New Age Islam News Bureau
15 Jan 2016
12 Turkish academics held for opposing raids on Kurdish rebels |
• Top Imam Blames ‘Mistranslation’ In Controversial Fatwa, Says Those Responsible Suspended
• 12 Turkish Academics Detained For Signing Declaration Denouncing Military Operations Against Kurdish Rebels
• PKK truck bomb attack kills 6, injures 43 in Diyarbakır
• Teacher opposed to deaths in SE denies ‘terrorist propaganda’ charges
• Iran caused 1 million deaths in four Arab countries
• Deputy FM: US Marines' Detention Displays Iran's Power
• Al-Shabab Militants Attack Somali Army Base, Say Dozens Dead
• Pathankot Attack: Pakistan Raids, Shuts down Several Jaish Seminaries
• As Clock Ticks Down On Sanctions, Oil-Laden Iran Tankers Set To Target India and Europe
• Three yrs on, Pak admits Versova IT engineer in its army’s custody
• ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack on Media House In Pakistan
• Pakistan Asks India to Provide Adequate Security to PIA Offices
• US Official Asks Pakistan to Act against All Terror Groups
• Obama's statement on Pakistan not ground reality: Aziz
• Jaish's Masood Azhar under 'protective custody', confirms Punjab Law Minister
• Seminary run by Jaish-e-Mohammad in Sialkot sealed
• Afghan Consulate Official's Peshawar Residence Targeted In Late-Night Drive
• Taliban-Daesh Clashes Leave Eight Militants Killed In Nangarhar
• Badghis Taliban Execute Man in Public on Adultery Charges
• President Ghani says cautiously optimistic about Afghan peace efforts
• Key ISIS leader hailing from Pakistan killed in Nangarhar drone strike
• Afghan Air Force to receive 4 light attack aircraft from U.S. today
• Afghanistan to launch online enrolment for e-passport distribution
• Missing Afghan Air Force trainee located in United States
• US Declares Af-Pak Wing Of IS A Foreign Terrorist Organisation
• Donald Trump: Will Not Review Call To Ban Muslims from Entering US
• Obama, Putin discuss Ukraine, Syria: White House
• Jund Al-Sham Ringleader: Resistance against Syrian Army No More Possible
• US-Saudi Arabia: United Anti-Terror Front Urged
• Russia Unveils Agreement with Syria on Deployment of Combat Air Group
• KSA, Egypt to work closely in tourism and antiquities
• Saudi teachers return home after Houthi kidnapping
• Two Saudis freed from kidnappers in Egypt
• Syrian Army Forces Gain More Territory in Aleppo
• Syrian Soldiers Seize New Village in Aleppo Province
• Zarif Describes UAE Counterpart as "Arrogant Nouveau-Riche" in Implied Words
• Russian-Syrian Air Forces Conduct First Joint Operation
• Assaults Mark Re-Emergence of Radical Islam
• Police Arrest 3 Men on Suspicion of Links to Jakarta Attack
• Indonesia braces for tourism hit after Jakarta attack
• Indonesia ‘still has worker ban in place’
• Russia: Turkey Playing Covert Game in Syria in Own Interests
• Russian Su-30SM Multirole Fighters to Master Intercepting Air Targets
• Angry Bavarian politician sends bus full of refugees to Merkel
• Moscow Furious at Paris for Reports on Civilian Casualties in Russian Airstrikes in Syria
• EU says it is closely monitoring legal cases against critical academics
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Top Imam Blames ‘Mistranslation’ In Controversial Fatwa, Says Those Responsible Suspended
January 14, 2016
Photo: Kocaeli Police Department. (Photo: Cihan)
Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez has said that some quotes from Arabic to Turkish were mistranslated in a recent controversial fatwa published on the directorate’s website in response to a question on the implications of a father's “lust” for his own daughter on his marriage, announcing that those responsible for the fatwa were suspended.
The Religious Affairs Directorate earlier denied issuing the fatwa and announced it was closing down its online fatwa service but Görmez said during a television program on Thursday that “mistranslated Arabic quotes were added to the answer.” “We suspended colleagues related to the issue,” Görmez said.
The answer by the Religious Affairs Directorate, which stands as a fatwa (legal opinion issued by a specialist in Islamic law), caused a storm last week on social media platforms, where users accused the religious body of condoning the sexual abuse of children and incest.
The answer was removed from the website of the high council amid mounting outrage. According to screenshots taken by social media users, while answering a question on whether a man having “lustful” feelings for his daughter would religiously invalidate his marriage with the girl's mother, the High Council on Religious Affairs cited Islamic legal scholars to explain the issue.
The answer said Islamic scholars have differing opinions on the issue, quoting some scholars who say the marriage would be null and void. It then explains the circumstances in which such a situation can happen, namely when the girl is older than 9 and physical contact being too close to arouse lustful feelings in the father.
On Thursday, Görmez blasted news reports which claimed that the answer implied that a father’s feeling lust for his own daughter is not “Haram” or forbidden in Islam, according to the answer. “The headlines that appeared in some reports can never be deducted from that answer. It is due to the arrogance of failing to know what Haram means,” he said.
Görmez also denied that the answer belongs directly to the High Council on Religious Affairs, saying it was a statement by experts working under the council. “The question was asked to the experts of High Council on Religious Affairs. They answer questions asked via e-mail.
I personally read answers to 1,700 questions. There were 13 questions on incest. Answers for 12 of these questions were “this is a pathological case and it should be treated,” Görmez said, stressing that the remaining question was the one that sparked controversy.
Görmez’s remarks cotradict an earlier statement by the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate High Council on Religious Affairs, Ekrem Keleş, who had said such a fatwa was never issued.
“Such a fatwa has never been issued by our High Council on Religious Affairs,” he said. The council's online service to answer questions on religious issues has been shut down to “prevent abuse,” he added.
Keleş called the publication of the fatwa “immoral sabotage” aimed at “creating a negative image of Islam.”
“An extensive investigation has been launched into the unfortunate incident upon the order of the president of the Religious Affairs Directorate. A security report shows the website of our High Council on Religious Affairs has been subject to many attacks,” Ekrem Keleş said.
12 Turkish Academics Detained For Signing Declaration Denouncing Military Operations Against Kurdish Rebels
Jan 15, 2016
ANKARA: Turkey's state-run news agency says police have detained 12 people who are among a group of more than 1,000 who signed a declaration denouncing military operations against Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey.
