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Islamic World News ( 10 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Bangladesh Sentences Five Islamist Militants to Death








A court in Bangladesh sentenced five militants from a banned Islamist group to death for killing a prosecutor nearly eight years ago, police said.

 

 

 

South Asia

Bangladesh Sentences Five Islamist Militants to Death

Sheikh Hasina Rejects Talks As Bangladesh Unrest Toll Exceeds 100

Afghanistan Could Become Haven For Is, Warns Ex-CIA Officer

Taliban, Is Militants Clash in Nangarhar

Taleban boost ties to organized crime: UN

BD bans night buses after deadly bomb attacks

China to help build dam, roads in Afghanistan

Two more implicate Siraj in Bagerhat massacre of Hindus

Foreign firms and human rights abuses in Myanmar

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North America

Killing of 3 in Chapel Hill Stirs Alarm among Muslims

Its US vs Iran in nuclear talk showdown: senator

Interpreter's alleged CIA prison links stall 9/11 case

US blacklists German rapper featured in grisly IS videos

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Africa

Deadly Clashes between Somali Troops and Sufi Fighters, At Least 16 Killed, 14 Wounded

Somali MPs Must Face the Justice of Allah - Al-Shabaab

Boko Haram Abducts 30 People in Cameroon, Nigeria

Niger Adds Its Troops to the War on Boko Haram

South Sudan rebels shell oil-rich town of Bentiu

Study: Charcoal production by Al-Shabaab increases in survey area

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India

‘Muslim Can’t Marry Twice If Service Rules Prohibit It’: Supreme Court

Stray Incidents of ISIS Radicalisation Taken Care Of, Says Former RAW Chief

J&K: Clashes break out between security forces, JKLF

Peace and Communal Harmony Must Be Ensured: Prez

Restrictions, shutdown affects life in Kashmir valley

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Arab World

UAE Jets Based In Jordan Launch Strikes on ISIS

Egypt Blasts Wound 10, Air Raids Kill 15 Militants

Eight Killed in Separate Bomb Attacks near Baghdad

UAE warplanes back in action against IS militants

Iraq's Kakais: 'We want to protect our culture'

A meeting of minds in Cairo

Syria ‘informed’ about strikes on IS

Cairo, Moscow in nuclear deal as Putin boosts ties

Baghdad’s major anti-IS ground offensive looms

Bahraini forces attack protesters calling for Salman release

20,000 foreigners joined extremists in Syria: US

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Pakistan

Pakistan's Banned Organisations List To Match UN Blacklist

15 Militants Dead In Kharan Gun Battle

Government following IMF conditions: Qadri

Pakistan may have shared OBL's location with US: Former ISI chief

Serious differences between Bilawal and Zardari: Mirza

No change in Pak-China corridor route, Fazl assured

Teams’ meeting with PM put off until next month

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Southeast Asia

Indonesian Muslims Try To Contain Islamic State's Appeal

Congress Discusses Islam’s Role in Indonesian Development

Court upholds five-year jail term for Malaysia's Anwar

Malaysia launches first ever Syariah index

Malaysia New Tax to Slow Mortgages From ’07 Low: Islamic Finance

Jokowi to Yogyakarta for Indonesian Muslim conference

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Mideast

US, Turkey Vow Joint Fight against ISIL Financing

US, UK Missions Suspend Operations in Yemen amid Continued Unrest

 Swedish, Palestinian leaders meet after row with Israel

Iranians rally in millions to mark Revolution victory

Bahraini forces attack protesters calling for Salman release

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Europe

France Dismantles 15 Terrorist Networks: Minister

Morocco Launches Anti-Migrant Sweep Near Spain Enclave

Death Threats Add To Swedish Muslim Woes

The Anti-Islamic Far-Right Is Spreading In Europe—and Going Mainstream

Future Of Religion In Britain Is Islam And Black Majority Churches

Muslims Protest near Downing Street against Charlie Hebdo Cartoons of Prophet Mohamed

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Australia

Australian Police Thwart ‘Imminent’ ISIS Attack

The 'good' Muslim: inclusion and exclusion within Australian Islam

Anti-Halal campaigner sued over claims Islamic certification supports terrorism

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bangladesh-sentences-five-islamist-militants-to-death/d/101473

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh sentences five Islamist militants to death

February 11, 2015

Dhaka: A court in Bangladesh Wednesday sentenced five militants from a banned Islamist group to death for killing a prosecutor nearly eight years ago, police said.

The five men, two of whom were tried in absentia, shot and killed prosecutor Haider Hossain in 2007 as he left a mosque after evening prayers.

Hossain was targeted shortly after six leaders of the outlawed Islamist group Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were executed after being convicted for murder in a case that he had prosecuted.

The group`s founder and supreme leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman was among those executed.

"They killed Hossain to exact revenge over the executions," government lawyer Golam Rasul told AFP.

The judge at the court in the southern district of Jhalakathi ordered that all five defendants be hanged, police inspector A.K.M Humayun Kabir said.

The JMB was formed in late 1990s with a mission to establish a sharia state in Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

It carried out a series of bomb attacks that left 28 people dead and mostly targeted the country`s courts.

The then Islamist-allied government led by current opposition leader Khaleda Zia initially brushed off the danger of Islamist militants in the country.

But they set up an elite force to hunt down JMB fighters after the group set off hundreds of small bombs across the country on a single day in August 2005.

Scores of JMB militants have since been sentenced to death, but none has yet been executed.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/bangladesh-sentences-five-islamist-militants-to-death_1544915.html

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Sheikh Hasina rejects talks as Bangladesh unrest toll exceeds 100

11 Feb, 2015

DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today rejected a call for dialogue with the opposition, saying she will not talk to "murderers" of innocent people as the death toll in the recent political turmoil crossed 100.

"Talks? With whom? With murderers who are burning people?...Question does not arise," Hasina told reporters as she visited the state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital where 62 victims of petrol bomb attacks, mostly on passenger buses and trucks, are currently bei ..

The death toll in the political violence caused by Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) non-stop nationwide blockade has crossed 100. Some 24 alleged saboteurs have also been killed in what officials claim "encounters" with law enforcement agencies.

The premier said it is "very painful to see that innocent people are burnt to death with petrol bombs" and "very difficult to believe that people can do such inhuman acts".

"We will take steps to put these people on trial...the way it is done at the international level," Hasina said.

Meanwhile, 11 bus passengers and two truckers were injured as firebombs were hurled at a passenger bus in southeastern Feni and an oil tanker in southwestern Bhola late yesterday.

The attacks came two days after authorities restricted movement of inter-district buses at nights as saboteurs tended to take advantage of darkness to carry out the assaults.

"No night coaches will operate until further notice," junior Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said as transport operators had agreed to keep buses off the roads after 9 pm.

Hasina's rejection of the dialogue call came after her ruling Awami League called the proposal of talks - initiated by a civil society forum - as "illogical".

"If we accept the proposal now, it would be a compromise with militancy," commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said yesterday while information minister Hassanul Haq Inu substantiated him saying "there would be no dialogue between humans and demons".

Earlier this week, the Nagorik Samaj, a platform of civil society members, had taken initiative to broker the dialogue.

The forum sent letters to President Abdul Hamid, the Prime Minister and the BNP chairperson, requesting them to take initiatives for holding a national dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

BNP was virtually in a state of disarray since it boycotted the January 5, 2014 elections but it waged a fierce campaign last month coinciding with the first anniversary of the divisive polls demanding a fresh midterm election.

Hasina rejected the demand and asked Zia to wait until 2019 for the next scheduled polls.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/sheikh-hasina-rejects-talks-as-bangladesh-unrest-toll-exceeds-100/articleshow/46199710.cms

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Afghanistan could become haven for IS, warns ex-CIA officer

February 11th, 2015

WASHINGTON: Afghanistan is in danger of turning into a sanctuary once again for extremists as the West withdraws troops and shifts its attention elsewhere, a former senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official warned Tuesday.

The country could even become a refuge for Islamic State jihadists now waging war in Syria and Iraq, said Robert Grenier, the former CIA station chief in Islamabad and author of a new book.

His memoir, “88 Days to Kandahar,” recounts his harrowing experience helping to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001 after the September 11 attacks

“I would say if anything the future threat of an Afghan safe haven is maybe even greater than it was back before 9/11,” Grenier said at an event organised by the New America think tank.

The Afghan Taliban would not be ready to rebuff its allies in the Pakistani Taliban or other extremists — such as the Islamic State — if they asked for sanctuary, he said.

“There are groups within Pakistan that are dedicated to attacking the regime in Islamabad. They're not going to go away,” he said.

According to Grenier, the Taliban tend to see things in black-and-white terms, looking at decisions through the question: “Is it dictated by Islam or is it not?” “And they won't turn their back on people who are ideologically allied with them across the border.”

“Nor do I believe will they turn their backs on international terrorists, if once again they come back to the region in any significant numbers, as I fear they will if their fortunes take a bad turn,” he said.

Targeting Taliban chief

Grenier's book describes how US aircraft missed taking out Taliban leader Mullah Omar by “30 minutes” in 2001 and how Hamid Karzai was nearly killed inadvertently in American bombing raids.

