New Age Islam
Thu Sep 24 2020, 05:45 PM

Islamic World News ( 5 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamic State Says Dhaka Cafe Slaughter a Glimpse of What's Coming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Saudi security personel gather at the site of the suicide attack newar the security headquarters of the Prophet's(PBUH) Mosque.-AFP

 

Outrage Spreads after Bombing at Islam's Holy Site

Shia-Sunni Unity Movement Urged To Adopt Eid Resolution against Terror Groups

Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s Speech on Islam Will Make You Speechless

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South Asia

Islamic State Says Dhaka Cafe Slaughter a Glimpse of What's Coming

ANDSF Share Heart Touching Video on Occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

Suicide attack leaves 4 people dead in North of Afghanistan

Taliban judge killed in an explosion in East of Afghanistan

Top Afghan Jihadi leader Syed Hussain Anwari dies from cancer in India

Bangladesh police say may have shot hostage, missed attack warnings

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Arab World

Outrage Spreads after Bombing at Islam's Holy Site

Taliban Condemns Suicide Attack in Medina, Saudi Arabia

Fallujah at Risk of Sectarian Rift after Being Freed Of ISIL

Kurdish Forces Discover Turkish-Made Drugs, Narcotics from Dead ISIL Terrorists in Aleppo

Suicide Bomber Kills Over 30 in Northeast Syrian City of Hasakah

Three Syrians Attending Eid al-Fitr Prayer in Aleppo, Killed by Militants' Fire

Syria’s Bashar Assad Attends Eid Prayers in City of Homs

Iraqi Army Launches Offensive against ISIL in North of Anbar Province

Leader Slams Western Countries for Supporting Terrorism in Region

Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo

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India

Shia-Sunni Unity Movement Urged To Adopt Eid Resolution against Terror Groups

Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s Speech on Islam Will Make You Speechless

Arrested ‘IS Recruits’ Used Govt Utility Centre Computer to Mail ‘Oath’

NIA recovers 17 live ammunitions from arrested Islamic State operatives in New Delhi

I apologise to Tarishi's parents, India: Father of Bangladesh attacker

Muslims take out rally against terrorists attacks in Assam

Six Injured In Stone Pelting By Protesters after Eid Prayers In J&K

Two Hyderabadi Muslim Youths Pressurized By NIA To Give Witness Against 11 Arrested Youths

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Southeast Asia

Pundits Fear Malaysian Muslim Self-Radicalism May Grow after Mufti’s ‘Kafir Harbi’ Label

Indonesia, Saudi Arabia Rocked By Attacks Ahead Of Hari Raya

Malaysian Muslims’ Rejection of Vaccines Sparks Fears Of Surge In Contagious Diseases

Security tight in Indonesia and Malaysia as top leaders mark Hari Raya Puasa

Five people arrested after mob attack on Muslim prayer hall in Kachin State

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Mideast

Iranian Military Commander: We Have 100,000 Missiles Ready to Strike Israel

Odd Jobs in Istanbul for Young Syrians Who Dreamed Big

Man punched and hospitalized for smoking during Ramadan in Istanbul

Moscow to lift all restrictions on Turkey, Turkish minister says

CHP leader criticizes president for not having ‘sense of humour’

Seven killed in military helicopter crash in Turkey’s Giresun

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Pakistan

Some Chinese Cyber Criminals Operating In Karachi: FIA

Pakistan Renews Security Assurance to Saudi Arabia

Govt tight-lipped on PM’s return

Row deepens as Rangers, MQM trade charges

Pakistan, China yet to strike deal on FTA phase-II

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Africa

Africa Has No Better Friend than Israel, Netanyahu Says During Kenya Visit

At least 12 killed in fighting in Central African Republic town

SA Muslims brave cold to mark end of Ramadan

Ramaphosa Lauds Muslim Contribution to SA

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North America

Trump Praises Former Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein as Terrorist Killer

Al Qaeda Reaps Rewards of U.S. Policy Failures on Syria

New wave of attacks on Muslims in America

Former National Guardsman Charged in Islamic State Attack Plot

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Europe

91% of EU Citizens Believe ISIS Will Pose a Threat to Europe in Next 5yrs - Poll

Anger, Honour and Freedom: What European Muslims' Attack on Speech Is Really About

Belgian Court Jails Islamic State Cell Leaders for Foiled Plot

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-state-says-dhaka-cafe-slaughter-a-glimpse-of-what-s-coming/d/107882

 

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Islamic State Says Dhaka Cafe Slaughter a Glimpse of What's Coming

Wed Jul 6, 2016

Islamic State has warned of repeated attacks in Bangladesh and beyond until rule by Sharia, Islamic law, is established, saying in a video last week's killing of 20 people in a Dhaka cafe was merely a glimpse of what is to come.

Five Bangladesh militants, most from wealthy, liberal families, stormed the upmarket restaurant on Friday and murdered customers, the majority of them foreigners, from Italy, Japan, India and the United States, before they were gunned down.

"What you witnessed in Bangladesh ... was a glimpse. This will repeat, repeat and repeat until you lose and we win and the Sharia is established throughout the world," said a man identified as Bangladeshi fighter Abu Issa al-Bengali, in the video monitored by SITE intelligence site.

Bangladesh has rejected the Islamic State's claim of responsibility for the Friday attack and blamed it on a domestic militant group.

It was one of the deadliest attacks in Bangladesh, where Islamic State and al Qaeda have claimed a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the past year. The government has also dismissed those claims.

The IS video began with pictures of recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Orlando in the United States that the Middle East-based militants have claimed.

The fighter in the video, who spoke in both Bengali and English, said Bangladesh must know that it was now part of a bigger battlefield to establish the cross-border "caliphate" the group proclaimed in 2014.

"I want to tell the rulers of Bangladesh that the jihad you see today is not the same that you knew in the past," he said from a busy street in the militant group's de facto capital of Raqqa, in Syria.

"The jihad that is waged today is a jihad under the shade of the Caliphate."

Though Bangladesh has rejected the IS claim of responsibility for Friday's attack, police said they were stepping up security in response to the video threat.

"We are taking this issue seriously. All our concerned units are working tirelessly," said deputy police inspector general Shahidur Rahman.

Police believe the domestic Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, played a significant role in organizing the band of privileged, educated young men who carried out the attack.

Police have said they are hunting for six members of the group suspected to have helped the attackers.

But foreign security experts say the scale and sophistication of the attack on the Holey Artisan bakery cafe pointed to some level of guidance from international militant groups.

Officials in Dhaka said on Tuesday police commandos had mistakenly shot dead a restaurant chef during the operation to end the siege.

H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also said security officials had seen online warnings about an impending attack on Friday and ordered major hotels and restaurants in the neighborhood of the cafe shut.

But they missed the actual target, he said.

reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-attack-idUSKCN0ZM0L3

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Outrage spreads after bombing at Islam's holy site

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

RIYADH: Outrage spread on Tuesday after a deadly suicide bombing at Islam's second-holiest site in the Saudi city of Medina, one of three attacks in the kingdom on a single day.

Religious and political leaders across the Middle East denounced the attack near the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque that left four dead and came as Muslims prepare for the feast this week marking the end of the holy month Ramazan.

There were no claims of responsibility for Monday's bombings in Medina, Jeddah and the eastern city of Qatif.

The suicide bombing in Medina came during sunset prayers at the mosque — where Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is buried and which attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

The targeting of Madinah caused widespread outrage, both in Saudi Arabia and across the Muslim world. The head of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, the kingdom's main government advisory body, called it an “unprecedented” incident.

'No more red lines'

“This crime, which causes goosebumps, could not have been perpetrated by someone who had an atom of belief in his heart,” top cleric Abdullah al-Sheikh said.

Cairo-based Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Islam, condemned the attacks and stressed “the sanctity of the houses of Allah, especially the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque.”

Saudi Arabia's supreme council of clerics said the blasts “prove that those renegades... have violated everything that is sacred.” The attack drew condemnation across Islam's religious divide, with Iran calling for Muslim unity after the attacks in its regional rival.

“There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shias will both remain victims unless we stand united as one,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah — which Saudi Arabia accuses of supporting “terrorist acts” across the region — also denounced the Madinah attack as “a new sign of the terrorists' contempt for all that Muslims consider sacred.”

The governments of Turkey and Lebanon joined in the condemnation, while Iraq said the attacks amounted to “heinous crimes”.

Middle East expert Madhawi al-Rasheed said the attack in Madinah appeared aimed at humiliating the Saudi government, the guardian of Islam's holiest sites.

“It's an attempt to actually embarrass the Saudi government because it boasts of protecting the pilgrims and the holy places,” said Rasheed, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute.

There also seemed to be an “organised effort by the perpetrators to coordinate their work,” potentially signalling a worsening security situation in Saudi, she said.

dawn.com/news/1269249/outrage-spreads-after-bombing-at-islams-holy-site

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Shia-Sunni Unity Movement Urged To Adopt Eid Resolution against Terror Groups

Jul 6, 2016

Chennai: The Shia-Sunni Unity Movement on Tuesday appealed to Muslims worldwide to adopt an Eid resolution against terror groups who have targeted multiple locations during the holy month of Ramzan.

In a statement condemning terrorist acts in Baghdad, Dhaka, Medina and two other places in Saudi Arabia besides parts of Pakistan, SSUM general secretary Nusrath Ali Khan said Muslims should join hands to oppose terror groups like ISIS which are giving a bad name to Islam, a religion of peace.

The entire Muslim world has to unite to condemn the deadly attack at one of Islam's holiest sites - the Prophet's Mosque in Medina - he said. "What kind of people are they who carry out brutal terror attacks during the Ramzan month of fasting?" he wondered.

Citing the Quranic verse "Ayath Jaa Al-Hakhkhu Vazahakhal Batilu" (Justice will win and the unjust will be destroyed), SSUM president Mohammed Mujibur Rahman said the days of ISIS were numbered. "All Shias and Sunnis should unite as terrorist strikes are spreading to different parts of the world and increasing in frequency," he said.

President of All India Sunnath Jamath, Maulana Abdul Malick Rabbani, denounced the killing of innocent people by terrorists.

He alleged that extremist groups with sponsorship from Saudi Arabia were targeting Iraqi people. He urged the United Nations to remove Saudi Arabia as the chair of a panel of the UN Human Rights Council. "We appreciate the efforts made by spiritual leader Ayatollah Sistani Sahib to bring all the Islamic communities together to fight against ISIS," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Muslims-urged-to-adopt-Eid-resolution-against-terror-groups/articleshow/53069062.cms

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Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s Speech on Islam Will Make You Speechless

July 6, 2016

New Delhi: Acharya Pramod Krishnam, founder of Shri Kalki foundation said Islam has good qualities and it’s not necessary to mention or count these qualities.

Acharya was addressing the gathering at 32nd Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind held at Ram Lila Ground, New Delhi on May last year.

He said, “Islam in its essence means to quench the thirst of a thirsty. Islam means to feed the hungry a bread. Islam means to hug a poor. Islam means to help an oppressed person. Islam means to guide a blind. Islam means love. Islam means service. Islam means worship.”

 “If Islam had any relation to oppression or if Islam was brought by the force of the edge of the sword, then Yazidiyat (or oppression) would have been spread in the world not Islam,” the Acharya said.

Suppose, if a person says: “I believe in Islam and I am a Muslim.” But he terrorizes the people, or he claims that he is a terrorist; I cannot accept his claim of Islam. Whoever is a Muslim cannot be a terrorist, and who is terrorist cannot be a Muslim,” said Acharya.

Acharya Pramod Krishnan said that Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was not called as ‘Rahmat-ul-Musalmeen’ but was called as ‘Rahmat-ul-Alameen’. He recites some poems in the praise of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

“Ke Mere Sena Ki Dhadkhan Hai, Meri Aankhon Ke Taare Hai,

Sahara Be Saharaon Ka,  Khuda Ke Who Dulare Hai,

Samajh Kar Faqat Tum Apna Unhe Taqseem Na Karna,

Nabi (SAWS) Jitney Tumhare Hai Nabi (SAWS) Utne Hamare Hai.

Aur Sabaq Tumne Mohabbat Ka Har Ek Insaan Ko Sikhlaya,

Muqadas Raasta Dekar Deen Duniya Mai Phailaya,

Tumhi Sagar, Tumhi Dariya, Tumhi Kashti, Tumhi malhaa,

Rasool Allah Rasool Allah Rasool Allah Rasool Allah (PBUH).

siasat.com/news/watch-acharya-pramod-krishnams-speech-islam-will-make-speechless-982802/

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South Asia

Islamic State Says Dhaka Cafe Slaughter a Glimpse of What's Coming

Wed Jul 6, 2016

Islamic State has warned of repeated attacks in Bangladesh and beyond until rule by Sharia, Islamic law, is established, saying in a video last week's killing of 20 people in a Dhaka cafe was merely a glimpse of what is to come.

Five Bangladesh militants, most from wealthy, liberal families, stormed the upmarket restaurant on Friday and murdered customers, the majority of them foreigners, from Italy, Japan, India and the United States, before they were gunned down.

"What you witnessed in Bangladesh ... was a glimpse. This will repeat, repeat and repeat until you lose and we win and the Sharia is established throughout the world," said a man identified as Bangladeshi fighter Abu Issa al-Bengali, in the video monitored by SITE intelligence site.

Bangladesh has rejected the Islamic State's claim of responsibility for the Friday attack and blamed it on a domestic militant group.

It was one of the deadliest attacks in Bangladesh, where Islamic State and al Qaeda have claimed a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the past year. The government has also dismissed those claims.

The IS video began with pictures of recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Orlando in the United States that the Middle East-based militants have claimed.

The fighter in the video, who spoke in both Bengali and English, said Bangladesh must know that it was now part of a bigger battlefield to establish the cross-border "caliphate" the group proclaimed in 2014.

"I want to tell the rulers of Bangladesh that the jihad you see today is not the same that you knew in the past," he said from a busy street in the militant group's de facto capital of Raqqa, in Syria.

"The jihad that is waged today is a jihad under the shade of the Caliphate."

Though Bangladesh has rejected the IS claim of responsibility for Friday's attack, police said they were stepping up security in response to the video threat.

"We are taking this issue seriously. All our concerned units are working tirelessly," said deputy police inspector general Shahidur Rahman.

Police believe the domestic Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, played a significant role in organizing the band of privileged, educated young men who carried out the attack.

Police have said they are hunting for six members of the group suspected to have helped the attackers.

But foreign security experts say the scale and sophistication of the attack on the Holey Artisan bakery cafe pointed to some level of guidance from international militant groups.

Officials in Dhaka said on Tuesday police commandos had mistakenly shot dead a restaurant chef during the operation to end the siege.

H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also said security officials had seen online warnings about an impending attack on Friday and ordered major hotels and restaurants in the neighborhood of the cafe shut.

But they missed the actual target, he said.

reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-attack-idUSKCN0ZM0L3

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ANDSF Share Heart Touching Video on Occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr

Wed Jul 06 2016

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) shared a heart touching video on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr as the Afghan people prepare to celebrate the Eid days amidst persistent violence.

The video shared by the Afghan intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), is the first of its kind to reflect the ongoing the efforts by the Afghan security forces to maintain stability in the country amid rampant Taliban-led insurgency.

The video message by ANDSF is in contrast to the Taliban Eid message as the group vowed to continue to continue to its campaign in a bid to end the so-called US-led ‘occupation’ of the country.

The latest Eid video by ANDSF depicts the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghan security personnel who have been fighting the local and international terrorists in the country in the past 15 years.

The video shows a member of the ANDSF service member receiving a letter from his daughter as he continues to fight the militants.

The girl shown in the video is complaining against his father who has not been to his home for a long time. “Father, it’s been long that you have not came to home, even in Ramadan, and I know you will not come in Eid as well.”

