New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 12:42 PM

Islamic World News ( 16 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Children Should Not Be Sent To Regular School: Kerala Salafi Preacher










Muslim Children Should Not Be Sent To Regular School: Kerala Salafi Preacher

Mythical Islamic Steeds Cast Into Sea in Indonesia Festival

Mafia Sells Rifles to Islamic State In Exchange For Libyan Artefacts

Jeish Al-Islam Terrorists Retreat from More Positions in Eastern Damascus

----

India

Muslim Children Should Not Be Sent To Regular School: Kerala Salafi Preacher

Peace International School under Lens for Loaded Islamic Questions in Book

Hanuman Mandir Trust and Jamat-e-Islami Hind Meet Shows Humanity Is Above All

Pakistan’s entire establishment fueling terrorism in India: Home Minister

Y-Category Security to Arnab Goswami over Threat from Terror Groups

Muslim Board Indulging In Propaganda: RSS on Uniform Civil Code

Homes ransacked in communal violence in Bengal, people flee

--

Southeast Asia

Mythical Islamic Steeds Cast Into Sea in Indonesia Festival

Malaysian Sharia Laws: Parliament To Debate Hudud Bill That Could Introduce Stonings And Amputations In State Of Kelantan

Indonesia tracking dozens of militants returned from Syria - police chief

Indonesia’s ISIS Fight: Danger of Widodo Cosying to Islamic Extremists

M’sian leaders reminded of Amman Message on Shias

--

Europe

Mafia Sells Rifles to Islamic State In Exchange For Libyan Artefacts

Belgium Looks to FBI Tactics to Counter Well-Armed Terrorists

Russian Student Who Followed IS Lover to Syria Faces ‘Terrorist’ Trial

Austrian Intelligence Chief Warns Of Home-Grown Islamic Radicalisation

--

Arab World

Jeish Al-Islam Terrorists Retreat from More Positions in Eastern Damascus

Yemeni Forces Kill 5 Saudi Troops, Injure 10 Others in Clashes on Kingdom’s Soil

Syrian Army Cuts off Main Supply Line of Terrorists in Southwestern Damascus

Yemen Urges UN to Intervene for Ending Saudi Aggression

Syrian Army Sends Hundreds of Fresh Forces to Dara'a

Iraqi Troops Marching towards ISIL-Held Mosul

Syrian Military Forces Smash ISIL Terrorists in Deir Ezzur

Israel, US, Terrorists Forming Insecurity Triangle in Region

--

Mideast

Suspects Blow Up Themselves, 3 Officers Killed In ISIL Raids in Gaziantep

3,000 Turkey-Trained Iraqi Forces Taking Part in Mosul Operation: Deputy PM

US, Turkey’s top commanders discuss Iraq, Syria

Turkey cannot be excluded from Mosul operation: Erdoğan

Turkey sends ‘reconciliation delegation’ to Baghdad

Adopting presidential system to be top structural reform: PM Yıldırım

Turkey-backed Syria rebels secure Dabiq area, eye al-Bab

Turkey Not In Mosul Operation Due To Foreign Policy Mistakes: CHP Leader

--

South Asia

Airstrike Kill Haqqani and Al-Qaeda Terrorist Network Members in Afghanistan

Taliban Ambush Vice President Gen. Dostum’s Convoy in Faryab

Airstrike target top Taliban leader’s convoy, leaving at least 30 dead

Coordinated suicide attack foiled in Mehtarlam city of Afghanistan

Bangladesh executes senior Islamic extremist over 2005 blast

Suspect in murder of Bangla blogger arrested

--

 

Pakistan

Border with Afghanistan Closed After Suicide Attack in Kurram

Shahbaz Taseer’s Kidnapper among Six Killed In ‘Encounter’

Participation of Saudi, Afghan, and Iran will boost CPEC: Pakistan

China defends Pakistan after Modi's 'mothership of terrorism' remark

Military courts’ constitutional life to expire in January

Two soldiers killed in firing from across Afghan border

Balochistan people to resist foreign interference: Fazl

Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant of 340 MW starts operation

--

North America

Kerry: US, Europe Have No ‘Big Appetite’ for Military Action in Syria

Canada not immune to right-wing extremism

Donald Trump’s Deplorable Wage a War on Muslims

Islamic centre wants Good Robot's liquor licence revoked

--

Africa

Somalia Shuts Down Newspaper, Arrests Editor

Gunmen attack Niger prison holding extremists

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-children-should-not-be-sent-to-regular-school--kerala-salafi-preacher/d/108881

-----

 

Muslim Children Should Not Be Sent To Regular School: Kerala Salafi Preacher

October 17, 2016

A Salafi preacher in Kerala has urged Muslims to not send their children to regular school for their education. Abdul Mohsin Aydeed said that home schools should be set up for Muslim children where they can be taught in an Islamic way.

The preacher tried to convince the Muslim community and said that the mainstream schools attempt to take the children away from Allah and make them Kaffirs.

Why advertise with us?

RELATED

Blame it on personal laws: 4 of every 5 divorced Muslims in India are women

Pakistani family leaves US after 7-year-old son attacked for being Muslim

Ayeed, an extreme Salafi in the group of Shamsudeen Fareed, was seen convincing the Muslim community in a speech which was uploaded on edwa.net on Sunday, Times of India reported.

"Our children should be taught what Allah's messenger has dictated us. We don't need anyone's help to do it. No government or police have the right to tell us how to bring up our children," Aydeed said in his speech.

"Our scriptures direct us to respect Allah, his prophet and his religion. Are such things there in your text books? If standing by Islamic teachings is extremism, then we are the spokespersons of extremism," Aydeed added.

The Salkafi preacher also said that not only one's country, but the entire world can turn against Muslims. However, none can do them any harm unless it is wished by Allah.

"Our children are not guinea pigs to follow your textbooks that change every 5 years. Allah has already prescribed what they should learn. We won't follow the guidelines that your politicians, who came along just yesterday, wrote on how we should bring up our children. That is why we have kept our children away from you," the preacher said.

Although it is not clear when the hour-long speech was delivered by Ayeed, but it was uploaded on the Islamic learning website with the title 'We shouldn't let them take our children.'

Source: ibtimes.co.in/muslim-children-should-not-be-sent-regular-school-salafi-preacher-699916

--

 

Mythical Islamic Steeds Cast Into Sea in Indonesia Festival

October 17, 2016

Huge models of mythical Islamic steeds were carried aloft amid crowds before being hurled into the sea today, at the peak of a colourful festival in Indonesia.

Thousands of people flocked to a picturesque stretch of coastline on western Sumatra Island for Tabuik, an annual event that attracts hordes of foreign and local tourists.

The climax of festivities featured two models of a "Buraq", a steed from Islamic mythology that transported the Prophet Mohammed, being carried through the streets of the city of Pariaman before being cast into the waters.

The Buraq resembles a horse but has wings and a human head. Atop the steed sits an elaborately decorated coffin studded with umbrellas, with the model towering about 12 metres (40 feet) into the air.

Tabuik, which runs over about 10 days in Pariaman, started in the 19th century and has Shiite Muslim origins, as it was introduced by Shiites who came to Indonesia from India.

It takes place around Ashura, which fell last week and is a major date in the Shiite calendar.

The annual Ashura commemorations mark the seventh-century killing of the prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein, by the forces of the Caliph Yazid, a formative event in Shiite Islam.

Nowadays the population around Pariaman is almost entirely Sunni Muslim but they continue to celebrate Tabuik, as the festival has a long tradition and is now regarded as principally a cultural event.

Indonesia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country and Shiites have faced growing persecution in recent years, as they have in many countries.

Tabuik is an example of how myriad different ethnic and religious influences often mix to form unique local cultures and festivals in Indonesia, a sprawling, diverse archipelago of over 17,000 islands.

Source: business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mythical-islamic-steeds-cast-into-sea-in-indonesia-festival-116101700012_1.html

--

 

Mafia sells rifles to Islamic State in exchange for Libyan artefacts

October 17, 2016

The Italian mafia is selling assault rifles to Islamic State leaders in Libya in return for looted archaeological treasures, according to an Italian newspaper.

The feared ‘Ndrangheta gangsters sell on the priceless artefacts to Russian and Asian collectors.

La Stampa reports that the Calabrian network, which dominates Europe’s drug trade, works with the Camorra in Naples to buy Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers smuggled out of Ukraine and Moldova by the Russian mafia.

The armaments are then traded in return for ancient Roman and Greek statues that Isis fighters have dug up illegally in Libya, which was a colony of the two ancient cultures. Isis has ruled over swathes of the country for months.

A journalist from La Stampa posed as a collector to be taken to a salami factory in southern Italy by a member of an ‘Ndrangheta clan from Lamezia in Calabria. For $87,000 he was offered the marble head of a Roman sculpture looted from Libya.

The Mafioso also showed photographs of a larger head from a Greek statue, for sale at $1.2 million.

Antiquities are brought from Libya to the Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro by Chinese-operated cargo ships, it is claimed. The treasures are sold on to collectors from Russia, China, Japan and the Gulf. After expanding into Libya, Isis has been pinned back by local militias. The jihadists, however, are believed to have tried to profit from trafficking in artefacts, as they have done in Iraq and Syria.

Libyan archaeologists working to protect the country’s five UNESCO-listed sites have received death threats.

Italian investigators have long suspected the mafia of selling guns to Isis. “In Naples, Islamic militias and the Camorra have been trading guns and drugs since the 1990s,” a veteran investigator said yesterday (Sunday).

The gangsters have also been involved in the wholesale looting of Etruscan Roman tombs in Italy. Trading guns for artefacts with Isis is a natural evolution of its business. The widespread excavation and selling of Greek and Roman treasures boomed in Libya after the death in 2011 of Colonel Gaddafi, well before the arrival of Isis.

A rare 4ft marble statue believed to have been dug up in the ancient city of Cyrene in 2011 and worth $3.2 million was found in a west London warehouse two years after the uprising.

Susan Kane, a Libyan expert at Oberlin College in Ohio, said: “There was a major land grab after the revolution and more earth has been moved since 2011 than in the preceding centuries. Antiquities are turning up and there is a great synergy between trafficking them, drugs and arms.”

Source: theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/mafia-sells-rifles-to-jihadists-in-exchange-for-libyan-artefacts/news-story/679cd7b5eee03404a6ab897870873e4e

--

 

Jeish Al-Islam Terrorists Retreat From More Positions in Eastern Damascus

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops, backed up by the country's warplanes and artillery units, hit Jeish al-Islam's concentration centers in Eastern Ghouta, and forced the terrorist group to pull its fighters back from the battlefield, sources said on Monday.

"Syrian army soldiers and popular forces struck the defense lines of Jeish al-Islam near al-Reihan, inflicting major losses on the group's military hardware," the sources said.

"The heavy offensive of the Syrian government forces, who enjoyed artillery and air support, inflicted a heavy death toll on Jeish al-Islam terrorists and forced them to leave their strongholds," the sources added.

"The Syrian fighter jets also bombed al-Shifouniyeh, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded," the sources said.

"The Syrian government forces also advanced against militants near Jahbat al-Ishareh in Eastern Damascus from two flanks," they went on to say.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops hit hard the positions of Fatah al-Sham (al-Nusra) Front in the town of Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta, and pushed the militants back from a residential neighborhood.

Syrian army soldiers, backed up by artillery units, drove back Fatah al-Sham from several residential complexes in the Northeastern side of al-A'azam mosque following several hours of fierce clashes.

According to initial battlefield reports, tens of Fatah al-Sham's members were killed or wounded in the clashes.

Syrian artillery units, for their part, shelled Fatah al-Sham's centers in al-Hosseiniyeh, al-Khazrajiyeh, Harfa-Beit Jin crossroad, al-Taybeh, al-Zakiyeh and al-Wa'areh.

A base of Fatah al-Sham in Khan al-Sheih was also targeted and destroyed in Syrian airstrikes. Reports said all the militants at the base were killed in the air raid.

Syrian military planes also dropped surrender-now leaflet over Khan al-Sheih, urging them to lay down arms and join peace plan.   

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000717

--

India

Muslim Children Should Not Be Sent To Regular School: Kerala Salafi Preacher

October 17, 2016

A Salafi preacher in Kerala has urged Muslims to not send their children to regular school for their education. Abdul Mohsin Aydeed said that home schools should be set up for Muslim children where they can be taught in an Islamic way.

The preacher tried to convince the Muslim community and said that the mainstream schools attempt to take the children away from Allah and make them Kaffirs.

Ayeed, an extreme Salafi in the group of Shamsudeen Fareed, was seen convincing the Muslim community in a speech which was uploaded on edwa.net on Sunday, Times of India reported.

"Our children should be taught what Allah's messenger has dictated us. We don't need anyone's help to do it. No government or police have the right to tell us how to bring up our children," Aydeed said in his speech.

"Our scriptures direct us to respect Allah, his prophet and his religion. Are such things there in your text books? If standing by Islamic teachings is extremism, then we are the spokespersons of extremism," Aydeed added.

The Salkafi preacher also said that not only one's country, but the entire world can turn against Muslims. However, none can do them any harm unless it is wished by Allah.

"Our children are not guinea pigs to follow your textbooks that change every 5 years. Allah has already prescribed what they should learn. We won't follow the guidelines that your politicians, who came along just yesterday, wrote on how we should bring up our children. That is why we have kept our children away from you," the preacher said.

Although it is not clear when the hour-long speech was delivered by Ayeed, but it was uploaded on the Islamic learning website with the title 'We shouldn't let them take our children.'

Source: ibtimes.co.in/muslim-children-should-not-be-sent-regular-school-salafi-preacher-699916

--

 

Peace International School under Lens for Loaded Islamic Questions in Book

Oct 17, 2016

NEW DELHI/KOCHI: "Suppose your best friend Adam/Suzanne has decided to become a Muslim. Among the choices, what will you do?" This question with multiple options, allegedly a prompt to convert to Islam, is part of the Class 2 activity book at the Peace International School in Kochi, which has made it the subject of a police investigation.

The multiple options for the tiny tots are suggestive and clearly loaded - "a: he/she has to change her name to Ahmed/Sara immediately; b: he/she is wearing a chain with cross, need to remove it; c: learn the Shahada; d: run away from home as parents are not Muslims; e: eat Halal chicken". The activity book asks students to place the options in "correct" order and explain the reason for doing so to the class.

Peace Educational Foundation's managing director M M Akbar said there was a slip-up with regard to the text. He said the Islamic study textbook was supplied by Mumbai-based Burooj Realization and the academic council had asked it to avoid the controversial portion. But the publisher supplied the same books this year too. "The council directed all teachers of the foundation's schools not to teach the portion," Akbar said.

Sources said the Kerala educational department had examined the syllabus of the schools run by the foundation and submitted a report to police. Kochi Police registered a case based on the report.

The schools are run by the foundation, which is funded by three Kerala-based business houses that are under police scrutiny in the case of 21 you- this who went missing in response to a call to join terror group Islamic State. Some of the you- this worked at Peace schools.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/School-under-lens-for-loaded-Islamic-questions-in-book/articleshow/54888611.cms

--

 

Hanuman Mandir Trust and Jamat-e-Islami Hind Meet Shows Humanity Is Above All

Oct 17, 2016

NAGPUR: Humanity is above all. That is what members of Hanuman Mandir Trust and Jamat-e-Islami Hind demonstrated at a gathering held on Mankapur temple premises on Sunday. The gathering was a clear show of harmony the two communities enjoy here.

