New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 05:56 AM

Islamic World News ( 22 Oct 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Canada Blames 'Terrorist Ideology' For Attack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The suspect was shot by police after a chase in the Quebec city of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu [Reuters]

 

 

 North America

Canada Blames 'Terrorist Ideology' For Attack

Canada’s Pm Vows to 'Fight Terror' After Ottawa Attack

Ottawa Gunman Converted To Islam

Us, Canada Air Defences On High Alert after Ottawa Shooting

U.S. arms airdrop fell into ISIS hands: Pentagon

In the West, a Growing List of Attacks Linked to Extremism

US teens' travel stirs terror appeal concerns

White House locks down over latest fence jump

US weighs 'Iraqi request for more advisers'

Palestinian-American Student Alleges Anti-Muslim Assault at Brooklyn Arena

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India

Muslim-Based Parties May Change Basics of Indian Politics

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Arab World

Saudi King’s Nephew Admits to Riyadh Support for ISIL

ISIL launches chemical attack in eastern Kobani: Kurds

Iraqi Kurds approve deployment of fighters to Kobani

Iraq schools open a month late amid crowding by the displaced

Ten injured in blast outside Cairo University

Iraqi forces clash with Islamic State fighters west of Baghdad

Kobani defenders hold out as Iraq Kurds vote on reinforcements

Activists: US-led Airstrikes Killed 553 in Syria

Indian and Saudi navies to conduct joint exercises today

Saudi court jails 13 for plan to attack US forces

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Pakistan

Pakistan for Collective Action to Defeat Islamic State

Pakistan Gunmen Attack Bus, Kill 8 Shias

Six militants killed as Pak forces continue operation

Politics of Sit-Ins Buried Forever: Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl

CII calls for ban on religious hate speech ahead of Muharram

MQM announces to quit Azad Kashmir govt also

Imran’s ‘solo’ compelled Qadri to call off capital sit-in

Hindus demand public holiday on Diwali

BDS defuses 10kg computer bomb in Peshawar

Musharraf targets Modi, says he is 'anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan'

Pakistan vows to tighten security along Iran border

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Mideast

Al-Qaeda kills 30 Shiite rebels in Yemen

Yemeni Ansarullah forces flush out terrorists from Yarim

Turkey, Erdogan 'Leaders of Muslim Brotherhood Axis' Says Israeli Def. Min.

Israel says no plan to allow Jews to pray at Al-Aqsa

Turkey: US airdrops to Kurds ‘wrong’

Eyeing return, Yemen’s ousted Saleh aids Houthis

Iran, Russia share stance on US unilateral actions

Violence follows raids by Israeli forces on Palestinian homes

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Africa

Somalia's al Shabaab says stones man to death for rape

Nigeria's Frayed Ceasefire with Boko Haram

Blast rocks bus station in northern Nigeria

Boko Haram ambushes Nigerian soldiers, kill one in Damboa

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Europe

British militant fighting for ISIL killed in Syria

UK police arrest two suspects over Syria-linked terrorism

Marseille's cultural clash: Far right gets unlikely boost in Muslim quarters

UK Muslims criticize PM's Charity Commission proposals

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South Asia

In Afghan north, Taliban gain ground and court local support

Afghan president’s first trip abroad will be to China

Political motivation behind WB scrapping of Padma fund: Bangladesh PM

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Southeast Asia

Indonesian fighter jets intercept Australian plane

Indonesian Hindus pray for nation during Deepawali

Indonesian Muslims told to avoid interfaith marriage

In Malaysia, a dog-petting event riles Muslim clerics

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/canada-blames--terrorist-ideology--for-attack/d/99688

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North America

 

Canada Blames 'Terrorist Ideology' For Attack

22 Oct 2014

A young Canadian convert to Islam who killed a soldier in a hit-and-run incident had been on the radar of federal investigators, who had seized his passport, according to federal authorities.

The suspect was shot by police after a chase in the Quebec city of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu. A second soldier suffered minor injuries in Monday's attack.

Steven Blaney, Canada's public safety minister, said on Tuesday the attack was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology".

Guy Lapointe, Quebec Police spokesman, said the act was deliberate and that one of the two soldiers was in uniform.

He said there were no other suspects at this time.

An official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the case identified the suspect as Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25.

The suspect was known to authorities and recently had his passport seized, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said.

He was one of 90 suspected people in the country who intend to join battles abroad or who have returned from overseas.

However, it was not known whether the suspect had any ties to armed groups.

"He was part of our investigative efforts to try and identify those people who might commit a criminal act travelling abroad for terrorist purposes," Paulson said.

A Quebec business data base shows Couture-Rouleau started a water-pressure cleaning company in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in 2012 with two other people.

Harper's tribute

Stephen Harper, Canada's prime minister, said the slain soldier, 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, was a 28-year veteran with "distinguished service".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family members, his friends and his colleagues," the prime minister said.

"This was a despicable act of violence that strikes against not just this soldier and his colleagues but frankly against our very values as a civilised democracy," Harper said in parliament.

Lapointe said the other victim is in stable condition with minor injuries.

The suspect sat in his car in the parking lot outside a veterans' support centre for at least two hours before the hit and run, Lapointe said.

A police officer on patrol witnessed what happened and immediately gave chase. He was pursued for about 4km before he lost control of the car, which rolled over several times.

Lapointe said the man was brandishing a knife when he emerged from the vehicle and police opened fire.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has urged supporters to carry out attacks against Western countries, including Canada, that are participating in the US-led coalition fighting the group that has taken over large expanses of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Eight Canadian fighter jets, including two spares, were set to depart for the region on Tuesday.

In a related development, Canada has raised its terrorism threat level to medium from low because of a rise in "general chatter" from radical groups such as ISIL, according to a government official.

"This increase is not the result of a specific threat," Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, a spokesman for the public safety minister, said on Tuesday.

De Le Rue said the new terrorism threat level meant Canadian intelligence services had "indicated an individual or group within Canada or abroad has the intent and capability to commit an act of terrorism".

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/10/canada-blames-terrorist-ideology-attack-201410212242663372.html

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Canada’s PM Vows to 'Fight Terror' After Ottawa Attack

23 Oct 2014

Canada's prime minister has condemned the "brutal and violent" shooting of a Canadian soldier in Ottawa and a hit-and-run that killed another soldier earlier this week, saying the incidents are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism.

"But let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated," Stephen Harper said in a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday.

Harper said the attacks would not deter Canada from working with international allies to fight terrorism around the world, and vowed to go after those who are involved.

"This will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, to fight against the terrorist organisations who brutalise those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores," he said.

Harper spoke hours after a gunman shot and killed a soldier guarding a war memorial then stormed the Canadian parliament before he was killed.

The prime minister was holding a meeting with party members in the parliament building as the gunfire erupted. Members of the parliament were also inside the building when the attack took place. 

Canadian authorities and the media have identifed the suspected attacker as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

The 32-year-old suspect was deemed a "high-risk traveller" by intelligence services, and according to media reports he recently had his passport confiscated.

'Threat level up'

No information has as yet been given as to a possible motive for the attack, which began shortly before 10am local time (14:00 GMT).

"A guy came from the side, my left hand side and came over with the rifle and shot at the man, then the guy went falling down and everybody was just in shock, couldn't believe that something like this could just happen or be real. It was just beyond realism," one witness told Al Jazeera.

The dead soldier was named in reports as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, part of a detachment on ceremonial duties at Parliament Hill, the heart of Canada's national government and home to its legislature.

At least three people were admitted to hospital with minor injuries.

The attack came hours after Canada raised its terrorism threat level from low to medium, the highest it has been for four years.

It also comes two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over, and one of them killed, in Quebec.

Marc-Andre Viau, a witness to Wednesday's shooting, told the AFP news agency that he saw a man run into a meeting inside parliament, chased by police who yelled "take cover". That was followed by up to 20 gunshots.

People fled parliament by scrambling down scaffolding being used in renovations, witnesses told the Canadian Press news agency.

Police had by this point sealed the area and were combing buildings for more gunmen, with unconfirmed reports they were positioned on roofs. Police said the investigation was active but no one else had been found.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from parliament , Senator Jim Munson said "people are quite shaken. This kind of terrorist attack did not seem possible."

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/10/pm-vows-fight-terror-after-ottawa-attack-2014102305735579562.html

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Ottawa gunman converted to Islam

23 OCTOBER 2014

A masked gunman who killed a soldier at Canada's war memorial and stormed parliament before being shot dead by the ceremonial sergeant-at-arms was an Islamic convert, it has emerged.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Ottawa outrage the country's second terrorist attack in three days.

"We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," he vowed in an address to the nation early today.

Unfolding just before 10am local time, while MPs were meeting in caucus rooms, the assault rocked parliament with the boom of gunfire, leading members to barricade doors with chairs and sending people streaming from the building in fear.

Mr Harper was addressing a caucus when the attack began outside the door, but he was led to safety by his security detail.

Investigators offered little information about the gunman, identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. But Mr Harper said: "In the days to come we will learn about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had."

A government source said today that Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam.

Canada was already on alert because of a deadly hit-and-run attack on Monday against two Canadian soldiers by a man Mr Harper described as an "Isil-inspired terrorist". Isil, or Islamic State (IS), has called for reprisals against Canada and other Western countries that have joined the US-led air campaign against the extremist group in Iraq and Syria.

