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Islamic World News ( 7 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Plight of ‘kind Muslim man’ wrongly held for Mecca Masjid led Swami to confess: Police



New Age Islam News Bureau

 

8 Jan 2011

Swami Aseemanand | Saffron Terror | Mecca Masjid blast | Samjhauta blast - Oneindia News

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 SWAMI LINKS RSS TO SAFFRON TERROR PLOT

 Aseemanand owns up to strike on Mecca Masjid

 Qadianiyat is a parallel religion like Hinduism and Christianity: Indian Cleric

 Symbolic representation of Sahaba permissible: Arab scholar

 Two Muslim sects clash in B'desh over control of mosque

 Saudi cleric sees ‘devil’ behind suicide attacks

 Taseer died fighting for human rights: Zardari

 After Salman Taseer, is Sherry Rahman next on the hit list?

 Qadir video appears online; Pak launches investigation

 ‘Taseer killer must be tried under Sharia’

 Qaeda gunmen kill 13 soldiers in Yemen

 Sombre Christmas for Egypt Copts

 Ghalib’s haveli is close to my heart: Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit

 Masjid Fatehpuri should be provided with security: Mufti Mukarram

 The Kashmiris arrested in Bhopal are not terrorists: IG of J&K

 Backward Muslims to get share in OBC quota: Khurshid

 Pak arrests 10 India fishermen

 RSS sends legal notice to CBI for 'leaking' Aseemanand's confession

 Religious parties rally in support of Qadri

 Taseer died fighting for human rights: Zardari

 Pakistan: KP Assembly says no to amendment in blasphemy law

 US demanding our Twitter data: WikiLeaks

 Iran says can make own nuclear fuel plates, rods

 NATO to deploy radar planes to Afghanistan

 Terrorists getting fake certificate to enter India

 Indian missions in Afghanistan under constant threat: Krishna

 ‘India ready to resolve outstanding issues with Pak’

 US to increase help for Pakistan: Report

 Malaysian NRIs ask India to terminate its business relations with Malaysia

 Arrest of Hizbul militant’s sister triggers protest in Valley

 US relocate some people named in WikiLeaks cables

 Musharraf calls Nawaz Sharif 'closet Taliban'

 ‘Imran Khan is a Taliban without a beard’

 26/11 case: US court postpones Rana's trial till May 16

 Iran detains American woman on spy charges, say reports

 Burj Khalifa now an inspiration for Chinese Allan Jacob

 Israeli soldier killed near Gaza border

 Stockholm bomber was trained in Iraq

 Kerry calls for fresh talks over Sudan’s Darfur

 Muslims, Coptic Christianscome together for Xmas

 Palestinians want UN action against Israel

 MQM’s return buoys up Gilani govt

 Five killed in North Waziristan drone attack

 Two held for role in Taseer’s assassination

 Babar holds ‘urgent talks’ with Zardari

 Chile recognizes Palestine as ‘sovereign’ state

 Benazir Bhutto’s heirs asked by court to join proceedings

 Two empty NATO oil tankers set on fire

 No torture on Qadri, says medical report

 Israeli forces kill sleeping elderly Palestinian man

 Need to integrate HIV carriers in society stressed

 Mossad chief: Iran will go nuclear only in 2015

 Model security shows mainstream move of Iraq’s Sadr

 Police: Iraqi family slain in predawn attack

 Police alert as fresh riots rock Algeria

 Hariri rules out Lebanon government changes

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/plight-of-‘kind-muslim-man’-wrongly-held-for-mecca-masjid-led-swami-to-confess--police/d/3902

 

 

 

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Plight of ‘kind Muslim man’ wrongly held for Mecca Masjid led Swami to confess: Police

Jan 08 2011

Swami Aseemanand | Saffron Terror | Mecca Masjid blast | Samjhauta blast - Oneindia News

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Mumbai, Hyderabad: Investigators claimed that a curious change of heart led Swami Aseemanand, 58, arrested for his involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast, to reveal details of the conspiracy behind five major blasts, including the February 2007 attack on the Samjhauta Express.

Key to this, senior officials said, was Aseemanand’s interaction with a 21-year-old he met in Chanchalaguda Jail, Hyderabad, during his judicial custody in November-December last year.

The man, Sheikh Abdul Khaleem, was among 15 arrested earlier by the Hyderabad Police investigating the Mecca Masjid blast. On November 13, 2008, The Indian Express reported that an Andhra Pradesh government panel had confirmed that these Muslim men, picked up for the Mecca Masjid blast of May 18, 2007 and the Lumbini Park and Gokul Chaat House blasts of August 26 that year, were tortured for as long as six months.

The May blast killed nine people, the August blasts killed 42.

Khaleem, 19 then and working as a lab technician, was arrested soon after. According to the panel’s report, he was blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination, beaten on the soles of his feet, stripped and then administered shots through a “small machine”.

Aseemanand was arrested on November 19 last year from Haridwar in Uttarakhand, after he had changed location over 30 times, travelling across several states over two years to evade arrest. According to investigators, he was “not cooperating” in the initial days after his arrest.

Though he was in the CBI’s custody for a few days in between, he spent most of the period from November 20 to December 24 in judicial custody, in solitary confinement in Chanchalaguda Jail where nearly 70 per cent of the inmates are Muslim. It was here that Aseemanand came in touch with Khaleem.

Sources said Khaleem was “very kind and helpful” to Aseemanand, who they feared could get roughed up. Khaleem

would read aloud newspaper reports about the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case and would provide him with warm water to drink and and share his home food with him.

Throughout these interactions, Khaleem introduced himself as an accused arrested in a mobile smuggling case. It was the jail warden who told Aseemanand that Khaleem had been arrested earlier in relation to the Mecca Masjid blast case.

In his confession statement, Aseemanand said it was Khaleem’s “good conduct” that moved his conscience.

He found out during his time in custody that Khaleem had spent nearly a year and half in custody in the blast case, the confession reads. It says, “During my stay in the jail, Kalim helped me a lot and used to serve me in the jail by bringing water, food, etc for me. Due to good conduct of Kalim I was very much moved and my conscience asked me to do prayschit by making a confessional statement so that real culprits can be punished in the present case and no innocent had to suffer...”

Jail sources said that Aseemanand had a highly disciplined routine. He was allowed out of his solitary cell at 6 am to take a short walk, exercises, and a bath. He returned to his cell at 6:30 am when about 670 other prisoners held in various barracks would be let out for the morning.

A small group of 8-10 “good conduct” prisoners, let out in the morning to assist jail staff, would watch Aseemanand take a walk. It was during these morning walks that Aseemanand came in touch with Kaleem who would hand over water to Aseemananad, get him food, or just walk back with him to his cell.

Kaleem was in jail for the second time in four years. After the May 18, 2007, blast at Mecca Masjid, he was picked up by police as one of the suspects but freed in December 2008 after a court dismissed all charges against him. On January 2010, his brother Abdul Khaja alias Amjad, was arrested in a joint operation by AP, TN and Kolkata Police from Chennai. He was accused of being a terror operative with links with Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami, Bangladesh (HuJI), Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

On October 12, 2010, police arrested Kaleem on the charge that he was trying to give a mobile phone to his brother Abdul Khaja who is lodged in the Cherlapally Jail. Kaleem was back at Chanchalguda Jail where on November 20, Swami Aseemanand was also brought in.

Aseemanand sought to know who the young man was and was told by jail staff that Kaleem was arrested and tortured after being wrongly implicated in the Mecca Masjid blast.

The Indian Express

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SWAMI LINKS RSS TO SAFFRON TERROR PLOT

By Aman Sharma in New Delhi

Saffron terror: Swami Aseemanand implicates RSS Chief Bhagwat:Firstpost

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In a damning confession before a magistrate, Mecca Masjid terror blast accused Swami Asimanand has nailed the lies of top RSS leader Indresh Kumar and exposed his links with various terror plots across the country.

Indresh, who was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation on December 23 for his alleged role in those plots, had said that he was being framed in a government conspiracy to pin the blame of the terrorist blasts in Ajmer, Hyderabad, Malegaon, and on the Samjhauta Express on the RSS. Asimanand’s confession puts paid to that allegation. Asimanand confessed before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code — thus making it legally admissible as evidence with the CBI and the National Investigating Agency (NIA) — that Indresh was the brain behind the Hindutva terror module that executed terrorist blasts in Ajmer, Hyderabad, on the Samjhauta Express and twice in Malegaon. The 26- page confession, a story on which was published first in the news magazine Tehelka, was made in Hindi before metropolitan magistrate Deepak Dabas at Tis Hazari court in the Capital on December 18.

