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Islamic World News ( 28 Oct 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal Sentences Jamaat-e-Islami Chief to Death

 

 

 

 

Death sentence to the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, bangladesh largest Islamist party, Motiur Rahman Nizami

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Asia

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal Sentences Jamaat-e-Islami Chief to Death

Taliban claim victory after British withdrawal from Afghanistan

Bangladesh, UAE stress fighting ISIS threats

Afghanistan’s Ghani, China’s Xi pledge long-term partnership

AL happy, wants action against Jamaat

Making Nizami minister a slap on martyrs’ faces

Pakistan Jamaat Ameer’s effigy burnt in Dhaka

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India

Ex-Google India employee held for trying to join Islamic State

Have no money, how could I send people to Afghan: Terror accused

India Uncovers Suspected Plot to Assassinate Bangladeshi PM

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Arab World

Terrorist groups have no connection to Islam: Saudi Mufti

Hezbollah slams Bahrain ruling to suspend al-Wefaq

ISIL posing threat to Middle East, world: Hezbollah official

Iraq Sunni exiles say bombs cannot defeat IS

Iraqi Kurdish fighters bound for Kobani arrive in Turkey

Egypt’s Sisi expands military power after Sinai attack

Traumatised by ISIL, Yazidis seek help

Syria neighbours call for help with refugees

ISIL pitting Iraqis against army: Exclusive

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Pakistan

Dubai court jails Pakistani smuggling heroin in bags carrying copies of Quran

Pakistan-US ties moving to trade from aid: US envoy

SC rejects all petitions calling to declare 2013 elections void

Imran criticises power tariff hike

Nisar seeks end to drone attacks

Four ‘Al Qaeda men’ held in airport attack case

PM Nawaz approves name of Sethi for ICC President

Police to spare no effort for peace in Muharram

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Mideast

Muslim Leaders Issue Collective Rebuke Against ISIS

Turkish enterprises keen to build on strong Saudi ties

Iraqi Kurdish fighters bound for Kobani arrive in Turkey

Iranians consider Pakistan second home

UN rights report on Iran ‘biased, politically-tainted’

Egypt plans to set up buffer zone along Gaza border

Islamic State crisis: Turkish PM rejects Kobane criticism

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Europe

German Spy Agency Sees IS Big Threat, Luring More German Recruits

Councillor from French Far-Right Party Converts To Islam – And Urges Others to Follow

UK plans to hike arms sales to Qatar: Report

Wi-Fi hotspot named 'Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork' delays US flight

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North America

US to step up counter-terrorism cooperation with Canada

US aid package to Afghanistan, doubtful: Analyst

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia: Halloween 'banned' by Islamic authority

Police, Soldiers Suspected of Arming Papua Separatists

China May Risk Region Instability: Indonesia Army Chief

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Africa

Tunisia's confident secularists weigh options

Zambian President Sata dies in London aged 77

Tunisia's Ennahda 'faces defeat' in elections

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bangladesh-war-crimes-tribunal-sentences-jamaat-e-islami-chief-to-death/d/99775

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunal Sentences Jamaat-e-Islami Chief to Death

October 29th, 2014

DHAKA: A special Bangladeshi court on Wednesday handed the death sentence to the leader of the country's largest religious party for war crimes, in a long-awaited verdict that triggers fears of fresh violence.

The war crimes court found Moti ur Rahman Nizami, head of the Jamaat-i-Islami party, guilty of mass murder, rape and looting during Bangladesh's war of independence against Pakistan in 1971.

Head judge Enayetur Rahim sentenced Nizami to “hang by the neck until his death” for orchestrating the killing of top doctors and intellectuals during the conflict as head of a ruthless militia.

“It's a historic verdict,” chief prosecutor Haider Ali told reporters outside the packed and heavily guarded court in Dhaka.

Ali said Nizami, who became Jamaat's leader in 2000 and was once a minister in a Jamaat-allied government led the notorious Al-Badr militia “which took part in many heinous crimes”.

Security was tightened across Bangladesh ahead of the verdict after similar judgements against several of Nizami's senior lieutenants plunged the country into one of its worst crises last year.

Tens of thousands of Jamaat supporters fought with police and more than 500 people died in the unrest and subsequent political violence ahead of disputed polls in January.

Jamaat called a called three-day nationwide strike starting on Thursday in protest at Nizami's verdict.

Junior home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said before the verdict that “all sorts of security measures” had been taken across Bangladesh amid fears of a new bout of bloodletting.

“We won't tolerate any attempt to create instability or chaos,” Khan told reporters on Tuesday.

While it was effectively banned from taking part in the legislative elections, Jamaat's activists staged shows of strength on the streets of Dhaka and other cities in the aftermath of the previous verdicts.

Death hit list

Extra police and border guards were deployed on Wednesday in the capital and other major cities, security officials said.

The verdict, originally scheduled for June, was postponed at the 11th hour because Nizami was suffering from high blood pressure.

As leader of now defunct Islami Chhatra Sangha (ICS), prosecutors say, Nizami turned the then student wing of Jamaat into a pro-Pakistani militia which killed professors, writers, doctors and journalists.

The aim was to make the fledgling nation an “intellectual cripple”, prosecutor Mohammad Ali said before the verdict.

“When it was clear Pakistan was losing the war, as the chief commander of Al Badr he ordered a 'hit list' based on which top intellectuals were abducted and killed,” he said.

Nizami is already on death row after being sentenced to hang in January for trafficking weapons and trying to ship them to a rebel group in northeast India.

His defence lawyer said he would appeal the sentence, saying Nizami was being pursued as part of a government witch-hunt against its opponents.

“It's an unacceptable judgement. The court ruled beyond its jurisdiction.

There was no evidence that anyone saw him killing,” lawyer Taj ul Islam said.

Since it was established by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government in 2010, the self-styled International Crimes Tribunal has sentenced around a dozen opposition leaders for war crimes.

Rights groups have criticised the trials, saying they fall short of international standards and lack any international oversight.

The country's secular government maintains the trials are needed to heal the wounds of the conflict.

Independent researchers estimate that between 300,000 and 500,000 people died in the 1971 war.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141130/bangladesh-war-crimes-tribunal-sentences-ji-chief-to-death

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Taliban claim victory after British withdrawal from Afghanistan

October 29th , 2014

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday claimed victory over Britain in southern Helmand province, crediting their fighters with killing hundreds and handicapping “tens of thousands” of troops in the “bloodiest attacks” of the 13-year war.

The last British combat troops in Afghanistan were airlifted out of Camp Bastion, a sprawling base located near the provincial capital Laskhar Gah on Monday, ending a mission that lasted longer than World War II and cost 453 lives.

Despite praise from politicians, including British leader David Cameron, the province remains a stronghold for Taliban militants whose government was ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion, as well a hub for opium production.

In a statement posted to their website, the insurgents thanked Taliban fighters for their “immense sacrifices”.

“No doubt, the bloodiest attacks by mujahideen during the past 13 years, forced the invading enemy to leave. The official statistics by the enemy puts British casualties at 500 soldiers however the actual number of casualties is more than the official figures.

“These are the figures of life losses; the number of the handicapped soldiers reaches tens of thousands of troops. “It also called upon Afghans to turn their backs on the government which was working in the interests of Western powers.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on all those people who are fighting against their people as proxy of the invaders that they should use their sagacity. Do not fight in support of the enemy of Islam and the enemy of ours and your forefathers.”

