New Age Islam
Thu Oct 22 2020, 04:51 AM

Islamic World News ( 1 March 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Hindus, Sikhs Rebuild Mosque Shut since 1947 in an Indian State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: At the renovated mosque at Malla village in Ludhiana.

 

Islamic State Group in Competition with Al-Qaida for Recruits in Pakistan

Al-Qaida Leader Osama Bin Laden Left $29 Million Inheritance for Jihad

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser admits Pakistan has influence on Afghan Taliban

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India

Hindus, Sikhs Rebuild Mosque Shut since 1947 in an Indian State

Militants Attack Indian Consulate in Jalalabad

Action against Terror Takes Priority over Dialogue: India on Talks with Pakistan

Pathankot attack: NIA seeks details of 4 JeM terrorists from Pakistan

8 ex-servicemen arrested for spying for Pakistan

Indian Railways Website Allegedly Hacked by al-Qaida

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Pakistan

Islamic State Group in Competition with Al-Qaida for Recruits in Pakistan

Have Changed Policy to Target All Terror Groups: Pakistan

Thousands Attend Funeral of Pakistani Man Who Killed Governor Salman Taseer

Three BRA militants including commander killed in Kech: Frontier Corps

COAS meets Afghan president, top US defence leadership during Kabul stopover

Religious parties can derail govt, Fazl tells Sana

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Arab World

Al-Qaida Leader Osama Bin Laden Left $29 Million Inheritance for Jihad

Iraq Launches Sweeping Anti-IS Group Operation North Of Baghdad

Egyptian Analyst: Cairo Seeking to Open Channels with Hezbollah, Iran

Militants Suffer Heavy Casualties in Clashes with Syrian Army in Hama

Syria: Convoy of Terrorists' Vehicles Targeted by Russian Warplanes in Aleppo

Yemeni Forces Use New Tactics in Ta'iz, Ma'rib, Make More Military Gains

US special operations troops capture ISIS operative in Iraq

ISIS Militant Captured In Iraq; US to Hand Over Detainee To Iraqi, Kurdish Authorities After Interrogation

Islamic State suicide bombers penetrate Iraq army headquarters as country's military stretched thin

Syrian Army on Alert to Launch Fresh Large-Scale Operation in Raqqa

Syria: Kurdish Fighters Cut Terrorists' Supply Route in Aleppo City

Militant Positions Hit Hard in Syrian Airstrikes in Homs

Syrian Army Continues to Target Militants across Deir Ezzur Neighbourhoods

Syrian Warplanes Continue to Bomb Terrorist Positions in Deir Ezzur

Syria peace talks postponed to March 9: UN

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South Asia

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser admits Pakistan has influence on Afghan Taliban

19 Militants Killed In Counter-Terrorism Operations Led By Afghan Army

‘Taliban support and want peace, but there are issues’: Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan

Over a dozen civilians wounded in Jalalabad attack

Security forces release 10 civilians from Taliban custody in Herat

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Southeast Asia

Philippines: Gunman Fires on Extremism Conference

Indonesian police arrest 4 more suspected militants

Philippines sets up task force after attack on Saudis

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North America

Nato Commander: Isis ‘Spreading Like Cancer’ Among Refugees

Terror Expert Describes Islamic State Tactics, Recruiting

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Mideast

Justice Ministry Allows Prosecution of 1,845 People over ‘Insulting’ Erdoğan

Turkish Journalist Calls His Release from Jail a Defeat for Erdoğan

Turkey says has hit only ISIL targets since ceasefire started

Commander: Iran Self-Sufficient in Maintaining, Overhauling Helicopters

EU returns 150 migrants to Turkey as part of migration deal

Seeing the issue as a problem with PKK, Turkey’s west never believed in settlement process

Russia seeks closure of Turkey-Syria border amid truce

Iranian Deputy FM: Terror Groups Taking Advantage of Syria Ceasefire

Iran says oil exports still constrained post-sanctions

Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank

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Africa

Turkey's Erdogan Offers to Help West Africa Fight Terrorism

Ambassador killed in Benghazi attack considered leaving Libya in April 2011, emails reveal

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Europe

Islamic State looking for nuclear materials in Belgium, report

Over 131,000 migrants reached Europe in 2016: UN

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hindus,-sikhs-rebuild-mosque-shut-since-1947-in-an-indian-state/d/106528

 

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Hindus, Sikhs Rebuild Mosque Shut since 1947 in an Indian State

By Raakhi Jagga, Mar 2, 2016

In a remarkable show of fraternity and communal harmony, Hindus and Sikhs from Malla village of Ludhiana came together and offered their services to repair a mosque that had remained shut since 1947. The Masjid was thrown open to the public on February 29.

The Masjid comes as a relief to the lone Muslim family in the village, and others in the area, who otherwise had to travel to Jagraon or Raikot to offer Namaz

The mosques were identified by the Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind Party of Ludhiana. They approached the Imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana — Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Sani Ludhianavi for assistance.

“We approached the villagers and they were ready to open it for re-construction,” said Maulana Habib. “We spent around Rs 6 Lakh from Habib Charitable trust to re-construct it and we are pleased to see that villagers irrespective of their religion even offered Kar sewa during the construction.”

Namaz was offered since the day the Masjid was re-opened and a Langar was arranged by the villagers.

“We can now perform prayers in the village mosque,” said Iqbal Husain, a resident of the village.

Nayab Shahi Imam Maulana was also present who helped in construction of this Masjid while Sarpanch Gurmail Singh and former Sarpanch Avtar Singh, along with other villagers, organised Langar for all.

“We believe in communal harmony and want to set example for others that instead of creating walls of religion, one should live happily with each other,” they said.

indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/hindus-sikhs-rebuild-mosque-shut-since-1947/#sthash.HBi1jz6P.dpuf

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Islamic State Group in Competition with Al-Qaida for Recruits in Pakistan

AP | Mar 2, 2016

KARACHI: Trying to lure him into the Islamic State(IS) group, the would-be recruiter told Pakistani journalist Hasan Abdullah, "Brother, you could be such an asset to the Ummah" — the Islamic community. Abdullah replied that he was enjoying life and had no plans to join the Jihadis.

"The enjoyment of this life is short-lived. You should work for the Akhira" — the Afterlife, the recruiter pressed.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, had its eye on Abdullah not because he adheres to any extremist ideology but because, as a journalist, the group believed he could be a boon to its propaganda machine, Abdullah told the Associated Press, recounting his meeting with the recruiter.

His encounter was a sign of how the Islamic State group is looking for sophisticated skills as it builds its foothold in new territory: Pakistan. It is courting university students, doctors, lawyers, journalists and businessmen, and using women's groups for fundraising. It is also wading into fierce competition with the country's numerous other militant groups, particularly the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida in the subcontinent, the new branch created by the veteran terror network.

Here in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, the ISIS loyalists have set up their strongest presence, carrying out multiple attacks in the past year and setting up networks.

The port city of some 20 million people on the Arabian Sea has always been a favorite for militants to operate. Wealthy districts running on the city's profitable commerce hold potential for fundraising, while the crowded, cramped poorer districts that have spread around the city provide recruits and places to hide. It also gives recruiters links to other parts of the country, since its population is full of people who have migrated from tribal regions or Afghanistan, looking for work.

