New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 11:18 AM

Islamic World News ( 8 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

S. Arabia Using Medina Terrorist Attack to Save Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: The ISIL terrorist group executed five civilians in Eastern Iraq and seven others in the Northeastern parts of the country on charges of assisting people to flee the ISIL-held regions.

 

ISIL Beheads 12 more Civilians in Terrorist-Held Regions in Iraq

Alert At Islamic Buildings as White Powder and Threats Sent To Three London Mosques

Bangladesh Cafe Chef Hand in Glove with Attackers: Cops

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Arab World

S. Arabia Using Medina Terrorist Attack to Save Face

ISIL Beheads 12 more Civilians in Terrorist-Held Regions in Iraq

ISIL Terrorists Execute Soccer Players in Raqqa

Infighting Intensifies Between ISIL, Al-Qaeda in Southern Yemen

Senior ISIL Commander Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army in Deir Ezzur

Terrorists' Offensive Repulsed by Syrian Army near Castillo Highway

Yemeni Army Wins Back Key Saudi Base in Ma'rib Province Near Bab Al-Mandeb

Leaders of 2003 Invasion of Iraq ‘Must Be Called to Account’

16 French Fishing Firms Ready to Cooperate with Iran

Yemeni Ballistic Missile Hits Saudi Forces' Convoy in Ma'rib Province

Al-Khalifa Officials Confirm Siege on Diraz People

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Europe

Alert At Islamic Buildings as White Powder and Threats Sent To Three London Mosques

UK To Increase Troops from 450 to 500 in Afghanistan

Germany’s integration problem

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South Asia

Bangladesh Cafe Chef Hand in Glove with Attackers: Cops

3 ISIS Commanders among 16 Killed In Drone Strike In East of Afghanistan

4 Taliban militants killed during a clash in Kunduz province

Sufi Muslim youth run Bangla Box program to collect funds for Bangladesh orphans

Dhaka Cafe Attack Survivor Dies after Alleged Torture by Security Forces

Deadly bombing plot foiled in Kabul city, suspect arrested

90 prisoners including women released from Nangarhar central jail

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Mideast

UNESCO to Discuss Sites Destroyed By ISIL, Heritage List in Istanbul

Palestinians Stabbing Less but Shooting More, as Israel Cracks Down

Erdoğan calls on NATO to show more effort on issues effecting Turkey’s security

NATO summit marks start of closer cooperation with EU

3,000 abusers, rapists avoid jail time by marrying their victims in Turkey: Appeals court

U.S. urges Turkey to step up fight against human trafficking

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Africa

Suicide Bomber Kills Six in Mosque in Northeast Nigeria: Army

Maintain Ramadan Holiness, Muslim Leader Tells Nigerians

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India

Shia Muslims in Lucknow Protest against Zakir Naik

Separatists call J-K shutdown against killing of Burhan Wani

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North America

Muslim Camps Are Spreading In The U.S. To Help Kids 'Be Proud Of Who They Are'

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Southeast Asia

Putrajaya Working with Jakarta to Curb Terror Threats Ahead Of Indonesian Terrorists’ Release

Jakarta urged to pass anti-terror Bill revisions

From Myanmar's Rohingyas to Pakistan's Ahmadis, how nations change names to oppress minority groups

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Pakistan

KP Cannot Afford Afghan Refugees Any More: CM

Celebrated Pakistani Philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi Dies at 92 in Karachi

Imran says PTI to move court over use of PIA plane by PM

Plan to teach Quran with translation may hit snags

Gen Raheel visits LoC, exchanges Eid greetings with troops

Tight security for Edhi's funeral prayers at National Stadium

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/s-arabia-using-medina-terrorist-attack-to-save-face/d/107908

 

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S. Arabia Using Medina Terrorist Attack to Save Face

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA) - Saudi Arabia is attempting to use the recent attacks in Medina to repair its lost reputation that has been badly impaired by its support for the terrorist groups in the region, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, said.

"Saudi Arabia is attempting to use the blasts to exonerate itself from the accusations of supporting the ISIL, and claim war against the terrorist group," Atwan wrote on Saturday.

"The first sign of this approach is (Saudi Foreign Minister Adel) al-Jubeir's hasty visit to the US and his proposal for sending ground forces to Syria to fight against the ISIL," he added.

Atwan questioned the underlying cause of the recent shift in the policy of Saudi Arabia that now sees President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power not as a top priority, and said, "It is completely clear that Saudi Arabia's media maneuvering and its magnification of the terrorist attacks along with its efforts to convince the Islamic countries' rulers to condemn these attacks could all be an attempt to pave the ground to declare a review of Riyadh's policies and the country's new priorities."

Two explosions hit two different parts of Saudi Arabia on Monday night.

The first explosion hit the Qatif region in the Southern part of Saudi Arabia, but except the suicide bomber no one was hurt in the explosion.

The second blast rocked outside Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) mosque when a suicide bomber blew up himself in the city of Medina on Monday night.

At least six people were killed in Medina bombing.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000541

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ISIL Beheads 12 more Civilians in Terrorist-Held Regions in Iraq

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group executed five civilians in Eastern Iraq and seven others in the Northeastern parts of the country on charges of assisting people to flee the ISIL-held regions.

The ISIL-affiliated websites released some photos about execution of five men, including Sheikh of the village of Bou Khiyal, from al-Ezzah tribe in al-Adhim region in Baqubah.

The entire five killed civilian had been kidnapped by the ISIL security forces a week ago.

In the meantime, a security source in Kirkuk province disclosed that the ISIL beheaded seven civilians in front of people in open area in the village of Sadr al-Nahr in the town of Huweija in Southwestern side of Kirkuk on charge of assisting people to flee the province towards Salahuddin province and Pishmarga-held region.

Also in June, ISIL terrorist group executed the person the group installed as the governor of Fallujah for escaping the Iraqi Western city after Baghdad's security forces attacked there.

The Iraqi media outlets reported that the ISIL’s wali of Fallujah, Abu Hajar Isawi, retreated from Fallujah to Mosul where ISIL executed him in public, charging him with evading his responsibilities. Nevertheless, he was one of the ISIL prominent leaders.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000694

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Alert at Islamic buildings as white powder and threats sent to three London mosques

08/07/2016

Counter-terrorism police are investigating after packages containing white powder were sent to Islamic buildings in north London.

Metropolitan Police were called to mosques and Islamic centres in Tottenham, Leyton and Finsbury Park on Thursday after concerns about the mystery packets.

They were among a handful of similar deliveries across the capital which sparked security alerts and led to parts of the parliamentary estate to be closed when peer Lord Ahmed, a Muslim, was among the recipients.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that police were called to Noor Ul Islam in Leyton High Road at around 12.45pm.

Two hours later, they were subsequently dispatched to Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, and were then sent to the Masjid Ayesha Islamic community centre in Clyde Road in Tottenham at around 11.20pm.

The spokesman said: "There were exactly the same circumstances at all three mosques. Officers were stood down when it was discovered the powder was not noxious.

"The investigation is being conducted by the north-east London counter-terrorism unit."

A worshipper in Tottenham said the package was annotated with a crossed-out drawing of a mosque, an offensive term, and the word "filth".

Areeb Ul wrote: "A committee member from the mosque called the police after his dad felt itchy from the white powder. The police then called a bomb squad to examine the crime scene.

"Someone somewhere is trying to send the Muslim community in the UK a message.

"And, whether we like it or not, Islamophobia is real. We cannot afford to be afraid of speaking out when someone clearly wants us to do the opposite.

"We shouldn't and will not allow our lives to be lived in fear."

independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/alert-at-islamic-buildings-as-white-powder-and-threats-sent-to-three-london-mosques-a7126861.html

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Bangladesh cafe chef hand in glove with attackers: Cops

Jul 09,2016

A pizza chef killed during a militant attack on a cafe where he worked in Bangladesh's capital city last week was probably in league with the assailants, police said on Wednesday.

Saiful Islam Chowkidar carried no arms but was seen "moving and running" with the five gunmen during the 12-hour stand-off, Monirul Islam, the chief of counter-terrorism police, said.

On Friday, at least five Bangladeshi men had stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, a cafe popular with foreigners, businessmen and diplomats, killed 20 customers, including Italians, Japanese, Indians and Americans.

On Tuesday, police said Chowkidar was shot dead by mistake but Islam revised that, saying his death was "not accidental", although police were unsure how he died and the role he played.

"At one point they (militants) tried to escape. They came out running and started firing, the chef was with them," Islam told reporters. "He is a suspect member of this group."

Two other suspects being treated in hospital were also employees of the cafe, police said. One worked as a delivery man and the other in the kitchen.

"Before the final operations, their movement was suspicious," Islam said.

The attack was one of the deadliest ever in Bangladesh, where the Islamic State and al Qaeda have made competing claims for a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the past year. The government has dismissed those claims and insists that the violence is homegrown.

The gunmen were mostly from well-to-do families and police gave their names as: Nibras Islam, 20; Rohan Imtiaz, 20; Meer Saameh Mubasheer, 19; Khairul Islam, 22; Shafiqul Islam, 26.

Their attack marked a major escalation in violence aimed at forcing strict Islamic rule onto predominantly Muslim Bangladesh's 160 million people.

Foreign security experts say the scale and sophistication of the attack pointed to some level of guidance from international militant groups.

But the police believe Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an outlawed domestic group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, was to blame.

"We have confirmed these attacks were by JMB," Islam said.

Meanwhile, Islamic State warned that attacks would continue until Islamic law was established worldwide, saying in a video that the Dhaka assault was just a hint of what is to come.

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

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

Bengali said Bangladesh must know that it was now part of a bigger battlefield to establish the cross-border "caliphate" the group proclaimed in 2014.

Police said they were stepping up security in response to the video threat.

thehansindia.com/posts/index/International/2016-07-09/Bangladesh-cafe-chef-hand-in-glove-with-attackers-Cops/240910

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Arab World

S. Arabia Using Medina Terrorist Attack to Save Face

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA) - Saudi Arabia is attempting to use the recent attacks in Medina to repair its lost reputation that has been badly impaired by its support for the terrorist groups in the region, Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm newspaper, said.

"Saudi Arabia is attempting to use the blasts to exonerate itself from the accusations of supporting the ISIL, and claim war against the terrorist group," Atwan wrote on Saturday.

"The first sign of this approach is (Saudi Foreign Minister Adel) al-Jubeir's hasty visit to the US and his proposal for sending ground forces to Syria to fight against the ISIL," he added.

Atwan questioned the underlying cause of the recent shift in the policy of Saudi Arabia that now sees President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power not as a top priority, and said, "It is completely clear that Saudi Arabia's media maneuvering and its magnification of the terrorist attacks along with its efforts to convince the Islamic countries' rulers to condemn these attacks could all be an attempt to pave the ground to declare a review of Riyadh's policies and the country's new priorities."

Two explosions hit two different parts of Saudi Arabia on Monday night.

The first explosion hit the Qatif region in the Southern part of Saudi Arabia, but except the suicide bomber no one was hurt in the explosion.

The second blast rocked outside Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) mosque when a suicide bomber blew up himself in the city of Medina on Monday night.

At least six people were killed in Medina bombing.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000541

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ISIL Beheads 12 more Civilians in Terrorist-Held Regions in Iraq

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group executed five civilians in Eastern Iraq and seven others in the Northeastern parts of the country on charges of assisting people to flee the ISIL-held regions.

The ISIL-affiliated websites released some photos about execution of five men, including Sheikh of the village of Bou Khiyal, from al-Ezzah tribe in al-Adhim region in Baqubah.

The entire five killed civilian had been kidnapped by the ISIL security forces a week ago.

In the meantime, a security source in Kirkuk province disclosed that the ISIL beheaded seven civilians in front of people in open area in the village of Sadr al-Nahr in the town of Huweija in Southwestern side of Kirkuk on charge of assisting people to flee the province towards Salahuddin province and Pishmarga-held region.

Also in June, ISIL terrorist group executed the person the group installed as the governor of Fallujah for escaping the Iraqi Western city after Baghdad's security forces attacked there.

The Iraqi media outlets reported that the ISIL’s wali of Fallujah, Abu Hajar Isawi, retreated from Fallujah to Mosul where ISIL executed him in public, charging him with evading his responsibilities. Nevertheless, he was one of the ISIL prominent leaders.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000694

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ISIL Terrorists Execute Soccer Players in Raqqa

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Five civilians, including three soccer players, were killed by ISIL's security forces in the capital of the terrorist group's self-proclaimed Caliphate on charges of opposing ISIL's rules and regulations, local sources announced.

"Osama Abu Kuweit, Nahad al-Hussein and Ehsan al-Shavakh, three members of al-Shabab team alongside al-Shabab's trainer Ahamd al-Shavakh and another civilian were beheaded in front of people's eyes in al-Dalah square," the sources said.

