New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 05:30 AM

Islamic World News ( 7 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Turkey’s Education Ministry to Destroy Textbooks Written by Gülenists



















Fethullah Gülen, REUTERS photo

 

Indonesia’s Most-Wanted Awakens New Jihadist Generation

UN Human Rights Chief Compares Islamic State to Farage, Le Pen, and Trump

Citing Animal Cruelty Law, UP Residents Have Filed Supreme Court PIL to End Bakrid Goat Sacrifice

 

Mideast

Turkey’s Education Ministry to Destroy Textbooks Written by Gülenists

Poison Recipe Found In Al-Nusra Militants’ Houses in Turkey: Prosecutor

Turkey ‘deported 3,719 foreign fighters since 2011’

Turkish soldiers return fire on YPG militants: Military officers

Turkish PM announces ‘crisis centres’ amid concerns over wrongful post-coup prosecutions

Ankara, EU to hold first high-level meeting since Turkey’s coup attempt

Turkey needs more reforms to raise growth: Deputy PM Şimşek

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s Most-Wanted Awakens New Jihadist Generation

Malaysian Police Say ISIS Has Trained Suicide Squad for Attacks

Religious building audit prompts new tensions

Court sentences radical Islamic preacher to 5½ years

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North America

UN Human Rights Chief Compares Islamic State to Farage, Le Pen, and Trump

15 Years after 9/11, Muslim Americans Are Poised to Overcome Hate

Trump says Putin 'far more' of a leader than Obama

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India

Citing Animal Cruelty Law, UP Residents Have Filed Supreme Court PIL to End Bakrid Goat Sacrifice

Mumbai Attack Case: Pakistan Court Issues Notice to Govt, 7 Accused Including LeT Commander Lakhvi

J&K: Terrorists overpower NC leader’s guards, abscond with 6 guns

PM Modi slams Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in ASEAN

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Arab World

Over 150 Terrorists Killed in Hama

5,000 ISIL Terrorists Lurking in EU

Iranian Security Forces Disband Saudi-Affiliated Terrorist Cell

Gathering Held by US Activists to Protest Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Syrian Troops Close to Full Liberation of Ramousiyeh

Syrian Government Swaps 169 Prisoners for Bodies of Russian Pilots

Army's Pre-emptive Strike Scatters Aleppo Operation Room Terrorists

Syrian Army Repels ISIL Offensive in Deir Ezzur

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Europe

Islamic State Makes Terrorism Threat Facing U.S. Gravest Since 9/11 Attacks

Second couple held over Paris car containing gas cylinders: Police source

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Pakistan

Pak Minister Demands Apology from Mohenjo Daro Makers for ‘Distorting Historical Facts’

Even in Muslim Pakistan, There’s Rejoicing over Mother Teresa

Pakistan's nuclear programme is safe from terrorists: Aizaz

PTI stages walkout from NA as Imran terms speaker 'biased'

Australian expert shows concern over ‘growing’ illegal organ trade in Pakistan

Senegal sees prospects for defence ties with Pakistan

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South Asia

Militants Planning Attacks during Martyrs Week in Kabul: Officials

Rise in Afghan Army Casualties As Mod Reports 12 Martyred In Past 24 Hours

Heavy clashes under in provincial capital of Uruzgan province

Explosion in Kabul city leaves at least 3 wounded

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Africa

Morocco Busts 'ISIL Cell' Planning Attacks

18 Boko Haram Militants Surrender to Nigerian Military as Factions Clash in Borno

Tunisia seeks broader cooperation against IS

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/turkey’s-education-ministry-to-destroy-textbooks-written-by-gülenists/d/108507


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Turkey’s Education Ministry to Destroy Textbooks Written by Gülenists

Thu Sep 08, 2016

Turkey’s Education Ministry will destroy textbooks written by the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to have been behind the July 15 failed coup attempt. The textbooks will be recycled, according to daily Milliyet.

The books had been prepared before the failed seizure of government in July. Thousands of people were dismissed from public service after the coup plot with a state of emergency decree, including the writers of 58 textbooks that were going to be distributed to schools by the ministry.

The ministry examined the books upon recent developments and decided to rewrite the ones written by Gülenists with new writers.

All of the books written by the people who were dismissed will be destroyed and sent to be recycled.

Some 250 million books, the contents of which were re-examined by the ministry, will be made ready by Sept. 19, the day schools will open.

The ministry distributed a total of 236,268,325 textbooks without charge and spent some 394,699 Turkish Liras on them.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/education-ministry-to-destroy-textbooks-written-by-gulenists-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103709&NewsCatID=341

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Indonesia’s Most-Wanted Awakens New Jihadist Generation

September 8, 2016

During a May 2011shootout, Indonesia's counter-terrorism forces killed the leader of a militant group thought to be behind a series of failed bomb attempts around the city of Solo in Central Java.

The death of "Team Hisbah" founder Sigit Qurdowi caused the group to splinter. Some formed an anti-vice squad in the city; many others became associated with a former Solo resident called Bahrun Naim, who authorities believe is a leading Indonesian coordinator for Islamic State (IS).

Now, five years later, Naim, based in IS's stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, is building an ever-more sophisticated network of militants from his former hometown, according to police, self-proclaimed radicals and people who work with the militants in Solo.

Solo, which has a long history of schools and mosques associated with radical Islamists, is a breeding ground for Naim's recruits, counter-terrorism officials say, and many of his lieutenants in Indonesia have come from Team Hisbah.

As a result, authorities fear the risk of a major attack in Indonesia is growing.

Islamist militancy in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation has been contained since a crackdown on Jemaah Islamiyah - al Qaeda's franchise in the region - put hundreds of its leaders and followers behind bars in themid-2000s.

Full report at: nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Indonesias-most-wanted-awakens-new-jihadist-genera-30294763.html

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UN Human Rights Chief Compares Islamic State to Farage, Le Pen, and Trump

7 Sep 2016

CNN reports on an outburst from Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, directed principally at Dutch politician Geert Wilders but looping in other “populists, demagogues, and political fantasists,” such as Nigel Farage of the U.K. and Donald Trump in the United States.

Speaking at a security conference at the Hague, Hussein accused these populists of using propaganda tactics similar to the Islamic State:

Hussein criticized the Dutch politician’s philosophy, likening it to that of Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right-wing French National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Brexit leader Nigel Farage among others, saying that they all share an ideology of “deceit, bigotry and ethnic nationalism.” He also noted the similarities of their political platforms to that of ISIS.

“All seek in varying degrees to recover a past, halcyon and so pure in form, where sunlit fields are settled by peoples united by ethnicity or religion — living peacefully in isolation, pilots of their fate, free of crime, foreign influence and war.  A past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever.

The formula is therefore simple: make people, already nervous, feel terrible, and then emphasize it’s all because of a group, lying within, foreign and menacing. Then make your target audience feel good by offering up what is a fantasy to them, but a horrendous injustice to others. Inflame and quench, repeat many times over, until anxiety has been hardened into hatred,” he said.

“Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh, which are monstrous, sickening; Daesh must be brought to justice.  But in its mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of Daesh uses tactics similar to those of the populists,” Hussein said, using an alternate name for ISIS.

[…] Hussein said he saw similar sentiments when he served in the UN peacekeeping force during the Balkan wars 20 years ago — wars he said were spawned “from this same factory of deceit, bigotry and ethnic nationalism.”

And now he’s fighting to “defend and promote the human rights of each individual, everywhere.”

Full report at: breitbart.com/national-security/2016/09/07/u-n-human-rights-chief-isis-uses-tactics-similar-populists-like-farage-le-pen-trump/

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Citing Animal Cruelty Law, UP Residents Have Filed Supreme Court PIL to End Bakrid Goat Sacrifice

September 8, 2016

New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the sacrifice of animals on Bakr-Eid (Eid al Adha) and the validity of a provision of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, saying the practice was “cruel, inhuman, barbarian” and cannot be protected in the name of religion.

The PIL, filed by seven Uttar Pradesh residents, has sought the court’s direction to ensure that no animal is killed during the festival, called the feast of sacrifice, which is to be celebrated early next week.

“Issue a writ, order or direction or declaration to the effect that the practice of sacrifice of animals on Bakr-i-Eid day is unconstitutional and same cannot be resorted to by any member of the public,” the petition said.

The plea, filed through lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, has challenged the constitutional validity of Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act which exempts the killings under religious practices and reads: “Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.”

“Issue a writ, order or direction striking down Section 28 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 as unconditional, being ultra vires to Article 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution,” it said.

The PIL has made Ministries of Home Affairs, Law and Justice and Environment and Forest and Animal Welfare Board of India as parties.

“Tendency to sacrifice animals, even on roads and public places, are developing fast every year on Bakr-Eid in the most uncouth and inhuman manner and litres of blood is spread at public places affecting the sentiments of public at large,” the plea said.

“It is most respectfully submitted that animals sacrifice on Bakr-Eid day is cruel, inhuman, barbarian, decency and morality and the same cannot be protected in the name of religion as such practice is in violation of Article 14,21 and 25 of the Constitution of India,” it said.

