Pope Francis’s visit comes
appropriately enough at the start of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance
My Mosque’: How Three Words Conquer Prejudice in India
“As-Salamu Alaikum”, Pope Francis Hailed Muslim Ruled UAE
Afghan Leaders to Discuss Peace, Future Set-Up At Moscow Moot
In the Middle East, Islamic State Eyes South-East Asia As Next Terrorism
Arabia, Egypt ‘Safety Valve of Arab, Islamic Nation’: Egyptian President’s
Accused of Stealing Syrian Olives To Finance FSA Militants
Worried As Saudi Turns Eastwards To Develop Missiles: Experts
Of Former Kashmiri Militants Demand Travel Documents To Return To Pakistan
mayor calls Aligarh Muslim University hub of terrorists
techie killing: Dhananjay Desai promises to shun HRS activities
To Decide Political Fortunes In Uttar Pradesh?
wants Pakistan dolphins for Beas, will offer Imran Khan Punjab gharials
lodged against Azam Khan for ‘defaming’ Muslim cleric in 2014
Imam Threatens Journo Over Muslim School Probe – Report
split over repatriation of jihadists held in Syria
official: Three charged with terrorism in Strasbourg attack probe
troubled anti-terror strategy
Qatar Patronizing Jamaat and ARSA
Taliban, ISIS-K militants killed in coalition airstrikes
Taliban leader Qazi Qari Abdul Qadir among 25 killed, wounded in Farah
Security forces arrest four suspected terrorists
on Rohingya to be held in New York next week
reshuffles security leadership in the Ministry of Interior
forces not to accept transient peace: Ghani
dead as Philippine soldiers clash with Abu Sayyaf militants
troops battle Muslim militants after church blast
publically whipped in Indonesia's Aceh for cuddling
in Semenyih will be the deathblow for PPBM, says Umno leader
was awkward—at Jokowi event, senior cleric mistakenly prays for Prabowo
Visit Generating Hope for a New Era of Tolerance in the Gulf
in UAE hail country's year of 'respect, inclusion'
lawmakers to submit motion to amend constitution
Ankara-Backed Militants Resume Clashes in Aleppo
Several ISIL Terrorists Killed in Failed Attack on Syrian Army Near Palmyra
Cache of US, Israeli, Saudi Arms Discovered by Syrian Army Near Damascus
Sustain Heavy Losses in Failed Attacks on Syrian Army Positions in Hama, Idlib
al-Sha'abi fighters stop US military patrol in Iraq's Mosul
army says kills 8 militants in desert air strikes
Accused Of Stealing Syrian Olives To Finance FSA Militants
Army Liberates Several Areas From Houthi Militia, 7,183 Mines Cleared
jails two Kurdish former parliamentarians
captures ISIS suspects on Syria border
senior cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim visits Iran's Mashhad
attack kills IRGC member in southeastern Iran
Yemen ceasefire team to meet aboard ship
rap Israel for expelling group protecting al-Khalil
captures four Daesh suspects near border with Syria
Charity Distributes Food To Homeless Struck By Chicago's Cold Snap
and Their Media Pretend Muslim Terrorism Is Manufactured
ISIS 'Beatles' to face US trial in summer
USAID ends all assistance to Palestinians, the situation will get worse
TLP Workers Booked For ‘Violent’ Protest In Karachi
hydel projects’ inspection successful: Pakistan
with PML-N, PPP’: Rashid asks PM to take nation into confidence
incident: PM Imran to meet Punjab CM Buzdar to discuss JIT proceedings
committed to treating rich and poor equally: Fawad
seeks media’s support to ‘overthrow govt’
MPA submits resolution in PA against construction in Kartarpur
US Airstrike Kills 13 Al-Shabaab Militants
protest in Sudan as death toll mounts
and Jordan reopen border crossing, boosting relations
teacher dies in detention following protests
to host Yemen talks focusing on prisoner swap deal
least four Ethiopian soldiers die in al-Shabaab blast
by New Age Islam News Bureau
kya hai masjid ke andar?” It was a question 28-year-old Vikas Gavali had
thought of often, but never ended up asking even his closest Muslim friends.
“There was always a fear. What if they felt bad,” he says. In December last
year, Gavali confronted this apprehension of the unknown, when he visited a
mosque for the first time in Pune’s Azam Campus locality. He asked questions
about Islam, and wandered through the white corridors and long halls covered in
was among the 350 people who visited the mosque in a programme helmed by the
Pune Islamic Information Centre (PIIC). For the first time in many years, the
mosque at Azam Campus, an educational hub, opened its doors to men and women
from other communities. The idea was to allay doubts and dispel misconceptions
around the religion and its practices.
is an initiative that is slowly gathering strength across the country. Apart
from the Pune mosque, Al-Fukran in Mumbra (Mumbai), Masjid Umar Bin Khattab in
Ahmedabad and three mosques in Hyderabad including the well-known Spanish
Mosque have opened their doors for anyone interested in paying a visit.
trend started abroad. Mosques in the UK have been holding open days for
decades, but a concerted effort started in February 2015 when as part of
#VisitMyMosque, 20 mosques held an open house on the same day. Since then, 200
mosques have joined the UK initiative. Similar campaigns are running in Canada
and the US.
Sheikh of PIIC, who helped organise the weekend open house, knows the challenge
he is up against. It is a toxic atmosphere stoked by fake social media forwards
that allege mosques spread violence and hatred, and madrassas breed terrorists.
The organisers tackled rumours spread through social media head-on with
placards depicting the consequences of spreading unverified news.
who owns a sportswear manufacturing business, noticed the change in people’s attitude
some years earlier when he went looking for a home to rent and was refused
repeatedly. “Over the last six years we have organised inter-faith dialogues and
seminars on festive occasions hoping to begin conversations. But the hatred
spewed by social media has just taken over young people’s minds,” he says.
People would ask him, “Why aren’t mosques open for everyone? What are you
hiding?” “We felt that we had to take a more drastic step,” he says.
Nasrullah, trustee of the Umar Bin Khattab mosque in Ahmedabad, has encountered
the ugly face of prejudice often. He recounts how an elderly man walked away
from him at a book fair saying, “Tum logon se jitni doori banai jaye utni achchi
hai (It’s best to keep a distance from people like you).” The comment stung but
also left Nasrullah reflecting about what to do. It took a year but the mosque
hosted its ‘Visit My Mosque’ programme last month.
is not all. Nasrullah is also trying to bring his community closer to the
people. The mosque is active on Facebook and Twitter, using these to post
pictures and videos of the open house and teachings of the Quran. Nasrullah
hopes to inspire other mosques to use social media and increase public
was an eye-opener,’’ says Jignesh Dhanak, a 35-year-old cloth merchant who
lives in Ahmedabad and visited the masjid with some friends. Many who had never
been inside a mosque or read about Islam were surprised to find that namaz was
read facing a wall and not in front of an idol. Arabic teacher Kubra Naik says
that despite living together for so many years, awareness levels are still low.
“People don’t really know each other. When I tell people my name or they see me
in a hijab, I know they have reservations about what I am going to say. But
when I speak about how it is important for us to live in peacetheir attitude
changes,” she says.
is a volunteer with the NGO A Little Kindness Trust, that has so far conducted
open days in three Hyderabad mosques.
most successful gathering was at the Spanish Mosque in August 2018, when over
2,000 people turned up.
Mander, who started the Karvaan-e-Mohabbat project as an outreach for Muslim
victims of lynchings and riots, says the effort is touching but it must be the
majority community that reaches out to others. “The worrying part is that the
present climate has legitimised bigotry. The more educated, more privileged
Indians are far more prejudiced than those who are less educated,” he says.
small, the organisers are hoping their efforts will have an impact. Pune’s
Karimuddin has plans to hold another open house in February while Nasrullah has
been getting calls from other mosques in Gujarat for advice. “Mahol ko badalna
hoga, aur humme hi kuch karna hoga (Things have to change and we have to take
the initiative),” Nasrullah says
“As-Salamu Alaikum”, Pope Francis hailed Muslim ruled UAE
CITY: As Pope Francis visit to UAE begins on Sunday February 3, he has extended
his warm greetings to the leadership and people of the UAE.
video posted in Italian by The Vatican on YouTube, on Thursday began with the
Pope Francis’s Islamic greeting “As-Salamu Alaikum” (peace be upon you all)
before saying he is “happy to be able to visit a “country which strives to be a
model for co-existence and human fraternity, and a meeting point of different
civilisations and cultures”.
the three-minute clip, Pope Francis praises the Muslim ruled state and also
describes the UAE as somewhere “where many find a safe place to work and live
freely, while respecting diversity’. He said he was “delighted to be meeting
with a people who live out their present and look forward to the future”.
the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, the Pope said:
“True wealth lies not just in material possibilities. The real wealth of a
nation is the individuals who hear the sound of their future.”
Pope Francis speaks in Italian, the video has been given English subtitles, and
you can see the full message here:
is also later seen thanking Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces as well as the extended UAE
authorities for the “excellent collaboration” and “generous hospitality”.
am glad for the opportunity that God has given me, here in your land, where a
new page of historic interfaith relationships will be written, that emphasises we
are brothers despite our differences,” Pope Francis said in the video.
video concludes warmly with “Thank you so much and see you soon” message by the
Francisis the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula. He will arrive in the
UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, late Sunday night for his landmark three-day visit –
from February 3 to 5.
theme of the papal visit is, ‘Make Me a Channel of Your Peace’ will culminate
in a public Mass for 135,000 people at Zayed Sports City.
UAE prides itself on its religious tolerance and cultural diversity, and most
Gulf Arab states have long allowed Christians to worship in churches.
80 percent of the population of the UAE is Muslim, while Christians constitute
around nine percent, according to the Catholic News Agency.
of the Catholics are workers from Africa, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the
Philippines, though some are locals.
Afghan leaders to discuss peace, future set-up at Moscow moot
Afghan Taliban rule out any negotiations with President Ashraf Ghani-led
government, they will be meeting Afghan political leaders in Moscow, the
capital of Russia, on Feb 5-6 to discuss the peace process.
High Peace Council (HPC), mandated to pursue peace negotiations with the armed
opponents, has also been invited to the Russian capital but its secretary Umer
Daudzai told BBC Pashto radio that the HPC may not send representatives as they
have not been given enough time to discuss whether or not their participation
in the process will be useful.
members had attended a conference of regional countries and other stakeholders
in Russia in November last year.
political spokesman Suhail Shaheen has confirmed that the Taliban political
envoys will participate in the meeting. Speaking to Daily Times from Qatar,
where the Taliban have political headquarters, Shaheen described the Moscow
meeting as an ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’. “I think it is intra-Afghan dialogue to
see how to cope with current situation and pave the way for sustainable peace
after foreign troops’ withdrawal,” he said.
section of Afghan media has reported that former president Hamid Karzai is also
among the invitees, and it would be the first time when he meets senior Taliban
leaders. Hizb-e-Islami (Hekmatyar) has also been invited as the Russian
ambassador in Kabul met Hekmatyar this week to deliver the invitation.
Hekmatyar’s son Habib-ur-Rehman has confirmed his party will attend. Former
Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, who is now based in
Kabul and runs a religious school, former deputy foreign minister Hekmat
Karzai, Hizb-e-Wahdat chief Muhammad Muhaqiq, former defence minister Shah
Nawaz Tanai, former governors Atta Noor and Ismail Khan are prominent among
those invited to Moscow. The Russian government has reportedly involved
Moscow-based Afghans in the process. Afghan political leaders are gathering in
Moscow days after President Ghani expressed reservations over direct Taliban-US
talks in Qatar as he feels left out of the process so far. Political leaders
including Hulbaddin Hekmatyar and Hanif Atmar have been critical at what they
claim non-serious approach of the National Unity Government towards the peace
process. Speaking at a TV interview this week, Hekmatyar even backed the
Taliban stance not to talk to the Ghani administration and supported formation
of an interim government for dialogue with the Taliban.
Moscow conference is likely to throw weight behind the US-Taliban talks as
political parties are trying to establish a relationship with the Taliban.
Daily Times has learnt that several political leaders in Afghanistan have
approached the Taliban leadership. Member of Russia’s Afghan community and one
of the event organizers Akhtar Safi said all parties in Afghanistan interested
in the peace process, including the Taliban and the Afghan government, have
been invited to the moot. Another organizer, Nadir Shah, said the conference
will also involve delegates from the Afghan communities in CIS member states
and European countries as well as representatives from Iran and Pakistan.
in the Middle East, Islamic State eyes South-east Asia as next terrorism
Feb 2 — The terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) is today a
shadow of its once-formidable self in the Middle East, with its army in tatters
and its territories reduced to a sliver of turf.
the IS ideology — which includes the setting up of a caliphate — is far from
dead and buried.
its supporters, including those who have returned home after fighting wars in
Iraq and Syria, have now set their sights on turning South-east Asia into the
next terrorism hotspot.
IS, the region has all the ingredients needed to become its next cauldron of
violence: Porous borders, existence of logistical bases, weak regimes, poor
enforcement measures and disenchantment among marginalised Muslims.
Asia has been dubbed as the second front for IS,” said Professor Mohd
Kamarulnizam Abdullah, who researches on terrorism and religious violence at
Universiti Utara Malaysia.
region already has had a taste of IS-style terror in recent years. In 2016,
IS-linked militants launched a gun and bomb assault in the centre of Jakarta,
killing several people.
Sunday (January 27), a Roman Catholic cathedral on the island of Jolo in
southern Philippines was bombed as worshippers gathered for mass. IS claimed
responsibility for it.
Singapore has been fortunate enough not to have experienced any violent attack,
it will become increasingly harder to keep the country secure from the threat
as the web of terror closes in on the island.
the Singapore Government has repeatedly stressed that a terror attack here is
not a matter of if but when, there remains a sense of complacency among
recent report by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) showed that only 20 per
cent of Singaporeans felt that the terrorist threat was imminent.
MHA’s Singapore Terrorism Threat Assessment Report 2019 also said that the
Republic’s “most pressing threat” comes from IS.
2016, an IS-inspired plot to attack Marina Bay Sands from the Indonesian island
of Batam — a 40-minute boat ride from Singapore — was foiled.
