ISIS broke the locks that kept the two-story building closed since the extremists overran the city in mid last year, loading some 2,000 books included children stories, poetry, philosophy, sports, health and cultural and scientific publications into six pickup trucks and leaving behind only the Islamic religious ones. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
IS Target Iraq's Libraries in War on Culture, Learning In Mosul
Iraqi Official: Over 28 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Anbar
Al-Qaradawi and Qutb Books Withdrawn From Cairo Intl Book Fair
Muslim Brotherhood Called For ‘A Long, Uncompromising Jihad’ In Egypt
ISIS seizes oil facility in Kirkuk producing 10,000 bpd
Toronto Woman’s Road to Jihad Tracked One Tweet at a Time
Islamic State builds links with al-Qaeda lands
ISIS chemical weapons expert ‘killed’ in airstrike
1.8 million Saudis genetically incompatible cancel their marriages
Egyptian military says it will intensify offensive against terrorism
At Least 123 Boko Haram Militants Killed In Cameroon
Boko Haram Discusses Baga Massacre, Ideology in New Video
U.N. chief backs regional African force to fight Boko Haram
Tripoli rivals to join peace talks ‘if held in Libya’
Kyrgyz Nationals Join IS In Syria 'For Ideology Not Money'
Air Strikes Alone Not Enough to Defeat Islamic State: NATO Chief
France’s anti-Muslim tensions will be ‘short lived’
Canada announces new anti-terror law
Norway attempts to relocate Islamic hate preacher to remote village 300 miles north of Oslo
Denmark Terror Plans Stigmatize Muslims
Saudi Arabia to delay activist's flogging for second time: Amnesty
‘Kill Islam Before It Kills You’ – Racist Graffiti in the University Of Birmingham
5 ANA Martyred, 44 Insurgents Killed In Military Operations
State Facilities for Bangladesh War Rape Victims
Japan reaches ‘deadlock’ in ISIS hostage situation
Human rights activists urge politicians to stop violence
Stop anarchy or face stern action, Muhith tells Khaleda
I’m No Sultan, But More like British Queen: Erdogan
Hezbollah head says not seeking new war but warns Israel
Yemen Shiite militia holds widely boycotted meeting on crisis
Commander: Zionists Should Fear Hezbollah's Response Anywhere in World
Blast in Pakistan: Anger, Mourning After Shiite Mosque Bombing
Zarb-e-Azb Holistically Dealing with Militancy: Pak President
Muslim Rulers’ Respect Lies In Showing Love for Prophet, Not West: Jamaat-e-Islami
Nation Resolved To Win War against Terror At Any Cost: PM
US-India Defence Ties, Threat for Imbalance of Power in Region: JuD Chief
Lal Masjid Cleric Limits Activities in Protest
Only 23 seminaries receiving foreign funding: Baleeghur Rahman
All Madaris But Those in Punjab Get Foreign Funding, Senate Told
ATC hands down death penalty to three terrorists
Operations against terrorists conducted across country
European Parliament pledges support in fight against terror
Step up efforts to combat terror, Ban tells Pak
‘Secular’ In Preamble Non-Negotiable, Can’t Even Be Debated: Punjab CM
India Following Israel Model to Counter Pak: Member of Parliament
‘Muslims, Dalits Better Off In Developed Districts’
Godse Bust Bid Foiled, Hindu Mahasabha Plans a Library
Islamist Ideology in Canadian Schools A Challenge For Cops
Obama Promotes Religious, Gender Equity in India Speech
Anti-democracy imam gets cold reception over Montreal community centre plan
Hagel: U.S. may need ground troops in Iraq
Washington Post: Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyeh Killed by CIA, Mossad
Relationships with India, Pakistan stand on their own: US
Deadly Clash In Philippines a Setback to Peace with Muslim Rebels
Human Rights Watch to Jokowi Amid Execution Revival: Make Rights Matter
Civilians killed in Philippines anti-terror raid: Mayor
Najib commits to February 10 for Shariah index launch
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
31 Jan, 2015
BAGHDAD (AP) — When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people's ideas.
Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children's stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
"These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned," a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press. The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation, said the Islamic State group official made his impromptu address as others stuffed books into empty flour bags.
Since the Islamic State group seized a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria, they have sought to purge society of everything that doesn't conform to their violent interpretation of Islam. They already have destroyed many archaeological relics, deeming them pagan, and even Islamic sites considered idolatrous. Increasingly books are in the firing line.
Mosul, the biggest city in the Islamic State group's self-declared caliphate, boasts a relatively educated, diverse population that seeks to preserve its heritage sites and libraries. In the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, residents near the Central Library hid some of its centuries-old manuscripts in their own homes to prevent their theft or destruction by looters.
But this time, the Islamic State group has made the penalty for such actions death. Presumed destroyed are the Central Library's collection of Iraqi newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections contributed by around 100 of Mosul's establishment families.
Days after the Central Library's ransacking, militants broke into University of Mosul's library. They made a bonfire out of hundreds of books on science and culture, destroying them in front of students.
A University of Mosul history professor, who spoke on condition he not be named because of his fear of the Islamic State group, said the extremists started wrecking the collections of other public libraries last month. He reported particularly heavy damage to the archives of a Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library with works dating back to 5000 BC.
Citing reports by the locals who live near these libraries, the professor added that the militants used to come during the night and carry the materials in refrigerated trucks with Syria-registered license plates. The fate of these old materials is still unknown, though the professor suggested some could be sold on the black market. In September, Iraqi and Syrian officials told the AP that the militants profited from the sale of ancient artifacts.
The professor said Islamic State group militants appeared determined to "change the face of this city ... by erasing its iconic buildings and history."
Since routing government forces and seizing Mosul last summer, the Islamic State group has destroyed dozens of historic sites, including the centuries-old Islamic mosque shrines of the prophets Seth, Jirjis and Jonah.
An Iraqi lawmaker, Hakim al-Zamili, said the Islamic State group "considers culture, civilization and science as their fierce enemies."
Al-Zamili, who leads the parliament's Security and Defense Committee, compared the Islamic State group to raiding medieval Mongols, who in 1258 ransacked Baghdad. Libraries' ancient collections of works on history, medicine and astronomy were dumped into the Tigris River, purportedly turning the waters black from running ink.
"The only difference is that the Mongols threw the books in the Tigris River, while now Daesh is burning them," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. "Different method, but same mentality."
31 January 2015
At least 28 terrorists were killed in heavy fighting between the Iraqi army and ISIL Takfiri group in the Western province of Anbar, a military official said.
A senior army official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the army troops continued to make more gains in their fight against the terrorist group in the area of Milahma, Northern Fallujah, and managed to claim the lives of more than 28 terrorists.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control a shrinking part of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
Al-Qaradawi and Qutb Books Withdrawn From Cairo Intl Book Fair
The Egyptian Ministry of Culture denied in a statement released early Saturday, 31 January, that it had confiscated books of the Qatar-based Muslim cleric Youssef Al-Qaradawi from the Cairo International Book Fair that started Wednesday, 28 January, saying they were removed by the publisher, Dar El-Shorouk.
The ministry said the books, which were on sale in the Dar El-Shorouk Publishing House wing at the fair, were removed by the publisher due to the “disapproval and dismay" expressed by visitors to the fair given that Al-Qaradawi "does not deny his affiliation to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group."
Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, has been critical of Egypt's government, accusing President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of betrayal for ousting President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. He also called for protests in Egypt on the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution.
Books of the late radical Islamist author Sayyed Qutb were also withdrawn by El-Shorouk.
Ahmed Megahed, director of the General Egyptian Book Organisation, confirmed that Dar El-Shorouk withdrew the books from its wing.
The ministry said that it “believes in freedom of expression and does not put any restrictions or censorship on which books are be displayed and which books are not. Thus it was not informed that these books will be displayed" and neither interferred to remove them. The ministry said that the only books that are subject to censorship are books that come from abroad, as "they fall under different rules that the ministry has no authority over.”
Dar El-Shorouk is the publisher of the works of Al-Qaradawi since many years. It also publishes the works of radical Islamist author and educator Sayyed Qutb, the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966.
El-Shorouk, did not release any statement on the matter and could not be reached for comment.
The works of Al-Qaradawi,and Qutb have been displayed and sold at the Cairo International Book Fair without issue for years. Yet the changing political atmosphere in Egypt appears to have changed the way visitors perceive their books. Qutb is seen as the radical godfather of the Muslim Brotherhood group that the government and media deems responsible for ongoing violence in the country since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Meanwhile, many of the publications of the ministry and the General Egyptian Book Organisation, the organizer of the fair, are on Qutb and his works, such as the recently released book by historian Sherif Younis, Sayyed Qutb and Islamic Radicalism.
Al-Qaradawi, who led the Friday prayer in Tahrir Square on 19 February 2011, a week after longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was removed, and was praised by large numbers of protesters, has lost a majority of his supporters in Egypt as he started to overtly express his allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood, at the same time showing growing hostility to the Egyptian regime.
The Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising jihad” in Egypt just days after a delegation of the Islamist group’s key leaders and allies met with the State Department, according to an official statement released this week.
Just days after a delegation that included two top Brotherhood leaders was hosted at the State Department, the organization released an official statement calling on its supporters to “prepare” for jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.
The State Department meeting was attended by a deputy assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labour and other State Department officials.
The Muslim Brotherhood statement also was issued just two days before a major terror attack Thursday in Egypt’s lawless Sinai region that killed at least 25.
“It is incumbent upon everyone to be aware that we are in the process of a new phase, where we summon what is latent in our strength, where we recall the meanings of jihad and prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons, our daughters, and whoever marched on our path to a long, uncompromising jihad, and during this stage we ask for martyrdom,” it states.
Preparation for jihad is a key theme of the Brotherhood’s latest call for jihad.
An image posted with the statement shows two crossing swords and the word “prepare!” between them. Below the swords it reads, “the voice of truth, strength, and freedom.” According to the statement, “that is the motto of the Dawa of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The statement also invokes the well-known Muslim cleric Imam al-Bana, who founded the Brotherhood and has called for the death of Jews.
“Imam al-Bana prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers and the second [Supreme] Guide Hassan al-Hudaybi reconstructed the ‘secret apparatus’ to bleed the British occupiers,” the statement says.
The Brotherhood’s renewed call for jihad comes at a time when current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is cracking down on the group and imprisoning many of its supporters, who notoriously engaged in violence following the ouster of Brotherhood-ally Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt experts said the timing of this declaration is an embarrassment for the State Department.
“The fact that the Brotherhood issued its call to jihad two days after its meeting at the State Department will be grist for endless anti-American conspiracy theories about a supposed partnership between Washington and the Brotherhood,” said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). “The State Department should have foreseen what an embarrassment this would be.”
One member of that U.S. delegation, a Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture while at Foggy Bottom in which he held up the Islamic group’s notorious four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.
“Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone,” reads an Arabic caption posted along with the photo.
Other members of that group included Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood, and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor.
When asked on Tuesday evening to comment on the meeting, a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon, “We meet with representatives from across the political spectrum in Egypt.”
The official declined to elaborate on who may have been hosted or on any details about the timing and substance of any talks.
The meeting was described by a member of the delegation, Maha Azzam as “fruitful,” according to one person who attended a public event in Washington earlier this week hosted by the group.
The call for jihad, while surprising in light of the Brotherhood’s attempts to appear moderate, is part and parcel of organization’s longstanding beliefs, Trager said.
“Muslim Brothers have been committing violent acts for a very long time,” Trager explained. “Under Morsi, Muslim Brothers tortured protesters outside the presidential palace. After Morsi’s ouster, they have frequently attacked security forces and state property. “
“But until now, the official line from the Brotherhood was to support this implicitly by justifying its causes, without justifying the acts themselves,” he added. “ So the Brotherhood’s open call to jihad doesn’t necessarily mean a tactical shift, but a rhetorical one.”
Terrorism expert and national security reporter Patrick Poole said he was struck by the clarity of the Brotherhood’s call.
“It invokes the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist past, specifically mentioning the ‘special apparatus’ that waged terror in the 1940s and 1950s until the Nasser government cracked down on the group, as well as the troops sent by founder Hassan al-Banna to fight against Israel in 1948,” he said.
“It concludes saying that the Brotherhood has entered a new stage, warns of a long jihad ahead, and to prepare for martyrdom,” Poole said. “Not sure how much more clear they could be.”
Poole wondered if the call for jihad would convince Brotherhood apologists that the group still backs violence.
“What remains to be seen is how this announcement will be received inside the Beltway, where the vast majority of the ‘experts’ have repeatedly said that the Brotherhood had abandoned its terrorist past, which it is now clearly reviving, and had renounced violence,” Poole said. “Will this development be met with contrition, or silence? And what says the State Department who met with these guys this week?”
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment before press time.
31 January 2015
A small crude oil station has been seized by ISIS militants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, security and oil officials told Reuters news agency on Saturday, adding that 15 employees were missing.
"We received a call from one of the workers saying dozens of Daesh fighters were surrounding the facility and asking workers to leave the premises. We lost contact and now the workers might be taken hostage," an engineer from the North Oil Co told Reuters, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Khabbbusaz is a small oilfield 20 km southwest of Kirkuk with a maximum production capacity of 15,000 barrels per day. It was producing around 10,000 bpd before the attack, according to Reuters.
Last year, ISIS began selling crude oil and gasoline to finance their operations after seizing at least four small oilfields when it overran large areas of northern Iraq.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces sought to push back ISIS in further fighting near Khabbaz on Saturday, Kurdish military sources told the news agency.
TORONTO — The Toronto woman who Tweeted so sympathetically about ISIS probably had no idea that, when she left Canada late last year, she was being tracked by researchers following her movements using geo-coding.
But every time she posted a Tweet, she was inadvertently giving away her location, allowing the researchers to map her as she travelled from the ISIS capital in Raqqah, Syria to the front lines in Kobani and Mosul.
“I did not see in their actions anything but the utmost of respect for me as a sister,” she wrote in Arabic from Kobani on Dec. 25. In another Tweet, she wrote: “God bless those who live on His path and who die on His path.”
By failing to turn off the locator on her cellphone, she not only left an incriminating electronic trail, she also highlighted a disturbing trend: Canadian women are increasingly involved in supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
While most of the Canadians who have either left to join ISIS or who have been stopped by police en route are men, some are women. ISIS prohibits women from taking part in combat, so their roles are limited to serving as “jihadi brides.”
A report released Wednesday by the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue said that about 550 of the 3,000 Western citizens in ISIS territory are women. The study looked at the social-media profiles of several women in ISIS, one of them a Canadian.
