New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 03:50 PM

Islamic World News ( 5 Aug 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Bomb Explodes At Minnesota Mosque during Morning Prayers; FBI Terrorism Task Force Investigating









Photos: Blast at Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington

 

Ban Cow Slaughter across India, Says Chief Cleric of the All India Imam Organisation

Civilians Were Detained At ISIS Prison, Then Killed In Airstrike

16,500 Kgs of Explosives Seized From a Pakistan Trailer Truck in Kabul

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North America

Bomb Explodes At Minnesota Mosque during Morning Prayers; FBI Terrorism Task Force Investigating

Trump Administration Criticize Pakistan for Selective Fight against Terror Groups

Are break-ins at Redlands mosque simply transients — or something more?

-----------

India

Ban Cow Slaughter across India, Says Chief Cleric of the All India Imam Organisation

UP ATS Arrests Bangladesh-Linked Terror Suspect from Muzaffarnagar

Three arrested for attack on Amarnath yatris: IGP Kashmir Munir Khan

Malappuram: Sunni Muslim faction holds women’s meet

Muslims join hands for Hindu neighbour’s funeral

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Arab World

Civilians Were Detained At ISIS Prison, Then Killed In Airstrike

Syria Army Seizes Last Islamic State-Held Town in Homs, Says Monitor

Saudi FM to Syrian Dissidents: Assad to Remain in Power

UAE Attempting to Fully Control Yemen's Oil, Gas Fields in Shabwa Province

Senior ISIL Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in DeirEzzur

Lebanese Army Wins back Several Heights from Terrorists at Border with Syria

Syrian Army Captures Al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs

Iraqi army brings down Islamic State-guided drone in Tal Afar

Turkey-Backed Militants Attacking Kurds' Positions in Northern Syria

Damascus: Syrian Army Equipped with Modern Anti-Aircraft System

Lebanese Army to Launch Imminent Anti-ISIL Operation at Border with Syria

Deputy Top Commander Underlines Iran's Response to Hostile Moves in Persian Gulf

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South Asia

16,500 Kgs of Explosives Seized From a Pakistan Trailer Truck in Kabul

ISIS Claims Several Taliban Insurgents Killed, Wounded In Ghor Clashes

Afghanistan Civil Aviation to get new radar system worth €24 million

Taliban suffer casualties as Afghan forces repulse their coordinated attack in Nangarhar

Hekmatyar slams senior officials for anti-govt coalition and embezzlement of billions of dollars

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Southeast Asia

Uighur Muslims Accuse China of Cultural Genocide

What Turns A Hong Kong Maid Towards Islamic State?

Rosmah Wants More Islamic Scholars Created Under 'PermataInsan' Program

Myanmar government probe clears security forces of abuse charges against Rohingya Muslims

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Europe

From Chechnya to Syria, Putin Wrestles With the Forces of Islam

Terrorist Threat in France Remains Very High: Interior Minister

Venue in Manchester to host anti-Islam book launch

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Pakistan

Did Nawaz Sharif Sideline His Brother Shahbaz From Pakistan PM Post?

First Hindu in Pak govt in over two decades

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Mideast

Israel Seeks To Ban Al-Jazeera

Hezbollah says will join fight on Islamic State on Lebanese border

Faisal Islamic Bank earmarks 70 mln Egyptian pounds for tech upgrade

4 killed as Iranian soldier opens fire at air base

Abbas pledges further sanctions on Gaza

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Africa

Muslim-Majority African Countries Send Ambassadors To Israel For First Time

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bomb-explodes-at-minnesota-mosque-during-morning-prayers;-fbi-terrorism-task-force-investigating/d/112105

 

Bomb Explodes At Minnesota Mosque during Morning Prayers; FBI Terrorism Task Force Investigating

BY JASON LE MIERE ON 8/5/17

Police are investigating after a bomb went off Saturday at a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, just as worshippers were gathering for early morning prayers. The explosion was reported at 5.05 a.m. at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, when around 15 to 20 people were gathered for prayer, according to the Star Tribune.

Related: Is the U.S. Turning Its Back on the Muslim Community in Its Fight Against Extremism?

Nobody was injured, but Asad Zaman, the executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota told CBS Minnesota that the imam’s window was broken as a possible fire bomb was thrown inside. The building also suffered fire and smoke damage.

Daily Emails and Alerts - Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox

Mohamed Omar, executive director of the mosque, said that one worshipper witnessed a pickup truck speeding out of the parking lot. He added that the sense of shock in the community was palpable.

“It was 5 a.m.,” Omar told the Star Tribune. “The whole neighborhood was calm. People were supposed to be sleeping, that’s how peaceful this should be. I was shocked to learn this happened.”

Omar added that the center had received numerous threatening phone calls and emails in the past.

“[It’s usually] people talking about us, telling us, accusing us that we shouldn’t be here, that we are like a burden to the community or we are like harming it,” he said.

Police initially said it was too early to call the incident a hate crime. However, the FBI, including members of the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, were quickly on the scene at the building. It was later reported that the FBI had taken over the investigation.

JUST IN: Bloomington PD telling us FBI taking over investigation into explosion at Al Farooq Islamic Center. @KARE11

Zaman said that it was clear that there was now an “Islamophobic tendency that has been fairly pronounced [in] recent memory.”

In a tweet, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar showed support for the state’s Islamic community.

“So glad no one injured & we stand with our MN Muslim community today,” she wrote.

So glad no one injured & we stand with our MN Muslim community today. Blast rocks Islamic center in Bloomington t.co/UJwkzKnEki

Minnesota has been among the nation’s top states for refugee resettlement, including more Somalis than in any other state. There were three separate attacks or acts of vandalism committed against mosques in the state in 2016. Nationwide, the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims saw a steep rise in 2015 and a further surge has been reported in 2016.

Source: newsweek.com/bloomington-mosque-bomb-muslim-attack-minnesota-646974

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Ban Cow Slaughter across India, Says Chief Cleric of the All India Imam Organisation

August 06, 2017

INDORE:  Demanding a nationwide ban on cow slaughter, chief imam or cleric of the All India Imam Organisation (AIIO) Umer Ahmed Ilyasi on Saturday said that cow should be declared as a "national animal".

He also said that religious sentiments of a group towards cow should be respected.

"Beef is openly consumed in Kerala, Goa and north-eastern states, whereas there is a ban on it in some states. We want that there should be a uniform law in the country that will ban the slaughter of cows. Besides that, cow should be declared as a national animal," Mr Ilyasi told reporters in Indore.

"Cow is a matter of faith for a religious group and all other communities should respect it," he added.

He, however, condemned the recent mob fury and lynchings over the suspicion of carrying/consuming beef, and said that taking the law into one's hands was not good.

Talking about Bihar Minority Welfare Minister Khurshid alias Feroz Ahmad chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' in the state assembly premises recently, Mr Ilyasi said, "Chanting or not chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' is a matter of personal faith. But I believe that 'Bharat mataki jai' or 'Jai Sri Ram' chants are acclamation of their victories," he said.

"I don't find anything wrong in someone's glorification. We should come out of such petty mindset," he added. He said the controversial Ram temple issue should be resolved through a dialogue between the members of Hindu and Muslim communities as has been suggested by the top court. The imams and priests should be engaged in these dialogues as well, he said.

To a query on the practice of 'triple Talaq', he said that it could not be overlooked that women have faced injustice. "Instead of going for Talaq, the society needs to strengthen the bonds of nikah," he said. To press his point, he said that imams had met in Delhi and advocated for incorporating an interlocutor in nikahnama (Muslim marriage contract) to iron out differences between husband and wife.

ndtv.com/india-news/ban-cow-slaughter-across-india-says-muslim-cleric-umer-ahmed-ilyasi-1734178

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Civilians were detained at ISIS prison, then killed in airstrike

 

By MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE | Los Angeles Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: August 5, 2017

MANSOURA, Syria — The stench grew unbearable as Abdul Aziz Ali walked closer to the heap of shattered concrete and twisted metal beams that was once a prison. Pulling his scarf over his nose, he pointed out a decomposing leg protruding from the rubble. Perhaps an inmate, or a guard.

“No one recognized him,” said Aziz, a 40-year-old unemployed driver who lives in the neighborhood. “Maybe there are more under here.”

The prison was run by Islamic State militants who controlled this city of 12,000 in eastern Syria. Then on May 27, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, witnesses said, warplanes destroyed it.

People in the town said they didn’t know most of the prisoners, who were often brought from other parts of the country for crimes that included smoking, using God’s name in vain, and wearing beards, pants or abaya gowns too short. Beatings and other forms of torture are common in Islamic State prisons.

“I think 100 percent those people were innocent,” said Abdul Sameh, a 53-year-old sheik.

It is unclear who is responsible for destroying the prison. The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State reported one strike in Mansoura that day, on what it classified as an Islamic State headquarters building, coalition spokesman Col. Joe Scrocca said. It was possible that was the prison strike, he said, but — based on GPS data — unlikely.

He also said that the Syrian government or its Russian allies — also fighting Islamic State — might be to blame, or that the building could have been damaged by something other than an airstrike, such as artillery or an explosion.

Chris Woods, director of the London-based monitoring group Airwars, said circumstantial evidence points to the coalition, including the precision of the attack and reports from witnesses who have been under bombardment for years and have learned to identify aircraft.

Since its campaign to remove Islamic State from Syria and Iraq began in 2014, the coalition has struggled to balance targeting militants and shielding civilians. Prisons, like schools, hospitals and places of worship, are protected sites under the Geneva Convention laying out humanitarian law during wartime. That makes them potential cover for Islamic State.

Airwars has evaluated reports of 12 airstrikes on prisons over the course of the war in which the coalition is suspected — and in eight cases, including Mansoura, determined there is at least “fair” evidence that it was responsible. The group estimates that the 12 strikes killed at least 66 militants — but also at least 164 civilians, many likely held for violating the strict religious codes enforced by Islamic State.

Scrocca dismissed those tallies as “unsubstantiated allegations.”

The coalition makes “extraordinary efforts to protect noncombatants,” he said, and “does not target prisons.”

In some cases cited by Airwars, the buildings targeted were former prisons that no longer held inmates, Scrocca said.

“When a formerly protected site is no longer used for its original purpose and is instead used for a military purpose, it loses its protected status (and) may become a legitimate military target,” he said. “If a former prison building is used as an intelligence headquarters or weapons storage facility, it is no longer a protected site.”

People walk past a mass grave near the site of an airstrike at a school in Mansoura, Syria, on July 6, 2017.

The coalition said that was the case in the Syrian city of Mayadeen, 140 miles east of here. On June 26, the coalition struck what it described as a single-story former prison that Islamic State was using as a military headquarters and intelligence center to interrogate militants “who had broken the terrorist group’s rules.”

The coalition said it was investigating whether civilians were killed in the strike but suggested that was unlikely: “This mission was meticulously planned and executed to reduce the risk of collateral damage and potential harm to noncombatants.”

But at a camp for about 3,000 displaced people north of Mayadeen — which remains under Islamic State control — former residents of the city said in interviews last month that the building was still being used as a prison when it was destroyed.

Hasan Mohamed Hamad, a 68-year-old bricklayer, said he lived near the prison and routinely heard prisoners screaming.

“At night, we couldn’t sleep because of the noise of the people,” he said. “They were torturing them.”

Other former residents said many of the prisoners arrived in blindfolds.

“They were not important people,” said Mohammed Kharbon, a 33-year-old baker who militants once threatened to imprison for showing up late to pray. “They were just prisoners. They were jailed because they were against Islamic State.”

Based on reports from residents, monitoring groups and media, Airwars said multiple strikes at the site that day killed 42 to 100 civilian prisoners, 11 jailed opposition fighters, 15 to 20 Islamic State militants, five women kept as sex slaves and four guards.

Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University and a Pentagon official during the Obama administration, said it would be unusual for the U.S. to target a place where civilians or former combatants might be held.

“The military targeters and the coalition would have to take into account loss of lives of captives within these facilities as part of the strict legal obligation to ensure that any strikes don’t have an excessive loss of life of people who are no longer part of the conflict,” Goodman said.

Human Rights Watch said it was preparing a report calling on the coalition to investigate strikes that killed civilians and take greater precautions.

Mansoura residents were well aware of the prison and did their best to avoid it.

It had once been a house. After Islamic State militants seized control of the area in January 2014, they turned it into what locals called the Bedoui Jail, named after its former owner, who fled to Saudi Arabia.

“Forbidden to enter,” said a sign on the gate.

Residents said the prison was run by a militant named Abu AbaidiTunisi, a local emir named after his native Tunisia who quickly earned a reputation as a strict enforcer of Islamic State rules.

stripes.com/news/middle-east/civilians-were-detained-at-isis-prison-then-killed-in-airstrike-1.481692#.WYa8exWGN1s

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16,500 kgs of explosives seized from a Pakistan trailer truck in Kabul

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

At least 16,500 kilograms of explosives were seized from a Pakistani trailer truck in Kabul city by the Afghan security forces.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said at least five people were also arrested in connection to the transportation of the explosives.

A statement by NDS said the explosives were of Ammonium Nitrate type which are mainly used in suicide bombings and making of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the roadside bombings.

