Young boys are seen practicing martial arts in the
first Islamic State video to threaten China
State Militants from China Vow to Return Home and "Shed Blood Like
Leader Al-Baghdadi Acknowledges Defeat in Iraq
Muslim Families Speak Out, Return Dowry in Silent Protest
From Our Own Lives’: Intellectuals Mourn the Turkey That Once Was
Vows to 'Extinguish' ISIS, Protect US from ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’
Ban Dozens of Religious Practices, Foreign Missionaries in China's Xinjiang
Mufti Urges Muslim Bachelors to Marry Quickly
King to Work With Indonesia to Combat IS
‘Work Of the Devil’, Malay Muslim Convert Lecturer Says In Conference
file civil suit demanding Zakir Naik’s arrest
Bomber Is Affiliated With Islamic State: Police
Muslim, Christian Clerics Convene Co-Existence Meeting
officers find ISIS members hidden among refugees fleeing Mosul
8,000 flee as Iraqi forces fight ISIS in western Mosul
China block anti-Syria UNSC resolution
Media: Differences Soaring between S. Arabia, UAE over Yemen
Army Starts Build-Up to Launch Final Phase of Palmyra Operation
Centres in Idlib, Hama Come under Heavy Air, Artillery Attacks
Ba'ath Party General Warns of Likely Confrontation between Ankara, Baghdad in
Should Be Cremated, There's No Space to Bury 20 Cr People: BJP MP
Operative's Handler Could Be Indian: Gujarat ATS
Kill Lawyers Who Defend IS Suspects, Says Hindu Outfit
Yemen Raid Yields Data on Al-Qaida Explosives
forces kill 2 Saudi soldiers; score multiple victories over Saudi-led coalition
Army Sends Fresh Soldiers, More Equipment to Border with Syria
aid chief ‘denied passage’ to Yemen’s Taez
police begin evacuating settler homes
xenophobia present enormous challenge to world: Iran official
forces next step in Syria is Kurd-held Manbij: Erdogan
Condemn Kansas Shooting...Will Tighten Immigration Rules': Trump
plan against IS includes Pak-Afghan region
W. Bush breaks with Trump on Muslim ban, media
officials: Iraq to be lifted off US travel ban
Militants Being Killed At Level They Cannot Sustain: UK General
We Need To Praise What Is Good, True In the Muslim Faith
police raid mosque linked to market attacker
war: Russia and China veto sanctions
Policy Shift towards Taliban and Pakistan
Tanveer Ahmed Inspires Pakistani Hardliners from Scottish Jail
Balochistan Police Decide To Launch Joint Operation against Militant Hideouts
FC men, civilian injured in Quetta IED blast
calls for unity in war on terror
Russia agree to bolster military relations
‘terrorists’ belonging to Hafeez Birohi group held
Kill 12 Afghan Cops With Silenced Weapons
Bombers Attack Taliban Compound in West of Afghanistan
commander among 5 killed or wounded in Nangarhar drone strike
army defends operation against Rohingya
forces vow to work with Afghan forces to target enemies of peace
and prisoners suffer casualties in Helmand bombing
Muslims Face Discrimination in Germany: UN
Minister - Nothing New About Islam in Schools
police 'shambolic' over beach attack: UK judge
Man Arrested on Charges of Helping Islamic State Develop Missile Technology
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Islamic State militants from China`s Uighur ethnic minority have vowed to
return home and "shed blood like rivers", according to a
jihadist-tracking firm, in what experts said marked the first IS threat against
threat came in a half-hour video released on Monday by a division of the
Islamic State in western Iraq and featuring militants from China`s Uighur
ethnic group, said the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which analysed the
has for years blamed exiled Uighur "separatists" for a series of
violent attacks in its western Xinjiang region -- the Uighur homeland -- and
warned of the potential for militants to link up with global jihadist groups.
the video, a Uighur fighter issued the threat against China just before
executing an alleged informant.
you Chinese who do not understand what people say! We are the soldiers of the
Caliphate, and we will come to you to clarify to you with the tongues of our
weapons, to shed blood like rivers and avenging the oppressed," according
to SITE`s translation.
traditionally Muslim group, many Uighurs complain of cultural and religious
repression and discrimination by China.
appears to be the Islamic State`s "first direct threat" against
China, Dr. Michael Clarke, an expert on Xinjiang at the National Security
College of Australian National University, told AFP.
is the first time that Uighur-speaking militants have claimed allegiance to IS,"
video showed China is now "very firmly a target of jihadist
rhetoric," Clarke said, marking a shift from years past when it rarely
figured in statements by global jihadist groups.
Clarke said it also could indicate a possible split among Uighur fighters, as
it includes a warning to those fighting with the al Qaeda-aligned Turkistan
Islamic Party (TIP) in Syria.China maintains tight security in Xinjiang but a
drumbeat of deadly unrest has continued. A knife attack last month left eight dead,
including three attackers, police said.
video was released the same day that China held the latest in a series of mass
rallies of military police in Xinjiang meant to indicate Chinese resolve in
crushing security threats.
than 10,000 officers gathered Monday in the region`s capital Urumqi -- the
fourth such rally this year in Xinjiang.
authorities have tightened controls in the region, beefing up police
one violence-wracked corner of Xinjiang, authorities are offering rewards of up
to 5 million yuan ($730,000) to those who expose terror plots or
"struggle, kill, wound, or subdue" any attackers.
Islamic State video showed fighters, including heavily-armed children, giving
speeches, praying, and killing other "informants".
also featured images of Chinese riot police guarding mosques, patrolling Uighur
markets, and arresting men in what appears to be western China. The Chinese
flag is pictured engulfed in flames.
said the hints of a Uighur split could "intensify the threat to
China" as it indicates Uighur militants may be able to tap into the
capabilities of both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
experts have up to now expressed doubts about the strength of Uighur militants,
with some saying China exaggerates the threat to justify tough security
US think tank said in July that tough Chinese religious restrictions on Muslims
may have driven more than 100 to join the Islamic State.
have banned or strictly controlled the observance of certain Muslim practices,
such as growing beards, wearing headscarves, and fasting during Ramadan, saying
they were symbols of "Islamic extremism".
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued a statement acknowledging the group’s defeat
in Iraq, as he urged supporters to either hide or flee, Iraqi television network,
Alsumaria, quoted local sources as saying.
to the sources in the Iraqi governorate of Nineveh, Al-Baghdadi’s statement was
titled ‘farewell speech’ and was distributed among ISIS’ preachers and clerics
ordered the closure of the ISIS office regulating their fighters and ordered
non-Arab fighters to either return to their countries or detonate themselves,
promising them “72 women in heaven.”
of ISIS’ leaders in Iraq has now fled towards the group’s controlled areas in
neighbouring Syria, the source added.
forces backed by international and US aid have been advancing towards
ISIS-occupied areas in Iraq over the past weeks, where the terrorist
organization suffered one defeat after another in Mosul.
silent and unique social transformation is sweeping the Muslim community in
Jharkhand’s Palamu region, with hundreds of families returning dowry they had
taken during their sons’ weddings.
the last one year, around 800 families came out in the open about accepting
dowry and have subsequently returned the money. To date, over Rs 6 crore in
cash has been returned to the brides’ families.
process kicked off once Haji Mumtaj Ali, a native of Pokhari village in
Latehar, launched a campaign against dowry in April last year. Following his
footsteps, the community elders waged a war against dowry, a social evil
plaguing the lives of thousands of families, especially the poor. The
‘maulvis’, too, resolved not to solemnise ‘nikah’ where any exchange of dowry
success of our campaign against dowry is astounding. So far, over 800 grooms’
families in Latehar and Palamu districts have returned Rs 6 crore in cash to
the brides’ families. More importantly, the marriages are now being solemnised
without any exchange of money,” said Ali, who was busy preparing for a massive
community meeting at Daltonganj on March 7.
war against dowry will eat up poor families like cancer till it is completely
wiped out. There are still a few families who are yet to give up the evil
practice. Earlier, the Muslim community did not pay dowry, but of late, dowry
has become a part of marriages, in the process badly hampering the sanctity of
this sacred bond,” Ali said.
will also devise a strategy during the next meeting to tackle such families,”
feel proud to declare that what I had done earlier was wrong. To make things
correct, I am returning the money. I will never demand or offer dowry in
future,” said Salim Ansari, who returned the dowry.
from our own lives’: intellectuals mourn the Turkey that once was
very recently, Turkey was the place to be. The country offered space for
everyone: all shades of Islamists and nationalists were becoming very
comfortable, women were all around, LGBTIQ activists were proud, the secular
and Kemalists continued on their way, and minorities were achieving recognition
of some of their basic rights.
were starting to unpack years of denial about the existence of the Kurdish
citizens of Turkey, and also starting to face the violence that accompanied the
creation of the Turkish nation state. It was chaotic, violent, but it was also
full of promises.
the historical and symbolic capital of Kurdistan, which has been torn apart by
war over the past 30 years, was blossoming and attracted thinkers, artists,
investors, researchers and settlers. Istanbul was shining, a historical jewel
on the Bosphorus.
was everywhere, but we talked of justice. Cultural and intellectual life was
vibrant, exciting, full of translations and experimentation. Those living
abroad came back and enjoyed it. Foreigners from the West and the East wanted
to dive in it too. We had never been so close to peace.
our democracy is under very serious threat. The threat does not come from a
foreign power, but nor does is it come from the attempted coup d’état of July,
15 2016. It really began with a series of elections in 2015 that cemented
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s power.
the upcoming referendum of April 2017, Turkish citizens will vote on
constitutional changes that might well kill our democracy. The proposed changes
include replacing parliament with an executive presidency, and abolishing the
office of the prime minister.
referendum will take place under a state of emergency, imposed in the aftermath
of the failed coup. It will happen while a large part of the political
opposition is in prison or in exile, thousands of civil servants have been
deprived of their citizenship rights, and armed men patrol the streets.
mastermind of this democratic simulacrum is the President of the Republic.
the past five years, people have resisted and tried to cultivate democracy.