Witnesses said the soldier posted at the National War Memorial, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, was gunned down at point-blank range by a man carrying a rifle and dressed in black, his face half-covered with a scarf. The gunman appeared to raise his arms in triumph, then entered parliament, a few hundred yards away, where dozens of shots soon rang out, witnesses said.

People fled the complex by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside as police with rifles and body armour took up positions outside and cordoned off the normally bustling streets around parliament.

On Twitter, Canada's justice minister and other government officials credited sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers, 58, with shooting the attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/ottawa-gunman-converted-to-islam-30686586.html

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Us, Canada Air Defences On High Alert after Ottawa Shooting

October 23rd, 2014

WASHINGTON: US and Canadian air defenses were placed on heightened alert after a shooting in Canada's parliament, US officials said Wednesday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) “is taking appropriate and prudent steps to ensure we are adequately postured to respond quickly to any incidents involving aviation in Canada,” said a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The move came as a precaution after a gunman opened fire in and around the Canadian parliament, with a Canadian soldier dying of gunshot wounds and police sealing off the area.

NORAD spokesman Captain Jeff Davis declined to provide details of the steps taken, saying only steps had been taken to ensure defenses were “adequately postured.”

But while the shooting incident in Ottawa raised fears of a potential link to extremists, Davis said there were no signs of possible hijackings or imminent threats to aviation.

“We're not aware of any current, specific threats against the aviation system,” he told AFP.

US intelligence officials were not immediately available to comment as to whether there were any suspected links to extremists in the shooting in Canada.

NORAD, founded during the Cold War, is a combined US, Canadian military command designed to safeguard the air space over the two countries, with its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

After the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the command regularly scrambles fighter jets to intercept private aircraft that enter prohibited areas over the US capital or elsewhere, escorting them to the nearest runway.

“Condolences to family of the soldier killed and prayers for the parliamentary guard wounded. Canada will not be terrorized or intimidated,” employment minister Jason Kenney said on Twitter after the shot soldier pronounced dead in Ottawa.

Gunfire echoed through the gothic halls of the Canadian parliament as police swarmed in to tackle the gunman who had shot the soldier outside before storming the building earlier in the day.

One attacker had been shot by police inside the building while up to two more were feared to be at large, as officers sealed off the area.

Video footage posted online by the Globe and Mail newspaper showed police ducking for cover as they advanced along a stone hallway, loud gunfire echoing among the stone columns.

Police officers outside told AFP that one or more – possibly up to three – shooters were feared to be on the roof of the building.

A member of parliament, Maurice Vellacott, told AFP that House of Commons security had told one of his aides that at least one suspect had been killed inside parliament.

Other lawmakers tweeted reports that an assailant had been shot.

“I literally had just taken off my jacket to go into caucus. I hear this 'pop, pop, pop,' possibly 10 shots, don't really know,” Liberal Party member John McKay told CBC television.

“Suddenly the security guards come rushing down the hallways and usher us all out to the back of the parliament buildings.”

CBC radio also reported that one of the suspected shooters had been killed, but there was no official confirmation of this.

Witnesses said they saw a man armed with a rifle running into parliament after the shooting at the memorial.

Passers-by told reporters that a bearded man had gunned down the soldier, hijacked a passing vehicle to take him the short distance to Parliament Hill, on a bluff over the Ottawa River.

One witness, parliamentary aide Marc-Andre Viau, said he saw a man run into a caucus meeting at the parliament, chased by police armed with rifles who yelled “take cover.”

That was followed by “10, 15, maybe 20 shots,” possibly from an automatic weapon, he said. “I'm shaken,” said Viau.

The soldier appeared seriously wounded. Emergency medics were seen pushing on his chest to revive him.

Police raced to seal off the parliament building and the office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pushing reporters and bystanders further back and blocking roads with squad cars.

Harper left the area of the shooting and was “safe,” his spokesman Jason MacDonald said.

The incident came a day after 25-year-old Martin Couture-Rouleau ran over a soldier, killing him before being shot dead by police as he emerged from his wrecked car wielding a knife.

The government branded this a terrorist attack by a suspected militant, amid reports that Couture-Rouleau was a supporter of the so-called Islamic State, a jihadist group operating in Iraq and Syria.

If the driver's alleged jihadist sympathies are confirmed, it would be Canada's first ever militant attack, although authorities have warned they are tracking 90 suspected extremists in the country.

Authorities raised the security threat level from low to medium after the incident, which came as Canadian jets were to join the US-led air armada bombarding militants in Iraq.

“This level means that intelligence has indicated that an individual or group within Canada or abroad has the intent and capability to commit an act of terrorism,” the Public Safety Ministry said.

Outside parliament, police were seen taking cover behind vehicles, as others expanded a cordoned off area to a city block around parliament.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139657/us-canada-air-defenses-on-high-alert-after-ottawa-shooting

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U.S. arms airdrop fell into ISIS hands: Pentagon

23 October 2014

The Pentagon admitted on Wednesday that a bundle of ammunition and weapons dropped over the Syrian border town of Kobane drifted off course and likely ended up in the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants instead of Kurdish forces.

U.S. military officials said the supplies might have gone astray because of the wind, and assured that they were not enough to cause any significant advantage to ISIS militants.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, reported on Tuesday that ISIS had seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces.

Video footage released on Tuesday showed ISIS militants displaying a parachute and wooden crates full of grenades and rockets.

U.S. defense spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Steve Warren told reported on Wednesday two caches out of 28 had gone astray but the air force had managed to destroy one. The bundle that went off course and “probably fell into enemy hands," he said.

“One bundle worth of equipment is not enough equipment to give the enemy any type of advantage at all. It’s a relatively small amount of supplies. This is stuff [Isis] already has.”

Warren said dropping supplies from the air was “extraordinarily complex” and it was “very common” for wind to blow a bundle off its intended target.

“We still know that the vast majority of the resupply bundles that we dropped went to friendly forces and were received by friendly forces,” he said.

“There is always going to be some margin of error in these types of operations. We routinely overload these aircraft because we know some bundles may go astray.”

Washington has expanded its support to the Kurdish fighters in Kobane in the past week, ramping up air strikes and air dropping supplies from three C-130 cargo aircraft. The ammunition and medical items dropped by parachute were supplied by Kurdish authorities in Iraq, officials said.

ISIS has been trying to seize the town for more than a month now, causing the exodus of some 200,000 people from the area into Turkey. While Kurds are battling on the ground, a U.S.-led coalition is also targeting the militants from the air.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/10/23/U-S-arms-airdrop-fell-into-ISIS-hands-Pentagon.html

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In the West, a Growing List of Attacks Linked to Extremism

By SHREEYA SINHAOCT

23, 2014

Canadian authorities identified the gunman in the deadly shooting Wednesday of a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who had a criminal record, recently converted to Islam, senior American law enforcement officials said. He was shot and killed in the attack.

The episode was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days, and the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West against soldiers, and in some cases civilians, by individuals who have professed their affinity for radical Islam or sympathy to militant ideology.

Oct. 20, 2014: Hit-and-Run Kills Canadian Soldier

Martin Rouleau-Couture, the owner of a small power-washing business, drove his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one of them, at a strip mall in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The authorities suggested it was a terrorist attack, but little had emerged about the motives of Mr. Rouleau, who converted to Islam last year.

Mr. Rouleau’s Facebook postings had extolled Islamic State violence, expressed anti-Semitic sentiments and denigrated Christianity. His family became increasingly concerned about his possible radicalization and contacted the police and the imam at the mosque where Mr. Rouleau prayed. He was fatally shot by the police during the attack.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police told NBC News that Mr. Rouleau was “one of the 90 individuals the government had already announced it was monitoring.”

Sept. 25, 2014: Woman Is Beheaded in Oklahoma

A man beheaded a co-worker and stabbed another employee at a food processing plant in Oklahoma before he was shot and wounded by a company executive. The suspect was identified as Alton Nolen. Mr. Nolen, who has a criminal history, had just been fired from the company, Vaughan Foods, and “he recently started trying to convert some of his co-workers to the Muslim religion,” said Jeremy Lewis, a spokesman for the police in Moore, Okla.

Law enforcement officials said that Mr. Nolen had recently converted to Islam, but that the F.B.I. had found no connection between him and the Islamic State or other terrorist groups.

Sept. 26, 2014: ISIS Lieutenant Tries to Coordinate Attacks in Australia

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Sydney nightclub bouncer who is now an Islamic State lieutenant, made a phone call from Syria to a 22-year-old Sydney man and asked him to carry out a beheading in Australia on camera, the police said.

It is one of the few known attempts by the Islamic State to carry out a terrorist act outside the Middle East.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/world/americas/in-the-west-a-growing-list-of-attacks-linked-to-islamic-extremism.html

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US teens' travel stirs terror appeal concerns

Oct 23, 2014

DENVER: The case of three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State militants poses vexing questions for US officials about the use of social media by terror groups to recruit people inside the United States, experts said on Wednesday.

A Colorado school official said the Denver area girls — two sisters ages 17 and 15, and a 16-year-old friend — were victims of an online predator who encouraged them to travel overseas and eventually to Syria.

Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, said the girls' story so far suggests how Islamic extremists have mastered social media to prey on younger and younger women with "Disney-like versions of what it is like to live in the caliphate," complete with promises of husbands and homes.

