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Islamic World News ( 21 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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In UN, India Calls Pakistan A Terrorist State



A view of the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. AFP

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Recent Kabul Attacks Organized Inside Pakistan, Says Afghan Vice President

German Politicians Warn of Daesh Sleeper Cells amid Chaos over Migrant ID Checks

With Surge in Hate Crime, Muslims Seen 'Most Disdained' Minority in U.S

US Promotes Saudi Arabia’s White Phosphorous Crimes in Yemen

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India

In UN, India calls Pakistan a terrorist state

India Says Pakistan Is ‘Terrorist State’, Carries out War Crimes; Trashes Pakistan’s Claims at UNGA

JeM Chief Mocks at India’s Threat In 30-Min Audio Clip

Indian Madrasas, Funding and the Government

SBMS asks PM to avenge Uri attack in blood-soaked letter

Pak, India should resolve Kashmir dispute: Ban to Sharif

Glorifying Wani shows Pakistan’s attachment to terror: India hits back

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South Asia

Recent Kabul Attacks Organized Inside Pakistan, Says Afghan Vice President

AHPC Confirm Signing Of Peace Deal with Hekmatyar on Thursday

How India’s intervention in Bangladesh shaped south Asia

US welcomes peace accord signing between Afghan govt and Hezb-e-Islami

Peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami signed in Kabul

Karzai improperly listed cash in German bank and Jewels list: US watchdog

US and India focus on coordination of assistance to Afghan govt priorities

Bangladesh national held in Malaysia for terror link deported

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Europe

German Politicians Warn of Daesh Sleeper Cells amid Chaos over Migrant ID Checks

25% of French Muslims Support a Conservative Form of Islam

Juncker says rejecting Muslim refugees 'unacceptable'

'New England Muslim Festival' to be held in Malden

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North America

With Surge in Hate Crime, Muslims Seen 'Most Disdained' Minority in U.S

Trump Gets Played By ISIS – Again

Obama Compares WWII Jews and Today's Muslims, Lectures the World

Muslim Refugee Terror is Changing America

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Arab World

US Promotes Saudi Arabia’s White Phosphorous Crimes in Yemen

Syrian Army Advances in Maardas, Kills 40 Jund Al-Aqsa Terrorists

Over 700 Terrorists Lay Down Arms in Sweida, Homs

ISIL Stealing Phosphates from Hama Mines

ISIS suspected of mustard attack against US and Iraqi troops

ISIS’s defeat won’t mean a stable Iraq, says defence chief

ISIS suspected of firing chemical weapon at US military base in Iraq

Syrian Forces Advance in South-western Aleppo, Repel Terrorists' Offensive

Syrian Army Wins Back Control of Strategic Tal Al-Aboudi Heights in Hama

Syrian Air Force Bombs Different Terrorist Targets in Hama

Syrian, Russian Fighter Jets Target ISIL Militants near Al-Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzur

Army Continues March in Aleppo's Remouseh Region

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Pakistan

Afghanistan Says Attacks on Its Civilians Staged From Pakistan

Forced repatriation of Afghan refugees worst example of cruelty: Fazal-ur-Rehman

Nawaz Sharif Rakes up Kashmir, Hails Burhan Wani As ‘Young Leader’

‘Exercise’ fuels Indo-Pak escalation fears, drives stocks down

Fazl calls for Afghans’ repatriation with dignity

Strategy evolved for Sept 30 Govt to wait and watch till PTI oversteps legal boundaries

ANP chief seeks joint session of parliament on Pak-India tension

Pakistan not to accept one-sided nuclear restrictions

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Mideast

Long Line At Turkish PM's Office against Unjust Coup Probes

Turkey Postpones Trip by UN Torture Expert

Italian prosecutors drop case against Erdoğan’s son

States of emergency should be ended: Turkey’s former president

Attacker shot, wounded at Israeli embassy gate

Ankara vows full support for FSA in Syria

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Defends Efforts on Rohingyas in First UN Address as Leader

Malaysia arrests three foreigners and a local for alleged involvement in terror groups

Philippine militants free Indonesian hostage

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Africa

At UN, West African Leaders Cite Terrorism as Singular Challenge to Global Peace and Development

Boko Haram Islamist Jihadists Kill Eight more Christians in their War Against Christianity in Nigeria

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-un,-india-calls-pakistan-a-terrorist-state/d/108637

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In UN, India Calls Pakistan A Terrorist State

Sep 22, 2016

''Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism"

India on Thursday called Pakistan a “terrorist state” and accused it of carrying out “war crimes” against Indians through its “long-standing policy” of sponsoring terrorism, hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raked up Kashmir issue at the U.N. General Assembly session.

In a strong rebuttal, India said the terrorists designated by the U.N. continued to roam Pakistan’s streets freely and operate with state support.

Exercising India’s Right of Reply to Mr. Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the U.N. Eenam Gambhir said “the worst violation of human rights is terrorism.”

“When practised as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.

India sees in Pakistan “a terrorist state” that channelises billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours.

In a reference to JeM chief Masood Azhar and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Ms Gambhir said terrorist entities and their leaders, including many designated by the UN, continue to roam the streets of Pakistan freely and operate with state support.

“With the approval of the authorities, many terrorist organisations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations,” she said.

Slams Pak. for glorifying Wani

While Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record is marked by “deception and deceit,” it talks about restraint, renunciation and peace.

“Similar false promises it has made to us — the international community — on terrorism. Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start,” Ms. Gambhir said.

India also strongly slammed Mr Sharif for glorifying Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed on July 8 by the Indian forces.

“Even today we have heard support from the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation,” she said.

She said Pakistan was a democracy deficit country and practises terrorism on its own people.

“It extends support to extremist groups, suppresses minorities and women and denies basic human rights, including through draconian laws,” she noted.

Ms. Gambhir voiced India’s firm resolve to protect all its citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail,” she said.

Ms. Gambhir reminded the UN that the trail of the most “horrifying” and “dastardly terror attack” of 9/11 led all the way to Abbottabad in Pakistan, where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding for years and was killed by U.S. forces.

The 'Ivy League of terrorism'

She pointed out that the land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, “is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism” and attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world.

“The effect of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe,” she said, adding that it wasironical that a country which had established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism, was preaching human rights and talks about the ostensible support for self-determination.

Ms. Gambhir said that shortly before Pakistan gave its “hypocritical sermons” in the world body, its envoy in New Delhi was summoned in the context of the most recent of the terror attacks in Uri that claimed 18 Indian lives.

“That terrorist attack is part of a trail of continuous flow of terrorists trained and armed by our neighbour and tasked to carry out terrorist attacks in my country,” she said.

Mr. Sharif raised the Kashmir issue with almost every world leader — including those from the US, the UK, Japan and Turkey — on Wednesday and sought their intervention to resolve the matter.

Source: thehindu.com/news/national/india-attacks-pakistan-at-the-71st-unga-pakistan-is-terrorist-state-carries-out-war-crimes-says-india-to-un/article9134891.ece

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Recent Kabul attacks organized inside Pakistan, says Afghan Vice President

Thu Sep 22 2016

The Afghan Vice President Sarwar Danesh said the recent attacks in Kabul by the Taliban group and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were organized from inside Pakistan.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Danesh urged implementing international commitments and and avoiding a distinction between good and bad terrorists.

“Where are the previous leaders of Al-Qaida and the Taliban hiding,” he asked, further questioning how and from where terrorists were being trained, equipped and financed.

Danesh further added that Pakistan had been requested to destroy safe havens, but the situation remained unchanged.

The remarks by Danesh came as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Afghan militant groups to use its soil for planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan.

The Afghan officials are insisting that the leadership councils of Taliban group and the notoriouss Haqqani terrorist network are based in Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.

In other parts of his speech, Danesh said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States) could remain a useful platform as long as Pakistan acted in good faith to meet its commitments.

Welcoming efforts of any Islamic country to promote peace in Afghanistan, Danesh said “Those individuals and groups resort to violence, terrorism and killing are not acquainted with this religion.”

Source: khaama.com/recent-kabul-attacks-organized-inside-pakistan-says-afghan-vice-president-01921

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German Politicians Warn of Daesh Sleeper Cells amid Chaos Over Migrant ID Checks

21.09.2016

Infiltrated Country Among Refugees A year on, politicians in the German Bundestgag have been told that only around 20-30 percent of migrants arriving showed any form of identity and that many passports being checked now are being found to be fake, giving rise to fears that there could be hundreds — or even thousands — of Daesh sleepers in Germany. According the Die Welt newspaper, at the height of the migration, hundreds of thousands were making their way into Germany each month via the West Balkan route and — without border controls — staff from BAMF were overwhelmed. The interior ministry has called a summit to discover who actually entered Germany in 2015. Attorney General Erardo Rautenberg said: "We have known, since the Paris attacks that Daesh sleepers may be among the mass of migrants." More Sleeper Cells There is evidence that sleeper cells may have been set up as early as 2012 — which the 2015 influx may have joined. According to a 99-page manifesto, "Black Flags from Rome" — which intelligence agencies have been aware of since January 2015 — radicalized Muslims who have been trained in Syria were told to form "sleeper" cells in Europe — particularly in areas of cities and towns that were heavily populated by Muslims. "While the experienced Islamic State fighters left Syria for Europe, the European Muslims who had emigrated to the Islamic State would train within the training camps, and nobody doubted — neither the Islamic State, nor the West — that some of these trainees would be sent back to Europe to form their own secret cells to continue the Jihad and to seek revenge for the western occupation of Muslim lands," the manifesto states. "These fighters would simply receive their training and be told to go back to their European home countries, to go into 'sleeper cell' mode until the Khalifah (Caliph) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered to start attacks in Europe."

Source: sputniknews.com/europe/20160921/1045550192/daesh-germany-sleeper-cells.html

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With Surge in Hate Crime, Muslims Seen 'Most Disdained' Minority in U.S

September 22, 2016

A new study shows that anti-Muslim crime in the United States last year surged to levels not seen since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, making Muslims the "most disdained" religious minority group in the country.

Official police reports from 20 states compiled by California State University at San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show there were 196 anti-Muslim crimes in 2015, up from 110 incidents in 2014, an increase of 78 percent. The crimes in 2015 ranged from assault to murder to arson.

Hate crime directed at Arabs jumped by an even higher 219 percent.

Overall, hate crime in the United States rose by just 5 percent, from 4,139 incidents in 2014 to 4,347 in 2015. And while there were more anti-Jewish and anti-LGBT hate crimes, the increases in those categories were much smaller, according to the study.

Brian Levin, director of the Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism, who led the study, said the spike in anti-Muslim violence was fuelled by a combination of prejudice, terrorism and political vitriol.

"Not only do we see wide swaths of anti-Muslim prejudice ... but now Muslims are the most disdained major group in the United States and we have a socio-political movement that reinforces and amplifies it," Levin said in an interview, referring to the anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and other American politicians.

With about 3.3 million people, Muslims represent roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but attacks on Muslims accounted for 4.5 percent of all hate crimes in 2015, Levin noted.

With the exception of 2015, hate crimes have trended down in recent years; yet even then, "the proportion of Muslim targets has gone up," he added.

'Tip of the iceberg'

Among the 20 states studied, several with large Muslim communities saw an increase in anti-Muslim violence, with New Jersey reporting a 250 percent rise, Texas registering a surge of 129 percent, California reporting a jump of 122 percent and Tennessee notching a 67 percent uptick.

Full report at: voanews.com/a/muslims-most-distained-religious-minority-group-us/3517952.html

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US Promotes Saudi Arabia’s White Phosphorous Crimes in Yemen

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia is using US-supplied white phosphorous munitions in its dirty war against Yemen, a violation of the law of armed conflict.

White phosphorous is to be used only for signalling to other troops and creating smoke screens. When the munition explodes, it releases white phosphorous that automatically ignites in the air and creates a thick white smoke. However, Saudi Arabia is using these munitions against Yemeni soldiers and civilians, which can maim and kill by burning to the bone.

It’s interesting to hear US officials confirming that their government has supplied the Saudis white phosphorous – sometimes compared to napalm. But it's rather odd to hear them say they cannot trace these munitions to a particular sale. It's also silly for the State Department officials to say that ‘the United States expects any recipient of US military assistance to use those items in accordance with international law and under the terms and conditions of any US transfer or sale.’ Lest they forget, the Saudi-led, US-backed war on Yemen is not in accordance with international law.

Based on damning evidence – images and videos posted to social media, as well as numerous reports and documents published by Western media outlets and human rights organisations - Saudi Arabia is using US-supplied white phosphorous munitions – besides US-supplied cluster bombs – in civilian areas. What's more, Washington is not taking any appropriate corrective action. On the contrary, Washington has even signed a $1 billion arms deal that would replace Saudi Arabia's US-supplied tanks that have been damaged in the conflict.

Meaning, as a major arms seller to Saudi Arabia, the United States is indeed complicit in Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950631001348

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India

In UN, India calls Pakistan a terrorist state

Sep 22, 2016

''Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism"

India on Thursday called Pakistan a “terrorist state” and accused it of carrying out “war crimes” against Indians through its “long-standing policy” of sponsoring terrorism, hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raked up Kashmir issue at the U.N. General Assembly session.

In a strong rebuttal, India said the terrorists designated by the U.N. continued to roam Pakistan’s streets freely and operate with state support.

Exercising India’s Right of Reply to Mr. Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the U.N. Eenam Gambhir said “the worst violation of human rights is terrorism.”

“When practised as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.

India sees in Pakistan “a terrorist state” that channelises billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours.

In a reference to JeM chief Masood Azhar and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Ms Gambhir said terrorist entities and their leaders, including many designated by the UN, continue to roam the streets of Pakistan freely and operate with state support.

“With the approval of the authorities, many terrorist organisations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations,” she said.

Slams Pak. for glorifying Wani

While Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record is marked by “deception and deceit,” it talks about restraint, renunciation and peace.

“Similar false promises it has made to us — the international community — on terrorism. Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start,” Ms. Gambhir said.

India also strongly slammed Mr Sharif for glorifying Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed on July 8 by the Indian forces.

“Even today we have heard support from the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation,” she said.

She said Pakistan was a democracy deficit country and practises terrorism on its own people.

“It extends support to extremist groups, suppresses minorities and women and denies basic human rights, including through draconian laws,” she noted.

Ms. Gambhir voiced India’s firm resolve to protect all its citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail,” she said.

Ms. Gambhir reminded the UN that the trail of the most “horrifying” and “dastardly terror attack” of 9/11 led all the way to Abbottabad in Pakistan, where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding for years and was killed by U.S. forces.

The 'Ivy League of terrorism'

She pointed out that the land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, “is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism” and attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world.

“The effect of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe,” she said, adding that it wasironical that a country which had established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism, was preaching human rights and talks about the ostensible support for self-determination.

Ms. Gambhir said that shortly before Pakistan gave its “hypocritical sermons” in the world body, its envoy in New Delhi was summoned in the context of the most recent of the terror attacks in Uri that claimed 18 Indian lives.

“That terrorist attack is part of a trail of continuous flow of terrorists trained and armed by our neighbour and tasked to carry out terrorist attacks in my country,” she said.

Mr. Sharif raised the Kashmir issue with almost every world leader — including those from the US, the UK, Japan and Turkey — on Wednesday and sought their intervention to resolve the matter.