Joseph Franco, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International
Studies (RSIS), said: “Even if you’re strong security-wise but exist in a bad
neighbourhood, you can’t help but always look over your shoulders.”
region: A second wave of terrorism
first wave of terrorism crashed into South-east Asia in 2002, starting with the
devastating bombings in Bali that year. It lasted till 2008, according to last
year’s Global Terrorism Index, with terrorist groups the Philippines’ Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) — which
has ties to Al Qaeda — being responsible for 301 and 274 deaths respectively.
second wave came in 2016, amid IS’ rise. As a result, South-east Asia saw a 36
per cent increase in deaths due to terrorism from 2016 to 2017.
2017, militant and insurgent groups championing separatist causes, which later
forged alliances or became affiliated to IS, committed 348 terror acts which
resulted in 292 deaths. They came from countries including Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand.
fellow Muhd Faizal Abdul Rahman from RSIS’ Centre of Excellence for National
Security pointed out that “partnerships” between militant groups are not new.
existed back in the days when Al Qaeda was at its zenith, forming ties with JI.
The latter group sent its members to Afghanistan to train and gain combat
skills under Al Qaeda and learn its doctrine.
aligning themselves with IS “facilitates the exchange of talent, skills and
material resources” with local and regional groups, said Faizal.
militant or terrorist groups would also attain a higher level of legitimacy and
support if they associate themselves with IS’ ideology, which seeks to
establish a caliphate through a final battle between good (Muslims) and evil
is more important to sustain the will to fight even when the means to fight is
suppressed by security forces,” said Faizal.
analysts also pointed out that by working together, the different groups can
eliminate their common enemies — Western forces and governments that they claim
to have exploited and marginalised Muslim communities — on multiple fronts.
collaboration was exemplified during the Marawi siege in southern Philippines
allegiance to IS, a number of militant groups banded together to attack and
take control parts of the city, before they were defeated by government forces
after months of battle.
the militants lost, the siege underscored IS’ reach in the region, said
Global Terrorism Index report said that the battle of Marawi was a “defining
moment” in Islamist terrorism in the Philippines. Following that, IS’ online
propaganda has urged foreign fighters to travel to the Philippines and other
South-east Asian outposts.
said that even after the Marawi siege, there continues to be militant groups —
whether aligned to IS or not — operating in the Mindanao region.
access to illegal firearms, they continue to pose a threat,” he said.
18 years after the Sept 11 attacks in the United States — which were carried
out by the Al Qaeda — the terrorism threat has evolved and possibly become more
potent, said analysts.
Mohamed Ali, an RSIS expert in religious extremism, pointed out that
previously, the definition of a terrorist was clear-cut: He or she had to
pledge an oath and be a member of a terrorist group.
however, individuals can just carry out attacks in their homelands without
having to go through military training.
can be anyone and can strike alone and out of the blue,” he added. “That makes
them more dangerous.”
rising exclusivist sentiment in the region, namely in Indonesia and Malaysia,
has also added fuel to fire.
December, thousands of Muslim Indonesians took to the streets to commemorate
the series of rallies held in 2016 that targeted a former Jakarta governor, who
is a Christian.
after, Malaysians rallied in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur to call on the
government to preserve Islam as the country’s national religion and protect the
rights of the Malays.
stressed that exclusivism “forms the pathway to terrorism”.
person goes through the cognitive process of exclusivism before he is further
radicalised into a terrorist. Exclusivism conditions an individual’s mind and
values into believing that others are less human, less moral and deserves to be
harmed,” he added.
Mohamed Ali warned that the harm caused by exclusivist ideas could be more
damaging than the effects of terror attacks. It leads to different racial and
religious communities alienating one another and breeding suspicion. The
result: A weakening of the country’s unity and social fabric, he added.
Changing faces of terror
May, an Indonesian family of six were involved in back-to-back attacks on three
churches in the country’s second-largest city of Surabaya.
incident drove home the point that the terrorism threat in Indonesia had
evolved in two areas: The people conducting the attacks and the weapons used.
counterterrorism expert Dr Noor Huda Ismail noted that terrorist operations
have morphed from group operations to lone wolves, and later involving women as
well as the entire family unit.
is part of the IS doctrine to involve the entire family as part of efforts to
establish a caliphate, he pointed out. In its propaganda magazines Rumiyah and
Dabiq, it has been stated that the role of women is to breed the next
generation of terrorists. Another reason why terror attacks now involve women
and the entire family is because Indonesian authorities have successfully destroyed
many terrorist networks in the country.
IS supporters have to change their tactics,” added Dr Noor Huda, who founded
the Institute for International Peace Building to rehabilitate and reintegrate
former terrorists into the society.
household items as weapons to inflict damage is also the new norm. No longer is
it necessary to make or smuggle in traditional bombs or firearms to carry out
an attack, said Dr Najib Azca, the director of the Centre for Security and
Peace Studies at Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University.
has indoctrinated its followers to believe that if they cannot join its fight
in Syria and Iraq, they can carry out attacks in their homelands as part of the
jihad (armed struggle), he said.
do that, they can use vehicles to ram into crowds, or simply use household
items like a kitchen knife to stab as many people as they can, said Dr Najib.
cited the case of an Indonesian woman Dian Yulia Novi, who planned to use a
pressure-cooker bomb to attack the Presidential Palace in 2016, but was
arrested before she could do so.
(household items) are also equally effective in killing people,” he added.
Indonesia, the authorities also have to deal with another conundrum:
Radicalisation taking place behind bars, partly due to the lack of capacity in
country’s 477 prisons are meant to house 125,000 inmates, but have ended up
being crammed with more than 254,000 prisoners.
has resulted in arrested jihadists being placed in the same cells as offenders
of other crimes. “That’s where they influence the others,” said Dr Noor Huda.
some parts of the country such as Solo, he noted that jihadists sit at the top
of the moral hierarchy in prisons as they are regarded as “pure and
what happens is that other prisoners will go to them for Islamic teaching, and
they too get radicalised. For the jihadists conducting the teachings, they
become more hardcore.”
Indonesian authorities also have to grapple with the return of citizens who had
taken part in foreign wars.
study by the US-based non-profit organisation Soufan Center and the Global
Strategy Network released last year tracked 5,600 fighters who had returned to
their home countries.
them were 50 Indonesians.
Noor Huda said that in areas such as the Indonesian city of Medan, the
returning fighters would be welcomed as “mujahideen”, a title given to those
who had engaged in jihad. They could then pass on their experience and the
teaching they had received.
release of extremists from prisons and back into society poses yet another
week, the government of President Joko Widodo faced a backlash after it
announced that the JI’s spiritual leader and mastermind of the Bali bombings,
Abu Bakar Bashir, would be released early from prison on medical grounds. The
Indonesian government later said it will review the issue.
were concerns over the move as the 80-year-old ailing cleric is still regarded
as influential, and could continue to inspire others to wage jihad.
Najib said the announcement of Abu Bakar’s release comes at a politically
sensitive time, as the Muslim-majority nation is preparing to elect its next
president in April.
it could come at a cost, because those individuals could influence others to be
radicalised,” he added.
Indonesia, the battle against terrorism is still ongoing and there are always
new elements that we have to deal with.”
Arabia, Egypt ‘Safety Valve Of Arab, Islamic Nation’: Egyptian President’s
Dr. Osama Al-Azhari, the Egyptian president’s adviser on religious affairs, on
Saturday visited the Saudi pavilion at the Cairo International Book Fair.
praised the pavilion for attracting visitors and diverse participants, and for
highlighting the Kingdom’s scientific and cultural heritage.
and Saudi Arabia are the safety valve of the Arab and Islamic nation,” he said.
“Egypt is the country of Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Kingdom is the land of the
Two Holy Mosques. The combined efforts of the two countries are a pillar of
safety for the entire nation.”
his tour of the pavilion, Al-Azhari was accompanied by Saudi Cultural Attache
Dr. Khalid bin Abdullah Al-Nami.
pavilion inaugurated a virtual reality (VR) exhibition of the Two Holy Mosques,
allocating its special corner to the General Presidency for the Affairs of the
Two Holy Mosques. Besides the use of VR equipment at the exhibit, it was also
launched as a smartphone app.
expressed happiness at being “transported” to the holy sites, and said every
year the Saudi pavilion provides great and popular experiences that reflect the
progress and prosperity that the Kingdom is undergoing.
corner of the pavilion is allocated to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The
corner has distributed more than 10,000 copies of the Holy Qur’an, and the
initiative is part of the ministry’s efforts to serve Islam and Muslims
worldwide, promote the religion, and highlight its positive impacts on its
followers. Supervisors said the ministry’s corner has attracted many visitors
of different ages.
pavilion also organized a seminar on Saudi efforts to serve the Two Holy
Mosques. It was presented by the director general of the Prophet’s Mosque
Academy, Dr. Omar bin Amer Al-Kharmani.
stressed the Saudi leadership’s interest in helping pilgrims easily and safely
perform their rites at the Two Holy Mosques. He received a commemorative gift
the pavilion’s seminar on the Grand Mosque’s library, its director, Dr.
Abdulrahman bin Saad Al-Shahri, said it is “one of the Kingdom’s leading
libraries in terms of ancient Saudi writings, and a reference for those wishing
to learn about Saudi history and heritage.”
library, which has 13 floors, is “being developed and is welcomes guests from
inside and outside the Kingdom,” he added.
pavilion contains many prominent Saudi publications, as well as a visual arts
exhibition highlighting the Kingdom’s heritage.
Saudi Justice Ministry is also exhibiting more than 125 publications that shed
light on the Kingdom’s judicial system.
Cairo International Book Fair was inaugurated on Jan. 23 by Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The Saudi
pavilion was inaugurated by the Kingdom’s ambassador to Egypt, Osama Nugali.
worried as Saudi turns eastwards to develop missiles: Experts
defense experts say Saudi Arabia has been pursuing a missile program with the
help of China and Pakistan, in a potential divergence from the US and policy
shift towards the East that may raise concerns in Washington.
week, The Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia has started building its
first known ballistic missile production factory.
images taken last November by US company Planet Labs Inc and analyzed by the
Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey revealed that the
factory is situated at an existing missile base near the central Saudi town of
defense experts told CNBC that the development indicates a growing desire by
Riyadh, Washington's longtime ally, to take offensive measures without the
approval of its main weapons sponsor.
an arms race underway,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official and Arab
affairs expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “Whiplash policy changes
in Washington have had their impact on Riyadh: Saudi authorities are no longer
going to be constrained by White House whispers. The Saudis are demonstrating
that they can take matters into their own hands.”
expert Jeffrey Lewis also stressed that heavy investment in missiles often
correlates with an interest in nuclear weapons, adding, “I would be a little
worried that we’re underestimating the Saudis’ ambitions here."
Bruce Riedel, a CIA veteran and expert on Persian Gulf affairs, said that the
timing of the Saudi missile factory construction "underscores a
willingness to ignore Washington’s interests and policies" from the
beginning of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power.
started its missile program, which is overseen by the kingdom’s secretive
Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF), with the purchase of Chinese D3-F Silkworm
ballistic missiles back in 1988.
on condition of anonymity, a former Pentagon official said the SRF likely
“operates with Chinese input,” noting that “given that Pakistan has close ties
with both China and with the Kingdom and has numerous advisers working with
Saudi security agencies, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some Pakistani
assistance as well.”
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, however, rejected Beijing's
assistance to Riyadh to build a missile base.
analysts believe that revelations about Saudi Arabia's missile program could
further complicate the kingdom's relations with the US, given the already
increased anger over Riyadh’s deadly war on Yemen and the assassination of
dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.
addition to the missiles activities, the Saudis are also pursuing a nuclear
Salman laid the foundation stone for the kingdom’s first nuclear research
reactor during his visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in
Riyadh last November.
group of Pakistani spouses of former Kashmiri militants, who returned to the
valley under the government’s’ rehabilitation policy in 2010, protested in
Srinagar on Saturday, demanding travel documents to return home.
to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, the
women said that they couldn’t travel to Pakistan, because the government is not
providing them promised permanent residence certificates.
2010, the then government announced a surrender and rehabilitation policy for
J&K youths who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) for arms training. The
policy was for those who had renounced militancy and wanted to return home.
came with families after Omar Sahib( then J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah)
had announced the policy. But, here we feel cheated and now no one is here to
listen us,” says Asia Hassan Baba, one of the protestors, who came to Kashmir
under the policy.
were invited here and we did not intrude. At present, we don’t have a single
document, through which we can travel to our homes. For the last 10 years, we
haven’t seen faces of our brothers, sisters and parents in Pakistan.”
are more than 500 women from Pakistan who are facing a difficult time in
Kashmir, she added.
woman said that the family has been striving for a state subject for her and
her children. “In 2012, we(my husband and children) returned here though Nepal.
One of my close relatives recently passed away in Muzaffarabad and I couldn’t
travel because I don’t have any document,” she said.
protesting women were carrying a banner, which read, “Hum Pakistani hai, humein
Mayor Naveen Jain has raised a storm in the teacup by calling the Aligarh
Muslim University (AMU) a "hub of terrorists".
to India Today on Saturday, Jain, who has been a BJP leader since decades and
also served as the deputy mayor of Agra previously, said that the AMU has been
encouraging anti-national thoughts amongst the students by not acting on
sedition and communally-coloured incidents taking place at the campus.
made these remarks following the announcement made by a former office bearer of
the AMU student council for holding a protest at the university campus and
burning the saffron flag. Jain said that anti-national activities have been
dominating the AMU and it is becoming a hub of terrorists. There had been
incidents when AMU students went the anti-national way and even joined
BJP leader was clear that the AMU needs to change its name as no university in
India has a religious name. He said that the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is
also not based on religion and there was no proof that the university had
claimed a Hindu status.
fact, Jain said the BHU was established on the Hindu tradition and the name
befits that tradition, whereas Aligarh Muslim University was not only
established on Islamic lines, but also claimed to have a minority status, which
could not be allowed.
Desai will not take part in the activities of Hindu Rashtra Sena till the trial
of a case in which he is an accused.
