New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 07:37 AM

Islamic World News ( 2 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamic State group targets gays with brutal public killings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: In this picture posted on a social media account affiliated with the Islamic State group on June 14, 2015, IS militants stone a man accused of violating the extremists’ ban on homosexuality after they threw him from a roof in the city of Homs, Syria. One witness of such a killing in Syria described to The Associated Press how the victim pleaded with militants to shoot him in the head rather than drop him from a nearby four-story building. (militant photo via AP)

 

Arab World

Islamic State group targets gays with brutal public killings

Syria: Army, NDF Push Terrorists' Back from Vast Areas in Eastern Aleppo

Britain launches airstrikes targeting Islamic State in Syria

Islamic State’s statehood project lies in tatters

Peace when West ends support for terrorists: Assad

Egypt court orders retrial for Mubarak-era PM

Syria: Terrorists in Hama Pinned Down under Army's Massive Artillery Fire

Anti-Terrorism War Back on Track in Damascus Countryside

Syria: More Jaish al-Fateh Terrorists Hunted in Idlib

ISIL's "European" Treasurer Arrested in Russia

Militants Flee Fresh Waves of Syrian Attacks in Lattakia

Trump criticizes U.S. deployment of special ops forces to Iraq

KSA-Egypt cooperation expanded

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Mideast

Up to 2,000 Militants Travel From Turkey to Syria in One Week

Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces' Advances

15 dead as Qaeda out of key Yemen town

S. Arabia in Row with UAE over Troops Replacement with Colombian Mercenaries in Yemen

Turkish Political Party: Erdogan Cooperating with ISIL in Oil Trade

U.S. ready to take next step in Iran deal

Israel demolishes home of accused attacker

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India

Islamic State pledges to wage war against India, says PM Modi radicalising people against Muslims

ISI handler planned to abduct high value target and use ransom for jihad

Link between ISI modules in UP, Delhi: Intel

Another ISI agent held, terror alert for Kolkata

7 hurt in clash between Dalit, Muslim groups

Lucknow: Man arrested for ‘derogatory remark’ against Prophet

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Europe

Syria debate: the linguistic battle over what to call Islamic State

British bombers conduct first air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria

Georgia arrests four for alleged links to Islamic State

Mosque shut in France, man arrested in hunt for Paris attack suspects

Syria air strikes: UK Parliament authorise action against ISIS

Russia claims ISIL smuggling oil through PYD areas

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Southeast Asia

Over 70 Malaysians Have Joined Islamic State: Government Develops ‘Deradicalization’ Program

Police circular may threaten minorities

Sundanese greeting joke draws criticism

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Pakistan

‘Mashal-e-Rah’ launched to counter extremist ideology

Sindh to establish 30 more anti-terror courts

Two TTP men killed in Lyari gun battle: Rangers

30 Pakistani deportees from Greece held at Islamabad airport

Taliban section claims Mansour injured in internal firefight

Khattak woos Malaysians for investment in KP

PTI ‘white paper’ focuses on education

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South Asia

Churches in Bangladesh Face New Islamist Threats

Five Pakistani terrorists arrested with weapons and computers in Nangarhar

6 ‘militants’ held while ‘preparing to kill pir’

15 Bangladeshis detained in Malaysia

PM opens mobile therapy for autistic people

Lankan FM urges S. Arabia to annul maid’s death sentence

Haqqani weapons depot seized in Logar, three suspects arrested

Merkel says Afghans arriving in Germany would be returned

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Africa

ISIL Militants Undergoing Pilot Training in Libya

Cameroon op sees 100 Boko Haram killed

ISIS video shows ‘Russian spy agent’ beheaded

Rome to host conference on war-torn Libya

Kenya jails British terror suspect for forgery

Tunisian security minister fired after ISIS-claimed attacks

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North America

14 killed in California shooting rampage, Muslim advocacy group names Syed Farook as suspect

U.S. congress mulls visa program changes after Paris attacks

California Muslims condemn 'horrific' mass shooting

US charges man over Muslim cab driver shooting

'Secret' U.S. hostage 'has been held by Taliban allies for over a year'

US backs Turkey against Russian accusations

NATO allies urged to 'step up' ISIL fight

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:

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Arab World

 

Islamic State group targets gays with brutal public killings

December 2, 2015

Before a crowd of men on a street in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the masked Islamic State group judge read out the sentence against the two men convicted of homosexuality: They would be thrown to their deaths from the roof of the nearby Wael Hotel.

He asked one of the men if he was satisfied with the sentence. Death, the judge told him, would help cleanse him of his sin.

I’d prefer it if you shoot me in the head,” 32-year-old Hawas Mallah replied helplessly. The second man, 21-year-old Mohammed Salameh, pleaded for a chance to repent, promising never to have sex with a man again, according to a witness among the onlookers that sunny July morning who gave The Associated Press a rare first-hand account.

“Take them and throw them off,” the judge ordered. Other masked extremists tied the men’s hands behind their backs and blindfolded them. They led them to the roof of the four-story hotel, according to the witness, who spoke in the Turkish city of Reyhanli on condition he be identified only by his first name, Omar, for fear of reprisals.

Notorious for their gruesome methods of killing, the Islamic State group reserves one of its most brutal for suspected homosexuals. Videos it has released show masked militants dangling men over the precipices of buildings by their legs to drop them head-first or tossing them over the edge. At least 36 men in Syria and Iraq have been killed by IS militants on charges of sodomy, according to the New York-based OutRight Action International, though its Middle East and North Africa coordinator, Hossein Alizadeh, said it was not possible to confirm the sexual orientation of the victims.

The fear of a horrific death among gay men under Islamic State rule is further compounded by their isolation in a deeply conservative society that largely shuns them.

Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be sinful. Gay men are haunted constantly by the possibility that someone, perhaps even a relative, will betray them to the militants — whether to curry favor with IS or simply out of hatred for their sexual orientation. Islamic State group fighters sometimes torture suspected homosexuals to reveal their friends’ names and search their laptops and mobile phones. Even among IS opponents, gays find little sympathy. Some in the public who might be shocked by other IS atrocities say killings of gays is justified. Syrian rebel factions have killed or abused gays as well.

A 26-year-old Syrian gay man told the AP that even two years after fleeing to Turkey, he wakes up shaken by nightmares that he is about to be hurled from a building. The man spoke on condition that he be identified as Daniel Halaby, the name he now uses in his activism tracking IS atrocities, and that the city in Turkey where he lives not be named for his own safety.

Halaby says a childhood friend who became radicalized and joined IS betrayed him to the militants in 2013, forcing him to flee his home city of Aleppo.

“He knew everything about me, such as being secular and gay. … I am sure he is the one who gave my name to Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

At that time, in mid-2013, IS had just started to spread from neighboring Iraq into Syria. It didn’t yet hold the large stretches of territory across both countries that it would capture the next year. Instead, its fighters pushed into rebel-held areas in Syria and tried to dominate other rebels, often clashing with them for control and imposing the group’s strict law wherever they could.

In September 2013, IS fighters besieged the Aleppo neighborhood where Halaby lived with his family, trying to wrest it from the rebel Free Syrian Army. The two sides negotiated over an end to the siege and, during the talks, IS gave the rebels a list of people they demanded be handed over to them. Halaby said he learned his name was on that list.

He quickly escaped to Turkey.

There, his bedroom is decorated with a flag of the Syrian opposition and a rainbow banner that covers an entire wall. His parents, who remain in Aleppo, refuse to talk to him because of his sexual orientation. When he watches videos of gays being killed, he said, “What breaks my heart most is that I feel helpless.”

Life for gays in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, was always hidden, Halaby said. When the secular-led peaceful protests erupted against President Bashar Assad in 2011, he said he quickly joined, sure they would lead to a democratic government “that will respect everyone no matter their religion, ethnicity, sect or sexuality.”

“We were very naive,” he said. “What happened was exactly the opposite.”

Subhi Nahas, a 28-year-old gay Syrian who now lives in San Francisco, said he fled because he feared his own father might turn him in to al-Qaida’s affiliate, the Nusra Front, which also has targeted homosexuals.

When his father learned he was gay, Nahas said he called him a shame to the family and beat him. Around the same time, in late 2013, Nusra fighters launched a crackdown on suspected gays in Nahas’ hometown of Maaret al-Numan, detaining 25 men and announcing through mosque loudspeakers that they would cleanse the town of homosexuals.

“With the problems between me and my father, I did not rule out that he might (hand me over),” he told the AP.

So he fled, first to Lebanon, then Turkey. But in Turkey, he said, he began getting death threats from a former school friend who joined the Islamic State group. Fearful that he wouldn’t be safe even in Turkey, he legally resettled to the United States in June.

In August, Nahas and a gay Iraqi man spoke about the suffering of homosexuals in their countries at the first-ever U.N. Security Council session spotlighting violence and discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

The stigma surrounding homosexuality makes it difficult to document IS killings and identify victims, rights groups say. Families and friends refuse to talk about victims. Gays under IS rule are terrified to speak, and most who flee abroad go into hiding. The Islamic State group’s announcements are the main source of information, but the group often does not name the victims, perhaps in deference to their families, who could lash out in anger at having their names publicly linked to homosexuals.

“Such a barbaric show of murder leaves LGBT individuals in constant state of fear and would deprive them of a normal life that any human being is entitled to,” Alizadeh said.

Widespread public hostility leaves the community even more vulnerable.

“They are violating God’s laws and doing something that is forbidden in Islam, so this is a legitimate punishment,” said Hajji Mohammed, a resident of the IS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. There the group has thrown men suspected of being gay off the Insurance Building, a landmark about 10 stories high.

By employing the grisly method, the Islamic State group aims to show radicals that it is unflinchingly carrying out the most extreme strains in Islam — a sort of “ideological purity” the group boasts distinguishes it even from other militants. The punishment “will protect the Muslims from treading the same rotten course that the West has chosen to pursue,” IS proclaimed in its online English-language magazine Dabiq.

The Quran tells the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom — and sodomy in Arabic is known as “liwat,” based on Lot’s name.

Men having sex with each other should be punished, the Quran says, but it doesn’t say how — and it adds that they should be left alone if they repent. The death penalty instead comes from the Hadith, or accounts of the sayings of the prophet Muhammad. The accounts differ on the method of killing, and some accounts give lesser penalties in some circumstances.

The Islamic State group bases its punishment on one account in which Muhammad reportedly says gays “should be thrown from tremendous height then stoned.”

Before IS, the method was rarely used, though other militants have targeted homosexuals for death. During their rule in Afghanistan in the 1990s, the Taliban had their own method: The victim would be put in a pit and a stone wall would be toppled on top of them.

Most moderate Muslim clerics ignore the death penalty provisions, even as they fiercely denounce homosexuality. Across the Arab world, homosexuals have been arrested and sentenced to prison on charges linked to “debauchery” — and sometimes lashed in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Omar, the man who watched the killings in Palmyra, said he remains shaken.

It began when IS militants blared on loudspeakers for men to gather. Then a black van pulled up outside the Wael Hotel, and Mallah and Salamah were brought out.

The first to be thrown off was Mallah. He was tied to a chair so he couldn’t resist, then pushed over the side.

He landed on his back, broken but still moving. A fighter shot him in the head.

Next was Salameh. He landed on his head and died immediately. Still, fighters stoned his body, Omar said.

The bodies were then hung up in Palmyra’s Freedom Square for two days, each with a placard on his chest: “He received the punishment for practicing the crime of Lot’s people.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/islamic-state-group-targets-gays-with-brutal-public-killings/

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Syria: Army, NDF Push Terrorists' Back from Vast Areas in Eastern Aleppo

Dec 02, 2015

The army and the NDF destroyed ISIL's military positions and heavy military equipment in Deir Hafer plains and in areas near the Kuweires Military Airport.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian forces' raids on their strongholds.

