NIA teams leave for J-K to join probe into Pulwama terror attack
Suicide Bomber Was Inspired By Taliban 'Victory' Over US in Afghanistan
Struggle Will Go To Delhi and Gujarat’: 21-Year-Old Jaish Terrorist behind
Pulwama Terror Attack
Proof of Sedition against Aligarh Muslim University Students, Say Police
Militants in Hunt for ISIL's Gold Treasure
Rally from Lumbini in Nepal, Siddharth Gautam Buddha’s Birthplace Spreads
Alliance Possible If Tel Aviv Accepts Riyadh’s Terms: Prince
Mustn’t Feel Safe Anywhere In World: Iran's Rouhani
Calls for Fight against 'War on Islam' in North Africa
Governments Want To Have More Influence on Muslim Practice with Their Own
says is in touch with Russia, Iran & Saudi on US Taliban talks
Pakistan suggest different border crossing points for Kartarpur corridor
of the Jeep Is the Gazi of the Role': Jaish Message after Pulwama Attack
NIA Teams Leave for J&K to Join Probe into Pulwama Terror Attack
2 Years Now, Jaish Has Been Pakistan's Sword Arm
attack in Pulwama: Allowing civilian vehicles on route proved disastrous
Attack: India’s Azhar Stand at UN May Now Change
Terror Attack: ‘Despicable Act’, Says India, Asks UN to Brand JeM’s Masood
Azhar A Terrorist
Claiming Responsibility of Pulwama Attack Raises Questions Over Role of ISI’: US
Funded By Muslim Donors Gives $650K Grants
Charged In Jihad Plot Threatened Trump Children
says ‘confronting Iran’ key to Mideast peace
will not unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan: Pentagon chief
Homemade bombs in plot to attack NY Muslims real
mum on whether he believes CIA on Khashoggi
Senator demands answers on Khashoggi murder
Updates Warning Over Turkey Travel Amid Rising Political Tensions
Taliban Militants Killed, Wounded In a Premature IED Explosion
recognized as leading young peace-builder by European Commission
Trump administration taking up Bangladesh issue
groups in Panchagarh attack Ahmadiyyas despite cancellation of ‘Jalsha’
We continue to train, advise and assist Afghanistan security forces
Army Destroys Strongholds of Foreign Terrorists in Hama
Coalition Evacuates Hundreds of Foreign ISIL Terrorists from Eastern Deir Ezzur
terrorist group warns of more attacks in Bahrain
attack kills 8 Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters in central Iraq
bomb kills 8 fighters north of Baghdad
Syrian forces clearing Daesh remnants from villages
Russia, Turkey: "Stability, Security" in Syria Strenghtens with US
Rouhani blames US, Israel for attack on Revolutionary Guards
foreign powers support terror groups, Rouhani says in meeting with Erdogan
attempts to walk back Netanyahu’s ‘war with Iran’ gaffe
police nab 52 Daesh suspects in NW province
slams Iran for prolonging Yemen war and blocking peace
tells Turkey to get Assad’s ‘green light’ for safe zone in Syria
Shabaab Jumps on the Anti-Israel, Anti-Trump Bandwagon
with ISIS ties claims responsibility for attack on Nigerian governor's convoy
accuses protest leaders of threatening national security
carries out air strike against al-Qaeda in Libya
opposition groups call on Bashir to step down
in the shadow of al-Shabaab: 'If I don't call, my mother thinks I'm dead'
Russia, Turkey, Iran See US Pullout from Syria as ‘Positive Step’
We must tackle terror hotbeds in Syria
to Supreme Court clear for family of ISIS suspect
Arabia, Pakistan Urged To Pull Muslim World Out Of Mire of Problems: Sirajul
Crown Prince Urged To Release Prisoners Belonging To KP
Media Forces Karachi Hospital to End Discrimination against Non-Muslims,
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Court of Justice to take up Indian spy Jadhav’s case on 18th
investment planned during my tenure: Nawaz
Salman’s visit to herald new era of prosperity, says minister
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PAS demands cancellation of ‘Love in Georgetown City’
14 second-most favourite day for weddings in Jakarta
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Suicide Bomber Was Inspired By Taliban 'Victory' Over US In Afghanistan
DELHI: Adil Ahmed Dar, a young man from Pulwama, was inspired to become a
suicide bomber after the Taliban claimed victory since the US announced the
withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
after the deadly terror attack in Pulwama, Telegram channels were abuzz with
two videos and a picture of a youth who claimed responsibility. The videos, one
in Kashmiri (seven minutes long) and the other in Urdu (10 minutes), presented
Adil's 'martyrdom' message. The videos seemed to have been shot in advance by
Jaish, way before the attack.
to be from Jaish-e—Mohammed, the youth identified himself as Adil Ahmed Dar
alias Waqas Commander from Gandibagh, Kakapora area in Pulwama. Police sources
confirmed Adil as the suspected suicide bomber who drove an explosive laden
Scorpio and rammed it into a CRPF bus.
fair-complexioned young man with a stubble and short hair, Adil, in both the
videos, is seen holding an M4 carbine and a Browning pistol. An AK47 assault
rifle is kept on his left and a sniper rifle with a night sight scope can be
seen on the right.
are ten grenades and equal number of magazines. The videos have been shot with
a Jaish-e-Mohammed banner in the Police sources confirmed the claim made by
Adil that he joined Jaish-e-Mohammad a year ago. “After waiting for an entire
year, I got the chance to do what I joined the Jaish for,” he is heard saying
in both the videos.
the time this video reaches you, I will be enjoying in heaven... This is my
last message for the people of Kashmir," Adil is heard saying. He exhorted
the Kashmiri youth to wage jihad against India and for Islam. “Jaish has kept
the flame alive and stayed put in adverse circumstances.. Come, join the group
and prepare for one last fight,” Adil says in a heavily accented boyish voice.
the Kashmiri language video, it is Adil’s picture and voice over, repeating
almost the same message except for a few variations. He asks his family,
friends and relatives “to celebrate his martyrdom for Islam” the way they
celebrate weddings. Adil also gives Kashmiri youth Islamic sermons, urging
women to wear veil and boys not to fall in love.
the video after every minute is interrupted by an American female automated
voice warning, “created with free version, for non-commercial use” indicating
Jaish’s access to high technology and social media machinery. A large number of
social media accounts, based in Kashmir and Pakistan, became active soon after
the attack, rejoicing Jaish’s daredevil act.
the end, in the Kashmiri video, Adil says that Muslims across the world need to
be freed from foreign occupiers, by way of martyrdom. He underlines the success
of jihad waged by Taliban, which he claims ensured the defeat of the US in Afghanistan.
The freedom of Muslims in Kashmir, he said, can be attained only by
Struggle Will Go To Delhi And Gujarat’: 21-Year-Old Jaish Terrorist Behind
Pulwama Terror Attack
Jaish-e-Mohammad militant, Adil Ahamad Dar, was behind the bloodbath in
Kashmir’s Pulwama as he rammed his explosive-laden Scorpio SUV into the CRPF
bus, killing 40 paramilitary personnel and leaving scores badly injured on
to police, Dar had studied till Class 11 and was working in a saw mill as a
joined the ranks of the Pakistan-based terror outfit in March last year. He
belongs to Gandibagh village of Kakpora Pulwama in South Kashmir.
a 10-minute video message from the militant, which was released by the Jaish
outfit on social media, Dar has reportedly talked about past fidayeen (suicide)
attacks carried out by the Jaish. He also boasts about the IC-814 hijacking of
December 1999, the Parliament attack in 2001 and about attacks on the security
forces in Pathankot and Nagrota (both in 2016).
and understand, we are going to come at you so hard that facing us will not be
an option for you,” the jaish militant says in the video. He says that the
fight of militants is not just limited to Kashmir. “Our fight will go to Delhi
and Gujarat,” the militant says.
alias Waqas can be seen in the video brandishing sophisticated automatic
rifles. He says by the time the video message reaches people, “I shall be in
heaven. I have spent one year with JeM and this is my last message for the
people of Kashmir.”
his video he asks the people of north Kashmir and central Kashmir to join “the
struggle against India as people south Kashmir have been fighting.”
militant is survived by his mother and two brothers.
proof of sedition against Aligarh Muslim University students, say police
Uttar Pradesh police on Thursday said they were yet to find any primary
evidence against 14 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students booked for
sedition a day earlier.
students were booked on the complaint of an office-bearer of Bharatiya Janata
Party’s youth wing after two groups clashed on campus on Tuesday following a
protest over an altercation with a Republic TV crew. The 14 have been accused
of raising pro-Pakistan slogans.
are yet to find primary evidence for sedition charges against the AMU students.
Investigations are in preliminary stages and we are taking note of the facts
[we are] coming across,” said Aligarh’s senior police superintendent, Aakash
Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) condemned the “severe
charges like sedition” against the students and wrote to President Ram Nath
Kovind over it. It asked Kovind to take cognizance and “send a strong message
that sedition charges should be invoked only after thorough inquiry and not on
hearsay within a few hours of the alleged incident”.
AMU Students Association also wrote to Kovind. “There have been repeated
attacks on the AMU by right-wing forces and some sections of the media with the
intention of maligning the university over false charges,’’ it said in a letter
to Kovind. “Fourteen students have been falsely booked on charges of seven
serious crimes including sedition. This has left the students of AMU ‘hurt’ and
‘offended’. The university has been declared an ‘institution of importance’ and
its students have always stood for the country. Repeatedly questioning our
loyalty to the country is an insult not only to students but also to the
Singh, who leads another group of AMU students, asked the AMU administration to
act against students responsible for violence on the campus. “Else we would
launch an agitation.”
AMU management said classes were held and the library was open on Thursday even
as students gathered on campus to stage a protest against the sedition charges.
Separately, the district administration restored Internet services in the city
snapped, day earlier, as a precaution to prevent violence.
SOHR reported that the ISIL terrorists had stolen about 40 tons of gold and
millions of dollars from the population once under their control in Iraq and
Syria, which was later transferred to Eastern Euphrates in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
US-led coaltion forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) deliberately do
not target the the areas under the control of the ISIL terrorists and
commanders in Eastern Euphrates in Deir Ezzur as they are trying to locate this
treasure by forcing the ISIL militants to speak about its location after
surrendering," it quoted informed sources as saying.
noted that part of the cash dollars and gold have been transferred from Turkey
to the areas under the ISIL control by Turkish brokers and intelligence service
who have close ties with the ISIL.
an SDF Commander, Adnan Afrin, said that the ISIL is now under the siege of the
SDF in an area no larger than one square kilometers in Eastern Euphrates.
a relevan development on Tuesday, a prominent Syrian military expert revealed
that Washington plans to transfer the remnants of the ISIL terrorists from
Eastern Euphrates to other regions through Turkey and Iraq.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Brigadier General Mohammad Issa as
saying that less than 600 ISIL militants are stationed in a 4-km/sq region in
Eastern Euphrates who will be soon evacuated from the region to foreign
added that the operations to transfer these militants will be conducted similar
to the operations earlier carried out to evacuate the ISIL terrorists from
Raqqa, saying that the US forces will transfer them via Iraq or Turkey to some
other Arab states for future operations.
questioned the US forces' claims of fighting against the terrorist groups along
with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), stressing that the Syrian army will
soon move to retake control over this region.
reports said on Sunday that the US army had agreed with the ISIL on the
latter's exit from areas under Washington's control in Eastern Euphrates.
US-led coalition troops and the SDF had reached an agreement with the ISIL
terrorists on the militants' retreat from areas under the control of the US and
its allied forces, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV news channel reported.
pointed to the preparations by the ISIL to move its terrorists out of Eastern
Euphrates, and said that the ISIL terrorists might be transferred to al-Anbar
desert of Badiya al-Tanf in Western Iraq.
report comes as the SDF claimed that it had started the final battle for
uprooting the remaining elements of the ISIL from Eastern Euphrates.
Matters India Reporter
Feb. 14, 2019: A journey to preserve India’s composite culture began on
February 13 from Lumbini in Nepal, Siddharth Gautam Buddha’s birthplace.
five-day rally, named “Buddh se Kabir tak” (From Buddha to Kabir), highlights
communal harmony and the Indian legacy of love and respect for others.
will culminate at Magahar in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and
some 145 km south of Lumbini, where Kabir Das, the great poet of “composite
300 people, who are committed to secularism and peace, have joined the rally
which will conclude with a cultural evening on Feb 17 at Gorakhpur University,
northeastern region of Uttar Pradesh.
the journey, the “Prerna Manch” (Forum for inspiration) the theater wing of
Vishwa Jyoti Communications in Varanasi, is performing stage dramas and street
plays on communal harmony and love and respect for neighbors.
team will also sing songs on unity, peace and love and thus lead the peace
Buddha is a symbol of peace, compassion and non-violence and Kabir stands for
composite culture, Father Anand Mathew, director of Vishwa Jyoti
Communications, one of the rally organizers, told Matters India.
peace rally is conceived and led by Vinod Mall, the present Director General of
Police of Gujarat, who is committed to peace, composite culture and
Mathew, a member of the Indian Missionaries of Society who collaborates with
Mall in the peace rally, says he considers it his Christian duty to spread the
message of peace and love.
Jyoti Communications has been carrying out similar peace rallies from 2005 when
it led a six-month long peace rally through 45 districts of Uttar Pradesh with
the message of peace, love of neighbour, respect for people of all faiths,
cultures and genders.
alliance possible if Tel Aviv accepts Riyadh’s terms: Prince
Arabia and Israel have the money and political means to forge a powerful
alliance provided that they reach peace first, a senior Saudi prince has
suggested, criticizing Israeli officials for ignoring Riyadh’s peace initiatives.
a rare interview with an Israeli television network on Wednesday, former Saudi
intelligence chief Prince Turki bun Faisal al-Saud said Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu should accept terms that Saudi Arabia has put forward for a
Israeli money and Saudi brains, we can go far,” the prince said, but added,
“Yes, if there is peace. Unfortunately.”
chooses to ignore all the efforts of Saudi Arabia to make peace, and expects
Saudi Arabia to put its hand in its [Israel’s] hand and go forward on
technology, on water desalination, on issues like that. It’s not going to
happen,” the veteran diplomat added.
prince said the so-called Arab Peace Initiative, first offered by late Saudi
King Abdullah in 2002, raised the chances of public and official ties between
Arab regimes and Israel.
it’s a quid pro quo: Israel withdraws from occupied Arab territories, in return
for Arab recognition of Israel, end of hostilities and normal relations,”
Faisal said, doubting that Riyadh and Tel Aviv could reach an agreement during
73-year-old said he had been to Jerusalem al-Quds and would love to visit the
city if Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sit down for
negotiations after resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
my lifetime — and there’s very little of it left to come — I don’t think I’m
going to see that. Not before the Palestinian issue is resolved. I am looking
for an Israeli peace initiative. I haven’t seen one. What is it that Israel
thinks will make peace?”
accused Netanyahu of trying to appeal to voters by claiming that ties with the
Arab world could be warmed without resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
dismissed as “wishful thinking” what some media reports had claimed about
possible division between bin Salman and his father on the issue.
crown prince “supports the Palestinian cause to the fullest,” he said, adding
MbS had no differences with his father “on any issue. He does what the king
is no secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia have long been working quietly over
security issues and have already established a mutual understanding to respect
their regional interests.
October 2017, former Israeli spymaster Efraim Halevy, who led Israel's Mossad
at the turn of the century, sat down for a meeting with Turki bin Faisal, who
headed Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency for 24 years.
recently, Netanyahu said on the sidelines of a US-organized conference against
Iran in Warsaw, Poland that the event “is an open meeting with representatives
of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order
to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
remarks proved costly for Tel Aviv as Israeli officials, including the PM
himself, rushed to explain that by war they did not mean direct military
Arab world, Israel ties to be normalized ‘eventually’
the opening dinner of the anti-Iran summit at Warsaw’s Royal Castle on
Wednesday night, Netanyahu said he was delighted to be addressing high
delegations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the three
key Arab allies that don’t recognize Israel officially despite having
established secret ties with the regime.
Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifah told Israeli media on the
sidelines of the anti-Iran meeting that his country would “eventually”
establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
remarks came days after Israeli media reported that Manama had volunteered to
open a diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv in 2017 before changing its mind.
secret tape of Warsaw meeting
Thursday, Netanyahu released a video of a closed meeting in Warsaw, in which
senior officials from Arab regimes of the Persian Gulf region, including the
Bahraini FM, play down the Palestinian cause and describe Iran as the greatest
threat in the Middle East.
grew up talking about the Palestine-Israel dispute as the most important
issue," al-Khalifah says in the video, according to the Associated Press.
"But then at a later stage, we saw a bigger challenge. We saw a more toxic
one, in fact the most toxic in our modern history, which came from the Islamic
Republic, from Iran."
the video, Saudi and Emirati officials can also be seen making a number of
25-minute clip, recorded on a mobile device, was shown to a group of
journalists traveling with Netanyahu before it was taken down on YouTube. It
was not clear whether the video was intentionally leaked or accidentally uploaded.
mustn’t feel safe anywhere in world: Iran's Rouhani
President Hassan Rouhani says terrorists must not feel safe in Syria or any
other part of the world, warning their supporters about playing the card of
terrorism to achieve their goals.
must not feel safe in this country or any other part of the world and their
supporters should not assume that they can play the terrorism card to their
benefit in domestic, regional, or international equations,” the Iranian
made the remarks at a tripartite meeting, which was also attended by Russian
President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in
Russia’s resort city of Sochi on Thursday.
the US administration is still backing the terrorists based in Iraq and Syria
and uses them to further its own interests as it presses ahead with its “illegal
activities” in Syrian territory, Rouhani added.
said “reliable reports” show that the US has assisted the terrorists enlisted
with the Takfiri group of Daesh in traveling around in Syria and also helped
some of them leave the country for Afghanistan.
said the US has established a military presence in Syria without any Damascus
permission, breaching all international regulations as well as the territorial
integrity and national sovereignty of an independent country, which is a member
of the United Nations.
to an earlier announcement by the US that it would pull its forces out of
Syria, Rouhani said Washington has to act on the claim as soon as possible so
the Syrian government’s sovereignty is restored, as is the case elsewhere in the
country, to the areas lying to the east and north of the Euphrates River.
Iranian chief executive asserted that intra-Syrian dialog needed to continue
without any foreign interference, and Syria’s “independence, sovereignty and
territorial integrity, and [the principle of] non-interference in the country’s
domestic affairs should be observed under any circumstances.”
Iranian president, meanwhile, stressed that the international community also
had to confront the Israeli regime’s arbitrary measures targeting Syria. The
regime is also providing assistance to some terror outfits in Syria, he said,
adding that Israeli officials themselves had recently owned up to the “heinous
Sochi summit, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was aimed at
solidifying the three countries’ cooperation towards returning peace and
stability to Syria.
the past years, Iran and Russia have been respectively lending military
advisory support and aerial backup for the Syrian military in its battle
against militants and Takfiri terrorists. The foreign-backed groups started a
campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the Arab country in 2011.
three countries, known as the guarantor states of a ceasefire regime in Syria,
have been mediating peace negotiations between representatives from the
Damascus government and opposition groups in a series of talks held in the
Kazakh capital of Astana and other places since January 2017.
Iran, Turkey, Russia seek to restore stability to Syria
his part, Russian President Putin said that the trio was investing coordinated
efforts to ensure that stability prevailed in Syria again and to help the
Syrians with the reconstruction process. He reminded that tens of thousands of
displaced Syrians had returned to their homeland over the past six months.
called on the international community, most importantly the UN and its
agencies, to play a more effective role in providing support to all Syrians
cessation of hostilities’ regime is being followed all over Syria, and
consequently, escalation has been reduced, which is a positive result of the
joint work of the three states,” he said.
need to guarantee long-term de-escalation in Idlib after we have succeeded in
establishing the cessation of hostilities regime in the province,” Putin said.
northwestern province of Idlib contains the largest remaining concentrations of
Takfiri terrorists in the Arab country.
this does not mean that we remain silent on what the terrorist organizations
are doing; that is why I suggest that we consider practical steps that the
guarantor states could jointly take to fully get rid of the hotbed of terrorism
in Idlib,” he added.
concluded by saying that a UN-backed Constitutional Committee tasked with
composing Syria’s inclusive constitution had to start its work “very soon,”
noting that remarkable efforts had been made in this regard.
criticizes UN for lack of action in Syria
their tripartite meeting, the three heads of state took part in a joint press
conference, answering questions regarding various issues related to the current
situation in Syria.
again, Rouhani referred to the US support for terrorists fighting the
government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
president said Washington’s relocating of Daesh terrorists to Afghanistan “can
pose threats to the entire Central Asian region and other parts of the world,”
adding, “One must not claim to be fighting terrorism, but help them behind the
addressing the declared plan of the US withdrawal from Syria, Rouhani said
“based on our intelligence we know that they will continue to meddle in Syria.”
once again touched on the issue of Israel’s acts of aggression against the
Syrian territory, criticizing the UN and other global bodies for their silence
on the incursions.
bomb anywhere in the region and fly over the Lebanese and Syrian soil whenever
they wish, and unfortunately, the United Nations and global authorities are
silent about these continued acts of aggression in Syria,” Iran's president
said, adding, “This silence means that they do not want full security in the
region and Syria.”
this summit, we stressed the importance of combating terrorism in the remaining
areas, including Idlib, and it was completely agreed by all that reducing
tensions and the presence of guarantors in this region is temporary,” he
No signs US troops leaving Syria
for his part, told the press conference that there has been no objective
evidence to prove that the US pullout is actually happening.
to Reuters, he said US President Donald Trump was trying to fulfill his
election campaign promises by ordering Syria troop withdrawal, but that he was
not always able to live up to his promises, because of “internal political
Russian head of state noted that such withdrawal would lead to stability and
the restoration of Syria’s authority over its territories.
in his remarks, Putin stressed that aggressive measures taken by militants in
Idlib would not go unpunished.
added that a de-escalation zone planned for Idlib was only a temporary measure
and was not meant to substitute the process of combating terrorism.
Russian president also stated that although the guarantors had agreed to take
extra steps to clear Idlib of terrorists, there would be no military operations
Russia, Turkey presidents adopt joint statement
the end of the Sochi meeting on Syria, presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey
issued a joint statement, stressing strong commitment to sovereignty,
independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.
three presidents highlighted that these principles should be universally
respected and that no actions, no matter by whom they were undertaken, should
also rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the
pretext of combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand
against any effort aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries.
added that the US decision for the withdrawal of its forces from Syria, if
implemented, would help strengthen stability and security in the country in compliance
with the above-mentioned principles.
presidents of Iran, Syria and Russia also denounced and expressed serious
concern about the efforts by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists to increase their
control over the Idlib de-escalation area, and agreed to effectively counter
Russia and Turkey reiterated that there could be no military solution to the
Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and
Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security
Council Resolution 2254.
also highlighted the importance of creating conditions for the safe and
voluntary return of refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs) to their
original places of residence in Syria.
presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey also decided to hold their next
tripartite summit in Turkey upon the invitation of President Erdogan.
Calls for Fight Against 'War on Islam' in North Africa
has seized upon ongoing efforts to secularize education and stop radicalization
in North Africa in order to whip up Muslims into fighting against the "war
on Islam" countries of Algeria and Tunisia.
Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit publicly supported the decision of an
Algerian school in Paris to stop a student from praying during the school day.
go to school for education,” Benghabrit said, adding that prayer "is meant
to be done at home, not at school."
student went out to the open school yard on the neighborhood to pray in an
ostensible act. The school principal did her job. When students go to schools,
it is for education and learning. Prayers are performed at home, and role of
schools is to provide teaching and learning," she elaborated.
sparked debate within Algeria about education reform. In 2017, Benghabrit said
that "In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most merciful"
should be stricken from all school textbooks except for religion class. Last
year, Benghabrit banned teachers from wearing the niqab face veil that exposes
only the eyes.
a statement released in English and Arabic through its Al-Andalus Foundation
for Media Production, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb slammed those who have
"abandoned the Shar’iah of Allah and replaced it with what is earthly:
constitutions and the laws of the infidels; the Jews and the Christians and
those who have no faith."
terror group accused Benghabrit of ordering "without shame the prevention
of prayer in schools, thus defying the feelings of forty million Algerians who
believe in Islam, as a creed, a Shar’iah, and as a way of life."
the minister a "Frenchified Algerian," AQIM accused her of committing
"the crime of violating the sanctity of Islam" before with a
"filthy record" of trying to design an educational system "that
is completely free of the foundations and the principles of the Islamic identity."
insolent minister is in reality an extension of the Westernizing project that
aims, among other things, to destroy the Islamic identity of the Algerian
nation, that the French Crusaders sought for a long time during the colonial
era," the statement continued. "... If they are not confronted, the
generation that will graduate from this system will have nothing to do with the
original foundations of islam."
also lashed out at the official response to an investigative journalism show on
Tunisia's El Hiwar El Tounsi channel that profiled a Quranic school in the
rural town of Regueb, which was indoctrinating 42 kids between the ages of 10
and 18. The children were reportedly subjected to forced labor and poor living
conditions, and some suffered sexual abuse and health maladies.
teaching Quranic study under the supervision of the country's Ministry of
Religious Affairs are allowed in Tunisia, but independent madrassas are
outlawed. Authorities quickly shut down the school in Regueb, citing the need
to protect the children.
blamed "heated and repeated media campaigns to incite against Qur’anic
schools by the disgraceful media," saying the incident "shows clearly
that the issue is masterminded, as was confirmed by the intersection of the
hired media and the corrupt politicians."
these intense media and security campaigns, they only want to distort Qur’anic
schools in order to shut them down without a major effort. These Qur’anic
schools are the ones that continue to resist, like strong fortresses, the
campaigns of Westernization and Christianization," AQIM continued.
honorable people in Algeria and Tunisia: silence to those rulers who oppress
you, who do not have an atom of honor, pride, or faith, is in itself a crime.
How long will you be silent to those criminal scum who have no business other
than fighting Islam and demeaning Muslims?" the terror group added,
calling upon them to "fight the Jews, the Christians and whoever follows
them among the Arab and foreign leaders."
governments want to have more influence on Muslim practice with their own
seehofer, the German interior minister and then-leader of Bavaria’s Christian
Socialist Union, was in a conciliatory mood. Addressing a conference of Muslims
in Berlin last November, he publicly reversed his earlier position that Islam
did not belong in Germany. It could belong, he told his audience, as long as it
embraced German, not foreign, values. His call for assimilation was underlined
by the bill of fare at the official reception that evening, which included
riesling wines and pork-topped canapés. If Muslims did not like the country’s
nudity and alcohol, tutted an official, they could go elsewhere.
drive to integrate Islam on Germany’s terms is the brainchild of Markus Kerber,
a top civil servant at the interior ministry and founder of the Islam
Conference, a gathering of Muslim representatives that Germany has been holding
intermittently since 2006. He wants to wrest control of the country’s mosques
from foreign hands, a task he likens to that of Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s
first chancellor, when he tried to prise the Catholic church from the Vatican’s
clutches in the 19th century. Instead of relying on foreign support, Mr Kerber
thinks, mosques in Germany could be funded in the same way as Christian and
Jewish places of worship: through a voluntary religious levy on registered
members of the faith. Foreign imams should be replaced by German ones, who
would be trained at the new Islamic-theology departments that some of the
German Länder have established at a handful of universities. Within a decade,
Mr Kerber hopes, imams will need German certificates to be able to officiate.
DELHI: With US now scheduled to hold talks with the Taliban in Islamabad, India
said Thursday it remained in touch with Washington on peace efforts in
Afghanistan. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad discussed the situation in
Afghanistan with Indian ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said the
is also in touch with partners like Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia on the
situation in Afghanistan," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
will continue to take all necessary steps to bring peace and stability in the
region," he added. The spokesperson said that discussions on Afghanistan
will take place with Russia and China at the RIC (Russia, India, China)
trilateral later this month. Official sources had earlier said that India was
looking to have a dialogue with China on recent developments in Afghanistan,
including the US-Taliban talks.
it has refrained from saying so officially, India remains concerned over the
latest `peace’ initiative which has seen the US directly talking to the Taliban
and which seems to have kept even the government in Kabul out of the loop.
Khalilzad’s recent visit to India, the government had conveyed to him that any
agreement with the Taliban must safeguard existing political and constitutional
structure in Kabul and that India was against the idea of having an interim government
in Afghanistan which is scheduled to go to polls in July.
MEA spokesperson was responding to queries on media reports saying that the
Taliban was going to visit Islamabad next week to meet their US negotiators.
According to a Washington Post report, the Afghan Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah
Mujahid, said in a statement posted online late Wednesday that the group’s plan
to visit Pakistan stemmed from a “formal invitation” from the Islamabad
government and that its delegates would meet with the Pakistan premier.
US embassy spokesperson in Islamabad was quoted as saying in response that
while the US had noted the Taliban announcement, it had not received any formal
invitation for talks and that the US was not going to negotiate in public.
development though has compounded India’s concerns over Pakistan’s role in
facilitating the US-Taliban dialogue. With its development assistance to
Afghanistan exceeding $3 billion, India is the largest donor to the war-torn
country in the region.
and Pakistan have proposed different border crossing points for the planned
corridor to allow Indian pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in
Pakistan’s Punjab and the matter is expected to be resolved when officials of
the two sides meet next month, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said
Delhi had recently provided the coordinates for a crossing point to Islamabad.
“From the Pakistan side, we have received a response where they have suggested
an alternate border crossing point,” spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a news
of the two sides, who are expected to meet in New Delhi on March 14, will take
up the issue of the different coordinates for the crossing point and the Indian
side is hopeful there will be an agreement on the matter, he said.
had also proposed that we will hold technical-level discussions (among)
engineers and this shouldn’t be held hostage to the main meeting which will
take place on March 14. We still await a response from the Pakistani side on
this,” Kumar said.
believes the technical discussions will facilitate the early establishment of
requisite infrastructure and finalisation of the alignment of the corridor, he
and Pakistan were earlier scheduled to hold the first meeting of officials to
finalise modalities for the Kartarpur corridor on March 13. A follow-up meeting
is expected to be held in Pakistan when required, Indian officials had said
two sides unveiled plans last November to build the corridor to facilitate
visits without visas by Indian pilgrims to the gurdwara at the site where Guru
Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in 1539.
of the jeep is the Gazi of the role': Jaish message after Pulwama attack
DELHI: Minutes after the dastardly attack on CRPF convoy, pro Jaish-e-Mohammed
telegram channels were flooded with messages claiming responsibility for the
attack on “Hindu Indian soldiers”.
of the messages which self admittedly originated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in PoK
claimed that this was the fifth action on the “Indian congress of Jihad.” It
described the place of attack as “Pampher highway”.
least 100 Hindu Indian soldiers were killed and destroyed by dozens of vehicles
in a frenzy attack..,” the message read as.
message ended with a quote reading: “Who is the leader of the Jeep is the Ghazi
of the role.” Sources assume that this was in reference to Jaish commander who
was driving the explosive-laden SUV.
NIA teams leave for J&K to join probe into Pulwama terror attack
DELHI: Experts of anti-terror commando force the National Security Guard (NSG)
and investigators of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) left for Jammu and
Kashmir on Friday to join the probe into the terror attack in Pulwama in which
at least 37 CRPF personnel were killed, officials said.
decision to send the teams was taken in view of the high number of casualties
in the worst terror strike in the state since the Uri attack in 2016.
