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Islamic World News ( 24 Jan 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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In Big Shift, India’s Home-Grown Jihadis Were To Target Politicians, Not Crowded Places, Says NIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: NIA officials taking a detained sympathizer of Islamic States to the court in Bengaluru on Saturday. (PTI Photo)NIA officials taking a detained sympathizer of Islamic States to the court in Bengaluru on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

 

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India

In Big Shift, India’s Home-Grown Jihadis Were To Target Politicians, Not Crowded Places, Says NIA

India and France Pitch For Joint Fight to Wipe Out Extremism

Take proactive steps to stop ISIS: Shiv Sena to chief minister Fadnavis

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South Asia

Afghanistan's Taliban Demand Release of Political Prisoners among a List of Conditions to Join Peace Talks

Drone Strikes Kill 17 Daesh Militants in Nangarhar

Suicide Bombing Rocks Spin Boldak District of Kandahar

Taliban reaffirms authority of its Qatar 'political office'

Afghan Government urged to form special unit for protecting journalists

Afghan President Ghani warns consequences of Afghan conflict in the region

NDS raids weapon depots of Daesh in Logar, seven terrorists arrested separately

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Mideast

Iran: Masked Terrorists Shouldn’t Participate In Syria Meeting

ISIL Indictment Reveals Recruitment of Foreign Fighters via Turkey

US, Iraq Step Up Coordinating Efforts for Mosul

Report: Turkish police arrest 10 suspected ISIL recruiters

Netanyahu reiterates hard-line stance on Jewish settlement

EU must support Turkey more on refugees, says Mogherini

Iran's leader says never trusted the West, seeks closer ties with China

Biden tells Erdoğan he is concerned over violence in SE Turkey

Saudi envoy’s remarks spark anger in Iraq

Spokesman: Energy Diplomacy Iran's New Line of Foreign Policy after N. Deal

Iran Confirms US Demand for Finding Abducted Americans in Iraq

Iran President Flies to Italy, France to Sign Roadmap

Turkish FM says Syrian Kurdish YPG’s inclusion in talks would undermine Geneva process

Biden visit exposes rift between Turkey, US over PYD

Justice Minister: Enmity toward President Erdoğan is ‘sign of sickness’

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia Warns Of Islamic State Threat as Alleged ISIS Video Surfaces

Indonesia’s message of peace for the Middle East

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Arab World

20 Terrorist Commanders Killed in Russian Airstrikes in Idlib

Syrian Army Kills Dozens of Terrorists in Dara'a

Syrian Army Foils ISIL Attack into Strategic Town in Deir Ezzur

Report: ISIL's Foreign Fighters Leaving

Syrian Army Liberates Over 18 Twons, Villages North of Lattakia

Kerry says US-Saudi friendship stronger than ever

Saudi FM denies Pakistani mediation in row with Iran: report

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Pakistan

A Retired Pakistani Senator Slammed Pakistan For Allowing Afghan Taliban Use Its Soil, Blaming It For Return Of Terror

64 Pakistanis Held For Providing Financial Help to Terrorists

Human Rights Body Demands Release of Pak Activist Saeed Baloch

The wall of kindness: An Iranian venture to feed the poor comes to Pakistan

India has given fresh evidence on Pathankot attack: Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad abiding by accord, Kabul not violating it: PM

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Africa

War and Strife Have Cost Libya $68bn In Lost Oil Revenues

A Jittery Libya Dawn Seeks To Clamp Down On Foreigners

Algeria detains 270 Moroccans on way to Libya

22,000 illegal African migrants repatriated from Israel in recent years

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Europe

Islamophobes to Protest in 14 Countries across Europe

ISIS Threatens UK in New Propaganda Video Featuring Paris Attackers' 'Final Messages'

Mohammed Emwazi: 'Jihadi John' Warned Younger Brother Not To Follow Him To Syria And ISIS

Economic ties, terrorism key issues of Hollande's India visit: French media

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North America

US Says Prepared For Military Solution against Islamic State In Syria

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-big-shift,-india’s-home-grown-jihadis-were-to-target-politicians,-not-crowded-places,-says-nia/d/106116

 

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India

In Big Shift, India’s Home-Grown Jihadis Were To Target Politicians, Not Crowded Places, Says NIA

Rahul Tripathi | ET Bureau | Jan 25, 2016

NEW DELHI: Fourteen men arrested on the suspicion of being part of an 'online radicalisation module' that owed allegiance to global extremist organisation Islamic State (ISIS), have disclosed to their interrogators that they were asked to focus on "political targets, foreigners, vital installations and government machinery" instead of carrying out explosion in market areas or crowded places.

Counter-terror experts believe that this is a new trend among home-grown Jihadi. Indian Mujahideen (IM) which was responsible for multiple blasts in the country from 2004 to 2014 targeted market places and religious shrines than political targets.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/In-big-shift-Tawhid-men-were-to-target-politicians-not-crowded-places-says-NIA/articleshow/50713172.cms

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India and France pitch for joint fight to wipe out extremism

Deepak Yadav | TNN | Jan 25, 2016

CHANDIGARH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande on Sunday shared their concern over the growing menace of terrorism in the backdrop of attacks in Paris and Pathankot, with Modi pitching for a collective fight to defeat the "enemies of humanity".

