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Islamic World News ( 23 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Honour Killings to Be ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’, Invite 25-Year Jail Term

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Munich’s police chief Hubertus Andra addresses a news conference following a shooting rampage at the the Olympia shopping mal in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. (Source: Reuters)

 

Pakistan

Honour Killings to Be ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’, Invite 25-Year Jail Term

Five Suspected Taliban Terrorists Killed In Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif's Kashmir Dream Is a 'Wishful Thinking': Pakistan Newspaper

Abbottabad cantonment likely to build graveyard on Osama bin Laden compound

Balochistan govt unable to locate more than 100 registered schools in Quetta

Zardari decides today about Rangers’ policing powers

Fate of PakTurk schools across country uncertain

Progress in Amjad Sabri murder case, as accused confesses

Action against Gulen schools in Pakistan may take time

PML-N to table premarital blood screening bill

Right to information law in its last stage: Imran Gardezi

UN must establish inquiry into murder of Burhan Vani: Ambassador Lodhi

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India

'Only Elite, Not Muslim Masses Feel Alienation in India': former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan

You Will Never Be Able To Make This Heaven on Earth a Haven for Terrorists: India Tells Pakistan

Indian intelligence to brief Kamal on spread of IS network

Kerala Police arrest Kalyan man on radicalisation charges

‘Arrested Mumbai youth converted 800 to Islam'

Pakistan-based terror groups target India's interests in Afghanistan: Envoy

Instigating our youth to pick up weapons not correct, Rajnath Singh tells Pakistan

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Europe

Munich Mall Shooting: Suspect Was Obsessed With Mass Shootings

Munich Gunman Planned Shooting For a Year, Chose Victims Randomly: Officials

Germany Gun Attack Creeps Into Haunting Shadows of Anders Breivik

Putin vows most intense cooperation with Afghanistan after Kabul attack

G20 will use 'all policy tools' to protect growth as Brexit looms

German military training Syrians for civilian roles

Greece urges Turkey to show restraint on death penalty

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Arab World

Al-Sudais Says Ignorant Murderers Harming Islam

Over 700 Terrorists Killed in Operations in Handarat Camp

Syria: Iraqi Popular Forces Arrive in Ancient Palmyra to Join War on ISIL

Saudi shoots down Houthi ballistic missile

Syrian Democratic Forces Win One more Battle against ISIL in Manbij

ISIS fighters captured while fleeing besieged town dressed as women

Al-Nusra Front Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Army's Offensive in Dara'a

Deadly suicide attack strikes northern Baghdad

Trench cuts off Iraq’s Fallujah from the north following ISIS defeat

Iraq PM seeks to speed up use of death penalty

Law to criminalize all discrimination

Saudi executes four convicted of murder

Syrian government says ready for further peace talks

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Southeast Asia

Jihad Selfie: The Story of How Indonesian Teenagers Are Recruited To Islamic State

Hadi: No Need for Ceasefire, PAS Not At War

Police Arrest Four Accomplices of Solo Suicide Bomber Nur Rohmani

Police Arrest Santoso's Wife, 18 Terror Suspects Still at Largei

Lack of info on coding in schools prompts concern among educators

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North America

India-Born Muslim Heads Security at A US Hindu Temple

Ahmadi Man Gives Call to Prayer At White House

Countries hit by terror may face more screening: Trump

Under Clinton Presidency, U.S. Muslim Population Would Exceed Germany’s by 2024

Kerry’s Syria plan with Russia faces deep skepticism in US and abroad

John Kerry: Climate Change as Big a Threat as Islamic State

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South Asia

Bangladesh Arrests Four Female Militants in Hunt for Cafe Attackers

ISIS Attack on Kabul Protest Kills At Least 80, Wounds 231

Relations with Pakistan Bigger Challenge than Al-Qaeda, Taliban: Afghan President

Ghani names Deh Mazang ‘Martyrs Square’ after deadly attack

Graft money used in militancy, says ACC chairman

Lashkar-e-Islam Chief Mangal Bagh killed in US drone strike

ISIS commander behind barbaric civilians execution killed in Nangarhar

3 key Taliban commanders arrested in North of Afghanistan: MoI

War crimes: Quasem seeks deferral of review hearing

Muslim Youths advised to shun violence ahead of polls

Militants can avail a second chance to life, says IGP

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Mideast

Turkey Ruling, Opposition Parties To Rally Together After Coup

Turkey to Shut Down All Gülen-Linked Companies

Turkey Military Coup, Through the Eyes of an Indian

Turkey-Trained ISIL Terrorist Arrested in Iraq

The coup was a terrorist campaign: Turkish envoy

Iran condemns Kabul twin blasts, urges unity

Ankara mayor suggests Gülen uses genies to ‘enslave people’

13,165 detained over failed coup attempt: Erdoğan

Gülen more dangerous than Bin Laden: Turkish EU minister

Turkey detains senior aide to Fethullah Gulen

Commander: IRGC Disbands 2 Terrorist Cells in Northwestern Iran, Kills 23 Terrorists

Commander: US Willing to Attack Iran, but Deterred

Deputy Chief of Staff Warns S. Arabia, France of Repercussions of Future Terrorist Attacks in Iran

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Africa

Tunisia Dissident Opens New Party Congress

A Book for Scholarships and Financial Support launched

Some 5,495 out of school children to have access to formal education

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/honour-killings-to-be-fasad-fil-ardh,-invite-25-year-jail-term/d/108058

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Honour killings to be ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’, invite 25-year jail term

Jul 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The proposed new law to check cases of honour killing in Pakistan will treat this crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ carrying a punishment of 25 years jail.

Unlike other sentences, the jail-term of 25 years to be given under the proposed law would not be allowed routine remissions as announced annually or on the occasion of Eid etc.

Official sources said that the draft law is being prepared in line with the provisions of the Constitution and Islamic teachings.

In a murder case under Islamic law, the murderer could be forgiven by the legal heirs of the deceased through a compromise either on payment of Diyat or even otherwise. However, if the murder falls in the category of ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ then the killer can’t be forgiven by the heirs of the deceased. 

In the case of honour killings, the Pakistan Penal Code will be amended to treat the crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’. The amendment will authorise the court whether to accept or reject a compromise between the complainant and the killer who in most of the cases of honour killing has blood relations.

In many cases of honour killing, the killer commits this crime with the mutual understanding of the family. For example, the father or mother becomes a complainant in the case of his/her daughter’s murder by brother or any other close relative.

During the trial of such cases, the complainant (father/mother) usually forgives the killer (son/close relative) and thus the court has no option but to release the killer. With the proposed amendment, now the courts will have the final power of whether to accept or reject a compromise in such murder cases.

The government had earlier prepared draft amendments in certain laws to effectively check cases of honour killing and rape laws in Pakistan but those amendments could not be made because of lack of consensus among political parties. Now the proposed changes are being made in consultation with different political parties.

In regard to rape cases, the government wanted to introduce seven amendments in different laws to ensure that the rape victims get justice without any delay and exploitation.

The proposed amendments included the medical examination of the victim by a doctor within 24 hours to avoid any delay following any pressure or for any other reason. However, for the medical examination the consent of the victim will be mandatory. In case of the accused offender, reasonable force can be used for his medical examination.

Another amendment in the PPC was proposed to entail three years punishment for a doctor, police investigation officer and the prosecutor in case any of them is found involved (intentionally) in spoiling the medical, investigation or prosecution of the case in the court of law.

Another amendment being considered was to set a six- month period for the court to decide a rape case. It was also being proposed that the name of the victim could not be publicised without her or the court’s consent. The PPC was also recommended to be amended for the in-camera trial of the rape cases unless the victim decides otherwise.

thenews.com.pk/print/137226-Honour-killings-to-beFasad-Fil-Ardh-invite-25-year-jail-term

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'Only Elite, Not Muslim Masses Feel Alienation In India': former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan

24th July 2016

NEW DELHI: Claiming complete absence of any feeling of growing alienation among Muslim masses in India, former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan has asserted that the alienation, if any, exists only among elite of the country's largest minority community. During the launch of a book written by veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi here recently, Khan sought to discount the Muslims' alleged perception of their growing alienation and seclusion in India, saying they are themselves to be blamed for it, if any, as they sought to maintain a distinct identity.

Khan, who had quit the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 in protest against the piloting of a bill to undo the Supreme Court ruling in the Shahbano case which had sought to provide alimony to the divorced Muslim women, sought to counter the perception voiced by veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi during the launch of his book "Being the Other: The Muslim in India."

Naqvi had voiced his perception and concern saying that an "othering" phenomena, entailing a growing chasm of Muslims from Hindus and their growing alienation in India, has set in since long.

While seeking to negate Naqvi's perception, Khan sought to squarely blame the community elites for the alleged onset of the "othering" phenomena, saying it's natural when the Muslims resorted to sloganeering like "ham apna milli tassakush barkarar rakhna chate hain (I want to maintain my separate identity)."

Khan said the Muslims had resorted this sloganeering in the wake of the apex court verdict that stipulated alimony for the divorced Muslim women, but the Muslim clerics, banking upon the Sharait laws sought to discount the apex court verdict saying it was against their religious edicts.

"What does it (this slogan) mean? It means I'm saying I am the other. The other person is not saying I am the other but I am telling them I am the other," he said.

"It means I'm telling everybody that I don't want to integrate with you. I'm telling everybody I don't want to identify with you as I'm the other," said Khan, explaining the meaning of 'milli tassakut...slogan", which sought to assert the Islam's aversion to the modern laws and stick to its archaic distinctiveness. Khan asserted this problem of alienation of Muslims is

only e perception among "ashrafia" (the elite among the Muslims) and not those of the Muslim masses, including the "Ajlafs (the lower community)."

"The Muslim masses have no problem in integration with the Indian communities and  they have always been the part of this country’s civilisation, which is more than 6000 years old," pointed out Khan.

The former minister pointed out India has got its independence very recently - only in 1947, said Khan asserting that it's not a very long period and some such sporadic incidents of communal violence and aberrations cannot change its nature as India is essentially a pluralistic society.

Khan's assertion attracted vociferous cheers from the audience, which included among others, BJP stalwart and former Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, senior Congress leaders Mani hanker Iyer and Salman Khursheed, veteran columnist Prem Shankar Jha, renowned photographer Raghhu Rai, besides several other intellectuals.

Naqvi's book launch was compeered by veteran British journalist and former BBC's New Delhi bureau chief Mark Tully and former diplomat-cum-noted author Pavan K Varma, who too discounted Naqvi's fears and perception.

As per a statement by Naqvi's publisher Aleph Book Company, the veteran journalist's book is "a remarkable one, which is partly his memoir and partly an exploration of the various deliberate and inadvertent acts that has led to the 'othering' of the 100 million Muslims in India."

Naqvi looks at "how the division between Muslims and Hindus began in the modern era. The British were the first to exploit this division between the two communities in the in nineteenth and twentieth centuries."

"In the run up to the independence and its immediate aftermath, some of India's greatest leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and others only served to drive the communities further apart," it said.

newindianexpress.com/nation/Only-elite-not-Muslim-masses-feel-alienation-in-India/2016/07/24/article3545061.ece

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Munich mall shooting: Suspect was obsessed with mass shootings

Jul 24, 2016

An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who apparently acted alone opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday evening, killing at least nine people in the third attack against civilians in Western Europe in eight days. The pistol-wielding attacker, identified by Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae as a dual national, was later found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Earlier, the local police reported that shots were fired at a shopping center in Munich. The police said a lone gunman was behind the attack. The “shooting spree” happened early Friday evening at the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich.

The news comes at a very turbulent time, where terrorist attacks are coming one after the other. Earlier this week, a 17-year-old Afghan immigrant attacked people on a train with sharp objects, critically injuring nearly five people. Hand-painted Islamic State flags were found in his house along with a video in which he pledged his allegiance to the terror organisation. The Islamic State had later claimed responsibility for the attack. The perpetrator was shot dead by the police while trying to flee.

Earlier last week, a speeding truck mowed down more than 80 people on Bastille Day in Nice, France. The ISIS had again claimed responsibility for this attack also. The driver was shot dead by the police.

In April, three people were injured in an explosion at Gurudwara in western Germany. Police worked on the assumption that the explosion was caused deliberately but that there are no indications it was a terrorist incident. However, soon it was found that one of the two men identified by police as Yusuf T, an ISIS sympathiser.

indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/germany-shots-fired-at-a-shopping-center-in-munich-2930333/

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Al-Sudais says ignorant murderers harming Islam

Jul 24, 2016

LONDON: Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said Islam needs understanding and in-depth comprehension at a time when some Muslims are ignorant of the facts of Islam.

Al-Sudais was delivering a lecture at the Islamic Cultural Center in Britain.

He said Muslims need to understand the basics of the faith, as well as moderation and consideration for the contemporary application of its tenets. All these should contribute to the correct understanding of Islam.

“The Muslim, through his presence in life should achieve the worship of God Almighty in accordance with the correct ideology and he needs to join in the efforts of other humans and not sow disagreement and discord,” Al-Sudais told the audience, which included scientists, intellectuals and thinkers.

He lamented the demonization of Islam today by groups that do not know the facts about this sacred religion and its purposes, and have taken to violence as a way to express this ignorance, and have sought to shed the blood of innocents by bombings and killings.

“This puts a great responsibility on the Muslim people, its leaders and officials and scholars, as well as the heads of Islamic centers to explain to the world the facts of Islam and how they contradict such irregular behavior and bloodshed. Extremism exists in all societies because of the behavior of a limited number of its members and the remaining members cannot take the blame for the mistakes of a few,” he added.

He called on all Muslims to project the bright image of Islam and to associate this with the good representation of Islamic communities and to be ambassadors for the tolerant values and principles of Islam.

arabnews.com/node/958761/saudi-arabia

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Jihad Selfie: the story of how Indonesian teenagers are recruited to Islamic State

Jul 24, 2016

The first thing that strikes you about would-be jihadist Teuku Akbar Maulana is how ordinary he is.

This is a pimply teenager who plays badminton and loves his mum, not one of the black-clad, scowling, AK-47-toting Islamic State fighters who stalk the internet.

Author, activist and former journalist Noor Huda Ismail first met Akbar in a kebab shop in the central Turkish city of Kayseri in 2014.

He looked like any other bright Indonesian kid sent by his parents to study religion in Turkey.

"I am gregarious and here was this very skinny, lonely Indonesian," says Huda, who was in town for an international conference.

Huda is best known in Indonesia for trying to re-integrate former terrorists into mainstream society by employing them at his deradicalisation cafe in Solo, Java. He is also studying a PhD at Monash University in Melbourne on gender and masculinity in Indonesian foreign fighters.

But 16-year-old Akbar knew none of that. As far as he was concerned, Huda was just another Indonesian in a foreign city.

Before long, Akbar was showing Huda Facebook messages from two friends inviting him to join Islamic State.

He told Huda a friend was picking him up and they were going to Syria.

"He showed me all the Facebook chat," Huda says. The terrorism scholar was stunned.

"I was like, 'Oh my … People keep talking about the possibility of online radicalisation but this is for real. [Akbar] didn't know me, that I have been working on this issue for years. I gave him my cell phone and said you can contact me any time you want, but I was so worried, oh my God, what could I say?"

Indonesia has largely managed to keep terrorism in check since the 2002 Bali bombings carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

An effective counter-terrorism unit, established in the wake of the bombings, severely weakened the jihadist movement.

However, the conflict in Syria has captured the imagination of a new generation of extremists.

"It is difficult to fight the flow of extremist propaganda that can be accessed on the internet," research analyst Jarryd de Haan writes in Future Directions.

"IS has effectively used social media in the past to post execution videos, speeches and propaganda lectures, while also directly contacting individuals who have reached out through messaging platforms."

Currently about 500 Indonesians have joined IS.

Huda never expected to hear from Akbar again. But he called. The friend with whom Akbar was supposed to be going to Syria never showed up. Huda and Akbar met again.

"I was confused as a teenager, I thought there was more [to life] than problems with love," Akbar tells Fairfax Media.

"I was seeking something bigger than vanity. The IS slogan was live nobly or die a martyr."

Akbar told Huda of his desire to be cool. "He said: 'If I carry an AK-47, maybe people will look at me as a brave young man trying to do something'. He was in a position of searching for identity, a very critical moment."

Huda understood the seductive pull of terrorist organisations.

"When I met [Akbar], oh my God, it was like [seeing] myself," Huda says. "I was small, I was nothing, I wanted to be part of big things."

In 1985, Huda's father sent him to an Islamic boarding school in Ngruki near Solo founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the firebrand Islamic preacher often described as the ideological godfather of Jemaah Islamiyah.

At the time Huda was disaffected by life in Indonesia, which he saw as becoming increasingly secular.

His mother, who had started to dress more conservatively, was sacked from her job for wearing a jilbab, an Indonesian garment that covers the head and body.

In 1984 troops opened fire on a protest in Tanjung Priok, a poor district of North Jakarta, where Muslim clerics had denounced plans to replace Islam with Pancasila, the state ideology. More than 20 people were killed.

"I started to have the idea [that] the Indonesian government was doing terrible things to Islamic activists," Huda says.

So when Huda was invited by his school to join Darul Islam, a radical group that aimed to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia and only recognised law derived from sharia, he said yes straight away.

Huda's roommate, Hasan, also recruited to Darul Islam, won a scholarship to Pakistan. Huda missed out because he was caught dating girls. He later became disillusioned with Darul Islam when it splintered and various offshoots began calling each other apostates.

The next time Huda saw Hasan was 15 years later, when he was a correspondent for The Washington Post covering the Bali bombings. Hasan was one of the bombers. "I thought oh my God, oh freak man, I was working for the American, the infidel and then my friend was there [behind bars]. The Bali bombing was the turning point in my life."

Since 2002, Huda has devoted his life to trying to unravel why normal people like Hasan, Akbar and himself can become radicalised.

It is this theme he attempts to tease out in Jihad Selfie, a documentary starring, among others, Akbar, his family, a former terrorist now working in a cafe, a meatball seller who was lured to join IS in Syria and the family of a boy killed fighting overseas.

"Basically what I want to show is that no one is born a terrorist. It is an acquired process. I want to show how normal they are."

In one scene that sheds light on the pivotal role of social media, Huda visits Fauzan Anshori, the founder of an Islamic boarding school in Ciamis, West Java, who is a strong supporter of an IS wilayat (or province) in Indonesia.

"Social media has been really helpful because we knew about the fall of Mosul [when IS defeated the Iraqi army in June 2014] before mainstream media," Fauzan says.

"I don't see a problem with Jews creating Facebook and WhatsApp. Thank God the infidels have created these tools for us to use!"

The hardest and most frustrating part of making the documentary was obtaining permission to use the footage Huda had shot. "I want to use the voice of women. This is something we have been ignoring for years, the role of families, the role of women," he says.

Huda interviewed the wife of Ahmad Junaedi, a fresh-faced meatball seller from Malang, who was jailed for three years in February for his involvement with IS. "She said living as a single woman was very hard with children running around. I cried myself when I visited his house. It was very powerful."

But consent was crucial. "In this patriarchal society even if you get the interview you have to get the permission from the husband."

Huda was forced to throw away hours of footage after he was angrily accused of trying to humiliate the women he had interviewed. "I could not use it. Oh my God," he lamented. So much precious material had to be excised.

So Huda's heart was in his mouth when Akbar's father asked to see him after he had watched Jihad Selfie. Akbar was the central protagonist – his role in the narrative was crucial.

"Akbar's father said: 'Mas, can you edit the film so you can't see my son's pimples?' I had to force myself not to laugh."

At the risk of spoiling the plot, Akbar returns from Turkey and is reunited with his family in Aceh. The decision not to go to Syria is not an easy one and Jihad Selfie does not shy away from the anguish Akbar goes through. "He could not bear it. He wanted to move to [the] Arab [world]," Akbar's mother Rina says.

But his reason for not joining IS is unexpectedly touching. "Because of my parents," Akbar tells Fairfax Media. "The pain of giving birth. Because of the closeness between us. We can still study, there is more beneficial things we can do with our life, instead of dying like a fool."

The friends who tried to recruit Akbar via Facebook died fighting in Syria. "They were very bright and smart people. I knew them. They could have changed the world," Akbar says.

Huda does not want to be reductive. Radicalism is an extremely complex issue. But if the documentary taught him anything, it is the importance of family. Noor says the boys who died did not have the same close relationship with their parents as did Akbar. "One of the simplest things we can do, especially as parents, is to build healthy and warm relationships with our children."

Jihad Selfie will be screened in prisons and universities around Indonesia. Akbar hopes it conveys a message to parents and friends to pay more attention to teenagers who are struggling.

Perhaps the outcome of his own life will also send a message. Akbar recently won silver in a badminton competition between Indonesian students in Paris. He has co-written a novel, Boys Beyond the Light, which is loosely based on his experiences.

"I want to explain to the world that Islam is a blessing unto the universe," Akbar says. One day he dreams of opening an Islamic boarding school or becoming a social researcher. "I am now more open minded, Al-Hamdu Lillah [Praise be to God]. There are more ways I can be useful to the nation, to humanity."

smh.com.au/world/jihad-selfie-the-story-of-how-indonesian-teenagers-are-recruited-to-islamic-state-20160721-gqb8gy.html

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Pakistan

Honour killings to be ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’, invite 25-year jail term

Jul 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The proposed new law to check cases of honour killing in Pakistan will treat this crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ carrying a punishment of 25 years jail.

