New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 12:16 PM

Islamic World News ( 24 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamic State Bomb Supply Chain Includes 7 Indian Firms: Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Islamic State Bomb Supply Chain Includes 7 Indian Firms: Report

 

Pakistan Shuts Down 254 Religious Seminaries

‘Islamic Fanatic Told American Teens He Wanted To Hurt All Non-Muslims and Blow People Up’

No Invitation Received From Afghan Govt, Say Taliban

Things Looking Up For Displaced Iraqis As ISIS Loses Ground

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India

Islamic State Bomb Supply Chain Includes 7 Indian Firms: Report

There Are Doubts over Afzal Guru’s Role in Parliament Attack: P Chidambaram

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Pakistan

Pakistan Shuts Down 254 Religious Seminaries

Nuclear Deterrence a 'Factor of Stability' In South Asia: Pakistan

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North America

‘Islamic Fanatic Told American Teens He Wanted To Hurt All Non-Muslims and Blow People Up’

Man Brandishes Gun and Yells ‘All of You Should Die’ To Muslim Family in St Louis

ISIS threatens Facebook, Twitter CEOs

Kerry speaks of Syria partition plan

University of Illinois hosting Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative in summer

US Convening Meeting on Countering Islamic State Propaganda

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South Asia

No Invitation Received From Afghan Govt, Say Taliban

Seven Taliban killed by own bomb during training in Ghazni

ISIS Loyalists among 50 Killed In Afghan Army Operations: MoD

Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami party says will consider if invited to peace talks

700 militants abandon Jawzjan district with the arrival of Gen. Dostum

Russia urges Taliban to join reconciliation process

NDS arrest 2 suspects over deadly bakery attack in Paktika province

Sharif says QCG making progress for resolving Afghan conflict

Two de-miners wounded in Taliban attack in Zabul

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Arab World

Things Looking Up For Displaced Iraqis As ISIS Loses Ground

Tens of ISIL Militants Killed in Syrian Army Counter-Attack in Southern Aleppo

Yemeni Forces Destroy 10th Saudi Warship

Saudi King's Aid to Iraq's Al-Anbar Suspicious

Syria army retakes key town on road to Aleppo from IS

Two Terrorist Ringleaders Held Captive in Damascus

Syrian Jets Pound Terrorists' Positions in Hama

Syrian Army Repels ISIL Offensives near Deir Ezzur Airbase

Saudi Security Forces Attack Awamiya Again

Army Regains Full Control over another Strategic Town in Aleppo

Terrorists in Darayya Squeezed by Army in Small Area

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Advance in Lattakia, Purge Terrorists from Several Regions

Nusra Front's Long Tunnels Discovered in Darayya

Iraqi Commanders: Volunteer Forces to Continue Mosul Battle Despite US Pressures

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Africa

Kerry Warns Libya May Become ‘Failed State’

Libya Abuses: UN Report Documents Killings and Torture

Who Afraid of Sheikh Zakzaky's Freedom?

75 percent of African countries regard Israel as very close friend says Kenya

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Mideast

Turkey Has Most Firms Involved In Supply Chain to ISIL: Report

Turkey Says Syria Ceasefire Is Not Binding If It Threatens Security

Saudi warplanes to arrive at Turkish base on Friday

NATO overcomes Greek-Turkish tension to set terms of Aegean mission

Erdoğan steps up call to strip HDP deputies of parliamentary immunity

Turkish foreign minister says YPG seeking to divide Syria

Iran arrests father of jailed US citizen: Family

Bilal Erdoğan allegedly pledges $20 million to Turkish-Bulgarian party leader

Report: 13-year-old detained for insulting Erdoğan on Facebook

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Southeast Asia

Australian Tourists Warned Terrorists in Indonesia May Be In ‘Advanced Stages’ Of Preparing Attacks

Muslim-Majority Indonesia's Gay Community Under Attack

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Europe

French ‘Not Fighting’ In Libya, Says Commander

Hungary’s Orban says EU-Turkey migrant deal an ‘illusion’

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/islamic-state-bomb-supply-chain-includes-7-indian-firms--report/d/106466 

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Islamic State Bomb Supply Chain Includes 7 Indian Firms: Report

Reuters | Feb 25, 2016

ANKARA: Companies from 20 countries are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State explosives, a study found on Thursday, suggesting governments and firms need to do more to track the flow of cables, chemicals and other equipment.

The European Union-mandated study showed that 51 companies from countries including Turkey, Brazil, and the United States produced, sold or received the more than 700 components used by Islamic State to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

IEDs are now being produced on a "quasi-industrial scale" by the militant group, which uses both industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertiliser chemicals and mobile phones, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study.

Islamic State controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. NATO member Turkey shares borders with both countries and has stepped up security to prevent the flow of weapons and insurgents to the hard-line Sunni group.

A total of 13 Turkish firms were found to be involved in the supply chain, the most in any one country. That was followed by India with seven.

"These findings support growing international awareness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining — acquiring weapons and strategic goods, such as IED components, locally and with ease," said James Bevan, CAR's executive director.

The sale of these cheap and readily available parts, some of which are not subject to government export licences, is far less scrutinised and regulated than the transfer of weapons.

The study found that Islamic State is able to acquire some components in as a little as a month after their lawful supply to firms in the region, suggestion a lack of oversight in the supply chain.

"Companies having effective accounting systems to establish where the goods went after them would act as a deterrent," Bevan said.

'Refused to cooperate'

Bevan said the Turkish government refused to cooperate with CAR's investigation so the group was not able to determine the efficacy of Ankara's regulations regarding the tracking of components.

Turkish government officials did not reply to requests for comment.

CAR gained access to the components through partners including the Washington-backed Kurdish YPG in Syria, the Iraqi Federal Police, the Kurdistan Region Security Council and forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The components were recovered during major battles around the Iraqi towns of al Rabia, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Tikrit and the Syrian town of Kobani.

The report's authors said they attempted to contact the companies linked to the components, adding the firms did not respond or were not able to account for where the goods went after they left their custody.

Seven Indian companies manufactured most of the detonators, detonating cord, and safety fuses documented by CAR. Those were all legally exported under government-issued licences from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey, CAR found.

Companies from Brazil, Romania, Russia, the Netherlands, China, Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic were also involved, the report found.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Islamic-State-bomb-supply-chain-includes-7-Indian-firms-Report/articleshow/51132798.cms

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Pakistan shuts down 254 religious seminaries

PTI | Feb 25, 2016, 03.29 PM IST

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have shut 254 suspected and unregistered religious madrassas across the country as part of a crackdown on religious seminaries involved in extremism.

167 suspected seminaries in Sindh, 13 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, two in Punjab, and 72 unregistered seminaries in Sindh have been closed, said Balighur Rehman, minister of state for interior & narcotics control with the National Assembly.

The minister shared the government's measures to curb sectarian violence under the National Action Plan to combat terrorism, their implementation and the results achieved until February 16.

Regarding registration and regulation of seminaries, the state minister said the government had completed 100 per cent mapping on agreed parameters in Islamabad and Punjab.

Eighty per cent of the mapping exercise has been completed in Sindh, followed by 75 per cent in K-P and 60 per cent in Balochistan, he added.

"There are 190 foreign-funded seminaries in the country, of which 147 are in Punjab, 30 in Balochistan, seven in K-P and six in Sindh."