Thursday, a home ministry official had said an NIA team with forensic experts
was being sent to Srinagar to assist Jammu and Kashmir Police in forensic
evaluation of the scene of crime.
specialists of the Black Cat commando force NSG would also join in the
investigation into the attack, another official had said.
least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured in one of the deadliest
terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a
vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district
2 years now, Jaish has been Pakistan's sword arm
DELHI: Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad continues to be Pakistan intelligence
agency, ISI’s most favoured group for terror attacks in India, after
Lashkar-e-Taiba made way for it two years ago.
sources in Srinagar told the TOI that Jaish, which has been involved in suicide
attacks in Kashmir since its launch in 2000, emerged as a stronger contender
against Hafiz Saeed’s Lashkar-e-Taiba after the latter’s parent organization
Jamaat-ud-Dawah announced to enter mainstream politics. Even as its political
organization Milli Muslim League (MML) was denied the permission to contest,
the Dawah fielded around 260 candidates under a different registered political
party Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek in Pakistan’s 2018 assembly and general elections.
a result, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), emboldened by China's
repeated blockage of India's bid to designate Azhar a terrorist at the United
Nations, decided to spend most of its resources on the Jaish. Last year, after
China clearly told New Delhi that it was not going to blacklist him, Azhar
issued a threat to the BJP government over Ram Mandir, saying that his men were
ready to lay down their lives and burn down the temple if it was built.
of Jaish, Azhar is mastermind of several deadly terrorist attacks in India,
including the one on Uri military base in Kashmir in 2016 in which 17 security
personnel were killed. Though he was detained for a while under ‘protective
custody’ after the Pathankot terror attack, he has been freely and actively
holding public rallies and organizing recruitment camps for the Jaish since
2016. In the early 90s, Azhar travelled in Middle East, Africa and the UK to
raise funds for Islamist jihad in Kashmir and continues to have a massive
following in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Azhar, who was released by India in exchange for the passengers of the hijacked
IC814 plane, unlike other chiefs of terror groups based in Pakistan (Hafiz
Saeed and Syed Salahuddin), has committed his own family to the jihadist war in
Kashmir. He has been sending several of his young nephews to recruit, train and
organize terrorists in Kashmir and launch terror attacks.
became apparent two years ago, when his nephew, Talha Rashid, was killed in an
encounter with security forces in Pulwama.
another nephew Mohammad Usman was killed in a gun-battle in Tral. Usman was
believed to have targeted and killed eight soldiers in over a dozen attacks.
According to intelligence sources, Mohammed Umer, son of Azhar’s elder brother Ibrahim,
also infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir last year. NIA, in 2018, filed a
chargesheet against Masood Azhar’s brother and Jaish’s deputy chief Maulana
Abdul Rouf Asgar for planning the attack on an Army camp in Nagrota in November
DELHI: The Central Reserve Police Force had taken all the precautions on
Thursday including road opening party (RoP) sanitizing the Jammu-Srinagar
highway for IEDs, men on the lookout for any possible grenade lobbing or firing
by the terrorists but being sensitive towards the civilians by allowing them to
use the highway during convoy movements proved costly for the paramilitary
CRPF officials told TOI that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber Aadil Ahmad
used the liberty provided to the civilians as he drove from the service road,
connecting local villages, to the highway and “rammed” the explosive-laden
Scorpio car in the CRPF bus before Terror attack in Pulwama: Allowing civilian
vehicles on route exploding it.
CRPF was moving 2,547 CRPF jawans/officers in two convoys moving close to each
other from Jammu to South Kashmir in 78 vehicles including, buses, armoured vehicles
say the Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed for six days due to which troopers,
who had reported back in Jammu from leave, training, etc, were not able to
reach their respective duty camps and hence the movement was bigger than usual on
of that, sources say, every precaution was taken considering there were regular
intelligence inputs about possible IED attacks, with latest shared by J&K
police on February 8.
inspector general (operations) in Kashmir – Zulfiqar Hassan told TOI, “The RoP
was in place. It had checked the route in the morning. There was no IED and
there was no possibility that somebody could have fired upon or lobbed grenade
(s) on the convoy. It seems, as of now, that the car came from the side road to
the highway and rammed into the convoy, but it is subjected to investigation”.
that they were caught by surprise despite taking all the precautions, other
CRPF officials said “it was a completely different modus operandi” used by the
terrorists after the ages.
keeping in mind that civilians don’t feel harassed by our movement, we allow
commuter vehicles on the highway when we are on the move. If the Scorpio car
had come far, it would have been stopped at some checkpoint, but it probably used
a side road to enter the highway like other civilian vehicles,” an officer
said, requesting anonymity.
added that they will now change their “strategy” which may include keeping
highway out of bounds for the local traffic till the convoys pass.
director general CRPF - Rajeev Bhatnagar had last year told TOI in an exclusive
interview that “use of IEDs had returned to Kashmir which was a worry for
them”. CRPF has expertise in tracking IEDs on roads but officials said that if
a vehicle looks like a normal civilian car, moving adjacent to our vehicle,
rams into us, it is something we cannot know despite our thousand checks unless
we completely stop such traffic.
CRPF had last year issued standing operating procedures (SoPs) related to IEDs
on the roads, which were regularly checked by RoPs, and commandoes kept an eye
on militants trying to fire on convoys. However, the two convoys didn’t have the
slightest inclination of JeM using such a modus operandi.
say that JeM, known for fidayeen attacks, is frustrated that it has not been
able to carry any major attack last year and lost many of its cadres in
attack: India’s Azhar stand at UN may now change
DELHI: Describing the Pulwama terror attack as “heinous and despicable”, India
used strong words to ask Pakistan to stop supporting terrorists and called upon
all other countries to place Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council’s
counter-terrorism sanctions list.
has consistently stopped Azhar from being banned, as part of its relationship
with Pakistan. Every time Azhar has been proposed for a ban in the UN Security
Council’s 1267 Committee, China has blocked it.
its statement, MEA said, the terror attack was “perpetrated by Jaish-eMohammed,
a Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation proscribed by the United
Nations and other countries. This terror group is led by the international
terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by the government of
Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in the territories
under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with
for international support against Azhar, India said “we reiterate our appeal to
all members of the international community to support the proposal to list
terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under
the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist
organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.”
in all of 2018, India did not push the Azhar case in the UN at all. After the
Wuhan summit between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping, India has been treading on
eggshells where China is concerned, going the extra distance to not disturb the
fragile peace with China.
was taken to mean that contentious issues like Masood Azhar was not flagged by
India in the UN. The general policy before Wuhan was that India or the US or UK
would raise the Azhar issue in the 1267 committee as a way to keep the pressure
on China and to expose its support to a terror leader. But in 2018, India eased
terror attack: ‘Despicable act’, says India, asks UN to brand JeM’s Masood
Azhar a terrorist
government has strongly condemned the attack on security forces in Kashmir’s
Pulwama that left 43 CRPF jawans dead and many others injured, demanding that
Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their
statement, issued by the Ministry of External Affairs late on Thursday evening,
also called for terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s leader Masood Azhar to be
branded as a ‘designated terrorist’ by the UN under its provisions.
statement says, “The Government of India condemns in the strongest possible
terms the cowardly terrorist attack on our brave security forces in Pulwama,
Jammu & Kashmir earlier today (14 February 2019).”
statement also says, “This heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by
Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation
proscribed by the United Nations and other countries. This terror group is led
by the international terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by
Government of Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in
territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and
elsewhere with impunity.”
that the government of India is “equally resolved to fight against the menace
of terorrism”, the statement says, “We demand that Pakistan stop supporting
terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the
infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other
claiming responsibility of Pulwama attack raises questions over role of ISI’:
White House asked Pakistan to immediately end “support” and “safe haven” to all
terror groups as it strongly condemned the Pulwama terrorist attack.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday that left at least 44 personnel dead and
many critically wounded.
United States calls on Pakistan to end immediately the support and safe haven
provided to all terrorist groups operating on its soil, whose only goal is to
sow chaos, violence, and terror in the region,” White House Press Secretary
Sarah Sanders said in a late night statement on Thursday.
attack only strengthens our resolve to bolster counterterrorism cooperation and
coordination between the United States and India,” she said in a
strongly-worded statement issued by the White House.
involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad in Thursday’s terrorist attack in Jammu and
Kashmir has raised serious questions about the role of the Pakistani spy
agency, ISI, in it, American experts on South Asia have said.
Pakistan-based JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack that left at least
44 personnel dead and many critically wounded. The experts said the terror
strike shows the United States has failed to persuade Pakistan to act against
Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups.
self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about
the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation,” Bruce
Riedel, a former CIA analyst, told PTI.
terrorist attack, which has direct footprints inside Pakistan, poses the first
major challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said Riedel, who is now
a scholar at the Brookings Institute think-tank. “This will be a real challenge
for Imran Khan, the first serious challenge of his administration,” he said.
Read | Arun
Jaitley to take charge as finance minister,
attend CCS meet today
Goel, a former National Security Council official in the previous Obama
administration, said the horrific attack highlights just how actively
Pakistan-based terrorist groups still operate in Kashmir.
claiming such quick credit for the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed is clearly
indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke
tensions between Pakistan and India,” he said.
the wake of this attack, there will likely be increased pressure on Prime
Minister (Narendra) Modi to take action against all militant groups still
active in Kashmir,” said Goel.
Ayres from the Council on Foreign Relations said, “Unfortunately, the attack
also shows the limits of US and international policy efforts to date to
persuade Pakistan to take serious action against these groups. The urgent question
is what else the international community can do.” According to Moeed Yusuf from
the US Institute of Peace, the current situation has all the making of an
India-Pakistan crisis. “Prime Minister Modi cannot take it lying down but
Pakistan isn’t going to be able to absorb any Indian action either. Things are
simply too tense between India and Pakistan,” he said.
the biggest deterrent to any escalation is the presence of Saudi Crown Prince
Muhammad Bin Salman in the region, he said. “Salman arrives in Pakistan Friday
and is coming to India too. His visit will be seriously overshadowed. The Saudi
relationship is too important for either side to want that to happen,” he
think the damage to India-Pakistan relations is going to be immense – even if
the situation doesn’t escalate. The hope was that India and Pakistan will get
back to talking after the Indian elections later this year. I think the hawks
on both sides are going to make it very difficult for that to happen now,”
Yusuf said. “Terrorist attacks as in Kashmir are not possible without an
ideology or theology that justifies terrorism and brainwashes its followers
that massacring others leads a person to paradise. The terrorist mindset must
be removed along with the terrorist infrastructure on the ground,” said noted
Hindu scholar David Frawley.
latest attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed is another example of how Pakistan’s
intelligence services continue to sponsor terrorist incursions into India,
Washington-based Hindu American Foundation said.
it’s heartening to see that a wide swath of the international community is
unequivocally condemning the attack, such statements of solidarity must be
backed up by actions which help bring to an end the ability of such terrorist
groups to kill with impunity and destabilize the region,” the foundation said.
Friends of BJP (OFBJP)-USA in a statement demanded that United Nations
designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist.
funded by Muslim donors gives $650K grants
– A Chicago-based foundation funded by a network of U.S. Muslim donors has
given a total of $625,000 to roughly two dozen organizations nationwide it
recognizes for improving Islamic life.
Fund on Tuesday announced the 26 grants to nonprofit groups in nine states and
the District of Columbia. Officials say in a release recipients are “elevating
American Muslims through political advocacy, health and wellness, research and
the arts.” Recipients include a Chicago project that aims to raise awareness
about companies profiting from or promoting anti-Muslim policies, a New
York-based effort to create an in-depth television documentary series on the
entire history of U.S. Muslims, and an Ann Arbor, Michigan, organization
working to create understandings of black American Muslims.
Fund says it has awarded $3.5 million since its inception in 2010. Funding
comes from 25 Muslim professionals.
indictment alleges an Ohio man who adopted aliases including Abdur Raheem
Refeeq and Salah ad-Deen Osama Waleed threatened the lives of President Trump’s
Maple Heights man, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, 49, is facing an indictment that
includes those counts as well as terrorism.
Media reported he previously had been indicted on terrorism counts, and the new
charges were added in a superseding indictment that now has been released.
had been facing counts of trying to provide material support to al-Qaida.
addition to the original charge, Pitts has now been charged with threats
against the president of the United States, threats against immediate family
members of the president of the United States and two counts of false
statements to law enforcement,” the report explained.
came to the attention of authorities early in 2017 when he posted comments
about a possible jihad training camp.
to the indictment, in June 2018, Pitts threatened to kidnap the president and
cut off his head and hands. He also allegedly threatened Trump’s family. The
indictment states Pitts said he would, ‘Kill his kids. Kill his daughter,
son-in-law. Kill ’em all. He (the president) come out ’cause you start killing
his kids, chop their heads off … you send his kids back.'”
documents say he also lied to law enforcement officers about knowledge of a
planned terror attack in Cleveland.
said in the ABC report Pitts discussed his plans at length with an undercover
agent he believed was an al-Qaida operative.
trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the Fourth of July,”
Pitts said, according to the report. “What would hit them at their core? Blow
up in the, have a bomb blow up in the Fourth of July parade.”
idea reportedly was to park a van loaded with explosives in downtown Cleveland,
then set it off.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday at a security conference in Warsaw
that Iran is the top threat in the Middle East and confronting the country is
key to reaching peace in the entire region.
met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the opening session
at the conference and said “pushing back” against Iran was central to dealing
with all the region’s other problems.
can’t achieve peace and stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran.
It’s just not possible,” Pompeo said alongside Netanyahu.
Israeli leader lauded the participation of high-profile Arab dignitaries at the
conference, saying it signaled a shift in regional priorities.
a room of some 60 foreign ministers, an Israeli prime minister and the foreign
ministers of leading Arab countries stood together, and spoke with unusual
force, clarity and unity against a common threat of the Iranian regime,” he
said before his meeting with Pompeo. “I think this marks a change, an important
understanding of what threatens our future.”
US and Poland are sponsoring the conference, which they say is aimed at
promoting peace and security in the Mideast but appears to be mainly focused on
isolating Iran. Iran has denounced the gathering as an American anti-Iran
“circus” aimed at “demonizing” it.
Vice President Mike Pence is attending along with representatives from numerous
Arab countries. But France and Germany are not sending Cabinet-ranked
officials, and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is
and China aren’t participating, either, and the Palestinians, who have called
for the meeting to be boycotted, also will be absent.
Netanyahu, a longtime opponent of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the gathering
marks a culmination of his call to unite the world against Israel’s arch-enemy
of Iran. He’s long boasted that Israel has clandestinely developed good
relations with several Arab states, despite a lack of official ties.
Wednesday, he met with Oman’s foreign minister, Yusuf bin Alawi, and at the
Thursday’s opening session he was seated next to the foreign minister of Yemen,
as representatives of Kuwait, Qatar and others looked on.
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has told Washington’s NATO allies that
the Pentagon will not reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan unilaterally.
Thursday in Brussels after his first meeting with NATO counterparts, Shanahan
said any potential US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will be done in a
will be no unilateral troop reduction, it will be coordinated,” the Pentagon
chief told reporters.
said the US-led military alliance would work with NATO members to increase what
he called diplomatic leverage over the Taliban militant group as the West seeks
a political settlement.
officials have held several rounds of talks with the Taliban in Qatar since
last year, which could pave the way for a political settlement to the 17-year
the discussions have so far excluded the Afghan government itself.
with America’s longest war, US President Donald Trump says he wants to reduce
and ultimately withdraw the approximately 14,000 US troops currently in
additional 8,000 troops from other NATO countries are stationed in Afghanistan
government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani — excluded from the talks — has
complained about the matter and repeatedly stressed that any peace plan must
include the Afghan government.
Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end with a US-led invasion in 2001; but 17 years on, the militant group
continues to be active on much of Afghan soil.
Kabul only controls 55 percent of the country’s territory, while the militants
have a grip on 12 percent of Afghan soil, according to a report by the US
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction published in October
last year. About a third of the country remains contested.
new FBI report Thursday shows homemade bombs obtained by authorities in a case
of individuals plotting to attack a Muslim community in upstate New York were
real, and could have caused damage if used.
the report, obtained and published by ABC affiliate 13WHAM News, the FBI
outlined three improvised explosive devices that had been created and concluded
the bombs could have caused not only property damage, but also personal injury
and even death.
FBI did not respond to Anadolu Agency's request for comment.
Colaneri, Vincent Vetromile and Andrew Crysel were arrested last month after
the Greece Police Department uncovered a plot to attack the Muslim enclave of
Islamberg with explosive devices.
also arrested and charged Nicholas Pheilshifter, 16, in connection to the plot.
addition to the three explosive devices, during the investigation authorities
uncovered a stockpile of 23 weapons in the home of Pheilshifter.
the report was heavily redacted, it showed a full eyewitness account of a
15-year-old boy who said Pheilshifter showed him one of the bombs, a "PVC
pipe covered in dark tape," in or around November of last year.
is currently being held on $1,000,000 bail.
40 miles away from Binghampton, New York, was founded in the 1980s by Mubarak
Ali Gilani, a cleric originally from Pakistan, as a rural enclave for Muslims
who were escaping crime and poverty that existed in urban areas. The community
is comprised largely of black Muslims.
groups claim the town is a haven for extremists and terrorists, however, no
evidence has shown to support the allegations.
