New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 07:49 AM

Islamic World News ( 28 Jan 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Trump Immigration Ban Loses First Legal Battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protesters of the "Muslim ban" at Dallas airport, Texas (G. Morty Ortega/Getty Images North America/AFP)

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Dubai’s Head of Security Supports Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’

Clashes on Yemen West Coast Kill More Than 100: Medics

Tehran to Ban Americans from Entering Iran in Tit-For-Tat Move

Stop Using Nigerian Mosques to Preach Hate, Preach Peace Instead – Emir of Kano

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North America

Trump Immigration Ban Loses First Legal Battle

Texas Mosque Set on Fire after Trump's Muslim Ban

Trump Gives Pentagon 30 Days to Develop Strategy to Defeat ISIL in Iraq, Syria

We stand in support of our Muslim neighbors

Muslim world's shock, outrage at Trump's visa ban

UC Advises Faculty, Students Banned Muslim Countries Not To Leave U.S.

Judges block the deportation of Muslim travellers

Protests, confusion, and fear at JFK airport on day one of the Muslim ban

Donald Trump's ban on immigrants from Muslim countries spooks US tech industry

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Arab World

Dubai’s Head of Security Supports Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’

Clashes on Yemen West Coast Kill More Than 100: Medics

Over 50 Saudi-Backed Militias Killed in Yemeni Forces' Offensives in Ta'iz

Yemen rebel authority slams Trump's Muslim ban

Saudi warplanes kill 14 civilians in Yemen

Amid Yemen's chaos, migrants stream in only to face torment

Syria: ISIL Starts Withdrawal of Forces from Al-Bab

Syrian Reconciliation Official: Army in Full Control of Wadi Al-Bardi

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Mideast

Tehran to Ban Americans from Entering Iran in Tit-For-Tat Move

18 ISIL Militants ‘Neutralized’ In North Syria: Turkish Military

Britain's Theresa May in Turkey for talks with Erdogan

Iranian Speaker: Trump's Immigration Ban Indicates US Weakness

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Africa

Stop Using Nigerian Mosques to Preach Hate, Preach Peace Instead – Emir of Kano

Moroccan Police Arrests ISIS Cell For Plotting Attacks

Islamist politician Abu Ismail sentenced to 5 years in prison

Gombe FRSC commences sensitisation campaign in mosques, churches

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Europe

'Day of Islam' Marked In Catholic Church of Poland

Muslim Council of Wales Warn Of 'Creeping Fascism' Over Trump's Ban

Scottish FM welcomes refugees banned by US President

UK prime minister refuses to condemn Trump's Muslim ban

Russia to Hand over Large Number of Armored Vehicles to Syrian Army

Czech president backs Trump's anti-migrant steps

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India

Post-Order, US-Based Indian Muslim Cancels Home Visit

JKNPP protests settlement of immigrant Muslims in Jammu

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Pakistan

Pakistani Worshippers Condemn Shia Killings In Parachinar

Pakistani politicians up ante over army's secret courts

One of 5 missing Pakistan rights activists returns home

Pakistan hopes to host SAARC soon, accuses India of impeding process

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South Asia

49 Militants Killed In Counter-Terrorism Operations In 7 Provinces: Afghanistan MoI

1 Taliban insurgent killed, 1 arrested alive in failed Nangarhar ambush

Taliban militants suffer casualties in Kunduz premature bomb explosion

Afghan and Iraqi migrants among first detained under Trump’s ban

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Southeast Asia

Muslim-Majority Indonesia Deeply Regrets Us Immigrant Vetting Plans

Rodrigo Duterte Pleads With Philippine Rebels To Rebuff Islamic State Advances

Prominent NLD law consultant, Muslim shot dead at Rangoon airport

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/trump-immigration-ban-loses-first-legal-battle/d/109878

 

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Trump Immigration Ban Loses First Legal Battle

AFP

A federal judge on Saturday blocked part of President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban, ordering authorities to stop deporting refugees and other travellers stuck at US airports.

The decision accompanied growing resistance to Trump's crackdown on Muslim immigration, with large protests spreading at major airports across the country.

“Victory!!!!!!” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose lawyers sued the government, tweeted after US District Judge Ann Donnelly issued her decision.

“Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders.”

Trump's sweeping executive order, signed Friday, suspends the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days and bars visas for travellers from seven Muslim majority countries for the next three months.

The move, which was implemented immediately by US authorities, sparked large protests at major airports across the country.

At New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, some of the 2,000 demonstrators there chanted “Let them in, let them in!”

Large protests took place at the main airports for Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas.

Donnelly's decision to issue a temporary stay which stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of Trump's order came after dozens of people were detained at US airports following Trump's actions.

The exact number of those affected is unclear, but the judge ordered the government to provide lists of all those detained at US airports since the measure went into effect.

Sending those travellers back to their home countries following Trump's order exposes them to “substantial and irreparable injury,” wrote Donnelly, who was appointed by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

A second federal judge in Virginia also issued a temporary order restricting immigration authorities for seven days from deporting legal permanent residents detained at Dulles Airport just outside Washington, according to US media.

Trump originally asked for 'Muslim ban': Giuliani

Trump originally dubbed his executive order as a “Muslim ban,” according to the US president's aide Rudy Giuliani.

“When he first announced it he said, 'Muslim ban,'” the former New York mayor told Fox News late Saturday when asked whether the ban was connected to religion.

“Show me the right way to do it legally,” Giuliani who Trump has tapped as his cyber security guru said the US president told him.

The 72-year-old said he and a team of legal experts “focused on instead of religion danger!” when they drafted the immigration crackdown that has sparked a global outcry and mass protests.

Giuliani said those predominately Muslim countries were targeted because they are “the areas of the world that create danger for us.”

“Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis,” he said.

'We were prepared'

“We knew that was coming we were prepared,” said Camille Mackler, a lawyer who heads legal initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition, one of the groups that quickly mounted the demonstration there.

“But we didn't know when, and we couldn't believe it would be immediate, that there'd be people in an air plane the moment the order was taking effect.”

The List Project, which helps Iraqis whose personal safety is threatened because they have worked for the United States, expressed outraged over the move, warning it put American lives at risk too.

“I can't say this in blunt-enough terms: you can't s**** o*** the people that risked their lives and bled for this country without consequences,” wrote the project's founder and director Kirk Johnson.

The ACLU's legal challenge sought the release of two Iraqi men on grounds of unlawful detention. One of them Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who has worked as interpreter and in other roles for the US in Iraq was in fact released on Saturday after being detained the day before.

'We must fight'

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, who went to JFK to press for the release of those detained under Trump's measure, said “We must fight this executive order in the streets, in the courts, anywhere, anytime. We must resist. We must fight.”

Trump's pronouncement on Muslim immigration makes good on one of his most controversial campaign promises to subject travellers from Islamic countries to “extreme vetting” which he declared would make America safe from “radical terrorists.” The targeted countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Donnelly's decision shows that “when President Trump enacts laws or executive orders that are unconstitutional, and illegal, the courts are there to defend everyone's rights,” ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said in leaving the emergency hearing.

The ban has triggered political backlash, including from Trump's fellow Republicans.

Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the US Senate, spoke of America's “legal and moral obligations to help the innocent victims of these terrible conflicts.”

“I strongly urge the new administration to move quickly to tailor its policy on visa issuance as narrowly as possible, delivering on our security needs while reducing unnecessary burdens on the vast majority of visa-seekers that present a promise not a threat to our nation,” he said in a statement.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, wrote: “To my colleagues: don't ever again lecture me on American moral leadership if you chose to be silent today.”

His tweet was accompanied by the now iconic photograph of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015 after a failed attempt to flee Syria's brutal war to join relatives in Canada.

A long battle

The rapid mobilisation against the order suggests a protracted battle is shaping up between migrant advocates and Trump and his administration.

“This is the opening salvo of a long battle that will go on in the courts,” said Michael Kagan, a law professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who specialises in immigration issues.

He said the outcome of the legal battle is unclear because “we are in unchartered territory in modern America.”

The battle could end up in the US Supreme Court, which has not ruled on this type of immigration issue since the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

A White House official said that holders of a green card which allows permanent residence in the US and often takes years to obtain who are abroad should first go to the US consulate to obtain a document allowing return to the US.

And green card holders in the US who want to travel abroad must obtain approval from a consulate official.

The State Department has said that people from the seven countries under the 90-day travel ban will be prohibited entry no matter their visa status.

Only those holding a dual citizenship with the US will be allowed to enter.

dawn.com/news/1311465/trump-immigration-ban-loses-first-legal-battle

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Dubai’s Head of Security supports Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’

Published January 29th, 2017

America’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries may be stirring anger across the West, but in the Arab world the move has received some more surprising responses.

In a series of tweets, Dubai’s Head of General Security, Dhahi Khalfan this morning expressed his support for President Trump’s “Muslim ban”.

 Previous US administrations have embraced all the wanted men of the Arab world and those classified as terrorists... Trump what you're doing is right.

Khalfan, who has a following 1.5 million on his official Twitter account, also wrote that it was America’s right to “ban whoever they want to ban”. Emirati passport holders are not included in the executive order that Trump signed on Saturday, suspending visas for travellers from several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

One Iraqi-American journalist, Steven Nabil, was quick to point out Khalfan’s hypocrisy on Facebook:

Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad were among the 19 terrorists of al-Qaeda who attacked the World Trade Center and other targets on 9-11, which led to the deaths of thousands of American civilians. They both had Emirati citizenship like Dhahi Khalfan.

Others supported his criticism, highlighting the fact that very few individuals from the countries banned by Trump have carried out terrorist attacks in the West:

This Trump is stupid, his calculation is simplistic... The countries that America has banned from entry: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and Somalia... No resident of any of those countries participated in the strikes on the World Trade Center. [Whereas] 17 Saudi citizens participated in the attacks... We conclude that he is merely a real estate and amusements trader.

Iran, Iraq, Syria: They may be the smallest threat to security in the whole world, yet they are prevented from entering the US. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria, they are the sources of terrorism. [But for Trump] they're not a problem.

Trump has said that the ban is intended to "protect the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism" and allow time to implement "a more rigorous vetting process."

A decision overnight by a federal judge in New York has allowed anyone from the targeted countries in transit or already in the country to remain, provided they have a valid visa. However, it is not clear whether the executive order itself will continue to be implemented.

albawaba.com/loop/dubai%E2%80%99s-head-security-supports-trump%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98muslim-ban%E2%80%99-930942

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Clashes on Yemen west coast kill more than 100: Medics

AP | Updated: Jan 29, 2017

ADEN: Raging battles between Yemeni government forces and Shiite rebels on the country's west coast have killed more than 100 fighters in the past 24 hours, officials said on Sunday.

The bodies of at least 90 Huthi rebels were taken to a hospital in the Red Sea city of Hodeida, which is controlled by the insurgents, while 19 dead soldiers were taken to the southern port city of Aden, the medical and military sources said.

Deadly clashes have shaken the area around the key Red Sea town of Mokha since the start of the year when loyalist fighters launched an offensive to oust the Iran-backed Huthis and their allies.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/57-dead-in-first-us-raid-on-qaeda-in-yemen-under-trump/articleshow/56852859.cms

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Tehran to ban Americans from entering Iran in tit-for-tat move

 

Iran will ban Americans from entering the country in response to President Donald Trump's “insulting” order restricting arrivals from Iran and six other Muslim states, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran... has decided to respond in kind after the insulting decision of the United States concerning Iranian nationals” until the measure is lifted, the ministry said in a statement carried by state television.