“Father you know, all my friends, Sadaf, Madina, and Sana have prepared for Eid, and they will be happy with their parents during the Eid days. And their parents will also pay them Eidi, but you are not with us. I miss you a lot and I will always love you.”

The video continues to show tears falling on the face of a service member of ANDSF as he reads the letter from his daughter as she says “Eid Mubarak Father”.

The other parts of the video shows a news broadcast covering the achievements of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) as the little girl is updated with the news regarding their achievements.

The video ends with the little girl saluting to the members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

The Afghan security institutions are sharing the video as the Afghan forces continue to put efforts into suppressing the rampant Taliban-led insurgency.

On the other, the casualties of the Afghan forces have been significantly on the rise since they assumed fully charge of the security from the NATO-led coalition forces at the start of last year.

khaama.com/andsf-share-heart-touching-video-on-occasion-of-eid-ul-fitr-01422

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Suicide attack leaves 4 people dead in North of Afghanistan

Wed Jul 06 2016

At least four people were killed in a suicide attack in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan earlier today, local officials said.

The incident took place around 10:00 am local time in Sancharak district after the suicide bomber targeted a former Jihadi leader.

Provincial governor Mohammad Zahir Wahdat said the former Jihadi leader Rahim Ayoubi survived the attack unhurt but four members of his family were killed.

He said the victims include two sons and two nephews of Ayoubi and another member of his family was wounded.

Wahdat further added that Ayoubi had left his family members inside his vehicle as he was visiting a cemetary when the suicide bomber targeted the vehicle.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incidet.

Ayoubi was a member of Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan and was a key member of the party in Sar-e-Pul province as he was waging fight against the anti-government armed militant groups.

Taliban militants and insurgents belonging to the other militant groups are actively operating in a number of Sar-e-Pul province and often carry out insurgency activities.

khaama.com/suicide-attack-leaves-4-people-dead-in-north-of-afghanistan-01424

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Taliban judge killed in an explosion in East of Afghanistan

Tue Jul 05 2016

A Taliban judge was killed in an explosion in Nangarhar province located in eastern part of the country, the security authorities said Tuesday.

The incident took place in Asmar district after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off, leaving the group’s district shadow judge dead.

The security sources further added that two other Taliban militants were killed while they were planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Greshk district of southern Helmand province.

The incident took place after the explosives went off prematurely, leaving both the militants dead.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as at least 5 Taliban insurgents were killed in a similar incident in southeastern Paktia province of Afghanistan late last month.

The Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups are frequently using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces.

The IEDs are the main contributors to the casualties of the Afghan security forces but are also considered as a key factor in growing civilian casualties.

Earlier, a commander of the Taliban group Hafiz Saadullah was among ten militants killed after blown up by own explosives in southeastern Ghazni and western Herat provinces last month.

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert of the Taliban group was also killed in an explosion in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan last month.

khaama.com/taliban-judge-killed-in-an-explosion-in-east-of-afghanistan-01421

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Top Afghan Jihadi leader Syed Hussain Anwari dies from cancer in India

Tue Jul 05 2016

A top former Afghan jihadi leader Syed Hussain Anwari has reportedly died due to an illness he was suffering for a long period of time.

Anwari was the leader of Hezb-e-Harakat, Islamic Movement Party of Afghanistan, and was under treatment in India.

Sources have said Mr. Anwari was suffering from cancer and died as he was he undergoing treatment in India.

Born in 1956 in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan. Mr. Anwari has served in numerous governmental posts, including the provincial governor of Kabul and western Herat province.

He also played key role in the government following the collapse of the communist regime in 1992.

Anwari joined the Northern Alliance after the Taliban group gained power in 1996 and was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock following the fall of the Taliban regime and the formation of the transitional government led by former President Hamid Karzai.

He has also run for the 2014 presidential election after resigning as the lawmaker in the Lower House of the Parliament adn was competing for the elections as deputy to presidential runner Abdul Rahim Wardak.

khaama.com/top-afghan-jihadi-leader-syed-hussain-anwari-dies-from-cancer-in-india-01420

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Bangladesh police say may have shot hostage, missed attack warnings

Wed Jul 6, 2016

Bangladesh police shot dead the pizza chef of a Dhaka restaurant, mistakenly thinking he was one of the militants who killed 20 people, and misread online warnings of an impending assault, police and government officials said on Tuesday.

New details from interviews with the officials and the first information report registered at a Dhaka police station painted a picture of security agencies slow to deal with Friday’s attack, one of the country’s deadliest.

“This was the first time in Bangladesh such a thing had taken place. Nobody was prepared for it. They did not realise the gravity of the situation initially,” H.T. Imam, a political adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, told Reuters in an interview. “Initial response was slow.”

Bangladesh authorities who monitor social media saw several messages on Friday posted on Twitter saying there would be an attack, he said.

But the police thought any attack was more likely to target embassies and major hotels and restaurants, Imam said. Police closed major hotels and eateries in and around hotel Westin, about 1 km (0.62 mile) from the Holey Artisan Bakery and O’Kitchen, the restaurant that was attacked, he said.

“They (police) didn’t think at all it can be this place,” Imam said. “It is to be investigated whether there was an intelligence failure.”

The attack, claimed by Islamic State, marked a major escalation in the scale and brutality of violence aimed at forcing strict Islamic rule onto Bangladesh, whose 160 million people are mostly Muslim.

Police named five Bangladeshi gunmen who stormed the restaurant: Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam and Shafiqul Islam. Several other people have been arrested.

The attackers separated foreigners from locals, and most of the dead were foreigners, from Italy, Japan, India and the United States. But survivors told local television that Muslims who could not recite the Koran were also killed.

The targeting of foreigners has unsettled the country’s $26 billion garment export industry, with some foreign retailers suspending all business travel to the country.

The bodies of the nine Italian victims were flown to Rome on Tuesday. Investigators there are looking into whether Italians were specifically targeted, a judicial source said.

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who went to Rome’s Ciampino airport for the plane’s arrival, said he was committed to making sure the victims received state assistance in line with Italian law, which also provides for their families.

Islamic State and al Qaeda have claimed a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh in the past year. The government has dismissed those claims, as it did Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack.

Police believe Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh an outlawed domestic group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, played a significant role in organising the privileged, educated, young attackers.

Confusion over exactly how many gunmen were involved was at least partly cleared up on Tuesday, when police named Saiful Islam Chowkidar, a pizza maker at the Holey Artisan Bakery, as among the six people security forces killed when they stormed the building to end a 12-hour stand-off.

“He may not be involved,” Saiful Islam, a police official investigating the attack, told Reuters, adding Chowkidar’s death was still being investigated.

An employee at the cafe, shown a photo of a man killed at the eatery and wearing a chef’s outfit, identified him as Chowkidar, and said he had worked there for 18 months.

BRUTAL ATTACK

In the police filing, seen by Reuters, Chowkidar’s name was included among 21 hostages killed by attackers armed with knives, guns and explosives.

At least three Bangladeshis were also murdered during the assault. One was a Muslim woman, a regular at the restaurant who did not wear the Islamic veil, whose throat was slashed when she refused to recite the Koran, Imam said. Two police officers were killed outside the restaurant.

The police report showed that police made an initial attempt to enter the restaurant after the attackers stormed in, but facing gunfire and grenades they held off any action for more than eight hours. “The terrorists kept firing and throwing grenades at us every time we moved forward,” the report said.

Between 30 and 35 policemen were wounded when the attackers threw grenades at a force stationed to the west of the cafe, forcing police to wait for reinforcements. Eventually, the police raid was launched after daybreak.

Imam said police repeatedly sent messages asking what the attackers wanted, initially thinking they sought a ransom. The fear was the hostages would be killed if the police forced their way in, he said.

“The way the police and the RAB acted in the early hours raises questions that need to be looked into,” Imam said, referring to the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite counter-terrorism unit.

At least three of the gunmen were from wealthy, liberal families who had attended elite Dhaka schools, in contrast to the usual Bangladeshi militant’s path from poverty and a madrassa education to violence.

thehimalayantimes.com/world/bangladesh-police-say-may-shot-hostage-missed-attack-warnings/

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Arab World

Outrage spreads after bombing at Islam's holy site

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

RIYADH: Outrage spread on Tuesday after a deadly suicide bombing at Islam's second-holiest site in the Saudi city of Medina, one of three attacks in the kingdom on a single day.

Religious and political leaders across the Middle East denounced the attack near the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque that left four dead and came as Muslims prepare for the feast this week marking the end of the holy month Ramazan.

There were no claims of responsibility for Monday's bombings in Medina, Jeddah and the eastern city of Qatif.

The suicide bombing in Medina came during sunset prayers at the mosque — where Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is buried and which attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

The targeting of Madinah caused widespread outrage, both in Saudi Arabia and across the Muslim world. The head of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, the kingdom's main government advisory body, called it an “unprecedented” incident.

'No more red lines'

“This crime, which causes goosebumps, could not have been perpetrated by someone who had an atom of belief in his heart,” top cleric Abdullah al-Sheikh said.

Cairo-based Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Islam, condemned the attacks and stressed “the sanctity of the houses of Allah, especially the Prophet's (PBUH) Mosque.”

Saudi Arabia's supreme council of clerics said the blasts “prove that those renegades... have violated everything that is sacred.” The attack drew condemnation across Islam's religious divide, with Iran calling for Muslim unity after the attacks in its regional rival.

“There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shias will both remain victims unless we stand united as one,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah — which Saudi Arabia accuses of supporting “terrorist acts” across the region — also denounced the Madinah attack as “a new sign of the terrorists' contempt for all that Muslims consider sacred.”

The governments of Turkey and Lebanon joined in the condemnation, while Iraq said the attacks amounted to “heinous crimes”.

Middle East expert Madhawi al-Rasheed said the attack in Madinah appeared aimed at humiliating the Saudi government, the guardian of Islam's holiest sites.

“It's an attempt to actually embarrass the Saudi government because it boasts of protecting the pilgrims and the holy places,” said Rasheed, a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute.

There also seemed to be an “organised effort by the perpetrators to coordinate their work,” potentially signalling a worsening security situation in Saudi, she said.

dawn.com/news/1269249/outrage-spreads-after-bombing-at-islams-holy-site

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Taliban condemns suicide attack in Medina, Saudi Arabia

July 5, 2016

The Taliban has condemned a July 4 suicide attack that targeted security personnel in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Four Saudi guards and five others were wounded in what the Taliban describes as “an act of enmity and hatred towards Islamic rituals.”

The Taliban’s condemnation is not surprising. Taliban leaders and financiers have long raised funds inside Saudi Arabia to support their jihad in Afghanistan. Additionally, the attack may have been executed by the Islamic State, the Taliban’s only jihadist rival in Afghanistan.

Yesterday’s attack in Medina was one of three bombings inside Saudi Arabia. Jihadists also targeted the US Consulate in Jeddah and a mosque in the eastern city of Qatif. Two security guards were wounded in the two attacks in Jeddah and Qatif. The Saudi Interior Ministry identified the Jeddah suicide bomber as a Pakistani known as Abdullah Qalzar Khan.

“It is with great sadness to have learnt that an attack has taken place against the guards of the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city of Medina, causing multiple casualties,” the Taliban says in a statement released today on its official website, Voice of Jihad. “The Islamic Emirate [Taliban] – which has been shocked by this gruesome act – condemns this incident in the strongest of terms and considers it an act of enmity and hatred towards Islamic rituals. Such acts in al Haram al Nabawi [the Medina mosque] can never be tolerable.”

“Al Haramain al Sharifain (The Two Holy Sanctuaries [in Mecca and Medina]) holds a collective value for every Muslim and no act of hostility towards it can ever be acceptable or tolerated,” the statement continues. “This crime has shown us just how cruel and full of hatred the plots of our enemies are towards our religious sanctums.”

The Taliban did not name its “enemies,” but it may be referring to the Islamic State, which is thought to have executed the attacks in Saudi Arabia. No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings. The Taliban has denounced the Islamic State in the past for sowing divisions within the jihadists’ ranks in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The statement did not mention or condemn the two suicide bombings against the US Consulate in Jeddah and a mosque in the eastern city of Qatif.

The US government’s designations of Taliban and Haqqani Network leaders over the past decade have repeatedly noted that they travel to the Saudi Kingdom for fundraising purposes, including on behalf of al Qaeda. The Haqqani Network is a Taliban subgroup and its operational leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is the deputy emir of the Taliban.

Taliban luminaries and notables who have traveled to Saudi Arabia to fundraise include: Nasiruddin Haqqani, Torek Agha, Saidullah Jan, Amir Abdullah, Yahya Haqqani, Khalil Haqqani, and Fazl Rabi.

longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/07/taliban-condemns-suicide-attack-in-medina-saudi-arabia.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LongWarJournalSiteWide+%28The+Long+War+Journal+%28Site-Wide%29%29

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Fallujah at risk of sectarian rift after being freed of ISIL

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Starting from the moment you land at the airport in Baghdad, police checkpoints are everywhere. You are constantly interrogated. There are “liberated zones” inside the city. You cannot go just anywhere you want.

There are ruins everywhere. Unemployment and poverty have ended social life. Nobody trusts anyone else. Fallujah is one hour from Baghdad, and the fact that it was liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) one day ago makes little difference to the lived reality of locals.

The Iraqi army declared that it had retaken Fallujah from ISIL on June 27, 2016. ISIL had captured the town shortly after taking Mosul in June 2014.

I was able to visit Fallujah in an army vehicle the next day. We hit the road - me, a colonel, and two sergeants. Another military truck carrying weapons and ammunition was following us. About 10 kilometers outside Fallujah, it was declared that we were entering a military zone. There were checkpoints almost every kilometer.

Shiite militia on frontlines

The road was full of different Shiite militia flags. One of the main forces is known to be taking orders from Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Jerusalem Force under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They looked impressive - when their truck carrying heavy arms passed by, troops from the Iraqi army looked on with admiration. One soldier told us that he wanted to join the militia. This situation actually sums up one of the main problems of the Iraqi army: It is an army but some of it is made up of disorderly forces.

As ISIL withdraws, it plants bombs called EPCs on all roads. One Iraqi commander told me that they deactivated 98 EPCs on a road that was only 1 kilometer long.

ISIL also built a network of tunnels under the town against air attacks. While withdrawing it have installed booby-traps in these tunnels.

There was no sign of victory or joy in Fallujah. We spent almost a full day with the Iraqi soldiers. I did not come across any officer or soldier celebrating their victory. The only thing I saw was weariness.

The commander who took Fallujah

The Fallujah operation was led by General Saad el-Harbea, heading the West Baghdad Command. We met the commander who entered the city with an elite force of 17,000 men at his headquarters at the entrance of Fallujah.

He told us that they had lost 50 soldiers but had killed almost 1,000 ISIL militants. There were 10,000 civilians in the city when they entered. After the liberation, they expect about 50,000 people who live in tents around Habbaniyah to return. Their priority is to make Fallujah a safe place. After the cleaning up - which they expect will last 15 days - they will go after the 500 ISIL militants who withdrew to the region between Fallujah and Ramadi.

Because Shiite militias were influential in the capture of Fallujah, the town is now decorated with Shiite symbols. Flags with Ali and his sons have been hung at all the roads. The same is true for Baghdad. There is an increased Shiite presence and a decreased Sunni population in Baghdad. The city is effectively becoming Shiite.

Iraqi defense minister

We met with Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi in the safe zone in Baghdad - the international zone where the US Embassy and the US military base are located. Al-Obeidi is one of the Sunnis in the Iraqi cabinet. He was in charge of the military operation conducted to retake the Sunni regions captured by ISIL.

But it is debatable how much say al-Obeidi has over government decisions. Due to sectarian discrimination, the insecurity that has spread in the country is also reflected in the cabinet. It is said that the Shiite prime minister, most of the time, makes most decisions alone - even the ones that concern the Sunni defense minister.