Anadolu Agency says the 12 detained by police today are lecturers at Kocaeli University in northwestern Turkey. Police were still processing the paperwork for nine other academics who also face arrest.
Prosecutors launched an investigation the academics over possible charges of insulting the state and engaging in "terrorist propaganda."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has severely criticized the signatories, including linguist Noam Chomsky, and called on the judiciary to act against the "treachery."
PKK truck bomb attack kills 6, injures 43 in Diyarbakır
January 14, 2016
Members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked a police station in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Wednesday evening with a truck bomb, killing six people, including an infant and two young children, and injuring 43 in one of the biggest strikes since the conflict reignited in late July 2015.
The terrorists staged simultaneous attacks on the police station, a lodging house for family members of police officers and a district gendarmerie command building in the Çınar district at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Diyarbakır Governor's Office said in a statement on Thursday.
The statement also said the terrorists attacked the police station via a truck loaded with explosives. Following the explosion, they opened fire on the police station, the lodging house and the command building via rockets and automatic weapons.
According to media reports, an intense clash erupted between the Turkish security forces and the PKK terrorists that lasted for nearly 40 minutes before the terrorists fled the scene.
Reports state that nearby windows were blown out, shop shutters were mangled and streets were covered in debris.
The Diyarbakır Governor's Office established a crisis management desk following the attack. Soldiers, ambulances and firefighters were deployed to the scene immediately following the explosion, the governor's office said on Thursday.
Teams from the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) and the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) took part in search and rescue work following the attack.
Speaking at a technology forum in Ankara on Thursday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu strongly condemned the truck bomb attack and vowed that Turkey would continue its fight against "every kind of terror.” The prime minister also said a 5-month-old baby was among the dead in Çınar.
Security sources said a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old had also died, along with a police officer and an unnamed fifth person, and 43 people were wounded, including six police officers. The dead police officer's name was reported as Mehmet Şenol Çiftçi.
Police officer Mehmet Şenol Çiftçi and his daughter lost their lives in the attack. (Photo: DHA)
As rescue workers continued to search for bodies, another body was pulled from the wreckage early on Thursday, bringing the death toll to six. A security source told the press the dead woman was the wife of a policeman.
Media reports say the injured people are under treatment at the Diyarbakır Military Hospital, the Diyarbakır State Hospital and the Dicle University Faculty of Medicine Hospital.
"It was a really loud blast, as if it was in our own home," said Ali Devran, a resident of the area. "We went and helped carry the wounded to ambulances. Some had suffered burns."
Speaking to the Cihan news agency, another resident, İslam Dinç, said: “We heard the sound of an explosion. I grabbed my baby and went outside immediately. My baby was frightened and crying. It is just 15 months old. I thought it was an earthquake at the beginning, but then I saw there was a fire outside.”
A security source said 1.5 tons of explosives were used in the blast.
The police said on Thursday that two suspects have been detained regarding the attack, saying that a large-scale investigation has been launched to capture the perpetrators.
Hours after the attack, unidentified people attacked the branch office of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in the Çınak district early on Thursday. The attackers set fire to the two-story building.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking during an inauguration ceremony held in Ankara on Thursday, condemned the attack in Diyarbakır and offered his condolences to the families of the victims. The president vowed to continue with the anti-PKK operations in the southeastern region of Turkey without any interruption.
Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Ömer Çelik condemned the attack in Çınar via his Twitter account on Thursday, saying that both the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the PKK are targeting Turkey, its democracy and citizens, and the government will continue its fight against both terrorist organizations unabated.
Speaking during a press conference in Parliament on Thursday, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said the government should take the necessary initiatives to prevent such big attacks from taking place in other parts of Turkey, urging it to act responsibly to stop violence in the country.
A civilian died when a group of PKK terrorists detonated explosives while an armored police vehicle was passing by on İpek Road in the Nusaybin district of southeastern Mardin province on Wednesday night.
Forty-two-year-old Ahmet Yiğit was seriously injured in the attack and taken to the Nusaybin State Hospital for treatment. However, he later died in the hospital. An operation was launched in the district to capture the terrorists, who fled the scene following the attack.
PKK terrorists attacked eight schools and a dormitory in the İdil district of Şırnak province on Thursday. The Doğan news agency reported that the terrorists attacked the buildings via sound bombs, fireworks and Molotov cocktails, although there were still students in the targeted buildings. No casualties have yet been reported.
In the meantime, a weeks-long curfew in the Sur district of Diyarbakır entered its 44th day on Thursday. Intense clashes have been ongoing in the district since Dec. 2, 2015. An elderly couple who had been stuck in their home in Sur and needed medical attention were rescued by gendarmes and taken to the hospital.
In a related development, police detained dozens of suspected members of the PKK during operations in several provinces on Thursday. According to the Cihan news agency, 14 were detained in Kırşehir province on Thursday, while seven suspects were detained in Kayseri province during an operation conducted on the same day. In Also, a suspected PKK terrorist was detained in a raid in Kocaeli province on Thursday.
The PKK's three-decade-long fight flared up again in late July after the collapse of a two-year cease-fire, plunging the Southeast back into open conflict.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Dec. 22, 2015, to draw attention to civilian deaths in the Southeast that have been taking place since July. According to the report, more than 100 civilians have been killed and many more injured in the region since late July last year.
According to the Cihan news agency, more than 250 members of the security forces have been killed in clashes between the PKK and security forces since the cease-fire between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the government collapsed.
Teacher opposed to deaths in SE denies ‘terrorist propaganda’ charges
January 14, 2016
Ayşe Çelik, who was targeted by pro-government circles after she spoke over the phone on a popular live TV talk show on Kanal D and called for an end to civilian deaths in Turkey's southeastern region, has denied that she disseminated “terrorist propaganda,” during her testimony to prosecutors.
Çelik, a teacher, rose from obscurity since calling Kanal D's popular “Beyaz Show” last Friday. She expressed her frustrations to the host of the show, Beyazıt Öztürk, saying the media is not accurately portraying the ongoing conflict in southeast Turkey and underlining that children are dying due to intense clashes between the security forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation against Çelik on the charge of spreading “terrorist propaganda” for her statements during the TV show.
Çelik, who was summoned to testify as part of the investigation, has done so to the prosecutor's office. According to media reports, she denied the “terrorist propaganda” charge during her testimony. “I never had any intention to legitimatize the activities of the terrorist organization [PKK]. I did not have any aims to disseminate propaganda for terrorists.”