Trump on Friday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Iran's foreign ministry called the decision “illegal, illogical and contrary to international rules”.

It said its own ban on US nationals would continue until the American measure was lifted.

The ministry said said it had ordered Iranian diplomatic missions to help Iranians who had been “prevented from returning to their homes and places of work and study” in the United States.

Travel agents in Tehran said that foreign airlines had begun barring Iranians from US-bound flights.

French leader chides US populism, urges European unity

French President Francois Hollande on Saturday urged Europe to present a united front against populist movements which, he said, are being encouraged by political developments in the United States.

“Europe is facing a moment of truth,” Hollande said. “The issue is populism. What we are hearing from the US encourages populism and even extremism. They are saying that Europe should not take immigrants, shouldn't stay together, not believe in climate change.”

European Union countries should stick to their principles and defend their interests and stand firm in talks with US President Donald Trump, Hollande said.

“Europe should be true to itself. It should guide itself according to its values, its principles, and its interests,” Hollande said on the sidelines of an informal meeting with six other EU leaders in Lisbon, Portugal. “We should engage in discussions (with the US) that sometimes should be very firm.”

“And as long as there are statements from the US president about Europe, when he speaks about the model of Brexit for other countries, when the US president talks about climate change ... saying he's not convinced of it, we should respond to him. When he takes protectionist measures, we should respond to him. When he destabilizes the economies of other countries, not only European ones, we should respond to him. When he rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him,” he told reporters.

Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni said the EU will “find a way to work with the US administration” but added that the bloc should remain true to its core values including human rights and anti-protectionism.

The EU leaders emphasised their commitment to the European Union, in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

“We believe that in a world confronted with growing uncertainties and instability, we will be stronger by acting together,” they said in a joint statement. “Weakening Europe is not an option.” However, they said they hoped “to have the United Kingdom as a close partner of the EU.”

dawn.com/news/1311287/tehran-to-ban-americans-from-entering-iran-in-tit-for-tat-move

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Stop Using Nigerian Mosques to Preach Hate, Preach Peace Instead – Emir Of Kano

January 29, 2017

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has warned Muslim clerics in the country to stop using their mosques to preach hate among Nigerians.

Sanusi gave the warning in his sermon at the ultra -modern mosque of the Federal University of Technology, Minna , Niger State on Friday .

He also led the first Friday prayers in the mosque after inaugurating it . The inauguration of the mosque was one of the activities that marked the school’s 26 th convocation and 35 th anniversary.

He said it was unfortunate that some Muslims, especially clerics, were hiding under the sanctity and immunity of the holy places to set one part of the society against the other. The monarch described it as totally against the tenets of Islam.

He said, “ Muslim clerics , and indeed all Muslims , should preach peace among the adherents and work to achieve peace with members of other religions .” He asked Muslims all over the country to unite and forge a common front for the propagation of the religion.

Sanusi also called for religious tolerance among members of the two major religions in Nigeria, saying it was the panacea for peace in the country.

thebreakingtimes.com/stop-using-mosques-to-preach-hate-preach-peace-instead-emir-of-kano/

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North America

Trump Immigration Ban Loses First Legal Battle

AFP

A federal judge on Saturday blocked part of President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban, ordering authorities to stop deporting refugees and other travellers stuck at US airports.

The decision accompanied growing resistance to Trump's crackdown on Muslim immigration, with large protests spreading at major airports across the country.

“Victory!!!!!!” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose lawyers sued the government, tweeted after US District Judge Ann Donnelly issued her decision.

“Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders.”

Trump's sweeping executive order, signed Friday, suspends the arrival of refugees for at least 120 days and bars visas for travellers from seven Muslim majority countries for the next three months.

The move, which was implemented immediately by US authorities, sparked large protests at major airports across the country.

At New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, some of the 2,000 demonstrators there chanted “Let them in, let them in!”

Large protests took place at the main airports for Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas.

Donnelly's decision to issue a temporary stay which stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of Trump's order came after dozens of people were detained at US airports following Trump's actions.

The exact number of those affected is unclear, but the judge ordered the government to provide lists of all those detained at US airports since the measure went into effect.

Sending those travellers back to their home countries following Trump's order exposes them to “substantial and irreparable injury,” wrote Donnelly, who was appointed by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

A second federal judge in Virginia also issued a temporary order restricting immigration authorities for seven days from deporting legal permanent residents detained at Dulles Airport just outside Washington, according to US media.

Trump originally asked for 'Muslim ban': Giuliani

Trump originally dubbed his executive order as a “Muslim ban,” according to the US president's aide Rudy Giuliani.

“When he first announced it he said, 'Muslim ban,'” the former New York mayor told Fox News late Saturday when asked whether the ban was connected to religion.

“Show me the right way to do it legally,” Giuliani who Trump has tapped as his cyber security guru said the US president told him.

The 72-year-old said he and a team of legal experts “focused on instead of religion danger!” when they drafted the immigration crackdown that has sparked a global outcry and mass protests.

Giuliani said those predominately Muslim countries were targeted because they are “the areas of the world that create danger for us.”

“Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis,” he said.

'We were prepared'

“We knew that was coming we were prepared,” said Camille Mackler, a lawyer who heads legal initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition, one of the groups that quickly mounted the demonstration there.

“But we didn't know when, and we couldn't believe it would be immediate, that there'd be people in an air plane the moment the order was taking effect.”

The List Project, which helps Iraqis whose personal safety is threatened because they have worked for the United States, expressed outraged over the move, warning it put American lives at risk too.

“I can't say this in blunt-enough terms: you can't s**** o*** the people that risked their lives and bled for this country without consequences,” wrote the project's founder and director Kirk Johnson.

The ACLU's legal challenge sought the release of two Iraqi men on grounds of unlawful detention. One of them Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who has worked as interpreter and in other roles for the US in Iraq was in fact released on Saturday after being detained the day before.

'We must fight'

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, who went to JFK to press for the release of those detained under Trump's measure, said “We must fight this executive order in the streets, in the courts, anywhere, anytime. We must resist. We must fight.”

Trump's pronouncement on Muslim immigration makes good on one of his most controversial campaign promises to subject travellers from Islamic countries to “extreme vetting” which he declared would make America safe from “radical terrorists.” The targeted countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Donnelly's decision shows that “when President Trump enacts laws or executive orders that are unconstitutional, and illegal, the courts are there to defend everyone's rights,” ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said in leaving the emergency hearing.

The ban has triggered political backlash, including from Trump's fellow Republicans.

Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the US Senate, spoke of America's “legal and moral obligations to help the innocent victims of these terrible conflicts.”

“I strongly urge the new administration to move quickly to tailor its policy on visa issuance as narrowly as possible, delivering on our security needs while reducing unnecessary burdens on the vast majority of visa-seekers that present a promise not a threat to our nation,” he said in a statement.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, wrote: “To my colleagues: don't ever again lecture me on American moral leadership if you chose to be silent today.”

His tweet was accompanied by the now iconic photograph of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015 after a failed attempt to flee Syria's brutal war to join relatives in Canada.

A long battle

The rapid mobilisation against the order suggests a protracted battle is shaping up between migrant advocates and Trump and his administration.

“This is the opening salvo of a long battle that will go on in the courts,” said Michael Kagan, a law professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who specialises in immigration issues.

He said the outcome of the legal battle is unclear because “we are in unchartered territory in modern America.”

The battle could end up in the US Supreme Court, which has not ruled on this type of immigration issue since the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

A White House official said that holders of a green card which allows permanent residence in the US and often takes years to obtain who are abroad should first go to the US consulate to obtain a document allowing return to the US.

And green card holders in the US who want to travel abroad must obtain approval from a consulate official.

The State Department has said that people from the seven countries under the 90-day travel ban will be prohibited entry no matter their visa status.

Only those holding a dual citizenship with the US will be allowed to enter.

dawn.com/news/1311465/trump-immigration-ban-loses-first-legal-battle

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Texas mosque set on fire after Trump's Muslim ban

January 29, 2017

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency)- The Islamic Center of Victoria in Victoria, Texas, erupted in flames after midnight on Saturday, destroying the edifice while congregants watched curbside, the Victoria Advocate reported.

Members of the congregation approached the mosque early in the morning for the first prayer of the day and discovered the destroyed mosque. According to Shahid Hashmi, president of the center said the congregation wants to rebuild as soon as possible.

Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler told the Advocate he had no theories on how the fire started. Battalion Chief Jeff Cowan of the Victoria Fire Department didn't find anyone in the building, but did say the fire was so intense that they had to practice "defensive tactics" including spraying water from extended ladders to control the flames.

"We want to celebrate our next holy day in June in our new mosque," the Center said in a statement.

The mosque already started a GoFundMe, which raised over $34,000 in four hours toward a $450,000 goal. 

According to Hashmi, the mosque was also burglarized the day after Trump's inauguration. The center's 100 members plan to hold a prayer service there on Sunday. In July 2013, someone spray-painted the word "h8" on the side of the building.

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that has come to be referred to in shorthand online as the "Muslim ban." The executive order temporarily suspending the nation's refugee settlement program. It targeted Muslims from Muslim-majority countries and gave preferential status to Christians.

Trump's Islamophobic rhetoric echoed throughout the Muslim community prior to his election. 2015, the year Trump began his bid for the presidency, was deemed the worst year for mosque attacks on record.

en.abna24.com/service/important//archive/2017/01/29/807968/story.html

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Trump Gives Pentagon 30 Days to Develop Strategy to Defeat ISIL in Iraq, Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the US military to develop a preliminary plan to defeat ISIL in both Iraq and Syria. He discussed the issue earlier in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The order published on the White House website says “It is the policy of the United States that ISIL be defeated. And within 30 days, a preliminary draft of the Plan to defeat ISIL shall be submitted to the President by the Secretary of Defense”, RT reported.

The comprehensive plan should include guidelines on the use of public diplomacy, information operations, and cyber strategies “to isolate and delegitimize ISIL and its radical ideology.”

It will also seek to identify “new coalition partners in the fight against ISIL and policies to empower coalition partners” to fight ISIL and its affiliates.

The number of proposed measures “would depend upon the political risk that the president is willing to take when we do certain things that could exacerbate things with Russia or Turkey,” one defense official told Washington Post on Monday.

Earlier, Trump and Putin had their first telephone conversation, in which they expressed their mutual intent to cooperate on combatting Islamic State.

“The presidents have spoken in favor of establishing a real coordination between the US and Russian actions in order to defeat ISIL and other terrorist organizations in Syria,” the Kremlin statement said.

Putin emphasized that “for over two centuries Russia has supported the United States, was its ally during the two world wars, and now sees the United States as a major partner in fighting international terrorism.”

Both leaders have also agreed to work out a time and venue for a possible meeting, according to the statement.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110001264

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We stand in support of our Muslim neighbors

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Men, women and children of all faiths stood in support of their Muslim neighbors who are hurting.

"We need to share the load. And the load of sorrow that the folks from the Islamic center are feeling," said Deardra, a participant of the gathering.

Less than a week ago, a woman was seen on surveillance video at the Islamic Center of Davis shattering glass, slashing tires and leaving strips of bacon, a forbidden food in the faith.