Source: thehindu.com/news/national/india-attacks-pakistan-at-the-71st-unga-pakistan-is-terrorist-state-carries-out-war-crimes-says-india-to-un/article9134891.ece

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India says Pakistan is ‘terrorist state’, carries out war crimes; trashes Pakistan’s claims at UNGA

September 22, 2016

United Nations :India on Thursday called Pakistan a “terrorist state” and accused it of carrying out “war crimes” against Indians through its “long-standing policy” of sponsoring terrorism, hours after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raked up Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly session.

In a strong rebuttal, India said the terrorists designated by the UN continued to roam Pakistan’s streets freely and operate with State support. Exercising India’s Right of Reply to Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Eenam Gambhir said “the worst violation of human rights is terrorism.”

“When practised as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime. What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said.

Gambhir said India sees in Pakistan “a terrorist state” which channelises billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours.

In a reference to JeM chief Masood Azhar and Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, she said terrorist entities and their leaders, including many designated by the UN, continue to roam the streets of Pakistan freely and operate with State’s support.

“With the approval of authorities, many terrorist organisations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations,” Gambhir said.

She said while Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record is marked by ”deception and deceit,” it talks about restraint, renunciation and peace.

“Similar false promises it has made to us – the international community on terrorism. Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start,” Gambhir said.

India also strongly slammed Sharif for glorifying Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed on July 8 by the Indian forces.

“Even today we have heard support by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation,” she said. Gambhir said Pakistan was a democracy deficit country and practises terrorism on its own people.

“It extends support to extremist groups, it suppresses minorities and women and denies basic human rights including through draconian laws,” she added.

Source: siasat.com/news/india-says-pakistan-terrorist-state-carries-war-crimes-trashes-pakistans-claims-unga-1025820/

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JEM CHIEF MOCKS AT INDIA’S THREAT IN 30-MIN AUDIO CLIP

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind the latest attack at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir and the Pathankot strike earlier this year, on Wednesday released a 30-minute audio clip lampooning India saying New Delhi will attack Pakistan through films.

Counter-terrorism expert Dr Rituraj Mate said, “Azhar is scared of the impending action against the outfit. His speech also suggests he is not confident of the Pakistan Army and the Government in protecting him against the backdrop of the mounting pressure on Islamabad to act against the terrorist groups.”

The message apparently directed to the dwindling morale of JeM cadres also suggests Azhar is scared and worried about his safety in the wake of the impending retaliatory action from India, said security experts.

“Hindustan will attack India through films. Many of the actors of the films are asthma patients and others have severe gastric problems. Hindustan will teach Pakistan through such heroes who act after taking medicines,” the notorious terrorist said in his clip released online.

Seeking to boost the morale of the cadres, Azhar further said nothing will happen against them this time around also. He said similar tactics were applied by India after the Pathankot attacks carried out by four fidayeens from the outfit. While India did not get any evidence or the custody of the attackers, the JeM got more recruits and sympathisers and tanzeems were further strengthened.

Questioning the seriousness of the Indian leadership and the bureaucratic set up here, the designated terrorist on the UN sanctions list asked its cadres not to trust the babus or the leaders as they only spread lies. “Indian leaders and officials lie a lot. They boast only after boozing. Neither the leadership nor the armed forces have the capacity to attack Pakistan,” he said.

“Such lies have raised the expectations of the people leading to calls for action against Pakistan. But the leadership and the Armed forces in India lack the resolve and do not remain alert. The Armed forces fail to guard their assets and suffer losses at the hands of three or four fidayeens and then they conduct investigation and seek cooperation from Pakistan. The matter remains pending for many years in courts and India does not get anything despite ‘propaganda’ by New Delhi and the tanzeems are further strengthened,” he claimed.

According to assessments in India, the domestic perspective of Pakistan is that their Army Chief Raheel Sharif is retiring in November and he is seeking to raise things to a level where he captures power from the political leadership led by PM Nawaz Sharif by projecting that things have come to such a state that only the Army can rescue the country.

Azhar’s exhortations might have come at the behest of the Pak Army chief who could be seeking to rally the public behind him, said security analysts.

Azhar has also revealed that the Pakistani tactic of giving assurance to India in anti-terror cooperation is designed to buy time and allow the terror tanzeems to strengthen over the long term.

Cornered by India at international fora, the Pakistan Army and ISI may soon start a propaganda that Nawaz is cornered by the Armed forces and the Intelligence agencies there. This will lead to a call from the global community asking India to talk to the Pak political leadership in the interest of democracy and the whole pressure against the terror sponsoring country will once again fizzle out, said an Intelligence source, adding India needs to deal with any of the agencies of Pak with the same yardstick and should not fall into this trap any more.

In his audio speech, Azhar has also sought to target “those in Pakistan supporting India” implying that JeM’s affiliate Sipah-e-Sahaba might start targeting Christians, Balochs and other minorities like the Hindus.

Through his speech, the wanted terrorist also sought to target the Muslim population, especially in the Western States like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, seeking their cooperation in sheltering the cadres of the outfit.

Mate said India should not get carried away by the situation unfolding there and should take decisions based on its national interest  and apply the same yardstick in dealing with that country if any of the state or non-state actors targets Indian soil.

Source: dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/jem-chief-mocks-at-indias-threat-in-30-min-audio-clip.html

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Indian Madrasas, Funding and the Government

Sep 22, 2016

Imagine rooms in madrasas full of young boys dressed in traditional attire -- the Kurta pajama and skull cap -- busy learning nuances of the faith. Rocking their little bodies in rhythm, they recite the Quran and commit it to memory. Now, imagine that these Islamic seminaries exist only on paper.

An ongoing inquiry which Department of School Education ordered has revealed that as many as 16 madrasas associated with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which provides funds for the "mainstreaming" of madrasa students, in the city are fake. The probe has brought Islamic seminaries, which are already being accused of preaching intolerance, back into the spotlight.

While the preliminary inquiry has been submitted to the government, department officials are now busy gathering data to compile an exhaustive report.

Those in the know of things estimate that there are between 700 and 1,000 fully-functional madrasas in the state. To break it down further, an ongoing study, says general secretary of socio-religious organisation Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh (JUH, TAP) Khaleeq Sabir, shows that the number of Islamic seminaries in the city and Ranga Reddy district is around 200. But, unlike the 16, these are madrasas which are privately managed and have little to do with the government.

Mainstreaming of madrasa students has been on the agenda of previous state governments too for quite some time now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that he wanted to see madrasa students holding the Quran in one hand and a computer in the other. To equip the state’s madrasa students with modern education, a panel of academicians and religious figures was put together a couple of years ago to study the functioning of government madrasa boards in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. However, on account of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, little was accomplished.

The unearthing of fake madrasas has provided a handle to those opposing tooth-and-nail the formation of a state madrasa board. For instance, Muslim cleric Maqsood Yamani, who has worked extensively with privately-run Deeni Madaris Board (DMB), has used the instance to reiterate the madrasa collective's stand against government funding of Islamic seminaries. Much like the JUH-TAP, the DMB is against madrasas being beneficiaries of government aid. While Muslim clerics have been suspicious of the government taking a keen interest in madrasas, they claim that their students are engaged in "preserving the faith". Citing figures from the Sachar Committee report, which says that about 4 per cent of Muslims attend madrasas and Maktabs, clerics have asked the government to provide better education and healthcare facilities for the larger 96 per cent of the community.

The numbers of madrasa students may be low. But a question needs to be asked: Is it possible for a vast majority of would-be Aalims and muftis, largely unexposed to the challenges of a lifestyle much different from theirs, give nuanced opinions to those who are beneficiaries of a modern lifestyle and education?

A second challenge which madrasas could face in the near future is the Centre's stand on Article 30 of the Constitution -- which gives minorities the right to establish and run their educational institutions -- as illustrated by the draft new education policy. While the document does not specifically speak of what it intends to do with madrasas, it does say that minority institutions use their 'constitutional' privilege to wiggle out of "national obligations". The language employed is distressing.

To say that nothing has change within the privately-run madrasa set-up would be wrong. There have been improvements. 'Modern' subjects such as mathematics and English are being taught in some seminaries. But quicker and amore concerted efforts from within this set-up are required. And if this doesn't happen, the set-up could face another 'oral triple Talaq' like situation, with factors it describes as "external" intervening much to its chagrin.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Madrassas-funding-and-the-government/articleshow/54455914.cms

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SBMS asks PM to avenge Uri attack in blood-soaked letter

September 22, 2016

Ghaziabad : In a queer way of driving home their point, a group of people from different religions today sent a letter written with their blood to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to take stringent action against Pakistan.

The letter was written by Sarv Brahaman Maha Sabha (SBMS) in the wake of the recent Uri terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that left 18 jawans dead.

Representatives from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian communities were present in the letter writing programme, SBMS spokesman B K Sharma said.

He said the gesture signified that people belonging to all religions had the same blood in their veins.

“Strict action is required to check the massacre which is being perpetrated by Pakistan,” Sharma said.

In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years, 18 jawans were killed and 19 injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in Uri town in the wee hours on September 18.

Source: siasat.com/news/sbms-asks-pm-avenge-uri-attack-blood-soaked-letter-1025878/

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Pak, India should resolve Kashmir dispute:Ban to Sharif

September 22, 2016

United Nations: Rejecting Pakistan’s repeated pleas to the UN to resolve the Kashmir dispute, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan and India should address their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, through “dialogue”.

Ban’s remarks came as Sharif handed over to him a dossier containing evidence of alleged human rights violations by Indian forces in Kashmir.

“The Secretary-General stressed the need for Pakistan and India to address their outstanding issues, including Kashmir, through dialogue, saying it is in the interest of both countries and the region as a whole,” according to a readout of Ban’s meeting with Sharif provided by his spokesperson.

Ban met with Sharif here yesterday on the margins of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

According to a statement by the Pakistan Mission to the UN, Sharif handed over to Ban the dossier containing information and evidence of alleged atrocities and human rights violations against Kashmiris.

He also showed Ban “pictures” of “innocent and defenceless” people in Kashmir “victimised through brutal use of force and atrocities.”

“The Prime Minister also reiterated the imperative of an independent inquiry into the extra judicial killings and a UN fact finding mission to investigate the situation in occupied Kashmir. He emphasised that India must be urged to abide by UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir,” the statement said.

Sharif has been mounting massive efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, shooting off letters to the UN and Ban as well and raising the issue in all of his bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA.

However, his repeated calls to the UN to help resolve the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan appear to be gaining no traction as Ban made no reference to Kashmir and the situation in the Valley in his final speech to the UNGA as UN Chief.

Ban mentioned a plethora of global issues on the UN agenda, including the situation in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, the tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East but not Kashmir.

He even touched upon the Syrian crisis, the Palestinian issue, the refugee and migrant movements, the South Sudan tensions, violent extremism and its impact on regions from Yemen, Libya Iraq, Afghanistan to the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin.

Sharif, in his address to the UN General Assembly, said Pakistan welcomed the offer of good offices by the Secretary-General to help resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Ban’s office has repeatedly said that the UN Chief’s good offices are available on helping resolve the Kashmir dispute only if both India and Pakistan request for it, a clear message that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral one between the two nations and should be solved by them only.

Source: siasat.com/news/pak-india-resolve-kashmir-disputeban-sharif-2-1025762/

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Glorifying Wani shows Pakistan’s attachment to terror: India hits back

September 22, 2016

New Delhi/United Nations: India on Thursday hit back at Pakistan, saying the “glorification” of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani at the UN General Assembly showed Islamabad’s “attachment to terrorism”.

As Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue in a major way in his UNGA address, and called for an international probe into alleged rights violations in the Kashmir Valley and a plebiscite, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted India’s reaction.

“PM Sharif at #UNGA says India poses unacceptable conditions to dialogue. India’s only condition is an end to terrorism. This not acceptable?” Swarup posted.

Sharif in his speech said that Pakistan is ready to “walk the extra mile” for dialogue with India, but New Delhi imposes unacceptable pre-conditions for talks.

“Pak PM Sharif at #UNGA glorifies Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani in UN’s highest forum. Shows continued Pak attachment to terrorism.”

“Pak PM Sharif at #UNGA in complete denial of Uri terror attack. 19 infiltration attempts stopped at LoC this year. Indigenous??!!,” Swarup tweeted.

His reference was to Sunday’s terror attack at an army base camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed and four attackers gunned down. India has blamed the attack on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militants.

Source: siasat.com/news/glorifying-wani-shows-pakistans-attachment-terror-india-hits-back-1025561/

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South Asia

Recent Kabul attacks organized inside Pakistan, says Afghan Vice President

Thu Sep 22 2016

The Afghan Vice President Sarwar Danesh said the recent attacks in Kabul by the Taliban group and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were organized from inside Pakistan.

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Danesh urged implementing international commitments and and avoiding a distinction between good and bad terrorists.

“Where are the previous leaders of Al-Qaida and the Taliban hiding,” he asked, further questioning how and from where terrorists were being trained, equipped and financed.

Danesh further added that Pakistan had been requested to destroy safe havens, but the situation remained unchanged.

The remarks by Danesh came as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Afghan militant groups to use its soil for planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan.

The Afghan officials are insisting that the leadership councils of Taliban group and the notoriouss Haqqani terrorist network are based in Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.

In other parts of his speech, Danesh said the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States) could remain a useful platform as long as Pakistan acted in good faith to meet its commitments.

Welcoming efforts of any Islamic country to promote peace in Afghanistan, Danesh said “Those individuals and groups resort to violence, terrorism and killing are not acquainted with this religion.”

Source: khaama.com/recent-kabul-attacks-organized-inside-pakistan-says-afghan-vice-president-01921

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AHPC confirm signing of peace deal with Hekmatyar on Thursday

Wed Sep 21 2016

The Afghanistan High Peace Council (AHPC) confirmed the initial draft peace agreement between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will be signed on Thursday.

AHPC said Wenesday that the initial draft peace agreement will be signed in the presence of media on Thursday.

This comes as AHPC officials said Saturday that the peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will be signed in coming two to three days.

The peace deal between Hezb-e-Islami and the Afghan government was due to be signed on 10th September, ahead of the Eid holidays.

However, the Afghanistan High Peace Council said the signing of the peace agreement was postponed due to Eid holidays but a final agreement has been concluded between the Afghan government and the party.

The statement by High Peace Council was released amid concerns that the signing of the deal was delayed due to some internal issues, apparently within the government to conclude the deal.

Earlier reports emerged earlier suggesting that the party has issued new impossible-to-meet demands to sign a peace agreement with the Afghan government.

According to the reports, the new demands included cancellation of pacts with the United States, a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and that it be signed by a new government.

The new demands were made as Hekmatyar had earlier said he has changed his conditions for peace process with the Afghan government by stepping back from his demands for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces.

Source: khaama.com/ahpc-confirm-signing-of-peace-deal-with-hekmatyar-on-thursday-01920

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How India’s intervention in Bangladesh shaped south Asia

Sep 22, 2016

On the night of July 1 this year, five young men attacked a Dhaka cafe and took control of hostages. By the next morning, 29 people were killed. The incident reflected growing Islamist radicalisation of a section of Bangladesh’s youth and represented how far the country had come from its original vision of a secular, plural and tolerant state.

