New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 07:23 AM

Islamic World News ( 27 Jun 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Bin Salman Orders Royal Guards to Keep Ex-Crown Prince under House Arrest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Philippine troops, backed by airstrikes and artillery, have battled for over a month to drive the extremists out of Marawi but the militants have fought back

 

China Donates Arms to Philippines for Raging Islamist Fight

MHA Not To Seek Report on Attacks on Muslim Men in Jha'nd, Haryana

Iran: Anti-Islam Policies to Spark Muslim Nations’ Hatred of US

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Arab World

Bin Salman Orders Royal Guards to Keep Ex-Crown Prince under House Arrest

Iraqi Military Recaptures Two Areas Near IS-Held Mosque InMosul’s Old City

Islamic State turned on dissenters as Raqqa assault neared

Islamic State member wounded as son kills himself playing with grenade

Turkish Army Targets Kurdish Forces' Positions in Northern Syria

UAE Agent Returns to Yemen in Light of Mohammed Bin Salman's Succession to Power in S. Arabia

Yemeni Forces Speak of Using Secret Weapon in Recent Saudi Warship Attack

Syria: US-Backed Kurdish Militants Cut off Flow of Drinking Water to People in Aleppo City

How Islamic banking will boost the UAE’s halal sector

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Southeast Asia

China Donates Arms to Philippines for Raging Islamist Fight

Philippine Muslims Fear MarawiFighting May Deepen Communal Discord

Malaysian Muslims lucky to celebrate Aidilfitri in joyous, harmony atmosphere: Najib

Thai Muslim Television investigated on charges of advertising for pyramid scheme

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Mideast

Iran: Anti-Islam Policies to Spark Muslim Nations’ Hatred of US

Wooden Mosque InTurkey’s Black Sea Region Survives Centuries

Erdogan: New Turkish military operation in Syria possible

Turkey-backed Islamist rebels bomb Kurdish villages in Syria’s Aleppo

Iran will take 'reciprocal action' as US Muslim travel ban block partly lifted

Iranian Parliament Speaker: No need for presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan

Iran’s Supreme Leader to Muslims: ‘Fight Against the Zionist Regime is Obligatory’

Iran: US Playing with Fire by Unwise Moves in Syria

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India

Indian Mujahideen Operative behind Recruiter Yusuf Al-Hindi's Online Identity, Reveals Islamic State Sympathiser

MHA Not To Seek Report on Attacks On Muslim Men In Jha'nd, Haryana

Kin Tied to Tree, Beaten up After Dalit Youth Elopes with Muslim Gir

Venkaiah Naidu condemns lynching of Muslim teen on-board train

Four more including 50-yr-old arrested for lynching of Muslim teen Junaid

Rohingya Muslim Refugees Provided With Aadhaar, But Demand For Driving Licence Unheard

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North America

US Government Websites Hacked With Pro-Islamic State Rant

Hate Crime Charge Filed in Arson of Texas Mosque

Declare Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism: US lawmaker

The Supreme Court’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Decision Is Terrifying

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Pakistan

China Defends Pakistan, Says It Is At Frontlines Of Anti-Terror Fight

Islam’s Peace Message Highlighted at Pakistan’s EidParty at UN HQ

Protest against Shia killings in Pakistan continues for 6th day

In Pakistan, scorching Ramadan month highlights chronic water, power shortages

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South Asia

Ata Mohammad Noor, Mohaqiq, and Gen. Dostum meet in Turkey

Airstrike in Helmand leaves 6 militants dead and 4 others wounded

Afghan government’s optimisms on Gen. Dunford’s visit to Afghanistan

NATO defense ministers to discuss future troops level in Afghanistan

Changes in Helmand security command amid deteriorating security situation

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Europe

Six 'With Links to Islamic State' Arrested In Raids across Europe

Russia warns US against any unilateral action on Syria

No Koran distribution in Zurich after all

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Australia

Islamic State: Australian troops could soon fight extremists in Asia, US Marine Corps general says

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bin-salman-orders-royal-guards-to-keep-ex-crown-prince-under-house-arrest/d/111699

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Bin Salman Orders Royal Guards to Keep Ex-Crown Prince under House Arrest

28 June 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- Sources in the Saudi royal guards revealed that new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered them to keep the ousted crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, under house arrest.

"The Saudi royal guards have been ordered to permanently deploy at the palace where Mohammed bin Nayef, the former Saudi crown prince, resides in Riyadh," informed royal guards sources told al-Khalij al-Jadid news website.

They added that the order means bin Nayef is house arrest.

Also, al-Ahd al-Jadid news website reported on its twitter page that Mohammed bin Salman has ordered to put 5 Saudi princes and a number of interior ministry officers under house arrest for their continued contacts with bin Nayef after he was dethroned by the Saudi king Salman.

Earlier this month, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince and defense minister.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

The Saudi king had earlier stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.

In a similar move back in 2015, the Saudi king had appointed his nephew, then deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the heir to the throne after removing his own half-brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the position.

Under the new decree, King Salman further relieved Mohammed bin Nayef of his duties as the interior minister. He appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef as the new interior minister and Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem as deputy interior minister.

Mohammed Bin Salman is already in charge of a vast portfolio as chief of the House of Saud royal court and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which is tasked with overhauling the country’s economy.

The young prince was little known both at home and abroad before Salman became king in January 2015.

However, King Salman has significantly increased the powers of Mohammed, with observers describing the prince as the real power behind his father’s throne.

The power struggle inside the House of Saud came to light earlier this year when the Saudi king began to overhaul the government and offered positions of influence to a number of family members.

In two royal decrees in April, the Saudi king named two of his other sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Prince Khaled bin Salman, as state minister for energy affairs and ambassador to the United States, respectively.

Late April, media source disclosed that Mohammad bin Salman has literally bribed the new US administration by paying $56m to Donald Trump.

According to reports, bin Salman is paying off the US to buy its support for finding a grip over the crown.

"Since Uncle Sam's satisfaction is the first step for the Saudi princes to get on the crown, paying off Washington seems to be a taken-for-granted fact," Rami Khalil, a reporter of Naba' news website affiliated to the Saudi dissidents wrote.

He added that since the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is like a sword over the head of the al-Saud, they have no way out but to bribe the US, noting that the Yemen quagmire is also another reason for Riyadh to seek Washington's support.

Also, a prominent Yemeni analyst said early June that the US has been paid several trillion dollars by Saudi Arabia to protect its crown, adding that Riyadh has recently bribed Washington's support for the Yemen war with $200bln.

"Washington has asked for more money to defend the Saudi regime and Riyadh has recently paid $200bln to the US for the costs of its support for the war in Yemen," Saleh al-Qarshi told FNA.

"This is apart from the huge amounts of money that Saudi Arabia pays to the US treasury for protecting its crown," he added.

According to al-Qarshi, former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki al-Feisal revealed last year that his country has bought the low-profit US treasury bonds to help the US economy.

As the defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman has faced strong international criticism for the bloody military campaign he launched against neighboring Yemen in 2015 amid his rivalry with bin Nayef, the then powerful interior minister.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen also announced that more than a thousand Yemenis have died of cholera since April 2017 as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, continues hitting residential areas across Yemen.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. The Al-Saud aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407000220

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China donates arms to Philippines for raging Islamist fight

28 June 2017

China on Wednesday donated thousands of guns to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to help Manila in its battle against Islamist gunmen who are holed up in a southern city.

The small shipment of assault and sniper rifles and ammunition is the first example of Chinese military aid since Duterte threatened to move away from Manila's traditional ally America and seek Beijing's support.

The weapons shipment, worth some 50 million yuan ($7.35 million) "highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations", Duterte said.

Hours earlier, the military said they had found the bodies of 17 civilians killed by the Islamists, self-styled followers of the Islamic State movement (IS) who have besieged the city of Marawi since May 23.

Philippine troops, backed by airstrikes and artillery, have battled for over a month to drive the extremists out of Marawi but the militants have fought back.

Nearly 400 people have been killed, including 290 militants and 70 troops, according to official figures. Most of Marawi's 200,000 residents have fled and much of the city is in ruins.

"We are almost on bended knees sometimes because of lack of equipment. It is a good thing we have a good friend like China who is very understanding," Duterte said.

Duterte has been reluctant to acknowledge American help, saying recently that he had no knowledge about US technical assistance to the troops fighting in Marawi.

The Philippines, which has a mutual defence treaty with the United States, has long relied on US-supplied arms.

But in a swipe at America -- which has criticised his flagship war on drugs -- Duterte has said he will seek more weapons from China and Russia.

Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who formally handed over the weapons, said a "second batch" of weapons would soon be delivered.

"The donation is not big but it is big in the sense that it marks a new era in relations between our two militaries," the ambassador said.

"The Chinese side would like to explore the possibility of joint training, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises in the area of fighting terrorism," he added.

Duterte, who had declared martial law in the southern Philippines due to the Marawi siege, said he would not lift it until the military and police said conditions were safe.

dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4647370/China-donates-arms-Philippines-raging-Islamist-fight.html

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Iran: Anti-Islam Policies To Spark Muslim Nations’ Hatred Of US

Tehran, June 28, IRNA – Head of National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of MajlisAlaeddinBoroujerdi said on Wednesday that support for terrorist groups and imposing restrictions on travel of Muslims to the country are two sides of a coin and the contradictory and anti-Islamism policies of the US government, which will provoke Muslim nations’ hatred of the US.

Boroujerdi said on the one hand, the US is busy promoting extremism in the world of Islam and on the other hand, restricts entry of Muslim countries’ nationals, thus following contradictory policy. “Such policies will bring nothing for Americans.”

While referring to the US Supreme Court's verdict on Trump's immigration order and overall confirmation of the verdict, with a few exceptions on the entry of Muslims from several countries to the US, the MP said the Americans have until today followed contradictory policy on the world of Islam and dealing with Muslims up to last years.

Trump’s immigration order will not keep the US immune of its nurtured terrorists, he added.

irna.ir/en/News/82579811/

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Indian Mujahideen operative behind recruiter Yusuf al-Hindi's online identity, reveals Islamic State sympathiser

28 2017

#Amzadkhan#Indianmujahideen#Islamic-state#Mohammadsajid#Newstracker#Nia#Shafiarmar#Yusuf-al-hindi

One of the two recruiters behind the mysterious Islamic State online identity, Yusuf al-Hindi, could have been Mohammad Sajid aka BadaSajid, an Indian Express report has revealed.

The report quoted sources as saying that an Islamic State sympathiser, Amzad Khan, had indicated to his interrogators that Sajid was behind the online identity – while identifying al-Hindi's photograph.

Sajid, as per the report, was a part of the Indian Mujahideen module before fleeing to Pakistan after a crackdown in 2008. It is believed that he and Karnataka-born ShafiArmar went on to Afghanistan and Syria from there.

Mujahideen. Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Armar, the fugitive chief recruiter for the Islamic State in the Indian subcontinent was recently named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US, becoming the first Indian leader of the dreaded terror outfit against whom America has slammed sanctions.

Armar was said to have left for Pakistan along with his elder brother after the crackdown. After a fight with Bhatkal brothers, including Riyaz, the founder of Indian Mujahideen, in Pakistan, Armar is believed to have created Ansarul-Tawhid, which later pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State.

There have been many reports of him having died in a drone attack or crackdown by the allied forces. However, every time intelligence agencies began giving credence to such reports, his name or voice cropped up in intercepts.

Armar and Sajid, as per the report, had radicalised several Indians online using al-Hindi's identity. "It is possible that after Sajid’s death, Armar has been handling the account," sources told Indian Express.

According to the sources quoted by the report, Khan told interrogators: "In the beginning, Yusuf had set a photo taken from his back as his profile picture (on his Telegram account). By the end of December 2015, he changed it to one taken from the front."

"I came in contact with Yusuf in June-July, 2015, and wanted to go for hijra (migration)… There was Bhatkali written on his Telegram user ID… Yusuf informed me that he belonged to Bhatkal, Karnataka. Yusuf also informed that he along with his brothers migrated to Afghanistan and joined Taliban. After some time, they shifted to Iraq-Syria after they had some dispute with the Taliban. Yusuf informed that he was at Raqqa in Syria," Khan told interrogators.

Sajid was named by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as one of the perpetrators of the Indian Mujahideen bombings of 2008, that killed at least 166 people and injured hundreds in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

Who is Yusuf Al-Hindi?

Al-Hindi is a common surname that is given or taken by Indian Muslims who join the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq and it is done for identification purposes. Hailing from the port town of Bhatkal in Karnataka, Yusuf al-Hindi was a former Indian Mujahideen terrorist.

Wanted in previous cases related to the Indian Mujahideen, Armar allegedly told MudabbirMustaq Sheikh, who along with 13 others, was arrested by the NIA in January, that he is an ally of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph of the captured territory in Syria and Iraq and the dreaded chief of Islamic State.

Khan, who pointed the agencies towards Sajid, was arrested by the NIA after he was deported from Saudi Arabia, in connection with its probe into activities of the West Asia-based terror group and its affiliates in the country.

In a statement, the NIA had said that Khan, who operated online with a number of aliases was arrested after his deportation on 4 April.

The 37-year-old Khan, a resident of Rajasthan, had emerged as a major suspect in the case against unknown and unidentified persons involved in Islamic State-related activities in countries at peace with India.

With inputs from agencies

firstpost.com/india/indian-mujahideen-operative-behind-recruiter-yusuf-al-hindis-online-identity-reveals-islamic-state-sympathiser-3753589.html

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Arab World

Bin Salman Orders Royal Guards to Keep Ex-Crown Prince under House Arrest

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Sources in the Saudi royal guards revealed that new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered them to keep the ousted crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, under house arrest.