While on Sunday Muslims were targeted, on Friday they were supported, loved and honored.

Hundreds showed up to say 'we've got your back.'

"We stand with you as it says on the sign," said Beth Brownstein. "Our hearts are open."

The Brownstein's showed support because they say, as Jews, they understand what it's like to be persecuted.

"So we're not gonna stand by to see others treated unacceptably," said Alan Brownstein.

In the days since the vandalism, flowers and heartfelt notes overwhelmed the Islamic Center.

President Amr Zedan believes whoever violated their sacred space should be educated instead of punished.

"We're here very forgiving really just want to sit down with the person and have a talk," Zedan said.

On this day of action and togetherness in Davis, the Islamic Center opened its doors to the community. Their goal was to help educate others about their faith and thank those who counteracted an act of hate with an overwhelming amount of love.

Davis Police are investigating this as a hate crime.

en.abna24.com/service/america//archive/2017/01/28/807824/story.html

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Muslim world's shock, outrage at Trump's visa ban

AFP — PUBLISHED 17 minutes ago

Families split, a father unable to reach his son's wedding and officials warning of a "gift to extremists" American President Donald Trump's visa ban on seven Muslim countries has triggered shock and confusion among those affected.

Trump this weekend signed an executive order that bans all immigrants and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, and opens the door to more country-based bans in future.

The seven countries mentioned in the order are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen but its effects could extend well beyond barring newcomers from these countries.

It overhauls US refugee policy and initiates a fundamental shift in how the United States allows people to enter the country.

The US embassy in Baghdad said on Facebook that dual nationals from the seven countries would be barred from entering the United States, excluding those with American passports.

Explore: Green card holders included in Trump ban: US Homeland Security

'Gift to extremists'

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that Trump's move “will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters.”

“Collective discrimination aids terrorist recruitment by deepening fault-lines exploited by extremist demagogues to swell their ranks,” he tweeted.

His ministry said earlier that it would reciprocate with a ban on Americans entering the country, though it will not apply to those who already have a valid visa.

Explore: Tehran to ban Americans from entering Iran in tit-for-tat move

Meanwhile, Yemen's Houthi rebels, who control the capital Sanaa, also criticised the ban, stating: “All attempts to classify Yemen and its citizens as a probable source for terrorism and extremism is illegal and illegitimate.”

Yemenis made up the largest contingent 12,998 of immigrants to the US last year from the seven countries.

'I don't see freedom in the US'

Among thousands facing difficulties, an Iraqi family was barred in Cairo from taking their connecting flight to New York on Saturday.

“I had sold my house, my car, my furniture. I resigned from work and so did my wife. I took my children out of school,” Fuad Sharef, 51, told AFP.

“Donald Trump destroyed my life. My family's life. I used to think America was a state of institutions but it's as though it's a dictatorship,” he said.

An Iranian woman blocked from boarding at Tehran airport on Sunday said she had waited 14 years for her green card.

“Even during the hostage crisis at the US embassy (in 1980), the US government didn't issue such an order. They say the US is the cradle of liberty. I don't see freedom in that country,” she said, asking not to be named.

Mass hysteria in Irani community

With more than 1 million Iranians living in the United States, the restrictions have already caused chaos for students, businessmen and families.

"There is mass hysteria among the Iranian-American community that's no exaggeration," said Saam Borhani, an attorney in Los Angeles.

He said clients were bombarding him with questions since Trump passed an executive order on Friday, suspending refugee arrivals and imposing tough controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“I have several clients impacted by the executive order married couples whose spousal visas have been stopped, causing them to be separated. A father living in Iran who is unable to come to his son's wedding in California,” said Borhani, who was himself born in the US to Iranian parents.

US State Department figures show Iran accounted for around a quarter of the 31,804 visas granted to citizens from the seven countries last year.

'Trump's wall reaches Iran'

The situation has been complicated by a US federal judge, who ordered authorities on Saturday to stop deporting refugees and other travellers stuck at US airports.

“Uncertainty is the key word. Things are changing quickly and we're trying to keep people updated,” said Borhani, the lawyer in LA.

Getting a visa was already tough for Iranians, who had to travel to Turkey or the United Arab Emirates for the nearest US embassy.

BBC Persian reported that 9,000 Iranian asylum seekers were now blocked in Turkey.

After rising hopes under former president Barack Obama that relations between Iran and the US were improving, Trump has thrown everything back up in the air, Borhani said.

“I don't know what the future is going to hold, whether people here will be cut off permanently from their families in Iran. It's very stressful.”

Meanwhile, Iran's leading daily Hamshahri was headlined: “The United States has cut its relations with the Iranian people.”

Top reformist paper Shahrvand led with: “Trump's wall has reached Iran”.

dawn.com/news/1311479/muslim-worlds-shock-outrage-at-trumps-visa-ban

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UC Advises Faculty, Students Banned Muslim Countries Not To Leave U.S.

January 28, 2017 10:17 PM

BERKELEY (CBS SF) — The University of California officials were urging foreign students and faculty from the seven countries affected by President Trump’s travel ban, not to travel abroad.

The 90-day ban denies entry into the United States for immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“At this time, we recommend that UC community members from these seven countries who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents do not travel outside of the United States,” said UC officials in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor and analyze the impact of the executive order and will issue additional guidance as soon as possible. Until then, if you are a visa holder or green card holder from one of these countries that is currently abroad, or you have any questions, please contact the International Studies Office on your campus.”

A Stanford graduate student returning from a research trip to Sudan was handcuffed and detained Friday night and later released. A University spokesperson said the student was a legal resident of the U.S.

Stanford issued a statement:

“An unfortunate consequence of the new policy appears to be that students and scholars from designated countries are, for the moment, effectively detainees in this country.”

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/01/28/uc-advises-faculty-students-banned-muslim-countries-not-to-leave-u-s/

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Judges block the deportation of Muslim travellers

Jan 29th 2017, 5:05 BY S.M. | NEW YORK

ONE WEEK after his inauguration, Donald Trump received a lesson in the ways of American democracy. The new president suffered his first setback at the hands of the judiciary, a co-equal branch of the federal government that may soon replace the media as his biggest nemesis. A day after Mr Trump issued an executive order (“Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States”) that banned the entry of all refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, federal judges in New York, Virginia and Seattle issued emergency stays that effectively stop a key part of the order in its tracks.

The lawsuit in New York was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of two men, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi and Hameed Khalid Darweesh, and dozens of other “similarly situated” people who arrived at American ports of entry on January 27th just after Mr Trump’s order had taken effect. Mr Alshawi, an Iraqi citizen holding a valid visa who was on his way to Texas to be reunited with his wife and son, was detained by authorities at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Mr Darweesh, an Iraqi who had served as an interpreter for the American military, was also stopped at the airport but was later released from detention.

The ACLU claimed that Mr Trump’s order violated two constitutional principles embedded in the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause: “procedural due process” and “equal protection”. The first idea holds that the government may not strip individuals of their liberty without going through proper procedures. “The United States government is obligated by United States and international law”, the ACLU argued, “to hear the asylum claims of noncitizens presenting themselves at United States borders and ports of entry”. It cannot flatly deny refugees and valid visa-holders entry to the country without appropriately considering their claims. “The Immigration and Nationality Act”, the ACLU explained, “provides that ‘[a]ny alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States. . . irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum’.” So even though the individuals involved are not American citizens, they have rights under the constitution that immigration and customs officials are bound to respect.

The equal-protection claim was based on Mr Trump’s rather capricious choice of countries in his executive order. The order, the ACLU argued, “discriminates against petitioners on the basis of their country of origin, and without sufficient justification”. There is also little question that the order “was substantially motivated by animus toward—and has a disparate effect on—Muslims, which also violates...equal protection”.

In her brief and unequivocal ruling on the evening of January 28th, Ms Donnelly wrote that Mr Alshawi and Mr Darweesh “have a strong likelihood of success” in showing that their deportation would violate their rights to due process and equal protection. There is “imminent danger”, she wrote, that “there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders and other individuals from nations” targeted by Mr Trump’s executive order, should it be fully implemented. Ms Donnelly thus “enjoined and restrained” the government from deporting refugees or “any other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen legally authorised to enter the United States”.

The ruling, along with similar non-removal orders from judges in Virginia and Seattle, means that nobody who was told they didn’t belong in America when they arrived on January 27th can be deported—for now—though there were reports from several cities on the night of January 28th that customs officials were disregarding the judges' orders and arranging for individuals to be sent home. It also bears reminding that these rulings are stays, not final determinations. Further judicial hearings in February will determine if the stays should be lifted. And the rulings do not come close to erasing Mr Trump’s executive order; the ban remains in effect for refugees and others who were planning to come to America in the coming days, weeks and months.

Still, the victory in putting the brakes on Mr Trump’s plans for closing off America is not a small one. Emerging from the courtroom in Brooklyn, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero relished the moment. “The courts can work”, he said. “They are a bulwark in our democracy.” When Mr Trump “enacts...executive orders that are unconstitutional and illegal, the courts are there to defend everyone’s rights”.

economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2017/01/quick-rebuke

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Protests, confusion, and fear at JFK airport on day one of the Muslim ban

Jan 29, 2017

Protesters rally during a demonstration against the Muslim immigration ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 28, 2017 in New York City.

On Friday, Donald Trump signed an executive order barring people from seven Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen—from coming to America. His administration didn’t bother issuing guidance about what should happen to people from the banned nationalities who were already in route with valid visas or green cards.

On Saturday, people who’d been legally authorised to travel to the U.S. when they boarded their flights found themselves treated like criminals when they disembarked. At least 12 people were detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, though one of them, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi translator who worked with U.S. forces for a decade, was eventually released after 19 hours in custody.

“We have been contacted today by dozens and dozens of refugees, of people whose lives are in danger because they worked as interpreters for the U.S. military, of husbands trying to reunite with wives,” said Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. These people, she said, “were given visas to the United States after extensive vetting, put on a plane and promised refuge, and then landed and put in handcuffs.”

Also Read: Donald Trump signaled to the world that American friendship comes with an asterisk

Saturday afternoon, hundreds of protesters massed outside the international arrivals terminal at JFK, demanding the release of the detainees.

“Racists out, refugees in!” they shouted. Inside, two members of Congress from New York, Nydia Velazquez and Jerry Nadler, worked to free another detained Iraqi, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi. He was on his way to join his wife, a former employee of a U.S. contractor in Iraq.

“When you get off the plane, you show your documents, and they grab you,” Nadler told me. “I think the whole thing is terrible, stupid, ridiculous. And why those seven countries? Why not Saudi Arabia?”

Frightened people waiting for family members to arrive from abroad milled around in the terminal, hoping for news about their relatives. A man carrying a newspaper-wrapped bouquet of roses huddled with a lawyer; when I approached he stepped back, terrified. “The lawyers here today at the airport can’t get behind security to talk to the Department of Homeland Security about the detainees,” the lawyer, Mitra Anoushiravani, told me. “What I’ve been told to do is to talk to families that are coming into the arrivals section to meet with their relatives. If their relatives don’t come through, we get their names.”

By evening, the protests grew to thousands, sprawling onto the roof of a nearby parking garage.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a 19,000-strong union, announced a one-hour work stoppage at JFK in protest of the ban. Other protests broke out at airports nationwide. “Dozens and dozens of people remain in airport detention throughout the country, simply because they were unlucky enough to have gotten on a place the day that President Trump signed the executive order,” said Heller.

