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Islamic World News ( 5 Jan 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Daesh Attacked Mosques To Inflame Sectarian Strife: Iraq PM

New Age Islam News Bureau

5 Jan 2016

Photo: The Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) stormed the militant groups' defense lines in rural areas of the provincial capital's Eastern countryside, killed 20 terrorists, wounded many more and pushed back the rest of the militants from the battlefield on Tuesday.


Arab World

•  Daesh attacked mosques to inflame sectarian strife: Iraq PM

•  Gov't Forces Kill 20 Terrorists in Eastern Countryside of Aleppo City

•  Sunni vs. Shia: A rivalry as old as Islam

•  Saudis, Iran stand firm; big powers for restraint

•  Two mosques bombed in Iraq

•  Shelling by militants kills four soldiers in Egypt’s Sinai

•  Militants' Explosive Cargo Destroyed by Syrian Army East of Aleppo

•  Kuwait recalls Iran envoy over Saudi embassy attack

•  Militants Fleeing from Northern Province of Aleppo as Syrian Army Continues March

•  Syrian Troops March on More Terrorists' Positions in Lattakia

•  Strategic Damascus Village Captured by Army

•  14 Militants Killed in Sporadic Attacks of Gov't Forces East of Syria's Aleppo

•  Syrian Forces Gain Control of Several Regions in Deir Ezzur

•  Syria’s opposition urges all Arab states to cut Iran ties

•  Eyewitness recalls the hour of terrorist strike


North America

•  190 Muslims fired after going on strike over being ‘denied a prayer break’ from meat packing factory

•  Trump revisits Muslim ban in first TV ad

•  Event aims to demystify Islam

•  Pathankot attack: US expects Pakistan will take action against attackers

•  US stresses diplomacy amid Saudi-Iran row


South Asia

•  11 dead as quake strikes India, Bangladesh

•  15 Daesh militants killed in clash with security forces in Nangarhar

•  2 killed in Chuadanga bomb attack

•  Police arrest suspected killer of High Peace Council’s Samangan chief

•  No casualties in Jalalabad explosion

•  Pakistan establishes more security posts along its border with Afghanistan



•  Only 33% of Muslims work, lowest among all religions

•  “No Muslim Is Feeling Ashamed of Living in India” Says the Man Who Was Once Sentenced to Death

•  Muslims across sects condemn Saudi execution of cleric

•  ISI sought to fish out defence phone numbers from BSNL employees

•  After Saudi execution, unease over effect on Shia-Sunni equations

•  Pathankot attack: One more terrorist killed, operations continue until base safe

•  Jaish’s Bengal outreach: Masood Azhar speeches circulate online



•  Shutting Down Islam’s Cauldrons of Hate

•  Accidental Hero: The Muslim Who Saved Jews in Paris Attack a Year Ago

•  Britain denounces IS video showing ‘spies’ shot

•  Cameron dismisses 'desperate' ISIL video

•  Muslim Brotherhood blamed for refugee crisis



•  No existence of Daesh in Pakistan

•  PPP demands Imran’s arrest over TTP man treatment

•  Three Afghans among 5 outlaws nabbed in Pindi

•  Six terrorists held with explosives

•  Law enforcers tighten noose around terrorists

•  Pakistan, Sri Lanka sign eight MoUs for bilateral cooperation

•  Dr Asim corruption case: Court grants NAB 14-day extension in former minister's judicial remand

•  New Delhi hints at rethink of foreign secretaries’ talks

•  Islamabad deplores attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran

•  Sharif presents ‘Majestic Pakistan’ to Lankan PM

•  Drugs mafia fleecing patients


Southeast Asia

•  Abe approaches Russia for peace deal, anti-terrorism

•  Why the need to show we’re more Islamic than others?

•  Muslim Uighurs seethe at China’s crackdown

•  M’sia calls on Tehran to protect foreign missions in Iran

•  Captain Hasman to be buried in Masjid Tanah

•  Suspended CEO alleges graft over Islamic college’s RM10m ‘debt’



•  Muslim unity essential to defuse plots: religious scholars

•  Turkey calls for return to diplomatic language in Saudi-Iran row

•  Saudi to restore ties when ‘Iran stops meddling’

•  Security Council urges Saudi Arabia, Iran to avoid tensions

•  Israel shells south Lebanon after Hezbollah attack

•  Yemen govt declares curfew in Aden after 22 killed in fighting

•  Turkey jails Kurdish mayor for 15 years over PKK links

•  From Execution of Nimr Baqr al-Nimr to Cutting Ties Between Saudi Arabia and Iran: Latest Strories

•  Speaker: Parliament Supports More Budget for Iran's Missile Program

•  Saudi Riyal Falls Sharply after Cutting Ties with Iran



•  Why ‘Islamic States’ in Africa will survive 2016

•  Sudan rebels attack army garisson in restive southern state

•  Daesh militants attack key Libya oil facility

•  Nigeria: Okowa Urged to Sack Delta Muslim Pilgrims Board

•  Nigerian Muslims Condemn Execution of Saudi Cleric

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Arab World


Daesh attacked mosques to inflame sectarian strife: Iraq PM

Jan 5, 2016

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says Daesh and similar Takfiri elements are behind recent deadly attacks on Sunni mosques in the country in an attempt to “undermine national unity.” 

In a Monday post on online social media, Abadi warned that the attacks were aimed at dragging the Iraqi nation into a sectarian conflict.

At least two people were killed and three others injured when unidentified assailants bombed three Sunni mosques in different areas of the Iraqi province of Babil early on Monday. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assaults.

“We have told the operations leaders in Babil to track down the criminal gangs from groups like Daesh and the like, which use [the attacks on] the mosques to stir up sedition and undermine national unity,” al-Abadi wrote.

An Iraqi policeman walks amidst the debris at a mosque targeted by a bomb attack in Hilla south Baghdad on January 4, 2016. ©AFP

Falah al-Khafaji, a provincial security official, also said Daesh had a hand in the attacks, adding the terrorist group “did this to inflame sectarian strife in the country.”

Daesh has seized swathes of land in Iraq since June 2014. The militants have been carrying out beheadings, summary executions, and kidnappings targeting different religious communities in Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

The Iraqi army has been engaged in large-scale military operations to liberate Daesh-held areas.



Gov't Forces Kill 20 Terrorists in Eastern Countryside of Aleppo City

Jan 05, 2016

The Syrian army and its allies drove the militant groups back from surroundings of al-Bilaliyah village and a number of residential blocks and farms in the Eastern countryside of Damascus, and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists and destroyed their military vehicles and weapons.

"The militant groups suffered a heavy death toll, including at least 20 of their well-trained fighters," an army officer in the battlefield said.

Sources said earlier today that the Syrian army managed to liberate a key village near Marj al-Sultan region in Damascus province from the control of the Takfiri terrorists amid reports of artillery and air attacks in the province.

The army seized control over Harasta al-Qantara village to the Northwest of Marj al-Sultan in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus province after clashes with terrorists of Jeish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman, Ajnad al-Sham and Faylaq Omar. The army also fired artillery shells at the terrorists' first lines of defense.

Reports also said a group of militants from Fajr al-Ummah terrorist group were killed in army's attacks in Harasta city.

Meanwhile, a number of militants were also killed as the army fired artillery shells at their positions in Douma city in Eastern Ghouta.

The army also conducted artillery attacks on militants' positions in the town of al-Nashabiyah and the farms of Beit Nayem town.

The news comes as the Syrian warplanes bombed terrorists' positions in Darayya city.



Sunni vs. Shia: A rivalry as old as Islam

January 04, 2016

Nimr al-Nimr was just one of 47 people Saudi Arabia executed on Saturday, but his death laid bare the volatile divide that has cleaved Islam for nearly 1,400 years and now threatens to re-ignite a Middle East war between Muslims.

A cleric revered as an “ayatollah” in his native Iran, Al-Nimr was a Shia Muslim who had long railed against the royal family in the Sunni majority Kingdom. By beheading him, and then displaying his body on a crucifix, the Sunni government in Saudi Arabia has deeply offended Iran, the stronghold of Islam’s Shia sect.

“The killing by the Saudis of a Shia cleric is a great shame to Shias around the world,” said Shaul Gabbay, executive director of the Global Research Institute at the Posner Center for International Development in Denver. “It is now, their responsibility to seek revenge for his blood, as he is a part of the "Um ma," or the extended family.

“This gives the legitimacy for every Muslim, really, to hurt the Saudis as part of the holy war,” Gabbay added.

Worldwide, Sunnis make up about 85 percent of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. Sunnis, who believe the true lineage of Prophet Mohammad lies with those who most closely followed his teachings, control powerful Muslim nations including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan. In addition, most Muslims in Africa are Sunnis.

Shias are a relatively small minority of Muslims, concentrated in Iran and Iraq. They believe bloodlines, not devotion, dictate the prophet’s line of successors. Throughout history, Shias have rejected the authority of Muslim leaders elected by the people, instead following a line of clerics they consider to have been appointed by Mohammad or Allah.

The divide goes back to the period following Mohammad’s death in 632, when his close confidante Abu Bakr became the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Shias believed the rightful heir was Mohammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali bin Abu Talib.

The Sunni vision prevailed, but the bad blood was only beginning. Years later, the Caliphate’s Sunni troops killed the son of Ali bin Abu Talib, in an event commemorated annually by the Shia to this day.

Both sects have spawned more than their share of terrorists, though the terror organizations operate differently. Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al-Shebab and Boko Haram are Sunni organizations, while Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, are Shia.

Sunni terrorists “tend to operate in a continuous, mid-to-high-intensity manner, seeing war against infidels and apostates as a perennial condition,” according to Thomas Lynch, of the Institute for National Strategic Studies and formerly of Brookings Institution.

Shia terror is typically carried out by groups or agents close to the Iranian government, and features “discrete terror campaigns tethered to state and organizational objectives,” Lynch wrote.

Differences between Sunnis and Shia extend to certain rituals involving prayer and marriage, yet the two sects can live peacefully together. In Iraq, which is majority Shia, yet includes a large Sunni population, Saddam Hussein ruled for three decades as a secular Sunni.

But experts say the hardcore theocratic leadership of Iran, with tentacles of terror extending throughout the Middle East, is bent on spreading the influence of Shia. That may be one reason the Saudis sought to send a powerful message with the beheading of Al-Nimr, who was one of approximately 50 ayatollahs in the world, a title that literally means “sign of God,” and is reserved for only those with the highest knowledge of the Koran and Islamic jurisprudence.

His execution was a milestone in the long-running feud between Islam’s two rival sects, said Gabbay.

“This is one extremely important event that took place in an already volatile region which is going through its most challenging transformations and religious conflicts,” Gabbay said. “The Saudi Kingdom has miscalculated the ramifications of this, and in my opinion it is going to have immense implications in the near future.”



Saudis, Iran stand firm; big powers for restraint

Jan 5, 2016

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia rallied regional allies to its side in a growing diplomatic row with Iran on Monday, deepening a split across the Middle East following the execution of a Shia scholar in Riyadh.

Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh’s example.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said on Monday his country would also halt air traffic and commercial relations with Iran.

He blamed Iran’s “aggressive policies” for the diplomatic action.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), home to hundreds of thousands of Iranians, partially downgraded its relations with Iran.

Manama, Khartoum sever ties with Tehran

Tehran accused Riyadh of using an attack on its embassy as an “excuse” to sever ties and increase sectarian tensions, as protesters in Iran and Iraq marched for a third day to denounce the execution of Nimr al Nimr.

Stock markets across the Gulf dropped sharply, led by Qatar which fell more than 2.5 per cent, with geopolitical jitters outweighing any benefit from stronger oil.

China declared it was “highly concerned” with the developments, in a rare foray into Middle East diplomacy. The United States and Germany called for restraint, while Russia offered to mediate an end to the dispute.

The row threatened to derail efforts to end Syria’s five-year-old civil war, where Saudi Arabia and other Arab powers support rebel groups against Iran-backed President Bashar al Assad.

In neighbouring Lebanon, newspapers said the spat had clouded hopes of filling the vacant presidency that had been raised last month after Iran and Saudi Arabia both voiced support for a power-sharing deal.

