New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 07:13 PM

Islamic World News ( 31 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent Fanning Communal Fire to Lure Muslim Youth















Putin was threatened by ISIS militants in a new propaganda video

 

Denied Entry in Mosque, Children Study at Graveyard behind It, in Rajasthan

Whoever Welcomes Indian Home Minister Will Be Compelled to Leave Pak, Says Jamaat-e-Islami Chief

‘Listen Putin, We Will Kill You in Your Homes’ ISIS Warns Russia in Chilling Video

Students in Bangladesh Protest Rise of Islamic Extremism

 

India

Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent Fanning Communal Fire to Lure Muslim Youth

Denied Entry in Mosque, Children Study At Graveyard behind It, in Rajasthan

All India Tahaffuz Shariat Conference against Uniform Civil Code

UP Mob Attacks Muslim Home, Owner Held For ‘Cow Slaughter’

Every 4th Beggar in India Is a Muslim: Census 2011

NIA Chargesheet Refers To 14 Globally Known Islamic Preachers

Literacy surges ahead among Muslims post-Sachar report

Hyderabad: Seminar to educate youth about perils of ISIS

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Pakistan

Whoever Welcomes Indian Home Minister Will Be Compelled to Leave Pak, Says Jamaat-e-Islami Chief

Rajnath Singh's Pakistan Visit: Hafiz Saeed Warns Of Nationwide Protest

Lahore: Pakistan Averts Major Terror Attack, 7 Militants Shot Dead

Two Hazara Men Shot Dead In Quetta Target Killing: Police

CM Sindh extends Rangers' stay, grants special powers for 90 days

IB inspector gunned down in Peshawar 'target killing'

Sartaj Aziz urges ambassadors to proactively promote Pakistan's interests at envoys' moot

Noose tightened around terrorists, says army chief

Sindh likely to extend Rangers’ stay, special powers today

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Europe

‘Listen Putin, We Will Kill You in Your Homes’ ISIS Warns Russia in Chilling Video

Muslims Go to Catholic Mass in France, Italy for Solidarity

Pope Francis Says Ills of Global Economy, Not Islam, Inspire Terrorism

Is the threat of Islamic extremist terrorism spreading to central Europe?

Wave of Islamic Terror Presents a Problem for Liberal European Media

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South Asia

Students in Bangladesh Protest Rise of Islamic Extremism

70% of ISIS Militants in Afghanistan Are Pakistani Taliban:  Top US Commander

China Praises Afghanistan for Fight Against Chinese Separatist Group

Forces linked to General Dostum terrorize villagers, HRW says

Attack on Northgate hotel ended in Kabul, all terrorists shot dead

Massive truck bombing rocks Kabul city

Islamic State and Bangladesh’s Islamic Woes

Russia considering Afghanistan’s request to equip Afghan forces: NSC

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Arab World

Syrian Air Force Turns Aleppo Countryside into Hell for Terrorists

Al-Khalediya Island Fully Liberated by Iraqi Forces

Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi Military Base with Ballistic Zelzal-3 Missiles

ISIL Attacks Red Crescent's Vehicles in Deir Ezzur

Terrorist Centres Hit Hard in Syrian Missile, Artillery Attacks in Aleppo

Iran Unveils Home-Made Drone with Jamming Capability

Senior Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in Aleppo

Syrian Warplanes Bomb more Bases of ISIL in Hama

Russia Confirms Mi-8 Helicopter Shot Down in Syria

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Mideast

Soldier’s Testimony Reveals How Gülenists Lured Recruits

Gülenist Cleanse Launched In Turkish Football Federation

Two ex-sergeants reveal FETÖ link behind their dismissal

Just three, four people cannot restructure state: CHP leader

11 soldiers linked to Erdoğan hotel attack captured

Turkish PM to meet two opposition leaders

Turkey’s functioning market economy passes democracy test

Top Turkish, American soldiers to meet in person after coup attempt

Council of Europe head to visit Turkey

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Africa

Syrian Arrested For Attempting To Bring 9 Trinidadians To ISIL

DRC: Seven dead in clashes with Ugandan rebels, army says

Egypt Court upholds 1-year jail ruling for Islam researcher

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia to Build an International Islamic University to Promote ‘Moderate Islam’

Religious Violence Indonesia: Buddhist Temples Tanjung Balai Damaged

Couples caned in Indonesia's Aceh for sex out of wedlock

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America

Trump Cites Own 'Sacrifices' in Response to Muslim War Hero Father

New Ad Campaign Pins Paul Ryan As Pro-Muslim Refugee

Hillary Clinton in Ohio defends family of Muslim-American soldier

Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump, Says It's Time to Pick Country over Party

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-qaeda-in-indian-subcontinent-fanning-communal-fire-to-lure-muslim-youth/d/108144

 

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Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent Fanning Communal Fire to Lure Muslim Youth

Monday, 01 August 2016 

The Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) is seeking to augment its recruitment drive in India by capitalising on a slew of controversy affecting the Muslim community in India.

“After compelling Muslims of India to convert to Hinduism… after forcing them to recite Band-e-Mataram… after prohibiting slaughtering cows… matters have reached a stage wherein Muslims are compelled to speak clear disbelief. A hafiz (memoriser) of Quran is being forced to accept the land of idols and temples as a Goddess worthy of worship,” Maulana Asim Umar, the Amir of AQIS, said in his latest statement released online.

He further exhorted Muslims to join Jihadis and attack Government institutions and senior functionaries manning them, including IAS and IPS officers.

Umar also claimed that India is a land of Muslims, saying, “Forget the idea that India is for Hindus; whenever they want, they can drive us out. Trust in the power of Allah. This is the land of Allah; not of the idols of Brahmans. You have ruled this land for centuries, then why this weakness today? Why this helplessness and slavery?”

He further said, “History has been repeating itself; and it will again!

Holding a spear in his hand at the Conquest of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah was smashing the idols with his hands and declaring ‘Truth has arrived, and

falsehood has perished’. And his devotees had revived his sunnah by destroying the idol at Somnath.”

 “Whether you take India as idol or the cow…whether you call the land of disbelief and paganism a goddess…regardless of whom you choose to prostrate to, the Muslims’ forehead bow down in front of his Lord. Whatever the idol may be, it would be rejected,” he further said.

“…You are over 350 million in India. You have the best land of India. Your localities are in every province of the country. Even if you come out carrying merely knives and swords then -- history bears witness -- Hindus cannot withstand you… They (Hindus) only satisfy you with their mouths… issuing statements… by claiming that India is a secular state… by deceiving you through the Constitution…. Its Constitution grants equal rights to all. If a Muslim is caught slaughtering a cow, he is executed biblically; but for slaughtering Muslims, Modi is rewarded with reign of Delhi. Those are equal rights. In its Constitution, beasts are more valuable than Muslims.”

dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/aqis-fanning-communal--fire-to-lure-muslim-youth.html

--

 

Denied Entry in Mosque, Children Study At This Graveyard behind It, in Rajasthan

Jul 28, 2016

Jaipur/Alwar: Sounds spooky, but in a muddy patch in the middle of a graveyard in Dholpur there is a madrasa where some 30 children in the age group of 6-14 gather every day. It's a sight to behold as the kids look attentively to the blackboard leaning by a bamboo tree.

This madrasa has been in operation since 13 years. Every day, the kids leave their slippers at the gate of the graveyard, travel carefully through the graves to reach their 'classroom'. Ironically, this graveyard is at the backyard of a huge mosque where these children are not allowed. In fact, the children recite lessons in muffled voices to avoid offending the caretaker of the mosque.

The mosque is big enough to accommodate the children, but then a warning has been issued that 'entry of children would tantamount to polluting the mosque'. "Playing is a luxury here. They cannot even speak loudly. In fact, some influential devout Muslims have objected to the kids being at the graveyard, saying that their presence could be disturbing the graves," said a local requesting anonymity.

According to locals, the state has offered shifting the madrasa to a different place. However, since the place is far away and may result in dropouts, teachers here are reluctant. Now, with each passing day as the space in the graveyard shrinks, teachers are apprehensive that they may not have any space to even walk around. On days when a burial takes place, classes have to be suspended. Although the strength of the madrasa is 60, not more than 30 manage it on any given day , most of them lured by mid-day meals. The children are from very poor background as can be gauged by their looks.

This place of learning comes under the madrasa board which gets grants and aid from the state government. The property is registered under Rajasthan Waqf Board.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Denied-entry-in-mosque-children-study-at-this-graveyard-behind-it/articleshow/53426005.cms

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Whoever Welcomes Indian Home Minister Will Be Compelled to Leave Pak, Says Jamaat-e-Islami Chief

August 1, 2016

Lahore: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq has warned the Pakistani leaders against welcoming Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who will be arriving in Islamabad on August 3 to attend the SAARC Interior and Home Ministers conference.

“Whoever welcomes him will be compelled to leave Pakistan,” the Express Tribune quoted Haq as saying.

Haq, who was addressing participants of the Azadi-e-Kashmir march organised by the Jamaat towards the Wagah border crossing from Lahore’s Nasir Bagh on Sunday, also urged the people to agitate against Singh’s arrival in Pakistan.

He added that Islamabad should end all diplomatic ties with New Delhi till the final settlement of Kashmir.

Haq urged the Pakistani Government to call a joint session of Parliament as well as an all-parties meeting to thrash out a national strategy on Kashmir and to appoint a deputy foreign minister, who would be dedicated to Kashmir affairs.

He said that the people would celebrate the Independence Day on August 14, adding they would mark a black day by holding a rally from Muzaffarabad to Chakothi the very next day.

He also called upon the Pakistanis to follow the path of killed Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.

Haq said that his party would continue its ‘jihad’ till the full withdrawal of Indian forces from Kashmir. (ANI)

siasat.com/news/whoever-welcomes-rajnath-will-compelled-leave-pak-says-islamist-leader-994776/

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‘Listen Putin, we will kill you in your homes’ ISIS warns Russia in chilling video

Mon, Aug 1, 2016

In a nine-minute YouTube video, one of the terror group's members called out Russian president Vladimir Putin as their next target.

The masked assailants addressed the camera, saying: "Listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes.

"Oh Brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them."

It remains unclear whether the video was officially released by the death-cult but the link to the footage was released on messaging app Telegram which has been used to the group before.

Russia and the US have been in discussions about boosting military and intelligence cooperation in a bid to crush the Islamic extremists.

ISIS has pleaded with supporters to take action using any means necessary against countries who it is at war with.

It follows a batch of devastating attacks linked with the group in the past few weeks.

Last week, France fell victim to another shocking murder with the killing of an 84-year-old priest at the hands of two teenagers who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Earlier in July, 84 people were mowed down when another Islamic extremist killed innocent civilians in a mindless attack.

Germany has also been host to a series of terror attacks, including a suicide bomber in the small town of Ansbach which left 15 injured.

On the same day, a Syrian asylum seeker allegedly hacked a pregnant woman to death with a machete in the town of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.

express.co.uk/news/world/695221/russia-putin-isis-video-terrorist-attacks-france-germany-alert-suicide-bombing

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Students in Bangladesh Protest Rise of Islamic Extremism

AUG. 1, 2016

NEW DELHI — More than 100,000 students have linked their hands to form human chains in Bangladesh to protest two attacks last month by suspected Islamist militants.

The students from hundreds of colleges and universities in Dhaka and other cities took part in the protest Monday as part of a campaign to create awareness about the rise of Islamic extremism in the country.

The protest came after suspected Islamist militants killed 20 people, including 17 foreigners, in an attack on a popular restaurant in Dhaka a month ago. That was followed by an attack on an Eid congregation in central Bangladesh that left three people dead.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Bangladesh authorities have blamed the banned group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh.

nytimes.com/aponline/2016/08/01/world/asia/ap-as-bangladesh-protest.html

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India

Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent Fanning Communal Fire to Lure Muslim Youth

Monday, 01 August 2016 

The Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) is seeking to augment its recruitment drive in India by capitalising on a slew of controversy affecting the Muslim community in India.

“After compelling Muslims of India to convert to Hinduism… after forcing them to recite Band-e-Mataram… after prohibiting slaughtering cows… matters have reached a stage wherein Muslims are compelled to speak clear disbelief. A hafiz (memoriser) of Quran is being forced to accept the land of idols and temples as a Goddess worthy of worship,” Maulana Asim Umar, the Amir of AQIS, said in his latest statement reeased online.

He further exhorted Muslims to join Jihadis and attack Government institutions and senior functionaries manning them, including IAS and IPS officers.

Umar also claimed that India is a land of Muslims, saying, “Forget the idea that India is for Hindus; whenever they want, they can drive us out. Trust in the power of Allah. This is the land of Allah; not of the idols of Brahmans. You have ruled this land for centuries, then why this weakness today? Why this helplessness and slavery?”

He further said, “History has been repeating itself; and it will again!

Holding a spear in his hand at the Conquest of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah was smashing the idols with his hands and declaring ‘Truth has arrived, and

falsehood has perished’. And his devotees had revived his sunnah by destroying the idol at Somnath.”

 “Whether you take India as idol or the cow…whether you call the land of disbelief and paganism a goddess…regardless of whom you choose to prostrate to, the Muslims’ forehead bow down in front of his Lord. Whatever the idol may be, it would be rejected,” he further said.

“…You are over 350 million in India. You have the best land of India. Your localities are in every province of the country. Even if you come out carrying merely knives and swords then -- history bears witness -- Hindus cannot withstand you… They (Hindus) only satisfy you with their mouths… issuing statements… by claiming that India is a secular state… by deceiving you through the Constitution…. Its Constitution grants equal rights to all. If a Muslim is caught slaughtering a cow, he is executed biblically; but for slaughtering Muslims, Modi is rewarded with reign of Delhi. Those are equal rights. In its Constitution, beasts are more valuable than Muslims.”

dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/aqis-fanning-communal--fire-to-lure-muslim-youth.html

--

 

Denied Entry in Mosque, Children Study At This Graveyard behind It, in Rajasthan

Jul 28, 2016

Jaipur/Alwar: Sounds spooky, but in a muddy patch in the middle of a graveyard in Dholpur there is a madrasa where some 30 children in the age group of 6-14 gather every day. It's a sight to behold as the kids look attentively to the blackboard leaning by a bamboo tree.

This madrasa has been in operation since 13 years. Every day, the kids leave their slippers at the gate of the graveyard, travel carefully through the graves to reach their 'classroom'. Ironically, this graveyard is at the backyard of a huge mosque where these children are not allowed. In fact, the children recite lessons in muffled voices to avoid offending the caretaker of the mosque.

The mosque is big enough to accommodate the children, but then a warning has been issued that 'entry of children would tantamount to polluting the mosque'. "Playing is a luxury here. They cannot even speak loudly. In fact, some influential devout Muslims have objected to the kids being at the graveyard, saying that their presence could be disturbing the graves," said a local requesting anonymity.

According to locals, the state has offered shifting the madrasa to a different place. However, since the place is far away and may result in dropouts, teachers here are reluctant. Now, with each passing day as the space in the graveyard shrinks, teachers are apprehensive that they may not have any space to even walk around. On days when a burial takes place, classes have to be suspended. Although the strength of the madrasa is 60, not more than 30 manage it on any given day , most of them lured by mid-day meals. The children are from very poor background as can be gauged by their looks.

This place of learning comes under the madrasa board which gets grants and aid from the state government. The property is registered under Rajasthan Waqf Board.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Denied-entry-in-mosque-children-study-at-this-graveyard-behind-it/articleshow/53426005.cms

--

 

All India Tahaffuz Shariat Conference against Uniform Civil Code

August 1, 2016

Hyderabad: According to Mr. Mohammed Mushtaq Malik President Tahreek Muslim Shabban a grand All India Tahaffuz Shariat Conference will be held for the protection of Islamic Shariah against Uniform Civil Code. A 200-member committee comprising of scholars, clerics, Muslim bodies, institutions, intellectuals will be formed. The meeting will be held on Saturday, August 6, at 10:30 am, at Malakpet Shimla Garden, Nalgonda X-road.

Muslim scholars and eminent personalities of Kareem Nagar, Medak, Warangal, Mahboob Nagar, Rangareddy, Adilabad, Karnataka, Bider Humnabad, Baswa Kalyan, Chitguppa, Gulbarga, Raichur will attend the meeting.

Sajjadanasheen of Khanqahs, Dargahs, scholars of Deoband, Bareli, Ahle-Sunnat, Jamat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulama Hind, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Muslim advocates and intellectuals will be invited for the conference.

siasat.com/news/india-tahaffuz-shariat-conference-uniform-civil-code-994710/

 

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UP mob attacks Muslim home, owner held for ‘cow slaughter’

August 1, 2016

Tension prevails at Kadali village in Muzaffarnagar district after a mob attacked the house of a Muslim family on Saturday on suspicion of cow slaughter. The owner of the house, Zeeshan, who managed to slip out the backdoor with his family before the crowd arrived, was arrested on Sunday afternoon.