Battfield reports indicated that there will more news on further advances of pro-government forces in the same region in coming hours as terrorists are escaping confrontation, giving up rule over a vast area of lands.

On Sunday, the Syrian Army and popular forces advanced in the areas near Deir Hafer region.

The Syrian army’s elite special operations division known as the “Tiger Forces” were within 5km from the Western district of Deir Hafer, leaving the ISIL in a vulnerable position with very little reserves to combat the advancing army.

Since losing the Kuweires Military Airport earlier in November, ISIL defenses have been falling apart all over the Aleppo province's Eastern part; this has paved the way for the Tiger Forces and their allies to advance into areas that were once considered untouchable.

As a result of the loss of ‘Aqulah, the ISIL is facing a serious threat at the strategic hilltop village of Tal al-Ahmar, which is another gateway to Deir Hafer front as it sits on the seasonal road leading to the aforementioned city.

If Deir Hafer is captured by the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Armed Forces will be in position to reenter the Raqqa province after being expelled by ISIL in August 2014.

Sources said earlier on Sunday that the Syrian Army, popular forces and Hezbollah fighters pushed back the ISIL militants from more territories in the Northern province of Aleppo, and restored full security to Aqulah village and its surroundings.

The Syrian army troops, the country's National Defense Forces and the Lebanese combatants of Hezbollah Resistance Movement continued fighting against the ISIL militants in the various parts of Aleppo province and forced them to retreat forces from Aqulah village after killing and wounding scores of the militants in the Northern side of the village.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000534

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Britain launches airstrikes targeting Islamic State in Syria

Dec 03, 2015

British warplanes carried out airstrikes in Syria early Thursday, hours after Parliament voted to authorize air attacks against Islamic State group targets there.

Four Royal Air Force Tornados took off from a British air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, shortly after the 397-223 vote by lawmakers in the House of Commons.

A ministry of defence spokesperson told the AP the planes had conducted strikes in Syria, and details about their targets would be provided later Thursday.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give his name when discussing operations.

The RAF has been launching strikes against IS targets in Iraq since 2014. The decision to expand the campaign to Syria came after an emotional 10 1/2-hour debate in which UK prime minister David Cameron said that Britain must strike the militants in their heartland and not “sit back and wait for them to attack us.”

Anti-war protesters react after learning the outcome of the British government's vote on military action against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. (AFP)

Opponents argued that Britain’s entry into Syria’s crowded airspace would make little difference, and said Cameron’s military plan was based on wishful thinking that overlooked the messy reality of the Syrian civil war.

Cameron has long wanted to target IS in Syria, but had been unsure of getting majority support in the House of Commons until now. He suffered an embarrassing defeat in 2013 when lawmakers rejected a motion backing attacks on the forces of Syrian president Bashar Assad.

The mood has changed following the November 13 Paris attacks, claimed by IS, that killed 130 people. Both France and the US have urged Britain to join their air campaign in Syria, and Cameron said Britain should not let its allies down.

He said Britain was already a top target for IS attacks, and airstrikes would reduce the group’s ability to plan more Paris-style carnage.

“Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people?” he said. “Or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?”

He said that attacking IS was not anti-Muslim but “a defence of Islam” against “women-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters.”

Protesters against Britain launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group inside Syria, lie down during a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament, in London. (AP)

Cameron was backed by most members of his governing Conservative Party - which holds 330 of the 650 Commons seats - as well as members of the smaller Liberal Democrat party and others.

Labour, the main opposition, was divided. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - who represents the left wing of the party - spoke against what he called a “reckless and half-baked intervention.” But more than 60 Labour lawmakers, including senior party figures, voted in support of airstrikes, a move likely to make fissures between the right and the left of the party even worse.

Labour foreign affairs spokesperson Hilary Benn said Britain could not “walk by on the other side of the road” when international allies were asking for help against IS “fascists.”

Britain already conducts airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq, and in August launched a drone strike that killed two British IS militants in Syria.

British officials say Royal Air Force Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets, armed with Brimstone missiles capable of hitting moving targets, would bring the campaign highly accurate firepower and help minimize civilian casualties.

President Barack Obama welcomed the British vote to join the air campaign in Syria, saying the Islamic State group “is a global threat that must be defeated by a global response.”

Critics claim British airstrikes will make little practical difference, and that ground forces will be needed to root out IS. Britain has ruled out sending troops, and critics of the government have responded with skepticism to Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 moderate Syrian rebels on the ground.

Cameron stood by that claim Wednesday, though he conceded, “I’m not saying that the 70,000 are our ideal partners.”

Karin von Hippel, who was chief of staff to US Gen John Allen when he was the United States’ anti-ISIS envoy, said force alone would not defeat the militants - but neither would diplomacy by itself.

“The Brits have expertise and capabilities,” she said. Their involvement “brings moral authority and legitimacy to the fight.”

The British vote came as US secretary of state John Kerry said NATO members were ready to step up military efforts against the Islamic State group - and held out hope of improved cooperation between the West and Russia to end Syria’s four-year civil war.

A day after US defense secretary Ash Carter said the United States would deploy a new special operations force to Iraq to step up the fight against the militants, Kerry said other countries could provide assistance that did not involve combat. He said the effort to expand operations would require more medical facilities, intelligence-gathering, military support structure, refueling operations, aerial defenses and other action.

The German Cabinet has approved plans to commit up to 1,200 soldiers to support the anti-IS coalition in Syria, though not in a combat role.

Despite talk of increased international cooperation, tension has soared between Russia and Turkey after the shooting down of a Russian military jet by Turkish forces last week.

On Wednesday, Russia’s deputy defence minister, Anatoly Antonov, accused Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of benefiting from illegal oil trade with Islamic State militants.

Erdogan called the claim “slander” and said Turkey would not “buy oil from a terror organization.”

Russia and the United States also disagree about tactics in Syria, with Moscow backing Assad and Washington saying he must go.

But Kerry, speaking after NATO meetings in Brussels, said that if Russia’s focus on fighting IS was “genuine,” it could have a constructive role in bringing peace. He didn’t say whether the US might be willing to bring Russia into its military effort against the group, as some members such as France have proposed.

The top NATO commander in Europe, US Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, said the bulk of Russia’s air operations in Syria are still directed against moderate anti-Assad opposition forces, not Islamic State positions.

US officials had hoped Russia would change its bombing focus after the October 31 attack on a Russian airliner over Egypt, which killed 224 people.

Asserting that the “vast majority” of Russian sorties targeted moderate groups, Breedlove said coalition forces were “not working with or cooperating with Russia in Syria” but had devised safety routines to make it easier for both groups.

The British debate was sometimes bad-tempered as opposition lawmakers demanded Cameron apologize for remarks, reportedly made at a closed-door meeting, in which he branded opponents a “bunch of terrorist sympathizers.”

Cameron did not retract the comments but said “there’s honor in voting for, there’s honor in voting against” the motion to back airstrikes.

From the passionate speeches in the House to the anti-war protesters outside Parliament, the debate recalled Britain’s divisive 2003 decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq on what turned out to be false claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. Many lawmakers came to regret supporting the war and ensuing chaos, and blamed then-Labour prime minister Tony Blair for lacking a plan for post-war reconstruction.

Labour leader Corbyn said that “to oppose another reckless and half-baked intervention isn’t pacifism. It’s hard-headed common sense.”

Labour’s Shabana Mahmood - one of the few Muslim lawmakers in Parliament - called IS “Nazi-esque totalitarians who are outlaws from Islam,” but said she opposed the strikes because “we cannot simply bomb the ground, we have to have a strategy to hold it as well.”

But Cameron said doing nothing was a worse option.

“The risks of inaction are greater than the risks of what I propose,” he said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world/britain-launches-airstrikes-on-islamic-state-in-syria/story-xvHul0ZSY89LF4lzCnv2yJ.html

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Islamic State’s statehood project lies in tatters

December 3, 2015

Under pressure from airstrikes and ground attacks, the jihadists are beginning to show the strain.

After the Syrian government stopped paying him, a technician who had spent two decades pumping the country’s oil received an enticing offer: do the same work for the jihadists of the Islamic State — starting at three times the salary.

He was soon helping to fill tanker trucks with crude oil to fund the IS. But frequent executions of those suspected of spying and deadly airstrikes by government jets made life hard, and he grew angry that the country’s resources were financing the jihadists while schools and hospitals were being shut down.

“We thought they wanted to get rid of the regime, but they turned out to be thieves,” the technician said after fleeing to this city in southern Turkey.

The IS claims to be more than a militant group, selling itself as a government for the world’s Muslims that provides a range of services in the territory it controls.

But that statehood project is now in distress, perhaps more so than at any other time since the IS began seizing territory in Iraq and Syria, according to a range of interviews with people who have recently fled. Under pressure from airstrikes by several countries, and new ground offensives by Kurdish and Shiite militias, the jihadists are beginning to show the strain.

Some fighters have taken pay cuts, while others have quit and slipped away. Important services have been failing because of poor maintenance. And as its smuggling and oil businesses have faltered, the Islamic State has fallen back on ever-increasing taxes and tolls imposed on its squeezed citizens.

Those stresses could provide opportunities for the group’s many enemies, but they do not point to its imminent collapse.

Ground forces ready to fight the IS in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq are still lacking. And the group is adapting, keeping its international profile high by launching foreign attacks like those that brought down a Russian airliner in Egypt and paralysed Paris. It is also investing in new affiliates in countries like Libya, where it faces little resistance.

Hollow promises

But the promise of statehood on land it controls in Syria and Iraq remains the main factor distinguishing it from al-Qaida and a powerful draw for recruits from around the world.

That call to join the IS is still going out, and having an effect, on social media and within jihadist circles.

But its promises ring increasingly hollow as residents living in IS-controlled areas flee deprivation, an intensifying barrage of airstrikes and an organisation that many Sunni Muslims say has acted more like an organised-crime ring than their defender.

Even some residents who chose to stay when the jihadists took over are now paying smugglers to get them around checkpoints designed to keep them in.

“So many people are migrating,” said a teacher from the Syrian city of Deir al-Zour who fled to Turkey last month. “IS wants to build a new society, but they’ll end up all alone.”

Even as their cruelty has driven residents away, the jihadis have long recognized and acted on the need for skilled professionals to build statelike institutions.

The caliphate “is in more need than ever before for experts, professionals and specialists who can help contribute to strengthening its structure and tending to the needs of their Muslim brothers,” read an appeal last year in the group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq.

But that call has come up short, leaving the jihadis struggling to find people able to run oil equipment, fix electricity networks and provide medical care, former residents say.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/islamic-states-statehood-project-lies-in-tatters/article7941969.ece

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Peace when West ends support for terrorists: Assad

December 03, 2015

PRAGUE - President Bashar al-Assad said peace would only come to war-torn Syria when the West and its Middle Eastern allies "stop supporting terrorists", in an interview aired Tuesday on Czech TV.

Asked what it would take to bring an end to Syria's devastating four-year civil war, Assad said: "When those countries that I mentioned -- France, UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other -- stop supporting those terrorists." The next "day the situation will be better and in a few months we will have full peace in Syria, definitely. If they stop," said Assad.

Since the 2011 outbreak of a revolt in Syria, the countries that Assad named in the interview have demanded he step down and backed rebels fighting his troops. Assad has meanwhile systematically referred to all his opponents -- armed or unarmed -- as "terrorists", and accused Western and regional powers seeking his demise of supporting "terrorists".

Damascus receives direct military backing from Russia and Iran, with Moscow launching an aerial campaign in September to back Assad's forces. In the interview, the Syrian president described Russia's assistance as "very serious in fighting terrorism." Critics of the Russian campaign, including in the West and Sunni Arab Gulf nations, have accused Russia of targeting moderate rebel forces as well as jihadists.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/03-Dec-2015/peace-when-west-ends-support-for-terrorists-assad

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Egypt court orders retrial for Mubarak-era PM

December 03, 2015

CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Wednesday ordered a final retrial in a corruption case against Ahmed Nazif, who was prime minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, state media and his lawyer said.