The Ministry of Education also released a statement on Saturday, the day after the TV show, claiming that Çelik was not a teacher working in Diyarbakır. Apparently responding to the ministry's statement, Çelik stated, “Although I am not currently working, my profession is teaching.”
Çelik is a graduate of the Department of Art Teaching at Dicle University in Diyarbakır.
Saying that her statements were distorted in the pro-government media, Çelik said during her testimony that the pro-government media made it seem as though she was making propaganda for the terrorist PKK on the TV show, adding: “I never approve of any act committed by the PKK. I am also a victim of those terrorist activities in question. I don't accept any of the accusations made against me.”
As well as Çelik, the show's host Öztürk and Kanal D have also been targeted by pro-government circles since last Friday's show. Surprised to hear the comments on his talk show last Friday, Öztürk thanked Çelik live on air, saying: “We have been trying to get people to hear about what is happening as much as we can. What you said has taught us a lesson. We will continue to do more. I hope your wishes for peace come true as soon as possible." He then asked his studio guests to applaud Çelik for her honesty. Öztürk and Kanal D were then targeted by pro-government circles, which accused them of spreading propaganda for the PKK. Some media outlets and pro-government Twitter users even labeled Öztürk a traitor.
The Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office opened an investigation into the “Beyaz Show” host and the program's producer on Monday for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda during the show's airing.
The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has ruled that the investigation against Çelik is out of its jurisdiction and has sent Çelik's investigation file to the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to be merged with the investigation in İstanbul, media reports said on Thursday.
Öztürk is expected to testify to the prosecutor's office in Bakırköy in the coming days.
Southeast Turkey has been the scene of fierce clashes between security forces and members of the PKK for months. A large number of civilians have been killed in confrontations between security forces and the PKK in southeastern towns and cities since a fragile cease-fire collapsed in late-July 2015. Curfews lasting weeks have been imposed on several particularly tense districts in the provinces of Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Mardin, Şırnak and Van.
Iran caused 1 million deaths in four Arab countries
Friday 15 January 2016
TANOUMA: Iran is arming and supporting terror groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, according to a security expert.
Mohammad Abdullah bin Fayez said Tehran has given arms and money to 30 groups with more than 200,000 members in these countries, allowing them to oppress the citizens of these nations and open up the door for Iranian rule.
Bin Fayez said this is happening in Syria, with support for militias consisting of 40,000 to 45,000 soldiers, aided by about 15,000 Iraqi, Iranian and Lebanese fighters, according to a media report on Thursday.
In Lebanon it established a large party and militia made up of 15,000 to 20,000 fighters and provided them with heavy war machinery. In Yemen, it supports the deposed president, Houthis and its militia made up of 50,000 fighters.
In Iraq, there is a permanent presence of thousands of visitors, soldiers and merchants who have a great influence on the country’s political decision making process.
Bin Fayez said this has resulted in the death of a million citizens and the displacement of 15 million, of which 11 million is from Syria, in addition to material losses of $400 billion.
He said there has been a serious breach of security and the strategic balance of power in the Middle East because of these events, posing a danger to the Kingdom, the Gulf states and Jordan.
He said the Kingdom under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has been working with these nations to defeat the Iranians, which includes assisting Yemen, Syria and Bahrain. Bin Fayez said that efforts should be doubled to fight this danger.
Deputy FM: US Marines' Detention Displays Iran's Power
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said the IRGC seizure of two the US Navy boats and detention of the 10 US marines in the Persian Gulf indicates Iran's might and power.
"This shows Iran's internal power as we powerfully seized the military vessel of the world's big military power and then freed its personnel powerfully after ensuring of their unintentional entry into our territorial waters," Araqchi said on Wednesday.
"This is a sign of our might," he added.
The IRGC seized two US Navy boats on Tuesday and detained them on Iran's Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman arrived in Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf illegally when they were captured by the IRGC Navy.
Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi blamed the US navy for its excited and unprofessional moves after Iran arrested the 10 US marines, warning that his forces' coast-to-sea missiles were awaiting orders to hit the American aircraft carrier deployed in the region.
"The USS Truman Aircraft carrier showed unprofessional moves for 40 minutes after the detention of the trespassers, while we were highly prepared with our coast-to-sea missiles, missile-launching speedboats and our numerous capabilities" and were ready to strike them in case they made a hostile move, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said after Iran released the detained US marines.
Fadavi complained of the provocative and uncontrolled behavior shown by the US navy, and said while the 10 captured marines showed not much resistance and accepted to give in to the Iranian troops, the US fleet that arrived near the scene later made many show-off moves near Iran's sea borders.
"But we communicated an announcement through the international (radio) systems and prevented any further irresponsible moves by them," he said, and continued, "Then they came to realize the IRGC Navy has the first and the last word in here."
"The US and France's aircraft carriers were within our range and if they had continued their unprofessional moves, they would have been afflicted with such a catastrophe that they had never experienced all throughout the history," the IRGC Navy commander cautioned.
"They could have been shot, and if they were, they would have been destroyed," he warned again.
Rear Admiral Fadavi reminded that the IRGC is in charge of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf and "exercises Iran's right of sovereignty powerfully".
He said later investigations into their navigation systems showed that they had gone astray and entered Iran's waters unknowingly.
"In the end they and their diplomats acknowledged their wrong action and undertook not to repeat such mistakes," said the Admiral.
He once against reiterated Iran's respectful behavior with the captured sailors until their release.
"The US and its Navy rest assured that they won't be the winner of any battle with Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz as destruction and sinking of their warships will be the end result of any such war. But in those 40 minutes, the Americans were clearly under intense psychological pressure and they did not act like a professional and responsible force," the Iranian IRGC Navy commander lamented.
Each of the two US Navy boats that were 3 nautical miles deep into the Iranian waters when they were captured by the IRGC Navy's second naval zone were equipped with three 50mm caliber machine guns and other light and semi-heavy weapons.
IRGC officials said the coordinates recorded on the GPS devices taken from the 10 US marines confirmed their trespassing as well.
The 10 US marines were released by the IRGC on Wednesday afternoon. The IRGC declared in a statement that "it has released the US marines and their vessels in international waters" after its investigations showed that they had gone astray during their voyage in the Persian Gulf.
In its statement, the IRGC pointed out that its investigations show that the US combat vessels' illegal entry into the Iranian waters was not the result of a purposeful act.
"Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels' illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran's waters was the result of an unintentional action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them," the statement said.
"The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes," it added, and continued, "The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy moments ago."