2008 counter-terrorism analysis from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
concluded there is no evidence that Islamberg is a part of a network of
"paramilitary training grounds."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to say whether he believed the CIA's
assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in the
murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
an interview Wednesday with CBS News, Pompeo was asked numerous questions on
the issues surrounding the killing of the Saudi journalist and columnist for
The Washington Post, who was also a U.S. resident.
a ridiculous question," he said, when asked whether the crown prince was
involved in the murder.
is no nation that acts against violations of human rights in the way the
American nation does, and President [Donald] Trump has been at the forefront of
doing that as well," he added.
Pompeo said the killing was unacceptable, he affirmed that the U.S. has an
important relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that he plans to
make sure that relationship is a successful one.
question of bin Salman's role in the murder was asked multiple times but was
met each time with similar answers that skirted the issue.
was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly after he
entered the diplomatic facility on Oct. 2 last year. Riyadh initially denied
any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched
rendition operation being carried out by rogue agents.
Arabia has sought to distance the crown prince from Khashoggi's murder, as has
November, the CIA concluded with high confidence that bin Salman had ordered
Khashoggi's killing, according to The Post.
Trump and this administration are committed to holding each individual
accountable as we develop fact sets that permit us to do it. We’ve already
applied sanctions to a number of people who were involved in it that we had a
fact set that support it – an American fact set that supported it. We’ll
continue to do that,” Pompeo said in the interview.
Thursday, Sen. Bob Menendez sent a letter to Pompeo asking for all documents
related to Khashoggi’s murder and specifically requested any records which
would indicate that any member of the Saudi royal family, including bin Salman,
was responsible for the killing.
ranking Senate Democrat on the Foreign Relations committee on Thursday called
on the Donald Trump administration to hand over all documents related to the
murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Bob Menendez sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting records
as to whether any member of the Saudi royal family, including Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, were responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.
also requested all documents relating to the "cause of or circumstances
surrounding the death of Jamal Khashoggi" and "efforts to obtain
information regarding the death."
week, Trump decided not to pursue further punishments against Saudi Arabia over
the murder, and failed to send a report to Congress determining whether
sanctions are warranted against bin Salman for the murder of the Washington
Post columnist and U.S. resident.
was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly after he
entered the diplomatic facility on Oct. 2. Riyadh initially denied any role in
the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched rendition
operation being carried out by rogue agents.
letter called on Trump to respond to the request made by Congress when it made
a request to the administration last year to determine whether sanctions should
be applied to bin Salman by invoking the Global Magnitsky Act.
the Global Magnitsky Act, a president has 120 days to respond to a request from
the Senate Foreign Relations chair and ranking member to determine if sanctions
are warranted against a person who has been accused of rights violations.
foreign and international officials investigating this matter who have
concluded that senior Saudi officials bear responsibility for Mr. Khashoggi’s
murder, this administration has been conspicuously reticent to hold senior
officials and senior members of the Royal Family accountable," Menendez
US Department of State on Thursday updated its travel advisory for Turkey amid
stalled US-Turkey talks on Syria and growing differences over Venezuela and
Turkish S-400 deal with Russia.
announced Thursday it would be going ahead with a purchase of Russia’s S-400
missile system, ahead of an informal Friday deadline to respond to a rival US
a NATO member, made repeated moves to buy the Russian missile defence system,
despite warnings from the US-led alliance that the S-400s cannot be integrated
into the NATO air defence system.
State Department upped the advisory to “Level 3”, urging citizens “to
reconsider travel the Middle Eastern country due “to terrorism and arbitrary
detentions” and to refrain from going to “the Syria and Iraq borders."
groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorists may attack with
little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs,
markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs,
restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events,
educational institutions, airports, and other public areas,” the advisory read.
also made reference to mounting detentions by Turkish authorities, which
increased this week after the government rounded up more than 700 individuals
suspected of having ties to the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U.S. citizens,
for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations based on scant or secret
evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated” the US statement
read. It also warned that US citizens have also been subject to travel bans
that prevent them from departing Turkey.
US government urged against “travel near the Turkey/Syria and Turkey/Iraq borders
due to the continued threat of civil war in Syria and attacks by terrorist
warning comes as US and Turkey continue their consultations over establishing a
safe zone within Syria’s border. Differences over policing the zone and the
future of the Syrian Democratic Forces have hampered those plans.
Taliban militants killed, wounded in a premature IED explosion
least seven Taliban militants were killed or wounded in an explosion triggered
by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in eastern Nangarhar province.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said the
incident took place on Tuesday in the vicinity of Khogyani district.
statement further added that the incident took place while a group of Taliban
militants who were looking to plan an Improvised Explosive Device in Zawi area
of the district.
to 201st Silab Corps, at least 4 militants were killed in the explosion and
three others were wounded.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
Jan 2019, LONDON: Ayesha has been named a One Young World and European
Commission Peace Ambassador – an initiative developed to accelerate the efforts
of young leaders in preventing and countering violent extremism, building
peace, and promoting conflict resolution globally.
is a human rights activist, policy specialist and development enthusiast
working on gender inclusive growth and sustainable development issues in
Afghanistan including The Imam Initiative Project which has trained over 5000
Imams across Afghanistan to advocate for the social, political and economic
rights of Afghan women.
was selected to join the Peace Ambassador network as part of a nationwide
search for the world’s most impactful young peace-builders. In the two years
since the initiative was launched, One Young World and the European Commission
have identified 120 young leaders from 97 countries building lasting peace. The
work of Peace Ambassadors focuses on both the direct and indirect causes of
violence – ranging from countering the harmful effects of environmental change
to promoting social inclusion.
a Peace Ambassador Ayesha was invited to participate in the annual One Young
World Summit, the global forum for young leaders. Held in The Hague, The
Netherlands the Summit brought together 1,800 delegates from every country and
sector. Other participants included former UK Prime Ministers John Major and
Gordon Brown, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and Nobel peace prize
winner Tawakkol Karman.
March 2019, the Peace Ambassadors will be gathering again in Kigali, Rwanda,
for ‘United Futures: Lessons from Rwanda’, the One Young World Caucus on
Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
One Young World Peace Ambassadors include:
● Satta Sheriff, Liberia –
Founder of Youth in Action for Peace and Empowerment, an NGO dedicated to
defending and protecting the rights of Liberian children and vulnerable groups.
Satta has won numerous awards for her work campaigning for changes to rape
laws, promoting children’s rights, and ensuring safe spaces for Liberian girls.
● Irwin Iradukunda, Burundi –
A social justice activist leading advocacy work in the fields of human rights
and social development. His work focuses on marginalised communities, including
the LGBTQI community and sex workers across Africa.
● Achaleke Christian,
Cameroon – Founder of Prisonpreneurs, a rapidly-expanding initiative that was
established to counter one of the biggest causes of violent extremism: poverty
and lack of economic opportunities. It provides employment to young people in
prison, many of whom have been radicalised by Boko Haram.
● Ahlem Nasraoui, Tunisia – A
nominee of for the UN’s Intercultural Innovation Award, Ahlem is fighting the
causes of terrorism in Tunisia through the Young Leaders Entrepreneurs – a
nationwide campaign promoting the economic empowerment of at-risk young people.
Her hackathons and mentorship schemes provide opportunities to opportunities to
people suffering from unemployment, and the long era of rigid censorship and
● Hyppolite Ntigurirwa,
Rwanda – Hyppo witnessed his father’s murder during the Rwandan genocide at
just seven years old, but has chosen to forgive the killers and dedicate his
life to advocating for peace. His Be The Peace initiative promotes inter-ethnic
friendships, working educate and unite the post-conflict generations in Rwanda.
● Zar Li Aye, Myanmar – A
human rights lawyer in Myanmar working to give people a fair trial in a system
where 90 per cent of defendants are not allowed a lawyer. With a focus on
improving the position of women and LGBTQI groups, Zar Li has lobbied her
government to decriminalize homosexual activity and has hosted workshops that
bring together lawyers from across Myanmar to improve attitudes to such issues.
Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development,
said: “The European Commission is delighted to partner with One Young World on
the Peace Ambassador programme for two reasons – firstly, because more than 600
million young people are currently living in fragile and conflict-affected
areas across the globe. And secondly, because young people themselves have a
crucial role to play in preventing and countering violent extremism,
peace-building efforts and conflict resolution.
ambition for the Peace Ambassadors is to encourage and empower young leaders to
play an active role in building cohesive and peaceful societies – which the
European Commission believes is key to achieving sustainable peace.”
Robertson, founder of One Young World, said: “Young people have a pivotal role
to play in sparking the new movements that lead to positive change, and in
seeing them through. The Peace Ambassadors selected over the last two years are
living proof that this is the case.
are all doing outstanding work to build a safer and more peaceful world in the
face of some of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced – from the
spread of violent extremism to the catastrophic effects of climate change or
rising socio-economic inequalities.
approached by a group of six influential members of the United States Congress,
President Donald Trump and his administration are now actively considering
taking certain stern measures in addressing “threats to democracy” in
group of the six Congressmen is led by Eliot Engel. US House Representative
Michael T McCaul, Ranking Member Brad Sherman, Chairman of the Asia and Pacific
Subcommittee Ted Yoho, Ranking Member of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee Andy
Levin and Ann Wagner
a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, the members of the
House Foreign Affairs Committee voiced concern over the status of democracy in
Bangladesh and called upon the Trump administration to address “threats to
democracy” in the country. They also highlighted reports of election fraud,
rigging and voter suppression over the December 30 polls and urged the
Department of State to “take action”.
allegations of widespread rigging and voter suppression must be taken
seriously, says a US Congress press release having a copy of the letter.
are gravely concerned by the negative trajectory of democracy in Bangladesh and
request an outline on how the Department intends to respond to this trend,
particularly in light of the serious allegations that the outcome of the
December 2018 elections lacked credibility,” the US lawmakers said in the
that supporting democracy, rule of law, and human rights in the Indo-Pacific
region is critical to advancing US interests, the Congressmen said the reports
of widespread irregularities in Bangladesh’s recent elections seriously
threaten those important interests.
another development, a top Pentagon commander also expressed concern over the
December 30 polls, saying that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina “is trying to
achieve a de-facto one-party rule”.
Navy Commander and Indo-Pacific Command chief Admiral Philip S Davidson
expressed the concerns in his deposition to the Senate’s Armed Services
Committee during a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.
December 30 elections point to concerning trend of consolidation of power by
the ruling Awami League and raise fears that PM Hasina is aiming to achieve a
de facto one-party state,” he told the Senate’s Armed Services Committee in his
is an important security partner with strong potential to enhance regional
stability and advance US interests in South Asia on counter-terrorism, Muslim
outreach, countering violent extremism, supporting humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief, and supporting United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” he
top US commander also said the humanitarian crisis caused by the presence of
more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma (Myanmar) in Bangladesh has
strained the Government of Bangladesh.
engagement with Bangladesh fits into a broader strategy and commitment to
uphold an international, rules-based order in the vital Indo-Pacific region and
contributes to building a regional security framework,” he added.
Davidson’s deposition was followed hours later by the bipartisan group of the
six Congressmen, led by Eliot Engel, who chairs the powerful Foreign Affairs
Committee of the House, writing to Mike Pompeo seeking “a timely response” to
protect democracy in Bangladesh.
that Bangladesh has a strong and proud democratic tradition, the lawmakers said
they are particularly dismayed that the campaign leading up to the election was
marred by violence, mass arrests, and a crackdown on free speech.
Awami League claimed 96 percent of the seats contested — more than the party
and its allies won in 2014, when a key opposition party boycotted the general
election and the Awami League ran unopposed in more than half of the seats
contested,” the letter read.
to press accounts, when polls across the country officially opened, reporters
found that some ballot boxes looked suspiciously full. There are reports that
AL activists barred some people from voting, claiming that the polling stations
were closed for lunch or had run out of ballots, it said.
voters were even told their votes had already been cast. To make matters worse,
the Government of Bangladesh failed to grant credentials and issue visas to
most international election monitors, including those funded by the United
will be a series of elections taking place this year in Asia, including in
Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. It is crucial that the
US demonstrate its continued commitment to and respect for democratic
institutions, beginning with Bangladesh, the Congressmen added in the letter.
on December 31, 2018, Congressman Eliot Engel in a statement said, “I
congratulate the many Bangladeshis who fulfilled one of the most important
responsibilities of living in a democracy: Voting. However, the violence that
marked the campaign was troubling and serious allegations of voter fraud have
emerged in many parts of the country.
has a strong democratic tradition that includes strong voter
participation. This commitment to
democracy is important, but it is just as important for every citizen’s vote to
count equally. It is critical that
Bangladesh’s elections be seen as free and fair and for the outcome to be
credible to the Bangladeshi people.”
intimidation of Ahmadiyas generate concern:
the recent threats on the Ahmadiya Muslim community in Bangladesh by pro-Caliphate
Hefazat-e-Islam and a number of radical Islamic groups, members of the United
States Congress already have expressed grave concern and are also going to ask
the Trump administration to look take appropriate measures to ensure protection
and safety of the members of this persecuted community in Bangladesh.
Trump taking up Bangladesh issue:
to credible sources, following receipt of the letter from the influential
members of the United States Congress and a deposition made by US Commander
Philip Davidson, President Donald Trump and his administration are now actively
considering certain “urgent measures” in protecting “democracy in Bangladesh”.
least 21 people were injured during the attack at Ahmadnagar on Tuesday night
after resentment grew among Sunni groups about a ‘Jalsha’ or annual convention
planned by the minority Ahmadiyyas.
with the protests from conservative groups, the district authorities after a
series of meetings had on Tuesday cancelled the three-day Jalsha that was
scheduled to start in Ahmadnagar on Feb 22.
followers of groups including the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Shongrokkhon Parishad
descended on the streets of Ahmadnagar, the part of the town where members of
the minority Muslim sect have their homes and businesses.
fired teargas shells and rubber bullets to bring back order while the attackers
demanded the cancellation of the Jalsha. Of those injured in the violence, one
person has suffered critical injuries, said Panchagarh Central Hospital
resident physician Pradip Kumar Banik.
early February, followers of conservative groups were protesting the Jalsha
under the banners of Khatm-e-Nubuwwat Shongrokkhon Parishad, Iman Akida Raksha
Committee, Islami Jubo Samaj and local Towhidi Janata. Their campaign was
supported by Hefazat-e Islam chief Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi.
Tuesday night, protesters began demonstrating at Chowrangi intersection,
Dhaka-Panchagarh Highway and other points of the town, said Panchagarh Central
Police OC Abu Akkas Ahmed.
Golam Azam, additional deputy commissioner, was announcing the decision to
cancel the Jalsha from the loudspeaker of the Panchagarh Bazar Jame Mosque
around 11:00pm. He urged the protesters to go home and avoid “attempts of
traffic in those areas came to a halt from 9:00 pm to around 11:00pm. Shops and
business centres were shut amid fears of violence.
despite the announcement and police efforts, a group of protesters went to
Ahmadnagar and attacked the houses and the Ahmadiyya convention site, said OC
took along Municipality Mayor Towhidul Islam and leaders of the organisations
in the movement and told the protesters about the decision to cancel the
convention. But they were still confused and continued to protest by putting up
some of them crossed the Karotoa River and attacked the convention site in
Ahmadnagar,” said Anwar Sadat Samrat, general secretary of district wing of the
least 40 members of their group were injured in the two-hour long attack, said
Taher Jugol, president of the Ahmadnagar Muslim Jamaat. The women of the
community were dragged outside of their homes and physically harassed, he said.
houses were also torched, he added.
have tried to create unrest by staging protests even after the decision to
cancel the convention. The perpetrators will be punished following
investigation,” said Panchagarh Deputy Commissioner Sabina Yasmin, while
visiting the injured in the hospital.
Ahmadiyya sect, a minority group in Bangladesh, has been subjected to many
attacks by religious fanatics. One person was killed in a suicide bombing
during a midday prayer session at an Ahmadiyya mosque in Rajshahi's Baghmara in
Islam, a madrasa organisation based in Chattogram’s Hathazari, has been
pressing the government to declare the Ahmadiyyas ‘non-Muslims’.
two days NATO ministerial summit ended up with decisions including the revision
of NATO mission for Afghanistan.
Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO briefed the journalists on the
conclusion of the second day meeting that focused on NATO’s mission and
operations in Afghanistan.
situation in Afghanistan remains difficult. But we also see ongoing peace
process. Our Resolute Support Mission continues to train, advise and assist the
Afghan security forces, as they fight terrorism and create the conditions for
peace,” said Stoltenberg.
further expressed his satisfaction regarding the Afghan peace process
coordinations between Zalmay Kjhalilzad, US special envoy for Afghan peace and
the NATO allies.
envoy Ambassador Khalilzad has kept Allies closely updated of his efforts for a
peace settlement. We fully support those efforts. We continue to consult on the
implications of a possible peace deal,” he added.
role in Afghanistan changed to advisory training and providing of technical
assistance in the military operations since the start of 2015. In addition, the
NATO provides funding of the Afghan security forces.
Syrian army units stationed near the town of al-Hakoureh in Northern Hama
targeted Turkistani terrorists, most of them foreign members, with missile and
artillery fire on Thursday in response to their attacks against the military
points and moves in the region, destroying several of their bases and killing
and wounding a large number of militants.
units of the Syrian army also attacked the moves of a group of terrorists who
intended to infiltrate into the army positions from the town of Tal Hawash in
Northern Hama, killing a number of them and forcing others to flee.
the army troops in Sahl al-Qab region in Western Hama launched an offensive
against Turkistani terrorists near the towns of al-Hawash, destroying a number
of their positions and military vehicles and killing the militants inside.
in Western Aleppo, the militants stationed in al-Rashedeen region targeted
al-Shahba al-Jadid district with missiles, wounding a number of civilians.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian Army heavily pounded the
military positions of Tahrir al-Sham and their allied terrorists in Northern
Ham and Southern Hama.
Damascus Army's artillery and missile units pounded the terrorists' positions
in Kafar Nabudeh town, Tal Havash, areas surrounding Qala al-Maziq and Kharbeh
al-Naqous in Northwestern Hama, inflicting heavy losses and casualties on them.
Syrian Army attacks came in response to Tahrir al-Sham terrorists' attacks on
Southeastern Idlib, the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units hit the
terrorists' positions in al-Katibeh al-Mahjoureh, al-Khovein, Khan Sheikhoun,
Jarjnaz, Tal Khazneh, destroying several positions and gatherings of terrorists
as well as killing a large number of the terrorists.
the Syrian Army freed 10 civilians who had been abducted by the terrorists in
Dir Qaq town in al-Bab region of Eastern Idlib.
London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the US-led
coalition sent several convoys, consisting 17 trucks and several US military
vehicles, to the contact lines with the ISIL-occupied region on the Eastern
bank of Euphrates river in Eastern Deir Ezzur on Wednesday.
added that the US forces have evacuated at least 240 ISIL members, most of them
foreign nationals, from Eastern Euphrates.
Stepnews website, affiliated to the terrorists, reported that the US-backed
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are attempting to transfer the foreign militants
to Idlib province after a secret agreement with the ISIL.
added that a number of ISIL militants have also demanded to be transferred to
Iraq's Badiyeh (desert) region which has not been materialized yet.
reports said last week that the US army had agreed with the ISIL on the
latter's exit from areas under Washington's control in Eastern Euphrates.
US-led coalition troops and the SDF reached an agreement with the ISIL
terrorists on the militants' retreat from areas under the control of the US and
its allied forces, the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV news channel reported.
Iranian-linked terrorist group has released a statement threatening attacks on
American and British targets in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
al-Ashtar, recognized by the United States and the United Kingdom as a
terrorist organization, accused “American and British intelligence” of
operating in Bahrain, and said: “so we say to the conspirators against our
people that your support for the occupying Khalifa regime will carry a high
price for you and will make you a legitimate target for our attacks.”
terrorist group also decried the Bahraini “regime’s openness to the Zionists” saying
that it “has strengthened the will and the soul of the Islamic Resistance in
Bahrain.” The statement also said that the “Zionist targets in Bahrain are a
direct target of our attacks and revenge.”
al-Ashtar, also known as the al-Ashtar Brigades, have claimed responsibility
for more than 20 attacks in Bahrain, mainly against police officers and
security forces. They were added to a designated terror list by Saudi Arabia,
UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
adding two people affiliated with Saraya al-Ashtar to its terrorist list in
2017, the US State Department said in a statement that the “actions follow a
recent increase in militant attacks in Bahrain, where Iran has provided
weapons, funding, and training to militants,” the State Department said in a
group changed its logo last year, with branding on its flags resembling those
of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). In the past, large
quantities of advanced Iranian weapons shipments and explosives, including
armor-piercing explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), were intercepted by
al-Ashtar has not claimed any attacks since 2017, however, today’s video is
meant to show that the group, despite Bahraini security operations against it,
is still alive,” a report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies released
on the terror group’s video statement read.
while Saraya al-Ashtar has yet to claim any attacks on American or British
personnel or institutions in Bahrain since its inception in 2013, the video
reaffirms that it, and Iran, see these countries as legitimate targets,” the
a dozen fighters from the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU)
have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when a massive bomb
explosion struck their convoy in Iraq’s north-central province of Salahuddin.
Hussam al-Jubouri from Samarra's Operations Command said the convoy of the
volunteer forces – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – was
heading to launch a search campaign in al-Jazira area near the city of Samarra,
located 125 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, when two roadside bombs
added that eight Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters, including a commander identified as
Hussein Attia, were killed while seven others were wounded in the bomb attack.
development came only a day after Hashd al-Sha’abi forces released 30
civilians, who had been besieged by Daesh Takfiri terrorists in a mountainous
area in the same Iraqi province.
November 2016, the Iraqi parliament voted to integrate Hashd al-Sha’abi, which
was formed shortly after the emergence of Daesh, into the military.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi stressed on November 5 last year that efforts
were underway to find financial sources to support Hashd al-Sha’abi forces.
Hashd al-Sha’abi is one of our most important duties, and I strongly support
its presence. There are those who are trying to say that Hashd al-Sha’abi is
temporary, but I emphasize that such a force is a necessity,” Abdul-Mahdi said.
though it is not long since the government has been formed, I will do my utmost
to grant Hashd al-Sha’abi full rights,” the Iraqi prime minister pointed out.
began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi
fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
An Iraqi security official says a roadside bomb has exploded north of Baghdad,
killing eight fighters from an armed group headed by an influential Shiite
ambush was confirmed by a spokesman with the Peace Brigades, or Saraya Al-Salam
militia, which is commanded by Muqtada Al-Sadr. They both spoke on condition of
anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The group's
spokesman said among those killed was a commander, Hussein Attiyeh.
ambush occurred west of the holy city of Samarra, some 60 miles (96 kilometers)
north of the capital Baghdad.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Al-Sadr's political
coalition came first in last year's May elections.
US-backed Syrian forces were clearing two villages in eastern Syria on Thursday
of remaining Daesh militants who are hiding among the local population, and
detaining others attempting to flee with the civilians, the US-led coalition
coalition said the clearance operations were taking place in the villages of
SHajjalah and Baghouz, near the border with Iraq.
of militants from Daesh — including many foreign fighters — surrendered to
US-backed fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces on Wednesday night,
bringing the Kurdish-led force closer to taking full control of the last
remaining area controlled by the extremists, a Kurdish official and activists
Amed, an official with the Syrian Democratic Forces, confirmed that a number of
Daesh fighters who had been holed up in the village of Baghouz gave themselves
up, without giving numbers.
said most of those remaining were Iraqis and foreigners and that few civilians
remained in the tiny sliver of land still in Daesh hands, although women and
children are continuing to trickle out of the enclave.
capture of Baghouz and nearby areas would mark the end of a devastating
four-year global campaign to end the extremist group’s hold on territory in
Syria and Iraq. President Donald Trump has said the group is all but defeated,
and announced in December that he would withdraw all American forces from
coalition official, however, warned Wednesday that Daesh continues to pose a
threat to the security of the region even if their hold on territory ends.
Daesh is on the verge of collapse, and the end of the physical caliphate is at
hand it does not signal the end of this campaign,” said UK Maj. Gen.
Christopher Ghika. “We will pursue them until that threat is eliminated.”
coalition statement said SDF forces are detaining Daesh militants who are
attempting to escape among the civilians fleeing the fighting in Baghouz. Those
“arriving to be screened are the wives of Daesh fighters, some of whom
sustained gunshot wounds while fleeing from Daesh,” Ghika said.
Bali, an SDF spokesman, said hundreds of women and children came out Wednesday.
He said the fighters who remained appeared to be among the Daesh elite who have
lots of experience and are fighting “fiercely.’
also don’t have other options. Either to surrender or die,” Bali said.
final push to clear Daesh from remaining territory it holds in Syria comes as
the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran are meeting in the Black Sea resort of
Sochi on Thursday for talks about the latest developments in northern Syria.
a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, is getting increasingly
impatient about militants in Syria’s Idlib province.
and Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition, had brokered a cease-fire for
Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold that averted a major government
offensive but that deal has been strained as Al-Qaeda-linked militants seized
towns and villages in Idlib.
three chief executives voiced their strong opposition to the start of any new
war in Syria under anti-terrorism claims, and stressed that they would show
resolve in preserving and protecting Syria's sovereignty and territorial
this end, they added, the US military pullout, if it happens, would be a
positive move in line with reinvigorating security and stability in Syria.
the trio reiterated in their statement that they would also stand tough against
Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan gathered in Sochi on February
14, 2019 for a Tripartite Summit on Syria.
you may find the full text of the joint statement by the three presidents:
the current situation on the ground in Syria, took stock of the developments
following their last meeting in Tehran on September 7, 2018 and underscored
their determination to strengthen the trilateral coordination in light of their
their strong and continued commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity
and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as to the
purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
that these principles should be universally respected and that no actions, no
matter by whom they were undertaken, should undermine them.
all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of
combating terrorism and expressed their determination to stand against
separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Syria as well as the national security of neighboring countries.
note in this regard that the US decision on the withdrawal of its forces from
Syria, if implemented, would be a step that would help strengthen stability and
security in the country in compliance with the above-mentioned principles.
in details the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area, denounced and expressed
serious concern with the attempts of the terrorist organization “Hayat Tahrir
al-Sham” to increase its control over the area, and agreed to effectively
counter these attempts as well as to take concrete steps to reduce violations
in the Idlib de-escalation area through full implementation of the agreements
on Idlib, including the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the
Idlib De-escalation Area of September 17, 2018. They also reaffirmed the
determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate
DAESH/ISIL/ISIS, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings
and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH and other terrorist groups, as
designated by the UN Security Council.
the situation in the Northeast of Syria and agreed to coordinate their
activities to ensure security, safety and stability in this area including
through existing agreements, while respecting sovereignty and territorial
integrity of the country. Reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no
military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved
through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in
line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
their determination to facilitate the launch of the Constitutional Committee as
soon as possible, including by agreeing on its composition and elaborating
recommendations for its rules of procedure based on the work undertaken by the
three guarantors. They emphasized in this regard the importance of continuing
interaction and coordination with the Syrian parties and the United Nations
Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen.
the successful development of the second mutual release of detainees within the
framework of efforts of the respective Working Group. The releases that took
place on November 24, 2018 and February 12, 2019 constituted important
contribution of the Astana format to building confidence between the Syrian
parties and creating necessary conditions for advancing the political process.
the need to continue all efforts to help all Syrians restore normal and
peaceful life as well as alleviate their sufferings. In this regard, they
called upon the international community, particularly the United Nations and
its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to Syria by providing
additional humanitarian aid, restoring humanitarian infrastructure assets,
including water and power supply facilities, schools and hospitals.
the importance of creating conditions for the safe and voluntary return of
refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of
residence in Syria. They assessed positively the interaction with all
interested parties, including the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and reaffirmed their readiness to continue
to assign their representatives with the task of holding the next International
Meeting on Syria in Astana in April 2019.
addition to the Syrian issue, discussed recent developments in the world as
well as their collaboration in different fields and decided to boost joint
economic and commercial cooperation.
the recent terrorist attack in Iran (Sistan and Balouchestan Province).
President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir Putin and President of the
Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed their condolences to the
families of the victims of this attack and sympathy with the people and the
government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
to hold the next Tripartite Summit in the Republic of Turkey upon the
invitation of President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey expressed
their sincere gratitude to President of the Russian Federation H.E. Vladimir
Putin for hosting the Tripartite Summit in Sochi.
President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States and its regional allies on
Thursday for a suicide bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 members of
the country’s elite Revolutionary Guards, Iranian state TV reported.
force said on Wednesday a suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with
explosives had attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards in the
province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
militant Sunni Muslim group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which says it
seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority
Baluchis, has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iranian media have
crime will remain as a ‘dirty stain’ in the black record of the main supporters
of terrorism in the White House, Tel Aviv and their regional agents,” Rouhani
from Israel, Rouhani did not name the regional states he believed were to
blame. Mainly Shiite Muslim Iran does not recognize Israel, which is a key US
ally in the region and sees Tehran as posing an existential threat to its
the past, Tehran has accused its main regional rival Saudi Arabia of backing
Sunni militia groups who have carried out bloody attacks against Iranian
security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.
warnings made by senior commanders of the Guards, Rouhani said Iran was
determined to bring justice to those responsible for one of the worst assaults
ever against the Revolutionary Guards in years.
assault, which wounded at least 13 people, took place in the province of
Sistan-Baluchestan, which has a large, mainly Sunni Muslim, ethnic Baluchi
community, which straddles the border with Pakistan.
President Hassan Rouhani has lashed out at Western states, especially the US,
for throwing their support behind terror groups.
terror groups in the region have been supported by foreign powers, especially
the United States, for years,” Rouhani said in a meeting with his Turkish
counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Russia’s resort city of Sochi on
terrorism requires collective cooperation,” added Rouhani, describing the
scourge to be among the worst predicaments facing the region.
Sochi summit, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is aimed at
solidifying the three countries’ cooperation towards returning peace and
stability to Syria.
late 2016, Syrian forces liberated the northwestern strategic city of Aleppo –
militants’ biggest stronghold back then. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said
the recapture of Aleppo from foreign-backed terrorists was a victory not just
for his country, but also for its Russian and Iranian allies.
three countries, known as the guarantor states of a ceasefire regime in the
Arab state, have been mediating peace negotiations between representatives from
the Damascus government and opposition groups in a series of rounds held in
Astana and other places since January 2017.
in his remarks, Rouhani hailed the fact that Tehran and Ankara shared a common
will to fight terrorism and were cooperating in this regard.
we, in cooperation with Russia in Sochi, are taking a new step towards
reinforcing stability in the region and fighting terrorism in Syria, some, who
themselves, support terrorists, are plotting against our region in Warsaw,”
was referring to a so-called Middle East security summit, which was going
through its final day in the Polish capital.
European countries have staged poor attendance in the conference in a sign of
opposition to the US’s anti-Iran stance. Russia, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, and
the Palestinian authority have totally shunned the event.
for his part, acknowledged that his country had likewise suffered at the hands
of terrorists, asserting that Ankara would continue bilateral and regional
cooperation with Tehran in battling terrorism.
added that Turkey welcomed the creation of the INSTEX (Instrument for
Supporting Trade Exchanges), which is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) devised
by Europe to facilitate trade with Iran. INSTEX is a non-dollar trade mechanism
meant to protect trade ties with Tehran in the face of US sanctions.
said Turkey was prepared for cooperation within the framework of INSTEX, which
the UK, France, and Germany announced on January 31, and was ready to create a
similar bilateral mechanism with Iran.
cooperation with Iran on different issues has had positive achievements and
Turkey is ready to expand this cooperation to other countries in the
region," Erdogan added.
military chief: US must end Syria occupation
also hosted a meeting among Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major
General Mohammad Baqeri as well as Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
United States must end [its] occupation of Syria,” Baqeri asserted during the
meeting with his Turkish and Russian counterparts.