Nazif, who was sidelined by Mubarak to appease protesters days before the president's overthrow in February 2011, was convicted of using his position to amass a fortune of $8.2 million (7.5 million euros). He was sentenced in July to five years in prison in a retrial.

The Court of Cassation on Wednesday accepted to hear his appeal and ordered a retrial from February 3, the official MENA news agency and Nazif's lawyer Wagih Abdelmalak said. Its verdict cannot be appealed. Nazif is alleged to have been involved in corrupt real estate deals and to have received illegal bonuses.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/03-Dec-2015/egypt-court-orders-retrial-for-mubarak-era-pm

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Syria: Terrorists in Hama Pinned Down under Army's Massive Artillery Fire

Dec 03, 2015

The source said one of the trucks that was targeted and destroyed during the shelling was carrying large amounts of weapons and ammunition on the road between Doir al-Akrad and Jub al-Za’arour in Hama countryside on Wednesday.

All the terrorists on board were killed in the blast.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces killed and wounded a group of Jeish al-Fateh members as they stormed the terrorists' positions near Morek in Hama province.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940912000223

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Anti-Terrorism War Back on Track in Damascus Countryside

Dec 03, 2015

Field sources said on Wednesday that the army directed heavy blow at terrorists from the so-called Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union and al-Nusra Front, and regained control of more farms to the North of Marj al-Sultan village.

The sources added that the Syrian troops advanced towards Harasta al-Qantara and Noulah in the South of the Eastern Ghouta.

A large group of terrorists, including senior commander, were killed during the military operations.

Izz Eddin Barkhash, Ala Wafa, Ahmad Ghazal and Mahmoud Sarhan, a senior commander of a terrorist group, were identified among the dead terrorists.

Earlier reports said on Wednesday that the Syrian army troops fired artillery shells at the Takfiri terrorists' positions in Damascus province amid heavy clashes with the militants.

According to the Arabic-language al-Alam news channel, the Syrian army heavily clashed with the Takfiri militants in the vicinity of al-Marj area in the Eastern Ghouta.

The army also fired artillery shells at the terrorists' positions.

On Monday, the Syrian army explored a tunnel used by the Takfiri terrorists in Harasta in Eastern Ghouta in near Damascus.

As the Syrian army engineering units were combing the areas near Harasta Highway, they detected a tunnel that extends from the Eastern side of the highway towards Douma farms, a military source said.

The tunnel is linked to a number of basements and trenches in the area, according to the source.

A number of explosive devises were found inside the tunnel.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940912000187

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Syria: More Jaish al-Fateh Terrorists Hunted in Idlib

Dec 03, 2015

The army killed at least 4 terrorists of Jaish al-Fateh and destroyed 8 of their vehicles in Baslia and Tal As to the South of Idlib city.

Idlib borders Turkey and is one of the main supply routes used by the terrorists to smuggle weapons and fresh forces from Syria's Northern neighbor.

On Tuesday, Syrian warplanes conducted several sorties over the al-Nusra Front's centers in the province of Idlib and pounded their positions and buildings heavily.

Gathering centers of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front in Tramla village were massively bombed by the Syrian air force, which left dozens of the terrorists dead.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940912000167

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ISIL's "European" Treasurer Arrested in Russia

Dec 02, 2015

34-year-old Khadzhieva, who ran ISIL's treasury affairs and headed the terrorist group's branch in Dagestan was taken in an ambush by FSB officers as soon as he walked into Raquo Mall few days ago, law enforcement sources revealed on Wednesday.

The sources said Khadzhieva has already disclosed location of his cell members who lived in a small house in Khasavyurt in Dagestan, adding that the police and FSB were working on his case for months.

They also pointed out that Khadzhieva (Hajiyev) was working on robbery plans for a few months when he was captured.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000404

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Militants Flee Fresh Waves of Syrian Attacks in Lattakia

Dec 02, 2015

The Syrian army and its allies began a large-scale offensive on the Takfiri terrorists in Lattakia, and forced tens of militants to flee their positions in the province, field sources said.

Syrian warplanes also targeted militants' positions in Salma and Nubia in Lattakia, killing a large group of Takfiri terrorists and destroying their strongholds, vehicles and weapons.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued their advance against the militant groups in Lattakia and seized full control over four more strategic villages after hours of fierce clashes with the militants.

The pro-government forces pushed back the militants from the villages of Arafat al-Tahta and Arafat al-Fawqa in the Jub al-Ahmar of the Prophet Jonah Mountains and restored full security to the village and its surroundings.

Meantime, the Syrian army troops and the NDF fighters took back the villages of Raweesat Sheikhou and Katf Al-Salat in the Prophet Jonah Mountains, after killing several militants in their raid.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000343

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Trump criticizes U.S. deployment of special ops forces to Iraq

3 December 2015

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has criticized the Obama administration’s decision to send a force of special operations troops to Iraq, saying the deployment was too small to be effective and should have been kept secret.

“Frankly, I think the number is so small – if you’re going to do it, do it,” he said at a campaign rally in Manassas, Virginia.

He also said the administration should not announce when it is sending troops overseas.

“Why does he have to stand up and say ‘we’re sending them’? Why can’t he send them and be quiet?” Trump said of President Barack Obama. “We don’t have any unpredictability anymore.”

The comments followed the announcement a day earlier that the administration plans to deploy a new force of about 200 special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Islamic State there and in neighboring Syria.

“The enemy is not stupid ... and they are not contained,” Trump told a crowd of hundreds.

“They are looking for these men and women.”

Trump leads the group seeking the Republican nomination for the November 2016 presidential election. In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll of the Republican field, the billionaire real estate mogul received 29 percent support.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/03/Rome-to-host-international-conference-on-war-torn-Libya.html

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KSA-Egypt cooperation expanded

3 December 2015

RIYADH: Saudi and Egyptian leaders on Wednesday agreed to further bolster ties at the first Saudi-Egyptian Coordination Council meeting in the capital city on Wednesday.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, met with Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail Mohammed at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. The two are cochairmen of the body.

The meeting stems from a pact agreed upon last month by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which is part of the implementation of the Cairo Declaration, according to a SPA report on Wednesday.

Decisions taken at the meeting included setting up of working groups to review draft initiatives and agreements, memoranda of understanding and executive programs emanating from the Cairo Declaration. The two sides agreed to hold the second meeting of the council in Egypt.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/844721

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Mideast

 

Up to 2,000 Militants Travel From Turkey to Syria in One Week

Dec 03, 2015

Up to 2,000 militants traveled from Turkey to Syria over the past week, Chief of Russia's National Center for State Defense Control Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said on Wednesday, Sputnik reported.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000486

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Saudi Warplanes Drop Cluster Bombs on Own Soil to Prevent Yemeni Forces' Advances

Dec 02, 2015

Saudi Arabia has used cluster bombs many times before, but this is the first time that it is using it against its own population in a desprate move to stop the huge advances made by the Yemeni forces inside the kingdom in recent days.

The Yemeni army and popular forces have frequently crossed the border captured the Saudi military bases and outpost, ruined the military sites and returned home in the last few months and after the Riyadh-led coalition refrained from stopping its air raids on residential areas in Yemen's cities.

But, after months of coalition intensified air raids on civilian areas, the Yemeni forces changed strategy and warned that they would start ground assaults on Saudi territories to force Riyadh stop the massacre.

The new strategy was put into effect on Sunday, when Yemen's army and popular forces crossed the border and captured several key military bases in three provinces in Southern Saudi Arabia near the border.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000595

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15 dead as Qaeda out of key Yemen town

December 03, 2015

ADEN - Al-Qaeda fighters forced pro-government forces out of a strategic town in southern Yemen on Wednesday after clashes that left at least 15 people dead, officials said.

The jihadists briefly took control of Jaar in southern Abyan province, which a military source described as a key link between main southern city Aden and Mukalla, the Qaeda-held capital of southeastern Hadramawt province.

A government official in the town told AFP that the jihadists withdrew hours later after "carrying out an operation" to kill Ali al-Sayed, a commander of the pro-government "Popular Resistance" forces who have been fighting Iran-backed rebels. Sayed and 10 of his forces were killed in the clashes, the official said.

Jaar is a stronghold of the so-called Popular Resistance, which has been battling the Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies, includes Sunni Islamists, tribesmen, loyalist soldiers and southern separatists. Four Al-Qaeda fighters were killed in the clashes, the government official said.

"Jaar is now free from Al-Qaeda and Popular Resistance committees," the source said, adding that the jihadists withdrew from the town towards provincial capital Zinjibar, where they already control government offices.

Seizing Jaar could secure the link between the jihadists' Mukalla stronghold and Aden, which houses the internationally-recognised government's temporary headquarters, according to the military source. It would allow the militants to send reinforcements from Mukalla to Aden via Jaar. Iran-backed rebels have been battling pro-government forces in Yemen for months, and the loyalists in July launched operations to retake five southern provinces, including Abyan and Aden, from the insurgents.

But Islamist militants, including Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, appear to have gained ground in and around Aden, where jihadists are now visibly present. As they entered Jaar, the jihadists blew up the main Popular Resistance headquarters and hunted down pro-government fighters, the majority of which fled the town, witnesses said. Locals told AFP by telephone that a militant leader announced over loudspeaker from the town's Grand Mosque that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had full control of "the emirate of Jaar" and that residents were now "safe" and life could go on "normally".

But hours later, no Al-Qaeda militants could be seen in Jaar, witnesses said, adding that eight armoured vehicles the fighters deployed during the clashes later withdrew to Zinjibar.

A resident who said he had spoken to the jihadists told AFP that AQAP has a list of names of pro-government forces that they plan to "liquidate" and that they planned to "leave Jaar to its own people".

AQAP, already active in the south and southeast, has exploited the unrest in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been pounding rebels since March.

The militants have imposed a strict version of Islamic law in Mukalla, which they seized in April.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/03-Dec-2015/15-dead-as-qaeda-out-of-key-yemen-town

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S. Arabia in Row with UAE over Troops Replacement with Colombian Mercenaries in Yemen

Dec 02, 2015

The UAE has recruited hundreds of Colombian mercenaries in recent months to send them to Yemen, and now Arab media outlets say that the UAE has recruited its private army of Colombian mercenaries to replace them with its own forces in Yemen after sustaining heavy casualties in the war-torn country.

"Saudi Arabia has rejected the UAE request to replace its troops with the recruited Colombian mercenaries in Aden to fight the Yemen army and popular forces," Arab 24 news website quoted an informed Yemeni source as saying.

The UAE had previously sent mercenaries from Latin America, specially Colombia, to Yemen without prior coordination with Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates has quietly built an army of Latin American mercenaries to fight for Yemen’s deposed government in a proxy war.

In a program launched by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and now run by the Emirati military, the force of 450 Latin American troops – mostly made up of Colombian fighters, but also including Chileans, Panamanians and Salvadorans – adds a new and surprising element to the already chaotic mix of forces from foreign governments, armed tribes, terrorist networks and Yemeni militias that are currently embroiled in the Middle Eastern nation, Fox News reported.

It is also an insight into how many wealthy Arab nations could wage their wars in the near future – specially in places like Yemen, Libya and Syria – as they deal with standing militaries unused to long-term, sustained warfare and populations that for the most part have little interest in military service.

"Mercenaries are an attractive option for rich countries that wish to wage war yet whose citizens may not want to fight," Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and author of "The Modern Mercenary," told the New York Times .

