New Age Islam
Thu Aug 06 2020, 02:57 PM

Islamic World News ( 20 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Defeating Islamic State will not end jihadist threat in Syria, report warns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: About a third of rebel groups in Syria - some 100,000 fighters - share the ideology of so-called Islamic State (IS), new research suggests.

 

Arab World

Defeating Islamic State will not end jihadist threat in Syria, report warns

One-third of Syrian rebels share ISIS' ideology: research

Russian air strikes claim 43 lives in Syrian city

Syrian Forces Win Back More Lands near Maheen in Homs Province

Syrian Fighter Jets Carry Out Combat Sorties West of ISIL-Held Palmyra

Commander: ISIL Unable to Threaten Iran

Syrian Warplanes Inflict More Casualties on Militants in Hama

Syria: Tens of Militants Surrender to Government Troops in Homs

Terrorists Pinned Down in Dara'a under Syrian Forces Attacks

Syrian Army Kills 12 Nusra Militants in Clashes across Aleppo City

Jets believed to be Russian kill scores in Syrian city: rescue workers

Blast hits military bus in Syrian capital: witnesses

------------

 

Southeast Asia

Why the Saudi ‘anti-terror alliance’ makes very little sense

Malaysian AIDS Council: ‘Imam’ intervention crucial in educating public on HIV in Muslim-majority states

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline takes off

Police arrest 7 men suspected of planning a Christmas attack in Indonesia

Malaysia: Top Muslim political forces talk partnership

G25 moots ‘muzakarah’ to seek common ground with Muslim groups

Malaysia’s free thought, religious expression under ‘serious assault’, study shows

3 highway concessionaires offer Christmas toll rebates

Suaram lauds EU’s resolution on human rights in M’sia

Sabah vape ban up to Islamic authority, says state minister

After civil court victory, Kassim Ahmad hopes Jawi will drop Shariah charges (VIDEO)

------------

 

India

Nationwide effort launched to counter radicalisation attempts by Islamic State

Aligarh Muslim University divided over campus visit invite to PM Modi

Muslim groups back IOC official held for IS links

Rise of Muslim population poses challenge to India

Suspected al Qaeda terrorist asked to recruit Indian youth: Police

Muslims stage protest against Hindu Mahasabha

'Soft' shield to beat IS appeal for youth

Rights group, Muslim body to move court for Sirajuddin’s release

------------

 

Pakistan

285 Pakistani madrassas receiving foreign support: sources

Pakistan recognises need to fight Afghan Taliban: Olson

Mufti Munib says sectarianism is alien to Islam

Haqqani refutes former envoy Akram’s remarks

Levies official killed, FC officer injured in Mohmand explosions

CM allows use of loudspeakers in Rabiul Awwal rallies

Author of national anthem Hafeez Jalandhari remembered on his death anniversary

Pak-China joint anti-terrorism exercise in progress

JI affiliate branded extremism-promoter by UK government

------------

 

South Asia

ISIS launches anti-govt radio station in Afghanistan to recruit youths

Recognition growing in Pakistan to fight Afghan Taliban in order to defeat Pakistani Taliban

Taliban capture government compounds in Helmand’s Sangin District

US drone strike in Afghanistan kills three suspected Taliban

Bail of Jamaat-e-Islami leader in violence cases raises questions

Jamaat leader held at Naya Diganta MD's house

President Ghani urged to save Helmand from falling to Taliban

Ghulam Nasir Khaze appointed Ghor’s governor

NDS foils suicide attack on Indian consulate in Nangarhar

------------

 

Mideast

Israel shells southern Lebanon after rocket attack

Undermining regional states to ease terror infiltration

Israel interior minister quits over sex crime claims

New US visa law goes against nuclear deal: Iran

Yemen peace deal elusive; truce extended for 7 days

------------

 

Africa

US warns of possible attack on Tunisian mall

Pope says Syria, Libya agreements raise hopes of peace

U.N. works to ensure Libya unity govt security

Nigeria Shia leader to face prosecution: Nigerian official

------------

 

North America

Muslims should stand up against radical Islam

Muslims rally in Dearborn against hate, terrorism

She’s a liar: Trump lashes out at Hillary for IS recruiting claim

------------

 

Europe

The Islamic State creates a new type of jihadist: Part terrorist, part gangster

2015, the year that IS terror went global

IS militants stole ‘tens of thousands’ of blank passports

Paris attacks suspect got past three police checks: source

Hungary accuses Austria of 'stupidity' over refugees

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL:

------------

 

Arab World

 

Defeating Islamic State will not end jihadist threat in Syria, report warns

20 Dec 2015

Around 65,000 fighters with jihadist sympathies belong to rebel militias in Syria other than Islamic State, a new report claims, adding to concerns that defeating the group will do little to bring peace to the country.

The study by the Centre on Religion and Geopolitics said fighters with extremist views were to be found across Syria’s rebel groups.

Up to 60 per cent of all rebels belonged to groups with an Islamist agenda, with more than half of those adhering to Salafi-jihadism, the hardline ideology underpinning Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Some 15 groups besides Isil have jihadist views even if they are currently dedicated to the local fight against the Assad regime, the report said. They include al-Qaeda’s local branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam and one of the most powerful fighting forces, Ahrar al-Sham.

The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics is an arm of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Its senior adviser is Ed Husain, a London-born former Islamist who later set up a think-tank, Quilliam, to promote counter-radicalisation.

“ISIS represents a continuation of a way of thinking that started before it existed and will carry on if it is defeated,” the study says. “The West risks making a strategic failure by focusing only on ISIS.

"Defeating it militarily will not end global jihadism. We cannot bomb an ideology, but our war is ideological.”

A United Nations resolution on Friday backed peace talks between the main rebel groups - excluding Isil and Jabhat al-Nusra, but including Ahrar al-Sham - and the Assad regime.

It dropped demands for President Bashar al-Assad to quit, and implicitly backed further military action against both Isil and Jabhat al-Nusra, without commenting on what that meant for other rebel groups.

• In Syria, peace talks lead to only one thing - more war

The report suggests this is a strategic error. “If only ISIS is defeated, there is a high risk that dispersed ISIS fighters and other Salafi-jihadi groups will expand their horizons and launch attacks outside of Syria,” it says.

“‘The West destroyed the caliphate’ will be a new rallying cry. In a dangerous escalation, these groups could aim to compete for the spotlight – to ensure allegiance from the global fighters and financing that ISIS currently attracts.”

When the first openly-armed rebel groups formed in the summer of 2011 and called themselves the Free Syrian Army, many fighters were defectors from the Assad regime army and their outlook was avowedly secular.

However, at the same time, international support groups adhering both to the Muslim Brotherhood and more radical ideologies raised funds to supply fighters who formed their own religion-based brigades, boosted by Islamist prisoners released from the regime’s jails.

These more militant groups gradually came to dominate the rebel movement, partly because they had a reputation for being less corrupt, partly because with better funding they were able to purchase better weaponry.

Previously non-ideological but largely Sunni Muslim rebels were often indoctrinated as they joined these groups.

The study says that the West’s focus on defeating Isil adds to the group’s appeal - ninety per cent of rebels see removing the regime as a priority, compared to only 38 per cent who see defeating Isil as important.

It finds the numbers overall who support democracy as a system of government for Syria is greater than the number supporting an Islamic state. On the other hand, it says that the 70,000 “moderate rebels” quoted by David Cameron, the Prime Minister,probably includes about 19,000 fighters with Salafi-jihadi views.

“Unless Assad goes, any peace deal will fail,” it concludes. “However, without regional support to pacify the country, the defeat of Assad alone will not end the conflict either, and will leave it vulnerable to domination by extremist forces.

“International attempts to divide the rebellion into moderates and extremists are bound to fail, because the rebels themselves rarely make the same distinction.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/12060706/Defeating-Islamic-State-will-not-end-jihadist-threat-in-Syria-report-warns.html

------------

 

One-third of Syrian rebels share ISIS' ideology: research

December 20, 2015

About a third of rebel groups in Syria - some 100,000 fighters - share the ideology of so-called Islamic State (IS), new research suggests.

The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, linked to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, said defeating IS militarily "would not end global jihadism".

That would require an "intellectual and theological defeat" of its ideology.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 250,000 people. Millions more have been displaced.

A Western coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.

In September, Russian forces began air strikes against rebels in Syria, targeting "all terrorists", including IS. However, Western-backed groups are also reported to have been hit.

UN resolution

The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, an initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, says that Syria now hosts the largest gathering of jihadi groups in modern times.

The report, due to be published on Monday, says the greatest danger to the international community are groups who share the IS ideology but are currently being ignored - they number about 100,000 fighters.

Current Western efforts to define "moderate" and "extremist" rebels are bound to fail, because the groups themselves rarely make the distinction, the centre says.

Some 60% of Syria's major rebel groups are Islamist extremists, and many of the groups share the same aims, the study finds.

Fewer than a quarter of the rebels surveyed were not ideological, and many were willing to fight alongside extremists and would probably accept an Islamist political settlement to the civil war.

And even if IS is defeated, dispersed fighters and other extremists could attack targets outside Syria under a rallying cry that "the West destroyed the Caliphate", the centre warns.

The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously endorsed a peace plan for the Syria, including calls for a ceasefire.

The resolution sets out a timetable for formal talks and a unity government within six months. However, the resolution makes no mention of the future role of President Assad.

The centre says that unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leaves or is removed from office, the war in the country is likely to spread further.

Western countries have called for his departure, but Russia and China say he should not be required to leave power as a precondition for peace talks.

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2015/one-third-of-syrian-rebels-share-isis-ideology-research

------------

 

Russian air strikes claim 43 lives in Syrian city

Dec 21, 2015

BEIRUT: Air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes killed scores of people in the centre of the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwest Syria on Sunday, rescue workers and residents said.

They said at least six strikes had hit a busy market place in the heart of the city, several government buildings and residential areas. Rescue workers said they had confirmed 43 dead but that at least 30 more bodies had been retrieved that had still to be identified. Over 150 people were wounded with some of the serious cases sent to hospitals in Turkey.

“There are a lot of corpses under the rubble,” Yasser Hammo, a civil defence worker, said via an Internet messaging system, adding that volunteers and civil defence workers were still pulling bodies out.

Footage on social media and the pro-opposition Orient TV station showed makeshift ambulances rushing with injured civilians through an area where people were searching for survivors among the debris of collapsed buildings.

One local resident, Sameh al-Muazin, said he had seen mangled bodies in the main Jalaa street of the city, adding that people feared a further round of intensive bombing. “Everyone is afraid that this is just the beginning,” he said.

Idlib, the capital of a northwestern province of the same name, became an important centre for rebel-controlled northwest Syria after it was captured earlier this year by a coalition of Islamist insurgent groups known as Jaish al Fateh which includes Al Qaeda’s Syrian wing Nusra Front.

Russia began a major aerial campaign on Sept 30 in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, its ally, who earlier in the year suffered a series of setbacks including the loss of Idlib province and other areas of crucial strategic importance.

Moscow says its targets the militant Islamic State group but rebels and residents say they are causing hundreds of civilian casualties through indiscriminate bombing well away from the frontlines.

Residents say they distinguish Russian planes that fly at high altitudes in sorties from Syrian helicopters that mainly drop indiscriminate barrel bombs at much lower heights.

Idlib city been largely spared the intensified aerial bombing campaign witnessed in rural areas after a United Nations-brokered ceasefire deal was reached in September.

