New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 25 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Iraqi Analyst Discloses S. Arabia, Turkey's Plot to Transfer Al-Baghdadi to Libya

















Queen Margarethe II has called on Muslim migrants to adopt European values

 

Letter Sent To Temple Terrace Homes Says Muslim Candidate Unfit For Office

Don't Meddle With Shariat: Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum to Centre

Turkey Asks US to Isolate Gülen from His Network

Pak Govt Orders Immigrants’ Registration, Crackdown on 93 Seminaries

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Arab World

Iraqi Analyst Discloses S. Arabia, Turkey's Plot to Transfer Al-Baghdadi to Libya

ISIL's Treasury Man, Economic Brain Disappears with Millions of Dollars in Mosul

Iran Calls for Collective Efforts to Fight Global Terrorism

Hundreds of Syrian Army Special Forces Arrive in Aleppo

ISIL Fails to Prevail over Gov't Positions in Oil-Rich Regions in Homs

Iran, Russia in Close Cooperation on Syria

Syrian Army Soldiers Score More Victories against Terrorists in South-western Damascus

Iranian DM: US Support for Human Rights A Gesture to Rescue Terrorists in Aleppo

Syrian Artillery, Air Attacks Pre-empt Terrorists' Great Epic Operation in Aleppo

Suspected Syrian government air strike kills Turkey-backed rebels

Iran's Ambassador Praises Ties with Russia, Calls for Joint Anti-Terror Fight

Senior Terrorist Commander Killed in Syrian Air Raids in Hama

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North America

Letter Sent To Temple Terrace Homes Says Muslim Candidate Unfit For Office

Pakistan Should Act Against Militants Group Targeting Its Neighbours: US

Why Donald Trump is winning over many American Hindus

Northern, central Minnesota fertile ground for anti-Islam speakers

Young Muslim Americans unnerved by fear and loathing

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India

Don't Meddle With Shariat: Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum to Centre

Uniform Civil Code Will Not Be Brought Without Consensus: Minister

Bangla PM Said Youths in Border Areas Being Funded For Terror Acts In Bengal: BJP Leader

Muslim doctor held for ‘obscene’ Diwali post sent on WhatsApp group

Reforms in Telangana Waqf Board yielding positive results

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Mideast

Turkey Asks US to Isolate Gülen from His Network

July 15 Made Turkish Public Holiday to Mark Coup Bid

Diyarbakır Mayor Gültan Kışanak, co-mayor detained on terrorism charges

Istanbul should be center of UN: President Erdoğan

Turkish justice minister heads to US for Gülen extradition talks

Halt to democracy no way to fight coups: CHP

New police chiefs assigned to 61 provinces in Turkey

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Pakistan

Pak Govt Orders Immigrants’ Registration, Crackdown on 93 Seminaries

Pakistan Ranked As Second-Worst Country in Gender Gap Index

Polio worker gunned down in Khyber Agency

Team formed to probe Quetta police academy attack

At least five civilians injured in firing across Working Boundary: ISPR

Assailants came from Afghanistan, PM told

Locking down Islamabad not a matter of right, says senator

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South Asia

45 Including 19 ISIS Loyalists, 1 Arab Militant Killed In East Of Afghanistan

33 Afghan Civilians Shot Dead After Kidnapped In Ghor Province

NATO: Taliban rocket destroyed, 2 minor injuries caused in IED attack

Bangladesh police say two Islamists killed in gunfight

The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan slams Pak officials for irresponsible remarks regarding Quetta attack

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Africa

African Terror Franchise Now Has Competition from Islamic State

Tunisian Police Detain Two US Nationals for Terrorist Propaganda

Gambia Withdraws from ICC

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Southeast Asia

Some Indonesians 'Joining Pro-Islamic State Groups in Philippines'

Will a Rohingya Armed Struggle Be Legitimate?

Southeast Asian terror mastermind to stay at Guantanamo: US

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Europe

‘Living Here Doesn't Make You One of Us’ Danish Queen Tells Muslims to Adopt West's Values

European Parliament resolution condemns Iran for anti-Semitism

7th international Halal conference in Brussels

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraqi-analyst-discloses-s-arabia,-turkey-s-plot-to-transfer-al-baghdadi-to-libya/d/108926

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Iraqi Analyst Discloses S. Arabia, Turkey's Plot to Transfer Al-Baghdadi to Libya

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Iraqi military analyst disclosed that Riyadh and Ankara had hatched plots to transfer ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from Mosul to Libya but the massive presence of the popular forces and Russian fighter jets at the bordering areas of Iraq and Syria dissuaded them.

"The two countries were working to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey either by moving him through Mosul and Kirkuk to the North or through al-Qa'em and al-Ratba corridor to Deir Ezzur in Syria  and then to Turkey to eventually transfer him to Libya," Safa al-A'asam told Iraq's al-Ma'louma news agency on Wednesday.

He added that the ISIL concluded that transferring al-Baghdadi through Tal Afar region to Raqqa in Syria is also impossible given the massive presence of Hashd al-Sha'abi (popular forces) in the Southern front near Be’aaj district, Northwest of the Iraqi province of Nineveh as well as the numerous flights done by the Russian fighter jets over the Syrian bordering areas with Iraq.

"The ISIL is now working to find a different path through the Iraq-Syria borders to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey and then to Libya or any other countries," al-A'asam said.

The statements came as reports from western Iraq said earlier this month that al-Baghdadi has succumbed to his last month's fatal injuries and died in a region along the border with Syria.

"Al-Baghdadi had been severely wounded in the Al-Anbar battle in Western Iraq last month, and his wounds were so lethal that he could not at all move freely," a local Iraqi source told the Arabic service of the Russian Sputnik news agency.

The source said despite long treatment in Mosul, the general health conditions of the ISIL leader deteriorated due to "a deep abdominal cut, damage to his liver and crippling wounds in his left limbs".

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000803

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Letter Sent To Temple Terrace Homes Says Muslim Candidate Unfit For Office

October 26, 2016

TEMPLE TERRACE — City Council candidate Wael Odeh has lived more than three decades in this town of 25,000 straddling the Hillsborough River.

He is a husband, father of four and grandfather of three. As a civil engineer, he has designed bridges and roads throughout the United States.

Odeh is also a Muslim, born in Palestinian territory, and someone believes that’s enough to disqualify him from election to the City Council.

An anonymous letter has been mailed to a number of addresses in Temple Terrace questioning whether City Hall is safe with a Muslim working there and whether Odeh has ties to terrorism.

Odeh is offended by the blanket implications.

“If it was directed at me personally it would not be an issue, but this thing is hitting the more than 40,000 Muslims living in the Tampa Bay area,” Odeh said. “It is absurd. Not every Muslim is radical. We are human beings.”

The typewritten, single-spaced, one-page letter is dated October 2016. Among a number of questions it poses: “Could Odeh’s election be a foot in the door of Sharia Law’s subtle influence in our community?”

“This is an unfortunate attempt to split the community,” Odeh said. “We are trying to put the community back together.”

Sharia is the detailed system of religious law developed by Muslim scholars in the early centuries of Islam and still in force among fundamentalists.

Among other questions raised in the letter are why Odeh has not revealed in campaign mailers where he was born.

Odeh’s response: “Does he want to know where the other candidates were born?” He notes that he has lived in the United States for 38 of his 56 years and says, “My country now is America.”

The letter also questions whether he forces his wife into a subservient role, as do some observers of sharia.

“My wife is definitely not subservient to me,” Odeh said with a chuckle.

In addition, the letter says the Council on American-Islamic Relations endorses Odeh and claims the group has links to terrorism. CAIR is a nonprofit civil rights organization focused on promoting a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America, according to its website. Its non-profit status prohibits candidate endorsements.

In a statement to the Times, CAIR Florida’s government affairs director Laila Abdelaziz said, “This unfounded and slanderous attack on Mr. Odeh is concerning, and we hope Temple Terrace residents, community leaders and neighbors will reject its Islamophobic message.”

Still, Temple Terrace City Council member Grant Rimbey said he worries the truth may not matter to a certain block of voters.

“That is the sad reality,” Rimbey said. “I think there is racism in the city” and there are people “who want to keep Temple Terrace looking like it did in 1952 forever.”

Rimbey and Odeh estimate that 20 to 25 percent of Temple Terrace’s population is Muslim.

The anonymous letter came in envelopes identifiable only by a St. Petersburg postmark. The addresses were printed on mailing labels. Rimbey said he heard from a dozen recipients of the letter, one an Episcopal church — an indication, he said, that the sender was seeking a mass audience.

Most seem to have been sent to addresses on the north end of the city, where he said voters generally are registered as Republicans.

Overall, Temple Terrace voters are mostly Democratic, with 7,754 registered in the party compared to 4,891 Republicans and 4,036 with no party affiliation, according to the most recent Hillsborough County supervisor of elections numbers.

The City Council race is bipartisan.

Six candidates have applied for two open seats on the council; the two candidates recording the most votes Nov. 8 will fill the positions.

Odeh said he invites anyone with questions about Muslims to reach out to him — including the author of the anonymous letter.

“If he wanted to learn more, he should have come to me directly.”

Source: tbo.com/news/politics/letter-sent-to-temple-terrace-homes-says-muslim-candidate-unfit-for-office-20161026/

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Don't Meddle With Shariat: Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum to Centre

Oct 26, 2016

VIJAYAWADA: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that the lives of Muslim women cannot be ruined with triple Talaq, Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum has reacted strongly asking the government not to interfere with the Shariat.

At a press meet here on Tuesday, convenor of the forum Mufti Mohammed Abdul Qadeer Razvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is poking its nose in the personal law of Muslims instead of solving the socio-economic problems faced by the community. "Muslims the world over practise equality between men and women in accordance with the Quran. The BJP, instead of resolving the problems faced by us, is just interfering with personal laws and lives," he said.

Co-convenor of the forum Mohammad Altaf Raza fumed that the BJP-led Union government is trying to nullify the Muslim personal law which has been in practice even before India got its Independence. "The government, which has failed to implement the recommendations of Sachar and Ranganath Misra committees on Muslim welfare, is trying to invalidate the law which has been in practice since 1937. When lakhs of acres of Wakf lands are being neglected and are being encroached upon, the government is talking about Muslims' personal laws. It is shameful," he said.

He added that Muslims played a pivotal role during the freedom struggle and threatened to go on an agitation if the Union government continues to hurt the sentiments of the community. "If the government is really committed to the welfare of Muslims, it should focus on the socio-economic issues affecting the community, rather than politicising personal laws," he said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vijayawada/Dont-meddle-with-Shariat-Muslim-forum-to-Centre/articleshow/55060806.cms

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Turkey asks US to isolate Gülen from his network

October 26, 2016

Ankara is set to ask Washington to arrest the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, accused of masterminding the bloody July 15 coup attempt, in order to “isolate” him from his network, while legal proceedings on the demand to extradite Gülen continue, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Gülen has been using communications and other facilities in the U.S. to give instructions to his network around the world. This is a clear and present threat to Turkey that must be stopped,” Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 25.

He also noted that the immediate aim of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ’s contacts with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other officials in Washington was to secure Gülen’s temporary arrest, rather than focusing on his extradition.

“The Americans are telling us that Gülen’s extradition is a matter of law and cannot be secured simply by political will. We understand that the judiciary is independent of politics. But we also want to hear an expression of their political will. We want to see a stance demonstrating that they are against the coup attempt in Turkey and stand for democracy. A temporary arrest would be enough to serve that purpose. There are legal grounds for this. The 10th article of the exchange of criminals agreement between Turkey and the U.S., dated 1981, allows the temporary arrest of people for whom arrest warrants have been issued until legal proceedings are completed. It has a 60-day limit but it could be extended,” Kurtulmuş also said.

Before departing from Turkey, Justice Minister Bozdağ said he had “more than enough” material in the files to provide a basis for the temporary arrest of Gülen, which he would give to his American counterpart. Members of parliament from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), as well as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) will be accompanying Bozdağ during his contacts, as they share the widespread view in Turkey that it was Gülen’s followers who committed the coup.

The files against Gülen contain testimonies of military and police officers and judiciary members who have been arrested since the coup attempt and who have applied to access the repentance law, which suggests a reduction in sentences if information given about a crime proves correct. “There are a number of important statements, some of which reach directly up to Gülen himself,” Kurtulmuş said on the files carried by Bozdağ.

Information harvested from the use of the mobile application ByLock gives further support to the Gülen files, Kurtulmuş added. “ByLock is evidence that helps us understand the Gülen network and its hierarchy, especially when combined with the statements and testimonies,” he said.

In an interview published in Hürriyet on Oct. 24, David Keynes, the registered owner of the Lithuania-operated ByLock system, said he agreed that the existence of ByLock in somebody’s phone could be considered as a link to the Gülen network.

“It’s not only Gülen that we are asking for,” Kurtulmuş said. “We have managed to map almost the entire Gülen network in the U.S. and Europe, name by name, which our justice minister is going to share with our American allies. We have respect for their legal system and expect them to understand the immediate danger we are facing.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-asks-us-to-isolate-gulen-from-his-network.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105366&NewsCatID=409

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Pak Govt Orders Immigrants’ Registration, Crackdown On 93 Seminaries

Oct 26, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Tuesday decided to register all immigrants living in the metropolis, including slum areas, and on its outskirts to have their complete database, and constituted 15 teams to launch this exercise.

The home department would design a proforma to collect data of each and every immigrant, legal or illegal, about “who is who and where he lives and what he does”, it was decided at a special meeting held at CM House. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who presided over the meeting, also directed the law enforcement agencies to crack down on drug dealers and the seminaries which had strong links with terrorists or banned outfits. He asked the IGP and the Rangers DG to strengthen their checkpoints at Hub to keep a check on the movement of terrorists and set up a working group to coordinate with the Balochistan government in this regard on a regular basis.

CM asks law enforcers to present progress reports on key decisions in provincial apex committee meeting

The directives were part of the policy decisions taken at the meeting after the chief minister had been briefed about the ongoing targeted operation, credible information about the terror links of 93 seminaries, and clues given by some recently held high-profile terrorists regarding their accomplices in the city and their plans.