FIR was registered in Pune against Desai in which he is accused of inciting
violence which led to the murder of techie Mohsin Shaikh.
signed an undertaking before the jailor of Yerwada Prison on January 24. The
undertaking states that Desai "shall not in any manner whatsoever involve
in any public/political activities related to or organised at the behest of
Hindu Rashtra Sena" and "shall not participate or deliver any public
speeches in any manner whatsoever and shall not work with any other
organisation till the conclusion of trial".
in mind the technological advances in communication, he has even specified,
"I undertake not to publish/broadcast any speeches or interviews or bytes
on any social media namely WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc in any
manner whatsoever organisation till the conclusion of trial."
will have to even restrain in every manner his party workers, activists and
followers from publishing any hoardings/banner depicting his pictures/posters
or for that matter any activity pertaining to his organisation namely Hindu
Rashtra Sena organisation till the conclusion of the trial.
an IT professional, was killed in Pune in 2014 following an alleged provocative
speech made by Desai.
got bail from the Bombay High Court on January 17. The prosecution had strongly
opposed his bail plea and pointed out that Desai had 17 criminal cases against
lawyer Abhijit Desai argued that his client was not present when the crime took
Sadhana Jadhav, while granting bail to Desai, said in her order that Desai, who
is accused of "provoking the public to wage a war against Muslims",
deserved to be granted bail as he was willing to furnish the undertaking.
As the bustle over the union interim budget settles down, the focus returns to
the political script being readied by parties and alliances to outshine the
ruling BJP in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress making it clear to play on front foot and SP-BSP alliance looking for
to turn the tide in their favour, parties can’t overlook UP’s Muslims – largest
in the country, playing a key role in deciding the fates.
time around, the so-called secular forces will be vying for the Muslim votes as
an oar to sail through,” says Ashutosh Mishra, a senior political scientist.
22 crore population of Uttar Pradesh, Muslims constitute crucial 19.23 per
cent. Of 80 Lok Sabha seats, around 20
seats are such with over 20 per cent Muslim population playing a decisive role
in making or marring the electoral fortunes of candidates in the fray.
2014, not even a single muslim candidate could reach the Lok Sabha largely due
to the multi-cornered fights and division of muslim votes among non-BJP parties
including Congress-RLD, SP, BSP and a few smaller religious outfits like Peace
Party and Rashtriya Ulema Council.
simply facilitated the BJP and allies sweeping UP with humoungous mandate and
walking away with 73 0f 80 seats.
per the 2011 census, UP has over two dozen parliamentary constituencies where
Muslim community is over 20% of the total population. Even more, over a dozen
of these constituencies, including Rampur (50.57 %), Moradabad (47.12%),
Saharanpur (41.95%), Bijnore (43.04%), Muzaffarnagar (41.30%) and Amroha (40.78%), Balrampur (37.51%), Azamgarh
(36%), Bareilly (34.54%), Meerut (34.43%), Bahraich (33.53%), Gonda (33%), and
Shrawasti (30.79%) have very strong over presence of Muslims which stands out
to be over 30 per cent.
fact, the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, when jat and Muslim clashed leading to a
huge exodus of populations, both communities deserted the RLD.
Muslim votes divided among SP and BSP, jats got polarised in favour of the BJP.
2009, when Muslims were annoyed with the Samajwadi Party for siding with the
then BJP rebel Kalyan Singh and voted tactically in favour of candidates who
were capable of defeating the saffron forces. As a result, the non-BJP parties
got nearly equal numbers of 80. Congress had fared well with 21, SP 22, BSP 21
and RLD also won 5 of eight seats it fought on in alliance with the BJP which
had won just 10.
time around, Muslims have two options – the SP-BSP-RLD alliance and the
Congress post- Priyanka Gandhi’s entry in political arena.
the fear of division of Muslim votes once again looms large over non-BJP
parties. Before Priyanka Gandhi’s entry, the Muslims were clear about backing
the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the state but now
an assertive Congress on the horizon, they may a ray of hope has been reignited
among the Muslim voters they may express confidence in grand old party despite
their annoyance over Babri demolition in 1992 under Congress rule at
Kamaldeep Singh Brar
tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu Saturday said he will
soon write to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan with a proposal to exchange
gharials at Chhatbir zoo in Chandigarh with Indus River dolphins of the
comes a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh gave nod to declare the
endangered Indus River dolphin, found only in the Beas River in the country, as
the state aquatic animal. “We have gharials and Pakistan has Indus River
dolphins in abundance. They don’t have gharials and we have very few dolphins
in the Beas River. We can give them gharials in exchange of dolphins,” Sidhu
was at Harike wetlands to celebrate World Wetland Day on Saturday. As per a
survey conducted in December last year, Beas River has only 8 to 10 dolphins.
“We will create a better habitat for the dolphins in Beas by removing the
invasive catfish. Then we can bring 30 to 60 dolphins from Pakistan. This has
been suggested by officials at Chhatbir zoo and I will write to Prime Minister
of Pakistan to make this exchange happen,” said Sidhu.
said, “There is huge potential for tourism at Harike wetlands. We receive
around 1.25 lakh birds annually at Harike while only 16,000 go to Kharagpur
wetlands, which has been tagged as number one wetland of India. This has
happened because no one ever gave any attention to Harike wetland. But now we
have a concrete plan”.
said, “Rs1200 cr were being spent with the assistance of the Asian Development
Bank (ADB) on promoting Brand Punjab as the most favoured tourist destination.
Out of this, Rs 150 crore will be spent on harnessing the immense potential of
Harike wetlands.” “We will follow Ramsar Convention guidelines for wetland and
habitat conservation and create suitable habitat for breeding of waterfowl.
Catfish and other invasive species will be removed. Local flora and indigenous
species will be reintroduced. A drone survey of the entire 4,100 hectares will
be conducted to identify weak habitat zones and bolster the indigenous species
therein, and augment breeding habitats,” said Sidhu.
development activities being undertaken by the department of tourism shall be
completed by April 30 this year, he said adding, “Rs 10 crore has been spent on
construction of an interpretation centre, bird watch towers, observation tower,
canteen, parking” and public conveniences. “Very soon, tourists will be able to
avail the facilities such as e-rickshaw, bicycles, binoculars etc. Boating
facilities will also be provided here”.
FIR has been registered against Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Azam Khan for
allegedly making derogatory comments against prominent Shia Muslim cleric
Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad Naqvi and defaming him through several press notes
issued under his official letterhead in 2014.
FIR was registered on Friday at the Hazratganj police station of Lucknow on the
complaint of Allama Zameer Naqvi, president of Lucknow-based social
organisation, All India Muslim’s Council.
house officer (SHO) of Hazratganj, Radharaman Singh said that the FIR was
registered after Zameer Naqvi filed a complaint on Friday. Azam Khan has been
booked under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 505 (statements conducing public
mischief). “We are probing the matter,” he added.
August 2014, Azam Khan issued several press notes to the media in which he
called Maulana Kalbe Jawad an agent of RSS and BJP. In addition to this, Azam
had also said that he is a blot on the name of a dharamguru and also Islam.
Azam called him an international terrorist. In his press notes, Khan had
claimed that the Maulana organised his daughter’s wedding on the anniversary of
Babri Masjid demolition (December 6) and to make BJP and RSS masters happy, he
indulged in cheap celebrations. Khan also said that Kalbe Jawad performed
hawan-poojan and gave Rs 15 lakh for the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” Zameer Naqvi
told The Sunday Express Saturday.
also claimed that he was trying to get an FIR registered in this regard since
2014, but it was only in December last year that the UP commission for
Minorities directed Lucknow SSP to get an FIR registered against Azam Khan. The
Indian Express has a copy of the alleged press notes and the minority
proportion of Muslims in Sweden is currently estimated at about 8.1 percent of
the country's population of 10 million, making it the most numerous in
reporter from the Swedish newspaper Gefle Dagblad was threatened by an imam
over the journalist's investigation into a Muslim school thought to be linked
to a local mosque in the city of Gavle,
incident took place during a recent meeting between the reporter and the
school's manager, who admitted a link between the school and the Gavle mosque.
meeting was also attended by an imam from the mosque who had rejected Gefle
Dagblad's requests for an interview over the past four years, which had
prompted the reporter to seize the opportunity.
situation dramatically escalated after a "third man" started to film
the interview; following the encounter, the imam became furious and ordered the
reporter to delete the video.
on the incident, Gefle Dagblad's editor-in-chief Anders Ingvarsson said that
"when a reporter, under threats, insults and waving fists, is forced to
erase images, one has passed a border where one threatens our democracy and
freedom of the press".
incident comes amid reports that Islamic radicalisation-related problems have
been on the rise in Sweden for the past few years.
to a survey by the Swedish Defence College, within less than a decade, Sweden's
extreme Islamist community has grown from 200 members to 2,000, with Salafism
playing a vital role in the spread of violent Islamism in a number of Swedish
cities, including Gothenburg.
Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College, for his part, claimed that Sweden
had already turned into an international hub for extremists.
exact number of Muslims in Sweden is a matter for debate due to the absence of
religion-based statistics. A 2017 report by Pew Research Center estimated that
8.1 percent of Sweden's population of 10 million was Muslim, the highest
percentage in Scandinavia and one of the highest in the EU.
a string of unhappy love affairs, Emilie König, a French convert to Islam, set
off for Syria, hoping to find a “real man” among the jihadists fighting to
establish an Islamic state.
over six years later, the former barmaid and mother of five — described by US
intelligence as a recruiter for the Islamists — is among as many as 130 captive
French citizens in northern Syria expected to be sent home to face justice in a
move that is dividing France.
governments have tried to wash their hands of French nationals captured in
Syria. However, President Emmanuel Macron appears obliged to take them back
because of plans by the American president Donald Trump to pull US forces out
of Syria, casting…
— Three people detained over an investigation into a Christmas market attack in
Strasbourg that left five dead have been handed preliminary terrorism charges,
a French judicial official said Saturday.
judicial official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the
investigation, wouldn’t name the three, who were arrested on Tuesday in Alsace,
along with another two suspects who were freed without being charged the next
judicial official on Saturday wouldn’t confirm French media reports that they
are suspected of helping the gunman obtain the weapon he used to carry out the
December 2018 assault.
alleged killer, Cherif Chekatt, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State
group. He died in a shootout with police two days after the December 11 attack.
last month, as attention was focussed on Britain’s unending Brexit saga, the
Home Office (the department which Theresa May led for six years till becoming
Prime Minister) made a major climbdown. It agreed to an independent review of
its anti-radicalisation strategy, ‘Prevent’, a demand which human rights and
community groups had long raised.
predates the current Conservative government and was initially developed in the
environment of the post-September 11 and post-July 7, 2005 (the London attacks)
anti-terror programmes rolled out across Western nations. It was refined over
the years as part of a four-plank strategy to “prevent”, “pursue”, “protect”
from its early days, Prevent — intended to focus on preventing the
radicalisation of individuals through obligations placed on a host of public
sector institutions, from schools and universities to health services — has
faced criticism. It has been accused of being a domestic spying programme,
targeting Muslims, and reinforcing the caricaturisation, stigmatisation and
alienation of Muslims, underpinning Islamophobia.
year, a group of human rights groups warned that the strategy was often pursued
without evidence and involving a vague and expansive definition of terrorism
that left it open to abuse and misinterpretation. Two years earlier, the union
representing British teachers — on whom the strategy had placed onerous
responsibilities — called for the programme to be scrapped, arguing that it had
failed to support them properly, rending it an ineffective system.
campaigners have pointed to a series of concerning instances that highlighted
the problematic nature of the strategy. In one such case, a two-year-old boy
with learning disabilities was referred to social services for “concerning
behaviour” and in another, two college students were reported merely for the
way they had “made way for two female students, and out of respect, lowered
their gaze”. Such instances were too common to be dismissed as mistakes due to
a lack of training, the Muslim Council of Britain warned in a 2016 report.
question of tackling homegrown terrorism in the U.K. has become all the more
important given the wave of terrorist attacks in the past couple of years
across Europe, by those who have identified themselves with the Islamic State
(IS) terror group.
include the attacks in Westminster, London Bridge and the Manchester Arena in
2017 that killed 34 people. The 2016 assassination of the Labour MP Jo Cox by a
far-right extremist and the 2017 terrorist attack outside a mosque in central
London highlighted the multi-ideological nature of the threat against the U.K.
month, Britain’s counterterrorism chief Neil Basu warned of the threat of
far-right extremism, as far-right groups exploited the tense atmosphere over
Brexit to gain a foothold. He noted that of 18 terror plots foiled since 2017,
four had been from the far right.
Qatar patronizing Jamaat and ARSA
gradually is emerging as one of the top-most patrons of radical Islam and
militancy. While it is known to everyone – Qatar has been providing millions of
dollars to the mega-terrorist outfit Hamas, surely with the hidden desire of
putting Israel under continuous terrorist threats, now the oil-rich nation has
started playing another card in turning Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB) and
Myanmar-based Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) as deadly threats to
regional as well as global security.
bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, has been accused of allowing
terror financiers to operate within its borders. The country has been called
“the Club Med for Terrorists” by Ron Prosor, an Israeli diplomat and “most
two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the
militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment”, in
the words of one top American official, “for terrorist financiers to operate
with impunity”. Accusations come from a wide variety of sources including
intelligence reports, government officials, and journalists. At the official
level, the Qatari government has been accused of supporting Hamas, the
Palestinian group regarded as a foreign terrorist organization by the United
States, Israel, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. It also is accused of
financing Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.
