New Age Islam News Bureau
15 Feb 2016
Photo: Reuters| U.S. President Barack Obama (centre) holds a roundtable with Muslim American community leaders at the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque in Catonsville, Maryland on Feb. 3, 2016.
• Paris Attacks a Failure of Intel; ISIS May Attack US: CIA Director
• U.S. Muslim Leaders Urging Followers To Show Their Voting Power, Elect Leaders Friendly To Islam
• How a Palestinian State Would Harm the US
• US urges Russia to stop bombing ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels
• South Charlotte Islamic Centre Opens Doors to Neighbours: “Meet Your Muslim Neighbour” Event Designed To Bridge Gap in Mindset on Muslims
• Temple University professor brings new perspective to Islamic State issue
• Organization of Islamic Cooperation: Don’t Link Terror to Islam
• Over 100 Fresh Militants Enter Syria from Turkey
• Militants Pull Forces Back From More Positions in Lattakia's Mountains
• Syria: Gov't Forces Capture More Lands East of Aleppo
• Syrian Army, Popular Forces Score More Victories in Central Province of Homs
• Army, Popular Forces Purge Terrorists from More Strategic Regions in Deir Ezzur
• Suspected Russian Air Strikes Destroy MSF Children's Hospital - Despite So-Called Syria 'Ceasefire'
• Terrorist Groups Sustain More Defeats in Syria's Lattakia Province
• Kurdish Fighters Continue to Advance in Aleppo with Russian Air Support
• Ankara-Riyadh Military Aggression against Syria to Endanger Entire World
• Syria complains to UN over Turkish shelling
• Turkey and Russia to Spark New Cold War: Putin Accuses Turks of HELPING ISIS in Syria
• Islamic State Militants Posing As Migrants Arrested In Turkey
• Turkey Vows 'Harsh Reaction' If Kurds Try To Take Syrian Town
• Opposition backs retaliation but rejects intervention in Syria
• Delivery of S-300 Air Defence Systems to Tehran Begins
• Riyadh under Pressure to Abandon Warmongering Policies
• Biden urges Turkey to cease artillery strikes in Syria
• EU calls on Turkey to halt military action in Syria
• Turkish soldier killed in clash with group at Syrian border
• Turkey not considering sending troops into Syria: agency
• France calls on Turkey to stop bombing of Kurdish zones in Syria
• Iran’s rich deposits tempting international investors
• ISIS, Al-Qaida Using Religion As Per Convenience, Says Union Minister
• All You Need To Know About Lashkar-E-Taiba and Its Activities in India
• Pakistan Joins 'Thunder of the North' Military Exercise in Saudi Arabia
• Talks With Pakistan Not Conditional On Pathankot Probe, Says Indian Envoy To Pak
• IED Blast in South Waziristan Kills Security Man
• Sindh Assembly approves Hindu Marriage Bill
• Will Pakistan's economy survive the maturity of $50bn in debt this year?
• 'We won't be scared': Bacha Khan University reopens 25 days after attack
• Pak singer Dr Zafar Iqbal wins Sufi music award in Cairo
• Plot against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria
• Al Qaeda Africa Group Strengthening – US Commander
• As Indonesia Hunts Down Islamic State, Home-Grown Jihadis Regroup
• Chinese Uighur was tortured into confessing role in Bangkok bomb, claims lawyer
Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau
Paris Attacks a Failure of Intel; ISIS May Attack US: CIA Director
February 15, 2016
The Paris terror attacks in November that killed 130 people were an intelligence failure, America’s top spymaster has said, warning that the Islamic State is planning an attack on the US.
“Paris was a failure of intelligence. All but one of the eight terrorists were French citizens, trained by ISIS in Syria. They returned, unnoticed, and attacked six locations killing 130 people,” CIA Director John Brennan said.
There is a lot that IS probably has underway that the US doesn’t have full insight into, he said.
“We knew the system was blinking red. We knew in the days before that IS was trying to carry out something,” he told CBS in an interview yesterday.
“But the individuals involved have been able to take advantage of the newly available means of communication that are walled off, from law enforcement officials,” Brennan said adding that the IS has been using very sophisticated technologies and communication systems.
“I’m expecting them to try to put in place operatives, the material or whatever else that they need to do or to incite people to carry out these attacks, clearly. So I believe that their attempts are inevitable. I don’t think their successes necessarily are,” he noted saying it was inevitable that IS will try to attack the US.
IS he observed, is trying to provoke a clash between the West and the Muslim world to gain more adherents.
“Because what they are claiming is that the United States is trying to take over their countries which are the furthest thing from the truth,” he asserted.