The preacher told the magistrate that Indresh had told him in 2005 that the RSS would support pracharak Sunil Joshi “in every way” to execute bomb attacks in the country and that Indresh had given Joshi `50,000 for this. Asimanand said in the confession that after the terrorist blasts on the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif in 2007, he had warned Joshi days before his murder in December 2007 that his (Joshi’s) life “is in danger” from Indresh.

He also confessed that he had financed Joshi for the bomb blasts and he had himself propounded a “bomb for a bomb” principle after being agitated over the 2006 blasts at the Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi. The CBI, which got a copy of Asimanand’s confession from the court on December 20, sent Indresh a summons on December 21 and questioned him two days later.

“I told the CBI that if you have been asked by your political masters to fix me, then go ahead and do it with your false and bogus stories,” Indresh told MAIL TODAY.

Asimanand’s confession states: “Indresh Kumar, who was a RSS Central Committee member, met me in 2005 in Shabari Dham. Top RSS leaders were present along with him and they had come to Shabari Dham straight from a RSS meeting in Surat. Near Pampa Sarovar in a tent, Indresh told me that it was not my job to advocate the bomb-for-a-bomb idea.”

The document adds: “He (Indresh) said RSS wanted me to do work with the tribals… Indresh said my thoughts and the RSS mindset were the same. He said Joshi had been given the job (to carry out bomb blasts) and (Indresh) Kumar said that whatever help Joshi needs, would be given.”

The confession paints a frightening picture of how a Hindutva terror module comprising Asimanand, Joshi and the still-absconding Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangre got together in 2006 to “avenge” the bomb attacks on Hindu temples.

“After the blasts in Varanasi, in March 2006, Pragya Singh Thakur (in jail for the 2008 Malegaon blasts), Sunil Joshi and one Bharatbhai had come to my Shabari Dham Ashram in Dangs district, Gujarat. We all were disturbed by the Varanasi blasts and decided that we should reply. We decided that Joshi and Bharatbhai will go to Jharkhand to procure SIM cards and a pistol, and I gave Joshi `25,000,” Asimanand’s confession says.

In May 2006, the group had another meeting in Bharatbhai’s Valsad (in Gujarat) house where the four were also joined by Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangre, Lokesh Sharma and Amit. At this meeting, as per Asimanand’s confession, he laid the roadmap for future terror attacks and suggested Hyderabad, Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif and the Aligarh Muslim University as the targets, while Sunil Joshi suggested that the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express should also be on the hit list.

“I suggested that the first bomb should be placed in Malegaon as it is closest to our location and also has 80 per cent Muslim population.

I also said that since at time of Independence the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted to go with Pakistan, Hyderabad should be taught a lesson and hence a bomb should be placed there.

“Then I said that Ajmer Sharif is one place where Hindus go in big numbers… so a bomb should be placed there too, so that Hindus are scared of going there. I also said that a bomb should also be placed in AMU because many Muslim youths study there. My suggestions were accepted by everyone.” So was Joshi’s.

Asimanand goes on to say that after the 2006 Malegaon blasts that left 31 people dead, Joshi told him that “his men” had executed the blast. “I asked Joshi who had planted the Malegaon bombs but he refused to tell me,” Asimanand says in the confession.

“I told Joshi that he was making empty claims but he made me understand that he was behind the blasts. Joshi later took `40,000 from me at Bharatbhai’s house to carry out the Hyderabad blast. After a couple of months, Joshi called me to say that good news would come in one or two days. Three to four days later, the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad was hit. Sunil Joshi came after seven to eight days to say that his boys had set off the blast.”

After the Ajmer Sharif blasts in 2007, Joshi came to visit him with two men, Raj and Mehul, whom he said were accused in Gujarat’s Best Bakery incident.

“Joshi claimed to me that he was present at Ajmer Sharif when the blasts happened and that two Muslim boys were also in his group to execute those blasts. Joshi told me that these Muslim boys were given to him by Indresh Kumar. I told Joshi that if Indresh had given him Muslim boys then his name could also emerge when you are caught. I told Joshi that his life is in danger from Indresh and told him that he should stay with me at Shabari Dham.”

As it happened, Joshi chose to return to Dangs and within days, Asimanand says he got the news that Joshi had been killed. “When Joshi was alive, he used to tell me before every bomb blast or soon after it that our men had done the blasts. After he was killed, I learnt that the 2008 Malegaon blasts were also our handiwork,” Asimanand says.

Excerpts from Swami Asimanand’s confession to a magistrate about Hindutva terror and the key players

1 In 2006, a bomb blast took place in theSankatmochan tem-ple in Kashi. The inci-dent shook us and inMarch that year we decided to give a befitting reply. The plan was thatSunil (Joshi) and Bharatbhai would go to Jharkhand to purchase SIM cards (todetonate the explosives) and weapons such as pistols. I handed over `25,000 to Sunil to buythese articles

2 Later, Sunil, Bharatbhai, Pragya and I met again. Duringthis huddle, I suggested thatsince 80% of Malegaon’s (in Maharashtra) population comprises Muslims, we should place the first bomb there. Then I said that as the Nizam of Hyderabad had decided to go with Pakistan when India became independent, we must place a bomb there, too. I also said the Ajmer dargahis frequented by Hindus, so we must plant a bomb at that site todeter them from coming there

3 Sunil took `40,000 from me atBharatbhai’s house to carry out the Hyderabad blast. Threefour days later, I read the news of the blast at Hyderabad’s MeccaMasjid in a newspaper. When Sunil came toShabridham after a few days, he told me that ourmen had a role in thisstrike too

Mail Today

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Aseemanand owns up to strike on Mecca Masjid

Vishwa Mohan & Abantika Ghosh

8 January 2011

NEW DELHI: Aseemanand, the hardline Hindutva swami, has confessed to his involvement in the terror attack on Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, while confirming that bomb attacks on the mosques in Malegaon (in 2006 and 2008) as well as the Samjhauta Express were carried out by Hindu radicals and he knew about it.

What reportedly led to the confession: the swami was cared for in jail by a Muslim, who was wrongly arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast, leading to the act of "atonement".

Aseemanand aka Jatin Chatterjee, born Naba Kumar Sarkar, has linked Hindu radicals also to the blast in a minority-dominated locality in Gujarat's Modasa town.

Further, he said RSS leader Indresh Kumar was part of the plan hatched to avenge bomb attacks on temples, but said that militant Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath provided no help to one of the accused.

Indresh, Aseemanand claimed, helped enlist members of the saffron terror plot, including Sunil Joshi and Ramchandra Kalsangra, aka Ramji. In a statement before a magistrate under Section 164 CrPC (admissible in a court of law) the swami also identified the group of radicals who were part of the 'bomb-for-bomb' plan.

He said the Hindu radicals allegedly attacked mosques and the train carrying Pakistani citizens as part of the 'bomb-for-bomb' plan to retaliate against jihadi terror.

Before making his confession, Aseemanand reportedly told the magistrate that he knew he could be sentenced to death but he still wanted to make the confession because of the arrest of Kaleem, wrongly it now transpires, for the Mecca Masjid blast. Kaleem's plight motivated Aseemanand to think of "atonement" so that innocents don't suffer.

The confession reveals that the network behind saffron terror was far stronger and motivated, and its reach wider than suspected so far.

It cannot be used as evidence in other cases of alleged saffron terror since they are being investigated by other agencies. But it can help with other probes.

Also, it raises serious questions about the course of investigation into the 2006 Malegaon blast, considering that the Maharasthra ATS and CBI have already chargesheeted Muslim accused.

According to Aseemanand, the key figures in the Hindutva terror conspiracy are Joshi (who was allegedly killed by his co-conspirators), Sandeep Dange and Kalsangra, both of whom are absconding, and about 10 others who have already been nabbed.

Explaining his motivation, Aseemanand told interrogators that he was angry by the attacks on Hindu temples by "Muslim terrorists". "This caused great concern and anger in me. I used to share my concern about the growing menace of Islamic terorism with Bharat Ritheshwar of Valsad," he said.