It found the women were motivated by extremist ideology that portrays Muslims as victims of oppression, depicts such Western countries as Canada as sinful, and claims it is their religious duty to populate the “pure” Islamic state.
“Female migrants are not just rejecting the culture and foreign policy of the West; they are also embracing a new vision for society. They hope to contribute to this society, governed by a strict interpretation of Shariah law,” it said.
Even given their limited, mostly domestic roles, the women pose a security threat. They not only support ISIS atrocities, but actively promote them online. “Perhaps the most important risk is that the female migrants can inspire others, both men and women, to carry out attacks in Western countries or to travel to Syria and Iraq.”
On her Twitter page, the Toronto woman uses an image of an ISIS beheading as her banner photo. She was identified by the Waterloo, Ont.-based intelligence research company iBRABO, which made international headlines earlier this month when it pinpointed the whereabouts of Mark Taylor, a New Zealander, in ISIS.
Both were tracked using geo-coding. “If you don’t turn that off then every time you Tweet it basically broadcasts your location at the same time, and with some of the fighters that are over there in Syria and Iraq you can actually follow them from that,” said Jeff Weyers, the iBRABO senior research analyst.
The results were to be published today by the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC) in an article that notes that the woman — identified only as “L.A.” — had enjoyed remarkable access, visiting virtually every major centre controlled by ISIS.
“One of the speculations is she’s either shacked up with or is kind of being escorted by somebody that would be relatively high up in ISIS, just for the amount of travel and the types of areas that she’s getting to,” said Mr. Weyers, who co-wrote the article and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Liverpool.
According to the article, she was in Toronto on Nov. 23 and then reappeared in Raqqah on Dec. 8. Two weeks later, she was in Kobani, which ISIS was then trying unsuccessfully to capture from Western-backed Kurdish fighters.
Between Jan. 2 and 6, she was in Dier Ezzor, another ISIS stronghold, before turning up in Mosul, Iraq on Jan. 9. Curiously, she then spent five days (Jan. 11 to 16) in Aleppo, which is not controlled by ISIS but rather by the Syrian regime, opposition and Kurdish forces.
“While in Aleppo she spends all of her time in territory controlled by ISIS’s enemies,” the TRAC article notes. “Given her previous trip to Mosul and her attendance directly in Aleppo, a reasonable inference would be that L.A. may have again been facilitating surveillance for ISIS during her time in Aleppo.”
Mr. Weyers said L.A. was not being identified by name so as not to interfere with an RCMP investigation. As part of the RCMP-led High Risk Travellers program, Canadian authorities have been cancelling the passports of those suspected of links to ISIS.
The TRAC article said the recent terror attacks in Paris showed the dangers posed by those returning from conflict zones, including women. “No doubt L.A. represents a good example of that threat and will fill yet another spot on the High Risk Travellers list that the RCMP and CSIS continually monitor,” it said.
The authors argued that fighting terrorist violence should not be left to police and that parents, schools and religious leaders have roles to play in preventing radicalization. “Waiting until Canadians have travelled to Syria and are fighting on the front lines with ISIS is simply too late. ”
The Islamic State (IS) group has forged links with militants across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, embracing regional franchises that have pledged allegiance to the group.
The latest branch was announced in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, on 26 January.
The first new branches beyond the group's strongholds in Syria and Iraq were announced by IS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi in November when he accepted pledges of allegiance from jihadists in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Some of those pledges came from existing groups which went on to re-brand themselves as new IS "provinces", or wilayat, such as the Egyptian Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and Algeria's Jund al-Khilafah.
The most prolific branches have been those in Libya and Egypt, which have tapped into the IS media network to publish a steady flow of propaganda, highlighting attacks and publicising their attempts at governance.
Full report at:
A chemical weapons expert of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was killed in a coalition airstrike last week near Mosul, Iraq, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement on Friday.
The air raid took out Abu Malik, whose training "provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability," the military said in a statement.
The statement said Abu Malik had been a chemical weapons engineer during the rule of Saddam Hussein and then joined al-Qaeda Iraq in 2005.
"His death is expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL's ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocent people," the statement said, using another term for ISIS.
U.S. officials had not publicly referred to Malik previously as a key figure.
The Egyptian army said on Friday that militant attacks won't deter the armed forces from their "holy duty of uprooting terrorism," one day after coordinated attacks in North Sinai left at least 30 dead.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) convened on Friday to "discuss and analyse," the attacks, army spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement on his official Facebook page.
The statement, however, did not specify the exact number of those killed in the attacks. Reports by local and international media quoted anonymous sources putting the death toll at 30-32, while Al Jazeera said 42 had been killed.
"The army's offensives against terrorism, aided by the police and supported by the people, will continue and intensify in the peninsula, and across the country," said Samir.
A security source told Al-Ahram’s Arabic website that the army have responded to Thursday’s attacks by starting wide military offensives throughout North Sinai, targeting terrorist hideouts using Apache helicopters and un-manned planes.
At least 123 Boko Haram militants killed in Cameroon
Three soldiers and 123 Boko Haram militants were killed when the Islamist group attacked a Chadian army contingent in northern Cameroon, the Chadian military said Friday.
Twelve soldiers were wounded in the attacks staged by the Islamists on Thursday and Friday near the border town of Fotokol, according to a military statement read out on national television.
Chad sent a convoy of troops and military vehicles into neighboring Cameroon on January 17 to deal with the growing threat Boko Haram poses in the region.
"The enemy was repelled by our defensive forces," the general staff's statement said, adding that the troops had "routed" the Islamists in the second attack.
The soldiers were killed by improvised explosive devices, the statement said.
A senior Cameroonian security source said the Chadian troops were deployed to the town, which sits opposite a Nigerian town under Boko Haram control and is also close to the border with Chad, on Wednesday.
Boko Haram frequently stages attacks on Fotokol from their base in the Nigerian town of Gamboru, which is just 500 metres (yards) away.
Boko Haram discusses Baga massacre, ideology in new video
The jihadist group known as Boko Haram appears to have released a new video featuring an interview with the group’s spokesman, Sheikh Abu Mus’ab Al barnawi. Regarding its recent successes in attacks on towns in the Lake Chad region Al Barnawi says:”As for it’s importance to us, it’s because of it removes that military presence from the lands of the Islamic state, and hence establish the shariah of Allah in the region, and attain safety and security in it for Muslims. It’s known that those military complexes if they go to a place they corrupt it and injustice rules over it, and we by the Grace of Allah alone have managed to conquer this city and add it to the cities of the Islamic state in Africa.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday welcomed an African Union proposal to set up a regional five-nation force of 7,500 troops to fight Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist militants.
"I welcome the decision of the AU and regional countries to establish an MJTF (Multinational Joint Task Force) against Boko Haram," he told reporters during an African Union summit being held in the Ethiopian capital.
"They have committed unspeakable brutality. Those terrorists should be addressed with a regional and international cooperation," he said.
At least 13,000 people have been killed and more than a million made forced from their homes by Boko Haram violence since 2009.
The Boko Haram uprising has become a regional crisis, with the four directly affected countries -- Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria -- agreeing along with Benin to form a joint force.
The proposed force was backed by the AU's Peace and Security Council on Friday, and the pan-African body is now seeking U.N. Security Council approval plus a "Trust Fund" to pay for it.