After receiving Hollande in Chandigarh, Modi said, "The day when Paris was hit by terror attacks, I had decided that the guest at the R-Day parade must be from France."

Reiterating the two countries' commitment to fight terrorism together, the French president said while addressing the India-France Business Summit, "We have to take humanity further. We have to combat terrorism and have to work together in this regard, whether it is military equipment or cyber security, so that security can be enhanced... We have to provide security to the world together by working together in the field of defence."

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-and-France-pitch-for-joint-fight-to-wipe-out-extremism/articleshow/50710651.cms

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Take proactive steps to stop ISIS: Shiv Sena to chief minister Fadnavis

ANI | Jan 25, 2016

MUMBAI: With several suspected terrorist being nabbed in Maharashtra for alleged links with terror group Islamic State, the Shiv Sena on Monday urged chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to make proactive efforts to curb the expansion of the deadly terror outfit.

The Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece Saamna said that ISIS has made Maharashtra its remote control from where it wants to expand in the entire nation.

"ISIS has deeply penetrated Maharashtra and it is a great threat for the state as well as for the nation. Their intention to raise the ISIS flags is an attempt to destabilize and create a sense of insecurity in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), along with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested many suspects of ISIS in the state which is commendable," the editorial said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Take-proactive-steps-to-stop-ISIS-Shiv-Sena-to-chief-minister-Fadnavis/articleshow/50714293.cms

 

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South Asia

Afghanistan's Taliban Demand Release of Political Prisoners among a List of Conditions to Join Peace Talks

25 January 2016

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Taliban demanded the release of political prisoners among a list of conditions that they said on Sunday would need to be met before they consider rejoining peace talks aimed at ending the 15-year war.

Taliban forces have stepped up their campaign in the last year to topple the Kabul government, which has struggled since most foreign troops left at the end of 2014.

The insurgents are demanding the release of an unnamed list of prisoners, to be removed from a UN blacklist freezing their assets and imposing a travel ban on its leaders, and to have a political office formally recognized.

These are “among the preliminary steps needed for peace,” the Taliban said in a statement. “Without them, progress toward peace is not feasible.”

The demands came a day after representatives of the Taliban and former Afghan officials met in Qatar at a conference to resolve the war organized by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, a Nobel peace prize-winning crisis group.

The rare talks are a step toward a peace process that has proved elusive during a 15-year war that has killed tens of thousands of Afghans since the Taliban were driven from power by a 2001 US-led military operation.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States met last week to lay the ground for a negotiated end to the war and called for the Taliban to rejoin the peace process.

The first formal peace talks with the Taliban since the start of the war collapsed last year after it was announced its founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, who sanctioned the talks, had been dead for two years, throwing the group into disarray.

Despite the efforts to restart talks, the Taliban since the start of the year have ramped their campaign of violence across Afghanistan, with suicide attacks and territorial gains in Helmand province.

arabnews.com/world/news/869956

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Drone strikes kill 17 Daesh militants in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jan 25 2016

Drone17 loyalists of the terrorist group the Islamic State (IS) which also goes by its Arabic name Daesh have been killed in newest drone strikes in eastern Nangarhar province, Ministry of Defense announced on Monday.

A statement released by the ministry states that the air strikes were carried out on positions of Daesh in Deh Bala and Achin districts on Sunday.

According to the statement, 13 militants of the group were killed in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) strike in Gurguri area of Deh Bala District and four others in Bandar Khwar village of Achin District.

This comes a day after a commander of the group was killed along with five of his men in a similar attack in Achin District. The commander was identified as Maiwand.

UAVs are being used by NATO forces under its Support Resolute mission to assist Afghanistan in counter-terrorism operations.

khaama.com/drone-strikes-kill-17-daesh-militants-in-nangarhar-4512

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Suicide bombing rocks Spin Boldak District of Kandahar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jan 25 2016

A suicide bombing rocked Spin Boldak District of southern Kandahar province on Monday afternoon.

According to initial reports, a gun battle occurred between police and the remaining assailants following the suicide bombing.

Officials say at least three militants were involved in the attack.

khaama.com/suicide-bombing-rocks-spin-boldak-district-of-kandahar-4515

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Taliban reaffirms authority of its Qatar 'political office'

January 25th, 2016

DUBAI: The Afghan Taliban said Sunday that its "political office" in Qatar is the only entity authorized to carry out negotiations on its behalf, reinforcing the authority of the man who took control of the group amid a tussle over command following the death of long-time leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

The Taliban made the declaration in a summary emailed by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid of a statement it made during unofficial, closed-door talks taking place in the Qatari capital, Doha.

Calling itself the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the group also laid out a series of demands including the release of an unspecified number of prisoners and the removal of senior members from a UN blacklist. It described the demands as "preliminary steps needed for peace."

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235165/taliban-reaffirms-authority-of-its-qatar-political-office

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Afghan Government urged to form special unit for protecting journalists

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jan 25 2016

Following the deadly attack on a bus carrying journalists in Kabul, Afghanistan Radio and Television Union (ARTU) that promotes cooperation and support for Radio and Television networks in Afghanistan urged government to form a special unit of security forces to protect journalists and media organizations.

ARTU representatives while condemning the attack said during a press conference here in Kabul on Monday that targeting media is targeting and breaking the political system of the country.