But it was the attack on Varanasi's Sankatmochan temple which proved to be the last straw for the swami who had so far been known for his forceful opposition to proselytization by Christian missionaries in Gujarat's tribal Dangs area.

Interestingly, Aseemanand told the magistrate who recorded his statement that he decided to confess because of Kaleem, who was his co-inmate in Chanchalguda prison. Kaleem, a mobile phone seller, had to spend one-and-a-half years in jail in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast, a crime which has now been established as the handiwork of Hindutva radicals. He landed up in the same jail, this time for a different offence, at a time when Aseemanand was also lodged there.

He took great care of the swami. The gesture moved Aseemanand to such an extent to make him to atone by way of confession so that the "real culprits can be punished and no innocent has to suffer".

"During my interaction with Kaleem, I learnt that he was previously arrested in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case and he had to spend about one-and-a-half years in prison. During my stay in jail, Kaleem helped me a lot and used to serve me by bringing water, food etc for me. I was very moved by Kaleem's good conduct and my conscience asked me to do prayaschit (penance) by making confessional statement."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Aseemanand-owns-up-to-strike-on-Mecca-Masjid/articleshow/7238763.cms#ixzz1APw6ZOmt

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Qadianiyat is a parallel religion like Hinduism and Christianity: Maulana Arshad Ali Qasmi

New Age Islam News Bureau

Guntur: False and misleading beliefs are being promoted among the Muslims by misguided groups with the help of the media. Muslims get influenced by these beliefs due to their ignorance. In these circumstances, it is the duty of the ulema and religious leaders to guide the Muslims. These views were expressed in a two day training workshop of ulema and teachers organised by the Tahaffuz-e Khatme Nubuwwat Trust with the help of Majlisul Ulema Guntur. Maulana said that ulema should inform the Muslims of the vices in the society and also about the misguiding beliefs so that they can guard against those false beliefs. They should not be misguided by the Qadiani literature. He said that instead of being happy over people accepting Islam in large numbers, we should worry about the people being misguided. Maulana Arshad Ali Qasmi said that Qadianiyat was not a sect in Muslims but was a parallel religion like Hinduism and Christianity. If the group had not used the name of Islam, we would not have been after them. But they are misguiding people in the name of Islam, he said. Maulana Md Ansarullah Qasmi said that the belief in the finality of Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH) was the foundation stone of Islam and no one can be a true Muslim without this belief.

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Symbolic representation of Sahaba permissible: Arab scholar

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jeddah: A religious scholar and member of Supreme Ulema Coucil Dr Qaisul Mubarak is of the view that symbolic representation and impersonation of the holy Sahaba (the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) was permissible with some limitations. He said that in hadiths or in the statements of the sahaba, no restriction has been found on this for declaring the act haram. The famous Arabic newspaper Akkaz has qouted the Arabic scholar as saying that some scholars have issued fatwas declaring symbolic representation of sahaba haram as a precaution as it sometimes may lead to an insult to them or may damage their personality. Barring this, there is no restriction on it as a basis for fatwa against it. Dr Qais says that the principle of considering something halal or haram Is based on the fact that whatever has been declared haram by sharia is haram and if something has not been declared haram by sharia is not. Based on this principle we can say that representing Sahaba in a dramatic way or impersonating them is not an unwelcome act. He said that if it was done only to present a positive image of the sahaba or to spread a healthy message, it should not be objected to.

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Two Muslim sects clash in B'desh over control of mosque

Jan 8, 2011

DHAKA: A violent clash between two Muslim sects in Bangladesh, which have been at loggerheads over the control of a crucial mosque in northeastern port city of Chittagong, has left at least 20 people injured and 20 shops gutted.

At least 20 people were injured and 20 shops set on fire in the clash between the followers of relatively hardliner Wahabi sect and Sunni group over the dominance of a mosque during Friday prayers, witnesses and officials said.

"The two groups have been at loggerheads for long to establish control over the mosque and the clash began after both the groups offered prayers at the mosque," a police official said.

A local journalist, quoting witnesses, said the warring groups used sticks and wooden bars and brickbats prompting intervention of elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and armed police with batons and tear gas canisters.

"RAB and policemen are now guarding the area while officials have invited leaders of both groups for negotiation for settlement of the dispute," he said.

According to witnesses, the clash erupted during the Friday prayers when followers of Wahabi Sunni sects gathered at a mosque in suburban Patia area.

The official said the administration had earlier asked the local residents not to offer prayers at the mosque to prevent violence, "but both the groups gathered on Friday defying the request"

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/2-Muslim-sects-clash-in-Bdesh-over-control-of-mosque/articleshow/7241807.cms#ixzz1ARvlkK5N

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Saudi cleric sees ‘devil’ behind suicide attacks

8 January 2011

Riyadh: A top Saudi cleric has slammed suicide attacks by Islamist martyrdom-seekers as devilish acts that do not qualify as jihad, a Saudi newspaper reported today.

“He (a suicide bomber) claims to be a mujahed (holy warrier) in the name of Allah, but he is not. He is fighting in the name of the devil who has tempted him and convinced him” to carry out the attack, said Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan.

“A Muslim is prohibited from killing himself,” the member of the Saudi supreme council of Islamic scholars said in a lecture in Riyadh, according to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

He said acts of violence branded as jihad, or Muslim holy war, were nothing more than “sabotage.” “This is not jihad. This is sabotage and unrightful killing,” the cleric said, adding that jihad in Islam should only be declared by the leader of the Muslim community.

“Jihad has rules and regulations. It should be called for by the leader of the Muslims,” he said.

Martyrs in the Islamic faith are promised generous rewards in paradise.

Fawzan also condemned the New Year’s Day bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt that killed 21 churchgoers, slamming it as an act of “treachery.” The newspaper termed his condemnation of suicide attacks as unprecedented in a country which was home to 15 out of the 19 hijackers of the passenger planes used in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/saudi-cleric-sees-devil-behind-suicide-attacks/734727/

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Taseer died fighting for human rights: Zardari

January 08, 2011

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer gave his life fighting for human rights, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday during his visit to the bereaved family of the late governor who was martyred in an attack by one of his guards.

The president consoled Taseer’s family and said that his martyrdom was a great loss not only for the family, but also for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The president said that all those behind the assassination of the governor would be exposed and punished in accordance with the law, adding that his sacrifice would not be in vain. The president, who arrived in the provincial capital on an unannounced visit to condole the death of Salmaan Taseer, met his wife Aamna Taseer, sons Shan Taseer, Sheheryar Taseer, Shehbaz Taseer, daughters Sara Taseer, Sanam Taseer, Shehrbano Taseer and sons-in-law Umar Salamat and Shoaib Taseer.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\08\story_8-1-2011_pg1_3

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After Salman Taseer, is Sherry Rahman next on the hit list?

January 08, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The assassination of Salman Taseer is seemingly not enough with Pakistani religious scholars now targeting Sherry Rehman, the country’s former minister of information and a member of the National Assembly.

Prayer leaders across Pakistan, during Friday sermons, gave vent to their anger against Rehman who had deposited a private members’ bill before the National Assembly seeking an amendment to the blasphemy law.

The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) did not support the bill and Rehman was forced to withdraw it.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article231004.ece

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Qadir video appears online; Pak launches investigation

8 January 2011

A video showing Punjab Governor Salman Taseers assassin singing a hymn while in police custody has appeared on several websites, prompting Pakistani intelligence agencies to launch an investigation to determine how it was circulated. The video, shot with a mobile phone, shows Mumtaz Qadri, the police guard who gunned down Taseer in Islamabad, singing a hymn after his arrest.

Times of India

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‘Taseer killer must be tried under Sharia’

8 January 2011

PAKISTAN- BASED terror outfit Jamaat- ud- Dawa ( JuD) has asked the country’s courts to decide the case of Salmaan Taseer’s killer in line with the Sharia, or Islamic law, and “ sentiments of Muslims”. JuD leader Maulana Amir Hamza also hailed the clerics who refused to lead Taseer’s funeral prayer on Thursday.

Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was gunned down by his extremist bodyguard Mumtaz Husain Qadri in Islamabad on Tuesday for opposing the blasphemy law.