An FIR has also been lodged against Zeeshan’s wife Sehnaaz and his cousins Saddam on Moota under the Uttar Pradesh Cow Slaughter Prevention Act. Additional Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Santosh Kumar Mishra said efforts were being made to arrest the other accused. Zeeshan would be produced before court on Monday.

There is heavy police deployment in the village, which has a mix of Hindus and Muslims. ASP Mishra said the situation was under control.

Circle Officer, Khatauli police station, Hari Ram Yadav said they had got information about violence in Kadali village following a dispute. The police team sent to the spot had found people protesting outside Zeeshan’s house, he said.

“During a search inside the house, we found a slaughtered calf. We have sent it to a laboratory for tests,” said Yadav, who denied that the mob had vandalised Zeeshan’s house.

However, reports said that the people who were looking for Zeeshan had attacked his house, pelting stones, breaking furniture and also damaging one of the walls.

Police tried to pacify the protesters by promising strict legal action against the accused. No action has been initiated against the protesters.

According to information received by police so far, on Saturday, one of the local youths visited Zeeshan’s house for some work and reportedly saw bloodstrains inside. He told the other villagers about this. The news spread, and a Hindu mob assembled outside Zeeshan’s house, reportedly including people from neighbouring villages.

Station House Officer, Khatauli police station, Pankaj Tyagi said, “Sensing trouble, Zeeshan and other accused slipped out from the backdoor of the house.”

Tyagi added that Zeeshan had been arrested under the cow slaughter Act around three years back too, in Meerut.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/up-mob-attacks-muslim-home-owner-held-for-cow-slaughter-2946637/

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Every 4th beggar in India is a Muslim: Census 2011

July 31, 2016

New Delhi: Although Muslims constitute 14.6% of the total population  but around 25 per cent of the beggars in India belong to the Muslim community, according to Census data released last month.

According to a report in The Indian Express, this data has taken into account the religious orientation of those deemed ‘non workers’ in Census 2011.

According to 2011 Census data, India has a total of 72.89 crore non workers out of which 3.7 lakh are beggars

The number of beggars has actually gone down compared to 2001 Census data which recorded the number of beggars at 6.3 lakh.

Out of 3.7 lakh people categorised as ‘beggars’ in 2011 Census data, 92,760 people belong to the Muslim community accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the total population of beggars in India.

Interestingly, the percentage of female beggars among Muslims  is higher compared to males. The national average is 53.13 per cent male beggars to 46.87 per cent female beggars. Among Muslims, however, the ratio is 56.38 per cent female beggars against is 43.61 per cent male beggars.

Since Hindus constitute the largest chunk of India’s population, their share in beggar’s population is also the maximum. With 2.68 lakh individuals, Hindus make up 72.22 per cent of its beggar population.

Christians, who are 2.3 per cent of the population, make up 0.88 per cent of the beggar population with 3,303 individuals.

Similarly, Buddhists constitute 0.52 per cent, Sikhs 0.45 per cent and Jains 0.06 per cent of the entire beggar population.

This Census data reveals the economic disparities among the Indians and marginalization of Muslim community  particularly in the process of growth and development.

siasat.com/news/every-4th-beggar-india-muslim-census-2011-994454/

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NIA chargesheet refers to 14 globally known Islamic preachers

Aug 1, 2016

NEW DELHI: Even as a probe is on against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) latest chargesheet against Islamic State refers to 14 globally recognized preachers, based in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and Zimbabwe, whose lectures/sermons directly or indirectly influenced suspects.

Though these Islamic preachers+ have not been named as suspects or accused, the interrogation of arrested IS members has revealed that they heard and watched "provocative" lectures and speeches of these scholars.

Some of the well-known names mentioned in the NIA chargesheet include UK-based Anjem Choudhary, Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, Imran Mansoor, Mizanur Rahman and Abu Waleed, US-based Yasir Qadhi, Yusuf Estes, Hamza Yusuf and Ahmad Musa Jibril, Australia-based Musa Cerantonio, Shaikh Feiz Mohammad and Omar El Banna, Zimbabwe-based Mufti Menk and Canada-based Majid Mahmood.

Many of these preachers openly condemn the terror activities of outfits like IS and Al Qaida while some have supported and justified it.

The NIA chargesheet said arrested IS member+ Mohammad Farhan Shaikh from Mumbra, Maharashtra, "got self-radicalized during his stay in Ajman (UAE) by listening to provocative Islamic lectures and speeches of Anjem Choudhary, Yasir Qadhi, Majid Mahmood, Yousuf Estes, Mufti Menk, Hamza Yusuf, Hamza Tzortzis, Imran Mansoor and Omar El Banna". It added that "Farhan started actively collecting information on IS after declaration of caliphate in June 2014".

The NIA chargesheet said, "Farhan created an email ID hijrah1400@gmail.com for creating his Facebook account Khalid Ibn Waleed in August 2014, primarily to follow IS-related posts, images, videos and online lectures of Mizanur Rahman, Abu Waleed, Musa Cerantonio, Sheikh Feiz and Ahmad Jibril, who supported and justified the terrorist activities of IS through Quran and Hadees."

It went on to say that "Farhan, under the influence of these Islamic preachers and having been impressed by the lectures of above speakers, became a supporter and follower of IS from September 2014". He shared these lectures with his associates on Facebook and YouTube.

Earlier this month, the NIA had claimed t+ hat one of the arrested IS members used to listen to Salman Nadvi of Nadvathul Ulama in Lucknow, a known supporter of Khilafat and IS. Another member of IS's India module listened to the 'bayans' of Maulana Shamsuddin Qasmi, an imam of Chennai's Mecca Masjid.

Officials said they could not stop anyone from listening to speeches and some of the scholars named by the accused during interrogation were very popular and they also condemned violent activities.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/NIA-chargesheet-refers-to-14-globally-known-Islamic-preachers/articleshow/53482378.cms

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Literacy surges ahead among Muslims post-Sachar report

Aug 1, 2016

A decade after Sachar Committee report on social, economic and educational status of Muslim community of India was tabled in Parliament, things seem to be brightening up for the country's biggest minority community, which accounts for 14.23 per cent of the total population. As per 2011 census, the literacy rate among Muslims has surged ahead to 68.5 per cent, compared to 59.1 per cent in 2001, indicating a jump of 9.4 per cent in 10 years. Literacy rate among Muslim males soared to 74.79 per cent in 2011 compared to 67.6 per cent in 2001. Literacy rate also grew to 62 per cent among Muslim females in 2011, compared to 50.1 per cent in 2001.

However, the literacy rate among Muslims was the lowest among all the religious communities and it was also much lower than the national average. While the overall literacy rate for India was 74.04 per cent in 2011, it was 82.14 per cent among males and 65.46 per cent among females. Muslims lagged behind not only the majority community (Hindus) but also all other minority communities (Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs). There were also wide variations in the literacy rates among Muslims (males & females) in various states. Muslims in the southern states reported higher literacy rates compared to their counterparts in northern, western, central, eastern and north-eastern states.

The literacy rate among the Muslims has grown much faster during 2001-2011 compared to the previous decades. One of the contributory factors for this turn-around has been the National Literacy Mission (NLM), a centrally sponsored scheme for adult education and skill development implemented since October 2006 in the rural areas of 410 districts in 26 states and one union territory which had adult literacy of 50 per cent or lower as per Census 2001. The main goal of the programme is to increase the country's literacy rate to 80 per cent and reduce the gender gap of 10 percentage points. The scheme is primarily focused on women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Muslim minority and other disadvantaged groups in the rural areas in low literacy states and union territories.

The new variant of NLM, Saakshar Bharat, was launched by the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in September 2009. Initially, the scheme was in operation till the end of 11th Five Year Plan (2012) but it has been extended for 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017). Pursuant to the Sachar Committee Report, a mass mobilization campaign was carried out in all districts having substantial population of Muslims to generate awareness about the need for literacy and elementary education and to promote vocational education and skill development. A special literacy drive was taken up in these districts to improve the overall literacy rate and specially the literacy rate among Muslim women.

In February 2014, the programme was re-launched in minority concentration districts as "Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan" programme with a target-focused approach to impart functional literacy, Hunar (comprising of scaling up of basic education and vocational skill training) and continuing education activities to cover around one crore non-literate Muslim adults. The scheme has aptly been named after Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first education minister of independent India who had a universal vision on education and a secular humanist outlook.

The Taleem-e-Balighan programme was also intended to provide opportunities for up scaling basic education to 2.5 lakh adults and impart livelihood skill training to 3 lakh beneficiaries besides providing opportunities for continuing education to the community in all the 410 Saakshar Bharat districts with an outlay of Rs 600 crore during the 12th Plan period. Under the Saakshar Bharat programme, as many as 1.54 lakh adult education centres have been set up across the country.

Survey has been completed in 1.44 lakh gram panchayats and 10.39 crore adult non-literates have been identified. So far about 4.98 crore learners appeared for biannual basic literacy assessment tests conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Over 3.65 crore learners (including 2.62 crore females) have successfully passed the assessment tests up to March 2015. Besides, 1.22 crore learners have taken the assessment test in August 2015.

The overall target of Saakshar Bharat programme is to impart functional literacy to 70 million adults in the age-group of 15 years and beyond. The category-wise target under the programme is to cover 14 million SCs, 8 million STs, 12 million Muslims and 36 million other, including overall 60 million women. About 52.93 lakh learners of Muslim community appeared in biannual basic literacy assessment test conducted till August 2015 under the programme out of which 36.84 lakh learners have successfully passed the test.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Literacy-surges-ahead-among-Muslims-post-Sachar-report/articleshow/53482981.cms

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Hyderabad: Seminar to educate youth about perils of ISIS

July 31, 2016

As security agencies grapple with rising trend of youth coming under influence of Islamic State, a seminar-cum-interactive session is being organised next week to discuss ways to wean away people from the violent and ultra conservative ideology of the terror group.

State Minorities Commission for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is organising the event here to educate youth about the perils of ISIS’ ideology and serious repercussions of getting involved in its activities through social media.

Commission Chairman Abid Rasool Khan said the event is planned for either August 5 or 6. Eminent Muslim leaders, religious figures, police officers, legal experts and representatives of social media companies have been invited.

This is an important session where we are inviting officials concerned with monitoring of intelligence, representatives of companies like Google and Facebook who are based in Hyderabad.

“We are inviting community ‘ulemas’ (scholars), religious leaders, media personalities and outlets who have some sway like Urdu newspapers, college principals, Vice-Chancellors of Universities like JNTU and Osmania and leaders of all political,” Khan told PTI.

The idea is to discuss how ISIS is affecting youth and how the youth are being taken in a wrong direction through certain websites and all those Facebook posts.

“To give parents a message on how they can control their young boys from getting involved in these activities, how they should keep a tab, under which law they can be booked and what are the punishments. The aim is to ensure the youth does not land in trouble and jeopardise their career and future,” he said.

“We really want them to understand that this is a very serious issue. Also we want to denounce ISIS totally and say they are the enemies of the community as well as the world today,” Khan said.

In addition, he said the Commission is trying to get people who have some say in the community affairs like Imams of mosques where large gathering happens every Friday.

Ten to 12 imams of Mosques located in Hyderabad and other parts of the two States, including Kurnool and Nizamabad, are expected to attend the session. Khan said these people also don’t know the danger posed by the ISIS, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq, where it has brutally killed hundreds of people.

The event is being organised in the backdrop of police in several states detaining men on suspicion of having links with ISIS or planning to join the dreaded outfit. In June-end, NIA busted a module in Hyderabad whose members allegedly owed allegiance to ISIS.

Khan also said a national conference of State-level Minorities Commissions, slated to be held in Bengaluru, would now be held in Hyderabad in August last week. The attendees would dwell on subjects of national importance pertaining to minorities, he said. Khan last week presented to Governor E S L Narasimhan, annual reports pertaining to his Commission for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

“In all three annual reports, we have seen that incidents like attacks on churches, attacks on Muslim women have increased year-on-year. Secondly, socio-economic development index (of minorities) has not improved even though so many welfare schemes are being launched.

“For over a decade, budgets allocated for minorities are not being spent fully. We have given reasons for this. Institutions set up for minorities are under-staffed,” he said. Khan said the Commission also requested the Governor to give it “more teeth”.

“Ours are recommendatory powers. The Commission should be given ordering powers. We should be given more powers so that we can discharge our duty better,” he said, adding, a simple amendment in law is needed to facilitate this. States like Karnataka have already conferred such powers to their Commissions, according to him.

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Pakistan

Whoever Welcomes Indian Home Minister Will Be Compelled to Leave Pak, Says Jamaat-e-Islami Chief

August 1, 2016

Lahore: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq has warned the Pakistani leaders against welcoming Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who will be arriving in Islamabad on August 3 to attend the SAARC Interior and Home Ministers conference.

“Whoever welcomes him will be compelled to leave Pakistan,” the Express Tribune quoted Haq as saying.

Haq, who was addressing participants of the Azadi-e-Kashmir march organised by the Jamaat towards the Wagah border crossing from Lahore’s Nasir Bagh on Sunday, also urged the people to agitate against Singh’s arrival in Pakistan.

He added that Islamabad should end all diplomatic ties with New Delhi till the final settlement of Kashmir.

Haq urged the Pakistani Government to call a joint session of Parliament as well as an all-parties meeting to thrash out a national strategy on Kashmir and to appoint a deputy foreign minister, who would be dedicated to Kashmir affairs.

He said that the people would celebrate the Independence Day on August 14, adding they would mark a black day by holding a rally from Muzaffarabad to Chakothi the very next day.

He also called upon the Pakistanis to follow the path of killed Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.

Haq said that his party would continue its ‘jihad’ till the full withdrawal of Indian forces from Kashmir. (ANI)

siasat.com/news/whoever-welcomes-rajnath-will-compelled-leave-pak-says-islamist-leader-994776/

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Rajnath Singh's Pakistan Visit: Hafiz Saeed Warns Of Nationwide Protest

PTI | Aug 1, 2016, 10.38 AM IST

LAHORE: Accusing Rajnath Singh of being "responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris", Jamaat-ud-Dawah(JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed has warned of a countrywide protest in Pakistan by his outfit if the home minister arrives in Islamabad to attend the SAARC ministerial conference.

"I want to ask the Pakistani government will it add insult to injury to the wounds of Kashmiris by welcoming Rajnath who is responsible for the killings of innocent Kashmiris," he said in a statement here.

"It will be ironical as on the one hand the whole Pakistani nation is protesting against the Indian atrocities in Kashmir and on the other hand the Pakistani rulers will be garlanding Singh," said the statement issued on Monday.

The mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack said "if Singh comes to Islamabad on August 3, the JuD would hold countrywide protest to tell the world that the Pakistani rulers might have compulsions to receive Kashmiris' killers but the people of Pakistan are siding with oppressed Kashmiris".

He added that protest demonstrations will be held and rallies taken out in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Faisalabad, Muzaffarabad and other cities of the country on August 3.

Saeed, who is carrying a $10 million US bounty on his head, warned the government that Singh's presence in Islamabad may create "unrest" among Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis in the face of scores of killings of Kashmiris "at the hands of Indian forces".

The people of Kashmir had refused to meet Singh during his Srinagar visit, he said adding the PML-N government "must also refuse to receive the BJP leader on the excuse that it may hurt and incite feelings of Kashmiris and Pakistanis."

Meanwhile, Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to immediately recall its ambassador from New Delhi and "suspend trade and diplomatic ties" with India in the wake of ongoing unrest in the Valley that have left 49 people dead following Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani's killing.

The Pakistani government should not have invited Singh to the SAARC conference, he said.

"Ailing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should at least recall Pakistan's ambassador from New Delhi and suspend trade and diplomatic ties with India. The rulers should give up hypocrisy and the Pakistan government should either plead the case of Kashmiris or make friends with India," Salahuddin said while addressing the 'Azadi Kashmir March' on Sunday evening.

He said curfew had been clamped in Kashmir for the past 23 days and the valley had turned into a 'volcano for India that could explode any time'.

"It would have been better if the Pakistani government had not the Indian home minister in SAARC conference as it would give a wrong message to the Kashmiris," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Rajnath-Singhs-Pakistan-visit-Hafiz-Saeed-warns-of-nationwide-protest/articleshow/53485551.cms

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Lahore: Pakistan averts major terror attack, 7 militants shot dead

August 1, 2016

Lahore: Pakistan today averted a major terror attack when security forces killed seven militants who were plotting to target key government installations in Punjab province, the latest in a series of similar assaults.

According to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police, it had received information that around 10 to 12 militants were planning to attack sensitive installations and buildings of law enforcement agencies here.

“A CTD team along with police commandos raided a house in Chak Char Rasala Sheikhupura district some 50 km from Lahore in early hours today. The team asked them to surrender,” the CTD said.