Brennan argued that the intelligence security services have stopped numerous attacks and operatives that have been moved from maybe Iraq to Syria or into Europe.
They have been stopped and interdicted and arrested and detained and debriefed because of very, very good intelligence, he noted.
“But the failure in Paris allowed ISIS to attack with bombs and assault rifles,” said the CIA Director.
Noting that there are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use, he said the CIA believes that IS has the ability to manufacture small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas.
“There’s always potential for IS to transport those chemical weapons to the West.
“This is why it’s so important to cut off the various transportation routes and smuggling routes that they have used,” he said.
The CIA chief said the water boarding method of torture is not being used and would not be used in the future.
“The cyber environment can pose a very, very serious and significant attack vector for our adversaries if they want to take down our infrastructure, if they want to create havoc in transportation systems, if they want to do great damage to our financial networks. There are safeguards being put in place. But that cyber environment is one that really is the thing that keeps me up at night,” he said.
U.S. Muslim leaders urging followers to show their voting power, elect leaders friendly to Islam
Hazel Torres 14 February 2016
Unknown to many, evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham is not the only one conducting a campaign to encourage Christian Americans to go out and vote for righteous Christian leaders this November.
On the flip side of the religious coin, Muslim leaders in America are also encouraging their followers to engage in politics and vote leaders who will promote their cause in this year's national elections.
Writing for Charisma News, political analyst Bethany Blankley revealed that on Jan. 3 this year, the founder and executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Nihad Awad, encouraged attendants at an Islamic conference to become involved in politics, vote, and establish political action committees.
During the conference, Awad stressed that Muslim voters have the power to change America with their vote. "If pro-Muslim candidates win in this fall's election, America will be a very different country. What American Muslims do and do not can determine not only the future of you here, but the future of America itself – the future relationship between America and the Muslim world," he reportedly said.
Awad said he hopes to register one million Muslim voters in the 2016 election.
"If you don't like Islamophobia, if you don't like what Donald Trump says, what Ben Carson said, get busy in 2016. Get busy in 2016, register to vote, and register other people to vote, if you don't know how to do it, Google it. Turn your centres, Islamic centres, mosques into registration centres for voters, into polling stations during the election time," Awad urged the conference participants. "This is the time to tell our narrative and to show our presence."
He said the Muslim vote "can be the swing vote in major states." He listed down the states that may hold the swing votes: Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
"The number of Muslims in these states is growing," he noted.
The problem with CAIR's initiative, Blankley said, is that "no one who follows the Quran can honestly claim to follow the Constitution." This is because the Quran "advocates for human rights abuses inherent to Islam, against which the Constitution prohibits," she said.
Blankley said these human rights abuses permissible under Shari'a law include: female genital mutilation, honour killings, child marriage, slavery, wife abuse and domestic violence (where husbands are instructed to beat their wives as a form of punishment and are permitted to rape their wives), and non-legal status for women who are considered mere property.
Moreover, the Quran permits the punishment and even death of non-Islamic subjects who refuse to convert to Islam.
Blankley said about 109 verses in the Quran instruct followers "to wage war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule."
Even Muslims who don't go along with the goal of Islamic rule are labeled "hypocrites," and killed according to Islamic blasphemy or apostasy laws.
Blankley said CAIR is leading the campaign to influence American voters despite its designation as a "terrorist organisation."
How a Palestinian State Would Harm the US
FEBRUARY 14, 2016
Barack ObamaBarack Obama IsraelHarry Reid IsraelMahmoud AbbasMahmoud Abbas terrorismObama Israel United NationsPalestinian StateYasser Arafat
President Obama and Secretary Kerry intend to advance recognition of an independent Palestinian state by January 20, 2017, the end of Obama’s second term, irrespective of its adverse impact upon the national security and homeland security of the US.
Therefore, the President turned down a request by the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, to make a commitment to veto any UN Security Council resolution that calls for an independent Palestinian state. According to the President, and the US foreign policy establishment, a Palestinian state would enhance stability, moderation, peace, and democracy.
How credible and reality-based is this assessment/expectation?
In 1993, Senator John Kerry and the US foreign policy establishment were convinced that Arafat – a role model for international terrorism – would respond to Israel’s unprecedented Oslo Accords concessions by ”transforming himself from lawlessness to statesmanship.” However, their assessment was discredited by an unprecedented wave of Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas-engineered hate-education, incitement and (the resulting) terrorism, which still persists today.
