbara in response to
a government decision to triple the price of bread.
has compiled a list of 90 "martyrs" killed by security forces, the
the latest case, a protester died Sunday of injuries suffered the previous day
in clashes with soldiers and paramilitary forces in Nyala, the provincial
capital of South Darfur state.
restrictions imposed by security forces and remnants of the regime that make it
difficult to obtain death certificates, this is the list of martyrs collected
from our reliable sources," the committee said.
was ousted by the army on April 11 after weeks of protests and as thousands of
demonstrators held a sit-in outside the army complex in central Khartoum.
UN mission in Libya has issued a statement calling on warring sides to
implement a week-long humanitarian ceasefire starting from Monday, the
beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Libya.
a statement the UN Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) urged the Government and National
Accord (GNA) and forces loyal to the eastern-based renegade General Khalifa
Haftar to implement a truce starting Monday morning at 0400 local time to
coincide with the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
calls on all parties to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need and to ensure
the freedom of movement for civilians during this truce," UNSMIL said in a
was no immediate comment from Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) force nor
from the internationally recognized government in the capital.
shelling could be heard on Sunday coming from southern outskirts where the LNA
has been trying to breach defenses by Tripoli forces. The fighting has
displaced around 50,000 people, the UN has said.
Fight harder during Ramadan
ordered his troops, who are trying to take the capital Tripoli, to chase and
destroy withdrawing enemy forces, according to an audio tape published on
the tape published by his force's spokesman, Haftar also said that the holy
Muslim fasting month of Ramadan was a month of jihad, or holy war.
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who launched an offensive against Tripoli last
month, urged his troops to inflict “an even harder” lesson on forces loyal to
the country’s internationally recognized government.
and soldiers of our armed forces and affiliates, I greet you during these
glorious days and call on you to inflict on the enemy, with your force and
determination, an even harder and bigger lesson than before,” he wrote in a
message to his troops.
know you can do it... (and) uproot it (the opposing forces) from our beloved
country,” Haftar’s message added, read out by the self-styled Libyan National
Army’s spokesman General Ahmad Al-Mesmari late on Sunday.
LNA began its offensive against the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord
(GNA) on April 4.
loyal to the GNA have since launched a counter-offensive, leading to a
stalemate on the ground on the southern outskirts of the capital.
message also urged his men that “in the event of retreat by the enemy, troops
should pursue it with speed and force, prevent it from fleeing and wipe it
forces should follow up” the action of troops on the ground, he added.
the lives of citizens and their goods. Carry out the orders of this letter and
those of your superiors,” the message went on.
has been mired in chaos since the ouster and killing of Muammar Qaddafi in
2011, with Haftar supporting a rival administration in the east of the country.
strongman’s message came just a few hours after the UN mission in Libya
(UNSMIL) called for “an extendable one-week humanitarian truce starting at four
in the morning” on Monday, to mark the beginning of Ramadan.
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