He also described a last-ditch bid to negotiate a deal with the Taliban's number two leader in the days after 9/11, in which Grenier tried to persuade his counterpart in a hotel in Pakistan to break with Omar and stage a coup. The attempt failed.

The former CIA officer said he was sceptical that attempts to broker peace talks with the Taliban would succeed, as the insurgents still believe they can topple the government and take back power in Kabul.

He also said the group was not suited to political rule or taking part in parliamentary politics.

Grenier, who rose to other senior posts in the CIA before leaving in 2006, said his book tells the story of how America quickly won what he calls “the first American-Afghan war” in 2001, and “how we lost, or at least certainly didn't win, the second American-Afghan war. “And the book ends with a warning about “how the errors of the past may yet be revisited when once again we may be called upon to fight a third American-Afghan war.”

With a small US-led force due to withdraw in two years, Grenier said he fears that the United States and other Western governments will fail to funnel financial aid to Kabul after their soldiers leave and abandon the Afghan government.

His book offers a very grim view of the legacy of more than a decade of war against the Taliban insurgents.

“For all the billions spent and lives lost, there is little to show, and most of that will not long survive our departure,” he writes.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162906/afghanistan-could-become-haven-for-is-warns-ex-cia-officer

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Taliban, IS militants clash in Nangarhar

February 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD - An intense gun-battle erupted between the fighters of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Islamic State in Nangarhar province on Tuesday that left several militants injured.

According to the sources, the clashes started Tuesday morning when the fighters of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Afghan Taliban) attacked the newly emerged group of militants representing Islamic State in Nangarhar province. Recently, Commander Qari Gulzar who hails from Pekha village in Nazyano district of Nangarhar announced his allegiance to Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi-led Islamic State (IS) also known as Daish. According to sources, the decision had offended Mullah Omar-led militants in the area.

‘The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan tried to convince Hafiz Gulzar to review his decision. Not only he remained stuck by his decision but also he invited other militants in the area to join Islamic State’, said Taliban sources and they added ‘the differences finally led to gun-battle’. Some Pakistani Taliban, hiding in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, tried to make a patch between the two warring groups but in vain. ‘The clashes could further intensify,’ the Taliban sources said. Despite the spread of Islamic State in Arab countries and rest of the world, the group is finding it difficult to gain a ‘foothold’ in Pak-Afghan region.  Majority of militants in this region considers Mullah Omar as Ameer ul Mu'mineen while Al-Baghdadi has also announced himself as the caliph and his followers are repeatedly appealing the Muslims especially the Islamic militants to swear allegiance to their leader. It is one of the reasons that Daish is so far unable to attract more followers on both sides of the Duran line.  Shahidullah Shahid, the ex-spokesperson of  TTP was the first to publically announce his allegiance to Al-Baghdadi along with other five militant commanders in Oct 2014.

The other commanders include Saeed Khan, the ex-commander of TTP in Orakzai Agency, Daulat Khan (Kurram Agency), Fateh Gul Zaman (Khyber Agency), Mufti Hussain (Peshawar) and Khalid Mansoor (Hangu). In the last week of the January, IS announced the formation of Shura for Khurasan (Pak-Afghan region) and appointed Muhammad Saeed Khan as governor of Diash in this geographical region. Mullah Rauf Khadim, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee was named as his deputy in Khurasan who was killed during an air strike in Helmand province of Afghanistan this week.

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Feb-2015/taliban-is-militants-clash-in-nangarhar

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Taleban boost ties to organized crime: UN

11 February 2015

UNITED NATIONS, United States: The Taleban are increasing their dealings with narcotics traffickers, illegal mining rings and kidnappers for ransom, in a worrying development for Afghanistan’s new leaders, a UN report said Monday.

“They are increasingly acting more like ‘godfathers’ than a ‘government in waiting,’” said the report by the UN panel of experts on the Taleban.

While the Taleban’s ties to drugs traffickers dates back to the 1990s, the report also details the movement’s involvement in controlling natural resources, and thus depriving the central government of revenue.

Lapis lazuli mines in northeastern Badakhshan province are controlled by the Taleban who demand around $1 million annually from miners in exchange for being allowed to mine without fear of Taleban attacks, said the report.

In addition, the Taleban earn $240,000 to $360,000 per year in extortion from truckers who carry the stone away from the mines located in a predominantly Tajik-populated area.

The Taleban also pocket two thirds of earnings from chromite mining in southeast Paktika province and an estimated $16 million annually from ruby mining in Jagdalak, east of Kabul, the report said.

Hostage takings by the Taleban have increased since 2005, with ransoms paid totaling at least $16 million, according to the report.

“The scale and depth of this cooperation is new, and builds on decades of interaction between the Taleban and others involved in criminal behavior,” said the report.

The experts argued that the Taleban’s strengthened ties with organized crime would make it more difficult to foster reconciliation as the movement now has little economic incentive to make peace.

The report suggested that the Security Council could use targeted sanctions to take aim at the Taleban’s criminal connections.

“This is all the more reason to intensify efforts to use the Security Council sanctions regime to expose and disrupt Taleban involvement in, and links to, criminal activity,” said the report.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani is struggling to form a unity government four months after he took office on a pledge to set up a new team that could fight corruption and the Taleban insurgency.

The Taleban was ousted from power in 2001 in a US-led NATO campaign, but they have continued to wage attacks.

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/702561

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BD bans night buses after deadly bomb attacks

February 11th, 2015

DHAKA: Bangladesh has ordered long-distance buses off the roads at night after two petrol bomb attacks killed 16 people in a worsening outbreak of political unrest in the country.

The attacks were the deadliest to hit the country since the latest outbreak of violence began in early January, and have shocked the country.

Junior home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said transport operators had agreed to keep buses off the roads after 9pm, although other vehicles would still run.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162801/bd-bans-night-buses-after-deadly-bomb-attacks

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China to help build dam, roads in Afghanistan

February 11, 2015

KABUL/BEIJING - China has promised to help build a hydroelectric power plant in a violent Afghan border region, as well as road and rail links to Pakistan, in the latest sign it is taking a more active role in Afghanistan.

The assistance will include an unspecified amount of financing, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman, Sirajul Haq Siraj, said on Tuesday, a day after senior Afghan, Chinese and Pakistani diplomats met in Kabul.

“China agreed to support relevant initiatives for projects including the Kunar hydropower plant and strengthening road and rail connections between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

The planned 1,500 megawatt dam on the Kunar River, was previously supported only by Pakistan, which could buy some of the electricity it generates.

In 2013, Pakistan said it would also build a motorway connecting the Pakistani city of Peshawar to Kabul, as well as a railway line from the border town of Chaman in southeast Afghanistan to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Feb-2015/china-to-help-build-dam-roads-in-afghanistan

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Two more implicate Siraj in Bagerhat massacre of Hindus

February 11, 2015

Two more prosecution witnesses yesterday testified that war crimes accused Sheikh Sirajul Haque alias Siraj Master was involved in killing 500-600 Hindu villagers of Bagerhat on May 21, 1971.

One of them saw Siraj Master shoot and stab dead three residents of Dakra village.

The three-member tribunal led by Justice M Enayetur Rahim recorded the depositions of the 20th prosecution witness Rabindranath Adhikari and 21st witness Kalipado Mondal.

On Sunday, a survivor testified on the massacre.

The witnesses, both in their 70s, said they took shelter at Dakra Kali Mandir along with 5,000-6,000 villagers fleeing to India for life amid atrocities by the Razakar, an auxiliary force to the Pakistani army.

Around 1:30pm, they saw 40-50 Razakars coming towards them by two boats, they said. One boat stopped by Dakra School and another at Dakra Bazar.

The witnesses said the Razakars opened fire on the people taking refuge at the temple, indiscriminately.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/two-more-implicate-siraj-in-bagerhat-massacre-of-hindus-64264

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Foreign firms and human rights abuses in Myanmar

10 Feb 2015

Canadian and Chinese mining companies profited from human rights abuses at copper mines in Myanmar, according to a human rights group's report released on Tuesday.

Foreign companies turned a blind eye to rights abuses and other illegal activity around the Monywa copper mine complex in the Southeast Asian nation, said Amnesty International, detailing numerous incidents spanning two decades including mass evictions, the use of "excessive force" by security forces, and "serious" pollution linked to the project.

Now under local and Chinese company control, the Monywa mine complex in northern Myanmar continues to draw protests - and violence.

Villagers, activists and Buddhist monks have been demonstrating for years at the mine, angry over repeated forced evictions and strong-arm tactics used by security forces. In December, a female protester was killed when security forces opened fire at the mine, the report said.

In 2012, the incendiary chemical weapon white phosphorus was allegedly used during a crackdown on demonstrators. The attack led to more than 100 wounded, including some with "horrific" burns.

U Teikkha Nyana, an elderly monk who was at the protest, suffered severe second and third degree burns. The monk recounted his experience to Amnesty in an interview last year.

"I saw fire all around. I tried to stand up and put out the fire. Another firebomb fell between my legs. I was on fire on my back and one arm, also my legs. It was very painful. There was a burning smell from the body like a barbecue," U Teikkha Nyana said.