This resulted in a sometimes scary but often enjoyable and highly educational
explosion of pretty much all known social movement practices, legal and
illegal, armed and peaceful.
nothing worked. The president is just too smart, too brutal, and too successful.
We lived and died through a tragic series of bombs attacks, and we saw whole
cities put under curfew and bombed out, always followed by media bans and
whole country has been subjected to constant racism and sexism. The attacks are
on the minds, on bodies, on private property, on public goods and institutions,
and on the commons.
is very hard to express how so much destruction affects daily life. What does
it mean to have 150,000 people “purged”, 89,0000 people arrested, and 49,000
people incarcerated within six months? Can the state really just cancel your
passport and freeze you bank account? Why are so many qualified people now
unemployed, and why has their right to work been taken from them? Can your
property really just become theirs, because the official journal says so?
these men really think that women will quit laughing in public and start making
babies for the nation? Can you really just keep someone in prison for months
because you feel like it? Who are all these men who scream in public that they
want more blood, our blood? Why are all the others nodding in silence?
numbers are frightening, like in all authoritarian regimes, but something also
needs to be said about the quality of our lives.
the past year, many of us have experienced prison, exile, lost rights, been
insulted, threatened, and abused in public by state officials and lay people.
Some had to pack a bag and leave their life within a night. Others regularly go
to court to defend themselves, their friends or their colleagues. The streets
are grim and houses are no longer safe.
cells are dirty and there too, your rights are not respected. It takes a lot of
flexibility to manage it all. Most have reached the limits of what their
dignity can take, and we are all doing the best we can to keep going.
most of us had pretty normal lives with jobs, kids, lovers, duties and
holidays, just like you. Who are we? Who are all these people that the Turkish
state is trying to silence? Some are short, others tall, old and young, with
glasses, ties, piercings, long hair or no hair.
are the doctors who heal our wounds, the lawyers who defend our rights, those
who grow our food, and teach our children. They are the translators of major
literary and scientific works into the Turkish and Kurdish languages. They are
scholars who have produced and shared knowledge about our history, our society,
our economy, our arts and sciences for years.
are the people we are used to listening to on the radio, following in public
debates on television, those we read on a daily basis in newspapers, the people
whose music we listen to and novels we read.
are all actually just people who went on with our lives, tried to be
productive, and sometimes ran into each other in the streets. We all refused to
give up on our most basic rights and freedoms. The most precarious got hit
first, and now even the most successful and privileged face blatant injustice.
Whatever our individual plight, we have all been banned from our own lives.
some, this is the first real encounter with state violence. Others,
particularly Kurdish citizens and politicians, have already spent years of
their lives in Turkish prisons, sometimes up to 15 precious years. They have
been tortured and lost their loved ones. Despite all the horrors they survived,
today, from their prison cells, they continue to call for democracy. Can one
feel anything but shame to know they are behind bars again?
will be back
can be no justice and no democracy while all these people are in prison. The
state of emergency needs to be lifted and all the arbitrary decrees cancelled.
Yet, in the run up to the “democratic” referendum of April 2017, we see only
bans, arrests, destruction, civil deaths, and very real dead bodies.
those who are currently mounting the No campaign for the referendum know that
their songs and their jokes are not fit to fight an armed machine fuelled by
nationalist rage and greed.
know that trying to remember our softness will not save us, but it will keep us
true to ourselves. We also know that more blows are coming, and we search for
ways not to break, to melt a little, twist, and maybe punch back.
walk with the painful and respectful memory of all those we lost on the way. We
know that self-care and solidarity are necessary and political. And in
celebration of our diversity, we continue to demand justice for all and to
vows to 'extinguish' ISIS, protect US from ‘radical Islamic terrorism’
a “new chapter of American greatness,” President Donald Trump stood before
Congress for the first time Tuesday night and issued a broad call for
overhauling the nation's health care system, significantly boosting military
spending and plunging $1 trillion into upgrading crumbling infrastructure.
an optimistic tone, Trump declared: “The time for small thinking is over.”
address came at a pivotal moment for a new president elected on pledges to
swiftly shake up Washington and follow through on the failed promises of career
politicians. His opening weeks in office have been consumed by distractions and
self-inflicted wounds, including the bungled rollout of a sweeping immigration
and refugee executive order that was blocked by the courts.
majority of Trump's address centered on the domestic, economic-focused issues
that were at the center of his presidential campaign. His national security
message centered largely on a call for significantly boosting military spending
and taking strong but unspecified measures to protect the nation from “radical
who typically relishes flouting political convention, embraced the pomp and
tradition of a presidential address to Congress. He stuck largely to his
script, made occasional overtures to Democrats and skipped the personal insults
he so often hurls at his opponents.
president was greeted by enthusiastic applause as he entered the House chamber,
though it was filled with Democrats who vigorously oppose his policies and many
Republicans who never expected him to be elected. Most Republican lawmakers
have rallied around him since the election, hopeful that he will act on the
domestic priorities they saw blocked during President Barack Obama's eight
years in office.
that list is undoing Obama's signature health care law and replacing the
offered a basic blueprint of his priorities, including ensuring that those with
pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, allowing people to buy
insurance across state lines and offering tax credits and expanded health
savings accounts to help Americans purchase coverage.
suggested he would get rid of the current law's requirement that all Americans
carry insurance coverage, saying that “mandating every American to buy
government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America.”
a direct appeal for bipartisanship, Trump turned to Democrats and said, “Why
not join forces to finally get the job done and get it done right?”
now firmly ensconced in the minority, sat silently while Republicans stood and
cheered. Some wore blue, pro-health care buttons that read “Protect our care,”
and dozens of Democratic women wore white in honor of the suffrage movement.
was vague in his call for tax reform, another Republican priority. He promised
“massive tax relief for the middle class” and a reduction in corporate tax
rates, but glossed over how he would offset the cuts.
president also urged Congress to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package
financed through both public and private capital.
time has come for a new program of national rebuilding,” he said.
sent unexpectedly mixed messages on immigration, one of his signature campaign
issues. He pledged to vigorously target people living in the US illegally who
“threaten our communities and prey on our citizens.” But he told news anchors
before his speech that he was open to legislation that could provide a pathway
to legal status, and he told Congress he believed “real and positive
immigration reform is possible.”
lady Melania Trump sat with special guests who were on hand to amplify the
president's agenda, including the family members of people killed by immigrants
living in the US. illegally. The widow of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin
Scalia also sat alongside Mrs. Trump, a reminder of the president's
well-received nomination of federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill
the human cost of those efforts, Trump honored Chief Special Warrant Officer
William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in a raid in Yemen during his first days
in office. Owens' widow sat in the guest box with tears streaming down her face
as the crowd stood and applauded at length.
death, as well as the killing of several civilians, have raised questions about
the effectiveness of the raid. Pushing back, the president said Defense
Secretary Jim Mattis had assured him that the operation generated “large
amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the
future against our enemies.”
also voiced support for NATO but reiterated his call for partner countries to
meet their financial obligations to the military alliance. Trump has previously
called NATO “obsolete,” setting some allies on edge about his commitment to the
authorities in the troubled north-western region of Xinjiang have issued a
detailed list of "illegal" religious activities spanning Islam,
Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism, RFA has learned.
officials confirmed a generalized ban on unofficial Christian churches last
week, RFA has obtained a document believed to originate from the Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region religious and minority affairs department that details
a very specific list of 26 types of banned religious activities.
new rules have been sent out to local governments, requiring them to explain
them to local people, residents said.
list singles out attempts to proselytize or carry out missionary work "in
the guise of" poverty and disaster relief, tourism and academic and
cultural exchanges, according to a copy of the document shown to RFA.
undated document, which appears to have originated with the regional government
in Urumqi rather than with the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, has
already been received, a source in the region said on Tuesday.
are [measures] being taken by the regional government, but there is no
letterhead, seal or signature linked to the autonomous region," the source
told us to study them today, but I said that if it is the law of the land, at
least there should be an official seal," he said. "We have to study
these 26 [banned] things."
the new rules, no religious group is permitted to carry out any religious
activities including preaching, missionary work, proselytizing of new believers
and ordaining clergy without prior government approval.
not the only target
classes or scripture study groups, nor religious studies courses may be offered
by any group or institution without prior government approval, the rules say.
clauses appear to be specifically aimed at the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic
group, who are prevented from engaging in religious rituals and customs in
relation to marriage, divorce and funeral ceremonies.