Sitting under the shade of a Peepal tree on a sunny morning, members of these two organizations set an example for others to emulate and called to forego misunderstanding and ensure communal harmony.

Ayub Khan, a professor of English at Women's College said, "While I was passing through this temple, I took a leap of faith and entered the premises to share my idea on peace. The trust officials welcomed the idea and readily agreed to join us in our endeavour to promote peace between the two communities."

Khan said, "We need to leave our comfort zones and come forward to serve humanity. If people are blessed with intellect, it is better they use their responsibility to put it to good use. "If I want to be safe, I should ensure safety of others. If I want peace, I should let others live in peace. It is time we adopt selflessness," he said, referring to a 'shloka' in Bhagwad Gita.

Gokul Prasad, trustee of the Mandir, spoke of a Muslim family he considers his close relative and urged people to believe in the idea that we will always remain one. "We are all Hindustanis," he added.

Mohammed Umar Khan, president of Jamat-e-Islami Hind said, "There could be some elements, good and bad, in a community." Many facts have been omitted from history by those with vested interests, he added.

Temple priest Umesh Chandra Shastri said, "Whether we bow our heads at temples or mosques, we have the same blood. Nathuji Barai, president of the temple trust, expressed his willingness to have more of such interactions.

Source: ocativ.com/359072/al-qaeda-doesnt-want-muslim-women-to-carry-out-attacks/

--

 

Pakistan’s entire establishment fueling terrorism in India: Home Minister

October 17, 2016

In a blistering attack on Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said its entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and warned that “those who rear snakes would be bitten”.

India is against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, but does not hate” its people, the minister said and offered help to conduct anti-terrorism campaign in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir for the “closure of terror factories”.

The Home Minister’s attack on Pakistan comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed it as the mothership of terrorism.

Addressing the the two-day Regional Editors Conference from north and northeast states here, he said, “Pakistan’s entire establishment is engaged in fueling terrorism in India and that’s why, the management of areas along the Indo-Pak border has become a challenging task…But those who rear snakes should know they would bite them.” By adopting terrorism as its state policy, Pakistan is getting isolated not only in South Asia but also in the international community, Singh said.

“Pakistan is so much obsessed with some issues that neither it can benefit others nor it can see its own welfare.

Its obsession with Kashmir has reached such a level that it cannot tell apart a terrorist from a freedom fighter,” the Minister said.

He termed Pakistan’s flexible attitude towards terrorism as “the biggest hindrance” in the bilateral relationship.

“As far as the relationship between India and Pakistan is concerned, the biggest hindrance is Pakistan as its attitude towards terrorism is quite flexible. As far as India’s intention is concerned, we want to eliminate terrorism from the entire region,” Singh said.

He said the logic of state and non-state actors which used to be given in connection with Pakistan has now turned “hollow”.

The Home Minister stressed that India “hates” Pakistan sponsored terrorism and not its people.

“No hatred towards people of Pakistan. We do not hate people of Pakistan and we do not want to keep a distance from them. We hate Pakistan-sponsored terrorism only.

“If its intentions remain clear, India can help Pakistan carry out an anti-error campaign in PoK. If Pakistan wishes, it can seek our help and India is ready to help it. It can also take help from anyone in the global community. But its intentions are not clear,” he said.

Singh said that with the closure of “terror factories in Pakistan, peace and harmony will prevail in South Asia and a way to development and prosperity will open.”

Source: siasat.com/news/pakistans-entire-establishment-fueling-terrorism-india-rajnath-singh-1043487/

--

 

Y-category security to Arnab Goswami over threat from terror groups

October 17, 2016

New Delhi: Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami is set to be provided Y-category security by the government after he received threats from “Pakistan-based terror groups”, the Hindustan Times reported.

The television journalist will get round-the-clock protection from around 20 security personnel including two personal security officers.

A Union Home Ministry official told Hindustan Times: “Goswami is being given security on the basis of a threat-perception analysis by the IB. We will go by the IB recommendation. He faces threats from Pakistan-based terrorist groups due to his comments against them on Times Now.”

Since Goswami is based in Mumbai, the ministry would give the task to the Maharashtra police.

Goswami isn’t the only journalist to receive the security cover.

Other journalists such as Zee News’s Sudhir Chaudhary (’X’ category), Samachar Plus’s Umesh Kumar (’Y’ category) and Ashwini Kumar Chopra (’Z Plus’ category) also received the security cover from the Centre.

Source: siasat.com/news/y-category-security-arnab-goswami-threat-terror-groups-1043187/

--

 

Muslim Board indulging in propaganda: RSS on Uniform Civil Code

October 17, 2016

New Delhi [India], Oct. 17: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday alleged that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) was indulging in propaganda over the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and blamed the successive governments for institutionalizing majority and minority. RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha backed Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s assertion that personal laws must be constitutionally compliant, adding there cannot be two laws in this country.

“Unfortunately the successive governments have institutionalized the majority and minority, which is not according to the temperament, nature and historical process of India. We are one people and the Muslim leadership is doing propaganda. They are propagating that this (UCC) is the question over their identity,” he told ANI. Sinha further said gender justice is fundamental of our civil society as per the Constitution. “The government must come forward with the Uniform Civil Code, triple talaq must be abolished whether the community leaders agree or disagree,” Sinha said.(ALSO READ: What is Uniform Civil Code? Here’s everything you need to know on triple talaq, polygamy, halala and the views of the All lndia Muslim Personal Law Board)

“A liberal democratic state is always expected to apply there progressive measures for the larger well-being of the people and I hope that this government is determined and they should bring out a law,” he added. In wake of the ongoing debate over ‘triple talaq’, the Finance Minister yesterday said the government is of the clear view that personal laws should be constitutionally compliant and in conformity with norms of gender equality and the right to live with dignity.

“The issue with regard to the constitutional validity of ‘Triple Talaq’ is distinct from the Uniform Civil Code. The constitutional framers had expressed a hope in the Directive Principles of State Policy that the State would endeavour to have a Uniform Civil Law,” said Jaitley in a Facebook post.  “On more than one occasion, the Supreme Court has enquired from the Government its’ stand on the issue. Governments have repeatedly told both the Court and the Parliament that personal laws are ordinarily amended after detailed consultations with affected stakeholders,” he added.

The Finance Minister said the Law Commission has initiated an academic exercise once again on the issue of the Uniform Civil Code. “This academic exercise by the Law Commission is only a continuation of the debate in this country ever since Constituent Assembly had expressed the hope that the State would endeavour to have a Uniform Civil Code,” said Jaitley. “Irrespective of whether the Uniform Civil Code is today possible or otherwise, a pertinent question arises with regard to reforms within the personal laws of various communities,” he added.  Jaitley further said reforming the personal laws, even if there is no uniformity, is an ongoing process.

“With passage of time, several provisions became obsolete, archaic and even got rusted. Governments, legislatures and communities have to respond to the need for a change,” he added. The Finance Minister further wrote that as communities have progressed, there is a greater realisation with regard to gender equality. “Additionally, all citizens, more particularly women, have a right to live with dignity. Should personal laws which impact the life of every citizen be in conformity with these constitutional values of equality and the Right to Live with Dignity? A conservative view found judicial support over six decades ago that personal laws could be inconsistent with personal guarantees.

Today it may be difficult to sustain that proposition. The Government’s affidavit in the triple talaq case recognises this evolution,” he added. Pointing out that there is a fundamental distinction between religious practices, rituals and civil rights, Jaitley said, “Religious functions associated with birth, adoption, succession, marriage, death, can all be conducted through rituals and customs as per existing religious practices. Should rights emanating from birth, adoption, succession, marriage, divorce etc. be guided by religion or by constitutional guarantees? Can there be inequality or compromise with human dignity in any of these matters? Some people may hold a conservative, if not obsolete, view that personal laws need not be constitutionally compliant,” he wrote in a facebook post.

“The Government’s view is clear. Personal laws have to be constitutionally compliant and the institution of Triple Talaq, therefore, will have to be judged on the yardstick of equality and the Right to Live with Dignity. Needless to say that the same yardstick would be applicable to all other personal laws,” he added  Jaitley further said the issue before the Supreme Court is only with regard to the constitutional validity of triple talaq.   “Governments in the past have shied from taking a categorical stand that personal laws must comply with Fundamental Rights.

The present Government has taken a clear position. The academic debate with regard to the Uniform Civil Code can go on before the Law Commission. The question to be answered is that assuming that each community has its separate personal law, should not those personal laws be constitutionally compliant?” he added. On October 7, the Law Commission of India had issued a 16-point questionnaire, seeking public response on the various aspects of the UCC.

Source: india.com/news/india/muslim-board-indulging-in-propaganda-rss-on-uniform-civil-code-1564657/

--

 

Homes ransacked in communal violence in Bengal, people flee

October 17, 2016

Communal clashes at Hazinagar and Halisahar in North 24 Parganas district since Wednesday have left several people injured while an estimated 30 homes and several shops, apart from four vehicles, have been ransacked or set on fire. Police said the situation is under control now but many people have fled their homes. “We are ascertaining how many people were injured in the violence,” an official said. “But it is spread over a large area, which is very densely populated. The figure will not be less than 20. At least 30 homes and shops have been damaged, while at least four vehicles have been gutted.”

The trigger was a low-intensity bomb allegedly thrown at a Muharram procession Wednesday, police said. While no one was injured then, it resulted in violence with a number of Hindu homes being allegedly attacked by mobs, and Muslim mobs allegedly retaliating.

The initial violence was localised around Hazinagar’s Naihati Jute Mill area where the Jama Masjid is situated, and the neighbourhood around Nelson Road that has homes of both Muslims and Hindus. By Thursday, the violence had spread to nearby Patterson Road, a Hindu-majority area adjoining the Muslim-dominated colony around Hazinagar Chhoti Masjid.

Hazinagar has been particularly tense for the past few months. “There has always been an issue with the Jama Masjid. Durga idol processions have traditionally avoided a route that directly crosses the mosque but since last year they have been insistent on using that route,” said Anwar Ali, 72, a tailor who lives in the area.

Four days later, Muslim homes stood empty in Hindu-majority areas, as did Hindu homes in Muslim-dominated areas. Many of these houses bore signs of having been ransacked. With shops shut, food and medicine were beginning to become scarce.

Anwar Ali’s shop, now gutted, was surrounded by shops owned by Hindus; these were left untouched. In contrast, BJP councilor of ward 23 at Halishahar Ravishankar Singh alleged, “I was conducting the tazia along with Muslim elders to ensure there was no violence. It was at this point that the mob turned up and started loot and arson. Even my office was not spared and they burnt everything but all Muslim homes and shops in the area were spared.”

Rishikesh Meena, CO, Eastern Frontier Rifles, 1st Battalion who is stationed in the area, said, “The situation is under control now. We’re questioning everyone who is coming and going, all two-wheelers and four-wheelers are being checked to ensure that outsiders can’t enter.”

Anuj Sharma, IG (law and order), who told The Indian Express Saturday that “no injuries” had been reported, declined to comment Sunday. Superintendent of Police (Barasat) Tanmoy Roy Choudhury too declined to comment in spite of repeated attempts. So did officials of the district administration.

The Opposition has alleged that Bengal has witnessed communal incidents on account of the government’s order to prohibit immersion of Durga idols on the day after Vijaya Dashami as it coincided with Muharram. The order was partly struck down by Calcutta High Court, which deemed it an “endeavour” to “appease the minority section”.

Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan, who attempted to visit the riot-affected area along with Left leader Sujan Chakroborty prior to being stopped by the police, told The Indian Express that the entire incident was a complete “administrative failure” and urged the government to ensure that people return home. “There should be a peace march, an all-party meeting. Right now with people fleeing their homes, the violence is just spreading. This has to be stopped.”

Mannan alleged that TMC’s policies regarding the immersion had played into the hands of the BJP and the RSS. “This is exactly what the BJP wants, to create further unrest in the state wherein they can make gains in a state that has traditionally rejected their communal politics,” he said.

The BJP has said it will “compile a report” on communal violence in Bengal during Muharram to be sent to the Union Home Ministry. State BJP secretary Sayantan Basu said the BJP will “hold a protest against communalism in Bengal” Monday.

Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/communal-clash-bengal-hazinagar-district-3086824/

--

Southeast Asia

Mythical Islamic Steeds Cast Into Sea in Indonesia Festival

October 17, 2016

Huge models of mythical Islamic steeds were carried aloft amid crowds before being hurled into the sea today, at the peak of a colourful festival in Indonesia.

Thousands of people flocked to a picturesque stretch of coastline on western Sumatra Island for Tabuik, an annual event that attracts hordes of foreign and local tourists.

The climax of festivities featured two models of a "Buraq", a steed from Islamic mythology that transported the Prophet Mohammed, being carried through the streets of the city of Pariaman before being cast into the waters.

The Buraq resembles a horse but has wings and a human head. Atop the steed sits an elaborately decorated coffin studded with umbrellas, with the model towering about 12 metres (40 feet) into the air.

Tabuik, which runs over about 10 days in Pariaman, started in the 19th century and has Shiite Muslim origins, as it was introduced by Shiites who came to Indonesia from India.

It takes place around Ashura, which fell last week and is a major date in the Shiite calendar.

The annual Ashura commemorations mark the seventh-century killing of the prophet's grandson, Imam Hussein, by the forces of the Caliph Yazid, a formative event in Shiite Islam.

Nowadays the population around Pariaman is almost entirely Sunni Muslim but they continue to celebrate Tabuik, as the festival has a long tradition and is now regarded as principally a cultural event.

Indonesia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country and Shiites have faced growing persecution in recent years, as they have in many countries.

Tabuik is an example of how myriad different ethnic and religious influences often mix to form unique local cultures and festivals in Indonesia, a sprawling, diverse archipelago of over 17,000 islands.

Source: business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/mythical-islamic-steeds-cast-into-sea-in-indonesia-festival-116101700012_1.html

--

 

Malaysian sharia laws: Parliament to debate hudud bill that could introduce stonings and amputations in state of Kelantan

17 Oct 2016

The Malaysian Parliament is set to debate a controversial bill that could see stricter forms of sharia law introduced in the state of Kelantan, but critics have warned the so called hudud bill would result in whippings and even the amputations of limbs for crimes such as theft.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party — commonly known as PAS — is pushing to introduce the proposed laws in the conservative north-eastern state, but first the bill must be passed by the Malaysian national parliament.

Kelantan is a major stronghold for PAS, which was founded in 1951 and is among the country's oldest and largest opposition parties.

"Among the mandate from the people is to try to establish the Islamic system here, including the Islamic criminal law," PAS executive council member Mohd Fadzi said.

Kelantan's state capital Kota Bahru is deeply religious and many of its citizens live by a strict adherence to Islam.

At shops and supermarkets there are separate queues for males and females, while signs advising women to cover up are common outside offices and government buildings.

PAS secures Prime Minister's support

Earlier this year, PAS tabled a private members bill to amend act 355 of the federal constitution with the support of Prime Minister Najib Razak's United Malays National Organisation party (UMNO).

The bill aims to increase the powers of sharia courts to enforce some aspects of hudud, which is the Islamic system of crime and punishment that includes amputations and stoning.

Rozana Isa is a member of Sisters in Islam, a non-government organisation working on the rights of Muslim women.

Sisters in Islam maintains that the implementation of hudud has the potential for enormous injustices and said it finds PAS’s justification for advocating hudud unconvincing and worrying.