Nevertheless, analysts said fears of a sectarian rupture across the Middle East were premature, and the break in relations could be more a symptom of existing strains than evidence of new ones.

After a furious response in Shia communities worldwide to the cleric’s execution, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir alleged that Iran was creating “terrorist cells” among his country’s Shias.

Al Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of learning, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the attacks on Saudi missions and stressed Iran’s obligation to respect the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain accused Iran of “blatant and dangerous interference” in the affairs of Arab countries, in a statement announcing the severing of diplomatic ties.

Western powers, many of which supply billions of dollars worth of weaponry to Gulf Arab powers, tried to tamp down the tensions with Iran, but also deplored the executions. Human rights groups criticised Saudi Arabia’s judicial process and protesters gathered outside Saudi embassies.

Accusing Saudi Arabia of stoking regional tension, the Iranian foreign ministry’s spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said: “Saudi Arabia sees not only its interests but also its existence in pursuing crises and confrontations and attempts to resolve its internal problems by exporting them to the outside.

“What happened in regard to diplomatic missions, it is not the first time such a thing happens worldwide.”

By severing diplomatic relations, Saudi Arabia was “continuing the policy of increasing tension and clashes in the region”, he said.

Mr Ansari, who said that Iranian diplomats had not yet left Riyadh, insisted that Iran had always protected diplomatic missions to ensure the safety of diplomats and dealt with transgressions.

Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir said in an interview that Iran was responsible for the rising tensions.

Insisting that Saudi Arabia would react to “Iranian aggression”, he accused Iran of despatching fighters to Arab countries and plotting attacks inside the kingdom and its Gulf neighbours.

“There is no escalation on the part of Saudi Arabia. Our moves are all reactive. It is the Iranians who went into Lebanon. It is the Iranians who sent their Quds Force and their Revolutionary Guards into Syria,” he said.

Iranian pilgrims would still be welcome for Haj and Umrah, the minister added.

He said Saudi Arabia had been right to execute Nimr al Nimr, whom he accused of “agitating, organising cells, providing them with weapons and money”.

After listing the crimes of 43 Al Qaeda members also put to death on Saturday alongside four Shias, Mr Jubeir said of the executions: “We should be applauded for this, not criticised.”

A man was shot dead in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province late on Sunday when security officers came under fire in the executed cleric’s hometown. Citing a police spokesman, the SPA news agency said an eight-year-old child was taken to hospital for treatment for a gunshot wound in the incident in Awamiya town.

SPA said authorities were hunting the perpetrators of a “terrorist” act. The security officers were seeking to recover stolen heavy equipment at the time of the shooting, the SPA reported.

Awamiya is in the oil-producing province’s Qatif district. Qatif has been the focal point of unrest among Saudi Arabia’s Shias since protests in early 2011 calling for democratic reforms.

Residents of Qatif have also staged angry protests since al Nimr’s execution.

Meanwhile, Mohammed al Nimr, brother of the executed cleric, condemned retaliatory attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, insisting: “We love our country”.

“We appreciate your love towards the martyr #Sheikh_AlNimr who lives in our hearts, but we refuse attacks on #Saudi embassies in #Iran or others,” he tweeted.

The body of 56-year-old Nimr was not given to his family for burial, according to another post on Twitter by his brother, who said the authorities informed the family that the cleric had been buried.



Two mosques bombed in Iraq

January 05, 2016

HILLA, Iraq - Blasts rocked two mosques in central Iraq Monday, amid fears of renewed sectarian strife following Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shia cleric, police and medics said.

Groups of men wearing military uniforms detonated explosives at two Sunni mosques overnight in the Hilla region, south of Baghdad, and a muezzin - the person appointed to recite the Muslim call to prayer - was shot dead near his home in Iskandariyah, the sources said.

In Hilla, about 80 kilometres south of the capital, a police officer said the Ammar bin Yasser mosque in Bakerli neighbourhood was bombed after midnight.

"After we heard the explosion, we went to its source and found that IEDs (improvised explosive devices) had been planted in the mosque," the captain said. "Residents said a group of people with military uniforms carried out this operation," he said, adding that 10 houses were also damaged by the explosion.

Full report at:



Shelling by militants kills four soldiers in Egypt’s Sinai

Jan 5, 2016

At least four Egyptian soldiers have been killed in a shelling attack carried out by militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian sources said the incident took place on Tuesday in the peninsula’s northern region.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian army has killed more than 50 militants linked to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the country’s Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt’s Masrawy news portal, citing an army source, said on Monday the militants were killed in an operation against the Vilayat Sinai (Sinai Province) group.

According to the report, attack helicopters, planes, and ground forces were used in the operation.

Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said on Sunday some 26 “Takfiri elements” had been killed in the towns of Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid. Samir said a number of people had also been detained at security checkpoints in the operation.

Last week, Egypt’s army said it had killed 40 Daesh-linked militants in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.

Full report at:



Militants' Explosive Cargo Destroyed by Syrian Army East of Aleppo

Jan 05, 2016

"The Syrian soldiers tracked and targeted five vehicles of the militant groups carrying totally 10 tons of explosive materials in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo city," the sources said.

"Seven suicide bombers, ready to use the explosive-laden cars to target the army posts, were also killed at spot," the sources added.

Following the eye-catching victories of the Syrian Army and it allies across the country and the militant groups' failures to resist against the government forces' advances, suicide attack has been chosen by the terrorists as the only way to cover their defeats in the battlefields.

On Monday, the Syrian army troops conducted attacks against Takfiri terrorists in the region surrounding the recently-seized Kuweires Airbase in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

Full report at:



Kuwait recalls Iran envoy over Saudi embassy attack

5 January 2016

Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Iran on Tuesday, state news agency KUNA reported, after Gulf Arab allies Saudi Arabia and Bahrain severed relations with Tehran following attacks on Saudi missions by Iranian protesters.

"An official source at the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said that the ministry recalled the Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday morning Jan. 5 2016, against the backdrop of the attacks carried out by crowds of demonstrators," the agency reported.

The protests followed Saudi Arabia's execution of Shite preacher Nimr al-Nimr.

Bahrain decided to cut ties with Iran on Monday and gave Iranian envoys 48 hours to leave the kingdom, expressing similar sentiments to that of Saudi Arabia when it accused Tehran of interfering in the affairs of regional countries and giving safe haven to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.

Sudan also decided to expel Iran’s ambassador from Khartoum and denounced Iran’s interference in the region.

Full report at:



Militants Fleeing from Northern Province of Aleppo as Syrian Army Continues March

Jan 05, 2016

"The Syrian army troops and the National Defense Forces (NDF), backed up by the country's fighter jets, have continued to crush the militants in different villages and towns across Aleppo to capture more territories from the terrorist groups," the sources said.

"The militant groups, who have witnessed the heavy attacks of the Syrian forces and the collapse of their defense lines, have started to withdraw from more territories," the sources said.

Earlier reports said that the Syrian army, alongside the country's popular forces, still continues marching on militants' positions in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

"The Syrian government forces drove the militants back from more lands near Nejjarah village in the Eastern part of Aleppo province, after hours of fierce battle overnight," the army said.

Full report at:



Syrian Troops March on More Terrorists' Positions in Lattakia

Jan 05, 2016

The Syrian soldiers and NDF advanced towards the areas near the strategic village of Ruweisat Qabib in the Northern part of Lattakia on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army's engineering units combed the village and have found large amounts of weapons and ammunition and dismantled tens of explosive devices which Takfiri terrorists had planted earlier in the houses and farmlands of the village.

On Monday, the Syrian army gained full control over Ruweisat Qabib which serves as a vantage point overlooking an intersection of roads in Khan al-Joz area near Lattakia-Aleppo Highway.

On Wednesday, the Syrian forces captured several areas in the Northern part of Lattakia.

Full report at:



Strategic Damascus Village Captured by Army

Jan 05, 2016

The army seized control over Harasta al-Qantara village to the Northwest of Marj al-Sultan in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus province after clashes with terrorists of Jeish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman, Ajnad al-Sham and Faylaq Omar on Monday. The army also fired artillery shells at the terrorists' first lines of defense.

Reports also said a group of militants from Fajr al-Ummah terrorist group were killed in army's attacks in Harasta city.

Meanwhile, a number of militants were also killed as the army fired artillery shells at their positions in Douma city in Eastern Ghouta.

The army also conducted artillery attacks on militants' positions in the town of al-Nashabiyah and the farms of Beit Nayem town.

The news comes as the Syrian warplanes bombed terrorists' positions in Darayya city.

There were no immediate reports of the exact number of the dead terrorists. 

On Sunday, two senior commanders of the terrorist groups were killed in the Syrian government forces' offensives in Eastern Ghouta.

Joint offensives of the Syrian army troops and the National Defense Forces (NDF) in Douma Farms claimed the lives of many terrorists, including Bilal al-Khanshour, the leader of al-Maghaweer brigade affiliated to Jeish al-Islam and Abu Hassan Hamou, a senior commander of the Takfiri terrorist groups.

Full report at:



14 Militants Killed in Sporadic Attacks of Gov't Forces East of Syria's Aleppo

Jan 05, 2016

The militant groups' defense lines near Tal-Hatabat came under attack by the Syrian army and the country's National Defense Forces (NDF) for the second continued day, which left 14 militants dead and meantime destroyed their military hardware, FNA dispatches said.

Military experts inside Syria believe that the Syrian army has demonstrated a new method of sporadic attacks in the Northern province of Aleppo in the recent weeks.

"Actually, the recent attacks of the Syrian army and its allies against the militants are something between sporadic attacks and mid-sized operations," they added.

"The Syrian army commanders have realized that large-size long-term operations and also very brief attacks can not bring about the desirable results for an army which is engaged in battles against the terrorists that are hidden among the residential areas," the experts said, adding, "The best way for decreasing civilian death toll in these kinds of battles is carrying out brief attacks on the terrorists' position several times in a two-three-day period."

Sources said on Monday that the Syrian army, backed by the country's warplanes, struck heavy blows at Takfiri militants in Aleppo as the terrorists continue to lose ground in the Northern province.

Full report at:



Syrian Forces Gain Control of Several Regions in Deir Ezzur

Jan 05, 2016

The Syrian army made major advances and won back several heights in al-Tharda Mountains to the East of Deir Ezzur military airport after the army conducted an attack on ISIL positions on Monday.

Some 11 ISIL terrorists were killed in the clashes and several others were injured.

Earlier reports said the Syrian army continued to advance in the strategic hill of Kroum (Tal Kroum) in the vicinity of the military airport after they repelled an ISIL attack.

A field source said Monday that the Syrian army engaged in clashes with ISL militants in al-Jafreh village in Deir Ezzur province, killing and injuring a group of them.

The Syrian army also fired artillery shells at militants' positions in the villages of Hatla, al-Husseiniya and al-Junaynah in the province, according to the source.

The Syrian warplanes also bombed militants' positions in al-Hwaiqa neighborhood in Deir Ezzur city.

Full report at:



Syria’s opposition urges all Arab states to cut Iran ties

5 January 2016

Syria’s political opposition in exile urged all Arab countries on Monday to sever diplomatic ties with Iran after Saudi Arabia, a strong supporter of the Syrian opposition, cut relations with Tehran.

Saudi Arabia has been rallying Sunni allies to its side in a growing diplomatic row with Iran, deepening a sectarian split across the Middle East following its execution of a Shi’ite preacher.

The Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition declared its support for Riyadh’s move, calling on “all Arab and Islamic countries to take a similar step” and criticized what it said was Iran’s support for militias in Syria and Iraq.

Iran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces, backed also by Russia, are fighting against an array of insurgent groups including rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region.

Full report at:



Eyewitness recalls the hour of terrorist strike

5 January 2016

DAMMAM: Forty-seven convicted terrorists were executed on Saturday. Among them was Ali Saeed Abdullah Al-Ribeh who was convicted of attacking policemen in the Eastern Province. The court convicted him of being involved in forming a terrorist group aimed at destabilizing the security of the country; targeting security forces; attacking public and private property; and inciting demonstrations and marches.

Al-Ribeh was accused of possessing a weapon and ammunition without a license; shooting at Al-Awamiya police station along with a group of people; involvement with a group of people in throwing Molotov cocktails at a number of police cars; igniting a fire in one of them; and stealing it.