“But instead they opened fire on the raiding team which returned the fire, killing seven militants on the spot. The remaining three managed to flee,” it said.

Explosives, hand grenades, kalashnikovs a large quantity of bullets, three motorcycles and maps of sensitive buildings have been recovered from their hideout.

The CTD has shifted the bodies to a mortuary for autopsy and the outfit to which the militants belonged is yet to be ascertained.

On July 23, five Taliban militants who were plotting to attack government installations and personnel of law enforcement agencies were killed in an encounter by security forces in Punjab province.

At least six militants were killed on July 13 in a shootout with police in Punjab’s Okara city.

In April, the Pakistan Army launched a targeted operation against militants in the province, days after a deadly attack in Lahore in which at least 70 people were killed and over 200 injured when a suicide bomb ripped through a crowded park in Lahore where Christians were celebrating Easter.

siasat.com/news/lahore-pakistan-averts-major-terror-attack-7-militants-shot-dead-994749/

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Two Hazara men shot dead in Quetta target killing: police

Aug 01, 2016

QUETTA: Two men belonging to the Hazara community were shot dead in a targeted attack in the Sariab Road area on Monday, police sources told DawnNews.

Ghulam Nabi and Mohammad Nabi, two relatives who worked in a coal mine, were on their way home from Machh in a rickshaw and were attacked near the Government Boys Degree College.

Both the deceased were residents of Alamdar Road, which is dominated by a majority Hazara population.

"The bodies were taken to the hospital in the rickshaw they were killed in," police said.

Security agencies have started to collect evidence from the site of the attack. Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri has ordered the police to arrest the killers as soon as possible.

dawn.com/news/1274638/two-hazara-men-shot-dead-in-quetta-target-killing-police

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CM Sindh extends Rangers' stay, grants special powers for 90 days

Aug 01, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday after great deliberation approved an extension in the special powers of the Pakistan Rangers for 90 days in the city.

Newly elected Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah signed the summary to extend the Rangers' stay in Sindh for one year and an extension of 90 days in the special powers of the paramilitary force, said a statement issued by his office.

The approved summary will now be sent to the federal Interior Ministry.

In a statement issued by the CM House, Shah said he hoped the Rangers would continue to work for peace in Sindh with the same commitment.

However, the statement was ambiguous as to whether the jurisdiction of the Rangers' powers extended to the whole province.

Earlier, a snior official in the Sindh government told Dawn that Shah held a meeting with the co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Zardari in Dubai on Sunday, at which the latter ordered the CM to notify Rangers’ one-year stay in Sindh with policing powers for three months.

Apart from discussing the Rangers’ powers issue with Zardari, Shah had also sought the former president’s guidance over the expansion of his cabinet to accommodate certain leaders.

dawn.com/news/1274655/cm-sindh-extends-rangers-stay-grants-special-powers-for-90-days

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IB inspector gunned down in Peshawar 'target killing'

Aug 01, 2016

PESHAWAR: An Intelligence Bureau (IB) inspector was shot dead by unknown assailants in what police called a targeted killing in the Wazir Bagh area on Monday.

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on IB Inspector Usman Gul near a Christian graveyard in Wazir Bagh at around 9:15am while he was walking to work, killing him on the spot, Senior Sub-Inspector Police (SSP) Operations Abbas Najeeb Marwat said.

A boy passing by was also seriously injured by firing. He was rushed to Lady Reading Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Although the area was cordoned off soon after the attack, the assailants succeeded in fleeing, police said.

"We are investigating the incident," SSP Marwat said.

dawn.com/news/1274645/ib-inspector-gunned-down-in-peshawar-target-killing

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Sartaj Aziz urges ambassadors to proactively promote Pakistan's interests at envoys' moot

Aug 01, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at the opening of an envoys' conference on Monday urged Pakistani ambassadors to proactively protect Pakistani interests and project the country's stance on vital issues.

Confronted with an aggravating foreign policy crisis, the government has convened the three-day conference to chart a way out.

This is the third such conference during the current government’s tenure and will focus on "critical issues in foreign policy", according to a source, Dawn earlier reported.

Nine Pakistani ambassadors accredited to various capitals and multilateral institutions are in attendance at the moot, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said. Surprisingly, envoys to the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia are not present.

Issues that will be taken up during the event include relations with the US, India (especially in the context of Kashmir uprising), Afghanistan, China, Russia and the European Union; the upcoming Saarc summit; membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and disarmament affairs; terrorism, and UN-related matters.

Deliberations will also be important from the perspective of the upcoming presidential elections in the US and major international realignments currently under way.

"The envoy's conference is a regular feature in which Pakistan’s representatives in various regions brief the government on important developments in their respective areas of accreditation, and challenges and opportunities arising out of such developments," Zakaria said.

The FO spokesman added that the envoys also present their recommendations regarding Pakistan's existing foreign policy with a view to review, adapt, and recalibrate policy in accordance with prevalent strategic, political and economic trends.

The participants will also receive briefings from military and ISI officials, according to an earlier Dawn report.

Barring a couple of success stories, the foreign policy fiasco has pushed the country into international isolation.

While the envoys and the Foreign Office top brass brainstorm on the problems and strategy for climbing out of isolation, it is likely that fundamental issues causing paralysis in foreign policy functioning — the absence of a full-time foreign minister, duality at the top in the FO hierarchy, diminished role of the foreign secretary, and the military’s involvement in decision making and implementation — will not be discussed, Dawn earlier reported.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the concluding session of the moot, where he will be briefed by ambassadors and share his vision for the country's foreign policy.

Envoys in attendance at the moot are Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani (Washington); Amb Maleeha Lodhi (United Nations, New York); High Commissioner Abdul Basit (New Delhi); Amb Masood Khalid (Beijing); Amb Qazi Khalilullah (Moscow); Amb Tehmina Janjua (United Nations-Geneva and Conference on Disarmament); Amb Naghm­a­­na Hashmi (Brussels and EU); Amb Ayesha Riyaz (Vienna and International Atomic Energy Agency) and Amb Abrar Hussain (Kabul).

dawn.com/news/1274646/sartaj-aziz-urges-ambassadors-to-proactively-promote-pakistans-interests-at-envoys-moot

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Noose tightened around terrorists, says army chief

Aug 01, 2016

CHITRAL: Youth can play a key role in the fight against terrorism and in efforts to bring prosperity to the country, Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif said in a speech at the closing ceremony of the Shandur festival on Sunday.

“The noose has been tightened around terrorists and their facilitators and the day is not far off when the country will become a haven of peace, prosperity and progress,” he said.

Gen Raheel gave away trophies, awards and prizes to the wining and runner-up teams and players.

“The Shandur festival not only attracts domestic and foreign tourists but also gives a loud message to terrorists that we cannot be intimidated into shunning our traditions,” the army chief said.

He reaffirmed the military’s determination to eliminate terrorism and expressed confidence that the country would soon become an icon of peace and progress.

He assured the people of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan that the army would spare no effort in relief and rehabilitation work in the event of natural disasters.

Gen Raheel said since programmes like Shandur festival attracted tourists, they were a boon to the region’s economy.

CHITRAL LIFT TROPHY: In the final played between teams from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Chitral won 11 goals to five.

By the first half, GB were leading 5-3. But in the second half Chitral turned the tables by scoring eight goals and defending stoutly to thwart all attempts at their goal.

Shahzada Sikandar, the Chitral captain, was the leading scorer with three goals. Nasrullah, from the same side, was adjudged man of the match.

During the interval, supporters of the two teams danced to a tune featuring a flute and trumpets.

A contingent of the Army’s Special Services Group exhibited a free fall jump from a height of 18,000 feet.

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafizur Rahman presented a cloak to the army chief. Colonel Nizamuddin, Commandant of the Chitral Scouts, presented him a souvenir.

Among others present on the occasion were Chitral Nazim Maghfirat Shah, Shahzada Iftikharuddin, a member of the National Assembly, and several members of local bodies.

A large number of polo fans from Chitral and GB thronged the venue and the vast spaces around the ground were packed to capacity.

Hashim Khan, a retired polo player, said although he had been visiting the Shandur festival since its inception in 1982, he could not recall a better turnout than at Sunday’s event.

He attributed the overwhelming response to an improvement in the road network during the Musharraf era and a lapse of four years since the last event.

Our Gilgit correspondent adds: Besides polo matches, contests were held in paragliding, jumping, horse dance and tug of war.

Programmes featuring local music and folk dance were the hallmark of the three-day festival.

The Shandur festival is held every year from July 7 to 9 on the world’s highest polo ground — 12,000 feet above sea level.

This year the festival was not held on the usual dates because of Eidul Fitr.

dawn.com/news/1274542/noose-tightened-around-terrorists-says-army-chief

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Sindh likely to extend Rangers’ stay, special powers today

Aug 01, 2016

KARACHI: The PPP-led Sindh government is set to extend on Monday Rangers’ stay in Sindh for another year and their special powers for three months, sources told Dawn on Sunday.

“Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held a meeting with the co-chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party, Asif Zardari, in Dubai on Sunday at which the latter ordered the CM to notify Rangers’ one-year stay in Sindh with policing powers for three months,” said a senior official in the Sindh government.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Murad Ali Shah carrying his laptop, entered the departure lounge of Karachi Airport to catch a flight for Dubai, where he was to brief Mr Zardari about the goals he had set for himself to serve the province for the next 20 months — the remaining period of the government’s term.

Mr Shah, apart from discussing the Rangers’ powers issue with Mr Zardari, sought the former president’s guidance over the expansion of his cabinet to accommodate certain leaders.

He also spoke about the merits and credentials of some members of his 17-member cabinet and shuffling of their portfolios.

Mr Zardari asked the chief minister to sign the summaries about the Rangers’ stay and special powers on Monday, saying it was ‘extremely important’ to accomplish the CM’s goals, law and order being foremost among them.

According to the sources, the party decided not to have any confrontation with the security establishment and that’s why it has changed the portfolio of Sohail Anwar Siyal, who was home minister in the cabinet of Syed Qaim Ali Shah, but has now been given agriculture ministry.

The Rangers had sought removal of Mr Siyal after a controversy involving Asad Kharal surfaced weeks ago.

The PPP, however, did not succumb fully to the paramilitary force’s demand and kept Mr Siyal until Murad Ali Shah replaced Qaim Ali Shah as the provincial chief executive.

The sources said that Rangers’ special powers for three months would remain confined to Karachi as per the previous arrangement. However, increasing attacks in northern districts of Sindh could justify the Rangers’ and the federal government’s demand for the Sindh government to notify such powers for the entire province.

“Such a demand could be deliberated upon later, not now at least,” said a senior official.

Among the names that came under discussion as new ministers included Manzoor Wassan, Nasir Shah and a nominee by the Maher brothers of Ghotki district.

Sources said the cabinet expansion is likely to take place in a week.

The meeting discussed the present ministers’ credentials and it was felt that the ministry of food for Nisar Khuhro had not satisfied the former senior minister.

It was noted that Sikander Mandhro, who has been allotted health ministry this time, was not impressive during his previous stints in various ministries.

The performance of Dr Mandhro, a leader from Badin, during the recent local government elections was not impressive as the city continued to remain under the influence of PPP’s rebel leader Dr Zulfiqar Mirza.

The sources said that a change in the portfolios of ministers was on the cards. Among the ministers likely to be changed is Jam Mehtab Maher, who his time has been given education ministry. But his performance as health minister in the last cabinet remained unimpressive with a crisis in Thar largely remained unattended.

dawn.com/news/1274543/sindh-likely-to-extend-rangers-stay-special-powers-today

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Europe

‘Listen Putin, we will kill you in your homes’ ISIS warns Russia in chilling video

Mon, Aug 1, 2016

In a nine-minute YouTube video, one of the terror group's members called out Russian president Vladimir Putin as their next target.

The masked assailants addressed the camera, saying: "Listen Putin, we will come to Russia and will kill you at your homes.

"Oh Brothers, carry out jihad and kill and fight them."

It remains unclear whether the video was officially released by the death-cult but the link to the footage was released on messaging app Telegram which has been used to the group before.

Russia and the US have been in discussions about boosting military and intelligence cooperation in a bid to crush the Islamic extremists.

ISIS has pleaded with supporters to take action using any means necessary against countries who it is at war with.

It follows a batch of devastating attacks linked with the group in the past few weeks.

Last week, France fell victim to another shocking murder with the killing of an 84-year-old priest at the hands of two teenagers who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Earlier in July, 84 people were mowed down when another Islamic extremist killed innocent civilians in a mindless attack.

Germany has also been host to a series of terror attacks, including a suicide bomber in the small town of Ansbach which left 15 injured.

On the same day, a Syrian asylum seeker allegedly hacked a pregnant woman to death with a machete in the town of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.

express.co.uk/news/world/695221/russia-putin-isis-video-terrorist-attacks-france-germany-alert-suicide-bombing

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Muslims Go to Catholic Mass in France, Italy for Solidarity

JULY 31, 2016

ROUEN, France — Muslims in France and Italy flocked to Mass on Sunday, a gesture of interfaith solidarity following a drumbeat of jihadi attacks that threatens to deepen religious divisions across Europe.

From the towering Gothic cathedral in Rouen, only a few miles from where 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel was killed Tuesday by two Muslim fanatics, to Paris' iconic Notre Dame, where the rector of the Mosque of Paris invoked a papal benediction in Latin, many churchgoers were cheered by the Muslims in their midst.

Interviewed outside the cathedral in Rouen, Jacqueline Prevot called it "a magnificent gesture."

"Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass," she said. "I find this very heartwarming."

French television broadcast scenes of interfaith solidarity from all around France, with Muslim women in headscarves and Jewish men in kippot crowding the front rows of Catholic cathedrals in Lille, Calais or the Basilica of St. Denis, the traditional resting place of French royalty.

There were similar scenes in Italy, where the head of Italy's Union of Islamic communities — Izzedin Elzir — called on his colleagues to "take this historic moment to transform tragedy into a moment of dialogue." The secretary general of the country's Islamic Confederation, Abdullah Cozzolino spoke at the Treasure of St. Gennaro chapel; three imams also attended Mass at the St. Maria Church in Rome's Trastevere neighborhood, donning their traditional dress as they entered the sanctuary and sat down in the front row.

Ahmed El Balazi, the imam of the Vobarno mosque in Italy's Lombard province of Brescia, said he did not fear repercussions for speaking out.

"These people are tainting our religion and it is terrible to know that many people consider all Muslim terrorists. That is not the case," El Balazi said. "Religion is one thing. Another is the behavior of Muslims who don't represent us."

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni thanked Italian Muslims for their participation, saying they "are showing their communities the way of courage against fundamentalism."

Among the parishioners in Rouen was a nun who survived Tuesday's siege in nearby Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray , which began when two 19-year-old attackers stormed a stone church and killed Hamel as he celebrated morning Mass. She joined her fellow Catholics in turning to shake hands or embrace the Muslim churchgoers after the service.

At Notre Dame cathedral in the French capital, Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris, said repeatedly that Muslims want to live in peace. Boubakeur, in a fraternal nod to the Catholic Church, said he was addressing "Urbi et Orbi" — a Latin blessing long identified with the pope and meaning "to the city and the world."

France and Italy are both increasing their supervision of mosques after the spate of jihadi attacks, including Tuesday's attack in France and the July 14 atrocity in Nice in which a Muslim truck driver plowed through a crowd of revelers, killing 84 people. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told the Senate this week that authorities were scrutinizing mosque financing and working with the Islamic community to ensure that imams study in Italy, preach in Italian and are aware of Italy's legal structuring.

The Paris prosecutor's office, meanwhile, said a cousin of one of the two 19-year-olds who killed the priest faces preliminary charges of participating in "a terrorist association with the aim of harming others."

The 30-year-old Frenchman, identified as Farid K., "knew very well, if not of the exact place or time, of his cousin's impending plans for violence," the office said in a statement.

In a related development, the prosecutor's office said a man identified as Jean-Philippe Steven J. faces preliminary charges connected to an attempt to reach Syria last month with one of the two French priest's killers.

nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/31/world/europe/ap-eu-france-church-attack.html

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Pope Francis Says Ills of Global Economy, Not Islam, Inspire Terrorism

Aug. 1, 2016

ROME— Pope Francis said the inspiration for terrorism wasn’t Islam but a world economy that worshiped the “god of money” and drove the disenfranchised to violence.

“Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person, “ the pope told reporters late Sunday as he returned to the Vatican from a five-day visit in Poland. “This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity.”

Speaking on his flight from Krakow, the pope was responding to a question about links between Islam and recent terrorist attacks, particularly the killing on Tuesday of a priest in northern France by followers of Islamic State.

