New Age Islam
Mon Nov 23 2020, 08:10 AM

Islamic World News ( 13 Jul 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Mumbai attacks to further complicate Indo-Pak ties: Analyst

Terror date 13 points to role of Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar

Oz party official sacked after 'anti Prophet, anti-Islamic' web post

Muslim women in NZ want to lift 'veil of ignorance'

Mumbai blasts: Is underworld behind the return of terror?

Blasts not failure of intelligence agencies: Indian Home Minister

It's more important to stand with India: Clinton

UN chief, Security Council condemns Mumbai blasts

Pakistan slams Mumbai blasts

12 including Ranger man killed in Karachi mayhem

Syrian military kills four in renewed assaults

Violence in Sindh: 8 killed amidst calls of protest

Karzai appoints another brother as tribal head

Accepting protester’s demands, Egypt sacks 600 senior cops

Afghan governor escapes bomb attack en route to funeral

Canada stands by India, says terrorism is 'alive and active'

Pakistan will continue busting private CIA rings, Pasha to tell US

"All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy”: ex- PLO Terrorist

Jihadi elements trying to stage a comeback?

Gaddafi running out of both fuel and cash: US intelligence

Libyan anti-Govt.fighters loot seized towns

Rebels deny talks with Qaddafi

Australia's Muslim leaders want Islamic Sharia law: Survey

Oz burqa law draws criticism for being 'culturally insensitive'

Bombings expose India's counter-terror effort

No lessons learnt from 26/ 11 hits

Probe will cover every terror group, says Chidambaram

Ammonium nitrate used in Mumbai blasts: Chidambaram

ISI chief heads to US as ties nosedive

Af-Pak, nuke deal to dominate Hillary-Krishna talks

UK: Qaida tapping social network to launch cyber jihad

US begins drawdown of troops from Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia honours Indian envoy

Islamabad offers olive branch to Baluchistan people

It's time for Pakistan to prosecute LeT leaders: Curtis

Retired CIA officer under scanner for ‘war crimes’

Fake vaccination: ‘Guardian report won’t affect immunisation campaigns in K-P’

Pakistan’s inclusion in Afghan peace process necessary: Gilani

Turkish police detains 14 people in al Qaeda raids

PTI calls for military action against drone attacks

Arab League tells US to stop interfering in Syria

Liquor haul at Qatar border

Syrian exiles call for army to side with people

Saudi, Indonesian officials start talks to resolve recruitment crisis

Israel gives go-ahead to museum opposed by Muslims

Bermuda to increase its presence in Islamic financial world

Detained BBC World Service reporter 'frail and frightened'

Umrah applications from Turkey on rise

Jews who filed Nazis return for Vienna games

Cost of living in Middle East becomes cheaper for expats

Makkah realtors cash in on ‘jinn’ rumors

Bangladesh vows harsh steps to curb visa trade

UN council split likely on Syria atomic issue: US

Egypt’s election ‘may not be untill Nov’

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mumbai-attacks-to-further-complicate-indo-pak-ties--analyst/d/5023

 

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Mumbai attacks to further complicate Indo-Pak ties: Analyst

Jul 14 2011

Washington: The terror attacks in Mumbai about a fortnight before the crucial talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan could very well complicate the relationship between the two South Asian neighbours, a US-based intelligence analysis company said today.

"Though the July 13th attacks do not appear to reach the same level of crisis as the 2008 Mumbai attacks, they are bound to complicate Indian-Pakistani relations," Stratfor Global Intelligence analyst Reva Bhalla.

"Naturally, India tends to point the finger at Pakistan whenever attacks like this occur. And these attacks are occurring at a most critical juncture in US-Pakistani relations. The United States is trying to accelerate a withdrawal from Afghanistan and it needs Pakistan in order to do so," Bhalla said.

Following this attack, India can be expected to place heavier demands on the United States to pressure Pakistan into cooperating more in the counterterrorism front, Bhalla said.

The United States needs to manage an already very tense relationship with the Pakistanis right now as it relies on Pakistan to forge an accommodation with the Taliban that would allow the United States to bring closure to the war, the analyst said.

Noting that India is already greatly unnerved by the US-Pakistani negotiation taking place, Bhalla said regardless of whether Pakistan was actually involved in an attack like this or whether this was the work of indigenous elements in India, attacks like this will only complicate an already highly complex web of relations on the subcontinent.

The Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan are expected to meet in New Delhi on July 27 to review progress in the bilateral peace process that was revived earlier this year.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817372/

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Terror date 13 points to role of Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar

Jul 14, 2011

NEW DELHI: Despite lack of a prior warning or heightened threat assessment of a terror attack, the date of the latest Mumbai attack has focused the attention of security agencies on the hand of the jihadi group Indian Mujahideen (IM), given the Lashkar-linked outfit's penchant for striking on the 13th and 26th days of a month.

The IM, acting in consort and at the behest of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), is the likely suspect with its network of sleeper cells and sympathizers. Once again, as has been the case often in the past, a terrorist attack has happened on 13th.

Sustained questioning of arrested IM members, including those who willingly collaborated after being held, has failed to resolve the enigma of the dates even though they add up to compelling evidence.

Consider these events:

* May 13, 2008: Terror hit Jaipur with six serial blasts rocking crowded areas, killing nearly 50.

*July 26, 2008: Ahmedabad hit by a series of 21 blasts that killed 57.

*September 13, 2008: A series of six synchronized blasts in Delhi killed around 30.

*November 26, 2008: 10 LeT terrorists killed almost 187 in the worst ever attack on Mumbai over three days.

*February 13, 2010: A terrorist attack at the German Bakery in Pune left 17 dead.

The dates cannot be a coincidence, and are a strong indicator that IM, whose leaders continue to plan and train in Pakistan, might be the hand behind the mayhem.

Indian agencies have been aware of the importance of these dates, although nobody has yet been able to crack the reason why 13 and 26 are the chosen days. In their investigations over the years, agencies have questioned many IM operatives who have been arrested.

The planning and execution of the blasts also bears the signature of the LeT backed group even though no email claiming responsibility has been reported as yet. The blasts were high intensity and the crowded locale of a neighbourhood like Zaveri Bazaar points to the IM.

Aware of the dates, agencies have stepped up vigilance and paid greater attention to terrorist chatter intercepts around these two days. Despite that, sources said, there was no inkling of any impending terror attack.

This year, there is an added ironic twist to these dates: Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers are expected to sit down for important talks on July 26. There was also buzz on the internet -- subsequently found to be incorrect -- that Ajmal Kasab's, birthday is on July 13.

Intelligence agencies say IM is part of LeT's so-called "Karachi Project", which uses fugitive Indian jihadis and run by former Pakistan armymen to keep up the terror pressure on India. This not only keeps India off balance, it also increases the deniability factor for Pakistan because IM operatives by and large are in India. The project, revealed by David Headley to the FBI interrogators, has also been linked to Huji in the past. Headley, for instance, was in close touch with Ilyas Kashmiri of Huji. Headley also said IM leaders, Riaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, were living under the protection of the LeT in Karachi.

All metropolitan cities across the country and coastal areas were immediately put on high alert after the serial blasts. The home ministry asked states to deploy additional security personnel at all crowded public places and directed immigration authorities to step up security checks.

Union home minister P Chidambaram, who held an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation immediately after the blasts, said the Mumbai serial blasts were a "coordinated attack by terrorists".