The deal allowed for the withdrawal of rebel fighters holed up in a border village near Lebanon in return for the evacuation of civilians from two towns of Kefraya and al-Foua under rebel siege in Idlib province.

The deal included a tacit understanding under which Idlib city also fell under the ceasefire arrangements, allowing thousands of displaced from northern Syria to shelter there.

In a sign the ceasefire had broken, one rebel source said rebels had begun to shell the two towns again. Residents reported tens of families fleeing with some of their belongings to the safety of makeshift camps erected along the Turkish border.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2015

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227708/russian-air-strikes-claim-43-lives-in-syrian-city

------------

 

Syrian Forces Win Back More Lands near Maheen in Homs Province

Dec 21, 2015

"The Syrian army, National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, in a fresh round of operations, broke through the first defense lines of the ISIL terrorists and forced them to retreat from al-Hadath village and the Maheen-Sadad military checkpoint," the sources said.

"The ISIL withdrawal form al-Hadath and the nearby areas of Maheen town and Hawareen village occurred after hours of heavy battles, which claimed the lives of many terrorists and injured many others from both sides," the sources said.

"Recapturing of al-Hadath has paved the ground for the Syrian ground forces to push their way into the Hawareen village, which is one of the strongest defense lines of the ISIL in the region," the sources went on to say.

"Should Hawareen village falls into the hand of the government forces, the Maheen town will be under fire of the Syrian army from one more side and its liberation will be easier," the sources pointed out.

Maheen and the town of Hawareen were captured by the ISIL after the army retreated from the region two weeks ago.

Maheen is home to one of the four main arms depot of Syria, and the biggest in the Eastern parts of the country.

Ever since capturing the city, ISIL has been sending hundreds of militants to hold its ground in anticipation of the Syrian army's imminent large-scale attacks.

The Syrian and Russian warplanes have been bombing Maheen in numerous sorties in the last two weeks.

On Saturday, the Syrian army, backed up by the Russian fighter jets, started a massive operation to drive the ISIL terrorist group out of the strategic town of Maheen.

"The Syrian army troops, the NDF and Hezbollah fighters, backed up by the Russian warplanes' bombardments, stormed the positions of the ISIL terrorists near the strategic town of Maheen," the army said.

"The Russian fighter jets have been staging massive air raids on ISIL stronghold since start of the operation to pave the way for the ground troops to break through the terrorists' defense lines," the army added.

"The ground forces raided the ISIL defense lines following a blitzkreig by the Russian warplanes," the army went on to say.

"The government forces have taken back the fifth Station Northwest of Maheen after killing and wounding tens of militants," the army added.

The army further added that the Russian warplanes started the heavy bombardment of ISIL positions in Quaryatayn and Hadath too.

The strategic city of Quaryatayn is less than 15km to the East of Maheen.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000708

------------

 

Syrian Fighter Jets Carry Out Combat Sorties West of ISIL-Held Palmyra

Dec 21, 2015

"The Syrian bombers hit the ISIL defense lines in the Western part of al-Tarr mountain and al-Zakara valley, West of the ancient city," the army said.

"The Syrian airstrikes ended in the partly destruction of the positions of the ISIL, and killing or wounding of many terrorists," the army added.

"ISIL's armored and machinegun-equipped vehicles were targeted and destroyed in the air attacks," the army said.

"In the meantime, the Syrian government forces targeted the ISIL terrorists West of Palmyra in sporadic attacks to inflict more damage on the bombed positions of the terrorist group," the army went on to say.

The Syrian army and its allies are resolved to push back the ISIL from Homs province, specially from Palmyra which is a treasure of historic monuments.

Sources said on Sunday that the Syrian army, popular forces and Hezbollah fighters launched a fresh round of operations against the ISIL defense lines around Palmyra.

"The ISIL fortified positions in al-Tarr mountain, South of Aloun Farm and at the Western entrance of Palmyra city were massively attacked by the Syrian government forces," the sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000579

------------

 

Commander: ISIL Unable to Threaten Iran

Dec 21, 2015

"The ISIL is too small to threaten us," Pourdastan told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

He also announced that the anti-terrorism drills which were due to be staged on the outskirts of Tehran city today were postponed to mid January, adding that they will be held near the Central city of Qom more extensively and with higher quality.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, a senior Iranian commander announced that the country's Ground Forces had planned and prepared themselves for holding several massive wargames in the next few months.

"We have provided the ground for a number of drills in the near future, which will be staged by the end of the current (Iranian) year and people will be informed about their details (later)," Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari told FNA.

He also underlined the Iranian Armed Forces' preparedness to confront any aggression, and said the terrorist groups, including the ISIL, and their allies are unable to pose a threat to the Iranian borders and even the superpowers are not able to make military aggression against the country.

Different units of the Iranian Army's Ground Force staged massive military drills in the Eastern parts of the country last month.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000329

------------

 

Syrian Warplanes Inflict More Casualties on Militants in Hama

Dec 21, 2015

The Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists' position in Atshan village in the Northern part of Hama province, the sources said.

Tens of militants were killed in the air raids.

On Sunday, the army announced that the Syrian government forces' operations against the militant groups' centers in the provinces of Idlib and Hama claimed the lives of at least 25 militants, wounded many others and destroyed their military hardware.

"Nearly 16 members of Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group were killed in the Syrian forces' operation in the Northwestern province of Idlib," the army said, adding, "The terrorist groups' military equipment also sustained heavy damage in the attack."

"At least nine militants of Jeish al-Fatah were also killed and some others were wounded in a guided missile attack by the Syrian army in Atshan North of Hama province," the army went on to say.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000694

------------

 

Syria: Tens of Militants Surrender to Government Troops in Homs

Dec 21, 2015

A sum of 116 militants surrendered to the competent authorities in the Homs province today, informed sources said.

The recent victories of the Syrian army and Hezbollah, who are backed up by the National Defense Forces (NDF) on the ground and the Russian fighter jets in the air, have caused a growing number of militants to lay down arms in the hope of the general amnesty granted by the government.

On December 13, over 35 other militants surrendered to the Syrian authorities in Homs.

In early December, militants began evacuating Homs city in Central Syria under a deal signed with the government in late November, known as the Al-Wa'ar Agreement.

Large convoys of retreating rebels left Homs City for Idlib in Northwestern Syria.

Al-Wa'ar was the only remaining base of the militants in the city of Homs.

Until last year, most surrendering cases happened in Homs and Damascus provinces, but now a growing number of militants lay down arms across the country. As the army scores more wins across Syria more militants lay down arms to save their lives.

On December 12, some 20 wanted Takfiri terrorists in Hama province gave up fight and turned themselves in to the authorities to enjoy the general amnesty issued by President Bashar Al-Assad that has been in place for the last several years.

Some 200 wanted militants from Zabadani region and Madaya in Damascus province also surrendered last week.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940929001564

------------

 

Terrorists Pinned Down in Dara'a under Syrian Forces Attacks

Dec 21, 2015

On Sunday, the Syrian army destroyed Takfiri terrorists’ positions in the South of al-Manshiye neighborhood in Dara'a al-Balad area in Dara'a city.

A large group of militants were killed and injured in the military operations.

The terrorists' vehicles and weapons were also destroyed.

Earlier, the Syrian Army and its allies targeted the militant groups' concentration centers and hideouts in the Southern neighborhoods of Dara'a city and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists, field sources said Sunday.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000395

------------

 

Syrian Army Kills 12 Nusra Militants in Clashes across Aleppo City

Dec 21, 2015

"Concentration centers of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Bani Zaid, al-Ramousa, al-Lairamoun and Karm al-Trab neighborhoods came under the sporadic attacks of the Syrian army troops," the sources said.

"In addition to a heavy death toll inflicted on the Nusra militants, their military hardware also sustained large damage in the attacks," the sources added.

"Some of the army soldiers were injured in the clashes and were transferred to the nearest army field hospital," the sources went on to say.

The Syrian army and its allies, backed up by the Russian fighter jets, have been carrying out very successful operations in various parts of the Northern Aleppo province in the recent weeks.

On Sunday, the Syrian army and Hezbollah, covered by Russian air back up, continued to advance in regions Southwest of Aleppo province and seized control over a sensitive region near the Aleppo-Damascus highway.

"The Poultry Farm, which is very close to Zerbeh town on the strategic Aleppo-Damascus highway and a few kilometers to the Southwest of the newly recaptured town of Khan Touman, was taken by the Syrian army and its allies after a heavy battle with the militant groups," the sources said.

"The Russian fighter jets had been pounding the militants' position near Zerbeh in at least 20 combat sorties before the Syrian ground forces' operation started Sunday morning," the sources added.

Also on Sunday, the Syrian army alongside the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah fighters drove the militant groups out of the town of Khan Touman in a groundbreaking victory Southwest of Aleppo province.

"Khan Touman, the main stronghold of the terrorist group of Jeish al-Fatah in the province, was captured minutes ago by the Syrian army and its allies," army sources said at around midday.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940930000275

------------

 

Jets believed to be Russian kill scores in Syrian city: rescue workers

 20 December 2015

Air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian warplanes killed scores of people in the center of the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwest Syria on Sunday, rescue workers and residents said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/20/Jets-believed-to-be-Russian-kill-scores-in-Syrian-city-rescue-workers.html

------------

 

Blast hits military bus in Syrian capital: witnesses

20 December 2015

At least 10 people were wounded on Sunday in an explosion that hit a military bus in the Mazzeh residential district of western Damascus, Syrian state television reported.

The official SANA news agency said the blast was caused by a bomb, and an AFP journalist saw blood on the floor of the vehicle, which had had its windows blown out.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/20/Blast-hits-military-bus-in-Syrian-capital-witnesses-.html

------------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Why the Saudi ‘anti-terror alliance’ makes very little sense

by Sushant Singh

December 21, 2015

What has Saudi Arabia announced?

On December 15, Saudi Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced that 34 mainly Muslim nations from Asia and Africa have formed a military alliance to co-ordinate efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan. The Prince said the counter-terrorism coalition was the outcome of “the Islamic world’s vigilance in fighting this disease (of terrorism) which has damaged the Islamic world…” The Saudi statement said another 10 “Islamic countries”, which includes Indonesia — whose Muslim population of over 200 million is the world’s largest — have expressed their support.

So what is the problem with this?

To begin with, the two big Shia majority nations — Iran and Iraq — are absent, making this a primarily Sunni grouping. This raises the question whether Riyadh has only Shia groups such as Hezbollah or the Zaydi Houthis in Yemen — whom its air force is already bombing — in its crosshairs. Saudi Arabia is also already part of the US-led air campaign in Syria whose target ostensibly is the Islamic State, but Riyadh’s ultimate goal remains the removal of the Iran-backed Alawite Shia President Bashar al-Assad. Afghanistan, one of the hotspots of global terrorism, is not part of the coalition, and it is not clear how any operation that is not covert can be carried out within that country without getting its government on board. The same holds true for operations in Iraq.

Beyond stating that the alliance would have its command centre in Riyadh, the Saudi announcement was sketchy, and no details of military commitment by partners were available. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir subsequently said countries would be free to decide the extent of their participation. It was not clear whether troops would be deployed on the ground, what the likely area of operations might be, or whether there would be coordination with western powers already operating in many terror-hit regions. The first reaction from Pakistan — a crucial player if the alliance is to have any success — was of surprise; only later did Islamabad confirm its participation, even though it still said it was awaiting details. Malaysia and Lebanon too indicated that the alliance was news to them. Some members, such as Gabon, Benin and Togo, are not even Muslim-majority. All this raises questions about the seriousness of the alliance and the commitment of its purported participants, let alone their military capabilities.