The meeting was attended by the provincial heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies besides chief secretary Siddique Memon, home secretary Shakeel Ahmed Mangnejo, adviser to the chief minister on law Murtaza Wahab and information adviser Maula Bux Chandio.

Before any deliberations, they condemned the terror attack on the police training centre in Quetta, offered Fateha for those killed in the incident, and expressed solidarity with the people of Balochistan.

Reviewing the law and order situation in Sindh in general and Karachi in particular, the chief minister termed the overall situation satisfactory because of the wonderful job done by the law enforcement agencies. “I appreciate all of you for your efficient work,” he said while addressing the chiefs of the agencies. However, he highlighted the need to improve their watch and ward.

Earlier, the heads of law enforcement agencies briefed the participant in the meeting on security matters. They were informed that illegal immigrants living in the city, on its outskirts or those in slum areas were either directly involved in terrorist activities or harbouring and supporting terrorists.

The meeting was further informed that around 93 madressahs (seminaries) had solid links with terrorists or banned outfits. The intelligence agencies had gathered credible information about activities at these places. The chief minister directed the Rangers and police to start an operation against them. “We will not allow anybody to shed blood of innocent people in the name of religion or using sacred places,” he said.

The chief minister was also given a report on the operation launched to bulldoze the offices of parties or groups built on government land and gave his approval to extend the operation of bulldozing illegal constructions on government land near markets, parks and seminaries next month.

Mr Shah said that he would call an apex committee meeting shortly to discuss law and order issues. By the time, he added, the law enforcement agencies should start the registration process and other operations as decided in the meeting and present their progress reports in the apex committee meeting.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292215/govt-orders-immigrants-registration-crackdown-on-93-seminaries

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Arab World

Iraqi Analyst Discloses S. Arabia, Turkey's Plot to Transfer Al-Baghdadi to Libya

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Iraqi military analyst disclosed that Riyadh and Ankara had hatched plots to transfer ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from Mosul to Libya but the massive presence of the popular forces and Russian fighter jets at the bordering areas of Iraq and Syria dissuaded them.

"The two countries were working to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey either by moving him through Mosul and Kirkuk to the North or through al-Qa'em and al-Ratba corridor to Deir Ezzur in Syria  and then to Turkey to eventually transfer him to Libya," Safa al-A'asam told Iraq's al-Ma'louma news agency on Wednesday.

He added that the ISIL concluded that transferring al-Baghdadi through Tal Afar region to Raqqa in Syria is also impossible given the massive presence of Hashd al-Sha'abi (popular forces) in the Southern front near Be’aaj district, Northwest of the Iraqi province of Nineveh as well as the numerous flights done by the Russian fighter jets over the Syrian bordering areas with Iraq.

"The ISIL is now working to find a different path through the Iraq-Syria borders to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey and then to Libya or any other countries," al-A'asam said.

The statements came as reports from western Iraq said earlier this month that al-Baghdadi has succumbed to his last month's fatal injuries and died in a region along the border with Syria.

"Al-Baghdadi had been severely wounded in the Al-Anbar battle in Western Iraq last month, and his wounds were so lethal that he could not at all move freely," a local Iraqi source told the Arabic service of the Russian Sputnik news agency.

The source said despite long treatment in Mosul, the general health conditions of the ISIL leader deteriorated due to "a deep abdominal cut, damage to his liver and crippling wounds in his left limbs".

Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000803

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ISIL's Treasury Man, Economic Brain Disappears with Millions of Dollars in Mosul

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A top ISIL member in charge of the terrorist group's financial resources along with a German woman who trained ISIL's female suicide attackers fled with millions of dollars from the city of Mosul in Nineveh province, media reports said Wednesday.

"ISIL's financial chief known as Abi Motaz al-Qahtani has disappeared with a German woman who was in charge of training ISIL's female suicide bombers," the Arabic-language al-Sumeriya news channel quoted a local source as saying on Wednesday.

The source noted that the disappearance of al-Qahtani and the unnamed German woman has been a planned move as they have escaped with important dossiers and millions of dollars in cash.

The fleeing of the ISIL's financial chief came as Iraq's joint military forces are getting closer to seize back Mosul city.

In early August, ISIL’s former financial resources chief in Mosul reportedly stole a sizable amount of money and fled along with a number of militants.

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official from Mosul said in a statement that ‘ISIL’s Wali  of Baitul-Mal’ in Mosul along with three other militants have fled the state to an unknown location after they took out a large amount of money and other valuable archaeological pieces from the group’s treasury known as Baitul-Mal, BasNews reported.

The ISIL later executed six guards of its treasury building on charge of facilitating the robbery, the statement added.

The Iraq's second largest city of Mosul fell to the ISIL militants in mid-2014, and the city became the group's main bastion in Iraq which it has been keeping the hold of it ever since.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000784

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Iran Calls for Collective Efforts to Fight Global Terrorism

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani underlined the need for cooperation among all countries to fight against terrorism in the region.

"The campaign against terrorism requires international determination," Larijani said in a meeting with President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic in Tehran on Tuesday.

The Iranian parliament speaker said that the pace of terrorist events in the region is higher than political solutions and this factor has created obstacles in the way of resolving the issue.

"Terrorism poses a threat to the security of all countries as acts of terror have increased over the recent years," Larijani said, adding, "Terrorism has now turned into a big problem in the region and the world."

The Bosnian president, for his part, said his country believes that terrorism has nothing to do with true Islam and urged all Muslim countries to engage in a joint fight against the malicious phenomenon.

Izetbegovic voiced his country's deep confidence in Iran, and said, "Iran as a stable country and a regional power can help solve the current issues in the region."

The Bosnian president said that his government is resolved to counter sectarianism and extremism, and added, "Bosnia-Herzegovina has taken positive steps in this respect.

The Bosnian president arrived in Tehran on Monday at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Izetbegovic has held talks with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Rouhani, and Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Iranian and Bosnian officials signed a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of business cooperation and mutual investment in the presence of President Rouhani and President Izetbegovic.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000598

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Hundreds of Syrian Army Special Forces Arrive in Aleppo

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Experienced commandoes of Desert Hawks Brigade have arrived in Aleppo city to join a large-scale battle against the terrorist groups in the region, military sources disclosed on Wednesday.

"The Syrian Special Forces, also known as Liwa Suqour al-Sahra, are also experienced in street battle," the sources said, adding, "The Brigade will lead the operation of government forces to drive Jeish al-Fatah out of Aleppo city and its outskirts in the next few days."

A military source disclosed on Tuesday that the Syrian Army troops and Air Force struck a large gathering of the terrorist groups in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city, killing or wounding scores of them and foiling their plan to hit government strongholds.

"Following sensitive intel received from army agent in the region, the Syrian government forces and fighter jets carried out surprise attacks on terrorists' concentration centers in Haraytan and al-Malaah regions near Castello road to preempt them and defuse their plan for raiding army positions in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city," an army officer told FNA.

"Dozens of militants were killed or wounded in the attack, and now the Castello road is safe and under the army's full control," he added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000475

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ISIL Fails to Prevail over Gov't Positions in Oil-Rich Regions in Homs

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces repelled ISIL's offensive on their defense lines in al-Maher oilfield in Eastern Homs, inflicting several casualties on the terrorists.

The Syrian government forces fended of ISIL's attack to recapture the position they have lost in the battles of the last several days.

The ISIL terrorists suffered a number of casualties in the failed attack.

Meantime, Syrian fighter jets pounded ISIL's centers in Arak oilfield and its nearby areas, near the town of al-Sukhnah and in the village of al-Tibeh in Eastern Homs.

Syrian army men also clashed with terrorist groups of Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly known as the al-Nusra Front), Ahrar al-Sham and Rejalollah near the town of al-Rastan blocking their invasion.

Military sources said on Tuesday that the Syrian Army and popular forces continued to beat ISIL terrorists back from two main oil-rich regions in Eastern Homs, establishing a 10-kilometer-deep buffer zone around one of them.

The Syrian ground troops that received strong air support from the Syrian and Russian fighter strikers inflicted major losses on the ISIL terrorists, driving the Takfiri terrorists out of more strategic heights in al-Sha'er oil-rich region.

In the meantime, the army soldiers pushed ISIL back from a terrain near al-Maher oilfield and established a deep buffer zone around the energy field.

Positions of Fatah al-Sham Front in the villages of Deir Foul and al-Za'afaraniyeh and al-Rastasn region in Northern Homs also came under heavy attacks by the Syrian army men.

Syrian military forces also targeted terrorists' movements in the villages of Rahoum, Mas'adeh, Um al-Rish and Salam al-Sharghiyeh, destroying their bases and military vehicles.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000741

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Iran, Russia in Close Cooperation on Syria

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee underlined close cooperation between his country and Russia in assisting Syria with the war on terrorist groups.

"In general, Iran and Russia are working closely on the Syrian issue. Now there are no serious problems here," Sanayee told Ria Novosti news agency on Wednesday.

He noted that "regular consultations on settlement of the Syrian issue are underway between Iran and Russia at different levels", including the ministers and deputy ministers.

His remarks came after Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Jagarian underlined strategic ties between Tehran and Moscow, and said Russian officials inform their Iranian counterparts of details of their negotiations with the US on Syria.

"Our Iranian friends are informed of the details of what we negotiate with the US on Syria," Jagarian said in an interview with a Persian-language daily on Tuesday.

Stressing that Russia would never cut a deal with the US that could endanger Iran and its interests, he said, "Everything is transparent and Iranian officials are kept informed."

Jagarian said Tehran and Moscow exchange views on Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Central Asia on a routine basis, and the two states have also held talks on Yemen.

Noting that Russia views Iran as a friendly state, he said, "Mr. Putin has a positive view of Iran, and the Iranian Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and Mr. Rouhani also have a positive view of Russia."

Earlier this month, Syrian Deputy Information Minister Ali al-Ahmad underlined that Iran and Russia are helping Damascus in its anti-terrorism efforts to prevent Washington's implementation of its unilateralism policies.

"I never believe that Russia will change its positions under the US pressures since this issue is not merely related to Syria and its national security but it is related to Russia's future geopolitics and governing the world and therefore, it is correct that the war in Syria is its own battle, but there is no doubt that it is also Iran and Russia's battle to prevent the US move to rule the world unilaterally," Ahmad said.

Noting that Russia doesn’t want any conflict with the US or NATO, he said that such a conflict will be highly dangerous for international peace and security.

Meantime, Ahmad underlined that Tehran and Moscow will never withdraw from the achievements they have gained, and they will become more powerful each day and partner in governing the world.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000690

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Syrian Army Soldiers Score More Victories against Terrorists in Southwestern Damascus

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian military forces continued to beat the terrorist groups back from more lands in Khan al-Sheih region in Western Ghouta, capturing several farms after brief clashes.

Syrian army troops struck terrorists' defense lines in the farms between the Northwestern side of the town of Khan al-Sheih and the Southwestern side of the town of al-Zakiyeh, inflicting heavy casualties on the militants and capturing several farms.

The terrorist groups' military equipment sustained major damage in the attack.

In relevant developments in the province on Sunday, Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as the al-Nusra) Front suffered a heavy death toll in a heavy army raid and ordered withdrawal from key farms near Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta.

Syrian Army soldiers struck heavily the positions of Fatah al-Sham and captured al-Bawayeh farms, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants.

The Syrian army men backed up by the Syrian fighter jets' air support further made a headway in the Southwestern flank of Khan al-Sheih and prevailed over the terrorists in the region after hours of non-stop battle.

After seizing control over al-Bawayeh farms and the areas Southwest of Khan al-Sheih, the army deployed fresh forces to the opposite side of the city to make a headway from the Southeast.

Meantime, Retired Army General Heisam Hassoun said the Syrian army is nearing the end of its large-scale military operations in Western Ghouta and the war on terrorism in the Western parts of Damascus province will end soon as tens of towns and cities have been purged of terrorists.

"The final phase of the military operations in the Western countryside of Damascus, specifically in Western Ghouta is underway," Gen. Hassoun told FNA on Tuesday.

He said the Syrian army has now focused on cutting off all the supply and defense lines of the terrorists, specially after it could score a major achievement in winning control over the town of Darkhabieh and establishing security there.

"The security chain will be expanded further by spreading control over the region between Darkhabieh and Darousha towns," he added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000678

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Iranian DM: US Support for Human Rights A Gesture to Rescue Terrorists in Aleppo

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan blasted the US and its allies for their hollow human rights slogans, and said they are blocking evacuation of civilians from Aleppo war zone through their continued support for the terrorist groups.

"On one hand, the US and its regional and trans-regional allies chant humanitarian slogans, and on the other hand, they give the green light to the terrorist groups affiliated to them, including Fatah al-Sham Front, formerly al-Nusra Front, to prevent people's exit from the military regions so that they can use people as human shield, distort the Syrian army's anti-terrorism operations and guarantee the terrorists' survival with such measures," General Dehqan said in Tehran on Wednesday.

He warned that the western powers and their regional allies are attempting to create and spread terrorism and extremism to support the Zionist regime and continue instability in the region and their hegemonic presence.

General Dehqan stressed the necessity for the US and its allies to terminate their support for terrorism, abandon their evil plots to disintegrate the regional states, recognize the legal governments and help them to fight against terrorism and hold internal talks, adding that these are the needed recipe for ending the crisis.

Earlier this month, Russian Foreign Ministry said that terrorists of Fatah al-Sham Front are using civilians as their shield during battles in the Syrian Northern city of Aleppo, noting that ongoing situation in the flashpoint city remains tense.

"The situation in Syria remains tense, especially in the Northern parts of the country with battles going on in Aleppo and around it where al-Nusra Front militants use civilians as human shield," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"So far we see in the actions of primarily Western countries no concern for the humanitarian situation in Syria, but the desire to protect al-Nusra, its affiliated forces and other militant groups," Zakharova said.