Chidambaram said the explosions occurred within minutes of each other from 6.45pm and from this it can be inferred it is a "coordinated attack" by terrorists. Stating about post-blast action, the home minister said the National Security Guard (NSG) hub in Mumbai has been put on standby and that the elite force's 'post-blast' team has also been sent to the financial capital of the country. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team from both New Delhi and Hyderabad has been sent to Mumbai, he added.

Prime Minister Manmohan, who was also monitoring the developments related to the three explosions, spoke to Chidambaram as also Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-date-13-points-to-role-of-Indian-Mujahideen-and-Lashkar/articleshow/9217236.cms

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Oz party official sacked after 'anti Prophet, anti-Islamic' web post

Jul 12 2011

Sydney: A liberal advisor in Australia was sacked for posting anti-Islamic comments online, including a description of the Prophet Muhammad as ''the first terrorist of Islam''.

Joseph Adams, who worked in the electorate office of Smithfield Liberal Andrew Rohan, had angered some of his 1000 Facebook friends, including 15 state government MPs and four ministers, with selected excerpts from the Koran, which he said prove Islam promotes killing, not love.

He was labelled a ''bigot'' and the ''biggest f---ing racist ever'' by shocked friends, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

A record of his posts between March 24 and June 17 showed his offensive remarks against Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

“The religious babble you refer to is Islam. There was no war. It was terrorism. Muhammad was the first terrorist in the name of Islam,” he wrote.

"Why are you getting upset? I''m not the one who is teaching others to kill in the name of Islam. Mohommed is not my hero,” he wrote.

“If you leave Islam it is HALAL for you to be EXECUTED. Lol. No wonder people are afraid to leave Islam,” he added.

Adams, who identifies himself as an Australian of Assyrian Christian descent, said that he was not ''thinking politically'' when he made the remarks.

“''What I did was a mistake, I did not think it would be used for political purposes. In my mind I was living in a free society where we value free speech. Why should religion be a taboo subject?” he said.

A government spokesman has said that Adam’s comments were totally inappropriate and the staff member has already been terminated.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815482/

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Muslim women in NZ want to lift 'veil of ignorance'

Jul 12 2011

Wellington: Muslim women in New Zealand have only one message for the world that they choose to cover their faces out of personal choice, and want to lift the "veil of ignorance" surrounding the way they dress.

The women-only meeting, that gathered around 60 women, was recently by the Young Muslim Women's Association at Auckland University, to discuss "Hijab in the West", Stuff.co.nz reports.

Organiser Afifa Chida said she wore a headscarf and has never been affected by discrimination.

She said it was a personal choice whether a woman chose to wear a burqa, and that should be respected.

"Being in New Zealand, we always talk about freedom of religion, freedom of practice, diversity, understanding,” Chida said.

"These are the words that we try to promote and it's sad that we get that kind of reaction here,” she said.

"There are a lot of [styles of] dressing that upset Muslims in New Zealand, but we don''t react like that and so we don't expect to be given that abuse,” she added.

She said many people assumed that women did not choose to wear it and that it was forced.

"When we look at a nun, who is all covered, we see peace and tranquility and we give it that respect. But when we see a Muslim woman who is covered – it is associated with terrorism and oppression,” Chida said.

The meeting was organized before it was revealed last week that a bus driver refused entry to a woman in a veil in May. The Saudi Arabian student was left crying on an Auckland street when the bus driver refused to let her board because of her veil.

In another incident, a driver for the same company, NZ Bus, told another woman to remove her veil.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815493/

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Mumbai blasts: Is underworld behind the return of terror?

Josy Joseph

Jul 14, 2011

NEW DELHI: The security establishment was scrambling on Wednesday for any specific inputs that would give indications of who may have been behind the serial blasts that interrupted the past few months of lull from terror.

Sources were veering around to the opinion that the likelihood of underworld involvement was very high because of a host of factors. One official pointed out that the underworld has been "hyperactive" in recent weeks in Mumbai. There have been a number of reports about various developments in the underworld such as the killing of journalist J Dey and attacks on Dawood Ibrahim's brother's driver.

Among the recent inputs is also the possibility of a patch-up between some factions. Another analyst speculated that the simultaneous blasts required a fairly good network in Mumbai as well as strong local support. He said it was likely that the blasts were executed by the underworld, financed by someone else.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mumbai-blasts-Is-underworld-behind-the-return-of-terror/articleshow/9216890.cms

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Blasts not failure of intelligence agencies: PC

July 14, 2011

The serial blasts in Mumbai are not indicative of the failure of intelligence agencies, Home Minister P Chidambaram said here today.

"Intelligence is collected every day, every hour. It (blasts) is not a failure of intelligence agencies...Whoever has perpetrated the attacks has worked in a very clandestine manner," Chidambaram told reporters.

The blasts should not be treated as an attack on India's commercial capital or markets, he said, adding that the places where the blasts took place were chosen for the high density of population.

"Lets not draw inferences that one community or one religious group are target," Chidambaram said, when asked whether the blasts taking place at Zaveri Bazar and Opera House meant that any specific community was targeted.

About 30 per cent of the diamond market in the area has shifted to the BKC complex in suburban Bandra, he said.

To a query on who was behind the blasts, he said, "We have made it clear to Maharashtra Police not to rule out any angle... We will probe every hostile group. We are not ruling out anything."

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said there was no "credible input" from intelligence agencies on the blasts.

Maharashtra Government would go into issues like modernisation of the police machinery and steps needed to avoid recurrence of such incidents, Home Minister R R Patil said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/353080/Blasts-not-failure-of-intelligence-agencies-PC.html

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It's more important to stand with India: Clinton

July 14, 2011

Hours after the Mumbai blasts, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today made it clear that she would go ahead with her visit to New Delhi next week for the security dialogue saying it is more important than ever to stand with India in the struggle against terrorism.

"We condemn the despicable act of violence designed to provoke fear and division. Those who perpetrated it must know they cannot succeed", she said.

Reaching out to India, Clinton said "I will be travelling to India next week as planned. I believe it is more important than ever that we stand with India, deepen our partnership and reiterate our commitment to the shared struggle against terrorism".

http://www.dailypioneer.com/353084/Its-more-important-to-stand-with-India-Clinton.html

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UN chief, Security Council condemns Mumbai blasts

Jul 14, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the serial bomb blasts that rocked India's financial hub of Mumbai, killing at least 21 people and injuring over 100.

"The Secretary General (Ban) condemns the attacks that have killed and injured many in Mumbai," said a statement from his office.

"No cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate violence against civilians. The Secretary General expresses his solidarity with the Government and people of India, and extends his sincere condolences to the families of the victims," it added.

The UN Security Council also "condemned in the strongest terms" the bombings.

They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of these "heinous acts" and to their families, and to the people and Government of India.

"The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation," a statement read by Peter Wittig, Germany's ambassador to the UN and current council president, said.