"The Saudi royal guards have been ordered to permanently deploy at the palace where Mohammed bin Nayef, the former Saudi crown prince, resides in Riyadh," informed royal guards sources told al-Khalij al-Jadid news website.

They added that the order means bin Nayef is house arrest.

Also, al-Ahd al-Jadid news website reported on its twitter page that Mohammed bin Salman has ordered to put 5 Saudi princes and a number of interior ministry officers under house arrest for their continued contacts with bin Nayef after he was dethroned by the Saudi king Salman.

Earlier this month, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince and defense minister.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

The Saudi king had earlier stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.

In a similar move back in 2015, the Saudi king had appointed his nephew, then deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the heir to the throne after removing his own half-brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the position.

Under the new decree, King Salman further relieved Mohammed bin Nayef of his duties as the interior minister. He appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef as the new interior minister and Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem as deputy interior minister.

Mohammed Bin Salman is already in charge of a vast portfolio as chief of the House of Saud royal court and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which is tasked with overhauling the country’s economy.

The young prince was little known both at home and abroad before Salman became king in January 2015.

However, King Salman has significantly increased the powers of Mohammed, with observers describing the prince as the real power behind his father’s throne.

The power struggle inside the House of Saud came to light earlier this year when the Saudi king began to overhaul the government and offered positions of influence to a number of family members.

In two royal decrees in April, the Saudi king named two of his other sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Prince Khaled bin Salman, as state minister for energy affairs and ambassador to the United States, respectively.

Late April, media source disclosed that Mohammad bin Salman has literally bribed the new US administration by paying $56m to Donald Trump.

According to reports, bin Salman is paying off the US to buy its support for finding a grip over the crown.

"Since Uncle Sam's satisfaction is the first step for the Saudi princes to get on the crown, paying off Washington seems to be a taken-for-granted fact," Rami Khalil, a reporter of Naba' news website affiliated to the Saudi dissidents wrote.

He added that since the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is like a sword over the head of the al-Saud, they have no way out but to bribe the US, noting that the Yemen quagmire is also another reason for Riyadh to seek Washington's support.

Also, a prominent Yemeni analyst said early June that the US has been paid several trillion dollars by Saudi Arabia to protect its crown, adding that Riyadh has recently bribed Washington's support for the Yemen war with $200bln.

"Washington has asked for more money to defend the Saudi regime and Riyadh has recently paid $200bln to the US for the costs of its support for the war in Yemen," Saleh al-Qarshi told FNA.

"This is apart from the huge amounts of money that Saudi Arabia pays to the US treasury for protecting its crown," he added.

According to al-Qarshi, former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki al-Feisal revealed last year that his country has bought the low-profit US treasury bonds to help the US economy.

As the defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman has faced strong international criticism for the bloody military campaign he launched against neighboring Yemen in 2015 amid his rivalry with bin Nayef, the then powerful interior minister.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen also announced that more than a thousand Yemenis have died of cholera since April 2017 as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, continues hitting residential areas across Yemen.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. The Al-Saud aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407000220

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Iraqi military recaptures two areas near IS-held mosque in Mosul’s Old City

Jun 28, 2017

A member of Iraqi forces walks as they advance their positions on the frontline at the Old City in West Mosul, Iraq June 27, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces recaptured two areas at the heart of western Mosul’s Old City on Wednesday as operations push deeper against a few hundred Islamic State militants at their last bastion in the city.

The Defense Ministry’s War Media Cell said army forces took over Hadrat al-Sada and Ahmadiya, northwest of the Grand Nuri Mosque where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed an Islamic “caliphate” in 2014.

The Grand Nuri al-Kabir mosque in western Mosul (Google Maps)

Earlier on Wednesday, Federal Police chief, Lt. Gen. Shaker Jawdat, said his forces moved Wednesday through al-Farouqstreet towards Bab al-Toub, Serjkhana, Bab Jadid and Bab Lakash, all areas in the middle of the medieval district. He revealed that government troops had become in control over 70 percent of the medieval district.

He said troops were engaging in fierce battles with an estimated 300 IS fighters, backed by warplanes and drones.

Operations to recapture western Mosul launched in mid February. Government forces took over the eastern side of the city in January.

Iraqi authorities and United Nations agencies believe that at least 100.000 civilians are locked up inside the Old City in IS captivity, and are regularly shot dead or caught before execution once attempting to flee the battlefield.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/iraqi-military-recaptures-two-areas-near-held-mosque-mosuls-old-city/

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Islamic State turned on dissenters as Raqqa assault neared

28 June 2017

They described how the leaders had fled Raqqa as pressure mounted from the US-backed campaign and separate offensives by Turkey-backed rebels and Russian-backed government forces. One said ordinary fighters had been left behind to die like “sheep”.

Their accounts also indicate growing dissent within the ultra-hardline group in northern Syria in recent months.

Khadouja al-Humri, one of three women who fled Raqqa around six months ago, said Islamic State leaders were worried about an uprising or coup, and the Tunisians were seen as a threat because they had criticised the way the group was run.

“My husband was scared. Towards the end there were around 70 Tunisians on the list of the (Islamic State) security services, wanted. They wanted to shoot them,” she told Reuters at a camp for displaced people in Ain Issa, a village north of Raqqa.

“You couldn’t speak freely or criticise IS, you didn’t know who was listening.”

The women, two Tunisians and one from Lebanon, said they had travelled to join Islamic State in the hope of leading the kind of religious lifestyle they had long dreamt of. It did not turn out as they expected.

Some Tunisian jihadists declared the IS leadership non-believers, or kuffar, over the extreme way they were running Raqqa, Humri said, adding that inequality between leaders and the rank-and-file fighters had become ever more obvious.

It was not possible to confirm their accounts, although Islamic State has posted videos showing the execution of people identified as spies or agents of foreign enemy states.

Stole cars

Humri said she and her husband escaped Raqqa by going south to the town of al-Mayadeen, another IS-held area where they hid for a time.

Her husband stole cars from Islamic State officials and sold them to amass money to pay a smuggler who later took them across the River Euphrates to areas controlled by the Kurdish YPG. When he got there, the YPG, which is spearheading the US-led assault to drive Islamic State out of Raqqa, detained him. Humri was questioned but not detained.

“We explained that they we were fleeing Daesh. They treat us well,” she said, sitting with the other two in a sparsely furnished building where foreigners are being accommodated at Ain Issa. “I just want to get out of this camp.”

The women followed similar paths, journeying to Syria via Turkey to follow husbands who had gone to wage jihad in the multi-sided war. Two of them – Humri and Nour al-Huda, a 20-year-old mother of two from Tripoli in Lebanon – said their first husbands had been killed in battle.

They met for the first time at an Islamic State-run “guest house” in Raqqa for widows where they were kept under lock and key.

The guest house was overcrowded, each room accommodating 12 women and their children, and Huda said Islamic State fighters would choose wives from there based on descriptions provided by a female Islamic State official.

Wives for pistols

IS leaders would pay the “emir” who ran the guest house to secure their choice of bride, either in cash or a weapon such as a pistol, she said. German-made Glocks were particularly sought-after. The title “emir” is assigned to senior IS officials.

Huda said the Tunisian who married her had wanted to care for orphans. Wounded in both hands, he had not fought for some time. “He was very good with my children, treated me very well. But they didn’t treat him fairly, didn’t give him money,” she said.

It was the “emirs” who had the pick of the women, who lived in the best houses and who wore the fanciest clothes, she said, adding that the Islamic State governor of Raqqa was known for giving his relatives well-paid positions in the administration.

“We thought it was the state of Islam, but frankly, we have a lot of regret.”

The US-led coalition battling to drive Islamic State from Raqqa has estimated 3,000 to 4,000 of its fighters are holed up there, even after its leaders abandoned the town for more secure areas. US intelligence officials say the IS leadership has rebased at al-Mayadeen in southeastern Syria.

Jalal al-Ayyaf, the official in charge of the camp sheltering some 7,000 people at Ain Issa, said some 15 to 20 foreign families had arrived so far, including Russians, Tunisians, Lebanese and Indonesians.

More were expected at the camp, which is run by a civilian council backed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the military force waging the Raqqa campaign on the ground.

He said the authorities were taking care of their needs and would help them leave to wherever they wanted. The women said they were not detained but awaiting arrangements to return home.

“We want someone to help us get out,” Huda said.

komnews.org/islamic-state-turned-dissenters-raqqa-assault-neared/

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Islamic State member wounded as son kills himself playing with grenade

Jun 28, 2017

Shirqat (IraqiNews.com) An Islamic State member was wounded and his child was killed when a grenade the latter was playing with exploded, a local source in Salahuddin province said on Wednesday.

The source told Alsumaria News that the IS member, who belonged to the group’s so-called “soldiers bureau”, was badly wounded while his seven-year-old child died while playing with a grenade at their home in Shirqat, north of Salahuddin.

The source pointed that most of IS members keep weapons inside their homes in that region.

Dozens of IS members have died over the past months while planting explosives at different havens in Salahuddin and other provinces.

Islamic State has been in control over the eastern side of Shirqat since 2014. The group has recently stepped up attacks across Iraqi provinces, and an increasing activity on the group’s behalf has been detected at Salahuddin’s borders with neighboring provinces.

The Iraqi government, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, is expected to move towards clearing IS pockets across Iraq once its eight-month-old campaign against the group in Mosul, the militants’ largest stronghold in Iraq. finishes. The fall of Mosul could mean a collapse of the group’s self-styled “Islamic Caliphate” declared in 2014.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-member-wounded-son-kills-playing-grenade/

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Turkish Army Targets Kurdish Forces' Positions in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish Army's artillery and missile units shelled the positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Northern Syria.

Field reports said that the Turkish army retaliated the YPG forces' attack on the defense lines of the Ankara-backed militants South of the town of Azaz in Northern Aleppo.

In the meantime, the Turkish army announced in a statement that the YPG fighters stormed the positions of the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Mar'anaz region South of Azaz.

Khabar Turk news website, meantime, reported that the sound of artillery and missile shelling has been heard in the border town of Kilis in Southern Turkey.   

Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan announced earlier today that Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in Northern Syria.

“Presently, negative processes are underway in Syria. In case they lead to a threat to our borders, we will respond the same way as during the Euphrates Shield operation,” Erdogan told the Russian Izvestia newspaper, as the tension between Ankara and Washington has risen over the supplying arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria by the United States.

He added that Turkey would not allow establishment of a Kurdish state in Syria and was ready to carry out another large-scale military campaign if needed.

Turkey declared in August 2016 that its Army has launched 'Euphrates Shield' military operation in Syria, as Ankara claims that it has begun to cleanse the ISIL terrorists from its border with the Arab country.

But, despite Ankara's allegation, Turkish military forces support militant groups in Northern Syria, and fight against Kurdish forces in the region.

Turkish officials have frequently stressed that operation 'Euphrates Shield' will continue to create a safe zone in Northern Syria.

Turkish President had said early April that the next phase of Operation Euphrates Shield may include a stint in Iraq’s Sinjar Region.

The Turkish leader emphasized that his armed forces will concentrate on both the ISIL and Kurdish-led “Kurdistan Workers Party”, these two groups are both fighting one another in the Sinjar Region of Iraq.

In the same month, after Ankara announced that it had completed the Euphrates Shield operation in Syria, Erdogan said Turkey is planning new offensives inside Syria against groups deemed terrorist organizations by Ankara, even after the completion of its six-month-long operation in the country’s North, but did not specify where the new operations could take place.

But Erdogan indicated that this by no means meant an end to cross-border operations by Ankara against ISIL and Kurdish groups classified by Turkey as terror groups, like the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"The first stage, the Euphrates Shield operation... is over. But more will follow," Erdogan said in a speech in the Trabzon region near the Black Sea ahead of the referendum on expanding his powers.

"There is no stopping, the road continues. We are making preparations for new operations in other regions for getting to the terrorists on their hills. We will give new names to the new operations," he added.

"The next months with God's permission will be spring for the Turkish nation and a black winter for the terrorists," Erdogan stressed.

Damascus had condemned Ankara's military operation and entry of Turkish special forces and tanks into Syria, while Moscow expressed deep concern about what is happening in the Syrian-Turkish border area.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407001078

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UAE Agent Returns to Yemen in Light of Mohammed Bin Salman's Succession to Power in S. Arabia

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Former Deputy of fugitive Yemeni president, Khaled Mahfouz Bahah, who is affiliated to the UAE returned to Yemen as one of the first aftermaths of the dramatic changes in Saudi Arabia.

The plane carrying Bahah, Mansour HadiAbdrabbuh's former deputy, landed in Yemen's al-Rayan airport which is merely open to the Saudi-led coalition aircraft.

The UAE is making new efforts to return Bahah to Yemen's political scene and raise him to higher ranks among the Yemeni mercenaries who are supported by Doha and Riyadh.

The UAE hopes that such attempts would also further marginalize Mansour Hadi, who is residing in Riyadh, after the recent developments in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz with his own son, Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince and defense minister.

According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and shall maintain his post as defense minister, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The SPA also confirmed that 31 out of 34 members of Saudi Arabia’s succession committee chose Mohammed bin Salman as the crown prince.

The Saudi king had earlier stripped Nayef of his powers overseeing criminal investigations and designated a new public prosecution office to function directly under the king’s authority.

In a similar move back in 2015, the Saudi king had appointed his nephew, then deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef as the heir to the throne after removing his own half-brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from the position.

