New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 01:09 PM

Islamic World News ( 10 Dec 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Terror 'Mastermind' Who Recruited Austrian 'ISIS Poster Girls' Sent 'Another 160 to Join Jihad

 

 

The capital of China's far western Xinjiang has banned the wearing of Islamic veils in public, experts worry could spark more unrest in the troubled region. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

 

 

 

Europe

Terror 'Mastermind' Who Recruited Austrian 'ISIS Poster Girls' Sent 'Another 160 to Join Jihad

Polish Court Overturns Ban on Halal and Kosher Slaughter

Austria to Amend Islamic Law over Disputes

The Rise of Jihadists in Spain

Switzerland Orders Community Service for Returned ISIL Jihadist

Russia in touch with U.S. over Syria peace talks

'Early recognition' of Palestine possible: Ireland

 

Mideast

ISIS Terrorists Are the New Models for Young Palestinians: Yesh Atid Leader

'White Marriages': Iran's Cohabiting Couples Defy Sharia Law

Turkey slams CIA torture in post-9/11 era, after Senate report

Qaeda group blames Obama for Yemen hostage deaths

US tech firms urged to help combat cyber jihad

 

Pakistan

55 Years Later, Pakistan Couple, With Their Children, Axed To Death for Honour

Lashkar-e-Taiba Doing Charity in Gaza

Militants joining IS, says Punjab govt

Pakistan offered matchless sacrifices in war against terror

Organ transplant racket again active in Pakistan, moot told

Punjabi PM and ministers won’t be allowed to enter Sindh if killings continued

Pakistan, India urged to negotiate LoC ceasefire into formal agreement

Law, order issue echoes in Balochistan Assembly

ISSI holds seminar on religious tolerance

 

North America

CIA Torture Report Revealed 'Inexcusable Crimes': Snowden

Isis Militants 'Trying to Sell James Foley’s Body to His Parents for $1m'

U.S. Lawmakers Attack Strategy on Isis

US closes Bagram prison, says it has no more detainees in Afghanistan

US acknowledges N. Waziristan operation has disrupted militants

 

Africa

Female Suicide Bombers Kill Four at Busy Nigeria Market

Seven Somali women killed in 'barbaric' attacks: elders

Kenya Eyes Tougher Security Laws after Shebab Killings

ICC refers Libya to UNSC for not surrendering Gaddafi's son

Libya’s recognized PM vows to liberate Tripoli

 

Arab World

Iraqi Kurdish Govt Vows To Continue Independence Bid

Iraq Preparing To Liberate Mosul from Isil

Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya Considers Exiting Pro-Morsi Bloc

Absence of Premarital Meeting Blamed For 40% of Divorces

Oman council seeks blanket ban on alcohol

Arab Bank to face May damages trial over Hamas attacks

Saudi men getting caught in cybersex blackmail trap

Political parties concerned over Egypt's draft parliamentary constituencies law

Former Morsi minister of information sentenced to 10 years in prison

Isis throw gay man off building, stone him to death

27-year jail for aide of militants who kidnapped Saudi consul

 

India

'No Intelligence Inputs To Suggest Terror Threat on Indian Cities': Minister of State for Home

‘Neither Hindu nor Muslim’, Agra's ‘Converts’ Trapped In Limbo

Have taken up with Pakistan reports of minorities' persecution: India

Ban on conversion an infringement of fundamental right

 

South Asia

Taliban Suicide Blast Kills Six Afghan Soldiers In Kabul

China’s Urumqi Bans Islamic Veil, Sparking Rights Concerns

17 rebels killed in past 24 hours

NATO airstrike leaves five Afghan children dead

Singapore ‘would cooperate with Kingdom in extremist rehabilitation’: Muslim scholars

'BNP-Jamaat alliance plots to kill Hasina'

‘Ensure human rights for ethnic minority people’

 

Southeast Asia

Support for call for open debate, discourse on Islamic law – JAG

Prominent Malaysians fear country losing moderate Muslim credentials as it moves towards fundamentalism

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/terror--mastermind--who-recruited-austrian--isis-poster-girls--sent--another-160-to-join-jihad/d/100435

 

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Europe

 

Terror 'Mastermind' Who Recruited Austrian 'ISIS Poster Girls' Sent 'Another 160 to Join Jihad 11 Dec, 2014

An alleged Islamic hate preacher has been arrested over claims he is the terror mastermind who recruited the two Austrian Jihad 'poster girls' and more than 160 others who joined ISIS.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 16, became radicalised through the cell led by unemployed benefits claimant Ebu Tejma, 33, who lived with his pregnant wife and five children in a council flat in Vienna, Austria.

It was stuffed with jewellery, cash and savings books worth a fortune when it was stormed by Austria's elite heavily-armed police Special Forces team WEGA.

The valuables had all been provided by Muslims radicalised by the preacher and his cronies in a network that reportedly extended across the country and into the rest of Europe.

His arrest has been seen as a major blow against the terrorist group's activities.

According to security forces, Ebu Tejma, whose real name is Mirsad Omerovic, not only recruited the two girls that became the public face of jihad - but was also involved in a further 166 defections of European youngsters to fight in holy war.

It's also claimed he raised a 'significant' amount of cash for terrorists.

Security service insiders claim that he was not only one of 200 leading jihadists, but was also one of the leaders of the so called 'Bosnian cell' based in the Meidling district of Vienna that was 'one of the most important logistic and financial support centres for jihadist activities in Europe', according to a 'Vecernje novosti', a local newspaper in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Austria has been concerned for years over fears that the country was becoming a hub for terrorist activities after inviting thousands of Muslim refugees into the country during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

The moved provided a fertile breeding ground for Ebu Tejma and his network. The influential Austrian newspaper the Krone, claimed that 'there was scarcely a single recruit in Europe for Jihad in which he and his group were not involved'.

Originally from the small Serbian town of Tutin, Tejma was known in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a preacher of hatred and intolerance, who very soon found himself allied with the extreme form of Islam known as Wahhabism.

According to Austrian anti-terrorism authorities, Tejma appeared on their radar more than three years ago, when he began uploading videos onto his YouTube channel.

Although officially unemployed, he was observed driving expensive fast cars. For the past two years, intelligence officials have been tapping his communications, monitoring his phone calls and building up a picture of his network - which then prompted the arrests on Friday November 28.

One of those connections is allegedly a direct line to the caliph of ISIS terrorism, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Investigators saw a constant stream of Salafist Muslims while monitoring the Altun Alem mosque during their operation on Tejma.

Salafism is the fastest-growing Islamic movement in the world. It is rooted in the 19th century where it emerged as a way of combating the spread of European ideas and values.

But in recent years, it has come to be associated with the jihad of extremist groups that advocate the killing of innocent civilians.

Security services recorded constant stream of Salafist preachers, often accompanied by Mujahedin fighters travelling up from Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the mosque and the imam has been appearing in online videos revealing that it is every Muslim's duty to join jihad if an Islamic state is under attack from non-believers.

It is not even necessary to ask parents for permission, because even that normally essential parental duty takes second place to the duty to fight.

This is exactly what happened in the case of Samra and Sabina, who left only a note for their worried parents.

It was at underground mosques like these that the teenage girls were recruited and the signs were there that they were in danger even before they fled.

Messages painted on the walls at school urging fellow believers to follow the call to jihad were traced back to the girls.

Nobody heeded that warning until their parents discovered the notes in their bedrooms. 'Don't look for us, we have gone to fight in the holy war.'

Meanwhile, Samra and Sabina attended Tejma's sermons - in which he said it was a woman's duty to support men fighting jihad. Tejma would even approach fathers attending Friday prayers to tell them that he had many contacts looking for wives.

Samra and Sabina were radicalised within a few short months and travelled to Syria to marry jihadists. Both girls have now revealed they made a mistake, and desperately want to return home. But they are married already, and also both reportedly pregnant, so the chances of ever returning home or indeed seeing their parents seem remote.