Terror struck Mumbai on Wednesday evening when three near simultaneous blasts ripped through crowded areas in the city. At least 21 people were killed and 141 injured.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/UN-chief-Security-Council-condemns-Mumbai-blasts/articleshow/9219012.cms

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Pakistan slams Mumbai blasts

July 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the multiple blasts in the Indian city of Mumbai. A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said, “President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, the government and the people of Pakistan, have condemned the blasts in Mumbai and expressed distress on the loss of lives and injuries.” “The president and the prime minister have expressed their deepest sympathies to the Indian leadership on the loss of lives, injuries and damage to property in Mumbai,” the statement added. The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet later this month in New Delhi in the latest round of peace talks, which comes after a break of more than two years. afp

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\14\story_14-7-2011_pg1_2

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12 including Ranger man killed in Karachi mayhem

July 14, 2011

KARACHI: At least twelve people including a Ranger’s man were killed and 19 hurt in different incidents of firing in the city in reaction to Zulfiqar Mirza's statements against MQM chief, Geo News reported Thursday.

After the fiery speech of Zulfiqar Mirza unknown men came out on the streets of Karachi and opened firing and set ablaze twenty-three vehicles while police has claimed to arrest eleven persons involved in spreading violence. Violence is still continuing in many areas of the metropolis and also killed a Ranger’s man at Maskan Chawrangi in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area along with a woman in Hussainabad. The toll now stands at 12 since Wednesday night. Injured are shifted to the nearby hospitals while security personnel are patrolling in the affected areas to control the situation.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18686&title=12-including-Ranger-man-killed-in-Karachi-mayhem

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Syrian military kills four in renewed assaults

14 July 2011

AMMAN - Syrian forces killed four villagers on Wednesday near Turkey, rights campaigners said, in an expansion of a military campaign to crush dissent against President Bashar Al Assad.

The four were killed in tank-backed assaults on at least four villages in the Jabal Al Zawya region in northwestern Idlib province near the border with Turkey, an activist in Idlib and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Assad, from Syria’s Alawite minority sect, an offshoot of Islam, is struggling to put down widening demonstrations in outlying rural and tribal regions, in suburbs of the capital and in cities such as Hama and Homs demanding an end to his autocratic rule.

Mass arrests and heavy deployment of security forces, including an irregular Alawite militia known as shabbiha, have prevented demonstrations in central neighbourhoods of Damascus and in the commercial hub of Aleppo.

Military assaults on towns and villages in Idlib began five weeks ago after large demonstrations across the rural province demanding political freedoms, forcing thousands of refugees to flee to Turkey.

“We are seeing a military escalation following the regime’s political escalation,” the activist in Idlib, who declined to be named for fear of arrest, told Reuters by phone.

He was referring to the arbitrary arrests of thousands of Syrians that intensified in the last two weeks, according to human rights campaigners.

Full report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July320.xml&section=middleeast

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Violence in Sindh: 8 killed amidst calls of protest

By Faraz Khan

July 14, 2011

Armed men open indiscriminate firing across the city. One woman reported dead. PHOTO: INP/FILE

KARACHI: In separate incidents of violence, eight people were killed while 12 cars and two buses were torched in Karachi on Thursday morning.

Three people have also been injured in shooting incidents.

After the statements and allegations by PPP leader Zulfiqar Mirza regarding MQM chief Altaf Hussain, violence and unrest have spread to different parts of Karachi and Hyderabad.

Burnt tires in different areas of Karachi are affecting the flow of traffic and causing traffic jams.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has ordered DG Rangers and IG Sindh to control Karachi’s deteriorating situation.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers have fanned out in the city and held flag march.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/209497/karachi-violence-tension-grips-city-after-mirzas-statements/

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Karzai appoints another brother as tribal head

July 13, 2011

Afghan President Karzai buried his assassinated half-brother on Wednesday, then swiftly gave another brother a key role opened by the killing, in what could be a bid to stave off political infighting in the volatile south.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (C) attends the memorial services of his slain half-brother Ahmad Wali Karzai in Dand district of Kandahar province on Wednesday. AFP photo

Afghan President Hamid Karzai wept and kissed the face of his dead brother Ahmad Wali Karzai, unofficially the most powerful man in Kandahar, at a burial in their ancestral village attended by thousands. Only hours after the body was lowered into the ground, the president appointed another brother, Shah Wali Karzai, as de facto leader of the Popalzai tribe to which the Karzai family belongs.

Tight security measures

Two explosions were heard in Kandahar city by a witness soon after the burial. Also, the governor of neighboring Helmand province escaped a bomb attack on his motorcade en route to the burial. Two security officials were injured in the attack in Kandahar’s Maiwand district.

Full report at: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=karzai-appoints-another-brother-as-tribal-head-2011-07-13

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Accepting protester’s demands, Egypt sacks 600 senior cops

Jul 14 2011

Cairo: In a bid to meet a key demand of pro-democracy protesters, the Egyptian government has sacked over 600 senior police officers to cleanse the force that has been blamed for chronic abuses during Hosni Mubarak regime.

The BBC quoted Egypt’s Interior Minister Mansour Essawy as saying 505 generals and 164 officers would have their service terminated by August 1.

The move comes as protests continue in Cairo''s Tahrir Square, calling for speedy trials of police officers and corrupt Mubarak-era officials.

Of those officers who have been fired, at least 27 face charges related to the killing of protesters during the uprising against Mubarak.

The military, which took control of the country when Mubarak stepped down has also announced a delay in parliamentary elections which were earlier scheduled to be held in September.

Many political parties sought to delay the vote so they could compete more effectively against better prepared parties like the Muslim Brotherhood.

The military also said it would draft a set of regulations for selecting the 100-member assembly that will write a new constitution.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817390/

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Afghan governor escapes bomb attack en route to funeral

Jul 14 2011

Kandahar: A bomb attack today hit the motorcade of a key Afghan governor en route to the funeral of President Hamid Karzai's brother, wounding two Afghan troops, the government said.

The governor of Helmand province, Gulab Mangal, and the provincial chief of Afghan intelligence escaped unhurt, said an official statement, and the group attended the funeral of Ahmed Wali Karzai in neighbouring Kandahar province.

Mangal and the Helmand chief of the National Directorate of Security intelligence agency were travelling together when the bomb exploded in the neighbouring province of Kandahar, where Wali Karzai was killed yesterday.

The bomb was detonated by remote-control in the Maiwand district, wounding two soldiers attached to the NDS detached unit, the governor's office said.

Cheaply made roadside bombs are the weapon of choice for the Taliban, fighting a nearly 10-year insurgency against Afghan and foreign forces that has been largely focused in the southern heartlands of the country.

President Hamid Karzai buried his younger half-brother in a family cemetery in the southern suburbs of Kandahar city, after the regional powerbroker was shot dead a day earlier by a guest in his home.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/816984/

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Canada stands by India, says terrorism is 'alive and active'

July 14, 2011

Standing by India in the aftermath of the Mumbai bomb blasts, Canada on Wednesday said terrorism is "alive and active" and the international community should come together to root out this evil. Sending his condolences, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "On behalf of all Canadians,

Laureen (his wife) and I offer our deep and profound sympathy and condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and injured by these heinous acts of violence, including Canadians who may have loved ones in Mumbai."

The prime minister said the attacks are "a stark reminder that terrorism is alive and active around the globe and can strike at any time. All countries need to work together and take necessary precautions to combat the scourge who perpetrate these atrocities."

Harper, who had visited Mumbai in November 2009, said Canada "remains united with the government and people of India in their fight against terror. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time. We offer our support as India works to bring to justice those responsible for these cowardly attacks against innocent people."

