New Age Islam
Tue Dec 01 2020, 11:27 PM

Islamic World News ( 6 Aug 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

In His Own Words, Birbhum Islamic State Man’s Video, ‘Caliphate’ Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: "Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years."

 

Allahabad School Bans National Anthem, Calls It Anti-Islam

Mass Grave Containing 200 ISIL Bodies Found in Al-Khalediya Island

Kandahar Police Chief Bans Pakistani Rupees in Southern Afghan Province

India

In His Own Words, Birbhum Islamic State Man’s Video, ‘Caliphate’ Dream

Allahabad School Bans National Anthem, Calls It Anti-Islam

Hizbul Terrorist Burhan Wani's Father New Face Of Stir, Offers Daughter To 'Struggle'

Indian journalists barred even from standing outside gates of SAARC meet venue in Pak

----------

Arab World

Mass Grave Containing 200 ISIL Bodies Found in Al-Khalediya Island

Syria: ISIL Pulls Fighters back from More Districts in Manbij

Over 500 killed in a week in battle for Aleppo: Reports

Rebels 'break siege' in Syria's Aleppo

Syrian Fighter Jets Target Terrorists' Supply Convoys Heading towards Aleppo

Hama: Syrian Army Repels Fath Al-Sham Terrorists' Attack on Al-Zara Power Plant

Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Deir Ezzur

Senior MP: Kurds Should Coordinate Anti-Terrorism Activities with Damascus, Tehran, Moscow

Hundreds of Fresh Soldiers Join Syrian Army's Anti-Terrorism War in Aleppo

Homs: Syrian Army Intensifies Attacks on ISIL Near Arak Oilfield

Damascus: Syrian Soldiers Record Significant Victory against Terrorists in Darayya

Syrian Army Deploys Reinforcement Forces at Golan Heights

Leader's Top Aide Warns US of Iran's Countermeasures in Regional, N. Issues

Syrian Army, NDF Beat back Terrorists from more Territories in Eastern Damascus

----------

South Asia

Kandahar Police Chief Bans Pakistani Rupees in Southern Afghan Province

ISIS Claims It Has Confiscated US Military Equipment in Afghanistan

6 ISIS loyalists killed in an airstrike in East of Afghanistan

ALP commander killed during gun battle with Taliban in Laghman

----------

Southeast Asia

ISIS Encouraging Malaysian Youths for Lone-Wolf Attacks: Experts

China equates preacher of "distorted Islamic ideas" with terrorists

----------

Europe

Attacker Shouts 'Allahu Akhbar,' Wounds 2 Police In Belgium

'Terror' probe opened over attack on Belgian police: PM Charles Michel

S. Arabia to help Germany investigate attacks

----------

Pakistan

Changes in Pak Turk Institutes: Parents, Teachers Seek Sympathetic Solution

Pakistan, Iran Agree To Cooperate Against IS

Sharif vows to provide medical aid to injured Kashmiris

Pakistan arrests American national who was deported for 'spying'

US releases redacted drone strike 'playbook'

----------

Mideast

Gülen Movement Trying To Reach Africa: President Erdoğan

Iran Executes Nuclear Scientist over 'Spying For US'

Soldier killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

35 detained in ISIL operation in Turkey’s south

Turkish army won’t recover for 10 years, retired Turkish general says

Turkish soldiers save wounded US intel agent on Syrian border: Report

Millions reach Istanbul venue from land and sea for historic democracy rally

Turkey to pay compensation to coup attempt victims

----------

North America

US Muslim Group Slams ISIS In Billboard Campaign

An American Muslim Who Fights Bigotry With Laughter

----------

Africa

Flynn: Pope, rabbi address murders of Christians

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-his-own-words,-birbhum-islamic-state-man’s-video,-‘caliphate’-dream/d/108205

 

----------

 

In His Own Words, Birbhum Islamic State Man’s Video, ‘Caliphate’ Dream

August 7, 2016

A 25-year-old alleged Islamic State (IS) operative arrested in West Bengal last month has told interrogators that he had been instructed to behead a Hindu man and rape the man’s companion, make videos of both attacks, and send them to his handler across the border in Bangladesh.

The video of the beheading, the man is learnt to have told interrogators, was to have been then sent to the IS in Syria, to be released on the Internet by the communications wing of the terrorist organisation, along with a formal announcement of the establishment of the ‘caliphate’ in India.

While several videos of Indians professing allegiance to the IS, and calling upon Indian Muslims to join them have been released by IS sympathisers over the past few years, none of them has been shot in India. They also haven’t shown any violent act, let alone beheading, the signature propaganda tool of the IS.

During the Dhaka cafe attack recently, the attackers took pictures and made videos, which were later released by the IS’s official PR machine, the Amaq Agency. Like the several attacks in Bangladesh in recent times, the man who was arrested in West Bengal too was initially asked to carry out lone wolf attacks using a machete.

On July 6, based on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau and NIA, West Bengal Police apprehended Birbhum resident Masiuddin alias Abu al-Musa from Burdwan railway station. During interrogation by state police, intelligence agencies and NIA, Musa is learnt to have narrated the IS’s plan for a formal announcement of its arrival in India with a signature video of brutal murder.

Musa told interrogators his handler — who first identified himself as Jihadi John, the British Arab man seen in several IS beheading videos, but who was actually Mohammed Suleiman of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — had asked him to chose non-Muslim (kafir) targets, behead them, and record it.

Musa chose a businessman who lived in a farmhouse outside his village, Labhpur. Musa had earlier worked for the man on a borewell contract. “I knew there would be anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh in his house, which I could use to further IS activities,” interrogators quoted Musa as having told them.

Musa’s interrogation has also revealed that he had intended to rape a woman who lived with the man, and make a video of that crime as well.

To execute his plans Musa allegedly recruited Sheikh Abbasuddin alias Amin and Saddam Hussain alias Sheikh Kalu. Both men have been arrested.

According to interrogators, the Bangladeshi handler, Suleiman, had asked Musa to send him these videos, which the IS would release with the announcement of its wing in India.

From dreams to jihad

According to interrogators, Musa, the son of an impoverished father, was the only one among five siblings to study. He married against the wishes of his family, but left his wife behind to travel to Kolkata, where he enrolled in an evening college, while working through the day. “He told us he hoped to become a clerk,” an interrogator said.

For a while, Musa did odd jobs as a waiter. However, within a year, his family began to pressure him to take his wife away. So Musa quit studies and moved to Tirupur in Tamil Nadu in 2010 and worked as watchman for some time. His elder brother was already in Tirupur then.

He came back to Birbhum for some time, only to go back to Tirupur for a job in a textile factory that paid him Rs 6,000 a month. Soon Musa got access to a smartphone and a computer. Once, while surfing the Net he “liked” the Facebook page of the Islamic State in Bangladesh.

Days later Musa, a follower of Deobandi Islam, was contacted by “Jihadi John” on Surespot, an encrypted chat messenger. Musa was aware of the name, the nom de guerre of the IS poster boy seen beheading “non-believers” in the outfit’s videos. Musa promptly responded, and thus began an online relationship.

“Jihadi John” allegedly encouraged Musa to read jihadi literature on jihadology.net, and to check the web sites of various terror organisations, in particular al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, his interrogation has revealed.

Around the same time, in 2014, Musa came in contact with Yusuf al-Hindi, an Internet figure who is suspected to be former Indian Mujahideen (IM) member Shafi Armar, now working with the IS.

By early 2015, Musa had tried his hand at running a shop, and had also been fired from his job. He returned to Birbhum after selling the goods in his shop, his interrogation reveals. Back in West Bengal, he had no job, but Rs 80,000 — and a purpose to “fulfill the ultimate goal for a Muslim: to establish a Caliphate”.

He had already applied for a passport to get to Syria. However, he soon lost contact with Yusuf, the interrogation shows.

In March last year, during the wedding of his younger brother in Birbhum, Musa met “Jihadi John”, who revealed himself to be Mohammed Suleiman of the JMB. Suleiman informed Musa that JMB had split on the issue of backing the IS, and sought Musa’s help to get a ration card. He also encouraged Musa to work for the IS in India, if he was not able to reach Syria, the interrogation has revealed.

On instructions from Suleiman, Musa came to Delhi in April 2016, and quickly moved to Srinagar. He had brought with him a machete from West Bengal. He had been instructed by Suleiman to look for foreign tourists and stab them or slit their throats, the interrogation reveals.

He lived in Srinagar for two months. “He went to the Dal lake several times. But he could never muster enough courage to kill anyone,” an interrogator said.

Finally, he returned to West Bengal and moved to Kolkata, but again could not take the final plunge. It was then that Suleiman instructed him to chose a softer target. And Musa chose the businessman he knew.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/in-his-own-words-birbhum-islamic-state-mans-video-caliphate-dream-2958933/

----------

 

Allahabad School Bans National Anthem, Calls It Anti-Islam

Press Trust of India

First published: August 7, 2016, 6:10 PM IST      

Allahabad: A school has refused to allow recital of the national anthem by students and staff members on Independence Day, claiming that its words violated the tenets of Islam, following which eight teachers, including the principal, have quit in protest against the diktat.

Authorities said that a probe has been launched against M A Convent School based in Baghara locality of the city in the matter and maintained that it was not recognised by the education department.

Zia-ul Haq, the school manager, told the teachers that singing of the national anthem could not be allowed as the phrase 'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata' in its first stanza went against the tenets of Islam, according to the teachers who resigned two days ago.

The manager said that if they were not in agreement with this "policy" of the school, they could leave.

"Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years.

"Since we had been asked to fall in line or leave, we chose a decision based on our conscience," Ritu Tripathi, who was the principal, said.

The school has around 300 students. She said, "Seven of my colleagues have put in their papers in protest against this attitude of the school management".

Haq, on his part, stuck to his guns asserting "only Allah can be the Bhagya Vidhata, which means the one who decides our destiny. How can we call Bharat our Bhagya Vidhata?"

The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Allahabad, Jaikaran Yadav, said, "We are surprised to learn that the school is still running. "It is not duly recognized by the Basic Shiksha department and we had sent its management a notice to close the institution about a week ago."

He said a probe is on in the matter and action will be taken as per law. "The reported refusal to allow singing of national anthem would amount to yet another offence on part of the school's management," he said.

"We have initiated a probe into the matter. If the allegations levelled against the management are found to be true, action will be taken in accordance with the law," Yadav said.

news18.com/news/india/allahabad-school-bans-national-anthem-calls-it-anti-islam-1278694.html

----------

 

Mass Grave Containing 200 ISIL Bodies Found in Al-Khalediya Island

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi forces discovered a mass grave in al-Khalediya Island in Anbar province believed to contain the bodies of 200 ISIL terrorists.

"The mass grave found in al-Malahema region of al-Khalediya Island contains about 200 bodies of the ISIL terrorists,” the Arabic-language media quoted unnamed local sources as saying.

It is not yet clear if the terrorists had been killed in tough battle with the Iraqi joint military forces or executed by their comrades.

In a relevant development earlier this week, the Iraqi army took control of three more strategic villages from the ISIL in Anbar province in Western Iraq, and destroyed the terrorists' military operations room in Albu Jarish region.

The Vinij, Haroun Baraziyeh and Omirieh in the Northwestern part of al-Anbar province are now under the Iraqi army's control.

The ISIL's military operations room in Albu Jarish region was also destroyed by the Iraqi army.

Meantime, tens of ISIL terrorists surrendered themselves in Albu Bali and Albu Obeid regions.

The Iraqi army also killed at least 70 terrorists, including snipers in the military operations in Anbar province on Monday.

The Iraqi joint military forces also destroyed three suicide vehicles in Anbar province over the past two days.

Reports said last week that commanders of the ISIL terrorist group have ordered their forces and family members to leave their last bases and strongholds in Western Iraq as Iraq's military forces are preparing to launch massive military operations in the region, local sources said.