Also among those who were executed was Adel bin Saad Al-Dhubaiti. He was convicted of being involved in the Riyadh compound bombings which led to the deaths of 20 people. The court said that Al-Dhubaiti participated in the terrorist attack by preparing the explosive-packed Jeep for use in the bombing.

Al-Dhubaiti resisted troops and fired at them during a violent confrontation using automatic weapons, bombs and explosives, resulting in the death of a number of policemen.

Al-Dhubaiti’s crime included the killing of a British journalist on the orders of an Al-Qaeda leader.

The news of the execution of the terrorists brought back memories of those horrible moments.

Talal Al-Mohammad Al-Khereiji, who lived in the bombed Al-Hamra Complex, narrated the terrifying moments he witnessed at that time.

“I was calling my friend when I heard an explosion, and after about 20 seconds, there was a terrifying sound which resulted in total destruction,” he said.

The explosion was about 20 feet from Al-Khereiji’s house, as the terrorists aimed their explosive car at the middle of the residential complex that consisted of 400 housing units inhabited by dozens of Arab, Muslim and Western families.

Full report at:



North America


190 Muslims fired after going on strike over being ‘denied a prayer break’ from meat packing factory

Emma Henderson

Jan 5, 2016

Around 190 Muslim workers have reportedly been fired from a meat packing factory in Colorado after walking out in protest over a "ban" on prayers at work.

Staff at Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colorado, were fired 10 days after the mass walk-out, according to the Denver Post.

More than 200 workers, who are mainly Muslims from Somalia, took part in the protest along with the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who negotiated with the company on their behalf.

Some workers returned to work, but the majority were sacked, said Jaylani Hussein, a spokesman and executive director of CAIR.

Workers say Cargill changed its rules on allowing its staff to pray during shifts.

Previously, a few workers had been able to pray at different times of the day in the dedicated prayer room, in order to not slow down the process of the production line.

The five to 10 minutes allocated prayer time had been taken from workers’ unpaid 30 minute lunch break, according to the Denver Post.

But according to Mr Hussein, workers had recently been told: “If you want to pray, go home.”

Mr Hussein said the workers feel “missing their prayer is worse than losing their job".

“It’s like losing a blessing from God,” he added.

Full report at:



Trump revisits Muslim ban in first TV ad

January 5, 2016

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is giving some of the most divisive proposals of his campaign a starring role in his first television ad — although the billionaire developer faced questions about the footage he chose to illustrate his arguments.

With the opening 2016 primary contest four weeks away, Trump is spotlighting his plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States — temporarily and with exceptions, he says — and to build a wall along the southern border. Trump's campaign says he plans to spend $2 million a week on the ad, set to begin airing Tuesday across Iowa and New Hampshire.

The new ad features dark images of the San Bernardino shooters, who were Muslims, as well as body bags and explosions.

"The politicians can pretend it's something else. But Donald Trump calls it radical Islamic terrorism. That's why he's calling for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until we can figure out what's going on," a narrator says.

Video footage later in the ad shows people apparently streaming freely across a border as a narrator says Trump will "stop illegal immigrants by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for."

Facing questions from news outlets, the Trump campaign acknowledged in a statement Monday that the border images were of a Spanish enclave in Morocco, not the U.S.-Mexican border.

"I think it's irrelevant," Trump said in an interview on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" Monday night. "So you can just take it any way you want, but it's really merely a display of what a dumping ground is going to look like. And that's what our country's becoming very rapidly."

His campaign elaborated in a statement, saying the selection of footage was intended "to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration."

The ad, posted on Trump's website Monday, is a departure from the typical introductory campaign spot because Trump was well-known before he began campaigning.

"We're not the typical campaign," Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said of the ad. Instead, he said, Trump chose to focus on the issue that has been the centerpiece of his campaign: illegal immigration.

Trump's proposal on Muslims has been condemned by Republicans and Democrats as un-American and counterproductive, yet the hard-line approach to immigration has fueled his popularity among the overwhelmingly white GOP primary electorate.

Full report at:



Event aims to demystify Islam

January 4, 2016

BELLEVILLE - A nation-wide campaign to demystify Islam is coming to Belleville this weekend.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is hosting an open-house style event this Saturday at the Belleville Public Library from noon to 4 p.m.

Noman Khalil, national executive director of the Department of Faith Outreach for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said the aim of the event is to demystify Islam and spread messages of peace. Khalil is asking residents here to show their support against terrorism and extremist ideologies by attending the open house.

In response to the attack in December, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association started a nation-wide campaign called Demystify Islam. During this campaign, the youth of Ahmadiyyat will hold more than 135 open houses and make 270 visits to more than 35 towns across Canada in an attempt to spread peace, demystify Islam and create religious harmony.

“The terrorist attacks in Paris, France, by terrorists groups, which claimed the lives of 129 individuals, has left us saddened. Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) categorically condemns these attacks as well as all forms of terrorism. Terrorism has never been and will never be the teachings of Islam. These attacks are an attack on all of humanity,” said Khalil.

Khalil said the extreme ideologies of terrorist groups, like ISIS, are a “danger to all of humanity and the whole world” and must be eliminated by proper education.

Full report at:



Pathankot attack: US expects Pakistan will take action against attackers

Jan 5, 2016

The US expects Pakistan will take actions against the perpetrators of the terror attack on IAF base in Pathankot, a top American official said, hours after Islamabad said it is working on the “leads” provided by India.

“The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully to this and it’s certainly our expectation that they’ll treat this exactly the way they’ve said they would,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said yesterday. Pakistan has said it is working on the “leads” provided by India on this attack.

ALSO READ: Terrorists entered base Jan 1, cabbie who was killed got call from Pakistan, says official

Describing terrorism as a “shared challenge” in South Asia, the US also asked all countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and bring justice to the perpetrators of the Pathankot terrorist attack. “We urge all the countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and to bring justice to the perpetrators of this particular attack. I would note that the government of Pakistan, also publicly and privately condemned this recent attack on the Indian air base.

“We have been clear with the highest levels of the government of Pakistan that it must continue to target all militant groups,” Kirby said. The government of Pakistan has said publicly and privately that it’s not going to discriminate among terrorist groups as part of its counter-terrorism operation, he said.

READ: One more terrorist killed, operations continue until base safe

“So this is a shared challenge that we all face in the region and we in the United States want everybody to treat it as a shared challenge,” Kirby said, adding that the US has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Punjab’s Pathankot.

“We extend our condolences to all the victims and their families,” he said. He said the US has for a long time talked about the continued safe haven issues there in between Afghanistan and Pakistan and certainly between India and Pakistan. “We’re mindful that there remain some safe havens that we obviously want to see cleared out. And we continue to engage with the government of Pakistan to that end. And again, I would point you back to what the government of Pakistan itself has said and acknowledged that it’s not going to discriminate

among terrorist groups and it will continue to take the fight,” Kirby said.

The Pakistani government, the Pakistani people very much understand the threat here, Kirby said. “What we want and what we continue to say we want and will continue to work for is increased cooperation, communication, coordination, increased information-sharing and increased efforts against what we all believe is a shared challenge in the region.

“We want to see the government of Pakistan continue to press the fight against terrorists, all terrorists, and to meet their own expectations that they’re not going to discriminate among groups. They’ve said themselves and our expectation is that they’ll live up to that pledge,” he said. “We recognise there’s more everybody can do, not just Pakistan but every nation can do because it is a shared challenge and it’s a challenge, as you well know, that doesn’t necessarily observe borders and boundaries. So it’s something that everybody can attack more,” Kirby said.

Full report at:



US stresses diplomacy amid Saudi-Iran row

05 January 2016

The U.S. on Monday said diplomacy is "essential" between Saudi Arabia and Iran, amid ongoing tensions after a prominent Shia imam was executed by Saudi authorities.

"We continue to believe that diplomatic engagement and direct conversations are essential to work through differences," said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

"We reiterate the need for leaders throughout the region to redouble efforts aimed at de-escalating regional tensions."

The U.S. is "concerned" about the recent situation in the region and continues to urge Saudi Arabia to "ensure fair and transparent judicial proceedings in all cases," according to Kirby.

Tensions between the kingdom and Iran were exacerbated following the execution of Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and 46 prisoners who had, for the most part, been convicted of committing acts of "terrorism".

Before his arrest in July 2012, al-Nimr led mass protests against Saudi authorities in the country’s eastern Qatif province.

Following al-Nimr’s execution, predominantly-Shia Iranian protesters have torched two diplomatic buildings belonging to Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad, to protest the execution on Saturday.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced the cutting of diplomatic ties to Iran after attacks on its missions.

Full report at:



South Asia


11 dead as quake strikes India, Bangladesh

January 05, 2016

IMPHAL, India - A powerful earthquake struck northeast India and Bangladesh on Monday, killing at least 11 people and injuring nearly 200, with efforts to reach remote areas where people may be trapped hampered by severed power lines and telecommunication links.

The US Geological Survey said the 6.8 magnitude quake was 57 km (35 miles) deep and struck 29 km (18 miles) west of Imphal, capital of India’s Manipur state, which borders Myanmar.

The pre-dawn quake killed six people in India and five in neighbouring Bangladesh, officials said, while shockwaves were felt in the Himalayan nation of Nepal and as far away as the Myanmar city of Yangon, about 1,175 km (730 miles) to the south.

The quake struck while many people were asleep, and roofs and staircases of some buildings collapsed in Imphal, a city of about 270,000 people. “It was like being tossed around in a frying pan,” said Joy Thanglian, a 33-year-old employee of state energy firm Bharat Petroleum.

Police and hospitals in Imphal said the death toll had reached six with 100 people injured, 33 of them seriously.

Officials in Bangladesh said as well as the five people who died of heart attacks as they fled buildings, about 90 people were injured. Rescue workers in Imphal used hand-held drilling machines to clear rubble from the ruins of a six-storey building under construction, the site of the heaviest damage in the city.

“I didn’t feel the tremor, but when I woke up the entire ceiling had collapsed on me,” said R.K. Ewansana, a 21-year-old student, who was on the first floor but survived as the rest of the building collapsed around him.

Residents said people fled from their homes, and power and telecoms links were down in the remote region.

At Imphal’s airport, flights were normal, although a boundary wall collapsed, and a crack appeared in the terminal building, said Thanglian, who works there.

Some people criticised what they called the authorities’ slow response, saying that although the army had begun to clear debris, it appeared to be short of heavy equipment. “We haven’t seen any help from the government side,” said disaster volunteer worker Kangujam. “The government has not given us any information.”

Full report at:



15 Daesh militants killed in clash with security forces in Nangarhar

Jan 05 2016

Security forces have killed 15 Daesh militants in a clash in eastern Nangarhar province.

A statement released by the police headquarters of Nangarhar states that the gun battle erupted around 04:30 pm (local time) on Monday.

According to the statement, insurgents had planned to attack a security post in Saluram Farm area of Bati Kot District.

After receiving the tip-off, additional security forces reached to the site to assist those already in the area, the press release states, adding that they gave a befitting response to the militants and forced them to back up.

The press release further states that 15 militants were killed and a number of others wounded in the gun battle.

They left 11 dead bodies, ammunition, weapons and walkie-talkies behind, the press release adds.

Full report at:



2 killed in Chuadanga bomb attack

January 05, 2016

Two people were killed as miscreants carried out a bomb attack over a khas land [government land] dispute in Jibonnagar upazila of Chuadanga last night.

The deceased – Mohammad Ali, 50 and Sahabuddin, 70, – were inhabitants of the khas land at Gangadaspur village.

A group of some 15 people threw seven crude bombs at a tea stall where some residents of the khas land were having tea around 7:30pm, Humayun Kabir, officer-in-charge of Jibonnagar Police Station, told our correspondent.

The attack left Mohammad Ali dead on the spot and three others including Sahabuddin and his wife Maleka Khatun injured.

The injured were rushed to Jessore General Hospital where Sahabuddin succumbed to his injuries around 10:30pm while the conditions of the rest two remain critical, hospital sources said. 