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/world/Canada-stands-by-India-says-terrorism-is-alive-and-active/Article1-720903.aspx

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Pakistan will continue busting private CIA rings, Pasha to tell US

By Kamran Yousaf / Zia Khan

July 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top spy chief is purportedly going to give the following message to his American counterpart in Washington: yes to formalised anti-terror cooperation, no to private CIA network.

Chief of Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha was due to meet acting CIA Director Michael Morell on Wednesday.

The decision to send Pasha to Washington was reportedly taken at the corps commanders’ meeting on Wednesday, a day after US central command head Gen James Mattis met with top military officials, including the Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Sources add that the new US head for international forces in Afghanistan Lt-Gen John Allen is arriving in Islamabad on Thursday.

The flurry of meetings between top military and intelligence officials from Pakistan  and the US are seen as fresh efforts to salvage their ‘shaky’ war on terror alliance after a series of setbacks in recent months.

Hectic efforts are being undertaken both in Islamabad and Washington to rescue their relations from the brink of collapse.

No to ‘private network’

The back-to-back meetings of military and intelligence officials follow the US administration’s decision earlier this week to withhold $800 million in military aid to punish Pakistan’s security establishment for expelling several dozen alleged American spies operating in the country.

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/209495/pakistan-will-continue-busting-private-cia-rings-pasha-to-tell-us/

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"All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy”: ex- PLO Terrorist

From Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston

July 14, 2011

Rapid City, South Dakota (CNN) -- Walid Shoebat had a blunt message for the roughly 300 South Dakota police officers and sheriff's deputies who gathered to hear him warn about the dangers of Islamic radicalism.

Terrorism and Islam are inseparable, he tells them. All U.S. mosques should be under scrutiny.

"All Islamic organizations in America should be the No. 1 enemy. All of them," he says.

It's a message Shoebat is selling based on his own background as a Palestinian-American convert to conservative Christianity. Born in the West Bank, the son of an American mother, he says he was a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist in his youth who helped firebomb an Israeli bank in Bethlehem and spent time in an Israeli jail.

That billing helps him land speaking engagements like a May event in Rapid City -- a forum put on by the state Office of Homeland Security, which paid Shoebat $5,000 for the appearance. He's a darling on the church and university lecture circuit, with his speeches, books and video sales bringing in $500,000-plus in 2009, according to tax records.

"Being an ex-terrorist myself is to understand the mindset of a terrorist," Shoebat told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

But CNN reporters in the United States, Israel and the Palestinian territories found no evidence that would support that biography. Neither Shoebat nor his business partner provided any proof of Shoebat's involvement in terrorism, despite repeated requests.

Back in his hometown of Beit Sahour, outside Bethlehem, relatives say they can't understand how Shoebat could turn so roundly on his family and his faith.

"I have never heard anything about Walid being a mujahedeen or a terrorist," said Daood Shoebat, who says he is Walid Shoebat's fourth cousin. "He claims this for his own personal reasons."

Full report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/07/11/terrorism.expert/

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Jehadi elements trying to stage a comeback?

Rajesh Ahuja

July 14, 2011

The signs were already there, that jehadi elements were active in Mumbai. Emails received after the Jama Masjid firing in Delhi (September, 2010) Varanasiblast (December, 2010) were mailed from Mumbai, a strong indication that a new group of jehadis had been in existence in the financial

Intelligence agencies have been repeatedly getting inputs that some Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative like Abdul Subhan Tauqeer (in the western India) and Dr Shahnawaz (in the north India) were trying to revive the IM, after a major crackdown on the group’s top leaders in 2008.

Shahnawaz is on the run since Batla House encounter of September, 2008. He was last seen in the UAE. Similarly Tauqeer was believed to in Nepalin 2010. Latest inputs suggest that he is back in India. His involvement in the in the planning of Mumbai serial blasts is yet to be investigated.

Tauqeer was an office bearer of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) when it banned was in 2001.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Jehadi-elements-trying-to-stage-a-comeback/H1-Article1-720805.aspx

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Gaddafi running out of both fuel and cash: US intelligence

Jul 13, 2011

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is facing dramatic fuel and cash shortages, according to latest US intelligence reports.

US intelligence claims Gaddafi will run out of fuel within a month. The cash shortage in Libya follows Turkey's move last week to seize hundreds of millions of dollars held in the Arab Turkish Bank, Sky News quoted American officials, as saying.

While Gaddafi could not access actual cash, he had been issuing letters of credit to pay his debtors, including fuel importers, the officials said.

Intelligence analysts are pointing to the collection of indicators, including territory seized and looming fuel and money shortages, as the first shift from stalemate to momentum for the rebels since the conflict began in mid-March.

Word of the building pressure against Gaddafi came as French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe reported that the dictator could leave power, citing Libyan emissaries who have approached the French government.

It was not immediately clear how credible the offer was and Gaddafi has refused to leave or give up power since US and Nato forces launched a bombing campaign in support of rebels who rose up against a bloody crackdown against anti-government protests.

Meanwhile, the rebels have already moved into the city of Kikla, southwest of Tripoli.

http://www.asianage.com/international/gaddafi-running-out-both-fuel-and-cash-us-intelligence-751

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Libyan anti-govt. fighters loot seized towns

Jul 13, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan anti-government fighters have looted shops and clinics and torched the homes of suspected regime supporters in some of the towns they seized in the country's western mountains, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The findings come as the fighters have enlarged the area under their control in the west and inched closer to a key supply route to Tripoli.

NATO has been bombing Qaddafi's forces and military sites to enforce a UN resolution to protect civilians. Still, the civil war has fallen into a virtual stalemate, with neither side able to make significant progress in recent weeks.

The Human Rights Watch report, based on interviews with local fighters and residents, said that after seizing towns, opposition forces burned down a number of homes believed to belong to Qaddafi supporters and carted out supplies from stores and medical facilities.

The spokesman for the National Transitional Council based in Benghazi denied at first that anti-Qaddafi fighters were involved. "These acts were carried out by individuals who don't represent the NTC or the Feb. 17 revolution," he said. He acknowledged, though, that it "could be a mistake" and said if there was evidence, those involved would be brought to justice.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471382.ece

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Rebels deny talks with Qaddafi

Jul 13, 2011

BRUSSELS: A Libyan opposition leader denied Wednesday that the rebels are negotiating with Muammar Qaddafi’s regime to find a way to end the conflict.

“All this talk about negotiations taking place between the regime and the National Transitional Council are totally false claims,” said Mahmoud Jibril, the rebels’ diplomatic chief. The National Transitional Council is a political body created by the rebels.

Jibril was referring to comments Tuesday by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon about efforts initiated by Russia and the African Union to mediate between the rebels and the regime. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, citing Libyan government emissaries, said Qaddafi was prepared to leave power.

In Washington, the US State Department also said it was dealing with envoys claiming to be Qaddafi’s representatives.

But Jibril dismissed the significance of such contacts.

“To my knowledge still there is no coherent, comprehensive political initiative on the table,” Jibril said after meeting Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471342.ece

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Australia's Muslim leaders want Islamic Sharia law: Survey

Jul 12 2011

Canberra: Australia’s Islamic leaders want Sharia laws to be implemented in the country, a survey has revealed.

The survey also reveals that Islamic leaders are sceptical about Osama bin Laden's death benefiting ordinary Muslims, and they are unhappy about way the US forces disposed his body.