Full report at: algemeiner.com/2016/02/14/how-a-palestinian-state-would-harm-the-us/#
US urges Russia to stop bombing ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels
February 15th, 2016
BEIRUT: US President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing “moderate” rebels in Syria in support of its ally Bashar al-Assad, a campaign seen in the West as a major obstacle to latest efforts to end the war.
Major powers agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties — the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.
Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are meanwhile helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial centre before the conflict.
There is little optimism that the deal reached in Munich will do much to end a war that has lasted five years and cost 250,000 lives.
The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin and Obama had spoken by telephone and agreed to intensify cooperation to implement the Munich agreement.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239647/us-urges-russia-to-stop-bombing-moderate-syrian-rebels
Temple University professor brings new perspective to Islamic State issue
February 14, 2016 12:01 AM
A political science professor shed some light on his interpretation of ISIS at the Hill School on Wednesday.
Born in India, A.R.M. Imtiyaz, a Temple University professor, actively researched movements like ISIS and spent time in Sri Lanka and China teaching political science.
"What is your major take about ISIS?" he asked a crowd of students, family and staff at The Hill School library memorial room. "That they are terrorists? Or ugly people, bad people or nasty people? The job of a political scientist is to understand why they are."
Imtiyaz explained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria uses violence to achieve political objectives.
Full report at: readingeagle.com/news/article/temple-university-professor-brings-new-perspective-to-islamic-state-issue#sthash.9VzXzO0h.dpuf
South Charlotte Islamic Centre Opens Doors to Neighbours: “Meet Your Muslim Neighbour” Event Designed To Bridge Gap in Mindset on Muslims
Feb 14, 2016
Arabic verse fills the block building, an uncommon sound for many of the roughly 200 people there. Not until the next boy translates will many recognize the familiar story of Mary and Jesus.
The Islamic Centre of South Charlotte hosts a "Meet your Muslim Neighbour" event at their facility in Indian Land. Visitors watch prayer as the Islamic Centre of South Charlotte hosts a "Meet your Muslim Neighbour" event at their facility in Indian Land. The Islamic Centre of South Charlotte hosts a "Meet your Muslim Neighbour" event at their facility in Indian Land. The Islamic Centre of South Charlotte hosts a "Meet your Muslim Neighbour" event at their facility in Indian Land. Visitors watch prayer as the Islamic Centre of South Charlotte hosts a "Meet your Muslim Neighbour" event at their facility in Indian Land.
Full report at: heraldonline.com/news/local/community/fort-mill-times/article60341101.html#storylink=cpy
Organization of Islamic Cooperation: Don’t link terror to Islam
Feb 15, 2016
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) stressed that violent extremism and terrorism undermine its common goal to live in a peaceful and prosperous world, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to U.N. Ambassador Abdullah Al-Moallemi said here on Friday.
Addressing the General Assembly on behalf of OIC countries, Al-Moallemi said that no country in the world is insulated against violent extremism and terrorism.
The U.N. General Assembly was meeting to discuss a draft resolution for supporting the secretary general’s plan to combat violent extremism.
The Saudi envoy expressed the OIC support for all efforts to prevent violence, extremism and terrorism.
Full report at: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/14/Organization-of-Islamic-Cooperation-Don-t-link-terror-to-Islam.html
Over 100 Fresh Militants Enter Syria from Turkey
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned infiltration of militants into the provinces of Aleppo, Lattakia and Idlib from the Turkish border and said over 100 fresh militants have crossed the border and entered Syria in recent days.
The ministry said that 12 pickups with DShK and 14.5 mm machineguns entered the Syrian territory from Turkey crossing Bab al-Salamah border.
The Ministry noted that the pickups were accompanied with 100 gunmen, some of them were believed to be Turkish soldiers and Turkish mercenaries, adding, "Munitions supply operations into the Syrian city of Azaz is underway."
The Ministry voiced the government’s strong condemnation of Turkey’s repeated attacks on the Syrian people.
“Turkish artillery shelling of Syrian territory constitutes direct support to the armed terrorist organizations,” the Ministry told the UN Secretary General and the Security Council’s Chairman in two letters addressed to both officials.
Reports said on Sunday that Turkey relocated hundreds of terrorists from Idlib province to Aleppo via its soil to block the Kurdish fighters' rapid advances in Northern Aleppo province.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000427
Militants Pull Forces Back From More Positions in Lattakia's Mountains
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The militant groups left behind tens of dead and wounded members and fled their positions in one of the key heights in the Northern part of Lattakia under the heavy attacks of the Syrian Army and popular forces.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000584
Syria: Gov't Forces Capture More Lands East of Aleppo
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) targeted the militant groups' positions in the Eastern part of Aleppo province and forced them to retreat from their defense lines in at least two villages.