Mowafaq Jom'ah, the president of Syria's football federation, condemned massacre of the country's sportsmen. 

Intelligence agents revealed on Tuesday that the ISIL terrorist group executed several more of its own fighters on charges of involvement in the assassination of a Non-Syrian top commander of the Takfiri terrorist group few months ago.

"The ISIL has executed 13 of its own members in al-Tala'e garrison near the capital of the self-proclaimed Caliphate," the sources said, adding, "The executed ISIL members had been arrested by the groups' security forces on March 30 on charges of working on a plot to assassinate the terrorist group's Tunisian commander Abu al-Haija."

"Al-Haija had been appointed by ISIL Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to supervise military operations in Northeastern Aleppo, but was killed in an airstrike."

With the execution of these 13 fighters, the ISIL has killed 51 of its won members on different security charges since April.       

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000622

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Infighting Intensifies Between ISIL, Al-Qaeda in Southern Yemen

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Infighting has intensified between the Takfiri terrorist groups in the Southern parts of Yemen after the ISIL executed a senior Al-Qaeda commander, media reports said on Saturday.

Qassan al-Assadi, a senior Al-Qaeda leader, was executed by the ISIL in Abyan province in Southern Yemen which triggered heavy clashes between the two terrorist groups, the Arabic-language media outlets reported.

This is the second time that the ISIL has executed a senior Al-Qaeda commander. Earlier this year the ISIL had executed Al-Qaeda's senior commander Abu Hajar al-Adani.

In mid-May, a senior Yemeni military source disclosed that the Saudi regime has coordinated with Al-Qaeda to dispatch a large number of Takfiri terrorists to the strategic regions in Southern Yemen.

"Saudi Arabia has stationed a large number of al-Qaeda terrorists around the strategic strait of Bab al-Mandeb in Southern Yemen in line with a US plot to increase its military presence there," Khalil Abdullah told FNA.

Abdullah also said that Saudi Arabia has asked its Sudanese mercenaries to advance towards Ta'iz and Lahij provinces.

"Hundreds of Al-Qaeda terrorists are now in Southwestern Yemen and they have pointed their artillery at the strategic Bab al-Mandeb Strait," Abdullah said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000631

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Terrorists' Offensive Repulsed by Syrian Army near Castillo Highway

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and popular forces repelled large-scale attacks of al-Nusra Front and Nouralddeen al-Zinki militants in the Southern farms of al-Malaah region, and pushed them back from the nearby areas of the main supply line to Aleppo city.

The Syrian pro-government forces, backed up by the army's artillery and missile units, targeted heavily the militants' positions in the Southern farms of al-Malaah, Kafr Hamra and along the strategic highway of Castillo, leaving scores of the militants dead or wounded.

The militants left behind tens of the dead members and fled the battlefield with no gain.

In the meantime, Kurdish fighters in Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in Northern countryside of Aleppo launched a fresh round of attacks on terrorist groups, whose supply line was cut off after the army seized control over Castillo highway.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, the Syrian government forces that captured the entire al-Malaah farms in Northern Aleppo yesterday launched a large-scale clean-up operation to hunt the remaining pockets of the militants in the region.

"The Syrian army soldiers and their popular allies have started cleaning operation to hunt down militants in al-Malaah region and have thus far killed and injured several members of Nouralddeen al-Zinki terrorist group and have destroyed their military equipment," the sources said. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000730

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Yemeni Ballistic Missile Hits Saudi Forces' Convoy in Ma'rib Province

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army targeted the Saudi-led forces' convoy with a ballistic missile near the strategic Farza 9 military base in Ma'rib province on Saturday.

The Saudi-led forces sustained heavy casualties as the Yemeni missile precisely struck their military convoy.

There are no immediate reports on the exact number of casualties, but eyewitnesses confirmed that the missile landed precisely on the convoy.

The Yemeni missile attack came in retaliation for the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen's civilians.

In a relevant development in late June, a Yemeni missile strike hit a Saudi-led coalition military base in Asir province where Israel's military experts are stationed.

The Khamis Mushait air base in Asir province came under Yemen's Qaher-I ballistic missile.

Also on Monday, Saudi warplanes intensified the airstrikes on Yemen to support militants loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who has resigned as Yemen’s president fighting against Yemeni forces, despite a UN-brokered ceasefire.

Saudi fighter jets conducted nearly 10 airstrikes on the districts of Rahba Saeed and Hama Thawaba at the foot of Hailan Mountain, East of Sirwah district in the province of Ma’rib, Al Mayadeen reported.

The Yemeni army and Popular Committees, however, managed to thwart a wide-scale attack by the pro-Hadi forces on the districts.

A few hours before the new airstrikes, one person was killed and five others were injured in a Saudi air raid on the district of Mahjaza in Sirwah.

Saudi warplanes also attacked the Nihm district of Sana’a Province as the Yemeni forces took control of the al-Aswad Mountain.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry said that many pro-Hadi forces were killed and injured as the Yemeni forces took the al-Aswad Mountain on the outskirts of Nihm district, northeast of Sana’a.

The Saudi jets reportedly launched eight airstrikes on several areas in the district.

The Saudi air raids also hit Ghayl district in the Northern province of Jawf while pro-Hadi forces fired artillery shells at Matun district in the same province.

Clashes also continued between Yemeni forces and the Saudi forces on the Yemeni-Saudi borders while intense Saudi overflights were reported over the border districts of Harad and Abbas in the Yemeni province of Hajjah.

The Saudi attacks come despite UN-mediated talks in Kuwait between the representatives of Yemen’s Hadi and a delegation comprising of the Ansarullah movement and its allies. A ceasefire agreement had been announced before the peace talks.

The Ansarullah delegation has warned that such blatant cases of truce violation could lead to a full collapse of the peace talks.

Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with internal sources putting the toll from the bloody aggression at about 9,800. The Saudi military aggression was launched to restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000708

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Leaders of 2003 Invasion of Iraq ‘Must Be Called to Account’

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The leaders of the countries that took part in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq must be held responsible for what they did, а former UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq said.

Richard Butler said on Friday that the major report published in London on Wednesday about Britain’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq should serve as a lesson to the international community, Sputnik reported.

After a seven-year inquiry, the authors of the so-called Chilcot Inquiry found that the 2003 decision by the government of then Prime Minister Tony Blair to join the US-led invasion of Iraq was based on flawed intelligence and assessments and had grave consequences, many which are still being felt.

Richard Butler agreed with the conclusions made by the authors of the damming report and emphasized that military action was “not a last resort."

“Hans Blix, my successor in the arms control mechanism, made very clear that he needed a little bit more time to verify the claims made by the US and UK and it would be best if he had that time to get the further inspections and verifications done. But they rejected that and a few days later went to war,” Butler told Sputnik.

He also confirmed that the assessment of threats allegedly posed by weapons of mass destruction purportedly owned by Saddam Hussein was false.

“The information that the US briefed the Security Council with in March 2003 was wrong,” he said.

After the report’s release on Wednesday Tony Blair accepted full, responsibility for the mistakes that led to Britain’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Richard Butler said that the leaders of the countries that took part in the military operation must be held accountable for their actions.

“Apparently there are groups of people who we are consulting on the possibility of seeking to bring Blair to some sort of trial or account. I don’t quite know what form that would take. Whether or not, I think that should happen… I think it should actually. That’s my opinion, I think it should. Otherwise political leaders aren’t held properly to account.”

He added that if Tony Blair were to be called to account and put into the court of law in some way, than he did not see any reason why John Howard [Australian Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007] shouldn’t sit there with him.

He admitted, however, that “it’s very hard to bring political leaders to account, especially with big states.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday that the conclusion of the Chilcot Report would be discussed in parliament next week adding that  Britian should learn a lesson from what happed in Iraq.

During his interview with Sputnik Richard Butler said that “greater care should have been taken in using intelligence assessments as a basis of policy or actions.”

“Even those who agreed to the invasion of Iraq, including Tony Blair and John Howard, are now saying there were intelligence mistakes, the information we got wasn't right.”

“One of the lessons that should be learned is if you are going to make a decision on the basis of factual information, you have to admit you're very sure that the facts are what they're supposed to be and they've not being contrived in some way,” he emphasized.

Richard Butler mentioned the fine line existing between intelligence and political decisions based on this information.

“Not just the United Kingdom, there are many countries in the world where intelligence is tailored, is shaped to make a political objective. And I think that's an area that needs to be looked at very carefully. Because if you do something for the wrong reason you always get a wrong result,” he said in conclusion.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000724

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16 French Fishing Firms Ready to Cooperate with Iran

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- France's Ambassador to Tehran François Sénémaud announced that 16 fishing companies have voiced interest in launching cooperation and exchanging experience with Iran.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Iran-France Fishery Day forum in Tehran on Saturday, Sénémaud said that "16 French companies will introduce their activities in the field of fishery during the today forum".

He referred to the recent meeting between Iran's agriculture minister and France's fishery minister, and said the meeting has boosted interest in both countries to enhance cooperation.

Noting that the French companies enjoy the necessary infrastructures to provide equipment for using water and technical know-how to supply food for aquatic creatures, Sénémaud said, "Therefore, these firms are ready to exchange experience and trade with their Iranian counterparts."

Iranian and French agriculture ministries inaugurated the two countries' biggest joint fishery project last September.

The joint fishery project was inaugurated in Qeshm Island, Southern Iran, by Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and his French counterpart Stephane Le Foll and through video conferencing. The ceremony was held on the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on broadening of agricultural and fishery cooperation.

Iran and France have jointly invested in a fish farming project in Qeshm Island which aims to produce 10 million juvenile fish.

Fish farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species' natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery.

During the meeting, Hojjati and Le Foll welcomed expansion of agricultural ties between the two countries and endorsed an agreement on mutual agricultural cooperation, including animal husbandry, crop production, research and climate issues in future.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000681

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Yemeni Army Wins Back Key Saudi Base in Ma'rib Province Near Bab Al-Mandeb

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces continued their military advances in Ma'rib province on Saturday, and seized back the Saudi-led forces' last military base near the strategic Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

The Yemeni forces are now in full control of Koufel military base which is located in Sirwah region in Ma'rib province after purging all the Saudi forces from the base.

The Yemeni army and Ansarullah fighters also recaptured the strategic Kahboub mountain overlooking the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

The advances by the Yemeni forces came as the Saudi fighter jets ignored the ceasefire and attacked several cities across Yemen, killing several Yemeni civilians, including women and children.

Earlier on Saturday, the Yemeni army targeted the Saudi-led forces' convoy with a ballistic missile near the strategic Farza 9 military base in Ma'rib province.

The Saudi-led forces sustained heavy casualties as the Yemeni missile precisely struck their military convoy.

There were no immediate reports on the exact number of casualties, but eyewitnesses confirmed that the missile landed precisely on the convoy.

The Yemeni missile attack came in retaliation for the Saudi airstrikes on Yemen's civilians.

In a relevant development in late June, a Yemeni missile strike hit a Saudi-led coalition military base in Asir province where Israel's military experts are stationed.

The Khamis Mushait air base in Asir province came under Yemen's Qaher-I ballistic missile.

Also on Monday, Saudi warplanes intensified the airstrikes on Yemen to support militants loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who has resigned as Yemen’s president fighting against Yemeni forces, despite a UN-brokered ceasefire.

Saudi fighter jets conducted nearly 10 airstrikes on the districts of Rahba Saeed and Hama Thawaba at the foot of Hailan Mountain, East of Sirwah district in the province of Ma’rib, Al Mayadeen reported.

The Yemeni army and Popular Committees, however, managed to thwart a wide-scale attack by the pro-Hadi forces on the districts.

A few hours before the new airstrikes, one person was killed and five others were injured in a Saudi air raid on the district of Mahjaza in Sirwah.

Saudi warplanes also attacked the Nihm district of Sana’a Province as the Yemeni forces took control of the al-Aswad Mountain.

The Yemeni Defense Ministry said that many pro-Hadi forces were killed and injured as the Yemeni forces took the al-Aswad Mountain on the outskirts of Nihm district, northeast of Sana’a.

The Saudi jets reportedly launched eight airstrikes on several areas in the district.

The Saudi air raids also hit Ghayl district in the Northern province of Jawf while pro-Hadi forces fired artillery shells at Matun district in the same province.

Clashes also continued between Yemeni forces and the Saudi forces on the Yemeni-Saudi borders while intense Saudi overflights were reported over the border districts of Harad and Abbas in the Yemeni province of Hajjah.

The Saudi attacks come despite UN-mediated talks in Kuwait between the representatives of Yemen’s Hadi and a delegation comprising of the Ansarullah movement and its allies. A ceasefire agreement had been announced before the peace talks.