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

This is not the first time the Afghan security forces have seized explosives or Ammonium Nitrate being exported from Pakistan but on numerous other occasions thousands of kilograms of explosives have been discovered and seized in similar operations.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to other insurgent groups frequently use improvised explosive devices as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government personnel but in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are targeted while in some cases the militants are killed in premature explosions.

The new report by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)  highlights that 40 per cent of all civilian casualties during the six-month period were killed or injured by anti-government forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices, which were responsible for the deaths of 596 civilians and injured 1,483.

khaama.com/16500-kgs-of-explosives-seized-from-a-pakistan-trailer-truck-in-kabul-03290

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North America

Bomb Explodes At Minnesota Mosque during Morning Prayers; FBI Terrorism Task Force Investigating

BY JASON LE MIERE ON 8/5/17

Police are investigating after a bomb went off Saturday at a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, just as worshippers were gathering for early morning prayers. The explosion was reported at 5.05 a.m. at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, when around 15 to 20 people were gathered for prayer, according to the Star Tribune.

Related: Is the U.S. Turning Its Back on the Muslim Community in Its Fight Against Extremism?

Nobody was injured, but Asad Zaman, the executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota told CBS Minnesota that the imam’s window was broken as a possible fire bomb was thrown inside. The building also suffered fire and smoke damage.

Daily Emails and Alerts - Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox

Mohamed Omar, executive director of the mosque, said that one worshipper witnessed a pickup truck speeding out of the parking lot. He added that the sense of shock in the community was palpable.

“It was 5 a.m.,” Omar told the Star Tribune. “The whole neighborhood was calm. People were supposed to be sleeping, that’s how peaceful this should be. I was shocked to learn this happened.”

Omar added that the center had received numerous threatening phone calls and emails in the past.

“[It’s usually] people talking about us, telling us, accusing us that we shouldn’t be here, that we are like a burden to the community or we are like harming it,” he said.

Police initially said it was too early to call the incident a hate crime. However, the FBI, including members of the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, were quickly on the scene at the building. It was later reported that the FBI had taken over the investigation.

JUST IN: Bloomington PD telling us FBI taking over investigation into explosion at Al Farooq Islamic Center. @KARE11

Zaman said that it was clear that there was now an “Islamophobic tendency that has been fairly pronounced [in] recent memory.”

In a tweet, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar showed support for the state’s Islamic community.

“So glad no one injured & we stand with our MN Muslim community today,” she wrote.

So glad no one injured & we stand with our MN Muslim community today. Blast rocks Islamic center in Bloomington t.co/UJwkzKnEki

Minnesota has been among the nation’s top states for refugee resettlement, including more Somalis than in any other state. There were three separate attacks or acts of vandalism committed against mosques in the state in 2016. Nationwide, the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims saw a steep rise in 2015 and a further surge has been reported in 2016.

Source: .newsweek.com/bloomington-mosque-bomb-muslim-attack-minnesota-646974

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Trump administration criticize Pakistan for selective fight against terror groups

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

The US President Donald Trump’s administration has once again criticized Pakistan for the selective fight against the terror groups, warning that President Trump will not tolerate support to Taliban or related groups.

In an interview with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, President Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Herbert McMaster said  White House wants to see a “change in behavior” from interested groups in the region, particularly Pakistan. The top aide said that while Pakistan has taken “great losses” fighting the Taliban, they have done so “selectively.”

“This is Pakistan in particular that we want to really see a change in– and a reduction of their support– for– these groups,” he said. “I mean, this is– of course, you know, a very paradoxical situation, right, where Pakistan is taking great losses.”

“They have fought very hard against these groups,” McMaster argued, “but they’ve done so really only selectively.”

He said that Trump is making clear that the U.S. will no longer tolerate any support for the Taliban or related groups.

“The president has also made clear that he, that we need to see a change in behavior of those in the region, which includes those who are providing safe haven and support bases for the Taliban,” McMaster added.

This comes as the United States Department of States released its latest reports regarding terrorism for 2016 last week, providing an overall report regarding the terrorism related upheavals during the year.

The new report by the State Department further strengthens the claims made by the Afghan officials regarding the presence of the safe havens of the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network inside the Pakistani territory.

“Afghanistan, in particular, continued to experience aggressive and coordinated attacks by the Afghan Taliban, including the affiliated Haqqani Network (HQN) and other insurgent and terrorist groups,” the report stated.

The Department of State also added that a number of these attacks were planned and launched from safe havens in Pakistan.

khaama.com/trump-administration-criticize-pakistan-for-selective-fight-against-terror-groups-03292

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Are break-ins at Redlands mosque simply transients — or something more?

August 5, 2017

“We wouldn’t know what to expect,” Dr. Mohammad M. Hossain, the center’s founder, said Friday as the mosque opened to welcome members.

For the past several weeks, when Hossain arrived to open the small center at 11210 Alabama St. he would find the mosque had been vandalized and burglarized the previous night.

On a recent Friday, members even found someone sleeping inside one of the bathrooms.

“The door to the bathroom had been broken into on (July 28), but was not reported at that time,” said Carl Baker, spokesman for the Redlands Police Department. “There was also evidence that someone had unsuccessfully tried to break into a shed on the property, too.”

In one instance, Hossain said someone broke in, ripped the lock off his office door and replaced it with their own lock.

“Can you believe that?” asked RiazBaqai, a member of the mosque. “Dr. Hossain, he called the police and they had to cut off that lock so he could get inside.”

Hossain and Baqai were relieved to find no evidence of a break-in Friday, but reminders of past burglaries remain: The door to the women’s bathroom is still broken, several blankets and paperwork kept inside a closet in the women’s prayer room are shoved in the corner of the religious sanctuary, and the door of the shed is warped at the bottom where someone pried it open.

Redlands police confirmed they were investigating a series of break-ins at the Islamic Center, the most recent taking place July 27.

“In addition to that, they had break-ins on May 5, July 7 and July 14,” Baker said. “In the May 5 break-in money was stolen from a cash box.”

Police and Hossain agree the break-ins can most likely be traced back to transients in the area.

“They have left drinks and food and cigarettes inside here,” Hossain said.

Blankets have been found inside an outdoor shed, Baqai noted. It’s believed people broke in and spent the night.

The frequency of the criminal acts, however, have led Hossain to wonder if the center is being targeted.

“I can’t say why but it feels like maybe we are targets,” he said. “I don’t want to assume and the police, they are investigating, but it makes you think.”

Investigators, though, say the evidence points at transients.

“There is no indication that it is motivated by racial or religious sentiment,” Baker said.

Police and mosque leaders are working together to discuss proactive measures to address the problem.

“We just want to come and pray and not find things messed up,” Hossain said.

Authorities ask anyone with information on the burglaries to call the Redlands Police Department at 909-798-7681.

pe.com/2017/08/05/are-break-ins-at-redlands-mosque-simply-transients-or-something-more/

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India

Ban Cow Slaughter across India, Says Chief Cleric of the All India Imam Organisation

August 06, 2017

INDORE:  Demanding a nationwide ban on cow slaughter, chief imam or cleric of the All India Imam Organisation (AIIO) Umer Ahmed Ilyasi on Saturday said that cow should be declared as a "national animal".

He also said that religious sentiments of a group towards cow should be respected.

"Beef is openly consumed in Kerala, Goa and north-eastern states, whereas there is a ban on it in some states. We want that there should be a uniform law in the country that will ban the slaughter of cows. Besides that, cow should be declared as a national animal," Mr Ilyasi told reporters in Indore.

"Cow is a matter of faith for a religious group and all other communities should respect it," he added.

He, however, condemned the recent mob fury and lynchings over the suspicion of carrying/consuming beef, and said that taking the law into one's hands was not good.

Talking about Bihar Minority Welfare Minister Khurshid alias Feroz Ahmad chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' in the state assembly premises recently, Mr Ilyasi said, "Chanting or not chanting 'Jai Sri Ram' is a matter of personal faith. But I believe that 'Bharat mataki jai' or 'Jai Sri Ram' chants are acclamation of their victories," he said.

"I don't find anything wrong in someone's glorification. We should come out of such petty mindset," he added. He said the controversial Ram temple issue should be resolved through a dialogue between the members of Hindu and Muslim communities as has been suggested by the top court. The imams and priests should be engaged in these dialogues as well, he said.

To a query on the practice of 'triple Talaq', he said that it could not be overlooked that women have faced injustice. "Instead of going for Talaq, the society needs to strengthen the bonds of nikah," he said. To press his point, he said that imams had met in Delhi and advocated for incorporating an interlocutor in nikahnama (Muslim marriage contract) to iron out differences between husband and wife.

ndtv.com/india-news/ban-cow-slaughter-across-india-says-muslim-cleric-umer-ahmed-ilyasi-1734178

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UP ATS arrests Bangladesh-linked terror suspect from Muzaffarnagar

Sandeep Rai | TNN | Updated: Aug 6, 2017

UP ATS arrests Bangladesh-linked terror suspect from Muzaffarnagar

MEERUT: The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorism-Squad (ATS) arrested a terror suspect, Abdullah-Al-Mamon, from Kutesara village in Muzaffarnagar district on early Sunday morning.

According to a statement issued by ATS, "Abdullah is originally a resident of MominShahi district of Bangladesh and was linked to banned terror organisation - 'Ansarullah Bangla Team' (ABT). He was staying in this region since 2011 and frequently travelled to Saharanpur and Deoband in particular. During questioning, he revealed that his main task was to settle the members of ABT in India by providing them with fake Aadhaar IDs and other documents."

Currently, police of three districts - Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli -- are conducting massive search operations under DIG, Saharanpur Range, to nab more sleeping modules active in the region and who are in touch with Abdullah.

Cops also seized fake stamps of village pradhans, district election officer and other administrative authorites to create fake IDs from the arrested suspect.

As per the information provided by TRAC (Terrorism, Research & Analysis Consortium), ABT is an al Qaida-inspired Islamic extremist group in Bangladesh. Its objectives include the radicalization of youth in Bangladesh, inciting active participation in a local jihad and seeking control of areas in Bangladesh. According to website of TRAC, the group uses cyberspace extensively in propagating jihadist ideology and training manuals to guide terror attacks.

Top Comment

ABT also uses mosques in propagating its ideological objectives. On August 12, 2013, Bangladeshi authorities arrested the leader of the ABT, Mufti JasimuddinRahmani, with 30 members from Barguna (south western district in Bangladesh) for inciting jihad at mosques. ABT is a banned organisation.

(Details of the organisation has been taken from trackingterrorism.org)

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/up-ats-arrests-bangladesh-linked-terror-suspect-from-muzaffarnagar/articleshow/59938533.cms

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Three arrested for attack on Amarnathyatris: IGP Kashmir Munir Khan

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Aug 6, 2017

NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after eight Amarnath pilgrims were killed during a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pahalgam area, the state police on Sunday said that they have cracked the case.

"Ismail, a Pakistani terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) along with two other associates and a local Kashmiri terrorist carried out the attack," IGP (Kashmir) Munir Khan said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.

Another terrorist in the group of four had been identified as Yawar, a local recruiter for the LeT, the police said. Efforts are on to identify the other two, believed to be Pakistanis.

The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar.

He also said that the attack was "initially planned for July 9, but that day there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation."

Read this story in Gujarati

Giving details about the attack, the IGP said, "Three locals provided logistical support to the terrorists. All of the accused have been arrested and produced before court, currently under police remand."

"During investigation the accused completely revealed everything about the modus operandi of the terror attack," he said, adding, "They had code word 'Shaukat' for yatri vehicle and 'Bilal' for CRPF vehicle. It was purely a terrorist act."

"There was yatri vehicle that day so they attacked it, had there been CRPF vehicle they would've attacked that, they had planned it."

The the three "co-conspirators"-- Bilal Ahmed Reshi, AizajWagey and Zahoor Ahmed --had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengo near Khanbal as the spot where the attack could be carried out, the IGP said.

The trio had also provided shelter to the four militants in Khudwani and Sriguffwara of south Kashmir , he said.

Bilal's elder brother Adil, an alleged Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist, was killed by security forces earlier this year.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had constituted an SIT led by Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir )Swayam Prakash Pani to probe the attack on the pilgrims.

He further clarified that the attack was "first aimed at the police post in the area but unfortunately bus carrying pilgrims also came under attack."

On being asked about the two LeT terrorists eliminated few days ago, he said, "Their involvement in this particular case is still being investigated."

On July 10, terrorists opened fire at the bus that was carrying a group of pilgrims returning from the AmarnathYatra. Eight pilgrims lost their lives in the attack.

(with PTI inputs)

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/looking-forward-to-serve-the-nation-niti-vc-elect-rajiv-kumar/articleshow/59941076.cms

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Malappuram: Sunni Muslim faction holds women’s meet

Aug 6, 2017

Wafiyyadegree  was conferred on 111 women who completed the five-year course

Malappuram: The largest conservative Sunni Muslim faction in the state organised a women’s conference  for the first time in its history at Valancheri in the district on Saturday. MarkazuTharbiyathulIslamiya, an educational institution under the aegis of Samstha Kerala JamiyathulUlema, the largest Sunni scholars’ body, conducted its first convocation ceremony for women graduates as part of its 30th anniversary celebration. The all-women convocation ceremony was presided over by  SulfatBeeviPanakkad, wife of Muslim League Malappuram district president SadiqaliShihabThangalPanakkad. The other women members of the PanakkadThangal family, which traditionally keeps its women members away from public events,  also attended the event.