The IRGC statement blamed the US flotilla for its "excited and unprofessional moves", but said the IRGC navy could handle the situation and restored calm to the region through powerful and wise moves.
Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were in contact with their Iranian counterparts on the fate of the marines since Tuesday, and according to Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told Kerry that the US should extend a formal apology first.
According to the statement, the Americans have extended an apology.
Al-Shabab militants attack Somali army base, say dozens dead
Friday 15 January 2016
MOGADISHU: Al-Shabab and government forces battled for control of a remote army base in Somalia on Friday, after fighters from the Islamist militant group said they attacked the compound, killing dozens of soldiers.
The group, which is aligned with Al-Qaeda, said it took over the base, about 550 km (340 miles) west of Mogadishu after a suicide bomber from the group rammed its gates. It said it was also in control of the small town of Ceel Cado nearby.
It said it killed 61 Kenyan soldiers serving as part of the African Union forces, while other soldiers escaped. The claim could not be independently verified.
In the past, Al-Shabab has inflated casualty figures while Kenyan government officials have played them down.
A spokesman for Kenya’s Defense Forces (KDF) said Al-Shabab fighters overran a Somalia National Army camp situated close to a second camp run by Kenya Defense forces.
“(Kenyan) troops under (African Union auspices) counter-attacked ... The fighting is still going on ...and the number of casualties on both sides is unknown,” Col. David Obonyo, KDF spokesman, said in a statement.
‘WE HAVE CAPTURED THE TOWN’
Al-Shabab said it was in control of Ceel Cado and had captured nearly 30 lorries, tanks and armored vehicles.
“We have now counted and gathered in the base 61 dead bodies of (Kenyan) soldiers,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabab’s military operations spokesman, told Reuters. “The entire town and the base are in our hands.”
African Union troops, comprising about 22,000 soldiers from several African nations, have spent nearly a decade battling Al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia, a country mired in conflict since civil war broke out in 1991.
Al-Shabab has in the past year staged multiple attacks against African Union bases in Somalia, part of a guerrilla-warfare strategy to drive out foreign troops and impose its harsh version of Islamic law across the Horn of Africa nation.
A shopkeeper in the town said soldiers from the African Union force, known as AMISOM, appeared to have left the town.
“We see Al-Shabab in every corner of town,” shopkeeper Abdullahi Iidle told Reuters. “Some residents have fled.”
A Somali military official confirmed the militants had taken over the base. He said Kenyan troops and about a dozen Somali soldiers were stationed inside the AU compound.
“AMISOM has gone out of the town and base for strategic reasons,” Col. Farah Surow, a senior military officer stationed about 100 km (60 miles) from the Ceel Cado base, told Reuters.
Pathankot attack: Pakistan raids, shuts down several Jaish seminaries
Reuters | Jan 15, 2016
LAHORE: Pakistani authorities have shut down several religious schools run by the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group accused of masterminding an attack this month on the IAF airbase in Pathankot, Rana Sanaullah, the law minister of the Punjab province, said on Friday.
The crackdown in Punjab province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's power base and the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, follows the arrest this week of several members of the militant group, including its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.
Pakistan has said it is clamping down on Azhar's group, which India has long accused Pakistani authorities of tolerating, while it investigates Indian assertions that the January 2 attack on the Pathankot airbase was the work of the Pakistan-based militants.
"Officials of the counter-terrorism department raided the Jamiatul Nur seminary in the Daska area on Thursday and arrested more than a dozen people," Rana Sanaullah told Reuters.
"The seminary has been sealed off and documents and literature have been confiscated from the premises."
Sanaullah said several other offices and seminaries run by Jaish-e-Mohammad had also been raided and shut down, with many of its staff arrested. He declined to share further details.
In a TV interview on Thursday, Sanaullah confirmed that Azhar had been taken into "protective custody" and said legal action would be taken against him if his involvement in the Pathankot attack was proved "beyond doubt."
The January 2 attack on the base in Pathankot was followed by a raid on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan that has also been linked to Jaish-e-Mohammad, or the Army of Mohammad.
India has demanded that Pakistan take action against the group and on Thursday announced that the two countries would reschedule talks between their foreign secretaries while the investigation into the air base attack was carried out.
In a pre-dawn terror strike on January 2, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, suspected to be belonging to the JeM, attacked the IAF base at Pathankot in Punjab and killed seven security personnel.
All the six attackers were killed by the security forces.
As clock ticks down on sanctions, oil-laden Iran tankers set to target India and Europe
Reuters | Jan 15, 2016
SINGAPORE/LONDON/NEW YORK: With Iran poised to resume usual business ties with the world under a historic nuclear deal, Tehran is set to target India, Asia's fastest-growing major oil market, and old partners in Europe, with hundreds of thousands of barrels of its crude.
Iran expects the UN nuclear watchdog to confirm on Friday it has curtailed its nuclear programme, paving the way for the unfreezing of billions of dollars of assets and an end to bans that have crippled its oil exports.
Tehran plans to lift exports by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) post-sanctions and gradually raise shipments by the same amount again, adding to a glut of global oil and likely putting more pressure on oil prices which have already dropped 70 percent since 2014 to around $30 per barrel.
Iran has 22 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) floating off its coast, with 13 fully or almost fully loaded, mapping data on Thomson Reuters' Eikon showed, carrying enough crude to meet India's import needs for almost a week.
A senior Iranian source close to supply negotiations said that the country - which has the world's fourth-biggest proven oil reserves - was targeting India as its main destination for crude.
"Indian crude demand is growing faster than other Asian countries. Like our competitors, we see this country as one of the main targets for Asian sales," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/As-clock-ticks-down-on-sanctions-oil-laden-Iran-tankers-set-to-target-India-and-Europe/articleshow/50586655.cms
Three yrs on, Pak admits Versova IT engineer in its army’s custody
Yudhvir Rana | TNN | Jan 14, 2016, 11.25 PM IST
Amritsar: The three-year struggle of a Versova woman to track down her missing son succeeded on Wednesday when her lawyer called to confirm that her 30-year-old son was in the Pakistan army's custody and was facing trial in a military court.
Fauzia Ansari, mother of Hamid Ansari, said the Pakistan government admitted before the Peshawar high court that Hamid was in the army's custody. Fauzia's ordeal started in November 2012, when her son disappeared in Pakistan.