"The Iraqi military forces are preparing to capture the last ISIL strongholds in Western Iraq and the military equipment for these operations have been fully supplied and transferred, and we are waiting for the final order by the joint operations command center to attack al-Khalediya Island and Heet town in the Western parts of al-Anbar province," Head of the Security Committee of al-Anbar province's Council Rajeh al-Issawi said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000677

----------

 

Kandahar police chief bans Pakistani Rupees in southern Afghan province

AFP | Aug 7, 2016

KANDAHAR: A senior Afghan police official regarded as one of the country's most powerful men has banned the use of Pakistani Rupees (PKR) in the key southern province of Kandahar.

The police chief of Kandahar, Gen. Abdul Raziq, said he has declared the use of PKR in business transactions a crime. But he says he hasn't yet decided on the punishment.

The rupee has been widely used in Afghanistan's eastern and southern provinces bordering Pakistan. The Iranian currency is used in the western border provinces.

"I'm not against business, but I don't want any other currency to be used in our country, especially the Pakistan and Iranian currencies," Raziq told The Associated Press Sunday.

Raziq's ban came into effect last week. Traders said it had an immediate effect, with the afghani strengthening in recent days.

"This is very good news, as people have been confused about what currency they should use and keep," said Kandahar tribal elder and businessman, Ahmad Shah Khan.

He said the afghani had strengthened to 560 for 1,000 Pakistani rupees, from 630 per 1,000 before the ban. The official Central Bank exchange rate Sunday was 622 per 1,000.

The afghani has also strengthened against the dollar, from 68 to 65 since the ban was introduced, traders said. The official rate is currently 67.5 afghanis to the dollar.

Azrakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce welcomed Raziq's decision and urged officials nationwide to adopt the ban of foreign currencies.

The use of the US dollar in transactions elsewhere in the country, including the capital Kabul, should also be banned, Hafizi said.

"The central bank almost every week buys afghanis in the market in order to maintain the stability of the Afghan currency but if we used only the Afghan currency all over the country there would be no need," he said.

Raziq's move coincides with a cooling of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan following the breakdown of a peace process initiated last year by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Raziq said the currency ban is in retaliation against Pakistan's alleged protection of the Taliban, a charge Pakistan denies.

"Pakistan is not only using bombs against us, they use every other tactic they can to destroy us and that includes our businessman," he alleged.

Pakistani authorities have held up Afghan goods, including fresh produce, at border points until the fruit and vegetables rotted, Raziq claimed.

There are signs that Afghanistan is starting to look elsewhere for imported products as a way of pressuring Pakistani authorities into complying with Afghan demands regarding peace talks with the Taliban.

Wheat imports which totaled 2.4 million tons last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture have traditionally come from Pakistan.

But an increase in the customs duty charged by Afghan authorities has cut imports from Pakistan, with the business now going to Central Asian states.

Hafizi said the value of imports from Pakistan had fallen by $700 million since the start of the current financial year in January.

Afghanistan is in the depths of an economic crisis, with gross domestic product growth close to zero and the government's plans for boosting growth and creating jobs stalled by its inability to improve the security situation.

dawn.com/news/1276001/kandahar-police-chief-bans-pakistani-rupees-in-southern-afghan-province

----------

India

In His Own Words, Birbhum Islamic State Man’s Video, ‘Caliphate’ Dream

August 7, 2016

A 25-year-old alleged Islamic State (IS) operative arrested in West Bengal last month has told interrogators that he had been instructed to behead a Hindu man and rape the man’s companion, make videos of both attacks, and send them to his handler across the border in Bangladesh.

The video of the beheading, the man is learnt to have told interrogators, was to have been then sent to the IS in Syria, to be released on the Internet by the communications wing of the terrorist organisation, along with a formal announcement of the establishment of the ‘caliphate’ in India.

While several videos of Indians professing allegiance to the IS, and calling upon Indian Muslims to join them have been released by IS sympathisers over the past few years, none of them has been shot in India. They also haven’t shown any violent act, let alone beheading, the signature propaganda tool of the IS.

During the Dhaka cafe attack recently, the attackers took pictures and made videos, which were later released by the IS’s official PR machine, the Amaq Agency. Like the several attacks in Bangladesh in recent times, the man who was arrested in West Bengal too was initially asked to carry out lone wolf attacks using a machete.

On July 6, based on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau and NIA, West Bengal Police apprehended Birbhum resident Masiuddin alias Abu al-Musa from Burdwan railway station. During interrogation by state police, intelligence agencies and NIA, Musa is learnt to have narrated the IS’s plan for a formal announcement of its arrival in India with a signature video of brutal murder.

Musa told interrogators his handler — who first identified himself as Jihadi John, the British Arab man seen in several IS beheading videos, but who was actually Mohammed Suleiman of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — had asked him to chose non-Muslim (kafir) targets, behead them, and record it.

Musa chose a businessman who lived in a farmhouse outside his village, Labhpur. Musa had earlier worked for the man on a borewell contract. “I knew there would be anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh in his house, which I could use to further IS activities,” interrogators quoted Musa as having told them.

Musa’s interrogation has also revealed that he had intended to rape a woman who lived with the man, and make a video of that crime as well.

To execute his plans Musa allegedly recruited Sheikh Abbasuddin alias Amin and Saddam Hussain alias Sheikh Kalu. Both men have been arrested.

According to interrogators, the Bangladeshi handler, Suleiman, had asked Musa to send him these videos, which the IS would release with the announcement of its wing in India.

From dreams to jihad

According to interrogators, Musa, the son of an impoverished father, was the only one among five siblings to study. He married against the wishes of his family, but left his wife behind to travel to Kolkata, where he enrolled in an evening college, while working through the day. “He told us he hoped to become a clerk,” an interrogator said.

For a while, Musa did odd jobs as a waiter. However, within a year, his family began to pressure him to take his wife away. So Musa quit studies and moved to Tirupur in Tamil Nadu in 2010 and worked as watchman for some time. His elder brother was already in Tirupur then.

He came back to Birbhum for some time, only to go back to Tirupur for a job in a textile factory that paid him Rs 6,000 a month. Soon Musa got access to a smartphone and a computer. Once, while surfing the Net he “liked” the Facebook page of the Islamic State in Bangladesh.

Days later Musa, a follower of Deobandi Islam, was contacted by “Jihadi John” on Surespot, an encrypted chat messenger. Musa was aware of the name, the nom de guerre of the IS poster boy seen beheading “non-believers” in the outfit’s videos. Musa promptly responded, and thus began an online relationship.

“Jihadi John” allegedly encouraged Musa to read jihadi literature on jihadology.net, and to check the web sites of various terror organisations, in particular al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, his interrogation has revealed.

Around the same time, in 2014, Musa came in contact with Yusuf al-Hindi, an Internet figure who is suspected to be former Indian Mujahideen (IM) member Shafi Armar, now working with the IS.

By early 2015, Musa had tried his hand at running a shop, and had also been fired from his job. He returned to Birbhum after selling the goods in his shop, his interrogation reveals. Back in West Bengal, he had no job, but Rs 80,000 — and a purpose to “fulfill the ultimate goal for a Muslim: to establish a Caliphate”.

He had already applied for a passport to get to Syria. However, he soon lost contact with Yusuf, the interrogation shows.

In March last year, during the wedding of his younger brother in Birbhum, Musa met “Jihadi John”, who revealed himself to be Mohammed Suleiman of the JMB. Suleiman informed Musa that JMB had split on the issue of backing the IS, and sought Musa’s help to get a ration card. He also encouraged Musa to work for the IS in India, if he was not able to reach Syria, the interrogation has revealed.

On instructions from Suleiman, Musa came to Delhi in April 2016, and quickly moved to Srinagar. He had brought with him a machete from West Bengal. He had been instructed by Suleiman to look for foreign tourists and stab them or slit their throats, the interrogation reveals.

He lived in Srinagar for two months. “He went to the Dal lake several times. But he could never muster enough courage to kill anyone,” an interrogator said.

Finally, he returned to West Bengal and moved to Kolkata, but again could not take the final plunge. It was then that Suleiman instructed him to chose a softer target. And Musa chose the businessman he knew.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/in-his-own-words-birbhum-islamic-state-mans-video-caliphate-dream-2958933/

----------

 

Allahabad School Bans National Anthem, Calls It Anti-Islam

Press Trust of India

First published: August 7, 2016, 6:10 PM IST      

Allahabad: A school has refused to allow recital of the national anthem by students and staff members on Independence Day, claiming that its words violated the tenets of Islam, following which eight teachers, including the principal, have quit in protest against the diktat.

Authorities said that a probe has been launched against M A Convent School based in Baghara locality of the city in the matter and maintained that it was not recognised by the education department.

Zia-ul Haq, the school manager, told the teachers that singing of the national anthem could not be allowed as the phrase 'Bharat Bhagya Vidhata' in its first stanza went against the tenets of Islam, according to the teachers who resigned two days ago.

The manager said that if they were not in agreement with this "policy" of the school, they could leave.

"Most of us have been working here for not a very long time. We were shocked to learn from the management that the school has never allowed the singing of national anthem in the last 12 years.

"Since we had been asked to fall in line or leave, we chose a decision based on our conscience," Ritu Tripathi, who was the principal, said.

The school has around 300 students. She said, "Seven of my colleagues have put in their papers in protest against this attitude of the school management".

Haq, on his part, stuck to his guns asserting "only Allah can be the Bhagya Vidhata, which means the one who decides our destiny. How can we call Bharat our Bhagya Vidhata?"

The Basic Shiksha Adhikari of Allahabad, Jaikaran Yadav, said, "We are surprised to learn that the school is still running. "It is not duly recognized by the Basic Shiksha department and we had sent its management a notice to close the institution about a week ago."

He said a probe is on in the matter and action will be taken as per law. "The reported refusal to allow singing of national anthem would amount to yet another offence on part of the school's management," he said.

"We have initiated a probe into the matter. If the allegations levelled against the management are found to be true, action will be taken in accordance with the law," Yadav said.

news18.com/news/india/allahabad-school-bans-national-anthem-calls-it-anti-islam-1278694.html

----------

 

Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani's father new face of stir, offers daughter to 'struggle'

M Saleem Pandit | TNN | Aug 7, 2016

SRINAGAR: The father of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani+ is emerging a leader of the protest movement in the Valley, overshadowing established separatist voices like Syed Ali Shah Geelani+ and the Mirwaiz. On Friday, Muzaffar Wani led a procession of thousands in Pampore as more people turned up to hear him, ignoring a call by the Hurriyat factions to march to Hazratbal in Srinagar.

A recently formed umbrella separatist group, which includes Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik of the JKLF, had given a call for 'Dargah chalo' on Friday. However, the response was thin. In contrast, thousands from south Kashmir defied curfew, imposed in the entire Valley+ , to reach Khrew in Pampore.

Wani, who was the main attraction at the protest, was escorted by several armed militants, according to eyewitnesses. While most people walked to Khrew, Wani arrived in a Bolero. He told protesters he was ready to offer his only daughter for the fight against "Indian occupation" after "sacrificing" his two sons, eyewitnesses told TOI. Burhan Wani's brother Khalid was killed in cross-firing between militants and security forces in a forest in Tral in 2010.

One of the militants who accompanied Wani also addressed the gathering at Khrew and asked protesters not to pelt stones+ at security forces and private cars. He said this would lead to police action and more killings.

Though Hurriyat leaders were not associated with the Khrew protest, sensing the mood of people from south Kashmir there, Geelani's supporters later played out his address through a mobile phone.

On July 31, Hurriyat had taken part in a protest at the graveyard at Kareemabad in Pulwama where several slain militants are buried. Wani was also invited to this event, which was attended by nearly 50,000 people, and it was here that his supporters had given a call for the protest at Khrew on Friday. However, Hurriyat leaders decided to organise a separate protest and later gave the call for "Dargah chalo" on the same day.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/srinagar/Hizbul-terrorist-Burhan-Wanis-father-new-face-of-stir-offers-daughter-to-struggle/articleshow/53579940.cms

----------

 

Indian journalists barred even from standing outside gates of SAARC meet venue in Pak

PTI | Aug 7, 2016

NEW DELHI: Indian journalists, who went to cover the SAARC Home Ministers' conference in Islamabad, had to face hostile Pakistani officials+ , who not only denied them access to the inaugural function but also barred them from standing at the entrance of the venue where their interior minister was to receive dignitaries, leading to tense moments.