Source: siasat.com/news/animal-sacrifice-bakr-eid-cruel-unconstitutional-supreme-court-told-1015259/

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Mideast

Turkey’s Education Ministry to Destroy Textbooks Written by Gülenists

Thu Sep 08, 2016

Turkey’s Education Ministry will destroy textbooks written by the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to have been behind the July 15 failed coup attempt. The textbooks will be recycled, according to daily Milliyet.

The books had been prepared before the failed seizure of government in July. Thousands of people were dismissed from public service after the coup plot with a state of emergency decree, including the writers of 58 textbooks that were going to be distributed to schools by the ministry.

The ministry examined the books upon recent developments and decided to rewrite the ones written by Gülenists with new writers.

All of the books written by the people who were dismissed will be destroyed and sent to be recycled.

Some 250 million books, the contents of which were re-examined by the ministry, will be made ready by Sept. 19, the day schools will open.

The ministry distributed a total of 236,268,325 textbooks without charge and spent some 394,699 Turkish Liras on them.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/education-ministry-to-destroy-textbooks-written-by-gulenists-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103709&NewsCatID=341

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Poison recipe found in Al-Nusra militants’ houses in Turkey: Prosecutor

Thu Sep 08, 2016

A poison recipe was found in a house belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra militants in Ankara, according to an indictment prepared by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Bureau of Crimes Investigation Committed against the Constitutional Order.

A document describing the preparation of poison involving fish, lizards, plants and oils was seized during a search conducted in the houses of the al-Nusra militants, as well as a recipe for making explosives, daily Cumhuriyet reported.

According to the report, the indictment sent to court said that the recipes would be used in “sensational attacks.”

“It has been evaluated that the mixture could be used in clash zones in Syria and in sensational attacks in Turkey,” the indictment stated, adding that the seized documents also had directions for the militants on how to use the poison.

The poison was very effective and mixed with blood very quickly, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, it was determined that Abdullah Ammar Canöz, codenamed “Hanzala,” who went to Syria from Ankara in 2015 and then returned after getting injured, was also among the suspects.

It was also determined that two other suspects, Ayhan Gökçeöz and Mustafa Canöz, who previously fought alongside al-Nusra in Syria, had been  tried over being members of al-Qaeda, but were released on condition of judicial control, before being acquitted.

The indictment stated that Canöz, Abdullah Ammar Canöz’s father, collected money for the jihadists and gave lectures in the Keçiören district of Ankara.

A document consisting of 26 pages entitled “Explosives” was found in Canöz’s house in the search conducted on July 28, 2015, according to the indictment.

Mustafa Canöz and Abdullah Ammar Canöz said that they didn’t know where the documents came from in their testimonies, adding that they didn’t work on developing explosives or poison.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/poison-recipe-found-in-al-nusra-militants-houses-in-turkey-prosecutor.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103705&NewsCatID=341

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Turkey ‘deported 3,719 foreign fighters since 2011’

Thu Sep 08, 2016

The number of foreign fighters deported by Turkey since 2011 has increased to 3,719, senior Turkish officials have said, noting that 51,976 terror suspects have been banned from entering the country in the last five years.

According to information provided by senior Turkish officials, foreign terrorist fighters added to Turkey’s no-entry list based on intelligence provided by foreign governments are as follows:

2011 – 283 fighters

2012 – 786 fighters

2013 – 2,066 fighters

2014 – 4,822 fighters

2015 – 27,704 fighters

2016 – 16,315 fighters (first nine months)

Officials said intelligence sharing with Turkey was limited until late 2014 despite calls for closer cooperation to stop the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria.

“U.N. Security Council Resolution 2178, which was adopted in September 2014, marked a turning point in efforts to prevent foreign fighters from crossing national borders,” an official said.

As of September 2016, 51,976 terror suspects have been banned from entering Turkey.

Likewise, there has also been a profound increase in the number of foreign terrorist fighters deported by Turkey over the years:

2011 – 132

2012 – 230

2013 – 192

2014 – 526

2015 – 1,785

2016 – 854 (first nine months)

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-deported-3719-foreign-fighters-since-2011.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103708&NewsCatID=341

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Turkish soldiers return fire on YPG militants: Military officers

Thu Sep 08, 2016

Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants opened fire on a Turkish border post on Sept. 7 and Turkish soldiers returned fire, Turkish military officials in the region said on Sept. 8.

Turkey last month launched its "Euphrates Shield" operation, aimed at securing its border in northern Syria from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and stopping the advance of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

Turkey sees the U.S.-backed YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK)

Turkey denies shelling of YPG forces in Syria’s Afrin

Turkish military sources have denied a claim by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that Turkish artillery shells were fired across the border into Syria’s Afrin area and killed six YPG militants while also wounding several civilians.

There was no such situation where Syria’s northwestern Afrin region was shelled by the Turkish Air Forces or by artillery, the sources told daily Hürriyet on condition of anonymity on Sept. 8.

The observatory said on Sept. 8 that Turkish artillery fire struck the Afrin area late on Sept. 7.

The majority-Kurdish Afrin area has been under the control of the YPG since government forces pulled out in 2012.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-soldiers-return-fire-on-ypg-militants-military-officers.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103706&NewsCatID=352

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Turkish PM announces ‘crisis centers’ amid concerns over wrongful post-coup prosecutions

Thu Sep 08, 2016

Crisis management centers will be set up across the country to try to combat wrongful prosecutions made as part of the investigation into the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has announced.

With the Prime Ministry Undersecretariat in first place, the government will set up crisis management centers in local governor’s offices for applications from people “who believe they have been wrongfully targeted” in the anti-FETÖ probe, Yıldırım stated on Sept. 8, amid concerns that the post-coup probe is embroiling individuals not involved in the coup plot.

“If there have been any wrongdoings in these operations, anything against the law, we’ll look into it,” he added.

The prime minister said the government understands that “100 percent precise action” in the anti-FETÖ proceedings is impossible, as its members are “tight-lipped” and often difficult to identify.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-announces-crisis-centers-amid-concerns-over-wrongful-post-coup-prosecutions-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103701&NewsCatID=338

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Ankara, EU to hold first high-level meeting since Turkey’s coup attempt

Thu Sep 08, 2016

A high-level political dialogue mechanism between Turkey and the European Union will convene in Ankara on Sept. 9 to overview the state of accession talks and the migrant deal, in the first such ministerial meeting since Turkey’s failed coup attempt on July 15.

“The Turkey-EU Ministerial Political Dialogue Meeting will be held on Sept. 9, 2016 in Ankara with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Ömer Çelik, and from the EU side, Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and Mr. Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations,” read a Foreign Ministry statement on Sept 8.

It recalled that this will be the first Political Dialogue Meeting held at ministerial level since the coup attempt.

“During the meeting, the state of Turkey’s accession negotiations, Turkey-EU cooperation in the fields of energy, economy and trade, as well as the latest developments concerning migration and the visa liberalization process will be discussed. The parties will also exchange views on recent developments regarding regional issues and cooperation on fight against terrorism,” the statement added.

A joint press conference is expected to be held after the talks.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-eu-to-hold-first-high-level-meeting-since-turkeys-coup-attempt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103703&NewsCatID=510

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Turkey needs more reforms to raise growth: Deputy PM Şimşek

Thu Sep 08, 2016

Turkey needs to implement further economic reforms to set it on a path of higher growth, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said on Sept. 8, as reported by Reuters.

“[A] further reform effort is needed to enable Turkey to [get] back to [a] high economic growth track… Turkey is on the brink of a high growth period based on research and development [R&D] and innovation,” he said at the launch meeting for home accounts and state contributions in Ankara, as quoted by Reuters.

Leading economy ministers have recently voiced that Turkey would likely grow by around 4 percent over this year.

Economist have stated the government needed to move faster on promises to implement reforms aimed at boosting productivity in education, labor, governance and taxation.

Driving up household, corporate savings

Şimşek also noted that Turkey would drive up household and corporate savings with the help of “very strong” incentives and there would be no unnecessary government spending.

“The Prime Minister [Binali Yıldırım] has ordered us to continue saving, and the government will keep it tight. With very strong incentives, household savings will increase, and the reforms will encourage corporate savings as well,” he added.

Şimşek noted that Turkey’s saving rate-to-GDP was 15.6 percent last year, lower that the world average at 25 percent.

“Private sector savings declined from around 20 percent to 11 percent over the last 16 years, as uncertainties have eased,” he added.

Additional 100-bln-lira contribution

He also noted that the government expected an additional 100 billion Turkish Liras ($34 billion) in savings in the next decade with the launch of a new reform in August, which stipulated the automatic inclusion of employees to the private pension system, dubbed BES in Turkey.

The bill which envisaged the automatic inclusion of all Turkish wage-earners under the age of 45 into the private pension plan will enter into force by Jan. 1, 2017.

Employers will include their employees in a pension system offered by a company authorized by the Treasury in line with the new regulation.