Wafiyyadegree  was conferred on 111 women who completed the five-year course, which include Islamic studies along with a recognized university degree, by the Markaz, a member of Cairo-based League of Islamic Universities. “The Markaz launched the special degree for the women five years ago as part of an effort to bring the Sunni women folk to the forefront by giving them quality religious and secular education. The programme has proved that all the women graduates are able to take up leadership roles in the society,” says Abdul Hakeem Faizy,   principal and the architect of the course. The conference conducted by the Sunnis has surprised many in the community as it  is a  conservative faction often dubbed as anti-women in many women-related issues,  including triple talaq.

deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/060817/malappuram-sunni-muslim-faction-holds-womens-meet.html

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Muslims join hands for Hindu neighbour’s funeral

Subhro Maitra | TNN | Aug 6, 2017

MALDA: Muslim residents of Bhabanipur village near Malda's English Bazaar came forward to cremate a Hindu woman, whose two daughters could not afford to arrange a funeral.

Nirmala Rabidas (63) lived with her two daughters, Archana and Tuni, as her husband died 13 years ago and elder daughter Rekha moved to Pukhuria village after marriage. Nirmala supported her family by working as a domestic help and sometimes binding bidi, neighbours said. Her daughters could not continue studies due to poverty.

Nirmala had been suffering from multiple ailments due to old age, including malnourishment, for a long time. She suffered a heart attack on Friday night and died before she could be taken to a hospital. Their neighbours — EnamulMomin, Sharif Momin, KaluSk, AjmalSk, Siraj Ali and others — started collecting money from the locals for her funeral. They managed to collect around Rs 10,000 within a few hours.

"We were aware of the family's condition. They had no source of steady income or a man to conduct the rituals. Nirmala's daughters were helpless," said neighbour Mirza Golam Mostafa.

The neighbours then bought the material required for the final rites and carried the woman's body to the burning ghat from her home, chanting 'bolo hari, haribol'. Later, the rest of the amount was handed over to the family.

District magistrate Koushik Bhattacharya visited the family on Saturday morning and handed over Rs 2,000 under the Samabyathi scheme and assured to provide education to the youngest daughter. "It's an excellent case of communal harmony and we want to uphold such example for others in the state to follow," Bhattacharya said.

However, the neighbours found nothing special in what they did. "We have been living together for years. What kind of humans are we if we can't stand by our neighbours in times of need?" asked Mostafa.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/muslims-join-hands-for-hindu-neighbours-funeral/articleshow/59935228.cms

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Arab World

Civilians were detained at ISIS prison, then killed in airstrike

 

By MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE | Los Angeles Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: August 5, 2017

MANSOURA, Syria — The stench grew unbearable as Abdul Aziz Ali walked closer to the heap of shattered concrete and twisted metal beams that was once a prison. Pulling his scarf over his nose, he pointed out a decomposing leg protruding from the rubble. Perhaps an inmate, or a guard.

“No one recognized him,” said Aziz, a 40-year-old unemployed driver who lives in the neighborhood. “Maybe there are more under here.”

The prison was run by Islamic State militants who controlled this city of 12,000 in eastern Syria. Then on May 27, the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, witnesses said, warplanes destroyed it.

People in the town said they didn’t know most of the prisoners, who were often brought from other parts of the country for crimes that included smoking, using God’s name in vain, and wearing beards, pants or abaya gowns too short. Beatings and other forms of torture are common in Islamic State prisons.

“I think 100 percent those people were innocent,” said Abdul Sameh, a 53-year-old sheik.

It is unclear who is responsible for destroying the prison. The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State reported one strike in Mansoura that day, on what it classified as an Islamic State headquarters building, coalition spokesman Col. Joe Scrocca said. It was possible that was the prison strike, he said, but — based on GPS data — unlikely.

He also said that the Syrian government or its Russian allies — also fighting Islamic State — might be to blame, or that the building could have been damaged by something other than an airstrike, such as artillery or an explosion.

Chris Woods, director of the London-based monitoring group Airwars, said circumstantial evidence points to the coalition, including the precision of the attack and reports from witnesses who have been under bombardment for years and have learned to identify aircraft.

Since its campaign to remove Islamic State from Syria and Iraq began in 2014, the coalition has struggled to balance targeting militants and shielding civilians. Prisons, like schools, hospitals and places of worship, are protected sites under the Geneva Convention laying out humanitarian law during wartime. That makes them potential cover for Islamic State.

Airwars has evaluated reports of 12 airstrikes on prisons over the course of the war in which the coalition is suspected — and in eight cases, including Mansoura, determined there is at least “fair” evidence that it was responsible. The group estimates that the 12 strikes killed at least 66 militants — but also at least 164 civilians, many likely held for violating the strict religious codes enforced by Islamic State.

Scrocca dismissed those tallies as “unsubstantiated allegations.”

The coalition makes “extraordinary efforts to protect noncombatants,” he said, and “does not target prisons.”

In some cases cited by Airwars, the buildings targeted were former prisons that no longer held inmates, Scrocca said.

“When a formerly protected site is no longer used for its original purpose and is instead used for a military purpose, it loses its protected status (and) may become a legitimate military target,” he said. “If a former prison building is used as an intelligence headquarters or weapons storage facility, it is no longer a protected site.”

People walk past a mass grave near the site of an airstrike at a school in Mansoura, Syria, on July 6, 2017.

The coalition said that was the case in the Syrian city of Mayadeen, 140 miles east of here. On June 26, the coalition struck what it described as a single-story former prison that Islamic State was using as a military headquarters and intelligence center to interrogate militants “who had broken the terrorist group’s rules.”

The coalition said it was investigating whether civilians were killed in the strike but suggested that was unlikely: “This mission was meticulously planned and executed to reduce the risk of collateral damage and potential harm to noncombatants.”

But at a camp for about 3,000 displaced people north of Mayadeen — which remains under Islamic State control — former residents of the city said in interviews last month that the building was still being used as a prison when it was destroyed.

Hasan Mohamed Hamad, a 68-year-old bricklayer, said he lived near the prison and routinely heard prisoners screaming.

“At night, we couldn’t sleep because of the noise of the people,” he said. “They were torturing them.”

Other former residents said many of the prisoners arrived in blindfolds.

“They were not important people,” said Mohammed Kharbon, a 33-year-old baker who militants once threatened to imprison for showing up late to pray. “They were just prisoners. They were jailed because they were against Islamic State.”

Based on reports from residents, monitoring groups and media, Airwars said multiple strikes at the site that day killed 42 to 100 civilian prisoners, 11 jailed opposition fighters, 15 to 20 Islamic State militants, five women kept as sex slaves and four guards.

Ryan Goodman, a law professor at New York University and a Pentagon official during the Obama administration, said it would be unusual for the U.S. to target a place where civilians or former combatants might be held.

“The military targeters and the coalition would have to take into account loss of lives of captives within these facilities as part of the strict legal obligation to ensure that any strikes don’t have an excessive loss of life of people who are no longer part of the conflict,” Goodman said.

Human Rights Watch said it was preparing a report calling on the coalition to investigate strikes that killed civilians and take greater precautions.

Mansoura residents were well aware of the prison and did their best to avoid it.

It had once been a house. After Islamic State militants seized control of the area in January 2014, they turned it into what locals called the Bedoui Jail, named after its former owner, who fled to Saudi Arabia.

“Forbidden to enter,” said a sign on the gate.

Residents said the prison was run by a militant named Abu AbaidiTunisi, a local emir named after his native Tunisia who quickly earned a reputation as a strict enforcer of Islamic State rules.

stripes.com/news/middle-east/civilians-were-detained-at-isis-prison-then-killed-in-airstrike-1.481692#.WYa8exWGN1s

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Syria Army Seizes Last Islamic State-Held Town In Homs, Says MonitorBEIRUTSyria Army Seizes Last Islamic State-Held Town In Homs, Says Monitor

 

Syria's army seized the last Islamic State group stronghold in the country's Homs province, clearing their path to attack the jihadists in the country's east, a monitor said.

Al-Sukhna, some 70 kilometres northeast of the famed ancient city of Palmyra, is the last town on the road to the eastern city of DeirEzzor, where a government garrison has held out under IS siege since early 2015.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said government forces had captured the town after heavy army artillery fire and air strikes by government ally Russia.

There was no official confirmation of the capture from Syria's government.

State news agency SANA said the army had surrounded the town from three sides.

Since May, Syria's army has been conducting a broad military campaign with Russian support to recapture the vast desert that separates the capital Damascus from DeirEzzor and other towns along the Euphrates Valley.

Already defeated in its Iraqi bastion of Mosul, IS is facing multiple assaults in Syria.

The US-backed Syrian Defence Forces now control more than half of its most important remaining stronghold Raqa.

outlookindia.com/newswire/story/syria-army-takes-last-islamic-state-held-town-in-homs-says-monitor/972892

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Saudi FM to Syrian Dissidents: Assad to Remain in Power

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has told the Syrian dissidents that President Bashar al-Assad will keep power, the Russian media reported on Sunday.

According to the Arabic website of Russia Today (RT), a senior Syrian dissident source has quoted al-Jubeir as saying in a meeting with a delegation of negotiating dissidents on August 3 that Bashar al-Assad will remain in power.

Meantime, el-Jisser news website affiliated to the dissidents reported that the high delegation of Syrian dissidents negotiating with the government in peace talks has quoted Jubeir as saying that Assad is highly unlikely to step down under the current conditions.

Jubeir told the dissidents' representatives that it would be impossible to get Assad step down power in the first days of the transition stage.

The remarks came after Russia's Ambassador in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin said last month that the UN-led Syria talks have a chance of making progress because demands for the overthrow of President Assad have receded.

Borodavkin said the seventh round of talks, which ended on Friday, had produced positive results, especially a "correction" in the approach of the main opposition delegation, the Saudi-backed High Negotiations Committee.

"The essence of this correction is that during this round the opposition never once demanded the immediate resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and the legitimate Syrian government."

The HNC and its backers in Western and (Persian) Gulf capitals had realized that peace needed to come first, and then political reforms could be negotiated, he said.

"Assad must go" was long the mantra of the HNC and its international backers, a call flatly rejected by Russia, which is widely seen as holding the balance of power in Syria because of its military involvement and alliance with Assad.

But over the past year the opposition suffered military defeats at the hands of forces loyal to Assad, and neither US President Donald Trump nor French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for his immediate removal.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515000808

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UAE Attempting to Fully Control Yemen's Oil, Gas Fields in Shabwa Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The UAE government is attempting to gain full control over the oil and gas fields in Yemen's Shabwa province by sending more forces and mercenaries to the region.

"The UAE has occupied the two towns of Azan and Haban in Shabwa in Eastern Yemen and has dispatched 3,000 forces to Dahar region in the province to take full control over Shabwa oil and gas," Saudi social media activists revealed on Sunday.

Noting that the UAE sends mobs to Yemen to stir chaos in the regions that it wants to occupy, they said the UAE mercenaries don’t dare to approach regions that are controlled by Ansarollah movement like Assilan and Bayhan and they are more active in regions under the control of the tribal and Sunni groups.

In February, a Yemeni economic expert disclosed that Saudi Arabia is stealing his country's crude reserves in bordering regions in collaboration with the French energy giant, Total.

"63% of Yemen's crude production is being stolen by Saudi Arabia in cooperation with Mansour Hadi, the fugitive Yemeni president, and his mercenaries," Mohammad AbdolrahmanSharafeddin told FNA.

"Saudi Arabia has set up an oil base in collaboration with the French Total company in the Southern parts of Kharkhir region near the Saudi border province of Najran and is exploiting oil from the wells in the region," he added.

Sharafeddin said that Riyadh is purchasing arms and weapons with the petro dollars stolen from the Yemeni people and supplies them to its mercenaries to kill the Yemenis.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515001447

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Senior ISIL Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in DeirEzzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Eastern Hama, killing a number of them, including a notorious security commander.

Abu Issa al-Salbawi, a security commander of ISIL in Aqayrabat region, was killed along with a number of militants after their defense lines were stormed by the army men in Eastern Hama.

The army soldiers drove ISIL out of the village of Marina Southeast of the town of Ithriya, leaving a number of terrorists, including al-Salbawi dead.

Local sources said on Saturday that the security commander of ISIL in the strategic town of Aqayrabat was killed by unknown assailants.

The sources reported that Abu Qeis al-Salbawi, the security commander of ISIL in the terrorist-held town of Aqayrabat in Eastern Hama, was killed by unknown attackers along with two of his aides.

In the meantime, the Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL along the oil pipeline East of the town of al-Salamiyah, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and seizing a BMP vehicle.

Also, a military source confirmed that the army men took back the positions lost to the ISIL in areas surrounding the oil pipeline and fortified them.

Meanwhile, the Syrian air force carried out several combat sorties over ISIL's strongholds in the villages of Junb al-Albawi, Abu Hanaya, Salba and Abu Habilat in Eastern Hama, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515001371

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Lebanese Army Wins back Several Heights from Terrorists at Border with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Lebanese Army troops on Sunday stormed ISIL's defense lines in mountainous regions at border with Syria and drove them back from several hills and heights.