Officials at the AU summit said military experts will discuss the force on February 5-7 in Cameroon's capital Yaounde.
TRIPOLI: The rivals of Libya’s elected Parliament agreed to join UN-mediated peace talks with the internationally recognised government if they are held on home soil.
The announcement by Salah Al-Makhzoum, deputy speaker of the General National Congress (GNC), came as the UN said there was agreement in principle to hold future sessions in Libya, “provided that logistical and security conditions are available.”
It came after an attack Tuesday on a luxury hotel in the Libyan capital by gunmen that killed nine people, including five foreigners.
The UN mission to Libya said participants at this week’s talks in Geneva had “expressed concern about the prevailing security conditions in different areas, condemning in particular the recent attack in Tripoli.”
The negotiations have brought together warring factions, civil society groups and officials in a bid to form a unity government to end Libya’s conflict.
Notably absent has been the Tripoli-based GNC, a transitional body that refused to recognize Parliament, which was elected in June but fled to the far eastern city of Tobruk for security reasons.
Kyrgyz nationals heading to Syria to join militant groups including the Islamic State (IS) group are motivated by ideology rather than financial reward, according to Rafik Mambetaliev, the head of the Interior Ministry's Department for Combating Organized Crime.
Mambetaliev spoke to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz service, Radio Azattyk, this week about why Kyrgyz citizens are radicalizing and joining groups like IS in Syria and whether returning fighters pose a threat to Kyrgyzstan.
"At first, citizens were pushed to Syria by deception, with promises of money. But now, Kyrgyz in Syria are attracted not by material values, they are once again being conned by having ideology imposed on them. Some are susceptible to these tricks and go, they even take their families and children with them," Mambetaliev said.
While he said that ideology and not financial incentives was the main factor in attracting Kyrgyz nationals to radicalize and go to Syria, Mambataliev also said that the socioeconomic situation in Kyrgyzstan was a push factor.
"Many of our citizens are working abroad, some of them fall under the influence of various religious movements," he added.
Air strikes alone not enough to defeat Islamic State: NATO chief
Air strikes alone will not be enough to defeat Islamic State militants and greater Western help in building up Iraqi security forces could also play a role, the head of NATO said on Friday.
The United States leads a coalition of countries that has been carrying out air strikes against the Islamist militants who have seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.
NATO as an organisation is not involved but individual allies participate in the coalition.
"I welcome that (participation) and I think that is important, even though I don't believe that air strikes alone can solve the problem," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference.
Separately Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview that air strikes could be supplemented by working with the Iraqi government to help it develop its security forces.
Some Western countries have sent soldiers to Iraq to train and advise but they are reluctant to send their combat troops into action against Islamic State.
Last month the Baghdad government asked NATO for help in training its security forces after the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of an offensive by Islamic State militants last year.
"We are considering how we can do that in a way which is helpful for them and we are in dialogue with the government of Iraq now," Stoltenberg said.
Hostilities experienced by France’s Muslims, following the attacks carried out by Islamist extremists on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo are likely to be short lived, according to one French commentator.
The claim comes after an apparent spike in incidents against Muslims since the January 7 and 9 attacks that left 17 people dead. In the two weeks that followed, the number of anti-Muslim incidents in France significantly outnumbered the number of attacks for the whole of January 2014.
The violence included shots fired at a Muslim prayer center in Digne-les-Bains in Provence - according to British newspaper The Telegraph - and at a mosque in Soissons, about 20 miles away from the town where the Charlie Hebdo suspects were shot dead by police.
A few days later a homemade bomb went off outside a mosque in the central city of Villefranche-sur-Saone. In a separate incident the head of a wild pig was placed outside a prayer room in Corte in Corsica.
Canada announced a new anti-terror law that will allow anyone suspected of being involved in a terror plot to be detained without charge for up to seven days.
The law announced Friday will also make it a crime for people to call for a terrorist attack, even if they don’t make a specific threat, and empower Canada’s spy agency to thwart attacks directly in a significant expansion of their powers.
Work on the law began in October after a gunman killed a soldier at Canada’s national war memorial and then stormed Parliament. The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man, said to be inspired by the Islamic State group, ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot to death.
The new law still has to be passed in Parliament but Harper’s Conservative government has a majority of the seats so passage is all but ensured.
Under current law it is a crime to make a specific threat. The new law will make it a crime for a person to call for terror attacks on Canada generally or to promote or advocate others to carry out terrorism elsewhere.
Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar and the original leader of an Iraqi jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda, says the move will separate him from his family
The Norwegian government is facing a court battle over an attempt to force an Islamic hate preacher to relocate from the capital, Oslo, to a remote village of 2,500 people for national security reasons.
If the government has its way, Kyrksæterøra, a sleepy village set among the fjords of Norway’s rugged coast, some 300 miles north of Oslo, could soon find itself hosting the country’s most notorious Islamist.
Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, was the original leader of an Iraqi jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda, and once called Osama bin Laden a “jewel in the crown of Islam”.
MOSCOW – A new Danish anti-radicalization program has been criticized by the Muslim community an attempt to “stigmatize” the religious minority in the Scandinavian country.
“The Islamic Society in Denmark considers the plans as being rushed through with no proper aim other than to stigmatize the Muslim minority,” Imran Shah, spokesman of the Islamic Society in Denmark, told Sputnik on Thursday, January 29.
“The Danish government turns a blind eye to right wing extremism which is booming at the moment and has done so for a few years now.”
Shah comments followed introducing a three-year program two days ago that aims to fight radicalism among Muslim youth in Denmark.
Nearly $9 million were allocated for the program that mainly targets suspected “fighters” returning from conflict zones in the Middle East.
For Danish Muslims, the anti-radicalization program adds to their woes following Paris attacks that left 17 killed and led to unprecedented anti-Muslim sentiments across Europe.
It also comes amid the rise of the anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DPP) which has been escalating its anti-Muslim rhetoric since winning the elections to the European Parliament in Denmark last May.
Amnesty International activists protest against the flogging punishment of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi on January 29, 2015 in front of Saudi Arabia's embassy to Germany in Berlin.PHOTO:AFP
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia plans to delay the public flogging of a rights activist on medical grounds, Amnesty International said on Thursday, raising the possibility that Riyadh may be trying to quietly drop the punishment that has drawn international rebuke.
Badawi, a blogger and founder of the “Free Saudi Liberals” website, was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million riyals ($267,000) and 1,000 lashes.
He was arrested in June 2012 for offences which included of insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father – a crime in Saudi Arabia.
Badawi was subjected to the first 50 lashes two weeks ago but a second round of flogging, scheduled to be held last Friday after afternoon prayers was postponed, ostensibly on medical grounds.
Students at the University of Birmingham have been left shocked by a spate of racist graffiti found around campus.
A racist message was found in large letters on a toilet door in the arts department stating: ‘Kill Islam before it kills you.’
Another piece of Islamophobic vandalism was found outside the psychology building saying ‘Islam must die’ alongside a sprayed swastika.
Police are currently investigating whether there are any links between this graffiti and racist markings found on the Jahalabad Mosque in nearby Selly Oak.
Responding to the anti-Islamic defacement, more than 150 students attended a protest organised by the university’s Islamic Society, Jewish Society and the Black and Ethnic Minorities’ Association.
5 ANA martyred, 44 insurgents killed in military operations
Jan 31 2015
General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for Defense Ministry of Afghanistan says that five Afghan National Army (ANA) Soldiers have embraced martyrdom in an explosion.