"[It's] on the cards in relation to whipping especially and the cutting of limbs for the acts of robbery," Ms Isa said.

However there is a groundswell of popular support for the Islamic penal code within Kelantan, with many believing it will help tackle crime and violence.

Others believe, as an Islamic country, Malaysia and in turn Kelantan should follow the strict religious laws.

Minorities worried

These sorts of sentiments have many citizens in the more cosmopolitan national capital of Kuala Lumpur worried, especially minorities, who fear the hudud bill may set a precedent for other states to follow suit.

UMNO's political partners — the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress have threatened to quit the coalition if the bill is passed.

As the parliament braces for debate, UMNO is keeping its cards close to its chest in relation to exactly how the parliamentary vote will proceed.

"I don't know what our instructions are for us, we still have to wait for the whip to instruct us what to do after this," Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz said.

"Whatever we do with regards to Islamic laws, it must never encroach on the rights of non-Muslims, that's very important."

PAS insists non-Muslims will not be affected and that changes would only apply to the state of Kelantan.

"We are living now in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-racial country and then at the same time we just want our right to practice our own religion and Islam," Mr Fadzi said.

While minorities have expressed their concerns, the hudud bill is also dividing the majority Malay Muslim community.

"As a Muslim I feel very unsafe," Ms Isa said.

"Under the hudud law, pregnancy of a single woman would be regarded as evidence of having committed illicit sex."

Lim Guan Eng, leader of the Democratic Action Party, fears UMNO will not follow the correct parliamentary process with the proposed laws.

"They are trying to amend these laws by a simple bill, which only requires a simple majority when the proper approach to take is through a constitutional amendment — two-thirds majority."

Political motivations

Political analyst Chandra Muzaffar said there are political motivations behind the UMNO party's support for the proposed laws.

Supporting the laws is seen as a pragmatic way to shore up support within Kelantan ahead of a general election in 2018.

"I suspect that UMNO will find some way of supporting the bill, because they're preparing for elections and they would see this as something which is electorally useful."

Source: abc.net.au/news/2016-10-17/malaysia-considers-stricter-sharia-laws-hudub/7933496

--

 

Indonesia tracking dozens of militants returned from Syria - police chief

17 Oct 2016

JAKARTA: Dozens of Indonesians who joined Islamic State in Syria have returned home with combat experience and pose a major threat to the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, the police chief said on Monday.

Authorities are closely monitoring about 40 returnees and are concerned they could be linking up with existing networks to equip a new generation of radicals with the skills and equipment required to launch a major attack.

"We are getting in touch with them but they can evade our detection. We believe they are organising secretly and building interactions with other (radical) networks,” police chief Tito Karnavian told Reuters in an interview.

About 10 were in custody for questioning and the rest remained free, Karnavian said, adding there was no evidence of an imminent attack.

The vast majority of Indonesia’s 250 million people practise a moderate form of Islam. Small extremist groups that have periodically mounted attacks against the state and foreigners in the country have been largely disbanded or driven underground.

But the country has seen a recent resurgence in militancy, inspired in part by Islamic State. Authorities believe Islamic State has more than 1,200 followers in Indonesia and nearly 400 Indonesians have left to join the group in Syria.

Indonesia suffered its first militant attack in years in January, when four pro-Islamic State militants launched a gun and bomb attack in the heart of the capital Jakarta. Eight people were killed, including the attackers themselves. Authorities said the assault was poorly planned and executed.

Karnavian also said a worrying new trend was emerging of teens being radicalised online and lured into carrying out small-scale attacks.

A 16-year-old in August tried but failed to detonate a homemade bomb in a church in the northern city of Medan. The teen also tried to stab the priest leading the service but was subdued by members of the congregation. Authorities said the teen was obsessed with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and had researched his ideology online.

“This is a new trend. It’s more difficult (to track them) than existing networks...because they are what are called lone wolves that are being radicalised online,” Karnavian said, adding police were aware of at least 10 such cases.

Under anti-terrorism laws, police can detain suspects for questioning for up to seven days. The government has called for preventive detention and the stripping of known militants of their citizenship if they fight for extremist groups overseas.

Revisions to the anti-terrorism bill are pending parliamentary approval.

Source: channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/interview-indonesia-tracking-dozens-of-militants-returned-from/3212754.html

--

 

Indonesia’s ISIS Fight: Danger of Widodo Cosying to Islamic Extremists

17 Oct 2016

Islamic State attacks have been on the rise in Indonesia but an even more lethal and lasting threat may result from the government’s gambled response, write Blake Herzinger, Phill Hynes and Mark Burke.

It’s a universal problem: prisons foment criminal behavior – yet Indonesian jails take this hypothesis to an entirely new level.

Even the nation’s officials concede that overcrowded cells have become a virtual breeding ground for jihadists. Jailed clerics openly preach calls for jihad to inmates and the wider world.

“For Indonesian jihadists, a spell in prison, rather than being an intervention stage, is seen as a way station to further glory,” says Per Saud Usman Nasution, Chief of Indonesia’s National Counterterrorism Agency. “Many leave prison not only unreformed, but also more influential in local jihadi circles.”

The former chief of the NCA went further in a separate interview, stating that prison wardens asked for radicals not to be placed in their jails, because guards feared for their families’ safety if they intervened with militants.

indonesia isis

Imprisoned Islamists in Indonesia are allowed to wear robes rather than prison uniforms. They have regular access to the world partly due to the fact that much of their food is supplied directly from sources outside the prison. Islamist doctrines are openly preached throughout the prison system, and in at least one case an inmate even converted a prison guard to radical Islam. Although the number of pro-ISIS prisoners is small within the national prison population, the freedom of communication open to these high-risk prisoners to pursue their extremist agendas with the external world and within the prisons is alarming. Discussions with Syria-based jihadists, organizing their couriers (frequently their equally committed wives) and orchestration of recruitment, training and attacks – all are available to them.

For evidence of links between radicalization in prisons and terrorist operations, consider the attack on the Sarinah shopping mall in central Jakarta earlier this year. All four of the attackers visited ISIS supporter Aman Abdurrahman in the high security Nusakambangan prison on several occasions leading up to the day of the attack. Indonesian National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti publicly stated that the Jakarta attackers had been in touch with at least five incarcerated militants at various points during the operational planning stage. Two of the attackers were previously incarcerated in Indonesia for terrorism-related offenses. One was an inmate in Jakarta’s Cipinang prison, along with a score of militants known to be under the influence of Abdurrahman during his years in that same prison facility.

The spiritual leader of Indonesia’s local Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid jihadist movement, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, has been in prison since 2011, but has had regular access to social media, telephones and couriers, all carrying his sermons, and Abdurrahman could also communicate freely from prison, until both men were transferred to Indonesia’s highest security institutions. Abdurrahman and Ba’asyir both also pledged their allegiance to ISIS from behind bars, as did over 20 other prisoners.

Good extremists

Official leniency is also extended to local radical Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah, as President Widodo’s government prioritizes the threat from Islamic State. The authorities have virtually negotiated a deal with Jemaah Islamiyah, agreeing that no action will be taken against the group if they encourage their followers not to carry out attacks in the country. It has been given a platform to preach its opposition to ISIS. Both current and previous Jemaah Islamiyah senior members are given free rein to espouse their radical (yet non-violent) views on listeners in local mosques.

Police are keeping a close eye. Yes, Jemaah Islamiyah is quiet right now and has not executed any attacks, but promoting such extremist rhetoric (despite not calling for violence) is most certainly luring in recruits and instilling the necessary mindsets within them for when there is a call to action.

Should Jemaah Islamiyah re-adopt political violence, not only will the group be of greater numbers than ISIS in Indonesia but it will also have retained military expertise and local logistical and operational capabilities that may well surpass Islamic State’s. In many ways, the government has taken a serious gamble with this strategy of backing a non-violent Jemaah Islamiyah.

Source: fronteranews.com/news/asia/indonesias-isis-fight-danger-widodo-cosying-islamic-extremists/

--

 

M’sian leaders reminded of Amman Message on Shias

October 17, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Shia Muslims in Malaysia should be allowed to freely practise their religion not only based on the Federal Constitution, but also to fulfil an international declaration signed in 2004 by Malaysian leaders, including former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, says the moderate group G25.

“The Amman message is an expression of the spirit of religious pluralism that defines the understanding and practice of Islam. Its main objective is so Muslims around the world would be united and free to live without sectarian conflicts and strife,” said G25 in a statement today, referring to a document signed by some 200 Muslim scholars and leaders.

The group was responding to the authorities’ renewed crackdown on Shia followers in the country.

The Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) last week arrested some 50 Shia Muslims for taking part in Ashura, an annual mourning ceremony observed by Shias to mourn the death of the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Shia Islam is the second largest Muslim denomination but local Islamic authorities have labeled it “deviant.”

G25 said the crackdown on Shias ran contrary to religious freedom, and said Jais should base its action on the Amman Message to avoid sectarian conflicts in Malaysia such as those in the Middle East.

“Jais must align itself to the fact that Malaysia is a free democracy which respects the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the country,” it said.

“In the case of Shiites, they are recognised as an accepted sect of Islam, and that any form of assembly cannot be misconstrued as propagating a religion other than Islam.”

It added that Shia Muslims’s rights were guaranteed by the constitution and followers should be allowed to practise as long as they do not disrupt public order.

The Amman Message was signed in Amman led by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, bringing together some 200 senior Islamic scholars worldwide representing different schools of thought.

The document recognises the validity of all eight Islamic schools including Sunni and Shia, as well as Salafis and followers of Islamic mysticism.

Apart from Abdullah Badawi, other Malaysians who signed the document included ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahidan Kassim, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, former minister Dr Abdul Hamid Othman, and prominent academics Dr Kamal Hasan and Dr Mohammad Hashim Kamali.

The split between the Shias and Sunnis is the result of disagreement with regard to the choice of successors to Prophet Muhammad. Sunnis recognise the first four caliphs as the rightful successors, but Shias say they should be chosen only from the Prophet’s household.

The sect is widely practised in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait and some parts of Saudi Arabia, where some 15% of its population are Shia Muslim.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/10/17/msian-leaders-reminded-of-amman-message-on-shias/

--

Europe

Mafia sells rifles to Islamic State in exchange for Libyan artefacts

October 17, 2016

The Italian mafia is selling assault rifles to Islamic State leaders in Libya in return for looted archaeological treasures, according to an Italian newspaper.

The feared ‘Ndrangheta gangsters sell on the priceless artefacts to Russian and Asian collectors.

La Stampa reports that the Calabrian network, which dominates Europe’s drug trade, works with the Camorra in Naples to buy Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers smuggled out of Ukraine and Moldova by the Russian mafia.

The armaments are then traded in return for ancient Roman and Greek statues that Isis fighters have dug up illegally in Libya, which was a colony of the two ancient cultures. Isis has ruled over swathes of the country for months.

A journalist from La Stampa posed as a collector to be taken to a salami factory in southern Italy by a member of an ‘Ndrangheta clan from Lamezia in Calabria. For $87,000 he was offered the marble head of a Roman sculpture looted from Libya.

The Mafioso also showed photographs of a larger head from a Greek statue, for sale at $1.2 million.

Antiquities are brought from Libya to the Calabrian port of Gioia Tauro by Chinese-operated cargo ships, it is claimed. The treasures are sold on to collectors from Russia, China, Japan and the Gulf. After expanding into Libya, Isis has been pinned back by local militias. The jihadists, however, are believed to have tried to profit from trafficking in artefacts, as they have done in Iraq and Syria.

Libyan archaeologists working to protect the country’s five UNESCO-listed sites have received death threats.

Italian investigators have long suspected the mafia of selling guns to Isis. “In Naples, Islamic militias and the Camorra have been trading guns and drugs since the 1990s,” a veteran investigator said yesterday (Sunday).

The gangsters have also been involved in the wholesale looting of Etruscan Roman tombs in Italy. Trading guns for artefacts with Isis is a natural evolution of its business. The widespread excavation and selling of Greek and Roman treasures boomed in Libya after the death in 2011 of Colonel Gaddafi, well before the arrival of Isis.

A rare 4ft marble statue believed to have been dug up in the ancient city of Cyrene in 2011 and worth $3.2 million was found in a west London warehouse two years after the uprising.

Susan Kane, a Libyan expert at Oberlin College in Ohio, said: “There was a major land grab after the revolution and more earth has been moved since 2011 than in the preceding centuries. Antiquities are turning up and there is a great synergy between trafficking them, drugs and arms.”

Source: theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-times/mafia-sells-rifles-to-jihadists-in-exchange-for-libyan-artefacts/news-story/679cd7b5eee03404a6ab897870873e4e

--

 

Belgium Looks to FBI Tactics to Counter Well-Armed Terrorists

Oct. 17, 2016

GERAARDSBERGEN, Belgium—The rising threat of well-armed Islamic terrorists in Europe is forcing police forces here to consider adopting American-style tactics in a mass-shooting scenario.

Belgian law enforcement has long focused on the judicious use of force, using nonlethal rounds to disable fleeing suspects like Salah Abdeslam, an accused assailant in the Paris attacks who was shot in the leg during a house raid in March. Shooting in such scenarios wasn’t meant to kill suspects, according to Belgian officials.

Police forces are now working with U.S. law enforcement to draw on lessons painfully learned in America, where officers are trained to enter quickly—with whatever they have on hand—to take down a shooter as quickly as possible.

“It is a whole new ballgame for the Belgian police,” said Geert Luypaert, the chief of police in the town of Heusden-Zolder. “There are not a lot of guns here. But the bad people always get the guns, so we need to teach our people.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation trainers recently held a series of exercises with Belgian police designed to hone their expertise at stopping active shooters. U.S. officials hope they can expand the program to other European countries, as part of a stepped-up effort to exchange counterterrorism techniques between U.S. and European officials. European and U.S. experts on explosives met separately in Brussels recently to discuss techniques to detect bombs and improvised explosives.

In an empty high school here, a group of Belgian police officers moved down the hallway, two facing forward, one to the rear. An FBI trainer shouted “threat rear, threat rear”; the officers spun around, aiming their blue, plastic replica pistols down the hallway.

The FBI trainers said the shooting and bomb attack at Bataclan in Paris in November, in which 90 people died, showed that terrorists loyal to Islamic State would continue to shoot victims until they were killed. The trainers emphasized bringing as much firepower as possible, as quickly as possible, against an assailant shooting people.

“The fight has come to you...the question is, are you ready?” one FBI trainer told the classroom. “In Paris, in the Bataclan, they were going to continue killing people until they got stopped. Who is going to stop them? We are.”

Gib Wilson, the FBI’s attaché in Belgium, said the program is meant to help both countries develop better approaches to active shooters. “We all know that it is a very scary crime problem, something that is increasing in number,” he said. “The FBI is just sharing its information with the Belgians and vice versa.”

Belgium is a fractured country, with multiple police forces in the capital of Brussels, overlapping jurisdiction between federal and local police, and poor coordination between French- and Dutch-speaking regions.

Members of Belgium’s Federal Parliament, in their examination of the March terror attacks that killed 32 people, have faulted the lack of coordination and argued the existence of 20 different police databases has contributed to intelligence failures. FBI trainers said their program is specifically designed to allow different forces with varying training to work together instantly.

Brice De Ruyver, a criminology professor at Ghent University in Belgium, said many Belgian cities have built up their special-tactics units to better prepare for terror attacks or other mass shootings. But getting training from the FBI is a good idea, he said.