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a Holy Mass on the meadows in Brzegi, Poland, on Sunday. ENLARGE

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a Holy Mass on the meadows in Brzegi, Poland, on Sunday. PHOTO: ALIK KEPLICZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pope Francis suggested that the social and economic marginalization of Muslim youth in Europe helped explain the actions of those who joined extremist groups. “How many youths have we Europeans left empty of ideals? They don’t have work, and they turn to drugs and alcohol. They go [abroad] and enroll in fundamentalist groups,” the pope said.

His own experience in interreligious dialogue had shown him that Muslims seek “peace and encounter,” he said. “It is not right and it is not just to say that Islam is terroristic.” And he said no religion had a monopoly on violent members.

“If I speak of Islamic violence, I should speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent,” Pope Francis said, dismissing Islamic State as a “small fundamentalist group” not representative of Islam as a whole.

“In almost all religions there is always a small group of fundamentalists,” even in the Catholic Church, the pope said, though not necessarily physically violent. “One can kill with the tongue as well as the knife.”

The pope’s remarks echoed his words on Wednesday, when he told reporters with him on the plane to Krakow that the recent spate of terror attacks was part of a war comparable with the world wars of the previous century.

The pope added then that the current violence was over economic and political interests rather than religion. “There is war for money,” he said on Wednesday. “There is war for natural resources. There is war for the domination of peoples. Some might think I am speaking of religious war. No. All religions want peace; it is other people who want war.”

Every day of his visit in Poland, the pope voiced his well-known support for open-migration policies. But his trip there was shadowed by the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Europe.

At an outdoor Mass near Krakow earlier on Sunday, he urged the crowd of 1.5 million people to welcome migrants and warned against the temptations of capitalism and consumerism.

“People may judge you to be dreamers, because you believe in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples, one that refuses to see borders as barriers and can cherish its own traditions without being self-centered or small-minded,” the pope told the crowd, which included Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The Polish government, controlled by the conservative Law and Justice Party, has opposed the more-open policies of neighboring Germany toward refugees and other migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that she wouldn’t abandon those policies, despite two recent terrorist attacks in Germany that injured 20 people, committed by asylum seekers apparently inspired by radical Islam.

On Saturday, during a visit to a church in Krakow, the pope recited a prayer asking God to spare the world from a “devastating wave of terrorism.” But the pope also repeated his support for welcoming refugees and other migrants from the Middle East and Africa, despite concerns in Europe that the influx offers terrorists the possibility of traveling back and forth to Europe undetected.

It was his first visit to Poland, one of Europe’s most deeply Catholic countries, where the late St. John Paul II, who earlier served as archbishop of Krakow, remains a towering figure. Some followers of John Paul, including Polish bishops, see Pope Francis’ liberalizing moves, particularly his relative leniency on divorce, as undermining the legacy of his more conservative predecessor.

Pope Francis’ planned speech to the bishops on Wednesday had been expected to address that tension, but the week before, the Vatican announced that the meeting would take place behind closed doors.

Pope Francis paid tribute to John Paul several times during the visit, venerating a phial of his blood after a Mass on Saturday.

Pope Francis followed in John Paul’s footsteps, and those of Pope Benedict XVI, by becoming the third pope to visit Auschwitz on Friday, the dramatic climax of the visit. The pope made no public remarks, only writing in the book of honor: “Lord, have mercy on your people! Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty!”

The Sunday Mass was the culminating event of World Youth Day. Pope Francis urged the crowd to ignore the distractions of materialism. “In [God’s] eyes, the clothes you wear or the kind of cellphone you use are of absolutely no concern,” the pope said.

That remark underscored the challenge the church faces in Poland and other post-Communist countries, which have embraced the values of capitalism and aspirational consumerism that the pope so often warns against.

“Say a firm ‘no’ to the narcotic of success at any cost and the sedative of worrying only about yourself and your own comfort,” the pope said.

Pope Francis paid tribute to native son Pope John Paul, who founded the World Youth Day tradition, saying that he “has rejoiced from heaven, and he will help you spread the joy of the Gospel everywhere.”

Many in the crowd waved national flags. At the end of the Mass, the pope announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in 2019 in Panama, bringing the triennial celebration back to Latin America. Pope Francis presided over World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, a few months after becoming Pope.

The pope celebrated Mass on a white stage dominated by a colossal picture of Jesus, with rays emanating from his chest to represent his divine mercy. The image is associated with visions of the Polish St. Faustina Kowalska, who was canonized by John Paul.

wsj.com/articles/pope-francis-urges-poles-to-embrace-migrants-on-final-day-of-visit-1469963264

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Is the threat of Islamic extremist terrorism spreading to central Europe?

Mon, Aug 1, 2016

Ahead of the Pope's visit last week to Krakow, Poland, to lead nearly 2 million Catholics in World Youth Day celebrations, news broke that an Iraqi man had been arrested in the Polish city of Lodz three days earlier carrying a small amount of explosives.

The news swiftly followed the three Islamic extremist terrorist attacks that have taken place in Germany in recent days – including an attempt by a failed Syrian asylum seeker to blow himself up outside a music festival. It might seem as though the terror threat previously associated with France and Belgium is spreading eastward through Europe.

"Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) are stepping up security measures and increasing their investigative powers," Blanka Kolenikova, deputy head of Europe analysis at research firm IHS Markit, told CNBC via telephone.

Poland, which held a NATO summit in Warsaw earlier last month as well as World Youth Day, introduced border checks in early July and will keep them until Tuesday. German newspaper Deutsche Welle has reported a significantly increased police presence in Poland and Slovakia, particularly at public transport terminals The Polish Interior Ministry told CNBC via email that nearly 38,000 officers were "in charge of ensuring that the participants of World Youth Day were safe throughout Poland."

Kolenikova asserts that western European countries are still more likely to be attacked. But, a base level of risk exists for Visegrad countries because they are all NATO members, and thereby support U.S. interests.

"Recent events in Germany do not mean that there is a direct increase in the terrorism threat to central European countries," she said.

Nonetheless, countering Islamic extremist terrorism has dominated the political narratives of Visegrad countries. Far-right parties have risen in popularity across the continent. Anti-immigrant rhetoric and security were key issues debated in the Slovakian elections earlier this year, with Prime Minster Robert Fico telling the news outlet TASR in May that "Islam has no place in Slovakia."

"Governments are perhaps more nervous than ordinary people," Cvete Koneska, senior analyst for Europe at Control Risks, told CNBC via telephone.

Security fears have become focused on the increased number of asylum seekers and migrants from the Middle East. This, combined with the increase in terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Germany, has led to some countries mounting border controls and thereby disrupting the Schengen Agreement, the European Union-wide deal that enables the free movement of people.

The Polish Interior Ministry told CNBC that by 27th July, its border checks had resulted in the 226 arrests, the majority of which were individuals attempting to cross the border without the necessary documents. The Interior Ministry also say that, "border checks have resulted in a number of persons sought on the basis of the European Arrest Warrant to be identified."

However IHS' Kolenikova believes that the migrant crisis isn't a security concern.

"People connect terrorist attacks to the refugee influx, but it is wrong to do so. Take Greece for example, which has one of the highest numbers of refugees but is at a low risk of international terrorism," she told CNBC.

Central European countries have a different, arguably less sympathetic, attitude towards the refugee crisis than their western counterparts. Refuting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo of the right wing Law and Justice party said to broadcaster Superstacja after the March attacks in Brussels: "Our stance is very cautious, which gives rise to major criticism from other countries in what we call the old EU, who hastily agreed to this influx of migrants into Europe."

She added, "I regret to say that the EU is not drawing lessons from what is happening."

Modern history might explain why central European countries feel differently towards refugees. Koneska points out that pre 1989, refugees were not commonplace in the region and there has since only been a short period of time for public attitudes to become accepting of the concept.

To counter any potential threat, the Visegrad countries are expected to increase the sharing of security information. Fresh security legislation has also been introduced across the board. Hungary perhaps takes the hardest line in policy as the country is a transit route for refugees, and therefore the most directly affected.

But, will these stepped up security measures prove successful? The Polish Interior Ministry say that their police force have "not reported any serious incidents that would jeopardize the security of participants of World Youth Day." But, both analysts agree that it is impossible to be sure of the effectiveness of new security measures as they have not yet been truly tested. "Success in preventing terrorism doesn't ever depend on one measure. But, the electorate's perception of a government's success in preventing security threats is also important."

cnbc.com/2016/08/01/is-the-threat-of-islamic-extremist-terrorism-spreading-to-central-europe.html

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Wave of Islamic Terror Presents a Problem for Liberal European Media

AUGUST 1, 2016

JNS.org – Beginning with the bloody July 14 Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France that left 84 people dead, Western Europe has seen an unrelenting wave of violence mainly perpetrated by individuals with connections to or sympathies with the Islamic State terror group. These attacks on European soil are now occurring with a near daily frequency, with five different lone-wolf shooting and stabbing terror attacks in Germany in late July, at least three of which were claimed by the Islamic State, as well as the slaying of a Catholic priest in northern France on July 26.

Amid the shock and confusion that many Europeans are grappling with over the unprecedented wave of terrorism, European media organizations are similarly confounded over how to report on the violence that conflicts with the values of liberalism and humanism that have long defined Europe.

After the attack in Nice, the BBC tweeted an article with the headline “France’s President Holland returns to Paris for crisis meeting for Nice lorry ‘attack.’” This headline, which used quotation marks to cast doubt on whether the incident was a deliberate attack, and did not use the word “terror,” was followed by other headlines in the BBC, and in other European news organizations, such as “Syrian migrant dies in German blast,” or “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded,” and others.

In a June article, JNS.org reported on how many international media outlets have come under fire for initially reporting misleading information about the attack at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv, and in some cases not describing the shooting as terrorism.

Representatives from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in France and Germany reached out to by JNS.org confirmed this, and indicated that after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the French media devised a comprehensive map of the Islamist terrorist attacks that had taken place across the world. Twenty countries were affected between the November 13 attacks in Paris and the Brussels attack, but Israel was not included.

In addition, they said, both when it comes to news coverage of terror in Israel, and at times when it comes to European terror attacks, there is often short-lived public outrage and sparse political consequences. Media headlines on occasion reflect a reluctance to call terror by name, instead trivializing the severity of the attacks and obscuring the hateful motives of the perpetrators by referring to problems with depression and mental illness.

Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, also told JNS.org that when these terror attacks first take place, there is a tendency on the part of European news organizations to “be careful and not jump to conclusions,” and “play down the obvious connection” to radical Islamic terrorism.

“Generally I think there is a tendency in Europe to avoid the hard truth,” particularly the fact that there are as many as 5,000 European Islamic State fighters, some of whom may have returned to Europe from the Middle East and pose a serious risk to security, he said.

Germany’s open-door policy has also allowed a large influx of Mideast refugees to enter its borders, many of whom are fleeing the Syrian civil war. At the same time, at least three of the recent terror attacks in Germany were committed by such refugees.

Although Europe tries to differentiate between individual “bad apple” perpetrators and the whole Muslim community, “opinion polls and studies suggest that a considerable segment of the Muslim community share at least some radical ideas and values,” Schwammenthal said.

Schwammenthal pointed to an article in the German newspaper Die Welt, whose headline “Bremer Einkaufzentrum wegen Verdächtigem Evakuiert” translates to “Bremer mall evacuated because of suspicious (person).”

The article refers to an incident on July 27 where German police pursued and eventually arrested a 19-year-old Algerian asylum seeker who escaped a psychiatric hospital after threatening to blow people up. The man had previously praised the Islamic State terror group. A bolded first paragraph underneath the article headline stated: “Due to danger posed by an Algerian who escaped from a psychiatric hospital, a Bremen mall has been evacuated. He previously expressed sympathy for the Islamic State. The police arrested him.”

While this paragraph does acknowledge the man’s history of praising the Islamic State, the terror group is not mentioned in the headline. When it is mentioned in the first paragraph, it is stated only after it is explained that the man escaped an asylum, thus downplaying the man’s connection to radical Islamic terrorism.

While Schwammenthal called the motive to “protect innocent Muslims from hostility” as “noble,” he also believes this kind of thinking has led to an opposite result.

“People are obviously making a connection between radical Islam and terrorism,” but they see this attempt in the media and by some political leaders “to obfuscate or play down” this connection, and “I’m afraid it may make people much more likely to turn to (extreme right or populist) radical parties,” he said.

However, he also acknowledged that this “tendency to blame the society at large rather than individual,” is “of course much worse when it comes to European media coverage of the terror situation in Israel.”

Analysis by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and from BBCWatch have also shown that overall the number of articles and headlines misrepresenting terror attacks in this manner does still apply more greatly to European news coverage of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel, than to Islamic State-inspired attacks on European soil.

CAMERA analyst Marcelo Wio, who analyzed Spanish media as an example, told JNS.org that “in Spanish, to refer to terror attacks, we have a special word ‘atentado terrorista.’ So, atentado is a word that immediately makes a reader think terrorism. This word is almost never used in for Palestinian attacks. Only when unavoidable.”

This “is just a consequence (or even a necessary element) of a deliberate policy to frame Israel not only as the responsible for the (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict, but as responsible for the situation in the Middle East. Thus, Israel is portrayed, in news after news texts, as an archetypical of evil or oppressor.”

When it comes to news coverage of the Middle East, this tends to happen only with the Jewish state. “Not even the war in Syria has produce such headlines,” he said.

“The average European reader has incorporated the difference of coverage as a natural (and even necessary) thing, as Israel is ‘different’ from the rest, and the attacks against its citizens is something evidently justified (oppression, etc.). In this way, the Palestinians have become the archetypical victim,” whereas “back in Europe, they see the attacks against them as attacks against culture, liberty, progressivism, enlightenment. Israel is the opposite of this representation, according to the media’s portrait,” Wio said.

Israeli-Arab journalist Lucy Aharish recently expressed awe at the wording of several recent headlines of articles about the European attacks on Israel’s Channel 2 on July 26.

“It’s amazing. We’re speaking about four occurrences that that happened in a row in Germany,” she said in a conversation with a reporter, as translated from Hebrew. “They (Germans) don’t even know how to digest it,” she said.

“Whenever there’s a terror attack in Israel, we’re usually really shocked over the headlines (about the attack) that exist abroad, but then you realize that even when this happens over there, they don’t know how to explain it, translate it, or actually use the words ‘man killed so and so (number of) people. No, (they write) that the poor guy (the terrorist) died,” she said.

AJC’s Transatlantic Institute’s Schwammenthal said that the fact that Islamist attacks in Europe are now occurring more frequently and causing mass casualties, makes it more likely that more European authorities will increase security and toughen legislation, as they already have in France and Belgium.

But “given the true dimensions of the problem,” he is not as optimistic.

“It’s very difficult to keep track of so many people,” who often become radicalized much earlier than people believe during their early upbringing at home and in institutions where things like antisemitism, or other radical ideas are seen as completely normal.

As Israel’s Aharish said about the news headlines, “You don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. They live in La La Land.”

algemeiner.com/2016/08/01/wave-of-islamic-terror-presents-a-problem-for-liberal-european-media/

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South Asia

Students in Bangladesh Protest Rise of Islamic Extremism

AUG. 1, 2016

NEW DELHI — More than 100,000 students have linked their hands to form human chains in Bangladesh to protest two attacks last month by suspected Islamist militants.

The students from hundreds of colleges and universities in Dhaka and other cities took part in the protest Monday as part of a campaign to create awareness about the rise of Islamic extremism in the country.

The protest came after suspected Islamist militants killed 20 people, including 17 foreigners, in an attack on a popular restaurant in Dhaka a month ago. That was followed by an attack on an Eid congregation in central Bangladesh that left three people dead.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Bangladesh authorities have blamed the banned group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh.

nytimes.com/aponline/2016/08/01/world/asia/ap-as-bangladesh-protest.html

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70% of ISIS Militants in Afghanistan Are Pakistani Taliban:  Top US Commander

Mon Aug 01 2016

The top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has said roughly 70 per cent of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group loyalists fighting in Afghanistan are the members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Briefing the Washington-based journalists earlier this week, Gen. Nicholson, said “In the case of Islamic State Khorasan province, the majority of the members are from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”

Gen. Nicholson further added that many of these terrorists were forced out of Pakistan by the Zarb-i-Azb military operation.

He said many IS fighters in Nangarhar province came from Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal agency.

“And they were former members of the TTP, complete with their leadership, who wholesale joined Islamic State, pledged bayt (allegiance) to Islamic State and joined them earlier this year,” Gen. Nicholson added.

This comes as the local officials in Nanagarhar made a similar remark regarding the terror group’s loyalists in Afghanistan earlier last month.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani has said the documents obtained from the dead bodies and those arrested during the operations in Achin, Kot, Haska Mina and other parts of Nangarhar, reveal that they are originally residents of Orakzai Agency.

Khogyani further added that the intelligence information gathered by the government also reveal that the ISIS loyalists are mostly comprised of Pakistani nationals.