The Taliban have intensified their attacks all around the country in recent months as Nato combat forces which once numbered 140,000 withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Also read: British forces hand over control of last base in Afghanistan

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141062/taliban-claim-victory-after-british-withdrawal-from-afghanistan

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Taliban claim victory after British withdrawal from Afghanistan

Oct 29, 2014

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday claimed victory over Britain in southern Helmand province, crediting their fighters with killing hundreds and handicapping “tens of thousands” of troops in the “bloodiest attacks” of the 13-year war.

The last British combat troops in Afghanistan were airlifted out of Camp Bastion, a sprawling base located near the provincial capital Laskhar Gah on Monday, ending a mission that lasted longer than World War II and cost 453 lives.

Despite praise from politicians, including British leader David Cameron, the province remains a stronghold for Taliban militants whose government was ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion, as well a hub for opium production.

In a statement posted to their website, the insurgents thanked Taliban fighters for their “immense sacrifices”.

“No doubt, the bloodiest attacks by mujahideen during the past 13 years, forced the invading enemy to leave. The official statistics by the enemy puts British casualties at 500 soldiers however the actual number of casualties is more than the official figures.

“These are the figures of life losses; the number of the handicapped soldiers reaches tens of thousands of troops. “It also called upon Afghans to turn their backs on the government which was working in the interests of Western powers.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on all those people who are fighting against their people as proxy of the invaders that they should use their sagacity. Do not fight in support of the enemy of Islam and the enemy of ours and your forefathers.”

The Taliban have intensified their attacks all around the country in recent months as Nato combat forces which once numbered 140,000 withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141062/taliban-claim-victory-after-british-withdrawal-from-afghanistan

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Bangladesh, UAE stress fighting ISIS threats

October 29th , 2014

Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates have expressed deep concern over the growing phenomenon of terrorism, and stressed the importance of combating it, including those by the ISIS.

The two countries discussed peace and security in the Middle East and insisted on maintaining peace and stability for sustainable development of the region, said a Bangladesh-UAE joint statement yesterday.

The statement was issued on the occasion of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to the Gulf country.

Both the nations agreed to cooperate with each other to expand the scope of partnership in the fields of trade, business and investment in infrastructure.

They agreed on promotion of cooperative projects between the two countries in higher education, culture and tourism sectors.

Mobilisation of UAE finance and other supports for implementing projects in Bangladesh will be discussed further. The labour issues between the two countries also came for discussion, said the statement.

Sheikh Hasina visited the UAE on October 25-27 at the invitation of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The two countries inked the Agreement on Security Cooperation, Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Agreement on Allotment of a Plot for the UAE Embassy in Dhaka.

The two sides acknowledged with deep reverence the contributions of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of the Nation of Bangladesh and late president of UAE His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, for laying the foundation of the existing excellent relationship between the two countries.

The Bangladesh premier invited her UAE counterpart to visit Dhaka at a mutually convenient time. Accepting the invitation, the UAE leader said the dates of his visit will be decided through mutual consultations.

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/bangladesh-uae-stress-fighting-isis-threats-47896

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Afghanistan’s Ghani, China’s Xi pledge long-term partnership

October 29, 2014

BEIJING - Afghanistan and China pledged a long-term partnership Tuesday as new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani began a four-day visit while NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw from his country.

Ghani, once a US-based academic, was sworn in as Afghanistan’s new head of state last month in the war-torn Asian nation’s first democratic transfer of power. His first state visit as president is to resource-hungry China, which is seeking greater investment opportunities in Afghanistan. “We look at China as a strategic partner, in the short term, medium term, long term and very long term,” he told President Xi Jinping at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. Xi’s “vision” for the continent had opened “not just a new chapter for Asia, but an entirely new book”, he said.

Hailing Ghani as “an old friend of the Chinese people”, Xi said he was prepared to work towards “a new era of cooperation in China-Afghanistan relations” to “take development to a new depth and breadth”.

China shares only a 76 kilometre (47 mile) border with Afghanistan’s remote far northeast, but has a keen interest in its neighbour’s mineral resources. It has already secured major oil and copper-mining concessions in Afghanistan, which is believed to have more than $1 trillion worth of mineral resources, according to studies by the US Geological Survey.

A residual force of around 12,000 soldiers, including 9,800 Americans and 500 Britons, will remain under a security pact signed by Ghani, focusing on training local forces and counter-terrorism. China will provide 1.5 billion yuan ($245 million) in “free assistance” to Afghanistan over the next three years, foreign ministry official Kong Xuanyou told reporters Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/29-Oct-2014/afghanistan-s-ghani-china-s-xi-pledge-long-term-partnership

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AL happy, wants action against Jamaat

October 29, 2014

The ruling Awami League has expressed satisfaction over the verdict on Motiur Rahman Nizami and expressed hope that the rest of the war crimes accused would also be handed the highest punishment.

Talking to journalists at AL central office on Bangabandhu Avenue, AL joint general secretary Mahabub-Ul-Alam Hanif said the judgment fulfilled people's expectation.

"Country's judiciary is independent and judges are also independent now. The judges independently delivered the judgment which satisfied the countrymen," he said.

Hanif said this verdict proved that Jamaat took stand against the country's Liberation War politically, and, hence, stands accused of war crimes.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/al-happy-wants-action-against-jamaat-47938

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Making Nizami minister a slap on martyrs’ faces

October 29, 2014

The decision to make a person like Motiur Rahman Nizami a minister was a slap on the faces of martyrs of the War of Independence, a Dhaka tribunal said while delivering its verdict today.

"It was a great blunder and clear slap on the faces of martyrs of independence," Justice M Enayetur Rahim, chairman of the three-member judges' panel of International Crimes Tribunal-1, said in his observation.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/making-nizami-minister-a-slap-on-martyrs-faces-47939

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Pakistan Jamaat Ameer’s effigy burnt in Dhaka

October 29, 2014

Activists of several pro-liberation organisations yesterday burnt Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan Ameer Siraj-ul-Haq in effigy for his anti-Bangladesh statement following the death of top war criminal Ghulam Azam.

JI Pakistan organised several Namaaz-e-Janazas for Azam in their country last Friday. During one Janaza, Siraj reportedly said, “His (Azam's) death in a torturous environment in a Dhaka jail has ensured the downfall of “Firaun” Hasina's government,” according to a press release of Bangladesh Online Activist Forum.

Around 50 people under the banners of “Bangladesh Online Activist Forum”, “Jatiya Ganatantrik League” and “Kazi Aref Foundation” formed a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club in the capital yesterday, protesting the remark.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/pakistan-jamaat-ameers-effigy-burnt-in-capital-47893

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India

 

Ex-Google employee held for trying to join IS

Srinath Vudali

Oct 29, 2014

HYDERABAD : A former Google employee was detained for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, police said, after making a breakthrough which could help them bust an organised network of home-grown jihadis, planning to join the militant group.

Police sources in Hyderabad said that security analyst Munawad Salman, 30, a resident of Musheerabad, was held after officials tracked his conversation for months and was certain that his hidden agenda to visit Saudi Arabia was to cross over to Iraq and join Islamic State .

"He is being grilled for more information. This is perhaps the first time, a software engineer has got attracted to a global terror outfit like Islamic State in the recent past," a senior police official told TOI.

"The arrest is very significant and could open a big door for us to trace more educated youth getting influenced by militants," the officer said, referring to IS, whose main motive is to establish Caliphate (Islamic State) in vast swathes of the world.