US and its allies launched a military campaign in Syria in 2014, without
obtaining Damascus’ approval or a UN mandate, under the pretext of confronting
Daesh. Their forces still stay in the country, although Syria and its allies
have announced the defeat of the terror group.
this year, US President Donald Trump said the American troops in Syria would be
leaving the Arab country, but Baqeri said the announcement was “more [similar]
to [just] a claim.”
three countries of Iran, Russia and Turkey, as the guarantors [of the peace
process], demand the most immediate withdrawal of the forces, which are present
in some spots across Syria and have occupied some areas without any
coordination with Syria’s legal government,” the Iranian commander noted.
attempts to walk back Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s shockingly overt
comments about “war with Iran” on the sidelines of a US-organized Middle East
in a short video recorded on the sidelines of the anti-Iran meeting in Warsaw
on Wednesday, hawkish Netanyahu said the event “is an open meeting with
representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with
Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”
office posted the Hebrew-language video on Facebook and Twitter, in which he
could be heard using the Hebrew word “milchama,” which literally translates to
also tweeted Netanyahu’s remarks on its English-language Twitter account.
Israeli premier’s open call for war with Iran led to an uproar on social media
and even startled the White House, which had earlier claimed the Warsaw forum
was not meant to “demonize or attack Iran.”
backlash prompted Netanyahu’s office to quietly delete the tweet and replace it
with another one that changed the phrase “war with Iran” to “combating Iran,”
without issuing a retraction or a correction of any kind.
media later attempted to portray Netanyahu’s gaffe as a mere translation
US government quickly reached out to Israeli officials to ask for an
explanation, according to NBC News.
delegates traveling with Vice President Mike Pence -- who is attending the
summit in Warsaw, said that senior Israeli officials told the US that it was a
matter of “bad translation,” the report added.
Angus King, (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, rejected
the idea that Netanyahu had simply been mistranslated, and said “he knew what
Associated Press correspondent based in Israel said that he had himself heard
Netanyahu using the word ”milchama.”
month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Warsaw forum would
purportedly focus on the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a
however, and as officials from various countries indicated their refusal to
participate, US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen said the
meeting was “not a venue to demonize or attack Iran,” in an apparent
countries have refused to send representatives to the conference.
forces in Turkey have arrested 52 suspected members of the Takfiri Daesh
terrorist group in a counter-terrorism operation in the northwestern province
of Bursa, police sources say.
state-run Anadolu news agency cited unnamed police sources in a report on
Thursday as saying that the operation had been conducted in five difference
locations in the central Osmangazi district of the eponymous provincial
to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the arrested suspects were
recent years, Daesh terrorists have carried out a series of gun and bomb
attacks in Turkey.
in October 2015, twin bombings targeted a pro-Kurdish peace rally in the
capital, Ankara, killing 103 people and injuring more than 500. The government
blamed Daesh. In another attack, the terrorist group launched a bomb attack
that killed a dozen people in the city’s historic heart in 2016.
January 1, 2017, Daesh terrorists attacked a nightclub in Istanbul and killed
has stepped up anti-terror operations against Daesh’s network inside the
country in the last couple of years, arresting many suspected terrorists and
busting several terror cells across the country.
terror group, which once held large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq, has
already lost all of the urban areas it had overrun in both Arab countries,
thanks to counter-terror operations carried out by the Syrian and Iraqi armies.
The US on Thursday accused Iran of prolonging the war in Yemen with its support
for the Houthis and called on Tehran to help make a ceasefire agreement a
to Arab News at the Middle East conference in Warsaw, Washington’s special
represenative for Iran Brian Hook said there had been extensive discussion at
the meeting of the war, which is now in its fifth year.
Hook accused Tehran of being the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East,
he urged the regime to play a positive role in the process that seeks to bring
an end to the conflict in Yemen.
conference was a very useful opportunity for us to educate the world about the
very dangerous role Iran has played and continues to play in Yemen,” Hook said.
have a very good agreement that came out of Sweden, Stockholm, but we now need
the will of Iran and Houthis to implement the agreement. That is the diplomatic
role that we need to take and we very much urge Iran and the Houthis to take
agreement reached in December installed a ceasefire in the key battleground
city of Hodeidah - home to the country’s main port.
the UN-mediated deal is under increasing strain with Yemen and the Arab
coalition supporting the legitimate government accusing the Houthis of repeated
said Iran had “organized, equipped and trained” the Houthi militia, which
seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 to spark the conflict.
has intensified, prolonged and widened the conflict in Yemen,” he said. “They
have allowed this war to go well beyond the course it would otherwise take.”
accused the Western media of missing the story of Iran’s involvement in Yemen.
Weapons shipments from Iran have been intercepted heading to the Houthis on
dhows and ballistic missiles fired at Saudi cities from Yemen have been
supplied by Iran.
Wednesday, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, met
with the foreign ministers of the UK, US and the UAE to discuss the conflict.
called on the warring parties to fully implement the Stockholm agreement, and
in particular for the Houthis to allow safe access for the UN monitoring team
to the areas they control.
UAE and Saudi Arabia are both members of the military coalition fighting the
Houthis in Yemen.
Thursday morning, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abdul-Malek Al-Mekhlafi, gave a very
“thoughtful and very forceful analysis of Iran’s very destructive role in
Yemen,” Hook said.
Tueller, the US ambassador to Yemen, told Arab News that there needs to be a
collective push back against Iran’s agenda in both Yemen and the region.
really hope there’s a process that would put pressure on Iran to not meddle, to
not obstruct the process and allow Yemen to reach a peace comprehensive
solution,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted on Thursday a key summit on Syria with
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in
from the Kremlin emphasizing the need for a “green light” from Syrian President
Bashar Assad for the creation of a safe zone inside the country have been a
game-changer for the future of Syrian politics.
Danforth, a visiting senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US,
thinks that the policies adopted by the Kremlin during the Sochi summit are in
line with Russia’s longstanding emphasis on maintaining Syria’s territorial
Iran and Russia shared an interest in pressuring the US to leave, which helped
facilitate Russia’s tacit support for Turkey’s Afrin operation. With Trump
announcing the withdrawal of US forces, this shared interest is gone, and the
parties’ conflicting goals will come to the fore,” Danforth told Arab News.
Turkey and the US now appear to be cooperating in the creation of a safe zone,
that would give Russia additional incentive to oppose it, he suggested.
trilateral summit brought to light emerging tensions between Moscow and Ankara
over what will follow the planned withdrawal of US forces from Syria.
Turkey intends to establish a safe zone — clear of the Kurdish YPG militia — in
the regions of northeastern Syria near the Turkish border, Russia insists that
any plan involving action within Syrian territory must have Assad’s consent.
of the summit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made this
clear, saying, “The question of the presence of a military contingent acting on
the authority of a third country on the territory of … Syria, must be decided
directly by Damascus.”
experts doubt that Erdogan will consent to any moves that could be seen to
legitimize Assad. From the onset of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, Russia
and Iran have been on the side of Assad’s government, while Turkey has backed
Ersen, a Syria analyst at Marmara University in Istanbul, thinks that although
Ankara and Moscow disagree on a number of significant issues regarding Syria,
they are both aware that they need to maintain their political and military
dialogue in order to protect their long-term interests in the region,
they are doing their best to find a middle way with regard to thorny issues like
Idlib, the future of Assad, the YPG and the situation to the east of the
Euphrates River,” he told Arab News. “For Turkey, it is important to keep
Russia and Iran by its side, considering that there are still significant
uncertainties about the US plan to withdraw from Syria.”
of the summit, the Kremlin made it clear that it is running out of patience
with Ankara over its promises in the northwestern Idlib region, where a
demilitarized zone was supposed to have been implemented in accordance with a joint
deal between Russia and Turkey in September.
is still the last pocket of resistance to Assad. The dominant force there is
the Al-Qaeda-linked Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) umbrella group. Turkey, already
host to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, is concerned about a further
influx from Idlib in the event of military action against hard-line fighters
whose takeover in Idlib is pushing international aid agencies to pull out of
the region, is also trying to take control of the key M5 highway, a vital
economic supply line between Damascus and Turkish markets.
do not expect Turkey to act unilaterally to establish safe zones without
Assad’s consent, however, as that would risk the wrath of both Russia and the
the beginning of the crisis, Turkey has always gained ground in Syria by taking
advantage of disagreements and policy clashes between Washington and Moscow,
and getting the support at least one of them,” Dr. Kerim Has, a Moscow-based
Russia analyst, told Arab News.
unilaterally in north-eastern Syria could cause many military and political
troubles in Turkey’s relations with the US, and Russia may also raise its
eyebrow, claiming violations of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”
to Has, Ankara will need to reach a consensus with the US — the main actor in
Manbij and eastern parts of Euphrates — on America’s withdrawal strategy, and,
at the same time “coordinate its actions with Moscow on the parameters of the
so-called safe zone or some border security measures.”
believes that, given the current problematic nature of dialogue between Ankara
and Damascus, the Turkish president would likely ask Moscow for approval of
even a minor military incursion in Manbij or north-eastern Syria.
may prefer first to see some concrete steps of US withdrawal on the ground. The
Kremlin’s consent for such a limited operation would certainly play into the
hands of President Erdogan before the local elections in Turkey on March 31,”
support from the Kremlin will come with a price, Has underlined.
Somalian terrorist organization al Shabaab recently explained that its attack
at the DusitD2 hotel in Kenya on Jan. 15 was retaliation for U.S. policy in
Israel. The group's statement claimed, "The Mujahideen carried out this
operation ... [as] a response to the witless remarks of U.S. President Donald
Trump and his declaration of Al Quds [the Arabic name for Jerusalem] as the
capital of Israel."
believe it. Al Shabaab has been killing civilians since its inception. To
believe that any of its attacks are carried out "in response to" or
"in retaliation for" specific events or policies is to misunderstand
the nature of jihad warfare.
Somalia, which, according to the State Department, is a "terrorist safe
haven," al Shabaab targets government officials, the Somali National Army
(SNA), forces with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) — in short,
everyone who tries to stop al Shabaab from taking over the country.
of Somalia, it often chooses targets in Kenya, whose porous border with Somalia
puts al Shabaab in close proximity to a Westernized, comparatively prosperous
society in which Muslims and non-Muslims coexist. Islamic supremacists cannot
tolerate such coexistence.
DusitD2 attack followed a pattern: a small group of fighters ambushing
civilians at a busy location. The attacks begin with AK-47s and grenades and
often end with suicide bombs.
Shabaab often chooses "soft targets." In its attack at the Westgate
Mall in Kenya in 2013, jihadis asked shoppers to prove they were Muslims by
reciting verses from the Koran, sparing those who could and executing those who
could not. In 2015, another soft target in Kenya was chosen when Garissa
College was attacked. There, too, Muslim students were spared and Christians
were killed in what al Shabaab called an "operation against the
reason for these attacks is no mystery. They are part of a cohesive,
understandable ideology that has nothing to do with where the U.S. Embassy in
Israel is located or with Donald Trump.
take my word for it. Al Qaeda and ISIS have been very clear. Osama bin Laden's
October 2002 letter to the American people ("Why We Are Fighting
You") pledges enduring enmity as long as the United States remains "a
nation who, rather than ruling through the sharia of Allah, chooses to invent
your own laws as you will and desire."
Laden's thinking illustrates the doctrine of loyalty and enmity, which decrees
that one belongs either to Dar al Islam (house of Islam) or Dar al Harb (house
of war). No middle ground exists between co-religionist and eternal enemy. No
amount of grievance-placating will change that.
recently, ISIS provided a similar explanation in the 15th issue of its online
magazine Dabiq, where an article titled "Why We Hate You & Why We
Fight You" confirms there is no tit-for-tat logic behind jihadi violence.
article begins by noting that shortly after Omar Mateen killed 49 people in
2016 and wounded 53 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., many politicians
denounced the attack as "a hate crime, an act of terrorism and an act of
senseless violence." To this, the author responds: "A hate crime?
Yes. Muslims undoubtedly hate liberalist sodomites. ... An act of terrorism?
Yes. Muslims have been commanded to terrorize the disbelieving enemies of
Allah. But an act of senseless violence?" No, he explains, such acts
"make complete sense." In an apparent Shakespearean allusion, he
claims: "There is a rhyme to our terrorism, warfare, ruthlessness and
honesty is bold: "The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us,
imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us and usurping our lands, we would
continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease
to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah [a tax levied
on non-Muslim subjects] and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation,
we would continue to hate you."
continues, "We fight you not simply to punish and deter you, but to bring
you true freedom in this life and salvation in the Hereafter." This is not
the kind of ideology that can be placated, because no compromise position is
groups may make claims about the reasons for their attacks, but without one
excuse another would be found.
why did al Shabaab blame Trump? And why the sudden anti-Israel rhetoric?
Perhaps someone in the group studying American politics has decided that an
anti-Trump stance might garner sympathy or increase media coverage, widening
the audience of its "propaganda by deed." Or maybe it was just a ploy
to gain allies and donations from Arab nations. Whatever the reason, the
DusitD2 attack would have occurred no matter where the U.S. Embassy in Israel
Nigeria (CNN)A terror group with links to ISIS has claimed responsibility for a
deadly attack on a motorcade carrying a Nigerian state governor.
State Gov. Kashim Shettima's motorcade was traveling from the state capital of
Maiduguri to a campaign rally in the village of Gamboru when it was ambushed
Tuesday night. The Islamic State's West Africa Province terror group has
claimed responsibility, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Gusau, a media aide for Shettima, told CNN on Thursday that security agencies
were investigating the attack that he said killed three people. The terror
group claimed that 42 people died in the assault.
ambushed the governor to attract media attention and spread its
"propaganda strategy," Gusau said.
(Boko Haram) feed on publicity and they did that to generate attention. So far
only three died," Gusau said.
Islamic State's West Africa Province broke away from Boko Haram and forged
stronger links with ISIS. The group has staged high-profile attacks in recent
months on military bases, killing soldiers and burning villages in northern
Nigeria despite claims by the Nigerian army that the group has been technically
President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticized for failing to deliver on his
campaign promises to end the years-long insurgency that has left thousands
displaced in the northeastern part of the West African nation.
least 30,000 Nigerians fled villages in Borno State to Cameroon in two days in
January in fear of escalating violence by the jihadi group, according to the UN
told CNN on Wednesday his government was doing its best to fight Boko Haram.
Sudan on Thursday accused campaigners spearheading protests against President
Omar Al-Bashir’s rule of threatening national security and advocating violence,
as hundreds of demonstrators staged more rallies.
country’s acting Information Minister Mamun Hassan warned of taking legal
action against protest leaders after campaigners vowed to push on with their
“uprising” against Bashir’s three-decade rule.
is confirmed what we always said that this... group is calling for violence,”
Hassan said in a statement.
campaigners on Wednesday held their first news conference at the offices of the
main opposition National Umma Party since demonstrations erupted in December.
Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which is leading the protests, and
its allies called on other political groups to join their movement by signing a
“Document for Freedom and Change.”
text outlines a post-Bashir plan including rebuilding Sudan’s justice system
and halting the African country’s dire economic decline, the key reason for
senior representative of the National Umma Party, which has thrown its weight
behind the protests, said at the event that it would continue the “uprising
until this regime is overthrown.”
leader Sadiq Al-Mahdi, a former prime minister whose government was toppled by
Bashir in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989, last month called for the president
to step down.
first erupted in Sudan on December 19 in the farming town of Atbara after a
government decision to triple the price of bread.
quickly escalated into near-daily demonstrations across cities and towns that
analysts say pose the greatest challenge to Bashir since he took power.
say 30 people have died in protest-related violence so far, while Human Rights
Watch says at least 51 people have been killed.
authorities led by the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)
has launched a sweeping crackdown to quell the protests.
groups say hundreds of protesters, opposition leaders, and activists have been
arrested, while media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said Thursday that at
least 79 journalists have been arrested.
systematic arrests have targeted not only reporters covering protests ... but
also journalists who themselves dared to protest against the regime’s policy of
censorship,” the press freedom group said.
have pushed on with their near daily rallies despite the clampdown.
demonstrated Thursday in central Khartoum after campaigners called to show
support for millions affected by conflicts in the country’s three war-wracked
regions of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
chanting “freedom, peace, justice,” the rallying cry of the anti-government
movement, demonstrated were quickly confronted by riot police with tear gas, witnesses
later broke up the rally, but demonstrators took to the streets in the northern
district of Bahari, witnesses said, adding that they too were confronted with
of people living in a camp for the displaced in conflict-wracked Darfur in
western Sudan also staged a rally, residents said.
residents of camp Zam Zam, mostly young men and women, are chanting
anti-government slogans in the center of the camp,” resident Mohamed Issa told
AFP by telephone.
the years, tens of thousands of people have been killed in Sudan’s internal
conflicts and millions more displaced, with hundreds of thousands still living
in sprawling camps, especially in Darfur.
war in Darfur erupted in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against
the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum, accusing it of marginalizing the
who are demonstrating across the country are saying that we are one nation,”
said Hassan Adam, a resident of Zam Zam camp.
want to build a new Sudan that does not differentiate between a Zurga (black
African) and an Arab.”