Unlike other sentences, the jail-term of 25 years to be given under the proposed law would not be allowed routine remissions as announced annually or on the occasion of Eid etc.

Official sources said that the draft law is being prepared in line with the provisions of the Constitution and Islamic teachings.

In a murder case under Islamic law, the murderer could be forgiven by the legal heirs of the deceased through a compromise either on payment of Diyat or even otherwise. However, if the murder falls in the category of ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’ then the killer can’t be forgiven by the heirs of the deceased. 

In the case of honour killings, the Pakistan Penal Code will be amended to treat the crime as ‘Fasad Fil Ardh’. The amendment will authorise the court whether to accept or reject a compromise between the complainant and the killer who in most of the cases of honour killing has blood relations.

In many cases of honour killing, the killer commits this crime with the mutual understanding of the family. For example, the father or mother becomes a complainant in the case of his/her daughter’s murder by brother or any other close relative.

During the trial of such cases, the complainant (father/mother) usually forgives the killer (son/close relative) and thus the court has no option but to release the killer. With the proposed amendment, now the courts will have the final power of whether to accept or reject a compromise in such murder cases.

The government had earlier prepared draft amendments in certain laws to effectively check cases of honour killing and rape laws in Pakistan but those amendments could not be made because of lack of consensus among political parties. Now the proposed changes are being made in consultation with different political parties.

In regard to rape cases, the government wanted to introduce seven amendments in different laws to ensure that the rape victims get justice without any delay and exploitation.

The proposed amendments included the medical examination of the victim by a doctor within 24 hours to avoid any delay following any pressure or for any other reason. However, for the medical examination the consent of the victim will be mandatory. In case of the accused offender, reasonable force can be used for his medical examination.

Another amendment in the PPC was proposed to entail three years punishment for a doctor, police investigation officer and the prosecutor in case any of them is found involved (intentionally) in spoiling the medical, investigation or prosecution of the case in the court of law.

Another amendment being considered was to set a six- month period for the court to decide a rape case. It was also being proposed that the name of the victim could not be publicised without her or the court’s consent. The PPC was also recommended to be amended for the in-camera trial of the rape cases unless the victim decides otherwise.

thenews.com.pk/print/137226-Honour-killings-to-beFasad-Fil-Ardh-invite-25-year-jail-term

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Five suspected Taliban terrorists killed in Pakistan

Jul 24, 2016

Five Taliban militants who were plotting to attack government installations and personnel of law enforcement agencies have been killed in an encounter by security forces in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) raided the terrorists’ location near Kurd Chowk in Rojhan tehsil of Rajanpur, some 400 km from Lahore, late last night, police said.

“A CTD team accompanied by the Rajanpur police raided the terrorists’ hideout during which they opened fire and threw hand-grenades at the team,” said a spokesperson of CTD, Punjab Police.

“The raiding team returned fire and when guns fell silent, five of the attackers were found dead,” he added. He claimed the five terrorists were killed in firing by their accomplices.

“Two to three suspects managed to escape taking advantage of darkness,” he said.

The spokesman further said the terrorists were “planning to attack government installations and personnel of law enforcement agencies”.

“The dead terrorists have been identified and they belonged to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi,” he said.

In a separate raid, police arrested three suspected terrorists today in township here.

According to the CTD, police and CTD personnel raided the hideout after being alerted about the suspected terrorists and arrested three militants.

The police recovered weapons and terror-related literature from them.

The suspects have been shifted to undisclosed location for questioning.

indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/five-suspected-taliban-terrorists-killed-in-pakistan-2933054/

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Nawaz Sharif's Kashmir dream is a 'wishful thinking': Pakistan newspaper

Jul 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Describing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif+ 's rhetoric+ about accession of Kashmir+ to Pakistan as "wishful thinking", a leading Pakistani daily on Sunday said statements like these will invite "more trouble+ " for the country as well as for the Kashmiri people.

"It has become a norm for politicians to make unrealistic claims and repeat popular phrases for getting votes ... Talking about Kashmir's accession+ with Pakistan is easy but nobody knows how it will happen," the Daily Times said in an editorial referring to Sharif's recent statement that Pakistan is waiting for the day when Kashmir becomes its part.

Slamming the prime minister's statement as mere "rhetoric", it said that politicians utter these statements to win the masses' support and the people continue to suffer due to this mentality.

"Pakistan's official stance on Kashmir is that it extends all-out moral support to Kashmiris' struggle for freedom, and will continue to raise its voice for their right to self- determination at every platform. This stance is commendable but making statements about the accession of Kashmir without any clear policy seems inappropriate," it said.

By uttering these words, in fact, the prime minister is challenging the authority of India+ and inviting more trouble not only for Pakistan but Kashmiris also, it said.

The conflict over Kashmir, the editorial said, can be solved either through talks or war.

"There is no other solution to this seven decades long conflict," it said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Nawaz-Sharifs-Kashmir-dream-is-a-wishful-thinking-Pakistan-newspaper/articleshow/53366394.cms

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Abbottabad cantonment likely to build graveyard on Osama bin Laden compound

Jul 24, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Abbottabad Cantonment Board has reportedly decided to convert the empty land of the "Osama bin Laden compound" into a graveyard, it has been learnt.

Sources informed DawnNews that the decision was taken by cantonment board administration in a meeting following which the authorities started constructing a boundary wall around the compound located in Bilal town area of the garrison city.

Five years ago, elite United States forces shot and killed Osama bin Laden, ending a manhunt that began in earnest after his Al Qaeda operatives hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in New York and Washington in September 2001.

The source further said that the cantonment administration did not take the local district administration and the provincial government into confidence over the decision, as both the civil bodies were against the construction of graveyard at the said compound.

In May 2011, following the killing of Osama bin Laden in US raid, the then provincial government had razed the building constructed over an area of 3,530 square metres.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government then took over the control of the land since it feared that the place might become a shrine for anti-state elements and their supporters.

Since then the compound was lying vacant and local children utilised it as a playground.

PTI-led KP government spokesperson Mushtaq Ghani, however, rejected the claim that the land is being converted into a graveyard.

Talking to DawNews, Ghani said various suggestions are under considerations regarding converting the land into playground, college or recreational park.

“The land is under provincial government’s control and the KP government will decide how to utilise the land for good,” he said.

Ghani said “the land is not suitable for graveyard as underground water level is high in that area”.

“The Abbottabad Cantonment’s administration has constructed boundary walls around the compound only to avoid encroachment,” he concluded.

dawn.com/news/1272704/abbottabad-cantonment-likely-to-build-graveyard-on-osama-bin-laden-compound

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Zardari decides today about Rangers’ policing powers

Jul 24, 2016

KARACHI: Top leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party flew to the United Arab Emirates on Saturday evening to hold discussions with PPP-P president Asif Zardari on two crucial issues concerning Sindh — another extension in Rangers’ special powers for Karachi and, more importantly, whether the paramilitary force be allowed to exercise the same policing powers in the rest of the province.

Four days have passed since the Rangers’ raid-and-arrest powers expired as the last extension, which was given by the provincial government for 77 days and only for the Karachi division, ended on July 19.

The PPP-led Sindh government fears that the Rangers will target its cadre if it widens the scope of their special policing powers to the whole of Sindh.

While the military establishment and the federal government have asked Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah to extend the Rangers’ special powers and make them applicable to entire province, the veteran politician took a bold stand. The CM told them that he would take a decision only after consulting the party high command that includes — or solely comprising — former president Asif Zardari.

Mr Zardari, who is the president of Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians, had on June 16, 2015 made an aggressive speech in Islamabad warning the military leadership that if they did not stop the smear campaign against his party he would expose the “misdeeds of many generals”. Eight days later, he flew to Dubai and has since been living there in what many believe a self-imposed exile.

Two months later, Rangers arrested Mr Zardari’s close aide and former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain and since then the PPP-led Sindh government is in an open confrontation with the paramilitary force. The party used the Sindh Assembly to pass a resolution that restricted the Rangers to taking action against the suspects only involved in cases of terrorism, targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom and extortion.

On Saturday, CM Shah along with senior PPP leader Faryal Talpur and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal left the metropolis for Dubai, where PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Mr Zardari are waiting for them to begin the crucial deliberations.

“Shah Sahib, Ms Talpur, former president Zardari and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will meet in Dubai on Sunday,” CM House spokesperson Rasheed Channa told Dawn.

Sources said that the home department had already forwarded a summary about the extension of Rangers’ policing powers only in Karachi to the chief minister, who would approve it after his return, probably on Monday evening.

Referring to the Friday meeting of the Karachi corps commander with the CM, the sources said that an understanding had been developed that the paramilitary force would only take action against hardened criminals and militants in the interior of Sindh and the CM and Ms Talpur flew to Dubai to apprise Mr Zardari of this and get his consent.

“A fresh summary is required for the extension of the scope of Rangers’ power to whole of Sindh,” said a government source, adding in all likelihood the top PPP leadership might give its consent to the CM to approve it too — with certain conditions.

Sindh affairs

In a separate session Mr Zardari and PPP chairman Bhutto-Zardari would also review the affairs of the Sindh government for which Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah and Home Minister Siyal had also arrived in Dubai.

Before leaving for Dubai, the CM told reporters at Karachi airport that the party leadership would “review performance of the government and set new targets for development works”.

Former interior minister Rehman Malik, former Punjab governor Latif Khosa, a few PPP leaders from Punjab and Azad Kashmir would also meet Mr Zardari and PPP chairman Bhutto-Zardari to discuss the political situation and the failure of the party in the recent Azad Kashmir elections.

dawn.com/news/1272810/zardari-decides-today-about-rangers-policing-powers

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Fate of PakTurk schools across country uncertain

Jul 24, 2016

KARACHI: The future of private schools set up by the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges network plunged into uncertainty a day after Turkey’s ambassador called on the Pakistan government to close down all the institutions backed by the Fethullah Gulen-inspired Hizmet movement.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s closeness with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan’s brotherly relations with Turkey put pressure on the federal government to make a decision that does not upset its strong ally. The Foreign Office is taking the ambassador’s request very seriously, and the foreign secretary has chaired a meeting to explore ideas on how to proceed.

The network of 28 schools and colleges in Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur and Jamshoro has a staff strength of 1,500 who teach around 10,000 students from pre-school to A level. “Since 1995, our schools have been giving quality education to Pakistani students with no political motivation or illegal activity,” says Ali Yilmaz, the Sindh education director for the association, adding that Turkish staff works in Pakistan legally through an NGO visa.

Although the PakTurk network officially denies being linked to “any political or religious movement”, it is widely believed by the Turkish government that the schools are being run by the supporters of Gulen in several countries, including Pakistan, for decades.

Turkey’s request to close Gulen-inspired schools in Pakistan puts govt in a tight spot

“Does reading Iqbal mean that you are part of an ‘Iqbal movement’?” asks a senior PakTurk school official while requesting anonymity. “We do agree with Gulen’s philosophy when it comes to quality education, but he is not our leader — we do not have any one founder or leader.”

Officials of the network say the ambassador’s statement on the closure of schools is an extension of Erdogan’s aggressive ongoing purge of opposition voices in Turkey. They admit the growing estrangement between the association and the Turkish government representatives in Islamabad.

“Three years ago, Turkish ambassadors were very supportive of our schools. They attended school events and are in our photo albums. Now the ambassador is obeying government orders and saying this. We [the school network] are not doing anything different from what we have been doing for 20 years. The change has come in their stance,” says a member of their public relations office.

“Yes, we cannot deny the initial contributions of our government, but now Erdogan has become power poisoned. We are not able to sleep when we think of what is happening back home. Five years ago, Turkey was a symbol of pride for the Muslim world, but not anymore.”

He also rejected Erdogan’s claim that Gulen was behind the botched coup that attempted to overthrow his government. “Why would a man of 87 be interested in coming into power? He believes in democracy human rights and freedom.”

The association’s education director in Sindh highlights schools’ valuable contribution to the Pakistani education sector and human development. “Our schools give scholarship to 30 per cent of the student body,” he says, adding that most of the scholarship students are from rural areas. “Our students represent Pakistan in Olympiads and competitions in the US, England and seven other countries.

“Anyone who understands what we are doing is happy with us.”

Difficult decision for govt

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid says a tactful decision will be made. “We will definitely listen to them [the Turkish government] and their concerns,” he says, adding that no sudden move will be made and that the Foreign Office will write to the provinces as education is a provincial matter.

“We will also have to take into account that there are thousands of children studying at these schools. The government will take a decision that does not cause damage to the students yet also acknowledges the request of the Turkish government.”

A government official familiar with the matter says the schools are linked with Gulen and have long been a source of agitation for Erdogan. “The Turkish government has been asking Pakistan to close these schools for a while but we resisted. In Punjab, the PakTurk network had asked for a piece of land for school but they were not given the lease. The participation of the Punjab government in their activities has dwindled for this reason,” he says, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on the matter.

“Gulen has a trait: they are very legally sound so the government did not have any reason to take action against them.”

“But now, I don’t think the government can sustain these schools. There will be lot of pressure from Erdogan and Islamabad will be compelled to come up with an excuse to close them.”

dawn.com/news/1272809/fate-of-pakturk-schools-across-country-uncertain

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Progress in Amjad Sabri murder case, as accused confesses

Jul 24, 2016

KARACHI: There was a major progress in Amjad Sabri murder case on Saturday as the main accused Muhammad Imran confessed.

According to sources, Imran works at district municipal and he is affiliated with a political party. During investigation, he told that two others were also involved with him in the killing of Sabri.

One of them provided him with weapon and asked him to shoot Sabri at Liaquatabad #10. Imran told that he was given all the directions by his companion.

It is still unknown that who was the mastermind and what was the reason behind the murder. Imran does not know those who had observed Sabri’s movement but investigations are still going on and raids were being conducted to find more culprits.

nation.com.pk/national/24-Jul-2016/progress-in-amjad-sabri-murder-case-as-accused-confesses

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Action against Gulen schools in Pakistan may take time

Jul 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government is mulling over action against a school-chain being allegedly run by Gulen Movement but it may take some time, high level sources told The News.

Gulen Movement is led by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based religious leader accused of plotting failed military coup in Turkey last week.

According to sources in Foreign Office, the action may take time as thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in 21 elite private schools across the country and their career could be affected by an abrupt shut down.

While addressing a press briefing in Islamabad on Friday, Turkish Ambassador in Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin had urged Pakistan to “prevent activities of Gulen group”.

Sources said the Turkish government had raised the matter in high level talks with Islamabad even before the recent coup attempt.

They added that it was not easy for Pakistan to close down all 21 schools spread across the country as they are a well-established network catering to a large number of students.

However after the failed coup, the Turkish call for action has gained urgency and strength and owing to close ties between the two governments, Islamabad feels compelled to help Ankara on the issue.

“We will extend full cooperation to the government of Turkey to address their concerns in this regard,” a spokesman for Pakistani Foreign office told The News.

He said that efforts would be made to find an amicable solution to the problem to the satisfaction of the Turkish government.

In Pakistan, Gulen runs a network of about 21 schools and an intercultural dialogue platform, in addition to having business stakes. His organisations and businesses have been operating in Pakistan for decades.

According to a Turkish Newspaper Daily Sabah, Gulen Movement-affiliated schools campaign and brainwash thousands of students against the current, democratic, Turkish regime.

The paper ran a story a few days ago warning that the ties between the two countries could get tense if Islamabad dragged its feet on the issue of action against these elite schools.

It said the 21 schools in Pakistan were hub of conspiracies and were producing students brainwashed and were ready to rise up with the Gulen Movement.

The paper claimed there were hundreds of applications against PakTurk Schools filed by parents in the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) and the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) in Islamabad but no action had been taken so far possibly due to "the strong influence of the Gulenists in Pakistan".

It added that PakTurk Schools had decided to change their name to avoid any legal action or possible closure.

When contacted, Minister for CADD Dr Tariq Fazal Chauhdry said any decision regarding the schools would be taken by the foreign ministry.

“We have yet to receive any instruction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Interior regarding closure of these schools. We will wait for the instruction to move further on the issue,” he said.

He acknowledged that thousands of students were admitted to these schools saying it was not possible to shut them down immediately.

However on its website PakTurk International Schools and Colleges claimed that it had no link with Gulen Movement.

“We feel it imperative to clarify that the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges in Pakistan are a philanthropic and non-political endeavour in the country organised and established for human development, inter alia, in the field of education for the benefit of all Pakistanis, especially the poor, needy and deserving sections of the society,” the clarification reads.

“We are deeply concerned by allegations made by a certain section in the social media trying to connect the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges in Pakistan with Fethullah Gülen or the political movement ascribed to him in the wake of the recent unfortunate and reprehensible events in Turkey. “We do unequivocally clarify that the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges in Pakistan have no affiliation or connection with any political individual or any movement or organisation, whether political, religious or denominational, nor do we have a financial relationship with any movement.”

“We consider it important to underline that management of the schools and colleges is driven solely on humanitarian considerations and would see with concern any indication to club the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges with any individual or movement and, in such a case, reserve right to invoke appropriate legal action.”

thenews.com.pk/print/137195-Action-against-Gulen-schools-in-Pakistan-may-take-time

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PML-N to table premarital blood screening bill

Jul 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: In a landmark move, the ruling party will table a bill next week on the pre-marital blood screening of couples to check the spread of communicable diseases, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Senator Chaudhry Tanvir Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is going to present a Family Laws Amendment Bill in the Senate in an effort to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, thalassemia, hepatitis and other diseases through pre-marital blood screening.

Around 8,000 babies are born every year with thalassemia major in Pakistan, according to the Fatimid Foundation, an NGO working for treatment of the disease.

“I will move the bill on July 26. The basic objective of the bill is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases which are transmitted through genetic abnormalities and blood transmission,” Chaudhry Tanvir told The Express Tribune.

He said under the amended family laws – which include Muslim marriage, Christian Marriage and Divorce Act and Parsi Marriage Act – a couple will be bound to get their blood screened before the marriage.

“After the legislation, marriage will not be considered valid without the report of blood screening and the (couple) will be bound to get a medical certificate from the concerned doctor,” he said. The Nikah registrar, according to him, will register the marriage after getting a medical report from the concerned doctor.

He claimed that being a public representative he is dealing with many people, who are facing such diseases. “Therefore, I have decided to introduce the family law amendment bill so that these diseases could be prevented,” he added.

Another official, privy to the development, said  the religious affairs ministry is also a stakeholder in the proposed legislation as the family laws also fall under their jurisdiction. “The religious affairs ministry is bound to give its input as without its consent an amended bill cannot move further,” he added.

Ministry of Religious Affairs Director General DG (Research) Noor Salam Shah told The Express Tribune that the ministry has received the draft for input and in this regard a meeting between the ministry’s officials and Parliamentary Secretary Sheikh Aftab will be held on July 25.

“So far, the draft is at the initial stage and ministry has also called its internal meeting to get input from religious scholars. Apparently, there is nothing in the draft which could be opposed and hopefully the ministry will support the bill,” he added.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid told The Express Tribune that it is a good initiative of a PML-N lawmaker. However, he said, he has not received the draft. “The ministry will examine the draft after consulting all stakeholders,” he said.

tribune.com.pk/story/1148105/pml-n-table-premarital-blood-screening-bill/

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Right to information law in its last stage: Imran Gardezi

Jul 24, 2016

KARACHI: Legislation on the right to information is in its last stage at the federal level and very soon the document will be tabled before the National Assembly after the federal cabinet’s approval.

This was stated by Federal Information Secretary Imran Gardezi at a farewell given by the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on Saturday.

Appreciating the struggle for upholding the independence of journalism by newspaper editors and journalists, he said, “Your fraternity bore all pressures during the past dictatorial regimes.”

He said the current values and responsibility of media houses and journalistic ethics were far better than that of the past.

He said protests by the media and the people of the country against recent Indian brutalities on the people of Held Kashmir were without any prejudice and provocation.

He said the weight of print and electronic media was an eminent reality. Gardezi said that in the current era of information technology, character of the print media would remain effectual and intact.

On the issue of climate change, he said that it was a big challenge and the government was taking all possible measures to combat it, and that the media should also come forward and join the government in creating awareness among the masses in this respect.

He announced that in a combined move of the CPNE and the government, media delegations would be formed to confront international opinion. “It would strengthen the positive image of Pakistan.” He further said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be completed at any cost. Seventy percent of the financing is in the energy sector and that is on track, he said.

On this occasion, Ambassador-designate to The Netherlands Iffat Imran Gardezi said, “It was an honour to be here. I will work to strengthen the current ties between the two countries, besides improving the country’s image.”

Earlier, CPNE Secretary General Ejazul Haq appreciated the services of Imran Gardezi in connection with the media affairs. CPNE Vice President Aamir Mehmood and Finance Secretary Gulam Nabi Chandio also addressed the gathering.

A large number of editors of newspapers and magazines attended the function. Imran Gardezi was also presented with a shield and his wife Iffat with an ajrak by the CPNE.

dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/24-Jul-16/right-to-information-law-in-its-last-stage-imran-gardezi

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Un must establish inquiry into murder of Burhan Vani: Ambassador Lodhi

Jul 24, 2016

NEW YORK: Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's UN Ambassador, briefed several representatives of the Kashmiri diaspora in New York on Friday. She detailed the evolving situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and lambasted against the grave human rights violations being committed there.

