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Islamic World News ( 4 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives planning suicide attacks in Delhi: Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: LeT is conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks in Delhi and other places in the country. (Source: PTI photo)

 

India

Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives planning suicide attacks in Delhi: Police

ISI has trainers to help recruits master Indian dialects: Sleuths

Clerics protest against Hindu Mahasabha leader's anti-Muslim remark

 ‘ISI agents’ in STF custody: If they worked for Pak agency, where’s the money, asks family

Surveillance has become daunting after emergence of ‘Muslim colonies’: police

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Southeast Asia

World’s Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS To Get Lost

China backs Russian anti-terror campaign in Syria, calls for global support

Russian security agency warns Thailand of IS threat

Democracy compatible with Islam, says Chandra

English tutor among five held for IS links

PIA flight cleared for take off in China after bomb hoax

Moral policing driving youths away from Islam, Ku Li tells Jakim

Five suspects including European teacher nabbed for suspected links to IS, al-Qaeda

Philippines Islamist extremist linked to Malaysian kidnappings arrested

Ku Li: Religious disputes can be avoided with proper understanding of Constitution

Non-Muslims can hold decision-making posts in Amanah, says Mat Sabu

Islamic State on Trial in Indonesia

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Arab World

‘Own it’ — Terrorism is an Islamic issue, say some Muslims

ISIL Suffers Heavy Losses near Quaryatayn Town in Syria's Homs Province

Kingdom a constant target of terrorists

Blasts at nightclub claim 16 lives in Cairo

Will Syria’s civil war turn out like Spain’s did?

German MPs approve Syria military mission

Notorious Chechen Terrorist Commander Killed in Syria's Lattakia Province

Al-Nusra Top Regional Commander Killed in East of Syria's Dara'a

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army, Air Force Crush Militants' Positions in Key Provinces

Senior MP: Turkey Preventing Delivery of Russian Helicopters to Iraq

US Building Military Airbase in Northeastern Syria

U.S. yet to agree details on new force's role in Iraq

Baghdad calls on Ankara to withdraw troops

Alliance loyal to Sisi dominates Egypt parliamentary election

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North America

Muslim Americans fear demonisation of Islam after mass shooting

Obama disturbed at political rhetoric against Muslims: White House

Dr. Ninowy’s lecturer on ‘Islam and tolerance’

Following Paris attacks, New York City steps up outreach to Muslims

Feds Investigating Case Of Muslim Teen Arrested Over Homemade Clock

F.B.I. Treating San Bernardino Attack as Terrorism Case

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Europe

Targeting of London Muslims triples after Paris attacks

Morocco jails 11 for ‘terror’ offences

Russian Taliban fighter sentenced to life in prison in US

Belgians seeking 2 new suspects in Paris attacks probe

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Pakistan

Pakistan supports UN efforts for bringing peace in Yemen: Aziz

No meeting between Nawaz and US envoy after California shooting: PM House

Rabbani says institutions subordinate to parliament

Egypt interested in buying JF-17 Thunder, says ambassador

KP Assembly seeks launch of work on CPEC western route

Nisar to take up deportations with EU envoys

Christmas play at Light of Hope School

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South Asia

US-Afghan raid frees more than 40 from Taliban prison

NDS: Haqqani terrorist network kidnap people for running operation

33 IS-Khorasan militants killed, 4 wounded in Nangarhar

10 hurt in Dinajpur temple blasts

Huge fire erupts at a shopping center in Kabul’s Mandawi area

The uncertain fate of another Supreme Leader of Taliban

Afghanistan delaying move for border coordination

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Mideast

Saudi Arabia Spends over $60bln in 9-Month Aggressions on Yemen

Israel Claims Airstrikes on Damascus

Erdogan and Putin: Ex-pals turned sworn foes who won’t back down

New ISIL Video Shows Ansarullah Fighters Executed in Yemen

U.S. official: ISIS oil smuggling to Turkey insignificant

EC Secretary Discloses Iran's Access to Evidence Showing Turkey's Oil Deals with ISIL

Iran, Russia must be part of Syria peace process: Blair

Turkish soldiers training Iraqi troops near Mosul: sources

Yemeni Forces Send Another Saudi Warship Down

Russian Media Hail Iran's General Soleimani for Rescuing Russia's Pilot

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Africa

Risk of huge ISIS influx into Libya, France warns

Two arrested on suspicion of planning suicide attacks in Tunisian capital

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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India

 

Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives planning suicide attacks in Delhi: Police

Dec 5, 2015

Delhi Police is searching for two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives who have allegedly hatched a conspiracy to carry out “suicide attacks” in the national capital targeting “high profile personalities”.

The conspiracy was unearthed when the Special Cell of Delhi Police received an intelligence input about two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives, identified as Dujana and Ukasha, who allegedly infiltrated in Jammu and Kashmir through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, following which an FIR was registered, said a police source.

The FIR was registered on December 1 at the Special Cell office in Lodhi Colony here under Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and doesn’t name any suspects. It was submitted at the concerned anti terror court, said the source.

According to the complaint, LeT is conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks in Delhi and other places in the country, for which alleged handlers have infiltrated operatives in India through Jammu and Kashmir and other international borders, said the police source.

“Two of them, identified as Dujana and Ukasha, have been reported to be based in the Kashmir Valley for quite long and are allegedly conspiring to target high profile personalities in Delhi by carrying out ‘fidayeen’ (suicide attacks) or grenade attacks either themselves or through their cadres,” said the police source.

The cadres are believed to be using code names like Noman, Zaid and Khursheed. They are also suspected to be targeting particularly crowded areas in the city, said the source.

Following the registration of the FIR, senior officials directed the Special Cell to deploy sources to collect information about LeT sympathisers, mount technical surveillance and take all possible measures to track down the threat as the earliest, the source added.

In July, the Special Cell had registered an FIR against unknown persons suspected to be associated with the ISIS and allegedly conspiring terror attacks in the national capital and other cities.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/lashkar-e-taiba-operatives-planning-suicide-attacks-in-delhi-police/

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ISI has trainers to help recruits master Indian dialects: Sleuths

Mrigank Tiwari

Dec 5, 2015

BAREILLY: STF sleuths interrogating arrested ISI spy Mohd Aijaz have found crucial evidence which points towards the fact that language trainers also occupy an important position in the Pakistan spy establishment.

Accordign to Aijaz, a team of Hindi language trainers, presumably recruited from among Indians, have been drilling ISI recruits on the language and dialect of the region where they would be required to operate. Aijaz was trained to develop fluency in Hindi and get out of his native Punjabi accent (he is from Pakistan's Punjab region) and thereafter taught to speak Hindi in the dialect of western Uttar Pradesh.

Talking to TOI, a senior STF official said Aijaz told them that at the time of his recruitment, his ISI handlers were a bit worried about the fact that his Punjabi accent might raise doubts about his credentials if he is sent to western Uttar Pradesh without improving his verbal skills. Their worries stemmed from the fact that the native of Taramandi locality in Islamabad district of Pakistan was only well-versed in the local dialect, a combination of Urdu and Punjabi.

The trainers' first priority, apart from imparting training in computers and videography at the training camp in Karachi, was to make Aijaz, an under-matriculate, familiar with the Hindi of western UP. Later on when he entered India via Bangladesh he was given a crash course once again in Hindi in Kolkata. However, said officials, Aijaz is not able to confirm whether the persons who taught him Hindi were Indians or from another country.

Talking to TOI, STF senior inpector Ajay Pal Singh, who interrogated Aijaz at length, said, "He was taught Indian customs and traditions practised in the Hindi heartland to avoid making a goof-up when he moved around among locals. After staying for a few months in Bihar, the ISI spy had also picked up a few words in Bihari dialects. The language he speaks now can be summed up as a fusion of Punjabi and Bihari."

Singh added that Aijaz claimed he was a fast learner who was able to master spoken Hindi during his training and the brief stay in Bihar. He can now speak Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English fluently.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-has-trainers-to-help-recruits-master-Indian-dialects-Sleuths/articleshow/50050710.cms

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Clerics protest against Hindu Mahasabha leader's anti-Muslim remark

Dec 4 2015

Scores of clerics Friday staged a massive protest against Hindu Mahasabha National Working President Kamlesh Tiwari for making ‘derogatory’ remarks against Islam and circulating pamphlets against Muslim community.

Pertinently, Tiwari has already been arrested by Lucknow Police who allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), after students of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband and other members of Muslim community staged a protest demanding action against the zealot.

Scores of Islamic clerics under the banner of Rabita A'ima Masajid Jammu Kashmir assembled at Press Enclave in Srinagar to demand stern punishment against Hindu Mahasabha president.

“Mere arresting him is not going to solve any problem. It has become routine for some anti-Islamic elements to hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the globe. If he is not booked and caged, we will come on roads on daily basis,” Maulana Syed Waris Shah Bukhari told CNS. CNS

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/kashmir/clerics-protest-against-hindu-mahasabha-leader-s-anti-muslim-remark/203322.html

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‘ISI agents’ in STF custody: If they worked for Pak agency, where’s the money, asks family

by Arshad Ali

Dec 5, 2015

THE alleged ISI agent Irshad Ansari from whom the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police claimed to have recovered Rs 2 lakh in fake Indian currency had all of Rs 50 in his savings bank account as of February 10, this year, the day the passbook was last updated.

The savings account was functional in Allahabad Bank’s Garden Reach branch. Irshad, 52, was a contractual labourer at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), which builds warships for the navy. The STF had recovered recovered some maps of the GRSE from Irshad, his son and Asfaq, and brother-in-law Mohammed Jahangir. The STF had also recovered another Rs 1.5 lakh each in fake currency from Asfaq, a second year student of political sciences at Harimohan Ghosh College in Garden Reach area, and Jahangir, who worked as a tailor.

“If we had even half the amount that STF claims to have recovered from my father, brother and uncle, we would have been able to afford a lawyer for them,” Irshad’s daughter Shafreen Ansari told The Indian Express.

She, like her other family members, claims his father, “a heart patient”, is innocent and had no links with the Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

“We live in this house, which is less than 100 square feet in area. My father was a daily wage earner and since his arrest we have not had a proper meal. The two male members of our house are behind bars and everyone around knows it. My mother and I are spending our days in a lot of insecurity,” said Shafreen.

She claimed that Irshad was a heart patient and has already suffered two cardiac attacks – the last time in March this year. Shafreen claimed that Jahangir was a religious person who lived in an equally small house in the vicinity and had a “reputation” of being a very helpful person. “My grandmother had not been told of the arrests. She is a heart patient and would die of a heart attack,” Shafreen said.

Irshad was the acting president of the INTTUC, the labour wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress affiliated trade union, at the GRSE. Asfaq was the general secretary of the TMCP-led students’ union at Harimohan Ghosh College. His friends at college claimed that he was an avid lover of cricket and that they had never had any reasons to believe that he could have been spying for ISI. “He is a soft spoken and introvert person. We can never link him to such activities,” said one of his classmates.

Ironically, the political party they had been linked with, had disowned them immediately. TMC leaders said both Irshad and Asfaq had been expelled from the party for anti-party activities. “That they will say, because they don’t want the arrests to affect the party’s name in any way,” Shafreen alleged.

The family members of Akhtar Khan and Jaffar Khan, who were the first of the six alleged ISI linkmen to be arrested in Kolkata, claim that the duo had been to Pakistan but only to visit an ailing relative.

Their sister Suraiya Begum said she was running from pillar to post to get legal help for her brothers trying to manage everything “within the Rs 200 a day earning” of her husband. “I live in a rented place in Topsia. My landlord had come to me the other day and said that my brothers had been arrested as criminals and it has brought a bad name to the people here. So I must vacate the house,” Suraiya said, claiming her brothers were no ISI agents but had went to Pakistan to visit an ailing relative.

Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi, deputy commissioner, Special Task Force (STF) however, claim that they have enough evidence to prove that all the arrested men – these five and another one Sheikh Badal held on December 2 – are ISI agents. “They (the family members of the accused) can say whatever they want to. We have arrested them on the basis of evidence. The investigation is going on and I cannot comment about anything else in this case,” Chaturvedi said.

The senior STF official, however, said arrests —- six in about a fortnight —- of were not indicative of any pattern. “We carry out operations according to the intelligence inputs we get. These arrests have been made based on such inputs,” Chaturvedi said. Senior officials of the STF said they will make more arrests soon based on the information extracted from the arrested accused. All the six have been booked under several sections including 121 (attempting to wage war against the state) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, and are at present in STF custody .