At least one of the girls was communicating with someone online who encouraged the three to travel to Syria, said Tustin Amole, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek school district where the girls attend high school.

Fellow high school students told school officials that the girls had been discussing travel plans over Twitter, Amole said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-teens-travel-stirs-terror-appeal-concerns/articleshow/44917481.cms

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White House locks down over latest fence jump

23 Oct 2014

A man who jumped over the White House fence has been apprehended by Secret Service agents, a spokesperson for the US agency has said, in the second such incident to happen in a few weeks.

Video released on Wednesday showed the agents and their dogs surrounding the man on the north lawn of the White House, which was put on lockdown

"The individual was immediately taken into custody on the north lawn of the White House by Secret Service Uniformed Division K-9 teams and Uniformed Division Officers," the spokesperson said.

The fence climber was identified as 23-year-old Dominic Adesanya from Marlyand, near the US capital.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/10/white-house-locks-down-over-latest-fence-jump-20141022235133131675.html

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US weighs 'Iraqi request for more advisers'

 22 Oct 2014

Senior US officials have said they are considering an Iraqi request for more American military advisers to help Iraqi security forces in their campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The request came up in meetings that Antony Blinken, deputy national security adviser, and other US officials had with senior Iraqi officials last week on a trip to Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, a senior Obama administration official said on Tuesday.

The senior official, who briefed a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity, did not say how many more advisers were requested.

The US has about 1,400 military advisers and diplomatic security personnel in Iraq.

Iraq is not requesting American ground forces and, in any event, President Barack Obama would not send them there, and any military advisers sent there would be limited to providing advice and assistance to the Iraqis doing the fighting, the official said.

A US-led coalition has launched dozens of air strikes in Iraq and Syria to try to push back advances by ISIL, whose fighters operate from a safe haven in Syria and have control over large sections of Iraq.

Lengthy campaign ahead

The US official said the campaign against ISIL is likely to take months, well into next year, and that it will take that much time to take back key areas such as the city of Mosul or Iraq's Anbar province.

As for ISIL advances against Baghdad, the official said the group had been pushed back and predicted it would not be able to take the city.

For its part, the UN has accused ISIL of "attempted genocide" against Iraq's Yazidi minority and said atrocities committed by the armed group may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide," Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general, said on Tuesday after meeting officials and displaced people in Erbil, Baghdad and Dohuk during a week-long visit.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis have fled, fearing for their lives after being targeted for their religious beliefs.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/10/us-weighs-iraqi-request-more-advisers-201410222753267255.html

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Palestinian-American Student Alleges Anti-Muslim Assault at Brooklyn Arena

October 22, 2014.

A Palestinian-American student alleged that she was assaulted by a group of Jewish fans at a Brooklyn arena during an exhibition basketball game between the host Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Nerdeen Kiswani, 20, said that she was punched in the stomach and had a Palestinian flag taken from her hands during the Oct. 7 game at the Barclays Center by a group that included Leonard Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, who was punched outside the arena after the game. Kiswani, who wears a hijab, is a student at Hunter College in Manhattan, where Petlakh also teaches.

A video taken of the incident shows a flag being taken from Kiswani but does not indicate that she was struck. Shawn Schraeder, who is accused of assaulting Petlakh and is awaiting arraignment, is seen in the video.

Kiswani’s attorney, Lamis Deek, said the punch occurred but cannot be seen on the video. Deek also is representing Schraeder in his case.

At a news conference Tuesday, Kiswani said that she was assaulted because she was “the only visibly Muslim women in the arena.” She is the founder and editor of the I Stand with Palestine web magazine and president of Hunter College’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Full report at:

 http://forward.com/articles/207799/palestinian-american-student-alleges-anti-muslim-a/?

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India

 

Muslim-Based Parties May Change Basics of Indian Politics

Oct 22, 2014

The Maharashtra election results are confirmative of a national-cum-regional mini-trend that has been visible over the last five to seven years: Muslims are steadily deserting the so-called “secular” parties and opting for more radical Muslim identity-based “communal” parties. As communal parties go, there are none so rabidly communal as the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a Hyderabad-based Islamic party that has, in the past, been associated with anti-Hindu violence going as far back as the old Nizam-run state of Hyderabad before the state was merged with the Indian Union. AIMIM won two seats in the Maharashtra assembly elections (Byculla in Mumbai and Aurangabad central), and gave a big scare to the ultimate winners in three other seats (Aurangabad East, Nanded South and Parbhani), having led or come a close second in each of these seats during much of the early rounds of counting. The outfit, which shot to fame last year after one of its leaders, Akbaruddin Owaisi, made a rabidly communal hate speech, is headed by Asaduddin Owaisi, who has also warned of a “third wave” of Muslim radicalisation after visiting Assam post the 2012 Bodo-Muslim clashes in Kokrajhar district. AIMIM made its first impact in Maharashtra when it grabbed many seats in the Nanded Municipal Corporation polls of 2012. Even though the Congress led by Ashok Chavan won the elections by winning 41 of the 81 seats, what got missed in the air of Congress self-congratulation was the rise of the AIMIM . From one seat, the party rose to 11 in the corporation, marking its arrival in Maharashtra as a potent communal force. In the past, the Muslim vote in Maharashtra either went to the Congress, NCP or the Samajwadi party (in pockets of Mumbai and Bhiwandi). This time, the AIMIM has replaced the Samajwadi party as the preferred choice among Muslim-only parties. In 2009, the Samajwadi party got three seats; this time it got only one. However, it would be a mistake to see the AIMIM vote in isolation and as being restricted only to Maharashtra, for it is a part of the new Muslim’s search for options beyond the failed secularism of “secular” parties like the Congress and Samajwadi Party. We saw this happen even in the recent Lok Sabha polls, where the BJP scored a big win in Uttar Pradesh because Muslims were in a quandary over which secular party to vote for. The BJP won even in traditional Muslim strongholds like Rampur and Saharanpur, where in the past only Muslim candidates have won. This time, Muslims could not bring themselves to vote en bloc for traditional secular parties like the Congress, Samajwadi or the BSP - and handed victory to the BJP as the Hindu vote polarised. Muslims are now seeing the secular parties for what they are: protectionist rackets run only with an eye on a bloc Muslim vote. This is the context in which we must see the rise of the AIMIM. Young Muslims seem to have decided that if they have to be a vote bank, they might as well opt for a Muslim party that speaks for them instead of using proxies in the secular parties. One reason for the decline of the Congress in recent years is the discovery by the Muslim electorate of identity politics – exactly as the BSP and the Republican parties did for Dalits and the Samajwadi and RJD did for Yadavs and OBCs. Beyond the AIMIM, there has been a gradual – and possibly inevitable – rise of several Muslim parties. As I have noted before , parties ranging from the old Indian Union Muslim League (IUML, largely restricted to Kerala), to the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF, in Assam), not to speak of the traditional Kashmir Valley parties like National Conference and the PDP, are now being complemented by the rise of smaller region-based Muslim parties in places as far apart as Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and even Maharashtra. In the 2012 Jangipur Lok Sabha poll in Bengal, Pranab Mukherjee ’s son Abhijit barely squeaked through in a by-election, thanks to the arrival of two Muslim parties into the fray. Between them, the Welfare Party of India and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) polled 41,620 and 24,691 votes, largely Muslim votes. As opposed to this, Mukherjee won by barely 2,500 votes.

Full report at:

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/politics/muslim-based-parties-may-change-basicsindian-politics_1209952.html

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Arab World

 

Saudi king’s nephew admits to Riyadh support for ISIL

Oct 23, 2014

Billionaire Saudi businessman Alwaleed bin Talal has admitted to the kingdom’s support for the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who fight against the Iraqi and Syrian governments.

The Saudi business tycoon, who is a member of the Saudi royal family, told CNN on Monday that “some extremists in Saudi Arabia” provided financial support for the terrorists.

Alwaleed, however, claimed that the oil-rich monarchy has now stopped funding the militants.

“Unfortunately, some extremists in Saudi Arabia… did fund certain extremist elements in Syria,” said Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

“But Saudi Arabia has taken very strict rules to stop that from happening. And yes, right now all this has been stopped completely,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383271/billionaire-admits-saudi-funded-isil/

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ISIL launches chemical attack in eastern Kobani: Kurds

Oct 23, 2014

Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian city of Kobani against the ISIL say the Takfiri militants have used chemical weapons.

Kurdish officials and doctors said on Wednesday that the terrorists released a sort of toxic gas in the eastern side of the Kurdish city late on Tuesday.

Aysa Abdullah, a senior Kurdish official based in Kobani, said the victims had symptoms that included dizziness and watery eyes and that there was no equipment to precisely determine what kinds of chemicals had been used.

Other reports said the victims were transferred to a hospital in neighboring Turkey.

Many have joined the ISIL from Iraq’s former Ba’athist regime, highly skilled at using chemical weapons.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383282/isil-launches-chemical-attack-in-kobani/

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Iraqi Kurds approve deployment of fighters to Kobani

October 23rd, 2014

ARBIL: Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers approved a plan on Wednesday to send fighters to the Syrian town of Kobani to relieve fellow Kurds under attack by Islamic State (IS) militants, marking the semi-autonomous region’s first military foray into Syria’s war.