The army units, backed up by artillery and missile units' heavy fire, engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Lebanon's border heights with Syria and managed to impose control over the strategic hills of Abu Ali and al-Zalil al-Aqra'a in Ra'asBa'albak heights.

The army also captured al-Najasah hill and al-Zanar hills near WadiShabib region between Arasl and Ra'asBa'albak heights.

The ISIL has reportedly suffered heavy casualties in the operation.

Field sources reported earlier today that the Lebanese Army artillery units and Air Force pounded ISIL's positions in the heights at border with Syria to pave the way for the ground forces to kick off an imminent operation against the terrorists in the region.

The Lebanese army has dispatched more forces and equipment to border heights of al-Qa'a and Ba'albak in the Northeastern parts of the country, the sources said.

The sources said that the army's missile and artillery units along with fighter jets have been continuously targeting ISIL's positions in the hills and positions of Khirbet Davoud, Ra'as al-Kaf, al-Washal, Jabal al-Mokheiramah, Shamis al-Ash and Darb al-Arab in Ra'asBa'albak heights to pave the ground for the army's upcoming operation in the border region.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515001344

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Syrian Army Captures Al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops won the street-battle against ISIL in the key town of al-Sukhnah, imposing full control over the town's neighborhoods, military sources confirmed minutes ago.

The army men pushed ISIL back from the strategic town of al-Sukhnah Northeast of Palmyra city after hours of clashes in the town's neighborhoods.

ISIL has suffered heavy casualties in the operation, the sources added.

They went on to say that the army's engineering units are now defusing landmines and bombs planted by the ISIL in the town's streets and buildings.

In the meantime, the Syrian Air Force has been targeting ISIL positions in the town of Humeimeh and its surrounding areas near the provincial border with DeirEzzur province, inflicting major casualties on the terrorists. 

Reports said earlier today that the army troops engaged in very tough battle with ISIL terrorists in different neighborhoods of the key town of al-Sukhnah and managed to impose control over more positions.

The army men clashed fiercely with ISIL in the last stronghold of the terrorists in Eastern Homs and captured the Western neighborhood of the town.

Also, the army units advanced against ISIL from the Southern flank and seized control over the town's hospital.

Meantime, a military source said that al-Sukhnah is under the army's siege from the South, South-West and South-East, adding that the army men plan to advance towards Bazaar following the capture of the hospital.

The source added that the army has dispatched a large number of forces and a large volume of equipment from Quneitra to al-Sukhnah.

The source went on to say that a large number of ISIL terrorists have been killed or wounded and their military hardware has been destroyed in the battle.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515000944

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Iraqi army brings down Islamic State-guided drone in Tal Afar

Aug 6, 2017

Islamic State uses drones to attack civilians in Mosul.

Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi army downed an Islamic State-guided drone on the borders of Tal Afar town, located west of Mosul, Shafaq News reported.

“Army troops downed a developed IS-guided drone on the borders of Tal Afar,” a security source was quoted saying.

“The drone was equipped with surveillance devices,” the source added.

The group has depended on drones in many attacks to kill civilians and security members since a security campaign was launched against the group in October.

Tal Afar is one of the important strongholds still held by IS in Nineveh since August 2014, when the militants occupied a third of Iraq to proclaim its self-styled “caliphate”. The town has been set as the next target of operations after victory was declared in Mosul on July 10.

On Saturday, the Iraqi Defense Ministry indicated cooperation by civilians in Tal Afar, saying they provide security forces with accurate information on Islamic State fighters.

In July, Iraqi Defense Ministry said a date has been set for the invasion of the town, however, it will not be declared to maintain the secrecy of the intended operations.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi had previously announced that a special plan has been drawn to invade the town.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/iraqi-army-brings-islamic-state-guided-drone-tal-afar/

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Turkey-Backed Militants Attacking Kurds' Positions in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish soldiers have intensified military movements at border with Syria amid attacks by Ankara-backed militants on Kurdish forces' positions in Northern Aleppo, a local media outlet reported.

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Turkish army units have intensified their movements in Barin hill in Jandariseh region.

Hawar news added that the artillery and mortar units of the Turkish army and its affiliated militant groups deployed in Mare'a and Azaz shelled the villages of Marenaz, Bilouniyeh, QastalJandou and Jalbar area in Shirwa region in the town of Afrin.

A news website affiliated to the terrorist groups reported on Sunday that the Turkish Army has dispatched more heavy military equipment to its borderline with Syria's Afrin.

The website reported that the Turkish army has dispatched a large volume of heavy military equipment to the border region with Syria's Afrin North-West of Aleppo province that is controlled by the Kurdish fighters.

According to the report, the Turkish army's Howitzer cannons and tanks entered Kilis region at border with Syria in a military column along with six trucks, adding that the cannons are to de deployed near Afrin region.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515001037

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Damascus: Syrian Army Equipped with Modern Anti-Aircraft System

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Russian media outlet reported on Sunday that the Syrian Army's anti-aircraft units have been recently equipped with a modern system that has reinvigorated security of Damascus' airspace.

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik reported that the Syrian army has been equipped with a modern anti-aircraft system known as Virba shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles to target enemy flying objects in low altitude in Damascus.

The website went on to say that the Virba system is equipped with an automatic control system that can identify flying objects and specify their flight path and altitude.

A guided warhead working with ultra violet ray has been mounted on the missiles of the Virba system that can assist the system to collect more information about the target, the website added.

High sensitivity of the warheads has increased their tracking range up to 6km in length and 4km in height.

Relevant reports said on Wednesday that the Syrian Army was using T-90 Tanks equipped with Chitora-1 Noise System to protect its forces against terrorists' guided missiles.

The Chetora-1 Noise System, mounted on T-90 tanks, enjoys an approximate Automatic Navigating System to protect the tank against guided missiles.

The Chitora-1 system jams laser guided systems of the anti-tank missile via giving them false signals, forcing the missile to divert.

Meantime, the WistinikMordafi website reported that Chitora-1 Noise System has been used in the Syria war for the first time in the Middle East. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515001155

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Lebanese Army to Launch Imminent Anti-ISIL Operation at Border with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Lebanese Army artillery units and Air Force pounded ISIL's positions in the heights at border with Syria to pave the way for the ground forces to kick off an imminent operation against the terrorists in the region, field sources reported on Sunday.

The Lebanese army has dispatched more forces and equipment to border heights of al-Qa'a and Ba'albak in the Northeastern parts of the country, the sources said.

The sources said that the army's missile and artillery units along with fighter jets have been continuously targeting ISIL's positions in the hills and positions of Khirbet Davoud, Ra'as al-Kaf, al-Washal, Jabal al-Mokheiramah, Shamis al-Ash and Darb al-Arab in Ra'asBa'albak heights to pave the ground for the army's upcoming operation in the border region. 

An Arab media outlet reported on Saturday that the Lebanese Army was coordinating with its Syrian counterpart to kick off an imminent joint operation to drive terrorists out of mountainous regions at their shared border.

The Arabic-language al-Hadath news quoted the Lebanese media as saying that direct military coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian military commanders has been carried out to pave the ground for a joint anti-ISIL operation in al-Qa'a heights and Ra'asBa'albak region.

Al-Hadath reported that several meetings were held between the Lebanese and Syrian military officials in recent days, adding that they designed a plan for the operation based on which each army had its own land of operation and responsibilities.

In the meantime, the Lebanese artillery units and Air Force targeted ISIL's positions in Ra'asBa'albak, destroying their command centers and military vehicles.   

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515000725

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Deputy Top Commander Underlines Iran's Response to Hostile Moves in Persian Gulf

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General MassoudJazzayeri underlined that the country would give a tough response to any hostile move made by the foreign vessels in the Persian Gulf region.

"Iran's behavior in the Persian Gulf is fully professional and within the framework of the international laws," General Jazzayeri told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.

"It is obvious that if the international laws as well as the regulations that the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced about the peaceful sail of oil tankers and ships are violated", the Iranian forces will show response, he underlined.

In relevant remarks late last month, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander for political affairs Brigadier General RasoulSanayee Rad warned the US that its naval forces' unprofessional behavior in the Persian Gulf would end up in grave consequences.

"The Americans' moves might be a type individually decided actions and not measures coordinated at the high level; another possibility is that the Americans are after testing our behavior by maneuvering," Sanayee Rad said on July 29 after the US naval forces made "provocative and unprofessional" moves against the IRGC vessels in the Persian Gulf for a second time in a week.

"We caution them to end such provocative and unprofessional moves because they are to account for such deeds," he added.

"The Americans' actions are rather unprofessional behavior shown without any respect for the regional conditions and can have heavy consequences for them and the region," Sanayee Rad warned.

His remarks came after the IRGC Navy's fourth naval zone announced in a statement that the US naval forces have for the second time in a week made a provocative move in the Persian Gulf.

"The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and an accompanying cruiser flew a helicopter and approached the IRGC's vessels on Friday 4pm while they were monitored and traced by the missile-launching frigates of Zolfaqar Naval regiment of the IRGC Navy's fourth zone in Resalat oil-gas region (in the middle parts of the Persian Gulf)," the IRGC Navy said.

It added that the inc

The statement blasted the "Americans' provocative and unprofessional move", and said the IRGC vessels continued their mission in the region after the US warships fired warning flares, forcing the US aircraft carrier and cruiser to leave the region.

The IRGC Navy also said last month that it has frustrated a provocative move by a US navy ship in the Persian Gulf after it allegedly fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel.

"This morning, a US Navy ship in the Northern part of the Persian Gulf sailed towards an IRGC Navy’s patrol ship, which was patrolling in international waters, and fired two shots into the air with the aim of provocation and intimidation," the IRGC said in a statement.

The IRGC Navy’s ship paid no attention to the “provocative and unprofessional” move by the US Navy and continued with its mission, it added.

"After a while, the US Navy ship left the area," the IRGC said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960515000651

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South Asia

16,500 kgs of explosives seized from a Pakistan trailer truck in Kabul

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

At least 16,500 kilograms of explosives were seized from a Pakistani trailer truck in Kabul city by the Afghan security forces.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said at least five people were also arrested in connection to the transportation of the explosives.

A statement by NDS said the explosives were of Ammonium Nitrate type which are mainly used in suicide bombings and making of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the roadside bombings.

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

This is not the first time the Afghan security forces have seized explosives or Ammonium Nitrate being exported from Pakistan but on numerous other occasions thousands of kilograms of explosives have been discovered and seized in similar operations.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to other insurgent groups frequently use improvised explosive devices as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government personnel but in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are targeted while in some cases the militants are killed in premature explosions.

The new report by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)  highlights that 40 per cent of all civilian casualties during the six-month period were killed or injured by anti-government forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices, which were responsible for the deaths of 596 civilians and injured 1,483.

khaama.com/16500-kgs-of-explosives-seized-from-a-pakistan-trailer-truck-in-kabul-03290

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ISIS claims several Taliban insurgents killed, wounded in Ghor clashes

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan, ISIS Khurasan, claims that several Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded during the clashes in northwesternGhor province of Afghanistan.

Calling the group’s fighters as ‘Apostates’ the terror group in a statement said the clashes between the two sides started last week and as a result several Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded.

The statement by the terror group further adds that in the latest attack on Taliban insurgents in Shorkan area of the province resulted into the killing of at least four Taliban insurgents while three others were wounded.

According to ISIS loyalists, the Taliban insurgents had initially launched a coordinated attack on the fighters of the terror group which was repulsed by them.

The Taliban insurgents group has not commented regarding the report so far.

Ghor was among the relatively calm provinces in northwestern parts of the country but he province has started to witness growing instability during the recent years as both the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists attempt to expand their foothold in this province.

The Taliban launched a coordinated attack on security posts of the Afghan security forces in Taywaara district last month and managed to take control of the district for a few days but the Afghan forces reclaim its control after launching a major operation.

khaama.com/isis-claims-several-taliban-insurgents-killed-wounded-in-ghor-clashes-03296

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Afghanistan Civil Aviation to get new radar system worth €24 million

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

The Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority informed regarding the installation of a new radar system in a bid to increase the air control capacity of the civil aviation.

The General Director of the Civil Aviation Authority Mahmood Shah Habibi informed regarding the new plans during a press conference in Kabul today.

He said the new system will be installed with a total cost of 24 million Euros, calling it one of the most modern systems being used in the world.

Habibi further added that the new system will enable the Civil Aviation Authority to control the air in a better way.

According to Habibi, the installation of the new system will pave the way for further investments in the aviation sector and establishment of the new airlines, and reduce the cost by boosting the capacity of the civil aviation authority.

He said the Afghan government has stepped up to increase of the civil aviation authority in control the civil airspace after they took over the responsibility from the NATO-led coalition forces in 2015.

The General Director of the Civil Aviation Authority also added that the annual maintenance cost of the new radar system will be around 9 million Euros.

A ceremony was also organized in ARG Presidential Palace for the signing of the contract for the installation and maintenance of the new system.

khaama.com/afghanistan-civil-aviation-to-get-new-radar-system-worth-e24-million-03295

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Taliban suffer casualties as Afghan forces repulse their coordinated attack in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

The Taliban insurgents suffered casualties after their coordinated attack was repulsed by the Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office in a statement said several Taliban insurgents launched coordinated attack on security check posts in Momand Dara.