Take another instance. Each time Bangladesh’s International Criminal Tribunal decides to sentence those complicit in the 1971 mass killings — men who aided the Pakistan Army in suppressing liberation forces, and are seen as traitors — the decision is greeted with a sense of vindication by the ruling Awami League. But it also sparks outrage and anger among the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its key ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, many of whose leaders have been hanged.

In many ways, Bangladesh is still fighting the battles of 1971. The domestic political tension between the two Begums — Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia — itself emanates from a debate over ‘who owns the narrative of 1971, and who secured freedom’, as Salil Tripathi, the author of a book on Bangladesh’s modern history, puts it.

India played a part in these events; it has been considered Delhi’s most successful neighbourhood intervention. But the intervention did not create the kind of pliant state that Delhi would have hoped. As India prepares to engage with another internal movement in Pakistan, the experience offers lessons.

The verdict undermined

In the December 1970 elections in Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan’s People Party won 88 out of 144 seats in the west; Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League — who had promised autonomy — swept the east, winning all but two of the 169 seats. This gave him an absolute majority. The mandate was an outcome of the accumulated resentment among the Bangla-speaking east against the political, economic and cultural domination of the Punjabi-dominated West Pakistan establishment. The establishment could not tolerate the prospect of being ruled by Mujib, nor countenance a polity with autonomous units. Bhutto had another personal element: he wanted to rule Pakistan himself.

President Yahya Khan postponed convening the assembly. Rebellion broke out in the east. The army was sent in to crack down on protests.

Mujib asked for Indian help — military and food supplies, communication and transportation facilities. Historian Srinath Raghavan reveals in his book, 1971, that initially India was ‘circumspect’. As late as 1970, there was a fear that an independent East Pakistan may unite with West Bengal to form a unified Bengal. Delhi also thought that Islamabad and Dhaka may well come to an agreement soon. It was also not sure of Mujib, who had kept a ‘distance from Indian contacts’.

Full report at: hindustantimes.com/analysis/looking-back-at-1971-how-india-s-intervention-in-bangladesh-shaped-south-asia/story-bpHKfX4ou3TErdfazvE8yO.html

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US welcomes peace accord signing between Afghan govt and Hezb-e-Islami

Thu Sep 22 2016

The US Embassy in Kabul welcomed the signing of peace agreement between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

“We welcome today’s accord negotiated and concluded by the Government of Afghanistan and Hizb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) as a step in bringing the conflict in Afghanistan to a peaceful end,” a statement by US Embassy said.

The statement further added that the United States continues to support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that results in armed groups ceasing violence, breaking ties with international terrorist groups, and accepting the Constitution, including protections for women and minorities.

The draft peace agreement between Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami party was signed during a ceremony organized in a compound of Afghanistan High Peace Council today.

The Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar signed the agreement on behalf of the Afghan government while Mohammad Amin Karim signed the agreement on behalf of the delegation of Hezb-e-Islami.

The Afghanistan High Peace Council chief Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani and the High Peace Council deputy chief Ata-ur-Rehman were also present during the signing of the agreement.

The agreement was signed today after almost six months of continued negotiations between the Afghan High Peace Council and the delegation of Hezb-e-Islami.

Source: khaama.com/us-welcomes-peace-accord-signing-between-afghan-govt-and-hezb-e-islami-01925

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Peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami signed in Kabul

Thu Sep 22 2016

A draft peace agreement between Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was signed between the Afghan government and the party in Kabul today.

The signing of the agreement concluded in the presence of media during a press conference in one of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council that led the talks with the party since the beginning.

The agreement was signed following some days of delays that led to speculations that the deal was facing issues to be concluded.

However the Afghan government leaders as well as the Afghan parliament and several prominent politicians endorsed the signing of the agreement in a bid to end the ongoing insurgency through reconciliation process.

Earlier reports emerged earlier suggesting that the party has issued new impossible-to-meet demands to sign a peace agreement with the Afghan government.

According to the reports, the new demands included cancellation of pacts with the United States, a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and that it be signed by a new government.

The new demands were made as Hekmatyar had earlier said he has changed his conditions for peace process with the Afghan government by stepping back from his demands for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces.

The delegation of Hezb-e-Islami arrived for peace talks with the Afghan government in mid March following the conclusion of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting on Afghan peace process.

The QCG members, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States and China called on militant groups to join peace talks with the Afghan government in a bid to end the ongoing violence in the country.

However the Taliban group rejected to participate in peace talks and announced their spring offensive in mid-April this year forcing the Afghan government to step back from the talks and opt for military option to counter the insurgency led by the group.

Source: khaama.com/peace-agreement-with-hezb-e-islami-signed-in-kabul-01924

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Karzai improperly listed cash in German bank and Jewels list: US watchdog

Thu Sep 22 2016

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai improperly listed cash in one of Germany’s banks and a list jewels, the US watchdog said as it slammed an Afghan anti-corruption body formed in 2008 for being ineffective and lacking independence.

The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in its latest report said the asset declaration forms submitted by Karzai and senior members of his government had omissions and errors.

The report further added Karzai submitted his asset declaration form in September 2015, he listed cash in a German bank account but did not give an account number and left the source-of-money field blank.

“Under personal effects, the president listed jewels but again provided no purchase date, no current value, and no source of income to purchase the asset,” SIGAR added.

The latest report by SIGAR comes as the Afghan government has been struggling to root out corruption in a bid to ensure flow of the international aid for the reconstruction of the country.

The Transparency International watchdog group ranked 166th out of 168 nations in its annual corruption index this year.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his speech during the Special Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) on ‘The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan’ vowed to defy terrorism in a bid to bring reforms in the country.

“We promised that we would end the corruption that violates our deepest spiritual values & pollutes the soul of our nation,” Ghani said, adding that “There will be howls of protest and pain as the noose against corruption grows ever tighter.”

Source: khaama.com/karzai-improperly-listed-cash-in-german-bank-and-jewels-list-us-watchdog-01923

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US and India focus on coordination of assistance to Afghan govt priorities

Thu Sep 22 2016

The United States and India focused on coordination and alignment of their assistance with the priorities of the government of Afghanistan during the trilateral meeting in New York.

Delegations from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of India, and the United States of America met on September 21, in New York City, on the margins of the 71st United Nations General Assembly, for a round of Afghanistan-India-U.S. consultations, a statement by State Department said.

The statement further added that the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra and U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson, met to exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan and on regional issues of mutual interest.

“Reaffirming their shared interests in advancing peace and security in the region, as well as countering terrorism, all sides welcomed the discussions focused on political, economic, and development goals in Afghanistan, including the regional dimension,” the statement said.

It also added that “The meeting provided a forum for the U.S. Government and the Government of India to explore ways to coordinate and align their assistance with the priorities of the Afghan government.”

They agreed that the dialogue helps advance shared values and goals, and decided to continue these consultations on a regular basis the State Department said.

Source: khaama.com/us-and-india-focus-on-coordination-of-assistance-to-afghan-govt-priorities-01922

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Bangladesh national held in Malaysia for terror link deported

Thu Sep 22 2016

Malaysian police have deported three foreigners, including a Bangladesh national, after detaining them for suspected terror links.

Local media reported that the three and a Malaysian citizen were detained between Aug 2 and Sep 17.

Quoting a statement by the Royal Malaysia Police, Channel News Asia reported that all of the foreigners have been deported.

The other two are from Nepal and Morocco.

The report, however, did not provide their identities, but said the 37-year-old Bangladeshi owned and operated a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur's shopping district of Bukit Bintang.

He is suspected of being involved in smuggling weapons for use by international terror groups, Channel News Asia quoted the police statement.

It also said that the Interpol had issued a 'red corner notice' for him. He was held on Aug 19 and deported to Bangladesh on Sep 2, said police.

The Nepali citizen, who managed an entertainment outlet, is suspected to be involved in making false travel document for members of international terror groups, the report said.

It said the Moroccan is suspected to be member of Islamic State. Police said he had previously been detained by Turkish authorities while trying to enter Syria.

The fourth, a Malaysian, is believed to be linked with Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedy - who police say have been actively promoting Islamic State's activities on social media, said the report.

Source: bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/09/22/bangladesh-national-held-in-malaysia-for-terror-link-deported

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Europe

German Politicians Warn of Daesh Sleeper Cells amid Chaos Over Migrant ID Checks

21.09.2016

Infiltrated Country Among Refugees A year on, politicians in the German Bundestgag have been told that only around 20-30 percent of migrants arriving showed any form of identity and that many passports being checked now are being found to be fake, giving rise to fears that there could be hundreds — or even thousands — of Daesh sleepers in Germany. According the Die Welt newspaper, at the height of the migration, hundreds of thousands were making their way into Germany each month via the West Balkan route and — without border controls — staff from BAMF were overwhelmed. The interior ministry has called a summit to discover who actually entered Germany in 2015. Attorney General Erardo Rautenberg said: "We have known, since the Paris attacks that Daesh sleepers may be among the mass of migrants." More Sleeper Cells There is evidence that sleeper cells may have been set up as early as 2012 — which the 2015 influx may have joined. According to a 99-page manifesto, "Black Flags from Rome" — which intelligence agencies have been aware of since January 2015 — radicalized Muslims who have been trained in Syria were told to form "sleeper" cells in Europe — particularly in areas of cities and towns that were heavily populated by Muslims. "While the experienced Islamic State fighters left Syria for Europe, the European Muslims who had emigrated to the Islamic State would train within the training camps, and nobody doubted — neither the Islamic State, nor the West — that some of these trainees would be sent back to Europe to form their own secret cells to continue the Jihad and to seek revenge for the western occupation of Muslim lands," the manifesto states. "These fighters would simply receive their training and be told to go back to their European home countries, to go into 'sleeper cell' mode until the Khalifah (Caliph) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered to start attacks in Europe."

Source: sputniknews.com/europe/20160921/1045550192/daesh-germany-sleeper-cells.html

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Twenty Five Percent of French Muslims Support a Conservative Form of Islam

September 21, 2016

A survey published recently has shown that more than a quarter of French Muslims are in favour of a more conservative from of Islam.  Of the 1,029 people surveyed, a majority who supported this branch of the faith were under the age of 25.

Carried out by liberal think tank Institute Montaigne, the survey showed that 24% of people who supported an ultra-conservative Islam were also supportive of the Niqab (face veil), which has been banned in the secular state since 2010. Furthermore, the survey revealed that women were in more favour of the Niqab in comparison to men, helping to debunk myths that men enforce it upon women as an oppressive move. Only around 18% of women reject niqabs against 26% of men.

The survey further revealed that around 60% of participants believed that girls should be allowed to wear Hijabs (headscarves) to schools. Published exclusively by Le Journal du Dimanche (LJD), it appears that Muslims in France are increasingly becoming disillusioned with the laws that came into practice 12 years ago, forbidding religious symbols in classrooms.

It appeared from the results of the survey that Muslim women tend to hold more conservative views than men. For example, 56% of women said they would attend a mixed swimming pool, in comparison to 75% men. 85% of Muslim women agreed to be treated by a doctor of the opposite sex in comparison to 97% men.

The report also revealed that some Muslims, whilst stating their faith as an important part of their identity, rarely attended mosques, with only 29% attending on a weekly basis.

Researchers further divided French Muslims into 3 categories: ‘secular’ which stood at 46%, ‘proudly Muslim’ at 25% and then ‘the ultras’ at 28%. Those who identified as proudly Muslim favoured a greater role of religion in the workplace, but were opposed to things such as the Burqa and polygamy. The ultras appeared to be the younger of those surveyed, living on the fringes of society. What this shows is that there is a correlation between conservatism and the class system, those who have been failed by the state and feel disenfranchised by the lack of social mobility are more susceptible to religious conservatism.

France has the biggest population of Muslims living in Western Europe, but such a presence has not been without opposition. After terrorist attacks during the summer, tensions have been running high in the state and have seen a rise in right-wing party support.

Source: moroccoworldnews.com/2016/09/197038/25-of-french-muslims-support-a-conservative-form-of-islam/

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Juncker says rejecting Muslim refugees 'unacceptable'

22 SEPTEMBER,2016

BRUSSELS - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that member States "must" show solidarity in sharing the burden of refugees who arrive in Europe. "Some countries do it, others say no because they are Catholic and they don't want Muslims," he said. "This is unacceptable because they are not (only) Muslims but human beings".

He added that countries unable to participate in the redistribution of asylum seekers "must participate more in the reinforcement of protection of the (EU's) external border, which must be done by the end of October".

Source: ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/sections/politics/2016/09/22/juncker-says-rejecting-muslim-refugees-unacceptable_bb195f22-b57e-4d4b-bc76-0cda5b09b6a6.html

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'New England Muslim Festival' to be held in Malden

22 SEPTEMBER,2016

Boston-area Muslims will host their first “New England Muslim Festival” next Sunday in Malden, organizers announced Wednesday.

“In the midst of the election season rhetoric, the tragic attacks in New York and New Jersey seemingly perpetrated by someone from a Muslim background, and instability in the Middle East, Muslims in the United States and in particular in New England believe that their culture and image have been distorted by politicians and the terrorists who do not represent the faith of the millions of Muslims worldwide,” organizer Mohammad Shadid said in a news release. "Traditional Muslim hospitality will greet our guests that day.”

The festival is expected to feature live dance and musical performances, as well as activities for children, organizers said.

Another major feature: a traditional “souk” marketplace with a variety of cultural items for sale, including food, arts and henna.

Organizers said they picked Malden because of its central location and high levels of diversity: nearly half the city’s residents are foreign-born.

“The city of Malden is proud of its diversity and is excited about the upcoming Muslim Festival,” Mayor Gary Christenson said. “We are looking forward to this family event and in sharing the rich Muslim culture, customs, traditions, and my favorite, food!”

The event will be held from 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, at Malden City Hall plaza.

Source: metro.us/boston/first-annual-new-england-muslim-festival-to-be-held-in-malden/zsJpiv---YR84zsRLZhlU/

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North America

With Surge in Hate Crime, Muslims Seen 'Most Disdained' Minority in U.S

September 22, 2016

A new study shows that anti-Muslim crime in the United States last year surged to levels not seen since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, making Muslims the "most disdained" religious minority group in the country.

Official police reports from 20 states compiled by California State University at San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show there were 196 anti-Muslim crimes in 2015, up from 110 incidents in 2014, an increase of 78 percent. The crimes in 2015 ranged from assault to murder to arson.

Hate crime directed at Arabs jumped by an even higher 219 percent.

Overall, hate crime in the United States rose by just 5 percent, from 4,139 incidents in 2014 to 4,347 in 2015. And while there were more anti-Jewish and anti-LGBT hate crimes, the increases in those categories were much smaller, according to the study.

Brian Levin, director of the Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism, who led the study, said the spike in anti-Muslim violence was fuelled by a combination of prejudice, terrorism and political vitriol.

"Not only do we see wide swaths of anti-Muslim prejudice ... but now Muslims are the most disdained major group in the United States and we have a socio-political movement that reinforces and amplifies it," Levin said in an interview, referring to the anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and other American politicians.

With about 3.3 million people, Muslims represent roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but attacks on Muslims accounted for 4.5 percent of all hate crimes in 2015, Levin noted.