The Ansarullah delegation has warned that such blatant cases of truce violation could lead to a full collapse of the peace talks.

Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with internal sources putting the toll from the bloody aggression at about 9,800. The Saudi military aggression was launched to restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000774

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Al-Khalifa Officials Confirm Siege on Diraz People

July 9th, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Bahraini interior ministry confirmed that intensified heavy-handed security measures and siege have been imposed on residents of Diraz village.

A large number of Bahraini citizens complained that they couldn’t visit their families in Diraz region since their names were not registered as residents of the village.

The Northern province's police chief claimed that "the residents of Diraz village are not banned from entering or going out and the measures adopted to control the traffic are related to the illegal gatherings inside the village".

His remarks came after hundreds of people have staged rallies across Bahrain to express solidarity with prominent Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Issa Qassim and condemn the al-Khalifah regime’s recent decision to strip him of his citizenship.

Bahrainis took to the streets under the motto of “Friday of Sacrifice” in the villages of Ma'ameer and Karzakan, the town of A'ali, and the islands of Sitra and Nabih Saleh, holding up the portraits of the 79-year-old spiritual leader of the main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

The protesters also carried placards reading “Stop sectarian violence in Bahrain”, and “We will only bow to God.”

Bahraini regime forces then intervened and fired tear gas canisters to disperse the crowds.

Elsewhere in the town of al-Zahra, Bahraini troops raided a house and arrested two men in their early 20s.

Also on Friday, Bahraini demonstrators attended a protest against the revocation of Sheikh Qassim’s nationality outside his residence in the village of Diraz near the capital Manama.

The al-Khalifah regime’s June 20 move against the distinguished Shiite figure came less than a week after Bahrain’s Justice Ministry suspended al-Wefaq and dissolved the opposition Islamic Enlightenment Institution, whose founder is Sheikh Qassim, and al-Risala Islamic Association.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the al-Khalifah family to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — themselves repressive Arab regimes — were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950419000628

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Europe

Alert at Islamic buildings as white powder and threats sent to three London mosques

08/07/2016

Counter-terrorism police are investigating after packages containing white powder were sent to Islamic buildings in north London.

Metropolitan Police were called to mosques and Islamic centres in Tottenham, Leyton and Finsbury Park on Thursday after concerns about the mystery packets.

They were among a handful of similar deliveries across the capital which sparked security alerts and led to parts of the parliamentary estate to be closed when peer Lord Ahmed, a Muslim, was among the recipients.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that police were called to Noor Ul Islam in Leyton High Road at around 12.45pm.

Two hours later, they were subsequently dispatched to Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road in Finsbury Park, and were then sent to the Masjid Ayesha Islamic community centre in Clyde Road in Tottenham at around 11.20pm.

The spokesman said: "There were exactly the same circumstances at all three mosques. Officers were stood down when it was discovered the powder was not noxious.

"The investigation is being conducted by the north-east London counter-terrorism unit."

A worshipper in Tottenham said the package was annotated with a crossed-out drawing of a mosque, an offensive term, and the word "filth".

Areeb Ul wrote: "A committee member from the mosque called the police after his dad felt itchy from the white powder. The police then called a bomb squad to examine the crime scene.

"Someone somewhere is trying to send the Muslim community in the UK a message.

"And, whether we like it or not, Islamophobia is real. We cannot afford to be afraid of speaking out when someone clearly wants us to do the opposite.

"We shouldn't and will not allow our lives to be lived in fear."

independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/alert-at-islamic-buildings-as-white-powder-and-threats-sent-to-three-london-mosques-a7126861.html

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UK to increase troops from 450 to 500 in Afghanistan

Sat Jul 09 2016

The United Kingdom will deploy additional 50 troops to Afghanistan to increase the number from the existing 450 to 500 soldiers.

The British officials have said UK will also delay the departure of the last remaining forces in the country into 2017.

“The aim is to build the capacity of the Afghan national defence and security forces,” the British prime minister’s

deputy spokesman has said.

The official further added that the British troops will serve in the framework of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces.

“It is a Nato mission,” he said. “It’s not mission creep. They are not engaged in a combat capacity. They are engaged in training and mentoring.”

This comes as the US Department of Defense announced Friday that President Barack Obama has decided to keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through January 2017.

Obama had planned to draw down the number of American troops in the country to 5,500 by the end of the year. There are currently 9,800 U.S. troops in the country.

“As president and commander-in-chief, I have made it clear that I will not allow Afghanistan to be used as safe haven

for terrorists to attack our nation again,” Obama said. “I strongly believe that it is in our national interests, especially after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested in Afghanistan over the years, that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed.”

The Department of Defense said Obama made the decision after consulting with the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Nicholson; his national security team; Congress and allies.

khaama.com/uk-to-increase-troops-from-450-to-500-in-afghanistan-01432

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Germany’s integration problem

08/07/2016

BERLIN — On a trip to the beach, a German friend recently saw two teenage Afghan refugee boys stare in shock at female bathers in scanty bikinis. She overheard one youth agitatedly ask the German volunteer accompanying him: “Where are their fathers? Where are their fathers?”

The good news is that the boy spoke German and had a German friend who could explain the culture gap between Afghanistan and Europe.

The bad news is obvious: Germany has an overwhelming task trying to integrate many of the million or so Muslim migrants who arrived in 2015.

And a debate has gone public over a subject that was once considered unmentionable in public here: whether Islamic precepts are compatible with the West.

A sizable number of migrants are from the educated middle class, especially those arriving from Syria, around 40 percent of the total. But many others are young men from poorer backgrounds in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. They were sent ahead to establish a family beachhead in Europe — or escape the army. A good number are unaccompanied minors.

Many Germans — not just members of the anti-immigration or populist movements — worry that such youths are tempting targets for Islamists. They also wonder whether the gap between Germany society and conservative Arab Muslim cultures may be too wide to bridge.

“Fear toward Islam is increasing in Germany,” says Thomas Volk, coordinator on Islam and religious dialogue at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. “Fifty-seven percent of the non-Muslim population thinks Islam is dangerous or very dangerous. In May a poll showed that 60 percent think Islam doesn’t belong to Germany.”

Those polled don’t distinguish between Islamist ideology and the Muslim religion, says Volk.

The German public’s warmth toward refugees faltered after a New Year’s Eve episode in Cologne, where hundreds of young Arab men accosted German women during street celebrations. The men were mostly North African, not war refugees, and many were here illegally.

Yet this awful event also spurred a necessary public debate about how to integrate the newcomers quickly — and how to avoid the emergence of Arab Muslim ghettos, or “parallel societies,” as the Germans call them, where Islamists — or criminal gangs — could take root.

At present, the government sees providing jobs for immigrants as the main antidote to Islamization. But it appears to be paying less attention to another critical issue: Who will fund the mosques and imams that serve the new influx of Muslims? At present, around two-thirds of Germany’s roughly 4 million Muslims (5 percent of the population) are of Turkish descent, and Turkey’s religious ministry provides around 900 imams.

This arrangement was long viewed as satisfactory until the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began Islamacizing what had been a secular country.

However, the new immigrants are largely — though not all — Arabic speakers. The German press reported last year that Saudi Arabia offered to build 200 mosques in Germany for the newcomers (the Saudis have denied this), which sparked controversy.

In an astonishingly frank interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag in December, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned: “We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over. Wahhabi (Islamic radical) mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia.”

However, a proposal by the conservative Christian Social Union party that Germany ban foreign funding of mosques and train its own imams gained little traction.

This is a hot-button issue that won’t go away.

Four theological schools have begun training German-speaking imams, leading some to hope Germany can produce a unique variant of European Islam that emphasizes tolerance and the peaceful aspects of the religion.

However, the largest Turkish Muslim association in Germany has made clear it will not accept the newly minted imams. It is also unclear whether they would be welcomed in mosques created for Arabic newcomers.

They might still prove immensely valuable in teaching “European Islam” in schools, since religious education is required in Germany. At present, official Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious bodies oversee training of teachers who give religious instruction in public schools.

But there is no one organization that speaks for all Muslims in Germany. “Maybe the way is to emphasize training in schools,” says Deniz Nergiz, a Turkish-German expert on integration, “where these new theologians would teach, but would not be in the mosques.”

The question of how to ease young migrants into German society and culture touches on the nerves of those who fear youths may be easy targets for radical proselytizers outside of school. Puritan salafi Muslims — of whom there are said to be about 9,000 in Germany — have been caught trying to infiltrate refugee shelters.

“We are afraid of recruitment, particularly among unaccompanied minors,” says Deidre Berger, the Berlin representative of the American Jewish Committee which has concerns about threats to Jewish life in Germany.

Can the Afghan boys on the beach find a way into German society where they can practice their faith but don’t feel alienated by their surroundings? And can the debate over clashing cultures be addressed without encouraging a racist backlash that alienates those whom Germany is trying to integrate?

At this point no one can say.

seattletimes.com/opinion/germanys-integration-problem/

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South Asia

Bangladesh cafe chef hand in glove with attackers: Cops

Jul 09,2016

A pizza chef killed during a militant attack on a cafe where he worked in Bangladesh's capital city last week was probably in league with the assailants, police said on Wednesday.

Saiful Islam Chowkidar carried no arms but was seen "moving and running" with the five gunmen during the 12-hour stand-off, Monirul Islam, the chief of counter-terrorism police, said.

On Friday, at least five Bangladeshi men had stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, a cafe popular with foreigners, businessmen and diplomats, killed 20 customers, including Italians, Japanese, Indians and Americans.

On Tuesday, police said Chowkidar was shot dead by mistake but Islam revised that, saying his death was "not accidental", although police were unsure how he died and the role he played.

"At one point they (militants) tried to escape. They came out running and started firing, the chef was with them," Islam told reporters. "He is a suspect member of this group."

Two other suspects being treated in hospital were also employees of the cafe, police said. One worked as a delivery man and the other in the kitchen.

"Before the final operations, their movement was suspicious," Islam said.

The attack was one of the deadliest ever in Bangladesh, where the Islamic State and al Qaeda have made competing claims for a series of killings of liberals and members of religious minorities in the past year. The government has dismissed those claims and insists that the violence is homegrown.

The gunmen were mostly from well-to-do families and police gave their names as: Nibras Islam, 20; Rohan Imtiaz, 20; Meer Saameh Mubasheer, 19; Khairul Islam, 22; Shafiqul Islam, 26.

Their attack marked a major escalation in violence aimed at forcing strict Islamic rule onto predominantly Muslim Bangladesh's 160 million people.

Foreign security experts say the scale and sophistication of the attack pointed to some level of guidance from international militant groups.

But the police believe Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an outlawed domestic group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, was to blame.

"We have confirmed these attacks were by JMB," Islam said.

Meanwhile, Islamic State warned that attacks would continue until Islamic law was established worldwide, saying in a video that the Dhaka assault was just a hint of what is to come.

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

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

Bengali said Bangladesh must know that it was now part of a bigger battlefield to establish the cross-border "caliphate" the group proclaimed in 2014.

Police said they were stepping up security in response to the video threat.

thehansindia.com/posts/index/International/2016-07-09/Bangladesh-cafe-chef-hand-in-glove-with-attackers-Cops/240910

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3 ISIS commanders among 16 killed in drone strike in East of Afghanistan

Sat Jul 09 2016

prominent Taliban commanders killed_censoredAt least 16 militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province.

Local officials said the airstrike was carried out by the foreign forces in Achin district where the loyalists of the terror group are actively operating.

The provincial government media office in a statement said at least three commanders of the terror group were among those killed.

The statement further added that some weapons and ammunition belonging to the loyalists of the terror group were also destroyed.

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

This comes as at least 12 loyalists of the terror group were killed in a similar raid in Kot district of Nangarhar last week.

The US forces stepped up airstrikes against the ISIS loyalists earlier this year after they were granted more authorities by President Barack Obama.

The increased raids against ISIS loyalists followed amid concerns that they are attempting to expand foothold in the country besides attempting to consolidate operations with the terror group in Iraq and Syria.

khaama.com/3-isis-commanders-among-16-killed-in-drone-strike-in-east-of-afghanistan-01434

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Sufi Muslim youth run Bangla Box program to collect funds for Bangladesh orphans

Jul 09, 2016

CARBONDALE — The three tweens go into selected stores in the Murdale Shopping Center plaza, carrying a yellow canvas bag, sometimes inquiring at the counter about a small jar near the cash register that holds coin and cash donations.

The next stop was the Apple Tree gift shop.

"Do we have some in there?" the clerk asks, as the trio retrieve the jar by the cash register.

The girls are volunteers with For Kids' Sake, and this is their designated, set-aside day to collect donations that support the charity, which in turn supports orphanages and schools in Bangladesh. This is their Bangla Box Program, created seven years ago, to encourage and empower the youth to support other youth.