The statement further added that Taliban’s attack received a befitting response from the security forces, resulting into the casualties of several Taliban insurgents, including one of their senior leaders.

At least four insurgents were killed during the clashes and six others including their shadow district governor Abdul Aziz were wounded.

The local officials are saying that several foreign insurgents are also among those killed or wounded but the identities of them have not been disclosed.

The officials further added that the security personnel and local residents did not suffer any casualties during the clashes.

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

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

This comes as an anti-ISIS as well as anti-Taliban operation is underway in Nangarhar to eliminate the presence of ISIS affiliates in this province.

The US forces based in Afghanistan are also providing support to the Afghan forces during the operations, mainly involving airstrikes.

khaama.com/taliban-suffer-casualties-as-afghan-forces-repulse-their-coordinated-attack-in-nangarhar-03293

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Hekmatyar slams senior officials for anti-govt coalition and embezzlement of billions of dollars

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 06 2017

The leader of Hezb-e-IslamiGulbuddinHekmatyar once again slammed the senior officials actively working in the government for forming new anti-government political coalitions.

Hekmatyar made the remarks during an interview with the foreign journalists in Kabul.

He said considering the internal situation of Afghanistan and its regional position, a strong central government is always a need along with a president who has full authorities, insisting that without this it would be difficult to ensure peace and bring stability in the country.

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami questioned the current government’s authorities, saying when a president is even prevented from appointing a governor by the internal and external circles, how such a government would be able to eliminate violence and govern on the nation.

Hekmatyar also criticized the senior government officials for the formation of the new political coalitions and expressed concerns regarding the threats, show of power, and rallies by their armed supporters.

He said billions of dollars have been embezzled, banks have been looted, hundreds of acres of land have been grabbed, and the government remains weak to try the perpetrators.

The remarks by Hekmatyar comes as efforts are underway by some key political figures, including General Abdul RashiDostum, Ata Mohammad Noor, and Mohammad Mohaqiq to formally declare the establishment of their new political coalition.

The leaders of the new coalition to be announced are saying that the main aim behind their coalition is to prevent the country from falling into further crisis.

khaama.com/hekmatyar-slams-senior-officials-for-anti-govt-coalition-and-embezzlement-of-billions-of-dollars-03291

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Southeast Asia

Uighur Muslims accuse China of cultural genocide

August 6, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Chinese regional government is being accused of committing a cultural genocide in Muslim-majority northwestern Xinjiang province, after banning schools in the restive region from using Uighur language.

Schools must “insist on fully popularising the national common language and writing system according to law, and add the education of ethnic language under the bilingual education basic principle”, Radio Free Asia reported citing a late June directive issued by the Education Department in Hotan province (Hetian in Chinese), The Independent reported.

The five-point directive said schools must ban the use of Uighur language in “collective activities, public activities and management work of the education system” and “resolutely correct the flawed method of providing Uighur language training to Chinese language teachers”.

When children go back to school in the Autumn, it said that Mandarin “must be resolutely and fully implemented” for the three years of preschool, and then “promoted” from the first years of elementary and middle school “in order to realize the full coverage of the common language and writing system education.”

It also warned that any school which “plays politics” and refuses to implement the edict will be accused of being “two-faced” and shall be “severely punished”.

The national government in Beijing says it is attempting to introduce a “bilingual system” in the region’s schools to facilitate the dual use of both Mandarin and Uighur, but in practice schools in the region are being forced to be monolingual.

Uighur Muslims accused the regional government of breaking China’s own laws on the respect of ethnic minorities.

Under Articles 10 and 37 of the Chinese constitution, ethnic minorities have a right to preserve their own languages and traditions and students are supposed to be able “where possible [to] use textbooks in their own languages and use these languages as a media of instruction”.

The new policy is designed to “eradicate one of the most ancient Turkic languages in the world,” Ilshat Hassan, the president of the US-based Uighur American Association, said.

“By enforcing this new policy at the preschool level, the Chinese government intends to kill the Uighur language at the cradle.

“It is nothing short of cultural genocide. The international community must not allow China to destroy our beautiful language and culture, which has thrived for several millennia.”

Chinese authorities impose restrictions on Uighur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Rights groups accuse Chinese authorities of heavy-handed rule in Xinjiang, including violent police raids on Uighur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uighur people.

China regularly vows to crack down on what it calls the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism in Xinjiang.

But experts outside China say Beijing has exaggerated the threat from Uighur separatists, and that domestic policies are responsible for an upsurge in violence that has left hundreds dead since 2012.

en.abna24.com/news/east-asia/uighur-muslims-accuse-china-of-cultural-genocide_846438.html

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What Turns A Hong Kong Maid Towards Islamic State?

6 AUG 2017

Foreign domestic workers in cities like Hong Kong and Singapore are seen as rich pickings by terror group’s recruiters – loneliness, naivety and exploitation can leave them vulnerable

HeryRamawati, 32, from Indonesia is walking with a friend in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, looking for some shade where they can sit and share a meal. Many of the city’s 156,000 Indonesian domestic helpers come here on Sundays to enjoy what is, for most, their only day off.

Hery and her friend both wear jeans, trainers and a hijab – a headscarf that covers the head and neck, but not the face nor the rest of the body. Ramawati’s hijab is pink, matching her lipstick.

A report last week that about 45 of her fellow migrant workers in Hong Kong had been radicalised and forged ties with the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) left her in shock. “I felt sad when I heard about it. It is so dangerous,” Ramawati said.

“I think there is something wrong with them. God doesn’t want us to do such things. The Muslim religion is about peace, not war.”

Ramawati, who worked in Singapore from 2003 to 2006 before moving to Hong Kong, lamented terrorist attacks in her home country and violence in the Philippines, where fighting between government forces and militants linked to IS in Marawi, Mindanao, has claimed more than 500 lives. She finds it hard to understand why a domestic helper like her would join the jihadist group.

“Maybe because they are alone, and end up meeting boyfriends online,” said Ramawati, who like many others lives apart from her family – her husband and two-year-old son remain in Indonesia.

Lonely and usually young, facing discrimination, isolation and sometimes exploitation in Hong Kong, Indonesian domestic workers have few escapes from the daily grinding chores at their employers’ homes. Many turn to social media to seek the spiritual and emotional solace they are unable to find in the city. Dozens end up coming across jihadis and supporters of IS.

Some helpers become radicalised in a search for acceptance, integration, empowerment and sometimes a better world.

For IS recruiters, Indonesian domestic workers – able to earn in Hong Kong up to four times the salary they would make back home – represent rich pawns to finance terrorist activities, points of contact to wider social networks and even potential suicide bombers less likely to be frisked by authorities.

In December, Indonesian authorities arrested two women they say were planning to become the country’s first female suicide bombers. Dian Yulia Novi was allegedly planning to bomb Jakarta’s presidential palace, and IkaPuspitasari, (alias TasnimaSalsabila) a similar attack in Bali.

Alongside their gruesome intents, one fact stood out in subsequent reports on the pair. Both had been domestic workers – one in Singapore and Taiwan and one in Hong Kong.

Their background intrigued experts as it meant they were earning better salaries abroad than their counterparts at home and could provide better lives for their families.

“We were shocked by the arrest of these two women and we started wondering what their motivations [were],” recalled Nava Nuraniyah, an analyst with the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict and a researcher for last week’s report.

The two arrested last year, who are in prison awaiting sentence, were not unique in having worked abroad as domestic helpers. Nuraniyah met numerous women who had been deported from Turkey to Indonesia after trying to reach Syria. Some of these had also worked as maids in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

Ignoring women jihadis in the ranks of Asia’s Islamic State a fatal mistake

Based on police reports in Indonesia, interviews with deportees and former domestic helpers as well as with community and Muslim groups in Hong Kong, a two-week long visit to the city, news articles and social media accounts, Nuraniyah was able to trace at least 50 radical, female domestic workers in East Asia taking part extremist discussion groups.

Out of these, 43 had worked or were now working in Hong Kong, three in Taiwan and four in Singapore. The real number could be greater, but was probably fewer than 100, she concluded.

The think tank’s figures shocked people in Hong Kong. Many Indonesian domestic helpers and members of the Muslim community have heard rumours about radicalised maids, but few have ever met one.

Experts said the problem can’t be ignored.

“Although it is a small percentage, these are significant numbers. We should take them as serious indicators,” said Greg Barton, chairman of global Islamic politics at Deakin University in Australia. “Their estimates are conservative, so the problem is probably larger than that,” he noted.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation, has about 4.5 million citizens working abroad – most of whom are women. Hong Kong is among the four most popular regions for Indonesian migrants, after Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.

“Because of the larger numbers there are also more opportunities to recruit them,” Barton said.

This also helps IS to keep its social network as wide as possible. “ISIS tries to decentralise everything. The more organic they are, the hardest it is to detect them,” Barton observed, using an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

According to the Australia-based professor, almost all women who turn to radicalism start as victims. “And many of them never transition beyond being a victim,” he said. “ISIS looks for vulnerability and loneliness, and offers false friendships.”

There is no single profile for those who join IS. “But many are young people, under 30, vulnerable, lonely, with little religious knowledge, probably feeling guilty” and looking to redeem themselves, Barton said.

Islamic State lone wolves: the risk in Hong Kong’s strategy

Indonesian migrant workers in East Asia and the Middle East usually had “more self-confidence, more of an international outlook, better English or Arabic capacity and better computer expertise than many of their stay-at-home counterparts”, making them particularly appealing to extremist groups, according to the study ‘Mothers to Bombers’ published in January, also by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

Male extremists see the women “more cynically as sources of cash”, making them “a particular target for recruitment and appeals for donations”, it said.

The inevitable question for those in Hong Kong is whether the city – a freer society than Singapore, Malaysia or most countries in the Middle East – is more prone to breed radicals than other places where there are large numbers of foreign helpers.

Researchers say no. “While they may earn more money in Hong Kong, and some may be sympathetic to the Syrian cause/Daesh, it does not mean Hong Kong is a hot spot for extremism,” said Dina Zaman, founding member and executive director of Malaysian think tank IMAN Research, using the acronym of IS’ Arabic name.

However, there are factors that set Hong Kong apart from some other destinations.

“We have to bear in mind that these domestic helpers come from a Muslim-majority country and they move to a secular region,” Nuraniyah observed.

In Hong Kong, unlike in Qatar or Saudi Arabia, “they have greater freedom, but on the other hand, some cannot adjust well”.

When Mosul falls, will Islamic State head to Asia?

The beginning is often euphoric. “They don’t have to obey the moral standards they had to back home, some drink alcohol, try new things… but then they feel the need of reconnecting to their home country again. Many start feeling empty and turn to social media in search of a more fulfilling spiritual life,” she said.

Nuraniyah said that in Hong Kong there were many kinds of Muslim groups, “most of them peaceful and moderate, helping migrant workers to make friends and anchoring them to a familiar environment”. She said some radicals exploited the reach of moderate Islamic groups in Hong Kong. Radical preachers “understood that the Hong Kong women were very eager to learn and help, and were therefore an easy target for exploitation”, the report said. Some preachers gave online lectures, others came to teach and raise money.

Even so, it is on social media that a domestic helper is most likely to come into contact with radicalism.

“Some might have joined [offline] groups in Hong Kong, but then they withdraw from them, and that is usually a sign. Others join several groups offline and online at the same time and then they see where they belong to,” Nuraniyah described.

The researcher said “personal turmoil, lack of sense of belonging and an attempt at finding a pure form of Islam” were some of the characteristics common in women who turned to radicalism in Hong Kong.

“Some start meeting jihadis online… They admire these men as heroes and sympathise with their cause. Some even got married online, others travelled to Syria or Indonesia to meet them,” she said.

AnisHidayah, the executive director of Jakarta-based Migrant Care, said a greater number of people had been radicalised over the past five years, mostly because “social media provides easy access to those who are vulnerable”.

Eni Lestari, chairwoman of the International Migrants Alliance, said domestic workers in Hong Kong were particularly vulnerable because they endured “exploitation, isolation and discrimination”.

The latest report by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said the abuses some Indonesian helpers suffered in the city did “not appear to have played a direct role in the radicalisation ... but they did lead to the establishment by the maids themselves of an Islamic advocacy group”.

DONORS, TRIP FACILITATORS

In 2015, a pregnant Indonesian maid who was working in Hong Kong travelled to Syria to join the jihadist group.

Nuraniyah said the woman had married an Indonesian jihadi online, then met him in person for a few days in Hong Kong while he was transiting to Syria. She then joined him in the war-torn country.

Her husband, according to a list of martyrs published by IS, has since died, but Nuraniyah believes the woman remains in Syria.

According to her research, at least four domestic helpers based in Hong Kong have travelled to Syria by themselves in recent years.

Her report also revealed that three women in Hong Kong had competed between themselves for recognition from IS figures in Indonesia and Syria. One, who married a pro-IS jihadi in Indonesia, remains in Hong Kong.

The ‘Mothers to Bombers’ study said some female Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong and Taiwan had facilitated the trips of compatriots to Syria by “raising money, organising itineraries and helping obtain a tazkiyah or recommendation needed as part of the screening process for potential members”.