According to Khogyani, the residents of Tajikistan are also fighting alongside the Pakistani nationals for ISIS terrorist group who are mainly deployed after completing training in Pakistan.

The Afghan forces as well as the US forces in Afghanistan have increased raids against the loyalists of the terror group in Nangarhar during the recent months.

Both the Afghan and US forces conduct regular airstrikes to eliminate the supporters of the terror group amid fears they are attempting to expand foothold in the country.

khaama.com/70-of-isis-militants-in-afghanistan-are-pakistani-taliban-nicholson-01619

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China praises Afghanistan for fight against Chinese separatist group

Aug 01, 2016

BEIJING: Chang Wanquan, China's Defence Minister met the head of Afghanistan's army, thanking him for Kabul's support in fighting what Beijing says is a militant group that seeks to split off its western region of Xinjiang.

China has long been concerned that instability in Afghanistan will spill over into violence-prone Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, where hundreds have died in recent years in unrest blamed by Beijing on violent extremists.

The United States and the United Nations have listed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist group, though some experts have questioned its cohesiveness and say China's policies in Xinjiang have contributed to unrest.

“I thank Afghanistan for its valuable support in combating ETIM militant forces and on issues related to China's core interests,” Defence Minister Wanquan told Afghan army chief of general staff Qadam Shah Shaheem.

“I hope the two militaries can continually enrich the shape and content of cooperation and make greater contributions to safeguarding both countries' security and creating a favourable environment for joint development,” Chang said according to the official Xinhua news agency late on Sunday.

Afghanistan is willing to continue fighting ETIM by “deepening cooperation on personnel training and joint exercises and other means”, a statement on China's defence ministry website cited Shaheem as saying. The report and the statement did not give further details.

China is working with Pakistan and the US to broker peace talks to end a Taliban insurgency that has raged for 15 years in Afghanistan.

That effort never got beyond exploratory talks and appeared to break down definitively when former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in May.

Sources in the Taliban told Reuters that a Taliban delegation visited China earlier this month, though Chinese officials have not confirmed it.

In public statements, the Taliban have said that they wish to have good relations with Afghanistan's neighbours.

China says it does not seek to fill a security void created in Afghanistan since the US led Nato mission ceased combat operations there at the end of 2014. But it has promised to play a “huge” commercial role in helping rebuild the country.

dawn.com/news/1274653/china-praises-afghanistan-for-fight-against-chinese-separatist-group

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Forces linked to General Dostum terrorize villagers, HRW says

Mon Aug 01 2016

The militia forces loyal to the First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum have allegedly terrorized local residents in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the government to prosecute militia members responsible for killings and other abuses against civilians in this province.

Citing interview report in the aftermath of the attack, Patricia Gossman, senior Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, said “The killings in Faryab are the latest in a long record of atrocities by Dostum’s militia forces.”

Gossman further added “The fact that these forces, and Vice-President Dostum himself, have never been held accountable, has undermined security in northern Afghanistan.”

On June 26, Afghan army and Junbish forces conducted a military operation against Taliban forces in Faryab province, in which the militia forces killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 32 others, HRW said, citing UNAMA report.

The rights organization further added after Taliban forces left the area, Junbish fighters entered four villages and assaulted villagers whom they accused of supporting the Taliban, killing five and injuring 12.

Dostum was elected vice-president in September 2014. In late 2015 he announced that he was reactivating the Junbish militia in response to Taliban military gains in Faryab and Sar-e Pul provinces, and has since overseen military operations in these provinces.

“It was about 8 a.m. I was in my house when about 200 Ranger cars of Junbish militia came into the village. The ANA [Afghan National Army] was not with them. They were carrying guns like Kalashnikovs and shouting “You’re Taliban!” and firing as people came out of their houses,” one of the villagers told HRW during an interview conducted in July.

“Soraya” a 50-year-old woman from Qadir Doaba, said that militia forces beat her severely on her back with their guns. She said that they told her, “You are Pashtuns, you cannot say anything – you have no rights.”

According to HRW, her son, “Rasul,” about 30, said that the militia forces had entered the village several times over the past eight months, threatening residents and forcing them to hand over food and money.

Some villagers told Human Rights Watch that regular Afghanistan military forces stood by when the Junbish forces entered the villages. Although they did not participate in the assaults, they did nothing to stop them or apprehend militia fighters committing offenses.

The New York-based rights organization also added it has documented killings and other abuses by Junbish militia against ethnic Pashtuns in these same villages in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of the Taliban government in late 2001. No militia commanders were ever prosecuted for these attacks.

“Militias like Junbish should have been disbanded long ago,” Gossman said. “But because such forces have powerful patrons they have continued to commit abuses with impunity. President Ghani should fulfill his promise to disarm all such illegal groups and ensure that they play no role in the security forces.”

khaama.com/forces-linked-to-general-dostum-terrorize-villagers-hrw-says-01617

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Attack on Northgate hotel ended in Kabul, all terrorists shot dead

Mon Aug 01 2016

A coordinated attack followed by a massive explosion has ended with the elimination of all three terrorists, the security officials confirmed.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, confirmed that three terrorists involved in the attack on Northgate in Kabul have been gunned down.

He said the police forces have started assessing the casualties.

In the meantime Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi said the hotel residents who are mainly foreigners did not suffer any casualties in the attack.

The attack on Northgate was launched around 1:30 am local time after a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was detonated near the hotel compound.

The blast was so powerful that shocked almost all parts of the city as its sound was heard in remote parts of the capital.

The Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the attack and said heavy casualties have been incurred to residents of the compound.

According to reports, the attack has incurred extensive damage to the hotel compound as well as the nearby properties.

This was the second major attack that rocked Kabul city within the past ten days which comes days after July 23rd deadly attack that left at least 80 people dead and over 200 others wounded.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility behind the attack on peace protesters in Deh Mazang.

khaama.com/attack-on-northgate-hotel-ended-in-kabul-all-terrorists-shot-dead-01616

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Massive truck bombing rocks Kabul city

Mon Aug 01 2016

A massive explosion rocked Kabul city in the early hours of Monday morning with preliminary reports suggesting a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was detonated.

The incident took place around around 1:30 am local time targeting a compound, the North Gate, frequented by the foreigners.

The attack was launched by at least four militants with three of them taking position close to the compound following the massive blast to launch gun attack .

Kabul police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi confirmed the clashes ended and the hotel residents who are mainly foreigners did not suffer any casualties.

The Afghan special forces were deployed to clear the area from the militants presence and ambulances are also seen in the incident site but there are still no reports regarding the casualties.

The Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the attack and said a coordinated attack has been launched on a guesthouse of the foreigners in the city.

khaama.com/massive-truck-bombing-rocks-kabul-city-01615

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Islamic State and Bangladesh’s Islamic Woes

Mon, Aug 1st, 2016

Islamic State (IS) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), often termed as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is an Islamic fundamentalist, Salafi jihadist, Sunni Islam militant group and also known as ‘Daesh’, the acronym for Arabic term, ‘ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fi ‘l-Iraq wa-sh-Sham’. Its origin dates back almost two decades ago in the year 1999 in the fervid minds of Jordanian radical Abu Musab al-Zarqawi under the name Jamaat al-Tawhid wa-al-Jihad. Presently they are not concentrated in and around Mediterranean and gulf but constantly expanding and pose threat to the whole world and its most recent focus of expansion is Bangladesh. In the latest edition of the magazine, Dabiq, the head of Islamic State (IS) operations in Bangladesh, Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif discussed the group’s agenda for the country. It wants to conduct a large attack to gain the support of the extremists in Bangladesh and to accelerate its credentials among local jihadists and promote the interest of the larger organisation.

The established, smaller jihadist groups in Bangladesh give a challenge to the ambitions of IS. Al-Hanif’s interview to the Dabiq revealed that their potential targets are Christian missionaries, Hindu figures, Shiites and foreigners in general and they also intend to target the military and other radical Islamist groups. Al Hanif also made this clear that the Bangladeshi nationals and foreign extremists of Bangladeshi descent fighting in Iraq and Syria will supply skilled bomb makers and operational planners in Bangladesh to the IS. Dabiq claimed that the local jihadist factions were uniting behind Al Hanif. The IS will attempt to continue more attacks in Bangladesh to gain support of the extremists in the country.

Bangladesh is in a vulnerable position because of its strategic location and closer proximity to India and other South East Asian nations, this pose threat to Bangladesh from the Islamist group. Bangladesh was thought to be in much safer position with limited ISIS prospects and pro-ISIS sentiments were thought to be weaker there but ISIS has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in Bangladesh and the recent Dhaka incident is a bolt from the blue as the incident was the worst terrorist attack in history of Bangladesh. Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a terror group that had carried a series of rampant attacks across Bangladesh, ten years back but presently has been less active in Bangladesh.

Unfortunately, there are now signs that ISIS has indeed pursued a successful courtship with JMB. Some experts believe that, another terror group that could be influenced and attracted to the ISIS cause is Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). However, ABT is ideologically influenced by Al Qaeda, rival of ISIS even ABT has taken its name from the Iraq-based Al Qaeda outfit Ansar Ul Islam and is highly inspired by the teachings of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was a top Al Qaeda official in Yemen before being killed by a drone strike in the year 2011. The validity of the announcement made by Al Qaeda of a new south Asian affiliate in 2014 cannot be totally ignored after the recent incidents took place in Bangladesh.

The JMB seems to be a more prospective partner for ISIS, considering its good hold of Salafism and strong presence in the South Asia region and the group has also shown cooperation with the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). These established jihadist groups in the country will fight back against the IS power grab but IS is trying to seek cooperation from these groups and are strongly influencing them to establish their own power base and extend it further.

newdelhitimes.com/islamic-state-and-bangladeshs-islamic-woes123/

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Russia considering Afghanistan’s request to equip Afghan forces: NSC

Mon Aug 01 2016

The Office of the National Security Adviser of Afghanistan has said Russia is considering a request by the government of Afghanistan to equip the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

NSC spokesman Tawab Ghorzang said Afghanistan and Russia are on the same page to increase the capabilities of the Afghan forces who are on the front line fighting the regional and international terrorism.

He said Russia has promised to assess the request by Afghanistan to equip the Afghan forces and the officials of the two countries are having similar views to eliminate the menance of terrorism from the region and from Afghanistan.

“The Afghan government believes that the Afghan forces should be equipped to fight the menace of terrorism in Afghanistan in the region and the officials in the two countries are having identical views and an assessment in this regard would be launched,” Ghorzang said.

The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar left for Russia last week to meet with the Russian officials and seek the country’s support to Afghan forces besides expanding bilateral ties between the two countries.

“We need combat helicopters and other weapons to rebuff terrorist groups acting in the Afghan territory more efficiently,” Atmar told the local news agency, TASS.

Atmar further added “Now we have obsolete modifications of Russian combat helicopters. We would like to replace them by more modern Mi-35 rotorcraft and to organize training of pilots and technical personnel to service these helicopters. This is issue is of top priority importance for us at the moment.”

He said a symbiosis of terrorist groups, including the Taliban movement, militants enjoying support from Pakistan’s and Central Asian radical Islamic organizations, al Qaeda and Islamic State, are acting in the territory of Afghanistan.

“In this sense, we have a common enemy with Russia and other countries of the region,” he said. “However we have no common strategy of countering this enemy. We think that it is necessary to involve countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the elaboration of such strategy, and Russia has a special role in these efforts.”

khaama.com/russia-considering-afghanistans-request-to-equip-afghan-forces-nsc-01618

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Arab World

Syrian Air Force Turns Aleppo Countryside into Hell for Terrorists

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian warplanes launched massive airstrikes on defense lines and concentration centers of the terrorist groups in the Northern, Northwestern, Western and Northeastern countrysides of Aleppo city, claiming lives of dozens of the militants.

Terrorists' centers in Zahra Abd Rabeh, Jamiyat al-Zahra, the English graveyard region, Kafr Hamra, al-Shaqif industrial zone, Uweija, Mostadireh Jandul and Hanano housings, Bustan al-Pasha, communication roads of Eastern outskirt of Aleppo city and road of al-Bab came under heavy bombardments of the Syrian fighter jets.

Terrorists suffered a heavy death toll and the bombardment slowed down their movements in the region.

Earlier reports said that Syrian Army's missile and artillery units opened heavy fire at the terrorist groups' concentration centers in Southwestern Aleppo, leaving scores of the militants dead or wounded.

Terrorist groups' positions in Khan Touman, al-Eis, al-Zerbeh, al-Qarasi, Khalseh, Zeitan, Barneh, al-Hamireh and along Damascus-Aleppo highway were massively targeted by the Syrian missile and artillery units.

Terrorists suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000922

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Al-Khalediya Island Fully Liberated by Iraqi Forces

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Anbar Provincial Council Sabah Karhout declared the end of the liberation operations of Al-Khalediya Island on Monday.

"The Iraqi joint military forces have fully liberated the ISIL-controlled al-Khalediya Island located 23 kilometers to the East of al-Ramadi," Karhout said.

He reiterated that all regions of al-Khalediya Island are now under Iraqi security forces' control.

In a relevant development on Sunday, Iraq's joint military forces seized back a strategic region and gas station in al-Khalediya Island.

The Iraqi army and popular forces were in full control of Abu Obaid region and its nearby Kartan gas station.

Earlier on Sunday, battlefield sources disclosed that Iraq's joint military forces have seized back half of Al-Khalediya Island.

"The Iraqi forces are now in control of 50 percent of al-Khalediya Island by pushing back the terrorists 7 kilometers deep inside the island," an informed military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told FNA.

The source said that the Iraqi forces were close to the Euphrates River and were advancing in areas Southeast of the river.

Al-Khalediya Island is located 80 kilometers to the West of Baghdad.

On Saturday, the Iraqi popular forces, supported by the air force, could retake 3km of al-Khalediya Island (23km East of Ramadi) only hours after the start of operations to liberate the region.

The attacks to free al-Khalediya Island in al-Anbar province from the ISIL terrorists are being led by al-Jazira and Badiya operations command center.

An army officer said on Saturday that the Iraqi forces entered al-Khalediya Island from al-Zouya region.

Reports said earlier this week that commanders of the ISIL terrorist group have ordered their forces and family members to leave their last bases and strongholds in Western Iraq as Iraq's military forces are preparing to launch massive military operations in the region, local sources said Tuesday.

"The Iraqi military forces are preparing to capture the last ISIL strongholds in Western Iraq and the military equipment for these operations have been fully supplied and transferred, and we are waiting for the final order by the joint operations command center to attack al-Khalediya Island and Heet town in the Western parts of al-Anbar province," Head of the Security Committee of al-Anbar province's Council Rajeh al-Issawi said.

Also, a local source in Western Iraq said that the ISIL commanders and their families have fled the al-Baghdadi island in the Western parts of Heet, one of the most notorious ISIL bases.

The source added that ISIL commanders, fearing the Iraqi army and popular forces' rapid advance, have fled towards al-Qae'm town in Western al-Anbar.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000785

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Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi Military Base with Ballistic Zelzal-3 Missiles

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni missile units pounded and destroyed a strategic Saudi military base in the kingdom's Najran province on Monday.

The Saudis' Rajla military base in Najran was destroyed by the Yemeni army's home-made ballistic Zalzal-3 missile which was unveiled in July.

The attack also destroyed a number of tanks and military vehicles belonging to the Saudi forces, al-Masirah reported.

The Yemeni army has fired 13 ballistic missiles towards the Saudi military positions in Najran province since the beginning of July.

On Saturday, the Yemeni Zelzal 3 missiles also pounded the Saudi Arabia's Rajla military base in Najran province.

Last week, the Yemeni forces continued their attacks against the Saudi troops in the kingdom's Southern parts, and killed several senior Saudi officers, including a top commander of the Saudi army's 84th Division in the same area.

"The Yemeni army and popular forces fired missiles at Saudi tanks in Najran province, and killed the armored unit commander of the Saudi Army's 84th Division who was also deputy commander of Rajla military base along with other senior Saudi forces," the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an unnamed military source as saying last Monday.

Also last Monday, the Yemeni army, backed by popular forces, fired a ballistic missile at a Saudi military base in the kingdom's Jizan province in retaliation for Riyadh’s relentless attacks on Yemen's civilians.

The Yemeni Tochka missile precisely hit the Saudi military base in the kingdom’s Ahad al-Mosareheh region in Jizan province.

The Saudi forces sustained heavy losses and casualties in the Yemen missile strike.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000857

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ISIL Attacks Red Crescent's Vehicles in Deir Ezzur

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group attacked the rescue vehicles of the Syrian Red Crescent Society in Deir Ezzur on Monday.

The Red Crescent's vehicles came under ISIL's attack while they were loading relief aids from the Russian cargo planes near the headquarters of 137 Brigade in Deir Ezzur.

The ISIL's tanks attacked the rescue vehicles near Jabal Tharda mountains.