The Karachi police's top counterterrorism official, Raja Umer Khitab, warns that IS has great potential to grow in Pakistan, not only because of its large reservoir of Sunni extremists but also because of the virulent anti-Shia sentiment among their ranks. Hatred of Shias and attacks against them are a keystone of the Islamic State group's ideology and one source of its appeal among some hard-line Sunnis as it set up its self-declared "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria.

The IS first announced its presence in Pakistan with a bloody attack in May in Karachi in which gunmen boarded a bus carrying Shias, ordered them to bow their heads, then opened fire, killing 45. The gunmen left behind a tattered piece of paper proclaiming, "Beware ... We have entered the battlefield for retribution and the implementation of Shariah."

Since then, it has killed more than 35 policemen in targeted attacks, attacked two schools and killed rights activist Sabeen Mehmud, who was gunned down in her car with her mother at her side.

IS was able to expand into two tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan — Bajour and Orakzai — when Taliban leaders there switched allegiance to the Islamic State group. The IS branch in neighboring Afghanistan is also aggressively trying to expand its presence, putting it in direct competition with the Taliban.

The number of IS loyalists in Pakistan is not known. Government officials only recently admitted that they have a presence and insist loyalists here have no known operational links to the IS leadership in Iraq and Syria. Still, in one of the first warnings by an official about IS, intelligence chief Aftab Sultan told a Senate committee earlier this month that hundreds of Pakistanis have gone to fight in Syria, and some are now coming home to Pakistan to recruit.

One way IS militants are trying to recruit and build is through women. One academy for women in Karachi's Baloch Colony neighborhood recruited women by playing IS videos in the classrooms, Khitab told the AP. The 20 female students then reached out to middle-class and wealthy Karachi women, urging them to donate their religious tithes to the IS cause of establishing a caliphate.

Several women were detained, including the wife of a suspected IS operative, and were released after questioning, Khitab said.

IS recruiters have been stalking university campuses. For example, the suspected mastermind in the bus attack, Saad Aziz, was a graduate of the U.S.-funded Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

A professor at the Institute, Huma Baqai, said there are radicalized professors teaching in some of the country's top universities. They "are using the classrooms to mold (students') minds," she said. "There is no scrutiny in what happens in the classroom."

An intelligence official told the AP that security officials have interrogated several university professors suspected of supporting IS and trying to recruit students. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the press.

"Finding people who are willing to strap on a suicide vest and blow themselves up is easy. There are hundreds, thousands," said Abdullah, the journalist. But the educated are a bigger prize. He said he knows two other journalists whom IS tried to enlist. Abdullah said IS probably sought him because he was known from his work writing on extremism in the region and has met many militants personally.

Abdullah said his courtship by IS began when he received a message on social media from someone offering information for him for a story. Abdullah didn't hear from him again until weeks later, when a man using the same name approached Abdullah as he had lunch in a park outside his office. The man told Abdullah he closely followed his writings — then said he was from the Islamic State group. Abdullah quizzed him about militants he knew to verify his claims. Near the end of the conversation, the man noted that many professionals were joining IS.

"This was basically his invitation to me to join their rank," Abdullah said. And the man made his pitch.

Professionals can hold leadership posts or be involved in the group's prolific and powerful propaganda machine, which includes sophisticated videos produced with the latest technology and vigorous use of social media.

Al-Qaida in particular is pursuing a similar caliber of recruits. Khitab said it isn't clear who is winning the competition but there are known instances of al-Qaida militants in Pakistan crossing over to IS. Most notably, Khitab said, al-Qaida operatives Abdullah Yusuf and Tayyab Minhas defected to IS and are believed to have orchestrated much of the group's violence in Karachi.

The past stereotype of a militant as a tribesman from the mountains in traditional garb with bandoliers of ammo slung over his shoulder has been replaced, said analyst Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington.

The new generation comes from "well-educated, cosmopolitan, university educated Pakistanis from middle-class backgrounds who can navigate our globalized space whether virtually or physically with facility and confidence." They can use social media, cross borders and fit "seamlessly into global societies."

"They are the new force multipliers of terrorist groups," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Islamic-State-group-in-competition-for-recruits-in-Pakistan/articleshow/51222117.cms

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Al-Qaida Leader Osama Bin Laden Left $29 Million Inheritance for Jihad

Reuters | Mar 2, 2016

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden outlined in letters and other documents how at least $29 million of his funds and possessions should be apportioned after his death, requesting that most of it be used to continue global jihad.

One of the letters - part of a cache of 113 documents taken in the 2011 US Special Forces raid that killed bin Laden - was described by US intelligence officials as what they believed was a last will.

Reuters and ABC Television were given exclusive access to the documents, which were translated from Arabic and declassified by US intelligence agencies.

They were part of a second tranche of documents seized in the operation and have been declassified since May 2015. A large number have yet to be released.

One document, a hand-written note that US intelligence officials believe the Saudi militant composed in the late 1990s, laid out how he wanted to distribute about $29 million he had in Sudan.

One percent of the $29 million, bin Laden wrote, should go to Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, a senior al-Qaida militant who used the nom de guerre Abu Hafs al Mauritani.

"By the way, he (al-Walid) has already received 20,000-30,000 dollars from it, bin Laden continued. "I promised him that I would reward him if he took it out of the (Sudanese) government."

Bin Laden lived in Sudan for five years as an official guest until he was asked to leave in May 1996 by the then-Islamic fundamentalist government under pressure from the United States.

Another 1 percent of the sum should be given to a second associate, Engineer Abu Ibrahim al-Iraqi Sa'ad, for helping set up bin Laden's first company in Sudan, Wadi al-Aqiq Co, the document said.

Bin Laden urged his close relatives to use the rest of the funds to support holy war.

"I hope for my brothers, sisters and maternal aunts to obey my will and to spend all the money that I have left in Sudan on jihad, for the sake of Allah," he wrote.

He set down specific amounts in Saudi riyals and gold that should be apportioned between his mother, a son, a daughter, an uncle, and his uncle's children and maternal aunts.

In a letter dated Aug. 15, 2008, and addressed "To my Precious Father," bin Laden asks that his wife and children be taken care of in the event he died first.

It was unclear to whom bin Laden was writing, as his natural father, Mohammed bin Laden, died in a 1967 airplane crash. US intelligence officials were not immediately available to comment on whether he may have been referring to his step-father, Mohammad al-Attas.

"My precious father: I entrust you well for my wife and children, and that you will always ask about them and follow up on their whereabouts and help them in their marriages and needs," he wrote.

In a final wistful paragraph, he asks for forgiveness "if I have done what you did not like."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Al-Qaida-leader-Osama-bin-Laden-left-29-million-inheritance-for-jihad/articleshow/51218679.cms

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Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser admits Pakistan has influence on Afghan Taliban

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has admitted that Islamabad has influence on the Afghan Taliban leaders based Pakistan and that the country could use certain leverages to bring the Taliban leaders to negotiations table with the Afghan government.

Speaking at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations, Aziz said the leadership of the group is based in Pakistan along with their families who are using certain facilities, including health centers in the country.

Aziz further added that Islamabad can put pressure on the Taliban leadership to sit-in for peace talks but it can’t negotiate on behalf of the Afghan government.

He also added that there were certain groups like the Haqqani Network whose remnants were still supposed to be scattered around and they were threatening Afghanistan and forces there.

“The government has stated taking actions against these terrorist groups one by one as simultaneous actions were not possible because of the capacity and the fear of the blowback,” Aziz added.