The government is countering hate speech and banning dissemination of extremist material and so far 2,471 cases have been registered, 2,345 people arrested and 73 shops involved in the business sealed, Rehman told the house.

On misuse of loudspeakers, he said 9,945 cases had been registered, 10,177 people arrested and 2,664 devices confiscated.

Pakistan launched a major campaign under the National Action Plan (NAP) that was put in place after militants stormed an army school in December, 2014 killing at least 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-shuts-down-254-religious-seminaries/articleshow/51138805.cms

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‘Islamic fanatic told teens he wanted to hurt all non-Muslims and blow people up’

Feb 25, 2016

Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem told the teenagers, aged 13 and 15, he wanted to strap a bomb to himself and blow people up inside a shopping centre, a court heard.

The boys testified against the 44-year-old who is accused of plotting an attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest last year in Garland, Texas.

However the planned assault was thwarted by police.

Mr Kareem is one of the first people in the US to stand trial on charges of supporting the depraved Islamic State.

The teens explained to the jury how Kareem was becoming increasingly radicalised and grew upset about the cartoon contest.

They pair, who lived across the street from Mr Kareem, became friends with him as he reportedly gave them presents such as an Xbox, clothes and phone.

He even took them out to eat while trying to persuade them to convert to Islam, the court heard.

Two gunmen were killed outside of the Mohammed Cartoon Contest in an unrelated attack

One of the teens said Kareem was especially disdainful of non-Muslims, calling them a derogatory term.

The 15-year-old said he remembered Mr Kareem saying he wanted to strap a bomb to himself, go to a shopping mall and blow up people.

He said the 44-year-old even showed him a video of someone being killed.

In discussions about the anti-Islam cartoon contest, the boy added that Mr Kareem wanted to go and shoot people.

The event was condemned by many groups

The 13-year-old said Mr Kareem mentioned equipping one of the shooters, Elton Simpson, with an AK-47.

The younger boy told jurors how Mr Kareem woke up him in early 2015 with his laughter as he watched a news report on ISIS militants burning a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage.

Mr Kareem denies the allegations and claims the US government is using guilt through associations to target him.

The Mohammed Cartoon Contest was held in Texas

His defence says the government has little proof that he was the mastermind behind the Texas attack, in which Simpson and friend Nadir Soofi were killed by a police officer.

They arrived at the event with semi-automatic weapons, bulletproof vests and print-outs of the flag of ISIS – also known as Daesh.

The boys described Kareem as a father figure, with one of them moving in with him.

He bought them items as gifts and in exchange for doing work in his yard while he taught them about Islam and the religion's traditions.

express.co.uk/news/world/647327/Islamic-fanatic-kill-non-Muslim

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No invitation received from Afghan govt, say Taliban

February 25th, 2016

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday they had not been officially contacted by Kabul about the resumption of direct talks aimed at ending their conflict.

The comment came a day after the latest round of dialogue in the Afghan capital between officials from Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan.

The representatives of the four states called on the militants to return to the negotiating table and said they expected the process to begin by the first week of March.

“We are not aware of this, I cannot say anything regarding talks in Islamabad,” said the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a phone conversation.

“We have not received anything officially in this regard, we only heard it from media.”

A first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the resort town of Murree last July, but came to a standstill after the Kabul government leaked news of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar two years before.

In January, during a seminar organised by the Pugwash peace movement in Qatar, Taliban representatives called for their cadres to be removed from US and UN blacklists which have frozen their assets and restricted their freedom of movement.

dawn.com/news/1241688/no-invitation-received-from-afghan-govt-say-taliban

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Things Looking Up For Displaced Iraqis As ISIS Loses Ground

Sameer Arshad | Feb 25, 2016

KARBALA, Iraq: Ibrahim (10) shrugged his shoulders saying life is not good as he missed his home and school in Mosul before jumping on his bicycle and cycling away. Another group of children led by Safa Ahmed (9) broke into a chorus demanding better schooling at their camp for people displaced due to IS terror near Iraq's Karbala amid an upbeat mood that the worst was over.

The nightmare for the kids may be nearing an end with the liberation of key cities like Ramadi from IS and Iraqi forces successes against the terror group. But they are scarred for life and would take years to overcome the trauma of having been forced to flee their homes in northern Iraq's Mosul after it fell to IS terrorists in June 2014.

All displaced people at the camp are united in grief and each one of them has a horrific story to tell. "I lost my two cousins before we arrived here," said Ruqqaya, a displaced woman. She was worried about the future of her two children while her husband suffered from depression since getting wounded in an IS attack.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Things-looking-up-for-displaced-Iraqis-as-IS-loses-ground/articleshow/51137845.cms

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India

Islamic State Bomb Supply Chain Includes 7 Indian Firms: Report

Reuters | Feb 25, 2016

ANKARA: Companies from 20 countries are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State explosives, a study found on Thursday, suggesting governments and firms need to do more to track the flow of cables, chemicals and other equipment.

The European Union-mandated study showed that 51 companies from countries including Turkey, Brazil, and the United States produced, sold or received the more than 700 components used by Islamic State to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

IEDs are now being produced on a "quasi-industrial scale" by the militant group, which uses both industrial components that are regulated and widely available equipment such as fertiliser chemicals and mobile phones, according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study.

Islamic State controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. NATO member Turkey shares borders with both countries and has stepped up security to prevent the flow of weapons and insurgents to the hard-line Sunni group.

A total of 13 Turkish firms were found to be involved in the supply chain, the most in any one country. That was followed by India with seven.

"These findings support growing international awareness that IS forces in Iraq and Syria are very much self-sustaining — acquiring weapons and strategic goods, such as IED components, locally and with ease," said James Bevan, CAR's executive director.

The sale of these cheap and readily available parts, some of which are not subject to government export licences, is far less scrutinised and regulated than the transfer of weapons.

The study found that Islamic State is able to acquire some components in as a little as a month after their lawful supply to firms in the region, suggestion a lack of oversight in the supply chain.

"Companies having effective accounting systems to establish where the goods went after them would act as a deterrent," Bevan said.

'Refused to cooperate'

Bevan said the Turkish government refused to cooperate with CAR's investigation so the group was not able to determine the efficacy of Ankara's regulations regarding the tracking of components.

Turkish government officials did not reply to requests for comment.

CAR gained access to the components through partners including the Washington-backed Kurdish YPG in Syria, the Iraqi Federal Police, the Kurdistan Region Security Council and forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The components were recovered during major battles around the Iraqi towns of al Rabia, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Tikrit and the Syrian town of Kobani.

The report's authors said they attempted to contact the companies linked to the components, adding the firms did not respond or were not able to account for where the goods went after they left their custody.

Seven Indian companies manufactured most of the detonators, detonating cord, and safety fuses documented by CAR. Those were all legally exported under government-issued licences from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey, CAR found.

Companies from Brazil, Romania, Russia, the Netherlands, China, Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic were also involved, the report found.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Islamic-State-bomb-supply-chain-includes-7-Indian-firms-Report/articleshow/51132798.cms

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There are doubts over Afzal Guru’s role in Parliament attack: P Chidambaram

Feb 25, 2016

NEW DELHI: Nearly three years after the UPA government ordered the hanging of Afzal Guru, P Chidambaram, who held the home and finance portfolios in the UPA government, told ET that he felt it was possible to hold an "honest opinion" that the case was "perhaps not correctly decided" and that there were "grave doubts about the extent of his involvement" in the 2001 Parliament attack. He was responding to a question on whether the courts had reached the correct conclusions in the Afzal case and also whether execution was the appropriate penalty.