Tejma and 12 others were picked up in the raids involving hundreds of officers. They have been remanded in custody for a further two weeks while the investigations continue.

According to state prosecutor Hansjoerg Bacher, the charges they are being investigated over are on suspicion of membership of a terrorist organisation, in 'connection with the recruiting of young people for the civil war in Syria'.

The lawyer for Tejma denies all the charges while police and prosecutors sift through the evidence, and begin questioning his associates.

Publicly they say they have struck a major blow against a likely terrorist network - but the arresting officers are clearly worried that there may be others at large.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2865316/The-terror-mastermind-recruited-Austrian-ISIS-poster-girls-got-160-join-jihad-Syria-Iraq.html#ixzz3LdN8QWQ4

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Polish court overturns ban on Halal and Kosher slaughter

11 December 2014

Poland’s constitutional court on Wednesday overturned a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals which had affected the Jewish and Muslim communities.

The Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the protection of animals could not take precedence over the guarantees of religious freedom.

Though the judges did not rule unanimously, it is nonetheless a victory for Poland’s small Jewish and Muslim communities and for the agricultural industry, which in the past profited from the production of meat for export to Jewish and Muslim communities.

Ritual slaughter, which involves the killing of livestock without stunning them first to reduce their pain, has been illegal since Jan. 1, 2013, due to a ban that the same court imposed after a campaign by animal rights activists.

Wednesday’s ruling came in reaction to a complaint lodged by Poland’s Jewish community, which argued that the ban violated guarantees of religious freedom enshrined in Poland’s constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights.

Poland’s top Muslim leader, Tomasz Miskiewicz, and Jewish officials in and out of Poland welcomed the decision.

“Religious freedom for Jewish communities in Europe has been under threat from those who would ban ritual slaughter and male circumcision, two fundamental Jewish rites,” said Abraham Foxman with the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League. “Poland’s highest court and the Polish Jewish community struck an important victory for religious freedom, not only for the Jews of Poland but also for other European Jewish communities.”

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said the decision “marks a major victory for the Polish Jewish community,” which he said was also hurt by a failure of Poland’s parliament last year to adopt a law to keep kosher and halal slaughter legal.

“This also sends a clear signal: Jews, Jewish life and Jewish traditions are welcome in Poland,” Lauder said in a statement.

Until 2013, Polish farmers were doing a good business, making about 500 million euros ($620 million) per year exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim countries such as Egypt and Iran. But the business practically ground out after ritual slaughter was banned.

In both religions the slaughter method involves a swift cut to the throat of a conscious animal and death by bleeding. Animal rights activists say it causes unnecessary suffering. But religious leaders insist efforts are taken to minimize suffering and that the animals are killed so fast they do not suffer for long.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/12/11/Polish-court-overturns-ban-on-ritual-slaughter.html

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Austria to amend Islamic law over disputes

World Bulletin/News Desk

11 Dec, 2014

The Austrian government approved on Wednesday amendments to the country's law on Islam, following disputes around bringing in stricter regulations.

The country's Council of Ministers submitted the draft to the Austrian parliament. The draft included no key changes, and there still remain concerns over the law.

The article over banning foreign funding was not changed, as was previously demanded.

According to the article, imams -- Islamic preachers -- working in Austria can work until their visa expires. The imams will not get new visas, new imams will not be allowed to arrive and foreign funding to Islamic organizations will be banned.

According to the amendment, mosques with less than 300 community members will be closed within a year and those with more than 300 will have to register as a legal entity.

The authority of the prime minister to recognize and abolish religious organizations can only be justified in cases of "security and anti-democratic practices."

A new article was introduced to allow the government to cancel activities held by religious organization.

Two separate faculties based on the Alevi and Sunni schools of Islamic thought will be founded and will replace the Islamic Theology faculty at the University of Vienna.

The graduates of these faculties will be tasked with working at mosques or Alevi community places of worship, known as cemevi.

The draft removes the article that bans preaching by unregistered preachers and compels mosque preachers to translate their sermons into German.

The changes made to the law failed to satisfy Muslims in the country.

Fuat Sanac, the head of the Austria Islam Community, called the amendments "positive," but inadequate. Sanac said the community was expecting more amendments to the law.

"Some changes were made to the criticized issues, but they will not change our attitude to the law," Sanac said.

Sanac said there were no changes to articles that viewed Muslims as a threat.

He called for dialogue to overcome the problems.  

The draft is expected to be passed by parliament in January 2015 and take effect in February.

The first draft, revealed by the government on Oct. 2, was criticized by non-governmental organizations, preachers, academics and international organizations as it violated the concepts of freedom, equality and religious freedom enshrined in international law.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/150404/austria-to-amend-islamic-law-over-disputes

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The Rise of Jihadists in Spain

11 Dec, 2014

More and more Spanish youth travel to Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State and other jihadist groups

The number of jihadist fighters and recruiters has risen significantly in Western European countries since the advance of Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile the expansion of global jihad has mostly affected countries like France, the UK or Belgium. Up until recently, Spain wasn’t in the international spotlight when it came to jihadists. But in the last few months the Spanish police and national security forces have faced a real internal threat as radical Spanish Muslims’ support for the so-called Islamic State grows rapidly in the country.

For centuries Spain has been one of the European countries most influenced by Islam and it serves as a connecting link between Europe and the Maghreb region and the greater Arab world. Moreover, with its two enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, Spain still has a relevant presence in North Africa. Nowadays these two cities have been the epicentre of Spanish jihadist movements, as the majority of Spanish recruits travelled from these cities to fight for IS.

As more and more European countries impose serious sanctions upon their home-grown jihadist fighters, in Spain the police and the national security forces have started to make extensive investigations over IS affiliates in the country. “The alertness of jihadism in Spain, from 1 to 5, is 2,” Spanish commissary said in a recent report to laSexta. Evaluating such threats is obviously difficult and compared to other European countries, there are “only” 65 Spanish jihadists in Syria and Iraq, according to the police. Meanwhile, there are significantly greater numbers of individuals from France (930) or Belgium (250) who have travelled to fight in the Middle East.

To stop the growth of Spanish extremist militants, authorities need to find the reasons why there are more and more radicalized jihadists in Spain. The district of El Príncipe in Ceuta, is home of many young Islamists recruits, several who are currently fighting in Syria or Iraq. The population of this district is 12,000 with a youth unemployment rate of 76% and 66% of households in poverty. Living in this futureless situation, many youth see the offer of the Islamic State as the only way of survival, and IS does offer exceptional pay, 3-4 times more than other groups.

Many jihadist recruiters have been operating in the city of Ceuta. One such individual was Yassin Ahmed Laarbi (aka Pistu). According to El País:

“Laarbi and his followers…sent 14 youths, most from the Spanish exclave of Ceuta, off to almost certain death in Syria. Eight of them died in suicide attacks that caused dozens of victims. An investigation by the High Court shows that the first Islamist cell was busted in Ceuta in 2012 for sending fighters to Syria was were also planning attacks on Spanish soil. High Court prosecutors Javier Zaragoza and Vicente González Mota want Laarbi and 10 associates to spend between 10 and 12 years behind bars for association with the Al Nusra Front and with Islamic State, which seeks the creation of a new caliphate”.

“Some of these young people never had strong religious tendencies, but suddenly seem to know about it well, and they think they found that call. It has a lot to do with identity. Who am I? The jihad, combating in Syria for a cause, it’s an adventure. It tells them: I am, where I am,” said Carlos Rontomé, sociologist at University of Granada, in the same laSexta report.

Apart from the bad economic situation, there are other reasons for the success of Islamic State to persuade more youth to join their global jihad. Its recruiters are looking for young and easily manipulated people to radicalize them through social media and personal contacts. Moreover, as an extensive social issue, many countries in Europe continue to struggle in integrating Muslims into their society. As a consequence of these problems, recruiters of radical groups can find more marginalized Muslims, more people searching for an identity.

“The East knows much more about the West, than the West [does] about the East. They know us better in every sense,” said Tomás Alcoverro, correspondent of Spanish daily La Vanguardia.