'Open for business'

The 200-page report - titled "Open for Business? Corporate Crime and Abuses at Myanmar Copper Mines" - described evidence alleging Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines, now Turquoise Hill Resources, knew its investment in the mine would lead to the eviction of thousands of people in the 1990s. Yet, according to Amnesty, Ivanhoe did nothing to stop this.

"It profited from more than a decade of copper mining, carried out in partnership with Myanmar's military government, without attempting to address the thousands left destitute," the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/02/foreign-firms-human-rights-abuses-myanmar-150210040854291.html

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North America

 

Killing of 3 in Chapel Hill stirs alarm among Muslims

By Sarah Kaplan

February 11, 2015

A Chapel Hill man has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of a young couple and their sister Tuesday, police say. One of the slain was a student at North Carolina State University. Another was at the University of North Carolina and the third was planning to enroll at UNC dental school this year.

The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, turned himself in “without incident” to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in nearby Pittsboro after the shooting, Chatham County Sgt. Kevin Carey told the Post. Police had not specified a motive as of mid-morning.

But all three victims were Muslim and after the three victims were identified in an alert from UNC Chapel Hill as husband and wife Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, speculation arose that the killing might be related to their religion. The news sparked outrage and a viral Twitter hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter, reflecting users belief that the crime was religiously motivated and frustration with what they saw as the media’s failure to report the incident.

The Council on American Islamic Relations issued a statement on the killings later Wednesday morning, calling for the Chapel Hill Police Department to address the speculation about Hicks’ motive.

“Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, said he has heard “unsubstantiated reports” from community members that the victims had previous interactions with Hicks, including a dispute about a parking spot.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/11/reports-3-young-muslims-slain-in-chapel-hill-shooting-n-c-man-charged/

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It’s US vs Iran in nuclear talk showdown: senator

February 11th, 2015

WASHINGTON: Five of the six world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear programme have stepped back, leaving Washington to hammer out a deal with Tehran, a key US lawmaker said on Tuesday.

“It’s evident that these negotiations are really not P5+1 negotiations any more,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said as he emerged from a closed-door briefing by Obama administration officials on the status of nuclear talks with Iran.

“It’s really more of a bilateral negotiation between the United States and Iran. “The five permanent UN Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany have undertaken years-long talks with Iran in a bid to halt the Islamic republic’s nuclear drive.

Several rounds of sanctions have been imposed on Iran, cutting deeply into the country’s economy.

Under an interim agreement reached in November 2013, Iran has diluted its stock of fissile materials from 20 percent enriched uranium to five percent in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162813/its-us-vs-iran-in-nuclear-talk-showdown-senator

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Interpreter's alleged CIA prison links stall 9/11 case

February 11, 2015

WASHINGTON - A military judge halted a hearing at Guantanamo on Monday after defendants accused of the September 11, 2001 attacks complained that a court interpreter had worked in the CIA's secret prisons.

Ramzi Binalshibh, one of the five accused, was the first to object to the interpreter's presence in the court room at the controversial US prison.

"The problem is I cannot trust him because he was working at the black site with the CIA and we know him from there," Binalshibh told Judge James Pohl.

Cheryl Bormann, a lawyer for defendant Walid bin Attash, chimed in: "Judge, we have exactly the same issue.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Feb-2015/interpreter-s-alleged-cia-prison-links-stall-9-11-case

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US blacklists German rapper featured in grisly IS videos

February 11, 2015

WASHINGTON - The United States added German former rapper Denis Cuspert to its list of “terrorists” over his role as a fighter with the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, the State Department has said. The 39-year-old, who used to rap in Berlin and now goes by the name Abu Talha al-Almani, is one of the most famous Western fighters for IS. He is already listed as an Al-Qaeda supporter by the United Nations. The US listing as a “global terrorist” freezes all of Cuspert’s assets under US control and prohibits transactions with him.

Cuspert joined IS in 2012 and has appeared in numerous videos from the group, including one in November “in which he appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing ISIL (IS),” the State Department said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Feb-2015/us-blacklists-german-rapper-featured-in-grisly-is-videos

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Africa

 

Deadly Clashes between Somali Troops and Sufi Fighters, At Least 16 Killed, 14 Wounded

11 Feb 2015

At least 16 people have been killed and 14 others wounded in clashes between Somali government troops and Sufi fighters, witnesses and local elders said.

The clashes on Tuesday appeared to be part of a local power struggle sparked by politicians meeting in Dhuasamareb, in the north-central Galgadud region, aimed at forging a regional government.

The confrontation between soldiers and Ahl u Sunnah Wal Jamaah fighters, usually allied to the army, erupted in the town of Guricel, 400km north of the capital Mogadishu.

"There was heavy fighting inside the town, it started in the outskirts but later spread," local leader and elder Abdulahi Muktar said.

"There were many dead. I saw the dead bodies of 16 people, three of them civilians."

Guricel resident Dahir Hussein said corpses were strewn in the streets, and that he had seen at least 14 wounded people taken to hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/deadly-clashes-somali-troops-sufi-fighters-150211082412404.html

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Somali MPs must face the justice of Allah - Al-Shabaab

2015-02-09

Mogadishu - Al-shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab has warned Somali MPs that they are ‘legitimate targets’ to be killed or captured, following the latest killing of a Somali lawmaker.

Somalia's al-Shabaab insurgents shot dead a lawmaker in the capital Mogadishu on Monday, the latest in a string of assassinations of politicians in the war-torn country.

"Abdulahi Qayad Barre was shot dead, men killed him as he left his house to go to parliament," fellow MP Abdukarim Hajji said.

At least five MPs were killed last year, but Barre was the first to have been assassinated in 2015.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab rebels are fighting to overthrow the country's internationally-backed government.

The extremists say they are targeting MPs as they allowed the deployment of foreign troops on Somali soil.

"Al-Shabaab commandos shot and killed Barre, and all the so-called MPs are a legitimate target subject to be killed or captured, to face the justice of Allah," al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Abdul Aziz Abu Musab told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Somali-MPs-must-face-the-justice-of-Allah-Al-Shabaab-20150209-2

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Boko Haram abducts 30 people in Cameroon, Nigeria

February 11th, 2015

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamic extremists have abducted about 30 people including eight Cameroonian girls and killed seven hostages in two bus hijackings in Cameroon and Nigeria, Cameroon residents and a Nigerian intelligence officer said Tuesday.

Boko Haram, who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria last year in an incident that ignited international outrage, have taken eight Cameroonian girls hostage, said Chetima Ahmidou, the principal of a school in the area. The girls range in age from 11 to 14 and come from the town of Koza, he said.

The bus attack took place Sunday about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Cameroon's border with Nigeria. Seven other hostages were slain and their bodies scattered near the border, said Ahmidou, whose brother was the bus driver and was among those killed.

Also Sunday, across the border in Nigeria, the Islamic extremists held up a bus in Akada-Banga village of Bama district and made off with about 20 people, including women and children, according to a security officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give information to reporters.

Full report at:

http://news.yahoo.com/boko-haram-abducts-8-cameroon-girls-kills-7-113137354.html

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Niger Adds Its Troops to the War on Boko Haram

By ADAM NOSSITER

FEB. 10, 2015

DAKAR, Senegal — With the regional war against the Boko Haram militant group widening, Niger’s Parliament has agreed to send troops across the border to join the fight.

The vote was unanimous in the National Assembly on Monday night, reflecting the shock produced by at least four attacks in Niger in less than a week, including an explosion at a market in the country’s east that killed a number of civilians.

Chad, Cameroon and Benin have also agreed to contribute troops to an 8,700-member force to fight Boko Haram. Attacks by the militant group, which is based in Nigeria, have increasingly spilled across borders in the region.

Boko Haram Widens Fight, Striking Niger FEB. 6, 2015

Nigerian soldiers in Maiduguri. Boko Haram militants have been attacking the city and terrorizing civilians in the towns around it.Boko Haram, and Massacres Ruled by WhimFEB. 5, 2015

Chad Retakes Nigerian Town From Militant Group Boko HaramFEB. 4, 2015

Nigeria’s war has spread to its smaller, poorer neighbor, Niger. In Diffa, the main city in the country’s far east, just across the border from Nigeria, “people are in a panic,” the head of the Red Cross in Diffa, Abdullai Adah, said by phone on Tuesday, after a bombing at a vegetable market and an attack on the city’s prison the day before. At least eight were killed, Mr. Adah said.

“Everybody is shut up at home,” he said. “All the stores are closed. And we are hearing heavy artillery from the Nigeria side.”

The civil prison in Diffa that Boko Haram struck held militants and their sympathizers, according to a regional news site, Sahelien.com. The site quoted residents as saying that they had heard armed men calling “Allahu akbar” from pickup trucks as the prison was attacked — a cry that also resounds from three newly released Boko Haram propaganda videos this week.

The National Assembly’s vote in Niger’s capital, Niamey, 850 miles away, followed the attacks in Diffa within hours.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/world/africa/niger-sending-troops-to-fight-boko-haram.html

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South Sudan rebels shell oil-rich town of Bentiu

10 Feb 2015

South Sudanese rebels have shelled government positions in the oil-rich town of Bentiu, a day after the UN launched a $1.8bn aid appeal to stave off famine in the war-wracked country.