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/isi-agents-in-stf-custody-if-they-worked-for-pak-agency-wheres-the-money-asks-family/

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Surveillance has become daunting after emergence of ‘Muslim colonies’: police

T.V. SIVANANDAN

December 5, 2015

The arrest of a terror suspect and the picking up of three journalists, including the editor of a local Urdu daily from Kalaburagi, have sent shockwaves among the public, while also exposing chinks in surveillance by the police who failed to keep tab on the activities of these elements.

Senior police officials who spoke to The Hindu on the condition of anonymity said that keeping tab on the happenings in Kalaburagi had become daunting with the emergence of “exclusive Muslim colonies”, after one of the worst instances of communal violence in December 1993 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/surveillance-has-become-daunting-after-emergence-of-muslim-colonies-police/article7950980.ece

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Southeast Asia

 

World’s Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS To Get Lost

December 4, 2015

Each time the Islamic State, al Qaeda or another terrorist group commits violence in the name of Islam, a familiar refrain arises: What’s the Muslim world doing about it?

In fact, anti-extremism efforts abound in the global Muslim community: Muslim leaders and scholars have denounced the Islamic State group, the U.K.’s Muslim Youth League has declared “ideological holy war” against extremism, and YouTube has even tried to recruit American Muslims to counter extremist content.

And in Indonesia, home of the world’s largest Muslim population, a massive anti-extremism movement is underway.

Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU, is the largest independent Islamic organization in the world, with 50 million members. Part Sunni religious body, part political party and part charity, it was founded nearly 90 years ago, in 1926, as a response to another Sunni movement, Wahabbism.

Wahhabism is the ultra-conservative reform movement based in Saudi Arabia that advocates for puritanical laws from the time of Islam’s origins. It rejects the modern notion of “religion as a purely private activity” and the separation of church and state. The Islamic State is highly committed to Wahhabi principles, using its religious textbooks and embracing its hardline tradition of killing unbelievers.

NU’s stated goal is to “to spread messages about a tolerant Islam in their respective countries to curb radicalism, extremism and terrorism,” which, it claims, “often spring from a misinterpretation of Islamic teachings.” It launched its global anti-extremism initiative in 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/worlds-largest-islamic-organization-tells-isis-to-get-lost/211809/

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China backs Russian anti-terror campaign in Syria, calls for global support

Dec 5, 2015

China says it supports Russia’s anti-terror war in Syria, and urges the international community to make joint efforts to combat terrorism in accordance with the international law and with respect to the sovereignty of nations.

“We have always supported the efforts of various countries, including Russia, to ensure international security. As for Russia’s strikes against terrorist organizations in Syria, we have also expressed our support previously,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated at a press briefing on Friday, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

She further said Beijing opposes all forms of terrorism, and added that it has always supported anti-terrorist actions that conform to international law, and also the ones approved by the government of a particular country.

Russia launched its air campaign against the Takfiris, including the Daesh terrorist group, in Syria on September 30, upon a request from the Syrian government and after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the green light to use force in Syria.

The foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which started in March 2011, has left over 250,000 people dead.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/05/440346/China-Russia-Syria-Beijing-Chunying-Daesh

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Russian security agency warns Thailand of IS threat

Dec 4, 2015

Thai police have received a warning from Russia’s state security agency that 10 Syrians who may be linked to the Islamic State group could stage attacks in Thailand on targets associated with Russia and others opposed to the militants, officials said Friday.

National police deputy spokesman Col. Songpol Wattanachai confirmed the authenticity of a leaked police memo mentioning the intelligence warning. He told reporters that the information has not been verified.

WATCH VIDEO: Nicolas Henin, once in IS captivity, says airstrikes are only helping them

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for bringing down a Russian jetliner over Egypt’s Sinai region in October, describing it as retaliation for Russian airstrikes in Syria.

The Thai capital was the target of a bombing in August that killed 20 people, but it has been linked to militants from China’s Muslim Uighur minority.

There have been few signs of IS activity in Thailand, though the group actively recruits volunteers from its Southeast Asian neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia — which are predominantly Muslim — to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The police memo, dated Nov. 17 and marked “urgent” and “confidential,” cites Russia’s Federal Security Service FSB warning that the 10 Syrians believed to be involved with IS entered Thailand in the second half of October. According to the memo, some of them went to Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.

Pattaya and Phuket are seaside resorts popular with foreign tourists, and Pattaya is especially popular with Russians.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/russia-warns-thailand-of-impending-islamic-state-threat/

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Democracy compatible with Islam, says Chandra

Mikha Chan

December 5, 2015

PETALING JAYA: Democracy is inherently compatible with Islam, argues political scientist and Islamic reformist Chandra Muzaffar, although he acknowleged that “one-to-one” parity between Islam and democracy would leave many Muslims a little uneasy.

Speaking at a public forum here today, he said: “Many Muslims would be able to accept that a democracy rooted in Islam is in line with the religion, but at the same time, Muslims everywhere are very conscious of what they see as the distinctiveness of Islam. In other words, a one-to-one equation between Islam and democracy is something they would be uneasy about.”

The forum, entitled Islam in a Constitutional Democracy, includes civil rights figures and Islamic intellectuals such as Dzulkefly Ahmad, Azmi Sharom and Farouk Musa.

Chandra drew parallels between Islamic thought and the Western concept of democracy, pointing out that both Islamic and Western-derived schools of thought would argue that freedom is a treasure.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/05/democracy-compatible-with-islam-says-chandra/

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English tutor among five held for IS links

December 5, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: A European man who has been teaching English part-time in Penang, three other foreigners and a Malaysian have been detained by police for investigations into links with terrorist groups including Islamic State.

The five men, aged between 25 and 59, were arrested in raids conducted here and in Selangor, Kelantan and Johor since Nov 17.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/05/english-tutor-among-five-held-for-is-links/

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PIA flight cleared for take off in China after bomb hoax

IRFAN HAIDER

Dec 5, 2015

TIANJIN: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight made an emergency landing at China's Tianjin airport Friday, following a bomb hoax.

After taking off from Beijing, flight PK-852 was en route Tokyo when it made the emergency landing in Tianjin amid a bomb scare, PIA spokesman Danial Gilani told Dawn.com.

The information about the presence of the bomb originated in China, said Gilani. The source of the bomb threat is being probed by Chinese authorities.

At Tianjin, the plane was searched and passengers made to disembark, following which Chinese authorities gave clearance to the plane to take off for Tokyo.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224182/pia-flight-cleared-for-take-off-in-china-after-bomb-hoax

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Moral policing driving youths away from Islam, Ku Li tells Jakim

BY KAMLES KUMAR

December 5, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today he is saddened with the Malaysian Islamic Department’s (Jakim) hardline approach towards religion by not encouraging discussions about the religion.

The Umno lawmaker also said that Jakim’s close-minded approach and intrusion into the lives of Muslims are a cause for concern.

“The practice of the time-honoured, academic discourses where discussions are held disinterestedly do not seem to be the department’s cup of tea.

“This is sad, tragic even, as an exercise of this nature will create much interest, especially among the younger set such as the Gen Y, in their getting beyond the superficial to know Islam more deeply,” he said during his speech at the G25 forum on ‘Islam in a constitutional democracy’.

Tengku Razaleigh, better known as Ku Li added he was also disheartened by the presence of “moral police” who seem to be intruding into the lives of many Muslims here.

“Sadder still is the ostensibly perceived notion where people feel and say that there seems to be a self-appointed moral police of sorts marauding around and interfering into the private lives of the people,” he expressed.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/moral-policing-driving-youths-away-from-islam-ku-li-tells-jakim

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Five suspects including European teacher nabbed for suspected links to IS, al-Qaeda

December 5, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5— Police have arrested five male suspects including a European teacher in Penang over suspected terrorist links, according to Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The arrests were conducted by the counter-terrorism and special branch units between November 17 to December 1 in Selangor, KL, Kelantan and Johor.

“Four of the suspects are foreigners and one is a Malaysian,” Khalid said in a statement.

The 44 year-old European, who worked as temporary teacher in Penang was arrested on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda and involvement in terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Bosnia.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/five-suspects-including-european-teacher-nabbed-for-suspected-links-to-is-a

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Philippines Islamist extremist linked to Malaysian kidnappings arrested

December 4, 2015

MANILA, Dec 4 ­— A suspected Islamist extremist linked to the kidnapping of several Malaysians in the Philippines, including one that was beheaded last month, was arrested today, the military said.

Kadaffy Muktadil is a member of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which security analysts say is behind dozens of kidnappings in the past two years and has proven increasingly brazen after beheading Malaysian national Bernard Then in November.

The suspect, who also went by the name of Kadaffy Camsa, was arrested on the southern island of Jolo when he sought treatment at a hospital after a motorbike crash, the head of a counter-terrorism military task force in the area, Alan Arrojado, told AFP.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has blamed the Abu Sayyaf for the murder of Then, one of two Malaysians abducted by gunmen at a restaurant in the Sabah port of Sandakan in May.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/philippines-islamist-extremist-linked-to-malaysian-kidnappings-arrested

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Ku Li: Religious disputes can be avoided with proper understanding of Constitution

BY KAMLES KUMAR

December 5, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR,Dec 5 — Disputes between Islam and other faiths can be avoided with the proper understanding of the Federal Constitution, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.

Speaking at the ‘Islam in a constitutional democracy’ forum organised by civil society group G25, Tengku Razaleigh said Article 3 (1) and Article 11 (1) should be read together so that the context of the Federal Constitution can be properly understood.

“We need a firm and clear undertaking of Article 3(1) on the Religion of the Federation, which states that ‘Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation’.

“This has to be read in conjunction with Article 11(1) on Freedom of religion and that is, ‘every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it’,” he said during his keynote speech at the forum.

“If the two Clauses are well understood in the context of what our founding fathers had in mind, I am certain the sparks and cracklings regarding Islam and in particular, its position relative to other religions, would not have arisen in the first instance,” Tengku Razaleigh added.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ku-li-religious-disputes-can-be-avoided-with-proper-understanding-of-consti

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Non-Muslims can hold decision-making posts in Amanah, says Mat Sabu

BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR

5 December 2015

Its president Mohamad Sabu said this was part of Amanah’s focus on the politics of inclusivity, good governance and trustworthiness, which are Islamic principles.

This is in contrast to other Islamic movements which focus on issues of creed (aqidah) and the implementation of Shariah law, according to Mohamad, who is more popularly known as Mat Sabu.

“The image of Islam has been tarnished by its followers. It is seen as a religion of violence, chaos, mistreatment of women and discriminatory towards other faiths,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“We want Amanah to be supported by all. This is so that non-Muslims no longer feel scared when the word Islam is mentioned,” Mohamad said.

In order to realise these pledges, Amanah was opening the party up to non-Muslims, he said. This was unlike PAS where non-Muslims were only associate members and were sequestered in the PAS Supporters wing .

However, since Amanah is still Islamist at its core, those contesting the party’s top two posts, the president and deputy president must be committed to Islam.

Mohamad is a former long-time leader and activist of the country’s most well-known Islamist movement, PAS. He was ousted as deputy president in the party elections last June, being one of a group of progressive leaders who lost heavily to the conservative faction in the polls.

The group then left PAS after disagreeing with its new conservative leadership over the direction of the party.

Mohamad cited the behaviour of the Japanese when their country was hit by a tsunami in 2011, when illustrating the value system that Amanah wanted to nurture.

When it was time to leave the relief centres, there were thousands of valuables that had been left behind and unclaimed by their owners, who it was feared, had perished.

“The survivors did not want to take any of these valuables because it did not belong to them. But this would not happen in Malaysia.”

Such a lack of "amanah" (trustworthiness) is what Amanah wants to fix in Malaysian society.

“Muslims here do not have this attitude. For instance, if a lorry carrying fish were to overturn, people would scramble to get the fish before helping the lorry driver.

“And these people would be the ones who had just left the surau after prayers,” Mohamad said.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/non-muslims-can-hold-decision-making-posts-in-amanah-says-mat-sabu

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Islamic State on Trial in Indonesia

By Luke Hunt

December 05, 2015

Indonesia is intensifying its efforts to mitigate any fallout from home-grown recruits returning from the battlefields in the Middle East, where hundreds have fought with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which has a membership of 50 million Sunni Muslims across Indonesia, is conducting an anti-extremism campaign denouncing ISIS. Indonesia’s campaign is proving to be a timely throw back to that old maxim: what’s old is new again. NU was established and found its feet in the 1920s when Wahhabism – an orthodox brand of Islam based in Saudi Arabia – was spreading its fanatical tentacles. Osama bin Laden was an adherent of the sect.

