Announces Its New 'Province' To Focus on Indian Subcontinent
Parties Avoid Wooing Muslim Voters In India
Sri Lanka Arrest Throws Spotlight on Wahhabism in Eastern Hotbed
Believes Chinese Muslims Enjoy Their Due Rights: Alvi
Bans 11 Groups For Having Links With JuD, Jem Terror Groups
Saudi Imams Preach Against Terror In 35 Countries
Shifting $1.5 Billion from Afghan Forces to Border Wall Construction
Tamimi Addresses Pro-Palestine Rally In London
terrorists killed in encounter in J&K's Shopian
From group inspired by ISIS Killed
kill 24 Taliban militants in Paktika, Ghazni and Herat provinces
runaway, won't be intimidated, won't resign till I crush terrorism: Sri Lanka
President Maithripala Sirisena
Lanka Catholics hold 1st Sunday Mass since attacks
explosion kills seven children in Afghanistan
bomb kills eight children in Ghazni province
Taliban militants killed in Special Forces operations in Kunduz and Khost
fighters double as reporters to wage Afghan digital war
Australian Shia Cleric, Tawhidi’s Attempt To Defame Islam, Pakistan Backfires
calls for ending monopoly of ‘specific group’ in mosques
attack: Gunmen storm five-star hotel in Balochistan
leading Muslim world in space science: Fawad
funds meant for Pakistan for building Mexico border wall
introduces policy to curb terror financing
suspected militants killed in US drone attack near Pak-Afghan border
Aid Wins Hearts by Gifting Quran to Iraqi Refugee Camp during Ramzan
Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Admits Losing Bases in Hama after Civilians'
Jazeera Journalist Mehdi Hasan’s Jihadist Connection Exposed
Set Ablaze SDF Base in Popular Uprising in Deir Ezzur
Army Soldiers, Allied Militants Killed in Kurds' Operations in Aleppo
of US Arms Loaded Trucks Arrive in SDF-Controlled Areas in Eastern Syria
terrorists of recently-formed cell killed in Saudi Arabia’s al-Qatif
‘will not stand idle’ if US steps up anti-Iran campaign: Influential Iraqi
army finds Israeli-made arms, medicine in ex-militant redoubt in Quneitra
Report Gives Look into Assad's Torture Prisons
defence/spy chief warns of early Afghan troop pull-out, China policy
carrier deployment to Mideast is ‘dangerous strategy’: Analyst
to send Patriot missile battery to Middle East
Campaigners Condemn UK Queen For Hosting King Of Bahrain
police launch probe into shooting attack on London mosque
FM warns Iran nuclear deal reactions could lead to ‘bellicose spiral’
defence minister says Syria regime must halt Idlib attacks
of Iranian Sunni Clerics Condemn Beheading of Saudi Nationals in Letter to UN
reopens Gaza crossings as calm restored
governor calls Houthi withdrawal from Yemen ports ‘theatrical act’
Ansarullah urges UN to press ex-govt. to withdraw forces from key ports
begin unilateral withdrawal from Hudaydah ports
says Yemen’s Houthis agreed to begin Hudaydah withdrawal
Protest Movement: Military Calls for New Round of Talks
of migrants drown off Tunisia coast after leaving Libya
storms town on motorbikes in Nigeria, kills 11 soldiers
for Libya’s Tripoli gives chance to Daesh
Boko Haram group claims to have killed 11 Nigerian soldiers
M billed among world's most influential men
police hunt inmates after mass prison break
by New Age Islam News Bureau
DELHI: The so-called Islamic State has announced a separate province that would
focus on the Indian subcontinent while releasing a picture and claiming that
the terrorist Ishfaq Ahmed Sofi, who was shot dead by security forces in
Kashmir on Friday, was one of their own.
IS statement talked about "Wilayah-e-Hind" (Indian province), but didn't
mention the Islamic State in J&K, as the group was identified by some of
its members during interrogation by forces. Given the absence of any territory
under IS control, or even influence, the claim is an overstatement.
in keeping with IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's recent video, in which he spoke
of new areas of influence, the IS statement cannot be dismissed either. In
recent weeks, IS has shown a renewed focus on the Indian subcontinent,
promising plans for Bangladesh. The Baghdadi video also referred to the Easter
bombings in Sri Lanka, indicating that the targets were in keeping with IS
instructions to go after followers of "infidel" faiths.
agencies have noted the development and are analysing its implications.
source in an anti-terror unit termed it "significant" and said that
the terror outfit was reiterating its intent to step up actions in India and
neighbouring nations. Given its success in radicalising followers online and
then leading them step by step to planning attacks and assembling bombs, IS in
some aspects is seen to be more insidious than older jihadi groups like
Jaish-eMuhammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
now, the affairs in this side of the world were controlled by Khorasan province
(ISKP). This means that the central IS will now be directly dealing with their
operatives in J&K," the source added.
move is similar to that of Baghdadi announcing provinces in Turkey and Congo in
a passing reference in the recently released video.
presence of IS in Kashmir was first noted towards mid-2016. In 2017, ISKP
started claiming attacks against security forces and several members have been
killed in encounters since then.
year in March, IS hailed the "martyrdom" of three "brother"
terrorists killed in an encounter in Anantnag. The IS identified the
"emir", Essa Fazili, as Abu Yahya al Ishtashadi, Syed Owaid as Abu
Barra al Kashmiri, and Taufeeq, aka Sultan al Hyderabadi, as Abu Zar al Hindi.
Radicalised through social media, the trio had joined IS in Kashmir by
contacting handlers on Facebook.
claim was made by al-Qarar, the channel of communication for IS in South Asia
and J&K. It had also called upon Kashmiris to desire for shahadat
(martyrdom) and replace every slain IS fighter in the Valley with two.
the last one year, the special cell of Delhi Police has busted at least two big
IS-inspired terror modules operated by youths from Kashmir. The men were nabbed
after they contacted a UP-based arms dealer to procure weapons.
parties avoid wooing Muslim voters in India
in India form nearly 14% of the country’s 1.3 billion population with the
capacity to overturn results in 145 parliamentary seats. Yet political parties
during the current poll campaign showed no enthusiasm to woo them fearing
right-wing Hindu reaction.
the 2019 election marathon in India enters its final phase, political parties
have been fearing that courting the largest minority, would cost them the
majority Hindu vote bank, in the face of the worst-ever communal polarization
Muslim electorate in the past formed a backbone for the larger secular
political parties would approach student leaders for electoral favors not only
at world-famous Aligarh Muslim University but also Muslim religious-cultural
organizations and the Imam of Delhi’s historic Jama Masjid. But no one reached
out to them during this year’s campaign.
of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
rue that Muslims do not vote for them. Therefore, their cadres find no
attraction to visit their localities to seek votes. Secular parties like the
Congress and other regional parties, on the other hand, have taken their vote
for granted -- expecting them to vote in their favor -- to keep the BJP away.
180-million-strong Muslim community constitute the majority in the state of
Jammu and in Kashmir, and account for one-fourth of the population in the
northeastern states of Assam and West Bengal and also in the southern province
the electorally crucial state of Uttar Pradesh – which alone accounts for a
fifth of the 543 seats in the lower house of Indian parliament -- Muslims
constitute 18% of the population.
to a polling agency, the Centre for Voting Opinion and Trends in Election
Research, also known as C-Voter, there are 145 parliamentary seats, where
Muslim votes constitute 11-20%, which makes it significant to overturn results
in the wake of multiple candidates and smaller margins. In 35 seats, they
constitute more than 35% of the electorate.
this power, their weakening political clout could be gauged by the fact that
the BJP has fielded just seven Muslim candidates in the ongoing general
election. It is contesting 437 seats in the 545-member lower house of
parliament. The opposition Congress, however, has fielded 32 Muslims out of 423
Deshmukh, head of C-Voter, believes that Muslims could be a significant factor
in roughly 70 seats.
and ideological onslaught
why Muslims have been voting against the BJP, Maulana Shahid al Hussaini,
rector of Mazahir Uloom Madrassa in the western Indian city of Saharanpur, told
Anadolu Agency that it was not just due to the insecurity that has ingrained in
Muslim minds, but to prevent the ideological onslaught launched on Muslim
Uloom is an old historic seminary established in 1866. Its library is a
treasure trove of ancient Hindu and Muslim manuscripts.
situation has been created to put up Hindu majority population against the
Muslim minority. We are being demonized by media with the active support of the
current government,” he said.
which tracks hate crimes in India, reported that of a total of 79 fatal incidents
recorded since 2009, 76 occurred in the past five years.
added he did not feel threatened by communal riots or hate crimes, but the
attempts of demonization and attack on Islamic Sharia law.
to a law approved by the lower house of parliament early this year making
instant divorce or triple talaq a criminal offense, he said the government did
not bother to consult even Islamic Fiqa [jurisprudence] Academy of India,
before drafting such a law. This Academy was chosen by South Africa and many
other countries to formulate their personal laws.
government decisions have created a difficult and unnerving atmosphere for
Muslims,” he said.
believes that a decision by various provincial governments to introduce
compulsory Surya Namaskar (sun worship) in schools, the introduction of yoga in
the curriculum, Ghar Wapasi (forcible conversion to Hinduism) and encroachments
on Muslim Wakf properties are issues of concern.
Surya Namaskar compulsory in schools goes against our religion. We cannot
worship anything except our life giver. The sun is not worshipped by us,” he
Ghar Wapasi program has been launched by the right-wing forces against Muslims
another seminary in the city of Bareilly, revered by Sunni Barelvi Muslims,
Mohammad Mannan Raza Khan, says the situation was being created to tell Muslims
quietly that you are no more needed in the country.
choice for community
leading figure of Deoband town that houses world-famous seminary of Darul Uloom
Deoband, Maulana Nadeemul Wajdi says there was hardly any choice for the
community, in the wake of statements issued by the BJP leaders.
rues that instead of voting on issues related to the development and their
welfare, Muslims are forced to vote with an insecure mindset.
have been pushed into such a situation, where BJP knows, they will not vote, so
they hardly campaign in our localities and have nothing to offer. At the same
time, these secular parties, know, they [Muslims] cannot go anywhere, so they
also don’t bother about our progress,” said Wajdi.
the run-up to the 2014 polls, Prime Minister Modi had promised progress for
all. In an interaction, he wanted Muslims to hold the Holy Quran in one hand
and the computer in the other.
the Muslim intellectuals say the prime minister did not walk the talk over the
past five years. Even his decision to ban high currency notes also hit the
Muslims, who are mostly small traders and artisans.
Pradesh province for over centuries had famed itself as a “skill state” with
its every region specializing in a particular proficiency. The handloom skill
of Mubarakpur in Azamgarh district, furniture, and wood carving in Saharanpur,
horn craft of Sambhal, brassware of Moradabad, glassware of Firozabad, carpet
weaving in Mirzapur, lock manufacturing in Aligarh, knives, and cap making in
Rampur and zardozi works of Bareilly are calling for attention.
trades mostly held by Muslims were once the backbone of the country’s economy.
electoral animosity of Muslims, BJP leaders on the ground said the community
needs a deep introspection for repeatedly siding with their “secular
were not in power for the past 60 years. It was these secular parties, whom
they vote repeatedly, who are responsible for their economic plight,” says
Thakur Kunwar Brajesh, a BJP leader, who represents Deoband in the Uttar
Pradesh provincial assembly.
government official also dispels the notion that the Modi government is
Ahmed, director of the government-owned National Council for Promotion of Urdu
Language (NCPUL), says that the BJP government had increased budget for the
promotion of Urdu language by 88%, much more than what the previous secular
Congress-led government used to allocate.
is believed to be culturally linked to Muslims in South Asia. Prime Minister
Modi increased allocations to 3.3 billion rupees [$47 million] from 1.7 billion
rupees [$25 million].
right-wing not always hostile
the Hindu right wing was not always hostile to Muslims.
the history, professor Aktarul Wasey, vice-chancellor of Maulana Azad
University, Jodhpur, says that the BJP started distancing itself from Muslims
after 1984. It decided to adopt a hardline Hindutva stand when its strength in
the parliament was reduced to just two parliamentary seats in 1984 polls.
party’s earlier incarnation Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) had several Muslims as
its members and at top positions. Noted Urdu literati Imdad Sabri had
represented the BJS in Delhi Metropolitan Council and rose to become its mayor.