The survey was conducted in the wake of a 55,000-dollar federal government-training program for imams on Australian laws and values, The Herald Sun reports.

Muslims are concerned about linkages being made between Islam and terrorism. There is wide spread anger that innocent Muslims being killed in the ‘war on terror’ the report said.

Imams across Australia have been told to preach core Australian values such as fair go, freedom, and responsibility.

Imam Yusuf Parker, from the Alhidayah Centre in Perth, said Australia should consider recognizing Sharia laws as it applied to finance and family law matters.

“The symbolic victory of Bin Laden's death would remain hollow, while people in nations such as Afghanistan suffered a terror of death delivered from the skies by the US and its allies,” an Imam said.

“If only Muslims are the people who are told what to wear, then it is discrimination,” Victorian imam Abdinur Weli was quoted, as saying.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815892/

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Oz burqa law draws criticism for being 'culturally insensitive'

Jul 12 2011

Canberra: Muslim women would have to remove veils and show their faces to police on request or risk a prison sentence under proposed new laws in Australia's most populous state that have drawn criticism as culturally insensitive.

A vigorous debate that the proposal has triggered reflects the cultural clashes being ignited by the growing influx of Muslim immigrants and the unease that visible symbols of Islam are causing in predominantly white Christian Australia since 1973 when the government relaxed its immigration policy.

Under the law proposed by the government of New South Wales, a woman who defies police by refusing to remove her face veil could be sentenced to a year in prison and fined 5,500 Australian dollars ($5,900).

The bill – to be voted on by state parliament in August – has been condemned by civil libertarians and many Muslims as an overreaction to a traffic offence case involving a Muslim woman driver in a "niqab,'' or a veil that reveals only the eyes.

The government says the law would require motorists and criminal suspects to remove any head coverings so that police can identify them.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/815471/

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Bombings expose India's counter-terror effort

PRAVEEN SWAMI

AP Injured victims of the explosion in Zaveri bazar are taken to medical care in a truck, in Mumbai. Photo: AP

In spite of multi-million investments, investigations into 5 urban terrorist attacks since 26/11 continue to flail about in dark

In spite of massive investments in investigation and counter-terrorism intelligence capabilities since 26/11, police forces across the country have made little progress in identifying the perpetrators of the five major urban attacks which have taken place since then.

The attacks include the February 2010 bombing of the German Bakery in Pune; the April 2010 serial bombings at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, the drive-by shooting at Delhi's iconic Jama Masjid in September 2010, and the December 2010 bombing at the Shitla Ghat in Varanasi.

In May this year, a car bomb planted outside the Delhi High Court, mercifully caused no loss of life, apparently because the electronic circuits in the explosive device malfunctioned in the extreme heat.

The National Investigation Agency, set up with fanfare in 2009 to assuage public anger over a similar series of failures leading up to 26/11, has been assigned three of these cases — but it is yet to register success.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2224840.ece?homepage=true

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No lessons learnt from 26/ 11 hits

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury

Security experts blame intelligence failure &system loopholes

THE THREE serial blasts that rocked Mumbai on Wednesday — the first major blast since 26/ 11 — is being seen as an intelligence failure where indications of a terror attack were missed.

This highlights the fact that the loopholes in the system remain despite promises of intelligence revamp after the Mumbai attacks of 26/ 11.

Experts say a strategic input was available with the intelligence and security agencies that crowded areas in the Metros could be targeted by terror groups. Yet, according to S. D. Pradhan, former chairman of the joint intelligence committee, the intelligence agencies and the Mumbai Police failed to coordinate resulting in the blasts.

“There were pre- indicators of these explosions which were missed. The explosions were well planned by top terror master- minds and sleeper cells were utilised,” Pradhan said.

He suggested that the intelligence agencies should immediately “connect the dots and firm up the assessment”. The blasts could not have been more ill- timed with a fortnight to go for the scheduled talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New Delhi.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Probe will cover every terror group, says Chidambaram

Jul 14, 2011

Admitting that there was no credible intelligence input on the Mumbai attack, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday did not rule out any angle, including the possibility of an attempt to derail Indo-Pak talks, behind the blasts.

Expressing “deep regret” to the people of Mumbai over the incident, he said the probe will not start on any “pre-determined assumptions” and will cover every terror group that has the capacity to carry out such strikes in the country.

Mr. Chidambaram said there was no intelligence failure on the part of Central and state agencies.

“There was no specific intelligence input on this...whenever there is an intelligence, we share it with the states,” he told a 70-minute press conference here.

“We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe (the involvement of) every terror group...The investigations into the attack will not start on pre-determined assumptions,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2226208.ece?homepage=true

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Ammonium nitrate used in Mumbai blasts: Chidambaram

Jul 14, 2011

MUMBAI: Union home minister P Chidambaram has confirmed the use of ammonium nitrate in the Wednesday terror strike in Mumbai. He said the attacks were well coordinated but refused to confirm at this stage which terror group was behind the attack.

He said, every terror group was a suspect at this point in time and the police have been told not to rule out any angle before investigations.

Chidambaram refused to accept any intelligence failure and said that there was no specific or credible input about the Wednesday terror strikes.

The Union home minister said a massive probe was on to find leads into the terror strike with all the agencies working in coordination.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ammonium-nitrate-used-in-Mumbai-blasts-Chidambaram/articleshow/9220205.cms

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ISI chief heads to US as ties nosedive

Chidanand Rajghatta

Jul 14, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's spy chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who heads the country's ISI, an organization accused by the United States of terrorist links and of murdering its own citizens, is arriving in Washington for talks aimed ostensibly at defusing tensions with the Obama administration.

The sudden, unexpected visit comes on the heels of mildly punitive US action including withholding $800 million military aid to Pakistan following US allegations that the Pakistani government "sanctioned" the murder of a journalist and that the ISI continues to foster terrorist groups in Pakistan at the expense of cooperation with Washington.

In a brief, one-line statement, Pakistan's military, de facto rulers of the country, said Pasha was going to Washington to "coordinate intelligence matters".

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISI-chief-heads-to-US-as-ties-nosedive/articleshow/9217927.cms

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Af-Pak, nuke deal to dominate Hillary-Krishna talks

Chidanand Rajghatta

Jul 14, 2011

WASHINGTON: India and the United States will resume high level contacts next week with the visit to New Delhi by secretary of state Hillary Clinton for the second "strategic dialogue" amid a broad upswing in ties despite niggles and wrinkles in some areas.

Hillary Clinton will hold talks with her Indian counterpart SM Krishna and call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 19 in the highest level exchanges following the rousing trip to India by President Obama last November.

Some critics feel ties have gone off the boil a bit since that visit, but US and Indian officials who previewed Clinton's trip this week insisted the reports of major glitches were exaggerated and the big picture remained positive and stable at a time of tremendous flux in much of the world.

As proof of the expanding spheres of cooperation between the two sides they pointed to a sidebar meeting on West Asia during the Clinton visit involving regional desk heads (in addition to an existing dialogue channel on East Asia), pointing to expansive conversations between the two countries on global issues.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Af-Pak-nuke-deal-to-dominate-Hillary-Krishna-talks/articleshow/9216462.cms

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UK: Qaida tapping social network to launch cyber jihad

Jul 14, 2011

LONDON: Al-Qaida is increasingly using online technology, including the popular social networking sites, to launch a "cyber-jihad" against the West, UK government has warned, citing terror attacks like the 26/11 Mumbai strikes.