He added, "The private military industry is global now," adding that the US "legitimized" the industry with its heavy reliance on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan over more than a decade of war in those countries. "Latin American mercenaries are a sign of what’s to come."

The most recent group of Latin American soldiers to land in Yemen came from the ranks of about 1,800 currently training in the desert in the United Arab Emirates. They have been issued dog tags and ranks with the Emirati military, while the rest of the Latin American troops are being trained to use grenade launchers and armored vehicles.

The exact mission of the mercenaries in Yemen is still unclear, and it could be weeks before they see actual combat, but the troops have joined with Sudanese soldiers recruited by Saudi Arabia to fight in the coalition against the Houthis.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000579

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Turkish Political Party: Erdogan Cooperating with ISIL in Oil Trade

Dec 02, 2015

"The evidence shows that the trucks that were bombed by the Russian planes last month were carrying oil cargos destined for Turkey via Iraq from Northern Syria," Erdam said.

He noted that over 120 oil tankers that were destroyed in the Russian airstrikes belonged to the Turkish Bayrak Company owned by Erdogan's son-in-law who is also Turkey's energy minister, Berat Al-Bayrak.

He noted that Bayrak Company has 500 oil tankers.

Turkish Energy Expert Necdet Pamir said that Turkey's official oil import has decreased by $1 million which itself is a proof to Erdogan government's clandestine deal with the ISIL.

Pamir said that the deal between Turkey and the ISIL dates back to summer 2012 when the Takfiri terrorists took control of the city of Raqqa.

A former Turkish deputy foreign minister also confirmed Erdogan government's purchase of oil from Turkey.

"Turkish borders are open to the ISIL and other terrorists to commute between Syria and Turkey," Farouq Loqoqlou said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dramatically vowed to leave office if any proof is provided that Ankara has been buying oil from the terrorist group Daesh (ISIL).

His son, Bilal Erdogan, also has extensive ties and runs transactions with ISIL barbars. Bilal owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.

Earlier today, the Russian defense ministry announced that Erdogan and his family members are directly involved in illegal oil deliveries from ISIL oil fields in Syria.

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

“Today, we are presenting only some of the facts that confirm that a whole team of bandits and Turkish elites stealing oil from their neighbors is operating in the region,” Antonov said, adding that this oil “in large quantities” enters the territory of Turkey via “live oil pipelines,” consisting of thousands of oil trucks.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000480

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U.S. ready to take next step in Iran deal

2 December 2015

The United States said Wednesday that it was ready to take the next step in implementing the Iran nuclear deal after an IAEA report on Tehran's weapons program.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the U.N. watchdog had confirmed Washington’s long-standing allegation that Tehran had once been working on a nuclear bomb, but he added that Iran had cooperated adequately with IAEA investigators.

“The IAEA report is consistent with what the United States has long assessed with high confidence,” Toner told reporters.

“We made this public first in our 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, and that is that Iran had a nuclear weapons program that was halted in 2003.”

But, Toner said, now that the IAEA had been able to study the program and had found no evidence that it had continued beyond 2009, the United States was ready to move ahead.

“The IAEA has confirmed that Iran met its commitments to provide responses to IAEA requests under the roadmap for clarification of past and present issues,” he said.

Washington and the other members of the P5+1 contact group -- Britain, China, France and Russia, plus Germany -- will submit a motion to the IAEA board on Dec. 15 to close the issue of what has been called the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s program.

“And then, after that, we can focus on implementing the JCPOA,” Toner said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between Iran and the P5+1 powers in July.

However, Israel said Wednesday that IAEA’s report shows the investigation of its activities should be intensified.

“Israel expects the international community to deepen its investigation... and use all the means at its disposal to ensure that Iran is unable to secretly build a nuclear weapon,” a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

Iran: nuclear probe closed

Meanwhile, Iran said Wednesday it now considers the U.N. probe into allegations of past nuclear weapons research closed after a IAEA published its long-awaited report.

“It can be said that all measures regarding previous issues have been completely concluded and the PMD issue has been closed,” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told state television.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/02/U-N-believes-Iran-worked-on-developing-nuclear-weapons.html

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Israel demolishes home of accused attacker

3 December 2015

The Israeli military has demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of orchestrating the deadly shooting of an Israeli couple.

The military identified the man as Raeb Ahmed Muhammad Alivi, in his late 30s. He was arrested days after the attack.

The military says Alivi led a five-member Hamas cell that shot and killed U.S. citizen Eitam Henkin and his wife Naama as they drove in the northern West Bank on Oct. 1. Their four young children in the back of the car escaped unharmed.

At least 100 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 said by Israel to be attackers.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/03/Trump-criticizes-administration-s-deployment-of-new-force-to-Iraq.html

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India

 

Islamic State pledges to wage war against India, says PM Modi radicalising people against Muslims

December 2, 2015

New Delhi: The dreaded militant outfit, Islamic State, has threatened to start a war against India, report claimed on Wednesday.

According to an Indian Express report, ISIS released a manifesto stating the war will be expanded to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The ISIS through its official publication has for the first time discussed the political scenario in India.

Also Read: Pics of Australian teen ISIS recruit 'Jihadi Jake' Bilardi found

“A movement of Hindus is growing who kill Muslims who eat beef. The people who fund these organisations want to grow a huge following of Islam-haters who can turn into potential recruits for future wars in their countries,” Indian Express quoted the text. The terrorist group's publication has also mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name and claims that the latter worships weapons and influencing people to fight against Muslim community.

In the recent past, many Indians were radicalised by ISIS who escaped to Syria and Iraq to join the group.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/islamic-state-pledges-to-wage-war-against-india-says-pm-modi-radicalising-people-against-muslims_1829481.html

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ISI handler planned to abduct high value target and use ransom for jihad

Rajshekhar Jha

Dec 3, 2015

NEW DELHI: Kafaitullah Khan, the handler of ISI moles in Indian security agencies who was arrested recently, was planning to abduct a high value target so that proceeds from the ransom could be used for buying gadgets for espionage, sources revealed on Wednesday. Khan was resorting to jehadi principles like Maal-e-Ghanimat (war booty) to gather funds for supporting anti-India activities, sources added.

Maal-e-Ghanimat is a preferred way to raise funds for jihad which is used by Lashkar-e-Taiba and its subsidiaries. Indian Mujahideen and SIMI, too, used local criminals in India for this purpose. They went around robbing banks and committing other crimes to gather money which was eventually used to arrange logistics to carry out a terror strike.

When contacted, joint commissioner (crime) Ravindra Yadav confirmed that the abduction plan had emerged during Khan's interrogation but the details were still being verified.

Ninan's toon.

Sources said Khan had been contacted by an acquaintance who wanted a businessman abducted because of personal enmity. He offered Khan to keep the ransom and also promised to give an additional Rs 3 lakh for arranging logistics. The only condition was that the target should not die at any cost.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-handler-planned-to-abduct-high-value-target-and-use-ransom-for-jihad/articleshow/50019859.cms

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Link between ISI modules in UP, Delhi: Intel

Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui

Dec 3, 2015

LUCKNOW: The pan-India espionage racket, busted with the arrest of an alleged ISI agent Mohammad Ejaz from Meerut last week, appears to be getting bigger. On his first day of police remand on Wednesday, Ejaz had revealed details which may directly connect him to the Border Security Force personnel Abdul Rasheed and his ISI handler Kafaitullah Khan arrested by the Delhi Police on Sunday for their links with Pakistan's intelligence agency.

"We have traced some financial transactions related to Ejaz's bank account to Srinagar. The two arrested by the Delhi Police have a strong Srinagar background. We have questioned Ejaz on these aspects and have reasons to believe that there can be a direct link between the UP and Delhi modules," said Sujit Pandey , inspector general STF.

The arrested BSF constable Abdul Rasheed was posted in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir and his ISI handler Kafaitullah Khan of Srinagar are believed to be relatives. Rasheed has been charged with passing classified information related to security forces to his handler Kafaitullah Khan who was in turn sending it across to Pakistan.

Ejaz, who had assumed the name of Mohammed Kalaam ever since he reached India through Bangladesh on February 9, 2013, was found in possession of an ATM card which led the investigators to details of his bank transactions. As per the STF, his bank account in India shows transactions of over Rs 6 lakh in the last two years. The transaction details show that money was transferred in installments, once from Saudi Arabia apart from Dubai.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Link-between-ISI-modules-in-UP-Delhi-Intel/articleshow/50020728.cms

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Another ISI agent held, terror alert for Kolkata

Dec 3, 2015

KOLKATA: Another suspected ISI agent - the sixth in a fortnight - was arrested in the city on Wednesday, even as the Centre issued a specific alert for possible terror strikes in the form of organized crime in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

The latest suspect is 59-year-old Sk Badal, a Karaya resident, who was tasked with creating fake documents like passports, Aadhaar cards and driving liceces for Pakistani spies, say police. He was arrested near the regional passport office on Brabourne Road.

"We came to know about Badal from Jahangir - one of the three arrested by STF on Sunday. Badal would help Jahangir prepare fake documents so that ISI agents could have free access in country. Badal also liaised with passport offices so that the entire process is hassle free. Some people in the passport offices are under our scanner," a Kolkata Police officer said.

Wednesday's terror alert ties up with the fake passport alarm. Some Indians whose passports have been discontinued on charges of spying and many foreigners whose visas have been terminated on the same suspicion have been named in a list of possible terror module members. Interestingly, the alert is not about terror attacks but organized crime carried out by terror groups.

Delhi Police sources say alleged ISI spy Kafaitullah Khan had used the same tactic - the jihadi principle of Maal-e-Ghanimat (war booty) to gather funds for anti-India activities. Khan planned to kidnap a businessman's son using three-four youths from Rajouri and the ransom would have been used to buy espionage gadgets. Maal-e-Ghanimat is an oft-repeated strategy of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its subsidiaries and even Indian Mujahideen, which used local criminals.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Another-ISI-agent-held-terror-alert-for-Kolkata/articleshow/50019222.cms?

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7 hurt in clash between Dalit, Muslim groups

Dec 3, 2015

A clash between Dalit and Muslim groups over a minor dispute left seven people injured at Kataka village in Muzaffarnagar’s Jansath police station area on Wednesday afternoon.

Both groups allegedly opened fire and engaged in brick-batting before the police arrived and used force to disperse them. Ten people have been detained in connection with the incident.

The injured persons have been admitted to the district hospital and police personnel have been deployed at the Muslim-dominated Kataka village in large numbers to maintain peace.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/7-hurt-in-clash-between-dalit-muslim-groups/

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Lucknow: Man arrested for ‘derogatory remark’ against Prophet

Dec 3, 2015

THE Lucknow police Wednesday arrested a man who allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, after students of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband and other members of Muslim community staged a protest demanding action against the person, who claimed himself to be associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha.

SP, West, Ajay Kumar confirmed the arrest of the person, identified as one Kamlesh Tiwari. The SP told mediapersons that Tiwari had circulated a paper allegedly containing derogatory comments against Muslims.

The officer, however, denied Tiwari was associated with Hindu Mahasabha.

At Deoband, hundreds of Muslims staged protest against the alleged remarks. They were joined by students of Darul Uloom Deoband seminary.

Chairman, Municipal Board Deoband, Maviya Ali however controlled the situation keeping the protesters confined to Darul Uloom Chowk.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/lucknow-man-arrested-for-derogatory-remark-against-prophet/

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Europe

 

Syria debate: the linguistic battle over what to call Islamic State

2 December 2015

The debate about what to call Islamic State has been almost as fierce as the row about whether to bomb the militants.

It has also been going on for longer and in its own way has exposed deep divisions and heated exchanges.

There are at least four alternative names and abbreviations for the group: Islamic State (IS), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), or Daesh – which is based on a derogatory Arabic acronym.