Ikhlaq Hussain Qasmi, a cleric and writer, was vice-president of Delhi unit of
the BJS. Angry at the atrocities heaped during emergency days (1975-77), by the
Congress government led by Indira Gandhi, Muslims had overwhelmingly voted for
the Jan Sangh in 1977 elections
believes that there was the case for introspection for both the Muslims as well
as the BJP.
party should introspect, why a large section of the population is afraid of it
and why its leaders are creating an atmosphere of fear in the nation that not
only Muslims but even the secular Hindu get scared,” he said.
architect of Northern Ireland Peace Process, Lord Paterson, once said even a
microscopic 2% population can become a perpetual national security problem if
it feels disempowered and left out from the system.
there is a case for Indian Muslims to come out of siege mentality and political
parties as well, to seek votes on the issues of development and progress of the
country, rather allowing a community to walk toward polling booths with an
Sri Lanka arrest throws spotlight on Wahhabism in eastern hotbed
(SRI LANKA): Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a Saudieducated scholar for
what they claim are links with Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the
Easter Sunday bombings, throwing a spotlight on the rising influence of
Salafi-Wahhabi Islam on the island's Muslims.
Aliyar, 60, is the founder of the Centre for Islamic Guidance, which boasts a
mosque, a religious school and a library in Zahran's hometown of Kattankudy, a
Muslim-dominated city on Sri Lanka's eastern shores.
has been revealed that the suspect arrested had a close relationship with ...
Zahran and had been operating financial transactions," said a police
statement late on Friday.
statement said Aliyar was "involved" with training in the southern
town of Hambantota for the group of suicide bombers who attacked hotels and
churches on Easter, killing over 250 people.
police spokesman declined to provide details on the accusations.
to Aliyar and his associates went unanswered. Reuters was unable to find
contact details for a lawyer.
government says Zahran, a radical Tamil-speaking preacher, was a leader of the
Muslim community sources in Kattankudy told Reuters his hardline views were
partly shaped by ultra-conservative SalafiWahhabi texts that he picked up at
the Centre for Islamic Guidance's library around 2-3 years ago. The sources are
not affiliated with the centre.
used to always run into him at the centre, reading Saudi journals and
literature," said one of the sources.
that time, Zahran started criticising the practice of asking God for help, for
instance, arguing that such pleas were an affront to pure Islam.
kind of teaching was not in Sri Lanka in 2016, unless you read it in Salafi
literature," the source added, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions
a puritanical interpretation of Islam that advocates a return to the values of
the first three generations of Muslims and is closely linked to Wahhabism, has
often been criticised as the ideology of radical Islamists worldwide.
Islam has its roots in Saudi Arabia and is backed by its rulers, although Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman has committed the kingdom to a more moderate form of
than the fact that Zahran visited the centre, the sources in Kattankudy said
they did not know of any personal ties between him and Aliyar.
founded the centre in 1990, a year after he graduated from the Imam Muhammad
ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, in what one resident said marked a key
moment in the spread of Salafi doctrine in Kattankudy. The centre was partly
funded by Saudi and Kuwaiti donors, according to a plaque outside.
spoke to three members of the centre's board before Aliyar's arrest. They asked
to remain anonymous, citing security concerns amid a backlash against some
said Zahran was a troublemaker and that they had warned authorities about his
extremist views. The members said they thought Zahran frequented the library
around a decade ago, but had no recollection of him visiting recently and
denied that any of its books were to blame for his views.
for the center came from local donations, student fees, and private donors who
were classmates of Aliyar's in Riyadh, the centre's sources said. Reuters was
unable to immediately determine further details about the funding of the
Saudi government communications office in Riyadh did not respond to requests
for comment on the funding of the centre.
believes Chinese Muslims enjoy their due rights: Alvi
President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said Pakistan believes that Muslims in China
enjoy religious freedom and their fundamental rights are well protected.
do not think anyone is stopping Muslims from fasting in China. This is just
propaganda that Muslims in Xinjiang and other parts of the country are not able
to practice religion with liberty and being stopped from fasting too,” Alvi
said in an interview with a radio channel.
president further said that Pakistan is impressed by the leadership of Chinese
President Xi Jinping. He is a visionary leader who attaches high importance to
the basic rights of the common man, he added.
Chinese citizens arrested in Pakistan, the president said such incidents make
no difference to Pakistan-China friendship as Pakistan and China both want to
finish criminals. Therefore Pakistan’s reaction to such criminals isn’t against
the mutual benefits of both the countries.
friendship is very good both economically and socially, he remarked.
president also praised China’s growth and development in the reign of president
Xi Jin Ping. Presently China’s accumulative growth’s 38% and it is due to the
to a question, Dr Arif Alvi said, there is no debate going on to have a
presidential system in the country. Pakistan’s parliamentary system is very
strong and presidential system if comes can give birth too many new problems
rights given to provinces under 18th amendment cannot be taken back and
Pakistan is used to this system now. We
can discuss the presidential system but cannot implement it in Pakistan, he
inflation and the price hike in Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi said as Pakistan had a
lot of debt and this government wishes to finish all the debt as soon as
possible without keeping dollar stable with artificial measures so this time is
hard for a while for a better and stable economy without any debts.
time to return all the debt to have better economic progress and our friendly
countries especially China, Saudi Arabia, and UAE have been a great support in
bans 11 groups for having links with JuD, JeM terror groups
The Pakistan government has banned 11 Lahore-based organisations for having
links with proscribed outifts JeM led by global terrorist Masood Azhar, JuD of
2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the FIF.
Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief Azhar was designated as a global terrorist by the
United Nations on May 1.
JeM claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF
soldiers and led to a spike in military tensions between India and Pakistan.
in February banned Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing
Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) amidst intense global pressure to rein in the
decision to ban the 11 organisations was taken during a meeting between
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and interior minister Ijaz Shah on Friday.
the February 14 Pulwama attack, in which 40 Indian security personnel were
killed by a suicide bomber of the Pakistanbased JeM, Khan had said Islamabad
would not spare any group involved in terrorism or using Pakistani soil for any
kind of terror activity against other countries.
National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), which works under the ministry of
interior, announced on its website that seven groups have been banned for their
affiliation with the JuD, which was proscribed in March by the Pakistan government.
organisation which have been proscribed are Al-Anfal Trust, Idara
Khidmat-e-Khalaq, Al-Dawat ul Irshad, Mosques & Welfare Trust, Al-Medina
Foundation, Mazz-Bin-Jabel Education Trust and Al-Hamad Trust, the statement
these groups are Lahore-based.
ministry of interior took the action on the government's directive to speed up
implementation of the National Action Plan of 2015 to eliminate terrorism and
extremism from the country's soil.
from the seven, Lahore-based Al-Fazal Foundation/Trust and Al-Easar Foundation
were also banned for having links with the FIF, the NACTA said.
FIF, like JuD, was also banned in March by the Pakistan government.
to the NACTA, Bahawalpur-based Al-Rehmat Trust Organization and Karachi-based
Al-Furqan Trust were also banned on Friday for having links with the JeM, which
was banned in January 2002.
the government announced to take control of more than 30,000 religious
Seventy Saudi imams delivered Friday sermons in 35 countries around the world
as part of a Kingdom-led initiative condemning extremism and violence.
international project, aimed at promoting Islam’s values of moderation and
tolerance, was run under the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and
Guidance’s overseas imamate program.
Kingdom’s Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, who oversaw
the event, said the program helped to enlighten Muslims about their religion.
their sermons, the imams emphasized the importance of fasting, praying and
reading the Qur’an during the holy month of Ramadan and they called on Muslims
around the world to unite against those who wished to cause division among
lauded the Friday sermons, many of which were broadcast on state television
channels, for helping to bring Muslims together under the banner of moderation
while refuting all forms of extremism and terrorism.
shifting $1.5 billion from Afghan forces to border wall construction
US Defense Department is shifting $1.5 billion in funds originally targeted for
support of the Afghan security forces and other projects to help pay for
construction of nearly 80 miles (130 kilometers) of wall at the US-Mexican
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the transfer, a spokesman at the
US Defense Department said Friday.
$1.5 billion would be used to “undertake fence replacement” in and around
Tucson, Arizona, and El Centro, Texas, Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson, said.
follows the Pentagon’s decision in March to transfer $1 billion from Army
personnel budget accounts to support border wall construction.
combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Donald Trump’s
declaration of a national emergency at the border, activating executive powers
provided under the National Emergencies Act to utilize the armed forces and
construction powers to build a border barrier.
had previously threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress did not
pass his entire desired program for a wall on the US–Mexican border by February
all, the Pentagon is expected to shift about $6 billion to help build a border
wall, including about $3.6 billion from military construction projects, some of
which will be delayed.
Democratic lawmakers in Congress have been highly critical of the Pentagon
shifting money not originally authorized for border security.
again, the president has shamefully ignored his oath of office to preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and stolen $1.5
billion in Pentagon funds to pay for his ineffective border wall,” said
Representative John Garamendi, a California Democrat who is chairman of the
House Armed Services readiness subcommittee.
piece together the $1.5 billion for additional wall construction, the Pentagon
is shifting funds from several programs where it says it found savings. The
biggest chunk, $604 million, is from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, which
funds Afghanistan’s army and other security forces in the war-torn country.
the $604 million means the Afghan Security Forces Fund in the current Defense
Department budget is reduced from the $4.9 billion approved by Congress to
about $4.3 billion.
has made toughening immigration policies a central tenet of his presidency and
has vowed to build a wall along the US-Mexico border to combat illegal
immigration and drug trafficking.
Tamimi addresses pro-Palestine rally in London
activist Ahed Tamimi attended a pro-Palestine rally in London on Saturday,
where she addressed the crowd of demonstrators.
can be seen next to her father at the rally, while demonstrators marched
through central London carrying Palestinian flags and placards.
don't wish to speak today about our suffering and Israeli colonialism. I don't
want for our story to be written as one as victimhood, and I refuse to be
defined by it. We choose to struggle for freedom and justice, we choose to be
freedom fighters, injustice anywhere, injustice everywhere. From the river to
the sea, Palestine will be free," Tamimi said to the cheers of those in
became the face of Palestinian resistance after slapping an Israeli soldier and
spending eight months in prison.
Two terrorists were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in
Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said.
forces launched a cordon and search operation in Hindsitapur area of Shopian
district in south Kashmir following specific information about the presence of
militants there, the official said.
the forces were conducting the search operations, the militants fired upon
them, which led to a gun battle in which the two militants were killed, he
& Kashmir: Exchange of fire underway between security forces and terrorists
in Hind Sita Pora area of Shopian… https://t.co/829QiFdiUN
ANI (@ANI) 1557623411000
and other materials have been seized from the site of the encounter, the
said the operation is in progress.
militant from an Islamic State-inspired group was killed in a gun battle with
security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday, police officials
slain militant, identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi alias Umar, belonged to the
Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), police claimed.
far, the central government and security agencies have maintained that there is
no connection between ISJK and the terror outfit, Islamic State that operates
in Iraq and Syria. In February, Union minister, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, had said
in a written reply in Lok Sabha that “seven local youths have joined ISJK
through “self-proclamation”. Of these, four terrorists were killed on June 22,
2018 at Anantnag, two were held and one is currently active in the Valley”.
[Sofi] died as a member of ISJK. We can’t say [whether] he was the last member
of the group [or not],” said Atul Kumar Goel, deputy inspector general of
police, south Kashmir.
least 24 Taliban militants were killed in latest airstrikes which were
conducted in Paktika, Ghazni, and Herat province.
to informed military sources, at least 20 of the militants were killed in
Zurmat and Bermal districts of Paktika province.
sources further added that 2 Taliban fighters were killed in Andar district of
Ghazni province and two more were killed in Farsi district of Herat province.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrikes so far.
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have stepped up operations against
the anti-government armed militants who are attempting to carry out terrorist
related activities as part of their spring offensive.
U.S. forces based in Afghanistan also conduct airstrikes in support of the
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday said he won't step down
and leave or be intimidated in crushing the terrorism from the country and
those responsible for the April 21 bomb blasts, in which over 250 people were
killed, would be brought to justice.
at a public event in the eastern district of Ampara, he also said that after
receiving the interim report on the lapses by the officials that led to the
Easter Sunday blasts, he suspended the police chief and also replaced the
secreatry to the defence ministry.