In her address at the meeting held at the Pakistan Mission to the UN in New York, Ambassador Lodhi also asserted that the government of Pakistan stood firm in its principled policy of providing moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause, according to a press release by the mission. Pakistan is also actively pursuing the issue at various forums at the United Nations.

She also stressed the importance of establishing an independent inquiry to investigate the extra judicial killing of Kashmiri youth leader, Burhan Wani, and other innocent protesters. The plight of unarmed Kashmiri civilians-- being killed, blinded and maimed--was forcefully being brought to the attention of the international community. Ambassador Lodhi also highlighted this development in her statement at the General Assembly in a debate on human rights as well as during her meetings with the UN leadership as well as with the President of the Security Council, Ambassador Koro Bessho of Japan. In this regard, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, had also previously written letters to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, the Security Council president, the OIC Secretary-General, Dyad Amen Madani and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, to raise Pakistan's serious concerns on the alarming situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

He also made note of the brutal massacre of innocent civilians as well as the grave violations of the fundamental human rights of the Kashmiris by Indian forces. Denial by India to grant the people of occupied Kashmir their due right of self determination through an independent plebiscite, as had been promised to them by various Security Council resolutions, continues to flare up the current situation, which has threatened both regional peace and security, Ambassador Lodhi added. She also called for the UN to fulfil its 68 year-old pledge to the Kashmiri people. Members of the Kashmiri diaspora present at the meeting included Capt (r) Shaheen Butt, president of the Kashmir Mission and Sardar Saar Khan, a former member of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council.

The leaders appreciated Pakistan's consistent support and its continual efforts to take up the issue at different international forums. They also pledged to continue highlighting the issue through concerted efforts directed at the media, human rights organizations and local political leaders. Pakistan's Consul General in New York, Raja Ali Ejaz, was also present at the meeting.

dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/24-Jul-16/un-must-establish-inquiry-into-murder-of-burhan-vani-ambassador-lodhi

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India

'Only Elite, Not Muslim Masses Feel Alienation In India': former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan

24th July 2016

NEW DELHI: Claiming complete absence of any feeling of growing alienation among Muslim masses in India, former Union Minister Arif Mohammed Khan has asserted that the alienation, if any, exists only among elite of the country's largest minority community. During the launch of a book written by veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi here recently, Khan sought to discount the Muslims' alleged perception of their growing alienation and seclusion in India, saying they are themselves to be blamed for it, if any, as they sought to maintain a distinct identity.

Khan, who had quit the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 in protest against the piloting of a bill to undo the Supreme Court ruling in the Shahbano case which had sought to provide alimony to the divorced Muslim women, sought to counter the perception voiced by veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi during the launch of his book "Being the Other: The Muslim in India."

Naqvi had voiced his perception and concern saying that an "othering" phenomena, entailing a growing chasm of Muslims from Hindus and their growing alienation in India, has set in since long.

While seeking to negate Naqvi's perception, Khan sought to squarely blame the community elites for the alleged onset of the "othering" phenomena, saying it's natural when the Muslims resorted to sloganeering like "ham apna milli tassakush barkarar rakhna chate hain (I want to maintain my separate identity)."

Khan said the Muslims had resorted this sloganeering in the wake of the apex court verdict that stipulated alimony for the divorced Muslim women, but the Muslim clerics, banking upon the Sharait laws sought to discount the apex court verdict saying it was against their religious edicts.

"What does it (this slogan) mean? It means I'm saying I am the other. The other person is not saying I am the other but I am telling them I am the other," he said.

"It means I'm telling everybody that I don't want to integrate with you. I'm telling everybody I don't want to identify with you as I'm the other," said Khan, explaining the meaning of 'milli tassakut...slogan", which sought to assert the Islam's aversion to the modern laws and stick to its archaic distinctiveness. Khan asserted this problem of alienation of Muslims is

only e perception among "ashrafia" (the elite among the Muslims) and not those of the Muslim masses, including the "Ajlafs (the lower community)."

"The Muslim masses have no problem in integration with the Indian communities and  they have always been the part of this country’s civilisation, which is more than 6000 years old," pointed out Khan.

The former minister pointed out India has got its independence very recently - only in 1947, said Khan asserting that it's not a very long period and some such sporadic incidents of communal violence and aberrations cannot change its nature as India is essentially a pluralistic society.

Khan's assertion attracted vociferous cheers from the audience, which included among others, BJP stalwart and former Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi, senior Congress leaders Mani hanker Iyer and Salman Khursheed, veteran columnist Prem Shankar Jha, renowned photographer Raghhu Rai, besides several other intellectuals.

Naqvi's book launch was compeered by veteran British journalist and former BBC's New Delhi bureau chief Mark Tully and former diplomat-cum-noted author Pavan K Varma, who too discounted Naqvi's fears and perception.

As per a statement by Naqvi's publisher Aleph Book Company, the veteran journalist's book is "a remarkable one, which is partly his memoir and partly an exploration of the various deliberate and inadvertent acts that has led to the 'othering' of the 100 million Muslims in India."

Naqvi looks at "how the division between Muslims and Hindus began in the modern era. The British were the first to exploit this division between the two communities in the in nineteenth and twentieth centuries."

"In the run up to the independence and its immediate aftermath, some of India's greatest leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and others only served to drive the communities further apart," it said.

newindianexpress.com/nation/Only-elite-not-Muslim-masses-feel-alienation-in-India/2016/07/24/article3545061.ece

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You will never be able to make this heaven on earth a haven for terrorists: India tells Pakistan

Ankita Rajeshwari | Jul 23, 2016

India, on Saturday, warned Pakistan that its dream of making Kashmir its own will never be fulfilled

Sushma Swaraj hit back on Nawaz Sharif's statement on Friday, where he said, "We are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan".

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NEW DELHI: Coming down heavily on Nawaz Sharif's statement that Pakistan+ is waiting for the day Kashmir becomes its part, the government on Saturday hit back, saying, 'this dream will never be fulfilled'.

"Whole of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to India. You will never be able to make this heaven on earth a haven for terrorists," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj+ said at a media briefing.

The strong-worded warning comes a day after Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "all our prayers are with them (Kashmir) and we are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan". Sharif was addressing a public gathering in Muzaffarabad. Taking umbrage at Sharif's statement, she said in her statement that this "delusional though dangerous dream" was the reason for Pakistan's "unabashed embrace and encouragement to terrorism".

Lashing out at Sharif's statement, Swaraj also said, "the whole of India would like to tell the Prime Minister of Pakistan that this dream won't be realized even at the end of eternity." Retaliating strongly, Swaraj added, "Pakistan has never given blessings to Kashmir. It has only given terrorists."

Attacking Pakistan's rhetoric on the ongoing Kashmir crisis, Swaraj rebuked the country's bid to gain mileage from the situation, saying, "country which used fighter planes and artillery against its own people has no right whatsoever to point a finger against our security forces."

In her statement, Swaraj also criticized Pakistan's fanning of Kashmir's violence after Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani's killing. "Pakistan's Prime Minister called Burhan Wani a 'martyr'. Doesn't he know that Burhan Wani was a Hizbul Mujahideen Commander," she questioned Sharif's statement in Lahore, where he had declared him 'a martyr of independence movement'.

"Even more condemnable than these deplorable attempts from across our border to incite violence and glorify terrorists is the fact that these attempts have been undertaken by Pakistan's state machinery in active partnership with UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed and other leading terrorists belonging to internationally proscribed organisations," she said.

Swaraj's statement comes in the wake of several comments made by the Pakistan government in the recent past over the Kashmir issue.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/You-will-never-be-able-to-make-this-heaven-on-earth-a-haven-for-terrorists-India-tells-Pakistan/articleshow/53355355.cms

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Indian intelligence to brief Kamal on spread of IS network

Jul 24, 2016

After the Indian prime minister’s recent assurance of combating militancy hand in hand with Bangladesh, this week’s Delhi tour of the Bangladesh home minister seems vital for both the countries as they face the common problem of rising militant activities.

The Indian intelligence officials are set to brief Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, when he lands in Delhi on July 27, about the spread of the Islamic State group in South Asia, especially India with the help of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the two countries had strengthened information sharing about militant activities mainly after the blasts at a JMB den in Burdwan of West Bengal on October 2, 2014.

The cooperation will reach a new height during Kamal’s upcoming tour as the National Intelligence Agency of India has unearthed a possible link of JMB and IS to the July 1 Gulshan terror attack that killed two dozens of people – mostly foreigners including an Indian student.

Kamal will visit the NIA Headquarters Wednesday afternoon and discuss one-on-one the recent militant activities with its chief Sharad Kumar. Then Kamal would be given a special multimedia presentation by the intelligence officials about IS activities in India – recruitment and training – aided by the JMB members.

After the Burdwan blast incident, officials of NIA and Dhaka’s DB police said the JMB had started working in West Bengal in 2006 and had spread its root in different areas by recruiting members and giving them training at madrasas.

Two days after the Gulshan attack, the Indian officials captured an IS operative named Abu Musa al-Bangali from Burdwan. Musa, who hails from Birbhum in West Bengal, has revealed to the police the name of an acquaintance, Mohammad Solaiman, who was a JMB member. He said the duo had met several times in India.

NIA officials suspect that Solaiman is one of the masterminds behind the Gulshan attack. But he was not in Bangladesh during the operation and now hiding in a secret camp inside India.

Musa is currently under the custody of West Bengal CID police, but he is set to be handed over to the NIA within a day or two. They hope to get crucial information about the activities of IS in India and its link to the Bangladeshi militants.

Senior officials of the NIA confirmed to the Bangla Tribune about sharing these information with the visiting Bangladeshi minister.

The IS threat of attacking India and Myanmar from its organisational base in Bangladesh is a major concern for India. The group claims 25 attacks since September last year that killed at least 44 people.

The Bangladesh government refuses the IS claim and insists that the Gulshan attack and the other targeted killings were conducted by some home-grown militant groups. Investigators dealing with the sensitive case have already found the connection of the local militants with some foreign groups.

“It is not our aim to establish the claim that IS has presence in Bangladesh. But we want to tell the minister about the militants of IS and other groups held in India, and their strong connection to the Bangladeshi militants,” a high official of the NIA said seeking anonymity.

“We are aware of the sensitivity that the Bangladesh government does not want to admit IS presence in their country. We cannot confirm it too. But there is strong evidence that JMB or other militants groups are trying to carry out operations in association with

the IS.”

On the second day of his Delhi tour, Home Minister Kamal will meet his counterpart Rajnath Singh at the latter’s office. The Indian authorities have also planned to take Kamal to the ongoing parliament session, but the matter is yet to be finalised.

The desperateness of both the countries to check militancy and enhance cooperation has become visible after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed interest to inaugurate the integrated check post at Benapole-Petropole border through video conferencing and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina too agreed to the proposal when approached.

Usually heads of states do not take part in such initiatives. Hence, it shows the keenness of the two governments to work together against their common enemy – militancy. The Indian officials think that Kamal’s Delhi visit would strengthen the ties and devise possible tactics.

dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/jul/24/indian-intelligence-brief-kamal-spread-network#sthash.gNBioBlG.dpuf

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Kerala Police arrest Kalyan man on radicalisation charges

Jul 24, 2016

The Kerala Police have arrested one Rizwan Khan from his residence in Kalyan, in their crackdown on those deemed to have been involved in the radicalisation of 21 Kerala youth who allegedly joined the Islamic State.

Khan, arrested on Friday night, is alleged to have posed as the guardian and signed on the “nikahnama” of Merin alias Mariyam, a Christian woman who converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State along with her husband. Her wedding had taken place last year.

Khan was arrested from his Bazarpeth residence by a team of Kerala police and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). Khan is the second arrest by the Kerala police in an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case registered by it in connection with the missing complaint filed by Mariyam’s family in Kerala.

The family had alleged that Mariyam, a Christian who converted to Islam, was radicalised by her husband Yahiya and one Arish Qureshi who forced her to convert and convinced her to join IS.

Arish Qureshi, a guest manager with controversial tele-evangelist Dr. Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was arrested earlier this week on the charges of radicalising Mariyam and forcing her to convert to Islam and allegedly compelling her to join IS.

Sources claim that Khan’s name was revealed by Qureshi who told the sleuths that Khan was present at the nikah. Qureshi has allegedly told investigators that Khan played a key role in the conversion of the girl who changed her identity from Merin to Mariyam and was instrumental in brainwashing her.

“While her husband Yahiya and Qureshi were responsible for the forced conversion of the Kerala girl, Khan also brainwashed her. Yahiya then forced her to marry him under Sharia law,” a senior official from the ATS that assisted the probe, told The Sunday Express.

“Khan was present when the ‘nikah’ (marriage) was performed. He posed as the guardian of the girl and had signed the nikahnama. The copy of the nikahnama has been recovered during search operations and it clearly shows Khan signing in capacity of a guardian,” the official added.

Khan was produced before the Esplanade court in South Mumbai on Saturday for transit custody by the Kerala police. The court granted the same until July 25. “He will be now taken to Kerala where the case is registered. The police will also probe if he had any links with the banned outfit and what was the purpose behind brainwashing the girl,” added the official.

Qureshi and Khan have been charged under sections of the UAPA and Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sources claim that Mariyam, a BPO employee who moved to Navi Mumbai last year, married Yahiya in Mumbai. It was here where she was radicalised by the two men who compelled her to undertake the travel to join IS.

The missing complaint was converted into a case under the stringent provisions of UAPA, after Ebin Jacob, Mariyam’s brother, alleged that Qureshi, an alleged member of the IRF also tried to radicalise him into IS fold but he did not fall prey to it. Jacob has also claimed that Yahiya and Qureshi took him to Mumbai to meet Naik. While the IRF has confirmed that Qureshi is its member and worked with them as a guest manager, Khan is not associated with the charitable trust either directly or indirectly.

Interestingly Khan stayed in the same neighbourhood as Areeb Majeed and Fahad Sheikh, two of the four Kalyan youth who fled the country to join IS in 2014. The Kalyan case was probably the first IS case in the country where youth from India travelled to Iraq to join the IS.

On 25th May, 2014, Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki hailing from Kalyan left along with 40 others by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31st, the four called for a private taxi which dropped them at Mosul. They then went missing. It was later learnt that they had joined IS.

While Areeb returned and has been brought to book, Tandel and Sheikh have become “poster boys” of the outfit and were recently seen in its propaganda video aimed at attracting youth from India. Tanki is suspected to have died in an air strike.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kerala-police-arrest-kalyan-man-on-radicalisation-charges-2932141/

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‘Arrested Mumbai youth converted 800 to Islam'

Pradeep Gupta & Vijay V Singh | TNN | Jul 24, 2016

MUMBAI: Rizwan Khan, who was arrested from Kalyan on Saturday, and Arshid Qureshi, held from Navi Mumbai earlier in the week, had reportedly facilitated the conversion of around 800 people across the country, including many in Mumbai, ATS officials said.

Both are connected to controversial televangelist Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), officials said. Several documents and marriage certificates had been seized from Khan, which indicate that he and Qureshi had converted over 800 Christians and Hindus to Islam, officials said.

Sources told TOI that during interrogation, Rizwan said he ran a marriage bureau and was not involved in any forced conversion. Officials in the security establishment stated that the arrested accused, along with two other organizations apart from the IRF, were working to carry out conversions on a very large scale. They said IRF was an umbrella organization.

"It's a very critical issue and needs to be addressed on a priority basis," said an officer monitoring the situation. They stated that the organizations involved in conversion mainly target college students and jail inmates after providing them legal and financial help.

One of these organizations rubbished the conversion allegations, an official said. Its representative admitted that Khan used to visit their office, but was not associated with their organization in any official capacity.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Arrested-Mumbai-youth-converted-800-to-Islam/articleshow/53359300.cms

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Pakistan-based terror groups target India's interests in Afghanistan: Envoy

PTI | Jul 23, 2016

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan-based terror groups such as LeT, the Taliban, JeM and al-Qaida target India's interests and goals in Afghanistan and pursue other objectives like creating sanctuaries and safe havens in tribal areas between Kabul and Islamabad, Afghan envoy to the UN has said.

"In Afghanistan, regional terrorist groups have cooperated with the Taliban based on their common goals and mutual interests. These groups include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Islam, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Eastern Turkistan Islamic movement.

"These groups pose a strategic threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan," permanent Afghan representative Mahmoud Saikal said here at an open briefing of the counter-terrorism committee on foreign terrorists on Friday.

He said these terror groups "pursue a few objectives" in Afghanistan, the main among them being "revival of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, targeting India's interests and goals in Afghanistan" and forming "strategic alliances with international terrorist networks in the region and world."

These groups also seek withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, creating bases and safe havens in northern and north-eastern provinces and using them as a platform for "undermining and toppling" Central Asian "secular" governments, Saikal said.

They also pursue the objective of creating " sanctuaries and safe havens+ " in tribal areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan and along the Durand Line, the 2,430-kilometre long international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He said there are 6,100 foreign fighters in Afghanistan, based mainly in eastern and north-eastern provinces. Among them about 1,800-2,000 have pledged allegiance to the ISIS+ .

"We also have Pakistani terrorist groups like JeM, Laskhar-e-Islam also cooperating with the Taliban in eastern and south-eastern provinces of Afghanistan," Saikal said.

The threat of foreign fighters and regional terror groups are of "growing concern" to Afghanistan and the world, the Afghan envoy said.

"Improving the implementation of counter-terrorism resolutions is crucial, especially the UN Security Council (resolutions). Speed is the essence and at the moment, terror is moving fast. I hope we can catch up with it soon," he said.

In a scathing attack on Pakistan last month, Afghanistan had said the killing of notorious terrorist leaders, including Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Mansour in "safe havens" in Pakistan, prove that it violated sovereignty of other nations and the county needs political will and not "nuclear deals or F-16s" to take action against terrorists.

Saikal had accused "elements within the state structure of Pakistan" of facilitating most of the terrorist groups active in the region and had warned that a country using "good and bad terrorists" against each other is "playing with fire".

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-based-terror-groups-target-Indias-interests-in-Afghanistan-Envoy/articleshow/53351033.cms

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Instigating our youth to pick up weapons not correct, Rajnath Singh tells Pakistan

Jul 24, 2016

Holding Pakistan responsible for the violence in  Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that the neighbouring country must understand that instigating youth to pick up weapons is not correct.

“I want to tell my neighbour that instigating our youth to pick up weapons is not correct,” said Singh at a press conference after a high-level meeting in Srinagar.

Singh, who was on a two-day visit to violence-hit Kashmir, in a direct reference to Pakistan, said India does not need third party’s involvement to address the situation in Kashmir.

“We don’t need third party’s involvement to address the situation that prevails in Jammu & Kashmir,” said Singh adding that Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism and it must not encourage violence in Kashmir.

The home minister said that Centre is dedicated towards normalising situation in Kashmir and asserted that all grievances can be solved through dialogue.

“Want to make it clear that Government of India does not only want to have a relationship based on needs with Kashmir but a emotional relationship. We are dedicated towards normalising the situation here. We will talk to whosoever needed once peace and normalcy is restored in the state,” said the minister.

Appealing the youth to not resort to stone-pelting, Singh said he has asked the security forces to refrain from using pellet guns as much as possible.

Read Also: Kashmir needs political solution, Omar tells Rajnath at high-level meeting

The high-level security review meeting was attended by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, senior bureaucrats, police officials and those from state and central intelligence agencies besides top officials of para-miliatry forces.

Singh, earlier, took stock of the situation in the wake of deadly clashes that have left 46 people dead and 3,400 others injured.

Restrictions imposed in the rest of the areas were slightly eased as the ground situation has showed marginal signs of improvement after 15 days of heightened tension across the valley following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 9.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-unrest-violence-rajnath-singh-pakistan-burhan-wani/

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Europe

Munich mall shooting: Suspect was obsessed with mass shootings

Jul 24, 2016

An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who apparently acted alone opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday evening, killing at least nine people in the third attack against civilians in Western Europe in eight days. The pistol-wielding attacker, identified by Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae as a dual national, was later found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Earlier, the local police reported that shots were fired at a shopping center in Munich. The police said a lone gunman was behind the attack. The “shooting spree” happened early Friday evening at the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich.

The news comes at a very turbulent time, where terrorist attacks are coming one after the other. Earlier this week, a 17-year-old Afghan immigrant attacked people on a train with sharp objects, critically injuring nearly five people. Hand-painted Islamic State flags were found in his house along with a video in which he pledged his allegiance to the terror organisation. The Islamic State had later claimed responsibility for the attack. The perpetrator was shot dead by the police while trying to flee.

Earlier last week, a speeding truck mowed down more than 80 people on Bastille Day in Nice, France. The ISIS had again claimed responsibility for this attack also. The driver was shot dead by the police.

In April, three people were injured in an explosion at Gurudwara in western Germany. Police worked on the assumption that the explosion was caused deliberately but that there are no indications it was a terrorist incident. However, soon it was found that one of the two men identified by police as Yusuf T, an ISIS sympathiser.

indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/germany-shots-fired-at-a-shopping-center-in-munich-2930333/

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Munich gunman planned shooting for a year, chose victims randomly: Officials

Jul 24, 2016

MUNICH: The 18-year-old gunman+ who killed nine people in a shooting spree+ in Munich had been planning his crime+ for a year, but chose his victims at random, officials said on Sunday.

"He had been preparing (the shooting) for a year," Bavarian police chief Robert Heimberger told a news conference.

Chief prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch added that he did not specifically choose his victims.

"It is not the case that he deliberately selected" the people who he shot, he said.

