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Islamic World News ( 7 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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If ISIS attacks country, every Indian Muslim will thwart them, says top cleric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

If ISIS attacks country, every Indian Muslim will thwart them, says top cleric

Take tech route to counter ISIS, says scholar

ISI network in Kolkata has deep roots: Sleuths

ISI may have sold information about eastern theatre to the Chinese

2016 Guru Nanak Prize Awarded to Pluralism Project at Harvard and Serve2Unite

Shivpal demands Bharat Ratna for AMU founder

Chennai rain survivors name baby after Muslim samaritan

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North America

White House slams Trump's plan to ban Muslims

Obama says don't demonize Islam, urges Muslims to reject hate too

Muslim crowdfunding raises $70,000 for shooting victims

Blocking Muslim refugees supports terrorism: UN

Grief-fueled solidarity no more: America divided on Islamic State issue

The brothers Farook: one a decorated US Navy veteran, the other a gunman

Canada to withdraw jets fighting IS within weeks

California shooters 'radicalised for quite some time': FBI

Obama vows to defeat Islamic State

Pentagon confirms death of ISIL, Shabaab leaders

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Southeast Asia

Islam advocates moderation

Malaysia to Help Australia in Islamic State Fight

Malaysia and the concept of Peaceful Salafism

Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia condemn Donald Trump's 'US ban'call

Ku Nan raps Donald Trump over anti-Muslim remarks

Keep guard up in tackling terrorist threats

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Pakistan

How terror attacks impact on our mental health

ISIL has no fighters in Fata: Brigadier Wajid

PM Nawaz chairs high-level huddle to discuss stance on Afghanistan

'Heart of Asia' conference: Dire security challenges hampering development, says Sartaj

Erdogan reassures Shahbaz of Turkey’s support for Pakistan

UN watchdog warns terrorists may seek nuclear material

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Mideast

Palestinian shot dead in Israeli army raid in Bethlehem

Zarif, Lavrov stress joint efforts to end terrorism in Syria

Iran tests missile, ‘breaches U.N. resolutions’

Yemen confirms 7-day ceasefire for peace talks

Turkey detains alleged supporters of Erdogan foe in police force

Iran swine flu outbreak kills 33 in three weeks

Turkey detains alleged supporters of Erdogan foe in police force

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South Asia

ISIS releases new video calling Afghan Taliban a deviant group

Karzai calls for urgent and united response to menace of terrorism

No evidence to prove Taliban chief dead: Ghani

Bangladesh island losing battle to stem climate tide

Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan, Sartaj Aziz says

Russia carefully considering Afghanistan’s request for arms supply: Kabulov

JMB man admits shooting Kunio Hoshi, cops say

Verdict on Nizami appeal Jan 6

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Arab World

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Continues Destroying Terrorists' Positions across Syria

More Militants Surrender in Syria's Dara'a

Leaked Islamic State manual shows how it plans to arm children

Number of foreign Daesh members has doubled since June 2014: Report

Syria: Army Kills over 62 Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

'Reckless' arms transfers to Iraq fuelled IS crimes: Amnesty report

Iraq PM says IS smuggles majority of oil via Turkey

Syrian Army in Full Control over Al-Khalidiyah in Aleppo City

Militants Withdraw from More Regions Northeast of Syria's Lattakia

Army Destroys ISIL's Fortified Stronghold in Homs

Syrian Army's Elite Troops Advance in East Aleppo After Crushing ISIL in Al-Shuwaylekh

Bomb Explosion Hits Russian Consulate in Syria's Aleppo

Saudi, UAE Weapons Found in Terrorists' Stronghold in Syria's Lattakia

US Attempting to Infiltrate Syria via Jordan

Syria: US-Led Airstrikes Kill 20 Civilians in Hasaka

Foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria ‘have doubled’

US, Yemen terror strikes slammed

GCC to focus on terrorism

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Africa

Nigeria president says may extend deadline to fight Boko Haram

Regional anti-Boko Haram coalition in jeopardy

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Europe

German court sentences 2 returning IS militants to jail

Italy arrests man suspected of helping militants

'You ain't no Muslim, bruv' strikes a chord in UK

Defiant hashtag resonates after London attack

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:

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India

 

If ISIS attacks country, every Indian Muslim will thwart them, says top cleric

Priyangi Agarwal

Dec 7, 2015

BAREILLY: Renowned Sunni Barelvi cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza said on Monday that if IS attacks India, every Indian Muslim will come forward to thwart them. The maulana said, "I have heard that the IS has claimed that Indian Muslims are being tortured and, hence, it will launch an attack on our country. People who are spreading terror across the world should first prove that they are true followers of Islam, and only then should they talk about Muslims. Indian Muslims are capable of fighting their own battle."

The maulana added that if any organization attacks India on the pretext of protecting the rights of Muslims, every Indian Muslim, including children, will come forward to thwart them.

The senior maulana said his social organization, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (Jadeed), will soon launch a campaign in every district of the country to seek stringent action against those fomenting trouble by making communal statements. "The government should enact a law to take action against Hindutva forces which make statements to incite people's sentiments and disturb communal harmony. Action should be taken against such people as this is also a form of terrorism. If stern action is not taken against such people, they will not stop giving such statements, thereby posing a risk to India's Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb," said Raza.

The cleric said they will also send a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday demanding the enactment of stringent laws to deal with people making communal statements.

Asked about the "rising incidents of intolerance" in the country, the maulana said, "Muslims are safe in the country and know how to ensure their security. However, some people have felt that an atmosphere of intolerance is prevalent in India. People who have returned their awards were seen indulging in politics. If only the government had called and discussed the matter with them, there could have been a way out. It is the responsibility of the government to hear the views of the opposition."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/If-ISIS-attacks-country-every-Indian-Muslim-will-thwart-them-says-top-cleric/articleshow/50080980.cms

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Take tech route to counter ISIS, says scholar

Dec 8, 2015

HYDERABAD: Islamic scholar Muhammad bin Yahya Ninowy on Monday said that the Muslim community and Islamic scholars must counter the Islamic State (ISIS) by technology and better methods of communication.

On the sidelines of a lecture on `Islam and Tolerance' at Maulana Azad National Urdu University , the Syrian-American scholar said that IS uses the internet and social media to recruit gullible youngsters. The same technology must be used to discourage Muslims from joining IS and spread the true message of Islam. Hinting at a need to embrace modernity, Shaykh Ninowy said that it is time sections of the Islamic clergy change their rhetoric. "We need to retrain the trainers to address current challenges. We cannot speak a language which is 300-years old. I see it as a general phenomenon.

We need to focus on the main theme of Islam such as unconditional compassion, importance of knowledge and that Islam seeks to make people good human beings," he said. At a time when the IS claims to be a caliphate, Ninowy said that the concept of a single politico-religious leader of the entire Muslim community "in a practical and theological sense" does not exist.

"In other words, the values and principles which the four caliphs stood for do not exist in the IS. They stood for justice, equality , tolerance and inclusive ness. These things are no longer there. Unfortunately, practically, there is no such thing as a caliphate," the scholar said. To buttress his point, he cited a hadith (tradition of Prophet Muhammad) which stated that a caliphate would exist for around 30 years after the prophet and would be followed by kingdoms.

Touching upon the global trend of Islamophobic incidents post Paris attacks and San Bernardino shootings, Ninowy said "It puts the community between disgust with IS and similar terrorist organisations and having to deal with Islamophobia associating community with actions of a few. The Muslim community in the west is perplexed and frustrated ," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Take-tech-route-to-counter-ISIS-says-scholar/articleshow/50084611.cms

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ISI network in Kolkata has deep roots: Sleuths

Saibal Gupta

Dec 8, 2015

KOLKATA: The Special Task Force, joining the dots in the ISI espionage case, believes that the intelligence network of the Pakistan spy agency in the city may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Officials say that Fareed Khan, the Army jawan picked up from Siliguri, has deep-rooted connections with ISI agents here, a fact that has come to light following the sustained interrogation of Md Irshad and Asfaq — the father-son duo arrested last week.

"During interrogation, Irshad admitted that Md Eijaz — recently arrested by Meerut police — had entered Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers with gate pass twice between July 2013 and January 2014 and made two 20-minute videos and sent them to Pakistan," an STF official said.

Eijaz also went to the dry dock, a place usually prohibited to outsiders. "How he went there when naval ships were being repaired or manufactured is a serious matter. We are probing if insiders had a role in the whole thing," the officer added. What is worrisome is the fact that during this 7-month period, some naval ships and anti-submarine warfare corvettes were at the dock.

A source in the investigating agency said at least seven GRSE officials are under scanner, whose antecedents are being verified. They might also be interrogated. On its part, the GRSE authorities have started an internal inquiry into any possible leak from this high-security ship manufacturing unit. But when asked about it, a senior GRSE official said: "We have been instructed not to say anything."

Irshad also admitted to collecting blueprints of naval ships from the wastepaper basket and give it to his son, who saved them as draft in a common mail the password of which was also known to Eijaz. "Asfaq or Irshad failed to give details of the blueprints but there is a possibility that some final prints could have reached ISI. We will have to corroborate this with Eijaz's statements before coming to a conclusion. We will try to interrogate them face-to-face," the STF official said.

Elaborating on the common mail, a senior police official said, "This is a very simple technique to avoid hacking. A common mail ID is created and the password is made available to a group. Anyone who wants to share any information saves it in the draft section, which is viewed by others. Now we find that the mail has become defunct. We are trying to retrieve the documents."

"Intelligence agencies have been keeping an eye on this father-son duo for more than 14 months before they were arrested. We have information that they met one major from Pakistan in Kolkata and then went to Siliguri this January. They were with him for five days before the major left for the northeast. We want to corroborate all documents gathered by Delhi police while interrogating Fareed and the other two arrested from Rajouri in Kashmir. We strongly believe that all these are inter-linked," an intelligence officer said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-network-in-Kolkata-has-deep-roots-Sleuths/articleshow/50082869.cms

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ISI may have sold information about eastern theatre to the Chinese

Jayanta Gupta

Dec 7, 2015

KOLKATA: Did Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) arrange to sell information about Indian troop movement in the eastern sector to China? According to defence sources, Fareed Khan, an Indian Army personnel accused of espionage may have passed on some vital information about deployment of troops in the eastern and northeastern states over the last eight months. This information may not be too important for Pakistan but could be extremely crucial for China, now that India has strengthened defences along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

"It is a known fact that the ISI is in regular touch with China. Recently, the ISI was instrumental in brokering a deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government. This happened in China. There has been a lot of development in India'seastern and northeastern sector in the last few years. The Army's 33 Corps, based at Sukna in north Bengal, is of great strategic importance and is in charge of defences in Sikkim. Khan was posted to the 33 Corps after his deployment in Kashmir. It is likely that he collected vital information and sent it back to his handlers," an official said.

The defence ministry is certainly not taking any chances. The Army has recently raised a Mountain Strike Corps to bolster defences along the LAC. This Corps will be headquartered at Panagarh. A lot of new equipment have also been procured. Air Force Station Panagarh has also been upgraded and will get C-130J Super Hercules aircraft with strategic capabilities. China would certainly want to get more information on these developments. Air bases under the Eastern Air Command are also being upgraded.

"It is difficult for the Chinese to infiltrate the Indian system by themselves. The ISI, on the other hand, already has assets in India and can exploit weaknesses in the system quite easily. Both Pakistan and China can mutually benefit from any information ISI agents gather about the Indian armed forces. Pakistan can use this information as a bargaining chip. We have increased vigil at all military installations in north Bengal and the Northeast. This is no mean task as there are several bases spread across north Bengal. We are also carrying out special checks at strategic air bases like Hasimara and Tezpur. These bases are getting new assets like aircraft and missiles. Moles at such locations can do a lot of damage," the official added.

