New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 9 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Thousands of Muslims join rally in Assam against ISIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Thousands of Muslims came out on the streets of Assam’s Hojai to give a message that ISIS is against Islam.

 

India

Thousands of Muslims join rally in Assam against ISIS

Islamic Educational Board of India against Uniform Civil Code

‘Dead’ Pakistani techie found in Ambala jail?

End of freeze? India, Pakistan to hold comprehensive dialogue

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Europe

Can’t blame all Muslims: British war veteran’s strong message against Islamophobia

US-led anti-Daesh coalition has failed in Iraq, Syria: Russia

Bulk of ISIL arsenal made in former Soviet states

Third Paris Bataclan gunman identified

Putin boasts of strikes on Syria terrorists from Russian submarine

Third bomber at Paris’ Bataclan music hall identified

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Mideast

Turkey urges citizens to leave Iraq, excluding Iraqi Kurdistan

Israeli-Palestinian 'peace' elusive, US president says

Turkey accuses Russia of seeking ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Syria

Saudi king opens summit calling for Syria, Yemen solutions

Israeli terrorist wounded in West Bank attack

Bomb in Iran kills cop, 3 others

Yemen's 'Cry' Missiles Destroy Saudi Military Bases in Jizan Province

Iran president decries U.S. ‘terrorism’ after Trump remarks

Improvised bomb explodes outside Yemen ministry office in Aden

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Pakistan

Terror attack may spark Pak-India war: US official

Made in Pakistan - ISIS song to attract Chinese youth to global jihad

Embassy addresses concerns of Pakistani-Americans

Sindh PA meets to deliberate on Rangers policing powers

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North America

Does Sparks Muslim school teach Sharia, Jihad?

Toronto Islamic school scrutinised after US attack

California shooter Farook plotted 2012 attack: US senator

Facebook Will Fight For Rights Of Muslims, Zuckerberg Vows

US offers ’copters to Iraqi forces in fight against IS

Muslim congressman reports death threat

America’s Muslims object to Obama’s push for more self-surveillance

Canada set to airlift in first group of Syrian refugees

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South Asia

Breakthrough at ‘Heart of Asia’: Kabul agrees to restart dialogue with ‘reconcilable’ Taliban

37 killed in Taliban siege at Kandahar airport

Ghani thunders, Swaraj diplomatic at 'Heart of Asia' conference in capital

Afghan peace talks expected ‘next week’

Germany contributes AFN 5 billion to Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund

Afghan intelligence chief slams Pakistan, criticizes Ghani in a rare statement

President Ghani hails India for supporting the Afghan Air Force

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Southeast Asia

Jihadist attacks spark anti-Muslim outbursts

Malaysia under DAP’s ‘anti-Malay, anti-Islam rule’ if UMNO rejected, Najib warns

Indonesia targets Muslim tourism market with interactive guide

Indonesia Fighting An Uphill Battle Against Islamic State

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Arab World

IS suicide bomber kills 8 near Baghdad mosque

Qatar Supplying Tens of TOW Missiles to Terrorist Groups in Syria

MI6 Chief Reveals S. Arabia's Doomsday Plot against Shiites

Russia, U.S., U.N. set to hold trilateral Syria talks in Geneva

Militants Start Retreating from Homs

U.S. ‘ready to deploy’ to retake Ramadi from ISIS

Senior Iraqi MP Reveals Riyadh's 8-bln-Dollar Suspicious Aid to Massoud Barzani

Syrian Army Makes Massive Gains in Northeastern Lattakia

Syrian Army Expanding Control over Damascus-Homs Highway

Saudi king: GCC unity needed against threats

Kingdom seeks political solution for Syria and Yemen

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Africa

U.N. seeks $166 mln in Libya humanitarian aid

10th Terrorism Suspect Arrested in Eagan

Algerian minister supports for UN solution in Libya

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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India

 

Thousands of Muslims join rally in Assam against ISIS

9 December 2015

By Abdul Gani, TwoCircles.net,

Guwahati: Thousands of Muslims came out on the streets of Assam’s Hojai to give a message that ISIS is against Islam. Senior citizens, youths, college, school and madrassa students, besides people from different walks of life took out a rally shouting slogans against the terrorists who were defaming the name of Islam globally.

“We wanted to give a message that Islam never supports the activities of terror. We are against any kind of terror, violence and killings. Who has given ISIS to be the guardian of Islam? We condemn the activities of all kind of terror groups including ISIS which has been killing people,” SH Chowdhury, one of the organisers of the rally told TwoCircles.net.

“We are glad that people from different walks of life have come out spontaneously for this cause. We need to voice a strong message against such inhuman action. Here we come to wage war against the ISIS and other terrorists who are defaming Islam. Islam is peace,” Chowdhury added.

Abdul Mannan, former professor of Gauhati University who also attended the rally, said that it’s a positive move. “I was glad to see that people have come out spontaneously. It was needed to send across the message. The people in general have come forward to express their hatred against terrorism. Besides, another highlight of the rally was that the students of madrassa have taken part and I found them very keen and eager to do this,” Mannan told TwoCircles.net.

He also said that this has to be continued. Mannan, however, said that Islamic fundamentalism has been a major problem for the Muslim.

“One thing you have to notice that there is difference between fundamentalism and terrorism. The fundamentalism has been a problem and it has dragged the people of the community towards backwards. But of late, I can sense a feel of change towards progressive thought,” he said.

Stressing the need of education, Mannan said that the leaders of the community have to play a major role in this regard.

“As I said, education is the most important thing towards development. Education will help in making the people think progressive way. And only then the people of the community can advance,” he added.

Guwahati based journalist Ziaur Rahman said that this was needed much earlier. “There have been many wrong messages regarding Islam. Islam is a philosophy which never teaches people to harm their fellow human beings. These bunches of mindless terrorists have killing people in the name of Islam. All the people across the globe should stand united to defeat all kind of terrorism which is a curse for the human kind,” said Rahman.

http://twocircles.net/2015dec09/1449642715.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twocirclesnet-IndianMuslim+%28TwoCircles.net+-+Indian+Muslim+News%29#.Vmk6atLRKkp

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Islamic Educational Board of India against Uniform Civil Code

December 9, 2015   

Islamic Educational Board of India today opposed any move towards a Uniform Civil Code, saying no government has any right to interfere in the matters of religious jurisprudence.

IEBI General Secretary Anwar Sharieff said no government has any right to interfere in the matters of religious jurisprudence, and everybody should have the right to practice religion.

He was responding to a query at a press conference about liberal Muslim think tank, Tawazun Foundation's approval of implementing the Uniform Civil Code in India.

President of the Karnataka Chapter of IEBI Sultan Shaik Khader said several countries have adopted Uniform Civil Code, but sectarian and inter-religious problems have not vanished.

"Different countries have different uniform civil code, but has inter-religious problems ceased to exist. This will be there as long as the world exists. Unity in diversity is the most beautiful aspect in this world," he said.

Khader also said there will be no terrorists in ten years if the Kerala model of education at madrasas is followed.

"There will be no terrorists in 10 years if we follow Kerala model. Anyone who indulges in violence or terror is not a Muslim. Any Muslim who follows Islam is not a terrorist because Islam is for peace and harmony," he said, adding there are 10,000 madrasas in the state, but only five per cent of them are functioning as per Islam norms.

Asked whether the board will agree to government monitoring madrasas, Khader said, they would welcome such a move, but framing guidelines will be an herculean task.

To a query, Khader said the board does not accept Wahabi and ISIS brands of Islam and it is dangerous to humanity.

Though there are four school of thoughts in Islam, everyone is on one platform over the understanding of Islam and Quran, the Holy Book of Muslims, Khader said.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/islamic-educational-board-of-india-against-uniform-civil-code-115120901332_1.html

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‘Dead’ Pakistani techie found in Ambala jail?

Dec 10, 2015

NEW DELHI: Mohammed Irfan, 23, a computer engineer from Sargodha in Pakistan, had come to Delhi in February 2007 to make purchases for his coaching centre. He was returning home when a blast ripped through Samjhauta Express near Panipat. He was since declared "missing" since nobody saw him after that day, nor did his family's DNA match any of the victims.

Eight years on, his family has been told of a prisoner in Punjab's Ambala jail, sentenced to four years under the Passport Act after the blasts but languishing there since, and now mentally ill. They are now writing to the external affairs ministry and plan to meet minister Sushma Swaraj for help.

For eight years, Mohammed Irfan's family assumed he was dead. The 23-year-old computer engineer was returning home to Sargodha in Pakistan on the Samjhauta Express when blasts ripped through the train on February 18, 2007. His body wasn't found but there was no DNA match with any of the victims either. Then, a few months ago, a prisoner from Ambala jail met them and told them Irfan was alive and lodged in C Wing of the jail. Hope has returned to the family, but they know it will be a long haul.

Irfan was travelling from Delhi to Attari on ticket number 391734, says his family. He held a Pakistani passport (KE 685195). Irfan's family says he was injured in the blast and admitted to a hospital in Panipat. His elder brother, Mubashir, and others came to India looking for him.

At the Civil Hospital in Panipat, Mubashir showed policemen his brother's photograph and they apparently recognised him as one of the patients. However, they did not allow Mubashir to meet Irfan, saying intelligence agencies were screening the victims and passengers. Mubashir says he then bribed the hospital staff but they too were unable to take him to Irfan.

Soon after, authorities allowed Mubashir to meet his brother but it turned out to be someone else. The family claims Irfan was detained by intelligence agencies and arrested as he did not possess a passport, which was reduced to ashes in the blast. Mubashir was then asked to submit blood samples for DNA test but there was no match.

The matter ended there. Until June, when a man called Shaukat, lodged in Ambala Jail, told the family that Irfan was in the jail after being sentenced under the Passport Act. Shaukat told them that Irfan had been incarcerated for four years but had been languishing in jail even after completion of his sentence. Irfan, he said, had become mentally ill since and was lodged in C Wing of the jail.

Ashok Randhawa, an anti-terrorism activist from Delhi who visited Pakistan a few months ago, was contacted by the family. "I visited Ambala jail with the documents but the authorities denied that Irfan was lodged there. However, a policeman posted there confirmed to me that he was indeed there. I am requesting the high commission and ministry of external affairs to interfere and help this family," Randhawa said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dead-Pakistani-techie-found-in-Ambala-jail/articleshow/50115592.cms

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End of freeze? India, Pakistan to hold comprehensive dialogue

Sachin Parashar

Dec 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan on Wednesday decided to resume the composite dialogue process in what marked a significant change of Modi government's stance facilitated by what sources described as assurances from Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to expedite the Mumbai attacks trial.