The six Indian journalists, who were given visa to travel to Islamabad to cover the event, were flatly refused entry to the inaugural function, which was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Indian journalists then stood near the entrance of the where Pakistani interior minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan was receiving the visiting dignitaries from SAARC countries.

As Pakistani media took position to capture the moment of Home Minister Rajnath Singh+ 's arrival, Indian journalists too joined them. Immediately, Pakistani officials curtly told them to leave the place, saying Indian journalists were not allowed to stand even outside the gate.

When Pakistani officials asked Doordarshan cameraperson R Jayashree Puri and ANI's Ajay Kumar Sharma to remove their cameras, a senior Indian diplomat tried to intervene and protested.

The diplomat hotly argued that Indian journalists be allowed+ to be near the gate to capture Singh's arrival as Pakistani journalists, video and still camerapersons were present and freely taking shots.

The Pakistani officials made it clear that the Indian journalists have to leave the place immediately, leading to a verbal duel between the diplomat and a Pakistani official.

The Pakistani official even directed some of his juniors to block the view of Indian journalists and soon the reporters and camerapersons were surrounded by several persons, apparently policemen in civvies, making it impossible for them to shoot anything.

This resulted the Indian journalists failing to capture the moment when Singh touched the hands of his Pakistani counterpart, a gesture short of a formal handshake, reflecting the growing chill in the ties between the two countries.

As per SAARC protocol, the inaugural statement by the host country is open to the media while the rest of the proceedings are in camera.

The Pakistani establishment was also circulating information in the local media that Indian Home Minister had visited washroom eight times to make calls to New Delhi when the conference was going on.

The fact is that the washroom was outside the conference hall and the Home Minister used it twice -- once before the formal ministers' meet started after he and his SAARC counterparts had made a courtesy call to Pakistan Prime Sharif and again when the meeting got over.

Besides, Home Minister Singh does not carry a cell phone even while he is in India and, whenever necessary, uses those of his aides.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-journalists-barred-even-from-standing-outside-gates-of-SAARC-meet-venue-in-Pak/articleshow/53583540.cms

----------

Arab World

Mass Grave Containing 200 ISIL Bodies Found in Al-Khalediya Island

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi forces discovered a mass grave in al-Khalediya Island in Anbar province believed to contain the bodies of 200 ISIL terrorists.

"The mass grave found in al-Malahema region of al-Khalediya Island contains about 200 bodies of the ISIL terrorists,” the Arabic-language media quoted unnamed local sources as saying.

It is not yet clear if the terrorists had been killed in tough battle with the Iraqi joint military forces or executed by their comrades.

In a relevant development earlier this week, the Iraqi army took control of three more strategic villages from the ISIL in Anbar province in Western Iraq, and destroyed the terrorists' military operations room in Albu Jarish region.

The Vinij, Haroun Baraziyeh and Omirieh in the Northwestern part of al-Anbar province are now under the Iraqi army's control.

The ISIL's military operations room in Albu Jarish region was also destroyed by the Iraqi army.

Meantime, tens of ISIL terrorists surrendered themselves in Albu Bali and Albu Obeid regions.

The Iraqi army also killed at least 70 terrorists, including snipers in the military operations in Anbar province on Monday.

The Iraqi joint military forces also destroyed three suicide vehicles in Anbar province over the past two days.

Reports said last week that commanders of the ISIL terrorist group have ordered their forces and family members to leave their last bases and strongholds in Western Iraq as Iraq's military forces are preparing to launch massive military operations in the region, local sources said.

"The Iraqi military forces are preparing to capture the last ISIL strongholds in Western Iraq and the military equipment for these operations have been fully supplied and transferred, and we are waiting for the final order by the joint operations command center to attack al-Khalediya Island and Heet town in the Western parts of al-Anbar province," Head of the Security Committee of al-Anbar province's Council Rajeh al-Issawi said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000677

----------

 

Syria: ISIL Pulls Fighters back from More Districts in Manbij

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their advances against ISIL in the Northeastern part of Manbij, inflicting major casualties and losses on the Takfiri terrorists.

The SDF fighter, in several hours of heavy fighting, beat ISIL terrorists back from Sheikh Aqil neighborhood and an industrial area in the Northeastern districts of Manbij.

ISIL left tens of dead or wounded members behind and retreated from the battlefront.

The SDF combatants launched clean-up operation as soon as the ISIL forces left Sheikh Aqil and the industrial zone.

Kurdish sources announced on Saturday that the SDF fighters were pushing ISIL back from the remaining militant-held part of Manbij and were about to complete liberation of the key town in Northeastern Aleppo.

"ISIL has captured over 500 civilians, mainly children and women, and is using them as human shield. This matter has delayed liberation of central part of Manbij," the sources said.

"The SDF fighters have stormed ISIL positions in Central Manbij, Earth Square and al-Amni Square and have launched an operation to free the captured civilians to decrease human casualties in the battlefield," the sources added.

"Al-Tal neighborhood and al-Thowrah school are under full control of the SDF," they added.

"ISIL has no way out. Liberation of Manbij will be announced very soon," the sources underlined.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000826

----------

 

Over 500 killed in a week in battle for Aleppo: Reports

AFP | Aug 6, 2016

BEIRUT: More than 500 rebels and government forces have been killed in one week of fierce fighting to control the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, a monitor said today.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could not give a specific toll, but said the majority of those killed since July 31 were rebels and jihadists "because of the aerial superiority of the regime and intense Russian air strikes".

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said at least 130 civilians had also been killed since Sunday, most in rebel shelling of government-controlled districts.

He said at least seven civilians were killed today in rebel shelling of the regime-held neighbourhood of Hamdaniyeh.

Regime forces today struggled to push back a powerful assault on military positions south of the battleground city.

The offensive has brought together rebels, Islamists and jihadists in an attempt to cut off a regime route into Aleppo and break the government siege of eastern districts.

Abdel Rahman said the advance left the regime forces "in a very difficult position despite Russian air support".

"This is an existential battle. Whoever wins it will win Aleppo," he said.

Repeated attempts particularly by Moscow and Washington to put an end to the fighting in Syria's battered second city have failed.

Russia and the United States support opposing sides in Syria's civil war, which has left 280,000 people dead and forced half the population to flee their homes.

The two world powers have agreed "concrete steps" to revive a tattered ceasefire and tackle jihadist groups in Syria, although details have not been made public.

On Thursday, US President Barack Obama said Russia risked casting itself as an "irresponsible actor" on the world stage, particularly over its actions in Aleppo in recent weeks.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Over-500-killed-in-a-week-in-battle-for-Aleppo-Reports/articleshow/53574870.cms

----------

 

Rebels 'break siege' in Syria's Aleppo

AFP | Aug 7, 2016

BEIRUT: Syrian regime forces were on the defensive around Aleppo on Sunday after a rebel alliance said it inflicted a major setback by breaking a three-week government siege of the battered city.

A coalition of rebels and jihadists surged through regime territory on Saturday to open a new route into Aleppo's besieged eastern neighbourhoods, home to an estimated 250,000 people.

The breakthrough was met with euphoric scenes among civilians and opposition fighters in eastern districts, but sparked fear of food shortages among residents of regime-controlled western areas.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the development was one of the most significant setbacks for government forces since the conflict erupted in March 2011.

"Despite more than 600 Russian strikes, the regime forces were not able to hold onto their positions," he said.

Steadfast regime ally Moscow has provided air support for forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.

Abdel Rahman said there were intermittent air strikes and clashes on the southern edges of the city on Sunday, where the opposition alliance overran a series of buildings in a military academy the previous evening.

They then pushed northeast into the district of Ramussa, linking up with rebel groups that had fought south from inside the city.

Rebels posted footage of their fighters embracing and celebrating the end of the government encirclement, in place since July 17.

An AFP journalist in the eastern districts said one truck of vegetables entered late Saturday to be sold in the markets the following day.

"Not a single civilian has left the eastern districts because the road is too dangerous and not secured," Abdel Rahman said.

But their advance now puts the estimated 1.2 million living in government-held districts of the city under opposition encirclement, he added.

"The western districts of Aleppo are now besieged. There are no safe routes for civilians in government-held districts to use to get into or out of the city," he told AFP.

Families in the western districts late Saturday rushed to buy any food and drink left in preparation for shortages, a resident told AFP.

"Of course I have faith in the army, but I can't help being scared. Food is already getting more expensive and the coming days risk being very difficult," said the 34-year-old.

The fight for Aleppo is among the fiercest so far in Syria's chaotic multi-front war, which has killed more than 280,000 people.

Rebel and regime forces have fought to control the provincial capital since mid-2012, transforming the former economic powerhouse into a divided, bombed-out city.

State media denied that the siege had been broken and said the battle for Syria's second city was ongoing.

State television said the Syrian air force was carrying out air strikes around the military academy buildings seized by opposition forces.

"The terrorist groups are suffering huge losses and were not able to break the encirclement of the eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo," state news agency SANA said late Saturday, quoting a military source.

"The Syrian army in coordination with allied forces are continuing their fight south of Aleppo," it said.

The agency said 10 civilians were killed on Saturday in rebel shelling on two government-held districts.

The Britain-based Observatory said at least 130 civilians have been killed since the opposition alliance launched its offensive on southern Aleppo on July 31.

The monitor said more than 700 fighters from both sides had been killed in the onslaught, most of them rebels because of the regime's "aerial superiority."

Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate said it had seized huge caches of weapons from regime forces in the artillery school south of Aleppo.

The Fateh al-Sham Front posted photos apparently showing artillery, trucks, armoured vehicles, and other weapons in wooden crates.

Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011 with protests against Assad's rule but has since evolved into a brutal war that has drawn in world powers.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Rebels-break-siege-in-Syrias-Aleppo/articleshow/53585748.cms

----------

 

Syrian Fighter Jets Target Terrorists' Supply Convoys Heading towards Aleppo

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian warplanes launched a series of combat flights over militant groups' supply convoys in Idlib and Hama provinces and did not allow them to reach the Southern and Southwestern countryside of Aleppo.

Long convoys of terrorist groups' vehicles, carrying a large volume of arms, ammunition and medical equipment, were targeted and destroyed in Syrian airstrikes in Hama and Idlib provinces.

The convoys were planed to provide arms and ammunition to terrorists in Aleppo battlefields.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops and Hezbollah fighters inflicted major losses on the terrorists of Jeish al-Fatah in a coordinated clean-up operation across military academies and pushed them back from most of the military sites, sources said.

" 100 percent of Air Force Academy, 70 percent of Artillery Academy and 30 percent of Taslih Academy have been cleaned up from Jeish al-Fatah militants by the Syrian government forces," the sources said.

"Simultaneous with army's mop-up operation in military academies, a large number of government forces repelled Jeish al-Fatah's offensives to reenter the military zone but failed and retreated leaving tens of dead or wounded members behind," the sources added.

"Army also fended off Jeish al-Fatah's attacks to in Um al-Qara'ain Eastern side of al-Moshrefeh," they went on to say.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000962

----------

 

Hama: Syrian Army Repels Fath Al-Sham Terrorists' Attack on Al-Zara Power Plant

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army repelled an attack by the Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as al-Nusra Front) on a strategic power plant in Hama province.

The Fatah al-Sham Front attacked the Syrian army military positions near Al-Zara power plant in the Southwestern part of Hama province, the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying on Sunday.

The source added that most of the terrorist groups’ members were killed or injured and their arms and military equipment were destroyed.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army targeted the military positions and gathering centers of Fatah al-Sham Front, killing several militants, including their notorious commander.