"I think it is possible to hold an honest opinion that the Afzal Guru case was perhaps not correctly decided," he told ET in an interview.

"But being in government you cannot say the court has decided the case wrongly because it was the government that prosecuted him. But an independent person can hold an opinion that the case was not decided correctly."

Further it is wrong to project that anyone "who holds that opinion is anti-nation". Chidambaram was home minister from 2008 to 2012, before being switched to finance. Afzal Guru, who was found guilty of involvement in the attack on Parliament in 2001, was executed in 2013, when Sushilkumar Shinde was home minister.

"There were grave doubts about his involvement (in the conspiracy behind the attack on Parliament and even if he was involved, there were grave doubts about the extent of his involvement. He could have been imprisoned for life without parole for rest of his natural life," he said.

Terming the sedition charges against JNU students as "outrageous", the veteran Congress leader said the court will throw out those charges at the first hearing. "Free speech is not seditious speech. Is your speech a spark in the powder keg (inciting violence) only then it amounts to sedition," he said.

Chidambaram also said the anti-national slogans allegedly chanted on the JNU campus earlier this month did not amount to sedition. "It is an age where students have the right to be wrong. And the university is a place where you don't always need to be profound, you can be ridiculous also," he said.

When reminded that was part of the same government that executed Guru, Chidambaram replied: "That is true, but I was not the home minister then...I can't say what I would have done. It is only when you sitting on that seat you take that decision."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/There-are-doubts-over-Afzal-Gurus-role-in-Parliament-attack-P-Chidambaram/articleshow/51132083.cms

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Pakistan

Pakistan shuts down 254 religious seminaries

PTI | Feb 25, 2016, 03.29 PM IST

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have shut 254 suspected and unregistered religious madrassas across the country as part of a crackdown on religious seminaries involved in extremism.

167 suspected seminaries in Sindh, 13 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, two in Punjab, and 72 unregistered seminaries in Sindh have been closed, said Balighur Rehman, minister of state for interior & narcotics control with the National Assembly.

The minister shared the government's measures to curb sectarian violence under the National Action Plan to combat terrorism, their implementation and the results achieved until February 16.

Regarding registration and regulation of seminaries, the state minister said the government had completed 100 per cent mapping on agreed parameters in Islamabad and Punjab.

Eighty per cent of the mapping exercise has been completed in Sindh, followed by 75 per cent in K-P and 60 per cent in Balochistan, he added.

"There are 190 foreign-funded seminaries in the country, of which 147 are in Punjab, 30 in Balochistan, seven in K-P and six in Sindh."

The government is countering hate speech and banning dissemination of extremist material and so far 2,471 cases have been registered, 2,345 people arrested and 73 shops involved in the business sealed, Rehman told the house.

On misuse of loudspeakers, he said 9,945 cases had been registered, 10,177 people arrested and 2,664 devices confiscated.

Pakistan launched a major campaign under the National Action Plan (NAP) that was put in place after militants stormed an army school in December, 2014 killing at least 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-shuts-down-254-religious-seminaries/articleshow/51138805.cms

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Nuclear deterrence a 'factor of stability' in South Asia: Pakistan

PTI | Feb 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Describing its nuclear arsenal as a "factor of stability in South Asia", Pakistan said on Wednesday that it will maintain a full-spectrum deterrence and take steps to effectively respond to the threats to its national security.

During the 22nd meeting of the National Command Authority under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the nuclear watchdog reviewed regional and international security environment.

"NCA took note of the growing conventional and strategic weapons' development in the region. It expressed serious concerns over the adverse ramifications for peace and security on this account," a statement by the army said.

The NCA reaffirmed its determination to take all possible measures to make national security robust, enabling it to effectively respond to the threats to national security without indulging in arms race.

"Reiterating that nuclear deterrence is the factor of stability in South Asia, NCA expressed the resolve to maintain Full Spectrum Deterrence, in line with the policy of Credible Minimum Deterrence," the statement said.

Today's meeting was held ahead of the nuclear security summit scheduled next month in the US. It was attended by Federal Ministers for Defence, Finance and Interior, Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, Director General Strategic Plans Division.

In previous meetings, the NCA has noted with concern India's rapidly expanding conventional military asymmetry and dangerous limited conventional war policy called the 'Cold Start' doctrine.

On Wednesday, it re-emphasised Pakistan's desire for establishing the Strategic Restraint Regime in South Asia and the inescapable need of a meaningful and sustained comprehensive dialogue process for resolution of all outstanding disputes, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in the region.

The NCA noted that Pakistan has the requisite credentials to become part of all multi-lateral export control regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, for which it seeks a non-discriminatory approach.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Nuclear-deterrence-a-factor-of-stability-in-South-Asia-Pakistan/articleshow/51127016.cms

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North America

‘Islamic fanatic told teens he wanted to hurt all non-Muslims and blow people up’

Feb 25, 2016

Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem told the teenagers, aged 13 and 15, he wanted to strap a bomb to himself and blow people up inside a shopping centre, a court heard.

The boys testified against the 44-year-old who is accused of plotting an attack on a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest last year in Garland, Texas.

However the planned assault was thwarted by police.

Mr Kareem is one of the first people in the US to stand trial on charges of supporting the depraved Islamic State.

The teens explained to the jury how Kareem was becoming increasingly radicalised and grew upset about the cartoon contest.

They pair, who lived across the street from Mr Kareem, became friends with him as he reportedly gave them presents such as an Xbox, clothes and phone.

He even took them out to eat while trying to persuade them to convert to Islam, the court heard.

Two gunmen were killed outside of the Mohammed Cartoon Contest in an unrelated attack

One of the teens said Kareem was especially disdainful of non-Muslims, calling them a derogatory term.

The 15-year-old said he remembered Mr Kareem saying he wanted to strap a bomb to himself, go to a shopping mall and blow up people.

He said the 44-year-old even showed him a video of someone being killed.

In discussions about the anti-Islam cartoon contest, the boy added that Mr Kareem wanted to go and shoot people.

The event was condemned by many groups

The 13-year-old said Mr Kareem mentioned equipping one of the shooters, Elton Simpson, with an AK-47.

The younger boy told jurors how Mr Kareem woke up him in early 2015 with his laughter as he watched a news report on ISIS militants burning a Jordanian pilot to death in a cage.

Mr Kareem denies the allegations and claims the US government is using guilt through associations to target him.

The Mohammed Cartoon Contest was held in Texas

His defence says the government has little proof that he was the mastermind behind the Texas attack, in which Simpson and friend Nadir Soofi were killed by a police officer.

They arrived at the event with semi-automatic weapons, bulletproof vests and print-outs of the flag of ISIS – also known as Daesh.

The boys described Kareem as a father figure, with one of them moving in with him.

He bought them items as gifts and in exchange for doing work in his yard while he taught them about Islam and the religion's traditions.

express.co.uk/news/world/647327/Islamic-fanatic-kill-non-Muslim

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Man brandishes gun and yells ‘all of you should die’ to Muslim family in St Louis

February 24, 2016

A Muslim couple said they were threatened by a man wielding a gun while house hunting in St. Louis, an event emblematic of the growing Islamophobia in America.