With India paying more attention to defence procurement now, China may not be as confident as in the past of its capabilities to steamroll across defences along the LAC. One of the greatest worries for China is the capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) which now has several more force multipliers than ever before. In the east and northeast, the Army and the IAF is also preparing to work in tandem to counter any attempt to breach the LAC. Only timely information about deployment and plans can give China that much needed edge in a short but sharp skirmish if it comes to that, a senior Army officer said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-may-have-sold-information-about-eastern-theatre-to-theChinese/articleshow/50080090.cms

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2016 Guru Nanak Prize Awarded to Pluralism Project at Harvard and Serve2Unite

DEC 7, 2015

Two organizations dedicated to promoting tolerance and religious understanding through education, research and leadership training will share Hofstra University’s 2016 Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, President Stuart Rabinowitz announced today.

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, created in 1991, was inspired by the increasing religious diversity of the United States, diversity that its founder and director, Dr. Diana Eck, PhD, a professor of religious studies at Harvard, saw in her classes.

Serve2Unite, a Milwaukee-based organization that focuses on youth and community outreach, was forged from tragedy, created by Pardeep Kaleka and the Sikh community after his father and five others were killed in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012.

“These two organizations use education and dialogue to promote tolerance, compassion and religious understanding. Now more than ever, I can think of no work that is more important,” said President Stuart Rabinowitz. “Their unwavering commitment is a testament to the principles Guru Nanak represents.”

Dean Bernard Firestone of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, said this year’s recipients were chosen to reflect that there is no single approach to promoting interfaith understanding.

Full report at:

https://news.hofstra.edu/2015/12/07/2016-guru-nanak-prize-awarded-to-pluralism-project-at-harvard-and-serve2unite/

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Shivpal demands Bharat Ratna for AMU founder

by Mohd Faisal Fareed

December 8, 2015

SAMAJWADI PARTY chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother and UP Minister Shivpal Yadav on Monday demanded Bharat Ratna for Sir Syed Ahmed Khan — the founder of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Shivpal, who holds PWD, irrigation, cooperative, revenue, relief and rehabilitation portfolios, also claimed to have been compiling a book highlighting Khan as a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. “Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a great educationist reformer. He did this without discriminating between Hindus and Muslims. Some people who do not have knowledge about him present a wrong picture,” Shivpal said.

“I will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conferring Bharat Ratna to Sir Syed,” he added.

Shivpal said a book on Khan is likely to be released within a month. He will write the foreword for the book. It will contain articles of several luminaries projecting Khan and his work for Hindu-Muslim unity and chapters on his contribution as a reformer in social and educational fields.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/shivpal-demands-bharat-ratna-for-amu-founder/

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Chennai rain survivors name baby after Muslim samaritan

Dec 8, 2015

CHENNAI: Last Tuesday, a heavily pregnant Chitra was writhing in pain at her Chennai home. Adding to the misery was the swirling waters and her Urapakkam residence was on the verge of getting inundated. Her husband Mohan was at her side, but he was as clueless as her. With most neighbours deserting the locality, the couple were staring at death.

It was then that Mohamed Yunus, 26, along with his friends, appeared from nowhere in a boat and took them to a hospital. For the record, Yunus, CEO of a start-up, hired four boats --he spent Rs 1 lakh from his own pocket -to rescue the marooned in floodhit areas in Chennai, where there was little or no help from the state government.Chitra was in panic and Yunus narrated a story to calm her down.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Chennai-rain-survivors-name-baby-after-Muslim-samaritan/articleshow/50087355.cms

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North America

 

White House slams Trump's plan to ban Muslims

Dec 8, 2015

WASHINGTON: Senior White House officials lined up Monday to condemn Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, saying it was contrary to US values and interests.

"You're being generous by describing it as a proposal," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, castigating the fiery Republican presidential frontrunner's latest outburst as "cynical."

"I think what Mr Trump is doing is something that he's been doing over the course of his entire campaign, which is... to play on people's fears in order to build support for his campaign."

"I think what he's doing, he's dividing America in a really cynical way," Earnest told MSNBC.

A statement from Trump's campaign team earlier ignited a political firestorm, by suggesting he would stop Muslims from entering the country "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

The comments come in the wake of a mass shooting that saw a married couple kill 14 people and we denounced by many in his own party.

"It's entirely inconsistent with the kinds of values that were central to the founding of this country," said Earnest.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/White-House-slams-Trumps-plan-to-ban-Muslims/articleshow/50084335.cms

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Obama says don't demonize Islam, urges Muslims to reject hate too

Chidanand Rajghatta

Dec 7, 2015

WASHINGTON: President Obama delivered a primetime TV address on Sunday on the threat of terrorism without once mentioning Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two countries whose state-mandated bigotry may have radicalized the Pakistani-origin terrorists who massacred 14 people in California in a religion-fueled rage.

In what was only his third address to Americans from the White House bully pulpit, Obama only went so far as to say it was "clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West," without naming states, society, and circumstances that encourage such thinking. Instead, he referred to the "broader war on terrorism," focusing on ISIL and al-Qaida and how the internet had erased distance to enable them poison the minds of people.

"The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us," Obama said, adding, without naming specific countries, "our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary."

The US has historically taken a lenient, hands-off view of extremist elements and policies that encourage or nurture them in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Washington regards the two countries as allies despite their fecundity when it comes to producing terrorists; instead, the US imposed war on Iraq and Syria, and President Obama spoke expansively about the developments in those countries.

The US President also dealt with domestic enforcement challenges amid pressure from some Republicans for tighter scrutiny of new immigrants, particularly Muslims. He said he had ordered the Departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa program under which the Pakistani female terrorist in San Bernardino, Tashfeen Malik, originally came to the US, and he urged high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.

However, the US President urged Americans not to let fight be defined as a war between America and Islam because that is what groups like ISIL want.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-says-dont-demonize-Islam-urges-Muslims-to-reject-hate-too/articleshow/50079627.cms

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Muslim crowdfunding raises $70,000 for shooting victims

08 December 2015

A predominantly Muslim based crowdfunding campaign has raised about $75,000 so far for the victims of Wednesday’s terror attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, according to one of the organisers in a report in the Daily News.

A network of local, regional and national organizations — most of which are Muslim or Muslim-led — have made plans to raise a total of $100,000 for the immediate and short-term needs of victims and their families, which could include funeral expenses, medical expenses, rent and mortgage payments, said Dr. Faisal Qazi, a Pomona-based neurologist and the co-founder of the family-centered development organization MiNDS.

As of Monday evening, more than $65,000 had been raised onlinethrough the crowdfunding site LaunchGood under the banner “Muslims United for San Bernardino.” Another $10,000 or so has been raised through the MiNDS website and from offline checks, Qazi said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/167142/muslim-crowdfunding-raises-70000-for-shooting-victims

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Blocking Muslim refugees supports terrorism: UN

December 08, 2015

GENEVA - Countries that reject Syrian refugees because they are Muslims are fuelling Islamic State and other militant groups and contributing to the threat of terrorism, UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

"When people say they cannot receive Syrian refugees because they are Muslims, those that say it are supporting terrorist organisations and allowing them to be much more effective in recruitment of people," he told a news conference.

The United Nations appealed Monday for a record $20.1 billion (18.6 billion euros) to provide aid to a surging number of people hit by conflicts and disasters around the globe.

"Suffering in the world has reached levels not seen in a generation," said UN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O'Brien.

"Conflicts and disasters have driven millions of children, women and men to the edge of survival," he said in a statement launching the annual aid appeal, stressing: "They desperately need our help."

The global appeal from UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations aims to gather funds to help more than 87.6 million of the some 125 million people expected to require assistance next year.

Conflicts and serious crises are raging in 27 countries, and six of them - the Central African Republic, Burundi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen - have spilled over to surrounding regions, bringing the total number of countries currently in peril to a staggering 37, the UN said. The conflicts have already forced more than 60 million people to flee their homes worldwide, with those escaping violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan especially sparking Europe's biggest migration crisis since World War II.

"Mass movement of people, be it refugees or people fleeing within their own countries, has become the new defining reality of the 21st century," UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said.

"The international humanitarian system is all too often the only safety net that exists for people fleeing wars," he said, insisting: "It has to be funded on a scale that's realistic and commensurate with today's immense challenges." With so many conflicts raging out of control, the UN said the amount needed next year was five times more than what it requested a decade ago.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Dec-2015/blocking-muslim-refugees-supports-terrorism-un

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Grief-fueled solidarity no more: America divided on Islamic State issue

Dec 08, 2015

After two grinding decades of combating Islamist terror, America is split asunder, divided not just on how to defeat the Islamic State, but on the magnitude of the threat the group poses.

Gone is the grief-fueled solidarity that flowed seamlessly in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Within minutes of US President Barack Obama calling for unity in a landmark Oval Office address Sunday, Republicans made clear they would not, could not, oblige.

A call to come “together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people,” was met by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s response “is that all there is? We need a new president -- fast!”

With less than a year until the November 2016 vote, the spirit of hyper-partisanship is not really a surprise.

“For decades, national security has been that one thing that at least temporarily you could rally people, whether it was jingoism or whatever it was,” said Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer now with the Soufan Group.

“Now, not even natural disasters can even temporarily unify, even attacks are immediately politicized.”

“We can’t even agree on gravity,” he said.

The emergence of a new style of homespun Islamist threat has only magnified the divide.

After the much bloodier 9/11 attacks, President George W Bush rallied the nation behind drastic action, vowing to tackle “the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbour them.”

In less than a month, lawmakers -- Republican and Democrat -- had voted overwhelmingly to take “necessary and appropriate force” and US troops had invaded Afghanistan in a bid to deny Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda a safe haven.

Today, there is no such obvious, unifying response. The San Bernardino assailants lived in America, one of them grew up in America and they seemingly had only ideological links with Islamic State.

“There is no airstrike that is going to help San Bernardino,” said Skinner. “The fight against Islamic State is a nuanced fight.”

Obama has approached the problem in a similar vein, like a malignancy that has to be systematically removed, but one that can only become an existential threat if America responds by undermining its own values.

In framing his response, the mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan wars loom large.

Obama is adamant that becoming enmeshed in another large-scale ground war in a Muslim country would be costly and would only fuel radicalism.

‘A nation at war’

Republicans see Obama dangerously underestimating a group that is deserving of the same action that was meted out against Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

“ISIS has become, in the last few years on Obama’s watch, the wealthiest, most powerful terrorist network in the history of the world,” according to Marc Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter.

“They have the resources to cause immense damage if they are not pinned down and stopped and their gains reversed.”

“Make no mistake,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, “we are a nation at war.”

“I believe 2015 will be seen as a watershed year in this long war-the year when our enemies gained an upper hand and when the spread of terror once again awoke the West,” he added.

The White House has sought to deflect that kind of comment as “divisive rhetoric” from the campaign trail.

“A lot of these issues are being discussed in the context of a hotly competitive presidential election,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

“If we spent a lot of time worried or focused on that, we’d be focused on the wrong thing.”

But the policy prescriptions are becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss.

Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States is likely to reverberate beyond the echo chamber of the 2016 campaign.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world/grief-fueled-solidarity-no-more-america-divided-on-islamic-state-issue/story-xsEAQAeuIi4pMxVzJuv7lO.html

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The brothers Farook: one a decorated US Navy veteran, the other a gunman

Dec 8, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO: One brother liked to party and, like others around him, went to the mosque to please his parents. After high school, moved by what he saw as his patriotic duty, he enlisted in the Navy and received two medals recognising his contributions to "the global war on terror".

The other was deeply religious and became increasingly intolerant, to the point where he, along with his wife, opened fire on a San Bernardino holiday party last week, in what law enforcement officials have termed a terrorist attack.

Syed Raheel Farook and his younger brother Syed Rizwan Farook grew up in the same house, attended the same high school two years apart and, as teenagers, often socialised in the same groups. But as they grew older their paths diverged.

Rizwan is now dead, gunned down by police in Southern California after joining with his wife in killing 14 people and injuring 21.

Raheel is alive, left to wonder what went wrong.

The contrasting lives of the Farook brothers, described by friends, neighbours and former classmates who knew them both, is a disturbing tale, in part because there are so few clues to why they turned out so differently.

The family, including Raheel, declined repeated requests through their lawyers for comment for this story. But those who knew the brothers say that by high school, their differences were apparent and growing.

"Most people here go to mosque to please their parents," said Shakib Ahmed, who attended mosque with the Farooks.