Xinjiang resident surnamed Li said the rules appeared to target Uyghurs, but
are also restrictions on reincarnations of Bodhisattvas, and on the
transmission of Tibetan Buddhism," Li said.
also] aimed at underground Islamic groups who might come here to proselytize,
that's to say, the [ethnically Chinese] Hui Muslim groups in Xinjiang."
have basically outlawed any underground preaching at all or missionary work,
and that includes Catholicism [and other faiths] in the crackdown," Li
of them are now considered to be within the definition of illegal missionary
said item 16 on the list forbids the designation of reincarnations of Tibetan
Buddhist teachers without government approval.
are focusing on specific and different details in every religion," Li
said, adding that the document appears to have resulted from a vast network of
are all very carefully described, which suggests that [government agents] have
managed to penetrate deep into organizations and religious groups."
document bans the unauthorized editing, translation, publication, printing,
reproduction, production, distribution, sale and dissemination of religious publications
and audiovisual products without authorization.
and broadcasting foreign religious radio and television programs are also
banned, as is receiving religious materials from outside China or materials
from banned organizations inside China.
activities by groups or individuals from overseas under the guise of business,
tourism, lectures, overseas study, cultural exchange or donations to disaster
relief or to fund studies or alleviate poverty and sickness," are also
prohibited by the document.
official who answered the phone at the religious and minority affairs
department of the regional government hung up after being contacted by RFA on
religious affairs officials had previously confirmed more vaguely worded
reports of a ban on "unofficial religious activities" last week.
the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which embraces atheism, has stepped up
controls over any form of religious practice among its citizens in recent
years, putting increasing pressure on faith groups to join government bodies
set up to supervise them. The administration of President Xi Jinping regards
religion as a dangerous foreign import, with officials warning last year
against the "infiltration of Western hostile forces" in the form of
religion, particularly Christianity.
Mufti urges Muslim bachelors to marry quickly
March 1 — Perlis Mufti, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, has urged
eligible bachelors to marry quickly to increase the state's population.
said Islam required men who were capable to marry physically and spiritually to
do so quickly because delaying could slow down the growth of the Muslim
hope they can take on this challenge, however, they also need to equip
themselves with knowledge and be more responsible,” said Mohd Asri in his
weekly talk at Masjid Alwi here, last night.
mufti also encouraged young people working and earning a living in Perlis to
choose local women as their wives, and remain in the state.
this regard, the parents should not demand expensive gifts or grand weddings
for their daughters and place a burden on the men, said Mohd Asri.
king to work with Indonesia to combat IS
Danubrata and John Chalmers
pact to combat terrorism will be the centrepiece of up to 10 agreements that
will be signed when Saudi Arabia’s king this week visits Indonesia, the world’s
largest Muslim-majority country, the kingdom’s envoy to Indonesia said on
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who on Sunday kicked off a month-long Asian tour,
lands in Indonesia on Wednesday with an entourage that local officials have
said could number up to 1,500.
as a “mega trip”, it would be a Saudi king’s first visit to Indonesia in nearly
from a side-trip of several hours to Brunei, King Salman will be in Indonesia
until March 12, spending much of the time on the resort island of Bali,
ambassador Osama Mohammad Abdullah Alshuaibi told Reuters in an interview. “We
know Indonesia has suffered from bombing and terrorism here,” he said, singling
out the Islamic State for its “different ideology” and disrespect for human
will cooperate with the Indonesians on this field. We can exchange data, we can
exchange experience, and we can defeat these people.”
in officially secular Indonesia have grown increasingly concerned after a
series of attacks over the past year blamed on supporters of Islamic State.
police killed a militant on Monday after he detonated a small bomb in the West
Java city of Bandung. Security officials said they were investigating whether
he had links to a radical network sympathetic to Islamic State.
said Saudi and Indonesian military officers are training in each other’s
countries to counter Islamic State.
Arabia is aiming to open more Islamic schools in Indonesia, which will teach
religion using the Arabic language, and step up the number of scholarships for
students, the envoy said.
king’s visit to Indonesia comes as fringe Islamist groups grow in influence and
Muslim leaders take an increasingly strict line on Islamic issues.
that is a growing conservatism among Indonesians, which analysts say is partly
the result of ‘Saudi money’ being poured into the country over the past several
decades to build mosques, schools and universities.
ambassador said the visit could also lay the foundation for developing oil and
gas projects and promoting tourism.
Feb 28 — A Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (Kuis) lecturer claimed today that
the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture is caused by Satan to
trick and lead humans astray.
convert Mohd Farid Ravi Abdullah said in the Islamic Consultative Council’s
(MPI) multaqa, or conference, on education and social sectors that the LGBT
have been confused by the Devil to think that they are born with “souls
opposite to their genders”.
has not once admitted that gay and lesbian are human nature, but it is the
Satan’s activity to deceive and mislead humans,” the Kuis Research Management
Centre director wrote in his paper.
ethnic Indian lecturer was presenting on the topic of Malay-Muslim
socio-cultures in the social cluster plenary session.
must be curbed and prevented earlier by giving cure and therapies that is
appropriate to the LGBT community,” his paper added.
are sexually attracted to others with the same sex, while transgenders suffer
from gender identity disorder where their sex and gender experience is opposite
to the ones assigned at birth.
therapy which consists of psychological treatment or spiritual counseling to
change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to
heterosexual is widely seen by medical and scientific community as potentially
harmful and a form of pseudoscience.
LUMPUR, March 1 — A group of 19 human rights activists filed a civil suit
against the Malaysian government today, accusing it of failing to protect the
country against controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik.
suit, among others, sought a government declaration that Dr Zakir was a threat
to national security, called for a ban to prevent him from entering the
country, and for him to be arrested and deported immediately.
group, comprising plaintiffs from different religious and ethnic backgrounds,
said Dr Zakir was an "undesirable person" and "a preacher of
hate" who was currently roaming free in Malaysia.
application is not meant to insult or question the teachings of Islam and/or
insult the feelings of any parties whether Muslim or not, Zakir Naik’s fans, or
observers of his speeches,” the group’s spokesman, P. Waytha Moorthy, read to
the press from an affidavit.
nothing on Islam, we’re strictly going on the issue of national security.
Strictly on that,” added Waytha Moorthy, who is also chairman of the Hindu
Rights Action Force, or Hindraf.
Waytha Moorthy, the 19 plaintiffs included academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah
lawmaker Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, lawyers Siti Kassim and Asiah Abd Jalil,
and Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.
reliefs sought by the plaintiffs include a declaration that Dr Zakir is a
threat to country’s security, unity as well as the peaceful and harmonious
co-existence of its various faiths and races.
the evidence the group included to support its case was the involvement of
three Bangladeshi students involved in the July 2016 Dhaka bombings, who were
students of Monash University between 2012 and 2015.
least two of the five attackers had publicly said they were inspired by Dr
Zakir’s teachings, and the group pointed out that the preacher had conducted
eight public speeches in Malaysia between 2012 and 2016.
the application called for an order for Dr Zakir to be arrested and deported,
the group did not provide any proof that the preacher is currently residing in
Malaysia, save for his recent public appearances such as in Shah Alam and
four defendants named in the suit were Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Immigration Department director-general, the
National Registration Department director-general, and the Government of
a fugitive in India, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the
controversial Islamic preacher is free to travel in Malaysia because he is not
on any security watch list here.
Yayat Cahdiyat, the suspect who allegedly detonated a low-explosive device near
Pandawa Park in Bandung, West Java, on Monday morning (27/02) is affiliated
with the radical Islamic State movement, a National Police spokesman said on
is an alleged member of the Jamaah Anshar Daulah (JAD) terrorist group,
sometimes referred to as Jamaah Anshar Daulah Khilafah Nusantara (JAKDN). The
group is believed to be related to Abu Sofi, a terror suspect who was killed in
a shootout with police near Jatiluhur Dam in Purwakarta, West Java, late last
is active near Malang [East Java] and has actually pledged allegiance to
Islamic State. JAD continues to plan terror acts throughout West Java, Bekasi,
Central Java and East Kalimantan," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy
Rafli Amar said in Jakarta.
group has been involved in several terror acts over the past few years.
was sentenced to three years in prison in 2012 for his involvement in terrorist
training camp in Aceh. He was released on parole in 2014.