The contribution margin of the employee will equal some 3 percent of the actual premium yield. The cabinet will be able to double this amount, decrease it to 1 percent or put a fixed limit on the contribution margin.

Workers who do not want to use the plan will be able to exit during a two-month period, and their savings will be returned.

The state makes some 25 percent contribution to each system participant’s savings.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-needs-more-reforms-to-raise-growth-deputy-pm-simsek.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103711&NewsCatID=344

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Southeast Asia

Indonesia’s Most-Wanted Awakens New Jihadist Generation

September 8, 2016

During a May 2011shootout, Indonesia's counter-terrorism forces killed the leader of a militant group thought to be behind a series of failed bomb attempts around the city of Solo in Central Java.

The death of "Team Hisbah" founder Sigit Qurdowi caused the group to splinter. Some formed an anti-vice squad in the city; many others became associated with a former Solo resident called Bahrun Naim, who authorities believe is a leading Indonesian coordinator for Islamic State (IS).

Now, five years later, Naim, based in IS's stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, is building an ever-more sophisticated network of militants from his former hometown, according to police, self-proclaimed radicals and people who work with the militants in Solo.

Solo, which has a long history of schools and mosques associated with radical Islamists, is a breeding ground for Naim's recruits, counter-terrorism officials say, and many of his lieutenants in Indonesia have come from Team Hisbah.

As a result, authorities fear the risk of a major attack in Indonesia is growing.

Islamist militancy in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation has been contained since a crackdown on Jemaah Islamiyah - al Qaeda's franchise in the region - put hundreds of its leaders and followers behind bars in themid-2000s.

But like al Qaeda before it, IS is reviving a fragmented radical Islamist movement in Indonesia that has endured in various incarnations for the past century, authorities say.

Nearly $800,000 has been transferred from foreign countries to fund radical Islamist groups in Indonesia since 2014, officials from Indonesia's financial transactions watchdog say. It wasn't clear how much money has come from Naim, who police say is now Indonesia's most-wanted militant.

Full report at: nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Indonesias-most-wanted-awakens-new-jihadist-genera-30294763.html

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Malaysian police say ISIS has trained suicide squad for attacks

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR - A squad of aspiring suicide bombers has been trained by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to carry out missions in Malaysia, according to Malaysian police.

Datuk Ayob Khan, the Malaysian police Special Branch's principal assistant director for counter- terrorism, said evidence gleaned from intelligence sources strongly pointed to several individuals pursuing the ISIS cause, according to an exclusive report published by the New Straits Times (NST) yesterday.

He said these aspiring attackers considered themselves "ISIS operatives", had been trained, and were just as radicalised as the eight Malaysians nabbed so far who had returned from Syria to carry out attacks back home.

The eight all had battleground experience, he said. One had a gunshot wound and another, aged just 18, had spent hundreds of hours fighting Syrian government forces.

Several international security experts, who were in Kuala Lumpur for a two-day meeting of counter-terrorism professionals, have said that as ISIS loses ground in Syria due to the fightback by security forces, more fighters would return to their home countries to continue their violent campaigns, the NST reported.

The experts at the International Association of Counter-terrorism and Security Professionals ASEAN Security Symposium also said that what they termed the "boomerang effect", in which foreign ISIS terrorists in Syria return to their home grounds to pursue the group's expansion plans, was taking place quickly.

These concerns were echoed by Mr Ayob, who was quoted by the NST as saying that this would be exacerbated by the release, in stages, of convicted Indonesian terrorists from the Jemaah Islamiah group.

"We are extremely concerned... that these detainees possess the expertise to launch large-scale attacks, (and) have established networking groups at the regional and global stage, driven by respected leaders," he was quoted by the NST as saying. "This will be a boon for ISIS elements, whether in Malaysia or Indonesia, which have limited capability to produce large-scale IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and restricted working relationships with foreign militant organisations."

Mr Ayob also told the NST about his concerns that Indonesian militant Bahrum Shah had been encouraging Malaysian ISIS sympathisers to carry out attacks in the country.

The leader of Katibah Nusantara, a joint group of Indonesian and Malaysian ISIS fighters formed in late 2014, "has the funds, and this is dangerous as it means that he is able to initiate large-scale attacks", the NST quoted him as saying.

"If funds start to come from Syria, in the near future, they will launch a big attack," he added.

Source: news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/malaysian-police-say-isis-has-trained-suicide-squad-attacks

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Religious building audit prompts new tensions

 08 Sep 2016

ONE REGULAR criticism of the new government is that it is too often wasting time and energy on unimportant issues, rather than those that urgently require attention.

In some cases, the wider implications of policy decisions appear to have not been considered carefully. As a result, the government has provoked conflict unnecessarily, such as when the Yangon Region administration took on betel sellers – and, in the process, the whole betel supply chain.

More recently, the Ministry of Religion and Culture has issued an instruction that some fear could further heighten religious tensions for seemingly little gain.

Documents provided to Frontier show Mandalay Region’s Religion Department sent an order to religious organisations and associations – Buddhist, Muslim, Christian and Hindu – to conduct a survey of religious buildings and identify those built without permission. The order states that illegal buildings of all religions would be the subject of action under existing laws. This is likely to take the form of a warning to residents to leave the buildings, followed by demolition.

The buildings are illegal because they have not been constructed with permission from the Ministry of Religion and Culture. To get permission, the buildings must be on land zoned as “green” – the official designation for religious sites.

Full report at:frontiermyanmar.net/en/religious-building-audit-prompts-new-tensions

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Court sentences radical Islamic preacher to 5½ years

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

LONDON — One of Britain’s best-known radical Islamic preachers was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for encouraging support for the Islamic State group.

Anjem Choudary has been one of the best-known faces of radical Islam in Britain for years, leading groups under names including al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades.

Several people who attended Choudary’s rallies and events have been convicted of violent attacks, including the pair of al-Qaida-inspired killers who ran over British soldier Lee Rigby and stabbed him to death in 2013.

His supporters shouted “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great,” as Choudary was sentenced at Central Criminal Court in London.

Until he was charged under the Terrorism Act last year, the 49-year-old firebrand preacher gained attention for headline-grabbing activities that provoked outrage but stayed within the bounds of the law. They included protesting outside the U.S. Embassy on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and burning memorial poppies on the annual Remembrance Day honoring slain service members.

But the London-born preacher ran into trouble in 2014 after his name appeared on an oath circulating online that declared the legitimacy of the “proclaimed Islamic Caliphate State.” Choudary denied encouraging his followers to support the Islamic State group and said the oath was made without his knowledge.

Police said Tuesday that evidence from authorities in Indonesia established that Choudary and co-defendant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman “were key in the publication of their oath of allegiance.”

“We have watched Choudary developing a media career as spokesman for the extremists, saying the most distasteful of comments, but without crossing the criminal threshold,” Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, said. “At last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they were actively encouraging support of (Islamic State.)”

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Choudary broadcast speeches online explaining his rationale for recognizing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of Islamic State or Daesh.

“Both men were fully aware that Daesh is a proscribed terrorist group responsible for brutal activities and that what they themselves were doing was illegal,” Sue Hemming, the Crown Prosecution Service’s head of counter terrorism, said.

Source: phillytrib.com/ap/international/court-sentences-radical-islamic-preacher-to-years/article_96db3cf3-d731-50bf-af52-ab8264a66872.html

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North America

UN Human Rights Chief Compares Islamic State to Farage, Le Pen, and Trump

7 Sep 2016

CNN reports on an outburst from Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, directed principally at Dutch politician Geert Wilders but looping in other “populists, demagogues, and political fantasists,” such as Nigel Farage of the U.K. and Donald Trump in the United States.

Speaking at a security conference at the Hague, Hussein accused these populists of using propaganda tactics similar to the Islamic State:

Hussein criticized the Dutch politician’s philosophy, likening it to that of Donald Trump, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right-wing French National Front leader Marine Le Pen and Brexit leader Nigel Farage among others, saying that they all share an ideology of “deceit, bigotry and ethnic nationalism.” He also noted the similarities of their political platforms to that of ISIS.

“All seek in varying degrees to recover a past, halcyon and so pure in form, where sunlit fields are settled by peoples united by ethnicity or religion — living peacefully in isolation, pilots of their fate, free of crime, foreign influence and war.  A past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever.

The formula is therefore simple: make people, already nervous, feel terrible, and then emphasize it’s all because of a group, lying within, foreign and menacing. Then make your target audience feel good by offering up what is a fantasy to them, but a horrendous injustice to others. Inflame and quench, repeat many times over, until anxiety has been hardened into hatred,” he said.

“Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh, which are monstrous, sickening; Daesh must be brought to justice.  But in its mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of Daesh uses tactics similar to those of the populists,” Hussein said, using an alternate name for ISIS.

[…] Hussein said he saw similar sentiments when he served in the UN peacekeeping force during the Balkan wars 20 years ago — wars he said were spawned “from this same factory of deceit, bigotry and ethnic nationalism.”