The spokesman for the country's military, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), told Al Jazeera that rebels backing former vice president, Riek Machar, destroyed a mounted vehicle and captured a tank in Bentiu, near the border with Sudan.

Philip Aguer said the SPLA was pursuing the rebels, calling Tuesday's attack a clear violation of an agreement signed earlier this month that called for an end to hostilities.

Defence Minister Kuol Manyang told the AFP news agency that "the rebels are shelling our positions in Bentiu," adding that the military would "act in self defence".

Bentiu has been hotly contested between the two sides, with control of the town changing hands several times.

South Sudan has been plagued by violence since December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Machar of attempting a coup.

Fighting broke out in the capital Juba, setting off a cycle of retaliatory massacres across the country.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/02/south-sudan-rebels-shell-oil-rich-town-bentiu-150210132014725.html

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Study: Charcoal production by Al-Shabaab increases in survey area

February 11th, 2015

Despite a UN ban on the export of charcoal, charcoal production is the main source of income for the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab. Because the area in which Al-Shabaab operates is inaccessible, it is not possible to determine on the ground where and how many trees are felled for the production. Researchers from the University of Twente have now succeeded in mapping the production in part of Somalia with satellite images. Charcoal production and the felling of trees appears to have increased significantly in recent years. The extensive logging has a major impact on the environment and the food security in Somalia. The research results were recently published in the scientific journal Energy for Sustainable Development.

Charcoal production leaves behind dark circles of ashes on the ground. These circles can be recognized with high resolution satellite images. Using a computer algorithm, Master student Michele Bolognesi from the ITC faculty of the University of Twente identified charcoal production sites in an area of about 5000 km2 (about the size of the Dutch province of Gelderland), which is controlled by Al-Shabaab. Bolognesi compared images from 2011 and 2013 and was thereby able to observe that about 24,000 tonnes of charcoal were produced in the survey area in two years. Anton Vrieling, Bolognesi's supervisor: "Based on counts of production sites in 2011 and 2013, there appears to have been an increase of 28 percent in two years. Older satellite images from before 2007 show that hardly any charcoal was produced in the area at the time.

Full report at:

http://phys.org/news/2015-02-charcoal-production-al-shabaab-survey-area.html

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India

 

‘Muslim Can’t Marry Twice If Service Rules Prohibit It’: Supreme Court

Feb 10, 2015

The Supreme Court Monday held that Muslim government employee — who re-married without divorcing his first wife and in turn contravenes service rules prohibiting the same — could be sacked for breach of law.

A bench, headed by Justice TS Thakur, ruled that although Muslim personal law allows a man to marry more than once, government rules prohibit employees from marrying twice during the subsistence of a valid marriage — he or she is liable to be terminated if the rule is violated.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/muslim-can-t-marry-twice-if-service-rules-prohibit-it/article1-1315273.aspx

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Stray incidents of ISIS radicalisation taken care of, says former RAW chief

11 February 2015

A top security official on Wednesday sought to downplay threat of radicalisation of Indian youths by terror group ISIS, saying there were some "stray" incidents and those have been "taken care of" by security agencies.

The Officer on Special Duty to National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and former RAW chief, Alok Joshi, said there was no widespread influence of ISIS ideology and the "stray cases" were mainly out of "curiosity" over the radical outfit.

"I will contest the point that there is a widespread pull of ISIS (in India)... We are not in agreement with that. Now, I am not there (in RAW) but certainly when I was, we didn't see the kind of spread that people generally believed to be there (for the terror group). That is just not there," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference to discuss counter-IED strategies by National Security Guard (NSG).

Joshi, who retired as RAW chief on December 31 and is set to take over as the NTRO Chairman on April 1, said those who were probably swayed by the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have since been taken care of.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-stray-incidents-of-isis-radicalisation-taken-care-of-says-former-raw-chief-2060186

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J&K: Clashes break out between security forces, JKLF

February 11, 2015

Minor clashes broke out on Wednesday between activists of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and security forces in Maisuma area of the city here after their protest rally was foiled by the forces, officials said.

They said the clashes, including stone-pelting, erupted in Maisuma after police foiled the JKLF rally on the death anniversary of its founding member, Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in Tihar jail in Delhi in 1984.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/jk-clashes-breaks-out-between-security-forces-jklf/

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Peace and communal harmony must be ensured: Prez

February 11, 2015

Insisting that peace and communal harmony must be ensured, President Pranab Mukherjee today said that liberties, freedom and equality were guaranteed in the Constitution and any deviation from these principles would weaken the democratic fabric of the country.

"Every Indian looks forward to the Constitution as the guarantor of liberties, freedom and equality. Any deviation from the principles and provisions embodied in the Constitution would weaken the democratic fabric of the country and jeopardise the social, economic and political well-being of our citizens," he said in his opening remarks at the 46th Governors Conference here.

The President said the Governors and Lt.Governors have the "primary responsibility" to ensure that the affairs of the states and Union Territories are conducted strictly in accordance with the letter and spirit of this hallowed document.

"Prevalence of peace and communal harmony must be ensured," he said at the two-day conference attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cabinet ministers, 21 Governors and two LGs.

The agenda for the conference includes security-internal and external with special focus on border security in States sharing international frontiers, financial inclusion, employment generation and employability, making skill development programmes effective, sanitation - achieving the goal of Swachh Bharat by 2019 on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary and issues relating to Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and development related issues of North Eastern Areas.

Full report at:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/peace-and-communal-harmony-must-be-ensured-prez-115021100637_1.html

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Restrictions, shutdown affects life in Kashmir valley

Feb 11, 2015,

SRINAGAR: Restrictions imposed in parts of Srinagar for the second day Wednesday to thwart separatist called protests affected normal life here as shops and businesses were shut.

As a preventive measure to maintain law and order, restrictions will remain in force in Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, MR Gunj, Safa Kadal and Maisuma areas of the city, a senior police officer said.

Separatists have called for Kashmir valley-wide shutodwn on Wednesday on the death anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front founder Maqbool Bhat who was hanged in Tihar Jail this day in 1984.

Shops, public transport and other businesses remained closed in Srinagar city on Wednesday, while attendance in banks, post offices and government offices was thin.

Skeletal private transport and three-wheelers, however, plied on roads in up town Srinagar city.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Restrictions-shutdown-affect-life-in-Kashmir-valley/articleshow/46198794.cms

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Arab World

 

UAE jets based in Jordan launch strikes on ISIS

10 February 2015

UAE fighter planes bombed targets of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and safely returned to their bases in Jordan, the state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

"Aircraft of the F-16 squadron based in Jordan launched raids this morning against positions of the Daesh (IS) terrorist organisation, hitting their targets and returning safely to base," the UAE armed forces command said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military coalition partners struck four ISIS units amid 11 air strikes in Iraq since early Monday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The strikes, near seven Iraqi cities including Tal Afar, Kirkuk and Bayji, also hit an ISIS bunker, fighting

positions, a checkpoint and other targets, said the statement released on Tuesday.

The U.S.-led coalition also conducted one air strike in Dayr az Zawr, Syria, hitting an ISIS vehicle, the statement

said.

The UAE had sent a squadron of F-16s to Jordan on Saturday, contradicting Western media reports the Gulf state had disengaged from the confrontation with ISIS.

WAM said the move expressed the UAE’s stance “with fraternal Jordan at all levels” and reaffirms the Gulf state’s “unwavering and constant solidarity with Jordan and its leading role and immense sacrifices for the security and stability of the region as embodied by Martyr and hero Moaz al-Kasasbeh.”

Early this week, Amman confirmed Kasasbeh, a Jordanian air force pilot, had been killed by ISIS.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/10/UAE-fighter-planes-bomb-ISIS-targets-and-return-to-their-bases-in-Jordan.html

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Egypt blasts wound 10, air raids kill 15 militants

11 February 2015

ALEXANDRIA/ISMAILIA: Suspected militants set off five bombs in Egypt’s second city Alexandria on Tuesday and air raids afterwards in the Sinai Peninsula killed 15 suspected extremists, official sources said.

It was not clear if the air raids in Sinai, where militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and police in attacks since 2013, were in retaliation for the Alexandria blasts. Military officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/702586

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Eight killed in separate bomb attacks near Baghdad

Feb 10, 2015

At least eight people have lost their lives and 35 others sustained serious injuries in the latest wave of terrorist attacks near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

According to Iraqi officials, the deadliest attack on Tuesday took place in the rural city of Mahmoudiyah, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Baghdad, where a car bomb attack in a market claimed the lives of four people and injured 11 others.

Another two people were killed and nine others suffered wounds in a similar terrorist assault in the town of Madain, about 14 miles (20 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad.

Elsewhere in the town of Tarmiyah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad, a third bomb explosion led to the death of two soldiers and injured five others.

Iraqi medical officials confirmed the casualties.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/10/397020/Bomb-blasts-claim-8-lives-in-Iraq

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UAE warplanes back in action against IS militants

February 11th, 2015

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday launched air strikes from Jordan against the Islamic State group as an important Arab ally in the US-led anti-IS coalition returned to combat operations.