In some cases, jihadis married the migrant workers so that their wives would finance honeymoon trips to meet them. “When they actually left for Syria, they would have a record of international trips and arouse less suspicion from immigration officials,” said the study.

“Overall, many women believed their financial contributions constituted ‘money jihad’ and that this was compensation for their inability to participate in armed jihad,” it said.

Why Trump’s travel ban puts Macau, Malaysia in Islamic State’s sights

Puspitasari, a former helper in Hong Kong and one of the women arrested in December on suspicion of preparing to carry out a terrorist attack in Bali, allegedly played some of these roles.

The ‘Mothers to Bombers’ study said Puspitasari became friends on Facebook with radical elements in 2015.Puspitasari’s husband – whom she had married via mobile phone while in Hong Kong – was arrested in December 2015 on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack in Indonesia. At the time, she was working as a maid in Hong Kong, and contributed 8 million rupees (about HK$4,700) to fund the attack. She returned to Indonesia in November last year, about a month before being arrested.

‘GOOD MUSLIMS’

DeteAliah, a researcher on women issues and managing director of the Institute of International Peace Building based in Jakarta, said there was a trend of radicalisation among domestic workers. “Some feel they had everything, earned good money, had a better life, but they felt empty… they felt that what it was lacking it was to be a ‘good Muslim’,” she said.

Back in Victoria Park, none of the helpers This Week in Asia talked to had ever met a fellow maid who was an IS supporter. Many did not immediately understand what IS was, others looked terrified at the thought.

Siati, 40, who has been in Hong Kong since 2006, previously worked in Qatar for five years. She said the salary and working conditions in Hong Kong were better and that she was lucky that her Hong Kong employer respected her religion.

“I know that some have problems, but my employer trusts me,” said Siati. “Maybe some are alone, have their family in Indonesia asking for money or face other problems… it can be a lot of pressure and maybe that’s why they end up with the wrong friends,” she said.

RirinRusmalina, 27, stood out among the crowd at the park for wearing a niqab. A dark red veil covered her face and a matching loose garment covered her from head to foot. Only her eyes were visible.

In recent years, some domestic workers in Hong Kong have embraced stricter Islamic practices, in part fuelled by an increase in religious outreach in Hong Kong by preachers from Indonesia.

Rusmalina, who has worked in Saudi Arabia and Singapore, said she had never encountered problems in Hong Kong because of her religion. “My boss is very respectful. But if they didn’t want, I wouldn’t wear this,” she said, adding that wearing the niqab was part of being a “good Muslim”. However, she did not mind that her friends do not wear it.

Asked if she had ever tried to find a boyfriend online or talked to jihadis, she said no. “We come here to work. To find a boyfriend would be a waste of time,” she said. Indeed, she knew little about IS. When questioned about it, she said was “sad about Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine and Syria”, and that she would pray for them. But she did not agree with terrorism.

Pot, kettle: Why Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Islamic State attacks

Indonesian-based researcher Aliah, who met two former domestic workers deported from Turkey, said a lack of knowledge of the religion had led some to interpret the Koran literally.

“For instance, there is a verse in the Koran that says you should travel if you want to change your life. There is a story behind each verse. But some have little knowledge, so one former domestic helper decided to travel to Syria, because she wanted to be a good Muslim and implement the Koran,” the researcher said. Aliah talked to another domestic helper – single and in her early 20s – who brought up ideological and moral values to justify her radicalisation. “She talked about injustice and corruption in Indonesia and said we had to change this and support the realisation of the Islamic State.”

The ‘Mothers to Bombers’ study said some of the radical maids had shown a strong interest in emigrating to Syria. “Well over 100 Indonesian women and children have successfully crossed into ISIS territory since 2013. Many more have been deported after being caught by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border or stopped at Indonesian airports trying to leave,” it said.

Those who are deported from Turkey go through a reintegration programme in Indonesia for three weeks and then are usually allowed to return home.

INTEGRATE, DON’T ALIENATE

Researchers said these women posed no threat to their host countries. “Their main interest is to go to Syria or launch attacks in Indonesia. They know Hong Kong is a better place to make money,” Nuraniyah said.

Her latest report called on the Indonesian government to work with overseas employment agencies and migrant rights groups to provide training that would alert women to the risk of exploitation by extremist men. It also urged Hong Kong authorities to ensure radical clerics were not given visas.

The fight against radicalisation must also be waged online. Zaman, of IMAN Research, said that “even more than social media indoctrination, it is the social network that influences a person’s activity or decision”.

Last month, the Indonesian government said it was preparing to shut down Telegram, the encrypted app that has several million users in the country, unless it took steps to block unlawful content, including pro-IS discussion groups. On Tuesday, it said ways to stamp out terrorist propaganda that was publicly available on Telegram were being discussed.

Experts said more studies into the radicalisation of women were needed. Despite IS losing force in the Middle East after a string of military defeats in its self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, Barton said the problem was likely to be “very persistent”.

Naraniyah said people should not be over-alarmed regarding radicalised domestic helpers.

“But it is a problem we have to acknowledge and find solutions to, instead of labelling people or [through comprehensive] monitoring,” Nuraniyah said. “The government has to protect religious freedom and work with community and religious leaders,” she said.

Researchers and advocates agreed that enhanced working conditions, better integration in society and a deeper knowledge of the religion could make domestic workers less vulnerable.

“If we can better support them and make them feel they are part of Hong Kong, that’s a way of tackling the issue,” said BasmahLok, office manager of the Islamic Union of Hong Kong. “If we start marginalising a sister who wear veils, that will push them in other directions and might put them and everyone else at a greater danger.” ¦

scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2105470/what-turns-hong-kong-maid-towards-islamic-state

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Rosmah Wants More Islamic Scholars Created Under 'PermataInsan' Program

06/08/2017        

BANGI, Aug 6 (Bernama) --The Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri RosmahMansor wants more Islamic scholars with expertise in the various fields to be created under the 'PermataInsan' Program so that the dignity of Islam can be elevated in the country.

She shared this dream and vision together with about 420 students of the KolejPermataPintar, KolejPermataInsan and their families at a dialogue session at the 'Program BualSantai:KenaliAnakPintarAnda' at the National PermataPintar Centre, UniversitiKebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) here today.

The session was moderated by the director of the National PermataPintar Centre of UKM, Prof Datuk Dr NoriahMohdIshak.

Rosmah, who is also the patron of Permata, said the move was imperative as Malaysia was short of Islamic scholars and if there were any, many of them had migrated abroad.

"I often had discussions with professors at the PermataPintar and PermataInsan at UniversitiSains Islam Malaysia in Nilai, how we can churn out potential Islamic scholars who are noted and who are guided by the al-Quran and al-Sunnah from an early age. We do not merely want to churn out students to become imam or 'bilal' (mosque officials), but even more than that.....

bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1379406

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Myanmar government probe clears security forces of abuse charges against Rohingya Muslims

Aug 06, 2017

Yangon: A government-appointed commission on Sunday cleared Myanmar security forces of systematic rape, murder and arson against Rohingya Muslims, dismissing UN allegations of widespread abuses during a recent crackdown.

The commission examined the deadly violence which began in northwestern Rakhine State in October last year after attacks by Rohingya militants on police posts near the Bangladesh border.

The government is refusing to allow a UN fact-finding team to conduct its own probe into whether the security response amounted to "ethnic cleansing" of the stateless Rohingya minority.

Giving their conclusions on Sunday, a state-backed commission said it found no evidence that Myanmar security forces carried out a systematic campaign of rape, murder or arson.

Instead any "excessive actions" were likely committed by low-rank "individual members of the security forces".

"Some incidents (of abuse) appeared to be fabricated... others had little evidence," according to a press release by the commission.

It also took aim at a detailed report by the UN's Human Rights Office released in February this year.

That report said it was "very likely" that crimes against humanity had been committed during the crackdown.

Based on interviews with 204 witnesses who fled to Bangladesh, the UN alleged Myanmar security forces gang-raped Rohingya women, butchered children and tortured men.

But "no such cases were uncovered" by the government commission, which said the UN findings lacked balance and failed to recognise the gravity of the attacks by Rohingya militants.

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a nobel peace prize winner, is blocking a visit by a UN team.She says the government commission is an adequate response to the violence, which left scores dead and displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya to Bangladesh.

The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar and widely seen as illegal immigrants.

Stateless, poor and subject to tight controls on movement, education and work, roughly one million of the Muslim group are hemmed into the impoverished border zone — which remains locked down and under curfew.

The commission conceded that foreign media and NGOs should have been granted access to the zone during the conflict to dispel "misconceptions."

It also called for rights training for low-level security officers, urged local officials to tackle corruption and called for swift and fair trials of suspected militants. Rakhine State remains violent and on edge.The government says foreign-backed Rohingya militants are still active in the conflict area, accusing them of killing perceived state collaborators and running "terror" training camps.

Last week seven Buddhists were found dead in the conflict area. Rohingya villages also continue to be raided.On Friday up to 50 "warning shots" were fired at a Rohingya village during a raid.

Unverifiable images on social media showed several people wounded by bullets allegedly fired in the episode.

firstpost.com/india/myanmar-government-probe-clears-security-forces-of-abuse-charges-against-rohingya-muslims-3900603.html

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Europe

FROM CHECHNYA TO SYRIA, PUTIN WRESTLES WITH THE FORCES OF ISLAM

BY ROBERT SERVICE ON 8/6/17 AT 8:10 AM

This article first appeared on the Hoover Institution site.

It is widely assumed that Russian foreign and domestic policies operate quite independently of each other.

This is not the way to make sense of Russia and its Islamic world.

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Not the least of the reasons is that the manner in which the Kremlin treats its Muslim citizens is inextricably linked to the manner in which it deals with the neighboring Muslim states of the former Soviet Union.

Thus, when Putin is affirming his benign intentions toward Muslims in those states, the question arises about how he is dealing with discontent in the Muslim-inhabited territories of the Russian Federation itself.

Nothing gives greater cause for concern than the scorched-earth offensive in Chechnya that he ordered in 1999 when still only Yeltsin’s prime minister.

The ex-Soviet independent states in central Asia, moreover, have their own reasons to distrust the Russian claim to benevolent intentions.

A man cleans inside the AkhmadKadyrov Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Russia, in central Grozny on July 26, 2017.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/GETTY

Russians and their rulers display something like the post-imperial syndrome that affected Britain and France after the Second World War when they gave up their colonies around the world.

Russia has increasingly tried to bar the other great powers from acquiring influence in the former Soviet republics in the south of the old USSR—and it is beyond dispute that Putin’s management of ties with them is intertwined with Russian military operations in the Middle East.

Russia’s involvement with its Islamic world is shaped by a triangle of factors: the Muslim factor in the Russian Federation, the Muslim factor in the Russian interaction with ex-Soviet central Asia, and the Muslim factor in Russian military and political interventions in the Middle East. None of these factors can be properly understood if it is examined separately from the other two.

In the longer term, and perhaps sooner rather than later, this three-cornered interaction is likely to be at the fulcrum of events as the Russian president, government, and security agencies confront their many challenges.

Foreign Muslims have no value for the leadership in Moscow except as a means to an end, and Putin’s pose as the Islamic world’s best friend is no more than a pose—and a hypocritical one at that.

He has no preference about the kind of Islam he finds among his Muslim allies and clients. Iran’s Ali Khamenei is a Shia, Syria’s Assad an Alawite, Turkey’s Erdogan a Sunni.

Russian foreign policy is aimed predominantly at reducing the American impact in those parts of Europe and the Middle East where the USSR used to exert influence. The objective is to restore Russian pride and impact.

It is of no concern to Putin that he is raising high the beams of savagery inside and beyond Russia’s borders. Putin aims to make the world accept Russia as a great power whose interests require respect, and he tramples on political dissent wherever it arises in the Russian Federation.

Putin’s policies bristle with risks. Russian politicians and commanders have intervened in Islamic parts of the world ostensibly with the universal principle of protecting the sovereignty of individual states. This was obviously in flagrant contradiction of their behavior in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Assad, Khamenei, and Erdogan are aware that Putin regards them as his pawns in a geopolitical chess game. They themselves hope to use him for their own national purposes.

Putin calculates that so long as Russian ground troops are kept to a minimum, there is no danger of an imbroglio such as followed both the 1979 Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan and the America-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after the turn of the millennium.

But Middle Eastern politics are more unpredictable than a game of chess because they are conducted without any agreed rules. Military interventions, even ones involving a successful offensive, can result in disastrous complications.

Catastrophe has not yet taken place for Putin, but he is no more gifted with the powers of clairvoyance than Leonid Brezhnev was about Afghanistan or George W. Bush about Iraq.

Putin likes to give the impression of being able to do as he likes. The reality, however, is that Russia has no lasting capacity to dictate the terms of its Syrian intervention.

The Russian economy has gross weaknesses that arise from its dependence on world petrochemical market prices. The country’s international standing rests on the narrow foundation of gas and oil revenues so that the bid for power beyond Russian borders may yet prove to be chimerical.

America in particular will have opportunities to complicate Russia’s presence in Syria, just as the Americans once made trouble for the Soviet Union in the Afghan war. Russia’s allies, moreover, are likely to exploit their opportunities to impose their choices on their patron.