Trump appeared pleased by how things were going. “It’s working out very nicely,” he told reporters at the White House. “You see it at the airports, you see it all over.” You do indeed.

economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/protests-confusion-and-fear-at-jfk-airport-on-day-one-of-the-muslim-ban/articleshow/56848024.cms

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Donald Trump's ban on immigrants from Muslim countries spooks US tech industry

Chidanand Rajghatta | TNN | Jan 28, 2017

WASHINGTON: The US tech industry, substantially staffed with immigrants, was thrown into a tizzy on Friday after President Donald Trump issued executive orders temporarily barring refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US, and instituted extreme vetting+ in the case of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.

Although the move appeared to affect the tech industry only marginally, it was criticised among others by the chief executives of Facebook and Google -- Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai -- besides many lawmakers and civil liberties activists because of possible wider fall-out.

Google recalled scores of its immigrant staffers+ from foreign travels who are from countries cited by the Trump administration, amid reports of US-bound passengers being off-loaded from planes in some of the affected countries.

The seven Muslim-majority countries cited by President Trump+ in his executive order that blocks all refugees from entering the US for 120 days are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. In Syria's case, the suspension is indefinite.

In television interviews explaining the ban, Trump said travelers from Muslim-majority countries left out of the ban -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia -- will face what he called "extreme vetting," while dismissing concerns that his actions will inflame tensions in the Muslim world.

"The world is as angry as it gets," the President countered. "What, you think this is going to cause a little more anger?"

While civil libertarians reacted with fury to what was seen as a strike against American ideals of welcoming refugees and immigrants, concern in Silicon Valley centered on the fallout of the executive order on its globalized work-force, particularly if the orders are enforced randomly.

"We're upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US," Google CEO Sundar Pichai, an immigrant from India himself, wrote in a "Get Back to US Now" memo to employees. "It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues... We've always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so."

According to The Wall Street Journal, at least 187 Google employees who normally live and work in the US have been affected by the ban. "Our first order of business is to help Googlers who are affected," Pichai wrote while recalling employees who are currently abroad and might be at risk. "If you're abroad and need help please reach out to our global security team."

Facebook's Zuckerberg also wrote in a post that that he's "concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders," while recounting that his great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland, and his wife Priscilla's parents were refugees from China and Vietnam.

"The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should be proud of that..." he noted. "We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat ... We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That's who we are."

Trump's own paternal grandfather Frederick Trump was an immigrant from Germany, and considering his current wife and first wife were also immigrants, his supporters argue that he's only against illegal immigration, not legal immigration.

But critics contend that he's on a slippery slope laid out by his right-wing advisors, notably Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, who has previously expressed concern about the number of Asian CEOs in the US technology industry.

In a November 5, 2015 interview on "Breitbart News Daily" radio show, Trump actually argued for retaining in the US - talented, high-quality people -who could build businesses and make money.

"When someone is going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford, all the greats... we throw them out of the country, and they can't get back in," Trump said. "I think that's terrible. We have to be careful of that, Steve. You know, we have to keep our talented people in this country."

"When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think..." Bannon trailed off in response. He then added: "A country is more than an economy. We're a civic society."

Bannon also warned him that he would always remain to the right of Trump on the issue. "You've got to remember, we're Breitbart. We're the know-nothing Vulgarians," he said. "So we've always got to be to the right of you on this."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/donald-trumps-ban-on-immigrants-from-muslim-countries-spooks-us-tech-industry/articleshow/56839686.cms

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Arab World

Dubai’s Head of Security supports Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’

Published January 29th, 2017

America’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries may be stirring anger across the West, but in the Arab world the move has received some more surprising responses.

In a series of tweets, Dubai’s Head of General Security, Dhahi Khalfan this morning expressed his support for President Trump’s “Muslim ban”.

 Follow

 ضاحي خلفان تميم @Dhahi_Khalfan

نؤيد ترمب تأييدا مطلقا في منع دخول كل من يحتمل انه سيسبب لأمريكا إخلال بأمنها.

2:46 PM - 29 Jan 2017

  51 51 Retweets   77 77 likes

We completely support Trump in his ban on entry to those who may cause a breach in America’s security.

 Follow

 ضاحي خلفان تميم @Dhahi_Khalfan

كل دولة لها حق حماية أمنها ممن يحتمل انه خطر على سلامة الناس

3:01 PM - 29 Jan 2017

  43 43 Retweets   63 63 likes

Every country has the right to protect its security from anyone who could be dangerous for the safety of its people.

 Follow

 ضاحي خلفان تميم @Dhahi_Khalfan

الإدارات الأمريكية السابقة احتضنت جميع المطلوبين للعدالة في الوطن العربي والمصنفين من الإرهابيين...ترامب ما تفعله صحيح

3:33 PM - 29 Jan 2017

  60 60 Retweets   91 91 likes

Previous US administrations have embraced all the wanted men of the Arab world and those classified as terrorists... Trump what you're doing is right.

Khalfan, who has a following 1.5 million on his official Twitter account, also wrote that it was America’s right to “ban whoever they want to ban”. Emirati passport holders are not included in the executive order that Trump signed on Saturday, suspending visas for travellers from several Arab nations including Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

One Iraqi-American journalist, Steven Nabil, was quick to point out Khalfan’s hypocrisy on Facebook:

Marwan al-Shehhi and Fayez Banihammad were among the 19 terrorists of al-Qaeda who attacked the World Trade Center and other targets on 9-11, which led to the deaths of thousands of American civilians. They both had Emirati citizenship like Dhahi Khalfan.

Others supported his criticism, highlighting the fact that very few individuals from the countries banned by Trump have carried out terrorist attacks in the West:

This Trump is stupid, his calculation is simplistic... The countries that America has banned from entry: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran and Somalia... No resident of any of those countries participated in the strikes on the World Trade Center. [Whereas] 17 Saudi citizens participated in the attacks... We conclude that he is merely a real estate and amusements trader.

Iran, Iraq, Syria: They may be the smallest threat to security in the whole world, yet they are prevented from entering the US. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria, they are the sources of terrorism. [But for Trump] they're not a problem.

Trump has said that the ban is intended to "protect the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism" and allow time to implement "a more rigorous vetting process."

A decision overnight by a federal judge in New York has allowed anyone from the targeted countries in transit or already in the country to remain, provided they have a valid visa. However, it is not clear whether the executive order itself will continue to be implemented.

albawaba.com/loop/dubai%E2%80%99s-head-security-supports-trump%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98muslim-ban%E2%80%99-930942

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Clashes on Yemen west coast kill more than 100: Medics

AP | Updated: Jan 29, 2017

ADEN: Raging battles between Yemeni government forces and Shiite rebels on the country's west coast have killed more than 100 fighters in the past 24 hours, officials said on Sunday.

The bodies of at least 90 Huthi rebels were taken to a hospital in the Red Sea city of Hodeida, which is controlled by the insurgents, while 19 dead soldiers were taken to the southern port city of Aden, the medical and military sources said.

Deadly clashes have shaken the area around the key Red Sea town of Mokha since the start of the year when loyalist fighters launched an offensive to oust the Iran-backed Huthis and their allies.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/57-dead-in-first-us-raid-on-qaeda-in-yemen-under-trump/articleshow/56852859.cms

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Over 50 Saudi-Backed Militias Killed in Yemeni Forces' Offensives in Ta'iz

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces continued their advances against the Saudi-backed militants in Ta'iz province, inflicting major losses on them.

"Over 50 Saudi-hired mercenaries, including some from Sudan, were killed in clashes with the Yemeni forces in the coastal city of al-Mukha in Ta'iz province," a Yemeni security source said.

"Most of the Riyadh-backed militias were from Abyan and Dhale provinces," the source added.

He went on to say that two military planes carrying a large number of Sudanese mercenaries had landed in Aden airport on Friday night.

"Most of the Sudanese mercenaries have been killed in clashes with the Yemeni forces in Dhubab and al-Mukha warfronts over the past two days," the security source added.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces foiled an attempt by the Saudi army troops to penetrate into several regions in Ta'iz province.

The Saudi troops were trying to pave their way into al-Jadid, Al-Kadaheh and al-al-Khazra regions in Ta'iz, but they were pushed back from their positions before they could take any meaningful action.

Several Saudi troops were killed and many more were wounded in their failed attempt to capture the new regions in Ta'iz province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110000688

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Yemen rebel authority slams Trump's Muslim ban

29 January, 2017

Houthi-run authorities in Sanaa have condemned Donald Trump's controversial ban on the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries to the US, including Yemen. Tags: Donald Trump, US, Yemen, Houthis,

Donald Trump's controversial order to ban citizens of Yemen - along with six other Muslim-majority nations - is "illegal and illegitimate" authorities controlled by the Houthi rebel group in Yemen's capital said on Sunday.

A foreign ministry source "said emphatically that any attempt to classify Yemen or its citizens as a possible source of terrorism and extremism was illegal and illegitimate", the Houthi-controlled news agency SABA quoted.

Meanwhile, an official in the rival administation of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi - based in the southern port city of Aden - said on Saturday that it was "dismayed" by the visa ban.

Yemen has been rocked with more than two years of conflict which escalated when a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign to push back Houthi rebels from major cities.

More than 10,000 have so far been killed in the conflict - half of whom are civilians.

Millions more have been forced into displacement around the globe, with many Yemenis stuck in Egypt, Jordan and Malaysia among other nations.

The migrant crackdown, which also included a 120-day suspension of the US refugee resettlement programme, sparked protests across the United States on Saturday.

A federal judge blocked part of the temporary immigration ban, ordering authorities to stop deporting refugees and other travellers stuck at US airports.

However, airlines and customs officials are continuing to stick to the rules and not allowing in passport holders from the seven Muslim-majority countries.

alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/1/29/yemen-rebel-authority-slams-trumps-muslim-ban

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Saudi warplanes kill 14 civilians in Yemen

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Saudi warplanes have targeted a civilian vehicle carrying 14 passengers in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz, killing all of its occupants.

The charred bodies of the victims were discovered after the Saudi airstrike late on Friday.

Saudi airstrikes against civilian targets and urban infrastructure on Friday overall claimed the lives of 30 people and injured 10 others in Ta’izz, Sana’a, and Mareb provinces.

In response, Yemeni army forces launched missile and mortar attacks against the positions of Saudi mercenaries in the town of Maqbaneh in Ta’izz Province.

On Thursday, Yemeni army forces, backed by Ansarullah fighters, gained control over five military bases run by Saudi mercenaries in the al-Wazi’iyah District of Ta’izz Province and killed several Saudi-backed militants.

The Saudi war on Yemen, which local sources say has killed at least 11,400 people, was launched in an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate a former government allied to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.

Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations (UN)’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, on Thursday warned of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen in the wake of the nearly two-year-old Saudi war in the impoverished Arab country. He said Yemen could face famine this year.

Saudi jets also bombarded the Salif district in Hudaydah Province, killing three civilians and injuring three others.

Elsewhere, in the northern province of Jawf, several Saudi mercenaries were killed and injured on Saturday in an attempted operation to infiltrate into Maton district.