Abdul Hamid Muqari, a member of the union, said there is a crucial need for cooperation between media and government and that President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani should design strategic programs with journalists instead of giving statements.

Although, security threats have been barriers in front of media in Afghanistan from the past 15 years but concerns rose when Taliban killed seven journalists in a single attack last week.

A Taliban suicide bomber targeted a mini-bus carrying employees of Kaboor Production, a sister entity to TOLO TV, Lemar TV, Arman FM, Arakozia FM and TOLOnews on Dar-ul-Aman road near the Russian embassy On Wednesday evening. Seven employees of the production lost lives and more than 20 others sustained injuries.

khaama.com/government-urged-to-form-special-unit-for-protecting-journalists-4516

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Afghan President Ghani warns consequences of Afghan conflict in the region

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jan 25 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has warned that the conflict would intensify with its consequences across the region if peace talks with Taliban do not start by April.

“Time is not a friend,” he told BBC in an interveiw. “We all understand that February and March are crucial.”

President Ghani said observers should understand that the war in his country was “just one component” of a wider war that also encompassed Pakistan.

“The problems… are interrelated [and] cannot be solved by use of force in one country.

He suggested Pakistan should take action against Taliban groups that did not agree to talks.

“We need to see that we have common interests and we need to act together to preserve the state system and consolidate it,” he said.

Regarding the terrorist group of the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh which is trying to expand in Afghanistan, President Ghani said that it would be buried in Afghanistan.

He said IS was “not an Afghan phenomenon” and its atrocities had “alienated the people”.

“Afghans are now motivated by revenge,” he said. “They [IS] have confronted the wrong people.

khaama.com/president-ghani-warns-conflict-would-intensify-if-peace-talks-with-taliban-do-not-start-by-april-4514

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NDS raids weapon depots of Daesh in Logar, seven terrorists arrested separately

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jan 25 2016

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s inelegance agency has raided three weapon depots of the terrorist group of the Islamic State (IS) in Azra District of central Logar province.

A statement released by NDS on Monday states that the depots belonged to Mohammad Ali Amarati who was previously a commander of Taliban group but now part of Daesh.

Different types of weapons including Kalashnikovs, hundreds of rounds of weapons and bombs were recovered from the depots.

Military equipment, propaganda pamphlets, 1070 kilograms of drugs and two vehicles were also confiscated during the raids.

According to the statement, terrorists had intended to carry out coordinated attacks in parts of Logar province but NDS along with army and police foiled their plans.

Seven terrorists were detained in separate raids, the statement adds.

NDS statements usually do not contain exact date of the achievements but they come after recent activities.

khaama.com/nds-raids-arm-depots-of-daesh-in-logars-azra-district-4514

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Mideast

Iran: Masked Terrorists Shouldn’t Participate in Syria Meeting

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian blasted Saudi Arabia for its attempts to disguise terrorists as dissidents to include them in the Geneva meeting on Syria.

"The Saudi stubbornness to facilitate the participation of certain terrorists under the guise of dissidents in Syria talks is counter-productive,” Amir Abdollahian said in a Monday meeting in Tehran with United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag.

"These terrorists have committed crimes. They cannot be allowed to take part in the talks behind a new mask. This goes against what the people of Syria want,” he added.

Amir Abdollahian stressed that Tehran is doing everything it can to get everyone on board to resolve the crisis diplomatically.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000956

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ISIL indictment reveals recruitment of foreign fighters via Turkey

January 23, 2016

An indictment listing 67 suspected members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Turkey exposes how militants arrange for the pickup of foreign nationals from İstanbul airports and their travel to Turkey's southeastern provinces, so they can cross into Syria to join ISIL.

The İstanbul Public Prosecutor's Office prepared the 315-page indictment for 67 individuals suspected of being ISIL members, some of whom are of Moroccan, Libyan, Colombian and Tunisian nationality. The indictment was accepted by the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court in December 2015. Forty of the suspects are reported to be Syrian.

The indictment shows how two of the suspects, a 23 year-old French national, Sarah Frederique Therese Hervouet, and a Saudi national, Alharthı Saleh Mubarak, were picked up from Sabiha Gökçen Airport in İstanbul and escorted to southeast Turkey.

Transcripts provided by police audio surveillance show that Cemil Aslan, one of the 67 suspects, had reserved four places on a coach headed from İstanbul to Turkey's southeastern Şanlıurfa province, which is on the border with Syria and a frequent transit point used by ISIL militants. Security personnel in İstanbul informed their colleagues in Şanlıurfa about the passengers.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_isil-indictment-reveals-recruitment-of-foreign-fighters-via-turkey_410329.html

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US, Iraq step up coordinating efforts for Mosul

January 24, 2016

US and Iraqi officials have stepped up efforts for coordination and military planning ahead of a long-anticipated operation to take back Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Senior US defense and military officials say Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asked the coalition for more police training, particularly for Sunnis, who will have to secure Ramadi and other towns once ISIL militants are ousted.

Abadi specifically asked for more trainers during talks with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter this week at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the officials said.

A source also said the US is considering building a base north of Mosul to coordinate the operation in the near future to recapture Mosul from ISIL.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_us-iraq-step-up-coordinating-efforts-for-mosul_410454.html

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Report: Turkish police arrest 10 suspected ISIL recruiters

January 25, 2016

A Turkish news agency says police in Ankara have rounded up at least 10 people suspected of being recruiters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reports anti-terror squads carried out early morning operations Monday in the Turkish capital targeting suspected recruiters with links to ISIL forces.