Until now David Cameron has doggedly insisted on calling the group Isil and chastised the BBC for calling it anything else. But as he urges MPs to back government plans to extend bombing from Iraq to Syria, Cameron has jumped linguistic ships from the Isil to the Daesh boat.

It is reported that Downing Street said Cameron was “persuaded by those who do not think we should use the English words ‘Islamic’ and ‘State’ to describe them”.

But perhaps the change of language is also an attempt by the government to symbolise standing alongside France rather than the US in plans to bomb the militant group. The French president, François Hollande, refers to the group as Daesh, whereas Obama calls them Isil.

Cameron has never been happy associating the militant group with Islam, or the “state” or caliphate it has claimed.

In June, Cameron criticised the BBC over its terminology. In an interview on Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State because it’s not an Islamic state; what it is is an appalling, barbarous regime. It is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words Islamic State.”

Cameron insisted that saying “so-called” Isil was better. At the time he did not mention Daesh. But others did. A cross-party group of MPs, including the London mayor, Boris Johnson, the Labour chair of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, and the former SNP leader Alex Salmond, urged the BBC and other broadcasters to adopt the name Daesh for the group.

The BBC rejected the call, but since the row it has frequently prefixed reference to Isis with the words “so-called” as Cameron had demanded.

The change in government house style could be claimed as victory for the SNP. Its Commons leader, Angus Robertson, has long championed the use of the term Daesh.

In June, he said: “The time has come in the English-speaking world to stop using Islamic State, Isis or Isil, and instead we and our media should use Daesh as the commonly used phrase across the Middle East.”

Daesh is based on an acroyn for Al Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa’al Sham, one of the names Isis used to go by. One of the other arguments for switching to the term is that Isis supporters do not like it.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/02/syria-debate-the-linguistic-battle-over-what-to-call-islamic-state

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British bombers conduct first air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria

Dec 3, 2015

British warplanes carried out airstrikes in Syria early Thursday, hours after Parliament voted to authorize air attacks against Islamic State group targets there.

Four Royal Air Force Tornados took off from a British air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, shortly after the 397-223 vote by lawmakers in the House of Commons.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman told the AP the planes had conducted strikes in Syria, and details about their targets would be provided later Thursday.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give his name when discussing operations.

The RAF has been launching strikes against IS targets in Iraq since 2014. The decision to expand the campaign to Syria came after an emotional 10 1/2-hour debate in which Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain must strike the militants in their heartland and not “sit back and wait for them to attack us.” Opponents argued that Britain’s entry into Syria’s crowded airspace would make little difference, and said Cameron’s military plan was based on wishful thinking that overlooked the messy reality of the Syrian civil war. Cameron has long wanted to target IS in Syria, but had been unsure of getting majority support in the House of Commons until now. He suffered an embarrassing defeat in 2013 when lawmakers rejected a motion backing attacks on the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The mood has changed following the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, claimed by IS, that killed 130 people. Both France and the U.S. have urged Britain to join their air campaign in Syria, and Cameron said Britain should not let its allies down. He said Britain was already a top target for IS attacks, and airstrikes would reduce the group’s ability to plan more Paris-style carnage. “Do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people?” he said. “Or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?” He said that attacking IS was not anti-Muslim but “a defense of Islam” against “women-raping, Muslim-murdering, medieval monsters.” Cameron was backed by most members of his governing Conservative Party, which holds 330 of the 650 Commons seats, as well as members of the smaller Liberal Democrat party and others. Labour, the main opposition, was divided. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who represents the left wing of the party, spoke against what he called a “reckless and half-baked intervention.” But more than 60 Labour lawmakers, including senior party figures, voted in support of airstrikes, a move likely to make fissures between the right and the left of the party even worse. Labour foreign affairs spokesman Hilary Benn said Britain could not “walk by on the other side of the road” when international allies were asking for help against IS “fascists.” Britain already conducts airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq, and in August launched a drone strike that killed two British IS militants in Syria. British officials say Royal Air Force Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets, armed with Brimstone missiles capable of hitting moving targets, would bring the campaign highly accurate firepower and help minimize civilian casualties. President Barack Obama welcomed the British vote to join the air campaign in Syria, saying the Islamic State group “is a global threat that must be defeated by a global response.” Critics claim British airstrikes will make little practical difference, and that ground forces will be needed to root out IS. Britain has ruled out sending troops, and critics of the government have responded with skepticism to Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 moderate Syrian rebels on the ground. Cameron stood by that claim Wednesday, though he conceded, “I’m not saying that the 70,000 are our ideal partners.” Karin von Hippel, who was chief of staff to U.S. Gen. John Allen when he was the United States’ anti-ISIS envoy, said force alone would not defeat the militants, but neither would diplomacy by itself. “The Brits have expertise and capabilities,” she said. Their involvement “brings moral authority and legitimacy to the fight.” The British vote came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said NATO members were ready to step up military efforts against the Islamic State group, and held out hope of improved cooperation between the West and Russia to end Syria’s four-year civil war. A day after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the United States would deploy a new special operations force to Iraq to step up the fight against the militants, Kerry said other countries could provide assistance that did not involve combat.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/british-bombers-conduct-first-air-strikes-on-islamic-state-militants-in-syria/

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Georgia arrests four for alleged links to Islamic State

Dec 2, 2015

TBILISI: Georgia has arrested four of its nationals on suspicion of having links with the Islamic State group, the ex-Soviet country's officials said Tuesday.

The four men were detained on Sunday as police raided their houses in the village of Nasakirali in western Georgia after receiving information "identifying several individuals who support Islamic State ideology," deputy chief of Georgia's State Security Agency, Levan Izoria, told journalists.

He said "Islamic State flags, cylinder-shaped explosive devices, hand grenades and firearms" were found in their houses.

"Investigative measures are ongoing to substantiate that the arrested persons have links with the Islamic State and that they were providing assistance in terrorist activities," he added.

Some 50 Georgians — including one of the most feared commanders with the Islamic State group in Syria, Omar Al-Shishani, — are believed to be fighting currently alongside the IS militants in Syria and Iraq, the Caucasus nation's interior ministry had said.

They are mostly residents of the Pankisi Gorge populated by an ethnic-Chechen Muslim minority, the Kists, earning the country's north-eastern area a reputation as a jihadist hotbed.

In June, a Salafi imam of Pankisi's Jokolo village was arrested on charges of recruiting fighters for the IS.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/German-cabinet-approves-military-aid-for-IS-fight/articleshow/50015279.cms

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Mosque shut in France, man arrested in hunt for Paris attack suspects

Dec 3, 2015

PARIS: Police shut a mosque east of Paris and arrested the owner of a revolver found in related raids on Wednesday as part of a crackdown called after the Nov 13 attacks on the capital, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

He told journalists authorities had already closed two mosques last week — the first time France has taken such action against places of worship suspected of nurturing what he called “Islamist radicalisation”. He later also revealed to lawmakers in parliament the closure of a fourth mosque in the riviera city of Nice.

Security officers found militant documents at the mosque where Wednesday’s raids took place and at related premises in Lagny-sur-Marne, placed a total of nine people under house arrest and banned another 22 from leaving the country, Cazeneuve said.

France, which declared a state of emergency after the Islamist attacks on Paris, has so far raided 2,235 homes and buildings, taken 232 people into custody and confiscated 334 weapons, 34 of then war-grade, Cazeneuve told reporters.

“In 15 days we have seized one-third of the quantity of war-grade weapons that are normally seized in a year,” Cazeneuve said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223812/mosque-shut-in-france-man-arrested-in-hunt-for-paris-attack-suspects

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Syria air strikes: UK Parliament authorise action against ISIS

December 03, 2015

MPs have overwhelmingly backed UK air strikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria, by 397 votes to 223, after an impassioned 10-hour Commons debate.

Four Tornado jets took off from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, after the vote. Their destination has not been confirmed.

A total of 66 Labour MPs sided with the government as David Cameron secured a larger than expected Commons majority.

The PM said they had "taken the right decision to keep the country safe" but opponents said the move was a mistake.

A further four fighter jets remain on standby at the air base, which is used for bombing missions to Iraq and from where reports have suggested air strikes against IS targets in Syria could also be launched.

Two of the four Tornados landed back in Cyprus just over three hours later, shortly before 03:00 GMT.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said they had left RAF Akrotiri with three 500lb Paveway bombs each and returned to base without those weapons.

The Ministry of Defence is expected to give details of their targets later on Thursday, he added.

BBC political correspondent Robin Brant said while the Ministry of Defence was not confirming where the jets were heading, it "would not be surprising" if they were bound for Syria.

He said the RAF "has been preparing to be involved in these air strikes", joining the coalition of other Western forces attacking IS in Syria, "for months".

Analysis by political editor Laura Kuenssberg

David Cameron has achieved his long-held goal.

Intervening against the extremist forces who call themselves the Islamic State in Syria - it seemed impossible less than a month ago. But in the weeks since the Paris attacks, the prospect of extending bombing strikes into Syria from Iraq has taken on a reluctant inevitability.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/03-Dec-2015/syria-air-strikes-uk-parliament-authorise-action-against-islamic-state

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Russia claims ISIL smuggling oil through PYD areas

03 December 2015

The Russian Defence Ministry provided maps on Wednesday claiming to show ISIL oil being smuggled into Turkey through PYD controlled areas, according to a reportin TRT World.

"Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq," said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov in a press conference.

Minister Antonov held a press conference and displayed a number of maps and satellite images which he says shows the route of oil smuggling into Turkey from ISIL controlled areas in Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/166990/kremlin-welcomes-uk-syria-strikes

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Southeast Asia

 

Over 70 Malaysians Have Joined Islamic State: Government Develops ‘Deradicalization’ Program

BY AL BAWABA

DECEMBER 2, 2015

Malaysia has identified 72 of its nationals who have fled the country to join Daesh in Iraq and Syria and begun a “de-radicalization” program for those who return, according to an official Wednesday.

Nur Jazlan Mohamed, deputy home minister, told the parliament that of the 72 Malaysians — including 14 women — 15 fighters had died overseas while seven returned home.

“The government is currently undertaking a ‘de-radicalization’ program for the seven detainees to cure them of their ideology and to prevent them from spreading them further,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/02122015-over-70-malaysians-have-joined-islamic-state-government-develops-deradicalization-program/

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Police circular may threaten minorities

December 02 2015

The Association of Journalists for Diversity (Sejuk) has criticized a recent National Police circular on hate speech, warning that it could pose a threat to minority groups and restrict freedom of speech.

Sejuk said that the circular could become a baseline for the police to criminalize religious minority groups, such as the Ahmadiyah and Shia, in the name of blasphemy.

National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti issued the circular to police stations on Oct. 8, reminding officers about how to prevent potential social discord caused by hate speech and how to deal with such cases.

The forms of hate speech mentioned in the circular were the same as those stipulated in the Criminal Code (KUHP), which include libel, defamation, blasphemy, unpleasant conduct, provocation, inciting violence and spreading lies.

Rights activists have criticized the circular since then, warning that police officers could have different interpretations of hate speech.

They have demanded a revision and the removal of blasphemy, insult and defamation as forms of hate speech because there are no set standards to determine whether a statement is defamation or an insult or blasphemy.

“Religious majority groups could sue Shia followers, for example, for blasphemy and spreading religious concepts that, for the majority, deviate from the teachings of mainstream Islamic groups,” Andy Budiman of Sejuk said on Tuesday.

Andy added that the circular had the potential to restrict people, also in the name of blasphemy, who just wanted to express their critical opinions about religion.

“The police nowadays seem to close the door to any discussion supporting pluralism, while in fact, such discussions are important in combating radicalism,” Andy said.

Muslim scholar Ulil Abshar Abdalla, who is also the founder of the Liberal Islamic Network (JIL), said the circular had yet to provide any benefits for people.