However, what al-Obeidi told us in his office were official Iraqi policies. In particular, the messages he sent to Ankara about the sensitive issue of the Turkish base at Bashiqa was the official view of Baghdad.

“We hope that our neighbor and our friend Turkey, by withdrawing its troops from this base, would decrease the issues we are dealing with. If they stay, they will have a negative effect in the liberation of Nineveh. We regard this as Iraqi soil. If the need arises to use the base militarily, we will. But I hope Turkey will respect our sovereignty,” he said.

I asked the defense minister whether it would be acceptable for them if the Turkish assets in Bashiqa were included in the anti-ISIL coalition. He told me they could be a part of the coalition in other regions of Iraq, but not in Bashiqa. He also said there is a need for Turkish soldiers as trainers.

When reminded that Ankara has stated that the Turkish soldiers were invited to Bashiqa by the Iraqi government, and that the defense minister personally visited the base last November, al-Obeidi denied there was such an invitation.

“There was absolutely no invitation from the Iraqi government. There was no approval or deal. The Turkish soldiers’ entrance is a violation of our sovereignty. My visit to the base in November was to observe the base and confirm the presence of Turks. We were surprised to see that days after my visit the number of Turkish troops at the base increased further,” he said.

“A Turkish delegation came to Iraq after the addition of troops in December last year. I was among those who met them. I saw Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and National Intelligence Organization [MİT] Chief Hakan Fidan. I told them that this invasion was unacceptable and they had to withdraw. I asked them why they were there. They told me they were concerned about the PKK. They conveyed that Turkish troops were in northern Iraq to protect Turkish interests. But this is not something that we have accepted,” al-Obeidi said.

“We have a huge respect for Turkey as the Iraqi people, and the government because Turkey is our friend and neighbor. We have joint interests. My message to the Turkish people is that they should pressure the government to withdraw Turkish troops from Iraqi soil, and for Turkey to help in the liberation of Nineveh and in the re-building of our cities. But the ongoing presence of Turkish troops in Iraq has a negative effect in Iraqi politics,” he added.

hurriyetdailynews.com/fallujah-at-risk-of-sectarian-rift-after-being-freed-of-isil.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101271&NewsCatID=352

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Suicide Bomber Kills Over 30 in Northeast Syrian City of Hasakah

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Over 30 people died in a suicide bombing in the Northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah, a Kurdish source said.

The attack, according to the source, took place in the city’s Eastern district of Salhiye, Sputnik reported.

No group has claimed the responsibility for the attack so far, and the source provided no further information on the the attack's possible damage and other casualties.

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and terrorist groups seeking to topple the government of President Bashar Assad.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950416000410

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Three Syrians Attending Eid al-Fitr Prayer in Aleppo Killed by Militants' Fire

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least three civilians lost their live after militants attacked Eid al-Fitr prayers by mortar rounds at a neighborhood in Syria’s Northern city of Aleppo, sources said.

“More than 30 others also were injured in the mortar attacks by terrorists in al-Mashhad neighborhood in Aleppo,” the sources said.

The attack came as people gathered for attending Eid al-Fitr prayers in Aleppo city at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at the time when the Syrian Army, determined to liberate the Northern city, are engaged in fierce battles with terrorist groups holding different parts of the city.

The development comes in the backdrop of a just-published report by Amnesty International saying the militant groups backed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and the US are involved in "abductions, torture and summary killings" amounting to "war crimes" in Syria.

Amnesty in its report published on Tuesday, named al-Nusra Front, which is the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, as well as Ahrar al-Sham, Nureddin Zinki, the Levant Front and Division 16 as major perpetrators of war crimes in Syria.

The groups have detained and tortured lawyers, journalists, and children among others for criticizing them, the London-based group said.

Some of the groups in question “are believed to have the support of foreign governments such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US,” it added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950416000368

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Iraqi Army Launches Offensive against ISIL in North of Anbar Province

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army began an offensive to liberate a key region in Northern part of the country's Anbar province, the head of the local operation command announced.

"The units of the Iraqi Army’s 16th division, Anbar police tactic regiment and anti-terror forces started a large-scale operation to free the Zankura region, North of Ramadi from ISIL fighters," Majar General Ismail Mahalawi, the head of Anbar Operations Command said, Al Sumeriya reported.

ISIL terrorist group is in control of diminishing areas in Syria and Iraq as the government troops of both countries and their allies are gaining increasing grounds against the Takfiri terrorist group.

In the summer of 2015, the Iraqi army and Shiite militias, backed by US airstrikes, launched a large-scale offensive to liberate the Anbar province from the terrorists.

In June 2016, Baghdad announced the liberation of Fallujah, one of the largest cities in the Anbar province, which had been an ISIL stronghold since 2014, as government forces gained control of the city center.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950416000403

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Leader Slams Western Countries for Supporting Terrorism in Region

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei blasted the western countries for supporting terrorist groups to conduct their suicide bombing against the Muslims in the region.

"Unfortunately, this year's Eid al-Fitr (the fast-breaking festivities of Muslims at the end of the holy month of Ramadan) in some countries was turned into mourning by those terrorists who want to replace the real Islam with fake Islam at the order of their leaders; and these crimes are the outcome of nurturing terrorists by the security services of the US, the UK and the Zionist regime," Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday, addressing thousands of worshippers after Eid al-Fitr prayers in Tehran.

The Supreme Leader reiterated that the supporters of the Takfiri terrorists are to blame for the massacre of the innocent people in the region, and said these are the sponsors of terrorism that "are incurring losses from terrorism, but their sin and offense will not be forgotten".

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to war, insecurity and terrorism in the region, including Syria, Libya and Yemen, as a source of regret, and said, "It is for 15 months now that the people of Yemen are under bombardments, but their wise people and leadership should be lauded for staging great International Quds Day rallies under such conditions and in this hot weather."

Iran's Supreme Leader reiterated that the main objective of the arrogant powers from waging war and insecurity as well as terrorism in the region is making people forget the issues of Palestine.

Ayatollah Khamenei led Eid al-Fitr prayers at Tehran's Mosalla prayers ground this morning.

A large number of Iranian people and senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, Head of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani participated in the ceremony.

Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Fitr at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, after seeing the crescent of the new moon of Shawwal lunar month on the night before the Eid day.

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. They strengthen their self-restraint and faith during this month and try to avoid sin. It is believed that the first verse of the holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in this month.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950416000355

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Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Offensive in Aleppo

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces continued their military operations against the terrorist groups in Aleppo province, and inflicted heavy losses on them over the past 24 hours.

The Syrian army killed and wounded scores of the ISIL militants in Aleppo province.

The terrorist groups also sustained heavy casualties in other key provinces across Syria.

Aleppo

The Syrian Army and popular forces have taken back more strongholds from the militant groups in Northern Aleppo enabling them to take yet another major stride in completing siege of the terrorists on the Northern side of Aleppo, military sources said Tuesday.

"The Syrian army continued to advance against the militant groups along al-Lairamoun-Sheihan road and the countdown has started for the complete cut off of the only supply route of the terrorists in Castillo region," the sources said.

"The Syrian warplanes, artillery and missile units, for their part, targeted heavily the militants' strongholds in Bani Zeid and al-Lairamoun near the highway to Turkish border," they said, adding, "The defense lines of Nouralddeen Zinki terrorist group in Jami' yeh al-Zahra were also attacked by the Syrian soldiers."

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in their mop-up operation on the Southern side of the town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo, discovered a large depot of ISIL arms and ammunition left behind by the terrorist group.

The SDF fighters, who repelled heavy offensives of the ISIL from three flanks in the Southern countryside of Manbij, seized a large volume of weapons, ammunition, grenades, bombes and other explosive devices in battlefield.

The SDF, meantime, buried bodies of tens of the ISIL members killed in Manbij's Southern battlefield.

Homs

The Syrian fighter jets, in a fresh round of combat flights, targeted ISIL's concentration centers in the Eastern and Northeastern territories of Homs province, leaving dozens of the terrorists dead or wounded.

The Syrian air force pounded one of the ISIL's bases along the group's communication road in Western side of the village of Tal Omri, which ended in the killing of several militants and destruction of their military equipment.

ISIL's gatherings in Southeastern side of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) were also attacked by the Syrian jet.

Raqqa

Sources in the ISIL-held city of Raqqa said that the terrorist group's security forces were looting houses and shops of those civilians who have left the city without the Takfiri group's permit.

"The ISIL has recently ordered its Hasaba (monitoring-security system) forces to seized the properties of those civilians who have left the city without gaining the group's permit," the media activists said, adding, "Previously, the people who wanted to leave Raqqa had to pay a lot of money to Hasaba as toll or they would introduce a sponsor."

Hama

The Syrian Army troops stormed a military column of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front on a road on the Western side of the town of al-Salamiyah, inflicting major damage on terrorists' vehicles, provincial sources said Tuesday.

"The Al-Nusra's convoy of vehicles moving on the Taldara-al-Ramliyeh road came under attack by the Syrian military forces," the sources said, and added, "The terrorists' vehicles were severely damaged in the attacks and their supply line was cut for several hours."

 The Syrian army repelled ISIL's offensive in the Northeastern countryside of the town of Salamiyah after inflicting several casualties on the terrorists.

The Syrian army men fended off ISIL's assaults on the pro-government forces' strongholds near the village of al-Maboujeh, which claimed the lives of several militants and destroyed the military equipment.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950416000335

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India

Shia-Sunni Unity Movement Urged To Adopt Eid Resolution against Terror Groups

Jul 6, 2016

Chennai: The Shia-Sunni Unity Movement on Tuesday appealed to Muslims worldwide to adopt an Eid resolution against terror groups who have targeted multiple locations during the holy month of Ramzan.

In a statement condemning terrorist acts in Baghdad, Dhaka, Medina and two other places in Saudi Arabia besides parts of Pakistan, SSUM general secretary Nusrath Ali Khan said Muslims should join hands to oppose terror groups like ISIS which are giving a bad name to Islam, a religion of peace.

The entire Muslim world has to unite to condemn the deadly attack at one of Islam's holiest sites - the Prophet's Mosque in Medina - he said. "What kind of people are they who carry out brutal terror attacks during the Ramzan month of fasting?" he wondered.

Citing the Quranic verse "Ayath Jaa Al-Hakhkhu Vazahakhal Batilu" (Justice will win and the unjust will be destroyed), SSUM president Mohammed Mujibur Rahman said the days of ISIS were numbered. "All Shias and Sunnis should unite as terrorist strikes are spreading to different parts of the world and increasing in frequency," he said.

President of All India Sunnath Jamath, Maulana Abdul Malick Rabbani, denounced the killing of innocent people by terrorists.

He alleged that extremist groups with sponsorship from Saudi Arabia were targeting Iraqi people. He urged the United Nations to remove Saudi Arabia as the chair of a panel of the UN Human Rights Council. "We appreciate the efforts made by spiritual leader Ayatollah Sistani Sahib to bring all the Islamic communities together to fight against ISIS," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Muslims-urged-to-adopt-Eid-resolution-against-terror-groups/articleshow/53069062.cms

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Acharya Pramod Krishnam’s Speech on Islam Will Make You Speechless

July 6, 2016

New Delhi: Acharya Pramod Krishnam, founder of Shri Kalki foundation said Islam has good qualities and it’s not necessary to mention or count these qualities.

Acharya was addressing the gathering at 32nd Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind held at Ram Lila Ground, New Delhi on May last year.

He said, “Islam in its essence means to quench the thirst of a thirsty. Islam means to feed the hungry a bread. Islam means to hug a poor. Islam means to help an oppressed person. Islam means to guide a blind. Islam means love. Islam means service. Islam means worship.”

 “If Islam had any relation to oppression or if Islam was brought by the force of the edge of the sword, then Yazidiyat (or oppression) would have been spread in the world not Islam,” the Acharya said.

Suppose, if a person says: “I believe in Islam and I am a Muslim.” But he terrorizes the people, or he claims that he is a terrorist; I cannot accept his claim of Islam. Whoever is a Muslim cannot be a terrorist, and who is terrorist cannot be a Muslim,” said Acharya.

Acharya Pramod Krishnan said that Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was not called as ‘Rahmat-ul-Musalmeen’ but was called as ‘Rahmat-ul-Alameen’. He recites some poems in the praise of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

“Ke Mere Sena Ki Dhadkhan Hai, Meri Aankhon Ke Taare Hai,

Sahara Be Saharaon Ka,  Khuda Ke Who Dulare Hai,

Samajh Kar Faqat Tum Apna Unhe Taqseem Na Karna,

Nabi (SAWS) Jitney Tumhare Hai Nabi (SAWS) Utne Hamare Hai.

Aur Sabaq Tumne Mohabbat Ka Har Ek Insaan Ko Sikhlaya,

Muqadas Raasta Dekar Deen Duniya Mai Phailaya,

Tumhi Sagar, Tumhi Dariya, Tumhi Kashti, Tumhi malhaa,

Rasool Allah Rasool Allah Rasool Allah Rasool Allah (PBUH).

siasat.com/news/watch-acharya-pramod-krishnams-speech-islam-will-make-speechless-982802/

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Arrested ‘IS recruits’ used govt utility centre computer to mail ‘oath’

July 6, 2016

The oath of allegiance allegedly made by five Hyderabad youths, recently arrested by NIA, to Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was sent using a computer in a government utility centre, the probe agency has claimed.

The NIA Tuesday conducted searches at three locations in Hyderabad and seized two computers, two scanners and nine live rounds of 9 mm bullets. One of the seized computers was part of a Mee Seva Kendra, run by the relative of one of the accused.

Mee Seva is an integrated service delivery gateway launched by the Andhra Pradesh government as part of its e-governance initiative. Mee Seva Kendras help people access government services and pay various utility bills through an e-governance platform.

According to NIA, one such Mee Seva Kendra was being run by the brother-in-law of Ibrahim Yazdani, leader of the alleged IS-affiliated group being investigated by the NIA.

Sources said it was through a computer at this centre that the accused scanned and mailed their Baya (oath of allegiance) made to Baghdadi to their handler Aamir, who is suspected to be former IM-operative-turned-IS-recruiter Shafi Armar, in Syria. This along with another computer recovered from the house of Ibrahim was also used by the group for communication with their handler.

The NIA said it conducted searches at the residences of Ibrahim in Talabhatta and Habeen in Barkas apart from the Mee Seva Kendra near Bhavani Nagar in Talabhatta. From Habeeb’s house, the agency claimed to have recovered bullets.

Government sources said more searches and arrests were likely in connection with the case.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/arrested-is-recruits-used-govt-utility-centre-computer-to-mail-oath-2896453/

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NIA recovers 17 live ammunition from arrested Islamic State operatives in New Delhi

July 6, 2016

New Delhi: Taking forward its probe into the activities of Islamic State (IS) following the arrest of its five alleged operatives in Hyderabad, the NIA on Tuesday searched various locations in the city and recovered 17 rounds of ammunition, besides computers and scanners which were used for online communication.

According to the NIA, the premises of one of the arrested operatives Ibrahim was searched at Talab Katta from where a computer and scanner were seized. The equipment were allegedly used by those arrested to keep in touch with other suspected members of the IS.

At the instance of Ibrahim, the anti-terror probe agency carried out searches at the residence of another accused Habeeb in Barkas area of Hyderabad and recovered 17 live rounds of 9 mm calibre.

The NIA conducted searches at Bhawani Nagar in Talab Katta where another computer and scanner were seized,

officials said, adding one of the arrested operatives Ilyas told his interrogators that the system was used to scan the written 'oath of allegiance' to the IS Caliph the group had signed scanned and mailed to their handler.

The group had given itself 'Kunyat' (aliases) for organisational purposes and also assigned tasks among

themselves. Rizwan was coded as 'Abu Hasan' and assigned the job of 'Mahasib' (account keeper), Ibrahim got the name 'Abu Abdur Rahman' who was tasked to be 'Raa'bit' (communcation incharge), Illyas Yazdani was 'Abu Mansoor' and was the religious affairs incharge.