250 people, including 44 foreigners 10 of whom were Indians, were killed and
500 others injured in the blasts in three churches and as many hotels on April
21. The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, but the government
blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ).
Lanka banned the NTJ and arrested over 100 people in connection with the
blasts. A state of emergency was imposed in the country since the attacks and
sweeping powers were given to soldiers and police to arrest and detain suspects
for long periods.
won't resign, I won't go home or be intimidated, I will not rest until I crush
terrorism," the President said addressing a public event in the eastern
district of Ampara on Saturday.
the opposition demanding his resignation following the blasts, Sirisena said
almost all European capitals were attacked by the ISIS terrorists but
"people in those countries never asked their leaders to step down or
came under sharp criticism for failing to prevent the terror attack by the NTJ
as the minister of defence and the commander-in-chief of the defence forces,
despite receiving tip-off from Indian intelligence agencies.
lapse was also blamed on the power struggle within the government where
Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe do not see eye to eye.
said that the security forces have almost crushed the threat from the
terrorists and asked the people to carry out their normal business.
President said he effected a revamp of the security establishment after the
attacks and appointed a new secretary to the defence ministry in addition to
suspending the police chief.
The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has held the first regular Sunday Mass since
the Easter suicide bombings of churches and hotels killed more than 250 people.
forces and police armed with assault rifles are patrolling the streets leading
to churches and standing guard outside the compounds.
entering is required to produce identity cards and is body searched.
is banned near the churches and officials have requested worshippers to bring
along only minimum baggage.
AFGHANISTAN: A landmine explosion killed seven children and wounded two others
in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, as war ordnance again
claimed civilian lives.
blast occurred in Ghazni province, south of the capital Kabul, when the
children stepped on a landmine while playing near a main road, provincial
spokesman Aref Noori told AFP.
mine was planted by the Taliban on a main road to inflict casualties on
security forces," he said.
Taliban did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
insurgents often use roadside bombs and landmines to target Afghan security
forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.
Kamrani, a member of Ghazni provincial council, said the children were aged
between seven and nine and at least four of them belonged to one family.
of conflict have left Afghanistan strewn with landmines, unexploded mortars,
rockets and homemade bombs - and many are picked up by curious children.
month, seven children were killed and 10 more wounded in the eastern province
of Laghman when a mortar shell exploded while they were playing with it.
least eight children were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in South-eastern
Ghazni province of Afghanistan, security sources said.
incident took place at around 8:00 am local time in Muqer district of the
provincial government media office in a statement confirmed the incident and
said the explosion also left two other children wounded.
statement further added the children were busy playing in Chambaran area of the
district when they struck an Improvised Explosive Device planted by Taliban
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incident so far.
least 19 Taliban militants were killed in separate operations of the Afghan
Special Forces which were conducted in South-eastern Khost and northern Kunduz
Special Forces conducted an operation in Chahar Darah district of Kunduz
killing 15 Taliban fighters and wounding 5 others,” the military officials said
officials further added that the operation also led to the discovery and
destruction of 4 pressure plate IEDs and 20 pounds of homemade explosives.
Afghan Special Forces conducted a similar raid in Sabari district of Khost
province leaving 4 Taliban fighters dead while 4 others were detained.
Mujahid, the Taliban’s chief spokesman and editor-in-chief of the insurgent
group’s daily news bulletin, starts every day by collecting reports of
overnight fighting with US and Afghan forces.
says he gets his team of writers to cross-check facts shared by some of the
hardline extremist groups’ fighters, who double as reporters in the 34
provinces across the country.
writers prepare press statements in five languages and gather footage and
photographs shot on smartphones.
editor-in-chief then approves final drafts of the reports - highlighting the
group’s claimed victories in its war aimed at toppling the US-backed Afghan
government - before they are published by IT specialists based outside the
some Afghan journalists say its accuracy is patchy, and its opponents accuse it
of spreading “fake news,” the Taliban’s slick media operation has emerged as a
key weapon in the information war that often leaves the Western-backed
government and its US partners struggling to catch up.
month, for example the Taliban was swift to deny involvement in a suicide
attack on the communications ministry in Kabul later blamed on ISIS, while
information from the government was slower to emerge.
spokesmen say they have also stepped up their outreach as the pace of direct
talks between its negotiators and the United States on ending the war in
Afghanistan has picked up in recent months. They are often quicker than US
officials to give their read-out from the talks - the sixth round of which
wrapped up in Qatar on Thursday.
developments occur during the Doha talks, we share it with journalists,” said
Mujahid, adding that the messages were aimed at domestic and international
and his colleague Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, two Taliban spokesmen based in
Afghanistan, say they are authorized to interact with journalists, issue
statements and tweet. They generally respond to text or voice messages from
Reuters correspondents based in Kabul within an hour.
their location cannot be verified, they use Afghan phone numbers to access
WhatsApp. The names they use are pseudonyms assigned to them by the Taliban
are not authorized to reveal our real names, the two pen names are used to
retain uniformity,” Mujahid, who has more than 42,000 Twitter followers, told
Reuters in a telephone interview.
2011, the Taliban leadership started posting regularly on Twitter, a surprise
move by the radical extremist movement that once banned most forms of modern
now communicate on messaging apps WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram in English,
Pashto, Dari, Arabic and Urdu.
understand the importance of spreading information about our jihad and our
determination to re-establish the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan,” said Mujahid,
who says he draws a monthly salary of 14,000 Afghani ($180), plus $128 for
internet and mobile expenses.
many diplomats from various countries seek an audience with our leaders and
follow us on social media,” he added.
17 years of struggle we are winning the actual war and the digital war against
infidels and the puppet regime established by the Americans to govern
Afghanistan,” Mujahid said.
and Western officials dispute both statements. Government forces and their
military allies, they say, are inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban on
the battlefield, and continue to launch air strikes to destroy their camps. The
Taliban’s media operation is dismissed as misinformation.
false claims and exaggerated reports have reached an absurd style beyond any
reason,” said Colonel Knut Peters, the spokesman for NATO-led Resolute Support
in Afghanistan, who closely tracks Taliban statements.
are obviously trying to boost their own self-confidence while their fighters
are dying in large numbers,” he added.
October, US and Taliban officials have held talks aimed at preparing the ground
for US forces to withdraw from Afghanistan in return for a Taliban guarantee
that the country will not be used as a base for militant attacks elsewhere.
recent months, the Taliban have repeatedly rejected calls to declare a
ceasefire, and instead intensified their attacks on Afghan forces and
journalists who have been covering the Taliban since the 1990s said before the
advent of social media the group sent out hand-written pamphlets and news
reports to Afghan reporters based in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Hamim Kakar, a senior editor with Pajhwok Afghan News, the country’s oldest
private news agency, said the insurgent group has since created a complex
network to disseminate news.
a tendency to exaggerate casualties inflicted undermines the Taliban news
operation’s credibility, he said.
April, for example, the Taliban reported its fighters had carried out a
successful attack on Bagram, the largest US air base in Afghanistan about 50 km
(30 miles) north of Kabul, in which it said dozens of foreign service personnel
were killed or wounded.
officials in Kabul denied the attack had taken place.
you send them a query they respond very fast, but accuracy is always a
question. Propaganda is part of fighting, the Taliban are very good at it,”
and Ahmadi accept there have been numerous instances when they have published
unsubstantiated claims of attacks and that sometimes fighters have presented an
are allegations that our communication is rife with sensationalism and
embellishment but we never abandon the truth,” said Ahmadi. “We correct it
government is also often accused of inflating its battlefield reports. A senior
defence official familiar with the situation acknowledged the government often
under-reports casualties among Afghan forces, while readily providing numbers
for Taliban militants they say they have killed.
is no independent confirmation of the figures given by either side, making it
impossible to fully assess the on-the-ground situation.
Taliban’s communications operation, which is now run at an annual cost of 25
million Afghanis ($323,000), started out as a small office in Kabul when the
extremists ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 and has expanded since they were
now publishes six magazines in Pashto, Dari, Urdu and Arabic, and posts news
reports on 10 websites in five languages, as well as operating smaller websites
that offer theological guidance, videos, and war poetry written by fighters.
by a self-described reformist Australian Shia cleric of Iranian origin to
preach hate against Islam, Pakistan and Pakistan Army has backfired as people
have refused to buy his blinded efforts to make Pakistan seem like a regressive
country filled with extremists.
to his racist, anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan comments circulating on social media,
a huge number of users have termed Imam Tawhidi aka ‘Imam of Peace’ a ‘bogus
Imam’ who is a ‘useful idiot for Islamophobes and racists alike’.
friend of Tariq Fateh, a Canadian journalist, secularist and liberal activist
of Pakistani origin, Tawhidi is believed to be working on the agenda of
pro-Israel, pro-India, anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan lobbies who want to paint a
bleak picture of Pakistan and the Muslims as a whole.
many social media users were found sharing a video of him saying that Kashmir
is a ‘Hindu land’, with titles and captions claiming that the video is of Saudi
crown prince Mohammed bin Salman talking about Kashmir. However, later it was
found that the person claimed to be Saudi crown prince is actually Tawhidi.
is known about Tawhidi or his followers. His centre named the ‘Islamic
Association of South Australia’ was only set up last year and there is little
to no information available about the centre and its attendees. The Australian
National Imams Council (ANIC), the official representative body of all Imams
across Australia with over 250 members, all Imams, also does not recognise him
as an Imam, Shaikh or even a Muslim leader.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has called for
ending the monopoly of a “specific group” in mosques and recommended that grade
14 to grade 16 level jobs should be offered to clerics instead.
added that such measures enhance discipline and urged provincial ministers to
fulfill their responsibilities.
of allocating resources for a very small group, the State should offer Grade
14-16 jobs to the Imams of the mosques. This will put an end to the monopoly of
a specific group and also bring discipline. The higher provincial ministers
should fulfill their responsibilities in this regard,” he stated in a tweet.
recently stated that it was unwise to spend Rs4 million for sighting the moon
and added that he respected clerics but such issues were decided voluntarily.
have given my opinion, it’s not necessary that everyone has to agree with me,
however, there is no wisdom in spending around Rs4 million.”
further constituted a five-member committee to finalise exact dates of Ramzan,
Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha and Muharram for the next five years.
gunmen who stormed a five-star hotel in the restive Pakistani province of
Balochistan, killing at least one guard, have been shot dead by security
forces, officials say.
attack and subsequent siege, which targeted the Zaver Pearl-Continental Hotel
in the strategic port city of Gwadar, lasted several hours.
hotel spokesman said there were no guests and few staff due to Ramadan.
separatist Balochistan Liberation Army said it carried out the attack.
group said that the hotel, the centrepiece of a multi-billion-dollar Chinese
project, was selected in order to target Chinese and other investors.
in Balochistan oppose Chinese investment, saying it is of little benefit to
do we know about the attack?
gunmen stormed the hotel, usually popular with top government officials and
foreign visitors, at around 16:50 local time (11:50 GMT), killing at least one
security guard who tried to stop them at the entrance.
forces entered the hotel and took part in a gun battle with the militants,
before cornering them in a staircase leading to the top floor, officials said.
to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the hotel had no guests and a very limited
number of staff, a Zaver Pearl-Continental spokesperson told the BBC.
earlier reports suggested that hotel guests had been evacuated safely.
hotel sits on a hilltop overlooking the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, which
is being developed by China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC), a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the two countries.
Twitter, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan condemned the attack, which comes just
weeks after gunmen killed 14 people, including 11 military personnel, in the
is a city with a heavy military presence. It is viewed by both Chinese and
Pakistani officials as the lynchpin of the CPEC, aiming to connect western
China with the Arabian Sea.
I visited the port city in late 2017 with other international journalists, we
travelled in convoys guarded by armed escorts, and stayed in the same hotel
that was targeted.
attack will therefore be seen as a worrying breach of security, and it is not
the first time Chinese interests have been targeted by this militant group.