“You need to search for the expertise where you can find it, and in that sense I am absolutely convinced forces can learn from each other,” he said. “It is in line with the internationalization of the threats.”

Some of the 20-or-so Belgian officers attending the course said the terror threats in Belgium now more closely resemble mass shootings in the U.S.

“In the United States, they have far more experience with attacks with a higher caliber of firearms,” said Vico Cockx, a superintendent with the Brussels airport police. “Before we had shootouts with someone who had small amounts of ammunition. Now, we are seeing another level in Europe.”

Human-rights groups in Belgium said there are mandatory legal reviews whenever a police officer uses firearms in the line of duty, requirements that so far have helped ensure authorities are careful when they deploy maximum firepower.

The training doesn’t mean Belgium is going to give up its emphasis on the restrained use of force and on bringing suspects in alive, said Jurgen De Landsheer, chief of police in Geraardsbergen who helped organize the training session. But he said they must adapt to the reality that the mass shootings more common in America are now coming to Belgium.

“This is not a different world. We have the same problem,” he said. “It is not that we need completely new things, but other ways of thinking.”

Source: wsj.com/articles/belgium-looks-to-fbi-tactics-to-counter-well-armed-terrorists-1476696781

--

 

Russian student who followed IS lover to Syria faces ‘terrorist’ trial

October 17, 2016

MOSCOW: Police in bullet-proof vests guard a military court for the terrorism trial of Varvara Karaulova, a slim 20-year-old with braided hair who clutches a page of handwritten notes.

Karaulova was studying philosophy at the renowned Moscow State University when she tried to enter Syria last year after falling in love online with an Islamic State fighter.

Karaulova’s trial on terrorist-related charges is the most high-profile yet of a Russian heading to Syria — where Moscow warplanes are bombing in support of ally President Bashar al-Assad — and supporters say authorities are using her to send out a warning.

A large number of the foreign fighters with the jihadist IS group in Syria are from Russia, and Moscow claims 2,700 of its nationals and citizens from other ex-Soviet republics have been killed in the anti-IS operation.

But most of those from Russia fighting in Syria come from Muslim communities principally in the volatile North Caucasus region.

‘I didn’t join anything’

As an ethnic Russian woman from a privileged background, Karaulova is a rarity.

She is charged with preparing to participate in a “terrorist organisation” and if convicted faces up to five years in jail with the verdict expected in a week or two.

She is pleading not guilty, arguing she never intended to fight but simply wanted to be with the man she loved. In court she is known as Alexandra Ivanova after changing her name to try to avoid media attention.

“I didn’t join anything, I’m not a terrorist and absolutely never intended to become one,” she said at the opening of the trial on October 5, quoted by Interfax news agency.

Her defence lawyer Sergei Badamshin told AFP the justice system is making an example of her, even though “families of terrorists are not punished in our country.”

“This is undoubtedly a show trial,” he said. “Unfortunately, they chose a victim who has nothing to do with IS’s terrorist activities.”

“Why it was her — I can’t say.”

‘Winner in life’

Karaulova grew up in a middle-class family in a leafy area of Moscow and left school with all A grades, Badamshin said.

“She’s a winner in life.”

Then Karaulova became interested in Islam and began wearing a headscarf, and on May 27, 2015, she disappeared.

Her father reported her missing and traced her to Turkey, where she and a group of other women were caught by border guards as they attempted to cross into Syria.

After her return to Russia in a blaze of publicity, investigators initially said she had committed no crime. But almost half a year later, she was detained and charged.

She is being held in the notorious Lefortovo jail under tight supervision, her lawyer said.

At the trial held in Moscow District Military Court, Karaulova speaks clearly but briefly, and keeps a copy of the Criminal Code on the seat in her glass cage.

At one point a witness described her as weighing around 75 kilogrammes and she flares up: “Did the witness weigh me?”

She refuses to answer questions about her religious views, but is now bareheaded and wears colourful dresses, her eyes ringed in dark liner.

First love

She says she got to know a man through a social networking site, who used various names including Vlad, Artur Sokolov and Adam, but whose real name is reportedly Airat Samatov, a Russian citizen, who investigators say is fighting with IS.

Her lawyer says Karaulova was going through a period of teenage low self-esteem that made her vulnerable to such tactics.

“She’s a closed, reserved person… No one knew what was going on inside her, not her parents, not her friends,” Badamshin said.

For her, it was first love, he says, while raising the possibility that the messages to her were not even all written by the same person, due to stylistic differences.

The prosecution is using other women who tried to reach Syria along with Karaulova as witnesses — but they remain at liberty.

Wearing a hijab, one woman, Regina Velimetova, spoke via video link from Dagestan’s Supreme Court.

She recalled travelling to the Turkish border with Karaulova.

“She was crying, she was missing her parents,” Velimetova said, adding that her companion told her she was going to Syria because she had “fallen in love” with a guy who lived there and he had “invited her to get married”.

Such women “all want to get married under sharia rule,” said Velimetova, adding she also went “to seek married happiness.”

She insisted: “That doesn’t mean we went there to take part in military action and to blow ourselves up. Our aim was just to live where the law of Islam is observed.”

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2016/10/17/russian-student-who-followed-is-lover-to-syria-faces-terrorist-trial/

--

 

Austrian intelligence chief warns of home-grown Islamic radicalisation

October 17, 2016

Austria’s domestic intelligence chief has warned that there could be a hot bed of Islamic radicalisation developing in the region of Styria, which shares a border with Slovenia.

Director of the Federal Office for State Protection and Counter-terrorism (BVT), Peter Gridling, issued the warning and called on Austria’s lawmakers not to overlook the growing number of Islamists being radicalised on Austrian soil.

As reported online by Breitbart London, a big part of the issue is the number of Austrian citizens who have left the country, or attempted to, and joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq over the course of the last few years. The total number as reported by the BVT has been 288 individuals who either made the trip, or tried to.

Many of those who fought with Islamic State have since returned and pose a serious terror risk.  The number of cases gone unreported could amount to even more.

According to Gridling, there are three main hot spots for potential radicalisation in Austria. First is the capital of Vienna, which is home to a very large Turkish minority population. The other two regions are lower Austria and Styria. Both regions are in proximity to the capital but are not generally thought of as being at risk. Styria is a region of mostly small towns around the capital of Graz.

Source: neweurope.eu/article/human-trafficking-report-says-poland-transit-country/

--

Arab World

Jeish Al-Islam Terrorists Retreat From More Positions in Eastern Damascus

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops, backed up by the country's warplanes and artillery units, hit Jeish al-Islam's concentration centers in Eastern Ghouta, and forced the terrorist group to pull its fighters back from the battlefield, sources said on Monday.

"Syrian army soldiers and popular forces struck the defense lines of Jeish al-Islam near al-Reihan, inflicting major losses on the group's military hardware," the sources said.

"The heavy offensive of the Syrian government forces, who enjoyed artillery and air support, inflicted a heavy death toll on Jeish al-Islam terrorists and forced them to leave their strongholds," the sources added.

"The Syrian fighter jets also bombed al-Shifouniyeh, leaving tens of militants dead or wounded," the sources said.

"The Syrian government forces also advanced against militants near Jahbat al-Ishareh in Eastern Damascus from two flanks," they went on to say.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops hit hard the positions of Fatah al-Sham (al-Nusra) Front in the town of Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta, and pushed the militants back from a residential neighborhood.

Syrian army soldiers, backed up by artillery units, drove back Fatah al-Sham from several residential complexes in the Northeastern side of al-A'azam mosque following several hours of fierce clashes.

According to initial battlefield reports, tens of Fatah al-Sham's members were killed or wounded in the clashes.

Syrian artillery units, for their part, shelled Fatah al-Sham's centers in al-Hosseiniyeh, al-Khazrajiyeh, Harfa-Beit Jin crossroad, al-Taybeh, al-Zakiyeh and al-Wa'areh.

A base of Fatah al-Sham in Khan al-Sheih was also targeted and destroyed in Syrian airstrikes. Reports said all the militants at the base were killed in the air raid.

Syrian military planes also dropped surrender-now leaflet over Khan al-Sheih, urging them to lay down arms and join peace plan.   

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000717

--

 

Yemeni Forces Kill 5 Saudi Troops, Injure 10 Others in Clashes on Kingdom’s Soil

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Nearly half a dozen Saudi troops were killed during clashes with the Yemeni army and popular forces in Saudi Arabia's Southwestern region of Jizan.

At least five Saudi soldiers were killed and ten more were wounded in the fighting with the Yemeni forces on Sunday.

The Yemeni forces also launched artillery attacks on Saudi Arabia's al-Mousem military base in Jizan province.

On Sunday, military sources disclosed that the Yemeni army has destroyed a strategic airbase of Saudi Arabia in the Southern part of the kingdom with a ballistic missile.

"Saudi Arabia's Savila military base in Dhahran region was struck by a Yemeni Zalzal-3 missile, and sustained heavy loss and casualties," a military source said.

There is still no report on the number of casualties, but similar ballistic missile attacks by Yemen have incurred heavy losses on the Saudi personnel and military equipment in the past.

The attack came in response to Saudi Arabia's continued air raids on the civilian population across the impoverished nation.

On Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces pounded the Saudi troops in the Southern parts of the kingdom, killing and injuring tens of Riyadh army men.

The Saudi army's military positions came under the Yemeni forces' missiles attack in Najran province in the Southern part of Saudi Arabia which left 60 Saudi troops dead and over 70 others wounded.

The Saudi army's military equipment and vehicles also sustained heavy losses in the Yemeni missile attack.

Also on Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces killed over 40 Saudi soldiers in an ambush operation near al-Baqa border crossing in Najran province.

A large number of the Saudi Army's military equipment and vehicles were also destroyed in the attack.

Yemen’s military forces usually carry out such attacks against the gatherings of the Saudi mercenaries inside Yemen as well as targets in the kingdom’s Southwest in retaliation for Riyadh’s 19-month-long military campaign against the country.

More than 11,800 people have died since the kingdom launched its campaign to crush Yemen's Ansarullah movement and their allies and reinstate the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000747

--

 

Syrian Army Cuts off Main Supply Line of Terrorists in Southwestern Damascus

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian army troops launched a surprise attack on the strongholds of the terrorist groups along their main supply route in Western Ghouta, and took full control over the strategic road.

The terrorist groups' suffered a heavy death toll and retreated from regions near the road connecting Khan al-Sheih to al-Zakiyeh.

Military sources said that the liberation operation of Khan al-Sheih will be accelerated after the cut-off of the road to al-Zakiyeh.

The Syrian army's artillery units and fighter jets played a crucial role in the army soldiers' advances in Western Ghouta.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops hit hard the positions of Fatah al-Sham (al-Nusra) Front in the town of Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta, and pushed the militants back from a residential neighborhood.

Syrian army soldiers, backed up by artillery units, drove back Fatah al-Sham from several residential complexes in the Northeastern side of al-A'azam mosque following several hours of fierce clashes.

According to initial battlefield reports, tens of Fatah al-Sham's members were killed or wounded in the clashes.

Syrian artillery units, for their part, shelled Fatah al-Sham's centers in al-Hosseiniyeh, al-Khazrajiyeh, Harfa-Beit Jin crossroad, al-Taybeh, al-Zakiyeh and al-Wa'areh.

A base of Fatah al-Sham in Khan al-Sheih was also targeted and destroyed in Syrian airstrikes. Reports said all the militants at the base were killed in the air raid.

Syrian military planes also dropped surrender-now leaflet over Khan al-Sheih, urging them to lay down arms and join peace plan.   

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000748

--

 

Yemen Urges UN to Intervene for Ending Saudi Agression

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemen’s top governing body called on the United Nations and the Security Council to intervene in order to put an end to Saudi Arabia's atrocious war.

Saleh al-Samad, the head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, in two separate letters addressed to outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council Vitaly Churkin, said that the Saudi-led coalition has been committing “vicious and unprecedented” crimes against innocent Yemeni civilians over the past 18 months, presstv reported.

Samad pointed to the October 8 airstrikes against a crowded funeral ceremony in the capital Sana’a, saying that hundreds of people lost their lives and sustained injuries in the “horrendous massacre.”

He expressed surprise at the UN and the Security Council’s “indifference” toward such crimes, saying the apathy meant that the two institutions were shirking their responsibilities.

The senior Yemeni official argued that the inaction of the two bodies has further exacerbated the sufferings of the Yemeni people.

Samad also called on the two institutions to secure an immediate end to Saudi Arabia’s aerial, naval and ground attacks against Yemen as well as its aerial and naval blockades on his country.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in the deadly war against Yemen since March 2015. Riyadh’s aggression which has killed more than 11,800 people, was launched in an unsuccessful attempt to bring Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, an ally of Riyadh who has resigned as Yemen’s president, back to power.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000920

--

 

Syrian Army Sends Hundreds of Fresh Forces to Dara'a

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of troops from the Syrian Army and National Defense Forces were dispatched to Dara'a on Monday to reinforce the government troops deployed in the Southern province, a move seen by many as an initial step in preparation for a large-scale offensive against the terrorists in Southern Syria.

"After intensifying clashes with the terrorist groups in Dara'a province, the Syrian army sent a large number of government forces to the village of Khirbet Ghazaleh and its surrounding regions," military sources said, adding, "Tens of military vehicles were carrying the fresh government forces."

"In the meantime, the Syrian army soldiers have built up new positions along the highway between the town of Azra'a and Khirbet Ghazaleh," they added.

"A unit of the Syrian army stormed the bases of two terrorist groups in the Northwestern side of the old customs complex in Dara'a al-Balad, leaving several militants dead or wounded. Terrorists' ammunition and arms also were destroyed in the attack," the sources went on to say.

The Syrian military forces also struck the positions of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) near Dara'a city on Sunday, destroying the group's road-building machinery there.

Syrian army troops carried out heavy attacks on Fatah al-Sham centers in al-Abbasiyeh districts, and in the Southwestern side of al-Roba'ei crossroad in Tariq al-Sa'ad in Dara'a al-Balad.

Fatah al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll in the attacks and its bulldozers sustained major damage in refugee camp.

Fatah al-Sham's artillery and machinegun-equipped vehicles also were destroyed in the army attacks.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000624

--

 

Iraqi Troops Marching towards ISIL-Held Mosul

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Pro-government military forces have captured several villages after they started a large-scale offensive to set free the ISIL's stronghold city of Mosul in the early hours of Monday morning, the Iraqi army said at around midday.

The offensive started at 6 am local time in multiple fronts.

The Iraqi army, supported by Pishmerga forces and fighter jets, managed to retake the villages of Qarqasha, Abzakh and Khazar and they have surrounded Qura Takh village.

Aljazeera reported minutes ago that the Pishmerga forces could liberate 7 villages in Mosul in the four hours of the operations.

Also, Commander of Iraq's Federal Police General Shaker Jodat said that his forces have advanced from al-Qayara airbase to Nayef village in Southern Mosul, adding that they are now moving towards al-Houd village near the Tigris river.

Also, according to the Kurdish media, the Pishmerga forces have retaken Basakhra village from the ISIL, surrounded the two villages of Badana al-Kobra and Sheikh Amir and are now at the gates of al-Hamdaniyeh region.

Meantime, reports said that the Hashd al-Shaabi (volunteer) forces have for the first time used anti-tunnel missiles to target the ISIL's underground positions in Badoush, Bartala, al-Hamdaniyeh, al-Houd and al-Hazar regions in Southern Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced early on Monday that the country's armed forces and popular troops had started large-scale operation to take back the ISIL's self-proclaimed capital, Mosul.