The Syrian government has created safe corridors for the evacuation of civilians but the militants prevent them from leaving Aleppo and even fire at those people who want to pass through the corridors.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000366

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Syrian Artillery, Air Attacks Preempt Terrorists' Great Epic Operation in Aleppo

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian and Syrian warplanes and artillery units targeted reinforcements, gatherings and military columns of the terrorist groups in Northern and Western Aleppo, preventing their move towards Aleppo city to lift the army siege on the militant-held districts, Arab media reported.

Al-Watan reported that the terrorist groups in the Northern and Western territories of Aleppo province had been preparing to launch a large-scale operation, codenamed Great Epic Operation, against government positions around Aleppo city, but the Syrian armed forces and their Russian allies in a preemptive move attacked the militants' gatherings and foiled their plan.

"The Syrian Army's artillery units shelled the terrorists' gathering in the town of Kafr Dael in Northern Aleppo and near the town of al-Mansoureh in the Western countryside of Aleppo city, inflicting heavy losses on the militants, who were preparing to move towards Aleppo city," the source said.

"In the meantime, the Syrian and Russian fighter jets targeted a convoy of terrorist reinforcements, as they were moving into the region held by Turkey-backed terrorists of Nouralddeen al-Zinki from Idlib, inflicting a heavy death toll on them," the source went on to say.

"Three convoys of fresh militants were targeted and a large number of fighters were killed or wounded before arriving in al-Zinki-held region, which was deemed as the terrorists' start point for launching Great Epic Operation," the source added. 

A military source disclosed on Tuesday that the Syrian Army troops and Air Force struck a large gathering of the terrorist groups in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city, killing or wounding scores of them and foiling their plan to hit government strongholds.

"Following sensitive intel received from army agent in the region, the Syrian government forces and fighter jets carried out surprise attacks on terrorists' concentration centers in Haraytan and al-Malaah regions near Castello road to preempt them and defuse their plan for raiding army positions in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city," an army officer told FNA.

"Dozens of militants were killed or wounded in the attack, and now the Castello road is safe and under the army's full control," he added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000634

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Suspected Syrian government air strike kills Turkey-backed rebels

October 26, 2016

A suspected Syrian army helicopter dropped barrel bombs on Turkish-backed rebels on Oct. 25, killing two rebels, the Turkish military has said.

A helicopter “assessed to belong to regime forces” bombed the rebels in the Jabal Naif village near Akhtarin, a town 5 kilometers southeast of Dabiq, the Turkish military said in a statement on Oct. 26.

Dabiq is a former Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stronghold which the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels seized from the jihadists this month within the scope of Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation.

Two FSA rebels were killed and five wounded, the statement said.

The Syrian military said last week the presence of Turkish troops on Syrian soil was a “dangerous escalation and flagrant breach of Syria’s sovereignty.” It warned it would bring down any Turkish warplanes entering Syrian air space.

Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria in late August, using its armor and air power to help FSA fighters take territory near the border held by ISIL.

The statement said the Turkish army hit 99 ISIL and 18 Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party Union (PYD) targets as part of the same operation, now in its 64th day.       

Turkey regards the PYD as a terror organization on grounds of its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Two more opposition fighters were killed and 21 others were injured in a separate car bomb car attack by ISIL in the southeastern Akhtarin region, the military added.      

Opposition forces have managed to gain control of around 163 residential districts and 1,300 square kilometers since the beginning of the operation, the military added.       

At least two ISIL militants were also killed, while a vehicle and a building were destroyed in Susiyan in an air strike carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces, the military said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/suspected-syrian-government-air-strike-kills-turkey-backed-rebels.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105376&NewsCatID=352

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Iran's Ambassador Praises Ties With Russia, Calls for Joint Anti-Terror Fight

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei said he appreciates bilateral relations with Russia and called for joint efforts in the struggle against terrorism.

Speaking in an interview with Sputnik, the diplomat talked about the current level of relations between Moscow and Tehran in a number of spheres, including defense, economy, diplomacy and struggle against terrorism.

Diplomatic Ties, State Visits The level of relations between the two nations could be characterized by the intensity and frequency of interstate contacts.

Sanaei listed a number of planned visits of Russian officials to the Asian nation. He said that the Iranian authorities were awaiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to the country later in the year, however the visit of the minister was not on the official agenda yet.

"Our ministers hold regular phone consultations. They have also met in Lausanne recently, this means that there is an active exchange of views. Yes, Iran is awaiting the visit of Lavrov and it has been reported that [it will take place] this year, but it is still not in the program [of official visits].

Maybe it is caused by the fact that the [foreign] ministers [of the two countries] often meet at other venues," Sanaei said. He added that diplomats from the two foreign ministries would meet in Tehran in December to discuss consular ties, as well as visa-free travel for the citizens of the two nations. "In December, Tehran will host a commission on consular cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two countries," Ambassador Mehdi Sanaei said.

Russia and Iran have already simplified visa rules in place for their nationals – business people, scientists, educators and several other categories of travelers – which have been in force since February 2016. "Now they are talking about abolishing visa requirements for tourist groups," Sanaei said, adding the two sides were going to raise this question at the December meeting. "I hope they will strike common ground."

The ambassador told Sputnik about the upcoming visit of Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, who is expected to visit Iran on November 13-14 for talks with her Iranian counterpart. The officials from both Iran and Russia were also expected to discuss economic cooperation at the next session of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission in December.

"As for economy, the most significant event is the scheduled meeting of the [Russian-Iranian] intergovernmental commission on December 5-7 in Tehran. It is very important event, which I hope, will give a new impetus to our trade and economic relations," Sanaei said.

According to the ambassador, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who is also the commission's co-chair, is expected to attend the meeting. Oil, Eenergy The two nations are among the biggest oil producers in the world that is why the cooperation in the energy sphere, as well as the countries' response to falling oil prices, was also important for both Iran and Russia.

Speaking about cooperation in the sphere of oil production, the ambassador said that Russia’s energy company Rosneft could participate in oil extraction and refining projects in Iran. "Rosneft is cooperating directly with the Petroleum Ministry and the headquarters [for Executing the Order of the Imam (Setad)]… The headquarters has various projects, and Rosneft may invest and participate in them," Sanaei said, specifying that these projects include both oil extraction and its processing.

The ambassador said that the two nations were also engaged in active and productive consultations on steps to curb oil production to stabilize global oil market. "Consultations between Iran and Russia on this issue are ongoing, they are productive.

The [Iranian and Russian] ministers… met in Algeria, they are in constant contact. I think that the cooperation between Iran and Russia in this respect is very important," Sanaei said, commenting an agreement of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member states on oil output freeze, which was reached on September 25 in Algeria. According to the diplomat, the two countries are also expected to hold the first stone-laying ceremony of the Bandar Abbas power plant in Iran's Hormozgan province soon.

"The ceremony of the first stone laying of four units of the Bandar Abbas power plant, which will be constructed by the Russian company Technopromexport together with the Iranian partners, will take place soon.

The units' capacity is 350 and 400 MW with the total output of 1,400 MW," Sanaei said. Defense Ties Moscow and Tehran have been long-time partners in the field of military and technical cooperation. For example, Russia has recently concluded the contract on supplying Iran with divisions of S-300 missile systems to Iran.

Speaking about the relations between the two sides in the sphere, the diplomat said that Tehran was looking to expand the existing level of relations. "Iran is interested in continuing cooperation in defense area with Russia and even in expanding and developing it.

I hope that even in those sectors that require coordination with the UN Security Council and need a resolution. I hope that the process of discussing the possibility of obtaining such a permit will begin," Sanaei said, The diplomat also expressed hope that the bilateral defense cooperation would reach the levels that would allow the two countries to agree on significant volumes of arms purchases. At the same time the ambassador added that the issue of the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defense systems to Iran was not under discussion.

Syria, Struggle With Terrorism Both Iran and Russia have been supporting Syria's authorities in the ongoing war against numerous terrorist groups, such as Daesh for a long time. Iran has even allowed Russia's Aerospace Forces to operate from the base in the mountainous western Hamadan province against the terrorist positions in mid-August.

"Generally, Iran and Russia closely cooperate on the issue of Syria. Now there are no significant problems," Sanaei said, answering a question about the cooperation between the two nations on Syria and the issue of use of the Hamadan air base by the Russian Aerospace Forces.

The diplomat added that the positions of the two nations were similar in regard to the threat posed by terrorism, adding that the Western countries should fight against terrorism not in word, but in deed. "Terrorism is the primary threat and the most important problem for Iran and Russia both in theory and in practice.

That's why we consider that all the forces should be combined to tackle this issue and only after that [the countries could] be engaged in other problems. And there are the Western states that say in theory that terrorism is a problem, but in practice they sometimes have other priorities and plans. That's why the problem cannot be solved yet," Sanaei said. The ambassador said that Western countries should also change their position on the Syrian crisis in order to reach the settlement of the ongoing conflict. "It is very important that the West's position and approach to the Middle Eastern issue change.

I think that if there is any common solution [to the Syrian crisis], it could be achieved only after the correction of the position by West," the Sanaei said. On October 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi announced the start of a military operation to recapture Mosul from Daesh with the help of airstrikes by the US-led international coalition. Ambassador Sanaei said the Iranian government stood by Iraq and believed a strong government in Baghdad benefited the entire region.

He added that efforts aimed at joining forces to liberate Mosul occupied by the Daesh group, outlawed in many countries, including Russia, would be a positive step only if the move was made within the framework of the struggle against terrorism.

"This will be a positive development only as part of the effort to fight terrorism, rather than a tool in a geopolitical struggle or part of a plan, for instance in the US election race," the Iranian diplomat said, commenting on a recent US presidential candidate Donald Trump's claim that Iran would be the "big winner" in Mosul.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000382

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Senior Terrorist Commander Killed in Syrian Air Raids in Hama

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious field commander of Tajamo al-Ezzah terrorist group was killed in heavy airstrikes in Northern Hama on Wednesday.

Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists' concentration centers and gatherings near the towns of Souran, al-Latamina, Ma'an, Tal Bazam, Taybat al-Imam and Kafr Zita, killing scores of the militants, including commander of Tajamo al-Ezzah Mohammad al-Ashtar.

Several missile launchpads, mortar launchers and military vehicles of the terrorist groups were destroyed in the airstrikes as well.

Field sources said on Tuesday that Syrian military forces continued their advances  near the militant-held town of Souran and Taybat al-Imam, beating them back from more strongholds.

"Syrian government force, backed up by the Syrian and Russian fighter jets, stormed terrorists' bases and defense lines in the towns of Kafr Zita, al-Latamina, and near the towns of Ma'an, al-Naseriyeh and Souran, destroying militants' bases, artilleries and mortar launchers," the sources said.

"Several terrorists were also killed and several more were injured in the Syrian soldiers' offensive in the Eastern part of Souran, backed up by air force and artillery units.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000538

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North America

Letter Sent To Temple Terrace Homes Says Muslim Candidate Unfit For Office

October 26, 2016

TEMPLE TERRACE — City Council candidate Wael Odeh has lived more than three decades in this town of 25,000 straddling the Hillsborough River.

He is a husband, father of four and grandfather of three. As a civil engineer, he has designed bridges and roads throughout the United States.

Odeh is also a Muslim, born in Palestinian territory, and someone believes that’s enough to disqualify him from election to the City Council.

An anonymous letter has been mailed to a number of addresses in Temple Terrace questioning whether City Hall is safe with a Muslim working there and whether Odeh has ties to terrorism.

Odeh is offended by the blanket implications.

“If it was directed at me personally it would not be an issue, but this thing is hitting the more than 40,000 Muslims living in the Tampa Bay area,” Odeh said. “It is absurd. Not every Muslim is radical. We are human beings.”

The typewritten, single-spaced, one-page letter is dated October 2016. Among a number of questions it poses: “Could Odeh’s election be a foot in the door of Sharia Law’s subtle influence in our community?”

“This is an unfortunate attempt to split the community,” Odeh said. “We are trying to put the community back together.”

Sharia is the detailed system of religious law developed by Muslim scholars in the early centuries of Islam and still in force among fundamentalists.

Among other questions raised in the letter are why Odeh has not revealed in campaign mailers where he was born.

Odeh’s response: “Does he want to know where the other candidates were born?” He notes that he has lived in the United States for 38 of his 56 years and says, “My country now is America.”

The letter also questions whether he forces his wife into a subservient role, as do some observers of sharia.

“My wife is definitely not subservient to me,” Odeh said with a chuckle.

In addition, the letter says the Council on American-Islamic Relations endorses Odeh and claims the group has links to terrorism. CAIR is a nonprofit civil rights organization focused on promoting a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America, according to its website. Its non-profit status prohibits candidate endorsements.

In a statement to the Times, CAIR Florida’s government affairs director Laila Abdelaziz said, “This unfounded and slanderous attack on Mr. Odeh is concerning, and we hope Temple Terrace residents, community leaders and neighbors will reject its Islamophobic message.”

Still, Temple Terrace City Council member Grant Rimbey said he worries the truth may not matter to a certain block of voters.

“That is the sad reality,” Rimbey said. “I think there is racism in the city” and there are people “who want to keep Temple Terrace looking like it did in 1952 forever.”

Rimbey and Odeh estimate that 20 to 25 percent of Temple Terrace’s population is Muslim.

The anonymous letter came in envelopes identifiable only by a St. Petersburg postmark. The addresses were printed on mailing labels. Rimbey said he heard from a dozen recipients of the letter, one an Episcopal church — an indication, he said, that the sender was seeking a mass audience.

Most seem to have been sent to addresses on the north end of the city, where he said voters generally are registered as Republicans.

Overall, Temple Terrace voters are mostly Democratic, with 7,754 registered in the party compared to 4,891 Republicans and 4,036 with no party affiliation, according to the most recent Hillsborough County supervisor of elections numbers.

The City Council race is bipartisan.

Six candidates have applied for two open seats on the council; the two candidates recording the most votes Nov. 8 will fill the positions.

Odeh said he invites anyone with questions about Muslims to reach out to him — including the author of the anonymous letter.

“If he wanted to learn more, he should have come to me directly.”

