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Aligarh Muslim University Drops Teachings of Two Islamic Scholars, Sayyid Qutb and Abul A’la Al-Maududi, From Syllabus

New Age Islam News Bureau

03 August 2022


Aligarh Muslim University


• ‘Shiksha Jihad’: Police Book Directors of School for Multi-faith Worship; FIR Says Islamic Prayer is ‘Shiksha Jihad’

• Next Qaida Chief: Man Tied To Daniel Pearl’s Killing, Saif Al-Adel or Zawahiri’s Son-In-Law, Abd Al-Maghrebi?

• Zawahiri Read Alone On Balcony, a Pattern-Of-Life Intelligence CIA Used To Kill Him: Report

• Islamic Emirate Leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, Discusses Education, Women’s Rights with Clerics in the Context of Shariah



• ‘Flood Jihad’: Muslims Accused of Inundating Hindu-Majority City of Silchar in Assam By Damaging Flood Defences

• Vadodara School Calls Off Kindergarten Field Trip to Mosque after Bajrang Dal Threat

• Central officials assessing impact of Zawahiri’s killing on al-Qaeda’s presence in India 

• Taliban Sheltering Zawahiri Will Make India Wary Of Ties

• 6 arrested for killing Muslim man amid communal tension

• Hyderabad: Mosque’s demolition triggers protests in Shamshabad

• UP: SI subjects Muslim man to 3rd-degree torture in cow-slaughter case


Arab World

• Shia cleric Al-Sadr urges protesters to leave Iraq’s Parliament

• Top terrorist leaders killed in US operations since 9/11 attack

• Yazidi Genocide Anniversary Serves as Grim Reminder of Daesh’s Crimes against Humanity

• Syrian Islamist group imposes irrigation fees on farmers amidst water crisis

• Iraqi, French FMs voice support for fence-mending talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia

• Saudi Arabia to Send 130 Athletes For 5th Islamic Solidarity Games


North America

• After the killing of al-Zawahri, here is the FBI’s list of most wanted extremists

• State Dept warns US citizens of terror attacks in aftermath of Zawahri’s killing

• Ayman al-Zawahri led life of secrecy and violence

• Al-Qaeda leader's death ‘hasn’t solved anything’ says Nigel Farage 'extreme Islamic terrorism hasn't gone away’

• US approves sale of Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia, THAAD system missiles for UAE

• Nasrallah slams US over ‘false promises’ to supply natural gas and electricity to Lebanon


South Asia

• Islamic Emirate committed to fighting ISIS in Afghanistan: Haqqani

• Motorcyclist Gunmen Kill Religious Scholar in Central Afghanistan

• After destroying the Bamiyan Buddha statues, Taliban attempts to destroy the historic bazaar nearby



• UN Had Absolutely No Knowledge Of Zawahiri's Whereabouts: Spokesperson For UNSG

• French gov't takes flak over deportation decision against well-known imam

• First ship carrying grain from Ukraine reaches Turkey



• Muslim-Muslim Ticket Means Persecuting Christians – Anglican Archbishop, Ibezim

• US played secret role in 2017 Nigeria IDP bombing that killed over 160: Report



• Govt Leaders Want Imran Banned, Disqualified Over ECP ‘Charge Sheet’

• Hajj Sermon 2022 gives message of peace, love: Tahir Ashrafi

• Nawaz urges govt to take legal action against Imran following ECP verdict

• Ahsan Iqbal asks newly-appointed HEC chairman to align higher education sector with modern trends


Southeast Asia

• Kuala Langat MP Questions Guarantee Of Liberty For Non-Muslims Over Provisions In Anti-Smoking Bill

• Bersatu man defends religious minister’s remarks, says Bon Odori and Oktoberfest not part of Malaysian culture

• Hannah Yeoh backs Tajuddin in Parliament after Speaker upholds deputy’s decision on Pasir Salak MP’s sexist remarks



• Iran: Israel Understands No Language but Force

• Pro-Palestinian hackers shut down websites of two major ports in Israeli-occupied territories

• Israeli army on alert after arrest of Islamic Jihad senior official

• Spokesman: President Rayeesi to Attend UN General Assembly Meeting in New York

• Iran Blames US for Sanctions Addiction, Says No Difference between Biden, Trump

• Iran Strongly Condemns Israeli Official's Warmongering Rhetoric

• Two-month extension of Yemen ceasefire agreed: UN envoy

• Iran reaffirms support for Palestinians against Israel’s expansionist policies

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Aligarh Muslim University Drops Teachings Of Two Islamic Scholars, Sayyid Qutb And Abul A’la Al-Maududi, From Syllabus


Aligarh Muslim University


August 3, 2022

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has decided to drop teachings of two Islamic scholars from their syllabus of the Department of Islamic Studies with varsity officials saying that the decision was taken after some complaints were received that the teachings of the authors were “objectionable”.

The two scholars whose teachings will be removed are Turkish author and Islamic scholar Sayyid Qutb and Pakistan author Abul A’la al-Maududi, said officials. The announcement to remove the teachings of the two scholars comes days after an open letter was written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by 25 academics bringing to his notice “the brazenly Jihadi Islamic course curriculum” at Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia and Hamdard University. The open letter had said that it is a matter of “deep concern and worry that the writings of Abul Ala Maududi is part of the course curriculum of the three universities.

Confirming the removal of the two scholars’ teachings from the syllabus, AMU Public Relations Officer Shafe Kidwai said, “The two scholars’ teachings will be removed from the syllabus. The process for it will be followed. It was decided to remove the parts from the syllabus to avoid any controversy at the varsity. The circumstances have changed over the years. What may have been considered worth teaching years ago may not be considered worth teaching now…”

“There were some complaints. I don’t know who complained, but yes, some people raised an issue with these teachings and the department decided to remove it,” added Kidwai.

The open letter written by the 25 academics was titled “Indoctrination of students at state funded institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia & Jamia Hamdard through an anti-Indic/anti-national course curriculum”. It read, “We the undersigned wish to bring to your notice the brazenly Jihadi Islamic course curriculum being followed by certain departments of state funded Islamic universities such as Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Milia Islamia and Hamdard University.” Among the signatories was Prof. Madhu Kishwar, Senior Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML).

A professor at the department, who did not wish to be identified, said, “We were told by the higher authorities of the varsity to remove these two scholars from the syllabus of the Department of Islamic Studies. It was told to us that the decision was taken to avoid a controversy at the varsity.”

“We weren’t told by the varsity authorities which part of what was being taught was objectionable or anti-national. We were simply told to remove the teachings of the two authors,” said the professor.

An official at the varsity said that the teachings of the two authors were being taught for Masters in the Department of Islamic Studies as optional papers. “These two authors were being taught for at least a couple of decades. In the optional papers, the department used to teach the thoughts and teachings of the two authors and ideologues. They ranged from their religious teachings and political thoughts. The optional papers taught about them were titled ‘Maulana Madudi and his thoughts’ and ‘Sayyid Qutb and his thoughts. These were two optional papers for masters’ students of the Department of Islamic Studies at AMU,” said the official.

Source: Indian Express

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‘Shiksha Jihad’: Police Book Directors of School for Multi-faith Worship; FIR Says Islamic Prayer is ‘Shiksha Jihad’


Photo: Maktoob Media


Sumedha Pal

Aug 03, 2022

New Delhi: Directors of the Florets International School in Kanpur have been booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police under Sections 295A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5(1) of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2021. The FIR was registered after a complaint and protest by Hindutva activists over the recitation of Islamic prayers – as part of multi-faith worship – in the school.

The school remained shut for the second day in a row over the protests.

The FIR was registered against the school late in the evening on August 1. ACP Nishank Sharma confirmed this development to The Wire, stating that an investigation has been initiated in the case.

The complaint submitted to the Sismau police station states that “an attempt is being made by the school to pave way for religious conversion of the students”. It goes on to add that the school is carrying out “Shiksha Jihad” as students are being made to recite an Islamic prayer.

The prayer book in question, accessed by The Wire, has prayers pertaining to multiple faiths, including the Gayatri Mantra, Sanchi Vaani and a pledge about belonging in India.

In a video statement, Florets principal Shradha Sharma stated that multi-faith prayers had been part of the morning assembly since the school’s founding in 2003 but following the objections raised by some parents to the presence of Islamic prayers, the school authorities have decided to only recite the national anthem. She added, “We followed prayers of all religions and not any one particular faith, this has been the case for the past 12-13 years.”

“Seal school for carrying out Shiksha Jihad”

The complaint against the school demands that the school should be sealed alongside other branches of the school.

Speaking to The Wire, Vishwa Hindu Parishad district president Yuvraj Dwivedi, one of of the persons protesting against the recitation of prayers, said, “We met the parents yesterday evening, the parents stated that their children had been reciting Islamic prayers and they were deeply worried. After the protests our complaint has been taken into account and an FIR has been registered. We feel there is a bigger conspiracy at play here.”

Hindutva organisations reportedly carried out a “purification ritual” at the school to register their protest. BJP leaders Mahendra Shukla and Dheeraj Sahu visited the school demanding  action against the management. The leaders had claimed that the school had been purified with ganga jal.

 ACP Nishank Sharma had previously said that a tweet had surfaced on social media stating that an Islamic prayer was being recited in the school premises. When asked, the school stated that prayers of all faiths were recited in the morning assembly and that had been the case for close to 12 years. The school also announced that this can be stopped and only the national anthem sung.

ADM City Atul Kumar in a statement issued on Monday stated that the school has declared a holiday amid the row.

The Wire reached out to Florets school, but could not receive a comment. This story will be updated when a comment is received.

Source: The Wire

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Next Qaida Chief: Man Tied To Daniel Pearl’s Killing, Saif Al-Adel or Zawahiri’s Son-In-Law, Abd Al-Maghrebi?


Saif al-Adel (L) and Abdal-Rahman al-Maghrebi are the topcontenders to take over al-Qaida.


Aug 3, 2022

DUBAI: The US killing of al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, officials in Washington said, is the biggest blow to the militants since Osama bin Laden was shot dead in 2011. Some of the top contenders to take over the militant organisation:

Saif Al-Adel

The mysterious, low-key former Egyptian special forces officer is a high ranking member of al-Qaida. The US is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest. Al-Adel was suspected of involvement in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sa-

dat in 1981, and left the country in 1988 to join the Mujahideen fighting Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. Often called the third-ranking al-Qaida official, al-Adel helped to plan the bomb attacks against the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar as Salaam in 1998 and set up training camps for the organisation in Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1990s. In 2004, al-Adel’s diary was recovered during a raid in Saudi Arabia.

His role in the organisation has been as a trainer, military leader and member of bin Laden’s security detail. Before joining Qaida he was a member of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad organisation, which was bent on toppling the state. Al-Adel was linked to the killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002, US investigators said in a report. The findings by investigators of the Pearl Project revealed al-Adel had discussed Pearl’s abduction with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, also known as KSM, the accused mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks. Al-Adel was appointed caretaker leader after the death of bin Laden.

Yezid Mebarek

Yezid Mebarek, known as Abu Ubaydah Yusuf al-Anabi, succeeded as emir of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in 2020. An Algerian citizen, Mebarek ran media operations for AQIM, using a 2013 video to call for global attacks against French interests after Paris sent troops to

help quash a militant insurgency in Mali. Mebarek, 53, pictured in one photo with a full grey beard and green turban, is a veteran of Algeria’s 1990s civil war. AQIM took advantage of chaos across the Sahel region to become one of the global network’s most active and valued branches, kidnapping Westerners and staging attacks. As a mark of AQIM’s importance to Qaida, Mebarek’s predecessor Abdelmalek Droukdel, served a role in the movement’s leadership team under Zawahiri, before being killed by French forces in 2020. However, analysts believe AQIM has lost sway to newer militant groups in the Sahel. Mebarek is reported to suffer from old injuries and to lack Droukdel’s charisma.

Abd Al-Maghrebi

Moroccan-born national Abdal-Rahman alMaghrebi is wanted for questioning by the FBI in connection with his membership in Qaida. He studied programming in Germany before moving to Afghanistan where he was selected to manage Qaida’s main media wing, said the FBI.

The son-in-law of Zawahiri, he is a senior Qaida commander. Documents recovered in the operation that killed bin Laden indicated alMaghrebi had been a rising star in the group for many years. He served as Qaida’s general manager in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Source: Times Of India

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Zawahiri Read Alone On Balcony, a Pattern-Of-Life Intelligence CIA Used To Kill Him: Report


Ayman al-Zawahri. File | Photo Credit: AP


Aug 3, 2022

NEW YORK: Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri liked to read alone on the balcony of his Kabul safe house early in the morning, a "pattern-of-life intelligence" that eventually gave American intelligence agencies the chance to carry out a precision strike that killed one of the world's most wanted terrorists, a report said.

Zawahiri, who played a key role in the 9/11 attacks and later formed al-Qaida's regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent, was killed in a US drone strike on Saturday evening.

"Intelligence officers made a crucial discovery this spring after tracking Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida, to Kabul, Afghanistan: He liked to read alone on the balcony of his safe house early in the morning," The New York Times (NYT) said in a report titled 'How the CIA Tracked the Leader of al-Qaida'.

The report said that analysts search for "pattern-of-life intelligence", which means any habit the CIA can exploit to hunt down and target terrorists. "In al-Zawahiri's case, his long balcony visits gave the agency an opportunity for a clear missile shot that could avoid collateral damage," it said.

Once intelligence agencies confirmed the location of Zawahiri's safe house, "the CIA followed the playbook it wrote during the hunt for (Osama) Bin Laden. The agency built a model of the site and sought to learn everything about it."

"Analysts eventually identified a figure who lingered on the balcony reading, but never left the house, as al-Zawahiri," the NYT report said.

On July 25, Biden authorised the CIA to conduct the airstrike "when the opportunity presented itself".

"Sunday morning in Kabul, it did. A drone flown by the CIA found al-Zawahiri on his balcony. The agency operatives fired the missile, ending a more than two-decade-long hunt," the report said.

US President Joe Biden announced on Monday that Zawahiri, who took over the reins of al-Qaida after the killing of Osama bin Laden 11 years ago, was killed in an American drone strike.

Biden said "justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more."