Turkish authorities have blamed ISIL for the Jan. 12 suicide bombing in a historic district of İstanbul which killed 10 tourists. The extremist group is also believed to be behind the twin suicide bombings that killed 103 demonstrators in Ankara in October.

todayszaman.com/latest-news_report-turkish-police-arrest-10-suspected-isil-recruiters_410509.html

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Netanyahu reiterates hardline stance on Jewish settlement

January 25th, 2016

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed strong support on Sunday for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank as he faced pressure from hardline right-wing members of his coalition over an incident in Hebron.

Netanyahu heads a coalition with only a one-seat majority in parliament, making him especially vulnerable to the demands of religious nationalists in his cabinet regarding settlements, which much of the international community opposes.

His comments on Sunday came at a time of sharp criticism internationally on Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including from the United States and European Union.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235133/netanyahu-reiterates-hardline-stance-on-jewish-settlement

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EU must support Turkey more on refugees, says Mogherini

January 25, 2016

The European Union has to do more to support Turkey in its work caring for refugees, the bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday after talks with Turkish officials.

Mogherini also said at a news conference in Ankara that it was extremely important to begin the transition process in Syria with better humanitarian conditions on the ground.

The EU official said she shared her concerns with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and EU affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır about the situation in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, where observers say more than 150 civilians have been killed during security operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, and urged a return to peace talks and a ceasefire.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_eu-must-support-turkey-more-on-refugees-says-mogherini_410527.html

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Iran's leader says never trusted the West, seeks closer ties with China

Reuters | Jan 25, 2016

DUBAI: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for closer economic and security ties with China, saying Iran had never trusted the West, as the two countries agreed to increase bilateral trade more than 10-fold to $600 billion in the next decade.

Iran's most powerful figure told Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit Iran wanted to expand ties with "more independent countries", adding the United States was "not honest" in the fight against terrorism in the region.

"Iranians never trusted the West... That's why Tehran seeks cooperation with more independent countries (like China)," Khamenei said.

"Iran is the most reliable country in the region for energy since its energy policies will never be affected by foreigners," Khamenei was quoted by his official website as saying at a meeting with Xi.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Irans-leader-says-never-trusted-the-West-seeks-closer-ties-with-China/articleshow/50711271.cms

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Biden tells Erdoğan he is concerned over violence in SE Turkey

January 25, 2016

The United States is concerned about the ongoing violence in Southeastern Turkey, Vice President Joe Biden has told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while urging Ankara to engage in dialogue with all of the country's communities seeking peace.

The battle against militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey turned the area into a war zone, and Biden expressed concerns about the ongoing violence during his meeting with the Turkish president in İstanbul on Saturday, according to the White House.

Before his meeting with Erdoğan, Biden also reportedly rebuked the Turkish authorities for going after academics who signed a declaration calling for a halt to the violence.

Turkish pro-government papers blasted Biden for his statement on freedom of expression relating to the academics, with headlines calling him "two-faced" and "a shameful man." The state-run Anadolu news agency even claimed that Biden criticized the academics who signed the peace declaration.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_biden-tells-erdogan-he-is-concerned-over-violence-in-se-turkey_410508.html

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Saudi envoy’s remarks spark anger in Iraq

January 25th, 2016

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi foreign ministry said on Sunday it had summoned the Saudi ambassador over comments he made to the media a day earlier regarding Iran-backed militias in Iraq.

“This constitutes... a breach of diplomatic protocol and is based on inaccurate information,” the ministry said in a statement about Saudi envoy Thamer al-Sabhan’s remarks, in which he said the Hashid Shaabi militia should leave the fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group to the Iraqi army and official security forces in order to avoid aggravating sectarian tensions.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235200/saudi-envoys-remarks-spark-anger-in-iraq

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Spokesman: Energy Diplomacy Iran's New Line of Foreign Policy after N. Deal

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said with the nuclear mission accomplished, the priority for Iran now is resource and energy diplomacy.

"Energy diplomacy was discussed during the Chinese president's recent visit to Iran. It is also what the Iranian president's current trip to Europe is all about," Jaberi Ansari told journalists in his weekly press conference on Monday.

"The diplomacy of energy and issues related to energy cooperation is our stable policy post nuclear deal," he added.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000807

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Iran Confirms US Demand for Finding Abducted Americans in Iraq

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's foreign ministry confirmed reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry has asked his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif to help Washington find the American nationals kidnapped in Baghdad earlier this month.

"The Americans have made the demand," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

He referred to Iran's cooperation with the US in the past 25 years for humanitarian purposes, and said, "If the Islamic Republic can help, the issue will be pursued based on its policies."

Jaberi Ansari promised Iran would help as humanely as possible, but added that it is still up to the relevant authorities to study such possibility.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000667

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Iran President Flies to Italy, France to Sign Roadmap

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has prepared a roadmap for comprehensive cooperation with Italy and France, which will be signed during the upcoming tour of Europe, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday morning.

"Expansion of relations with the EU members is among Tehran's main policies," Rouhani told reporters before leaving Tehran for Rome.

"The document of roadmap for mid-term and long-term cooperation between Tehran, Rome and Paris has been prepared and will be signed during our five-day visit," he added.