And now he’s fighting to “defend and promote the human rights of each individual, everywhere.”

“To them, I must be a sort of nightmare … I am a Muslim, who is, confusingly to racists, also white-skinned; whose mother is European and father, Arab. And I am angry, too. Because of Mr. Wilders’ lies and half-truths, manipulations and peddling of fear.”

A spokesman for Nigel Farage responded by saying Hussein’s statement was “so ridiculous it shows the desperation of the establishment in their struggle to maintain the status quo.”

“What an utter foolish comment from the UN Jordanian bureaucrat. Another good reason to get rid of the UN. I lost my personal freedom in my fight for freedom and I don’t want my country to lose its freedom as well. That’s why we really do have to de-Islamize. Islam and freedom are totally incompatible,” Wilders responded via email.

The UK Telegraph notes that Hussein’s office has been accused of “bizarre” behavior recently, such as sending a tweet to its 1.5 million followers asking, “Do you believe that free market fundamentalism – the belief in the infallibility of free market economic policies – is an urgent threat?”

“While millions of people are suffering from genocide, sexual slavery and starvation, it is far from clear why the UN would instead focus its attention on unidentifiable ‘urgent threats’, let alone on economic subjects about which it has neither competence nor expertise,” the Telegraph quotes Hillel Neuer of UN Watch saying.

“The same UN human rights office has failed to issue a single tweet about this past month’s dire human rights crisis in Venezuela, where millions face mass hunger in part due to attacks on the free market,” Neuer observed.

Source: breitbart.com/national-security/2016/09/07/u-n-human-rights-chief-isis-uses-tactics-similar-populists-like-farage-le-pen-trump/

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15 Years After 9/11, Muslim Americans Are Poised to Overcome Hate

09.08.16

We see concerning signs and poll numbers about how our fellow Americans view us. Donald Trump and others on the right openly demonize us. And there’s been an alarming spike recently in hate crimes directed at us.

But I’ve never been more optimistic about our future in America.

Why? Well in large part because Muslim Americans are successfully becoming more involved in two fields—media and politics—that enable us to define ourselves accurately and empower our community.

Fifteen years ago, I stood on the corner of 8th Street and Sixth Avenue and watched the Twin Towers collapse, shocked and awed at what became one of the defining moments of my life. Before that day, I had little connection to my Arab heritage or the Muslim community. I truly identified as a white guy. As I have joked, all my friends had names like Monica, Chandler, and Joey.

To put it simply, on Sept. 10, 2001, I went to sleep a white American, and on Sept. 11, I became a (hated) minority.

At first, I fiercely resisted losing my “white privilege.” As a white person I never was called to answer for the bad acts of a few white people. Now I’ve become somehow responsible for any bad act committed by any Muslim anywhere in the world.

But over the years I slowly embraced my minority status. I became more connected to Islam. (My father was Muslim and my mother is Italian and Catholic, so I was raised with both faiths.)

Today I’m proudly a Muslim American, which is a beautifully compatible identity, despite what some on the right say and suggest. However, it’s been alarming to see how many of my fellow Americans have come to view Muslims in a negative light. An ABC poll released in October 2001 found more Americans than not had a more favorable view of Islam than unfavorable (47 percent to 39 percent [PDF]). Flash forward to December 2015, and just 33 percent see it favorably, against 61 percent who do not.

Full report at:thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/09/08/15-years-after-9-11-muslim-americans-are-poised-to-overcome-hate.html

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Trump says Putin 'far more' of a leader than Obama

8 Sep 2016

NEW YORK: Russian President Vladimir Putin is “far more” of a leader than Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Wednesday, echoing previous praise for the Kremlin strongman.

Putin is "very much of a leader," Trump said in a televised interview, where he and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton were separately grilled over their national security and military credentials.

Trump has made no secret of his admiration for Putin, who last year praised the US businessman as "very outstanding".

Putin "has very strong control over a country," Trump said. "It's a very different system, and I don't happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."

Before Trump spoke, Clinton too was asked about her security smarts, but also faced questions on the sprawling email scandal that continues to overshadow her White House run.

The interviewer, NBC's Matt Lauer, asked why it wasn't "disqualifying" for Clinton to have handled government emails on a private server while secretary of state.

"It was a mistake to have a personal account. I would certainly not do it again. I make no excuses for it," Clinton responded, stressing she had not improperly handled classified information.

Full report at:dawn.com/news/1282872/trump-says-putin-far-more-of-a-leader-than-obama

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India

Citing Animal Cruelty Law, UP Residents Have Filed Supreme Court PIL to End Bakrid Goat Sacrifice

September 8, 2016

New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court questioning the sacrifice of animals on Bakr-Eid (Eid al Adha) and the validity of a provision of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, saying the practice was “cruel, inhuman, barbarian” and cannot be protected in the name of religion.

The PIL, filed by seven Uttar Pradesh residents, has sought the court’s direction to ensure that no animal is killed during the festival, called the feast of sacrifice, which is to be celebrated early next week.

“Issue a writ, order or direction or declaration to the effect that the practice of sacrifice of animals on Bakr-i-Eid day is unconstitutional and same cannot be resorted to by any member of the public,” the petition said.

The plea, filed through lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, has challenged the constitutional validity of Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act which exempts the killings under religious practices and reads: “Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.”

“Issue a writ, order or direction striking down Section 28 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 as unconditional, being ultra vires to Article 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution,” it said.

The PIL has made Ministries of Home Affairs, Law and Justice and Environment and Forest and Animal Welfare Board of India as parties.

“Tendency to sacrifice animals, even on roads and public places, are developing fast every year on Bakr-Eid in the most uncouth and inhuman manner and litres of blood is spread at public places affecting the sentiments of public at large,” the plea said.

“It is most respectfully submitted that animals sacrifice on Bakr-Eid day is cruel, inhuman, barbarian, decency and morality and the same cannot be protected in the name of religion as such practice is in violation of Article 14,21 and 25 of the Constitution of India,” it said.

Source: siasat.com/news/animal-sacrifice-bakr-eid-cruel-unconstitutional-supreme-court-told-1015259/

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Mumbai Attack Case: Pakistan Court Issues Notice to Govt, 7 Accused Including LeT Commander Lakhvi

September 8, 2016

Lahore: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Wednesday issued notices to LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and seven other as well as the government in the 2008 Mumbai attack case. The action comes on a plea to examine the boat used by the 10 LeT terrorists to reach the Indian coast.

“The Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad today held Mumbai case hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi and issued notices to seven suspects and the prosecution to present arguments regarding inspection of Al-Fauz boat parked at the port city of Karachi,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.

He said both prosecution and defence lawyers would present their arguments on next hearing on September 22.

Last month the Islamabad High Court had set aside the verdict of trial court in Mumbai case for not allowing a commission to Karachi for inspection of Al-Fauz.

The HC had termed the trial court’s decision as “flawed and not in accordance with law” and allowed examination of Al-Fauz. The prosecution had pleaded that vessel should be made “case property”.

Al-Fauz is in the custody of the Pakistani authorities in Karachi, from where the 10 militants, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, had left for India to carry out the Mumbai attack in November 2008.

According to the Federal Investigation Agency, the attackers used three boats including Al Fauz to reach Mumbai from Karachi.

It said the security agencies had also traced the shop and its owner from where the culprits bought the engine and the boat while a bank and a money exchange company were also traced which were used for the transaction of money.

The 10 LeT militants had left Karachi on the boat on November 23, 2008. En route, they hijacked another boat, killing four of its crew. They forced the vessel’s captain to take them close to the India shores. The captain was killed when the vessel reached Mumbai’s coast.

According to prosecution, all Pakistani witnesses have recorded their statements and trial cannot be concluded till recording the statements of Indian witnesses.

LeT operations commander Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.

Lakhvi, believed to be the mastermind of the attacks, is living at an undisclosed location after getting the bail a year ago. Other six suspects are in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi.

The case has been underway for more than six years.

Source: siasat.com/news/mumbai-attack-case-pakistan-court-issues-notice-govt-lakhvi-1015197/

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J&K: Terrorists overpower NC leader’s guards, abscond with 6 guns

September 8, 2016

Srinagar: Militants attacked the guard post at the residence of a National Conference leader in Kulgam district of Kashmir and decamped with rifles of policemen, police said on Thursday.

The ultras barged into the residential compound of NC block president Abdul Rashid Khanday at Begom in Kulgam late last night and took away four service rifles of the cops posted on guard duty of the political leader, a police official said.

He said the militants decamped with two INSAS rifles, one SLR rifle and a 303 rifle from the the cops.

While a departmental inquiry has been set up to probe the incident, security forces have been put on alert in south Kashmir to track the militants who carried out the incident, he said.

Meanwhile, militants also fired a few rounds towards police station Pulwama last night but there was no damage due to the incident, the official said.

http://www.siasat.com/news/jk-terrorists-overpower-nc-leaders-guards-abscond-6-guns-1015424/

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PM Modi slams Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism in ASEAN

September 8, 2016

Vientiane :Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed deep concern at the rising “export of terror”, in an apparent reference to Pakistan, saying it is a common security threat to the region as he sought a coordinated response from ASEAN member nations to combat the menace.