2003, the U.S. Congress was made aware that a plethora of charities based in
Qatar were supporting al-Qaeda’s activities by helping move and launder funds
for the terrorist group. In December 2013, the United States designated a
Qatari, Abd Al-Rahman al-Nuaimi, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
The U.S. Treasury Department placed sanctions on Nuaymi and declared him a
“Qatar-based terrorist financier and facilitator who has provided money and
material support and conveyed communications to al-Qa’ida and its affiliates in
Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen for more than a decade.”
in an August 2014 op-ed published in the New York Times entitled “Club Med for
Terrorists”, Ron Prosor alleged that Qatar sought to improve its global image
by funding prominent foreign universities in Doha and hosting the 2022 World
Cup while simultaneously supporting Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim
Brotherhood. In December 2014, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Congressman
Peter Roskam (R-IL) requested that the U.S. government, in a letter to the
Secretary of the Treasury, impose sanctions on Qatar. The two congressmen asked
for a full report on activities within Qatar from individuals, charities and
organizations that fund Hamas, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the al-Nusra Front. The
State Department responded to the lawmakers’ letters by stating that the US has
a “productive relationship with Qatar”, pointing out that Qatar has improved
its counter-terrorism efforts in past years, although it conceded that Qatar’s
monitoring and prosecution of terrorist financiers and charities has remained
December 2014, 24 members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee signed a
letter suggesting that Qatar and Turkey be subject to U.S. sanctions if their
governments keep turning a blind eye to terror finance.
us not forget, Qataris are masters of hedging. We see Doha’s caution most
clearly in the face of the Saudi and Emirati-led blockade, to which Qatari
leaders have responded by both focusing on better relations with Iran and
Turkey. Hedging is not only confined to Qatar’s geo-political plays; it also
guides Doha’s relationships and influence with Muslim communities abroad,
Islamist movements, and terrorist groups.
us note, Qatar is one of the two countries in the world that subscribes to the
Wahhabi current within Islam. Doha does not, however, only support Wahhabi
Muslims; it is also a prominent backer of Muslim Brotherhood networks and other
Salafi movements around the world. It also has special affection for
anti-Semitic forces such as Hamas, Jamaat e Islami etc., while as part of its
ambition of emerging as the leader of the Muslim world, Qatar has started
providing millions of dollars to militancy outfits such as Arakan Rohingya
Salvation Army (ARSA) as well as Jamaat e Islami. Such huge fund is being
generated from the state-controlled charity, such as Qatar Charity and Sheikh
Eid al-Thani Charitable Association, also known as the Eid Charity. It should
be mentioned here, both Qatar Charity and the Eid Charity are very active
across Asia, Africa and Europe. For its European operations, Qatar Charity set
up its own organization in London in March 2012. Qatar Charity UK (QCUK) listed
its first board members as Yousef al-Kuwari, the CEO of the Qatar Charity in
Doha, along with the American-educated Yousef al-Hammadi, an executive at
Qatari Diar – part of the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund structure.
to Ronald Sandee is co-founder of Blue Water Intelligence and a former
counter-terrorism analyst for the Dutch government, after establishing an
office in London, the Qatar Charity quickly expanded its activities to other
parts of Europe, including France, Belgium and Italy. It began to support
Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Europe that were members of the Federation
of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), the Muslim Brotherhood umbrella
organization. Recently, Qatar Charity UK also started operations in the United
States, where it is funding the building of the Memphis Islamic Centre in
Tennessee, which is led by the prominent American Salafi cleric Yasir Qadhi.
QCUK embraced larger projects – particularly the financing of the building of
Islamic Centers in European countries – scrutiny of its activities grew.
Consequently, boardmembers were replaced, possibly to give the organization
less of a Qatari feel. Its name was even changed in 2017 to Nectar Trust Ltd.
parent organization in Doha works closely with the spiritual leader of the
Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, and his various Doha-based
organizations. The Qatar Charity also works with outspoken critics of the Saudi
government. The Saudi Islamist cleric and scholar Salman al-Awda, for example,
not only served as a member of Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim
Scholars (IUMS) but was also appointed to manage a prominent Qatar Charity
Eid Charity, which is mostly been active in Asia and Africa, and in the
recently in Europe as well was The charity was founded by Abd al-Rahman
al-Nuaimi, who in 2013 was designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist
(SDGT) for funding al-Qaeda in both Iraq and Syria.
Europe, the Eid Charity cooperates closely with Salafi organizations in Sweden,
Germany, the Netherlands and Kosovo; and in recent years, it has started its
own projects in Kosovo, Albania, Germany and the Netherlands – spreading its
radical, Islamist message throughout Europe.
operatives have also directly enjoyed support from prominent Qatari figures.
There is evidence that a former Qatari minister of the interior invited the
leading Al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) in the mid-1990s to
move from Bosnia, where KSM was fighting, to come live in Qatar. KSM accepted
this offer, moved to Qatar and lived there a couple of years before he was
tipped off by the Qataris that the Americans were seeking his arrest. KSM left
the country on a Qatari passport to Pakistan.
the family of Osama bin Laden live in Qatar. The ‘Bin Laden Villa’ in Doha
houses most of the women and children of the deceased al-Qaeda founder.
e Islami in the eyes of American policymakers:
the eyes of American policymakers and security agencies, Jamaat e Islami (JI)
is seen as the American front for South Asian Islamist movement.
between Al Jazeera and Jamaat e Islami:
Al-Arian, daughter of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) board member Sami
Al-Arian, is an influential producer at the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera news
network. She has vociferously defended her father as simply an “activist” and a
victim of the “pro-Israel lobby” even though the presiding judge in his 2005
trial concluded that Sami Al-Arian was indeed a leader of the terrorist PIJ.
Laila also is a great defender of Hamas and Jamaat e Islami and shows special
enthusiasm particularly in helping Jamaat e Islami in establishing “Allah’s
rule” in Bangladesh as well as South Asia.
e Islami in Qatar:
Jamaat e Islami has its existence in Qatar. It is operating under the umbrella
of ‘Indian Islamic Association’ (IIA), located at Mansoora, Ibn Katheer Street,
Behind Holiday Villa Hotel-Doha, website: www.iiaqatar.org.
July 2017, Bangladeshi intelligence services and the Bangladesh Financial
Intelligence Unit (BFIU) investigated 17 national and international NGOs on
suspicion of financing terrorism. The NGOs include the Bangladesh Krishi Kalyan
Samity, Muslim Aid Bangladesh, Rabeta Al-Alam al-Islami, Qatar Charitable
Society, Islamic Relief Agency, Al-Furkan Foundation, Kuwait Joint Relief
Committee, International Islamic Relief Organization (IRO), Hayatul Ighachha, Revival
of Islamic Heritage Society, Tawhidi Noor, and Al-Muntada al-Islami.
to the BFIU 2014 annual report, there were 619 such suspicious transactions in
Bangladesh, up from 420 a year before, and 175 in 2011-2012.
financing Jamaat e Islami and ARSA:
known as a terror-patron nation, Qatar has recently started funding Jamaat e
Islami as well as Myanmar-based Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARMY). This
relations between the Islamist groups and Qatar pose grave threat to regional
and global security.
least six militants of the Taliban group and ISIS Khurasan were killed during
separate airstrikes conducted in southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan.
to the informed military sources, a coalition air strike killed 3 ISIS-K
fighters in Khugyani district of Nangarhar province.
sources further added that another coalition air strike killed 1 Taliban
fighter in Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan province.
coalition forces also carried out an airstrike I Nahr-e-Saraj district of
Helmand province leaving 2 Taliban militants dead, the sources added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented in
this regard so far.
least 25 Taliban militants including a key leader of the group identified as
Qazi Qari Abdul Qadir were killed or wounded during the operations in western
Farah province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said the Afghan National Defense and
Security Forces conducted operations against the terrorist groups in
Khak-e-Safid district of the province which resulted into the killings of 7
statement further added that a key local leader of the group identified as Qazi
Qari Abdul Qadir was among those killed and 8 others were arrested.
least 5 Taliban militants were killed during a separate airstrike conducted in
Posht-e-Koh district of the province, the Ministry of Interior said.
Feb 2 (IBNS): Bangladesh security forces said they have arrested four suspected
terrorists who were planning to murder a newspaper editor, media reports said.
suspected members of banned Ansarullah Bangla Team were caught by the elite
police unit during a raid at the suburb area on early Friday, reported
per the news portal report, the suspects have been identified as Md Shahriar
Nafis aka Ammar Hossain, 20, Rasel aka Sajedul Islam Gifari, 24, Md Rabiul
Islam aka Nurul Islam, 28 and Md Abdul Malek, 31.
security force Rapid Action Battalion said the arrested people were planning to
kill the editor of a national daily, which published a criticism of hadith, or
Islamic tradition, on marriage.
article was published on the newspaper on Jul 28 last year, for which the
militants blamed the editor, whose name was left out in the briefing, reported
the news portal.
RAB operation foiled the plans, Mohammad Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of the
elite force’s media wing, was quoted as saying by the news portal.
terrorist group grabbed attention in 2013 when blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider was
Jasim Uddin Rahmani is the head of the group and he has been in prison since he
was convicted in the in the murder of the blogger.
Bangladesh government banned the outfit in 2015.
per bdnews24 report, the detectives also believe that former army major Syed
Mohammad Ziaul Haque, one of the main suspects behind a foiled coup in 2012,
may be involved with the organisation.
Free Rohingya Coalition (FRC) will host an international conference at Barnard
College, Columbia University in New York City on Feb. 8 and 9.
two-day conference, with the participation of world renowned scholars, UN
envoys, activists and refugees, will call for accountability and protection for
national minorities in Burma, also known as Myanmar, the FRC said in a
statement on Friday.
is a rare convergence of academics and activists hailing from and with
expertise on Burma [Myanmar], with humanitarians and international criminal law
practitioners," it added.
FRC is a leading global activist group led by and for the Rohingya people,
according to the statement.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya:
The Untold Experience."
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly children,
and women, fled Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh after Myanmar
forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
government has reshuffled security leadership in the ministry of interior,
sources privy of the development said Saturday.
sources further added that the first deputy minister of interior Gen. Janan
Barekzia has replaced by Abdul Saboor Qani while deputy minister of interior
for security Gen. Akhtar Ibrahimi has been replaced by Khushal Sadat.
the meantime, the director of the counter-terrorism department of the ministry
Gen. Najeeb Aman has been replaced by Mahir Yaqoubi, the sources added.
main reason behind the reshuffle has not been announced so far.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces
would not accept transient peace.
made the remarks during a ceremony which was organized in ARG Palace late on
Saturday to confer medals on some Afghan soldiers who had participated in an
operation that resulted into the release of 38 people from a Taliban
to President Ghani, the Afghan security forces are moving towards
self-sufficiency and would not accept a transient peace until a single a drop
of blood remains in their body, emphasizing that a peace deal which does not
guarantee the role of security forces would not be able be acceptable.
assured that peace would based on a deal which should clearly outline the role
of the national defense and security forces.
Ghani also emphasized that the Afghan forces are prepared for generations, not
for a day, for a year, a decade or one generation.
troops killed three suspected Abu Sayyaf militants and suffered five fatalities
during a firefight on a remote southern island, the military said on Saturday.
clash with more than 100 members of the Abu Sayyaf group broke out in the town
of Patikul in the Sulu province at 11:30 a.m. as troops pursued those behind a
church attack on Sunday, Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesman for the military's
Western Mindanao Command said.
church bombing in Sulu, which killed 22 people and wounded more than 100
including civilians and soldiers, was a suicide attack carried out by an
Indonesian couple, with help of the Abu Sayyaf group, Interior Minister Eduardo
Año said on Friday.
Sayyaf is a militant organization notorious for kidnappings and extremist
factions and has pledged allegiance to ISIS. Sulu province, in the country's
Mindanao region, is a known stronghold of the group.
encounter in Patikul lasted nearly two hours, Besana said, with five soldiers
and 15 militants also wounded.
law has been in place in Mindanao since domestic and foreign fighters dressed
in black outfits overran Marawi City in 2017 and clung on through five months
of air strikes and street battles reminiscent of scenes in Syria and Iraq.
Manila: Philippine troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf
gunmen in fierce jungle fighting that left five soldiers and three militants
dead, as the military pushed forward with a fresh offensive following a deadly
church bombing last weekend.
Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government forces to destroy the Abu Sayyaf after
the bombing last Sunday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in the Sulu
provincial capital of Jolo that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100. The
attack has renewed terrorism fears across the Philippines, where the national
police went on full alert and security has been strengthened in churches,
shopping malls and other public areas.
military spokesman Colonel Gerry Besana said another five soldiers and 15
militants were wounded in nearly two hours of fighting Saturday between the
army and about 150 Islamic State group-linked fighters in the jungles near
militants were led by Abu Sayyaf commander Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who is
suspected of helping plot the bombing. The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 300 to
400 armed fighters, has been blacklisted by the United States and the
Philippines as a terrorist organisation because of years of bombings,
kidnappings and beheadings in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
forces have over the years pressed on sporadic offensives to crush the group,
including in Jolo, a poverty-wracked island of more than 700,000 people where
Muslims are the majority. A few thousand Catholics live mostly in the provincial
the church attack, the air force has launched airstrikes on suspected militant
bases near Patikul and police killed a suspected militant on a raid in the
told reporters earlier this week that the church bombing was a suicide attack
carried out by a militant couple.
Secretary Eduardo Ano said on Friday that an Indonesian couple was responsible
for the bombing aimed at fomenting sectarian conflict in the south. The
Indonesian man reportedly used the nom de guerre Abu Huda and Philippine
authorities said they would coordinate with their Indonesian counterparts to
try to validate the identities of the two.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the government had not been
able to confirm the involvement of Indonesian nationals in the attack.
has been speculation that the bombing may be a diversionary move by Muslim
militants after troops recently carried out an offensive that killed a number
of IS-linked extremists in an encampment in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur
province, also in the south. The area is near Marawi, a Muslim city that was
besieged for five months in 2017 by hundreds of IS-aligned militants, including
quelled the insurrection, which left more 1100 people dead, mostly militants,
and the heart of the mosque-studded city in ruins.
ACEH, Indonesia: Two teenagers were whipped in Indonesia’s Aceh province on
Thursday after they were caught cuddling in public – a crime under the
conservative region’s Islamic law.
is used as punishment for a range of offences in the region at the tip of
Sumatra island, including gambling, drinking alcohol, and having gay sex or
relations outside of marriage.
of spectators watched as a female university student and her boyfriend, both
18, were whipped 17 times each outside a mosque in the provincial capital Banda
35-year-old man was also flogged with a rattan cane for being intimate with a
woman – aged 40 – in a local grocery store.
four had served several months in prison before the punishment.
Thursday, the 40-year-old woman pleaded to be caned in an apparent attempt to
get out of jail immediately, but a medical team postponed her flogging after
they deemed her physically unfit.
is the only province in the world’s biggest Muslim majority country that
imposes Islamic law.
outside of Aceh who think Islamic Sharia (law) is cruel can now see that it is
actually very tolerant and humane,” Banda Aceh deputy mayor Zainal Arifin told
December, two men caught having sex with underage girls were whipped 100 times
groups slam public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has
called for it to end.
the practice has wide support among Aceh’s mostly Muslim population – around 98
per cent of its five million residents practise Islam.
this year, Aceh said that flogging would be carried out behind prison walls in
future, but some local governments have continued public whippings.