Rabie and Marwah Ayoub say they were looking for a new home when Leonard Debello asked the family if they were Muslim. They say he then shouted, “All of you should die,” before going inside his house to get a weapon and brandishing it at the couple.

“This state allows you to carry a gun and shoot you,” he allegedly said. “You, your wife and your kids have to die.”

An image obtained by local CBS affiliate News 4 appears to show Debello holding a gun while standing outside his home.

An officer with the St. Louis County Police Department told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that the case was still under investigation and would be presented to the prosecuting attorney’s office, but no action had been taken yet aside from a brief arrest on Sunday. Debello later told News 4 he regretted the incident and had forgotten to take medication for PTSD that day.

Full report at: themuslimvibe.com/muslim-current-affairs-news/islamophobia-news-stories/man-brandishes-gun-and-yells-all-of-you-should-die-to-muslim-family-in-st-louis

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ISIS threatens Facebook, Twitter CEOs

IANS | Feb 25, 2016

WASHINGTON: Baffled by a severe crackdown on its social media accounts in recent past, a self-styled hacking division of terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has issued a video that threatens Facebook and Twitter CEOs with dire consequences if the social media platforms keep taking down pro-IS accounts.

The video posted by "Sons Caliphate Army" and authenticated by Storyful, a news agency that verifies content online, has images of Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey riddled with bullet holes, Engadget reported on Thursday.

"To Mark and Jack, founders of Twitter and Facebook and to their Crusader government. You announce daily that you suspended many of your accounts, and to you we say: Is that all you can do? You are not in our league," read a banner at the end of the video.

The video clip threatens that the hacking group will take 10 accounts for every one that Facebook or Twitter shuts down and will eventually "delete" both the sites entirely.

The video claims that the hacking group still has over 10,000 Facebook accounts, 150 Facebook groups and 5,000 Twitter accounts.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/ISIS-threatens-Facebook-Twitter-CEOs/articleshow/51136489.cms

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Kerry speaks of Syria partition plan

February 25th, 2016

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that Syria could be partitioned under a so-called “plan B”, if the current fighting continued much longer.

“It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer,” he told the US Senate foreign relations committee on Tuesday. “There are certainly plan B options being considered.”

Plan A is an agreement the United States and Russia announced on Monday to end the fighting in Syria.

Under the plan, the ceasefire begins on Saturday and would extend to Syrian government forces and rebels but it excludes the Islamic State, Nusra Front, and other groups designated “terrorist” by the UN Security Council.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241687/kerry-speaks-of-syria-partition-plan

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University hosting Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative in summer

02/24/16

Fifty young professionals will be making a big jump from their homes in African countries to the University of Illinois, in efforts to learn about characteristics of democracy to bring back to their communities.

President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative is part of a flagship program, working as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. There will be two different institute programs held at the University: the Civic Engagement program and the Public Management program.

“It’s a validation of the quality of our University that among all of the thousands of universities in the country, that U of I was chosen,” said Dan Shalmon, Engagement Coordinator of the Cline Center for Democracy. “It really reflects not just excellence in one lab or one department. It’s a reflection of the strength of the University as a whole.”

The six-week program, starting on June 17, will enable the “young fellows” to engage in a variety of activities and will offer seminars, workshops, trips to Springfield, Chicago and more.

Full report at: dailyillini.com/article/2016/02/university-hosting-obamas-young-african-leaders-initiative-in-summer

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US convening meeting on countering Islamic State propaganda

February 23, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is convening a meeting at the Justice Department this week to discuss efforts to counter the propaganda of the Islamic State.

The meeting scheduled for Wednesday afternoon involves government officials as well as representatives from advertising and social media companies and Silicon Valley.

The summit is aimed at brainstorming ways to counter social media propaganda used by Islamic State members that encourages disaffected young adults to join their cause in Syria or to commit violence closer to home.

A government official described the summit as unrelated to technology encryption issues, and said the meeting was planned long before the current dispute between the Justice Department and Apple over access to a locked iPhone became public last week in a California court.

news-sentinel.com/news/us-and-world/US-convening-meeting-on-countering-Islamic-State-propaganda

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South Asia

No invitation received from Afghan govt, say Taliban

February 25th, 2016

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday they had not been officially contacted by Kabul about the resumption of direct talks aimed at ending their conflict.

The comment came a day after the latest round of dialogue in the Afghan capital between officials from Afghanistan, the United States, China and Pakistan.

The representatives of the four states called on the militants to return to the negotiating table and said they expected the process to begin by the first week of March.

“We are not aware of this, I cannot say anything regarding talks in Islamabad,” said the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in a phone conversation.

“We have not received anything officially in this regard, we only heard it from media.”

A first round of direct talks with the Taliban took place in the resort town of Murree last July, but came to a standstill after the Kabul government leaked news of the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar two years before.

In January, during a seminar organised by the Pugwash peace movement in Qatar, Taliban representatives called for their cadres to be removed from US and UN blacklists which have frozen their assets and restricted their freedom of movement.

dawn.com/news/1241688/no-invitation-received-from-afghan-govt-say-taliban

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Seven Taliban killed by own bomb during training in Ghazni

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

Taliban killed (2)Seven Taliban militants have been killed in the explosion of their own bomb in central Ghazni province.

According the spokesperson of the provincial police headquarters, there was a training session in Hazrat Sahib Madrasa (religious seminary) in Mastofi village of Andar District on Wednesday night.

Ahmad Fahim Amiree told Shamshad TV that a Taliban commander was training his fighters on how to make explosive devices and detonate them when a bomb accidentally exploded.

He said the blast left seven insurgents, including the commander, killed and two others wounded.

Amiree identified the Taliban commander as Farouq.

Taliban have not yet commented on the report.

khaama.com/seven-taliban-killed-by-own-bomb-during-training-in-ghazni-4599

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ISIS loyalists among 50 killed in Afghan army operations: MoD

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

ISIS loyalists killed in AfghanistanAt least 50 anti-government armed militants were killed in joint military operations by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in various parts of the country in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said at least 46 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were among those killed.

MoD in a statement said at least 26 militants were also injured and another suspect was arrested during the same operations.

Providing further information regarding the operations, the statement by MoD further added that 46 militants affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group were killed in Achin district of Nangarhar and 2 militants were killed in Gomal district of paktika province.

In a separate operation in Greshk district of Helmand, a number of militants were killed and five others were wounded, MoD said, adding that a commander of the militants was killed along with his fighters in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz and 15 others were wounded.

The statement by MoD also added that 10 militants including two commanders of the group were killed and two others were wounded in a separate operation in Posht-e-Rod district of Farah province.

Four militants were killed in an operation in Bati Kot district of Nangarhar and another one was injured in Injil district of Herat province, MoD added.

According to MoD, the Afghan security forces also seized some weapons, ammunition and explosives during the operations.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.

khaama.com/isis-loyalists-among-50-killed-in-afghan-army-operations-mod-0167

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Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami party says will consider if invited to peace talks

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

The Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar officials have said they will consider an invitation to the proposed peace talks likely to take place in the first week of March.

A senior leader of the party based in Pakistan has said they have not received any formal invitation for the direct talks so far, a local newspaper reported.

The senior leader, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, said Hezb-e-Islami party gives importance to the statements delivered by President Ghani and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbni, mentioning Hezb-e-Islami and showing interest to include the party in peace talks.

He said consultation at the party level is underway and a final decision will be made once a formal invitation has been received.