With the exception of 2015, hate crimes have trended down in recent years; yet even then, "the proportion of Muslim targets has gone up," he added.

'Tip of the iceberg'

Among the 20 states studied, several with large Muslim communities saw an increase in anti-Muslim violence, with New Jersey reporting a 250 percent rise, Texas registering a surge of 129 percent, California reporting a jump of 122 percent and Tennessee notching a 67 percent uptick.

In California, the San Bernardino mass shooting by a Muslim couple in December led to a wave of anti-Muslim attacks. In Tennessee, shootings on two military installations in Chattanooga by a Muslim-American, along with a controversy surrounding mosque construction, touched off a crime spree aimed at Muslims.

Partial data provided by police departments show the upsurge in anti-Muslim hate crime has continued into this year.

Full report at: voanews.com/a/muslims-most-distained-religious-minority-group-us/3517952.html

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Trump gets played by ISIS – again

22 SEPTEMBER,2016

If you want to be president of the United States in these dangerous times, you better understand that terrorism is a form of psychological warfare. Terrorist groups use spectacular forms of violence to make it seem they are far more powerful than they really are. Governments are often duped into overreacting to terrorism, causing more harm to themselves than a terrorist group ever could.

Donald Trump has demonstrated over and over again this campaign season that he is an easy mark.

ISIS attacks. Then Trump proposes responses that would harm the U.S. far more than ISIS could ever do itself.

First, of course, is Trump’s secret plan to defeat ISIS. We have been assured it will be tough and it will quickly destroy the group. The only way to achieve both of these objectives would be a huge insertion of American military on the ground to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which is exactly what ISIS has been pining for.

ISIS wants to portray itself as the protector of the Muslim people against the invading Western infidels. ISIS has a big problem when the people fighting against it are Muslims, which is what is happening now on the ground in Iraq and Syria. However, if ISIS’s territory in Syria and Iraq (what it calls a “caliphate”) is taken away by an invading U.S. army, ISIS will score a propaganda victory. Trump would quickly do what ISIS cannot possibly do itself – make ISIS the victim in the eyes of some of the world’s Muslims.

Trump has also responded to attacks like the ones in New York, New Jersey and Minneapolis this week by calling for a ban on immigration by Muslims to the U.S. This overt religious discrimination against the world’s second-largest religion would inflict a huge wound on the U.S. that ISIS, on its own, could never dream of perpetrating.

Barely lifting a finger, ISIS would have reversed the U.S.’s image, cultivated over centuries, of being a beacon of hope and refuge for those subject to religious and other forms of persecution around the world. The policy would also drive a wedge between the U.S. and the governments of Muslim majority nations, many of which are our allies and trading partners. With fewer friends and less economic activity, we would be a less powerful and less prosperous nation.

Lastly, Trump has responded to attacks by calling for law enforcement to conduct surveillance of Muslims based not on suspicion that they are engaged in criminal activity, but solely on their religion. By prompting this reaction, again without spending a nickel, ISIS would have struck a heavy blow by undermining a core value of our pluralistic society. Our success as an exceptionally diverse nation is based on the principle that no group will be singled out for mistreatment based on such things as race, ethnicity or religion. Damaging this principle for one group breeds suspicion and distrust among all others. Internal social discord weakens America.

The immigration ban and profiling policy send a message around the globe that the world’s most open, successful and welcoming democracy is essentially closed to Muslims. This echoes the ISIS recruitment strategy. ISIS tries to convince Muslims in the West every day on Twitter and other social media platforms that pious Muslims will never be fully accepted in the U.S. and Europe. ISIS wants Muslims to believe the only place they will be able to practice true Islam is in the ISIS caliphate. By banning Muslim immigration and institutionalizing Muslim profiling, we would be ratifying ISIS’s message as true.

Trump is advocating his counterproductive policies because he believes religious-based immigration control and surveillance will reduce the number of attacks. But this is incorrect as well. The more we isolate Muslim-Americans and discriminate against them, the more likely a small subset of this population will become disaffected and latch on to ISIS’s violent ideas as a means of political protest and activism. And the more we cast suspicion on Muslim-Americans, the harder it will be to encourage them to identify the small number of individuals in their communities that may be radicalizing to violence.

So Trump’s policies will weaken America and lead to more terrorist attacks.

Not great, believe me.

Source: newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article103260237.html

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Obama Compares WWII Jews and Today's Muslims, Lectures the World

September 22, 2016

While speaking at the United Nations Tuesday and advocating more Muslim migration into the West, Barack Obama likened a refusal to accept the Muslims to the “turning away [of] Jews fleeing Nazi Germany,” which he called “a stain on our collective conscience.” But while Obama sought to lecture us, he actually condemned himself.

Of course, there is no equivalence between the WWII-era Jews and the Muslim migrants, as no one had to worry about terrorists being embedded among the former. In contrast, we know for a fact that terrorists are among the Muslim migrants. Without comprehensive Western-style databases in Syria (which is supposedly the focus) and with bribery getting you official government documents saying you’re whoever you want to be in that nation, there simply is no way to vet these people. But that Obama would attempt a flawed analogy isn’t his real shame here. It’s that the real analogy isn’t between the WWII Jews and today’s Muslim migrants.

It’s between the WWII Jews and another persecuted minority: the Middle East Christians.

You know, the people who multiple sources say face genocide as Christianity is gradually wiped out in the Mideast.

They’re also the people Obama won’t lift a finger to help.

In fact, while Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population and are being targeted by Islamic State, only one half of one percent of Obama’s Syrian migrants have been Christian.

That translates into 56 out of 10,801 “refugees.”

It’s so astounding that even liberal Newsweek ran an article titled “The U.S. Bars Christian, Not Muslim, Refugees From Syria.” Really compassionate guy that Obama, huh? Have any more lectures for us, Barry?

Since it’s clear Obama couldn’t care less who lives or dies in the Middle East, the question is raised: what is his real agenda?

Try this on for size: the vast majority of U.S. Muslims now vote Democrat, with Obama having gotten 89 and 85 percent of their votes in, respectively, 2008 and 2012.  In contrast, believing Christians are known to support conservatives. And it isn’t as if Obama doesn’t know this. He said last year that immigration was making America “more and more of a hodgepodge of folks” who he was “hopeful” would drown out conservatism (hey, didn’t you always want to live in a hodgepodge?). 

Of course, this only works if you have the right hodgepodge. And with 70 to 90 percent of today’s immigrants voting Democrat upon being naturalized, liberals love the mix. Just keep the Christians out.

This is what Obama and his ilk mean when saying “Our strength lies in our diversity”: “Our [Democrat political] strength lies in our [orchestrated] diversity.” They’re just not as blunt as was Andrew Neather, ex-advisor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when he admitted that the massive Third World immigration into the U.K. was designed “to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date." Hey, it doesn’t matter if it destroys Western culture. Why serve in Heaven when you can reign in Hell?

The reality, again, is that Obama cares as much about Mideastern lives as he does about Hillary’s emails. Immigration, “refugee” acceptance, family reunification, etc. are all about one thing and one thing only: importing voters. If most new immigrants would support Republicans, we’d have about as much immigration as North Korea. And the border? There’d be an impenetrable wall, sunk down 100 feet into the earth, with an electrified fence on top of it and organ-disrupting, pain-inducing sound wave weapons mounted on turrets every thousand feet of its length.

Source: thenewamerican.com/reviews/opinion/item/24112-obama-compares-wwii-jews-and-today-s-muslims-lectures-the-world

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Muslim Refugee Terror is Changing America

September 21, 2016

The wave of Muslim refugee terror began with a bomb targeting a U.S. Marine charity run in New Jersey. By evening a pressure cooker full of shrapnel has exploded outside a Manhattan building for the blind. An hour later, a rampaging Muslim terrorist began stabbing people inside a Macy’s, asking them if they were Muslim and shouting the name of “Allah,” the genocidal Islamic deity of mass murder.

And that was one Saturday, two Muslim refugees and a wave of national terror 1,200 miles apart.

What did Elizabeth, New Jersey and St. Cloud, Minnesota have in common?

New Jersey has the second largest Muslim population in the country. This isn’t the first time it was used as a staging ground for Muslim terror.

11 of the 19 September 11 hijackers hung out in Paterson (known colloquially as Paterstine). Head toward Jersey City and you can see where Muslim enemies of this country stood on rooftops and cheered the attacks on September 11. It’s also where the World Trade Center bombing mastermind and the Blind Sheikh who provided religious guidance for a proposed wave of Islamic terror operated.

Go south and in Elizabeth you can pass the First American Fried Chicken joint where the Rahami clan made life miserable for their American neighbors before one of their spawn began his bombing spree.

New Jersey is a map of Muslim terror plots because of its huge Muslim population.

Ahmad Khan Rahami came to America as the son of an Afghan refugee. He stabbed a man two years ago. His family was a local nuisance who cried “Islamophobia” at the least provocation. His brother was a Jihadi sympathizer and may have fled the country after assaulting a police officer. By the time Ahmad was done, he had wounded a police officer and 29 other people. If his plot had succeeded, he might have pulled off the largest Muslim terror atrocity in the country since September 11.

Sadly, Syrian Muslim “refugees” continued to be dumped in Elizabeth, NJ to seed the next wave of Muslim terror. The International Rescue Committee, one of the two largest migrant agencies plaguing the Garden State, is based in Elizabeth, 8 minutes away from the Rahimi chicken place

Last year Erol Kekic, the head of the group, insisted that the issue would “blow over.” Instead of blowing over, it’s blowing up.

Minnesota has suffered from the presence of the largest Somali migrant population in the country. And so a state which used to be known for its Swedish and German immigrants instead became a recruiting ground for ISIS and Al-Shabab. Al-Shabab, which is aligned with Al Qaeda, attacked the Westgate mall in Kenya a few years ago. The Somali killers quizzed their victims to distinguish Muslims from non-Muslims.

Dahir Adan, the Somali Muslim migrant who invaded America from a refugee camp in Kenya, attempted to duplicate that attack, asking those he stabbed at the Crossroads Mall if they were Muslims.

Dozens of Somali migrants in America have joined Al-Shabab and ISIS. The only difference between Dahir Adan and them is that instead of getting on a plane back to his native Somalia to join the local Jihadists, he carried out his Jihad against the nighttime shoppers in a Macy’s.

The Crossroads attack was the tragic price paid by innocent people for Muslim refugee resettlement.

Muslim Somali migration dramatically increased under Obama, rising from 2,500 in 2008 to around 8,000 and 9,000 in the last few years. Somali settlers represent almost 1 percent of the population of Minnesota. Most of the “refugees” dumped in St. Cloud were Somalis migrants and Lutheran Social Services has taken the lead in inflicting Somalis on the unfortunate natives of St. Cloud.

From the very beginning of their arrival, the Somali colonists were a problem for the people of St. Cloud. They displaced American workers and clashed with the native population. In this decade, St. Cloud has become 10% Somali. The Crossroads attack was the inevitable result of that demographic growth.

What happened in New Jersey and Minnesota is the same thing that has been happening in Europe. Islamic terrorism is caused by Muslim migration. As the Muslim population grows, so does its terror.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton had declared that the Somali occupation of the state is here to stay. “Minnesota is not like it was 30, 50 years ago,” he sneered. “Anybody who cannot accept your right to be here should find another state.”

Now Dayton has condemned the “religious bigotry” that motivated the Crossroads attack and declared that, “There is no place in Minnesota for intolerance of all Americans’ constitutional right to worship according to their beliefs.”

You can have religious freedom or Islam. You can have the Constitution or the Koran. But you can’t have bot

But the preferred mode of worship of Dahir Adan came from the religious book that he listed as his favorite, the Koran. “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,” (Koran 9:5), “Strike upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip,” (Koran 8:12) and “Fight them until there is no unbelief and the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Koran 8:39). Islamic worship is murdering those who exercise religious freedom. That’s what Dahir Adan was doing at the mall when he asked his victims if they were Muslims.

You can have religious freedom or Islam. You can have the Constitution or the Koran. But you can’t have both.

“I ask everyone in the St. Cloud area and throughout Minnesota to rise above this atrocity and act to make religious and racial tolerance one of the ways in which Minnesotans again lead our country,” Governor Dayton has said. If he and other Minnesotans really want religious tolerance, then the only possible way to achieve it is by ending the disastrous settlement of Somali Muslims in Minnesota.

The anniversary of September 11 has come and gone. And we have learned nothing from the experience. The cesspools of Muslim terror in New Jersey have only grown. And no amount of moments of silence will clean them up. The latest terror plot in New York City originates from the same swamp.

Meanwhile peaceful states like Minnesota have become terror hubs through refugee resettlement.

Refugee resettlement is becoming our biggest terror threat. Obama wants to hike next year’s refugee admissions to 110,000. That’s a 57% increase since 2015. The summer’s statistics showed that more Muslims were being admitted as refugees than Christians.

This weekend’s wave of terror is the result of our refugee policy. And that policy is getting worse.

Ahmad Khan Rahami and Dahir Adan were the products of our refugee policy of yesteryear. Today’s refugee policy will have far deadlier consequences and produce far more terror attacks.

Saturday was a bloody day of Muslim terror, but as the red tide of Muslim migration washes up on our shores, every day in our future will be a day of Muslim terror.

Only ending Muslim migration can stop that.

Source: canadafreepress.com/article/muslim-refugee-terror-is-changing-america

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Arab World

US Promotes Saudi Arabia’s White Phosphorous Crimes in Yemen

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia is using US-supplied white phosphorous munitions in its dirty war against Yemen, a violation of the law of armed conflict.

White phosphorous is to be used only for signalling to other troops and creating smoke screens. When the munition explodes, it releases white phosphorous that automatically ignites in the air and creates a thick white smoke. However, Saudi Arabia is using these munitions against Yemeni soldiers and civilians, which can maim and kill by burning to the bone.

It’s interesting to hear US officials confirming that their government has supplied the Saudis white phosphorous – sometimes compared to napalm. But it's rather odd to hear them say they cannot trace these munitions to a particular sale. It's also silly for the State Department officials to say that ‘the United States expects any recipient of US military assistance to use those items in accordance with international law and under the terms and conditions of any US transfer or sale.’ Lest they forget, the Saudi-led, US-backed war on Yemen is not in accordance with international law.

Based on damning evidence – images and videos posted to social media, as well as numerous reports and documents published by Western media outlets and human rights organisations - Saudi Arabia is using US-supplied white phosphorous munitions – besides US-supplied cluster bombs – in civilian areas. What's more, Washington is not taking any appropriate corrective action. On the contrary, Washington has even signed a $1 billion arms deal that would replace Saudi Arabia's US-supplied tanks that have been damaged in the conflict.

Meaning, as a major arms seller to Saudi Arabia, the United States is indeed complicit in Saudi war crimes in Yemen. The Saudis could not do it without the United States and Amnesty International agrees. The organisation says the US government should stop selling guided and general purpose aerial bombs and combat aircraft to Saudi Arabia, because the regime has used them to hit schools, markets and other civilian objects, even a Doctors Without Borders-supported hospital, killing thousands of civilians and medical staff in serious violations of international humanitarian law.

All this and more highlights, yet again, the urgent need for a comprehensive embargo on all weapons that could be used by Saudi Arabia and the mere extras in Yemen, and for an international investigation to bring those responsible for these war crimes to justice.