Police, using the Indonesia Automatic Fingerprint Identification System
(Inafis), and West Java Police collected several pieces of evidence, including
fingerprints, a cooking pot and a motorcycle used by the suspect in the attack.
the unsung heroes might very well be ordinary people who saw the attack unfold.
a local resident, saw Yayat being chased by high school students after the bomb
stepped outside after I heard the explosion. To my surprise, I saw a man being
chased by several teenagers. While they were chasing him, I became curious and
started following them. He wore a jacket and a sort of ripped vest. We chased
him until he entered an office building," Rizal said on Tuesday.
Muslim, Christian clerics convene co-existence meeting
Muslim and Christian clerics from the Middle East gathered in Cairo on Tuesday
for a two-day conference on promoting co-existence, as sectarian conflict
continues to ravage the region. The “Freedom and Citizenship” conference is
hosted by Al-Azhar, one of the leading Sunni Muslim authorities based in Cairo.
It comes as Coptic Christians in Egypt’s Sinai flee attacks by Islamic State
group jihadists who are waging an insurgency in the peninsula.
religions from terrorism no longer suffices in the face of these barbaric
challenges,” Al-Azhar’s head Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb said in a speech on the opening
day, referring to regional conflicts.
called for dispelling “the lingering mistrust and tensions between religious
leaders that are no longer justified, for if there is no peace between the
proponents of religions first, the proponents cannot give it to the people.”
Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II called for “fighting extremist thought with
said: “Egypt and the region have suffered from extremist thought resulting from
a mistaken understanding of religion that has led to terrorism.”
conference, including Muslim muftis and Christian clergy such as Lebanese
Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rahi, is to issue a closing statement yesterday.
IS, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq, views Christians as enemies who
should either be killed or subjugated.
Egypt, the group’s affiliate called for war on the Coptic minority after
bombing a church in December 2016, killing 29 people. Tayeb, who represents a
more moderate and traditional form of Islam, argues that groups like IS have
perverted the religion.
few hundred men who had scurried across front lines in a refugee exodus from
Mosul sat on the ground in neat rows before an Iraqi intelligence officer who
scanned the crowd for hidden militants.
officer pulled a teenager onto a raised platform and asked the group if he
belonged to Islamic State (IS). Muffled groans were followed by nods and
youth was then dragged off to a pickup truck and his arms tied behind his back.
He confessed to a three-month membership in IS and spending a week in a
training camp, but said he had only been a cook and never carried a weapon.
growing numbers of residents flee fighting between insurgents and Iraqi
military forces seeking to recapture the IS-held western half of Iraq's second
largest city, security units have been transporting civilians to government-run
camps and weeding out IS infiltrators.
over a week into the offensive on the militants' last urban bastion in Iraq,
some 14,000 inhabitants have slipped out of the city, trekking through stony
desert. Most are women, children and elderly but there are also hundreds of
young men who must pass screening by the security forces.
are hungry and thirsty after three months under a virtual siege of western
districts by Iraqi forces. Some have been wounded in the crossfire of a battle
that could deal a hammer blow to Islamic State's territorial ambitions.
to 400,000 people may have to leave their homes during the new U.S.-backed
offensive launched this month after Iraqi forces finished clearing districts
east of the Tigris River that cleaves the city in Iraq's far north.
intelligence officer, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said he
had extracted seven suspected Islamic State members on Sunday, the first day of
mass displacement from western Mosul. Reuters saw four more in detention on
fighters don't come out," he said. Those who were loyal to the jihadist
movement but played a less public, mainly non-combatant role are more likely to
try to slip through the dragnet, the intelligence officer added.
forces keep on hand some local Mosul inhabitants they refer to as
"sources" to help them identify suspects.
of the "sources", a wiry young man wearing a green balaclava to
shield his identity, stood with intelligence officers as a new batch of men
handed over their identification to be checked against a computer database.
Islamic State militants are killed in battle, though Iraqi forces have captured
alive a handful over the past week including a few from former Soviet republics
intelligence officer said he had learned to pinpoint IS associates from how
they behaved with him.
can tell because they are afraid. Those who are not Daesh are also afraid but
it's different from the fear of those who are with Daesh," he said,
without elaborating, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Iraqi military considers the screening process to be effective so far, but
gives no figures.
have a mechanism. We have names and sources but even so we don't know all of
them. But there are people who cooperate; most of them are cooperative,"
the intelligence officer said.
of those held in groups for interrogation were clearly motivated to expose IS
supporters in their midst by the repression and brutality of Islamic State's
rule in Mosul.
are cooperative because two years is a long time to be under constant
pressure," the intelligence officer said.
you ask who among you is with Daesh, there are people who will point them out
and say they did such and such. Like these guys, this morning I brought them
one and asked if they knew him. Two of them got up and said he is Daesh."
U.S. intelligence official who asked not to be named said some Islamic State
combatants had escaped Mosul as well as the Syrian city of Raqqa amidst the
chaos of combat, but U.S.-backed forces' encirclement of both cities had
reduced the risk of militants making their way out to carry out attacks
arrive at the initial screening site behind front lines just south of Mosul
caked in dust, some carried on stretchers or the backs of others.
first thing they ask for is usually a cigarette. Smoking was forbidden under
the Islamic State regime, but many people still risked lashes for a few puffs.
of most commodities have run out and prices have skyrocketed in west Mosul
since Iraqi forces cut off the last road westward to IS-controlled territory in
Syria three months ago. Many families have subsisted on little more than bread.
Iraqi government forces launched the push to take the western half of Mosul
from ISIS last week, about 8,000 people have fled from that part of the city
and surrounding villages, the UN humanitarian aid agency said Tuesday.
agency, known as OCHA, said it is expanding displacement camps to cope with the
increasing numbers of those fleeing Mosul.
the support of the US-led coalition, Iraqi forces began the operation to retake
western Mosul on Feb. 19, and have so far captured the city’s international
airport and a sprawling military base next to it as well some neighborhoods
from the southern edge. Iraq declared eastern Mosul “fully liberated” in
January, after three months of fierce fighting.
people fleeing western Mosul are “often exhausted and dehydrated,” the OCHA
statement said, adding that an estimated 250,000 people could flee the fighting
in the coming days.
also noted “high” trauma casualty rates from western Mosul, with at least 75
civilians treated near the front lines over the past week and warned the
situation for the estimated 750,000 civilians remaining in western Mosul “is
desperate” as supply lines have been cut off, in particular the highway from
Mosul into neighboring Syria.
eyewitness accounts, OCHA said civilians still in western Mosul are enduing
shortages of everything - from food and water to gas, heating oil and medical
supplies. The prices of staples such sugar and potatoes have gone up.
Press footage from the village of al-Salam southwest of the Mosul airport shows
hundreds of civilians trickling to a gathering point in an open and dusty area,
carrying a few of their possessions in bags. Security forces separate the men
from the women and children before they are taken away in buses and military
Iraqi special forces moved into western Mosul’s Shuhada neighborhood amid
fierce clashes with ISIS militants as federal police units continued clearing
up Gawsaq, a neighborhood retaken on Monday from ISIS, according to special
forces and police officers.
mortar round landed in one of the streets, killing three civilians and wounding
a fourth, another police officer said, as security forces scrambled to try and
evacuate civilians to safe areas. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity
as they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
and China have vetoed a Western-proposed draft United Nations Security Council
(UNSC) resolution against the Syrian government over its alleged use of
Tuesday, the measure, drafted by Britain, France and the US, got the minimum
nine "yes" votes.
Russia, China and Bolivia opposed the resolution while Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and
resolutions need nine positive votes and no vetoes to pass.
is the seventh time that Russia blocks an anti-Syria resolution and the sixth
time that China does so.
defeated resolution would have blacklisted 11 Syrians, mainly military
commanders, and 10 entities allegedly linked to chemical attacks in 2014 and
2015. It would also have banned the supply of helicopters to Damascus.
vetoed resolution followed a UN-led probe that claimed the Syrian government
was behind at least three attacks involving chlorine gas.