Spain has already experienced the brutality of Islamist terrorists. The so-called ‘El Descanso bombing’ was the first known terrorist attack in Spain, when Islamic Jihad Organization (‘Islamic Jihad’) carried out a bomb attack against El Descanso restaurant, in Torrejón, near a US military base. The aftermath left 18 dead and 82 wounded. But this was nowhere near the brutality that came nearly 20 years later. The second attack was one of the most horrifying terrorist acts of all time. The ‘2004 Madrid train bombings’ or ‘11-M’ killed almost 200 people and wounded 1,800 when an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist cell exploded 11 bombs on different trains.

Although Spain is probably in a better situation now than France, Belgium or the UK, in terms of the jihadist threat, Spanish authorities still have a lot to do, especially in low-income neighbourhoods, such as La Príncipe in Ceuta. Spain needs to act strong to prevent the aggravation of the situation and any possible blowback that might come from radicalized jihadists.

https://www.the-newshub.com/stories/the-rise-of-jihadists-in-spain

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Switzerland orders community service for returned ISIL jihadist

11 Dec, 2014

Switzerland has ordered a returned recruit of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to do 600 hours of community service and will not send him to prison, in the country's first sentencing of a foreign jihadist fighter.

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber's ruling went into effect this week, he told public broadcaster RTS late Dec. 10.

The 30-year-old recent convert to Islam, from the western Swiss canton of Vaud, had travelled to Syria late last year to join an ISIL training camp.

The man, whose name was not given, told the broadcaster he had been indoctrinated over the Internet.

"I was new to Islam... The videos I saw and the discussions I had online made me feel like I had to go there," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/switzerland-orders-community-service-for-returned-isil-jihadist.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75487&NewsCatID=351

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Russia in touch with U.S. over Syria peace talks

11 December 2014

Russia is in touch with “U.S. partners” to facilitate efforts to relaunch peace talks on the Syrian crisis, a top diplomat said Wednesday after meeting with the warn-torn country’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Assad expressed his support for Moscow’s bid to relaunch the peace talks after meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

Bogdanov, who said Moscow was hoping to host a Syria-U.S. meeting, was quoted as saying, for the first time, that he “was in contact with our American partners.”

“If Syrians want to meet in Moscow, then we will discuss this issue with the U.S. side and others,” Bogdanov was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

“We have proposed that the Syrians come to Moscow to discuss political possibilities to resolve the crisis,” he added.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/11/Russia-in-touch-with-U-S-over-Syria-peace-talks.html

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'Early recognition' of Palestine possible: Ireland

11 Dec, 2014

Ireland is considering early recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible tactic for kick-starting Middle East peace talks, the foreign minister declared Wednesday as he offered conditional support for an idea bitterly opposed by Israel.

Charlie Flanagan spoke as Ireland became the latest European Union member to approve a non-binding parliamentary motion seeking recognition of Palestinian statehood. Lawmakers in Britain, France and Spain already have passed similar motions calling on their governments to follow Sweden, which on Oct. 30 ignited debate by becoming the first western EU member to recognize Palestinian statehood officially.

Flanagan said Ireland's government was considering the move. He credited Sweden with inspiring the entire 28-nation EU to open talks Nov. 26 in Brussels seeking a possible alliance-wide endorsement of Palestinian statehood. But he said Ireland still hoped to make the move as part of a wider Israeli-Palestinian accord, not before it or unilaterally in advance of achieving an EU consensus.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117660/World/Region/Early-recognition-of-Palestine-possible-Ireland.aspx

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Mideast

 

ISIS terrorists are the new models for young Palestinians: Yesh Atid leader

11 December 2014

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid addressed The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Thursday, saying that "ISIS [Islamic State] terrorists are the new idols of young Palestinians."

Lapid's comments came as he was lampooning the diplomatic policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His ISIS comparison described the two east Jerusalem men who brutally killed five Israelis in a Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem last month.

The former finance minister, who was recently fired by the prime minister, said that during his tenure in the government, he had not been able to discern what Netanyahu's diplomatic policy is.

He said that Israel must find a way to separate from the Palestinians in order to gain security and peace, however he also slammed the Left for its approach to the peace process posing himself as a centrist.

Lapid said that Israel must aim for a regional agreement, reaching out to moderate Arab regimes.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Lapid-ISIS-terrorists-are-the-new-models-for-young-Palestinians-384317

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'White marriages': Iran's cohabiting couples defy Sharia law

11 Dec, 2014

Clerics promise a crackdown on 'shameful' couples fighting for freedom and independence by moving in together

Couples in Iran are defying the country's strict Islamic law by living together outside of wedlock, angering hardline clerics who call the practice is an insult to Islam.

The growing trend, known as 'white marriage' because of its association with the western world, has become so serious that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has commented on it. His office issued a warning to the public and called on police and the judiciary to "show no mercy" to couples discovered cohabiting.

"It's shameful for a man and a woman to live together without being married," the statement said. "It won't take long for people who've chosen this lifestyle to have wiped out a legitimate generation with an illegitimate one."

In a country where shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex is illegal, couples are risking their freedom and sometimes even their lives to live together.

Many couples are forced to lie to their families in order to protect them from the shame, and must always be on the alert for inquisitive neighbours and landlords who could tell the authorities.

Full report at:

http://www.theweek.co.uk/middle-east/61738/white-marriages-irans-cohabiting-couples-defy-sharia-law#ixzz3LdQQQaRY

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Turkey slams CIA torture in post-9/11 era, after Senate report

11 Dec, 2014

Turkey has condemned the torture committed by the CIA against terrorism suspects in the post-Sept. 11 era, following the recent release of a report issued by the U.S. Senate's Intelligence Committee.

“Torture and any other tyrannical, inhumane and humiliating acts cannot be approved under any circumstances. In addition to being a humane and legal responsibility, the protection of human rights is also very important for the fight against terrorism,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement Dec. 11.

It also stressed that holding those responsible to account before the law was "crucially important" for preventing future human rights violations.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-cia-torture-in-post-911-era-after-senate-report.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75483&NewsCatID=510

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US tech firms urged to help combat cyber jihad

11 December 2014

A new in-depth study by the Middle East Media Research Institute shows how jihadist groups radicalize and recruit a new generation of Muslims online.

The study, “From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State (ISIS), Jihadi Groups Engage in Cyber Jihad,” was researched over the past year by MEMRI and its Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, and published last week, to coincide with the launch of MEMRI’s Cyber Jihad Lab initiative (http://cjlab.memri.org). Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow wrote the report.

The late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is quoted as praising the cyber jihad: “The wide-scale spread of jihadist ideology, especially on the Internet... [is] a major achievement for jihad.”

Stalinsky, MEMRI’s executive director, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, “The main point of the report is that al-Qaida and now Islamic State and other leading terrorist organizations have launched cyber jihad against the West by utilizing US websites and social media freely.”

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/New-Tech/US-tech-firms-urged-to-help-combat-cyber-jihad-384294

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Qaeda group blames Obama for Yemen hostage deaths

11 Dec, 2014

SANAA: Al-Qaeda blamed US President Barack Obama for the deaths of two hostages -- an American photojournalist and a South African teacher -- during a failed rescue attempt over the weekend, in a video message released Thursday.

"Obama made the wrong decision, and signed the death warrant for his American compatriot" Luke Somers, who along with South African national Pierre Korkie was killed on Saturday, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) official Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi said in the video.

Somers and Korkie were shot and fatally wounded by their captors when US commandos stormed an Al-Qaeda hideout in southwestern Yemen.

The failed raid came just a day before Korkie was due to be released under a deal with the kidnappers.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-168384-Qaeda-group-blames-Obama-for-Yemen-hostage-deaths

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Pakistan

 

55 Years Later, Pakistan Couple, With Their Children, Axed To Death for Honour

11 December 2014

In another incident of honour killing, an elderly couple, who had a love marriage 55 years ago, was brutally killed along with four of their children in Pakistan’s Punjab province, media said today.