Prime Minister Al-Abadi appeared on the state TV an hour after midnight to declare that his country's army, security and mobilized volunteer troops have started the long-awaited offensive to take back the country's second-largest city.

"The hour has come and the moment of great victory is near," Al-Abadi said in a speech on state TV, flanked by the armed forces' top commanders.

Al-Abadi vowed that the military troops will take maximum caution to save civilian lives and avoid collateral damage in the city that is believed to still be home to over a million people.

The premier asked the civilian population to raise white flags over their buildings and contact the government troops for any kind of helpful information that they might have about ISIL militants.

“We urge you, the heroic people of Mosul, to cooperate with our security forces to rescue you,” the Prime Minister added.

Mosul in Nineveh province that is ISIL's last stronghold in Iraq was occupied by the terrorist cult on June 10, 2014 and its liberation marks an era of demise for ISIL in Iraq.

Mosul was the first city taken by the terrorist group and it was there that ISIL Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared his so-called caliphate on June 29, 2014.

ISIL could stretch control over 40 percent of Iraq after it took Mosul over two years ago, but now holds only 10 percent of the country after losing battles in such major cities as Beiji, Tikrit, Fallujah and Ramadi in the last one year.

Mosul is of paramount importance both to Iraq and the ISIL as it is in an oil-rich region close to the borders with Syria and Turkey, while it has been a regional trade hub for the last several centuries. In addition to smuggling crude stolen from the oil wells of Nineveh, ISIL also levied forceful taxes for various reasons from the over 1-million-strong population that is still believed to be living in the city. Loss of Mosul will inflict a major blow to the terrorist cult as it will lose a major source of its revenues.

Iraqi army troops and volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) had been deployed 15 kilometers from Mosul two days ago.

"The reconnaissance operation in Mosul ended; we are waiting for the operations to kick off," Hashd al-Shaabi announced in a statement on Saturday.

Iraq's military forces have been bringing in a large number of troops, weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, tanks and other types of military equipment in preparation for the operation for the last several weeks, but many military and state officials and popular forces' commanders were slamming the US for pressurizing Baghdad to delay the operation for the last several months, a view that was even supported by US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In his second televised debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump asked why the US has been hindering the operation for such a long time to give ISIL commanders and top brass to escape to Syria.

ISIL has also been preparing for the operation for the last several weeks. The terrorist group has reportedly used thousands of prisoners to dig a complicated network of tunnels and trenches around the city and filled the wide trench dug around the city with oil to put it on fire as it expects the city to go under siege by Iraq's joint military troops. The terrorist group has opened multiple fronts to confront the government troops.

Meantime, many ISIL top commanders, including Al-Baghdadi himself and his deputies, as well as their family members have left the city for Raqqa, the terrorist cult's second self-proclaimed capital.

Al-Baghdad and his top aides left the city last week, while local sources in Nineveh disclosed on Sunday that the families of the ISIL terrorists that had left Mosul just arrived in the town of Merkedeh in Syria's Hasaka province.

"The ISIL commanders, including al-Baghdadi, are escaping Mosul to Syria," Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party's media director Saeed Mamouziti said last week.

He said that al-Baghdadi has also ordered his followers to completely destroy Mosul if they are defeated in the waragainst Iraq's joint military forces.

Later Mamouziti said that the ISIL militants were fleeing the city since the long-awaited large-scale operation to free Mosul was expected to be launched in the following days.

Meantime, local sources revealed that "ISIL commanders' families, including over 25 foreign families, escorted by military convoys reached the town of Merkedeh" on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, local sources in Nineveh province disclosed that the ISIL has brought to a halt all activities of itssecurity offices in the city of Mosul.

"The ISIL has recently issued a circular in Mosul city according to which all its offices will halt operation until further notice," a local source said.

The source noted that the ISIL has already evacuated its security offices in several districts of Mosul in recent days, while many ISIL members seem confused to see the rush in their commanders' actions.

The US has also been pressuring Baghdad to keep the Hasha Al-Shaabi away from the operation, but they are now deployed to the battlefield after Prime Minister al-Abadi, the commander-in-chief of Iraq's armed forces, personally approved their participation in the Mosul operation last week.

The Iraqi media had earlier reported that the Mosul operations would start from several directions, the most important of which are al-Qayyara axis located 60 kilometers to the South of Mosul and Sahl Nineveh some 20 kilometers to the East of the city.

Several Iraqi army units have been stationed in the Northern parts of Mosul over the past two days.

After reports said that the US is hindering Iraq's operations in Mosul to provide the ISIL terrorists with an opportunity to flee to Raqqa, a senior commander of Iraqi popular forces stressed his forces' resolve to block the escape path of ISIL terrorists from Mosul to Syria.

"Our forces will not allow the ISIL militants to flee to Syria and we have gathered precise intelligence about the enemy before starting the Mosul liberation operation," Ahmad al-Assadi, also the spokesman of the popular forces and an Iraqi legislator, said in a statement on Saturday.

He also rejected media reports on the Iraqi army's agreement with the ISIL to leave Mosul, and said, "There is no deal and the ISIL militants in Nineveh will by crushed in the Mosul battle."

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000596

--

 

Syrian Military Forces Smash ISIL Terrorists in Deir Ezzur

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army soldiers alongside their popular allies engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzur's neighborhoods, and managed to push the militants back from their strongholds.

Syrian government forces, backed up by warplanes, targeted ISIL's defense lines in al-Huweiqa neighborhood, and made significant advance in militant-held lands.

The ISIL terrorists suffered a heavy death toll under the heavy attacks of the Syrian artillery and warplanes and pulled the remaining pockets of their forces back from the battlefield.

Syrian fighter jets, meantime, pounded ISIL's gatherings in Albu Ghouz near Albu Kama, Deir Ezzur airbase, Panorama, Mouhassan, Albu Leil and al-Jafrrah, inflicting major casualties on the Takfiri terrorists.

In relevant developments in the province on Saturday, the Syrian army fended off an attack by the ISIL on the government forces' military positions in the city of Deir Ezzur, and killed several terrorists, including a senior commander.

The ISIL tried to penetrate into al-Amal, al-Jubeileh and al-Sina'ah regions in Deir Ezzur by prevailing over the government forces' positions in the city, but the attack was forcefully pushed back by the Syrian army units deployed in the regions.

Abu Mohajer Maghrebi, a notorious ISIL commander, was among the several terrorists killed in the clashes near the village of al-Mariyeh in the surrounding areas of Deir Ezzur airport.

The Syrian army also destroyed three ISIL military vehicles in the battle in Deir Ezzur city.  

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000549

--

 

Israel, US, Terrorists Forming Insecurity Triangle in Region

October 17, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir Abdollahian blamed the alliance formed by Tel Aviv, Washington and the terrorist groups created and backed by them as the root cause of crises and insecurity in the region.

"The US, Israel and terrorist groups from a triangle which is the main cause of insecurity and instability in the region," Amir Abdollahian said on Sunday.

He blasted Washington and Tel Aviv for continuing their support for the terrorist groups.

In late September, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said Israel and its regional allies are attempting to sideline the Israeli-Palestinian issue through escalating terrorist groups' operations in the region.

"The most important attempt made by enemies is changing the threat calculus from the danger of the Zionist regime to the region to the self-made terrorist and Takfiri groups and unfortunately, the abundant efforts and propaganda of the Western and Israeli media in this regard have been effective," Shamkhani said, addressing a gathering in Tehran.

He also warned of the Saudi regime's political attempts and the Takfiri and terrorist groups' acts to marginalize the Palestinian issue, and said all their plots have fallen flat by the preparedness of popular forces in Iraq, Syria and Yemen to fight against the enemies.

Such preparedness "has paved the ground for the materialization of the cause of the freedom of Palestine more than ever", Shamkhani said.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950726000501

--

Mideast

Suspects blow up themselves, 3 officers killed in ISIL raids in Gaziantep

October 17, 2016

Three police officers were killed and eight others were wounded on Oct. 16 in an explosion that occurred when a suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant detonated himself during a raid on a house in the Şahinbey district of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, while another suspect also detonated himself during a separate operation in the province.

The raid came after Gaziantep police received information about a cell that was suspected of plotting a suicide bomb attack on an Alevi cultural association center in the city. Arriving the Güneykent neighborhood of Şahinbey and closing the entrances and exits to the area, police entered the cell house. After seeing the police, a militant inside the house reportedly detonated himself.

Three police officers were killed in the explosion and eight people, four of whom are of Syrian origin, were wounded, Gaziantep Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said as he visited the scene. The governor also said an ISIL militant was found dead at the scene after the explosion.

Gaziantep police on Sept. 17 detained a suspected ISIL militant who possessed pictures of a cemevi, a house of worship used by adherents of the Alevi sect, and was confirmed to be preparing a terror attack. 

Interrogating the suspect after his detention, police confirmed a terror attack plot targeting the cemevi in the Düztepe neighborhood of Gaziantep and initiated wide measures around the house of worship, suspecting the attack still could be carried by militants in contact with the detainee.

On Sept. 23 police had also taken extensive measures upon intelligence of a possible bomb attack by ISIL targeting Friday prayers.

Security measures were taken in all mosques across Gaziantep as police closed roads and put barricades around the central Ulu Camii. Worshippers were only able to enter the mosque after a body search.

Militant detonates self in second raid

Police teams, meanwhile, initiated a search inside the house and seized a computer and hard disks for further inspection. 

Meanwhile, a couple of hours after the initial operation at the ISIL cell house, police teams conducted another raid on an apartment in the Burak neighborhood of the Gazikent district in Gaziantep as they suspected a link between the two addresses.

In the raid, another explosion occurred on the third and fourth floors of the apartment as another ISIL militant reportedly detonated himself during the operation.

The suspect was identified as Mehmet Kadir Cabel, ISIL’s provincial leader who was tasked with planning attacks, providing financial support and administering the suicide bomb cells in the city for the group, according to security sources.

Cabel’s two children and wife were captured alive in the operation.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/suspects-blow-up-themselves-3-officers-killed-in-isil-raids-in-gaziantep.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105007&NewsCatID=341

--

 

3,000 Turkey-trained Iraqi forces taking part in Mosul operation: Deputy PM

October 17, 2016

Some 3,000 Iraqi forces trained by Turkey at the Bashiqa camp in northern Iraq are taking part in the U.S.-led operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 17.

“You know that Turkey built that camp [Bashiqa] on the demand of the Mosul governor. Many people were trained there from among nearly 4,000 local elements of Mosul. They are called the Ninova Mujahideen. Now, 3,000 trained by Turkey are involved in the fight against ISIL,” Kurtulmuş told a press conference after a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/some-1500-turkey-trained-iraqi-forces-taking-part-in-mosul-operation-sources.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105029&NewsCatID=352

--

 

US, Turkey’s top commanders discuss Iraq, Syria

October 17, 2016

The United States’ top soldier, Gen. Joseph Dunford, met Turkey’s Chief of General Staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, at the Turkish Embassy in Washington on Oct. 16 to discuss recent regional developments, including an operation to free Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).       

Akar is in Washington for a meeting of the anti-ISIL coalition that will kick off on Oct. 17 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.       

In a nearly two-hour meeting, the two commanders reportedly discussed a range of issues, including Turkish military operations in Syria and the Mosul operation.       

The meeting between Dunford and Akar was held on the heels of an operation by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels that recaptured the city of Dabiq, an ISIL-controlled in northern Syria.      

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in late August to drive ISIL out of the Manbij pocket – a 98-kilometer strip of land along the Turkish-Syrian border.       

Another key agenda point during the meeting, according to Turkish military sources, was the operation to retake Mosul from ISIL.       

Akar underscored Turkey’s concerns about possible refugee flows and sectarian feuds that might rock the city after ISIL militants are removed. 

Turkey has expressed concerns about a sectarian attitude toward the predominantly Sunni population in Mosul.       

Ankara has insisted that nearly 3,000 Sunni tribal forces trained by Turkish forces at the Bashiqa base on the eastern outskirts of Mosul join the fight against ISIL and remain in the city as a police force. Baghdad is still at odds with that proposal.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/us-turkeys-top-commanders-discuss-iraq-syria--.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105028&NewsCatID=352

--

 

Turkey cannot be excluded from Mosul operation: Erdoğan

October 17, 2016

Ankara cannot be excluded from the operation launched to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 17, stressing that Turkey continues to be under threat from that region.

“What do they say? Turkey shouldn’t enter Mosul. Why can’t we enter? We have a 350-kilometer border [with Iraq]. Others who have nothing to do with the region enter it. We will not be responsible for the negative consequences that would emerge from any operation that doesn’t include Turkey. We will be involved both in the operation and at the [negotiating] table afterward. It is not possible for us to stay excluded,” Erdoğan said.

He also vowed that the presence of Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp near Mosul would remain.

“No one should expect us to leave Bashiqa,” Erdoğan said, vowing to launch “all kinds of operations” against ISIL.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-cannot-be-excluded-from-mosul-operation-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105033&NewsCatID=352

--

 

Turkey sends ‘reconciliation delegation’ to Baghdad

October 17, 2016

Turkey sent a delegation to Baghdad on Oct. 17 for talks with the Iraqi administration, aiming for Baghdad to reconsider its objection to Turkish troops stationed in northern Iraq.

The delegation, headed by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın, includes officials from various security institutions and will hold talks in Baghdad on Oct. 17, sources speaking on condition of anonymity told the Hürriyet Daily News.

The delegation will discuss the mandate and task duration of Turkish troops in the Bashiqa camp in Mosul province. A previous proposal by Ankara to bring the Bashiqa camp within the status of the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces is also on the agenda, sources said.

In 2015, Ankara had proposed that the U.S. should continue training in the camp under the mandate of coalition forces, including elements of the Iraqi army, but did not receive a positive response.

Turkey wants its troops to continue their duties in Bashiqa until the coalition forces entirely clear ISIL out of Iraq.

Turkish troops to ‘keep defensive position in Bashiqa’

The sources stressed that the Turkish troops in Bashiqa are not combatant forces and will stay in the camp throughout the Mosul offensive. However, they will respond with artillery shooting in the event of an ISIL threat against the camp or the surrounding region.

US assures of Tel Afar operation

Meanwhile, Ankara has repeatedly voiced concern over any possible “revenge killings” against Sunni locals in Tel Afar if Shia militias take part in the upcoming offensive to retake the town. In talks with Turkey, the U.S. has reportedly given assurances that only the Iraqi army and police will be tasked in an offensive into Tel Afar after the Mosul operation.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-sends-reconciliation-delegation-to-baghdad.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105036&NewsCatID=352

--

 

Adopting presidential system to be top structural reform: PM Yıldırım

October 17, 2016

The adoption of a presidential system in Turkey will be a “key structural reform,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has argued, saying the system was needed for lasting stability, continued development, growth, strong government, national unity and brotherhood across the country.

“Turkey cannot resolve its problems unless it has a stable government. It needs a strong government to maintain its unity and brotherhood. Now the Justice and Development Party [AKP] government has secured this, but for political and economic stability to become permanent, a presidential system is needed,” he said at meeting with a group of economy journalists late Oct. 15 in his office in Istanbul.

Asked whether the adoption of the presidential system could be regarded as a structural reform, he argued that it would be the biggest structural reform in the country.

Suggesting the presidential system would make a positive contribution to the Turkish economy, Yıldırım said: “Such announcements do not create speculation in the global arena. On the contrary, they create a positive perception, as this system brings about stability.”