The NYT report said that on April 1, top intelligence officials briefed national security officials at the White House about the safe house and how they had tracked Zawahiri.

A "key insight" that had emerged about Zawahiri's pattern of life was that "he was never seen leaving the house and only seemed to get fresh air by standing on a balcony on an upper floor. He remained on the balcony for extended periods, which gave the CIA a good chance to target him."

The al-Qaida leader was killed by a Hellfire missile, which is "designed to kill a single person."

Biden was briefed by CIA director William Burns and other intelligence officials on July 1 and he was shown a model of the safe house, the report said.

Biden "asked about the possibility of collateral damage, prodding" Burns to take him "through the steps of how officers had found al-Zawahiri and confirmed his information, and their plans to kill him."

During June and July, discussions focussed on intelligence and examining the potential ramifications of the strike.

The report added that the "safe house" where Zawahiri stayed was owned by "an aide to senior officials in the Haqqani network" in an area in the Afghan capital controlled by the terror group.

"Senior Taliban leaders occasionally met at the house, but American officials do not know how many knew that the Haqqanis were hiding al-Zawahiri. If some senior Taliban officials did not know that the Haqqanis had allowed al-Zawahiri to return, his killing could drive a wedge between the groups," the report said citing independent analysts.

It added that Zawahiri's ties to leaders of the Haqqani network "led US intelligence officials to the safe house" where he was hiding.

For many years, it was believed that Zawahiri was hiding in the border area of Pakistan and it remains unclear why he returned to Afghanistan, the report said. Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it is believed that Zawahiri's family returned to a safe house in Kabul.

The NYT report said that while his family tried to ensure they were not being watched and keep Zawahiri's location secret, "intelligence agencies soon learned he too had returned to Afghanistan.

"There was a renewed effort to figure out where he was," the report quoted former CIA officer Mick Mulroy as saying. "The one good thing that might have come out of withdrawing from Afghanistan is that certain high-level terrorist figures would then think it is safe for them to be there."

Source: Times Of India

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Islamic Emirate Leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, Discusses Education, Women’s Rights with Clerics in the Context of Shariah


Photo: Pakistan Observer


Aug 03, 2022

Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Islamic Emirate's supreme leader, met with some of Kabul's religious clerics in Kandahar to discuss education and women's rights in the context of Islamic law.

Returning to Kabul, some religious scholars stated that the leader of the Islamic Emirate had given them orders on a number of crucial matters, including respecting women's rights within the framework of Sharia, updating the curriculum of schools and madrassas (religious schools), and addressing the problems of Kabul residents.

“The Islamic Emirate's supreme leader gave a number of instructions to the meeting's attendees, all of whom were from Kabul. One of the instructions is that all women's rights that are given by Islam should be respected, not the rights that the Westerners say,” said Abdul Hamed Hamasi, a member of the Islamic Emirate.

"The supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate has asked them (religious clerics) to convey the wishes of the people of Kabul to him, as well as his words to the people," a meeting participant stated.

Religious clerics asked the international community to award the Nobel Prize to the leader of the Islamic Emirate for putting an end to the 40-year war in Afghanistan.

"We ask the international community to award Mawlawi Hebatullah the Nobel Prize because he put an end to decades of war during which up to three hundred people from the country were killed every day, and he prevented that," said Abdul Hamed Hamasi, a member of the Islamic Emirate.

Neda Mohammad Nadim, the governor of Kabul province, said that the leader ordered him to address Kabul’s residents legal problems.

"The meeting of the Kabul religious clerics continued for three to four hours, and major matters were discussed. The leader of the Islamic Emirate has given several orders to solve the problems of the people of Kabul," he stated.

Source: Tolo News

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‘Flood Jihad’: Muslims Accused of Inundating Hindu-Majority City of Silchar in Assam By Damaging Flood Defences

By Medhavi Arora and Marco Silva

Aug 03, 2022

After devastating floods hit India's north-eastern state of Assam, claims that members of the local Muslim community were to blame for the disaster began circulating online. But was there any truth to these allegations? One of the accused told the BBC his story.

When the police knocked on his door in the early hours of 3 July, Nazir Hussain Laskar was puzzled. For years, he had worked as a construction worker in Assam, helping the state build flood protections.

But, on that morning, the officers who arrested Mr Laskar accused him instead of "damaging public property" - more specifically, an embankment meant to protect communities from flooding.

"I have spent 16 years working for the government to build embankments", Mr Laskar said. "Why would I damage one?"

Mr Laskar spent nearly 20 days behind bars, before being released on bail. No evidence of his involvement has been found, but the social media storm around him has been raging ever since.

'I thought I might get attacked'

Two waves of flooding hit Assam in May and June, killing at least 192 people. While the state floods every monsoon, this year rains came early and were heavier than usual.

But for a number of social media users, something more sinister was at play here.

They claimed, without proof, that the floods were man-made, and that a group of Muslim men had deliberately inundated the neighbouring Hindu-majority city of Silchar, by damaging flood defences.

Mr Laskar's arrest, along with that of three other Muslim men, triggered a barrage of social media posts accusing them of supposedly waging a "flood jihad".

These posts were shared thousands of times, including by prominent influencers with verified accounts. The claims were then repeated by some local media outlets.

But the gravity of his situation only dawned on him when, already in prison, Mr Laskar caught a mention of his name on television: a news channel accusing him of "flood jihad".

"I was afraid and could not sleep that night. The other inmates were talking about it. I thought I might get attacked."

The truth behind 'flood jihad' claims

The construction of embankments has been central to flood management in Assam since the 1950s. The state has more than 4,000km (2,500 miles) of embankments and many of these are said to be brittle and prone to damage.

On 23 May, an embankment was damaged on the Barak River, which flows through north-east India and eastern Bangladesh.

The breach happened in a Muslim-majority area called Bethukandi - and it was one of several contributing factors to heavy floods in Silchar, which is majority Hindu.

"The cut was one of the causes", says Ramandeep Kaur, superintendent of police in Silchar. "But it wasn't the only point from where water entered the town."

The BBC understands it was this particular incident that led to the arrest of Mr Laskar and three other Muslim men. Later, a fifth man was also arrested. No evidence has been found linking any of them to the breach.

"A lot of these breaches take place because of the lack of repair and maintenance of the embankments," said Nirmalya Choudhury, an associate professor at the Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies in Mumbai.

"Some of it could be also human-induced. It could be that there were instances where people deliberately breached the embankment so that the water would move out, and would not flood their area."

The Silchar police agrees.

"There is no such thing as 'flood jihad'," said superintendent Kaur. "In earlier years, the administration would make a cut in the embankment themselves to drain the water out. This year it wasn't done, and some people took it into their own hands."

"To make this kind of claim [of 'flood jihad'] is to take an easy way out," said Prof Choudhury. "This is a managerial problem, and I think it requires a far more mature response."

'I was accused because I am a Muslim'

According to Google Trends, searches for "flood jihad" hit a five-year peak in July, fed by the social media frenzy around this claim.

But this is hardly the first time anti-Muslim conspiracy theories have hit the mainstream in India.

During the pandemic, Indian Muslims were at times falsely accused of deliberately spreading Covid-19 (what some Indian media outlets described as "corona jihad").

Critics say violence, hate speech and misinformation targeting Muslims has increased since 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power. The party disputes this.

Meanwhile, in Assam, Mr Laskar continues to live in fear after his release from jail.

"My family and I are still afraid to leave the house. My children have been skipping school. If I must leave the house, I sometimes wear a helmet to hide my face. I am afraid of being lynched by an angry mob."

Source: BBC

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Vadodara school calls off kindergarten field trip to mosque after Bajrang Dal threat

by Aditi Raja | Vadodara

August 3, 2022

A private school in Vadodara, which had planned a field trip for kindergarten children to a mosque in the city, called off the visit after protests from Bajrang Dal on Tuesday. Volunteers of the Bajrang Dal, who claimed to have “received complaints” from parents, arrived at the school and threatened the school management with dire consequences if children were taken to the mosque.

The Delhi Public School in Kalali in Vadodara, which had earlier also taken children to visit a temple in the city, had planned to take the kindergarten children to a mosque as part of a field visit for value education this week. However, on Tuesday volunteers of the Bajrang Dal arrived on campus and staged a protest, chanting the Ram Dhun. Later, they met with the principal of the school and “warned” of agitation if the field trip to the mosque was not called off.

Ketan Trivedi, President of Bajrang Dal in Vadodara, said, “We have told the principal of the school that this field trip to the mosque should be called off…There is no need to mix religion with education. They can use virtual technology to show places of worship instead of taking young children to mosques. We have left it to the principal by telling him that he should consider that he would not want his school to earn a bad name in the name of religion… We have received complaints from parents and so we have come here. We will also return on the designated day when they were supposed to take the children out to the mosque and if we see that they have not complied, we will agitate as we are prepared for it.”

The school, last week, issued a consent form to parents, seeking voluntary permission to have their child visit a mosque in the city. The school said that all parents, who wished to send their wards on the field trip, had returned the form in agreement. The school management added that it did not receive any complaint or objection from any parent as it was the choice of the parents to send the children for the field trip or not. The school has also handed out a list of field visits planned for children during the academic year, in advance to all parents, which also includes a visit to a church among places of religious worship. The other field trips include a visit to a bank, a bakery, and a grocery store.

A parent of a kindergarten student said, “Almost all parents we know in our groups had willingly signed consent forms… We were all looking forward to our children exploring and learning about the world. We do not see anything wrong in the school planning a visit to a place of worship, whichever it may be. The children were happy when they visited a temple, earlier, and similarly, they would have learned about another place of worship on this trip. It is so disheartening that some fringe groups are protesting over issues that should be between parents and the school only.”

Another parent of a student from kindergarten said, “My daughter was very excited for this trip and we were even telling her about a mosque as she has never been there before… It is only a field trip and as parents, we have chosen to support the school that is trying to teach children the values of harmony and unity. There was no pressure on parents to send children to any activity or field trip.”

Source: Indian Express

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Central officials assessing impact of Zawahiri’s killing on al-Qaeda’s presence in India 

Vijaita Singh

AUGUST 02, 2022

18 Indians are known to have joined the terror group between 2012 and 2015: police

A day after the United States announced that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had been killed in a drone strike in Kabul on July 30, Indian government officials on Tuesday said they were assessing its impact in India.

Unlike other terror groups, al-Qaeda is not an organisation-led group but is driven by a strong ideology, independent of territorial limits, an official said.

There are only 18 Indians known to have joined al-Qaeda between 2012 and 2015, said a Delhi Police official, adding that the number of persons who owed allegiance to the group was much bigger.

Five of them are in prison, while the others are absconding. G.P Singh, Special Director-General of Police, Assam, told The Hindu that since February, the police had arrested 22 members affiliated to the global terror group or were inspired by its ideology.

Mr. Singh said that over the past two years, surveillance had been mounted in Assam following reports that the Bangladesh-based Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), affiliated to al-Qaeda, was trying to scout for recruits.

“Their interrogation revealed that they were inspired by Zawahiri. However, killing of a leader always lowers the morale of the cadre and sympathisers. We are sure that we will be able to wipe out the network from Assam in the next two years,” Mr. Singh said.

In 2014, Zawahiri, in a video, announced the creation of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) to be led by an Indian Maulana, Asim Umar, who was later identified as Uttar Pradesh resident Sanaul Haq.

Haq is said to have been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan a few years ago, but there is no confirmation yet.

In the video, Zawahiri described the formation of the AQIS as glad tidings for Muslims “in Burma [Myanmar], Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir”, adding that the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.

A senior Home Ministry official said that according to recent inputs the group was trying to rebuild al-Qaeda’s organisational machinery in India. As recent as June 8, the AQIS threatened that its members would carry out attacks in India in the backdrop of the controversial statements by two BJP leaders against Prophet Muhammed. The AQIS, in a statement, called for attacks in Delhi, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

In 2015, a note generated by an intelligence agency said that the AQIS “has been attempting to recruit gullible Muslim youth from Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and Delhi”, and that the group planned to target BJP offices, commercial, tourist, religious, aviation and railway infrastructure in various States as well as unsecured waterfronts.

The Home Ministry official said that al-Qaeda cadre in India shifting allegiance to the Islamic State was also a possibility. “Considering the field operational capabilities of Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) to mount spectacular attacks, any possible tilt from AQ ranks to IS warrants a serious attention,” the official said.

In 2017, the AQIS had released a video in which its spokesperson, Usama Mahmoud, asked Muslims in “Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Kashmir” to support the Rohingya in Myanmar, asking them to seek revenge.

According to another official, the AQIS, banned in 2018 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), was backed by the Pakistani establishment to carry out attacks in India.

In 2019, Zawahiri had for the first time released a Kashmir-centric video asking its cadres to inflict “unrelenting blows” on the Indian Army and the government in Kashmir Valley to “bleed” the economy and “make the country suffer”.

Source: The Hindu

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Taliban sheltering Zawahiri will make India wary of ties

Aug 3, 2022

NEW DELHI: The revelation that slain Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri was living in a Taliban safe house when he was killed in a US drone strike is unlikely to stall the India-Taliban peace overtures, which recently saw the return of Indian diplomats to Kabul but may encourage the government to be more circumspect in its dealings with the Taliban.

The Taliban have so far, in their quest for international recognition perhaps, been on their best behaviour with India but the government knows that an Al Qaeda haven in Afghanistan can act as a boon for Pakistan-based terror groups which, according to a recent UNSC report, continue to operate training camps in Afghanistan.

The same report by the monitoring team assisting the 1988 Sanctions Committee, which is currently headed by India, had said in May this year that Al Qaeda already had a safe haven under the Taliban and an ``increased freedom of action’’. It also mentioned how Zawahiri was frequently issuing recorded messages since the return of the Taliban.

In one of these video messages, released in April this year, Zawahiri weighed into the Karnataka hijab controversy targeting what he described as pagan Hindu democracy and calling it a tool meant to oppress the Muslims. According to the report, this video provided the first ``conclusive current proof’’ of life for al-Zawahiri in recent years. ``The pace of recent communications suggests that he may be able to lead more effectively than was possible before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan,’’ it said, adding that Zawahiri was reported to be living in eastern Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan.