He has not mentioned the exact location or date/time of the explosion in the information released Saturday morning to the media but has stated that the incident occurred in past 48 hours.
Without naming the provinces, he has written in his twitter account that 44 insurgents were also killed and 52 injured in confrontation with the Afghan National Army in past 48 hours in six provinces of the county.
He has further written in statement that seven suspected insurgents were arrested during this period and 118 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were discovered and defused by the Army.
Improvised Explosive Devises are one of the biggest threats not only to Afghan National Security Forces but also to civilians in Afghanistan.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed concern over the increase in civil casualties due to IEDs beside ground engagements.
Last year nearly 10, 000 civilians were recorded killed or injured in IED explosions beside ground engagements.
According to UNAMA this was the highest number of civilians casualties ever recorded by UN agencies in Afghanistan.
State facilities for Bangladesh war rape victims
The rape victims of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 will get their long overdue recognition as freedom fighters as the national Parliament passed a historic proposal 43 years after the country’s independence from Pakistan.
Under the proposal, passed unanimously, the rape victims who are identified as biraganas — war heroines — and their children will get state facilities.
Liberation War Affairs Minister A.K.M. Mozammel Haque told Parliament on Thursday that the government had begun finalising the list of biranganas, which is expected to be completed in next two months. The nation has not forgotten the agonies of the women who were subjected to sexual violence by the Pakistan army and their local cohorts, the Minister said.
The list being prepared by the Liberation War Ministry will carry the names of the war heroines who wished to make their identities public.
Japan’s deputy foreign minister has said negotiations with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become “deadlocked,” local media reported Saturday.
Yasuhide Nakayama, who is leading Tokyo’s emergency response team in Amman, told reporters in the Jordanian capital late Friday that there had been no progress in trying to secure the release of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh.
“It has become deadlocked,” he said, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK. “Staying vigilant, we will continue analyzing and examining information as the government is making concerted efforts together.”
In Tokyo, deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko, a key aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Saturday morning that the government was still waiting for new information on the hostage crisis.
The human rights activists have urged politicians to restrain their supporters from unleashing violence immediately and not to ruin general people's lives in the name of politics.
They also requested the government to take strict step in order to ensure the security and safety of the general people.
They came up with the call while addressing a protest rally under the banner of Bangladesh Manobadhikar Commission at the National Shaheed Minar premises around 11am Saturday.
Among others, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Mizanur Rahman, Honorary Member Professor Mahfuza Khanom, Mahila Parishad General Secretary Maleka Banu and Dhaka University Shikkhok Samity President Professor Farid Uddin were present in the protest.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith yesterday warned BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia of stern action if she did not refrain her party from all kinds of violence and sabotage in the country.
He labelled the BNP as the creator of the politics of enforced disappearance while speaking at a conference, which was organised by city wards 19, 20 and 21, at Tilagar in Sylhet city.
Among others who spoke at the conference were Jubo League Presidium Member Ahmed Al Kabir, Central Organising Secretary Foyjul Huq Atik and Sylhet City Awami League President Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran.
Earlier in the morning, the minister inaugurated the platinum jubilee programme of the Modon Mohon College where he said, `We expect 7 percent GDP growth this fiscal year, but it may not be possible due to BNP-Jamaat’s terrorist acts.”
Khaleda and some of her “terrorist” followers were getting in the way of the country’s overall development, which needs to be stopped in any way, he said.
“We have been talking about banning hartal for 20 years because it cannot be the language of protest but unrest in the country. Personally, I back banning hartal but it would not be possible soon,” he said.
I’m no sultan, but more like British Queen: Erdogan
ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brushed off criticism that he’s trying to amass sultan-like powers, saying he really just wants to be more like Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Erdogan told state-run TRT channel on Thursday that his desire for an expanded presidential role would not undermine democracy and he pointed to the UK as an example.
“In my opinion, even the UK is a semi-presidency. And the dominant element is the Queen,” Erdogan said.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy, governed by a parliamentary system, but its hereditary monarch wields only symbolic power.
Erdogan’s comments came after fresh criticism from the opposition that he would act like an “Ottoman sultan” once his presidential role has been boosted.
Erdogan said that leaders of presidential systems in the US, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico are not accused of acting like monarchs.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said his Shiite militant group is not seeking confrontation with Israel but does not fear a new war or taking the conflict beyond Lebanon’s borders.
Its response to any future Israeli attack will no longer be limited to Lebanese territory, he warned in an address via video link to thousands of supporters gathered in Hezbollah’s southern Beirut stronghold.
He said Hezbollah would no longer respect “the rules of engagement”.
“We do not want war... but the resistance is militarily ready, and we are not afraid of war,” Nasrallah said, using the term “resistance” to refer to Hezbollah.
His address came two days after Hezbollah carried out a missile strike that killed two Israeli soldiers in south Lebanon’s occupied Shebaa Farms area on the border.
The strike was in retaliation for a January 18 Israeli air strike inside Syria that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.
“I want to be clear: the resistance will no longer recognise any such thing as the rules of engagement, or of confrontation,” said Nasrallah, appearing both defiant and relaxed.
“It is our right -- legally, in human terms and morally -- to face the enemy anywhere, any time and in any way we deem appropriate,” he warned.
Yemen’s Shiite militia and ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party held a meeting boycotted by other parties Friday to discuss ending the country’s political crisis, as protests hit several cities, including the capital.
The militia, which overran Sanaa in September, seized the presidential palace and key government buildings last week, plunging the country deeper into crisis and prompting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his prime minister to resign.
Militia chief Abdulmalik al-Huthi had called for a “historic” meeting to begin Friday, urging all political forces to join.
But only Saleh’s General People’s Congress party joined what is to be a three-day conference, heavily secured by the militia, which the former strongman is accused of backing.
Meanwhile, opponents protested against the Huthis in several cities under the slogan: “Revolt until the overthrow of the coup” forces, in reference to the militia.
They also demanded the release of scores of activists and journalists who have been rounded up by the Huthis since their takeover of Sanaa.
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari underlined that the Wednesday Hezbollah attack on an Israeli army patrol on the borders between Northern Israel and South Lebanon was the minimum response to the regime's recent air raid, and warned that from now on the Zionists shouldn’t feel safe in any part of the world.
"Hezbollah's response was the least response that was given to the Israelis and we hope that this response will be a lesson for them not to do such wrong deeds anymore," Jafari told reporters in Tehran on Friday.
Stressing that the Islamic Republic and Hezbollah would give a single and united response to the Israeli regime, he said, "If Hezbollah cells decide to give a response to the Zionists' recent move, they (the Israelis) should wait for more crushing and stronger responses not only alongside their borders but in every part of the world that an Israeli Zionist or their supporters are present."
Jan 31, 2015
Shiites across Pakistan are mourning and planning to protest after a bombing at a Shiite mosque in the country killed many people.
Abdul Qudoos Kalwar, a senior police official, says the death toll in the blast in Pakistan’s Sindh province rose Saturday after three others died overnight from their wounds.
The bombing happened in Shikarpur, roughly 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of Pakistan’s port city of Karachi.
Another senior police official, Saqib Memon, also said Saturday that investigators believe a suicide bomber carried out Friday’s attack.