Habeeb Mohammed assumed the alias of 'Abu Shaiba' and was the 'Askari' (in-charge of matters relating to firearms),

while Fahad became 'Abu Haleema' and was yet to be assigned any task when they were arrested. All the five are in the NIA custody for 14 days since 30 June.

The agency has alleged that the five had acquired weapons and explosive materials to carry out terrorist attacks and were in touch with the banned Islamic State. They were getting directions for planning and executing terrorist activities from IS, which has captured various towns and cities in Iraq and Syria.

The NIA had on June 22 lodged a common FIR against IS for "criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India" by collecting weapons and explosive materials to target public places, religious sites and sensitive government buildings in various parts of country.

According to the Central agency, the gang was preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for carrying out blasts, and was being guided by an online handler, suspected to be based in Iraq or Syria.

Besides explosive material, the agency had recovered two semi-automatic pistols, ammunition, an air gun with telescopic sight and shooting practice target boards, a large number of digital gadgets including six laptops, about 40 mobile phones, 32 SIM cards, and a large number of hard disks, memory cards, pen drives and tabs during its searches.

firstpost.com/india/nia-recovers-17-live-ammunition-from-arrested-islamic-state-operatives-in-new-delhi-2875550.html

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I apologise to Tarishi's parents, India: Father of Bangladesh attacker

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi politician whose son was among the attackers who stormed a Dhaka cafe and murdered 20 hostages apologised on Tuesday to the parents of Tarishi Jain, the young Indian woman killed in the strike.

“An Indian girl was killed in the attack, I can only apologise to India and to her parents...I can only say I am an unfortunate father. I don’t have enough words to apologise,” Imtiaz Khan Babul said.

The Awami League leader was quoted as saying to a TV news channel that his 22-year-old son Rohan Imtiaz, who was killed with the other attackers in a military operation that ended the siege of Holey Artisan Bakery, was “a topper in class and math, a football fanatic and a Man U supporter”.

“I identified my son from a picture released by the (Islamic State)...I was stunned ...,” he said, adding he had not seen Imtiaz since he left home last December. At the time, Babul was in India with his maths teacher wife.

Babul spoke of his shock and horror on learning that his son was among the attackers. “Where did he get his training, where did he go during the last six months?” he asked.

“I don’t know what changed him. There was nothing that would suggest he was getting radicalised. He hardly read any religious books,” he said, adding he believed his son may have been “brainwashed” online.

After Imtiaz’s disappearance, Babul lobbied senior party officials to help find his only son and even scoured Dhaka’s morgues. As he searched, he met other families who had suffered the same fate.

“I met so many parents whose boys had gone missing,” he said. “Even yesterday, one of them was saying that I was lucky that I got the body of my boy. Some of them are not so lucky.”

Imtiaz, who graduated from Scholastica, an elite school in Dhaka, had said he was leaving for university when he left home on December 30 but did not return.

People offer flowers to pay their respects to the victims of the attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, in Dhaka on July 5. (AP)

The 20 hostages killed included nine Italians, seven Japanese, a US citizen and a 19-year-old Indian student. On Tuesday the bodies of the Japanese victims arrived on a government plane in Tokyo. All had worked with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Authorities said an aircraft carrying the bodies of the Italian victims had flown out of Dhaka early on Tuesday.

The government says homegrown extremists were responsible for the deaths of some 80 secular activists, foreigners and religious minorities murdered over the last three years. It has repeatedly denied international jihadist networks have a presence in the country, even though IS and a South Asian branch of Al-Qaeda have claimed a number of attacks.

zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/i-apologise-to-tarishis-parents-india-father-of-bangladesh-attacker_1903973.html

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Muslims take out rally against terrorists attacks in Assam

5 July 2016

Guwahati: Assam’s Muslim intellectuals, activists and academicians have condemned the series of attacks by terrorist outfits in several places including in Bangladesh capital Dhaka.

On Tuesday, around two hundred people came out on the streets of Guwahati and also attended a meeting.

Senior advocate Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury said that there is no place for terrorism in Islam.

“We condemn the killing of innocent people across the globe. It’s against humanity. All of us should be united to defeat such elements from the world,” said Choudhury.

They also urged the central and state government to take strict action against any kind of terror activities.

Taufik Rahman Borbora, former principal of Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) said that due to these kinds of violent activities, people these days are scared of Muslims.

Renowned surgeon of GMCH Ilias Ali who has also played a major role in controlling population said that Islam is against terror. “No religion has ever asked to kill innocent people. And similarly Islam also teaches peace. How can these people kill people in the name of Islam? We condemn such act and appeal to the people of the country to stand united and defeat such evil forces which are our enemy,” Ali said.

They also condemned the attack on the minorities in Bangladesh. "As a minority community in India, we are disturbed by the continuous attacks perpetrated against minorities in Bangladesh. We condemn such acts of terror in the strongest terms. We want to make it clear that those spreading terror in the name of religion are enemies of humanity," Hafiz Ahmed, president of Char Chapori Sahitya Parishad, a literary body, said.

Senior journalist Haidar Hussain said that all sections of people should come out against such act.

Shahjahan Talukdar, an organizer of the peace rally, said that they want to send a strong message that the act of terror or any kind of activity to bring division in the society here in Assam or in India will not be tolerated.

So far several hundred people were killed by ISIS in the last few months in some major cities across the globe.

twocircles.net/2016jul05/1467741080.html?utm

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Six Injured In Stone Pelting By Protesters after Eid Prayers In J&K

July 6, 2016

Srinagar: Six persons including a senior police officer were injured in clashes between protesters and security personnel that broke out today after Eid prayers in the Kashmir Valley.

Additional Superintendent of Police Mubashir Bukhari was injured in the stomach during stonepelting at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district, a police official said. A constable was injured during clashes with protesters at Hyderpora chowk in the outskirts of the city, the official said.

Four persons including a photojournalist with a local magazine were injured in clashes at Safakadal near Eidgah in the city as security personnel fired pellet guns and tear smoke shells to disperse the stone-pelting mob, the official said. All the injured have been admitted to nearby SMHS hospital, he added. Situation in rest of the Valley is stated to be normal, the official said.

Authorities had placed top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik under house arrest, fearing their presence at large Eid gatherings could spark violence, he said.

siasat.com/news/eid-2016-six-injured-stone-pelting-protesters-prayers-982907/

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Two Hyderabadi Muslim youths pressurized by NIA to give witness against 11 arrested youths

July 6, 2016

Hyderabad: National Investigation Agency is pressurizing two Muslim youths, Adnan Ahmed and Noman Jameel to give witness against the 11 Muslim youths arrested recently. They alleged that Subhash and Ajeet of NIA offered them to come to Delhi for which they promised to give airticket. They were asked to give witness against the 11 Muslim youths arrested last week that they having contact with ISIS. The NIA Officers also threatened that if they do not do so, they will be implicated in criminal cases.

Mr. Nooman Jameel of Kareem Nagar told that the NIA officers who contacted him took his signatures on a document. When he made an attempt to read the contents of the document, he was warned that he should do what he is told to do, otherwise there will be serious consequences. It may be mentioned that Nooman was taken into custody of NIA in 2014 alleging that he had contact with ISIS but later he was released after counseling as they could not find any proof.

Adnan Ahmed told that he is a software engineering. He is also being harassed by NIA to give witness agaisnt the 11 arrested youths. They exposed the conspiracy of NIA in a press Congress held at Press Club yesterday. Mr. Lateef Mohammed Khan and Mr. Abdul Jabbar of Civil Liberties Society had arranged the Press Conference.

Mr. Lateef Mohammed Khan told that it is now evident the way NIA is functioning. It is clear that these two Muslim youths are being pressurized to give false witness. He appealed to the Human Rights Organizations to come forward to save the lives of these two youths in order to get their future safe. He expressed his apprehension that these Muslim youths would be implicated in false cases by NIA.

siasat.com/news/video-two-hyderabadi-muslim-youths-pressurized-nia-give-witness-11-arrested-youths-982763/

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Southeast Asia

Pundits fear Malaysian Muslim self-radicalism may grow after mufti’s ‘kafir harbi’ label

Wednesday, 06 July 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 ― Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman’s “kafir harbi” label against those deemed opposed to Islam is dangerous in the wake of the first successful terror strike by Malaysian Islamic State (IS) recruits on home ground, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said.

Wading into the controversy still surrounding the senior Islamic cleric, the home deputy minister said such remarks can contribute to the self-radicalisation of Malaysian sympathisers to the global terror group.

“The Pahang mufti's remarks has unintended consequences as an opinion from someone of his stature can lead to many different interpretations.

“I view his statement as political, but many people will view it literally because he embodies the goodness in Islam, therefore his statement will have unintended consequences for people to do bad things,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

Abdul Rahman entered the spotlight after he was quoted by Malay broadsheet Utusan Malaysia as labelling the DAP “kafir harbi” over its opposition to hudud laws, adding as well that it would be a “great sin” for Muslims to support the party.

It is believed that those categorised as “kafir harbi” can be killed for being against the implementation of Islamic principles and going against God.

He has since issued multiple clarifications, saying the term wasn’t aimed at the secular political party but applies to anyone who opposes Islam. The mufti remains unapologetic and in his latest comment after public backlash, insisted he did not mean it was permissible to shed the blood of non-believers in the Muslim jihad.

Nur Jazlan stressed that although Abdul Rahman did not intend his remarks to be interpreted as an endorsement to attack non-Muslims, many IS sympathisers or supporters will be easily “influenced” by such views.

“He must be responsible for that kind of statement, because of the influential nature of his post, many people listen to him and follow him.

“The pro-Islamic movement started by Datuk Seri Anwar in the 1970s has now permeated into many levels of society and within many institutions,” the deputy minister added, referring to de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Nur Jazlan also claimed the sacked deputy prime minister-turned-opposition politician now in jail is responsible for the Islamisation creep into the country.

Professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of University Sains Malaysia’s (USM) political science department said the Pahang mufti's remarks can result in “young zealots” resorting to radical action to those deemed as anti-Islam or “kafir harbi”.

“Attacks can also be carried out against any institution of the state, because it is such institutions, and the political system as a whole which has reputedly allowed the presence and activities of such kafir harbis.

“And let us not think that when terms such as kafir harbis are used, it is limited to non-Muslims in Malaysia.

“IS, as we know, as a militant movement which replicates the original teachings of Wahhabism as prevailed in the Saudi state formed out of a collaboration between eighteenth century Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab and tribal leader Muhammad ibn Saud, bears a strongly takfiri [ex-communication] disposition. So even Muslims who voice their opposition against the hudud Bill may find themselves targeted for violence,” he told Malay Mail Online.

Wahhabism is an orthodox and fundamental Islamic “reform movement” to restore what it sees as “pure” Islamic worship, and named after 18th century preacher and scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.

Followers of wahhabism are also called salafis, and the movement’s dominance grew across the world starting from the 1970s as oil-rich Saudi Arabia financed its expansion through books, scholarships, and building Islamic education institutions.

“But the fact of the matter that the IS, in true Wahhabi fashion, are literalists aka fundamentalists. He cannot expect shallow-minded young IS operatives to interpret his words beyond their apparent meaning.

“Wahhabis interpret all religious scriptures literally, as can be read throughout history in debates between Wahhabis and traditionalist Ashaaris on the question of attributes of God. So the Pahang mufti's words can dangerously self-radicalise local Muslims even if it were not his intention to do so,” Ahmad Fauzi added.

The USM academic also said Abdul Rahman should have been more responsible with his remarks, considering his position as a religious official and scholar.

Ahmad Fauzi said Abdul Rahman’s refusal to offer an apology of any kind betrays an arrogance characteristic of many ulama who believe their position and knowledge allows them to say anything on religion without being held accountable.

“While it might not be fair to link him directly to the Puchong bomb attack, proclaiming his innocence will only invite further careless statements by public figures,” the USM don said.

International Islamic University Malaysia lecturer and terrorism researcher Dr Maszlee Malik said that the Pahang mufti's remarks would encourage enmity towards non-Muslims and indirectly enhance IS's extremist views.

“One who follows IS rhetoric and statements would easily understand why,” he told Malay Mail Online.

“The current sentiment of hatred which has been orchestrated by some parties towards non-Muslims or Muslims who disagree with their agenda is rather dangerous.

“It will sow the seed of extremism within the hearts of the younger Muslim generation,” he added.

Police have pronounced the June 28 grenade attack against the Movida bar in Puchong, Selangor to be the first successful IS strike in Malaysia. Eight people were hurt from the blast that wrecked the outlet.

The IS have since announced there will be more attacks in Malaysia even as the police arrest 15 suspects in the Movida attack and step up their counter-terrorist measures.

themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pundits-fear-malaysian-muslim-self-radicalism-may-grow-after-muftis-kafir-h

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Indonesia, Saudi Arabia rocked by attacks ahead of Hari Raya

JULY 6, 2016

RIYADH / JAKARTA — As the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan approached, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — two of the world’s largest Muslim countries — suffered a series of terrorist attacks within 24 hours by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants.

Bombings rocked three cities across Saudi Arabia on Monday, including one near the Prophet’s Mosque — Islam’s second holiest site — in Medina. In the Indonesian city of Solo on Monday, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a police station, killing himself and wounding a police officer.

There were no claims of responsibility for the Saudi blasts while the authorities in Indonesia said the suicide bomber was linked to IS, where the terror group had urged its supporters to carry out attacks during the holy month.

Monday’s attacks occurred amid fears that extremists had planned further violence during the Aidilfitri holiday — which starts today — that celebrates the end of Ramadan.

It also comes after a bloody week in which terrorist attacks caused mass casualties in the largest cities of three other predominantly Muslim countries: Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.

The Medina attack on Monday struck the security office of the mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is said to be buried, an important stop for millions of pilgrims who visit the holy cities each year. Four security officers and the suicide bomber died in the attack, said Al Arabiya newspaper.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday that security forces became suspicious of a man who was heading for the Prophet’s Mosque through a parking lot.

“As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death and the death of four security personnel,” said the statement, adding five others were injured.

The governor of Mecca, Prince Faisal bin Salman, who is a son of King Salman, was shown on state television visiting wounded security officers and the site of that explosion within hours of the blast. The targeting of Medina caused widespread outrage.

Cairo-based Al-Azhar mosque, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, condemned the attacks and stressed “the sanctity of the houses of God, especially the Prophet’s Mosque”.

Iran, the main Shia power, also condemned the bombings and called for Muslim unity against extremists.

“There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shias will both remain victims unless we stand united as one,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter.

At the same time as the Medina attack, across the country in the Shia-populated Gulf city of Qatif, another suicide bombing took place near a Shiite mosque, said residents and the interior ministry. It said “the body parts of three people were found” at the site but had not yet been identified.

Hours earlier, a suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the United States Consulate in the coastal city of Jeddah.

The attack took place when security officers confronted a man acting suspiciously near the consulate. He detonated his explosives, killing himself and wounding two guards, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The authorities identified the man as a Pakistani driver named Abdullah Qalzar Khan, 34.

Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansour Turki told state news channel Al-Ekhbariya that the bomber was closer to a mosque in the area than to the consulate. It said the bomber’s explosive belt had “partially” exploded.

The US Embassy in Riyadh, the capital, said in a statement that none of its consular staff members in Jeddah had been wounded, and it warned American citizens to limit non-essential travel to the kingdom and to remain cautious inside it.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a police station in Solo yesterday, killing himself and wounding a police officer.

Following the attack, President Joko Widodo urged calm and ordered police to quickly arrest others that may have been connected to the suicide bomber.

Police said the attacker detonated the bomb he was wearing shortly after driving into the grounds of the police station in Solo, known as a hotbed for religious fundamentalism. A police officer who tried to stop him from entering sustained minor injuries.