The Syrian pro-government forces, in a several-hour battle, pushed back the militant groups from the villages of Barhlin and al-Jdeidah.
The militants suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware also sustained major losses.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000650
Syrian Army, Popular Forces Score More Victories in Central Province of Homs
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and its allies on Monday engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL militant group in the Southeastern part of Homs province, and freed more strategic hills in the region.
The Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF), for the second day in a row, stormed the ISIL defense lines in the Northeastern side of the town of Mahasa and put the terrorist groups under a heavy fire, which forced the militant group to pull fighters back from several more hills.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000686
Army, Popular Forces Purge Terrorists from More Strategic Regions in Deir Ezzur
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army backed by the air force and the popular forces drove out Takfiri terrorists from strategic positions and territories in Deir Ezzur province.
The army regained control over further key areas in Deir Ezzur pushing back militants from their military positions and strongholds.
Scores of terrorists were killed and injured in heavy clashes with the Syrian army and aerial bombardments of Syria's fighter jets.
The Syrian army also continued its advances in other key provinces across Syria on Sunday.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000376
Suspected Russian air strikes destroy MSF children's hospital - despite so-called Syria 'ceasefire'
15 February 2016
The clinic was supported by Doctors Without Borders
A makeshift children's hospital has been destroyed by an suspected Russian air strike in northern Syria, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens.
The 30-bed hospital in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border was hit four times in two series of at least two attacks within a few minutes of each other on Monday, Doctors Without Borders (also know by its French acronym MSF) who support the medical centre said.
Full report at: independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/air-strike-destroys-syrian-medical-centre-a6874676.html
Terrorist Groups Sustain More Defeats in Syria's Lattakia Province
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued to drive the militant groups back from their positions in the mountains of Northern Lattakia and captured more villages and heights near the border with Turkey.
The Syrian pro-government forces stormed the militant group's strongholds and defense lines near the villages of Majd al-Kikhia, Sheikh Mustafa, Sheikh Ayoub and Ein al-Ghazal in addition to the strategic heights of 679, 466 and 448.
The militant groups left behind scores of the dead and wounded members and fled the battlefield to evade more casualties.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000271
Kurdish Fighters Continue to Advance in Aleppo with Russian Air Support
Feb 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), enjoying Russian air backup, continued to advance against the militant groups in the Northern part of Aleppo province and pushed the terrorists back from more positions.
The YPG forces stormed the militant groups' defense lines near the small town of Kaljabrein in the surroundings of Tal Rifat and killed at least 40 terrorists.
The Russian fighter jets have played significant role in the recent victories of the Kurdish fighters in the province.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000520
Ankara-Riyadh Military Aggression against Syria to Endanger Entire World
February 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent military analyst warned that any armed intervention by Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Syria will endanger the entire world.
"Such a war is unlikely but if it happens, it will be a dangerous prelude to further escalation in the region which will affect regional and global security and peace. It will be a prelude to a greater war," Reza Shariqi, a retired Syrian General, told FNA on Monday.
Noting that neither Turkey and Saudi Arabia nor the US could wage war against Syria in the current circumstances, he said, "Such a war will in the first place jeopardize the Israeli security and interests."
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000260
Syria complains to UN over Turkish shelling
February 14, 2016
The Syrian government condemned on Sunday Turkey's shelling of Syrian territory, describing it as an attempt to raise the morale of "terrorist" groups.
In two messages sent Sunday to the UN secretary general and the president of the UN Security Council, Damascus also denounced recent statements made by the Turkish prime minister justifying the shelling of Kurdish armed group YPG in Syria.
The government strongly urged the UN Security Council to put an end to the "crimes of the Turkish regime
Turkey is one of the leading backers of the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Syrian government refers to all rebel groups as "terrorists."
Turkey and Russia to Spark New Cold War: Putin Accuses Turks of HELPING ISIS in Syria
Feb 15, 2016
In one of the bloodiest days of the five-year conflict, rocket attacks destroyed two separate hospitals in rebel-held areas where medical help is desperately needed.
In the first, a health facility backed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was completely destroyed during an attack on Maaret al Numan, about 170 miles north of the capital Damascus.
In a second attack, at least 14 civilians were killed when missiles hit a children's hospital, a school and other locations in the rebel-held Syrian town of Azaz, near the Turkish border.
Turkey immediately blamed Russian jets for the bombing, which left at least 14 people dead and 30 wounded.