Europe reacted in shock to the third attack+ on the continent in just over a week, after David Ali Sonboly went on a shooting spree at a shopping centre+ on Friday before turning the gun on himself.

Officials said on Saturday that Sonboly, a German-Iranian student, had a history of mental illness.

Investigators said they saw an "obvious link+ " between the killings and white supremacist Anders Breivik+ 's massacre of 77 people in Norway exactly five years earlier.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Munich had suffered a "night of horror".

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Munich-gunman-planned-shooting-for-a-year-chose-victims-randomly-Officials/articleshow/53366526.cms

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Germany gun attack creeps into haunting shadows of Anders Breivik

Jul 24, 2016

Munich woke up in shock on Saturday after an unstable 18-year old turned a mall into a gruesome scene, claiming the lives of nine people before killing himself.

It has been an unsettling week in Germany as this massacre followed another violent event three days before when an Afghan teenager sparked chaos in a train travelling from Treuchtlingen to Wuerzburg attacking passengers with an axe.

While those attacks attract much more global attention than an ISIS-claimed attack on Kabul that killed 80 on Saturday, they stand out because Germany has a very limited history of similar attacks.

In a country where recent debates on the question of the hosting of Syrian refugees have been intense, the potential for the repeat of such events is high.

What is strange is that both Germany killings occurred with opposing political motives.

In Wuerzburg, ISIS immediately claimed the stabbings by the young Afghan immigrant who had fallen prey to religious fundamentalism.

In Munich however, the killer had purposely chosen the date of July 22 to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre carried out by Anders Breivik in Norway.

Five years ago, Breivik – a right wing extremist zealot slaughtered 77 people, most of them participating in a summer school meeting organized by the ruling Labour Party. This neo-fascist, diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, believed that the left wing party was responsible for “cultural suicide” by not limiting immigration.

Similar to Breivik, the Munich killer – named as David Ali Sonboli by local media – was fascinated by violence and mass killings as proven by the books found at his residence. The young man handpicked immigrants through social media, encouraging them to visit a McDonald’s store to benefit from a fake discount and then pulled out a semi-automatic gun.

If the initial reports wrongfully linked this act to Islamic terrorism it was because of the Middle Eastern origin of the killer, but this theory rapidly crumbled in the official statements that followed.

Sonboli was born in Munich. While his parents were granted asylum from Iran in the 1980s, he had later converted to Christianity and was being treated for a psychiatric disorder and depression.

The recent attacks have now underlined the need for a complete enforcement of German gun control laws that are already among the strictest in the world.

The fact that Sonboli was able to get a hold of a Glock 17 9mm caliber – the very same weapon used by Anders Breivik five years ago – despite his known psychiatric conditions is raising concerns.

Polarization of politics

While Germany had been relatively unscathed from the horrors of terrorism in comparison with neighboring France and Belgium, the threat had been looming closer recently. More than a dozen attacks have been avoided during the last decade with bombs that failed to detonate or terrorist cells dismantled in time.

Still, ramped up threats have characterized the past 18 months. In 2015, a police woman was stabbed in the neck in West Berlin and a Germany vs. Holland football match was canceled at short notice due to a "concrete" threat of a terror attack at Hanover stadium.

The risk of increased violence in Germany is potentially higher than in other countries on the continent because of the polarization of politics around the question of immigration.

Recently, the Germany's anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, which originated in the eastern German city of Dresden in 2014, staged rallies in several cities to protest against the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

Also, the public’s unease against asylum seekers in a country that welcomed 1.1 million migrants last year flourished after the alleged involvement of migrants in assaults on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Far from understanding the economic benefits that Germany can enjoy from the migrant influx at a time the country is suffering from an educated workforce shortage, many observers believe that a sizeable share of the population has started to drift towards xenophobia fueled by populist discourse.

Between the large immigrant population, among which ISIS has been known to try to recruit from, and a virulent xenophobic wave, the risks for unbalanced or indoctrinated individuals to carry out further terrorist attacks in the near future is high.

english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2016/07/24/Germany-terror-attack-in-the-haunting-shadows-of-Anders-Breivik.html

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Putin vows most intense cooperation with Afghanistan after Kabul attack

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jul 24 2016

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged ‘most intense’ cooperation with Afghanistan to battle terrorism following a deadly attack in Kabul yesterday.

Putin made the commitment as he offered his condolences to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as the attack left at least 80 people dead.

“The head of Russian state has vehemently condemned this cynical crime against civilians and confirmed readiness for the continuation of the most intense cooperation with Afghan authorities and people to battle every manifestation of terrorism,” the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin press service further added that ‘Putin expressed his sympathy and support to the families of those killed and wished the soonest recovery to those injured by extremists.’

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility behind the incident and said the attack was carried out by two of its fighters.

The Afghan authorities released the latest casualties toll on Saturday night, saying at least 80 peple were killed and around 231 others sustained injuries.

Yesterday’s attack in Kabul is one of the biggest attacks which the ISIS terrorist group claims credit as the Taliban group rejected hand in the attack.

The loyalists of the terror group have been attempting to expand foothold in the country and the attack on peaceful protesters comes as the Afghan security forces have launched a major operation to root out the militants of the group from the country.

khaama.com/putin-vows-most-intense-cooperation-with-afghanistan-after-kabul-attack-01554

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G20 will use 'all policy tools' to protect growth as Brexit looms

Jul 24, 2016

Chengdu Leaders from the world's biggest economies are poised on Sunday to renew their commitments to support global growth and better coordinate actions in the face of uncertainty over Britain's decision to leave the European Union and growing protectionism.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 major economies in China's southwestern city of Chengdu is the first of its kind since last month's Brexit vote and a debut for Britain's new finance minister. Philip Hammond faced questions about how quickly the UK planned to move ahead with formal negotiations to leave the EU.

"We are taking actions to foster confidence and support growth," a draft statement by the policymakers seen by Reuters said.

"In light of recent developments, we reiterate our determination to use all policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural – individually and collectively to achieve our goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth," it said.

The International Monetary Fund this week cut its global growth forecasts because of the Brexit vote.

Data on Friday seemed to bear out fears, with a British business activity index posting its biggest drop in its 20-year history.

The draft communique, expected to be issued at the end of the meeting on Sunday afternoon, said Brexit added to uncertainty in the global economy but G20 members were "well positioned to proactively address the potential economic and financial consequences".

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Saturday it was important for G20 countries to boost shared growth using all policy tools, including monetary and fiscal policies as well as structural reforms, to boost efficiency.

"This is a time when it is important for all of us to redouble our efforts to use all of the policy tools that we have to boost shared growth," Lew told reporters.

The specter of protectionism, highlighted not only by Brexit but also by U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's "America First" rhetoric and talk of pulling out of trade agreements, also hangs over the two-day meeting.

"Not only Brexit but various risks of low growth remain, and there was a lot of debate on the need of monitoring developments including terrorism, geopolitical risks and refugees," said a Japanese finance ministry official.

"A lot of concerns were voiced over spreading measures for protectionism."

dailytimes.com.pk/business/24-Jul-16/g20-will-use-all-policy-tools-to-protect-growth-as-brexit-looms

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German military training Syrians for civilian roles

24 July 2016

The German military is training more than 100 Syrian migrants for civilian roles suited to helping the eventual reconstruction of their country, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in remarks released ahead of publication on Sunday.

Von der Leyen told the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily that the pilot program was focused on training migrants in a variety of areas such as technology, medicine and logistics.

It was not immediately clear if von der Leyen planned to expand the program to include more of the one million migrants who arrived in Germany last year.

“The idea is that they will go back to Syria one day and help with the reconstruction” of their war-shattered country, von der Leyen told the newspaper.

She said Germany could also play a role in training Syrian security forces once it had a responsible government.

Syrian refugees can carry out civilian tasks for the German military, but are not eligible to work as soldiers, she said.

Von der Leyen sparked controversy within her own Christian Democratic party recently when she suggested that EU citizens could in certain cases take over armed roles in the German military. The defense minister also advocates greater diversity in the German military and moves to recruit more immigrants.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/24/German-army-training-100-Syrian-migrants.html

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Greece urges Turkey to show restraint on death penalty

Jul 24, 2016

Turkey should exercise restraint and avoid restoring the death penalty after the July 15 failed coup attempt, Greece's foreign minister said in remarks published on July 23.

Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004, bolstering its long-running bid for European Union membership. But since overcoming the July 15 coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has told crowds of supporters chanting for the death penalty that such demands may be discussed in parliament.

"The winners of the internal conflict in Turkey must show magnanimity towards the defeated, (show) self-restraint and not reinstate the death penalty," Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told Realnews newspaper in an interview released ahead of the publication on July 24.

Kotzias said the EU hailed the defeat of the coup and wants a democratic Turkey that respects the interests and needs of all religious, social and ethnic groups. "We don't want a Turkey of revenge, of break-up and destabilisation," he told Realnews.

EU leaders including French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said that Ankara could not reintroduce capital punishment if it wishes to join the EU one day.

But Turkey's justice minister said on July 22 that the issue of whether or not Turkey brings back the death penalty should be considered from a legal standpoint and not in terms of what the EU wants.

Asked whether Greece would return eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece in a military helicopter after the failed coup, Kotzias said: "This will be decided by judges and other pertinent authorities. Surely they will take into account to what extent the eight (soldiers) were part of the coup."

The men - three majors, three captains and two sergeant majors - landed in the northern Greek border city of Alexandroupolis on July 16 after issuing a distress signal. They were arrested and have sought political asylum.

Turkish authorities have branded them "traitors" and "terrorist elements" and asked Athens to extradite them. Greece has said it will examine their asylum requests quickly.

On July 21, the men were convicted of entering Greece illegally and handed a two-month suspended jail sentence. Their asylum requests are being examined and they are to appear before immigration authorities next week for further interviews.

A lawyer representing four of the men has said they fear for their lives if they are returned to Turkey.

Kotzias also said one should steer clear of making associations between people who fight for their rights in a democratic way and those who carry out coups, bomb parliaments and kill protesters.

"These people in no way deserve our solidarity. No one must forget that those behind the coup turned against the institutions of Turkish democracy."

hurriyetdailynews.com/greece-urges-turkey-to-show-restraint-on-death-penalty.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102007&NewsCatID=351

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Arab World

Al-Sudais says ignorant murderers harming Islam

Jul 24, 2016

LONDON: Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, said Islam needs understanding and in-depth comprehension at a time when some Muslims are ignorant of the facts of Islam.

Al-Sudais was delivering a lecture at the Islamic Cultural Center in Britain.

He said Muslims need to understand the basics of the faith, as well as moderation and consideration for the contemporary application of its tenets. All these should contribute to the correct understanding of Islam.

“The Muslim, through his presence in life should achieve the worship of God Almighty in accordance with the correct ideology and he needs to join in the efforts of other humans and not sow disagreement and discord,” Al-Sudais told the audience, which included scientists, intellectuals and thinkers.

He lamented the demonization of Islam today by groups that do not know the facts about this sacred religion and its purposes, and have taken to violence as a way to express this ignorance, and have sought to shed the blood of innocents by bombings and killings.

“This puts a great responsibility on the Muslim people, its leaders and officials and scholars, as well as the heads of Islamic centers to explain to the world the facts of Islam and how they contradict such irregular behavior and bloodshed. Extremism exists in all societies because of the behavior of a limited number of its members and the remaining members cannot take the blame for the mistakes of a few,” he added.

He called on all Muslims to project the bright image of Islam and to associate this with the good representation of Islamic communities and to be ambassadors for the tolerant values and principles of Islam.

arabnews.com/node/958761/saudi-arabia

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Over 700 Terrorists Killed in Operations in Handarat Camp

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources in Syria said over 700 terrorists have been killed and hundreds of others wounded during the nearly 100-day-long operations of the army and its allies at Handarat camp in Aleppo.

According to the sources, names of 7 senior commanders of different terrorist groups are also seen among the dead, including Abu al-Walid al-Shabal, the commander of Fajr al-Sham group in Ain al-Tal region, Abu Motasam, the commander of al-Shabab group, Ahmad Salkho, the commander of Nureddin Zinki group, Mohammad Mahanna, the commander of Mountain Hawks group, Morad al-Basha, the commander of Sultan Morat group, Abu al-Ais, the commander of Faylaq al-Sham group and Abu Jamal Makhzoum, the commander of Estaqam Kama Omerat group.

"Such a large number of terrorist casualties in the Northern parts of Aleppo is unprecedented but they are well aware that the Syrian army's control over Handarat camp means the end of their life in Aleppo," a field source told FNA on Sunday.

Military sources said on Saturday that tens of armored vehicles of the terrorist groups, including 40 advanced tanks, were destroyed in the Syrian Army's anti-terrorism operations in Northern and Northwestern Aleppo in the last 30 days.

"The large-scale operations of the Syrian army and its popular allies in al-Malaah region, Castillo highway, Handarat, al-Lairamoun, Bani Zeid and other battlefields North and Northwest of Aleppo city inflicted major damage on the terrorist groups' military hardware, including 40 tanks, and killed over 300 terrorists," the sources said.

Earlier reports said that Russian warplanes, in close cooperation with Syrian choppers, targeted the terrorist groups' strongholds across Aleppo city districts, inflicting major casualties and losses on the militants.

Terrorists' gatherings and concentration centers in Jandoul Roundabout, Shuqaif Bridge, Shuqaif Industrial District, al-Kindi District, Hraytan and Kafr Hamra were massively bombed by the Syrian military helicopters and Russian fighter jets.

Scores of the militants were killed or wounded and their military hardware was badly damaged in the attacks. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503001257

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Syria: Iraqi Popular Forces Arrive in Ancient Palmyra to Join War on ISIL

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of Iraqi fighters have arrived in the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) to join the Syrian government forces' fight against ISIL terrorists in Eastern Homs, military sources announced.

"An estimated 1,100-1,200 Iraqi fighters from Kata’eb Imam Ali, Kata’eb Hezbollah and Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas have arrived to Palmyra, while Russian fighter jets hold off the ISIL terrorists away from the boundaries of the ancient desert city," the sources said.

In relevant developments in the province on Saturday, the Syrian army tanks opened heavy fire at the ISIL terrorist group's military hardware and construction machinery and equipment while they were constructing new strongholds in the Northern part of Palmyra, killing and wounding a number of the militants.

The Syrian army and its allies engaged in Tough battle in Sanisel front in Northern Homs.

Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets hit hard the terrorists' military positions in al-Rastan region in Northern Homs.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503000393

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Saudi shoots down Houthi ballistic missile

 23 July 2016

Saudi Arabia’s air defense system has destroyed a ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Saturday, security sources told the Arabic website of Al Arabiya News Channel.

The missile – launched by the Houthi militias who control large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa – was intercepted over the airspace of the frontier province of Najran.

Meanwhile, unknown sources informed the Saudi civil defense in Jazan, another southern province, that missiles were fired from Yemen territory, hitting a civilian’s home and injuring a child.

In recent days, clashes between Yemen’s Popular Resistance - backed by the Arab coalition - and the Iranian-backed Houthi militias have been continuing across several districts in Yemen amid UN-sponsored peace talks between Yemen’s warring sides taking place in Kuwait.

Three months of talks between the government and the Houthis militias have failed to make headway, forcing the host country to issue an ultimatum Wednesday for the warring parties to reach a deal within 15 days or leave.

Fighting al-Qaeda

Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck al-Qaeda positions in southern Yemen on Saturday killing several militants, as government forces appeared set on a new offensive, military officials said.

Two air strikes targeted al-Qaeda militants gathered on the outskirts of Jaar town in Abyan province, killing and wounding several militants, military officials said.

The raids came after several military meetings were held in Aden to discuss plans for a new operation against militants in Abyan, they added.

Government forces backed by the Arab coalition had launched an all-out offensive in March against militants in south Yemen, recapturing main cities.

But government troops retreated from Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, after al-Qaeda militants struck back.

The militants have been seen planting mines and explosive devices along the route linking Abyan with the southern port city of Aden, in preparation for an anticipated attack, witnesses said.

The government of UN-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has been using Aden as a temporary capital since it was recaptured from Houthi militias a year ago. The capital Sanaa has been under Houthi control since September 2014.

ISIS in Yemen

Meanwhile, suspected militants of the ISIS group killed a Sunni cleric in the center of Aden on Saturday, a security official said.

A gunman stepped out of a car after dawn and shot dead cleric Ali Abdulrahman al-Zahri in Mansura district, as he emerged from a mosque, the official said.

ISIS militants had threatened attacks against clerics they accuse of being pro-government, mainly those who denounce suicide bombings.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/23/Saudi-shoots-down-Houthi-ballistic-missile.html

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Syrian Democratic Forces Win One more Battle against ISIL in Manbij

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued to push back the ISIL terrorists from their strongholds in Manbij and took back one more key district in the town.

The SDF fighters inflicted major losses on ISIL terrorists and captured al-Banawi neighborhood, which also ended in the killing of 20 militants and wounding of several more.

"The SDF fighters have attacked on ISIL's positions in al-Kajli neighborhood in Southeastern part of Manbij, which has thus far claimed the lives of at least 31 militants. The SDF fighters are advancing towards town's center," local sources announced. 

Also on Saturday, the SDF continued to hit ISIL positions in different districts of Manbij, leaving at least 24 militants dead and many more wounded.

The SDF fighters' anti-terrorism attacks on ISIL's strongholds in the Southwestern neighborhoods of Manbij, ended in the killing or at least 24 terrorists.

ISIL's military hardware also sustained major damage in the attacks.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503000704

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ISIS fighters captured while fleeing besieged town dressed as women

Jul 24, 2016

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighters disguised as women were reportedly caught by opposition forces while attempting to flee Manbij, Syria. It came after the terrorist group was given 48 hours to leave the strategic city.

The men, dressed in full black veils, attempted to blend in with civilians fleeing the northern city, after coalition forces issued an order to leave Manbij within two days.

Footage of the three men was published online by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday, which consists of predominantly Kurdish fighters.

The video begins with the men sitting in front of the opposition fighters, with their faces still covered. They are then shown walking with their face veils removed, and eventually stripping down to their underwear.

One of the captured fighters said he was a sniper, according to Storyful news verification service, as cited by Middle East Eye.

The attempted escape came after the Manbij Military Council (MMC) – part of the SDF - gave IS fighters 48 hours to leave the strategic town with their “individual weapons” on Thursday, saying that was their last chance to leave alive.

"This initiative is the last remaining chance for besieged members of Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] to leave the town,” the MMC said, as quoted by AFP.

Most IS fighters ignored the warning, remaining in the city and using civilians as human shields.

Ahead of the 48-hour warning, at least 56 civilians were allegedly killed by coalition airstrikes in Manbij, located in the east of Aleppo province. Reports of the civilian casualties prompted the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) to urge the US-led coalition to suspend its aerial campaign against IS.

Manbij is situated on a key supply route to the IS stronghold of Raqqa, and is therefore seen as a highly-strategic city in the fight against the terror group.

It's not the first time IS fighters were found attempting to escape an area dressed as women. In February, fighters fleeing Ramadi were captured despite wearing burqas and made-up faces.

At least 250,000 people have been killed and 12 million displaced since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, according to UN figures.

rt.com/news/352950-isis-women-disguise-manbij/

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Al-Nusra Front Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Army's Offensive in Dara'a

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its military operations against al-Nusra Front in Dara'a, and inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists in Syria's Southern province.

"The Syrian army hit hard al-Nusra Front's fortifications in the old customs district, killing and wounding scores of terrorists," the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying on Sunday.

The source reiterated that another Syrian army unit hit al-Nusra Front's military bases in Hay al-Hassibeh region in Dara'a al-Balad region.

Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian military forces stormed al-Nusra Front's strongholds in Eastern Dara'a, inflicting a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The Syrian soldiers struck concentration centers and gatherings of al-Nusra in Western side of the town of Kaheel 45 kilometers to the East of Dara'a city, which ended in the killing and wounding of dozens of militants.

In the meantime, al-Nusra positions near the village of Jamrin in Northeastern side of Busra al-Sham came under the heavy offensive of the Syrian army men.

Al-Nusra military hardware, including rocket launchers were destroyed in the attacks.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army units attacked the al-Nusra Front's concentration centers in the surrounding areas of al-Barid building in al-Karak region of Dara'a al-Balad.

Several Takfiri terrorists were killed and wounded in the Syrian army attack in Dara'a al-Balad.

The terrorists' military hardware and equipment were also destroyed in the Syrian army attack.

The Syrian army also destroyed the artillery units and military vehicles of al-Nusra terrorists in Busra al-Sham region of Dara'a.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503001368

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Deadly suicide attack strikes northern Baghdad

24 July 2016

A suicide bomber struck near a checkpoint in a Shiite area of northern Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 12 people, Iraqi security and medical officials said.

The blast also wounded at least 22 people, the officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but ISIS carries out frequent suicide bombings targeting both Iraqi security forces and members of the country’s Shiite majority, whom it considers heretics.

A suicide bomber targeted shoppers in Baghdad’s central Karrada district earlier this month, killing 292 people, while an attack on a Shiite shrine in Balad, north of the capital, left 40 dead a few days later.

ISIS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces have since regained significant ground and are conducting operations to set the stage for the battle to recapture Mosul, the last ISIS-held city in the country.