Noting that Tehran is interested in acquiring new technologies in cooperation with its European counterparts, Rouhani said the Iranian delegation will discuss development of ties with Italy and France in civil aviation, transportation, railway, auto-making, industry, culture, tourism, agriculture and insurance.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000437

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Turkish FM says Syrian Kurdish YPG’s inclusion in talks would undermine Geneva process

January 25, 2016

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) being among the representatives of the Syrian opposition would hamper peace talks that are scheduled to take place in Geneva later this month.

Labeling the YPG, the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), a terrorist organization, Çavuşoğlu said no terrorist organization should take part in the Geneva process.

He spoke at a press conference alongside European Union officials in Ankara after a joint ministerial meeting.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey's opposition to the PYD during his meeting over the weekend with US Vice-President Joe Biden.

todayszaman.com/latest-news_turkish-fm-says-syrian-kurdish-ypgs-inclusion-in-talks-would-undermine-geneva-process_410534.html

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Biden visit exposes rift between Turkey, US over PYD

January 24, 2016

US Vice President Joe Biden's meetings with Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, during his visit to Turkey, have once again exposed a deepening rift between the two allies over treatment of the Syrian Kurdish group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

At a joint news conference with Biden on Saturday, Davutoğlu reiterated Ankara's opposition to the PYD, which it considers the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist organization.

"We do not want Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIL], the PKK or the paramilitary forces of the regime [to participate in the Geneva talks]," Davutoğlu said after two-and-a-half hour meeting with Biden in İstanbul.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_biden-visit-exposes-rift-between-turkey-us-over-pyd_410477.html

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Justice minister: Enmity toward President Erdoğan is ‘sign of sickness’

January 25, 2016

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said being opposed to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a sign of sickness.

Posting successive tweets on his Twitter account on Sunday, Bozdağ pointed to opposition political parties in Turkey, saying in a tweet, “Those who cannot build their politics based on ethics, truth, wisdom, insight, knowledge and the public interest build their politics based on grudges and hatred.”

Bozdağ further tweeted that those who are guided by hatred will not be able to find truth and that they cannot make the right decisions. “Today, the only criteria of political opposition in Turkey is to be an enemy to our esteemed President Erdoğan. This is a sign of a sickness.”

The minister also said the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the other opposition parties have given up competing with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), and that rather “They seem to compete with each other for insulting our esteemed President Erdoğan. History shows that our precious nation will never support such a worthless, unethical, unreasonable and ignorant type of politics.”

todayszaman.com/latest-news_justice-minister-enmity-toward-president-erdogan-is-sign-of-sickness_410533.html

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Southeast Asia

Malaysia Warns Of Islamic State Threat as Alleged ISIS Video Surfaces

Jan 25, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the militant Islamic State (IS) group is a "very real" threat to the country, hours after a video claiming to be from the regional wing of IS warned of attacks in the Muslim-majority nation for arresting its supporters.

Police said the video, believed to feature operatives from the militant group Katibah Nusantara speaking under the IS logo, was significant because, if confirmed, it was the first from IS in Malay.

"This threat is very real and my government takes it very seriously," Najib told a conference on extremism. "This is a challenge that faces us all around the world. We are far from immune to this danger in Malaysia."

Police said on Sunday they had arrested seven members of an IS cell who were planning attacks across the country.

The suspected militants were carrying bullets, jihadi literature, IS flags and propaganda videos.

Ten days ago, Malaysia arrested a suspected militant believed to have been planning a suicide attack in Kuala Lumpur.

The video that surfaced online warned Malaysia against the crackdown on IS supporters.

Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, director of the police counter-terrorism unit, said the video suggested militants in the country were becoming more organised.

The contents of the video have not been independently verified.

Security experts in the region believe the IS footprint is still light in Southeast Asia because militants are jostling to be its regional leader.

dawn.com/news/1235292/malaysia-warns-of-islamic-state-threat-as-alleged-is-video-surfaces

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Indonesia’s message of peace for the Middle East

January 25 2016

At the start of 2016, we were already faced by two major challenges: The deteriorating relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and escalating terrorist attacks around the world.

While these two challenges are not directly linked per se, a peaceful and stable Middle East, including good relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, is essential. It is not only essential to global peace and stability, but it is also important for our collective effort to address radicalism and terrorism.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, has a direct interest in a peaceful and stable Middle East.

Apart for our national economic, social and energy interests, there are also hundreds of thousands of Indonesians living and working in the Middle East. Even more travel to the region for business, tourism and, most importantly, religious pilgrimage.

Full report at: thejakartapost.com/news/2016/01/25/indonesia-s-message-peace-middle-east.html#sthash.ILlJyt5f.dpuf

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Arab World

20 Terrorist Commanders Killed in Russian Airstrikes in Idlib

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian fighter jets pounded the venue of a meeting held between Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham terrorist groups in Idlib province to discuss overcoming their differences, killing nearly two dozen militant commanders.

At least 20 militants from Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham were killed in the Russian airstrike hitting their meeting in Salqin region of Idlib province, the Arabic-language service of Russia Today reported on Monday.

The Faliq al-Sham terrorist group had organized the meeting between the Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham in a bid to mediate between them and urge them to put aside their differences.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000616

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Syrian Army Kills Dozens of Terrorists in Dara'a

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army killed dozens of Takfiri terrorists and destroyed their military equipment in several neighborhoods in Dara'a city.