Ansari, then 27, an IT engineer and MBA, had gone to Kabul on November 4, 2012, for a job and was in touch with his mother till November 10. Fauzia accessed Hamid's email and Facebook accounts and came to know that he was in regular contact with some Pakistani friends. She said that on the way back from Afghanistan to India, her son had stopped in Pakistan and disappeared.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Three-yrs-on-Pak-admits-Versova-IT-engineer-in-its-armys-custody/articleshow/50582807.cms
ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack On Media House In Pakistan
PTI | Jan 14, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The dreaded Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Pakistani media house that had injured one person.
Unidentified assailants riding a motorbike lobbed a hand grenade on ARY News office and fired several shots on Wednesday.
Security guards present at the office entrance retaliated forcing the attackers to flee away dropping pamphlets, ARY news said in a report.
Global terror outfit ISIS's Afghanistan chapter claimed responsibility of the attack in the pamphlets 'in reaction to the channels coverage of ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb'.
In the attack, a non-linear editor was injured who was hit by a shrapnel in the head. He was immediately whisked to a hospital for medical attention.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced the attack in strongest words. He directed the authorities to provide security to ARY News employees.
A probe is going on and no arrest has been made in the case, police said.
Pakistani police said in December they arrested eight suspected IS extremists after a raid in the central province of Punjab, accusing them of planning attacks.
Pakistan has officially denied that Islamic State organisation is operating in Pakistan, but authorities have expressed fears the extremists could find recruits among the country's myriad Islamist militant groups.
Pakistan asks India to provide adequate security to PIA offices
PTI | Jan 14, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan asked India to provide adequate security to the PIA offices in the country and take action against "miscreants" who allegedly vandalised the office of Pakistan's national carrier in New Delhi.
"The Pakistan High Commission immediately took up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs, asking them to provide adequate security to the PIA offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, as well as to take action against the miscreants," a spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-asks-India-to-provide-adequate-security-to-PIA-offices/articleshow/50581313.cms
US official asks Pakistan to act against all terror groups
January 15th, 2016
WASHINGTON: A senior US official has condemned the recent attack on an Indian airbase and urged Pakistan to take the fight to all terrorist outfits working along its borders.
In a separate statement, the US State Department welcomed Pakistan’s announcement that it had arrested some suspects during a probe into the attack at the Pathankot airbase.
While addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Under-Secretary of State for Civilian Security Sarah Sewall urged Pakistan to target all terrorist groups, without any exception.
“We will continue to work with the government of Pakistan to take the fight to all terrorist networks in the border region and do everything in their power to help India achieve justice for the Mumbai attacks,” she said in her speech, which the State Department also released in Washington.
“That is what partners do — we help each other overcome shared struggles and face hard truths,” said the US official while noting that the Mumbai attacks had taken both Indian and American lives.
Ms Sewell said that “the shared trauma of terrorism,” including the recent bloodshed in Pathankot, had brought India and the United States together.
“We strongly condemn these attacks and … we recognise that terror is too often on India’s doorstep,” she added.
She also stressed the need to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation between the United States and its allies in the South Asian region.
Obama's statement on Pakistan not ground reality: Aziz
MATEEN HAIDER — January 15th, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has reacted strongly to a statement made by United States President Barack Obama that both Pakistan and Afghanistan were among the countries that would continue to face instability and turmoil for decades.
"Whatever the US president said about instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan are his predictions and have nothing to do with ground realities," Aziz told a breakfast meeting with Chinese scholars, diplomats and media persons organised by a think thank here on Friday.
In his last State of the Union address on Tuesday night, Obama had warned: “Instability will continue for decades in many parts of the world – in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of central America, Africa and Asia,” he said.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1233160/obamas-statement-on-pakistan-not-ground-reality-aziz
Jaish's Masood Azhar under 'protective custody', confirms Punjab Law Minister
January 15th, 2016
LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday confirmed that Jaish-i-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar is under 'protective custody'.
Speaking on DawnNews talk show 'News Eye', Sanaullah while responding to a question confirmed that Masood Azhar was taken into protective custody by the counter-terrorism department.
When asked if his custody can be termed an 'arrest', the provincial law minister explained that Azhar will only face arrest and legal action if his involvement in the Pathankot attack is proved beyond doubt.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1232967/jaishs-masood-azhar-under-protective-custody-confirms-punjab-law-minister
Seminary run by Jaish-e-Mohammad in Sialkot sealed
January 15th, 2016
SIALKOT: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) sealed a mosque-cum-seminary and arrested 14 people in Mundeyki Goraya village on Thursday.
The mosque and seminary were being run by the defunct militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
A senior official said that a contingent of CTD and police raided and sealed Jamia Masjid and Madressah Al-Noor located some 14km from Daska. The team detained 14 activists of the banned organisation but did not reveal their identities.
The official said that the record and printed material from the seminary were seized during the raid and people taken into custody were whisked away for interrogation.
Afghan Consulate Official's Peshawar Residence Targeted In Late-Night Drive
ALI AKBAR — January 15th, 2016
PESHAWAR: Armed militants attacked an Afghan consulate official's residence in Peshawar's posh Town area in the early hours of Friday, SP Cantonment Area Kashif Khan said. Consulate official Humayun Yousafzai is unhurt.
Unidentified armed men on motorcycles opened fire on Yousafzai's house around 2am, the SP said.
Initial investigation revealed a sub-machine gun was used to fire at the house and 29 bullet casings have been recovered from the site of the attack, he said.
Photos from the crime scene show the boundary wall of the house marred with bullets.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against unidentified individuals and a investigation is under way.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack as yet.
The attack occurred after a Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan's Jalalabad area was the target of an hours-long gun and bomb siege on Wednesday.
Both attacks occur just days after Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States met to discuss a framework to guide the reconciliation and peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Taliban-Daesh clashes leave eight militants killed in Nangarhar
By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Jan 15 2016
Eight militants have been killed in newest clashes of militants loyal to the terrorist group of Daesh and Taliban in eastern Nangarhar province.
Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesperson for the police headquarters of Nangarhar said the clashes erupted in Chahar Darwazi and Chaghar areas of Haska Mina District on Thursday.
According to Col. Mashriqiwal, six fighters of Daesh and two others from Taliban side were killed in these clashes. Two Taliban also sustained injuries in the gun battles.
This comes as 10 fighters of Daesh were killed in two drone strikes in Achin District yesterday afternoon.
The Unarmed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) targeted two vehicles in which the terrorists were traveling.
Four militants were killed after a ‘Saracha’ vehicle came under attack and six others in a ‘Corolla’ vehicle.
Different types of weapons and the two vehicles were also destroyed in the airstrikes.