Kobani lies on the border with Turkey and IS fighters keen to consolidate territorial gains in northern Syria have pressed an offensive against the town even as US-led forces started bombing their positions.

The battle has also taken on major political significance for Turkey, where the siege has sparked protests among Kurds and threatened a peace process with Turkey’s own Kurdish insurgents, who are angry at the government for failing to aid Kobani.

Under pressure to go beyond humanitarian assistance for those fleeing the violence, Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters, known as “peshmerga” or those who confront death, to cross its territory to reach Kobani.

Pentagon confirms one of its bundles of weapons was seized by IS

Iraqi Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Haji Omer said the Kurdish parliament approved the plan in a session on Wednesday. “Today in parliament we agreed to send the peshmerga forces to Kobani as soon as possible,” he said.

Iraqi Kurdish official Hemin Hawrami said on Twitter the peshmerga would be equipped with heavy weapons. This would help the besieged fighters, who say they need armour-piercing weapons to fight the better-armed IS militants.

Gunshots rang out throughout the day and an air strike occurred near the centre of the Kobani in the early afternoon, while five Kurdish fighters were buried in the Turkish border town of Suruc to defiant speeches and Kurdish songs.

Idris Nassan, a local Kurdish official, said clashes had taken place in the east, southeast and southwest of Kobani.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139758/iraqi-kurds-approve-deployment-of-fighters-to-kobani

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Iraq schools open a month late amid crowding by the displaced

23 October 2014

BAGHDAD: Classes started a month behind schedule Wednesday in many areas of Iraq because some schools are crowded with families seeking refuge from violence elsewhere in the country.

With people still living in classrooms at some schools, arrangements had to be made for students at those institutions to study elsewhere.

In the autonomous Kurdish region in the north, which has a separate educational system, classes started last month. An estimated 1.8 million people have been displaced by violence since the beginning of the year.

Insurgents seized all of one city and parts of another west of Baghdad in January, sparking the first round of displacements.

A building that holds two primary schools in the Saidiyah area of southern Baghdad is currently housing more than 30 families, two to a room.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/648691

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Ten injured in blast outside Cairo University

23 October 2014

CAIRO: A bomb exploded outside Egypt’s largest and most prominent university in the country’s capital on Wednesday, wounding 10 people, including six policemen, the Interior Ministry said.

The bomb, described as a rudimentary device, went off following clashes between police and students who were protesting outside the sprawling campus, the ministry said.

It was the second bombing outside Cairo University in the past six months.

Universities have seen regular protests since the military’s ouster of President Muhammad Mursi last year. Earlier this month, clashes between pro-Mursi students and police erupted again on the first day of the school year at several Egyptian universities.

After Wednesday’s explosion, security forces quickly cordoned off the area, according to footage from private television stations. Security officials said explosive experts were combing the area.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/648696

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Iraqi forces clash with Islamic State fighters west of Baghdad

22 October 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraqi army tanks and armored vehicles on Wednesday fought off an advance by Islamic State militants on the town of Amiriya Fallujah, west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, army sources said, part of a multinational effort to check the group’s progress.

The sources added that around 400 fighters amassed in the nearby towns of Fallujah and Karma the day before, piling pressure on the capital’s western flank.

Government forces fought back Islamic State outside Amiriya Fallujah — which faced a siege by the militants for much of this month and is the last government-controlled town before the key provincial city of Fallujah.

Soldiers destroyed five of the fighters’ vehicles, a security source said.

There were no immediate reports on the number of casualties from the fighting there, but the militant advance appears to have been halted.

Another battle between the two sides raged in the area around Hit town, also in western Anbar province, but the outcome remained unclear.

Hit is a walled market town located some 130 km (80 miles) west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad seized by Islamic State militants at the beginning of October.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/648321

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Kobani defenders hold out as Iraq Kurds vote on reinforcements

22 October 2014

MURSITPINAR, Turkey: Kurdish fighters defending Syria’s border town of Kobani held out against the Islamic State group Wednesday, anxious for relief as Iraq’s Kurdish parliament was set to vote on sending reinforcements.

Backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, the Kurds have been defending the town on the Turkish border against a fierce IS offensive for more than a month.

After initially losing ground to the jihadists the Kurds have fought back hard, with the US military saying Tuesday they had halted the IS advance and remained in control of most of Kobani.

They were given a boost this week by the first US air drop of weapons and other supplies, though one of the parachuted crates was reported to have fallen into IS hands.

Now local Kurds say they need reinforcements, after Turkey announced Monday it would allow Kurdish fighters from Iraq to travel to the town, which has become a crucial symbolic battleground in the fight against IS.

A senior lawmaker in Iraq’s Kurdish regional parliament told AFP it would vote later Wednesday on deploying its peshmerga forces to the battle for Kobani.

“Today, the Kurdistan parliament will hold a session... to give the authorization and allow the president of the region to move forces to the town of Kobani” in Syria, Omid Khoshnaw, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s parliamentary bloc, told AFP.

Kurdish forces have played a leading role in northern Iraq in combatting IS, which has seized large parts of the country and neighboring Syria, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” in areas under its control.

Idris Nassen, a local Kurdish official, told AFP that no steps had yet been taken to coordinate the flow of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to Kobani.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/648311

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Activists: US-led Airstrikes Killed 553 in Syria

October 23, 2014

Syrian activists said a month of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria has killed 553 people, mostly militants from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday the deaths include 464 Islamic State fighters and 32 civilians.

The group, which has tracked the violence in Syria throughout the country's civil war, said it believes even more Islamic State militants have actually died but remain unreported because of difficulties in accessing some of the airstrike sites.

Also Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said a deal had been reached to send 200 Iraq Kurdish peshmerga fighters through Turkey to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani against Islamic State militants.

A senior official in Iraq's Kurdistan region told Reuters the peshmerga would be equipped with heavier weapons than those being used by Kurdish fighters in Kobani, who say they need armor-piercing weapons to fend off Islamic State fighters.

Peshmerga spokesman Halgurd Hikmat told Reuters that preparations to deploy to Kobani were going on, but it would not happen on Thursday.

Erdogan spoke after Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers on Wednesday approved sending the fighters. The move marks the semi-autonomous region's first military foray into Syria's war.

Airstrikes

Islamic State militants, keen to consolidate territorial gains in northern Syria, has pressed an offensive on Kobani even as U.S.-led forces continue bombing the militants' positions.

U.S. and partner nation planes have carried out more than 200 airstrikes in Syria since September 22, as part of an expanded effort to halt the Islamic State group.

At least 300 coalition airstrikes have also targeted the group in Iraq, where the militants swept through large areas of the northern and western part of the country in recent months.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said a stray bundle of weapons and ammunitions that U.S. cargo planes intended to airdrop to Kurds in northern Syria did likely end up in the hands of Islamic State fighters.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/activists-us-led-airstrikes-killed-553-syria/2493295.html

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Indian and Saudi navies to conduct joint exercises today

23 October 2014

The Saudi and Indian navies will conduct joint exercises here on Thursday as part of the two nations’ upgraded defense pact signed earlier this year.

The Indian Navy Ship (INS) Tir and INS Sujata arrived in Jubail on Oct. 20.

Hamid Ali Rao, the Indian ambassador, said at a press conference on board the INS Tir on Tuesday that the foundation of the military ties between the two countries was laid during the visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to India in 2006. It was further strengthened during the visit of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Saudi Arabia in 2010.

The Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony followed it up by visiting Riyadh in 2012 and formalized relations through the establishment of a Joint Committee on Defense Cooperation (JCDC), said Rao.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/648726

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Saudi court jails 13 for plan to attack US forces

October 23, 2014

RIYADH : A Saudi court has sentenced 13 people, including an Afghan and a Qatari, to between 18 months and 30 years in prison for plotting an Al-Qaeda attack against US forces.

The defendants were convicted of “forming a terrorist cell” to target American forces in Qatar with hand grenades, rockets and other weapons, official media said after Tuesday’s verdicts. They also planned to attack US forces in Kuwait, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. The group intended to send someone to Iraq to learn how to make vehicle bombs that could target foreign soldiers, it said. A specialised terrorism court sentenced the Qatari to 30 years in prison, while the Afghan received five years.

Eleven Saudis were jailed for between 18 months and 25 years. The defendants were among 41 people who allegedly belonged to the cell.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Oct-2014/saudi-court-jails-13-for-plan-to-attack-us-forces

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan for collective action to defeat Islamic State

October 23, 2014

UNITED NATIONS - A top Pakistani diplomat has called for collective action to defeat the "evil ideology" of Islamic State, which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, as he stressed the urgent need for resumption of Middle East peace negotiations.

"The so-called Islamic State does not draw its authority or writ from any religion," Ambassador Masood Khan, Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, told the Security Council on Tuesday.

"We must all, collectively, oppose and defeat its evil ideology of ‘hate, murder and destroy’. We must remain united in our fight against this new face of terrorism and violent extremism," he said in a debate on the situation in the Middle East.

About the Middle East peace process, the Pakistani envoy said, "Whether it is Palestine or Syria, dialogue and diplomacy need to be pursued with a real sense of purpose and urgency."

Israel broke off the peace talks in April to protest against the reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the Islamic group which the Jewish state considers its sworn enemy.