Last year the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) carried out an attack on the
Chinese consulate in Karachi.
that attack, both Pakistani and Chinese officials stressed that violence would
not derail their close co-operation. But militant activity in Balochistan
remains one of the major concerns about the viability of the CPEC project.
is the situation in Balochistan?
to a long-running insurgency, Balochistan is Pakistan's poorest and least
shares a large, porous border with Afghanistan and Iran.
economy is dominated by natural resources, particularly natural gas, and is
being transformed by major Chinese infrastructure projects on the CPEC, part of
the ambitious Belt and Road initiative.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that
Pakistan is ahead of Muslim countries in the field of space science. Talking to the media, he said the scientific
committee formed by the government to resolve the moon-sighting issue was
preparing a mobile application to sight the moon for the masses. He asked the
opposition parties to acknowledge the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan
who was the only national leader in the country.
was speaking at the press briefing held at Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular
Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) at the University of Karachi on Saturday.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Technology Driven
Knowledge Economy, was also present on the occasion.
Fawad Chaudhry and Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman chaired the meeting of Task Force on
Technology Driven Knowledge Economy at the Dr Panjwani Centre. Dr
Atta-ur-Rehman made a detailed presentation on transformation towards
technology driven economy in the meeting.
meeting was well attended by many national experts and scholars, including Prof
Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, director of International Centre for Chemical and
Biological Sciences; Captain (R) Nasim Nawaz, secretary of the Ministry of
Science and Technology; Syed Yawar Ali and Prof Dr Naveed A Malik, former
rector of the Virtual University of Pakistan.
to the media, the federal minister said that the calendar to indicate the exact
dates of Islamic festivals, including Ramazan, Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha and
Muharram, will be finalized by the 15th of Ramazan. He said that now masses
would be able to sight moon from their ‘mobile application’ which was being
prepared for sighting the moon. Not a single qualified cleric voiced against me
for setting up the scientific committee, he said.
a query, he said that in 1962 Pakistan became the second country in the world
after Russia to send a rocket into space. He reiterated that Pakistan still had
dominance in the field of space science in the Muslim world. He pointed out
that formation of science and technology based economy, and the governance were
two important challenges for PTI government, adding that the government focused
not only on the establishment of Technology Driven Knowledge Economy but also
strengthening of large science and research institutions in the country.
about the current political development, he pointed out that Imran Khan was the
only national leader in the country. He maintained that this was the phenomenal
fact which required the opposition parties to wait patiently for five years
until PTI government ended its tenure. The leaders of opposition parties, who
disfigured the national economy, must stop fake crying on account for crises
linked with the economy, he said.
Responding to the issue of dual nationality, he said that criticism
against the cabinet member who owned dual nationality was worthless, as they
were the national assets.
transfers funds meant for Pakistan for building Mexico border wall
The United States is transferring $1.5 billion meant for Afghanistan and
Pakistan to a fund to build the Mexican border wall, says acting Defence
Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
funds have been reprogrammed despite an increase in attacks inside Afghanistan
and a complaint by the US chief negotiator that peace talks with the Taliban
are not moving at a sufficient pace.
reprogrammed $1.5 billion towards the construction of more than 120 miles of
border barrier without impacting readiness,” Mr Shanahan said in a statement
released late Friday.
than $600 million of these funds come from an Afghan security forces account
while an unspecified amount was taken from the funds previously meant for
funds were culled from a variety of sources, to include unexecuted prior year
funds, the suspension of reimbursements to Pakistan, and costs reductions in a
series of contracts,” Secretary Shanahan said.
Pentagon announced that the reprogrammed money will be used to build more than
120 miles of barriers along the US-Mexico border.
Zalmay Khalilzad, who heads the US team negotiating a peace deal with the
Taliban, said on Friday that the peace talks were not only moving at a slow
place but had also failed to halt increasing attacks on civilian and military
made steady but slow progress on aspects of the framework for ending the Afghan
war. We are getting into the nitty gritty. The devil is always in the details,”
he wrote in a tweet.
the current pace of talks isn’t sufficient when so much conflict rages and
innocent people die. We need more and faster progress. Our proposal for all
sides to reduce violence also remains on the table,” he added.
and Taliban representatives have held six rounds of direct talks since October
in Doha, Qatar, to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan. The latest round of
negotiations with the Taliban ended on Thursday.
Afghan government, however, is not involved in the talks as the Taliban refused
to sit with Kabul, after calling it a US “puppet”. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah
Mujahid, however, has called the current round of talks “positive”, adding that
“progress” was made on some points but others were “yet to be finalised”.
talks have, so far, focused on two key points: the full withdrawal of foreign
forces from Afghanistan and ensuring that Afghanistan is not used as a base to
harm other countries.
Ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) review in June, Pakistan
Customs has introduced a string of policy measures to counter terrorism
financing through transfers with the help of cash carriers and develop profiles
of currency traffickers.
measures include drastic changes in the procedures and better enforcement to
curb smuggling, particularly currency smuggling, through entry/exit points of
the country. One of the major initiatives is the establishment of the
directorate of cross-border currency movement mainly responsible for developing
a national-level profile of currency traffickers.
Friday, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) asked customs investigating officers
to conduct an initial probe into currency smuggling cases related to any
trans-national terrorist network or United Nations-designated entities and
individuals. The Customs department has arrested 144 people in currency
smuggling cases in the last five years, more than 30 of them during the current
Customs investigation officers were asked to consult the list of proscribed
individuals available on the website of the interior ministry to ascertain
whether any accused had been enlisted as a proscribed person.
and other directives were issued to Customs officers to determine whether those
involved in currency trafficking had any link with terrorist organisations or
officers were further directed to identify the end use of cash smuggling
proceeds and investigate travel history of the arrested persons to ascertain
whether the money being generated through cash smuggling was used by proscribed
entities and individuals. In case, any link is found with terror financing, the
information will be shared with the Customs intelligence directorate and other
law enforcement agencies.
of the FATF’s major recommendations for the Pakistan Customs is to effectively
deal with currency smuggling, a source of trade-based money laundering and
terror financing, particularly at entry and exit points of the country and to
install a system for tracking the money trail.
the enforcement side, Pakistan Customs has seized currency worth Rs440.6
million between July 2018 and April 19 2019 as against Rs153.07m seized over
the corresponding period of last year. It shows that since July 2018, the
enforcement drive has produced desired results in the wake of effective enforcement
of measures to curb smuggling.
the last five years, the total amount of currency confiscated stood at Rs911m
in 118 cases. In the prosecution of arrested 144 people, 65 were convicted and
19 acquitted by the court. The court imposed Rs18.01m fine in these cases. “We
have arrested several currency smugglers recently,” a senior customs official
further investigate the cases, 15 cases have been sent to customs departments
of foreign countries with which the Pakistan Customs has signed a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) for sharing information. “We have written to them to share
with us about the profile of currency smugglers,” the official said.
the MoU, the Customs departments will share the profile of the arrested
currency smugglers in their home country.
enhancing international cooperation in controlling smuggling, the Pakistan
Customs has so far signed 22 MoUs/agreements with foreign governments/customs
administrations for mutual cooperation in customs matters. Under these
agreements, requests for mutual legal assistance have been sent to foreign
counterparts for identification of linkages in currency seizures.
the enforcement side, the customs official said, the Currency Declaration
System had been put in place at 24 airports where every outgoing and incoming
passenger would have to declare the cash they possessed on voluntarily basis.
are going to make it mandatory for passengers to declare currency from July 1,”
the official said. “This will give us further help to keep on monitoring and
then targeting the criminal activity.”
Customs has also linked its system with those of the Emirates Airlines and
Pakistan International Airlines through a software called Global Traveller
Assessment System at Karachi and Islamabad. The system helps in passenger data
screening and analysis for enhancing global security. “We will extend this
system to other airlines in near future,” the official said.
PESHAWAR: At least five suspected militants were killed
in a drone strike on the Afghanistan side of the Pak-Afghan border.
to sources, the drone fired two missiles at a house in the Laman area of
Afghanistan. Those killed in the drone strike were affiliated with the Hafiz
Gul Bahadur group, including a commander Asadullah alias Shingri.
this month, US President Donald Trump revoked a policy that required the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to account for civilian deaths from drone
move reversed a two-year-old order by his predecessor Barack Obama, who came
under pressure for greater transparency after sharply increasing the use of
drones for targeted attacks in military and counter-terrorism operations.
could give the CIA greater latitude to conduct strikes as Trump increasingly
relies on the spy agency, rather than the military, for lethal drone operations.
groups immediately criticised the move, saying it reverses a hard-fought effort
for transparency and accountability in drone strikes, which became central to
US strategy in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attack on the United
action rescinded the July 1, 2016 order by Obama requiring the US director of
national intelligence to report annually the number of strikes taken against
“terrorist targets” outside of active war zones, and give an assessment of
combatant and civilian deaths that resulted.
move though applied only to strikes by non-defense department agencies — the
CIA, in effect.
Aid wins hearts by gifting Quran to Iraqi refugee camp during Ramzan
Muslims around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramzan commemorating the
first revelation of the Holy Quran to prophet Muhammad, Sikh charitable group
Khalsa Aid is earning praise for a touching gesture. The UK-based philanthropic
group recently gifted copies of the Holy Quran to people living in a refugee
camp in Iraq.
Sikh group has made headlines in the past for helping refugees in the
Middle-East and Europe by providing them with essential supplies, and also
making festivals special for them. In Iraq, the group presented five copies of
the holy book to the camp’s manager near Mosul.
volunteers were distributing food packs for iftar to the camp’s residents when
the manager asked if they could arrange for the Quran. The group’s volunteers
obliged and a video of the poignant moment when it was handed over is going
on social media lauded Khalsa Aid for their act of kindness.
volunteers of the Sikh group also distributed free meals during iftar at a
mosque in Nairobi.
Al-Sham's Ringleader Al-Jolani Admits Losing Bases in Hama After Civilians'
held a meeting with 50 representatives of different terrorist groups and some
media activists in Idlib on Friday, pro-militant sources said, adding that
during the meeting al-Jolani admitted to Syrian Army's control over two key
towns of Kafar Naboudeh and Qala al-Maziq and said that the two towns fell due
to weak backup and resistance of the residents of the towns against a
reinforcement of militants' positions there.
the sources underlined that the tribal leaders of the cities of Khan Sheikhoun,
Ma'arat al-Numan and several other towns are trying to hand over these regions
to the Syrian Army concurrent with the Syrian Army's advances in Northern
a relevant development in late April, Al-Jolani threatened other terrorist
groups to avoid handing over Syria's occupied territories to the Damascus Army.
held a meeting with eight senior commanders of other terrorist groups,
including Islamic Turkistani Party, Harasuddin and Jeish al-Izza, in Atmaeh
town near the border with Turkey, the Arabic-language service of the Russian
Sputnik News Agency quoted local sources in Idlib province as saying.
al-Sham's ringleader who attended the meeting under tight security measures
strongly warned commanders of other terrorist groups that they would be
regarded as traitors if they hand over any region under any agreement to the
Syrian Army, warning of Tahrir al-Sham's revenge and lethal blow.
al-Jolani also asked other terrorist commanders to put their militants on a
state of full alert and keep their bomb-laden suicide vehicles prepared for
who was attending his first meeting after two months, was accompanied by three
Turkish-speaking militants in the meeting with other notorious terrorist
was critically wounded in twin explosions in the Center of Idlib city in late
February and went into a state of coma.
of those injured in Idlib blasts was severely suffering from brain injury and
he was transferred to a government hospital in Antakia City in Hatay
region," Sputnik quoted a medical source in Turkey as saying.
Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan’s jihadist connection exposed
past few weeks, a controversial article published in the terror network Al
Jazeera and another interview of Dr. Gowhar Rizvi, Foreign Affairs Adviser to
the Bangladesh Prime Minister had accorded scope to several anti-Bangladesh and
pro-Islamist elements including a sacked military officer who along with his
family had obtained immigrant status in the United Kingdom with dirty money.
The man named Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, along with his wife Farjana Anjum and
daughters namely Shehtaz Munasi Khan and Parisa Pinaz Khan had smuggled out
millions of dollars from Bangladesh and invested in various dubious business
ventures in United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. In 2009, the family
invested two million pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of obtaining
immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. Later the family had
laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the United Kingdom.