Badghis Taliban execute man in public on adultery charges
By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Jan 14 2016
Taliban have publically executed a man on adultery charges in northwestern Badghis province.
The incident took place in Nakhjiristan area of Qadis District earlier this week after reportedly a Taliban desert-court announced the punishment to Abdul Ahad, the man killed.
Mirza Ali, Governor of Qadis while confirming the incident said that Abdul Ahad was shot dead by Taliban two days before.
He added that security agencies have launched an investigation into the incident.
This is not a one-time incident where a man is being executed by the order of a Taliban desert court but the group kills dozens of people on similar charges every year.
President Ghani says cautiously optimistic about Afghan peace efforts
By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Jan 15 2016
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in KabulPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the Afghan government is cautiously optimistic about the ongoing efforts regarding the Afghan reconciliation process.
During separate meetings with the members of the Afghan parliament, Afghan high peace council and council of Mujahideen in ARG Presidential Palace on Thursday, President Ghani said the Afghan government has managed to ascertain its conditions for peace talks while working out the factors for ongoing violence in the country.
President Ghani further added that the conditions of the Afghan government have been agreed during bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral meetings with Pakistan, United States and China.
Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-says-cautiously-optimistic-about-afghan-peace-efforts-11001
Key ISIS leader hailing from Pakistan killed in Nangarhar drone strike
By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Jan 15 2016
At least eleven fanatics of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, local officials said.
The airstrike was carried out in Achin district of Nangarhar with the help of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The district administrative chief Ghaleeb Mujahid confirmed that eleven loyalists of the terror group including one of their key commanders were killed in the raid.
He said another key commander of the terror group was also among those killed.
Nangarhar is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups including the fanatics loyal to the ISIS terror group are actively operating in a number of its remote districts.
The loyalists of the terror group have recently increased their insurgency activities in Afghanistan and targeted the Pakistani consulate in their latest wave of insurgency activities.
This comes as at least 10 loyalists of terror group was killed in a separate airstrike carried out by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) targetting a gathering in Kot district.
Afghan Air Force to receive 4 light attack aircraft from U.S. today
By KHAAMA PRESS - Fri Jan 15 2016
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) will receive the first batch of light attack aircraft from United States today, the defense officials said.
The first batch will include 4 light attack A-29 Super Tucano aircraft which will join the Afghan Air force (AAF) fleet amid critical need for close-air support to the Afghan security forces.
Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD), told reporters in Kabul that the aircraft will further bolster the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force, being a well-equipped close-air support light attack aircraft.
Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-force-to-receive-4-light-attack-aircraft-from-u-s-today-11000
Afghanistan to launch online enrollment for e-passport distribution
By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Jan 14 2016
2The Afghan government is launching online enrollment for electronic passport in a bid to expedite the process for the applicants.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Afghanistan (MICT) announced Thursday that a plan has been prepared for the online enrollment and distribution of passports through Afghan Post.
Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-launch-online-enrollment-for-e-passport-distribution-1989
Missing Afghan Air Force trainee located in United States
By KHAAMA PRESS - Thu Jan 14 2016
Afghan Air Force trainee located in USAn Afghan Air Force (AAF) trainee who vanished from an Air Force base in United States together with his colleague has been located, it has been reported.
The two Afghan Air Force (AAF) trainees, Shirzad Rohullah and Mirwais Kohistani, vanished from Moody Air Force base in south Georgia nearly six weeks ago.
Quoting the Department of Homeland Security, the Channel 2 investigative report Aaron Diamant confirmed the one of the two trainees has been located.
No further details have been given regarding the identity of the airman located by the Homeland Security.
Full report at: http://www.khaama.com/missing-afghan-air-force-trainee-located-in-united-states-1991
US declares Af-Pak wing of IS a foreign terrorist organisation
ANWAR IQBAL — January 15th, 2016
WASHINGTON: The United States declared on Thursday the militant Islamic State group’s Afghanistan-Pakistan wing a foreign terrorist organisation.
This week, the group carried out terrorist attacks at Pakistani diplomatic missions in Afghanistan and has also been involved in previous terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.
“The US Department of State has announced the designation of ISIL-K as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act,” which authorises the administration to make such designations, says a statement issued in Washington.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/news/1233074/us-declares-af-pak-wing-of-is-a-foreign-terrorist-organisation
Donald Trump: Will not review call to ban Muslims from entering US
PTI | Jan 15, 2016
WASHINGTON: Donald Trump refused to budge over his call to ban all Muslims from entering the US even as Republican presidential rivals questioned his controversial stance, with Jeb Bush wondering if the frontrunner also meant banning Muslims from countries like India and Indonesia which are strong allies of the US.
Trump - whose popularity rating soared after his anti- Muslim rhetoric in which he called for banning all Muslims from entering the US - said that he would not review his decision as the security of the country is paramount for him.
"I want security for this country. We have a serious problem with radical Islam. We have a tremendous problem. It's not only a problem here. It's a problem all over the world," Trump said as he refused Bush's request to review his plan.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Donald-Trump-Will-not-review-call-to-ban-Muslims-from-entering-US/articleshow/50588764.cms
Obama, Putin discuss Ukraine, Syria: White House
AFP | Jan 15, 2016
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Thursday, discussing crises in Ukraine and Syria, the White House said.
"They spent a significant portion of their time discussing the need for the Russians to live up to the commitments that they made in Minsk — to end their support for separatists that are destabilizing Ukraine right now," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agreed a new truce deal Wednesday that goes into immediate effect and replaces one broken just hours after its signature at the end of last month.
Kiev's pro-Western leaders and the insurgents are fighting over an industrial region the approximate size of Wales that is home to about 3.5 million people and the center of the splintered former Soviet nation's coal and steel wealth.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50586501.cms
Jund Al-Sham Ringleader: Resistance against Syrian Army No More Possible
January 15th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Leader of Jund al-Sham terrorist group Abu Walid al-Shishani announced that his forces can no more block the Syrian army advances.
Appearing in a video message on Wednesday, Shishani referred to the dire situation of his forces in Syria, and underlined that they are no more able to stand against the Syrian army in Lattakia province any more.
He also said that the preparedness and number of his forces have decreased.
He made the remarks after the Syrian army and the popular forces captured and imposed full control over more than 300 square kilometers of lands in the Northern parts of Lattakia province.
On October 7, the Syrian army started its massive operations with the backup of the Russian air force in Lattakia province to prevent the terrorists from advancing towards the city of Lattakia.