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
LUMPUR, Feb 2 — Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa has expressed confidence
that his party will spring an upset in the Semenyih state seat by-election
following its convincing triumph in the Cameron Highlands poll.
claimed Umno’s victory against incumbent Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM)
will deliver the fatal blow and force a power transition that would see PKR
take over as de facto leader of Pakatan Harapan (PH), a statement likely
alluding to the purported rift between the two parties.
with a reduced majority, let alone losing to a fettered Umno-Barisan Nasional
will be the deathblow for PPBM,” he wrote on Facebook last night.
would likely become the catalyst to a transition of power to DSAI/DSAA,” he
added, referring to abbreviations used for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar
Ibrahim and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
that PPBM leaders want Anwar blocked from becoming prime minister had set
alight a proxy war between his camp and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who first
promised to hand over the post in two years but later hinted that he could stay
claim about the power transition is likely a textbook psywar strategy to tap
the uncertainties surrounding the matter.
his Facebook posting, the Umno leader claimed PH is currently led by a PPBM-DAP
alliance, an allegation seemingly aimed at both unnerving other members of the
allegation that PPBM and DAP were close allies was also aimed at tapping Malay
distrust of the minority-led party, an effective strategy in Cameron Highlands.
said the Semenyih by-election will be a platform for Malay voters to voice
their opposition to a PPBM-DAP led government.
Semenyih by-election will carry a strong message..that it is a referendum on
the performance of the conduct and performance of the government, especially of
Bersatu/PPBM,” he said.
is an opportunity for a referendum to prove the rakyat is disappointed..to show
if the party they trust to uphold Islam and the Malays are Umno-PAS or
by increased Malay support in Cameron Highlands, Annuar said the by-election
marked the turning point for a party that was almost crippled by its internal
he added, Umno is reinvigorated.
not only Umno and BN are being reinvented, but the entire Opposition Coalition
will be better and fresher with more members like PAS, especially, and other
NGOs,” he said.
the opposite end, PH leaders said they are prepared to face the Umno-PAS
alliance in Semenyih knowing fully that the Opposition would play up
racial-religious sentiments to win votes. They said they have their own
strategy to keep the seat come March 2.
Semenyih by-election was called following the death of assemblyman Bakhtiar
Mohd Nor, 57, of PPBM, of a heart attack on January 11.
respected Muslim cleric is in the spotlight after a video of him mistakenly
praying for Prabowo Subianto to become “a leader” during an event attended by
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo went viral on the web.
incident took place at Al-Anwar Islamic Boarding School in Rembang, Central
Java, on Friday. The Islamic school was holding an event called Sarang
Berdzikir untuk Indonesia Maju (chanting for Indonesia’s advancement) after
Jokowi’s campaign platform title.
cleric, Kyai Maimun Zubair, was sitting next to the President, who is seeking
greater support from Muslim voters, when he was closing the event with the
prayer, in which he mistakenly prayed for Prabowo.
who reportedly backed Prabowo in the 2014 presidential election, was reading
the prayer from a yellow sheet of paper, tempo.co reported. The prayer was in
Arabic, but one line that sparked the whole fracas could be translated to,
“Dear God, this is a leader, this is a leader Prabowo, please let him be, dear
name was mentioned three minutes into the video. In the version that The Jakarta
Post watched, Maimun mentioned Prabowo’s name at the 3 minute 50 second mark.
the prayer, the event’s host announced that Jokowi and the first lady, Iriana
Widodo, were about to leave the room, which is when Maimun said another prayer
in Arabic, this time mentioning Jokowi’s name, in an apparent effort to correct
the blunder. “I am an old person. I’m 90 years old,” said Maimun after the
short prayer, “But with this, I am hoping for the one who sits beside me, Pak
statement was met with applause. The Islamic scholar then left the stage,
helped by Jokowi.
Saturday, United Development Party (PPP) deputy chairman Arwani Thomafi asked
people to see the whole video, as there is a short version of the video which
only shows the part where Maimun mentions Prabowo’s name.
a written statement, Arwani argued that Maimun prayed for Jokowi to be
president for the second time.
visit generating hope for a new era of tolerance in the Gulf
Pope Francis’s unprecedented three-day visit to the UAE will not only mark the
first official papal trip to the GCC, but also carry hopes with it of a new era
of religious tolerance in the Gulf.
Paul Hinder, of the Apostolic Vicariate for Southern Arabia, based at St.
Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi, said that there was no person better placed to
deliver the message of peace and mutual understanding than the 82-year-old
visit is centered on the ‘human fraternity for inter-religious dialogue,’ and I
would say Pope Francis is truly the right person to stress this point — to show
how it works, to show how to bypass borders and approach each other without
fear,” Hinder told Arab News. “That is something important and, for this, I
would say the pope is extraordinary.
is not afraid to meet people of completely different cultures and faiths.”
said that he hoped the pope’s visit would give fresh impetus to the “policy of
tolerance,” which he felt some needed to adhere to more than others.
pope was invited to the UAE by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown
prince of Abu Dhabi, during his visit to the Vatican City in 2016. The pope’s
visit coincides with the UAE’s celebration of the Year of Tolerance, declared
by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in December last year.
can be something passive, but I think the goal has to be more, it has to be a
mutual understanding and an approach which accepts the different faiths and
mentalities of other human beings,” said Hinder. The pope had a “unique” way of
reading a person’s suffering and helping them regardless of race, religion,
culture or faith, he added.
is someone who has a pastoral approach; he doesn’t look at, as I would say,
‘the book,’ he looks at the person. That gives him an inner freedom which many
others do not have, to have an approach which looks first at the human being …
Pope Francis approaches people as Jesus did.”
pontiff will make a private visit to St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Tuesday, the
last day of his tour, where he will meet with 300 members of the congregation,
many families with children with special needs, as well as the sick and
will be part of the official delegation appointed to the pope during his stay
in the UAE.
than 1 million Christians live and work in the UAE, most of them Catholics.
While formal relations between the UAE and the Vatican were established in
2007, Catholics have enjoyed the freedom to worship there since before the
country was formed, with St. Joseph’s Cathedral being established in 1962.
relationship has been good (with the UAE) since the beginning, since we were
first here — and that has developed,” said Hinder. “I always enjoy the
relationship and, as the bishop, I have great respect for the authorities and
their concerns for the church and for me as head of the Catholic church in the
have great admiration for the policy of this country regarding tolerance. I can
see the UAE’s interest in showing itself to the world as a country open to
other people and, in a certain sense, as a model of society that teaches people
of different cultures and different faiths how they can live together in peace
of the pope arriving in Abu Dhabi, choristers have been busy rehearsing hymns,
organizers have been making last-minute preparations, and the excitement of the
Christian population has reached fever pitch.
Dorado, 40, from the Philippines, is one of an estimated 135,000 people who
will attend a papal Mass at Zayed Sports City on Tuesday.
outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral, where thousands of Catholics attend Mass every
week, she said: “I got a message by mail saying I had got a ticket. I was over
the moon. I am excited because it will be the first time that I have seen the
pope. It will be a memorable occasion for Abu Dhabi.”
Chaberyl Celoso, a nurse with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA), has
been selected to assist with medical support at the stadium during the event.
am so excited to be involved. This is the first time the GCC has had someone
from the Vatican City here, and it couldn’t be a more high-ranking individual.
The whole community is very excited. I don’t mind if I get a glimpse of the
pope or not. I just want to hear his voice and what he has to say to the
Aazagbaesuweli, from Nigeria, is also looking forward to the visit. “It will be
an experience of a lifetime. I didn’t manage to get a ticket, but I will be
glued to my TV.
are in a Muslim country, and I am so impressed he is coming here, especially
now, in the Year of Tolerance.
are all the same; Muslims, Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, we believe in the
same thing — peace. And I believe no region teaches violence, all religions
teach peace, and I hope this visit will remind people of that.”
Esguerra, 50, from the Philippines, was still waiting to hear if she had
managed to get a ticket for the Mass. “Even if I don’t get one, I will somehow
hopefully get to see him (the pope) pass by,” she said.
Unigo, who moved from the Philippines four months ago to work as a nanny in Abu
Dhabi, hopes it will be the second time she sees a sitting pope. Almost 24
years ago, Unigo met Pope John Paul II during World Youth Day in Manila.
Joshy, 13, from Kerala, in India, will be attending the public Mass with her
family. She said: “I have been to (the Vatican) in Rome but never seen a pope.”
Baltazar Dano and Sedfreygian Fernandez, also from the Philippines, are hoping
to catch a glimpse of the pontiff. “We are very happy because it is the first
time he has visited here,” said Dano. “Around the UAE, all Catholics are
memorabilia, including T-shirts and baseball caps, has been selling fast at
stalls outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
congregation, led by Father Gandolf Wild, were told to pray for the “safe and
successful” visit of the pope. “The pope’s visit will launch this Year of
Tolerance, and there will be many other initiatives to spread the spirit of
tolerance … and the inclusion of all regardless of health and ability,” said
encourage all to work together in peace and harmony and we know that Pope
Francis has the ability to reach out to people and touch their hearts.”
the Sikh Gurudwara in the UAE was opened, Sikhs in the country have become more
"self-assured of their identity.
it was announced that 2019 would be the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, the Sikh
community in the country felt the palpable "respect and recognition for
their faith", said the leader of the country's first Gurudwara.
the Year of Tolerance even goes beyond recognising faith groups, it also
signifies inclusion - by encouraging everyone to observe the value of tolerance
towards other religious beliefs, cultures and traditions," said Surender
Singh Kandhari, chairman of the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Dubai, the
first Sikh Gurudwara in the region.
the country, tolerance is not just a concept people talk about - it is a virtue
that the UAE has institutionalised, especially with the establishment of the
Ministry of Tolerance a few years ago, Kandhari said.
means that programmes are planned, executed, monitored and evaluated.
Structuring efforts in nurturing tolerance can have measurable and tangible
results - which makes all the dialogues and activities progressive and
said Pope Francis' upcoming visit to Abu Dhabi alone cements the status of the
UAE as a global champion of tolerance.
hatred and violence by embracing and promoting respect and tolerance is a great
example that the global community can learn from," Kandhari said. "To
see the pope in the UAE will have a resounding effect to all people, young and
old. I am certain that this event will bring encouragement and send a message
that everyone has the right and freedom to choose and practice their religion.
non-Catholics, to see the Pope in a Muslim country perpetuates positive
was on January 17, 2012 that Kandhari achieved a life-long dream - he
established the region's first official Sikh Gurudwara (temple) in Jebel Ali
of religion and expression is a cornerstone of the Sikh faith. Kandhari said
that since the Sikh Gurudwara in the UAE was opened, Sikhs in the country have
become more "self-assured of their identity". They have also been more understanding of
different perspectives and practices, he said.
was founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the nine successive Sikh Gurus
in 15th-century Punjab. It is the
fifth-largest organised religion in the world.
system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as
the Gurmat (literally, the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. In 1958,
the Sikh community comprised just 1,000 people. Now, there are over 50,000
Sikhs in the UAE and majority of them are blue-collar workers.
Gurudwara serves free food from 6am to 9pm every day to all who come to the
temple. Everybody - regardless of their faith - is welcome to enjoy a spiritual
experience, along with a tasty vegetarian meal, at the temple.
distribute approximately 1,500 meals per day. On special days and weekends, we
distribute over 55,000 free meals to everyone," Kandhari said.
year is significant for the Sikhs as it marks Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth
Nanak Dev Ji has been an advocate of inter-faith harmony as evidenced by having
a Hindu and Muslim constant companion throughout his lifetime," Kandhari said.
coalition of Egyptian parliamentarians will submit a request for constitutional
amendments providing for a second chamber of parliament and the appointment of
one or more deputy presidents, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
move follows a separate attempt by a group of ordinary Egyptians to change
presidential term limits in the constitution, which was adopted in 2014 after
the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi following protests against his
has been rife that the authorities will seek changes to the constitution, which
limits a president to two four-year terms in office, since President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi’s re-election in March in a vote against a marginal opponent.
lawmakers’ proposed amendments will be presented to parliament speaker Ali
Abdelaal on Sunday. Any changes need approval by two thirds of parliament
members, followed by a referendum.
said the lawmakers’ proposed changes include restoring the Shura Council, an
upper chamber that operated alongside the current 596-member House of
Representatives, previously known as the People’s Assembly, until it was
cancelled in 2014, and the appointment of one deputy or more for the president.
proposed amendments also include a quota guaranteeing at least 25 percent of
parliament seats for women, as well as “adequate representation” for youth,
farmers, workers and the country’s Christian minority.
was no word on any proposed changes to the limit on presidential terms, but the
head of the “Support Egypt” coalition, which is spearheading the amendments, Abdel-Hadi
al-Qassabi, said that parliament members were entitled to present a request to
amend any article in the constitution.
said that article 226 of the constitution allows the president and a fifth of
parliament members to propose an amendment to any article of the constitution.
said in December that an Egyptian court had scheduled hearings of a petition by
a number of ordinary Egyptians demanding that the parliament speaker take steps
to introduce constitutional changes that would allow Sisi to seek re-election
after his second term in office expires.
Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield militants engaged in heavy clashes with the SDF
fighters in al-Bab region in Northeastern Aleppo, the battlefield sources in
sources pointed to the clashes between the two sides in Abaleh region, and said
that several fighters have been killed and wounded from both sides in the
the Ankara-backed sources also pointed to an attack by the SDF on their
positions in Northeastern Aleppo, and said that they have fended off the attack
after sending fresh forces to the battlefronts.
a relevant development on Friday, the Turkish Army dispatched a large number of
Special Forces to Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo concurrent with
intensified infighting among Ankara-backed militants in the region.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that a sum of 200 of Special Forces of the
Turkish Army arrived in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo as some of them
have been stationed in Afrin and some others in the villages of Shirva and
Kurdish media pointed to the rising infighting among Ankara-backed terrorists
over their share of assets and properties stolen from the citizens, and said
that fierce clashes have erupted between Jeish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sharqieh
militants in the center of Afrin and its surrounding areas over their share of
a relevant development on Wednesday, several Turkish Army soldiers and their
allied militants were killed in two military operations by the Kurdish forces
in Afrin in Western Aleppo, media reports said.
Hawar News reported that military vehicles, carrying Turkish Army soldiers and
Ankara-backed terrorists, was destroyed in the village of Koubeleh in the
Center of Afrin during the Syrian Democratic Forces' military operations
against the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants.
noted that two Turkish soldiers were killed and four others were wounded while
a military vehicle and military equipment were also destroyed.