The police identified the man as 30-year-old Nur Rohman. National Police Chief General Badrodin Haiti said Rohman evaded arrest in a police counter-terrorism operation late last year.

todayonline.com/world/indonesia-saudi-arabia-rocked-attacks-ahead-hari-raya

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Malaysian Muslims’ rejection of vaccines sparks fears of surge in contagious diseases

Wednesday, 06 July 2016

More children are falling victim to contagious diseases in Muslim-majority Malaysia, worrying health authorities as parents reject immunisation programmes for fear the vaccines used infringe strict religious rules.

The deaths of five children in June from diphtheria, a disease that can be prevented by vaccines, provoked an outcry among doctors and spurred calls for an edict by religious authorities to compel Muslim families to immunise children.

“Our concern is, if it’s left uncontrolled, in the long-term we might see a significant effect on the nation as a whole,” said Health Minister S Subramaniam.

Although Muslim religious authorities have waived the stringent halal requirement if suitable vaccines are not available, concerns have redoubled recently that some may contain substances such as pig DNA, forbidden by Islam.

Paediatrician Musa Mohamad Nordin said there was a lot of misinformation in Malaysia’s Muslim community, mostly ethnic Malays who form 61 per cent of a population of about 30 million that includes substantial ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

“I’m upset, and also saddened, that some religious teachers are spreading rumours that vaccines contain a composition that is not permissible by Islamic jurisprudence,” added Musa, a member of Malaysia’s Federation of Islamic Medical Associations.

Only a few families have rejected vaccinations, but the number has more than doubled in the past three years to reach 1,541 in 2015, Subramaniam said, which is reflected in a rise in vaccine-preventable diseases, from diphtheria to measles.

As with anti-vaccination movements elsewhere, many Malaysians who refuse vaccinations worry about potential side effects or efficacy, Subramaniam said. It is not clear what provoked the suspicions over pig DNA.

But three-quarters of the parents who rejected immunisation last year in the northern state of Kedah, which has the highest rates of vaccine refusal in Malaysia, cited doubts over their halal status, a survey showed

Malaysia’s highest Islamic body, the National Fatwa Council, has ruled vaccination permissible under Islamic law, even allowing vaccines with non-halal components, in the absence of halal alternatives.

There is no law compelling mandatory vaccines, and even on the global level, very few countries support such a moveARIF FAIZAL, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PRACTITIONER

The council has not yet decided on an edict of mandatory vaccinations for Muslims, Federal Territory Mufti Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said.

“On the whole, we find that vaccines have been very beneficial to society,” Zulkifli added.

Last Sunday, parents at a vaccination forum on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the capital, recounted the side effects their children suffered.

Parents should have the right to refuse vaccination, said alternative medicine practitioner Arif Faizal, 36. “There is no law compelling mandatory vaccines, and even on the global level, very few countries support such a move,” he said.

Others felt vaccinations were essential, however. “As Muslim parents, we have a responsibility to protect our children,” said Wan Normaniza Wan Hasan, a teacher and mother of six.

scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/1986183/malaysian-muslims-rejection-vaccines-sparks-fears-surge

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Security tight in Indonesia and Malaysia as top leaders mark Hari Raya Puasa

Wed Jul 6, 2016

Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia celebrated Hari Raya Puasa or Idul Fitri on Wednesday (July 6) under tight security in the wake of an outbreak of violence in the Muslim world.

Thousands of Muslims attended Idul Fitri prayers at the Al-Azhar Mosque and other mosques across Jakarta, a day after a suicide bomber attacked the police headquarters in Central Java.

At Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta, some 240 police officers stood on guard as the congregation, who included Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and his wife, performed prayers.

Ms Dita Adinda, 26, said she had to walk through a scanner and put her bags through an X-ray machine before entering the mosque.

"I am hoping for a more peaceful year ahead, so that we could celebrate the day of victory [Idul Fitri]with more happiness," she said. The festival is also widely known as the Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Ms Adinda added that Muslims were reminded during the prayers to always pursue peace in life and to condemn any form of terrorism.

In recent days, extremists killed 41 people at Istanbul’s international airport, 22 at a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka; and at least 250 celebrating the final days of Ramadan in Baghdad. Then the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked with bombings in three cities in Saudi Arabia.

The attacks have been condemned by the Muslim world, including Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population and Malaysia, where the police have said a hand grenade attack on a pub which injured eight people last week is the first attack by ISIS in the country.

On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s official residence in Putrajaya  for Hari Raya open house festivities.

Security was tight with guests having to undergo scans while their bags were  examined as they entered the premises before the event started at 10am.

There was a second security check at the main entrance to the Prime Minister’s official residence.

Datuk Seri Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as well as other Cabinet ministers will meet with the people during the event, which lasts until 4pm.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/security-tight-in-indonesia-and-malaysia-as-top-leaders-mark-hari-raya-puasa

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Five people arrested after mob attack on Muslim prayer hall in Kachin State

Wednesday, 06 July 2016

Police in Hpakant township have arrested four men and one woman suspected of being involved in the mob attack and mosque burning in Lone Khin village last week.

Ibrahim, 67, walks inside the destroyed mosque at Thaye Thamain village in Bago Region on June 24, after violence erupted on June 23 when a mob of Buddhists rampaged through the area following an argument between neighbours. Photo: AFPIbrahim, 67, walks inside the destroyed mosque at Thaye Thamain village in Bago Region on June 24, after violence erupted on June 23 when a mob of Buddhists rampaged through the area following an argument between neighbours. Photo: AFP

Among nearly 500 Buddhist people involved in the attack, the police have arrested just five as of yesterday evening, according to officers in the township.

The police said they are still trying to identify the other perpetrators.

“We will take action against them under the penal code and we are still investigating why they burned down the prayer hall,” police officer U Myo Lwin told The Myanmar Times.

The July 1 attack in Lone Khin was the second such incident of mob violence targeting a Muslim minority community over the past two weeks. The first attack also destroyed a mosque, as well as a Muslim cemetery and other Muslim-owned property in Bago Region’s Thaye Thamain village. After both incidents, Muslim residents fled the area, seeking refuge with relatives elsewhere.

According to the state police force, the temporary prayer hall in Lone Khin village was erected recently so that Muslim workers would have somewhere to go for devotion. Buddhist residents in the largely Christian state had complained to the township administration department about the building and had requested it be demolished.

A villager from Lone Khin who allegedly saw the incident said that the police investigation should be focused on the migrant worker community, especially those in the village to scavenge for jade scraps. Locals have previously told The Myanmar Times that they believe the attackers were Rakhine and Bamar people from out of town.

“We are satisfied that the police are taking action against these attackers. We were worried that they would not make arrests like what happened [after the attack in] Bago Region,” said the villager.

“The attack was committed by residents who are outsiders to the area. I think it will be difficult to identify them.”

The chief minister of Bago Region told The Myanmar Times that no legal recourse would be taken against the mob as he was afraid it would provoke retributive attacks.

“I can see the people who destroyed the mosque walking in front of me every day in the village,” U Win Shwe, the mosque’s secretary, told AFP yesterday.

Muslim leaders, along with rights groups across Myanmar and internationally, have called on the government to protect religious minorities in the wake of the recent attacks and as anti-Muslim sentiment is fomented by nationalist groups.

Myanmar’s Islamic Religious Affairs Council, which is comprised of five Muslim organisations, sent a letter on July 2 to President U Htin Kyaw demanding the government investigate the violence and take action against those who destroyed the Bago mosque and the Kachin prayer hall.

“The country’s image has been damaged by these incidents,” said the letter.

U Sit Myaing, vice chair of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, told The Myanmar Times that the government needs to take swift action against those who break the laws and perpetrate violence. Members of the commission visited Thaye Thamain shortly after the attack.

“I saw that people broke the laws. The incident was also a violation of human rights,” U Sit Myaing said.

In a June 30 statement following the Bago trip, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission called on the government to mediate peace between religious communities and to provide for the needs of the Muslim villagers displaced by the recent wave of violence.

mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/21219-five-people-arrested-after-mob-attack-on-muslim-prayer-hall-in-kachin-state.html

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Mideast

Iranian Military Commander: We Have 100,000 Missiles Ready to Strike Israel

July 5, 2016

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points to a red line he drew on the graphic of a bomb used to represent Iran's nuclear program as he addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 27, 2012. The red line represents a point where he believes the international community should tell Iran that they will not be allowed to pass without intervention.

The deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard claimed Friday the country has supposedly 100,000 missiles in Lebanon ready to launch at Israel.

"Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles that are ready to hit Israel to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories if the Zionist rgime repeats its past mistakes," Hossein Salami is quoted as saying by Iranian news outlet Tasnim, according to Reuters, as thousands of Iranians banded together in an anti-Israel rally.

"The opportunity to destroy Israel is now better than ever," he added.

All that is necessary for Salami to launch an attack on Israel's occupied territories, the Jerusalem Post reported, is for the Jewish state to make a "wrong move."

At the same time, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani believes the West is trying to sow discord between Sunni and Shiite Muslims to distract from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"The global arrogance [the United States and its allies] wants to create discord among Muslims. ... Unity is the only way to restore stability in the region," he said, according to state TV. "We stand with the dispossessed Palestinian nation."

Rouhani and the crowd expressed their unwavering support of a Palestinian state. As the Israeli flag burned, rally-goers shouted "Death to Israel" and "Death to America."

According to the Iranian leader, last year's controversial nuclear deal "was the cheapest way to achieve Iran's goals and interests." Now Rouhani believes the country is in a position to pursue its "national interests more than before."

Israel is a long-time enemy of Iran. In 2005, then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel, a "disgraceful blot," should be "wiped off the face the earth."

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, [while] any [Islamic leader] who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world," he said at the time.

That sentiment is largely unchanged today, as Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the weekend called on the world's Muslim student groups to establish a "unified anti-U.S. and anti-Zionist front."

"By using advanced means of communication and in cyberspace, general campaigns can be formed by Muslim students based on the opposition to the policies of the U.S. and the Zionist regime of Israel so that, when needed, millions of young Muslim students create a big movement in the Islamic world," he said.

Opposition to Israel has been a stalwart policy in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Shiite Muslim faction of Iran has long backed Palestinian and Lebanese groups who oppose peace with the Jewish state.

christianpost.com/news/iranian-military-commander-we-have-100000-missiles-ready-to-strike-israel-166049/

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Odd jobs in Istanbul for young Syrians who dreamed big

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Receptionist, waiter, hairdresser, pastry-seller: These are the jobs of the ambitious young Syrians who abandoned their dreams in Damascus to start from scratch in Istanbul.

In Fatih, a densely-packed neighborhood that serves as a hub for Arabs in Turkey’s biggest city, the traces of home are everywhere.

The delicate scent of Aleppo’s famous soap floats out of storefronts, mingling with the enticing aromas of the pistachio and almond pastries sold throughout Syria.

Rafik carefully piles a kilo of sticky baklava into a cardboard box bearing the legend “Treats from Damascus” in Arabic.

“I designed the logo for the shop and the packaging myself,” says the 27-year-old -- a brief return to the creativity of his former days as an artisan wood carver.

“I always fought to study what I wanted. I was passionate about it and nothing could turn me away from art and design.”

But that was before the war that has been ravaging his homeland since 2011 -- and before the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began calling up young men like him for conscription.

“It wasn’t bombs that I fled -- it was the possibility of becoming one of those people throwing the bombs,” says Rafik, who like other refugees would only give his first name.

Further up the road, Ahmad dozes at a restaurant.

“My parents gave everything so I could do my accountancy studies,” says the 24-year-old.

“Today I find myself far from them, in a country where I haven’t mastered the language and where, as a waiter, I have to do everything in the restaurant.”

But Ahmad has no regrets over his decision to head to Istanbul two years ago -- even though he earns only 900 Turkish liras ($310) a month as a waiter and has to share a flat with three other Syrians to cover the rent.

“I had the choice between war and exile, and I didn’t even hesitate,” he says.

Turkey has taken in 2.7 million people from neighboring Syria since the start of the brutal conflict.

Ankara has refused to grant them official refugee status, referring to them as “guests,” though President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled recently that they could eventually be granted citizenship.

Very few have work permits and many struggle to eke out a living on odd jobs.

Around a tenth live in refugee camps, the rest in towns and cities -- including some 350,000 who have come to Istanbul.

Nour, 26, arrived in the city alone a few months ago and now works as a receptionist in a language school founded by a fellow Syrian.

“I know I’m luckier than a lot of other Syrians who live in tents or who beg in the street, but that’s not enough to make me happy here,” she says, her voice cracking.

But she expresses pride at how young Syrians in Istanbul are doing their best to fit in.

“I feel like I can be useful to my compatriots here,” she said.

“Since our country can’t offer us anything anymore, we have to adapt to the Turks who have welcomed us and learn their language.

“Our students are mainly young Syrians in their 20s and 30s. They are very motivated and in less than six months they’re getting by in Turkish.”

Maher, a 29-year-old hairdresser, had his own salon in Damascus; here, he’s working for someone else.

“It’s not exactly the future I dreamed of,” he admits. “I hope I can go home one day.”

But pastry-seller Rafik doesn’t see himself ever going back to Syria.

“In 1948 the Palestinians thought they’d be going home in a few days -- look where they are today,” he says.

“We don’t have a country anymore.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/odd-jobs-in-istanbul-for-young-syrians-who-dreamed-big-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101261&NewsCatID=341

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Man punched and hospitalized for smoking during Ramadan in Istanbul

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A man was punched by a passerby on June 26 in the Fatih district of Istanbul for allegedly smoking before iftar during Ramadan.

The victim, 23-year-old Gökay Çetin, was smoking outside during a break in his work as a salesperson at a clothing store. An unidentified assailant riding a motorbike then pulled up and started to argue with him before aiming a strong punch at the man’s chin.

City surveillance camera footage captured the incident and shows Çetin falling over and hitting his head after being punched.

After attempts to bring Çetin round, his assailant took him to a nearby hospital.

Çetin was discharged on July 4, nine days after the assault, suffering from cerebral bleeding. His assailant was released by police after giving his testimony.

“I got off my motorbike and smoke from a cigarette came toward me while I was walking. I said: ‘We are in Ramadan, at least smoke without making it obvious.’ He replied: ‘Am I the only one who is smoking? Did you only notice me?’ Then I punched him. He fainted and I tried to resuscitate him, then I took him to hospital,” the attacker reportedly said in his testimony.

hurriyetdailynews.com/video-man-punched-and-hospitalized-for-smoking-during-ramadan-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101246&NewsCatID=341

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Moscow to lift all restrictions on Turkey, Turkish minister says

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Moscow has said it will lift all restrictions on Turkey imposed in the aftermath of downing of a Russian jet which violated Turkish airspace last November, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.       

“Russia told us that they are going to lift all of them. We saw the first results in tourism. Russians have started to come back; they can come [to Turkey] freely without a visa,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with French daily Le Monde, published on June 4.

A ministerial-level meeting and senior civil servants would review the progress of the peace overtures, he said.

Following Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter for violating Turkish airspace in November last year, Moscow imposed several restrictions on items ranging from Turkish foods imports to construction firms.      

Last week, the two countries restored ties after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone.       

Russia then decided to lift a ban on tourist flights to Turkey.     

Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukaev said trade and investment relations between Turkey and Russia would be rebuilt, according to a TASS report.

“Trade and investment relations with Turkey will be restored,” he said in an interview with Gazeta.ru, TASS reported on July 1.

An expert from the Energy Markets and Policies Institute (EPPEN) said improving relations would have the most positive contributions in the energy sector.

“Russia has heavily invested in Turkey’s energy sector,” said the EPPEN’s Volkan Özdemir, as quoted by Anadolu Agency, noting that a possible resolution over gas prices would be significant if both sides could reach an agreement.