And the US complicity in all this hasn't been lost on the world community. Since 2009, the United States has sold over $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. That's why the world community has on several occasions called for a stop to the US arms and military equipment sales, even a resolution at the United Nations to block such sales. They have also urged the US government to stop re-supplying planes engaged in the reprehensible and illegal bombing runs or providing “intelligence” for the civilian targets that Saudi Arabia is hitting.

Tragic enough, the international community is apt to be disappointed, as it does not appear Washington or Riyadh put much stock in human rights these days. Instead, all we hear is joint bombing runs against civilian objects by these foreign actors, using cluster and white phosphorous munitions, even though it flies in the face of long-standing international standards of conduct. After all, Oxfam says, due to the US support for the Saudis, this is a Saudi-American military campaign, not just a Saudi campaign.

Here, the hypocrites are deliberately promoting yet another humanitarian catastrophe, just like the disaster that is Syria. The Saudi war criminals would never be grounded because Washington has no intention to withhold its support for their atrocities, much less reverse its insidious policy, which has only boosted Al-Qaeda and ISIL in the Arabian Peninsula.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950631001348

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Syrian Army Advances in Maardas, Kills 40 Jund Al-Aqsa Terrorists

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and its allies opened operational fronts in Northern Hama to retake the strategic town of Maardas and pave the way for the ground forces to advance towards more important positions, killing 40 Terrorists.

According to field sources, the Syrian ground forces advanced towards the Eastern and Southern al-Zahra regions near Maardas and could reach the depth of the terrorists' positions in the town which is considered as the gate of Souran region.

Reports said that 40 Jund al-Aqsa terrorists, including snipers, were killed during the operations to advance towards Maardas.

The Syrian army and popular forces began large-scale operations on Wednesday in the Northern parts of Hama to drive terrorists out of the town of Maardas, near the important fortified village of Ma'an.

According to military sources, the army's missile and artillery units targeted the terrorists' positions inside the town concurrent with the start of the operations.

"The Army is advancing towards the town," a source said.

Meantime, the army troops could drive back militants from the Southern parts of Maardas while fierce clashes still continue in the region.

Also, the Syrian forces could fully purge the terrorists from al-Ebada, Jabal al-Akrad and al-Khazan farms on their way towards Maardas.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army units killed more than 25 terrorists of Jeish al-Fateh in the Northern parts of Hama province after the termination of the truce period in the country.

The Syrian army soldiers repelled an attack by the terrorists against the military posts in the village of al-Kabbaria, North of Ma'an, a field source said.

The source added that more than 25 terrorists were killed and three of their vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns along with a bulldozer were destroyed.

The Syrian Army declared end of ceasefire on Monday, regretting that militants did not adhere to any of the provisions stated in the truce agreement.

The Syrian army reaffirmed commitment to fight against terror after the end of truce, and did not add whether the truce will be reinstated any time in future.

The truce started last week. On September 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new peace plan to address the conflict in Syria that called for a ceasefire and anti-terrorism cooperation among other clauses of the treaty.

According to the Russian General Staff, the terrorist groups in Syria have violated the ceasefire over 300 times since it took effect.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000210

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Over 700 Terrorists Lay Down Arms in Sweida, Homs

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of militants stationed in Swieda and Homs surrendered themselves and their weapons to the Syrian authorities to return to normal life.

Nearly 600 militants were pardoned in Sweida during a national event attended by official, popular and religious figures at the Sweida Branch building of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party.

During the event, Governor of Sweida Amer Ibrahim al-Eshi said that "the invitation is open to embrace all the young people who have lost their way to lay down arms and be pardoned".

For their part, those who were pardoned expressed their commitment to homeland, pledging to return to their normal life.

They also called on all those who have lost their way among the rebels to lay down arms and take advantage of those initiatives and the amnesty decrees.

Meanwhile, a sum of 130 militants from Homs Province were also pardoned after they turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday in accordance with the amnesty decree No.15 for 2016.

The militants come from different parts of Homs province, including the city of Homs, al-Rastan, Tal Biseh and Palmyra.

Last month, the armed opposition groups in Syria declared that thousands of militants in the Southern parts of the country are willing to reconcile with the Damascus government.

A provincial council affiliated to the militant groups in a statement admitted that 25,000 militants are looking for reconciliation with the Syrian government forces in Southern Syria.

The statement by the 'Council for Men of Knowledge in the Levant' has accused the terrorist commanders willing to compromise with the Syrian army of treason.

It has given the militant commanders in Southern Syria three days to withdraw from al-Mouk Operations Room (which operates under the Saudi, Qatari, the US and Jordanian spy agencies). 

The Al-Mouk Operations Room has been accused of corruption, similar reports in a number of other Arab media have cited the financial corruption of the Operations Room members as a main cause of the militants complaint and their decision to surrender to the Syrian army.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000261

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ISIL Stealing Phosphates From Hama Mines

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group is stealing phosphate from Khanifis mines in Hama province as well as crude from Sha'er and other oil and gas fields of Syria to sell them to foreign countries, specially Turkey, media reports said.

The terrorists have transacted with a number of Turkish army commanders and the family members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, SANA news agency said on Wednesday.

A French fact-finding committee said in July in a report that the ISIL terrorist group has been facing very bad financial situation in 2016, while the number of its forces has been continuously decreasing in the recent months too.

"In 2015, the ISIL terrorist group earned over $3bln in Iraq and Syria, including $600mln from exports of crude oil and $300mln from gas, but after the ISIL-held regions, specially energy-rich regions, shrank the group faced sharp decline in its revenues," said the report, written on the basis of the findings of 60 journalists and activists.

"The ISIL had to find new sources of income. Trafficking of drugs, smuggling of historical monuments, looting museums, imposing high taxes on the consumption of water and electricity stood atop ISIL's new sources of revenues," the report added.

"ISIL earned around 900,000,000 euros through levying different kinds of taxes and also 150 million of dollars from trade of cigarettes and narcotics," the report said, adding, "In the meantime, the ISIL that had around 30,000 of fighters in 2015, now in the middle of 2016 has only 12,000 combatants in the battlefields in Iraq and Syria."

A captured militant from the terrorist group who spoke to Sputnik news agency in January then bolstered claims that Turkey is involved in illegal oil deals with the Takfiri group up to the hilt.

24-year-old Mahmud Ghazi Tatar had revealed details about Turkey's alleged oil links to the terrorist group.

“At the training camp in May 2015, our commander told us that the group sells fuel to Turkey. That income covers ISIL's costs. The oil trucks crossing into Turkey every day carry crude oil, as well as petrol,” he said, adding that the ISIL group has enough oil to last them a long time.

“ISIL also receives lots of supplies from Turkey and Arab countries,” the captured militant confirmed.

The Russian defense ministry had also announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family members are directly involved in illegal oil deliveries from ISIL oil fields in Syria.

Turkey’s leadership, including President Erdogan and his family, is involved in illegal oil trade with ISIL militants, the Russian Defense Ministry had said, stressing that Turkey is the final destination for oil smuggled from Syria and Iraq.

Satellite and drone images showed hundreds and hundreds of oil trucks moving from ISIL-held territory to Turkey to reach their destination at Turkish refineries and ports controlled by Turkish president's family.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950631001439

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ISIS suspected of mustard attack against US and Iraqi troops

September 22, 2016

Washington (CNN)ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayyara air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials.

The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.

No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.

One official said the agent had "low purity" and was "poorly weaponized." A second official called it "ineffective."

A US defense official said troops had gone out to look at the ordnance after it landed. Based on seeing what they thought was a suspect substance, two field tests were conducted.

The first test was positive and the second was negative, the official said. The substance is now being sent to a lab for further examination.

US troops involved in the incident went through decontamination showers as a precaution. No troops have shown any symptoms of exposure, such as skin blistering. CNN has reported on previous instances where ISIS has fired rounds with mustard agents in Iraq and Syria.

"I don't know of a case like this where it was proximate to US forces like this before," said one military official, noting that "potentially" the rocket round was "within hundreds of yards" of the US forces and "within the security perimeter" of the base.

The US officials said they "had expected" that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards Mosul in an effort to take the city back from ISIS. Several hundred US troops are using the base as a staging area for supporting Iraqi forces.

All of this has led the Pentagon to assess on a preliminary basis that it was ISIS that fired at the base, since the terror group has been making mustard agent for some time.

In the course of its air campaign against ISIS, US airstrikes have hit several locations the US believes are production sites for mustard agent.

Source: edition.cnn.com/2016/09/21/politics/mustard-gas-us-troops/

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ISIS’s defeat won’t mean a stable Iraq, says defence chief

September 21, 2016

OTTAWA – Western military intervention may have prevented a “short-term calamity” in Iraq, but it is only the start of a long effort to bring peace and stability to the country, says Canada’s defence chief.

“My belief is that the work we’re doing now militarily in Iraq is the first step in a long, long journey to ensure the success of that region into the future,” Gen. Jonathan Vance told the Senate defence committee Wednesday.

Concerns about Iraq’s long-term stability are mounting after its parliament sacked a high-profile minister for the second time in a month.

Finance minister Hoshiyar Zebari was impeached Wednesday on allegations of corruption – the same fate that befell defence minister Khaled al-Obaidi at the end of August.

The allegations have not been publicly proven, and some believe they are actually politically motivated and intended to weaken Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s grip on power.

There has also been an uptick in violence between some of the various Iraqi groups, including Kurdish forces and Shia militias, that have until now been united in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Thomas Juneau, an expert on Middle East politics at the University of Ottawa, said the fear is that such infighting will only increase as Iraq’s various ethnic, religious and political factions begin to stake out ground for the post-ISIL era.

“Everybody’s fighting ISIL right now,” he said. “But this coalition – in the loosest term – against ISIL is very weak in the sense that the only glue that holds it together is fighting against ISIL. So the more ISIL weakens, the more glue that barely holds this coalition together also weakens.”

Vance told the Senate committee that ISIL – also known variously as the Islamic State, ISIS and Daesh – will be dismantled or at least rendered militarily insignificant in Iraq. However, he said there are a variety of other issues that need to be addressed, including the country’s many political, economic and social challenges.

“Political stability, the rule of law, democratic principles, all of that, is of huge importance to the long-term success of Iraq,” he said.

“We prevented the short-term calamity that would have been the Islamic State in Baghdad. But there’s lots more to be done.”

But Juneau said that is more easily said than done.

The reality is that the West doesn’t have as much sway over internal Iraqi politics as it would like to believe, he noted. As a result, the divisions that many have blamed for creating the conditions to let a group like ISIL grow are unlikely to go away any time soon.

“In practice, there’s very little that can be done,” Juneau said. “What everyone is realizing is this pressure is not working.”

Source: macleans.ca/news/isils-defeat-wont-mean-a-stable-iraq-says-defence-chief/

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ISIS suspected of firing chemical weapon at US military base in Iraq

September 22, 2016

ISLAMIC State terrorists on Tuesday fired a shell that may have contained a mustard agent onto a military air base in northern Iraq used by US and Iraqi troops fighting to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The shell was fired at the former ISIS-held Qayyara air base, south of Mosul and has been tested by US troops with an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard, CNN reported on Wednesday.

The bomb did not injure any US troops and no military officers has displayed symptoms of exposure to the mustard agent.

An official allegedly told CNN that the chemical agent had “low purity” and was “poorly weaponised (sic)”. A second official described it as “ineffective.”

A second field test on the chemical agent came back negative. The substance is now going to a laboratory for further examination.

Fighters from the Islamic State terrorist parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armoured vehicle don a main road in the city of Mosul, Iraq, the last terriroty it holds along the Turkey-Syria border. Picture: AP

The officials reportedly said they “had expected” that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards the city of Mosul in an effort to retake the city from ISIS.

Several hundred US troops are using the air base as a staging area to support Iraqi forces.

In the course of its air campaign against ISIS, US air strikes have hit several locations the US believes are production sites for mustard agent.

The US Pentagon has not yet responded to a request for comment.

US General Joseph F Dunford Jr, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday that the Iraqi forces being trained by the US-led Coalition will be ready to recapture Mosul next month, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We assessed today the Iraqis will have in early October all the forces marshalled, trained, fielded and equipped that are necessary for operations in Mosul,” he said at the Air Force Association. conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

Gen. Dunford said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi will have the final say when to launch the attack. Abadi met with US President Barack Obama earlier this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Meanwhile, at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday France sought to impose sanctions on those such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime who have carried out chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

“No crime should be allowed to pass in silence, even in exchange for honoring (sic) a truce. There can be no peace if there is impunity,” Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.

Ayrault reminded his colleagues on the council that a UN-mandated expert report had blamed the Assad regime for two attacks with banned chemical agents in northern Syria in 2014 and 2015.

Assad is protected on the Security Council by his ally, the veto-bearing permanent member Russia, which has deployed military force to protect Assad from a revolt by armed opposition groups.

Source: townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/world/isis-suspected-of-firing-chemical-weapon-at-us-military-base-in-iraq/news-story/184b11d8a534391a0d37f5efb908d982

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Syrian Forces Advance in Southwestern Aleppo, Repel Terrorists' Offensive

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army troops repulsed the ISIL militants' attack against their strongholds in the Southwestern parts of Aleppo and advanced in Tal al-Bazu, al-Hekma School and housing project 1070 regions.

Also in the Northern parts of Aleppo, the Syrian army and its allies destroyed the ISIL terrorists' artillery units and military vehicles after killing and wounding tens of militants near the aviation college.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army targeted and destroyed ISIL's artillery units and military hardware near the Air Force Academy in Southeastern Aleppo, leaving a large number of the militants dead.

"The Syrian army destroyed two technical vehicles of the terrorists equipped with heavy machineguns and also their artillery site near the Aleppo Air Force Academy in Southeastern Aleppo, killing several militants," an informed military source said.

Also, other Syrian army units destroyed three DshK-equipped military vehicles of the terrorists when they tried to attack the Syrian army's military positions in the surrounding areas of Aleppo Air Force Academy.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian Army regained control of several points South of the city of Aleppo after delivering heavy blows to the terrorist groups during clashes just outside the city, military sources said.

"The Syrian Army forces and their allies are now in control of several structures in al-Ramouseh, including the municipality buildings and premises of a chemicals factory, after they managed to kick out terrorists from the area," the sources said.

The Syrian Army success came as fighting rages between army forces and the terrorist groups in the area after militants started targeting the army men with sniper fire and rocket propelled grenades.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000321

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Syrian Army Wins Back Control of Strategic Tal Al-Aboudi Heights in Hama

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army, supported by the popular forces, retook control of the strategic Tal al-Aboudi heights in the Eastern parts of Maardas region in Northern Hama after a tough battle against the terrorists.

"The army troops also could regain control of al-Mathana region in Northern Hama in addition to al-Aboudi heights which means that the Maardas town has collapsed militarily," an army source said on Thursday.

According to the source, the Syrian army and national defense forces could fortify their positions in the region, preparing for operations to take back the silos located in the Western parts of Maardas from the terrorists.

The Syrian army and popular forces began large-scale operations in the Northern parts of Hama on Wednesday to drive terrorists out of the town of Maardas, near the important fortified village of Ma'an.

According to military sources, the army's missile and artillery units targeted the terrorists' positions inside the town concurrent with the start of the operations.