Full report at: express.co.uk/news/world/644216/Turkey-Russia-conflict-Syria-bringing-rival-superpowers-brink-war
Islamic State militants posing as migrants arrested in Turkey
Feb 15, 2016
A man holds a child at a refugee camp in northern Syria, near Bab al-Salameh border crossing with Turkey.
Turkish border authorities have arrested a second wave of Islamic State insurgents posing as migrants fleeing the latest Russian bombing of Aleppo.
As tensions and fighting escalated despite the ceasefire agreed on last Thursday, Turkey’s military reported increasing numbers of Islamic State fighters infiltrating border towns.
Turkey is also readying for a further escalation of refugees wanting to cross if Saudi Arabia enters the complex battleground, perhaps in combination with Turkish ground troops.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed yesterday that Saudi Arabia was using the Turkish air base at Incelik and Ankara could join in sending in ground troops. “We said that if there is such a strategy, Turkey and Saudi Arabia can join a ground operation,” he told the Yeni Safak newspaper.
Full report at: theaustralian.com.au/news/world/islamic-state-militants-posing-as-migrants-arrested-in-turkey/news-story/c7694d34f8dd61f1ff417e86e9ec5ee7
Turkey vows 'harsh reaction' if Kurds try to take Syrian town
February 15, 2016
KIEV/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey will not allow the northern Syrian town of Azaz to fall into the hands of a Kurdish militia and its fighters will face the "harshest reaction" if they approach it again, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.
A major offensive supported by Russian bombing and Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias has brought the Syrian army to within 25 km (15 miles) of the Turkish border. The Kurdish YPG militia has exploited the situation, seizing ground from Syrian rebels to extend its presence along the Turkish border.
Full report at: news.yahoo.com/turkey-not-considering-sending-troops-syria-agency-062936633.html
Opposition backs retaliation but rejects intervention in Syria
February 14, 2016
Representatives of opposition parties in Parliament have said that Turkey should take the necessary steps against serious security threats to its territory but have voiced their opposition to a possible Turkish military intervention in Syria because it would involve too many risks for the country.
The Turkish military shelled Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces at the Menagh air base near Azez in northern Syria and also targeted Syrian regime forces on Saturday, continuing to hit PYD targets on Sunday while demanding that the PYD withdraw from positions near the Syrian-Turkish border, even though the PYD warned on Sunday that it would resist any Turkish intervention.
Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_opposition-backs-retaliation-but-rejects-intervention-in-syria_412318.html
Delivery of S-300 Air Defence Systems to Tehran Begins
February 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The delivery of Russian S-300 anti-missile rocket systems to Iran has started, said Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari on Monday.
Speaking to journalists during his weekly conference, Jaberi Ansari said the delivery is being carried out as per an agreement between the two neighbors.
He said the two sides are now cooperating in various fields and they enjoy the highest level of diplomatic ties.
According to Jaberi Ansari, in addition to diplomatic-political ties, the two neighbors are also working hard clock to bolster cooperation in economic domains.
In relevant remarks, Iran’s Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanaei said early this week that Iran is getting one of the latest versions of the air defence complex.
The news was not welcome in Washington, with State Department spokesman Mark Toner reiterating the US stance on the issue in a briefing on Monday.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000625
Riyadh Under Pressure to Abandon Warmongering Policies
February 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran and many other countries have long been urging Saudi Arabia to abandon its warmongering policies, as Riyadh has no choice but to change course.
Zarif made the remarks Monday morning upon arrival in Brussels where he is scheduled to meet with Belgian and other European officials on bilateral issues and regional developments, including the wars in Syria and Yemen and Iran's nuclear deal with the world powers.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941126000416
Biden urges Turkey to cease artillery strikes in Syria
February 14, 2016
US Vice President Joe Biden has urged Turkey to stop shelling Kurdish militia positions in northern Syria during a phone conversation on Saturday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, according to a statement released by the White House on Sunday.
"The Vice President noted U.S. efforts to discourage Syrian Kurdish forces from exploiting current circumstances to seize additional territory near the Turkish border, and urged Turkey to show reciprocal restraint by ceasing artillery strikes in the area," the statement said, noting that Biden emphasized imperative for de-escalation in the area.
Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_biden-urges-turkey-to-cease-artillery-strikes-in-syria_412312.html
EU calls on Turkey to halt military action in Syria
February 15, 2016
European Union officials have called on Turkey to halt its military action in Syria after Turkish forces shelled positions held by a US-backed Kurdish militia over the weekend.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Monday that "only a few days ago, all of us including Turkey, sitting around the table decided steps to de-escalate and have a cessation of hostilities."