In the first four months of the year, Turkey’s exports to Russia dropped to $484.6 million, a 61.5 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2015.

Çavuşoğlu also said Ankara had been in talks with Russia and Iran to discuss the future of Syria.   

“Turkey still believes Syrians and the opposition do not want to accept [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad. Al-Assad used chemical weapons and barrel bombs to kill 500,000 people,” he said.       

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests - which had erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings - with unexpected ferocity.

hurriyetdailynews.com/moscow-to-lift-all-restrictions-on-turkey-turkish-minister-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101279&NewsCatID=510

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CHP leader criticizes president for not having ‘sense of humor’

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The reason why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is so merciless against caricaturists and humorists is the fact that he is aware that laughing kills fear, the leader of the main opposition has said, criticizing the president for lacking a sense of humor.

“To laugh kills the fear and he knows this. Each humor magazine on the shelves [of a bookstore] makes it clear to him again and again that there are those who are not afraid of him. This is why he is so merciless against humorists,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) told a recently published humor magazine, the Karakarga (Black Crow).

Kılıçdaroğlu shared his views on the contribution of humor magazines in making a healthy society with its comedic and thought-provoking role, saying: “In this regard, I believe that the main feature of humor should be critical. The fight for power is as old as the history of humanity. And the content of humor should include freedoms, justice and equality. That’s why comedy has become the fear of rulers since its birth.”

 Rulers throughout history have sometimes prohibited laughing, jailed humorists, attempted to intimidate them through pressure or defamed them, Kılıçdaroğlu said, citing renowned Italian author and intellectual Umberto Eco as saying in his famous book, “The Name of The Rose,” “Laughing kills the fear and there would be no faith without fear.”

“For me, humor is an act that kills the fear,” the CHP head said.

No humor for government in Turkey 

Humor has no place in the eyes of the rulers in Turkey, something that makes the working conditions of humorists much more difficult, the opposition leader said, likening the struggle of oppositional parties against the ruling party to the efforts of humor magazines throughout Turkey’s history.

“To stay as an oppositional block and retain determination to not be surrounded is alone an act worthy of appreciation. Seeing them on the shelves every week gives us hope,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, asking humor magazines not to hesitate in criticizing him and his party as well.

The CHP leader argued that Erdoğan was scared of the power of humorists, leading him to act mercilessly against cartoonists and other humorists criticizing him through different ways.

An enemy of humor

The worst for Erdoğan is the youth that uses social media in the most efficient way to express their sense of humor often in a critical way, Kılıçdaroğlu said, recalling Erdoğan’s anger against them during the Gezi protests in the summer of 2013.

“Humor is an irreplaceable means in the fight against a sham dictator that tries to inject enmity, grievance and hatred into society at every opportunity,” he said. “He might, on the other hand, feel a secret admiration for the intelligence of the Gezi youth, but it’s certain that his inability to challenge them makes him angry. That’s why he files claims after claims at the courts. History will mark him as an enemy of humor.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-leader-criticizes-president-for-not-having-sense-of-humor.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101266&NewsCatID=338

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Seven killed in military helicopter crash in Turkey’s Giresun

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Seven people were killed and eight others were wounded on July 5 when a military helicopter carrying top soldiers crashed in the Black Sea province of Giresun, the Turkish General Staff has announced.

The Sikorsky S-70 helicopter was carrying 15 people, including Gendarmerie Region Commander Brigadier Mustafa Doğru, Region Commander Executive Officer Col. Ünal Bayhan, Provincial Gendarmerie Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Saadettin Şahin, Gendarmerie Staff Sergeant Cemalettin Çoban, Gendarmerie Specialized Sergeant Adem Kara, Pilot Captain Hilmi Özer, Pilot First Lt. Yüksek Kandemir and Gendarmerie technician non-commissioned officer Muhammet Bedek along with the wives of the military personnel and three children. They were returning from Eid al-Fitr visits to military posts and families of fallen soldiers in the region.

The helicopter crashed in the Tohumluk highlands of the Alucra district of Giresun at 5.30 p.m.

Seven people, including soldiers, were killed in the accident while eight others were wounded, the General Staff said in a statement.

It added that the cause of the accident could not immediately be determined.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said there were both casualties and injuries in the accident, which was caused by poor weather.

The premier also added that Brigadier Doğru was reportedly among the wounded.

In addition, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also contacted Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar for information on the crash.

“I feel deep sorrow over the accident,” Erdoğan said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/seven-killed-in-military-helicopter-crash-in-turkeys-giresun.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101278&NewsCatID=341

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Pakistan

Some Chinese cyber criminals operating in Karachi: FIA

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

KARACHI: After the arrest of a Chinese national for allegedly stealing the data of a private bank from its ATM facility through a skimming device, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has found “evidence about presence” of more men having the same nationality associated with “an organised group” who are still actively operating in the city and one of them, after stealing data from another private bank through the same technique, has already made a transaction, officials told Dawn on Tuesday.

An FIA official associated with its cyber crime cell said the agency had received “multiple signs” and “a complaint or two” from different banks that lent credence to the belief that there “more Chinese operators are operating” in the city.

“The most worrying information came from a private bank which said that a transaction had been made from one of its branches in Defence Society through the stolen data,” the official said.

He, however, declined to share information about the amount transacted.

“The initial probe suggested that the data was stolen through the same technology that we earlier detected and which led to the arrest of the Chinese national. We have obtained information about more men of the same origin still doing the same job.”

The presence of the Chinese nationals allegedly stealing data from private banks through a skimming device emerged last month when the FIA arrested one of the suspects red-handed and booked him under sections of the Electronic Transactions Ordinance and the Pakistan Penal Code.

The suspect, Xie Yi, was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand last week while one of his aides, Xie Rongjing, is still at large.

“Those two suspects landed in Pakistan on June 18 and started their job on June 20,” the official said.

“The investigation team connected dots which showed that the Chinese nationals are actively involved in that business with the assistance of some local operatives. They come here on business visa which is awarded on recommendation of a local organisation or individual. We have expanded the scope of our investigation and also approached the Chinese authorities here to find clues about those suspects.”

He said the FIA team had so far received only one such complaint which suggested the successful transaction and cash draw through the stolen data of one of the bank customers.

However, he said, there was a strong possibility of such an activity in future as well as the agency was not fully aware of the level of information stolen by the group from different banks’ ATM facilities.

“This is the first case of this nature,” said the official.

“We haven’t come across or investigated a case of this nature earlier. This case is also unique because the job is reportedly being done by some foreigners who are believed to be part of an organised group,” the official said.

dawn.com/news/1269346/some-chinese-cyber-criminals-operating-in-karachi-fia

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Pakistan renews security assurance to Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan renewed on Tuesday its security assurance to Saudi Arabia following a string of bomb blasts in the kingdom by extremists, including one outside Masjid-i-Nabwi in Madina, the second-holiest site in Islam.

The government “reiterates its abiding commitment to the safety, security and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on terrorist attacks in Madina, Qatif and Jeddah on Monday.

The Jeddah attack was carried out by a Pakistani expat whereas the attacks in Madina and Qatif were reported to have been executed by Saudi nationals.

The renewal of security assurance was made public by the Foreign Office after a telephonic conversation between Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Saudi Defence Minster Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

“The COAS sympathised with affected families of attack victims and said we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Saudi brothers in fighting the menace of terrorism,” the ISPR said in a statement.

Islamabad has an agreement with Riyadh guaranteeing kingdom’s security

Pakistan has a longstanding agreement with Saudi Arabia guaranteeing the kingdom’s security. The understanding last year came into question when Pakistan did not send troops for joining the kingdom’s invasion of Yemen. But Islamabad later made amends by joining a Saudi-led 34 nation military alliance against terrorism even though it kept claiming for long that it was not clear about its details.

Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the army chief had in March this year travelled to Saudi Arabia to witness the inaugural exercises of the alliance, which were also attended by Pakistani troops.

Meanwhile, Prime Minis­ter Sharif, in a statement issued by his office, called for unity among Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

“Ummah in particular needs to forge unity at this critical moment to foil the nefarious designs of enemies of humanity and Ummah. We need to renew collective efforts to fight the menace of terrorism,” Mr Sharif said.

Emphasising the unity in the fight against terrorism, he recalled the attacks by militants, mostly belonging to the Islamic State group, in Tur­key, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh during Ramazan.

The statement said Mr Sharif had emphasised on unity in counter-terrorism efforts “in the wake of increasing acts of terrorism and extremism across the continents”.

dawn.com/news/1269342/pakistan-renews-security-assurance-to-saudi-arabia

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Govt tight-lipped on PM’s return

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The government continues to remain silent on the date of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country from London.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, who is also a spokesman for the prime minister, could not be contacted for comments. The media wing of the prime minister’s office expressed its ignorance about his travel plans. “So far, we have no information to share on the date of the PM’s arrival in the country,” an official said.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a senior member of the cabinet, has claimed that the prime minister will return to the country after Eid. But he has not given a specific date. On Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz activists near Raiwind, also said that the prime minister would be back in the country after Eid, but did not give a date.

The absence of information — be it about the premier’s health or his return date — has allowed the opposition parties to continue attacking the government, pointing out that the office of the prime minister had been vacant since May 22.

Apart from a few tweets during PM Sharif’s open heart surgery, the government and his family has provided no details about his recovery and travel plans. In the absence of information, different kinds of rumours have made the rounds, from the prime minister’s purported plan to go to Saudi Arabia for Eid to his return to Pakistan before Eid or a couple of weeks after Eid.

Surreptitiously taken pictures showing him roaming around London and its expensive departmental stores have not helped matters.

The opposition’s criticism has also been directed at Maryam Nawaz, who continues to stay at the prime minister house and is reportedly taking care of the PML-N and government affairs.

She is even receiving foreign dignitaries at the prime minister house. Ambassa­dors and high commissioners have met her in the prime minister house in recent weeks to inquire about the health of the prime minister, instead of meeting Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Zardari-Bhutto has gone as far as to ask if legally the government can take decisions while the prime minister is away from the country.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has said that the prime minister has set a bad precedent by running the government from London.

When contacted, a senior member of the cabinet said that the prime minister’s health was “a family issue” and that the decision of his return “will be made by his sons and daughter”.

Asked that as an elected chief executive of the country, did the prime minister not owe it to the electorate to keep them updated about his heath, he said that relevant information was being passed on to people.

“Since the PM’s stay in London has already been unnecessarily politicised, the date of his return will be decided once he has fully recovered,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1269333/govt-tight-lipped-on-pms-return

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Row deepens as Rangers, MQM trade charges

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

KARACHI: A tussle bet­ween the Pakistan Rangers and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement escalated on Tuesday when the former accused the “foreign-based leadership of a political party” of inciting violence through its speeches and statements and the latter blamed the paramilitary force for playing a political role in the name of Karachi Operation.

The Rangers and the MQM leadership have been trading allegations against each other since the March 11, 2015 raid on the party’s Nine Zero headquarters from where the force claimed to have recovered illegal weapons and arrested some wan­ted criminals, including a convict who had been sentenced to death in the journalist Wali Babar murder case.

Since then the Rangers have been accusing the MQM leadership of running a “militant wing” and collecting extortion in the name of zakat and fitra, while the former has blamed the paramilitary force for patronising the Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement and former Kara­chi mayor Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party and “illegally” imposing an unannounced ban on its political and welfare activities.

The latest controversy surfaced on Tuesday after a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, stated that the speeches and statements of the foreign-based leadership of a political party were creating a situation that could affect Karachi’s peace.

Without naming the political party, the statement went on to read: “The foreign-based leadership in its speeches and statements is inciting a specific group and students to attack state institutions, media organisations, traders and artists and create lawlessness.”

“Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, is carrying out action against all those elements who want to create lawlessness in Kara­chi. All those who received threats are being given full security and all shopping centres and media houses are also being provided special security,” it added.

Two days ago, the Rangers issued a statement asking the government and semi-government organisations in the city to shut down the offices of “political or militant wings” at their places. The MQM condemned the move, saying the “illegal and unconstitutional” directives of the Rangers were against the offices of trade unions and labour associations being backed by the party.

The latest move of the paramilitary force is being seen against the backdrop of a speech of London-based MQM chief Altaf Hussain a couple of days ago in which he lashed out at the Rangers for not allowing the party to collect zakat and fitra for its charity wing, the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation. He also condemned the traders and industrialists for donating funds to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and not to the MQM.

However, Tuesday’s statement of the Rangers invited the MQM’s ire whose senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar rejected at a press conference the Rangers statement that the MQM had any militant wing. “As far as I know no political party [in Karachi] has a militant wing.”

He wondered how Mr Hussain could provoke people when the airing of his speeches and statements as well as his photographs had been banned for so long.

“The Rangers are trying to hide their incompetence by blaming the MQM and Altaf Hussain. The Rangers are issuing political statements against the MQM,” he said, asking the paramilitary force to approach courts if any sentence in Mr Hussain’s speeches was objectionable.

Addressing the chief of army staff Gen Raheel Sha­rif, Dr Sattar said his party was ready to appear before a military tribunal where it would present evidence of the alleged high-handed manner of the Rangers.

He urged all the army generals to listen to the press conferences of the MQM and then analyse and point out mistakes. “Even today we express our confidence in Gen Raheel Sharif, the Pakistan army and the Rangers, but there is a need for the accountability of some elements in the law enforcement agencies.”

He said elected representatives from Karachi South and West districts were being detained only to stop the MQM from getting the top local government office in the two districts.

He asked the army chief and Karachi Corps Comman­der Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar to take notice of the threats being given to the MQM office-bearers and workers by the Rangers who were allegedly forcing them to join the Pak Sarzameen Party.

dawn.com/news/1269337/row-deepens-as-rangers-mqm-trade-charges

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Pakistan, China yet to strike deal on FTA phase-II

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have yet to strike an agreement over the second phase of duty reduction under the free trade agreement (FTA) despite a lapse of more than two-and-a-half years.

“Both sides will convene a seventh round of meeting in September to break the deadlock over reaching an agreement on the revival of preferential tariff on exportable products for each other,” a senior official told Dawn.

Pakistan and China earlier agreed to revise the treaty by end-December 2015. However, authorities in Beijing are unwilling to accept Islamabad’s demand to revive preferential treatment for exportable products under the second phase of the FTA.

As per the original agreed plan, the second phase was supposed to be implemented from Jan 1, 2014. Both the countries had already started negotiations for the second phase of the FTA in 2011. The FTA covers more than 7,000 tariff lines at 8-digit tariff code under Harmonised System (HS).

Since then, both sides have held six meetings but failed to develop an understanding on preferential concessions to each other. The last meeting on the second phase negotiations was held in October 2015 in Beijing.

During that meeting, Pakistan shared its concerns regarding insufficient utilisation of concession given by China to Pakistan and competition faced by the local industries due to cheap imports from China.

Beijing wants Islamabad to reduce duty to zero per cent on 90pc tradable products under the proposed revised FTA. “We have informed the Chinese authorities that we can’t do it,” the official said.

Currently, Pakistan has reduced duty to zero per cent on 35pc products, while China reciprocate it by reducing duties to zero per cent on 40pc products of Pakistan’s exports.

The official said Islamabad was also reviewing the services agreement with the Chinese authorities.

Ahead of the next round, a consultation meeting with stakeholders would also be held in August 2016 to seek their feedback on giving further concessions to China, the official said.

A commerce ministry report revealed that Pakistan could not utilise the concessions granted by China under the first phase as it only exported in 253 tariff lines, where average export value was $500 or more, which was around 3.3pc of the total tariff lines (7,550) on which China granted concessions to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s key exports to China were raw material and intermediate products, such as cotton yarn, woven fabric, grey fabric, etc. Value-added products were missing despite the fact that some of these products like garments were included in the concessionary regime, the report observed.