While addressing the 14th ASEAN-India summit here, the Prime Minister also noted that growing radicalism through the ideology of hatred and spread of extreme violence are the other security threats.

“Export of terror, growing radicalisation and spread of extreme violence are common security threats to our societies,” he said in his second attack on Pakistan in two days amid escalating war of words between New Delhi and Islamabad.

“The threat is local, regional, and transitional at the same time. Our partnership with ASEAN seeks to craft a response through coordination, cooperation at multiple levels,” Modi said.

He said that in the face of growing traditional and non traditional challenges, political cooperation was a key emerging in our relations.

“We are willing to take concrete steps to enhance cooperation in cyber security, de-radicalisation and counterterrorism,” he added.

On Monday, Modi made a sharp attack on Pakistan at the G20 summit, saying “one single nation” in South Asia is spreading “agents of terror” as he asserted that those who sponsor the menace must be sanctioned and isolated, not rewarded.

In his remarks today, the Prime Minister said that ASEAN is central to India’s Act East policy.

“Our engagement driven by common priorities bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the region,” he told the 10-member grouping attended by Heads of state.

He said enhancing connectivity was central to India’s partnership with ASEAN.

Seamless digital connectivity between India and Southeast Asia is a shared objective. India committed to Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity,” Modi said.

Securing seas was a shared responsibility, he said, adding that sea lanes are “life lines of global trade”.

India supports freedom of navigation based on United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he added.

He thanked the member countries for sharing their views on “nature, direction and priorities of our engagement”.

“All three pillars of our partnership – security, economic and socio-cultural have registered good progress,” he said, adding that engagement of India-ASEAN is of “economic optimism”.

“We continue to expand and deepen our economic engagements,” Modi said.

Laotian premier complimented India’s Act East policy and its contribution to ASEAN and hoped the summit will provide future direction.

Source: siasat.com/news/pm-modi-slams-pakistan-sponsoring-terrorism-asean-1015227/

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Arab World

Over 150 Terrorists Killed in Hama

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army units in their operations against the terrorist groups in Hama killed tens of militants in the Southeastern parts of Marradas town.

Field sources said more than 150 terrorists were killed and dozens of others were wounded during the operations which also smashed the militants' armored vehicles, equipped with machine guns.

After starting their operations in Marradas town, the Syrian army and resistance forces fully purged the Western parts of the town following intense clashes with Jund al-Aqsa terrorists.

"Now they are continuing the cleansing operations in the Eastern parts of the town concurrent with which the resistance forces' missile and artillery fire is pounding the militants' positions in the countryside of the town and its Eastern parts, killing tens of terrorists so far," sources said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Syrian air force heavily pounded the gathering centers and fortifications of Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group in the Northern part of Hama province, inflicting heavy losses on them.

At least three military bases, four vehicles and seven machinegun-equipped military vehicles of the terrorist groups were destroyed in Marradas, Souran, Halfaya, al-Tamaneh and Northern part of Ma'an as well as Bazam hilltop and Nahr al-Assi.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces repelled an attempt by terrorists to attack the two towns of Ma'an and Kefra'a in the Northern Hama, inflicting heavy losses on them in immediate counterattacks.

Over 30 terrorists were killed and many more wounded in fierce clashes with the Syrian army in the battle with the Syrian army and popular forces.

Elsewhere, other army units also thwarted an attack by terrorists on the village of Jubain, killing over 65 militants.

Three tanks, a BMP vehicle and four machine-gunned vehicle were also destroyed in the Syrian army counterattack in Northern Hama.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000510

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5,000 ISIL Terrorists Lurking in EU

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Experts revealed at an European security conference that an estimated 5,000 members of the ISIL terrorist group are currently living in the countries of the European Union (EU).

The revelation was made at a conference called the European Security Policy in the Belgian capital, Brussels, where it was also revealed that the vast majority of the terrorists living in the EU are themselves European citizens, presstv reported.

Experts at the conference discussed the EU’s failed security police, saying the terrorists, who are scattered all across the 28-member bloc, have ambitions to carry out more deadly attacks on European soil.

The conference criticized the lack of a coordinated approach to tackling terrorism and poor levels of intelligence sharing among EU countries.

“These threats, in Europe at least, stem from dysfunctional and difficult domestic politics, more than they stem from external sources,” said Jeremy Shapiro, the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Stressing the need for securing the borders of EU countries, former EU Commissioner Michel Barnier said at the conference that the refugee crisis faced by Europe could potentially be exploited by the terrorists who might enter the bloc disguised as asylum seekers.

“There are about 250,000 Syrians in Libya waiting for the opportunity to cross the sea and about 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey without mentioning those in Lebanon and Jordan, so it is not over,” Barnier said.

Large numbers of refugees fleeing from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa have been arriving in Europe in search of a better life. Most of them take sea routes to the external borders of the EU.

Meanwhile, European states have been seeing a number of their citizens attempting to join terrorist groups in the Middle East over the past few years. In February, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, Europol, said some 30,000 militants from over 100 countries have reportedly traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2011 to join the ranks of terrorist groups.

The European terrorists can potentially return to their home countries, battle-hardened, to carry out attacks there.

Back in November last year, ISIL launched a series of attacks in the French capital of Paris, killing a total of 130 people. Investigations into the incident revealed that the perpetrators were mostly Belgium-based.

In March, two bomb attacks in Brussels killed at least 14 people and left nearly 100 people wounded, while a separate bombing in a metro station killed around 20 people and injured about 100 others.

Belgium, home to the main institutions of the European Union and the NATO headquarters, has been viewed as the prime source of recruitment for Daesh in Europe.

ISIL terrorists are mainly operating in Syria and its Eastern neighbor, Iraq.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000514

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Iranian Security Forces Disband Saudi-Affiliated Terrorist Cell

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian intelligence and security forces dismantled a team of 12 terrorists sent by Saudi Arabia and certain trans-regional states to foment insecurity inside the country.

The terrorist team which was equipped with light and semi-heavy weapons and intended to carryout sabotage acts inside Iran was disbanded in the Western bordering areas of Sardasht city on Wednesday night through cooperation with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces.

Reports said earlier on Wednesday that ten terrorists of the outlawed Democrat Party were also killed in armed clashes with the Iranian border guards in the Western province of Kurdistan.

The terrorists who were trying to sneak into the country through the Western Iranian borders in the village of Baneh and Khalfi in Sardasht region, sought to foment insecurity in Iran's Kurdistan province.

Based on the latest information, 10 terrorists of the outlawed group were killed during the clashes which started on Tuesday night and lasted for several hours.

Early July, the IRGC forces had also disbanded an anti-revolutionary cell in Western Iran which plotted to sneak into the country for sabotage acts, killing all its 11 members.

"An 11-member anti-revolutionary group affiliated to the outlawed Democrat Party sought to enter Iran but the intelligence officials of Kurdistan (province)'s IRGC force monitored them since the very first moment," Commander of Kurdistan's IRGC force Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Rajabi told FNA at the time.

Noting that the IRGC forces blocked the group's move towards their destination and pushed them towards Kouhsalan district of Sarvabad region after 10 days of tracing, he said, "It was there that our forces killed all the 11 members of the team."

Three local IRGC forces were also killed in clashes with the outlawed group.

IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour announced at the time that Kaveh Javanmard, a commander of the anti-revolutionary group, was killed in the Western parts of Iran.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000237

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Gathering Held by US Activists to Protest Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent US human rights group organized a gathering in Washington DC to protest the sale of American weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The protest, held in Washingtion, after a new report revealed US President Barack Obama’s administration has offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, other military equipment and training, the most of any US administration in the 71-year US-Saudi alliance, Hindustan Times reported.

Activists from CODE PINK, a peace and social justice movement working to end US-funded wars, also condemned the killing of civilians by Saudi Arabia, and expressed solidarity with the Yemeni people.

The protesters painted their hands with red paint to symbolize Washington’s complicity in the killing of innocent Yemeni civilians.

The CODE PINK activists also called on American lawmakers to stop spending their tax dollars on supporting the Saudi kingdom.

The new report, authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy, said the offers were made in 42 separate deals, and the majority of the equipment has yet to be delivered. Hartung told Reuters the report would be made available publicly on Sept. 8.

The report said US arms offers to Saudi Arabia since Obama took office in January 2009 have included everything from small arms and ammunition to tanks, attack helicopters, air-to-ground missiles, missile defence ships, and warships. Washington also provides maintenance and training to Saudi security forces.

The Center’s report is based on data from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, a Department of Defense body that provides figures on arms sales offers and Foreign Military Sales agreements. Most of the offers, which are reported to Congress, become formal agreements though some are abandoned or amended. The report did not disclose how many of the offers to Saudi Arabia were agreed.