It is far from inconceivable that Moscow will find itself sucked into Middle Eastern conflicts that its government has failed to foresee.

Even so, Putin’s personal popularity remains high among Russians for thumbing his nose at American presidents. He has restored confidence to a people whose morale plummeted in the last decade of the twentieth century along with the standard of living and the value of the ruble. The decade of the 1990s is one that the Russian people seek to forget.

Putin has staked his reputation on an ability to continue to make Russia feared and respected abroad. This has placed a premium on the need for assertive behavior; the more that Putin behaves like a mad dog in the global pit, the better the Russian electorate admires him.

There is a growing temptation for him to take gambles, and it cannot be discounted that he will take one risk too many in the Middle East, Ukraine, or the Baltic states.

Having played the nationalist card in Russia’s politics, he cannot now remove it from the pack and throw it aside. Any potential successor would find it difficult to remain in office without continuing the policies of vigorous nationalism. All this involves a danger to world peace that is likely to fester and grow.

It would be a mistake, moreover, to assume that Russia’s Muslims will always accept Russian foreign policy in the Middle East and spurn Islamist criticism of Putin.

The attention of Russia’s television news outlets to the Syrian civil war, especially to Russian military operations, inevitably sharpens public knowledge of the devastation of cities. Although the broadcast media from 2015 insisted that Russian warplanes attacked only Islamist rebel units, it did not require much imagination to suspect that thousands of Sunni Muslim civilians were slaughtered.

Russia’s agenda in the Middle East has the potential to backfire politically on the Russian government.

The situation is probably even more combustible in ex-Soviet central Asia, where oppressive kleptocracies have dominated since communism fell apart. The episodic outbursts of discontent show that the authoritarian administrations are frailer than they appear.

Local Islamists see opportunities for implanting their ideas among Muslims who are unhappy about authoritarianism. The potential for eruptions of popular protest exists in several of the states across Russia’s southern borders.

One possible result would be the emergence of an Islamist regime somewhere in the former USSR, a regime that might well cause trouble for a Russia that since 1991 has supported anti-Islamists throughout the region.

The world may yet witness seismic disruptions in central Asia and the south Caucasus, where post-Soviet rulers have kept order by the kind of severities that were applied by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and by the Assads in Syria.

In such a situation, Russia would be particularly vulnerable to trouble because of its prominence in rendering assistance to anti-Sunni powers in Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. A government of Sunni jihadists in central Asia would hardly aspire to an accommodation with Russia’s ruling elite.

Memories are long in Chechnya. The Russian conquest was completed a mere century and a half ago, and many Chechens, like some neighboring peoples, simply refuse to accept their north Caucasus as being part of Russia.

Though the latest outbreak of Chechen resistance was crushed in 1999-2000, the tranquility of pacification may not last long. Nor can it be taken for granted that the Volga Tatars and Crimean Tatars will stay quiet forever.

Other countries have witnessed a sudden growth of Islamist extremism among their young Muslims, and the Russian Federation is heating a cauldron of resentments.

Both internally and externally, furthermore, Russia has had direct experience of the Islamic world over many centuries since the time of the Golden Horde. It has managed its own Muslims without excessive difficulty since the fifteenth century when Muscovy shook off the Mongol yoke; and as the Russian borders expanded, more and more Muslim communities fell under tsarist dominion.

Although revolts were not infrequent, the imperial armies were more than a match for the rebels. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, Russia’s pretensions to oversight of the Ottoman Empire’s affairs provoked the British and French into military action in Crimea. At the same time, the Russian authorities sought to prevent the Ottomans from appealing over their heads to Russia’s Muslims.

In the twentieth century, the complications of internal and external factors sharpened as the communist revolutionaries tried to integrate Muslim communities in the former Russian Empire while eroding religious belief among them and creating communist parties in the Muslim lands of European imperial powers, including the Middle East.

When the USSR itself emerged as a superpower after the Second World War, the Kremlin tried to entice whole Muslim states into its zone of influence, even while continuing to obstruct the observance of the Islamic faith inside its own frontiers.

The Islamic faith enjoyed a resurgence in the USSR in the perestroika years, and active resistance to communist authority strengthened.

In 1989, the Soviet Army withdrew from Afghanistan under pressure from the mujahidin. Since the fall of communism in 1991, the anti-Russian Islamist militants—unlike jihadis in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—have made use of advanced technological facilities.

The victories of Russian armed forces in the north Caucasus have fallen short of expunging terrorist groups from Russia’s territories. Although the ruling elite has stabilized politics in the Russian Federation, there is no certainty that the stability will be of long duration.

This is one of the reasons why Putin puts so much reliance on authoritarian methods to suppress dissent. It is also predominantly why, in a period of economic recession when the government has reduced its welfare budget, he has played to the nationalist gallery in his country.

This has created a precarious conjuncture in Russia, its “near abroad,” and the Middle East.

The perils of Putin’s maneuvers are growing, and it must be hoped that he behaves with prudence in some kind of relationship with the Trump administration. This would objectively be in the Russian national interest.

But even if Putin succeeds in keeping Assad in power in Damascus, such an outcome will not bring about a permanent peace across the Middle East—and Russia could suddenly find itself dragged into a military quagmire just as the USSR did in Afghanistan.

Should Putin not behave with caution, other powers will inevitably feel the need to restrain him. Even so, talks are preferable to wars; stability is better than volatility.

Putin has proved a point by gaining acceptance of Russia as a great power. But it is a power with an Achilles’ heel in its economy and with a Chinese neighbor that dwarfs Russia in industrial and technological dynamism.

The chances for world peace will ultimately depend on the recognition by Russian rulers that their prospects of lasting success depend on their willingness to treat the West as a partner, not an enemy.

Reagan and Gorbachëv in the late 1980s demonstrated what is achievable if mutual trust can be established. But whereas in the late 1980s the USSR sorely needed a respite from the demands of the arms race, Russia nowadays is looking for ways to shake up the world order.

Global politics have entered a time of intense instability, and Islamic factors are exerting a disruptive impact on the search for peace.

This essay is an excerpt from the new Hoover Press book Russia and Its Islamic World.

newsweek.com/chechnya-syria-putin-wrestles-forces-islam-646530?piano_t=1

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Terrorist threat in France remains very high: Interior minister

August 6, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - French authorities have detained “some” and are investigating the rest of the 271 militants who are known to have returned after fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the country’s interior minister has revealed, adding, that the terrorist threat in France remains “very high.”

Some 217 adult French nationals have returned to France from fighting in the Middle East, Gerard Collomb told Le Journal du Dimanche. In addition, some 54 minors have reportedly made it back home after fighting alongside ISIS terrorists.

An undisclosed number of them have been detained while the rest are being vetted by public prosecutors, the interior minister said. He revealed that an estimated 700 French militants had travelled to Iraq and Syria over the past years. Some of them have been killed with the exact number unknown.

With the growing number of returning radicalized militants, the threat of terrorist attacks in France remains “very high,” the minister said, noting seven foiled plots so far this year.

Collomb added that in addition to returnees, another 18,500 people have been flagged under a preventative monitoring system for radicalized behavior, Reuters reported.

France has been on high alert since January 2015, when it was hit by a series of ISIS-linked terrorist attacks. The most notable of these occurred in November of 2015, when 130 people were killed and over 360 injured in coordinated terror attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis, a northern Parisian suburb.

An attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, killed at least 84 people when a truck driven by an ISIS sympathizer plowed through crowds during Bastille Day celebrations. This year, ISIS attackers were involved in two incidents targeting police on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

en.abna24.com/news/europe/terrorist-threat-in-france-remains-very-high-interior-minister_846502.html

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Venue in Manchester to host anti-Islam book launch

6th August 2017

Tommy Robinson's new book is called “Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims Kill For Islam”

After the tragic suicide bombing of an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May, which killed 22 people, far-right activist Tommy Robinson immediately travelled to the city to peddle his anti-Islam sentiment.

“Our children are being killed,” he told his YouTube audience the day after the attack, standing outside a Manchester mosque. “There's 100,000 people who need to leave our country, a 100,000 who are enemies.”

He was immediately condemned for stoking the flames of Islamaphobia and using the tragedy to further his own political, and personal, agenda. But now, Robinson is returning to Manchester to launch his new book, “Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims Kill For Islam”, at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre.

In a Facebook post, Robinson explained why he was holding the book lauunch: “Throughout the years, I’ve spent time at demonstrations and arguing on TV, but I’ve never had the opportunity to sit down and meet people. At this book launch event, we’ll enjoy great food, great company, and talk about the Koran, the future of Britain, and the struggles the West faces.”

The citizens of Manchester aren't happy. Dan Hett, whose brother Martyn Hett was killed in the attacks, took to Twitter to call out the venue for hosting Robinson.

“One of the 22 victims was my brother,” he wrote, “You don't get to profess Mancunian unity while also playing host to nazishitehawk Tommy Robinson.”

Dan Hett ? @danhett

one of the 22 victims was my brother. you don't get to profess mancunian unity while also playing host to nazishitehawk Tommy Robinson. twitter.com/BowlersMcr/status/867511082759467008 …

8:13 PM - Aug 5, 2017 · Cheadle, England

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Elliot @ChorltonMum

My next charity event is making sure that Tommy Robinson book launch at @BowlersMcr doesn't go ahead in November.

7:54 PM - Aug 5, 2017

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Rachel @racybearhold

Why is @BowlersMcr hosting racist Tommy Robinson's book launch? Do venue owners hate Manchester's multiculturalism as much as Robinson does?

4:58 PM - Aug 5, 2017

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In the past Hett has also appealed for people to stop using the tragedy to denounce immigration.

He told the Guardian: “As a young half-Turkish Mancunian, I’m not worlds away from this guy (Abedi). The idea that somebody would say, ‘Oh, this is an immigration problem’ frustrates me. How is this an immigration problem? A UK-born terrorist took out, among many other people, my UK-born Turkish brother … In an alternate timeline, the roles could have been reversed.”

Bowlers, a venue that tends to host club nights, have also been called out by Brendan Cox, the widow of MP Jo Cox who was killed by far-right racist Tommy Mair last year. He retweetedHett with the caption “Absolutely”.

Following the Manchester bombing there was a fivefold rise in Islamophobic attacks in the UK. Increases were also seen after the London Bridge attack, leading up to the death of Makram Ali, who was killed by Darren Osborne outside Finsbury Park Mosque in a suspected retalitation.

Robinson, who has a conviction for assault, is the former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) and the current UK leader of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida). There have already been reports of violence at another of his book launches in Sunderland.

After leaving the EDL in 2013, under the guise that Islamist ideas should be challenged "not with violence but with better, democratic ideas", Robinson seemed to have undergone a transformation, announcing that he would working with Muslims. But as of 2016 he was back in the Islamphobichotseat with anti-Islam group Pegida.

Mohammed's Koran: Why Muslims Kill For Islam, co-written with Peter McLoughlin, will be Robinsons second book, following his 2015 autobiography, Enemy of the State.

Bowlers have been reached out to for comment

Transgender muslim popstar in fear of acid attack

6th August 2017

FRIGHTENED: A transgender Muslim popstar is terrified of being targeted in an acid attack

Asifa Lahore, 34, who performs in flamboyant drag queen outfits, has had vile letters threatening to kill her and her family delivered to her house.

She has been told to be extra vigilant when shopping in Muslim areas. Asifa said: “I have to have a panic button and a speed dial to the police, just in case anything goes wrong, or anyone breaks in.

I just have to watch myself. “I live in a very cosmopolitan part of London and don’t get any abuse there but it’s a different story when I go to Southall in west London, where I’m from, or east London.

The celebrities flying the flag for the trans community

“I have been told that I should get an acid attack, just for being me. It’s stupid. The police have told me that it’s important to be on guard.”

“Being Britain’s first out Muslim drag queen, I go to a lot of those areas to do my garment shopping for my performances.

“I have to go into those areas, but the police have advised me in recent weeks, because of the rise in acid attacks, to carry water, because if the worst happens I can try and wash it off and minimise any injuries.”

Asifa, who has just released her new single Love Is the Only Cure, said police had been “amazing” with their help and support.

“They say I should be shot, that I need to be taught a lesson”

Asifa explained that her drag performance is an “exaggerated” version of her daytime look and persona, saying she is a “completely different” woman to her on-stage character.

Two women hurl abuse at transgender man on London train

And she has vowed to keep up her act, saying: “I do feel I have to be on guard.

“Despite the freedoms I have as a British person, I still feel that I have to watch my back, and it’s sad that I have to do that.

“The Muslim community is still at loggerheads around LGBT people.”

dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/635256/Transgender-muslim-popstar-fear-acid-attack

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Pakistan

Did Nawaz Sharif sideline his brother Shahbaz from Pakistan PM post?

ShailajaNeelakantan | TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Aug 5, 2017

NEW DELHI: Did disqualified former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif+ prevent his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif from taking over+ the top government spot?

That's what several key leaders in Sharif's PML-N party believe, reported Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

Not only did the elder Sharif keep Shahbaz at bay, he may also have "shattered the dreams" of Shahbaz's son Hamza Sharif, who was looking to be given Punjab by his dad who everyone thought would take over as prime minister. Shahbaz is Punjab chief minister and the PML-N has a strong base in the province.