But assuming that the operational details can be worked out, is the idea sound in principle?

Much of the international scepticism arises from the Saudi record in matters related to terrorism. Saudi money has for years helped spread the extremist Wahhabi ideology, which has fuelled global terror. To many commentators, at both ideological and functional levels, there is no difference between the Saudi regime and IS – Riyadh is “just a Daesh that has made it”. As the Iraq expert, Hayder al-Khoei of Chatham House London, tweeted: “Saudi Arabia heads a UN human rights council panel and now it leads an alliance against terrorism. This joke doesn’t need a punchline.”

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-the-saudi-anti-terror-alliance-makes-very-little-sense/

------------

 

Malaysian AIDS Council: ‘Imam’ intervention crucial in educating public on HIV in Muslim-majority states

December 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― The intervention of religious figures such as the “imam” are needed to educate the public on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simultaneously, help those afflicted patients to reach out for help in Muslim-majority states.

Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) president Datuk Dr Raj Karim said due to the HIV stigma spiralling in the community of these states, it was difficult for the patients to come out seeking for treatment and consultation.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysian-aids-council-imam-intervention-crucial-in-educating-public-on-hiv

------------

 

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline takes off

20 December 2015

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline Rayani Air began operations Sunday with its maiden flight taking off from the capital to the resort island of Langkawi, local media reported.

In-flight meals served on board its flights are completely halal, with alcohol consumption strictly prohibited.

Muslim flight crew must don the hijab while non-Muslim crew are to be decently dressed, managing director Jaafar Zamhari told reporters.

There will also be prayer recitals before take-off.

“We are the first Malaysian airline to be shariah-compliant based on guidelines by relevant authorities. We are proud of this,” Jaffar was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper.

“The shariah-compliant aspects will be refined as time goes by,” he added using the Arabic word for Islamic law.

There are already other shariah-friendly carriers operating around the world, and UK-based Firnas Airways is planning to offer similar flights next year, according to a Bloomberg new agency report.

Under the concept of halal -- meaning “permissible” in Arabic -- pork and its by-products, alcohol and animals not slaughtered according to Islamic procedures are all “haram” or forbidden.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/aviation-and-transport/2015/12/20/Malaysia-s-first-Islamic-compliant-airline-takes-off.html

------------

 

Police arrest 7 men suspected of planning a Christmas attack in Indonesia

DECEMBER 21, 2015

INDONESIA anti-terror squad has arrested seven men suspected of planning Christmas or New Year’s attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, police said overnight.

Abdul Karim, known by his alias Abu Jundi, was captured on Saturday in Sukoharjo, a town in Central Java province, a day after three other suspected militants were nabbed in two separate locations in West Java province, said local police chief Lt. Colonel Andi Rifai.

He said Jundi is believed to have expertise in shooting and bomb-making because of his membership in Jemaah Islamiah, an al-Qaida-linked Southeast Asian group blamed for the deadly 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali.

Their interrogation led police to arrest three other group members in Mojokerto town in East Java on Sunday, said Lt. Colonel Budhi Herdi Susianto, another police chief in Mojokerto.

Police seized bomb-making devices from the men’s homes, but no explosive materials were found.

Susianto said the men were using emails and phone conversations to plan attacks during the upcoming holiday celebrations.

“A police investigation managed to reveal their plan to launch a terror attack during Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebrations,” Susianto said, without elaborating.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has seen a spate of deadly attacks by the Jemaah Islamiah network, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, 88 of which were Australian. Strikes in recent years have been smaller and less deadly and have targeted government authorities, mainly police and anti-terrorism forces.

The government will deploy more than 150,000 security personnel to safeguard churches and public places around the country during Christmas and New Year’s, National Police Chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said.

During raids in several cities across Java island on Friday and Saturday, police seized chemicals, laboratory equipment and a flag inspired by the Islamic State group.

The arrests come after anti-terror police acted on tip-offs from the Australian Federal Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ABC reports.

Among those arrested was Asep Urip, a 31-year-old teacher at an Islamic boarding school in Central Java, and his 35-year-old pupil Zaenal, whom police allege was being “groomed” to carry out an imminent attack.

“From early information, it’s known that Zaenal was a candidate for a suicide bombing in Jakarta to be conducted on New Year’s 2016,” stated police documents into the arrests seen by AFP.

A subsequent raid on the teacher’s house uncovered a black flag inscribed with text “similar to an ISIS flag”, police said, referring to an acronym often used for the jihadist group controlling large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Elite anti-terror police detained the teacher and the student after swooping on two other men with connections both to the religious school and to expert bombmakers and radicals in other parts of Java.

Full report at:

http://www.news.com.au/world/islamic-state-arrests-reportedly-made-in-indonesia-after-information-received-from-afp-and-fbi/news-story/4211a7ec319f103095c3885929330f9d

------------

 

Malaysia: Top Muslim political forces talk partnership

By Mustafa Pazarlı

Dec 21, 2015

Possible collaboration between long-ruling party, opposition party that broke up from its pact could result in their dominating Malaysian politics

By P Prem Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian opposition party that broke up from its pact has declared its intention to bury the hatchet with the long-ruling United Malay National Organization (UMNO), reviving enduring ideas of an Islamic party coalition in the country.

An official from the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), the country’s second largest Islam-based political movement, confirmed to Anadolu Agency Monday its willingness to cooperate – suggesting the possibility of a partnership that a former minister says could result in the parties dominating Malaysian politics.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Najib Razak — president of UMNO, the major party in the National Alliance that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957 – had mooted PAS’s readiness to make peace and collaborate for “the benefit of Muslims” in the country.

Takiyuddin Hassan, PAS secretary general, told Anadolu Agency on Monday that his party prefers to uphold Islamic principles in determining the future of Muslims, who account for up to 70 percent of 30 million Malaysians.

“What has Islam thought us? It teaches us to forgive and forget… UMNO and PAS cannot be exempt from this teaching,” he said. “Despite political differences, we are prepared to collaborate with UMNO for the benefit of the ummah [community].”

Without divulging about a potential merger between the two political giants, he said cooperation would ensure that the importance of Muslims in Malaysia would be guarded.

He added that the party was currently explaining the UMNO collaboration to its members, as some key members had expressed uneasiness about an alliance.

“One has to understand that we are an opposition party and collaboration with a ruling party would be new to our members. Soon they would understand and [agree with] the party’s leadership,” he added.

During his opening speech at the UMNO General Assembly this month, Razak had expressed that his party is open to re-negotiating with PAS on potential collaborations.

The premier said after leaving the opposition coalition earlier this year, PAS had been showing positive signals toward a partnership with UMNO, particularly with its decision to not join other opposition parties in rejecting Razak’s 2016 Budget in parliament last month.

“In the budget vote, they abstained from voting against the budget. Although they did not vote in our favor, they did not reject it either,” he said. “These are encouraging signs to me.”

Full report at:

http://news.videonews.us/malaysia-top-muslim-political-forces-talk-partnership-2144669.html

------------

 

G25 moots ‘muzakarah’ to seek common ground with Muslim groups

BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS

21 December 2015

Its spokesman Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin said the gathering would serve to raise the dignity of Islam despite differences of opinions.

"There is nothing to be afraid of. Let us have a muzakarah, let us discuss. Let us sit together, Muslim groups with one another, to discuss our differences," she told The Malaysian Insider.

She also invited Putrajaya's Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) to organise such a discussion for all Muslim groups.

"We may have different approaches. But we all want the same thing.

"We want to uphold our religion and promote Islam. Let us find our common ground. It doesn't matter whether we are Isma, Abim, Ikram and Perkasa," she said, referring to some of the more vocal Malay and Muslim groups in the country.

"We are ready to sit down with everyone. This will also promote the unity of believers. We are all Islam's believers," Noor Farida said, expressing hope that GMM's chief executive officer Nasharuddin Mat Isa could facilitate such a gathering.

"I don't want us all to complain. This is G25's invitation to all Islamic organisations. Our problem is that there is no understanding between us."

G25 emerged late last year with an open letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for a rational dialogue on Malaysia’s Islamic laws.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/g25-moots-muzakarah-to-seek-common-grounds-with-muslim-groups

------------

 

Malaysia’s free thought, religious expression under ‘serious assault’, study shows

December 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― Freedom of thought, religious expression and dissent in Malaysia are facing “grave violations”, according to the latest global study by the the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).

The group’s annual Freedom of Thought Report 2015 released earlier this month noted the “serious assaults” to Malaysia’s freedoms of expression, in particular those concerning religious views.

“This country is found to be declining, with human rights including freedom of thought and expression under serious assault... 'blasphemy’ is outlawed or criticism of religion is restricted and punishable with a prison sentence,” the report said.

It highlighted the sedition case of civil liberties lawyer Eric Paulsen, over his tweet accusing a federal Islamic agency for promoting extremism as an example.

“Eric Paulsen, personally non-religious and a recurring, legitimate critic of the government ― especially in connection with the imposition of Islamist extremism ― has been repeatedly harassed by the authorities,” the report added.

Paulsen was charged with sedition in February when he accused Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (Jakim) of promoting extremism on his Twitter account.

He was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which makes it a criminal offence for anyone uttering seditious words and for publishing or reproducing seditious publications.

If convicted, Paulsen could be punished with a jail term up to three years, or fined RM5,000, or both for a first-time offence.

Last year, IHEU singled out Malaysia for trampling on the rights of non-religious sections of society.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysias-free-thought-religious-expression-under-serious-assault-study-sho

------------

 

3 highway concessionaires offer Christmas toll rebates

December 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Three highway concessionaires are offering toll rebates on selected roads in conjunction with Christmas on Friday.

They are PLUS Malaysia Berhad, Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir & Terowong Sdn Bhd (SMART) and Maju Expressway Sdn Bhd.

PLUS Malaysia Berhad Chief Operating Officer Mohammad Fuad Khusairi said that users of Class 1 vehicles utilising the electronic toll payment system on December 25 would benefit from a 20 per cent rebate.

“The rebate will be inserted in their Touch ‘n Go or PLUSMiles cards through a top-up between January 15 and April 14, 2016,” he said in a statement today.

The rebate is for tolls on the PLUS network of highways — namely the North-South Expressway, the North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE) and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Linkedua).

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/21/3-highway-concessionaires-offer-christmas-toll-rebates/

------------

 

Suaram lauds EU’s resolution on human rights in M’sia

December 21, 2015

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Suaram has welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution to condemn the “deteriorating human rights situation” in Malaysia, last week.

In a statement, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said the resolution “reiterated a number of concerns that were regularly raised by Suaram and other civil societies about the situation in Malaysia, particularly the crackdown on civil societies, academicians, media and political activists.

“It also raised concerns on the degradation of the rights to freedom of expression in regard to the increase in the number of people facing charges under the Sedition Act 1948.”

Sevan was referring to a non-legislative resolution passed by the European Parliament last Thursday, via a show of hands, calling on the Malaysian government to withdraw the recently passed National Security Council (NSC) bill and to immediately release all political prisoners besides withdrawing anti-sodomy laws and halting its marginalisation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) have not taken the news well.

It said the European Parliament had acted hastily and chosen a monologue by issuing the resolution.