Despite the humanitarian assistance it has provided to the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, and its decision to reopen the Indian embassy in Kabul in June, India has remained reluctant to upgrade its incipient engagement with the government in Kabul apparently because of the latter’s links with terror groups. This was one of the reasons India chose to participate in the recent Afghanistan conference in Uzbekistan at the level of officials. Unlike his Pakistan and China counterparts, foreign minister S Jaishankar also did not meet the Taliban acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, while he was in Tashkent for the SCO meeting that followed the conference in Uzbekistan.

According to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, India is also closely following reports that Pakistan may have had a role in facilitating the US drone strike on Zawahiri. ``Things could get complicated if that’s true given Pakistan’s propensity to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds on the issue of terrorism,’’ said a source. While Pakistan may be on the verge of exiting the FATF increased monitoring list, India believes that Islamabad has still not done enough to rein in India-focused groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Despite his announcement of the formation of a branch of Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, and his utterances on Kashmir, Zawahiri mostly represented a distant threat for India unlike Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed who continued to lead Pakistan-based and UN designated terror groups looking to target India at every available opportunity. This is probably also the reason India is unlikely to issue any statement on Zawahiri’s killing.

Source: Times Of India

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6 arrested for killing Muslim man amid communal tension

Aug 03, 2022

By Arun Dev

Six people have been arrested in Karnataka’s Mangaluru in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old Muslim man at Surathkal in the Dakshina Kannada district on July 28, two days after the killing of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary Praveen Nettaru, police said.

Mangaluru police commissioner, N Shashi Kumar, said the six people came together with the aim of “killing someone” at the earliest and planned Mohammed Fazil’s murder for three days. Responding to a question on whether Fazil was hacked to death in retaliation for Nettaru’s killing, Kumar said further interrogation was required to ascertain that.

However, two investigators speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the murder was indeed retaliation and that they had a potential list of targets, all Muslims. “Four arrested men were from Surathkal and they knew Fazil. So, his name was suggested. The other people on the list of potential targets too were from also one community.” They added that the killers eventually settled on Fazil because he was an easy target. “They finalised Fazil’s name for logistical reasons. They wanted to kill someone at the earliest,” said one of the two officers.

The six men are believed to belong to a right wing group, but Kumar said this and the motive could be confirmed only after further questioning.

Police said the six, Suhas Shetty, 29, Mohan Singh, 26, Giridhar, 23, Abhishek, 21, Shrinivas, 23, and Deekshith, 21, have been involved in several crimes in the past. Citing preliminary investigation, police said the accused were planning to kill Fazil since July 26.

“The six people did not know each other, but they came to know each through common friends. Suhas called his friend Abhishek and had a long discussion with him. He told Abhishek that by the evening of July 26, they should murder someone. They decided to gather more people and weapons,” said Kumar.

He added that Suhas Shetty met Abhishek on July 26 (the day BJP Yuva Morcha activist Praveen Nettaru was murdered) and shared his plan to murder someone.

On July 27, Shetty met Giridhar at a hotel in Surathkal, where he shared the plan with him and said that he had weapons and needed vehicles and manpower. Giridhar called Mohan who agreed to organise a car. “On July 27, Mohan got a car from Ajith Crasta who was assured of ₹15,000 in three days if their plan was successful,” said the commissioner.

They did not proceed with the task on July 27 as three of the accused did not turn up for a planned meeting.

“On July 28, Suhas left early in the morning with weapons to Bantwal’s Karinjeshwar temple, while three other accused had to appear in court. They had a discussion near the court where Fazil’s name was finalised as the target…” Kumar said.

In the evening, all six left in the car. They made three rounds of the garment shop where Fazil was. Shetty got out of the vehicle along with Mohan and Abhishek and hacked Fazil to death. “ Suhas, Mohan and Abhishek were the assailants, Giridhar was driving the car, Deekshith was seated in the car, while Srinivas tried to protect the accused from the public during the murder. The six accused then escaped towards Palimar. They abandoned the car and escaped in another car to a hideout,” the commissioner said.

All six were arrested on Tuesday morning at Udyavar. The accused were produced before the court and remanded to 14-day police custody.

Kumar said Shetty is an accused in a murder and three other criminal cases, while Mohan, Giridhar and Abhishek are accused in two criminal cases each. Shrinivas is accused in four criminal cases while Deekshit is accused in three criminal cases.

Kumar ruled out reports that the killers targetted Fazil by mistake. He also said news reports that Fazil was in a relationship with a girl from another Muslim sect and was murdered on account of that, were false.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Hyderabad: Mosque’s demolition triggers protests in Shamshabad

2nd August 2022

Hyderabad: Protests erupted in Shamshabad following the demolition of a mosque by the municipal authorities on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Masjid-e-Khaja Mahmood in Green Avenue colony was demolished by the municipal staff early morning amid heavy police presence.

The incident led to strong protests by local Muslim residents and leaders of various parties.

A person, whose house is beside the mosque, had, along with some other residents, complained to Shamshad Municipal authorities against the construction of the mosque.

Leaders of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) lodged their protest.

AIMIM’s local leaders staged a sit-in at the municipal office. They demanded action against the officials responsible for the demolition and immediate reconstruction of the mosque.

Police later arrested the protesters who were led by AIMIM in charge of Rajendra Nagar Assembly constituency, Mirza Rahmath Baig.

Muslim leaders have condemned the demolition and urged the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to take immediate action against those responsible.

MBT leader Khan said that the TRS government headed by KCR has been following in the footsteps of BJP’s Yogi government. He alleged since the TRS party came to power in 2014, six mosques were demolished in Telangana.

He questioned the silence of those Muslim organisations and politicians who claim KCR as a secular leader. He said the demolition was carried out by the Municipal Department headed by KCR’s son K.T. Rama Rao.

MBT leader Amjedullah Khan said the mosque was constructed three years ago and daily five times namaz including Friday prayers were being performed regularly.

According to Khan, a local resident of Shamshabad in the area named Vishal Singh allegedly approached the court contesting the mosque’s construction.

He pointed out that Green Avenue Colony on 15 acres of land was plotted and sold after due permission from Shamshad Grampanchayat. Two plots of 250 square yards were marked as a site for the masjid.

Source: Siasat Daily

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UP: SI Subjects Muslim Man To 3rd-Degree Torture In Cow-Slaughter Case

2nd August 2022

Muzaffarnagar: A police officer has been suspended in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar for allegedly subjecting third-degree torture to a man who happened to be a distant relative of an accused.

According to reports, R. Rana, the Sub-Inspector (SI) of Chhapar police station in Muzaffarnagar, went to Khampur village with a team to arrest an accused named Zishan Ansari, who was wanted in a case related to cow slaughter.

He did not find the alleged accused and picked up his distant relative Farad Hakim, 40, a resident of the same village.

Hakim was taken to the police station and was subjected to third-degree torture by the SI.

Later, he was released from the police station due to pressure from the villagers.

One of the villagers recorded a video of Hakim which purportedly shows bruise marks on his body and uploaded it on social media.

After the video went viral, SSP Vineet Jaiswal took suo moto cognizance and ordered a probe.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Arab World


Shia cleric Al-Sadr urges protesters to leave Iraq’s Parliament



Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday called on his supporters to leave the parliament building amid protests against the nomination of a new prime minister by groups close to Iran.

In a statement, al-Sadr urged protesters to evacuate the building in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone within 72 hours. The influential leader, however, called on supporters to maintain their sit-in around the parliament HQ.

Al-Sadr also called on his supporters to gather to perform the weekly Friday prayers on Aug. 5 in the Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government offices and several foreign embassies.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called on pro-Sadr protesters to end their demonstrations and hold dialogue among the country’s political groups.

Tension escalated across Iraq since last week following the nomination of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as a new prime minister by the Coordination Framework, a coalition of groups close to Iran. The move, however, triggered protests from supporters of al-Sadr.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Top terrorist leaders killed in US operations since 9/11 attack

Mahmoud Barakat  


Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, in which roughly 3,000 lives were taken when al-Qaeda hijackers struck the financial and political capitals of the US, Washington has hunted top terrorist leaders overseas.

In its latest operation, the US killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone attack in Afghanistan over the weekend in what President Joe Biden said was a "clear demonstration" of American resolve to carry out its fight against the terrorist group.

"Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more," Biden said.

Zawahiri had long evaded the US attempts to kill or capture him. He led the US-designated terrorist group in 2011 when American forces killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Zawahiri was originally from Egypt and had spent decades in al-Qaeda, serving as its deputy leader under bin Laden before assuming the mantle over a decade ago. He was believed to have plotted the 2000 attack on the USS Cole naval destroyer in Yemen in which 17 US sailors were killed and helped coordinate Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

The US had offered a reward of up to $25 million for information on him under its Rewards for Justice program.

Major operations

In February, Biden announced that US forces had killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in Syria, who was named the leader of the Daesh/ISIS terror group in 2019 after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi earlier that year.

In March, the Daesh/ISIS terror group confirmed the killing of its leader al-Qurayshi.

In October 2019, former US President Donald Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Daesh/ISIS chief who led the terrorist group's major takeover of large swathes of territory in Iraq in the summer of 2014 before taking vast territory in Syria.

Baghdadi, who was born in Iraq, blew himself up during an Oct. 26 raid by US forces in Idlib, Syria, with military and intelligence cooperation between Türkiye and the US, according to Trump.

In September 2019, Trump confirmed the death of Hamza bin Laden, son of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in a US counter-terrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 in a covert operation carried out in Abbottabad, Pakistan, at a compound where he was holed up. He claimed responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York's Twin Towers and the Pentagon attack that day.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Yazidi Genocide Anniversary Serves as Grim Reminder of Daesh’s Crimes against Humanity


August 02, 2022

DUBAI: On August 3, Yazidis around the world will come together to mourn their brothers, sisters, parents, and other loved ones who were massacred by Daesh eight years ago.

It was on that fateful day in 2014 that Daesh hordes invaded the historic Yazidi homeland, Sinjar, in Iraq. The terrorist group murdered 1,268 people on the first day; and throughout the weeks that followed, 6,417 Yazidis were kidnapped, 3,548 of whom were women and underage girls who were thrown into sexual slavery and forced labor.

The entire community fled, seeking safety in the mountains of Sinjar. More than 65 percent of Yazidis became displaced.

"I am able to announce, that based upon independent and impartial investigations, complying with international standards and UN best practice, there is clear and convincing evidence, that the crimes against the Yazidi people, clearly constituted genocide,” Karim Khan, of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh, told the Security Council in 2017.

A few months into the 2014 genocide, Sinjar and US-based Yazidis established an organization, Yazda, as an emergency response unit to help rescue their community from extinction. It became clear after the release and escape of some women that Daesh was deliberately targeting and sexually enslaving Yazidis due to their religious identity.

Dabiq, the online magazine used by Daesh for Islamic radicalization and recruitment purposes, published fatwas calling on the militants to enslave Yazidis as they were considered “devil worshippers.”

Yazda has logged testimonies from survivors who recounted militants telling them their community would “never welcome them back after what was done to them.”

As of today, 3,545 Yazidis have returned to their families; 1,205 of whom are women who risked their lives to escape captivity.

The survivors were physically, sexually, mentally, and spiritually devastated, with Yazda offering full access to psycho-social and protection services, while also documenting testimonies.

Some spoke of forced abortions, others shared how they self-harmed in order to miscarry after they learned the militants were keen on keeping the children. Some women even decided to complete their pregnancies and did their best to raise their children through re-education programs.

Today, many of these survivors are internally displaced persons trapped in a miserable life in camps. They complain that the facilities are in miserable condition with no access to critical services such as food, water, electricity and safe housing.

There are no recreational spaces to help encourage community building activities, and women and children are also unable to complete their education.

Against all odds, Yazidi women continue to fight for themselves.

A platform created within Yazda, the Yazidi Survivors Network, has given women from the community the space to advocate for their cause as they felt it vital that their voices are present when decisions were being taken.

“I want to be able to speak for myself and not have others speak for me,” one survivor and YSN member said.

Another said: “We want to participate in every decision that affects us as survivors. We want to be our own voice in all projects that concern us because only we know what we have been through and what we need in order to achieve the peace and security we desire, as well as to recover from our suffering.”

Justice, though, can be achieved through different ways for the survivors.

Yazidis have been advocating to bring Daesh militants to court and prosecute them for crimes against humanity, namely for genocide. But while many petitions have been filed and are receiving funds to cover costs, what they lack is the quantity of legal advocacy needed for commitment to the cases that have piled up.

Apart from legal prosecution, the safe return to Sinjar is another form of justice Yazidis have been hoping for since their exile, where they can find their missing family members and give a proper burial to the ones they lost.

Another aspect of justice is global recognition of their genocide. To date, there has been no follow-through from the international community on helping the Yazidi community. More surprising is that no Middle Eastern country besides Iraq has formally recognized the genocide.

Even in Iraq, where the genocide is legally recognized under Article 7 of the law, the acknowledgement has not been fully realized. At a commemorative event, YSN member Nasrin Hassan Rasho said: “I demand the Iraqi state adopt a national project for transitional justice that explicitly and clearly includes a legal recognition of the Yazidi genocide and that of other minorities.”

Many female survivors expressed their concern on being treated like second-class citizens in Iraq and the Kurdistan region. Despite their history of shared violence under the brutality of Daesh, there have been no efforts of reconciliation or efforts to resolve the discrimination.

On a personal level for survivors, the lack of their inclusion affects their productivity, independence and sense of self, which in turn hinders their psychological rehabilitation and treatment.

Suzan Safar, a Yazidi genocide survivor and founder of the Dak Organization for Ezidi Women Development, said: “This marginalization, carelessness and negligence of the Sinjar cause practiced by the government makes us feel and gives us the impression that unfortunately we are not first-class citizens, but second-class ones.

“This is what we are sensing from the actions that we are witnessing from the Iraqi government.”

In his  2017 presentation to the Security Council, UNITAD head Khan did recognize that genocide had occurred — which in itself is a big step forward in the pursuit of justice.

Source: Arab News

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Syrian Islamist group imposes irrigation fees on farmers amidst water crisis

Mohammed Hardan

August 3, 2022

Amid a worsening water crisis in northwest Syria, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has taken a series of measures to weather the effects of this crisis and help citizens cope with its repercussions.