Yıldırım said Turkey and its economy offered a lot to investors despite the many problems it has faced in recent months.

“Various geographical problems have been occurring along Turkey’s southern borders. In addition to this, Turkey faced and overcame a coup attempt. We have also been in a fight with terror. Despite these, Turkey is growing almost twice as much as the world average if we exclude China and India. Turkey offers more opportunities to investors than many others do,” he said.

Yıldırım said it is not necessary to worry about the Turkish Lira/U.S. dollar index, as it goes down or up.

Unfortunately, there are differences between what really happens in Turkey and what is perceived abroad, as a propaganda campaign is being led against Turkey abroad, added Yıldırım.

“As members of the government, we have launched a campaign to reverse these perceptions about Turkey. Our ministers are visiting their counterparts abroad to tell the truth,” he said.

“The fundamentals of our economy are quite robust ... When the global finance crisis first erupted, we took a number of steps to keep our domestic economy lively. Many school, hospital, road, high speed train, airport and bridge projects enabled us to keep our economy in a good position. We then kept a total of 3,790 construction sites open, and investments continued,” he added.

Meeting with global investors on Oct 27

The government will organize a road show with more than 20 leading global CEOs and investors from various sectors in Turkey on Oct. 27 to ease their concerns about the Turkish economy and provide information about opportunities and reforms.

“We will take new steps to attract more investment now,” Yıldırım said, adding that Turkey needed more investment to grow and revive its financial markets.

“In this vein, we have now reduced bureaucratic procedures ... We will launch a patent law. A comprehensive tax reform is also on the way,” he said.

Yıldırım noted that they would closely follow whether new reforms have an impact and revise them if needed

The government recently downgraded this year’s forecast for Turkey’s economy, which it now expects to grow at 3.2 percent in 2016, 4.4 percent in 2017 and 5 percent in 2018, Yıldırım said, noting that this was the “worst case” scenario.

“We are following a cautious road. I believe this is more realistic,” he said, adding that Turkey would see better growth figures in the fourth quarter and would keep making investments, especially in infrastructure and transportation.

Yıldırım also said there were many opportunities in the defense, IT, petrochemical and logistic sectors.

Yıldırım, Medvedev to meet

Asked about an ongoing normalization process between Turkey and Russia, Yıldırım said the relations had yet to return to their pre-crisis levels but that both sides hoped to attain such level soon.

“We will meet Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in the near future. The main aim of the meeting will be to take decisions to speed up economic ties and joint investment projects...They want a gradual transition in the visa regime. We are not pushing for more,” he said.

Yıldırım also said there would be significant developments in ties with Britain after the country’s exit from the European Union.

“They showed a clear and robust stance about Turkey following the July 15 coup attempt. They have clearly showed that they are with Turkey, which is of great value to us,” he added.

Turkey ‘accelerating Istanbul Finance Center project’

Earlier Oct. 15, Yıldırım attended a ceremony to break ground for new buildings for the Istanbul International Finance Center, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and Capital Markets Board in Istanbul.

Queried as to whether there was a slowdown in the regulatory framework for the project, he said: “By the time the buildings become ready, we will create the regulation framework. This framework will aim to create goodies to attract investors to Istanbul.”

As global financial investors have seen several negative steps taken against them in some destinations, as exemplified by the U.S. Congress’ recent bill that will allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia despite U.S. President Barack Obama’s concerns, they will seek new safe places to invest, according to Yıldırım.

“In this vein, we are speeding up the Istanbul Finance Center project,” he said.

Yıldırım also added that Gulf countries had strong interest in Turkey.

“They come to Turkey for two reasons: Some of them want to make direct investment in the energy, telecommunication and petrochemical sectors or ports. For instance, they are interested in the Afşin-Elbistan power plant. Some of them seek partnership in Islamic finance. Furthermore, there are Gulf investors who want to actively participate in the newly founded Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund. Our talks have continued in these areas,” said Yıldırım.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/adopting-presidential-system-to-be-top-structural-reform-pm-yildirim.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105025&NewsCatID=338

--

 

Turkey-backed Syria rebels secure Dabiq area, eye al-Bab

October 17, 2016

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels seized control of nine areas, including the village of Dabiq, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Oct. 16, largely imposing border security between the Turkish towns of Kilis and Karkamış, the military said on Oct. 17, as the country’s foreign minister said the next target was al-Bab.

Taking control of Dabiq has eliminated the threat to Turkey from rockets fired by jihadists, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a written statement on Oct. 17.

Nine Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were killed and 24 were wounded while “many” ISIL fighters were killed in the last 24 hours of clashes, which are part of Turley’s Euphrates Shield Operation launched in late August, the army said.

The FSA rebels, backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes, said they had taken Dabiq after clashes on the morning of Oct. 16, forcing ISIL from a stronghold where it had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, said on Oct. 16 that Dabiq’s liberation was a “strategic and symbolic victory” against ISIL.

“Operation Euphrates Shield will continue until we are convinced that the border is completely secure, terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens are out of the question and the people of Syria feel safe,” Kalın told Reuters, adding the area around Dabiq was now being cleared to facilitate the return of civilians.

Syrian rebels’ next target is al-Bab, says Turkish FM

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the Euphrates Shield Operation would continue even more to the south of Dabiq, to al-Bab, which is located around 29 kilometers from the Turkish border.

“The target is to continue toward al-Bab and liberate Manbij area completely from Daesh terrorists,” the foreign minister said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.

“[The Free Syrian Army] has gained major successes in northern Syria and life is getting back to normal there. That’s what we want to see in Syria,” Çavuşoğlu said.       

Dabiq, about 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo and around 10 kilometers south of Syria’s border with Turkey, has a symbolic importance for ISIL, as the group believes it will be the site of an apocalyptic battle with non-Muslims. Dabiq is also the name of one of ISIL’s online magazines.

“Strategically, it is important that the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army forces will continue their advance toward al-Bab, a key terrorist stronghold,” Kalın also told Reuters.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-backed-syria-rebels-secure-dabiq-area-eye-al-bab-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105031&NewsCatID=352

--

 

Turkey not in Mosul operation due to foreign policy mistakes: CHP leader

October 17, 2016

Turkey is not participating in the battle to retake Mosul from jihadists because of the government’s wrong foreign policies, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said yesterday.

“The Mosul operation has begun. Turkey is not at the table. Why is Turkey not at the table?” he said. “I have to defend and protect the interests of my own country. But this foreign policy is dragging Turkey to disaster. We are following the wrong foreign policy.”

The CHP leader had previously criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for pursuing a sectarian foreign policy which resulted in Iraq opposing the presence of Turkish troops in the northern area of Bashiqa. Kılıçdaroğlu reiterated his comments indicating that the underlying reason behind the fact that the participation of Turkey in the Mosul operation faced opposition from both Iraq and coalition forces was Erdoğan’s comments.

“[President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] talked to a TV station in Dubai and ruined everything. He called for a sectarian foreign policy. What happened? Iraqi Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] told us, ‘Leave our territory, Bashiqa,’” he said.

“It is a hard thing to take. All the troops from other countries are there. Our troops are also there. We called to the Iraqi government. We said we are there for the protection of the Iraqi people and to save Iraq from ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] terror. We respect the territorial integrity of Iraq. But somebody [Erdoğan] is not speaking accordingly,” he added.

Another example of the wrong foreign policy is on Egypt, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “We fought against Egypt. What is our problem with Egypt? Egypt canceled a Ro-Ro transportation contract. Our trucks can no longer go to Egypt; who is responsible for the loss?”

Criticizing Erdoğan for storming around when the topic is Egypt, the CHP head said, “He should ask truck drivers and exporters who is the main person responsible for [the state of ties with Egypt].”

Turkey and Egypt reduced the level of bilateral diplomatic relations after the former continued its strong-worded criticisms of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who came to power in mid-2013 after toppling Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, through a coup. Erdoğan advised cabinet ministers to pursue talks with their Egyptian counterparts but indicated his unwillingness to reconcile with el-Sisi.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-not-in-mosul-operation-due-to-foreign-policy-mistakes-chp-leader.aspx?pageID=238&nID=105024&NewsCatID=510

--

South Asia

Airstrike Kill Haqqani and Al-Qaeda Terrorist Network Members in Afghanistan

Mon Oct 17 2016

Two terrorists belonging to the Haqqani terrorist network the Al-Qaeda network were killed in separate airstrikes in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said two terrorists belonging to Quetta council, normally referred to Taliban and Haqqani networks’ leadership councils, were also among those killed.

No further details were given if the airstrikes were carried out by the Afghan Air Force or the US forces based in Afghanistan.

MoD further added that the militants belonging to Haqqani network, Al-Qaeda network, and the Quetta Council were among 13 killed during the operations.

According to MoD, the Al-Qaeda terrorist network member killed in the airstrikes has been identified as Haroon.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.

Both the Afghan forces and the US forces in Afghanistan are conducting regular raids against the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalist in the districts where they are conducting insurgency activities.

The US forces increased airstrikes against the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists earlier this year after the Obama administration granted a broader role to the American forces.

Source: khaama.com/airstrike-kill-haqqani-and-al-qaeda-terrorist-network-members-in-afghanistan-02096

--

 

Taliban ambush Vice President Gen. Dostum’s convoy in Faryab

Mon Oct 17 2016

The Taliban militants ambushed the convoy of First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum in northern Faryab province as he is leading a counter-terrorism operation against the group in north.

The incident took place on Sunday as Gen. Dostum was on his way towards Ghormach district accompanied by a convoy of the security forces.

Gen. Dostum confirmed the attack and said the militants were in police uniform and ambushed the convoy of the security forces.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

Gen. Dostum arrived in Faryab province last week after the Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on Ghormach district and seized its control from the security forces.

The Taliban militants have intensified attacks on key northern provinces during the recent months as the group attempts to expand its insurgency activities in northern parts of the country.

The Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on the strategic Kunduz city last week and managed to infiltrate into some parts of the city, including the central Kunduz city square.

In the meantime, Gen. Dostum said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group plans to deploy at least 7,000 fighters in northern parts of the country.

He said the ISIS terrorist group is attempting to deploy foreign militants mainly citizens of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Chechnya.

The First Vice President further added that the Taliban group should be initially defeated in the norther parts of the country in a bid to pave the way for the establishment of strong posts for the security forces to fight the ISIS loyalists.

Source: khaama.com/taliban-ambush-vice-president-gen-dostums-convoy-in-faryab-02091

--

 

Airstrike target top Taliban leader’s convoy, leaving at least 30 dead

Sun Oct 16 2016

An airstrike targeted the convoy of a top Taliban leader in southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, leaving at least 30 militants dead.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrike took place in Chinartu district and targeted the convoy of Haji Lala, the military commission chief of the group.

It is yet not clear if the airstrike was carried out by the Afghan Air Force or the coalition forces based in the country.

Uruzgan is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

In another statement, MoD said at least 41 militants were killed in separate airstrikes conducted in Mosa Qala and Greshk districts of Helmand province.

The Taliban insurgents group has not commented regarding the report so far.

The Taliban led insurgency has been rampant across the country during the recent months and following the launch of group’s spring offensive in mid-April this year.

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) also launched an annual operation “Shafaq” in response to Taliban’s annual spring offensive after efforts by the government failed to ensure a ceasefire and resolve the issues through reconciliation process.

Source: khaama.com/airstrike-target-top-taliban-leaders-convoy-leaving-at-least-30-dead-02090

--

 

Coordinated suicide attack foiled in Mehtarlam city of Afghanistan

Mon Oct 17 2016

taliban-attack-foiled-in-mehtarlam-cityThe Afghan intelligence operatives thwarted a coordinated suicide attack plot by the Taliban militants group in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a group of three terrorists belonging to Taliban group were arrested before they manage to carry the attack in Mehtarlam city, the provincial capital of Laghman.

According to a statement by NDS, the group was looking to carry out the attack by initially detonating a rickshaw packed with explosives and a magnetic bomb.

The statement further added that the detained individuals have been identified as Bilal, Zikrullah, and Ferdows.

No further details were given regarding the exact target of the group but NDS said the detained individuals have confessed they were appointed for the attack by the group’s commander identified as Qadir.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

Laghman is among the relatively peaceful provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups are active in some remote parts of the province.

Local officials earlier today said a famous commander of the Taliban group was killed in an ambush by the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces in Alisheng district.

Source: khaama.com/coordinated-suicide-attack-foiled-in-mehtarlam-city-of-afghanistan-02094

--

 

Bangladesh executes senior Islamic extremist over 2005 blast

October 17, 2016

A senior Islamic extremist was hanged to death on Sunday (16 October) in Bangladesh's southern city of Khulna, prison authorities have said. Asadul Islam, 42, the leader of the banned Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) group was executed for his role in the 2005 blast that had claimed the lives of two judges.

According to authorities, JMB is the same group responsible for the 1 July Dhaka cafe attack in which a number of people, mostly foreign hostages, lost their lives. The country has launched a crackdown against Islamist extremists following the carnage.

"He was hanged to death at 10.30pm (12.30am Singapore time Monday) in Khulna jail," Khulna police commissioner, Nibhas Chandra Majhi, told AFP. There was heavy security around the jail area to avoid any kind of violence,he added.

Islam — also referred to as Arif — was one of seven senior JMB members, who were sentenced to death for the 14 November 2005 bomb attack. He was sentenced in absentia as he had been on the run.

Six of the seven members, including JMB's founder Shaikh Abdur Rahman, were executed in March 2007 by a military-backed caretaker government under a nationwide operation on Islamic extremists. Arif was sentenced nine years later after his detention in July 2007. Since then, he had been in Khulna jail and in August, his final appeal against the execution was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.

A prison official told AFP that Islam had refused to seek presidential clemency — his last chance to stop the hanging.

Asadul Islam

An ambulance leaves Khulna jail carrying the body of Asadul Islam after he was executed on 16 October 2016STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

"His family including his wife, two little daughters, six sisters and several other relatives came to meet him for the last time just hours before the execution," the official said. His body was sent to his village in the neighbouring town of Mollarhat in an ambulance under very tight security.

The July attack has shaken the image of Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim nation. Since then, at least 40 suspected extremists including JMB's new leader Tamim Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Bangladesh descent, believed to be the mastermind of the cafe massacre, have been killed in police encounters.

The country's courts have also fast-tracked the trial of other Islamist extremists.

Source: ibtimes.co.uk/bangladesh-executes-senior-islamic-extremist-over-2005-blast-1586686

--

 

Suspect in murder of Bangla blogger arrested

Oct 17, 2016

Bangladesh police has arrested a suspected member of a banned militant group for killing an atheist blogger in April.

Rashidun Nabi Bhuiyan was picked up from Sayedabad bus terminal area in Dhaka on Sunday night, police said on Monday.

The Ansarullah Bangla Team member was involved in the hacking to death of blogger Nazim Uddin Samad in April near Jagannath University, Dhaka police’s counter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam said.

“He was the leader of the operation team. They carried sharp weapons and hacked Nazim dead,” said Islam.

Nabi joined the Ansarullah Bangla Team last year and is an active member of the group, police said.

“Five men including Rashidun Nabi took part in Nazim Uddin Samad’s killing. They all carried sharp weapons and one carried firearms. They hacked Nazim Uddin with the sharp weapons and later shot him when people started gathering there,” Islam said.

Nazim Uddin, a law student of Jagannath University, was killed on April 6 for his views against radicalism and advocating atheism. In his Facebook page, he used to criticise religious bigotry.