But the militants have responded to the battlefield setbacks by hitting back against civilians, and experts have warned there may be more bombings as the militants continue to lose ground.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/24/Deadly-suicide-attack-strikes-northern-Baghdad.html

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Trench cuts off Iraq’s Fallujah from the north following ISIS defeat

23 July 2016

Iraqi forces are digging a trench on the northern outskirts of Fallujah a month after taking it back from ISIS, security officials said on Saturday, raising concerns about repopulating the deserted city.

Displaced residents are waiting for Fallujah’s streets and buildings to be cleared of ISIS explosives before returning, while the troops that retook the city are gradually being replaced by local police and tribal fighters.

Even as attention has shifted north recently to an expected offensive on Mosul, Iraqi forces have continued to pursue ISIS fighters, estimated in the several hundreds, in western Anbar province, where Fallujah is located.

The ultra-hardline militants regularly launch suicide bomb attacks against security forces near Fallujah as well as near Ramadi and Hit further to the west from the open desert or farmland areas to the north.

The trench north of Fallujah extends about 5 km east from the Euphrates river towards the main highway from Baghdad, an hour’s drive away, said Major General Saad Harbiya, an army commander. It is about one meter deep and 1.5 meters wide, he said by phone.

Harbiya said the barrier was meant to keep forces posted outside Fallujah from entering the city proper following allegations that homes and public buildings had been looted and burned after the ISIS defeat.

Keen to avoid a repeat of systematic looting after the recovery of cities like Tikrit and Baiji last year, government forces say they have managed to limit abuses to a few isolated cases in Fallujah, long a bastion of Sunni Muslim insurgency and seen as a launchpad for bomb attacks in Baghdad.

Berms made of rubble and burnt-out cars went up on many roads inside the city after ISIS was routed in late June in order to confine an array of Iraqi forces to their separate areas of operation.

Mayor Issa al-Issawi, who fled following the ISIS seizure of the city in January 2014, said the trench was built for security reasons but would hinder efforts to restore life to the city, which once had a population of around 300,000.

“Fallujah is now divided and we cannot work comfortably. This is not how things should be done,” he said.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/23/Trench-cuts-off-Iraq-s-Fallujah-from-the-north-following-ISIS-defeat.html

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Iraq PM seeks to speed up use of death penalty

Jul 24, 2016

Iraq’s prime minister is seeking to speed up the implementation of death sentences, his office said Saturday, despite persistent concerns over flaws in the judicial system that hands them down.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the formation of a committee “to determine the obstacles and causes that result in the delay in the implementation of death sentences,” a statement said.

The committee is to make recommendations to “speed up the ratification of those sentences and their implementation,” it said.

Iraq has for years faced widespread criticism from diplomats, analysts and human rights groups who have said that, due to a flawed justice system, those being executed are not necessarily guilty of the crimes for which they were sentenced to die.

Following a bombing in Baghdad that killed nearly 300 people earlier this month, the justice ministry announced that five people had been put to death in a statement linking the timing of the executions with the blast.

Rights group Amnesty International subsequently repeated calls for a halt to executions in the country, saying that more than 100 had been carried out so far in Iraq this year.

“Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to halt executions,” it said.

“Death sentences are frequently handed out by courts following grossly unfair trials marred by the use of ‘confessions’ extracted under torture,” Amnesty said.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/07/23/Iraq-PM-seeks-to-speed-up-death-penalty-implementation.html

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Law to criminalize all discrimination

Jul 24, 2016

RIYADH: The Shoura Council discussed a new law which penalizes racial discrimination, tribal sloganeering and ridiculing any of the religions in the Kingdom.

The law that also prevents hatemongering was proposed by several members of the Shoura Council including Abdullah Al-Fifi, Latifa Al-Shalan and Haya Al-Manea.

Once passed, the law would criminalize attack on places of worship, prevent undermining historical icons that have cultural relevance and protect the social fabric.

It would also punish discrimination in society with regard to rights and duties as well as discrimination for ethnic, racial, regional, religious, communal, ideological or political reasons.

Hamad Al-Qadhi, ex-member, said: "This law has come after the social media started fomenting sectarianism. The law is based on the teachings of Islam. Those who don’t adhere to the teachings of Qur’an will be deterred by this law.

“The law against racial discrimination promotes interconnectivity and equality especially in the backdrop of rising discrimination, name-calling and the spread of hatred and division on the social media.”

Samoud, Abdurrahman Al-Qarrash, founder of the National Program Against Terrorism, said: “Sectarianism is all about people who consider themselves superior to others. It is found in weak hearts that feel they reached the level of angels, above human beings, without understanding that this was the reason Satan was cursed. “All those who feel superior in lineage, wealth, status or affiliation, are with Satan.”

Al-Qarrash said: “Sectarianism is a social cancer that destroys what the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, called for. It isolates people from others, makes them look at others as inferior, without any regard for their religion, morals and knowledge”. 

Al-Qarrash said that sectarianism has a negative impact on social life; it encourages ignorance and social divide, supports oppression and violation of rights, spreads hatred among people, contributes to creating animosity, promotes crimes, calls for division prohibited by Islam, encourages unemployment and spinsterhood.

The cure, he said, is prevention, even if it is difficult.

“Perhaps Allah will guide those who have deviated towards righteousness. Because sectarianism is the worst kind of extremism, which is not supported by the religion. Instead, religion has come to fight against it.” Successful countries build social unity by declaring sectarianism, discrimination and hatemongering a crime.

Article 12 of the law says that those who raise tribal slogans will be fined no less than SR 50,000 or will be jailed for at least six months, or both.

Article 16 says that those who support the publication, recording, filming, taping, computer programs, applications or data in electronic format of any such material that ridicule religion, discriminates or foments hatred will face at least one year in jail and a fine of a minimum SR 50,000 and a maximum of SR 200,000.

arabnews.com/node/958811/saudi-arabia

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Saudi executes four convicted of murder

Jul 24, 2016

Saudi authorities executed four citizens on July 24 convicted of killing six members of their tribe, the interior ministry said.

The killings took place due to a land dispute among members of the Quthami tribe, the ministry said in a statement on the official SPA news agency.

The four, including three brothers, were executed in the western city of Taif, bringing to 105 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year.    

Saudi Arabia's growing use of the death penalty has prompted Amnesty International to call for an "immediate" moratorium on the practice.

The kingdom imposes the death penalty for offences including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy.

 Most people executed are beheaded with a sword.

 On July 21, authorities carried out the 100th execution of the year.

 "Saudi Arabia is speeding along in its dogged use of a cruel and inhuman punishment, mindless of justice and human rights," said Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa head Philip Luther.

 "At this rate, the Kingdom's executioners will soon match or exceed the number of people they put to death last year," he said.

 Amnesty says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan.    

Amnesty's figures do not include secretive China.

 "

The Saudi Arabian authorities must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty once and for all," Luther said.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for "terrorism" offences on a single day in January.

They included prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, whose execution prompted Iranian protesters to torch Saudi diplomatic missions, triggering a diplomatic crisis between the two arch-rivals.

hurriyetdailynews.com/saudi-executes-four-convicted-of-murder-----.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102012&NewsCatID=352

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Syrian government says ready for further peace talks

24 July 2016 Text size A A A

Syria’s government said on Sunday it was ready for further peace talks with the opposition and that it was intent on a political solution to the five-year conflict.

“Syria ... is ready to continue the Syrian-Syrian dialogue without any preconditions ... and without foreign interference, with the support of the United Nations,” state news agency SANA quoted an official in the foreign ministry as saying.

The UN hopes to convene a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva in August, its Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said this week.

Previous rounds of talks this year broke down as fighting escalated, particularly around Aleppo, where government forces recently cut off the only road into rebel-held areas of the divided northern city.

The United States and Russia, which back opposing sides in the conflict, are meanwhile to discuss an American proposal for closer military cooperation and intelligence sharing on Syria to combat extremist groups.

Secretary of State John Kerry said this month that Washington and Damascus ally Moscow had reached a common understanding on the steps needed to get Syria’s peace process back on track.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/24/Syrian-government-says-ready-for-further-peace-talks-.html

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Southeast Asia

Jihad Selfie: the story of how Indonesian teenagers are recruited to Islamic State

Jul 24, 2016

The first thing that strikes you about would-be jihadist Teuku Akbar Maulana is how ordinary he is.

This is a pimply teenager who plays badminton and loves his mum, not one of the black-clad, scowling, AK-47-toting Islamic State fighters who stalk the internet.

Author, activist and former journalist Noor Huda Ismail first met Akbar in a kebab shop in the central Turkish city of Kayseri in 2014.

He looked like any other bright Indonesian kid sent by his parents to study religion in Turkey.

"I am gregarious and here was this very skinny, lonely Indonesian," says Huda, who was in town for an international conference.

Huda is best known in Indonesia for trying to re-integrate former terrorists into mainstream society by employing them at his deradicalisation cafe in Solo, Java. He is also studying a PhD at Monash University in Melbourne on gender and masculinity in Indonesian foreign fighters.

But 16-year-old Akbar knew none of that. As far as he was concerned, Huda was just another Indonesian in a foreign city.

Before long, Akbar was showing Huda Facebook messages from two friends inviting him to join Islamic State.

He told Huda a friend was picking him up and they were going to Syria.

"He showed me all the Facebook chat," Huda says. The terrorism scholar was stunned.

"I was like, 'Oh my … People keep talking about the possibility of online radicalisation but this is for real. [Akbar] didn't know me, that I have been working on this issue for years. I gave him my cell phone and said you can contact me any time you want, but I was so worried, oh my God, what could I say?"

Indonesia has largely managed to keep terrorism in check since the 2002 Bali bombings carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

An effective counter-terrorism unit, established in the wake of the bombings, severely weakened the jihadist movement.

However, the conflict in Syria has captured the imagination of a new generation of extremists.

"It is difficult to fight the flow of extremist propaganda that can be accessed on the internet," research analyst Jarryd de Haan writes in Future Directions.

"IS has effectively used social media in the past to post execution videos, speeches and propaganda lectures, while also directly contacting individuals who have reached out through messaging platforms."

Currently about 500 Indonesians have joined IS.

Huda never expected to hear from Akbar again. But he called. The friend with whom Akbar was supposed to be going to Syria never showed up. Huda and Akbar met again.

"I was confused as a teenager, I thought there was more [to life] than problems with love," Akbar tells Fairfax Media.

"I was seeking something bigger than vanity. The IS slogan was live nobly or die a martyr."

Akbar told Huda of his desire to be cool. "He said: 'If I carry an AK-47, maybe people will look at me as a brave young man trying to do something'. He was in a position of searching for identity, a very critical moment."

Huda understood the seductive pull of terrorist organisations.

"When I met [Akbar], oh my God, it was like [seeing] myself," Huda says. "I was small, I was nothing, I wanted to be part of big things."

In 1985, Huda's father sent him to an Islamic boarding school in Ngruki near Solo founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the firebrand Islamic preacher often described as the ideological godfather of Jemaah Islamiyah.

At the time Huda was disaffected by life in Indonesia, which he saw as becoming increasingly secular.

His mother, who had started to dress more conservatively, was sacked from her job for wearing a jilbab, an Indonesian garment that covers the head and body.

In 1984 troops opened fire on a protest in Tanjung Priok, a poor district of North Jakarta, where Muslim clerics had denounced plans to replace Islam with Pancasila, the state ideology. More than 20 people were killed.

"I started to have the idea [that] the Indonesian government was doing terrible things to Islamic activists," Huda says.

So when Huda was invited by his school to join Darul Islam, a radical group that aimed to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia and only recognised law derived from sharia, he said yes straight away.

Huda's roommate, Hasan, also recruited to Darul Islam, won a scholarship to Pakistan. Huda missed out because he was caught dating girls. He later became disillusioned with Darul Islam when it splintered and various offshoots began calling each other apostates.

The next time Huda saw Hasan was 15 years later, when he was a correspondent for The Washington Post covering the Bali bombings. Hasan was one of the bombers. "I thought oh my God, oh freak man, I was working for the American, the infidel and then my friend was there [behind bars]. The Bali bombing was the turning point in my life."

Since 2002, Huda has devoted his life to trying to unravel why normal people like Hasan, Akbar and himself can become radicalised.

It is this theme he attempts to tease out in Jihad Selfie, a documentary starring, among others, Akbar, his family, a former terrorist now working in a cafe, a meatball seller who was lured to join IS in Syria and the family of a boy killed fighting overseas.

"Basically what I want to show is that no one is born a terrorist. It is an acquired process. I want to show how normal they are."

In one scene that sheds light on the pivotal role of social media, Huda visits Fauzan Anshori, the founder of an Islamic boarding school in Ciamis, West Java, who is a strong supporter of an IS wilayat (or province) in Indonesia.

"Social media has been really helpful because we knew about the fall of Mosul [when IS defeated the Iraqi army in June 2014] before mainstream media," Fauzan says.

"I don't see a problem with Jews creating Facebook and WhatsApp. Thank God the infidels have created these tools for us to use!"

The hardest and most frustrating part of making the documentary was obtaining permission to use the footage Huda had shot. "I want to use the voice of women. This is something we have been ignoring for years, the role of families, the role of women," he says.

Huda interviewed the wife of Ahmad Junaedi, a fresh-faced meatball seller from Malang, who was jailed for three years in February for his involvement with IS. "She said living as a single woman was very hard with children running around. I cried myself when I visited his house. It was very powerful."

But consent was crucial. "In this patriarchal society even if you get the interview you have to get the permission from the husband."

Huda was forced to throw away hours of footage after he was angrily accused of trying to humiliate the women he had interviewed. "I could not use it. Oh my God," he lamented. So much precious material had to be excised.

So Huda's heart was in his mouth when Akbar's father asked to see him after he had watched Jihad Selfie. Akbar was the central protagonist – his role in the narrative was crucial.

"Akbar's father said: 'Mas, can you edit the film so you can't see my son's pimples?' I had to force myself not to laugh."

At the risk of spoiling the plot, Akbar returns from Turkey and is reunited with his family in Aceh. The decision not to go to Syria is not an easy one and Jihad Selfie does not shy away from the anguish Akbar goes through. "He could not bear it. He wanted to move to [the] Arab [world]," Akbar's mother Rina says.

But his reason for not joining IS is unexpectedly touching. "Because of my parents," Akbar tells Fairfax Media. "The pain of giving birth. Because of the closeness between us. We can still study, there is more beneficial things we can do with our life, instead of dying like a fool."

The friends who tried to recruit Akbar via Facebook died fighting in Syria. "They were very bright and smart people. I knew them. They could have changed the world," Akbar says.

Huda does not want to be reductive. Radicalism is an extremely complex issue. But if the documentary taught him anything, it is the importance of family. Noor says the boys who died did not have the same close relationship with their parents as did Akbar. "One of the simplest things we can do, especially as parents, is to build healthy and warm relationships with our children."

Jihad Selfie will be screened in prisons and universities around Indonesia. Akbar hopes it conveys a message to parents and friends to pay more attention to teenagers who are struggling.

Perhaps the outcome of his own life will also send a message. Akbar recently won silver in a badminton competition between Indonesian students in Paris. He has co-written a novel, Boys Beyond the Light, which is loosely based on his experiences.

"I want to explain to the world that Islam is a blessing unto the universe," Akbar says. One day he dreams of opening an Islamic boarding school or becoming a social researcher. "I am now more open minded, Al-Hamdu Lillah [Praise be to God]. There are more ways I can be useful to the nation, to humanity."

smh.com.au/world/jihad-selfie-the-story-of-how-indonesian-teenagers-are-recruited-to-islamic-state-20160721-gqb8gy.html

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Hadi: No need for ceasefire, PAS not at war

Jul 24, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has again downplayed his deputy Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s call for ceasefire within opposition parties, saying the latter was instead misunderstood.

Abdul Hadi also reportedly insisted that a ceasefire was never required as the party was not fighting anyone, and has always been open to cooperate with those willing to accept its Islamic agenda.

“We are not at war with anyone, there’s no need for a ceasefire.

“PAS takes the approach of cooperating with everyone with the condition, don’t touch the policies and goals of the Islamic party,” the Islamist party leader was quoted saying by Malay-language daily Sinar Harian.

The Marang MP claimed that excerpts of Tuan Ibrahim’s recent statement had been misinterpreted in news reports, stressing that PAS can work together with anyone as long as there is no deviation from the policy to uphold the struggle of Islam.

He said that PAS had twice ceased working together with political allies over such disputes, including its 1979 exit from a pact with Umno over an alleged anti-Islam group within the ruling party.

According to Sinar Harian, Hadi claimed DAP was forced to quit the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat after PAS insisted on its struggle for Islam.

He said that those who accept PAS can join its third political bloc which is currently composed of one other party, Ikatan, and 50 non-governmental organisations.

Earlier this month, Tuan Ibrahim called on opposition parties to stop their infighting to move forward as a united front against their common enemy ― Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), but appeared to backtrack a day later on his call for a ceasefire and touted his party’s willingness to handle the next general elections alone if it has to compromise on its Islamic stand.

In response to Tuan Ibrahim’s call for ceasefire then, leaders from the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan had said they were ready to discuss the possibility of working together with PAS.

After Pakatan Rakyat fell apart following disputes between PAS and the DAP over the Islamist party’s insistence on implementing hudud law in Kelantan, Pakatan Harapan comprising of DAP, PKR and PAS offshoot Parti Amanah Negara was formed.

themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/hadi-no-need-for-ceasefire-pas-not-at-war#sthash.su3Jkzk4.dpuf

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Police Arrest Four Accomplices of Solo Suicide Bomber Nur Rohmani

Jul 24, 2016

Jakarta. An unnamed source said the National Police's antiterrorism unit Densus 88 has detained four alleged accomplices of suicide bomber Nur Rohman, who attacked the police headquarters in Solo, Central Java, earlier this month.

"There were four people arrested this morning. Previously, [two other suspects] Hariyanto and Thoyib have been detained in relation to Nur Rohman's escape before his action [in Solo]. The motorcycle [used by Rohman] belongs to Hamzah, who we have taken into custody," the source said at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on Saturday (23/07).

The four alleged terrorists' identities were not disclosed.

As previously reported, Nur was part of a network run by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian citizen from Solo, who now resides in Syria. He was allegedly also involved with Abu Muzab, alias Arif Hodayatullah, 31, who was arrested in Bekasi, West Java, in December.

It was revealed that Arif had received funding and orders from Bahrun to launch a terror campaign in Indonesia.

Arif received funding from Bahrun through his wife, while he sheltered Nur Rohman along with two other suspects, identified as Ali and Andika. During that time, Ali, who is believed to be an ethnic Uighur from China, was also arrested. He was reportedly prepared as a "bride," or someone who will participate in a terror attack.

Nur Rohman's role was to purchase materials used to produce homemade explosives, while Andika was responsible for making the bombs.

Prior to the Solo attack, Densus 88 arrested Andika in the Central Java city, but Nur Rohman escaped, taking the explosives with him.

The arrests exposed a new network known as Jamaah Anshar Daulah Khilafah Nusantara (JAKDN), comprising the East Indonesia Mujahidin, West Indonesia Mujahidin, Jamaah Islamiyah, Jamaah Anshoru Tauhid and Hisbah Solo.

jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/police-arrest-four-accomplices-solo-suicide-bomber-nur-rohman/

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Police Arrest Santoso's Wife, 18 Terror Suspects Still at Largei

Jul 24, 2016

Jakarta. Members of the joint military and police team participating in Operation Tinombala have detained the wife of former East Indonesia Mujahidin leader Santoso in the Tambarana area in Poso, Central Sulawesi, on Saturday (23/07).

"We have received reports that Jumiatun Muslimayatun, the wife of Santoso, has been detained by a patrolling taskforce. Evidence is still being examined. The suspect is currently in Poso," said Brig. Gen. Eddy Hartono, chief of the National Police's antiterrorism unit Densus 88.

He said there are now only 18 members of Santoso's group who are still on the run. This includes Basri and Ali Kalora, who was named as Santoso's replacement.

"Santoso's wife is from Bima, West Nusa Tenggara," Eddy said.

Santoso and one of his men, Muchtar, were killed in a shootout between the armed forces and five members of the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) in Tambarana on Monday afternoon. Three others escaped, one man and two women.

Police have suspected that the those who escaped were Basri and his wife, and Santoso's wife Jumiatun.

jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/police-arrest-santosos-wife-18-terror-suspects-still-large/

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Lack of info on coding in schools prompts concern among educators

Jul 24, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — An ambitious initiative to integrate coding into the national school curricula has worried teachers groups who said they were unaware of the preparations taken for the plan meant to begin in January.

The groups expressed concern that they have not been informed of the move that not only involves educating students on coding, but also to integrate the skill into the pedagogy of teaching starting in the new school year.

National Union of the Teaching Profession president Hashim Adnan said while he believed in the importance of equipping the next generation with coding literacy, the programme may be doomed unless the proper foundation is laid before its introduction.

“If they say they are going to start in January, it’s going to be a failure if there isn’t enough preparation,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

“It definitely has to start, but there needs to be proper textbooks. But at this point, It seems like it’s only at a discussion stage if there is nothing prepared.”

Hashim cited the abolishment of the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy as an example of a good initiative that was executed poorly, and warned the same fate could befall coding.

Non-governmental organisation Kelab Intelek dan Pendidikan Malaysia (formerly known as Suara Guru-Masyarakat Malaysia) chief moderator Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari said he was pessimistic of the implementation with just five months to go.

“Even if they start training teachers now, it will definitely create a disruption in classrooms because they need to train so many teachers in such a short period of time,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail Online.

“They said they had conducted a pilot programme, but what are the results of the programme?”