Syrian Army in an ambush operation engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL
terrorists who had penetrated into Wadi al-Sahil region Southeast of al-Sukhna
near Palmyra in Eastern Homs.
battlefield source, meantime, said that the Syrian troops killed all the
terrorists after destroying their vehicles and military equipment.
a relevant development in late January, the Syrian Army heavily pounded the
terrorists' movements and positions in Badiya (desert) region, including Avirez
Dam, Humeimem and along the border regions with Deir Ezzur province in Eastern
sources also reported that the Syrian Army destroyed several terrorists'
targets, killing and wounding a large number of them.
sources also said that the Syrian Army engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL
terrorists in the Northeastern part of Jabal al-Gharb in Eastern desert of
Palmyra, killing and wounding a number of militants as well as destroying their
last month, the Syrian Army in a ambush operation foiled an attempt by the
Washington-backed terrorists stationed in Al-Tanf region near the border with
Iraq on secure positions around Palmyra in Homs province, killing a number of
Syrian Army's military units in Eastern Homs, conducted an ambush and managed
to foil an attempt by a group of terrorists supported by the US who intended to
penetrate into secure regions in Southern Palmyra through al-Hableh Desert from
Syrian Army troops in their military operations destroyed the military vehicles
belonging to the terrorists, killing all the militants and seizing a large
volume of weapons and military equipment.
Eastern Palmyra, the Syrian Army units also warded off an attack by another
terrorist group on al-Talileh region 20 kilometers from Palmyra, arresting
three terrorists and seizing their military equipment.
the terrorist groups carried out several attacks on Syrian Army's military
positions in desert regions of Homs province from al-Tanf region which is under
the occupation of the US-backed militants.
Syrian Army destroyed several terrorists' targets, killing and wounding a large
number of them.
engineering units of the Syrian army found the large cache of weapons and
military equipment, including anti-tank missiles, machine-guns, RPGs and
US-made TOW missiles during its mop-up operations in the towns of Jabata
al-Khashab and al-Rafid in Southwestern Damascus and Quneitra.
report came as the Syrian Army troops also discovered engineering and drilling
equipment made in the US as well as medicine and medical equipment made by
Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
a battlefield source said that the Syrian Army units has seized a truckload of
arms and military equipment smuggled from the occupied Palestinian territories
to the regions in Quneitra.
Syrian Army discovers large number of arms and military equipment made by the
sponsors of terrorists, including the US, Israel and certain regional countries
on a daily basis.
week, the Syrian army found a large number of weapons and ammunition, including
Israeli and western arms, during cleansing operations in the former bases of
terrorists near Damascus.
engineering units of the Syrian army discovered weapons and military equipment,
including different types of mortars, artilleries, RPGs and over 200,000 rounds
of machine-guns and guns, in operations to purge terrorists from the towns near
Syrian Army units engaged in heavy clashes with a group of terrorists who were
trying to penetrate into the government forces' military positions in the
outskirts of Mahradeh region in Northern Hama from areas near the Tal al-Sokhr
village, and inflicted heavy losses and casualties on the terrorists after
warding off their attack.
Syrian Army's artillery units also heavily pounded the terrorists' movements
from the villages of al-Arbaeen, al-Hoviz, Bab al-Taqeh and al-Sharia in
Northern and Western Hama, destroying several of their military positions and
military equipment as well as killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
Southern Idlib, the Syrian Army targeted terrorists in the town of al-Hobait,
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian Army destroyed the movements and
headquarters of the terrorists in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib as government
troops continue to repel attacks by the militants in the same region.
Syrian Army's missile and artillery units heavily pounded the military
positions of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at terrorists in the outskirts of al-Hobait
town in Southern Idlib, destroying several positions as well as killing and
injuring a number of militants.
Northern Hama, the army's artillery and missile units hit the terrorists'
positions near Qaleh al-Maziq town, killing several terrorists and destroying
their military equipment and hardware.
army troops also annihilated the military positions and movements of the
terrorists in al-Jisat town in Northern Hama in response to the militants'
attacks on the government troops' military positions there.
of Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known in Arabic as
Hashd al-Sha'abi, have stopped a US military patrol in the city of Mosul,
according to a new report.
al-Anzi, Hashd's deputy commander, confirmed the news on Saturday, saying the
American troops were scared and requested air cover.
consider this act by the US forces deliberate provocations, hence we acted
directly, closed roads and warned them,” al-Anzi said in a statement, according
to Iraqi al-Sumaria television network.
Iraqi commander accused American troops stationed in Iraq of engaging in futile
operations in order to cover up their defeats and create insecurity in
recently-liberated areas from Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
is not the first time Hashd forces stop US troops from performing a “suspicion
reconnaissance mission” that it argues are aimed at collecting critical
information about the movements and positions of the voluntary forces in Iraq.
of the volunteer forces in western Anbar, Qassim Mosleh, told al-Sumaria last
month that Hashd had blocked another US patrol mission.
patrol, he said, violated Iraq's sovereignty and could have seriously
endangered Iraqi troops on the Syrian border by exposing their deployments and
arms depots to terrorist groups.
said then that Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had forced American troops to return
to their base, and not approach them.
lawmakers have also long called on American forces to leave their country. In
December, US President Donlad Trump announced plans to end US military presence
in Syria and Afghanistan but said he had no similar plans for Iraq.
US first deployed forces to Iraq under the banner of war on terror in 2003, two
years after invading Afghanistan under the same pretext. The deployment was
followed by rampant violence and chaos, which set the stage for the emergence
of Daesh in 2014. Washington then mobilized its allies in another mission to
allegedly root out the terrorists. The US-led coalition, however, was
suspiciously slow in progress, while its airstrikes against purported terrorist
positions led to heavy civilian casualties and damage to Iraqi infrastructure.
Egypt's military said Saturday it had killed eight militants in air strikes in
the Western Desert, as it leads a major campaign against Daesh.
air force targeted the terrorist base... the completed operation has killed
eight very dangerous terrorists", the military said in a statement.
military said "other people" had been arrested during the operation,
but did not give details.
terrorist cell .... planned hostile actions that aimed to destabilise the
country's security and stability", the army said, without elaborating.
launched an operation dubbed "Sinai 2018" a year ago, in a bid to
dislodge Daesh from the northeastern Sinai Peninsula and other parts of the
country, including the Western Desert bordering Libya.
security forces regularly announce that alleged extremists have been killed,
but rarely identify the deceased, the groups they support, or the operations
they were purportedly planning.
is impossible to verify information on military operations through independent
including Human Rights Watch have denounced extra judicial killings,
particularly in the Sinai peninsula.
army liberates several areas from Houthi militia, 7,183 mines cleared
Arab coalition-backed Yemeni forces liberated several areas from the
Iran-backed Houthi militia in the Khab directorate, north of Al-Jawf province,
Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
fighting resulted in the deaths of several militants, while the army found
weapons caches that the militia had looted from the army camps,” said Brig.
Gen. Haykal Hantaf.
official Yemeni Press Agency, in a separate report, also quoted Hantaf saying
that “the liberation of the center of the Directorate of Khab from the Houthis
will cut off the supply lines to their militants stationed in the other areas
of the districts of Barat.”
King Salman Center for Humanitarian Relief and Humanitarian Action cleared a
total of 7,183 land mines planted by the Houthi militia in Yemen during the
fourth week of January. It recovered 89 antipersonnel mines, 2,322 antivehicle
mines, 284 explosive devices and 4,487 unexploded ordnances.
to the center, a total of 38,817 mines have been cleared since the beginning of
the project in areas with schools and civilian homes across Yemen.
Turkish court has sentenced two Kurdish politicians to lengthy jail terms on
charges of belonging to a terrorist organization and disseminating terrorist
propaganda, Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported.
said former parliamentarian Gultan Kisanak, who was arrested in 2016 when she
was the joint mayor of Diyarbakir city in southeast Turkey, was jailed for 14
years and three months.
Tuncel, who had also served in parliament, was jailed for 15 years, the agency
said. She has been on hunger strike for three weeks and did not attend the court
rejected the charges in court and said she had been held for two years before
do what I do because it is true, legal, legitimate, humanitarian,” Demiroren
quoted her as saying. “Everything I do is in the frame of democratic politics.”
was arrested in October 2016 and accused of making speeches in support of the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in the mainly
Kurdish southeast of Turkey since the 1980s. More than 40,000 people have been
killed in the violence.
the European Union and the United States have all designated the PKK a
captured four ISIS suspects in a Turkish town on the Syrian border while they
were attempting to cross the frontier illegally, state-run Anadolu news agency
units from the Turkish armed forces captured the suspects on Friday in the
Akcakale district of Sanliurfa in southeast Turkey, Anadolu said.
of the suspects, identified as Feride Samur, was being sought with a red notice
arrest warrant, it added.
extremists are blamed in Turkey for a spate of terror attacks including a 2015
bombing on a peace rally in the capital Ankara's train station that claimed 100
most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has arrived in the
Iranian holy city of Mashhad after visiting the revered Iraqi city of Najaf.
to Almuqawim, the institute for preserving and publishing works by the senior
cleric, Sheikh Qassim arrived in Mashhad, which serves as the spiritual capital
of Iran, on Saturday.
in December, the top cleric traveled from the UK to Najaf, where he visited the
holy shrine of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), the first Shia imam, after nearly
half a century since his last visit.
also met with Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and
Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) Ammar Hakim.
house arrest since May 2017, the Bahraini cleric was flown to Britain in July
2018 for medical treatment.
Foreign Minister Khalid Al Khalifah wrote on Twitter at the time that King
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had allowed Sheikh Isa Qassim to travel to the United
Kingdom for medical care.
online newspaper Rai al-Youm had quoted informed medical sources in London as
saying that the top cleric is suffering from cancer, adding that the disease is
in an early stage.
in 2017, Sheikh Qassim was taken to a private hospital in critical condition
and underwent surgery in February.
Al Khalifah regime seeks to silence the opposition and put its leaders in jail,
send them into exile or revoke their citizenship.
May 21 last year, a Bahraini court convicted Sheikh Qassim of illegal
collection of funds and money laundering, and sentenced him to one year in jail
suspended for three years. It also ordered him to pay $265,266 in fines in a
ruling which sparked widespread demonstrations across the kingdom.
authorities stripped the cleric of his citizenship on June 20, 2016. They later
dissolved the Islamic Enlightenment Institution founded by Sheikh Qassim as
well as the opposition al-Risala Islamic Association.
protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain regularly since February 2011.
are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
terrorist attack on a military unit in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan
and Baluchestan has killed one member of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
attack, carried out on a base of Basij volunteer forces in Nikshahr on
Saturday, also left five injured, two of them in critical condition, the IRGC
said in a statement.
so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The terrorist outfit, which is funded by Saudi Arabia, also claimed a bombing
which injured at least four police officers in the same province last
Arabia, the US and Israel have consistently supported terrorist organizations
that have a long history of carrying out attacks against civilians in Iran.
Saudi-backed al-Ahvaziya terror group claimed a deadly attack on a military
parade in Iran’s southern city of Ahvaz in September. As many as 25 people,
including a four-year-old child, lost their lives in the assault.
ul-Adl terrorist group also kidnapped 12 Iranian border guards near the town of
Mirjaveh in Sistan and Baluchestan province last October and took them into
neighboring Pakistan. Five of the captives were later freed and efforts are
underway to secure the release of the remaining guards.
and Baluchestan, which borders Pakistan, has suffered several terror attacks
targeting both civilians and security forces over the past years.
United Nations-appointed committee tasked with monitoring a ceasefire in the Yemeni
city of Hudaydah is to hold its next meeting aboard a ship anchored off the key
port city because representatives of forces running Yemen have refused to enter
areas controlled by Saudi-led aggressor forces.
Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), which is chaired by retired Dutch
General Patrick Cammaert, gathers members of Yemen’s former regime and the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a UN statement, Cammaert boarded the vessel on Saturday and picked up
representatives of the former regime at a rendezvous in the Red Sea before
returning to Hudaydah to await Houthi envoys, who were to arrive on Sunday, the
meetings have so far been held on Houthi-held territory in Yemen. The latest
meeting, which is the third, is now being held on the vessel because the
Houthis have refused to attend any gathering on territory controlled by
Saudi-led forces, who have invaded Yemen in support of the former regime.
Arabia and some of its vassal states invaded Yemen four years ago to restore a
Riyadh-aligned regime that had resigned and fled the country. The Houthis and
their allies — who have since been running state affairs — have been defending
the country against the Saudi-led invasion.
onslaught has killed tens of thousands of people and driven the entire Yemen
close to the edge of famine.
RCC was formed on the back of an agreement reached under the auspices of the UN
in Sweden last December.
breakthrough deal calls for a ceasefire in Hudaydah — which has been under a
Saudi-led siege — the withdrawal of both Saudi-backed forces and the Yemeni
defense units from the city, and the deployment of UN observers there.
contributing to an international observer group tasked with safeguarding
Palestinians in the flashpoint city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the West Bank have
denounced Israel’s unilateral decision not to renew the mandate of the task
Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the mandate of
the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) would not be extended,
claiming that the monitoring mission “acts against” the Tel Aviv regime.
a joint statement released on Friday, the foreign ministers of the countries
that provide observers to the TIPH — Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland,
Italy, and Turkey — stressed that Netanyahu’s move “undermines one of the few
established mechanisms for conflict resolution between Israelis and
Palestinians and may therefore have a negative impact on the situation.”
regret the unilateral decision,” they said. “The Israeli decision to withdraw
from the agreement with the PLO and thereby terminate the TIPH constitutes a
departure from the Oslo II Accord of 1995,” referring to the Palestine
mission was established following an agreement reached between the Tel Aviv
regime and the PLO in 1994, when an Israeli settler killed 29 Palestinian
worshipers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil.
group did not start its work in the city until 1998, after the Israeli military
refused to leave al-Khalil following the establishment of an illegal Israeli
settlement at the heart of the city.
mandate is renewed every six months. Its latest mandate ended on January 31.
their statement, the countries also stressed that the TIPH had “diligently
fulfilled its mandate as requested by both parties, and thus contributed to
preventing violence and promoting a feeling of security for the population in
rejected “any claim that the TIPH has acted against Israel,” saying that such
accusations were “unacceptable and ungrounded.”
urges protection of Palestinians
Saturday, the United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed hope
that an agreement could be reached to protect Palestinians in the occupied West
Bank after Israel’s expulsion of international monitors from al-Khalil.
spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Guterres was “grateful” to the countries
that had contributed to conflict prevention under the TIPH for the past 22
the European Union issued a statement opposing Israel’s al-Khalil move, saying
it risked “further deteriorating the already fragile situation on the ground.”
have detained at least four suspected members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist
group in a Turkish town on the Syrian border while they were trying to cross
the frontier illegally.