Raheel, the older brother, was that kind of kid, he said. He went to Friday prayers, but he also liked to drink and had a girlfriend in high school who wasn't Muslim.

Rizwan was quieter and more serious and far more religious. Only with his older brother, friends said, did they see Rizwan lose his temper.

"He was nice to everyone else, but he was kind of the dominating type. He would yell at his brother," Ahmed said.

Physical distance

Soon after graduating from high school in 2003, with the United States (US) invasion of Iraq just months old, Raheel joined up and went off to boot camp in Illinois, according to naval records. In 2004, he was assigned to serve on the USS Enterprise as an information system technician.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224990/the-brothers-farook-one-a-decorated-us-navy-veteran-the-other-a-gunman

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Canada to withdraw jets fighting IS within weeks

Dec 8, 2015

OTTAWA: Canada's new Liberal government will act within weeks to fulfill a campaign promise to withdraw six fighter jets that have been attacking militant Islamic State (IS) group positions in Iraq and Syria, a top official said on Monday.

The Liberals, who took power last month, say Canada can contribute more effectively to the United States (US)-led campaign against the militants by assigning more troops to train Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

"It's a matter of weeks, not months," Foreign Minister Stephane Dion told reporters when asked when the jets would be pulled out. Dion's comments were the most specific so far from a cabinet member about when the planes would return home.

"We're carrying out two per cent of the air strikes. We're going to do something more efficient for the coalition," he said.

Diplomatic sources say the US, France and Britain have privately expressed their unease about Canada's pledge on the grounds it could undermine the effort to contain IS.

The Liberals of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office after defeating the Conservatives, who took the decision to send the jets and trainers to the Middle East.

In Parliament on Monday, the Conservatives noted that when US President Barack Obama on Sunday cited close allies who were taking part in the operations against IS, he had not mentioned Canada.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225003/canada-to-withdraw-jets-fighting-is-within-weeks

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California shooters 'radicalised for quite some time': FBI

Dec 8, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO: The husband and wife behind the shooting in California that left 14 people dead were radicalised for “quite some time” and both went for target practice before the massacre, authorities said on Monday.

The update from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the terror probe into the Dec 2 rampage in San Bernardino came after President Barack Obama vowed to destroy the militant Islamic State (IS) group and hunt down its followers, in an address to a jittery nation.

The IS has praised the California attackers, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik as “soldiers” of its self-proclaimed caliphate but did not say they were members of the group.

“As the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalised and have been for quite some time,” David Bowdich, the FBI's assistant director in Los Angeles, told reporters on Monday.

“The question for us is how and by whom and where were they radicalised? “ he said.

“Maybe there's not a by whom. Often times it's on the Internet.”

He said the couple, killed in a shootout with police following the gun attack on a year-end office party, went for target practice in ranges around the Los Angeles area, including in the days before the tragedy.

On Sunday, Obama said the attack was an “act of terrorism”, and the FBI is investigating it as such.

Authorities have, however, said there is no indication the couple was part of an organised larger group or cell.

In addition to two rifles and two handguns used in the attack at the party organised by Farook's employer, the San Bernardino County health department, investigators found an impressive arsenal at their home.

“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy (IS) and any other organisation that tries to harm us,” Obama said Sunday, in only his third address from the Oval Office since taking office in 2009.

Farook, an American citizen, and his Pakistani wife met on an online dating site. Last year, he travelled to Saudi Arabia, where she lived, and they married. They left behind a six-month-old daughter.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224973/california-shooters-radicalised-for-quite-some-time-fbi

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Obama vows to defeat Islamic State

December 08, 2015

WASHINGTON - Pledging to destroy Islamic State, US President Barack Obama has called on Muslim leaders at home and around the world to speak out against the terrorist organisation and its ‘hateful” ideology.

“ISIL (Islamic State of Syria and Levant) does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers. Part of a cult of death. And they account for a tiny fraction of a more than a billion Muslims around the world, including millions of patriotic Muslim-Americans who reject their hateful ideology,” Obama said on Sunday night in a rare televised address from the Oval Office.

The president’s speech followed Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and wounded 21. Authorities say a Muslim couple — US-born Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik — carried out the attack and that Ms Malik pledged allegiance to the ISIL and its leader in a Facebook post.

“So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organisation overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home,” Obama said.

“But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalisation, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. So this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people,” Obama asserted.

Speaking forcefully, Obama urged Americans not to turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. “That, too, is what groups like ISIL want,” he noted.

He pointed out that the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world were Muslims. “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism, we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate,” Obama said.

“That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. It’s a real problem that Muslims must confront without excuse,” he added.

“Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and Al Qaeda promote, to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity,” the president said.

But, just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalisation, it is the responsibility of all Americans, of every faith, to reject discrimination, he asserted.

“It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim-Americans should somehow be treated differently. Because when we travel down that road, we lose. That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like ISIL,” Obama said.

“Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. As we’ve become better at preventing complex multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turn to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Dec-2015/obama-vows-to-defeat-islamic-state

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Pentagon confirms death of ISIL, Shabaab leaders

08 December 2015

The Pentagon on Monday confirmed the deaths of senior leaders of al-Shabaab and ISIL in separate strikes.

"The Department of Defense confirms that Abdirahman Sandhere, also known as 'Ukash,' a senior leader of the al Qaeda-affiliated group al-Shabaab, is dead as a result of a U.S. military airstrike in Somalia undertaken on Dec. 2," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

He added that two other al-Shabaab associates were also killed in the strike that targeted Sandhere but he did not give details.

"The United States will continue to use the tools at our disposal -- financial, diplomatic, intelligence and military -- to dismantle al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups who threaten United States, interests and persons," he said.

The Pentagon also confirmed that a ISIL leader operating in Libya named Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, was also killed in an airstrike Nov. 13.

A Pentagon spokesman said Abu Nabil was an Iraqi national and a longtime al-Qaeda operative in Libya.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/167138/muslim-crowdfunding-raises-70000-for-shooting-victims

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Southeast Asia

 

Islam advocates moderation

BY PROF DR MOHAMMAD HASHIM KAMALI

7 DECEMBER 2015

I MAY begin by posing a question: Are there any indicators to tell us that Islam anchors itself in the middle path of moderation, to show, in other words, that wasatiyyah is the governing principle of Islam? Islam’s advocacy of wasatiyyah is, first of all, known by the explicit affirmation of the Quran that designates the Muslim community as a community of the middle path (ummatan wasatan) (Al-Baqarah, 2:143). This Quranic designation is espoused with a commitment for the ummah to act as witnesses for truth and serve the cause of justice. Justice is the closest synonym for wasatiyyah, and a great virtue in its own right; it is a major theme of the Quran and a principal assignment of government in Islam. Wasatiyyah without justice would be an empty concept, yet justice too must be anchored in wasatiyyah: A judge can be inclined toward severity, or the opposite of that, and is thus advised to observe moderation in the delivery of justice. Islam’s commitment to the middle path of wasatiyyah is also manifested in mutual recognition (ta’aruf) — Q 49:13). The ummah builds its relationships with other communities and nations in the spirit of ta’aruf that nurtures friendship and peaceful co-existence. One of the manifestations of ta’aruf in Islam is the recognition of Christianity and Judaism as valid religions. Muslim jurists have by analogy extended the same status to the followers of other faiths and communities that reside in Muslim territories, and those who become non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim state. Another manifestation of the middle path of wasatiyyah in Islam is its recognition of reasonable disagreement (ikhtilaf) in matters of interpretation and opinion. The reality of ikhtilaf in Islam is manifested in the plurality of its juristic and theological schools (madhhabs), such as the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali — all of which co-existed and have, for the most part, also recognised one another as valid interpretations of Islam. Ikhtilaf thus becomes an aspect of Islamic life and thought and acts as a significant moderator from within. In a similar vein, Islam advocates consultation (shura) in matters of community affairs, governance and leadership (Q 3:109 & 42:38). Shura is a great moderator in that it seeks to give voice, reconcile and reach consensus-based solutions to issues. The Prophet of Islam practised it most and so did the orthodox Caliphs (khulafa’ Rashidun) after him, thus making shura the principal mode of decision-making in public affairs. Consultation is also advised in family relations: the husband, in particular, should consult his wife in family matters and upbringing. Islam’s conception of wasatiyyah is further manifested in its support for dialogue (hiwar) and cooperation (ta’awun) among people in pursuit of beneficial objectives (Q 5:2: “cooperate in good and righteous works, and cooperate not in [pursuit of] hostility and sin”). Dialogue is an Islamic imperative, as is known from the Quranic address that engagement and dialogue with the different other must be in the “best and most courteous manner” (16:125), to be conducted in reasonable and persuasive ways that lead to better understanding. Islam also advises moderation in religiosity and the practice of its own duties. The faithful are enjoined to opt for easier ways in the practice of Islam, and that it is God’s own illustrious purpose “to lighten your burdens”; and “make things easy for you”. (Q 4:28; 4:185). Removal of hardship and lightening people’s burdens thus become one of the cardinal purposes (maqasid) of Syariah. Hence the ruler, judge and mufti must opt for easier solutions and fatwas as a matter of priority and preference.

Full report at:

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/12/115927/islam-advocates-moderation

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Malaysia to Help Australia in Islamic State Fight

By Prashanth Parameswaran

December 08, 2015

Malaysia will send experts next year to assist Australia in fighting terrorism amid the rising threat of the Islamic State (IS), the country’s deputy prime minister said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters following a courtesy call from Australia’s Minister for Justice Michael Keenan, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, said Malaysia had offered to send its experts to Australia in February to conduct the training of trainers (ToT) in a bid to extend its own experience with rehabilitation. ToT programs are typically designed to equip practitioners with skills that they can then extend to others.

“Through the ToT, Malaysia will also extend its own experience in rehabilitation efforts undertaken here to be implemented in Australia,” Zahid said according to Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama.

Zahid said that this was a reaction to the rising terrorist threat that Australia faces from both its residents coming from the Middle East as well as immigrants entering the country. Keenan, who was sworn in as the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counterterrorism in May, said last month that Australian authorities had foiled six terror attacks since September last year, when the nation’s security alert was raised to high.

The experts Malaysia would send to Australia, Zahid said, would consist of university lecturers as well as individuals from the Royal Malaysian Police, the Prisons Department, the Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

The move is part of a broader effort by Malaysia to promote greater regional cooperation in the fight against the IS. As I detailed in a feature piece recently for The Diplomat, with Malaysian officials already arresting over 100 citizens suspected of links to IS and foiling several deadly plots, the Southeast Asian state has been stepping up its involvement in the global war against the group. Most notably, the Southeast Asian state joined the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIL in September and confirming its willingness to set up a regional counter-messaging center (See: “US, Malaysia and the War Against the Islamic State”).

Full report at:

http://thediplomat.com/2015/12/malaysia-to-help-australia-in-islamic-state-fight/

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Malaysia and the concept of Peaceful Salafism

Muhammad Haziq Bin Jani

DEC 8, 2015

Salafism in Malaysia has garnered renewed attention with the increasing presence of Salafi ulama within the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) youth wing.

Salafi doctrines emphasise a return to religious practices of the Prophet and his followers in the seventh century and the removal of all forms of innovation and any adherence to pre-Islamic practices.

While it is unlikely that these new Umno Salafis would uproot the largely traditionalist Islamic bureaucracy and institutions in Malaysia, their presence has reinvigorated the nexus between Salafism, politics and extremism.

In order to contrast non-violent Salafism with Jihadi Salafism, the term "Peaceful Salafism" has been bandied about by pundits. While not meant as a serious analytical category, it attempts to describe the non-violent Salafi imagination in Malaysia, regardless of whether one is a political or quietist Salafi.

Quietists are perceived to be peaceful because they shun street activism and focus their activities on proselytisation. Political Salafis are perceived so because, unlike their violent counterparts, they attempt to achieve their end - an Islamic utopia - through political participation rather than armed strife. Peacefulness is thus defined as either being unchallenging of the political status quo or pursuing ends through the means of peaceful politics.