The cold blooded murder occurred in Malkana Mor area of Athara Hazari tehsil of Jhang district on the intervening night of Monday and yesterday.

The couple, Ghulam Fatima, a widow and Fazal Razzaq had had married some 55 years ago without the consent of the woman’s family and shifted to Jhang, Dawn online reported.

Following the marriage, the couple was blessed with nine children and had been living happily after but the tide of good fortunes turned abruptly when the tragedy struck on Tuesday.

Police said a few days back, Fazal, Fatima’s son from her first marriage, had come to her house in Jhang district and had been staying there since then.

He, apparently on Monday night, spiked family’s meal with some strong tranquiliser drugs and the whole family fell unconscious after dinner.

Fazal, who was then allegedly joined by his five accomplices, axed the couple and their three daughters — from 23 to five years of age — and an 11-year-old son.

Before fleeing the crime scene, the suspects severely injured couple’s five other children.

Last year, 869 cases of honour killings were reported, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The true figure could be higher since many cases go unreported.

In most cases, the culprits escaped punishment after being pardoned by complainants who happened to be their close relatives.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/55-years-later-axed-to-death-for-honour/article6680123.ece

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Lashkar-e-Taiba Doing Charity In Gaza

11 Dec, 2014

The Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, accused of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, is now reportedly engaged in charity work in Gaza.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor has found evidence that the Pakistani group’s charity arms – Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) – are active in the Gaza Strip.

Tufail Ahmad, director of the South Asia Studies Project at MEMRI, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that “the move by Lashkar-e-Taiba to establish a footprint in Gaza seems to be part of a well-thought-out jihadist strategy from Pakistan.”

It also “validates the global jihadist ambitions of the Pakistani jihadist groups, especially Lashkar- e-Taiba and its charity arms,” he said.

The founder of these charities is Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, a former academic-turned-terrorist leader whom India accuses of playing a role in the November 26, 2008, terrorist attacks in Mumbai, according to the MEMRI report, which was released Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Pakistani-terrorists-now-doing-charity-in-Gaza-384290

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Militants joining IS, says Punjab govt

11 Dec, 2014

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab home department is reported to have warned the provincial police force that some Chechen and Uzbek militants who left Waziristan in the wake of the Zarb-i-Azb military operation are trying to join the Islamic State militant group in the country.

In a letter to divisional police chiefs, intelligence agencies and the counter-terrorism department of Punjab, the home department said there were reports that some militant groups of Pakistan were joining the IS, also known as ‘Daish’, because of its anti-Shia policies.

But it also revealed that there were groups which were resisting the IS.

The letter said there were some intelligence reports that the ‘Salafi’ groups were inclined towards ‘Daish’ which might be seeking support from jihadi outfits and militant groups.

The home department has directed law-enforcement agencies to keep an eye on individuals associated with banned outfits and their activities.

Earlier, intelligence agencies had informed the Punjab government about the presence of a group of IS activists in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150128/militants-joining-is-says-punjab-govt

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Pakistan offered matchless sacrifices in war against terror

11 Dec, 2014

NOWSHERA – Head of Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Assistant Secretary of State William R Brownfield has said that Pakistan is a trusty worthy friend of the United States which offered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism which has no precedence in the history of mankind.

Keeping in view the services of the government of Pakistan, the US administration has provided grant of $400 million for capacity building of the police force, he said addressing the opening ceremony of Elite Police Training Centre here at Hakim Abad on Wednesday. The US assistance included provision of helicopters, vehicles and other spying gadgets. The first phase of the nine million dollars assistance has been completed with the completion of the joint elite police training centre. From next year, 11 million dollars would be provided more to the government of Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/10-Dec-2014/pakistan-offered-matchless-sacrifices-in-war-against-terror-william

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Organ transplant racket again active in Pakistan, moot told

11 Dec, 2014

KARACHI: Experts and officials of the provincial human organs transplantation authority (HOTA) on Wednesday said they feared Pakistan could again turn into an organ selling bazaar if the government continued to overlook the increasing activities of international mafias hunting for poor donors here and taking them abroad for transplantations.

“Pakistan was the world’s largest organ selling bazaar a few years back before a law curtailed it. But some recent events show the mafias have resumed their activities, especially in Punjab where they entice the poor into this illegal business,” said Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi, director of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, while briefing the media in the SIUT auditorium.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150068/organ-transplant-racket-again-active-in-pakistan-moot-told

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Punjabi PM and ministers won’t be allowed to enter Sindh if killings continued

11 Dec, 2014

SIALKOT: An office-bearer of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Sialkot was shot down by gunmen on Wednesday.

According to reports, MQM Sialkot Vice President Bao Muhammed Anwar was standing outside his restaurant on Shahabpura Road when unidentified miscreants opened fire at him, killing him on the spot. Two of his employees also were injured in the attack, according to a statement released by the MQM. MQM chief Altaf Hussain expressed grief over his death, saying, “Muttahida has lost a senior sincere friend in Punjab.” Altaf Hussain extended condolences to the bereaved family, saying, “All MQM workers share the grief felt by the deceased’s family including his children and brothers.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/11-Dec-2014/punjabi-pm-and-ministers-won-t-be-allowed-to-enter-sindh-if-killings-continued

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Pakistan, India urged to negotiate LoC ceasefire into formal agreement

11 Dec, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Restoring calm on the Line of Control (LoC) is not possible without the resolute demonstration of political will by India and Pakistan and the two sides should negotiate the ceasefire into a formal agreement.

This was stated by senior interlocutors from India and Pakistan, meeting for the 15th round of Chaophraya Dialogue in Thailand, an Indo-Pak Track-2 engagement consistently convened since 2008 by the Jinnah Institute (JI) and Melbourne-based Australia-India Institute.

Recognizing the severe toll the LoC violations have taken this year on Indo-Pak relations, the participants compared statistics on casualties and expressed concern at the loss of innocent civilian lives and stressed the need for both governments to enforce the existing ceasefire to restore the non-violent nature of the border.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/11-Dec-2014/pakistan-india-urged-to-negotiate-loc-ceasefire-into-formal-agreement

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Law, order issue echoes in Balochistan Assembly

11 Dec, 2014

QUETTA: The legislators continued participating in debate in the Balochistan Assembly on law and order situation.

The assembly sitting held with Speaker Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali in chair, here on Wednesday evening. Delivering his speech, Provincial Minister for WASA and Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai said that it is responsibility of all of us to point out the criminal elements besides playing our due role to curb crimes. “No society can exist without provision of swift justice”, he said. He said that peace and order would be maintained if system of punishment is implemented in letter and spirit. Pakistan Muslim League-MPA, Dr. Ruquiya Saeed Hashmi emphasized the need to improve morale of police. “Police need to be encouraged to play its significant role against criminal elements”,she said. She said that it is true that law and order situation was deteriorated in the province. Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party MPA, Manzoor Kakar said that law and order situation has been improved. “Incidents of targeted killings and kidnapping for ransom have been decreased”, he said. He, however, said there was need of taking further measures to improve policy system to control street crimes.

Deputy Speaker Balochistan Assembly, Mir Abdul Quddoos Bezinjo said the government would have to take further steps for maintenance of law and order. Advisor to Chief Minister on Zakaat, Mir Abdul Majid Abro said that the government should take serious steps for restoration of peace. Later, the house was adjourned till December 12.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/11-Dec-2014/law-order-issue-echoes-in-balochistan-assembly

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ISSI holds seminar on religious tolerance

11 Dec, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), in collaboration with the Embassy of Republic of Azerbaijan, organised a one-day seminar titled “Fostering Religious Tolerance and Tackling Radicalism”.

ISSI Chairman Ambassador (r) Khalid Mahmood opened the event with his welcome remarks and underlined Pakistan’s friendly relations with Azerbaijan ever since its recognition.

He also highlighted the cultural and religious relations marked by both the states and made supporting remarks in favour of Azerbaijan regarding the Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict.