Full report at:



Police arrest suspected killer of High Peace Council’s Samangan chief

Jan 05 2016

Police have detained the suspected killer of Qari Saifuddin Sadat, chief of the High Peace Council (HPC) for northern Samangan province.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) told a press conference on Tuesday that the suspect was arrested during a search operation launched by police after the killing.

Sediq Sediqi did not specify whether the suspect belongs to a terrorist organization or the attack was result of personal enmity but said that he is under further investigation and would be dealt with according to the law.

Sadat was returning home after offering prayers at a mosque when he came under indiscriminate fire in the provincial capital Aibak late yesterday.

Full report at:



No casualties in Jalalabad explosion

Jan 05 2016

A comparatively heavy explosion rocked Jalalabad city on Tuesday morning.

According to initial reports, it was a planted bomb that went off in the third sector of the city. The explosion site is close to the consulates of India, Pakistan and Iran.

“The blast took place due to a bomb placed in a garbage can close to Baet Nika mosque in Arzaq alley located in third sector of Jalalabad city at 11:20 am today,” states a post on the official facebook page of Nangarhar Media Center states. “It did not have casualties,” the press release adds.

Possible target the explosion is yet unknown but it comes few weeks after Afghanistan’s national intelligence agency foiled a terrorist plot to target vehicles of Indian consulate in Jalalabd city with a 30-KG bomb.

Full report at:



Pakistan establishes more security posts along its border with Afghanistan

Jan 05 2016

Pakistan has established more security posts in areas along its border with Afghanistan aimed to boost security.

Scouts Commandant of Pakistan’s Bajaur Agency has told reporters these check posts have been set up in Mamond, Salarzai and other areas along the border to prevent militants from attacking locals, pro-government elders and security forces.

According to Pakistan’s The Express Tribune news, Colonel Nair Zaman further said that the establishment of check posts and deployment of security forces will stop militants from infiltrating the agency and further into the country. “We have now sealed most of the border area, which will help maintain peace in the agency,” Zaman has been quoted as saying.

Full report at:





Only 33% of Muslims work, lowest among all religions

Subodh Varma

Jan 4, 2016

NEW DELHI: Muslims have the lowest share of working people - about 33% - among all religious communities in India. This is lower than the nationwide average work participation rate of 40%.

The figure for Jains and Sikhs stands at 36% each. Buddhists, comprising mostly Dalits who embraced Buddhism in the 20th century, have a high working population share at 43%. For Hindus, the figure is 41%. Drawn from the Census 2011 data, the statistics show a faith-based profile of India's 482 million strong workforce. The figures haven't changed much from the 2001 Census, indicating a stasis in the economic status of communities.

The key reason behind low work participation rates in some communities seems to be the low work participation of women. Women's participation is just 15% for Muslims and Sikhs, and even lower at 12% among Jains. Among Hindus, there are 27% working women, while it is 31% for Christians and 33% for Buddhists. Several smaller faiths fall under 'Other Religions'. These are mostly tribal communities from peninsular India and the northeastern states. Their work participation rates are markedly different from other communities. Nearly 48% of members of this section work, more than any of the country's six major religious communities. Women's work participation is also highest in tribal communities, at nearly 44%.

Census data also provides a picture of how many are engaged in what kind of work. For the country, 55% of workforce is in agriculture, as cultivators or as agricultural workers. The Census classifies all occupations in industry and services as 'Other', a convention since British times. This makes up 41% of all workers.Only 13% of Jains are involved in agriculture, the lowest for any community.

Full report at:



“No Muslim Is Feeling Ashamed of Living in India” Says the Man Who Was Once Sentenced to Death

Tanaya Singh 

January 5, 2016

India is a “far better” place for Muslims than any other Islamic country – said Abdul Qayyum Mansuri, the man who was wrongly branded as a terrorist and was sentenced to death after the 2002 Akshardham temple attack. After spending 11 years in prison for a crime that he had not committed, Mansuri was acquitted by the Supreme Court in May 2014.

But his words displayed his love and respect for India at a recent event organized in his honour. “No Muslim is feeling ashamed of living in India,” he said.

The function was organized on Sunday by a private trust named Sarvoday Youth Welfare Society. It was meant to honour him and dedicate a diary to him. For 27 years, the trust has been dedicating its diary to a prominent personality.

“When a prisoner is freed from jail, his past always haunts him. It was more of Hindu friends and lawyers who defended and supported me more than the Muslims,” he added.

Mansuri also said that he would be willing to offer his services to people from all religions and communities.

Full report at:



Muslims across sects condemn Saudi execution of cleric

Jan 5, 2016

CHENNAI: Muslims across sects have condemned the execution of moderate Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Baqir Al Nimr by the Saudi Arabian government two days ago.

Young Sunni cleric Maulana Ali Akbar Sajadiya Nashi, who recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the "spread of Saudi wahabism polarising Indian Muslims", described the execution as "an atrocity that will bring unrest in the Muslim world for which Saudi Arabian government will be responsible." He said though Riyadh may deny all the allegations as usual, the execution of Ayatollah Sheik Al Nimr showed the intolerance and double standards of the Saudi government.

Another Sunni cleric Maulana Nayaz Ahmed Jamali also expressed his condemnation saying the execution "based on false allegations is highly regrettable".

Shia Sunni Unity Movement general secretary Nusrath Ali Khan said the execution of Ayatollah Al Nimr was "an assassination of reason, moderation and dialogue." He said Ayatollah Nimr was pro-democratic, took a bold stand against atrocities and was a great leader of minorities. Secretary of the movement, Mohammed Mujiburrahman said, "We offer our condolences to the great martyr and stand by his family and cause."

Full report at:



ISI sought to fish out defence phone numbers from BSNL employees

Vimal Bhatia

 Jan 5, 2016

Jaisalmer: Defence establishments in Rajasthan have been advised not to share their contact details with any caller without proper verification.

District police have alerted the defence officials to take measures and ask officials to be cautious in the wake of the recent attempts made by Pakistan Intelligence agencies to extract contact details of the defence establishments through internet calls. Pak intelligence agency ISI, through internet calls, had tried to get landline telephone numbers of officers and jawans of the Indian Army from employees of the BSNL office here. Such calls were received from Pakistan at the BSNL office here, during the war exercise at Phalsoond area of Pokaran between September to December 2015.

According to district telecom officer Yogesh Bhaskar during the war exercise at Pokaran sub division, the Army unit here was allotted new numbers. It was then that the BSNL's accounts division got calls from Pakistan seeking information of telephone bills of unit officers and jawans. The caller also sought numbers of various Army locations. The calls though are made from Pakistan but are identified as those made from New Delhi. "The callers tried to hide their location through internet calling but we managed to identify their exact location and sounded alert," said the BSNL official.

He said at that time they could not know that calls were being made from Pakistan and the call attendant gave one or two numbers to Pakistan. "Later the intelligence agency alerted us that phone call was from Pakistan," he said.

Full report at:



After Saudi execution, unease over effect on Shia-Sunni equations

by Abantika Ghosh

New Delhi     

Jan 5, 2016

With Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shia cleric triggering outrage in Iran and other countries, there is some uneasiness in India on how the changing graph of international relations could affect Shia-Sunni equations in India.

Sunnis make up more than 90 per cent of Muslims in India, but opinion is divided on the extent of their allegiance to Saudi Arabia and antipathy to Iran.

Maulana Wali Rehmani, acting general secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, said, “The execution will increase the distance between Shias and Sunnis in the Arab world. But it will not reflect here as there is no such inherent tension here.”

Full report at:



Pathankot attack: One more terrorist killed, operations continue until base safe

Jan 5, 2016

After a third day of gunbattle at Pathankot Air Force Station, one more terrorist was declared killed, taking the total number to five, but indicating the continuing uncertainty about the number of infiltrators, officials said operations would continue until the base could be declared fully safe.

The attack at the airbase, located close to the Pakistan border, began early Saturday. Seven security forces personnel have been killed while 20 are injured.

A charred body was also found at the airbase and was being examined by forensic experts to ascertain if it was that of a sixth infiltrator.

“Combing and search operations continue. Security forces comprising NSG, the Army…are employed in the operation. Air Force has deployed all its assets… Police and intelligence are also working in sync to make this operation successful,” said National Security Guard Inspector General (Operations) Dushyant Singh on Monday evening.

“Given the magnitude of the airbase, operations will be conducted till we are able to fully render safe the base. However, I would like to inform that all the assets at the base, including personnel, families, have been secured and are safe,” he said.

He did not say how many more infiltrators were suspected to be still present within the base. According to official sources, some terrorists may have slipped into the air base even before an alert was sounded in Pathankot. “There is a high possibility that some terrorists may have entered the Pathankot air base even before an alert was sounded on January 1. Rajesh Verma (the jeweller who was abducted by terrorists on January 1) has revealed to the state police that he overheard a conversation between the terrorists and their handlers. From the conversation, he could make out that the terrorists were being pulled up for not having entered the air base yet, as two other terrorists had already done so,” said a source. “The terrorists were heavily armed. They were using AK-47s that had a slightly different contraption attached, not like under barrel grenade launchers, but something akin to mortar launchers,” the source added. It is also being probed whether local smuggling networks were used to stash arms and ammunition somewhere near Pathankot, even before the terrorists had infiltrated. Meanwhile, the United Jihad Council (UJC) Monday claimed responsibility for the attack. “The attack… was carried out by the national highway squad,” a Srinagar-based news agency, Current News Service (CNS), quoted UJC spokesman Syed Sadaqat Hussain as saying. According to CNS, Hussain claimed responsibility in a statement emailed from Muzaffarabad. “Our message is that no Indian installation is out of reach of the mujahideen,” he is reported to have said. The UJC, an amalgam of militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, is headed by Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin. According to official accounts, on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, a group of four persons dressed in army uniforms reportedly waylaid the car of Gurdaspur SP Salwinder Singh, who was travelling with his friend Rajesh Verma and his cook Gopal Das. The SP later reported that they were tied up, and after two hours of travel, he and Gopal Das were dumped. Verma, whose throat was slit but survived, was later left in a village called Beli. Confirming that it was known on January 1 that the Pathankot air base could be targeted, officials said the NSG was aware that it may be the attack site when they were sent to Pathankot. Securing the “inner periphery” at the air base was top priority at the time, they said. Security officials also revealed that there were intelligence inputs in the run-up to the Pathankot attack that the Jaish-e-Mohammed was planning “something spectacular”. Recent intelligence had revealed that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) had once again warmed up to JeM, they added. In November last year, three heavily-armed JeM militants were killed in an attack on an army camp near the Line of Control at Tangdhar in northern Kashmir. A civilian was also killed in the encounter, and a jawan had sustained injuries. An intelligence input the same month had warned that the ISI had brought together a group of around 30 terrorists from JeM, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen that was planning to cross into Indian territory from a camp in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) to carry out attacks. A meeting of terrorists from all three outfits was facilitated by the ISI at Peshawar, where instructions to cross over into the Kashmir valley and carry out attacks were issued, that input had claimed. Government sources said details of phone calls intercepted between the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot air base and their Pakistan-based handlers, as well as evidence of the terrorists having come from across the border, are expected to be shared with the Pakistan government whenever the two sides meet next. The NIA has registered cases under various sections of the IPC, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Arms Act against unknown persons, sources said. The three FIRs pertain to kidnapping of SP Salwinder Singh, murder of taxi driver Ikagar Singh and the attack on Pathankot air base by six terrorists. A team of NIA has been at the spot since Saturday. The NIA will take over the evidence and custody of the bodies of terrorists once the Army and NSG give clearance that the operation is over, sources said.

Full report at:



Jaish’s Bengal outreach: Masood Azhar speeches circulate online

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya

Jan 05, 2016

A Bangladeshi group has translated some of the fierce anti-India speeches of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), into Bengali and was circulating them online through various portals and social networking sites.

The security establishment saw these hate speeches of Azhar, the suspected mastermind of the Pathankot attack, as a ploy to penetrate into the potentially fertile grounds of West Bengal.

Ironically, he is heard asking people to shun TV, mobile phone and Internet to join the jihad for Kashmir.

The JeM chief, who was freed by India in exchange for passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 in December 1999 after five years in jail, reportedly maintains links with the Taliban and other terrorist groups from his base in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Intelligence officers said the speeches were meant for Muslims in Bangladesh as well as those living in West Bengal and Assam, states that have a large population of Bengali-speaking Muslims.