Source: tbo.com/news/politics/letter-sent-to-temple-terrace-homes-says-muslim-candidate-unfit-for-office-20161026/

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Pakistan should act against militants group targeting its neighbors: US

Wed Oct 26 2016

The US Department of State has said Pakistan can contribute directly to regional peace by acting against militants on its soil.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the State Department, said “We believe that Pakistan can directly contribute to regional stability by acting against militants on Pakistani soil who seek to attack its neighbors.”

Kirby was responding to a question regarding the trip of a Taliban delegation to Islamabad from Qatar with initial reports suggesting the Taliban leaders visited the country to update Pakistani officials regarding the secret talks with the Afghan government.

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Taliban group leaders to use its soil for executing attacks in Afghanistan which causes most of the casualties to the ordinary Afghan civilians.

However, Pakistan has repeatedly rejected the allegations although Pakistan’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz admitted earlier this year that the country has influence on the group and could use certain leverages to force the group to join peace talks.

Aziz confirmed earlier this week that the leaders of the Taliban group have visited Pakistan to discuss peace talks with the Afghan government.

Earlier, reports emerged suggesting that the Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have reportedly been asked to join peace talks or leave the country along with the family members.

“The squeeze is continuing on them [the Taliban] and some have already left, or [are] leaving the country,” a senior Pakistani official told VOA in background interview.

According to the report, the latest crackdown by Islamabad has forced the Taliban leaders based in Qatar to send a delegation to Islamabad to take up the issue with Pakistani officials.

Source: khaama.com/pakistan-should-act-against-militants-group-targeting-its-neighbors-us-02147

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Why Donald Trump is winning over many American Hindus

26/10/2016

One strange US election fact is becoming clear: Donald Trump has become the favoured presidential candidate of some American Hindus. How and why are more complex questions.

In June, I wrote about a small gathering of the Hindu Sena (Hindu Army) in Delhi performing a havan puja (religious offering) to Donald Trump. The erstwhile relatively unknown group attracted widespread media attention with its highly vocalised support of the Republican presidential candidate, in particular emphasising Trump's views on combating "Islamic terrorism".

While the Hindu Sena remains a fringe phenomenon within India, I pointed then to the growing influence of Hindus for Trump, a small movement based in the US.

The emergence of Trump support among some Hindus makes sense. As the newest "model minority", Indian Americans enjoy high socioeconomic status. This was originally due to a specific US immigration policy that encouraged highly skilled labour from India. And although roughly half of Indian Americans are Hindus who mostly lean towards the Democratic Party, there are prominent members of the diaspora, particularly in the US and UK, who are strong proponents of key issues on Trump's platform.

Source: huffingtonpost.in/entry/why-donald-trump-is-winni_b_12652602

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Northern, central Minnesota fertile ground for anti-Islam speakers

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

North and central Minnesota have become fertile ground for traveling speakers who have built national careers spreading alarm about the danger they say Islam poses in the U.S.

At dozens of rural churches and schools, speakers have warned crowds about refugees and called on them to be prepared to oppose Muslims in Minnesota, MPR News reported. The events come at a time of mounting political tension over immigration ahead of the heated presidential election.

Former FBI agent John Guandolo is among those speakers, who travel all over the country talking to police groups and citizens.

Guandolo has made claims that refugees from Somalia, Syria and other Muslim countries intend to wage holy war on the United States and overthrow the government and the justice system. He said Muslims buy gas stations and work in airports to pave the way for a violent takeover and tells audiences to prepare.

FBI officials in Minneapolis say Guandolo’s views don’t reflect the opinion of FBI counterterrorism experts.

Speaker Usama Dakdok has appeared in northern Minnesota over 20 times in just a year and a half, drawing hundreds of supporters.

“Islam is not a religion,” he said, earlier this month and called Islam a “savage cult,” and said for a Muslim to practice Islam in America is unconstitutional.

Dakdok’s talks in Minnesota have been met with protests from groups that consider what he says hate speech.

Dakdok recently spoke at the Oak Street Chapel in Brainerd. The church board resigned after fighting about whether he should’ve been invited.

According to Jaylani Hussein, director of the Minnesota Council on American-Islamic Relations, anti-Muslim speakers are a reflection of views that already exist within the community.

“These speakers don’t just arrive in a community,” Hussein said. “They are invited by a local group.”

Source: twincities.com/2016/10/25/northern-central-minnesota-fertile-ground-for-anti-islam-speakers/

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Young Muslim Americans unnerved by fear and loathing

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A couple of nights ago, at around 11pm, Mariam Fayad was about to step outside her parents’ house in suburban Phoenix to get the mail from the front garden. Suddenly her father spoke up: “I’d rather you didn’t.” It stopped her in her tracks.

Fayad (21) recalls the moment as a small example of how unsettling everyday life has become for many American Muslims. “My parents have been incredibly protective,” she says. “It’s a little bit scary. They’re always afraid, always trying to keep in contact with me and make sure everything is okay.”

Fayad, a poised, self-confident student in graphic information technology, was born in Saudi Arabia to Palestinian parents but has spent much of her life in the United States. She became a US citizen last January and beams with pride at the recollection of that “exciting” day.

The happy occasion, a formal cementing of her relationship to the country where she was raised and educated and long called her own, has coincided with events that have left many in her generation of American Muslims – young children at the time of 9/11 – anxious and afraid.

A spate of recent hate crimes, including the killing of an Imam in Queens, an arson attack on a mosque in Texas, and an attack on two Muslim women in Brooklyn, has taken a psychological toll. But the political backdrop has has caused the greatest alarm.

A little terrifying

“I feel a little dumb saying it out loud, but it’s a little terrifying walking out on to the street,” Fayad says evenly. “If I’m driving, I’m always scared. If I see a car with a Trump sticker, and I know the gun laws are really loose in Arizona, I’m afraid for my life, honestly.”

Fayad is sitting in an airy, modern lecture hall at the Arizona State University campus, the afternoon sun streaking through the windows as a meeting of the Muslim Students’ Association finishes up. She joins fellow students Zain Siddiqi and Hadi Naseredden to reflect on the election campaign.

All three are first-time voters, and all three intend to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton to help ensure that Donald Trump doesn’t win.

Along with other minorities, such as Hispanics and African-Americans, Muslims have been on the receiving end of some of the Republican candidate’s most egregious insults. He has proposed banning Muslims from entering the country and has suggested that profiling would be an effective way of preventing terrorism.

Source: irishtimes.com/news/world/us/young-muslim-americans-unnerved-by-fear-and-loathing-1.2842849

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India

Don't Meddle With Shariat: Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum to Centre

Oct 26, 2016

VIJAYAWADA: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that the lives of Muslim women cannot be ruined with triple Talaq, Ahle Sunnat Val Jamaat Forum has reacted strongly asking the government not to interfere with the Shariat.

At a press meet here on Tuesday, convenor of the forum Mufti Mohammed Abdul Qadeer Razvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is poking its nose in the personal law of Muslims instead of solving the socio-economic problems faced by the community. "Muslims the world over practise equality between men and women in accordance with the Quran. The BJP, instead of resolving the problems faced by us, is just interfering with personal laws and lives," he said.

Co-convenor of the forum Mohammad Altaf Raza fumed that the BJP-led Union government is trying to nullify the Muslim personal law which has been in practice even before India got its Independence. "The government, which has failed to implement the recommendations of Sachar and Ranganath Misra committees on Muslim welfare, is trying to invalidate the law which has been in practice since 1937. When lakhs of acres of Wakf lands are being neglected and are being encroached upon, the government is talking about Muslims' personal laws. It is shameful," he said.

He added that Muslims played a pivotal role during the freedom struggle and threatened to go on an agitation if the Union government continues to hurt the sentiments of the community. "If the government is really committed to the welfare of Muslims, it should focus on the socio-economic issues affecting the community, rather than politicising personal laws," he said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vijayawada/Dont-meddle-with-Shariat-Muslim-forum-to-Centre/articleshow/55060806.cms

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Uniform Civil Code Will Not Be Brought Without Consensus: Minister

October 26, 2016

NEW DELHI: Uniform Civil Code (UCC) will not be brought through the back door and without a consensus, says Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu who rejects the charge that contentious issues have been raked up by BJP to polarise elections, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Issues like triple talaq, civil code and Ram temple will not be used by BJP for political mileage in the upcoming elections, says the Minister who asserts that they will be fought on development agenda.

Holding that such crucial issues should not be looked through prism of electoral benefit, the Chief Spokesperson of the government also rejects opposition criticism that surgical strikes were being politicised.

“The Government does not consider it (triple talaq) as a religious matter. It is a question of gender sensitivity. It is wrong to say that we are interfering in Muslim issues.

“The same Indian Parliament, the same political system had brought Hindu Code Bill, Divorce Act, banning Hindu Marriage Act, banning dowry and Sati practice, all these things are done by Indian Parliament,” Naidu told PTI in an interview.

Making it clear that broad consensus will be required for bringing Uniform Civil Code, he said the allegations that Triple Talaq is a backdoor entry for the UCC was unjustified.

“We are not discussing about the common civil code or uniform civil code as of now. The Law Commission has issued a questionnaire and asked people to react.

“You cannot have a uniform Civil Code without a broad consensus. You have to work and move in that direction,” he said hoping that the Supreme Court will come out with the right decision on the issue of triple talaq.

Source: siasat.com/news/uniform-civil-code-will-not-brought-without-consensus-venkaiah-naidu-1050335/

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Bangla PM said youths in border areas being funded for terror acts in Bengal: BJP leader Roopa Ganguly

October 26, 2016

Having recently returned from Bangladesh after attending the 20th council of the Awami League, newly-nominated Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Roopa Ganguly said that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had expressed concern over terror activities being fostered in West Bengal.

“I had attended the council along with our party vice-president Dr Vinay Shahasrabuddhe on October 22 and 23. The programme was held to foster better relations between Bangladesh and its neighbouring countries. Hasina also met us personally and in the closed door meeting, she had clearly said that there were youths in her country, in the bordering areas of India and Bangladesh, who were being funded and trained for terror activities in Bengal,” Ganguly said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Ganguly also said that Hasina had not only talked about zero tolerance for terrorism, but was acting on it as well. “She had told us that she would not allow anyone in Bangladesh to stay there and carry out terror activities across the border. The message she has sent out is that if any criminal was getting a helping hand from Bengal in carrying out anti-terror activities, they were not wanted in Bangladesh.”

The BJP leader also said that members of minority sections in Bangladesh, who had been through a lot of trouble and torture in the recent past, were better off now.

“We have been told that most offenders who unleashed terror on minorities there had been booked and minorities are living a better life now,” she said.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, who was also present at the occasion, referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on triple talaq and said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had kept mum on the issue to keep her Muslim votes intact. “While the PM expressed the plight of Muslim women who suffered the pangs of triple talaq, sometimes even said over the phone, the CM here, who is a lady herself, had chosen to keep silent on the issue. She has not made her stand clear because she is worried about her Muslim vote bank here,” Ghosh said.

He also reacted to Mamata’s concern over the increase in communal clashes across the state and said, “We have compiled around 15 cases of recent communal clashes during Durga Puja and Moharram and sent it to the office of the home minister in New Delhi. We have also found out that the chief minister’s office here had news of 89 instances where members of both the communities have been at loggerheads, but those were swept under the carpet. All she does is the politics of appeasing a particular community,” said Ghosh.

Talking about pitching candidates for the upcoming bypolls at Tamluk and Cooch Behar Lok Sabha and Monteswar Assembly seats on November 19, he said a list of probable candidates has been sent to the Centre and the central committee would decide the final names.

Asked if Congress and Left Front fighting alone would be of any help to the BJP here, he said, “The Congress has left doors for discussion open, so there is a possibility of a last-minute alliance. But we are not concerned about that. They only have a handful of MLAs left with them. All the others have gone to TMC. Soon the two parties will lose existence. BJP has an edge whether or not there is an alliance,” he said.

Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/bangla-pm-said-youths-in-border-areas-being-funded-for-terror-acts-in-bengal-bjp-leader-roopa-ganguly-3102982/

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Muslim doctor held for ‘obscene’ Diwali post sent on WhatsApp group

October 26, 2016

A medical officer in Pokhran was removed from his post and arrested for allegedly sending an “obscene” text relating to Diwali on a WhatsApp group.

Mohammad Yaqub, posted as a senior doctor at the Community Health Centre in Pokhran, was arrested under Section 151 of the CrPC after members of Hindu organisations along with the Youth Congress protested, accusing him of disturbing communal harmony.

Yaqub had allegedly shared the message on the WhatsApp group CHC Pokhran on Tuesday. “The message was worded obscenely and there were protests. When we got to know about it, we made the arrest,” Jaisalmer SP Gaurav Yadav told The Indian Express.

Before being arrested, Yaqub was removed from his post by the chief medical health officer.

As word about the message got around, activists of various Hindu organisations reached the CHC and protested, shouting slogans and demanding the doctor’s arrest. Later, local Youth Congress activists led by its president Balwant Singh Jodha joined the chorus and submitted a memorandum to SDM Ravindra Chaudhary, demanding action against Yaqub. Hindu organisations also issued a statement condemning the WhatsApp message.

Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslim-doctor-held-for-obscene-diwali-post-sent-on-whatsapp-group-3102836/

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Reforms in Telangana Wakf Board yielding positive results

October 26, 2016

Hyderabad: CEO of Wakf Board, Mr. Mohammed Asadullah made changes in the staff of Wakf Board and introduced work chart system to make entries on daily basis. He shifted certain officials from their sections. It is understood that the role of middlemen has been reduced. At the initial stage, CCTV has been installed. Applications are now being received directly and marriage certificates are also being issued within the stipulated time.

With the installation of CCTV cameras in Qazat section, the role of middlemen has been reduced. A system of online issue of certificates has been introduced. Any persons can get certificates sitting at home b y the necessary amount. This facility is also available at Mee Seva Centers.