Meanwhile, the media affiliated to Saudi mercenaries in Yemen have reported that their ground and naval forces have parachuted down to the southwestern port city of Mokha.

en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia//archive/2017/01/28/807774/story.html

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Amid Yemen's chaos, migrants stream in only to face torment

AP | Jan 28, 2017

ADEN: After reaching Yemen's shores in a packed migrant boat, the young Ethiopian coffee farmer was plunged into a living hell. The smugglers wanted thousands of dollars in ransom from the migrants, and they used him as an example of what would happen if they didn't pay.

Each day for a month, they inflicted new tortures on him, Omar Farrag told The Associated Press. They put him in a tank of water and lit a fire underneath it. They wrapped his limbs with tight barbed wire. At times, they heated the barbed wire.

Finally, his younger brother came from Ethiopia with $2,000 in ransom money. The smugglers decided they could squeeze more money out of him too, so they tortured his brother and ended up killing him, Farrag said.

Now in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, the 26-year-old is overcome with guilt over his brother's death. "I got my brother killed; I am a disgrace. But it's impossible to imagine what I went through,'' Farrag said. "I don't even know where they buried him."

Migrants from the Horn of Africa are flowing into Yemen at ever growing rates despite the nearly 2-year-old civil war that has thrown the country into its own humanitarian crisis of hunger and displacement. The migrants - many, like Farrag, fleeing drought or poverty back home - are hoping to cross Yemen and reach neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of international agencies that monitors migration in the area.

The chaos caused by the civil war has raised migrants' hopes that they can slip through to Saudi Arabia, with no central authority keeping watch. However, the turmoil has also left migrants vulnerable to abuse and cruelty at the hands of the armed trafficking rings, many believed connected to and acting with protection from the multiple militias involved in the war.

After taking migrants' money as payment to transport them, the traffickers often demand more, sometimes even phoning their families in Ethiopia so they can hear the torment their loved ones are subjected to. Rape is so widespread that women carry contraception for fear of becoming pregnant.

"Migrants don't know they will have to pay twice: Once when they take the boat to cross the sea and a second time upon arrival," said Laurent De Boeck, head of Yemeni operations of the International Organization for Migration, or IOM. "So when they don't pay, this is when the phase of abuses begins. They face torture, burns and rape."

The fate of migrants in Yemen remains a black hole. It is not known how many become trapped and abused, but officials from the IOM and other UN. agencies believe it is widespread. It is not even known how many eventually make it to Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom does not release figures.

Authorities in southern Yemen have carried out forced deportations of migrants at least seven times, IOM officials said. In December, at least 25 drowned when they were forced onto boats to leave Aden.

The migrants were rounded up, packed onto small boats - as many as 150 to a vessel - and forced out to sea, according to Yemeni security officials in Aden. "They were led like animals with nothing with them but water," said one senior officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

Over 90 percent of the migrants belong to the Oromo community, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, whose members often complain of discrimination at the hands of the Ethiopian government. Most are aged 25 and younger - some as young as 11, said Esam al-Makhzomi an IOM official in Aden. According to IOM figures, around 20 percent of the migrants are unaccompanied minors.

"There was an impression that the numbers are going down but in fact ... the numbers are huge and they continue to grow," he said.

He described trafficking as "an organized criminal ring. ... Nothing is random here." He said torture is rampant, aiming at scaring migrants and forcing them to pay more money. He said some local security and government officials provide cover for the traffickers.

"There is torture, rape, and we have seen severe cases of abuse where the migrants lose their lives," al-Makhzomi said.

Nearly 30 percent of the migrants who have sought IOM help to return home said they had been approached by one of the warring parties in Yemen or by militant groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State group trying to recruit them as fighters, de Boeck said. An estimated 9,000 migrants are being held in prisons, whether by the rebels or by opposing factions.

From Ethiopia, migrants take one of two routes, through Djbouti or the Puntland region of Somalia often walking for days to reach the ports there.

Those leaving from Somalia cross the Gulf of Aden to land in Shabwa province on Yemen's southern coast, an area controlled by factions backing the internationally recognized government, but where factions linked to al-Qaida also are active.

Those leaving from Djibouti take boats across the Bab al-Mandab Arabic for "the gates of grief" - the 25-kilometer-wide straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. They land on Yemen's eastern coast in areas mostly under the control of the Houthi rebels.

The migrants then often go by foot across Yemen toward the Saudi border. But since much of the area around the border is a battle zone, chances are slim of actually making it into Saudi Arabia, al-Makhzomi said

The exception may be female migrants, who are in demand as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. There is a "more sophisticated smuggling mechanism for women," said Lalini Veerassamy, an IOM official in Djibouti.

De Boeck, the IOM chief in Sanaa, said that trafficking in human organs is also on the rise.

"The trafficking of people for organs ... seems to be more widespread, related to the fact that there is a collapse of the state and no capacity to have the rule of law applied," he said.

Farrag, the coffee farmer, bears marks of torture at the hands of the smugglers. His arms are covered with burns and scars and he has a deep scar under one eye. One of his toes is missing.

"Now, if I see a migrant with a scar, I can tell how he sustained it. I have tasted all sorts of torture," he said, looking around nervously as he spoke.

He refused to be photographed or filmed, saying he didn't want his family to find out he was alive. After being held by the smugglers for around a month, he was freed after his brother's death, he said. Now he works repairing shoes from a blanket spread on the side of a road in Aden's Koud al-Nimr district.

He said he landed in Shabwa last May with a boatload of fellow migrants. The smugglers immediately took them in trucks to a building surrounded by high walls. Inside, there were many rooms, all sealed off and dark.

The traffickers asked each migrant for $2,000, and the abuses started.

"From maybe 100 migrants, they pick five to torture badly so everybody succumbs," he said. Occasionally gunshots rang out and the smugglers would tell him they shot a migrant trying to escape. He said he saw women screaming as they were forced into rooms where he suspected they were raped.

Despite all the suffering, Farrag hasn't given up.

"I am saving money to go to Saudi Arabia," he said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/amid-yemens-chaos-migrants-stream-in-only-to-face-torment/articleshow/56833596.cms

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Syria: ISIL Starts Withdrawal of Forces from Al-Bab

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Media sources disclosed on Sunday that the ISIL has started pulling forces back from the town of al-Bab simultaneous with Syrian Army's advances in the Eastern parts of Aleppo province.

The Turkish language Huriyet daily disclosed that ISIL has started retreating from the town of al-Bab after its positions in Eastern Aleppo came under massive attacks by the Syrian soldiers and Ankara-backed militants.

The Turkish army and Ankara-backed Euphrates Shield Operation's forces have failed to capture al-Bab, while the Syrian soldiers could manage to take control over 25 villages, towns and heights near the towns of al-Bab and Deir Hafer in recent days.

Horiyet quoted Turkish military sources as saying that ISIL members have left their positions in al-Bab and have moved their command centers to the town of Tadif to the South of al-Bab, planning for full withdrawal from al-Bab.

The Syrian army troops seized full control over a strategic town East of Aleppo province on Saturday.

The army units engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL in the morning and finally freed the town of al-Brij at around midday, inflicting a number of casualties on the militants.

A field source said that the army plans to continue advance towards the town of Aran after the liberation of al-Brij.

He further added that liberation of the towns of Touman, al-Sheikh Den and Deir Qaq is atop the agenda of the army soldiers.

"Terrorists will come under siege in the Southern towns of al-Sheikh Den and al-Moshayrefeh once the army captures the town of Touman," the source continued.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110000802

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Syrian Reconciliation Official: Army in Full Control of Wadi Al-Bardi

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- An official of Syria's national reconciliation committees underlined that the agreement to evacuate terrorists from Wadi al-Bardi in Western Ghouta of Damascus has been finalized and the Syrian army is in full control of the region.

"All the necessary preparations and measures have been made to implement the final agreement in Ein al-Fijeh town which is the last point occupied by terrorists," the official told FNA on Sunday.

He stressed that the entire Ein al-Fijeh region is under the Syrian army's control, which said will guarantee finalization and implementation of the agreements in this region.

The Official also said that at present, several buses in Sheikh Zayed region near Deir Qanoun town are ready to transfer the terrorists who have not requested amnesty from the government and want to go to Idlib.

Reports said on Saturday that the terrorists in Wadi al-Bardi are preparing to leave the region after the Syrian army regained control of Ein al-Fijeh.

Sources in the region reported that several buses have arrived Western Damascus to evacuate militants from Wadia al-Bardi region.

Mohammad Ali Yousef, the coordinator of the peace committee in Wadi al-Bardi, said that based on an agreement between the government and the militants, the latter will leave Ein al-Fijeh for Deir Mukrin village and to be transferred to Idlib in a next stage.

Local sources also reported that the militants who have declared preparedness to leave Ein al-Fijeh for Deir Mukrin have burned all their properties.

Meantime, the Syrian government's maintenance and protection teams have arrived in Ein al-Fijeh.

Syrian Army troops drove Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) out of the key village of Ein al-Fijeh and Damascus's drinking water facilities after two days of clashes, military sources disclosed earlier on Saturday.

The sources said that the army men that have been engaged in fierce clashes with Fatah al-Sham in the last two days managed to take control over the village of Ein al-Fijeh and entered its water reservoirs and facilities after the last remaining militants surrendered to the government forces.

The army soldiers have started mop-up operation in liberated areas to hunt the remaining pockets of the militants.

Reports from the battlefields said that the militants that have surrendered will possibly be relocated to militant-held regions in Idlib province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110000776

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Mideast

Tehran to ban Americans from entering Iran in tit-for-tat move

 

Iran will ban Americans from entering the country in response to President Donald Trump's “insulting” order restricting arrivals from Iran and six other Muslim states, the foreign ministry said on Saturday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran... has decided to respond in kind after the insulting decision of the United States concerning Iranian nationals” until the measure is lifted, the ministry said in a statement carried by state television.

Trump on Friday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend refugee arrivals and impose tough controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Iran's foreign ministry called the decision “illegal, illogical and contrary to international rules”.

It said its own ban on US nationals would continue until the American measure was lifted.

The ministry said said it had ordered Iranian diplomatic missions to help Iranians who had been “prevented from returning to their homes and places of work and study” in the United States.

Travel agents in Tehran said that foreign airlines had begun barring Iranians from US-bound flights.

French leader chides US populism, urges European unity

French President Francois Hollande on Saturday urged Europe to present a united front against populist movements which, he said, are being encouraged by political developments in the United States.

“Europe is facing a moment of truth,” Hollande said. “The issue is populism. What we are hearing from the US encourages populism and even extremism. They are saying that Europe should not take immigrants, shouldn't stay together, not believe in climate change.”

European Union countries should stick to their principles and defend their interests and stand firm in talks with US President Donald Trump, Hollande said.

“Europe should be true to itself. It should guide itself according to its values, its principles, and its interests,” Hollande said on the sidelines of an informal meeting with six other EU leaders in Lisbon, Portugal. “We should engage in discussions (with the US) that sometimes should be very firm.”

“And as long as there are statements from the US president about Europe, when he speaks about the model of Brexit for other countries, when the US president talks about climate change ... saying he's not convinced of it, we should respond to him. When he takes protectionist measures, we should respond to him. When he destabilizes the economies of other countries, not only European ones, we should respond to him. When he rejects the arrival of refugees, while Europe has done its duty, we should respond to him,” he told reporters.

Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni said the EU will “find a way to work with the US administration” but added that the bloc should remain true to its core values including human rights and anti-protectionism.