The raids came after President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus was being informed about air strikes against jihadists in Syria and that they could help his government if they were “more serious”.

Emirati F-16s that flew in to Jordan on Sunday carried out raids against IS, “hitting their targets and returning safely to base”, the UAE armed forces command said. It did not specify how many aircraft were in action, or where or what their targets were. ------------

Following the December crash and capture of Jordanian F-16 pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, the UAE withdrew from the coalition’s strike missions over fears for the safety of its pilots.

The jihadists later killed the airman by burning him alive, releasing gruesome video footage of his “execution”.

Abu Dhabi wanted more done in terms of search and rescue for downed pilots in the conflict zones, the New York Times reported, and the US military later deployed aircraft and troops to northern Iraq to boost its SAR capabilities.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said coalition aircraft carried out one air strike in eastern Syria in the 24 hours to 0600 GMT, and also pounded the jihadists in Iraq with 11 strikes.

The US-led coalition launched air strikes against IS in Syria on September 23, but has pointedly refused to coordinate with Damascus.

In an interview broadcast by the BBC on Tuesday, Assad confirmed that there was no cooperation with the coalition, members

of which he accused of backing “terrorism” — in an apparent reference to their support for other rebel groups fighting to overthrow him.“There’s no direct cooperation” with the coalition, Assad said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162803/uae-warplanes-back-in-action-against-is-militants

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Iraq's Kakais: 'We want to protect our culture'

11 Feb 2015

Kobane, Kirkuk - In the middle of the vast green plains of southern Kirkuk, Farhad Nezar, and a group of mostly young men, roam around the dirty village streets carrying light and medium machine guns.

The force that Nezar leads is unique because it's exclusively made up of the followers of a minority religious group known as Kakai. It is formed to defend the non-Muslim minority against a possible attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Kakai faith, also known as Yarsanism, is a syncretistic mystical faith that is believed to have originated in Kurdish dominated parts of western Iran in the 14th century. Its followers speak a dialect of Kurdish known as Gorani and are scattered across northern Iraq, Iran and many live in exile in Europe and North America.

The Kakai Battalion, as Nezar's force is known, was established in January and has around 680 fighters in its ranks. It is answerable to Iraqi Kurdistan's Ministry of Peshmerga.

The brutality that ISIL demonstrated in dealing with religious minorities in Iraq and Syria prompted the Kakais to opt for forming their own protection force.

Last June, Iraqi army forces abandoned their positions in Kirkuk when ISIL fighters ran over the neighbouring areas of Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces. And the Kurdish Peshmerga failed to protect the Yazidi and Christian-dominated areas in Nineveh plains, leading to a large-scale massacre and brutalisation of the Yazidi community in August.

"We as Kakais feel very threatened," said Nezar, who like almost every other Kakai man here sports a big moustache that covers his mouth. "If they [ISIL] get their hands on us, they will attempt a genocide of our people."

On a pleasant recent sunny afternoon, Nezar and his men walk rather cheerfully to the main road to check out the situation on the front line which is a couple of kilometres away.

They stand next to a sign that identifies the village as Kobane. Inspired by the stiff resistance that the Kurdish forces put up against ISIL in the northern Syrian town of Kobane, the locals here decided to go for the namesake.

ISIL's black banner can be spotted on a hill in the distance.

"Don't gather here all of you. They might fire mortar rockets at us," Nezar, a former major in the Iraqi army and commander of the Kakai Battalion tells his fighters.

The Kakai religion shares elements with Islam and other Mesopotamian religions.

The followers of the faith hold Imam Ali - a holy figure among Muslims particularly the Shia - in high esteem. That has led some to believe that Kakais give Imam Ali a divine status.

Kakais believe in reincarnation, a notion that is also shared in certain ways by the followers of the Yazidi faith.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/iraq-kakais-protect-culture-150209064856695.html

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A meeting of minds in Cairo

February 11th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Egypt on Monday for talks with his Egyptian opposite number on new roubles-only trade deals, the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of guns and tanks, and quite probably a new “anti-terrorist” alliance of the kind Russia already boasts in Syria.

President Abdel Fattah al Sisi personally escorted Mr Putin from Cairo airport to an Egyptian Opera House performance of extracts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Verdi’s Aida, a combination of Tsarist bourgeois fantasy and ancient Egyptian myth that might reflect the characters of both men.

The Russian president has exhibited a dark contempt for all things “Islamist” and finds common cause in ex-Field Marshal, President and national “Saviour” Al Sisi.

After crushing Muslim fighters in Chechnya, Mr Putin supports Bashar al Assad’s ferocious war against the “Islamic State’ in Syria and will be more than happy to put his arm around the chubby Egyptian whose courts have been sentencing Muslim Brotherhood members to the scaffold by the hundred.

Mr Sisi has met Mr Putin before, in Moscow, and a Russian leader known for his cynicism can only enjoy meeting a military autocrat who was elected president after staging a successful coup d’etat against a previously elected president.

Even the old Soviet Union could never quite achieve this.

Not that the age of “fraternal relations” felt that far away in Cairo. Al Ahram, the Egyptian government’s most obedient newspaper, ran a full-page encomium on the Russian president at the weekend – “Putin, hero of this era”, ran the grovelling headline – which might have welcomed Khruschev when he visited in 1964.

In true politburo fashion, the Sisi government swamped central Cairo streets with posters of their Russian guest, each carrying “Welcome” in Arabic, Russian and English. But the world should not imagine Egyptians to be as lickspittle as the posters or the Al Ahram headline imply.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162809/a-meeting-of-minds-in-cairo

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Syria ‘informed’ about strikes on IS

February 11, 2015

BEIRUT - Damascus receives “information” about air strikes by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Tuesday.

“Sometimes, they convey a message, a general message,” he said in an interview with the BBC in Damascus.

“There is no dialogue.

There’s, let’s say, information, but not dialogue.

“There’s no direct cooperation,” he added, saying the messages came to Damascus through third parties.

“More than one party, Iraq and other countries.

Sometimes they convey messages, general messages.

But there’s nothing tactical,” he said.

Damascus has grudgingly accepted the strikes against IS on its territory that began on September 23 last year, but has repeatedly criticised the coalition for failing to coordinate with it.

It says the raids cannot defeat IS unless the international community starts cooperating with Syrian troops on the ground.

Assad said the US-led strikes had the potential to help his government if they were “more serious.

” “Yes, it will have some benefits, but if it was more serious and more effective and more efficient.

It’s not that much.

Washington has ruled out cooperating with Assad’s government against IS, and the Syrian leader said Damascus had no interest in joining the coalition.

“No, definitely we cannot and we don’t have the will and we don’t want, for one simple reason - because we cannot be in an alliance with countries which support terrorism.

The comment appeared to be a reference to coalition support for other rebels groups fighting to overthrow him, all of which his government derides as “terrorists”.

Assad said US officials “easily trample over international law, which is about our sovereignty now, so they don’t talk to us, we don’t talk to them.

” More than 210,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates resumed air strikes on Tuesday against the Islamic State group which it had suspended after the militants captured a Jordanian pilot in December, the military said.

“Aircraft of the F-16 squadron based in Jordan launched raids this morning against positions of the Daesh (IS) terrorist organisation, hitting their targets and returning safely to base,” the UAE armed forces command said.

Jordan and the UAE are part of the US-led coalition that has been carrying out air strikes against IS since last year.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/702581

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Baghdad’s major anti-IS ground offensive looms

10 February 2015

BAGHDAD: A top US envoy said Iraqi troops would launch a major ground offensive against the Islamic State group in the coming weeks, as a suicide bomber killed 14 people in Baghdad Monday.

John Allen, the US coordinator for the anti-IS coalition of Western and Arab countries, said Sunday Iraqi troops would begin a major offensive “in the weeks ahead.”

“When the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that,” he told Jordan’s official Petra news agency.

On Monday, a suicide bomber attacked Baghdad’s Shiite-majority Kadhimiyah district, killing at least 14 people and wounding at least 43, officials said.

The bomber struck near pavement vendors in crowded Aden Square in the second suicide bombing to hit the city in three days.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/702101

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Bahraini forces attack protesters calling for Salman release

Feb 11, 2015

Bahraini security forces have attacked anti-regime protesters calling for the release of a senior Shia cleric in an Island south of the capital, Mamma.

The regime forces fired rubber bullets and teargas at the demonstrators who had taken to the streets on the island of Sitra.

The protesters chanted slogans in support of senior Shia opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and slammed the ruling Al Khalifa regime for the ongoing crackdown on the opposition voices in the country as the anniversary of the revolution in the Persian Gulf state approaches.

Demonstrators had also taken to the streets in Manama and Sitra on Sunday to censure the detention of Sheikh Salman, who is the leader of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Bahrain.

However, the demonstrations turned violent after security forces fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/11/397102/Bahrain-forces-attack-antiregime-demos

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20,000 foreigners joined extremists in Syria: US

Feb 11, 2015

More than 20,000 volunteers from around the world, including some Americans, have traveled to Syria to join the ISIL Takfiri militant group and other extremist groups, US intelligence officials say.

Foreign militants from over 90 countries, including at least 3,400 people from Western states and more than 150 Americans, have travelled to Syria to join terrorist groups there, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) said in its latest estimate on Tuesday.