Abu al-Bara'a al-Chami and eight other terrorists were killed in the town of al-Tamani'a in the Northern part of Hama province on Saturday, the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Meantime, the Syrian air force destroyed the ISIL vehicles some equipped with machineguns

Syrian air force destroyed ISIL vehicles, some equipped with machineguns to the East of al-Khanasser town in the Northeastern part of Hama province.

Meantime, another army unit carried out concentrated bombardments on the supply routes and positions of the terrorists, destroying a machinegun-equipped vehicle loaded with a huge amount of arms and ammunition which was heading towards al-Zara in the Southern part of Hama province.

In a relevant development on Thursday, ISIL's fierce attempts to advance in the international Salamiyah-Khanasser-Aleppo road in Hama failed due to the rapid and tough reaction of the army and its allies.

The army that was monitoring the ISIL moves near the road inflicted heavy loss and damage on the terrorists in a timely reaction and operations.

Also the Syrian helicopters and fighter jets pounded the ISIL bases in Soha village in the Eastern parts of Hama, killing tens of militants and destroying their military equipment.

Also, on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops repelled the terrorist groups' offensive on their strongholds near al-Zara power plant in Southern Hama.

Terrorist groups suffered a heavy death toll and retreated from the battlefield under the heavy fire of Syrian soldiers.

Meantime, Syrian Air Forces launched several air attacks on ISIL's centers in the Southern side of Aqarib and Northern side of al-Mofaker al Sharghiyeh near the town of al-Salamiyah, inflicting major damage and casualties on the militants.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000943

----------

 

Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Deir Ezzur

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists in Deir Ezzur province, killing several militants and injuring many others.

The army units killed at least 7 ISIL terrorists and destroyed their military vehicle equipped with a 14.5milimeter machine in Tal Brouk, Northwest of Deir Ezzur city.

The Syrian army destroyed the terrorists' weapons and ammunition in the surrounding areas of Panorama to the Southwest of the city of Deir Ezzur.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian Army troops repelled ISIL's offensives on government forces' positions along the heights near the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur, claiming the lives of at least 165 terrorists.

Syrian soldiers, backed by tribal forces, fended off ISIL's attacks to break through government positions near Brouk heights, leaving at least 165 terrorists dead and many more wounded.

Brouk heights enjoy strategic importance for both the Syrian army and terrorists due to its overlooking advantages over Deir Ezzur city.

Also on Thursday, the Syrian warplanes destroyed three positions and several vehicles equipped with machineguns and carrying weapons and ammunition for the ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzur.

The source explained that the airstrikes were conducted in al-Mura'yeh, al-Baqaliyeh, South of the Panorama and al-Jneineh in Deir Ezzur.

Sources on the ground also said that ISIL “Emir” in Hosseiniyeh village, Turki al-Hassa’a, was killed along with seven of his companions in a military operation by the Syrian army troops.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000986

----------

 

Senior MP: Kurds Should Coordinate Anti-Terrorism Activities with Damascus, Tehran, Moscow

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Kurd member of the Syrian parliament described the US-led coalition's solutions to purge the terrorists from the Kurdish areas as useless, and said the Kurdish fighters should coordinate their operations with Syria, Iran and Russia for better results.

"The political Kurdish parties shouldn’t follow the US solutions to the problems of the Syrian Kurds in Qamishli, Afrin and Ain al-Arab (Kobani)," Omar Ossi told FNA on Sunday.

He said that the US-led coalition will not present any solution in the interest of the Kurds in Syria.

"If the Kurdish political parties really want to fight against the ISIL through their military wings, they should be in real coordination with Damascus, Tehran and Moscow," Ossi said.

His remarks came one day after sources announced that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mainly comprised of Kurdish fighters, are pushing ISIL back from the remaining militant-held part of Manbij and are about to complete liberation of the key town in Northeastern Aleppo.

"ISIL has captured over 500 civilians, mainly children and women, and is using them as human shield. This matter has delayed liberation of central part of Manbij," the sources said.

"The SDF fighters have stormed ISIL positions in Central Manbij, Earth Square and al-Amni Square and have launched an operation to free the captured civilians to decrease human casualties in the battlefield," the sources added.

"Al-Tal neighborhood and al-Thowrah school are under full control of the SDF," they added.

"ISIL has no way out. Liberation of Manbij will be announced very soon," the sources underlined.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000895

----------

 

Hundreds of Fresh Soldiers Join Syrian Army's Anti-Terrorism War in Aleppo

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced on Sunday that the Syrian Army has dispatched several battalions of fresh soldiers to the Southern and Southwestern districts of Aleppo city to reinvigorate government forces' front in the war on Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition.

"Syrian Army's fresh forces have arrived in Western countryside of Aleppo to join their comrades in military academies and al-Ramousiyeh," the sources said.

"As soon as arrival of Army forces in Aleppo, Jeish al-Fata launched missile attacks on residential areas in al-Hamdaniyeh and al-Ramousiyeh," the sources went on to say.

Earlier reports said that a large number of ready-to-fight combatants of the Lebanese Hezbollah have arrived in al-Hamdaniyeh district to join the Syrian government forces to beat back Jeish al-Fatah terrorist from the Southern and Southwestern countryside of Aleppo, battlefield sources said minutes ago.

"Hezbollah fighters, including Rezwan battalion, have now been deployed to al-Hamdaniyeh," sources said, adding, "There is no terrorist threat in al-Hamdaniyeh and Hezbollah fighters will be dispatched to al-Ramousiyeh to confront Jeish al-Fatah's offensives there."

"Southern and Eastern parts of al-Ramousiyeh, cement factory, al-Ameriyeh in Northwestern side of al-Ramousiyeh and the region 606 are under full control of the Syrian army and its popular allies," the sources said.

"The entire communication lines of the terrorist groups in the Southern and Southwestern countryside of Aleppo are being strictly monitored by the government forces and no terrorist vehicle can move on the region's roads safely," they added.

"In the meantime, military and logistical supplies have been provided for the Syrian army and its allies via al-Malaah farms," the sources went on to say.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000862

----------

 

Homs: Syrian Army Intensifies Attacks on ISIL Near Arak Oilfield

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Homs as tough battle is underway in the vicinity of Arak oilfield in the Eastern part of the province.

The army units have hit hard the ISIL terrorists in the surrounding areas of Arak oilfield in the Eastern part of Homs province.

The Syrian army also destroyed two military vehicles and many gatherings of al-Nusra Front in Um Sharshouh, Talbiseh and Tal al-Rous in Homs province.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army continued its military advances in the Eastern part of Homs province, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorist groups in the region.

The army units destroyed the military positions of the ISIL terrorists in the villages of Sallam Gharbi and Unq al-Hawa in Eastern Homs province.

The Syrian army also destroyed the arms depot of the terrorists in Kafar Laha'a in Northern Homs province.

Meantime, an army unit repelled the Syrian army attack on the terrorists' military position in Homs.

The army unit repulsed the terrorists' attack on its military post in the Eastern part of Talbiseh city in the Northern part of Homs, killing dozen terrorists and injuring many others.

On Thursday, the Syrian army unit pushed back an attack on a military post in Homs, killing a number of terrorists and injuring others.

The Syrian forces repelled the attack on a military post East of Talbiseh city in the Northern parts of Homs, killing tens of terrorists, injuring others and destroying their arms and ammunition.

The army and its allies also destroyed the ISIL gatherings and hideouts in Sallam Gharbi and Unq al-Hawa regions in the Eastern countryside of Homs province.

Battlefield sources announced on Wednesday that the Syrian army backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) engaged in tough battle with Fatah al-Sham (the newly formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as al-Nusra Front) and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists groups in the Northern part of Homs province.

The army and national defense forces inflicted heavy losses on the Fath al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists in the town of Talbiseh and the village of al-Qantou in Northern Homs province.

A large number of militants from both terrorist groups were killed in the clashes with the Syrian army and popular forces.

Meantime, the Syrian army destroyed military convoy of Fath al-Sham terrorists in the Eastern part of Tir Ma'ala region, killing all terrorists inside the military vehicles.

The Syrian army also pounded the military positions of the terrorists in al-Wa'ar region, killing and injuring several terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000888

----------

 

Damascus: Syrian Soldiers Record Significant Victory against Terrorists in Darayya

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian military forces pushed terrorists back from a key chunk of Darayya road to al-Mo'adhamiyeh in Western Ghouta, separating militants' position into two sections.

The Syrian soldiers' anti-terrorism operation near Darayya left dozens of militants dead or wounded and forced the remaining pockets of them to pull back from at least one kilometer of Darayya-al-Mo'adhamiyeh road.

The Army's capture of that one kilometer enabled the government forced to create a gap between the terrorists inside and outside of Darayya.

In the meantime, army's artillery units opened heavy fire at terrorists' positions in Khan al-Sheih farms and camp and al-Abbasiyeh, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded.  

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces continued to advance against the terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta, inflicting tens of casualties on them.

The Syrian government forces won back Hawsh Nasri near Hawsh al-Fareh after hours of non-stop clashes with the terrorists.

Meantime, Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists' centers in al-Reihan region in Douma and Arba'een region, leaving scores of the militants dead or wounded.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000900

----------

 

Syrian Army Deploys Reinforcement Forces at Golan Heights

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army sent hundreds of its reinforcement troops to the Golan Heights, bordering Israel, to prepare for military operations against the terrorist groups.

The fresh army forces were dispatched to Khan Arnabah town in Quneitra, Southern Syria, in hundreds of military and armored vehicles as well as several tanks, Emad Meqdadi, a rights activist, said on Sunday.

He added that the convoy of the Syrian forces was sent to the front lines of the war against the terrorist groups after receiving orders from their commanders.

Meqdadi believes that dispatch of reinforcement troops to these region means impending massive military operations against the terrorists in the South to retake the occupied cities and towns, adding that the differences among the militant groups in the region will be a positive point for the army.

The Syrian army continued its advances in the city of Quneitra, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists, including destroying their strategic tunnel, battlefield sources disclosed on Saturday.

The terrorists' tunnel was destroyed near Abu Shabta site on al-Hamidiyeh-Jebbata al-Khashab road in Northern Quneitra, the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

The source noted that destroying the tunnel will help block the road used by the terrorists for transferring weapons and ammunition as well as their targeting the residential neighborhoods in al-Baath city.

Meantime, another army unit carried out military operations against terrorist groups in the ruined part of the city of Quneitra, destroying a vehicle equipped with a machinegun and killing many of the terrorists.

The army and popular forces also destroyed the terrorists' military vehicles in Northern Quneitra.

Other army units destroyed the military positions of the terrorist groups near al-Alam roundabout along the Eastern entrance of Quneitra city.

The operations left scores of terrorists dead and injured while destroying their weapons and ammunition.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000789

----------

 

Leader's Top Aide Warns US of Iran's Countermeasures in Regional, N. Issues

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Supreme Leader's top adviser for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati warned Washington that Tehran will take countermeasures to confront the US negative approach on regional issues and the nuclear deal.

"Iran's hands are not tied up at all to take measures based on its national interests," Velayati said in an interview with al-Mayadeen news channel on Sunday.

"Iran is always free to act based on its national interests in the region, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other different places," he added.

Noting that the same thing is true about implementation of the last year nuclear deal clinched by Tehran and the world powers too, Velayati said, "They shouldn’t think that Iran's hands are tied up in the nuclear issue."

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Velayati warned that Tehran can resume its frozen nuclear activities in case of the opposite side's disloyalty to the last year nuclear deal.

"Iran’s hands are not tied up and Tehran has other options to choose in order to guarantee its interests," Velayati said.

The Supreme Leader's top aide underlined that Iran will give a proportionate answer to the big powers' not fulfilling their commitments.

Also, in April, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi strongly warned the western members of the Group 5+1 against violating the July nuclear deal, saying that any such violation would receive Tehran's firm response.

"Legally speaking, there is a possibility that the other side misuses a point in the nuclear deal, but meantime, the document enjoys such an integrity and power that the other side doesn’t allow itself to create any problem," Salehi said, addressing Iranian foreign ministry officials in Tehran.