Under the new decree, King Salman further relieved Mohammed bin Nayef of his duties as the interior minister. He appointed Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef as the new interior minister and Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem as deputy interior minister.

Mohammed Bin Salman is already in charge of a vast portfolio as chief of the House of Saud royal court and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, which is tasked with overhauling the country’s economy.

The young prince was little known both at home and abroad before Salman became king in January 2015.

However, King Salman has significantly increased the powers of Mohammed, with observers describing the prince as the real power behind his father’s throne.

The power struggle inside the House of Saud came to light earlier this year when the Saudi king began to overhaul the government and offered positions of influence to a number of family members.

In two royal decrees in April, the Saudi king named two of his other sons, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and Prince Khaled bin Salman, as state minister for energy affairs and ambassador to the United States, respectively.

Late April, media source disclosed that Mohammad bin Salman has literally bribed the new US administration by paying $56m to Donald Trump.

According to reports, bin Salman is paying off the US to buy its support for finding a grip over the crown.

"Since Uncle Sam's satisfaction is the first step for the Saudi princes to get on the crown, paying off Washington seems to be a taken-for-granted fact," Rami Khalil, a reporter of Naba' news website affiliated to the Saudi dissidents wrote.

He added that since the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) is like a sword over the head of the al-Saud, they have no way out but to bribe the US, noting that the Yemen quagmire is also another reason for Riyadh to seek Washington's support.

Also, a prominent Yemeni analyst said early June that the US has been paid several trillion dollars by Saudi Arabia to protect its crown, adding that Riyadh has recently bribed Washington's support for the Yemen war with $200bln.

"Washington has asked for more money to defend the Saudi regime and Riyadh has recently paid $200bln to the US for the costs of its support for the war in Yemen," Saleh al-Qarshi told FNA.

"This is apart from the huge amounts of money that Saudi Arabia pays to the US treasury for protecting its crown," he added.

According to al-Qarshi, former Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki al-Feisal revealed last year that his country has bought the low-profit US treasury bonds to help the US economy.

As the defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman has faced strong international criticism for the bloody military campaign he launched against neighboring Yemen in 2015 amid his rivalry with bin Nayef, the then powerful interior minister.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen also announced that more than a thousand Yemenis have died of cholera since April 2017 as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, continues hitting residential areas across Yemen.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. The Al-Saud aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407001005

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Yemeni Forces Speak of Using Secret Weapon in Recent Saudi Warship Attack

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Vice-Spokesman of the Yemeni Army Brigadier General Aziz Rashed said that the country's forces have used an advanced secret weapon in their recent attack on a Saudi-led coalition warship in the Southern waters of Yemen.

Rashed said that the army forces targeted the warship of the Saudi-led coalition carrying Sudanese military men off the coast of Mukha port city, and added, "The Yemeni naval force opened fire at the Saudi-led coalition warship that wanted to enter our waters to transfer Sudanese soldiers to the coast of Mukha port."

"Our forces used a unique weapon whose details and features are secret," the brigadier general disclosed.

Rashed further added that the Sudanese military forces were to join the coalition as reinforcement troops.

He pointed out that the Yemeni forces' missile hit the target (the warship) very precisely.

Military source confirmed on Monday that a Saudi-led coalition warship was targeted by the Yemeni forces off the coast of Mukha port city.

Al-Masirehtv network quoted the military source as saying that the Yemeni navy forces managed to target a warship of the Saudi-led coalition off the coast of Mukha port city in Ta’iz Province.

The sources further added that as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the Yemeni patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, and continued hitting residential areas across Yemen, the Yemeni navy forces, in a retaliatory move, targeted their warship.

More than 10 warships have been hit by the Yemeni army and popular committees since the start of the military operations conducted in reaction to the Riyadh and its allies aggression.

Also over 10 military boats have so far been targeted during the period by the Yemeni forces.

The Yemeni army and Popular Committees last hit a Saudi-led warship in waters off the Southwestern province of Ta'iz in mid-June.

Local military sources announced that the warship was in the Yemeni territorial water, near the port city of Mukha in Ta'iz, when was targeted by the allied forces confronting the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen.

A warship of the Saudi-led forces was also destroyed mid-March after hitting a sea-mine laid by the Yemeni army and popular forces in the coastal waters of Ta'iz province.

"The Saudi-led warship was destroyed in the city of al-Mukha in Ta'iz province in Southwestern Yemen," a Yemeni military source said, adding that all crew members of the warship were killed in the explosion.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407000519

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Syria: US-Backed Kurdish Militants Cut off Flow of Drinking Water to People in Aleppo City

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Syrian government source reported that the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have cut off drinking water to over 1 million residents of Aleppo city in the Northern part of the war-hit country, media sources said Wednesday.

The Kurdish fighters have reportedly blocked the flow of drinking water from the Euphrates Dam that feeds into the Khafsa Pumps, halting the supply to the people of Aleppo City, the AMN reported.

While no reason was given for SDF’s actions, some believe that the Kurds have embarked on the move after the recent brief clashes between Kurds and the Syrian Army troops in Southwestern Raqqa.

The first clash between the Syrian army troops and the SDF occurred North of the city of Rasafeh earlier this month after a Syrian air force fighter jet was shot down by the US-led coalition warplanes West of Raqqa.

The Syrian army and SDF forces reportedly engaged in fierce clashes North of al-Rasafeh city and in areas surrounding Shavihayan and Jaydeen villages.

The Syrian troops tried to rescue the pilot of the Syrian air force's fighter jet, Ali Fahd, after his plane was shot down by the US-led forces, but they faced the US-backed forces.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407000387

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How Islamic banking will boost the UAE’s halal sector

June 28, 2017

Islamic banks’ gross credit increased 8.4 per cent to AED343 billion in the first quarter of 2017, including AED325bn domestic credit that grew 7.4 per cent that will help the UAE’s halal economy to grow faster than non-halal sectors.

The UAE’s AED522bn Islamic banking assets will help fuel the growth of the country’s halal sector, according to research by Orange Fairs and Events, organisers of the Halal Expo Dubai 2017 in September.

The meteoric rise of Islamic banking

Seven Islamic banks out of the 23 registered commercial banks in the UAE represent nearly a fifth of the country’s banking assets. Islamic banks’ assets grew more than three times the conventional banks’ assets during the first quarter of 2017, according to the UAE Central Bank’s latest quarterly report.

“In the first quarter of 2017, Islamic banks’ assets had a higher growth (3.2 per cent) than conventional assets (one per cent), while on an annual basis Islamic banks grew by eight per cent and continued to dominate the conventional banks growth that showed an increase of 5.9 per cent,” the report, issued by the UAE Central Bank, said.

“The share of conventional banks’ assets at the end of Q1 2017 is 80.3 per cent of the total, while the share of the Islamic banks assets is 19.7 per cent. Islamic banks’ financing growth has been dominating the conventional banks’ loans increase in the first quarter of 2017 in almost all subcategories, with exception of financing to government and GREs.”

Gross credit of the Islamic banks in the UAE recorded an 8.4 per cent growth to AED343bn – or nearly double the rate of 4.4 per cent growth rate of gross credit of the conventional banks in Q1 2017.

Similarly, domestic credit growth of the Islamic banks also rose 7.4 per cent to AED325bn in Q1 2017. The growth rate is nearly double than the 4.1 per cent growth in domestic credit growth of the conventional banks.

Elevated assets driving growth

Higher assets and gross credit growth rates empower the Islamic banks to fund the Halal industries and help fuel the growth of Halal or Islamic economic activities. By nature, Islamic banks engage in ethical finance and asset-based lending – that eliminates speculation-based high-risk financial activities and insulate the sector from economic crises – witnessed during the 2008-09 global financial crisis – when the asset-based ethical finance emerged stronger and helped Islamic banks to overcome the stress tests by a wider margin compared to the conventional lenders – many of whom collapsed and had to be bailed out by governments.

Islamic banks’ credit to individuals recorded a 7.6 per cent to AED126bn in the first quarter, compared to two per cent growth in the conventional banks’ credit to individuals that reached AED224bn in the q1 2017.

Raees Ahmed, Director of Orange Fairs and Events, organiser of the Halal Expo Dubai, 2017, says, “This means Islamic banks’ personal finance, Islamic credit card sector is growing at a higher rate than that of the conventional banks’ personal finance and credit card segment.

“The split between conventional and Islamic banks indicates that the growth in Islamic financing is much steeper than that for the conventional banks’ loans. This effectively means that lending in the halal sector is going up at a much higher rate than that of the non-halal sector, as was evident in the first quarter of 2017.

“Islamic banks’ credit to the business and industrial sector grew 7.6 per cent to AED151bn in the first quarter of 2017. This means that the credit growth to the halal industries and business sector remains higher compared to the non-halal industries and services sector. This is also a reflection of the UAE’s growing importance as a centre of the global halal economy.”

Muslims spend trillions in various sectors

This State of the Global Islamic Economy Report, 2016-17, estimates global Muslim spend across sectors at over $1.9 trillion in 2015, while the Islamic Finance sector has around $2trn in assets.

Food and beverage tops spend by the global Muslim population, at $1.17trn in 2015, followed by clothing and apparel at $243bn, media and recreation at $189bn, travel at $151bn, and spending on pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $133bn.

The report estimated the revenues from halal-certified food and beverage products to be $415bn; while revenues from halal fashion clothing purchased by Muslim women to be $44bn and revenues derived from halal tourism services to be $24bn, in 2015.

The global halal products and services sector is growing at eight per cent year-on-year to $2.3trn (AED8.44trn) – higher than the GDP of more than 200 countries in the world, according to research by Orange Fairs and Events.

Of this, about 67 per cent represents the food and beverage industry, worth $1.4trn (AED5.13trn).

ameinfo.com/money/banking-finance/islamic-banking-will-boost-uaes-halal-sector/

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Southeast Asia

China donates arms to Philippines for raging Islamist fight

28 June 2017

China on Wednesday donated thousands of guns to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to help Manila in its battle against Islamist gunmen who are holed up in a southern city.

The small shipment of assault and sniper rifles and ammunition is the first example of Chinese military aid since Duterte threatened to move away from Manila's traditional ally America and seek Beijing's support.

The weapons shipment, worth some 50 million yuan ($7.35 million) "highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations", Duterte said.

Hours earlier, the military said they had found the bodies of 17 civilians killed by the Islamists, self-styled followers of the Islamic State movement (IS) who have besieged the city of Marawi since May 23.

Philippine troops, backed by airstrikes and artillery, have battled for over a month to drive the extremists out of Marawi but the militants have fought back.

Nearly 400 people have been killed, including 290 militants and 70 troops, according to official figures. Most of Marawi's 200,000 residents have fled and much of the city is in ruins.

"We are almost on bended knees sometimes because of lack of equipment. It is a good thing we have a good friend like China who is very understanding," Duterte said.

Duterte has been reluctant to acknowledge American help, saying recently that he had no knowledge about US technical assistance to the troops fighting in Marawi.

The Philippines, which has a mutual defence treaty with the United States, has long relied on US-supplied arms.

But in a swipe at America -- which has criticised his flagship war on drugs -- Duterte has said he will seek more weapons from China and Russia.

Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who formally handed over the weapons, said a "second batch" of weapons would soon be delivered.

"The donation is not big but it is big in the sense that it marks a new era in relations between our two militaries," the ambassador said.

"The Chinese side would like to explore the possibility of joint training, intelligence sharing and joint military exercises in the area of fighting terrorism," he added.

Duterte, who had declared martial law in the southern Philippines due to the Marawi siege, said he would not lift it until the military and police said conditions were safe.

dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-4647370/China-donates-arms-Philippines-raging-Islamist-fight.html

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Philippine Muslims fear Marawi fighting may deepen communal discord

By Manuel Mogato and Karen Lema | MARAWI CITY, PHILIPPINES/MANILA

When a small army of militants allied to Islamic State took over parts of Marawi City in the southern Philippines last month, many of the country's Muslims were alarmed.

Although the Christian-majority Philippines has endured bouts of insurrection by Muslim groups for centuries, the two communities mostly live together peacefully. Now, many Muslims say, the vicious urban battle with government forces for control of Marawi may intensify the divide.

Civilians who have fled the fighting say the militants spread rumours on social media and by word of mouth that Christian soldiers were committing excesses against the largely Muslim population, and urged locals to take up arms.

"They are using the discrimination, neglect and social injustices against us, the minority, to sow hate and anger," said Musa Diamla, a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rebel group that has signed a ceasefire with the government.

Nearly 400 people have been killed in the month-long battle in Marawi, which is on the Philippines' southernmost island, Mindanao, which is roughly the size of South Korea and where more than 20 percent of the population are Muslims.

Islam has even older roots in the Philippines than Christianity. When Spanish colonialists landed in the country in the mid-16th century and pushed Muslims to the south, they called them Moros, from the Spanish word for Moors.

For hundreds of years, the Moro people resisted Manila's rule and the term 'Bangsamoro' - meaning 'nation of Moros' - was coined in the second half of the 20th century as many sought and fought for independence, or at least autonomy.

Multiple peace pacts with Moro groups have since collapsed or run into delays, consigning Mindanao to economic neglect and poverty, and fuelling a culture of insurgency and banditry.

"Reforms have not taken root in the south due to conflict driven by the Moro struggle for self determination," said JulkipliWadi, former dean of the Institute of Islamic Studies at Manila's University of the Philippines.

"As the peace process dragged on indefinitely, this created frustration for the Moro youth and this is the reason they are prone to embrace radical ideology," he said.

HARMONY, BUT DISCRIMINATION

The Philippines' constitution provides for the free exercise of religious profession and worship, and the country does not rank among those most often criticised by Western governments and rights groups for violations of religious freedom.