"The Army is advancing towards the town," a source said.

Meantime, the army troops could drive back militants from the Southern parts of Maardas while fierce clashes still continue in the region.

Also, the Syrian forces could fully purge the terrorists from al-Ebada, Jabal al-Akrad and al-Khazan farms on their way towards Maardas.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army units killed more than 25 terrorists of Jeish al-Fateh in the Northern parts of Hama province after the termination of the truce period in the country.

The Syrian army soldiers repelled an attack by the terrorists against the military posts in the village of al-Kabbaria, North of Ma'an, a field source said.

The source added that more than 25 terrorists were killed and three of their vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns along with a bulldozer were destroyed.

The Syrian Army declared end of ceasefire on Monday, regretting that militants did not adhere to any of the provisions stated in the truce agreement.

The Syrian army reaffirmed commitment to fight against terror after the end of truce, and did not add whether the truce will be reinstated any time in future.

The truce started last week. On September 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new peace plan to address the conflict in Syria that called for a ceasefire and anti-terrorism cooperation among other clauses of the treaty.

According to the Russian General Staff, the terrorist groups in Syria have violated the ceasefire over 300 times since it took effect.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000605

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Syrian Air Force Bombs Different Terrorist Targets in Hama

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian fighter jets pounded militants' positions in several areas of Hama, inflicting casualties on a number of terrorist groups and smashing their weapons and military equipment.

The Syrian air force targeted the gatherings and fortifications of Jeish al-Fatah in Taibet al-Imam, in the surroundings of Maardas, Tal Bazam, Zour al-Taibeh, Zour Abu Zaid and Souran, North of Hama city.

The warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on the hideouts and positions of the terrorist groups in the village of al-Zakat, al-Latameneh town and North of Kafr Zaita. The Syrian fighter jets also targeted the terrorists’ fortifications in Hor Benafseh village in the Southern parts of Hama province.

Terrorists’ vehicles and positions were destroyed in the airstrikes and tens of them were killed.

The military bases and vehicles of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists were also destroyed on Wednesday in the Syrian army's offensives in several villages and towns in Northern Hama province.

The Syrian army backed by the country's air force carried out intensive military operations against Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group in Kafr Naboudeh, Atshan, Sakik, Mourek, countryside of Ma'an, Kokab, Souran, Um Haretin, Tal al-Nasseriya, Tal Bazdam and Wadi Hawir in Northern Hama.

Several military vehicles of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists were destroyed and a large number of the militants were killed, according to battlefield sources.

On Tuesday, a Syrian army unit killed more than 25 terrorists of Jeish al-Fatah in the Northern parts of Hama province after the termination of the truce period in the country.

The Syrian army soldiers repelled an attack by the terrorists against the military posts in the village of al-Kabbaria, North of Ma'an, a field source said on Tuesday.

The source added that more than 25 terrorists were killed and three of their vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns along with a bulldozer were destroyed.

The Syrian Army declared end of ceasefire on Monday, regretting that militants did not adhere to any of the provisions stated in the truce agreement.

The Syrian army reaffirmed commitment to fight against terror after the end of truce, and did not add whether the truce will be reinstated any time in future.

The truce started last week. On September 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a new peace plan to address the conflict in Syria that called for a ceasefire and anti-terrorism cooperation among other clauses of the treaty.

According to the Russian General Staff, the terrorist groups in Syria have violated the ceasefire over 300 times since it took effect.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000508

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Syrian, Russian Fighter Jets Target ISIL Militants Near Al-Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzur

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian and Russian warplanes launched coordinated airstrikes on ISIL's gathering centers near al-Tharda mountain in the Eastern parts of Deir Ezzur, inflicting heavy toll and damage on the terrorist group.

A field source said on Thursday that the Syrian warplanes bombed the ISIL positions near al-Tharda mountain and al-Jafra village in Eastern Deir Ezzur and destroyed their strongholds and bases.

Also the Russian fighter jets pounded ISIL's positions in Tal Barouk, Northwest of Deir Ezzur, as well as regions near al-Tharda mountain, Brigade 137 and Panorama, killing and injuring several terrorists.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army repulsed an ISIL offensive on Deir Ezzur city's military airport as the country's warplanes targeted gatherings of the terrorist group near al-Tharda mountain, Southeast of the province, a military source said.

"Scores of ISIL terrorists were killed in the aerial attacks, which also led to the destruction of several technical vehicles in the Southeastern region of Deir Ezzur province," the source said.

The source added that the Syrian Army forces inflicted more casualties on the terrorists after they rebuffed an attack by ISIL militants on Deir Ezzur military airport.

On Tuesday, the terrorists also sustained yet another defeat near Deir Ezzur after tens of bomb-laden cars that they had sent toward the walls of Deir Ezzur airbase were destroyed by Syrian Army forces.

ISIL positions in al-Baqilia, al-Hosseinia, Huwaija Kate' and al-Janinah villages in the Northwestern parts of Deir Ezzur were also bombed on Tuesday by the Syrian and Russian fighter jets.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000491

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Army Continues March in Aleppo's Remouseh Region

September 22, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters took full control of several buildings in Ramouseh region in the Southern parts of Aleppo province.

The army soldiers, backed by Hezbollah fighters, stormed the Southern districts of Aleppo as they targeted Jeish al-Fatah's defense lines at the Old Ramouseh district.

According to battlefield sources, pro-government forces clashed heavily with the Jeish al-Fatah terrorists who were positioned in the buildings, destroying a gathering and a site for the militants and setting up military points in the area surrounding it.

According to reports, tens of terrorists were killed, others were injured and their weaponry and ammunition were destroyed.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army regained control of several points South of the flashpoint city of Aleppo after delivering heavy blows to the terrorist groups during clashes just outside the city, military sources said.

"The Syrian Army forces and their allies are now in control of several structures in al-Ramouseh, including the municipality buildings and premises of a chemicals factory, after they managed to kick out terrorists from the area," the sources said.

The Syrian Army success came as fighting rages between army forces and the terrorist groups in the area after militants started targeting the army men with sniper fire and rocket propelled grenades.

In recent weeks, the Syrian army troops repulsed several assaults by Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group on the military academy and the municipality buildings in the contested area.

The Syrian Army declared end of ceasefire across the country on Monday night, regretting that militants did not adhere to any of the provisions stated in the truce agreement, however it reaffirmed commitment to fight against terror after the end of truce.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950701000466

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Pakistan

Afghanistan says attacks on its civilians staged from Pakistan

September 22, 2016

United Nations: Afghanistan today slammed Pakistan at the UN, saying “merciless” terror attacks against its civilians are being planned and organised in Pakistan which trains, equips and finances terror groups like Taliban and Haqqani network.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Afghnaistan’s Vice President Sarwar Danesh said his country has repeatedly asked Pakistan to destroy known terrorist safe havens but there’s been no change in the situation.

Taliban and Haqqani network are trained, equipped and financed there,” he alleged.

Pakistan has a dual policy of discriminating between what it views as “good and bad terrorists,” which undermines the international order, Danesh said.

The Afghan government is leaving the door open to armed groups willing to seek peace, he said.

Source: siasat.com/news/afghanistan-says-attacks-civilians-staged-pakistan-1025783/

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Forced repatriation of Afghan refugees worst example of cruelty: Fazal-ur-Rehman

Thu Sep 22 2016

A prominent Pakistani politician and religious scholar Maulana Fazlur Rehman has slammed the Pakistani government for its hard stance against the Afghan refugees, saying forced repatriation of Afghan refugees is the worst example of cruelty.

Questioning the government’s stance against the Afghan refugees, Rehman said the situation in Afghanistan still remains hostile, emphasizing that there would be no need for the US and allied forces to stay in Afghanistan if there was peace in the country.

Rehman further added that the Afghan nationals must be treated well and should be repatriated with dignity and respect, calling the Afghan refugees as ‘guests’ and ‘brothers’.

Pakistan started crackdown against the Afghan refugees following a deadly attack on an army-run school in Peshawar city of Pakistan.

The United Nations refugee chief urged Pakistanis asked the Pakistani authorities late in June not to blame Afghan refugees for terrorism in their country.

The call by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Fillippo Grandi followed amid growing public calls for their deportation and worsening relations between the two neighbours.

Warning that the roughly 2.5 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan risked becoming a “forgotten” crisis, Grandi called on the international community to invest more funds to help them.

“My appeal is that, not only to the authorities but also to the local population: refugees as you know are not terrorists,” Grandi said during a visit to a repatriation centre outside the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar.

Source: khaama.com/forced-repatriation-of-afghan-refugees-worst-example-of-cruelty-fazal-ur-rehman-01926

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Nawaz Sharif rakes up Kashmir, hails Burhan Wani as ‘young leader’

September 22, 2016

United Nations :Raking up Kashmir at the UN, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday glorified slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a “young leader” even as he expressed readiness for a “serious and sustained dialogue” with India for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharif devoted much of his 20-minute speech at the UN General Assembly session to Kashmir and the current situation in the valley and said Pakistan “fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination”. He demanded an “independent inquiry into the extra- judicial killings” and a UN fact-finding mission to Kashmir “so that those guilty of these atrocities are punished.”

Insisting that peace and normalisation between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Sharif made a number of allegations with regard to the current unrest in the valley.

India has blamed Pakistan for engineering and fuelling the unrest. While talking about the situation in Kashmir, the Pakistan Prime Minister referred to Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, as a “young leader” and said he has “emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement…” and that “Pakistan will share with the Secretary General a dossier containing detailed information and evidence of the gross and systematic violations of human rights committed” in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Security Council has called for the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through a free and fair plebiscite held under UN auspices.

The people of Kashmir have waited 70 years for implementation of this promise,” he said, adding the Security Council must honour its commitments by implementing its own decisions. Sharif, who spoke amid heightening tensions between India and Pakistan, insisted that his country wants peace with the neighbour as “confrontation should not be our destiny in South Asia.”

The Pakistan Prime Minister claimed that he had “gone the extra mile to achieve this, repeatedly offering a dialogue to address all outstanding issues but India has posed unacceptable preconditions to engage in a dialogue. “Let us be clear: talks are no favor to Pakistan. Talks are in the interest of both countries.

They are essential to resolve our differences, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and to avert the danger of any escalation.” While insisting that peace and normalization between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, he said, “This is an objective evaluation, not a partisan position.”

“Today, from this rostrum, I would also like to reiterate our offer to India to enter into a serious and sustained dialogue for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir,” Sharif said. He also said that Pakistan was “open to discussing all measures of restraint and responsibility with India, in any forum or format and without any conditions.” Pakistan is “ready for talks to agree on a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty,” he added.

Claiming that Pakistan “neither wants, nor is engaged in an arms race with India”, Sharif said, “We have consistently urged the conclusion of bilateral arms control and disarmament measures between Pakistan and India to prevent conflict and avoid wasteful military expenditures.”

Source: siasat.com/news/happened-nawaz-sharif-rakes-kashmir-hails-burhan-wani-young-leader-1025731/

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‘Exercise’ fuels Indo-Pak escalation fears, drives stocks down

September 22, 2016

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Despite official insistence that the activities had been planned in advance, Wednesday’s closure of airspace over the country’s northern areas and flights by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter planes participating in exercises fuelled rumours that the country’s armed forces were preparing for a possible Indian attack, driving the stock market down.

The exercises, coming at a time when tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours are running high following a terrorist attack on a military camp in India-held Kashmir, drove speculation on social and mainstream media.

Despite the confusion, Inter-Services Public Relations and the PAF’s media directorate chose to keep mum and the official silence only fuelled rumour mills.

Talking to Dawn, a senior military official rejected the reports about any change in the alert level over the past few days. However, he noted that “extreme vigilance” was being exercised in view of the current threats from India. It is expected that official details about the exercises will be released in the coming days.

But following official announcements regarding the closure of airspace over the northern areas and the M1 and M2 motorways, even private TV channels began airing reports hinting at the possibility that these measures were being taken in response to the potential threat of surgical strikes by India, as possible retaliation for the Uri camp attack that left 18 soldiers dead.

Airspace, motorway closure for PAF’s ‘Highmark’ drives speculation on social, mainstream media

Talking about the fighter planes landing on the motorway, the military official said this was part of a routine training exercise, ‘Highmark’. Usually held every five years, this exercise is one of the largest undertakings by the PAF and requires months of advance planning.

Due to the closure of airspace, PIA flights from Islamabad to Gilgit and Skardu had also been cancelled. A top PIA official told Dawn that a ‘Notice to Airmen’ (NOTAMS) had been issued three days ago, informing about the airspace closure at different times on Sept 21, 22 and 24 due to the exercise.

The closure of the M1 and M2 motorways at multiple points — between Kala Shah Kaku and Sheikhupura/Gujranwala on the M2 and near Peshawar-Nowshera — was announced by National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) through a press release issued a day earlier, but the reason for the close was attributed to “construction work”.

Falling stocks

The over-flights by jets participating in the PAF drills also fuelled speculation that caused a sharp decline in the stock market, with the KSE-100 benchmark index dropping a massive 569 points to close at 39,771 points.

As small investors ran for cover, the market fell by 1.41pc, wiping out gains netted in the month of September. Banks, companies and mutual funds remained stable, but panic selling was triggered by individual small investors, who were dabbling in “penny stocks” that usually generated the biggest volumes in the market.

Former Karachi Stock Exchange chairman Arif Habib blamed the tumbling stocks on the hype created by the electronic media about tensions between Pakistan and India, which gave the impression that a confrontation was imminent.

But Mr Habib also pointed out that the market had been on a long bullish run, and that with the KSE-100 index crossing the 40,000-point level, a correction was due.

Border tensions

Certain media outlets also broadcast reports claiming that Indian troops had been moved to forward locations.

Ever since India adopted the cold-start doctrine, troops that used to be stationed 800-1,000km from the LoC and Working Boundary have now moved to a proximity of around 200-250km. According to a defence analyst, this implied that India’s war-time troop locations from 2005-06 were now their regular deployment zones.

“No further movement has been observed,” a military official disclosed, adding that Indian troops had already been in a state of mobilisation.

Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, chairing a corps commanders meeting earlier this week, had expressed satisfaction over the military’s “operational preparedness” and vowed to thwart all sinister designs against the country’s sovereignty and integrity.

Source: dawn.com/news/1285317/exercise-fuels-indo-pak-escalation-fears-drives-stocks-down?preview

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Fazl calls for Afghans’ repatriation with dignity

September 22, 2016

ABBOTTABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has shown serious reservations about hasty repatriation of Afghan refugees, saying that the way they are being sent back is the worst example of ‘cruelty’.

The JUI-f chief asked that if there was peace in Afghanistan then why not the US and allied forces were leaving it. He said that Afghanistan was still in a war-like situation and there was bloodshed all around due to wrong policies of the US and its allies.

Mr Rehman said this while addressing a workers convention here at Abbottabad on Wednesday in connection with preparation for 100 years celebrations of JUI-F to be held in Peshawar.

He said that Pakistan was facing war on different fronts. He stressed upon the nation to be united and fight against all evils of the society with full force. Currently, the enemies of Islam are bent on imposing their own agenda, he said, adding the US would never succeed in making itself the only super power.