He said “In this case, their infrastructure in North Waziristan has been destroyed, however some scattered groups, some remnants may still be around but the bulk the capacity of these groups is within the Afghanistan”

Aziz also added that the roadmap drawn by the Quadrilateral Group required to invite all groups for talks, but action can be taken against those who refused to attend.

The remarks by Aziz comes as the Afghan officials have long been critizing Pakistan for sheltering the anti-government armed militant groups in its soil which they use to plan and coordinate deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the US lawmakers recently expressed concerns regarding Pakistan’s ties with the notorious Haqqani terrorist network which is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September 2011.

The network is allied with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist organizations in the region and was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization on September 7, 2012 by the US Department of State.

khaama.com/sartaj-aziz-admits-pakistan-has-influence-on-afghan-taliban-0227

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India

Hindus, Sikhs Rebuild Mosque Shut since 1947 in an Indian State

By Raakhi Jagga, Mar 2, 2016

In a remarkable show of fraternity and communal harmony, Hindus and Sikhs from Malla village of Ludhiana came together and offered their services to repair a mosque that had remained shut since 1947. The Masjid was thrown open to the public on February 29.

The Masjid comes as a relief to the lone Muslim family in the village, and others in the area, who otherwise had to travel to Jagraon or Raikot to offer Namaz

The mosques were identified by the Majlis Ahrar Islam Hind Party of Ludhiana. They approached the Imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana — Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Sani Ludhianavi for assistance.

“We approached the villagers and they were ready to open it for re-construction,” said Maulana Habib. “We spent around Rs 6 Lakh from Habib Charitable trust to re-construct it and we are pleased to see that villagers irrespective of their religion even offered Kar sewa during the construction.”

Namaz was offered since the day the Masjid was re-opened and a Langar was arranged by the villagers.

“We can now perform prayers in the village mosque,” said Iqbal Husain, a resident of the village.

Nayab Shahi Imam Maulana was also present who helped in construction of this Masjid while Sarpanch Gurmail Singh and former Sarpanch Avtar Singh, along with other villagers, organised Langar for all.

“We believe in communal harmony and want to set example for others that instead of creating walls of religion, one should live happily with each other,” they said.

indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/hindus-sikhs-rebuild-mosque-shut-since-1947/#sthash.HBi1jz6P.dpuf

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Militants attack Indian consulate in Jalalabad

TNN & Agencies | Mar 2, 2016

JALALABAD: Afghanistan and Indian security forces here on Wednesday killed four suicide bombers who tried to attack the Indian consulate wounding at least six people, officials said.

A bomb in a car driven by one of the terrorists was detonated near the Indian consulate, shattering doors and windows and destroying at least eight other cars, even as explosions and gunfire rocked the area, witnesses said.

"Their target was the Indian consulate, but our forces shot and killed them all before they reached their target," said Attahullah Khugyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province.

MEA spokesman Vikas Swarup said no consulate staff members were injured.The head of the public health department in Nangarhar said at least six people had been wounded in the attack.

Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar It faces an emerging threat from loyalists of the Islamic State group, which controls territory across Syria and Iraq and is making gradual inroads in Afghanistan — challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the ongoing assault. India's consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif was also attacked by insurgents in January.

The area, also home to other diplomatic missions, has repeatedly come under attack in recent months.

In January, Islamic State jihadists claimed responsibility for a deadly gun and bomb siege targeting the nearby Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, the first major attack by the group in an Afghan city.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Militants-attack-Indian-consulate-in-Jalalabad/articleshow/51222411.cms

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Action against terror takes priority over dialogue: India on talks with Pakistan

PTI | Mar 2, 2016

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday indicated that action against terror by Pakistan will take priority over talks with it in the aftermath of the Pathankot strike that had prompted the postponement of the foreign secretary-level talks.

"In the aftermath of a terror attack, if you ask me what do you give priority to, a terrorist attack or a diplomatic dialogue, I think the answer should be obvious," foreign secretary S Jaishankar said.

He was replying to a question during an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue — a conclave on geo-economics and geo-politics — on whether foreign secretary talks between the two countries were linked to action by Pakistan on information given to it by India on Pathankot terror attack.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Action-against-terror-takes-priority-over-dialogue-India-on-talks-with-Pakistan/articleshow/51223017.cms

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Pathankot attack: NIA seeks details of 4 JeM terrorists from Pakistan

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: March 2

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the terror strike on Pathankot IAF airbase in January, has sent Letters Rogatory to Pakistan seeking details of four Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists who had carried out the attack.

Ahead of the visit of Pakistani Special Investigating Team (SIT), likely to take place in the last week of this month, the NIA sent the Letters Rogatory, a legal document sent through the special court asking details about the phone numbers dialled by the four terrorists ahead of carrying out the strike at the airbase of Indian Air Force on the intervening night of January 1 and 2.

In a related development, it appears that no terrorists were present at the Airmen billet. The elite National Security Guards had spent 48 hours clearing the area.

While NIA is officially tight-lipped on the issue and say that it was awaiting forensic report from CFSL Chandigarh, sources privy to the development said that no human remains or ammunition have been found from the airmen billet which has been extensively searched by sleuths of NIA and central intelligence agencies.

Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pathankot-attack-nia-seeks-details-of-4-jem-terrorists-from-pakistan/99/print/

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8 ex-servicemen arrested for spying for Pakistan

PTI | Mar 2, 2016

NEW DELHI: Eight ex-servicemen have been arrested by police for their alleged involvement in spying activities at the behest of Pakistani Intelligence Operatives (PIOs) in last three years, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"These ex-servicemen have been contacted by PIOs under various assumed identities on the pretext of providing jobs, scholarship, monetary consideration," Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said in reply to a written question.

Chaudhary said PIOs are adopting the modus operandi of tasking ex-servicemen to gather information through their casual contact with serving personnel.

Service personnel and ex-servicemen are regularly being educated on the modus operandi of foreign intelligence operatives.

The government has been pursuing a well-coordinated and multi-pronged approach to tackle the activities of ISI which include strengthening vigilance on the borders to check infiltration, gearing up the intelligence machinery to interdict Pakistani agents besides others, he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/8-ex-servicemen-arrested-for-spying-for-Pakistan/articleshow/51223638.cms

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Indian Railways Website Allegedly Hacked by al-Qaida

Indo-Asian News Service, 2 March 2016

Terror outfit al-Qaida on Tuesday allegedly hacked a microsite of the Indian Railways' Railnet page.

The hacked page of Bhusawal division of Personnel Department of the Central Railway and part of a large intranet created for the department's administrative needs, was replaced by a message purportedly from Maulana Aasim Umar, al-Qaida chief in south Asia, to all Indian Muslims.

"Why is there no storm in your ocean? A message for Muslims of India from Maulana Aasim Umar (May Allah protect him)," read the message.

Full report at: gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/indian-railways-website-allegedly-hacked-by-al-qaida-808871

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Pakistan

Islamic State Group in Competition with Al-Qaida for Recruits in Pakistan

AP | Mar 2, 2016

KARACHI: Trying to lure him into the Islamic State(IS) group, the would-be recruiter told Pakistani journalist Hasan Abdullah, "Brother, you could be such an asset to the Ummah" — the Islamic community. Abdullah replied that he was enjoying life and had no plans to join the Jihadis.

"The enjoyment of this life is short-lived. You should work for the Akhira" — the Afterlife, the recruiter pressed.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, had its eye on Abdullah not because he adheres to any extremist ideology but because, as a journalist, the group believed he could be a boon to its propaganda machine, Abdullah told the Associated Press, recounting his meeting with the recruiter.