In Quiapo, a teeming and rundown district of the capital, Manila, Christians and Muslims live peacefully alongside each other, worshipping at an ancient church and an imposing mosque that are just a few blocks apart.

"We live in harmony," said Rohaina Babar, a 40-year-old Muslim woman who sells clothes from one of Quiapo's many street stalls that offer everything from headscarves to pirated DVDs.

Based on 2010 census data, 94 percent of the Philippines' Muslim population of over 5 million live on Mindanao, but more than 100,000 are in Manila, many of them Moros who left the south to escape poverty and violence.

Some Muslims in Quiapo worry that the bonhomie of different faiths could be at risk as the death toll among troops fighting in Marawi, now at 70, climbs.

Anxious to nip religious tensions in the bud, the military appealed to the public this month not to share video images of the militants destroying religious statues and pulling down a cross inside a church.

Babar said that comments she reads on social media and in the news were becoming increasingly anti-Muslim.

"It's like they equate Muslims with terrorists," she said.

"A GENERATION OF DISGRUNTLED MUSLIMS"

Despite the appearance of equality and tolerance in Quiapo, however, Muslim leaders say discrimination against people of their faith is ingrained in the Philippines.

PaisalinTago, a commissioner at the National Commission on Muslim Filipino, an agency under the office of the president, said Muslims are under-represented in senior government and military positions. In elections last year, only 11 Muslims were voted to the 292-member House of Representatives, low compared to the community's 5-6 percent portion of the 100 million population.

"In some agencies, if they find out you are Muslim, they won't accept you although you are qualified for the position," said Tago, a Muslim, noting his agency is flooded with job applications from Muslims who cannot find work in other government offices.

Jesus Dureza, the presidential adviser on the peace process in Mindanao, said he could not comment since he had "no specific information on those complaints".

He acknowledged that Muslims had some reason to be aggrieved but said there is a peace and development roadmap for the region that will address historical injustices.

"HISTORICAL INJUSTICE"

In Mindanao, the sense of injustice is felt more keenly.

Former rebel Diamla said Moro people used to be the majority in Mindanao, but over the past half century Christians have migrated from the north and grabbed much of their land.

"Historical social injustice is being used as a platform by extremists to recruit and fan anger," said Zia Alonto-Adiong, a local politician in Lanao del Sur region, which includes Marawi.

Abdulgani Ali, who owns shops in Marawi and nearby Iligan City, said there is less resentment of Christian neighbours than there is of the government for neglecting Muslim livelihoods.

"Where are the schools, roads and development projects?" he said. "They are all in non-Muslim areas and that's why we still have a low literacy rate and higher poverty incidence."

Official statistics show that 48.2 percent of families in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which includes Marawi, were below the poverty line in 2015 compared with a national average of 16.5 percent. The poverty line is defined at $180 per month for a family of five.

The region's secondary-school enrolment rate and its literacy rate are the lowest in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who was for many years the mayor of Mindanao's biggest city, Davao, pledged last year to devolve power from "imperial Manila" to long-neglected provinces.

But Zia said Duterte's plan for a federal system has only delayed progress towards peace with Moro insurgents, encouraging the emergence of "a generation of disgruntled young Muslims".

(Writing and additional reporting by John Chalmers; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

in.reuters.com/article/philippines-militants-muslims-idINKBN19J130?rpc=401&

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Malaysian Muslims lucky to celebrate Aidilfitri in joyous, harmony atmosphere: Najib

June 28, 2017

The Prime Minister reminded that the favourable circumstances and joyous Aidilfitri celebration in Malaysia were due to the blessings and gift from the Almighty, and that the Muslims should continue to be grateful and protected by Allah. Pix by Ghazali Kori

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri NajibRazak said Muslims throughout the country are lucky for being able to celebrate the Aidilfitri in a joyous atmosphere and peace with their families, friends and loved ones.

The Prime Minister said on contrary, some people in other Muslim countries could not afford to celebrate the festivity like the Malaysians.

“They are not as lucky as us, (their) celebrations are quite simple. More sadly, some did not even have the opportunity to celebrate the Aidilfitri...Their lives are at stake, they often face violence and attacks at any time.

“Let us continue to pray for our less fortunate Muslim brothers and sisters. May Allah protects and grants them peace,” he said in the latest posting of his blog najibrazak.com.

Najib also reminded that the favourable circumstances and joyous Aidilfitri celebration in Malaysia were due to the blessings and gift from the Almighty, and that the Muslims should continue to be grateful and protected by Allah.

The prime minister also shared some common scenarios among the Muslims when celebrating the Aidilfitri.

“On the morning of the first day of Aidilfitri, the little ones are usually the happiest, donning the new clothes and meeting the relatives. The whole house is filled with joy and laugher at their antics. Even more so when it is time to collect ‘duitraya’!

“The same goes to the parents...The whole family gather especially those children who live away and probably only see each other once a year.

“The young ones especially the youths are not too bad either. Those (with hashtag) #TeamRayaKL are fashionably cool taking photos in the middle of the empty roads, those #TeamRayaKampung also do not want to miss the opportunity by taking pictures in the paddy fields. Well, that's what you get when the city folks go to kampung!” he said.

Najib also said such a joyous and happy atmosphere could be maintained if the Muslims in the country would continue to stay united. -- BERNAMA

nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/252763/malaysian-muslims-lucky-celebrate-aidilfitri-joyous-harmony-atmosphere

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Thai Muslim Television investigated on charges of advertising for pyramid scheme

June 28, 2017

Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officers searched the Thai Muslim Television (TMTV) station in Bangkok’s Prawet district on Wednesday morning over an allegation that the channel had played on religious beliefs to convince people to invest in an alleged pyramid scheme resulting in damages of at least Bt70 million.

Special Case Office 1 head Pol Lt-Colonel PhayaoThongsen led DSI officers, forensic specialists and soldiers to enforce a search warrant at the Hamsa Foundation and TMTV station in SoiSupapong 1.

Phayao said the agency had received complaints that the foundation had raised money by urging people to join eight investment projects, including a chicken farm and a Thai Muslim housing estate, and advertised the schemes on the television channel.

The foundation was accused of being a pyramid scheme after it allegedly fell behind in payments of promised 7 to 10 per cent returns, prompting the DSI to investigate.

The initial investigation found evidence that suspects had played on religious beliefs in raising money, enticing 200 people to invest, Phayao said. DSI investigators have so far interviewed 70 people who said they had invested, who allegedly lost Bt70 million, he said.

The search found advertising material and copies of previously aired shows. Six bank accounts with a total of Bt2 million were impounded pending inspection, Phayao said.

No charges have been formally filed pending further investigation and the TV station would not be closed as it had applied for a broadcasting licence properly, he said.

nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30319355

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Mideast

Iran: Anti-Islam Policies To Spark Muslim Nations’ Hatred Of US

Tehran, June 28, IRNA – Head of National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of MajlisAlaeddinBoroujerdi said on Wednesday that support for terrorist groups and imposing restrictions on travel of Muslims to the country are two sides of a coin and the contradictory and anti-Islamism policies of the US government, which will provoke Muslim nations’ hatred of the US.

Boroujerdi said on the one hand, the US is busy promoting extremism in the world of Islam and on the other hand, restricts entry of Muslim countries’ nationals, thus following contradictory policy. “Such policies will bring nothing for Americans.”

While referring to the US Supreme Court's verdict on Trump's immigration order and overall confirmation of the verdict, with a few exceptions on the entry of Muslims from several countries to the US, the MP said the Americans have until today followed contradictory policy on the world of Islam and dealing with Muslims up to last years.

Trump’s immigration order will not keep the US immune of its nurtured terrorists, he added.

irna.ir/en/News/82579811/

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Wooden mosque in Turkey’s Black Sea region survives centuries

 

A wooden mosque in Turkey's northern Samsun province is still in use after 800 years, but more amazingly it has stayed standing without the help of a single nail.

Officially called Gögceli Mosque, the place of worship is more popularly known as "Nailless Mosque," because of its unusual building technique.

The mosque is located near the town of Çarsamba, around 40 kilometers from Samsun city.

An analysis of the mosque's wooden timbers shows that they date back to 1206, less than 100 years after Seljuk Turks routed the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert and began settling in Anatolia.

The builders used oaks with a diameter of over 1 meter, cutting them into planks and columns.

Without nails, the building manages to stay firm thanks to interlocking shapes where the wooden boards join together.

A flexible foundation protects the buildings from earthquakes, allowing the structure to shake rather than forcing it to collapse.

If the mosque did collapse in an earthquake, the angle of the columns would reportedly make the structure fall in the direction of Mecca.

Besides it structural features, the mosque also has impressive colorful Seljuk and Ottoman motifs that are painted on the walls.

The mosque's imam Ahmet Özköse says that many foreign and local visitors come to see the unusual mosque, as well as a team of foreign scientists who come to study the building's earthquake resistance.

Özköse adds that the 300-person mosque was restored over 10 years ago, and they are hoping for further restoration to be carried out soon so that this incredible structure survives for many centuries to come.

dailysabah.com/turkey/2017/06/28/wooden-mosque-in-turkeys-black-sea-region-survives-centuries

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Erdogan: New Turkish military operation in Syria possible

June 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria.

Ankara is ready to launch a new military campaign similar to the Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

“Presently, negative processes are underway in Syria. In case they lead to a threat to our borders, we will respond the same way as during the Euphrates Shield operation,” Erdogan told the Russian Izvestia newspaper, adding that Turkey would not allow establishment of a Kurdish state in Syria and was ready to carry out another large-scale military campaign if needed.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, aimed at combating the ISIS terror group in late August, 2016. Since then the Turkish-led forces have driven ISIS from a number of settlements in northern Syria. In March, Turkish Prime Minister BinaliYildirim announced the successful completion of the operation, adding that Ankara could launch a new one in case of fresh security threats.

In late April, Erdogan said that some people in northern Syria want to establish their own state, hinting at the Syrian Kurds. Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds was heightened in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey, collapsed over a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members.

en.abna24.com/news/europe/erdogan-new-turkish-military-operation-in-syria-possible_839275.html

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Turkey-backded Islamist rebels bomb Kurdish villages in Syria’s Aleppo

June 28, 2017 

Kurdish fighters of the YPG in Afrin, northwest Syria. Photo: ARA News

Kurdish official: There is no ideal time for independence referendum

US eyes arms for Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria even after Raqqa’s fall

First aid convoy arrives in Rojava through new land corridor

Syrian Kurds worry Russia, Assad made deal with Turkey against Rojava

At least 20 Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attack in Hakkari

Turkey-backed Islamist rebel groups in Azaz on Wednesday shelled several villages in the Kurdish district of Afrin, in Syria’s Aleppo province, with the goal to isolate the Afrin canton.

According to Rojava-based news agency ANHA, Turkish reconnaissance jets are hovering over the village of Sheikh Issa in Afrin.

On 28 May, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the Sheikh Issa village from Syrian rebels.

Now Turkish-backed forces want to take Sheikh Issa and Tell Rifaat, which was captured by the SDF from rebels on 15 February 2016.

Local sources reported that the Turkish-backed rebels shelled Maranaz, QastalJendu, Malikiyah, Ain Daqneh, Harbul, and other villages near Afrin –also known as Efrîn.

“Turkey may choose to invade Tel Rifaat with elements it supports. Fine. But any expansion of territory will further tax resources,” said Aaron Stein, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

“Post co-conflict governance in ES [Euphrates Shield territory] is, well, not so great. More territory will make governance harder,” he added.

aranews.net/2017/06/turkey-backded-islamist-rebels-bomb-kurdish-villages-syrias-aleppo/

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Iran will take 'reciprocal action' as US Muslim travel ban block partly lifted

June 28, 2017

Supreme Court approves most parts of Trump's travel ban         Wochit

Iran has said it will retaliate following the US Supreme Court's decision to partly reinstate a travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries.

Earlier this year, lower courts in the US blocked a proposition by President Donald Trump to impose a 90-day travel restriction on people form Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, along with a 120-day entry ban on refugees.

The Trump administration said the ban was necessary on grounds of national security and to allow the implementation of new immigration vetting procedures.

However, the supreme court said on Monday (26 June) the ban could be enforced in case people who applied from the targeted countries lack "a credible claim of a bona fide [authentic] relationship with a person or entity in the United States".

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi slammed the court's ruling as an indication of the "US government's discriminatory behavior towards Muslims and also shows the unfair look the country gives to them" ,the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, after carefully examining the recent decision of the Supreme Court of America, will take proportional and reciprocal action," Qassemi said, but did not elaborate further.

At the moment, US citizens planning to travel to Iran need to apply for a visa beforehand.

Why are Arab states targeting Qatar state-funded Al Jazeera?READ MORE

The spokesperson added that the US was targeting the "wrong countries" with its travel ban, Reuters said.

"It's regrettable that the American government, because of their economic and commercial short-sightedness, have closed their eyes to the main perpetrators of terrorism in America," he said, in what seems as a reference to Saudi Arabia, a close ally of US and Iran's regional adversary.

Tehran accuses Saudi Arabia of sponsoring terrorist groups, an accusation that Riyadh denies.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have further strained following the decision of some Arab countries to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically, sparking what has been deemed as one of the worst Gulf crises in recent years. Iran – along with Turkey – backs Qatar.

ibtimes.co.uk/iran-will-take-reciprocal-action-us-muslim-travel-ban-block-partly-lifted-1628144

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Iranian Parliament Speaker: No need for presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan

June 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iranian Parliament Speaker said there is no need for presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan since Afghan people are fully capable of fighting the terrorists.