Sharif had said after his disqualification by the country's supreme court in the Panama Papers case that Shahbaz would be prime minister after an interim arrangement of 45 days. Now, though, a campaign has been set in motion that is spinning Shahbaz as being much needed in Punjab. PML-N leaders said all that's left is a formal announcement that Shahbaz won't be taking over as prime minister+ .

"Perhaps Shahbaz missed the golden chance of becoming premier... He has either failed to convince his elder brother or the latter played smart politics to keep him in Punjab," a PML-N leader who is close to Shahbaz told Dawn on Friday.

Another PML-N leader said that Sharif played some "excellent family politics" to keep Shahbaz away from the prime minister's post, after he himself was disqualified by the country's supreme court on corruption charges.

"Nawaz played excellent family politics. First he announced Shahbaz his successor. Later a campaign within the PML-N was built that Shahbaz's absence from Punjab would be disastrous for the party," this leader told Dawn.

However, Malik Ahmad Khan, the spokesman of Punjab's PML-N government, denied there were any differences between the Sharif brothers saying the disqualification crisis had united them even more.

He did add though that the parliamentary party headed by the elder Sharif was authorised to announce it had gone back on its earlier decision to nominate Shahbaz for prime minister.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/did-nawaz-sharif-sideline-his-brother-shahbaz-from-pakistan-pm-post/articleshow/59929628.cms

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First Hindu in Pak govt in over two decades

Omer Farooq Khan | TNN | Updated: Aug 5, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's new Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi formed his cabinet on Friday, filling it with his toppled predecessor Nawaz Sharif's aides and allies. It also included the first Hindu in a Pakistan government in more than 20 years, Darshan Lal.

The "reshuffle" was aimed at bolstering support for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ahead of the general elections in mid-2018, with President Mamnoon Hussain administering the oath of office to 47-member cabinet that included 28 federal and 19 state ministers in a televised ceremony at his official residence.

Read this story in Gujarati

Darshan Lal would head coordination between four Pakistani provinces, a government official said. Lal, 65, is a practising doctor from Mirpur Mathelo town in Ghotki district of Sindh. In 2013, he was elected to the national assembly for the second time on PML-N ticket on a reserved seat for minorities.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif, minister for defence and power in previous cabinet, was appointed the country's new foreign minister. Pakistan was without a foreign minister since Sharif became PM in 2013. The last foreign minister was Hina Rabbani Khar.

Read this story in Marathi

No decision has been made yet on whether Abbasi will remain the PM till the 2018 elections or step down after Shahbaz becomes eligible to take over after winning a by-election, as previously decided.

PML-N leadership is unsure about Shahbaz's resignation as his departure from Punjab could weaken the party's grip over the country's most powerful and populated province. Pakistan's mix of political parties has often ensured that whoever wins Punjab, forms the central government.

To strengthen the party's position in Punjab, Abbasi has added five politicians from prominent families that command huge vote banks in the south of the region, seen as pivotal to the next poll.

The reshuffle saw Sharif's close aide Ishaq Dar resume his earlier role as finance minister despite a criminal investigation ordered against him by the Supreme Court in the Panama leaks.

With ex-home minister ChauddhryNisar Ali Khan reluctant to retain his post, the interior ministry went to Ahsan Iqbal, head of a commission tasked with building the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic corridor.

The Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office over Panama Papers leaks last week, following which Abbasi (former petroleum minister) took over. Abbasi, a staunch Nawaz ally, reportedly finalised the names and portfolios of the cabinet ministers after close consultation with the leader-in-exile and his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is the Punjab province chief minister.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/first-hindu-in-pak-govt-in-over-two-decades/articleshow/59923646.cms

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Mideast

Israel seeks to ban Al-Jazeera

AP | Aug 6, 2017

JERUSALEM: Israel seeks to ban Qatar's flagship Al-Jazeera news network from operating in the country, joining regional Arab states that already shut the station after accusing the broadcaster of inciting violence, communications minister Ayoob Kara said Sunday.

Kara, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said he wants to revoke press cards from Al-Jazeera reporters, which in affect prevents them from working in Israel.

Kara added he has asked cable and satellite networks to block their transmissions and is seeking legislation to ban them altogether.

No timetable for the measures was given.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently closed Al-Jazeera's local offices, while the channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

"Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that Al-Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization," Kara said. "And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State (group), Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here," he said.

Israeli officials have long accused Al-Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state. Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman has likened its coverage to 'Nazi Germany-style' propaganda.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though its Arab and English channels immediately reported on the news.

Al-Jazeera, a pan-Arab satellite network funded by the Qatari government, already has been targeted by Arab nations now isolating Qatar as part of a months-long political dispute over Doha's politics and alleged support for extremists.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/israel-seeks-to-ban-al-jazeera/articleshow/59942988.cms

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Hezbollah says will join fight on Islamic State on Lebanese border

06 Aug 2017

Hezbollah operatives march in Lebanon [Archive]             | Photo credit: AFP

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, said the Shiite group would fight in the coming assault on an Islamic State pocket on the country's border with Syria, which he said would begin within a few days.

The Lebanese army will attack Islamic State from the Lebanese side of the border while Hezbollah and the Syrian army will simultaneously attack it from the Syrian side, Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast live on television.

Hezbollah to fight ISIS on Lebanese border

"The Syrian front line against Daesh [ISIS] will be opened, and the Syrian army and Hezbollah will be there," he said.

He said Islamic State fighters in the enclave, who hold Lebanese captives, still had a "door open for negotiations and could avoid a battle."

Hezbollah has been a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad during the six-year conflict, fighting alongside the Syrian army against rebels including hard-line Sunni Islamists.

A Hezbollah offensive last month forced Nusra Front militants in an adjacent enclave on the border to depart under an evacuation deal for a rebel-held area in northwest Syria.

The Lebanese army did not take part in that offensive, but has been widely expected to lead the attack against the Islamic State pocket. Nasrallah stressed that the assault inside Lebanon will be the army's responsibility.

The presence of the militant enclaves on its border has represented the biggest military spillover of Syria's civil war into Lebanon.

More than a million Syrians have also sought refuge in Lebanon, putting strains on the economy and services, and in his speech, Nasrallah said it was time for Beirut to discuss their situation with Damascus.

Thousands of refugees traveled to rebel-held northwest Syria alongside the Nusra fighters who left the border area after Hezbollah's assault.

Qatar Islamic Bank issues second series of deposit certificates

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar’s leading Islamic Bank, has launched its second series of Certificates of Deposit. The new Certificates of Deposit will be available for individuals and corporate customers in Qatari Riyal and US Dollar for different terms of one and two years.

Certificates of Deposit are developed to encourage customers to make long term saving and get attractive annual profit based on the certificate’s maturity and selected currency. QIB’s Certificates of Deposit annual profit in Qatari Riyal is expected to be 3.25 percent for one year, and 3.75 percent for two years.

As for the Certificates of Deposit in US Dollars the expected annual profit is 2.50 percent for one year and 2.75 percent for two years.Certificates of Deposit are fully Shari’a compliant and profits incurred will be distributed to customers every quarter.

The Certificate of Deposit holder is also able to apply for financing up to 95 percent of the Certificate of Deposit amount, with financing tenor equivalent to the certificate maturity. The minimum subscription in the Certificate of Deposit is QR100,000 or $25,000, with no maximum amount.

The Certificates of Deposit are cashable at any QIB counter to its holder exclusively and they are none tradable and none transferrable.

One benefit of this exceptional QIB offer is that it provides customers with the opportunity to grow their funds safely throughout the duration of the certificates. The offer of the second series of Certificates of Deposit is for a limited period, other series may be issued in the future.

“Following the successful launch of Series-I, it is our pleasure to introduce QIB’s Certificate of Deposit – Series II” said, D Anand, General Manager of QIB’s Personal Banking Group.

“We aim to instil a saving culture and support the people in Qatar to save for the future by providing a wide range of accessible financial products. The QIB’s Certificate of Deposit offers higher returns compared to traditional fixed deposits which will help our customers grow their savings”.

thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/06/08/2017/Qatar-Islamic-Bank-issues-second-series-of-deposit-certificates

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Faisal Islamic Bank earmarks 70 mln Egyptian pounds for tech upgrade

06 August 2017

Egypt’s Faisal Islamic Bank said Sunday it had completed upgrading its information technology infrastructure and systems during April.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young has conducted the studies on modernising Faisal Islamic Bank’s technology infrastructure; while ITS had performed the upgrade process for the bank, said RaafatMokbel – the Egyptian bank’s Executive Chairman Assistant – on Sunday.

The bank has spent around 70 million Egyptian pounds ($4 million) on reforming its information technology systems, Mokbel further told Amwal Al Ghad.

The information technology infrastructure upgrade is expected to help Faisal Bank reinforce its volume of businesses in the local market, he added.

The technology upgrade process has included banking security system to safeguard clients' accounts against hacks, Mokbel said.

en.amwalalghad.com/business/banks/58466-faisal-islamic-bank-earmarks-70-mln-egyptian-pounds-for-tech-upgrade.html

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4 killed as Iranian soldier opens fire at air base

Agencies | Aug 6, 2017

TEHRAN: At least four soldiers were killed and eight injured when one of their colleagues opened fire on a military air base on Sunday, the Iranian military said in a statement.

The incident was "probably related to psychological problems of the soldier who suddenly started firing on his comrades," the statement said.

Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported that the shooting took place in Kahrizak, on the southern outskirts of Tehran.

The report said one of the victims was an officer and the two others were regular soldiers. All injured soldiers were taken to an Air Force hospital in southeast of the city. It added that the assailant was killed in a shootout with other soldiers.

The reported shooting is the latest to strike Iran.

In July, a soldier opened fire on his comrades, killing three and wounding six at a military base in the town of Abyek, some 62 miles (100 kilometers) west of Tehran. The assailant reportedly shot himself in the incident, but survived and was taken to a nearby hospital.

In September, a soldier killed himself after shooting to death three of his comrades in the south of the country.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/4-killed-as-iranian-soldier-opens-fire-at-air-base/articleshow/59942849.cms

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Abbas pledges further sanctions on Gaza

AFP | Updated: Aug 6, 2017

GAZA CITY: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has pledged to increase sanctions on the Gaza Strip, drawing a fresh attack from its Hamas rulers.

Abbas, the leader of the internationally-recognised Palestinian government based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been seeking to weaken Islamists Hamas by cutting power supplies to crowded Gaza.

On Saturday, he said he would continue with sanctions on the coastal strip, despite UN concerns that it amounts to collective punishment of its two million residents.

"We will continue the gradual stopping of financial allocations to the Gaza Strip until Hamas commits to reconciliation" with the Abbas administration, the president said.

"Since the coup, we have paid a billion and a half dollars to the Gaza Strip," Abbas said, referring to the 2007 overthrow of his Fatah movement by Hamas in Gaza.

"We will not allow this to continue," the WAFA official Palestinian news agency reported him as saying in Arabic.

"Either things will go as they are meant to be, or we will continue to reduce these funds," he said, accusing Hamas of stealing some of the funds.

The Islamist group responded late Saturday in a statement: "Attacking Hamas and threatening the people of Gaza with more sanctions is a blow to reconciliation efforts."

It accused Abbas's Palestinian Authority of working with Israel to isolate Gaza and bring suffering to its people.

Both sides have previously committed to reconciliation, but repeated attempts have failed.

The Palestinian Authority had been paying for some electricity to be delivered to Gaza since 2007, but in recent months has reduced the amount.

Gazans now receive only a couple of hours of electricity a day, delivered from the territory's own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.

The Palestinian Authority has also cut stipends to its former Gaza staff forced out of office by Hamas, in a move analysts see as seeking to sow discontent in the enclave.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/abbas-pledges-further-sanctions-on-gaza/articleshow/59941022.cms

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Africa

Muslim-Majority African Countries Send Ambassadors To Israel For First Time

August 6, 2017 By JTA

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel meets with President MackySall of Senegal in New York, September 22, 2016.

(JTA) — Senegal and Guinea are sending ambassadors to Israel for the first time.

The two predominantly Muslim countries in West Africa are to present their credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported.

The two will serve as non-resident ambassadors. Senegal’s Talla Fall, who also represents the country in Egypt, will work from Cairo, while Guinea’s Amara Camara will be based in Paris, according to The Times of Israel.

Amid increasing criticism of Israel’s right-wing government from Europe, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made improving ties with African countries a priority, visiting the continent twice in the past 14 months.

Israel’s diplomatic ties with Senegal and Guinea have not been without bumps in the road.

In June, Israel and Senegal announced “an end to the crisis between their two countries.” Three months earlier, the Jewish state permanently downgraded ties with Senegal when it co-sponsored an anti-settlement resolution in the United Nations that passed.

Last year, Israel and Guinea re-established diplomatic ties after 49 years. Guinea had broken off relations following the Six-Day War in 1967.

forward.com/fast-forward/379112/muslim-majority-african-countries-send-ambassadors-to-israel-for-first-time/

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/bomb-explodes-at-minnesota-mosque-during-morning-prayers;-fbi-terrorism-task-force-investigating/d/112105

 

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