His encounter was a sign of how the Islamic State group is looking for sophisticated skills as it builds its foothold in new territory: Pakistan. It is courting university students, doctors, lawyers, journalists and businessmen, and using women's groups for fundraising. It is also wading into fierce competition with the country's numerous other militant groups, particularly the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida in the subcontinent, the new branch created by the veteran terror network.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Islamic-State-group-in-competition-for-recruits-in-Pakistan/articleshow/51222117.cms

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Have changed policy to target all terror groups: Pakistan

PTI | Mar 2, 2016

WASHINGTON: Acknowledging that there was a "significant change" in its policy to act against terror groups without discrimination, Pakistan has said it hopes the US would now consider it an "ally from heaven" and not from hell, as described in a recent book by an ex-CIA chief.

"After my government came in 2013 there has been a significant change in our policy. We are now moving against all terrorists without any discrimination. And I hope that we would qualify to be an ally (of US) from heaven," Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told a Washington audience.

Aziz's remarks during his interaction at the Council on Foreign Relations came in response to a question in which his attention was drawn to a recently-released book written by a former CIA chief in which Pakistan was described as "an ally from the hell".

"There was a big divide in our thinking after 9/11 because the US suddenly changed sides from those people who they trained to fight the Russians. From holy warrior they suddenly became terrorists," Aziz said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Have-changed-policy-to-target-all-terror-groups-Pakistan/articleshow/51219413.cms?

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Thousands attend funeral of Pakistani man who killed governor Salman Taseer

AP | Mar 2, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Tens of thousands of Pakistanis chanting anti-government slogans on Tuesday attended the funeral of a police officer executed the day before for assassinating a secular governor in 2011 over accusations of blasphemy.

As a precaution against violence, authorities closed all schools and stepped up security in Islamabad and the adjacent city of Rawalpindi, where the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri was held. Roads around key government buildings and diplomatic compounds were also closed off, said police official Ashfaq Tarar.

Qadri's supporters threw rose petals at the ambulance carrying his coffin through Rawalpindi and he was given a martyr's funeral before being buried in Islamabad. Earlier, authorities put a gag order on local media covering the funeral, warning outlets in a letter that they would face closure if their reporting "glorifies extremism."

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Thousands-attend-funeral-of-man-who-killed-governor-Salman-Taseer/articleshow/51219999.cms

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Three BRA militants including commander killed in Kech: Frontier Corps

March 2nd, 2016

QUETTA: Security forces claimed to have killed three militants, including a key commander of the outlawed Baloch Republican Army (BRA), in Balochistan's Kech district on Wednesday morning.

Spokesman for Frontier Corps told DawnNews that, acting on a tip-off regarding the presence of militants in the area, security forces launched an operation in Dasht area of district Kech and killed three miscreants belonging to the BRA.

He said a key militant commander of the banned outfit was also among the dead and added that security forces had also recovered weapons from their possession.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243081/three-bra-militants-including-commander-killed-in-kech-frontier-corps

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COAS meets Afghan president, top US defence leadership during Kabul stopover

March 2nd, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday made a brief stopover in Kabul where he attended the Change of Command Ceremony for the Resolute Support Mission and met with top Afghan leadership, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa said.

The COAS discussed regional security and border management in meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, United States (US) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen Joseph Dunford, Gen Lloyd J. Austin Commander US Central Command (Centcom) and Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen Nicholson.

The meetings focused on checking cross-border movement of terrorists and coordination regarding the Pakistan Army's Shawal offensive.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1243080/coas-meets-afghan-president-top-us-defence-leadership-during-kabul-stopover

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Religious parties can derail govt, Fazl tells Sana

March 2nd, 2016

MULTAN: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that although the religious parties are not in a position to form the government, they can definitely derail it.

“Rana Sanaullah says that the people do not cast their vote for religious parties but I want to make it clear to Sanaullah that though we are not in a position to form the government, we are able to derail the government whenever we want,” he said while talking to the media here on Tuesday.

Fazl said the government should introduce legislation under which a person who committed blasphemy against the Holy Prophet be punished automatically and people might not have to take law in their hands. He said a meeting of religious elements would be called soon over the issues of the protection of religious seminaries and Women Protection Act to devise future line of action.

The JUI-F chief said the Women Protection Act passed by the Punjab Assembly was against the constitution, law and Islamic teachings.

“We reject all such laws and will continue to play our role to protect the Sharia as such laws usually are introduced to fulfill the foreign agenda,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1243017/religious-parties-can-derail-govt-fazl-tells-sana

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Arab World

Al-Qaida Leader Osama Bin Laden Left $29 Million Inheritance for Jihad

Reuters | Mar 2, 2016

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden outlined in letters and other documents how at least $29 million of his funds and possessions should be apportioned after his death, requesting that most of it be used to continue global jihad.

One of the letters - part of a cache of 113 documents taken in the 2011 US Special Forces raid that killed bin Laden - was described by US intelligence officials as what they believed was a last will.

Reuters and ABC Television were given exclusive access to the documents, which were translated from Arabic and declassified by US intelligence agencies.

They were part of a second tranche of documents seized in the operation and have been declassified since May 2015. A large number have yet to be released.

One document, a hand-written note that US intelligence officials believe the Saudi militant composed in the late 1990s, laid out how he wanted to distribute about $29 million he had in Sudan.

One percent of the $29 million, bin Laden wrote, should go to Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, a senior al-Qaida militant who used the nom de guerre Abu Hafs al Mauritani.

"By the way, he (al-Walid) has already received 20,000-30,000 dollars from it, bin Laden continued. "I promised him that I would reward him if he took it out of the (Sudanese) government."

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Al-Qaida-leader-Osama-bin-Laden-left-29-million-inheritance-for-jihad/articleshow/51218679.cms

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Iraq launches sweeping anti-IS group operation north of Baghdad

2016-03-01

Iraq on Tuesday launched a major operation to recapture areas north of Baghdad from the Islamic State (IS) group, sending thousands of security forces to fight the jihadists, officials said.

Some 7,000 counter-terrorism forces, soldiers, police and allied paramilitaries are taking part in the mission, an Iraqi army colonel who requested anonymity told the AFP news agency.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command said the operation is backed by artillery and both Iraqi and US-led coalition aircraft.

The targeted areas, which the colonel said extend from the city of Samarra up to the town of Baiji, are a corridor linking IS group-held territory around the northern city of Mosul, the jihadists' main hub in Iraq, with areas farther south.

The launch of the operation comes a day after four IS group suicide bombers infiltrated an army headquarters in the Haditha area of Anbar province, to the west of Baghdad, killing an Iraqi general and five other soldiers. Seven soldiers were also wounded in the attack, army and police officers said.

Full report at: france24.com/en/20160301-iraq-major-anti-islamic-state-group-operation-north-baghdad

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Egyptian Analyst: Cairo Seeking to Open Channels with Hezbollah, Iran

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Egyptian analyst revealed that General al-Sisi's government in Cairo is endeavoring to open channels of contacts with the Lebanese Hezbollah group and Iran in a bid to develop ties and cooperation with the two influential actors after the exacerbation of the crisis in Syria.

Ayman Samir referred to the recent visit by a Hezbollah delegation to Cairo, and said, "The goal of the visit was not limited to extending condolences for the death of (Egyptian journalist and news analyst) Hassanein Heikal, but focused on establishing close relations between Egypt and Hezbollah in line with common interests."