Hamza — who is also the convener of Tehrik- e- Hurmat- e- Rasool, the outfit that has been opposing any move to amend the controversial blasphemy law in Pakistan — asked the courts to decide the case of Qadri in accordance with the Islamic law.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Qaeda gunmen kill 13 soldiers in Yemen

January 08, 2011

A Yemeni official says Al Qaeda fighters have killed 13 soldiers who were escorting water tankers in the country’s south. Deputy Governor of Abyan province, Salih al-Shamsi, says Al Qaeda gunmen ambushed the military patrol on Friday in Lawder in Abyan. He said the attackers fled and army units were chasing them in the area. Lawder was the scene of heavy fighting between Yemen’s military and Al Qaeda elements this fall after a series of attacks on security forces in the town and surrounding area. Yemen’s Government is battling a resurgent Al Qaeda presence in the country that also drew deep international concern after the terror network’s local offshoot claimed responsibility for an attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner in December, 2009.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309045/Qaeda-gunmen-kill-13-soldiers-in-Yemen.html

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Sombre Christmas for Egypt Copts

January 08, 2011

ALEXANDRIA: Coptic Christians marked a sombre Christmas on Friday, after a deadly New Year's Day church bombing in Egypt sparked riots that injured dozens of policemen and protesters.

Egypt has been under tight security since the attack in the northern city of Alexandria killed 21 people, and the measures were stepped up for Christmas Eve services held for Copts on Thursday. Under the Coptic calendar, Christmas Day falls on January 7.

Police were deployed around the Saints Church in Alexandria which was targeted in Saturday's attack. Officials said at least 70,000 officers and conscripts had been deployed across the country to secure churches as Copts, who account for 10 per cent of Egypt's 80-million population, attended Christmas Eve mass. Hundreds of worshippers gathered on Thursday at the Alexandria church under tight security. Maher (50), who arrived for the mass with his wife and two daughters, said : “Our sorrow is great, but we feel stronger because of the support of our Muslim compatriots.” Others converged on Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, where the head of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenuda III, conducted the service, attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's two sons Alaa and Gamal.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/01/08/stories/2011010865661900.htm

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Ghalib’s haveli is close to my heart: Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: ‘Ghalib’s haveli is close to my heart’ were the words of the Chief Minister of New Delhi said to a delegation from the old Delhi. Though the renovation work of Ghalib’s haveli has been completed but according to the President of Friends for Education, Mr Firoz Bakht Ahmad, there is no one to take care of it. The haveli is indeed illuminated on a couple occasions like his anniversaries during the year, but it is immersed in darkness during the rest of the days. Mr Ahmad says that when he had won a PIL litigation on the recovery of the haveli of Ghalib in 1997, he Delhi High Court had ordered the Delhi government to renovate it keeping the stature of Ghalib in mind. Today Mr Ahmad headed a delegate of prominent personalities of old Delhi with a view to win the rights of Ghalib’s haveli. They also complained that anti-social had damaged the calligraphy of his couplets pasted on wooden boards put up on the walls of the haveli. They demanded that the calligraphy should be put up again and guards should be appointed to guard the haveli day in and day out. H proposed that a study and computer training centre should be opened under Friends for Education with the cooperation of NCPUL in the haveli. Responding to the proposal, Mrs Dixit said that there was no sufficient space for this purpose in the premises. When she signed the files to be sent to the Cultural Secretary of the Delhi government, Mr Keshav Chandra, the delegation complained that the person to whom the files were being sent did not have any interest in Mirza Ghalib and considers it a waste of time and that whenever they called him over the phone he became very angry and banged the phone. Mrs Sheila Dixit assured that this would not happen again.

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Masjid Fatehpuri should be provided with security: Mufti Mukarram

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: The Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Maulana Mufti Md Mukarram has demanded security for the Fatehpuri Masjid alleging that the government had ignored its security. Addressing the congregation before the Friday prayers he said that the mosque had been a target of communal violence in the past and the the Imam of the mosque had been attacked with trishul Advani’s rath yatra and bottles had been thrown inside the mosque but the central government had been ignoring the security of the mosque. The Imam of the mosque has received threats from the RSS in the past. Maulana Mufti Mukarram has written to the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, PM Dr Manmohan Singh, the Home Minister P Chidambaram and the Police Commissioner of Delhi demanding security for the mosque.

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The Kashmiris arrested in Bhopal are not terrorists: IG of J&K

New Age Islam News Bureau

Bhopal: Kashmiris arrested on any charges  should not mean that he is a terrorist and the police should show some amount of sensitivity on this issue, said IG of J&K Raja Aijaz Ali in the Finger Print Conference in Bhopal. He said that if we continued to do this propaganda, the security of the country will be at risk. He further said that Kashmiri students have faith in the Indian Constitution and so they go to different cities in India to carry on their study. He said that he did not have any information of the links of the Kashmiri students arrested in Bhopal with terrorist organisations. It is to be noted that two Kashmiri students Shaukat and Mehrajuddin had been arrested by the Bhopal police who alleged that they had links with terrorist organisations.

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Backward Muslims to get share in OBC quota: Khurshid

January 08, 2011

Lucknow : Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid, on Friday, said in Lucknow that the Centre would soon set aside a certain percentage share of reservation for backward Muslims from overall 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes.

He said it would be “reservation within reservation”, wherein backward Muslims would get specific percentage share of quota from the 27 per cent OBC reservation and it would be applied to all those central services where OBC reservation is applied.

At present, listed backward Muslims get reservation under OBC category but there is no specified percentage. Thus backward minorities have to compete with other backward castes to get this reservation.

When asked about UP, Khurshid said backward Muslims in the state might get around 8 per cent reservation of the OBC quota.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/backward-muslims-to-get-share-in-obc-quota-khurshid/734972/

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Pak arrests 10 India fishermen

Jan 8, 2011

AHMEDABAD: The Pakistani Marine Security agency has arrested ten Gujarat fishermen and have seized four fishing boats from Jakhau on the west coast of Kutch district, a National Fish Forum official said today.

"The Pakistani agency arrested the fishermen on Friday and seized four fishing boats belonging to Porbandar," National Fish Forum secretary Manish Lodhari said.

The four fishing boats -- Raj Rajeshwari, Hari Prasad, Raj Mukat and Vinayak -- seized by the agency have been taken away to Karachi, he claimed.

The agency had arrested 28 people on board five vessels, but after interrogations released 18 of them along with a boat, Lodhari said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-arrests-10-India-fishermen/articleshow/7241737.cms

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RSS sends legal notice to CBI for 'leaking' Aseemanand's confession

Jan 8, 2011

NEW DELHI: The RSS on Saturday sent a legal notice to the CBI, accusing it of "deliberately leaking" to the media the reported confession of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand, the main accused in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast.

The notice termed the leakage of Aseemanand's statement as a "politically motivated" and calculated move to "jeopardise" his reputation and deny him a fair treatment.

"The repeated abuse of authority and misuse of law by you do not only render you liable in law as stated but show also how tainted your investigation is," it stated.

On Friday, Swami Aseemanand, the head of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Gujarat's Dangs district, has reportedly confessed before a magistrate to his involvement in the February 2007 Samjhauta train blast.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/RSS-sends-legal-notice-to-CBI-for-leaking-Aseemanands-confession-/articleshow/7242596.cms#ixzz1ARvKcUBw

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Religious parties rally in support of Qadri

January 08, 2011

RAWALPINDI, Jan 7: Activists of the Shabab-i-Islami Pakistan (SIP), Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Tehrik Fidayan-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (TFKN) took out precessions here after Friday prayers in favour of Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

The SIC and SIP processions started from the Jamia Masjid Amna and the TFKN rally from Sadiqabad and culminated near the home of Qadri in Muslim Town.

The activists expressed solidarity with the father and brothers of Qadri.

Fiazul Hassan Chohan and Mufti Azizuddin Kokab claimed that the entire nation was against any amendment to the blasphemy law. They said the Constitution could be amended but ‘Sharia’ could not be amended or repealed.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/religious-parties-rally-in-support-of-qadri.html

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Pakistan: KP Assembly says no to amendment in blasphemy law

By Zakir Hassnain

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed a joint resolution on Friday, demanding the federal government make no amendment to the blasphemy law.

The movers of the joint resolution also demanded that the head of the committee formed by the federal government with regard to the blasphemy law should not be a non-Muslim.