But it is not incontrovertible that peaceful Salafism is all that peaceful. While field research by Dr Maszlee Malik and Dr Khalil al-Anani (2013) shows that political participation has tamed radical Salafi elements in Egypt, the same cannot be said about political Salafism's foray into the mainstream of Malaysian politics. Despite having an Islamist space in social and political arenas, Malaysia has hosted local and regional radical groups such as Al-Ma'unah, Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia and Jemaah Islamiyah.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/malaysia-and-the-concept-of-peaceful-salafism

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Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia condemn Donald Trump's 'US ban'call

Dec 8, 2015

Some Muslims in Pakistan on Tuesday denounced Donald Trump's call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, dismissing the U.S. Republican presidential front-runner as a bigot who promoted violence.

Trump's statement on "preventing Muslim immigration" drew swift and fierce criticism from many directions at home, including the from the White House and rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump, responding to last week's California shooting spree by two Muslims who the Federal Bureau of Investigation said had been radicalized, called for a complete block on Muslims entering the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on".

"It's so absurd a statement that I don't even wish to react to it," said Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan's most prominent human rights lawyers.

"This is the worst kind of bigotry mixed with ignorance. I would imagine that someone who is hoping to become president of the U.S. doesn't want to compete with an ignorant criminal-minded mullah of Pakistan who denounces people of other religions ... Although we are not as advanced as the U.S., we have never elected such people to power in Pakistan."

Tahir Ashrafi, the head of the Ulema Council, Pakistan's biggest council of Muslim clerics, said Trump's comments promoted violence.

"If some Muslim leader says there is a war between Christians and Muslims, we condemn him. So why should we not condemn an American if he says that?

"Islamic State is a problem of Syria, not religion. If you solve the Syria issue, 75 percent of the IS problem will be solved."

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said his government would not comment on election campaigns in other countries, while adding that his country had made know its position on terrorism.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Muslims-in-Pakistan-Indonesia-condemn-Donald-Trumps-US-bancall/articleshow/50086959.cms?

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Ku Nan raps Donald Trump over anti-Muslim remarks

BY KAMLES KUMAR

December 8, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR,Dec 8 ― Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today criticised aspiring US Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump over the latter’s call for his country to ban Muslim visitors.

Tengku Adnan, who is Umno secretary-general, said Trump’s remarks in response to a shooting spree last week by two Muslims whom US authorities said were radicalised, were unwarranted.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ku-nan-raps-donald-trump-over-anti-muslim-remarks

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Keep guard up in tackling terrorist threats

December 7, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has not been able to gain a realistic foothold in this region, thanks to prompt action on the part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its regional partners in tackling the menace, said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

However, he said, it would be foolish to remain complacent.

Opening the 2nd South and Southeast Asian (SASEAN) Chief of Defence Forces’ Dialogue here today, Hishammuddin said it was clear that no one country, no matter how well-resourced, could tackle this problem on its own.

“This cuts across national borders. We need to come to terms with this new reality and start looking beyond our borders to maintain security and stability in the region,” he said.

Hishammuddin said it must be realised that no matter how localised a threat or conflict was, the potential for it spreading to other nations or even regions was always present.

Hishammuddin also stressed the need for greater military diplomacy, intelligence exchanges and forums of communication.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/07/keep-guard-up-in-tackling-terrorist-threats/

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Pakistan

 

How terror attacks impact on our mental health

December 08, 2015

Islamabad - On November 13, a series of coordinated attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. A week later, armed gunmen stormed a hotel in Mali, seizing hostages while also firing indiscriminately at guests, killing 27 people. And last week a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California left 14 dead.

You could spend hours every day watching, reading and listening to news related to these events. This level of exposure can significantly influence your worldviews and how you live your life. The aftermath of events like these can make people feel more vulnerable. And as cities go on alert because of the threat of future attacks, fear can colour our daily routines and world views.

With my colleague S Justin Sinclair at Harvard Medical School, I have been studying the complexity of terrorism fears, and how fear can affect and motivate people. It is probably not a surprise that a terror attack can have a major impact on people’s mental health. But what sort of effects are common, and how long do they last? To answer that question, we can turn to a growing body of research examining the psychological aftermath of terror attacks.

In 1995 and 1996, France experienced a wave of bombings that killed 12 and injured more than 200. A 2004 retrospective study examined post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates in the victims and found that 31 per cent experienced PTSD. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts about the event.

People may also avoid situations that remind them of the trauma, or have intense feeling of anxiety they didn’t have before. Research has also found an increase in psychiatric symptoms among people living in a city when it is attacked.

For instance, a survey of Madrid residents one to three months after the attacks on a commuter rail line in 2004 found an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Further research suggests that this increase is temporary.

In a 2005 study of London residents conducted a few weeks after the 7/7 attacks, 31 per cent of respondents reported a significant elevation in stress levels and 32 per cent reported an intention to travel less.  A follow-up study conducted seven months later found that the elevated stress levels were significantly reduced.  But, the study also noted that a residual level of worry remained.

Many people reported relatively high levels of perceived threat to self and others, and a more negative world view. We would expect to see an increase in psychiatric disorders among people who were directly affected, or who lived in the city at the time of the attack.  But this can also happen in people who weren’t living in a city when it was attacked.

A survey conducted soon after the September 11 attacks found that 17 per cent of the US population living outside of New York City reported symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Six months later, that dropped to 5.6 per cent.

A 2005 review of psychological research about the effect of September 11 highlighted the uptick in psychiatric symptoms and disorders immediately after the attacks and the relatively quick normalization in the following six to 12 months.  However, people living closer to the area attacked, and thus more directly exposed, were more vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder, than people living further away.

Why do symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder increase in people who weren’t directly exposed?  The explanation might be the intense media coverage of terror attacks.

In the aftermath of September 11, a US study of more than 2,000 adults found that more time spent watching television coverage of the attacks was associated with elevated rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. In essence, a media-related contagion effect is created where people live and relive the attacks when they watch or read stories about them.

This overexposure may, as argued by some, produce a subjective response of fear and helplessness about the threat of future attacks in a minority of adults.

Fear is a natural response to events like the attacks in Paris or Mali. While everyone feels and reacts to fear differently, it can push people to make different decisions about employment, whom to socialize with, using public transportation such as buses and trains, congregating in public and crowded places, and travelling on airplanes.

If you look at these changes across an entire population, you can see how fears of terrorism can have significant consequences on both the national and global economy.  Tourism and shopping may be particularly vulnerable.

For example, airlines suffered major economic losses after 9/11 and were forced to lay off large numbers of employees. While stock markets in New York, Madrid and London dropped after the attacks, they rebounded relatively quickly. Similarly, after the recent attack in Paris, there was reportedly a limited impact on the nation’s stock market.

Terrorists use fear as a psychological weapon, and it can have serious psychological implications for individuals and whole countries. An underlying sense of fear can linger for years after an attack.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/08-Dec-2015/how-terror-attacks-impact-on-our-mental-health

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ISIL has no fighters in Fata: Brigadier Wajid

December 08, 2015

KHYBER AGENCY - Rejecting rumours about the presence of ISIL fighters in Fata, a senior security forces official has said that they would continue war against terrorism until last enemy was eliminated from the Pakistani soil.

Sector Commander Brigadier Wajid Qayyum Paracha stated this while speaking as chief guest at the Khyber Rifles (KR) 20th passing out parade held here yesterday.

Brigadier Wajid said Pakistan army was capable to defend the country’s boundaries.

He said the mission of the security forces was to provide foolproof security to the people of tribal areas.

He said peace has been restored in Tirah valley and Bara areas at the cost of a large number of civil and military casualties rendered for the sake of the motherland.

He said they were chasing some of the remaining TTP and LI affiliates in the hilly border with Afghanistan.

The official said all of the militants’ hideouts and other of their sanctuaries were destroyed while hundreds of other fighters were killed.

Appreciating the outstanding services by the paramilitary troops, brigadier Wajid said Khyber Rifles had played a tremendous role in wars fought against militants in the tribal region.

He said they feel proud on the soldiers imparting services in Khyber Rifles.

The army official said they would not ignore those soldiers and officials of the security forces who sacrificed lives for the sake of Pakistan.

He said they were providing social and economical support to the martyred families.

Sector commander urged the newly recruits that they should respect the local culture and Pashtoons’ tradition while conducting military actions in the area.

Political Agent of Khyber Agency, Sayed Shahab Ali Shah said that militants with different identities and groups are the Pakistan’s enemies.

He said Khasadars and Khyber Levies forces along with the Pak-army have conducted raids on the suspected hide outs.

He said several of important TTP commanders were killed in raids carried out in different areas of Khyber Agency.

PA Khyber said a good number of TTP and LI fighters were arrested from different areas of Khyber Agency.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Dec-2015/isil-has-no-fighters-in-fata-brigadier-wajid

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PM Nawaz chairs high-level huddle to discuss stance on Afghanistan

Dec 8, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday chaired a high-level meeting, attended by top security and and civil officials, to discuss Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan as the Heart of Asia Conference kicks off in Islamabad, said a statement by the PM Office.

The meeting, attended Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, National Security Advisor Lt Gen (r) Nasir Janjua, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, was called to discuss and evaluate arrangements for the conference, which is being attended by top officials from ten countries, including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.

PM Nawaz, in his address to the conference, is expected to discuss Pakistan's policy on Afghanistan.

Read: 'Heart of Asia' conference: Dire security challenges hampering development, says Sartaj.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225001/pm-nawaz-chairs-high-level-huddle-to-discuss-stance-on-afghanistan

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'Heart of Asia' conference: Dire security challenges hampering development, says Sartaj

Dec 8, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The fifth 'Heart of Asia' ministerial conference kicked off in Islamabad today with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz delivering opening remarks at the meeting.

The theme of the meeting, jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan, is ‘Heart of Asia — Istanbul Process: Enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region’.

Addressing the meeting, Aziz said that while the process matures, the focus must remain on strengthening engagement and collaboration "with a view to effectively combating the formidable challenges confronting the region in the field of security, as well as promoting regional economic interaction".

The former National Security Adviser said that a conducive political and security environment is vital for promoting regional economic cooperation and connectivity as socioeconomic development is hampered by the "dire security challenges" the region is mired in.

Therefore, he said, the theme of the 'Heart of Asia Istanbul Process' is pertinent to the needs of the region.

Aziz asserted the process has brought "greater coherence to the work of other regional organisations and projects" focused in Afghanistan, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and the CASA-1000 electricity transmission project, among others.

The PM's adviser said that confidence-building measures identified in the process document "are leading to enhanced regional engagement and cooperation of the 'Heart of Asia' countries" specifically Afghanistan in areas such as trade, economic cooperation, energy, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, disaster management, regional infrastructure and education.

Sartaj was flanked by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

Aziz will hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the conference, Radio Pakistan reported.

'United approach towards counter-terrorism needed'

Hekmat Khalil Karzai in his opening remarks called for a united approach towards countering terrorism and violent extremism, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said the timing of the conference is critical as the region confronts many challenges and the activities of militant groups demand a joined effort towards fighting militancy in its various forms.

The Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister said his country attaches importance to maintaining strong relations with other regional countries for the promotion of economic activities and meeting other challenges and that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan lay in the best interests of the region.

The participation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in the conference has given a new momentum to the ministerial conference.

Senior officials are expected to meet on the first day of the conference and the ministerial conference will be held on the second day. Wednesday's ministerial session will be jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Afghan president.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224975/heart-of-asia-conference-dire-security-challenges-hampering-development-says-sartaj

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Erdogan reassures Shahbaz of Turkey’s support for Pakistan

December 08, 2015

LAHORE - Pakistani people have equal rights on Turkey’s resources and his country is always ready to extend cooperation towards Pakistan in every sector, President Recep Tayyap Erdogan told Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif who met him in Ankara yesterday.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, describing Pakistan as the best friend of Turkey, said his people strongly desire progress of Islamabad under the Nawaz-government.

“The heart of Turkey beats with that of Pakistan.

Our joys and sorrows are common,” he remarked.

Coming back from London after a weeklong visit, the chief minister stopped in Turkey to felicitate the Turkish rulers on the victory of their party, Justice and Development, in the November snap polls.

