New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 11:35 PM

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

Islamic State Threatens Twitter for Blocking Its Accounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post from ISIS places Twitter founder in the militant terrorist group's crosshairs.

 

 Arab World

Islamic State Threatens Twitter for Blocking Its Accounts

Terrorists Only Use Saudis as Cannon Fodder

ISIL Executes Four Sunni Iraqis from Tikrit

Iraqi Forces Recapture IS-Held Town in Salahudin

Turkey's Erdogan in Riyadh as Saudi seeks 'Sunni unity'

2 killed, 9 injured in downtown Cairo bombing

Saudi blogger's family fears he could face execution by beheading

Four Syrian refugees killed in fire at camp in Jordan

Egypt's prosecution orders release of 120 detainees pending trial

Destruction of Iraqi heritage by IS flayed

Saudi Cabinet draws on success of anti-terrorism conference

Australia boosting military presence in Iraq

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Pakistan

Tarnishing Islam’s Image Part of America’s Terror War: Jamaat-e-Islami

145 KP Seminaries Classified 'Highly Sensitive' In Govt Report

One Killed, Seven Injured In Lyari Terrorist Attack

Pakistan ready to provide assistance to Afghanistan: PM

Terrorism will be rooted out from the country: Shahbaz Sharif

Four more fall prey to violence in Karachi

Pakistan Ulema Council welcomes dialogue between Afghan Taliban, govt: Ashrafi

China considers Pakistan as its brother: consul general

Nawaz to leave for KSA tomorrow on first official visit since taking office

Indian foreign secretary meets his Pakistani counterpart during two-day visit

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South Asia

Bangladesh Minister: Khaleda Now A Militant Leader

Japan's Muslim Friendly Environment, a Strong Pull for Malaysian, Indonesian Tourists

Bangladesh HC: Why blockade, Hartal will not be declared unconstitutional

Bangladesh cooperating with India in nabbing insurgent leaders

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India

29.3cr Wives, 28.7cr Husbands: Census Bares Polygamy Truth

In Banni, Muslims Have Adopted Hindu Traditions

Shiv Sena to Muslims: For Special Treatment, Go To Pakistan

Cow Slaughter a Non-bailable Offence in Maharashtra

Pakistan to raise India's 'sponsorship' of terror in Baluchistan, FATA

‘Ram Temple Will Be Built In Ayodhya’: Union Minister

Return Afzal’s mortal remains: PDP MLAs

Nearly 21 pc of undertrials from Muslim community: Govt

India Remains Top Military Threat: Pakistani Daily

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Mideast

Iran Voices Concern over Terrorists' Flow from Western Countries to Middle-East

Turkey Has Plan-B to By-Pass Austrian Law on Islam

Turkey detains 10 in ISIL raids

Turkey assessing ‘further contribution’ to military operation in Mosul: Minister

Jerusalem court upholds Jewish prayer on Temple Mount

Palestinians to file first 'war crime' case against Israel on April 1

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Africa

Nigeria: Military Operations Force Boko Haram Back to Urban Warfare

Ghana Muslims hail president's stand on Hijab

Militants shell two Libyan oilfields

Haftar army chief for recognized Libya govt

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Southeast Asia

Just Filling-Up Forms Doesn’t Make You Muslim, Says Jakim

Bibles with ‘Allah’ still banned in Selangor but Azmin promises more interfaith dialogue

Indonesia hopes Islamic tourism drive draws more visitors

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North America

Obama Says Timing of Netanyahu's Speech on Iran Is a Mistake

Donations Dry Up For Isis Group: Us Intelligence

U.S. committed to denying Iran nuclear bomb

Bad nuke deal with Iran is worse than no deal: Susan Rice

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Europe

Accused Al Qaida Operative Wrote In Code about UK Bomb Plot

Fifty Shades Star ‘Joins ISIS’ In Spoof Video

Columnist accused of inventing 'Jihadi' allegations against Muslim Council of Britain

UN nuclear watchdog: Iran withholding key information

Activist: UN's Syrian envoy runs for Assad regime

‘Jihadi John’ best employee we ever had, says former boss

UK rights activists Cage in dock for 'Jihadi John' comments

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-state-threatens-twitter-for-blocking-its-accounts/d/101800

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Arab World

 

Islamic State threatens Twitter for blocking its accounts

3 March 2015

The Islamic State (IS) has reportedly trained its guns on Twitter and its co-founder Jack Dorsey in a post released recently after the micro-blogging platform blocked their accounts online.

The post appeared online on Sunday and was accompanied with a doctored image of Dorsey in a gun's crosshairs. Although the origin of the post is unknown, yet Twitter and law enforcement officials have already initiated a probe into its source, reported The Verge.

"We told you from the beginning it's not your war," the post said and added that the micro-blogging website did not pay heed to its warning and kept closing IS' accounts. However, the group still came back to the social media platform, it said and warned Dorsey that if its "lions" came and took away his breath, he will never come back to life again.

The IS has displayed "a uniquely adroit approach" in handling social media in its terror campaigns in the Middle East. It has frequently used Twitter to post beheading videos or urge its followers to launch attacks on police and military officials in the U.S. and Europe.

The group's accounts have been blocked as Twitter's terms of service prohibits "direct, specific threats of violence against others."

An official statement released by the website said that its team was investigating the veracity of these threats with relevant law enforcement officials.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-islamic-state-threatens-twitter-for-blocking-its-accounts-2065800

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Terrorists only use Saudis as cannon fodder

3 March 2015

The Islamic State terror group is beset with deep-rooted conflicts, said Manie Al-Manie, a former member of the organization who is back in the Kingdom. “Sectarian and racist conflicts prevail among its members,” he told reporters.

He said many of them ill-treated Saudis because they were the most knowledgeable on Shariah regulations. IS leaders sent Saudis on suicide missions to finish them off, he said while explaining his difficult days under the IS rule.

Al-Manie said he had seen some members rejecting the orders of leaders while some others were not ready to obey the leadership.

“I noticed they clearly targeted the Saudis by calling them backward and Bedouin,” he said. “IS has no system. It’s a bunch of groups who work to pursue their vested interests. There is no coordination among them,” he added.

Al-Manie said children were forced to carry out suicide operations against their will and that of their parents. “They exploit the situation of people and the extremist ideology to kill innocent people.”

He said many IS recruits were not happy with killings and other terrorist operations. “Many members are looking for a chance to leave the organization forever,” he pointed out.

He said there is confusion in the organization, especially in matters about Shariah. “Their conscience doesn’t prick when they kill the innocent. They murder men and women without making sure the charges against them.”

Al-Manie made these comments while participating in a talk show on Saudi Channel One. “Killing has become a kind of disease among the IS militants. They consider their opponents infidels and apostates who deserve capital punishment. Some of them have even killed their own colleagues,” he said.

Saudi bloggers have urged authorities not to show any leniency toward Al-Manie, adding that it would encourage other Saudis to join the group. Al-Manie had rejected his allegiance to the Saudi leadership and pledged allegiance to the IS leadership.

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/712486

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ISIL Executes Four Sunni Iraqis from Tikrit

3 March 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group released a video on Monday in which four Sunni tribesmen from the Tikrit region are executed for allegedly collaborating with the government.

The video was released on the day some 30,000 government forces launched a huge operation to retake Tikrit, which the Takfiri militants have controlled for almost nine months, AFP reported.

The video describes them as belonging to a tribal group named after a town just North of Tikrit.

"Elimination of a Sahwat al-Alam cell," reads a banner just before masked gunmen are seen shooting a bullet into the back of each victim's head.

ISIL released pictures of the execution of 13 alleged members of the group in December.

According to military sources, several units of Sunni tribal fighters were involved in the offensive launched on Monday, alongside the army, police, Shiite volunteers.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931211001410

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Iraqi forces recapture IS-held town in Salahudin

March 3, 2015

Baghdad: Iraqi security forces on Tuesday recaptured a town in Salahudin as part of a major offensive to free the northern parts of the province, including Saddam Hussain`s hometown of Tikrit.