"Given its powerful and efficient role in the Arab region and its positions in support of the Syrian government against the foreign aggression, the Egyptian government is now attempting to open a channel of communications with Hezbollah and Iran," he told FNA on Tuesday.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000584

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Militants Suffer Heavy Casualties in Clashes with Syrian Army in Hama

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops' offensives against the militant groups' strongholds in the Southern part of Hama province claimed the lives of at least 28 terrorists of al-Nusra Front on Wednesday.

At least 28 members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front were killed and many more were wounded in the Syrian army's attacks near Hirbnafsa.

The Nusra Front's military hardware and vehicles also sustained major damage in the assaults.

In relevant development in the province on Monday, the Syrian army troops alongside their popular allies imposed full control over the main supply line of the government forces from Hama to Aleppo in a several-hour battle against the ISIL terrorists.

"The Syrian government forces pushed the ISIL militants back from their last positions along the strategic road connecting Ithriya in Hama province to Khanaser in Aleppo province," the army said.

"The ISIL left behind scores of the dead or wounded members and fled the battlefield to find a safer shelter," the army added.

"The engineering units of the army have launched to defuse roadside bombs planted by the terrorists to reopen the road as soon as possible," the army went on to say.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000228

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Syria: Convoy of Terrorists' Vehicles Targeted by Russian Warplanes in Aleppo

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian fighter jets tracked and targeted a long column of the vehicles of the ISIL terrorist group in a region Northeast of Aleppo province, inflicting major damage on the convoy.

The ISIL's attempts to transfer a large number of fighters from al-Bab Plateau to unknown location failed after the Russian air fleet struck the convoy while passing through the villages of ‘Ein al-Jahish, Abu Taltal, Touman, al-Shamawiyah, Sheikh Dun, and al-Bayrat.

The Russian and Syrian air forces killed several ISIL combatants and destroyed over 10 armored vehicles in their attacks.

On Tuesday, scores of ISIL terrorists were killed or wounded in the Syrian airstrikes in the Southeastern part of Aleppo province.

The Syrian fighter jets, in several combat sorties, bombed the ISIL positions near the villages of al-Uwainiyeh, Um Mayal and al-Qulai’a, which left scores of the terrorists dead or wounded.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000583

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Yemeni Forces Use New Tactics in Ta'iz, Ma'rib, Make More Military Gains

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces have changed their military tactics in their offensives against the Saudi forces in Ta'iz, Ma'rib and al-Jawf provinces which resulted in more military gains for them and inflicted heavy losses on them, FNA dispatches said.

The Yemeni forces pounded Saudi Arabia's Sahn al-Jen military base in Ma'rib province, killing and injuring scores of Saudi forces.

In Ta'iz province, the Yemeni army's artillery units hit the Saudi forces' positions to the West of sports stadium in al-Wazeqiya region, killing tens of Saudi troops and injuring dozens more.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000522

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US special operations troops capture ISIS operative in Iraq

March 02, 2016

A U.S. special operations assault force captured an ISIS operative during a recent raid in northern Iraq, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News Tuesday.

The official would not discuss specifics of the raid, including the identity of the captured militant, due to the sensitivity of the mission. The operation was first reported on by CNN. A report in The New York Times described the operative as a "significant." member of the terror group.

In December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that a special operations task force was headed to Iraq. Fox learned the 200-man unit, which included an assault force, intelligence cell and aviation element would be based in Irbil in northern Iraq.

In October, Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, a Delta Force Commando, was killed during a mission to rescue of dozens of mostly Kurdish prisoners held by ISIS in northern Iraq.

Full report at: foxnews.com/world/2016/03/02/us-special-operations-troops-capture-isis-operative-in-iraq.html

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ISIS Militant Captured In Iraq; US To Hand Over Detainee To Iraqi, Kurdish Authorities After Interrogation

03/02/16

U.S. Special Operations forces have captured an Islamic State group operative in a recent raid in northern Iraq, reports said Tuesday. American defense authorities described the capture as a vital development in fighting the militant group also known as ISIS.

U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force reportedly led the highly secretive team to capture the operative. U.S. authorities are interrogating the detained ISIS militant in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, according to the New York Times. Defense officials told the newspaper that their plan was to turn the militant over to Iraqi or Kurdish authorities, but will now do so after interrogation, which could take several weeks or even months.

Full report at: ibtimes.com/isis-militant-captured-iraq-us-hand-over-detainee-iraqi-kurdish-authorities-after-2328562

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Islamic State suicide bombers penetrate Iraq army headquarters as country's military stretched thin

Mar 2, 2016

Four Islamic State group suicide bombers have infiltrated an army headquarters west of Baghdad, killing an Iraqi general and five other soldiers, army and police officers say.

The bombers attacked a regimental headquarters in the Haditha area of Anbar province late on Monday local time, killing Staff Brigadier General Ali Aboud, Lieutenant Colonel Farhan Ibrahim and four others, the sources said.

Major General Ali Ibrahim Daboun, the head of the Al-Jazeera Operations Command, said one suicide bomber blew himself up inside General Aboud's office, while the other three detonated explosives elsewhere inside the headquarters.

Colonel Faruq al-Jughaifi, the Haditha police chief, confirmed the attack, saying it took place near a major dam in the area, and that the bombers were dressed in military uniforms.

Islamic State militants overran swathes of Iraq, including large parts of Anbar, in a sweeping offensive launched in June 2014, but had largely been on the defensive in the province since the middle of last year.

Iraqi tribesmen and security personnel defending Haditha, which lies near the country's second-largest dam, have held off IS for more than 18 months with the help of air strikes by a US-led coalition.

Full report at: abc.net.au/news/2016-03-02/islamic-state-militants-penetrate-iraq-army-headquarters/7212540

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Syrian Army on Alert to Launch Fresh Large-Scale Operation in Raqqa

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and their allies deployed in Southeastern and Northeastern areas of Aleppo and Hama provinces respectively are preparing to launch a joint anti-terrorism operation to free more lands in ISIL-held Raqqa province.

The Syrian soldiers, deployed in Ithriya in Hama province, are going to assault the Western countryside of Raqqa province and they are going to lead the operation to liberate the Tabaqa Military Airport from ISIL.

Since the Khanaser-Aleppo Road is now free of danger, the army troops and their pro-government allies in Southeastern part of Aleppo are preparing for what is likely to be the largest military operation launched during this brutal conflict.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000541

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Syria: Kurdish Fighters Cut Terrorists' Supply Route in Aleppo City

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) stormed the militant centers across the neighborhoods of Aleppo city and captured a key hill overlooking the only passage between the Eastern and Northern parts of the city.

The Kurdish fighters, after hours of heavy fighting, imposed full control over the strategic hill near the passage of Castello, which is the only path connecting the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo to Northern countryside of the city.

The militant groups suffered a heavy death toll in the clashes with the YPG and SDF.

On Tuesday, Arab media sources disclosed that the ISIL terrorist group sustained hundreds of casualties in the Syrian government forces' anti-terrorism operations in the Southeastern part of Aleppo.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000430

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Militant Positions Hit Hard in Syrian Airstrikes in Homs

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL strongholds in the Southeastern parts of Homs province were heavily bombed by the Syrian fighter jets, the army announced Wednesday, adding the attacks inflicted major losses on the terrorists.