“The rate of foreign fighter travel to Syria is unprecedented. It exceeds the rate of travelers who went to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia at any point in the last 20 years,” said NCTC director Nicholas Rasmussen.

A majority of the militants have joined the ISIL terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, the NCTC added.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/11/397081/20000-foreign-extremists-in-Syria-US

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan's banned organisations list to match UN blacklist

February 11th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday directed Secretary Interior Shahid Khan to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reconcile a ‘national list’ of proscribed organisations as per the blacklist of the United Nations.

Nisar gave the directive in a meeting which met to review progress on the National Action Plan (NAP) for countering militancy and extremism.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Interior, National Coordinator NACTA, DG-FIA, Chief Commissioner ICT and IG Islamabad.

An official of the Interior Ministry told Dawn.com that the ministry had already included the Haqqani Network and JuD in the list of proscribed outfits but the government was reluctant to formally make an announcement in this regard.

Read also: Haqqani network and JuD banned

The official said that the total number of proscribed outfits in Pakistan has reached 72 and includes 12 banned organisations, the number of which will increase in the next few weeks.

“The government has also decided to monitor the activities of the banned outfits leadership and to restrict their movement within the country,” the official added.

According to the documents available with Dawn.com, the interior ministry has added Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, Harkat-ul-Mujahi­deen, Falah-i-Insaniat Foun­dation, Ummah Tameer-i-Nau, Haji Khairullah Hajji Sattar Money Exchange, Rahat Limited, Roshan Money Exchange, Al Akhtar Trust, Al Rashid Trust, Haqqani network and Jamaatud Dawa to the list of proscribed organisations.

According to the official, the minister also directed the Interior Ministry and National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) to fine-tune the procedure of proscription to ensure that such organisations do not reemerge with new names and nomenclatures.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162733/pakistans-banned-organisations-list-to-match-un-blacklist

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15 Militants Dead In Kharan Gun Battle

February 11, 2015

QUETTA - At least 15 suspected militants were killed during an exchange of fire with Frontier Corps personnel in Beshima area of Kharan district in Balochistan on Thursday, a spokesman for the security force said.

One FC man was killed and three others injured during the clash in Kharan, the spokesman said.  Security forces launched a search operation in the Bashima area of Kharan, some 240 kilometres southwest of Quetta, during which an exchange of fire took place with suspected militants, the spokesman said. Frontier Corps personnel, in retaliation, killed 15 armed miscreants.

The spokesman said that security forces seized a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from a secret bunker.

The FC spokesman said that the dead militants were involved in subversive activities in the area, including bombings and targeted killings. The injured security personnel were rushed to Quetta for medical treatment.

The information relating to the clash as well as the death toll could not be independently verified. The slain miscreants included three key commanders of an outlawed separatist group, the spokesman claimed.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/11-Feb-2015/15-militants-dead-in-kharan-gunbattle

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Government following IMF conditions: Qadri

February 10, 2015

Lahore- Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, today termed the new tax of Rs 200 billion as an economic terrorism, whereas he further stated that the Parliament has become a graveyard of living beings.

While talking to the media via telephone, Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the country is following the conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is in continuous effort to make IMF happy. He alleged the government of snatching the relief of petroleum low prices, through implementing illicit mini budget.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/10-Feb-2015/government-following-imf-conditions-qadri

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Pakistan may have shared OBL's location with US: Former ISI chief

February 11th, 2015

Former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani has said that Pakistan had 'most likely' revealed the position of former Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden to the US, a report published on the Al Jazeera website said.

In an interview on Al Jazeera's Head to Head show, the former ISI chief cast doubts over the intelligence agency's official line that it was unaware of the Al Qaeda chief's whereabouts prior to his killing.

“I cannot say exactly what happened but my assessment […] was it is quite possible that they [the ISI] did not know but it was more probable that they did. And the idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been, when you can get the necessary quid pro quo — if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States," the former head of Pakistan's premier intelligence agency told the host of the show.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162905/pakistan-may-have-shared-obls-location-with-us-former-isi-chief

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Serious differences between Bilawal and Zardari: Mirza

February 11th, 2015

BADIN/KARACHI: A disgruntled leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party has said there were ‘serious differences’ between party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his father, former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, over the ‘poor’ performance of the Sindh government — a claim rejected by the party.

“All those sycophants who are denying the differences between the father and the son are telling a lie but I confirm such differences between the two with a big yes,” claimed Dr Zulfikar Mirza — a former provincial home minister and once a close aide to Mr Zardari — while talking to a group of journalists in Golarchi town at his farmhouse in Mourjhar late Monday evening.

Dr Mirza said Mr Bhutto-Zardari was “extremely unhappy and dissatisfied” with the performance of the Sindh government and its “inept, corrupt and incompetent ministers” whom, he alleged, had deviated from the mission envisaged by the slain party leader Benazir Bhutto.

Firing a broadside at provincial ministers, an angry Dr Mirza said, they were “involved in selling jobs by grabbing hefty amounts even from committed party activists”.

“Bilawal wanted to run party affairs like his mother, but he found himself stymied by vested interests,” he added.

He said his ‘forthrightness’ had brought a slew of issues for him.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162793/serious-differences-between-bilawal-and-zardari-mirza

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No change in Pak-China corridor route, Fazl assured

February 11th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal rejected on Tuesday rumours about a change in the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC) route and termed it a conspiracy against the major project.

Addressing a joint press conference with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said there was no change in the PCEC route, adding that it was a baseless propaganda launched to trigger controversy.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162840/no-change-in-pak-china-corridor-route-fazl-assured

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Teams’ meeting with PM put off until next month

February 11th, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister office had some bad news for the national hockey and women’s cricket teams after scheduled meeting on Wednesday with the premier was put off for at least three weeks.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also the patron of hockey, will meet the teams on March 3.

Both teams brought laurels for the country in the last Asian Games with the women cricketers winning the gold medal and the men’s hockey taking the silver medal.

“The other day [Monday] we conveyed a new date of meeting to Pakistan Hockey Federation,” a senior officer of Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination which oversees sports, said here on Tuesday.

It is relevant to note here cash-strapped PHF has been seeking an appointment with the prime minister for the last several months, but to no avail.

“We were hoping to meet with the prime minister, but we were told that our meeting has been postponed. We are hopeful our re-scheduled meeting will not face any further delay,” said Rana Mujahid, the PHF secretary.

He said that meeting with premier is imperative for the future of hockey.

The secretary PHF further said that due to shortage of funds the national team could not participate in the Sultan Azlan Shah and Olympic qualifiers.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162738/teams-meeting-with-pm-put-off-until-next-month

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian Muslims Try to Contain Islamic State's Appeal

February 11, 2015

The last major terrorist attack in Indonesia happened in 2009. At the time, militants bombed two hotels in Jakarta.

Since then, the Indonesian government has reduced terrorist threats by capturing, not killing, terrorist leaders such as clergyman Abu Bakar Bashir. His trial – and others – helped turn public opinion against violent militants.

But the terrorist threat in Indonesia returned this year. Recently, an online video showed an Indonesian man who claimed to be an Islamic State fighter in Syria. He called on Muslims to rise up against the government in Jakarta. The video showed many Indonesians their own war against terrorism is not over.

Sidney Jones is with the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta. She calls the video a wake-up call.

"The Indonesians for the first time saw the Islamic State as a challenge to Indonesian sovereignty. That's what triggered the reaction. It wasn't that all of a sudden it became more dangerous.”

Counter-terrorism strategies

Indonesian police arrested several local Islamic State supporters after the video was released. Police may charge them with inciting unrest in a friendly foreign state.

Officials may also seize the passports of about 150 Indonesians who have joined the Islamic State in Syria.

Some human rights groups are concerned about how the police have answered the video. They say the measures have been too strong, and that citizens have not been able to examine the police action.

Full report at:

http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/indonesia-terrorism-islamic-state/2637348.html

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Congress discusses Islam’s role in Indonesian development

February 10 2015

Around a thousand Muslim intellectuals, clerics and representatives from various Islamic organizations are currently gathering in Yogyakarta to discuss Islam and other national issues during the 6th Congress of Indonesian Muslims.

The congress, which runs through Wednesday, was officially opened by Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Pagelaran hall of the Yogyakarta Palace on Monday with the theme of Strengthening the Political, Economic and Socio-cultural Role of a Fair and Civilized Indonesian Muslim Community.

“The meeting is a means of fostering brotherhood among Muslims and is a call to maintain unity and critical evaluation of both the internal and external conditions of Muslims,” said Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Din Syamsuddin at the opening of the congress.

The congress is to discuss several issues, including how Muslims are responsible for maintaining and building the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). “The meeting will also discuss internal issues in Islam, such as how to enhance the role of Muslims in improving the nation,” said Din.

With around 207 million of Indonesia’s population of 240 million being Muslim, Islam’s position in Indonesia is very strategic and whether Indonesia would advance would be determined by the role of Muslims, he said.