Full report at: khaama.com/hekmatyars-hezb-e-islami-party-says-will-consider-if-invited-to-peace-talks-0165

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700 militants abandon Jawzjan district with the arrival of Gen. Dostum

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

Around 700 anti-government armed militants have reportedly abandoned Qosh Tapa district with the arrival of Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Gen. Dostum is accompanied by nearly 10,000 members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and is currently in Jawzjan to clear the areas under the Taliban control.

Speaking to local residents, Gen. Dostum said he has not visited Jawzjan to wage war and invited the anti-government armed militants to join the peace process.

He said war is not a solution and called on anti-government armed militants to join peace process and stop further bloodshed.

Full report at: khaama.com/700-militants-abandon-jawzjan-district-with-the-arrival-of-gen-dostum-0166

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Russia urges Taliban to join reconciliation process

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

Russia is urging the Taliban to start direct talks with the central government in Afghanistan and hopes that such negotiations will begin soon, according to Reuters, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Wednesday.

“We are urging the Taliban to do this and we hope that they (talks) will start as soon as possible to prevent the beginning of a new ‘combat season’,” said Zamir Kabulov, the Russian president’s special envoy to Afghanistan.

Kabulov was commenting on a statement by the Afghan government’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, this month that Afghanistan expects to restart peace talks with the Taliban within six months, pinning hopes on factions within the Islamist militant group which might be ready to give up violence.

khaama.com/russia-urges-taliban-to-hold-direct-talks-with-government-4598

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NDS arrest 2 suspects over deadly bakery attack in Paktika province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

The Afghan intelligence operatives have arrested two suspects in connection to a deadly attack in bakery shop in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the two suspects were arrested during a special military operation from Yahya Khel district.

NDS in a statement said the two suspects have been identified as Asaluddin and Ghulam Mohammad who had organized the attack on 8th February.

Full report at: khaama.com/nds-arrest-2-suspects-over-deadly-bakery-attack-in-paktika-province-0169

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Sharif says QCG making progress for resolving Afghan conflict

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a news conference with Thailand counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra (not pictured) at the Prime Minister's residence in

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif says the four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group – comprised of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China – is making progress to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.

“The QCG has been making good progress in right direction,” Nawaz said while talking to Afghan Wolesi Jirga’s Speaker Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi, who called on him at the PM House earlier today.

Full report at: khaama.com/upcoming-afghan-talks-a-positive-signal-pm-4599

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Two de-miners wounded in Taliban attack in Zabul

By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Feb 25 2016

Two de-miners have sustained injuries in a Taliban attack in southern Zabul province.

The de-miners had gone to the provincial capital Qalat from Shinkay District for buying food and on their way back they came under assault in Katali Manda area on Wednesday evening.

One of the victims told reporters in the hospital that Taliban opened fire on them when they tried to escape.

Full report at: khaama.com/two-de-miners-wounded-in-taliban-attack-in-zabul-4598

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Arab World

Things Looking Up For Displaced Iraqis As ISIS Loses Ground

Sameer Arshad | Feb 25, 2016

KARBALA, Iraq: Ibrahim (10) shrugged his shoulders saying life is not good as he missed his home and school in Mosul before jumping on his bicycle and cycling away. Another group of children led by Safa Ahmed (9) broke into a chorus demanding better schooling at their camp for people displaced due to IS terror near Iraq's Karbala amid an upbeat mood that the worst was over.

The nightmare for the kids may be nearing an end with the liberation of key cities like Ramadi from IS and Iraqi forces successes against the terror group. But they are scarred for life and would take years to overcome the trauma of having been forced to flee their homes in northern Iraq's Mosul after it fell to IS terrorists in June 2014.

All displaced people at the camp are united in grief and each one of them has a horrific story to tell. "I lost my two cousins before we arrived here," said Ruqqaya, a displaced woman. She was worried about the future of her two children while her husband suffered from depression since getting wounded in an IS attack.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Things-looking-up-for-displaced-Iraqis-as-IS-loses-ground/articleshow/51137845.cms

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Tens of ISIL Militants Killed in Syrian Army Counter-Attack in Southern Aleppo

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces killed tens of Takfiri terrorists in a counter-offensive on the ISIL on Ithrya-Khanaser road.

The army's counter-offensive came after the ISIL tried to attack the army units' military positions along Ithrya-Khanaser road.

Heavy clashes are still underway in the surrounding areas of Khanaser town.

According to field sources, over 100 terrorists have been killed in the fierce clashes with the Syrian army and popular forces today.

In Southeast Aleppo, reports said earlier today that the ISIL militants left behind scores of their dead and wounded members and fled their strongholds near two key heights under the heavy offensives of the Syrian army and popular forces.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205001294

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Yemeni Forces Destroy 10th Saudi Warship

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemeni army missiles targeted and destroyed another Saudi warship in the Red Sea in al-Mukha coastal waters near Bab al-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday.

"The missile fired by the army and popular forces destroyed the Saudi warship in al-Khukha coastal waters as it was heading towards the al-Faza coastal region in al-Hudayda province," Arabic-language media outlets quoted a military source as saying on Wednesday.

The military source reiterated that the Saudi vessel was the 10th of its kind sinking in waters offshore Yemen in the last six months.

Other Saudi battleships that were approaching Yemen's coasts retreated fast following the attack.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205001180

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Saudi King's Aid to Iraq's Al-Anbar Suspicious

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi King Salman has issued an order to deepen Riyadh's influence among the Iraqis under the guise of helping al-Anbar residents to repair damages sustained during the conflicts in the province, Iraqi pundits said on Wednesday.

Samer al-Sahban confirmed on his tweeter page on Wednesday that he has received the order for immediate assistance to al-Anbar residents.

He underlined that the "King Salman Center" has put on agenda necessary coordination to send the aid.

Pundits say the Saudi claim about sending immediate aid to the residents of al-Anbar comes as Riyadh has had a long track record of dispatching financial and arms aid to the terrorists who have fomented insecurity in the province for some time under the guise of humanitarian aid and assistance to the local Sunni community.

Senior Iraqi officials also blame Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.

The ISIL has links with the Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by Israel.

The Anbar region has been the scene of the Iraqi army and popular forces' fight against the terrorist groups, including the ISIL, in recent months.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205001249

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Syria army retakes key town on road to Aleppo from IS

February 25th, 2016

BEIRUT: The Syrian army retook a strategic town from the militant Islamic State (IS) group on Thursday, paving the way for the reopening of its sole supply route to main northern city Aleppo.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops still needed to clear the militants from hills overlooking the key highway before it could be fully secured.

The road through the town of Khanasser is the sole link between government-held areas in and around Aleppo and those in the rest of the country.

State news agency SANA hailed its recapture just two days after its fall to the militants.

The army's counteroffensive was backed by Russian air strikes which killed numerous IS fighters.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1241834/syria-army-retakes-key-town-on-road-to-aleppo-from-is

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Two Terrorist Ringleaders Held Captive in Damascus

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Abdal al-Sham terrorists affiliated to the FSA held captive several members of their rival group, ISIL, including two commanders, on the outskirts of Damascus city.

Members of Abdal al-Sham surrounded the house of an ISIL member in Kefr Zeit village in Bardi valley on Thursday and held captive their leaders, Abu Maryam al-Araqi and Abu Mosa'ab Sarqaya, along with 12 other ISIL terrorists.