The NU campaign coincides with hearings against at least 13 men now facing charges of conspiring with terrorists. Aged between 32 and 51, seven of the 13 are on trial together. They had raised fears that militants could return and carry out strikes on home soil, where the memories of the carnage caused from bombings conducted by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) – an al-Qaeda affiliate – remain vivid.

Trials involving another six are also underway. They all face up to 20 years behind bars under Indonesia’s tough counter-terrorism laws.

Further, Indonesians found guilty of pledging allegiance to ISIS are also considered to have pledged allegiance to a foreign country, and this can result in a person’s citizenship being revoked.

Among the militants is Tuah Febriwansyah, an Internet savvy militant who has used his own website to publish the violent antics of ISIS, also known as the Daesh .

ISIS videos calling for jihad in Indonesia have found a regular place on social media and YouTube. A recent nine-minute video posted on the Internet called for attacks on Indonesia’s Presidential Palace and the Jakarta Police headquarters before it was blocked.

Authorities say an estimated 700 Indonesians are now fighting in Iraq and Syria. Another 200 people from Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, authorities believe, have also taken up arms in the Middle East in a conflict which has highlighted the differences between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam.

There are also fears that the Abu Sayyaf – whose specialty remains kidnapping and ransom – in the Southern Philippines is also tying-up with the Daesh, resurrecting JI demands for an Islamic caliphate across Southeast Asia.

A separate report quoted national police spokesman Anton Charliyan as saying the East Indonesian Mujahidin terrorist group, known by its Indonesian acronym MIT and led by Santoso, one of the most wanted terrorists in Indonesia, had been receiving cash and assistance from ISIS, which is also calling for attacks on Western targets.

He said ISIS was spreading its propaganda across five Indonesian provinces – East Java, Lampung, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, and West Sulawesi.

“The Santoso group is part of the ISIS network. You can see that the Poso terror group even has anti-tank weapons,” he said. “It’s not easy to break into the terrorist lair, but we keep on trying.”

Full report at:

http://thediplomat.com/2015/12/islamic-state-on-trial-in-indonesia/

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Arab World

 

‘Own it’ — Terrorism is an Islamic issue, say some Muslims

Dec 5, 2015

Washington • While details are still unfolding as to why a California Muslim couple turned to murder, Muslims in the West must step up and admit terrorism is rooted in extremist Islam, said four Muslim panelists speaking at a conservative think tank Thursday.

They criticized major U.S. Muslim groups that lament such tragedies but say their religion is not responsible. They insisted the violence has roots in Islam, and that Islamist political terror is nurtured in Saudi Arabia's strict Wahhabi branch of the faith.

And they scolded the Obama administration for steadfastly refusing to brand terror as Islamic extremism. President Barack Obama decried the deaths and pledged a thorough investigation of the attack but cautioned against setting blame based on the killers' Muslim names.

"President Obama simply does not embrace reality," said Farahnez Ispahani, a former member of the Pakistani Parliament and author of an upcoming book on Pakistan's religious minorities.

She mocked the way that the administration responds to attacks. Rather than calling in progressive Muslim leaders in U.S. civil society, she said: "They call in imams and they hold an interfaith event and they are all happy.

"But there is no clear ideological campaign to fight ISIS or Islamists," she said, to a smattering of applause in the audience of about 50 people. Islam has been "hijacked," Ispahani said, and people are afraid if they admit it, it will spark Islamophobia.

"Terror is a Muslim issue, an Islamic issue within the house of Islam," said M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, "and we must own it" to fight it. He moderated the event held at the Heritage Foundation, which had been planned after the Paris attacks.

"ISIS calls its magazine 'Inspire.' How do we inspire a counter movement of ideas so Muslims are inspired by something else, not radicalism? We have to get past the denial that 'This is not about us' and 'We aren't Muslims like that," said Jasser, disparaging the majority of U.S. Muslim groups that step out with this approach every time there is a terror attack.

(Within hours of the shootings, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at a news conference, "The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence." CAIR announced a candlelight vigil with religious groups in Silver Spring, Md., to be held Friday evening.)

Naser Khader, a member of the Parliament of Denmark for the Conservative People's Party, said Muslims themselves must lead the fight rather than hide behind excuses that killers are not truly Muslim. Instead, they should condemn Islamist jihadists "without any excuses."

"If we the Muslims do not face the problem of violence, how will we ever succeed in lifting this from those powers and bring it into the 21st century?" Khader asked. He called for rereading the Quran in the light of modern times and presenting strong religious arguments for change.

Full report at:

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3267795-155/own-it-terrorism-is-an

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ISIL Suffers Heavy Losses near Quaryatayn Town in Syria's Homs Province

Dec 04, 2015

The ISIL gatherings and a military convoy in Quaryatayn mountains and the area surrounding al-Madina al-Tamthylia in the Eastern side of Homs province were massively attacked by the pro-government forces.

The pro-government forces' attack ended in destruction of at least 15 vehicle loaded with weapons and ammunition.

The ISIL also sustained a heavy death toll in the Syrian forces' offensive.

The ISIL terrorists have been under continued attacks of the Syrian forces in the recent days.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces, backed by the country's warplanes, resumed their military operations against ISIL terrorists in the Central Province of Homs on Thursday, inflicting heavy losses on them.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940913000546

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Kingdom a constant target of terrorists

5 December 2015

RIYADH: Terrorist attacks that hit the Kingdom in the past two years caused injuries to foreigners of British and US nationalities in addition to Arab citizens and citizens from East Asia.

Terrorism doesn’t differentiate between Saudis and foreigners, or between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Foreigners living in the Kingdom are protected by the law. The law takes necessary measures against those who think about inflicting harm against innocent people.

Reports show that terror attacks against the Kingdom during the past four decades exceeded 100 terrorist operations which took the lives of citizens and expatriates alike.

Terrorist acts targeted the lives of foreigners, such as the operation which took place in November 1995 which targeted the office that trains the Saudi National Guard. Five Americans and a Filipino were killed and 60 were inured.

On July 25, 1996 a booby-trapped car exploded in a building affiliated with the Ministry of Defense and killed 19 people, all Americans, and left 386 injured. On Nov. 17, 2000 a car exploded in Riyadh in Al-Alya, and killed a British citizen. His wife was injured. On Nov. 22, 2000 another car exploded killing three British citizens.

Targeting foreigners continued from that time onward. One operation took the life of a British citizen in 2000; another explosion took place in front a commercial store in Alkhobar, killing an American citizen and causing injuries to four Filipinos in October, 2001.

The largest of these attacks was the operation that involved the explosion of three cars which killed 20 people and injured 194. In May 2003, another incident killed an American who was working at King Abdulaziz Marine Base in Al-Jubail.

On Oct. 8, 2003, a number of explosions took place in Al-Mahya in Wadi Laban to the west of Riyadh, which killed 17 people and injured 122 others of various nationalities. Two armed men attacked an industrial location in Yanbu, killing five foreigners and injuring 64 people and a Saudi policeman.

Incidents also included a car driven by two Americans on their way to the marine housing complex to the east of Riyadh. The car was exposed to heavy shooting but the occupants were not injured.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/845686

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Blasts at nightclub claim 16 lives in Cairo

Dec 5, 2015

CAIRO: Assailants attacked a Cairo nightclub on Friday with petrol bombs, killing at least 16 people in the ensuing blaze, following an apparent dispute with the staff, the interior ministry said.

Police were hunting for the perpetrators of the pre-dawn attack on the El-Sayad club and restaurant.

“Sixteen people were killed and three wounded in the fire that broke out in a nightclub in the Agouza district after Molotov cocktails were thrown at the establishment,” an interior ministry statement said.

“The preliminary investigation conducted by the security services found that there was a dispute between employees and other people who then launched fire bombs at the nightclub in revenge,” it said.

A security source said the attack followed an argument between employees and a group of youths who frequented the establishment.

A thick cloud of smoke was seen billowing from the club after the attack.

Fire-fighters extinguished the blaze before it could spread to neighbouring buildings.

Forensic investigators later inspected the charred entrance, taking photographs and collecting evidence in plastic bags.

Police imposed a security cordon outside as a crowd of onlookers gathered.

The disaster is likely to renew concerns about safety standards in the country, where dozens have died in blazes in recent years.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224318/blasts-at-nightclub-claim-16-lives-in-cairo

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Will Syria’s civil war turn out like Spain’s did?

SCOTT SAVITZ

Dec 5, 2015

The civil war that has consumed Syria for nearly five years contains echoes of an earlier conflict at the opposite end of the Mediterranean. The similarities between the Syrian and Spanish civil wars suggest that the Syrian war, like the Spanish one before it, could potentially foreshadow future conflicts.

A striking feature of both conflicts is the degree to which foreigners participated in other nations’ civil wars. Volunteers from all over Europe and the Americas flocked to support the Republican (government) side in the Spanish civil war, which lasted from 1936 to 1939, just as volunteers from around the globe have joined any of various groups fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict. The most famous such volunteer in the Spanish conflict was the British novelist/essayist George Orwell, who survived being shot in the throat, but thousands of others received training and experience in Spain before departing for their native countries or other lands. National militaries from Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and the Soviet Union also participated, often testing new tactics or weapons that they would go on to use at a later date.

Then as now, a key role for foreign militaries was in the air: Germany’s bombing of Guernica, later immortalised by Picasso, was only one of a series of Luftwaffe actions during the war. The result of all this foreign involvement on both sides in Spain was that, just as in the Syrian civil war, governments intervening in the conflict sometimes found themselves at war with their own citizens on the other side. For example, Italian government forces under Mussolini’s control sometimes found themselves fighting against Italian anti-fascist volunteers, just as Western powers and Russia sometimes target their own citizens fighting on behalf of the militant Islamic State group. Another similarity of the two wars is that even as neighbouring states have intervened relentlessly in the conflict, they have not sought to formally acquire territory from a state fractured by civil war.

Both the Syrian and Spanish civil wars involved multiple sides, rather than being a straightforward two-sided conflict along the lines of the US Civil War. Syria today has a united government facing highly divided rebels, including Kurdish nationalists, moderate Islamists, al-Qaeda affiliates and IS militants, many of whom fight each other more than they do the government. In Spain, the right-wing Nationalist rebels were united under Francisco Franco’s leadership, but they faced an array of democratic and Marxist adversaries whose front was often far from united. Then as now, regional desires for autonomy or even independence played a role in the conflict. Like the Syrian Kurds today, Spain’s Basques and Catalans recognised the potential for both opportunities and threats from the ongoing conflict.

Another similarity is in the level of brutality against civilians and captives. Some of this was due to the particular nature of the actors in both conflicts, but it also reflects the especially harsh nature of civil wars. Whereas a soldier fighting another state may grudgingly respect his adversaries — reflecting that they are fighting for their country, just as he is fighting for his — war against one-time compatriots is embittered by a sense of betrayal. In such situations, prisoners of war are particularly likely to be massacred, as are civilians who are perceived as supporting the other side.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224101/will-syrias-civil-war-turn-out-like-spains-did

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German MPs approve Syria military mission

Dec 5, 2015

BERLIN: Lawmakers on Friday approved plans for Germany to take on a direct role in the battle against the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, answering France’s appeal for help after the deadly Paris attacks.

Parliament agreed to the mandate for the deployment of Tornado reconnaissance jets, a frigate and up to 1,200 troops by an overwhelming majority of 445 votes in favour and 146 against.

Also read: Britain launches airstrikes against IS in Syria

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224343/german-mps-approve-syria-military-mission

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Notorious Chechen Terrorist Commander Killed in Syria's Lattakia Province

Dec 05, 2015

Muslim Shishani, a notorious commander of the foreign-backed Ansar al-Sham terrorist group, was killed in fierce clashes with the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF).

Ansar al-Sham has a major say among the terrorist groups operating in Lattakia province.

The terrorist group also sustained heavy damage on its military hardware after the pro-government forces attacked their positions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000343

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Al-Nusra Top Regional Commander Killed in East of Syria's Dara'a

Dec 05, 2015

Abu Jalibib al-Ordoni, one of the senior commanders of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, was killed in a bomb explosion on Seida-Kahil road in the Eastern countryside of Dara'a, battlefield sources said.