The ISSI chairman pointed out that radicalism, militancy, and extremism were differentiated but inter-connected. He also stated the root causes of these evils, including economic exploitation, military invasion and foreign interference. In discussing a remedial solution to the problem, Mahmood said that a holistic approach was needed to resolve this issue.

Azerbaijan’s State Committee on Religious Association Deputy Minister Gunduz Ismayilov started the session by shedding light on the subject of state policy on tackling religious radicalism in Azerbaijan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/10-Dec-2014/issi-holds-seminar-on-religious-tolerance

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North America

 

CIA torture report revealed 'inexcusable crimes': Snowden

11 Dec, 2014

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said Wednesday that the United States had committed "inexcusable crimes" during its torture programme detailed by a US Senate report.

Speaking via videolink at a Paris conference organised by pressure group Amnesty International, Snowden -- who exposed secret NSA documents -- said he was "deeply saddened and to a great extent angered by what I read."

"The Senate investigation and the report they have released is extraordinary for a number of reasons... The things we did as a result of this programme are inexcusable crimes," added Snowden.

The US Senate said in a report published on Tuesday that CIA torture of Al-Qaeda suspects was far more brutal than acknowledged and failed to produce useful intelligence.

Detainees were beaten, waterboarded -- some of them dozens of times -- and humiliated through the painful use of medically unnecessary "rectal feeding" and "rectal rehydration."

"We saw individuals who actually lost their lives as a result of detention, as a result of the treatment they received under the torture programme," Snowden said.

"They died after being chained to a concrete floor in an unheated room, half-naked."

Snowden also took aim at Washington's decision not to prosecute those involved.

"If the US can allow its officials to torture and not hold them to account, what does this mean for other more totalitarian states, in Asia and in Africa and elsewhere around the world?" he asked.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117643/World/Region/CIA-torture-report-revealed-inexcusable-crimes-Sno.aspx

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ISIS militants 'trying to sell James Foley’s body to his parents for $1m'

11 Dec, 2014

The Islamic State is trying to sell the the remains of beheaded hostage James Foley to his parents for $1million, it has been claimed.

With the terrorist group failing to strike ransom deals, it is now trying to negotiate the sales of at least one of the men it has killed.

Sources with ties to ISIS or its associates told BuzzFeed News that it wants to sell the remains of the US journalist whose death was the first in a series of high-profile executions.

They said that for $1 million, around £638,000, the group would deliver Mr Foley’s body across the border to Turkey, and would provide a DNA sample to facilitate a deal.

All three of the sources seeking to act as middlemen in a deal with the secretive extremists have been granted anonymity to protect their safety.

One of the three sources seeking to act as middlemen - a former Syrian rebel fighter - said he was approached by an ISIS leader who asked him to find a channel to either the U.S. government or Foley’s family.

Full report at:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/james-foley-beheading-isis-militants-4787361

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U.S. lawmakers attack strategy on ISIS

11 December 2014

The U.S. administration was under fire again, accused of a “flawed” strategy to help end the war in Syria, as a top official admitted training for moderate rebels will only begin next year.

A day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sparred with senators, lawmakers in the House rounded on special envoy to Iraq Brett McGurk for a slow and inadequate response to the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

“After four months of the U.S.-led air campaign in Iraq and in Syria, ISIS still controls essentially the same amount of territory that it did in the summer, and one of the reasons for this, in my opinion, is the limited nature of this effort,” said representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House foreign affairs committee.

U.S. officials have said that some 1,100 airstrikes have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition since September.

But in the 2003 conflict against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, “we had a thousand sorties per day,” Royce said, adding Iraqis and Kurds fighting ISIS had also been denied the “heavy equipment” they need.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/11/U-S-lawmakers-attack-strategy-on-ISIS.html

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US closes Bagram prison, says it has no more detainees in Afghanistan

11 Dec, 2014

KABUL: The United States closed the Bagram detention facility on Dec 10 and no longer has custody of any detainees in Afghanistan, the US Defense Department said, closing a controversial chapter of Washington's long “war on terror”

The US released last three detainees from the notorious Bagram prison renamed as Parwan Detention Center in Afghanistan, ending its prisons operations.

Two of the detainees, including Redha al-Najar, were transferred into Afghan custody for possible prosecution, while the third wasn't considered a threat and is seeking resettlement in another country. In 2002, al-Najar was the subject of “enhanced interrogation” techniques by the CIA, according to the newly released Senate Intelligence Committee report.

One of the “black sites” mentioned in the damning 500-page Senate report, where measures such as “rectal feeding” were meted out, was a facility known as the “Salt Pit,” located outside the Bagram Air Base.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150168/us-closes-bagram-prison-says-it-has-no-more-detainees-in-afghanistan

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US acknowledges N. Waziristan operation has disrupted militants

11 Dec, 2014

WASHINGTON: The United States affirmed on Wednesday Pakistan’s claim that the military operation in North Waziristan had disrupted militants.

At the 23rd meeting of the US-Pakistan Defence Consultative Group, the two countries also stressed the need for creating a mechanism for reimbursing Pakistan after the expiry of the Coalition Support Fund. The fund expired this year.

“Both delegations affirmed the significance of the Pakistan military’s ongoing North Waziristan operation, which the US side affirmed has disrupted militants,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.

The two sides also agreed to “continue providing Pakistan’s counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency requirements which will inform the provision of security assistance”.

The United States and Pakistan also “discussed the importance of a mechanism to reimburse Pakistan for operational expenses after Coalition Support Funds expire at the end of fiscal year 2015,” the statement said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150108/us-acknowledges-n-waziristan-operation-has-disrupted-militants

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Africa

 

Female suicide bombers kill four at busy Nigeria market

11 Dec, 2014

Two female suicide bombers killed at least four people at a busy market in northern Nigeria's largest city Kano on Wednesday, less than two weeks after a horrific attack at the city's central mosque.

Boko Haram has been accused of deploying a wave of female bombers in recent months, including in Kano, and blame for the latest violence will likely fall on the Islamist insurgents.

Kano state police commissioner Adenrele Shinaba said the blast at the Kantin Kwari market in Kano city was "a twin suicide bombing carried out by two young girls in hijab".

"They came by the market and asked to be directed to a public convenience. The bombs detonated, killing them and four others," he told AFP. At least seven others were injured, he added.

The leader of the market traders union, Abdullahi Abubakar, said the blasts hit a parking area rather than the main market.

He estimated that the attackers were in their late teens and said they were accompanied by a man who disappeared after the girls blew themselves up.

Blood stained the walls and floors of affected buildings following the blasts. Angry youths converged on the area and were kept at bay by police and soldiers, an AFP correspondent said.

Full report at:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/141210/female-suicide-bombers-kill-four-at-busy-nigeria-market

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Seven Somali women killed in 'barbaric' attacks: elders

11 Dec, 2014

MOGADISHU: At least seven women have been killed in “barbaric” attacks in Somalia after Shebab insurgents beheaded a soldier's wife, prompting revenge executions of women close to the Islamists, elders said Thursday.

The Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebab earlier this week snatched two women — a soldier's wife and a chef for the government troops — before chopping the heads off both, elders in the southwestern Tiyeglow district told AFP.

“It was horrible, Al Shebab killed two innocent women connected with the government troops,” said Aliyow Isack, an elder.

In revenge, the widowed soldier and his colleagues rounded up women connected to Shebab fighters.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150184/seven-somali-women-killed-in-barbaric-attacks-elders

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Libya’s recognized PM vows to liberate Tripoli

11 December 2014

Libya’s recognized government will continue a military campaign to claim back and liberate the capital Tripoli, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said on Wednesday.

“Our troops are moving towards Tripoli to liberate it,” Thinni told Al Arabiya News Channel.

He said his forces were advancing on Tripoli from the west and would also seize the main border crossing to Tunisia.

Libya is divided between two governments since a group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in August after a month-long battle with a rival group, setting up its own parliament and government.