Also, in another development on the outskirts of Damascus city, the Syrian warplanes pounded the terrorists' positions and gathering centers in Darayya and near Tal Farzat region.

Also, tens of terrorists were killed and wounded in clashes with the Syrian army in Darayya city in the Western Ghouta of Damascus.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000432

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Syrian Jets Pound Terrorists' Positions in Hama

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian warplanes targeted a number of positions and center points of terrorist groups in the Eastern province of Hama, killing dozens of militants and destroying their military hardware.

Syrian army jets, in a concerted action, attacked several terrorist positions in Kefr Zeita, some 39 kilometers Northwest of Hama, and regions around Hor Benafseh town.

The air raids claimed the lives of dozens of militants and left many more injured, inflicting heavy damage on the militants' positions.

The Syrian air force also pounded military positions and gathering centers of the terrorists groups in the city of Balada al-Sarmaniya and the village of Qarqour, inflicting heavy losses on them.

Also on Wednesday, the Syrian army ambushed a group of al-Nusra Front's terrorists in the Eastern part of Hama province, and inflicted a heavy death toll on the militants.

At least four militants were killed and several more were wounded in a Syrian army's ambush operation in near al-Salamiyeh.

The terrorists fled the fighting area and rushed to al-Badhiya desert to evade more casualties.

Reports said earlier today that an intense battle is underway between the Syrian government forces and ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern part of Hama province to take control of the main line of supply from Hama to Aleppo.

The Syrian army and its popular allies are engaged in a tough battle with the ISIL terrorists and try hard to push the militants back form the Sheikh Hillal-Ithriyah Road, that is the scene of the most intense firefights taking place in the Northeastern part of Hama province.

The Syrian government forces' anti-ISIL operation has been covered very well by the Russian and Syrian warplanes since the early hours of Wednesday.

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Syrian Army Repels ISIL Offensives near Deir Ezzur Airbase

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and their popular allies inflicted tens of casualties on invading ISIL militants after their positions in the Eastern parts of Deir Ezzur airbase came under attack by the terrorist group, provincial sources said on Thursday.

According to sources, the army used different types of heavy weapons and killed and injured dozens of ISIL members.

Also, the Syrian warplanes launched a series of airstrikes against the ISIL gathering centers in al-Mura'yeh farms in the Southeastern parts of Deir Ezzur airbase and inflicted large damage on them.

The Syrian air force pounded the gathering centers of the ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzur province on Wednesday too.

The Syrian fighter jets hit the military positions and gathering centers of the terrorists in the surrounding areas of Deir Ezzur military airport, al-Mura'yeh, Haweija, al-Jafreh, Haweija Saker and Tal Barouk neighborhood.

The Syrian warplanes also pounded the ISIL's military positions in Hosseiniyeh and Jasr al-Moalaq farmlands in Deir Ezzur.

The Syrian warplanes, in several air attacks, bombed the ISIL gathering centers in the countryside of Deir Ezzur city on Wednesday, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The ISIL positions near the villages of al-Janineh and small town of Hatleh were heavily targeted by the Syrian fighter jets, which ended in the killing or wounding of many terrorists and destruction of their military hardware.

The ISIL bases in some parts of the districts of al-Haweiqa, al-Roshdiyeh and al-Hamidiyeh, meantime, were stormed by the Syrian air fleet.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000329

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Saudi Security Forces Attack Awamiya Again

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi security forces in armored vehicles on Wednesday attacked Awamiyah, the hometown of Sheikh Nimr, killing one resident and injuring 26 others.

Early reports suggest the security forces opened live fire at residential homes and vehicles in one of the biggest raids this year.

Saudi citizens residing in the Eastern province have been holding protest rallies against the Saudi government in the past week to condemn the killing of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

People in Awamiya have held regular rallies against the al-Saud after the execution of the Shiite cleric earlier this year, and called for the collapse of the Saudi regime.

The Saudi security forces have also increased the number of their armored vehicles to crack down on demonstrators.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000300

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Army Regains Full Control over Another Strategic Town in Aleppo

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army units won back the strategic town of Khanaser, Southeast of Aleppo province, which was the scene of fierce battles in recent days.

The army's latest advance in Aleppo province was made after heavy clashes with the terrorist groups in the region.

Military sources said on Thursday that tens of terrorists were killed and several others were injured in the battle.

The Syrian army killed tens of Takfiri terrorists in a counter-offensive on the ISIL on Ithrya-Khanaser road on Wednesday.

The army's counter-offensive came after the ISIL tried to attack the army units' military positions along Ithrya-Khanaser road.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000284

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Terrorists in Darayya Squeezed by Army in Small Area

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army extended its control over Darayya city in the Western Ghouta of Damascus countryside, punching the terrorists in a restricted area.

A field commander said that the army units carried out military operations in which they established control over an area 2 kilometers long and 800 meters wide to the South of Darayya city.

Members of Takfiri terrorists are now besieged within an area that does not exceed one third of the city, enhancing the security of Sahnaya town and Ashrafiyat Sahnaya and preventing militants from targeting the residential neighborhoods with shells and sniper fire, the commander added.

He noted that the army’s advance in Darayya city is aimed at infiltration into the area which Takfiri terrorists are fortified inside after they planted landmines and explosive devices across the city, stressing that protecting the lives of soldiers is a priority in all military plans as well as restoring stability and security to the city of Darayya and all Syrian lands.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000221

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Advance in Lattakia, Purge Terrorists from Several Regions

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces made gains in several areas in the Northeastern countryside of Lattakia, purging them of terrorists.

The Syrian Army units, in cooperation with popular defense groups, purged the terrorists from Barza al-Tahtani village and Katef al-Zaitona, Daher Sando, Tal Ghweirat and Jabal Abu Ali regions in the Northeastern countryside of Lattakia, field sources said on Thursday.

Stability and security was restored to these areas after army operations, they added.

The Syrian army and popular forces continued their advances in Lattakia, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists in the mountainous regions of the coastal province.

Scores of Ansar al-Sham terrorists were killed and wounded in Syrian warplanes' attacks on Wednesday.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000176

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Nusra Front's Long Tunnels Discovered in Darayya

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army discovered an extensive network of tunnels stretched for hundreds of meters in Darayya dug by al-Nusra Front terrorist group to infiltrate into the city.

Commander of the army's operations in Darayya in Western Ghouta in Damascus countryside said that the tunnels which were discovered on Thursday are all equipped with ventilation and lighting instruments.

He confirmed that all terrorists inside the city of Darayya are affiliated to the al-Nusra Front.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941206000238

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Iraqi Commanders: Volunteer Forces to Continue Mosul Battle Despite US Pressures

February 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) commanders reiterated that they are determined to continue their tough battle against the ISIL in a bid to take full control of the city of Mosul in Northern Iraq, and said that they will pay no heed to the US pressures aimed at preventing them from doing so.

"We are committed to the Iraqi government's decision that the Iraqi volunteer forces should play an active role in the battles against the Takfiri terrorists in Mosul," Spokesman of Iraq's Ansarullah al-Nujaba Movement Hashem al-Moussavi told FNA on Wednesday.

He reiterated that the volunteer forces are waiting for the Iraqi government's decision before moving towards Mosul.

"The US and the regional spy agencies are seeking to trouble the Iraqi volunteer forces' partnership in the war against the ISIL in Mosul, but to no avail," al-Moussavi added.