The official said China has entered into several bilateral and regional FTAs which has limited the benefits of preference to Pakistan.

For example, China charges 3.5pc duty on the import of yarn from Pakistan under the FTA, while the same duty was also chargeable from India without any treaty. “This clearly shows that FTA has become mostly irrelevant for Pakistan,” the official said.

To overcome this, Islamabad proposed that the FTA should be based on less than equal reciprocity principle in favour of Pakistan.

Trade between Pakistan and China, which was around $4bn in 2006-07, reached an all-time high of $12bn in 2014-15. Pakistan’s exports jumped to $2.1bn in 2014-15 from $575m in 2006-07.

In contrast, China’s exports to Pakistan increased to $10.1bn in 2014-15 from $3.5bn in 2006-07.

dawn.com/news/1269281/pakistan-china-yet-to-strike-deal-on-fta-phase-ii

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Africa

Africa Has No Better Friend Than Israel, Netanyahu Says During Kenya Visit

Wed Jul 6, 2016

Africa has no better friend than the state of Israel for the practical needs of security and development, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on the second leg of a four-country tour to pursue better relations with the continent.

Netanyahu is the first ruling Israeli prime minister to visit Kenya. He met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on counter-terrorism, energy and agriculture, amid tight security. Netanyahu is also visiting Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Israel played a prominent role in assisting newly independent African countries in the 1960s, but those relations crumbled in the 1970s, when Arab countries, promising aid, pressured African nations to limit or cut ties with Israel. African states were also opposed to Israel's close ties to South Africa's apartheid government.

In exchange for its expertise in security and other fields, Israel now wants African states to side with it at the United Nations, where the General Assembly overwhelmingly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012.

Israel and the region also have a shared interest in confronting Islamic extremists.

"Things are changing in the world, things are changing in the Middle East, and things are changing in the relations between Israel and many of our Arab neighbors. A similar change is now undergoing our relation with African countries," Netanyahu said.

He said Kenyatta told him that African leaders would work to restore Israel as an observer to the African Union. "I think that it will have very considerable effect regarding Israel's international relations in the future, vis-à-vis our effort to bring about a very great number of countries that support Israel," Netanyahu said.

Kenyatta said the threat of extremism demands partnership with nations with a common position against it.

"That's why I strongly believe it's critical for us reevaluate our relationship ... with the state of Israel given the challenges that in we in the African continent are faced with today," Kenyatta said.

Kenya has long been a target of extremist attacks which have hit Israeli interests. In a near simultaneous attack in 2002, Al-Qaida extremists blew up an explosives-laden vehicle at an Israeli-owned hotel on the Kenyan coast, killing 11 people, while others shot at an Israeli jetliner.

Kenyatta also said his country supports talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

haaretz.com/israel-news/1.729113

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At least 12 killed in fighting in Central African Republic town

Wed Jul 6, 2016

BANGUI (Reuters) - At least 12 people were killed in Central African Republic in fighting between two factions of a former rebel group in the centre of the town of Bambari, medical and local sources said on Tuesday.

Insecurity has persisted since President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was sworn in in March, after an election intended to draw a line under inter-communal and inter-religious violence that involved the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and anti-balaka militia began in 2013.

The fighting on Monday started when a local businessman was murdered. It involved members of the Union for Peace in Central Africa, which is part of the Seleka, according to the mayor of Bambari Abel Matchipata, who said between 15 and 20 people were killed.

Soldiers from Mauritania and Burundi who form part of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, restored calm, Matchipata said.

"We have received 14 wounded, of whom six are serious, and they were evacuated to Bangui this morning. According to our information, there were that many wounded on the field of combat," the director of the hospital in Bambari told Reuters.

An official for the national Red Cross society, who declined to be named, said 20 people had died.

The U.N. mission declared Bambari a non-armed zone in 2014. But this has not stopped sporadic clashes in the town, northeast of the capital.

Two people also died when a young man who had been arguing with friends in the mainly Muslim PK-5 neighbourhood of Bangui threw a grenade, Ibrahim Hassan Frede, spokesman of an association that coordinates Muslims in the area, told Reuters.

A dozen others were wounded in the attack, he said.

af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKCN0ZM0EL

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SA muslims brave cold to mark end of Ramadan

Wednesday, 06 July 2016

Muslims around the country will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Wednesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This comes after the sighting of the moon on Tuesday night.

President Jacob Zuma has wished all Muslims in South Africa and across the world a blessed Eid Mubarak.

“As the month-long fast of Ramadan draws to an end and our Muslim compatriots await joyously for this day of Eid, where they will engage in prayer and expression of gratitude to the almighty for all blessings, I take this opportunity, on behalf of government and the people of South Africa, of wishing all Muslims Eid Mubarak,” said the President.

This Wednesday morning, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address Muslim Eid Prayer in Pretoria.

In Cape Town, leaders of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and other senior members braved the cold raining weather during a prayer gathering at Three Anchor Bay in Sea Point.

Due to the bad weather the moon was not sighted in the Mother City.

According to the Muslim faith, Ramadan is the month during which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

MJC president Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams says this is a time of happiness.

“It’s an exciting period for us; very difficult to understand but a time of happiness and sadness. Sadness because we bid farewell to the month of Ramadan and happiness because we feel we have done what God wanted from us by showing obedience to God Almighty and a day of celebration, but everything within the conformity of the dean and the religion of Islam.”

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille was also present at the Three Anchor Bay in Sea Point to wish the Muslim community Eid Mubarak.

Eid al-Fitr is traditionally marked with early morning prayers at mosques, visits to the grave sites of loved ones and lunch time feasts with families and friends.

sabc.co.za/news/a/2f4909004d641f9cbc22fe4b5facb1b5/SA-muslims-brave-cold-to-mark-end-of-Ramadan-20160706

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Ramaphosa Lauds Muslim Contribution To Sa

Wednesday, 06 July 2016

PRETORIA - As Muslims across the country mark the end of Ramadan, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he appreciates their fearless contribution to the freedom of South Africa.

Ramaphosa referred to freedom fighters such as Ahmed Kathrada and Shaykh Matura.

He addressed hundreds of Muslims at the Rosina Sedibane Sports Fields in Pretoria.

Ramaphosa urged those gathered at the event to work with government to end racism, sexism and religious intolerance.

The deputy president says the Muslim faith is just as important as any other religion in South Africa.

“We are reminded of the important contributions that Muslims made and continue to make in South Africa. Islam is a part of our African heritage, our history and our future.”

The deputy president has also wished the Muslim community a blessed Eid.

ewn.co.za/2016/07/06/Ramaphosa-lauds-Muslim-contribution-to-SA

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North America

Trump praises former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as terrorist killer

6 Jul, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who frequently criticizes U.S. foreign policy under President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has praised former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's ruthlessness.

"Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? ... But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good," Trump told a campaign rally Tuesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. "They didn't read 'em the rights, they didn't talk. They were a terrorist, it was over."

Trump has previously said the world would be "100 per cent better" if dictators like Hussein and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. Prior to the U.S. invasion, Iraq was listed by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Jake Sullivan, a Clinton senior policy adviser, said Trump's "praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds."

Sullivan said such comments "demonstrate how dangerous he would be as Commander-in-Chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks."

Trump's foreign policy pronouncements have proved controversial, even within the Republican Party. He has said the United States is too fully engaged around the world and has questioned the role of NATO and said the United States has been taken advantage of by nations benefiting from its security co-operation and troop presence. Some critics within the GOP have said his policies suggest an isolationist stance in an increasingly dangerous world.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, partners among Republican congressional critics of Obama administration foreign policy, carried out a fact-check on Trump's national security statements earlier this year at a Capitol Hill hearing.

On April 19, when the Army general selected to lead U.S. forces in South Korea testified before the committee, McCain seized the opportunity to undermine Trump's suggestion that the U.S. withdraw its forces from the South because Seoul isn't paying enough to cover the cost of the American military presence.

"Isn't it the fact that it costs us less to have troops stationed in Korea than in the United States, given the contribution the Republic of Korea makes?" McCain asked Gen. Vincent Brooks.

Yes, Brooks said, telling McCain the South Koreans pay half, or $808 million annually, of the U.S. presence there.

Two days later, Trump's claim that NATO is irrelevant and ill-suited to fight terrorism came under the microscope. As president, Trump has said he would force member nations to increase their contributions, even if that risked breaking up the 28-country alliance.

In early March, more than 70 conservative national experts, including former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, wrote in an open letter that they have disagreed with one another on a variety of issues but are united in their opposition to a Trump presidency. Chertoff served in President George W. Bush's administration.

ctvnews.ca/world/trump-praises-former-iraqi-leader-saddam-hussein-as-terrorist-killer-1.2974870

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Al Qaeda Reaps Rewards of U.S. Policy Failures on Syria

6 Jul, 2016

Warfare and diplomacy are intrinsically linked, except when it comes to the Obama administration’s policy on Syria. While a negotiated settlement remains the only viable pathway out of the Syrian crisis, currently existing facts on the ground do not in any way allow for a meaningful process, let alone a solution. As things stand, there is no reason for Bashar al-Assad to view a political process as anything less than a game in which to taunt and kill his adversaries, while compelling his allies to double-down in defense of his regime.

Nevertheless, the principal benefactor of Assad’s survival is not Assad, nor Russia, Iran, Hezbollah or even ISIS—it is Al-Qaeda. Having spent the past five years embedding itself within broader revolutionary forces and strategically choosing to limit and very slowly reveal its extremist face, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra is reaping the rewards of our failures to solve the Syrian crisis. According to sources close to the group, al-Nusra has accepted more than 3,000 Syrians from Idlib and southern Aleppo into its ranks since February alone. That is an extraordinary rate of recruitment from within a territory roughly the size of Connecticut.

It is desperately unfortunate and painfully ironic that for increasing numbers of Syrians, Al-Qaeda appears to have been a more loyal protector of their lives than the United States. Civilian protection is therefore key, and widespread perceptions of the moral bankruptcy of U.S. policy on Syria in this regard has unquestionably and directly stimulated Al-Qaeda’s growth. Even our fight against ISIS has provided an opening for Al-Qaeda, which exploits the fact that most of our chosen anti-ISIS partners maintain an ambiguous relationship to the Assad regime and an open one with Russia. Our fight against the scourge of ISIS is indeed securing us consistent gains, but these are tactical gains fought in such a way as to produce long-term secondary sources of instability that Al-Qaeda will chiefly exploit.

Enough is enough. It is not sufficient to wait for a new administration in 2017. Events are unfolding too quickly and ISIS is far from the only issue needing urgent resolution. Based on its current trajectory, the conflict in Syria will almost certainly continue and indeed worsen, lasting for a decade or more. Extremists on all sides will benefit the most, meaning we will face an Afghanistan on steroids, on Europe’s borders. ISIS may be defeated territorially in the near-term, but it will live to fight another day. Al-Qaeda meanwhile may come to represent a terrorist actor far more intelligent, more deeply rooted and offensively capable than anything we have faced until now.

While it remains feasible to defeat ISIS in Syria independently from attempts to solve the country’s broader crisis, Al-Qaeda’s fate is intrinsically linked to the conflict’s outcome and how it ends. Moreover, unlike ISIS, undermining and ultimately defeating Al-Qaeda in Syria cannot and should not be done primarily through military means. Russia has consistently pushed for a bilateral campaign against Jabhat al-Nusra alongside the U.S. Air Force and though this is still some way off from being realized, it is being actively considered by President Obama. Far from being helpful, this is precisely the wrong thing to do. Jabhat al-Nusra’s entire modus operandi has been designed to insure itself and ultimately benefit from just such a scenario.

At the end of the day, Al-Qaeda has increasingly thrived in Syria due in part to two realities: consistent conflict, instability and the regime’s unchallenged mass killing of civilians; and an insufficiently supported mainstream, moderate civil, political and armed opposition. If and when reversed, these two factors could come to represent Al-Qaeda’s greatest and likely crippling vulnerabilities.

To challenge the first reality, the U.S. has an opportunity to grasp back some credibility by prioritizing a determined and if necessary, aggressive protection of civilians. Whether through the creation of limited ‘safe’ or ‘no-bombing’ zones along border areas, or through the use of punitive strikes to punish the bombing of civilian, humanitarian or medical facilities, the U.S. must demonstrate a willingness to draw more discernibly upon its might to punish war crimes. An escalatory menu of ‘softer’ options—expanded sanctions, naval interdictions in the Mediterranean, or challenging Syria’s role within the UN General Assembly—could be considered prior to military action, although these take time, which we do not necessarily have.

While military action does indeed carry with it risks, pre-warning Moscow of such plans would minimize any chance of counter-escalation, while realistically, Russia has absolutely no interest in, nor a capacity for entering into a war with America. It is long past time to call Vladimir Putin’s bluff. After all, beyond its aggressive military actions in Syria, Russia’s biggest investment has arguably been in exploiting its bilateral relationship with the U.S. in an attempt to acquire an outward appearance as a ‘constructive partner’ in solving Syria. Russia will not be shooting down American jets or cruise missiles anytime soon, especially if our targets are non-critical regime infrastructure.

Consequently, by using civilian protection as a mechanism for limited and targeted aerial intervention, the U.S. would simultaneously contribute towards saving human lives; de-escalating the most deadly aspect of Syria’s conflict and providing a more stable environment in which the moderate civil opposition could thrive. Most importantly, the Assad regime will lose its principal source of escalation, while its backers will face less reason to stand so aggressively by his side. Paired with hard diplomacy, such conditions would be at least more potentially favorable to lead towards meaningful negotiations. In September 2013, merely the threat of limited punitive U.S. strikes sparked a temporary collapse of regime confidence in Damascus, as dozens of figures fled to Beirut with their families. It is by no means unthinkable that a similar situation could be replicated.

To challenge the second reality, the U.S. must acknowledge that while the vetted opposition is far from perfect, they remain the best and only viable option on the table for securing a mainstream Sunni Arab role in Syria’s future and undermining Al-Qaeda’s pseudo-revolutionary narrative. There are currently at least 50 such vetted opposition factions across Syria, who have received assistance through the CIA’s covert ‘Timber Sycamore’ program since late-2012. Such assistance has only ever been enough for each faction to sustain a role within Syria’s complex conflict dynamics. That it has never been sufficient enough to produce genuine moderate opposition dominance is exactly what has allowed Al-Qaeda to step in so strongly. To continue our current policy of providing ‘just-enough’ support to the vetted moderate opposition means nothing short of indirectly enabling Al-Qaeda’s continued growth.

This must change. While weaker than some conservative Islamists, all 50 vetted opposition factions remain deeply rooted within the exact Syrian communities we need most to reject extremist alternatives. Using external force to combat Al-Qaeda will feed the jihadist group’s existing narrative, as occurred in late-2014 when U.S. strikes against its forces were quickly labelled by the opposition as “counter-revolutionary” for they served only to weaken opposition lines against the regime. Allowing Assad and his external backers to take the fight to Al-Qaeda would likely have even worse mobilizing effects. The only solution is local and the mainstream, moderate opposition is the only game in town. But the only feasible scenario in which such forces can and would take on their long-time military ally of convenience is if we appeared more assertively ‘on-side’ in challenging the Assad regime’s continued brutality and obduracy in the face of an internationally-backed political process.

Al-Qaeda is not a problem that can be merely contained in Syria. At its current rate of growth, it could feasibly command close to 20,000 fighters by the time a new President steps into the Oval Office. Moreover, the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in northwestern Syria is now very much on the cards. Its creation will bring the initiation of complex and centralized foreign attack planning, from Europe’s doorstep. Letting Syria burn itself out while trying to contain its consequences is not only a fantastical policy, but an astonishingly dangerous one.

thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/06/al-qaeda-reaps-rewards-of-u-s-policy-failures-on-syria.html

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New wave of attacks on Muslims in America

6 Jul, 2016

As ISIS steps up its attacks abroad, Muslims are increasingly being targeted here in the U.S. The United Arab Emirates has even warned its citizens traveling in the U.S. to avoid wearing traditional clothing.