Din said the position of Muslims was very important in Indonesia, so defining a clear role is necessary in its development.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/10/congress-discusses-islam-s-role-indonesian-development.html

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Court upholds five-year jail term for Malaysia's Anwar

10 Feb 2015

Malaysia's highest court has upheld opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction on sodomy charges and his five-year prison sentence in a case he and his supporters have denounced as a fabrication.

The Federal Court's judgement on Tuesday upheld a ruling by the Court of Appeal in March last year, which found the 67-year-old guilty of sodomising a former political aide.

Addressing the court, Anwar accused the panel of justices for taking part in a "political conspiracy" by Malaysia's ruling regime.

A statement by the Malaysian government said on Tuesday: "The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures."

Hee Loy Sian, a fellow MP from Anwar's party, told Al Jazeera that the opposition People's Justice Party will meet in a few hours to decide on its next steps following the judgment.

"It is an injustice. There are some political influences. There is no independence of the judiciary. It is a black history for Malaysia. How can the leader of the opposition be jailed?"

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Anwar's lawyer Rasiah Sivarasa, said that the case was "politically motivated."

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/malaysia-anwar-ibrahim-150210010807920.html

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Malaysia launches first ever syariah index

February 11 2015

Malaysia has introduced the first ever syariah index in the world which will serve as a benchmark to determine if the country is fulfilling the objectives of Islamic principles.

The Malaysian Syariah Index, launched yesterday by prime minister Najib Razak, will gauge objectively and scientifically, Malaysia’s commitment in achieving the five aspects of the Maqasid Syariah (objective of Islamic principles).

The aspects are protection of the religion, protection of life, protection of the mind, protection of the race and protection of property.

The benchmarking will cover eight main areas – judicial, economy, education, infrastructure and environment, health, culture, politics and social.

The inaugural index which is expected to be released next year will be on policies, initiatives and programme achievements throughout this year.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/11/malaysia-launches-first-ever-syariah-index.html

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Malaysia New Tax to Slow Mortgages From ’07 Low: Islamic Finance

February 11th, 2015

Growth in Malaysia’s Islamic home loans is forecast by banks to slow from the weakest pace since 2007 as a new tax damps housing demand.

AmInvestment Bank Bhd. and CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd. forecast the mortgage market will cool, just as tighter capital rules make lenders more cautious on expansion. The government will introduce a 6 percent goods and services tax in April, adding to disincentives after regulators cut the maximum tenor on residential property loans to 35 years from 45 in July 2013.

The volume of property transactions is forecast to fall by 3 percent to 5 percent in 2015, Loong Kok Wen, a real estate analyst at RHB Research Institute Bhd., wrote in a December report. The central bank forecasts inflation will quicken to as much as 3.5 percent this year from 3.1 percent in 2014, while Prime Minister Najib Razak has reduced the economic growth estimate as a slump in oil prices lowers export earnings.

“Demand for mortgages will probably slow this year because people don’t want to take on liability obligations in an environment of uncertainty,” Mohd. Effendi Abdullah, head of Islamic markets at AmInvestment Bank, the nation’s third-largest sukuk arranger, said by phone Feb. 4. “GST and rising inflation will also weigh as they will reduce people’s purchasing power.”

Full report at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-09/malaysia-new-tax-to-slow-mortgages-from-07-low-islamic-finance

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Jokowi to Yogyakarta for Indonesian Muslim conference

February 11 2015

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo left Jakarta for Yogyakarta on Wednesday to attend the sixth Congress of Indonesian Muslims.

The President left on the presidential plane from Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base at 8:20 a.m., Wednesday, Antara news agency reported.

The congress will be attended by leaders of a number of prominent Muslim groups in Indonesia, including the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah, Islam Unity (Persis) and the Indonesia Islamic Preaching Institution (LDII).

Jokowi is expected to return to Jakarta at 12 p.m. to preside over a limited Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office at 3 p.m. (hhr)(++++)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/11/jokowi-yogyakarta-indonesian-muslim-conference.html-0#sthash.V9sZMiug.dpuf

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Mideast

 

US, Turkey vow joint fight against ISIL financing

February 10, 2015

US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan asserted a strong joint commitment to combat financial networks supporting Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants at a G20 summit in Istanbul, a US Treasury spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Turkey has been criticized for its minimal contribution to the efforts of a US-led coalition against ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Turkey has instead pushed for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and for the establishment of a no-fly zone and a safe zone inside Syria, but the US says priority should be on the immediate threat of ISIL, not the removal of the Assad regime.

While the US has been pressing Turkey to grant expanded access to İncirlik Air Base in Adana province to the coalition forces for air strikes against ISIL in Syria, Turkey has been reluctant to agree.

In the meantime, a senior US official has said that the Iraqi offensive against ISIL will begin “within weeks."

US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to counter ISIL Gen. John Allen told Jordan's official Petra news agency in an interview on Sunday that there will be a major counteroffensive on the ground in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Turkey should stop the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq, during a speech at a high-level security conference in Munich over the weekend.

Abadi said he disagrees with the remarks of Turkish government officials who say it is difficult to control Turkey's borders with Syria and Iraq.

“I believe Turkey can control its borders. It would be to Turkey's advantage to stem the flow of foreign fighters,” added Abadi.

Full report at:

http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_us-turkey-vow-joint-fight-against-isil-financing_372238.html

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US, UK Missions Suspend Operations In Yemen Amid Continued Unrest

February 11th, 2015

WASHINGTON: The United States has shut down its embassy in Yemen indefinitely and evacuated its staff and their families due to the worsening security conditions in the country, the State Department said Tuesday.

“On February 11, 2015, due to the deteriorating security situation in Sanaa, the Department of State suspended embassy operations and US Embassy Sanaa American staff were relocated out of the country,” a State Department travel warning said.

“All consular services, routine and/or emergency, have been suspended until further notice,” it added.

The Shia Muslim militia that has grabbed power in Sanaa warned Tuesday against any attempts to “destabilise” Yemen as the UN brokered a second day of talks aimed at resolving the crisis.

The country has never managed to achieve stability since longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in early 2012 after a bloody year-long popular uprising.

This includes battling an Al Qaeda insurgency and facing a separatist movement in the formerly independent south.

Matters worsened in September when the Huthi militia, fearful of being marginalised by a proposed new constitution, seized control of the capital and began pushing southward into Sunni areas.

UN envoy Jamal Benomar has warned that Yemen is at a “crossroads”, and has urged political leaders to “take up their responsibilities and achieve consensus” as he battles for a negotiated solution.

The United States has also pressed for progress on that front.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1162909/us-uk-missions-suspend-operations-in-yemen-amid-continued-unrest

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Swedish, Palestinian leaders meet after row with Israel

February 11, 2015

STOCKHOLM - President Mahmoud Abbas met Sweden's new prime minister on Tuesday to further international support for his cause after the Nordic state infuriated Israel when it became the first major European country to recognise Palestine as a state.

Social Democrat PM Stefan Lofven used his inaugural address in parliament last year to announce that his country would recognise a Palestinian state, prompting Israel to call its ambassador back.

Sweden's ties with Israel have nose dived since.

Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom called off a visit in January, officially due to scheduling difficulties but media reported that Israel would not have given her an official welcome.

Sweden's govt, aiming for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, is trying to make its international mark with calls for a feminist foreign policy and criticism of Israel.

Most western European countries have yet to give official recognition, as has the United States, although the UN General Assembly approved de facto recognition in 2012.

A total of 135 countries recognise Palestine, including several east European nations that did so before they joined the EU.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Feb-2015/swedish-palestinian-leaders-meet-after-row-with-israel

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Iranians rally in millions to mark Revolution victory

Feb 11, 2015

Millions of the Iranians take to the streets nationwide to mark the 36th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in 1979.

The capital Tehran and other cities and towns are witnessing rallies in celebration of the victory that put an end to the monarchical rule of the US-backed Pahlavi regime.

Rouhani's nuclear speech

Addressing a massive gathering of people celebrating the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said:"We seek a win-win agreement, according to which Iran would [guarantee] the transparency of its peaceful nuclear activities within the framework of international law and [in return] the opposite side should put an end to inhumane and illegal sanctions [against Iran]. This will benefit both sides,” Rouhani said.

He further dismissed claims by Western countries that sanctions have forced Iran to sit at the negotiating table.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/11/397100/Iranians-rally-to-mark-Revolution-anniv

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Bahraini forces attack protesters calling for Salman release

Feb 11, 2015

Bahraini security forces have attacked anti-regime protesters calling for the release of a senior Shia cleric in an Island south of the capital, Mamma.

The regime forces fired rubber bullets and teargas at the demonstrators who had taken to the streets on the island of Sitra.

The protesters chanted slogans in support of senior Shia opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman and slammed the ruling Al Khalifa regime for the ongoing crackdown on the opposition voices in the country as the anniversary of the revolution in the Persian Gulf state approaches.

Demonstrators had also taken to the streets in Manama and Sitra on Sunday to censure the detention of Sheikh Salman, who is the leader of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Bahrain.

However, the demonstrations turned violent after security forces fired teargas to disperse the protesters.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/11/397102/Bahrain-forces-attack-antiregime-demos

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Europe

 

France dismantles 15 terrorist networks: Minister

Feb 11, 2015

The French government has dismantled some 15 terrorist networks as part of a sweeping campaign to uproot terrorism within the country, France’s justice minister says.