Throughout the years of war, Syrian government forces have repeatedly targeted vital infrastructure and facilities, including drinking and irrigation water pumping stations, which has prevented farmers from irrigating their agricultural lands.

Al-Roj Plain in the western countryside of Idlib was not spared the damage. The water pumps at the Balaa Dam in the countryside of Jisr al-Shughur in southwest Idlib province stopped working in 2013 due to repeated bombings, before rehabilitation works were recently launched to improve agriculture in the area.

The HTS-affiliated Syrian Salvation Government in Idlib recently started pumping water from Ain al-Zarqa spring to Balaa Dam through a number of pumps, as part of a project that aims to help farmers and enable them to plant water-intensive crops.

On July 24, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of the Salvation Government inaugurated the project to pump water to al-Roj Plain, in the presence of HTS leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani, head of the Salvation Government, and a number of other prominent figures.

In a statement published July 29, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation announced fees that farmers would have to pay for the irrigation of their lands from the waterways supplied from Ain al-Zarqa water station.

The directorate had days earlier, on July 21, conducted experimental operations by pumping water to the waterway in al-Roj Plain for a few hours in a bid to encourage farmers to plant.

Speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, a source from the directorate of water resources at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said, “The water resources directorate has rehabilitated three out of the total seven pumps at Ain al-Zarqa station, and can now supply about 3,500 hectares [8,649 acres] in al-Roj Plain with water, out of a total area of about 10,600 hectares [26,193 acres] in the plain, which means that the project is able to meet the area’s needs. If the remaining four pumps are rehabilitated, all seven would be capable of irrigating about 7,000 hectares [17,297 acres] of land in al-Roj Plain.”

He added, “The directorate carried out a pumping [performance] test for 18 hours, six hours for each pump through the Ain al-Zarqa station, with an operational cost of about $4,680. This is the second pumping attempt since part of the Ain al-Zarqa station was rehabilitated last year. The water was pumped for the first time in 2021, after about a nine-year halt. We informed the farmers wishing to benefit from the project that the operational cost ranges between $7 and $9 per dunam [0.25 acres].”

Al-Roj Plain is known for its diverse agricultural crops due to the soil fertility. It is considered the food basket of the region, and the farmers there rely on water springs and the Orontes River, as well as the underground wells they had dug following the Syrian revolution and the shutdown of dams and water projects due to repeated shelling.

Farmers in al-Roj Plain have long suffered from many difficulties that have hindered their work, causing many to abandon farming and search for other job opportunities.

Muhamed Issa, a farmer in al-Roj Plain, told Al-Monitor, “Most of the farmers in al-Roj Plain have relied on solar energy in [irrigating] their summer crops this season, in light of the halt in the flow of water to serviced canals surrounding the agricultural lands in the plain, the high cost of water supply from groundwater wells and the high cost of diesel, which is estimated at $70 a day.”

He noted, “Operating Ain al-Zarqa station is not a solution, because the irrigation cost based on the rates imposed by the water resources directorate is very high and does not commensurate with the profits generated from our agricultural crops. We cannot afford these rates unless the prices of summer crops are adjusted on the market and are raised in line with the costs [of production]. The price of crops decreased to the point of causing losses this year. Also, it is too late to pump water for the current summer crops, as the season is nearing its end. The crops were limited anyway, because not all farmers managed to irrigate more than one dunam or a little more.”

Although there are about 50 localities and villages in al-Roj Plain, and their residents depend primarily on agriculture as their main source of income, green spaces have recently declined in the area during the summer season because of the lack of water supplies to waterways.

Farmer Abdo Hassan told Al-Monitor, “Many farmers like me were willing to increase yield this year when we heard that water would be pumped into the canals of al-Roj Plain. I rented 50 dunams [12.4 acres] of land in the plain this year, but just before I started farming, I took a step back because it would have caused me major losses. It turned out that we have to pay a fee to receive the water. This is why I decided to limit cultivation to winter crops and refrain from cultivating summer crops.”

He added, “Some crops need to be irrigated more than 25 times, which make them very costly and cause losses to farms.”

Source: Al Monitor

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Iraqi, French FMs voice support for fence-mending talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia

03 August 2022

Iraq and France have expressed their support for the talks in Baghdad between representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia as part of a diplomatic process aimed at mending relations, calling for its continuation in order to ensure security and stability in the Middle East.

During a telephone conversation between Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna on Tuesday evening, the two sides exchanged viewpoints on rapprochement talks between Riyadh and Tehran and stressed the need for the negotiations to continue, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

They also discussed ways to advance initiatives that would guarantee security and stability in the region, and would facilitate the process of cooperation in order to establish peace and achieve desirable development.

The senior diplomats also referred to the talks on lifting the sanctions against Tehran and reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, stating that a final agreement will have positive repercussions on regional security and stability.

On July 23, Hussein said Iraq will host a “public” meeting between Iran and Saudi Arabia at the level of foreign ministers as part of successive reconciliation talks mediated by Baghdad.

“The Saudi crown prince asked us to host the meeting of the Saudi foreign minister with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad. I contacted the foreign minister of Iran about this. We are preparing the meeting, trying to find the best time to invite the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia,” the Iraqi foreign minister said.

“It will be a public meeting, unlike previous encounters which were secret and were held between intelligence and security officials,” Hussein noted.

Iraq has hosted five rounds of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran at the level of intelligence and security heads since last April, the top Iraqi diplomat added.

Last month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian appreciated the “constructive” role of Iraq in advancing regional dialogue and said there has been “progress” in the last five rounds of talks with Saudi Arabia.

Amir-Abdollahian said he had told Iraqi mediators that Tehran is ready for a new political and security phase with Riyadh, expressing hope that the measure would “eventually lead to the return of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran relations to normal.”

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

The kingdom then pursued a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic, especially during the administration of former US president Donald Trump, with whom the Saudi rulers shared close ties.

Source: Press TV

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Saudi Arabia to Send 130 Athletes For 5th Islamic Solidarity Games

August 03, 2022

JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia will participate in the Fifth Islamic Solidarity Games "Konya 2022" to be officially launched on Tuesday in Konya city, Turkiye, with the participation of 54 Islamic countries.

Konya Islamic Solidarity Games 2022 will last until August 18.

More than 130 male and female players will represent the Kingdom in the competitions including 3×3 women’s basketball, darts, gymnastics, athletics, fencing, football, handball, judo, karate, archery, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, and Paralympic swimming.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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North America


After the killing of al-Zawahri, here is the FBI’s list of most wanted extremists

03 August, 2022

Until Sunday, al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahri was one of the world's most wanted men.

As the number one extremist on the FBI’s most wanted list, al-Zawahri and his deceased co-conspirator Osama Bin Laden were the masterminds behind the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Centre in New York. Al-Zawahri was considered one of the leaders of terrorism that led the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the US, Saudi Arabia and several other countries across the world.

The US government carried out an attack that killed al-Zawahri on July 31 while he stepped out on his balcony in Kabul, Afghanistan. Senior US officials told reporters that the attack was conducted by an unmanned drone, which fired two Hellfire missiles.

His name has been crossed off the FBI’s most wanted list, but there are about two dozen more names of suspected terrorists and extremists.

Here is a look at some of the other extremists topping the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list – including a relative of al-Zawahri.

Abd al Rahman al-Maghrebi

The son-in-law of al-Zawahiri, Abd al-Rahman al-Maghrebi, a Moroccan-born national, is wanted for questioning in connection with his membership in al-Qaeda, an organization known for committing acts of terrorism against the US. Al-Maghrebi reportedly studied software programming in Germany before traveling to Afghanistan where he was selected to manage al-Sahab, al-Qaeda’s primary media wing. Following the events of the 9/11 attacks in the US, al-Maghrebi fled to Iran and possibly travels between Iran and Pakistan, according to the FBI, which is offering a $7 million reward for his apprehension.

Sajid Mir

Sajid Mir is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Between November 26, 2008, and November 29, 2008, ten attackers trained by the Pakistan-based foreign terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) carried out a series of coordinated attacks against multiple targets in Mumbai, including hotels, cafes, and a train station, killing approximately 170 people. Six Americans were killed during the three-day attacks.

Mir allegedly served as the chief planner of the attacks, directing preparations and reconnaissance, and was one of the Pakistan-based controllers during the attacks. Additionally, Mir allegedly conspired to commit a terrorist attack against a newspaper and its employees in Denmark between 2008 and 2009. Mir was indicted in the US on April 21, 2011, and was charged with conspiracy to injure the property of a foreign government; providing material support to terrorists; killing a citizen outside of the US and aiding and abetting; and the bombing of places of public use. An arrest warrant was issued on April 22, 2011. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Ishmail Muslim Ali

Ishmail Muslim Ali is wanted for his alleged involvement in the December 31, 1984, hijacking of American Airlines Flight 626 en route from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York. Ali, who was aboard the plane as a prisoner being transferred from the islands to a prison in New York, allegedly used a handgun hidden in the bathroom of the plane to hijack the plane to Havana, Cuba, according to the FBI. At the time, Ali was serving eight life sentences for the murders of eight tourists in St. Croix. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Ali on April 17, 1985, after he was charged with aircraft piracy.

Jaber A. Elbaneh

Elbaneh is wanted in connection with a federal criminal complaint unsealed on May 21, 2003, in the Western District of New York, Buffalo, New York. He is charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to provide material support, specifically to al-Qaeda. Elbaneh was last known to be in Yemen. The reward directly leading to his apprehension has been put at $5 million.

Saif al-Adel

Saif al-Adel is wanted by the FBI and thought to be a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda. He is wanted in connection to the 1998 bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. A reward of up to $10 million is being offered by the FBI for information leading directly to his arrest.

Mohammed Ali Hamadei

Mohammed Ali Hamadei is wanted by the FBI in connection to the 1985 hijacking of a plane which resulted in the murder of a US citizen. He is an alleged member of Lebanon’s Iranian proxy group Hezbollah. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest or conviction.

Source: Al Arabiya

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State Dept warns US citizens of terror attacks in aftermath of Zawahri’s killing

03 August, 2022

The State Department warned US citizens on Tuesday that al-Qaeda supporters may increase their attacks on Americans and US interests overseas in the aftermath of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

In a statement, the State Department said it remained concerned about the continued threat of terror attacks, demonstrations and other violent actions against US citizens and interests. “The Department of State believes there is a higher potential for anti-American violence given the death of Ayman al-Zawahri on July 31, 2022,” the statement read.

Current information suggests that terror groups are continuing to plan attacks against US interests in multiple regions across the globe, according to the State Department. “These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.”

The US government carried out an attack that killed al-Zawahri on July 31 while he stepped out on his balcony in Kabul, Afghanistan. Senior US officials told reporters that the attack was conducted by an unmanned drone, which fired two Hellfire missiles.

The strike resulted in the killing of al-Zawahri, and the US purposefully did not target his family members inside the building, US officials said.

Although White House officials played down the threat of al-Qaeda re-emerging in Afghanistan, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US would still remain vigilant.

In its warning, the State Department said supporters of al-Qaeda, or its affiliated terrorist organizations, may now seek to attack US facilities, personnel, or citizens because of his death.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Ayman al-Zawahri led life of secrecy and violence

Douglas Martin, Alan Cowell   |   New York 


Ayman al-Zawahri, the Egyptian-born surgeon-turned-jihadist who assumed the leadership of Al Qaida after the killing of Osama bin Laden and who died at 71 in a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the weekend, according to US officials, led a life steeped in secrecy, betrayal, conspiracy and violence, most murderously in the September 11 attacks against the US in 2001.

While Bin Laden, who was killed by an American raid in 2011, was widely seen as the terrorist mastermind of those attacks, many counter-terrorism experts considered al-Zawahri more responsible. With his white turban and dense, grey beard, his forehead marked by the bruising prized by some Muslims as denoting piety from frequent prayer, Zawahri had little of Bin Laden’s charisma and none of his access to fabled family wealth.

But he was widely depicted as the intellectual spine of al Qaida — its chief operating officer, its public relations executive, and a profound influence who helped the Saudi-born Bin Laden grow from a charismatic preacher into a deadly terrorist with global reach. In an interview in May 2011 with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a research group, Tawfik Hamid, a former Islamist militant who now studies the subject, said that of the two men, Zawahri was a more influential leader. “When you listen to him, you can tell clearly that he has the ambition and is dedicated 100 per cent to achieving this mission,” Hamid said.

During his leadership of al Qaida, the organisation’s global influence waned as the Islamic State rose. But the group remained a threat, with affiliates in several countries carrying out attacks. And Zawahri, to whom they all swore allegiance, was still one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists at his death. From his teenage years in an upscale suburb of Cairo, Zawahri led a cat-and-mouse existence, serving prison terms in Egypt and Russia and hunted by adversaries, including US counterterrorism authorities, who placed a $25 million bounty on his head.

Yet he seemed always to stay one step ahead, hiding out in the craggy redoubts of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas. Over time, his aims and ideology evolved from a visceral hatred of secular rule in Egypt, where he was among those tried for conspiracy in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat, to a virulent campaign to strike at the so-called “far enemy”, the US, al Qaida’s target of preference.

The group’s tactical strength lay in its ability to launch spectacular assaults, starting with the simultaneous attacks on the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the suicide bombing of the American destroyer Cole in Yemen in 2000, and culminating in the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 that led to the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In the following decade, American counterterrorism authorities pursued Bin Laden and Zawahri, his deputy and chosen successor.

Drone strikes decimated al Qaida’s leadership in a sustained effort to degrade the organisation and avenge the September 11 attacks. On at least one occasion, Zawahri was said to have died, only to resurface in the sporadic video and audiotapes that spread his message. In May 2011, a Navy SEAL team killed Bin Laden in a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. For more than a month, al Qaida was silent on its future leadership. Then Zawahri put out a 28-minute video of himself.

With a rifle in the background and making a chopping motion with his hand, he promised that Bin Laden would continue to “terrify” America after his death. “Blood for blood,” he said. By that time, a newer generation of jihadists had grown, first in the chaos of Iraq after the American invasion, and then spreading to Syria after civil war broke out there in 2011. In the ensuing mayhem, the Islamic State rose to prominence as a new beacon of jihadist zeal, attracting tens of thousands of followers with its media-savvy, Internet-age messages, its slick videos of beheadings and its capture of huge swaths of territory in which it declared a new caliphate for the world’s Muslims.