For Kids' Sake is a project of the Dayemi Tariqat, whose members are part of the Sufi Muslim community.

"It teaches the young children the importance of giving back," said Shema Ruperto, director of For Kids' Sake. "And with a little effort, (they learn they can help) to save a kid's life."

On this Friday, the youth visit selected stores and businesses throughout Carbondale, collecting the donated pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars, an amount Shema Ruperto estimates is about $2,000 a year. That might seem a small amount, but $2,000 a year can make a monumental difference to people in Bangladesh.

The country's gross domestic product, per capita, was an estimated $3,600 in 2015, compared to $55,800 per capita for the United States that same year, according to the CIA World Factbook.

"It goes a long way," said Amira Ruperto, a 12-year-old entering seventh grade. "Our goal is to make $2,000 a year … and that goes a really long way."

Other local fundraising efforts

People in Southern Illinois might be more familiar with the community's annual For Kids Sake fundraisers, its art auction and its 5K Run and Walk-a-Thon, which both use youth. Much more money is made from these events, with the 2015 5K Run/Walk-a-Thon raising $32,000, she said. This year's 5K Run/Walk-a-Thon is set for Friday, Sept. 30.

Ruperto said the money raised from those events supports the salaries of two teachers at the school and provides for the children's health care. It also provides for 5,715 meals — enough to feed the 20 children at one of the organization's smaller orphanages for a little more than three months.

The organization provides shelter and food for 550 Bangladeshi orphans, ages 5 to 18 — in five different orphanages, Shema Ruperto said. Additionally, the funds raised here and elsewhere help support education for about 4,000 children in the surrounding Bangladeshi villages, she said.

For Kids' Sake's mission is to care for children who have been orphaned, although youngsters with one or both parents have tried to place their children in the orphanages to take advantage of the services provided, Shema Ruperto said. Those those parents and families, too, are poor and needy, they have to be turned away because of the focus on serving those youth who have no one to care for them.

Once, the agency was preparing to find space for a handful more orphans than its staff had expected; at the final count, its staff was presented with 15 more children than expected at one facility and 17 more than anticipated at another one, Shema Ruperto said.

So what did they do?

"We'll always take an orphan, even if we don't have space," she said. "We'll never turn away an orphan."

She does not receive a salary for her services and there is little overhead, she said, so no huge administrative expense assuming a significant portion of the funds raised.

This volunteer work has traditionally been done by tween-aged and younger teenagers, Shema Ruperto said. She noted that one of the first youngsters who collected the funds is now a 20-year-old. Some of these older youth have actually traveled to Bangladesh and visited the orphanages and schools they've supported back home.

"I know that it helps kids, and my brother used to do this and now he's in high school," said Eli Guyton, an 11-year-old entering sixth-grade. "I'm next — I wanted to do it a year."

Helping out this day is 12-year-old Halima Weiseman, who says that no one is forcing the children to perform these tasks.

Those works, she noted, makes her feel good on the inside.

thesouthern.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/religion/sufi-muslim-youth-run-bangla-box-program-to-collect-funds/article_2e543706-007d-59aa-96a2-2cd8fff57047.html

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4 Taliban militants killed during a clash in Kunduz province

Sat Jul 09 2016

At least four Taliban insurgents were killed during a clash in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, local security officials said Saturday.

Officials in 209th Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces said clashes between the Afghan forces and the Taliban insurgents erupted in Imam Sahib district.

The officials further added that four Taliban insurgents were killed and three others were wounded during the clash.

According to the officials, the local residents and members of the Afghan security forces did not suffer any casualties during the clash.

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

Kunduz is among the volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the Taliban militants are actively operating and have intensified insurgency activities during the recent months.

The group managed to briefly take control of the strategic Kunduz city last year and launched numerous attacks this year with an aim to capture the city after announcing its spring offensive earlier in April.

Earlier, at least four Taliban insurgents were killed in a drone strike carried out by the US forces in Afghanistan in Chardara district.

khaama.com/4-taliban-militants-killed-during-a-clash-in-kunduz-province-01435

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Dhaka Cafe Attack Survivor Dies After Alleged Torture By Security Forces

July 09, 2016

DHAKA, BANGLADESH:  A Bangladeshi teenager who police say was a suspect in last week's deadly attack on a Dhaka cafe has died in custody, with his family insisting he was a hostage and alleging torture by security forces.

Zakir Hossain Shawon, 18, a kitchen assistant at the Holey Artisan Bakery, was arrested after last week's deadly siege by terrorists in which 22 people, including 18 foreigners, died.

Police killed five attackers and arrested Shawon together with another man over "suspicious activities", treating him as a suspect -- a claim vehemently rejected by his family, who claim he was taken hostage like other victims.

He died in the intensive care unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital late Friday after five days in the clinic, police and his family said.

Shawon's father Abdus Sattar demanded an investigation into his death, saying his "innocent son and the main breadwinner of his family" died due to torture.

"His whole body had marks of torture. There were marks of curdled blood in many places. One of his eyes and two knees were blackened. His wrists were blackened. It seems he was hanged by ropes tied to his wrists," Sattar told AFP.

Nur Khan Liton, the head of Ain o Salish Kendra, a leading human rights group, said there were doubts about Shawon's involvement in the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.

"ISIS has named five attackers and police have identified all five. And he was not among the five," he said.

"If he was treated as an associate or helper of the attacker, police must present evidence or information."

Police and military representatives denied that Shawon had been tortured in custody.

"He was held because of suspicious activities. We did not have any opportunity to interrogate him since he was injured and hospitalised," Dhaka police spokesman Masudur Rahman told AFP.

The teenager's father said he spoke with his son hours before the July 1 carnage when Shawon called to say he had received a bonus payment for Eid al-Fitr, the largest Muslim festival.

He had planned to travel home to celebrate the occasion with the family in Dhaka's suburb.

Instead his family saw him in hospital.

"He could not recognize me or his mother and thought we were his brother," the father said.

"He would cry out in his sleep, pleading with someone, "Please don't hit me. Let me go," he added.

ndtv.com/world-news/dhaka-cafe-attack-survivor-dies-after-torture-1429608

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Deadly bombing plot foiled in Kabul city, suspect arrested

Sat Jul 09 2016

A deadly bombing plot by the anti-government armed militants was foiled by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in a populated area of Kabul city.

Security sources said a suspect was arrested as he was trying to plant an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Gozargah area of the city.

The sources further added that the suspect was arrested by security personnel belonging to the Afghan Public Order police forces.

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

This comes as the security forces thwarted a major attack plot by the anti-government armed militants in another populated area of the city few days ahead of Eid.

The explosives were seized from Haji Yaqoob area of the city before the militants manage to detonated it.

Earlier, at least 33 people were killed and over 80 others were wounded in a twin suicide attack in the outskirts of the city.

The anti-government armed militant groups have been attempting to increase attacks main cities of the country, including capital Kabul.

The Taliban group has vowed to carry out more attacks as they announced their spring offensive earlier in the month of April.

khaama.com/deadly-bombing-plot-foiled-in-kabul-city-suspect-arrested-01438

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90 prisoners including women released from Nangarhar central jail

Sat Jul 09 2016

At least 90 prisoners have been released from the central jail of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, local officials said.

According to a statement by the provincial government media office, at least two women are among those released from the prison.

The statement further added that the inmates were released based on presidential decrees issued on the occasion of the new solar year and victory of Mujahideen.

According to the local officials, at least 1610 prisoners are still kept in the central jail of Nangarhar province, including 15 women.

No further details have been given on what charges the inmates are serving in the jail.

Criminal activities followed by the terror offences are the key factors resulting into the growing number of inmates in the central jails of the country.

The other factors include smuggling opium of narcotics while the majority of the women are kept in the jails over adultery charges, including eloping.

khaama.com/90-prisoners-including-women-released-from-nangarhar-central-jail-01436

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Mideast

UNESCO to discuss sites destroyed by ISIL, heritage list in Istanbul

July 9th, 2016

U.N. cultural agency UNESCO will gather in Istanbul on July 10 to review candidates to join its prestigious World Heritage List, ranging from 350-million-year old fossils to works by Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier.

After the June 28 attack on Istanbul’s airport that claimed 47 lives, security has been stepped up for the 11-day World Heritage Committee meeting - the panel’s 40th.

Though no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Ankara said Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has wreaked considerable damage on World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra and the citadel of Aleppo, both in Syria, was responsible.

“What happened in Syria and Iraq as well as in Mali and Afghanistan were so shocking that the process of preparing UNESCO’s lists has become of great political importance,” said the body’s director general, Irina Bokova.

Earlier this year ISIL blew up the ancient Nabu temple in Iraq. In 2012 a Malian jihadist blew up nine mausoleums and part of Timbuktu’s famous Sidi Yahia mosque. In Afghanistan, meanwhile, the Taliban destroyed the giant Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.

Interest in threats to heritage has “grown tremendously in recent years because of these conflicts” but also new threats linked to climate change or urbanization, she told AFP.

“Globalization and connectivity have also seen the rise of a new spirit, a wish to present oneself to the world through one’s culture,” Bukova said.

“Inscription on the World Heritage list is glorious, countries are proud.”

This year 29 dossiers are being considered by the World Heritage Committee, made up of 21 countries serving six-year terms.

A dossier for the work of architect Le Corbusier, after failed attempts in 2009 and 2011, has been revamped and comes with high marks from a committee of experts who evaluate the submissions.

It lists 17 sites across seven countries -- France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India -- to show the global reach of the work of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier.

The creations show the contributions of Le Corbusier to the Modern Movement that emerged after World War I with an emphasis on functionality, bold lines and new materials such as concrete, iron and glass.

Another architect in the same movement is also under consideration for a World Heritage nod, Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, who laid out the country’s capital Brasilia.

Brazil’s dossier wants Niemeyer’s modern ensemble of Pampulha, a leisure center built in 1940 around an artificial lake at Belo Horizonte, to be inscribed on the prestigious list.

In the same vein, the United States is promoting the works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but the experts’ assessment was not encouraging.

Other dossiers reach far back in time, one to Canada’s Mistaken Point reserve with its 560 million-year-old fossils.

Cave art dating from the 5th century BC in Zuojiang Huashan in China, the dolmens of Antequera in Spain and Gibraltar’s Neanderthal grottoes are also in contention.

Among natural sites under consideration are Iran’s Loot Desert and the Revillagigedo archipelago in Mexico.

The World Heritage process has often caused diplomatic friction, and this year is no exception.

Thailand has proposed its Kaeng Krachan forests for listing as a cultural site, angering neighboring Myanmar, which fired off a letter to UNESCO stating that 34 percent of the site is in its territory.

For its part Britain annoyed Spain by proposing the Gibraltar grottoes, and Turkey has a dossier promoting the ancient ghost city of Ani, once the capital of neighboring Armenia.

The World Heritage List today has 1,031 sites in more than 163 countries.

Apart from the prestige it accords, it can be a boost to tourism as well as a means for poorer countries to receive financial aid to preserve their sites.

The Heritage Committee will also review the status of 48 sites currently listed as “in danger.”

Seven more sites have been proposed to be added to this list, including the Kathmandu valley, which suffered a devastating earthquake last year.

hurriyetdailynews.com/unesco-to-discuss-sites-destroyed-by-isil-heritage-list-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101361&NewsCatID=375

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Palestinians Stabbing Less but Shooting More, as Israel Cracks Down

JULY 8, 2016

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian cousins had planned a shooting rampage on an Israeli train car; they took along knives, in case their improvised guns jammed.

But after sneaking into Israel from their homes in the occupied West Bank, the pair encountered metal detectors at a train station. So they took a taxi to Tel Aviv instead and shot diners in a popular restaurant in the upscale Sarona complex, killing four Israelis.

Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security agency, said this week that the attack a month ago was “inspired” by the Islamic State, and that one of the assailants, Muhammad Mhamra, 21, had returned from studies in Jordan as a supporter of the extremist group. As with a growing number of lone-wolf attackers worldwide, the authorities said there was no evidence that he and his cousin Khaled, 20, had been officially recruited by the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, or had received any support from it.

Nine months into a surge of Palestinian attacks that at one point included several stabbings a day, officials and experts said that the knife violence had waned, but that there was a rise in the number of young Palestinians seeking to shoot Israelis. More than 30 Israelis and two American visitors have been killed by Palestinian attackers since Oct. 1; more than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis in the same period, many while attacking or, according to the Israeli authorities, intending to do so.

“There is a growing pattern of ISIS-like operations,” said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He said young people who shunned established Palestinian groups like Hamas, Fatah or Islamic Jihad were “copying the model set in Brussels, San Bernardino and other places.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not figured prominently on the Islamic State’s agenda, as it does with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, and the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah. The attacks by Palestinians have also been less deadly and less sophisticated than the suicide bombings or gun massacres in other places.