President Vladimir Putin had earlier denounced the resolution as
“inappropriate” and warned that Moscow would not support fresh restrictive
measures against Damascus.
the measure was defeated, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said, "This
resolution is very appropriate.”
development comes as the Syrian government has repeatedly denied using banned
weapons and accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey of providing militants with
al-Youm newspaper referred to the unprecedented visit by fugitive Yemeni
president Mansour Hadi to Abu Dhabi, and wrote in its editorial page that while
the trip was aimed at soothing the wrath of the Emirati officials and narrowing
the gaps, most reports show that the effort failed.
daily pointed to the low and inappropriate formalities extended to Mansour Hadi
during his welcoming ceremony at the airport and the UAE officials' repeated
excuses for turning down meetings with him, and said Abu Dhabi degraded Hadi's
status to the level of a security official.
according to the information released by the UAE media, Abu Dhabi has accused
Mansour Hadi's son and a number of other Saudi-led commanders in Southern Yemen
of surrendering certain parts of Abyan province to the al-Qaeda terrorist
group, the Arab paper added.
independent Yemeni sources told al-Rai that the disputes between the UAE and
Hadi are just meant to derail attention from bigger differences between Abu
Dhabi and Riyadh which might dissuade the UAE from continued membership in the
Saudi-led coalition against Yemen.
Yemeni intelligence source disclosed on Tuesday Saudi Arabia's attempts to
reinvigorate al-Qaeda terrorist group in Abyan province through excessive arms
shipments and aids.
al-Qaeda terrorists have received a cargo of weapons sent by the Saudi
mercenaries stationed in Ma'arib, near Akad heights in Lodar city of Abyan
province," the source told FNA.
source said that a large number of fresh army soldiers and popular forces will
arrive in Eastern Homs in next days, adding, "The army is waiting for the
arrival of fresh forces to launch the final phase of its operation to free
Palmyra from ISIL."
source added that the Syrian and Russian warplane are planned to give a massive
air cover to the ground troops in the operation.
added that the Russian and Syrian bombers are continuously targeting movements
and gatherings of ISIL terrorists in and outside Palmyra to weaken the
terrorists' defense abilities.
army troops attacked one of the command posts of Al-Nusra in Dayer al-Sharqi
village affiliated to Mara'at al-Nu'aman region in Southern Idlib, killing 10
militants and destroying two of their vehicles.
the meantime, the army aircraft pounded the Al-Nusra positions in al-Tamanna
town, destroying a large arms depot and killing a number of terrorists,
including a commander.
army soldiers also hit hard Al-Nusra's movements and gatherings in Jabal
(mount) Shahshabo, Rakaya Sajnah village, Tarmala and Ma'ar Harmeh regions,
killing at least five militants and destroying their vehicles.
army men meantime targeted and destroyed a command post of Al-Nusra in Ariha
town South of Idlib, killing over seven terrorists.
army units also pounded the positions of Tajamo al-Ezzah terrorist group in the
village of al-Boyizeh in Northern Hama, killing an unspecified number of
terrorists, according to the army reports.
behavior in the region and his policies towards developments related to the war
against terrorism in Iraq prepare the ground for military confrontation between
Ankara and Baghdad in Iraq and Syria," al-Samarrai wrote on his facebook
page on Tuesday.
other variables don’t change, the current events will draw the Iraqi and
Turkish forces towards a confrontation in Iraq and Syria and the Hash
al-Sha'abi (Iraqi popular forces) will have most powerful and widest presence
in such clashes although its role will be limited in a full-fledged war,"
emphasized that anyway anything which happens in the near future will cut off
Turkey's hand from Syria.
relevant remarks last month, a senior commander of Iraq's popular forces
fighting ISIL with the government troops urged Turkey to unconditionally withdraw
its military forces from Iraq and threatened to use force against Turkish
troops in Nineveh if Ankara refuses to withdraw them.
Delhi: Sakshi Maharaj, who is known for making making inflammatory remarks, has
courted a controversy as he remarked that a law should be enforced to stop the
construction of graveyard and that Muslims should be cremated since there is
not enough land for graveyards.
it is named Kabristaan (graveyard) or Shamshaan (crematoriums), nobody needs to
be buried. There are 2-2.5 crore Hindu saints in this country who should have a
memorial after their death. That will require land. There are 20 crore Muslims,
all of them need a grave. Where is the land in Hindustan?" he said while
addressing a public rally in Unnao on Monday.
to the BJP MP's remark, the Congress Party on Tuesday said Sakshi Maharaj's
controversial 'Kabristaan' remark is part of a communal atmosphere being
created by the saffron party amid the ongoing assembly elections in politically
crucial Uttar Pradesh.
religion follows its own ritual. If there will be need of 'kabristaan' then it
will be constructed. Similarly, if there would be need of 'shamshaan' then it
would be made. This cannot be affected by provocative statements of any leader
or saint," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said.
similar views, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said Sakshi Maharaj's
statement aims at spreading communalism and widening the gap between Hindus and
shows the BJP's disappointment. They don't have any issue to discuss,"
this month, Prime Minister Modi while addressing elections rally in Fatehpur
raised the issue of Kabristaan and Shamshaan, saying that there should not be
any discrimination in the allotment of land for both.
you create Kabristaan in a village, then a 'Shamshaan' should also be created.
If there is uninterrupted electricity in Ramzan, it should also be given during
Diwali. There should be no discrimination," PM Modi had said.
operative's handler could be Indian: Gujarat ATS
Waseem Ramodiya, arrested along with his brother in Gujarat for suspected ISIS
links, was being guided by an unknown handler, possibly an Indian, as they used
to communicate in Hindi through an online messaging service, the Gujarat ATS
and his younger brother Naeem were arrested from Rajkot and Bhavnagar
respectively during an early morning operation on Sunday.
FIR filed by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) says the duo was to carry out
lone-wolf attacks after which they had planned to escape to Syria.
of the call details of the mobile phone being used by (ISIS' controversial
preacher) Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi before his arrest, showed connectivity with
the mobile registered in the name of Waseem Ramodiya at the address of Nehru
Nagar, Street 2, Raiya Road, Rajkot, Gujarat," the FIR read.
view of the same, technical and physical surveillances were kept on the bearer
of the number. The surveillance had revealed that Waseem was initiated into
ultra-radical Jihadi ideology as preached by the ISIS," it added.
Qasmi was arrested by the NIA in February, 2016 and was labelled as one of the
main ISIS operatives in India.
surveillance on Waseem Ramodiya revealed that he was in regular contact with
his brother Naeem and they discussed various developments pertaining to the
ISIS. The tone and tenor of the telephonic talks between the brothers clearly
indicate that they were highly influenced by the ISIS' call of establishing a
caliphate and wished to be part of the so-called Jihad against
non-believers," the FIR read.
ATS has also quoted from transcripts of phone calls between the two brothers
and their wives in the FIR.
kill lawyers who defend IS suspects, says Hindu outfit
A lesser known right-wing outfit in Jamnagar has issued a brazen threat to
murder lawyers and their families who defend the two arrested ISIS suspects in
Tuesday, Pratik Bhatt, who calls himself the Gujarat president of Hindu Sena,
issued an open threat to lawyer Imtiyaz Koreja in Jamnagar.
advocates have refused to defend the ISIS terrorists. But a lawyer named
Imtiyaz has shown his willingness to fight their case. But Hindu Sena openly
threatens to eliminate Imtiyaz and his entire family (if he goes ahead to be
become the defence counsel). Imtiyaz would be alone responsible for his life.
We urge lawyers to refrain from defending the accused otherwise Hindu Sena will
counter them," Bhatt said in Jamnagar.
on Monday, the Rajkot Bar Association had adopted a resolution that none of its
members would defend two terror suspects Waseem Ramodiya and his brother Naeem
and declared their support to state police. Jamnagar Bar Association followed
suit on Tuesday.
Yemen raid yields data on al-Qaida explosives
special operations forces gathered valuable intelligence on the al-Qaida
affiliate in Yemen in a raid last month, including data on the explosives
they're manufacturing and the types of threats they're developing, a senior
U.S. official said Tuesday.
Donald Trump, in a speech to a joint session of Congress, sought to rebut the
notion the raid didn't yield valuable information. Trump said he'd been
reassured of that fact just before his speech by Defense Secretary James
those killed was Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens. Six
American soldiers were wounded and a military aircraft had to be destroyed
after a hard landing. The assault took place days after Trump's inauguration.
was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital
intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our
enemies,” Trump said, quoting Mattis.
US official said a list describing the broad range of intelligence gains from
the raid fills more than three pages. It includes information on al-Qaida in
the Arabian Peninsula's training techniques and targeting priorities, said the
official, who wasn't able to discuss details of the classified military
operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Such intelligence gives
insight into the group's attack planning.
have been raised about the effectiveness of the operation that ended in a
fierce firefight. In addition to Owens, 14 militants and several civilians were
killed. But senior US and military officials - including Trump - have insisted
the raid was a success and that the military collected critical information,
including computers, cellphones and other data.
widow, Carryn Owens, was seated during Trump's speech next to the president's
daughter, Ivanka Trump. Trump noted her presence in the emotional high point of
his speech, leading to a long standing ovation as Owens, visibly crying, held
her hands together and looked up to the sky while mouthing “thank you.”
died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero, battling against terrorism and
securing our nation,” Trump said.
has said the raid gleaned “important intelligence that will assist the US in
preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.”
senior official said the fierce fight put up by militants inside the compound
in Yemen testified to the value of the material they held.
father, Bill, has called for an investigation into the raid's planning and
criticized the Trump administration for its timing.
forces, backed by fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement, have killed two
Saudi soldiers in the kingdom’s southern regions of Najran and Jizan, while
scoring great victories against Saudi forces and their mercenaries.
to a report by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, the
Yemeni snipers managed to kill a Saudi soldier in al-Sadis military base in
Najran on Tuesday. Furthermore, the Yemeni forces fired artillery shells at the
gatherings of Saudi troops in al-Sadis and the nearby al-Hamar bases. No
immediate report has been released on the possible casualties and the extent of
damage resulting from the attack.
snipers also managed to kill another Saudi soldier in al-Dafiniye village in
the kingdom's Jizan region on Tuesday.