“It came from a very good purpose, but unfortunately the police can’t implement it well,” Ulil said.

According to him, the guidelines should have helped the police to follow up cases and violence caused by hate speech, such as the recent anti-Shia campaign.

The campaign has been initiated by members of the Anti-Shiite National Alliance (ANNAS) and started in February this year in several cities, including Bogor, West Java, and Yogyakarta, where banners containing hate speech, such as “Syiah Bukan Islam” (Shia is not Islam), “Syiah Kafir” (Shiites are infidels), have been erected.

“So, what’s the point of the circular if such discriminative movements remain in existence? What kinds of hate speech exactly does it deal with?” Ulil said.

Terrorism expert Sidney Jones said that that the main problem in Indonesia was not hate speech, but the lack of firm action by law enforcers, including the police, in fighting against religious persecution.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/02/police-circular-may-threaten-minorities.html

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Sundanese greeting joke draws criticism

December 01 2015

The recent joke made by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab deriding a traditional Sundanese greeting while addressing an audience in West Java has continued to trigger mixed reactions.

Sundanese cultural observer Mas Nanu Muda said that Rizieq’s denigration of the greeting, sampurasarun, pronouncing it ‘campur racun’ (Laced with poison) as a joke, should be pardoned.

“He should be forgiven for not understanding the expression,” said Nanu in a sampurasun ruwatan ritual held on the Penjara Banceuy site in Bandung, West Java on Monday.

Nanu and his colleague Mbah Jum purposely held the ruwatan, or prayer ceremony, to counter the derision of the sampurasun traditional greeting by those who did not know its meaning he said.

“Sampurasun is part of the Sundanese people’s moral values. Before doing anything, we ask for forgiveness from others,” said Nanu, a dance tutor at the Indonesian Cultural and Arts Institute.

Earlier, West Java Siliwangi Youth Force (AMS) leader Noeriy Ispandji Firman said the Sundanese people disliked conflict, but would fight if they felt provoked. Ispandji added that in Sundanese culture, the sampurasun greeting had a polite meaning and was a part of prayer.

“But, now it has been mocked by a renowned figure. It’s inappropriate, especially as it was expressed on the Sundanese soil of Purwakarta,” he said.

In a seeming coincidence, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo opened his speech with a sampurasun greeting when inaugurating the 2015 Nusantara Fruit and Flower Festival at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture in Bogor ,West Java, on Saturday.

Earlier, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, a politician from the Prosperous Justice Party also started his address at the festival with a sampurasun.

The West Java Police have received a report from AMS and will investigate the alleged violation of Law No. 11/2008 on information and electronic transactions committed by the FPI leader.

West Java Police Special Crimes and Intelligence Directorate chief Wirdhan Denny said the police had received the report lodged by AMS on Nov. 24, in which they allege Rizieq violated the aforementioned law by insulting a particular ethnic group in a video that was uploaded to Youtube on Nov. 15.

The case is believed to have come to light following Purwakarta Regent Dedi Mulyadi’s circular guaranteeing freedom of faith in his jurisdiction. The circular was supposedly in response to the launch of the National Anti Shia Alliance (ANAS) in Purwakarta a few weeks ago.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/12/01/sundanese-greeting-joke-draws-criticism.html

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Pakistan

 

‘Mashal-e-Rah’ launched to counter extremist ideology

December 03, 2015

Islamabad - Renaissance by Social Innovation, an NGO, has launched a series of events under the title “Mashal-e-Rah” to engage and present youth with an alternative narrative to extremist ideology.

The first of these events was held in collaboration with NUST Bazme-e-Pakistan at Islamabad where Dr Khalid Zaheer, a renowned Islamic scholar, was the guest speaker.

The Mashal-e-Rah series of events aim to expand individual strengths and virtues to benefit all citizens of Pakistan, as our society is divided along sectarian lines, and the growing extremism in the name of religion, politics and ethnic divides are by far the main causes of social disorder; the organization feels that it is time to end out our differences and save our coming generations from this strife.

The NUST “Mashal-e-Rah Conference” tailored dialogue was moderated by Sidra Rafique (scholar in religious philosophy and vice president Renaissance by Social Innovation), as a question answer session to challenge the orthodox and ultra-orthodox mind sets. Dr.

Zaheer emphasized on the need of the state machinery to take control of religious institutions for the elimination of the menace of sectarian violence and radicalization.

He further said that sectarianism had several causes, some of the more prominent of which are mentioned in the Quran.

The main reason seems to be extreme attachment to religious personalities.

Such individuals are revered to such an extent that whatever they believed in, whatever they said or did, is often considered to be the last word, as in our society asking questions of an elder who professes to be a religious person may be considered sacrilege.

When people follow their own religious leaders to such extremes, they do not listen to any other point of view.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/03-Dec-2015/mashal-e-rah-launched-to-counter-extremist-ideology

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Sindh to establish 30 more anti-terror courts

December 03, 2015

Karachi - Top military and civil leadership in Sindh has decided to expand the Karachi operation to other parts of the province, citing credible reports that the terrorists feeling heat in the port city had gone into hiding in other parts of the province. The apex committee meeting at CM House on Wednesday also decided to establish 30 more anti-terrorism courts in the province.

Newly appointed Adviser to Sindh CM on Information Maula Bux Chandio said both the civil and military leadership was on one page against terrorism and will fight against it with the cooperation of the people.

Briefing the media, he said the meeting expressed grief over the martyrdom of two army personnel in Tuesday’s attack and observed that such acts cannot bring down the morale of the law enforcement agencies.

The adviser said it was agreed upon that the terrorists would be chased down in those areas of the province where they have gone into hiding.

He said it was also observed that some people coming from other provinces were also involved in terrorism in Sindh therefore “it was also decided to set up check-points and beef up security at the entry and exit points of the province.

Chandio further said it was decided that 30 new anti-terrorism courts would be established along with the recruitment of 200 new public prosecutors and investigation officers in the province to improve the level of investigation and prosecution in terrorism cases.

Without specifying the period of time, he said in past mostly incompetent people were recruited as prosecutors; however, the provincial government was unable to terminate them due to the legal bindings.

Interestingly, Pakistan Peoples Party is in power in Sindh for over past seven years.

“It was also decided that 8,000 more policemen will be recruited in the province to improve the capability of the law enforcement authorities,” the adviser said.

He said that coordination between police and other law enforcement authorities would also be improved while improvement in police system and jail security as there were credible reports that criminal gangs were operating from the prisons.

Chandio said that meeting also reviewed the law and order situation during the Chehlum and Local bodies’ elections and expressed its confidence over the security arrangements.

“Steps are also being taken to improve the condition of CCTV cameras in the city,” he said.

He said that the Karachi Corps commander did not express his discomfort over the Karachi police performance but there is huge margin for improvement in police and other institutions.

“The meeting also mulled over the reasons behind the terror activities and how they could be overcome,” he said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/03-Dec-2015/sindh-to-establish-30-more-anti-terror-courts

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Two TTP men killed in Lyari gun battle: Rangers

Dec 3, 2015

KARACHI: Pakistan Rangers Sindh claimed to have killed three terrorists, two with ties to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a gun battle late Wednesday night, a Rangers press release said.

Acting on information regarding the presence of "hardcore terrorists" in Lyari, the Rangers launched a surgical operation to arrest them.

The press release claims the terrorists resorted to firing at the sight of the Rangers troops. Three terrorists were killed when Rangers personnel fired back.

Hazrat Bilal, affiliated with the TTP Abid Macharh group was involved in six target killings, street crime and a grenade attack on a Sohrab Goth police chowki, the Rangers said.

Siraj Gul, also affiliated with the TTP, was known for blowing up schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, looting arms and ammunition trucks belonging to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and the kidnapping of eight Frontier Corps personnel, the press release said.

Umer Rana, alias Laptop, was involved in four target killings in 2014 and conducting reconnaissance for various assasisnations, the Rangers said.

One Rangers man sustained injuries in the exchange of fire.

Weapons were recovered during the operation.

Background: Karachi operation

The Rangers are currently leading an operation against criminal elements in Karachi which completed two years in September this year.

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".

The second phase of the Karachi operation was launched in early November. Rangers said terrorists, contract killers and their facilitators involved in attacks on LEA personnel "especially police, lawyers and witnesses" would be arrested during this phase, and that such elements would be eliminated.

Police sources have said that three elements — a political party, banned sectarian outfits and hired assassins — were responsible for the recent killings of the law-enforcers in the metropolis.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223958/two-ttp-men-killed-in-lyari-gun-battle-rangers

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30 Pakistani deportees from Greece held at Islamabad airport

Dec 3, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday detained 30 Pakistani deportees aboard a chartered flight from Greece at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on orders of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.

The interior ministry, in a statement, said the deportees were sent back illegally and in violation of Pakistan's laws.

All 30 individuals including the flight crew have not been allowed to disembark the plane thus far.

"No unregistered deportee will be allowed to come to Pakistan and if that happens they will be sent back," said Nisar.

Despite having agreed on all issues with the EU migration commissioner, one European country is violating Pakistani law, which is unacceptable, he added.

"Some countries are not doing enough to stop this unethical, inhumane and illegal process of deporting individuals," said the minister.

'Blatant misuse'

In a statement earlier last month, Nisar said Pakistan has suspended readmission agreements with western countries because of "blatant misuse". This applied to all countries except for the United Kingdom.

Nisar had said Pakistan could not allow any country to label its innocent citizens as terrorists and announced that the readmission agreement signed with the EU in 2010 had been suspended.

According to Sputnik News, Pakistani citizens are among the largest migrant groups to arrive in the bloc.

Of the 90,000 people sent back to Pakistan this year, many were deported on charges of terrorism without proper verification, alleged Nisar. Even their nationalities were not verified to ascertain whether or not they were actually Pakistanis, said the interior minister.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner Migration of the EU, visited Pakistan and met with Nisar to discuss Pakistan’s concerns of the Pak-EU readmission agreement on migrants. He assured the minister that deportees from Europe would now be sent to Pakistan under a clearly defined standard operating procedure.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223954/30-pakistani-deportees-from-greece-held-at-islamabad-airport

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Taliban section claims Mansour injured in internal firefight

Dec 3, 2015

PESHAWAR: Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been wounded in Pakistan in a shootout between senior members of the outlawed movement, Taliban sources said on Wednesday, while the group’s main spokesman denied it.

Mansour, whose authority is disputed by rival factions, was wounded when fighting broke out over strategic issues in the house of senior leader called Mullah Abdullah Sarhadi, two senior Taliban members said.

“During the discussion, some senior people developed differences and they opened fire at each other,” a senior Taliban commander said.

Also read: Afghan Taliban breakaway faction challenges new chief Mansour

He said five senior Taliban members died on the spot and over a dozen including Mullah Mansour suffered serious bullet injuries.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied the incident took place. “This is a rumour which is completely baseless. Akthar Mohammad Mansour is totally fine and nothing has happened to him,” he told Reuters.

The conflicting reports add to the confusion surrounding the leadership of the Taliban, which has split into hostile factions since it was confirmed in July that its founder Mullah Mohammad Omar had died two years earlier.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223901/taliban-section-claims-mansour-injured-in-internal-firefight

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Khattak woos Malaysians for investment in KP

Dec 3, 2015

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Wednesday said the provincial government was offering attractive opportunities for foreign investment and therefore, Malaysian businessmen should exploit the investment potentials in the province, especially in energy, minerals and tourism sectors.

He was speaking to Malaysian high commissioner Dato’ Dr Hasrul Sani Mujtabar, who called on him at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here.

The high commissioner’s wife, provincial additional chief secretary Dr Hamad Awais Agha and principal secretary to the chief minister Dr Shahzad Khan Bangash were also present.