Ali Larijani made the remarks in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, on the sidelines of the second annual Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries' Parliaments in Seoul on Tuesday, adding that the presence of foreign military forces on Afghanistan soil under the pretext of fighting terrorism has hindered the country’s progress.

He also stressed that Iran would spare no efforts in helping Afghanistan in combating terrorism.

Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, for his part, said his country is seeking an appropriate solution for eradication of terrorism so that the flames of this scourge would not spread to neighboring countries.

In a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart SardarAyazSadiq, Larijani called on Pakistan to protect his borders against the crossing of terrorists into Iran more closely, saying Iran expects the Pakistani government and army to safeguard shared borders with Iran more seriously.

SardarSadiq, for his part, invited Larijani to take part in a meeting on judicial security, energy security and fighting terrorism to be hosted by Pakistan with participation of representatives from China, Turkey, Russia and Afghanistan.

The Iranian parliamentary official also held a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, saying cooperation between the two countries had entered a new phase.

OgtayAsadov, for his part, stressed that Iran and the Republic pf Azerbaijan support each other’s positions in international meetings.

The 2nd annual Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries' Parliaments opened in South Korean capital Seoul on Monday and will wrap up on Wednesday. Parliamentary leaders from 25 Asian and European countries will discuss ways for further cooperation for Eurasian prosperity during the three-day conference.

en.abna24.com/news/iran/iranian-parliament-speaker-no-need-for-presence-of-foreign-troops-in-afghanistan_839263.html

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Iran’s Supreme Leader to Muslims: ‘Fight Against the Zionist Regime is Obligatory’

28 Jun 201711

The Algemeiner reports: Iran’s rulers sounded a uniformly hard line against Israel and the Sunni Arab allies of the US in messages released in honor of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Just four days after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s Al-Quds Day message urging Muslims to direct “hatred towards the occupying and usurping regime (Israel),” the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared — in remarks carried by the Islamist regime’s official media — that “the fight against the Zionist regime is obligatory for the Muslim world.”

Without mentioning specific countries by name, Khamenei denounced Sunni Arab states for failing to resist US attempts to divide Shia and Sunni Muslims. “Unfortunately, some Muslim leaders neglect these hostilities,” he said.

breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/06/28/irans-supreme-leader-muslims-fight-zionist-regime-obligatory/

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Iran: US Playing with Fire by Unwise Moves in Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani on Wednesday warned the US to avoid unilateral moves against international laws and Syria's national sovereignty, and said Washington is playing with fire.

"Raising unfounded allegations against Syria again shows that the US continues its scenario to cover up the terrorist front's repeated failures and confront the Syrian army's decisive advances," Shamkhani said in reaction to the recent US threats against Syria.

Stressing the need for the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons to scrutinize the US allegations against Syria, he called on Washington to provide the OPCW inspectors with information to be verified impartially.

Shamkhani reminded the US illegal aggression against Syria's al-Shayrat airbase under the pretext of the Damascus use of chemical weapons, and said Iran and Russia had called for sending an international fact-finding delegation to study Washington's allegations but the US blocked the move.

He warned of the US unilateral moves against the international laws and Syria's national sovereignty, saying that "the US unwise and adventuresome behavior in Syria is an instance of playing with fire" and the military scene in the country will make the US stop its continued unilateral aggression against Syria after receiving the reaction.

In relevant remarks today, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the White House warning of new chemical attacks allegedly planned by the Syrian government is unsubstantiated and a complication of reconciliation processes.

"These speculations are not backed up by anything. No one is putting forward any facts," Gatilov said.

He said it would be unacceptable "if the goal is to aggravate tensions."

"This complicates the negotiation process, negatively affects the efforts being made in Astana and Geneva," the Russian diplomat said.

Russia warns the United States not to act unilaterally in Syria, Deputy Foreign Minister GennadiyGatilov told Sputnik, underscoring that its troops are not threatened by the Syrian government forces.

"We have always spoken about this, including with regard to their latest attacks on the Syrian armed forces," Gatilov said when asked whether Moscow warns Washington against unilateral steps in Syria.

He stressed that "there is no threat to US specialists from the Syrian armed forces, therefore these actions are provocative in nature."

The press service of the White House claimed that Syrian President Bashar Assad is allegedly preparing a new chemical attack, and promised that if it is implemented, the Syrian authorities will "pay a heavy price".

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960407001087

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India

Indian Mujahideen operative behind recruiter Yusuf al-Hindi's online identity, reveals Islamic State sympathiser

28 2017

#Amzadkhan#Indianmujahideen#Islamic-state#Mohammadsajid#Newstracker#Nia#Shafiarmar#Yusuf-al-hindi

One of the two recruiters behind the mysterious Islamic State online identity, Yusuf al-Hindi, could have been Mohammad Sajid aka BadaSajid, an Indian Express report has revealed.

The report quoted sources as saying that an Islamic State sympathiser, Amzad Khan, had indicated to his interrogators that Sajid was behind the online identity – while identifying al-Hindi's photograph.

Sajid, as per the report, was a part of the Indian Mujahideen module before fleeing to Pakistan after a crackdown in 2008. It is believed that he and Karnataka-born ShafiArmar went on to Afghanistan and Syria from there.

Mujahideen. Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Armar, the fugitive chief recruiter for the Islamic State in the Indian subcontinent was recently named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US, becoming the first Indian leader of the dreaded terror outfit against whom America has slammed sanctions.

Armar was said to have left for Pakistan along with his elder brother after the crackdown. After a fight with Bhatkal brothers, including Riyaz, the founder of Indian Mujahideen, in Pakistan, Armar is believed to have created Ansarul-Tawhid, which later pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State.

There have been many reports of him having died in a drone attack or crackdown by the allied forces. However, every time intelligence agencies began giving credence to such reports, his name or voice cropped up in intercepts.

Armar and Sajid, as per the report, had radicalised several Indians online using al-Hindi's identity. "It is possible that after Sajid’s death, Armar has been handling the account," sources told Indian Express.

According to the sources quoted by the report, Khan told interrogators: "In the beginning, Yusuf had set a photo taken from his back as his profile picture (on his Telegram account). By the end of December 2015, he changed it to one taken from the front."

"I came in contact with Yusuf in June-July, 2015, and wanted to go for hijra (migration)… There was Bhatkali written on his Telegram user ID… Yusuf informed me that he belonged to Bhatkal, Karnataka. Yusuf also informed that he along with his brothers migrated to Afghanistan and joined Taliban. After some time, they shifted to Iraq-Syria after they had some dispute with the Taliban. Yusuf informed that he was at Raqqa in Syria," Khan told interrogators.

Sajid was named by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as one of the perpetrators of the Indian Mujahideen bombings of 2008, that killed at least 166 people and injured hundreds in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

Who is Yusuf Al-Hindi?

Al-Hindi is a common surname that is given or taken by Indian Muslims who join the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq and it is done for identification purposes. Hailing from the port town of Bhatkal in Karnataka, Yusuf al-Hindi was a former Indian Mujahideen terrorist.

Wanted in previous cases related to the Indian Mujahideen, Armar allegedly told MudabbirMustaq Sheikh, who along with 13 others, was arrested by the NIA in January, that he is an ally of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph of the captured territory in Syria and Iraq and the dreaded chief of Islamic State.

Khan, who pointed the agencies towards Sajid, was arrested by the NIA after he was deported from Saudi Arabia, in connection with its probe into activities of the West Asia-based terror group and its affiliates in the country.

In a statement, the NIA had said that Khan, who operated online with a number of aliases was arrested after his deportation on 4 April.

The 37-year-old Khan, a resident of Rajasthan, had emerged as a major suspect in the case against unknown and unidentified persons involved in Islamic State-related activities in countries at peace with India.

With inputs from agencies

firstpost.com/india/indian-mujahideen-operative-behind-recruiter-yusuf-al-hindis-online-identity-reveals-islamic-state-sympathiser-3753589.html

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MHA Not To Seek Report On Attacks On Muslim Men In Jha'nd, Haryana

Wed, 28 Jun 2017

In a departure from the past, the Centre will not seek any report from Haryana and Jharkhand where two Muslim men were thrashed in separate incidents, leading to the death of one of them and critically injuring the other.

A home ministry spokesperson said normal law and order issues are handled by the state governments and the central government has no role in it.

"A report is sought only when the incident has wider ramifications or has an internal security angle and the central paramilitary force has to be provided to the state government. So far, no report has been sought from Haryana and Jharkhand governments," the spokesperson said.

The BJP is in power at the Centre as well as in Haryana and Jharkhand.

While a Muslim teen was stabbed to death and two of his brothers were injured by a group of people near Ballabhgarh in Haryana onboard a train on June 22, a mob attacked a Muslim man on suspicion that he slaughtered a cow after allegedly finding the carcass of the animal near his house in Giridih district in Jharkhand.

In 2015, when one Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched by a mob at Dadri, the home ministry had sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government and also asked the state government to ensure that no such incident took place in future.

In April this year, the home ministry had sought a report from the Rajasthan government after a dairy farmer was lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar.

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

dnaindia.com/india/report-mha-not-to-seek-report-on-attacks-on-muslim-men-in-jha-nd-har-2486498

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Kin Tied to Tree, Beaten up After Dalit Youth Elopes With Muslim Girl

June 28, 2017

Bijapur: In yet another shocking incident, a Dalit youth from Sindagi taluk here was, along with his father, tied to a tree and beaten up by members of a Muslim family.

Bijapur police have registered a complaint under SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. The incident happened three days ago but has come to forefront now after videos of the beating circulated on social media and messaging applications.

According to locals, trouble began after Ningappa, a Dalit youth, eloped with a Muslim girl from the neighbourhood. Soon, the girl’s family went looking for Ningappa’s father Mareppa, post which they tied him to a tree and beat him up for allegedly encouraging his son to elope with the girl. When Ningappa’s younger brother tried to intervene, he was also tied by the girl’s family and beaten up. The incident was witnessed by several villagers who recorded the episode on their phones. The videos soon started circulating on various mediums.

Police officials told News18 that the victims were initially hesitant to file a complaint, but finally did after the cops convinced them to take legal action. The girl’s family, meanwhile, has filed a counter complaint against Ningappa’s family. Police are now trying to verify whether the girl is a minor.

news18.com/news/india/kin-tied-to-tree-beaten-up-after-dalit-youth-elopes-with-muslim-girl-1446025.html

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Venkaiah Naidu condemns lynching of Muslim teen on-board train

Prakash Kumar, NEW DELHI, DH News Service Jun 28 2017, 19:18 IST

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday condemned the recent lynching of a Muslim boy on board to a Mathura-bound passenger train, describing the incident as “brutal and atrocious.”

He also said that action must be taken against the culprits.

"Any incident of such nature is condemnable. It is brutal, atrocious. It will not be acceptable at all. People who are responsible for the same should be identified and dealt very firmly," he told reporters here.

16-year-old Junaid was stabbed to death by a group of some 15 men on board to a Delhi-Mathura passenger train last week after an argument over vacating seats. Junaid along with three other boys was returning home after shopping for Eid in Delhi when the incident took place.

The perpetrators, who boarded the train at Okhla railway station and entered into an argument with Junaid over vacating seats and began thrashing him and his friends, reportedly called them as “anti-nationals, beef eaters and traitors,” before one of the assailants took out a knife and stabbed Junaid at Asavati railway station in Haryana.

“No body can take law into their hands whatever may be the reason. I hope the concerned local agencies conduct an inquiry and take appropriate action," Naidu said.

Meanwhile, the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Haryana claimed to have arrested four persons in connection with the case.

“One of them is 50-year old Delhi government employee,” a multimedia news agency quoted GRP's Superintendent of Police (SP) Kamal Deep as saying in Haryana.

The officer also claimed to have got some leads on the person who attacked Junaid with a knife on the moving train last week.

deccanherald.com/content/619691/venkaiah-naidu-condemns-lynching-muslim.html

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Four more including 50-yr-old arrested for lynching of Muslim teen Junaid

28th June 2017

CHANDIGARH: Four persons, including a 50-year-old man, were arrested today in connection with the stabbing of a Muslim teen onboard a Mathura-bound train, an incident which had led to led nation-wide outrage.

With the fresh arrests, the total number of accused persons held in the case has risen to five, the police said even though the man who had stabbed 17-year-old Junaid is still at large.

"We have arrested four more persons, including three youths, who are aged between 24-30 years and one 50-year-old man," KamaldeepGoel, the Superintendent of Police (SP), Government Railway Police (GRP), Faridabad, told PTI over the phone.

The sequence of events which led to the killing of the 17-year-old has also become clear to a large extent, he said.

According to Goel, it was the 50-year-old man arrested today who had entered into an altercation with Junaid and his brothers over seat sharing.

"Our investigations show that this man entered into an argument with the victim and his brothers from Okhla over seat sharing. He passed some remarks hurting the victims' religious sentiments. However the quarrel escalated after three youth, who had boarded the train at New Town Faridabad, also entered the fight," the SP said.

Asked if the person who had stabbed Junaid had been arrested, the Goel replied in the negative but added that the police had "got crucial leads and he too will be in custody soon".

Junaid was stabbed to death while his brothers - Hashim and Sakir - were injured by a mob which allegedly hurled slurs against them onboard the Delhi-Mathura passenger train between Ballabgarh and Mathura stations last Thursday night.

Junaid's body was dumped near Asaoti village in Faridabad district.

The killing was widely condemned. On Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had condemned the incident and appealed to the people to maintain peace.

Union Information and Broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today that any incident of such nature is condemnable, brutal and atrocious.