Like the Sarona assailants, many Palestinians have set out with homemade weapons known as “Carlos,” based on the Swedish-made Carl Gustav submachine gun from the 1950s and sometimes adapted from air guns in West Bank workshops.

A June poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research found that in the absence of peace talks, more than half the Palestinian public backed a return to an armed uprising. At the same time, support for stabbings had dropped, and about half of those surveyed said they thought that the current wave of violence had come to an end.

But the situation remains unpredictable. Last week, a Palestinian, Mohammad Tarayreh, 19, fatally stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in her bed in a settlement in the occupied West Bank. The next day, an Israeli father of 10, Rabbi Michael Mark, was killed in a drive-by shooting in the southern West Bank, and his wife and a daughter were wounded.

After those attacks and the Sarona shootings before them, Israel’s rightist government took unusually stern measures to crack down on broad swaths of Palestinians, which some analysts attributed to the fact that Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist settler, had joined the cabinet as defense minister.

The Israeli military has strictly limited movement between towns and villages in the southern West Bank, including the major city of Hebron, a measure likely to remain in place until the gunmen who killed Rabbi Mark are apprehended. Israel also said it would immediately deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority an unspecified amount equivalent to what the authority pays in stipends to the families of people who carry out terrorist acts.

Earlier, after Sarona, Israel canceled over 80,000 special travel permits allowing Palestinians to visit Israel during the holy month of Ramadan.

But the security apparatus is still struggling to contain a steady trickle of an uprising in which the profiles and motives of the assailants defy simple definition. They have included schoolchildren as young as 12, jobless young people and professionals: Shin Bet recently announced the arrest of a dentist in his mid-30s in the May detonation of an explosive device that seriously wounded an Israeli officer.

Some of the Palestinian attackers have acted out of nationalistic or religious motivations, frustrated by the impositions of an Israeli occupation now in its 50th year and with no end in sight. Others have had troubled personal lives and seemed to be essentially committing suicide by pulling out weapons in front of soldiers. Still others posted on social media that they were seeking to avenge the deaths of relatives, friends or unknown assailants who went before them. Palestinian officials and human rights groups have accused Israeli forces of using excessive force and in some cases carrying out extrajudicial killings.

Many of the attacks unfolded at the Gush Etzion Junction, a busy intersection amid the stretch of settlements and Palestinian villages south of Jerusalem. One recent day, a senior Israeli officer stood at the now-calmer junction and explained that the military had recovered from the initial surprise and was employing new tools that helped suppress the surge of stabbings.

The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under army rules, said the idea was to stop potential assailants before they even set out. The military traced the sources of violence to particular villages or clans, carried out arrests, searched houses and focused on social media, rounding up dozens of Palestinians suspected of spreading incitement on the internet.

Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Birzeit University in the West Bank, said the Palestinian Authority had also taken pre-emptive steps, like sending security forces into schools to search for weapons. While the Palestinian leadership did not dare go against the popular support for the stabbings at the start, he added, it has gradually begun to try to tamp down the violent stirrings in media messaging as the public mood changed.

“People felt that this was not an effective thing and not a wise thing,” Mr. Khatib said. “Those teenagers were being lost with no meaning and nothing in return.”

Mr. Khatib said he thought that the military’s targeted approach to containment had contributed to the decrease in attacks, but he worried that the crackdown on the broader community by the government could backfire. He also rejected comparisons with the Islamic State, saying that Palestinians were more inspired by things like settler violence and that Israel was “always trying to link the Palestinians with the evil in the world.”

According to the indictment filed this week against the Sarona killers in a Tel Aviv court, the cousins photographed themselves with an Islamic State flag before setting out. The indictment said the pair wanted to avenge the arson, attributed to Jewish extremists, that killed a Palestinian toddler and his parents last year in the village of Duma.

The Sarona attack was at once planned and unplanned. The killers plotted for months, bringing dark suits, watches, leather bags, new shoes and sunglasses to pose as businessmen who might be riding the train. They also bought rat poison for dipping their knives in, though they did not end up using it.

When the train idea fell through and they arrived in Tel Aviv, they asked passers-by where they could find an area with cafes and restaurants and followed their directions to Sarona.

nytimes.com/2016/07/09/world/middleeast/palestinians-stabbing-less-but-shooting-more-as-israel-cracks-down.html

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Erdoğan calls on NATO to show more effort on issues effecting Turkey’s security

July 9th, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on NATO to put more effort into combating developments that especially affect Turkey’s security, while also urging the organization to be more active and up-to-date amid the rapidly changing nature of security threats.

“We expect NATO to show much more effort in the face of developments that negatively impact Turkey’s security,” said Erdoğan on July 7 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport before leaving for a NATO summit in Poland.

“The refugee crisis and migratory movements are affecting the whole world. Cyberattacks, epidemics and regional instability are being reflected even in geographically-isolated countries,” he said.

“The nature of security threat concepts is undergoing drastic changes. During this process, NATO needs to be more active and update itself in the face of these new threats,” he added.   

The Turkish president said leaders would discuss strengthening NATO’s defense and deterrence structure, among other subjects at the two-day Warsaw summit.

He also said the summit came at a very critical time, days after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization killed hundreds in Istanbul, Baghdad, and Medina.

“As we can see, international security is becoming more fragile,” he said.     

Erdoğan noted this was not a local problem affecting only some Middle Eastern and North African countries. “On the contrary, all regions and all countries are being influenced,” he said, calling it “an issue of global dimensions.”

He said the recent attacks carried out in France, Belgium, Tunisia, and the U.S. showed that no matter how developed a country was, it could not avoid the issue.       

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the world as “a more dangerous place than just a few years ago,” while speaking in Warsaw at a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

“And NATO is responding with speed and with determination,” he added, noting that the size of NATO’s response force had been tripled.

“Tomorrow [July 8] and on Saturday [July 9] we will take new major steps to further modernize our collective defense and deterrence and to project stability beyond our borders,” Stoltenberg said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-calls-on-nato-to-show-more-effort-on-issues-effecting-turkeys-security-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101393&NewsCatID=510

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NATO summit marks start of closer cooperation with EU

July 9th, 2016

The presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have signed a joint declaration on the eve of the official opening of NATO summit in Warsaw, declaring that the time has come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership.

“We believe that the time has come to give new impetus and new substance to the NATO-EU strategic partnership. In consultation with the EU member states and the NATO allies, working with, and for the benefit of all, this partnership will take place in the spirit of full mutual openness and in compliance with the decision-making autonomy and procedures of our respective organizations and without prejudice to the specific character of the security and defense policy of any of our members,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission and Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, said in the joint declaration released July 8.

“Today, the Euro-Atlantic community is facing unprecedented challenges emanating from the south and east. Our citizens demand that we use all ways and means available to address these challenges so as to enhance their security.

“All allies and member states, as well as the EU and NATO per se, are already making significant contributions to Euro-Atlantic security. The substantial cooperation between NATO and the EU, unique and essential partners, established more than 15 years ago, also contributes to this end,” said the three presidents.

“In light of the common challenges we are now confronting, we have to step-up our efforts: we need new ways of working together and a new level of ambition; because our security is interconnected; because together we can mobilize a broad range of tools to respond to the challenges we face; and because we have to make the most efficient use of resources. A stronger NATO and a stronger EU are mutually reinforcing. Together they can better provide security in Europe and beyond.

“We are convinced that enhancing our neighbors’ and partners’ stability in accordance with our values, as enshrined in the U.N. Charter, contributes to our security and to sustainable peace and prosperity. So that our neighbors and partners are better able to address the numerous challenges they currently face, we will continue to support their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, as well as their reform efforts,” they said.

According to the three presidents, in fulfilling the objectives above, there was an urgent need to:

“Boost our ability to counter hybrid threats, including by bolstering resilience, working together on analysis, prevention and early detection, through timely information sharing and, to the extent possible, intelligence sharing between staffs; and cooperating on strategic communication and response. The development of coordinated procedures through our respective playbooks will substantially contribute to implementing our efforts;

“Broaden and adapt our operational cooperation including at sea, and on migration, through increased sharing of maritime situational awareness as well as better coordination and mutual reinforcement of our activities in the Mediterranean and elsewhere;

“Expand our coordination on cyber security and defense including in the context of our missions and operations, exercises and on education and training;

“Develop coherent, complementary and interoperable defense capabilities of EU member states and NATO allies, as well as multilateral projects;

“Facilitate a stronger defense industry and greater defense research and industrial cooperation within Europe and across the Atlantic;

“Step up our coordination on exercises, including on hybrid, by developing as the first step parallel and coordinated exercises for 2017 and 2018;

“Build the defense and security capacity and foster the resilience of our partners in the east and south in a complementary way through specific projects in a variety of areas for individual recipient countries, including by strengthening maritime capacity;

“Cooperation in these areas is a strategic priority. Speedy implementation is essential. The European External Action Service and the NATO International Staff, together with commission services as appropriate, will develop concrete options for implementation, including appropriate staff coordination mechanisms, to be presented to us and our respective councils by December 2016. On the EU side, the high representative/vice president of the commission will steer and coordinate this endeavor,” they said in their joint declaration.

“We will review progress on a regular basis. We call on both organizations to invest the necessary political capital and resources to make this reinforced partnership a success,” ended the declaration.

In the wake of Brexit

In the wake of Brexit, Europe’s two most important multilateral organizations must deepen their partnership, Dr. Beyza Ünal, a research fellow at the London-based Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, argued In a July 7 article titled “NATO Summit Can Mark Start of Closer Cooperation with the EU.”

“For decades the EU has focused on political and economic integration whereas NATO prioritized its efforts on collective defense and security. New security challenges, however, require a common political, security and defense posture. The outcome of the U.K.’s referendum (Brexit) while unwelcomed by many, could be an opportunity to strengthen NATO-EU relations and to take the current strategic partnership to a political level,” Ünal said.

‘Building on Berlin Plus’

“One avenue would be to apply a similar model to the 2003 Berlin Plus agreement to new areas of arrangement. This agreement has allowed ‘the EU to have access to the alliance’s capabilities for EU operations’ in cases of crisis. More specifically, it allows the EU to access NATO planning, assets and capabilities. Agreement on sharing operational plans and capabilities through a transparent system increases trust in both organizations. A new form of arrangement could involve peacetime cooperation, channeling support to a NATO-EU joint action framework. NATO has developed external cooperation mechanisms before, such as the Partnerships for Peace program,” she said.

‘Refugee deal between Turkey and EU a good example’

“In practice, non-EU member states in NATO are already contributing to the EU system in many ways, but not always through a recognized NATO-EU joint action framework. A good example is the refugee deal between Turkey and the EU. Despite its problems, Turkey contributes to the peace, security and stability of Europe by accepting and keeping refugees at its borders, and in return receiving EU financial aid. Given that Turkey is in NATO and not in the EU, this deal could have been framed as a joint action of cooperation of the two organizations, rather than a bilateral agreement between Turkey and the EU,” said Ünal.

“The forthcoming NATO summit is the ideal opportunity to begin this conversation and plant the seeds for further enhanced NATO-EU cooperation. The two should take the opportunity to discuss options for areas of political partnership and create an agreed agenda, program of action and working groups, focusing particularly on how NATO could be a bridge for the U.K. to stay formally involved in EU security. They cannot wait for another crisis in Europe before they start instigating some of these mutually beneficial partnerships,” concluded Ünal.

hurriyetdailynews.com/nato-summit-marks-start-of-closer-cooperation-with-eu-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101374&NewsCatID=510

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3,000 abusers, rapists avoid jail time by marrying their victims in Turkey: Appeals court

July 9th, 2016

The testimony of a Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals representative has revealed the sad truth about the practice of victims of sexual abuse being married to their assaulters.

Mustafa Demirdağ, the head of the Supreme Court of Appeals department which oversees sexual crimes, said the number of such marriages which were officially registered had reached nearly 3000, according to daily Milliyet.

Speaking to a parliamentary commission formed to investigate and prevent sexual crimes, Demirdağ said children from 5 to 18 years old could be subjected to sexual abuse, adding that girls between the ages of 12 and 15 were more easily tricked by abusers.

Demirdağ mentioned several cases, one of which was similar to the story of a TV series called “Fatmagül’ün suçu ne?” (What is Fatmagül’s Crime?), which became highly popular a couple of years ago. “Three persons kidnaped a girl. Three of them raped her. When one of them married her, the sentences for all three were lifted. That type of marriage is not acceptable. It is cruel to force someone to marry a person she does not want [to marry] and force her to spend the rest of her life with him,” he said.