The troops and allied Sunni and Shia militias, assisted by air support, freed the town of Himreen, a security officer told Xinhua.

The IS militants fled the town after a heavy clash that killed at least three of them, while five security members were injured, the officer said, adding that the troops also foiled two suicide bomb attacks - one by a booby-trapped tanker truck and another by a Humvee vehicle.

The liberation of Himreen is part of a major offensive launched on Monday from five directions aimed at recapturing key cities and towns seized by the IS in the province.

The troops, backed by armoured vehicles and Iraqi aircraft, have surrounded the town of Dour, some 25 km south of Tikrit, and regained control of many villages north of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad.

The forces are advancing cautiously as the IS militants have planted the roads and buildings with bombs.

Explosion experts defused over 150 bombs and eight car bombs.

Large parts of Salahudin province have been under IS control since June 11, a day after violent clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the IS terror group, which took control of the country`s northern city of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories in Nineveh and other predominant Sunni provinces.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/iraqi-forces-recapture-is-held-town_1555715.html

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Turkey's Erdogan in Riyadh as Saudi seeks 'Sunni unity'

3 March 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived Monday in Riyadh for a visit at the king's invitation in what is seen as a Saudi bid to unify Sunnis against Iran and jihadists.

Erdogan's meeting with King Salman comes a day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held talks with the monarch, and precedes a visit by Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later this week.

The leaders of neighbouring nations Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have already visited Salman since mid-February, and other Arab heads of state will follow, said Nawaf Obaid, a visiting fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard University in the United States.

"Saudi Arabia is drastically going to re-energise its foreign policy to bring the kingdom back to its natural role as the main unifier of the Sunni world because of its unique attributes," Obaid told AFP.

He was referring to the kingdom's hosting of Islam's holiest sites, the size of its economy, and its position as the world's largest oil exporter.

"Clearly, things are shaping up in a very different way than they have been in the last several years."

Salman acceded to the throne in January after the death of King Abdullah, aged about 90.

Erdogan arrived in Riyadh after performing a weekend pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Mecca and visiting Medina.

Cairo has accused Turkey of interfering in Egypt's internal affairs and of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Sisi and Erdogan have had strained relations since the ouster of Egyptian Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

But Obaid said keeping Turkey "on the sidelines" only weakens the Sunni world.

"So as long as you can start having a serious sustained discussion between the major Sunni powers then you can come up with some form of policy at some point down the road, dealing with Iran and dealing with ISIS," he said, referring to the Islamic State group jihadists who have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria.

The group has claimed atrocities including the beheading of foreigners and Christians and the burning alive of a caged Jordanian fighter pilot.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab neighbours are part of a US-led military coalition conducting air strikes against IS.

Shiite-dominated Iran competes with Saudi Arabia for influence in the region.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/124315/World/Region/Turkeys-Erdogan-in-Riyadh-as-Saudi-seeks-Sunni-uni.aspx

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2 killed, 9 injured in downtown Cairo bombing

3 March 2015

A bomb exploded at Cairo's High Court building, killing two men and injuring nine on Monday, according to health ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Gaffar.

The deceased, two civilians, were pronounced dead when they succumbed to their injuries hours after the blast, the last of a cluster of bombings that Egypt has been witnessing for a year and a half.

The area surrounding the building - which houses the General Prosecutor's office and is the headquarters of some of the country's most senior courts - was searched by explosives experts who found no more explosive devices.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/124295/Egypt/Politics-/-killed,--injured-in-downtown-Cairo-bombing.aspx

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Saudi blogger's family fears he could face execution by beheading

03 March, 2015

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was previously sentenced to 1,000 lashes after being convicted of insulting Islam, may now face death by beheading, his family fears.

According to a report published on The Telegraph, Badawi's family said he has already been sentenced to public flogging and 10 years in prison, and could also be tried for apostasy which carries the death penalty.

The blogger's case attracted worldwide condemnation when he was publicly flogged in January.

"Apostasy charge is punishable under Saudi law with the death penalty by beheading," his family said in a message posted on Facebook.

"We also received confirmed information that the Supreme Court has referred Raif's case to the same judge, who sentenced Raif with flogging and 10 years imprisonment. This judge is biased against Raif," they added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166889/saudi-bloggers-family-fears-he-could-face-execution-by-beheading

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Four Syrian refugees killed in fire at camp in Jordan

3 March 2015

AMMAN — Four Syrian refugees died when their mobile home caught fire in Jordan’s Zaatari camp near the Syrian border, the United Nations refugee agency and a witness said. The four refugees, all members of one family, died when flames engulfed one of thousands of mobile homes in the sprawling Zaatari camp, which houses at least 70,000 Syrian refugees, a witness said. UNHCR’s head in Jordan, Andrew Harper, said it was still too early to find out what happened in the dawn incident, but a gas cylinder widely used for heating was found at the scene. Nearly four million people have fled Syria since 2011, when anti-government protests turned into a violent civil war.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150303235537

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Egypt's prosecution orders release of 120 detainees pending trial

3 March 2015

Egypt's general prosecution ordered on Monday the release of 120 elderly people and students detained pending trial.

The decision comes in light of a request by the prosecutor general to the prosecution's technical office to revise the cases of those detained pending trial.

"All those currently detained pending trial have evidence against them of committing criminal offences, and the law has made it possible for them to petition their detention pending trial," reads a statement by the prosecution office. 

It is still unclear what charges these detainees face.

In December, the prosecutor ordered the release of 130 students and juveniles detained pending trial in order not to "sabotage their futures."

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/124305/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-prosecution-orders-release-of--detainees-pe.aspx

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Destruction of Iraqi heritage by IS flayed

3 March 2015

The Kingdom has condemned the Islamic State group for targeting innocent civilians and destroying cultural heritage in Iraq.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Monday at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, slammed the extremist group for the destruction of centuries-old items in Mosul.

Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi said in a statement after the meeting that the Cabinet had called on the international community to take action against the perpetrators of such criminal acts.

Al-Toraifi said the ministers also had discussions on the deteriorating situation in Yemen, and had urged Yemenis to support the ousted president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is now in Aden.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/712956

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Saudi Cabinet draws on success of anti-terrorism conference

3 March 2015

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman thanked the scholars and experts who participated in last week’s anti-terrorism conference hosted by the Muslim World League in Makkah, said Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi, following the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Al-Toraifi briefed Cabinet members on his meeting with Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said, deputy prime minister for cabinet affairs from Oman, during which they discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations and tackle pressing Arab and international issues.

On domestic affairs, the Cabinet commended the King Faisal International Prize, which handed out its awards on Sunday, for continuing its efforts to promote Islamic studies, Arabic literature, medicine, and science.

The Cabinet also said that the Jazan Economic Forum would help ensure further growth and prosperity in the region. This was part of the Kingdom’s efforts for sustained development in all parts of the country

Al-Toraifi said the Cabinet decided that Abdullah Al-Qadi, Amir Al-Dilaijan and Faisal bin Mohamed Al-Timimi would have their board positions renewed for a further three years with the Geographical Information System.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/712941

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Australia boosting military presence in Iraq

3 MAR 2015

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced Australia will send around 300 more soldiers to Iraq to help train the Iraqi military.

It comes a week after New Zealand announced it would dispatch up to 143 soldiers as part of a joint 400-member training mission with Australia.

Mr Abbott says Australia's move follows requests from the governments of both Iraq and the United States.

Amanda Cavill reports.

(Click on audio tab to listen to this item)

The Australian troops will be based at Taji, about 30 kilometres north of Baghdad.

Their job will be to instruct Iraq's troops in basic weapons skills and individual and unit skills to prepare the country's security forces for combat.

The training will also include planning of operations and medical and logistics support.