Mufti Kafayatullah of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) said the federal government should avoid any proposed change or repeal of the law as it was a sensitive issue. The JUI-F member underlined the need for unity among all political and religious parties against terrorism, price hike and unemployment. Others who tabled the resolution included Awami National Party (ANP) Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour, Pakistan People’s Party parliamentary leader Abdul Akbar Khan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader Pir Sabir Shah, PPP-Sherpao members Muhammad Ali Khan and Israrullah Khan Gandapur, Provincial Government Spokesman Mian Iftikhar Hussain, minority member Kishore Kumar, Senior Minister Rahim Dad Khan, and JUI-F’s Malik Muhammad Qasim, Hafiz Akhtar Ali, Dr Iqbal Din Fana and Mufti Said Janan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\08\story_8-1-2011_pg7_3

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US demanding our Twitter data: WikiLeaks

Jan 8, 2011

LONDON: US officials have issued a subpoena to demand details about WikiLeaks' Twitter account, the group announced Saturday, adding that it suspected other American internet companies were also being ordered to hand over information about its activities.

In a statement, WikiLeaks said US investigators had gone to the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. to demand the private messages, contact information and other personal details of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other supporters, including the US Army intelligence analyst suspected of handing classified information to the site and a high-profile Icelandic parliamentarian.

WikiLeaks blasted the court order, saying it amounted to harassment.

"If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out," Assange said in the statement.

A copy of the court order, dated Dec. 14 and posted to Salon.com, said the information sought was "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation" and ordered Twitter not to disclose its existence to Assange or any of the others targeted.

The order was unsealed "thanks to legal action by Twitter," WikiLeaks said.

Twitter has declined comment on the claim, saying only that its policy is to notify its users, where possible, of government requests for information.

Others named in the order include Pfc. Bradley Manning, the US Army private suspected of being the source of some of WikiLeaks' material, as well as Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic lawmaker and one-time WikiLeaks collaborator known for her role in pioneering Iceland's media initiative -- which aims to make the North Atlantic island nation a haven for free speech.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-demanding-our-Twitter-data-WikiLeaks/articleshow/7242534.cms#ixzz1ARvZIgsR

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Iran says can make own nuclear fuel plates, rods

Jan 8, 2011

THERAN: Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi declared in a report on Saturday that Iran is now capable of making its own nuclear fuel plates and rods, technology the West says the Islamic republic does not possess.

Salehi, the driving force behind Iran's contentious atomic programme, said the country has completed the construction of a facility in the central city of Isfahan to the fuel plates and rods which power nuclear reactors.

"We have built an advanced manufacturing unit in the Isfahan site for the fuel plates," Salehi, who is also acting foreign minister, told Fars news agency in what was said to be an exclusive interview.

"A grand transformation has taken place in the production of (nuclear) plates and rods. With the completion of the unit in Isfahan, we are one of the few countries which can produce fuel rods and fuel plates."

Salehi said it was the Western policies towards the Islamic republic which had propelled its nuclear achievements, including the making of nuclear plates and rods.

"This is in fact because of West's actions that we came to this point," he said.

"What we say is based on reality and truth. There is no exaggeration or deception in our work. It is them who do not want to believe that Iran has no intention, but to obtain nuclear technology for peaceful purposes."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-says-can-make-own-nuclear-fuel-plates-rods-/articleshow/7242482.cms#ixzz1ARvxVT1M

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NATO to deploy radar planes to Afghanistan

Jan 8, 2011

BRUSSELS: NATO decided on Friday to deploy AWACS radar aircraft to Afghanistan to monitor the growing traffic of aerial missions against Taliban insurgents, the Western military alliance said.

Allies reached an agreement for the "AWACS to begin their operations in Afghanistan in mid-January," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told AFP.

Two planes will take part in the three-month mission, she said.

An agreement in principle to deploy the Airborne Warning and Control System planes, which are fitted with long-range radar allowing them to detect other aircraft and prevent mid-air collisions, had been reached in June 2009.

But the deployment of the planes -- which act like airbone control towers -- was delayed due to difficulties in securing the right to fly over certain countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/NATO-to-deploy-radar-planes-to-Afghanistan/articleshow/7238489.cms#ixzz1APwCaGmW

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Terrorists getting fake certificate to enter India

Jan 8, 2011

MUMBAI: After failing to nab Pakistani and Bangladeshi terrorists who reportedly entered the city, the intelligence agencies issued a fresh terror alert on Friday stating that Pakistani terrorists are procuring fake continuous discharge certificates (CDC), which have to be carried by sailors, from the Republic of Liberia and may try to sneak in through sea routes.

A CDC certifies that the person holding the certificate is a seaman as per the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, as amended in 1995. Every seafarer must carry this document while on board, which is also an official and legal record of his sea

Experience.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terrorists-getting-fake-certificate-to-enter-India/articleshow/7239501.cms#ixzz1APx4AVUo

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Indian missions in Afghanistan under constant threat: Krishna

Jan 8, 2011

NEW DELHI: A day before he leaves for Afghanistan, external affairs minister SM Krishna Friday said Indian missions in that country were under constant threat but President Hamid Karzai had promised full security.

"Our embassy and four consulates are under constant threat. We are working with the Afghan government to ensure that they give our embassy and consulates enough protection," Krishna told reporters here.

"We have been fully assured by President Hamid Karzai of security."

Besides its embassy in Kabul, India has consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

In July 2008, two Indian diplomats were among those killed when suspected Pakistan-based outfits targeted the Indian embassy.

The security of Indian assets and around 4,000 Indians engaged in a slew of reconstruction projects will figure prominently in Krishna's discussions with the Afghan leadership.

Krishna leaves for Kabul on a two-day visit Saturday, his first overseas visit in 2011.

The visit is expected to underscore India's resolve to remain engaged in the reconstruction of Afghanistan amid Pakistan's reported moves to compel India to leave that country.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-missions-in-Afghanistan-under-constant-threat-Krishna/articleshow/7235216.cms#ixzz1APxAPgIx

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‘India ready to resolve outstanding issues with Pak’

January 08, 2011

Hoping to hold a meaningful dialogue with Pakistan, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said here on Friday his Pakistani counterpart SM Qureshi was expected to come to New Delhi in the next couple of months and India was willing to discuss all outstanding issues.

Stating this, he said Foreign Secretaries of the two countries would meet before the ministerial talks to “clear the ground for a very productive meeting”.

Elaborating upon the likely talks between him and Qureshi, Krishna said, “The indication given to me by Qureshi was that sometime in the first quarter of 2011, he would be visiting Delhi and we are looking forward to it.”

Rejecting an impression that his previous meeting with Qureshi in Islamabad failed due to lack of proper ground work done by the officials in the two countries, he said there were interactions between the foreign secretaries of the two countries.

Asked about the agenda for the meeting, he said, “We would like to engage Pakistan in a dialogue and there is no alternative other than talking to Pakistan and keeping them engaged thereby sorting out outstanding issues,” he said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309133/%E2%80%98India-ready-to-resolve-outstanding-issues-with-Pak%E2%80%99.html

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US to increase help for Pakistan: Report

Jan 8, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Washington Post has reported that the Obama administration has decided to increase military, intelligence and financial support for Pakistan and intensify U.S. efforts to foster regional peace.

Officials told the newspaper that the decision was made in last month's White House Afghanistan war review and will be delivered by Vice President Joe Biden when he travels to Pakistan next week for meetings with military chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and other top government leaders.

The decision to intensify support for Pakistan marks the administration's effort to call the bluff of Pakistani officials who have routinely complained that the United States doesn't understand Pakistan's security priorities or give enough support.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-to-increase-help-for-Pakistan-Report/articleshow/7240456.cms#ixzz1APxcG2jg

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Malaysian NRIs ask India to terminate its business relations with Malaysia

Jan 8, 2011

NEW DELHI: The Malaysians of Indian origin might put India in a tight spot. The community has asked the government of India to terminate all present and future business projects with Malaysia. The demand has come at a time when most Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are keenly looking for business and investment opportunities between India and foreign countries.

According to the Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations annual report 2010 compiled by Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF), Malaysians of Indian origin have been suffering grave human rights violations committed by the Malaysian government. The report was distributed by the HINDRAF activists at the inaugural day of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indians Festival) here on Friday.

Based on the news reports published in major Malaysian newspapers like The Star, The Utusan Malaysia, News Straits Times of Malaysia, the HINDRAF report claims that 95% people killed by the Malaysian police were ethnic Indians.

Indians constitute 8% of the Malaysian population.