Turkish Defense Ministry on its official Twitter account on Saturday said that
border units from Turkish armed forces captured the four "Daesh
terrorists" on Friday in the Akcakale district of Sanliurfa province in
the country’s southeast.
state-run Anadolu news agency reported that one of the suspects, identified as
Feride Samur, was being sought with a red notice arrest warrant.
recent years, Daesh terrorists have carried out a series of gun and bomb
attacks in Turkey.
in October 2015, twin bombings targeted a pro-Kurdish peace rally in the
capital Ankara, killing 103 people and injuring more than 500. The government
put the blame on Daesh terrorists.
has stepped up anti-terror operations against Daesh’s network inside the
country in the last couple of years, arresting many suspected terrorists and
busting several terror cells across the country.
July last year, Turkish security forces arrested dozens of people suspected to
be foreign members of Daesh in an array of counter-terrorism operations across
which once held large swaths in Syria and Iraq, has not lost all of its urban
bastions in both Arab countries, thanks to constant counter-terror operations
carried out by the Syrian and Iraqi armies. However, remnants of Daesh conduct
sporadic attacks against government troops and civilians alike in the war-torn
charity distributes food to homeless struck by Chicago's cold snap
a frigid night in Chicago, Illinois, with the temperature hovering around - 40F
(-40C), a Muslim charity stepped out on the streets to help the homeless.
Demir, executive director of the Zakat Foundation of America, along with 20
staff distributed bags to hundreds of homeless people on the city's South Side.
bags contained a sandwich, beverage and a granola bar.
am so glad that you guys are here. Thank you, thank you for coming," said
Demir in a video that went viral on social media.
coats, gloves, socks, hats and adult diapers were also among the aid handed out
to the needy on the streets.
said the foundation delivered food to 10 police stations as well as homeless
shelters in the brutal weather when many shops were closed.
have no worldly expectations. It is the duty of a Muslim to help hungry and
homeless people, regardless of their views or religion," he told Anadolu
originally from Şanlıurfa province in southeastern Turkey, has been living in
the United States for 20 years.
this country, where Muslims are a minority and anti-Islamism is increasing,
such activities are becoming more important," he said.
described a heart-warming experience when he and his staff were on their way to
the foundation's Chicago headquarters and made an unplanned stop at a library.
moment he stepped in, Demir said he saw a lady librarian scanning a list of
phone numbers on her table.
was overjoyed," said Demir when he told her they were from an aid
organization and asked whether she needed anything.
lady, named Alvira, was searching for an institution to help a dozen homeless
people who were sheltering in the library before it was time to close. She said
there wasn't even food to offer them.
sent you. I know God sent you for us," said Alvira, according to Demir,
who said he was "indescribably moved" by the experience.
and his friends brought them to the foundation's headquarters and are providing
them accommodation and meeting all their needs until the weather warms up.
in 2001, the Zakat Foundation of America is a Muslim-run charity organization
and helps needy communities at home and abroad.
your friends, family, and neighbors if they're aware that the FBI recently
thwarted a Muslim terrorist who allegedly wanted to blow up and shoot up the
White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and a synagogue.
are, they haven't heard about Hasher Jallal Taheb, a 21-year-old native-born
American from the Atlanta, Ga. metropolitan area who was arrested after a
months-long undercover investigation. If
those you inquire with heard about Taheb, ask them if they know he was a
jihadist who changed his name and believed that jihad is an obligation and
pathway to martyrdom.
want to talk about a national emergency?
How about the frequency with which so many Democrats, as well as the
DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex), cover up radical Islamic terrorism?
paraphrase Orwell's Animal Farm, all terrorists are created equal, but some are
created more equal than others. Over the
last few years, with the unfortunate rise in white supremacy-related violence
and murders, Democrats and the DMIC have moved the goal posts on who's a
terrorist and who isn't. Actually, I
don't mind their expansion of the term, as I can now claim as terrorists some
members of Black Lives Matter, protesters who block active-duty ambulances, and
pro-fascists who identify themselves as "Antifa."
terrorist cartel Americans are most at risk of dying and suffering injuries
from is radical Islam.
inspect how major media covered the Taheb arrest.
Truth Is Hard" The New York Times made zero mention of Taheb's ideological
adherence in its headline (Taheb was called just "man") and zero
mention of jihad.
Dies in Darkness" The Washington Post wrote barely a blurb, parroted
"man" in its headline, and whiffed on the jihad fact. Same for MSNBC. Interesting, wouldn't you say, how
coordinated the headlines seemed to be?
I'm sure it was coincidental.
and Breitbart made mention of jihad, as did The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
and, shockingly, CNN.
Taheb had been a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian who was one of the U.S.'s
14 neo-Nazis whose social media posts showed him wearing a MAGA hat, and his
target had been Nancy Pelosi, how would the DMIC have covered the story?
MAGA hats are involved, such as the incident in January between high school
students and an American Indian activist, the DMIC always makes mention of that
fact, as evidenced here, here, and here.
story was a non-story, but MAGA hat mentions are too good to pass up. When youths harassed a senior citizen during
U.S. Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, nary a peep
from Democrats and the DMIC did we hear.
hats bad; jihadi good.
Is about Narratives, Not News
Omar Mateen shot to death 49 patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
three years ago, his act of terror resulted in the second highest casualty
count of Islamic terrorism in American history, behind only the September 11,
2001 attacks. Yes, the DMIC did make
mention of his radicalization, but the immediate – and prevailing – narrative was
centered on gun violence and gun control, which is analogous to calling 9/11
and the DMIC have written Mateen's Islamic radicalization out of his life
story. You wouldn't have known that
Mateen pledged his life to ISIS from the originally released 911 call
transcript from Obama's Department of Justice, which omitted the ISIS reference
so as not to give the terror group additional publicity. The DOJ did eventually release an unedited transcript.
President Obama delivered a statement after Pulse, he did mention Mateen's
terrorist beliefs but stressed that they were homegrown, because...homegrown
Islamic radicalization has nothing to do with the thousands of years of Middle
Eastern Islamic terrorism and its propaganda that is so readily available in
the U.S.? Obama also emphasized that
Mateen, as well as the San Bernardino, Calif. Islamic terrorists who killed 14
were "lone wolves," an excuse Democrats and the DMIC are fond of –
unless it's a white male murdering with an AR-15.
how did all those DMIC journalists, many Ivy League-educated, miss that crucial
jihad detail in the FBI's 13-page report on Taheb? I suspect they didn't miss it at all; their
ad infinitum Islamic terrorism apology tour will soon be coming to a city near
you. Joining them will be new Minnesota
U.S. rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim who is public in her anti-Semitism and
homophobia. The DMIC isn't too
concerned, though; it's been busy touting how "historic" her win
was. Omar won her race by 56 percentage
points, and her district has been represented only by Democrats for the last
20,000 consecutive days. One's sex and
religion aren't skills, qualifications, achievements, or accomplishments, and
her win was hardly "historic."
Serious Is the Islamic Terrorist Threat?
and DMIC agitprop claiming that white men are America's gravest threat is so
bold a lie that Goebbels would blush at its brazenness.
University of Maryland has been tracking domestic and international terrorism
for several years. My assessment of
their data is that they are without much bias.
Islamic terrorism is categorized into jihadi-inspired extremism.
2010 and 2016, jihadi-motivated and Islamic extremists accounted for 29
attacks, totaling 78 deaths. All other
combined attacks totaled 84 attacks, for 45 deaths, including seven white
supremacist attacks, totaling 18 deaths.
over 99 percent of terrorism – resulting in death or injury – has been
perpetrated by radical Muslims. The U.S.
spends billions annually monitoring and fighting Islamic terrorism, not white
foreign-born constitute the majority of terrorist arrests. There is a caveat: dozens were arrested
overseas and extradited to the U.S. to stand trial. Those who scream Islamophobia in response to
this caveat likely wouldn't be screaming whitemanophobia if those extradited
were white males.
know that border crisis Chuck and Nancy claim is "manufactured"? Turns out ISIS has a presence in Central
Londoners alleged to be members of the ISIS-affiliated “Beatles” group may face
trial in the US as early as this summer, British media reported.
Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who are currently being held by western-backed
Kurdish forces in the north of Syria, are expected to soon be transferred to US
US President Donald Trump prepares to withdraw American troops from Syria,
there are growing concerns that the men could be broken out of jail by ISIS
supporters or set free by their overstretched captors.
men, who have been stripped of their British citizenship, are deemed to be
members of a four-member execution cell led by a fighter dubbed "Jihadi
John", identified as Mohammed Emwazi.
the 27 beheaded western hostages who fell victim to the group were US
journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines
and Alan Henning.
Kotey and Mr Elsheikh were captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January
last year. FBI agents were given permission the following month to visit
Britain to review evidence against the men on an "information-sharing
wants the US to prosecute the men because it maintains there would be
"insufficient evidence" to do so in the UK.
October 2015, however, it asked for an assurance that the evidence it provided
would not be used to seek the death penalty against the suspects.
marked the end of all assistance from the US agency for development to
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
halt was requested by the Palestinian Authority fearing the impact of new
American legislation but is certain to bring further hardship to people in the
already deprived territories.
deadline also sees the end of about $60 million in US aid for the Palestinian
security forces, whose cooperation with Israeli forces helps maintain relative
quiet in the West Bank. Israel has called for assistance to the force to
decision was linked to a January 31 deadline set by new US law under which
foreign aid recipients would be more exposed to anti-terrorism lawsuits.
Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) empowers Americans to sue foreign aid
recipients in US courts over alleged complicity in "acts of war".
Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, said the aid was cut at the
request of the Palestinian Authority.
aid was cut (not just suspended) at the PA’s request because they didn’t want
to be subject to US courts which would require them to pay US citizens killed
by Palestinian terrorists when the PA was found guilty," he said in a
Palestinian Authority declined further US funding over worries about its
potential legal exposure, although it denies Israeli accusations that it
encourages militant attacks.
the request of the Palestinian Authority, we have wound down certain projects
and programs funded with assistance under the authorities specified in ATCA in
the West Bank and Gaza, a US official said on Friday.
USAID assistance in the West Bank and Gaza has ceased."
official said no steps were currently being taken to close the USAID mission in
the Palestinian territories, and no decision had been made about future
staffing at the USAID mission in the US Embassy in Jerusalem, although there
was no indication how long the cessation would last.
is the main agency administering US foreign assistance in the Palestinian
territories. According to its website, the agency spent $268 million on public
projects in the West Bank and Gaza as well as Palestinian private sector debt
repayment in 2017, but there were significant cuts to all new funding through
the end of June 2018.
Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said:
"The suspension of aid to our people, which included critical sectors such
as health and education, will have a negative impact on all, create a negative
atmosphere, and increase instability."
Greenblatt called Mr Rudeineh's statement disingenuous.
are too smart to continue to live as victims and recipients of foreign aid.
Until a political solution is found (maybe it will be our peace plan?), the PA
must focus on helping Palestinians lead better lives," he tweeted.
Palestinian Authority is an interim self-government body set up following the
1993 Oslo peace accords. The peace process, aimed at finding a two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been stalled since 2014. West
Bank residents continue to live under significant Israeli regulation and do not
even have free movement in much of the area. Gaza continues to struggle under a
crippling siege imposed by Israel with the help of Egypt.
the enclave of Gaza, ruling Hamas party spokesman Ismail Rudwan condemned the
cuts, deploring what he called "politicised money".
announcement comes after humanitarian officials in the West Bank and Gaza said
they were already facing a cutback from donors worldwide.
year, Washington cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the
Palestinians, which included funding to humanitarian groups supported by USAID.
US cuts were widely seen as a means of pressuring the Palestinian leadership to
resume the peace talks with Israel and to engage with the Trump administration
ahead of its long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Despite several promises of
an imminent arrival, no peace plan has yet been unveiled.
a result, dozens of NGO employees have been laid off, programmes shut down, and
infrastructure projects halted.
Gaza, Mohammad Ashour said he once earned $600 a month providing psychological
support to people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes
project was run by the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict
Resolution. But, Mr Ashour said, he lost his job last summer because the
program was funded with the help of USAID money.
have no clue how am I going to pursue my life," he said from Bureij
have no job and I am in debt, maybe tomorrow the police will come and take me
to jail. An educated man ends in jail, I am wrecked."
August, Washington announced an end to all US funding for the UN agency that
assists Palestinian refugees. The agency received $364 million from the United
States in 2017.
January the World Food Programme cut food aid to about 190,000 Palestinians due
to a shortage of funds.
sources said Palestinian, US and Israeli officials were trying to find ways to
keep the money flowing to Abbas's security forces.
TLP workers booked for ‘violent’ protest in Karachi
police on Saturday registered a case against 39 detained workers of
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under terrorism and other charges for
allegedly clashing with the law enforcement agencies while holding a protest
demonstration against acquittal of Asia Bibi by Supreme Court in a high-profile
blasphemy case, a private TV channel reported.
Town police has registered a first information report (FIR) against 39 leaders
and workers of TLP under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997,” DIG East
Amir Farooqi said. The case against TLP workers has been registered on behalf
of the State, with police officer Mohammed Mithal of New Town police serving as
police have invoked sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed
with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence
committed in prosecution of common object, 341 (punishment for wrongful
restraint), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), 186
(obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or
criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 337-A (i)
(punishment of shajjah) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the workers.
to the FIR, around 300-350 workers of the TLP came out from Bahar-i-Shariat
Mosque located on Alamgir Road in Bahadurabad soon after Friday prayers and
started protesting at Sharafabad traffic signal. “They blocked the main road
and tried to damage private and public vehicles,” the FIR states. On-duty
police officers, the FIR adds, tried to prevent the angry mob from causing
property damage but they did not desist from doing so. “The angry mob attacked
the police party by impeding them from performing their duty and pelted stones
on the policemen,” according to the FIR.
policemen retreated to save themselves but the angry mob still attacked the
official automobile of the Tipu Sultan SHO with sticks and stones, resulting in
significant damage to the vehicle. The protesters also allegedly attacked two
policemen, Amjad and Asif, with sticks and injured them. In response to the
violence, the police resorted to baton-charge and tear-gas shelling, and
eventually made the arrests,” the FIR concludes.