He underlined that Tehran will continue monitoring the other side's commitment to its undertakings with its eyes open wide. "I firmly announce that we act upon the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei)'s views in a way that if the other side does not comply with its undertakings appropriately, we will show a proper reaction."

His remarks came after the US and certain other western states have been witnessed as dragging their feet in implementing undertakings based on the nuclear deal which included removal of sanctions against Tehran.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000857

----------

 

Syrian Army, NDF Beat back Terrorists from more Territories in Eastern Damascus

Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces (NDF) continued to advance against the terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta, inflicting tens of casualties on them.

The Syrian government forces won back Hawsh Nasri near Hawsh al-Rareh after hours of non-stop clashes with the terrorists.

Meantime, Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists' centers in al-Reihan region in Douma and Arba'een region, leaving scores of the militants dead or wounded.  

In relevant developments in the province on Saturday, the Syrian army continued its advances in Western Ghouta and won control of more lands in the countryside of Darayya town.

The army units recaptured Balal mosque and its surrounding areas in Darayya countryside.

The Syrian army and popular forces managed to make more military gains with the aerial support of the air force and artillery backup.

Meantime, dissident sources announced that the Syrian army, with missile and artillery support, managed to advance in Khan al-Shih farms from the direction of al-Salam highway.

The Syrian artillery units also hit the terrorists' military positions in Tal al-Kabousiyeh and Abbasiyeh farms.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950517000707

----------

South Asia

Kandahar police chief bans Pakistani Rupees in southern Afghan province

AFP | Aug 7, 2016

KANDAHAR: A senior Afghan police official regarded as one of the country's most powerful men has banned the use of Pakistani Rupees (PKR) in the key southern province of Kandahar.

The police chief of Kandahar, Gen. Abdul Raziq, said he has declared the use of PKR in business transactions a crime. But he says he hasn't yet decided on the punishment.

The rupee has been widely used in Afghanistan's eastern and southern provinces bordering Pakistan. The Iranian currency is used in the western border provinces.

"I'm not against business, but I don't want any other currency to be used in our country, especially the Pakistan and Iranian currencies," Raziq told The Associated Press Sunday.

Raziq's ban came into effect last week. Traders said it had an immediate effect, with the afghani strengthening in recent days.

"This is very good news, as people have been confused about what currency they should use and keep," said Kandahar tribal elder and businessman, Ahmad Shah Khan.

He said the afghani had strengthened to 560 for 1,000 Pakistani rupees, from 630 per 1,000 before the ban. The official Central Bank exchange rate Sunday was 622 per 1,000.

The afghani has also strengthened against the dollar, from 68 to 65 since the ban was introduced, traders said. The official rate is currently 67.5 afghanis to the dollar.

Azrakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce welcomed Raziq's decision and urged officials nationwide to adopt the ban of foreign currencies.

The use of the US dollar in transactions elsewhere in the country, including the capital Kabul, should also be banned, Hafizi said.

"The central bank almost every week buys afghanis in the market in order to maintain the stability of the Afghan currency but if we used only the Afghan currency all over the country there would be no need," he said.

Raziq's move coincides with a cooling of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan following the breakdown of a peace process initiated last year by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Raziq said the currency ban is in retaliation against Pakistan's alleged protection of the Taliban, a charge Pakistan denies.

"Pakistan is not only using bombs against us, they use every other tactic they can to destroy us and that includes our businessman," he alleged.

Pakistani authorities have held up Afghan goods, including fresh produce, at border points until the fruit and vegetables rotted, Raziq claimed.

There are signs that Afghanistan is starting to look elsewhere for imported products as a way of pressuring Pakistani authorities into complying with Afghan demands regarding peace talks with the Taliban.

Wheat imports which totaled 2.4 million tons last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture have traditionally come from Pakistan.

But an increase in the customs duty charged by Afghan authorities has cut imports from Pakistan, with the business now going to Central Asian states.

Hafizi said the value of imports from Pakistan had fallen by $700 million since the start of the current financial year in January.

Afghanistan is in the depths of an economic crisis, with gross domestic product growth close to zero and the government's plans for boosting growth and creating jobs stalled by its inability to improve the security situation.

dawn.com/news/1276001/kandahar-police-chief-bans-pakistani-rupees-in-southern-afghan-province

----------

 

ISIS claims it has confiscated US military equipment in Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 07 2016

ISIS seize US soldier equipment in AfghanistanThe loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have claimed they have confiscated several military equipment belonging to a US soldier.

The sympathizers of the terror group released several photographs which purportedly shows the confiscated military equipment along with an ID card of a US soldier.

The service member whose ID card and equipment captured by ISIS loyalists has been identified as Rayan Jay Larson.

The sympathizers of the terror group claimed that the equipment was seized after repelling a joint raid by the Afghan and US forces in Nangarhar province.

This comes as the coalition officials confirmed 5 US soldiers sustained injuries during an operation against ISIS terrorists in Nangarhar province.

The officials further added that the US soldiers were wounded during a joint operation with the Afghan special forces.

The Afghan commandos launched a major operation against the loyalists of the terror group in Nangarhar nearly two weeks and cleared the restive Kot district from the presence of ISIS militants.

The operations were launched amid concerns that the terror group is attempting to expand insurgency activities in the country.

The group claimed responsibility behind a deadly bombing in Kabul that left at least 80 people dead and over 200 others wounded.

khaama.com/isis-claims-it-has-confiscated-us-military-equipment-in-afghanistan-01656

----------

 

6 ISIS loyalists killed in an airstrike in East of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 07 2016

At least 6 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrike was carried out in the restive Achin district, leaving 6 of them dead and 2 others wounded.

No further details were given if the airstrike was carried out by the Afghan forces or the US forces based in Afghanistan.

The latest airstrike targeting the loyalists of the terror group comes amid ongoing operations to eliminate the loyalists of the terror group from the restive districts of Nangarhar.

Both the Afghan and US forces conduct regular raids against the loyalists of the terror group in Nangarhar province.

The Afghan forces captured numerous key compounds used by the terror group in Nangarhar province after launched a major operation this province around two weeks ago.

The operations were launched to prevent the loyalists the terror group to expand foothold and operations in the country.

In the meantime the US forces in Afghanistan are conducting airstrikes against the terror group after the US President Barack Obama granted broader role to target the ISIS loyalists in the country.

khaama.com/6-isis-loyalists-killed-in-an-airstrike-in-east-of-afghanistan-01655

----------

 

ALP commander killed during gun battle with Taliban in Laghman

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Aug 07 2016

Members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) patrol at the Char Darah district of Kunduz provinceA commander of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces was killed during a gun battle with the Taliban militants in eastern Laghman province, local officials said Sunday.

The incident took place late on Saturday afternoon in the vicinity of Mehtarlam city, the provincial capital of Laghman province.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Sarhadi Zwak confirmed ALP Syed Ahmad was killed during a clash with the Taliban militants in Hakimabad area of the city.

He did not provide furhter information regarding the incident but reports suggest at least two ALP forces were also killed during the clash.

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

This comes as the provincial council chief was wounded in an explosion in Mehtarlam city three days ago.

According to the local officials, at least one person was also killed and several others were wounded in the attack.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to other insurgent groups are active in a number of the remote districts of Laghman province where they often carry out insurgency activities.

The latest incidents in Laghman provinces comes amid deteriorating security situation across the country with the rampant Taliban-led inssurgency.

khaama.com/alp-commander-killed-during-gun-battle-with-taliban-in-laghman-01657

----------

Southeast Asia

ISIS encouraging Malaysian youths for lone-wolf attacks: Experts

PTI | Aug 7, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State is using new ways to radicalise Malaysian youths through Internet and encouraging them to carry out jihad as "lone wolves", experts have warned.

Malaysian IS members are asking their countrymen to fight alongside the dreaded terror group in the wake of its "recognition" of the southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf as part of the Islamic State "caliphate", they said.

"Islamic State is now encouraging its supporters to carry out their own jihad in the country without any need for organisation," Dr Maszlee Malik, political analyst at the International Islamic University Malaysia, was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

He referred to a chilling 21-minute video uploaded on social media on June 23, calling on Malaysians to join the "Philippines brotherhood" entrusted by IS to lead the "caliphates army".

Featured in the video was Malaysian Mohd Rafi Udin, also known as Abu Aun al-Malysi, who said "sympathisers who could not go to Mindanao should launch their own jihad on Malaysian soil using whatever means at their disposal."

In the video Mohd Rafi said "You have a car, knock them down. You have a weapon or a knife, even a small one, stab them in the chest. Do not be afraid."

What was clear from the video, said Maszlee, was that IS was encouraging a new method of destruction - the lone wolf attack.

"Lone wolf attacks involve self radicalised individuals who are IS sympathisers. They can launch their own attack and consider it a 'jihad'. This was what happened in Puchong. Rafi Udin's call was a clear indication that he was giving orders to lone wolves. It was not an organised, well planned attack. A few sympathisers answered the call to launch their own attack," he said.

On June 28, eight people were injured after a hand grenade exploded at an entertainment centre in the suburb of Puchong here. Police later confirmed that the blast was the work of two IS supporters.

Voicing similar concerns, geostrategist Prof Azmi Hassan said IS propaganda was a "first class act" that could win people's sympathy for the group.

According to Azmi, Abu Sayyaf's oath of allegiance to IS would make it easier for sympathisers to join the terror, the news agency said.

"Instead of travelling to Syria or Iraq, they could go to the southern Philippines and fight alongside Abu Sayyaf. This was a direct pressure on our country because radicalisation could happen among Malaysians," he warned.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/IS-encouraging-Malaysian-youths-for-lone-wolf-attacks-Experts/articleshow/53584996.cms

----------

 

China equates preacher of "distorted Islamic ideas" with terrorists

Saibal Dasgupta | TNN | Aug 6, 2016

BEIJING: China's disturbed Xinjiang province has adopted a new counterterrorism law that targets not just those who commit terrorist activities but also those who preach religious extremism. Among other things, the new law prohibits spread of "distorted Islamic ideas".

The government is planning a large scale crackdown on a section of Islamic preachers who are spreading extremist ideas. China's Communist Party often emphasizes the importance of partriotism in the practice of religion.

The new law will make it possible for local officials to take action against religious leaders suspected of being unpatriotic, observers said.

"Acts such as encouraging others to resist national policies, destroying identification cards, household registration and marriage certificates are also made illegal," the state media said about the new law.

The local legislative council the new law regards "religious extremism is the ideological basis of terrorism" and makes it punishible. Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan, is the main battle field in the war against terrorism, and has garnered a lot of experience in combating the menace in recent years, Nayim Yasen, head of the standing committee of the regional legislature, said.

The announcement comes soon after Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif recently assured China that his troops will crack down on militant outfits who are suspected of committing terror acts in the bordering Chinese province of Xinjiang.

China's state media quoted Sharif saying that Pakistan will curb terrorist forces in the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement" (ETIM), which is sprearheading a separatist movement in Xinjiang.

The new rules makes it illegal for anyone to intervene in others' marriages, funerals, inheritance issues for religious reasons. This stipulation may restrict the influence that Islamic religious leaders have on the lives of ordinary Muslims in Xinjiang.

The new law is based on the Counterterrorism Law, which was adopted by the central government in December 2015.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-equates-preacher-of-distorted-Islamic-ideas-with-terrorists/articleshow/53575620.cms

----------

Europe

Attacker shouts 'Allahu Akhbar,' wounds 2 police in Belgium

AP | Aug 6, 2016

Belgian police say two female officers have been attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu Akhbar"

The attack occurred in front of Charleroi police station

Police in the city said in a message posted on Twitter that the attacker was shot but is still alive

CHARLEROI, (BELGIUM): Belgian police say two female officers have been attacked and wounded by a man wielding a machete and shouting "Allahu Akhbar" outside a police station in the city of Charleroi.

Police in the city said in a message posted on Twitter that the attacker was shot but is still alive. The attack occurred in front of Charleroi police station.

A police officer reached by telephone declined to make further comments.