“The government of Malaysia strongly believes that full respect must be provided to any sovereign country to decide on its internal affairs.

“In line with this, it was indispensable to all countries, including Malaysia, to be given the required space to ensure the continued peace, security and stability of the country,” Wisma Putra said in a statement recently.

Sevan called for European Union member states to acknowledge Parliament’s resolution and to “coordinate policies towards Malaysia in line with the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights.”

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/21/suaram-lauds-eus-resolution-on-human-rights-in-msia/

------------

 

Sabah vape ban up to Islamic authority, says state minister

December 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 ― Sabah will leave the decision of whether or not to ban vaping to the state’s Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAINS).

According to The Borneo Post today, Sabah Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid acknowledged that the use of vape or electronic cigarettes has been abused by some but said the issue was a religious matter that should be dealt with by the religious authority.

“I do not feel the need to want to comment on it too much. But for me, as the minister in charge of PEMADAM as chairman, we know AADK has reported that the use of vape has been abused,” she was quoted as saying, referring to the Drug Prevention Agency Malaysia and the National Anti-Drug Agency respectively.

Jainab, who was speaking to reporters in Tuaran, said narcotics have been known to be injected into the vape liquids, and made “something innocent into that which is no longer innocent”.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sabah-vape-ban-up-to-islamic-authority-says-state-minister

------------

 

After civil court victory, Kassim Ahmad hopes Jawi will drop Shariah charges (VIDEO)

BY IDA LIM

December 21, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 21 ― Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad said today he hopes the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) will drop all Shariah charges against him for allegedly insulting Islam and defying religious authorities after the civil courts’ ruling this morning that his detention and arrest had been unlawful.

The 82-year-old scholar also thanked God for the favourable outcome in his judicial review bid.

“Alhamdulillah (Thank God), we have won and I hope Jawi will withdraw its charges against me,” he told reporters here, after the Court of Appeal delivered its decision.

The cane-wielding Kassim who was accompanied by his wife, two children and grandchildren, will not know his fate in the Shariah court until January 18 when the case comes up for mention.

The trial for the two Shariah charges that could potentially land him in jail has yet to start.

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, one of the Federal Territories resident who posted bail for Kassim when he was charged in the Shariah court last March, said “justice has prevailed” today with the “great ending” to this year.

The prominent activist told reporters that Jawi should withdraw its charges against Kassim, relating the “heartbreaking” scene where the Kedah resident was arrested in his home and brought to Putrajaya to be charged.

“They should, he's an old man, what they did to him by any counts was unjust ― raid, arrest, take him by plane.

“I saw him that morning and it was heartbreaking, look at him you know, I think just the visual of that, we can see it's wrong,” said Marina.

Kassim's lead counsel Rosli Dahlan said he will write to JAWI's chief syarie prosecutor to get the Shariah case dropped although he had already told the religious body's lawyer and representative that it would be nice for them to retract the charges voluntarily “without being told to do so”.

He said he had conveyed the hope that there will be an end to the matter “which is totally unnecessary and distresses society in a very confusing way”.

“But now that there is a conclusive decision by the Court of Appeal, I think it will be honorable on their part to withdraw,” he told reporters here, also expressing confidence that the religious authority would behave in a reasonable manner.

“What you have seen actually is the court saying their actions were not in accordance with their own laws, their own Shariah laws,” he said of the challenge against JAWI's procedure and process in arresting, detaining and charging Kassim.

Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who was also present in the courtroom earlier, said the ruling today reaffirmed the position that the civil courts have “supervisory powers” over the Shariah courts, which he said was just like other tribunals.

“I am very happy that there is a clear statement that Shariah courts are subordinate courts, I mean this has always been the position but judges don't accept...Shariah courts are just like other tribunals,” he told reporters here.

Earlier, the Court of Appeal unanimously found Jawi's actions ― including a cross-border arrest using a defective warrant, a detention exceeding 24 hours without access to lawyers, his prosecution ― to be illegal.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/after-civil-court-victory-kassim-ahmad-hopes-jawi-will-drop-shariah-charges

------------

 

India

 

Nationwide effort launched to counter radicalisation attempts by Islamic State

December 20, 2015

Delhi: Muslim clerics, intelligentsia and leading members of the community have all come together in an effort to deradicalise some of the youngsters who may have been influenced by the Islamic State ideology.

Different ministries and government departments both at the Centre and states are also being roped in to tackle the ISIS, as per a report in India Today.

Government departments that are said to be roped in include IT, social welfare and Home and Minorities Affairs, among others.

The report also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju had heard the efforts being undertaken at the level of various state governments and police forces.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/nationwide-effort-launched-to-counter-radicalisation-attempts-by-islamic-state_1836681.html

------------

 

Aligarh Muslim University divided over campus visit invite to PM Modi

21 December 2015

The split between hardliners and moderates at Aligarh Muslim University widened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was extended an invitation to the campus. University vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah (retd), whose association with Modi is more than a decade old, wants to invite Modi on the campus. His idea has met with stiff resistance from Leftist and Islamist ideologues. Shah also met Modi in the capital on Friday.

"Modi has not yet instilled confidence in the Muslim community. Moreover, he should have something concrete to offer to the university if at all he wants to visit," said professor Mustafa Zaida, secretary of the teachers' association.

The teachers' association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia. "Modi has no such contributions. Moreover, there has been no trend of prime ministers visiting the campus. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no prime minister visited the campus. We see no reason behind calling him here," added Zaida.

The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-aligarh-muslim-university-divided-over-campus-visit-invite-to-pm-modi-2157982

------------

 

Muslim groups back IOC official held for IS links

December 21, 2015

Islamic organisations in Rajasthan have come out in support of Mohammed Sirajuddin, who was recently arrested for alleged links with the Islamic State.

Islamic organisations in Rajasthan have come out in support of Mohammed Sirajuddin, who was recently arrested for alleged links with the Islamic State (IS).

On Sunday, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Forum for Democratic and Communal Amity (FDCA) and Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) expressed solidarity with Sirajuddin, marketing manager at the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) here, who was arrested by the Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) on December 10 for alleged links with IS.

‘There’s no proof’

Mohammad Salim Engineer, National Secretary of JIH, said: “The police said Sirajuddin is an IS agent, but it is yet to be ascertained and investigations are under way. Tagging him as an ‘IS agent’ without proof could ruin his career.”

Mr. Engineer claimed that such instances had been witnessed in the past when Muslim youth were arrested by the police for supporting banned organisations but were later released because they had been falsely implicated.

Father allowed meeting

Sirajuddin’s father, Mohammad Sarwar, who met him on Saturday said, “I spoke to him for about half an hour. He [Sirajuddin] has committed no crime against the country.”

After the arrest on December 10, Mr. Sarwar had travelled to Jaipur from Gulbarga, Karnataka, to meet his son but was not given permission. During his second visit, however, he was allowed to meet Sirajuddin, who is currently under police remand.

“My younger son and I came to Jaipur to meet him [Sirajuddin]. Sirajuddin told me that he had done nothing wrong. My son is an honest man, he cannot commit such a crime,” Mr. Sarwar, who is a retired agriculture department official, said.

Sirajuddin's lawyer Paker Farooq said, “ He has been falsely implicated. The FIR states that he exchanged his views over Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, and he was in possession of copies of ‘Dabiq’ — the propaganda magazine of IS. This doesn't prove that he has committed any crime.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-groups-back-ioc-official-held-for-is-links/article8011208.ece

------------

 

Rise of Muslim population poses challenge to India

DECEMBER 21, 2015

In the next three-and-a-half decades, the demography of world religions will change considerably, with significant global consequences — political, social and economic.

The proportions of the various religions in the world population will remain largely the same or decline, except for Islam. In South Asia, especially India, where tensions between majority Hindu and minority Muslims are on the rise, such demographic change risks bringing upheavals.

Worldwide, Muslims have the highest fertility rate and the youngest average age, and their number is projected to increase from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.76 billion in 2050. For the first time in history, Muslims will nearly equal Christians, until now the world’s largest religious group in size. The number of Christians in the United States, Europe and Australia will decline significantly because of a larger increase in the number of those who identify as “unaffiliated”, perhaps denoting agnostic or atheist.

These changes will also have repercussions for relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims globally, especially in South Asia — exacerbating existing tensions or giving rise to new challenges for promoting harmonious interreligious group relations.

The Muslim populations of all South Asian countries will record varying degrees of change. Afghanistan and Nepal’s Muslim populations will more than double. Bangladesh will register the smallest increase, around 36 per cent. The number of Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Sri Lanka will increase by 63 and 48 per cent, respectively.

The largest and most consequential change, however, will be in India, poised to become the most populous nation. Its Hindu population will increase by 35 per cent from 1.03 billion in 2010 to 1.38 billion in 2050, but Indian Muslims will increase by 76 per cent from 176 million to 310 million in the same period. This means that the largest increase in the Muslim population of South Asia will occur in India.

India will acquire a new global status in terms of its population’s religious composition. With a population of 310 million Muslims in 2050, India will become the country with the most Muslims in the world. While Hindus will remain a majority population at 77 per cent, the proportion of Muslims will increase from 14 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 2050.

The population increase will present additional and more complex challenges for the nation’s democratic political system, which is grounded in its secular Constitution that envisions justice, liberty, equality and fraternity for all Indian citizens. But this system is increasingly contested.

POOR ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL CONDITIONS

While there have been general improvements in living conditions in India, these benefits have not been evenly distributed.

Indian Muslims have not been equal beneficiaries of the nation’s economic growth. Their status is not very different from that of the Dalits, or untouchables, in the mid-20th century, which led to the constitutionally mandated affirmative action. Using 1947 as a baseline, Muslims have experienced downward mobility.

Full report at:

http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/india/rise-muslim-population-poses-challenge-india?singlepage=true

------------

 

Suspected al Qaeda terrorist asked to recruit Indian youth: Police

Dec 21, 2015

The suspected al Qaeda terrorist Abdur Rahman, who was arrested from Cuttack in Odisha last week, was asked to recruit youths to work for terror organisations.

According to Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate police chief Rajendra Prasad Sharma, Abdur Rahman met another suspected al Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Asif in Bangalore.

Asif was arrested from Delhi.

He had received a message from a Pakistani al Qaeda co-ordinator in which he had been asked to discuss about recruitment with Rahman.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/suspected-al-qaeda-terrorist-asked-to-recruit-indian-youth-police/story-YnIwNw8XNvGNrRW0LCZhpO.html

------------

 

Muslims stage protest against Hindu Mahasabha

Arvind Chauhan

Dec 20, 2015

Agra: Infuriated with working president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha Kamlesh Tiwari, who allegedly gave blasphemous statement on the Prophet Muhammad, hundreds of Muslim men lead by religious clerics took out massive protest march on Sunday. They also gave a memorandum to senior officials of district administration Agra, asking them to take stern action against him.

In the memorandum of whose copy is with TOI, stated that, "People like Kamlesh Tiwari are openly flouting the law and are trying to instigate riot like situation in the peaceful country."

"Persistently, anti-social elements have being trying to malice the image of Prophet Muhammad on various platforms especially on social networking website, where the miscreants are using foul language and also sketching obnoxious image of prophet," stated the memorandum.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/Muslims-stage-protest-against-Hindu-Mahasabha/articleshow/50259319.cms

------------

 

'Soft' shield to beat IS appeal for youth

- Delhi plans seminars, scholar exchange with Arab world to devise counter to terror ideology

Charu Sudan Kasturi

Dec. 20, 2015

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in August, terrorism from Pakistan was the public focus of his discussions and his address to a 50,000-strong Indian-origin audience.