Sunni Muslim extremists in Pakistan often target Shiites because they believe them to be heretics. Shiites plan a mass funeral Saturday for the dead, as well as major protests in cities across the country.
Zarb-e-Azb holistically dealing with militancy: Pak President
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain said that Zarb-e-Azb operation was dealing with the menace of militancy and extremism holistically and described a peaceful Pakistan as essential for a peaceful South Asia.
Addressing the annual Ambassadors’ Dinner of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the president said that floods in Sindh, potential political instability, terrorism and heartbreaking massacre in Peshawar had shaken the nation. He said the ongoing crackdown against terrorists backed by the civil and military forces had made it clear that this nation was ready to end this scourge once and for all.
Mamnoon said the government was trying its best to provide all possible resources required to properly look after and rehabilitate the internally displaced people. He expressed his confidence that “with the unswerving commitment of our nation, armed forces and the government, our efforts were bound to succeed”. “The sacrifices of the nation will never squander and our efforts will definitely yield positive results,” he remarked.
LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq has said that the Muslim rulers including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif can get respect through their expression of love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and not through their loyalty to the west and the US.
Talking to the Friday congregation at Mansoora mosque, he said that if someone’s sense of religious dignity was not aroused on the heinous crime of blasphemy, he should take care of his faith. The JI chief said that there was silence of the graveyards in the corridors of power in the Muslim states on the publication of blasphemous caricatures in a France journal while the Muslim masses have been agitating on roads and streets.
Siraj said that the repeated incidents of the blasphemy of the Noble Prophet and the mock trials of the Holy Quran and setting the holy book afire were chain of the Zionists plot to disturb world peace. The Zionists had always been at the back of the crusades as they had always hatched conspiracies to pit the Muslims and the Christians against each other.
He said that the repeated incidents of the blasphemy had hurt the one and a half billion Muslims in the world, adding none of the international bodies including the UN had raised voice against this. Siraj said that the Muslims did not talk of the sanctity of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran alone, instead they stressed for the respect for all the prophets of Allah and all revealed books.
Nation resolved to win war against terror at any cost: PM
LAHORE - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday reiterated that all the national institutions were resolved to win the ongoing war against terrorism at any cost as our economic, social survival and of future generations was linked to it.
“Today, every citizen of Pakistan stands behind our armed forces and institutions. This war is the war of whole nation,” the prime minister said addressing the passing out parade of the first batch of Counter Terrorism Force (CTF) held at Elite Police Training School Bedian. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Acting Governor Punjab Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Commander Lahore Corp Lt General Naveed Zaman and diplomats of different countries also attended the ceremony. The first batch of Counter Terrorism Force comprising a total of 421 corporals including 16 females was successfully passed out after completing their nine-month long training course.
US-India defence ties, threat for imbalance of power in region: JuD chief
India defence ties are threat for imbalance of power in the region and against the interests of Pakistan and Kashmiri people.
Addressing the Friday sermon at Jamia Al-Qadsia, he said that the claims of Pak-US and Pak-India friendships were nothing but a lie and both were conspiring to make Pakistan a war zone and Afghanistan would be their base camp. He said that they would express complete solidarity with Kashmiris people on Kashmir Day on Feb 05, 2015 and would take out protest rallies all across the Pakistan.
Saeed said that the main protest rally would be taken out from Nasir Bagh in which thousands of people from all walks of life would take part in rally. He said that they would invite all other religious and political parties to these protest rallies and conferences on the Kashmir Solidarity Day. He called upon the Muslims to get united and strengthen Pakistan to foil the conspiracies of opponents against Islam.
The JuD chief said that declaring Indian nuclear bomb peaceful, while raising concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear program reveals the double standard. He said that it’s time to set aside all differences and work for the peace and prosperity of Pakistan. He also laid stress on the government and all parties to highlight the Kashmir issues at all platforms.
Lal Masjid cleric limits activities in protest
ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz delivered his third consecutive Friday sermon over the telephone.
During the last three weeks, the cleric has not visited the mosque due to which there are speculations that he is under house arrest. However, according to police sources, he has decided to stay in Jamia Hafsa seminary to protest withdrawal of security by the government.
Maulana Aziz enjoyed official security for about three years. As many as three police commandos were deputed for his security in 2011. But on December 21, 2014, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference that the government had withdrawn security from the cleric.
The minister said Maulana Aziz was not the Khateeb of the mosque as his nephew Maulana Amir Siddique had been appointed the Khateeb when Pervez Musharraf was in power.
An official of Lal Masjid, Tehseenullah, confirmed to Dawn that Maulana Aziz had been delivering weekly sermons over the telephone and did not visit the mosque for over three weeks.
“Because of security situation, the Maulana has decided to limit his activities. Moreover, the police have also informed him that his life was in danger,” he said.
When contacted, SSP Operations Mir Viaz Niaz said Maulana Aziz was not under house arrest. “He can go anywhere in the city. However, it is up to him if he delivers the Friday sermons through phone or in person,” he added.
Only 23 Seminaries Receiving Foreign Funding: Baleeghur Rahman
ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on that only 23 religious seminaries in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were receiving foreign funding.
Minister of State for Interior Baleeghur Rahman told the upper house that according to information received from provincial governments so far, as many as 12 madressahs in KP were receiving funding from various sources in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Similarly, nine Madrasahs in Balochistan and two in Sindh were also receiving foreign funding.
He said that the seminaries were registered under various laws, including the Companies Ordinance 1984, Trust Act 1882, Societies’ Registration Act 1860, Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (registration and control) Ordinance 1961, Charitable And Religious Trust Act 1920, Musalman Waqf Act 1913, and the Charitable Endowments Act.
Enforcement of these laws has been devolved to the provinces following the 18th Amendment, he said, adding that there was sufficient control and vigilance within these laws to monitor the working of seminaries, including keeping a check on their financial sources and conducting audits.
All madaris but those in Punjab get foreign funding, Senate told
ISLAMABAD: Opposition senators in the Upper House of parliament strongly reacted to an Interior Ministry report presented in the House, which claimed there was no foreign funding of madrassas in Punjab, while some seminaries in rest of the three provinces were receiving foreign funding.
Opposition senators also staged walk out against the absence of both federal and state minister for interior to respond the senators’ questions. However, later on, the state minister for interior Balighur Rehman arrived to answer the questions. The issue propped up when the House took up PPP Senator Sughra Imam’s question regarding any foreign funding to seminaries. The House was informed in written that there is no foreign funding for Punjab seminaries, an information strongly rejected by the opposition senators. The minister of state neither accepted the statement given by Inspector General (IG) Police Punjab nor rejected it. He said IG Punjab is responsible person, and he may respond with responsibility.
LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court awarded death sentence on 47 counts to three terrorists involved in attacking buildings of the Police Emergency Service (15) and an intelligence agency.
The court also awarded life imprisonment to each convict and imposed a collective fine of Rs25.35 million.
The Civil Lines police had registered a case against Abid Akram, Sarfraz and Shabbir for attacking the offices of the police and intelligence agency on May 27, 2009. At least 26 personnel were killed and 337 injured in the attack.
A prosecutor said the interrogators collected evidence from crime scene and identified the suspects with the help of CCTV cameras footage. The terrorists were arrested in Faisalabad and Lahore.