Mr Abbott says Australian and New Zealand troops are needed to help train Iraqi soldiers trying to oust the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or I-S, forces from their country.

"This decision marks the next phase of Australia's contribution to the international coalition to disrupt, degrade and ultimately defeat the Daesh, or ISIL, death cult. We have slowed Daesh's advance, but Iraq's regular forces now require support to build their capacity to reclaim and to hold territory."

Mr Abbott says the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands are also sending trainers.

He says the mission is a two-year mission, to be reviewed after 12 months.

The Head of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin, says Iraqi forces aided by coalition air power have halted the IS advance.

But he says, at some stage, a counteroffensive will start and Iraq needs to generate a force big enough to push IS out of Iraq.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin says many Iraqi troops will be needed and they will need to be trained.

Full report at:

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/03/03/australia-boosting-military-presence-iraq

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Pakistan

 

Tarnishing Islam’s image part of America’s terror war: Jamaat-e-Islami

03 March, 2015

NOWSHERA: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Sirajul Haq on Monday claimed that tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims was a part of the United States and Europe led war on terrorism.

Speaking at a ceremony here, he urged upon the need for internal harmony and unity to defeat the ‘enemy’ and to attain an ‘ultimate domination of the religion’.

Haq said that a campaign was being run against Islamic madrassahs to complete the ‘American agenda’.

The JI chief cited differences between religious outfits and different examination boards as the main reason behind prevailing rifts within Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-176892-Tarnishing-Islams-image-part-of-Americas-terror-war:-Siraj

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145 KP seminaries classified 'highly sensitive' in govt report

03 March, 2015

PESHAWAR: A report compiled by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government has revealed that 145 madrassas in the province fall in the 'highly sensitive' category.

A document titled 'District-wise details of Madaris' obtained by DawnNews maintains that of the 3,010 seminaries in the terror-hit province, 26% are unregistered.

It also reveals that in the KP region, 57% of the Category B (highly sensitive) madrassas are in Tank district, which has a total of 123 madrassas.

Madrassas in KP are classified as either Category B 'highly sensitive' or Category C 'sensitive'. There are no seminaries falling into either Category A 'potential threat' or Category D 'non extremist' madrassas.

Bannu has the largest number of madrassas in the province at 241, while Peshawar comes in at second place on the list with 232 madrassas. Out of the 4,608 foreign students in KP, 2,454 study in madrassas in Peshawar which also has the highest number of foreign teachers in KP at 53.

The government plans to bring all of its religious seminaries under the national education system within one year following a landmark security policy aimed at combating extremism.

KP seminary enrollment status

KP Information Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, while talking to Dawn, said the government will not tolerate unregistered madrassas in the province. Speaking of which, Ghani said that KP Home Department has already been notified to take action against such unregistered seminaries.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166902/145-kp-seminaries-classified-highly-sensitive-in-govt-report

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One killed, seven injured in Lyari terrorist attack

03 March, 2015

KARACHI: One person was killed and seven others received multiple injuries in the latest terrorist hand grenade attack in the city.

According to reports, unknown armed terrorists riding a motorcycle carried out a hand grenade attack at Mirza Adamkhail road of Karachi’s Lyari area.

The high intensity hand grenade attack resulted into killing of a two-year-old girl Rasheeda, d/o of Deen Muhammad, while injuring seven others including two women Humaira Gul, 30, and Gul Jabeen, 32.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/03-Mar-2015/one-killed-seven-injured-in-lyari-terrorist-attack

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Pakistan ready to provide assistance to Afghanistan: PM

03 March, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan stands with Afghanistan in this hour of need and would be happy to provide any further assistance to help the people of Afghanistan meet the challenging situation after the occurrence of the recent avalanche there.

He made these remarks while meeting with Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan, Janan Mosazai, here at the PM House. He said he was deeply troubled upon learning about the devastating avalanche. PM Nawaz said the relations with Afghanistan had undergone qualitative transformation since the government took over last year. He said Pakistan hopes that the process of peace talks within Afghanistan would speed up and reach a successful conclusion soon. He expressed satisfaction over the increased security cooperation between the two countries and said the visits of the army chief proved quite helpful in streamlining important matters, a PM Office statement said. He expressed satisfaction over the first meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Business Council that would be taking place in the next few weeks to attract international investors to both the countries. He approved the appointment of a focal person for following-up implementation on the decisions taken during inter-ministerial meeting with Afghanistan, on daily basis.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/03-Mar-2015/pakistan-ready-to-provide-assistance-to-afghanistan-pm

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Terrorism will be rooted out from the country: Shahbaz Sharif

03 March, 2015

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that elimination of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism is of vital importance for economic progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

Talking to members of national and provincial assemblies of various districts, here Sunday, he said that the menace of terrorism would be rooted out with the force of national unity and victory in the war against terrorism is the mission of every member of the society.

He said that the brave people of the country will win the war against terrorism. He said that every effort would be made for ensuring a secure future for the coming generations and federal and provincial governments are moving forward in the war against terrorism with complete harmony.

The Chief Minister said that peace was of key importance for achieving the goal of self-reliance and vigorous action is being taken against terrorists without any discrimination of good or bad. He said that the nation is writing a new history of sacrifices in the war against terrorism and terrorists will be brought to their logical end. He said that the nation is determined to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and those who have shed the blood of innocent Pakistanis will have to pay a heavy price.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the National Action Plan is a joint strategy to root out the menace of terrorism from the country and its implementation is yielding positive results. He said that ridding the country of terrorism is the voice of every Pakistani and the decisions taken with collective wisdom in the war against terrorism will yield positive results and the country will soon emerge as a haven of peace.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/02-Mar-2015/terrorism-will-be-rooted-out-from-the-country-shahbaz

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Four more fall prey to violence in Karachi

03 March, 2015

KARACHI: Four persons were killed in different violence incidents on Monday. Saqib (28) son of Atta-ur-Reham was gunned down by unidentified armed men near Matkewali Pulia in Korangi 2.

The body was brought to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for an autopsy.

A three-day old body of unknown woman aged around 30 was found from village Mohammad Ali in Surjani Town, Gulshan-e-Noor. It was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for medico-legal formalities.

Zohair (42) son of Abdul Sattar was gunned down by unknown armed men near Altaf Naqar area of Orangi Town. The body was shifted to ASH for an autopsy. The motive behind killing could not be ascertained.

Shoaib (25) was gunned down by unknown armed men near Manghopir, Northern Bypass. The body was shifted to ASH for medico-legal formalities. The motive behind killing could not be ascertained.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/03-Mar-2015/four-more-fall-prey-to-violence-in-karachi

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Pakistan Ulema Counci welcomes dialogue between Afghan Taliban, govt: Ashrafi

03 March, 2015

LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council has welcomed the dialogue between Afghan Taliban and Afghanistan government as peace could bring prosperity in Pakistan and its neighboring country.

These views were expressed by PUC central chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi during his meeting with delegations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Tribal Ulema Council here on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/03-Mar-2015/puc-welcomes-dialogue-between-afghan-taliban-govt-ashrafi

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China considers Pakistan as its brother: consul general

03 March, 2015

LAHORE – First Consul General of in Lahore, Yu Boren met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, here on Monday.

Matters of mutual interest and promotion of Pak-China relations were discussed in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that China was a very reliable friend of Pakistan and Pak-China friendship has stood the test of time.

He said that China has helped Pakistan in every hour of need and extended invaluable cooperation in the progress and development of Pakistan. He said that China has proved to be a true friend of Pakistan by extending cooperation in the development of different sectors adding that a new era of Pak-China friendship has begun in the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/02-Mar-2015/china-considers-pakistan-as-its-brother-consul-general

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Nawaz to leave for KSA tomorrow on first official visit since taking office

MATEEN HAIDER

Mar 3, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will be visiting Saudi Arabia between March 4 to March 6 on the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said the premier will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi.