Full report at: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941024000597
US-Saudi Arabia: United anti-terror front urged
Friday 15 January 2016
LONDON: Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and United States Secretary of State John Kerry have called for a united front against terrorism.
At a joint press conference after their meeting in London, Al-Jubeir condemned the terrorist bombings in Indonesia and Pakistan. Kerry said such terrorist acts would not stop countries from protecting their citizens.
He said his country was determined to eliminate the Daesh terrorist group, Boko Haram of Nigeria and the youth movement of Somalia peacefully if possible, but force would be used if necessary.
Full report at: http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/865381
Russia Unveils Agreement With Syria on Deployment of Combat Air Group
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia unveiled the text of the agreement with Syria on the deployment of the Russian air group in the country.
The Russian government on Thursday posted on its legal information portal the full text of the agreement with Damascus on the deployment of the Russian combat air group in Syria, Ria Novosti reported.
The agreement, concluded on August 26, 2015, stresses that the deployment of Russian combat aircraft at the Hmeymim airbase in the Lattakia province is carried out at request by legitimate Syrian authorities to ensure peace and stability in the region, has a purely defensive nature, and is not aimed against other countries.
Full report at: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941024000973
KSA, Egypt to work closely in tourism and antiquities
Friday 15 January 2016
RIYADH: The Kingdom and Egypt pledged to work closely in order to enrich their experiences in the field of tourism and antiquities and further enhance bilateral cooperation.
This was revealed after a meeting between Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and Nasser Hamdy Zaghloul, the new ambassador of Egypt in Riyadh, an SCTNH official said here on Thursday.
During the meeting the SCTNH chief and the Egyptian envoy discussed a number of issues concerning mutual cooperation.
“They discussed cooperation between the two countries and the potential to further enhance opportunities especially in the field of travel and tourism and the antiquities sector,” the official said.
Full report at: http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/865316
Saudi teachers return home after Houthi kidnapping
Friday 15 January 2016
Two Saudi teachers arrived safely back in Saudi Arabia after being released by Houthi rebels.
The pair, Abdulrahman bin Maqbul Al-Sharari and Salem bin Misfr Al-Ghamdi, arrived back to the Kingdom via Djibouti, landing at Khalid International Airport late on Thursday evening.
They were accompanied by the United Nations envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jaber.
Last March, the teachers were heading to Moroni, Comoros via Sanaa when their flight was cancelled due to Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen.
In Sanaa, they were hosted by the United Nations Mission, before they were taken from there by armed Houthis rebels to an unknown destination.
The Saudis remained as hostages until the morning of 14 January when they were handed over to the UN's envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
Two Saudis freed from kidnappers in Egypt
Friday 15 January 2016
RIYADH: Egyptian police were able to rescue two Saudis from kidnappers in the governorate of Bani Sweif, about 120 km from Cairo, who had been lured to the country with the promise of being able to buy ancient gold relics.
According to a report in an Arabic publication, the two Saudis, both aged 60, had received an SMS message from an unidentified individual who had said that these valuables were for sale in Bani Sweif.
Full report at: http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/865321
Syrian Army Forces Gain More Territory in Aleppo
January 15th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army troops managed to seize back more territory in the Northern Province of Aleppo after fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists.
The Syrian army gained control of the area between the villages of Ein al-Beida and Aisheh after fierce clashes with ISIL Takfiri militants on Wednesday.
The army also captured the water pumping station in the area.
The army said earlier on Wednesday that its troops engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL militants in the Eastern part of Aleppo province and pushed them back form more lands.
"The Syrian army troops drove the ISIL back from Ein al-Beida village and its surrounding farms in the Eastern part of the province near the newly liberated village of Aisheh," the army said.
"The village and its nearby farms are under full control of the army and the ISIL has fled the battlefield after leaving behind many of members dead and wounded," the army added.
Syrian Soldiers Seize New Village in Aleppo Province
January 15th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian army troops attacked terrorists' positions in Aleppo province, and regained control of a new village and its surrounding farms.
The Syrian Army and popular forces drove the militant groups back from their positions in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo province, and took control of al-Sreib village and the surrounding farms.
Battlefield reports said also that the Syrian soldiers inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists, and managed to kill and injure scores of them.
Following the victory of the government troops in the region, scores of militants fled their positions and ran away to the neighboring villages.
Full report at: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941024000942
Zarif Describes UAE Counterpart as "Arrogant Nouveau-Riche" in Implied Words
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday reciprocated the insulting words of his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in indirect words, and said "arrogant nouveau-riche" should stay out of diplomacy.
"Diplomacy is the domain of the mature; not arrogant nouveau-riche," Zarif wrote on his tweeter page on Wednesday.
The exchange of harsh words started after Zarif published an editorial in the New York Times titled "Saudi Arabia's Reckless Extremism", deploring the kingdom's human rights record and blasting Riyadh for supporting extremism and "sectarian hatred".
Sheikh Abdullah responded to Zarif's article the next day. "When I read the Iranian foreign minister's article in the New York Times, I thought the author was the foreign minister of a Scandinavian country," he tweeted in Arabic.
Full report at: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941024000211
Russian-Syrian Air Forces Conduct First Joint Operation
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted a joint combat mission with the Syrian Air Force for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
Syrian Air Force's MiG-29 fighter jets have escorted Russian Su-25 bombers during an anti-terrorist aerial campaign over Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, Sputnik reported.
"Crews of the Russian Aerospace Forces' Su-25 aircraft and Syrian Air Force's MiG-29 jets have carried out a joint mission in skies over Syria. Two MiG-29 fighter jets have provided escort for Russian attack bombers, which have been conducting airstrikes on terrorist infrastructure," the statement read.
Since September 30, Moscow has been conducting pinpoint airstrikes on Takfiri terrorist targets in Syria at President Bashar al-Assad's request.
The Russian Aerospace Forces coordinate their actions with the Syrian army which is operating on the ground.
Assaults mark re-emergence of radical Islam
Rajeev Deshpande | TNN | Jan 15, 2016
The terrorists who struck in Jakarta on Thursday mark the re-emergence of radical Islam inspired by the Islamic State in the populous archipelago, spelling a new and tougher challenge to President Joko Widodo's efforts to spur economic growth and project Indonesia as a stable maritime power.