The Syrian Air Force carried out several combat sorties over the ISIL lines of defense and concentration centers near the ancient Assyrian town of Quaryatayn and the village of Mahasa and targeted them badly, which not only left several militants dead or wounded but also ended in the destruction of their weapons, vehicles and ammunition.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000358

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Syrian Army Continues to Target Militants across Deir Ezzur Neighborhoods

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army said its troops engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in two neighborhoods of the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur and inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.

"Strongholds of the ISIL in the neighborhoods of al-Hamidiyeh and al-Roshdiyeh came under attacks of the Syrian army, which left several militants killed and some others wounded," the army said, adding, "The ISIL military hardware and ammunition were also destroyed in the clashes."

Also on Tuesday, the Syrian army inflicted heavy casualties on the ISIL terrorists after the militant group's offensives on the government forces' positions in the Northwestern part of Deir Ezzur were thwarted.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000267

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Syrian Warplanes Continue to Bomb Terrorist Positions in Deir Ezzur

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian aircraft, in a fresh round of combat flights on Wednesday, targeted the ISIL strongholds in the Eastern part of Deir Ezzur province, inflicting major damage on the terrorists' military equipment.

The Syrian fighter jets struck the ISIL gathering centers and lines of defense near Beit Dogheim and al-Jafra, which ended in the killing or wounding of several militants and destroyed a number of their machinegun-equipped vehicles.

On Tuesday, the ISIL terrorists' tunnel in the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur was detected and destroyed by the Syrian Army troops.

"The Syrian army troops seized a 40-meter-long supply tunnel of the ISIL in al-Sina'ah district in Deir Ezzur," the sources said.

"The tunnel was completely destroyed by the army, which ended in the killing or wounding of scores of militants," the sources added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000309

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Syria peace talks postponed to March 9: UN

AFP | Mar 1, 2016

GENEVA: Peace talks aimed at ending the conflict in Syria will resume in Geneva on March 9, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura's office said on Tuesday, announcing a two-day postponement.

"Intra-Syrian peace talks will resume in the afternoon of 9 March," de Mistura's office said in a statement.

"The 7th of March 2016 was initially set as the target date for the resumption of peace talks," but a short delay was needed "to allow adequate time to address logistical and practical matters."

"Mr. de Mistura looks forward to Syrian participants' engagement in serious discussions," the statement added.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syria-peace-talks-postponed-to-March-9-UN/articleshow/51215164.cms

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South Asia

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser admits Pakistan has influence on Afghan Taliban

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has admitted that Islamabad has influence on the Afghan Taliban leaders based Pakistan and that the country could use certain leverages to bring the Taliban leaders to negotiations table with the Afghan government.

Speaking at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations, Aziz said the leadership of the group is based in Pakistan along with their families who are using certain facilities, including health centers in the country.

Aziz further added that Islamabad can put pressure on the Taliban leadership to sit-in for peace talks but it can’t negotiate on behalf of the Afghan government.

He also added that there were certain groups like the Haqqani Network whose remnants were still supposed to be scattered around and they were threatening Afghanistan and forces there.

Full report at: khaama.com/sartaj-aziz-admits-pakistan-has-influence-on-afghan-taliban-0227

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19 militants killed in counter-terrorism operations led by Afghan army

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

Afghan soldierAt least 19 insurgents were killed in the latest counter-terrorism operations led by the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces in various provinces of the country.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in the past 24 hours to suppress the activities of the terrorist groups.

A statement by MoD said at least 5 insurgents were also wounded and 7 others were detained by the security forces during the same operations.

The statement further added that 7 militants were killed and a vehicle along with a motorcycle was confiscated by the security forces in Char Chino district of Uruzgan province.

At least 5 militants were killed in Dand-e-Shahabuddin district of Baghlan province, MoD said, adding that 5 others were wounded.

MoD also added that 3 militants were killed in a separate operation in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province, while 4 others were killed in Alisheng district of Laghman province.

The statement said various types of weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized by the Afghan forces during the same operations.

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

khaama.com/19-militants-killed-in-counter-terrorism-operations-led-by-afghan-army-0228

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‘Taliban support and want peace, but there are issues’:Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal has said the Afghan Taliban support and want peace, expressing optimisms that the group will likely participate in peace negotiations with the Afghan government in the near future.

Citing persistent issues the Afghan peace process is facing, Zakhilwal said “I am confident we will soon be talking to the Taliban and other opposition groups.”

“Soon we will kick off negotiations toward an agreement for peace,” Zakhilwal quoted in a report by Gandhara/Radio Free Europe said.

He did not disclose further information regarding the obstacles creating barriers for the peace talks to kick off.

Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-support-and-want-peace-but-there-are-issues-zakhilwal-0224

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Over a dozen civilians wounded in Jalalabad attack

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

blastA heavy explosion took place near the Indian consulate in Jalalabad city, capital of eastern Nangarhar province, around 12 pm on Wednesday.

Reports suggest that at least two attackers begun exchanging fire with security forces after the blast but they were gunned down pretty soon.

All diplomats and employees of the consulate are safe.

Security officials have told media that the attack has left over a dozen wounded.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

khaama.com/breaking-news-heavy-explosion-rocks-jalalabad-city-4618

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Security forces release 10 civilians from Taliban custody in Herat

By KHAAMA PRESS - Wed Mar 02 2016

Herat-police headquartersSecurity forces have released 10 civilians from the custody of Taliban militants in Adraskan district of western Herat province.

A spokesperson for the Governor House said the civilians were released on Tuesday during military offensive ‘Operation Azm’.

Jailani Farhad added that Operation Azam was launched against militants a few days before and concluded on Tuesday.

17 villages of Adraskan district have been cleared of militants, Farhad said.

According to him, a shootout occurred between security forces and Taliban which left one militant killed and two others wounded.

Taliban have not yet commented on the report.

Herat was among the comparatively secured provinces of Afghanistan but now it is going through some of its worst security.

khaama.com/security-forces-release-10-civilians-from-taliban-custody-in-herat-4615

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Southeast Asia

Philippines: Gunman fires on extremism conference

2nd Mar 2016

ZAMBOANGA, (AA) – Two Saudi men are reported to have been injured when a gunman opened fire on a symposium on extremism in a university in the Philippines south late Tuesday.

Among the injured were reported to be an Islamic scholar and a religious attache to the Saudi Embassy in Manila.

The Manila Times reported that the gunman was shot dead at the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga by the men’s security entourage.

Zamboanga is a predominantly Christian city in the majority Muslim southern region.

Authorities have said that they have no idea how the gunman managed to evade university security.

Full report at: muslimnews.co.uk/news/far-east/philippines-gunman-fires-on-extremism-conference/

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Indonesian police arrest 4 more suspected militants

MARCH 2, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia's anti-terror squad has arrested four more people suspected of being linked to deadly attacks in the capital in January.

National police spokesman Maj. Gen. Anton Charliyan said Wednesday that the four knew about the plot one month before the Jan. 14 bombings in downtown Jakarta killed eight people, including four attackers.

Two of the suspects were arrested in Central Java and the two others in East Java.

A total of 43 suspects have now been arrested in connection with the attack, which began with a suicide bombing inside a Starbucks cafe.

startribune.com/indonesian-police-arrest-4-more-suspected-militants/370771101/

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Philippines sets up task force after attack on Saudis

March 2, 2016

By Hader Glang

ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines – Philippine authorities have set up a joint task force to investigate an attack wounded a Saudi Islamic scholar and a religious attache to the kingdom’s embassy after a university lecture in the archipelago’s south.