"This will be his first official visit to the kingdom after he assumed the premier's office in 2013," she said.

The prime minister is scheduled to hold talks with King Salman, perform Umrah and visit Madinah to offer prayers at Masjid-e-Nabvi during his three-day visit.

The spokesperson said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are tied in close fraternal bonds of shared faith and values.

"Being the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, the King of Saudi Arabia has a special place in the hearts of every Pakistani," Aslam said.

"Saudi Arabia also hosts more than 1.7 million Pakistanis whose remittances contribute substantially to the economy of Pakistan. Annual trade volume between the two countries exceeds US$ 4.5 billion."

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1167095/nawaz-to-leave-for-ksa-tomorrow-on-first-official-visit-since-taking-office

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Indian foreign secretary meets his Pakistani counterpart during two-day visit

Mar 3, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry in Islamabad Tuesday following his arrival in Pakistan for a two-day official visit.

Credible sources told Dawn that Secretary Chaudhry greeted his Indian counterpart warmly at the Foreign Office.

Senior officials from both sides are assisting in the talks which are the first since New Delhi called them off last year.

During the meeting, both foreign secretaries realised that peaceful dialogue is the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues, sources told Dawn.

Sources added that Chaudhry drew the Indian secretary's attention to the recent tensions at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary.

Jaishankar said that he was happy to be visiting Pakistan and that he looks forward to having substantial and meaningful negotiations with Pakistani officials.

The primary agenda for the secretaries’ meeting was about promoting regional connectivity and trade even though both sides have an understanding about discussing bilateral matters.

Accompanied by a delegation of diplomats, Jaishankar was welcomed by officials from the Foreign Ministry as well as those from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Jaishankar is in Pakistan as part of a tour of Saarc countries.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1167079/indian-foreign-secretary-meets-his-pakistani-counterpart-during-two-day-visit

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh Minister: Khaleda now a militant leader

03 March, 2015

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has become a militant leader from the leader of the people, said Health Minister Mohammed Nasim yesterday.

He said Khaleda’s militant activities had claimed around 100 lives.

“Now our objective is to destroy militancy,” said Nasim, also the spokesperson of the 14-party, while talking to reporters at Gopalganj Circuit House. He went there during a break in the journey from Dhaka to Khulna. 

Nasim also ruled out any possibility of holding talks with the BNP chairperson.

He said a dialogue would be held with the chief election commissioner before the general elections in 2019.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2015/mar/03/nasim-khaleda-now-militant-leader#sthash.6CY1vNEr.dpuf

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Japan's Muslim Friendly Environment, A Strong Pull For Malaysian, Indonesian Tourists

03 March, 2015

(Bernama) -- Coupled with the weakening Japanese yen that gives visitors from ASEAN countries more purchasing power, Japan's Muslim friendly environment has seen a substantial growth in inbound tourists, especially from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Japan is currently among the top five main destinations of most member states of ASEAN, which is moving towards establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a regional economic integration by 2015.

ASEAN-Japan Centre's (AJC) Tourism and Exchange Division director Dananjaya Axioma said the new trend was attributed to a growing interest from Asean countries partly due to the big progress for the Japanese side to host Muslim tourists.

He said educating Japanese tourism stakeholders on how to welcome Muslim tourists from Asean by having more awareness to provide better facilities had paid dividends.

"Malaysia has done such sessions... For example it is now easier to find Muslim facilities like prayer room which is available at Narita Airport here and restaurants providing halal food," he told a group of Asean journalists on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan media programme here recently.

All 10 ASEAN member states and Japan are members of the Tokyo-based AJC, which was established in May 1981 aimed at enhancing economic partnership as well as vitalising tourist traffic between Asean and Japan among others.

He said Asean as an entity, comprising the six member states of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam, recorded 1,602,200 out of the total 13,414,000 tourist arrivals to Japan last year - an increase of 39.4 percent from 2013.

The figures did not include those from the four remaining ASEAN countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Full report at:

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1113018

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Bangladesh HC: Why blockade, Hartal will not be declared unconstitutional

03 March, 2015

The High Court issued a rule asking the government and political parties to explain why blockade and Hartal should not be declared unconstitutional and void.

In its series of rules upon a writ petition, the High Court division bench also asked the government to explain why its inaction to impose legal restrictions on blockade and Hartal should not be declared unlawful.

Four business bodies FBCCI, BGMEA, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) – filed the writ petition in the form of public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to make illegal the nationwide indefinite transport blockade and Hartal enforced by BNP-Jamaat alliance to realise their political demands and asking compensation for the losses incurred due to blockade and Hartal since January 6.

In the face of the court’s stance, the counsel for the business bodies dropped the word PIL during the admissibility hearing on the writ petition.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2015/mar/03/hc-why-blockade-Hartal-will-not-be-declared-unconstitutional#sthash.00aWprx8.dpuf

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Bangladesh cooperating with India in nabbing insurgent leaders

March 3, 2015

Bangladesh has been extending full cooperation to India through pro-active action against Indian insurgent groups based in that country that resulted in uprooting of several top militant leaders, Lok Sabha was told today.

Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said during 2009-14, at least 17 top leaders of various Indian insurgent groups operating from Bangladesh have been arrested and eight others have surrendered.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bangladesh-cooperating-with-india-in-nabbing-insurgent-leaders/

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India

 

29.3cr wives, 28.7cr husbands: Census bares polygamy truth

Atul Thakur,TNN | Mar 3, 2015

NEW DELHI: Just released census data shows that there are about 6.6 million more women who are "currently married" than men. While part of this might be accounted for by married men who have migrated abroad for work leaving their wives behind, the data also indicates that there are a very large number of women in polygamous marriages.

The data also shows that in 2011, the census year, more than 18 lakh girls under the age of 15 were married.

Of the total 1.2 billion population about 580 million were married at the time of the census. This number does not include those divorced, widowed or separated. Among these 580 million married persons, 293 million were women while 287 million were men.

A state-wise comparison of married women and men shows the migration effect. For instance, Kerala has the highest skew with 1.13 married women for every married man. It is followed by Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where this ratio ranges from 1.04 to 1.07. These are all states with high outflows of migrant workers. On the flip side of this, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi, states known for a high influx of migrant labour, have more married men than women.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/29-3cr-wives-28-7cr-husbands-Census-bares-polygamy-truth/articleshow/46437481.cms

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In Banni, Muslims have adopted Hindu traditions

Mar 3, 2015

VADODARA: The traditional Ganesh puja, cow worship and Hindu 'Fuleku' custom wherein the bride and bridegroom are taken out on a round of the village by their relatives are some of the practices even followed by the Muslim Maldhari community living in the Banni region of the Greater Rann of Kutch.

A study conducted by a researcher of M S University on Maldharis revealed how the community has adopted Hindu traditions in their culture. These Maldharis, the cattle rearers, most of whom were Muslims, had migrated from Sindh in Pakistan before partition.

Banni region today houses around 51 villages with a population of over 18,000 where Muslims and Hindus live together in harmony. Maldharis live in 'bhungas' - uniquely designed huts made of bamboos, special grass and soil.

"Hindus and Muslims celebrate every festival together. Various fairs are held as a part of their tradition wherein the Hindus and Muslims participate together. Qawalis and Hindu bhajans are sung together at musical programmes.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/vadodara/In-Banni-Muslims-have-adopted-Hindu-traditions/articleshow/46441526.cms?

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Shiv Sena to Muslims: For special treatment, go to Pakistan

Mar 3, 2015

MUMBAI: Hitting out at AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi for demanding reservation for Muslims in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that if the minority leader wants his demands to be met on religious grounds, then he should go to Pakistan and try his antics there.

Terming Owaisi's speeches "hateful", the Sena said that the Devendra Fadnavis government should file a case against him and start legal proceedings.