Software engineer Salman, quit his Google India job six months ago. Since then, he had been actively reading 'Al Isabha' web propaganda, which is again run by sympathizers of Islamic State , formerly Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and al-Qaida, to target Indian Muslims, sources said.

The techie is learnt to have been in touch with handlers from ISIS for nearly a year and has allegedly exchanged emails before being completely influenced by people behind 'Al Isabha'.

With security agencies on high alert across the country, especially on the look out for prospective people or sympathizers of Islamic State and al-Qaida, planning to join the outfits, they stumbled upon Salman's conversation with his handlers.

During interrogation, Salman said he had a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia and join a local company there.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Ex-Google-employee-held-for-trying-to-join-IS/articleshow/44965227.cms

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Have no money, how could I send people to Afghan: Terror accused

October 29, 2014

by Sreenivas Janyala

Moutasim Billah, who has been accused by Hyderabad police of influencing two SIMI activists of Maharashtra to go to Afghanistan for terror training, says he cannot even afford his college fees, let alone fund such a trip by the two SIMI activists.

Billah, who has had many run-ins with cops, and his father Abdul Aleem Islahi, a cleric who runs a madrasa, are once again facing terror accusations with cops saying that Billah motivated Shah Mudassir alias Talha, 25, of Omerkhed, and Shoaib Ahmed Khan alias Tariq, 24, of Hingoli, to go to Afghanistan to train with al-Qaeda and wage “jihad” against India.

Moutasim, incidentally, was acquitted on Tuesday in an October 2004 attempted murder case in which he had been accused of attacking a Gujarat Police team and indulging in rioting to free Nasiruddin Hanifuddin Mohammed, a cleric, from their custody. Moutasim’s brother Mujahid Saleem was killed when police opened fire on the mob.

Moutasim’s father Abdul Aleem Islahi recently wrote an article on a website “Muslims should welcome ISIS’ announcement of Caliphate”. Moutasim posted this article on Facebook on August 27.

Speaking to The Indian Express, however, Islahi denied that his son has links with the banned SIMI. “Today, my son has been acquitted in one more case. My son does not have anything to do with SIMI activists. He is, as usual, being framed by cops. My son could not have motivated or conspired with someone living in Maharashtra to go to Afghanistan. Neither he nor I have that much money to fund their trip, nor do we have the resources to arrange passports. Once again, police are framing my son and the family. We have always been cleared of such charges,” Islahi said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/have-no-money-how-could-i-send-people-to-afghan-terror-accused/

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India uncovers suspected plot to assassinate Bangladeshi PM

Oct 29, 2014

NEW DELHI: India's top counter-terrorism agency has uncovered a suspected plot by a banned militant group to assassinate the prime minister of Bangladesh and carry out a coup, three senior Indian security officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

India will hand over a dossier to Bangladesh with details of the plan by members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, which has carried out scores of attacks in India's eastern neighbour, the government and police officials said.

Bangladesh did not comment directly on the assertions that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had been the target of a plot, but said it had tightened security on the border with India.

The alleged conspiracy was discovered after two members of the group were killed in an explosion while building homemade bombs at a house in West Bengal in eastern India earlier this month.

Indian police say the militants were Bangladeshis and were using India as a safe haven to plan the attacks.

“The strategy was to hit the political leaders of the country and demolish the democratic infrastructure of Bangladesh,” said a senior Indian Home (interior) Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“This was all being planned on Indian soil and we could have been blamed if there was an attack.”

Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Monday visited the house where the blasts took place and met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss the situation.

The revelations come against a backdrop of political friction earlier this year between Indian nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Banerjee.

On one campaign stop in West Bengal before his general election victory in May, Modi said illegal immigrants from Bangladesh should get their “bags packed” if he came to power.

Analysts said the speech sought to mobilise Modi's Hindu support base against Banerjee, who leads a regional party in West Bengal that is backed by many of the Muslims who make up a quarter of the state's 90 million population.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1140943/india-uncovers-suspected-plot-to-assassinate-bangladeshi-pm

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Arab World

 

Terrorist groups have no connection to Islam: Saudi Mufti

Oct 29, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh says terrorist groups attempting to portray themselves as Islamic have no connection to Islam.

The well-known mufti made the remarks in response to a question by one of his disciples seeking his opinion on terrorist groups, including the ISIL Takfiri group and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, the Saudi-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported.

“If you were to have a thorough examining look, you would find that they do not have a shred of connection to Islam,” al-Sheikh said in reference to the terrorist groups.

“They have adorned their opinions and vanities with the robes of Islam in order to deceive the people. You would find them to be misguided, for they have shed blood, violated sanctities, looted funds, created mischief in the earth and stolen countries unlawfully,” the grand mufti said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384030/terrorists-have-no-connection-to-islam/

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Hezbollah slams Bahrain ruling to suspend al-Wefaq

Oct 29, 2014

The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has denounced a ruling by the Bahraini regime to suspend the activities of the country’s prominent opposition party al-Wefaq ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

In a statement on Tuesday, Hezbollah said the ban on al-Wefaq party “proves that the elections (scheduled for November 22) are sham, pre-determined and far away from representing the will of the Bahraini people and the political powers.”

Hezbollah also said the ban indicates the repressive and totalitarian nature of the Al Khalifa regime, warning against the negative repercussions on the political future of the Persian Gulf state.

“The ruling authorities in Bahrain are not determined to make serious steps in order to solve the incurable political crisis,” said the statement.

On Tuesday, the Manama administrative court imposed the three-month ban on al-Wefaq after it threatened to boycott the November 22 elections.

The opposition party dismissed the ruling as “irrational and irresponsible”, saying, “The tyrannical dictatorship in Bahrain is ruling with an iron fist and moving to destroy the political and social life by blocking the people out.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384029/hezbollah-raps-bahrain-ban-on-opposition/

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ISIL posing threat to Middle East, world: Hezbollah official

Oct 29, 2014

A senior official of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has described the ISIL terrorist group as a threat to the Middle East region and the entire world.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the ISIL Takfiri militants have launched a campaign of fear and terror to expand the terrorist group’s territory.

Saying that the ISIL terrorists have resorted to extreme forms of brutality, the Hezbollah official added, the Takfiri group, supported by some regional and Western countries, suffers from disunity in its ranks since its terrorists come from about eighty countries

The Hezbollah deputy chief reiterated that the ISIL, which commits atrocities in the name of religion, is the biggest threat to Islam and is disliked by both Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384020/isil-threat-to-me-world-hezbollah/

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Iraq Sunni exiles say bombs cannot defeat IS

October 29th , 2014

AMMAN: As US-led warplanes pound militants in Iraq, prominent Sunni exiles say that empowering their marginalised minority will be more important than bombs and missiles in defeating the Islamic State extremist group.

Deadly sectarian tensions have riven Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussain more than a decade ago, with Sunni anger at the Shia-led authorities seen as a key factor behind the rise of IS.

“Dropping bombs from planes will not eliminate the terrorism of the so-called Daesh,” said Iraqi Sunni cleric in exile Sheikh Abdel Malik al-Saadi, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

“What is needed to eliminate this terrorism is to eradicate the motives behind injustice, marginalisation and genocide, and to give people back their rights and freedoms,” he said in the Jordanian capital Amman, home to thousands of Iraqi refugees.

Sunni-led IS has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” and committing widespread atrocities.