Washington’s arms sales to Riyadh recently have come under fire from rights groups and some members of Congress are disturbed by the rising number of civilian casualties in the war in Yemen, where a coalition led by Saudi Arabia is fighting popular forces.

The conflict has killed at least 10,000 people. Last month the United Nations human rights office said that 3,799 civilians have died in the conflict, with coalition air strikes responsible for an estimated 60 percent of the deaths.

The coalition says it does not target civilians and accuses the popular fighters of placing military targets in civilian areas. The coalition has created a body to investigate civilian casualties.

The outcry over those casualties has led some members of Congress to push for restrictions on arms transfers, and amid the growing outcry, the Pentagon cautioned that its support for Saudi Arabia in its Yemen campaign was not “a blank check”.

The Control Arms coalition, a group that campaigns for stricter arms sales controls, said last month that Britain, France and the United States were flouting the 2014 Arms Trade treaty, which bans exports of conventional weapons that fuel human rights violations or war crimes.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration last month approved a potential $1.15 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia.

Hartung said the level of US arms sales to Riyadh should give it leverage to pressure Saudi Arabia.

“It’s time for the Obama administration to use the best leverage it has, Saudi Arabia’s dependence on US weapons and support, to wage the war in Yemen in the first place,” Hartung told Reuters.

“Pulling back the current offer of battle tanks or freezing some of the tens of billions in weapons and services in the pipeline would send a strong signal to the Saudi leadership that they need stop their indiscriminate bombing campaign and take real steps to prevent civilian casualties.”

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000451

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Syrian Troops Close to Full Liberation of Ramousiyeh

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army made more advances in Ramousiyeh district in Southern Aleppo and took control of more regions, raising hopes for its full liberation.

During its operations on Thursday, the army retook control of al-Hajiz, al-Faran, the gas plant, the slaughterhouse, tannery, military levee and municipality and post buildings in Ramousiyeh from Jeish al-Fatah militants, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their weapons.

Clashes still continue in old Ramousiyeh region.

Also, the Syrian army forces targeted the terrorists' gathering centers in Hayyan, Hurayatayn, Anadanan, Mara al-Artiq, Harsh al-Yarmoun and Yaqed al-Adas in Northern Aleppo.

On Monday, the Syrian Army and popular forces had pushed back Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in al-Ramousiyeh and won control over more neighborhoods in the Southern districts of Aleppo city..

The Syrian government forces, in a large-scale offensive, captured al-Hikmah school and al-Mouteh heights.

The Syrian army and its popular allies stormed Jeish al-Fatah's positions from three directions and cleaned up the Western part of al-Ramousiyeh.

The government forces also attacked terrorists' strongholds in the town of al-Hikmah, while the army was also making a headway in housing project 1070.

Over 74 terrorists, including several commanders, were killed in the army operation in al-Ramousiyeh, battlefield reports said.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000505

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Syrian Government Swaps 169 Prisoners for Bodies of Russion Pilots

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian government began releasing 169 militants in its prisons in exchange for the return of the bodies of five Russian soldiers killed when their helicopter was downed, a lawyer told media.

"On Tuesday, 50 inmates including seven women were set free from Adra prison and 84 others from Hama prison," Michel Chammas, who represents many of them, told reporters by phone from Germany, Ahram Online reported.

"Another 31 inmates at Homs prison were also informed that they are going to be let go but they still haven't been released. Four others held elsewhere should also be released," he said.

Chammas told AFP the releases would take place in exchange for the return of "the bodies of five Russian soldiers" that are in militants' hands.

Two officers and three crew were aboard a Russian military helicopter shot down on August 1 in the Northwestern province of Idlib, which many parts of it were under the control of a coalition of militant groups at that time.

The attack was the single deadliest for Moscow since it intervened in the conflict in September 2015 in support of Syrian government, taking to 18 the overall number of Russian soldiers killed in the country.

Chammas declined to say which militant groups were involved in the negotiations with the governement.

A Syrian monitoring group, said 86 people had been released in the Central city of Hama.

They had been accused of "terrorism" or involvement in anti-regime protests at the outbreak of Syria's conflict in 2011, said the Britain-based monitor, which has a network of sources on the ground in Syria.

A spokesman for the militant forces involved in the exchange said they had charged a "commission" with negotiating the swap.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000385

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Army's Preemptive Strike Scatters Aleppo Operation Room Terrorists

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army units launched a preemptive strike on the terrorists of the so-called Aleppo Operations Room in their gathering centers near Castello road in the Northern areas of Aleppo and Mallah farms, foiling their plots to attack the region's supply route, a source said on Thursday.

The source said that the army's artillery units attacked the terrorists' gathering centers near Castello and Mallah farms in Zahra Abdo Rabbah, Kafar Hamra and Hurayatyn which killed and wounded dozens of militants.

Also, the Syrian air force attacked the terrorists' supply route in Northern Aleppo towards Hayyan and Adnan as well as the supply roads in Western Aleppo towards the North and smashed the terrorists' convoys in al-Aratab, Urom Kobra and Ma'ara al-Artiq which thwarted the terrorists' plots and forced many of them flee towards the Turkish borders.

Informed media sources disclosed on Wednesday that the Syrian army has continued its advances in the Southern part of Aleppo, and regained control over several strategic areas in the town of Khan Touman.

"A number of key warehouses of Khan Touman are now under the Syrian army's control," the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed informed source as saying.

The source noted that the Syrian air force and army's artillery units also targeted the gathering centers and fortifications of the terrorists in Khan Touman.

On Tuesday, military sources said that the Syrian army soldiers and popular forces continued their advances in Southern Aleppo, and were very close to seizing back the Khan Touman town.

"Syrian government forces have significantly advanced against militants in regions near Khan Touman, including Tal al-Asfar and two strategic villages of Ma'arata and al-Alam," the sources said.

"In the meantime, the Syrian soldiers have intensified their assault on the positions of terrorists in Khan Touman and have cut off all the supply routes to the terrorists. Government forces are now in very good military situation in Khan Touman battlefield and are at the gates of the city," they added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000363

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Syrian Army Repels ISIL Offensive in Deir Ezzur

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces repulsed ISIL's attacks on two districts in Deir Ezzur city in Eastern Syria after the terrorist group killed 10 civilians, including 4 children.

"The Syrian army and its allies repelled the ISIL attack on al-Joura and al-Qosour districts in Deir Ezzur after which intense clashes erupted between the two sides," a field source said on Thursday.

The source added that the ISIL offensive against the two districts killed 10 civilians, including 4 children, and wounded 25 others.

Also, the Syrian air force targeted the ISIL gathering centers at Deir Ezzur airport and killed and wounded tens of terrorists.

The ISIL positions in al-Hamidiya, al-Janinah, al-Mari'a and the regions adjacent to al-Siyasiya bridge and the old garage were also pounded by the Syrian warplanes, leaving several militants dead and wounded.

On Tuesday, the ISIL terrorists had failed to destroy the Syrian army's military positions in Deir Ezzur province despite changing their tactics over the previous days.

The ISIL terrorists tried to penetrate into Deir Ezzur city from the Western side by moving bomb-laden armored bulldozers towards al-Moazafin district, but the Syrian army blocked their move by targeting and destroying the bulldozers.

Over 30 terrorists, including a senior commander Oweis al-Harvash, were killed in fierce clashes with the Syrian government troops.

Al-Moazafin district is of strategic importance because it is located near Bu Saeid street, al-Maqaber region and Moshref mountain which overlooks Deir Ezzur city.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000277

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Europe

Islamic State makes terrorism threat facing U.S. gravest since 9/11 attacks

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The terrorist threat facing the U.S. and its European allies is “bigger, wider and deeper” than at any point since the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago, the White House’s top counterterrorism official said in a grim review of global threats Wednesday.

The dramatic rise of Islamic State and its ability to expand around the world presents a danger that is “considerably less predictable” than those posed by al Qaeda at the height of their power, shortly after the 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, National Counterterrorism Center chief Nick Rasmussen said.

The assessment could pose a political problem for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, coming on a day when national security issues were dominating the campaign debate and Mrs. Clinton was looking to build on her role in helping shape foreign and security policy as President Obama’s first secretary of state.

As Islamic State threatens to return to its terrorist roots in the wake of massive battlefield losses in its Syrian and Iraqi strongholds, the challenge in keeping the group from attacking the American homeland will likely fall to Mrs. Clinton or Republican rival Donald Trump.

“This will be a challenge for the incoming administration,” said Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, during the same symposium on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump said Wednesday that, if elected, he would order the Pentagon to draft a new strategy for defeating Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, within the first 30 days of his administration. But Mr. Trump has already co-opted many of the hallmarks of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism strategy, from increased use of drones to a reliance on special operations forces, to combat Islamic State.

Full report at: washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/7/isis-makes-terrorism-threat-facing-us-gravest-sinc/

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Second couple held over Paris car containing gas cylinders: Police source

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PARIS  (AFP) – A second couple was detained overnight in connection with an investigation into the discovery of a car in Paris containing six gas canisters, a French police source said Thursday (Sept 8).