The Pakistani envoy said that dialogue should, however, not be pursued for the sake of dialogue. "It should not forever remain a mirage; It should have clear goals, timelines and benchmarks."

"We know from experience that failure to resolve the Palestine issue has spawned many more conflicts," he said in a debate on the situation in the Middle East. "The object lesson is: fix Palestine, fix the Middle East, and some major ailments in our international polity will be fixed."

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/23-Oct-2014/pakistan-for-collective-action-to-defeat-islamic-state

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Pakistan gunmen attack bus, kill 8 Shias

Oct 23, 2014

Unidentified assailants in Pakistan have opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslims in Balochistan’s provincial capital of Quetta, killing at least eight members of the Hazara community.

Witnesses said that two armed men opened fire on a bus carrying Hazara people and managed to flee from the scene.

According to local reports, six of the victims were killed on the spot while two others succumbed to their injuries on the way to hospital.

Local police authorities have described the deadly attack as an act of targeted killing.

The pre-dominantly Shia Balochistan Province has been a scene of similar attacks against the country’s minority community for numerous years.

The development comes as the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has announced in a recent report that violence in the country’s southwestern Balochistan Province has forced more than 200,000 people to leave their homes and take refuge in other cities across the country.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383304/pakistan-gunmen-attack-bus-kill-8-shias/

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Six militants killed as Pak forces continue operation

October 23, 2014

Peshawar: At least six militants were killed and seven others injured on Thursday in fresh clashes between security forces and militants in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal Khyber region.

The latest clash took place in the Sipah area of Bara Tehsil with Operation Khyber I (Khyber one) underway in the region. The operation was formally launched earlier this month.

Khyber I's main aim was to clear the areas lying from Bara Tehsil until the border of Tirah valley, following which a second phase of the operation would be launched, Dawn reported.

Security forces have intensified their efforts to counter militants in Khyber.

Scores of families have been moved to safer places as the offensive against militant groups is picking up.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/six-militants-killed-as-pak-forces-continue-operation_1488882.html

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Politics of sit-ins buried forever: Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl

By Amanullah Kasi

October 23rd, 2014

QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema Islam-F chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has said that the politics of sit-ins has been buried forever and the 'useless’ agitation by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek has done nothing except causing harm to economy and fuelling uncertainty in the country.

Speaking at a media workshop held under the aegis of his party here on Wednesday, he refuted a report published by newspapers on Wednesday stating that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had stopped the JUI-F from tabling a no-trust motion against Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. He said the prime minister had agreed with the idea but opposition groups in the KP Assembly after consultation among them decided to defer the no-trust move.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139783/politics-of-sit-ins-buried-forever-fazl

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CII calls for ban on religious hate speech ahead of Muharram

October 23rd, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's top religious body on Wednesday called for a ban on hate speech pertaining to religious identity and urged for greater harmony between sects ahead of the holy month of Muharram, often marred by sectarian violence.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) added that labelling any Muslim sect “non-believers” was condemnable.

“Terrorism and violence in the country in the name of religion are a violation of Islamic teachings. All schools of thought announce their disassociation from such acts,” it said in its “Code of Conduct”, which it wants the Parliament to adopt.

“It is an un-Islamic and condemnable act to declare any Muslim sect a disbeliever and deserving of death,” it added, along with recommendations to curb hate speech and similar material in published form.

The recommendations come as the country prepares for the Islamic month of Muharram, beginning on October 24 or 25, when the Battle of Karbala in 680AD is mourned by the Shia Muslim community, which makes up roughly 20 per cent of the country's predominantly Muslim population of 180 million.

The month is frequently marred by sectarian violence, which has risen markedly in recent years.

The body also called for greater protection for non-Muslims, who make up around three per cent of the population.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1139648/cii-calls-for-ban-on-religious-hate-speech-ahead-of-muharram

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MQM announces to quit Azad Kashmir govt also

October 23, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Days after quitting the Pakistan People’s Party-led government in Sindh, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Wednesday decided to part ways with the government in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) where it has been in an alliance with the PPP.

Addressing a press conference, MQM leader Farooq Sattar criticised PPP Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for issuing controversial remarks regarding MQM and MQM Chief Altaf Hussain recently and said that his party had decided to part ways with the PPP-led governments in Sindh and AJK, adding that the decision was final and that there was no going back now. He said resignations of members would soon be sent to the AJK prime minister. “Our patience has run out,” he added.

“We have tolerated a number of antics and inadequacies...but things have come to a head now...it is no longer possible for us to be in an alliance with the PPP,” Sattar said.

He said that the PPP has a long history of having discriminatory and non-democratic attitude with the MQM. He lambasted Bilawal Bhutto who, according to him, opened several fronts at once on the very first day of launch of his political career.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/23-Oct-2014/mqm-announces-to-quit-azad-kashmir-govt-also

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Imran’s ‘solo’ compelled Qadri to call off capital sit-in

By Sardar Sikander Shaheen

October 23, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)’s decision to call off the protest campaign in the capital has much to do with some serious concerns that the PAT leadership had about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s strategy in the ongoing protest movement against the ruling brass, it has been learnt.

Apparently the PAT chief’s announcement to end sit-ins at the Constitution Avenue ahead of the upcoming Islamic month of Muharram came as a gesture of respect for the solemn month. However, political insiders believe PTI chief Imran Khan’s strategy to go about pursuing the protest campaign prompted the PAT chief to call off the sit-ins. “Doctor sahib felt left out,” a PAT leader told Daily Times on the condition of anonymity. He was referring to the PTI’s decision to expand the protest movement from Islamabad to other parts of the country without consulting the PAT chief.

“Right from the onset, there were some grey areas and with the passage of time, the fault lines just grew stronger,” he said, adding that if the sit-ins were called off due to upcoming Muharram, the PAT chief could announce to resume the sit-ins after the Islamic month, which he did not. “This is because there is a lot more to the story.” According to the PAT leader, Qadri last month decided to end Islamabad sit-ins, but announced this decision only recently, ahead of Muharram, in an attempt to give the impression that the decision was purely taken on account of the upcoming month and to prevent the notion that the PAT and PTI had differences over certain issues.

Qadri, the source said, was also not happy with Imran Khan boisterously claiming to have made the world record of the world’s longest sit-in whereas “there was no sit-in at all on part of the PTI”. “The PTI activists would only gather at the D Chowk in the evening when their leader would deliver a speech every night. After that they would disperse. In daytime, there would be a bunch of not more than a few dozen young PTI activists at the party’s protest site. Literally, it was us (PAT) that continued the sit-in and stayed at the Constitution Avenue around the clock, 24/7, but the PTI chairman claimed credit for the world record without even mentioning us. Dr sahib was hurt.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Oct-2014/imran-s-solo-compelled-qadri-to-call-off-capital-sit-in

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Hindus demand public holiday on Diwali

October 23, 2014

KARACHI: Hindu community lawmakers demanded of the government to declare public holiday on Diwali.

Minorities celebrate both Eids and other Muslim festivals with Muslim brothers in Pakistan so it would be befitting if Diwali could be regarded status of public holiday. Talking to Daily Times via telephone patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hindu Council Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Tharparkar based member of National Assembly on Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz ticket said we appreciated Sindh government for announcing public holiday on Diwali for Hindu community but advance salaries could not be dispersed in departments to Hindu employees like in Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and other government bodies.

On the eve of Diwali I appeal to Hindu community to offer pooja especially for the happiness and prosperity of Pakistan, he said.

Hindu community is celebrating Diwali festival across Pakistan on Thursday (today). All the temples are being decorated with colourful lights, youth are seen placing firecrackers and offering sweets to each other. On Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes.

Full report at:

Larkana. He has invited Hindu community to join him in celebrating Festival of Lights.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/23-Oct-2014/hindus-demand-public-holiday-on-diwali

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BDS defuses 10kg computer bomb in Peshawar

October 23, 2014

PESHAWAR  - A terror bid was foiled after the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) defused a 10kg bomb planted at a plaza on University Road Wednesday.

According to details, a bomb fixed in a computer monitor was spotted inside a shop at Gul Haji Palaza. The BDS members rushed to the site and after hectic efforts succeeded in defusing the 10kg bomb.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/23-Oct-2014/bds-defuses-10kg-computer-bomb-in-peshawar

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Musharraf targets Modi, says he is 'anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan'

Oct 22, 2014

In a world exclusive interview to TVTN Managing Editor Rahul Kanwal, Pakistan's former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf branded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as anti-Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan is always prepared to defend its territory against any threat from India.

"Modi will have to change his stance. He is anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan," Musharraf said, accusing New Delhi of trying to destabilise Pakistan internally by fighting a proxy war.

Rejecting New Delhi's allegations of Islamabad's involvement in terror activities within the Indian territory, Musharraf said, "India has no proof of any Pakistani involvement."

Instead, the former Pakistani dictator accused India of creating troubles in Pakistan. "There is absolute evidence of your consulates in Jalalabad and your RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) indulging in all kinds of activities in Pakistan's Balochistan province and other places," he said.

"Our guard on the eastern borders are never down," Musharraf said, adding, "Pakistan will never shy of using the nuclear weapons aganst India if the need arises." "The world should help us fight terrorism instead of blaming us for it," he said.