Under Saddam, Iraq's Sunni community — although a minority — kept a tight grip on power. But since Saddam was ousted in the US-led invasion in 2003 and later executed, the Shias have emerged as the driving political force.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141129/iraq-sunni-exiles-say-bombs-cannot-defeat-is

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Iraqi Kurdish fighters bound for Kobani arrive in Turkey

October 29th , 2014

SANLIURFA: Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters bound for the battleground Syrian town of Kobani where they will confront Islamic State jihadists arrived in neighbouring Turkey Wednesday and headed for the border, a Turkish official told AFP.

Turkey, under heavy pressure from the United States, announced last week it would allow some 150 fighters from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish province to cross its territory to join the fight for Kobani.

One group, which flew in from an Iraqi air base, arrived in southeast Sanliurfa early Wednesday and boarded three buses bound for the Turkey-Syria border, a journey of some 50 kilometres (30 miles).

They were escorted by four Turkish armoured cars and a police vehicle.

Turkish security forces then closed off the road to the border, preventing the many gathered journalists from following the convoy.

Another peshmerga contingent travelled across the land border in some 40 vehicles also carrying heavy weaponry. They were met at the Habur border crossing into southeast Turkey by hundreds of Kurds lining the route and waving Kurdish flags.

The main Syrian Kurdish fighting force in Kobani, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), has close links with the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Kurdish defenders have been holding out against an IS offensive for weeks in Kobani, and the town has become an important symbol in the international battle against IS.

The fighting continued on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent at Mursitpinar across the border in Turkey said, with black smoke rising over the town as the jihadists set alight tyres in a bid to prevent air strikes.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141127/iraqi-kurdish-fighters-bound-for-kobani-arrive-in-turkey

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Egypt’s Sisi expands military power after Sinai attack

Oct 28, 2014

Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi has given the army new authority to protect government facilities after a recent bomb attack in the Sinai Peninsula.

Sisi ordered the decree on Monday giving the military the right to secure sites, including power plants, main roads, railway lines and bridges.

The state facilities, which also include oil and gas pipelines, will be treated as military installations and will be guarded by army troops along with police for two years.

In addition, Egyptian forces will be allowed to arrest any individual suspected of launching attacks on state facilities and perpetrators will be tried before military tribunals.

Critics of the decree say that Sisi’s move will bring the army back to the streets and give it the power to take civilians to military courts.

Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency on October 25 in the north and center of the Sinai Peninsula, including a daily curfew from 5 pm to 7 am in response to deadly attacks in the region a day earlier.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/28/383922/egypts-sisi-expands-military-power/

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Traumatised by ISIL, Yazidis seek help

28 Oct 2014

Zakho, Iraq - Haji Umar, a former Iraqi army sergeant and a member of the Yazidi religious minority, lay down on the scorching sand. He picked up his phone and with a parched mouth spoke to his 19-year-old daughter Wanza.

The suffering around him had become too much. He told Wanza goodbye, hung up the phone and raised his gun to his head.

A month later, Wanza lies grief-stricken in a hospital bed. Her eyes search the face of Dr Haitham Abdalrazak, the hospital psychiatrist standing next to her, but her body remains rigid.

Her family fled their village near Mount Sinjar at the beginning of August with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's advance into the region.

After his eight children were delivered to safety in Iraqi Kurdistan, Wanza's father Umar went back to Mount Sinjar to try and fend off ISIL.

"He was good hearted but hurried in making decisions," says Ilyas Alman, Umar's younger brother and Wanza's uncle. He wipes his tears with an orange scarf. "He couldn't stand the pain of the people around him."

Umar was buried where he died, near Mount Sinjar, but his funeral took place in the crowded school where the family now lives.

In August, ISIL fighters carried out the massacre of hundreds of Yazidis with the belief that Yazidis worship the devil. Up to 2,500 mainly women and children were abducted, with tens of thousands fleeing the area, according to a UN report.

RELATED: Iraq's Yazidis: caught in the crossfire

Since the crisis, cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression like Wanza's have ripped through the Yazidi community.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/traumatised-isil-yazidis-seek-help-2014102695410680300.html

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Syria neighbours call for help with refugees

28 Oct 2014

Syria's neighbours have urged European countries to open their doors to more refugees from the civil war and for immediate financial and technological help as their infrastructures buckle under the massive influx.

More than three million people have fled Syria because of the conflict, mostly to neighbouring countries. Another six million are displaced within Syria.

At an international conference convened in Germany on Tuesday to address the mounting challenges, Antonio Guterres, UN high commissioner for refugees, said the refugees posed the world's "most dramatic humanitarian crisis".

"Economics, public services, the social fabric of communities and the welfare of families are all affected, not to mention the security impact of the Syrian conflict in the whole region," he told the gathering.

Lebanon, whose population is only 4.5 million, has taken in about 1.1 million refugees. Tammam Salam, the country's prime minister, told the conference of foreign ministers and representatives from 40 nations that the status quo was unsustainable.

In addition to placing huge strains on the country's hospitals, schools and other institutions, the refugees also are taking jobs from Lebanese workers, creating resentment, he said.

"The massive influx of Syrians into poor communities totally unprepared to cope with such a sudden burden has had a destabilising effect, with a variety of challenges and threats that constitute a fertile ground for extremism and violence,'' Salam said.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/syria-neighbours-call-help-with-refugees-2014102817017207606.html

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ISIL pitting Iraqis against army: Exclusive

Oct 28, 2014

Refugees from Amriyat al-Fallujah have told Press TV that the ISIL Takfiri group keeps their men from fleeing the town to force them to fight the Iraqi army.

Those interviewed said the militants had taken all men and forced them to engage in clashes with the army, and set explosive devices in their houses, threatening them to kill their families if they do not obey their orders.

A women, who refused to speak on camera, said her husband was captured by the ISIL militants.

A man said, “We have no place to go. At first, we went to Amriyat al-Fallujah, but the ISIL came there. I ran away with my family, but my son and his kid are still there.”

“We were living with no electricity, no food or water, with heavy shelling. We were terrified. All we need now is safety and security,” said another woman.

The ISIL has been trying to forcibly recruit citizens from the villages under their control in Anbar and Babil, respectively in western and central Iraq, killing those who refuse to follow the orders.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/28/383985/isil-pitting-iraqis-against-army/

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Pakistan

 

Dubai court jails Pakistani smuggling heroin in bags carrying copies of Quran

October 29th, 2014

DUBAI: A Dubai court jailed a Pakistani for 15 years for smuggling heroin concealed in bags containing copies of the Quran, prayer mats and other religious paraphernalia, a report said Wednesday.

The 30-year-old man, identified only by his initials M.T., was convicted for possessing 24 kilograms of heroin that was stashed in five bags with hidden compartments, the Gulf News daily said.

“When we opened the bags, we found prayer mats, rosary beads and copies of the Quran along with food and the drugs,” a Dubai International Airport customs inspector was quoted as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141142/dubai-court-jails-pakistani-smuggling-heroin-in-bags-carrying-copies-of-quran

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Pakistan-US ties moving to trade from aid: US envoy

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

October 29th , 2014

ISLAMABAD: US Special Representative for Afghanis­tan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman said on Tuesday that Pakistan-US ties were moving from aid-based to trade-based relationship.

Speaking to a group of journalists at the US Embassy, he ruled out extension in Kerry-Lugar legislation under which Washington provided about $5 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan over the past five years. The Kerry-Lugar-Berman authorisation was for five years and wouldn’t be further extended, he said.