Several rescue workers of the Red Crescent Society were injured and their vehicles were also damaged.

On Sunday, the Syrian soldiers and warplanes struck ISIL's gathering centers in different parts of the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur, inflicting major losses and casualties on the terrorists.

The Syrian fighter jets launched a fresh round of attacks on ISIL's positions in the villages of al-Zamli and al-Jafrah in Western countryside of Deir Ezzur, while ISIL's centers in the village of Ayyash came under heavy bombardments of Syrian jets.

ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and its military hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.

The Syrian army men, for their part, engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL terrorists in al-Kanamat neighborhood in the Northern part of Deir Ezzur city, leaving scores of terrorists' vehicle damage.

Also on Friday, the Syrian warplanes targeted ISIL's defense lines near the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur, causing serious damage to the terrorists' military vehicles.

ISIL's logistical movements were slowed down after the group's positions in al-Mura'yeh, Huweija and in the Northern side of al-Jafrah were massively bombed by the Syrian air force jets.

ISIL also suffered a heavy death toll in the Attacks.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000834

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Terrorist Centers Hit Hard in Syrian Missile, Artillery Attacks in Aleppo

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army's missile and artillery units opened heavy fire at the terrorist groups' concentration centers in Southwestern Aleppo, leaving scores of the militants dead or wounded.

Terrorist groups' positions in Khan Touman, al-Eis, al-Zerbeh, al-Qarasi, Khalseh, Zietan, Barneh, al-Hamireh and along Damascus-Aleppo highway were massively targeted by the Syrian missile and artillery units.

Terrorists suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian army and popular forces repelled offensives of Fatah al-Sham Front (newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists group previously known as al-Nusra Front) on government forces' strongholds in the Southern and Southwestern countryside of Aleppo city.

Fatah al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll and its military hardware sustained major damage in their unsuccessful offensive due to strong defense of Syrian government forces.

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Iran Unveils Home-Made Drone with Jamming Capability

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran on Monday unveiled a new home-made drone which is capable of jamming the enemies' communication systems.

The drone was displayed in an exhibition of the Iranian Ground Force's latest achievements in Tehran. Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan visited the exhibition on Monday.

In addition to the drone, other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with the capability of taking images and footages and jamming enemy drones' camera and surveillance systems as well as a drone equipped with destructive laser weapons were unveiled in the exhibition.

Also, in May, Iran had unveiled a new UAV which can be used for reconnaissance and combat operations.

The drone named 'Siraf' has a flying range of 100km and was unveiled during Beit ul-Muqaddas 28 wargames in the Central province of Isfahan at the time.

Siraf which is capable of taking images and real-time transfer of them has been built by students at the college of the Ground Force's artillery training center in Isfahan.

Also, in February, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) showed the newly-designed model of its longest-range drone, Shahed (Eye Witness) 129, during the annual rallies on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The new model whose features haven’t been revealed yet to the public is different from its predecessors, at least, in appearance. Yet, it could be said that the aircraft's nose has gone under some changes.

The Shahed 129, which was unveiled in September 2012, is capable of carrying out eight combat and reconnaissance missions for 24 hours and has a flying range of 2,000 km.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000734

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Senior Terrorist Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in Aleppo

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious field commander of Ahrar al-Sham was killed in heavy fighting with the Syrian Army troops and popular forces in the Southwestern countryside of Aleppo.

Abu Mohammad al-Sari and a number of his forces were killed in a tough battle in Aleppo city's districts.

Fierce clashes are underway near al-Hekmah school in Southwestern side of Aleppo city.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian army and popular forces repelled offensives of Fatah al-Sham Front (newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists group previously known as al-Nusra Front) on government forces' strongholds in the Southern and Southwestern countryside of Aleppo city.

Fatah al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll and its military hardware sustained major damage in their unsuccessful offensive due to strong defense of Syrian government forces.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000803

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Syrian Warplanes Bomb more Bases of ISIL in Hama

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian fighter jets launched heavy air attacks on ISIL's bases in Central Hama, inflicting major damage and casualties on the terrorists.

The Syrian army aircraft targeted ISIL's sites near the village of al-Mofaker al-Sharghiyeh al-Salamiyah region, ending in destruction of three bases and several military vehicles.

ISIL's centers in the village of Qalib al-Thowar were bombed by the Syrian fighter jets, while ISIL's vehicle were targeted by the Syrian army's missile units in Tabartt al-Dibeh in Southern side of Aqarib near al-Salamiyah.

In relevant developments on Saturday, Syrian warplanes targeted ISIL's gatherings in the Northern, Southern and Eastern parts of Hama province, inflicting tens of casualties on the militants.

ISIL's positions in al-Latamina, Morek and the village of Skeik in Northern Hama were massively bombed by the Syrian jets, while the Takfiri terrorists' strongholds in Hirbnafsa in Southern Hama and Kalib al-Thor near al-Salamiyah were also targeted by the Syrian bombers.

Scores of terrorists were killed or wounded and their equipment was also damaged in the attacks.

Syrian army missile units also destroyed to tactical vehicles of the ISIL in Tabarit al-Diba hill.

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Russia Confirms Mi-8 Helicopter Shot Down in Syria

August 1, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed one of its Mi-8 helicopters with five people on board has been shot down in Syria's Idlib province.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it began investigation on the fate of three crew members and two reconciliation center officers.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950511000932

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Mideast

Soldier’s testimony reveals how Gülenists lured recruits

August 1, 2016

A petty military official with Turkey’s Gendarmerie has described in his testimony to prosecutors in the southeastern province of Hakkari his links to the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), giving an account of the way the group recruits boys and young men to serve its goals.

The non-commissioned officer identified as S.A. described in prosecution documents over the July 15 failed coup attempt how he was approached by Gülenist students while in high school and went on to join the group at university before they instructed him to enlist in the military.

He was enlisted with the help of Gülenists who gave him the answers to the military entrance exam and eventually became a member of the technical intelligence staff involved in wiretapping in the weeks leading up to the December 2013 wiretapping scandal that shook Turkish politics.

S.A. told prosecutors how he was provided with four telephone numbers by his contact just a month before the scandal, which saw a number of ministers and officials close to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was Turkey’s prime minister at the time, accused of corruption in an investigation that was heavily reliant on wiretapping.

The government said FETÖ-linked police and prosecutors were behind the wiretapping inquiry, which targeted more than 7,000 people, in an effort to bring down the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

S.A. said he was posted to the intelligence department of the Gendarmerie Regimental Command in the Aegean province of İzmir when he carried out the eavesdropping.

Recalling his introduction to the group, S.A. said he was a high school student when he met a group of older university students.

“They offered to help with my school courses, saying they did not want any money in return.

“Later, I began to meet them regularly on Sundays at a house where we also prayed and read parts from Fethullah Gülen’s book ‘Eternal Light.’”

In his final year of high school he earned a scholarship at a private school to prepare for the university entrance examination. However, his Gülenist “brothers” persuaded him to cram for the exam at a FETÖ-linked school.

In 2006, he started a science degree and reunited with his Gülenist friends, who offered him accommodation. Over the next four years he lived in shared houses with the “brothers.”

“A number of students who had financial problems and needed a place for accommodation preferred those houses of the parallel state [FETÖ],” he said.

S.A. said those houses never had televisions or the Internet and students were banned from smoking, drinking alcohol or having girlfriends. He later became his house’s “imam” and would meet others weekly to discuss Gülen’s messages.

He and his fellow students were encouraged to vote for the AKP and said they were directly instructed to vote in favor of the changes offered to Turkey’s constitution in a 2010 referendum.

The instructions were part of a rigid system demanding complete obedience, he added. It was this obedience that saw him move out of FETÖ-linked housing in his final year at university to stay with friends.

“It was an order to obey,” he said. “I also bought a new phone with a new number.”

Cutting obvious ties to other FETÖ members could be seen as preparation to adopt a clandestine cover and hide any ties to the group.

hurriyetdailynews.com/soldiers-testimony-reveals-how-gulenists-lured-recruits.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102326&NewsCatID=341

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Gülenist cleanse launched in Turkish Football Federation

August 1, 2016

Members of the Turkish Football Federation’s (TFF) affiliated boards have resigned for “security checks” amid a wide-ranging state investigation into the July 15 failed coup attempt, the federation has said in a statement.

The TFF also said it shared information with relevant state institutions about all its employees, competition organizers and the chairmen and members of its 11 affiliated boards.

So far, more than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service, academia, media and other sectors have been detained, suspended or placed under investigation over suspected links with a U.S.-based Islamic scholar Turkey accuses of orchestrating the failed coup.

Turkey had demanded the U.S. extradite Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, for leading the coup attempt and building a “parallel state” organization infiltrating into several state bodies.

The impact of Gülen on Turkish football has been an issue since the start of a broad match-fixing probe in 2011.

Zekeriya Öz, a former prosecutor who was decorated with special authorizations, launched the probe, which mainly focused on Fenerbahçe, along with several other clubs. Öz, who was also in charge in the Ergenekon coup attempt case, is now at large to avoid prosecution for his links to Gülenists.

Hüseyin Gülerce, a former Gülen aide, said during an interview on CNN Türk on July 31 that the rigging case was launched to “eliminate” Aziz Yıldırdım, the Fenerbahçe president, a claim that is also embraced by Yıldırım himself.

Yıldırım was first sentenced to jail in 2012 and fined 1.3 million Turkish Liras ($560,000) for forming a criminal group and engaging in match-fixing during the 2010-2011 season. He served around one year behind bars before being freed pending a retrial.

The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court later issued a unanimous ruling that acquitted Yıldırım.

“Aziz Yıldırım was annoyed by a friend’s remarks over Gülen during a plane trip. Then, that friend told the issue to Gülen, who got angry with this. This is why the rigging operation was launched. They did not want Yıldırım’s negative thoughts about Gülen to be dominant in the largest club in Turkey,” Gülerce said.

Meanwhile, a three-month state of emergency will not affect Turkish football matches, TFF President Yıldırım Demirören said last week.

“All international and local sports events will continue as planned,” Demirören said in a July 28 statement.

“As the TFF, we are totally supporting this stance and have already hosted a game in Ankara, Osmanlıspor-Zimbru in the UEFA Europa League, without any issues.”     

“I would like to announce once again that all matches in our leagues from the top division to the lowest tier amateur are being played without any issues,” he said.

“This same approach will also be applied for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and all other international matches.”     

Turkey’s top two football divisions start on Aug. 19, with the lower league season commencing on Sept. 3.

hurriyetdailynews.com/gulenist-cleanse-launched-in-turkish-football-federation.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102321&NewsCatID=361

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Two ex-sergeants reveal FETÖ link behind their dismissal

August 1, 2016

The dismissals of two former staff sergeants after a probe carried out into uncorroborated allegations that they were “having group sex and drinking alcohol” in 2012 have revealed the extent of the outlawed Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members’ powerful and organized nesting inside the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which is now planned to go through a major civil overhaul.

Mehmet Çakır, 28, and Erhan Yılmaz, 27, then stationed at the Çiğli 2nd Main Jet Air Base Commandership in the Aegean province of İzmir, were first suspended and then dismissed after they forcibly signed a statement record stating that the two had engaged in actions regarded as “immoral and undisciplined” by allegedly “having 600 girlfriends, having group sex and using drugs in their private life.”

“They have nested into the 2nd Main Jet Air Base, and we have fallen into this nest. Our last five years are gone. They have erased everything during ages when perhaps we would have gotten married and engaged in life,” said the two, adding that FETÖ-linked officers carried out a probe into the base’s young commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

“A commissioned and non-commissioned officer intelligence personnel said: ‘We will ask you some questions with the authority given by the Air Force commander. Do not lie.’ They interrogated us after keeping us waiting for four hours in a room. In the interrogation they posed allegations saying, ‘You have 600 girlfriends. You are having group sex. You are using drugs in your personal life.’ As we entered [the room] some half an hour after, there was a statement record in front of us. It contained the allegations against us. I said, ‘I am not signing it.’ They called a staff colonel and he said, ‘You will sign it or I will get you dismissed for disobedience,’” said the sergeants, adding that they signed the record and were later suspended for months until they were called and told of their dismissal.

“Since we did not conclude 10 years [of military service], we were also levied a debt worth 23,000 Turkish Liras. We appealed to the Military High Administrative Court but were rejected and later found out that there were judges linked to FETÖ there too,” said the men, who are now pursuing their education at Turkey’s prestigious Middle East Technical University in Ankara, studying mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering.

hurriyetdailynews.com/two-ex-sergeants-reveal-feto-link-behind-their-dismissal-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102325&NewsCatID=341

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Just three, four people cannot restructure state: CHP leader

August 1, 2016

The restructuring of the state in the wake of the failed July 15 coup attempt cannot be conducted by just “three or four people,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, suggesting that parliament must oversee the issue.

“If this state is all of ours … The place to restructure this state should be parliament, which is chosen by the votes of the nation. The fact that three or four people are restructuring the state without talking and consulting anyone is unacceptable,” Kılıçdaroğlu told Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan.

Kılıçdaroğlu also stated that his party supported the restructuring and civilianization of the army.

“The restructuring of the army is a must. However, this cannot be done with action and reaction, hate and distrust. It is something to be done with knowledge and accumulation. Culture and traditions [must be] regarded. This cannot be done by waking up one morning and saying, ‘This will be done in this way from now on.’ We have to sit down and discuss these matters together. Parliament cannot be bypassed,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, warning that such an approach could create new dangers for Turkey.

Meanwhile, the CHP leader also said Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım should have informed other parties regarding the recent restructuring process.

Sidelining political parties and trade unions in the process will poison the positive atmosphere that emerged after July 15 and could be perceived as a move to take advantage of the coup attempt, he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu added that he also informed Parliamentary Speaker İsmail Kahraman about the party’s concerns over the issue.

In line with the latest state of emergency decree law published in the Official Gazette on July 31, the Turkish army will be subjected to a series of changes in a number of fields, including its service commands, educational and health institutions and the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the move should be considered as part of a larger restructuring process that includes other aspects of the state and the judiciary.

hurriyetdailynews.com/just-three-four-people-cannot-restructure-state-chp-leader.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102322&NewsCatID=338

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11 soldiers linked to Erdoğan hotel attack captured

August 1, 2016

A total of 11 soldiers who were involved in an attempt to either capture or kill President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the night of the failed July 15 coup attempt have been captured in the southern resort of Marmaris.

An operation to capture the 11 was conducted in Şirinköy Village in the Ula district by gendarmerie forces, who clashed with rogue soldiers late on July 31. There were no reports of casualties.      

Muğla Gov. Amir Çiçek told Anadolu Agency that Major Şükrü Seymen, the alleged commander of the fugitive soldiers, was among nine suspects detained late on July 31.

In addition, two more soldiers involved in the attack on Erdoğan were also captured in the morning hours of Aug. 1.

The soldiers were identified as Mustafa Serdar Özay and Muammer Gözübüyük, according to an official. However, there was another soldier reported to be missing who had earlier left the group.

On July 25, seven other fugitive soldiers were captured during operations.

Over 20 suspected members of the military squad involved in the attack – who are believed to have been ordered to capture or kill Erdoğan during the coup attempt blamed on U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen – were previously remanded in custody to face trial.     

Erdoğan told the nation on live television during the coup attempt that he had narrowly escaped an attack on his life when the hotel in Marmaris where he was staying was bombed just 15 minutes after he left.

hurriyetdailynews.com/11-soldiers-linked-to-erdogan-hotel-attack-captured.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102318&NewsCatID=341

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Turkish PM to meet two opposition leaders

August 1, 2016

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will meet with two opposition leaders on Aug. 1, marking the second such meeting in two weeks since the July 15 failed coup attempt.

The premier will meet with main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at 2 p.m., followed by a meeting with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli at 3:30 p.m.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-to-meet-two-opposition-leaders.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102320&NewsCatID=338

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Turkey’s functioning market economy passes democracy test

August 1, 2016

The Turkish economy has proven its resilience by displaying a normal reaction to an extraordinary development like the July 15 attempted coup, according to Professor Güven Sak, the head of TEPAV, a think tank based in Ankara.

Turkey cannot afford to be authoritarian as its high current account deficit is financed by the instruments of Western markets, meaning Turkey needs the rule of law to maintain its current state of welfare, he said.

When you look at Turkey currently, what is the picture you see?

Turkey has gone through a terrible incident. The Turkish economy had its own problems, but now we had a negative external shock, meaning it is not part of the dynamics of the economy itself. We are still in an extraordinary period. There was a clear and present danger for Turkish democracy and the rule of law.

Although we had problems, this has shown us that more terrible things could have happened. The important issue is to get through this period as quickly as possible and to normalize things as much as possible. This extraordinary situation should not become the new normal.

That requires first of all taking measures to eliminate all elements of this clear and present danger to our way of life.