On the recent ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the international border, Musharraf said that India has instability behind its lines. "People in Pakistan are ready to sacrifice themselves but it is the Pakistani army that is holding them back," he said, referring to the pro-Kashmir sentiments in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/musharraf-exclusive-rahul-kanwal-narendra-modi-pakistan-kashmir/1/397139.html

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Pakistan vows to tighten security along Iran border

Oct 23, 2014

Pakistani authhorities have vowed to tighten security along the border with Iran in a bid to halt terrorist attacks against Iranian guards.

The commitment was made during a meeting between security officials between the two states in the Iranian capital, Tehran on Wednesday.

At the meeting, the Pakistani delegation headed by Frontier Corps Inspector General Major General Ejaz Shahid, and the Iranian team led by Commander of Iran's Border Police Brigadier General Qasem Rezaei discussed the recent border incidents and other issues pertaining to the two countries’ frontiers.

“Both chiefs of border forces...agreed to tighten security at the border besides sharing intelligence information to maintain peace and order at the border,” said Khan Wasay, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Frontier Corps (FC).

"Cooperation between the two countries in battling terrorists is indispensable," Dawn online quoted the spokesman as saying.

Shahid was quoted by the spokesman as telling Iranian officials that “Pakistan wants durable relations with its neighbors and peace in the region.”

The meeting came days after Iran summoned Pakistani Ambassador to Tehran Noor Mohammad Jadmani over a series of terrorist incidents that killed several Iranian guards at the Pakistani border.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383305/pakistan-to-up-security-on-iran-border/

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Mideast

 

Al-Qaeda kills 30 Shiite rebels in Yemen

23 October 2014

SANAA: Al-Qaeda militants and Shiite rebels have fought a bloody battle in central Yemen, tribal sources said on Wednesday, amid fears of worsening sectarian tension in the impoverished Arabian country.

Thirty Shiite rebels and 18 Sunni fighters and their tribal allies were killed in the clashes, the tribal sources told Reuters. Shiite Houthi rebels seized control of the capital Sanaa on Sept. 21 and their forces have fanned out to Yemen’s west and center since then.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen’s Twitter page said it fought the rebels with light weapons and demolished their homes in the city of Radda in Al-Bayda province over the course of several hours on Tuesday — an account confirmed by local tribesmen.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/648681

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Yemeni Ansarullah forces flush out terrorists from Yarim

Oct 23, 2014

Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters have flushed out al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri militants from the southern town of Yarim, where residents say calm has returned.

The town, located in the southern Ibb governorate, was liberated by Ansarullah fighters, also known as Houthis, over the weekend, prompting residents to start safely returning to their homes.

Meanwhile, the Houthis say they have set up checkpoints at the entry points of the town as part of efforts to establish stability in the entire area.

Yarim is one of the latest areas recaptured from the Takfiri militants by Ansarullah movement and secured by its fighters.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383298/yemeni-ansarullah-forces-secure-town/

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Turkey, Erdogan 'Leaders of Muslim Brotherhood Axis' Says Israeli Def. Min.

By Chemi Shalev      

Oct. 22, 2014

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon lambasted Turkey on Tuesday, describing it as the leader, along with Qatar, of the Middle East’s “Muslim Brotherhood Axis” and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as a “known follower” of the Islamist group. Ya'alon also said that Hamas had moved its operations from Syria to Turkey and had set up a “terror headquarters” in Istanbul alongside the one operating in Gaza.

“It’s unbelievable – how can you ignore it?” Ya'alon exclaimed during an interview with journalist Charlie Rose, broadcast on PBS and Bloomberg TV. He maintained his onslaught on Ankara in a Washington meeting with his U.S. counterpart Chuck Hagel, telling his American colleague, according to a statement issued by his office: “Turkey is playing a cynical game. Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, despite the fact that Turkey is a NATO member.” Ya'alon said that Turkey’s policies often contradict the interests of the United States.

Ya'alon was received with full military honors in ceremonies at the Pentagon and at Arlington National Cemetery. He made a point of lauding the close relations between Israel and the United States and of thanking Washington for its support, especially for the Iron Dome anti-missile system. “Even if there are disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, they should not be allowed to cloud the deep friendship and warm, intimate ties between the two countries,” he said.

But Ya'alon did not hide the deepening disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington over nuclear talks with Tehran and said that Israel is “afraid of a bad deal” between Iran and the West. While the P5+1 countries are negotiating how many thousands of centrifuges Iran will be allowed to operate under such an agreement, Ya'alon said that “even one centrifuge” would constitute a bad deal and require Israel to consider its options.

Ya'alon said that Tehran is “one year away” from being able to manufacture and deliver a nuclear bomb, and that the West is not doing enough to combat Iran’s “nasty policies." He called on the West to launch a battle for the “hearts and minds” of Iranians and other Muslims, to constrain its financial activities and to “use the military option, if necessary.” Ya'alon said Tehran is very happy with the current situation, with sanctions being eased and “no credible military option on the table.”

Full report at:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.622082

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Israel says no plan to allow Jews to pray at Al-Aqsa

22 October 2014

Israel on Wednesday reassured Jordan that it would not allow Jewish prayer at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, after reports of a possible change raised concerns in the Arab world.

“There is no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount,” a source in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, using the Israeli term for the compound which is located in the Old City.

The plaza is often at the center of tensions because it is the third holiest site in Islam but also the most sacred place in Judaism.

Non-Muslim visits to the compound are permitted and regulated by police, but Jews are not allowed to pray there for fear it could trigger major disturbances, nor do they enter the mosques there.

Visits by religious nationalist Israelis tend to trigger clashes between stonethrowing youths and Israeli police, as well as complaints from Jordan which overseas Muslim heritage sites in Jerusalem.

Palestinians fear the visits are an attempt to usurp the site, and in recent months the clashes have multiplied, with police vowing to crack down on violence there.

The Palestinians have also been angered by unrest at the plaza, with president Mahmud Abbas pledging to prevent “settlers” -- a Palestinian euphemism for religious Jews -- from entering the compound “by all means.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/10/22/Israel-says-no-plan-to-allow-Jews-to-pray-at-Al-Aqsa-.html

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Turkey: US airdrops to Kurds ‘wrong’

23 October 2014

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday criticized as “wrong” the airdrops of ammunition and weapons by US planes to Kurdish fighters battling militants in the Syrian town of Kobani.

He said the weapons had fallen into the hands of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) — a Syrian Kurdish group that Ankara does not support — and also Islamic State (IS).

“It has become clear that this was wrong,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara airport before departing for a trip to Latvia and Estonia.

US cargo planes earlier this week dropped ammunition, weapons and medical supplies to the Kurdish fighters who have been battling the IS for control of Kobani for over a month.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said at least one of the loads dropped had been picked up by the IS. A video purportedly showing this has surfaced online.

But Erdogan indicated that Turkey was equally troubled by the weapons falling into the hands of the PYD, whose armed branch the People’s Protection Units (YPG) has led the fight against the militants.

“Some of the airdrops have fallen into the hands of the PYD and ISIS,” he said, using a different name for IS. “It’s impossible to achieve results with such an operation,” he added.

“Any support you would give PYD would benefit the PKK. And as Turkey we need to fight against this,” Erdogan added.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/648701

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Eyeing return, Yemen’s ousted Saleh aids Houthis

23 October 2014

Ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is actively helping the Houthi rebels take over the country as part of his plan to return to power, media reports revealed on Wednesday.

Citing a “trusted source close” Saleh, a report said a “secret meeting was held several days ago between former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis.”

The meeting was reportedly attended by the head of the political relations of the Houthi movement Hussein al-Ezzi, who is in charge of signing deals with other parties, and Arif al-Zouka, a member of Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC).

During the meeting, GPC Secretary-General Sultan al-Barakani was contacted while he was in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi-based online news website al-Weam said in the exclusive report.

The Houthis reportedly asked Saleh to assign some of his aides well-known to Riyadh “to try to deceive the Saudi leadership into believing that developments in Yemen were under control and that the Houthis can be removed from power if the kingdom entrusts him [Saleh] with this role.”

The objective of this plot, according to the report, is to “shake confidence among Houthi opponents –who might be backed by Saudi Arabia – in order to create a situation that is mutually beneficial for both Saleh and the Houthis.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2014/10/23/Eyeing-return-Yemen-s-ousted-Saleh-helps-Houthis-.html

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Iran, Russia share stance on US unilateral actions

Oct 23, 2014

Iran and Russia both consider the measures taken outside the framework of international laws as well as the US’s unilateral actions to be a source of the aggravation of extremism in the Middle East.

The similar stances were announced during a meeting between Iranian and Russian deputy foreign ministers in Tehran on Wednesday.

The session saw the two sides laying emphasis on the necessity for the resolution of Syria’s crisis, fighting terrorism in Syria and Iraq, as well as describing terrorism in the Middle East as a source of threat and insecurity for the world.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian underscored the threat posed by Takfiri and terrorist groups in the region, voicing doubt regarding the United States’ real motivation in fighting terrorism.

Amir-Abdollahian considered the US interventions in the region to be one of the most important sources of terrorism’s growth.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383290/iran-russia-share-stance-on-us-actions/

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Violence follows raids by Israeli forces on Palestinian homes

Oct 23, 2014

Israeli forces have carried out raids on Palestinian houses in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), provoking Palestinian youths, who clashed with Israeli troops.