The report also says that 90% of the custodial deaths and 80% people who experienced "police harassment, unlawful arrests, frivolous and malicious prosecutions," were Malaysian Indians. At least, 48% prisoners in 28 prisons of Malaysia are ethnic Indians and on 2010 alone, 5000 Indians were arrested and detained under Emergency Ordinance, the report points out. However, 36,000 prisoners including 17256 ethnic Indians in Malaysia are serving custodial sentence for minor crimes, the report claims.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/indians-abroad/Malaysian-NRIs-ask-India-to-terminate-its-business-relations-with-Malaysia/articleshow/7236696.cms#ixzz1APxfEWCY

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Arrest of Hizbul militant’s sister triggers protest in Valley

January 08, 2011

Police on Friday arrested the sister of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant for her alleged involvement in hawala transactions, triggering massive protests in Tral pocket of south Kashmir. Hundreds of villagers took to streets and pelted stones on police and paramilitary forces.

Sources said that a police party raided Pinglishi village in south Kashmir’s Tral pocket on Thursday evening to arrest 21-year-old girl Surayya Akhtar alias Soni Jan. However, her relatives raised alarm and prevented the police party from taking her into custody.

The policemen later convinced the villagers that she was needed for questioning and would be released. The girl was sent to police station along with her sister-in-law, villagers said. However, she was not released after questioning.

Hundreds of villagers on Friday staged protest demonstrations against the arrest. They pelted stones on police and damaged several vehicles.

Station House Officer Muhammad Maqbool said that Surraya was involved in militant activities. “She is involved in hawala transactions. We have detained her under the Unlawful Activities Act,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/309014/Arrest-of-Hizbul-militant%E2%80%99s-sister-triggers-protest-in-Valley.html

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US relocate some people named in WikiLeaks cables

January 08, 2011

Washington: The United States has warned several hundred people worldwide it believes may be imperilled by WikiLeaks' release of classified US diplomatic cables and has so far helped a handful of them relocate to safer locations, the State Department said on Friday.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley said those at risk could include civil society activists, journalists or government officials whose discussions with US officials as recounted by WikiLeaks could anger foreign governments or other political forces.

"We are focused on people who have been identified in documents and assess whether there is a greater risk to them of violence, imprisonment or other serious harm, particularly in repressive societies around the world," Crowley told reporters.

"We've identified several hundred people worldwide that we feel are at potential risk," Crowley said. "In a small number of cases, we have assisted people moving from where they are to safer locations." He did not say if any of the people involved had cited a specific threat.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-relocates-some-people-named-in-wikileaks-cables/735011/

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Musharraf calls Nawaz Sharif 'closet Taliban'

January 08, 2011

Washington: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has called former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a “closet Taliban”.

“I call Nawaz Sharif a closet Taliban. He's a man who is -- who has been -- in contact with Taliban. He is a man who, today, appeases the clerics and mawlawis [Sunni Islamic scholars] -- the extremists,” 'Foreign Policy' quoted Musharraf, as saying in an exclusive interview.

When asked why he wanted to re-enter Pakistan politics when he had himself once said that being in charge of Pakistan may well be "the hardest job in the world," Musharraf replied: “[It's about offering] another alternative to the people of Pakistan. At this moment, they are stuck between two alternatives: the [ruling] People's Party and PML-N, the party of former prime minister and Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif. If you look at both of them, [they are] dysfunctional.”

“Moreover, he (Sharif) has tried [his hand at leadership as prime minister] twice in the past -- and he has failed. Why are we giving him a third chance to destroy Pakistan? My new party is an alternative to the people of Pakistan with the hope of changing the conditions of the people of Pakistan and the state,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/musharraf-calls-nawaz-sharif-closet-taliban/734685/

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‘Imran Khan is a Taliban without a beard’

January 08, 2011

Indrajit Hazra talks to writer-journalist Amir Mir about the investigations into Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, the future of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the murder of Punjab governor Salman Taseer. Excerpts from the interview:

You mention the collaborative role of the ISI and the Musharraf regime with fundamentalists in Benazir Bhutto’s death. Is Taseer’s murder a continuation of this nexus?

Taseer was shot dead by a religiously motivated fundamentalist, a Punjab Elite Force security guard believed to be an active member of Daawa-e-Islami, a Sunni religious group with Barelvi leaning. The killer, Mumtaz Qadri, has already confessed, saying he killed Taseer because of his recent criticism of the country’s blasphemy law. The murder adds another chapter to the history of a country frequently held hostage by bearded agents of hatred, backed by elements in the security and intelligence establishments.

The UN report on Bhutto’s death asked the Zardari government to start investigations. Has there been any progress?

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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26/11 case: US court postpones Rana's trial till May 16

January 08, 2011

Chicago: The trial of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, co-accused with LeT operative David Headley in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has been postponed from February 14 to May 16 at the request of defence.

"The defence asked to continue the trial on May 16 and the government did not object," Rana's attorney Patrick W Blegen said.

US District Judge Harry Leinenweber yesterday changed the trial set for Valentine's Day to May 16.

"The date was changed essentially for parties for trial preparation and nobody was opposed to moving it," Blegen added.

The government also filed a motion to empanel an anonymous jury and the evidentiary hearing on a government's motion for the same is set for February 9.

The next status hearing date is also on the same day.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/26-11-case-us-court-postpones-ranas-trial-till-may-16/735010/

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Iran detains American woman on spy charges, say reports

January 08, 2011

Tehran: Two state-controlled media outlets reported Thursday that Iranian authorities had arrested a 55-year-old American woman entering the country from Armenia for spying after finding a microphone in her teeth.

The accuracy of the accounts — by the IRAN newspaper and the semiofficial Fars news agency— could not immediately be verified, and the Iranian government withheld direct comment. (Late at night, a Reuters reported from Tehran that Iran’s state television al-Alam denied the detention reports.) The arrest, if confirmed, would be the fourth of an American accused of spying in Iran’s border areas in less than two years.

The reports identified the woman as Hall Talayan; the Fars report said she was detained a week ago by customs officials at the border town of Nordouz, 370 miles northwest of Tehran. The IRAN report said she was trying to enter Iran without a visa.

“The detained American spy told Iranian security officials that she would be killed if Iran extradites her to America,” the Fars report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-detains-american-woman-on-spy-charges-say-reports/734483/

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Burj Khalifa now an inspiration for Chinese Allan Jacob

January 08, 2011

So what if you can’t beat the feat, just plan a look-a-like of the world’s tallest building. A few days after its first anniversary, the Burj Khalifa, is inspiring a similar structure in China.

The People’s Daily, in a report on Thursday, said the proposed $1.3 billion tower (the Burj cost an estimated $1.5 billion to build) would come up in Mentougou district of the capital and would house a seven-star hotel.

While not naming the developer, it said the project would be jointly developed with Saudi Arabia. The report quoted Wang Hongzhong, a senior official of the Mentougou district, as saying the design and planning of the seven-star hotel was ready. “It has been designed as a stream-lined building like the Khalifa Tower in Dubai,’’ the report quoted him as saying. The official did not mention the completion date of the venture, but said the hotel would be world-class and would bear the hallmark of luxury.

According to the report, the hotel would be located at the end of Chang An avenue, a road near Tiananmen Square.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/January/theuae_January185.xml&section=theuae

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Israeli soldier killed near Gaza border

January 08, 2011

JERUSALEM - An Israeli soldier was killed and four others wounded by “friendly fire” during a clash with Palestinian militants close to the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the Israeli army said.

The soldier was the first to be killed in action along the Gaza border since last March.

“The soldiers were hit by a stray mortar shell fired by Israeli forces as they engaged with Palestinian militants along the border,” an army spokesman said.

Palestinian residents of the coastal enclave said they saw a number of armed militants approach the border, adding they heard shooting and the sound of missiles being launched into Israel.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/middleeast_January118.xml&section=middleeast

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Stockholm bomber was trained in Iraq

January 08, 2011

DUBAI - Iraq informed the United States about a plot to carry out bombings in Sweden two months before an attack in Stockholm by a man trained in Iraq, an Iraqi security official told al Arabiya television on Friday.

Major General Dhai Kanani, director of Iraq’s anti-terrorism unit, said the man who blew himself up in Stockholm on Dec. 11 had received explosives training in the Iraqi city of Mosul for three months.

He had entered Iraq from Turkey, he added, according to al Arabiya’s website.

He said confessions by al Qaeda members detained in Iraq had also revealed that “an Egyptian national entered Iraq at the same time and received similar training to probably carry out another mission”.