This was announced here following foreign minister Sushma Swaraj's meetings with Sharif and her Pakistani counterpart Sartaz Aziz, marking and end to the freeze in the high-level engagements between the estranged neighbours.

READ ALSO Let India, Pakistan show maturity, do business together: Sushma Swaraj

India had so far refused to give in to Pakistan's insistence for resumption of the composite dialogue process--diplomatic shorthand for a detailed dialogue spanning terror, J&K and all other outstanding issues-- as it doubted Pakistan's sincerity in addressing its concerns related to 26/11 trial and continuing support to terrorism directed at India.

Sources cited two reasons to explain what some may see as a complete turnaround by the Modi government on Pakistan. First, the government sees the recent dialogue between NSA A K Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua in Bangkok as a real change from the past as Pakistan committed itself "sincerely" to addressing the issue of terrorism. This was followed by assurances on Mumbai trial from Sharif himself. "Pakistan has realised and committed to us that it too has a responsibility of dealing with terror,'' said a source.

Pakistan's new approach was reflected in a full paragraph in the joint statement issued after Swaraj-Aziz meeting. It said the two leaders condemned terrorism and resolved to eliminate it. "They noted the successful talks on terrorism and security related issues in Bangkok by the two NSAs and decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial,'' it said.

READ ALSO India-Pak joint statement: 5 key highlights

Coming after the breakthrough achieved clandestinely in Indo-Pak ties in Bangkok last week, the resumption of the dialogue countries marked another step ahead to try to ease tensions.

However, the government though is not in the mood to confirm Modi's visit to Pakistan for SAARC next year as it believes there is no point in looking that far into the future.

While Indian sources emphasized that Pakistan's acknowledgement that terrorism had to be addressed was cited as the single-most important factor leading to the decision, New Delhi also came around to recognize that it was time to move on without giving up on its demand for bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks to justice.

Second, the government now realises that the time to move on has come and this change apparently came after PM Narendra Modi's meeting with Sharif in Paris. After Paris, sources said, both countries were determined to move forward. Sources how there have been several other issues, mostly humanitarian, which have occupied space in dealings between the two countries. They cited the example of Geeta who was recently brought back to India from Pakistan.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/End-of-freeze-India-Pakistan-to-hold-comprehensive-dialogue/articleshow/50114965.cms

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Europe

 

Can’t blame all Muslims: British war veteran’s strong message against Islamophobia

Dec 10, 2015

In 2007, at the age of 19, Chris Herbert lost his leg because of a roadside bomb when his regiment was ambushed in Basra, Iraq, he told The Telegraph. He lost his best friend Pte Luke Simpson in the same attack. Apparently, a lot of people expect him to be anti-Islam or anti-Muslim or practise racism because of what happened — but his response to them restores faith in humanity.

On his Facebook page, he wrote, “Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church”.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/cant-blame-all-muslims-british-war-veterans-strong-message-against-islamophobia/

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US-led anti-Daesh coalition has failed in Iraq, Syria: Russia

Dec 10, 2015

Russia says the so-called US-led coalition targeting purported Daesh positions in Iraq and Syria has failed to defeat or even contain the Takfiri terrorists.

"As a result of actions carried out by the coalition... Daesh has even expanded on the occupied territories and set its own anti-humane and criminal rules," said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

Lavrov went on to compare the coalition’s actions in Syria to those of the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, where “drug production increased tenfold during ten years of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations."

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/10/441072/Russia-Lavrov-coalition-failed-Daesh--

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Bulk of ISIL arsenal made in former Soviet states

10 December 2015

The majority of weapons used by ISIL come from supplies plundered from the Iraqi military and mainly consist of stock designed or manufactured in former Soviet bloc states, according to Amnesty International.

Advances made across northern Iraq last year, particularly the capture of Mosul, gave ISIL access to a huge stockpile of arms that also included modern U.S.-made weaponry.

“We have been able to see what type of weapons they have got but in terms of quantity it’s very difficult to know that,” Patrick Wilcken, an arms control researcher at Amnesty, told Anadolu Agency.

“However, what we can say is that the top one is definitely Russian and former Soviet Union weapons. So it’s Russian and Eastern European and it’s their standard equipment that they are using.”

Wilcken said the U.S-made and NATO equipment in ISIL’s hands was a result of arms transfers made to Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

He added that the bulk of ISIL’s arsenal was old and dated from the 1980s and 1990s.

“The 1980s was a crucial era for arms buildup and that was the time of the Iran-Iraq War, when Russia was the principal supplier of Iraq,” Wilcken said. “But I think it’s important to remember that just because the weapons are old does not mean that they were necessarily transferred in the era they were manufactured.

“And a lot of old Warsaw Pact stock has been transferred by the U.S., the U.K., other coalition members, during the occupation of Iraq and post-2003. And even more recently, supplies to Kurdish forces in post-, mid-2014 were mainly old Warsaw Pact stock.” ISIL also buys weapons from corrupt members of the Syrian military and on the “illicit market that runs across the borders,” Wilcken added.

“There does seem to be a lot of reports of illicit traffic. And it would be surprising if there wasn’t illicit traffic given that the whole region is in conflict.”

- Improvised weapons the main issue

Although ISIL fighters have an essential stock of weapons - consisting mainly of Kalashnikov assault rifles and RPG-7 grenade launchers but also including Russian armored vehicles and tanks and U.S. Humvees - Wilckin said the main issue was not its conventional armory but improvised weapons.

“It is the improvised weapons and explosives that IS are using that has caused the most casualties in Kurdish peshmerga forces and is a really serious problem,” he said, using an alternative acronym for ISIL.

In a report issued this week, Amnesty documented the group’s use of arms and ammunition.

Taking Stock: The Arming of Islamic State reported on the use of arms supplied by at least 25 different countries including Russia, China, the U.S. and EU states.

Most weapons had been looted from Iraqi army stocks. Weapons captured in Syria also form part of the arsenal.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/167212/israel-defies-un-ban-exports-400k-gold-to-n-korea

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Third Paris Bataclan gunman identified

December 10, 2015

PARIS - French police have identified the third gunman from the deadly attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday, with the attacker’s father telling AFP he “would have killed him” if he had known.

“The last time I saw him was two years ago before he went (to Syria),” Said Mohamed-Aggad said. “I have no words, I only found out this morning. I have to pull myself together.” He said that if he had known “I would have killed him myself beforehand”. French national Foued Mohamed-Aggad, 23, had travelled to war-torn Syria with his brother, Karim, and a group of friends from the eastern French city of Strasbourg at the end of 2013, police sources said. The family tipped off police after the Paris attacks when his mother received a text message from Syria saying he had died as “a martyr”, iTele reported. “He died on the November 13 with his brothers,” the text message read, according to the mother’s lawyer, Francoise Cotta.

“She was terror-struck by the idea that he could have been one of suicide attackers at the Bataclan,” Cotta added, and went straight to the police.

“If she had not helped like that they might never have been able to identify Foued,” the lawyer said.

The two other attackers who killed 90 concert-goers at the Bataclan - Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29, and former Paris bus driver Samy Amimour, 28 - had also been in Syria.

Two of the gunmen, including Mohamed-Aggad, blew themselves up with suicide belts packed with explosives after the killing spree, while the third was shot by police who stormed the venue with hundreds of people still inside.

All three are now known to have been French nationals.

Mohamed-Aggad was identified at the end of last week after his DNA was matched with his family, the police source said.

Cotta said his mother offered the sample herself.

A neighbour in the small town of Wissembourg, north of Strasbourg, told AFP that Mohamed-Aggad had lived with his mother until his departure for Syria.

He had also been on the radar of French security services as a potential extremist, a judicial source said, and had probably travelled to Syria on false papers.

Most of the group from Strasbourg who went to Syria with him were arrested in the Meinau area of the city on their return in May 2014 and are all still in custody on terrorist charges.

But Mohamed-Aggad stayed on, according to a source close to the investigation.

His brother Karim Mohamed-Aggad said he was the last of the group to “succeed in getting away” and that “he was worried about his brother who stayed on after his wife arrived”, fearing he would be “held to account for the departure of the rest of the group”.

Investigators believe two brothers from the same group who left Strasbourg in 2013, Mourad and Yassine Boudjellal, were killed fighting for IS in Syria.

When questioned on their return, the remaining members claimed they had been horrified by what they had witnessed in Syria and had begun returning gradually to France from February 2014.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/third-paris-bataclan-gunman-identified

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Putin boasts of strikes on Syria terrorists from Russian submarine

Dec 9, 2015

The Russian president has praised launching cruise missiles against terrorists’ positions in Syria from a Russian submarine, and expressed hope these weapons would not need to be armed with nuclear warheads.

“We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads,” said Vladimir Putin in a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu at the Kremlin, RT reported on Wednesday.

“Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists, and I hope we will never need it,” the Russian leader went on to say, raising a faint possibility of launching nuke missiles against positions held by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria.

Nonetheless, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, separately, sought to temper any suggestion that his country would engage in a nuclear war against the Takfiri militants.

“Of course not, and the president has stated this, that there is no need to use any nuclear weapons against terrorists, as they can be defeated through conventional means, and this is fully in line with our military doctrine,” Lavrov said, when he was asked about this remote possibility in an interview with Italian media on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Russian defense minister announced that his country for the first time struck two major targets of Daesh in Syria with Calibre cruise missiles fired from a submarine in the Mediterranean.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/09/441062/Russia-Moscow-Vladimir-Putin-Daesh-Shoygu-Lavrov-Syria

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Third bomber at Paris’ Bataclan music hall identified

9 December 2015

A 23-year-old man from the eastern French city of Strasbourg has been identified as the third bomber involved in the attacks at Paris’s Bataclan music hall, police sources said on Wednesday.

Foued Mohamed Aggad went to Syria with his brother and a group of friends at the end of 2013, according to a source close to the investigation.

Most of the others were arrested in spring last year upon their return to France but Aggad stayed on in Syria, the source said.

Ninety people died in the Bataclan attacks on Nov. 13. The two other bombers have been identified as Omar Omar Ismail

Mostefai, 29, and 28-year-old Samy Amimour.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/09/Third-bomber-at-Paris-s-Bataclan-music-hall-identified.html

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Mideast

 

Turkey urges citizens to leave Iraq, excluding Iraqi Kurdistan

10 December 2015

Turkey on Wednesday called on its citizens to leave all areas of Iraq, excluding Iraqi Kurdistan, due to increased security risks, the foreign ministry said.