The police had announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for credible information leading to the arrest of the accused persons.

The one accused who was arrested earlier and remanded to judicial custody by a court in Faridabad district, had earlier, while speaking to reporters alleged that he was in an inebriated state and had attacked the teenager on being instigated by fellow passengers.

newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jun/28/four-more-including-50-yr-old-arrested-for-lynching-of-muslim-teen-junaid-1621865.html

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Rohingya Muslim refugees provided with Aadhaar, but demand for driving licence unheard

Wed, 28 Jun 2017

Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are doing odd jobs including rag picking for livelihood.

None would believe Mohammed Yusuf and Abdul Shakoor are rag pickers. They are among 94 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar living near Chennai after fleeing their home land in 2012 amid deadly sectarian violence that had displaced tens of thousands of their community members.

Neatly dressed and, clean shaven, the duo present a picture of contrast to the squalor all around their dwelling unit, a ramshackle government-run cyclone shelter at Kelambakkam on the city outskirts. The refugees belong to 19 families comprising 47 children, 25 women and 22 men.

Thankful to the government for providing them shelter, the refugees, many of whom are doing odd jobs including rag picking for livelihood, are looking for better accommodation and gainful employment. Besides, the men folk say they could get job as truck drivers if the government granted them driving licence. The refugees live in a ground plus one shelter known as 'round building' locally indicating its circular shape.

They have apportioned the space in the shelter for each of the family by turning clothes as "walls," albeit in a messy fashion with things strewn around with flies swarming everywhere. Each family has a traditional earthen kitchen on the open ground where they use twigs and fire wood.

While six families live on ground floor, eight are on the first floor and five have put up shacks on open ground around the building. Electricity bill is borne by the government and water is available too. Mild-dark complexioned and several of them wheatish, one would believe they are local Tamils but for their distinctive language 'Rohingya',with a liberal mix of Urdu and Hindi.

Yusuf recounts the pain of leaving their homeland when violence and rioting escalated in 2012. "My sister was arrested and is still in jail there and several were dead in clashes and we decided to flee to Bangladesh, fearing for our lives," he said.

Recalling the ardous journey to Bangladesh by boat and from there to a West Bengal border hamlet, he says their group of 94 moved on to Kolkata,later boarded a train to Chennai. All along their journey, they had to give handsome money to 'dalals, (brokers), he says. "We arrived in Tamil Nadu in 2012 and were roaming here and there, doing odd jobs," he says,adding their "tryst with nomadic life" ended when police caught them by the end of 2014.

"Police and local officials brought us here. The only condition that was imposed on us was we should not associate ourselves with local politics or political parties," he says.

Before they arrived at the cyclone shelter, they had stayed put at several neighbourhoods in coastal Kancheepuram like Tiruporur. Profusely thanking the government for giving them a 'pucca building,' Syed Alam, a butcher in a local meat outlet says we request the government to give us better accommodation, since this place has just two toilets and cramped." While Syed Alam is seconded by all others, Shakoor says several men have one more request, which is a driving licence.

He says if they get a driving licence they could find employment as truck drivers, "a job which has good demand." On the requests of Rohingyas, a senior State government official said that it may take some time to respond in view of norms involved in respect of refugees. Interestingly, several of the menfolk were fishers back in Myanmar.

Yusuf and Shakoor had to take to rag picking as they had little else to do when they arrived here. They and others do several odd jobs apart from rag picking. Pointing to fish carts known locally as meen body vandi parked around the building, they say they ferry construction material, rubble or whatever 'cargo,' comes their way.

Located right on the arterial Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road, close to the Information Technology corridor on the OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), the shelter is bang opposite the local Government Primary Health Centre where the refugees go in case they were ill. "If needed, the hospital sends the patients in ambulances to district hospital for better care, there is worry on the healthcare front," Yusuf and others say.

On what vocation they had pursued while back in Myanmar, Yusuf says he used to do 'trading of wares,' while several were labourers, small traders, and others were fishermen.

Praising the local Tamils as a very helpful and caring lot, he says 'we are also able to do Namaaz here properly unlike back home" and points to a makeshift hut abutting the shelter which is 'our mosque.'

The local masjid and Muslims are lending a helping hand to them. Hafiz Usman, a 23-year old youth is the 'Maulvi,' who teaches the Koran,besides Arabic and Urdu to the children. He stays put in the shelter and also takes care of our children whenever needed. We pay him a honorarium plus grocery, Shakoor says.

On communicating in the local language Usman says, we are picking up words like Akka (sister), Anna (brother) and trying to learn Tamil." Yusuf and others pitch in saying 'our children who go to balwadi and local school are quite conversant in Tamil." Womenfolk, too shy to talk and busy with daily chores thanked local officials and UNHCR for helping them get 'Aadhaar' cards.

However, a section of them are yet to get Aadhaar though they have registered seeking it. The refugees who hail from regions including Maungdan in Myanmar, have registered with the Foreigners Registration Office (Police Superintendent), in Kancheepuram and have a Residential Permit issued by the authorities.

M Ponnusamy, among a local 'Anna (brother),' who helps the refugees says they are good people who work hard to make a living. He said "some NGOs, and philanthropists are also helping them. Years ago there used to be Sri Lankan Tamils, now Rohingyas are here."

dnaindia.com/india/report-rohingyas-in-tn-picking-up-pieces-rebuilding-lives-2486086

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North America

US government websites hacked with pro-Islamic State rant

27 June, 2017 01:00

Topics Donald Trump Hack IS Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich US government websites

US government websites hacked with pro-Islamic State rant

A message posted on the website of Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich after the hack said: 'You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.' Picture by Jeff Schrier/The Saginaw News via Associated Press

US government websites have been hacked with a message supporting the Islamic State terrorist group.

A message posted on the website of Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich said: "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries."

The message, left by "Team System DZ", ended: "I love the Islamic state."

The same message infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland.

The group has claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.

Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Casino Control Commission.

Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio's Department of Administrative Services, was among officials who confirmed the hack.

"All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites," he said. "We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened."

The hack is part of ongoing cyber-terrorism that has impacted governments and corporations across the globe.

Some see these types of hacks - sometimes called "defacement" - as simply a nuisance, though in some instances, they have been disruptive to work and government life.

But others see cause for alarm. "Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland," Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and a Republican candidate for US Senate, said in a tweet on Sunday.

Authors of the website Cryptosphere, which tracks hackers worldwide, have detailed dozens, if not hundreds, of similar attacks in recent years by Team System DZ, which they called a "pro-ISIS hacker crew" based in Algeria.

Impacted websites, they said, have included those for a synagogue in Florida, the student union at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, UK Rugby and a number of sites on Wordpress.

irishnews.com/news/worldnews/2017/06/27/news/us-government-websites-hacked-with-pro-islamic-state-rant-1067567/

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Hate Crime Charge Filed in Arson of Texas Mosque

June 28, 2017

A 25-year-old Texas man, who expressed a fear and dislike of Muslims on social media, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Corpus Christi on federal hate crimes charges related to the fiery destruction of a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January

Marq Vincent Perez was indicted last week on charges of destruction of religious property, which is a federal hate crime, along with companion counts alleging arson and illegal possession of a destructive device.

He has been in custody since his arrest March 3 on charges of possessing an incendiary device, stemming from a separate incident involving the fire-bombing of a car.

At a detention hearing six days later, a federal firearms agent testified that a confidential informant admitted burglarizing the mosque on Jan. 22 and again on Jan. 28 with Perez, and identified Perez as the arsonist.

Fire engulfs the Islamic Center of Victoria, Texas: Alleged arsonist Marq Vincent Perez will be arraigned on federal hate crime charges this Friday. (Barclay Fernandez/AP IMAGES)

Items stolen in those burglaries, along with firearms, explosive devices and a bullet-proof vest were recovered when federal agents searched the Perez’s home, the agent testified.

The Jan. 28 fire caused estimated $500,000 damage and destroyed the Victoria Islamic Center, in the community 125 miles southwest of Houston.

“Intentionally defacing, damaging or destroying a religious house of worship, such as a mosque, here is a federal crime, a crime that is intolerable in a free and open society of the type that we live in,” Abe Martinez, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said last week at a press conference where the new hate crime charge was detailed.

“This indictment should send notice to violators that such crimes will not be tolerated,” Martinez said, the Victoria Advocate reported.

The federal prosecutor wouldn’t elaborate on whether others may have been involved in the hate-crime arson, but the indictment says Perez “aided, abetted and assisted others known and unknown to the grand jury” in committing the alleged crime.

If convicted, Perez faces a maximum of 40 years in a federal prison and $750,000 in fines.

Immediately after the fire, a gofundme.com account was set up to help the congregation rebuild the mosque, which was not insured.

In just of a matter of days, the online fundraising received more than $1.1 million, and mosque members received another $300,000 in mailed checks, the Victoria newspaper reported.

Ground-breaking for a new mosque in Victoria took place on May 29.   

splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/06/28/hate-crime-charge-filed-arson-texas-mosque

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Declare Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism: US lawmaker

PTI | Updated: Jun 27, 2017, 11.11 PM IST

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration should cut off military aid to Pakistan, declare it a "state sponsor of terrorism" and revoke its non-NATO ally status, a top American lawmaker has said.

"Quit giving them military aid. Quit giving them money. Designate them as a state sponsor of terrorism, and remove Pakistan's status as major non-NATO ally to the US," Congressman Ted Poe said on the floor of the US House of Representatives last week.

In his speech, Poe said, "There needs to be consequences for this long history, that most Americans are not aware of, where Pakistan says one thing and, does something else."

"Those consequences need to come down to get attention. The longest war in American history continues today, and it is a war supposedly against terrorism," he said.

"There is a laundry list of evidence of Pakistan's support for terrorist groups, and I think a little more history is in order because this activity by Pakistan has been going on for years and has been below the radar," Poe said.

Poe alleged that since 1990, Pakistan has been supporting terrorist groups in Kashmir like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in its proxy war with India.

These terror groups, he said, have carried out attacks inside India, such as the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

"Since the 1990s, Pakistan has allowed these terrorist groups to openly raise funds in the country," he said.

Beginning in the 1990s, Pakistan provided training, advisers, intelligence, and material support for the Afghan Taliban, a specific terrorist group that operates in Afghanistan based in Pakistan, he said.

Last week, a bipartisan bill seeking to revoke Pakistan's status as major non-NATO ally to the US was introduced in the House of Representatives by Republican Congressman Poe and Democratic lawmaker Rick Nolan.

The legislation calls for revoking MNNA status of Pakistan, which was granted to it in 2004 by the then president, George Bush, in an effort to get the country to help the US fight al-Qaida and the Taliban.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/declare-pakistan-state-sponsor-of-terrorism-us-lawmaker/articleshow/59341483.cms

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The Supreme Court’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Decision Is Terrifying

By MahaHilal, June 28, 2017

I’m a U.S. citizen. I’m also Muslim. And the Supreme Court decision on the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban scares me.

In a June 26 ruling, the court decided to leave in place parts of the Muslim ban while the merits of the case are debated, effectively barring individuals from six Muslim-majority countries without a “bona fide” relationship in the U.S. — say, with family members, an employer, or an educational institution — into the country. This decision may also prevent entry for all refugees for 120 days.

The ruling has been hailed as a victory for the Trump administration — not just on the legal end, but also in the degree to which it instills fear in Muslims. The fear is real, and not just for those who may be directly impacted, but for the larger community, too. After all, what the travel ban is ultimately meant to do is to hold all Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of a (miniscule) few.

As a Muslim American of Egyptian descent, will I be legally impacted by the decision? In theory, no. But will I think twice about leaving the country, knowing that I could return to the possibility of being harassed, interrogated, and/or denied entry back into the U.S.? Absolutely. Because after almost 16 years of the war on terror, you come to learn — or become conditioned to fear — that one day you could be next.

The distinction between citizen and non-citizen becomes ever more perilous when you “look Muslim,” have a Muslim sounding name, or work on issues relating to Muslims. This doesn’t mean I’ll experience the same consequences as Muslim non-citizens, but neither does my citizenship reassure me that my fellow Muslim Americans and I will be protected, especially in light of this administration’s history over the last few months alone.

And that’s exactly the intent of policies like these — they target some while causing others to reel back in fear that they too will be impacted. They generate enough fear to make anyone with any relationship with a targeted group censor themselves and modify their behavior. The government wins not only because of whom it targets directly, but because of who else becomes an indirect target.

These are precarious times for Muslims. And while we’re told to trust in our democracy and our judicial system, decisions like these — which come on the heels of a long history of discriminatory, racist, and Islamophobic policies under several administrations — magnify the legitimate fear that one will either be targeted by state violence or become a target of societal violence.

Worryingly, not a single judge dissented from the unsigned Supreme Court ruling — and in fact, three conservative judges, including the newly seated Neil Gorsuch, concurred that they would’ve gone even further and implemented the ban in full. So we know to expect that yet again, the highest law of the land is in favor of institutionalizing Islamophobia. Where then do Muslims turn for reprieve?

As a Muslim American, I’m tired of explaining my fear. I’m tired of pointing out how negatively the war on terror has impacted by community, and I’m tired of being treated as a means to a security end.

I’m tired of explaining the legacy of the war on terror and the fact that under the Bush administration, security policies that began by targeting non-citizens ended up, through a long and thoroughly calculated process, targeting citizens as well — something that also continued under Obama, who spied broadly on ordinary people’s communications and even ordered lethal drone strikes on U.S. citizens.

I’m tired because I know this isn’t the end, but the beginning of a new war on terror — one whose thinly veiled racist manifestations have become explicit.