But behind closed doors, in talks involving national security adviser Ajit Doval, Modi's delegation debated another threat as intensively, and a plan to counter it. This related to the Islamic State's propaganda bombardment and its potential impact on Indian youth.

That plan - for an exchange of religious scholars to discuss ways of countering radicalisation - is one of several soft tools India is quietly devising with its Arab friends to stop the terror group from gaining roots in the country.

Several Indian Muslim leaders, who have led protests against the Islamic State, are sceptical about the possible gains from some of the government's plans, though.

Besides, less than 20 people from India, home to the world's second-largest Muslim population, have so far travelled to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State compared with hundreds from smaller European nations.

Still, the decision to counter the group's social-media-driven, often below-the-radar campaigns for recruits reflects the deep concern within India's strategic establishment that the Islamic State, if unchallenged, may make serious inroads here too.

"They (the Islamic State) have not succeeded so far in attracting many Indian boys and girls, but that doesn't mean it can't happen," junior minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told The Telegraph. "We've got to remain careful, and that's why we're making these plans."

India's government has largely avoided commenting on the military campaigns that the West, Arab nations and Russia have been leading against the Islamic State, mentioning, if pressed, only a desire for a "coordinated approach" against the group.

That policy derives from a conviction many senior officials in the foreign policy establishment share. The terror group has had negligible success so far in attracting Indians, and has focused its attacks on countries that are bombing it - a combination that kills any incentive for New Delhi to appear on the frontlines, diplomatically or militarily, against the group.

The decision not to advertise the new coordination with Arab nations on soft strategies to counter the group's ideology is in keeping with that policy, officials confirmed.

The strategies include a series of conferences and seminars, to be put together with diplomatic allies, to devise ways of delivering a counter narrative to the Islamic State ideology.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1151221/jsp/nation/story_59594.jsp#.Vner47Z97IU

------------

 

Rights group, Muslim body to move court for Sirajuddin’s release

by Hamza Khan

December 21, 2015

The Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) came out in support of Mohammad Sirajuddin, the Indian Oil Corporation employee arrested for alleged links to the Islamic State, and said they would move the court for his release Monday. Claiming that Sirajudding had been “falsely implicated”, they said no case is made out against him from the FIR itself.

“On the basis of the FIR, no crime or case is made out against him and therefore he should be released and discharged immediately. He has not committed any offence and he has been falsely implicated,” said advocate Paikar Farooq, state president for APCR, accompanied by Sirajuddin’s father Mohammad Sarwar, 65, a retired government employee.

Sarwar, who met Sirajudding for half-an-hour Saturday evening\, said, “My son is honest and would never do such a thing, I have faith in him.” On reports of Sirajuddin’s ‘confession’, he said, “He said that under police pressure. He (told me) he has not done any such thing; that he has done nothing wrong.”

Earlier, Sarwar had been denied permission to meet his son and had had to return to Gulbarga, Karnataka.

Farooq said, “We will move an application in the court Monday for his release as we feel people should not be arrested on the basis of mere suspicion. And we have sought the permission of the father to move the High Court too. We will file a writ petition and seek quashing of this FIR, because prima facie, no case is made out against this person.”

He said the FIR said Sirajuddin was a member of the IS, which was also “in question”, but it did not state whether he had committed a crime. “In 2011, in Arup Bhuyan versus State of Assam, where Bhuyan was a member of ULFA, the Supreme Court observed that ‘mere membership of a banned organisation will not incriminate a person unless he resorts to violence or incites people to violence or does an act intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence’,” Farooq said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/jaipur/rights-group-muslim-body-to-move-court-for-sirajuddins-release/

------------

 

Pakistan

 

285 Pakistani madrassas receiving foreign support: sources

December 20, 2015

ISLAMABAD: About 285 seminaries in the country are receiving funding and other support like training of clerics/teachers and Curriculum development, from foreign Islamic countries.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/20-Dec-2015/285-pakistani-madrassas-receiving-foreign-support-sources

------------

 

Pakistan recognises need to fight Afghan Taliban: Olson

Dec 21, 2015

WASHINGTON: There is an increasing recognition in Pakistan that to defeat the TTP, they must also fight the Afghan Taliban, says a senior US official.

“And that creates an opportunity that we will want to pursue as much as possible,” Ambassador Richard Olson told the Senate Foreign Relation Committee.

In an earlier testimony, Mr Olson had told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the US had held candid discussions with Pakistan on its short-range nuclear weapons and Pakistan was willing to engage with the US on the issue.

“I think there is increasingly a recognition on the part of the government of Pakistan that there is significant bleed over between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban. This is one of the motivations for their desire to that it is no longer so simple for them as it may have been in the past even if they in principle agree to distinguish between good and bad Taliban,” he said.

Also read: US engaged with Pakistan on tactical N-weapons: Olson

In his second testimony this week, Mr Olson said terror had always been at the centre of dialogue between the two countries, adding that in all discussions US asked Pakistan to take action against the Haqqani network and Taliban.

Mr Olson said that Pakistan had acted in a significant way against its internal terror threats and the US would continue to urge Islamabad to do the same against the Afghan Taliban as well. He noted that Taliban hideouts in North Waziristan had been “largely cleaned and it’s something we have long desired”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227813/pakistan-recognises-need-to-fight-afghan-taliban-olson

------------

 

Mufti Munib says sectarianism is alien to Islam

Dec 21, 2015

SAHIWAL: Ruet-i-Halal Committee Chairman Mufti Munibur Rehman stresses that sectarianism and religious terrorism have nothing to do with peaceful teachings of Islam and those involved in militancy must be nabbed.

Speaking at a gathering held here on Sunday at Pakpattan in connection with the 4th death anniversary of religious leader Mufti Sher Ali, he said seminaries were not hotbeds of terrorism and propaganda against madressahs must be stopped.

Mufti Munib supported action against terrorists and said “defaming all madressahs is not justified.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227787/mufti-munib-says-sectarianism-is-alien-to-islam

------------

 

Haqqani refutes former envoy Akram’s remarks

Dec 21, 2015

WASHINGTON: Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, issued a statement on Sunday on remarks made by former ambassador Zamir Akram about International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) approval of the India-US nuclear accord.

He said: “Former ambassador Zamir Akram has, seven years after the event, claimed that I somehow was responsible for persuading the Foreign Office to not ‘block’ IAEA’s approval of the India-US nuclear deal.

“I wish I had as much influence as the uber hawkish Mr Akram attributes to me. Then, Pakistan and all its neighbours would be better off with less conflict. As things stand, I was only Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and our ambassador to the US cannot single-handedly shape policy.

Know more: Ex-envoy sheds light on mystery about failure to block IAEA India-specific deal

“Mr Akram is a renowned hawk who is playing to the gallery. Demonising me has become fashionable for those wedded to foreign policy ideas that are less relevant in a changing world.

“The fact is that Pakistan simply did not have votes in IAEA to stop the US-India deal. China does not have a veto in IAEA that Pakistan could invoke. As ambassador to US, I only conveyed the US perspective on the matter to the Pakistan government, as was my duty.

“To claim that Pakistan could have ‘blocked’ the deal but chose not to is an attempt to find relevance after retirement. In any case, it is seven years too late. Instead of educating Pakistanis on changed global alignments, some people just want to feed hyper-nationalist frenzy at home,” Mr Haqqani said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227819/haqqani-refutes-former-envoy-akrams-remarks

------------

 

Levies official killed, FC officer injured in Mohmand explosions

Dec 21, 2015

PESHAWAR: A Levies official was killed and a Frontier Corps Lt Col injured in two separate explosions in Mohmand Agency Monday, said officials.

Levies official Naseer and a passerby, Umar, were killed when a planted mine exploded in the the agency's Baezai tehsil.

In a separate incident in the same tehsil, a roadside bomb exploded near a security convoy, said officials. Several personnel were injured, including Frontier Corps Lt Col Taimur.

The injured were taken to Mohmand Agency's central hospital for immediate treatment.

Mohmand is one of Pakistan’s seven tribal agencies near the Afghan border which are rife with militancy and have been said to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.

In February 2015, Mohmand Rifles Commandant Colonel Umar Haider Bokhari, while speaking to journalists, said security forces, with the support of local tribesmen, have cleared most of the agency's areas of militants and restored peace there.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227844/levies-official-killed-fc-officer-injured-in-mohmand-explosions

------------

 

CM allows use of loudspeakers in Rabiul Awwal rallies

Dec 21, 2015

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has allowed the use of loudspeakers during rallies commemorating the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Rabiul Awwal but urged the faithful to use it only for reciting Durood-o-Salam.

The chief minister gave the permission in response to ulema’s demand for use of loudspeaker and said: “This country, province and the city belong to us. It is our responsibility to forge unity in our ranks to defeat terrorists’ designs, respect each other’s sentiments and promote religious and sectarian harmony and brotherhood.

“If we make a firm resolve to follow wholeheartedly the teachings of the Holy Prophet, all our disputes will be automatically and amicably resolved,” he said while presiding over a meeting with a group of ulema at CM House on Sunday.

The ulema raised the issue of security for rallies on Rabiul Awwal 12 to which the chief minister directed Inspector General of Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali to provide foolproof security to all the rallies.

He also asked Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui to ensure that K-Electric did not carry out loadshedding at least for the first two weeks of the holy month.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Religious Affairs Dr Qayoom Soomro said that he had set up peace committees all over the province. “I am thankful to ulema for cooperating with the government and giving assurance of abiding by the code of conduct,” he said. The commissioner told the chief minister that he had held a number of meetings with ulema who had raised a number issues and complaints about cleanliness and loadshedding for which measures had been taken.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227702/cm-allows-use-of-loudspeakers-in-rabiul-awwal-rallies

------------

 

Author of national anthem Hafeez Jalandhari remembered on his death anniversary

December 21, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The 33rd death anniversary of the writer of Pakistani National Anthem, Hafeez Jalandhri was observed today across the country.

Hafeez Jalandhri was born in Punjab’s Jalandhar on January 14, 1900. Jalandhri migrated to Lahore after the independence of Pakistan in 1947.

Hafeez Jalandhri wrote several national songs during Second World War, while he was the editor of a few monthly magazines namely, Naunehal, Hazar Dastaan, Teehzeeb-e-Niswan, and Makhzin.

The first compilation of poems Nagma-e-Zar written by Jalandhri was published in 1935. He has also been crowned to be the writer of Pakistan’s national anthem in 1952. He also participated in Pakistan Movement and used his writings to propagate for the betterment of society.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/21-Dec-2015/author-of-national-anthem-hafeez-jalandhari-remembered-on-his-death-anniversary

------------

 

Pak-China joint anti-terrorism exercise in progress

December 21, 2015

ISLAMABAD - China-Pakistan “Friendship -2015” joint anti-terrorism training is in progress at PLA’s Qingtongxia combined tactics training base in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. According to Chinese media, this is the fifth joint anti-terrorism training between the land forces of China and Pakistan. Each side sent 100 soldiers to participate in the training.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/21-Dec-2015/pak-china-joint-anti-terrorism-exercise-in-progress

------------

 

JI affiliate branded extremism-promoter by UK government

December 21, 2015

LONDON: Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan’s charitable wing UK Islamic Mission (UKIM) has expressed its shock and sadness after a high profile UK government report held that the UKIM, amongst a host of other Muslim charities, was a promoter of extremist views and had deep ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The UK government review into the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwaan-ul-Muslimoon) found that the Islamist group had operated through a number of front charities and organisations, including Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Bangladesh and their affiliated organisations in the UK.