The EU leaders emphasised their commitment to the European Union, in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

“We believe that in a world confronted with growing uncertainties and instability, we will be stronger by acting together,” they said in a joint statement. “Weakening Europe is not an option.” However, they said they hoped “to have the United Kingdom as a close partner of the EU.”

dawn.com/news/1311287/tehran-to-ban-americans-from-entering-iran-in-tit-for-tat-move

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18 ISIL militants ‘neutralized’ in north Syria: Turkish military

January/29/2017

A total of 18 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were “neutralized” in northern Syria over the last 24 hours as part of the Euphrates Shield operation, the Turkish military said on Jan. 29.       

Turkish authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the militants in question were killed, captured or incapacitated.       

The Turkish Armed Forces also hit 18 ISIL targets in northern Syria, said a Turkish General Staff statement on the 159th day of the operation.     

Turkish jets destroyed three gun positions, four checkpoints, two underground tunnels and nine buildings.     

Since the beginning of the operation 3,431 handmade explosives and 55 mines were neutralized under controlled conditions.       

The Euphrates Shield operation began in late August 2016 to tighten border security, eliminate the terror threat along Turkish borders and support opposition forces in Syria. The Free Syrian Army is backed by Turkish artillery and jets as part of the operation.

hurriyetdailynews.com/18-isil-militants-neutralized-in-north-syria-turkish-military.aspx?pageID=238&nID=109085&NewsCatID=352

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Britain's Theresa May in Turkey for talks with Erdogan

AP | Jan 28, 2017

ANKARA, Turkey: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a day after a friendly meeting in Washington with US President Donald Trump.

May flew overnight to Ankara by RAF Voyager jet from the US, where she and Trump proclaimed a new chapter in the trans-Atlantic "special relationship."

She arrived for talks with Erdogan to find her own image dominating television screens in the presidential palace, which were showing images of her visit to the White House on Friday.

May laughed when the president said her trip to Washington "was well-covered in Turkey."

The talks with Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim were expected to focus on boosting trade between Turkey and Britain once the U.K. leaves the European Union, and on increasing cooperation over security and counterterrorism.

May, who is paying her first visit to Turkey since becoming prime minister, is under pressure at home to condemn Turkey's clampdown on civil liberties since the government crushed a coup attempt in July.

Turkey has detained tens of thousands of people suspected of links to a movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government accuses of orchestrating the failed attempt. More than 100,000 others have been dismissed from government jobs.

The crackdown extended to other government opponents. More than a hundred journalists and pro-Kurdish party leaders are in jail.

May laid a wreath in the red and white colors of the Turkish flag at the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic, before meeting Erdogan at the vast presidential palace.

She said Britain and Turkey should "renew our efforts to fulfil Ataturk's vision of peace at home and peace in the world."

Turkey has suffered multiple of deadly attacks in the past two years, carried out by the Islamic State group or by Kurdish militants, including an IS raid on a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations that killed 39 people.

Kate Allen, head of Amnesty UK, said the visit was a "vital opportunity" for May to ask "probing questions" about allegations of excessive use of force and ill-treatment in detention.

May's office said Britain "had expressed strong support for Turkey's democracy and institutions following the coup," but also urged Turkey "to ensure that their response is proportionate, justified and in line with international human rights obligations."

Her office also said May believed it was in Britain's interest to engage with Turkey, an important NATO partner.

May and Turkish leaders are also expected to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts to reunite Cyprus.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/britains-theresa-may-in-turkey-for-talks-with-erdogan/articleshow/56834043.cms

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Iranian Speaker: Trump's Immigration Ban Indicates US Weakness

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spoke out against US President Donald Trump's immigration policies, stressing that such hasty decisions show Washington's weakness rather than power.

"Such hasty and immature measures show their fear and weakness rather than their power," Larijani said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday.

He said Trump's new immigration and travel ban policies show that the US is not serious about fighting terrorism as he knows who the real terrorists are but avoids fighting them, he said, "Specially, naming Iran among them (the countries whose nationals are banned from traveling to the US) under the pretext of terrorism measures is more like a joke."

"It is no secret to anyone that Iran has stood against the terrorists alone in the past few years and certain countries joined this movement afterwards," Larijani said, adding that Tehran has fought against the terrorists, specially the ISIL, that the US officials, themselves, have admitted to their creation.

In relevant remarks on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rapped Trump for pursuing separation policies including the travel ban on tourists from Muslim nations and construction of a wall along America's Southern border with Mexico.

"We honor peace, reconciliation, brotherhood and coexistence. Today is not the time for building a wall between nations and they have forgotten that the Berlin wall collapsed several years ago," President Rouhani said, addressing an international tourism conference in Tehran.

He, meantime, stressed Iran's role in establishing stability in the region and its fierce fight against terrorism, and said, "Had Iran not helped the Iraqi and Syrian people and armies, today the terrorists would have ruled Damascus and Baghdad."

President Rouhani described terrorism as a major danger threatening the entire world, and said, "We will help any freedom-seeking and oppressed nation against terrorism in any part of the world with all our power."

Also, the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement to condemn Trump Administration's travel ban against citizens of seven Muslim nations, including Iran, and vowed to reciprocate the decision that it described as a great insult to the Iranians.

Trump has endorsed executive orders for the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico and a ban on tourist arrivals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110000353

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Africa

Stop Using Nigerian Mosques to Preach Hate, Preach Peace Instead – Emir Of Kano

January 29, 2017

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has warned Muslim clerics in the country to stop using their mosques to preach hate among Nigerians.

Sanusi gave the warning in his sermon at the ultra -modern mosque of the Federal University of Technology, Minna , Niger State on Friday .

He also led the first Friday prayers in the mosque after inaugurating it . The inauguration of the mosque was one of the activities that marked the school’s 26 th convocation and 35 th anniversary.

He said it was unfortunate that some Muslims, especially clerics, were hiding under the sanctity and immunity of the holy places to set one part of the society against the other. The monarch described it as totally against the tenets of Islam.

He said, “ Muslim clerics , and indeed all Muslims , should preach peace among the adherents and work to achieve peace with members of other religions .” He asked Muslims all over the country to unite and forge a common front for the propagation of the religion.

Sanusi also called for religious tolerance among members of the two major religions in Nigeria, saying it was the panacea for peace in the country.

thebreakingtimes.com/stop-using-mosques-to-preach-hate-preach-peace-instead-emir-of-kano/

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Moroccan police arrests ISIS cell for plotting attacks

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Moroccan authorities said on Friday that the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation succeeded in thwarting a terrorist attack by ISIS, leading to the arrest of a seven-member terrorist cell.

The group had ties with commanders of ISIS in Syria, Iraq and Libya and had set up a hideout in El-Jadida town, said a statement from the interior ministry.

An assault rifle, seven pistols, ammunition and bomb-making material were confiscated along with two explosive belts, authorities said.

A security official told Agence France Presse that there had been an exchange of gunfire between the cell’s members and anti-terrorism forces in El-Jadida on Thursday.

The statement added that the cell planned to attract more members and mobilize them to carry out disruptive operations that aim at killing the highest number of victims to spread terror among citizens and shake stability.

The arrest of the network’s members coincided with the frequent ISIS operations that targeted various countries lately not to mention the continuous threats made by Moroccan fighters though media campaigns.

The statement concluded that the suspicious individuals will be referred to the judiciary once the investigation with them under the supervision of the Public Prosecution is over.

Since 2002, Moroccan security forces have arrested 167 cells, 46 out of them have strong ties with terrorist groups. Up to 341 terrorist operations have been foiled.

en.abna24.com/service/africa//archive/2017/01/28/807808/story.html

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Islamist politician Abu Ismail sentenced to 5 years in prison

January 29, 2017

Hazem Abu Ismail, the potential presidential candidate, a photo from his official web page

CAIRO, Jan 29 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian court has sentenced on Sunday Islamist politician Hazem Salah Abu Ismail to five years in jail on violence charges in 2012.

The TV preacher was convicted of besieging the Nasr City prosecution. Five other defendants received a five-year sentence in the same case, while 12 were sentenced to 10 years in absentia.

The defendants were charged with inciting to besiege the Nasr City prosecution, using force against the prosecutors. They were also convicted with preventing state employees from carrying out their duties and attempting to force the prosecutors issue a release order to a defendant.

The former presidential candidate is currently serving a seven-year sentence after he was convicted of forging official documents to conceal that his mother was a U.S. citizen.

Abu Ismail was disqualified from the race as election law stipulates that both parents for any presidential candidate must hold only Egyptian nationality.

en.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/18392

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Gombe FRSC commences sensitisation campaign in mosques,churches

By NAN           |   29 January 2017         

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Gombe, on Sunday commenced campaign on the ‘Speed Limiter’ device in places of worship across the state.

Launching the campaign at ECWA Church, Sector Commander of FRSC in the state, Mr David Mendie spoke on the significance of the device in saving lives.

He said that the device had to be introduced by the Federal Government due to the frequency of road crashes occasioned by excessive speeding.

He said the device was introduced since 2016 but enforcement would commence on February 1, adding that for now, emphasis would be placed on commercial vehicles.

According to him, they are in the church to solicit the cooperation of clergies and followers in accepting the device and also educating road users on its advantage.

Mendie said the command would also visit mosques to pass the same message.

In his response, Rev .Rukum Gayus, Minister in charge ECWA Goodnews Church, GRA Gombe, thanked the FRSC for it humanitarian service of saving lives.

He assured that the church would do everything humanly possible to ensure compliance by members.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that FRSC, Gombe command had a meeting with stakeholders in Gombe on Friday, ahead of the February 1st enforcement date.

guardian.ng/news/speed-limiter-gombe-frsc-commences-sensitisation-campaign-in-mosqueschurches/

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Europe

'Day of Islam' Marked In Catholic Church of Poland

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Joint Council of Catholics and Muslims and the Committee for Dialogue with Non-Christian Religions of the Polish Bishops’ Conference hosted an event in Bialystok, according to the Italian news agency SIR.

Auxiliary Bishop Henryk Ciereszko of Bialystok said that the day "would be first and foremost a prayer meeting” and would also be "an opportunity to counter violence together” in "the context of the terrorist attacks and the Middle East war.”

Poland is an eastern European country on the Baltic Sea. Some 88 percent of the country’s population is Catholic Christians.

The number of polish Muslims is not clear and estimates range from 20.000 to 50.000.

en.abna24.com/service/europe//archive/2017/01/28/807819/story.html

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Muslim Council of Wales warn of 'creeping fascism' over Trump's ban

January 29, 2017

President Trump signed the executive order on Friday. Credit: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Muslim Council of Wales have said they are "extremely concerned" about the Trump administration's "Muslim ban" and that "we must all be vigilant of the slowly creeping fascism."

President Trump signed an executive order on Friday, temporarily banning refugees and citizens travelling to the States from seven mainly Muslim countries, to stop "radical Islamic terrorists".

We must call the ban by what it is. It has banned citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, with an exemption for religious minorities. He has come through on his election pledge of a Muslim ban.

We have heard of many people living in America with green cards concerned about leaving.

This is a dangerous step. We must all be vigilant of the slowly creeping fascism.

I ask Theresa May and our politicians to use every influence to resist this Muslim ban.

– SALEEM KIDWAI OBE, MUSLIM COUNCIL OF WALES

Citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen will be affected by the border ban.