In Dara'a neighborhoods of al-Manshiyeh and Daraa al-Mahatta, Syrian government forces annihilated a number of Takfiri terrorists, destroying their arms and ammunition.

Inflicting heavy damage on the terrorists by Syrian Army did not stop there, and an armored vehicle was hit and destroyed by the government forces' fire in al-Nazihin Camp neighborhood in Daraa city.

Also, at the Northern entrance of Daraa city, a Syrian army unit killed all people in a gathering of a Takfiri-Wahhabi group and destroyed their hardware in Atman town, around the city center.

Army units, in a separate attack, launched stanch strikes against hideouts and gatherings of terrorist organizations in Daraa al-Mahatta and in Daraa al-Balad district, inflicting heavy casualties on them.

Reports said a large number of terrorists' structures and vehicles were destroyed in these attacks, some of which were equipped with heavy machine guns.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000866

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Syrian Army Foils ISIL Attack into Strategic Town in Deir Ezzur

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army foiled several attempts by the ISIL terrorists to capture the hilltops overlooking the coastal area of Baqaliyeh town in Deir Ezzur province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

Scores of ISIL militants were killed and many more were wounded in several hours of fierce clashes with the Syrian army.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber who was trying to attack the Syrian army's military positions in Deir Ezzur province was killed as he crossed a minefield only 200 meters away from his target. 

On Saturday, the Syrian fighter jets targeted the ISIL centers heavily near at least six villages in Deir Ezzur province.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll as a result of the Syrian warplane's strikes near the villages of Ayyash, al-Janineh, al-Hassan, al-Baqaliyeh, Shaqra and Mhimideh.

The air attacks also damaged a number of the ISIL military vehicles.

Also on Friday, the Syrian fighter jets hit the ISIL's defense lines across Deir Ezzur, leaving tens of the terrorists dead or wounded.

"The ISIL strongholds near the villages of al-Jaba'a and al-Jenineh were massively bombed by the Syrian warplanes, which claimed the lives of many terrorists and wounded many others," the army announced.

"The Syrian air fleet also targeted the ISIL sites near the neighborhoods of al-Baqaliyeh, al-Sina'ah and workers as well as the village of Ayyash in the Western countryside of the city of Deir Ezzur," the army further added.

"Scores of the ISIL militants were killed or injured in the air attacks near the Eastern city," the army went on to say.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000942

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Report: ISIL's Foreign Fighters Leaving

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Local sources in the city of Mosul in Western Iraq have disclosed that the number of the ISIL militants coming from the western countries has declined, media reports said.

"The ISIL's decision to reduce the salaries of its foreign militants by half has immensely impacted them so much that some of them have left the terrorist group," the Arabic-language al-Sumeria news channel quoted a local source as saying on Monday.

The source reiterated that the decline in the number of the foreign ISIL militants shows that their impetus is money and not Islam.

In a relevant development earlier this month, the Russian Sputnik news agency reported that it will take a little time but the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is approaching its end.

The ISIL (also known as Daesh) is the bastard child of the US's drive to achieve regime change in Syria, it said.

To that end the US and its allies instigated an armed insurrection against the Syrian government.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000524

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Syrian Army Liberates Over 18 Twons, Villages North of Lattakia

January 25th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army's General Command said in a statement that the army forces in cooperation with popular defense groups managed to liberate over 18 towns and villages in the Northern countryside of Lattakia province.

Syria's Army General Command in its statement mentioned the most notable of the emancipated  towns and villages are al-Ghnaimiye, al-Qalai’e, Beit Sukkar, al-Ouainat, Khan al-Joz, Beit Riha, Bradon, al-Souda, al-Khadra, Reef Mekhtaro, al-Jamousiye, al-Saraya, al-Rayyana, al-Shakria, and a number of vantage points and hills covering an area of over 120 square kilometers, adding that the liberation was achieved after eliminating large numbers of terrorists while others fled towards the Turkish borders as their ranks suffered a complete breakdown.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941105000454

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Kerry says US-Saudi friendship stronger than ever

January 25th, 2016

RIYADH: Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the US friendship with Saudi Arabia is stronger than ever and that the two will work together to try to end wars in Syria and Yemen.

“We have as solid a relationship, as clear an alliance and as strong a friendship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as we have ever had, and nothing has changed because we worked to eliminate a nuclear weapon with a country in the region,” he said, referring to the Iran nuclear deal.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235177/kerry-says-us-saudi-friendship-stronger-than-ever

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Saudi FM denies Pakistani mediation in row with Iran: report

January 25th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir has denied that Pakistan mediated between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid recent tensions between the two rival countries, Bahrain’s state media reported Monday.

Some countries had offered to mediate and communicate ideas between Riyadh and Tehran, however there will be no mediation "unless Iran responds positively", the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) report quoted Jubeir as saying.

In what was described as a significant diplomatic mission, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and and the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif last week met the Saudi and Iranian leaderships in their respective capitals for what the government described as a move for defusing tensions between the two Muslim countries that were sparked by execution of Saudi dissident Sheikh Nimr and the subsequent attack on Saudi mission in Iran by protesters.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235296/saudi-fm-denies-pakistani-mediation-in-row-with-iran-report

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Pakistan

A Retired Pakistani Senator Slammed Pakistan For Allowing Afghan Taliban Use Its Soil, Blaming It For Return Of Terror

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jan 24 2016

A retired Pakistani senator Afrasiab Khattak has slammed Pakistan for allowing the Afghan Taliban to use its soil as a parallel government to Kabul besides the group has stepped up terror attacks across the country including capital Kabul during the recent months.