Islam said Nabi also had links to the attack on publisher Ahmed Rashid Tutul and the murder of gay rights activist and USAID official Xulhaz Mannan.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, has witnessed the rise of militant activities in recent years, with dozens of atheists, members of minority groups and bloggers being their targets.

In a major attack, 20 hostages including 17 foreigners were killed on July 1 at a restaurant in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack but the government has rejected the claim, saying the IS has no existence in the country. The government said the Jamatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh was behind the attack.

Source: hindustantimes.com/world-news/suspect-in-murder-of-bangla-blogger-arrested/story-GAuKf2AxsEg5yKNcWOZUXJ.html

--

Pakistan

Border with Afghanistan closed after suicide attack in Kurram

October 17, 2016

PARACHINAR: Authorities have closed three border crossing points with Afghanistan in Kurram tribal region for indefinite period after a suicide attack on a checkpost.

The closure of the border has brought bilateral trade between the two countries to a standstill. Eyewitnesses said that long queues of loaded trucks and containers were seen on both sides of the border at Kherlachi and Borki, two major checkposts near the border with Afghanistan in the area.

A suicide bomber, reportedly approaching to Kherlachi checkpost from the other side of the border, blew himself up on Friday. Two people including a soldier of Frontier Corps suffered injuries in the attack.

Officials said that timely action by the paramilitary soldier averted major catastrophe. The checkpost was immediately closed after the suicide attack.

Trucks loaded with different items stranded in the area since Friday

Syed Jalal, a local trader, told Dawn by telephone that more than 500 trucks, some loaded with perishable items and poultry, had lined up at Kherlachi and Borki checkposts since Friday.

The trader, who exports poultry to Afghanistan via Kherlachi, said that chickens were dying owing to closure of the border. He said that 12 trucks loaded with chickens were stranded at Kherlachi.

“Dozens of chickens have already perished despite sprinkling fresh water on the trucks,” said Mr Jalal. He added that a large number of trucks could be seen on the Afghanistan side, waiting for the reopening of the border.

Sources said that repatriating Afghan refugees were also stranded in the area. These returning families were on their way to Afghanistan after verification of their documents at the UN voluntary repatriation centers in Peshawar and Nowshera.

An official said that checkpost at Teri Mingal, some 30 kilometres west of Parachinar, was closed after suicide attack. Security along the border has been beefed up after the incident.

Another official said that border with Afghanistan in Kurram Agency was closed for indefinite period. He said that paramilitary forces started erecting barbed wire along the border at Kherlachi and Borki. He said that a high level team would investigate the incident and review security arrangements.

Like Torkham crossing point, the federal government had planned to build proper gate at Kherlachi checkpost to block illegal cross-border movement between the two countries. Pakistan has no immigration facilities at Kherlachi and Borki. These crossing points were used only for trade between the two countries.

Kherlachi and Borki have become major hubs of trade since the government closed Ghulam Khan checkpost in North Waziristan Agency after security forces launched operation against militants in June 2014.

Officials said that volume of export at Kherlachi was around $30 million per month and trade could further increase if required infrastructure was put in place. They said that proposal was under consideration to acquire land to build proper customs facility at Kherlachi. Afghan government has already constructed warehouses near the border.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290458/border-with-afghanistan-closed-after-suicide-attack-in-kurram

--

 

Shahbaz Taseer’s kidnapper among six killed in ‘encounter’

October 17, 2016

LAHORE: Shahbaz Taseer’s alleged kidnapper and five other suspected militants were killed in an ‘encounter’ with a team of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) near Sheikhupura late on Saturday night.

A CTD spokesperson told Dawn that they had received information that nine to 10 members of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were present in Sheikh­upura, planning an attack on the offices of law enforcement agencies.

At around 12:30am, the CTD team raided a house near the Sheikhupura Bypass. “Noticing their presence, the terrorists...tried to flee by a car and two motorcycles.”

The CTD team chased them up to a branch road where the suspects opened fire at the cops, said the spokesperson.

The security personnel retaliated. “When the shootout ended, six of the terrorists were dead and the rest had fled,” he said.

The CTD men seized arms and ammunition, including three Kalashnikov rifles, three pistols, 2kg of explosives, prima cords and a cache of bullets. They took the bodies to a hospital and started an investigation into their identification. Separately, the police launched a combing operation in the area to arrest the escaped suspects.

A senior police official requesting anonymity told Dawn that the CTD’s investigation team had identified one of the deceased as Haji Muhammad alias Pathan, who was accused of being involved in the abduction of Shahbaz Taseer, son of the late governor Salmaan Taseer.

He said Pathan had been declared a proclaimed offender and his name was listed in the Red Book (a list of most wanted militants). Pathan had rented a house in his name in Valencia Town, Lahore, where Taseer’s kidnappers had kept him for several days before taking him to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. According to the CTD’s investigations, Pathan had been declared a proclaimed offender in an FIR registered with the Gulberg police.

The official said that he (Pathan) belonged to two banned organisations — TTP and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. “Efforts are under way to identify the remaining five terrorists.”

Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped near his company’s head office in Gulberg on Aug 26, 2011.

He was driving towards the offices of the First Capital Group off M.M. Alam Road when he was intercepted by the kidnappers.

The abductors, who, according to witnesses, had used a Prado jeep and a motorcycle, had bundled the young Taseer into a four-wheeler and sped away unimpeded.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290494/shahbaz-taseers-kidnapper-among-six-killed-in-encounter

--

 

Participation of Saudi, Afghan, Iran will boost CPEC: Pakistan

October 17, 2016

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said his country warmly welcomes the desire of regional nations to participate in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC).

The Radio Pakistan quoted Iqbal as saying that Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have expressed their interest in the project, would further augment regional connectivity and cooperation.

Iqbal claimed that the project is in the best interest of the entire region.

CPEC is not limited to China and Pakistan, rather its is aimed at bolstering trade and economic cooperation in the whole region, he said.

Speaking on the reservations shown by different political groups regarding the project, Iqbal said that CPEC remains the most debated project in Parliament and all concerns raised were addressed with nothing hidden about the project.

Source: siasat.com/news/participation-saudi-afghan-iran-will-boost-cpec-pakistan-2-1042895/

--

 

China defends Pakistan after Modi's 'mothership of terrorism' remark

October 17, 2016

China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan's defence on Monday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a “mothership of terrorism” at a summit of BRICS nations.

Modi's remarks to a meeting of leaders from BRICS Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which India accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism.

Tensions between the two countries have been running high since the Sept 18 Uri army base attack in held Kashmir killed 19 Indian soldiers in the worst such assault in 14 years.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about Modi's comments, said China opposed all forms of terrorism and that the international community should increase counter-terrorism cooperation.

“We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China's consistent position,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this,” Hua added.

China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290542/china-defends-pakistan-after-modis-mothership-of-terrorism-remark

--                                                             

 

Military courts’ constitutional life to expire in January

October 17, 2016

With over two months left in the constitutional two-year life of military courts set up to try ‘terrorists’, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced on Oct 13 that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had confirmed death sentences of 10 ‘hardcore terrorists’ thus raising the number of such convicts awarded capital punishment by military courts to 112.

These courts have so far convicted 116 militants of which four were sentenced to life imprisonment and the rest 112 awarded death penalties. According to news reports, around a dozen of these convicts have been executed.

The ISPR is the only source of releasing information about these convictions and the offences in which these convicts were involved.

Following the massacre of Army Public School (APS), Peshawar, on Dec 16, 2014 the Parliament had amended the Constitution of Pakistan through the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act, 2015 as well as Pakistan Army Act, 1952 allowing creation of military courts for trying terrorists belonging to any terrorist group or organisation using the name of religion.

The said two Acts were published in the official gazette on Jan 8, 2015. The Constitution (21st Amendment) Act, 2015, provided that this Act shall remain enforced for a period of two years from the date of its commencement, which meant after completion of two years the military courts trying terrorists using the name of religion would cease to exist unless the Parliament makes further amendment in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court had on Aug 3, 2015 validated the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act by dismissing several constitutional petitions challenging its validity. The court in its judgment had also explained the situation wherein the high courts could exercise powers of judicial review in cases of convicts of the military courts.

While several of these convicts or their close relatives had tried their luck in the superior courts challenging their convictions by military courts, so far they failed in getting relief.

The Supreme Court on Aug 29, 2016 dismissed appeals of 16 convicts of military courts. Review petitions of those petitioners have now been pending before the apex court. Most of those appeals had originated out of judgments of Peshawar High Court, which had so far dismissed several petitions filed against convictions by the military courts.

Several of the points raised by counsels for the petitioners were common in nature. They had contended that the convicts in these cases had been subjected to a secret trial without access to legal assistance, having been deprived of the right to be represented by a legal practitioner of their own choice in violation of rights so guaranteed by Articles 10 and 10A of the Constitution of Pakistan. They had stated that the procedure adopted and followed denuded the proceedings of the requirements of a “fair trial” and “due process”.

It was contended that the convicts were deprived of their right to produce evidence in their defence or to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. It was added that sufficient time and opportunity to prepare the defence was not provided in terms of Rule 23 of the Pakistan Army Act Rules, 1954. The counsels had added that the trials were conducted more than three years after the alleged occurrences in violation of the bar contained in Section 91 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, hence, the said trials were without jurisdiction. They added that the convicts were held in illegal detentions for many years.

A deputy attorney general appearing for the federal government had rebutted their arguments by contending that the convicts and the offences for which they were tried in each of the cases at hand were subject to the Pakistan Army Act, hence, the convictions could not be challenged before the high court in exercise of its jurisdiction conferred under Article 199 of the Constitution.

He stated that each and every convict was given full opportunity to defend himself. He added that the option to engage a legal practitioner of their own choice was afforded and upon failure to take advantage of such option, an officer was deputed to defend them in terms of the Pakistan Army Act and Rules framed thereunder.

While rejecting all the 16 Leave to Appeal Petitions, the Supreme Court bench ruled about each of the case that the examination of the record reveals that the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) was constituted and convened in accordance with the provisions of the Pakistan Army Act and the Rules framed thereunder. Hence, the conviction and sentence do not appear to be coram non judice.

The bench ruled that it appears from the record that the convict, being subject to the Pakistan Army Act, was tried for the offences triable by FGCM. No personal bias of any member of FGCM against the convict has been established nor was the proceedings conducted mala fides.

The bench has ruled that no illegality in the conduct of the trial exists. The law and the rules, more particularly those protecting the rights of the accused, were adhered to.

The case of one of the convicts, Haider Ali, was distinguishable from others as his mother, Bacha Laiqa, the petitioner, had claimed that her son was a 10th grade student at Malakand High School, Sersenai, Kabal tehsil in Swat when he was handed over to the security forces by his family on Sept 21, 2009. She stated that his date of birth was Dec 1, 1994, and was below 15 when he was arrested. She had also produced records of different schools in this regard.

However, neither the Peshawar High Court, which had dismissed her writ petition, nor the Supreme Court accepted that he was a juvenile offender.

One of the counsels appearing for convicts said that the superior courts had rejected their plea that the convicts were not provided opportunity to engage a legal practitioner of their choice and had accepted the contention of the deputy attorney general that they were provided the said opportunity, but they had declined to avail it. He said it was a strange coincidence that none of the over 100 convicts had decided to engage a private counsel.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290454/military-courts-constitutional-life-to-expire-in-january

--

 

Two soldiers killed in firing from across Afghan border

October 17, 2016

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Two security personnel were killed and another one was injured in firing from across the Afghan border in Angor Adda area of South Wazir­istan tribal region on Sunday.

Sources said that unidentified assailants targeted a check-post at Angor Adda from the Birmal area in Paktika province of Afgha­nis­tan at 9:46am with light and heavy weapons. Two security personnel, Idrees Khan and Arshad, were killed and Naek Saeed was injured.

The deceased belonged to the 56 Punjab Regiment.

The injured soldier was taken to a military hospital in Wana while the bodies were sent to the troops’ native towns.

The Pakistani forces returned fire and targeted the Afghan area from where the check-post came under attack. The firing from across the border then stopped.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290495/two-soldiers-killed-in-firing-from-across-afghan-border

--

 

Balochistan people to resist foreign interference: Fazl

October 17, 2016

KHUZDAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Sunday that the people of Balochistan would resist foreign interference in their province.

He was speaking at a ‘peace conference’ organised by his party in the Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo Stadium here.

He alleged that the United States and other foreign forces had taken control of natural resources of Afghanistan and they were now trying to do the same in Balochistan.

JUI-F chief calls for shunning sectarianism

The Maulana said the people of Balochistan were the real owners of natural resources found in their province and they would not allow foreign forces to take control of them.

He criticised the US for what he called its double standards in the region. He accused Washington of helping India in its interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan. He said the people of Pakistan were united to foil conspiracies against their country.

The JUI-F chief said China was a true friend of Pakistan and the relationship between the two countries would further improve with the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The CPEC, he said, would open the doors of economic opportunities for Pakistan. The people of Balochistan would be the biggest beneficiary of this project, he added.

He said some foreign elements were trying to fan the flames of sectarianism in Pakistan. They want to divide people on sectarian grounds to achieve their nefarious designs. But, he said, people of the country would foil all such conspiracies.

The JUI-F chief criticised nationalist parties and said both Baloch and Pakhtun nationalists had failed in solving problems of people.

He said Balochistan was the land of love but some elements were trying to destroy its peace by pitting people against each other. He said the JUI-F would continue its struggle for the restoration of peace in the province.

He said his party would not compromise on the rights of the people of Balochistan and would continue efforts for the protection of the province’s natural resources.

Others who also spoke included Deputy Chairman of Senate and JUI-F Secretary General, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, member of National Assembly Maulana Qamaruddin, former governor of Balochistan Fazal Agha and Maulana Ameer Zaman.

Source: dawn.com/news/1290501/balochistan-people-to-resist-foreign-interference-fazl

--

 

Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant of 340 MW starts operation

October 17, 2016

Islamabad: Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant with the power generation capacity of 340 Megawatt has become functional, state media reported today.

The Chashma Unit-3 (C-3) has been connected to national grid, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

“Congratulation to the nation that Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant Chashma unit-3(C-3) has been connected to the national grid,” the PAEC sources said.

The said the supply of electricity generated by this unit to the national grid has started on trial basis.

“After performing various safety and functional tests, the plant will attain full power in first fortnight of December 2016 and a formal inauguration ceremony of the full power grid connection will be held in December,” said the sources.

Pakistan’s first nuclear power plant KANUPP at Karachi is in operation for the last 44 years.

The other two nuclear power plants C-1 and C-2 at Chashma are already generating electricity.

These nuclear plants are supplying around 600 MW to the grid.

Two larger capacity nuclear power plants K-2 and K-3 near Karachi are also under construction and will be completed in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Source: siasat.com/news/pakistans-4th-nuclear-power-plant-340-mw-starts-operation-1043237/

--

North America

Kerry: US, Europe Have No ‘Big Appetite’ for Military Action in Syria

October 16, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry says all options remain open for the U.S. and its allies in Syria, but he admits the United States and Europe have no ‘big appetite’ for military action, even as Russia refuses to back down.

Kerry held talks in London Sunday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a day after Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other top diplomats in Switzerland.

Kerry said no one should be "lighting a fire" under a civil war or pitting two superpowers against each other.

"When a great power is involved in a fight like this, as Russia has chosen to be by going there (Syria) and then putting its missiles in place in order to threaten people against military action, it raises the stakes of confrontation," Kerry said Sunday.