January 17, 2019, Dhaka residence of Md. Shahid Uddin Khan was raided by the
members of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of
Bangladesh Police. CTTC, based on secret information, raided House No. 184,
Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house
is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for
arms, explosives and propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the
raid, large volume of weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes
and jihadist materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.
this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan,
his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases
are: Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009
(amendment 2013); Cantonment PS, Case no
11, Section-25-A, Special Power Act
1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.
is learnt from credible sources, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan has been providing
financial assistance to several ISIS brides, while he has been actively pushing
the agenda of establishing Caliphate in Bangladesh. He has also funded the
recent blasts in Sri Lanka during the Easter Sunday.
marriage between anti-Bangladesh forces:
since he fled Bangladesh in August 2018, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family
members were afraid that their connections with the Islamic State might be
exposed as Bangladeshi security agencies were extremely vigilant in tracking
any of the movements of the jihadists. Being a sacked military officer on
charges of corruption and moral turpitude, Mr. Khan also was greatly concerned
of his criminal and militancy activities being exposed and his entire family
was afraid of legal consequences, as Bangladesh adopted a ‘zero tolerance’
policy towards corruption and militancy. Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and his family
members were aware of the anti-militancy drives conducted by the Directorate of
Forces Intelligence (DGFI). For this reason, they had adopted an agenda of
tarnishing the image of this organization by manufacturing fictitious
allegations. They had ready-support from a British journalist who connected
this ISIS funder family to another journalist named Mehdi Hasan.
Hasan, a British citizen is also the editor of the UK version of Huffington
Post is trying to get some propaganda materials published in the prestigious
news outlet against Bangladesh and DGFI. Sitting in Britain, he and another
British journalist also are trying to promote Shahid Uddin Khan’s plot of
ousting the democratically elected government in Bangladesh through
Venezuela-type civil-military revolt.
is Mehdi Hasan?
Shia Muslim, Mehdi Raza Hasan, during a sermon delivered in 2009, quoting a
verse of the Quran, said to an audience: “The kuffar, the disbelievers, the
atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational
message of the Koran; they are described in the Koran as “a people of no
intelligence”, Allah describes them as not of no morality, not as people of no
belief – people of “no intelligence” – because they’re incapable of the
intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake
off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In
this respect, the Koran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those
who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.”
response to criticism over the use of the term “cattle” to describe
non-believers, Hasan wrote in his New Statesman blog: “The Quranic phrase
‘people of no intelligence’ simply and narrowly refers to the fact that Muslims
regard their views on God as the only intellectually tenable position, just as
atheists (like Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris) regard believers as fundamentally
irrational and, even, mentally deficient.” Hasan returned to this issue in
August 2012 following criticism from the columnist Peter Hitchens. Hasan wrote:
“the entire 45-minute speech is primarily an attack on Muslim extremists who
try and justify violence against non-Muslims on an ‘ends justify the means’
basis”, but noted of his 2009 comments that his “phraseology was ill-judged,
ill-advised and, even, inappropriate”.
has made several statements in opposition to the Saudi government, including
challenging a statement made by Donald Trump, in which he claimed that he
himself had no financial interests in Saudi Arabia, an allegation which Trump
called “fake news”. Hasan challenged Trump’s statements in a video essay
published by The Intercept in October 2018.
February 2019, during a debate organized by Intelligence Squared in London,
Hasan stated that the West should cut ties with Saudi Arabia, saying
time we make clear that the West needs to cut its ties with Saudi Arabia,
especially military ties, arms exports, weapons, bombs,”
Hasan, by terming “The kuffar, the disbelievers, the atheists” as “cattle” has
indirectly legitimized their slaughter by the Islamist militants. On the other
hand, his bias against Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump evidently proves his
loyalty towards terror-patron Iran.
Hasan’s habit of twisting facts:
a pregnant woman was killed during a rocket attack by mega-terror outfit Hamas.
Immediately after this incident, although Palestinian Islamic Jihad in a news
item catered by Hamas’ Al Risala news via Telegram said ““A leak from the
heroes of the [Islamic Jihad’s] Sarayat al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigades) on the
circumstances of the death of the baby Saba Abu ‘Arar indicates that a rocket
of the resistance exploded inside the family’s home due to a technical failure,
and prematurely exploded.”
added, “There is a claim that the technical failure was caused by low-grade
explosives in the rocket. There is no doubt that the baby’s death has nothing
to do with the enemy’s [Israel’s] planes”.
twisting this fact, Mehdi Hasan, as part of his vendetta, tweeted “A pregnant
Palestinian woman and her baby niece were killed in Gaza – do you condemn their
deaths and their (Israeli) killers, Senator? If not, why not?” He further
tweeted “I see the Israeli army is blaming an alleged Hamas ‘misfire’ in this
particular incident. The IDF has a long history of covering up war crimes in
Gaza. But even if they’re correct, wider point stands: why are US senators not
condemning Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians?”
is a crude example of mischievous ‘journalism’ of Mehdi Hasan. The reason of
his vendetta against Israel is because of its continuous struggle against
radical Islamic militancy. This man has the same reason for having grudge
against DGFI, because this organization has been effectively confronting
religious extremism and militancy.
large number of residents of the towns and villages of Abu Hardoub, Zabian,
al-Zaman, al-Basira, al-Hawayej, al-Sweidan and Al-Shahil in Eastern Deir Ezzur
held protest rallies against the SDF's measures and called for expulsion of the
Kurdish fighters from the areas they have occupied.
popular uprising took place after six civilians were killed and four others
were injured in a new round of crimes by the SDF and the US-led coalition
against civilians in the town of al-Shahil.
in the town of al-Shahil set ablaze an SDF centers in this region.
the residents of al-Basireh and Sweidan towns attacked the SDF posts and drove
them out of the region.
a large number of residents of the town of Olveh al-Shamsani in Southern Deir
Ezzur also revolted against the SDF fighters.
a relevant development earlier this week, the residents of a region in Raqqa
province expelled the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces amid intensified
popular protests by civilians against the SDF, local sources said.
people in the village of Jadideh Kahit East of al-Katameh town in Eastern Raqqa
clashed with a group of Syrian Democratic Forces who were arresting civilians
in the region and expelled from the region, local sources in Raqqa said.
sources pointed to intensified differences and tensions among civilians and
Kurdish forces in Raqqa, and said two SDF militants were killed in a bomb blast
carried out by unknown assailants in al-Shaher village in Eastern Raqqa.
Deir Ezzur province, meantime, the residents of the towns of Sweidan Jazira,
Geranij, al-Mavilah and al-Hasin as well as the villages of Jadid Akidat and
Jadid Bekareh in Eastern and Southeastern Deir Ezzur revolted against the SDF
and their plundering of oil reserves.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Kurdish 'Afrin Liberation Forces'
pounded a gathering of the Turkish Army soldiers in the village of Kimar in
Shirawa region of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, killing two Turkish soldiers
and injuring four others as well as destroying their military vehicle.
the Kurdish fighters also destroyed a drilling vehicles of the Ankara-backed militants,
while it was building a road block in Kimar town in Afrin, destroying a
military vehicle and killing three Ankara-backed militants.
Kurdish fighters also targeted and pounded a military vehicle carrying
militants of Jbahat al-Shamia in Kaljabrin in Izaz region in Northwestern
Aleppo, destroying a vehicle and injuring three terrorists.
a relevant development in late February, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
conducted a military operation against Turkish Army and its allied militants in
the surrounding areas of Manbij city in Northeastern Aleppo, killing a number
of the Ankara-backed militants and that country's soldiers in Afrin region.
News reported that clashes intensified between members of Al-Bab Military
Council affiliated to the SDF and Ankara-backed Euphrates Shield militants in
Qart-Viran, Karhiuk and Kavkoli regions West of Manbij city and East of al-Bab
said that the clashes broke out after the Ankara-backed terrorists' artillery
units pounded the SDF-controlled areas in the region.
News reiterated that sporadic clashes still continue between the two sides in
Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
said that at least three Ankara-backed militants were killed and five others
were severely wounded in a battle between the two sides in a region between
Basouteh and Karzileh villages in Afrin region.
sources in Eastern Syria reported that a US military convoy comprising 50
trucks carrying the US-led military and logistical aids has arrived in
SDF-controlled regions in Northeastern Syria via Simalka crossing to the city
pro-militant Baladi news website also announced that a US military convoy has
entered the SDF bases in the city of Ein Issa in Northern Raqqa province.
the US Army still continues dispatch of its military convoys to the
SDF-controlled areas in Eastern Syria despite declaring war on ISIL in Eastern
a relevant development earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights (SOHR) noted that a sum of 1,010 trucks carrying military equipment have
been sent to Eastern Syria by the US during the last few months.
battlefield sources in Hasaka province reported that a US military convoy
comprising several military vehicles and logistic supplies as well as four
covered trucks was dispatched from the same region to a US-controlled military
base in Ain al-Arab (Kobani) in Northern Aleppo.
SOHR had also revealed in April that Washington dispatched new military aid to
the SDF in Eastern Euphrates after it said mission had been accomplished in the
war on ISIL.
reported that the US-led coalition had sent new military convoys, including
tens of trucks carrying military aid and logistical equipment, from Iraqi
Kurdistan region to areas occupied by the SDF in Eastern Euphrates.
security operation in the town of Tarut in the eastern Saudi province of
al-Qatif has led to the deaths of eight extremists belonging to a recently-formed
terrorist cell, according to a spokesman of the Kingdom’s Presidency of State
to the spokesman, members of the recently-formed cell were planning to carry
out terrorist attacks against public and security sites in the region.
led authorities to determine the cell's hideout location at an apartment in the
Sanabis neighborhood in the town of Tarot of al-Qatif.
then launched a pre-emptive security operation on Saturday under which the site
was cordoned off at 10 am local time by security forces, who had ordered the
terrorists to surrender. The terrorists did not respond to the orders and began
firing at the security forces, who then returned fire to neutralize the risk
and preserve the lives of others in the vicinity of the apartment,” the
spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Saudi Press Agency.
operation led to the deaths of all eight terrorists, while no building
occupants, pedestrians or members of the security forces were harmed.
April 21, the Saudi authorities have foiled an attempted terrorist attack on
the General Directorate of Investigation’s Center in al-Zulfi suburb around 250
km north of the capital.
Shia cleric and leader of the National Wisdom Movement, Ammar al-Hakim, has warned
that the country will “not stand idle” as Washington’s unabashedly aggressive
and hawkish policies against Tehran risk jeopardizing Iraq.
have to protect Iraq from any potential fallouts of this conflict because when
the call for war is made, reason and logic is forgotten,” said al-Hakim.
US has recently announced military deployments in the region in a bid to
counter “threats from Iran”.
United States’ push to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero signals a transition from
a policy of pressure to a policy of suffocating Iran, its government and
people. This move will have very dangerous and tragic implications for the
region, specifically Iraq,” Hakim said.
further urged the Iraqi government to adopt what he described as a responsible
position to prevent a “tragedy” and act as mediator between the two countries.
comments come after the US announced earlier this week that the it was
deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the
Middle East in a bid to send a “message” to Iran.
Friday, the Pentagon announced that it will further reinforce its Middle East
deployment with an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery
further counter the “Iranian threat”.
officials have, however, dismissed the provocations as being part of the Trump
administration's "psychological warfare" against the country.
Washington’s recently heightened rhetoric, Commander of the Iranian Army's
Ground Forces Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari said on Friday "no
danger" threatens the country.
said Iran’s adversaries know that any move against the country will result in a
recent measures against Iran have, nonetheless, prompted concern among Iraqi
officials, whose country still faces an ongoing US military presence.
has in the past described the US’ mission in Iraq as a bid to “watch Iran”,
drawing the condemnation of Iraqi figures from across the country’s varying
week, Hakim strongly rejected any use of the country’s territory “for
aggression against other states”. He made the remarks in a meeting with US
Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also slammed Washington’s moves on Friday.
use of coercive measures and threats against our neighboring country Iran is a
clear violation of international law,” said Maliki, adding that the US was
seeking to challenge a “resilient Muslim nation”.
former prime minister added that Washington’s provocations also risked
destabilizing Iraq, noting that the country was still recovering from the Daesh
Salim, an Iraqi lawmaker and member of the al-Bana coalition in the parliament,
said an American attack on Iran will lead to the fall of Washington’s
international standing and will hasten “the dissolution of the Zionist regime”.
said that such an aggression was equivalent to an attack on all Muslim
countries, “regardless of the hostile positions held by some Arabic and Muslim
states against Iran”.
has greatly assisted its regional neighbors in their fight against
foreign-backed terrorists, especially in Syria and Iraq where Daesh captured
large swathes of territory after 2014.