The pair was picked up near Montargis, about 110km south of Paris.

Their detention raises to four the number of people held in connection with the suspect car, an abandoned Peugeot 607 which was parked several hundred metres from Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

The first couple, who were detained at a service station on a road in southern France, were known to the security services for having links to radical Islamists.

The daughter of the car’s owner, described by her father as being radicalised, is also wanted for questioning, police said.

Anti-terror investigators are probing the incident which comes as France is on high alert following a string of terror attacks, including last November’s coordinated Islamic State in Iraq and Syria  (ISIS) group assaults in Paris by gunmen and suicide bombers who killed 130 people.

Source:  straitstimes.com/world/europe/terror-link-over-gas-cylinders-found-in-paris-car

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Pakistan

Pak minister demands apology from Mohenjo Daro makers for ‘distorting historical facts’

September 8, 2016

Karachi :A Pakistani minister has demanded an apology from the makers of Indian film “Mohenjo Daro” for “distorting” historical facts and “making a mockery” of the highly-developed 5000-year-old civilisation.

Sardar Ali Shah, Sindh Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, said he would soon communicate Sindh’s reaction and objections to Bollywood filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker who, he said, misled people through his movie “Mohenjo Daro”, which was released on August 12.

He said Gowariker should tender apology to Sindhi people for distorting historical facts and making a mockery of highly developed culture of the 5000-year-old civilisation, Dawn reported.

Shah said the movie depicted Harappan War and recovery of levy which were nothing but figments of imagination of filmmakers and had nothing to do with history of Moenjodaro.

He said the world has widely acknowledged the importance of the heritage sites of Sindh, which was evident from the fact that Moenjodaro has been included in the list of international heritage sites by the UNESCO.

“Mohenjo Daro” film was written and directed by Gowariker. It features Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde in the lead roles.

Mohenjodaro is an ancient Indus Valley Civilisation city that flourished between 2600 and 1900 BC. The site, which lies in Pakistan’s Sindh province, was discovered in the 1920s.

Source: siasat.com/news/pak-minister-demands-apology-mohenjo-daro-makers-distorting-historical-facts-1015149/

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Even in Muslim Pakistan, there’s rejoicing over Mother Teresa

September 7, 2016

MUMBAI, India - Even in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan, the Sept. 4 canonization of Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life in Pakistan’s traditional rival India, was a source of national celebration.

The National Commission for Justice and Peace, an organization of the Pakistani Catholic Bishops’ Conference, greatly appreciated the declaration of Mother Teresa as a saint by Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Cecil S. Chaudhry, Executive Director of the commission, sent Crux a press release issued in both English and Urdu, the dominant language of Pakistan. In it, Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad, the commission’s chair, said that Saint Teresa of Calcutta is “a role model for all of us.”

“The path that she showed us and the very morals and beliefs she lived by is a testament for all humanity,” Arshad said. “For her, human beings should live in love and peace and share their love among others.”

Arshad said that people should understand love is most important among the teachings of Christ, and that “love thy neighbor” should be our sole Christian motto. He emphasized that, today mankind is facing terrible problems of selfishness and shallowness.

“As Saint Teresa believed that serving others before your own self will stop the present evils, therefore, we also must follow her example,” he said. “She spent hours in prayer as she believed that work could not be done without God’s love and grace.”

Full report at:cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/09/07/even-muslim-pakistan-theres-rejoicing-mother-teresa/

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Pakistan's nuclear programme is safe from terrorists: Aizaz

08th September 2016

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry addressing a seminar on nuclear security on Thursday said Pakistan has urged the United States to shun discriminatory treatment against Islamabad when it comes to nuclear and defence ties.

“If India is given preferential treatment regarding membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, then stopping a regional nuclear arms race will become a distant dream,” he said at the seminar titled ‘Assessing South Asia’s Nuclear Security’.

“Indian aggression is not in the best interests of the region,” he said.

Aizaz reiterated the claim that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was "not against anyone" and is only for self-defence.

Aizaz claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme complies with global standards of safety and has never faced any threats. “Terrorists have never attempted to harm the programme,” he said, adding that “our programme has remained secure even during waves of terrorism".

He said Pakistan was a responsible nuclear state and its nuclear assets were safe and regularised by the autonomous Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Radio Pakistan reported.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1282869/pakistans-nuclear-programme-is-safe-from-terrorists-aizaz

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PTI stages walkout from NA as Imran terms speaker 'biased'

08th September 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday lambasted National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for 'victimising' him and alleged that Sadiq is no longer an impartial speaker.

Members of the PTI staged a walkout from the House after Imran's remarks in the NA. The PTI chief criticised the Speaker's ruling on disqualification references against Khan.

Sadiq earlier forwarded a reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking Khan's disqualification from the legislature, whereas he rejected all four references seeking the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of his family.

Khan accused the speaker of 'partiality' and went on to say that all of his assets had been disclosed at two separate press conferences.

"It was said that Imran Khan owned a company Niazi Services which was not disclosed. It was also alleged that Khan purchased a flat in London with the amount he collected for cancer hospital trust."

The PTI chief rejected the notion that he had attempted to conceal any of his property, including Niazi Services.

The PTI chief lashed out at the prime minister's family for allegedly concealing their assets, saying that Nawaz insisted on continuing his term "despite being caught red-handed".

He added that Speaker Ayaz Sadiq's behaviour not only dented the credibility of his position, but also the sanctity of the House.

Speaking to journalists outside the NA, Khan said, "I referred to him as Ayaz Sadiq, not as the Speaker. In my opinion, he is not a speaker. A speaker is supposed to be unbiased."

"Whatever he's done, he has done under pressure from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif," Imran Khan alleged.

"Nawaz believes if someone can be bought, buy them. If they cannot be bought, then they must be suppressed," he alleged.

Before attending the day's session, Khan told journalists that a date for a planned protest march towards Raiwind had not been finalised and that details would be settled after consultations with other opposition parties.

Source:  dawn.com/news/1282868/pti-stages-walkout-from-na-as-imran-terms-speaker-biased

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Australian expert shows concern over ‘growing’ illegal organ trade in Pakistan

08th September 2016

KARACHI: A three-day joint session conducted with visiting Australian doctors and Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) concluded on Wednesday with concerns over the growing trend of illegal organ transplantation in Pakistan.

During various sessions the four-member team of Westmead Hospital, Sydney comprising physicians, surgeons and other medical professionals carried out an extensive exercise along with their Pakistani counterparts of SIUT on a variety of subjects related to urology, nephrology and transplantation.

The prominent issues that came under discussion were social and psychological issues of transplantation, training workshop for nursing staff in the specialised treatment, and paediatric issues.

Prof Jeremy Chapman, director of renal medicine at Westmead Hospital, who led the visiting team, in his paper, dealt with the global organ trade but he focused his study mostly on developing countries.

On the basis of a monitoring report that indicated that in Pakistan the trend of organ trade had showed a decline till 2013 but resurfaced thereafter, Prof Chapman said in his dissertation that there was need for an effective role on the part of the Pakistani government, medical professionals and advocacy groups to check this growing menace.

Prof Chapman, an internationally acclaimed authority on renal transplant technology, lauded the role of SIUT in providing an overall protective cover to the patients of kidney transplant.

He said the capacity to carry out strict monitoring and follow-up of transplant patients, donor and recipient, at SIUT was a commendable medical practice which made the hospital a “very distinctive institution.”

The same practice of extending an overall protective cover to the transplant patients at other institutions as well is also essential, he added.

Prof Philip O’Connell, the head of clinical medicine at the Australian hospital, in his paper drew parallels of transplantation scenario between Pakistan and the developed world.

The Australian team included a vascular surgeon, clinical professor, transplant nephrologist and head of a nursing unit.

During the course the SIUT and visitors jointly carried out exercises, protocols and extensive discussions.

Others who took part in the discussion and presented papers included Dr Jan Swinnen, Dr Germaine Wong and Deborah Knagge. Prof Adibul Hasan Rizvi director SIUT, Prof Tahir Aziz, and Dr Buksh Ali represented the SIUT.

Source:  dawn.com/news/1282707/australian-expert-shows-concern-over-growing-illegal-organ-trade-in-pakistan

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Senegal sees prospects for defence ties with Pakistan

08th September 2016

TAXILA: Senegal Presi­dent Macky Sall on Wednes­day saw better prospect of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Senegal in the field of defence.

He was speaking after witnessing the capacity and capabilities of the country’s armament industry during a visit to the Pakistan Ordnance Factories.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain accompanied the Senegalese president and members of his delegation.

Upon arrival at the POF, Senegal’s delegates were received by POF Chief Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat.

During a briefing, the Senegal delegation was informed that POF was the premier defence organisation of Pakistan which was meeting defence requirements of not only Pakistan, but also exporting its products to more than 30 countries.

The dignitaries were informed that the POF was a gigantic complex with 14 factories and plants, nine subsidiaries and a workforce of more than 26,000.