“The scope of our travel warning to Iraq has expanded to include all provinces except for Dohuk, Arbil and Sulaymaniyah,” all of which are in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The foreign ministry warned against non-essential travel to several provinces in Iraq including Basra, Najaf, Anbar and Kirkuk and said: “We strongly advise those whose stay is not essential to leave those provinces as soon as possible.”

Ankara cited increasing threats targeting Turkish companies recently, as well as declarations encouraging violence, abduction and attacks.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/Turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-Iraq-excluding-Iraqi-Kurdistan.html

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Israeli-Palestinian 'peace' elusive, US president says

Dec 10, 2015

US President Barack Obama has described as elusive any "peace" between the Tel Aviv regime and Palestinians amid heightened tensions in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Although obviously this is a time at which the prospects of serious peace may seem distant, it’s important that we continue to try,” Obama said on Wednesday during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin at the White House.

Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops and armed settlers since the start of October.

Obama instead urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to “unequivocally condemn” alleged attacks against Israelis, and to fight incitement and pursue dialogue with Israel.

The pair also discussed renewing a 10-year security agreement that could see Washington render more military assistance to Tel Aviv.

American and Israeli military officials are reportedly negotiating a plan to increase the annual US military aid to Israel by as much as $1 billion, according to Israeli media. The boost will be on top of the $3.1 billion that Tel Aviv annually receives from Washington, a source close to the military aid process said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/10/441097/Obama-Middle-East-peace-Reuven-Rivlin

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Turkey accuses Russia of seeking ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Syria

December 10, 2015

ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday accused Russia of pursuing a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” in Syria and strengthening Islamic State militants, in a new escalation of tensions between Ankara and Moscow after the downing of a Russian warplane.

Speaking to foreign reporters at his Istanbul offices in the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus, Davutoglu said he was nonetheless ready to work with Moscow to prevent a repeat of the November 24 incident.

“Russia is trying to make ethnic cleansing in the northern Latakia (region) to force (out) all Turkmen and Sunni populations who do not have good relations with the (Syrian) regime,” Davutoglu told foreign reporters in Istanbul.

He said Russia wanted to purge the northwestern Syrian region of unwanted elements to ensure the security of its air and naval bases in Syria.

“They want to expel, they want to ethnically cleanse this area so that regime and Russian bases in Latakia and Tartus are protected,” he said.

“They don’t want to see any Arab or Turkmen population in that part of Syria. That is the purpose,” Davutoglu said.

The region is a stronghold of Alawite Muslims loyal to the Kremlin’s ally President Bashar al-Assad who Ankara wants to see ousted. Davutoglu also said that Russia’s military strikes in Syria, which began in late September, were “strengthening” IS militants by targeting moderate forces opposing Assad, especially around Azaz in northern Syria.

“Unfortunately the Russian operations are not helping to clean this region from Daesh,” he said, using the government’s preferred acronym for IS.

He said Russia was bombing Azaz “which is a stronghold of moderate opposition against Daesh”.

“They are bombing Azaz to weaken the opposition, who is fighting Daesh. It means they (Russia) are strengthening Daesh. “Who is benefitting from this? Daesh. Not even the regime. Daesh.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday invited British experts to help analyse the black box of a warplane downed by Turkey, as he discussed the Syria crisis with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Vladimir Putin invited British specialists to take part in decoding flight data recorders of the downed Su-24,” the Kremlin said after the phone talks with Cameron.

Russia has recovered the black box recording flight data from the fighter jet and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu showed the orange-painted box to Putin during a Kremlin meeting on Tuesday evening.

Russia flexed its military muscles on Tuesday as it launched strikes in Syria for the first time from a submarine stationed in the Mediterranean, ratcheting up its bombing campaign in the war-torn country.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/turkey-accuses-russia-of-seeking-ethnic-cleansing-in-syria

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Saudi king opens summit calling for Syria, Yemen solutions

December 10, 2015

RIYADH - Saudi King Salman called for political solutions to the wars in Syria and Yemen, while condemning “terrorism,” at the opening of an annual Gulf summit in Riyadh.

Kings and emirs from the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states began two days of talks in the Saudi capital, at the same time as unprecedented discussions by the Syrian opposition at a luxury hotel in another part of the city.

Salman voiced “support for a political settlement which guarantees the territorial integrity of Syria,” after nearly five years of war.

On behalf of the Gulf states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - Salman also called for “a peaceful solution” in neighbouring Yemen. For more than eight months, Gulf military forces have been fighting in Yemen to support President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government alongside an array of local anti-rebel forces.

The coalition has been trying to push Iran-backed Huthi rebels and allied troops from territory they occupied.

Militants have taken advantage of the chaos to expand their presence in the country.

In his opening address at Diriyah Palace, Salman said all countries have a responsibility to combat terrorism and extremism. “Islam rejects and abhors terrorism, because it is a religion of moderation and tolerance,” said the monarch whose kingdom is founded on the teachings of fundamentalist cleric Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab. Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani told the summit that recent attacks in several countries prove that this “odious scourge” is a threat to everybody. “The international community must, more than ever, intensify efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and eliminate its real causes by all means,” the emir said.

The kings and emirs passed ceremonial guards on horses as they arrived for their summit at one of Riyadh’s main royal palaces, protected by armoured vehicles and machineguns.

Across town, about 100 representatives from Syria’s fragmented political and armed opposition groups are making an unprecedented bid for unity ahead of potential negotiations with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar support some rebels in Syria.

Assad is backed by Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Iran, and Russia, which has for more than two months been conducting air strikes in Syria.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in late November that if Assad does not step down peacefully “he could be ousted militarily”. Pressure for peace is also building in Yemen.

According to the United Nations envoy to Yemen, another attempt at peace talks will start on December 15, after earlier efforts collapsed.

Yemeni rivals are to gather in Switzerland to try to end the costly war that has drawn in Gulf nations.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/saudi-king-opens-summit-calling-for-syria-yemen-solutions

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Israeli terrorist wounded in West Bank attack

Dec 10, 2015

A former member of an Israeli terrorist organization has been shot and wounded alongside his wife in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank.

Shaul Nir, who used to serve the so-called Jewish Underground, sustained serious injuries in the shooting near the northwestern West Bank city of Tulkarem on Wednesday evening. His wife, Rachel Nir, was lightly wounded.

The assailants fled the scene, and Israeli police forces have launched an operation to arrest them.

The terrorist group to which Shaul Nir belonged carried out a series of terror attacks, including car bomb attacks, against Palestinian officials, and its highest profile plot was to destroy the Dome of the Rock in al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Nir, together with three other members of the terrorist group, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1983 shooting attack on the Islamic College in al-Khalil (Hebron) and attempted assassinations. His sentences were controversially commuted three times by then president Chaim Herzog, and he was released after serving less than seven years.

Separately on Wednesday, a Palestinian was shot and killed after allegedly stabbing two Israelis in al-Khalil.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/10/441086/Israeli-terrorist-driveby-shooting-Tulkarem-West-Bank

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Bomb in Iran kills cop, 3 others

December 10, 2015

ANKARA - A bomb blast killed one policeman and three civilians on Wednesday in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan near the Pakistan border, a local police official told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The predominantly Sunni province has been a hotbed of rebellion by the militants against Iran's authorities. Many of Iran's minorities complain of discrimination, a charge denied by the state.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/bomb-in-iran-kills-cop-3-others

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Yemen's 'Cry' Missiles Destroy Saudi Military Bases in Jizan Province

Dec 09, 2015

The Yemeni missiles destroyed al-Ain al-Harreh and al-Salah military bases in Jizan province, inflicting heavy losses on the Saudi army.

The Yemeni army and popular forces also hit al-Ramzeh military center in Jizan province, killing tens of Saudi military men and their vehicles.

The Yemeni forces also hit several Saudi military centers in the Southern parts of Al-Khuba region.

On Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces destroyed a large number of military posts and centers in three provinces in Southern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni forces' missile and artillery fire has destroyed tens of Saudi military sites in Najran, Jizan and Asir provinces in the last three days.

A large number of Saudi troops have been killed and many more wounded in the Yemeni forces' retaliatory attacks on their positions.

Also on Saturday, FNA dispatches said that the Yemeni army and popular forces continued their nonstop advances on the Saudi soil and seized several military bases and sites in Saudi Arabia's Southern provinces after heavy clashes with the kingdom's troops.

The Yemeni forces captured a number of Saudi military bases in Jizan province, Yemeni Army Commander Ebrahim Moussa al-Hamdani told FNA.

Al-Hamdani noted that the army and popular forces also seized the Riyadh government's strategic military positions in Najran province after several hours of clashes with the Saudi forces, seizing heavy machinery and a large cache of weapons and military tools, including mortar-launchers.

Last Wednesday, Yemeni army spokesman Sharaf Luqman said that the army and the popular forces were advancing deep inside Saudi Arabia and capturing more military bases in the Southern parts of the kingdom.

"The Yemeni forces have managed to inflict heavy losses on the Saudi enemy inside Saudi Arabia," Luqman said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000684

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Iran president decries U.S. ‘terrorism’ after Trump remarks

10 December 2015

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has accused the United States of having “created terrorism” as he reacted to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.

During a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Rowhani said “Islam is the religion of goodness and peace”.

“Unfortunately certain people around the world claim that Muslims should be barred from entry in order to fight terrorism,” he said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/Iran-president-decries-us-terrorism-after-Trump-remarks-.html

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Improvised bomb explodes outside Yemen ministry office in Aden

10 December 2015

A homemade bomb that exploded outside a foreign ministry office in Yemen’s Aden late Wednesday caused no casualties, security sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/Improvised-bomb-explodes-outside-Yemen-ministry-office-in-Aden.html

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Pakistan

 

Terror attack may spark Pak-India war: US official

Dec 10, 2015

WASHINGTON: A senior US official has warned that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a war with Pakistan.

In an interview to The Indian Express newspaper, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the possibility of an unintended war between India and Pakistan was a cause of concern for the United States.

“It remains a matter of real concern. The only thing worse than an intentional conflict is an unintentional conflict where an incident sparks something and it spirals out of control,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225406/terror-attack-may-spark-pak-india-war-us-official

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Made in Pakistan - ISIS song to attract Chinese youth to global jihad

December 10, 2015

Islamabad: A made in Pakistan song in Mandarin language has been released by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with the aim of attracting Chinese youth to join its global jihad.

The song has been produced in Pakistan by the media wing of the ISIS, using Mandarin-speaking artists.

In a sensational report appearing on various media-related platforms more than two weeks after its first known execution of a Chinese hostage, the ISIS has published a war chant in Mandarin that calls on Muslims in China, or at least Muslim men in that country to take up arms.