The group, Tawhid Media, is believed to have links with terrorist outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). During the investigation into the Khagragore blast in West Bengal, sleuths had unearthed JMB’s links with Azhar’s JeM.

Some of his Urdu speeches, titled Shahadat Ka Maqam, Ghawa-e-Hind and Aey Nojawano, have been translated into Bengali and are being shared through various outlets. These exhort Muslims to join the jihad “to free Kashmir”.

Full report at:





Shutting Down Islam’s Cauldrons of Hate

4 Jan 2016

Four days after the November 13 Paris attacks, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the U.S. will have “absolutely no choice” but to close down mosques where “some bad things are happening.” He suggested people need to—and are finally starting to—understand this.

In a word association game, conservative Donald Trump’s name would not trigger as a response that of France’s liberal president, Francois Hollande. Yet Hollande also agrees it is time to shut down some mosques.

During World War II, the U.S. used Navajo Indians to transmit messages in code over open radio nets. Most codes at the time were susceptible to being broken but, since the Japanese did not understand the Navajo language, its code never was.

Similarly, our failure to understand Arabic leaves us oblivious to the coded anti-West hate messages delivered in many mosques. If we understood them, we would not be surprised Muslim radicalization takes place in mosques serving as hate cauldrons.

The lack of Arabic speakers in critical U.S. government and military intelligence positions has plagued America ever since 9/11. Purportedly, when U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, it only had a handful of translators available.

Westerners’ Arabic illiteracy makes it easy for Islamic religious leaders to speak out both sides of the mouth—expressing moderation when addressing us in our native tongue but revealing a radicalized side when addressing believers in Arabic.

Such was the case with television Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi—considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars—in an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel in 2006.

It was noted during the interview, Qaradawi “magnanimously conceded that there is also room in heaven for devout Christians and Jews. But on his Arab-language website a short time later, he made it clear he believes Christians and Jews are ultimately nothing more than infidels” for whom Paradise is non-existent.

Qaradawi felt it necessary to quickly make this clarification lest he leave believers confused. His message is the same promoted in the Quran: Inhuman infidels have but three options: convert to Islam, death or, where allowed, pay a tax to Muslims, known as “jizya,” to practice their own religion. (U.K. Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has taken this last option to a brazen extreme, claiming he accepts U.K. welfare as jizya payments.)

Der Spiegel went on to report the following:

In a Berlin mosque, a television crew secretly recorded the sermon of a Turkish imam who described the Germans as godless and railed against their alleged stench. In London, hate preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri called upon the faithful to murder female tourists in his native Egypt, saying: ‘If a woman, even a Muslim woman, is naked and you have no way of covering her up, it is legitimate to kill her.’

In researching its article, Der Spiegel had sent correspondents to visit mosques from Nigeria to Indonesia to sit in on imams’ Friday Prayers, as that day’s prayers are the most important for devout Muslims. Some countries, such as Egypt, have to post police outside mosques on such days “to ensure that religious speech doesn’t suddenly turn into political invective.”

In countries like Pakistan (birthplace of San Bernardino mass killer Tashfeen Malik), Der Spiegel reported “religious scholars whipped their listeners into a holy frenzy and drew a sharp line between the Dar al-Islam, or House of Islam, and the Dar al-Harb, or House of War—the two spheres into which schools of Islamic legal thought have divided the world.”

According to this interpretation of Islam, there is a sphere where Islam already reigns (Dar al-Islam) and one where it does not, but eventually will (Dar al-Harb), thus making the latter a sphere of perpetual war until it happens. Nothing lies in between— i.e., there is no place on Planet Earth where non-Islamic control is to be respected and left in peace. Apparently, world peace only evolves upon global submission to Islam—i.e., in the form of a global caliphate. And, until the caliphate is established, every Muslim has a duty to carry out jihad to achieve it.

Full report at:



Accidental Hero: The Muslim Who Saved Jews in Paris Attack a Year Ago

05th January 2016

PARIS: Lassana Bathily was an undocumented migrant from Mali until he became an unlikely hero by saving shoppers' lives during the jihadist attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris a year ago.

The 25-year-old became the one positive story to emerge from the three days of violence in January, when jihadist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, police and the Jewish Hyper Cacher supermarket in the east of the capital killed a total of 17 people.

"Ah, here is my favourite Frenchman," cried President Francois Hollande when he received Bathily at the Elysee Palace a fortnight after the carnage.

Bathily, a shelf-stacker in the supermarket, helped save shoppers from gunman Amedy Coulibaly on that fateful day, January 9, 2015.

The narrative of a Muslim saving Jews from a jihadist made him a positive symbol of France's diversity.

But as he writes in his book "I'm Not a Hero" to be published Wednesday, heroism has been an uncomfortable mantle for Bathily.

"The next morning, I turned on Facebook and 800 people had asked to be my friend," he told AFP.

"In the days that followed I said 'No, I'm not a hero'. I did something that had to be done."

Bathily was just a few minutes from the end of his shift at the supermarket, unpacking frozen items in the basement, when he heard a flurry of gunfire upstairs and saw around a dozen people fleeing down the stairs.

Coulibaly, who claimed he was working in the name of the Islamic State group, had taken several shoppers hostage upstairs and ordered a cashier to go round up the others.

Some of those who were huddled downstairs obeyed, but others refused to go and Bathily urged them to use the goods elevator to escape.

When no one wanted to take the risk, he ushered them into the refrigerated room, flicking off the light and the motor, and then made his own escape via the elevator and a fire escape.

"My heart was beating so hard that I was scared I'd be heard," he said.

Once outside, he helped police sketch out the layout of the shop and prepare their raid. A few hours later, they stormed in and shot Coulibaly dead.

Some say Bathily's role was exaggerated by media and officials hungry for a good news angle.

"The media and officials wanted to paint this pretty picture, that he helped us escape downstairs, that he hid us, and so on. Which wasn't really true, but that's not Lassana's fault -- at that moment, we needed a hero," one of the former hostages later told the Liberation newspaper.

Bathily is not bothered by the backlash.

"If they now say that I didn't do anything for them, that's their problem. I won't play their game," he said.

- Hero's welcome -

Several days after the violence, Bathily was granted French citizenship by the president himself, something he says had been a dream since his childhood in a small village on the Mali-Senegal border.

But Bathily was passed over for a Legion d'Honneur, France's highest award, according to nominations published Friday.

He returned to a hero's welcome in Mali, where he was offered free rooms in top hotels and was received by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Bathily has set up an aid group to provide basic facilities in his village, which he left aged 16 to seek work in Paris.

Full report at:



Britain denounces IS video showing ‘spies’ shot

January 05, 2016

LONDON - An Islamic State video showing a young boy in military fatigues and an older masked militant who both spoke with British accents is “desperate” propaganda from an organisation that is losing ground, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

The video, which could not be independently verified, also shows the killing of five men accused of spying for the West. The masked man threatens Cameron and vows that Islamic State will one day occupy Britain before shooting one of the alleged spies in the head. The footage revived memories of “Jihadi John”, a British Islamic State member who appeared in several videos in which hostages were killed before his own death was reported in an air strike late last year.

“It’s desperate stuff from an organisation that really does do the most utterly despicable and ghastly acts and people can see that again today,” Cameron told reporters.

“This is an organisation that’s losing territory, it’s losing ground ... Britain will never be cowed by this sort of terrorism, our values are so much stronger than theirs. It may take a very long time but they will be defeated.”

In the latest fighting in Iraq, Islamic State has largely been pushed out of the city of Ramadi, its biggest prize of last year.

Cameron’s spokeswoman said Britain was examining the video and the prime minister was being kept updated. She was not aware whether Cameron himself had watched it.

“It serves as a reminder of the barbarity of Daesh and what the world faces with these terrorists. It is also clearly a propaganda tool and should be treated as such,” the spokeswoman said, referring to Islamic State by one of its Arabic acronyms.

When asked whether the men shown had been spies, the spokeswoman declined to comment on intelligence matters but said the group’s past propaganda had not all been true.

After the killings of the five men, a young English-speaking boy, who is wearing a black bandana and appears to be about four or five years old, is shown saying: “So go kill the kuffar right over there”.

Full report at:



Cameron dismisses 'desperate' ISIL video

04 January 2016

David Cameron has dismissed the latest ISIL execution video as “desperate stuff” from a group that is “losing territory”.

The U.K. Prime Minister was responding to gruesome footage of a masked man speaking in a British accent who taunts him before executing the prisoners kneeling in front him.

“It’s desperate stuff from an organization that really does do the most utterly despicable and ghastly acts and people can see that again today,” Cameron said in comments to broadcasters during a visit to East London.

“But this is an organization that's losing territory; it's losing ground [and] increasingly losing anybody's sympathy, and this again shows what an appalling organization we're up against.

“They hate us not for what we do but for what we are – the fact that we are a successful, tolerant, democratic, multi-faith, multi-ethnic nation.”

He continued: “But I know that Britain will never be cowed by this sort of terrorism. Our values are so much stronger than theirs.

“It may take a very long time but they will be defeated.”

In the video which was posted online late on Sunday night, the masked man waves a handgun as he describes Cameron as “the leader of a small island [who] threatens us with a handful of planes” and “an imbecile”.

U.K. security services have launched an investigation aimed at identifying the man, who appears to be emulating the style of Mohammed Emwazi, the 27-year-old ISIL fighter from London known in the tabloid press as ‘Jihadi John’.

Emwazi was killed in a U.K. drone strike last November. Britain began regular air strikes against ISIL in Syria the following month.

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Muslim Brotherhood blamed for refugee crisis

04 January 2016

Czech President Milos Zeman, known for his anti-refugee comments, on Monday claimed the current wave of more than a million newcomers to Europe was the work of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

"I believe this invasion is being organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, using financial means from a number of states," the outspoken  71-year-old leftwinger told the public Czech Radio.

Zeman said he had received the information regarding the Muslim Brotherhood -- an opposition force in Egypt where it has been outlawed as a terrorist organisation -- from two sources, "both Muslims and leading Arab politicians".

He said the record refugee crisis is due to Europe's obliging stance towards refugees on the one hand, and to "the efforts of the Brotherhood to meet its goals" on the other.

"The Muslim Brotherhood cannot start a war against Europe, it doesn't have the power, but it can prepare a growing refugee wave and gradually control Europe," said the Czech Republic's first-ever directly elected head of state.

Late last year, Zeman called the refugee wave "an organised invasion," urging young men from Iraq and Syria to "take up arms" against the ISIL group instead of running away.

Full report at:





No existence of Daesh in Pakistan

January 05, 2016



There is no existence of Daesh, also known as Islamic State, in Pakistan. "The number of people who have left the country to join the terrorist group Daesh is not more than hundred, which doesn't mean that IS exists in Pakistan," Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah declared on Monday.

Talking to the media at a ceremony held here on Monday, the provincial minister said that Pakistani security forces are working hard to keep such elements at bay.

He said that Daesh would not be allowed to establish its roots in Pakistan. Responding to a question regarding opposition leader Khurshid Shah's remarks, Rana Sanaullah said that if the opposition leader has any list regarding Daesh recruitments, he should provide it to the government.

Full report at:



PPP demands Imran’s arrest over TTP man treatment

January 05, 2016

LAHORE - Pakistan People’s Party staged a protest in front of Governor House Lahore yesterday and demanded the arrest of Imran Khan for his confessionary statement aired on a news channel that a TTP leader was provided treatment at Shoukat Khanam Memorial Hospital.

Speaking on the occasion, PPP’s Lahore chapter Information Secretary Faisal Mir, said that despite passing of many days, Imran Khan had neither been arrested nor any raid been conducted on SKMH by federal agencies to confiscate the medical record of those terrorist mentioned by Imran Khan in his interview.

Faisal Mir appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali and COAS General Raheel Sharif that PTI chief should be arrested for interrogation on 90 days remand. He also demanded that SKMH should be raided immediately to confiscate all the records related to medical treatment of the terrorists mentioned by Imran Khan.