ISLAMABAD: As many as 9,074 operations against terrorists and extremists have been conducted so far in the Punjab province, 1,178 in Sindh, 2,326 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 30 in Balochistan, 322 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 503 in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K), 16 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 47 in FATA, data provided by the Interior Ministry to the prime minister office on Friday reveals. The data was provided to the Interior Ministry by respective provinces regarding implementation of the National Action Plan for combating terrorism and extremism since December 24, 2014. During these operations 1,79,309 persons were picked up and interrogated from Punjab, 2,887 from KP, 83 from Balochistan, 918 in ICT, 97 in GB and 263 in FATA. Persons arrested subsequently include 1,859 in Punjab, 1,178 in Sindh, 4,949 in KP, 263 in Balochistan, 455 in ICT, 5 in AJ&K, 10 in GB and 118 in FATA. Around 35 terrorist links were identified in Sindh, 103 in KP and 4 in Balochistan, the data says. Around 2,950 loudspeaker violation cases were registered in Punjab, 5 in Sindh, 97 in KP, 59 in ICT, 45 in AJ&K and one in GB. Over this violation 1,806 persons have been arrested in Punjab, 97 in KP and 55 in ICT. Equipment was confiscated from 1,085 places in Punjab, 108 in KP, 6 in AJ&K and one in GB. Around 455 hate speech material cases have been registered in Punjab, 23 in KP, 4 in Balochistan, and 46 in AJ&K and one in GB. 348 persons have been arrested on these charges in Punjab, 10 in KP, 8 in Balochistan and 8 in GB. Hate material has been confiscated from 24 places in KP while 41 shops selling hate material have been sealed in Punjab, it further states. Around 7,000 Afghan refugees have been registered in Punjab, 3,27,788 in Balochistan and 29 in GB. The data says 16.3 million cell phone SIMS have been verified all over the country during this period, including 4,609,147 of Mobilink, 6,027,351 of Telenor, 2,161,999 of Ufone, 1,122,439 of Warid and 2,375,063 of Zong.
ISLAMABAD: In a meeting with Chairman Senate, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari in Brussels Martin Schultz, President of the European Parliament has extended full support to Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and extremism. The Chairman briefed President Martin Schulz on the security operation in Pakistan and underlined the need for joint efforts to tackle the menace. Chairman Senate of Pakistan, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari is visiting Brussels heading a delegation of Senator Rubina Irfan, Senator Heman Das, Senator Muhammad Kazim Khan and Senator Amer Jeet. The visit of the Senate Chairman is the first high level interaction with the new political leadership of European Parliament after the May 2014 elections. Martin Schultz lauded Nayyar Bokhari’s efforts in turning the dream of an Asian Parliament into reality and gave assurance of all kinds of assistance from the European Union and its Parliament in Brussels. The two parliamentary leaders also exchanged views on Pakistan-EU relations and ways of further strengthening them, including regular exchange of parliamentary delegations.
Condemning the deadly bombing of a Shia mosque in Pakistan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the country to step up efforts to protect religious minorities and combat terrorism.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he is appalled by such vicious targeting of people on account of their religious affiliation.
He condemned the bombing of the Shia mosque in Pakistan’s Sindh province on Friday, which killed at least 61 people gathered for prayer.
The Secretary-General “calls upon the authorities to redouble their efforts to protect religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan and to combat terrorism in all its forms”.
He extended his condolences to the families of the victims and sympathies to the government of Pakistan.
IP Singh,TNN | Jan 31, 2015
PHAGWARA: Amid the controversy triggered by the Union government's advertisements featuring pictures of the Preamble of Indian Constitution without words "secular" and "socialism", Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Friday that those two concepts were non-negotiable. Countering Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's statement that there could be a debate on it, Badal said that there was no scope for even a discussion about it.
"Secularism is very important for our country which is very diverse. The country can't run without this concept. It was very important and that is why it was added in the Preamble and there can't be any tinkering with it," Badal said while speaking to newspersons here at a 'sangat darshan' programme.
"Secularism is so important that its presence in the Preamble can't even be debated. Even newspapers should write very carefully about it and should not fan the controversy," cautioned Badal, who is also the patron of SAD (Badal), the oldest BJP ally.
Meanwhile, the CM said that he would also meet Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to get released Rs 400 crore which had been withheld by the ministry, even though the amount was part of the Rs 700 crore approved by the 13th Finance Commission for state special plans. "The amount approved by the Finance Commission can't be held back by the Union finance ministry. I will meet the finance minister over the issue," he said.
NEW DELHI: Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur, Yogi Adityanath, was his usual rabble-rousing self at a rally in Harkesh Nagar, an unauthorized colony opposite Apollo Hospital.
Known for his controversial statements, Adityanath illustrated India's bold stand against Pakistan and terrorism by comparing it to Israel. "Just like Israel kills hundreds of Palestinian soldiers if one of theirs dies, India is doing the same with Pakistan. If an Indian soldier is killed at least 200 Pakistani soldiers are bombarded."
He cracked down on the previous government for doling out schemes only for Muslims. He said the BJP government has made the same schemes available for Hindus. "If beautification of a graveyard happens then so will a cremation centre? If Madrasas get funds then so will Sanskrit Vidyalayas; if a Muslim girl gets scholarship then so will a Hindu girl. There has to be equality to maintain the secular fabric of India," he said.
‘Muslims, Dalits better off in developed districts’
Being a resident of a big city or a more developed district can offset some of the disadvantages of being from a marginalised community, new data has shown.
In majority of India’s districts, Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis had worse education, health, economic and material well-being levels, a new District Development Index has shown. But in India’s better-developed districts, these groups had better development outcomes than upper caste Hindus in the less-developed districts of north and east India.
Economist Abusaleh Shariff, executive director of the US India Policy Institute in Washington D.C., led the research, released by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Thursday. To construct a District Development Index, Mr. Shariff and his team looked at 17 parameters under four heads — economic, education, health and material well-being. Each of the four was equally weighted to construct a composite District Development Index.
Godse bust bid foiled, Hindu Mahasabha plans a library
After the local administration foiled the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha’s plans to install a statue of Nathuram Godse, the saffron outfit on Friday decided to set up a library here as a memorial to the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Mahasabha had decided to unveil a bust of Godse on its office premises after the police, acting on Chief Judicial Magistrate’s order, cordoned off the area where it had earlier planned to install the statue.
However, police personnel in large numbers at the Mahasabha office foiled the saffron activists plan to unveil the bust of Godse on the 67th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
“We faced a curfew-like situation as there were police guards everywhere inside the party office. We could not move out and could not get the statue installed. We will now move the Allahabad High Court once we get the magistrate order not allowing us to install the statue and sealing off the chosen area,” said Ashok Sharma, a member of the central working body of the Hindu Mahasabha.
Islamist ideology in Canadian schools a challenge for cops
MONTREAL — Islamist ideology that's taught in Canadian mosques and Islamic schools is the biggest challenge facing investigators, a security expert tells QMI Agency.
Former CSIS manager Michel Juneau-Katsuya said police don't have resources to deal with "the sheer number of young minds being radicalized."
He was reacting to QMI Agency's investigation into the expanding national real-estate footprint of the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC).
QMI obtained an RCMP document indicating MAC donated nearly $300,000 to a Hamas-linked group before the federal government revoked its charity status.
Juneau-Katsuya, without naming any specific groups, says law enforcement must always remain vigilant, adding such organizations "capable to deploy a phenomenal amount of resources and influence, needs to demonstrate to the authorities that they do not represent a risk."