Thinni has been forced to work from the East where the elected House of Representatives is also based, part of turmoil three years after the ousting of Muammar Qaddafi.

The premier’s rival government, accused by its opponents of relying on Islamists, says Egypt and the United Arab Emirates help Thinni with the air strikes. However, Thinni denied this.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2014/12/11/Libya-s-recognized-PM-vows-to-liberate-Tripoli.html

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Kenya eyes tougher security laws after Shebab killings

11 Dec, 2014

Kenya's government wants to beef up its security laws after a string of attacks by Somalia's Shebab insurgents, but media and opposition warn some ideas are overly severe, reports said Wednesday.

The proposals include boosting the time police can hold terrorism suspects from the current 90 days to a year, increasing sentences, and more powers to intercept communications, according to reports in Kenyan media.

New ideas also suggest jail terms of up to three years for journalists broadcasting reports deemed to "undermine investigations or security operations relating to terrorism," while those who use social media to praise or incite acts of terrorism could face up to 20 years in prison.

The changes, due for initial debate in parliament Wednesday, also propose setting up a specialised Counter-Terrorism Centre bringing together all the branches of the security forces.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/117605/World/International/Kenya-eyes-tougher-security-laws-after-Shebab-kill.aspx

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ICC refers Libya to UNSC for not surrendering Gaddafi's son

11 Dec, 2014

The International Criminal Court said on Wednesday Libya had violated an obligation to hand over murder suspect Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and it referred the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

The Council, which asked the ICC to investigate crimes committed in the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Saif al-Islam's father Muammar, could sanction Libya, though it is not clear that its government is in any position to hand him over.

Since his arrest in 2011, Saif al-Islam has been held by a faction of former rebels in the Zintan region who often operate beyond the authority of both the internationally recognised Libyan government and the rival Libya Dawn movement, which now holds the capital Tripoli.

Lawyers for Saif al-Islam, accused of orchestrating crimes of murder and persecution in an attempt to put down the 2011 uprising, want him transferred to face justice in The Hague where he would not face the death penalty.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/150422/icc-refers-libya-to-unsc-for-not-surrendering-gaddafis-son

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Arab World

 

Iraqi Kurdish govt vows to continue independence bid

World Bulletin/News Desk

 11 December 2014

President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Wednesday pledged to continue his region's independence and referendum bid despite threats posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group.

Massoud Barzani's remarks came during a meeting with his Peshmerga commanders that returned from the battlefield in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani last week, where they fought ISIL militants.

"We will not step back from this bid," Barzani said.

He added that the ISIL militant group had failed to seize Kurdish regions outside the control of his regional government.

Barzani said the ISIL militants wanted to dismantle the Iraqi Kurdish people's independence bid by attacking and seizing Kurdish regions. However, the terrorists underestimated the strong defences of the Peshmerga that enjoyed support of the U.S. and EU countries, he added.

"All world leaders say Peshmerga is fighting for the name of humanity. We have a justified case, which has been proven by our people. So, the whole world has backed us," the Kurdish president said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/150383/iraqi-kurdish-govt-vows-to-continue-independence-bid

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Iraq Preparing To Liberate Mosul from ISIL

World Bulletin/News Desk

 11 December 2014

Baghdad has transferred its first shipment of arms to the forces fighting the ISIL in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, in preparation for a military offensive to liberate the city of Mosul, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Nineveh Provincial Council member Ghazwan Hamed confirmed that more than 60 armoured vehicles, in addition to shipments of light and medium arms, had reached Erbil International Airport as part of preparations for a push to recapture Iraq’s second city, which has been under ISIS control since June.

The Nineveh Provincial Council member confirmed that Iraqi regular forces, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Nineveh police forces, and local tribal fighters will cooperate in an upcoming campaign to recapture Mosul.

He added that Iraqi authorities have even drawn up security plans for Mosul following the liberation of the city, with Mosul being split into different areas under the protection of community-based forces.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/150365/iraq-preparing-to-liberate-mosul-from-isil-updated

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Egypt's Gamaa Islamiya considers exiting pro-Morsi bloc

11 Dec, 2014

Egypt's ultraconservative group Gamaa Islamiya says it is considering withdrawing from the pro-Morsi Islamist bloc, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL), Ahram Massai (Al-Ahram's evening edition) reported.

Several parties have recently left NASL, led by the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Awad Hattab, ex-head of the group in the Nile Delta town of Damietta, told Ahram Massai that group leaders are holding meetings to discuss withdrawing from NASL.

Egyptian media outlets also quoted other Gamaa Islamiya figures as reporting the same news.

According to Hattab, leaders are considering withdrawal after pressure from a reform wing within the party.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/117635/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Gamaa-Islamiya-considers-exiting-proMorsi-b.aspx

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Absence of premarital meeting blamed for 40% of divorces

 11 December 2014

Yahya Al-Sulami, judge supervising marriage contracts at the Civil Status Court in Jeddah, attributed 40 percent of divorce cases in the Kingdom to parents denying the prospective couple from meeting each other before their marriage. While Islam gives this right to couples, the prevailing social customs do not.

“Meeting within the bonds of religion ensures the stability of a married life. It is perfectly all right for men and women to get to know each other in the presence of elders in the family,” Al-Sulami said.

“I was shocked to discover on my wedding night that my bride was not the beautiful girl my sister had told me about,” Jamil Salem told Arab News recounting his experience. He stressed the need for men and women to meet before their marriage to avoid being disappointed.

He had earlier refused consent to any marriage proposal before being given the opportunity to meet the prospective bride but his parents firmly denied him this right. Although he has not divorced his wife, he is feeling deceived by his mother and sister who had assured him that they had found him a beautiful girl.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/672776

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Oman council seeks blanket ban on alcohol

 11 December 2014

Oman’s Shoura council has voted to ban alcohol, an official of the advisory body said, a move that, if approved by the cabinet, could affect plans to expand tourism.

“The members voted for generalizing the punishment on anyone practice alcohol-related activities including production, dealing, or trading,” the official told Reuters.

“But, of course, this is still a recommendation, not a law by itself.”

Oman, a small non-OPEC oil exporter, has smaller energy reserves than its wealthy Gulf neighbors and is trying to diversify its economy, in part by expanding its tourism sector. It seeks to become a major destination for cruise tourism.

Currently anyone found producing, consuming or trading alcohol without a permit is liable to a jail term of between 6 months and 3 years, or a minimum fine of 300 Omani rials ($779), or both, the council official said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/travel-and-tourism/2014/12/11/Oman-council-seeks-blanket-ban-on-alcohol.html

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Arab Bank to face May damages trial over Hamas attacks

11 December 2014

Arab Bank Plc will face a trial in May to determine how much it owes for providing material support to Hamas in three of two dozen attacks attributed to the Islamic militant group in Israel and the Palestinian territories, according to a court order.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday scheduled jury selection for May 18 for a damages trial involving claims by 17 of the 310 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of the attacks.

The cases will be the first to have damages assessed after a federal jury in September found Arab Bank liable in what lawyers described as the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the United States.

The plaintiffs accuse the Jordanian bank of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that lets victims of U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations such as Hamas seek damages.

Arab Bank has said it will appeal. Cogan has yet to rule on if he would allow it to appeal prior to final judgments being issued.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/banking-and-finance/2014/12/11/Arab-Bank-to-face-May-damages-trial-over-Hamas-attacks-.html

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Saudi men getting caught in cybersex blackmail trap

11 December 2014

There is an increasing number of cases involving citizens from the African continent blackmailing young Saudi men for large sums of money by threatening to post footage of them performing cybersex, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

The blackmailers, mostly from Morocco and Algeria, impersonate attractive women on Facebook and contact Saudi young men.

They then develop the relationship to include Skype chats and cybersex. The blackmailers save the video chats and use them to blackmail the victims for huge sums of money by threatening to post the videos on YouTube.