A police spokesperson in Zamboanga, a predominantly Christian city in the majority Muslim southern region, said Wednesday that police and military personnel would make up Special Investigation Task Group WMSU.

The task force is named after Western Mindanao State University, where Dr. Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni, a renowned international lecturer and author, and Sheikh Turki Assaegh were shot by a gunman who was later killed by al-Qarni’s security entourage Tuesday night.

Senior Inspector Helen Galvez was quoted by GMA News Wednesday as saying that the slain suspect had been identified as a 21-year-old WMSU senior engineering student, Rugasan Misuari III, who had attended the forum at the university’s gymnasium.

The police spokesperson added that two of Misuari’s companions have been called for questioning over possible involvement in the attack, the motive for which remains under investigation.

Full report at: newsfultoncounty.com/world/news/0228777-philippines-sets-up-task-force-after-attack-on-saudis

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North America

Nato commander: Isis ‘spreading like cancer’ among refugees

2 March 2016

Philip Breedlove says refugees are ‘masking the movement’ of terrorists, but human rights groups disagree: ‘We are talking about needles in haystacks’

Gen Philip Breedlove speaks during a media briefing at Nato headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AFP/Getty Images

Refugees from the Middle East and north Africa are “masking the movement” of terrorists and criminals, Nato’s top commander told Congress on Tuesday, despite the protests of human rights groups who say that refugees overwhelmingly have no ulterior motive but escape.

In testimony to the Senate armed services committee, US general Philip Breedlove said that the Islamic State terror group is “spreading like a cancer” among refugees. The group’s members are “taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own”, he added.

Breedlove also blamed Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria, in support of autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad, for having “wildly exacerbated the problem”.

The airstrikes, nominally against Isis but largely against the various rebel groups arrayed against Assad, have allegedly killed more than 1,000 civilians, including children. Breedlove said these indiscriminate attacks mean to terrorize Syrians and “get them on the road” toward neighboring countries and Europe.

Full report at: theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/01/refugees-isis-nato-commander-terrorists

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Terror expert describes Islamic State tactics, recruiting

March 1, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) — An expert for the U.S. Justice Department told a jury in a terror trial on Tuesday that Islamic State targets individual American troops and reaches new recruits through social media.

Terrorism expert Evan Kohlmann testified at the trial of Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, a 44-year-old moving company owner accused of orchestrating a thwarted attack at a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest on May 3 in Garland, Texas.

Two of Kareem's friends, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, took bulletproof vests and semiautomatic rifles to the event and were killed by a police officer.

Kareem is accused of helping plan the attack and providing support to Islamic State. He denies the allegations.

Full report at: brownsvilleherald.com/news/us_world/article_baf0a568-685d-56b9-8aaf-f64b4502cd91.html

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Mideast

Justice Ministry allows prosecution of 1,845 people over ‘insulting’ Erdoğan

March 02, 2016

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced that the Justice Ministry has allowed the prosecution of 1,845 people for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking in Parliament during the 2016 budget meeting held on Tuesday, Bozdağ answered the questions of some deputies and said it was “shameful” to even read what the people who are allegedly insulting Erdoğan say about him.

Addressing the deputies, Bozdağ said: “I don't think you could read these [alleged insults against Erdoğan] without blushing [due to embarrassment]. Nobody should have the freedom to swear.”

Cases of “insulting” Erdoğan are based on Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which states that anyone convicted of insulting the president should serve a prison term of between one and four years. Article 125 of the TCK also mandates that anyone who acts with the intention to harm the honor, reputation or dignity of another person through concrete acts or giving the impression of intent to do so can be sentenced to a period of three months to two years in prison or be given a fine.

todayszaman.com/national_justice-ministry-allows-prosecution-of-1845-people-over-insulting-erdogan_413774.html

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Turkish journalist calls his release from jail a defeat for Erdoğan

March 02, 2016

The release of two prominent Turkish journalists following a ruling by Turkey's top court that their rights had been violated is a "clear defeat" for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, one of them said on Tuesday.

Can Dündar, the editor-in-chief of secularist opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, and his colleague Erdem Gül were freed on Friday after the constitutional court ruled that their detentions had violated their rights.

The two, who still face trial and potential life sentences, were arrested in November and charged with intentionally aiding an armed terrorist organization and publishing material in violation of state security.

Cumhuriyet published photos, videos and a report last year that it said showed intelligence officials trucking arms to Syria in 2014.

Erdoğan, who cast the newspaper's coverage as part of an attempt to undermine Turkey's global standing, has said he does not respect the constitutional court's decision and that the case is not about press freedom, but about espionage.

Dündar, speaking at a news conference in İstanbul, said he would defy an order to surrender his passport and would attempt to travel overseas.

In its ruling, the constitutional court said the detention of the two was "not lawful" and violated their individual freedom and safety. Their trial is due to start on March 25.

Advocacy group Reporters Without Borders welcomed the court's decision and called for the charges of espionage and assisting a terrorist organization to be dropped.

todayszaman.com/national_turkish-journalist-calls-his-release-from-jail-a-defeat-for-erdogan_413776.html

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Turkey says has hit only ISIL targets since ceasefire started

March 02, 2016

Turkey has hit only Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria since the start of a ceasefire this weekend, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, adding the Syrian government and Russia have been carrying out bombardments since the truce began.

Tanju Bilgiç also told reporters at a briefing in Ankara that Russian claims of weapons being sent to Syria hidden in aid convoys from Turkey were not to be taken seriously and were designed to cover up for Russian war crimes.

todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-says-has-hit-only-isil-targets-since-ceasefire-started_413777.html

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Commander: Iran Self-Sufficient in Maintaining, Overhauling Helicopters

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Army Airborne Commander Brigadier-General Houshang Yari said the country has become self-sufficient in the maintenance and overhaul of helicopters.

"The Airborne unit can now overhaul and fix helicopters without any help from the outside world," General Yari said in the Western city of Kermanshah on Tuesday.

He said his forces are ready to defend the country against foreign threats round the clock, adding that the Airborne unit plays an important role in deterrence.

In relevant remarks, Head of Iran's Helicopters Company Seyed Mahmoud Azin had said Iranian experts could repair and overhaul all types of choppers.

"We can overhaul helicopters and check them after every three thousand hours of flight," Azin told FNA.

He underlined the high capabilities of the Iranian pilots, and said, "Even the Americans know how high the capabilities of the Iranian pilots are."

Also in February 2015, Managing-Director of Iran's Helicopter Renovation and Logistics Company (PANHA) General Mohammad Ali Ahmadabadi announced that the country's latest home-made helicopter, 'Homa', is having its final flight tests.

"The helicopter has been built as a result of the efforts of PANHA company and is a 14-seater chopper," Ahmadabadi told reporters in Tehran.

"Homa has had its test flight and is now in the final test stage," he added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000494

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EU returns 150 migrants to Turkey as part of migration deal

March 02, 2016

The European Union has begun to return to Turkey migrants who crossed into EU territory from that country -- a step that is part of a deal reached last year -- in a sign that reveals the urgency on Europe's side as it struggles to cope with a large influx of migrants.

Greece sent 150 illegal migrants of Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan origin back to Turkey on Tuesday on buses, via its land border with the country.

The Turkish authorities registered them in a buffer zone between Turkey and Greece and transported them on buses to the Immigration Bureau of Edirne. The migrants will stay at facilities run by the Turkish state until the entire procedure of determining their country of origin is completed. Following the process, Turkey will send them back to their countries.