Reportedly prepared by the Al-Hayat Media Center, the Islamic State's media arm, the four-minute-long song has been released and distributed through Twitter and messaging app Telegram, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors and tracks radical groups online.

The group's chants, according to the Wall Street Journal, are known as "Nasheeds" (a cappella song extolling Islam).

This Mandarin Chinese Nasheed urges Muslims to "wake up after a century of humiliation", take up weapons to "rebel" in accordance with Allah's command.

The song has been slickly produced and hypnotically infectious, with lyrics that extol death in the service of Islam.

An article published in The Diplomat says that while it is unusual for the ISIS to produce recruiting materials in Mandarin Chinese, this isn't the first time they have mentioned China.

It says that ISIS has identified China as one of 60 countries that is part of a "coalition of devils".

The United States remains the most obvious target and the focus of the video.

The ISIS also sees China's Muslim-dominant Xinjiang Province as one of the areas it would like to have territorial control over.

Last year, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi had mentioned China first in a list of states where "Muslim rights are forcibly seized."

It was a fact that was quickly picked up on by Hong Kong-based Phoenix Weekly.

Recruitment efforts by Middle East jihadist groups are an increasing cause for concern in the world's most populous country, though it's rare for such materials to appear in Mandarin.

Most instead target members of China's Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim Uighur minority. A sporadically violent separatist movement made up of Uighurs seeks to establish an independent state in Xinjiang, which they consider as their homeland.

The recording of a nasheed in Mandarin "is yet another example of the IS seeking to broaden its reach and support base," The SITE said.

The Chinese foreign ministry, however, has said that it is unaware of the song, but has said that it retains the hope that all countries will cooperate to safeguard their citizens.

It is unclear which groups of Chinese Muslims are being targeted by the ISIS. There is the Hui ethnic group, which is predominately Muslim and numbers over 10 million, and speaks Mandarin. But it has traditionally practiced a moderate form of Islam.

Mandarin is also the dominant language of the younger generation of Uighurs.

The Chinese Government says that the ISIS threat is serious enough and estimates that about 100 of the country's citizens are associated with the group.

The Global Times, however, claims that the figure is closer to 300.

China has been on guard against terrorism since knife-wielding extremists killed more than 30 at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming in 2014.

In November this year, the ISIS Islamic State announced that it had murdered Fan Jinghui, a Chinese national it had been holding for ransom.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/made-in-pakistan-isis-song-to-attract-chinese-youth-to-global-jihad_1832892.html

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Embassy addresses concerns of Pakistani-Americans

ANWAR IQBAL

Dec 10, 2015

WASHINGTON: The Embassy of Pakistan assured Pakistani-Americans on Wednesday that it was engaged with US authorities to ensure that the community’s fears of insecurity and discrimination were addressed.

“The embassy shares the anxiety and concerns of the Muslim American community and possible backlash in the wake of San Bernardino incident,” said a statement issued in Washington.

The embassy said it was also working closely with the Pakistani-American community to address their concerns.

“We regard the Pakistani-American community as one of the most peace-loving, well respected and law-abiding communities in the United States,” said an embassy official, Nadeem Hotiana.

The statement noted that Pakistani-American physicians, engineers, IT professionals, lawyers, entrepreneurs as well as wage earners were contributing to the socio-economic development of the United States as well as Pakistan through their hard work, integrity and commitment.

“The Pakistani diaspora’s role as a bridge between two friendly countries, cultures and peoples is adding value to the efforts of the two governments and is well acknowledged at all levels,” Mr Hotiana said.

The embassy also praised US President Barack Obama’s approach toward this issue, which, it noted, was “duly reflective of American values.’

The embassy also released the text of a letter Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani has sent to the Pakistani-American community, urging them to continue to work hard and honestly, as responsible citizens and residents of the United States.

Ambassador Jilani assured the Pakistani-American community of Embassy’s cooperation and assistance and also highlighted the ongoing collaboration between the two countries, which, he said, was reflective of mutual trust and respect.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225411/embassy-addresses-concerns-of-pakistani-americans

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Sindh PA meets to deliberate on Rangers policing powers

HABIB KHAN GHORI

Dec 10, 2015

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly, which meets after a break of four months, may not take up formal business on Thursday despite having a heavy agenda including the issue of extending policing powers to Rangers.

The day will, however, see the return of 51 Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmakers to the house for the first time after the withdrawal of their resignations. The MQM lawmakers had tendered their resignations on Aug 12, citing reservations over the Rangers-led targeted operations in Karachi.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who will chair the session scheduled to begin on Thursday at 10 am, will administer the oath to the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Noor Ahmad Bhurgari and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Jam Madad Ali after Fateha for the PPP-Parliamentarian president MNA Makhdoom Amin Fahim and MPA Jameel Ahmad Bhurgari.

Noor Ahmad Bhurgari has been elected to the house in the recent by-election on PS- 67 seat that had fallen vacant on the demise of Jameel Ahmad Bhurgari, while Jam Madad Ali’s seat PS-81 was restored after the Supreme Court unseated Asghar Ali Junejo.

As per tradition, a panel of four chairmen, who will preside over the assembly session in the absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker, in order of seniority will also be announced on Thursday.

In its 22nd session of the third parliamentary year, the Sindh Assembly has 22 items on the agenda including the government resolution regarding ratification of extension of policing powers to the Rangers in relation to Article 147 of the Constitution.

Other items on the agenda include laying the reports of biannual monitoring on the implementation of NFC Award in 2014, the quarterly report (April-June 2015) on receipt of the province 2014-15, current revenue expenditure, current capital expenditure and development expenditure of 2014-15.

Also on the agenda is an adjournment motion of PML-F lawmaker Nand Kumar regarding suffering of people due to dilapidated roads in Sanghar.

Besides, announcement will be made regarding the bills assented by the governor pertaining to Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Sindh Local Government Third Amendment, Sindh Zakat and Ushr amendment bill, Barret Hodgson International University, Sindh Board of Technical Education (amendment), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (amendment) bill, Malir University of Sciences and Technology, Karachi, bill, and Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhuto Medical University, Larkana, (amendment) bill, 2015.

The government bills included in the order of the day for introduction are Sindh Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment); Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition); Sindh Payment of Wages; Sindh Factories; Sindh Terms of Employment (standing orders); Sindh Workers Compensation; Sindh Companies Profits (workers’ participation); Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment); Societies Registration (Amendment); and Sindh Minimum Wages Bill of 2015.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225312/sindh-pa-meets-to-deliberate-on-rangers-policing-powers

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North America

 

Does Sparks Muslim school teach Sharia, Jihad?

December 9, 2015

Is the Al-Huda Islamic School in Sparks affiliated with the Al Huda school in Pakistan where one of the shooters in San Bernardino was allegedly radicalized?

•Short answer: Not at all. “Al Huda” is a common name for Muslim schools around the world, and the one in Pakistan is unrelated to the one in Northern Nevada.

Full question

A reader sent a message to the RGJ through Facebook that mentions a previous Fact Checker column looking, in part, at whether there is an Al Qaeda school on Oddie Boulevard in Sparks. There is not; it was a misreading of the sign “Al-Huda.”

The reader wrote: “Interesting how your report implies Reno/Sparks shouldn't be concerned about the Al-Huda Islamic School on Oddie, but other news outlets are reporting that it was an Al Huda school that may have radicalized Tashfeen Malik in San Bernardino.”

Full response

The Los Angeles Times reported this week about an Islamic scholar in her 50s named Farhat Hashmi who founded a network of religious schools in Pakistan aimed mainly at urban, upper-middle-class women.

“Al Huda, Hashmi’s chain of schools, has more than 70 locations across Pakistan — including in the central city of Multan, where, for several months beginning in 2013, the students included the future San Bernardino shooter, Tashfeen Malik,” the newspaper wrote.

“Last week’s rampage by Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, which killed 14 and injured 21, has cast a fresh spotlight on the teachings of Al Huda, part of a vast patchwork of Islamic seminaries, Koran prayer groups and other religious institutions that operate outside Pakistani government control and are often accused of fueling radicalism.”

Asked if the Al-Huda Islamic School in Sparks has any connection to the Al Huda schools in Pakistan, Sherif Elfass said, “Absolutely not.”

He is an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno’s earthquake engineering laboratory as well as president of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community, which oversees the Al-Huda school. He said it teaches children from ages six through high school about their religion and the Arabic language but “the maximum age we have now is junior high.”

Boys and girls attend, he said, describing it as a Sunday school like many religious denominations have.

He said his group considered different names for the school and wanted to make clear that it was not a day care.

Full report at:

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/12/09/ask-rgj-sparks-school-linked-pakistan/77022650/

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Toronto Islamic school scrutinised after US attack

December 10, 2015

OTTAWA - A Toronto-area Islamic school with links to a seminary in Pakistan where California attacker Tashfeen Malik studied shuttered its doors Tuesday after it was reported that former students had sought to join the Islamic State group.

Public broadcaster CBC said four teenage girls who had taken evening and weekend seminars at the Al-Huda Elementary School in Mississauga, Ontario had traveled overseas in 2014.

But three of them were intercepted by security officials in Turkey before they could reach Syria.

The eldest of the teen girls, all of Somali heritage, managed to get into the war-ravaged nation where she still resides, said the Toronto Star, citing a sibling.

The Al-Huda Elementary School said on its website it decided to close temporarily because the media report had put its 160 students at risk.

“Al-Huda Institute Canada would like to be clear that law enforcement authorities have never brought forward any allegations that four girls associated with the institute traveled to join terrorist organizations,” administrator Imran Haq said in a statement.

“In addition, the institute has no knowledge as to the identity of these individuals and as such, cannot confirm whether or not they were enrolled in the Institution, for how long, or any other related information. “We are and remain committed to working with authorities on this or any other matter.”

Malik, a 29-year-old Pakistani national, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group before she and her husband Syed Farook shot 14 people dead in California last week.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/toronto-islamic-school-scrutinised-after-us-attack

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California shooter Farook plotted 2012 attack: US senator

Dec 10, 2015

WASHINGTON: California shooter Syed Farook plotted an attack with an accomplice three years ago but got "cold feet" after a wave of Unites States (US) counter-terrorism arrests, a senator said Wednesday.

A longtime friend and neighbour of Farook's, Enrique Marquez, told investigators of their aborted plot, said Senator James Risch, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"He has admitted that in 2012 they had something in mind and they didn't do it because there had been some immediate arrests by the counter-terrorism people," Risch told CNN. "And as a result of that they got cold feet."

The precise nature or target of the plot was unclear, Risch said.