Kanani said that “Iraq had information on bombings in Sweden, which it informed the Americans about before the bombing in Sweden by more than two months,” al Arabiya reported.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/middleeast_January120.xml&section=middleeast

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Kerry calls for fresh talks over Sudan’s Darfur

January 08, 2011

KHARTOUM - The United States and other powers should back a fresh round of “high profile” peace talks to resolve Sudan’s Darfur conflict as current efforts are not working, influential US Senator John Kerry said on Friday.

Kerry said in an interview that negotiations run by the United Nations and the African Union and hosted by Qatar’s government had gone “under the radar” and needed to be moved to a more prominent venue, supported by more international players.

Sudan last week pulled its negotiators out of the Qatari capital Doha, the scene of months of floundering discussions between Khartoum and Darfur’s fractured insurgent factions, many of whom have boycotted parts of the proceedings.

Clashes between Khartoum’s forces and all Darfur rebel groups, even with the only one that signed a 2006 peace accord, have reignited in recent months, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/January/international_January262.xml&section=international

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Muslims, Coptic Christianscome together for Xmas

January 08, 2011

ABU DHABI - The Crescent, symbol of Islam, hugged the Cross, holy symbol of Christianity, as candles were lit by Muslims and Copts together in the first ever such event, reflecting values of peaceful coexistence among the people of the UAE.

Hundreds of UAE nationals and expatriates crammed into Al Anba Antonio Cathedral Church in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening to attend the Christmas Mass. The whole church stood for one minute to mourn those killed and injured in the blast which jolted the northern coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt a week ago.

The mass was attended among others, by Ali Al Hashimi, counselor of Judicial and Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Mohamad Al Jineibi, Director of Ceremonials and Communication of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, and Mohamad Tamir Mansour, Egyptian ambassador to the UAE. Mansour conveyed a message from the Egyptian President Mohamad Hosny Mubarak wishing the Egyptian Copts here, Merry Christmas.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/January/theuae_January181.xml&section=theuae

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Palestinians want UN action against Israel

January 08, 2011

UNITED NATIONS — A Palestinian diplomat says the Palestinians are hoping for a vote next week on a UN resolution demanding that Israel stop all settlement activities “immediately and completely.”

The draft Security Council resolution, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, would reaffirm that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal and an obstacle to achieving peace.

The United States, a veto-wielding council member, has already voiced opposition to the resolution.

The latest Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in a dispute over Israeli settlements. The Palestinians say there can be no talks if Israel continues to build homes in settlements.

The diplomat, speaking anonymously because consultations have been private, said the Palestinians are finalizing the text and want a vote next week.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/middleeast_January99.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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MQM’s return buoys up Gilani govt

January 08, 2011

KARACHI: The beleaguered government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday received a lifeline when the estranged ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement agreed to return to the coalition though it refused to allow its parliamentarians to rejoin the cabinet.

The concession — which restores Premier Gilani’s slender majority in the 342-member National Assembly — is thought to be the handiwork of President Asif Ali Zardari, who flew to Lahore to meet the grieving family members of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer only when behind-the-scene talks ended what was viewed as a make-or-break political crisis.

The crunch talks saw Prime Minister Gilani making his first-ever visit to the MQM headquarters, popularly known as Nine Zero, speaking to Muttahida chief Altaf Hussain for half an hour over phone and be at pains to please his censorious ally.

Earlier, Mr Gilani had a meeting with President Zardari at the Bilawal House.

Accompanied by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, the premier chose not to bring along provincial ministers of the Pakistan People’s Party, especially Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza whose ill-concealed verbal attacks on the MQM were blamed for the political crisis which began on Jan 2 when the MQM pulled out of the coalition.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/mqms-return-buoys-up-gilani-govt.html

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Five killed in North Waziristan drone attack

January 08, 2011

MIRAMSHAH: A barrage of US missiles killed at least five militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal district on Friday, destroying a vehicle used by Islamist fighters, security officials said.

Pakistani security officials reported the strikes in what is reputedly the country’s most impregnable Taliban and al Qaeda fortress where US officials want Pakistan to launch a ground offensive to eliminate the militant threat.

They said strikes killed five militants in Ghar Laley village, 35 kilometres west of Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

“US drones fired four missiles, targeting a vehicle and a house,” a local security official said.

“So far five bodies have been recovered,” he said. “Taliban have surrounded the area and there are fears the final toll may go up,” he said.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/07/four-killed-in-north-waziristan-drone-strike-2.html

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Two held for role in Taseer’s assassination

January 08, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Police have detained two suspects for their alleged role in influencing Malik Mumtaz Qadri to assassinate Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, sources privy to the investigation told Dawn on Friday.

One was picked up from Lahore and the other from Rawalpindi. Scrutiny by investigators of the killer’s mobile record led to their arrest, the sources said, adding that a few days before the crime Qadri had met one of them in Lahore. A medical board comprising doctors of the District Headquarters Hospital in Rawalpindi conducted a medical examination of Qadri on Thursday night.

Anti-Terrorism Court judge Malik Akram Awan had issued the order after Qadri’s counsel complained that he had been subjected to severe torture and not provided meal. Marks of alleged electric shock on the killer’s abdomen were also shown to the judge.

The hour-long medical examination was conducted at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. Qadri was later taken to an unspecified place in an armoured personnel carrier.

The medical board will submit its report at the next hearing on Jan 11.

The sources said that during the interrogation Qadri had stood by his earlier statement that he was not under any influence and killed the governor for his remarks on the blasphemy law.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/two-held-for-role-in-taseer%E2%80%99s-assassination.html

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Babar holds ‘urgent talks’ with Zardari

January 08, 2011

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan called on President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday night amid speculation he is among those being considered for the governorship of Punjab, following the assassination of Salman Taseer.

President Zardari had summoned Mr Awan urgently for consultation. However, official sources did not say anything about the issues that came under the discussion during the Bilawal House meeting.

Addressing a news conference at PPP’s media cell before the meeting, Mr Awan expressed the hope that the PML-N would reconsider the 72-hour ultimatum it had given to the government to agree to its reform agenda, because there was no room for ultimatums and deadlines in a democratic dispensation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/babar-holds-%E2%80%98urgent-talks%E2%80%99-with-zardari.html

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Chile recognizes Palestine as ‘sovereign’ state

January 08, 2011

SANTIAGO: Chile has recognised Palestine as an independent state, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said Friday, following in the footsteps of several other Latin American countries.

“The government of Chile has adopted the resolution today recognising the existence of the state of Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state,” he said, reading a foreign ministry declaration.

He added that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 4 and 5.

Late last year, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador recognised Palestine as an independent state. Uruguay has said it will follow suit in 2011.

The Chilean statement did not mention the borders of the Palestinian state, which its South American neighbors said were “within the 1967 borders.” Those were the boundaries that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in that year’s Arab-Israeli conflict, known as the Six Day War.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/chile-recognizes-palestine-as-sovereign-state.html

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Benazir Bhutto’s heirs asked by court to join proceedings

January 08, 2011

RAWALPINDI: An anti-terrorism court hearing the Benazir Bhutto assassination case issued notices on Friday to the heirs of the former prime minister to join the proceedings.

During the trial in Adiyala jail of seven arrested accused, ATC-III special judge Rana Nisar Ahmed issued notices to President Asif Ali Zardari, Nusrat Bhutto, Sanam Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar and Asifa, asking them to join the proceedings in person or through their lawyers.

“In every murder case the legal heirs of the deceased are given an opportunity to contest their case by submitting their statements and providing any available evidence before the court to support the proceedings,” the Federal Investigation Agency’s Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said.

The hearing was put of till Jan 13.

Another prosecutor, Chaudhry Azhar, said the court would also issue notices to the heirs of 23 other people killed in the Dec 27, 2007, attack.

He said the prosecution lawyers had provided the court a list of the victims.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/08/benazir-bhutto%E2%80%99s-heirs-asked-by-court-to-join-proceedings.html

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Two empty NATO oil tankers set on fire

January 08, 2011

LANDIKOTAL: Unidentified terrorists set on fire two empty NATO oil tankers at Landikotal bypass on Thursday night while they were on the way back to Peshawar after delivering NATO fuel at Bagram airbase, sources said. The vehicles were set on fire after they were fired at with automatic rifles, however, no casualty was reported in the incident. Some people from Kata Koshta said that the vehicles were theirs, adding that two of their people were also kidnapped from the vehicles, but the authorities did not confirm it. Another NATO oil tanker had been set on fire on Thursday, which caused a fuel spill. In another incident a bomb blast was reported at Mangal Kandao, a place in Bazaar Zakhakhel, which reportedly caused no loss to life and property. The blast occurred due to enmity of two rival families in the area. sudhir ahmad afridi

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\08\story_8-1-2011_pg7_9

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No torture on Qadri, says medical report

January 08, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The medical board on Friday handed over medical report of Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, to Kohsar police.