"(Asaduddin) Owaisi is insisting that Muslims should get reservation akin to the Marathas. Such insistence had caused the separation of Pakistan from India. Hatred for Hindus compelled a section of Muslims to take control over Pakistan. Hence Owaisi may try and get his demands based on religious grounds fulfilled in Pakistan," said an edit piece in the Sena mouthpiece, 'Saamana'.

It added that the minority community will have to respect India as their motherland.

"They (minority community) will have to respect the Uniform Civil Code and stop demanding the continuation of Article 370 for Kashmir. Asking for reservations while continuing with religious rants will not work," it said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shiv-Sena-to-Muslims-For-special-treatment-go-to-Pakistan/articleshow/46441161.cms

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Cow slaughter a non-bailable offence in Maharashtra

TNN | Mar 3, 2015

MUMBAI: Slaughtering of calves and illegal export of beef will now attract serious punishment under the new law and will be treated as non-bailable offence as President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday approved the oldest pending bill, the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 1995.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, along with six other party MPs from the state, had requested the President to give his assent to the bill. The bill was enacted by the earlier Shiv Sena-BJP government but was stalled by central governments, including the NDA in its earlier tenure. Slaughtering of cows is already banned under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cow-slaughter-a-non-bailable-offence-in-Maharashtra/articleshow/46439941.cms

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Pakistan to raise India's 'sponsorship' of terror in Baluchistan, FATA

Mar 3, 2015

NEW DELHI: After the false start last year when India cancelled the foreign secretary-level dialogue with Pakistan, the 2 countries will seek to make a new beginning in bilateral ties with a meeting between the top diplomats on Tuesday.

Ostensibly under the Saarc umbrella, the meeting between Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry will see the 2 sides addressing a host of outstanding bilateral issues including J&K.

While India will back any initiative to end hostilities across LoC and International Border, it will have to contend with an aggressive Pakistan establishment which is looking to raise the Kashmir issue, and also alleged Indian involvement in terror activities on its western border, with the visiting Indian foreign secretary.

India has already said that not much should be expected from the meeting and that the talks are going to be only exploratory in nature. Jaishankar is expected to forcefully reiterate India's concerns over terrorism and make the point that an expeditious trial of Mumbai attacks accused can lead to a more meaningful engagement between the 2 nations.

Pakistan sources said Islamabad was looking at substantive bilateral talks with focus on what they described as 3 main priorities for Islamabad in the engagement with India - the LoC and working boundary ceasefire violations, Kashmir and ``evidence'' of involvement of Indian agencies in fomenting terrorism in Baluchistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-to-raise-Indias-sponsorship-of-terror-in-Baluchistan-FATA/articleshow/46435592.cms

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‘Ram Temple Will Be Built In Ayodhya’: Union Minister

Mar 3, 2015

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Hansraj Ahir on Monday said the BJP was committed to building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. “The BJP government has not gone back on the Ram temple issue ... Though it is not in our manifesto, it is a matter of honour and dignity,” Mr. Ahir said at an event.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ram-temple-will-be-built-in-ayodhya/article6952302.ece

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Return Afzal’s mortal remains: PDP MLAs

ZAHID RAFIQ

Mar 3, 2015

A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed triggered a controversy by hinting that Pakistan and the Kashmiri separatists had allowed a conducive atmosphere for the Assembly polls in the State, the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday called the hanging of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru unjustified and sought his mortal remains lying buried inside the Tihar Jail in Delhi.

While the statements seem to have generated friction between the new coalition partners — the PDP and the BJP — they are largely being seen as an attempt by the PDP to blunt criticism in the Valley of its alliance with the BJP. Both parties had fought a bitter election and hold diametrically opposite constituencies.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eight-pdp-mlas-demand-return-of-afzal-gurus-mortal-remains/article6951839.ece

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Nearly 21 pc of undertrials from Muslim community: Govt

March 3, 2015

Nearly 21 per cent of under trial prisoners in the country are from the Muslim community while 21.30 per cent belong to the Schedule Castes, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, said that as per the data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, at the end of 2013, out of a total of 2,78,503 under trials, 57,936 (20.80 per cent) were from the Muslim community.

Full report at:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/nearly-21-pc-of-undertrials-from-muslim-community-govt-115030300591_1.html

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India remains top military threat: Pakistani daily

Mar 3, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Indian military remains the principal threat to Pakistan's security and the Pakistani security establishment is right to closely track Indian defence spending, a leading Pakistani daily said in an editorial.

"The Pakistani security establishment is right to closely track Indian defence spending because India remains, in terms of its military capabilities, the principal threat to Pakistan's security," an editorial in Pakistani daily Dawn stated on Monday.

It said the Indian defence budget is set to cross $40 billion; however, the Chinese defence budget is roughly four times larger.

"India also has to compete for control in the Indian Ocean, a formidably expensive proposition," it stated.

Stating that the Indian military's modernization programme was coming after years of under-investment, it said: "For India, there should be a realization that goes beyond the plain numbers: the further away it pulls from Pakistan in the conventional field, the more it will create pressure on Pakistan to perhaps lower the nuclear threshold to stave off the threat of conflict."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-remains-top-military-threat-Pakistani-daily/articleshow/46431787.cms

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Mideast

 

Iran Voices Concern over Terrorists' Flow from Western Countries to Middle-East

3 March 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced Tehran's serious concern over the flow of western nationals to the Middle-East to join terrorist groups operating in the Persian Gulf region.

"Iran is concerned about the flow of terrorists from the western countries to the Persian Gulf region," Zarif said in a meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein in Geneva on Monday.

The Iranian foreign minister underlined the need for decisive campaign against terrorism and extremism through a single, and not double-standard, approach and without any discrimination.

Zarif slammed the western countries for their double-standards in dealing with human rights issues, including the freedom of speech and desecration of religions.

The Iranian foreign minister voiced Iran's readiness to cooperate with the UN high commissioner for human rights, and said, "Iran is concerned about the growing trend of Islamophobia in the West."

Al-Hussein, for his part, voiced readiness for increasing talks and cooperation between the two sides, and said he welcomes efforts which could improve the human rights conditions.

On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the spread of the new waves of violence and extremism is threatening peace and security worldwide, and called for global coordination and cooperation to eradicate terrorist groups.

Speaking in a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Paulo Gentiloni, President Rouhani said that terrorism has posed major threat to the international community, and that global cooperation is necessary to get rid of the menace of terrorism.

He said that the Iranian government had repeatedly warned western governments that if they support terrorism in countries like Syria, Iraq and Libya, they will face such threats in their own homelands as well.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931211001612

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Turkey has plan-B to by-pass Austrian law on Islam

03 March, 2015

The head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, has once again reacted to a recent Austrian code, which caused debate with items that regulates Islam in the country, saying that the body a plan-B to by-pass the code by training a number of Turkish-origin imams in Turkey before they return to the European country as religious officials.

On Feb. 25, the Austrian Parliament passed a law the updated “Law on Islam,” which was prepared by the coalition of the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Party, aims to regulate how Islam is managed inside the country and includes provisions requiring imams to be able to speak German, standardizing the Quran in the German language, and banning Islamic organizations from receiving foreign funding.

The code also projects sending back religious service cadre back to their countries in three years.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-has-plan-b-to-by-pass-austrian-law-on-islam-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79087&NewsCatID=338

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Turkey detains 10 in ISIL raids

03 March, 2015

Turkish authorities have detained 10 suspects in raids in northwestern Turkey as part of a probe into potential Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members, police have said.

The 10 suspects were taken into custody after Turkish police carried out parallel raids at multiple addresses in the northwestern province of Sakarya on the night of March 1.

The authorities did not share any further information regarding the details of the investigation.

On Feb. 5, a Turkish citizen was arrested for being a member of ISIL for the first time in Turkey.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-detains-10-in-isil-raids-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79070&NewsCatID=341

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Turkey assessing ‘further contribution’ to military operation in Mosul: Minister

03 March, 2015

Turkey will continue to assess its “further contribution” to an international military operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz stated on March 2.