Shorn of its iconic leader, al Qaida, by contrast, had been forced to abandon its centralised command structure while its affiliates, particularly in Yemen and Syria, pledged allegiance to Zawahri in a sharpening and bloody feud with the Islamic State, which, paradoxically, had begun as an offshoot of al Qaida in Iraq. Both groups were rooted in Sunni extremism. But the distinctions between them were legion.

While the Islamic State sought hegemony among jihadist groups and thirsted for territorial expansion, al Qaida’s affiliates showed increasing readiness to cooperate with other groups and little appetite for occupation.

Zawahri castigated the IS and its leaders for their practice of killing Shia civilians, fearing that such killings would taint the jihadist cause among Muslims. And while the Islamic State disciples reinforced the group’s reputation for brutality through videos of the decapitations of western hostages and other acts of savagery, Zawahri opposed such displays, apparently to avoid alienating potential supporters.

Sajjan M. Gohel, a specialist in international terrorism based in London, wrote that Zawahri was happy to let the Islamic State face attacks by US-backed coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, giving al Qaida the space to “reconstitute its infrastructure and networks across the Islamic world” and revive its long-term goal of striking targets in the West. In 2015, Zawahri played what he calculated would be a winning card in his group’s revival, introducing to followers Hamza bin Laden, a son of the al Qaida founder, and describing him in an audio recording as a “lion from al Qaida’s den”.

In the broadcast, Hamza bin Laden exhorted jihadists to carry out “the highest number of attacks” on western cities. A year later, in a message aimed at America titled “We are all Osama,” Hamza bin Laden issued a personal appeal to avenge his father. “Yours will be a harsh reckoning,” he said. “We are a nation that does not rest over injustice.”

Hamza bin Laden had been among a group of Bin Laden relatives who took refuge in Iran after the September 11 attacks, held under house arrest arrangements of varying severity. Some analysts believed that he was no more than a figurehead whose utterances were intended to lure younger jihadists from the Islamic State.

According to Gohel, Hamza bin Laden had at least two wives, including a daughter of Zawahri’s who bore two children, linking the two families in a “strategic marriage alliance”. Hamza bin Laden was killed in a counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan sometime in 2017 or 2018, American officials said.

Zawahri’s deputies were also picked off. Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was killed by a US drone strike in Syria in 2017. A successor, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was killed by Israeli operatives in Tehran in 2020. In 2021, nearly 20 years after the US invaded Afghanistan to drive al Qaida out, the Taliban retook control of the country and gave its ally, al Qaida, safe haven.

Zawahri duly returned. Ayman Muhammad Rabie al-Zawahri, one of five children, was born on June 19, 1951, in Maadi, a Cairo suburb. His father was a pharmacology professor whose uncle had been the grand imam of Al Azhar, a 1,000-year-old university that is a centre of Islamic learning. His mother’s father was president of Cairo University, founder and director of King Saud University in Riyadh and an ambassador to Saudi Arabia and other countries. Another of her relatives was the first secretary general of the Arab League. Despite its prominence, the family displayed little evident prosperity and never owned a car until Ayman was grown.

Lawrence Wright, in his book The Looming Tower: Al Qaida and the Road to 9/11  (2006), said that the al-Zawahris’ reclusive, conservative, even backward ways caused them to be perceived as “hicks.” Zawahri was a brilliant student when he was not daydreaming and opposed contact sports as inhumane.

He began reading Islamist literature at an early age. One enormous influence was Sayyid Qutb, an Islamic thinker who saw the world diametrically divided between believers and infidels. (He included moderate Muslims among the infidels.) Qutb was imprisoned and tortured in Egypt and hanged there in 1966.

“In Zawahri’s eyes, Sayyid Qutb’s words struck young Muslims more deeply than those of his contemporaries because his words eventually led to his execution,” Montasser al-Zayyat, an Islamic radical and lawyer, wrote in The Road to Al Qaida: The Story of Bin Laden’s Right-Hand Man (2004). Another influence was the humiliating defeat the Arab countries suffered at the hands of Israel in 1967.

It turned many young people away from the Pan-Arab socialism pursued by President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and toward anti-western forms of Islam.

In 1966, Zawahri helped form an underground militant cell dedicated to replacing Egypt’s secular government with an Islamic one. He was 15. At first, there were five members. By 1974 there were 40. Zawahri kept his involvement secret from even his family while he attended medical school at Cairo University.

He graduated in 1974, served three years in the army and earned a master’s degree in surgery in 1978. Through his and her families, Zawahri met Azza Nowair, who, Wright wrote, came from a well-off background. He suggested that in another time she might have been a professional or a socialite. But she had become deeply religious, wore a veil and spent whole nights reading the Quran. When they were married in 1979, Zawahri had seen her face exactly once.

At the ceremony, there were men’s and women’s sections. At the bride’s request, there was no music or photography. In October 2001, soon after the attacks on America, Azza Zawahri and at least one of their children were killed by bombardments in Afghanistan. Wounded, she had refused to be pulled from the rubble, news accounts of the bombardment said, for fear that rescuers would see her face — an offence against Islamic modesty. Published reports have said that they had four daughters and a son.

Al-Zawahri was working in a clinic in Egypt in 1980 when he seized an opportunity to go to Peshawar, Pakistan, for the Red Crescent, the Muslim correlate of the Red Cross, to treat refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion.

He visited Afghanistan and recognised it as a good place to launch a jihad, returning many times. When he was arrested in 1981 for conspiring to murder Sadat, he was slapped by the chief of police. Zawahri slapped him back. At his trial, along with hundreds of others, he was convicted only of gun possession. But as the trial proceeded for nearly three years, he was repeatedly tortured in prison.

Under interrogation, he revealed the name, activities and whereabouts of one of his collaborators, a soldier, which led to the man’s arrest. In an interview with The New Yorker in 2002, Zayyat, the lawyer for many Islamist activists, suggested that the guilt Zawahri felt over this betrayal was a major reason for his leaving Egypt after he was released in 1984.

His journey took him to Saudi Arabia and then, in 1986, back to Peshawar, where Bin Laden sometimes lectured at the hospital where Zawahri worked. Zawahri became Bin Laden’s personal physician, set up a security force around him and helped the Saudi begin thinking about specific ways to hurt the western powers and the West Asian governments they supported.

“When Ayman met Bin Laden, he created a revolution inside of him,” Mr. Zayyat told The New Yorker. The deal was straightforward: Zawahri would supply the political acumen and an educated leadership cadre to turn Bin Laden’s loose coalition, and his own unformed impulses, into an instrument of mass murder. Bin Laden provided money and prestige. Zayyat, who once shared an Egyptian prison cell with al-Zawahri, wrote that he was convinced that Zawahri was more responsible than Bin Laden for the attacks on the US, a view shared by other counterterrorism experts.

Source: Telegraph India

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Al-Qaeda leader's death ‘hasn’t solved anything’ says Nigel Farage 'extreme Islamic terrorism hasn't gone away’

02 August 2022

Nigel Farage has said the death of an Al-Qaeda leader “hasn’t solved anything” because “the threat of extreme Islamic terrorism hasn't gone away”.

Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Afghanistan, in a drone strike organised by US forces, Joe Biden has confirmed.

The terrorist plotted the 9/11 attacks alongside Osama Bin Laden and took over Al-Qaeda after his former boss was killed in a 2011 US operation.

During a debate on GB News’ Dan Wootton Tonight on the death of al-Zawahiri, Dan asked Nigel: “How significant is that?”

To which Nigel responded by saying: “Not at all, it’s history, Al-Qaeda was yesterday’s organisation, it moved onto ISIS.

“Yes this guy as the Americans would say was a bad dude who was complicit in the most horrendous events on 9/11.

“Was he posing a threat today? I very much doubt it.

“Was it an act of retribution? Yes”

“Would it be seen my Americans as some form of justice? I Guess that it will but I’m not sure it’s going to give Joe Biden many plus marks when ISIS is still there and the threat of extreme Islamic terrorism hasn't gone away.

“So fine, an old score has been settled but it hasn’t solved anything in my view for the future.”

Source: GB News

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US approves sale of Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia, THAAD system missiles for UAE

02 August, 2022

The US State Department has approved the sale of 300 Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia in a deal worth $3.05 billion and another deal worth $2.25 billion to the UAE for 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile rounds.

In a statement released by the Pentagon, the US said Riyadh requested PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic missiles (GEM-T). The sale will include other tools and test equipment.

The principal contractor will be US-based Raytheon.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a partner country that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Gulf region,” the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon added that this sale would improve Saudi Arabia’s ability to meet current and future threats by “replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles.” It cited “persistent Houthi cross-border” drone and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

Al Arabiya English first reported in June that the US was likely to announce the sale of anti-missile interceptors in the coming weeks.

The Iran-backed Houthis doubled the number of attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia during the first nine months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to a report published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Separately, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that it had initiated the planning of Exercise EAGLE RESOLVE 23 - a scenario-driven command post exercise (CPX) linked with field training exercises (FTX) scheduled for May-June 2023 in Saudi Arabia.

This will be the 16th iteration of the yearly exercise, which is designed to develop and employ a Combined Joint Task Force to respond to current and emerging regional threats in the Middle East.

Air defense for UAE

The Pentagon also said that the UAE requested to buy THAAD missile rounds, two THAAD Launch Control Stations (LCS), and two THAAD Tactical Operations Stations (TOS). Also included are repair and return, system integration and checkout, and spare and repair parts.

This sale would support US national security interests and improve the security of an important regional partner, the Pentagon said. “The proposed sale will improve the UAE’s ability to meet current and future ballistic missile threats in the region, and reduce dependence on US forces.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Nasrallah slams US over ‘false promises’ to supply natural gas and electricity to Lebanon

03 August 2022

The leader of Hezbollah resistance movement has slammed the US’ false promises for the transfer of natural gas and electricity from Egypt and Jordan to Lebanon.

One year has passed since the US ambassador’s promise, but nothing has happened in practice, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an address to Hezbollah Central Ashura mourning ceremony in Dahiyeh, Lebanon.

“After a few days, the memory of the false promise of the American ambassador to bring gas from Egypt and electric energy from Jordan through Syria will come to us,” he said.

Nasrallah said the United States and Israel are the embodiment of Devil and Hezbollah’s struggle against them will continue.

“We will continue with the methodology of finding solutions,” he said, noting the movement had proposed to buy fuel from Iran to meet Lebanon’s energy needs, but the US did not allow it to happen.

Nasrallah’s remarks came two days after he issued a stern warning to Israel about exploiting Lebanon’s offshore energy resources.

Nasrallah said the resistance movement is ready for any scenario, including a war, to protect those resources.

Given the entrance of the Israeli vessels into the waters, he said Sunday, “Hezbollah’s leadership discussed the options in front of the country.”

“There is a 50 percent chance that [the situation] could be resolved, and a 50 percent chance that the situation could advance towards war,” he added.

The resistance’s attitude and behavior towards the Israeli regime in the case, Nasrallah said, depended on the results of ongoing indirect negotiations between Beirut and Tel Aviv over the disputed maritime area.

Source: Press TV

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South Asia


Islamic Emirate committed to fighting ISIS in Afghanistan: Haqqani

August 2, 2022

In an interview with an Indian news channel on Friday, July 29, Afghanistan’s acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani said that the al-Qaeda network does not have a military presence in Afghanistan and that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is bound by its commitments to the international community to fight ISIS.

Haqqani added that al-Qaeda does not have a military force in Afghanistan and that the network is no longer a threat to the security of the region and the world.

“As we have promised to the world also the Islamic world is in arms against the ISIS to control and throw it out; many steps have been taken with regard to al-Qaeda, it has no presence in Afghanistan and is no more a threat and the world is required not to feel threatened about the already dead outfit some Western forces which are trying to destabilize the country are being taken care of by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to control and contain these forces,” said Haqqani.

“We have repeatedly said that the Treaty of Doha which was signed will be implemented in letter and spirit and our message to the world is that no such terror outfit will make Afghanistan its Center of Terror operation; our security agencies are competing to prevent and to nip such attempts in the bud and we are firmly united against such forces,” he added.

Haqqani describes India’s concern about the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) groups in Afghanistan as baseless and emphasized that the Islamic Emirate is ready to provide security to diplomatic missions of foreign countries, including India.

“India’s concern about the presence of Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan is baseless, we want to have very close relations with India, such fear is baseless and undesirable,” said Haqqani.

Source: Ariana News

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Motorcyclist Gunmen Kill Religious Scholar in Central Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

03 Aug 2022

Unknown motorcycle-riding gunmen killed a religious scholar in Ghor province, in central Afghanistan, according to local Taliban officials.

Abdul Matin Mohammadi, a religious scholar, was allegedly killed on Tuesday, August 2, in the evening by unidentified assailants, according to the Taliban authorities.

The Taliban governor’s office in Ghor has released a newsletter stating that the religious scholar was attacked in the Dara Ghazi region of Firuzkoh district on Tuesday evening.

According to sources, the attackers ride away from the scene on motorcycles after killing Mohammadi as he was returning home after offering the prayers in the mosque.

The Taliban governor’s office in the province of Ghor reports that no one has been arrested in relation to the death of this religious scholar, despite an ongoing investigation.

Mawlawi Abdul Matin taught at the Imam Abu Hanifa Islamic seminary in the Firuzkoh district and was one of the most renowned and distinguished scholars of Ghor.

In a recent incident, unidentified gunmen killed a prayer leader, the Imam of a mosque in the Afghan northeastern province of Kunar.

Sheikh Mohammad Israel Sahibzada was killed in the Sahibzada village of Kunar province, as he was returning from the mosque after offering the prayer.

Source: Khaama Press

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After destroying the Bamiyan Buddha statues, Taliban attempts to destroy the historic bazaar nearby

Aug 03, 2022

More than two decades after destroying the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan, the Taliban has now started construction work nearby the cliff, where the two giant statues once stood, to develop a tourism complex.

The terror outfit masquerading as the government of Afghanistan is looking to 'rebuild' a historic bazaar that was destroyed in 1990 when the civil war was at its peak in the country. Reportedly, the tourist complex will house guesthouses, restaurants, public toilets, parking as well as grocery and handicraft shops.