Though the identity of the attackers is being verified, Indonesian officials point to recent IS threats and the targeting of shopping areas, typically frequented by foreigners, seems to tie in with the group's tactics and ideology. The IS has the allegiance of a major section of Jemmah Islamiyah, the region's best known extremist group, and other jihadi networks while its online propaganda is a potent threat capable of motivating individuals and new groups that are not on the on radar of Indonesia's security forces. Australian commentators who follow Indonesia say there are hundreds lining up to go to Syria and Iraq to fight and their return with battle field experience can prime home grown terror into a more lethal threat.
The terrorist challenge has reared its head at a time when Indonesia's economy slowed to under 5%, a trend that has not reversed since 2013. Yet, with relatively stable politics and peaceful change in governments, it remains a likely growth area in the Asean region, capable of attracting investment.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Assaults-mark-re-emergence-of-radical-Islam/articleshow/50584312.cms
Police arrest 3 men on suspicion of links to Jakarta attack
AP | Jan 15, 2016
JAKARTA: Indonesians were shaken but refusing to be cowed a day after a deadly attack in a busy district of central Jakarta that has been claimed by the Islamic State group.
In a new development, police on Friday told an Indonesian TV channel they arrested three men on suspicion of links to the attack that killed seven people including five attackers.
The area near a Starbucks coffee shop where the attack by suicide bombers and gunmen began remained cordoned off with a highly visible police presence on Friday.
Onlookers and journalists lingered nearby, with some people leaving flowers and messages of support.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Police-arrest-3-men-on-suspicion-of-links-to-Jakarta-attack/articleshow/50585879.cms
Indonesia braces for tourism hit after Jakarta attack
Reuters | Jan 14, 2016
SINGAPORE: Indonesia faces a drop in tourist numbers, at least in the short term, following Thursday's attack in central Jakarta claimed by Islamic State, in a blow to Southeast Asia's biggest economy already growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis.
An Indonesian and a Canadian were killed, along with five attackers, while 20 people, including a Dutchman, were wounded. Two of the militants were taken alive, police said.
The attack could frustrate President Joko Widodo's ambitions to nearly double tourist arrivals to 20 million people by 2019, although Indonesia's tourism ministry said that it was sticking to that target despite the gun and bomb assault.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Indonesia-braces-for-tourism-hit-after-Jakarta-attack/articleshow/50579622.cms
Indonesia ‘still has worker ban in place’
Friday 15 January 2016
JEDDAH/RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor has rejected reports that the Indonesian government has lifted its ban on workers coming to the Kingdom.
Jakarta still has the ban in place, even though the Shoura Council, the country’s legislative advisory body, agreed to approve a draft labor pact between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia at a session in Riyadh earlier this week, a ministry source said.
Majed Al-Haqqas, spokesman of the recruitment offices, said they were not informed of any change in the current state of recruitment from Indonesia. There were also no changes to the situation for Nepal, he was quoted as saying by a local publication on Thursday.
He said the National Recruitment Committee has ceased to exist because its members had resigned. The ministry was completely responsible for recruitment processes, including cost stipulations, he said.
Full report at: http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/865336
Russia: Turkey Playing Covert Game in Syria in Own Interests
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia slammed Turkish authorities, who accused Moscow of civilians' deaths in Syria, calling the claims "dirty tricks".
Addressing a weekly press briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Ankara was playing a "covert game" in Syria in its own interests in the region.
According to her, it is crystal clear that Ankara is "trying to change the ethnic composition in the country's [Syria's] North in its own interests" under the pretext of the fight against the ISIL.
"We condemn this destructive policy leading to the deterioration of the situation in the region and call for a constructive work in the framework of international efforts," the Spokeswoman added.
Russian Su-30SM Multirole Fighters to Master Intercepting Air Targets
Jan 15, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Air Force will practice intercepting targets with advanced Su-30SM multirole fighters, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes and equipped with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions.
The Russian Southern Military District’s air regiment will exercise intercepting air targets from aboard advanced Su-30SM multirole fighters in Russia’s Rostov Region, the district’s press service said Thursday, Sputnik reported.
"During the flight training, crews will fly in circles, on set routes and to designated areas. As part of the combat preparation, pilots will intercept air targets," the press service said.
The drills are being held within the framework of a pilot retraining program, according to the press service.
The Su-30SM, commissioned in 2013-2014, is a two-seat derivative of the earlier Su-27UB Flanker, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes and equipped with a wide variety of precision-guided munitions.
Angry Bavarian politician sends bus full of refugees to Merkel
Reuters | Jan 15, 2016
BERLIN: An irate local politician in Germany's southern state of Bavaria has dispatched a bus filled with dozens of refugees on a 7-hour journey to Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin as a protest against her open-door refugee policy.
A spokesman for Peter Dreier from the southeastern town of Landshut said that 31 refugees were making the 550 kilometre trip to the capital and were likely arrrive in the afternoon.
A video on the online site of German newspaper Die Welt showed police officers shepherding dozens of men and women with bags onto a bus in a sunny country road lined with trees and chalets.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Angry-Bavarian-politician-sends-bus-full-of-refugees-to-Merkel/articleshow/50586094.cms
Moscow Furious at Paris for Reports on Civilian Casualties in Russian Airstrikes in Syria
January 15th, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova slammed France over its allegations about civilian casualties in Russian airstrikes in Syria.
Addressing a weekly press briefing in Moscow on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius' claims of Russia allegedly hitting civilian targets in Syria were "strange."
"To put it mildly, this all seems strange and unfounded," the foreign ministry spokeswoman told reporters.
Earlier this week, Fabius accused the Russian military of actions against the civilian population of Syria, including bombing of a school.
"Russia's aims in Syria are transparent," Zakharova emphasized.
"Russia calls on all countries to unite efforts in the fight against terrorism," she announced.
Since September 30, Russia has been conducting an aerial campaign in Syria against Takfiri terrorist groups, following a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
EU says it is closely monitoring legal cases against critical academics
January 15, 2016
Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for the European Commission, has said the European Union is closely monitoring developments regarding a number of Turkish academics who face legal proceedings for signing a declaration for peace that criticized the government over ongoing military operations in the Southeast.
The declaration, the number of signatories of which has reached 2,000 according to a statement announced by the Scholars for Peace initiative on Thursday, criticizes Turkey's security operations and calls for an end to the ongoing curfews in the Southeast and for fresh peace efforts. A number of public prosecutors have launched investigations into academics across the country who signed the declaration on suspicion of their supporting and spreading terrorist propaganda, while several universities have launched their own administrative enquiries into dozens of their academic staff.
Full report at: http://www.todayszaman.com/latest-news_eu-says-it-is-closely-monitoring-legal-cases-against-critical-academics_409692.html
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