About the government’s policy regarding sending back Afghan nationals, he said that they were our “guests” and “brothers” so they should be treated well and be repatriated with dignity and respect. He said that still over two million registered and 1.5 million unregistered Afghans were living in Pakistan. He regretted that ‘our 40-year hospitality is going to be ruined if forceful repatriation of Afghans continued’.

The JUI-F chief suggested that the issue of repatriation of Afghans should be settled politically and by using diplomatic channels.

He lashed out at the PTI-led coalition government in the province and said that it had failed to deliver and mitigate miseries of people.

Mr Rehman expressed concern over the miseries of internally displaced persons from tribal areas. He said that though majority of IDPs had been repatriated to their native towns in tribal areas, they were spending miserable time because they had not been provided with proper facilities.

Source: dawn.com/news/1285359/fazl-calls-for-afghans-repatriation-with-dignity

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Strategy evolved for Sept 30 Govt to wait and watch till PTI oversteps legal boundaries

September 22, 2016

LAHORE: After having stopped the PML-N cadre, especially the spokesman Zaeem Qadri, from issuing a “tit-for-tat” response statements against Imran Khan, the Punjab government now intends to closely watch every step of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf towards its Raiwind rally planned for Sept 30, and to “legally” catch it for any mischief.

According to official sources on Wednesday, the strategy is to refrain from any action that could bring legal or any other trouble for the PML-N government in Punjab, and instead legally proceed against Mr Khan and its party for anything wrong they may do.

They said the chief minister, while asking his party men to observe restraint, reprimanded Mr Zaeem Qadri for his press conference on Monday in which he had dared Imran Khan to come to the the Sharif family estate. “Don’t copy the behaviour of Imran Khan. I will not tolerate any Gullu or Pomi Butts,” Mr Qadri was reportedly told.

Mr Qadri admitted he was strictly asked to keep silent, and he would follow the command of the party leadership. “I had reacted to PTI’s march (plan) on Raiwind on my own volition. There was no instruction (to do so),” he told Dawn when asked whether the government was actually showing both the proverbial “carrot and the stick” to the PTI.

PML-N cadres barred from any ‘emotional response’

The sources said that instructions had been given to the party legislators and district heads to refrain from commenting on the PTI rally. A moot of the PML-N district presidents was also under consideration to ensure no-one indulged in emotional outburst.

They said after keeping the party out, the government now planned to handle the PTI rally on Sept 30 purely through police and administration. And this time they were being given a free hand to handle it professionally so as to avert any Model Town-like incident.

Both police and the administration would ask the PTI leaders to sit with them and decide the possible route of the rally and its culmination point, ensuring its workers would not harm any public or private property or pose a threat to anybody.

The PTI would be allowed to use its democratic right to protest but any violation of the decided route of the rally and code of conduct would be dealt with strictly under the law, the sources said.

The responsibility of any untoward incident or inconvenience caused to the public during the rally, necessitating road blockades would be of the PTI. Heavy contingents of police would be deployed to protect the rally from any act of terrorism, and the public life and property from its participants.

“The government intends to take legal action against PTI workers for any provocation, instead of replying to them in the same coin,” a senior official said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1285318/strategy-evolved-for-sept-30-govt-to-wait-and-watch-till-pti-oversteps-legal-boundaries

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ANP chief seeks joint session of parliament on Pak-India tension

September 22, 2016

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should rush back home and hold a joint session of parliament to discuss ways of defusing tension between Pakistan and India.

“The recent statement issued after the corps commanders’ conference regarding readiness to give a befitting response to India’s threats shows something is cooking,” Mr Khan said at a press conference held at Bacha Khan Makraz here on Wednesday.

Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, while chairing the conference on Monday, had said the Pakistan Army was “fully prepared to respond to the entire spectrum of direct and indirect threats”, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations. The ANP chief said the prime minister should come home and consult all parties on the challenges the country was facing internally and externally. “If there is any need to make changes in our internal and external policies to meet the challenges, the PM should consult all parties on the matter without wasting any time.”

He announced that the ANP would hold demonstrations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh on Oct 4 to protest what he called economic deprivation of Pakhtuns and denial of due share of the militancy-infested provinces in the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He regretted that Prime Minister Sharif had not fulfilled the promises he made about the corridor’s western route on the media after holding a multi-party conference.

The ANP chief said the KP government should explain and share details if the federal government had removed their reservations.

In reply to a question about the recent wave of attacks in Quetta, Mardan and Mohmand Agency, he said terrorists were changing their modus operandi and were now targeting “Pakhtun intelligentsia”. He termed it a conspiracy to push the Pakhtuns to the wall.

The ANP chief, who earlier survived a suicide bombing in his hometown of Charsadda, called upon the federal government to take concrete measures to implement the National Action Plan against extremism and terrorism. He said military operations had eliminated terrorists, but implementation of all points of NAP was needed to end terrorism. “Only Operation Zarb-i-Azb is not enough to win fight against terrorism; there is a need to implement the entire NAP.”

Mr Khan was of the opinion that the interior minister and the entire federal government machinery did not seem to be serious in implementing the plan, adding that even the Chief Justice of Pakistan had pointed this out.

He said that if attacks continued to target people in a specific part of the country, it would create a sense of deprivation and encourage extremist thought.

Answering a question about Afghan refugees, the ANP chief criticised the KP government for forcing the Afghan refugees, who were once invited here as families of Mujahideen, to leave the province. “Yesterday they were welcomed with garlands and now they are being forced to leave,” he regretted.

Source: dawn.com/news/1285342/anp-chief-seeks-joint-session-of-parliament-on-pak-india-tension

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Pakistan not to accept one-sided nuclear restrictions

September 22, 2016

UNITED NATIONS: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has informed world leaders that his country will not accept one-sided restrictions on its nuclear programme, as international media continued to speculate over whether or not Pakistan and India were moving towards a war.

“The prime minister has reiterated Pakistan’s stance; one-sided restraint will not work. India’s cold start doctrine should also be contained,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi told a news briefing in New York.

“Any restriction has to be bilateral. We told the US to use their influence on India to make them do what you ask us to do,” said Ms Lodhi when asked if US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the prime minister to consider ‘nuclear restraint’ when the two leaders met in New York on Monday.

A US State Department press release said that Mr Sharif and Secretary Kerry “stressed the need for restraint in nuclear weapons programmes”.

The Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons came under the spotlight this week when reports in the media suggested that India might launch air strikes on alleged terrorists inside Pakistan. The reports claimed that India began “seriously considering” the option after a militant attack on a military base in India-held Kashmir killed 17 soldiers.

Some commentators suggested that the so-called “cold-start doctrine”, that is, hitting Pakistani installations before Pakistan retaliates to an Indian military strike, gave India a strategic advantage over Pakistan. But others warned that Pakistan had countered the advantage by developing tactical nuclear weapons.

Michael Kugelman, a South Asian affairs expert at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington, reminded India that it might be premature to point the finger at Pakistan.

“One can’t rule out the possibility that Kashmiri militants, seeking revenge for the brutal tactics of the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, pulled off the operation,” he wrote.

He warned that “despite full-throated pleas from some Indian hawks” to launch air strikes inside Pakistan, “it is not an option, thanks to the nuclear weapons issue”.

He warned that “even punitive measures short of all-out war — such as targeted air strikes on terrorist facilities — would be prohibitively risky”.

But in an interview to the Indian media, another US scholar, Christine Fair of the Georgetown University, said that India shouldn’t exercise restraint fearing nuclear reprisal from Pakistan.

Ms Fair, who is an expert on India-Pakistan relations, argued that India’s nuclear arsenal should “give it immunity and impunity” to launch punitive strikes. “If Indian troops transgress into a populated city like Sialkot or Lahore, Pakistan will suffer more fatalities than on Indian troops. Therefore, this battlefield calculation gives India a lot of wriggle room to retaliate than to exercise restraint,” she said.

However, Ajai Shukla, a former Indian army colonel who is now the strategic affairs editor of the Business Standard, told CNN that India was “not strategically prepared” to launch an attack.

“One also cannot ignore the fact that Pakistan has the 11th biggest army in the world,” he said. “We’re in a symmetrical relationship. The consequences of any form of attack are far worse than people realise.”

The question that everybody at Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry and Dr Lodhi’s news briefing wanted answered was: are India and Pakistan going to war?

Mr Chaudhry told the reporters that so far he had seen “no indicators” to suggest that a war was imminent. He claimed that India was encouraging such rumours to divert attention from the atrocities it was committing in held Kashmir.

The foreign secretary advised the Pakistani media not to see Tuesday’s telephonic conversation between Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and the prime minister as “anything more than what it was, a routine consultation between civil and military leaderships”.

Mr Chaudhry said that while US President Barack Obama did not mention the Kashmir issue in his speech, Pakistan had kept the American side fully informed about the developments in the Valley.

“We believe that the US has a responsibility [to defuse the situation] and should play its role. We will keep asking US until they play that role; when and how, only they can decide,” he said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1285327/pakistan-not-to-accept-one-sided-nuclear-restrictions

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Mideast

Long line at Turkish PM's office against unjust coup probes

September 22, 2016

Long queues were formed on Sept. 21 in front of the Prime Ministry office in Ankara, as large numbers of state employees suspended or fired in state of emergency decrees after Turkey’s July 15 coup attempt appealed against their administrative convictions.

Those who were suspended or laid off in probes targeting suspected members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) applied to centers newly opened under the Prime Ministry’s Communication Center (BİMER), demanding the reevaluation of the administrative decisions taken against them.     

The appeals will be evaluated by a commission formed with the coordination of the Security Works General Directorate and with the observation of the Prime Ministry Undersecretary.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldrım had announced the formation of the centers to combat wrongful prosecutions made as part of the investigation into civil servants suspected of having links to FETÖ. 

A total of 79,900 civil servants have been suspended and 5,014 have been dismissed with state of emergency decrees since the failed July 15 coup attempt.

The dismissed personnel were evaluated to be members of or have contact with structures or groups determined by the National Security Council (MGK) to be acting against the national security of the state.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/long-line-at-turkish-pms-office-against-unjust-coup-probes.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104118&NewsCatID=341

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Turkey postpones trip by UN torture expert

September 22, 2016

The U.N.’s torture expert on Sept. 21 criticized Turkey’s decision to postpone his visit, saying it sent “the wrong message,” amid a crackdown following the July 15 failed coup attempt.

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, was due to visit Turkey from Oct.10 to 14, but Ankara pushed the trip back to “November or December,” according to a statement from Mendez’s office.            

“While I understand that the developments in Turkey during the last months demand the government’s fullest attention, I believe that postponing my visit at this late stage sends the wrong message,” he said in the statement.                 

“In light of the thousands of arrests made following the failed coup of July 15, and the allegations of severe overcrowding and poor conditions in many detention centres throughout the country, my visit is of utmost importance,” he added.     

Mendez’s mandate ends on Oct. 31, but he urged Ankara to give his successor “unfettered access” to any areas where people were being detained.               

U.N. rights office spokesman Jon Izagirre told AFP that Turkey said it was “too busy to dedicate time to the visit.”       

John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s director for Europe, commented on the postponement of the visit, saying that “it is a setback.”

“The postponement [of] this visit is a setback for those concerned about human rights in Turkey. Following the failed coup, credible evidence emerged that detainees were being subjected to beatings and torture in official and unofficial detention centres. There have also been allegations of severe overcrowding and poor conditions in many places of detention across the country,” he said.

“Whilst official statements that Turkey has a policy of zero tolerance… toward torture are welcome, these need to be backed up with greater transparency. Despite pledges by the Turkish authorities to allow independent international monitors to visit all detainees in the places they are being held, so far only one body - the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [CPT] - has been granted such access,” Dalhuisen also said.

Rights group Amnesty International has said it had “credible evidence” of the abuse and torture of people detained in sweeping post-coup arrests, something Ankara has denied.

“The authorities must bring to justice those responsible for unlawful killings and other human rights abuses during the coup attempt. But this must be done in a manner that respects the right to fair trial, the prohibition of torture and other human rights. Considering that Juan E. Mendez will step down from the mandate at the end of October, we trust that new dates for the visit can be speedily agreed [upon] with his successor,” the statement released from Amnesty International added.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-postpones-trip-by-un-torture-expert.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104136&NewsCatID=339

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Italian prosecutors drop case against Erdoğan’s son

September 22, 2016

Italian prosecutors have dropped a money laundering case against the son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, their office said on Sept. 21.

The decision, which has yet to be confirmed by a senior judge - usually a formality - came six weeks after Erdoğan complained in a television interview that his son Bilal was being abused by the Italian justice system.

"Italy should be attending to the mafia, not my son," Erdoğan said, adding that it could "cause problems for our relationship with Italy" if his son returned to the country and was arrested.

The allegation that Bilal Erdoğan, 35, was involved in money laundering while studying in Italy last year was first made by Murat Hakan Uzan, an exiled member of one of Turkey's richest families and an opponent of the president.

Prosecutors had been looking into sums of money allegedly brought to Italy from Turkey while he was studying for a doctorate degree.

Bilal Erdoğan, who has since returned to Turkey, had denied all charges as completely unfounded.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/italian-prosecutors-drop-case-against-erdogans-son.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104140&NewsCatID=351

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States of emergency should be ended: Turkey’s former president

September 22, 2016

The states of emergency in Turkey and France should be lifted, former Turkish President Abdullah Gül has said, adding that Turkey’s future promises “strong democracy with reforms and universal standards.”

“I’ve departed from a country which is in a state of emergency, to another one in the same state,” Gül told journalists in France on Sept. 21, in which a state of emergency was imposed after deadly attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“An end to states of emergency is desired. Efforts should be made in that direction,” he said.

A three-month state of emergency was declared in Turkey after the failed July 15 coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülenist movement.

Turkey was “very polarized, divided and tense” before the failed seizure of government, Gül said, adding that the government and the opposition subsequently “presented a solid stance on the side of democracy” – a fact that should be noticed.

“When Turkey’s fortune, its dynamic population and high democratic standards come together, Turkey’s potential energy transforms into kinetic energy,” he said.

During his speech, the former president said he never thought a coup attempt would be conduct because he knew the chain of command.

“We could’ve never guessed that a group of crazy, stupid, treacherous putschists, who infiltrated into significant positions, would engage in such foolishness by hiding themselves. The firm stance of the Turkish people, commanders, the president and the government prevented the coup,” he said.

 Gül also voiced his disappointment with European countries, saying they should have stood against the coup in a strong way. 

“If they’ve done that, they would have helped Turkey more. It’s a sad thing,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also commented on the duration of the state of emergency, saying it could be extended “if necessary.”

“The state of emergency has been ongoing, it could be extended if the context requires so,” Yıldırım told journalists late on Sept. 21.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously made similar comments regarding the issue, noting that it could be extended if approved by the Turkish parliament.

“It can be extended for three months or one month or even more ... Gülen’s people have infiltrated everywhere ... we will continue to identify and arrest the plotters ... extending the state of emergency will help this process,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/states-of-emergency-should-be-ended-turkeys-former-president-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104139&NewsCatID=338

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Attacker shot, wounded at Israeli embassy gate

September 22, 2016

A man allegedly suffering from mental problems was shot and wounded on Sept. 21 by Turkish police in front of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara after he approached the main gate of the embassy, shouting anti-Israel slogans while brandishing a knife.