The UKIM, established here in 1962, has routinely raised funds in the UK and has done a number of development projects in Pakistan, including sending ambulances to Karachi and other cities of Pakistan.

The British government review into Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood concluded that membership of or links to the political group should be considered a possible indicator of extremism but stopped short of recommending that it should be banned.

The long-delayed review into the organisation was first commissioned in April 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron with a remit to examine whether the group put British national security at risk.

“Parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.

He described the group as “deliberately opaque, and habitually secretive”. “The main findings of the review support the conclusion that membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism,” he said.

The review was conducted by two of the UK’s most senior and expert civil servants: Sir John Jenkins, until recently UK’s Ambassador to Riyadh, and Charles Farr, at the time of writing Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in the Home Office.

The UKIM said it considered the govt review to be a “totally unfair representation of the work of the UKIM and other community organisations. We reject entirely the review’s suggestion under point 35 that we promote extremist views”.

The report said that Muslim Brotherhood, established in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al Banna, organised itself into a secretive ‘cell’ structure and developed an international network, within and beyond the Islamic world. The group is now banned in several Islamic countries.

The UK govt review said that the key Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, drew on the thought of the Indo-Pakistani theorist, Syed Abul Ala’a Mawdudi, the founder of Jamaat-eIslami, “to promote the doctrine of Takfirism”.

The report defined Takfirism as “permitting the stigmatisation of other Muslims as infidel or apostate, and of existing states as un-Islamic, and the use of extreme violence in the pursuit of the perfect Islamic society”. The report said: “Organisations which were originally associated with Mawdudi and the Jamaat continue to operate in this country. The UK Islamic Mission (UKIM) runs some fifty mosques.”

It added: “Material still being promoted by UKIM as of July 2014 continued to explicitly claim that it is not possible for an observant Muslim to live under a non-Islamic system of government (and anticipated the forthcoming ‘victory’ of Islam over communism, capitalist democracy and secular materialism).”

The report said that leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood have claimed that the attacks on 09/11 were fabricated by the US, and that the so called ‘war on terrorism’ is a pretext to attack Muslims. It said that the Muslim Brotherhood have preferred non violent incremental change on the grounds of expediency, often on the basis that political opposition will disappear when the process of Islamisation is complete.

Full report at:

http://www.geo.tv/article-208022-JI-affiliate-branded-extremism-promoter-by-UK-government-

------------

 

South Asia

 

ISIS launches anti-govt radio station in Afghanistan to recruit youths

December 20, 2015

JALALABAD: Insurgents linked to the militant Islamic State (IS) group have launched an anti-government radio station inAfghanistan to promote IS and attract new recruits, Afghan media reported.

The radio station "Voice of the Caliphate" broadcasts in Pashto through Nangarhar provincial capital Jalalabad and other districts, Nangarhar provincial council members, MPs and residents confirmed.

The broadcasting location is unknown but the provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani has said that efforts are under way to get the station off air.

"This radio is broadcasting from across the border and we had talks and maybe we reach a good result and remove the radio," Khogyani said without clarifying with whom talks had been held.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Dec-2015/isis-launches-anti-govt-radio-station-in-afghanistan-to-recruit-youths

------------

 

Recognition growing in Pakistan to fight Afghan Taliban in order to defeat Pakistani Taliban

Dec 21 2015

A senior American official has said that there is increasing recognition in Pakistan to fight Afghan Taliban in order to defeat Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – the primary group of insurgents in Pakistan that has carried out some deadly attacks in the country including the 2014 attack at a school in Peshawar which left around 250 people killed and wounded, most of them school children.

“I think there is increasingly a recognition on the part of the government of Pakistan that there is significant bleed over between the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban. This is one of the motivations for their desire to that it is no longer so simple for them as it may have been in the past even if they in principle agree to distinguish between good and bad Taliban,” Ambassador Richard Olson has told the Senate Foreign Relation Committee.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/to-defeat-ttp-pakistan-must-fight-against-afghan-taliban-4408

------------

 

Taliban capture government compounds in Helmand’s Sangin District

Dec 21 2015

Taliban militants have captured government compounds including the police headquarters in Sangin District of southern Helmand province.

Reports suggest that most areas in the district capital have fallen to the hands of Taliban and security forces have stepped back from those areas.

150 policemen have reportedly left the district capital and are fighting with Taliban from the outskirt of the city.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-capture-government-compounds-in-helmands-sangin-district-4407

------------

 

US drone strike in Afghanistan kills three suspected Taliban

ALI AKBAR

Dec 21, 2015

PESHAWAR: At least three suspected Taliban militants, including a commander, were killed and several others injured in a United States (US) drone strike in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Saturday night.

US Army Colonel Michael Lawhorn confirmed the attack, saying: "US forces conducted a strike in Bati Kot District, Nangarhar Province, December 19 against individuals threatening the force."

Security sources say the strike, which targeted a Taliban meeting, completely destroyed the militants' hideout.

The claims, however, have not yet been independently verified. Tracking of drone strikes in Afghanistan is patchy since many of them take place in remote regions. There has also been no comment on the number of casualties as yet from American officials.

After years of costly involvement in Afghanistan, most Nato troops pulled back from the frontlines by the end of 2014, although a residual force of around 13,000 remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227835/us-drone-strike-in-afghanistan-kills-three-suspected-taliban

------------

 

Bail of Jamaat-e-Islami leader in violence cases raises questions

Dec 21, 2015

Metropolitan Magistrate Wayes Kuruni Khan Chowdhury granted Hossain the bail when the Jamaat leader surrendered before the court and petitioned for it on Dec 8.

Lawyers said the Third Speedy Trial Tribunal judge, who is hearing the cases, was on leave that day.

Chowdhury, the acting judge of the tribunal, collected the case documents by sending a token and granted Hossain bail on a bond of Tk 5,000 without hearing the State lawyers.

Talking to reporters, State lawyer Azad Rahman expressed ire over the matter.

"There was extreme irregularity," he said.

According to him, a judge has to hear both the State and defence before granting or rejecting any petition.

He said it took time for him to get the document on the bail and to make the issue public.

The State would petition to cancel the bail, he added.

Fazle Rabbi Khoka, the Additional Public Prosecutor of Chowdhury's court, also alleged that the judge kept the State in the dark to avoid its objection.

State's chief counsel at Dhaka's Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court Abdullah Abu said he did not know about the matter.

"It's a huge irregularity in bail. We'll petition to cancel it," he said.

Awami Ainjibi Parishad leader Dulal Mitra said a large number of suspects have been awaiting bail on such cases for years.

"A bail through irregularity in such a sensitive case is unfortunate," he said.

According to the case documents, an antigovernment procession was brought out at Uttara's Section-4 on Nov 24, 2012.

The agitators created panic when they started damaging vehicles.

Jamaat's Acting Chief Sharifur Rahman led the procession, brought out to protest against the war crimes trial and to lower Bangladesh's image in the world, the case documents say.

Police arrested 15 from the procession and filed two cases against around 200 persons, naming 45 of them.

Full report at:

http://bdnews24.com/politics/2015/12/20/bail-of-jamaat-e-islami-leader-in-violence-cases-raises-questions

------------

 

Jamaat leader held at Naya Diganta MD's house

Dec 21, 2015

Police have arrested a Jamaat-e-Islami leader from the residence of Daily Naya Diganta Managing Director Shibbir Mahmud's house in Dhanmondi area in Dhaka.

Mezbah Uddin Bhuiyan, 50, is a leader of Jamaat's central committee.

He was detained in the raid conducted by a team led by Dhanmondi OC (Investigation) Mohammad Helal Uddin around 12:30am Monday.

“Shibbir has claimed that Mezbah is a tenant at his house," OC Mohammad Helal Uddin said.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/dec/21/jamaat-leader-held-naya-diganta-mds-house

------------

 

President Ghani urged to save Helmand from falling to Taliban

Dec 21, 2015

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Helmand province could fall to the Taliban after months of heavy fighting, with 90 members of the security forces killed over the past two days, the deputy governor of the volatile southern province warned on Sunday.

Mohammad Jan Rasulyar said unless President Ashraf Ghani took urgent action, the province, a Taliban heartland that British and American troops struggled to control for years, would be lost.

“Your Excellency, Helmand is standing on the brink and there is a serious need for you to come,” Mr Rasulyar wrote on Facebook.

The highly unusual public plea from a serving official painted a picture strikingly similar to the situation that led up to the fall of the northern city of Kunduz in late September, when Taliban fighters seized and held on to the city for several days before government troops regained control.

If Helmand were to fall, it would deliver a blow to government claims that Afghan security forces, fighting largely alone since international troops ended combat operations last year, are controlling the insurgency in spite of setbacks such as the fall of Kunduz.

Army spokesman Mohammad Rasool Zazai said he had no comment on the post, but said Helmand would never collapse, while police chief Abul Rahman Sarjang said: “We have strong forces in Helmand. In some places, we leave areas for tactical reasons, but all forces are working together well and very soon we will have major achievements to report.”

Mr Ghani’s government, backed by billions of dollars in international aid and training assistance from thousands of Nato troops still stationed in Afghanistan, is pushing to reopen talks with the Taliban.

Over the past six months, Helmand has been the scene of battles between insurgents and security forces that have complained of being abandoned by the US-backed government.

Foreign forces

“We don’t provide food and ammunition to our forces on time, do not evacuate our wounded and martyred soldiers from the battlefield, and foreign forces only watch the situation from their bases and don’t provide support,” Mr Rasulyar wrote.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227805/president-ghani-urged-to-save-helmand-from-falling-to-taliban

------------

 

Ghulam Nasir Khaze appointed Ghor’s governor

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL

Dec 21 2015

Ghulam Nasir Khaze has been appointed new governor for western Ghor province, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) announced through a statement released to media on Sunday.

According to the statement, Khaze was recommended by IDLG and approved by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Khaze will be replacing Seema Jowenda who was relieved of her post following vast protests against her.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/ghulam-nasir-khaze-appointed-ghors-governor-4407

------------

 

NDS foils suicide attack on Indian consulate in Nangarhar

Dec 21 2015

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has foiled a suicide attack on the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province which is on the border with India’s rival Pakistan.

In a statement released by Nangarhar Media Center on Sunday, the arrested would-be suicide bomber is identified as Nasir an original resident of Tagab District of northeastern Kapisa province.

According the statement, Nasir was given the task by Taliban to target the Indian consulate.

The arrested suspect is seen in a footage released by the media office in he confesses to his intention.

Nasir says after instructing him how to detonate his explosive materials he was told to go to Afghanistan and target the Indian consulate.

This comes about a week after the national spy agency arrested two people who planned to target vehicles of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad.

Ata-ur-Rahman alias Hanzala and Abdullah alias Qari Ismail were arrested with a 30-KG bomb who intended to plant it on the side of a road frequently used by the vehicles of the Indian consulate.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nds-foils-suicide-attack-on-indian-consulate-in-nangarhar-4408

------------

 

Mideast

 

Israel shells southern Lebanon after rocket attack

20 December 2015

The Israeli military said it shelled unspecified targets in neighboring south Lebanon shortly after cross-border rocket fire hit northern Israel on Sunday.