International action is vital to combat the increase in terrorist attacks following the January terrorist attacks in France, including on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo weekly and a supermarket, that killed 17 people, as well as the three gunmen involved in the attacks, Christiane Taubira told an open meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee on Tuesday.

She said the French government is examining the terrorist groups’ sophisticated propaganda, indoctrination and methods used to recruit new members, including social media and video games.

Last November, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the number of French nationals leaving the country to join the ISIL militant group in Syria and Iraq shows an 82-percent rise in 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/11/397099/France-disbands-15-terror-networks

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Morocco launches anti-migrant sweep near Spain enclave

10 February 2015

Morocco launched a huge operation to dismantle migrant camps Tuesday near the Spanish enclave of Melilla, but 35 people still managed to cross illegally after hundreds stormed the border fence.

The Spanish government said more than 600 African migrants charged the fence separating Melilla from Morocco, and five were injured when at least 35 scaled the dangerously high barrier.

An official with the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said security forces had begun a sweep of the Gourougou heights overlooking Melilla on Monday night.

“These migrants have been gathered up by the authorities, and are waiting to be moved in 20 requisitioned buses,” the source said, adding that some 1,000 people were involved.

Hicham Rachidi of Morocco’s GADEM anti-racist group said the operation was ongoing, and reported “several injured”.

At a news conference on Monday, the Moroccan authorities said they had conducted a review that had led to the regularisation of the status of nearly 18,000 migrants from a total of 27,300 cases filed.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/10/Morocco-launches-anti-migrant-sweep-near-Spain-enclave.html

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Death Threats Add To Swedish Muslim Woes

10 February 2015

STOCKHOLM – In a new attack targeting the Muslim religious minority in Sweden, the imam of the main Stockholm mosque has received death threats after which the Swedish police strengthened security around the Muslims’ worshipping houses.

"The police have taken several steps and we have contact with them," Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic Association of Sweden, told broadcaster Sveriges Television, Local.se reported.

“We hope that they clear this up very quickly.”

The threats to Stockholm main mosque were made last Friday.

It followed the arrival of a package of white powder which was sent to the mosque located near Medborgarplatsen in central Stockholm.

"I can't go into detail but it was a direct death threat which the police have taken seriously," Mustafa said.

Although the said powder turned out to be harmless, Stockholm police said that security at the mosque has been strengthened.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/482915-death-threats-add-to-swedish-muslim-woes.html

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The Anti-Islamic Far-Right Is Spreading In Europe—and Going Mainstream

February 8, 2015

In recent months, a street movement called Pegida—Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the Occident—has emerged from nowhere in Germany, seeking to “protect Judeo-Christian culture” and halt to what it calls the spread of Islam. Though it denies being xenophobic or racist, its leader quit after being pictured dressed as Hitler. Pegida’s rallies have attracted tens of thousands of people in Germany.

And now the group is spreading abroad. Pegida held its first march in Vienna and is to hold its first British rally in the city of Newcastle on Feb. 28, with more planned in the UK. Britain already has anti-Islamic groups such as the English Defence League, a small but vocal force. Only this weekend, the EDL attracted as many as 1,000 people to a march against the building of a mosque.

Time will tell how popular Pegida will be outside of Germany—only a few hundred people showed up in Vienna—but its rising profile is a small part of the growing shift into the mainstream of far-right groups that would have once been shunned.

Full report at:

http://qz.com/340788/the-anti-islamic-far-right-is-spreading-in-europe-and-going-mainstream/

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Future of religion in Britain is Islam and black majority churches

09 February 2015

The future of religion in Britain is in black majority churches and Islam, according to a leading expert in religious trends.

For white British people, it is particularly bleak. Leaders who can inspire and build congregations are few and far between.

"Most ordained ministers are good, well meaning people with the leadership ability of bank managers," says Professor David Voas, who specialises in population studies at Essex University.

Statistics show that Islam and newer forms of Christianity are overhauling the Church of England as white Britons lose their taste for worship.

He says: "The future of religion in Britain is to be found in Islam and the black majority churches. Muslims already contribute ten per cent of British births; within several decades people of Muslim heritage will form ten percent of the population, even if immigration came to an abrupt halt tomorrow.

"If even half are observant, they will form a substantial proportion of the religiously active population. Ethnic minority Christians will have another large share."

Professor Voas reveals the latest trends in a blog for the thinktank Theos which is published as the Church of England prepares to debate reforms to structure, training and mission at the General Synod which meets tomorrow in Church House, Westminster.

"While the secularisation of consciousness in the West is an ongoing process, the secularisation of behaviour has reached the point of no return," he writes.

He says the leaders of the major Christian denominations are asking the wrong question. The issue is not why people are staying away from church but why anyone would go to church.

"The onus is on churches to offer something that people want and would have difficulty finding anywhere else."

He says it is more about community than religion, and the problem is that local churches "are not especially attractive".

"The elderly may need people, but for the young there are simply too many alternative ways of spending time."

Full report at:

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/future.of.religion.in.britain.is.islam.and.black.majority.churches/47716.htm

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Muslims Protest near Downing Street against Charlie Hebdo Cartoons of Prophet Mohamed

09 February 2015

Thousands of British Muslims gathered near Downing Street yesterday to protest against the publication of “insulting” cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed.

Demonstrators said recent cartoons and drawings of the prophet published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and other publishers is a "stark reminder" that freedom of speech is “regularly utilised to insult personalities that others consider sacred".

The Muslim Action Forum – which organised the peaceful rally on Whitehall – also expressed “deep regret” at the Paris terror attacks, in which 17 people were massacred at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo magazine and a separate attack on a kosher supermarket.

MAF said the murders by gunmen claiming they were avenging the prophet were a “violation of Islamic law”.

Britain First members, including leader Paul Golding, were also in attendance. They stood behind a huge banner for their nationalist party and chanted at Muslims in a counter-demonstration while police officers watched over.

The protest took place as a leading academic said that the religion in Britain will be “black and brown” as Islam and newer forms of Christianity overhaul the Church of England.

 David Voas, professor of population studies at the University of Essex, told the Times that white British people are losing their taste for worship, in contrast to the UK’s expanding population of ethnic minorities.

Outside Downing Street, protesters held banners and signs with the words “Charlie and the abuse factory” and “learn some manners”on them.

Other signs echoed the sentiments of the Pope who said he understood why people were angry with the cartoons insulting the prophet, as those who offended his mother could “expect a punch”.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/muslims-protest-against-cartoons-of-prophet-mohamed-in-face-of-britain-first-counterdemo-10032912.html

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Australia

 

Australian police thwart ‘imminent’ ISIS attack

11 February 2015

Australian counter-terrorism police said on Wednesday they had thwarted an imminent attack linked to ISIS after arresting two men in Sydney and seizing knives, a video and a flag associated with the militant group.

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its action against ISIS, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown Islamist radicals since last year.

It raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in September, when hundreds of police conducted raids after receiving information that ISIS supporters planned to conduct a public beheading.

Police said the men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested after a raid on a home in a western Sydney suburb on Tuesday and had been charged with planning a terrorist act.

“When we did the search of the premises, a number of items were located, including a machete, a hunting knife, a home-made flag representing the proscribed terrorist organization IS, and also a video which depicted a man talking about carrying out an attack,” New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn told reporters.

“We will allege that both of these men were preparing to do this act yesterday,” she said.

The men were not known to police, Burn said.

“This is indicative of the threat that we now have to live with and which we are now having to deal with,” she said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/02/11/Australian-anti-terror-police-say-imminent-IS-linked-attack-thwarted.html

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The 'good' Muslim: inclusion and exclusion within Australian Islam

11 February 2015

At last week's National Press Club, Prime Minister Tony Abbott put Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir on notice, pledging to "tackle" and "crack down" on them.

Hizb ut-Tahrir believe that Muslims should have nothing to do with modern secular democracy, which makes them controversial at a time when Australian Muslims are facing a lot of pressure to demonstrate their allegiance to so-called 'Australian values'.

Full report at:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/inclusion-and-exclusion-in-australian-muslim-communities/6086306

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Anti-Halal campaigner sued over claims Islamic certification supports terrorism

10 February 2015

A prominent anti-halal campaigner and the “Islam-critical” Q Society are being sued for defamation over their claims the Islamic certification industry is corrupt and funds “the push for sharia law in Australia”.

Mohammed El-Mouelhy, the head of one of Australia’s largest certifiers, Halal Certification Authority, began proceedings in the New South Wales supreme court last month against senior members of the Melbourne-based Q Society and Kirralie Smith, who runs the website HalalChoices.

The statement of claim alleges that two videos featuring Smith, one recorded at a Q Society event, portray El-Mouelhy as “part of a conspiracy to destroy Western civilisation from within” and “reasonably suspected of providing financial support to terrorist organisations”.

He also claims that Smith alleges in one of the videos that El Mouelhy once accepted the fee to certify a company without carrying out an inspection and that he conducts his business in a “dishonest manner”.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/11/anti-halal-campaigner-sued-over-claims-islamic-certification-supports-terrorism

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bangladesh-sentences-five-islamist-militants-to-death/d/101473



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