US carried out an air strike against al-Qaeda terrorist group in southern Libya
on Wednesday night, Tripoli’s UN-backed Government of National Accord said.
strike near the town of Ubari, some 900 kilometers south of the capital, was
coordinated with the GNA, said President Fayez al-Sarraj’s spokesman.
targeted “a number of members of terrorist organization Al-Qaeda”, Mohamad
al-Sallak said in a statement, giving no further details.
has been wracked by violence and torn between rival administrations since the
NATO-backed overthrow and killing of former leader Moamer Gaddafi in 2011.
GNA was formed following a UN-backed deal in December 2015, but it has
struggled to impose its power across the country.
US military regularly carries out air strikes in Libya against al-Qaeda and
ISIS extremist groups.
year in August it said it had killed an ISIS member described by a source as a
former local leader of the extremists.
main opposition groups have jointly demanded the resignation of President Omar
al-Bashir over deteriorating living conditions in the African country, which
has been the scene of numerous anti-government rallies over the past two
their first joint press conference, 17 political parties, trade unions, youth
movements and civil society groups threw their weight behind Sudan’s opposition
Freedom and Change Coalition, of which the Sudanese Professional Association
(SPA) is a leading component.
an umbrella group of unions representing doctors, teachers, and engineers, has
led calls for protests since December 17, when an anti-government campaign
erupted over price hikes and shortages of food and fuel.
demonstrations first erupted in the farming town of Atbara after cash-strapped
Khartoum cut a vital subsidy on bread and tripled its prices.
move infuriated people and triggered protests, which swiftly mushroomed into
nationwide anti-government rallies, particularly in the capital and its twin
city of Omdurman.
initial public display of anger quickly spiraled into calls for Bashir, who
took power in 1989 through a military coup, to step down.
their joint press conference in Omdurman, the opposition groups signed an
agreement to work together toward urging the government to resign and pave the
way for a four-year transitional governance followed by elections.
have decided on the program that would take place after the regime falls and
(will) hold a constitutional dialogue conference at the end of the transitional
period to decide how Sudan will be ruled,” said Mohamed Mokhtar al-Khatib, the
general secretary of the Communist party.
200 members of the opposition groups which had attended the joint presser
chanted “Down, that’s it!” – one of the main rallying cries of the protest
al-Mustafa, a leading member of SPA, also addressed the demonstration held
following the event and said that all signatories of the agreement would not by
any means spare any effort to oust Bashir.
we are stronger than ever before. Numerous Sudanese stakeholders have joined
us,” al-Mustafa stressed, adding, “We will work together to bring down this
regime and create the democracy that our people deserve.”
country’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has reportedly been
carrying out a crackdown on protesters, opposition leaders, activists, and
reporters in an attempt to prevent the spread of the rallies, which are viewed
as the biggest threat to Bashir’s 30-year rule.
figures say 30 people, including some security agents, have lost their lives
since the onset of the rallies. Some rights groups say at least 51 people have
died so far.
president has remained defiant, addressing loyalists at a number of rallies
across the country and seeking support from regional allies.
Wednesday, Bashir held his own rally in Khartoum and called for peace.
reaffirm that this year 2019 will be the year of peace and the permanent
silencing of the rifle in Sudan, and there is a will to continue peace in Sudan
and convince the other side of the utility of peace,” he said.
country’s security forces have so far used tear gas, stun grenades and live
ammunition to break up demonstrations, and detained hundreds of protesters and
and other senior Sudanese officials have repeatedly said that the government
can only be changed through elections. The 75-year-old veteran leader is
considering running for a third presidential term in next year's elections.
every other month, journalist Hassan Dahir, 28, leaves his hostel in central
Mogadishu under the cover of darkness to visit his mother in Yaqshid district,
north-east of the capital.
will spend the night with her and return to his rented room before dawn.
the past eight years, Dahir has had to sneak such night time visits to his
family for fear of al-Shabaab, who he says have already killed at least five of
his close friends.
city has become so dangerous for Dahir that he could not even attend his
younger brother’s funeral last month.
was killed in the Bakara market end of last month by unknown gunmen. I really
wanted to join my family during the burial but they advised me not go to the
site. Al-Shabaab had in the past targeted journalists who went to this
cemetery,” says Dahir.
is the life of not only journalists but also aid workers, government employees
and youth leaders working in Mogadishu. Faced with constant risk of violence
and targeted killings, many are forced to leave their childhood neighbourhoods
and settle in the city centre and around the “green zone” area near the
airport, which is deemed safer.
number of journalists who were killed here is uncountable. I have lost five
close friends and I think my time is yet to come,” Dahir says. “There is
nowhere to escape, the best you can do is to hide within the town and stay
to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Somalia is one of the most
dangerous places to be a journalist. In the past four years, the Horn of Africa
country has topped CPJ’s impunity index, which ranks states with the worst
records for prosecuting those who murder journalists.
was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 but still carry out deadly car-bomb attacks
and assassinations. The group, which is fighting to overthrow the
internationally backed government, sees anyone working with the government, the
UN or NGOs as an enemy.
month, gunmen shot Sakariye Hadaafow, chairman of Hodan district youth group.
Witnesses said he was leaving the mosque after Friday prayers when he was
attacked. He died in hospital later that day.
is in the hands of Somali security forces supported by African Union
peacekeepers. But al-Shabaab still has indirect control of the city, and has
been able to limit people in various ways, from shutting down football pitches
to extorting money from local businesses in the form of “tax”.
ministers and government officials use bulletproof vehicles and armed security.
But civil servants and local staff who work with the UN and other aid agencies
have no special protection and are targets.
May, local World Health Organization worker Maryan Abdullahi was shot dead by
unknown gunmen after she went to Bakara market to do some shopping for her
targets everyone regardless of their work or affiliation, they are a threat to
the existence of the Somali people. That is why they kill innocent people every
day,” says Abdifatah Ali Hassan, director of security of Banadir regional
are committed to protecting the public from the merciless terrorists and we are
confident that we will eliminate their threat from the city and the country at
we advise the public and particularly those working with the government and
NGOs to take personal safety precautions to avoid being targeted.”
early February, a car bomb exploded at a busy shopping centre, killing 11
people and injuring 10 others. In such a violent city, Dahir calls his mother
twice daily to update her on his safety and whereabouts.
have to call her every morning before I get to work and every night before I go
to bed,” he says. “During weekends I call her on video via WhatsApp; it feels
like we are in two different countries, I never imagined this would happen in
is not always easy to connect with his mother on the phone, especially in the
aftermath of big explosions around the area in which he lives. “Whenever there
is a blast, everyone is on the phone; sometimes the network is down, so my
mother would keep calling me and if my line fails to go through she would
assume I am dead,” he says.
“is particularly dangerous for locals who work for foreign organisations,” says
a senior Somali official working with the UN in Mogadishu, who has himself had
to live apart from his wife and children for the past six years.
and international staff live in heavily fortified places such as the airport
and other well-guarded guest houses, but for locals like me there are no such
protection measures in place,” he says.
now lives near the airport, which is home to the AU forces, UN agencies and
embassies including the British high commission – and as such one of the most
protected zones in the capital.
a parent, I feel helpless. If my child falls sick in the middle of the night,
there is no way I can go out to see and cuddle him,” he says.
is painful to live in fear, I cannot explain to my children why I am not able
to stay with them, even though I live in the same city. This sometimes leads to
depression and psychological problems not only for me but also for my fellow
Somali colleagues working with the UN and other international organisations in
Mukhtar, 31, left his family in Hamar Jajab neighbourhood, south-east of
Mogadishu, as soon as he started working with the ministry of education in
2014. He now lives in the city centre. “Every time I visit my mother, I receive
mixed reaction from her, she feels both happy and worried,” he says. “Happy
that she could touch and feel her son but also worried that I might be attacked
in the area, so she advises me not to stay long with her.”
has been almost three months since he last saw his mother. “A government
employee was shot in the area a few days after my last visit, about three
months ago. So my mother would not allow me to go there anytime soon, but we
always keep in touch on the phone and sometimes my sisters come to visit me in
survived a deadly al-Shabaab attack at the ministry building in April 2015 in
which three colleagues died. “Gunmen stormed the offices and made their way up
to the top floor where we were hiding,” he recalls. “I jumped from the third
floor and fell on the ground and suffered a back injury. Three of my colleagues
died in the attack.”
Somalians are desperate to rebuild a country plagued by decades of war – and
now by multiple terror groups – and are ready to make sacrifices to do so.
are trying our best to make sure Mogadishu is safe for everyone, the police are
now spread over all the districts and we have a good relationship with the
public. It is actually getting better; there were times when the city was
divided and al-Shabaab used to control half of it, but they are now defeated
and all they can do is to terrorise the people,” says Hassan.
the meantime, Dahir keeps a low profile and waits for the day when he can go
Russia, Turkey, Iran see US pullout from Syria as ‘positive step’
Ankara and Tehran see the planned US withdrawal from Syria as a positive step,
Russian President Vladimir Putin said after a summit with his Turkish and
Iranian counterparts on Thursday.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani agreed the US pullout
from northeastern Syria “would be a positive step that would help stabilize the
situation in this region, where ultimately the legitimate government should
re-establish control,” the Russian leader told a joint press conference.
leaders of the three countries, who have positioned themselves as the key
foreign players in Syria’s long-running war, were meeting for talks on how to
work more closely together in resolving the conflict.
said the talks were “constructive and business-like” and that “close coordination”
was crucial to ensuring long-term stability in Syria.
said the three agreed to “strengthen cooperation” in the so-called Astana
framework, a process initiated by Russia, Iran and Turkey that has eclipsed
parallel peace talks led by the United Nations.
also agreed to work to put together a constitutional committee that would work
to resolve Syria’s political future, Putin said, adding that another round of
talks would take place in Astana in late March and early April.
said Thursday’s talks were “very helpful and frank” and insisted on Syria’s
territorial integrity, calling for a “purge of terrorists” from the rebel-held
northwestern province of Idlib.
also suggested he didn’t believe the US was planning to withdraw from Syria.
have no optimism about what the Americans say... but if they do withdraw, it
will be very good news.”
Russia, and Iran should consider steps to tackle the “terrorist hotbed” in
Syria, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, meeting with his
Turkish and Iranian counterparts.
need to agree how to ensure a permanent de-escalation in Idlib,” Putin told the
opening of a trilateral summit in Sochi, Russia
cease-fire regime is in force in the province, but that doesn’t mean that we
should accept the presence of terrorists in the area. Thus, I propose we
consider concrete practical steps that Russia, Turkey, and Iran could take to
completely and finally destroy the terrorist hotbed."
a meeting in Sochi last September between Putin and Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone -- in which
acts of aggression are expressly prohibited -- in Idlib.
following month saw all heavy weapons withdrawn from the de-escalation zone by
Syrian opposition and anti-regime groups.
according to the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group, at least 30 people
in Idlib were killed in January, including women and children, while another
180 were injured -- in Idlib, Hama and Latakia -- by regime drone attacks and
Thursday’s summit, Putin said in addition to Idlib, the situation near the
Euphrates and the issues of Syria's reconstruction and refugees’ repatriation
are the most important right now.
also urged that a planned committee to draw up a new Syrian constitution start
its work as soon as possible.
told how last month in Moscow he and Erdogan discussed the consequences of U.S.
troops leaving Syria.
agreed that the problems in [Syria’s] northeast should be solved with strict
respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity of," he
said Russian, Turkish and Iranian efforts sharply changed the humanitarian
situation in Syria, as over the last six months, more than 130,000 Syrian
refugees returned home and humanitarian aid is being delivered.
about a million people still need help. We hope that the international
community and the UN will play a more active role in this matter," he
his part, Rouhani said that the issues of external intervention in Syria as
well as the importance of liberating Syria from terror were top issues for the
the need to preserve the country’s territorial integrity, he added that
Washington "unfortunately" provided protection for terror groups
within Syrian borders.
addition, Rouhani underlined that it was critical that Syrian refugees are able
to return to their home soil.
Putin, and Rouhani first gathered in Sochi to discuss the crisis in Syria in
Russia and Iran are guarantor countries which brokered a cease-fire in Syria in
December 2016, leading to the Astana talks, which are running parallel to the
on Thursday cleared the way for the family of a reputed member of an ISIS
assassination squad to appeal against his extradition to the US to stand trial
over the murders of western hostages.
wants El Shafee ElSheikh – allegedly a member of a squad of foreign fighters
dubbed "the Beatles" because of their English accents – to be
prosecuted for involvement in “acts of barbaric terrorism”. He is currently
detained by Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
El Sheikh’s British citizenship was revoked in 2014. He is implicated in the
murders of three US and two British citizens, according to court papers.
family were told on Thursday that they can appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court
after failing to block moves to send him to the US, where he could face the
death penalty if found guilty.
family claimed that putting him on trial in the US violated EU law since
execution is banned by all of the 28 member states.
High Court said that Britain’s Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, must also provide
no further intelligence to the US until the Supreme Court’s decision.
El Sheikh is among 900 foreign fighters held in northern Syria. Kurdish forces
have warned that they could free some of them if they are not returned to their
home countries to face trial.
is unwilling to bring back UK nationals suspected of joining ISIS. Lawyers said
their treatment in custody could make it impossible to receive a fair trial in
May 2018, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid wrote to then US Attorney General Jeff
Sessions to confirm that Britain would help with a US prosecution of members of
the ISIS hit squad and it would not seek assurances the death penalty would be
Arabia, Pakistan Urged To Pull Muslim World Out Of Mire Of Problems: Sirajul
(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / NNI - 14th February, 2019) Ameer, Jamaat e
Islami, Pakistan, Senator Sirajul Haq, has welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad
bin Salman's visit to the country and expressed the hope that Saudi Arabia and
Pakistan would join hands to pull the Muslim world out of the mire of problems.
a statement here, he said that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were linked together
in eternal bonds and the relations between them were time old and unshakable.
The two countries were like two bodies with a single soul, he added.The JI
chief said that late King Faisal Shaheed considered Pakistan as his second home
and the grand Faisal Mosque and the International Islamic University in
Islamabad were the manifestations of his love for this country.Sirajul Haq said
that both the countries were the centre of the Muslim Ummah's hope.
said the Saudi Crown Prince visit to this country was a happy news for the
entire Muslim world. He said that around three million Pakistanis were working
in the holy land.He said that Saudi Arabia being the custodian of the Haramain
e Sharifain was the real leader of the Muslim world.
Muslims all over the world offered prayers with their faces in the direction of
the Holy Kaaba, and visited Holy Makkah and Madina for Hajj and to pay their
respects at the Roza e Rasool( PBUH).The JI chief said that during the 1965 and
1971 wars with India, Saudi Arabia had extended all out support and help to
this country due to which the Pakistani nation considered Saudi Arabia as their
further said that Pakistan as the only Muslim nuclear power, deemed the defense
of the Muslim World and Saudi Arabia, as its major duty. NNI
crown prince urged to release prisoners belonging to KP
Two provincial lawmakers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have requested Saudi Crown
Prince Mohammad bin Salman to give relief to the people of their areas
imprisoned in various jails of Saudi Arabia on trivial charges.
a letter to the crown prince, Sahibzada Sanaullah of the Pakistan Peoples Party
and Inayatullah Khan of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal said: “We, on behalf of
people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, request Your Excellency to grant this one-time
relief to the downtrodden people of our area and release these helpless people
so that they join back their families and start a new living in Pakistan.”