They were informed that the POF’s industrial base was strong enough to undertake development and production of almost all types of conventional arms and ammunition.

The delegation was taken to some production units where its members witnessed the manufacturing process of arms and ammunition. Members of the delegation showed keen interest in the manufacturing process of arms and ammunition and top quality products of the POF.

Source: dawn.com/news/1282850/senegal-sees-prospects-for-defence-ties-with-pakistan

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South Asia

Militants planning attacks during Martyrs Week in Kabul: Officials

Thu Sep 08 2016

The anti-government armed militant groups will likely plot attacks in capital Kabul as Afghanistan will observe the Martyrs Week, the security officials said Wednesday.

Gul Nabi Ahmadzai, commander of Kabul Garrison, told reporters that the militants will use the opportunity more than any other time to stage attacks in the city.

He urged organizers and youths of the country observing the Martyrs Week to remain vigilant and prevent from unnecessary movements in the city and main roads.

Ahmadzai further added that the security forces will continue to step up security arrangements as the militant groups will concentrate to disrupt the security of the capital.

The Martyrs Week is observed every year on 8th September to remember the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud who was conferred with the title of National Hero of Afghanistan following his assassination.

The latest alert by the security institutions comes as Kabul witnessed some deadly attacks during the week with the Taliban group claiming responsibility for the back to back explosions.

At least 42 people were killed and over 100 others were wounded in a series of explosions that rocked Kabul city on Monday afternoon and Monday night.

The group initially targeted the security forces near the Ministry of Defense compound with an IED and suicide attack while another coordinated attack took place on the night of the same day.

Source: khaama.com/militants-planning-attacks-during-martyrs-week-in-kabul-officials-01852

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Rise in Afghan army casualties as MoD reports 12 martyred in past 24 hours

Wed Sep 07 2016

The casualties of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces remains high at an unprecedented rate as the Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported at least 12 deaths in the past 24 hours.

“The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces are prepared for all kinds of devotion and with all force to maintain security and comfort for the people of Afghanistan,” a statement by MoD said, adding that 12 Afghan soldiers were martyred during counter-terrorism operations against the internal and foreign terrorists.

The statement further added that the casualties to the Afghan army were incurred during the clearance and counter-terrorism operations conducted in the past 24 hours in various provinces of the country, including Nangarhar, Kunar, Ghazni, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, Zabulu, Ghor, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Sare-e-Pul, Jawzjan, and Helmand provinces.

Accoridng to MoD, scores of Taliban insurgents, including two local commanders of the group and one shadow district governor of the gropu were killed and at least 70 others were wounded, while 6 others were arrested.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

The Afghan force are facing a resurgent Taliban and deteriorating security situation since they assumed full charge of the security responsibilities at the start of last year.

The considerable rise in Afghan army casualties comes as the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are busy conducting their annual operation to suppress the insurgency activities of the militant groups.

The annual operation by ANDS was launched in response to Taliban’s spring offensive which the group launched under the name of ‘Omari Operations’ earlier in April this year.

According to the earlier estimates by security officials, the Afghan army deaths stood at 4 service members daily on average which is mainly caused due to improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

Source: khaama.com/rise-in-afghan-army-casualties-as-mod-reports-12-martyred-in-past-24-hours-1851

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Heavy clashes under in provincial capital of Uruzgan province

Thu Sep 08 2016

Heavy clashes are underway in provincial capital of southern Uruzgan province of Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgents have launched a coordinated attack to take control of the key district.

Provincial police chief Wais Samimi said clashes between the Afghan forces and the Taliban insurgents are underway since several days but the gun battle intensified earlier today.

Officials in the provincial council have warned that the control of the provincial would soon fall if additional troops and logistics were not provided soon.

The Taliban militants group however have claimed that they have taken control of several security posts as the provincial capital is under the siege of the group.

In the meantime, the association of free journalists of Afghanistan have said the lives of at least 26 journalists are under the threat as the Taliban group threatens the provincial capital.

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

The coordinated attack on Tarinkot city comes as the Taliban group aims to take control of the strategic cities as part of their spring offensive to weaken the government’s stance in the ongoing insurgency that has entered to its 15th year.

Source: khaama.com/heavy-clashes-under-in-provincial-capital-of-uruzgan-province-01854

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Explosion in Kabul city leaves at least 3 wounded

Thu Sep 08 2016

Afghan-police-respond-to-Kabul-attack-via-AFPA relatively heavy explosion was heard in Kabul city earlier today after a magnetic bomb went off in the vicinity of the 4th police district of the city.

The incident took place in Taimani area with the security officials saying at least three civilians were wounded in the blast.

A security official confirmed a sticky bomb attached a bicycle was detonated in the 4th police district of the city.

The official further added that the incident did not incur any casualties to the civilians or security personnel.

However, the Ministry of Interior spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, said at least three people were after the explosives attached to a bicycle was detonated.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Source: khaama.com/explosion-heard-in-kabul-city-01853

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Africa

Morocco Busts 'ISIL Cell' Planning Attacks

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Morocco said it has broken up a "terrorist cell" linked to ISIL that authorities believe was planning attacks in the North of the country.

A statement from Rabat's interior ministry said three suspects had been detained by police in the Northern cities of Oujda, Casablanca and Fez, The Daily Star reported.

The arrests "revealed several dangerous terrorist projects in advanced stages of preparation," the statement said.

It added that the cell members were linked to ISIL supporters "active in Syria and Iraq".

The ministry said the three had planned to attack "sensitive and crucial sites" in several cities.

"The cell's chief rented a safe house near to the city of Oujda, which was reserved for lodging and the preparation and manufacture of remote-detonated explosives," the statement added.

A raid on the property uncovered chemicals that the ministry said could have been used to make bombs.

Rabat says more than 150 "terrorist cells" have been busted since 2002, including dozens in the past three years with ties to terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

A study by the US-based Soufan Group said last December that at least 1,200 Moroccans had traveled to fight alongside ISIL in Iraq and Syria in the previous 18 months.

In 2011, a cafe bombing killed 17 people, mostly foreign tourists, in the Central city of Marrakesh.

It was the deadliest attack in Morocco since the 2003 Casablanca blasts that killed 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000344

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18 Boko Haram Militants Surrender To Nigerian Military as Factions Clash in Borno

Thu Sep 08, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 18 members of the Boko Haram militant group and their families surrendered to Nigerian military after bloody clashes erupted between factions loyal to the group’s founder, Abubakar Shekau, and the ISIL-backed Abu Musab Albarnawi in Northeastern town of Monguno, Borno state.

“They are under custody of Monguno command and we believe the dual battle between Albarnawi and Shekau’s camps may have compelled them to sneak out and surrender,” Ali Mohammed, a member of a vigilante group in northeastern town of Monguno, said, 360 Nobs reported.

Trouble started within the hegemony of the sect after the ISIL terror group announced Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram’s founder Mohammed Yusuf, as the sect’s new leader to replace Abubakar Shekau.

Even though his allegiance remains with the ISIL, the undeterred Shekau insisted that he was still in charge of the Nigerian-based ferocious death cult.

Sources with impeccable cognizance of the happenings disclosed that there have been deadly skirmishes between Boko Haram’s factions led by Shekau and ISIL-backed al-Barnawi respectively.

Last Thursday, several fighters from Shekau’s camp were said to have been killed in two separate gun battles with ISIL-backed Barnawi gunmen in the Monguno area of Borno State near Lake Chad.

A source, Mele Kaka, told AFP that: “The Barnawi faction launched an offensive against the fighters of Shekau faction who were camped in Yele and Arafa villages.

“In Yele, the assailants killed three people from the Shekau camp, injured one and took one with them, while several others were killed in Arafa.”

“The Barnawi fighters told villagers after each attack that they were fighting the other camp because they are killing innocent people, looting their property and burning their homes.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has been declining to comment on the reported in-fighting when contacted by media.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950618000486

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Tunisia seeks broader cooperation against IS

08-09-2016

An estimated 1,000 Tunisians are fighting for the Islamic State group in Libya, and the danger of these fighters going home, causing further threats to their country is actually very real, yet not exactly news.

There has been a lot of back and forth of IS fighters from Libya to Tunisia - the reason why there is an 'almost' wall being built between the two countries.

However, the number of them returning home could overwhelm the security forces in Tunisia.

"We've seen in the past just how a handful of jihadists coming from Libya into Tunisia have really carried out attacks that have had a huge impact on the Tunisian economy as well," Olivier Guitta, the Director of GlobalStrat, an International Security and Geopolitical Risk Firm told RFI.

"There was just one fighter that was trained in Libya when he killed 38 tourists in Sousse - that, in a way, enabled to cripple the tourism industry, so the threat is very real, and on top of it, Tunisian security services do not have the wherewithal of whethering this kind of threat in such a large scale."

On the other hand, the fighters might choose to go to other strongholds, before returning to Tunisia.

Full report at:en.rfi.fr/africa/20160907-tunisia-seeks-broader-cooperation-fearing-fighters-returning-home-libya

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