The UK's updated counter-terrorism strategy released on Tuesday suggests that terrorists' use of social media to disseminate information and radicalise people is "commonplace".

It warns that the number of attacks on IT systems would likely increase and that extremists were increasingly sophisticated in their use of social networking and video- sharing sites.

"Since the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida has explicitly called not only for acts of lone or individual terrorism but also for 'cyber-jihad'," the document said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-Qaida-tapping-social-network-to-launch-cyber-jihad/articleshow/9217992.cms

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US begins drawdown of troops from Afghanistan

Jul 14, 2011

AFGHANISTAN: The first troops to leave Afghanistan as part of the US drawdown handed over their slice of battlefield to a unit less than half their size and started packing for home.

When the 650 members of the Iowa National Guard's 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment arrived in Afghanistan in November 2010, bases didn't have enough housing, translators were in short supply and chow halls were packed. Commanders were using a buildup of 33,000 extra troops for a major push that they said would turn the tide of the war against the Taliban insurgency.

Nine months later, it's still unclear if that push has succeeded, but the pullback has begun. Although major combat units are not expected to start leaving until late fall, two National Guard regiments comprising about 1,000 soldiers in all are withdrawing this month _ the Iowa soldiers from Parwan province in eastern Afghanistan, and the other group from the capital, Kabul.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced last month that he would pull 10,000 of the extra troops out in 2011 and the remaining 23,000 by the summer of 2012.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/US-begins-drawdown-of-troops-from-Afghanistan/articleshow/9220703.cms

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Saudi Arabia honours Indian envoy

ATUL ANEJA

The Hindu Talmiz Ahmad, Indian Ambassador to the Saudi Arabia. File Photo: V. Ganesan.

India's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Talmiz Ahmad has become the first Indian diplomat to be conferred the King Abdulaziz Medal of First Class for his contribution towards elevating Indo-Saudi ties.

The honour was bestowed upon him at Jeddah on Sunday by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. Mr. Ahmad said he had made a “modest” contribution towards the improvement of Indo-Saudi ties.

However, analysts say Mr. Ahmad has been honoured because of the key role he has played in raising Indo-Saudi level to a “strategic” level — a landmark that was achieved during the visit to Riyadh by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.

Full report at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2224670.ece

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Islamabad offers olive branch to Balochistan people

ANITA JOSHUA

To address some of the alienation felt across Balochistan, the federal government extended several olive branches to the the restive province including the dialogue option to exiled Baloch nationalist leaders and setting up a judicial commission to look into the murder of former Chief Minister Nawab Akbar Bugti during the Musharraf regime.

But, most importantly, the government convened this week's Cabinet meeting in Quetta to drive home the point that Balochistan is an integral part and not a Bangladesh-in-the-making as is being warned by civil society in view of the widespread anger over unexplained disappearances and the trend of many of these missing persons meeting a tortured end.

Wednesday's meeting in Quetta is a first. Not just for Balochistan's capital but also for the move to convene meetings of the federal Cabinet in provincial capitals to promote harmony among provinces.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2224643.ece

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It's time for Pakistan to prosecute LeT leaders: Curtis

Jul 14 2011

Washington: Pakistan must prosecute the LeT leaders who were involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, a top American expert on South Asia said on Thursday, a day after serial blasts in India's financial hub killed 21 people.

“The US officials should do everything they can to counsel calm in both Islamabad and New Delhi,” said Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation.

“They (the US officials) should also make clear to Pakistani officials that, whether or not the attack originated in Pakistan, now would be an opportune time to move ahead with the prosecutions of the LeT members involved in the 2008 attacks to show their good faith and help keep dialogue with India on track,” she said.

Noting that the strength of the links of these bombings to the LeT will determine how India responds, Curtis said if investigators determine that LeT members played a crucial role in the planning and implementation of Wednesday's attacks, the Indian leadership will be compelled to again break off recently resumed talks with Islamabad.

Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet in New Delhi later this month.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817388/

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Retired CIA officer under scanner for ‘war crimes’

Jul 14 2011

Washington : A CIA officer who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and pushed for approval for increasingly harsh tactics has come under scrutiny in a federal war crimes investigation involving the death of a prisoner, witnesses said.

Steve Stormoen, who is now retired from the CIA, supervised an unofficial program in which the CIA imprisoned and interrogated men without entering their names in the Army’s books.

The so-called “ghosting” program was unsanctioned by CIA headquarters. In fact, in early 2003, CIA lawyers expressly prohibited the agency from running its own interrogations, current and former intelligence officials said. The lawyers said agency officers could be present during military interrogations and add their expertise but, under the laws of war, the military must always have the lead.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/817352/

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Fake vaccination: ‘Guardian report won’t affect immunisation campaigns in K-P’

By Manzoor Ali

July 13, 2011

PESHAWAR: Health officials in Peshawar do not see any negative fallout of a report published in the Guardian that a senior health official from Khyber Agency had taken part in a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sponsored programme earlier in March.

The British newspaper reported on Tuesday that the CIA launched a fake vaccination drive in Abbottabad to gather the DNA information of Osama bin Laden’s family. It said that Khyber Agency Surgeon Dr Shakir Afridi had arranged a private vaccination campaign under the pretext of a CIA programme to trace the al Qaeda leader in Abbottabad.

Immunisation campaigns in Khyber-Pakhthunkhwa (K-P) and the tribal areas have been beset due to conspiracy theories that these medicines produce infertility and are meant to check growing Muslim population by the West.

“It [the Guardian report] will have no impact on the immunisation campaign as we have a standard procedure to carry out this exercise,” a senior official of the K-P health directorate told The Express Tribune. Regarding Dr Afridi, the official said he was an employee of the Fata secretariat, not the provincial government.

Dr Shakir Afridi

Full report at: http://tribune.com.pk/story/208496/fake-vaccination-guardian-report-wont-affect-immunisation-campaigns-in-k-p/

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Pakistan’s inclusion in Afghan peace process necessary: Gilani

July 14, 2011

Addressing a press conference at the end of his two-day visit to Quetta, Gilani said Pakistan supported reconciliation in Afghanistan and the process should be led and owned by that country. — File Photo

QUETTA: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here on Wednesday that Pakistan should be included in the Afghan-led reconciliation process and the future strategy for Afghanistan should be decided with its consultation.

Addressing a press conference at the end of his two-day visit to Quetta, he said Pakistan supported reconciliation in Afghanistan and the process should be led and owned by that country.

Replying to a question about Pakistan`s role in the process, he said there was a core group comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, adding that the reconciliation strategy should be decided by the group.

Mr Gilani said Pakistan had suffered a lot because of decisions taken 30 years ago and as a result of which “our Afghan brothers, sisters and children were still living in refugee camps”.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/14/pakistans-inclusion-in-afghan-peace-process-necessary-gilani.html

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Turkish police detains 14 people in al Qaeda raids

July 14, 2011

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained 14 people in raids targeting the al Qaeda terrorist group across western Turkey after the discovery of explosives and weapons, the Interior Ministry said. Police seized 700 kilogrammes of ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in improvised explosives, in a raid on a house in the province of Ankara, Milliyet newspaper said on Wednesday. The detainees, linked to a group active in Afghanistan, were detained on Tuesday on suspicion of planning attacks on US installations in Turkey to avenge the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US forces in Pakistan on May 2, the paper said. Police operations were also conducted in the western Turkish provinces of Bursa and Yalova after the raid in Ankara, the Interior Ministry said late on Tuesday. Turkish police regularly arrest suspected terrorists and describe them as having links to al Qaeda, though further details seldom emerge. Al Qaeda terrorists were behind bomb attacks in 2003 that killed some 60 people and wounded hundreds in Istanbul. reuters

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\07\14\story_14-7-2011_pg7_7

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PTI calls for military action against drone attacks

July 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday said the US drone attacks in the tribal areas were unacceptable and tantamount to state terrorism against the people of Pakistan and the party asserted it was time for the government to order the military to take action against such strikes.