She said more fighting "is obviously not what we expect."
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, said "we have the plan for a cessation of hostilities and I think everybody has to abide by that."
Turkish soldier killed in clash with group at Syrian border
February 15, 2016
A Turkish soldier was killed on Sunday evening after Turkey's security forces clashed with a group at the Syrian border seeking to enter Turkey illegally, the armed forces said in a statement.
The Turkish military, which regularly detains people seeking to cross illegally back and forth across the Syrian border, said in its statement on Monday the clash occurred in the Yayladagi area of Hatay province at 7:15 p.m. (17.15 GMT).
Turkey not considering sending troops into Syria: agency
Feb 15, 2016
ISTANBUL: Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz denied a report that some Turkish soldiers had entered Syria at the weekend and said Ankara was not considering sending troops into the neighbouring country, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.
“It is not true,” Yilmaz told a Turkish parliamentary commission, when asked about the claim in a Syrian foreign ministry letter to the UN Security Council. “There is no thought of Turkish soldiers entering Syria.”
Read: Turkey, Saudi could launch anti-IS ground operation in Syria: Ankara
The Syrian government has said Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen who entered Syria on Saturday with 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an operation to supply insurgents fighting Damascus.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239709/turkey-not-considering-sending-troops-into-syria-agency
France calls on Turkey to stop bombing of Kurdish zones in Syria
February 14, 2016
The French Foreign Ministry called on Turkey to halt bombardments of Kurdish zones in Syria, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
"France is worried about the deteriorating situation in the region of Aleppo and the north of Syria. We call for the cessation of all bombardments, those of the regime and its allies on the entire territory and those of Turkey in the Kurdish zones," the statement said.
It added that the priority should be the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and application of agreements reached by the major powers in Munich on Friday.
Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_france-calls-on-turkey-to-stop-bombing-of-kurdish-zones-in-syria_412304.html
Iran’s rich deposits tempting international investors
February 15th, 2016
LONDON: Iran’s rich deposits of zinc, copper, gold and other minerals are tempting international investors after the lifting of Western sanctions, but development of the sector will take time and problems will have to be overcome.
A slump in metals prices and uncertainty about working with the Tehran government, which controls virtually all the country’s mines, means that many foreign mining firms are not scrambling to sign deals.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239568/irans-rich-deposits-tempting-international-investors
ISIS, al-Qaida using religion as per convenience, says Union minister Naqvi
Feb 15, 2016,
KHAMBHAT: Terror groups like ISIS and al-Qaida have no relation with any religion and merely define it as per their convenience, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Sunday.
Naqvi stressed that the role of society is more important than that of the government to meet challenges posed by terrorism.
"We should understand that terrorism and terror outfits like ISIS and al-Qaida are enemies of humanity and prosperity of the world. Terrorist outfits have no relation with any religion and they have been defining religion according to their convenience.
"Religious organisations and leaders can use their influence to make people, especially the youth, aware of evil designs of terrorist groups. We have to fight unitedly against these evil forces with a commitment to protect peace of the world and destroy their ill and nefarious designs," the MoS for parliamentary affairs and minority affairs said.
He was speaking here at the International Sufi Conference on the occasion of 796th annual ceremony (Urs Mubarak) of Sarkar Shah-E-Miran Hazrat Peer Miran Saiyed Ali Vali where a resolution was passed condemning "evil forces" that have been killing human values "misusing" religion as cover.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISIS-al-Qaida-using-religion-as-per-convenience-says-Union-minister-Naqvi/articleshow/50983938.cms
All You Need To Know About Lashkar-E-Taiba and Its Activities in India
February 15, 2016
In this April 3, 2012, file photo, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba talks with the Associated Press in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photo: PTI
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh came under heavy criticism after he claimed that an event at Jawaharlal Nehru University to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru had received “support” from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed. His statement assumes significance as this is the first time any senior government minister has alleged the backing of the LeT leader in a protest march held within the country. Even as he made this claim, no evidence has been produced and opposition parties have attacked the home minister, asking him to substantiate his claims.
Full report at: business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/all-you-need-to-about-lashkar-e-taiba-and-its-activities-in-india-116021500657_1.html
Pakistan joins 'Thunder of the North' military exercise in Saudi Arabia
AFP — 15 02 16
RIYADH: Armed forces from around 20 countries including Pakistan and Malaysia are gathering in northern Saudi Arabia Sunday for "the largest, most important military manoeuvres" ever staged in the region, the official news agency SPA reported.