Source: siasat.com/news/reforms-telangana-wakf-board-yielding-positive-results-1049968/

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Mideast

Turkey asks US to isolate Gülen from his network

October 26, 2016

Ankara is set to ask Washington to arrest the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, accused of masterminding the bloody July 15 coup attempt, in order to “isolate” him from his network, while legal proceedings on the demand to extradite Gülen continue, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“Gülen has been using communications and other facilities in the U.S. to give instructions to his network around the world. This is a clear and present threat to Turkey that must be stopped,” Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 25.

He also noted that the immediate aim of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ’s contacts with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other officials in Washington was to secure Gülen’s temporary arrest, rather than focusing on his extradition.

“The Americans are telling us that Gülen’s extradition is a matter of law and cannot be secured simply by political will. We understand that the judiciary is independent of politics. But we also want to hear an expression of their political will. We want to see a stance demonstrating that they are against the coup attempt in Turkey and stand for democracy. A temporary arrest would be enough to serve that purpose. There are legal grounds for this. The 10th article of the exchange of criminals agreement between Turkey and the U.S., dated 1981, allows the temporary arrest of people for whom arrest warrants have been issued until legal proceedings are completed. It has a 60-day limit but it could be extended,” Kurtulmuş also said.

Before departing from Turkey, Justice Minister Bozdağ said he had “more than enough” material in the files to provide a basis for the temporary arrest of Gülen, which he would give to his American counterpart. Members of parliament from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), as well as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) will be accompanying Bozdağ during his contacts, as they share the widespread view in Turkey that it was Gülen’s followers who committed the coup.

The files against Gülen contain testimonies of military and police officers and judiciary members who have been arrested since the coup attempt and who have applied to access the repentance law, which suggests a reduction in sentences if information given about a crime proves correct. “There are a number of important statements, some of which reach directly up to Gülen himself,” Kurtulmuş said on the files carried by Bozdağ.

Information harvested from the use of the mobile application ByLock gives further support to the Gülen files, Kurtulmuş added. “ByLock is evidence that helps us understand the Gülen network and its hierarchy, especially when combined with the statements and testimonies,” he said.

In an interview published in Hürriyet on Oct. 24, David Keynes, the registered owner of the Lithuania-operated ByLock system, said he agreed that the existence of ByLock in somebody’s phone could be considered as a link to the Gülen network.

“It’s not only Gülen that we are asking for,” Kurtulmuş said. “We have managed to map almost the entire Gülen network in the U.S. and Europe, name by name, which our justice minister is going to share with our American allies. We have respect for their legal system and expect them to understand the immediate danger we are facing.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-asks-us-to-isolate-gulen-from-his-network.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105366&NewsCatID=409

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July 15 made Turkish public holiday to mark coup bid

October 26, 2016

July 15 has been made a public holiday in Turkey to mark this year’s attempted coup, lawmakers agreed on Oct. 25, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.    

Parliament unanimously passed a bill to mark the anniversary as “Democracy and National Solidarity Day.”     

The failed coup resulted in the deaths of at least 241 people, including seven civilians who were shot dead as they resisted the coup forces near the Akıncı air force base north of Ankara.     

To mark their deaths, the district of Kazan, where the base is located, was officially renamed Kahramankazan by deputies. The prefix “Kahraman” means “hero” in Turkish.     

In the immediate aftermath of the coup, a number of structures and public spaces were renamed, most notably Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge, which was retitled the “July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/july-15-made-turkish-public-holiday-to-mark-coup-bid-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105373&NewsCatID=338

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Diyarbakır Mayor Gültan Kışanak, co-mayor detained on terrorism charges

October 26, 2016

The co-mayors of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır were detained late Oct. 25 on charges of terrorism links.

Gültan Kışanak, a former member of parliament before her election as mayor in Diyarbakır, and Fırat Anlı, her co-mayor and a member of the municipal council, were taken into custody as part of an investigation into their alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Diyarbakır Prosecutor’s Office said in a written statement.

The two are accused of making speeches in support of the PKK, allowing PKK militants use municipal resources, inciting violent protests, and of attending illegal meetings and rallies, the prosecutor’s statement said.

Authorities were also searching the mayor’s office and the municipal building. An aide to Kışanak told Reuters the mayor’s home was being searched by police but was unable to provide further details.

Kışanak, 55, is a well-known Kurdish political figure and became Diyarbakır’s first female mayor in 2014.

Earlier on Oct. 25, she testified upon the invitation of lawmakers at a parliamentary commission in Ankara looking into a failed coup attempt on July 15.

It was not immediately clear whether her testimony was related to the detention order. Kışanak was detained upon her return to Diyarbakır at the airport, while Anlı was detained at his home.

Meanwhile, European Union High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Oct. 26 released a statement expressing their worry over the detentions of the politicians.

“We have seen very worrying reports of the arrests of the democratically elected co-mayors of Diyarbakir, in south east Turkey, Ms. Gültan Kışanak and Mr. Firat Anli. Over the last 15 months, violence never stopped in the south east of Turkey. The EU fully recognizes the grave threat posed to Turkish security by the PKK, which is also listed as a terrorist organization in the EU. At the same time, it is always essential that all steps are taken in full respect of the rule of law, due process and fundamental freedoms - all commitments Turkey has made as a candidate country,” said the statement.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/diyarbakir-mayor-gultan-kisanak-co-mayor-detained-on-terrorism-charges.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105372&NewsCatID=341

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Istanbul should be center of UN: President Erdoğan

October 26, 2016

Istanbul should be the center of the United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in a written statement on the 71st year of its foundation.

After consistently increasing its contributions to the U.N. budget over recent years, Turkey has also been exerting strenuous efforts to turn Istanbul, which is located at the intersection of continents and civilizations, into a U.N. center, Erdoğan said, adding that Istanbul would accomplish the “U.N.’s mission and goals.”

“We believe that Istanbul, with its ancient history, cultural richness, strategic location and natural beauties, will provide critical contributions to the U.N.’s mission and goals as a center of the organization,” he said.

Repeating the phrase he often uses, Erdoğan said that “the world is bigger than five.”

“In line with our call that ‘the world is bigger than five,’ which I often stress, we will continue, on every platform, our support for a comprehensive reform of the U.N. that will ensure a fairer representation as well as a more democratic, transparent, effective and accountable functioning of the U.N. Security Council,” he said.

Noting Turkey had been “one of the staunchest advocates of the U.N. and the values it represents,” Erdoğan said the country “has assumed critical roles.”

“Turkey, which has been one of the staunchest advocates of the U.N. and the values it represents since the organization came into being, has assumed very critical roles on issues of vital importance such as the maintenance of global peace and security, mediation, development, humanitarian aid, environment, the alliance of civilizations and the like,” he said.

In his message, Erdoğan also commented on the issue of Syrian refugees that Turkey has been accepting.

“With the hospitality it has been showing toward 3 million refugees in the face of the humanitarian crises in Syria and Iraq, Turkey has become a voice of the global conscience. The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit hosted by Turkey on May 23-24 this year is a sign of our sensitivity regarding humanitarian tragedies. Coming together for the first time in the history in Istanbul, all the stakeholders of the humanitarian aid system took very important decisions during the summit. Our country is closely monitoring the results of this summit so as to ensure the implementation of the commitments made during the summit,” he also said.

“I hope that the works of the U.N. help bring peace and prosperity to our world, and mark U.N. Day with my most sincere feelings,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-should-be-center-of-un-president-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105336&NewsCatID=338

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Turkish justice minister heads to US for Gülen extradition talks

October 26, 2016

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, accompanied by lawmakers from opposition parties, departed to the United States on Oct. 25 to hold talks on Turkey’s demand for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, the Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher accused of orchestrating the failed July 15 military coup.

“Our relations with the U.S. should not be damaged because of a terrorist,” Bozdağ said before he left Turkey, adding that he will introduce new evidence to his U.S. counterparts for the extradition of Gülen.

“What we want is to not bring ties between the U.S. and Turkey to a negative point just because of a terrorist … Whatever Osama Bin Laden means for the U.S., Fethullah Gülen means for Turkey,” he added.

“For us, the file includes more than enough evidence for [Gülen’s] extradition to Turkey. When you compare the extradition and provisional arrest requests made of Turkey to date - not only by the U.S. but also all other countries - the extradition file and the provisional arrest demand files for Gülen are the fullest in terms of validity,” Bozdağ said.

He also recalled that Turkey has already submitted to U.S. officials four files and conveyed an official request for Gülen’s detention by the authorities. 

During Bozdağ’s four-day visit to the U.S., he is also due to attend a panel discussion on the July 15 coup attempt organized by the pro-government Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) think tank and he will also inaugurate state-run Anadolu Agency’s photo exhibit on “The Rise of the National Will” in Washington.          

US wants to get rid of Gülen: Çavuşoğlu

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told broadcaster Kanal 24 on Oct. 25 that U.S. officials “want to get rid of Gülen but don’t want to extradite him to Turkey.”

“They tell us, ‘We want to get rid of him.’ We tell them, ‘Give him to us then.’ But they don’t want to hand him over,” Çavuşoğlu stated.

In the same interview he also said the government still does not know the whereabouts of the fugitive coup leader Adil Öksüz, for whom a 4 million Turkish Lira reward has been declared.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-justice-minister-heads-to-us-for-gulen-extradition-talks.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105355&NewsCatID=510

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Halt to democracy no way to fight coups: CHP

October 26, 2016

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the government to continue its fight against coup plotters within the boundaries of democracy, human rights and the rule of law as halting democracy would not help prevent future coups, in reaction to the growing number of dissidents who have been either dismissed  or detained after the failed July 15 coup.

“This process is no different than the period of Sept. 12 [coup d’état]. On what grounds are you jailing Aslı Erdoğan? She is a world renowned writer. I told Mr. Binali [Yıldırım, the prime minister]: ‘If you imprison all these journalists and academics you cannot convince anybody that there was a coup in Turkey,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday.

“On the contrary, they will think the AKP [Justice and Development Party] staged the coup and jailed intellectuals, teachers, students,” he told his lawmakers on Oct. 25.   

Both Turkey and France declared state of emergency but the Turkish implementation created around 1 million victims due to its undemocratic nature, Kılıçdaroğlu said, reflecting on his conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who was in Ankara on Oct. 24. “Not a single person suffered from state of emergency in France while 1 million suffered in Turkey,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the government for using July 15 as an opportunity to shift to a presidential system to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s expectations, recalling Yıldırım’s statement that “The door for the presidential system was opened on the night of July 15.”

“This statement is treason to our martyrs and veterans who have been targeted by bullets and who stood in front of tanks. Our martyred NCO Ömer Halisdemir did not sacrifice his life for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to become the executive-president,” he said.

Blaming the AKP for seeing July 15 as opportunity for further strengthening his position and accumulating more power in one man’s hands, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “This was Hitler’s aim in 1940s. He soaked Europe and the world in blood. You better give it up. You should not have such intention if you have respect for this country and the republic.” 

Let’s make him king

Kılıçdaroğlu once again slammed Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli, as the row over Bahçeli’s suggested support to shift Turkey to a presidential system deepens.

“I want to make a call to Mr. Bahçeli from here: Come and let’s make this person the king. Let’s all get rid of this [problem]. Let’s also allocate him his own 24-hour live TV so he can speak day and night,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP leader made the comments shortly after Bahçeli again suggested that the MHP could support the government’s constitutional draft for a presidential system.

Bahçeli had revived the discussion on the adoption of presidential system three weeks ago by signaling that his 40-seat party would back a drafted constitutional amendment “if it takes the MHP’s sensitivities into account.” The MHP’s support is required for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to cross the 330-seat threshold to take the new charter to the public vote. “I ask you now. What will we do if Erdoğan does not abide by the new constitution in the future? Are we going to change it again? There cannot be a constitution written only for one person,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/halt-to-democracy-no-way-to-fight-coups-chp.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105337&NewsCatID=338

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New police chiefs assigned to 61 provinces in Turkey

October 26, 2016

New police chiefs have been assigned to 61 Turkish provinces, including İzmir, Adana and Konya, according to a decree published on Oct. 26 in the Official Gazette, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.     

Twenty-four chiefs were transferred from one province to another, while 37 have been newly appointed.       

Servet Yılmaz and Adem Çakıcı, who were police chiefs in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş and Rize, respectively, were named deputies to the head of the Turkish National Police.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/new-police-chiefs-assigned-to-61-provinces-in-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105374&NewsCatID=338

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Pakistan

Pak Govt Orders Immigrants’ Registration, Crackdown On 93 Seminaries

Oct 26, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Tuesday decided to register all immigrants living in the metropolis, including slum areas, and on its outskirts to have their complete database, and constituted 15 teams to launch this exercise.

The home department would design a proforma to collect data of each and every immigrant, legal or illegal, about “who is who and where he lives and what he does”, it was decided at a special meeting held at CM House. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who presided over the meeting, also directed the law enforcement agencies to crack down on drug dealers and the seminaries which had strong links with terrorists or banned outfits. He asked the IGP and the Rangers DG to strengthen their checkpoints at Hub to keep a check on the movement of terrorists and set up a working group to coordinate with the Balochistan government in this regard on a regular basis.

CM asks law enforcers to present progress reports on key decisions in provincial apex committee meeting

The directives were part of the policy decisions taken at the meeting after the chief minister had been briefed about the ongoing targeted operation, credible information about the terror links of 93 seminaries, and clues given by some recently held high-profile terrorists regarding their accomplices in the city and their plans.

The meeting was attended by the provincial heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies besides chief secretary Siddique Memon, home secretary Shakeel Ahmed Mangnejo, adviser to the chief minister on law Murtaza Wahab and information adviser Maula Bux Chandio.

Before any deliberations, they condemned the terror attack on the police training centre in Quetta, offered Fateha for those killed in the incident, and expressed solidarity with the people of Balochistan.

Reviewing the law and order situation in Sindh in general and Karachi in particular, the chief minister termed the overall situation satisfactory because of the wonderful job done by the law enforcement agencies. “I appreciate all of you for your efficient work,” he said while addressing the chiefs of the agencies. However, he highlighted the need to improve their watch and ward.

Earlier, the heads of law enforcement agencies briefed the participant in the meeting on security matters. They were informed that illegal immigrants living in the city, on its outskirts or those in slum areas were either directly involved in terrorist activities or harbouring and supporting terrorists.