CM informs Malaysia envoy about opportunities for investment in province

Khattak informed the Malaysian high commissioner about the reforms introduced by the his government in different sectors and said the government was pursuing the ‘agenda of change’ in line with the aspirations of the province’s youths, who had voted the PTI to power.

He said most public service as well as economic sectors had been reformed, new legislation was made and policies had been framed to reduce the public sector’s influence on the service delivery system and involve private sector to operate the system with a dominant role.

The chief minister said the government was concerned about the alarming climate change across the world and had begun a huge initiative of planting 1.2 billion trees to grow forests across the province besides introducing a policy to check the illicit cutting of trees.

The envoy observed that a new era of progress and opportunities of socio-economic development was beginning in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Pakistan and he was hopeful that improvement in KP’s governance system would be followed by other provinces.

He said Pakistani manpower studying and working in Malaysia was contributing greatly to his country’s economic development.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223886/khattak-woos-malaysians-for-investment-in-kp

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PTI ‘white paper’ focuses on education

Dec 3, 2015

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Punjab organiser Chaudhry Sarwar on Wednesday issued a “white paper” on Punjab government’s “poor performance” in the education sector emphasizing that the education has not been the government’s priority but the mega projects to gain political mileage.

He said the imparting of education and crime rate were correlated, asserting that joblessness and crime rate was on the rise in Punjab just because the government failed to ensure imparting of quality education to the children and youth.

He claimed that Punjab was being ranked third among provinces in the country in terms of imparting quality education. In reality, the education standards had fallen by 3.338 per cent in Punjab, he claimed.

Among 36 districts in Punjab, he said, only three districts had shown improvement in the standards of education. Only nine districts in Punjab had shown 80pc improvement in education standards, he stated.

The white paper states that some 50pc school-going age girls and 44pc boys are out-of-school. Some 18pc schools’ buildings in the province are in a dilapidated condition and most schoolchildren have no facility of toilets. Some 26pc schools have no facility of electricity.

The paper says only 10pc schools are either secondary or higher secondary schools, while every seventh public school in Punjab is without a boundary-wall.

Mr Sarwar said every 20th public school in the province lacked (clean) drinking water facility. He said that 7pc public schools had one-classroom.

He said the Punjab government had failed in improving the education sector despite tall claims, adding that no society could progress without promoting education.

He said the crime rate would continue increasing, if children and youth were not educated properly.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223930/pti-white-paper-focuses-on-education

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South Asia

 

Churches in Bangladesh Face New Islamist Threats

Shaikh Azizur Rahman

December 02, 2015

KOLKATA—

More than two dozen priests and aid workers in Bangladesh say they have received death threats in recent weeks. Since early October, three priests also have reported they narrowly escaped attempts on their lives.

Those who sent the threats claimed that they belonged to the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State (IS).

The death threats were sent via mobile phone text messages, phone calls and postal letters to about 20 priests, one nun and a few Christian aid workers.

“Eat your most favorite foods now. Only five days of your life are left. Not more than that,” one text message sent to the mobile of Reverend Martin Adhikari, principal of Dhaka’s College of Christian Theology, on November 11 read.

A day later, another text sent from the same phone number read, “One day has gone by. Let us know if we have to arrange your burial as well. Or…will your family take care of your body?”

Last Wednesday, a letter, which by mail reached Reverend Barnabas Hemrom, a pastor of Rangpur Baptist Church, carried a threat for ten Christian priests of the area.

“You, the Christian leaders, will have to bid goodbye to this world very soon. We are going to finish off all, one by one, who are spreading Christianity in Bangladesh. This country will be ruled only by the (Islamic) Shariah law.”

Police guard churches

One of the ten priests who received threats through the letter said that he was scared for his life.

“Now police have been posted at our church following the threat. I am not going out of the church campus at all. I spoke to others who like me were targeted in that letter. They all are frightened.” The pastor, like several others who spoke with VOA, said he did not want his name disclosed because of fears over his safety.

Father Dominic Rozario escaped a fatal attack on his life after six masked men riding motorbikes raided his church in Manikganj district last Saturday.

“I was being trailed by some unknown people for some days. I am sure I would have been killed if I was present in the campus on Saturday…I believe those who are trying to kill the Christian religious leaders in Bangladesh are they who want to make it an Islamic theocratic country where they don’t even want non-Muslims to live in,” he said.

Father Rozario said this attitude overturns decades of peaceful relations among Muslims and Christians in Bangladesh, where most churches run schools, vocational centers and do charity work that helps many in the Muslim-majority country.

“We have excellent personal relationship with the Muslims around us,” he said.

Militants becoming ‘more organized’

Islamists in Bangladesh have threatened and killed some secular bloggers and free thinkers in the past years. But the trend of violently targeting the Christian priests is quite new in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/churches-in-bangladesh-face-new-islamist-threats/3084036.html

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Five Pakistani terrorists arrested with weapons and computers in Nangarhar

Dec 03 201

Security forces have arrested six terrorists in Ghanikhil District of eastern Nangarhar province.

Nangarhar police spokesman says five of them belong to Pakistan and one of them is a resident of Ghanikhil district who were arrested during Wednesday’s raid conducted by a special unit of Nangarhar Airfield in Saicho area.

Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal writes in a statement released this morning that the five terrorists belong to Swat area of Pakistan.

Four computers, walkie-talkie, five different types of weapons and ammunitions were recovered from the possession of the terrorists.

Meanwhile, seven militants were killed and eleven others wounded in artillery attacks of security forces in the jurisdiction of Achin District yesterday.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/five-pakistani-terrorists-arrested-with-weapons-and-computers-in-nangarhar-4379

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6 ‘militants’ held while ‘preparing to kill pir’

December 03, 2015

Detectives claim to have detained six alleged militants in Dhaka yesterday when they were preparing to kill a “pir” (spiritual leader).

The detainees are active members of a newly-introduced militant organisation, Mujadi of Bangladesh, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam told reporters at a press briefing this afternoon.

The alleged militants are: Jahirul Islam alias Ansar, Khandakar Rajes Subhan alias Raju, Abu Bakkar Siddique alias Abir, Abrar Rahman Ahmed Al Tareque, Morshedul Islam alias Kingmore Khan, and Kazi Bappi Ahmed alias Sazzad.

Acting on a tip-off, DB police carried out raids in and around Motijheel yesterday and detained them when they were planning to kill a pir in the area, the joint commissioner said at the DB media center.

The DB men also recovered a laptop and 10 mobile phones from their possession, Monirul claimed.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/6-suspected-jmb-men-held-dhaka-181714

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15 Bangladeshis detained in Malaysia

December 03, 2015

Malaysian Immigration Department detained 89 foreigners of eight nationalities including 15 Bangladeshis for various immigration offences in a raid at a plywood factory in Kedah state on Tuesday.

A Malaysian was also arrested for allegedly harbouring the foreigners, reports The Star Online today.

Department Director Mohamad Yusri Hashim said the foreigners arrested comprised of 26 Nepalis, 21 Indonesians, 21 Vietnamese, 15 Bangladeshis, two Chinese nationals, two Pakistanis, a Cambodian and a Myanmar national.

Yusri said the Chinese nationals tried to escape but were arrested shortly afterwards.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/15-bangladeshis-detained-malaysia-181738

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PM opens mobile therapy for autistic people

December 03, 2015

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the countrywide mobile therapy van service for the welfare of autistic and other physically-challenged people.

Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated the services, unveiling plaques, on the premises of Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) today.

She then saw a van and was apprised about its various features.

Later, the prime minister addressed the audience in the function marking the 24th International Day of Persons with Disabilities and National Disability Day-2015.

Speaking at the function, Sheikh Hasina said her government has so far procured 20 such vans while 14 more will be procured soon.

She said the mobile therapy vans will move across the country and render different necessary services to physically-challenged and disabled people, including therapy, hearing test, referring and counseling.

The prime minister thanked the Ministry of Social Welfare for introducing such services.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/pm-opens-mobile-therapy-autistic-people-181744

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Lankan FM urges S. Arabia to annul maid’s death sentence

Dec 3, 2015

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had an urgent meeting with Saudi Arabia’s chargé d’ affaires in Colombo on Wednesday as part of diplomatic efforts to stop the stoning of a Lankan woman sentenced to death on a charge of having extra-marital relations with a man from her country.

Minister Samaraweera requested the chargé d’ affaires to arrange a telephone conversation between him and his Saudi counterpart at the earliest.

The Sri Lankan maid has been sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for adultery, but her Sri Lankan partner, an unmarried man, has been sentenced to 100 lashes.

The stoning is slated for Friday (Dec 4).

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223875/lankan-fm-urges-s-arabia-to-annul-maids-death-sentence

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Haqqani weapons depot seized in Logar, three suspects arrested

Dec 03 2015

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has seized a weapons depot of Haqqani terrorist network, responsible for Afghanistan’s some deadly bombings and attacks, in central Logar province.

A statement released by NDS on Thursday states that the cache was discovered during a raid in Kharwar District.

A Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), different types of weapons, including Dushka (DSHK) heavy machinegun, Kalashnikov, artillery rounds, thousands of bullets, 15 kilograms of explosive materials, eight home-made bombs, military suits and two trucks were confiscated from the depot.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/haqqani-weapons-depot-seized-in-logar-three-suspects-arrested-4381

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Merkel says Afghans arriving in Germany would be returned

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL

 Dec 03 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Afghans arriving in her country in pursuit of better economic circumstances would be returned.

According to Reuters news agency, Merkel says people still living in the areas of insecurity should move to safe zones within their country rather than migrating to Europe.

Merkel has told media that Germany would support the creation of safe zones inside the country, to provide people who “live in areas of insecurity with a zone where security is high.”

At a joint news conference with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Berlin on Wednesday, Merkel said Germany would meet its humanitarian obligations for Afghans who are in serious danger because they worked for foreign forces such as the German army.

“But where refugees come hoping for a better life – and I know that this hope is big for many – that is no reason to get asylum status or residency status here,” according to Reuters, Merkel said, adding that in such cases people would be deported back home.

Merkel stressed there was false information circulating in Afghanistan about migration to Germany and said the embassy was taking measures to ensure people knew the rumors were not true.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/merkel-says-afghans-arriving-in-germany-would-be-returned-4380

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Africa

 

ISIL Militants Undergoing Pilot Training in Libya

Dec 02, 2015

"The ISIL terrorists are using at least one flight simulator in Libya," the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper quoted an unnamed Libyan military source as saying on Wednesday.

The military source reiterated that the terrorists have purchased the flight simulator from abroad because it is a modern equipment and Libya's aviation industry under former dictator Moamar Qaddafi did not have such simulators.

The newspaper said that Libyan inspectors thought that the terrorists had stolen the simulator from the training departments of Qaddafi's airports, but the existing information shows that this is completely a brand-new equipment.

The flight simulator used by the terrorists is the size of a small car and it resembles pilot cockpits with all control systems and electronic devices for taking off and landing.

Meantime, Al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted an unnamed security official as saying that he has information that the ISIL militants are undergoing pilot training in Libya.

"The Libyan air force has raided the ISIL training centers in Libya several times during the last month, but to no avail," the security official, who is heading an investigation team probing into the ISIL's activities in Northern Africa, said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940911000447

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Cameroon op sees 100 Boko Haram killed

03 December 2015

Cameroon’s army freed 900 people held hostage by Boko Haram, killing at least 100 militants, the country’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

A massive security sweep near Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria at the end of last week also resulted in the seizure of weapon and ammunition stockpiles belonging to the extremists.

“A special operation conducted from Nov. 26 to 28 against Boko Haram in border areas with Nigeria neutralized more than 100 terrorists and released 900 hostages,” the ministry said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/166989/oscar-pistorius-charge-overturned-to-murder

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ISIS video shows ‘Russian spy agent’ beheaded

3 December 2015

A video released online by ISIS has purportedly showed the beheading of a man the group said was a Russian spy its fighters had captured and who had been in Syria and Iraq since last year, the SITE monitoring group reported.