The report confirmed that no one had tortured him during investigation and the allegation levelled by Qadri’s lawyer that police tortured him proved wrong.

According to sources, A five members board, headed by Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Sher Ali Khan, Dr Khalid Randhawa, Surgeon Dr Fazal Elahi, Medico-Legal Officer (MLO) Dr Arshad Iqbal, Dr Manzoor Saie and Irfan Khilji as its members, has handed over the report to Kohsar police, which stated that Qadri was physically and mentally fit.

They said a joint investigation team was investigating Qadri and those persons who were very close to him to find out whether there was a conspiracy behind the murder of governor. During investigation Qadri claimed that he did all that in individual capacity.

Officials of agencies, special branch and police have received the record of the cell phone of Qadri and his family members but could not find any suspected number, said the sources, adding, now the team is investigating the case on two line, whether Qadri did that individually or it was a well planned conspiracy.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\08\story_8-1-2011_pg11_1

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Israeli forces kill sleeping elderly Palestinian man

By MOHAMMED MAR'I & HISHAM ABU TAHA

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Israeli forces murdered an elderly Palestinian man in his bed early Friday in the West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Palestinian security sources said Omar Salim Al-Qawasmi, 65, was killed while sleeping in his bed when the Israeli forces raided a building to arrest Hamas member Wael Al-Beitar.

Palestinian doctors in the Hebron government hospital said that Al-Qawasmi had bullet wounds to the upper part of his body.

Raja'I Al-Qawasmi, the dead man's son, said: "The soldiers entered our house when my mother was praying. They put her in my disabled brother's room, entered my father's bedroom and shot him. They left the house after arresting Al-Beitar, who lives on the first floor of our building."

He said the Israeli soldiers "took the body with them, which they later handed over to the Palestinian Red Crescent."

Al-Beitar and five other Hamas members — Majdi Obeid, Ahmed Al-Qawasmi, Mohanned Nairoukh, Wisam Al-Qawasmi and Mohammed Soqiyeh — were arrested during the Israeli raid.

The Israeli Army said the six were involved in attacks against Jewish occupiers and other Israeli targets, particularly in an August 2010 shooting in which four occupiers were killed on a road leading to a settlement near Hebron.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered their release on Thursday after Hamas strongly criticized the Palestinian Authority for keeping them in prison.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230915.ece

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Need to integrate HIV carriers in society stressed

January 08, 2011

JEDDAH: Umm Yasir, 28, and Abu Yasir, 38, are just like any newlyweds, but with one difference: They are HIV positive.

Arab News was invited recently to meet the couple at the Saudi Charity Association for AIDS Patients (SCAAP).

Not surprisingly, they were guarded and expressed themselves cautiously. They avoided shaking hands. Umm Yasir, was energetic and would laugh at times, while Abu Yasir remained serious and reluctant to let us take his picture to avoid possible embarrassment.

Umm Yasir was diagnosed with HIV at age 20. She was reluctant to talk about how she contracted it. HIV was sexually transmitted to Abu Yasir, who hails from Jazan and has never traveled abroad.

Recalling the sudden reaction after the diagnosis, Abu Yasir said he faced a long phase of isolation and rejection from his family.

“I was surprised myself and I couldn’t believe my diagnosis,” he said. “My family neglected me at once and I felt isolated from society. However, with the passage of time, medication and counseling at the SCAAP, I moved toward life once again. My family has also accepted the reality and now cooperates a little, but I live independently with my wife.”

Compared to Abu Yasir, Umm Yasir was lucky to have her family support.  “The sudden reaction was that of shock and fear, but my family gave me support. They accepted it as a disease. However, I've become very sensitive and felt myself isolated,” she said.

They were concerned about the stigma of AIDS, of the unjustifiable fear and misunderstanding of how HIV is contracted.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article230945.ece

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Mossad chief: Iran will go nuclear only in 2015

January 08, 2011

JERUSALEM: An Israeli paper cites Israel's outgoing spy chief as predicting Iran will not have a nuclear weapon before 2015.

The daily Yediot Ahronot is reporting that Mossad director Meir Dagan said this week Iran's nuclear program has been delayed, crediting unspecified “measures” employed against it.

Israeli officials have given shorter deadlines in the past, but the most recent estimates say the Iranians are years from a nuclear bomb.

An Israeli Cabinet minister said last week that Iran is still at least three years away from nuclear capacity.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230923.ece

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Model security shows mainstream move of Iraq’s Sadr

January 08, 2011

NAJAF, Iraq: Anti-US Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s security detail has a disciplined quality far removed from his old Mehdi Army militia, hinting at his evolution toward the mainstream that could help stabilise Iraq.

Sadr, who led two uprisings against the US military and demands its withdrawal, seems eager to shed the image of a firebrand and appear a statesman as his movement assumes a new, powerful role in Baghdad’s coalition government, analysts say.

Bearded men in black shirts and grey suits with pistols strapped to their belts, and others dressed like professional mercenaries, have knitted a tight circle around him since his return on Thursday after years of voluntary exile in Iran.

Their sophistication is a far cry from the AK-47-wielding young Shiite fighters who made up Sadr’s Mehdi Army, which was behind much of the sectarian violence unleashed after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and battled US troops.

“When Sadr was an untamed rabble-rouser, he lived in Najaf with unsophisticated, informal networks protecting him,” said Toby Dodge, an Iraq expert at Queen Mary College, University of London. “The fact that he’s (now) got this highly visible, highly trained and disciplined security network is both an indication of his maturity and growing sophistication.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230929.ece

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Police: Iraqi family slain in predawn attack

January 08, 2011

BAGHDAD: Police say unidentified gunmen have killed a family of five in a predawn attack on a home northeast of the Iraqi capital.

A policeman in the town of Hussainya said there was no clear motive for the shooting Friday, which left two parents and three of their teenage children dead.

But he says the father was a ministry of electricity worker. Assailants increasingly have been targeting government employees.

A two-year-old toddler survived the attack in the town, located about 25 km northeast of Baghdad.

A health official confirmed the killings and, like the policeman, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230967.ece

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Police alert as fresh riots rock Algeria

January 08, 2011

ALGIERS: Police deployed outside mosques and a university in the Algerian capital Friday after fresh rioting erupted overnight following days of protests over rising prices and unemployment.

About 40 youths armed with swords attacked several shops in the city's El Biar area late Thursday, looting a restaurant and emptying a jewelry store before security forces arrived, local reporters and witnesses said.

Hundreds of youths clashed with police in several Algerian cities earlier in the week, and ransacked stores in the capital.

There was a second night of clashes in the volatile Bab El Oued suburb, with police firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators, a witness said. One witness said youths had hurled Molotov cocktails and another said they carried swords.

Police positioned around mosques in Bab El Oued, Belcourt and Bachjarrah, poorer areas of the city, in case of more unrest after Friday prayers, according to reporters on the scene.

There was also extra security at a police station, a new shopping mall and a major hotel in an area near Bab Ezzouar airport, while a nearby university was surrounded by security forces.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230961.ece

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Hariri rules out Lebanon government changes

January 08, 2011

BEIRUT: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri said joint Saudi and Syrian proposals to curb tensions over indictments in the 2005 killing of his father do not include changes to his fragile unity government.

"This matter is totally out of the question on the Saudi-Syrian track," Hariri told the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat in an interview published on Friday.

"Anyone who thinks that a government other than a national unity government can revive this country needs to think again." Hariri's government has been paralyzed for months by political tension over a UN-backed investigation into the 2005 bombing which killed his father, the powerful Sunni Muslim former premier Rafik Al-Hariri.

Diplomats expect members of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has ministers in Saad Hariri's cabinet, to be named in draft indictments which are likely to be sent to the tribunal's pre-trial judge this month.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article230919.ece

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/plight-of-‘kind-muslim-man’-wrongly-held-for-mecca-masjid-led-swami-to-confess--police/d/3902


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