16-year sentence in cases of child abuse

While talking about the practice of abusers marrying their victims, Demirdağ said the number of such marriages had reached some 3000, adding that sentences of 16 years and eight months in prison were given if there was a complaint in these types of cases. As an example, he talked about the case of a 15-year-old girl who fell in love with a boy in her neighborhood. “She called the boy on the phone that night and said she would commit suicide if he did not come to kidnap her. Then the boy kidnaps her. Afterwards they get married according to the norms of the neighborhood. When the case came to us, they were already married officially and they had three kids. Before the law numbered 6545 came into force, the boy would have been sentenced to a minimum eight years and four months [in prison]. Now it is 16 years and eight months. Do I find this fair? No I don’t. But I am the implementer of the law. But not all the cases fit the same pattern. Yet we do not make categorizations among them.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/3000-abusers-rapists-avoid-jail-time-by-marrying-their-victims-in-turkey-appeals-court.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101387&NewsCatID=339

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U.S. urges Turkey to step up fight against human trafficking

July 9th, 2016

The United States Department of State has released its 2016 report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), where it classified Turkey as a country making significant efforts in the fight against smuggling, urging Ankara to step up measures especially to prevent vulnerable groups from being subjected to sex trafficking or forced labor.

“We want to bring to the public’s attention the full nature and scope of the $150 billion illicit human trafficking industry,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in his statement published as part of the report, underlining there was “nothing inevitable about trafficking in human beings.”

Prepared by state department employees after a year-long process, the report summarized the state of human trafficking across the world and categorized states with respect to the progress they have made or are likely to make in the near future.

According to the report, Turkey was placed among second-tier countries, which included countries like Croatia, Greece and Singapore, in addition to others like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Nigeria.

Tier 2 corresponds to countries with governments which do not fully meet the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) but are nonetheless making notable progress to meet those standards, the state department said.

According to this year’s TIP report, Turkey stood out as a destination and transit country, rather than a source country, for sex trafficking and forced labor where most victims were from Central and South Asia, Eastern Europe, Syria and Morocco. It noted, however, that Turkish women and transgender persons were also vulnerable to trafficking, the latter also suffering from alleged discrimination by state authorities.

The report underlined that displaced persons from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Turkey, especially as most of them lack legal access to the job market.

“Traffickers increasingly use psychological coercion, threats and debt bondage to compel victims into sex trafficking,” reports both from Turkey’s government and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) noted, highlighting the importance of issuing work permits to refugees and asylum-seekers while acknowledging a January regulation which established a work permit regime for Syrians under the temporary protection regime.

“An increasing number of Syrian refugee children engage in street begging and also work in restaurants, textile factories, markets, mechanic or blacksmith shops and agriculture, at times acting as the breadwinners for their families; some are vulnerable to forced labor,” the report said, adding Syrian women and girls were vulnerable to sex trafficking, also those run by extremist groups.

“Some Syrian girls have been reportedly sold into marriages with Turkish men, in which they are highly vulnerable to domestic servitude or sex trafficking,” it stated.

According to the report, women who were forcefully married to extremist fighters were later compelled to join the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

The TIP report also mentioned the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and quoted reports claiming youth were sometimes pushed to join the militant organization.

While taking note of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s efforts to tackle the problem, the report said the country’s anti-trafficking action plan, which dates back to 2009, needed to be updated and funding needed to be provided to operate shelters and protective services for victims of trafficking.

hurriyetdailynews.com/us-urges-turkey-to-step-up-fight-against-human-trafficking.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101375&NewsCatID=339

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Africa

Suicide bomber kills six in mosque in northeast Nigeria: army

Friday, 8 July 2016

A suicide bomber killed six people inside a mosque in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state at dawn on Friday, an army spokesman said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in the town of Damboa but it bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants, who have waged an insurgency since 2009 to carve out a state based on sharia (Islamic law) in the northeast of Africa’s most populous country.

Army spokesman Sani Usman said there were two suicide bombers involved, one of whom failed to gain entry to the Damboa Central Mosque and detonated his load in the street outside, killing himself but causing no other casualties.

He said the second militant managed to get into a smaller mosque nearby and blew himself up there, killing six worshippers and wounding one other person.

Earlier, a military source who did not want to be named said nine people were killed and 13 others injured in the 5:15 a.m. attack.

Damboa, 87 km south of the Borno capital Maiduguri, was the first town captured by Boko Haram, in July 2014. Security forces ousted the militants two months later.

Nigeria’s army, aided by troops from adjacent countries, has retaken over the past year most of the territory lost to Boko Haram. But the militant group, which last year pledged loyalty to ISIS, still regularly stages suicide bombings.

The insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people and displaced two million others.

english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2016/07/08/Suicide-bomber-kills-six-in-mosque-in-northeast-Nigeria-army.html

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Maintain Ramadan Holiness, Muslim Leader Tells Nigerians

7 JULY 2016

The leader of Muslim community in Anambra State, Alhaji Garba Haruna has called for continued peace in the country, advising Nigerians to continue to maintain the holiness associated with the Ramadan fast.

Haruna, who is the special assistant to the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on Islamic affairs, commended the relative peace observed during the sallah celebration and enjoined Muslims not to be involved in any form of killing.

According to him, Prophet Mohammed preached love and peaceful co-existence of humanity irrespective of differences because everybody is one in God.

Haruna said: "Our religions are one. So I enjoin my Muslim brothers all over to eschew killing, bickering and rancor."

allafrica.com/stories/201607080007.html

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India

Shia Muslims in Lucknow protest against Zakir Naik

July 9, 2016

Amidst the controversy regarding televengalist and Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s role in inspiring and motivating the Dhaka bakery attackers, the Shia Muslim community of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh has come out and protested against him.

The community members on Saturday came out and raised slogans against Naik and others. The members carried banners which had pictures of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Jammat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed along with that of Zakir Naik. “Protest march against terrorism,” read the banner.

Naik’s name popped up after it was discovered that two of the Dhaka attackers were his fans and used to follow him on social media. In past, others involved in terrorist activities like reently busted Hyderabad ISIS module’s chief have found to be followers of Naik.

The Shiv Sena in Maharashtra called for a complete ban on Naik and his channel Peace TV. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that it was a matter of serious concern and a probe into funding of Zakir’s NGO has also been ordered.

Meanwhile, separatist leaders in Kashmir came out in support of Naik and claimed that it was an attack on the Muslims. Naik himself denied that his sermons had anything to do with terror activities in Bangladesh. He released a video of himself from Mecca in Saudi Arabia claiming that 90 per cent of people in Bangladesh knew him and 50 per cent are his fans. “Just because the Dhaka attackers followed me on Facebook does not mean i can be held responsible for their act,” he said.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/shia-muslims-in-lucknow-protest-against-zakir-naik-2902865/

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Separatists call J-K shutdown against killing of Burhan Wani

July 9, 2016

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): While paying tributes to Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani who was killed in a gunfight with the Indian Armed Forces, All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Separatist leader Asiya Andrabi have called for a complete state wide shutdown on Saturday and appealed to the people to participate in his funeral prayers in large numbers.

Geelani also appealed to the people to hold funeral prayers in-absentia for Wani at their respective places who could not reach Tral.

In a joint operation by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and 19 RR, Wani, Sartaj Ahmed and one other were killed in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir yesterday.

Wani featured in videos circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp aimed at recruiting young Kashmiri men for terror.

Last month, Wani released a video warning of attacks on separate colonies for Sainiks and Kashmiri Pandits if they are set up in the Valley.

The major part of the video message, however, was directed at the Jammu and Kashmir Police warning them of more attacks.

Reportedly, there was a Rs. 10 lakh reward for information leading to his arrest.

siasat.com/news/separatists-call-j-k-shutdown-killing-burhan-wani-983618/

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North America

Muslim camps are spreading in the U.S. to help kids 'be proud of who they are'

Jul. 9, 2016

It was the last day of Camp Ramadan, and a sea of smiling parents had their arms outstretched, holding up more than a dozen cellphones to capture all of the song and dance and children's humor contained in the end-of-camp assembly. And onstage, a normally polite and bookish 11-year-old was channeling Donald Trump.

"As a leader, who do you wish to serve?" a child, playing the role of debate interviewer, asked the boy's character — a certain political candidate with the alias of Ronald McDonald.

"I wish to serve my very fantastic self," answered Amir-Abbas, 11, provoking peals of laughter from the parents. Money, he told the interviewer, is the key to great leadership — and he had lots of it.

"I'm trying to make America great again by kicking out Mexicans, Muslims and African Americans," he added.

"By the way," he said, sweeping a hand over his dark, cropped hair. "This hair is real."

When Mona Eldadah started this camp four years ago, the idea was mainly about getting fasting Muslim kids off the couch during the holy month of Ramadan, and into activities that were both creatively stimulating and unifying.

"I felt like kids were having this isolated experience fasting at home, and felt like, 'Ugh, I'm the only one doing this,'" explained Eldadah, an interior designer and mother of four. And so began Camp Ramadan — a week-long camp at the end of the month, where kids can fast together while also doing activities that are more enriching than watching Netflix.

Now, the camp has reached its largest number of campers to date at 101, and has acquired the reputation as a place where Washington-area Muslim kids can learn about and practice a core Muslim tradition, while making friends, creating art and talking freely about current affairs — like Trump.

This year, Eldadah's nonprofit organization, the New Wave Muslim Initiative, rented the Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland for the week of camp.

"You think this age group is young," she said, taking the stage at the end of the leadership skit featuring the Trump character. "But [they're] also very mature, thoughtful children."

Fasting during the daytime hours of Ramadan is one of the core religious obligations of observant Muslims, and is meant to foster a greater connection to God. The practice typically starts around puberty, and for many preteens and teens, serves as an informal rite of passage into Muslim adulthood.

Fasting is hard; especially when it's hot outside and you're new at it. "But when they come here, they kind of struggle together," said Eldadah. When they arrive in the morning, "they're kind of sleepy. But by the end, they're so excited."

For a week this year, the campers practiced paper marbling, created watercolor sunsets with a foreground of a domed mosque and minarets and took pictures of one another with rented cameras on the school's playground.

The 6- and 7-year-olds went on a hike to a nearby cave to learn about how the prophet Muhammad visited a cave outside of Mecca, where Islam teaches that he received the word of God. And the 8- and 9-year-olds decided to make their end-of-camp skit about the animated characters from the movie "The Minions" observing Ramadan. (The Minions are tempted to break their fast when they see a banana, the characters' main food obsession in the popular 2015 children's film.)

The youngest children, ages 3 to 5, learned about the animals of the Koran. ("Old Mustafa had a farm," they sang at the last day's assembly in a muddle of high-pitched, off-tempo toddler voices. "And on that farm he had some bees — with the blessing of Allaaaaah.")

And the 12- to 16-year-olds met the Afghan American author Nadia Hashimi, who read them a passage from her new book, "Half from the East," about an Afghan girl whose parents disguise her as a boy so that she can help provide for the family in a restrictive Afghan society.

"How do you think that makes girls feel?" Hashimi asked the adolescents, prompting a discussion about gender equality, followed by an exercise in storytelling.

Each day at about noon — when most other campers would be breaking for lunch - the kids at Camp Ramadan troop into the school's auditorium, stand shoulder to shoulder and then kneel in unison for prayer.

The kids at Camp Ramadan come from a mix of Muslim families, Eldadah says. Some of the girls wear headscarves; others wear shorts and T-shirts. Some of their families attend the mosque regularly; others don't go at all. But nearly every single one of the 12- to 16-year-olds this year is fasting.

Coming here makes a difference, said Aziza, 12, who knelt on the floor with five of her best girlfriends on a recent day, packing up goody bags for the younger kids to mark the end of Ramadan. "At home you just get super lazy, like, 'Ehh, the bathroom is sooo far!'"

The others giggled in agreement. At home they'd be sleeping through the fast, or watching TV, they said. Now the fun of camp distracts them - sort of - from the fasting, and they still get to have sleepovers and watch Netflix at night.

Ramadan, which shifts each year with a lunar calendar, started while the kids were still in school this summer. It ended Wednesday with the start of the festival of Eid.

"Guys, how was your sleep schedule at school?" asked Fatima, a 13-year-old with braces, as the girls stuffed plastic bags full of lollipops, play dough, balloons and slapstick bracelets. "I was fasting during finals."

"My last day of school, I was so mad because we had a party and got catering from Chipotle and an ice cream bar," said Aziza. "I love Chipotle."

Another girl mumbled something about the greatness of tacos. "I love tacos," Aziza agreed.

Muslim camp directors say Muslim summer camps are taking off in the United States and Canada, as North America's Muslim population grows, and first- or second-generation parents look for ways to keep the faith among children who — obsessing over Instagram, tween slang and Harry Potter — are often far more immersed in America than they are in the original cultures of their parents.