As Ankara is currently planning to provide training to members of some Sunni tribes around Mosul as part of efforts to degrade and defeat jihadists in northern Iraq, bilateral cooperation with Baghdad in the fight against the ISIL could be concretized during Yılmaz’s upcoming visit to Iraq.

Turkey is part of the collation against ISIL and “has started to make a concrete contribution,” Yılmaz told reporters, amid speculation about the planned upcoming operation to force the jihadists out of Mosul.

“We’ll carry out the evaluation for further contribution in due course, based on our national interests. Ultimately we’ll fulfill our responsibility as a coalition member,” he added.

Citing recent remarks by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Yılmaz said Turkey was “ready to fulfill its responsibilities if others do so too.”

He is set to travel to Iraq on March 4 to visit both Baghdad and Arbil, accompanied by officials from both the Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-assessing-further-contribution-to-military-operation-in-mosul-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79051&NewsCatID=510

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Jerusalem court upholds Jewish prayer on Temple Mount

03 March, 2015

Activists hailed what they labeled as an historic victory, after the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court issued a ruling ostensibly backing claims that Jews be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.

Activist Yehudah Glick had brought a law suit against the Israel Police for banning him for two years from visiting the site because of video evidence of him praying there.

Glick, who was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt last year by a Palestinian extremist, was banned from the Temple Mount between 2011 and 2013 after he was seen uttering a Jewish prayer at the site in a Channel 10 broadcast.

The security services prohibit non-Muslims from praying or engaging in other forms of worship on the Temple Mount, claiming that such activity inevitably triggers Palestinian violence.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld the theoretical right for Jews to pray at the site, although it has stated that the security services are permitted to take security considerations into account when deciding whether to allow non-Muslim prayer there.

On Sunday, Judge Malka Aviv said the police ban on Glick visiting the site was issued “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary, and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Jerusalem-court-upholds-Jewish-prayer-on-Temple-Mount-392744

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Palestinians to file first 'war crime' case against Israel on April 1

03 March, 2015

The Palestinians plan to file the first war crimes case against Israel with the International Criminal Court on April 1, Muhammad Shtayyeh, a senior PLO official, said on Monday.

The Palestinian case refers two issues to the ICC – Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli settlement building – Shtayyeh told visiting US church leaders.

Three “important steps” had to happen before the matter was settled, he said.

The first step is this week’s meeting of the PLO leadership to decide on the future of relations between the Palestinian Authority (an organ of the PLO) and Israel, Shtayyeh said.

The second is the March 17 election in Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called PA President Mahmoud Abbas and asked him to refrain from any “fateful” decisions until after the election.

But the Palestinians don’t see a difference between the various competing parties, chiefly the Zionist Union and the Likud, Shtayyeh said.

“None of them has a program for ending the occupation,” he said.

“The [Isaac] Herzog and [Tzipi] Livni camp [of the Zionist Union] might show imaginary flexibility in appearance, while destroying its content,” he said.

The third step involves filing a charge sheet against Israel with the ICC in April, Shtayyeh said.

The ICC has accepted “Palestine” as a member state before the court, but the Palestinians can only act on that status as of April 1.

But it is still unclear if they could file a case against Israel.

On January 16, the ICC opened a preliminary investigation into “the situation in Palestine,” but it has yet to issue any findings.

A government official in Jerusalem said that a decision by the PA to file a war crimes case against Israel in the ICC would be a “negative development in the extreme,” and would “compel Israel to respond.”

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Palestinians-to-file-first-war-crime-case-against-Israel-on-April-1-392697

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Africa

 

Nigeria: Military Operations Force Boko Haram Back to Urban Warfare

3 March 2015

Bomb attacks in Nigerian towns and cities look likely to increase in the run-up to the forthcoming elections, despite the military's increasing successes against Boko Haram in captured territories. At least 86 people were killed in explosions blamed on Boko Haram last week alone, all of them at crowded bus stations in the North-east, wider north and also in Plateau State.

The style of attack - using either explosives left in bags or suicide bombers - has prompted the government in Abuja to issue a warning for increased vigilance at "soft targets".

But with elections on March 28 that Boko Haram has already vowed to disrupt, security experts said there would be renewed fears about the safety of voters, particularly at polling stations.

"I think it's safe to say that as multinational counter-insurgency operations continue in the North-east, Boko Haram will intensify its urban terror campaign," Ryan Cummings, chief Africa analyst at Red24 risk consultants, told AFP.

"Boko Haram will know that it lacks the resources or capacity to engage the Nigerian Army and its allies in conventional warfare, so its retributive attacks will increasingly focus on asymmetric warfare, which is resource-light but nevertheless damaging." Attacking towns and cities recalls Boko Haram's previous tactics before it began capturing and seizing territories in the North-east in mid-2014, declaring some part an Islamic caliphate.

Cities such as Kano and particularly the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, were hit regularly until the government declared a state of emergency in May 2013 in three North-eastern states.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201503020652.html

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Ghana Muslims hail president's stand on hijab

World Bulletin / News Desk

 3 March 2015

Ghanaian Muslims have welcomed a recent presidential directive emphasizing the citizen's right to freedom of faith as spelled out in the national constitution.

"It's like our prayers have finally been heard," Kausar Mohammed, a nursing student, told The Anadolu Agency.

"It's good because it will help us practice our faith," he said.

In his annual state-of-the-nation address on Thursday, President John Mahama reiterated his commitment to Article 21 of the constitution, which guarantees citizens the freedom of religion and the freedom to express their religious beliefs.

"It is wrong under our constitution for Muslim students to be compelled to attend church services, or for Christian students to be compelled to attend Muslim congregational prayers," he explained.

"It is also wrong to prevent Muslim women from wearing the hijab or [Catholic] nuns from wearing their habits to work or school," Mahama added.

"Heads of institution must note this for strict compliance," he warned. "Appropriate sanctions will be taken against any head of institution who acts contrary to constitutional provisions."

Prior to the president's directive, many female Muslim high-school students – and female Muslims working in the public sector – had been forced to take off their veils.

The issue was more pronounced at missionary schools and nurse-training colleges.

Therefore, the president's speech came as a relief for Kausar, who says seeing her colleagues humiliated for wearing the veil deterred her from wearing one herself.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/156007/ghana-muslims-hail-presidents-stand-on-hijab

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Militants shell two Libyan oilfields

World Bulletin / News Desk

3 March 2015

Militants shelled Libya's Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields on Monday, damaging a pipeline to the Es Sidra oil port, a spokesman for forces protecting energy infrastructure said.

Militants claiming loyalty to ISIL have been blamed for attacks last month on an oilfield and pipeline inLibya, where two rival governments are battling for control.

"Large armed forces calling themselves ISIL in Libya shelled Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields. Field offices are still on fire," spokesman Ali Hassi said. "The militants damaged the crude pipeline between the two oilfields and Es Sidra port."

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/156047/militants-shell-two-libyan-oilfields

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Haftar army chief for recognized Libya govt

3 March 2015

BENGHAZI: Former Libyan general Khalifa Haftar was appointed as army commander for the country’s internationally recognized government on Monday in a decision that may complicate UN talks to end fighting in Libya.

Four years after Muammar Qaddafi’s demise, Libya is mired in a conflict pitting the recognized government against a rival administration set up by an armed faction known as Libya Dawn that took over the capital Tripoli last summer.

The appointment of Haftar, a former Qaddafi ally who later joined the 2011 revolution against the Libyan leader, is likely to stoke tensions with the Tripoli government, which sees his rise as a sign that the old guard is gaining strength.