“There needs to be a systematic way to scrutinise the studies conducted and the details of how it can be implemented throughout the country,” he added.

He said with no details on the level of the programme’s integration, there is an added fear that not all schools would have the infrastructure to implement technology-based syllabuses.

Both groups said they were not aware of any teachers being tapped for training or who were informed of the introduction of coding.

On Monday, Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation chief executive Datuk Yasmin Mahmood confirmed with reporters that coding will be officially added to the syllabuses of national schools  starting next year.

The full details, however, she said will only be revealed during its official announcement in August.

Malay Mail Online understands that the integration of coding will be as part of the teaching pedagogy for selected subjects in the standard one curriculum starting next year, while a new subject dedicated to coding will be introduced for those entering Forms One and Four but only in selected schools as an elective.

themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/lack-of-info-on-coding-in-schools-prompt-concern-among-educators#sthash.Y8she453.dpuf

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North America

India-born Muslim heads security at a US Hindu temple

Jul 24, 2016

WASHINGTON: A Mumbai-born Muslim police officer is the security incharge of the largest Hindu temple in the Indianapolis city of US, setting an example of inter- faith cooperation and social harmony at a time when religious intolerance rhetoric is on the rise due to the election cycle.

An eight-degree black-belt in Taekwondo and a kick boxing champion, Lt Javed Khan from the local police department is director of security at the Hindu temple in Indianapolis.

For hundreds of visitors thronging the temple daily, in particularly over the weekend, Khan, who was born in Mumbai and raised in Lonavla, Pune, is now considered a part and parcel of the Hindu temple.

"My message is this; we are all one. We are all the children of God. There is only one God and then there are different forms and names, we choose to worship," Khan told PTI in a phone interview from Indianapolis.

"We are Indians. Half my family is Hindu. I do not believe in Hindu-Muslim thing," he said.

"I am just doing my duty. I am not doing anything special or extraordinary," Khan said when asked for an interview.

Khan settled in Indiana in 2001, a year after he migrated to the United States. He had been coming to the US since 1986 for participating in various martial arts championship.

Khan said it all started a few years ago, when he married his daughter to a Telugu boy at this Hindu temple, after which he started knowing people at the temple.

Soon, he said, "I felt there is need over there for protection. Then I offered my services. I am director of security for the temple now. While the temple has been in existence for the past several years, its formal opening ceremony - Kumbhabhishekam - was held last year, which was attended by top state leaders."

"Your place of worship adds another significant landmark to the city of Indianapolis and I am certain that it will play a key role in enriching the cultural heritage of our state, as well as, the learning and spiritual growth of its devotees and visitors," Indiana Governor Mike Pence had said in a message in June last year at the time of the formal opening of the temple built at an estimated cost of $10 million. Pence is now the vice presidential candidate of the Republican party.

"Whenever, I go to temple, I do not even feel I am in America. I feel I am in India," Khan said, sharing his experience.

"We have some great people here. People are nice," said Khan. He is at the temple every Sunday and sometimes Friday nights and then as and when required.

For the temple visitors, many consider him from the Hindu faith. "He (Khan) provides us security on the weekends and at major events," said Ravi Pattar, chairman of temple Board of Trustees.

"He has been deputed by the police department," Pattar said.

"This is very refreshing. He takes a very keen interest in providing security to the temple," said Dr Mohan Razdan, an eminent Indian-American who played a key role in the construction of the temple. "Everybody knows him in the temple and respects him," he said.

"This (a Muslim protecting a temple) is unheard of in this day and time. It sends a strong message," Razdan said.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/us-canada-news/India-born-Muslim-heads-security-at-a-US-Hindu-temple/articleshow/53362558.cms

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Ahmadi man gives call to prayer at White House

Jul 24, 2016

Qasim Rashid, a human rights attorney and author, took to Facebook to highlight this point by posting a video of himself giving the call to prayer at the White House. He and others from the community had been invited on Thursday to the White House reception to celebrate Eidul Fitr.

“Today I had the privilege of calling the Adhaan, ie The Islamic call to prayer, at the White House,” Rashid said in a Facebook post.

The author of The Wrong Kind of Muslim points out that since he belonged to the Ahmadi community, he would not be allowed to do the same in Pakistan. “Well, because I am an Ahmadi Muslim, this ‘rebellious’ act would have gotten me arrested and imprisoned in Pakistan with up to the death penalty as punishment.”

He went on to say, “But in my adopted nation of America, I am a full citizen with full rights and full religious freedom. So much so that I can proclaim the Islamic call to prayer from the White House itself, and do so without fear. Instead, a special prayer room was provided for me to pray as I wish. I considered it a distinct honour and privilege that I could fully practice my faith as a Muslim in the very centre of our nation’s Capitol.”

“Moreover, this serves as another proud reminder that Islam does not hate America nor does America hate Islam. Hatred has no place here,” he added.

He dedicated this to all the Ahmadis in Pakistan as well as other Muslim countries where they are forbidden to call for prayers. “This is for all my Ahmadi Muslim brothers and sisters in Pakistan and in dozens of Muslim-majority nations where they are forbidden from calling the Adhaan.”

“Know that your voice was heard today in the White House. Know that prayers were made for you that one day you are blessed with the same freedoms your Ahmadi Muslim brother has in America. Know that you are loved, remembered, and prayed for. Know that deliverance is coming,” he added.

pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/07/22/foreign/ahmadi-man-gives-call-to-prayer-at-white-house/

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Under Clinton Presidency, U.S. Muslim Population Would Exceed Germany’s by 2024

Jul 24, 2016

Under two terms of a President Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Muslim population would exceed Germany’s current Muslim population, according to data from Pew Research Center and the Department of Homeland Security.

According to a Pew report published earlier this week, “as of 2010, there were 4.8 million Muslims in Germany.”

A Pew report from January of this year estimated that there are roughly 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States. This means that today the U.S. already has a larger Muslim population than does Kuwait, or Brunei, or Bahrain, or Djibouti, or Qatar. Under current policy, Pew projects the number of Muslims in America will outnumber Jews by 2040. However, under a President Hillary Clinton it’s possible that date could come much sooner.

Under two terms of a Hillary Clinton presidency, the U.S. would have a Muslim population that is larger than Germany’s Muslim population of 4.8 million.

Based on the most recent DHS data available, the U.S. permanently resettled roughly 149,000 migrants from predominantly Muslim countries on green cards in 2014.

Yet, as Donald Trump explained during Thursday night acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Clinton “has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama.”

Specifically, Clinton had said that, as president, she would expand Muslim migration by importing an additional 65,000 Syrian refugees into the United States during the course of a single fiscal year. Clinton has made no indication that she would limit her proposed Syrian refugee program to one year.

As Trump explained, Clinton’s Syrian refugees would come on top of the tens of thousands of refugees the U.S. already admits from Muslim countries.

Adding Clinton’s 65,000 Syrian refugees to the approximately 149,000 Muslim migrants the U.S. resettled on green cards in the course of one year, means that Clinton could permanently resettle roughly 214,000 Muslim migrants in her first year as President. If Clinton were to continue her Syrian refugee program throughout her Presidency, she could potentially resettle roughly 1.5 million Muslim migrants during her first two terms.

These projections suggest that after seven years of a Hillary Clinton Presidency, the U.S. could have a Muslim population that is larger than Germany’s Muslim population of 4.8 million.

These projections are rough estimates, and the population size could be impacted by additional various factors— including births, deaths, and conversions.

Many have warned if the U.S. continues at its current record pace of Muslim migration—or if pro-Islamic migration politicians, such as Paul Ryan and Hillary Clinton, further increase Muslim migration—the U.S. risks following in Europe’s footsteps.

As Sen. Jeff Sessions has previously explained, “it’s an unpleasant, but unavoidable fact that bringing in large unassimilated flows of migrants from the Muslim world creates the conditions possible for radicalisation and extremism to take hold, just like they’re seeing in Europe.”

Andrew McCarthy has similarly argued that the large-scale importation of “assimilation-resistant Muslim migrants” enables the development of pockets of Sharia-sympathetic communities that can serve as breeding grounds for radicalization—as they have in Europe.

McCarthy has explained that, as we are seeing “in Europe and the Middle East, jihadism thrives when it has a support system of sharia-adherent Muslims. In Europe this means – as it would mean here – enclaves of assimilation-resistant Muslims… It is patently obvious that our security challenge is not just jihadists; it is the combination of jihadists and their support network of assimilation-resistant Muslims. Indeed, even if we could vet for all the currently active jihadists, it is from the assimilation-resistance Islamic communities that future “homegrown” jihadists will emerge – and that is apart from the material and moral support jihadists get from like-minded Islamists in these communities.”

Sessions has aruged that vetting migrants means not simply keeping out people who currently have terror aspirations and already have ties to terror groups, but also keeping out those who—based on their support for Islamist ideology— could be candidates for terror, or whose children could become candidates for terror, or who hold values that are hostile to American values.

Yet politicians in both parties, who have voted to expand Muslim migration into the U.S., have ruled out vetting measures that could take these factors into account. Both Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan have argued it’s inappropriate to examine the religious views of an applicant– in essence, this suggests that the U.S. can’t screen out migrants based on their potential support for ideologies that may be anti-gay, anti-women, anti-America or anti-religious freedom.

Yet neither Clinton nor Ryan have explained why importing hundreds of thousands of migrants from nations that may hold sentiments that are anti-women, anti-gay, anti-religious tolerance, and anti-America benefits the United States or helps to protect American values.

breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/23/clinton-presidency-u-s-muslim-population-exceed-germanys-2024/

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Countries hit by terror may face more screening: Trump

AP | Jul 24, 2016

WASHINGTON: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has asserted that countries like France that he says are compromised by terrorism may be subjected to the "extreme vetting" he proposes as a deterrent to attacks in the US.

When asked if his proposal might lead to a point when not a lot of people from overseas are allowed into the U.S., Trump said, "Maybe we get to that point'' and added: "We have to be smart and we have to be vigilant and we have to be strong.''

In an interview to be aired on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Trump also defended Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who left the network amid accusations of sexual harassment; criticized rival Hillary Clinton's newly named running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, for accepting gifts while Virginia's governor; dismissed descriptions of his nomination acceptance speech as "dark," instead calling it "optimistic''; and expressed disapproval of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who is seeking a Senate seat from Louisiana.

For months Trump has called for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims seeking to enter the United States and criticized the Obama administration for continuing to admit refugees from Syria. In his speech on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, he said the US. "must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place'' _ notably leaving out any reference to Muslims or to Syria, Iraq and other Mideast nations.

In the NBC interview, Trump noted "specific problems" in Germany and France _ both countries have been rocked by fatal attacks in public places in recent weeks _ and "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked if his proposal would limit immigration from France. "They've been compromised by terrorism," Todd said.

Trump replied, "They have totally been. And you know why? It's their own fault. Because they allowed people to come into their territory.'' He then called for ``extreme vetting'' and said: "We have to have tough, we're going to have tough standards. ... If a person can't prove what they have to be able to prove, they're not coming into this country.'

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Countries-hit-by-terror-may-face-more-screening-Trump/articleshow/53361557.cms

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Kerry’s Syria plan with Russia faces deep skepticism in US and abroad

Jul 24, 2016

Skeptics in the US government, European allies in the anti-ISIS coalition and the main Syrian opposition, distrustful of Russia’s intentions, are questioning Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest proposal for closer US-Russian cooperation against extremist groups in Syria.

Several US military and intelligence officials called the plan naive, and said Kerry risks falling into a trap that Russian President Vladimir Putin has laid to discredit the United States with moderate rebel groups and drive some of their fighters into the arms of ISIS and other extremist groups.

Some European members of the coalition against ISIS forces have expressed concern about sharing intelligence with Russia, which they say has been an untrustworthy partner in Syria.

The current proposal, which Kerry hopes to conclude within weeks, envisions ways in which Washington and Moscow would share intelligence to coordinate air strikes against the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and prohibit the Syrian air force from attacking moderate rebel groups.

Kerry’s State Department and White House allies say the plan is the best chance to limit the fighting that is driving thousands of Syrians, mixed with some trained ISIS fighters, into exile in Europe and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching tens of thousands more, as well as preserving a political track.

In the end, according to two officials who support Kerry’s efforts, there is no alternative to working with the Russians.

“There are reasons to be skeptical, as with any approach in Syria, but those who criticize this plan as unlikely to work or flawed on other grounds, like working with Russia, have the responsibility of presenting something better or more effective,” said former White House Middle East advisor Philip Gordon, now with the Council on Foreign Relations think tank. Kerry’s critics say the plan is flawed, in part because as it now stands it would leave the Russians and Syrians free to use ground troops and artillery against moderate groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

‘Two basic problems’

They also say targeting the Nusra Front is difficult because in some areas its fighters are comingled with more moderate rebels.

“That underscores two basic problems that Kerry seems to be ignoring,” said one US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “One: The Russians’ aim in Syria is still either keeping Assad in power or finding some successor who is acceptable to them. ... And two: Putin has proved over and over again, and not just in Syria, that he cannot be trusted to honor any agreement he makes if he decides it’s no longer in Russia’s interest.”

Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, will have opportunities to meet within days in Geneva, Laos or both. But even if it is adopted, the plan is unlikely to provide quick relief for civilians trapped in a five-year-old civil war that the United Nations estimates has killed 400,000 people.

Kerry told reporters on Friday that Obama had “authorized and ordered this track” and that the plan would be based on specific steps, not trust. But even Kerry has refrained from voicing optimism, instead saying the effort was showing “a modicum of promise.”

A European diplomat said Kerry and Lavrov have agreed to draft a map showing where the Nusra Front operates.

“The two sides would then, through joint analysis, decide who to target ... by getting the US in the same tactical room; Moscow would then have to guarantee that Assad’s planes stopped bombing,” the diplomat told Reuters. “He is, in his Kerry way, optimistic. But the devil is in the details, and we’re not convinced that Moscow is serious.”

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the United States and Russia have an understanding to minimize the danger of aircraft interfering or colliding with each other, and that the British were covered by that understanding.

“But it certainly does not extend to any cooperation over targeting, and we would not welcome that,” Fallon said at an event in Washington.

Many US officials are concerned that sharing intelligence with Russia could risk revealing US intelligence sources, methods and capabilities.

‘Expect tricks’

Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said that even if the plan is agreed upon, it would be for only a short time, until the next US administration takes office. Obama’s presidency ends in January.

“I’m afraid Assad will expect tricks from the Americans,” Klimov told Reuters. “They have been saying constantly he’s an outcast ... and now they’re about to tell Assad, ‘You know, please give us a day’s advance notice before you want to trash someone with your forces.’”

“Every time while talking to Assad we have to convince him, give arguments, additional guarantees. ... We can’t give him orders, he’s on his own soil.”

Following a meeting with Putin last week, Kerry expressed concern about indiscriminate bombings by Syrian forces, but did not mention Russian violations of a cessation of hostilities agreement, although the CIA publicly has pointed to them.

“What’s striking is not what Kerry has said, but what he’s failed to say,” said another US official, adding that Kerry had left out the “inconvenient facts” about Russian violations.

Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Syria and now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute think tank in Washington, told Reuters that whether it was Moscow’s bad intent or lack of leverage, “it’s not clear to me that the Russians can deliver on their side of the deal.”

The Syrian opposition said it was concerned whether Russia could succeed in getting the Assad’s government to ground its air force.

“The (Obama) administration has put its bet on the good faith cooperation of the Russians, with so far very disappointing results,” Basma Kodmani, a member of the main Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee, told Reuters in Washington last week.

english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2016/07/24/Kerry-s-Syria-plan-with-Russia-faces-deep-skepticism-in-US-and-abroad.html

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John Kerry: Climate Change as Big a Threat as Islamic State

Jul 24, 2016

At an international meeting on global warming Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry compared the effects of climate change to the horrors of Islamic terrorism, suggesting that the two pose an equivalent danger to the world’s population.

“Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations – defense ministers and foreign ministers – as we were working together on the challenge of Daesh, ISIL, and terrorism,” Kerry said at the Vienna summit. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

Kerry’s statement was all the more remarkable because no hyperbole was intended. He actually meant that reducing the world’s use of hydrofluorocarbons, which he called “exceptionally potent drivers of climate change,” is just as important for the security of the world as combatting Islamic terrorism.

Bizarrely, Kerry spoke these words in the midst of one of the most violent periods in the history of Islamic terror. Barely a week has passed since a Muslim terrorist drove his truck through a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, mowing down children, men, and women, leaving 84 dead and scores injured.

The Islamic State celebrated a particularly bloody month of attacks during the Muslim holy season of Ramadan, which ran from June 5 to July 5, boasting that it was responsible for 5,200 people being killed or wounded in “military operations” during the sacred time.

Instigated by an Islamic State call to jihad, Muslim terrorists carried out targeted deadly attacks in Orlando, Afghanistan, Kenya, Lebanon, Istanbul, and Bangladesh, all during the month of Ramadan.

Secretary Kerry went on to explain why climate change is just as dangerous for world security as the terrorists behind these heinous crimes.

“Week after week, month after month, year after year,” he said, “we continue to see new evidence, scientific evidence, tangible evidence, of the danger that climate change poses to life on our planet.”

These words came just two days after a group of climate scientists released findings that one of the most cited examples of accelerated global warming—the Antarctic Peninsula—had nothing to do with human behavior whatsoever, but was “entirely consistent with natural climate variability.”

Moreover, the scientists also found that the warming trend had naturally reversed itself twenty years ago and “for the early years of the twenty-first century the peninsula has in the main been cooling.”

The Secretary’s speech also followed hard on the heels of another report, released by EcoWatch, revealing that “livestock emissions” are more dangerous for the environment than the combined output of planes, trains, and automobiles.

Simply through their normal biological processes, the article stated, cows produce a remarkable 14.5 to 18 percent of the global total of greenhouse gases, more than the transportation sector of the entire planet.

Although Secretary Kerry undoubtedly intended no disrespect to the families of the thousands of victims who have died at the hands of Islamic terrorists, his words make a mockery of their deaths.

His evident inability to evaluate the relative danger of America’s enemies—and those of the planet—suggest that the end of his tenure as secretary of state cannot come too soon.

thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2013/03/28/10-Weapons-You-Wont-Believe-Are-Legal?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral&utm_term=breitbartcom--------

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South Asia

Bangladesh arrests four female militants in hunt for cafe attackers

Jul 24, 2016

DHAKA: Police in Bangladesh arrested on Sunday four female members of a home-grown militant group blamed for a bloody attack on a cafe in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners, an officer said.

Authorities have intensified a hunt for militants after five young men stormed the upmarket restaurant popular with foreigners on July 1. Among those killed were nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American and an Indian.

The five militants were gunned down when security forces moved in.

Police believe that Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned group that has pledged allegiance to the militant Islamic State (IS) group, played a significant role in organising the group of privileged, educated young men who carried out the attack. The four women members of the group, aged 18 to 30, who were arrested in from the northwestern district of Sirajganj, were believed to have been plotting an attack, police said.

"Acting on a tip-off, our force raided a rented house where a large amount of grenade-making materials, crude bombs and jihadi books were also found," district police superintendent Siraj Uddin Ahmed told reporters.

The women would be interrogated to determine if they had any link to the Dhaka cafe attack, he said.

On Thursday, four other members of the banned group, including a regional head, were arrested.

The cafe attack was one of the worst militant attacks ever in Bangladesh.

Al Qaeda and IS have made competing claims for a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the country over the past year.

The government dismissed the claims and instead blamed domestic militant groups, but security experts say the scale and sophistication of the cafe assault suggested links to a trans-national network.

nation.com.pk/international/24-Jul-2016/bangladesh-arrests-four-female-militants-in-hunt-for-cafe-attackers

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ISIS Attack on Kabul Protest Kills At Least 80, Wounds 231

Agencies | Jul 23, 2016

KABUL: At least 80 people were killed and another 231 wounded in the Afghan capital on Saturday, when a suicide bomber+ detonated his explosives-packed clothing among a large crowd of demonstrators, officials and witnesses said.

In a statement issued by its news agency, Aamaq, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on a protest march by Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras. The marchers were demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province. Most Hazaras are Shia Muslims, while most Afghans are Sunni.

Waheed Majroeh, the head of international relations for the ministry of public health, confirmed the death toll and said it was likely to rise "as the condition of many of the injured is very serious."

Footage on Afghan television and photographs posted on social media showed a scene of horror and carnage, with numerous bodies and body parts spread across the square.

Other witnesses said that after the blast, security personnel shot their weapons in the air to disperse the crowd. Secondary attacks have been known to target people who come to the aid of those wounded in a first explosion.

Road blocks that had been set up overnight to prevent the marchers accessing the center of the city or the presidential palace hampered efforts to transfer some of the wounded to hospital, witnesses said. People took to social media to call for blood donations.

Angry demonstrations sealed some of the area around the square, and prevented police and other security forces from entering. Some threw stones at security forces.

The government had received intelligence that an attack on the march could take place, and had warned the organizers, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani told The Associated Press.

"We had intelligence over recent days and it was shared with the demonstration organizers, we shared our concerns because we knew that terrorists wanted to bring sectarianism to our community," presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said.

Two suicide bombers had attempted to target the demonstrators, who were gathering in Demazang Square as their four-hour protest march wound down, Haroon Chakhansuri said. One of the suicide bombers was shot by the police, he told AP. He said that three district police chiefs on duty at the square were injured and another three security personnel were killed.