Sunday, another Saudi soldier was killed by Yemeni snipers in al-Sharafa
military base in the same region.
report by Reuters published in April last year showed that at least 400 Saudi
soldiers had been killed in the cross-border fire since the start of the
campaign in March 2015. Riyadh has maintained a policy of ambiguity regarding
its casualties in the war on Yemen. Senior military officials have said that
they would not release such information until after the campaign.
Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees fired Katyusha
rockets against gatherings of Saudi mercenaries in the southern district of
Dhubab in Ta’izz province, killing dozens of them and inflicting injuries on
scores of others, Yemen's official Saba news agency reported citing an unnamed
least four Saudi military vehicles carrying machine guns were destroyed in the
to al-Masirah, Yemeni forces also torched at least three Saudi military
vehicles in al-Mukha district in the same province, forcing Saudi mercenaries
to flee from the eastern parts of the district.
late Monday, Yemeni troops launched a crushing attack against Saudi-held
al-Salan military base in Maslub district in Jawf province, killing several
mercenaries and wounding a number of others. The ground raid on the base became
possible after the Yemeni army’s artillery pounded it a couple of times.
on Monday, Yemeni security forces managed to capture an arsenal belonging to
the Saudi-led coalition, in Yahis area of the Arhab district in Sana’a province
after launching an attack on mercenaries fighting for Riyadh in the area.
citing a security official, reported that huge quantities of heavy machine gun
ammunition, more than 100 Katyusha rockets, and nearly 70 tank shells were seized
in the arsenal.
sources said that a long convoy of Turkish army with 22 armored vehicles and a
large number of forces has been forwarded to Gaziantep border town under strict
sources added that the move has been done to reinvigorate the combat
capabilities of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield Operation's forces in Northern
source said earlier this month that the Turkish Army dispatched a large number
of forces and a large volume of equipment to the town of al-Bab after they
suffered heavy casualties and their military hardware sustained major damage in
recent clashes with ISIL.
sources said on Monday that the Syrian Army troops' advances against ISIL in
Eastern Aleppo would end up in not just pushing the terrorist group back from
the Northern parts of the country, but laying a full siege on the Turkish
forces and the Ankara-backed militants that were operating under the Euphrates
sources who requested anonymity, said that the army soldiers' control over the
town of Tadif South of al-Bab established another contact line with the forces
of the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield forces.
added that if the Syrian government troops could continue their advances
against ISIL in Eastern Aleppo towards the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
Forces, the Euphrates Shield forces would be trapped in a circle of the army
men in the towns of al-Bab and Baza'a.
sources went on to say that if the Syrian army forces could reach the SDF
positions, the Manbij road would be cut off and the Euphrates Shield forces
would have no way out to march in Northern Syrian any further, but to engage in
clashes with the Syrian soldiers or Kurdish fighters.
- UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien was “denied passage” on Tuesday to Yemen’s third
largest city Taez where government loyalists are besieged by Shiite Huthi
rebels, a UN statement said.
convoy was denied passage at the final checkpoint before crossing the
frontline” into Taez, said a statement by the UN’s Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He was denied access to the flashpoint city
“despite having received assurance of safe passage by all parties”, the
did not name the party that prevented O’Brien’s convoy from proceeding, but the
route from the north to Taez is controlled by the rebels and their allies.
being denied access, the convoy returned to safer ground to continue negotiating
access with the authorities controlling the final checkpoint, but to no avail,”
was extremely disappointed that humanitarian efforts to reach people in need
were once again thwarted by parties to a conflict, especially at a time when
millions of Yemenis are severely food insecure and face the risk of famine,” it
1,500 children have been recruited by Yemen’s warring parties, mostly the
Shiite Huthi rebels, since March 2015, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
UN has verified the recruitment of 1,476 children, all boys, between March 26,
2015 and January 31, 2017, said a statement by the spokesperson for the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani.
local official told AFP earlier that O’Brien was stopped at a rebel checkpoint
in Hizran, 15 kilometres (nine miles) northwest of Taez, while the
government-run news agency Saba accused Huthi rebel forces of opening fire at
a statement carried by Saba, the government said the rebels blocked O’Brien’s
access to Taez to “prevent the truth about the situation in the city, including
a suffocating siege... from reaching the world”.
UN source in Yemen told AFP earlier that O’Brien had been forced to cancel his
visit to Taez “for security reasons”.
convoy travelling from the capital Sanaa had to change route because of
shelling on the road to the southwestern city, said police captain Oussama
Al-Charaabi, head of government security services in Taez.
UN source said O’Brien was now slated to visit a school in the southwestern Ibb
province housing internally displaced Yemenis from the Red Sea coastal town of
Mokha, controlled by government loyalists since January.
loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led Arab
coalition, have held out in Taez where they are surrounded by the Iran-backed
Huthis and their allies.
- Israeli police on Tuesday began removing residents and protesters from nine
West Bank settler homes set to be demolished under a Supreme Court ruling.
homes in the Ofra settlement - a symbol of Jewish settler defiance to international
concerns - were found to have been built on private Palestinian land and
ordered razed by March 5.
Tuesday police were entering the homes and removing young protesters one at a
time, an AFP reporter said. One youth was arrested for attacking officers,
according to a police statement.
said they would act with restraint but would not tolerate violence. Eight
families had agreed to leave their homes ahead of time, police said.
of the Ofra community said they were intent on preventing clashes with security
forces such as those that took place during the eviction of the nearby Amona
outpost three weeks ago, where youths barricaded themselves in the synagogue
and wounded Israeli forces with stones and acid.
residents announced they would begin a hunger strike on Wednesday until the
government kept its committment to build them a new settlement.
than 400,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied
since the Six-Day War of 1967.
senior Iranian official has warned against the emergence of radical and
xenophobic groups across the globe, warning that they pose a significant
challenge to the realization of human rights.
Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi made the comments in an address to the
high-level panel of the UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city of Geneva on
warned against the rise of Takfiri outfits in the Middle East besides
Islamophobic and xenophobic groups in the West, saying “extremist ideologies -
manifested in violent radicalism- have ravaged the Middle East, while
distorting and defaming a great religion and demolishing great civilizations at
the same time.”
further emphasized the significance of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s 2013
proposal for the World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE), saying world
leaders need to fully implement the provisions envisaged in the initiative amid
efforts to eradicate terrorist outfits.
December 2013, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve a
resolution approving Rouhani’s WAVE proposal, which calls on all nations across
the world to denounce violence and extremism.
Iranian deputy foreign minister further underlined the need for efforts to
eliminate the root causes of extremism and the vicious cycle of Takfiri
ideologies, which tend to brainwash the youth into perpetrating acts of terror.
also called for an end to the ideological, financial and military support for
violent extremists such as Daesh elements, demanding an immediate cessation of
the marginalization and disrespect for religions such as Islam and their
to the brutal Saudi war on Yemen, the Iranian diplomat stated that attacks on
homes, mosques, schools as well as hospitals run by the UN in the Arab country
has resulted in the deaths of innocent Yemenis.
also warned that the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has also created a power
vacuum, and offered the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula the chance to
strengthen its foothold there.
says that after its forces complete their operations in Syria’s al-Bab, they
will move towards the Kurdish-held city of Manbij.
it is time for Manbij, which belongs to the Arabs, not the PYD or YPG,” said
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.
authorities first announced the capture of al-Bab last month. They have made
similar claims at least twice since then. According to Erdogan, the city is
almost cleared of Daesh terrorists.
August 2016, Turkey began a major military intervention in Syria, dubbed
"Euphrates Shield," sending tanks and warplanes across the border.