Marquez, whose home was raided at the weekend, is suspected of purchasing two assault rifles used by Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik during the terror rampage that killed 14 people at a year-end office party on December 2 in San Bernardino. The couple were later killed in a police shootout.

The 24-year-old Marquez bought the guns legally in 2011 or 2012 and then gave or sold them to Farook, federal officials told The New York Times.

Investigators are seeking to establish how much he knew of — or shared — the deadly intentions of the couple.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225422/california-shooter-farook-plotted-2012-attack-us-senator

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Facebook Will Fight For Rights Of Muslims, Zuckerberg Vows

12/09/2015

While America might not be a friendly place for Muslims if certain political hopefuls have their way, the U.S.-based worldwide social network will continue to welcome them with open arms.

Mark Zuckerberg posted a Facebook message Wednesday in support of Muslims across the world, calling for a positive outlook as Muslims everywhere face a siege of fear and hatred.

Zuckerberg promised that Muslims would remain safe and welcome on Facebook, and vowed to do what he could to "protect your rights."

"If you're a Muslim in this community, as the leader of Facebook I want you to know that you are always welcome here and that we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you," he said. "Having a child has given us so much hope, but the hate of some can make it easy to succumb to cynicism. We must not lose hope."

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-muslims_5668ab72e4b009377b23b8fd?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&section=india

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US offers ’copters to Iraqi forces in fight against IS

Dec 10, 2015

WASHINGTON: The United States is prepared to deploy advisers and attack helicopters if requested by Iraq to help it “finish the job” of retaking the city of Ramadi from Islamic State, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Carter’s remarks were the latest sign of US preparations to intensify its military campaign against the group, which controls wide swathes of Iraq and Syria and has orchestrated and inspired attacks abroad.

The militants Islamic State group (IS) captured Ramadi, a provincial capital just a short drive west of Baghdad, in May in its biggest conquest since last year, and retaking it would be a major victory for Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Carter, speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, said it has taken a “frustratingly long time” for Iraqi security forces to claw back territory.

But he pointed to significant gains, including recapturing the Anbar Operations Center on the northern bank of the Euphrates River in the past 24 hours.

“The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi Army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers, if circumstances dictate and if requested by Prime Minister Abadi,” Carter said.

A US defence official said the US advisors would be prepared to help the Iraqi security forces by providing advice on how to move through the center of Ramadi over the next several weeks.

For President Barack Obama, who has spent much of his time in office pulling US troops out of wars he inherited and who is deeply averse to being dragged into another Middle East ground war, deployment of advisors and use of attack helicopters are both examples of an increased willingness to expose US troops to risk.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225322/us-offers-copters-to-iraqi-forces-in-fight-against-is

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Muslim congressman reports death threat

December 10, 2015

WASHINGTON - A Muslim member of the US Congress says he has received a death threat amid the increasing Islamophobic rhetoric in the United States.

Congressman Andre Carson, one of two Muslim members of Congress, said he attributes in part to politicians “fanning the flames of bigotry.” Speaking on CNN about Trump’s call for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the US, Carson, a Democrat, said such public comments are putting Muslims and others in the line of fire. “I just received a death threat yesterday in my own office, and it’s largely in part to this toxic environment,” Carson said. “What concerns me is you have the demagoguery taking place from people who are seeking to become president of the US. You have other politicians who are joining the bandwagon and who are fanning the flames of bigotry.”

Carson’s spokeswoman, Jessica Gail, said Carson has received dozens of threats since he took office in 2008. The threats tend to spike when Carson is in the news, such as when he was appointed to the House intelligence committee in January.

Kim Rudolph, Carson’s chief of staff, said all threats are turned over to law enforcement authorities in Washington or Indianapolis to investigate.

Rudolph said she can’t provide details on the threat Carson received Monday because the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s always a concern when someone goes through the effort of announcing that they want to do you bodily harm,” she said. “But at no time has it stopped him from doing the people’s work.”

Edgar Hopida, communications director for Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, Indiana, said Tuesday Muslims across the nation are concerned.

“What we’re fearful of is that the rhetoric (Donald) Trump is putting out might inspire the more violent segment of his supporters to lash out,” Hopida said. “I think it’s understandable that with the events in Paris and San Bernardino people are very scared. We should be on alert, but he is taking that fear and turning it into hatred toward the wider Muslim community, and that’s totally wrong.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Trump’s plan to bar Muslims, including US citizens, from entering the US “disqualifies” him from presidency.

“What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” Earnest said on Tuesday. “What Mr. Trump said is deeply offensive... It’s morally reprehensible. It runs counter to the US Constitution.”

Trump, whose campaign has been marked by controversy from the beginning, stood by his proposal on Tuesday, saying it was a temporary move in response to terrorism threats in the country.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/muslim-congressman-reports-death-threat

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America’s Muslims object to Obama’s push for more self-surveillance

December 10, 2015

Tim Reid

US President Barack Obama’s request to American Muslims that they must help “root out” extremists in their midst received an angry response inside mosques in a part of California where four men were recently arrested for conspiring to aid the militants.

At the West Coast Islamic Society in Anaheim, southern California, where two 24-year-old men arrested in May accused of conspiring to aid Islamic State had worshipped, the message was clear: there is no trust of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the US government.

Imams and workers at mosques also described the arrested Islamic State sympathizers as victims of over-zealous law enforcement, illustrating the difficulty the Obama administration may face in convincing some Muslim leaders to identify and report radicals in their midst to US authorities. They said they found Obama’s request insulting, with some questioning why the same message is not sent to Christian churches after mass shootings carried out by non-Muslims.

“It is unfair to speak about the Muslim community in this way,” said Moustafa Kamel, the imam of the West Coast Islamic Center. An immigrant from Egypt 13 years ago, Kamel added, “there is a lot of suspicion of the FBI here.”

Obama’s call for greater self-policing of America’s 2.8 million Muslims, made in a rare Oval Office address on Sunday, was followed by a similar appeal from Jeh Johnson, his Homeland Security chief, at a Virginia mosque on Monday. Johnson called it an “ask” of Muslim communities.

Obama and Johnson made their appeals after last week’s massacre of 14 people in San Bernardino, California, by a US-born Muslim man and his wife, a Pakistani national.

The FBI said the two had long been radicalized and conspired to commit terrorism without detection, underlining the challenge of finding so-called homegrown, self-radicalized extremists inspired by Islamic State propaganda.

“NO TRUST OF FBI HERE”

Kamel’s mosque is where Muhanad Badawi and Nader Elhuzayel, both 24, had occasionally worshipped in the months before the FBI arrested them in May on charges of conspiring to join IS overseas.

According to an FBI affidavit in support of the arrests, the men drew the attention of authorities with inflammatory comments on social media, especially their Twitter and Facebook accounts. According to the FBI, the men professed support for Islamic State and their desire to die as martyrs on the battlefield.

The FBI also wire-tapped their phone conversations. In one, the two discussed where they would like to die as martyrs, and both agreed on Syria. In March 2015, according to the FBI affidavit, Elhuzayel was introduced online to a woman in Palestine who professed support for Islamic State. They discussed getting married.

On May 21, Elhuzayel was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, about to board a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey. According to the FBI, after his arrest, he admitted he had intended to travel to Turkey to join and fight for the Islamic State.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/america-s-muslims-object-to-obama-s-push-for-more-self-surveillance

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Canada set to airlift in first group of Syrian refugees

10 December 2015

The first of 25,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in Canada will arrive in the country on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, declaring it will be “a great day.”

The new prime minister campaigned on the plan to resettle 25,000 people displaced by the four-year civil war in Syria, but the idea came under increasing political fire following the attacks in Paris.

Two Canadian government flights carrying the refugees will reach Toronto on Thursday and Montreal two days later, Trudeau said.

The flights, carrying a total of about 300 Syrians, will use an Airbus A310 military aircraft. Charter planes are expected to be used for later flights.

Upon landing in Canada, the refugees will undergo medical exams, take care of administrative formalities and then be spread out for resettlement in 36 cities across Canada.

The new Liberal government campaigned on a pledge to resettle 25,000 Syrians this year.

But it backpedaled last month, citing logistical issues and following criticism that Ottawa had been moving too fast, amid security concerns heightened by the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/10/First-Canadian-plane-of-Syrian-refugees-set-to-arrive.html

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South Asia

 

Breakthrough at ‘Heart of Asia’: Kabul agrees to restart dialogue with ‘reconcilable’ Taliban

Dec 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan government on Wednesday agreed to restart dialogue with ‘reconcilable’ Taliban with the help of Pakistan, the United States and China.

The development came after a series of bilateral and trilateral meetings involving the four countries on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia ministerial meeting, where other regional countries also pledged support for the dialogue.

This was disclosed by Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. “At the trilateral and bilateral meetings we had this afternoon, the main discussion item has been the peace process in Afghanistan. Our allies agreed to work with us in this regard… to bring the reconcilable elements to the table,” he said while talking to reporters on Wednesday.

The declaration issued at the conclusion of the Heart of Asia meeting, meanwhile, urged all Afghan Taliban groups and other armed opposition groups to enter into peace talks with the Afghan government and agreed to put in place specific measures to deny terrorists access to financial and material resources, dismantle their sanctuaries and curtail their ability to recruit and train new terrorists.

The meeting, jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan, focused on “enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region”.

Separately, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, talking to journalists at the US Embassy, said: “The governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and US held a series of meetings today to reaffirm our collective commitment to enabling an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation and cessation of violence.”

Mr Blinken did not give any timeframe for the resumption of the process, but noted that all stakeholders were determined to move forward and “get the right people around the table”.

He said that during the meetings there had been discussions on the roadmap and steps that would be required to take the process forward. Those steps were discussed in detail during a meeting between Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and President Ashraf Ghani later in the evening.

It should be recalled that the initial agreement between the US and Pakistan on expediting the resumption of Afghan peace talks was forged during Gen Sharif’s visit to the US last month.

A senior Pakistani official told Dawn that the process was being resumed from where it broke off following disclosure about Mullah Omar’s death ahead of second round of dialogue in July. He said that Taliban groups that had opened talks with the Afghan government at that time were likely to come back to the table.

Regarding the meeting between Mr Ghani and Gen Sharif, the official said, the two discussed “meaningful steps” that could bring enduring peace and ensure that the gains made in this regard are irreversible.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225401/breakthrough-at-heart-of-asia-kabul-agrees-to-restart-dialogue-with-reconcilable-taliban

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37 killed in Taliban siege at Kandahar airport

December 10, 2015

KANDAHAR - At least 37 people were killed when Taliban insurgents wearing military uniforms stormed Kandahar airport, triggering pitched gunbattles in a lengthy siege on Wednesday.