The video shows the man sitting in an orange jumpsuit and giving details of his apparent recruitment by Russian intelligence services.

Then, in a different outdoor location, an ISIS fighter, who in Russian threatens Russia and President Vladimir Putin with attacks, appears to cut the man’s throat and cut his head off.

It appeared to be the first claim by the group that it was holding the Russian prisoner. Moscow has not reported that any of its citizens are held by ISIS.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/03/UK-votes-to-bomb-ISIS-in-Syria.html

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Rome to host conference on war-torn Libya

3 December 2015

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has said Rome would host an international conference on conflict-ravaged Libya on Dec. 13, aimed at stopping the country from falling apart and containing the ISIS group.

“We can still stop the country from completely disintegrating and stop Daesh from advancing,” Gentiloni said as he announced the December 13 date to the Italian senate, using another name for ISIS.

“We can do it, with intense diplomacy, an agreement between the various sides, and a strong commitment to political stability by the future government,” he said.

“We don’t have much time left,” he added, saying it was “out of the question” to let ISIS spread any further in the war-torn country.

Libya was thrown into chaos after a 2011 revolt backed by an international military intervention overthrew slain dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

ISIS now controls Qaddafi’s hometown Sirte in the east, and experts say the town has become a new focal point for the group as it comes under increasing pressure in its traditional Iraqi and Syrian power bases.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/03/U-N-Iran-worked-on-developing-nuclear-weapons.html

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Kenya jails British terror suspect for forgery

2 December 2015

A Kenyan court on Thursday jailed alleged British terrorist Jermaine Grant for nine years for forging documents, after an appeal court overturned his acquittal.

Grant is still on trial for terrorism offences following his arrest in 2011 but on Wednesday High Court Judge Martin Muya in Mombasa found Grant guilty of nine charges relating to forged documents.

“The accused will serve one year imprisonment on each of the nine counts, and each count will run consecutively, which means that he will serve a total of nine years imprisonment,” Muya said.

The sentence was pronounced after the prosecution appealed an earlier ruling to drop the charges in January.

Grant pleaded guilty in December 2011 to charges of being in the country illegally and lying about his nationality, for which he was sentenced to two jail terms of two years each.

But has denied all other charges, including allegations he planned a bombing campaign against hotels popular with foreign tourists.

Grant is accused of ties to East Africa’s Al-Qaeda branch, the Shebab, after he was arrested and found to have chemicals, batteries and switches in his possession.

Prosecutors have also accused Grant, a Muslim convert, of working with fellow Briton Samantha Lewthwaite, dubbed the “White Widow” by the British tabloid press.

Lewthwaite, a 31-year-old Muslim convert, is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of four Islamist suicide bombers who attacked the London transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/02/Kenya-jails-British-terror-suspect-for-forgery-.html

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Tunisian security minister fired after ISIS-claimed attacks

2 December 2015

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has dismissed the country’s security minister after an ISIS-claimed suicide bombing killed 12 members of the presidential guard last week.

Secretary of State for Security Affairs Rafik Chelly lost his job Tuesday after the third bombing claimed by ISIS this year, following deadly attacks at the Bardo Museum in Tunis and in the resort of Sousse.

A government statement didn’t specify a reason for Chelly’s dismissal, merely noting that he is being “called to other duties.”

In recent weeks, Tunisia’s government has said that security forces dismantled several radical jihadi cells planning attacks against tourist sites and public figures.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/02/Tunisian-security-minister-fired-after-ISIS-claimed-attacks.html

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North America

 

14 killed in California shooting rampage, Muslim advocacy group names Syed Farook as suspect

Dec 3, 2015

A man and a woman suspected of taking part in a shooting that killed 14 people and wounded 17 at a Southern California social services agency on Wednesday died in a shootout with police hours later, authorities said.

A Muslim advocacy group said one of the suspects was Syed Farook, and introduced a man as Farook’s brother-in-law, who said he had no idea what might have motivated the attack. He said his relative was a U.S. citizen.

Officials have yet to publicly identify any suspects.

The suspects fled the scene of the shooting in San Bernardino, about 60 miles (100 km) east of Los Angeles, and two people died a few hours later in a shootout when police confronted them in their getaway vehicle. One police officer was injured. The shooting rampage at a holiday party on the campus of an agency that serves the developmentally disabled marked the deadliest U.S. gun violence since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, in which 27 people, including the gunman, were killed. At a news conference called by the Los Angeles area chapter of the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a man who identified himself as Farhan Khan said his sister was married to one of the suspects and he offered his condolences to the victims.

“Why would he do that? Why would he do something like this? I have absolutely no idea, I am in shock myself,” Khan said at a news conference in Anaheim, California, south of Los Angeles.

Farook and his wife have been missing since Wednesday morning, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR in the Los Angeles area.

A person by the name of Syed Farook was listed on county documents as an employee of the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department. Staff members from that department had gathered on Wednesday for the party where the shooters opened fire.

The massacre differed from most other recent U.S. killing sprees in key ways, including the involvement of multiple people rather than a lone perpetrator. It also comes less than three weeks after the deadly attacks in Paris prompted tighter security at many public venues across the United States.

Authorities said they also detained an individual seen running away from the vehicle, but investigators were not immediately sure that person was involved in the case, Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference.

Burguan said the two suspects who were killed were armed with assault rifles and handguns and were dressed in “assault-style” clothing.

The police chief said he knew of no possible motive for the attack.

A SWAT vehicle carries police officers near the scene of a shooting in San Bernardino, California. (Micah Escamilla/Los Angeles News Group via AP) A SWAT vehicle carries police officers near the scene of a shooting in San Bernardino. (Source: AP)

David Bowdich, an assistant regional FBI director, said authorities had not yet ruled out whether the shooting was an act of terrorism.

“It is a possibility, but we don’t know that,” he told reporters. “It’s possible it goes down that road. It’s possible it does not.”

Burguan said earlier, “Obviously, at a minimum, we have a domestic-type, terrorist-type situation that occurred here.”

The attack took place on the campus of the Inland Regional Center, in a building housing a conference center that was being used for the holiday celebration, authorities said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/americas/california-at-least-14-dead-in-shooting-at-san-bernardino-disabled-centre/

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U.S. congress mulls visa program changes after Paris attacks

3 December 2015

Lawmakers were introducing legislation this week tightening the program that allows millions to travel to the United States without a visa, as Congress moves to enhance security following the deadly Paris attacks.

“Now we’re looking at the Visa Waiver Program, those gaps and vulnerabilities in that,” number two House Republican Kevin McCarthy told CNN Wednesday.

“You’ll see it roll out tomorrow” in the House of Representatives, he added on Fox, adding that it would be introduced on the floor of the chamber next week.

The visa waiver program is available to citizens of 38 countries, largely U.S. allies and relatively stable developed democracies. Many are in Europe.

Twenty million visitors annually use the program, which allows them to stay in country for 90 days and provides a boon to the U.S. economy.

McCarthy said a key component would be restricting travelers who had been to Iraq or Syria, where Islamic State extremists have drawn thousands of foreign fighters.

“Anyone who’s traveled to Iraq or Syria in the last five years should not be able to just do the online (application) and come to America,” he said.

Senators introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday aimed at preventing terrorists from abusing the program.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/03/U-S-congress-mulls-visa-program-changes-after-Paris-attacks.html

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California Muslims condemn 'horrific' mass shooting

Dec 3, 2015

LOS ANGELES: California's Muslim community expressed its horror on Wednesday at the mass shooting that killed at least 14 in San Bernardino, after a local man named Syed Farook was widely identified as a suspect.

Farook, a US citizen who worked for the town's health department, is believed to have been killed in a shootout with police hours after opening fire inside a Christmas party at a local social services centre.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said its members “unequivocally condemn the horrific act that happened today."

“The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence,” he added in a statement.

Examine: US Muslims face backlash after Paris attacks

Authorities have drawn no connection between the attack and radical Islam at this stage in the investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223950/california-muslims-condemn-horrific-mass-shooting

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US charges man over Muslim cab driver shooting

Dec 3, 2015

NEW YORK: United States police in Pittsburgh have arrested and charged a 26-year-old man with shooting a Muslim cab driver in the back in the early hours of Thanksgiving, officials said Wednesday.

Muslim activists allege the shooting was a hate crime, but police told AFP those charges were still under investigation.

Anthony Mohamed, 26, from Hazelwood, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh, in the state of Pennsylvania, is charged with aggravated assault, criminal attempt homicide and recklessly endangering another person, police said.

The victim was identified by a local newspaper as a 38-year-old Moroccan immigrant. His name has not been released and officials say he wishes to remain anonymous for fear of safety.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1223948/us-charges-man-over-muslim-cab-driver-shooting

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'Secret' U.S. hostage 'has been held by Taliban allies for over a year'

December 02, 2015

Washington: An American hostage has secretly been held in captivity in the borderlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan for more than a year, it has been claimed. Allies of the Taliban captured the U.S. citizen and have been holding him in the war-torn region for months, according to reports.

The Daily Beast revealed the existence of the man on Tuesday, but is withholding details of his identity for fear he could be harmed. He is said to be a captive of the Haqqani network of militants, who also captured Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier whom the Obama administration brought back to American in exchange for five Taliban prisoners.

Haqqani fighters are also thought to be holding the family of U.S. citizen Caitlin Coleman. She was captured while travelling in Afghanistan with her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle while pregnant. Coleman, who was pregnant with Boyle's child at the time, is believed to have given birth in captivity.

The Beast revealed the existence of the new hostage after a Republican congressman obliquely referred to him in a public criticism of the White House's efforts to recover hostages.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California wrote a public letter which said 'there are still Americans in captivity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region' - a reference to Coleman and the unnamed hostage.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/02-Dec-2015/secret-u-s-hostage-has-been-held-by-taliban-allies-for-over-a-year

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US backs Turkey against Russian accusations

03 December 2015

The U.S. on Wednesday sharply refuted Russian allegations that Turkey is facilitating ISIL oil sales.

“We reject the premise that the Turkish government is in league with ISIL to smuggle oil. We have seen no evidence to support such an accusation,” State Department spokeswoman Julia Mason said in a statement.

“Turkey is taking steps to improve the security of its border with Syria, working with international partners. One goal of this effort is to cut off ISIL smuggling,” Mason added.

Following the downing of a Russian warplane that violated Turkey’s airspace near the Syrian border on Nov. 24, Russia announced sanctions against Turkey and President Vladimir Putin has alleged Turkish involvement in oil purchases from ISIL.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has challenged Putin and said he will step down if Russian claims that Turkey buys oil from ISIL are proved. He called on Putin to do the same if they are not.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/166980/us-backs-turkey-against-russian-accusations

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NATO allies urged to 'step up' ISIL fight

December 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday urged NATO allies to intensify the fight against the ISIL as Washington leads the military campaign against the extremist group.

"I called on every NATO ally to step up support in the fight against ISIL, striking at the organisation's core in Syria and Iraq," Kerry said after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28 NATO states in Brussels.

"A number of allies are already bringing more to this battle or are planning to increase their contributions," he said.

Kerry also praised British Prime Minister David Cameron as Britain's parliament looked set to vote in favour of joining the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIL in Syria. Britain's attacks are currently limited to Iraq.

"We are very pleased with efforts by prime minister Cameron to go to parliament," Kerry said. "It is a very important step. We applaud his leadership."

Kerry meanwhile played down any threat from NATO to Russia, which is also carrying out its own air campaign against extremists in Syria but had one of its warplanes shot down by NATO member Turkey in November.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/166954/deadly-mass-shooting-in-us-14-dead

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-state-group-targets-gays-with-brutal-public-killings/d/105500

 

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