The Muslim ban means that Muslims will be in the spotlight even more and viewed almost exclusively as national security pawns. Non-citizens, of course, stand to lose the most. But let’s remember what the war on terror has always been designed to do: demonize all Muslims — citizens or not — to justify the most egregious, abusive, and racist laws and policies.

I don’t know what’s yet to come, and I’m afraid to find out.

MahaHilal, Ph.D., is the Michael Ratner Middle East fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. She’s also a steering committee member of DC Justice for Muslims Coalition, an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a board member of the DC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

fpif.org/the-supreme-courts-muslim-ban-decision-is-terrifying/

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Pakistan

China defends Pakistan, says it is at frontlines of anti-terror fight

PTI | Updated: Jun 28, 2017

BEIJING: A day after India and the US asked Pakistan to stop cross-border terror, China on Wednesday put up a strong defence of its 'all-weather' ally, saying Islamabad was at the frontlines of the fight against terrorism.

"China thinks that the international cooperation against terrorism should be enhanced and stepped up. The international community should give full recognition and affirmation to Pakistan's efforts in this regard," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters here.

His remarks came in response to the India-US joint statement issued after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

"We have to say Pakistan stands at the frontlines of the international counter-terrorism fight and has been making efforts in this regard," Lu said in response to the statement in which India and the US had asked Islamabad to ensure that its soil is not used for cross-border terror.

The joint statement issued yesterday after Modi-Trump meeting had also called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks.

Modi and Trump also vowed to strengthen efforts to fight terrorism and eliminate safe havens for terrorists.

Ahead of the Modi-Trump meeting, the US State Department had set the tone for the summit by declaring Syed Salahuddin, chief of Kashmiri terror outfit HizbulMujahideen, as a 'global terrorist'.

The State Department's action had sent out a strong message against the terrorism emanating from the country which is hurting India.

During their meeting, Modi and Trump had had also "committed to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from groups including al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), D-Company (led by underworld don and terror mastermind Dawood Ibrahim), and their affiliates."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/china-defends-pak-says-it-is-at-frontlines-of-anti-terror-fight/articleshow/59352616.cms

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Islam’s peace message highlighted at Pakistan’s Eid party at UN HQ

 

UNITED NATIONS: Underscoring Islam’s message of peace, a top UN official vowed to overcome the ongoing extremism,

hatred, violence and conflict in some parts of the world by working together.

Speaking at a largely-attended Eid-ul-Fitr reception hosted by Pakistani Ambassador MaleehaLodhi at United Nations Headquarters in New York, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed deplored the biased media portrayal of Islam in some countries, saying Muslims are in fact the main victims of conflicts around the world.

The Islamic values of compassion, charity and purity of spirit were universal values that bind the whole human family and were

also the basis of the U.N. Charter, Ms. Mohammed said. “They are values that we hold dear and try to practice not only during Ramadan but every day of our lives,” she told ambassadors, senior diplomats, U.N. officials, members of  the Pakistani community and representatives of international news media attending the reception.

Ambassador Lodhi, who welcomed the guests, said that the month of Ramadan is a time for prayers, abstinence and reflection

when Muslims re-affirm their duty to each other and to those who are less fortunate. It is the first time that the Pakistan Mission held the ‘Eid Milan’ party in the U.N. building where the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, was the chief guest.

At the request of Ambassador Lodhi, the guests observed a one-minute silence in remembrance of those who lost their

lives in the recent tragedies in Pakistan. Thomson, who hails from Fiji, wished “Eid Mubarak” to the distinguished guests and then delighted the Pakistanis among them when he hailed Pakistan’s victory in the ICC cricket championship at the Oval.

“Congratulations Pakistan! World champions!!” he said, as loud applause rang out.

The Pakistani envoy welcomed the guests in the space reserved for the reception that was adorned by portraits of the Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal as well as a reminder that Pakistan is candidate for a seat on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. Ms. Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general, used the occasion to highlight Islamic values and to voice her disappointment at

the negative portrayal of Islam.

“It is particularly painful to all of us when the name of our beloved religion is misused in ways that are direct anti-thesis of the values we cherish,” she said. “We see this happening every day, in conflict zones in the Middle East, in Africa including my own country, Nigeria; in Europe, in the United States, and all over the world. But we will never allow those who commit crimes in the name of Islam, to distract us from our dedication to our faith and to the well-being of our fellow men and women.

“This has been a difficult Ramadan. Hundreds of lives– mainly Muslims — have been lost in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Nigeria, in

the UK and elsewhere, As Muslims, we feel these losses very personally and painfully. Many of us may wonder how we reached

this point.” Ms. Mohammed added, “Muslims are the main victims of the violent conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and the Lake Chad Basin. But those who flee war, have lost family, friends and homes, may face discrimination and even abuse when they arrive in what they hoped were places of safety. They may be mistakenly identified with the violence and hatred if those who drove them away,”

She emphasised that the response to this double tragedy must be that of peace and doing no harm. “Our message, the message of the United Nations, is that we will overcome extremism, hatred, violence and conflict by working together, by showing compassion and generosity to each other, and and by nurturing and cherishing the true spirit and values of Islam.”

pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/06/28/islams-peace-message-highlighted-at-pakistans-eid-party-at-un-hq/

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Protest against Shia killings in Pakistan continues for 6th day

June 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Members of the Shia community in Pakistan's northwestern city of Parachinar have continued their sit-in protest for the sixth consecutive day after twin terror attacks killed at least 75 people and injured over 300 there on Friday.

Pakistani media reports said the relatives of the victims continued the protest action on Wednesday.

Business centers across the violence-hit city have been closed down since the attacks.

Local administration official Basir Khan Wazir said officials were trying to negotiate with the protesters.

Dozens of protesters on Monday offered their Eid prayers wearing black armbands in Parachinar, the capital of Kurram Agency, a mainly Shia area in the tribal belt. The protesters say the government has failed to provide security in the country.

Muzamil Hussain, an activist from Parachinar, earlier accused the government of failing to protect Muslims across the region.

“We have been a constant target of the Taliban but the government has always failed us,” media outlets quoted the activist as saying, adding, “I don't understand how can someone drive a bomb-laden vehicle through all the check posts of the military and other paramilitary troops and reach here, it simply isn't logical, and this is what we are protesting against.”

At least 75 people were killed and more than 300 injured in two subsequent blasts that rocked a densely populated area of Parachinar. The blasts took place three minutes from each other.

The Parachinar blasts were the deadliest in a series of militant attacks across Pakistan on Friday that unnerved citizens ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Friday's assaults brought the town's loss of life due to terror attacks up to 115, more than any city in Pakistan has suffered so far this year.

The area was the site of the first major attack in Pakistan in 2017, when a bomb killed 24 people in January.

Taliban militants and its affiliated groups have been active around Parachinar in the past and targeted Shia Muslims.

A notorious terrorist group known as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) then claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorist group, which has been involved in several attacks on Shia Muslims in recent years, is largely funded by Saudi Arabia. It has claimed responsibility for some of the most brazen attacks on the Shia community in Pakistan's recent history, including a January 2013 bombing in Quetta, where over 100 members of the Hazara community were killed.

Data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal shows more than 2,600 Shia Muslims have been killed in militant attacks since 2002 across Pakistan. Shia advocacy groups, however, say the figures could be much higher.

Shias make up about one third of Pakistan's population of nearly 200 million.

Critics blame the Pakistani government and some elements within intelligence services for unwillingness to protect Shia Muslims and moderate Sunnis across the violence-wracked country.

International organizations and rights groups have urged the Pakistani government to take decisive action against the forces involved in the targeted killings.

Security has been a main issue for the Shias as thousands of them have been killed as a result of militancy and hate attacks over the past decade.

Opposition leader Imran Khan recently criticized Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not meeting mourners of terrorist attacks in Parachinar.

Several politicians and activists have urged Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to visit Parachinar in order to meet the bereaved.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/protest-against-shia-killings-in-pakistan-continues-for-6th-day_839283.html

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In Pakistan, scorching Ramadan month highlights chronic water, power shortages

June 28

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — On May 27, in the date-growing desert town of Turbat in Baluchistan province, the temperature reached 128.3 degrees — the hottest ever reported in Pakistan.

What followed was a month of intense heat and humidity nationwide coinciding with Ramadan, the Muslim period of fasting and prayer that ended Sunday. Every day, millions of sweltering Pakistanis struggled to forgo food and water from sunrise to sunset, then roused themselves before dawn to wash, pray, cook and eat.

The Ramadan ordeal has brought into sharp relief the chronic water and power shortages plaguing this arid, Muslim-majority country of 180 million. In cities, families had to fill jugs and bottles from public taps at 3 a.m. In villages, long daily electrical outages stopped fans from whirring and tube wells from pumping water to irrigate parched fields.

As the month dragged on, people lost patience. Violent protests broke out from the vast port city of Karachi to the hilly tribal region of Malakand. Electric company offices were looted, police stations attacked, roads blocked. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the electricity cuts shortened to several hours a day, but everyone knew that the move was only a temporary appeasement.

“Here I am, filling bottles while my kids wait in the car, because the water at home is not fit to drink,” fumed Shahadat Ali, 40, a printer lugging containers from a water station in the capital last week.

 Families take turns filling containers at a public water station in Islamabad, Pakistan, where many neighborhoods faced water and power shortages during an exceptionally hot month of Ramadan. (Pamela Constable/The Washington Post)

“This should not be happening,” Ali said as sweat poured down his face. “It’s all because of politics and mismanagement. It’s a disgrace.”

In a village of wheat and peanut fields 40 miles west of the capital, Rafiq Mohammed rested on a string bed in 97-degree heat, cooling his water buffaloes under a shade tree. The farmer said he was used to a hard life with hot summers. But he, too, said he was angry at the Sharif government, which won election in 2013 promising to end the power shortages but has struggled to fulfill that pledge.

“In our house, we can only use one fan and one light,” said Mohammed, 52. “We need the tube wells, but we can’t run them without power. Even when there is no power at all, we still get big bills we can’t afford to pay. The authorities come to get our votes, but after that they disappear.”

For years, Pakistan, an impoverished, mostly agricultural country with a fast-growing population, has faced a protracted problem of how to supply its farms, factories and urban households with water and power. But despite increasing public clamor and official investment, the shortages persist and are predicted to worsen.

[Pakistan’s prime minister narrowly avoids ouster in court ruling over corruption claims]

The Sharif government can hardly be accused of ignoring the power issue. He vowed to make the problem a top priority, having inherited a system in shambles — with massive thefts of electricity, power plants operating far below capacity and a huge built-up debt to oil companies and other creditors. 

Soon after taking office, Sharif ordered finance officials to repay the power debt of $480 million. Since then, he has focused on generating new power sources. Every few weeks, he appears on TV newscasts, inaugurating a new coal- or gas-fired plant. Many are being built in partnership with China, Pakistan’s major foreign investor.

But critics say the government has focused too narrowly on such high-profile projects, while failing to grapple with festering problems such as antiquated infrastructure and consumer theft via illegal hookups. They also note that power blackouts tend to be worse in rural areas, in part because cities have more influence.

“On the surface, it looks like there is not enough power, but the root issues are governance and mismanagement,” said AsadUmer, a legislator in the opposition Movement for Justice party who has led public protests on the problem. He said that the power debt has already crept back up to its 2013 level. “The market is not regulated and investors are offered huge rates of return,” he said. “But if you can’t run the state efficiently, you can’t pass on the cost to the consumer.”

During a debate in the national legislature after the protests erupted, the minister for water and power, Asif Khawaja, complained that 89 percent of electricity was being stolen. He was met with cries of “thief, thief,” and an opposition lawmaker retorted, “billions of rupees are taken from the people but no electricity is given, yet the people are called thieves.”

[Pakistanis protest fuel shortages, criticize Sharif as they suffer through frigid winter]

Pakistan’s water problem runs much deeper, and has far more potential to devastate the country. Unlike power, water is a finite resource, highly vulnerable to global warming. Pakistan’s access to it depends partly on rivers from India, a hostile neighbor, and regionally on Himalayan glaciers that are beginning to melt. By midcentury, experts predict, the country could run out of water entirely.

Many Pakistanis blame India for using dams to divert river water that, under a treaty signed in the 1960s, should be flowing into Pakistan. India has fought three wars with Pakistan, and people are concerned that the water dispute will intensify under its Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an ardent Hindu nationalist.

Yet according to experts, much of the water problem stems from domestic negligence and faulty policies.

Pakistan has five large dams and hundreds of small ones, with more planned or being built. But many are poorly maintained, and decrepit pipes leak millions of gallons. Fields are heavily flooded rather than using drip-irrigation, wasting water and ruining the soil. River water has been diverted to cities and mountain water has been pumped uphill at great cost.

“We blame India, but we can’t manage our own water,” said Arshad Abbasi, a water specialist at the Pakistan Institute of Sustainable Development. The water crisis, he said, “is really a crisis of bad governance and poor management. The politicians want to build big visible projects, but nobody sees the pipes and underground problems that are deteriorating by the day.”

Even in the capital, where affluent homes are equipped with generators and rains from the nearby Margalla Hills frequently drench the streets, the water and power crisis during Ramadan was hard to miss. In the suburbs, people complained of waiting hours for lights to come on, and of standing in long lines to fill bottles at night.

“This problem has been going on for years. If the leaders are sincere, they can solve it easily,” said BedarHussaini, 49, a pediatrician who was filling plastic jugs at a suburban water station. He said that enduring a hot Ramadan without water was frustrating, but that the future worries him more.