The meeting was further informed that around 93 madressahs (seminaries) had solid links with terrorists or banned outfits. The intelligence agencies had gathered credible information about activities at these places. The chief minister directed the Rangers and police to start an operation against them. “We will not allow anybody to shed blood of innocent people in the name of religion or using sacred places,” he said.

The chief minister was also given a report on the operation launched to bulldoze the offices of parties or groups built on government land and gave his approval to extend the operation of bulldozing illegal constructions on government land near markets, parks and seminaries next month.

Mr Shah said that he would call an apex committee meeting shortly to discuss law and order issues. By the time, he added, the law enforcement agencies should start the registration process and other operations as decided in the meeting and present their progress reports in the apex committee meeting.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292215/govt-orders-immigrants-registration-crackdown-on-93-seminaries

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Pakistan ranked as second-worst country in Gender gap index

October 26, 2016

Islamabad [Pakistan]: For the second consecutive year, Pakistan has been ranked as the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality.

As per the World Economic Forum’s ( WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016, released on Tuesday, Pakistan is ranked 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index, way behind Bangladesh and India which have been ranked 72nd and 87th respectively, reports the Dawn.

The report also mentions Pakistan as the worst performing state in South Asia and has been for the last couple of years, whereas Sri Lanka has been ranked 100th, Nepal 110th, Maldives 115th and Bhutan 121st.

Yemen(144) is the only country ranked below Pakistan, whereas Syria is one place ahead at 142.

Pakistan was ranked 112th in 2006 when the report came for the first time.

Since then, its position has been deteriorating every year it was ranked 135th in 2013, 141st in 2014 and 143rd in 2015.

The report captures progress towards parity between men and women in four areas: educational attainment, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.

The report in its latest edition finds that the progress towards equality in the economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap – which stands at 59pc – now larger than at any point since 2008.

Iceland retained its top spot for the 8th successive year followed by Finland at second and Norway at the third place.

Several developing and emerging markets have also made it into the top 20, but the United States ranks 45.

According to the report, Pakistan is making progress on closing the secondary education enrolment gender gap, and on women’s estimated earned income, however this is partly offset by reversals on wage equality and female-to-male literacy ratio.

Pakistan has moved up one rank from 125 last year to 124 this year on the Health and Survival pillar. However, it has been ranked 90th as compared to 87th the previous year on Political Empowerment.

Source: siasat.com/news/pakistan-ranked-second-worst-country-gender-gap-index-1050161/

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Polio worker gunned down in Khyber Agency

Oct 26, 2016

A member of an anti-polio vaccination team worker was gunned down in Khyber Agency on Wednesday, DawnNews reported.

The incident took place in Jamrud Tehsil where unknown gunmen fired shots on a polio vaccinator, sources said.

The injured worker, Fazal Amin, was shifted in critical condition to Hayatabad Medical Complex where he succumbed to his injuries.

Polio vaccination drives are underway across Pakistan, one of only two polio endemic countries left in the world.

A policeman was killed and two others suffered injuries when an explosion hit a police party providing security to a polio vaccination team near Peshawar on Tuesday.

According to police officials, there were two explosions in the area.

The first explosion occurred in the Mewra locality near a roadblock set up by the police for random checking to provide security to polio teams working in the area.

The other blast took place when personnel of the Bomb Disposal Unit were clearing the area, the official said. Policeman Mohammad Zubair sustained injuries in this attack.

Last year, the number of polio cases recorded in Pakistan soared to 306, the highest in 14 years. Pakistan has, however, witnessed a 62 per cent drop in polio cases in 2016, according to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

Attempts to eradicate polio have been badly hit by militant attacks on immunisation teams due to claims propagated by the Taliban that the vaccination drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

These rumours have also made inhabitants of lesser-developed parts of the country more wary of allowing immunisation.

The Taliban stepped up attacks targeting polio immunisation teams after Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292391/polio-worker-gunned-down-in-khyber-agency

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Team formed to probe Quetta police academy attack

Oct 26, 2016

The Balochistan government on Wednesday announced the formation of an investigation team to probe the Quetta police college carnage which left over 60 people dead and over a hundred others injured on Monday night.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigation Aitzaz Goraya will lead the investigation team.

Deputy Inspector General Police Quetta Abdul Razzaq Cheema said, "The support of Punjab's forensic agency will also be sought."

"The team will visit the site of the carnage and speak to survivors of the tragedy to probe the incident," Cheema said.

The team will soon submit its report to the Balochistan government.

Apex committee meeting underway

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri is chairing an apex committee meeting.

The meeting will be attended by Commander Southern Command Lt. Gen Aamir Riaz, Inspector General Frontier Corps Major General Sher Afgun, Inspector General Police Ahsan Mahboob and others.

Chief Minister's secretariat sources told DawnNews that the meeting is thoroughly discussing the law and order situation in the province, implementation of the National Action Plan, and the pace of intelligence-based operations in the province.

Strikes across Balochistan

Markets and shopping centres remained closed in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan on the first of a three-day mourning period announced after Monday's carnage.

A strike was called by nationalist and religious political parties to mourn those who lost their lives in the attack and pressure law enforcement agencies into taking action against the elements involved the carnage.

The traders community of Quetta also expressed their support for the strike.

"We voluntarily closed our shops to mourn the killing of innocent cadets", Allah Dad Tareen, a central leader of Anjuman-e-Tajaran Balochistan said.

Traffic remained thin in Quetta as result of shutter down strike.

Police and Frontier Corps personnel have been deployed at all sensitive areas of Quetta to avert any untoward incident.

Strikes are also being observed in Chaman, Pishin, Loralai and other parts of Balochistan.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292389/team-formed-to-probe-quetta-police-academy-attack

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At least five civilians injured in firing across Working Boundary: ISPR

Oct 26, 2016

At least five civilians were injured in firing across the Working Boundary in Sialkot on Wednesday, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday.

The ISPR statement claimed that India's Border Security Force resorted to "unprovoked firing" across the Working Boundary in Harpal and Chaprar sectors.

ISPR said that Pakistan Rangers Punjab "befittingly" responded to "unprovoked" Indian firing and shelling.

"Since October 21, four civilians have embraced martyrdom while 21 others were injured at the Working Boundary," the ISPR claimed.

The situated on the Working Boundary has flared for last several days. At least two people died and eight others were injured due to skirmishes along the WB in the two sectors during last 72 hours.

The latest episode of cross firing surfaced amid increased tensions between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

The Indian prime minister stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack. Just hours after the attack Indian authorities termed Pakistan a 'terrorist state'. India also accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack.

The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.

Following the attack, India claimed to have conducted a cross-border 'surgical strike' against 'launch pads of terror' in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected. Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world's attention away from 'atrocities' committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.

Pakistan and India have locked horns over the Kashmir issue since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292379/at-least-five-civilians-injured-in-firing-across-working-boundary-ispr

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Assailants came from Afghanistan, PM told

Oct 26, 2016

QUETTA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif were among the senior government and military functionaries who rushed to the provincial capital as soon as horrors of the devastating attack on the Police Training College, Quetta, became evident on Tuesday.

During the course of the day, they attended the funeral of those killed in the terrorist attack and visited hospital to inquire after the injured.

According to sources, however, the most worthwhile engagement of the day was a meeting at which they discussed the attack, its implications and the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) as well as a plan aimed at making Quetta a safe city.

At the meeting, which was also attended by Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri, National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Janjua, Commander of Southern Command Lt Gen Aamir Riaz, Home Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti and others, several important decisions were taken.

At the meeting, the prime minister also expressed concern over the authorities’ failure to make Quetta safe despite formulation of a well-thought out plan.

The heads of security and law enforcement agencies attending the meeting briefed the prime minister on the attack on the police training college.

The meeting was informed that adequate security measures had not been taken at the police training college, even though there were prior intelligence reports that security personnel could be attacked soon, the sources said.

The meeting was informed that the assailants had come from Afghanistan and were in contact with their handlers in the neighbouring country.

At this, the prime minister said the issue would be taken up with Afghanistan.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Sharif asked the officials concerned why the Quetta Safe City plan had not been fully enforced despite passage of considerable time since its preparation.

He said the federal government would have provided additional funds to the province had it been informed earlier that lack of funding had stalled its implementation.

Prime Minister Sharif, Gen Raheel Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar visited the Sandeman Civil Hospital to inquire after the health of police cadets injured in the terrorist attack. Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai and other officials were with them.

They visited the bed of every injured cadet.

They were informed that cadets in need of surgical operations had already been operated upon. The prime minister asked the doctors to take good care of the cadets.

Gen Sharif also visited the training college along with senior army officials. He met the military and police personnel who took part in the operation launched to clear the college of terrorists.

The army chief announced that Tamgha-i-Jurrat would be given to Captain Roohullah and Tamgha-i-Basalat to Naib Subedar Mohammad Ali.

They laid down their lives after neutralising one suicide bomber and cornering another, the ISPR said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Zehri asked Balochistan’s inspector general of police to carry out an investigation into the attack and submit a report in 24 hours.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292349/assailants-came-from-afghanistan-pm-told?preview

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Locking down Islamabad not a matter of right, says senator

Oct 26, 2016

HYDERABAD: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Labour Senator Saeed Ghani has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has the right to raise its voice over issues but the lockdown of Islamabad it has planned is somewhat not a matter of right.

Speaking to the media at the residence of Pakistan Peoples Party leader Dr Irfan Gul Magsi here on Tuesday, Senator Ghani said that if PTI chief Imran Khan failed to achieve his objective even after the Islamabad lockdown, this [failure] would ultimately weaken the opposition and strengthen the prime minister and his government.

Mr Khan had already caused a dent to the unity of the opposition, he observed, and cautioned him that if legislation on issues like the Panama Papers leak was done, Mr Khan would have no justification for his protest movement.

Mr Ghani, however, also made it clear that it was now up to PM Nawaz Sharif as to how would he save his family facing corruption charges and curb terrorism in the country.

The senator was of the view that it was not a big deal for the government to stop the PTI protest in Islamabad.

Regarding allegations of bloodshed in Karachi and other parts of Sindh in the past, Senator Ghani said everyone know as to who committed massacres in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur and who inducted terrorists in various departments. If the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan was in possession of evidence or proofs [to help expose them], it must produce them in court or bring them before the media, he said in reply to a question about the allegations levelled by the MQM-Pakistan against some PPP ministers and leaders. “Such allegations are a big joke,” he said.

He stressed need for unity of all political parties against terrorism. He strongly condemned the gory incident of Quetta and said that the witnessed two such acts of terrorism in recent months.

He said that the National Action Plan must be implemented but the [federal] government seemed to have some other priorities.

Source: dawn.com/news/1292264/locking-down-islamabad-not-a-matter-of-right-says-senator

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South Asia

45 including 19 ISIS loyalists, 1 Arab militant killed in East of Afghanistan

Wed Oct 26 2016

At least 45 militants including 19 loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group and an Arab militant were killed in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were killed during the counter-terrorism operations conducted in Pachera Agam and Achin districts.

MoD further added that the operations were conducted with the support of close-air support and artillery units in the past 24 hours.

According to MoD, at least 11 militants of the Taliban group were killed in a separate operation conducted in Sarobi district of Kabul province and 22 others were wounded.

At least 3 militants were killed and 1 militant was injured and a motorycle packed with explosives was destroyed during separate operations in Logar and Farah provinces.

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

The counter-terrorism operations are being conducted as part of the annual clearance operations of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

The annual operation, Shafaq operation, was launched earlier this year in response to Taliban’s annual spring offensive the group announced in mid-April this year.

Source: khaama.com/45-including-19-isis-loyalists-1-arab-militant-killed-in-east-of-afghanistan-02145

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33 Afghan civilians shot dead after kidnapped in Ghor province

Wed Oct 26 2016

At least 33 Afghan civilians have reportedly been shot dead after they were kidnapped by the anti-government armed militant groups.

The provincial government officials confirmed that the abducted civilians were shot dead late on Tuesday by the Taliban insurgents.

However, a provincial council member said at least 23 civilians were shot dead by the Taliban militants after they were kidnapped from the vicinity of Firoz Koh district.

The Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as at least 12 civilians were killed in western Farah province of Afghanistan in a similar attack last year while 14 others executed in Ghor province earlier.

The incident in Farah took place earlier in September as the civilians who were on their way to neigboring Iran when they were shot dead by Taliban militants in Posht-e-Koh district.

According to the local officials, the civilians were looking to travel to Iran to find work as laborer and at least four others were also injured following the attack.

Earlier, Taliban militants executed at least 14 civilians, including women and children in western Ghor province of Afghanistan.

The incident took place late in July where ten men, three women, and one child were shot and killed after their vehicles were stopped while traveling through Ghor province.

Source: khaama.com/33-afghan-civilians-shot-dead-after-kidnapped-in-ghor-province-02146

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NATO: Taliban rocket destroyed, 2 minor injuries caused in IED attack

Wed Oct 26 2016

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan said the Taliban rocket was destroyed with 0 casualties as the alliance rejected the Taliban claims of incurring casualties near Bagram.

The alliance further added that two minor injuries were incurred from an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack.

“Taliban claims of US casualties near Bagram are false. Taliban rocket destroyed with 0 casualties; 2 minor injuries from an IED,” NATO-led RSM said.

Local officials in Bagram district of Parwan earlier said the US military patrol was targeted in an IED attack late on Tuesday evening.

The Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed earlier today that two armored vehicles of the US forces were destroyed and at least 12 soldiers were killed in a suicide attack carried out by the group in Bagram.

Bagram is among the relatively volatile districts in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan as the anti-government armed militant groups often attempt to carry out attacks on Afghan and foreign forces.

A suicide bomber attacked the convoy of the US forces in the vicinity of Bagram province late in the May this year but no casualties were incurred to the US forces.

At least 6 NATO service members were killed in a similar attack in the vicinity of Bagram province late in the month of December last year.