A three-member team of Pakistani experts that visited India to inspect various
hydropower projects, including the Baglihar Dam at Chenab basin under the Indus
Water Treaty, called their visit very successful upon their return to Pakistan.
visit remained successful, as we inspected four hydropower projects at Chenab
basin in India, including 1,000MW Pakal Dul, 48MW Lower Kalnai, 850MW Ratlay
and 900MW Baglihar dam,” Pakistan’s commissioner for Indus waters Syed Mehr Ali
Shah, who led the delegation, told Dawn.
Pakistani experts returned on Friday after spending six days in India. They
were invited by the office of the Indian commissioner for Indus waters.
Pakistani commissioner said the delegation inspected the Baglihar dam, which
was generating 150MW of power on the day due to low water flows in the river
during the ongoing winter. “There we, under the decision of the neutral
experts, had to see whether or not the operation of this plant was according to
the project design. So after the visit, we found operation of the plant
according to its design,” he reportedly said. Prior to the visit, Pakistan had
always raised objection on the design of the Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant.
essence of the objections was that the project, as designed, would enable India
to acquire potential to store excessive water and capability of greater control
on waters of Chenab River than permissible according to the design criteria
given in the IWT.
said the construction work on Pakal Dul dam, which was earlier stopped, had
resumed. “Though access roads had been constructed, civil work on the dam was
yet to begin,” he said. The commissioner added that no work had started on
Lower Kalnai and Ratlay projects, as the contractor, who was mobilised earlier,
had left the work.
visit, according to Mehr Ali Shah, provided Pakistan an opportunity to devise
its next strategies. “The observations and concerns noted by the Pakistani
experts during the visit would not be made public before conveying these to
their counterparts formally,” he said.
the Indian authorities for rendering full cooperation in carrying out the
inspection of the projects by the Pakistani experts, Shah said though they
(Indians) had planned their visits to various sites but they visited only the
sites (up/down streams) that they desired. “They also provided us foolproof
security,” Shah said.
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan
to take the nation into confidence if any deal with the PML-N and the PPP is in
the making through money.
I am making a big disclosure. I also hope that PM Imran Khan will not mind it.
There are reports that these two parties — PML-N and PPP — are paying money for
striking a deal with the government. If it is true, please take the nation into
confidence,” he said while speaking to the media at a press conference here at
Railways Headquarters on Saturday.
questioned the huge security cover, including the Rangers, being provided to
PAC Chairman Shahbaz Sharif.
demand the chief of army staff immediately order withdrawal of the Rangers
(personnel) deployed for Shahbaz’s security. If not, then I should also be
given Rangers security,” he said.
such a huge security (cover) to accused Shahbaz, who is allegedly involved in
23 NAB cases, is sending a very negative message to the public at large,”
Sheikh Rashid alleged and added the Sharifs had looted money everywhere,
including Qatar and Kuwait.
claimed: “They didn’t spare even Osama Bin Laden as they received money from
him also. They received money from Osama when he was respectable to everyone.”
the PPP, he said he would be with Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari if his long march
would be against corruption.
minister said the difference between the Sharifs and Zardari was that the
Sharifs knew how to protect the money they had looted and Zardari used Falooday
Wala and the deceased people in this regard. He said he had asked Naeemul Haq
(not Imran Khan) for his appointment as PAC member.
told him that my presence in PAC was necessary since the people had voted us
for getting revenge from thieves and recovering looted money from them.
Finally, I replaced Riaz Fatyana in the PAC. But the speaker is yet to issue a
notification in this regard,” he said.
said those who thought that I would do something wrong in the PAC were wrong.
know the Constitution and other procedures very well than others. Why are they
worried about my induction into the PAC? Bring anyone to compete with me,” he
challenged his opponents.
asked Shahbaz to quit the PAC chairmanship since he was an immoral PAC
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Sunday is expected to hold meetings with
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar to
analyse the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) proceedings in the Sahiwal
to Special Assistant to the PM on Media Iftikhar Durrani, “The meeting will
decide whether or not to constitute a judicial commission to investigate into
the Sahiwal shooting in which three family members and their friend were shot
dead in an alleged encounter by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).”
further said that “it was out of the question that someone would get a National
Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) – the controversial ordinance issued by the
former president Pervez Musharraf on 5 October 2007”.
the government has to negotiate with the opposition for sustainability of the
entire system,” he further said.
people, including three members of a family, were killed in an alleged
encounter in Sahiwal on January 19. CTD personnel said they had killed a local
commander of Islamic State or Daesh and three others in the operation. However,
eyewitnesses and three children, whose parents were killed, disputed the claim.
incident sparked a national outcry and prompted Prime Minister Imran Khan to
order an investigation into the killings.
to details, a two-member bench, including the chief justice of LHC, will hear
the petition, Jalil requested the court to nullify joint investigation team
(JIT) formed to probe into the incident, stating that he is not expecting
justice from it.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Punjab Inspector General (IG) Amjad Javed
Saleemi have been made respondents in the petition.
is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab government has ruled out the
possibility of formation of judicial commission with Buzdar saying that the
government was satisfied with the “transparent” proceedings of the JIT.
CM had said on Thursday the government might think about a judicial commission
if it felt the JIT was not up to the task, adding that five detained Counter
Terrorism Department (CTD) officials were already under investigation.
the families of the victims have been continuously demanding the formation of a
judicial commission, maintaining that the findings of the JIT are “not
this week, the families of the victims appeared before the Senate Standing
Committee on Interior and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident, while
the Senate committee rejected JIT’s report on Sahiwal massacre.
members of those killed in the incident demanded the formation of a judicial
commission to probe the killing and refer the case to military courts. They had
also said that they are dissatisfied with the JIT investigating the incident.
are not satisfied with the JIT’s investigation,” the mother of Zeeshan, one of
the victims, told the committee.
police that are investigating [the incident] are the ones who committed the
killings,” she had added, while requesting the prime minister to provide
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said that the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will not be successful in its mission until
and unless the same treatment is meted out to influential political leaders in
jail as is to any common man.
while addressing a public gathering in Gujranwala, cited the Sharif and Rafique
brothers’ examples to claim that the system treats the rich and the poor
minister said that both the sets of siblings, have been afforded “VIP
treatment” of such kind during their incarceration that half the country could
say: “Send me to jail too”.
bitter truth is, the law is different for the rich and the poor,” Fawad said
vowing on behalf of the party to continue the struggle against injustice.
“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s mission will not be successful until we have the
same laws for everyone and the class system is abolished.”
outspoken information minister also questioned why Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif
were dissatisfied with the quality of healthcare considering they spent decades
Sharif who now has to undergo treatment in Pakistan’s hospitals is not
satisfied with the facilities,” he said. “You [Nawaz Sharif] were the prime
minister for 30 years, your younger brother was chief minister and now you
don’t like the hospitals here?”
also defended the incumbent government’s conduct as well as the accountability
drive it has spearheaded since coming into power.
claimed that the PTI government had inherited a virtually “bankrupt economy”, and
that the previous governments had taken 84 per cent of the loans the country
has ever taken over the last 10 years alone.
we ask them where all that [loan] money went, they say that democracy is under
threat,” he said. “Their situation can be likened to when prayers are offered
in jail. A murderer makes the prayer call, a dacoit leads the prayer and
thieves line up behind him to pray.
further criticism, the information minister said that money allotted for the
welfare of the people was badly misused by the past rulers.
allotted for the development of Larkana, leaves Karachi, but ends up being
found in Dubai,” he said. “Similarly, Punjab development funds leave Lahore,
then turns up in London in the form of Avenfield apartments. These two parties
have turned Pakistan into a joke.”
also responded to criticism levelled towards the government for not providing
subsidy to Hajj pilgrims this year.
have they left behind in the poor people’s pockets that we will take from them
to give a subsidy,” he said.
president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on
Saturday urged the media to support the opposition in its attempts to overthrow
the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
an all-parties conference on the Kashmir issue, the PPP leader pledged to address
the various issues being faced by the country’s news industry if the media
supports the opposition’s movement to remove the PTI administration.
also said that Pakistan’s political parties have always set aside their
differences to come together for the Kashmiri cause. “Kashmir is in our DNA. It
is an integral part of the Pakistani identity and we will never let Kashmir be
separated from us.”
former president said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must realise that
Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue was not limited to any government’s
policy. “The [Pakistani] nation is united when it comes to the Kashmir cause
and it will never abandon the people of Kashmir.”
said Pakistan’s efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue took serious blows during
military dictatorships, however, the younger generations would pursue the
matter till a fair resolution was achieved.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Momina Waheed on Saturday submitted a
resolution in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat demanding that no construction be
carried around the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib shrine in Kartarpur.
women lawmaker states in the resolution that the shrine holds a special
significance for the Sikh community. “Baba Guru Nanak plowed the fields of
Kartarpur Gurdwara for 18 years. No construction should be carried out in the
fields where he grew crops.”
on Jan 26, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said the government had
prepared feasibility report of Kartarpur corridor project and it would spend
Rs2 billion on it.
a public rally in Umerkot, Qureshi said the entire Sikh community was very
happy over the opening of Kartarpur corridor and Pakistan had received an
overwhelming response on this gesture from the entire world.
on Jan 21 shared a draft agreement for facilitation of Sikh pilgrims with India
through the Indian high commission in Islamabad.
Foreign Office spokesperson said that the government had appointed Director
General South Asia Dr Muhammad Faisal as the focal person on Kartarpur and
requested that the government of India designate a focal person at its end.
said that Pakistan also invited the government of India to urgently send a
delegation to Islamabad to negotiate and finalise the agreement.
US airstrike kills 13 al-Shabaab militants
least 13 al-Shabaab fighters were killed in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region on
Friday, according to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
airstrike hit Gandershe village some 45 kilometers (27 miles) south of the
Somali capital Mogadishu, AFRICOM said in a statement on Twitter on Saturday
support the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade
al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab
fighters in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on
February 1, 2019,” the U.S. military statement said.
Africa Command currently assesses this airstrike killed thirteen (13)
militants. At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in
this airstrike,” the statement added.
Mohamed, Somali National Army (SNA) captain in lower Shebelle region confirmed
the airstrike to Anadolu Agency over the phone.
December 15 and 16, U.S. forces operating in Somalia had conducted six
airstrikes near Gandershe which killed at least 62 al-Shabaab militants, who
were preparing for an attack on a Somali government military base in the
region, according to the U.S. Africa Command.
airstrike comes three days after a U.S. airstrike that killed at least 24
al-Shabaab fighters in Shebeeley village of the central Hiran region.
Thousands of residents poured out onto the streets of Sudan’s eastern province
of Kassala to denounce the death of a protester last week following demonstrations
calling for the president’s ouster, officials and activists said.
protester, Ahmed al-Khair, was a 33-year-old school teacher who was detained
last Thursday and pronounced dead in custody on Friday evening. Protests have
gripped Sudan since Dec 19, starting initially over rising prices and shortages
but quickly shifting to calls for the fall of autocratic President Omar
said al-Khair’s death raises the toll of the protests to 53. An estimated 2,000
protesters have also since been wounded, many shot in the eye with birdshot and
some losing limbs from live ammunition, according to the activists, who spoke
on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
government’s latest tally stands at 30 killed and about 400 wounded, but these
figures have not been updated in days. The authorities refused to provide a
cause of death to al-Khair’s family, but his body, including his groin area,
was covered in bruises, a relative of his said. There were also signs of rectal
bleeding, according to a second relative, who said that the family intends to
file charges against the police. They also spoke on condition of anonymity for
fear of reprisals.
funeral quickly turned into a protest, with thousands chanting: “We are all
Ahmed!” and “just fall”, the slogan and Twitter hashtag of the Dec 19
and Jordan have inaugurated a joint industrial area on the border between the
ceremony on the Iraq-Jordan border was attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel
Abdul-Mahdi and his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz.
meeting was also attended by top officials as the former neighbors boost their
relations following the defeat of ISIS, which controlled areas in Iraq
border crossing was formally reopened on Saturday.
part of the agreement between the two countries that was signed in late
December, oil-rich Iraq will supply Jordan with 10,000 barrels a day at a lower
Sudanese man died in detention after being arrested in connection with protests
in eastern Sudan, family members said on Saturday.
36-year-old teacher was arrested from his home on Thursday after protests in
Khashm al-Girba in eastern Sudan, the family members said.
to family members, security officials said that the man died of poisoning. He
had marks of beating on his body, they said. The funeral took place on
officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
spokesman for Jordan’s Foreign Ministry says the country will host a round of
UN-backed talks between the internationally recognized government of Yemen and
the Houthi militias, about a prisoner swap deal next week.
al-Qudah said Saturday that Jordan agreed to host the Yemenis at the UN’s
four-year war pits the Iran-aligned Houthi militias against an internationally
recognized government. In recent peace talks in Sweden, the sides agreed to a
series of confidence-building measures, including an exchange of thousands of
has been slow, marred by violence and violations by the Houthis.
least four Ethiopian soldiers were killed in southern Somalia on Saturday in an
al-Shabaab suicide bombing near their base, a security official and witnesses
suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into a checkpoint
outside the base in Bardhere.
have been informed that at least four Ethiopian soldiers who were manning the
checkpoint died in the blast,” Muktar Abdulahi, a local security official, told
AFP by telephone.
witnesses verified the attack.
blast was very heavy, and I saw the Ethiopian soldiers collecting some dead
bodies after the blast. They closed the area and a military ambulance
transported casualties to the base,” said one witness, Ahmed Muhidin.
claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying its fighters
“carried out a martyrdom operation targeting the Ethiopian Christian army in
Bardhere. The initial information we are getting indicates that the enemy lost
16 soldiers in the attack.”
Ethiopian armed forces operate as part of the 20,000-strong African Union
peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
some 350 km west of the capital, is one of several bases in the southwest where
it has troops deployed.
al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab was largely driven out of Mogadishu in 2011.
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