“The House of Representatives has appointed Gen. Khalifa Belqasem Haftar as top military commander,” said Tarek Saqer Juroushi, deputy head of the defense committee at Libya’s elected Parliament. He said Haftar had been promoted to lieutenant general, adding that he would be sworn in on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/712866

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Southeast Asia

 

 

Just filling-up forms doesn’t make you Muslim, says Jakim

03 March, 2015

A non-Muslim cannot be converted to Islam just by filling up some forms, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said today, adding that a verbal admission was the main condition before one is registered as a convert.

Its director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha said today that a non-Muslim has to be willing to embrace Islam without being forced by anyone as there is no coercion in the religion.

"Then he would have to utter the 'kalimah syahadah', admitting that Allah is the only God to pray to and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger. This has to be witnessed by other Muslims," Othman said in a statement on his Facebook page today.

"It is not as easy as filling up some forms as the verbal admission is the main condition before a person is registered as a convert through the next procedure."

This statement from the Jakim chief comes after Islamic evangelical group Malaysia Reverted Muslims (MRM) had been accused of secretly altering the religious records of non-Muslims who accepted free copies of the Quran from them.

The text message that went viral recently, stated that MRM was allegedly tracking down and converting those who accepted free copies of the Quran.

MRM had previously denied the allegations, calling it a lie and a false accusation against them, adding that there was no compulsion in embracing the religion.

"There is a message with two images circulating around in WhatsApp. We in MRM strongly deny the false accusation and we will lodge a police report soon on this matter," it said in a posting on its Facebook page.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/just-filling-up-forms-doesnt-make-you-muslim-says-jakim#sthash.2WotSM7p.dpuf

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Bibles with ‘Allah’ still banned in Selangor but Azmin promises more interfaith dialogue

03 March, 2015

Bahasa Malaysia bibles that use the word "Allah" for God are still banned in Selangor, its menteri besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said in Sarawak today, but added that the state's Islamic authorities had been told to engage more with other religions.

Azmin said the ban was in place due to the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions Enactment 1988 which prohibits non-Muslims from using the Arabic word for "God".

“We have to respect the law,” he told reporters in Kuching at the end of a three-day working visit to the state.

However, Azmin said that following the return of seized Alkitab and Iban-language Bup Kudus bibles in November last year, he had given his support to Selangor Muslim leaders and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to engage with Christian leaders “to educate” themselves on other religious faiths.

Azmin said he had asked them to visit churches and the result of the engagement for the last two months had been positive.

“We need to continue the dialogue between Christians and Muslims so that there will be better understanding and to create a harmonious environment in our multi-religious and multi-racial society,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bibles-with-allah-still-banned-in-selangor-but-azmin-promises-more-interfai#sthash.dBhzETTa.dpuf

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Indonesia hopes Islamic tourism drive draws more visitors

03 March, 2015

Just a short hop from Bali , a Saudi tourist and his family listen to the call to prayer as the sun goes down on Lombok, the "island of 1,000 mosques".

Lombok is at the centre of an Islamic tourism drive in Indonesia, which is hoping to boost the number of visitors from wealthy Middle Eastern countries.

Authorities plan to build a huge Islamic centre containing a mosque, a hotel and a study centre. At prayer time, specially-trained tour guides will point Muslim visitors in the direction of the nearest mosque.

While aiming to continue to attract Western tourists who flock to its pristine beaches, the island is also seeking to promote its Islamic heritage, from numerous places of worship to shrines dedicated to ancient Muslim preachers.

"I love it here because I can hear the azan (call to prayer) and people go to the mosque to pray," said Sulaiman, a Saudi tourist accompanied by his burqa-clad wife.

Though foreign visitor arrivals to Indonesia rose to 8.8 million in 2013 according to official figures, the number still pales in comparison to those of regional neighbours Malaysia (25.72 million) and Thailand (26.55 million).

While there are no official figures for "Sharia tourism" in Indonesia, the sector is experiencing strong international growth.

Full report at:

http://khabarsoutheastasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/features/2015/03/03/feature-01

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North America

 

Obama says timing of Netanyahu's speech on Iran is a mistake

03 March, 2015

US President Barack Obama said that the bond between the US and Israel is unbreakable, despite tensions over differences in opinion with regard to efforts to seal a landmark atomic deal with Iran.

In an interview with Reuters at the White House, Obama said that a rift over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress opposing the Iran deal on Tuesday was a distraction that would not be "permanently destructive" to US-Israeli ties.

But he said there was a "substantial disagreement" between his administration and the Israeli government over how to achieve their shared goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"If, in fact, Iran is willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist ... if we've got that, and we've got a way of verifying that, there's no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don't have a nuclear weapon," Obama said.

The US goal is to make sure "there's at least a year between us seeing them try to get a nuclear weapon and them actually being able to obtain one," he added.

Israel fears that Obama's Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework nuclear agreement, will still allow its arch-foe to develop an atom bomb. Tehran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu has spoken scathingly about a possible deal, saying negotiators appear to have given up on a pledge to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He says a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Obama sought to downplay the long-term damage from the row over Netanyahu's speech to Congress, saying the rift was not personal but a matter of policy.

"As a matter of policy, we think it's a mistake for the prime minister of any country to come to speak before Congress a few weeks before they're about to have an election. It makes it look like we are taking sides," Obama said, referring to Israel's March 17 election.

Obama said Netanyahu had been wrong before with his opposition to a 2013 interim deal with Iran, pointing out that Iran had rolled back elements of its program during that time.

The White House last week denied a report that the United States and Iran were exploring a possible 10-year deal that would initially freeze Iran's nuclear program but gradually allow it to increase activities that could enable it to produce nuclear arms in the last years of the agreement.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/International/Watch-Live-Obama-responds-to-Netanyahus-AIPAC-speech-392731

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Donations dry up for Isis group: US intelligence

03 March, 2015

Donations to Isis jihadists have dramatically declined in the wake of brutal executions by the group that have shocked public opinion in the Middle East, the chief of US intelligence said Monday.

"I think there is change afoot in the Mideast," said James Clapper, director of national intelligence, referring to perceptions of the Isis group in the region.

"It's not going to occur overnight. But I think these brutalities, publicised brutalities by Isis, beheadings, immolation and the like, have really had a galvanising effect even in the Mideast," Clapper said at an event in New York organised by the Council on Foreign Relations.

As a result, donations to the extremists in Islamic countries were dropping off, according to Clapper.

"There's been a big decline," he said.

But he added that private donations accounted for "less than one percent" of the group's income, with most of its revenue coming from bank robberies, extortion and oil smuggling in areas under Isis control.

The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led states have long been accused of allowing donations to flow to Islamist extremists in Syria, but those countries have denied the allegations.

Vice President Joe Biden had to issue an apology to UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia last year after he suggested that their governments sent money and weapons to Sunni militants fighting the Syrian regime.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/donations-dry-up-for-isis-group#sthash.MwCnedcA.dpuf

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U.S. committed to denying Iran nuclear bomb

2 March 2015

The United States pledged its unwavering commitment to Israel on Monday, and insisted it will take “whatever steps are necessary” to deny adversary Iran a nuclear bomb.

As international negotiators seek a deal with Tehran to rein in its nuclear program, Washington's U.N. ambassador Samantha Power reiterated President Barack Obama's commitment to prevent the Islamic republic from developing atomic weapons.

“He will keep his commitment whether the negotiations collapse or produce a diplomatic solution that meets our bottom line,” she told some 16,000 attendees at U.S. pro-Israel lobby AIPAC ahead of a speech by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Talk, no talk. Agreement, no agreement. The United States will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our national security and that of our closest allies,” she assured.

“If diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as everyone here. We will not let it happen,” Power added.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/02/U-S-committed-to-denying-Iran-nuclear-bomb.html

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Bad nuke deal with Iran is worse than no deal: Susan Rice

Mar 3, 2015

President Barack Obama’s national security advisor has said that a bad nuclear deal with Iran is worse than no deal at all, asserting that the US is keeping all options open to prevent it from developing atomic weapons.