The attack happened as police in Belgium remain on high alert in the wake of attacks which killed 32 people in March this year.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Attacker-shouts-Allahu-Akhbar-wounds-2-police-in-Belgium/articleshow/53577174.cms

----------

 

'Terror' probe opened over attack on Belgian police: PM Charles Michel

AFP | Aug 7, 2016

BRUSSELS: Belgium's prime minister announced on Sunday a 'terror' probe into a machete attack that wounded two policewomen, in what appeared to be the latest in a string of jihadist attacks in Europe.

"We have been informed by federal prosecutors that an investigation has started for attempted terrorist murder... given certain elements (in the case)," PM Charles Michel told reporters.

The prime minister was referring to the attacker's cry of "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) during the assault in front of a police station.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Terror-probe-opened-over-attack-on-Belgian-police-PM-Charles-Michel/articleshow/53585479.cms

----------

 

S. Arabia to help Germany investigate attacks

August 7th, 2016

BERLIN: Saudi Arabia has offered to help German investigators find those behind Islamist bomb and axe attacks in July, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, citing a senior member of the Saudi government.

Saudi authorities are in contact with their German colleagues, responding to new findings that show both attackers were in close contact via a chat conversation with possible IS backers from Saudi Arabia, Spiegel said.

Traces of the chat, which investigators have been able to reconstruct, indicate that both men were not only influenced by but also took instructions from people, as yet unidentified, up until the attacks, the report said.

The IS has claimed responsibility for an attack on July 18 near Wuerzburg in Bavaria in which a 17-year-old refugee believed to be from Pakistan or Afghanistan wounded five people with an axe before police shot him dead.

A 27-year-old Syrian who blew himself up in Ansbach, southern Germany on July 24 had pledged allegiance to the IS on a video found on his mobile phone, investigators said. The IS claimed responsibility for the bombing, which wounded 15 people.

Bavaria’s interior minister said at the end of July that the Ansbach bomber had been “significantly influenced” in a chat conversation on his mobile phone that ended just before the attack.

dawn.com/news/1275881/s-arabia-to-help-germany-investigate-attacks

----------

Pakistan

Changes in Pak Turk institutes: Parents, teachers seek sympathetic solution

August 7th, 2016

LAHORE: Withdrawal of faculty from PakTurk institutes and change of management at a time when new academic year is about to commence will not only adversely affect the standard of education but also have negative impact on students’ educational development.

“We appeal to the government not to stake the future of some 11,000 students of PakTurk schools and colleges,” said Saima Ilyas, the representative of the Parents Teachers Association of the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges, Lahore, at a news conference on Saturday.

For the last 21 years or so, PakTurk institutes had been imparting modern and quality scientific and ethical education to students in Pakistan. "The fact can be judged from the appreciation and excellence students of these institutes had been receiving at national and international level. Students of these institutes have won 274 or so medals in national and international Olympiads so far."

"Only this year, top position in A level examinations in accounts in the world while top position in Pakistan in economics was bagged by PakTurk students. Top positions in both FSc (Part 1) pre-medical and pre-engineering groups’ examinations of Lahore BISE were also secured by PakTurk students," said Ms Ilyas.

Another representative, Qadeer Hussain Khan said all the PakTurk institutes in the country were being run by a local foundation, duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, with 1,200 Pakistani and 134 Turkish personnel. Neither the foundation nor any of institutes being run by it has ever taken any financial assistance from Pakistan or Turkey government.

“We had been and we would abide by laws of Pakistan. The schools have accomplished prestige solely by utilising local resources. Many of the parents have been ardent supporter of the efforts for raising donations for development of these educational institutes.

“The association is unable to understand and accept the transfer of the schools from one local foundation to another. We are also perturbed by the clear probability that in case the schools are handed over to such a controversial entity, the students will face uncalled for ideology and their emotional and intellectual health will be taxed,” said Mr Khan.

Yet another representative of the association, Asad Malik said his two sons completed their studies from the PakTurk school. “My elder son is pursuing an engineering degree in a prestigious university of the USA on scholarship. Like other parents, I am extremely disturbed by attempts of certain segments to impute political and even terroristic linkages with the schools. It is stigmatising our children as students of the schools and ourselves as parents. Ever since our association with the schools, we have not witnessed any negative or objectionable activity or incident in and outside our schools,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1275919/changes-in-pakturk-institutes-parents-teachers-seek-sympathetic-solution

----------

 

Pakistan, Iran agree to cooperate against IS

August 7th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran agreed on Saturday to forge close counterterrorism cooperation to deal with the militant Islamic State (IS) group and other security threats.

This was agreed at the ninth round of bilateral political consultations held in Tehran. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry led the Pakistani delegation, whereas the Iranian side was headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific, Ebrahim Rahimpour.

This was the second senior-level engagement between the two countries in a fortnight. National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua visited Iran for a meeting with his counterpart in the last week of July, during which both sides emphasised the importance of addressing security issues, particularly problems with border security.

“It was agreed that close cooperation was needed in countering extremism and terrorism, especially the threat” posed by organisations such as the IS, a statement issued by the Foreign Office after the political consultations said.

Both sides also discussed cooperation in trade and economy and agreed to enhance it.

“Regional situation as well as opportunities offered by enhanced connectivity for transit trade was also discussed,” it said.

This assertion implies that the two sides also discussed Pakistani concerns about the Chabahar port not only for being a rival to Gwadar, but also from the perspective of Indian involvement and prospects of cooperation between the two ports.

Security circles see Indian involvement in Chabahar and the upcoming trade route linking the port to Afghanistan as a security threat. Iran has, however, been insisting that the two ports complement each other.

Mr Chaudhry apprised his Iranian counterpart of the latest situation in India-held Kashmir.

The foreign secretary also met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

dawn.com/news/1275971/pakistan-iran-agree-to-cooperate-against-is

----------

 

Sharif vows to provide medical aid to injured Kashmiris

TNN | Aug 7, 2016

Islamabad: In yet another bid to highlight the Kashmir issue, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday vowed to provide medical help to those injured in violence there and called on the international community to ask India to provide access for treatment of victims.

Two days after Rajnath Singh at the Saarc meeting here asked countries to stop glorifying terrorists as martyrs, Sharif described the Kashmir situation as an "ongoing humanitarian crisis".

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called upon the international community to immediately help arrange medical treatment for the victims" in Kashmir, especially for treatment of eye injuries resulting from use of pellet guns by the Indian forces, a Pakistan foreign office statement said.

"The Prime Minister conveyed Pakistan's unequivocal support in arranging best available medical facilities to these injured people, anywhere in the world," it said.

Sharif also called upon the international community to exercise its influence over India for "ending bloodshed" in Kashmir and providing access for provision of treatment to the victims in the wake of the "ongoing crisis".

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Sharif-vows-to-provide-medical-aid-to-injured-Kashmiris/articleshow/53580461.cms

----------

 

Pakistan arrests American national who was deported for 'spying'

Shailaja Neelakantan | Aug 7, 2016

Mathew Craig Barrett was previously arrested in May 2011 in Fateh Jang

He was was blacklisted and deported from Pakistan on charges of espionage

Barrett's arrest occurred hours after he flew into Islamabad and checked into a guest house

The American, an Alabama native called Mathew Craig Barrett, was previously arrested in May 2011.The American, an Alabama native called Mathew Craig Barrett, was previously arrested in May 2011.

NEW DELHI: In a strong echo of the Raymond Davis+ case, Islamabad said yesterday that it arrested a US citizen - who had been deported for spying, years ago - who managed to fly into Islamabad despite being blacklisted.

The American, an Alabama native called Mathew Craig Barrett, was previously arrested in May 2011 in the Fateh Jang area near a highly secretive military research facility, the Associated Press said. It is a commonly-held 'secret' that Fateh Jung is one of the areas where Pakistan has a nuclear facility+ . Barrett, 33, was blacklisted and deported from Pakistan in 2011 on charges of espionage, Dawn reported. Dawn spells his last name Barret.

"If someone was blacklisted there should (must) have been something serious,'' Sarfaraz Hussain, a spokesman for the country's Interior Ministry, was quoted by AP as saying.

It may be recalled that five years ago, in January 2011, Raymond Allen Davis+ , a contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) shot and killed two men+ in Lahore. The incident and its aftermath led to US-Pakistan diplomatic relations touching their worst point ever.

Davis was arrested by the Pakistan police but the US government said he qualified for diplomatic immunity because he was an employee at the US consulate in Lahore. He was released three months later, in May 2011, "after weeks of secret negotiations between American and Pakistani officials, a pledge of millions of dollars in "blood money" to the victims' families, and quiet political pressure by Pakistani officials on the courts," The New York Times then reported.

'American used forged documents'

This latest arrest, that of Barrett's, occurred hours after the American flew into Islamabad and checked into a guest house, Pakistan said. While the announcement of the arrest was made yesterday, it's unclear when the arrest took place or when exactly Barrett entered Islamabad.

Dawn reported that Barrett used forged documents to enter Pakistan. The country's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said Barrett was granted entry by an FIA sub-inspector and his son at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Barrett got his visa from the Pakistani consulate in Houston and managed to clear the airport immigration counter, an interior ministry spokesman said.

The FIA has registered a First Information Report against the 2 FIA employees as well as the Houston-based Vice Councilor for Visa, one Sayeda Altaf, who was named for issuing a visa to Barrett.

An FIA official said Barrett will be held for three days for investigation. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media, told AP that Barrett mentioned a ``family visit'' and a one-month intended stay in Islamabad in his travel documents.

The U.S. embassy spokesman Christopher Snipes said in a text message to AP that the privacy act ``prohibits us from releasing information about American citizens without their consent.''

Pak suspends several airport staff

Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has suspended FIA's assistant director as well as the entire airport staff that was on shift when Barrett was allowed into the country, Dawn reported.

Nisar has also instructed his ministry's officials to find out whether Barrett's entry in the country, despite being blacklisted, was a result of just negligence or part of a more sinister endeavour.

An inquiry team, formed under interior minister's additional secretary, has been ordered to investigate the matter and submit its report within 24 hours despite the weekend. Nisar has formed a Joint Investigation Team- comprising Investigation Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence officers - to look into the incident.

AP said Barrett had lived in Pakistan for four years, married a Pakistani woman and had two children. In media reports and a letter smuggled from jail in 2011 to Britain's Guardian newspaper, Barrett strongly denied that he was a spy. He claimed he was a victim of high-wire between the U.S. and Pakistan governments. It may be recalled that the time period of Barrett's arrest coincided with the Raymond Davis incident.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-arrests-American-national-who-was-deported-for-spying/articleshow/53582638.cms

----------

 

US releases redacted drone strike 'playbook'

August 7th, 2016

WASHINGTON: The US government has released a once-secret policy document once dubbed “the playbook” that shows how officials select drone targets in areas outside war zones and the key role the president has in the process.

The 18-page Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), published Saturday by the American Civil Liberties Union, provides more details than the government had previously revealed on how drone strikes are approved.

“Actions, including lethal action against designated terrorist targets, shall be as discriminating and precise as reasonably possible,” the PPG states.

President Barack Obama typically must personally sign off on plans to strike terror suspects who are located outside war zones in which America is officially fighting. Such zones include Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Strikes in combat theaters such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are controlled by the military. Each case for action is subjected to legal review before it goes to the National Security Council and then the president.

The policy document says that “absent extraordinary circumstances,” a drone strike on a high-value target will only be taken if there is “near certainty” no civilians will be killed, and says the United States should respect another nation's sovereignty in weighing drone strikes.

The partially redacted document was released as a result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which has long sparred with the government over America's secretive drone program.

“The PPG provides crucial information about policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of non-combatants, and about the bureaucracy that the Obama administration has constructed to oversee and implement those policies,” ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a statement.

“The release of the PPG and related documents is also a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president,” he added.

Justice Department lawyers turned the document over to the ACLU late Friday, and the rights group released it publicly on Saturday.

The Obama administration last month provided fatality estimates for 473 strikes between 2009 and 2015 that were conducted outside principal war zones.