The chief minister also met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The premier promised help construct houses for low-income people in Punjab.

“A high-level delegation of Turkey will visit Punjab next month to plan housing schemes for the poor in the province,” he told the chief minister.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the Turkish president also discussed national and regional matters.

“The victory of Justice and Development Party in polls reflects unconditional confidence of the people in the leadership,” the chief minister told Recep Tayyap Erdogan.

He said, “Tremendous progress made by Turkey during last 13 years has set an example for other countries.

The CM highlighted the Turkish government’s cooperation in a number of development sectors of Pakistan, citing metro bus and cleanliness arrangements.

He expressed the hope that Turkey would continue similar cooperation in other sectors, particularly energy.

“Turkish companies will be welcome in the mega project of repair and reconstruction of 20,000-km-long roads in the villages of Punjab,” the chief minister said.

Shahbaz Sharif was delighted to note that 39 world-class business companies of Turkey took part in international investment conference held in Punjab last month.

He said Turkey’s help to Pakistan in the times of natural disasters was unforgettable for the people of his country.

The Turkish president lauded the development strategy of Shahbaz Sharif and said the people of Punjab were lucky for having a hard working and honest leader.

Shahbaz Sharif expressed deep grief over the loss of Turkish people in the recent incidents of terrorism.

“The people of Pakistan are equally sad on the loss of lives,” he added.

During a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief minister said, “Pak-Turk relations are unprecedented in the history of nations.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Dec-2015/erdogan-reassures-shahbaz-of-turkey-s-support-for-pakistan

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UN watchdog warns terrorists may seek nuclear material

December 08, 2015

MANILA - The head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency warned Monday of the threat of terrorists getting their hands on radioactive material to make "dirty" bombs.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said all countries should secure material which extremists could use to make such a device.

"Nuclear security is a longstanding and real issue.

This is a real threat in all countries where nuclear material is available to terrorists," he said during a visit to the Philippines for an atomic energy conference.

"If nuclear material falls into the hands of terrorists that can be used for dirty bombs," he said, referring to devices that use explosives to spread radioactive material over a wide area to poison people.

Amano said such devices, which are much easier to make than an atomic bomb, could cause widespread panic if unleashed in a city.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Dec-2015/un-watchdog-warns-terrorists-may-seek-nuclear-material

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Mideast

 

Palestinian shot dead in Israeli army raid in Bethlehem

8 December 2015

Israeli soldiers shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian as clashes broke out during a raid at a refugee camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Tuesday, Palestinian medics and the Israeli army said.

After the incident at the Dheisheh refugee camp, clashes also broke out at Aida, another camp in Bethlehem, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The person killed was identified as Malek Shahin, but the reason for the raid was not yet clear.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/08/Israel-PM-names-national-security-adviser-as-next-spy-chief.html

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Zarif, Lavrov stress joint efforts to end terrorism in Syria

Dec 8, 2015

Iran and Russia have once again emphasized their determination to continue joint efforts aimed at boosting the fight against the Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Syria.

In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, discussed the latest developments in the Middle East region, particularly the situation in Syria.

Zarif and Lavrov agreed that Tehran and Moscow should continue coordinated anti-terror efforts based on the agreements reached during the recent rounds of international talks held in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on the deadly crisis in Syria.

The two top diplomats further underlined the necessity for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the high-level international discussions.

Two conferences were held on the Syria crisis in October and November in Vienna. The parties to the talk, including Iran, have been trying to work out a peace plan that would also include a ceasefire in the violence-torn Arab country.

At the end of the mid-November round of negotiations, the participants agreed to meet again in “approximately one month” to review progress towards a ceasefire and the start of a political process in the violence-scarred country, according to a closing statement.

However, they remained at loggerheads over the role that Syrian President Assad would play in Syria’s political process. While some countries, such as the US and its regional allies, want the removal of the Syrian leader as part of a solution to the issue, others, including Iran and Russia, say only the Syrian nation can have a say on the matter.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that a third round of talks on Syria crisis would be held in New York. However, Ban stopped short of announcing a specific date for the negotiations.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/08/440807/Iran-Russia-Zarif-Lavrov-Syria-Vienna-talks

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Iran tests missile, ‘breaches U.N. resolutions’

8 December 2015

Iran tested a new medium-range ballistic missile last month in a breach of two U.N. Security Council resolutions, two U.S. officials said on Monday.

The officials, both speaking on condition of anonymity, said the test was held on Nov. 21. One of them said the missile traveled within Iranian territory.

Fox News earlier on Monday on its website cited Western intelligence sources as saying the test was held near Chabahar, a port city near Iran’s border with Pakistan.

All ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under a 2010 Security Council resolution that remains valid until a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is implemented.

Under that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. According to a July 20 resolution endorsing that deal, Iran is still “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/08/Iran-tests-missile-breaches-U-N-resolutions-.html

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Yemen confirms 7-day ceasefire for peace talks

8 December 2015

Yemen’s president told the United Nations that he has asked the Saudi-led coalition to begin a 7-day ceasefire on Dec. 15 to coincide with U.N.-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending months of fighting.

“I have notified the leadership of the Coalition of our intention to cease fire for a period of seven days, starting December 15 until December 21,” President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said in a letter on Monday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“This will coincide with the starting of consultations and will automatically be renewed upon commitment by the Houthis,” he added.

Hadi’s letter, which it said was also sent to the U.N. Security Council, confirmed remarks made earlier on Monday by U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who said Hadi’s government and the Houthis were committed to the peace process laid down by the Security Council in April.

“I hope you would inform the U.N. envoy of the need to ensure that the Houthis would respect the ceasefire, and to take practical steps to ensure adherence to the permanent ceasefire, so that the Coalition forces would not deal with any breach of the ceasefire,” Hadi said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/08/Yemen-confirms-7-day-ceasefire-for-peace-talks.html

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Turkey detains alleged supporters of Erdogan foe in police force

8 December 2015

Turkish police detained 18 people including senior police officers on Tuesday, in an investigation of alleged supporters within the police force of President Tayyip Erdogan’s foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

It said arrest warrants were issued for 27 police officers in an operation across 13 provinces and focused on Istanbul. The private Dogan news agency said the operation focused on former officers, including police chiefs.

Operations targeting alleged supporters of Gulen have continued unabated since a parliamentary election won convincingly on Nov. 1 by the AK Party which Erdogan founded.

Last month dozens of people, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, were detained in an operation in the western city of Izmir over alleged links to what prosecutors have dubbed the “Gulenist terror group”.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/08/Turkey-detains-alleged-supporters-of-Erdogan-foe-in-police-force.html

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Turkey detains alleged supporters of Erdogan foe in police force

Dec 8, 2015

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained 18 people including senior police officers on Tuesday, in an investigation of alleged supporters within the police force of President Tayyip Erdogan's foe, Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, state-run Anadolu Agency said.

It said arrest warrants were issued for 27 police officers in an operation across 13 provinces and focused on Istanbul. The private Dogan news agency said the operation focused on former officers, including police chiefs.

Operations targeting alleged supporters of Gulen have continued unabated since a parliamentary election won convincingly on Nov 1 by the AK Party which Erdogan founded.

Last month dozens of people, including senior police officers and bureaucrats, were detained in an operation in the western city of Izmir over alleged links to what prosecutors have dubbed the "Gulenist terror group".

Gulen was formerly an ally of Erdogan and believed to have wielded considerable influence in the judiciary and bureaucracy.

Erdogan turned against the cleric and his followers, accusing them of constituting a "parallel state", after police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan's inner circle in 2013.

The cleric has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and is the subject of arrest warrants in Turkey.

A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of up to 34 years on allegations that he sought to topple Erdogan. Gulen denies the allegation.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224994/turkey-detains-alleged-supporters-of-erdogan-foe-in-police-force

Yemen president confirms proposed 7-day ceasefire for peace talks

UNITED NATIONS: Yemen's president told the United Nations (UN) on Monday that he has asked the Saudi-led coalition to begin a 7-day ceasefire on December 15 to coincide with UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending months of fighting that has killed nearly 6,000 people.

"I informed the coalition's leadership that we intend to start a ceasefire for 7 days, from December 15 to 21, in conjunction with the consultations," President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Excerpts of the letter, translated from Arabic, were seen by Reuters.

"It will be renewed automatically in case of compliance from the other side," Hadi said.

Hadi's letter to Ban, which it said was also sent to the UN Security Council (UNSC), confirmed remarks made earlier on Monday by UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who said Hadi's exiled government of Houthis were committed to the peace process laid down by the Security Council in April.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225002/yemen-president-confirms-proposed-7-day-ceasefire-for-peace-talks

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South Asia

 

ISIS releases new video calling Afghan Taliban a deviant group

Dec 08 2015

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist in Afghanistan have released a new video taking aim at the Afghan Taliban and calling it a deviant group.

The latest video by ISIS loyalists in Afghanistan comes amid growing power struggle among the Taliban leadership with reports suggesting the Taliban group leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor has sustained injuries or even has died due to his wounds following an infighting in Pakistan.

A man appears in the video and identifies himself as Abu Yasir Al-Afghani, accusing the Taliban group of working with Pakistan’s military intelligence – Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/isis-releases-new-video-calling-afghan-taliban-a-deviant-group-1775

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Karzai calls for urgent and united response to menace of terrorism

Dec 08 2015

The Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai called for an urgent and united response to the menace of terrorism threatening the region and the world.

Karzai’s remarks followed during the opening of the annual ‘Heart of Asia’ summit in Islamabad which would focus on shoring up commitment to Afghanistan.

He said “The wave of terrorist activities, including those of Daesh in various parts of the region and the world, once again reminds us of the gravity of this menace confronting today’s humanity and the urgency for a united position against this evil phenomenon.”

Efforts to revive the stalled Afghan peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban group will also be discussed during the summit besides the summit participants holding talks on energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up commitment to Afghanistan.

According to reports, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani will also participate in the summit on Wedsday, during the second day of the conference.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/karzai-calls-for-urgent-and-united-response-to-menace-of-terrorism-1776

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No evidence to prove Taliban chief dead: Ghani

December 08, 2015

KABUL - There is no evidence to prove that Taliban supremo Mulla Akhtar Mansour is dead, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Monday, after days of fevered speculation about his fate following reports of an internal firefight. Ghani’s comment comes after multiple insurgent sources cast doubt on the authenticity of a Taliban audio message over the weekend purporting that Mansour was alive and well.

“There is no evidence that Mulla Mansour has been killed,” Ghani told a press conference. “The incident that occurred should be carefully analysed,” he said. Ghani was seemingly referring to a reported gunfight at an insurgent gathering near the Pakistani town of Quetta last Tuesday which is said to have left Mansour critically wounded. Vehement denials by the Islamist group of any clash have fallen on sceptical ears, especially after they kept the death of longtime chief Mullah Omar secret for two years. Ghani’s remarks are at odds with those of a government spokesman, who sparked a flurry of reactions when he tweeted on Friday that Mansour was dead.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Dec-2015/no-evidence-to-prove-taliban-chief-dead-ghani

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Bangladesh island losing battle to stem climate tide

December 08, 2015

Christian OTTON - Hamida Begum has fled her home on Bangladesh’s Kutubdia island more times than she can remember while her neighbours have already given up the battle to prevent theirs being swallowed by the sea.

“I am scared our house will be washed away as well some day and during the monsoon season we can’t live here at all,” says the mother-of-four, standing outside the only one of a row of mud-brick shacks still intact.

“But this is our land and besides, we don’t have money to go elsewhere.

Although around 100,000 people still reside on Kutubdia, few have any illusions they are living on borrowed time, with Coast - a Bangladeshi NGO - warning the whole island could disappear underwater within 50 years.

Tens of thousands have already left for good, mainly heading to the teeming capital Dhaka or a slum area of Cox’s Bazaar, a resort town some 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.

In the build-up to the climate conference in Paris, there has been focus on low-lying island nations such as the Seychelles or those in the South Pacific which face obliteration if sea levels continue rising at current rates.