Kerry has shown clear frustration with events in Syria - the refugee crisis, the slaughter of civilians in Aleppo, Russian military action on the side of the Assad regime, truce breakdowns and Washington's limited options to stop the bloodshed.

In this picture provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 12, 2016.

In this picture provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, Syrian Civil Defense workers search through the rubble in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syria, Oct. 12, 2016.

"It's a humanitarian disaster ... and it could stop tomorrow if Russia and the Assad regime were to behave according to any norm or standard of decency," Kerry said Sunday. "Instead we see what can only be described as crimes against humanity taking place on a daily basis - when a hospital gets bombed, when children are bombed, when gas, which is outlawed by the chemical convention, is used against human beings in Aleppo or elsewhere in the country."

Kerry warned of sanctions against Syria and Russia over the situation in Aleppo.

He also said that Saturday's talks in Switzerland produced "several ideas that need to be quickly followed up." But he gave no details.

Also Sunday, Turkey's foreign minister announced that Turkish-backed Syrian rebels captured the symbolically important northern Syrian town of Dabiq from Islamic State.

Dabiq is 10 kilometers from the Turkish border.

Source: voanews.com/a/syria-talks/3553415.html

--

 

Canada not immune to right-wing extremism

17 October 2016

In the middle of the night in early October, Ku Klux Klan flyers stuffed into Ziploc bags landed on the doorsteps of a few dozen homes in two British Columbia towns.

Similar flyers were dropped in a neighbouring community over the summer.

In recent weeks, anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh posters also cropped up on two university campuses in Alberta. It is unclear who was behind the incidents. Police are investigating.

These events contrast with Canada's image as an open, multicultural society, and one that recently opened its doors to over 30,000 Syrian refugees.

But for researchers like James Ellis, who is affiliated with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS), they come as no surprise.

"At the national level, there seems to be less of a concern about right-wing extremism (than other forms)," he said.

"That's probably a luxury that Canada can't really afford. Every indication is there seems to be a resurgence of right-wing extremism and terrorism throughout the western world and there's no special reason why Canada won't see some of the same effects."

People attending an anti-immigration demonstration organised by rightwing movement Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) walk past opponents of PEGIDA behind police cars, in Dresden, Germany October 19, 2015Image copyrightREUTERS

Canadian right-wing extremists - loosely defined as people who exhibit a strong bent towards inequality especially along racial or ethnic lines, a belief in ethnic nationalism, and a radical means to achieve these political ends - have been emboldened by the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the US and Europe in recent months, Mr Ellis said.

Like elsewhere, it is a sentiment also fuelled by concerns over economic and social instability.

In Canada, there are at least 100 right-wing extremist groups estimated to have been active in recent years, ranging from small cells to larger, more organised groups, though they tend to be less violent than those in the US and Europe.

Even so, Mr Ellis said there's long been a "cross-pollination" of ideas within these groups - and Canada is providing plenty of ideological fodder.

"There are lots of situations where hate speech and hate music originated here and influenced people elsewhere," he said.

Political ideology and rhetoric do not respect national borders.

Similar pro-KKK flyers to those dropped in BC have also been found across the US, from North Carolina to California and Pennsylvania.

American radical right groups are on the rise, according to the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist organisations.

Between 2014 and 2015, their number increased 14%, and KKK chapters grew from 72 in 2014 to 190 last year. The centre did note a decline in the "hardest core sectors" of the white supremacist movement.

Ryan Scrivens, a researcher at BC's Simon Fraser University who studies Canada's right-wing extremists, said US and European authorities have been better at tracking these movements than their Canadian equivalents.

"Over there they own it, we don't. We think we're this perfect multicultural country but we aren't," he said. "We don't see the same flare-ups because we don't have the population sizes, but it's still there."

Mr Scrivens and his colleagues have found targeted extremist violence to be widespread across the country and have found hundreds of incidents between 1980 and 2015, documenting verbal and physical assaults and vandalism linked to these groups.

Activity is clustered around Quebec, Western Ontario, Alberta and BC's lower mainland.

Tracking of Canadian hate crimes suggest Muslims, Jews, visible minorities and Aboriginal people are the most common targets.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made anti-immigrant politics a key part of his campaign

One reformed violent extremist, however, said he is more concerned about where the majority of the country is heading than people on the extremist fringes.

Anthony McAleer is a former Canadian organiser and recruiter for the White Aryan Resistance. He now works with Life After Hate, a US non-profit founded by ex-members of the American violent far-right extremist movement. Life After Hate is dedicated to countering far-right ideology.

Mr McAleer points south to the rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the US as well as "extreme vetting" for immigrants. He is worried that - whether the Republican US presidential candidate knows it or not - "he's moving the middle of the country. And when he pushes that middle out he can't help but push out the extreme (fringes)".

While Canada's economy is not as affected by inequality as other nations and has been broadly able to integrate its immigrants and refugees, Mr McAleer warned that pressures exist that can change a country's culture.

Those pressures range from rhetoric from other regions and chatter on cable news to anti-Islam groups like Pegida - an acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West - that have established a presence in Canada.

Kellie Leitch, a federal politician running for Conservative party leadership, has also been criticised for proposing to screen immigrants based on vaguely defined "Canadian values".

While other leadership contenders have condemned her proposal as "fear mongering", Ms Leitch has denied she is targeting any specific groups with the values test,

Polls suggest her proposal has broad support among the Canadian public.

Workers quarters close to oil sands mines and extraction facilities near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 25, 2009.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image caption

Canada's oil sector is struggling amid a global weak oil prices

And there are pockets of economic stagnation in oil-producing regions deeply affected by the oil rout.

These "bellwethers" are what Mr McAleer says he worries about more than far right extremists operating in the country.

''You have to look at both,'' he said. "One is clearly more a law enforcement threat. One is a social fabric threat.''

Source: bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37628514

--

 

Donald Trump’s Deplorables Wage a War on Muslims

10.17.16

The racism and bigotry ginned up by Donald Trump appears to have recently inspired not only more hate crimes but shockingly even a possible terrorist attack on U.S. soil by his fans. On Friday, three Kansas men who were allegedly part of a militia known as “The Crusaders” (as in Christian Crusaders) were arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting to slaughter Muslim Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas. Their apparent goal was to kill these Muslims—even the children, as they allegedly boasted—using explosives and guns in the hopes of inspiring more people to “want this country back.” (If you’re wondering why this terror plot isn’t getting national headlines the answer is simple: The alleged terrorists weren’t Muslim.)

At least of one of three men allegedly involved in this terror plot, Patrick Stein, was a self-professed “big” Trump fan. Stein even allegedly quoted Trump’s words about dipping bullets in pig’s blood before killing the Muslims, which comes from a debunked story Trump has told countless times on the campaign trail of General Pershing fighting Muslims in the Philippines.

If that wasn’t disturbing enough, on Friday a Muslim community center in Bayonne, New Jersey, was defaced with the words “Donald Trump” and vile graffiti like “Fuck Allah” and “Fuck Arabs.” (The Muslim community center is actually a testament to interfaith alliances in New Jersey, as it operates in the basement of a Catholic elementary school, but that didn’t matter to this apparent Trump supporter.)

And then on Saturday, a mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was defaced with the word “Trump” spray-painted in big letters. It appears that the word “Trump” is becoming a modern day swastika.

To say that Muslim Americans during this campaign cycle feel like they are under siege is an understatement. I was at a Muslim American event in Florida on Saturday where an immigrant woman explained to me that her family had fled their home country because of people like Trump who had spewed intolerance and hate. She asked emotionally, “If Trump makes that happen here, what country do we go to then?”

Peter Jacob

HANDOUT

And many Muslim parents have shared that they have never been more fearful for their children’s safety than in today’s climate. What has this country come to that parents are actually afraid their kids may be beaten up or worse simply of because of their faith? I want to tell them it’s all going to be OK, but I candidly find it harder to do so as of late.

But the anti-Muslim hate Trump has stoked doesn’t just affect Muslims but also extends to people who some think might be Muslim. We saw that with Peter Jacob, a 31 year-old first-time political candidate seeking to make history by becoming the first Indian American ever elected to the U.S. Congress from New Jersey. Jacob’s house was spray painted with swastikas—not once but twice in the past 10 days.

Jacob is Christian, but since he’s brown-skinned and sports a beard, some believe he’s a Muslim. Appearing on my SiriusXM radio show last Thursday, Jacob, who immigrated as a child from India to America, said he had never encountered such hate directed against him before.

But then came Trump. As Jacob remarked, “The hateful rhetoric we hear on national level is now trickling down to the local level.”

He couldn’t be more correct. A local right-wing New Jersey blog, Save Jersey.com, ran two articles attacking Jacob using not only dangerous language suggesting he supports terrorism as “America’s just deserts” but also irresponsibly featuring a picture of Jacob next to the image of Orlando Pulse nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen.

But here’s the worst part. Jacob’s Trump-supporting opponent, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), recently shared the incendiary article featuring images of Jacob pictured next to the Orlando terrorist on his campaign’s social media page. “Lance not only posted the article, he paid to have it sponsored on Facebook so it could have greater reach,” explained Jacob. And then came the swastika attacks.

While the assailant in Jacob’s case is still unknown, in recent weeks self-professed Trump supporters have been arrested for hate crimes against Muslims. Last month in New York City, a Trump supporter attacked two women wearing hijabs who were pushing a baby stroller. The attacker, who was arrested and charged with a hate crime, yelled at the Muslim women, “Get the fuck out of America, bitches!”

And another Trump supporter was arrested in September after he allegedly firebombed a mosque in Orlando, Florida. He was charged with a hate crime for allegedly intentionally starting the fire that engulfed a large part of the mosque.

Disturbingly, a report released in September noted that attacks on Muslims—ranging from murders to physical attacks to threats to desecration of mosques—are now at level higher than in the months after 9/11. And as numerous experts, including the report’s author, Brian Levin, noted, hateful rhetoric by politicians “is one of the significant variables that can contribute to hate crimes.”

Trump is right about one thing: America’s greatness is on decline as of late. But it’s Trump who is causing that. The remedy to heal our nation is not Trump as president, as he would tell you. Rather it’s to defeat Trump in an overwhelming landslide to send a message to Trump and his deplorables that their hate and bigotry has no place in America.

Source: thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/17/donald-trump-s-deplorables-wage-a-war-on-muslims.html

--

 

Islamic centre wants Good Robot's liquor licence revoked

Oct 17, 2016

Members of the Centre for Islamic Development on Robie Street say they're sick and tired of beer bottles, cigarette butts, marijuana smells, loitering, vandalism, vomiting, urination and loud noise they say is coming from the next door business, Good Robot Brewing Company.

"At one time the noise was so unbearable we couldn't walk in the hallway...They've had marijuana smoking right in our vestibules, right in our doorways so it goes all throughout the premises...We find vomit in front of our doorways, not every morning...we find urine, we find beer bottles smashed," said Zia Khan, director of the centre.

The centre, which has been in the neighbourhood close to two decades, filed a complaint against the bar and brewery with the Alcohol and Gaming division of Service Nova Scotia on Sept. 28. The centre wants the brewery's liquor licence revoked. Khan said the centre has also been taking pictures of the infractions.

"In the bylaw, when it says you don't have any access to peace and enjoyment of your own property then one of the reasons to actually retract the licence is that," said Khan. "Urinating, vomiting, you name it. It was a big party right in our doorways."

Prior to the formal complaint, Khan said representatives with the centre met with brewery staff to talk about noise and mess issues. He said he was assured that something would be done about the mess and the noise. He said the problem has gotten worse.

"The music is so loud that we've had to put insulation in our windows and even then the beat of the music actually comes inside so we can't even have a meeting or can't talk or do anything. It's like having a blaring radio station that you don't like," he said.

The Good Robot Brewing Company opened next to the centre on May 9, 2015. Its tap room opened that December and the beer garden opened in May 2016.

Khan said others in the area have called police to complain about the brewery, though he said the centre has not.

CBC News has contacted the municipality and Halifax Regional Police to confirm those details and is waiting for a response.

Joshua Counsil, one of the co-founders of Good Robot, said the brewery is taking the accusations from the Islamic centre "very seriously." Counsil said the complaint from the Alcohol and Gaming division of Service Nova Scotia came late last week.

"The three co-founders and our legal representation are looking at the individual matters and we're going to come up with solutions that work for everyone ... we're just trying to go about this as diplomatically as possible," said Counsil.

Counsil said he believed the relationship with the centre had been cordial. The next step, he said, will be to reach out to the centre.

"We were very shocked at the whole thing and we're hoping to have a sit down this week," he said.

Since news came out about the complaint, Khan said he received hurtful messages. He said the complaints have nothing to do with religion.

"They're extremely like Islamophobic, xenophobic, kind of the idea of 'get used to our way of life' and 'you foreigners' and 'you Middle Easterners' and we're getting all kinds of nasty letters. People don't realize it's a bylaw issue," he said.

"It's not like 'oh, why all of a sudden?' Because we tried to deal with it on a neighbourly basis. We went to [the brewery] umpteen number of times," he said.

Source: cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/good-robot-brewery-islamic-centre-complaint-1.3807528

--

Africa

Somalia shuts down newspaper, arrests editor

OCTOBER 16, 2016                                      

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somali security forces shut down a newspaper and arrested its editor, a colleague said Monday.

Abdi Adan Guled, editor of Xog-Ogaal newspaper, was arrested Sunday after troops raided the Mogadishu headquarters of the publication, one of Somalia’s oldest daily newspapers operating.

Guled’s arrest comes less than two months before Somalia holds a presidential election, scheduled for November 30.

The National Union of Somali Journalists condemned Guled’s arrest and called for his immediate release. No comment could be reached from Somali officials on the latest arrest of a journalist in Somalia.

Threats and intimidations against journalists often increase during the elections in Somalia, which is rated as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, according to journalists. Journalists are targeted by both Islamic extremists and the government, say rights groups.

Last month, gunmen shot dead Abdiaziz Mohamed Ali Haji, who was on his way home from work as a reporter for Shabelle radio, a radio station in Mogadishu. He was the second journalist killed in Somalia this year.

Three journalists were killed in 2015, including one in a bombing claimed by the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said 59 journalists have been killed in Somalia since 1992, shortly after this Horn of Africa nation plunged into chaos.

Source: washingtonpost.com/world/africa/somalia-shuts-down-newspaper-arrests-editor/2016/10/17/f1a4ecf6-944f-11e6-9cae-2a3574e296a6_story.html

--

 

Gunmen attack Niger prison holding extremists

OCTOBER 17, 2016                                      

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Niger’s interior and public security minister says gunmen attacked a prison that holds jihadists and were repelled by security forces.

Mohamed Bazoum said at least one attacker blew himself up early Monday at Koutoukale prison, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital, Niamey. Bazoum said a number of extremists, notably from Mali, are held in the prison.

The attack comes days after suspected extremists abducted an American aid worker, killing two people before fleeing with the man toward the border with Mali.

Landlocked Niger is surrounded by instability and threats of extremist violence by Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgents to the south, al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists in Mali to the west and jihadists in Libya to the north.

In 2013, Boko Haram attacked a prison in Niamey.

Source: salon.com/2016/10/17/gunmen-attack-niger-prison-holding-extremists/

--

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-children-should-not-be-sent-to-regular-school--kerala-salafi-preacher/d/108881


New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism

 

Loading..

Loading..