He said Ghani planned to meet with the organizers later on Saturday, and would make a live television appearance after that.

None of the organizers could be immediately reached for comment.

Earlier, one of the march organizers, Laila Mohammadi, said she arrived at the scene soon after the blast and saw "many dead and wounded people."

Ghani released a statement condemning the blast. "Peaceful demonstrations are the right of every citizen of Afghanistan and the government will do everything it can to provide them with security," Ghani said, blaming the blasts on what he called "terrorists."

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, US army Gen. John Nicholson condemned the attack. He said in a statement that "our condolences go out to those who are affected by today's attack. We strongly condemn the actions of Afghanistan's enemies of peace and remain firmly committed to supporting our Afghan partners and the National Unity Government."

The US embassy in Kabul also issued a condemnation, saying: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the deceased, and we wish all of those who were wounded a full recovery."

The rights group Amnesty International said the "horrific attack ... demonstrates the utter disregard that armed groups have for human life."

"Such attacks are a reminder that the conflict in Afghanistan is not winding down, as some believe, but escalating, with consequences for the human rights situation in the country that should alarm us all," it quoted Champa Patel, Amnesty's South Asia director, as saying.

Violence had been widely feared at what was the second demonstration by Hazaras over the power line issue. The last one in May attracted tens of thousands of people, also shutting down the central business district.

The May march was attended by Hazara political leaders, who were notable by their absence on Saturday.

At the height of the march, demonstrators chanted slogans against the president and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, shouting "death to discrimination" and "all Afghans are equal."

The so-called TUTAP power line is backed by the Asian Development Bank with involvement of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The original plan routed the line through Bamiyan province, in the central highlands, where most of the country's Hazaras live.

That route was changed in 2013 by the previous Afghan government. Leaders of the marches have said that the rerouting was evidence of bias against the Hazara community, which accounts for up to 15 percent of Afghanistan's estimated 30 million-strong population. They are considered the poorest of the country's ethnic groups, and often complain of discrimination. Bamiyan province, where most Hazara people live in the central highlands, is poverty stricken, though it is largely peaceful and has potential as a tourist destination.

Hazaras, most of whom are Shia Muslims, were especially persecuted during the extremist Sunni Taliban 1996-2001 regime.

The Taliban's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an earlier email that his insurgent group was not responsible for the blast. The Taliban have been waging a vicious insurgency against the Kabul government for 15 years, since their regime was overthrown by the US invasion in 2001. They rarely issue such statements denying involvement in suicide attacks.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/IS-attack-on-Kabul-protest-kills-at-least-80-wounds-231/articleshow/53355940.cms

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Relations with Pakistan bigger challenge than Al-Qaeda, Taliban: Afghan President

Jul 24, 2016

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday said state to state relations with Pakistan are a bigger challenge for Afghanistan than the existence of terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

In an interview with Geo News, the Afghan President alleged that Pakistan provides sanctuaries to terrorists and trains them, making relations with Pakistan, the bigger challenge for his country.

"We cannot understand when Pakistan says it will not allow a group of terrorists to amend its constitution, army act and prepares a National Action Plan (NAP) against them. Simultaneously, Pakistan tolerates another group which attempts to undermine the government and bring horror, death and destruction to Afghanistan," said Ghani.

The Afghan president claimed he can provide addresses of Taliban leaders in Quetta.

'11 attacks on Fazlullah'

Ghani claimed that Afghan forces have bombed the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, eleven times along with attacks on his close aides.

"Can you show me a single operation against the Haqqani network, against Mullah Omar, against Mullah Mansoor, Mansoor traveled on a Pakistani passport out of Karachi, does Fazlullah travel on an Afghan passport out of Kabul," asked Ghani.

The Afghan premier also alleged terrorists wounded in Afghanistan are openly treated in Pakistani hospitals.

"Afghan designated terrorists also hold open meetings in Islamabad."

Ghani, earlier this month issued a similar statement, however, lauded Pakistan's operation in the tribal areas but added Haqqani network and groups threatening Afghanistan were spared in these offensives.

'Mullah Omar's death news leaked by Taliban'

Ghani rejected allegations that Afghan government had leaked the news of former Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar's death, which resulted in suspension of Pakistan-facilitated dialogue between the Taliban and government in Murree.

"The news of Mullah Omar's death came from the Taliban. We did not leak it, we just gave an official statement. After the news was leaked, we confirmed it from 19 sources, all within Taliban network," said the Afghan president.

'Proud of friendship with India'

The Afghan President, while answering a question, stated Afghanistan is proud of its friendship with India, as India shares Afghanistan's democratic aspirations.

"India is a historical friend of Afghanistan, India is building dams in Afghanistan, it is a democratic country and shares our democratic aspirations," said Ghani, adding that his country's foreign policy is no other country's business.

He said freedom to forge relations with other countries is the 'essence of sovereignty and the essence of regional stability'.

Three point agenda

Ghani presented a three point agenda in order to build trust measure with Pakistan.

Go after declared terrorist groups, if you don't take action against them, we won't trust you.

Act on the quadrilateral process, regarding reconcilable and irreconcilable (groups).

Those who reject peace talks should be evacuated from Pakistan.

dawn.com/news/1272895/relations-with-pakistan-bigger-challenge-than-al-qaeda-taliban-afghan-president

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Ghani names Deh Mazang ‘Martyrs Square’ after deadly attack

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jul 24 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has named Deh Mazang ‘Martyrs Squre’ following a deadly attack that left over 80 dead.

The Office of the President in a statement said President Ghani has named Deh Mazang ‘Matyrs Squre’ to honor and respect the victims of the brutal attack as well as help remember those who have lost their lives to support democracy in the country.

The statement further added that the Municipality of Kabul has been instructed to take actions to name the Deh Mazang ‘Martys Squre’.

President Ghani has said the decision was taken so that the generations of the country remember that value of democracy and what cost the Afghan people have achieved it.

The incident in Deh Mazang took place on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of thousands of people had gathered to protest against the government over a power project which was originally supposed to be implemented through Bamyan province.

The Ministry of Interior said at least 80 were killed and 231 others were wounded in the attack.

The Taliban group rejected hand in the attack but the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has loyalists fighting in Afghanistan claimed responsibility.

In a statement released online, the group said two of its suicide bombers targeted the gathering in Deh Mazang area.

khaama.com/ghani-names-deh-mazang-martyrs-square-after-deadly-attack-01553

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Graft money used in militancy, says ACC chairman

Jul 24, 2016

Fund raised through corruption is used in militancy, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Iqbal Mahmud said today.

No one will remain safe if terrorism and militancy cannot be curbed, the anti-graft body chairman told journalists at a view-exchange meeting at his office.

About corruption in banking sector, the ACC chairman said the anti-graft body will take measures against private banks if evidence of graft and financial irregularities are found against them.

“We will leave no stone unturned to stop corruption in the banking sector,” Mahmud said.

The anti-graft watchdog will hold talks with the central bank over corruption both in private and public banks, he said.

The ACC has given maximum priority to the private banks to fight corruption in the country’s banking sector, he added.

thedailystar.net/country/steps-against-private-banks-grafts-soon-acc-chief-1258603

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Lashkar-e-Islam Chief Mangal Bagh killed in US drone strike

Jul 24, 2016

KABUL: Notorious militant commander and head of defunct Lashkar-e-Islam Chief Mangal Bagh has been killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan Nangarhar’s province, Afghan media reported on Sunday.

The Pakistan government had fixed Rs 20 million bounty on his head.

The death has been confirmed by intelligence agencies and the government officials.

Bagh was head of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam organisation. He was wanted by Pakistani security forces for involvement in a number of terrorist activities.

He was injured in a drone strike that took place on the night of July 22 in Khoudi Khola area of the Afghan province. Later on, he succumbed to his injuries, the reports further claimed while quoting intelligence and Taliban sources.

Meanwhile, the Lashkar-e-Islam has not yet confirmed the reports of the death of their chief.

It is also pertinent to be mentioned here that Mangal Bagh’s is also referred as Haji Amir Mangal Bagh. He belonged to Afridi tribe and hailed from Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency.

Mangal Bagh was said to be a local driver originally, who later formed the militant group Lashkar-e-Islam.

Mangal Bagh and most of his fighters had fled to Afghanistan following Pakistan Army’s operation Zarb e Azb. The Laskar-e-Islam has not confirmed the death of its chief.

nation.com.pk/international/24-Jul-2016/lashkar-e-islam-chief-mangal-bagh-killed-in-us-drone-strike

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ISIS commander behind barbaric civilians execution killed in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jul 24 2016

A commander of the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group who was involved in the barbaric execution of at least 11 civilians has been killed in an airstrike in Nangarhar province.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the airstrike was carried out by the foreign forces late on Friday night in Achin district.

He said the ISIS commander was identified as Jangal Pacha and was killed along with 7 other ISIS militants in the airstrike.

The loyalists of ISIS terrorist group have not commented regarding the report so far.

The horrific execution video was released earlier in the month of August last year which purportedly showed the ISIS loyalists forcing the men to sit on landmines and subsequently detonating the explosives.

The loyalists of the terror group claimed that the men were supporting the government and US forces and were looking to coordinate drone strikes against ISIS militants in Nangarhar.

The death of Jangal Pacha comes as both the Afghan and US forces have stepped up raids against the loyalists of the terror group in this province.

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched a major operation against the terror group last week days after President Ghani ordered to root out the terrorists from Nangarhar.

khaama.com/isis-commander-behind-barbaric-civilians-execution-killed-in-nangarhar-01551

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3 key Taliban commanders arrested in North of Afghanistan: MoI

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jul 24 2016

Three key commanders of the Taliban group have been arrested during an operation in northern Samangan province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Saturday “Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and NDS launched a joint clearance operation to clear Dara-e-Sof district from the armed Taliban.”

According to a statement by MoI “As a result of this joint operation, three armed Taliban key commanders were arrested named Khairullah, Abdul Haq and Bakhtiyar.”

The statement further added that the commanders were involved in many terrorist activities in this district and other areas of Samangan province.

MoI said the arrest of the Taliban commanders will have a positive impact over the security situation in Dara-e-Sof district.

“After eliminating this group the security situation in this district is expected to improve,” MoI added

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

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups are active in a number of the remote districts of Samangan province.

khaama.com/3-key-taliban-commanders-arrested-in-north-of-afghanistan-moi-01550

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War crimes: Quasem seeks deferral of review hearing

Jul 24, 2016

Convicted war criminal Mir Quasem Ali today filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking two-month deferment on his review hearing against the judgement that upheld his death penalty.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court is scheduled to start the review petition tomorrow.

Mir Ahmmad Bin Quasem, son of Quasem, told The Daily Star his father submitted the petition seeking more time.

Khandker Mahbub Hossain, principal lawyer for Quasem, in the petition said that he needs two months time for preparing arguments on the review petition.

On June 21, the apex court fixed July 25 for the hearing of the petition seeking review of its judgement.

On June 19, Quasem submitted the petition to the apex court through his lawyers seeking review of its verdict that had upheld his death penalty for crimes committed by him during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

In the petition, the Jamaat-e-Islami leader prayed to the SC to acquit him of all seven charges on which he was found guilty.

The International Crimes Tribunal on June 6 issued a death warrant for Quasem Ali hours after the SC had released the full text of its verdict upholding his death penalty.

On November 2, 2014, the ICT-2 handed down capital punishment on 63-year-old Quasem, chief of Chittagong Al-Badr force, for committing crimes against humanity in 1971.

On March 8 this year, the Appellate Division upheld the ICT-2 verdict.

Quasem is considered by many as the main financier of the anti-liberation party. He allegedly paid $25 million to an American lobbyist firm to carry out a smear campaign to make the war crimes trial controversial, the then law minister Shafique Ahmed told parliament on April 28, 2013.

The death row war criminal was shifted to the Dhaka Central Jail from Kashimpur prison of Gazipur on June 20.

thedailystar.net/country/war-crimes-quasem-seeks-deferral-review-hearing-1258618

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Muslim Youths advised to shun violence ahead of polls

Jul 24, 2016

This was contained in a position paper of the Movement, presented at its seventh general meeting held in Koforidua and read by Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed Marzuq Azindoo, its’ Director of Communications.

“Unity and tolerance, essential ingredients of peaceful elections 2016” was the theme chosen for the event.

It encouraged its members to flag people out there to instigate violence to the security agencies to neutralize them.

Again, it asked that they worked closely with civil society organizations on voter education in the predominantly Muslim communities to aid everybody to conduct themselves well.

Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, said he had the Zongo community at heart and that he was determined to go to all lengths to bring progress to the people there.

He donated 100 bags of cement towards the construction of the Islamic Education Unit Office block.

Alhaji Zakaria Sampson Kwakwa, Eastern Regional Treasurer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the government had initiated policies targeted at developing the Zongo and the Muslim communities.

He said in response to the request by Muslim women to have Muslim girls trained as gynaecologists to supervise deliveries, 80 young females had been given scholarship to study medicine, some of them outside Ghana.

newsghana.com.gh/muslim-youths-advised-to-shun-violence-ahead-of-polls/

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Militants can avail a second chance to life, says IGP

Jul 24, 2016

Youths who joined militancy can avail a second chance to normal life if they are willing, Bangladesh’s police chief AKM Shahidul Haque assured today.

Police will not harass them further if they leave militancy and return to normal lives, the inspector general of police said at a programme in Cox’s Bazar.

The country has experienced a spate of militant attacks including the recent Holey Artisan Bakery and Sholakia attacks this July. The recent attacks were carried out by youths.

The talented youths are brainwashed with a misinterpretation that killing people of diverse faiths will lead a path to heaven,” he said citing from information gathered from detained militants.

“If any youth who, got involved in militant activities, wants normal life after admitting their faults, police won’t harass them by any means,” IGP Shahidul Haque underscored.

Highlighting the need for a national unity to root out militancy from the country, the police chief said: “The militants are defaming Islam in name of so-called jihad.”

He was speaking in a view exchange meeting on preventing terrorism and militancy attended by people from diverse professions. Law enforcers and local authorities were present.

thedailystar.net/country/militants-can-avail-second-chance-life-igp-1258630

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Mideast

Turkey ruling, opposition parties to rally together after coup

Jul 24, 2016

ISTANBUL: Supporters of Turkey's ruling and main opposition parties, usually bitter foes, were set to rally together on Sunday in support of democracy following a failed military coup as President Tayyip Erdogan tightens his grip on the country.

In another demonstration of unity after the coup, which was staged by a faction within the armed forces, the head of Turkey's air force issued a rare statement stressing "absolute obedience" to the chief of the military General Staff. Some members of the air force were involved in the coup.

The chief of the military General Staff, Hulusi Akar, who was held hostage by the plotters on the night of July 15, condemned the plotters on Sunday as "cowards in uniform" who had greatly harmed the nation and the army.

Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death during the attempted coup, has declared a state of emergency, allowing him to sign laws without prior parliamentary approval in a drive to root out supporters of the coup.

He has accused U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has many followers in Turkey, of masterminding the abortive coup. In his first decree Erdogan ordered the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and foundations with suspected links to Gulen, who denies involvement in the coup.

Critics of Erdogan fear he is using the abortive coup to wage an indiscriminate crackdown on dissent. The foundations targeted include the Association of Judges and Prosecutors, a secular group that criticised a judicial bill drafted by the Islamist-rooted AK Party and now signed into law by Erdogan.

But demonstrators gathering for Sunday evening's planned cross-party "Republic and Democracy" rally in Istanbul's central Taksim Square will try to set aside such concerns for now in a spirit of unity following the failed coup, in which at least 246 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured.

SHOW OF UNITY

"This coup attempt has shown once again how precious democracy and are freedoms for us all," Engin Altay, deputy head of the main secularist opposition CHP parliamentary party, told a news conference.

"All 133 CHP members of parliament will be at Taksim. But we are not the only owners of democracy, everybody must come to the meeting and show the world how much democracy has been internalised (by Turks)," he added.

The CHP and other political parties swiftly joined the ruling Islamist-rooted AKP in condemning the coup attempt, mindful of four other military interventions in Turkey in the past 60 years. The last full-scale coup in 1980 led to mass arrests of politicians and others, torture and executions.

Taksim Square, like much of Istanbul and other cities, is awash with Turkish flags and CHP supporters were also carrying pictures of their hero Kemal Ataturk, the soldier who founded the secular republic on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

Supporters of Erdogan's AKP, which has ruled Turkey since 2002, have generally tended to use religious symbols and rhetoric. But the coup has united both sides in a blaze of nationalist fervour. Istanbul's AKP mayor, Kadir Toptas, has provided free public transport for the rally.

The chief of Turkey's Air Force, Abidin Unal, issued a statement saying efforts were continuing "day and night to cleanse the Turkish armed forces of Gulenist terrorists and traitors who have became a tumour within our army."

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday authorities had taken around 13,000 people into custody over the coup attempt, including 8,831 soldiers. He pledged they would have a fair trial.

Yildirim also said Turkey did not plan to extend emergency rule beyond a period of three months but will do so if needed.

Turkey's Supreme Military Council (YAS) will meet under Erdogan's supervision on July 28. Erdogan told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that he would restructure the armed forces and bring in "fresh blood".

After the coup, Western countries pledged support for democracy in Turkey, a NATO ally and an important partner in the fight against Islamic State, but have also expressed concern over the scale of subsequent purges of state institutions.

Turkish authorities have suspended, detained or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants and others in the past week on suspicion of links to the Gulen movement.

thenews.com.pk/latest/137330-Turkey-ruling-opposition-parties-to-rally-together-after-coup

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Turkey to shut down all Gülen-linked companies

Jul 24, 2016

Turkey will investigate and shut down all companies linked to the supporters of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of attempting to overthrow the government and being behind the failed July 15 military coup attempt, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said on July 24.

“Companies that sponsor the Fethullah Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] and provide financial resources to it will be identified one by one. Investigations will be opened into them and they will be closed, or necessary procedures will be applied against them,” Tüfenkci added.  

His comments come after the government shut down more than 2,000 Gülen-linked institutions across Turkey following the deadly July 15 coup attempt.

According to decrees published in the Official Gazette on July 23, some 35 health institutions and organizations as well as 1,043 private education institutions, organizations, dormitories, and hostels were closed for having links with Gülen. A total of 1,229 foundations and associations, 19 unions, federations and confederations, and 15 foundation schools were also closed.

The measures were taken under the three-month state of emergency in the country, which Tüfenkci vowed was “just to enable state institutions to take decisions more quickly and effectively.”

“People are still on the streets. Trade still continues. The nation continues to do its shopping. We took this decision in order to take necessary decisions quickly, without any restrictions on the economy,” he added.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-shut-down-all-gulen-linked-companies--.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102009&NewsCatID=341

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Turkey military coup, through the eyes of an Indian

Jul 24, 2016

Soumyajit Mazumdar had landed in Istanbul along with 40 others on the afternoon of July 15 to shoot for a Bengali feature film. No soon had the Indian entertainment crew started their one-month long Turkish schedule that they received news of political disturbance on the streets of Istanbul and the prospect of cancellation of their shoot.

“My friend and I had planned out a trip to the Bosphorous bridge the evening of our arrival, but had to stay on at our hotel rooms since we could not get a bus. At around late evening, my friend from India started messaging me enquiring about an army coup,” says Mazumdar.

In the evening, Turkey witnessed a bloody coup organised by its army to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan in the name of reclaiming democracy. Turkey is hardly a novice to army coups. Since 1960, the army has staged five coups in the name of defending democracy and secularism of the kind visualised by the Republic’s founding father, Kemal Attaturk. However, for an Indian from Kolkata, the prospect of a major city getting occupied by the military within a matter of few hours is definitely befuddling. Mazumdar spoke to Indianexpress.com to discuss his experience of being an outsider, stuck in the failed military coup in Turkey.

“As the evening progressed, we started getting frantic calls from friends and family in India. My family had slept. By the time they woke up, all phone lines were jammed and there was no way for them to contact me. Our shoot the following day got cancelled. The Indian Embassy asked us to stay in.”

A group within the Turkish military had taken control over key regions, used guns, army tanks and helicopters in its attempt to bring down President Erdogan. Violent clashes had broken out on to the streets ending in a death toll of 194 along with about 1,100 being injured.

However, the Turkish military was far from successful from its attempt at toppling the President. While Erdogan appealed to the citizens to take to the streets, opposing forces within the military and those in favour of the President managed to fight back with the coup organisers to restore normalcy.

“We stepped out the following day and our work was back on track. The Turkish president asked people to take to the streets, which they did. We saw people shouting slogans of peace and democracy.

Erdogan had come back to power in 2015 winning over 50 per cent of the votes. In the ensuing months after his victory, he has often been accused of Islamization in Turkey as he clamped down upon free speech and tried to ensure a more religious content in Turkish education. The Turkish army on the other hand claim to be defenders of secularism. But the fact that Turkish citizens wholeheartedly preserved the authority of Erdogan does raise questions about the validity of claims to western secularism that the country maintains.

“On interacting with people here I realized that the country’s president is conservative while the army is seen as liberal. However, even those who do not support the president and his efforts at Islamization want peace to be retained in the country. Hence they were completely opposed to the coup.”

Islam remains the religion of the majority in Turkey. However, unlike most other Islamic countries, the Republic of Turkey, since its inception in 1923 has been on a steady course towards Europeanization. The strands of conservative Islam evident in any Muslim majority country is starkly missing in Turkey and is quite noticeable to a foreigner.