Camp Tawheed in Michigan offers jet ski tubing, soccer, tennis and Koranic study. At the weekend summer camp offered by the Qalam Institute in Dallas, campers can play dodgeball, roast s'mores and participate in group prayer. And at Camp Deen, a week-long sleep-away camp in Ontario that was founded in 1972, campers learn how to hike, fish and avoid bears, while slumbering each night beneath the pines in cabins named after the famous men and women of Islam.

"It allows them really to meld the best of America, the things that are more uniquely American, but at the same time keep and actually strengthen their Muslim identity," said Chad Jones, a public affairs officer at U.S. Army Fort Meade and an administrator at the camp, where all three of his kids are all campers.

"One of the biggest challenges for Muslim kids growing up in North America is finding social settings where they can be themselves, without having to feel judged or restricted," the camp's website explains. "At Camp Deen, our priority is making kids proud of who they are."

It's a concept that an older American minority group has used for the past 120 years of existence. Now a diverse assortment of Jewish summer camps in North America serve more than 200,000 campers annually, according to the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

Sam Perlin, who heads Camp Solomon Schechter in the woods outside Olympia, Wash., said Jewish camp helps kids to form and maintain "a strong Jewish identity" through traditions that they might not necessarily keep at home, like the Sabbath and keeping kosher.

"The campers live Jewishly, and they don't have that opportunity in greater America, especially here in Washington state," he said.

At Camp Ramadan, the final day's assembly came to a close with the teenagers' unveiling of an "Eid Mubarak" — a blessed holiday — mural that they painted with the blended styles of traditional Arabic calligraphy and spray paint graffiti. The kids ooh-ed and aah-ed and cheered wildly for their friends during a camp slideshow set to a cover of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." And then it was time to say goodbye.

Children hugged. Parents thanked Eldadah. Families collected the posterboards, paintings and photos created by their children.

"Turning Islam back to talking about leadership qualities, going back to morality and ethics — I think that's something they really value," Eldadah said of the families as they left the school. "There are people who aren't very religious at all, and they come to camp and they live Muslim."

telegram.com/article/20160709/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/160709316

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Southeast Asia

Putrajaya working with Jakarta to curb terror threats ahead of Indonesian terrorists’ release

Jul 09,2016

PUTRAJAYA, July 9 — Malaysia has been taking precautions ahead of the expected release of over 300 Indonesians convicted for terror activities, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, said both Malaysia and Indonesia have been actively exchanging information as Putrajaya tries to prevent the spread of global terror group Islamic State’s (IS) propaganda here.

“We also worry because maybe more than 300 supporters of Abu Bakar Bashir that has been sentenced due to terrorism activities in Indonesia will be released from Indonesian prisons.

“With the cooperation of Indonesia’s immigration and Malaysia’s immigration department, we exchange information including fingerprints and biometric [data] so those who are released will not be able to enter our country and influence those who are readily influenced by IS propaganda,” he told reporters here.

Zahid said both Malaysia and Indonesia has been exchanging information on methods to deradicalise and rehabilitate militants, as well as data from Interpol.

Abu Bakar, the spiritual leader of the now-disbanded regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, has reportedly asked his supporters in 2014 to support IS.

But The Straits Times reported this January that Abu Bakar had allegedly withdrawn his support for IS, with the latter’s lawyer claiming that the Muslim cleric was misinformed about IS.

themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dpm-putrajaya-working-with-jakarta-to-curb-terror-threats-ahead-of-indonesi

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Jakarta urged to pass anti-terror Bill revisions

JUL 9, 2016

Lawmakers in Indonesia are pushing for a draft Bill, which expands police powers in counter-terrorism, to be passed quickly, following Tuesday's suicide-bombing in Solo, Central Java.

Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said revisions to the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2003, still being deliberated by Parliament, must be prioritised to prevent further attacks.

"The incident in Solo makes us realise again that the threat of terrorism is real," said Mr Yasonna, on the sidelines of an Aidilfitri event on Wednesday night. "It's a global phenomenon... and it will continue."

House Speaker Ade Komarudin and his counterpart in the People's Consultative Assembly, Mr Zulkifli Hasan, in a rare unified voice, echoed the call to pass the tougher anti-terror laws which have been under deliberation for months.

Mr Ade said on Wednesday in Tempo news that the latest incident is a new impetus for the draft Bill, first tabled by the government after a Jan 14 terror attack in Jakarta. He said proposed changes to the law must be able to counter terrorism "structurally and intellectually".

Mr Zulkifli called for unity in the war on terror, calling the attacks a "violation of human rights". He told Antara news he hoped Bill revisions will be done this year. "The faster it is completed, the better it will be."

On Tuesday, a local man named Nur Rohman blew himself up outside a police station in President Joko Widodo's home town. An officer who intercepted the attacker before he got near the station was hurt.

Nur Rohman was a member of a domestic terror cell that had ties to Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant now fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Security analysts said the Solo bombing may be part of coordinated strikes around the world during the holy month of Ramadan by those loyal to the militant group.

Indonesia's Anti-Terrorism Bill, first enacted the year after the 2002 Bali bombings, makes it illegal for anyone to run a terrorist cell. But it falls short of extending punishment to anyone pledging support to or joining groups such as ISIS. Hundreds of Indonesians have travelled to the Middle East to support or fight for ISIS since 2013.

Indonesia's spy chief Sutiyoso said: "When a militant returns home from overseas, we cannot arrest him, although we know he was a combatant overseas."

Once the proposed changes to the Bill are passed, police will be able to hold suspects involved in plans to mount a terror attack for up to six months, instead of just a week.

Revisions to the law will also make it an offence for citizens to join a militant group overseas, as well as provide a clearer definition of what constitutes terrorism.

Indonesian Muslim Scholars Association chief Jimly Asshiddiqie on Thursday proposed that the authorities immediately take away the passports of Indonesians who have joined ISIS or are planning to leave to take part in conflicts overseas.

"We cannot fix the problem just by revising a law," he said, adding that drafting a new law will not guarantee its implementation, and the process to ratify it takes time.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/jakarta-urged-to-pass-anti-terror-bill-revisions

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From Myanmar's Rohingyas to Pakistan's Ahmadis, how nations change names to oppress minority groups

JUL 9, 2016

There was much hope associated with Aung San Suu Kyi. A mild looking woman taking on the Myanmarese military establishment, determined to restore democracy in her country. With her emphasis on non-violent political philosophy she was seen as a reincarnation of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandhi. But then she came to power and the idealism constructed around her began to evaporate.

In October 2013 when she was pressed on her silence on the Rohingya issue in Myanmar by the BBC journalist Mishal Husain, she is believed to have muttered off-air, “No one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim.” She caused another controversy a few weeks ago when the Foreign Ministry of Myanmar, of which she is in-charge, requested the international community to not refer to the persecuted Muslim minority of the country as Rohingya.

This is an old demand of the hard-line Buddhist nationalists of the country who instead would want to call them Bengali. In fact in 2014 census the community against its wishes was forced to be identified as Bengali. Harmless as the suggestion might sound its aim is to disenfranchise a community, which would have far reaching political consequences. The term Rohingya suggests that these are residents of the Rakhine State of Myanmar. The acceptance of the term would imply that the community belongs to particular areas of Myanmar, a troublesome prospective for hard-line Buddhist nationalist who want to redefine the state increasingly as a Buddhist nation. The term Bengali on the other hand identifies them as foreigners in the land of the Burmese. It makes it easier to disenfranchise them and remove them from this Buddhist land.

Slum razing

The political connotations of certain titles and names are something that is exploited by nation-states all across the world for their advantage, in their attempt to construct a national identity. Another example comes from another holy land that too wants to define itself solely on the basis of one dominant religion, much like Myanmar. Last year, the Capital Development Authority of Islamabad decided to raze a katchi abadi from the city which it alleged to be an “illegal” community harboring “terrorists”. Over the course of a single day about 5,000 houses were destroyed displacing thousands of its residents. To control the public narrative the government authorities named the katchi abadi "Afghan Colony". The abadi had first been established by Afghan refugees of the 1979 war but since then had been occupied by the displaced Pathan families from the tribal areas, affected by the war on terror. There were only a handful of Afghan houses in the entire community yet the name stuck.

As officials were grilled on national channels about their abrupt actions they stuck to the epithet creating an impression that the colony houses Afghan refugees. In a post-Peshawar attack environment, there was not much sympathy for the Afghan refugees making it easier for the Pakistani government to implement its plan without much hue and cry from the general population.

The Ahmadis in Pakistan face a similar fate to the Rohingya community in Myanmar. The community lost its spiritual headquarters to the arbitrariness of the Radcliffe Award, so after Partition they chose the town of Rabwah as their centre. The word Rabwah is mentioned in the Quran and means an elevated place. In 1974, the Parliament of Pakistan declared Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. Amendments to the constitution in 1984 barred the Ahmadis from “posing” as Muslims, making it illegal for them to declare themselves Muslims, call their place of worship a mosque or even use the traditional Muslim greeting.

For some time, the name Rabwah went unnoticed but then in 1998 the Punjab Parliament changed the name of the town to Nawan Qadian and then to Chenab Nagar in 1999. This was yet another example of how a state attempts to appropriate certain titles for its own political narratives. The word Rabwah had Islamic origins so its continued use by the Ahmadis threatened the state narrative, which is hell-bound on stripping the Ahmadis of all its Islamic credentials – similar to what the Buddhist state in Mynamar wants to do with the Rohingyas.

Fighting the Communists

In 1967, when the Pakistan Peoples Party was founded by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto together with members of the Left, the Party declared Islamic Socialism as its credo. This was a unique moment in Pakistan’s history, given that the under the military dictator Ayub Khan the Pakistani state had aligned with the Americans against the “godless” Communists. In 1953, after the Rawalpindi Conspiracy, which was an alleged attempt by the Communist Party of Pakistan to overthrow the government, the party had been banned. In the following years, Communism was projected to be satanic godless creed that threatened the Islamic society of Pakistan. Aware of these prejudices, the founders of PPP tacitly attached the word Islamic with Socialism. In this way, a godless, satanic ideology became halal, and therefore palatable to a religiously inclined society.

In Pakistan, there is much criticism about Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya community and rightly so. Religious political parties have particularly exploited the situation to highlight the international oppression of the Muslims, yet it is the same religious parties who continue to exploit the situation for similar vulnerable groups in their own society. They curse the hard-line Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar, while those Buddhist nationalist use the spectre of global Islamic threat represented by such religious parties in Pakistan to massacre innocent people. Both of them see the other as enemy yet it is the same figure of a bigot religio-nationalist that stands on both sides of the mirror.

scroll.in/article/811215/from-myanmars-rohingyas-to-pakistans-ahmadis-how-nations-change-names-to-oppress-minority-groups

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Pakistan

KP cannot afford Afghan refugees any more: CM

July 9th, 2016

NOWSHERA: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has termed Afghan refugees a big problem and said that the province could not afford their presence anymore.

“The federal interior minister should prepare a strategy for repatriation of the registered and non-registered Afghan refugees. Now the Afghan refugees have to play their positive role for their own country,” said the chief minister while talking to media persons in his village Manki Sharif here on Friday.

Mr Khattak said that the law and order problem had been created mainly due to the presence of refugees. He said that he had met with the Afghan ambassador and federal minister Abdul Qadir Baloch and discussed with them the process of refugees’ repatriation in an honourable way.

He said that they had agreed to evolve a proper strategy for return of Afghan refugees after six month extension given by the federal government. However, he vowed that the repatriation of non-registered Afghan refugees through Torkham border would continue as the province could not afford their presence.

Answering a question, he said that the overall security situation in the province had improved.

dawn.com/news/1269630/kp-cannot-afford-afghan-refugees-any-more-cm

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Celebrated Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi dies at 92 in Karachi

July 9, 2016

Karachi: Pakistan’s celebrated philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi who dedicated his life to humanity and social services on Saturday passed away here at the age of 92 after a prolonged battle with different ailments.

His son, Faisal Edhi said that earlier in the day, Edhi was admitted to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation and put on a ventilator after complaining of breathing problems.

“He passed away few hours ago due to kidney failure. He had been facing respiratory problems during dialysis due to his frail health,” Faisal said.

The well-known and popular philanthropist who dedicated his life to humanity and social services was seen as the saviour of the poor and needy.

 Edhi who formed the famous Edhi village 25 years ago which was home to the homeless, destitute, street children, elderly, abandoned babies and addicts was Chairman of the Edhi Foundation which was celebrated for its humanitarian work.

Faisal said his father’s kidneys had failed in 2013 and he was on dialysis treatment but he couldn’t get a transplant due to his frail health.