Another senior commander of al-Nusra Front was killed in clashes with rivals from the ISIL terrorist group near Zabadani city in Damascus province just last Monday. Ismail Mouzafar, was killed in clashes with ISIL in Serghaya near Zabadani city.

The Al-Nusra Front, which is the branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria, has lost tens of ranking and top regional commanders in the war with Damascus troops and their allies in the last two months.

In November, fierce clashes also took pace between rival terrorist groups in the province of Dara'a, leaving scores of militants dead and injured as rifts widened between the terrorists after the Syrian army continued advance in more militant-held territories.

Clashes erupted between terrorists of al-Nusra Front and the so-called "Liwa Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk" terrorist group in al-Allan area in the Western countryside of Dara'a after al-Nusra announced on its Twitter account that it had killed the chief of Liwa Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk.

Dozens of terrorists from both sides were killed or injured in the clashes.

Abu Ali al-Breidi, the leader of Liwa Shuhadaa al-Yarmouk, was reportedly killed in a suicide attack by al-Nusra Front that targeted one of the terrorist group’s positions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000259

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Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army, Air Force Crush Militants' Positions in Key Provinces

Dec 05, 2015

Dozens of terrorists were killed and many more were wounded in the Syrian army's military operations across Syria on Friday.

Dara'a

The Syrian army inflicted heavy losses on the Al-Nusra Front and other Takfiri terrorist groups in heavy clashes with them in Dara'a al-Mahatta district of the city of Dara'a.

The army units killed tens of Takfiri terrorists and destroyed their arms and ammunition depots in Bursa Square in Dara'a al-Mahatta.

The Syrian army also destroyed the gathering centers of the Takfiri terrorists in al-Nazihin camp of Dara'a al-Balad neighborhood in Dara'a city.

Meantime, the Syrian Army and popular forces fended off a large-scale attack of terrorist groups in Northwest of Dara'a province, and killed at least 25 of them in their counter-assault.

Provincial sources said that the massive offensive of the terrorist groups on the government forces' positions near the town of Jadiyah was repelled by the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF).

The army and the NDF fighters conducted a heavy counter-attack and pushed the terrorists back and inflicted a heavy death toll on them.

Four armored vehicles of the militant groups, mounted with a variety of anti-aircraft machineguns, were destroyed by the army.

Aleppo

The Syrian Army launched a series of offensives against the al-Nusra Front's gathering centers in at least four neighborhoods of the Northern city of Aleppo on Friday, claiming the lives of many militants.

The Syrian army troops stormed the concentration centers of the al-Qaeda-affiliate Nusra Front in al-Rashidin, al-Lairamoun, al-Zahraa and Bani Zaid neighborhoods, and inflicted a heavy death toll on them.

Al-Nusra Front's military equipment, including mortar launchers and machinegun-equipped vehicles were destroyed in the army attack on their positions.

The Syrian army and its allies have won almost all the battles against the militant groups across Aleppo province in recent weeks.

Reports said earlier that the Syrian Army, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah combatants continued to hunt the terrorists in the Southern part of the province, which not only inflicted heavy death toll on the militants but also destroyed a number of their military vehicles.

Early reports said at least 14 militants were killed and tens of other were wounded on Friday.

Some members of the pro-government forces also sustained injuries in the battles.

The Syrian Army alongside the popular force inflicted heavy losses on the ISIL terrorists in their new round of fresh attacks on their positions across Aleppo province on Friday.

The pro-government forces destroyed military vehicles and equipment of the ISIL in Um Zalila and Tal Ayoub.

In the meantime, scores of the ISIL militants were killed by the Syrian forces in Khalsa village in Southwestern part of the province.

The army also stormed the defense lines of the militants near the Hreitan town, killed or wounded many of them and destroyed their military hardware.

Meantime, the pro-government forces, in a fresh round of joint operations in the Southern territories of Aleppo province on Friday, pushed back the militant groups from their positions and restored security to new territories.

The Syrian army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, Kata’eb Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba struck back against the Ahrar Al-Sham and Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, capturing the hilltop village of Tal Al-Baraqa.

Following the capture of the aforementioned village, the Syrian Armed Forces launched an assault on Tal ‘Arba’een, seizing this hilltop village after a brief firefight with the so-called Jeish al-Islam and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham.

With Hezbollah's back up in Southern Aleppo, the Syrian Armed Forces are poised to make a push to capture the strategic region of ICARDA agricultural facility that is located along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway; if seized, the militants will have their primary supply line cut.

The Syrian forces won the battles against their foreign-backed enemies in the Southern side of Aleppo province on Thursday too, and seized full control over another key hilltop to the South of Dadin hills that were also captured in the same day.

Following the destruction of the last remaining positions of the terrorists, the Syrian forces won back Ja'eiri hill to the South of Dadin hills in the Southern part of Aleppo.

The NDF fighters and Hezbollah combatants continued to hunt the terrorists in the Southern parts of the province, which not only inflicted heavy death toll on the militants but also destroyed a number of their military vehicles.

Homs

The Syrian fighter jets targeted the ISIL strongholds across the Central Homs province with heavy strikes, including their concentration centers near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur).

The ISIL strongholds in al-Sukhneh, the area surrounding Palmyra, al-Sawaneh and Khneifis near Homs city were bombed by the Syrian fighter jets, which claimed the lives of many terrorists and destroyed their military grid.

The Syrian and Russian fighter jets have jointly conducted many combat sorties over the ISIL position in Homs province, mainly near Palmyra to weaken the group's defense lines to pave the ground for the liberating operation of the city by the ground forces.

Lattakia

The Syrian Army alongside the country's popular forces continued to advance in al-Ghab plains in Hama province towards the villages of Al-Ziyarah, Tal Wassit, and Al-Mansoura near the border with Lattakia, battlefield sources said Friday.

The Syrian army’s 45th Regiment of the 1st Armored Division, in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Masyaf and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), shifted their attention to the villages of Al-Ziyarah, Tal Wassit, and Al-Mansoura in the Al-Ghaab Plains, striking the enemy combatants at several battle zones in an attempt to advance their positions, sources said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000256

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Senior MP: Turkey Preventing Delivery of Russian Helicopters to Iraq

Dec 04, 2015

"Turkey is preventing the delivery of eight Russian military helicopters to Iraq, because Turkey does not allow the Russian helicopters to fly over its territory," the Russian-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted Ammar Tomeh as saying on Friday. He noted that an Iraqi military delegation during a visit to Moscow last month presented a report to the Russian Government about this problem.

Tomeh said that the eight helicopters are to be delivered by Russia to the Iraqi army as part of the military agreements signed by the Russian and Iraqi governments.

In relevant remarks in late November, a senior Iraqi lawmaker said that the Turkish government has created problems in the way of Russia's arms aid to Iraq.

"Turkey's troubling the dispatch of Russian weapons to Iraq has strained the Baghdad-Ankara relations," Khaled al-Assadi told FNA.

Al-Assadi said that the Iraqi government should make use of Iran's military hardware as alternate to Russia's.

The senior Iraqi lawmaker said that Tehran should do marketing for its weapons in Iraq and other regional countries.

The Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Committee has accused Turkey of preventing the Russian helicopters from carrying weapons to Iraq.

The Iraqi parliament has, instead, called for handing over the Russian military choppers to Iran and from there to Iraq.

In early October, Chairman of the Iraqi parliament's defense committee said Baghdad wants Moscow to have a bigger role in the anti-terrorist campaign in Iraq than the US and may soon officially request to start airstrikes on its soil.

"We might be forced to ask Russia to launch airstrikes in Iraq soon. I think in the upcoming few days or weeks Iraq will be forced to ask Russia to launch airstrikes and that depends on their success in Syria," Hakim al-Zamili said.

"We are seeking to see Russia having a bigger role in Iraq... Yes, definitely a bigger role than the Americans," Zamili said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940913000533

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US Building Military Airbase in Northeastern Syria

Dec 05, 2015

The Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Saturday that a number of US experts have entered the region since 50 days ago to develop and prepare the runways with 2,500m length and 250m width to be used by fighter jets.

Abu Hajar airport which has not been used since 2010 is located in Tal al-Hajar region in the Eastern countryside of Hasaka which is controlled by the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG).

The airbase is located Southeast of the town of Rimelan, which is one of the YPG’s main strongholds and “largest arms and ammunition depots”.

The US has not received or even asked for a permission from Damascus for reconstructing the airbase. The United States does not have a UN mandate for interventing in the Syria war.

The airport will help enable Washington to add an additional safe place to land its forces, commando units for instance, and bring in military support to its allies who are working to finalize control over Southern Hasaka countryside, al-Akhbar said.

The report came over a week after the Kurdish region said that the US and Kurdish forces were working together to construct a 10 hectare military airbase South of the town of Rimelan in the village of Rimelan al-Basha.

“American experts are directly supervising the airbase with a Kurdish workforce,” the reports claimed, saying that US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had been flown from the facility to test it.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000257

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U.S. yet to agree details on new force's role in Iraq

5 December 2015

The United States has yet to agree with Baghdad on crucial details governing the role of a new American special forces unit aimed at hunting ISIS militants in Iraq, U.S. officials said, underlining the difficulties Washington faces dealing with Iraq's weakened leader.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday the planned deployment of the small force, whose raids against ISIS targets would be the first sustained military operations by U.S. forces in Iraq since American combat troops left in 2011.

U.S. officials said it had been discussed and coordinated with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

But Iraq's ruling alliance and powerful Shi'ite militias have warned against the plan, raising doubts over whether Abadi has the political clout to secure a final agreement.

In comments that may have been intended mostly for public consumption at home, Abadi said hours after Carter's announcement that any such deployment would require his government's consent. On Thursday, he said that any deployment of foreign ground troops would be considered an "act of aggression."

U.S. officials stressed that there will be no unilateral American military operations in Iraq, unlike in neighboring Syria. But precisely how much say Abadi will have over the unit's activities, and how much freedom of action the Americans will have, is still undecided. Having Abadi sign off before each raid would be cumbersome, U.S. officials believe, and crimp the new unit's effectiveness.

The Obama administration plans to send a team to Baghdad in coming weeks to sort out the details with Iraq's government, officials said.

"With Abadi, a core fundamental principle of ours in this whole thing is that everything we do in Iraq is with full consent and coordination with the Iraqi government," a senior administration official said. "So we will not be doing anything in Iraq unilaterally."

It is unclear if the unresolved questions will prompt a delay in the dispatch of about 100 elite U.S. Special Operations Forces to Iraq, which Carter said would launch raids in both Syria and Iraq to secure hostages, gather intelligence and capture ISIS leaders.

U.S. dilemma over Abadi

The strong resistance to the plan in Iraq highlights a dilemma for U.S. President Barack Obama.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/05/U-S-yet-to-agree-details-on-new-force-s-role-in-Iraq.html

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Baghdad calls on Ankara to withdraw troops

5 December 2015

Iraq calls on Turkey to “immediately” withdraw forces, including tanks and artillery, it has deployed in the country’s north without Baghdad’s consent, the premier’s office said on Saturday.

“The Iraqi authorities call on Turkey to... immediately withdraw from Iraqi territory,” the statement said.

“We have confirmation that Turkish forces, numbering about one armoured regiment with a number of tanks and artillery, entered

Iraqi territory... allegedly to train Iraqi groups, without a request or authorisation from Iraqi federal authorities,” it said.

The deployment “is considered a serious violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” it added.

Turkish media reported that around 150 Turkish soldiers backed by 20 to 25 tanks had been sent by road to the Bashiqa area northeast of Mosul, the city that is ISIS’ main hub in Iraq.

Peshmerga forces from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region are deployed in the area, and Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said the troops were there to train them.

Turkish troops in Iraq

Several hundred Turkish soldiers have been deployed to provide training for Iraqi troops in an area near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which is under ISIS control, a Turkish security source told Reuters on Friday.

ISIS militants overran Mosul, a city of more than one million people, in June 2014, but a much anticipated counter-offensive by Iraqi forces has been repeatedly postponed because they are involved in fighting elsewhere.

“Turkish soldiers have reached the Mosul Bashiqa region. They are there as part of routine training exercises. One battalion has crossed into the region,” the source said, declining to say exactly how many soldiers had been deployed.

He said troops had already been in Iraqi Kurdistan and had moved to Mosul accompanied by armored vehicles, in a move which coalition countries targeting ISIS were aware of.