In a relevant development on February 16, A senior Iraqi volunteer forces commander underlined that his forces are determined to continue their war against the ISIL in the city of Fallujah.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941205001355

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Africa

Kerry warns Libya may become ‘failed state’

25 Feb, 2016

Libya risks becoming “a failed state” if the UN-brokered unity government flops, Secretary John Kerry has said. While Libya remains broke and insecure five years after NATO’s 2011 military intervention, Kerry believes “a wealthy nation” can rebuilt itself.

The remarks by the head of the Department of State came during his second visit to Capitol Hill seeking to defend a proposed $50 billion foreign aid budget for 2017, the last of the Obama administration.

While he focused mostly on recent developments in Syria, Kerry’s attention was briefly shifted to Libya. When asked if “Libya is a failed state,” he replied: “It’s close.”

“We have been working really hard for the last months, particularly, to bring together the government in Tripoli,” Kerry told the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations. “We have a Prime Minister designate, we have a government now; we have a couple of outliers that are resisting that effort. If they cannot get themselves together, yes it will be a failed state.”

Full report at: rt.com/usa/333549-libya-kerry-failed-state/

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Libya abuses: UN report documents killings and torture

February 25th, 2016

Fighters loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government celebrate in the street of Benghazi after taking control of Islamist areas (23 February 2016)Image copyrightAFP

Killings and torture are being committed with impunity by all sides in Libya, according to a UN report.

Human rights violations carried out by armed groups battling for control of the country could amount to war crimes, the report says.

Victims include detainees, journalists and human rights activists. Scores of people have been tortured and killed.

Libya, fragmented since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, now has rival militia-backed parliaments.

There are hundreds of different armed groups and the chaos has allowed so-called Islamic State to gain a foothold.

The report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Libya describes a country descending into violent chaos.

Full report at: bbc.com/news/world-africa-35658529

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75 percent of African countries regard Israel as very close friend says Kenya

Thursday 25th February, 2016

TEL AVIV, Israel - Three quarters of all countries in Africa regards Israel as a very close friend, according to Kenya's foreign minister.

On a three-day visit to Israel are the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed. The itinerary included a tour of Kalia Kibbutz on the Northern shore of the Dead Sea, while the president laid a wreath on the tomb of the founder of the World Zionist Organization Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kenyatta signed a Declaration on collaboration in Water and Irrigation.

Relationships such as these, said Mohamed are to send a signal and make it clear to everybody that these two nations enjoy a "strong relationship." The two countries have enjoyed official diplomatic relations since 1963 when Kenya gained its independence.

Full report at: bignewsnetwork.com/news/241617263/75-percent-of-african-countries-regard-israel-as-very-close-friend-says-kenya

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Mideast

Turkey has most firms involved in supply chain to ISIL: report

February 25, 2016

Companies from 20 countries are involved in the supply chain of components that end up in Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) explosives, a study found on Thursday, revealing Turkey had the highest number of firms involved in this business.

A total of 13 Turkish firms were found to be involved in the supply chain, the most in any one country. That was followed by India with seven. In a critical finding, the Turkish government failed to cooperate with the investigation according to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which undertook the 20-month study. Thursday's report also suggested that governments and firms need to do more to track the flow of cables, chemicals and other equipment. The European Union-mandated study showed that 51 companies from countries including Turkey, Brazil, and the United States produced, sold or received the more than 700 components used by ISIL to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Full report at: todayszaman.com/business_turkey-has-most-firms-involved-in-supply-chain-to-isil-report_413254.html

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Turkey says Syria ceasefire is not binding if it threatens security

February 25, 2016

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Thursday that Turkey would not be bound by the Syrian ceasefire plan if its security was threatened, and would take "necessary measures" against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if needed.

The ceasefire process, put in train by Russia and the United States, could be complicated by NATO member Turkey's deep distrust of the Washington-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which has made territorial gains in northern Syria near the Turkish border. Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group and fears it will further inflame unrest among its own Kurdish population.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-says-syria-ceasefire-is-not-binding-if-it-threatens-security_413253.html

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Saudi warplanes to arrive at Turkish base on Friday

February 25, 2016

Saudi Arabia's warplanes are expected to arrive at Turkey's İncirlik base on Friday to take part in missions in Syria, a news report said on Thursday.

Two C-130 military cargo planes, carrying about 30 Saudi Air Force personnel and military equipment, already arrived at İncirlik on Tuesday to prepare for the deployment of fighter jets, private broadcaster CNN Türk said, citing diplomatic sources. Four F-15s will arrive at the base on Friday.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_saudi-warplanes-to-arrive-at-turkish-base-on-friday_413252.html

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NATO overcomes Greek-Turkish tension to set terms of Aegean mission

February 25, 2016

NATO allies have agreed on how their ships will help Turkey and Greece counter the criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe across the Aegean Sea, NATO's chief said on Thursday, overcoming territorial sensitivities between Greece and Turkey.

After late-night talks in Brussels, NATO envoys set out how ships already sent to the Aegean will pass reconnaissance to Turkish and Greek coastguards and the European Union border agency Frontex, as well as returning to Turkey any migrants in distress that NATO crews rescue.

"Greek and Turkish forces will not operate in each other's territorial waters and airspace," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement, after the ambassadors settled the operational details of a mission that defense ministers had announced on Feb. 11.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_nato-overcomes-greek-turkish-tension-to-set-terms-of-aegean-mission_413249.html

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Erdoğan steps up call to strip HDP deputies of parliamentary immunity

February 24, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped up his call on Parliament to strip pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of their legislative immunity from prosecution, saying a political party being a mouthpiece for a terrorist organization cannot be tolerated.

“Motions [to remove immunity of HDP deputies] should not be let to rot on the shelves of the Parliament. The necessary action must be taken,” Erdoğan said in a speech to village and neighborhood administrators, or muhtars, at the presidential palace.

Erdoğan particularly condemned a HDP deputy who paid a visit to offer condolences to the family of a suicide bomber who killed 28 people in an attack in Ankara last week.

“Nowhere in the world can you see a politician backing a suicide bomber,” he said.

todayszaman.com/national_erdogan-steps-up-call-to-strip-hdp-deputies-of-parliamentary-immunity_413175.html

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Turkish foreign minister says YPG seeking to divide Syria

February 25, 2016

The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, like Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), seeks to divide Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday, adding that the country's territorial integrity must be preserved.

"The aim of the PYD and YPG is clear, just like Daesh they want to divide Syria to form their own management," Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency in an interview broadcast live on television. The PYD is the political wing of the Syrian Kurdish militia. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

"As the international support group, our aim is not to divide the Syrian territory but to protect its territorial integrity," Çavuşoğlu said.

todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkish-foreign-minister-says-ypg-seeking-to-divide-syria_413251.html

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Iran arrests father of jailed US citizen: Family

Reuters | Feb 25, 2016

WASHINGTON: Iranian authorities this week arrested the elderly father of an American jailed in Iran since October, the man's family said on Wednesday.

Siamak Namazi, a dual US-Iranian citizen, was detained by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in October while in Iran visiting family. Officials have yet to announce charges against him.

Baquer Namazi, Siamak's father, was arrested late on Monday in Tehran, his wife Effie Namazi said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The 80-year-old Namazi, also a dual Iranian-American citizen, was taken to Evin Prison, where his son is also being held, she said.