“I met with a lady on the bus who mentioned to me that the problem with Turkey is that we are liberal Muslims. I visited the Blue mosque and was surprised to find that there was no religious rules on entering the mosque like covering your head, which is common in any other mosque world over. Overall the atmosphere in Turkey is very European.”

From the view of an outsider, Turkey’s safeguard of an Islamic leader’s authority in a predominant western atmosphere would appear perplexing. However, Mazumdar goes on to observe that while the overall mood in the country might be secular, there is also a spirit of nationalistic fervour that is so conspicuous and is in his opinion, one of the prime reasons why the coup was unsuccessful.

“I noticed that every other building in Turkey hoists a national flag. This mood of patriotism is not so apparent in India, perhaps because of our versatility. There is an atmosphere of patriotism in Turkey which in belief has been able to overcome the coup.”

As Mazumdar and his team continue with their shoot as scheduled in Turkey, a state of emergency has been declared in the country for a period of three months. Private schools, charities and other institutions have been shut down. Public transport has been made free of cost and banners are hung all over Istanbul with words that say “Hakimiyet Millentindir” (The people rule).

indianexpress.com/article/world/turkey-military-coup-through-the-eyes-of-an-indian/

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Turkey-Trained ISIL Terrorist Arrested in Iraq

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the ISIL terrorist group who has been captured by Iraq's security forces admitted that he had received military training in Turkey and sent to Iraq.

"A team of the army's intelligence forces arrested an ISIL terrorist near Baqubah who has been trained in Turkey," Sadeq al-Hosseini, the head of the security committee of Diyala province's council, announced on Sunday in an interview with al-Soumeriya news channel.

"The activities of terrorist groups to recruit and train the Iraqis are not limited to the country and ISIL cells are stationed in certain neighboring states and are recruiting and brainwashing them."

Turkey and Saudi Arabia are both part of an effort to create an alleged “Islam Army,” ostensibly aimed at combating terrorism in the region and consisting of 34 Sunni Islam nations.

Almost the entire range of extremist and terrorist groups are supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with their key commanders and leaders being Saudi nationals. ISIL, Al-Nusra and other extremist groups pursue the same line of ideology exercised and promoted by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism. Hundreds of Saudi clerics are among the ranks of ISIL and Al-Nusra to mentor the militants.

Wahhabism is now the only source of the textbooks taught at schools in the self-declared capital of the ISIL terrorist group, Raqqa, in Northeastern Syria resembling the texts and lessons taught to schoolgoers in Saudi Arabia. The Wahhabi ideology, an extremist version of Sunni Islam that is promoted almost only in Saudi Arabia, sees all other faiths - from other interpretations of Sunni Islam to Shiism, Christianity and Judaism - as blasphemy, meaning that their followers should be decapitated as nonbelievers.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503001183

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The coup was a terrorist campaign: Turkish envoy

Jul 24, 2016

JEDDAH: Turkey has made it clear that no diplomat working in Turkish missions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been arrested for any link to the the coup attempt.

Addressing the Saudi media at a press conference held here this week, Turkey’s Permanent Representative to OIC Salih Mutlu Sen welcomed the GCC’s support to the Turkish government during coup attempt and said Ankara has full support of the Kingdom, as also that of other GCC and Arab countries in this hour of crisis.

The Turkish envoy however confirmed that the Turkish military attaché to Kuwait has been arrested by Saudi authorities, but there is no further information about this issue.

Sen explained the reasons for arresting a large number of government and military officials as a result of the coup attempt.

“Turkey has its laws based on democracy and the Turkish Parliament has full authority to deal with such officials who were involved in the failed military coup,” he said.

Giving updates on the developments in Turkey, he said the “Turkish authorities have arrested a large number of officials, who were influenced by Fethullah Gülen,” the man said to be behind the coup and who is currently in the US.

“Unfortunately, his toxic influence has infiltrated deep inside government institutions,” he said.

Sen said: “The Turkish government has now full control of the government machinery; normal life has returned and preliminary investigations have proved that the coup attempt was more than a treacherous plot.”

It was, he said, a “terrorist campaign,” because elements of the coup attempt have opened fire on the Turkish people and their leaders were stabbed in the back.”

“The vast majority of the Turkish people stood beside the government and the armed forces against the coup attempt,” he said.

Sen said: “The participants in the coup attempt were simply members of the air force, gendarmerie and others military units. But the security agencies took the necessary measures to foil this attempt. The Turkish people also showed strong solidarity with the government.”

“The ‘terrorists’ tried to broadcast their message on the state’s TV channel, but the Turkish media also played a vital role to defeat the coup attempt,” he said.

Sen confirmed the Turkish government detained 7,543 people involved in this attempt.

More than 24 coup plotters were killed, 50 military officers and soldiers were arrested after they were injured, as well as 100 police, 6,038 soldiers, 755 judges and prosecutors, and 650 civilians were also arrested.

arabnews.com/node/958771/saudi-arabia

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Iran condemns Kabul twin blasts, urges unity

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned twin bomb attacks by the Islamic State group that ripped through crowds of minority Shiite Hazaras in the Afghan capital, killing at least 80.

"Afghanistan terror bombings another instance of depth of Daesh depravity: Shia and Sunni are both victims & must unite to defeat extremists," Zarif tweeted on Saturday, using another name for IS.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi added that "eradicating this unfortunate phenomenon (IS) wouldn´t be possible without a joint cooperation and understanding among all countries".

The "inhumane and un-Islamic" attacks were "unjustifiable anywhere," he added.

IS claimed responsibility for the Saturday blasts, which hit during a huge protest in Kabul, and which were the deadliest attacks there since 2001.

The first major IS assault on Kabul was apparently aimed at sowing sectarian discord in a country known for relative Shia-Sunni harmony.

Iran, a country with a large Shiite majority, has a long border with Afghanistan, where the minority Hazara Shiites were bombed on Saturday.

thenews.com.pk/latest/137310-Iran-condemns-Kabul-twin-blasts-urges-unity

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Ankara mayor suggests Gülen uses genies to ‘enslave people’

Jul 24, 2016

Gülen uses genies to “enslave” people, speaking after the July 15 failed coup attempt, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)” was behind.

“How can Fethullah Gülen control such a large number of people? What makes him different?” the host of a TV show on private broadcaster CNN Türk asked Gökçek, to which the Ankara mayor replied that Gülen used “genies.” 

“This may sound funny to you, but he does it with a strange method. He does it with the ‘three-lettered things.’ Everyone now can debate this. He enslaves people with the ‘three-lettered things,’” Gökçek said, using a Turkish phrase to refer to the word “genie.”

“It’s obvious that a lot people have been enslaved in previous times and then were saved. He has the ability to do this too. People have become mesmerized and enslaved,” the Ankara mayor added.

hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-mayor-suggests-gulen-uses-genies-to-enslave-people.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102005&NewsCatID=341

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13,165 detained over failed coup attempt: Erdoğan

Jul 24, 2016

A total of 13,165 people have been detained over the July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, as he commented on the ongoing operations against members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says was behind the failed attempt.

“Some 8,838 among the detained are soldiers, 2,101 are judges and prosecutors, 1,485 are police officers, 52 are local authorities and 689 are civilians,” Erdoğan said in a speech broadcast in squares around Turkey, while adding that 123 among the jailed 5,863 individuals were generals, 282 were high-ranking police officers and 1,559 were judges and prosecutors.

“The interrogations of the others are ongoing,” he also said.

Saying that a total of 246 people were killed, of whom 62 were police officers, 179 were civilians and five were soldiers, Erdoğan noted that 2,186 people were also wounded.

“A total of 934 schools, 109 dormitories, 15 universities, 104 foundations, 35 health institutions, 1,125 associations and 19 unions belonging to FETÖ have been closed down. Their assets were seized by the state,” he added.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said a total of 3,000 judges and prosecutors would be appointed in November, as he added there were a sufficient number of personnel to fill the spots emptied due to suspensions in the framework of the anti-FETÖ operations.

“There won’t be any disruption or problems in the trial processes of our citizens. They won’t have a hard time. We’ve taken precautions regarding this issue. We had planned to appoint 1,500 judges and prosecutors in November. Upon the recent developments we decided to appoint 3,000 of them,” Bozdağ said in a TV interview, adding that 800 lawyers would become judges and prosecutors.

“The other 2,200 will be appointed from the graduates of law schools,” he also said.

Elsewhere, Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz also commented on appointments, saying that 20,000 teachers would fill the spots emptied due to suspensions of teachers linked to FETÖ.

“I previously said that the appointment of new teachers will be done in February 2017. However, upon the new situation that emerged, we will appoint teachers this year on contract or interview,” Yılmaz told journalists in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, after attending a meeting to protest the fail coup attempt.

“The licenses of the suspended teachers have been canceled,” he also said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/13165-detained-over-failed-coup-attempt-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102004&NewsCatID=341

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Gülen more dangerous than Bin Laden: Turkish EU minister

Jul 24, 2016

U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the main suspect behind the bloody July 15 coup attempt, is more dangerous than former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, Turkey’s EU minister has said, while also criticizing the bloc for failing to stand by Turkey during the unrest.

“The head of the terrorists, Fethullah Gülen, is more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden,” EU Minister Ömer Çelik told a news conference on July 23.

The minister said he was surprised by the lack of visits from senior European Union figures one week after the attempted coup.

“We would expect officials of the European Union, European Parliament and European Council to visit Turkey to voice their support for the common democratic values we share by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Turkey,” he said.

However, Çelik thanked all Turkey’s allies for their messages of support.

“There is no doubt that the values in danger are the common values of all of us,” Çelik said, adding: “We have enough power to protect our own democracy.”

Çelik said the aim of the current state of emergency was “to protect democracy, to protect the state of law, to protect the rights and liberties of our citizens and to protect peace in our country.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/gulen-more-dangerous-than-bin-laden-turkish-eu-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101997&NewsCatID=341

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Turkey detains senior aide to Fethullah Gulen

 24 July 2016

Turkey has detained a senior aide to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who it blames for the coup attempt aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an official said on Saturday.

Security forces detained Hails Hanci in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, the official said, describing Hanci as a “right-hand man” of Gulen and responsible for transferring funds to him.

Gulen denies being behind the failed coup.

The official said Hanci “apparently” entered the country two days before the attempted putsch that erupted late on July 15.

Separately, the official confirmed a report in the state-run Anadolu news agency that Turkey also detained the son-in-law of Akin Ozturk, a former air force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects.

Lieutenant colonel Hakan Karakus was detained in Ankara, it said.

Turkey had already Saturday detained one of Gulen’s nephews

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/24/Turkey-detains-senior-Fethullah-Gulen-aide.html

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Commander: IRGC Disbands 2 Terrorist Cells in Northwestern Iran, Kills 23 Terrorists

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces dismantled two terrorist groups in Northwestern Iran, killing 23 militants, a commander said.

"Two teams of terrorists were fully annihilated in Northwestern Iran," Deputy Commander of the IRGC's Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada base in Northwestern Iran Brigadier General Majid Arjmandifar told reporters in the Northwestern city of Zanjan on Saturday night.

He also said that during the clashes 23 terrorists of the same groups were killed by the IRGC forces.

Noting that the terrorist groups were supported by foreign countries, Arjmandifar said, "Since last year, the intelligence networks of Saudi Arabia and the US have focused on plots to foment insecurity in Iran."

His remarks came after Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council (EC) Mohsen Rezayee blasted Saudi Arabia for its destructive measures in the region, and said Riyadh is supporting and sending terrorists to Iran.

"The Saudi consulate in Northern Iraq helps the Komala Party (a terrorist group active in Kurdistan region) to interfere in Iran and Iraq's affairs and sends terrorists to Iran but its plots have failed due to the vigilance of the revolutionary forces," Rezayee said, addressing a forum in Alborz province near Tehran on Saturday.

"The Saudis are the most evil government on Earth and are stirring turmoil in the region because of their insanity," he added.

Also, a senior IRGC commander announced on Thursday that another terrorist group has been dismantled in Western Iran.

"A team of terrorists who were trying to cross Iran border with Turkey was dismantled on Thursday by the IRGC forces," Salmas IRGC Commander Colonel Alireza Madani said.

He noted that IRGC forces realized that four terrorists were trying to enter Iran through the Turkish border in a region 25 kilometers from the city of Salmas.

"Two of the terrorists managed to flee, one of them was arrested and another one killed during the IRGC operation," Colonel Madani added.

He reiterated that on the basis of the intelligence tips received by the IRGC, the four terrorists were counterrevolutionary elements living in neighboring Turkey.

"They wanted to launch terrorist activities in Iran, but their plans were aborted," Colonel Madani added.

He said that several machineguns and ammunition were also seized from the terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503000396

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Commander: US Willing to Attack Iran, but Deterred

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmadreza Pourdastan underlined that Washington has long sought to launch direct military action against Iran, but avoided the option due to the high level of preparedness and power of the Iranian Armed Forces.

"Do you think that the US isn’t interested in attacking the Islamic Republic of Iran? (of course it is) But when it sees the Iranian soldiers whose fingers are on the trigger and hears the roaring of our missiles and helicopters, this acts as a deterrence," Pourdastan told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.

Describing the US as Iran's main enemy, he said, "We prepare ourselves for confrontation with the US and the proxy wars whose main actors are the Takfiri and terrorist groups."

Pourdastan said that the Iranian Ground Forces always monitor every move of the Takfiri and terrorist groups, and "defined our doctrine, tactics and techniques accordingly, and when a threat appears, the sons of this nation are ready (to confront it)".

"We have also formed rapid reaction units and a sniper school to increase our preparedness," he added.

In relevant remarks in May, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said the United States doesn't even think of attacking Iran for fear of a huge backlash to its interests.

"Due to the presence of IRGC forces, the Americans do not dare to get near the Iranian borders," Rear Admiral Fadavi told reporters.

Referring to the failed US wars of the past decade, he said, "Washington seeks to weaken and marginalize countries that follow the Iranian Revolution as their role model; however, this is doomed to fail too."

"The US presence in the region causes insecurity and therefore it should leave," Rear Admiral Fadavi added.

His comments came after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined in April that enemies never dare to launch a military attack against Iran, otherwise, they will face the Iranian Armed Forces' crushing response.

"Sometimes, they threaten us with war and bombing, but these statements are nonsense overstatement since they aren’t prepared and don’t dare to do so and if, possibly, they embark on such an act, they will receive a slap in the face and a crushing response," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing members of Iranian Students' Islamic Association in Tehran.

He, meantime, warned of enemies' soft war against Iran, and said, "Now a comprehensive and creeping soft war is underway on the youth between the Islamic Republic of Iran on one hand and the US, the Zionists and their followers on the other hand."

Ayatollah Khamenei described Iran's progress, independence and its powerful presence in West Asia and the world, the Palestinian issue, the issue of resistance and the Iranian-Islamic lifestyle as the main issues on which Iran and the arrogant powers, headed by the US and Zionism, are in conflict.

He also underlined the necessity for continued progress in different scientific and technological fields, and said, "If we make concessions to the arrogant powers, they will certainly raise their opposition to biotechnology, nanotechnology and other sensitive scientific fields because they are opposed to any scientific, economic and civilization progress of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Ayatollah Khamenei has for a long time underscored the enemies' incapability and lack of courage to attack Iran.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503000903

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Deputy Chief of Staff Warns S. Arabia, France of Repercussions of Future Terrorist Attacks in Iran

Jul 24, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri blasted France and Saudi Arabia for their support for the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR), and said both countries should account for any possible terrorist attack in Iran in future.

"(France's) hosting of Monafeqin (the hypocrites as the MKO members are called in Iran) grouplet as one of the most dangerous and criminal terrorist groups in the world and the presence of the western and Arab figures at their meeting shows these countries' support for terrorism," Jazzayeri said on Sunday.

He referred to the participation of former Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID) Chief Turki al-Faisal in the MKO's annual gathering in Paris earlier this month, and said his demand for terrorist operations and measures against the Revolution and the Islamic Republic is an issue which cannot be ignored easily.

"The finger of accusation will be pointed at Riyadh and Paris in case of possible terrorist acts in Iran," Jazzayeri underlined.

The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by the MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.

In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq's Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty. Hundreds of the MKO terrorists have now been sent to Europe, where their names were taken off the blacklist even two years before the US.

The MKO has assassinated over 12,000 Iranians in the last 4 decades. The terrorist group had even killed large numbers of Americans and Europeans in several terror attacks before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Some 17,000 Iranians have lost their lives in terror attacks in the 35 years after the Revolution.

Rumors were confirmed on Saturday about the death of MKO ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, as a former top Saudi intelligence official disclosed in a gaffe during an address to his followers.

Rajavi's death was revealed after Turki al-Faisal who was attending the MKO annual gathering in Paris made a gaffe and spoke of the terrorist group's ringleader as the "late Rajavi" twice.

Faced with Faisal's surprising gaffe, Rajavi's wife, Maryam, changed her happy face with a complaining gesture and cued the interpreter to be watchful of translation words and exclude the gaffe from the Persian translation.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950503000977

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Africa

Tunisia dissident opens new party congress

24 July 2016

Tunisian dissident Mohsen Marzouk opened a congress of his new party, rejecting religion in politics and vowing to be a force for change.

Marzouk launched the Tounes Movement Project in March, basing his policies on those of independence leader Habib Bourguiba.

More than 3,000 people attended Saturday’s opening of the constitutional congress in Tunis, which will continue for the next two days in the northeastern town of Hammamet.

“We are in total disagreement with all those who mix politics and religion,” Marzouk said, referring to the Islamist Ennahda party, which controls the most seats in parliament.

“The time has come to reform the country. We are the party of reform and we have decided to be a force for constructive plans,” party founding member Mondher Belhaj Ali told AFP.

Marzouk stepped down as secretary general of Nidaa Tounes after a split with the president’s son, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, over who should take over as leader.

Tensions came to a head in October after accusations that Essebsi supporters wielding sticks had blocked rival party members from a meeting of its executive committee.

The crisis saw 22 lawmakers leave Nidaa Tounes in January to form their own Al-Horra (The Free) bloc, making Ennahda the largest group in parliament.

Nidaa Tounes now has only 64 MPs as against 69 for Ennahda.

Nidaa Tounes was created in 2012 and included political personalities from the left and center right, as well as officials from the former regime of toppled ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The political backbiting comes as Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, has been gripped by protests against poverty and unemployment in the worst social unrest since the 2011 revolution.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/07/24/Tunisia-dissident-opens-new-party-congress.html

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A Book for Scholarships and Financial Support launched

Jul 24, 2016

The book would reduce the burden on both parents and government in the educational sector and greatly help students and educational institutions seeking scholarships.

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Founder of the Organisation, said the directory was necessitated by the persistent request by students and parents for financial assistance when he was a Minister o Education.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said after several months of receiving such request and assisting a number of parents and students, he decided to find a way out of helping those in need.

He said the idea of the directory was also communicated to some educational institutions and stakeholders in the educational sector, who thought the idea was useful and supported it.

He said the vacuum in relevant practical knowledge was because the education most African intellectuals and professionals received were unrelated to the natural resources around them and the fundamentals of their country’s economic production.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said there is total disconnect between what most African economies need and the knowledge content of graduates, most African schools and colleges were producing.

He said while governments, academia and the private sector could do more to bridge the wide knowledge gap that made many graduates unemployable, the ABCDE could play a critical role in addressing the problem.

He said ABCDE was established to initiate and manage a range of programmes to bring professionals and industrialists into classroom to help change the limited range of knowledge content most students are often exposed to.

“This was done through internships, attachments, career counselling and guidance, industrial days, excursions, mentorships and other interventions, to bring the world of business and industry closer to classrooms”, he added.

He appealed to business captains to visit their alma maters and share their experiences to the students to establish a good relationship for effective network.

Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Education, said government is ready to partner all stakeholders in the educational sector to provide quality education.

He said the expansion of educational infrastructure is the government’s priority to help improve teaching and learning in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

newsghana.com.gh/a-book-for-scholarship-and-financial-support-launched/

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Some 5,495 out of school children to have access to formal education

Jul 24, 2016

AfriKids Ghana, a non-governmental organization, implements the CBE programme and the beneficiary districts include Karaga, Pusiga, Bongo, Talensi, Binduri and Nabdam.

Mr Nicholas Kumah, Director of AfriKids Ghana, who spoke at a ceremony to graduate the out-of-school children from the CBE programme at Nakundugu in the Karaga District of the Northern Region, entreated parents to continue to support their children as they prepared to enter the formal school system.

Mr Kumah said it would be disappointing if parents neglected their responsibilities towards the children adding “I am particularly concerned about the girl children, please, let us support them to go high in education and not push them into early marriage”.

He said Afrikids Ghana had made available 22,000 pieces of exercise books including pencils and erasers to be shared amongst the children to facilitate their academic exercise in school.

He commended the Karaga District Assembly for supporting last year’s CBE graduates with school uniforms expressing the hope that similar assistance would be extended to this year’s graduates.

Mr Imoro Yakubu, District Chief Executive for Karaga said government has placed priority emphasis on education and would continue to ensure that all children of school going age had access to quality education.

Mr Yakubu said the Karaga District Assembly would procure more furniture for basic schools in the district to enable them to accommodate the CBE graduates.

Alhaji Iddi Mahama, Karaga District Director of Education, entreated chiefs in the district to encourage parents to enrol their children in school to ensure that no child was left out of education.

newsghana.com.gh/some-5495-out-of-school-children-to-have-access-to-formal-education/

 

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