But their populations are dwarfed by the numbers living on the dozens of Bangladeshi islands and vulnerable coastal areas in what is one of the world’s flattest - and poorest - nations.

“We have a long coastline, where about 39 million people live,” Bangladesh’s environment secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed told AFP.

“If we have to shift those people to other areas it will be a big task for us because ours is a very densely populated country and we cannot really take all those people to other areas.

Bangladesh, along with the Philippines, Myanmar, and Haiti, is among the 10 nations most affected by the consequences of extreme weather events, according to a new climate survey released by advocacy group Germanwatch.

Losing battle

In 2009 the government set up a climate change trust fund, earmarking around six percent of the annual budget on adaptation measures.

On Kutubdia, authorities have erected a network of flood defences and stilted cyclone shelters where residents retreat during monsoons which turn what is a slice of paradise in the Bay of Bengal into a near warzone.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Dec-2015/bangladesh-island-losing-battle-to-stem-climate-tide

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Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan, Sartaj Aziz says

Dec 08 2015

Pakistan’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz said Tuesday that Islamabad wants peace in Afghanistan, insisting on his country will support all endeavours aimed at strengthening peace and security in the country.

In his remarks ahead of Ministerial Heart of Asia Conference, Azizi said instability in Afghanistan is not in the interest of Pakistan.

Renewing Pakistan’s commitment to support all endeavours aimed at strengthening peace and security in Afghanistan, Aziz said the Herat of Asia summit is an effective platform for promoting regional economic cooperation and connectivity, with Afghanistan at its centre, according to Radio Pakistan.

Insisting on good progress of the summit since it was launched in 2011, Aziz said the summit provides an opportunity to member countries in result-oriented engagements for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, and a secure and prosperous region as a whole.

He said political consultation involving Afghanistan and its neighbours and the regional countries with a view to promoting mutual trust in the areas of security and economic interaction was among the key achievements of the summit.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-wants-peace-in-afghanistan-sartaj-aziz-says-1777

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Russia carefully considering Afghanistan’s request for arms supply: Kabulov

Dec 07 2015

The Russian Presidential to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Monday that Moscow is carefully considering Afghanistan’s request for the supply of arms to the Afghan national security forces.

The remarks by Kabulov comes as Afghanistan has stepped up efforts to attract more support for the Afghan national security forces by reaching to regional allies for the supply of weapons and gunship helicopters.

However, Kabulov has said the task of weapons supply to Afghan forces primarilty goes to the United States and its allies having forces in Afghanistan.

“There have been requests already and they are being reviewed, but this will be done in stages, with thought and reason,” Kabulov told RIA Novosti.

The Afghan national security forces took full control of the security from the led coalition security forces last year and are in critical need of air support amid deteriorating security situation across the country.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/russia-carefully-considering-afghanistans-request-for-arms-supply-kabulov-1773

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Russia carefully considering Afghanistan’s request for arms supply: Kabulov

Dec 07 2015

The Russian Presidential to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said Monday that Moscow is carefully considering Afghanistan’s request for the supply of arms to the Afghan national security forces.

The remarks by Kabulov comes as Afghanistan has stepped up efforts to attract more support for the Afghan national security forces by reaching to regional allies for the supply of weapons and gunship helicopters.

However, Kabulov has said the task of weapons supply to Afghan forces primarilty goes to the United States and its allies having forces in Afghanistan.

“There have been requests already and they are being reviewed, but this will be done in stages, with thought and reason,” Kabulov told RIA Novosti.

The Afghan national security forces took full control of the security from the led coalition security forces last year and are in critical need of air support amid deteriorating security situation across the country.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/russia-carefully-considering-afghanistans-request-for-arms-supply-kabulov-1773

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JMB man admits shooting Kunio Hoshi, cops say

December 08, 2015

An operative of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), who opened fire on Japanese national Kunio Hoshi, made judicial confession about his role in the murder, Deputy Inspector General of Rangpur Humayun Kabir said today.

Apart from the killing, police found JMB link to the murder of a Khadem and attack on a Rangpur Medical College Hospital staff, the DIG said at a press briefing at his office.

Kunio Hoshi, 66, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Kaunia upazila of Rangpur on October 3, just five days after an Italian aid worker was murdered in Dhaka's diplomatic zone.

In another attack, Rahamat Ali, 55, a khadem of a mazar, was hacked to death in Choita intersection area under the same upazila on November 11.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/jmb-man-admits-shooting-kunio-hoshi-cops-say-184171

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Verdict on Nizami appeal Jan 6

December 08, 2015

The Supreme Court today fixed January 6 for delivering verdict on the appeal filed by war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami challenging his death penalty.

The four-bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha set the date after concluding hearing on the appeal.

During the hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam prayed to the apex court to uphold the death penalty of Nizami saying the Jamaat-e-Islami chief instigated the Al-Badr, an auxiliary force of the occupation Pakistani army, to commit the crimes against humanity including killing the intellectuals in 1971.

Meanwhile, defence lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain, the principal counsel for Nizami, urged the court to acquit his client from all the eight charges brought against the 75-year-old Jamaat leader.

He however prayed to the court to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment if the apex court finds him guilty of his wartime offence.

International Crimes Tribunal-1 on October 29 last year handed Nizami the death penalty on four charges of war crimes, including murdering intellectuals. He was awarded life imprisonment on four other charges.

On November 23 last year, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami challenged the ICT-1 verdict.

Nizami must be sentenced to death: AG

Talking to reporters following today’s court hearing, the attorney general observed that people will be frustrated if Nizami is not sentenced to death for his crimes against humanity in 1971.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/verdict-nizami-appeal-jan-6-184135

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Arab World

 

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Continues Destroying Terrorists' Positions across Syria

Dec 08, 2015

The Syrian troops razed down the strongholds of the terrorists in the key provinces of Homs, Hama, Idlib, Aleppo, Lattakia, Sweida and Dara'a.

Tens of the ISIL terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured in the Syrian airstrikes in the Syrian army's military operations across Syria.

Homs

The Syrian Air Force bombed ISIL's fortified positions and movements in Quaryatayn city Southeast of Homs.

ISIL positions and vehicles along with all terrorists and weapons inside them were destroyed during the airstrikes.

The Army's airstrikes also destroyed gatherings and fortified positions of ISIL in Qassr al-Halabat area to the West of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmour).

An army unit eliminated in a concentrated operation a number of terrorists in the area surrounding Jisr al-Dmina near al-Rastan city.

Meantime, the Syrian army engaged in heavy clashes with the Takfiri militants in the Central Province of Homs on Monday amid reports of Syrian airstrikes on ISIL positions in the province.

Sources said scores of terrorists were killed and injured in the clashes with the Syrian troops in Homs province.

Field sources also said the Syrian warplanes bombed ISIL strongholds in al-Quaryatayn city in Homs.

Hama

The army destroyed terrorists' command center and 3 vehicles and killed more than 15 terrorists in Kifr Zeita in Hama's Northern countryside.

The army also killed 10 terrorists in al-Latamneh and destroyed terrorists' gatherings in Ma'an town. Army units clashed with terrorists who tried to infiltrate into the eastern side of Morek area and killed and injured the majority of the assailants and destroyed two vehicles.

Meantime, the army killed 8 terrorists, including groups' leaders, and destroyed a hideout and ammo depot in al-Latamneh and killed 12 terrorists in Kifr Zeita.

The army destroyed a vehicle equipped with heavy machinegun and a mortar base of "Jeish al-Fath" terrorist group in Maarkaba in the Northern countryside of the province.

Senior terrorist commanders were killed in Hama as the Syrian army intensified its anti-terrorism operations against the Takfiri militants in the Syrian province on Monday.

Field sources said the army killed eight terrorists from the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, including senior commanders in Kafr Zita town.

Idlib

The army destroyed terrorists' gatherings and convoy of vehicles, killing more than 15 terrorists and destroying many of their vehicles in al-Tamanaa area in the province of Idlib.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000374

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More Militants Surrender in Syria's Dara'a

Dec 07, 2015

Informed sources said the militants surrendered to the competent authorities to be pardoned.

On Sunday, over 180 wanted militants turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities in Dara'a.

Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian government announced that it has released tens of militants who had been jailed for armed struggle against the Damascus government.

President Bashar Assad’s government freed 270 militants within the framework of the country's reconciliation plan, the Arabic service of Russia Today television channel said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916001172

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Leaked Islamic State manual shows how it plans to arm children

December 8, 2015

A 24-page leaked Islamic State manual entitled ‘Principles in the administration of the Islamic State’ revealed how the terrorist organisation plans of providing arms training for children. The blueprint was obtained and published by the Guardian on Monday.

The manual says that children will receive “training on bearing light arms” and “outstanding individuals” will be “selected from them for security portfolio assignments, including checkpoints, patrols”. This is for the first time that there is documented proof available on the Islamic State’s intentions of grooming children for war. The documents also shed light on training camps for recruits and veterans.

Dated sometime last year, the documents also contain plans of establishing government departments that will oversee public sectors such as health, education, commerce, communications and jobs. This is surprisingly in contrast to the organisations barbarity and reveals its ambitions of developing a state in Iraq and Syria.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/leaked-islamic-state-documents-show-how-it-plans-to-arm-children/

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Number of foreign Daesh members has doubled since June 2014: Report

Dec 8, 2015

The number of foreign extremists fighting for the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has doubled since last June, reaching at least 27,000, a report says.

The intelligence consultancy, Soufan Group, said in a report on Tuesday that between 27,000 and 31,000 foreigners from some 86 countries had joined Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The New York-based group said the figure shows a drastic rise from the approximately 12,000 foreign militants it had recorded as being in Syria in June 2014, around the same time the insurgents entered Iraq.

“The foreign fighter phenomenon in Iraq and Syria is truly global,” the group warned in its report, according to which about 5,000 individuals have arrived from European countries and some 4,700 from former Soviet Union states to fight for Daesh. More than 16,000 others have come from other countries in the Middle East and Africa.

About 20 to 30 percent of those who fought in Syria and Iraq are currently returning to their home countries, posing a major security threat to those nations, the report added.

Daesh terrorists have repeatedly called on the group’s members to carry out attacks in their home countries, similar to those carried out in the French capital, Paris, on November 13, which left some 130 people dead.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/08/440809/Syria-Iraq-Daesh-Soufan

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Syria: Army Kills over 62 Terrorists in Hama, Idlib

Dec 08, 2015

In Hama, a military source said the army destroyed terrorists' command center and 3 vehicles and killed more than 15 terrorists in Kifr Zeita in Hama's Northern countryside.

The army also killed 10 terrorists in al-Latamneh and destroyed terrorists' gatherings in Ma'an town. Army units clashed with terrorists who tried to infiltrate into the eastern side of Morek area and killed and injured the majority of the assailants and destroyed two vehicles.

Later in the day, field sources told the state news agency that the army killed 8 terrorists, including groups' leaders, and destroyed a hideout and ammo depot in al-Latamneh and killed 12 terrorists in Kifr Zeita.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000061

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'Reckless' arms transfers to Iraq fuelled IS crimes: Amnesty report

Dec 8, 2015

BAGHDAD: Decades of irresponsible arms transfers to Iraq fuelled the militant Islamic State (IS) group's firepower and ability to carry out atrocities on a massive scale, Amnesty International said in a report published Tuesday.

The London-based human rights watchdog called for tougher controls in order to put a stop to the alarming fallout from the proliferation of weapons in the country.

"The vast and varied weaponry being used by the armed group calling itself IS is a textbook case of how reckless arms trading fuels atrocities on a massive scale," Amnesty researcher Patrick Wilcken said in a statement.

"Poor regulation and lack of oversight of the immense arms flows into Iraq going back decades have given IS and other armed groups a bonanza of unprecedented access to firepower," he said.

The huge amounts of internationally manufactured weapons IS seized when it took Iraq's second city Mosul in June 2014 were used to take over other parts of the country and commit crimes against civilians, the report said.

Besides its massive haul in Mosul, the militant organisation also captured vast quantities of military equipment when it seized army and police bases in Fallujah, Tikrit, Saqlawiya, and Ramadi as well as in Syria.