On Dec. 16 of last year Turkey and the EU signed an agreement to start a dialogue on visa liberalization, in parallel with a readmission agreement that would result in illegal migrants who enter Europe via Turkey being returned there. The refugee deal faces severe challenges in its execution and has been criticized both in Turkey and across the EU, where critics have voiced ethical concerns about the agreement.

Iraqi and Syrian migrants are not included in the agreement. The readmission of migrants will place an additional burden on Turkey, which already hosts nearly 3 million refugees.

If the implementation of the agreement goes well as planned during the next six months and Turkey meets requirements defined in 50 articles, then the EU is expected to lift visa requirement for Turkish citizens. If the EU does not act in time frame that is designated within the agreement, Turkey has the right to revoke the deal.

todayszaman.com/diplomacy_eu-returns-150-migrants-to-turkey-as-part-of-migration-deal_413783.html

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Seeing the issue as a problem with PKK, Turkey’s west never believed in settlement process

March 01, 2016

How does Turkey's west perceive the ever-increasing death toll emanating from the country's east?

I talked to citizens in the western part of Turkey to take the pulse of people in the west, who tend to have more nationalistic tendencies. With seemingly normal and vivid lives, the people of İzmir did not surprise me with their reactions. While people are nervous and sad about the news of deaths coming from the east, there is a belief that curfews could be necessary to provide security. It seems that people in the Aegean never had faith in the “settlement process” with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). On the contrary, they believe that the PKK got stronger because of it. They question why the process ended abruptly following the June 7, 2015 general election, first in a weak voice due to the overall climate of fear in the country and then stronger, once the recording is over. People also make a connection between the desire for an executive presidential system and the rise in terrorism. There is almost nobody who believes in the necessity of a new system, but almost everyone is concerned about the future of the economy and the country.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_seeing-the-issue-as-a-problem-with-pkk-turkeys-west-never-believed-in-settlement-process_413740.html

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Russia seeks closure of Turkey-Syria border amid truce

March 01, 2016

Russia is seeking the closure of the Turkish-Syrian border, claiming that convoys entering Syria from neighboring Turkey have supplied rebel groups with weapons as a fragile truce between government troops and opposition forces is taking hold despite reports of some violations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday that "gangs have received arms across this border, including from humanitarian convoys."

Lavrov said the border is being used as a channel to supply weapons to groups he described as terrorists, with some arms hidden in humanitarian aid deliveries.

Russia, a staunch backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is at odds with Turkey over its military intervention in Syria. Relations have been tense since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in late November last year.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_russia-seeks-closure-of-turkey-syria-border-amid-truce_413696.html

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Iranian Deputy FM: Terror Groups Taking Advantage of Syria Ceasefire

Mar 2, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Takht Ravanchi called on the European Union and other international bodies to stop terror groups from taking advantage of the ceasefire in Syria.

"The ceasefire doesn’t include the terrorist groups and they shouldn’t be allowed to use it to their advantage," Takht Ravanchi said Tuesday in a meeting in Vienna with his counterpart Michael Linhart and Senior Advisor to Austrian President Helmut Frieden.

He said the terrorist groups which are not included in the ceasefire plan, including the ISIL, the al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra Front, shouldn’t be allowed to regroup and rearm.

During the meeting, the Austrian officials said they are ready for development of relations and cooperation with Iran, as well as comprehensive consultations with Tehran on regional and international issues.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941212000312

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Iran says oil exports still constrained post-sanctions

March 2nd, 2016

DUBAI: Iran still faces constraints on oil exports as buyers are cautious about boosting trade immediately because of banking and ship insurance difficulties, a senior Iranian oil official said, despite seeing a “tangible” rise in shipments this month.

Iran emerged from years of economic isolation in January when world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted crippling sanctions against Opec’s No. 3 oil producer in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

The sanctions had cut Iranian crude exports from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) before 2011 to just over 1m bpd in recent years.

Iran is working to regain market share after sanctions relief and exports had already risen by 500,000 bpd in February, Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Reuters on Tuesday.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1242948/iran-says-oil-exports-still-constrained-post-sanctions

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Israeli troops kill Palestinian in West Bank

March 01, 2016

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank as troops reportedly tried to rescue two soldiers who the army said on Tuesday were attacked after straying into a refugee camp.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said a 22-year-old man died of gunshot wounds and six were wounded in the violence that began late on Monday at Qalandia refugee camp. The Israeli military and police said five soldiers and five paramilitary border policemen were hurt.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/world_israeli-troops-kill-palestinian-in-west-bank_413706.html

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Africa

Turkey's Erdogan offers to help West Africa fight terrorism

Mar 2, 2016

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) walks with Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara at the presidential palace in Abidjan February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

ACCRA (Reuters) - Turkey stands ready to help fight the growing threat of terrorism in west Africa under a new strategic partnership that aims to boost trade and other ties with the continent, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

Addressing members of Ghana's parliament during a two-day visit to Accra, Erdogan said Turkey was well placed to help African countries combat terrorism, an allusion to its decades-long fight against Kurdish separatist rebels as well as other groups including Islamist militants.

Full report at: af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0W40KC

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Ambassador killed in Benghazi attack considered leaving Libya in April 2011, emails reveal

March 01, 2016

Seventeen months before he was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Ambassador Chris Stevens was seriously considering leaving the country as its civil war widened.

The ambassador's concerns are reflected in emails sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's inner circle. The emails were released by the State Department Monday as part of the 14th and final batch of messages from Clinton's private server.

One email in particular, dated April 10, 2011, relays Stevens' safety concerns to the State Department. It was sent by a State Department official named Timmy Davis to several key Clinton aides, including Jake Sullivan, now the top foreign policy adviser on Clinton's presidential campaign, and Huma Abedin.

Full report at: foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/01/ambassador-killed-in-benghazi-attack-considered-leaving-libya-in-april-2011-emails-reveal.html

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Europe

Islamic State looking for nuclear materials in Belgium, report

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Wed Mar 02 2016

Islamic-StateThe Islamic State (IS) terrorist group appears to have been looking for nuclear materials in Belgium to build radioactive ‘dirty bomb’, the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington reports.

A small video camera stashed in a row of bushes silently recorded the comings and goings of the family of a Brussels-area man with an important scientific pedigree last year, producing a detailed chronology of the family’s movements. At one point, two men came under cover of darkness to retrieve the camera, before driving away with their headlamps off, a separate surveillance camera in the area revealed later.

The Belgian police discovered the secret film on Nov. 30 while searching the Auvelais home of a man with ties to the Islamic State terror group. But they became far more alarmed when they figured out that its star was a senior researcher at a Belgian nuclear center that produces a significant portion of the world’s supply of radioisotopes.

That realization quickly got the attention of the world’s counterterrorism experts.

Full report at: khaama.com/islamic-state-looking-for-nuclear-materials-in-belgium-4617

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Over 131,000 migrants reached Europe in 2016: UN

AFP | Mar 1, 2016

GENEVA: More than 131,000 migrants and refugees have reached Europe via the Mediterranean this year, more than the total number in the first five months of 2015, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Out of a total of 131,724 people who have arrived on Europe's shores this year, 122,637 landed in Greece and most were fleeing the conflict in Syria, the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

The agency said an estimated 24,000 migrants in Greece were in need of accommodation as of Monday night.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Over-131000-migrants-reached-Europe-in-2016-UN/articleshow/51211755.cms

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hindus,-sikhs-rebuild-mosque-shut-since-1947-in-an-indian-state/d/106528

 

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