The "Thunder of the North" exercise involving ground, air, and naval forces sends a "clear message" that Riyadh and its allies "stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region", SPA said.
Saudi Arabia is currently leading a military campaign against Houthi rebels in its southern neighbour Yemen.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239517/pakistan-joins-thunder-of-the-north-military-exercise-in-saudi-arabia
Talks with Pakistan not conditional on Pathankot probe, says Indian envoy to Pak
IRFAN HAIDER — 15 02 16
ISLAMABAD: Foreign secretary level talks between Pakistan and India are not conditional to the Pathankot airbase attack probe, said the Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawaly on Monday.
The Indian envoy also stated that India and Pakistan are in constant contact to hold foreign secretary level talks in the near future.
“I cannot give any particular date for the secretary level talks, but foreign secretaries from both countries are in constant contact,” explained the Indian envoy.
After a series of high-level contacts starting with an ice-breaking meeting in Paris between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and climaxing with the latter’s surprise trip to Lahore, Pakistan and India had agreed in December to resume the bilateral dialogue after a hiatus of two years because of tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239717/talks-with-pakistan-not-conditional-to-pathankot-probe-says-indian-envoy
IED blast in South Waziristan kills security man
Feb 15, 2016
PESHAWAR: One security personnel was killed and another sustained injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Wana, a town in South Waziristan, security sources said.
An IED planted on the roadside struck a security forces' vehicle in Talai area of South Waziristan, killing one security official.
The injured was taken to Combined Military Hospital Peshawar for treatment.
Security forces cordoned off the area after the explosion and started a search operation to apprehend suspects involved in the attack.
Homemade roadside bombs are a major weapon of militants who attack government forces in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal districts.
Pakistan's army largely cleared militants from South Waziristan in a 2009 operation. Soldiers now are fighting militants in North Waziristan in operation Zarb-i-Azb that began in June 2014.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Monday's blast.
Sindh becomes first Pakistan province to adopt Hindu Marriage Bill
Feb 15, 2016
Pakistan’s Sindh Assembly today passed the Hindu Marriage Bill making the province the first in the country to allow the minority community to register their marriages, amid calls from a leading Hindu group to remove a controversial clause in the landmark bill.
The bill, moved in the assembly by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nisar Khuhro, will apply to entire Sindh province, which has a sizeable population of Hindus.
“Since the creation of Pakistan, it is the first time that such a law is being passed. The decision has been taken to provide mechanism for formally registering Hindu marriages in Sindh,” Khuhro said.
Full report at: thehindubusinessline.com/news/world/sindh-becomes-first-pakistan-province-to-adopt-hindu-marriage-bill/article8240887.ece
Will Pakistan's economy survive the maturity of $50bn in debt this year?
Feb 15, 2016
Despite improvement in the country's security situation and the economy growing at an eight-year high, Pakistan risks default as 42 percent of its foreign debt, around $50 billion, is due in 2016, reports Bloomberg.
Around $30 billion is due between July and September, of which $8.3 billion will need to be in foreign currency, depleting 40pc of the nation’s $21 billion in foreign-exchange holdings.
“Pakistan’s high level of public debt, with a large portion financed through short-term instruments, does make the sovereign’s ability to meet their financing needs more sensitive to market conditions,” Mervyn Tang, lead analyst for Pakistan at Fitch Ratings Ltd., told Bloomberg.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239706/will-pakistans-economy-survive-the-maturity-of-50bn-in-debt-this-year
'We won't be scared': Bacha Khan University reopens 25 days after attack
Feb 15, 2016
CHARSADDA: Bacha Khan University (BKU) in Charsadda, which was closed in the aftermath of a militant attack on Jan 20 which killed at least 21 students, reopened on Monday after it was given security clearance.
Vice-chancellor Fazal Rahim Marwat received students as they entered the campus amid tight security.
"We are satisfied with the security arrangements at the campus," he said, speaking to the media.
The first day of resumption of academic activities aims to relieve students of the "psychological trauma they underwent", Marwat said, adding that special lectures would be delivered in this regard.
BKU spokesperson Saeed Khan said security arrangements for studies to resume at varsity are "complete". However, watchtowers are yet to be installed.
Khan said the watchtowers will be installed at a distance of 100 metres at the campus.
"We will not be cowered [by terror threats] ... we will continue to learn," said an MSc student, who arrived at the campus for classes on Monday.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239697/we-wont-be-scared-bacha-khan-university-reopens-25-days-after-attack
Pak singer Dr Zafar Iqbal wins Sufi music award in Cairo
Feb 15, 2016
A Pakistani musician and singer who has won a prestigious award in Sufi singing from Cairo (same award has also been awarded to poet-philosopher Allama Iqbal) says he has an aim to root out extremism from the country through Sufi music.