US allegations of Iranian threats in the region, spokesman of Yemen's Houthi
Ansarullah movement Mohammad al-Qebaly met with Iraq’s Harakat Hezbollah
al-Nujaba representative Ali al-Asadi in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on
government forces have carried out a string of clean-up operations in the
country’s southwestern province of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan
Heights, discovering a substantial amount of Israeli-made munitions and medical
supplies from a former stronghold of foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists.
unnamed military source told Syria’s official news agency SANA that Syrian
soldiers launched operations in the outskirts of the provincial capital city of
Quneitra on Saturday to clear the area of hidden explosive devices and ordnance
left behind by the militants.
source added that the weapons included machine guns, anti-tank rocket-propelled
grenade launchers, telecommunication devices and binoculars.
of Israeli-made medicine and medical equipment for surgical operations were
found at the site as well.
Syrian army units have carried out intense strikes on militant positions in the
southern countryside of the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.
in the day, nearly a dozen people sustained injuries when a car rigged with
explosives went off in the southern al-Zahera neighborhood of the capital
police source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the explosion struck at
about 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) as worshipers were leaving the Umayyad
Mosque after morning prayers.
report gives look into Assad's torture prisons
New York Times offered special insight into the secret torture facilities of
Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, in a report published Saturday.
the Assad regime’s army has been fighting the rebel forces over territory, his
government was waging an all-out war against its own civilians.
exact number of civilians detained in these prisons is unknown, however,
128,000 Syrians are either considered to be detained or dead, according to the
Syrian Network for Human Rights. Nearly 14,000 were killed from torture.
millions of relatives of missing detainees float in a social and psychological
limbo," The Times wrote.
as the regime is nearing the end of a brutal and bloody eight-year conflict,
the rate at which people are being detained in the country is increasing.
year the Syrian Network recorded 5,607 new arrests that it classifies as
arbitrary — more than 100 per week and nearly 25 percent more than the year
before,” The Times wrote in the report.
newspaper found that government memos reveal that Syrian officials close to
Assad had ordered mass detention and knew all about the atrocities taking
has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar
al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million
others displaced, according to UN officials.
the past few months, the Assad regime has acknowledged the deaths of hundreds
inside detention facilities, in what is a tactical strategy aimed at sending
the message “We won, we did this, and no one will punish us,” according to the
founder of the Syrian Network Fadel Abdul Ghany.
newspaper documented numerous cases of torture at the hands of the regime.
of these cases took place at Saydnaya Prison, which is known in Syria as the
place where prisoners were sent in mass to face executions.
of the extreme cases was of Muhannad Ghabbash, a student from Aleppo, who was
arrested multiple times in the beginning of Syria’s civil war.
his third arrest, he faced a harsh series of beatings, and would sometimes
“wake up naked in a freezing hallway,” and have a gun put into his mouth by an
torture survivor said he witnessed “a teenager take 21 days to die after
interrogators doused him with fuel and set him alight.”
guard, who called himself Hitler, would organize a “sadistic dinner
entertainment” in which he would force inmates to act as animals, making them
bark like dogs or crow like roosters.
dog has to bark, the cat meow, the rooster crow,” Ghabbash told The Times.
“Hitler tries to tame them. When he pets one dog, the other dog should act
the walls of these secret prison facilities, rape and sexual assault are also
year, a UN human rights commission report said that women and girls had been
raped and sexually assaulted in at least 20 intelligence branches in the
country, and men and boys in 15 branches.
women who were not raped had reported facing groping, sexual insults, threats
of rape, and cavity searches, according to the Times.
UN has also noted that the unhealthy conditions of the detention centers are so
extreme and systemic that "they amounted to extermination, a crime against
hopes at holding the Assad regime accountable remain bleak, however, there is
an increase in the movement to find justice through European courts.
International arrest warrants for Ali Mamlouk, Assad’s national security chief,
and Air Force intelligence director Jamil Hassan were issued by French and German
authorities over the cases of torture and death in these prisons.
US defense chief and CIA director Robert Gates has expressed concerns over the
“real risk” of Taliban militants taking over Afghanistan in case American
troops are withdrawn from the war-ravaged nation, further insisting that
Washington lacks a long-term strategy to deal with China.
remarks during a Saturday interview with CBS News due to be aired on Sunday,
Gates emphasized that Washington must be assured of a stable Afghan government
prior to pulling out the 12,000 US troops still occupying Afghanistan, 18 years
after initiating a massive invasion of the nation in a purported bid to stamp
out terrorism and topple the Taliban regime ruling there at the time.
think that the circumstances under which you bring them home matter. And I
think trying to give the Afghan government the best possible shot at survival
is really important for the future of Afghanistan,” Gates said in the interview
with “Face the Nation” news program that airs Sunday morning.
remarks came as the Trump administration is currently negotiating with the
Taliban terrorist group in efforts to bring an end to the destructive war in
Afghanistan, although representatives of the Afghan government have not been
included in the talks, intensifying a rift between Washington and Kabul.
Gates commended the administration for trying to end the prolonged conflict, he
underlined that the outcome of any agreement will eventually be out of
“So the question is, can you negotiate an
arrangement whereby the Taliban agrees to operate under the Afghan
Constitution, becomes a part of the political process?” asked the former
further emphasized, “If they agree to any kind of a compromise deal, it's
really up to the other Afghans at the end of the day to- to resist any moves,
to get rid of those changes, to go backward, if you will.”
think it's up to us after all this time to at least try and put the Afghan
government in as positive a position for that contest that will come at some
point as we can, he added. “But at the end of the day, you've got to admit,
it's going to be up to the Afghans themselves.”
went on to proclaim that there are potentially grave consequences to a
premature withdrawal, including what he referred to as “significant risks to
women’s rights in the country.”
is while the US invaded Afghanistan with the specific, stated aim of “war on
terror,” which has led to sitting at the negotiating table with the very
terrorists they waged a war to dismantle. Observers, meanwhile, scoff at Gates’
expression of concern about what secular Washington regards as “women’s rights”
in the predominantly Muslim nation, saying it seems to be yet another objective
of the US establishment in the Asian country.
lacks long-term China strategy’
former US spy chief also commented on Washington’s persisting row with China,
saying that he believes the Chinese have an advantage in the ongoing trade
stalemate between the two economic powers, because "we really don't have a
strategy" for how to deal with Beijing in the long term.
have set goals. They have a strategy for achieving those goals," Gates
said during the interview, referring to Chinese initiatives on artificial
intelligence (AI) and robotics.
Chinese government has been pursuing an aggressive initiative, Made in China
2025, to provide subsidies to Chinese companies to gain dominance in ten
high-tech fields, including robotics and AI.
for the US, Gates stressed: "We really don't have a strategy. We haven't
had a strategy in quite awhile."
further underlined that this is not just a problem for the Trump
administration, which imposed additional tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese
imports on Friday, suggesting that several recent presidents have struggled to
counter China's rise on the global stage.
don't think, basically, that the recent U.S. administrations have had a
strategy for how to deal with China long-term," Gates added, blaming the
hectic pace of events in Washington, where "long-term planning is a week
is so consumed all the time by the issue of the moment that it's very difficult
to have -- to get senior people to set aside the time to think about, 'Where do
we want to be in five years with this country or that country or in terms of
some of our own objectives,'" Gates pointed out.
further emphasized that the National Security Council, headed by hawkish John
Bolton, is supposed to plan for long-term scenarios, but in his opinion recent
councils have not done so.
US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the "process is in
place" to levy an expanded round of tariffs on most Chinese imports,
totaling $325 billion.
President Donald Trump’s deployment of an aircraft carrier and other military
equipment to the Middle East is a
“dangerous strategy” that may push events beyond the brink of active conflict.,
says an American writer and former professor.
don’t think he [Trump] wants war with Iran,” said E Michael Jones, the current
editor of Culture Wars magazine.
with this kind of think; its called brinkmanship…it can lead to unintended
consequences,” Jones said Friday in an interview with Press TV.
think that is the explanation of his strategy and I think we’re also seeing the
dangers involved in that strategy,” he added.
this week, hawkish US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that the
US was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to
the Middle East in a bid to send a “message” to Iran.
also said that Trump’s invitation for Iran’s leadership to call him and talk
with him about Tehran’s civilian nuclear program is an intimidation tactic to
force Iran to the negotiating table.
thinks he can intimidate people up to the point of actual negotiations…intimidate
them by making outrageous claims;
trying to get them to be fearful of the
consequences,” he said.
White House has contacted Swiss authorities to share a telephone number with
Iran in hopes that Tehran will contact US President Donald Trump, CNN reported
White House contacted the Swiss on Thursday, the same day Trump publicly
appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions, the news organization
reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source.
source, however, said Iran was “highly unlikely” to demand the number from
Swiss embassy represents US interests in Tehran, where Washington has had no
mission since 1980.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan authorized the deployment Friday of a
Patriot missile battery and a Navy amphibious transport dock ship to the Middle
East, citing intelligence concerning threats from Iran.
Pentagon said the deployment was "in response to indications of heightened
Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and our
follows the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a
bomber task force to the region earlier this week.
move is the latest in a series of actions designed to exert pressure on Iran.
While it previously used economic pressure, the U.S. is now militarily
threatening Tehran with new deployments to the Central Command region.
U.S. administration re-imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November
after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between
Tehran, Washington and five other countries.
administration has also ended sanctions waivers for countries buying Iranian
United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready
to defend U.S. forces and interests in the region," the Pentagon said in a
campaigners condemn UK queen for hosting king of Bahrain
campaigners have furiously criticized Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II for the warm
welcome she is offering to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, saying the
king has led a massive crackdown on the dissent in his small country.
Mushaima, the son of a jailed Bahraini activist, said he would hold a vigil
outside the Windsor castle, where the queen is hosting Hamad for horse show
activist argued that the queen is providing Hamad and his increasingly
repressive regime with a public relations opportunity.
father and thousands of other Bahrainis have been in jail merely due to their
contribution to a peaceful movement for democracy which started in 2011.
while the king socializes with dignitaries, my ageing father languishes in a
cell in Bahrain, denied access to medical treatment for a range of serious
illnesses,” said Mushaima in an article for the Guardian newspaper.
is not alone: thousands of political prisoners fill the overcrowded cells of
Bahrain’s prisons, and many others are deliberately denied medical care,” he
has largely ignored calls for adopting a tougher policy in dealing with
Bahrain, a small Persian Gulf country which has witnessed a harsh repression
for most of the decade.
has continued to support the regime in Manama with various arms and weapons
while it also established a new naval base worth 40 million pounds in the
country last year.
regularly attends the five-day Royal Windsor horse show, a main event in the
annual calendar of the British queen.
two monarchs have shown a great degree of closeness during the meetings and
have even gifted each other horses.
police in the British capital London are investigating a shooting attack on a
mosque in an eastern neighborhood of the city.
Yard said on Saturday that a masked man had fired his gun just outside Seven Kings
Mosque late on Thursday when worshippers were holding prayer ceremonies marking
the early days of the holy month of Ramadan.
said worshippers had engaged the gunman when he was entering the mosque and
forced him out before he started shooting.
said the gun used in the event was blank-firing and no one had been hurt.
this early stage, ballistic evidence recovered from the scene suggests that the
weapon was a blank-firing handgun,” said the police, adding, “Officers will
continue to work closely with representatives from the mosque and are providing
reassurance to the local community.”
mosque's imam Mufti Suhail urged people not to speculate over the gunman's
was a firearm incident outside Seven Kings Mosque tonight during Ramadan night
prayers,” said Suhail, “The suspect ran from the scene when stopped by brothers
standing guard at the mosque.”
attack comes amid heightened concerns about the safety of Muslims in British
mosques, especially during Ramadan when places of worship are normally crowded.
also comes after several minor assaults on mosques and Muslims in Britain which
were allegedly inspired by a mass shooting of Muslims in two mosques in
Christchurch in New Zealand last month.
total of 50 Muslims were killed in those attacks, prompting massive concerns
that Muslim minorities in Western countries could face more harassment and
abuse in future.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned against a bellicose spiral of
reactions on an international agreement on Iran nuclear activities.
an interview published online by Le Parisien on Saturday, Le Drian said it was
a pity that the United States was not complying with the terms of the deal
signed between Iran and six major global powers in 2015 in Vienna, admitting
the move prompted Iran to retaliate by suspending parts of its commitments.
is a pity that the United States is not honoring its commitments,” he said
while stressing the “responsibility” of the Americans and the importance of
dialogue with Tehran on the issue.
comments came after Iran announced on Wednesday that it will halt implementing
some terms of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
(JCPOA), until parties to the deal other than US take action to mitigate the
negative impacts of US decision in May 2018 to withdraw from the agreement.