He said anti-terror investigators need help from Muslim leaders, such as the unnamed Toronto imam who reportedly tipped off police in 2013 to an alleged Via Rail bombing plot that led to two arrests.
Obama promotes religious, gender equity in India speech
President Barack Obama gently nudged India on Tuesday to fulfill its constitution’s pledge to uphold the “dignity of the individual,” drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi.
Obama said that while he has had extraordinary opportunities, “there were moments in my life where I’ve been treated differently because of the color of my skin.” As he touted the importance of religious tolerance, he noted the persistent false rumors that he is a Muslim, not a Christian.
“There have been times where my faith has at times been questioned by people who don’t know me, or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” Obama said.
Equality is enshrined in India’s constitution, but religious minorities and women have experienced harassment and violence. A horrific gang rape on a moving bus in the heart of New Delhi in 2012 sparked public protests, which prompted more stringent laws. But critics say more progress is needed and Obama gave voice to their cause.
MONTREAL — A controversial imam who preaches that democracy and Islam are incompatible should think twice before trying to set up an Islamic youth centre in Montreal, politicians warn.
“I am against all forms of radicalism,” Mayor Denis Coderre said in response to news reports that Hamza Chaoui wants to open the Ashabeb community centre in Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough next month.
Mr. Coderre, who met with spiritual leaders Wednesday in hopes of fostering dialogue in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, said he will consult with borough mayor Réal Ménard about the plan.
But Montreal’s mayor said he rejects Mr. Chaoui’s rigid views on democracy and homosexuality, and his suggestion that democracy and Islam are antithetical. “That is not the message of the Qur’an.”
Originally from Morocco, Mr. Chaoui studied electrical engineering at Université Laval, where he became the imam to Muslim students there.
‘It’s unacceptable that we can have people on our territory who are teaching this to other people’
Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview on Friday the United States might eventually need to send non-combat ground troops to Iraq to help turn back Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces.
Hagel, who announced his resignation under pressure in November, told CNN all options must be considered in Iraq, including sending troops for non-combat roles such as gathering intelligence and locating ISIS targets.
“I think it may require a forward deployment of some of our troops ...,” he said. “I would say we’re not there yet. Whether we get there or not, I don’t know.”
Hagel’s comments echoed testimony by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Congress last fall when he said U.S. troops might have to take a larger role on the ground in Iraq.
A Washington Post report revealed that Commander of Hezbollah's military wing Imad Mughniyeh had been killed in a CIA-Mossad joint terrorist operation.
The Washington Post released an exclusive report on Friday, January 30, which showed Hezbollah’s international operations chief Imad Mughniyeh was killed by CIA and Mossad agents during a joint car bombing operation.
"On February 12, 2008, as Imad Mughniyeh approached a parked SUV in Damascus, a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of the vehicle exploded, sending a burst of shrapnel across a tight radius. He was killed instantly," the Post report said.
The report by the daily further added, "The device was triggered remotely from Tel Aviv by agents with Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, who were in communication with the operatives on the ground in Damascus."
"The United States helped build the bomb and tested it repeatedly at a CIA facility in North Carolina...," said a former US intelligence official.
“We probably blew up 25 bombs to make sure we got it right,” the former official said.
Mughniyeh was killed by car bomb in Damascus on February 12, 2008. Although Israel refused to claim responsibility for the terrorist move, some news reports indicated Mossad was responsible for the killing.
In an interview aired by the German TV network, Israel's former Envoy to Germany Avi Primor acknowledged Israel's direct involvement and responsibility in the attack.
WASHINGTON: The United States has strong relationships with both Pakistan and India and going forward Washington would continue to have a close strategic partnership with Islamabad, the State Department said Friday.
“We have assured both countries that the Untied States relationship with India and United States relationship with Pakistan, those relationships are strong, they are vital for our strategic interest, and they stand on their own,” Spokesperson Jen Psaki said replying to a question at the daily briefing. “We work with Pakistan on a range of issues. We work with India on a range of issues,” she added, when asked about Washington’s ties in South Asia in the wake of President Barak Obama’s visit to New Delhi. Responding to a question about Pakistan’s concerns regarding the impact of operationalization of the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal on the strategic stability in the region, the spokesperson noted that “this particular issue (of civil nuclear deal) is one that has been ongoing for sometime.”
Deadly clash in Philippines a setback to peace with Muslim rebels
A deadly clash between Philippines police and Muslim rebels in the south of the country has dealt a temporary setback to peace talks, Manila's chief peace negotiator said on Saturday, appealing for renewed efforts to keep the process on track.
The government has described last Sunday's clash, which shattered a three-year ceasefire, as a "misencounter" during a bid by police to arrest two wanted militants who had taken refuge with Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters.
Forty four police commandos were killed in the assault.
"We have been temporarily set back by the Mamasapano incident," Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the government's chief peace negotiator, told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.
"Please stay the course with us," she said. "The other alternative is simple unthinkable ... I don't think we want to go back to the 1970s."
Jakarta. Human Rights Watch has lamented President Joko Widodo’s insistence on reviving executions of condemned inmates, calling it a “cruel” position to take with no proven deterrent effect.
“HRW is seriously disappointed with the executions carried out by Joko’s government,” HRW Asia director Phelim Kine said in Jakarta on Friday.
“It is cruel, it is irreversible,” he added.
Kine was speaking at the local launch of the organization’s “World Report 2015,” which highlighted the promise of greater respect for human rights that was part of Joko’s campaign platform in his election win in 2014. It did not, however, address the execution in the early hours of Jan. 18 of five foreigners and one Indonesian convicted of drug trafficking.
Kine said Indonesia should follow the example set by other countries that had abolished the death penalty, and questioned the government’s argument that executing traffickers would serve as a “deterrent” to other would-be traffickers.
An eight-year-old girl and three men -- one with his hands bound -- were among those killed in a botched anti-terror police operation in the Philippines last weekend, a local official said Saturday.
Mamasapano town mayor Benzar Ampatuan said residents had told him police tied up the man to stop him tipping off their targets ahead of the pre-dawn raid, in which 44 commandos died in one of the force's bloodiest days in recent years.
A local farmer's daughter and two other men were also found dead in their homes after the fighting, Ampatuan said, the first report of civilian casualties in the bloodbath.
"Their wives said they were hit in the crossfire," he told AFP, adding that five other residents of the corn-farming region were also wounded.
The Philippines on Friday held a national day of mourning for the dead police officers, who were killed as they hunted the man blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings in Indonesia, in which 202 people died.
BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
KUALA LUMPUR— It’s all systems go for Malaysia’s Shariah Index launch on February 10, which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also hopes can be used by other nations to benchmark their Islamic achievements and law enforcement.
Touting it as a world’s first, Najib said that the index would cover eight sectors: economy, infrastructure, environment, law, health, politics, culture and society.
“As a government helmed by Umno, it is our commitment to elevate not only the glory of Islam but also its laws.
“So when we do this, Malaysia will be the first country in the world to have a Shariah index. After this, we hope that this index can also be used by other Islamic countries,” Najib told a news conference after chairing an Umno Supreme Council meeting here.
He said that the index would be used to assess the government’s work on Islamic matter and to show proof that Umno is a party that is committed to defending Islam.
Naib first announced the index last year and said it was being developed through an effort spearheaded by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia in collaboration with the International Islamic University of Malaysia and the Islamic Missionary Foundation Malaysia.