As Iraq's security forces battle to recapture Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, their task is complicated by IS' acquisition when it seized the city in May of what Amnesty said were "more than 100 armoured fighting vehicles, including dozens of tanks and armoured personnel carriers".

IS has disseminated these windfalls across its multiple fronts very effectively, with some weapons seized in Mosul in use barely two weeks later in an area of northern Syria some 500 kilometres away.

Amnesty inventoried the weapons IS is confirmed to possess and said the results "reflects decades of irresponsible arms transfers to Iraq".

'Wake-up call'

While IS' staple remains Russian-designed weapons such as the Kalashnikov assault rifle, Amnesty found that the group has been using arms and ammunition from at least 25 countries.

In the small arms category alone, IS' choice of rifles ranges from the Iraqi-manufactured Tabuk to the United States-made Bushmaster E2S and also includes the Chinese CQ, the German G36 and the Belgian FAL among others.

The Iraqi army's stockpile swelled around the 1980-1998 Iraq-Iran war, which the report described as "a seminal moment in the development of the modern global arms market".

Iraq was also flooded with weapons after the 2003 US-led invasion and fresh deals reached after the 2011 US pull out are continuing to pour arms into the country.

Amnesty said the export countries — including all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — were well aware of the risks of transferring arms to Iraq, where corruption is endemic and control mechanisms very weak.

"The legacy of arms proliferation and abuse in Iraq and the surrounding region has already destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and poses an ongoing threat," Wilcken said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224977/reckless-arms-transfers-to-iraq-fuelled-is-crimes-amnesty-report

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Iraq PM says IS smuggles majority of oil via Turkey

December 08, 2015

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Monday that most oil smuggled by the Islamic State group goes through Turkey, joining a chorus of countries linking it with the jihadists' financing.

During a meeting with Germany's visiting foreign minister, Abadi stressed the "importance of stopping oil smuggling by (IS) terrorist gangs, the majority of which is smuggled via Turkey," a statement from his office said.

Relations with Ankara have improved since Abadi took office in 2014, but tensions remain over issues including the Syrian civil war, and more recently a row over a Turkish military deployment in northern Iraq. It is the latest in a series of accusations linking Turkey and oil smuggling by IS, which overran large parts of Iraq last year and also holds major territory in neighbouring Syria. Russia accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in the IS oil trade, to which he responded that Russia was in fact involved.

Meanwhile, a senior Turkish official said that Turkey will not withdraw troops it has deployed near an area controlled by the Islamic State group, after Iraq ordered the immediate withdrawal of its latest contingent. Turkey deployed up to 300 soldiers to the Bashiqa area near the city of Mosul, the militant group’s main hub in Iraq, describing it as a routine rotation in its programme of training Iraqis to retake the city from IS.

But Baghdad on Sunday gave Turkey 48 hours to withdraw its forces, saying they had entered the country illegally and threatening to appeal to the UN Security Council.

“We expect them to remain,” the official told a group of foreign media representatives in Istanbul.

“It will depend on discussions but obviously our forces, as we know from the officers on the ground, from the demands of different groups over there, from what we are discussing with the central government and from what we have discussed with the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), they will stay,” he said.

The official said the new deployment last week included 150 to 300 soldiers backed by 20 tanks near a base in Basiqa, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Mosul, which was seized by IS in June 2014.

Turkey first deployed troops at the base almost two years ago in coordination with the Iraqi defence ministry to train both Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Sunni Arabs hoping to retake Mosul from IS, the official added.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday said in a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi that there would be no new deployment of forces until Baghdad’s concerns were addressed, but the future of the forces already sent had remained unclear.

In an interview with Turkey’s Kanal 24 television on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “It is our duty to provide security for our soldiers providing training” around Mosul.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Dec-2015/iraq-pm-says-is-smuggles-majority-of-oil-via-turkey

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Syrian Army in Full Control over Al-Khalidiyah in Aleppo City

Dec 08, 2015

For several months, Al-Nusra Front and their allies have tried to seize the Al-Khalidiyah Industrial Sector that is located at the eastern axis of the Al-Layramoun, however, they have failed to bypass the defenses of the Syrian army so far.

Finally, after more than 8 months of back-and-forth fighting between the Al-Layramoun and Al-Khalidiyah Quarters, the Syrian government forces backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) – seized the opportunity and cleared out this part of Aleppo City, capturing several building blocks that leads into Al-Layramoun’s Industrial Sector.

In addition to their success at the Al-Khalidiyah Quarter, the Syrian army backed by the pro-government Palestinian resistance group “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) and the National Defense Forces – cleared out the remaining pockets of resistance near Building 11 in the Al-Zahra Association Quarter of west Aleppo.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000330

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Militants Withdraw from More Regions Northeast of Syria's Lattakia

Dec 08, 2015

The Syria government forces stormed the militant groups' defense lines in Arafit, Yaqubar, Mughayriyah and Kafr Dulbah in the Northeastern part of the province, and forced the terrorists to retreat from the battlefronts, the army said.

"12 of the militants were killed or wounded in the Syrian forces' attacks," it added.

"The army also seized large amounts of the militants' weapons and ammunition," they said.

Also, the Syrian army captured Beit Fares village in Lattakia after several hours of clashes with the terrorists.

The Syrian army and its allies, backed up by the Russian and Syrian fighter jets, have gained eye-catching victories against the militant groups in the coastal province in recent weeks.

On Monday, the Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Groups, won back two key villages in Lattakia in a new setback to the Takfiri militants.

The Syrian forces regained control of the villages of Akko and Bouz al-Kherba in Lattakia.

Informed sources said scores of terrorists were killed and injured in the military operations.

On Sunday, military sources announced that the Syrian Army alongside the country’s popular forces continued pushing back the militant groups from mountainous regions near the border with Turkey, after fierce clashes with the terrorists.

The militants’ concentration centers near Tell Ghazaleh came under massive attack of the Syrian army men and the NDF on Sunday, the sources said.

“The pro-government forces’ operation forced the militants to withdraw from the battle zone after leaving behind scores of dead and wounded members,” the sources further added.

 “Tell Ghazaleh and its surrounding areas are now under full control of the Syrian forces,” the military officials said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000270

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Army Destroys ISIL's Fortified Stronghold in Homs

Dec 08, 2015

ISIL positions and vehicles along with all terrorists and weapons inside them were destroyed during the airstrikes.

The Army's airstrikes also destroyed gatherings and fortified positions of ISIL in Qassr al-Halabat area to the West of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmour).

An army unit eliminated in a concentrated operation a number of terrorists in the area surrounding Jisr al-Dmina near al-Rastan city.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000099

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Syrian Army's Elite Troops Advance in East Aleppo After Crushing ISIL in Al-Shuwaylekh

Dec 08, 2015

Media sources accompanying the Syrian Armed Forces near the Kuweires Military Airport, the Tiger Forces – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City and Al-Salamiyah (East Hama city), Hezbollah, Kataebat Al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions), and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) troops – completed control over Al-Shuwaylekh following their advance from the nearby village of Nasrallah, directly to the North of the frontline.

With Al-Shuwaylekh under the control of the Tiger Forces and their allies, they have the large village of Humaymah Al-Kabeera surrounded from two different flanks, while also holding the high ground after capturing the strategic hilltop of Tal Humaymah, army sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000014

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Bomb Explosion Hits Russian Consulate in Syria's Aleppo

Dec 08, 2015

A car bomb reportedly was exploded in front of the Russian consulate overnight, the sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940917000322

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Saudi, UAE Weapons Found in Terrorists' Stronghold in Syria's Lattakia

Dec 07, 2015

Syrian army sources said that a large volume of military hardware and food parcels that had been supplied by Saudi Arabia and the UAE were found in the positions of the militant groups after the Syrian army pushed them back from their strongholds in the villages of Akko and Bouz al-Kherba in the Northern part of Lattakia province.

The government forces also seized missile launching pads, various types of weapons and a field hospital in the captured villages.

Reports said earlier that the Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Groups, won back two key villages in the coastal province of Lattakia in a new setback to the Takfiri militants.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916001179

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US Attempting to Infiltrate Syria via Jordan

Dec 07, 2015

The Kuwaiti al-Rai news (paper) website quoted an informed diplomat as saying that the US is attempting to gather the forces called by Washington as armed dissidents in one region to create a 'concentration center' in Syria to pave the ground for its infiltration in the Arab state.

According to the report, recently, a number of US-supported terrorists have entered regions in Southwestern Syria which shares borders with Jordan. The reports of the deployment have been rejected by Amman.

When Russia started air raids on terrorists in Syria over two months ago, some 3,000 terrorists escaped through the border with Jordan, and shared efforts by Amman and the US failed to encourage any more than 1,000 terrorists to go back to Syria.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000668

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Syria: US-Led Airstrikes Kill 20 Civilians in Hasaka

Dec 07, 2015

The US-led airstrikes hit al-Khan near al-Hawl town in Hasakah, killing 20 civilians and injuring 30 others.

Earlier this morning, four US-led coalition warplanes targeted the Syrian army camp with 9 rockets, claiming the lives of 4 soldiers and injuring 16 others.

Both dissidents and government sources confirmed early on Monday that the US warplanes struck the military camp of the Syrian army’s 137th Artillery Brigade (17th Reserve Division) in the Southern part of 'Ayyash' village, killing 4 soldiers instantly and wounding 16 more. Six of the wounded soldiers are in critical condition.

They further added that the ISIL terrorists stormed the bombed camp a few hours after the air attack.

The Syrian army’s 137th Brigade has been protecting the civilians in 'Ayyash' from the swarming ISIL fighters that are attempting to break into the provincial capital of the Deir Ezzur province from the Northern side; this airstrike only boosted the ISIL positions inside this village and the nearby broadcast tower.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916001473

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Foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria ‘have doubled’

8 December 2015

The number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria has more than doubled since last year to at least 27,000, a report by an intelligence consultancy said on Tuesday, highlighting the global dimension of the conflict.

The figures, compiled by The Soufan Group, indicate that efforts by countries around the world to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria and blunt the appeal of violent organizations such as ISIS appear to have made little impact.

“The foreign fighter phenomenon in Iraq and Syria is truly global,” the New York-based organization’s report said.

“The Islamic State has seen success beyond the dreams of other terrorist groups that now appear conventional and even old-fashioned, such as Al-Qaeda.

“It has energized tens of thousands of people to join it, and inspired many more to support it.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/08/Foreign-fighters-to-Iraq-and-Syria-have-doubled-.html

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US, Yemen terror strikes slammed

8 December 2015

RIYADH: The Cabinet at its weekly meeting on Monday condemned the assassination of the governor of Aden, the terror attacks in Chad and California, US.

The Cabinet, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, at Al-Yamamah Palace, appreciated the Kingdom’s keenness to solve the Syrian crisis politically and to host all categories of moderate Syrian opposition to participate in an expanded meeting of the Syrian opposition in Riyadh, scheduled for Dec. 8- 10, in consultation with all parties concerned and the UN envoy in Syria.

The meeting renewed call on members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention and boost global cooperation in this regard.

The Cabinet also welcomed the UN Security Council Resolution No 2235, 2015, for the formation of a joint committee from the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Cabinet welcomed leaders of the GCC countries in their 36th Summit, scheduled for Wednesday in Riyadh and praised achievements realized by the GCC countries.

The meeting renewed call on the countries joining the Conference of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, recently held in Paris, to jointly launch an initiative on studies related to clean energy and encourage investments in these areas to realize the objectives of the clean energy.

The Cabinet appreciated the statement issued following the convening of the Saudi-Egyptian Coordination Council (SECC) in Riyadh, headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian Premier Sharif Ismail Mohammed.

The joint meeting agreed to form work teams to support the SECC to complete reviewing initiatives, draft agreements, memorandums of understanding and executive programs emanating from the Cairo Declaration.

The Cabinet was briefed on the results of the Kingdom’s participation, represented by King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works, at the 6th annual conference on effective partnership and exchange of information on humanitarian action in Kuwait, where the conference was briefed on the center’s humanitarian programs and works in Yemen.