How did the economy react to the failed coup?

It reacted in a normal way. First of all, there was this swing toward foreign exchange.  The lira depreciated; there were negative developments in the stock exchange as would have happened in any functioning market economy. When the lira depreciated to a certain level, there is always a kind of a tendency toward selling dollars. So up until now I have seen ordinary things happening in the Turkish money markets.

Turkish officials said ordinary citizens sold their dollars to support the government.

They acted with an animal spirit – that is, to maximize their profits and that’s good because this only shows that things are getting normal. It is a functioning market economy and people learned it and acted accordingly. Saying that people did this out of altruistic behavior might sound good, but doing things because of animal spirits is also good.

Is it normal to react normally to an extraordinary situation?

We are much more prepared for these big events happening in Turkey. There is robust growth in the Turkish economy, and it has been resilient despite the fact we had four elections in the last two years, a war on the southern front, a serious domestic security situation in the southeast, ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] bombings. That’s one reason why Turkey analysts that are living outside the country failed.

You are alluding to S&P’s reaction.

That and all those young portfoli managers. We are much more accustomed to having a functioning market economy. The fundamentals of the Turkish economy are strong. We are one of two countries in this region where the ballot box has been doing its job amid a fairly functioning rule of law structure.

But it is important for us to explain what happened in Turkey on July 15. It’s like we were on the edge of democracy; we looked down and we did not like what we saw so we reacted. That’s a story that needs to be told instead of accusations by talking about plots against Turkey. We have internalized the market economy, and this needs to be explained. Of course, we have some problems with the economy and some homework to do. In the last two or three years, we have created problems in terms of the rule of law, and our judicial system needs to be strengthened.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise to deal with the strutural problems. It is good that we have a consensus in the parliament to deal with our problems. For some time, we have not done anything in terms of structural reforms. This external shock to the economy shouldn’t lead to a decline in state capacity. We should strengthen state capacity; in other words, the ability to deliver results. Although the economy is robust, and compared to the world, it is not that bad, the growth rate, productivity and levels of foreign direct investments are too low, and Turks also are not investing in Turkey; this needs to be changed. Neither foreigners nor Turks are investing in the future of Turkey, and it is very much related to the rule of law.

And I don’t think we have time to wait for the end of a reform process in order to harvest the fruits.

We need a more front-loaded process whereby we don’t have to wait until the end to see the result. The EU process provides that mechanism; if we do these reforms within the EU framework, it will provide credibility. So engagement with the EU has become even more important after July 15.

There are concerns that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will use this occasion to consolidate his authoritarian rule. Are these concerns baseless?

They are baseless. The plans are to target the 2019 elections when will see three elections. The prime minister said there will not be early elections and I don’t think there will be a constitutional referendum as the consensus that emerged in the parliament after the coup is going to be consolidated. The current purge that is now needed is related to the coup attempt. There was a clear and present danger to democracy and Turkey needs to clean the bureaucratic structure.

Yes, but there has also been an outcry about the detention of certain names believed to have had nothing to do with the coup.

That’s what I mean with the capacity to deliver. Those who are preparing the plans for the purge to turn to normality need to take into account possible mishaps that might happen along the way. That’s why you have to have strong institutions.

You are talking about the EU process but the president is talking about the death penalty.

That was said at the spur of the moment, although discussions on the issue are still continuing.

Many of our friends and allies focus on the declaration on the death penalty rather than what happened on July 15, and we need to explain to them what happened. They have to understand what that meant; it was a terrible ordeal.

Some might think that the rapprochement with Russia that has gained speed after July 15 and the failed coup indicates another sign of Turkey sliding into authoritarianism.

It is not possible for Turkey to be an authoritarian state with limited rule of law. Turkey is not Russia because we do not have natural resources. Turkey is an industrial country. Eighty to 85 percent of our exports are industrial products. Twenty-five to 30 percent of industrial exports in this region from Russia to the Middle East come from Turkey. This is the only way we can survive and maintain this level of GDP per capita.

And Turkey is not like China either. China is an industrial economy and they have a different rule of law structure, but it is not a democracy. China has a very high current account surplus whereas Turkey has a very high current account deficit that needs to be financed by the savings of others and the largest market is the U.S. dollar market. That requires a minimal level of the rule of law.

So the realities of the economy dictate that Turkey must be a democracy?

Yes, the current account deficit that we have is our major link to the West and that is a good thing.

Any leader who would like to change this arrangement has to agree that the GDP per capita level will return to 3,000 U.S. dollars – a lower level of welfare. Can any leader afford that in a country like ours where the ballot box has worked since the 1950s?

How do you think the relations with the West will develop after July 15?

The stability of Turkey is very important for the Western world. Anything that destabilizes Turkey is bad for the West. This is much more important than the disability in other countries in the region, including Syria.

The 20th century was about the integration of China into the global system and the 21st century is going to be about the integration of the Muslim world into the global system. That’s why this de-radicalization is the most important thing that needs to be done in this century and Turkey has a fundamental role to play.

We are not the leaders of the Shiite world, and we are not the leaders of the Sunni world. What Turkey can offer is the secularism that has developed in this country.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-functioning-market-economy-passes-democracy-test.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102306&NewsCatID=344

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Top Turkish, American soldiers to meet in person after coup attempt

July/31/2016

The top Turkish and American soldiers are set for their first face-to-face meeting since the July 15 failed coup attempt amid tension between the two NATO allies over the latter’s suspected role in the coup attempt. 

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford and Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will meet on Aug. 1 at the Turkish military headquarters in Ankara after the U.S. commander’s visit to İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana on late July 31. Dunford was expected to meet U.S. troops stationed at the base fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Akar and Dunford have held two phone conversation since the coup attempt to set things right, particularly at İncirlik, which was closed for a couple of days after the attempt, as well regarding U.S. flights over Syria.

Dunford’s visit comes only two weeks after Turkey narrowly escaped a coup organized by high-ranking Gülenist military officers and days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed a ranking U.S. military authority over remarks expressing concern about the ongoing fight against ISIL after massive purges in the Turkish army.

Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, which leads the ISIL fight, said in a conference in Aspen on July 28: “We’ve certainly had relationships with a lot of Turkish leaders and military leaders in particular, so I’m concerned about what the impact is on those relationships. Some of them are in jail now.”

“The U.S. general [Votel] stands on the coup plotters’ side with his words. He disclosed himself via his statements,” Erdoğan said on July 29, after a series of strong statements issued by members of the Turkish government against Votel. Immediately after Erdoğan’s words, Votel rejected the claims, saying, “Any reporting that I had anything to do with the recent unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey is unfortunate and completely inaccurate.”

Dunford’s visit will play an important role in putting military-to-military ties back on track after two weeks of turbulence, as some Turkish officials and pro-government newspapers have continued to accuse the U.S. of orchestrating the coup attempt through a Gülenist faction in the army, while U.S. officials have categorically denied these claims.

The two generals were expected to discuss ways to conduct damage control in the ties between the two militaries and particularly to ensure the continuation of effective joint action against ISIL, while also reviewing the current state of developments in Syria and Iraq.

hurriyetdailynews.com/top-turkish-american-soldiers-to-meet-in-person-after-coup-attempt-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102302&NewsCatID=510

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Council of Europe head to visit Turkey

August 1, 2016

The chief of the Council of Europe arrive in Turkey on Aug. 3 for meetings with officials and opposition leaders, the council said on July 31.     

Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland's comes after Turkey suspended the European Convention on Human Rights, which is reinforced by the council's European Court of Human Rights, following the July 15 coup attempt.      

Jagland is due to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ as well as party leaders, the council said in a statement.     

The suspension of the convention came a day after Turkey declared a state of emergency on July 20. Article 15 allows states to suspend certain rights guaranteed by the convention during a public emergency threatening the nation. 

hurriyetdailynews.com/council-of-europe-head-to-visit-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102319&NewsCatID=351

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Africa

Syrian arrested for attempting to bring 9 Trinidadians to ISIL

August 1, 2016

A court in the southern province of Adana ordered the arrest of a Syrian citizen on Aug. 1 for transferring nine Trinidadian citizens to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group.

Police teams followed and stopped a light commercial vehicle at the entrance to the province in an operation, detaining 10 suspects inside, nine of whom were Trinidadian citizens.

A Syrian citizen identified as Asem H. was carrying the Trinidadian citizens to Syria to join ISIL, according to his testimony.

Asem H. was later arrested by the court after his proceedings at the police station.

Meanwhile, the nine Trinidadian citizens were also referred to the Adana Immigration Authority Directorate for deportation.

Turkey has been on high alert after being rocked by a series of suicide and car bomb attacks that have claimed many lives and wounded hundreds which have been claimed by the jihadist group.

On June 28, at least 44 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in a suicide bomb attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport blamed on the jihadist group.

hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-arrested-for-attempting-to-bring-9-trinidadians-to-isil.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102324&NewsCatID=509

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DRC: Seven dead in clashes with Ugandan rebels, army says

August 1,2016

Seven people were killed in clashes early Sunday morning between the Congolese army supported by UN peacekeepers and Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Oicha, in the east of DRC.

“Clashes between FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the ADF have resulted in three dead among the assailants, two FARDC soldiers and two civilians were killed including a teacher,” Lieutenant Mak Hazukay, spokesman of the army in the region told AFP on Sunday.

“An FARDC soldier and peacekeeper are seriously injured,” the officer added saying the clashes ensued after the army responded to an ADF attack late Saturday.

The ADF is a group of Ugandan Muslim rebels present in the eastern DRC since 1995. They are accused by the Congolese government and the UN mission, MONUSCO, for several killings in the region.

africanews.com/2016/07/31/drc-seven-dead-in-clashes-with-ugandan-rebels-army-says/

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Egypt Court upholds 1-year jail ruling for Islam researcher

01.08.2016

An Egyptian court has confirmed a one-year prison term for a former TV host who was convicted of “defaming religious symbols” and Muslim scholars after he called for removal of what he described as “extremist material” in texts of religious interpretation and heritage.

The court of appeals upheld the March sentence Sunday for Islam Behery, a researcher on Islamic heritage who hosted a TV show discussing religious texts.

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He’s a vocal advocate for religious reforms and often argued that some texts of interpretation by historic Islamic scholars — including ones upheld and revered by Al-Azhar, the pre-eminent seat of Sunni scholarship — contain passages that promote extremism.

The ruling is the latest in a rash of cases cracking down on freedom of expression in the Arab world’s most populous country.

today.ng/news/africa/160736/egypt-court-upholds-1-year-jail-ruling-islam-researcher

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia to Build an International Islamic University to Promote ‘Moderate Islam’

01 Aug 2016

Jakarta, GIVnews.com – President Joko ‘Jokowi’Widodo had signed a plan to make Indonesia a world’s center for Islamic studies. Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims in the world.

For that plan to materialize, the government will build a new university called Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII), the President said on Saturday (30/7). It can be translated as the International Islamic University of Indonesia.

Through the study center, as shared by the President, people from around the world could learn about ‘moderate Islam’ as exemplified by Indonesia.

The President disclosed his plan when delivering a speech to mark the opening of the 26th National Quran Recital Competition (MTQ). The bi-annual event took place at the Islamic Center in the West Nusa Tenggara provincial capital of Mataram, as reported by Detik.com.

He said, “The time has now come for Indonesia to become a source for the Muslim world’s thinking, a source for the Muslim world to learn. Other countries should also see and learn about Islam in Indonesia because Islam in Indonesia has become like a patented drug recipe, which is a moderate Islam. We see that other countries are still seeking such a formula.” But the detik.com report did not explicitly say the exact time when the new university will be built.

As much as 75 percent of the university’s students are planned to be foreigners, said Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Syaifuddin. The Indonesian government will pay their tuition fees, the minister said on Saturday as reported by Kompas.com.

Minister Lukman argued that that by financing their schooling at UIII, the government can expect the foreigners to act as ‘ambassadors’ for Indonesia. They will expectedly tell people in their respective countries about the values of Islam that are upheld and practiced in Indonesia.

Indonesia is currently home to 250 million people, of whom 87 percent are Muslims.

It has long been recognized as a relatively moderate Muslim country. Many of its leaders claim that it is the most tolerant Muslim-majority in the world. This is in spite of the rising number of violent attacks on religious minorities in some areas in the past decade. Those attacks were mostly less damaging as compared with religious conflicts in other countries, Indonesian officials said.

Over the years, many Muslim groups in Indonesia have sought to establish an Islamic state, but their aspiration was opposed by the majority of its Islamic population. Largest Islam-based social organizations like Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) also rejected that idea, citing that Pancasila (Five Principles) state philosophy is the only basis of the nation’s state and civic life.

globalindonesianvoices.com/27304/indonesia-to-build-an-international-islamic-university-to-promote-moderate-islam/

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Religious Violence Indonesia: Buddhist Temples Tanjung Balai Damaged

01 August 2016

Tanjung BalaiReligious ViolenceEthnic ViolenceBuddhismSocial MediaNorth SumatraIslamViolence

Religious violence and intolerance flared up in Indonesia's North Sumatra over the weekend when an angry Muslim mob burned down (or damaged) 12 Buddhist temples in Tanjung Balai. According to local authorities the mob was mobilized after an Indonesian woman of Chinese descent complained about the loud volume of the calls to prayer and Koranic recitals at the mosque that is situated in front of her house. One day later, seven people were detained by Indonesian police on suspicion of attacking the temples.

Local authorities say that provocateurs on social media seriously aggravated the situation. Allegedly, the angry mob mobilized after there emerged stories on social media that the Chinese woman threw items at the mosque and managed to interrupt the prayers. However, South Tanjung Balai sub-district head Pahala Zulfikar says these stories are not true and were only aimed at aggravating the situation. A police unit will now investigate who these provocateurs were.

The temple attacks occurred on Saturday (30/07). One day later, the situation was reportedly conducive as Indonesian police and military stepped up security at Buddhist temples to prevent similar attacks. There were no reports of any casualties or injuries in these incidents.

Indonesia is a Muslim-majority nation where most Muslims practice a moderate form of Islam. However, there the country also has a long history of religious violence. Every year there are sporadic attacks on churches, temples or certain streams within Islam (for example the Ahmadiyyah). Indonesia also has a history of anti-Chinese violence (this violence was particularly harsh during the chaotic early days of the Asian Financial Crisis). Most of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese community practice Buddhism.

There exist negative sentiments toward the ethnic Chinese minority in Indonesia because they are considered outsiders (even though most Chinese families have been living in Indonesia for generations) and are perceived as rich. However, only a small minority within the ethnic Chinese minority have managed to establish grand business empires. Despite Buddhist temples being attacked, local authorities emphasize that the incidents in Tanjung Balai over the weekend are not related to anti-Chinese sentiments.

In response to the incidents in Tanjung Balai, Indonesia's second-biggest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah, emphasized the importance of greater religious and racial tolerance in North Sumatra.

indonesia-investments.com/news/todays-headlines/religious-violence-indonesia-buddhist-temples-tanjung-balai-damaged/item7056

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Couples caned in Indonesia's Aceh for sex out of wedlock

August 1,2016

Jakarta - Three young couples were publicly caned in Indonesia's sharia-ruled Aceh province on Monday after being found guilty of having sex out of wedlock, an official said.

The couples, aged between 18 and 25, were brought to a public stage in the provincial capital Banda Aceh and given 20, 14 and 13 lashes respectively by masked officers dressed in flowing robes, said Yusnardi, the head of the sharia police in Aceh.

"They were guilty of violating sharia law on the illicit mixing of the sexes," he said.

Illicit sex is punishable by up to 100 lashes of the cane, or 100 months in prison under Aceh’s Islamic criminal code, which was passed in 2014.

The law also bans gambling, alcohol consumption and being alone with someone of the opposite sex while unmarried.

In April, a 60-year-old Christian woman was caned in public in Aceh for selling alcoholic beverages, despite the fact that the Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims.

Officials said she elected to be punished under sharia because she was too old to serve time in prison.

Aceh is the only Indonesian province allowed to impose sharia as part of the central government’s attempts to appease desires for independence.

Jakarta signed a peace agreement with separatist rebels in 2005,ending decades of conflict that killed more than 15,000 people.

nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Couples-caned-in-Indonesias-Aceh-for-sex-out-of-we-30291874.html

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America

Trump Cites Own 'Sacrifices' in Response to Muslim War Hero Father

Monday, 01 Aug 2016

Donald Trump sparked bipartisan backlash after the Republican attacked the bereaved parents of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who spoke at the Democratic convention last week.

Critics from both parties  questioned whether Trump had the empathy and understanding to be president, particularly after he questioned why mourning mother Ghazala Khan stayed silent during her husband's Thursday night address.

Top Republican leaders in Congress released statements on Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Capt. Khan's sacrifice, but did not directly address Trump.