Source: khaama.com/nato-taliban-rocket-destroyed-2-minor-injuries-caused-in-ied-attack-02149

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Bangladesh police say two Islamists killed in gunfight

October 26, 2016

DHAKA: Bangladesh police said on Tuesday they shot dead two members of the country´s largest Islamist party in gunfights, as a rights activist demanded an independent probe on concerns of extrajudicial killings.

Security forces have launched a major crackdown on suspected Islamist militants since jihadists raided a Dhaka cafe in July and left 22 mainly foreign hostages dead.

But the crackdown which has seen a string of suspects killed in gunbattles has sparked concerns that opposition activists were among those being targeted.

Senior police officer Azbahar Ali Sheikh said a Jamaat-e-Islami party leader from the western district of Jhenaidah and a leader of its student wing were killed early on Tuesday.

"They fired from pistols and threw three (molotov) cocktails at policemen when they challenged them at 3:45 am. We fired back and two people were hit. Later we learnt their identities," the officer told AFP.

Top human rights activist Nur Khan Liton demanded a judicial probe into the killings.

"We´ve serious questions about these deaths. We think these are extrajudicial killings," he told AFP, saying local newspapers had earlier reported the Islamists missing.

A senior Jamaat official denied the two party figures were killed in gunfights, saying both had been picked up by plain-clothed policemen early last month.

"It is cooked up (by police)," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said other Jamaat members have also been killed in "fake gunfights", claims rejected by police.

The government has launched a nationwide crackdown on Jamaat activists in recent years, following deadly protests in which tens of thousands of Islamists were either detained or charged.

Bangladesh has also been reeling from a wave of recent attacks by Islamists, with targets including foreigners, rights activists and members of religious minorities.

But the attack on the upmarket Dhaka cafe on July 1 was by far the deadliest. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, but Bangladesh´s government has staunchly denied that IS has gained a foothold in the country and instead blamed a local extremist outfit.

Source: thenews.com.pk/print/159913-Bangladesh-police-say-two-Islamists-killed-in-gunfight

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The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan slams Pak officials for irresponsible remarks regarding Quetta attack

Wed Oct 26 2016

The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakilwal has slammed the Pakistani officials for the irresponsible remarks following a deadly attack on a police academy in Quetta city.

Zakhilwal has said the Pakistani authorities should not offer irresponsible remarks regarding the recent Quetta incidetn as he strongly condemned the attack.

“The Afghan people who witness similar terrorist attacks on our people and soil on daily basis can fully identify with the horror of such crimes against innocent people carried out by terrorist networks such as the AlQaida affiliated Lashkar e Jhangvi that claimed responsibility for last night’s senseless massacre,” Zakhilwal said.

According to the local media reports, the Pakistani Prime Nawaz Sharif was informed that the assailants had come from Afghanistan and were in contact with their handlers in the neighbouring country.

The reports further added that the prime minister said the issue would be taken up with Afghanistan.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack on a police academy in Quetta city left at least 61 dead.

The group released a statement following the attack and released the photographs of the three assailants who carried out the attack late on Monday.

The Arabic statement was released by Amaq news agency which normally covers the stories of the terrorist group in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world where they operate.

The Pakistani officials earlier said the attack was likely carried out by Al-Alimi faction of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militant group which is affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Source: khaama.com/zakhilwal-slams-pak-officials-for-irresponsible-remarks-regarding-quetta-attack-02151

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Africa

African Terror Franchise Now Has Competition From Islamic State

Oct. 26, 2016

NAIROBI, Kenya—Islamic State’s push to co-opt one of Africa’s deadliest jihadist movements has come with an attempt to present a softer face to potential recruits.

Over the past year, the jihadist group also known as ISIS and Daesh has launched a broad recruitment campaign across Somalia to pry foot soldiers and senior operatives from al-Shabaab, a two-decade-old insurgency allied with al Qaeda that has made it very clear they have no desire to switch franchises. Stung by battlefield losses to larger al-Shabaab forces, Islamic State has offered promises of an easier life: lower taxes, more tolerance for substance abuse and fewer political diatribes.

The inroads have been small, but there is evidence the approach is winning ideological converts, luring a few hundred al-Shabaab defectors including influential imams and allowing Islamic State to establish bands of followers in the northeastern tip of the country. In March, Islamic State launched its first attack on Somali soil—a bombing of an African Union vehicle in Mogadishu—and released a video purportedly showing its first Somali training camp. Residents from al-Shabaab strongholds in the south say Islamic State is building support by promising reduced taxes on land and livestock sales and pledging to fight a purer holy war, rather than one that is focused on political power in Somalia.

Kenyan counterterror officials say they are closely monitoring clashes between the jihadist factions. On Tuesday, al-Shabaab gunmen from Somalia killed 12 people in an attack on non-Muslims at a guest house in Kenya’s northern Mandera County, a local official said.

To be sure, Islamic State fighters in Somalia are still pledging deadly attacks and a violent overthrow of those who oppose them. But positioning itself as a more pragmatic and uncorrupt alternative to al-Shabaab represents a germinating threat that could be more dangerous to the homegrown insurgency than African Union troops or U.S. drone strikes.

“They have clearly got the attention of al-Shabaab’s rank and file. Their propaganda is more successful than al Qaeda’s,” said Matt Bryden, the head of Sahan Research, a Kenya-based think tank.

The tactical shift borne in Somalia appears to be spreading across the Sahara and into Nigeria, where the group has tried to divide jihadist insurgency Boko Haram by sponsoring a faction opposed to longtime leader Abubakr Shekau that claims to be more pragmatic. It is a push that could mean Islamic State has gained more support on the continent than is obvious from its military victories, compounding the complexity of the jihadist challenge for African governments and their Western allies.

Though information about intra-jihadist fighting in Somalia is patchy at best, residents said al-Shabaab has gotten the best of the early clashes and has reacted brutally to quell the swelling Islamic State threat. Dozens of militants accused of pro-Islamic State sympathies have been executed or imprisoned, and al-Shabaab propaganda has promised death to anyone who defects. Those who have successfully defected have struggled to persuade fighters to join them en masse.

But testimony from Somali refugees who fled across Kenya’s border to the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp also suggests Islamic State’s tactical shift is bearing fruit.

Maalin Hassan, a herder who fled to the camp in March, said Islamic State officials dramatically lowered taxes and softened some of al-Shabaab’s punishments for minor offenses that included chopping off limbs. They also promised to allow the chewing of khat, a mild narcotic popular in Somalia that al-Shabaab bans its fighters from using.

“When Daesh comes they don’t tax other people, they don’t harass that much,” Mr. Hassan said. He said an al-Shabaab tax collector took half his money the last time he sold a cow. “If you make small mistakes, you won’t be killed or have your hand chopped off.”

Perhaps more important, imams in al-Shabaab-controlled areas are starting to listen to Islamic State’s message.

“Morally, many of the religious leaders now support ISIS,” said  Abdi Yussuf Dire, a Somali from the Jubaland region living in Kenya who says he is in regular contact with people in al-Shabaab-administered areas.

The group’s pursuit of a global Islamic agenda was more attractive than the nationalist aims of al-Shabaab to overthrow the Somali government, Mr. Dire said.

In the January edition of Islamic State’s monthly magazine Dabiq, Somali jihadist Abu Maharib As-Sumali boasted of the swelling number of al-Shabaab divisions in northern and southern Somalia swearing allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“There is a phase of coordination and cooperation currently being undertaken in order to achieve a synchronized media effort, tactical maneuvering of forces, and securing of logistics to achieve strategic aims,” Mr. As-Sumali said, in comments that were angrily rejected by al-Shabaab.

Islamic State’s effort to penetrate Somalia started with the outsiders—foreign fighters or Somalis from clans who feel disenfranchised within al-Shabaab’s complex tribal-influenced power structures.

The group’s first major success was luring Abdiqadir Mumin, a senior al-Shabaab cleric who lived in the U.K. and preached at London mosques and is now based in the semiautonomous northern region of Puntland close to the Gulf of Aden. Mr. Mumin declared his allegiance to Islamic State late last year and then reportedly fled to areas controlled by his clan with a few dozen fighters.

Mohamed Kuno—a Kenyan fighter considered the mastermind of al-Shabaab’s 2015 massacre of 148 university students in the border town of Garissa—was also alleged to have joined Islamic State before he was killed by U.S.-backed Somali forces in June.

The key to whether the movement grows, Mr. Bryden said, is whether it gains appeal to Somalis at the center of the insurgency.

“There can be an appeal to foreign fighters, but foreign fighters can’t operate alone in Somalia. They must be embedded with a Somali,” he said.

Bolstering Islamic State’s attractiveness: Life in al-Shabaab-dominated parts of the country has become increasingly bloody as its leadership hunts defectors and launches increasingly spectacular assaults.

In January, the insurgents overran a Kenyan base in Somalia, killing at least 180 troops, the Somali government said. In February, an al-Shabaab suicide bomber tried and failed to down a plane departing Mogadishu’s airport—the first such attack by the group. In war-torn Mogadishu, the group has maintained a steady stream of attacks on government and civilian facilities.

To counter Islamic State’s propaganda, al-Shabaab has also sought to upscale its information warfare, releasing a recruitment video about racial injustice in the U.S. featuring Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Hassan Mayoo Hussein, a former al-Shabaab fighter interviewed at Dadaab camp, said Islamic State’s arrival made al-Shabaab’s leadership increasingly ruthless. Fighters were incentivized to entrap comrades who had talked to Islamic State.

“I stayed a long time with al-Shabaab and al-Shabaab is not good.…Daesh could be better,” he said.

Source: wsj.com/articles/african-terror-franchise-now-has-competition-from-islamic-state-1477474200

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Tunisian Police Detain Two US Nationals for Terrorist Propaganda

October 26, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tunisian security forces arrested two brothers, both US nationals, on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, local media reported.

The arrest occurred in the Northwestern city of Jendouba, following a police raid on the house of the two brothers, where a computer with materials on how to make explosives and extremist propaganda was found, Mosaique Radio reported.

Tunisia has suffered sporadically from militant violence since the 2011 revolution, when long-standing president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted.

In 2015, Tunisia witnessed a number of notorious extremists attacks. In particular, in March 2015, a group of gunmen dressed in military uniforms opened fire on tourists at the Tunisian National Bardo Museum near the parliament building, killing 22.

In June, 2015, 38 people were killed and 40 more wounded in the resort town of Sousse after a gunman disguised as a tourist opened fire on a beach.

The ISIL militant group claimed responsibility for both attacks. A nationwide state of emergency was imposed following a deadly bomb attack in November 2015, when a bus carrying Tunisian presidential guards exploded, killing at least 12.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950805000817

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Gambia Withdraws from ICC

Oct 26, 2016

The Government of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia has announced it has left the International Criminal Court (ICC) with effect from yesterday October 25, 2016. This information was contained in a press release issued by the Government. Below is the full text of the release:

The Government of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia hereby informs all and sundry, the withdrawal of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia’s Membership of the International Criminal Court, the ICC. This action is warranted by the fact that the ICC despite being called the International Criminal Court is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans.

This Infamous Caucasian Court for the persecution of Africans and especially their leaders showed its true colors when it declared immediately after the United Kingdom release their investigation report on the Iraq war pronouncing former Prime Minister Tony Blair of committing war crimes; that the ICC will not indict Tony Blair for war crimes. There are many Western countries, at least 30, that have committed heinous war crimes against independent sovereign states and their citizens since the creation of the ICC and not a single Western war criminal has been indicted.

The Gambia took the European Union to the ICC about a year ago for the Mass Murder (Genocide) of thousands of young Africans on European coastal waters and since then nothing has been heard from the ICC. Thousands of young Africans in search of greener pastures have been dying on European coasts on a weekly basis – for what crime? Because they are black and Africans who want to migrate to Europe in search of better life as the Europeans did hundreds of years ago when they were in abject poverty and invaded Africa, Asia and other regions without any documentation, that is, passports or visas. They ended up colonizing Africa with such catastrophic consequences that the African Continent is suffering from up to today.

After several warnings to the UN General Assembly and the Security Council in particular about the mass murder of young African migrants on European beaches and waters in our annual speeches to the United Nations General Assembly fell on deaf ears, The Gambia Government engaged the ICC to prosecute those leaders and countries responsible for the genocide. We made it very clear that if the ICC fails to bring those responsible to justice, the Islamic Republic of The Gambia would be obliged to use other more stringent options to make those responsible for the deaths of thousands of young African migrants on the European coast face justice or pay a very high price for their racist genocide.

As from today, Tuesday, 25th October 2016, we are no longer a member of the ICC and have started to complete the process as stipulated in the statutes creating the ICC.

We depend on the ALMIGHTY ALLAH and ALLAH willing, all the racist genocidal criminals responsible for the continuing mass slaughter of Africans would face justice. That would be a lesson to human kind and justice shall prevail. Inshallah. The pursuit of equal justice for all of humanity is greater than any nation.

Source: observer.gm/gambia-withdraws-from-icc/

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Southeast Asia

Some Indonesians 'joining pro-Islamic State groups in Philippines'

26/10/2016

Islamic State supporters from Indonesia are traveling to join forces with their counterparts in the Philippines, raising concerns about cross-border violence, Indonesian anti-terrorism officials said on Tuesday.

Authorities in Southeast Asia have been on heightened alert since a gun-and-bomb attack rocked the Indonesian capital Jakarta in January and stamped Islamic State's presence in the region for the first time.

"Some (Indonesian Islamic State supporters) are training in the Philippines," said A. Syamsu of the Indonesian counter-terrorism agency. "There's no exact number yet but it could be dozens."

Authorities across the region have in the last year cracked down on Islamic State sympathizers attempting to travel to Syria.

That has forced many Indonesian radicals to use sea routes to travel to the Philippines instead making it harder to track their movements, national police chief Tito Karnavian said in an interview last week.

Jakarta-based terrorism expert Sidney Jones, in a report that detailed links between Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine radical networks, said they are now increasing cooperation, making cross-border violence likely.

"As getting to Syria becomes increasingly difficult for Southeast Asian fighters, Mindanao (in the southern Philippines) may be the next best option," Jones wrote in the report.