US President Donald Trump has told reporters in the Oval Office that his executive order curbing immigration into the United States is "not a Muslim ban".

He added: "It's working out very nicely. We're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.

The First Minister has told ITV News that the President's order has diminished "not just the United States, but the West as a whole" and that he will be raising the issue with the Prime Minister tomorrow.

The impact on law-abiding citizens in this country and the world over is beyond any rational defence. But more than this, those of us who believe in the solemn duty of helping and protecting refugees must now work harder to show that help is still available and that we still care.

If the special relationship means anything, it must mean honestly calling one another to account. Silence and evasion are not the hallmarks of leadership.

I’ll be raising this with Theresa May when we meet tomorrow

Prime Minister Teresa May has said she does "not agree" with the ban, and will step in if it affects Britons.

She arrived back in the UK from a visit to Turkey amid anger after she refused to condemn the controversial ban.

She's said 'the United States is responsible for the United States' policy on refugees."

The Foreign Office say they are working with other government departments to investigate the impact of the ban.

We are still working closely with the State department to find out the impact this may have.

– FOREIGN OFFICE SPOKESPERSON

itv.com/news/wales/2017-01-29/muslim-council-of-wales-warn-of-creeping-fascism-over-trumps-ban/

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Scottish FM welcomes refugees banned by US President

January 29, 2017

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday responded to President Trump's executive order banning refugees and halting immigration from several countries by retweeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday responded to President Trump's executive order banning refugees and halting immigration from several countries by retweeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Welcome to Scotland too," Sturgeon tweeted alongside Trudeau's tweet which welcomed refugees to the country.

The new Republican president’s order imposes a 90-day ban on entry from citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, blocks refugees from Syria indefinitely, and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days.

Trump's sweeping ban sparked confusion and anger at major US airports on Saturday after border agents began detaining refugees and immigrants who arrived in the country a day after Trump issued his executive order.

Admission will resume only after vetting has been deemed "adequate" by the secretary of State, the secretary of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence.

en.abna24.com/service/europe//archive/2017/01/29/808033/story.html

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UK prime minister refuses to condemn Trump's Muslim ban

28 January, 2017

Despite global outcry, UK Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly refused to condemn Donald Trump's ban on refugees and passport holders from seven Muslim-majority nations entering the US. Tags: Theresa May, Britain, United States, Donald Trump, refugee ban

UK Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly refused to condemn an order by US President Donald Trump to suspend refugee arrivals and entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

May - who was the first world leader to meet with the new US president - said Washington was responsible for its own refugee policy.

"The United States is responsible for the United States' policy on refugees. The United Kingdom is responsible for the United Kingdom's policy on refugees," May told the press in Ankara.

During the press conference, which May held jointly with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım after signing a controversial £100 million fighter jet deal with Ankara, the UK leader repeatedly avoided giving her opinion on the ban.

When initially asked to comment on Trump's executive order, May only said that she was "very pleased" to have met the US president in Washington the day before.

She evaded the question by hailing Ankara's welcoming of millions of refugees and reaffirming the UK's support for regional countries that were taking in Syrian refugees.

It was only after she was asked again by the press that May agreed to comment.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband blasted the prime minister's reluctance and failure to condemn Trump's ban, calling her reaction "shocking" and "wrong".

"It flies in the face of the values of people across Britain," Miliband said.

British people and Muslims across the world also spoke out against May's perceived cowardice.

alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/1/28/uk-prime-minister-refuses-to-condemn-trumps-muslim-ban

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Russia to Hand over Large Number of Armored Vehicles to Syrian Army

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Media activists disclosed that a large number of Russian-made armored vehicles have arrived in Tartus port and will be soon delivered to the Syrian Army.

The activists released several images in social networks showing several groups of the Russian armored vehicles of Vodnik in Tartus port in Mediterranean Sea.

The activists also said that the Syrian army will receive the Russian armored vehicles soon.

Military journalists underlined that deployment of high-speed Vodnik armored vehicles along with T90 tanks will help the Syrian army in the war on terrorism.

The Arabic desk of massdar news said it seems that these armored vehicles have been imported to equip Faylaq al-Khames forces that were formed by the Syrian army and Russia's full military back up.

Media sources disclosed on Saturday that the Russian Armed Forces would likely send back a number of soldiers and military hardware to Humeimim base in Lattakia province to reinvigorate their forces' combat capabilities again.

The Russian language Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said Russia seemed to redeploy its forces and equipment to the Humeimim base after the Astana peace talks.

The daily opined that liberation of Aleppo had not been a turning point in war on ISIL terrorists in Syria and Moscow made a hurried decision when started to withdraw a part of its forcers and equipment from Syria. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951110000750

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Czech president backs Trump's anti-migrant steps

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A spokesman for Czech President Milos Zeman on Saturday praised Donald Trump's anti-migrant steps, saying the new US president simply cared about the safety of Americans.

"US President Trump protects his country, he's concerned with the safety of his citizens. Exactly what EU elites do not do," Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said in a tweet.

In office for a week, Trump on Friday signed an order to boost the vetting of potential immigrants and refugees.

The move has sparked criticism among rights groups as well as at the United Nations which called on the US to continue its long tradition of welcoming refugees.

The pro-Russian Zeman, a 72-year-old veteran leftwinger and ex-Communist, who endorsed Trump before the election last year, has criticised immigration from Muslim countries.

He once called the wave of refugees "an organised invasion" and said Muslims were "impossible to integrate."

"The safety of Czech citizens is a priority. Now we have allies in the US," Ovcacek tweeted Saturday.

Migration is a prominent political issue in the Czech Republic, despite refugees largely avoiding the ex-Communist EU and NATO member state of 10.5 million people, heading instead to wealthier countries in western Europe.

en.abna24.com/service/europe//archive/2017/01/28/807780/story.html

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India

Post-order, US-based Indian Muslim cancels home visit

TNN | Jan 29, 2017

NEW DELHI: Within hours of US president Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim majority countries, the ripple effect of the decision could be felt in India and among US-based Indians.

Director of Haji Public School in J&K's Doda district Sabbah Haji Baji tweeted, "Sister cancels trip home from US because she may not be allowed back in.'' She later clarified that though her sister had an Indian passport, she had been advised by her company to restrict travel outside the US because she was Muslim.

India is not among the seven countries on the travel ban.

Observers warn that this could just be the beginning of a fear psychosis among Muslims working or travelling to and from the US. There are already a far higher number of checks placed on people with Muslim or even Muslim sounding names entering US. With the ban on travellers from countries like Syria, Iran, Iraq among others, experts fear that this move could lead to widespread backlash — increasing questioning, arbitrary refusals and ban on travel due to security reasons, despite valid travel documents. This could even affect those working in the software industry.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/post-order-us-based-indian-muslim-cancels-home-visit/articleshow/56845584.cms

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JKNPP protests settlement of immigrant Muslims in Jammu

Sun, 29 Jan 2017

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party today held a protest against the settlement of Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims here, alleging that it is a conspiracy to reduce Dogras to minority by engineering demographic changes.

Led by the party chairman Harsh Dev Singh, the activists wore black gowns printed with slogans like "Quit Jammu Rohingyas-Bangladeshis" as they staged a demonstration against the state government for the settlement in Jammu, the home of Dogra population.

"It is conspiracy to to reduce Dogra population to minority in their bastion Jammu by engineering demographic changes," Singh told reporters.

He claimed that the ingression and unlawful settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Jammu is a grave threat to the cultural, historical and religious identity of Dogras.

The party staged a vigorous protest demonstration seeking the Muslims' immediate repatriation to their native countries.

He said that the Jammu and Kashmir government had admitted on the floor of the House that there were several thousands of Burmese and Bangladeshi immigrants who had been unlawfully settled in the outskirts of Jammu city and Samba by several NGOs and Madrasas.

Earlier, thousands of Tibetan Muslim refugees who were forced to flee China had also been inhabited by the state government in the colonies located at Idgah, Badamwari and Gulshan Mohalla in Kashmir and Ladakh, Singh said.

He said the events like mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, communal and fascist ideology of the separatists, and the state government's silence over the unlawful settlement of foreign nationals was undoubtedly manipulative and dangerous.

Singh called upon intellectual forums, social organisations, nationalist forces, youth and student organisations to get united to launch a mass agitation against the settlement of foreign nationals in Jammu.

Hitting out at the Centre for its despicable apathy in addressing the grave issue, he said that the BJP leadership was merely issuing press statements for public and media consumption with all their jingoistic claims falling flat.

(This article has not been edited by DNA's editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

dnaindia.com/india/report-jknpp-protests-settlement-of-immigrant-muslims-in-jammu-2298815

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Pakistan

Pakistani worshippers condemn Shia killings in Parachinar

January 28, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The rally was held at the invitation of the movement Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWM).

The participants condemned the wave of terrorist acts against Shias, including last week’s attack in Parachinar and slammed the government’s inaction.

They also chanted slogans against Takfiri terrorist groups.

At least 25 people were killed and about 40 others injured after a bomb went off last Saturday in Parachinar city, the capital of Kurram tribal district near the Afghan border.

The blast rocked a crowded vegetable market in a mainly Shia Muslims area.

The outlawed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The LeJ militant group has claimed responsibility for some of the most brazen attacks on the Shia community in Pakistan’s recent history, including a January 2013 bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta, where over 100 members of the Hazara community were killed.

The notorious militant group, believed to be working with both Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorists, has also turned its guns on government forces in recent years.

Security has been a main issue for the Shias as thousands of them have been killed as a result of militancy and attacks over the past decade.

The Shia community accounts for some 20 percent of Pakistan’s 200-million population.

en.abna24.com/service/centeral-asia-subcontinent//archive/2017/01/28/807811/story.html

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Pakistani politicians up ante over army's secret courts

Bloomberg | Updated: Jan 28, 2017

ISLAMABAD: After army hearings ordered the execution+ of more than 100 terrorism suspects in the past two years, some Pakistani politicians are pushing back against the opaque courts in a rare sign of backbone against the nation's powerful military. The courts were set up about a month after Pakistani Taliban massacred more than 100 schoolchildren in December 2014.

The military's closed door proceedings have drawn ire from human rights organisations and admiration for swift rulings in a country where civilian courts are clogged. Investors have also noted Pakistan's improved security since a militant crackdown. However, Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, appointed in November+ , is facing off emboldened politicians in a bid to continue the secret courts.

As their mandate expired earlier this month, the government has yet to commit to an extension and opposition politicians openly object to it. The tussle will likely increase strains between the two branches of power in the nuclear-armed nation.

The military said earlier this month the courts have "yielded positive effects" and Bajwa's predecessor, retired General Raheel Sharif, told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week that they had stopped insurgents.

"Freedom of speech and other things like human rights and all, they are limitations and they are difficult to handle when you are dealing with hardcore terrorists," said Raheel Sharif.

Yet the biggest opposition parties have objected to their reinstatement. Parliamentary leaders and opposition parties are due to meet and decide the fate of the military courts on January 31.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistani-politicians-up-ante-over-armys-secret-courts/articleshow/56830137.cms

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One of 5 missing Pakistan rights activists returns home

PTI | Updated: Jan 28, 2017

ISLAMABAD: One of the five leading Pakistani activists known for his critical views on fundamentalists and who had mysteriously vanished earlier this month from Islamabad has "safely" returned home, police said today.