The raid on the sprawling complex, which also houses a joint NATO-Afghan base, is seen as the most serious attack on the largest military installation in southern Afghanistan in 14 years of war.

Witnesses said the assailants had taken some families hostage, using them as “human shields” after storming the complex at sundown on Tuesday, slowing down the military’s clearance operation.

“The fighting started around 6:00 pm (Tuesday) and intensified over the night,” 30-year-old university student Izatullah, who lives inside the complex, told AFP.

“Soldiers were calling on Taliban attackers to let women and children go but attackers declined.

We could hear children screaming during the fighting.

More than 20 hours after the siege began, the Afghan defence ministry said nine insurgents had been gunned down, one was injured and another was still holding out against the soldiers.

“Unfortunately during the battle, 37 innocent Afghans were killed and 35 others injured,” the ministry added.

It did not offer any breakdown of the casualties but a Western official briefed on the matter told AFP that it included a large number of civilians.

“This is the most serious attack we’ve witnessed against the (Kandahar) installation,” the official said.

The militants had managed to breach the first gate of the high-security complex and took up position in an old school building, engaging security forces in pitched firefights.

The Taliban posted a picture on their website of the militants it said were involved in the brazen attack.

It shows 10 young men sporting trimmed beards, Kalashnikovs and identical military uniforms.

The face of one of them is obscured with blue ink for unknown reasons.

“The martyrdom seekers.

entered Kandahar airbase undetected.

and began thunderous attacks,” the post said.

It claimed that the assailants reported via telephone that some 80 Afghan and foreign forces had been killed and 13 armoured carriers destroyed.

The insurgents are regularly known to exaggerate battlefield claims.

The raid comes after days of fevered speculation about the fate of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour following reports that he was critically wounded in a firefight with his own commanders in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/10-Dec-2015/37-killed-in-taliban-siege-at-kandahar-airport

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Ghani thunders, Swaraj diplomatic at 'Heart of Asia' conference in capital

Dec 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The opening of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in the capital today was marked by a warm welcome from Pakistani authorities to visiting dignitaries from India, Afghanistan, China among other Asian countries.

The theme of the conference, jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan, is 'enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region.'

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was greeted by a full reception which included the prime minister, the army, air and navy chiefs as well as the defence minister.

Ghani arrived at the Nur Khan airbase to a resounding 21-gun salute and the melody of the Afghan and Pakistani national anthems. He was then escorted in a limousine to the foreign office, where leaders discussed Afghanistan.

Also in the spotlight today was Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who arrived in the capital last night in order to participate in today’s discussion.

President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani opened his speech by expressing gratitude to Pakistan for "hosting millions of Afghan refugees over decades".

But his speech quickly turned to the perils and origins of the refugee problem and he talked about the ‘unintended consequences’ of Pakistan’s military operations.

"Unfortunately, recent events in Pakistan have forced us to host close to 350,000 to 500,000 Pakistani refugees on our soil. The refugee issue is a common issue, like other issues that confront us," Ghani said.

He lauded Pakistan's decision to launch operations against militancy, but said the action had "created unintended consequences bringing about the displacement of a significant number of these [militant] groups onto our soil".

The Taliban which began as an Afghan phenomena have become a regional phenomena, the Afghan president said.

"The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan launched a vicious attack on children in Peshawar for which Pakistan robustly responded. But that very response brought them onto our country. Until now we have launched 40 operations through our Special Forces against them.

"What is the nature of the Taliban and how do we deal with it?" he questioned. "There is no historical precedent for solving this problem," he said, referring to the challenges posed by terrorism.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1225210/ghani-thunders-swaraj-diplomatic-at-heart-of-asia-conference-in-capital

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Afghan peace talks expected ‘next week’

December 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban are likely to resume as early as next week, Pakistani officials said Wednesday.

“An internationally guaranteed and monitored peace process is likely to get underway next week,” the officials told VOA, requesting anonymity.

They added Pakistan wants an international presence in the entire process because of the long history of mistrust and suspicions between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The development stemmed from a string of bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral meetings in Islamabad involving Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and top American and Chinese officials.

The officials told VOA that Pakistan at the meetings “laid out both its leverage and limitations” with factions of the Afghan insurgency and assured all participants Islamabad “will do whatever it can to bring at least those to the [negotiating] table who are under its influence.

There is no immediate reaction from the Taliban about their participation in the peace talks.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/10-Dec-2015/afghan-peace-talks-expected-next-week

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Germany contributes AFN 5 billion to Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund

Dec 10 2015

The government of Germany has pledged to contribute AFN 5 billion in a bid to start and run development projects in Afghanistan as well as covering recurrent costs, such as salaries.

An agreement was signed two days ago between Afghanistan and Germany in this regard. “Germany will pay the sum into the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). More than thirty donor countries provide financial assistance for the Afghan government through the trust fund. This year, the German government’s contribution to the fund is the highest it has ever made,” a statement by German government said.

With an aim to help the Afghan government manage its financial resources efficiently and for the long term, Head of German Development Cooperation, Mr. Klaus Kraemer, said “The German Government wishes to assist the Afghan Unity Government in its effort to address country-wide periodic costs and development needs through budget support.”

According to the statement, the money from the ARTF’s so called “Investment Window” is currently used for 20 development projects in five different sectors, such as agriculture, rural development, infrastructure, human development, and governance. In 2015, 8.7 million Afghans, 38% women, benefited from these projects. The contribution from the “Recurrent Cost Window” is used for state employees’ salary payments.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/germany-contributes-afn-5-billion-to-afghanistan-reconstruction-trust-fund-1791

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Afghan intelligence chief slams Pakistan, criticizes Ghani in a rare statement

Dec 09 2015

The Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Rahmatullah Nabil issued an unusual statement slamming Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his remarks delivered during the Heart of Asia summit where he said the enemy of Afghanistan is Pakistan’s enemy.

The message was posted on official Facebook page of Mr. Nabil earlier tonight and shortly after the leaders of the two countries agreed to revive the stalled Afghan peace talks.

Nabil said the innocent Afghan civilians were martyred and beheaded in Kandahar airfield, Khanshin district of Helmand, Takhar and Badakhshan at the same Nawaz Sharif was delivering his speech, once calling the enemy of Afghanistan as Pakistan’s enemy.

In parts of his message, Nabil was apparently criticizing President Ghani for his remarks in Islamabad today, saying “At least 1,000 litres blood of our innocent people spilled which was similar to the red carpet where we did a cat walk. But the one who was present with us in the gathering and made an announcement from Quetta city of Pakistan under the name of Taliban, using the ISI computer to claim the glory. And we became so much apprehended and excited with 21 artillery gun salute that we agreed regarding the execution of 40 assaults/operations against the enemies of Pakistan and promised to soon launch a large operation against Mullah Fazlullah in a bid to keep our 60-year-old friend glad.”

However, Nabil said Mullah Fazlullah has been residing in Pakistan and ISI guesthouses during the past several months and years, insisting that Mullah Fazlullah is part of ISI projects.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-intelligence-chief-slams-pakistan-criticizes-ghani-in-a-rare-statement-1788

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President Ghani hails India for supporting the Afghan Air Force

Dec 09 2015

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hailed India for supporting the Afghan national security forces, specifically the Afghan Air Force.

The Presidential Palace said President Ghani met with the External Affairs Minister of India on the sideline of the Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad today.

No further details were given regarding India’s support to the Afghan national security forces, specifically the Afghan Air Force.

However, his remarks follow almost a month after reports emerged regarding India’s decision to supply four Mi-25 gunship helicopters to Afghanistan.

According to the reports, the gunship helicopters are expected to kick-off operations with the Afghan Air Force earlier next year.

In the meantime, President Ghani discussed regarding India’s support on cutting, polishing and export of Afghanistan’s marble to European markets, the statement by Presidential Palace said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-hails-india-for-supporting-the-afghan-air-force-1787

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Southeast Asia

 

Jihadist attacks spark anti-Muslim outbursts

December 10, 2015

PARIS: From a call to bar Muslims from the United States to proclaiming Western culture as superior to Islam, recent jihadist attacks have sparked a startling rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric — and an equally robust response.

Leading the way is Donald Trump, the 69-year-old American billionaire candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, who has revelled in headline-grabbing controversy since hitting the campaign trail.

Trump urged a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” after a Muslim couple, said to be radicalised, shot dead 14 people in a rampage in California.

On the other side of the world, deposed Australian prime minister Tony Abbott picked up the torch, telling the Sydney Daily Telegraph: “We can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam.”

The staunch Catholic — once dubbed the “Mad Monk” — urged the West to “be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.”

And in France, the far-right National Front (FN) has seized on last month’s jihadist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people to ramp up its rhetoric against the Muslim community in France — Europe’s biggest.

One of the rising stars of the party, 25-year-old Marion Marechal-Le Pen, touched off a hail of criticism with comments made in Toulon, a Mediterranean city home to many residents of Arab descent.

“We are not a land of Islam… In our country, we don’t wear djellaba clothing, we don’t wear a veil and we don’t impose cathedral-sized mosques,” she said.

The country’s five million Muslims could only be French “if they follow customs and a lifestyle that has been shaped by Greek and Roman influence and 16 centuries of Christianity”, she said.

The ramped-up rhetoric appears to be striking a chord with French voters. Elections at the weekend saw a record score for the FN that could put the party in power in several regions and give leader Marine Le Pen momentum for the presidential vote in 2017. In the Netherlands, firebrand anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders said he hoped Trump would win the US presidency. “Good for America, good for Europe,” he tweeted. “We need brave leaders.”

‘Go to hell’

The sharpening in anti-Muslim rhetoric has prompted a fierce counter-reaction, with Trump first in the firing line.

London mayor Boris Johnson dismissed Trump’s “ill-informed” remarks as “complete and utter nonsense”.

Full report at:

 “How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad,” she tweeted.Jihadist attacks spark anti-Muslim outbursts

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Malaysia under DAP’s ‘anti-Malay, anti-Islam rule’ if Umno rejected, Najib warns

BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL

December 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — If Umno is rejected in the next general election, the country’s Malays and Muslims will be at the hands of a DAP-dominated federal opposition coalition that is anti-Islam and anti-Malay, Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned today.

In his policy speech at the opening of the Umno general assembly, the party president reminded delegates that when federal polls are held next, voters would have to choose between the present Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) pact or the newly-formed Pakatan Harapan.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-under-daps-anti-malay-anti-islam-rule-if-umno-rejected-najib-warns

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Indonesia targets Muslim tourism market with interactive guide

9 December 2015

Indonesia launched Wednesday a new interactive tour guide aimed at promoting the country as the world’s largest Muslim destination.