"Captain Khan was an American hero, and like all Americans, I’m grateful for the sacrifices that selfless young men like Capt. Khan and their families have made in the war on terror," McConnell said. "All Americans should value the patriotic service of the patriots who volunteer to selflessly defend us in the armed services."

House Speaker Paul Ryan also weighed in, saying, "America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it. Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice - and that of Khizir and Ghazala Kahn - should always be honored. Period."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush added his criticism, tweeting that “This is so incredibly disrespectful of a family that endured the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Meanwhile, many in social media have contrasted the sharp difference in tone to Trump that President George W. Bush took in 2005 after Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan held a protest on Bush's ranch in Texas demanding a meeting with the president on what she considered his failed Iraq policy, The Hill reports.

Bush responded by saying, “I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan. … She has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position And I've thought long and hared about her position,.... which is to get out of Iraq now....but it would be a mistake for the security of this country....if we were to do so."

Trump's vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, issued a statement late Sunday.

"Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American," Pence said in his statement, according to Politico. "Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror."

Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich joined in the criticism of Trump's statements, tweeting:

Kasich's tweet was re-tweeted by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule," Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine said after a campaign event in Pittsburgh. "It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don't have any more sense of empathy than that, then I'm not sure you can learn it."

Former President Bill Clinton, who joined his wife and Kaine at the event, agreed: "I cannot conceive how you can say that about a Gold Star mother."

Lawyer Khizr Khan gave a moving tribute to their son, Humayun, who received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004. During the speech, Khan's wife, Ghazala, stood quietly by his side, wearing a headscarf.

"If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me," Trump said, in an interview with ABC's "This Week."

Ghazala Khan has said she didn't speak because she's still overwhelmed by her grief and can't even look at photos of her son without crying.

Trump also disputed Khan's criticism that the billionaire businessman has "sacrificed nothing and no one" for his country.

"I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures," Trump said.

Trump's comments sparked immediate outrage on social media, including from Republican strategists, who criticized Trump both for attacking a mourning mother and because many considered them racist and anti-Muslim.

The fight intensified Sunday with an angry tweet from Trump and an emotional interview from the soldier's father on CNN.

In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Khizr Khan said people are rightfully upset with the GOP nominee's attack on Khan's wife, Ghazala, calling it the "height of… ignorance."

Trump's remarks show he's"totally unfit for the leadership of this beautiful country," Khan said. "The world is receiving us like we have never seen. They have seen the blackness of his character, of his soul, that he is void of recognizing, empathizing with people."

Khan tells CNN he "appreciates" Trump's later response praising Khan's hero son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004.

But in an interview late Saturday with the Washington Post, Khan called the Trump statement "fake empathy."

"What he said originally, that defines him," he tells the Post. He showed his true colors when he disrespected this country's most honorable mother," calling Trump's remarks "typical of a person without a soul."

"Only those parents that have lost their son or daughter could imagine the pain that such a memory causes," he tells the Post, adding: "What has caused this stir is how those words have strengthened the hearts of people."

Hillary Clinton told voters gathered in a Youngstown gymnasium late Saturday: "Donald Trump is not a normal presidential candidate. Somebody who attacks everybody has something missing."

Special:

"He attacked the distinguished father of a soldier who sacrificed himself for his unit, Captain Khan," she said. "I think it is fair to say he is temperamentally unfit and unqualified."

Late Saturday night, Trump released a statement calling Humayun Khan "a hero" but disputing his father's characterization.

"While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things," said Trump.

Trump's comments about Khan came a day after he criticized retired four-star Gen. John Allen and slammed a Colorado Springs, Colorado, fire marshal for capping attendance at the event. The fire marshal, Brett Lacey, was recently honored by the city as "Civilian of the Year" for his role in helping the wounded at a 2015 mass shooting at a local Planned Parenthood.

"Our commander in chief shouldn't insult and deride our generals, retired or otherwise," Clinton told a crowd gathered Saturday on a factory floor in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Clinton has used the days following her convention to try and win back some of the white working class voters that once made up a key piece of the Democratic Party's electoral coalition. Trump's anti-trade message has appealed to those voters, who feel frustrated with an economic recovery that's largely left them behind.

While Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, attempted to sell their positive economic message, much of their strategy centers on undermining Trump, particularly the business record that makes up the core of his argument to voters.

Trump has made plans to visit some of the same areas Clinton is campaigning in during her three-day bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania, scheduling Monday stops in Columbus and Cleveland.

newsmax.com/Headline/trump-sacrifices-muslim-war/2016/07/31/id/741374/

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NEW AD CAMPAIGN PINS PAUL RYAN AS PRO-MUSLIM REFUGEE

Monday, 01 Aug 2016

An immigration watchdog group hopes to repeat the successful campaign that helped unseat Eric Cantor in 2014 by launching a similar ad targeting House Speaker Paul Ryan, highlighting his support for President Obama’s executive amnesty decrees, sanctuary cities for illegals and Syrian refugee resettlement programs.

The ad by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC hammers “Lyin Paul Ryan” for his leading role in negotiating a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill that fully funded Obama’s amnesty plans, sanctuary cities, and expanded refugee program.

While at the same time he was talking publicly against Syrian refugees, Ryan was working behind the scenes to round up the votes to fully fund Obama’s plans to increase the total influx of refugees from 70,000 to 85,000 this year and 100,000 next year. The refugees will come from countries throughout the Third World, including 10,000 this year from Syria, a country infested with jihadists fighting for ISIS, al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida and other religious fanatics trying to bring down secular dictator Bashar Assad. Another 7,500 or more will come from the America-hating Somalia, about 5,000 more from Afghanistan and at least 10,000 from Iraq. Even the Buddhist-majority country of Burma is offloading its Muslim population to the United States, with thousands per year coming from that country.

The ALIPAC ad campaign is modeled after its “Thank Eric Cantor” automated call campaign in 2014 that was broadcast into GOP households via automated calls and radio ads. ALIPAC’s messages and efforts were part of the historic defeat of Cantor, the former Republican House majority leader from Virginia who supported amnesty for illegals. Cantor was defeated in the GOP primary by Dave Brat, R-Va.

ALIPAC launched the campaign against Ryan Friday via automated calls, radio ads planned for talk radio stations in Wisconsin and a YouTube video that activists are being asked to watch and circulate.

The Wisconsin primary is Aug. 9 with Ryan squaring off against businessman Paul Nehlen.

Another immigration watchdog, NumbersUSA president Roy Beck, has called Ryan’s stance on immigration “terrifying.” And that stance isn’t about to change, despite any political rhetoric to the contrary, because open borders are embedded in Ryan’s “ideological DNA,” Beck said.

“There’s nobody in the Republican Party who could be worse than Paul Ryan,” Beck told Breitbart last fall when Ryan was being drafted for the Speakership. “He has spent his entire adulthood ideologically connected to the open borders crowd. Open Borders is in his ideological DNA. That’s the terrifying thing. He’s an ideologue and his spent his whole life working for ideologues. Open borders seeps out of every pore of his being. This isn’t personal, it’s just who he is.”

Nehlen is a successful and flamboyant businessman who sports tattoos, rides a motorcycle and drives a dump truck through the district painted with his campaign slogan, “Dump Ryan.” He says Ryan has betrayed Wisconsin and America by agreeing to fully fund President Obama’s immigration plan and Obamacare while championing the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

On his website, Nehlen lists his top three priorities as follows:

• Reclaim Wisconsin’s 1st District for We The People

• Stop Paul Ryan’s Cronyism & Corruption

• Secure Our Borders & Enforce Existing Immigration Laws

 

Nehlen says on his website he is against secret trade deals, including the pending Trans Pacific Partnership, which water down U.S. sovereignty and make war on the middle class.

Some big names have lined up behind Nehlen, including Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin and border hawk Ann Coulter.

Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, used the term “Cantored” to describe the push to replace Ryan. This is a reference to the stunning upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia in 2014.

ALIPAC’s first calls have already launched, with 20 to 25 volunteers taking to the phones.

“Ryan is spending millions while lying his butt off to conservatives,” Gheen said. “This is the same strategy used by McCain, Lindsey Graham, and many others. It saved McCain six years ago when he spent millions and lied about his true immigration positon and it was so disappointing to see so many people in Arizona vote for him again when they should understand who he is. And once you go amnesty you never come back. We have never seen a politician honestly be on the wrong side of that issue and then transition to the right side. We’ve seen them back off for a while, but then they always come back. All we’ve seen is lies, lies, lies from Paul Ryan.”

The ad points out that Paul Ryan is Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s ally on immigration.

He is also the ally of Clinton’s globalist vice-presidential running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Kaine said they would pass amnesty within the first 100 days of a Clinton presidency and the reason that would happen was the Democrat’s secret weapon – Paul Ryan.

As the Washington Times reported:

“A new Clinton administration would pursue a bill to legalize illegal immigrants in ‘the first 100 days’ of her tenure, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told Spanish-language network Telemundo in an interview Monday… [Kaine] said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will lead the GOP to embrace legalization.

“He’s on their side,” Gheen told WND. “And yet he’s placing mailers all over his district saying he’s for cracking down on illegal immigration and tightening the borders. He’s making himself out to seem like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, border hawk Paul Ryan, secure the border. He’s a serial liar and traitor to the people of the United States. He has the same job Obama has, and that is to lie to America and to sell out America. That’s what they’re paid for, that’s why they’re in their positions of power.

“We’ve been the ones who have brought the giants down in the past. It doesn’t always work but you’ve got to throw the rock. Today we’re throwing the rock. We need volunteers and donors to go after Paul Ryan with everything we’ve got to muster.”

The most important battle ground in America today is the first district in Wisconsin and its 16-year incumbent, Gheen said. Yet, many Wisconsin conservatives still haven’t figured out that Ryan is a notorious open-borders zealot.

“He’s been up there forever,” Gheen said. “There are some hardcore conservatives who have been voting for Paul Ryan for a long time and they love him and they don’t understand what he really stands for. Our main message is that Paul Ryan is paying for and helping Obama transplant dangerous Muslims into your area.”

“These conservatives who say they like their Paul Ryan and they voted for him so many times before, they don’t realize they’re helping him pump in hundreds of Islamic terrorists right there into their own cities and towns as well as enough illegals that you won’t be able to get a Republican elected as dogcatcher in a few years,” Gheen said. “And everything for these refugees and illegals is paid for by the U.S. taxpayer including their housing, their medical expenses, their education, their Internet access and their cellphone.”

Anyone interested in helping make these calls to defeat Paul Ryan should contact WilliamG@alipac.us.

ALIPAC is also asking for donations to help fund the automated calls and radio ads against Paul Ryan so the message can reach at least 25,000 GOP households in Wisconsin’s 1st district.

wnd.com/2016/07/new-ad-campaign-pins-paul-ryan-as-pro-muslim-refugee/

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Hillary Clinton in Ohio defends family of Muslim-American soldier

July 31, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said during a campaign stop here Sunday that her GOP rival Donald Trump poses a "serious threat" to American democracy.

Clinton told supporters gathered here it's up to "all of us" to repudiate Trump's hateful attacks, citing his recent remarks toward the family of a U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq.

Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine spoke to an estimated 5,000 supporters outside the Fort Hayes education center on the city's north side.

People waited hours in 85-degree heat -- Clinton arrived 90 minutes late -- and several were taken out by emergency personnel on stretchers. But the crowd re-energized when blue buses with the words "Stronger Together" rolled up.

The Columbus stop was the last a three-day post-convention bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio. On Sunday morning, Clinton addressed parishioners at Imani Temple Ministries in Cleveland Heights.

Here are a few highlights from the Sunday event.

Clinton defended family of slain soldier

Clinton ended her speech Sunday with a nod to Humayun Khan, a Muslim American who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Khan's father Khizr Khan shared his story during the Democratic National Convention and, at one point, pulled a pocket Constitution from his jacket and questioned whether Trump ever read it.

In response, Trump said he has made sacrifices in business, and criticized Ghazala Khan for standing next to her husband without saying a word. Ghazala Khan, in an op-ed published Sunday in the Washington Post, said talking about her son's death is still difficult 12 years later.

Trump fired back on Sunday, saying he was "viciously attacked" by Khan: "Am I not allowed to respond?" Trump tweeted. "Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!"

In Cleveland, Clinton said Trump's response shows he has a "total misunderstanding of what made our country great, religious freedom, religious liberty."

Clinton elaborated on that point later in the say, saying it was fitting Khan gave the speech in Philadelphia, where America's founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence 240 years ago.

"They enshrined in our Constitution the principle of religious liberty," Clinton said. "They understood that America would be including and attracting people from all over the world."

A job interview for Clinton

Clinton told attendees she sees the campaign as a job interview.

"I'm here telling you what I want to achieve, asking you for your vote and asking you also to hold me accountable," Clinton said.

Her pitch: She has detailed plans backed up with funding and Trump does not.

Clinton ran through a list of priorities she said she wants to accomplish during her first 100 days in office including billions of dollars for infrastructure upgrades to roads, waterways, the electric grid and broadband internet.

Clinton said everything in her plan is paid for with higher taxes on wealthy Americans and businesses. She said voters should be informed and urged attendees to check out her website for details.

Tim Kaine as attack dog

Kaine painted a stark difference between Clinton and Trump, calling the Republican National Convention "dark and twisted" and describing it as a scary tour through Trump's head.

Kaine poked fun at Trump's attempt to slam Kaine, calling him a "lousy governor" of New Jersey. Kaine is a former Virgina governor.

"You guys, give Donald a break -- he's new to this," Kaine said to laughs. "You know, the basic civics -- there's 50 states and Virginia is different than New Jersey. I'm sure that's in the briefing book a few pages later. He's not there yet."

The battle for Ohio is on

Five of the last eight public opinion polls show the candidates in a dead heat in Ohio, a bellwether state that has predicted the presidency since 1960.

The candidates will be back several times before Nov. 8.

Trump spoke in Toledo on Wednesday and plans to hold a town hall meeting in Columbus on Monday, both traditional Democrat strongholds. His running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was in Lima on Friday.

cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2016/07/hillary_clinton_campaigns_in_c.html

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Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump, Says It's Time to Pick Country Over Party

Jul 31, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton bashed Donald Trump today for his controversial remarks about the family of Army Captain Humayun Khan who died in Iraq and said the accumulation of Trump's controversial remarks throughout the election year made her wonder "where the bottom is."

Clinton, along with running mate Tim Kaine, took questions from reporters following a stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn in Salem, Ohio. This is her first time taking questions from the press since clinching the Democratic nomination and it is her 11th gaggle this year. Her last formal press conference was in December.

Khan's parents appeared at the Democratic National Convention last week. During their appearance, his father, Khizr Khan, questioned what sacrifices Trump has made for the country, criticized his remarks about Muslims and asked if he'd ever read the U.S. Constitution. The mother of the fallen soldier, Ghazala Khan, stood by her husband's side but has said she was too overcome with grief to speak. Trump responded by saying he'd made "a lot of sacrifices" and implied that Ghazala Khan's Muslim faith prevented her from speaking.

Clinton said she has been in touch with the Khan family since Trump made his remarks.

"They’re a Gold Star family. And I respect and honor the service of Captain Khan and the extraordinary dignity and bravery of his parents. And I will let others draw their own conclusions about the language used and the approach taken by Donald Trump," Clinton said.

Kaine added, "If you cannot show empathy for a Gold Star mom and dad, there is something fundamentally missing in your personality."

Clinton said that Trump's remarks, coupled with his behavior throughout the campaign, are "beyond my comprehension."

"He has throughout the course of the campaign consistently insulted and demeaned individuals, groups of Americans and one doesn't know where the bottom is. It is hard to imagine anyone who has ever run to be president of the Untied States saying any of what he says but the accumulation of it all is just beyond my comprehension,” Clinton said.

Clinton ticked through Trump’s attacks: his calling Mexicans rapists, mocking a reporter with a disability, insulting a federal judge of Mexican heritage. She said the accumulation of all of his remarks make her question what "bounds" exist for Trump.

"And any one of those things is so offensive and then to launch an attack as he did on Captain Khan's mother, a Gold Star mother, who stood there on that stage with her husband honoring the sacrifice of their son and who has in the days since spoken out about the overwhelming emotion that any mother would feel as her son was being honored and then to have Trump do what he did, I don't know where the bounds are. I don't know where the bottom is," Clinton said.

Clinton framed the election as a decision that goes beyond party politics. Kaine did the same, invoking Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich's tweet bashing Trump's remarks on the Khan family.

"I think this is a time to pick country over party. And a number of Republicans have said that. We had, as you know, Republicans at our convention. We have had endorsement from Republicans who have analyzed his behavior and his rhetoric in this campaign and made it clear where they stood," Clinton said.

abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-slams-donald-trump-time-pick-country/story?id=41031889

 

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-qaeda-in-indian-subcontinent-fanning-communal-fire-to-lure-muslim-youth/d/108144



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