President Hassan Rouhani has set a two-month deadline for the parties to either
do the necessary actions to save the JCPOA or face Iran resuming a nuclear
enrichment program which had been suspended as part of the deal in return for
lifting of international sanctions on Tehran.
Drian warned that the chain of reactions on JCPOA could intensify into a
top French diplomat described Iran decision to suspend sale of excess uranium
and heavy water as a “bad reaction” in response to a similar “bad decision” by
Washington to not honor its commitments.
defence minister said Syrian government forces need to halt attacks in
northwestern Syria, state-owned Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.
army, backed by Russian air power, launched ground operations this week against
the southern flank of a rebel zone consisting of Idlib and parts of adjacent
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Syrian forces should return to territories
agreed in an international deal in Kazakhstan to reduce hostilities and
problems grow each day and it is increasingly showing a tendency to turn into a
catastrophe," he said.
Akar also said the attacks pose a threat to the security of Turkey's
observation posts in the northwest, where Turkey carries out patrols.
expect Russia to take effective and determined measures to make regime forces
stop their attacks on the south of Idlib and immediately return to the borders
set by the Astana agreement," Mr Akar said, referring to the Kazakh
capital by its previous name.
Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said the operation
was a reaction to terrorists in the area, and was being carried out "in
coordination with our Turkish partners," Tass news agency reported.
United Nations Security Council was briefed behind closed doors on Friday on
the situation in northwest Syria. Afterward, 11 the 15 members – including the
United States, France and Britain – jointly condemned the killing of civilians
and warned of a possible humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib.
letter which has been signed by over 215 prominent Sunni clerics, members of
the Assembly of Experts, provisional Friday Prayers leaders and Sunni religious
school teachers was written to Guterres after the UN inaction towards the
recent beheading of 37 people by the Saudi government.
called on the world body and its chief to effectively protest and condemn the
crime and apply the necessary mechanism to precisely and independently
investigate into the issue to prevent repetition of such catastrophes in
month, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced that it had executed 37 citizens
for their alleged “adoption of extremist, terrorist ideology and forming
terrorist cells to corrupt and disturb security, spread chaos and cause
sectarian discord”. At least 33 of the victims belonged to Saudi Arabia's
Shiite minority, according to Human Rights Watch.
beheading was the largest in Saudi Arabia since January 2016, when 47 men were
executed in a single day, including outspoken Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir
mass execution sparked widespread condemnations amid reports that the
convictions were based on unfair trials and that confessions were extracted
UN human rights chief called Saudi Arabia's mass executions of 37 men
"shocking" and "abhorrent", joining a growing chorus of
condemnation by rights groups and activists.
strongly condemn these shocking mass executions across six cities in Saudi
Arabia yesterday," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet
said in a statement.
is particularly abhorrent that at least three of those killed were minors at
the time of their sentencing," she added.
stressed that the executions were carried out despite repeated warnings from
rights officials and UN rapporteurs about lack of due process and fair trial
guarantees amid allegations that confessions were obtained through torture.
UN official urged Saudi Arabia to review its counterterrorism legislation, expressly
prohibit the death penalty for minors.
reopened Sunday its crossings with the blockaded Gaza Strip after closing them
during a deadly escalation earlier this month, an official said, as a fragile
the Erez crossing for people and Kerem Shalom crossing for goods were open and
operating, a spokeswoman for COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees the
crossings, said in a statement.
had been closed on May 4, when Gaza rulers Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad
fired hundreds of rockets at Israel, with the army striking dozens of targets
in Gaza in response.
Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were
killed in the two-day flare-up, which ended on Monday in a tentative truce.
officials said Israel had agreed to ease its crippling decade-long blockade of
the impoverished enclave in exchange for calm.
did not publicly confirm the deal, but on Friday lifted the ban it had imposed
on Palestinian fishing boats operating off Gaza.
says its blockade is necessary to isolate Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, with
whom it has fought three wars since 2008.
Houthi militias have started to redeploy from Saleef and Ras Isa ports in
Hodeidah province under a United Nations-sponsored peace deal that had been
stalled for months, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
teams were overseeing the Houthi movements at the ports.
governor of Hodeidah, al-Hassan al-Taher, stated that the move did not comply
with the agreed upon terms of the Stockholm Agreement. This stipulated that the
government be part of the redeployment monitoring teams, and that the Houthis
clear all landmines before redeployment.
will not accept this theatrical act and we will remain the main party in any
agreement,” al-Taher said.
Houthi Ansarullah movement has urged the United Nations and its Security
Council to pressure Yemen’s Saudi-backed former government to pull out its
forces from the city of Hudaydah and two other Red Sea ports after Houthi
fighters unilaterally began withdrawing from two of the ports according to a
movement’s spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam on Saturday strongly called on the UN
and the UNSC to “prove, even once,” their “credibility on the ground” by
pressuring the so-called government, led by Yemen’s ex-president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, to pull out its forces from the key ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras
movement, which has been significantly helping the Yemeni army against a
Saudi-led military coalition for the past four years, signed a UN-brokered
truce deal with Hadi’s so-called government in the Swedish capital of Stockholm
on December 13.
to the agreement, Houthi fighters, who are in control of the three port cities,
and Hadi’s militia, who have laid a tight siege on Hudaydah since June 2018,
must withdraw their forces from the ports, particularly from Hudaydah, through
whose docks more than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass.
Friday, Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, who heads the Redeployment Coordination
Committee (RCC), a UN mission to monitor the deal, said that Houthis would make
an “initial unilateral redeployment” of their forces from the three key ports
between May 11 and May 14.
on Saturday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of Yemen's Supreme Revolutionary
Committee, said that Houthi fighters began withdrawing from Salif and Ras Isa
ports in Hudaydah province.
al-Hasan Taher, the so-called governor of Hudaydah province and an ally of
Hadi, claimed hours later that Houthis’ withdrawal from the port cities were
“fake” and the process were allegedly “were merely reshuffling personnel.”
comments came a day after Hadi’s information minister said that the report on
the Houthis' redeployment offer “is inaccurate and misleading.”
claimed that the reported redeployment offer was “unacceptable” because a
required joint monitoring and verification mechanism as stipulated in the
December pact was not foreseen in the UN's Friday arrangement.
statement on Saturday is considered as a response to both Hadi’s officials and
also to denounce Hadi’s refusal to pull out his forces from the key ports according
to the truce deal.
stress the need for the United Nations to pressure the aggressor to take
similar steps to contribute to the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement
and the achievement of peace,” he said, adding, “The redeployment step comes at
a time when the Alliance of Aggression continues to postpone and obstruct the
implementation of its commitments with a view to thwarting” the peace deal.
a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall Hadi, who had resigned amid popular discontent and fled to
Riyadh, and to crush the Houthis.
imposed war initially consisted of an aerial campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground mercenaries to Yemen. Furthermore,
armed militia forces loyal to Hadi, in line with invaders, launch frequent
attacks against Yemeni people in regions held by Houthis.
aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has said that a record
22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened
by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most
severe famine in more than 100 years.
Houthi forces have started unilateral withdrawal from Saleef and Ras Isa ports
in Hudaydah province under a United Nations-sponsored peace deal, a news agency
quoted witnesses as saying Saturday that UN teams were overseeing the
withdrawal, breathing a fresh lease of life into the peace deal which had been
stalled for months.
Ali al-Houthi, the head of Yemen's Supreme Revolutionary Committee, said in
Twitter post earlier Saturday that the withdrawal would begin at 10 a.m. local
time (0700 GMT).
said the intention to unilaterally redeploy from the ports was due to the Saudi
coalition’s refusal to implement the truce agreement reached between Yemen's
warring sides in Stockholm last December.
the deal, representatives from the Houthis and Yemen's Saudi-backed former
government agreed to withdraw their troops from Hudaydah's main port and two
other nearby ports, as well as Hudaydah city and allow deployment of UN
faces a humanitarian catastrophe amid a Saudi war and blockade which does not
allow the country to import and distribute vital food, fuel and medicines.
said he holds the UN responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen because
of its failure to put an end to the blockade, the closure of Sana'a airport and
disruption of salary payments.
Friday, the UN's Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) said the Houthis
would make an "initial unilateral redeployment" between May 11 and
May 14 from three Yemeni ports.
redeployment, it said, should allow the UN to take "a leading role in
supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports" and to
enhance checks on cargoes.
process, it emphasized, must be followed by "the committed, transparent
and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their
Stockholm, it was hoped that the redeployment would take place in January, but
its implementation has repeatedly been stalled due to a lack of trust between
the rival parties.
former information minister Moammar al-Eryani said on Friday the Houthis'
redeployment offer was “misleading” and unacceptable if it did not allow for
“joint monitoring and verification”.
a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, has seen some of the heaviest fighting in
the four-year Saudi aggression against the impoverished nation.
Arabia and the UAE launched the Hudaydah offensive in June 2018, but they have
faced strong resistance put up by Yemeni armed forces – led by the Houthis --
and the city’s residents.
Saudi-led coalition claims that the Houthis are using the port city for weapons
delivery, an allegation the fighters reject.
United Nations says Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has agreed to
unilaterally pull out its forces from three key ports over the next four days,
a necessary step for the implementation of a ceasefire deal the warring sides
reached in Sweden in December.
Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, who heads the Redeployment Coordination Committee
(RCC), a UN mission to monitor the deal, said in a statement on Friday that the
movement would make an “initial unilateral redeployment” of its forces from
Yemen’s three key ports of Hudaydah, Salif and Ras Isa between May 11 and May
movement, which has been significantly helping the Yemeni army against a
Saudi-led military coalition for the past four years, and the country’s former
Saudi-backed government, led by ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, signed a
UN-brokered truce deal in Stockholm on December 13.
than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass through the docks of Hudaydah,
a lifeline for the war-ravaged country's crippled economy. However, since June
last year, forces of the United Arab Emirates, a significant ally of Saudi
Arabia in its war against Yemen, and Hadi’s militia have laid a tight siege to
the city, which is under the control of Houthi fighters.
redeployment of forces from the three port cities is a critical part of the
ceasefire deal, aimed at averting a full-scale assault on Hudaydah, but has so
far failed to materialize on the ground.
statement said the redeployment must be followed by “the committed, transparent
and sustained actions of the parties to fully deliver on their obligations.”
also stressed that the redeployment of forces should allow the UN to take “a
leading role in supporting the Red Sea Ports Corporation in managing the ports”
and to increase UN checks on cargoes.
the UN statement, the ex-president's information minister said in a twitter
post that the report on the Houthis' redeployment offer “is inaccurate and
response has been released yet either from the RCC or the Houthi Ansarullah
movement, which has repeatedly complained about Saudi Arabia’s repeated
violation of the ceasefire in Hudaydah.
imposed war initially consisted of an aerial campaign, but was later coupled
with a naval blockade and the deployment of ground mercenaries to Yemen.