“The Israel Defence Forces have responded with targeted artillery fire following the rockets that hit Israel earlier today from southern Lebanon,” an English-language army statement said.

Israeli military sources told AFP that one rocket crashed into the Galilee region and the impact of another was heard.

No casualties were reported.

The sources said the military ordered local residents into bomb shelters.

In Lebanon, the national news agency NNA said Israel fired nine rounds of artillery at the south.

This took place after two Katyusha-type rockets were fired from south Lebanon into Israel on Sunday, a Lebanese security source said, and in Israel the army said rockets had hit the north.

The rocket fire from the Hezbollah heartland of south Lebanon followed the killing of Samir Kantar, a militant in the Shiite group notorious for the 1979 murder of three Israelis, including a four-year-old girl.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/20/Rockets-fired-from-Lebanon-into-north-Israel.html

------------

 

Undermining regional states to ease terror infiltration

Dec 21, 2015

A senior Iranian official has expressed the Islamic Republic’s support for the territorial integrity of the Middle Eastern countries, and said undermining regional states will help terrorists find a foothold in these states.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, made the remark on the sidelines of a meeting with visiting President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher in Tehran on Sunday. Velayati said the maintenance of territorial integrity of the regional countries was discussed at the meeting.

"We believe that the weakening of regional states could result in the infiltration of terrorism into these countries.”

The two also emphasized that terrorism must be fought at both regional and international levels.

Iran and France share common viewpoints on battling terrorism and extremist activities of Takfiri groups, including Daesh, which is committing crimes in the region, Velyati said.

Touching upon the Syrian crisis, the Iranian official said that Tehran and Paris are in agreement on Syria’s issues as well as countering terrorism, adding they dismiss any military solution to the conflict in the Arab country.

Stressing the need to safeguard Syria’s territorial integrity, Velayati said that the Syrian people will decide their own future and that no foreign country has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of Damascus.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/21/442599/Iran-Velayati-France-Gerard-Larcher-Syria

------------

 

Israel interior minister quits over sex crime claims

21 December 2015

Israel’s interior minister and vice-premier, Silvan Shalom, said on Sunday he was quitting his posts and leaving politics over media reports of sexual harassment and indecent assault.

“Under these circumstances I have decided to resign from my position as minister and member of parliament,” he said in a statement.

“My family is giving me full support but there is no justification for the price being exacted from it.”

Israel’s attorney-general instructed police to investigate the reports, said a justice ministry report issued after Shalom’s announcement.

Israeli media, led by the left-leaning Haaretz, have reported multiple allegations by former members of Shalom’s staff of sexual misconduct.

Last week, the paper reported that an ex-staffer accused the minister but did not lodge an official police complaint.

“The woman said that more than a decade ago, Shalom asked her to perform oral sex, abusing his authority over her. However, that case cannot be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations,” the paper reported.

That same allegation surfaced last year as Shalom, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party, was tipped as a presidential candidate to succeed Shimon Peres.

Its resurrection has brought other complaints in its wake.

“Following the report,” Haaretz wrote on Sunday, “several other women also alleged that the minister sexually assaulted them”.

The Jerusalem Post reported that 11 women had alleged “inappropriate sexual advances toward them”.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/21/Israel-interior-minister-quits-over-sex-crime-claims.html

------------

 

New US visa law goes against nuclear deal: Iran

December 21, 2015

TEHRAN : Iran said Sunday new US visa regulations for visitors from 38 mainly European countries but including Iran flies in the face of Tehran's landmark nuclear deal with the West.

The ISNA news agency reported Deputy FM Abbas Araghchi as saying Tehran had consulted with European countries on countering the new law passed by Congress on Friday.

"This law certainly affects economic, tourist, scientific and cultural exchanges with Iran and it contravenes the nuclear deal," Araghchi said.

The US measure bars citizens of the 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program and who are also dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan from using the visa-free system.

It also prevents those who have travelled to those four countries since 2011, or to a country Washington has listed as supporting terrorism.

The measure formed part of a sprawling bill that funds the US government until next September.

European diplomats, led by European Union ambassador to Washington David O'Sullivan, have warned of potential retaliation against the United States, arguing that the programme is based on reciprocity.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Dec-2015/new-us-visa-law-goes-against-nuclear-deal-iran

------------

 

Yemen peace deal elusive; truce extended for 7 days

December 21, 2015

BERN - Yemen's warring parties wrapped up peace talks in Switzerland on Sunday with no major breakthrough but vowed to meet again next month, even as fighting raged on the ground.

The six days of closed-door meetings were strained by repeated violations of a ceasefire aimed at calming tensions between pro-government forces and the Iran-backed Huthi rebels who control Yemen's capital.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced in Bern that a new round of talks would be held on January 14 at a location yet to be decided.

The country’s much-violated ceasefire will be extended for seven days after it officially expires Monday, the head of the government negotiation team said Sunday at UN-brokered talks in Switzerland.

"The truce will be extended for seven more days and will then be automatically extended if it is respected by the other party," Foreign Minister Abdel Malak al-Mekhlafi told reporters in Bern, referring to the Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

A halt to the violence is sorely needed in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest nation, where the UN says fighting since March has killed thousands of people and left around 80 percent of the population needing humanitarian aid.

The talks in Switzerland, held in a remote part of Bern canton to keep media at bay, ended without any major steps forward, and were undermined by daily breaches of the ceasefire.

Missiles have been fired from rebel-held areas, even slamming down on the Saudi side of the border with deadly consequences, while government forces have seized several areas back from the rebels. "Unfortunately there were numerous violations," Ould Cheikh Ahmed told a news conference, adding that the UN had called for "a ceasefire which is not time-bound". The parties had meanwhile agreed to a range of "confidence-building measures", he said.

These included an agreement "in principle" to release all prisoners, he said, while acknowledging that such an exchange would probably not happen before a sustainable ceasefire had been agreed. But, he stressed, "I am optimistic about a full prisoner release and that a full prisoner release will take place very soon."

The two sides had also agreed on the need to "lift all forms of blockade and allow safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies to all affected governorates", according to the final statement.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Dec-2015/yemen-peace-deal-elusive-truce-extended-for-7-days

------------

 

Africa

 

US warns of possible attack on Tunisian mall

20 December 2015

The United States has urged its citizens to avoid a shopping centre near the Tunisian capital because of the threat of an attack on Sunday.

"We wish to advise you that a report of unknown credibility indicates the possibility of a terrorist attack at the Tunisia Mall in Berges du Lac on Sunday, December 20, 2015. We advise you to avoid the area," the US embassy in Tunis said.

There was no immediate comment from the Tunisian authorities.

Tunisia is grappling with a growing extremist threat that has seen several major attacks claimed by the ISIL group this year targeting tourists and security forces.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/167586/burundi-rejects-african-union-peacekeepers

------------

 

Pope says Syria, Libya agreements raise hopes of peace

20 December 2015

Pope Francis welcomed on Sunday two agreements aimed at ending the civil war in Syria and forming a national unity government in Libya.

Francis, who turned 79 on Thursday, told crowds around the Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square he was thinking of “beloved Syria (and) expressing my eager approval of the agreement the international community has just reached.”

The United Nations Security Council veto powers agreed a draft resolution last week to endorse an international roadmap for a peace process in Syria, where almost five years of civil war has killed more than 250,000 people.

The Argentine pontiff called for continued peace efforts for Syria and praised the work of negotiators in Libya, where warring factions signed a U.N.-brokered deal on Thursday intended to bring stability and help to combat a growing ISIS presence.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/20/Pope-says-Syria-Libya-agreements-raise-hopes-of-peace.html

------------

 

U.N. works to ensure Libya unity govt security

21 December 2015

U.N. envoy Martin Kobler said on Sunday his team is in contact with security officials in Tripoli to ensure that Libya’s new unity government can operate safely from the capital.

“The question... is how does the government go into Tripoli, and this is a question that we are negotiating with security actors on the ground,” he told AFP in a telephone interview from Tunis, where his United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has been relocated.

“We hope to have an agreement with everybody -- the regular army, the regular police but also militias -- so that the government can go back, and of course UNSMIL has to go back to Tripoli also,” Kobler said.

The German diplomat said that UNSMIL’s military adviser, General Paolo Serra of Italy, was in charge of the negotiations.

Rival Libyan politicians signed a deal on Thursday in the Moroccan resort of Skhirat to form a unity government despite opposition on both sides.

Kobler told AFP that the U.N. Security Council would vote next week on a resolution to recognize the new government as “the sole legitimate authority” in Libya.

Around 80 of 188 lawmakers from Libya’s internationally recognized parliament and 50 of 136 members of the rival Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) signed the deal, participants said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/21/U-N-works-to-ensure-Libya-unity-govt-security.html

------------

 

Nigeria Shia leader to face prosecution: Nigerian official

Dec 20, 2015

Nigerian authorities say Shia leader Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, who has been arrested and whose family and supporters have faced a bloody crackdown, will face prosecution.

On Saturday, Nasir al-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State in north-central Nigeria, where Zakzaky was arrested in his home city of Zaria last week, said the cleric “will be prosecuted for any crimes that he may have committed,” Nigerian newspaper THISDAY reported on Sunday.

“That is the decision for the federal authorities. There are state and federal crimes,” the official added, making it clear that the case would be brought against the cleric by Abuja rather than local officials. “There is a government and a constitution and we are resolved to follow the constitution and due process.”

Nigerian forces raided the house of Zakzaky, the head of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), last Sunday and arrested him after reportedly killing individuals attempting to protect him, including one of the movement’s senior leaders and its spokesman.

Nigerian soldiers had opened fire on Shia Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in the city the previous day, accusing the Shias of stopping the convoy of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and attempting to assassinate him. Zakzaky was planning a speech at the center, and the IMN has strongly rejected the assassination accusation.

The attack on Zakzaky’s residence and the violence during the road incident led to the deaths of hundreds of the members of the religious community, including three of Zakzaky’s sons.

The IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Usman, meanwhile, rejected the accusation by the governor that the movement had “blocked roads for four days” during the religious ceremony, which marked Arba’een, the fortieth day to follow the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the third Shia Imam.

“Clearly, this is a deliberate attempt to twist the facts. During the Arba’een symbolic treks, we block only limited part of the road, and this is to protect persons from traffic accidents, control mass movement and avoid chaos on the roads,” Usman said.

“The governor here was trying to give the impression of a complete occupation of a lane for four days. That was not the case. Blocks were only from junction to junction on the roads. The public was informed about these little inconveniences with apologies on public radio and television stations throughout the trek. Road users during the period would be surprised by the governor’s statement,” he said.

Rufai has also announced that a judicial commission of inquiry has been set up to look into the attack on the cleric’s residence.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/20/442513/Nigeria-Zakzaky-Kaduna-Zaria-Islamic-Movement-Nasir-alRufai

------------

 

North America

 

Muslims should stand up against radical Islam

December 20, 2015

Fareed Zakaria’s Dec. 18 op-ed, “Only Muslims can fight radical Islam,” was absolutely on target. As he quoted President Obama saying, “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIL [the Islamic State].”

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/muslims-should-stand-up-against-radical-islam/2015/12/20/a69fdf0e-a5ad-11e5-8318-bd8caed8c588_story.html

------------

 

Muslims rally in Dearborn against hate, terrorism

December 19, 2015

A crowd of about 150 Muslims and supporters withstood the cold in Dearborn on Saturday to celebrate their religion and their American citizenship — while denouncing terrorism and hatred directed at their community.