The special envoy, however, said the US was trying to avoid a ‘precipitous decline’ in assistance funding for Pakistan and the executive would continue to request Congress for appropriations.

Under the aid legislation enacted by the Congress in 2009, the US was to provide $7.5bn in non-military aid over five years to help the civilian government to deliver essential services. But, during the five years only $5bn could be committed.

“The relationship would change from assistance-based to trade,” he said and described the ties as ‘realistic, optimistic and productive’.

Although Mr Feldman did not list the special steps being taken to transform the nature of relationship, he, in an Op-Ed piece, said “our partnership will also thrive through trade and investment. The United States is already Pakistan’s largest trading partner and source of foreign investment…. Expanding trade and investment will require improving Pakistan’s competitiveness – and that is something which I am convinced we can accomplish together”.

He said people-to-people contacts were being incentivised to build on the base provided by the governments.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141027/pakistan-us-ties-moving-to-trade-from-aid-us-envoy

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SC rejects all petitions calling to declare 2013 elections void

By Abdul Shakoor Khan

October 29th , 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed all petitions calling to declare the May 2013 General Elections as void.

The decision issued by the apex court read that petitions demanding last year's general elections to be declared void at large were non-maintainable as tribunals were in place to address grievances pertaining to elections on various seats.

The court referred to Article 225 of the Constitution on election disputes which says that complaints pertaining to elections are to be resolved by the concerned tribunals.

Three petitions had been filed in the apex court in this regard by Kokab Iqbal Advocate, Zahir Sarfaraz and a former Supreme Court judge Justice (retd) Mahmood Akhter Shahid Siddiqui.

Also read | View from the courtroom: Election tribunals in the limelight as poll rigging controversy lingers

Former Secretary General Election Commission of Pakistan Afzal Khan also appear before the court.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141141/sc-rejects-all-petitions-calling-to-declare-2013-elections-void

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Imran criticises power tariff hike

By Irfan Haider

October 29th , 2014

ISLAMABAD: Criticising the latest increase in the electricity tariff, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the government had failed to stop power theft worth Rs16.3 billion during the past 10 months.

“Due to the power theft, the country suffered a loss of Rs15bn last year while it was recorded at Rs16.3bn during the first 10 months of 2014,” he said while addressing the participants of his party’s sit-in at D-Chowk.

“The government is increasing the prices of electricity regularly to meet the loss caused by the theft and the consumers are paying the price,” he said.

“I burnt my electricity bill in reaction and the government disconnected the supply to my residence and I am using candles these days,” he said, adding that dues of Rs6.5 million had not been paid by the prime minister but the connection of the PM House had not been disconnected.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141020/imran-criticises-power-tariff-hike

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Nisar seeks end to drone attacks

By Iftikhar A. Khan

October 29th , 2014

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan urged the United States on Tuesday to stop drone strikes inside Pakistani territory to remove a serious irritant in bilateral relationship.

“Sovereignty and self-respect are cornerstones of Pakistan’s relationship with other countries,” he remarked during a meeting with a US delegation led by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman.

The minister pointed out that a six-month break in US drone attacks improved relations between the two countries and was appreciated by all segments of the society.

The US and Pakistan, he said, had developed and maintained cordial relationship even in difficult times. “We should concentrate on the positives of our relationship and address differences.” It was, he said, very important for the United States to understand Pakistan s’ point of view.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141025/nisar-seeks-end-to-drone-attacks

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Four ‘Al Qaeda men’ held in airport attack case

October 29th , 2014

KARACHI: Police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested four suspected militants for their alleged involvement in the June 8 Karachi airport attack case.

“The Crime Investigation Department police have arrested four suspects belonging to Al Qaeda and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan who provided logistical support, funds and weapons to the attackers,” said CID chief Saqib Ismail Memon.

Speaking at a press conference at the Civil Lines office of the CID, he said that the held suspects were identified as Sarmad Siddiqi, Nadeem, alias Burger alias Mullah, Asif Zaheer and Master Essa.

Also read: Uzbek fighters claim involvement in Karachi airport attack

They were arrested in Tariq Road and other localities of the metropolis. They had arranged accommodation in Shah Faisal Colony for the militants who stormed the Terminal 1 of Karachi airport on June 8 this year.

CID official Raja Umer Khattab said that suspect Zaheer was arrested in the 2002 Sheraton bomb blast case in which French technicians working on a submarine project were targeted.

He said he remained in prison for eight years and became a close friend of Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh, commonly known as Shaikh Omar, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing US journalist Daniel Pearl.

He said that suspect Zaheer, belonging to Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami, was released from a Hyderabad jail sometime back and then he along with his accomplices allegedly killed jail official Naeem Ghauri at the behest of Shaikh Omar.

The CID official said that Nadeem alias Burger was earlier allegedly involved in robberies. Before joining the outlawed Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, he was associated with different political parties, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141008/four-al-qaeda-men-held-in-airport-attack-case

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PM Nawaz approves name of Sethi for ICC President

October 29, 2014

ISLAMABAD- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the name of former chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Najam Sethi for the president of International Cricket Council. The Prime Minister is also the patron-in-chief of the PCB.

The world cricket body will elect its President on November 10. According to sources, there is a general belief among the PCB top brass that Sethi was the right man for the job of ICC president. Sethi, a graduate of political science from Cambridge University, is articulate, well-versed in diplomacy and has already established connections with everybody who is anybody in the ICC during his tenure as PCB chairman.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/29-Oct-2014/pm-nawaz-approves-name-of-sethi-for-icc-president

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Police to spare no effort for peace in Muharram

October 29, 2014

The District Police have finalised comprehensive security arrangements for the processions and religious gatherings during Muharram and a total of 1,579 police personnel will be deputed to guard various gatherings across the district.

According to DPO Kamran Yousaf Malik, 427 majalis and Asuhra processions are scheduled to be organised in the Nankana, Sayedwala,Warbaraten, Mor Khonda, Buchey Key, Faizabad, Barager, Sangla Hill and Shahkot during the sacred month.

He said that 1,579 personnel would guard 427 majalis and mourning processions in which 63 were of A-category, 68 of B and 297 of C Category.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/29-Oct-2014/police-to-spare-no-effort-for-peace-in-muharram

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Mideast

 

Muslim Leaders Issue Collective Rebuke Against ISIS

October 29, 2014

Muslim leaders from around the world have issued a collective statement against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. According to the Catholic Herald, more than 100 Muslim leaders including laypeople have signed an open letter condemning the acts of ISIS militants. The 17-page letter contained quotes from the Qur'an to illustrate how ISIS' behaviour goes against the teachings of Islam.

Since the open letter was released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the United States, more than 125 Muslim clerics including those from Arab countries. The letter condemned the treatment of Arab Christians who were given the choice to convert to Islam or be put to the sword. Reports said ISIS militants had painted their homes red and destroyed their churches. Many Christians had died for refusing to convert while others had fled to escape persecution.

The Muslim leaders said Christians were not "combatants against Islam." They should be treated as "friends, neighbours and co-citizens" of Muslims. From the legal point of view of Sharia or Islamic law, the rulings of jihad do not apply to Arab Christians, the clerics declared.

Full report at:

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/571074/20141029/isis-muslims-islamic-state-islam-turkey.htm#.VFGSmCLF8qM

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Turkish enterprises keen to build on strong Saudi ties

29 October 2014

There is a genuine opportunity to establish a long-term partnership between Turkish and Saudi business communities, says Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer.