Salman Haider, a professor at the Fatima Jinnah University in Rawalpindi and a human rights activist, was among five activists and bloggers who had gone missing on January 6.

Police and family members of Haider confirmed he returned home on Friday night and was safe. Details about where he was after having vanished was not immediately known.

Haider was the first to disappear, followed by bloggers Waqas Goraya, Aasim Saeed and Ahmed Raza Naseer and anti-extremism activist Samar Abbas within a week in the sensitive Muslim-majority nation.

Some of them had been accused of promoting blasphemy, a criminal offense in Pakistan.

The fate of the other missing men is not known so far.

It is believed that Haider ran a popular group 'Bhensa' on Facebook on which messages and videos were shared against fundamentalist religious groups as well as the Pakistan army.

On January 6 evening, Haider was in Bani Gala with his friends and called up his wife to tell her he would return by 8 PM. When he did not, his wife called him back but the call went unanswered, his brother Zeeshan Haider has said.

Haider's wife later received a text message from his phone that asked her to pick his car from Coral Chowk, Zeeshan said.

Police found the car from Coral Chowk but no information about him. A missing person's report for Haider was filed in Lohi Bher police station and an investigation was launched.

A United Nations human rights expert on January 12 called on the Pakistani authorities to make it a priority to locate and protect the disappeared human rights and social media campaigners, saying no government should tolerate attacks on its citizens.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/one-of-5-missing-pakistan-rights-activists-returns-home/articleshow/56833020.cms

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Pakistan hopes to host SAARC soon, accuses India of impeding process

PTI | Updated: Jan 28, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has expressed hope that it could soon host the SAARC summit which was postponed after India boycotted it, with Prime Minister's advisor on foreign policy Sartaj Aziz alleging that New Delhi "impeded" the grouping's process.

Aziz said this during a meeting with outgoing South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) secretary general Arjun Bahadur Thapa who was on a visit to Pakistan on Friday.

Pakistan was looking forward to welcoming SAARC leaders for the 19th Summit in November but it was postponed when "India impeded the SAARC process and violated the spirit of the SAARC Charter", Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

"Pakistan remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad at the earliest so that the objectives of regional cooperation under the SAARC umbrella can be pursued more vigorously," FO quoted Aziz saying in the meeting.

He also reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC for promoting welfare of the people of South Asia, improving their quality of life, economic progress, social uplift and cultural cooperation.

Aziz said that due to several impediments and challenges, SAARC has been unable to fulfill the vision that was laid out for it by its founding members.

Aziz said he believed that the SAARC secretariat could play an important role as catalyst to bring all the member states together and ensure timely and effective implementation of programme and activities that would benefit the region.

Thapa emphasised the need to overcome the difficulties the organisation faced and expressed hope that the 19th SAARC Summit would be held in Islamabad as soon as possible.

Thapa, who paid a farewell call on Aziz, also held a meeting with foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, who appreciated Thapa's contributions to the SAARC process and reiterated Pakistan's commitment to the SAARC objectives.

Chaudhry emphasised that internal and bilateral problems of member states must not be allowed to affect the organisation and that 19th SAARC Summit should be held as soon as possible to put the whole SAARC process back on track.

On behalf of the ministry of foreign affairs, Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi, additional secretary (Asia-Pacific) hosted a lunch for the secretary general, which was attended by Amjad Hussian Sial, secretary general-elect of the SAARC.

Thapa who hails from Nepal, is the 12th secretary general of SAARC. He will complete his tenure on February 28 after which Amjad Hussain Sial, former special secretary, ministry of foreign affairs of Pakistan is to take charge as the next secretary general of SAARC.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-hopes-to-host-saarc-soon-accuses-india-of-impeding-process/articleshow/56829498.cms

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South Asia

49 Militants Killed In Counter-Terrorism Operations In 7 Provinces: Afghanistan MoI

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jan 29 2017

At least 49 militants were killed during the counter-terrorism operations in at least 7 provinces, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) claimed Sunday.

“The operations were conducted in Helmand, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Farah, Jowzjan, Herat and Faryab provinces, as a result 49 armed militants were killed, six wounded and five others were arrested by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” according to a statement by MoI.

The statement further added “Also, during these operations, joint forces discovered and confiscated light and heavy rounds of ammunition, three rocket launchers, two PK machine guns and six AK-47 rifles.”

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

The Afghan security forces are busy conducting their annual counter-terrorism operations against the militant groups.

The annual operations by the Afghan forces were launched in response to Taliban’s spring offensive which was launched by the group in mid-April last year.

The Afghan officials are saying that the annual operations by the Afghan forces are aimed at eliminating the key members of the group in a bid to suppress their insurgency activities.

khaama.com/49-militants-killed-in-counter-terrorism-operations-in-7-provinces-moi-02758

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1 Taliban insurgent killed, 1 arrested alive in failed Nangarhar ambush

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jan 29 2017

One Taliban insurgent was killed and another one was arrested alive in a failed ambush on Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) were ambushed in Khogyani district.

The statement further added that the Afghan army and police forces were patrolling in Khan Khel area when their convoy was attacked.

A motorcycle and two Ak-47 rifles were also confiscated after the clash ended, the statement said, adding that the detained militant was held after sustaining injuries.

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

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased to their insurgency activities in some remote parts of the province.

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have also started operations in some districts during the recent years, mainly in Achin, Kot, and Haska Mina district.

However, the Afghan and US forces continue to conduct operations to suppress the insurgency activities of the militants in this province.

khaama.com/1-taliban-insurgent-killed-1-arrested-alive-in-failed-nangarhar-ambush-02756

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Taliban militants suffer casualties in Kunduz premature bomb explosion

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jan 29 2017

A group of Taliban insurgents suffered casualties in a premature bomb explosion in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.

According to the local security officials, the incident took place late on Saturday night in Imam Sahib district.

A spokesman for the 20th Pamir Division, Gen. Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, said one militant was killed as he was planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Qerghiz area.

He said two other militants who were assisting the militant sustained injuries in the explosion.

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

The Taliban insurgents and militant belonging to other militant groups frequently use IEDs as the weapon of their choice to target the Afghan security forces and government officials.

Kunduz is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a number of its remote districts.

The local officials earlier expressed concerns regarding the attempts made by ISIS loyalist to expand foothold in this province.

Taliban’s shadow governor for Kunduz was also wounded in a suicide attack carried out by ISIS loyalists in Dasht-e-Archi district few days earlier.

khaama.com/taliban-militants-suffer-casualties-in-kunduz-premature-bomb-explosion-02759

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Afghan and Iraqi migrants among first detained under Trump’s ban

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jan 29 2017

An Afghan and two Iraqi immigrants were among first detained in two different US airports following the signing of an executive order by President Donald Trump targeting Muslims and refugees.

The two Iraqi immigrants have been identified as Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, Iraqis with ties to U.S. operations overseas.

They were both arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport late on Friday night while the Afghan immigrant was detained at San Francisco International Airport.

Matt Zeller, founder of No One Left Behind, told The Huffington Post that the wife and children of the Afghan immigrant were let through.

No One Left Behind is a nonprofit that helps Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters with special immigrant visas resettle safely in the United States.

The US President Donald Trump signed the executive order on Friday afternoon, banning the Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S. indefinitely.

The order also shuts down the entire refugee program for 120 days, and bars all immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country for at least 90 days.

In the meantime, scores of people staged demonstrations on Saturday in support of the detained immigrants.

khaama.com/afghan-and-iraqi-migrants-among-first-detained-under-trumps-ban-02757

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Southeast Asia

MUSLIM-MAJORITY INDONESIA DEEPLY REGRETS US IMMIGRANT VETTING PLANS

BYREUTERS   29 JANUARY 2017

JAKARTA - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Sunday the Muslim-majority nation deeply regrets President Donald Trump's plans for "extreme vetting" of people from some Muslim countries entering the United States under new immigration orders.

In a far-reaching order that caused chaos and confusion after it was signed late on Friday, Trump put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travelers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries.

Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, is not among the seven Muslim-majority nations whose citizens face restrictions. However, when asked about Trump's plans for "extreme vetting", Marsudi said in social media message sent to Reuters: "We have deep regrets about the policy.

jpost.com/Breaking-News/Muslim-majority-Indonesia-deeply-regrets-US-immigrant-vetting-plans-479888

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Rodrigo Duterte pleads with Philippine rebels to rebuff Islamic State advances

Reuters | Jan 27, 2017

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday pleaded with the country's Muslim separatist groups to deny sanctuary to militants with links to Islamic State, warning a war would ensue that would put civilians in danger.

His appeal comes a day after his defence minister said foreign intelligence reports showed a leader of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group was getting instructions from Islamic State to expand in the Philippines, in the strongest sign yet of links to the Middle Eastern militants.

Duterte said he could no longer contain the extremist "contamination" and urged two Muslim separatist rebels groups - the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front - to rebuff Islamic State's advances.

"I am earnestly asking, I am pleading to the MNLF and the MILF, do not provide sanctuary to the terrorists in your areas," he told troops at a military camp in Mindanao, his home region.

"Because if that happens, then we will be forced to go after them within your territory, and that could mean trouble for all of us. I don't want that to happen.

"The government is going after them, they have done wrong, they killed a lot of innocent people."

The south of the predominately Christian Philippines has for decades been a hotbed of Muslim insurgency but Duterte is worried some smaller groups and splinter factions that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State could host IS fighters being driven out of Iraq and Syria.

They include the Maute group in Lanao del Sur province and the Abu Sayyaf in the Sulu Archipelago near Malaysia.

Abu Sayyaf, which means "bearer of the sword", is notorious for piracy and kidnapping and for beheading foreign hostages for whom ransoms are not paid.

It has used the Islamic State flag in hostage videos posted online.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/duterte-pleads-with-philippine-rebels-to-rebuff-islamic-state-advances/articleshow/56814559.cms

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Prominent NLD law consultant, Muslim shot dead at Rangoon airport

29 January 2017  Print  

A legal adviser for Burma’s ruling National League for Democracy was shot dead outside the country’s busiest airport on Sunday after returning from a government-led trip to Indonesia.

An unidentified lone gunman killed the veteran lawyer, Ko Ni, and injured two others in front of the main terminal of Rangoon International Airport at 5 p.m., according to San Naing, Ko Ni’s assistant.

“They shot my boss. He is dead. I am beside his body and there’s blood on the floor,” San Naing told Reuters by phone.

Images posted on social media appeared to show a pool of blood around the slain lawyer’s head.

Police have detained a suspect, but the motive was unknown so far. Ko Ni was a prominent member of Burma’s Muslim minority.

The shooting comes amid heightened communal tensions in Buddhist-majority Burma, where leader Aung San Suu Kyi is under pressure over a security operation in an area of the country’s northwest that is populated mostly by Muslims.

A police official in the capital, Naypyidaw, told Reuters a Burmese citizen from the central city of Mandalay had been arrested.

The official, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to media, did not provide additional details about the suspect.

Ko Ni, an expert in constitutional law who advises the party led by the Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, had joined a delegation to Indonesia led by Information Minister Pe Myint, the assistant said.

The delegation to Muslim-majority Indonesia — billed as an opportunity to share experiences of national reconciliation — included several Burmese Muslim leaders, some belonging to the mostly stateless Rohingya minority.

dvb.no/news/prominent-nld-law-consultant-muslim-shot-dead-rangoon-airport/73813

 

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