In June, former President Asif Ali Zardari had offered to send Edhi abroad for treatment but he refused saying he would prefer to get treatment in Pakistan at a government hospital just like the poor an needy people of the country.

“Before his death he had donated his coronaries and body organs,” Faisal said.

“We can assure you that the Edhi foundation and village will continue his legacy in humanitarian work,” Faisal said.

Nominated several times for the Nobel peace prize he was again in this year’s list. He has won a host of international awards in recognition of his work.

“My father’s dream was to turn Pakistan into a welfare state and he single-handedly started the Edhi foundation which till today carries on its operations through private donations,” Faisal said.

“Till today my father didn’t own a house and the pair of shoes he died in were brought 20-years ago,” he said.

Belonging to a family of memon traders who came to Karachi in 1947, Edhi who was born in Gujarat started his welfare mission in 1951 opening his first home for homeless and sick in the Kharadar area in Karachi.

Soon after news of his passing away was flashed on the television channels, hundreds of people started gathering outside the hospital and Edhi village as announcements were made Sattar Edhi would be buried on Saturday.

“He had confirmed burial space 25-years ago near Edhi village and will be buried there as per his wishes,” Faisal said.

siasat.com/news/celebrated-pakistani-philanthropist-abdul-sattar-edhi-dies-92-karachi-983643/

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Imran says PTI to move court over use of PIA plane by PM

July 9th, 2016

SIALKOT: Campaigning for party candidates ahead of the July 21 Azad Jammu and Kashmir elec­tions, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan launched on Friday a scathing attack on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and announced that he would move court against the use of a PIA commercial jet by the Sharif family to return to Pakistan.

“While the masses are burdened by price hike and taxes on essential items, the royal family continues to live a luxurious life. The rulers should pay the PIA from the money they have stashed abroad illegally,” he said while addressing a big public meeting in Pasrur as part of the PTI’s election campaign in favour of its candidate for LA-31. He said party lawyers would approach court on Monday.

The PTI chief vowed to give tough time to PML-N and other political parties in AJK polls and promised to take up the Kashmir issue effectively at all the international forums.

Holding the government respon­sible for what he described as the ‘economic murder’ of farmers, Mr Khan said it was time to bring change in AJK with the power of the vote of the Kashmiri people.

He accused the PML-N government of utilising official resources in AJK electioneering. He alleged that Nawaz Sharif had taken shelter in London to conceal looted wealth and was unable to face the nation after the disclosure of his off-shore companies.

He asked Prime Minister Sharif to give up politics of monarchy and feel the pain and cries of the nation and have mercy on the oppressed people.

“They are sucking the blood of the masses by levying additional taxes on everything, including taxes on mobile phones and POL,” he added.

He said that the nation had woken up and was waiting for his [Mr Khan’s] final call to oust the incumbent ‘corrupt’ rulers.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir PTI President Barrister Sultan Mehmood (former AJK prime minister) and PTI’s central leaders Jehangir Tareen, Shafqat Mehmood, Aleem Khan, Umer Dar, Usman Dar and PTI’s candidates Chaudhry Maqbool Ahmed Gujjar (LA-31 Jammu) and Hamid Raza (LA-32 Jammu) were also present on the occasion.

dawn.com/news/1269687/imran-says-pti-to-move-court-over-use-of-pia-plane-by-pm

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PM Nawaz leaves for London airport, to return home today

July 9, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will return home on Saturday after recovering from a heart surgery that he underwent in the United Kingdom in May.

The premier left his London residence for the airport to board the flight for Pakistan, DawnNews reported.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz confirmed in a tweet on Friday that the prime minister will arrive in the country on Saturday evening. She also thanked well-wishers for their prayers for the PM's recovery.

A dedicated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft has been deputed to transport Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his London camp office back to Pakistan.

"Now that the PM has recovered after his surgery and is allowed to travel, the whole camp office has to be shifted back to Pakistan. On PIA's regular flights, so many seats were not available, due to which the only option was to depute a dedicated aircraft," a statement issued by the airline said.

Panama crisis at home

PM Nawaz underwent open-heart surgery at a London hospital on May 31. The need for the surgery arose after the premier went through a cardiac procedure called Atrial Fibrillation Ablation in 2011, "during which certain complications occurred resulting in perforation of heart", Maryam Nawaz earlier told the media.

Many had called it a politically imprudent decision to leave the country at a time when opposition parties were exerting pressure on the government in the wake of the Panama leaks. However, a PML-N officer-bearer had told Dawn that Nawaz's medical condition necessitated the visit.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen last week said the party’s preparations for launching a "massive protest movement" over the Panama leaks soon after Eidul Fitr were in full swing.

Government and opposition leaders had agreed on May 18 to form a 12-member parliamentary committee — including six members each from both sides — that will draft the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the proposed commission to be headed by the country's top judge for holding an inquiry against those owning offshore companies as revealed in the Panama leaks.

Both government and opposition parties had agreed that besides concentrating on the individuals named in the Panama Papers, the committee will also go after those who received kickbacks and commissions, as well as those who had their loans written off illegally.

On May 31, the committee ended its fourth meeting without even discussing the issue.

According to independent observers, the committee may not reach consensus because both sides are poles apart as far as their expectations are concerned.

An investigation published April 3 by an international coalition of more than 100 media outlets based on 11.5 million records and 2.6 terabytes of information drawn from the internal database of Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca details how politicians, celebrities and other famous people use banks, law firms and offshore shell companies to hide their assets.

According to documents available on the ICIJ website, the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's children Maryam, Hasan and Hussain "were owners or had the right to authorise transactions for several companies".

The data leak revealed the financial wheelings and dealings of over 200 Pakistanis, including the late Benazir Bhutto, Rehman Malik and other prominent politicians and businessmen.

dawn.com/news/1269712/pm-nawaz-leaves-for-london-airport-to-return-home-today

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Plan to teach Quran with translation may hit snags

July 9th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The federal government plans to start teaching the Holy Quran at educational institutions, after the summer holidays, from the primary to higher-secondary level. But even before it gets off the ground, the idea is likely to face resistance from religious circles.

“We will start teaching the Holy Quran at 18,000 of our non-formal schools all across the country,” Balighur Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, told Dawn.

A draft law, tentatively titled ‘Education of Holy Quran according to Recitation by Sight and with Translation, Learning by Heart and with Correct Pronunciation Bill 2015’, has been finalised by his ministry, and is currently being vetted by the law ministry.

Draft law, curriculum tabled before CII for approval; move makes clerics uneasy

But even before a law is promulgated, the minister says that he has been encouraged by several segments of society to start teaching the Holy Quran in schools.

“Some of the NGOs working in the education sector have expressed support for the idea,” the minister said, adding, “We need a law to discuss the idea with private schools and the provinces so that they too can follow the same pattern.”

Mr Rehman said that teaching of the Holy Quran would be mandatory only for Muslim students, while non-Muslim students would be exempted from these classes.

The federal education ministry appears to be following the idea put forward by the Karachi-based NGO — Ilm Foundation — which has been working on the subject and already has a set of 12 textbooks to teach the Holy Quran, which are already being followed by several schools.

Under the curriculum devised by Ilm Foundation, students from grade one to grade five learn to recite the Holy Quran by reading the Arabic text.

Between grades six and twelve, students will be taught the holy book along with a simple Urdu translation.

“The translation is so simple that even Urdu teachers can easily teach it,” the minister told Dawn. “Between grades six and ten, students will read and learn Urdu translations of the surah (chapter) which pertain to historical events; while in grades 11 and 12, they will study chapters that contain Allah’s commandments and directives,” Mr Rehman explained.

The Ilm Foundation’s curriculum has already been approved by various religious scholars from all four mainstream sects in the country, including Barelvi, Shia, Deobandi and Ahle Hadith.

The NGO has also provided soft copies of their books to the ministry, and given them permission to print their own copies without any additional charges.

An NGO worker from an organisation working in the education sector supported the idea of teaching the Holy Quran at informal education centres, saying it would help reduce the burden on parents who would ordinarily have to hire a qari, or send their children to a madressah for this purpose.

“This will reduce the amount of political influence clerics who teach the Holy Quran will be able to exert, as well as reducing fears that they are teaching something else along with the holy book, if the idea is adopted,” the NGO representative said, on condition of anonymity.

He said that although there were several Hafiz-i-Quran (those who learn the Holy Quran by heart) in society, many of them had never even read the translation of the holy book in their life. “However, we still respect them as if they are learned people,” he deplored.

The draft bill, along with the sets of books that will be used as part of the curriculum, have been submitted by Mr Rehman before the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for review.

The CII has distributed the books to its members and various office-bearers of its research cell. However, it seems that some clerics are apprehensive about the move, fearing that it may threaten their monopoly over teaching of the Holy Quran.

There are even reports that some members have already begun raising concerns within days of receiving the set of books for the proposed curriculum.

“We are looking at the Urdu translation that has been written in the 12 books thoroughly and carefully,” said a CII official. However, he added that certain members had expressed dissatisfaction over the idea on the grounds that it will not be beneficial for students.

“This is just like reading a medical college textbook over the Internet — one cannot become a doctor this way,” the official said, adding that the accent and disciplinary strictness of a teacher cannot be replicated by just any Urdu teacher at the primary or secondary level. “This idea will fail,” he concluded.

dawn.com/news/1269690/plan-to-teach-quran-with-translation-may-hit-snags

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Gen Raheel visits LoC, exchanges Eid greetings with troops

July 9th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Friday visited troops deployed on front-lines along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kel and Bagh Sectors.

According to ISPR, the army chief greeted them Eid and spent time with them. Gen Raheel said that high morale of troops, operational preparedness and vigilance maintained along the LOC is highly commendable".

Paying rich tributes to the sacrifices of officers and men of Pakistan Army, the COAS appreciated the soldiers' spirit of valour, sacrifice and extreme commitment for defence of the motherland.

Upon his arrival, the army chief was received by Corps Commander Lieutenant General Malik Zafar Iqbal.

On the first day of Eid, Gen Raheel offered Eid prayers along with other senior military brass in Shawal area and interacted with troops.

The army chief commended the morale and spirit of troops “fighting on the front line to protect their motherland”, said the ISPR statement.

“As consolidation goes on and operational dividends optimised for Pak-Afghan border region, Pakistan will not allow anyone to use its soil against Afghanistan,” the army chief had said.

Raheel Sharif directed all military commanders, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures against violators.

dawn.com/news/1269524/gen-raheel-visits-loc-exchanges-eid-greetings-with-troops

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Tight security for Edhi's funeral prayers at National Stadium

July 9th, 2016

KARACHI: Thousands of people, including high profile politicians and government officials, have gathered at the National Stadium on Saturday to attend the funeral prayers of Abdul Sattar Edhi – Pakistan's most celebrated humanitarian who passed away last night in Karachi.

Edhi's funeral prayers will be offered after Zuhr prayers; his body will be flown via helicopter to the Edhi village, where he will be laid to rest.

Strict security measures have been taken for the funeral, with all three chiefs of the armed forces in attendance alongside DG Rangers Bilal Akber, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Bajwa.

Also attending are President Mamnoon Hussain, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, his Sindh counterpart Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Sindh Police IG AD Khawaja, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah.

Bajwa said army, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies personnel will unite to ensure safety for the mourners. A military guard of honour and gun salute will be presented at the funeral, he said.

As part of the city's security plan, Karachi Traffic Police has designated different entry points to the stadium for public and VIPs.

"The public will be allowed to enter the National Stadium through gate number 4, 5 ,6 and 8," said DIG Traffic Amir Sheikh.

"The VIPs and VVIPs, most of whom will be coming from areas of Defence, Clifton and Sharah-e-Faisal, will enter through the main gate, gate number 1 and 2," he added.

Media persons will be allowed to enter through gate number 11 and 12.

Sheikh urged people to coordinate with the organisers since strict security measures had been taken.

"Edhi's death is a big occasion not only nationally but also internationally and anyone can make wrong use of this situation," he said.

"Therefore I strongly appeal to the public to coordinate."

Security personnel from the army, Rangers and police commandos have been deployed around the National Stadium as well as on all routes leading to the venue.

According to a press release by the IG Sindh's office, no one will be allowed to enter the venue without getting searched.

Edhi passed away at the age of 88 in Karachi on Friday night.

"He wished to be buried in the same clothes he used to wear. He also wanted to donate his body parts, but only his cornea can be donated as the rest of his organs were not in a healthy condition," said Edhi's son Faisal Edhi.

Edhi was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 but had been unable to get a transplant due to frail health. He was receiving treatment at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

dawn.com/news/1269717/tight-security-for-edhis-funeral-prayers-at-national-stadium

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/s-arabia-using-medina-terrorist-attack-to-save-face/d/107908

 

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