At the local front, the Cabinet appreciated the approval of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of the launching of King Salman Program for Human Resources Development, which is aimed to raise the level of performance of government employees and their productivity.

The Cabinet was briefed on reports related to preparations for upcoming municipal elections.

Later, the Cabinet approved number of decisions including the banning of cultivation of green fodder in a period not exceeding three years where the Ministry of Agriculture is assigned to prepare an all-out study to ensure the implementation of the decision and provide suitable alternatives for animal breeders to have fodder at affordable prices.

The meeting approved the application of the private health company system on the charity societies desiring to open charity health companies and authorized the Minister of Telecommunications’ and Information Technology to discuss two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the South Korean side on cooperation in the area of e-government, and telecom and IT.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/847311

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GCC to focus on terrorism

8 December 2015

RIYADH: Riyadh is adorned to host the 36th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, which will discuss ways and means to fight the menace of terrorism, and brainstorm on other key regional issues including conflicts in

Syria and Yemen.

The 36th session of the the six-nation GCC’s Supreme Council will kick off Wednesday amid elaborate civil and security arrangements in the capital. The summit will conclude Thursday.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman here on Monday welcomed the GCC leaders to the summit at the 36th session, which will also commend achievements of the GCC states besides discussing key issues.

Riyadh police have stepped up security at the venue and on roads leading to the GCC headquarters. “All arrangements have been made for the summit,” a Riyadh police spokesman said Monday. City roads including the airport road and Khurais Road leading to the venue have been decorated with the national flags of member countries and welcome banners, especially on main intersections on the route.

Gearing up for the key summit, the GCC held preparatory meetings of the drafting committee and the fight against terrorism topped the agenda for the upcoming summit.

“Fighting terrorism is at the forefront of the concerns of GCC leaders and will be among the top priorities to be discussed at the 36th GCC summit,” a GCC official said, adding that the group considers terrorism to be contrary to the teachings of Islam and its humanitarian values.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/847261

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

 

Africa

 

Nigeria president says may extend deadline to fight Boko Haram

Dec 7, 2015

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has suggested that military operations against the Takfiri Boko Haram militants could be extended as the Abuja government is likely to miss a deadline to end the militancy.

In a message sent to an army top brass meeting in the northern state of Jigawa, President Buhari said on Monday that the self-imposed December 31 deadline was only "a guide."

"Let me emphasize that the time frame should serve as a guide and if exigency of multiple operations across the country advises a modification, the federal government will not hesitate to do so in order to address new flashpoints that are rearing their ugly heads in some parts of the country," Buhari said.

In August, the Nigerian president pledged to defeat the terrorists and gave the country’s military commanders until the end of December to meet that goal.

The Nigerian military has claimed a string of successes against the militants in recent months. But with just weeks left to the deadline there has been no let-up in the Boko Haram violence in Nigeria and neighboring countries.

Militant attacks and bomb explosions still remain widespread in Nigeria's northeast. The terror attacks are almost a daily occurrence in northern Cameroon, southeastern Niger and on the Chadian side of Lake Chad, where all four countries meet.

The latest presidential statement will likely be seized upon by Buhari's political opponents as backpedaling.

However, Buhari had earlier made it clear that he expected an end to "the main conventional attacks" by the deadline.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/07/440745/Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Buhari-December-Deadline

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

 

Regional anti-Boko Haram coalition in jeopardy

07 December 2015

Hopes to establish a regional taskforce by countries making up the Lake Chad region to fight the militant group Boko Haram appear to have withered away.

Following months of negotiations and efforts by Nigeria's former president Goodluck Jonathan and his successor President Muhammadu Buhari, an 8,700-strong regional army comprising of soldiers from Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin was put together and was initially to be deployed by the end of July.

Four months after the appointed time, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has yet to begin operations raising concerns the regional alliance has collapsed – a fear deepened by the recent reported pullout of the Chadian forces from the alliance.

Nigeria and Chad have known rocky relations in the past. Earlier this year, former Nigerian defense spokesman Chris Olukolade openly criticized the conduct of his Chadian counterparts over disputes arising from the counterinsurgency operation.

"The MNJTF has collapsed even before it started," Fulan Nasrullah, a Nigerian blogger and national security analyst told Anadolu Agency. "There is massive trust deficit on all sides, especially between Niger alongside Nigeria and Chad alongside Cameroon." Nasrullah said that conflict over sovereignty and overlapping roles of national armies as well as the lack of intelligence sharing constituted an issue .

"There were also divergent aims amongst the various Lake Chad states, with Chad interested in securing its logistics corridor through Cameroon; Cameroon interested only in pushing the insurgents across the border into Nigeria; Niger interested in doing the same, and Nigeria not quite sure what it wanted between crushing the insurgency or reaching an accommodation with the insurgents even if at its neighbors’ expense," he said.

"Nigeria is on its own," said Mukhtar Dan'Iyan, another security analyst.

Dan'Iyan claims Boko Haram's use of suicide bombings has perturbed armies unfamiliar with these types of tactics.

While suicide bombings have been rampant in Nigeria, most notably since the attacks on a United Nations building in Abuja in 2011, Niger, Chad and Cameroon did not experience the phenomenon until the second quarter of 2015.

"Chad lost close to a battalion in Cameroon [in guerilla attacks]; after that it pulled its troops back and left southern border unattended. Cameroon's BIR (the French acronym for Rapid Response Brigade) has also been decimated, so it decided to return to the status quo ante in the far north region and allow Boko Haram to do whatever it pleases there as long as it does not march south," Dan'Iyan said.

"Niger is not willing to pull the tiger by its tail, so the northern border is also on its own; even Benin's northern border is largely unsecured."

The Nigerian defense headquarters did not respond to questions about the status of the regional army.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/167131/regional-anti-boko-haram-coalition-in-jeopardy

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

 

Europe

 

German court sentences 2 returning IS militants to jail

December 08, 2015

BERLIN : Two former Islamic State militants, including a would-be suicide bomber, were sentenced to jail by a German court Monday on charges of involvement in a terrorist group.

Ayoub B.

, 27, was given four years and three months, while Ebrahim H.

B.

, 26, was handed a conviction of three years.

The two were “involved in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria organisation between June and August 2014, and were therefore members of a terrorist group abroad,” the court in western Germany’s Lower Saxony said in its ruling.

Both men had travelled to Syria to fight alongside IS militants, but broke away from the group and returned to Germany disillusioned, according to German news agency DPA.

Ayoub B.

was trained to handle weapons, said the court in a statement, and also helped ISIS spread its propaganda with advertisements.

Among other contributions he made to the militant group was helping to transport wounded fighters from the front to a hospital, as well as detaining two Syrians and taking them to the organisation’s self-proclaimed police.

The court noted that there was no evidence that his actions had led to any fatalities, and he could therefore not be held directly responsible for any deaths.

Ebrahim H.

B.

, meanwhile was found to have fought alongside the militants, and was on standby as a potential suicide bomber.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Dec-2015/german-court-sentences-2-returning-is-militants-to-jail

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

 

Italy arrests man suspected of helping militants

December 08, 2015

BARI, Italy : Police in the southern Italian city of Bari have arrested an Iraqi man suspected of helping 11 foreign Islamist militants come to Italy, from where they had moved on to France, Belgium and other European countries.

Special operations police named the man as Majid Muhamad, 45, who they said had obtained false passports to enable the suspected militants to enter Italy between March and September this year.

The police said Muhamad, who was released last year after serving 10 years in jail for international terrorism, had also found temporary accommodation for the suspected militants, who came from Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Morocco and Turkey.

Police said the man was tied to an imam who had lived in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, but they did not say there were any direct links to the Nov.

13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Italy has increased its controls on Islamist suspects following the Paris attacks.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Dec-2015/italy-arrests-man-suspected-of-helping-militants

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

 

'You ain't no Muslim, bruv' strikes a chord in UK

Dec 7, 2015

LONDON: It's become the rallying cry of many who want the Muslim faith to be separated from the violence some commit in its name: "You ain't no Muslim, bruv."

The comment, heard in the background of a bystander's video following a stabbing at a London Underground station that prosecutors say was a terrorist act, has touched a nerve in Britain and become a trending hashtag on Twitter. Even Prime Minister David Cameron embraced it as a slogan.

"Some of us have dedicated speeches and media appearances and sound bites and everything to this subject," Cameron said Monday. "But `You ain't no Muslim, bruv' said it all much better than I ever could. And thank you, because that will be applauded around the country."

The remark came Saturday night after a man with a knife attacked two commuters in east London, reportedly shouting "This is for Syria." As the man was wrestled to the ground by police, who first used a stun gun to subdue him, a bystander shouted at the suspect: "You ain't no Muslim, bruv." The speaker, whose identity is not known, used the slang term bruv, for brother.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/You-aint-no-Muslim-bruv-strikes-a-chord-in-UK/articleshow/50080896.cms

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

 

Defiant hashtag resonates after London attack

07 December 2015

A terror attack in a London subway station has triggered a social media response - coined on Monday by Prime Minister David Cameron - refuting the attacker’s connection to Islam.

The #YouAintNoMuslimBruv hashtag was the top U.K. trend on Twitter following Saturday evening’s attack at Leytonstone underground station, east London, in which a knifeman reportedly shouted he was acting “for Syria” and his “brothers in Syria”.

After the man, who had attacked a passerby, was subdued by police, another bystander was overheard on mobile phone footage shouting at the assailant: “You're not a Muslim bruv, you’re an embarrassment.” Bruv is a London term that is a slang shortening of “brother” but is used more widely to mean “friend”.

Londoners embraced the phrase. Twitter user Matthew Harper wrote: “#youaintnomuslimbruv is the most #London response to terrorism you could imagine and pretty much sums up how we all feel about these maniacs”.

Within hours of the attack, which police defined as a terrorist incident, the hashtag had been used tens of thousands of times.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/167132/five-injured-in-blast-at-moscow-bus-stop

 

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Total Comments (4)

  • 4 .
    Aayima,  the interesting phenomenon I was alluding to is the spiking of communalistic rhetoric in relation to the election cycles in the U.S. ( and also in India).

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 09/12/2015 14:15:30
  • 3 .
    To
    Ghulam Mohiyuddin

    Muslims themselves are radical entity, I have written many times on this website, how Hindus are getting radicalised by day to day behaviour of Muslims and Hindu Extrimist are useing it for farther radicalisation.

    This will happen all over the glob were Muslims are living it has nothing to do with minority when it comes to Muslims, London is prime example what muslims do on the street, this will and has radicalised Christians.

    Again muslims are waiting for final Qyamat so let it be came early why Muslims are worrying for their life's as they have never worried for life of fellow human beings life and value.

    Please do not quote some Quran and Hadees we had enough of that, muslim actions and selective words you guys quote are very contradictory so let the world be finish as we humans had made exitint to lots of animal and plant species, God is capable of filling the earth with new species that live in harmony with each other.
    By Aayina 09/12/2015 03:46:14
  • 2 .
    To
    Ghulam Mohiyuddin

    Muslims themselves are radical entity, I have written many times on this website, how Hindus are getting radicalised by day to day behaviour of Muslims and Hindu Extrimist are useing it for farther radicalisation.

    This will happen all over the glob were Muslims are living it has nothing to do with minority when it comes to Muslims, London is prime example what muslims do on the street, this will and has radicalised Christians.

    Again muslims are waiting for final Qyamat so let it be came early why Muslims are worrying for their life's as they have never worried for life of fellow human beings life and value.

    Please do not quote some Quran and Hadees we had enough of that, muslim actions and selective words you guys quote are very contradictory so let the world be finish as we humans had made exitint to lots of animal and plant species, God is capable of filling the earth with new species that live in harmony with each other.
    By Aayina 09/12/2015 03:45:46
  • 1 .
    "White House slams Trump's plan to ban Muslims" . . . . .

    My comment in today's New York Times: "I suspect a lot more Americans at this time secretly agree with Mr. Trump and may, if given the opportunity, even vote their fears and their hatreds. Trump may succeed in subverting American values when Joseph McCarthy and George Wallace failed. He must be 'Caliph' al Baghdadi's dream candidate!"


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 08/12/2015 14:46:52