Officials claimed anywhere from 64 to 116 civilians were killed in the strikes, and up to 2,581 combatants -- but critics have constantly said the government underestimates civilian deaths.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price stressed that the PPG offers protections to civilians that “exceed the requirements of the law of armed conflict.”

He added that “near certainty” that the target is present, and that non-combatants will not be killed, was the “highest standard we can set.”

“The president has emphasized that the US government should be as transparent as possible with the American people about our counter-terrorism operations, the manner in which they are conducted, and their results,” Price said in a statement.

“Our counter-terrorism actions are effective and legal, and their legitimacy is best demonstrated by making public more information about these actions as well as setting clear standards for other nations to follow.”

The PPG also outlines what should be done in the event a suspect is captured, stressing that in “no event” will a detainee brought to Guantanamo Bay -- the US military prison Obama has so far failed to close.

dawn.com/news/1276003/us-releases-redacted-drone-strike-playbook

----------

Mideast

Gülen movement trying to reach Africa: President Erdoğan

August/07/2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said late on July 6 that the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to be behind the bloody July 15 failed coup attempt, has broader ambitions, adding that it was trying to extend its reach to Africa.

“FETÖ not only seeks a takeover in Turkey, but also tries to reach towards African countries,” Erdoğan told Qatar-based Al Jazeera network, adding that the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have hundreds of schools and institutions in 170 countries.

“They are raising the children of top government leaders and public figures and they seek to take over those countries in due time,” the Turkish president also said.   

A total of 239 people were killed and 2,200 were injured during the failed takeover which began on the night of July 15. Gülen is sought by an Istanbul court on charges related to the coup attempt. 

Saying that the post-coup investigations, wherein thousands of people have been detained or arrested and tens of thousands of civil servants have been suspended, would be a long-term process, Erdoğan noted that ridding the country of FETÖ would take time.     

“We will wipe them out. We will reestablish the state. We will cleanse our security forces,” he said.  

Commenting on allegations that the post-coup environment “gave him free rein to do whatever he wants,” Erdoğan said: “I strongly reject these claims. I would not exercise any right not given to me by the Turkish people. I am not a despot or a dictator.”     

During the interview, the president also touched on Ankara’s request to Washington for the extradition of Gülen to face charges, saying that when Joseph Dunford, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who visited Turkey earlier this week, asked for evidence for accusations against Gülen, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar responded: “I am the evidence.”   

Akar, who was held hostage the night of the overthrow attempt, said in his first testimony that among the coup plotters who captured him, Brig. Gen. Hakan Evrim, commander of the Akinci 4th Main Jet Base, told Akar that “if you so wish, we can arrange for you to meet our intellectual leader, Fethullah Gülen.”     

As for his visit to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Aug. 9, Erdoğan stressed the trip’s importance, saying: “Us standing shoulder to shoulder is important for the region.”     

Russia and Turkey are coming out of a tense period in bilateral ties following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish military aircraft in November last year. The meeting scheduled for Aug. 9 will mark the first time the two leaders will meet face to face since then.

hurriyetdailynews.com/gulen-movement-trying-to-reach-africa-president-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102555&NewsCatID=341

----------

 

Iran executes nuclear scientist over 'spying for US'

AP | Aug 7, 2016

TEHRAN: An Iranian nuclear scientist detained since 2010 has been executed, his family told BBC on Sunday.

Shahram Amiri's mother said the scientist's body had been returned to their hometown with rope marks around his neck, showing that he was hanged.

The scientist, who was born in 1977, went missing after taking a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2009.

Amiri was held at a secret location after returning from the US, where he said he had been forcibly taken by the Central Intelligence Agency, BBC reported.

In a video recording- apparently made in the US- he said, "They took me to a house located somewhere that I didn't know. They gave me an anaesthetic injection."

However, he returned to Iran in 2010. He was reportedly tried for treason and arrested in 2011, BBC added.

Some reports said he had "in-depth knowledge" of Iran's nuclear programme.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Iran-executes-nuclear-scientist-over-spying-for-US/articleshow/53584430.cms

----------

 

35 detained in ISIL operation in Turkey’s south

August/07/2016

A total of 35 people were detained in an operation targeting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members in the southern province of Adana late on Aug. 6. The operation was carried out by some 500 police officers in 50 different addresses and a suspected suicide bomber was among the detained, Doğan News Agency reported.

The police carried out the simultaneous operation with armored vehicles on the addresses and conducted searches in the houses, where a number of items related to ISIL were confiscated.

A total of 20 of the detained suspects had been released on Aug. 4 by the court after being detained in an earlier ISIL operation in Adana.

The detained suspects went through security checks, as one of them shouted, “Be honest, don’t be hypocrites.”

The 20 ISIL suspects were detained in an operation against the jihadist group in Adana on Aug. 4, including the group’s senior figures.

Counter-terrorism police conducted simultaneous raids on 22 different addresses in various neighborhoods, after a tip-off that ISIL cells were in preparation for attacks.

Memory sticks, computers and equipment containing organizational documents were seized during the raids.

Turkey has been on high alert after being rocked by a series of suicide and car bomb attacks allegedly perpetrated by the group that have claimed many lives and wounded hundreds.

hurriyetdailynews.com/35-detained-in-isil-operation-in-turkeys-south-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102558&NewsCatID=341

----------

 

Soldier killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

August/07/2016

One soldier was killed and four others were wounded in an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Eruh district of the southeastern province of Siirt early on Aug. 7.

Clashes erupted between PKK militants and soldiers during a security operation and reinforcements were sent to the area.

The wounded soldiers were taken to Siirt State Hospital by the soldiers sent as reinforcements.

The wounded soldiers’ injuries were not considered to be life-threatening, according to Anadolu Agency.

An operation to apprehend the PKK militants was ongoing.

Meanwhile, two village guards were killed and one other was wounded when PKK militants detonated a roadside bomb in the southeastern province of Şırnak on July 6.

The militants detonated the bomb in the Beytüşşebap district during the passage of the village guards.

The wounded village guards were taken to the Beytüşşebap State Hospital and two of them succumbed to their wounds.

An operation was launched with aerial support to apprehend the PKK militants after the attack.

hurriyetdailynews.com/soldier-killed-in-pkk-attack-in-turkeys-southeast-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102554&NewsCatID=341

----------

 

Turkish army won’t recover for 10 years, retired Turkish general says

August/07/2016

Turkish army won’t recover for 10 years, retired Turkish general says

It will take the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) up to 10 years to regain its strength, a retired Turkish Air Force general who was among the 236 suspects acquitted in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case has said, while commenting on the suspensions handed out since the July 15 failed coup attempt.

“They [coup plotters] harmed Turkey, our nation and the TSK. I don’t think it’s possible for the armed forces to gain the strength it had in 2011 before eight or 10 years,” Retired Gen. Bilgin Balanlı told daily Hürriyet on Aug. 7, adding that the process of harming the Air Force started with the Balyoz case in 2011.

Balyoz was an alleged military coup plot targeting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) which was allegedly drafted in 2003. The case’s indictment alleged that factions within the military had planned drastic actions to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the AKP from power.

All 236 suspects in the Balyoz coup plot case were acquitted on March 31, 2015, after the case’s prosecutor argued that digital data in the files submitted as evidence in the case was “fake” and did not constitute evidence.

Balanlı, who was the only four-star general on active duty who was a suspect in the coup plot case, was in line to be appointed to Chief of Air Staff in August 2011 if he had not been arrested and sent to jail just two months before. He spent two years in jail and was forced to retire.

Balanlı, likening the Air Force to an eagle, said that its head was cut off with the Balyoz case.

“The eagle’s wings and tail were also pulled off [after the coup attempt],” Balanlı said, adding that the people who had replaced them with “conspiracies” during the Balyoz case destroyed their efforts in less than five years.

“It kills me to see the position that the people who replaced us after we were discharged with conspiracies put our Armed Forces. These traitors destroyed our efforts in less than five years,” he also said.

Saying that planning to fly F-16s takes a week, Balanlı noted that a serious preparation period was necessary to fly the warplanes.

“The fact that F-16 jets were in the air on July 15 shows that a serious number of military personnel were involved,” he said.

During the interview, Balanlı said the TSK hadn’t cleared the “gang members” out of its ranks, but rather placed them into significant spots, thus laying the groundwork for the failed takeover.

“The suspensions from the Air Force weren’t limited to Balyoz or similar cases. Hundreds of soldiers were suspended from the Air Force under the name of discipline investigations. No one said anything about that. I think that the command, which turned a blind eye to this, was weak,” he added.

Saying that the TSK can heal its wounds in a few years if efficient personnel were to be assigned, Balanlı noted that the values that form the structure of the TSK shouldn’t be played with.

“The state doesn’t act with anger. The personnel in the institutions do the coup, not the institutions themselves,” he said.

Commenting on the possibility of pilots resigning due to trust issues after the failed takeover, Balanlı said that it would cause trouble in the Air Force and necessary measures should be planned beforehand.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-army-wont-recover-for-10-years-retired-turkish-general-says-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102557&NewsCatID=341

----------

 

Turkish soldiers save wounded US intel agent on Syrian border: Report

August/07/2016

Turkish soldiers save wounded US intel agent on Syrian border: Report

A female intelligence agent from the United States has been saved by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) soldiers after a two-day operation on the Syrian border, according to a report. Drones and helicopters participated in the operation to save the agent, who had been wounded in Syria.

Two U.S. helicopters landed in a village in the Yayladağı district of the southern province of Hatay on Aug. 5, prompting locals to call officials and report the landing. The Hatay Governor’s Office responded by saying that they were aware of the incident, daily Hürriyet reported on Aug. 7.

According to the daily, the U.S. agent, whose name was not revealed as she was on a confidential operation, was assigned to a task in Syria and wounded on Aug. 3, after which she called for evacuation. She reportedly sent her coordinates to U.S. officials, allowing them to determine her exact location. 

She was determined to be in the region of the Turkmen Mountains bordering the Yayladağı district and an operation was launched to save her.

She was initially told to approach the Turkish border, as U.S. officials contacted the Turkish General Staff to coordinate throughout the rescue operation.

U.S. officials asked for permission to fly high-definition cameras and two drones carrying “Hellfire” rockets as a precaution against possible Syrian troops in the region near the agent and the Turkish army immediately gave permission.

Two U.S. drones scanned the area for two days, as two U.S. helicopters were on standby on the Turkish side of the border. However, the agent and U.S. officials were unable to meet, despite all efforts, according to the report.

As the search was ongoing, Turkish border soldiers noticed mobility in the region. The soldiers then realized that there was a person near the border and gave a warning, prompting a wounded woman, who turned out to be the sought U.S. agent, to shout that she was “a friend,” while holding her hands up.

She was taken to the army border post by the Turkish soldiers and the situation was reported to the prosecutor’s office.

The wounded agent was delivered to U.S. officials and then taken to the İncirlik Air Base, used by U.S. forces in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the southern province of Adana.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-soldiers-save-wounded-us-intel-agent-on-syrian-border-report-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102556&NewsCatID=341

----------

 

Millions reach Istanbul venue from land and sea for historic democracy rally

August/05/2016

Millions of people have been reaching the area where a massive joint democracy rally is to be held in Istanbul’s Yenikapı neighborhood on Aug. 7 to protest the failed July 15 coup, bringing to an end three weeks of demonstrations following the failed takeover.

The president, prime minister, main opposition head and the leader of the country’s foremost nationalist party will be joining the rally.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the country’s third biggest party, was not invited to the rally.

The “Democracy and Martyrs Rally” will be held as the latest in a series of meetings to protest the failed takeover, which is believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“I have an offer; let’s make a democracy meeting in Yenikapı on Aug. 7. Let’s be there with the Armed Forces’ command, artists and sportswomen and men who contributed to the process [after the coup plot]. Let the nation be there. Let’s invite all of the leaders of all the political parties,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Turkish broadcaster ATV on July 30, adding that the “normalization process is significant for Turkey.”