"Very simply, we will not bow to hate," Dr. Ali Dabaja, a local physician and one of the organizers of a group called #DearbornStrong, said to the crowd. "We will not be defined by fear and we will not be subject to savage speech that separates the heart of our community and the community of Americans, that causes us to be suspicious of one another and our neighbors. Hate and fear only cause our collective resolve to be weak. And today we come together as an Islamic faith with our partners across ethnic and racial lines."

The demonstration, promoted on social media in recent days, drew a mixed crowd of older and younger people, some with children at their sides. The event was held at 2 p.m. outside the Islamic Center of America on Ford Road. Private security guards and Dearborn police officers also were in attendance.

Standing before a large banner emblazoned with "Rise Against Hate & Terror,"  Dabaja noted in his speech that some local Muslims were hesitant to attend the event, fearful there might be a backlash because of the recent mass shooting by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, Calif., and because of rhetoric in the presidential campaign about banning Muslims from the U.S.

"How have we allowed the discourse in this country to become so corrosive?" Dabaja asked the crowd.

Later, he explained the purpose of the gathering. "Part of it was to kind of rally people and make them proud of who they are. That they are not terrorists. That they are worth something. And I feel like this collective Islamophobia that's happening, very strong here in this country, does affect us, and does affect our psyche. I want people to understand that it matters, and they matter. And they have to rise up and start speaking up and educating others."

Full report at:

http://www.freep.com/story/news/2015/12/19/dearborn-muslims-rally-against-hate-terrorism/77636154/

------------

 

She’s a liar: Trump lashes out at Hillary for IS recruiting claim

Dec 21, 2015

US.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that Democrat Hillary Clinton was a “liar” for claiming that his proposal to ban entry of all foreign Muslims into the United States has aided Islamic State’s propaganda efforts.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump said Clinton had no evidence to back up a charge she made during a debate on Saturday that the Republican frontrunner is becoming the extremist group’s “best recruiter.”

“She’s a liar and everybody knows that,” Trump said. “She just made this up in thin air.”

Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States following a Jan. 2 attack in San Bernardino, California that killed 14 people has drawn widespread criticism from Republican rivals as well as Democrats like Clinton.

During Saturday night’s Democratic debate, Clinton said Islamic State is using Trump’s rhetoric to enlist fighters to radical jihad.

“They are going to people, showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” the Democratic frontrunner said.

Counterterrorism experts and Reuters reporters who monitor Islamist online activity have found no evidence so far that Islamic State has mentioned Trump in its official online accounts.

Asked to comment on Sunday, the Clinton campaign did not respond to Trump’s charge but reiterated that Hillary Clinton’s remark was based on evidence that supporters of the extremist group frequently cite Trump’s comments to make the case that Americans hate Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world/she-s-a-liar-trump-hits-back-at-hillary-for-is-recruiting-claim/story-tZK1eiJYOM5uTczg43030K.html

------------

 

Europe

 

The Islamic State creates a new type of jihadist: Part terrorist, part gangster

By Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet

December 20, 2015

BRUSSELS — The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have brought into sharper focus the rise of a new breed of jihadists, one that blurs the line between organized crime and Islamist extremism, using skills honed in lawbreaking in the service of violent radicalism.

The Islamic State is constructing an army of loyalists from Europe that includes an increasing number of street toughs and ex-cons as the nature of radicalization evolves in the era of its self-proclaimed caliphate. Rather than leave behind lives of crime, some adherents are using their illicit talents to finance recruiting rings and travel costs for foreign fighters even as their backgrounds give them potentially easier access to cash and weapons, posing a new kind of challenge to European authorities.

Before he became the notorious ringleader of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris, for instance, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, was linked to a den of radicalized thieves led by a man nicknamed “Santa Claus.”

The gang — including young men who would go on to fight in Syria and Iraq — robbed tourists and shoplifted, forming a petty-crime operation in the service of the Islamic State, authorities say.

The picture now emerging of the Islamic State’s machinations in Europe is distinct from the development of al-Qaeda, which relied heavily in its early years on ostensibly pious recruits and wealthy foreign sponsors. In contrast, some Islamic State loyalists are using their illicit talents to finance recruiting rings and travel to strongholds, posing a new kind of challenge to authorities.

A repeat offender

Abaaoud, the son of Moroccan immigrants to Belgium, was a repeat offender who was thrown out of his home at age 16. He became radicalized and left in 2013 to fight in Syria. But even during his brief return to Belgium later that year, he was still committing thefts. He used the proceeds to help finance another trip to Syria in January 2014, this time with his 13-year-old brother, Younes, according to a senior intelligence official who debriefed an Abaaoud family member. Like other officials interviewed, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing terrorism investigation.

[Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian who was behind the Paris attacks]

Abaaoud’s terrorist network in Paris, officials say, was distinct from the Brussels petty-crime ring, which did not carry out attacks in Europe but instead recruited fighters and funded their transit to the Middle East. But several of the Paris attackers also had criminal pasts. Two of them — Brahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up on Nov. 13, and his brother, Salah Abdeslam, who is still on the run — operated a cafe in Brussels that was shut down as recently as August due to drug-related activity.

A French official familiar with the Paris investigation also said forensic testing has uncovered traces of Captagon, a blend of amphetamine and theophylline, in the remains of several of the dead assailants despite the prohibition on intoxicants in Islam. “This connection with the criminal world was not something that you could see with [Osama] bin Laden,” said Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, deputy director of the Geneva Center for Security Policy. “You had a certain fundamentalism within the terror.”

A low breeding ground

European jails have been breeding grounds of Islamist radicals for years, particularly in Belgium and France. But recently, criminality and extremism have become even more interwoven, with recruits’ illegal behavior continuing even after they are shown “the light” of radical Islam.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-islamic-state-creates-a-new-type-of-jihadist-part-terrorist-part-gangster/2015/12/20/1a3d65da-9bae-11e5-aca6-1ae3be6f06d2_story.html

------------

 

2015, the year that IS terror went global

December 21, 2015

Michel MOUTOT - From the blood spilled in the streets of Paris to the San Bernardino shootings, the world in 2015 showed its vulnerability to the brand of terror perpetrated by Islamic State militants.

Over the past 12 months, the group that took root in Iraq and in the chaos of the Syrian war has turned its focus from territorial gains to hitting at "distant enemies".

"The Islamic State.

has gone global," said Richard Barrett, a former head of Britain's global counter-terrorism operations who is now vice-president of the New York-based think-tank Soufan Group.

Barrett told AFP that politicians find the issue of the IS group "really difficult to deal with".

"The public is frightened, and that's the point of terrorism - to make the public frightened.

And it's very difficult for the politicians to deal with a constituency which is frightened.

"But at the moment, running around in circles and sending more bombers (to Syria and Iraq) is not solving the problem, it's even making it a little bit worse.

Perhaps the key difference between IS and the extremist groups that have gone before it, is that it can call on agents that it dispatches from its self-declared "caliphate" as well as sympathisers in the countries it is attacking.

As the year closed, even California appeared to have become a target, when the married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in San Bernardino.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, the couple appear to have become radicalised alone before carrying out their rampage without having direct contact with IS.

The added threat comes from hardened militants such as the Kouachi brothers who in January carried out the attack on the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

Said and Cherif Kouachi had both been placed under surveillance at some point but had slipped off the radar and appeared to be no longer a threat before they suddenly launched an attack.

Security services ‘petrified’

The last 12 months have shown that security forces in the countries targeted, despite beefed-up resources, are struggling.

"Every European security service that I have talked to in the last year is petrified of the issue of foreign fighters, and there is almost no solution to it," said Bruce Riedel, of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Hundreds of European citizens are joining IS in Syria and Iraq - often through the relatively easy route of Turkey - every month and some are then returning home radicalised and hardened after spending time on the battlefield.

Keeping tabs on all of them, Riedel argues, is impossible.

"It's a serious problem.

It's what I call task saturation," he said.

In December, Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a 34-country coalition dedicated to fighting IS, but a coordinated international strategy to combat the threat the group poses still seems some way off, said Jean-Pierre Filiu, a professor at the Sciences Po university in Paris.

"The attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino have shown Western countries that Daesh (another name for IS) can hit at any time," he said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Dec-2015/2015-the-year-that-is-terror-went-global

------------

 

IS militants stole ‘tens of thousands’ of blank passports

Dec 21, 2015

BERLIN: The militant Islamic State (IS) group may have stolen “tens of thousands” of blank passports that it could use to smuggle its fighters into Europe as refugees, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Welt am Sonntag cited Western intelligence sources as saying that IS could have acquired the stolen travel documents in areas of Syria, Iraq and Libya it now controls.

The passports could be issued to would-be attackers to enter the European Union as asylum seekers, according to the report.

Moreover IS has already launched a money-spinning operation with the fake documents, selling them on the black market where they fetch up to 1,500 euros ($1,630) each, Welt said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227754/is-militants-stole-tens-of-thousands-of-blank-passports

------------

 

Paris attacks suspect got past three police checks: source

20 December 2015

Salah Abdeslam, suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks last month, got past three police checks in France as he fled to Belgium, a source close to the investigation said Sunday.

Confirming a report in the French daily Le Parisien, the source quoted Hamza Attou, suspected along with Mohammed Amri of driving Abdeslam to Brussels the day after the November 13 attacks in which 130 people died.

At the first checkpoint Attou and Amri admitted to police that they had just smoked marijuana, but were let go, the source said.

All three are from the gritty Brussels suburb of Molenbeek.

Abdeslam sent a text message asking Attou and Amri to come for him, and they found him “agitated... uneasy... unwell,” the source said.

Then came a threat: “He told us to take him back to Brussels or he would blow up the car,” Attou said, according to the source.

To underscore the threat, Abdselam bragged about killing people with a Kalashnikov, adding that his brother Brahim blew himself up.

Seven attackers blew themselves up or were killed by police in the course of the evening on November 13. Five of them have been identified.

To avoid police checks, Abdeslam asked Attou and Amri to take minor roads, but they got lost and wound up on a motorway, Attou said.

At the first checkpoint they were asked if they had “consumed” any substances.

Abdelslam was in the back seat and said nothing, while Amri and Attou replied “yes” because they had just smoked marijuana.

“The policeman said that was not good, but it was not the priority today,” Attou said, according to the source.

They were not asked for their papers, but they were at the second and third police checkpoints.

At the third stop, near Cambrai in the far north of France, Abdeslam even gave his address in Molenbeek.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/20/Paris-attacks-suspect-got-past-three-police-checks-source.html

------------

 

Hungary accuses Austria of 'stupidity' over refugees

21 December 2015

Hungary has accused Austria of confusing "solidarity and stupidity" after Vienna said that nations which do not accept their share of refugees under European Union quotas should face sanctions.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann had said that countries who did not cooperate with the programme and received more money from the EU than they put in should see their subsidies cut.

"The Austrian chancellor does not see the difference between solidarity and stupidity" said Budapest's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

"Solidarity means helping people who are in danger where they live, and helping them to return home once the conflict is finished," Szijjarto told Hungarian national press agency MTI Sunday.

"Stupidity is letting hundreds of thousands of people -- millions -- into Europe with no controls, while everyone, Europeans and migrants alike, can see they'll never get what they hoped for here," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/167609/fifa-bans-blatter-platini-for-eight-years

 

URL:

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Womens in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Womens In Arab, Islamphobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Loading..

Loading..