“We have had times when India wanted to go to war with us, but if they try to take our water, or if we run out of it, that will be worse than war,” he said. “If the water stops, there will be no crops, and people will die.”

washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-pakistan-scorching-ramadan-month-highlights-chronic-water-power-shortages/2017/06/27/074a20a4-576d-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html?utm_term=.761b00137944

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South Asia

Ata Mohammad Noor, Mohaqiq, and Gen. Dostum meet in Turkey

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jun 28 2017

The provincial governor of northern Balkh province and chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor has met with the first vice president General Abdul Rashid Dostum in Turkey.

The chief of staff of the first vice president Enayatullah Babur Farahmand said Noor has visited Turkey to attend the engagement ceremony of BaturDostum, the son of the first vice president.

He said the second deputy chief executive Mohammad Mohaqiq has also visited Ankara and met with the vice president.

A close ally of Gen. Dostum Bashir Ahmad Tahyanja had earlier said that important news, positive and effective steps will be shared with the people in the near future.

This comes as the leaders of Jamiat-e-Islami and Junbish Millie parties have stepped up efforts to boost political cooperation in the aftermath of the latest political and security upheavals in the country, particularly after the deadly bombings and violence in capital Kabul.

BaturDostum, the son of the First Vice President General Abdul Rashid who currently leads the Junbish Millie party has met Ata Mohammad Noor, the provincial governor of Balkh and Chief Executive of Jamiat-e-Islami for at least two times since capital Kabul was hit by a series of deadly bombings and political tensions.

Noor has said the two sides have emphasized on boosting political ties besides holding talks on the current situation of the country as well as the situation of the Northern provinces.

The meetings between the Junbish Millie and JamiatIslami parties takes place despite major rivalries existed between the two parties in the past and in some cases some deadly clashes have also taken place between the commanders of the two parties, particularly in northern provinces of the country.

khaama.com/ata-mohammad-noor-mohaqiq-and-gen-dostum-meet-in-turkey-03029

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Airstrike in Helmand leaves 6 militants dead and 4 others wounded

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jun 28 2017

At least six insurgents were killed in an airstrike in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Wednesday.

The airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of MosaQala district, MoD said, adding that four insurgents were also wounded in the airstrike.

The Ministry of Defense further added that a local leader of the insurgents was also among those killed.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Helmand is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

The growing violence including a deadly car bombing in Lashkargah city last week, forced the government leadership to implement reforms in the security sector.

The ministry of interior officials said Tuesday that the provincial police chief and commander of the 505th Bost zone of the police forces have been replaced with an aim to improve security and bring further reforms in the security sector of the province.

khaama.com/airstrike-in-helmand-leaves-6-militants-dead-and-4-others-wounded-03028

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Afghan government’s optimisms on Gen. Dunford’s visit to Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jun 28 2017

The Afghan government has welcomed the visit by the United States chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, calling it a major gesture to reflect Washington’s effort for assessing its regional strategy. (Photo: Resolute Support Mission)

The Office of the President of Afghanistan, ARG Palace, said President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and thanked him for the US enduring commitment to Afghanistan.

“The visit by Gen. Dunford reflects the comprehensive assessment of the United States for its regional strategy,” a statement by ARG palace said.

Gen. Dunford arrived in Afghanistan on Monday amid reports that the visit takes place as the President Donald Trump’s administration is busy in preparing its strategy for Afghanistan and the region.

This comes as the Afghan and US officials are focusing to expand bilateral political and economic cooperation in the framework of the new bilateral cooperation between the two countries, according to office of the national security council of Afghanistan.

The Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) in a statement said last Thursday that Afghanistan’s national security adviser and his US counterpart General Herbert McMaster discussed the current situation through a video conference on Wednesday evening.

The statement further added that the two sides held talks regarding the political and security situation of the country and the region.

The two sides also reached to some agreements in this regard, the statement said, adding that Mr. Atmar his American counterpart discussed the framework of the new political and security cooperation between the two countries, the statement said, adding that Gen. McMaster has said the negotiations will continue so that necessary support can be utilized to Afghanistan in a bid to help with the stability and peace in the country.

khaama.com/afghan-governments-optimisms-on-gen-dunfords-visit-to-afghanistan-03032

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NATO defense ministers to discuss future troops level in Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jun 28 2017

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministerial will kick off in Brussels on Thursday as the alliance expects to discuss the future troops level and mission in Afghanistan.

The NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told reporters during a press conference ahead of the meeting that “Defence ministers will also discuss the path forward in Afghanistan, including future troop levels.”

Stoltenberg further added “We will close the ministerial with a meeting on Afghanistan. Where our Resolute Support Mission helps ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorism.”

The NATO chief said the alliance has no plans to engage in combat missions in Afghanistan.

He said the alliance will focus mainly on the training, advise, and assist mission within the framework of the Resolute Support mission.

 In other parts of his speech, Stoltenberg announced that defence spending across the Alliance is expected to grow by 4.3% in 2017.

“That is three consecutive years of accelerating defence spending. This means, over the last three years, European Allies and Canada spent almost 46 billion US dollars more on defence,” he said.

He also added that NATO is now fully integrated into the information-sharing and decision-making structures of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

“We have already stepped up our support with more flight-time and information sharing by our AWACS surveillance aircraft,” said Mr. Stoltenberg. At NATO Headquarters, a new Hybrid Branch and a Terrorism Intelligence Cell are operational and NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller will coordinate the Alliance’s anti-terrorism efforts.

khaama.com/nato-defense-ministers-to-discuss-future-troops-level-in-afghanistan-03030

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Changes in Helmand security command amid deteriorating security situation

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Jun 28 2017

The Afghan government has brought changes in the security command of Helmand, a relatively volatile province in southern Afghanistan which witnessed a deadly attack last week, leaving scores of people dead.

The changes in the security command includes appointment of General Ghulam DaudTarakhel as the commander of the 505th police zone of Helmand and appointment of General Abdul Ghafar Safi as the police chief of Helmand.

Senior deputy interior minister for security General Murad Ali Murad said the changes were made on the recommendations of the ministry of interior and approval of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Speaking during a gathering for the introduction of the new security chiefs, Gen. Murad said the changes were made based on the ongoing efforts by the government bring reforms in the security sector of the country.

Gen. Murad further added that reforms will be brought in the security sector in all 33 provinces of the country.

He also thanked General Aqa Noor Kintoz for his services as the Hemand police chief and the acting commander of the 505th Bost zone General Mohammad Rahim Chakhansuri.

khaama.com/changes-in-helmand-security-command-amid-deteriorating-security-situation-03027

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Europe

Six 'with links to Islamic State' arrested in raids across Europe

Jun 28, 2017

The arrests, organised by Spanish police in conjunction with police in Germany and Britain, detained four people in Palma de Mallorca, one in Britain and one in Germany, the ministry said.

The police forces from the different countries co-operated using European Union agencies set up to help share information related to fighting crime within member states - Europol, Eurojust and Sirene, the ministry said.

Those arrested devised and circulated videos with violent content and organised secret weekly meetings to recruit young people to travel to conflict zones to fight.

The arrests were organised by Spanish police in conjunction with police in Germany and Britain

The police investigation began in 2015 after discovering a web page with a series of videos showing the indoctrination, capture and journey to Syria of a young Muslim resident in Spain.

The producer of the films, an ultra-conservative Salafi imam, was arrested in Britain as part of the operation. He was already under surveillance by several European countries, the ministry said.

2016 has been an unforgettable year so far, terror attacks have occurred in the hundreds, both reported and unreported. We take a look at the acts of terrorism so far in 2016

A woman prays in front of the house of Father Jacques Hamel on July 27, 2016 in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where the priest was killed the day before in the latest of a string of attacks against Western targets claimed by or blamed on the Islamic State

Police officers escort suspect Satoshi Uematsu on July 27, 2016 in Sagamihara, Japan. A man who claimed he wanted to kill disabled people left at least 19 dead and 26 others injured after a knife attack at a care facility in Sagamihara, Japan

He recently travelled to the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca where he met the four arrested in Spain, urging them to capture and indoctrinate others, the ministry said. The man arrested in Germany had contact with the others and had taken part in recruitment videos made by the group.

Since Spain raised the security alert to level 4, the second highest, in June 2015, Spanish police have arrested 178 people accused of links to Islamist militancy.

express.co.uk/news/world/822198/six-terror-arrests-links-ISIS-across-Europe-Spain-Germany-UK

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Russia warns US against any unilateral action on Syria

June 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Russia has cautioned the US against any unilateral action in Syria after Washington claimed Damascus may be preparing for a chemical attack.

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov assured that Syrian army troops pose no threat to US forces, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

He also denounced US attacks on Syrian armed forces, saying “these actions are provocative in nature.”

Earlier this month, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22, which was conducting an operation against Daesh militants on the outskirts of the city of Raqqah.

On two occasions in June and May, US warplanes targeted Syrian military forces near the town of At-Tanf, claiming they posed a threat to US forces, an allegation rejected by Damascus.

Elsewhere in his comments, Gatilov said the US statements accusing the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack would hinder the intra-Syrian talks.

“These speculations are not backed up by anything. No one is putting forward any facts,” he said.

The US statements are unacceptable, he said, adding, “This complicates the negotiation process, negatively affects the efforts being made in Astana and Geneva.”

Earlier this week, a statement by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US had “identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack” by the Syrian government, noting that it would “pay a heavy price” if such an assault took place.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis further said that Washington had seen “activity” at Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs Province that “indicated active preparations for chemical weapons use.”

Washington claimed that the air base had been used by Syria to conduct an alleged gas attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib Province on April 4.

Using the incident as a pretext, the US carried out cruise missile strikes against Shayrat airfield on April 7.

Additionally, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said the US administration had issued a warning to Syria over a possible chemical weapons attack after seeing preparations similar to those in April.

On Tuesday, President President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed the US warning on a chemical attack plan, saying "such threats to Syria's legitimate leaders are unacceptable."

en.abna24.com/news/europe/russia-warns-us-against-any-unilateral-action-on-syria_839258.html

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No Koran distribution in Zurich after all

JUN 28, 2017

The planned distribution of Koranic literature by an Islamic group will not be taking place in Zurich, city authorities have said. The application to do so has been withdrawn.

On Tuesday, Zurich city officials announced that they had given the green light to an applicant to distribute the material on July 1. This put them at odds with the canton of Zurich, which two months ago recommended banning such campaigns.

In a statementexternal link on Wednesday, the city of Zurich's security department said that the applicant had informed the authorities of his decision on Wednesday morning, after having met with all those involved.

"They have decided to postpone the street campaign until further notice," the statement said.

"The applicant wrote that he recognised that the city of Zurich had upheld religious freedom, even under public pressure. For this reason, as well it being important to them to keep the social peace, they will not be distributing the Koran."

Canton of Zurich's recommendation

In May, cantonal justice authorities recommended banning the distribution of Korans by a Salafist group called “Die Wahre Religion” (“True Religion”), believing them to be involved in a campaign of extremist recruitment.

Officials had reacted with incomprehension to the city's decision to give the initial go-ahead on Tuesday. 

The cantonal justice office recommended the ban due to various criminal investigations opened by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) against the group, as well as a ban and police raid of the group in Germany last year.

The OAG suspects that “True Religion” – founded by Gaza-born, German Salafist Ibrahim Abou-Nagie – could be guilty of participating in or supporting a criminal organisation.

Following the raids on the group in Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said the “True Religion” group had persuaded about 140 people to join militants in Iraq and Syria.

Zurich city authorities had argued that there was no concrete proof or decisions pending against the people running the campaign called “Lies!” (meaning “Read!” in English).

swissinfo.ch with agencies/dos, ilj

swissinfo.ch/eng/spreading-the-faith_city-and-canton-cross-wires-in-zurich-koran-debate/43291886

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Australia

Islamic State: Australian troops could soon fight extremists in Asia, US Marine Corps general says

 

The commander of more than 80,000 US marines in the Pacific is urging Australia to join operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in South-East Asia.

Lieutenant General David Berger is visiting Australia to check on readiness for the Talisman Sabre military exercises off the Queensland and Northern Territory coasts.

He told the ABC the "movement of violent extremist organisations" was a "very real problem" for countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Hawaii-based commanding general of US Marine Corps Forces Pacific said he expected Australian forces could soon join American personnel fighting Islamic extremists in this region.

"Both of us have a long history of being an expeditionary force when needed, so we begin from a common point I think and we've operated alongside for 100 years," General Berger said.

"Regionally where you're looking for stability, where you're looking to reassure other countries that there will be a strong enough force in the region to deter bad behaviour, I think absolutely yes — we would go where asked."

The visiting US general warned that Australia's neighbours would need assistance if they were to successfully stop the threat posed by IS-inspired militants.

"I think the potential for it to spread is there, we should not underestimate it," he cautioned.

"It's a different kind of a threat than North Korea but it's also a threat that moves in order to survive — it doesn't own a state so it's mobile.

"Absolutely it should be of very much concern to countries in the region — including Australia and the US."

Last week the Australian Government announced RAAF spy planes would soon start flying over the southern Philippines to help fight against IS-affiliated groups.

In September, Australia's foreign spy agency chief warned Islamic extremism in South-East Asia, particularly in the southern Philippines was a growing national security concern.

"In Australia's backyard in South-East Asia there are now ISIL affiliates — in Indonesia , in the southern Philippines," Australian Security Intelligence Service boss Nick Warner told a panel discussion in Washington, using another acronym for IS.

abc.net.au/news/2017-06-29/us-marines-general-says-australian-troops-could-fight-is-in-asia/8660982

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bin-salman-orders-royal-guards-to-keep-ex-crown-prince-under-house-arrest/d/111699

 

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