The former Pakistani senator has harshly criticized Pakistan for adopting a dual speak in anti-terror policy, blaming it for the return of terror in Pakistan while pointing finger towards Islamabad following a deadly attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Full report at: khaama.com/pakistan-slammed-for-allowing-afghan-taliban-use-its-soil-blaming-it-for-return-of-terror-0044

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64 Pakistanis Held For Providing Financial Help To Terrorists

January 25th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has arrested 64 people in parts of the country under the National Action Plan for allegedly providing financial assistance to terrorists.

Forty-one such cases were reported in Punjab with 57 people involved. Fifty-one arrests have been made so far in the province.

Country-wide data issued by the ministry of interior and narcotics control on Sunday revealed that of the total arrests made in Punjab, 14 suspects were under investigation and 26 were challaned.

In Sindh, five people were arrested for their alleged involvement in facilitating terrorists by providing them financial assistance and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa four cases were reported to the Counter Terrorism Department in which eight suspects were arrested.

Some cases were registered in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan since the start of NAP and 28 suspects were arrested for allegedly providing shelter and meal to terrorists.

dawn.com/news/1235208/64-held-for-providing-financial-help-to-terrorists

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Human rights body demands release of Pak activist Saeed Baloch

Bella Jaisinghani | TNN | Jan 24, 2016

MUMBAI: South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), an international human rights organization, has condemned the arrest of activist Saeed Baloch who champions the rights of fishermen. It has demanded his immediate release.

Baloch is general secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum. On January 16, he was arrested by the Rangers, which is a paramilitary force controlled by the Pakistani Army.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Human-rights-body-demands-release-of-Pak-activist-Saeed-Baloch/articleshow/50707650.cms

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The wall of kindness: An Iranian venture to feed the poor comes to Pakistan

January 25th, 2016

Remember that Iranian initiative 'deewar-e-mehrbaani' or 'Wall of Kindness' where people handed out necessities to the homeless? The idea has now made its way to Pakistan.

The Pakistani leg of this venture is run by Ismat Ali, who is a lecturer by profession. "I was inspired by this setup in Iran. It has now gone to Germany as well. I believe that by showing a kind gesture one can have a peaceful life now and in the hereafter."

The idea is something like this: people donate clothes, food items and anything else they wish which are then stacked beside a particular wall in the city. In Karachi the first deewar-e-mehrbaani was set up at M. T Khan road on January 15 and got an overwhelming response from people in need who helped themselves.

Full report at: images.dawn.com/news/1174670/the-wall-of-kindness-an-iranian-venture-to-feed-the-poor-comes-to-pakistan

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India has given fresh evidence on Pathankot attack: Nawaz Sharif

PTI | Jan 24, 2016

LONDON: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said India has given fresh leads relating to the Pathankot terror attack and Pakistan is verifying the facts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"I have received fresh leads from India on the Pathankot attack and we will look and examine those evidences given by India. We could have hidden it or forgotten it but we asserted that we have received the evidences," Sharif said.

"We are probing and verifying that. Once we are done with that we would definitely bring the facts forward. Along with that, we have also formed a special investigating team, they would go to India and collect more evidence," Sharif said here on his arrival from Davos after attending the World Economic Forum.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-has-given-fresh-evidence-on-Pathankot-attack-Nawaz-Sharif/articleshow/50708785.cms

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Islamabad abiding by accord, Kabul not violating it: PM

AFP | APP — UPDATED ABOUT 8 HOURS AGO

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that Pakistan and Afghanistan had an agreement against use of their soils by any terrorist group.

Talking to journalists here after arrival from Geneva, the prime minister said certain terrorist elements inside Afghanistan were involved in attacks in Pakistan, including the Army Public School in Peshawar and the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.

“Pakistan is strictly abiding by the agreement and neither is the Afghan government violating it,” he said, adding that Afghanistan had an elected government, armed forces and intelligence agencies and it was their responsibility to act against terrorist elements.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan are strictly following this agreement, but there are certain elements in Afghanistan who on their own are attacking Pakistan,” Mr Sharif said.

“In 2014 our school was attacked from Afghanistan. Such attacks should be stopped,” he added.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1235207/islamabad-abiding-by-accord-kabul-not-violating-it-pm

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Africa

War and strife have cost Libya $68bn in lost oil revenues

January 25, 2016

Firefighters try to put out the fire in an oil tank in the port of Es Sider, in Ras Lanuf, Libya, in this file picture taken January 6, 2016. The attacks against Libya's biggest oil terminals were lethal and sustained. The last two weeks have seen suicide bombings, huge fires at storage tanks, and a hole blown in a major pipeline. The oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf had been closed for more than a year, and the Islamic State militants advancing on them backed off after three days of shelling and clashes. But the escalation of violence in Libya's coastal "oil crescent" has underscored the threat to an energy industry that, despite the political chaos plaguing the country, still provides vital income to the state. Full report at: ft.com/cms/s/0/4dc800de-c27a-11e5-b3b1-7b2481276e45.html

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A jittery Libya Dawn seeks to clamp down on foreigners

24 January 2016:

Tripoli PM Khalifa Ghwell’s ministry of defence has issued a general mobilisation in Libya Dawn areas, which includes restrictions on the movements of diplomats and other foreigners.