Furthermore, armed militia forces loyal to Hadi, in line with invaders, launch
frequent attacks against Yemeni people in regions held by Houthis.
protest movement: Military calls for new round of talks
military rulers have invited protest leaders for a new round of talks on
transferring power to a civilian administration, the protest movement said
call came as thousands of demonstrators remain camped outside army headquarters
in central Khartoum, vowing to force the generals to cede power just as they
forced veteran president Omar al-Bashir from office exactly a month ago.
on the protesters’ key demand for a civilian-led body to oversee a four-year
transition have been deadlocked for days, with the military insisting on
holding a majority in any new ruling body.
received a call from the military council to resume negotiations,” the Alliance
for Freedom and Change said in a statement.
last month, the alliance, which brings together protest organizers and
opposition and rebel groups, handed the generals its proposals for a
the generals have expressed “many reservations” over the alliance’s roadmap,
have singled out its silence on the constitutional position of Islamic sharia
law which was the guiding principle of all legislation under Bashir’s rule but
is anathema to secular groups like the Sudanese Communist Party and some rebel
factions in the alliance.
have identified the points of contention with the military council and ...
decisive talks will revolve around (them) in each meeting,” the alliance said
in its statement.
want to hold the talks quickly and sort out all these points in 72 hours,” it
said without specifying when the negotiations would resume.
least 65 migrants drowned on Friday when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean
Sea off the Tunisian coast after they had left Libya hoping to reach Europe,
the UN refugee agency UNHCR said.
state-run Tunis Afrique Presse agency gave a death toll of at least 70 people.
It was one the deadliest shipwrecks involving migrants trying to reach Europe
is a tragic and terrible reminder of the risks still faced by those who attempt
to cross the Mediterranean,” UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean Vincent
Cochetel said in a statement.
the first four months of 2019, 164 people are known to have died on the route,
a smaller number but higher death rate than in previous years, with one dying
for every three who reach European shores, UNHCR said.
said the sunken boat had taken to the sea on Thursday from neighboring Libya,
where renewed warfare between rival factions has gripped the capital Tripoli in
the past five weeks.
Tunisian navy brought 16 survivors to the coast at Zarzis, where one was
immediately taken to hospital and the others awaited permission to disembark,
Tunisian agency said the boat had sunk 40 miles off the coast of Sfax, south of
the capital Tunis and that fishing boats had rescued the survivors.
terrorists, riding motorbikes, have stormed a town in northeastern Nigeria and
killed 11 soldiers in barracks, the Takfiri group and local sources say.
attack on the town of Gajiganna in Borno state took place on Friday, after
which the assailants fled when the military called in air force support and
terrorist group claimed the attack through its news agency AMAQ on Saturday and
published pictures of burned barracks and dead bodies it claimed belonged to
sources, including a hospital warden, confirmed the attack. They said the
attackers stormed the town in the afternoon and opened fire on residents and
militant group, which calls itself the West Africa province (ISWAP) branch of
Daesh, has carried out a string of attacks in Nigeria in recent months.
2016, ISWAP separated from Boko Haram which has waged a reign of terror in
northeast Nigeria for a decade, but there are reports the two groups might be
merging back together.
army chief warned last month of an ISWAP-Boko Haram alliance to carve out a
Takfiri enclave stretching from Nigeria’s northeast into the wider Lake Chad
2009, attacks by Boko Haram terrorists have left at least 27,000 dead and made
over 2.6 million others homeless. The Takfiri group pledged allegiance to Daesh
Haram has used terror as a weapon of war, killing and abducting thousands of
women and young girls as well as men and young boys.
violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a
regional military coalition against the terrorists.
April 14, 2014, Boko Haram gunmen stormed a girls' boarding school in the
Nigerian town of Chibok, kidnapping 276 pupils aged 12-17. Five years after the
kidnap, 112 girls are still missing.
year on the fourth anniversary of the Chibok kidnapping, the UN Children's agency
said more than 1,000 other children had been kidnapped by the Takfiri
terrorists since 2013.
The battle for Tripoli between rival Libyan forces both championing the fight
against “terrorism” has created a security vacuum, allowing the Daesh group a
chance to re-emerge, analysts warn.
expert Emad Badi says the fighting has given Daesh “the opportunity to
reorganize, recruit and strike alliances with other groups (and organize
attacks) to show they are still around.”
groups capitalized on Libya’s descent into chaos after the 2011 uprising that
killed veteran dictator Muammar Qaddafi to establish a presence in the North
had its main stronghold in Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, east of Tripoli, until
it was expelled from the Mediterranean coastal city in December 2016.
group’s demise came at the hands of forces loyal to the Tripoli-based
internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), especially
fighters from the western city of Misrata.
fighters are among pro-GNA forces now battling the self-styled Libyan National
Army of military strongman Khalifa Haftar who launched an assault on Tripoli on
has vowed to “cleanse” Libya of jihadists and presents himself as the country’s
2017, he drove hard-line militants out of second city Benghazi after a
three-year battle and ousted extremists from Derna, also in the east.
in January he launched an operation to “purge the south of terrorist and
criminal groups” before setting his sights on Tripoli.
despite being weakened, the extremists still pose a threat in oil-rich Libya,
where they were blamed for around 20 attacks last year.
over the past week Daesh has carried out two deadly assaults targeting Haftar’s
forces — on a training camp in the southern city of Sebha on May 4 that left
nine dead and an attack Thursday in Ghodwa, also in the south, that killed two
has reigned over Libya since the 2011 uprising, with rival political and
military forces vying for power and fighting for the country’s oil wealth and
groups such as Daesh have fed on this chaos to grow, and divisions that persist
as reflected by the battle for Tripoli only serve to bolster them, analysts
divisions give terrorists an unexpected opportunity to mobilize and
reorganize,” said Khaled Al-Montasser, a professor of international studies who
lectures at Libyan universities.
losing Sirte and Derna, Daesh was weakened but not totally defeated as its
fighters withdrew to the country’s remote and vast desert in the south or infiltrated
threat militants pose was highlighted in a statement Thursday by the GNA, which
also blamed Haftar’s offensive for giving groups like Daesh another chance to
forces continue to repel the Haftar militias but their attacks... destabilize
our country and allow terrorist groups like IS to re-emerge,” it said.
Bitar, director of research at the French Institute for International and
Strategic Affairs, draws a parallel with Syria and Iraq, where Daesh built a
“caliphate” after a lightning offensive in 2014.
Libya, as in Iraq and Syria before it, IS took advantage of a vacuum... and the
collapse of the state’s structures to anchor itself,” he said.
splinter group of Boko Haram claims to have killed 11 Nigerian soldiers in an
attack on the northeastern town of Gajiganna.
terrorist organisation said the attack on the soldiers took place in the town
in northeastern Borno state on Friday.
sources, including one hospital source, confirmed the attack.
said the militants stormed the town on a motorbike and opened fire on residents
and the military in sporadic shootings.
militants fled after the military called in air force support and
reinforcements from a battalion in a neighbouring town.
Daesh affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has carried out a
string of attacks in Nigeria in recent months.
LUMPUR (Bernama): In just a year of his tenure as Malaysia's seventh prime
minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has been recognised as one of the
world's most influential men.
fact, earlier in January, he was named the Muslim Man of the Year by The Muslim
500, a ranking of the world's 500 most influential Muslims.
April, Dr Mahathir was ranked among the 100 most influential individuals in the
world for the year 2019 by international news magazine 'Time'.
earlier this month, international portal, Fortune.com, ranked Dr Mahathir 47th
in its 'World's 50 Greatest Leaders' list.
the oldest prime minister in the world, many know Dr Mahathir as a bold and
vocal leader, who always stands firm in his decision, trustworthy and has a
high level of discipline, especially in terms of punctuality.
a modest and tranquil look, Dr Mahathir is highly respected by many and
regarded as a credible leader with a sharp mind and who is not afraid of giving
or receiving criticism.
his speech at the 73rd United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York on Sept
29 last year, Dr Mahathir made a bold call for a reform of the world body and
suggested that a veto should not be by just one permanent member but by at
least two and backed by three non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
also captured the world's attention when he condemned the Myanmar government
for the massacre of Rohingyas in Rakhine, and Israel for breaking international
laws and moral codes.
November last year, Dr Mahathir was also conferred the "Grand Cordon of
the Order of the Paulownia Flowers" by Emperor Akihito of Japan. The
conferment of Japan's highest award followed the contributions by the Prime
Minister in strengthening the bilateral ties between Malaysia and Japan.
Putra Malaysia (UPM) Faculty of Modern Language and Communication lecturer Dr
Syed Agil Alsagoff said Dr Mahathir was recognised as a credible leader as his
thoughts and ideas had been appreciated and praised by many world leaders.
premier, who had also held the chair of the Organisation for Islamic
Cooperation (OIC), had formulated various strategies for the unification of
Arab nations to break away from the influence of the US and Israel.
criticisms of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the US invasion of Iraq
in 2003, had also encouraged and motivated the Arab nations to support his
leadership and recognised him as a respected world leader.
Mahathir's success in transforming Malaysia from a third world country into a
developing country also attracted the West Asian countries to emulate his
political leadership. In fact, East Asian countries have also made him an
exemplary model in their economic and political empowerment," he said.
Agil said Dr Mahathir was also regarded as a Muslim statesman who transformed
Malaysia into a model for the Muslim world and would always be remembered as a
Malaysian leader who had channelled various assistance to Bosnia and
Herzegovina to rebuild itself after the Balkan country was involved in a war in
success in bringing together both the third world and the developing countries
through the Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) consultative council and in
becoming the driving force behind the cooperation between those third worlds
and the Islamic countries through the OIC has made him a highly respected and
exceptional leader in the international political arena, he said.
to Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer in politics and international relations
Prof Dr Azizuddin Mohd Sani, Dr Mahathir had been consistent in championing
world issues including those involving the Palestinians, the Rohingyas as well
as developing or underdeveloped countries.
a man who despises brutality, he said Dr Mahathir had established the Kuala
Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal to 'put on trial' leaders of the countries involved
in Iraq war in 2003 which had claimed the lives of 1.4 million civilians.
is also anti-race assassination. That is why when his bid to ratify the Rome
Statute failed, he got so angry at those who caused the failure.
his boldness in voicing out his opinions, we can see that Dr Mahathir obviously
wants Malaysia to continue being the Asian Tiger who is not afraid of voicing
out global issues," he said.
the same time, he said West Asian leaders continued looking up to Dr Mahathir
to the extent of regarding him as their 'voice' in fighting Western oppression.
Mahathir is also well-known as a dedicated, principled Prime Minister and
always making reforms and transformation in the country's administration.
Agil said it had 'opened the eyes' of other countries to emulate Malaysia,
especially after it was able to make political transformation under the
leadership of a former prime minister appointed for the second time to hold the
highest political office.
Mahathir is regarded as the driving force of reforms and transformation in the
country's administration since the first time he was appointed as prime
minister and held the post for 22 years.
nature of Dr Mahathir's simplicity in observing political culture with the
interests of the people during that period caused the people to be moved by his
determination in transforming Malaysia from a third world country into a
successful developing country," he said.
Mahathir has also been regarded as a visionary leader who could steer the
country to progress further in economic and social areas.
his tenure as Malaysia's fourth prime minister from 1981 to 2003, Malaysia
experienced excellent transformation, particularly in infrastructure and
socioeconomic development, hence spurred the success of the country in becoming
a regional economic power and in facing several global financial crises.
Agil was also of the opinion that the seriousness of Dr Mahathir's ideas and
thoughts in terms of national and economic development especially when
liberating Malaysia from the 1997-1998 economic crisis by pegging the ringgit
to the US dollar, had prompted many other countries to seek his advice.
Azizuddin believed that Dr Mahathir was re-elected to lead the government as
the people wanted Malaysia to become a prosperous country.
vast experience is badly needed. Malaysians respect him as a great statesman.
romanticism, Malaysians who have seen the economic prosperity he brought to
Malaysia in the 1990s also believe he definitely can do it again," he
added. - Bernama
More than 100 inmates escaped from an Indonesian jail on Sumatra island on
Saturday, police said, in the latest breakout to hit the country’s creaking
prisoners fled the jail in Siak district on Sumatra island early in the morning
after rioting and a fire broke out at the detention center.
on local TV stations showed the facility engulfed in flames.
launched a massive manhunt and 115 prisoners had been recaptured by late
morning, Riau province police chief Widodo Eko Prihastopo said.
of detainees from a prison population of more nearly 650 remained at large, he
with assistance from the army and surrounding community are still searching for
the rest,” Prihastopo said.
rioting was triggered after guards beat several inmates who were caught using
methamphetamine, police said.
detainees suffered stab wounds and a policeman was shot during the rioting, the
local health office told AFP.
are common in Indonesia, where inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions
at overcrowded prisons.
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Does Islam Allow Destruction Of Churches, Temples
Or Any Other Houses Of Worship Belonging To Non-Muslims?