NSA Susan Rice told a meeting of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that President Obama was committed to “ensuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.”

“Israel’s security is at the heart of one of President Obama’s most important foreign policy objectives,” Rice said, commenting on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s remarks that Obama did not fully understand his nation’s vital security concerns. She recalled the US president’s statement in Israel that .

“America will do whatever is must to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.” “President Obama said it. He meant it. And those are his orders to us all,” Rice said.

“Given Iran’s support for terrorism, the risk of a nuclear—arms race in the region, and the danger to the entire global non—proliferation regime, an Iran with a nuclear weapon would not just be a threat to Israel, it’s an unacceptable threat to the US,” she said.

Assuring Israel that the Obama administration acknowledges its concerns with regard to talks with Iran, she said, “We understand the concerns of our Israeli friends and partners. I want to be very clear. A bad deal is worse than no deal.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/bad-nuke-deal-with-iran-is-worse-than-no-deal-susan-rice/article6954661.ece

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Europe

 

Accused al Qaida operative wrote in code about UK bomb plot

03 March, 2015

NEW YORK - A Pakistani man used a code in which women's names substituted for bomb materials when he would email with al Qaida about a plot to kill hundreds of people in England in 2009, a US prosecutor said on Monday.

Abid Naseer sent an al Qaida operative emails with stilted language about women and a wedding, but the emails were actually about a planned car bombing, prosecutor Zainab Ahmad told jurors at the close of a federal trial in Brooklyn, New York.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Accused-al-Qaida-operative-wrote-in-code-about-UK-bomb-plot-392727

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Fifty Shades star ‘joins ISIS’ in spoof video

2 March 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson has stirred controversy after appearing in a Saturday Night Live (SNL) skit about joining the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group.

In the spoof video, the actors parody a Toyota advert in which a father bids farewell to his daughter who is joining the U.S. Army.

In SNL’s version, however, Johnson plays the role of a daughter who is set to join the extremist group, in a skit some have deemed distasteful.

SNL cast member Taran Killam plays the role of the father who tells his daughter: “You be careful, OK?”

As Johnson steps out of the car, she looks back at the father, beams and says “It's only ISIS, Dad.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/03/02/Fifty-Shades-star-joins-ISIS-in-spoof-video.html

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Columnist accused of inventing 'Jihadi' allegations against Muslim Council of Britain

03 March, 2015

Boris Johnson made up a “serious false accusation” about the Muslim Council of Britain when he alleged that it claimed jihadists as part of “mainstream Islam”, the organisation has said.

The MCB says it never actually made comments attributed to it by the Mayor of London and has written to the newspaper in which he made the allegations.

Writing in his column, Mr Johnson accused the group of “eliding anti-jihadism with Islamophobia” and attributed criticism of recent comments he had made about Islam to a “spokeswoman” of the Muslim Council of Britain.

But in a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, seen by The Independent, the council says it never made a published comment on the story and accuses the Mayor of inventing the allegations.

“We have investigated this and cannot find any such remark made to the Guardian,” the letter reads.

“So while he was ‘astounded to be denounced’ allegedly by the MCB, we are equally astounded that such a serious false accusation can be published without fully checking the facts.”

The website version of the Guardian story to which Mr Johnson appears to be referring, dated 30 January 2014, does not mention the Muslim Council of Britain.

It cites criticism from Quilliam, an organisation set up to challenge extremism, which refers to Mr Johnson’s claims regarding jihadists being sexually repressed as “ludicrous” and “a generalisation”.

The organisation Islamix, which promotes promotes community cohesion, is also quoted. Its director Mohammed Khaliel, accused the mayor of sowing “discord”.

Writing in his regular Daily Telegraph column, published this morning, the Mayor of London said he was “astonished” to be attacked by the MCB.

“I was astounded to be denounced, on the front page of the Guardian, by the Muslim Council of Britain,” he wrote.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-accused-of-inventing-jihadi-allegations-against-muslim-council-of-britain-10080734.html

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UN nuclear watchdog: Iran withholding key information

3 March 2015

VIENNA — The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said on Monday Iran had still not handed over key information to his staff, and his body’s investigation into Tehran’s atomic program could not continue indefinitely.

“Iran has yet to provide explanations that enable the agency to clarify two outstanding practical measures,” chief Yukiya Amano told the body’s Board of Governors in Vienna, echoing a report seen by Reuters last month.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150303235546

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Activist: UN's Syrian envoy runs for Assad regime

World Bulletin / News Desk

 3 March 2015

The spokesperson for the Revolutionary Forces in Aleppo, Yasser Hajj, accused UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura of working in the interests of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Hajj gave an exclusive interview to The Anadolu Agency on Monday in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep saying, "Mistura is implementing the regime agenda and we know the places which he visited when he was in Damascus."

Staffan de Mistura was appointed in 2014 as the new special envoy tasked with seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“Mistura is working for Assad. His plans and opinions are the same as the regime’s demands. He has lost his credibility by expressing his opinions and he was supposed to be unbiased," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/156041/activist-uns-syrian-envoy-runs-for-assad-regime

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‘Jihadi John’ best employee we ever had, says former boss

Mar 3, 2015

In fresh revelations about the journey from normality to infamy of the man known as “Jihadi John”, it has come to light that Mohammed Emwazi, the Briton identified as an Islamic State (IS) executioner, was once a star salesman for a Kuwaiti IT company.

Emwazi, the Kuwaiti-born but London-raised graduate who features in IS videos apparently beheading hostages in the Syrian desert, was quiet and rather withdrawn but had a natural gift for his work, a former boss in Kuwait City told the Guardian.

“He was the best employee we ever had,” the former boss said of the then 21-year-old.

“He was very good with people, calm and decent, he came to our door and gave us his CV.”

He said the staff was surprised that a Londoner would want to come and work in Kuwait, as many of his peers in the region would be looking to make the journey in the opposite direction.

The former boss added that, after a stellar probation period, the Briton disappeared completely in April 2010 after a trip to London.

“How could someone as calm and quiet as him become like the man who we saw on the news? It’s just not logical that he could be this guy.”

During his brief stint at the IT company, he twice requested emergency family leave to return to Britain. In simple English handwriting, he wrote ‘London’ as a destination for a seven-day stint on January 10, 2010.

His second request was made days before he left for good on April 25 that year. “We never saw him again,” said his employer. “But he did send us back his SIM card in the post.”

Soon after his return to London, counter-terrorism officials detained him and prevented him from returning to Kuwait.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/jihadi-john-best-employee-we-ever-had-says-former-boss/article6951672.ece

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UK rights activists Cage in dock for 'Jihadi John' comments

3 March 2015

A rights group in contact with the man thought to be Islamic State group executioner "Jihadi John" before he left Britain for Syria is facing a backlash after accusing intelligence services of radicalising him.

Cage, whose leading figures include former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, describes its work as supporting people arrested or raided as a result of the "war on terror" following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

When Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwait-born London IT worker, was identified by the Washington Post as "Jihadi John" last week, Cage held a press conference at which its research director Asim Qureshi described him as a "beautiful young man" and blamed British intelligence for radicalising him.

It claimed that MI5 had been tracking Emwazi since at least 2009 and had even tried to recruit him.

Emwazi had complained of harassment between 2009 and 2012, had been stopped from going on a safari trip and prevented from pursuing a job and a marriage in Kuwait, the group said.

The group's comments prompted a furious response across the board in British politics and media, with many arguing that "Jihadi John" -- believed to be responsible for beheading at least five Western hostages -- was the only person accountable for his own actions.

Cage's views were dismissed as "reprehensible" by the office of Prime Minister David Cameron, "very false" by a former head of MI6 and an "apology for terror" by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/124283/World/International/UK-rights-activists-Cage-in-dock-for-Jihadi-John-c.aspx

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-state-threatens-twitter-for-blocking-its-accounts/d/101800

 

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