While the Taliban attempts to embrace modernity by building a new complex, some experts believe that the ruined bazaar itself is a historic site. Moreover, the bazaar could be sitting atop other ancient relics buried underneath it. Thus, by building new infrastructure, the Taliban may be doing a lot more damage to the site.

It is being reported that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO, which has been working extensively at the Bamiyan site for decades hasn't been consulted for the project. The UN agency said in a statement:

When the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan last year, it charged as much as $5 from the tourists trying to reach the place where the statues once stood and look at the holes.

Source: WIO News

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UN had absolutely no knowledge of Zawahiri's whereabouts: Spokesperson for UNSG

Aug 3, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: Member states must ensure that measures taken to counter terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, a spokesperson for the UN secretary general has said, asserting that the global body had “no information” about the whereabouts of al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri killed by a US drone strike in Kabul.

Al-Qaida's emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, who played a key role in the 9/11 attacks and later formed the group's regional affiliate in the Indian subcontinent, was killed in a drone strike carried out by CIA on Saturday at a house in a posh locality in the Afghan capital where he was sheltering to reunite with his family. US President Joe Biden made the announcement of his killing on Monday, declaring that "justice has been delivered and this terrorist is no more".

Zawahiri had assumed the leadership of al-Qaida after the death of its founder Osama bin Laden.

"No, not at all. We had absolutely no knowledge,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for secretary-general Antonio Guterres said, when asked at the daily press briefing on Tuesday whether the UN had any knowledge that Zawahiri was in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.

In response to a question on the UN's reaction to Zawahiri's killing, Dujarric said the world organisation remains committed to fighting against terrorism and strengthening international cooperation in countering that threat.

"Member states must ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with their obligations under international law,” he added.

Zawahiri's death is the biggest blow to the global terror network since Laden was eliminated in Pakistan in 2011.

Dujarric noted that the UN is not a party to the 2020 Doha agreement, which had outlined terms of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and under which the Taliban had to ensure that the group will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaida to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.

“Our relations with the de facto authorities in Kabul will continue, and we will continue... for the sake of the people of Afghanistan, we will continue to press them on human rights, especially on the rights of girls, on the rights of women, and on the need to meet the many, many overwhelming, one could say, humanitarian needs of the Afghan people,” he said.

Dujarric reiterated to “make it very clear, we, of course, had no idea, information” about Zawahiri's whereabouts, the “fact he was in Kabul or whatever. I mean, that's not something we would have been aware of. Obviously, we're not... no information on that”.

The New York Times reported that American intelligence agencies tracked down Zawahiri in Kabul earlier this year and then spent months determining that it really was him hiding out in a house in a crowded section of the Afghan capital.

Once the CIA received authorisation from Biden for the operation a week ago, two Hellfire missiles were used to kill Zawahiri on a “balcony of the house” without killing anyone else, including members of his family or any nearby civilians, the NYT report said.

Zawahiri's killing “raised immediate questions” about the terrorist leader's presence in Afghanistan a year after Biden withdrew American forces from the war-torn country, “clearing the way for the Taliban to recapture control of the country,” the NYT said.

“Al-Zawahiri moved back to Afghanistan earlier this year, evidently believing he would be safe there,” the NYT report quoted officials as saying.

However, the report quoted an American official as saying that Zawahiri's presence in Kabul was a “clear violation” of the agreement over the American withdrawal from Afghanistan by former President Donald Trump and later accepted by Biden that the Taliban would not provide safe haven for al-Qaeda to launch further attacks against Americans.

Source: Times Of India

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French gov't takes flak over deportation decision against well-known imam

Feiza Ben Mohamed  


NICE, France

Several organizations and mosques in France are leading criticism of an Interior Ministry decision to deport well-known Muslim imam Hassan Iquioussen.

A preacher and member of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF), Iquioussen faces expulsion after authorities refused "unjustly" to renew his residence permit and has filed a case with an administrative court to halt the deportation procedure which he insists is based on "baseless accusations." A hearing is expected to take place in the coming days.

In multiple statements issued over the weekend, the heads of various organizations called for the rejection of the procedure, described as unfair.

The procedure is "crude political maneuver," the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP) said, adding that "state racism" continues to discriminate against a section of the population under the guise of the scoundrel law of "separatism."

He was referring to new secularism legislation known as "confirming respect for the principles of the Republic" or so-called "separatism law" which came into effect in August 2021 and has been criticized for singling out Muslims.

"The separatism law, as we see here clearly, is a law of confusion of powers where the minister of the interior establishes judicial power," said the Jewish organization.

Noting that racism was the reason behind the decision against Iquioussen, the UJFP stressed that "nothing can justify deportation for political or ideological reasons."

The deputy of the northern New Ecological and Social People's Union (NUPES), David Guiraud, also expressed his frustration over the deportation plan in a statement published on Sunday evening.

He said that French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wants to saturate the media waves with a security and repressive discourse.

Noting that the imam "has not yet been prosecuted for any crime or offense," Guiraud warned that while the plan targets Muslims today, others could later fall victims of the same flouted procedure in the future because "arbitrary and anti-democratic decisions never stop" once not challenged.

In July, Interior Minister Darmanin accused Iquioussen of allegedly making "hate remarks against French values contrary to the principle of secularism."

No less than 26 mosques in the north have also published a joint statement defending Iquioussen.

"During his various and regular interventions in our mosques, Hassan Iquioussen always makes remarks consistent with the national values of liberty, equality and fraternity, as well as secularism. He has faithfully campaigned tirelessly to promote dialogue, respect and togetherness," the statement said.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, the Council of Mosques of the Rhone (CMR) and Theological Council of Imams of the Rhone (CTIR) said the accusations against Iquioussen "do not seem to be in line with the spirit of justice and fairness that guide our institutions."

"We have always known him to be faithful to his commitment against hatred, racism, anti-semitism, extremism, obscurantism, terrorism and an advocate of gender equality. Throughout his ministry, he has tirelessly promoted dialogue, respect, peace and peaceful co-existence," Kamel Kabtane said for the RMC and Mohamed Minta and Azzedine Gaci for the CTIR.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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First ship carrying grain from Ukraine reaches Turkey

03 August 2022

The first shipment of Ukrainian grain to leave Ukraine since Russia launched a military campaign against the country has reached Turkish waters.

The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni anchored at the edge of the Bosphorus Strait on Tuesday.

Under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, the vessel is due to be inspected near Istanbul on Wednesday by a team that includes Russian and Ukrainian officials before delivering its cargo of 26,000 tons of maize to Tripoli, Lebanon.

The landmark deal lifted Moscow's naval blockade in the Black Sea, allowing millions of tons of grain to be exported to world markets to help curb a global food crisis. The banned export of grain from Ukraine, which is one of the world's major exporters of maize, has contributed to soaring food prices, hitting the world's poorest nations the hardest.

Turkey, a NATO member state, shares a sea border with both Russia and Ukraine in the Black Sea. Ankara has offered its services to accompany maritime convoys from Ukrainian ports.

Kiev says at least 16 more grain ships are waiting to depart.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow began to deteriorate in 2014, when the then-Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to join the Russian Federation. Western countries backed Kiev, refused to recognize the referendum results, and imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Source: Press TV

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Muslim-Muslim ticket means persecuting Christians – Anglican Archbishop, Ibezim

August 2, 2022

By Joe Chukindi

Archbishop, Province of the Niger, and Bishop of Awka Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Alexander Ibezim has said the recent unveiling of a Muslim Vice presidential candidate by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC amounts to persecuting Christians.

Ibezim decried the seeming plan to alienate Christians from the affairs of Nigeria while speaking to journalists in a press conference to mark the commencement of activities marking his 60th birthday.

Speaking in Awka on Tuesday, Archbishop Ibezim said it was unacceptable to run an all-Muslim ticket in a secular state like Nigeria. He said the decision amounted to persecuting Christians in Nigeria.

“Whether you like it or not, no one must play with Christians. It is for the interest of Nigeria if Christianity succeeds.

“We have undergone a lot of persecution and they want to persecute us again in present-day Nigeria.

“We are not second-class citizens in Nigeria. For us to be holistic, for us to be truthful to ourselves, we must not play with Christianity. Muslim-Muslim ticket is unacceptable, and that is how I see it,” Ibezim said.

Speaking about the controversy surrounding the attendance of some unidentified bishops at the unveiling of the APC vice presidential candidate, Ibezim said the proliferation of churches has made it easy for people to crown themselves bishops.

“Proliferation entered into the church and that is why people can dress how they like. People now call themselves, and they address themselves as bishops.

“If they claim to be bishops, let it be that God has sent them. That is my advice to them. No one can deceive the church of God.

“What they did is satanic and capable of destroying that person. They say money can buy anything, and people take the money and claim anything.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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US played secret role in 2017 Nigeria IDP bombing that killed over 160: Report

02 August 2022

The US government played a secret role in a military operation in Nigeria in 2017 that killed hundreds of civilians, a damning new report has revealed, painting a harrowing picture of US Africa Command's conduct in the region.

According to a Freedom of Information Act report obtained by The Intercept, US intelligence was secretly involved in the disastrous bombing of an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Nigeria that led to the killing of more than 160 civilians, most of them children.

The bombardment was carried out in January 2017 on the camp located in Nigeria’s city of Rann, near the Cameroonian and Chadian borders, which housed 43,000 people and was controlled by the Nigerian Arm.

It led to the destruction of at least 35 structures, including shelters for war victims, besides killing nine aid workers and critically wounding over 120 people.

According to survivors of the attack, a surveillance plane flew over the camp, before another plane bombed the area where the population drew water from a well. The jet then circled and dropped another bomb on the refugees’ tents, decimating the whole camp.

The attack, branded as a ‘US-Nigeria operation’, was carried out under the guise of a counterinsurgency campaign against the armed group Boko Haram.

In a statement one day after the attack, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) regretted carrying out the airstrike and explained that “the site was not reflected on the operational map as a humanitarian base.”

“Hence, it appeared as a place that could equally be used for enemy activities,” said Major Gen. John Enenche, Nigeria’s director of defense information.

Nigerian human rights organizations and activists questioned how the military could be unaware of the camp and accused the NAF of a cover-up as the refugees’ tents were completely visible from the air, according to satellite imagery.

A year after the offensive, human rights lawyer Femi Falana called on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to compensate victims of the airstrike.

In The Intercept report, it is revealed that the US government secretly provided intelligence or other support such as background information to the Nigerian military before bombing the area.

“You will gather and preserve any background information that is relevant to a complete understanding of the US-Nigerian operations such as this strike,” reads the document.

According to the document obtained by The Intercept, just days after the attack, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) secretly commissioned Brigadier General Frank J. Stokes, deputy director of the Strategy, Engagement and Programs Directorate, to conduct an “investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of a kinetic airstrike by Nigerian military forces in and around Rann, Nigeria”. However, the findings of the investigation were never published.

“Civilian victims, and the American and Nigerian publics, deserve answers about any US role in this devastating strike,” said Annie Shiel, senior adviser for the United States at the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC).

“What exactly was the United States’s involvement? What were the findings of the investigation — including findings of wrongdoing — and what kind of responsibility does the U.S. acknowledge for the grave harm caused?”

“As the US continues to deepen its security assistance to Nigeria… we also need far more transparency about what steps have been taken to prevent and respond to civilian harm using US assistance,” said Shiel, adding that Congress should demand clarifications from military authorities.

According to a senior member of the United National Anti-war Movement Judith Bello, the American authorities, who called for airstrikes, “do not care” about the civilians’ deaths, “because the idea of having ongoing wars is what they exactly want”.

Stokes’ mandate included an inquiry into how the US shares information with Nigeria’s military and “after action reporting procedures when shared information is used in a strike (e.g., battle damage assessment reports)".

However, he was impeded from obtaining any information “on any person or organization which took part in this strike”.

“You do not have any authority to compel potentially incriminating evidence from any Service member, a civilian employee of the US, contractor personnel supporting US operations, or foreign military personnel,” reads his mandate.

AFRICOM “was not involved” in the bombing of the camp, spokesman Kelly Cahalan said, adding that secret operations can be carried out by the CIA or Special Operations forces under their own chains of command.

According to a special investigative project for Nigeria’s The Cable, the regional military commander, Gen. Lucky Irabor (now Nigeria’s defense chief), “admitted that he ordered the attacks in Rann, based on intelligence received.”

The report cited a “senior military source” saying that the intelligence information was received from “one of the powerful countries in the west.”

It is worth noting that US surveillance and intelligence-gathering equipment such as Predator drones, Global Hawks, and turboprop planes have regularly been employed over Nigeria as well as the Chadian border.

In 2017, The Intercept in another damning report revealed the existence of a ‘drone base’ and ‘torture center’ used by US contractors in Salak, Cameroon, in the northern border region between Nigeria and Chad.

The US drone program was originally instituted by George W. Bush to assist in his so-called ‘War on Terror’. His successors significantly increased the number of drone strikes in faraway countries.

Source: Press TV

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Govt leaders want Imran banned, disqualified over ECP ‘charge sheet’

Syed Irfan Raza

August 3, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Terming the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) verdict in the prohibited funding case of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) a “charge sheet” against the party, members of the ruling coalition claim it has proved ‘anti-Pakistan forces’ were behind establishment of the party, and labelled party chief Imran Khan everything from a liar, corrupt, foreign agent to a money launderer.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday maintained the ECP decision declared Mr Khan a “certified liar” for submitting false affidavits, while PPP Chairman and foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s spokesman said the verdict proved the former premier was a corrupt person and running his political party under the name of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.

“The ECP verdict on PTI foreign funding case charge-sheets Imran Niazi for violating the Constitution, submitting false affidavits, and accepting foreign money,” the prime minister tweeted after the ECP announced its decision on Tuesday morning.

“Proven yet again that he is a certified liar,” he added, and urged the nation to ponder over the implications of Mr Khan’s politics funded by foreigners.

From London, former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif urged the federal government to take “immediate legal action” against Imran Khan following the ECP verdict, saying that Imran used to give “lectures” to people about honesty. “Today, the ECP’s verdict has shown that it is actually him who is the biggest thief in history.

Also taking potshots at the PTI chief, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said Imran Khan had finally been proved to be a “foreign agent”.