In June, militants who claimed to be fighting for Islamic State said in a video they had chosen the Philippines' most wanted man, Isnilon Hapilon, to lead their Southeast Asian faction.

The video, posted on social media, marked Islamic State's acceptance of allegiance from Southeast Asian supporters and called for them to launch attacks in the region.

Hapilon is known to be a member of the Abu Sayyaf group based in the Mindanao region and known for kidnappings and extortion. He has a $5 million bounty on his head from the U.S. State Department for the kidnapping of Americans in 2001.

Authorities in the Philippines say there are a handful of Indonesian and Malaysian militants in Mindanao.

Malaysian police have arrested more than 100 suspected Islamic State sympathizers this year and stepped up security in case fighters try to return from the Middle East in the wake of an ongoing offensive in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, Iraq.

"In Malaysia, there have been a few attempted (attacks) so it wouldn't be surprising if there are more around the region, especially if they were desperate," said counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, adding it was possible Malaysians were traveling to the Philippines.

Source: reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-security-philippines-idUSKCN12P1C4

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Will a Rohingya Armed Struggle Be Legitimate?

26/10/2016

(NEW YORK CITY) - What should the Rohingyas do now as the victims of ethnic cleansing and inhuman atrocities being identified as Bangali foreigners in our own ancestral homeland by our own Government?

Think about the legitimacy of the armed struggle of the Rohingya people.

Our villages, houses, mosques, 95% of the Madarsas were burned down, the entire Rohingya Muslim population was made homeless, turned into helpless animal-like creatures in crowded concentration camps with tents.

Artificial starvation was created with people intentionally blocking the food supply, and medical treatment for Rohingya people was hindered, while thousands were killed and uncountable rapes were brutally committed.

A constant fear was imposed upon all who shared an uncertain future. Immigration checks were imposed instead of humanitarian help and instead of providing survival kits, all human rights articles were violated by the security forces and the government agencies. Even our great President Obama’s strong speech in favor of Rohingyas was disregarded.

Nothing stopped even after the departure of Obama President. Thein Sein has been issuing numerous promises and commitments to international media without a single punishment of the racist and extremist RNDP Arakan – ruling party leaders who are the masterminds and architects of the death and destruction of our people and properties.

In this critical situation, Rohingyas are not protected by their own government, and those who take refuge in neighboring Bangladesh trying to save their family's lives, are refused entry to that country against international law.

Rohingya men, women and children are engaged in desperate attempts... floating weeks and weeks, many have drowned trying to reach Thailand or Malaysia for safety.

The UN, US, EU, OIC, ASEAN and all world countries demanded the Burmese govt. to stop violence and restore Rohingyas rights, however, nothing was productive and still today the burning of houses and other buildings is continuing, while the arrests and killings Rohingyas continue.

I think there is no way out for Rohingyas except armed struggle for the defence of our lives and dignity in our own land, Arakan, dying in constant fear and living as animal with humiliation is not acceptable as human being.

To die with dignity with a legitimate armed struggle under UN laws of right of self-determination and prevention of ethnic cleansing seems better for Rohingyasi instead of begging our natural rights of indigenous and citizenship status from the government.

With the Burmese govt. utterly denying our existence and our national identity on the soil of Arakan, there is no scope to accept the saying of some Rohingya Activists for peaceful settlement and negotiation with Burmese govt. for our rights.

In my analysis, the Rohingya armed struggle is legitimate both in terms of Islamic verdicts and international laws for the defence and dignified survival of Rohingya nation.

However, we must prepare for this through an aggressive world-wide diplomacy bringing the world public opinion in favor of the just struggle of Rohingya people and a UN Resolution to raise arms for the self-defense of Rohingya nation.

Source: salem-news.com/articles/october252016/rohingyas-ethnic-cleansing-my.php

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Southeast Asian terror mastermind to stay at Guantanamo: US

26 Oct 2016

WASHINGTON: A Southeast Asian terror mastermind who has been accused over a series of high-profile attacks will stay in detention at Guantanamo Bay after US officials rejected his bid for release.

A US government body tasked with reducing the number of inmates at Guantanamo said that Indonesian militant Riduan Isamuddin, better known by his nom de guerre Hambali, still represented a "significant threat to the security of the United States".

The decision is likely to be welcomed by governments in Southeast Asia as signs indicate that the influence of the Islamic State (IS) group has sparked a resurgence in militancy.

Hambali, who was captured in 2003 and sent to Guantanamo three years later, was believed to be Al-Qaeda's top representative in Southeast Asia and operational chief of regional militant group Jemaah Ismaliyah (JI).

He was accused of helping mastermind the 2002 bombings on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali that left 202 people dead, and plotting other attacks in Indonesia, as well as on US airliners.

Hambali appeared before the Periodic Review Board at Guantanamo in August seeking his release after 10 years in detention without charge.

However the board said in a statement rejecting his request that Hambali had a "lengthy history as a jihadist" and had played a "significant role in major terrorist attacks and plotting".

After US President Barack Obama unveiled a roadmap to close Guantanamo in February, the Indonesian government expressed opposition to the potential return of Hambali to the country.

The number of prisoners at Guantanamo, set up on Cuba after the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, is down to 60 as Obama seeks to fulfil a pledge to shutter the facility before leaving office.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, had succeeded in weakening dangerous networks, including JI, with a tough crackdown following the Bali bombings.

However IS has inspired a string of attacks and plots in the past year in Indonesia and other parts of the region, including a deadly gun and suicide bombing assault in Jakarta in January claimed by the jihadists.

Source: channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/southeast-asian-terror-mastermind-to-stay-at-guantanamo-us/3236310.html

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Europe

‘Living here doesn't make you one of us’ Danish Queen tells Muslims to adopt West's values

Wed, Oct 26, 2016

Queen Margarethe II said it was “not a law of nature” that asylum seekers automatically integrated into society and called on Muslim groups to do more to help new arrivals understand Danish society.

The Queen, who is one of Europe’s most respected and long-serving royals, said politicians needed to “put their foot down” and strictly uphold the country’s principles of democracy and gender equality in her unprecedented rallying cry.

Denmark has taken in just under 15,000 asylum seekers in the last nine months, according to Government statistics, and has reintroduced border controls to stem the flow heading northwards towards neighbouring Sweden.

The arrival of predominantly Muslim refugees has sparked a heated debate about migration in the country, which earlier this year saw a new law passed allowing the authorities to seize migrants’ assets to pay for housing and benefits.

Some right-wing politicians have linked asylum seekers to the growing threat of Islamic State (ISIS) with one, the deputy leader of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, Soeren Espersen, issuing a Donald Trump-style call for a six-year ban on Muslim migrants entering the country.

And now the Nordic country’s Queen has intervened in the national debate with an outspoken rallying call to Muslim migrants to integrate into the country’s free, tolerant society.

She said: “It’s not a law of nature that one becomes Danish by living in Denmark. It doesn’t necessarily happen.

“We thought that these things would take care of themselves. That if you walked through the streets of Copenhagen and drank the municipal water and rode the municipal bus, you’d soon become a Dane.

“It was so obvious to us, and therefore we thought that it must also be obvious for those who settled and lived here. It wasn’t.”

In a book, compiled with the Danish journalist Thomas Larsen, Queen Margarethe said that migrants arriving from south east Asia had “prospered”, but those coming from the Middle East “have had a hard time finding their rhythm in Denmark”.

And she admitted that the sheer scale of the new arrivals seen across Europe over the last 18 months had changed her views of immigration which, as a young woman in the 1960s, she and other Danes saw as “exciting”.

Speaking about the cultural values some migrants bring with them, she said: "We cannot pretend that it wears off by itself. It won't. Many of us thought that people who come to a strange place are a kind of a blotting paper that absorbs everything new.

“The task becomes harder, however, when so many people having various backgrounds and a particular religion arrive at once. They risk isolating themselves regardless of their will.”

And the veteran monarch, who ascended to the throne of Denmark in 1972, offered a scathing verdict of today’s crop of EU politicians who she accused of betraying European values in the name of political correctness.

She said: “If you can’t formulate what you stand for, it is hard to tell others about it. It needs to be worked on and every once in a while you need to put your foot down with somebody and say ‘Hey! That won’t do’.”

Her remarks were extremely outspoken for a royal who, like England’s Queen Elizabeth, has traditionally attempted to remain above the political fray.

But they were welcomed by the Danish Culture Minister Bertel Haarder, who said the Queen was simply voicing the concerns of many ordinary Danes.

He said: "She described precisely the development that many of us have gone through. I remember saying at the beginning of my tenure as Integration Minister that the number of immigrants and refugees did not matter meant so much, as long as they found work.

“It sounded good, but unfortunately it was not true. It is the number that matters.”

As migrants clash with each other in over crowded camps across Europe, we take a look through the hard task of policing the migrant crisis in Europe.

And the right-leaning Danish newspaper Berlingske added that whilst some would take offence at the monarch wading into politics, her remarks “show that she has an outstanding talent for being a political temperature gauge”.

Europe has been in the grip of an unprecedented migration crisis, with more than a million migrants arriving on the continent from the Middle East and North Africa in 2015 alone.

Denmark has predominantly acted as a transit point for asylum seekers heading north towards Sweden which, along with Germany, is touted as a promised land with abundant housing and jobs for new arrivals.

Source: express.co.uk/news/world/725158/Migrant-crisis-Queen-Margarethe-II-Denmark-Muslim-refugees-integrate-European-values

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European Parliament resolution condemns Iran for anti-Semitism

Wed, Oct 26, 2016

The European Parliament passed a last-minute amendment to a report on Iran, condemning the Islamic Republic for Holocaust denial and anti-Israel hate speech.

With 590 in favor, 67 against and 36 abstentions, lawmakers at a plenary in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed the amendment, put forward by Dutch Liberal parliamentarian Marietje Schaake, that the house “Strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s repeated calls for the destruction of Israel and the regime’s policy of denying the Holocaust.”

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the AJC’s EU office, said that “by clearly denouncing Tehran’s antisemitic policies and threats against Israel, the European Parliament has corrected, with a wide majority, one of the report’s most glaring shortcomings. We salute Parliament’s principled stand on this critical issue. Unfortunately, another crucial amendment calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to systematic torture and other improvements to the text were rejected.”

The report titled “EU Strategy towards Iran after the nuclear agreement” was compiled by British Labour MEP Richard Howitt, and approved in Tuesday’s vote 456-174.

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor also praised the change.

“We welcome this amendment, as it is essential to couple Iran’s extremism, Holocaust denial and call for genocide with its nuclear program and relations with the international community,” he said. “It is vital that Iran is pressured to improve its human rights record and belligerency towards Israel and the region before the European Union resets its relations with the Islamic Republic.”

The president of the British Board of Deputies, Jonathan Arkush, said “Iran is a serial human rights abuser on a scale that is glaring and brazen. The strengthening of the European Parliament’s resolution was both necessary and welcome. What is also needed is a strengthening of sanctions to bring home to the pariah state of Iran that its abhorrent behavior will come at a heavy price.”

The document, which set principles for normalization of European Union relations with Iran following the agreement to lift sanctions from Tehran in exchange for the scaling back of its nuclear program, originally contained one single criticism of Iran, regarding its use of the death penalty. It did not mention Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, support for Holocaust denial, or threats to destroy Israel.

In a debate on the report Monday night, several Members of the European Parliament blasted the original draft, which they said gave Tehran a free pass on its human rights violations, and support for Syria President Bashar al-Assad and terror organizations.

“Sadly, some in this house sought to rush to business as usual with Tehran, and to ignore or obfuscate the regime’s horrendous crimes against its own people and those in the region,” Schwammenthal said. “The European Parliament is an important voice in the defense of human rights, justice and freedom. If we compromise on our values in pursuit of our interest, we are likely to lose both.”

But Howitt said the Iran nuclear agreement was “a major achievement” for European and international diplomacy, and that “it is right that Europe honors its own obligations under the agreement, and that the same opposition we saw in the US Congress is faced down in Europe too.

“Critics of the report should be honest that in reality their opposition is to the agreement itself. And I will be honest with them by saying the true consequences of a breakdown in the agreement are a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, a victory for hardliners over reformists, impoverishment and a loss of hope for ordinary Iranian people, and fatally undermining diplomatic efforts to overcome the suffering, death and destruction in Syria and Yemen.”

The report endorses the restoration of a human rights dialogue between the EU and Iran, and gives priority to ending use of the death penalty for minors and for all drug-related offenses.

In several rounds of negotiations between the political groups, the text was revised by addressing Iran’s human rights abuses, external aggression, and support for terror organizations such as Hezbollah.

According to the Tehran Times, the Iranian Foreign Ministry welcomed the report, saying the move “depicts the European Parliament’s determination for expansion of ties with Tehran.”

Source: jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/European-Parliament-resolution-condemns-Iran-for-anti-Semitism-470838

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7th international halal conference in Brussels

October 25, 2016

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The two-day conference is focused on the emerging markets for Halal products, which are in accordance with Islamic teachings and tenets, IINA reported.

The Halal Food Council of Europe, based in Brussels, has organized the event.

Iqbal Ahmed Qureshi, director of the council, said the conference is an opportunity for discussing the rules and criteria for issuing Halal certificates in the next decade.

He noted that use of Halal products is growing in the world and even among non-Muslims.

According to Qureshi, people in North America and Europe spent 48 billion dollars for Halal food.

Halal means permissible in the Islamic Sharia law and covers everything from food to finance, logistics and tourism.

The global halal industry is estimated to be worth more than $2 trillion, including a $1 trillion food market which is expanding.

A growing middle-class Muslim population compounded by rising demand from non-Muslim nations has sparked a race among many countries to scrape a niche in the halal market.

Major Muslim countries from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Turkey and Pakistan to non-Muslim nations such as Japan, New Zealand and the UK are jockeying for position in the market.

Source: en.abna24.com/service/europe/archive/2016/10/25/787779/story.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraqi-analyst-discloses-s-arabia,-turkey-s-plot-to-transfer-al-baghdadi-to-libya/d/108926


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