"Now both my innocent son Siamak and my Baquer are in prison for no reason. This is a nightmare I can't describe," Effie Namazi wrote in her post. "I am extremely concerned and worried sick for Baquer's health."

Baquer Namazi has a serious heart and other conditions which require special medication, she said.

A former Iranian provincial governor and UNICEF official, Baquer Namazi was more recently running Hamyaran, an umbrella agency for Iranian nongovernmental organizations. His son Siamak was most recently working for Crescent Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates, and previously headed a consulting business in Iran.

Sam Werberg, press officer for the US State Department's Office of Iranian Affairs, said it was aware of reports that a US citizen had been detained in Iran, but could not comment further because of privacy considerations.

"The US Department of State has no higher priority than the protection of US citizens overseas," Werberg said. "We take our obligation to assist US citizens abroad seriously."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Iran-arrests-father-of-jailed-US-citizen-Family/articleshow/51130747.cms

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Bilal Erdoğan allegedly pledges $20 million to Turkish-Bulgarian party leader

February 24, 2016

The ex-leader of the Movement for Right and Freedoms (HÖH) party in Bulgaria, Lütfi Mestan, has reportedly been pledged by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan $20 million in funds from Turkey to be paid in monthly installments.

Bulgarian weekly Yukegh's edition for Feb. 20-26 claimed that Mestan, who founded the Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance (DOST) party after his dismissal from the HÖH, was pledged by Bilal Erdoğan a monthly release of $1 million for the coming 20 months.

Mestan was dismissed from his position in the party after he voiced support for Turkey's downing of a Russian Su-24 jet near the Syrian border in defense of its air space in late November.

According to the weekly, Mestan will receive money from the Turkish Presidency's discretionary fund. Calling the meeting between Mestan and Erdoğan a “scandal,” the weekly also claimed that Mestan was promised 50,000 votes from Turkey for his party, DOST. Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria Süleyman Gökçe acts as intermediary in the transaction of money to Mestan, according the Yukegh.

The Bulgarian weekly's claim came on the heels of the declaration of Uğur Emiroğlu, a religious attaché at the Turkish Consulate General in Burgas, as “persona non grata” due to his activities interfering in Bulgaria's internal matters, according to Bulgarian press reports.

Bulgarian Focus News Agency reported on Sunday that Bulgaria had been disturbed by Emiroğlu's relations with the Muslim minority in the country, especially as he is accused of pressuring ethnic Turks to support Mestan. There are about 300,000 ethnic Turks living in Bulgaria.

The Sofia News Agency reported over the weekend that Emiroğlu left Bulgaria after the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry sent a complaint to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

todayszaman.com/diplomacy_bilal-erdogan-allegedly-pledges-20-million-to-turkish-bulgarian-party-leader_413214.html

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Report: 13-year-old detained for insulting Erdoğan on Facebook

February 24, 2016

A 13-year-old child was briefly detained on charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Facebook, the Bianet online news portal reported on Wednesday.

Counterterrorism teams from the İstanbul Police Department raided his home and detained the child over his Facebook posts, in which he is accused of insulting Erdoğan, Bianet said. He was reportedly released early on Wednesday due to his age after being interrogated by prosecutors.

A.Ş. denied the accusations during the interrogation.

Police reportedly tracked A.Ş.'s social media posts for nine months after a tip-off by “a secret witness” that claimed he insulted Erdoğan in a comment he posted below a video on Facebook.

Hundreds of people have been charged and others detained after being accused of insulting Erdoğan since he was elected president in August 2014. Journalists and public figures critical of the government in particular have been targeted by the police and prosecutors on the grounds that they have insulted the head of state.

Cases of insulting Erdoğan are based on Article 299 of the TCK, which states that anyone convicted of insulting the president should serve a prison term of between one and four years. Article 125 of the TCK also mandates that anyone who acts with the intention to harm the honor, reputation or dignity of another person through concrete performance or giving impression of intent can be sentenced to a period of three months to two years in prison or be given a fine.

todayszaman.com/national_report-13-year-old-detained-for-insulting-erdogan-on-facebook_413228.html

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Southeast Asia

Australian tourists warned terrorists in Indonesia may be in ‘advanced stages’ of preparing attacks

FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Australians are urged to take a high degree of caution in Indonesia. Picture: AFP/Aman Rochman

AUSTRALIANS have been warned that terrorists might be in the “advanced stages of preparing attacks” in Indonesia and travellers are urged to take precautions, just days after a similar warning about neighbouring Malaysia.

“Recent indications suggest that terrorists may be in the advanced stages of preparing attacks in Indonesia,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said in an updated travel advisory on Thursday.

“We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bali and Lombok, due to the high threat of terrorist attack.”

The advisory did not raise the overall threat level, which is at “exercise a high degree of caution”, and noted that the department continued to “receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia, which could take place anywhere at any time”.

Full report at: news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/warnings/australian-tourists-warned-terrorists-in-indonesia-may-be-in-advanced-stages-of-preparing-attacks/news-story/0f3b4ce19a3b4a51c1fc0fd9c55bee8e

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Muslim-majority Indonesia's gay community under attack

25 Feb 2016

JAKARTA: The small gay community in conservative, Muslim-majority Indonesia is facing a sudden and unexpected backlash, with ministers and religious leaders denouncing homosexuality, LGBT websites blocked and emboldened hardliners launching anti-gay raids.

When a minister criticised counselling services for gay students at a university last month, it triggered a heated media debate and was the start of what activists say has been a sustained assault on gay rights.

Hardline Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu this week labelled the influence of the gay community "a threat" and said fighting it was akin to "a kind of modern warfare".

"It's dangerous as we can't see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed," he was cited as saying by news website Tempo.

The government has shut down a slew of websites, ordered TV programs depicting gay lives off the air and demanded all instant messaging apps remove same-sex emoticons -- like men holding hands and the symbolic rainbow flag -- or face a ban.

Full report at: channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/muslim-majority-indonesia/2547574.html

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Europe

French ‘not fighting’ in Libya, says commander

25 February 2016

A Libyan soldier looks through binoculars at Wadi Bey, where troops are manning outposts, west of the ISIS-controlled city of Sirte, February 23, 2016. (Reuters)

French military advisers have been helping coordinate Libyan forces fighting ISIS insurgents in the eastern city of Benghazi, a senior Libyan military commander said on Thursday.

“The French military group in Benghazi are just military advisers who provide consultations to the Libyan National Army in its battle against terrorism, but they are not fighting with our Libyan forces,” special forces commander Wanis Bukhamada told Reuters. There was no immediate French comment.

The French newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday that French special forces and intelligence commandos were engaged in “a secret war” against ISIS in anarchy-ridden Libya in conjunction with the United States and Britain. France’s Defence Ministry declined comment on the report.

Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2016/02/25/French-not-fighting-in-Libya-says-commander-.html

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Hungary’s Orban says EU-Turkey migrant deal an ‘illusion’

February 25, 2016

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has said the European Union's promise of money and other concessions for Turkey in return for preventing more people leaving its shores for Europe is an "illusion".

"We are begging Mr (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan submissively for security on our borders, in exchange for money and promises, because we can't protect them ourselves," Orban told Thursday's mass-selling German daily Bild.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_hungarys-orban-says-eu-turkey-migrant-deal-an-illusion_413248.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/islamic-state-bomb-supply-chain-includes-7-indian-firms--report/d/106466

 

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