“This foreign agent was launched to stop CPEC and the progress of Pakistan. This man who used to give sermons on liberating the nation from slavery, in fact, turned out to be a slave of foreign powers. He took money from these foreign powers to create anarchy in Pakistan,” Ms Nawaz said in a series of tweets.

She said Mr Khan’s narrative of honesty and self-respect had been fully exposed. “The anti-Nawaz Sharif narrative was based on blatant lies & conspiracies but IK is guilty of startling, mind-boggling wrongdoings the evidence of which is irrefutable.”

Recently ousted Punjab chief minister and the prime minister’ son, Hamza Shehbaz, said the ECP verdict had exposed the alleged foreign conspiracy against Imran Khan. “Taking money from citizens and companies of countries like the US and India, Imran Khan created anarchy in his own country,” he said, adding the “judicial Sadiq and Amin” had been declared a “proven liar and money launderer”.

Speaking at a press conference here, PML-N leader Tallal Chaudhry demanded a lifetime ban and imprisonment for Mr Khan.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said a “thief, liar involved in foreign funding and money laundering” has finally been caught after eight years. In a statement, she demanded Mr Khan resign from the party chairman post immediately.

Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri of the PPP, which is an ally of the PML-N in the ruling coalition in the Centre, stated legal action would be pursued after the ECP proved financial crimes committed by the PTI.

Addressing a news conference along with party leader Faisal Karim Kundi, the minister said Mr Khan, anticipating a decision against him, had already started blaming other parties for receiving foreign funding. “The PTI must come forward with proof if the PPP or PML-N has received foreign funding.”

The PTI chief submitted false affidavits before the ECP and delayed the decision for eight years through writ petitions, she remarked. “Now a legal process will be followed in light of this decision,” Ms Marri declared.

Pakistan Democratic Movement head and chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, demanded the PTI be banned and Imran Khan disqualified.

Source: Dawn

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Hajj Sermon 2022 gives message of peace, love: Tahir Ashrafi

August 2, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Memood Ashrafi on Tuesday said the message of Hajj Sermon 2022 was peace and love.

Addressing the Paigham-e-Hajj Conference here, he said the interfaith dialogue had also been discussed in the divine command Holy Quran but some miscreants had tried to misinterpret the teachings of Islam which were completely based on religious coexistence.

Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council said they also attempted to make Sheikh Dr Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa controversial who delivered the Arafat Day Sermon at Namirah Mosque in order to create religious disharmony.

Shedding light on the religiopolitical significance of Sheikh Dr Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Ashrafi said he was secretary-general of the Muslim World League and member of the Council of Senior Scholars.

Regarding Hajj 2022, he said the world was expecting that the Hajj rites would be suspended due to coronavirus pandemic but the Saudi government, instead of suspending them completely, restricted to a tentative figure in 2020 and 2021 in a bid to save the Muslims from this viral infection.

He said although it was a gigantic task to organize the Hajj Operation 2022 at a massive scale after the hiatus of two years, but by the grace of Allah Almighty and preventive measures adopted by the Saudi government to curb this deadly disease, not a single case of COVID-19 was reported during the pre and post Hajj operation.

He also appreciated the outstanding services of Saudi government, provided to the pilgrims during the Hajj rituals.

Ashrafi said ‘Road to Makkah’ project was the expression of strong love and affiliation of Saudi Arabia with Pakistan.

Through this project, the immigration process of pilgrims was conducted at the Islamabad International Airport, he said expressing the hope that the following facility would be expanded to other cities next year.

On American President Joe Biden’s visit to Jeddah, he said certain elements tried to propagate false notions amongst the Muslims on the globe but the way Saudi leadership raised the issue of Palestine in the conference was appreciative.

He made it clear that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was on one page either it was the matter of Kashmir or Palestine.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the only united forum of Muslim countries, had the same stance on the Palestine and Kashmir issues since the day one and it would never change, he added.

He quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal who said during his visit to Islamabad that Saudi Arabia was standing by Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir as it remained in the past.

He said the world knew that Saudi Arabia was at the helm of affairs of OIC and this year, it held two meetings in Islamabad giving loud and clear message on the Palestine and Kashmir issues.

He said Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman generously extended his all out support to Afghanistan when he was realized that Afghanistan and Pakistan’s future were correlated.

At the end, the participants offered ‘Fateha’ for the departed souls of Pakistan Army officers in the helicopter crash incident in Balochistan.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Nawaz urges govt to take legal action against Imran following ECP verdict

Javed Hussain

August 2, 2022

Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the federal government to take "immediate legal action" against PTI chairman Imran Khan following the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) verdict against his party in the prohibited funding case.

"It has been proven today [...] and the entire nation knows now that Imran Khan is the biggest thief in [the country's] history," he alleged.

Earlier today, the ECP, in its verdict, ruled that the PTI had did indeed receive prohibited funds.

The ECP said the party had only owned eight accounts before the commission and declared 13 accounts to be unknown.

In its order, the commission also said that it was "constrained to hold that Imran Khan failed to discharge his obligations as mandated under the Pakistani statutes."

Talking to reporters outside his residence in London today, Nawaz said that Imran used to give "lectures" to people about honesty. "Today, the ECP's verdict has shown that it is actually him who is the biggest thief in history.

"He knew that he had committed the biggest money laundering. This is the reason he kept demanding the chief election commissioner's resignation," he said.

"The way Imran took money from foreign nationals proves that he was the person who brought foreign agenda into the country," Nawaz claimed.

He recalled that the PML-N had been leading the country towards progress, regretting that all the efforts went in vain because of Imran's actions. "He has ruined the economy and broken our backs.

"And he did all this for a foreign agenda," the PML-N leader said, demanding that people such as former justice Saqib Nisar — who termed Imran sadiq and ameen and initiated proceedings in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the PML-N — should also be punished.

"All these things are present on the record. And there will be a time where all these questions will need to be answered."

Nawaz reiterated that these people, along with Imran, were responsible for bringing Pakistan to the point where it was today and urged all the political parties to take action against them.

"This man Imran is extremely dangerous for Pakistan," he stated, adding that he should be punished as soon as possible.

Separately, in a tweet earlier today, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb vowed that the government will implement ECP's verdict in the case as per the law.

Source: Dawn

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Ahsan Iqbal asks newly-appointed HEC chairman to align higher education sector with modern trends

August 2, 2022

Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal has asked the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to align the higher education sector with modern trends and requirements while curriculum of the varsities should be aligned with the job market.

The minister made these remarks while meeting with the newly-appointed Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed at the Ministry.

On July 30 Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appointed Dr Mukhtar Ahmed as the HEC chairman, according to a press release issued here on Tuesday.

The minister while congratulating him said that Dr Mukhtar had an extensive experience in the education sector which would reflect in the policies of HEC.

“Priority sectors and best universities should be selected for scholarships abroad, ” said the minister, adding that despite the economic crisis, ample funds had been provided for HEC.

The minister further added that a competitive process should be set up through the academic and performance audit system of universities.

Candidates should be selected to benefit from the Pakistan-America Knowledge Corridor Project, he remarked.

Professor Iqbal said that steps should be taken to ensure the establishment of Dr. AQ Khan Metallurgy Institute.

Dr Ahmed, a renowned educationist, had earlier held the post of HEC Chairman from 2014 to 2018.Executive Director HEC from 2013 to 2014 and as Member (Operations and Planning) HEC from 2005 to 2011.

With a Bachelors and Masters of Science from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and Masters in Business Administration and PhD from University of California, Riverside, USA, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed has over three decades of educational development and management experience at national and international level that includes teaching, research, administration, policy development, linking educational research to

Source: Pakistan Today

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Southeast Asia


Kuala Langat MP questions guarantee of liberty for non-Muslims over provisions in anti-smoking Bill

By Yiswaree Palansamy

02 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar today questioned if the provisions under the proposed Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 would later be extended to also cover alcohol consumption and gambling activities, raising concerns about the issue of policing freedoms of non-Muslims in the country.

Dr Xavier pointed to several issues with the Bill, including personal liberty, and expressed worry that the law would not sit well with the Orang Asli and other indigenous communities in rural areas both here and in Sabah and Sarawak.

He then questioned the protection of liberty for non-Muslims to purchase alcohol and gamble.

“So Speaker, I am in doubt. No one should be singled out for prosecution under this law. Because we are not making cigarettes illegal in the country. We are only making it illegal for a certain generation only. Other generations will be allowed to smoke at will.

“The individual liberty of a person in the country is at stake. Today, you say it is cigarettes. Tomorrow, what is the assurance that it won’t be for alcohol and gambling? MPs must understand that in Malaysia, 70 per cent are Bumiputera-Muslims. We do this law now. What is the state of my liberty as a non-Bumiputera, but a Malaysian?” he questioned.

Dr Xavier said that in his area, there are 13 Orang Asli villages and if he were to tell them to not smoke or drink, there would be problems.

“I am a doctor. I do not smoke. Neither am I a member of any cigar club. I have no problems with my friends who smoke. That is their choice. They have the liberty to do what they want. But at the same time, when we bring a Bill to Parliament, we must make sure we can enforce it forever. Forty years is a long time, Speaker. I am not going to be around after 40 years to see if it is a success.

“This is an experiment in progress. I want to mention it here because there are no countries which have done this. Scandinavian countries themselves have not started this,” he added.

Dr Xavier also expressed hope that the Bill will be referred to a parliamentary select committee before it is passed into law.

Source: Malay Mail

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Bersatu man defends religious minister’s remarks, says Bon Odori and Oktoberfest not part of Malaysian culture

By Ashley Yeong

03 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — Deputy National Unity Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal today said that the religious affairs minister's advice to Muslims in the country to not attend the Bon Odori was not wrong.

"Cultural festivals such as Bon Odori and Oktoberfest are not actually indigenous. It's not actually part of the culture of our society. The religious affairs minister (Datuk Idris Ahmad) has expressed his views, and I think we need to respect his views. We have not used any laws to restrict the freedom of any party to practice their culture."

"I think what was said by the religious affairs minister, as a Muslim and an authority of religion, isn't wrong," Wan Ahmad said, in response to a question by Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng in Parliament today.

Lim posed a question to the ministry on their priorities. "What happens if PAS party members disrupt the activities of non-Muslims? Aren't there more important matters to tend to such as bribery instead?" Lim asked.

The national unity deputy minister also suggested MPs sing the national anthem Negaraku before every Parliament session to foster patriotism.

Source: Malay Mail

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Hannah Yeoh backs Tajuddin in Parliament after Speaker upholds deputy’s decision on Pasir Salak MP’s sexist remarks

By Ashman Adam

02 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun today upheld his deputy’s ruling on Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s misogynist remarks made in Parliament on July 20.

Addressing Parliament at the end of today’s proceedings, Azhar acknowledged that there was a miscommunication with his deputy Datuk Rashid Hasnon and that he was not aware of the latter’s decision to expel the Pasir Salak MP from Parliament that day.

He then said that Tajuddin should not have been present for the vote to revoke the decision made by MPs on March 23 earlier this year to cancel the enforcement of sub-section 4(5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and amend the results using Standing Order 100.

“The incident where Pasir Salak was ordered to leave the House by the deputy Speaker happened at about 12.30pm on July 20, 2022. I was actually not informed by the deputy Speaker and the secretariat with regards to the decision to expel Pasir Salak for two days.

“To tell you the truth, I was not informed of his expulsion, and I was not aware of it. If I knew of the expulsion, I would have not allowed him to enter the House to vote.

“With that, I am using Standing Order 100 to amend the results of the vote put forward by the Home Ministry on July 20, from 105 agreeing to 104, and absent from 32 to 33,” he said.

Tajuddin then stood up to address Azhar and insisted that he was not ordered to leave the House by Rashid, was not barred for two days, and that his vote should count.

“Actually, this is the problem when we are too nice. Listen to me first. I was not ordered out. I walked out voluntarily because I did not want to cause a ruckus.

“Secondly, I had other matters to attend to outside. That is why I left Parliament. But it was interpreted as I was ordered to leave. That’s not true at all!

“But when the deputy Speaker, the following day, or two days after that, said that he had ordered me to leave, and that I was automatically barred for two days, I refused to argue with him. I didn’t want to waste time, so whatever he said, I just kept quiet.

“Honestly, as God is my witness. I am a Muslim. I did not want to protest because I thought it was a waste of time. So, I would like to say here that I was not ordered to leave parliamentary proceedings and I was not barred for two days. Thus, my vote on that day should count. That’s all I have to say,” he said in Parliament.

To this, Azhar said that he had watched a replay of the incident via YouTube and admitted that the whole situation was a “madhouse”.

He then added that he did not blame Tajuddin if he did not hear the order from Rashid.

This drew ire from the Opposition in Parliament, with Hannah Yeoh (PH-Segambut) saying that for the first time ever, she agreed with the Pasir Salak MP, and accused Rashid of misleading the House.

“For the first time, I’m agreeing with Pasir Salak, because he said he did not hear the deputy Speaker asking him to leave. None of us here heard the deputy say so.

“After that, the deputy Speaker called a few of us out asking us, as witnesses, did Pasir Salak say those words, and we testified to it.

“So the conduct of the deputy Speaker is very problematic here. I think that order, he made it up. I really feel that because none of us heard him ordering Pasir Salak out,” she said.

Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai) then tried to chime in, but Azhar cut her short, which drew even more shouting from the Opposition side in Parliament.

She could be heard shouting to Azhar asking him to be fair, to which Azhar said he had been more than fair in his ruling, and that if she was not satisfied, to file a review.

Teo then accused the Speaker of protecting his deputy, which he denied.

“I have never protected him. I am being fair. I admit my mistake. We admit our mistakes. Please sit, thank you,” he told Teo.

He then threatened to expel Teo from Parliament for constantly challenging his ruling, to which Teo said that it was unfair.

Khalid Abdul Samad (PH-Shah Alam) then stood up and jokingly asked Azhar if it was his ruling or Tajuddin’s ruling that stood, to which Azhar said that it was his ruling that stood.

Teo then stood up once again to ask whether it was fair the deputy’s ruling was legitimate on the grounds that Pasir Salak was not aware of it, and challenged the Speaker to answer.

The Speaker then used his mallet to call for order and said that he is not here to answer her question, ending the conversation on the topic.