Ankara claimed that its military campaign was aimed at pushing Daesh from
Turkey's border with Syria and stopping the advance of Kurdish forces, but
Damascus denounced the operation as a breach of its sovereignty.
forces, mainly the Democratic Union Party, also known as the PYD, and its
military wing the YPG, liberated the northern Syrian city of Manbij from Daesh
last year. They are now currently in control of nearly all of Syria’s entire
northern border with Turkey.
accuses the PYD of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside
Turkey since the 1980s.
also noted that Turkey wishes to work with its allies towards ridding Iraq of
Daesh and liberating Daesh’s stronghold in Syria, Raqqah, but will not work
with the PYD or the US-backed YPG. “If our allies are really sincere, we tell
them: We will act with you so long as we cleanse Raqqah from Daesh and give it
back to its original owners,” he said.
stressed that he had on multiple occasions called on the US to halt its support
to the Kurdish forces in Syria, especially the so-called Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF), which is a coalition of Arab fighters and Kurdish YPG forces.
DELHI: Even as he condemned last week's shooting of an Indian in Kansas+ , US
President Donald Trump said today that enforcing immigration rules is the only
way to keep the country safe.
condemn hate in all its ugly forms, the threats targeting Jewish centres and
the Kansas shooting," said Trump in his first address to the US Congress
since he took office in January.
Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age,
was injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton+ , who yelled
"terrorist" and "get out of my country"+ before opening
fire on them. A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the
Indians also received injuries in the firing that took place last Wednesday.
Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle
Full text of Donald Trump's address to the US Congress+
US President reiterated his "America First" slogan from his
Presidential campaign and said that "America must put its own citizens
first, because only then can we truly make America great again."
US President also said he will continue to tighten immigration rules.
are going to move away from lower-skilled immigration and adopt a merit-based
system. By finally enforcing immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the
unemployed, save billions of dollars and make our communities safer,"
also vowed to destroy ISIS but struck a minor conciliatory note when he said
the US will seek the help of its Muslim allies in doing so.
are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic
terrorism. ISIS kills Muslims,Christians, people from all faiths.We vow to
destroy it with help of our allies including in Muslim world," he said.
US President again vowed to build his contentious wall+ on the US-Mexican
border. He called it a "great, great wall."
will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern
issues were focus of Trump's speech
majority of Trump 's address centered on the domestic, economic-focused issues
that were at the center of his presidential campaign, AP reported. His national
security message centered largely on a call for significantly boosting military
spending and taking strong but unspecified measures to protect the nation from
``radical Islamic terrorism,'' AP said.
supports Nato but says 'Must Pay'
Trump insisted on his support for the NATO alliance but again insisted that
members must pay their way and warned it is not his job to "represent the
world," Reuters reported
job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of
America," he told US lawmakers in his maiden address to both houses of
Congress, 40 days after taking office, Reuters added.
strongly support NATO," he said. "But our partners must meet their
expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East or the Pacific to take
a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay
their fair share of the cost."
now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do
US Defence Secretary James Mattis has delivered to the White House a new plan
for combating the militant Islamic State group (IS), which calls for using both
military and non-military means for defeating the extremist organisation.
Pentagon officials said that the plan went beyond Iraq and Syria, the commander
of the US forces in Afghanistan warned that the IS had a significant presence
in the Pak-Afghan region as well.
United States media reported that the new plan was an updated version of the
Obama administration’s strategy of relying on local forces to fight the
militants and called for using more US troops than allowed by the previous
rulers. The plan also suggests various options for tightening the screws on the
terrorist group’s funding.
the Trump administration expanded its plans for defeating terrorists, Gen John
Nicholson, Commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, told a military
publication that “alliances of convenience” among terrorist networks in
Afghanistan and Pakistan was a big concern for the United States.
to a publication of the Combating Terrorism Centre, an academic institution at
the US Military Academy in West Point, Gen Nicholson outlined how Al Qaeda, the
IS and other militant groups worked together in the Pak-Afghan region.
Qaeda is linked to the Taliban, who are not a designated terrorist organisation
but a violent extremist organisation, and the Taliban provide a medium for
designated terrorist organisations like the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba
and AQIS. These five form a loose sort of confederation that complement one
another and work together,” he said.
general pointed out that the IS, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the
banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had also formed a loose configuration. “So,
we see these alliances of convenience or where they have complementary goals
come together. This is one of our big concerns,” he said.
the Pentagon, officials told various media outlets that these ground realities
were part of the comprehensive plan they had submitted to the White House.
is a broad plan that’s global in scope and not just military, [and] it is not
just Iraq and Syria.” An official told CNBC.
spokesman Navy Capt Jeff Davis told a news briefing that this was “a plan to
rapidly defeat ISIS,” but he stressed that this was a preliminary plan whose
details would not be released to allow for continued discussion and to avoid
giving the enemy forewarning.
plan called for the involvement of “all elements of national power” in a
“trans-regional approach”, he added.
is a key part of the plan” that was focused on the IS but was also shaped to
include other “trans-regional” terrorist groups, the spokesman said. “This is
really a framework for broader discussion.”
the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump had pledged that if elected
he would order a 30-day review on accelerated action to eliminate the IS as a
Jan 27, President Trump went to the Pentagon to sign an executive order asking
Mr Mattis to draw up the plan within 30 days.
the White House, Mr Mattis outlined the plan to the ‘Principals Committee’ of
the National Security Council, led by the new National Security Adviser, Lt
Gen H.R. McMaster. The committee includes White House chief strategist Steve
Bannon and other senior Trump advisers.
President George W. Bush appeared Monday to take several shots at Donald Trump,
including his effort to bar immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries
that has been stymied by U.S. courts.
pressed by Today Show host Matt Lauer on whether he supports the executive
order, Bush said, “I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and that
upholds the law,” appearing to take a dig at the now defunct travel
restrictions that many criticized for being an unconstitutional Muslim ban.
very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for
people to be able to worship the way they want to or not worship at all. A
bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely,” the 43rd president
is currently crafting a new executive order to replace the one met with
subsequent legal defeats, and he said Friday he would keep "radical
Islamic terrorists" out of the U.S.
also broke with the sitting president amid his ongoing feud with major news
outlets that Trump has called the “fake news” media.
officials say President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq
from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary US travel ban.
officials say the administration's decision follows pressure from the Pentagon
and State Department. They had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's
inclusion given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group.
is expected to sign the new order Wednesday. It is designed to replace an
earlier Trump order that was blocked by federal courts.
officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to
discuss the order before it is signed.
said six countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - will remain
on the travel ban list.
President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday to introduce a new merit-based system to
regulate new arrivals in the United States and reduce the flow of unskilled
workers, as he held out the prospect of a sweeping immigration reform.
pushing for tougher law enforcement in his maiden speech to Congress, Trump
also said an Australian-style immigration system would “save countless dollars,
raise workers' wages, and help struggling families - including immigrant
families - enter the middle class.”
is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to
support themselves financially,” Trump told lawmakers.
in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources
that our poorest citizens rely upon,” he added.
held out the prospect of achieving a bipartisan compromise on immigration
reform, something that has eluded previous US administrations.
believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we
focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to
strengthen our nation's security, and to restore respect for our laws,” he
tied his pledge to fight illegal immigration to the prospect of jobs and
security at home.
militants being killed at level they cannot sustain: UK general
U.S.-led coalition effort against Islamic State is killing the group's fighters
more quickly than it can replace them, a senior British general said on
Tuesday, with more than 45,000 killed by coalition air strikes up to August
Tuesday, U.S.-backed Iraqi forces continued their offensive in Mosul, where
several thousand ISIS militants, including many who traveled from Western
countries to join up, are believed to be based.
are killing Daesh at a rate that they simply can't sustain," said Major
General Rupert Jones, deputy commander for the Combined Joint Task Force
coalition, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
enemy cannot sustain the attrition that they are suffering and therefore they
lose terrain, they lose battles."
top American commander in Iraq said earlier this month he believed U.S.-backed
forces would recapture Islamic State's two major strongholds - Raqqa in Syria
and Mosul in Iraq - within the next six months.
said that while the battle would not be over with the fall of Mosul or Raqqa,
it would be the beginning of the end.
inevitability of their destruction just becomes really a matter of time,"
he said, adding that the group's leadership was now focused on little more than
coalition estimates that the number of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria is at its
lowest level in more than 2.5 years, with the group having lost 62 percent of
the territory it once controlled in Iraq and 30 percent in Syria.
said the number of foreign fighters traveling to join IS had dropped by between
75 and 90 percent, both due to it being harder to get in and out of Iraq and
Syria and because the reality of doing so had been exposed as unappealing.
big idea that Daesh were putting out there, the kind of glamor ... has been
exposed for what it is, it is a lie," he said. "They recognize that
what you are actually signing yourself up to is going to live under a brutal
We need to praise what is good, true in the Muslim faith
City, Feb 28, 2017 / 06:02 am (CNA).- Not only is there a good deal in common
between Muslims and Christians, but Catholics are called to respect and work
together with those who practice the Muslim faith in recognition of truth and
goodness they do possess, said Islam scholar Fr. Thomas Michel.