The announcement appears to have been issued on Friday, a day after Ghwell promised to double the salaries of militiamen.

Echoing a demand last week by GNC president Nuri Abu Sahmain, the defence ministry, which is run directly by Ghwell,  has warned Libyans to report any suspicious activity by foreigners.

Full report at: https://www.libyaherald.com/2016/01/24/a-jittery-libya-dawn-clamps-down-on-foreigners/

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Algeria detains 270 Moroccans on way to Libya

January 25, 2016

ALGIERS: Algerian authorities have detained over 200 Moroccans at Algiers airport and summoned the Moroccan envoy to explain an “unusual” increase in the number of Moroccans apparently trying to cross into Libya, airport and government officials said Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry and sources at the airport did not confirm why the Moroccans had been held, but diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco are often strained over their regional influence and cooperation.

Libya in particular has become a regional concern since Daesh (ISIS) militants gained ground there and called for foreign recruits, especially from North Africa. Tunisia, sandwiched between Algeria and Libya, is building a security wall along its boundary with Libya in an attempt to halt the flow of militant recruits crossing over.

Full report at: https://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Jan-25/333765-algeria-detains-270-moroccans-on-way-to-libya.ashx

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22,000 illegal African migrants repatriated from Israel in recent years

January 25th, 2016

Cabinet learns of figure for first time, amid reports of government incentive program and and under-the-table deals with African nations.

Holot detention center

An African migrant holds an Israeli flag after being released from the Holot detention center in the Negev. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Full report at: jpost.com/Israel-News/22000-illegal-African-migrants-repatriated-from-Israel-in-recent-years-442645

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Europe

Islamophobes to protest in 14 countries across Europe

AGENCIES, 25 January 2016

PRAGUE: Rallies against “the Islamization” of Europe will take place on Feb. 6 in 14 European countries including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland, the far-right organizers said on Saturday.

The demonstrations are being organized by the anti-foreigner German group PEGIDA, an acronym for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident.”

Tatjana Festerling of PEGIDA made the announcement on Saturday following a meeting with like-minded groups in Roztoky, near Prague.

“The fight against the islamization of Europe is our common objective,” Festerling said in a statement after the meeting.

Full report at: arabnews.com/motoring/news/869936

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ISIS threatens UK in new propaganda video featuring Paris attackers' 'final messages'

Ian Johnston | The Independent | Jan 25, 2016

ISIS has released a video in which it appears to threaten David Cameron and the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

The 17-minute recording purportedly shows several of the terrorists who attacked Paris in November, killing 130 people, including the so-called mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in the city by French police a few days later.

It also features beheadings and executions of people described as "apostates".

"We won't stop killing you all over the world, whether you are on a trip travelling as tourists or business trips," Abaaoud says.

In one section, Bercow's face is shown on the screen with the crosshair of a gunsight superimposed on top.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/ISIS-threatens-UK-in-new-propaganda-video-featuring-Paris-attackers-final-messages/articleshow/50712658.cms

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Mohammed Emwazi: 'Jihadi John' warned younger brother not to follow him to Syria and ISIS

Robert Verkaik | The Independent | Jan 25, 2016

Mohammed Emwazi, the terrorist known as Jihadi John who was killed by a drone strike last year, had warned his brother not to follow in his footsteps before leaving for Syria.

Emwazi told his younger sibling Omar, 22, that his own encounters with the British security services had wrecked his life in Britain and had ended his plans for marriage and work in his homeland of Kuwait.

In an interview last year before his brother's death in November, Omar described Emwazi's turmoil while he was under surveillance by MI5 and Scotland Yard between 2009 and 2012.

Omar recalled: "He wasn't the type of guy to complain... but he would say: 'Don't be like me.' He was always saying: 'Learn from other people's mistakes.' He would basically say: 'Look where I am. I can't get married and I can't get a proper job. I can't travel and I can't go nowhere'."

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Mohammed-Emwazi-Jihadi-John-warned-younger-brother-not-to-follow-him-to-Syria-and-ISIS/articleshow/50712593.cms

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Economic ties, terrorism key issues of Hollande's India visit: French media

Priyali Prakash | TNN | Jan 24, 2016

NEW DELHI: The French media is taking a keen interest in President Francois Hollande's three-day visit to India where he will be the chief guest for the Republic Day parade. Hollande arrived in Chandigarh - a city conceived and built by Swiss-French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret - on Sunday morning.

The French Huffington Post highlighted Hollande's visit to India as 'a rare honour for a western leader and a brand of good relations between Paris and New Delhi just waiting to grow'.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Economic-ties-terrorism-key-issues-of-Hollandes-India-visit-French-media/articleshow/50709070.cms

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North America

US says prepared for military solution against Islamic State in Syria

Reuters | Jan 25, 2016

ISTANBUL: US Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement.

The latest round of Syria peace talks are planned to begin on Monday in Geneva but were at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-says-prepared-for-military-solution-against-Islamic-State-in-Syria/articleshow/50711115.cms

 

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