Video released on the website of Turkey’s pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper showed flatbed trucks carrying armored vehicles along a road at night, describing them as a convoy accompanying the Turkish troops to Bashiqa.

‘An incursion’

A statement from the Iraqi prime minister’s media office confirmed that Turkish troops numbering “around one armed battalion with a number of tanks and cannons” had entered its territory near Mosul without request or permission from Baghdad authorities. It called on the forces to leave immediately.

In a separate statement flashed on state TV, the Iraqi foreign ministry called the Turkish activity “an incursion” and rejected any military operation that was not coordinated with the federal government.

A senior Kurdish military officer based on the Bashiqa front line, north of Mosul, said additional Turkish trainers had arrived at a camp in the area overnight on Thursday escorted by a Turkish protection force.

He said he was not aware of the size of the force and refused to speculate.

The camp is used by a force called Hashid Watani (national mobilization), which is made up of mainly Sunni Arab former Iraqi police and volunteers from Mosul.

It was formed by former governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who is close to Turkey. There was already a small number of Turkish trainers there before this latest deployment

“Our soldiers are already in Iraq. A battalion of soldiers has gone there. Training was already being given in that region for the last two to three years. This is a part of that training,” one senior Turkish official said.

In Washington, two U.S. defense officials said on Friday that the United States was aware of Turkey’s deployment of hundreds of Turkish soldiers to northern Iraq but that the move is not part of the U.S.-led coalition’s activities.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/05/Turkish-soldiers-training-Iraqi-troops-near-Mosul.html

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Alliance loyal to Sisi dominates Egypt parliamentary election

4 December 2015

An electoral alliance loyal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has dominated the parliamentary election, the election committee said on Friday, a vote critics said took place against a backdrop of widespread repression.

"For the Love of Egypt", a loyalist electoral alliance led by a former intelligence officer, will enter parliament with all 120 seats allocated to winner-takes-all lists.

The election, hailed by Sisi as the climax of the military's roadmap to democracy, took place in 13 provinces and had a turnout of about 28 percent, the election committee announced.

Critics said the vote, which took place in October and November after a gap of more than three years, was undermined by a heavy security crackdown on Islamist and other political opposition elements in Egypt.

The new parliament will contain 568 elected members - 448 elected on an individual basis and 120 through the winner-take-all lists that have all gone to loyalists. Sisi may appoint as many as 28 more lawmakers.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/04/Alliance-loyal-to-Sisi-dominates-Egypt-parliamentary-election.html

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North America

 

Muslim Americans fear demonisation of Islam after mass shooting

Dec 5, 2015

DEARBORN: Muslim Americans fear their religion will be demonised and Islamophobia will spread after a young Muslim couple was accused of carrying out one of the bloodiest mass killings in the United States.

Across the country, Muslim Americans responded with shock and outrage after a shooting in which authorities said Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, stormed a holiday party attended by San Bernardino County employees in California on Wednesday, killing 14 people and wounding 21.

"I was at the gym yesterday while the shooting was taking place and all the TVs were showing that footage and all I could keep thinking to myself is 'God, I hope they don't have any Eastern descent, not just Middle Eastern, anything we'd associate with a Muslim'," said Adam Hashem, 32, in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb with one of the country’s largest Muslim populations.

"We're all worried. We're all concerned,” he said.

It was the deadliest US mass shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre three years ago. While the motivation remained unclear as authorities investigated the attack, details of Farook and Malik began to emerge.

Farook was described as a second-generation American born in Illinois and raised by Pakistani parents. Malik was born in Pakistan and lived in Saudi Arabia until she was introduced to Farook.

San Bernardino police said they found pipe bombs and several thousands rounds of ammunition at the residence of the couple, who died in a shoot-out with police.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Attari Supermarket bustled on Thursday with customers shopping for Middle Eastern products.

"In every culture and in every religion there are bad apples that will spoil the rest of the apples. That has happened toward us," said Dawod Dawod, a 25-year-old Muslim American, who manages the store that his family has owned for a decade.

Between taking orders over the phone, Dawod said he was concerned that politicians will use the mass shooting as a way to further demonise Muslims.

He noted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's endorsement of the idea of creating a Muslim database. "It's scary." he said. "Ninety-nine per cent of Muslims are hardworking, good people."

Muslim community groups condemned the massacre and urged the public not to blame Islam or Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224198/muslim-americans-fear-demonisation-of-islam-after-mass-shooting

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Obama disturbed at political rhetoric against Muslims: White House

Dec 5, 2015

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is deeply disturbed at some of the "political rhetoric" directed against the Muslim community in the US in the aftermath of the California mass shooting that killed 14 people, a presidential spokesman said today.

Any effort to marginalise the highly patriotic Muslim community in the US would only help the narrative of terrorist organisations like Islamic State and al-Qaeda, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

"The president has been disturbed at a lot of the political rhetoric that we've seen directed at Muslims. And the president has spoken about that I think quite forcefully over the last couple of weeks," Earnest said.

"At the same time, I think the president is confident that the vast majority of Americans understand this core principle that people aren't targeted for violence based on their religious beliefs. That is a core value of our country. That is a value that is worth defending. It is also a value that is broadly shared by just about every American," he asserted.

Earnest was responding to questions on fear of a backlash among the Muslim community after the California shooting.

"If there are some specific steps that need to be taken to protect a mosque against a specific threat, I have total confidence that local law enforcement is committed to that effort. And if they need the support of the federal government, I'm sure that they will receive it," he noted.

"But it has been instrumental to our efforts against groups like al-Qaeda and IS and other terrorist organisations to make clear that the United States is at war with those organisations, but we're not at war with Islam. We're not at war with Muslims around the world," he asserted.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-disturbed-at-political-rhetoric-against-Muslims-White-House/articleshow/50050322.cms

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Dr. Ninowy’s lecturer on ‘Islam and tolerance’

December 5, 2015

Maulana Azad National Urdu University in collaboration with Quran Foundation is going to organise a lecture entitled ‘Islam and tolerance’ on Monday, December 7, at 2:30 pm, at university campus.

Dr. Obaid Aleem Ashraf Associate Professor Department of Arabic world renowned scholar Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Yahiya Al-Ninowy (Atlanta, America) will address. Vice Chancellor Dr. Mohammed Aslam Parvez will preside over.

http://www.siasat.com/news/dr-ninowys-lecturer-islam-tolerance-880455/

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Following Paris attacks, New York City steps up outreach to Muslims

Dec 5, 2015

New York City officials have bolstered security and quietly stepped up outreach to Muslim residents in the aftermath of last month’s Paris attacks, trying to calm fears of hate-filled retaliation and mend a relationship that has been fraught with mutual suspicion.

The city has increased its presence in Muslim neighborhoods, sending staffers to visit mosques and meet with imams and worshippers. Police officials have briefed community leaders on new counterterrorism procedures. Other city officials have urged Muslims to report any hate crimes, the number of which is sharply lower in New York in 2015 than at this time a year ago.

In a speech Friday evening at an Islamic community center, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would deepen its relationship with the 800,000 Muslim New Yorkers and vowed dogged investigations into any hate crimes.

“We are a stronger city because of the contributions of the Muslim community,” he said.

De Blasio’s speech at the Jamaica Muslim Center, or Masjid Al-Mamoor, is the most high-profile move the administration has made to calm jittery Muslims since the Nov. 13 attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris and this week’s slaying of 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

Six days after the Paris attacks, the mayor’s office organized a meeting among 40 community leaders the vast majority Muslims and police with aims of building the trust necessary for Muslims to turn to law enforcement to report crimes. The police department has also increased security at mosques, as well as synagogues.

Hanane Dannech, a 50-year-old Muslim who immigrated from France, said earlier Friday she has noticed more officers watching her mosque in Brooklyn recently.

“We, really, we feel protected,” she said, adding that what she likes about the U.S. is, “it’s the first country on Earth that takes care of other religions.”

Dannech said some public officials could do a better job of pointing out that violent extremists are the minority among Muslims rather than the norm. She said there is always a chance of harassment after “big things happen” and that “each time something happens, it gets worse.”

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/following-paris-attacks-nyc-steps-up-outreach-to-muslims/

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Feds Investigating Case Of Muslim Teen Arrested Over Homemade Clock

12/04/2015

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday that an investigation is underway into the arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim student who brought a homemade clock to his Texas school.

School officials in Irving became suspicious of the device Ahmed Mohamed brought to school in September. They feared that it was a bomb, despite assurance from the science-loving teen that he wanted to impress his teachers with the timekeeper.

The Department of Justice will examine whether Ahmed's civil rights were violated, Lynch said during remarks to the Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy group, in a Virginia suburb of Washington.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mohamed-ahmed-civil-rights-investigation_566214fae4b08e945fefa1f8?section=india

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F.B.I. Treating San Bernardino Attack as Terrorism Case

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

DEC. 4, 2015

WASHINGTON — On the day she and her husband killed 14 people and wounded 21 others in San Bernardino, Calif., a woman pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post, officials said Friday, as the F.B.I. announced that it was treating the massacre as an act of terrorism.

“The investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers, and of potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations,” the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said at a news conference here. But he said that investigators had not found evidence that the killers were part of a larger group or terrorist cell. The couple died in a shootout with the police on Wednesday.

“There’s no indication that they are part of a network,” he said.

The woman, Tashfeen Malik, declared allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook at roughly the time of the shooting on Wednesday, according to a Facebook spokesman. At a news conference in San Bernardino, David Bowdich, the F.B.I. assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles office, said he was aware of the post, which was taken down by Facebook on Wednesday, but he would not elaborate.

“There’s a number of pieces of evidence which has essentially pushed us off the cliff to say we are considering this an act of terrorism,” he said.

The attack could prove to be the deadliest Islamic State-inspired attack on American soil. Al Qaeda and other groups have carried out — or inspired — lethal assaults in the United States, but the Islamic State, which has a base of operations in Syria and Iraq, and carried out the attack on Paris that killed 130 people last month, has turned into a leading terrorism threat with spreading influence around the world.

What began as a local police response to gunfire in San Bernardino turned into a global investigation into the deadliest terrorist assault in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an inquiry being headed by the F.B.I. and stretching from California to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. It is also the nation’s worst mass shooting in almost three years, since the slaughter at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Early this year, the Islamic State shifted tactics, and instead of just trying to persuade followers to travel to Syria to join the group, it began calling on sympathizers in the West to commit acts of violence at home. The F.B.I. has refocused its resources on that threat of so-called homegrown, self-radicalized extremists who might be inspired by Islamic State propaganda. Even before the Paris attacks, the bureau had heavy surveillance on at least three dozen people who the authorities feared might commit violence in the Islamic State’s name.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/05/us/tashfeen-malik-islamic-state.html

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Europe

 

Targeting of London Muslims triples after Paris attacks

4 December 2015

Aisha Gani

Attacks against Muslims in London have more than tripled since the Paris terrorist atrocity, with the majority involving harassment, figures show.

The Metropolitan police said they had received 24 reports of Islamophobic incidents in the week ending 10 November, three days before the massacre in the French capital. That figure rose to 46 in the week ending 17 November, four days after the attacks. There was a further rise of reported attacks in the week ending 24 November, when the tally reached 76.

A police spokesman said: “It is with regret, but something that we have come to realise, through experience, that hate crime can increase during these difficult times.

“We know Muslim communities in London are feeling anxious and we are providing extra patrols and are speaking regularly with local mosques and community leaders to reassure and address concerns, while closely monitoring the situation.

“We will not tolerate hate crime,” he said, adding that there were 900 specialist officers working across London in community safety units dedicated to investigating hate crime. “No one should suffer in silence. We urge people to report hate crime to us as soon as possible so we can act.”

The findings follow a series of high-profile anti-Muslim attacks carried out on public transport. Footage emerged last month of a woman wearing a hijab being pushed into an oncoming train on the London Underground. The attacker has since been charged with attempted murder.

Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “The UK as a whole is renowned for its respect for everyone, but there is a genuine concern that Islamophobia is on the rise.”

He said Friday’s Scotland Yard figures were“corroborated by report after report, from a range of different third parties. Even a mosque in our cosmopolitan capital, Finsbury Park mosque, only luckily escaped an arson attack that the Met Police called a hate crime.”

Versi was referring to the incident in which CCTV images showed a man trying to set the mosque on fire by throwinga molotov cocktail which failed to explode.