The time to demand Saudi Arabia to treat Pakistani workers properly is now
crown prince is expected to reach Islamabad on Feb 16 on his first visit to
is a matter of extreme honour and pleasure for the people of Pakistan to say a
very warm and heartfelt welcome to Your Excellency on their soil. Please accept
this feast on this soil of Pakistan.
fact, loving people of this country have a special piece of love for Khadim al
Harmain Al Sharifain,” read the letter, in which the lawmakers also appreciated
the crown prince for giving bailout package to Pakistan.
said that after 9/11, the people of Pakistan suffered immensely due to
ramifications of the US war on terror in Afghanistan and its spillover effects
people of KP suffered the most and those living in Malakand division were the
actual victims of this war.
media forces Karachi hospital to end discrimination against non-Muslims,
at the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases (KIHD) have revised their form for
free treatment following a social media protest against the hospital’s
discrimination against non-Muslims, Syed (Hashemi) and Ahmedis.
to the details, the KIHD, which is a major state-run hospital of the
metropolitan, was only providing free treatment to those who verified that they
were neither non-Muslims nor Ahmedis by signing a form.
who did not meet these terms were not provided free treatment facility at the
the form which was being used for the last five years was finally changed after
a campaign on social media that forced the hospital’s officials to update it.
new form would only require people to declare that they cannot bare medical
expenses because of limited income and is entitled to get free treatment from
Taliban announce talks with US in Pakistan
The Taliban said Wednesday its negotiators would next week meet the top US and
Pakistani officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan during a key round of
talks in Islamabad as part of the ongoing Afghan peace talks.
Washington nor Islamabad immediately confirmed the announcement by the Taliban.
the "formal invitation of the government of Pakistan, another meeting is
scheduled to take place between the negotiation teams of the Islamic Emirate
and the US on 18th of February, 2019 in Islamabad," Taliban spokesman
Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.
Taliban's delegation would also meet Prime Minister Khan, the statement said.
said the regular round of talks was already scheduled to be held on February 25
said that in the meeting with Khan, Taliban would have "comprehensive
discussions about Pak-Afghan relations and issues pertaining to Afghan refugees
and Afghan businessmen".
there was no official confirmation, diplomatic sources in Pakistan said that
the Taliban delegation would visit Pakistan and hold talks with both American
and Pakistani officials.
Taliban and the US are in a discussion to end more than a 17-year long bloody
war in Afghanistan.
Taliban control nearly half of Afghanistan, and are more powerful than at any
time since the 2001 US-led invasion after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad recently said
after six days of talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha last month
that the US has made "significant progress" in its peace talks with
being appointed in September, Khalilzad has met with all sides in an attempt to
end America's longest war in which the US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in more
than 17 years.
As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) formally commences public
hearing on the conviction of Indian spy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav from Feb
18, Pakistan’s delegation for oral arguments will depart for The Hague on
General Anwar Mansoor would lead the Pakistani delegation whereas Director
General South Asia Dr Mohammad Faisal would lead the Foreign Office side, a
senior official told Dawn.
world court has set a timetable for public hearings from Feb 18 to 21 in The
Hague and Harish Salve, who represents New Delhi, is expected to argue first on
Feb 18. Then English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi will make submissions on
Feb 19 from Islamabad’s side.
India will reply on Feb 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on
Feb 21. It is expected that the ICJ decision may be delivered by the summer of
are fully prepared with our strongest evidence being the valid Indian passport
recovered from Commander Jadhav with a Muslim name,” said the official, adding
that Pakistan was committed to implementing the decision, irrespective of what
decision came from the ICJ.
Jadhav was captured in Balochistan in March 2016 and later confessed to his
association with Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
and his involvement in espionage and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.
May 18 last year, the ICJ through an interim order stayed Jadhav’s execution
after which the Foreign Office communicated to the world court that the
government of Pakistan had instructed relevant departments to give effect to
the ICJ order.
has already furnished two counter-memorials on the Indian claims, which brought
the case before the world court under the Vienna Convention on Consular
filed its reply on April 17, 2018, to which Pakistan filed a detailed rejoinder
on 17 July that year.
reply to a question about Iran, the official said the government was convinced
that Iran had no role in Jadhav’s episode though he remained there for some
time. “India wants to drag Iran into this dispute but we will not let it
happen,” he said.
Delhi claimed that Jadhav was an innocent businessman who was kidnapped from
Iran and tortured to confess to being a RAW agent, but the official believes
that Indians had failed to prove the allegation despite repeated requests for
evidence that Jadhav was kidnapped.
Indians also failed to satisfy that Jadhav had retired from the Indian Navy and
New Delhi also failed to explain when and why he was retired since he was only
47 years old when arrested.
India needs to explain how Jadhav was in possession of an authentic Indian
passport issued under a false “cover” Muslim name — Hussain Mubarak Patel —
which he had used at least 17 times to enter/exit India.
had been asked this question many times, even by highly respected Indian senior
journalists such as Praveen Swami and Karan Thapar, but Indians declared this
as irrelevant or mischievous propaganda.
India argued that the passport was clearly a forgery, but refused to explain
why a highly credible independent UK expert was wrong when he said it was an
authentic Indian passport issued by the Indian authorities.
Delhi demands that the ICJ order Pakistan to return Jadhav to India, but the
international court had repeatedly explained that it was not a criminal court
of appeal. The world court has also clarified in its earlier decisions that
even if consular access was denied, the proper recourse would be an effective
review to be reconsidered by the local courts.
and his family, the official said, could invoke Article 199 of Pakistan’s
constitution by seeking the relief through the country’s high court, but India
launched proceedings in the ICJ, 14 months after Jadhav was arrested and a
month after he was convicted, to seek a stay order without a hearing.
is India asking for an order for the return of Jadhav in the face of the ICJ’s
decision and the independent expert evidence confirming Pakistan has effective
review and reconsideration before the high court and the Supreme Court,” the
official asked. India has also failed to explain why May 21, 2008 Agreement on
Consular Access between India and Pakistan, which was drafted by India and
provides Article VI for either state to be entitled to consider a request for
consular access about persons implicated in national security matters, does not
apply in this case.
has also failed to explain why highly respected UK-based military law experts
are wrong when they say that Pakistan’s high court and Supreme Court provide an
effective review and reconsideration of the military court process.
its detailed counter-memorial to the Indian claims, Pakistan has raised a
number of questions like the existence of the customary international law about
an “espionage exception” to consular access in view of obvious dangers of
allowing a state-sponsored spy/terrorist untrammelled communication with the
authorities of his sending state that despatched him to commit unlawful acts.
counter-memorial by Pakistan has also drawn attention to a bilateral agreement
on consular access between India and Pakistan that clearly qualifies consular access
in matters of national security.
Pakistan has asked the ICJ to consider whether India has acted illegally in
facilitating Jadhav’s espionage/terrorism by providing him with the passport.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif claims that the Saudi investment Gulf
kingdom’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is set to announce in his two-day
visit to Pakistan, had been planned during his tenure.
civil and military top hierarchy knows the fact that Saudi Arabia had promised
to make investment worth multi-billions of dollars when I was the prime
minister,” Mr Sharif was quoted as having told PML-N leaders, who visited him
at the Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday where he’s serving a seven-year jail term
in a corruption case.
who called on him included his mother Shamim, daughter Maryam, son-in-law
Muhammad Safdar, former federal and Punjab ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz
Rashid, Mushahidullah Khan and Rana Sanaullah, Muhammad Mehdi, MNA Javed Latif,
traders’ representative Naeem Mir and others.
of the visitors told Dawn that Mian Sahib was in good humour during the meeting
as he (Mr Sharif) stated that “the weather is fine but we’re incarcerated
[unable to enjoy the environ outside the prison]”.
Latif told the PML-N supreme leader that the masses were fully charged and
needed leadership to guide them under the worst conditions created by the PTI
government within six months and urged him to become [politically] active
cautioning that “the situation may slip out of hands if remained inactive.”
Iqbal told Mr Sharif that as the government has accepted IMF conditions price
hike and dollar exchange rate are set to rise further to the disadvantage of
the poor people.
a query by the ex-premier about the prevailing business conditions, Naeem Mir
informed him that all kinds of businesses were witnessing a slowdown and
they’re planning a shutter down strike in Lahore as a protest against some
policies of the government.
said ex-speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and former Punjab finance minister Ayesha
Ghaus-Pasha had prepared a report on the losses the trading community suffered
recently and urged Mr Sharif to direct the PML-N parliamentarians to raise the
issue in the house.
PML-N leader was quoted as having directed Rana Sana and Javed Latif to discuss
the report in the National Assembly and Senators Mushahid and Pervaiz Rashid in
Mehdi presented a book on Punjab mein Inqilabi Tehreeken (Revolutionary
movements in Punjab) by Prof Satia Rai, while PML-N information secretary
Senator Mushahid read some poetic work related to weather and Valentine’s Day.
to the media outside the prison, Mr Mushahid said the party activists expressed
their love for their leader on the Valentine’s Day. He hoped that Mr Sharif
would soon be released and would put the country on democratic trajectory.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Maulana Noorul Haq Qadri said that the
Saudi Crown Prince Amir Mohammad bin Salman visit to Pakistan would herald a
new era of prosperity and economic stability in Pakistan.
minister said that Pakistan had to play a role to strengthen relations among
healthy economy will help establish welfare Islamic state and the role of
brotherly countries was praiseworthy in this regard,” the minister said while
speaking at a conference.
minister said the people of Pakistan and armed forces of the country have
played very vital role in eliminating the menace of terrorism and extremism.
said the government was committed to making Pakistan a state on the pattern of
Medina and both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had always assisted each other in all
economic crisis has been inherited by the PTI government from previous regime
and the support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE had helped us overcome it,” Pir
Noor ul haq Qadri said.
said a number of agreements were scheduled to be signed during the Saudi Crown
Prince visit that will further improve economic ties between the two countries.
participants of the seminar stated that Pakistan enjoyed a respectable place
among Muslim countries and Pakistan had to play effective role for unity of
participants welcomed the visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Pakistan.
Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said Pakistan was
committed to steering Muslim Ummah out of the prevailing crisis.
Minister Imran khan has categorically stated that Pakistan aims at
strengthening trust and understanding among all the Muslim countries.
participants of the seminar also underlined that unity of Muslim Ummah is
vulnerable to resolve confronting challenges of Muslim world.
participants of the seminar also lauded efforts of the PTI government for
strengthening ties with Muslim countries adding that recent visit of Saudi
Crown would expand relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
rebel stronghold left out of Philippines' Muslim territory
Dozens of communities won approval to join a new Muslim-led territory in the
Philippines' south, results showed on Thursday (Feb 14), yet the exclusion of a
key rebel stronghold raised concerns about the peace process in the restive
results are from the second and final round of a landmark referendum that was
the culmination of a decades-long process seeking to halt Muslim separatist
violence that has claimed some 150,000 lives since the 1970s.
had already overwhelmingly approved last month the so-called Bangsamoro region,
which is centred on the island of Mindanao in the majority Catholic nation's
will have more control over their territory and see an influx of government
cash for development projects aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty and
second round of voting on Feb 6 focused on whether a string of smaller
communities would get approval from the municipality or region that surrounds
them to join the Bangsamoro.
results released on Thursday by the Philippines' electoral commission showed 63
of 67 villages in the North Cotabato region would join.
in an expected outcome, voters in the majority-Christian region of Lanao del
Norte refused to allow six local towns to become part of the Bangsamoro.
result is that at least one major rebel camp belonging to the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front, whose peace deal with Manila prompted the vote, won't be
inside the boundaries of the Bangsamoro.
is important because the rebels are supposed to lay down their arms and
transition into leading the newly formed territory.
said it is unclear what impact the Lanao del Norte vote will have on long-term
peace prospects as fighters under the MILF should still give up their weapons
even outside the Bangsamoro.
key commander of those forces is also in line for a high-level job in the
Bangsamoro's new government, which was widely seen as an effort to keep him and
his troops in the fold.
Zachary Abuza, a security expert at the National War College in Washington,
told AFP some fighters would surely be unhappy with the vote's result and could
be a threat to peace.
think it's a very delicate situation," he said. "If it's mishandled
it could be bad."
KINABALU: Any move by PPBM to spread its wings to Sabah will leave local party
Warisan in a dilemma as the Malay-Muslim Bumiputera communities may be more
attracted to the Malay-based PPBM, an analyst says.
Puyok, who teaches at Universti Malaysia Sarawak, said Warisan was banking on
its “multiracial” outlook to gain support in Sabah. However, the Malay-Muslim
Bumiputera communities might be more attracted to PPBM which could be seen as
serving their interests.
is just like what happened when Umno first came into Sabah,” he told FMT.
supporters in multiracial Parti Bersatu Sabah left the party to support Umno,
as the national-based party was seen as a strong alternative in representing
noted that in the general election last year, Malay-Muslim Bumiputera
constituencies were split almost evenly between Barisan Nasional (BN) and the
Pakatan Harapan (PH)-Warisan alliance.
Bumiputera constituencies are still BN loyalists although some have favoured
other local parties, while the Chinese constituencies overwhelmingly voted for
Warisan had succeeded in ending Umno’s dominance in Malay-Muslim communities,
he said, there were still many Umno supporters who were undecided on what to do
could play a role as a new platform for those who have left Umno and are
looking to make a comeback.
national-based party is set to fill the void left by Umno in these
constituencies,” he said.
challenge, Puyok added, was that an increasing number of Sabahans were becoming
comfortable with national-based parties which they believed were more capable
of championing state interests and bringing issues directly to the attention of
federal lawmakers in Parliament.
the results of the last three general elections, including GE14, are anything
to go by, national-based parties are more popular than local-based parties,” he
GE14, local-based parties like Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, Parti Perpaduan
Rakyat Sabah, Parti Kebangsaan Sabah and Parti Cinta Sabah contested but lost.
so-called Gabungan Sabah only garnered 5% of the popular votes in Malay-Muslim
Bumiputera areas, 17% in non-Malay Muslim Bumiputeras areas, 4% in Chinese
areas and 6% in mixed areas.
Sabah performed slightly better, winning one parliamentary seat in Keningau and
two state seats in Tambunan and Bingkor. Its marginal win was due to a
multi-cornered contest, involving strong candidates from Warisan, BN and PH.
But like the rest, it was defeated in other areas,” he said.
and DAP managed to improve their electoral performance this time, winning eight
and six seats respectively at the state and parliamentary levels.
TOWN, Feb 14 — The Love in Georgetown City play that starts today must be
cancelled as it could lead to immoral activities, Penang PAS Youth insisted
PAS Youth Information Chief Ahmad Shafian Ujar claimed the play will lead to an
increase in free sex, baby dumping, drugs and other social issues.
strongly condemn the producer of the play for insisting on continuing with the
play starting today until February 17 despite protests by activists and
political parties including police reports lodged against it,” he said in a
warned the production team against continuing with the play even though it
changed the title from Sex in Georgetown City to Love in Georgetown City.
performances that are openly based on sex including unnatural sex will only
promote immoral activities and offend the sensitivities of Muslims in
Malaysia,” he said.
demanded that the DAP-led state government take action to stop such
mentioned previous incidents such as the “Penang Nude Sports Game” and
screening of gay movie Lost in Paradise that the state had chosen to remain
state government’s silence on these issues will further encourage the growth of
vice activities that are increasing in this state,” he claimed.
the past few days, the play drew flak from various Muslim groups who
misunderstood it as a screening of “sex and gay film.”
groups lodged a police report against the play and the Jaringan Muslimin Pulau
Pinang has planned a protest at Straits Quay tonight.
80-minute play, at Penangpac in Straits Quay, is by playwright Fa Abdul of Big
playwright and director issued a statement to explain that the play consists of
10 skits that address social issues including inter-racial relationships,
racism, paedophilia, and infidelity.
are not deviant nor exploitative, instead they reflect our challenges and
cultural idiosyncrasies,” she said.
lodged a police report on Tuesday against the false allegations and lies
levelled against her and the play.
stressed that it was a stage performance and not a film screening.
play was aimed at educating the society on social issues through
entertainment,” she said in her report.
wedding: M. Supriadi, 21, and Nur Aisyah, 20 got married on Valentine’s Day at
the Palmerah Religious Affairs Office in West Jakarta, on Thursday. Many
couples choose Valentine’s Day to tie the knot as it will be easier to
remember.(JP/Ghina Ghaliya Quddus)After having dated for exactly one year, M.
Supriadi, 21, planned to marry his girlfriend, Nur Aisyah, 20, on Valentine’s
traditional white West Javanese clothing, the couple tied the knot at the
Palmerah Religious Affairs Office (KUA) in West Jakarta on Thursday, attended
by several family members from West Java and Jakarta.
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