The Muslim visitor guide has been created in both Arabic and English, as a dedicated resource to showcase the country, to tourists across the globe.

Aimed at the wider Muslim audience, the 70 page guide, entitled “Many lands.Timeless culture. One journey,” highlights Indonesia’s ‘rich and diverse culture.’

Highlighted across the pages is information on what the producers say are the country’s best experiences, including shopping, dining and prayer facilities.

Indonesia boasts literally thousands of islands - on last count in excess of 17,000 and is hoping that the guide - which was created by the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and online travel platform HalalTrip - will go some way in encouraging Gulf Arabs to visit the Southeast Asian nation.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of HalalTrip, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to help compile this unique insight into Indonesia as a Muslim-friendly destination.

“Indonesia is one of the most vibrant and diverse countries in the world with an amazing offering for Muslim travelers full of culture and vibrant energy.”

In 2014, the Muslim travel market was valued at $145 bln, with 108 mln travelers representing 10 percent of the entire travel economy.

Earlier in 2015, Bali came 10th as the world’s top shopping destinations for Muslim tourists in The MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Shopping Travel Index 2015 (MTSI 2015) which revealed Muslim travelers spent a total of $62 biln globally in shopping and dining.

The projected value of the Muslim travel market is expected to be worth $200 bln by 2020.

The guide hopes to help grow towards that, providing important Muslim travelers.

Muslim tourists learning how to play the Angklung, a traditional Indonesian instrument (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism)

Each section in the guide provides information on attractions and experiences including the best shopping destinations - highlighting the best Halal dining experiences, hotels, places to pray and mosques in the area.

The guide is available in travel agents, but also in a downloadable format from various websites.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/travel-and-tourism/2015/12/09/Indonesia-targets-Muslim-tourism-market-with-interactive-guide.html

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Indonesia Fighting An Uphill Battle Against Islamic State

By Siktus Harson*

Dec 10, 2015

It’s shocking to realize that there is a growing number of Indonesians who have either participated directly or are in favor of the cause of the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS), the terror organization responsible for the deaths of thousands in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Its latest attack in Paris on Nov. 13, killed 129 and injured hundreds of others, and drew worldwide condemnation, including from Indonesia’s Sunni community that comprises the majority of the country’s Muslims. There is no doubt that the IS group manipulates Islamic teaching to stir chaos and install its politics of violence against humanity.

Despite this knowledge of brutality and terror, it is indeed surprising that there are many Indonesians joining or casting their support for such a radical movement.

Indonesian coordinating minister for political and legal affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan revealed recently that about 800 Indonesians had joined the IS group in Syria. More than 100 have since returned home.

Unlike the IS-influenced bombing of a Shia festival in Bangladesh or the beheading of a Malaysian national in the Philippines, the IS group in Indonesia at this stage has not shown off its power. But one thing for certain is is that Indonesia could be sitting on a time bomb.

Early this year, Ansyaad Mbai, former director of the anti-terrorism agency, uncovered 16 radical groups — including the East Indonesia Mujahideen — that had been initiated and had declared loyalty to IS leader Abu Bakar Al-Baqdadi.

The East Indonesia Mujahideen is small in numbers but has still managed to launch attacks on police and military in Poso in Central Sulawesi province. Last year the anti-terror squad Densus 88 arrested four Turkish nationals suspected of being IS messengers. Santoso, the group’s leader, is believed to have received financial support from the IS group to expand its proxy in Indonesia.

Terrorism expert Sidney Jones warned that although the number of IS-affiliated individuals in Indonesia is relatively small and have not carried out any significant activities, they have the potential to breed new jihadists and re-activate a terrorism seed that is still alive in Indonesia. Such a warning is becoming more relevant considering that 10 million Indonesians favor the IS cause, according to a recent Pew Research Poll survey released in November.

Pew’s poll may have revealed the tip of an extremism iceberg, an extremism that has grown since Suharto’s dictatorial regime ended in 1998. The Internet and social media have allowed jihadists a platform to promote their propaganda.

Since Indonesian authorities have monitored the movement of radical groups on the Internet and social media, the IS group has shifted its approach to meeting face-to-face with families who are trapped in poverty — promising them high incomes and better education.

Most of the IS-affiliated individuals or groups are unable to travel to Syria, due to tight travel restrictions. Instead, they stay home, wait and see what they can do next. Analysts said they have not openly planned attacks, but there is possibility of consolidating power.

IS rise

The IS movement began to surface in Indonesia, sometime in February 2014.

Immediately leaders of Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, two moderate Islam organizations with a combined membership of 120 million people, urged the government to ban the IS group from expanding in Indonesia.

Full report at:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/10122015-indonesia-fighting-an-uphill-battle-against-islamic-state/

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Arab World

 

IS suicide bomber kills 8 near Baghdad mosque

December 10, 2015

BAGHDAD - A suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State militant group killed at least eight people near a mosque in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, security and medical officials said.

The blast in the Obeidi area also wounded at least 19 people, the officials said.

IS claimed the attack in a statement posted online, saying a bomber identified as “Abu Salem” carried it out with an explosives-rigged belt.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces on Wednesday consolidated newly gained positions in Ramadi, after achieving a breakthrough in their fight against the Islamic State group by retaking a large part of the city.

Backed by sustained air strikes from the US-led coalition, elite troops recaptured the southwestern neighbourhood of Al-Tameem the day before.

The advance was hailed as a significant step in efforts to retake Ramadi, a key IS hub 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad, and fragment the militants’ self-proclaimed “caliphate”.

As the counter-terrorism forces that led the offensive prepared their next move, local forces from Anbar province moved in to hold recaptured territory.

Local police “moved from Habbaniyah to hold the land in Al-Tameem following its liberation,” a local councillor in the nearby Khaldiyah area, Ali Dawood, told AFP.

The force consists of around 500 fighters, a military source said.

One of the main tasks for Iraqi forces is to clear the area of bombs planted by IS, a favoured tactic of the militants that means they can kill security personnel and civilians long after they have withdrawn from an area.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/10-Dec-2015/is-suicide-bomber-kills-8-near-baghdad-mosque

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Qatar Supplying Tens of TOW Missiles to Terrorist Groups in Syria

Dec 09, 2015

Militant groups said that Qatar has delivered 20 American TOW missiles to the Al-Qaeda's official branch in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front to help the embattled terrorist group that has been sustaining heavy defeats in the war with the Syrian army and its allies across the country, specially in Northern provinces.

Meantime, other terrorist groups have also been reported to have received similar cargoes in a bid to intensify campaign against the Syrian government and stop the advances of the Syrian army and its allies before the next round of Syria talks.

The terrorist groups have been retreating in several provinces, including Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus and Daraa in the last two months, giving President Bashar al-Assad an upper hand in any talks with international actors and opposition groups. Ever since the recent defeats, the sponsors of militant groups have boosted their supply aids to reverse or, at least, stop the trend of the Syrian army victories.

In mid October, a Saudi official announced that his country has supplied the militants in Syria with a new batch of TOW antitank missiles as the Syrian army forces backed by Russian warplanes continue to gain ground in the Arab country.

BBC correspondent Frank Gardner tweeted that a Saudi official confirmed the delivery of 500 TOW antitank missiles to the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The delivery of the TOW missiles — which have also been provided by the CIA — will allegedly increase the capabilities of the militants.

TOW missiles, as Popular Mechanics notes, are guided missiles that could thoroughly damage tanks, armored carriers, and other vehicles. And, unlike other projectiles used against armored targets, such as RPGs, TOW missiles can be used from a considerable distance.

Then one month later in mid November, the Al-Nusra Front Takfiri terrorists posted a video on the Internet to thank the so-called moderate terrorist group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), for supplying them with the US-made anti-tank TOW missiles.

The video shows an Al-Nusra Front field commander thanking the FSA commanders for giving his forces TOW missiles.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000288

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MI6 Chief Reveals S. Arabia's Doomsday Plot against Shiites

Dec 09, 2015

Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shiite'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."

According to Times of India newspaper, the fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shiites, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shiite jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on 10 June, Shiite women and children have been killed in villages South of Kirkuk, and Shiite air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit.

In Mosul, Shiite shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shiite Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by ISIL fighters as "spoils of war". Simply to be identified as Shiite or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940.

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al Qaeda-type Jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasized the significance of Prince Bandar's words, saying that they constituted "a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed".

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the ISIL surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: "Such things simply do not happen spontaneously." This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Persian Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with ISIL without their consent.

Dearlove's explosive revelation about the prediction of a day of reckoning for the Shiite by Prince Bandar, and the former head of MI6's view that Saudi Arabia is involved in the ISIL-led Sunni terrorism, has attracted surprisingly little attention. Coverage of Dearlove's speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from ISIL to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden's al Qaeda, it is absorbed in a new conflict that "is essentially Muslim on Muslim". Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by ISIL are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al Qaeda and ISIL is that the latter is much better organized; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

The forecast by Prince Bandar, who was at the heart of Saudi security policy for more than three decades, that the 100 million Shiites in the Middle East face disaster at the hands of the Sunni majority, will convince many Shiites that they are the victims of a Saudi-led campaign to crush them.

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and Jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's ISIL. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000286

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Russia, U.S., U.N. set to hold trilateral Syria talks in Geneva

10 December 2015

Russia, the United States and the United Nations will hold talks on Syria in Geneva on Friday as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict are ratcheted up, Moscow and Washington announced.

“We will be having consultations in the trilateral format -- Russia, the United States and the UN,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the RIA Novosti state news agency on Wednesday.

He added that U.N. peace envoy Staffan de Mistura was also set to take part in the talks aimed at ending a brutal war that has killed more than 250,000 people and forced millions from their homes since March 2011.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Anne Patterson would represent the U.S. at the meeting to discuss moving forward on a political transition in Syria and “trying to get at the framework and the architecture for a ceasefire”.

Gatilov said Russia would be calling for the “intensification of joint efforts” in the “fight against terrorism”.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/Russia-U-S-U-N-set-to-hold-trilateral-Syria-talks-in-Geneva.html

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U.S. ‘ready to deploy’ to retake Ramadi from ISIS

10 December 2015

The United States is prepared to deploy attack helicopters in support of an Iraqi offensive to retake the ISIS-held city of Ramadi, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Wednesday.

Carter told a U.S. Senate hearing that the Iraqi army was beginning to move on the city in Iraq’s Anbar province, which fell to ISIS in May after the extremist group swept out of its strongholds in Syria to capture parts of Iraq.

“The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers if circumstances dictate and if requested by Prime Minister (Haider al-) Abadi,” he said.