The Ankara Governor’s Office identified the attacker as 38-year-old Osman Nuri Çalışkan from Konya.

“A single person tried to stab a Turkish police officer. One of the Turkish police officers situated in front of the embassy responded immediately and shot the attacker in the foot in order to neutralize him,” the Israeli Embassy said in a written statement.

“The police officer’s action brought the incident to an end,” it said. There were no casualties or injuries and no harm to any of the embassy staff, it added.

Çalışkan had no links with any terrorist organizations, the Ankara Governor’s Office said.

The incident came at a moment in which Turkey and Israel have normalized strained relations following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, in which 10 Turkish activists on a flotilla were killed while trying to bring aid to Gaza, and were about to exchange ambassadors.

Israeli Chargé d’Affaires Amira Oron was not at the embassy during the incident.

The statement issued by the Ankara Governor’s Office recalled that the mental state of the attacker was not balanced and that an initial probe had shown that he had no connection with any terror organizations. “An investigation about the incident is ongoing,” it said.

According to the website of daily Hürriyet, Çalışkan said, “I did this to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East,” in his first testimony to the police. Çalışkan was also heard shouting “I will change the Middle East” in footage of the incident aired by CNN Türk.

A bomb squad, meanwhile, examined a suspicious package found near the embassy building. The object later turned out to be empty.

“The embassy trusts the Turkish forces to [take] control and investigate the incident. The embassy would like to take the opportunity to thank the Turkish police for its professional performance,” the Israeli embassy said.

Turkish police intensified its security measures around Israeli diplomatic missions in the wake of the incident even though they are already heavily protected.

In late June, Turkey and Israel concluded a long-term negotiation process with an agreement to restore bilateral ties. Israel agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims in exchange for Turkey dropping all charges against senior Israeli officers who took part in the killing of the 10 Turkish nationals. Israel has also apologized for the incident while easing the restrictions on the Gaza Strip – two other Turkish demands for the restoration of ties.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/attacker-shot-wounded-at-israeli-embassy-gate-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104092&NewsCatID=341

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Ankara vows full support for FSA in Syria

September 22, 2016

Ankara has vowed to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with regards to the Turkey-backed rebels’ efforts to clear their own lands in northern Syria of both jihadists and Syrian Kurdish forces.

“Those lands [in northern Syria] are the lands of these people [FSA fighters]. These people are on the defensive for their own land; they see Turkey’s support as very crucial. We give them this support and we will continue to give [support], too,” said Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık on Sept. 21.

Işık said that their aim was for the FSA to clear land belonging to its people from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and also the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara says are terrorist offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Everyone should live in their own region,” Işık said.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, with its own troops backing the FSA with the aim of ridding northern Syria, with which Turkey has a long border, of ISIL, as well as the PYD and YPG.

Turkey helped liberate Syria’s Jarablus and al-Rai from ISIL within the scope of this operation.

On Sept. 19, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said al-Bab was the next target within the scope of the anti-ISIL operation that Turkey launched around one month ago.

Al-Bab lies around 30 kilometers away from the Elbeyli district of Turkey’s Kilis province.

Responding to a question with regards to a report that Turkey would deploy its own combatant infantries of the Turkish Land Forces in Syria, Işık said Turkey would not deploy its own infantry in Syria but would use the Ankara-backed Syrian rebels.

“Our current planning is that we will conduct the operation with fighters of the Free Syrian Army. Thus, we do not plan to join this operation with our own infantries,” Işık said.

Işık said on Sept. 21 that Turkey would continue with the operation “until it guarantees its own security,” adding that Ankara’s aspiration was for the FSA and the “moderate opposition” to clear out ISIL and the YPG.

Forces taking part in Operation Euphrates Shied with the aim to liberate al-Bab would be enforced with the inclusion of various combatant infantries, which would accompany Turkish Special Forces and artillery, daily Hürriyet reported on Sept. 21, citing security sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

“In order to go down as far as al-Bab, a more extensive land force is a must. Land forces are included in the operation plans,” the source was quoted as saying. Currently Turkish Special Forces commandos, fighter jets and tanks contribute to Operation Euphrates Shield.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-vows-full-support-for-fsa-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104098&NewsCatID=352

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Defends Efforts on Rohingyas in First UN Address as Leader

22/09/2016

United Nations: In her first address to the UN General Assembly as national leader, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi defended her government’s efforts to resolve a crisis over treatment of the country’s Muslim minority.

Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner who has been criticised for doing too little to address the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, said the government did not fear international scrutiny, but asked “for the understanding and the constructive contribution of the international community.”

“We are committed to a sustainable solution that will lead to peace, stability and development for all communities within” Myanmar, she said.

“Our government is taking a holistic approach that makes development central to both short and long-term programs aimed at promoting understanding and trust.”

Suu Kyi pointed to the establishment of an advisory commission for Rakhine state chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, with a mandate covering basic rights and security issues.

Suu Kyi said there had been “persistent opposition from some quarters” to the establishment of the commission, but the government would persevere in its efforts to achieve peace in Rakhine.

“By standing firm against the forces of prejudice and intolerance, we are reaffirming our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.”

Suu Kyi told a subsequent event at the Asia Society in New York that Myanmar was only at the start of its road to democracy, given that 25% of parliamentary seats were still held by the non-elected members of the military and peace needed to be affirmed with all armed groups.

She said the main priority was to create jobs and the government would have to ensure investment was attracted to less-developed ethnic minority areas.

Suu Kyi said the government was trying to bring progress as well as peace to Rakhine state.

“The Rakhines are poor, the Muslims, they are poor and we want everybody there to be safe and secure. What we have been trying to do is to find a way of relieving communal tension and putting an end to communal strife,” she said.

Increased freedom of speech since the military stepped back from direct rule in 2011 has allowed for the unleashing of long-held anti-Muslim sentiment in Myanmar.

Around 125,000 Rohingya remain confined in temporary camps after waves of deadly violence in 2012 between Buddhists and Muslims, when more than 100 people were killed.

The Rohingya have long been persecuted, being seen by much of the majority Buddhist population as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations. Most were stripped of their ability to vote in last year’s election, which brought Suu Kyi to power as de facto leader.

In Washington last week, Suu Kyi urged businesses to invest in Myanmar as a way to advance its democratic transition. US President Barack Obama also pledged to lift longstanding sanctions on the Southeast Asian country.

Source: thewire.in/67766/myanmar-defends-its-efforts-on-rohingyas-at-un/

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Malaysia arrests three foreigners and a local for alleged involvement in terror groups

Sep 22, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR - Three foreigners and a local have been detained for their alleged involvement in multiple terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were detained by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division between Aug 2 and Sept 17.

All three foreigners have been deported to their countries.

One of the suspects was a 37-year-old Bangladeshi man, arrested on Aug 19 for smuggling weapons for an international terror group.

"He owned a restaurant in Bukit Bintang and was placed in Interpol's Red Notice. He was deported on Sept 2," Mr Khalid said in a statement on Thursday (Sept 22).

The second suspect - a 38-year-old Nepalese businessman - was also arrested on Aug 19 and deported on Sept 2.

"We discovered that he ran entertainment outlets and a hotel. We believe he was responsible for falsifying documents to facilitate the travels of terrorists," Mr Khalid said.

The other suspects - a 26-year-old Moroccan man who worked as a welder, and a 34-year-old local man - were ISIS operatives in Malaysia with ties to Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi.

Turkish authorities arrested the Moroccan previously for trying to enter Syria.

"After his release, he managed to find his way into Malaysia in May," Mr Khalid said. The Moroccan was arrested on Aug 2 and deported on Sept 21.

The local man is suspected of promoting ISIS propaganda and ideologies through his Facebook account. He worked as a driver for a businessman.

Source: news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/malaysia-arrests-three-foreigners-and-local-alleged-involvement-terror-groups

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Philippine militants free Indonesian hostage

September 22, 2016

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding five other Indonesian citizens, the Philippine military said.

Herman-Bin-ManggakMANILA: Islamic militants in the Philippines on Thursday freed an Indonesian sailor abducted at sea, days after the gunmen released a Norwegian captive and three other Indonesians, the military said.

The Abu Sayyaf turned over Herman Bin Manggak, 30, to another group of Muslim gunmen who later handed him over to the authorities, a military statement said.

Manggak was snatched off a boat at gunpoint in the Sulu Sea close to the Malaysian border with the Philippines where numerous Indonesian and Malaysian seafarers have been abducted by the group in recent months.

He was held for 50 days on the Philippine island of Jolo, a stronghold of the kidnappers who earlier Thursday turned him over to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) group.

The terms of his release were not disclosed, though the Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia had said the gunmen initially demanded 10,000 ringgit ($2,500) for him after freeing two other crew members.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding five other Indonesian citizens, the Philippine military said.

On Saturday the group released Norwegian resort manager Kjartan Sekkingstad after a year in captivity.

Three Indonesian hostages were also released last weekend, but the militants beheaded two hostages, both Canadian tourists, earlier this year, after failing to collect a ransom.

The Abu Sayyaf is a loose network of a militants formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network that has earned millions of dollars from kidnappings-for-ransom.

While its leaders have in recent years pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, analysts say the group is mainly focused on a lucrative kidnapping business rather than religious ideology.

The Norwegian and the four Indonesians were released to a splinter group that broke away from the MNLF after it signed a peace treaty with the Philippine government in 1996.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2016/09/22/philippine-militants-free-indonesian-hostage/

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Africa

At UN, West African leaders cite terrorism as singular challenge to global peace and development

Sep 22, 2016

21 September 2016 – Underlining the importance of and complementarity between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the President of Guinea-Bissau called on world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to honour the commitments they made in the two global agreements.

“My country is strongly committed to do our part in implementing [them],” said President José Mário Vaz in his address to the Assembly’s annual general debate.

“We are proud of the fact that our National Development Plan is in line with many [goals] of the 2030 Agenda and also of [our] political will to gradually adjust [the Plan] to fully accommodate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs],” he added.

Also, welcoming the recent Paris Agreement on climate change and calling for its effective implementation, the President underlined that the phenomenon also poses a major threat to Guinea-Bissau.

He further emphasized that global challenges, in particular, terrorism, also manifest at the subregional level and expressed his country’s solidarity with others in the world that are victims of such barbaric acts which completely disregard the values of humanity.

The Guinea-Bissau leader also informed the General Assembly that just prior to his leaving the country to attend the present session, an agreement was reached between the Prime Minister, the President of the National Popular Assembly and the two main political parties to overcome the parliamentary obstructions. He also thanked the Heads of State of Guinea and Sierra Leone as well as those of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries for their efforts in arriving at the solution.

Further, recalling that since his assumption of the leadership of Guinea-Bissau, there have been no confrontations involving the military or paramilitary forces, no one has been killed for political reasons, and no human rights violations have been reported.

The President also urged the UN to support his country in its efforts for national reconciliation, in implementing security sector reform, and for participation of the its armed forces in UN peacekeeping missions.

In her address, Vice-President of Gambia Isatou Njie Saidy also referred to the grave challenges posed by global terrorism and called for collective action among all countries to defeat this dangerous threat to world peace, security and stability.

Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice-President and Minister for Women's Affairs of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

“We are gravely concerned that certain rogue politicians and nefarious intellectuals are using the ‘terrorist card’ to revive and propagate the notion of a class of civilization in which Islam is at war with the West,” she said.

“Their lambasting Islam is completely unacceptable and will only serve to further polarize the world. There is no war between Islam and the world and we reject any campaign to connect a nexus between Islam and terrorism,” she stressed.

Further, drawing the attention of the world leaders present to conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and other regions of the world, the Vice-Present underscored, in particular, that in spite of the dangerous situation in Syria, geo-political interests continue to override humanitarian considerations.

Turning to the global economic situation and its implications for sustainable peace, the Gambian leader underlined that a world marked by disparity and divided into zones of affluence and poverty cannot enjoy durable peace and security. She further underscored that the future of Gambia, and that of wider Africa, is directly linked to the future of its women and its youth and highlighted that the sheer number of youth migrating for what they perceive are better opportunities are depleting towns and villages back home.

“Against this disturbing phenomenon, therefore, international cooperation that can create jobs for the youth should no longer be a slogan but a calculated strategy to keep them at home in gainful employment that will enhance their wellbeing and help in the development of their countries,” the Vice-President emphasized.

In her address, she also noted the importance of the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as the need of UN and Security Council reforms, especially on the number of permanent seats and the power of veto at the Council. She further underlined the need of proper reparations for historic slavery that massive populations of African origin suffered and the discrimination and violence they had to face.

Source: un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55024#.V-PF1oh97IU

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Boko Haram Islamist Jihadists Kill Eight more Christians in their War Against Christianity in Nigeria

22/09/2016

These Islamic terrorists claim that when they die during their evil acts, they are martyrs. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are simply dead terrorists. They have either taken their own lives - an intrinsically evil act - or died in the commission of another intrinsically evil act, taking the lives of the innocent. Make no mistake, there is no paradise awaiting such evil!

ABUJA, Nigeria (Catholic Online) - On the weekend of September 18, 2016, Boko Haram militants shot eight Christians who were traveling back from their Church services. Like the Islamic State (ISIS), these Islamic terrorists have proclaimed a Caliphate. And like the Islamic State they especially hate Jews and Christians.

While news reports multiplied in the aftermath of the evil actions of Islamic Muslim Extremists in Paris on the evening in slaughtering over 130 innocent people, the rising tide of Islamic extremism spread in Africa under the banner of this Islamic movement called Boko Haram. Yet, the world seems to pay very little attention.

On August 22, 2014, the FIDES Agency reported that 11,000 people fled the town of Gwoza, in the State of Borno in Northern Nigeria. They had to abandon their home or face the sword of Boko Haram. According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian affairs, 650,000 fled the onslaught of these evil Islamists between August of 2014 and May, 2013.

Boko Haram captured Baga, a town in the Northeastern Nigerian State of Borno, along with the neighboring town of Doron, Baga.  Reports of the assault emerged on January 3, 2015 in social media sources - but not in the main stream press. Boko Haram proudly claimed they captured the towns on January 4th. On January 8th, the first main stream  media reports of the capture and carnage emerged.

Photos of bodies strewn throughout the street circulated. The dead, some with heads severed and others bearing the marks of the cruelty which they endured, were thrown everywhere like trash. Reports of the dead reached as high as 2,000 people.Through satellite images, Amnesty International confirmed that the attack on Baga and Doron Baga was the largest and deadliest assault by Boko Haram it has ever analyzed. Along with the thousands killed or burned alive by the terrorists, 620 homes were destroyed in Baga and 3,100 in Doron Baga.

When the terrorist attack in Paris occurred, the devastation in Nigeria fell out of most press coverage. That is why I am writing once again to call our attention to this evil organization called Boko Haram. Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language. These Islamic terrorists hate all things western and Christian. They are militant Jihadist Muslims who intend to forcibly establish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law on everyone in Nigeria, just as the Islamic State is trying to do in lands formerly claimed by Iraq and Syria. 

They are also called  al-Sunnah wal Jamma - or Followers of the Prophet's Teachings. They refer to themselves officially as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which means "people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and Jihad".

Full report at: catholic.org/news/international/africa/story.php?id=70981

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-un,-india-calls-pakistan-a-terrorist-state/d/108637


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