Some of the victims, who preferred to remain anonymous, said their intention was just to have fun and enjoy their time with what they thought to be women. Some even paid the ransom.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/media/2014/12/11/Saudi-men-getting-caught-in-cybersex-blackmail-trap.html

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Political parties concerned over Egypt's draft parliamentary constituencies law

11 Dec, 2014

Several political parties and forces in Egypt reacted to the new draft law redrawing Egypt's electoral constituencies issued Tuesday, emphasising the need to verify a balanced and fair representation of seats in proportion to the number of voters in a given electoral district. Otherwise, they say, the legality of the law will be disputed.

According to the draft law of electoral constituencies there will be 231 constituencies reserved to competition among independent candidates. Depending on the number of registered voters within constituency boundaries, this will return between one or two to three representatives. All in all, these constituencies must return 420 independent MPs.

Farid Zahran, the leading member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, believes that political forces in Egypt need time to study the law. 

"We need to see if there is any kind of imbalance between the number of voters in an electoral district and the new of seats assigned to it. After all, according to that draft, a 221,000-voter constituency will have one MP representing it, just like a 100,000-voter constituency," he told Ahram Online, adding that in such cases the legality of the law will be disputed.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/117628/Egypt/Politics-/Political-parties-concerned-over-Egypts-draft-parl.aspx

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Former Morsi minister of information sentenced to 10 years in prison

11 Dec, 2014

A Cairo criminal court sentenced former Morsi minister of information Salah Abdel Maksoud, at large, and the former head of radio engineering at Maspero Amr Darwish to ten years in prison on charges of stealing state TV broadcasting trucks during the Brotherhood-led Rabaa sit-in in July-August 2013. They were both orderd to pay LE3 million.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/117671/Egypt/Politics-/Former-Morsi-minister-of-information-sentenced-to-.aspx

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Isis throw gay man off building, stone him to death

11 Dec, 2014

Islamic State [Isis] jihadists say they have thrown a gay man off a rooftop and stoned him to death for blasphemy.

The jihadists have also published a photograph to corroborate the punishment handed over to the victim, by what they call as the Islamic court.

"The Islamic court in Wilayet al-Furat [Iraq-Syria frontier] decided that a man who has practiced sodomy must be thrown off the highest point in the city, and then stoned to death," read a statement released by the IS.

While the first picture released by the Sunni extremist group shows the homosexual man being dragged to the top of a building in an unknown location, the second image shows a man lying on the ground.

In a related incident another man in northern Syria was beheaded for blasphemy charges by the Islamists.

The latest grisly episodes have taken place after two gay men were stoned to death by the IS in November. The extremist organisation has sought to establish itself as a caliphate in the captured territories of Syria and Iraq forcing hard-line Islamic Shariah principles.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-throw-gay-man-off-building-stone-him-death-1478913

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27-year jail for aide of militants who kidnapped Saudi consul

 11 December 2014

RIYADH — The Saudi militant, who provided shelter to Al-Qaeda members who kidnapped the Saudi Deputy Consul General in Yemen, has been sentenced by the Special Criminal Court to 27 years in prison.

He has also been banned from travel abroad after completing his jail term, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

The Saudi diplomat, Abdullah Al-Khaldi, was kidnapped two years ago in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

The charges against the Saudi militant include joining Al-Qaeda in Yemen and making Yemen a starting point for carrying out terrorist operations in the Kingdom.

He was in charge of giving weapons training the youth who joined Al-Qaeda camps in Yemen recently. He also alongside Al-Qaeda elements in Yemen. He carried out some terrorist operations there. The militant was in charge of the information aspect of the terrorist organization in Yemen, among other charges.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20141211227223

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India

 

'No Intelligence Inputs To Suggest Terror Threat on Indian Cities': Minister of State for Home

11 Dec, 2014

There were no intelligence inputs to suggest that Al Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror groups have been working together to target Indian cities, parliament was told Wednesday.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Lok Sabha that both the terrorist organizations have uploaded videos on internet containing the alleged plight of Muslims in various countries including India but there are no intelligence inputs about specific threat to Indian cities including Bengaluru.

He said that there was a very close and effective coordination amongst intelligence agencies at the central and the state levels on intelligence sharing.

"The intelligence inputs about possible designs and threats are shared with the State Governments concerned on a regular basis," he said,

He also said the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) has been strengthened and re-organized to enable it to function on 24x7 basis for real time collation and sharing of intelligence with other intelligence agencies and states, which ensures seamless flow of information between the state and the central agencies.

This has resulted in busting of many terror modules, thus neutralizing major terror attack plans, he said.

https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/no-intelligence-inputs-suggest-terror-threat-indian-cities-135427295.html

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‘Neither Hindu nor Muslim’, Agra's ‘converts’ trapped in limbo

Ishita Mishra,TNN | Dec 11, 2014

AGRA: Caught between the devil and the deep sea, the 57 Muslim families who were brought into the Hindu fold on Monday now face a peculiar, pathetic plight. Angry maulvis on Wednesday stormed into the slum in Agra that they call their home and told the confused group that they are now officially "neither Hindu nor Muslim" and that neither "bhagwan nor Allah" will forgive them.

The men and women, cringing and sitting on the ground with fear writ large on their faces, began to wail in despair as soon as they heard it. Some raised their hands towards the sky and loudly asked for forgiveness from god.

'You have committed a crime'

The clerics, though, were unrelenting. Mudassir Khan, one of the leaders who visited the slum at Madhu Nagar, where the conversion had taken place, heaped more woe on the frightened lot. "You will have to re-marry, re-revise the Quran and have to re-follow all important aspects of Islam to become Muslim again," he thundered.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Neither-Hindu-nor-Muslim-Agras-converts-trapped-in-limbo/articleshow/45463616.cms

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Have taken up with Pakistan reports of minorities' persecution: India

11 Dec, 2014

India has taken up with Pakistan reports of persecution of minority groups, including Hindus, in that country and been told by Islamabad that it looks after the welfare of all its citizens, particularly the minority community, parliament was told Wednesday.

Minister of State for External Affairs Gen V. K. Singh (retd.), to a question in the Lok Sabha on "atrocities against Hindus" in other countries, said that the government has from time to time come across reports of problems being faced by minority community members in foreign countries, including minority Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh, through media, NGOs and human rights organizations.

"These members of the minority community are primarily citizens of those countries and are not Indian citizens. We do not have confirmed information about the exact number of such alleged atrocities," he said, according to an official statement.

He said that it is the primary responsibility of the respective foreign governments to look after their minority communities.

Full report at:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/have-taken-up-with-pakistan-reports-of-minorities-persecution-india-114121000976_1.html

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Ban on conversion an infringement of fundamental right

11 Dec, 2014

Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Thursday slammed the government for suggesting that a legislation to ban religious conversions can be brought in if all parties agree, saying it was an infringement of fundamental rights.

The Congress general secretary said it would be improper to ban conversion if any individual wanted to wilfully convert to another religion.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the NDA Government is open to a detailed discussion in the Parliament on the issue of conversion and if all parties agree it could even bring a legislation to ban conversions.

“Can Mr Naidu stop anyone from converting willingly to any other religion? It will be an infringement of fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution. It is the fundamental right of an individual to choose his/her religion.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/ban-on-conversion-an-infringement-of-fundamental-right-congress/#sthash.5nS5mAfY.dpuf

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South Asia

 

Taliban suicide blast kills six Afghan soldiers in Kabul

11 Dec, 2014

KABUL: A suicide bomber killed at least six Afghan soldiers in the suburbs of Kabul Thursday morning, officials said, the latest in a spate of Taliban attacks in the capital.

The bomber who was on foot targeted a bus carrying Afghan troops in Tangi Tarakhil on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul Crime Branch Unit chief General Farid Afzail told AFP.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a message sent to the media. “Around 7:15 am, a suicide bomber on foot targeted a bus of Afghan army soldiers in Tangi Tarakhil area of Kabul city,” Afzail said.

“As a result of the attack, six Afghan army staff were martyred and 10 others were wounded.”