Saudi visitors also feel at ease in Turkey, says the envoy.

He also points out that Turkey is among the world’s top 12 producers of building materials such as cement, glass, steel and ceramic tiles.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have forged closer ties in different sectors. How do you evaluate the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Turkey?

Turkey and Saudi Arabia enjoy a deep-rooted relationship.

Turkish-Saudi relations date back for centuries. We have a lot in common. We are two brotherly countries bound by strong historical, social and cultural ties.

In recent years, our relations have developed in many areas and evolved into a strategic level.

The depth and diversity of our relations, our joint commitment to stability and well-being of the region, intertwined interests lead our countries to foster the existing relationship to higher and new levels of cooperation.

On the other hand, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the main pillars for stability in the region.

Deepening our relations in all fields would not only be beneficial to our people, but also to the entire region.

Do you think that the commercial component of the bilateral relationship has been one of the main factors that prompt the two countries to join forces in politics and culture?

Economic relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia are intensifying.

Economic relations are in fact not separate from the deep and strong ties between our two people.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/651581

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Iraqi Kurdish fighters bound for Kobani arrive in Turkey

October 29th , 2014

SANLIURFA: Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters bound for the battleground Syrian town of Kobani where they will confront Islamic State jihadists arrived in neighbouring Turkey Wednesday and headed for the border, a Turkish official told AFP.

Turkey, under heavy pressure from the United States, announced last week it would allow some 150 fighters from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish province to cross its territory to join the fight for Kobani.

One group, which flew in from an Iraqi air base, arrived in southeast Sanliurfa early Wednesday and boarded three buses bound for the Turkey-Syria border, a journey of some 50 kilometres (30 miles).

They were escorted by four Turkish armoured cars and a police vehicle.

Turkish security forces then closed off the road to the border, preventing the many gathered journalists from following the convoy.

Another peshmerga contingent travelled across the land border in some 40 vehicles also carrying heavy weaponry. They were met at the Habur border crossing into southeast Turkey by hundreds of Kurds lining the route and waving Kurdish flags.

The main Syrian Kurdish fighting force in Kobani, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), has close links with the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Kurdish defenders have been holding out against an IS offensive for weeks in Kobani, and the town has become an important symbol in the international battle against IS.

The fighting continued on Tuesday, an AFP correspondent at Mursitpinar across the border in Turkey said, with black smoke rising over the town as the jihadists set alight tyres in a bid to prevent air strikes.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141127/iraqi-kurdish-fighters-bound-for-kobani-arrive-in-turkey

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Iranians consider Pakistan second home

October 29, 2014

LAHORE - The city of Lahore is historical and rich in cultural heritages apart from being custodian of glorious traditions.

This was stated by President Ecosai and Audit Head of Turkey Dr Recai Akyel during his visit to Mazar-e-Iqbal, Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque on Tuesday.

Audit Head of Iran Amin Hossain Rahimi said that Poet of the East Allama Iqbal has an equally important place in Pakistan and Iran as well as the whole world due to his philosophic poetry and unique thinking. He said that people of Iran consider Pakistan as their second home.

He said that the participants of Ecosai conference have received deep love and hospitality at the conference and during their visit to historical places of the city.

The Audit Heads of Turkey, Iran and Tajikistan participating in Ecosai conference first visited Mazar-e-Iqbal along with their delegations and were giving a warm welcome. The foreign delegates during their visit to Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque took keen interest in various sections of the fort and the sacred relics displayed at the mosque.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/29-Oct-2014/iranians-consider-pakistan-second-home

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UN rights report on Iran ‘biased, politically-tainted’

Oct 29, 2014

Iran says a recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic is biased and politically-motivated.

A member of the Iranian Permanent Mission to the UN on Tuesday dismissed the investigator’s allegations about human rights abuses in Iran, describing the claims as “repetitious and fruitless.”

“The issuance of such reports against the Islamic Republic of Iran is indicative of a biased approach resulting from the foreign policies of certain countries, and the objectives of the sponsors of these moves are completely clear to Iran,” the representative said.

The anti-Iran claims made in the report are aimed at promoting Iranophobia and Islamophobia, the Iranian diplomat said

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384018/iran-rejects-un-rights-report-as-biased/

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Egypt plans to set up buffer zone along Gaza border

Oct 29, 2014

Egypt has ordered residents living along its eastern border with the Gaza Strip to evacuate so that it can demolish their homes and create a buffer zone.

The move comes after at least 31 Egyptian soldiers were killed and some 30 others were wounded in an attack in the northeastern part of the restive Sinai Peninsula on Friday.

A state of emergency was declared in the north and center of the Sinai for three months after Friday’s deadly assaults while a curfew is in place from 5 p.m. (1500 GMT on Friday) to 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) every night.

The buffer zone will be 500 meters wide and extend along the 13-kilometer border.

Egyptian officials say army officers spoke to the affected residents in person and initially gave them a 48-hour ultimatum to leave. However, the measure was put on hold after they protested.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384013/egypt-to-set-up-buffer-zone-along-gaza/

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Islamic State crisis: Turkish PM rejects Kobane criticism

28 October 2014

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has rejected claims that it is not doing enough to help Syrian fighters defeat Islamic State (IS) in Kobane.

He told the BBC it would only take part in operations if the US-led coalition's strategy included military action against Syrian government forces.

Western and Arab air strikes are only targeting jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey would meanwhile "accelerate" the training and equipping of Syrian rebels to fight in Kobane, Mr Davutoglu said.

But he emphasised that negotiations with allies over access to Turkey's military bases for refuelling and air strikes would not succeed until "the parameters are clear".

"Saving Kobane is very important but we should not forget that Kobane is just a result of a much bigger, much more widespread crisis in Syria," said Mr Davutoglu, the former foreign minister who has been a key architect of Turkey's Syria policy and a bitter opponent of President Bashar al-Assad.

Western leaders insist that the only target in their new air campaign is Islamic State, which now controls large swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq.

Reinforcements 'ready'

Kobane has come to symbolise the brutal march of IS and saving the town is now an immediate priority of the United States.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29799646

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Europe

 

German Spy Agency Sees IS Big Threat, Luring More German Recruits

October 29, 2014

BERLIN: Islamic State militants will be able to mount operations in Iraq “for the foreseeable future” despite US-led air strikes and efforts by Iraqi security forces to regain territory, Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency said.

German intelligence also sounded the alarm about a rising number of Islamist militants inside Germany ready to join IS in Iraq and Syria and warned of an increased risk of violent clashes on German streets between rival radical groups.

Islamic State (IS) has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria this year, declared an Islamic ‘caliphate’ and has executed or driven away Shi’ite Muslims, Christians and other groups that do not share their radical version of Sunni Islam.

In a statement on Tuesday, BND said IS was still able to operate successfully in the western Iraqi province of Anbar and outside Baghdad and was working to convince more Iraqi Sunnis to turn against the US-led coalition fighting against it.

“The continuation of the political and security vacuum in Iraq for the foreseeable future will make fighting terrorist, radical groups considerably harder,” it said.

In Syria, the BND said fighting between IS and Kurdish forces in Kobani near the Turkish border showed that the militants were still in a position to attack, even if their mobility has been impaired by US-led air strikes.