National College of Arts’ musicology department former in-charge Dr Zafar Iqbal has recently been awarded Takrim at Cairo, Eygpt, in an international Sufi music festival called ‘Sama International Festival of Spiritual Music and Chanting.’ He went there with his Marifat Band on the invitation of the Egyptian Embassy to perform in the festival.
“It’s a great honour for me that I have been given this award because the same award was announced for Allama Iqbal by the festival management in 2013,” Dr Iqbal told this reporter, adding that he was given the award for Sufi music at a festival in which some 20 countries participated.
Full report at: images.dawn.com/news/1174832/pak-singer-dr-zafar-iqbal-wins-sufi-music-award-in-cairo
Plot Against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria
February 14, 2016
"Right now, yet another frightening battle front has emerged, which if not properly managed and properly contained, can pose a much bigger challenge to the Ummah and the country’s security, Perhaps worst than the BokoHaram problem. The latest threat is of course the Shia Movement."
AhlulBayt News Agency - Since after the brutal Zaria_Massacre that the Nigerian Army killed 1000+ defenseless & unarmed members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN ) under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, the Nigerian government that is dominated by a civilian - military alliance of the corrupt elites of Northern Nigeria has been finding ways to bury that heinous crime that was undoubtedly a war crime. The Nigerian government via the Nigerian Army had sponsored massive paid Advertorials in all the media outlets of Nigeria to justify that inhuman massacre and demonize the IMN.
Full report at: en.abna24.com/service/africa/archive/2016/02/14/734818/story.html
Al Qaeda Africa group strengthening – US commander
15 February 2016
A man reads newspaper headlines that talk about the Al Qaeda attack on the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino. [Photo/Reuters]
Two high-profile strikes in West Africa since November by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) could further strengthen the Islamist militant group, a U.S. commander for North and West Africa said.
AQIM, a militant group that emerged from the Algerian civil war in the 1990s and is now mostly north Mali-based, is emerging from a period of near dormancy marked by factional infighting.
The group, linked to veteran jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, claimed two hotel sieges in the Mali and Burkina Faso capitals in November and January that killed dozens, including many Westerners, proving its ability to strike further south.
Full report at: citizentv.co.ke/news/al-qaeda-africa-group-strengthening-us-commander-114469/
As Indonesia hunts down Islamic State, homegrown jihadis regroup
Reuters News | Feb 14, 2016
By Randy Fabi and Kanupriya Kapoor
JAKARTA (Reuters) - As Indonesian counter-terrorism forces hunt down supporters of Islamic State following last month's gun and suicide bomb attack in Jakarta, a quiet resurgence is unfolding of a homegrown radical network with a far deadlier track record here.
That group is Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), whose network was until recently thought to have been severely degraded by a crackdown that put hundreds of its leaders and followers behind bars after a series of attacks on Western interests in the 2000s.
But Reuters interviews with two active and one former member of Jemaah Islamiyah have revealed that it is active again, enlisting new supporters, raising funds and sending men to train in war-torn Syria.
"JI is currently in preparation level. They have not done any operations but they are recruiting people, strengthening their knowledge, education, network and finances," said Nasir Abas, a former member. "I would not underestimate them."
Full report at: townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2016/02/14/as-indonesia-hunts-down-islamic-state-homegrown-jihadis-regroup-n2119617
Chinese Uighur was tortured into confessing role in Bangkok bomb, claims lawyer
Feb 15, 2016
BANGKOK: A Chinese ethnic Uighur man arrested in Thailand over a bombing that killed 20 people in Bangkok last year denied on Monday charges of murder or involvement in the attack, retracting an earlier confession his lawyer said he was tortured into making.
Adem Karadag, also known as Bilal Mohammed, is due to appear at a military court on Tuesday, along with a second suspect, Yusufu Mieraili, to formally hear the charges. Police said both men had confessed to having a role in the Aug 17 explosion.
A lawyer for Karadag said his client was coerced into confessing that he took part in the attack. Most of the victims were foreign tourists, raising concerns that the country's lucrative tourist industry could suffer.
“At the time he was tortured and under pressure. That is why he confessed to the charges against him,” lawyer Schoochart Kanpai told Reuters after visiting Karadag in detention. “He still maintains he has no involvement in this. The only charge he accepts is illegal entry.”
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1239701/chinese-uighur-was-tortured-into-confessing-role-in-bangkok-bomb-claims-lawyer
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