He further said that Imran Khan should also be interrogated for his statements that Taliban were his disgruntled brothers. The PPP leader said government’s inaction on the issue vindicated Bilawal Bhutto’s stance that National Action Plan has been turned into the N League Action Plan and that the N League was using NAP for target killing of PPP.

Full report at:



Three Afghans among 5 outlaws nabbed in Pindi

January 05, 2016

Israr Ahmad

Rawalpindi - Police nabbed five people, including three Afghan nationals, during search operations yesterday that targeted two parts of the city.

Door-to-door checking of houses and occupants was undertaken by raiding teams from Naseerabad and Gunjmandi police stations under the command of City Police Chief Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi.

A large numbers of Afghan nationals whose permission to stay in Pakistan had expired have been staying illegally in rented rooms and houses in the densely populated areas of the city. Many landlords are not providing information on their tenants to police stations despite the mandatory registration requirements of the Punjab Temporary Residence Information Act 2015 

The requirement was introduced after the terrorist assault on a military- run school in Peshawar that killed more than 142 students, teachers and others in December 2015. The government of Pakistan has also adopted the National Action Plan (NAP) to crack down against terrorists and their supporters.

The five people, including the three Afghan nationals, brought into custody after failing to provide valid residency documents to police.

The detainees were shifted to police stations where police registered case against landlord Usman and his tenant Musa on charges of not providing the temporary residence information to police.

Full report at:



Six terrorists held with explosives

January 05, 2016

PESHAWAR - Special police unit of district Bannu Monday foiled a sabotage act by arresting six terrorists and also recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.

According to details, Bannu police have reliably learnt about the presence of terrorists along with arms and explosives hiding at an under construction home owned by Naik Nawaz resident of Perokhel Sorani.

The terrorists who were six in numbers were reportedly planning for a sabotage act.

Taking timely action, a team of police raided the house. The watchman of the house while taking advantage of the darkness managed to escape.

However, six of the terrorists, who were also involved in kidnapping and extortion, were apprehended red-handed along with explosives, arms and ammunitions.

The arrested terrorists were identified as Abidullah son of Walayat Khan Darpakhel Mirali, Shamsur Rehman son of Jamil Tappi Miranshah, Anwar Kamal son of Mohammad Ayub Darpakhel Miranshah, Safdar Iqbal son of Mohammad Qayyum Haddi Mirali, Nansoor son of Laiq Zaman of Darpakhel, and Qudratullah son of Noorullah Kotka Juma Khan Bannu.

Full report at:



Law enforcers tighten noose around terrorists

January 05, 2016


The Excise and Taxation Department field inspectors have started compiling fresh data of tenants following the recent arrests of certain suspects belonging to militant organisations including Islamic State (IS) and Daish in Gujranwala Division.

They are busy compiling fresh data on emergency grounds. E&T officials, on the request of anonymity, said that on the special directives of the Ministry of Interior, the law-enforcing agencies had given a special task to the Excise and Taxation Department of compiling the data of all the people residing in the rented places in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts.

The officials added that the fresh data would be compiled in a stipulated period of two weeks till January 15, 2016. According to the officials, the field inspectors were going door to door in their respective circles for the purpose. They said that in Sialkot and Gujranwala districts, the E&T Department had computerised record, which is helping them a lot in this regard.

The details of the cases registered, if any, against the people living in rented places, have also been sought separately besides seeking the details of their occupation, date of start of living and period of living in rented places, the number of their children, their character and their earlier places.

Full report at:



Dr Asim corruption case: Court grants NAB 14-day extension in former minister's judicial remand


Jan 5, 2016

KARACHI: An accountability court allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to keep custody of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain for 14 more days during a hearing on Tuesday.

NAB prosecution asked Administrative Judge Accountability Courts Saad Qureshi for a 15-day extension in Dr Asim's remand.

Dr Asim, who has been in NAB custody since Dec 11, is facing an inquiry into charges of misuse of authority in allotment of plots and encroachment of state land for Dr Ziauddin Hospital, kickbacks and commission through fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment, fraud with the public in the name of a charity hospital and money-laundering.

The prosecution said that 80 per cent of the investigation into the PPP leader was complete and two weeks would be required to complete the remaining 20pc of the investigation and other formalities.

Defence lawyers Amir Raza Naqvi and Anwar Mansoor Khan argued against further detention of their client, citing psychological pressure. The defence counsel contended Dr Asim was physically and mentally disturbed due to his detention, and that the former minister was not mentally active.

The defence said his detention violated certain articles of the law. They maintained that he was not required for the investigation any longer and asked for him to be sent to prison on judicial remand.

Dr Haroon who was ordered to conduct a psychological check up of Dr Asim said in his report presented in court today that the detainee was under extreme mental stress and should be provided with an open and relaxed environment. He recommended conducted medical tests, including an MRI on Dr Asim.

The court directed NAB to conduct the recommended medical tests and investigations, take the reports to Dr Haroon and then comply with his directions.

The Dr Asim saga

Dr Asim, a close aide of former president Asif Zardari, was arrested by Rangers on Aug 26 from his office. His arrest was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during the ongoing Karachi operation.

Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention on Nov 25, the Rangers handed him over to police after lodging a case against him for allegedly treating and harbouring terrorists at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of Dr Ziauddin Hospital at the behest of PPP and MQM leaders.

Police sought multiple extensions in his remand for further questioning and collection of evidence in a case relating to treatment of, and sheltering, terrorists. His police remand was due to end on Dec 12, but the police released him earlier as it could not find any terror-related evidence against him.

The Rangers moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the police move to release Dr Asim alleging that enough evidence existed against the PPP leader to charge him for the offences mentioned in the FIR.

Full report at:



New Delhi hints at rethink of foreign secretaries’ talks


Jan 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: India said on Monday it would take a decision on the next round of talks with Pakistan after the operations at the Pathankot airbase are over, amid reports that Delhi had handed some “actionable information” to Islamabad about the ongoing crisis.

Sources said there was a possibility of another round of NSA-level talks before the scheduled foreign secretaries meeting.

Press Trust of India said the government was weighing all options on the talks process with Pakistan and a “final call” was likely this week.

“I think let the operations get over and it is only then government takes a view on such matters,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

He was speaking to reporters after a meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussed the terror attack.

Reports claim India has given ‘leads’ to Pakistan about role of some groups in attack on airbase

Mr Jaitley was asked about the impact of the Pathankot attack on the proposed Indo-Pak talks.

Asked about the identity of the terrorists, he said: “I think we are at a stage where operations are still on (and) therefore it is not proper for me to say anything more than that.”

Mr Jaitley said combing operations took time as the base is a large complex with a 24km long circumference.

STANDOFF: Reports were confusing and varied. There were claims that five militants were killed while hunt was on for the body of a sixth fighter.

Security forces managed to confine the terrorists to a limited area and have been successful in containing any damage to the strategic assets at the air base, he said, adding the combing operations is taking long because there could be explosives.

Stating that security forces took prompt action, Mr Jaitley said the gunmen had come with the main objective of damaging strategic assets at Pathankot air base.

“These were well trained terrorists and part of suicide squad.

When such kind of Fidayeen attack takes place it has potential to cause huge damage. The complex is very big. The circumference of airbase is 24 kms therefore combing operations is also taking time,” he said.

Full report at:



Islamabad deplores attack on Saudi embassy in Tehran

Jan 5, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan disapproved on Monday a mob attack on Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran, which sparked a diplomatic crisis between Iran and Arab countries.

“The attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, which is against international norms, is most unfortunate and deeply regrettable,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It said: “It is the responsibility of states to provide full safety and security to all diplomatic missions and their personnel.”

Protesters agitating against execution of Shia scholar Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia had on Sunday ransacked and set on fire Kingdom’s embassy in Tehran.

The statement comes ahead of a Jan 7 visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir to Islamabad. He was to previously visit Islamabad on Sunday, but postponed the visit at the eleventh hour following escalation with Iran.

There were rumours that Pakistan was also exploring options about downgrading its diplomatic relationship with Iran.

After repeated attempts, the FO spokesman replied: “I will not comment on rumours and speculations.”

Full report at:



Sharif presents ‘Majestic Pakistan’ to Lankan PM

Jan 5, 2016

COLOMBO: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presented a book, ‘Majestic Pakistan’, to his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at its launching ceremony here on Monday.

A Pakistan-Sri Lanka friendship anthem prepared by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo was also launched on the occasion.

The event, organised by the Pakistan High Commission, was attended by Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Advisor retired Lt Gen Nasir Khan Janjua and Pakistan’s High Commissioner retired Maj Gen Syed Shakil Hussain.

Also read: Sri Lanka, Pakistan sign six MoUs to enhance cooperation

Sri Lanka’s first lady was also present on the occasion.

Majestic Pakistan launched in English, Sinhalese and Tamil languages is a compilation of photographs depicting the beautiful scenery of different areas of Pakistan and is aimed at promoting the country’s tourism abroad. The book also highlights Pakistan being home to old Buddhist civilisation, which is held in high esteem in Sri Lanka’s socio-religious culture.

Later, Prime Minister Sharif and Mr Wickremesinghe, along with other dignitaries, attended a dinner reception hosted by the Pakistan High Commission.

Earlier, Mr Wickremesinghe received Mr Sharif on his arrival at the Bandranaike International Airport. A red carpet was rolled out for Prime Minister Sharif and a contingent of Sri Lankan forces presented a static guard of honour to him. Two children clad in traditional dresses presented bouquets to Mr Sharif and Begum Kalsoom.

The prime minister is undertaking the visit on the invitation of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. He will hold meetings with the Sri Lankan leadership on issues of mutual interest.

Full report at:



Drugs mafia fleecing patients

January 05, 2016


Police found and seized expired drugs in a medical store as the post of drug inspector has been vacant for a long time whereas the only official gets salary while sitting at home somewhere out of the district.

Local people said that once in a blue moon the drug inspector visits the town but he never inspected the stores. They said the local drug sellers arranged the stay of the inspector in a hotel as their guest from where he went back after enjoying visits to Kalash valleys and other tourist spots at the expense of the drug mafia. It is also alleged that fake drugs were being sold in the bazaar without any check.

Full report at:



Southeast Asia


Abe approaches Russia for peace deal, anti-terrorism

January 05, 2016

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe courted Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, holding out the prospect for a summit as he renewed his call for progress on an elusive World War II peace treaty.

The two countries have never officially struck a peace accord more than after 70 years after the end of the conflict amid a territorial dispute over four Japanese islands seized by Soviet troops at the war's conclusion. "President Putin and I share the view that it is abnormal for our nations not to have a peace treaty 70 years since" the war, Abe said at his first press conference of the year.

"The issues related to the Northern Territories cannot be resolved without exchanges between the leaders," he added, referring to the Japanese appellation for the islands.

"I will continue my dialogue with President Putin when opportunities arise," he added. "We will explore the most appropriate timing for his visit to Japan."

Putin has come under intense criticism from the United States and other democracies over Russia's annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with the country's participation in the Group of Eight summits under suspension.

Abe is hosting a meeting of Group of Seven leaders in May. Putin is not expected to attend and Abe did not suggest otherwise.

But he emphasised the need for dialogue, saying the international community must encourage Russia's participation in the world's fight against terrorism and the Syrian crisis. "It is also important that we gain Russia's constructive engagement to deal with issues of terrorism, Syria and Iran," Abe said.

Full report at:



Why the need to show we’re more Islamic than others?

Arfa Yunus

January 5, 2016

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) should not be compelled to follow in the footsteps of Rayani Air by introducing Shariah-compliant policies on its flights, said former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in an exclusive interview with FMT yesterday.

He said that Rayani Air was merely using Shariah compliance as a profit-making concept.

“We know that the owner [of Rayani Air] is a Hindu. So I guess there is a Hindu who heeds the teachings of Islam. He is making a profit from Islamic teachings. Nowadays, people use all sorts of methods to make a profit, interpreting it as a requirement in Islam.

“No need [for MAB to follow Rayani Air]. From my observation, other airlines from Arab countries too do not use that concept. So why are we trying so hard to show that we are more Islamic than others?” he said when met at his office at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.

” In other Muslim countries where the people are 100 per cent Muslims, they were never asked to stop serving alcohol during flights.