“Let’s be there with the leaders and give our message to all of Turkey from there altogether. It’s very, very important for the normalization process to speed up for our country,” he said, asking the leaders of the parties to deliver individual speeches.

Erdoğan said the rally in Yenikapı would be broadcast live via giant screens nationwide with one also due to be installed in Pennsylvania.

"A mega board will be put up in one more place. Do you know where?" he asked a crowd.

"In Pennsylvania. The message will be delivered," he said.

Upon Erdoğan’s call, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım conducted a phone call with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who accepted the invitation.

“I will be with the people in Yenikapı upon the invitation I received as the leader of the MHP,” Bahçeli wrote on his Twitter account on Aug. 3, adding that the national ambition would be “crowned” at the meeting.

“The national will will give confidence to the friends and will spread fear to the enemy. I will stay on the side of Turkey against the traitors and centers of hostility,” he also wrote, which was retweeted by Erdoğan.

Yıldırım also held a phone call with Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who said the CHP would send a delegation to the joint rally. However, upon a second call from Yıldırım, the CHP leader decided to attend the rally.

“We will be in Yenikapı for the same reason that we were in the parliament on the night of the coup attempt. Kılıçdaroğlu will also be at the rally in Yenikapı. He will convey his decision to the prime minister by phone,” CHP spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke said Aug. 5, referring to the lawmakers who were in parliament when the jets used by coup plotters bombed the building early on July 16.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s decision to participate in the rally was welcomed by members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), with Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş thanking him.

“The AKP, CHP and MHP will participate in the rally on Aug. 7. Mr. Bahçeli had said he would come, as did Kılıçdaroğlu. We thank him. That was the right thing to do. We hope that we will shout our national unity hand in hand,” Kurtulmuş said.

Elsewhere, Erdoğan’s adviser Şeref Malkoç apologized to Bahçeli and MHP members over his comments on the joint meeting on Aug. 7 being an “opportunity for Bahçeli.”

“Bahçeli will address a crowd that he has never seen in his life,” Malkoç told Fox TV, which also drew criticism from Erdoğan, who asked Malkoç to apologize.

“You have no right to say that and you are not a politician,” Erdoğan told TRT on Aug. 4.

Meanwhile, the CHP held a “Republic and Democracy Rally” on Aug. 4 in the western province of İzmir, where Kılıçdaroğlu characterized the coup attempt as the “most bloody coup attempt in Turkey’s history.”

“We stood against all kinds of coups and we will continue to do so. The coup showed the importance of a secular system once again. Secularism is the cement that holds us together,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that FETÖ members did not infiltrate the state, but were “placed there step by step in a planned manner.”

Up to 1.5 million hats, 2.5 million Turkish flags and 5 million bottles of water have been prepared for the Yenikapı rally, while a team of up to 300 people will prepare the area for the rally.

Some 22 X-Ray machines, 165 doors with metal detectors will be erected in the area, while up to 13,000 people, excluding police officers, will be employed during the rally, which is expected to draw 3.5 million people.

During the failed coup attempt on July 15, Erdoğan called on the people to go out to the streets and protest the attempted takeover. He and AKP members have repeatedly made similar calls for people to hit the streets and protest the attempt since then.

Supporters of the CHP and AKP held a joint rally in Istanbul’s Taksim on July 24 upon Kılıçdaroğlu’s call, where he read out a declaration including articles on democracy, rights and governance.

Erdoğan previously thanked the three party leaders for their united stance against the coup attempt and listen to their views on the ongoing fight against FETÖ within the state.

The HDP also opposed the coup, but has been excluded by the government on the grounds that it allegedly supports the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

hurriyetdailynews.com/millions-reach-istanbul-venue-from-land-and-sea-for-historic-democracy-rally.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102510&NewsCatID=338

----------

 

Turkey to pay compensation to coup attempt victims

August/07/2016

Turkey will offer compensation and provide a monthly income to the families of people killed and injured while confronting coup soldiers during the July 15 failed coup attempt, the labor and social security minister said late July 6.    

The families of those killed while on duty and civilians will receive a one-time payment of up to 240,000 Turkish Liras, in addition to a minimum of 3,200 liras monthly and job guarantees for two family members, Labor Minister Süleyman Soylu said in a televised interview.     

Those who sustained injuries during the bloody failed takeover will be provided with a one-time payment up to 177,000 liras, depending on the severity and impact of their injuries, and job guarantees for one family member, the minister said. They will also be eligible for additional compensation of up to 150,000 liras if they suffered any degree of permanent disability.     

In addition, all victims will receive optional individual retirement plans, Soylu said.     

The coup attempt, believed to have been carried out by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), claimed 239 lives and injured nearly 2,200 others.

U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen is being sought by an Istanbul court to face charges, and Turkey has made an official request to Washington for his extradition.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-pay-compensation-to-coup-attempt-victims.aspx?pageID=238&nID=102553&NewsCatID=341

----------

North America

US Muslim Group Slams ISIS In Billboard Campaign

Chicago poster reading ‘Hey ISIS, You suck!!!’ is initiative of American group Sound Vision, using hashtag ‘Actual Muslims’BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF August 6, 2016

A billboard campaign in Chicago denouncing the Islamic State terror group has become a hit with social media users worldwide.

The campaign was launched by an American non-profit organization representing American Muslims.

Quoting the verse “Life is sacred,” from the Quran (5:32), the billboard sign reads “Hey ISIS, you suck!!! From: #ActualMuslims,” using another name for the terror group.

The campaign was initiated by Sound Vision, an organization whose website carries the subheading “Building bridges of understanding.”

According to the website the Middle East Eye, the sign became a hit on such websites as Reddit and Twitter, used by Muslims to send a message that the extremist group is not synonymous with mainstream Islam.

On Sound Vision’s website, the article proudly boasting media coverage of the billboard sign links to an article comparing the teaching of Muhammad with the practices of IS, showing in bullet points how the terror group deviates from the teachings of Islam.

Sound Vision refers to Islamic State on its website as “ISIS the Terrible Terror.”

timesofisrael.com/us-muslim-group-slams-is-in-billboard-campaign/

----------

 

An American Muslim Who Fights Bigotry With Laughter

World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: August 07, 2016

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES:  The Muslim American comedian Dean Obeidallah has spent 15 years fighting hatred and bias against Islam, armed only with his sense of humor.

Now, the bitter tones of the US presidential campaign have added urgency to his mission.

Obeidallah's life, like the lives of many Muslims, changed forever one September morning in 2001.

"Pre-9/11, I identified as a white guy," he told AFP. But after the terror attacks of that day, he said he "converted to become a minority."

Obeidallah, the son of a Palestinian father and an Italian mother, could pass for any of a variety of ethnicities.

No one had ever guessed from his appearance that he was Arab or Muslim, said the talkative New Jersey native, a former lawyer.

Still, he decided to spotlight his Muslim identity.

"When you're demonized, it brings it out of you. You're either going to hide in the shadows or you're going to step up in the light and you're going to fight for your community."

Since making that decision, he has used every possible platform -- not just the stand-up routines that are his bread-and-butter, but the 2013 documentary "The Muslims are Coming!" that he co-directed and now his eponymous radio show on SiriusXM -- to spread his message.

He also founded a New York festival for Muslim comedians, the Muslim Funny Fest.

But there was nothing funny about the emergence of the ISIS group in 2013. It added urgency to his fight against the stereotypes burdening Muslims, a small and often misunderstood minority in the United States.

"We're not in the media much," Obeidallah said. "If you don't know us, you've never met us and all you see is ISIS and Al Qaeda, of course you don't think we're funny. You think we're scary, we're going to come kill you."

Traversing this minefield, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, rather than gingerly tiptoeing, has been lobbing rhetorical hand grenades.

In December, the New York business mogul proposed banning all Muslims from American territory "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

"I think Islam hates us," Trump told CNN in an interview in March.

'Under Siege'

Obeidallah says comments like those have fomented fear.

"Muslim Americans right now feel a sense of being alone, we're under siege," Obeidallah said. "We feel like no one really cares about our community."

To understand what Muslims in the US are going through today, one need only read a few of the messages the 40-something comic receives daily on social media.

"When something bad happens and Muslims are involved, my Twitter fills up with haters who know who I am and go: 'Look what your people did.' It does get tiring."

Many of the messages are in far more abusive language.

In 2012, Obeidallah traveled to several conservative states, including some in the Deep South, to film his documentary.

At the time, he had a few people shout at him, sometimes through the windows of passing cars, "Go back to your country!"

There were no verbal or physical threats, but that was before the emergence of the Islamic State group. He thinks matters might be worse now and he is not sure he would repeat his "Muslims are Coming!" tour.

But Obeidallah is hardly intimidated. On his radio program -- the only national radio show hosted by a Muslim -- and in his television appearances, he works tirelessly to open minds and jolt people's consciences.

"At the end of the day, I don't think I'm fighting for Muslims -- I'm fighting for American values. I'm fighting for the idea that we all get treated equally."

"I refuse to allow the Donald Trumps of this world to change what this country is supposed to stand for."

Like many Americans, Obeidallah is anxiously awaiting the voters' verdict in the November 8 presidential contest pitting Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He urges voters, particularly Democrats, to cast their ballots.

"I don't want to end up in an internment camp," he said.

ndtv.com/world-news/an-american-muslim-who-fights-bigotry-with-laughter-1441206

----------

Africa

Flynn: Pope, rabbi address murders of Christians

Ray Flynn Sunday, August 07, 2016

Pope Francis stands next to the Porziuncola tiny church inside St. Maria of Angels Basilica, in Assisi, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. The pope traveled briefly to Assisi on Thursday to pray at tiny church within the basilica that is considered the cradle of the Franciscan order. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

It’s an unfortunate truth that Christians across the globe are being brutally slaughtered and tortured for their faith.

The horror currently unfolding in the Middle East, North Africa and now in Europe may not be occurring on the same scale as other genocides that have left black marks on human history but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

You may not see it covered on the nightly news but it’s real and thankfully there are religious leaders, like Pope Francis, who are addressing the bloodshed head on.

It was during a recent educational forum at the State House that I was asked by a local college student about the senseless killing of thousands of Christians and clergy abroad.

“Radical hateful extremists are exterminating Christians, just like Hitler and the Nazis did to Jews in the 1940s,” I replied. “And only Pope Francis is speaking out.”

It was just last month when an 84-year-old priest was killed by two armed men who stormed his church in Northern France during a morning Mass. The attack was later claimed by the barbaric Islamic State terror group.

Pope Francis, who was visiting Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day celebrations, decried the attack as an act of “war.”

“I am not speaking of a war of religions,” the pontiff said. “Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

When he was later asked by reporters why he didn’t describe the priest’s murder and other attacks as acts of radical Islamic terrorism, Francis said he won’t do that because “it’s not right to identify Islam with violence.”

“I don’t like to talk of Islamic violence because every day, when I go through the newspapers, I see violence,” Francis said. “And these are baptized Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence, then I have to speak of Catholic violence.”

Also speaking during the celebrations in Poland was the courageous Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, who said something that I wish more world political leaders would be willing to say.

“We must all speak out and demand that the world take action against the genocide of Catholics taking place today,” he said, comparing the plight many Catholics face today to that of the Jews in Europe in the 1940s.

He also said there “are as many attacks on Christians — but just because they are Christians they are often ignored and unreported.”

The world was silent then, and the world is silent today.

I said on national Catholic television, several of my personal heroes are from Poland.

Wojtyla, Walesa, Kolbe — and now Rabbi Schudrich.

Raymond L. Flynn is a former mayor of Boston and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

bostonherald.com/news/columnists/2016/08/flynn_pope_rabbi_address_murders_of_christians

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-his-own-words,-birbhum-islamic-state-man’s-video,-‘caliphate’-dream/d/108205

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Womens in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Womens In Arab, Islamphobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism, Moderate Islam, Moderate Muslims, Progressive Islam, Progressive Muslims, Liberal Islam, Liberal Muslims, Islamic World News, Attack in Munich, Munich Attack, Terror in Munich

Loading..

Loading..