Versi, who speaks for the MCB on terrorism and security issues, said there had been a rise in both verbal and phyical attacks. “We really need to take this this form of bigotry seriously and all forms of bigotry need to be treated equally by the government in order for us to be able to tackle this.”

David Cameron has promised more will be done to tackle Islamophobic crime, announcing in autumn that such crimes are to be recorded as a separate category for the first time.

Versi said the figures may not take into account all the attacks Muslims have faced in the last few weeks. “Unfortunately, from our own experience many people have suffered and have chosen not to report them. In spite of these figures being bad, it is likely that many have not been reported.”

An anti-racism rally has been planned on Friday evening outside Finsbury Park mosque, a week after the attempted arson attack. A vigil is to be held to show unity against all forms of racism. “Society as a whole will continue to work together and show that we will not be divided by people who want to divide us,” Versi said.

The hate crime figures were released a day after the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, announced he was launching the UK branch of the rightwing group Pegida. He said he would campaign to ban all Muslim immigration to the UK for five years, prevent the building of new mosques and ban the funding of mosques abroad.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/dec/04/attacks-against-london-muslims-triple-in-wake-of-paris-attacks

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Morocco jails 11 for ‘terror’ offences

5 December 2015

A court has sentenced 11 Moroccans to prison terms ranging from two to seven years for their involvement in “cases related to terrorism”, the official Moroccan news agency MAP reported Friday.

The 11, convicted on Thursday, were accused of “having formed a gang to prepare and commit terrorist acts... and undermine public order” and “raising funds to finance terrorist acts”, MAP said.

Over the past few weeks, the authorities have announced the uncovering of a number of “terrorist cells” whose members were allegedly linked to the militant ISIS group.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/05/Morocco-jails-11-for-terror-offences-.html

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Russian Taliban fighter sentenced to life in prison in US

Dec 5, 2015

RICHMOND: A former Soviet army tank officer convicted for his role in a 2009 attack on US and Afghan soldiers, was sentenced in federal court on Thursday to life in prison plus 30 years.

Irek Hamidullin, 55, was the first enemy combatant from Afghanistan to be tried in a US federal court of charges related to helping Taliban fighters.

US District Court Judge Henry Hudson handed down the sentence after Hamidullin, a convert to Islam, delivered a defense of his actions that lasted more than half an hour.

His conviction in August stemmed from a Taliban attack on an Afghan border police station in November 2009. Hamidullin was the sole Taliban survivor, and no Americans or Afghans were killed in the incident.

Charges against Hamidullin included providing material support to militants and trying to kill Afghan and US soldiers. His lawyer, public defender Paul Gill, said he would appeal the convictions and sentence.

During his address to the court, Hamidullin argued that he was not a terrorist and had the right to defend himself against "American aggressors" who had invaded Afghanistan.

"As a Muslim, I don't accept your law. I don't acknowledge this court," Hamidullin said through an interpreter.

Hamidullin, who had close-cropped hair and a goatee, was brought into court in a wheelchair, and appeared thin. US medics treated him after he was shot multiple times during his apprehension.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224180/russian-taliban-fighter-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-in-us

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Belgians seeking 2 new suspects in Paris attacks probe

December 05, 2015

BRUSSELS: Belgian and French authorities were hunting two new suspects Friday in the Paris attacks who they say used fake identity cards around Europe and sent money to a relative of the man who orchestrated the attacks the day before the ringleader died in a shootout with French police.

The two men, carrying bogus ID in the names of Samir Bouzid and Soufiane Kayal, had been traveling in a Mercedes with another Paris attacks fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, when the car was checked Sept. 9 at the Hungarian-Austrian border, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's office said in a statement Friday.

The same Kayal ID was used to rent a house in the Belgian town of Auvelais that authorities have searched as a possible site for making the suicide bombs used in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, the prosecutor's office said.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for those gun-and-bomb attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds in Paris.

Belgian authorities said about 6 p.m. on Nov. 17, four days after the Paris attacks, the false identity card in the name of Bouzid was used at a Western Union office in the Brussels area to send a 750-euro ($817) money order to Hasna Ait Boulhacen, cousin of the purported attack ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

Both Boulhacen and Abaaoud died a day later when French police stormed their hideout in a Paris suburb.

The two new suspects "are being actively sought by Belgian and French police services," the prosecutor's office said.

Spurred into action by the Paris attacks, the interior ministers of the European Union moved Friday to grant law-enforcement agencies access to information gathered by airlines — data like passengers' names, travel dates, itinerary, credit cards and contact details.

The sharing of such data is meant to allow better scrutiny of known or suspected extremists.

Under the passenger data deal, details would be collected from European carrier flights entering or leaving the EU, as well as from flights between member countries. Charter flights will be included, and all the information will be kept on file for six months.

Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who chaired the meeting in Brussels, expressed his "pride that after so many years of negotiations, we have now been able to conclude an agreement."

The passenger record agreement proposal was first made in 2007, but it languished in the European Parliament for years as EU lawmakers struggled to strike the right balance between security concerns and privacy rights. The assembly must still endorse the deal but that is likely to happen within the next month.

At least 5,000 Europeans are believed to have trained or fought in Syria and Iraq but authorities are struggling to track their movements and prove their activities. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the new system as "indispensable in the fight against terrorism."

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Dec-2015/belgians-seeking-2-new-suspects-in-paris-attacks-probe

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan supports UN efforts for bringing peace in Yemen: Aziz

December 05, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan will continue its support and cooperation for the United Nations (UN) sponsored endeavours towards bringing peace and stability in Yemen.

Aziz was talking to noble peace laureate Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman who called on him here at Foreign Office on Friday along with the Yemeni Ambassador Ahmed Qaid Al- Horary.

Aziz briefed Tawakkol Karman about the ongoing anti-terror operation Zarb-i-Azb and its positive results which have eliminated terrorist networks in Pakistan.

He also highlighted about the economic gains achieved after improved security environment Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Dec-2015/pakistan-supports-un-efforts-for-bringing-peace-in-yemen-aziz

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No meeting between Nawaz and US envoy after California shooting: PM House

Dec 5, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday denied reports in international and local media claiming that officials from the United States (US) had a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding the alleged link between Tashfeen Malik - the female shooter in the California rampage - and Lal Masjid and its cleric, a statement released by the Prime Minister's House said.

The statement said news reports regarding the meeting of a special US envoy with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London to discuss the California tragedy are 'baseless' and 'incorrect.'

Reports had claimed that US officials had delivered a message regarding the alleged link between Malik, and Islamabad's Lal Masjid, to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London.

Earlier, it was reported by the Los Angeles chapter of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) that Tashfeen Malik was of Pakistani origin.

Malik had been married to Farook – the second shooter – for two years. The couple had a six-month-old baby girl, claimed CAIR.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224369/no-meeting-between-nawaz-and-us-envoy-after-california-shooting-pm-house

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Rabbani says institutions subordinate to parliament

AMJAD MAHMOOD

Dec 5, 2015

LAHORE: Senate Chair­man Raza Rabbani has stressed the need for dialogue among state institutions, but asserted that all institutions are subordinate to parliament.

Dialogue, he said, was extremely necessary beca­use the country would not be able to move forward without it, but parliament must be held supreme in the process because it was above all institutions.

Mr Rabbani was speaking at the launching of a book, “Pakistan: The Way For­ward”, written by Afnan Khan.

Also read: Rabbani stresses dialogue for supremacy of Constitution

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal and former foreign minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali also spoke on the occasion.

The country, Mr Rabbani warned, could not afford more experiments, could not afford anymore dictatorship. He disagreed strongly with a proposal made in the book that the National Security Council should be made a supra-parliament body.

“The concept was actively experimented during the Musharraf regime, but failed.”

The Senate chairman also criticised a suggestion that efforts to end Indian influence in Afghanistan should be made in cooperation with Taliban.

According to him, making a distinction between `good’ and`bad’ Taliban was against the vision of Quaid-i-Azam and social values of Pakistan because that would promote sectarianism and extremism.

Reiterating his stance on accountability, he said that process should be across the board. There should be `no sacred cows’ and no discrimination in the process of dealing with the issue.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224351/rabbani-says-institutions-subordinate-to-parliament

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Egypt interested in buying JF-17 Thunder, says ambassador

Dec 5, 2015

RAWALPINDI: Egypt is interested in purchase of JF-17 Thunder aircraft, Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan Sherif Shaheen told Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain during a meeting here on Friday.

The minister informed the ambassador that Pakistan was at present selling its traditional weapons to US, UK, Germany and some Far Eastern countries.

Know more: Pakistani jets garner interest at Dubai air show

He offered the sale of JF-17 Thunder and Super Mashak to Egypt and said Iraq had already signed an agreement with Pakistan for the purchase of 20 Super Mashak while a deal with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mashak had almost been finalised.

Rana Tanveer emphasised the need for joint venture in defence production between the two countries.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224358/egypt-interested-in-buying-jf-17-thunder-says-ambassador

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KP Assembly seeks launch of work on CPEC western route

MOHAMMAD ASHFAQ

Dec 5, 2015

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to demand the federal government immediately launch work on the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project along with all its components.

“Work on the six-line motorway must start on the (CPEC) western route immediately as per decision taken on 28th May (2015),” mines and minerals minister Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli told the house while tabling the resolution.

The minister said the CPEC along with all its components such as railway lines, oil and gas pipelines, fibre optic cable, projects of electricity, LNG and transmission lines on the western route might be included in the project.

“It is obvious that the industrial parks and trade zones will only be possible if we get the above components of CPEC,” she said.

The minister said monographic study on highways of CPEC should be made a public document, while agreements between Pakistan and China on the project should also be made public.

She demanded absolute transparency in the fortune-changing project of the CPEC.

The minister said the technical training centres must be established on the same route for the required training.

She said the dispute on the CPEC route was amicably resolved in the May 28, 2015 all-parties conference but unfortunately, the maps of the corridor route later issued by the Planning Commission and the subsequent allocation of funds in the federal and CPEC budgets, prima facie, transpired that the consensus reached earlier had not been implemented in letter and spirit.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224341/kp-assembly-seeks-launch-of-work-on-cpec-western-route

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Nisar to take up deportations with EU envoys

December 05, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday said that he would soon invite all European ambassadors in Pakistan to deliberate on strengthening the Pak-EU cooperation especially in the areas of security and deportation of illegal migrants.

He said this while talking to German Ambassador Ina Lepel who called on him at Punjab House here on Friday.

The remarks of the minister came a day after when the tensions between Pakistan and European Union (EU) escalated over the refusal of the former to re-admit (accept) 30 migrants deported from three European Union states including Greece, Bulgaria and Austria.

In the meeting, Pak-German bilateral relations, mutual cooperation, Pak-EU Re-admission Agreement and Pakistan' new policy for international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) was discussed besides regional situation.

Talking to the German Ambassador, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan observed that Pakistan valued its friendly relations with Germany and wanted to further strengthen this relationship in all possible areas for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

While acknowledging the support of Germany in socio-economic development of Pakistan, the minister assured the German ambassador of all possible support towards her efforts in cementing the Pak-Germany equation during her tenure.

Discussing the Pak-EU Re-admission Agreement, the interior minister said that the stance of the government vis-a-vis the issue of deportees was aimed at not only ensuring that international laws were followed by all the concerned parties but also to make sure that basic human rights of the deportees were protected.

In that, the minister added, "We are committed to ensure that such people who are involved in any violation of immigration laws of Pakistan or any other country and their facilitators are brought to book".

He said that the government of Pakistan acknowledged the concerns of the European Union regarding the issue of illegal migrants and was trying to discourage illegal movement to European countries through a crackdown on human smuggling rings within and outside Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Dec-2015/nisar-to-take-up-deportations-with-eu-envoys

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Christmas play at Light of Hope School

December 05, 2015

LAHORE: An impressive Christmas play “Just A Little Christmas” was presented by grade-1 to grade-6 students of the Light of Hope School – a lab school of the Forman Christian College University – yesterday. The programme arranged at the Sinclair Hall, was graced by FCC University Rector Dr James Tebbe as the guest of honour and attended by teachers as well as parents and siblings of the students. Christmas carols were also sung by the students during the programme. Later, in his concluding address, Rector Dr Tebbe appreciated the effort of the students and staff. He also applauded lab school Principal Furry George for making the play successful. Light of Hope School has just started operating three months ago.–Staff Reporter

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/05-Dec-2015/christmas-play-at-light-of-hope-school

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South Asia

 

US-Afghan raid frees more than 40 from Taliban prison

Dec 5, 2015

KABUL: A US-Afghan military operation backed by helicopter gunships freed more than 40 soldiers and police held captive in a Taliban prison in southern Afghanistan, officials said Friday, in a major raid against the insurgent group.