Full report at:



Muslim Uighurs seethe at China’s crackdown


January 5, 2016

Families sundered by a wave of detentions. Mosques barred from broadcasting the call to prayer. Restrictions on the movements of labourers that have wreaked havoc on local agriculture. And a battery of ever more intrusive ways to monitor the communications of citizens for possible threats to public security.

A recent 10-day journey across the Xinjiang region in the far west of China revealed a society seething with anger and trepidation as the government, alarmed by a slow-boil insurgency that has claimed hundreds of lives, has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behaviour and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority that considers this region its homeland.

Driving these policies is the government’s view that tougher security and tighter restraints on the practice of Islam are the best way to stem a wave of violence that included a knife attack at a coal mine that killed dozens of people in September.

The tough security measures are on full view for travellers as they stop at the ubiquitous highway checkpoints that slow movement across this rugged expanse of deserts and snowy peaks.

Intrusive search

As heavily armed soldiers rummage through car trunks and examine ID cards, ethnic Uighur motorists and their passengers are sometimes asked to hand over their cell phones so police can search them for content or software deemed a threat to public security.

In addition to jihadist videos, the police are on the lookout for Skype and WhatsApp, apps popular with those who communicate with friends and relatives outside China, and for software that allows users to access blocked websites. “All of us have become terror suspects,” said a 23-year-old Uighur engineering student who said he was detained overnight in November after the police found messages he had exchanged with a friend in Turkey. “These days, even receiving phone calls from overseas is enough to warrant a visit from state security.”

Full report at:



M’sia calls on Tehran to protect foreign missions in Iran

January 5, 2016

PUTRAJAYA: Expressing concern over the developments in the Middle East in the wake of mob attacks on Saudi Arabian diplomatic missions, Malaysia has called on Tehran to take all appropriate steps to protect foreign missions in Iran.

Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, in a statement issued today, said this was in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

He also called for necessary legal action to be taken against the perpetrators of the attacks.

“Malaysia is deeply concerned over the developments in the Middle East region and strongly condemns the acts of the mob that attacked the Embassy and Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad, respectively,” he said.

Full report at:



Captain Hasman to be buried in Masjid Tanah

January 5, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: The body of a Malaysian army captain who drowned in the recent floods in Missouri, United States, is expected to arrive in Malaysia tomorrow.

The body of Capt Hasman Hussin is expected to be flown in tomorrow to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 1.15pm by a China Airlines flight, according to a statement from the Army headquarters.

The remains will be taken to Melaka for funeral prayers at As-Syuhada Mosque in Terendak Camp before burial at the Kampung Durian Daun Muslim cemetery in Masjid Tanah.

Hasman’s remains were brought to New York at 5.30am, Sunday after being flown by a commercial aircraft from Lambert-St Louis International Airport, Missouri, on Saturday.

Hasman, 33, who had been attending a course at Fort Leonard Wood since October 1, was reported missing on December 26 when the vehicle he was travelling in with four college mates was swept away by floodwaters in Missouri. His college mates also drowned.

Last Wednesday, the Army confirmed that his body was found at 11am on December 28 (1am, December 29 in Malaysia).

In MELAKA, Hasman’s family is preparing to leave for the KLIA early tomorrow.

Full report at:



Suspended CEO alleges graft over Islamic college’s RM10m ‘debt’


January 5, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 ― Dr Syed Omar Syed Agil, who was suspended as CEO of the Baitulmal Professional Institute (IPB) last October, has accused IPB officials of corruption over the Islamic college's RM10 million debt recorded in 2014.

Syed Omar said according to the college’s financial report, IPB's debt doubled from RM4.8 million in 2012 to RM10 million in 2014, but he could not obtain the names of the debtors, dates, and other details despite making numerous requests to an IPB official.

He alleged that the high increase of debt was most likely due to the approval of false claims.

“I’m making this police report so that PDRM will investigate more carefully the mismanagement and criminal breach of trust that have been happening since 2012 until after 2014,” Syed Omar said in his police report that was sighted by Malay Mail Online, using the Malay initials for the Malaysian police force.

The report containing his accusations against IPB was lodged here on September 1 last year.

The CEO of the private higher education institution that is 70 per cent owned by the Federal Territories Islamic Council (MAIWP) also accused IPB of overpaying taxes by RM605,000 in 2014.

He said the tax consultant worked out the taxes to be paid was just RM295,000 but instead it was later changed to RM900,000 by an IPB official, a clear difference of RM605,000.

“This shows that the payment of taxes was unreasonable because the payment exceeded what was ordered by LHDN,” Syed Omar said, using the Malay initials for the Inland Revenue Board.

Syed Omar also questioned why IPB's fixed deposits dropped in 2012 from RM10.2 million to RM9.9 million and dipped even further to RM7.4 million in 2014, even though the Islamic college made a RM3.5 million profit in 2013.

The suspended CEO further alleged that a top MAIWP official had ordered IPB company auditors to send a clean report, or “Unqualified Report”, to the National Audit Department in 2014, which he said was markedly different from the Qualified Report that the company auditors had prepared earlier.

“This shows there was mismanagement and suspicious activities done,” he added.

Syed Omar, who started serving as IPB CEO from September 2, 2014, claimed that many cheques, including one for the liquidation of a RM1 million deposit in November 2014, were signed without his knowledge or approval.

He also alleged that IPB's two previous CEOs were terminated on shaky grounds and that the Islamic tertiary education institution was forced to pay compensation.

Besides lodging the police report that is now being investigated under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust by a public servant, Syed Omar also sent a letter containing the same allegations on August 14 last year to the MACC.

Syed Omar won yesterday a temporary injunction at the High Court here against his suspension from IPB whom he accused of acting against him for whistleblowing on the alleged financial mismanagement.

Full report at:





Muslim unity essential to defuse plots: religious scholars

By Zahra Sadat Khezry

Jan 5, 2016

TEHRAN – Two prominent religious scholars believe that unity is the most influential tool to counter plots by terrorists who have been trying incessantly to create divisions among Muslim sects.

“We are at a time that sectarianism and terrorism focus on dividing Muslims in the world, so we need to promote and strengthen unity among all Islamic nations to neutralize enemy plots,” Abd Alsalam Rajeh, the vice chairman of Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro Foundation in Syria, told the Tehran Times on the sidelines of the Islamic unity conference in Tehran.

Hamed H. Alabdullah, the vice dean of consulting, training and research in Kuwait University, also told the Tehran Times that “terrorism cannot be eradicated by bombs, weapons, and military force”.

President Hassan Rouhani told the Islamic unity meeting - which was held on December 27-29 - that it is essential to uproot the “ideology of violence” which has generated extremism and terrorism. Rouhani also expressed regret that about 84 percent of the acts of terror and massacres are taking place in the Muslim world, particularly in North Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia.

Following is the text of the interview with Rajeh and Alabdullah:

Q: Mr. Abd Alsalam Rajeh, what is the most pressing need of the Islamic world at this time of history?

A: Currently unity is essential for survival of Islamic countries. We are at a time of history that sectarianism and terrorism have been focusing on dividing Muslims in the world, so we need to promote and strengthen unity among all Islamic nations to neutralize enemy plots”.

Facing such atrocities in the Islamic world Muslims have two alternatives: either to unite or to go astray. So we can say that salvation results from convergence of nations.

Peace is the real face of Islam which is in conformity with the dignity of all human beings.

Q: In your opinion, how can we fight terrorism?

A: Terrorism has left a negative effect on the Islamic world and the entire world in general. The first effect has been on power of Islam and its teachings, so in such circumstances we should at first refer to Quran that recommends benevolence, charity, compassion, generosity, helping others and then the Prophet’s tradition which can offer various roadmaps for facing the challenges related to extremism and the crises in the world.

Full report at:



Turkey calls for return to diplomatic language in Saudi-Iran row

5 January 2016

Turkey’s foreign ministry on Tuesday expressed concern over mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran following the execution of a Shi’ite preacher, calling for calm and a return to diplomatic language.

“Turkey calls for an end to threats, and a return to diplomatic language, and urges mutual caution,” a statement from the ministry said.

Full report at:



Saudi to restore ties when ‘Iran stops meddling’

5 January 2016

Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would restore ties with Iran when Tehran stopped meddling in the affairs of other countries and pledged that Riyadh would continue to work "very hard" to support bids for peace in Syria and Yemen despite the spat.

Saudi Arabia cut all ties with Iran on Sunday following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

The attack was prompted by Saudi Arabia's execution of Shiite preacher Nimr al-Nimr, provoking outrage from Iran.

When asked what it would take for ties to be restored, Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters: "Very simple - Iran to cease and desist from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, including our own."

He added, "If they do so, we will of course have normal relations with Iran. We are not natural-born enemies of Iran."

On Monday, Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh's example. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters that Riyadh would also halt air traffic and commercial relations between the rival powers.

Jubeir blamed Iran's "aggressive policies" for the diplomatic action, alluding to years of tension that spilled over on Saturday night when Iranian protesters stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran.

Full report at:



Security Council urges Saudi Arabia, Iran to avoid tensions

Jan 5, 2016

The UN Security Council has called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to avoid actions that could exacerbate tensions in the region after the kingdom's execution of prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

In a statement on Monday, the 15-member council urged the two sides to “maintain dialogue and take steps to reduce tensions in the region.”

The council made no mention of the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, which has triggered angry protests in Iran and elsewhere across the world.

The statement, instead, censured assaults on two Saudi missions in Iran during angry protests which broke out following sudden execution of Sheikh Nimr. 

The Security Council called on Iran “to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel.”

Iranian officials have said some 50 people were detained over the incidents outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad.

President Hassan Rouhani denounced the assaults and pledged to deal firmly with "unruly" elements.

Iranians hold a protest rally against the Saudi execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Tehran, January 4, 2016. (Tasnim)

Saudi Arabia used the incidents to attack Iran and on Sunday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom was severing all diplomatic relations with Iran.

Iran has said Saudi rulers were trying to divert attention from the Nimr execution fallout and other domestic problems.

Full report at:



Israel shells south Lebanon after Hezbollah attack

Jan 5, 2016

BEIRUT: Militant group Hezbollah said on Monday that it set off a bomb targeting Israeli forces at the Lebanese border in an apparent response to the killing in Syria last month of a prominent commander, triggering Israeli shelling of southern Lebanon.

Israel’s army said the blast targeted military vehicles in the Shebaa farms area, and that Israeli forces responded with artillery fire. It made no mention of casualties.

Lebanese media said Israeli shelling had hit the nearby town of Al Wazzani and other areas, with initial reports of injuries and damage to homes.

Hezbollah’s statement named the group that had carried out the attack after Samir Qantar. The group had accused Israel of killing Qantar in an air strike in Syria, and vowed to retaliate.

The “Samir Qantar group detonated a large explosive device on an Israeli patrol in the Shebaa farms... which destroyed an Israeli vehicle... and injured those inside it,” it said.

Full report at:



Yemen govt declares curfew in Aden after 22 killed in fighting

January 05, 2016

ADEN - Authorities in Yemen’s southern city of Aden imposed a curfew on Monday after violence blamed on suspected militants killed at least 22 people, pro-government media and security sources said.

Suspected Islamic State group (IS) militants in the city also shot dead Sheikh Ali Othman, a Sufi imam who was considered a moderate, security officials said.

The curfew will come into force at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) and last until 5:00 am (0200 GMT), the website said, citing a decision by the Aden Security Commission.

The decision comes after fierce battles on Sunday in the port of Aden killed 22 people, among them 10 members of the security forces including a colonel, the security sources said.

Security sources said the clashes erupted when forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi came up against resistance when they tried to deploy in the port to secure it completely.

They said the fighting lasted for several hours and that pro-Hadi forces eventually managed to take control of the facility. Witnesses said they saw an unprecedented number of armed men in Aden on Sunday, without being able to identify them.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda militants have stoned a woman to death in a southeastern Yemeni city that they control after accusing her of adultery and prostitution, several witnesses said on Monday.

The militants on Sunday “placed the woman in a hole in the middle of the courtyard of a military building and stoned her to death in the presence of dozens of residents” of Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla, one witness said. A local journalist at the scene confirmed the rare stoning, saying that the gunmen prevented photography of the execution.