Violent clashes erupted in the East al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday between Palestinian youths and Israeli policemen and army troops.

The violence erupted soon after Israeli policemen and army troops raided the houses of the relatives of a Palestinian driver from Silwan.

Earlier, Israelis said the driver had rammed his car at a railway stop in Jerusalem al-Quds, killing a baby girl and injuring eight others. The driver later died of injuries sustained when he was shot by Israeli forces.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/23/383299/israelis-palestinians-clash-in-alquds/

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Africa

 

Somalia's al Shabaab says stones man to death for rape

Oct 22, 2014

Somalia's al Shabaab militants said on Wednesday they had stoned an 18-year-old man to death for raping a woman at gunpoint in one of their strongholds in the southern Lower Shabelle region.

The group, which pledges loyalty to al Qaeda, has been losing territory in an offensive by African and Somali troops, but has been determined to demonstrate its authority over areas it still controls.

Al Shabaab said the man raped a 28-year-old woman at gunpoint in the outskirts of her village three days before he was killed on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/22/us-somalia-security-shabaab-idUSKCN0IB16120141022

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Nigeria's Frayed Ceasefire With Boko Haram

October 23rd, 2014

By Roddy Barclay and Thomas Hansen

LONDON – Last week, Nigerian military officials announced a ceasefire agreement between the government and the Boko Haram militant group which dominates significant swaths of territory in the northeastern regions of the country. The deal, brokered in neighboring Chad, included an agreement to secure the release of the more than 200 schoolgirls whose abduction in April this year drew an international outcry.

Yet just two days after the agreement was announced, fighters suspected of being affiliated with Boko Haram staged several attacks in northeastern Nigeria, raising questions about whether the reality on the ground has changed at all. Moreover, there has so far been no word from recognized Boko Haram leaders on their support – or otherwise – for the ceasefire and talks with government.

The announcement did not come completely out of the blue. Nigeria’s government has attempted talks with Boko Haram in the past. Rumors of talks in Chad spread after President Goodluck Jonathan paid a visit there in September alongside an influential northern politician who had been accused of stirring up trouble. Boko Haram had also suffered several defeats in the preceding month and Cameroon recently secured the release of 27 hostages.

Nonetheless, last week’s announcement may well have been premature as demonstrated by the weekend’s attacks. Talks to secure the supposed release of the girls abducted in April are also ongoing despite claims that their release could be imminent.

The ceasefire announcement comes at a politically convenient time for President Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan is running for re-election next February and two substantial challengers recently threw their hats in the ring. Any deal to reduce violence in the northeast and secure the freedom of the abducted schoolgirls would certainly bolster the incumbent.

While politically expedient, a ceasefire deal is likely to stir controversy within the army. The rank and file have suffered significant losses fighting Boko Haram and hardliners would see a ceasefire as a hit to the military’s prestige. The deal might cause damage to civil-military relations, but the prospect of a coup remains remote, in large part due to the army’s fragmented leadership.

Full report at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/riskmap/2014/10/22/nigerias-frayed-ceasefire-with-boko-haram/

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Blast rocks bus station in northern Nigeria

23 Oct 2014

A large explosion has rocked a bus station in a northern region of Nigeria previously targeted by Boko Haram, witnesses said, in what appeared to be the latest crack in the government's purported ceasefire with the armed group.

"We had a huge blast at exactly 9:45pm (20:45 GMT)... We realised it had come from the bus station," said Musa Babale, a resident of the town of Azare in Bauchi state where the blast occurred on Wednesday.

"The whole place was a mess," he added, in an account supported by several others.

The police and military did not answer calls seeking comment but another resident of the affected area near the Kano road said the security forces had surrounded the site.

"We found the place cordoned off by soldiers and police," said witness Mauzu Ibrahim. "From where I stood I saw bodies being put in a van."

Other witnesses also reported seeing casualties but it was not immediately possible to estimate the number and emergency workers were not available to comment.

While the cause of the blast remained unclear, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Bauchi has been one of the hardest hit areas in Boko Haram's five-year uprising against the Nigerian state.

Bus station bombings have also become something of a hallmark for the armed group, after twin attacks at a terminal on the outskirts of the capital Abuja earlier this year killed nearly 100 people.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/10/blast-rocks-bus-station-northern-nigeria-20141022225813392634.html

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Boko Haram ambushes Nigerian soldiers, kill one in Damboa

October 22, 2014

Ola' Audu

Boko Haram gunmen on Tuesday ambushed troops of the Nigeira army moving along the dangerous Maiduguri-Biu highway and killed one soldiers, security sources said.

The gunmen, in what appeared a reprisal attack for the killing of their members during the Sunday night encounter in Damboa, had laid in ambush at a spot not far from Damboa and opened fire on unsuspecting solders.

Full report at:

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/169884-boko-haram-ambushes-nigerian-soldiers-kill-one-in-damboa.html

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Europe

 

British militant fighting for ISIL killed in Syria

Oct 22, 2014

A British militant operating alongside the ISIL Takfiri terrorists has been killed during fighting in Syria.

British media reported on Tuesday the death of Mamunur Roshid, who joined the ISIL terrorists along with a group of his friends from the southern coastal city of Portsmouth in October 2013.

According to local media, Roshid’s parents said he was killed on October 17 in Syria.

Experts said Roshid was killed in fighting for the Syrian border town of Kobani, which has been under attack by militants since mid-September.

Roshid became the third member of a group, called "Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys," who traveled from Portsmouth to join the ISIL in Syria.

Hamidur Rahman, another group member, was killed in August and Ifthekar Jaman, who was considered to have been the group’s ringleader died in a gun battle in December 2013.

Confirming Roshid’s death, Abdul Jalil, chairman of the Portsmouth’s Jami mosque, said it is working with the community and authorities to “warn people, our youngsters especially, telling them not to go to Syria.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/22/383237/british-militant-killed-in-syria/

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UK police arrest two suspects over Syria-linked terrorism

Oct 22, 2014

Police in the United Kingdom say they have arrested a woman and a man in London over suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses.

British police announced on Wednesday that the 25-year-old woman was arrested at Bedfordshire, north of London, on suspicion of preparing terrorism acts.

She had been taken to a London police station for interrogation, police added.

A 32-year-old man was also arrested under suspicion of “attending a place used for terrorist training,” authorities said.

Police have started searching two properties in west and southwest London that are believed to be linked to the suspects.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/22/383224/two-terror-suspects-arrested-in-london/

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Marseille's cultural clash: Far right gets unlikely boost in Muslim quarters

OCTOBER 22, 2014

MARSEILLE, FRANCE — France, like much of Europe these days, is in a period of social tumult. Far-right parties like the National Front are gaining ground and influencing local governments. Muslim immigrants face worsening Islamophobia. And the outrage that many Muslims feel about Western and Israeli policies in the Mideast is fostering a very old problem: anti-Semitism. Marseille, a multicultural city on the Mediterranean, offers a vantage point onto these related issues.

Today, the Monitor reports on the National Front's rise and its unlikely supporters.

Marseille has always stood out as an atypical French city. In many ways, that’s been a criticism. A port city in every sense, it’s poor and scrappy, rough around the edges.

Recommended: More than Bastille, Bonaparte, and brie: Test your knowledge of France with our quiz!

But where Marseille has always fared well is in inter-religious and -ethnic relations. An amalgam of peoples, from the Greeks who settled here 2,500 years ago, to Italian refugees escaping fascism, to Algerians after independence from France, "Marseillais" have always been forced to live together, giving rise to a multiculturalism that seems more harmonious, at least on the surface, than in other French cities.

And yet it is in this region where the anti-immigrant, far-right National Front (FN) party finds one of its strongest bases. Last month the party managed to break through a national barrier, sending two party members to the French Senate, both of them from the South of France. It marks a key victory for a party that seems increasingly mainstream.

But it has caused worry in this Mediterranean enclave that the careful balance of “cohabitation” that has defined Marseille living will tip.

Across Europe, political parties sharing the FN's positions have gained ground, promising to kick out immigrants and say “no” to the free flow of people that is a cornerstone of the European Union. And these groups are tapping into the growing Islamophobia and anti-Semitism that are testing the limits of European tolerance.

“They talk about who is French and who is not, even for people who were born here,” says Norya Amezza, as she walks through the city’s main North African market in the center of Marseille. “They create divisions."

Full report at:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2014/1022/Marseille-s-cultural-clash-Far-right-gets-unlikely-boost-in-Muslim-quarters

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UK Muslims criticize PM's Charity Commission proposals

23 October 2014

Muslim rights groups in the U.K. have responded with anger to new proposals announced by Prime Minister David Cameron to give extra powers to the country's charities regulatory body.

The government announced earlier Wednesday that it was proposing giving the Charity Commission, the regulatory body for British charities, more powers to be able to freeze charity bank accounts and suspend or remove trustees. 

The proposals included banning people with convictions from being a charity trustee, disqualifying a person from being a charity trustee if the commission finds them "unfit," shutting down charities which are under investigation and issuing official warnings for less serious cases. 

The proposals came after a cross-party committee of lawmakers described the Charities Commission in February of this year as being "not fit for purpose."

Reacting to the announcement of the proposals, the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said: "The reality is that the Charity Commission will have more teeth to harass innocent and law-abiding Muslim-run organizations."