The operation conducted Thursday in Nawzad district in the southern opium-rich province of Helmand comes as speculation swirls over whether Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a firefight which broke out between insurgent commanders in Pakistan.

“Afghan special security forces... conducted a helicopter assault mission in Nawzad,” the US military said in a statement.

“After securing the prison, Afghan forces freed more than 40 prisoners comprising Afghan Police, Afghan National Army and Afghan Border Police members.”

The statement did not say how and when the security personnel were taken hostage, while it remained unclear what role US forces played in the raid.

The raid marks a rare success for Afghan forces struggling to beat back the stubborn insurgency rapidly expanding north from its southern hotbeds.

Taliban militants captured northern Kunduz city for three days in September in a stinging blow to Afghan forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since the end of Nato's combat mission last December.

The emboldened insurgents have stepped up attacks on government and foreign targets since they launched their annual spring-summer offensive - titled 'Azm' (Determination) - in late April, vowing nationwide attacks in what was expected to be "the bloodiest summer" in a decade.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224304/us-afghan-raid-frees-more-than-40-from-taliban-prison

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NDS: Haqqani terrorist network kidnap people for running operation

Dec 05 2015

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency says Haqqani terrorist network kidnap people for ransom to run operation.

Citing a case of kidnapping by a commander of the group in southeastern Paktia province, NDS writes in a press release that commanders of the terrorist network have turned to kidnapping people for filling in their financial gap.

The statement released on Friday states that Qadir alias Mubariz, a commander of the terrorist network, with the assistance of his friend Samiullah S/O Yar Mohammad had recently kidnapped a resident of Gardiz city, capital of Paktia province.

The press release adds that Jawid S/O Sayed Ahmad being was taken to Zurmat District and later released for $500,000.

The National Directorate of Security has arrested Samiullah who played the main role in the kidnapping.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nds-haqqani-terrorist-network-kidnap-people-for-running-operation-4378

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33 IS-Khorasan militants killed, 4 wounded in Nangarhar

Dec 05 2015

33 militants belonging to the Islamic State (IS) which also goes by its Arabic name Daesh have been killed and four others wounded in eastern Nangarhar province.

IS-Khorasan suffered the newest casualties in Karkani and Trili areas of the restive Achin District in security forces attacks in past 24 hours.

According to another report, spokesperson of Nangarhar police headquarters survived a bomb blast on way to Achin District this morning.

Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal was going to participate in the security operation ongoing in Achin District from the past seven weeks when his vehicle ran over a landmine in Shinwar Qala area of Bati Kot District.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nangarhar-police-spokesman-survives-bomb-blast-4383

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10 hurt in Dinajpur temple blasts

December 05, 2015

- 10 people hurt

- 3 crude bombs blasted

- 3 held

Ten people were injured as three crude bombs went off at jatra (open air drama) pandal on the premises of Kantaji Temple in Kaharol upazila of Dinajpur early today.

Police picked up three people for interrogation in this regard, reports a correspondent from Dinajpur .

According to police and witnesses, a series of blasts took place around 1:15am when people were watching a jatra show at the Rash Mela organised on the temple premises.

Six of the injured were rushed to Dinajpur Medical College and Hospital.

They are: Mokaddes, 23, of Badarganj upazila of Rangpur; Sadhon, 35, of Nilphamari Sadar upazila; Jabbar, 28, and Saidur, 27, in Kaharole upazila; and Romakanto, 22, and Mithu, 30, of Birganj upazila of Dinajpur districts.

Confirming the incident, Superintendent of police of Dinajpur, Ruhul Amin said police are conducting their search to arrest the culprits.

Soon after the blasts, police arrested three people for their alleged involvement with the incident, Bangla daily Prothom Alo reports.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/6-hurt-dinajpur-rash-mela-blast-182683

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Huge fire erupts at a shopping center in Kabul’s Mandawi area

By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL

Dec 05 2015

Breaking News: Huge fire has erupted at a shopping center in Mandawi area of Kabul city.

Blazes of the fire has engulfed at least three markets burning several shops.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-huge-fire-erupts-at-a-shopping-center-in-kabuls-mandawi-area-4382

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The uncertain fate of another Supreme Leader of Taliban

Dec 05 2015

The story of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, Supreme Leader of Taliban, is now getting close to that of Mullah Mohmmad Omar’s, whose death was covered up for years.

Mullah Omar had died at least two years before but Taliban were repeatedly rejecting the report and covering up the news until July 2015.

Taliban were even issuing statements and releasing messages to media under the signature of dead-Mullah Omar.

But after a splinter group of Taliban unveiled his death to media, the group’s core committee “Quetta Shura” also confirmed the news and majority of the committee’s members appointed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Masnour, deputy to Mullah Omar, as their Supreme Leader.

Now reports suggest that Mullah Akhtar Mansour received serious injuries in a clash with rival group close to Quetta city of Pakistan and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. But Taliban reject the report adding up to the believe that Mullah Omar’s vague myth might be repeated.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/the-uncertain-fate-of-another-supreme-leader-of-taliban-4383

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Afghanistan delaying move for border coordination

Dec 5, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Defence Committee was informed on Friday that Afghanistan was delaying finalisation of a new border coordination mechanism.

Speaking at a meeting of the committee chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, senior defence officials said that there were political impediments on the Afghan side and the authorities there were not very receptive to the idea of managing the border.

Pakistan, one of the officials said, was very keen to get the new arrangement implemented.

Also read: Trench along Pak-Afghan border enrages Kabul

The two countries do not have any mechanism for coordination on the border since the tripartite commission completed its mandate following the end of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan’s (ISAF) mission in December last year.

Border clashes between Pakistan and Afghan security forces have increased in the absence of a coordination mechanism.

According to a defence official, 132 violations were committed by Afghan security forces on the Pak-Afghan border this year in which 18 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives.

Border coordination has long been under discussion, but no concrete progress could be made.

Afghan leaders have always complained of cross-border movement of militants, but balked at proposals for working in coordination for better border control. Afghans do not recognise Durand Line as an international border and the government lacks the political will to settle the controversy.

Speaking about the eastern border, defence officials said that relations between Pakistan and India had worsened since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power and Indian forces had repeatedly violated the ceasefire the two countries had agreed to follow in 2003.

This year Indian security forces committed 247 ceasefire violations — 163 on the Line of Control and 84 along the Working Boundary in which 39 civilians have been killed and another 150 injured.

The Working Boundary and Line of Control are currently quiet and the director generals of military operations on both sides were regularly conversing over hotline every Tuesday, according to a defence official.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement issued after his meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Paris on the sidelines of Climate Change Summit said: “Pakistan is prepared to hold serious discussions on better border management so that cross-border movement of terrorists can be contained. It is important to finalise border SOPs as early as possible.”

PILOT’S DEATH: The Senate Defence Committee, meanwhile, has recommended the ‘Gallantry Award’ for Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar, who died in an air crash on Nov 27 during a training mission.

The 23-year-old pilot became the first woman pilot of Pakistan Air Force to die in a crash.

Mushahid Hussain informed the committee that one of the possible reasons why Marium lost her life was that she delayed her ejection to prevent the possibility of the plane that had developed a technical fault from crashing in a school.

COMEPNSATION PACKAGE: The defence ministry briefed the committee, which had sought details of the compensation being given to families of those killed in the Army Public School attack, that three compensation packages had been approved and completed, including one each from the federal government, Pakistan Army and the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government.

The federal government has provided Rs183 million to relatives of those who lost their lives in the attack, including a lump-sum grant of Rs3 million as monetary compensation, an education grant for children’s study for 10 years and a housing construction grant of Rs5 million per person.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224350/afghanistan-delaying-move-for-border-coordination

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Mideast

 

Saudi Arabia Spends over $60bln in 9-Month Aggressions on Yemen

Dec 04, 2015

"Saudi Arabia has spent over 200 billion Saudi rials (over $60 billion) for its aggression against Yemen in the past nine months," Mujtahid wrote in his latest tweets today.

Mujtahid is a Saudi political activist who is believed to be a member of or have a well-connected source in the royal family.

He noted that the Saudi army has lost over 2,000 Saudi soldiers in the war with Yemen, while over 4,850 more have been wounded.

"The daily cost of the war for Saudi Arabia is 750 million Saudi rials (over $200 million) which is spent on purchasing bullets and for logistics," Mujtahid said.

Since March, the Saudis have led a bombing campaign in Yemen killing thousands of civilians on the pretext of targeting the revolutionary forces.

Human Rights Watch has said Saudi "airstrikes have indiscriminately killed and injured civilians" in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a and elsewhere.

In November, the US State Department approved the sale of $1.29 billion in smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, despite reports that the kingdom has killed and injured civilians in airstrikes against rebels in Yemen.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which facilitates foreign arms sales, notified lawmakers on November 13 that the sale had been approved.

The approval cleared the way for the sale to go through – that is, unless lawmakers block it in the next 30 days, which is a rare move.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940913000404

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Israel Claims Airstrikes on Damascus

Dec 05, 2015

There were no immediate reports of casualties, the Times of Israel claimed.

The airstrikes were said to have targeted a four-truck Syrian army convoy, loaded with ballistic missiles.

The Israeli planes struck the vehicles after they left an army base, the reports claimed.

The Israeli Air Force also reportedly hit a gas supply, sparking massive explosions.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000419

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Erdogan and Putin: Ex-pals turned sworn foes who won’t back down

December 05, 2015

Stuart WILLIAMS - Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, leaders with remarkable similarities who built a new era of cooperation between Turkey and Russia, have suffered a ferocious falling-out that will harm relations for years to come.

The two presidents, who forged a strong friendship in over a decade in power, have traded a slew of insults since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on November 24 on the Syrian border for alleged repeated violations of its airspace.

Putin has accused the Turkish leadership of importing oil from IS militants in Syria, an accusation that Erdogan rubbished as a “slander” so untrue that the Russian leader should consider his position.

The pair have based their still considerable domestic popularity on projecting an image of political virility in their post-imperial societies and are unlikely to show any sign of being the first to back down, analysts say.

They could be at each other’s throats until 2024 - the next presidential elections in Russia are due in 2018 and Turkey in 2019 where Putin can pick up a new six-year mandate and Erdogan a five-year extension.

“They tend to get deeply dug in and not to back down.

And I don’t think either is prepared to do so anytime soon,” said Philip Gordon, senior fellow at the US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The venomous rhetoric of Putin, who Thursday described the Turkish leadership as a “ruling clique” deprived of common sense, and the Turkish leader’s defiant refusal to apologise will make it hard to paddle back.

Fredrik Wesslau, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), said that the dispute had turned so personal because the legitimacy of both men depended on “coming out on top”.

“Their credibility would be undermined by a demonstration of weakness, by, for instance, apologising or making a conciliatory gesture.

‘Putin said I was brave’

Their personal relations had been marked by a firm desire not to let differences on issues like the Syria or Ukraine crises - let alone the centuries of war waged by the Ottoman and Russian Empires - impede strategic cooperation.

There also seemed a genuine personal bond between two men who had both led their nations out of economic crisis to a new era of stability but been criticised as ruling with the same authoritarianism as a Russian tsar or Ottoman sultan.

Just nine days ahead of the shooting-down of the plane, Erdogan had welcomed Putin to a G20 summit in the Turkish resort of Antalya like an old friend.

Under their leadership, visas were scrapped for citizens of both countries, an ambitious project for a Black Sea gas pipeline was agreed and Russia began work on Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.

On a visit to Russia in November 2013, Erdogan even suggested Turkey could join the Moscow and Beijing-led security group the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and join Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union, moves that could have scuppered Turkey’s long-standing EU membership bid.

But in the last 10 days alone, Russia has said it will re-impose visas for Turks, suspended talks on the TurkStream pipeline and refused to guarantee that work on the Akkuyu nuclear power plant will continue.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Dec-2015/erdogan-and-putin-ex-pals-turned-sworn-foes-who-won-t-back-down

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New ISIL Video Shows Ansarullah Fighters Executed in Yemen

Dec 05, 2015

The video begins with scenes of beheading 9 people claimed to be Ansarullah forces. Soon, six men in orange boiler suits are force marched onto a hillside. They are then fired at and killed by what appears to be a Katyusha rocket launcher, a kind of rocket artillery first built by the Soviets in World War II.