Due to limited resources, the forces of President Bashar al-Assad are concentrated in urban centres of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo along Syria’s north to south axis and the coast, where they have seen some military successes, the BND said.

Assad’s forces have largely turned their backs on Syria’s sparsely populated east, allowing IS to expand there, it added.

In a parallel statement, BND’s sister agency BfV, which handles domestic intelligence, said the number of Salafist Islamists was rising in Germany, and with it the number of potential recruits for IS. Some 450 people have travelled from Germany to join the radical Islamist fighters.

Salafists espouse a strict, puritanical form of Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/region/29-Oct-2014/german-spy-agency-sees-islamic-state-remaining-big-threat-luring-more-german-recruits

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Councillor from French Far-Right Party Converts To Islam – And Urges Others to Follow

26 October 2014

A local councillor representing Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the Front National, has announced he has converted to Islam – and has urged fellow party members to do the same.

Maxence Buttey, 22, has been suspended from a regional Front National committee after he went public with his decision and sent out a “proselytising video” to the party in which he praised the “visionary virtues of the Koran and urged them to convert, the Telegraph reported.

Mr Buttey, who is a councillor in the eastern Paris suburb, Noisy-le-grand, said the Front National and Islam had a lot in common.

He told French newspaper, Le Parisien: “Like Islam, the FN defends the weakest. The party denounces exorbitant interest rates charged on the debt of our country, and Islam is against the practice of usury.”

Jordan Bardella, a local party secretary, said: “Religion is a private choice which I respect but it must not enter into the sphere of our political activities. The proselytising video which Maxence sent out is unacceptable.”

The party, which runs on an anti-immigration policy line, has no power to sack him from the post and he remains a councillor and a party member.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/councillor-from-french-semifascist-party-front-national-converts-to-islam-and-says-his-party-should-too-9818874.html

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UK plans to hike arms sales to Qatar: Report

Oct 28, 2014

A UK report has revealed that Britain is planning to increase its arms sales to Qatar despite criticism of its ties with the Persian Gulf state.

The report published by The Guardian on Monday said British ministers have identified Qatar as a “priority market” for the sales of arms.

According to a copy of a purchase order obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), the Qatari Amiri Guard ordered more than three million pounds worth of British-made Heckler and Koch assault rifles.

The report said the UK has approved export weapons licenses, including assault rifles and machine gun components, worth 23 million pounds since 2008, most in the last 12 months.

Britain also set up a national UK pavilion at an annual military equipment exhibition in the Qatari capital, Doha, earlier this month.

The UK sales team at the exhibition was led by Richard Paniguian, head of the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organization, who told Qatari media that the Persian Gulf country is "an important partner and we are continuing to deepen and strengthen our security relationships including the cyber sector …”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/28/383910/uk-plans-to-hike-arms-sales-to-qatar/

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Wi-Fi hotspot named 'Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork' delays US flight

Oct 29, 2014

LOS ANGELES: A passenger aboard a plane at Los Angeles International Airport picked up a Wi-Fi hotspot named after a terrorist group, but authorities who held travellers for hours as they investigated say no crime was committed.

The passenger on the American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London alerted crew members about the network Sunday night, and the plane returned to the gate.

KABC-TV reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/qg4q297) that the hotspot was called "Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork" and that passengers were kept onboard for several hours amid the investigation.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Wi-Fi-hotspot-named-Al-Quida-Free-Terror-Nettwork-delays-US-flight/articleshow/44966601.cms

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North America

 

US to step up counter-terrorism cooperation with Canada

October 29th , 2014

OTTAWA: The United States and Canada vowed on Tuesday to step up already close counter-terrorism and border security cooperation as US Secretary of State John Kerry paid condolences to the Canadian people following last week’s terror attacks.

On his first trip to Canada since taking office, Kerry flew to Ottawa and went immediately to the National War Memorial to lay a wreath in honour of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the Canadian soldier slain there by a gunman believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State group.

The attack on Wednesday was the second in three days in Canada, after an earlier incident in Quebec.

“There is nowhere safe for those who would pervert the teachings of a great religion, betray their neighbours and line up on the side of such pernicious groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIL,” Kerry told reporters after meeting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

“Together, on this side of the Atlantic and where necessary overseas, we will defeat the advocates and practitioners of terror, expose their hypocrisy and we will win the battle of ideas,” he said.

Standing beside Kerry, Baird stressed Canada’s resolve in fighting extremism. “We cannot allow there to be a safe haven for this medieval savagery, or a launchpad for attacks on our home soil,” Baird said.

The pair of attacks in Canada have prompted concerns among some in the US over security along the world’s longest undefended border. But Baird noted that there has never been a successful terrorist attack across either border and officials travelling with Kerry said that while there is always room for improvement, Washington is satisfied with the current state of cooperation with Ottawa on the matter.

That said, Kerry pointed out that the US and Canada “are always looking at ways to cooperate more” and would “continue to intensify our law enforcement, border security and intelligence sharing.” He did not elaborate.The officials with Kerry said there were virtually no areas of disagreement between the neighbours on big international issues, including the fight against extremism, the effort to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus and the crisis in Ukraine.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141043/us-to-step-up-counter-terrorism-cooperation-with-canada

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US aid package to Afghanistan, doubtful: Analyst

 Oct 29, 2014

An anti-war activist has cast doubt on a recent US plan to pour billions of dollars into Afghanistan in what appears to be a foreign aid package, saying that Washington’s motives “are not what they appear on the surface.”

Rick Rozoff told Press TV on Tuesday that he was skeptical of US plans “to expand or extend civilian aid to the government of Afghanistan.”

“Recently the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has authorized a granting of what appears to be a rather sizable foreign aid package in fact for the new government of Afghanistan,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/29/384017/us-aid-package-to-kabul-doubtful/

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysia: Halloween 'banned' by Islamic authority

29 October 2014

Muslims in Malaysia should not celebrate Halloween, the country's National Fatwa Council has announced.

The council, one of Malaysia's highest Islamic bodies, says Halloween is a Christian celebration of the dead and "against Islamic teachings", in a fatwa issued on its website. "Halloween is celebrated using a humorous theme mixed with horror to entertain and resist the spirit of death that influences humans... It cannot be celebrated by Muslims," it says. Instead, the council advises Muslims to remember the dead by reciting prayers and reading the Koran. There are concerns among some Muslim groups in the country that Halloween is too Western and "could wrongly influence local Muslim youths," the Malay Mail website reports. In Negeri Sembilan, western Malaysia, an international primary school has been told it must apply to the local education department to get approval for its private Halloween party, after a protest by Muslim groups, according to Free Malaysia Today.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29808990

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Police, Soldiers Suspected of Arming Papua Separatists

By Banjir Ambarita

Oct 29, 2014

Jayapura. Authorities in Papua have arrested a police officer and are questioning three soldiers suspected of supplying ammunition to an armed separatist cell blamed for attacks that killed at least six police officers in the past three years.

The officer in custody, identified only as A.J., a police brigadier, was arrested on Sunday along with six suspected members of a cell of the Free Papua Organization (OPM) led by Pinus “Rambo” Wenda, who was also netted in the bust.

“We can confirm that one of our men was arrested and is suspected of having supplied ammunition to an armed criminal group,” Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende, the chief of the Papua Police, told the Jakarta Globe on Tuesday.

He said the bust took place in a hotel in Wamena, in Papua’s Jayawijaya district, in which police also found two rifle magazines and dozens of rounds of ammunition.