PTI Vice-President for Policy Planning, National Security and Foreign Affairs Dr. Shireen Mazari, in a statement issued here by the party’s central secretariat, regretted that during the last 24 hours, over 60 people had been killed in these drone attacks. She welcomed the Pakistan military’s decision to combat terrorism using national resources. However, on behalf of the PTI, she pointed out that terrorism could only be successfully combated when there was a comprehensive national counter-terrorism policy that embraced political, economic and military aspects of the problem.

Full report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=18690&title=PTI-calls-for-military-action-against-drone-attacks

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Arab League tells US to stop interfering in Syria

By BASSEM MROUE

Jul 14, 2011

BEIRUT: The Arab League said Wednesday that Washington overstepped its bounds by saying Syrian President Bashar Assad had lost the legitimacy to lead his country.

Speaking to reporters in Damascus, Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby said Assad assured him that “Syria has entered a new era and is now moving on the road of a genuine reform.”

Syria came under withering international criticism Tuesday as the White House said Assad has “lost legitimacy” and the UN Security Council condemned attacks on the US and French embassies in Damascus.

It was a sharp escalation in pressure on Assad and a sign that the Obama administration could be moving closer to calling for regime change in Syria over the violent crackdown on a four-month-old uprising. Previously, the US position on Assad was that he should lead a transition to democracy or leave.

Elaraby said nobody has the right to say that the president of any country has lost his legitimacy.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471267.ece

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Liquor haul at Qatar border

Jul 14, 2011

RIYADH: Custom officials at the Salwa entry point that connects Saudi Arabia and Qatar foiled an attempt to smuggle in 327 bottles of liquor, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The bottles of liquor were hidden inside the gasoline tank of a truck that was entering the Kingdom. Police stopped the driver and when they conducted x-ray on the vehicle, they found the hidden cargo. The Customs Department transferred the case to police for further investigations.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article471559.ece

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Syrian exiles call for army to side with people

By SIMON CAMERON-MOORE

Jul 13, 2011

ISTANBUL: A meeting of Syrian opposition in Istanbul ended on Wednesday with a call for the army to protect its people and side with the protesters against President Bashar Al-Assad’s government.

Attended largely by exiled dissidents, the gathering will be followed by another in Istanbul on Saturday, which the organizers hope to twin through video-link with a “National Salvation” conference planned by opposition in Damascus.

“The Syrian army is the guardian of the people and the state. Therefore we call on the army to do its duty and protect people from the cruelty of the regime and stand with brave protesters,” said a declaration read at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.

It said Syrian forces should withdraw from the country’s villages, towns and cities. Human rights groups say at least 1,400 civilians have been killed since protests began in March against Assad’s autocratic rule.

The declaration condemned Iran and the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon for backing Assad, and implored the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference to support the people.

Full report at: ttp://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471340.ece

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Saudi, Indonesian officials start talks to resolve recruitment crisis

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Jul 14, 2011

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has shown a gesture of support and friendship to Indonesia by sparing a housemaid from being beheaded and repatriating her to Jakarta.

The news comes at a time when a high-powered delegation from Indonesia is holding talks with the officials of the Ministry of Labor here since Tuesday in an effort to work out a compromise formula to boost relations in the manpower sector and to defuse the crisis in the process.

This was disclosed by Tatang Budie Utama Razak, director for Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities in Indonesia, on Wednesday.

Razak, who arrived with the 12-member delegation from Jakarta to participate in the talks with Saudi officials, confirmed that Darsem Binti Dawud Tawar, 26, arrived in Jakarta on Wednesday morning and was received by her family members, friends and several Indonesian officials.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article471543.ece

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Israel gives go-ahead to museum opposed by Muslims

Jul 14, 2011

JERUSALEM: The Israeli government has approved a Jewish group’s plan to build a museum over a centuries-old Muslim graveyard in Jerusalem, an official confirmed Wednesday, in the final go-ahead for a project delayed for years by Muslim opposition.

The bitter wrangle over construction of the Museum of Tolerance reflects the explosive potential of religion-based disputes in Jerusalem, where Jews and Muslims often play down the other side’s historical ties to the city. The museum, which is meant to promote coexistence, is a project of a US-based Jewish group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Israel’s Interior Ministry granted a building permit on Tuesday and construction can begin immediately, said Efrat Orbach, a ministry spokeswoman.

Although permits are usually granted by a municipality, authority was transferred to the government ministry due to the sensitivity of this case, Orbach said Wednesday.

Muslims sought to stop the project on religious grounds, saying the old graves must not be desecrated. Israelis charged that with their opposition to the museum, certain Muslim groups were trying to establish a political foothold in the Jewish part of Jerusalem.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471354.ece

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Bermuda to increase its presence in Islamic financial world

July 14, 2011

Amanda Dale

Bermuda is nurturing its worldwide presence as an Islamic financial hub.

Business Bermuda stressed the island’s commitment to expanding its Islamic Finance sector at the inaugural Islamic Financial News European Forum in London.

Peter Hughes, Apex Fund Services group director, spoke on the island’s leading role in the growth of the Islamic finance industry.

Opportunities

He also hosted a panel discussion about Bermuda as an Islamic finance hub.

At the forum — attended by 650 people — experts also discussed how Bermuda can offer an attractive, politically neutral platform to Western investors and managers.

Mr Hayes said: “Bermuda is in an excellent position to support firms seeking to invest in Shariah compliant products, especially since regulations and laws form the foundation of our world-class financial services industry, making Bermuda well regulated, transparent and fully compliant.  The global market for Islamic finance and insurance will continue to grow, opening exciting possibilities for Bermuda-based companies.”

Bermuda recently signed its 25th Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Republic of Indonesia, providing a full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters.

Full report at:

http://bermudasun.bm/main.asp?SectionID=72&SubSectionID=205&ArticleID=53098

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Detained BBC World Service reporter 'frail and frightened'

July 14, 2011

I reported last month on the detention of a BBC World Service reporter, Urunboy Usmonov, in Tajikistan.

The Tajik authorities have now confirmed that their investigation into accusations that Usmonov (pictured) is a member of Hizbut-Tahrir, an extreme Islamic organisation, has been completed.

Tajikistan's prosecutor general of Tajikistan has requested that a summary of the case should be passed to the president, Emomali Rakhmon.

A statement from the the BBC World Service says it hopes the process will come to a speedy conclusion and lead to the release of Usmonov and the clearing of his name.

The BBC regards the allegations against their correspondent as "completely unfounded", adding"

"We believe that meetings and interviews with people representing all shades of opinion are part of the work of any BBC journalist."

The BBC remains "deeply concerned" about Usmonov's well-being. Colleagues who have visited him "found him to be frail and frightened."