A statement from the defence ministry confirmed the details of the attack and death toll, but said 11 people were wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150169/taliban-suicide-blast-kills-six-afghan-soldiers-in-kabul

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China’s Urumqi bans Islamic veil, sparking rights concerns

11 December 2014

The capital of China's far western Xinjiang has banned the wearing of Islamic veils in public, the regional government said today, in a move experts worry could spark more unrest in the troubled region.

The restriction comes as China is stepping up curbs on religious clothing amid increasing nervousness about Islamist extremism.

Beijing blames Islamist separatists for several deadly bomb and knife attacks that have killed hundreds of people over the past two years or so.

Many Xinjiang experts say the outlawing of veils and the heavy-handed enforcement of the rules would further stigmatise the region's minority Uighurs.

Uighurs have traditionally followed a moderate form of Islam, but many have begun adopting practices more commonly seen in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, such as full-face veils for women, as China has intensified a security crackdown in recent years.

The veil ban was "considered and approved" by the Urumqi parliament's Standing Committee on Wednesday, the official news website of the Xinjiang government said.

It is scheduled to come into force after review by the Xinjiang parliament's Standing Committee before it is formally announced, the website Tianshan.net, reported.

Xinjiang, home to the Uighur people who speak a Turkic language, has been beset for years by violence that the government blames on Islamist militants or separatists.

James Leibold, an expert on China's ethnic policy from Melbourne's La Trobe University, said the ban on the veils would make them "more popular as a symbol of resistance and assertion of ethno-national identity".

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1150190/chinas-urumqi-bans-islamic-veil-sparking-rights-concerns

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NATO airstrike leaves five Afghan children dead

World Bulletin/News Desk

 Dec 11 2014,

Five high school students were killed by a NATO airstrike Thursday in Parwan province, police said.

“The raid targeted Taliban militants, but mistakenly killed students who were studying at a local farm,” Mohamed Zaman Mamozay, Parwan police chief said.

NATO, however, disputed police reports that the targeted individuals were students, saying they were Taliban members.

Last year, NATO launched airstrikes in the same area, leaving 13 civilians dead.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/150455/nato-airstrike-leaves-five-afghan-children-dead

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17 Rebels Killed In Operations during the Past 24 Hours

Dec 11 2014

The interior ministry of Afghanistan reports that the operations were conducted in in Nangarhar, Parwan, Baghlan, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Paktika provinces jointly by Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security personnel.

A statement issued by the ministry states that two insurgents were also wounded during the operations and another arrested.

The statement adds that 4 IDS were defused and admonitions were seized from the position of the terrorists.

http://www.khaama.com/17-rebels-killed-in-past-24-hours

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Singapore ‘would cooperate with Kingdom in extremist rehabilitation’: Muslim scholars

Dec 11 2014

SINGAPORE — Muslim scholars in Singapore would welcome the opportunity to cooperate with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Muhammad Bin Naif Counseling and Care Center, the city-state’s minister of communication and information told Saudi Gazette in an exclusive interview.

Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, talking during the 8th Middle East Journalist Visit Program in his country, said he wanted to learn from the Saudi experience in reintegrating reformed extremists into society and also offer Singaporean experiences in this field.

He said Singapore is concerned about what is happening in the Middle East.

“We are watching closely; we are concerned about young Muslims being distracted by the terror ideologies of (the self-proclaimed) Islamic State.

We make it very clear this is not about Islam but about a group of people who are working against Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20141211227168

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'BNP-Jamaat alliance plots to kill Hasina'

11 Dec, 2014

Health Minister Mohammad Nasim has alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance is making blueprint to kill the prime minister after being defeated by the grand alliance in all the sectors including politics.

He made the statement while addressing a press conference at Awami League President Sheikh Hasina's Dhanmondi office on Thursday afternoon.

He said: “The BNP-Jamaat alliance has been defeated by the grand alliance in every sectors and now they are making blueprint to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”

“We were shocked when we heard about the plot to kill Sheikh Hasina,” he said.

The minister said: “India has informed us about the activeness of the militants of 'a neighbouring country' in the plot to kill Hasina, we thank them for the information.”

He added: “The BNP-Jamaat alliance are plotting to kill her [Hasina] with the help of some international organisations.”

While talking about election, he said the next election will be held under the ruling government.

Meanwhile, he declared the grand alliance will hold protest rallies in the upazilas in between January 15 to January protesting the plot against Hasina.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/dec/11/bnp-jamaat-alliance-plots-kill-hasina#sthash.oYEv7Xfk.dpuf

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‘Ensure human rights for ethnic minority people’

11 Dec, 2014

Representatives from different human rights organisation urged the government to protect human rights of ethnic minority people for bringing them to the mainstream.

They said human rights organisations should strengthen voice to protect rights and entitlements of ethnic minorities and underprivileged people of the country.

They came up with the call at the inaugural function of a two-day human rights fair titled “Hands of Humanity for Protecting Humans Rights”   in Rajshahi city.

On the occasion of the World Human Rights Day, Adibashi Sangskritik Uddayan Sangstha (ASUS) in association with Oxfam and European Union jointly organised the fair on Green Plaza premises of Rajshahi City Corporation.

The two-day fair features several programmes, including colorful procession, seminar, panel discussion and cultural programmes.

Eminent writer Hasan Azizul Haque inaugurated the fair releasing balloons and pigeons at about11:30 am as the chief guest.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/education/2014/dec/11/%E2%80%98ensure-human-rights-ethnic-minority-people%E2%80%99#sthash.afY3Voum.dpuf

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Southeast Asia

 

Support for call for open debate, discourse on Islamic law – JAG

11 Dec, 2014

Earlier this week, a group of Malaysians wrote a letter calling for “open debate and discourse on Islamic law”.

It was penned by 25 distinguished Malaysians – retired civil servants, judges, ambassadors, among others – including Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, founding member and trustee of Women’s Aid Organisation.

Their message was clear, and the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) fully supports it.

Among the many issues raised, the letter criticised Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom for his “inflammatory statement” against action he had unfairly called a “new wave of assault on Islam.” This includes the action taken by Sisters in Islam to seek legal redress against a fatwa issued against it.

JAG stands with Sisters in Islam in full support of its rights to seek legal redress, and its right to freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

We further echo the call for moderation with regard to respecting the rights of the transgender community to seek legal redress against the discrimination they face from religious officials because of their gender identity.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/support-for-call-for-open-debate-discourse-on-islamic-law-jag

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Prominent Malaysians fear country losing moderate Muslim credentials as it moves towards fundamentalism

11 Dec, 2014

Malaysia's credentials as a moderate Muslim country are being called into question as some prominent residents fear the nation is lurching towards fundamentalism.

This week a group of 25 leading Malaysians signed an open letter expressing deep concern about the growing influence of extreme Islam in their country.

It is a fear openly expressed by Malaysian academic and writer Farouk Peru, who said the country was sliding towards fundamentalism and even violence.

"Malaysia has now its second death ... at the hands of the Islamic State in Syria," he said.

"Apparently over 15 people have gone to fight for the Islamic State and I believe that this is simply the end result of a long process of fundamentalisation which has been going on for the past two to three decades."

In September prime minister Najib Razak openly praised Islamic State militants and earlier this year became the first non-Arab leader to visit Gaza as a guest of Hamas.

Mr Peru said there was open dismay at the prime minister's comments.

"The Malaysian left were extremely vocal in saying it. I myself wrote an article in the Malaysian Insider saying that Najib does not exactly know what he's saying," he said.

"I really believe this because I do not believe that Najib is of a fundamentalist bent, but what I do believe is that there is an infiltration of Islamo-fascist elements within the prime minister's department and you can see that coming from his department, all sorts of things which are ridiculous.

Full report at:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25749125/prominent-malaysians-fear-country-losing-moderate-muslim-credentials-as-it-moves-towards-fundamentalism/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/terror--mastermind--who-recruited-austrian--isis-poster-girls--sent--another-160-to-join-jihad/d/100435

 

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