On July 20, Tajuddin was warned by Rashid over his remarks on DAP women — who he claimed behaved indecently and were foul-mouthed.

Tajuddin had apparently taken issue with Teo’s statement, accusing him, together with Baling MP Datuk Seri Azeez Abdul Rahim and Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, of sexist remarks against women MPs.

On July 26, Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) was ejected from Dewan Rakyat after she repeatedly challenged Rashid over his ruling on Tajuddin’s remarks.

Kasthuri earlier asked about her letter to the Speaker regarding an alleged sexist remark Tajuddin said off-microphone when debating the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill on July 20, and Rashid said today that he already took action.

In the letter, Kasthuri urged Tajuddin to apologise and withdraw his “obscene words”.

“My ruling is, number one is when he (Tajuddin) remarked that DAP women (are rude and indecent), I already gave a warning.

“Second, regarding the remark, I will only mention the word with the letter P, there is no mention in the Hansard. I have consulted with the legal adviser. When I ordered Pasir Salak (Tajuddin) to get out, Pasir Salak automatically gets two days’ (suspension) including the day of the incident. This is my ruling,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.

Teo disputed this today by showing the Hansard from the day, which showed that Tajuddin was present in the Dewan after being ejected during the morning session.

Source: Malay Mail

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Iran: Israel Understands No Language But Force


Speaking at an event to celebrate human rights and human dignity in Tehran, Amir Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s support for “the Palestinian issue and the creation of a Palestinian state on the entire mainland and motherland, with Al-Quds as its capital".

“We are proud to announce loudly that the experience of the Islamic Revolution, that of the Islamic Republic, and that of the resistance have proven that nothing but the language of force and resistance is effective in confronting the ambitions of the apartheid, fake Zionist regime,” he added.

At the same time, the Iranian top diplomat reiterated Tehran’s call for holding a referendum among the “original” inhabitants of Palestine – including Muslims, Christians, and Jews – under the supervision of the United Nations, as a democratic political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Certainly, the Zionists did not and will not support this idea. What the Zionists understand is the language of force and resistance,” he continued.

Referring to the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was commemorated during the ceremony, Amir Abdollahian stated her death is a clear example of “the instrumental use of terrorism” to justify the US sales of weapons.

The foreign minister noted that the West is trying to impose its “fake values” on other countries while the United States and other Western states themselves “don’t respect human rights".

Iran: US-Supported Barbarity of Israel Not to Avert Regime's Certain Destiny

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) July 28, 2022

Israel has in recent week ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities throughout the occupied West Bank. Dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and hundreds have been arrested during the raids. At least 60 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army since the start of the year, about a third of them were from Jenin, according to reports

In mid-May, Israeli forces shot dead Abu Akleh, 51, while she was reporting on a raid in Jenin. Calls for a full, independent and transparent investigation into the killing of the Al-Jazeera journalist are mounting with world leaders demanding that those responsible be held to account.

Back in late-July, Iran’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN underlined that the United Nations Security Council’s inaction and passiveness vis-a-vis Israel's incessant crimes against Palestinians and the regional nations has emboldened the Tel Aviv regime to keep up with its war-mongering behavior.

"The Security Council to force the Israeli regime to immediately cease its systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law," Zahra Ershadi said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Pro-Palestinian hackers shut down websites of two major ports in Israeli-occupied territories

03 August 2022

A group of pro-Palestinian hackers, apparently from Bangladesh, have shut down the websites of two major ports in the Israeli-occupied territories, amid rising cyber operations targeting the regime’s companies and facilities.

The group, named Mysterious Team Bangladesh, claimed on Tuesday to have brought down the websites of the Port of Eilat and the Port of Ashdod, the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronot daily newspaper reported.

It remains unclear whether the hackers managed to steal any sensitive information or personal data.

Last week, social media activists said various Israeli websites were offline due to a widespread cyber attack that was perpetrated by an Iraqi hacker group calling itself "ALtahrea Team."

Among the affected sites were the Lifters website, the Nadlan World website, and the website of the Liam Group.

Iraqi hackers posted a picture of Iran's top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated along with his Iraqi comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), in a US drone strike authorized by former president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

They also placed a tab in order to play the official anthem of the Iraqi PMU, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, on the defaced Israeli websites.

Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Hashd al-Sha’abi, reported on July 11 that ALtahrea Team had managed to break into the Tel Aviv municipality website and take it down, a week after a similar cyber attack on NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd., which is responsible for the design and construction of a mass transit system in the coastal Israeli city.

“Does not work; it's suspended by order of General Qassem Soleimani,” read the message posted on the Tel Aviv Municipality website at the time it was hacked.

Source: Press TV

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Israeli army on alert after arrest of Islamic Jihad senior official

Rina Bassist

August 2, 2022

The IDF remains on high alert this evening after yesterday's dramatic arrest of Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Bassem Saadi in the West Bank.

This morning, the army closed several main roads in the Gaza envelope, setting up checkpoints to control traffic there. All the villages and kibbutzim along the Gaza border have alternative exit routes with the exception of Kerem Shalom and Kibbutz Nahal Oz. These two communities were entirely blockaded today due to the security restrictions. Later in the day, some of the checkpoints were removed and some of the roads reopened. Still, the IDF warns the risk of an attack by Gaza Islamic Jihad militants remains high.

Saadi was arrested by IDF forces last night in the West Bank town of Jenin. He was taken from his home with his son-in-law and aide Ashraf al-Jada. Another member of the Islamic Jihad was killed in a gun battle with Israeli troops. During Saadi’s arrest, IDF forces also raided the homes of 39 Palestinians with alleged ties to Hamas and 13 wanted Palestinians were reportedly detained.

A joint statement by the Israel Defense Forces and Israel border police said two Palestinian terror suspects were arrested last night in Jenin, adding that a handgun, ammunition and cash were seized during the operation. The statement said that the decision to arrest Saadi was made after the army identified an uptick in activity by fighters tied to Islamic Jihad that posed “a direct threat of a possible attack on Israeli civilians.” The Shin Bet confirmed Saadi was the main target of the raid and arrest.

Palestinian news outlets published footage showing a convoy of Israeli military vehicles entering Jenin. In other videos, heavy gunfire can be heard. Palestinian reports also said Saadi was bitten by a military dog during his arrest. The IDF later shared images with the media seeming to show Saadi in good condition, in hope of calming tensions and refuting these claims. In response to Saadi’s arrest, Islamic Jihad declared a state of “alertness” and raised its fighters’ “readiness.”

Tensions have risen in the West Bank for the past three months, following the spring terror wave that cost the lives of 19 Israeli citizens. Still, the Gaza border remained relatively quiet. If calm continues there, the Israeli authorities intend to implement a government decision to increase the number of work permits to Gaza Palestinians from 14,000 to 20,000. Reports say that the number could be increased to 30,000 in the near future.

Source: Al Monitor

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Spokesman: President Rayeesi to Attend UN General Assembly Meeting in New York


Jahromi made the remarks in response to a question by reporters in his weekly press converence on Tuesday.

The 77th session of the UN General Assembly will open in New York on September 13.

Jahromi said relevant planning has been done and initial measures are underway in preparation for the visit.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Blames US for Sanctions Addiction, Says No Difference Between Biden, Trump


In response to the new sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran, Kana'ani stated on Tuesday that Washington is addicted to the sanctions and uses them instrumentally, no matter who is in the White House.

The spokesman said that the White House’s addiction to sanctions and its instrumental use of them were indicators of the US’ dominance system and shows that change of administrations makes no difference.

"The Joe Biden administration’s officials have repeatedly described former US President Donald Trump’s 'maximum pressure policy' as a failed, fruitless policy," the diplomat stressed, but in practice, "they have continued and even expanded the failed policy to the extent that they wouldn’t quit the malign policy even in the ongoing efforts to resume the talks for US’s return to the nuclear deal with Iran".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, firstly, will react firmly and immediately to the White House’s insistence on sanctions," the spokesman noted, adding that "Tehran will then take any required measure to neutralize the potential impacts of such sanctions on its trade and economy".

The official also slammed the US’ hypocrisy and the show of condolences by the US special envoy for Iran during the time when the Iranian people have incurred losses and damages due to recent floods.

The statement comes as the US on Monday designated six entities related to Iran’s oil and petrochemicals sectors.

The US, under Trump, unilaterally withdrew participation in the nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions against Iran, which the 2015 agreement had lifted.

The Trump administration subsequently launched what it touted as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, hoping to force Tehran to accept large-scale limits on its nuclear program and missile work, among other things.

The Biden administration has verbally renounced that policy and admitted to its failure, while expressing a willingness to return to the Iran deal. However, it has so far stopped short of taking any concrete steps to that end and retained the sanctions on Tehran.

Iranian officials say the Biden administration has not changed the policies of Trump towards Tehran, and blast the European states for lack of a serious approach towards negotiations like the US.

Tehran says the US sanctions policy against Iran is a failed and ineffective policy and only indicates Washington's addiction to sanctions.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Strongly Condemns Israeli Official's Warmongering Rhetoric


Takht Ravanchi, in two identical letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the rotating President of the UN Security Council Zhang Jun, vehemently censured the head of Israel’s so-called National Security Council, Eyal Holata, over his latest anti-Iran comments.

Holata openly threatened Iran with more terrorist operations, saying in an interview in mid-July, “We (Israel) have rarely acted in Iran over the past year. Tel Aviv will act independently against the Islamic Republic of Iran, regardless of Washington’s opinion on this issue."

“These statements clearly confirm the Israeli regime’s accountability for acts of sabotage and terrorist acts in Iran,” the Iran’s UN ambassador noted.

Takht Ravanchi maintained that such provocative remarks are not only a blatant violation of international law and the UN Charter, but also an open acknowledgment of the Israeli regime’s responsibility for terrorist operations and actions against Iranian officials, scientists, and civilian nuclear facilities in recent years.

“It also proves the fact that the Israeli regime is responsible for such criminal and terrorist acts; and that it must be held accountable and accept all likely consequences of such crimes,” the Iranian diplomat added.

Takht Ravanchi went on to censure the recent remarks by Israeli minister for military affairs Benny Gantz, who claimed during an interview at a Channel 13 conference in occupied al-Quds on July 26 that the Tel Aviv regime has the ability to cause serious damage to Iran’s nuclear program.

The Iranian ambassador finally called upon the Security Council to honor its statutory obligations to international peace and security and to condemn the war-mongering policies and malicious activities of the Israeli regime, which pose a serious threat to international peace and security.

Iranian Navy Commander Dismisses Israeli DM's Remarks over Red Sea

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) July 30, 2022

Iran says Israel is the primary source of instability in West Asia, and the United States remains responsible for the instability in the region as long as its wrong and crisis-stirring policies are not rectified.

Tehran has repeatedly warned that any mistake by the US and Israel will be met with Iran's crushing response.

Iranian officials say Washington and Tel Aviv are well aware of Tehran’s capabilities and capacities, and caution that Tehran does not compromise or joke with its national security.

Iran: Recently-Arrested Mossad Agents Planned to Explode Sensitive Military Facility by Powerful Bombs

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) July 27, 2022

On Thursday, President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said military option has been excluded from enemies’ policies towards Iran due to the country’s might, and added that the regional countries enjoy safety because of Tehran's power.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Two-month extension of Yemen ceasefire agreed: UN envoy

02 August, 2022

The UN special envoy for Yemen announced another extension of the fragile ceasefire between warring parties, pledging to ramp up talks for an expanded truce agreement.

“I am pleased to announce that the parties have agreed to extend the truce, under the same terms, for an additional two months, from 2 August 2022 until 2 October 2022,” Hans Grundberg said in a statement. “This truce extension includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible.”

Grundberg thanked all sides for being able to extend the ceasefire, which has been the longest period of a truce since the war broke out seven years ago.

Last month, the European Union reprimanded the Iran-backed Houthis for rejecting a UN proposal to reopen roads around the city of Taiz. The UN had been pushing for a six-month ceasefire.

But Grundberg warned on Tuesday that an expanded truce proposal would allow for the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process to reach a lasting peace.

“The main objective of the current truce continues to be to provide tangible relief to civilians and to create a conducive environment for reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict through a comprehensive political process,” he said.

The diplomat added that he would “intensify” talks with the parties to ensure the full implementation of all the parties’ obligations in the truce.

He singled out Saudi Arabia and Oman for their support in his efforts to end the war.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the agreement and also thanked Saudi Arabia and Oman for their roles. “The King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia confirmed to me their full commitment to extending the truce,” Biden said in a statement. “They and their team demonstrated that commitment over the course of discussions in recent weeks. I thank them for that.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran reaffirms support for Palestinians against Israel’s expansionist policies

03 August 2022

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s commitment to the Palestinian cause, saying Tehran will continue to support the oppressed Palestinian nation against the expansionist policies of the “apartheid” Zionist regime.

In a meeting with Secretary General of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad movement Ziad al-Nakhala in Tehran on Tuesday evening, Amir-Abdollahian also called for unity and cohesion between Islamic countries in the face of the Israeli regime’s acts of aggression against Palestinians.

Referring to the failures of Israel and the US against the Palestinian resistance, the chief Iranian diplomat expressed hopes that the enemies would be further undermined through increased harmony and unity among Islamic countries.

For his part, Nakhala appreciated Iran’s support for the Palestinian people’s resistance and lauded the country’s constructive role in regional developments and its active diplomacy toward other countries.

Iran’s achievements, in fact, belong to the entire Muslim community, he said.

Nakhala also regretted certain efforts in the region to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic and downplay the real threat the Israeli regime poses to the Muslim community, Palestinians in particular.

Late in 2020, four Arab countries – the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – inked normalization deals with the Israeli regime. The deals, also called the Abraham Accords, were pushed by former US president Donald Trump.

Palestinians and their regional and international supporters have denounced the agreements as a “stab in the back” of the Palestinian cause of liberation from Israeli occupation and aggression.

At the same time, the United States and Israel have garnered support from certain regional states to counter what they call “Iran’s malign activities” in the region.

The Islamic Jihad leader, however, said the endeavors and stances of the Islamic Republic in confronting the world’s hegemonic powers and supporting the oppressed nations against the occupiers and foreign powers herald blessings and strength for the resistant nation of Palestine and weakness for the enemies of the Muslim world.

Source: Press TV

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