Source: BBC World Service press office

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Umrah applications from Turkey on rise

July 14, 2011

Muslims who fail to join the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, usually prefer to perfom the umrah, which can be taken at any time of the year, officials say.

Turkish umrah applications have exceeded 370,000 this year, representing a great increase compared to previous years, according to official figures.

The number of people who want to make an umrah journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, has increased 70 times over the last 10 years.

Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca, performed by Muslims, which can be taken at any time of the year unlike the Hajj, which is on a certain date.

There is a serious increase in the number of people journeying to the holy land Mecca for Hajj and umrah, thanks to an increase in incomes, easy access to religious knowledge and Internet usage, according to Ergün Yücel, deputy director general at the Directorate of Religious Affairs Pilgrimage and Umrah Services.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=umrah-applications-from-turkey-on-rise-2011-07-13

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Jews who filed Nazis return for Vienna games

July 13, 2011

Michael Shields

Competing at the Jewish version of the Olympics caps a life intertwined for two boyhood friends who learned to swim in Vienna and went on to became physicians in their adopted home after fleeing

John Benfield (R) and Arthur Figur (second picture) of the U.S. prepare for a swimming event during the 13th European Maccabi games at the Stadionbad open-air pool in Vienna. Reuters photo

Having escaped the Holocaust as boys, two 80-year-old Jewish doctors from the United States have returned to Vienna to swim in the European Maccabi Games and have the last laugh at the Nazis who tormented their youth.

Competing at the Jewish version of the Olympics caps a life intertwined for John Benfield and Arthur Figur, boyhood friends who learned to swim in Vienna, fled when Nazi Germany annexed Austria, and became successful physicians in their adopted home.

“When I heard that the Maccabi Games were going to be in Vienna I said: ‘This is right, this is something I need to do’, and even though I’m not a very good swimmer...I need to show the Nazis that we’re still around,” Benfield said in an interview.

Benfield and his lifelong friend Figur are among the nearly 2,000 Jewish athletes from 37 countries competing at the European Maccabi Games, which are held every four years.

The 2011 Vienna Games, which was wrapped up Wednesday, are the first since World War Two to be held on former Nazi territory.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=jews-who-f-led-nazis-return-for-vienna-games-2011-07-13

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Cost of living in Middle East becomes cheaper for expats

By DAVID ROSENBERG

Jul 14, 2011

If you can put up with the occasional government crackdown, interruptions in Internet and cellphone service and a bodyguard following you around, then the Middle East has become a better place to work in the past year for expatriates, at least from a cost-of-living point of view.

Of 18 Middle East and North African (MENA) cities surveyed in March for cost of living relative to a benchmark of New York, all but two showed substantial declines from a year ago, according to a survey by the global human resources consulting firm Mercer. Among the biggest drops, Cairo fell 41 places to rank 128th among 214 cities covered in the global survey. Tehran dropped 27 places to No. 130 and Dubai 26 places to 81.

A lot happened in the region between March 2010 and March 2011, but the decline in living costs for expatiates generally had more prosaic reasons than toppled leaders, mass protests and civil war. The biggest factor was that many of the region’s currencies are linked to the US dollar, sending costs down for expatriates living on dollar incomes, said Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer.

“As the dollar depreciated against other currencies, it pushed down relative costs,” she told The Media Line. “Other cities around the world have gone up in the ratings, while Middle East cities have gone down. If you look at the cost of living in local currencies, costs have remained quite stable.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article471513.ece

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Makkah realtors cash in on ‘jinn’ rumors

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Jul 14, 2011

MAKKAH: There are widespread rumors among Makkawis claiming some abandoned buildings and estates are possessed by jinns.

According to the widely circulated gossip, residents of these buildings located in various districts of the holy city, especially on the outskirts, say they vacated their dwellings after supernatural forces had harmed them.

There are divergent views among local residents with regard to the rumors. However, most of their views seem to confirm the existence of something mysterious at these buildings.

These have forced the owners of a number of such buildings and plots of lands to sell them at much lower rates.

There are also reports that some realtors are allegedly behind these rumors.

Local resident Muhammad Bazaid said it was easy to identify abandoned buildings that are allegedly possessed.

“Some buildings and estates in the city are known to be possessed by jinns. People used to say that,” he said, while noting that this situation is being exploited by some realtors.

“They are behind spreading of these rumors and are thus instrumental in lowering prices of these properties. They then try to buy them at prices much lower than the market value,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article471396.ece

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Bangladesh vows harsh steps to curb visa trade

By MD RASOOLDEEN

Jul 14, 2011

RIYADH: Visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who wrapped up a three-day visit to the Kingdom on Wednesday, has said punitive action will be taken against unscrupulous middlemen involved in visa trading.

“These men are largely responsible for some of the workers' problems in the Kingdom,” the minister said.

Visa trading is an illegal transaction whereby foreign nationals are brought into the country when there is no fixed employment for them. The influx of such jobless workers into the Kingdom affect both the host country and labor-exporting countries.

Moni, who arrived in the capital on Wednesday morning, had a meeting with acting Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam to apprise him of the welfare measures adopted by the Bangladesh government for the betterment of its migrant workers in the Kingdom.

“While appreciating the contribution made by a majority of the 1.5 million workers in the Kingdom, we also took note of the problems faced by a fraction of the community members,” said Moni. “Migrant workers have become victims of fraudulent activities of middlemen.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article471551.ece

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UN council split likely on Syria atomic issue: US

14 July 2011

UNITED NATIONS - Divisions in the Security Council are likely to prevent any immediate concrete outcome when the body discusses Syria’s alleged covert atomic work on Thursday, the US ambassador to the United Nations said.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors voted in June to report Syria to the Security Council, rebuking it for stonewalling an agency probe into the Dair Alzour complex bombed by Israel in 2007.

Russia and China — both permanent council members — were among those opposing the referral by the Vienna-based body, but were outvoted. Unlike on the council, there are no veto powers on the IAEA board.

“I think as was obvious given the vote in Vienna that there are certain members of the council ... including some veto-wielding members, who did not support the referral and who are unlikely to be prepared to support a council product at this time,” US Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters.

That could mean it might be difficult to get a statement or resolution on the issue agreed. Diplomats said the most likely first step council members could strive for is language urging Syria to cooperate with the IAEA investigation but that Damascus is unlikely to face UN sanctions over the issue.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/July/middleeast_July319.xml&section=middleeast

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Egypt’s election ‘may not be untill Nov’

July 13, 2011

Parliamentary elections may be delayed for two months, an army

source says after calls from political groups that say waiting would boost participation.

Egyptian protesters hold hands to prevent others from coming close to soldiers during a march from Tahrir Square to the People’s Assembly building in Cairo. REUTERS photo

Egypt’s parliamentary election may not be held until November, about two months later than suggested, an army source said on Wednesday after some political groups have called for voting to be delayed.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most organised group, is widely seen as best prepared to benefit from a swifter vote. Other political groups, including liberal movements, which have been racing to form parties since Mubarak was ousted from the presidency in February, have said a delay would help broader participation. The army source said registration of candidates would start in September, which he said meant the army was sticking to its commitment to

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=egypt8217s-election-8216may-not-be-untill-nov8217-2011-07-13

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mumbai-attacks-to-further-complicate-indo-pak-ties--analyst/d/5023


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