“We’ve had an eye on [A.J.] for a while now, but it’s only now that we’ve been able to catch him in a position where we can charge him,” Yotje said. “We’re questioning him intensively to determine where he got the ammunition, whether he stole it or some other means.”

Yotje said A.J. had claimed to investigators that his uncle, a retired soldier, was also involved in supplying ammunition to Rambo’s cell.

The provincial military commander said separately that his office was questioning a retired soldier and two serving ones about their alleged role in the case.

The police are handling the investigation into the retired soldier, according to Maj. Gen. Fransen Siahaan, the head of the Cendrawasih Military Command in Jayapura, which oversees military operations for the whole of Papua.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/police-soldiers-suspected-arming-papua-separatists/

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China May Risk Region Instability: Indonesia Army Chief

By Andrea Tan 

Oct 29, 2014

China must not use its “great force” to create regional instability, Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko said, as his nation seeks to avoid being drawn into China’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“China is a great economic superpower, however we don’t want this great force to create instability in the region,” Moeldoko, who goes by one name, said in a speech in Singapore today. “Just a small disturbance within this maritime zone will give a big impact” and create turbulence in the region.

Newly inaugurated Indonesian President Joko Widodo faces a China that’s pushing its claims in the South China Sea with an aggressiveness unprecedented since Indonesia’s independence. For Jokowi, as he is known, ties with President Xi Jinping loom as one of his biggest foreign-policy challenges.

Jokowi has said he wants to stop smuggling of Indonesia’s natural resources, including fish.

The president wants a network of drones to help monitor and stop misuse of resources across an archipelago of 17,000 islands that would stretch from New York to Alaska. “Drones are not only for the military but also for the economy, like for illegal logging,” Jokowi said in an interview July 21, in the period between his his election and his inauguration last week.

“We have to protect the sea from piracy and also those who would encroach on our natural resources,” Moeldoko said. Indonesia’s defense forces has “hundreds of ships” to secure the country’s maritime lanes within its borders, he said.

Nine-Dash Map

Xi told Jokowi last week that China wants to strengthen its strategic partnership with Indonesia. In his first phone conversation with Jokowi, Xi said the two countries are “good neighbors and good friends,” China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported Oct. 24.

In passports issued in 2012, China’s nine-dash line map -- the area it claims in the South China Sea that overlaps with claims from countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines -- encroaches on the exclusive economic zone that Indonesia derives from the Natuna Islands, an area rich in natural gas.

Full report at:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-29/china-may-risk-region-instability-indonesia-army-chief.html

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Africa

 

Tunisia's confident secularists weigh options

28 Oct 2014

Tunisia's secular Nidaa Tounes has pledged to form a government "with those closest" to it as no single political party is expected to win an outright majority in the new parliament.

Based on exit polls and statistical sampling of voting station results by observer groups, Nidaa Tounes looks set to become the largest party in parliament, defeating the Islamist Ennahda that led the government during the transitional period following the 2011 revolution.

"We took the decision in advance that Nidaa Tounes would not govern alone, even if we won an absolute majority," Beji Caid Essebsi, the party's 87-year-old leader, told Al-Hiwar Al-Tounsi television.

"We will govern with those closest to us, with the democratic family, so to speak."

During the election campaign, Essebsi did not rule out power-sharing between Nidaa Tounes and Ennahda if necessary.

Tunisia, regarded as the birthplace of the Arab Spring, held landmark elections on Sunday for a 217-seat parliament.

A Nidaa Tounes official, speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, stopped short of confirming whether Ennahda would be invited to take part in coalition talks.

"We are against exclusion, but the focus at the moment should be on coexistence and not coalition," Anis Maazoun, head of the electoral campaign of Nidaa Tounes in Tunis' Ariana district, said.

"We in Nidaa Tounes believe that the Ennahda movement has become a reality in the Tunisian political landscape. Therefore, we are meant to coexist.

"Democracy necessitates that every political party should play its role in serving the country from the position it finds itself in."

Open-door policy

Hinting that Ennahda could still play a big role in the opposition, Maazoun said: "We should all agree on means to best serve the country first. This is our common ground. We will form a coalition government with the parties with whom we share similar principles."

Nevertheless, Nidaa Tounes will follow an open-door policy and approach parties from across the political spectrum, Maazoun said, "either as allies and partners within a coalition, or as our colleagues in the opposition whom we should engage in discussing the best means to serve the welfare of our country and people".

Election organisers have until Thursday to announce the official results.

Projections suggest that Nidaa Tounes will win about 80 of the 217 seats in parliament, against approximately 70 for Ennahda.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/10/tunisia-confident-secularists-weigh-options-20141028144042810274.html

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Zambian President Sata dies in London aged 77

October 29th , 2014

LUSAKA: Zambian President Michael Sata has died in London, where he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness, a government source in Africa's second-largest copper producer said on Wednesday.

Muzi The private television station and the Zambia Reports and Zambian Watchdog websites said the southern African nation's 77-year-old leader died on Tuesday evening at London's King Edward VII hospital.

“It is true. We lost the President. The acting president will make a statement soon,” the source told Reuters.

Sata is likely to be succeeded on an interim basis by defence minister Edgar Lungu, who stood in recently as acting president, or vice-president Guy Scott, who would become Africa's first white head of state since South Africa's FW de Klerk in 1994.

The constitution says a new presidential election must be held within 90 days, with most analysts saying Scott is unlikely to run because of citizenship restrictions.

The Zambian kwacha was largely unchanged.

“Obviously there will be a sentimental temptation to go long dollars, but I'm also quite confident the central bank will do everything it can to protect the currency,” one Lusaka-based trader said. "In terms of the economy, everything should still be on track.”

Sata left Zambia for medical treatment abroad on Oct 19 accompanied by his wife and family members, according to a brief government statement at the time that gave no further details.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1141131/zambian-president-sata-dies-in-london-aged-77

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Tunisia's Ennahda 'faces defeat' in elections

28 Oct 2014

Tunisian secular Nidaa Tounes party is emerging as the main winner in the 217-seat parliament election after Sunday's vote, preliminary results show.

Led by Beji Caid Essebsi, Nidaa Tunis has won 83 seats (38 percent), according to official provisional results released on Monday.

The North African nation's leading Islamist party, Ennahda, is in second place with 68 seats (31 percent).

Among the other parties, the provisional figures showed Free Patriotic Union and the Popular Front with 17 seats (seven percent) and 12 seats (five percent) respectively.

Essebsi said on Sunday night that there were "positive indications" Nidaa Tounes was ahead.

Ennahda's head acknowledged late on Monday that his party had finished second.

"Ennahda president Rachid Ghannouchi congratulates B Sebsi [Beji Caid Essebsi] on his party's win ... a few moments ago," his daughter Soumaya tweeted.

Party spokesman Zied Laadhari earlier said that: "They [Nidaa Tounes] are ahead by around a dozen seats."

"We will have around 70 seats and they will have about 80" out of 217 contested in Sunday's election, he said.

Lotfi Zitoun, a senior Ennahda official, conceded defeat and reiterated the party's call for the formation of a unity government including Ennahda in the interest of the country, regarded as the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

"We have accepted this result, and congratulate the winner," Zitoun told Reuters news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/10/tunisia-ennahda-says-secular-rivals-ahead-20141027141737474289.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bangladesh-war-crimes-tribunal-sentences-jamaat-e-islami-chief-to-death/d/99775

 

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