A U.S. defense official told AFP the secretary was referring to U.S. Apache helicopters already in Iraq serving in a force protection role.

Carter did not elaborate, but the use of the attack helicopters in combat would mark a further expansion of the U.S. military’s re-engagement in Iraq after withdrawing from the country in 2011.

There are currently 3,500 U.S. troops in Iraq in a training, advisory and assistance role, who Carter said have been helping the Iraqi army prepare for the battle to retake Ramadi.

Iraqi army and counter-terrorism units are “now beginning to enter Ramadi neighborhoods from multiple directions,” and have retaken an operations center across the Euphrates from the city center, he said.

“This is an important step, but there is still tough fighting ahead. ISIL has counter-attacked several times, but thus far the ISF has shown resilience,” he said.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter outlined the US military’s stepped up campaign against Islamic State in the wake of attacks November 13 in Paris and last week in California.

He called for broader international participation in the fight against ISIS, which analysts fear appears to be turning its sights on the West from its bases in Iraq and Syria.

“The international community - including our allies and partners - has to step up before another attack like Paris,” Carter said.

Turkey needs to do more to control its borders with Syria, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have been distracted by the conflict in Yemen after taking part in the US-led air campaign early on, he said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/US-ready-to-deploy-attack-helicopters-to-retake-Iraqi-city.html

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Senior Iraqi MP Reveals Riyadh's 8-bln-Dollar Suspicious Aid to Massoud Barzani

Dec 09, 2015

"Barzani has received financial aid amounting to $8bln during his recent visit to Riyadh which will be distributed among his family members and high-ranking officials in Kurdistan region," Sarvah Abdolwahid said in an interview with the Iraqi al-Alam al-Jadid daily.

Noting that the Kurdistan regional government always claims to have financial problems, the legislator said, "The region faces no financial crisis; the only problem is that the wealth of the Kurdish nation is stolen (by the statesmen)."

Abdolwahid underlined that the Iraqi Kurdistan region's revenues only from customs duties and tourism are enough to pay the salaries of the region's employees and workers.

Barzani arrived in Riyadh last week and met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Riyadh.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000907

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Syrian Army Makes Massive Gains in Northeastern Lattakia

Dec 09, 2015

On Monday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) – began their large-scale assault in Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains) by imposing full control over Burj Al-Qasab; this paved the way for the pro-government forces to capture several sites after taking control of this village.

Following the capture of Burj Al-Qasab, the Syrian Armed Forces launched a massive assault on the strategic village of ‘Ikko, striking militants' defenses from two different flanks before imposing full control over this mountaintop site located near the town of Kabani.

Not long after capturing ‘Ikko, the Syrian Armed Forces seized the small villages of Bouz Al-Khirbat, Beit Fares, and Al-Mughayriyah after a series of skirmishes with the terrorists near the Idlib province’s western border with Lattakia.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000077

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Syrian Army Expanding Control over Damascus-Homs Highway

Dec 09, 2015

"The Syrian army expanded its control on the Eastern side of the Damascus-Homs Highway in Harasta," sources living in nearby regions said.

"The army took full control over the farms along the road connecting Nour al-Sham school and Douma at the end of the clashes," they added.

Meantime, military sources said tens of dead bodies have been left behind by the terrorist groups, while dozens more have been wounded or captured.

The military sources also said that they have detected and destroyed a tunnel used by the foreign-backed militants in region, and killed all militants inside the tunnel.

Pro-government forces in Syria have been fighting to complete control over the entire Damascus-Homs highway for one month now.

The Syrian Army and popular forces in mid November won back an important checkpoint in Eastern Damascus province, and took the initial step to seize back full control over the Damascus-Homs highway.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940918000213

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Saudi king: GCC unity needed against threats

10 December 2015

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud emphasized that Gulf Arab states must stand united and work together to fortify themselves against foreign threats at a time when the region is passing through tough times.

Inaugurating the 36th session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit meeting at al-Diriyah Palace on Wednesday evening, the King underlined the need for lending a helping hand to the countries in the Arab region to restore security and stability as well as to confront potential challenges.

He also called for completing the procedures to build a joint GCC defense and security system to safeguard the interests of the GCC and its people, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The King reiterated the keenness of the coalition states to achieve security and stability of Yemen under the leadership of its Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi’s government.

“We, the GCC states, will support a peaceful solution so as to enable Yemen overcome the crisis and restore its march toward development,” he said.

Referring to the Syrian crisis, King Salman said that the Kingdom is hosting a meeting of the Syrian opposition as a support to them to find a political solution that guarantees the Syrian territorial unity and integrity in accordance with the decisions of the Geneva 1 conference.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/Saudi-king-GCC-unity-needed-against-foreign-threats.html

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Kingdom seeks political solution for Syria and Yemen

GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

10 December 2015

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman called on Wednesday for a political solution to end Syria’s bitter five-year civil war that has fueled the rise of terror outfits and killed hundreds of thousands of men, women and children.

“The Kingdom is currently hosting Syrian opposition groups at the moment in an effort to find a political solution,” said the king in remarks at the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit here.

King Salman also touched on key regional issues including Palestine, Yemen and the need to intensify efforts to fight terrorism. The king stressed the need for Gulf unity amid turbulence in the region. According to reports, the leaders of the GCC countries also discussed relations with neighboring Iran, economic integration and the situation in Syria, Iraq and Yemen after the inaugural session.

Referring to the joint resolve to restore peace and security in the region, King Salman called on the stakeholders to exert efforts to restore “the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state with Al-Quds as its capital.” Regarding Yemen, King Salman said that the way to solve the Yemeni crisis is through cooperation and political means.

He said the “the coalition led by Saudi Arabia is keen to achieve security and stability in war-torn Yemen under the leadership of its legitimate government.” “We, the GCC states, support a peaceful solution to the crisis in Yemen in order to enable that country to overcome the conflict and then march toward peace and development,” said the king, and referred to a possible solution built on the foundations of the national dialogue, the Gulf initiative, and UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

On the question of terrorism, King Salman called on the international community to “share responsibility in the fight against extremism and terrorism.” “The Kingdom exerts great efforts to combat terrorism and will continue its efforts in cooperation with friendly countries in this regard,” said the king, adding that “terrorism has no religion.” He said Islam “is a religion of moderation,” an apparent reference to those who are maligning the name of Muslims and Islam.

King Salman reiterated the need “to boost cooperation in all domains among the member states.” The leaders of Gulf countries, who met later on Wednesday night, would reportedly hammer out a common strategy to fight the threats from Islamist extremism and plunging oil prices.

The opening session of the GCC summit was attended by Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said, deputy prime minister of Oman; Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait; King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain; Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, emir of Qatar; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president of the United Arab Emirates, prime minister and ruler of Dubai.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/848011

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Africa

 

U.N. seeks $166 mln in Libya humanitarian aid

10 December 2015

The United Nations called on the international community Wednesday to provide $165.6 million in aid to Libya, where nearly half the population has been affected by violence and needs protection.

“We call on the world to extend its hand to suffering people in Libya,” Ali al-Zaatari, the world body’s humanitarian coordinator for the North African country, told a news conference in the Tunisian capital.

“We need $165.6 million in 2016. If we don’t get that amount, which is modest in comparison with what is spent on armaments, for example, then we can expect the humanitarian crisis to worsen.”

Zaatari also called for a humanitarian ceasefire and for opening up corridors so that aid can reach those in need.

Syed Jaffar Hussain, the World Health Organization’s representative in Libya, said the money was needed for basics, such as drinking water, sewers, vaccinations and other medicines, as well as maternity wards.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/10/U-N-seeks-166-mln-in-Libya-humanitarian-aid.html

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10th Terrorism Suspect Arrested in Eagan

12/09/2015

A 20-year-old Somali-American from Eagan was arrested by the FBI Wednesday night on charges of supplying material support to terrorists in Syria and Iraq, according to federal authorities and court documents.

Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame was taken into custody by agents without incident at about 7 p.m.

Warsame aided several previously charged Twin Cities men in their attempts to leave the U.S. to fight for ISIS in Syria, according to a criminal complaint filed earlier Wednesday.

View the full complaint here.

According to the complaint, in April 2014, several men began conspiring to travel to Syria to join, and fight with, ISIS. Nine of those men, not including Warsame, have so far been charged. Three have pleaded guilty and five are scheduled to begin trial in May. One man is in Syria.

Those men are: Abdi Nur, Abdullahi Yusuf, Guled Omar, Adnan Farah, Zacharia Abdurahman, Mohamed Farah, Abrudahman Daud, Hamza Ahmed, Hanad Musse and Warsame.

View a timeline of the investigation into the group here.

Warsame allegedly worked closely with Guled Omar, another leader within the group who was elected as their emir, court documents show. Omar is one of the previously indicted men awaiting trial.

In secretly recorded conversations taped in April by an informant, Warsame and Omar discussed robbing people in order to finance their travel to Syria, according to the court filing.

A friend who was fighting in Syria relayed back that the group shouldn’t pursue that plan and instead suggested that they should find ways to rob the government in order to fund the trip.

Warsame also tried to keep Omar from becoming depressed following his repeated failed attempts to leave the U.S. over the last several years.

“Could it be maybe this time if you still go, maybe Allah will see you as somebody who is – keeps trying and will probably allow you to go . . . you should try it, just be smart about it. Don’t be dumb. And know that every move you make, every thought, every single step you take . . . cuz it’s like playing a game of chess, bro. … you can be in danger, or you could win. And that everything  comes with its consequences.”

Warsame encouraged Omar to continue his efforts to travel overseas to join the terrorist organization.

Full report at:

http://kstp.com/article/stories/s3987502.shtml

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Algerian minister supports for UN solution in Libya

10 December 2015

Algeria’s Minister for Maghreb Affairs, African Union and the Arab League Abdelkader Messahel has emphasised his country’s support for the UN peace efforts in Libya, ignoring an agreement signed between the Libyan House of Representatives and the General National Congress earlier on Sunday, Algeria’s APS news agency reported in a report in Middle East Monitor.

Messahel said that the UN efforts in Libya would guarantee the formation of a national unity government that would face the many political, security and economic challenges and fight terrorism in all its manifestations, saying that "it is based on the respect for the sovereignty of this country, its territorial integrity and unity as well as the cohesion of its people."

However, a former political adviser to the Libyan salvation government Mohammed Hussein Omar criticised Messahel’s position in remarks to Quds Press said that his words  “reflect Algeria’s official support of the UN proposals which aim to fail the Libyan revolution”.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/167219/algerian-minister-supports-for-un-solution-in-libya

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/thousands-of-muslims-join-rally-in-assam-against-isis/d/105560

 

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