Wrongly accused

In a statement to The Anadolu Agency, the IHRC said: "Given that the government’s definition of extremism now incorporates a latitudinous range of beliefs and behavior, it will allow the Commission to target a larger number of charities, simply on account of the religious and/or political beliefs they or their partner organisations appear to hold."

Similar sentiments were also expressed by Cage, an organization which campaigns on behalf of people wrongly accused of crimes under the so-called "war on terror."

Cage spokeswoman Amandla Thomas-Johnson told the AA: "It seems as though the government is slowly turning the heat up on Muslim charities."

A number of Muslim organizations have had their bank accounts closed down over the past year.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/146830/uk-muslims-criticize-pms-charity-commission-proposals

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South Asia

 

In Afghan north, Taliban gain ground and court local support

October 23, 2014

Jessica Donati and Feroz Sultani - Sardar, a 23-year-old working in his brother’s barber shop in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, said local officials had asked for bribes to resolve a long-running family dispute over land.

When the backhanders failed to have their desired effect, he turned to the Taliban, the austere Islamist movement that has been fighting foreign forces since it was ousted from power 13 years ago.

“They came to our home in Chahar Darah and took two days to solve the problem,” he said. The case of Sardar and others like him may prove sobering reading for US, NATO and Afghan governments who spent billions of dollars, and thousands of lives, to overcome the Taliban insurgency and turn a war-torn nation into a peaceful democracy before foreign combat troops leave at the end of the year.

According to local officials, the Taliban controls virtually all of two out of seven districts in Kunduz - Chahar Darah and Dasht-i-Archi. It is gaining influence elsewhere, and residents say it has been able to because what little state authority exists is viewed with deep mistrust. On a national level, the Taliban takeover of two districts is a worrying harbinger more than a strategic shift, and US-led forces believe that Taliban advances will be temporary.

“The Taliban may take over a district centre or something, but only temporarily,” General John Campbell, commander of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, told reporters this month. “There’s nowhere that we have Afghan security forces that the Taliban can get the terrain and hold the terrain.”

Yet the gains, and efforts by the Taliban to win over locals with a somewhat softer form of rule than their previous hardline regime, come as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw and hand over to relatively inexperienced Afghan forces and an inefficient government.

People in Chahar Darah speak of a drive by insurgents to impose the rule of law, allow some freedoms like television and Western clothes, and, significantly, let girls attend school - something unthinkable when they were in government. That said, extensive classroom restrictions apply.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Oct-2014/in-afghan-north-taliban-gain-ground-and-court-local-support

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Afghan president’s first trip abroad will be to China

October 23, 2014

BEIJING : Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will travel to China this month, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, marking what will be the leader’s first foreign trip since being sworn in in September after a protracted election stalemate. China had hoped to host an international conference on Afghan’s stability last summer, but was forced to shelve the idea as the Afghan election standoff between Ghani and now chief executive Abdullah Abdullah delayed the inauguration of a new president. China, which is connected to Afghanistan by a narrow, almost impassable mountain corridor, has been quietly preparing for more responsibility in Afghanistan after the bulk of US-led troops pull out.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Oct-2014/afghan-president-s-first-trip-abroad-will-be-to-china

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Political motivation behind WB scrapping of Padma fund: Bangladesh PM

October 23rd, 2014

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the World Bank scrapped its promised fund for the Padma bridge project after it was politically motivated by certain quarters.

"World Bank could not even give us any proof in support of its claims of corruption in the project," the PM said at a meeting with railway ministry officials at the Secretariat in Dhaka this morning.

“We challenged the WB’s allegation saying that no corruption took place in the project and it has been proved,” she claimed.

On June 30, 2012, the WB cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the Padma bridge project, saying it has proof of corruption conspiracy involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of a Canadian firm and some individuals.

Asking for taking necessary steps to develop and expand the rail lines across the country, the premier ordered the railway officials to develop the metre-gauge and broad-gauge rail tracks as dual gauge tracks.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/political-motivation-behind-wb-scrapping-of-padma-fund-pm-47035

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian fighter jets intercept Australian plane

October 23, 2014

JAKARTA : Indonesian air force jets on Wednesday intercepted an Australian light aircraft and forced it to land after the plane entered the country’s airspace without permission, officials said.

The Australian-registered Beechcraft civilian plane was flying from Darwin, Australia, to Cebu in the Philippines when it was intercepted by two Sukhoi fighter jets, air force spokesman Hadi Cahyanto told AFP. It was forced to land at an airport in Manado, on the northern tip of Sulawesi island in central Indonesia, he said. The pilot and co-pilot, both Australians, were the only people on board.  They were quizzed by military investigators before being handed over to airport authorities for further questioning, Cahyanto said. “They don’t have a letter of clearance allowing them to enter Indonesian airspace,” he said.

“But because they are civilians not military, we have handed them over to the airport authorities for investigation.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/23-Oct-2014/indonesian-fighter-jets-intercept-australian-plane

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Indonesian Hindus pray for nation during Deepawali

October 23 2014

Thousands of Hindus from the Indian-Tamil community in Medan, North Sumatra, held a joint prayer Wednesday for the wellbeing of the nation while celebrating Deepawali at the city’s Shri Mariamman Temple.

The Indian-Tamil community expressed its gratitude for the peaceful and smooth leadership succession in the country, saying the country’s new leader could become a unifying force for the nation.

In his sermon during Deepawali, High Priest M. Chandran Bose urged all the children of the nation, especially those of Indian descent, to support the new government led by President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi. Chandran expressed his hope that Jokowi would bring further progress and welfare to the nation.

“Let us pray to our new leader to work well and honestly so he can bring prosperity to the people of Indonesia,” Chandran told thousands of Indian-Tamil residents celebrating Deepavali at the temple in Medan.

Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in the city that is located on Jl. Teuku Umar, was built in 1884 by Renggasamin and later renovated in 1998, and is managed by S. Marimutu.

The temple is a center for activities among the Hindu community in North Sumatra, even those from overseas who often visit. During this year’s Deepavali, a number of Hindus have traveled to the temple from Malaysia and Singapore.

“This is the first time I have celebrated Deepavali at the Shri Mariamman Temple. I’m very impressed,” Yuvaveeraraj, a Hindu devotee from Malaysia, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Yuvaveeraraj, a dentistry student at the University of North Sumatra, said he usually celebrated Deepavali with his friends at his boarding house in Medan, adding that he had not returned home for Deepavali for the past three years.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/10/23/hindus-pray-nation-during-deepavali.html

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Indonesian Muslims told to avoid interfaith marriage

October 23 2014

Representatives of Muhammadiyah, one of the largest Muslim organizations in the country, testified on Wednesday at the Constitutional Court that Islam did not recognize interfaith marriage.

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin, in a statement read out by Muhammadiyah law division head Syaiful Bahri, said a Muslim who married someone of another faith would only have their marriage registered at the civil registry office, not at religious affairs offices under the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Din said an interfaith marriage would not produce a harmonious family and emphasized that Muslim men should not look elsewhere to get married because “there won’t be any shortage of Muslim women.”

“Muhammadiyah believes that a Muslim should marry another Muslim and we demand that the court reject this judicial review request [into the Marriage Law],” Syaiful said before the court justices.

A judicial review into the Marriage Law was filed by three graduates and one student from the University of Indonesia’s School of Law: Damian Agata Yuvens, Rangga Sujud Widigda, Luthfi Saputra and Anbar Jayadi.

They requested that the court justices review the law’s Article 2 that stipulates marriage ceremonies should be conducted according to religious teachings.

According to them, forcing people to choose a specific religion as a basis for their marriage prevents couples from enjoying the liberty of worshipping and practicing their religion of choice.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/10/23/muslims-told-avoid-interfaith-marriage.html

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In Malaysia, a dog-petting event riles Muslim clerics

By Adam Taylor October 21, 2014

At first glance, it seems like a relatively normal, even low-key, event. According to Star Online, more than 800 people arrived this weekend at the One Utama shopping center in Petaling Maya, Malaysia, to attend the "I Want to Touch a Dog" event.

The event, news of which had spread on Facebook, had been designed to help those apprehensive of dogs learn more about them, and it seemed to have been a success. "I am very happy," Nur Aliyah Mohammed Nasir, age 7, told Star Online. "I touched many dogs and carried them. My favorite is the Huskies."

The video below shows the day:

However, it's not quite so simple. On Tuesday, the country's Islamic authorities told Agence France-Presse that they were investigating the event, while local clerics expressed outrage over it.

The problem? Touching dogs is regarded as a taboo by many Malay Muslims, many of whom adhere to the Shafi'i school of Sunni Islam, which views dogs as unclean. “Muslims cannot take this lightly and they need to refer to the religious authorities first if they want to do something that is against Shafi’i school of jurisprudence,” Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Othman told the Malaysian press.

Nurul Islam Mohamed Yusof, a leader in the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party's youth wing, showed just how strong the feelings against touching dogs were, saying in a statement:

Previously there was the organisation of 'Topless Friday' followed by 'Oktoberfest', then 'I Want to Touch a Dog.' We worry that there will next be a 'Sex & Condom' campaign with the rationale of 'safe sex' to ostensibly prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS."

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/10/21/in-malaysia-a-dog-petting-event-riles-muslim-clerics/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/canada-blames--terrorist-ideology--for-attack/d/99688

 

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