Later, six more men in orange boiler suits are force marched into a boat. The boat is set adrift and it is again fired upon by what appears to be a Katyusha rocket launcher.

Still not satiated with their blood thirst, ISIL then has four more men stand with artillery around their neck. Then they fire upon these men, too.

This is ISIL’s third video in the first four days of December.

Saudi Arabia that has been striking Yemen for 255 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh, has been using ISIL and al-Qaeda of the Arab Peninsula to push back the revolutionary Ansarullah forces and Yemen's army.

The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 7,116 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000387

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U.S. official: ISIS oil smuggling to Turkey insignificant

 4 December 2015

The amount of oil smuggled into Turkey from areas of Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is economically insignificant, the United States said Friday, after Moscow accused Ankara of profiting from the trade.

U.S. officials said coalition air operations have seriously degraded the militants’ oil infrastructure, but that in any case most of the crude pumped from its wells was absorbed inside Syria’s war zone economy.

Russia and Turkey have in recent days traded allegations that they are involved in the illegal trade, further ratcheting up tensions after Turkish jets downed a Russian bomber on the Syrian border.

“The amount of oil being smuggled is extremely low and has decreased over time and is of no significance from a volume perspective - both volume of oil and volume of revenue,” said Amos Hochstein, U.S. special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs.

The State Department has dismissed Moscow’s charge against its NATO ally, which directly implicated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family in the trade, insisting there is no evidence to support it.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/04/U-S-official-ISIS-oil-smuggling-to-Turkey-insignificant.html

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EC Secretary Discloses Iran's Access to Evidence Showing Turkey's Oil Deals with ISIL

Dec 04, 2015

"Iranian military advisors in Syria have taken photos and filmed all the routes used by ISIL's oil tankers to Turkey; these documents can be published," Rezayee told reporters on Friday.

Asked about the Turkish officials' denial of purchasing oil from the ISIL, he said, "If the Turkish government is not aware of ISIL's oil sales in their country, we can provide it with such intelligence."

Rezayee, meantime, vowed that some important news will soon be released on the destruction of ISIL Takfiri terrorists and their defeat.

In relevant remarks on Thursday, former Iraqi National Security Advisor and senior legislator Muwafaq al-Rubaie revealed that Turkey has gained $800mln of "stealing" the Iraqi oil and gas resources in 8 months in collaboration with the ISIL terrorist group.

"The smuggled Iraqi oil and gas are sold half its global price in Turkey's market," Rubaie said.

He said that Turkey has gained $800mln profit from "stealing and selling" Iraq's oil and gas in the past 8 months.

Rubaie had warned late last month that Turkey allows the ISIL terrorist group to sell Iraqi and Syrian oil for just $20 a barrel.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, he outlined Ankara’s four-pronged support for the ISIL, with the illegal oil trade topping the list.

“First and foremost, the Turks help the militants sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for $20 a barrel, which is half the market price,” Rubaie  wrote.

Turkey in general, and Istanbul in particular, is also a place where ISIL commanders recruit local migrants and take them to Mosul in Iraq or Raqqa in Syria, he noted.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940913000571

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Iran, Russia must be part of Syria peace process: Blair

Dec 5, 2015

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has emphasized the need for the participation of Iran and Russia in any peace process aimed at putting an end to the deadly crisis in Syria.

“I think now where we are, because of everything that has happened, you have to get an agreement in which the faction that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad represents, and …Russia, Iran, yes, they are going to have to be part of this process,” Blair said, addressing a Council on Foreign Relations forum in New York City on Friday.

“There is no other way out of that,” Blair stressed.

Blair, who served as prime minster of the UK from 1997 to 2007, made the remarks one day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that a third round of talks on Syria crisis would be held in New York. However, Ban stopped short of announcing a specific date for the negotiations.

Two conferences were held on the Syria crisis in October and November in Vienna, Austria. The parties to the talk, including Iran, have been trying to work out a peace plan that would also include a ceasefire in the violence-torn Arab country.

At the end of the mid-November round of negotiations, the participants agreed to meet again in “approximately one month” to review progress towards a ceasefire and the start of a political process in the violence-scarred country, according to a closing statement.

However, they remained at loggerheads over the role that Syrian President Assad would play in Syria’s political process. While some countries, such as the US and its regional allies, want the removal of the Syrian leader as part of a solution to the issue, others, including Iran and Russia, say only the Syrian nation can have a say on the matter.

In 2012 and 2014, two peace conferences were held in the Swiss city of Geneva on ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. Iran was not present at the events, which both ended in failure.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/05/440379/Iran-Syria-Russia-Tony-Blair-

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Turkish soldiers training Iraqi troops near Mosul: sources

December 05, 2015

Several hundred Turkish soldiers have been deployed to provide training for Iraqi troops in an area near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which is under Islamic State control, a Turkish security source told Reuters on Friday.

Islamic State militants overran Mosul, a city of more than one million people, in June 2014, but a much anticipated counter-offensive by Iraqi forces has been repeatedly postponed because they are involved in fighting elsewhere.

"Turkish soldiers have reached the Mosul Bashiqa region. They are there as part of routine training exercises. One battalion has crossed into the region," the source said, declining to say exactly how many soldiers had been deployed.

He said troops had already been in Iraqi Kurdistan and had moved to Mosul accompanied by armored vehicles, in a move which coalition countries targeting Islamic State were aware of.

Video released on the website of Turkey's pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper showed flatbed trucks carrying armored vehicles along a road at night, describing them as a convoy accompanying the Turkish troops to Bashiqa.

A statement from the Iraqi prime minister's media office confirmed that Turkish troops numbering "around one armed battalion with a number of tanks and cannons" had entered its territory near Mosul without request or permission from Baghdad authorities. It called on the forces to leave immediately.

In a separate statement flashed on state TV, the Iraqi foreign ministry called the Turkish activity "an incursion" and rejected any military operation that was not coordinated with the federal government.

A senior Kurdish military officer based on the Bashiqa front line, north of Mosul, said additional Turkish trainers had arrived at a camp in the area overnight on Thursday escorted by a Turkish protection force.

The camp is used by a force called Hashid Watani (national mobilization), which is made up of mainly Sunni Arab former Iraqi police and volunteers from Mosul.

It was formed by former governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who is close to Turkey. There was already a small number of Turkish trainers there before this latest deployment

"Our soldiers are already in Iraq. A battalion of soldiers has gone there. Training was already being given in that region for the last two to three years. This is a part of that training," one senior Turkish official said.

In Washington, two U.S. defense officials said on Friday that the United States was aware of Turkey's deployment of hundreds of Turkish soldiers to northern Iraq but that the move is not part of the U.S.-led coalition's activities.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Dec-2015/turkish-soldiers-training-iraqi-troops-near-mosul-sources

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Yemeni Forces Send Another Saudi Warship Down

Dec 05, 2015

The targeted ship had repeatedly fired rockets on residential areas in the Yemeni province of Ta'iz, inflicting casualties and destruction there.

Reports said the Saudi warship was targeted and destroyed off Mukha coast in Ta'iz early this morning. Reports said there were casualties, but did not provide exact figures, adding that some of the naval forces were also rescued by the Saudi-led coalition fleet present in the region.

The coalition warships usually deploy offshore Ta'iz to strike coastal targets, but they retreat from Yemen's waters as soon as one of their vessels is destroyed by the Yemeni army and Ansarullah forces.

On November 25, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed a Saudi warship in the waters near Bab al-Mandab Strait.

The Saudi warship was targeted with Yemeni missiles in the coastal waters in the province of Ta'iz.

Other Saudi battleships that were approaching Yemen's coasts retreated fast following the attack.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940914000353

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Russian Media Hail Iran's General Soleimani for Rescuing Russia's Pilot

Dec 04, 2015

A Russian website of a group of fans of Russian President Vladimir Putin published General Soleimani's photo and published an article titled 'Soleimani: Key to the Rescue of Russian Pilot' about the rescue of the Russian pilot by a team of special forces led by General Soleimani.

Other Russian media also covered the article published by 'A Group of Fans of Putin'.

Last Thursday, Russian sources revealed that the pilot of the Russian Su-24 jet that was shot down by Turkey over the Syria on November 24 was rescued in an operation led by General Soleimani.

On November 24, a Russian Su-24 bomber jet crashed in Syria. President Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory, falling 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border.

The crew of the plane ejected and one pilot was killed by fire from the ground, according to the Russian General Staff. The co-pilot Captain Konstantin Murahtin survived. But the story of how he survived in a land surrounded by various types of terrorist groups for tens of kilometers was unknown until today.

Emad Abshenas, a reporter for Russia's state-run Sputnik news agency, wrote a piece in the Persian-language website of the Russian agency quoting the entire story from a senior Syrian officer, and FNA gave out the English version.

Here is the story again:

"I contacted one of the Syrian officers who is my old friend and is stationed in Lattakia and asked him to tell me the story, and here is what he said," Abshenas mentioned.

After the downing of the Russian fighter jet, the Russian helicopters took off immediately to save the pilot but they faced the heavy fire power of FSA (or the so-called moderate opposition, the Free Syrian Army, supported by the West) and the Turkey-back Turkmens who targeted the helicopter with missiles and advanced weapons that they have gained recently. During the operations one Russian aid worker was killed.

Credible information was obtained that a number of special Turkish units had been sent to the scene to take the Russian pilot captive to blackmail Russia later. While the Russians were planning for another operations to free the pilot immediately, General Soleimani contacted them and proposed them that a special task force unit be formed of Hezbollah's special forces and Syrian commandos who have been trained by Iran and are fully familiar with the geographical situation of the region to be tasked with the ground operations and Russia provide them with air cover and satellite intelligence.

Soleimani promised them to return the Russian pilot safe and sound; a promise that was kept in the end, according to the Syrian officer.

After tracing the place of the Russian pilot using his GPS, it was revealed that the pilot was being kept in a place 6km behind the frontline of the clashes between the Syrian army and the opposition.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940913000507

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Africa

 

Risk of huge ISIS influx into Libya, France warns

5 December 2015

There is an increasing risk of Libya becoming a haven for combatants from ISIS, even as western nations target the extremist militant group in Iraq and Syria, the French defense minister warned in comments published earlier in the week.

“We see foreign jihadists arriving in the region of Syrte (northern Libya) who, if our operations in Syria and Iraq succeed in reducing the territorial reach of Daesh (ISIS) could tomorrow be more numerous,” defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Jeune Afrique weekly.

Le Drian ruled out military intervention in Libya but warned the West had to try to foster Libyan unity in the face of such a threat.

“It is a major risk and that’s why there absolutely must be understanding between the Libyans,” said Le Drian.

Analysts believe Libya would present a less hospitable environment for ISIS than Syria and Iraq.

But Tripoli is hampered in presenting a united front as rival governments compete for power - a militia alliance including militants that overran Tripoli in August 2014, and the internationally recognized administration that fled to eastern Libya.

The current chaos in Libya with groups of competing militias since the overthrow and death of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 has allowed ISIS to build influence, notably in Qaddafi’s coastal home town of Sirte, east of Tripoli.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/05/Risk-of-huge-ISIS-influx-into-Libya-France-warns-.html

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Two arrested on suspicion of planning suicide attacks in Tunisian capital

4 December 2015

Tunisian police have arrested two suspected militants planning suicide attacks in the capital Tunis, the Interior Ministry said on Friday, 10 days after a suicide bombing killed 12 presidential guards.

Islamic State claimed that bombing, which was the third major militant attack in Tunisia this year and prompted the government to reimpose a state of emergency that had been lifted only a few weeks before.

“Security forces arrested two extremists planning to carry out suicide attacks in the capital, including one in Habib Bourguiba Avenue”, the ministry said in statement.

Habib Bourguiba Avenue is the capital’s main thoroughfare and is crowded with shops and cafes, as well as being the location of the Interior Ministry.

Several thousand Tunisians are fighting with Islamic State and other groups in Iraq and Syria. The gunmen who targeted foreign tourists in attacks on the beach resort of Sousse and Tunis’s Bardo Museum this year are all believed to have trained at Islamist militant camps in Libya.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/04/Two-arrested-on-suspicion-of-planning-suicide-attacks-in-Tunisian-capital.html

 

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