“This was the first time we have seen such a thing,” another witness said.

A copy of the purported verdict issued by the so-called Hadramawt court of Al-Qaeda’s Ansar al-Sharia in December said the married woman had “confessed in front of the judges to committing adultery”.

The verdict said the woman also admitted “without any coercion that she practised prostitution, as a pimp... and that she worked with a group of women in brothels”.

She also confessed to smoking hashish, it added.

The verdict said that the woman was sentenced to be stoned to death for “committing adultery as a married woman... and eighty lashes for consuming hashish”.

Stonings are commonly reported in areas controlled by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. IS militants have become infamous for imposing such punishments, as well as throwing alleged homosexuals from the roofs of buildings.

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Turkey jails Kurdish mayor for 15 years over PKK links

January 05, 2016

ANKARA:- A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a co-mayor of a major city in the Kurdish-majority southeast to 15 years in jail on charges of membership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Bekir Kaya, co-mayor of the city of Van which has a population of around half a million, was convicted by a court in Van of being a member of the PKK and its urban wing the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), the Anatolia news agency said.–AFP

The verdict was confirmed by a colleague contacted by AFP who asked not to be named.

Twelve other defendants in the trial were also given prison sentences of between 15 years and 7.5 years, Anatolia said.

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From Execution of Nimr Baqr al-Nimr to Cutting Ties Between Saudi Arabia and Iran: Latest Strories

Jan 05, 2016


- Source: Iranian diplomats will leave Saudi Arabia tonight following the cutting ties between Riyadh and Tehran.

- Sudan gave Iranian diplomats two weeks to leave the country following Khartoum's decision to cut diplomatic relations with Tehran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

- Kuwait said its ambassador that is on a working leave in Kuwait city will not return to Tehran until further consultations.

- Switzerland summoned Saudi Arabia’s charge d’affaires to express its dismay over Riyadh’s execution of 47 people, including prominent Shiita cleric Nimr Baqr al-Nimr.

- The Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced that the Australian government supports the universal abolition of the death penalty and "we are deeply disturbed by the recent ­executions carried out in Saudi Arabia".

- The Saudi riyal fell sharply against the US dollar in the forward foreign exchange market after relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran deteriorated, raising concern that dollar funding for the kingdom could become more expensive.


- The UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura headed off to Saudi Arabia and Iran for talks to diffuse tensions between the two countries.

- Saudi Arabia closed Iran Pilgrims Affairs Office in Jeddah.

- The Arab League is planning to hold emergency talks on Riyadh's request to discuss the Iranian attacks on the Saudi embassy.

- The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh is planning to cut off all flights between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and will ban its citizens from traveling to the Islamic Republic. He added, however, that Iranian pilgrims were still welcome to visit Saudi Arabia’s holy sites of Mecca and Medina.

- UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had phone calls with Iranian and Saudi Arabia's foreign ministers in an effort to diffuse tensions.

- Hundreds of Muslims in US, UK, Iraq and Turkey staged rallies to protest against the execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Saudi regime

- Oman's Ambassador to Tehran Saud bin Ahmad al-Bardani criticized Saudi Arabia for severing relations with Iran.

- Thousands of Iranian people, students and seminaries gathered at Imam Hossein (AS) square in Tehran to condemn the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the Riyadh government. The demonstrators described the al-Saud dynasty as a devilish regime whose acts can no more be overlooked, and underlined that the Saudi government is taking its last breaths.

- Bahrain and Sudan announced that they were cutting off diplomatic relations with Iran following the storming of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran, while the United Arab Emirates said it was reducing the number of Iranian diplomats in the country.

- A diplomatic source said that Russia is ready to invite the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers to Moscow for negotiations.

Full report at:



Speaker: Parliament Supports More Budget for Iran's Missile Program

Jan 05, 2016

"The IRGC's power terrifies the enemies," Larijani said after visiting an IRGC missile base on Tuesday.

He described the IRGC's progress in building different military equipment and weapons as admirable, and said such a capability is a deterrent factor which establishes security and peace in the country and the region.

Larijani underlined that the parliament will support funding for Iran's missile program more than ever in the country's sixth five-year development plan.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Larijani underlined the importance of President Hassan Rouhani's order to the defense ministry to enhance and accelerate development of the country's missile capability in response to the US new sanctions against Tehran, and said the missile program should further expand.

"Iran will continue its path and will expand its missile technologies," Larijani told reporters upon arrival at Bushehr airport in Southern Iran.

He underlined that the Iranian officials and lawmakers are ready to render any kind of help to the development of the country's missile program and stand against the Americans' "incorrect measures" either through increasing the program's budget and planning or through presenting separate bills (by the parliament) in this regard.

Larijani also referred to the recent hostile measures adopted by the US Congress against Iran, and warned that if any party planning to violate the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers clinched in July, it will be isolated.

Also, on Friday, Major General Mohsen Rezayee, the secretary of Iran's highly renowned vetting body, the Expediency Council, asked President Rouhani to reciprocate the United States' hostile policies with offensive moves and order the Defense Ministry to boost the range of Iran-made missiles to 5,000km.

In his letter to the president, Rezayee reminded that when the US took hostile measures against Iran's nuclear program and Tehran, in response, took an offensive move and increased the number of centrifuges to 20,000, the US was forced to come to the negotiating table and recognize Iran's nuclear enrichment rights.

"I hope the range of Iran's missiles will exceed 5,000 kilometers with your support soon," he added, saying that such a move would force the US to put an end to its meddling policies with regard to Iran's defense program.

The senior Iranian official reiterated that the US would feel sorry and come to realize that its measures are futile when Iran increases the range of its missiles to 5,000km to bring US targets as remote as Diego Garcia within its scope.

Diego Garcia was the US air base which was involved in the attack on Iran in Tabas incident in the early years after the Islamic Revolution more than three decades ago.

He said the US is seeking to re-impose sanctions against Iran under different pretexts after removing them under the nuclear deal that was clinched between Tehran and the six world powers in Vienna in July, and the Islamic Republic needs to show a firm response to make Washington understand that it cannot succeed in keeping Iran under pressure through such deceptive moves.

Full report at:



Saudi Riyal Falls Sharply after Cutting Ties with Iran

Jan 05, 2016

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday in response to the storming of its embassy in Tehran. The diplomatic row between the two major oil producers escalated following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric on Saturday, Reuters reported.

One-year dollar/Saudi riyal forwards jumped to 680 points, near a 16-year high, from a close of 425 points on Thursday.

The riyal has little scope to move in the spot foreign exchange market because of its peg of 3.75 to the dollar, so banks use the forwards market to hedge against risks.

In the last few months, the riyal dropped in the forwards market to its lowest level since 1999 because of fears that huge Saudi budget deficits due to low oil prices might eventually force Riyadh to abandon the currency peg.

An austerity budget for 2016 which Riyadh announced last week appeared to partly ease such fears, but geopolitical tensions may now increase them.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have had tense relations for many years without direct, major conflict, and the breaking of diplomatic ties will not necessarily have a direct impact on their economies, which have minimal trade and investment ties.

But geopolitics could make foreign banks and investors more wary of funding Saudi Arabia, at a time when Riyadh is considering borrowing abroad to ease the pressure of funding its fiscal deficit on the domestic banking system.

Full report at:





Why ‘Islamic States’ in Africa will survive 2016

By Theodoros Benakis

JANUARY 5, 2016

Belgium – Brussels : The crisis in Syria and the situation created by Islamic State in the Middle East have shadowed the events related to the ‘Islamic States’ in Africa. Somalia, Nigeria, Mali and Libya, each with its own ‘Islamic State’, represent a serious threat to stability in Africa, and Europe, as well.

Despite the fact that Western powers involved in the fight against the jihadists in Africa, in cooperation with the friendly African governments, have repeatedly declared that the Islamist movements have been defeated, the reality is quite different.

Even though they started from different bases and cultural environments, the ‘Islamic States’ in Africa have enjoyed a surprising level of persistence in keeping and organising their ‘territories’, as well as a remarkable capacity to attract fresh recruits.

Another issue is that Western powers are treating these ‘states’ as if they were terrorist organisations. This is not so. A fundamental difference exists between a terrorist organisation, such as Al-Qaeda, and these four main Islamic movements in Africa.

Al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb and Islamic State in Libya, are now acting on a transnational basis as they seize territory and organise, in one way or another, state structures. In addition, they have endless resources for recruitment.


The reason for their ‘success’ is quite obvious. It is the nonexistence of a real state, and the chaos resulting from the lack of any state structure, as is the case of Somalia, Libya and Mali. It is also the total and deep corruption that annihilates the state, such as in Nigeria.

In northern Muslim Nigeria, for example, it is the police who are feared more by the general population than the jihadists because they are the ones who are conducting torture, forcing bribes and looting. In Somalia, the state army soldiers are also looting because they are badly and rarely paid by the government.

To the above, one can also add the problem of endemic poverty that exists in all these countries and areas affected by jihadist movements.

It is also important to note that the Salafist form of jihad, despite the fact that Westerners have also been targeted at times, is directed against Sunni Muslim governments. What is more, it is the failure of these governments to fulfil the fundamental needs of their populations that has allowed the Salafist version of Islam to be so successful in areas traditionally belonging to more tolerant forms of Islam.

Salafism has extended and theologically legitimated the notion of a jihad against non-pious Muslim rulers as well.

Full report at:



Sudan rebels attack army garisson in restive southern state

Jan 4, 2016

Sudan’s army says anti-government rebels have attacked an army garrison in the volatile state of South Kordofan, with both sides giving conflicting accounts of the incident.

Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said Monday that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) launched the attack on the Mazlagan garrison on Saturday, but “they were repulsed and driven off.”

Shami said more than 13 of the SPLM-N forces were killed and an unknown number injured whereas the army suffered no casualties.

However, in a statement late Sunday, SPLM-N’s spokesman Arnu Lodi said their forces killed 30 government forces, “destroyed five four-wheel-drive vehicles and burned the garrison building before withdrawing.”

Lodi put the death toll among the SPLM-N forces at only four.

The attack came days after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced a month-long extension to September’s ceasefire in the country’s conflict-hit border regions.

The SPLM-N has been fighting against the Sudanese government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state since 2011, saying the states were being politically and economically marginalized.

Full report at:



Daesh militants attack key Libya oil facility

Jan 4, 2016

Libya's army soldiers have pushed back Daesh Takfiri militants after the terrorists carried out attacks near a key oil facility in the country's north, an army official says.

A car bomb attack hit a military check point at the entrance of the town of al-Sidra on Monday and killed at least two soldiers, army colonel Bashir Boudhfira said.

"We were attacked by a convoy of a dozen vehicles belonging to Daesh," Boudhfira said, "They then launched an attack on the town of Ras Lanouf via the south but did not manage to enter" and were pushed back.

An oil official also said that a 420,000-barrel oil tank in Ras Lanouf caught fire during clashes between army troops and Daesh militants.

Full report at:



Nigeria: Okowa Urged to Sack Delta Muslim Pilgrims Board

4 JANUARY 2016

By Egufe Yafugborhi

Warri — IndigeneMuslims in Delta State have asked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to reverse his recent reconstitution of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, complaining that the new board gave prominence to non-indigene Muslims.

The six-member board, as constituted, is made up of four non-indigene Muslims, including Dr. Ismaila Okudaye, Chairman and two Deltans including Alhaji A Amori (Secretary) and Alhaja Mariam Nabiri.

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Nigerian Muslims Condemn Execution of Saudi Cleric

4 JANUARY 2016

By Okoro Chinedu

Lagos — THE Islamic Movement in Nigeria has condemned the execution of prominent Shia Muslim cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, in Saudi Arabia.

Kept in Saudi prison since July 2012, he has been put to death after being convicted by what the interior ministry called terrorism offences.

Islamic Movement of Nigeria National President, Ibrahim Musa, however said it was known by all and sundry watching the international scene that Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in Eastern Province in 2011, when a Shia majority have long complained of marginalisation.

"We condemn in strong terms the execution of the Sheikh, because killing of Ulama of his status who advocate for change in their societies will not augur well for peace and development, the state executioners normally deceive the public that that was what they crave for," said Musa.

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