In Avon, Ohio, body camera video shows police moving in on 41-year-old Ahmed al-Menhali at a hotel. A staffer claimed al-Menhali was on his cell phone acting suspiciously, so she texted her sister to dial 911.

"Hi, my sister works at a Fairfield Inn. She is a desk worker," the staffer's sister told the 911 operator. "She said there is a male in a full head dress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance or something to ISIS."

Police searched and questioned al-Menhali, but found he had done nothing wrong. As he was released, he collapsed. The city's mayor and police chief issued a public apology.

"It is a very regrettable circumstance that occurred for you," the police chief said. "You should not have been put in that situation like you were."

The American ambassador to the United Arab Emirates also expressed regret over the situation: al-Menhali, an Emirati national, was wearing a traditional white kandura, or ankle-length robe, and headscarf at the time of the incident, according to the Associated Press.

It's the latest in a string of perceived anti-Muslim incidents over the past week in the U.S.

In Florida, 25-year-old Taylor Anthony Mazzanti was arrested for allegedly punching a man in the face and the head outside the mosque attended by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen.

In Minneapolis, two Muslim men were shot on their way to a mosque. That suspect is still on the loose.

In Brooklyn, New York, surveillance video shows two Muslim teenagers assaulted outside a mosque over the weekend. But the New York Police Department says the incident may have been a fight over a female.

Back in Cleveland, Julia Shearson is with the local council on American-Islamic Relations.

"We've documented a dramatic, unprecedented increase in the number of attacks - both against property and against the Muslim community," Shearson said.

In a statement, Marriott Hotels said it deeply regrets the incident and will be "following up to discuss diversity and inclusion training" for personnel at The Fairfield Inn where the incident happened.

cbsnews.com/news/new-wave-of-attacks-on-muslims-in-america-cleveland-ahmed-al-menhali/

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Former National Guardsman Charged in Islamic State Attack Plot

6 Jul, 2016

A former member of the Army National Guard in Sterling, Va. has been arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support for the Islamic State, according to the Washington Post.

Mohamad Bailor Jalloh was arrested Sunday after he got involved with planning a terror attack on U.S. soil. Court documents said he quit the National Guard after listening to lectures from deceased radical muslim cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi.

Al-Aulaqi said it was every able Muslim's duty to resist American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jalloh told an associate that he "understood this was the reality," according to the Post.

Breaking News at Newsmax.com newsmax.com/Newsfront/mohamad-bailor-jalloh-isis-attack-arrest/2016/07/05/id/737130/#ixzz4DcpQTaCc

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Jalloh said he was interested in carrying out an attack such as Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 in 2009 in a Fort Hood, TX shooting rampage. Jalloh suggested targeting anyone who made cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

Breaking News at Newsmax.com newsmax.com/Newsfront/mohamad-bailor-jalloh-isis-attack-arrest/2016/07/05/id/737130/#ixzz4DcpSkWiH

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"You have to pick a action and take it cuz time is not on your side," he wrote to an ally, according to the Post.

Local news site Loudoun Now reported that Jalloh had met with an Islamic State member, now deceased, who introduced him to an Islamic State source who was secretly working with the FBI.

Loudoun Now reported that Jalloh made several unsuccessful attempts to buy firearms. He bought and test-fired a Stag Arms assault rifle at a gun store, but the FBI rendered the weapon inoperable before he left the store with it, and Jalloh was arrested the next day.

Loudoun Now reported that Jalloh could face 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

Breaking News at Newsmax.com newsmax.com/Newsfront/mohamad-bailor-jalloh-isis-attack-arrest/2016/07/05/id/737130/#ixzz4DcpUvTQI

Urgent: Do You Back Trump or Hillary? Vote Here Now!

newsmax.com/Newsfront/mohamad-bailor-jalloh-isis-attack-arrest/2016/07/05/id/737130/

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Europe

91% of EU citizens believe ISIS will pose a threat to Europe in next 5yrs - poll

6 Jul, 2016

A majority of EU citizens believe Islamic State will pose a serious threat to Europe over the next five years and that attacks such as those that rocked Paris in November 2015 could happen again, a recent poll revealed.

The survey ‘Project 28’ conducted by the Szazadveg Foundation, an independent think-tank organization, was concluded in April this year. However, it was only published after the Brexit referendum in the UK.

One of the questions the think-tank asked was: “How likely do you expect that a terrorist attack like what just happened in Paris could happen in your country?”

The Paris attacks, claimed by Islamic state (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants, killed at least 130 and injured more than 400 people in November 2015.

According to the poll, 36 percent answered “it is very likely” that a Paris-style attack would happen in their country. Another 50 percent believe the attack is “likely” to happen. Only 13 percent think IS attacks won’t happen in Europe in the nearest future, the poll added.

Europe is on high alert after the recent terror attacks in France and Belgium that claimed about 180 lives. Numerous reports have emerged, saying that IS plans to attack European cities this year.

The majority of respondents (91 percent) believe IS will be “a serious threat” to Europe over the next 5 years.

“ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks, so the assessment of Islamic State gaining ground was also an important part of our research. We asked the respondents how much of a threat they felt that the Islamic State will pose in Europe over the next five years. In response …61 percent thought it will be a very serious threat and 30 percent thought that it will be a somewhat serious threat.”

In April, Das Bild newspaper reported that Islamic State is planning terrorist attacks on resorts in southern Europe, including France, Italy and Spain, adding that suicide bombers are expected to be disguised as beach vendors.

In 2015, Hungarian media repeatedly said that terrorists disguised as refugees may easily sneak into Europe. Later, it was revealed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris attacks' mastermind, boasted how easily he had slipped into the EU disguised as a refugee.

rt.com/news/349638-isis-threat-eu-poll/

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Anger, Honor and Freedom: What European Muslims' Attack On Speech Is Really About

July 6, 2016

"Clash of civilizations," some say. Others call it the "failure of multiculturalism." Either way, the cultural conflicts between some Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide continue to play out as Western countries struggle to reconcile their own cultures with the demands of a growing Muslim population.

But herein lies the problem: in many ways, the two cultures are ultimately irreconcilable. There is no middle ground. And hence, the conflicts and the tugs-of-war continue.

Over the past two months, the events surrounding controversial Dutch columnist Ebru Umar have encapsulated that "clash" at its core, a salient metaphor for the tensions, particularly in Europe, between the West's Muslim populations and its own. More, they illuminate the enormity of the problems we still face.

Umar is no stranger to the spotlight, or to the wrath of Dutch Muslims who read her many columns, most of them published in the free newspaper, Metro. For years, the Dutch-born daughter of secular Turkish immigrants has raged against the failure of other Dutch-born children of immigrants, mostly Moroccan, to assimilate into the culture of their birth. She loudly condemns Dutch-Moroccan families for the shockingly high rates of criminality and violence among Dutch-Moroccan boys - as much as 22 times the rate of Dutch native youth - a phenomenon she ascribes to their Islamic upbringing and their parents' refusal to allow their children to mingle among the Dutch.

But her critiques have earned her no converts. Instead, Dutch-Moroccan youth, whom she calls "Mocros," have regularly taunted her, both online and in the street.

This past April, however, Umar added a new team of enemies to her portfolio: when, in response to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodogan's demand that a German satirist be prosecuted for insulting him on TV, Umar tweeted "f***erdogan," Dutch Turks turned on her in fury. "How dare you insult our president!" cried these Dutch-born subjects of Holland's King Willem-Alexander. And while Umar took a brief holiday on the Turkish coast, one such Dutch-Turk turned her in to the police. She was arrested at her vacation home in Kusadasi, and though released the following day, was forbidden to leave the country. The charge: Insulting the Turkish president. It took 17 days before discussions between Holland's prime minister and Turkish authorities enabled her to return to the Netherlands.

But she could not return home. In her absence, Umar's home had been burgled and vandalized, the word "whore" scrawled on a stairway wall. Death threats followed her both in Turkey and on her return. When it became clear she could not ever return to the apartment she had lived in for nearly 20 years, she announced on Twitter (Ebru Umar posts constantly on Twitter) that she would be moving out.

Meantime, in Metro and elsewhere, she continued her criticism of Moroccans and, as she herself notes, of Islam overall.

And so it was that on the day Ebru Umar moved out of her apartment in Amsterdam, a group of Dutch-Moroccans in their twenties came to see her off, taunting her with chants: Ebru has to mo-o-ve, nyah nyah." Though furious, she ignored them - until one of them began to film her loading her belongings into her car. For Umar, being taunted by the very people whose threats had forced her from her home in the first place was bad enough: but this violation of what little privacy remained for her was more than she could take. She grabbed her iPhone and began filming them right back. "Go ahead," she challenged. "Say it for the camera."

Scuffles ensued, and soon one of the Moroccans had her iPhone in his hand. The others laughed. Then they ran away. Umar filed a police report and, still smarting, took to Twitter once again: "C**t Moroccans, I hate you," she posted. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you and I hate your Muslim brothers and sisters, too. F**k you all." (It is important to note that, however offensive, the expression "c**t Moroccans" is a common epithet in the Netherlands.)

But, hey - she was angry. Her phone had been snatched from her hand in a brutal, aggressive gesture that left her feeling violated and, vulnerable. She had just been forced to leave her home. She had endured prison, a criminal inquiry, and death threats, all at the hands of the same group on whom she now spewed her fury.

Her words may have been harsh or inappropriate, but they were words. She had not struck her tormenters as they filmed her. She did not call for their demise, or strap a bomb around her waist and visit the local mosques.

She took to Twitter and said: I hate you.

"But hate," she tells me later in an e-mail, "is just an emotion." And in a column penned more than two years ago, she observed, "Hate me till you're purple, but keep your claws off me."

Here is where Ebru Umar's story becomes the story of the Western world. In response to her words ("I hate you. F*** you"), several Muslims - Moroccans and others - filed charges against her for hate speech. (Though ironically, "I hate you" does not legally qualify as "hate speech.") Such words are an attack upon their honor, a humiliation: and if there is one thing experts on Arab and Muslim culture will agree on, it is the significance of humiliation and honor in governing their lives. For this, Dutch Moroccan youth threaten Umar on the streets, and have done so, she says, for years: after all, she insults them.

But in truth, it isn't just the youth. The broader Muslim community stands by, silent: they do not condemn the youth who taunt her, who rip her telephone from her hands, or post things on the Internet like "We hate you, too - can you please kill yourself?" or "Oh, how I hope she ends up like Theo van Gogh."

Theo van Gogh, also a controversial columnist, was shot and stabbed to death in 2014 by a radical Dutch-Moroccan Muslim.The commenter wishing her the same fate used the name "IzzedinAlQassam," the founder of modern Palestinian jihad, and an icon of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

For people like this, it doesn't matter that Umar - or van Gogh - inflicted no violence, any more than it mattered that the editors of Charlie Hebdo were not violent. It was the insult, the humiliation - to them, to Islam, to Mohammed - that mattered: and an insult, a humiliation, deserves a violent response.

Indeed, much of the Muslim violence in Europe is about exactly this: intimidating non-Muslims into a fearful capitulation, where words like "I hate Muslims" and drawings of Mohammed become extinct because the Muslim communities insist that it be so. It is about forcing Westerners to rearrange their lives, their culture, to accommodate the needs and values and culture of Islam. It is about control, and the power over freedom. And it is about creating a culture in which honor is injured by words and restored through violence and terror.

When Umar says "I hate you," what she hates, really, isn't the Moroccans who attacked her or their "Muslim brothers and sisters." What she hates is this - this effort, this battle over honor and speech and freedom, and this clash between violence and expression, guns and conversation.

"I don't want Muslims to leave," she tells me, again by e-mail. "I want them to embrace the Enlightenment, Western society, the Netherlands." And in turn, she calls on the Dutch to "set rules: no violence in any sense. And stop using culture or religion as an excuse for behavior."

familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/anger-honor-and-freedom-what-european-muslims-attack-on-speech-is-really-about

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Belgian Court Jails Islamic State Cell Leaders for Foiled Plot

July 6, 2016

PARIS — A Belgian judge sentenced 15 people on Tuesday for their involvement in a terrorist plot that was thwarted in early 2015 but was a harbinger of the deadly attacks later that year in Paris.

The aborted plot’s chief architect is believed to have been Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian operative for the Islamic State. Mr. Abaaoud traveled to the group’s bases in Syria and was the on-the-ground coordinator of the attacks on Nov. 13 in and around Paris, which killed 130 people.

The plot that was halted in Verviers, a French-speaking city in southern Belgium, was the first in a series of terrorist operations that Mr. Abaaoud was believed to have planned but that never happened. By the time of the attacks in Paris, he had learned from his mistakes. Mr. Abaaoud was killed in a shootout in St. Denis, France, five days after those attacks.

Of the 15 people sentenced on Tuesday, six were in the Brussels courtroom at the time; the other nine were tried in absentia because they were on the run, sick or dead. The sentences ranged from three to 16 years in prison, with three of the men receiving the maximum because of their participation in and leadership of the Verviers group.

The others were convicted of supporting the terror network, but it was not clear how much they knew about the scope of the plot.

Although Belgian prosecutors and the police described the Verviers plot as being at an “advanced stage,” evidence presented at trial was not conclusive about the exact target.

One of the most likely targets, mentioned on a cellphone used by Mr. Abaaoud that was obtained by the prosecutor in the Verviers case, was the Zaventem airport, Judge Pierre Hendrickx said in his verdict. He said a rough sketch found on one of the smartphones used by Mr. Abaaoud showed drawings of the arrival hall of an airport with the name Zaventem written nearby and a man pushing a trolley with the word “bomb” on it.

The airport and a Brussels metro station were attacked about 14 months later, and 32 people were killed by a related terrorist network also connected to Mr. Abaaoud.

The Belgian police interrupted the plot on the evening of Jan. 15, 2015, when they knocked on the door of a Verviers apartment. A gunfight broke out, and two of the three men in the apartment were killed; the third, Marouane El Bali, was wounded. He was sentenced on Tuesday to 16 years in prison.

Among the items found in the apartment were ingredients for making the explosive TATP, semiautomatic weapons, 200 to 300 bullets and several police uniforms, perhaps suggesting that the would-be attackers were planning to use the uniforms as a disguise.

The two-week trial painted the group of defendants as an informal network of friends and acquaintances, brought together in some cases by their upbringing in heavily migrant neighborhoods of Brussels and Paris, and in others by criminal connections. A few came from farther away and were brought in to assist because they had criminal experience, for example in stealing cars and forging documents, prosecutors said.

Over all, however, many came across as adolescents playing at being terrorists. They thought up nicknames for one another — including Mustache, the Big One, Obama and Pashtun. They took photos of one another for fun.

There are snapshots of Mr. Abaaoud in front of tourist sites in Athens, Judge Hendrickx said during the trial, and another photo of Mr. Abaaoud reclining in a large armchair. The judge referred to it as a “Father Christmas” chair, with “what looks like a cucumber masque” on Mr. Abaaoud’s face.

Much of the planning and at least two of the apartments used as safe houses were in Athens. They were rented by Omar Damache, one of the Verviers defendants, who was sentenced to eight years. Mr. Abaaoud used them during at least one and possibly more of his journeys between Belgium and Syria, according to the prosecution.

Mr. Damache, who did not seem to have known much about Mr. Abaaoud’s intentions, had in his possession crucial evidence when the Greek police detained him, prosecutors said. Among the items were 14 cellphones, including three used by Mr. Abaaoud; two tablets; a computer; and seven French identification cards.

nytimes.com/2016/07/06/world/europe/belgian-court-jails-isis-cell-leaders.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-state-says-dhaka-cafe-slaughter-a-glimpse-of-what-s-coming/d/107882

 

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