Michel, who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Theology and worked under Pope John Paul
II as head of the Vatican Office for Relations with Muslims, told CNA that
Benedict XVI, like both St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, have all repeated
the same message regarding Muslims – that of the Second Vatican Council.
document Nostrae aetate says that the Church has ‘esteem’ for Muslims,” he
said. “It doesn’t mean that we should just tolerate Muslims or put up with
Muslims. ‘Esteem’ means to try to see what people have that’s good and
appreciate them for that.”
major “common point” between Christianity and Islam, Fr. Michel said, is that
both faiths believe in the existence of only one God, and that both are trying
to do what this one God wants.
“how can we be enemies with people who are also, like us, trying to worship the
one God?” he said. “Since the time of the Second Vatican Council, we've seen
that part of our work as Christians is to be in dialogue with people of other
this means not only talking to them and listening to them, but it also means
cooperating with them, working together with them for good.”
dialogue, Fr. Michel emphasized, isn’t just about making peace with each other,
although that is important, but is about “the kind of world we live in” and how
that makes it important that we all come to know each other better.
Michel noted that when the Fathers of the Council taught us, they didn’t deny
the past conflict and tension between Catholics and Muslims, but they did say
that it is in the past, and “what we have to do now is work together for the
document Nostrae aetate is the declaration on the relation of the Church to
non-Christian religions from the Second Vatican Council, promulgated by Pope
Paul VI on October 28, 1965.
Michel referenced a part of the document that says that the Church “rejects
nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere
reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings
which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth,
nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.”
Church, therefore,” it continues, “exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and
collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence
and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize,
preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the
socio-cultural values found among these men.”
ways we can collaborate with Muslims or those of other faiths, Fr. Michel said,
is by together working to build peace, and to promote social justice, “true
human values,” and “true human freedom.”
Jesuit, Fr. Thomas Michel has lived and worked among Muslims himself for many
years, particularly in Turkey. He first went to Indonesia, joining the order’s
Indonesia Province, in 1969.
Michel worked in the Vatican under Pope John Paul II from 1981-1994 as head of
the Office for Relations with Muslims. From 2013-2016 he taught religious
studies at the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in Doha,
2016-2017, Fr. Michel joined the teaching staff at the Pontifical Institute for
Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome, where he gave a lecture Feb. 23.
lecture on Contemporary Islam, titled “A Christian Encounter with Said Nursi’s
Risale-i Nur,” gave a Christian analysis of the Risale-i Nur Collection, an
interpretation on the Qur’an written by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi between the
1910s and 1950s in Turkey.
up the teachings in what is a 6,000 page collection, Fr. Michel told CNA that
Nursi “was trying to help Muslims live their faith in a lively way in modern
said you don't have to live in the past, you don't have to have nostalgia for
earlier times.” The idea Nursi tried to convey, Fr. Michel explained, is that
modernity is not the enemy of faith, “but a patient in need of the spiritual medicine
said, according to Fr. Michel, that “our enemies aren’t this group of people or
that group of people.” Instead, he said our enemies are ignorance, poverty and
disunity. And these are not only the enemies of Muslims, but of everyone.
Michel said that Nursi taught that to fight these common enemies everyone must
work together, using both faith and reason.
to Fr. Michel, there are somewhere around 5-12 million people who try to live
the Qur’an according to the teachings of Nursi, depending on how you measure
the level of commitment.
BERLIN: German police launched pre-dawn raids Tuesday
against a Berlin mosque frequented by Tunisian Christmas market attack suspect
Anis Amri and against 23 other locations, authorities said. A total of 460
police also swooped on apartments, two businesses and six cells in two prisons
in the German capital, to gather evidence against radicals. No arrests were
reported. Authorities said the mosque or Islamic prayer rooms known as Fussilet
33 had been formally banned, in line with a February 15 court order, about a
week after it had preemptively shut its doors. - AFP
and China have vetoed a UN resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the
alleged use of chemical weapons.
is the seventh time Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to
protect the Syrian government.
has also vetoed six Security Council resolutions on Syria since the civil war
began in 2011.
agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under an agreement negotiated
between Russia and the US.
is Syria accused of?
Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is accused of carrying out
chemical attacks on its own civilians - a charge it denies.
investigations by the UN and international chemical weapons watchdog have found
that Syrian government forces carried out three chemical weapons attacks in
2014 and 2015.
reports said that Syrian air force helicopters had dropped chlorine gas on
rebel-held areas, twice in March 2015 and once in April 2014.
use of chlorine as a weapon is prohibited under the 1997 Chemical Weapons
State (IS) militants had also used sulphur-mustard gas in an attack, the
did the UN resolution say?
resolution had been drafted by the US, the UK and France.
would have banned the sale of helicopters to Syria and would have led to
sanctions against 11 Syrian commanders or officials, and 10 groups linked to
the chemical attacks.
Security Council members supported the resolution, while three - China, Russia
and Bolivia - voted against it.
final three members - Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia - abstained.
Security Council resolution needs nine votes in support, and no vetoes from the
five permanent members (the US, France, Russia, UK and China) in order to pass.
did Russia and China veto the resolution?
President Vladimir Putin had said sanctions against Syria would be
"totally inappropriate", saying "it would only hurt or undermine
confidence" in peace talks.
has long-standing links to Syria, with many Syrian military officers trained
and equipped by Russia.
says its military and political support for the Syrian government has helped
the fight against IS militants.
Western critics accuse Moscow of targeting opposition groups backed by the
China's UN ambassador, Liu Jieyi, said Beijing opposed the use of chemical
weapons but that it was too soon to impose sanctions as investigations were
say China may be worried that some of its Muslim populations in western
Xinjiang have joined militant groups fighting in Syria.
the second time in the last few months, Russia hosted a Conference on Afghanistan
in Moscow on February 15, 2017, this time with an expanded representation of
six countries – Russia itself, Iran, China, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Interestingly, a key player, the United States, which still maintains 9,800
troops to support the Afghan government’s counter-insurgency efforts against
the Taliban, has been kept out of the meeting. But for its part, the US appears
to be contemplating an increase in its military commitment, with its commander
in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, advocating to the Senate Armed Services
Committee recently that “a few thousand" more NATO trainers are needed to
break the stalemate against the Taliban.1India welcomed the Moscow meeting
which brought together countries that have stakes in Afghanistan’s peace and
security. However, raising concerns on the Russia-led efforts for talks with
the Taliban, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup noted that “We
underlined that it is up to the government of Afghanistan to decide whom to
engage in direct talks.”2
two regional meetings (the first was held in December 2016) represent Russia’s
first post-Soviet attempt to replay the Afghan game and that too in a big way.
However, in contrast to the Soviet motivation of propping up the communist
government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) against a
growing insurgency in December 1979, the Russian interest in Afghanistan now is
the prevention of the growth and influence of the Islamic State (IS), which, in
turn, may have a negative fallout on the security of Central Asia. A further
Russian motive in Afghanistan appears to be aimed at keeping the US out of the
major shift in Russia’s Afghanistan policy came immediately after it expressed
concerns about the possibility of Afghanistan turning into a safe sanctuary for
the Islamic State militants fleeing from Iraq and Syria.3 Speaking at the
‘Heart of Asia’ conference held in Amritsar on December 5, 2016, Russia’s
special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, described the Islamic State as
being more dangerous than the Taliban. And three days later, on December 8,
2016, the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan stated that “Our concern is that
Daesh not only threatens Afghanistan, but it is also a potent threat to Central
Asia, Pakistan, China, Iran, India and even Russia. We have ties with the
Taliban to ensure the security of our political offices, consulates and the
security of central Asia.”4
Ahmad Murid Partaw, former Afghan National Representativeto US CENTCOM,
asserted that the presence of the IS in Afghanistan has been overemphasized by
Russia, China and Iran as a pretext not only to intervene in the country's
affairs but also to counter the growing influence of the US in the region. He
further stated that “the Af-Pak region is not a suitable ground for
proliferation of such rejectionist beliefs enforced by IS and its supporters.
This region has been influenced by the Deobandi school of Islam rather than
the latter half of the 1990s, Russia accused the Taliban of training Chechen
rebels and fomenting Central Asian radical Islamic networks. As a result,
Russia, in collaboration with Iran and India, supported the Northern Alliance
against the Taliban regime. Today, Russia no longer views the Taliban as a
major threat to its security and interests. There is even a suspicion among
Afghan political leaders and officials that Russia is militarily helping the
Taliban, with parliamentarians alleging in the upper house that Russia is
supplying arms to the Taliban. However, Russian officials have dismissed such
Afghan claims and suspicions. They have said that “We have never ever provided
any kind of assistance to Taliban. Instead, Russia is assisting the Afghan
government and has provided some light weapons on grant basis to its forces and
is running programs to train Afghan police and military personnel in Russian
its part, the Taliban has begun to respond favourably to Moscow’s outreach.
Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander who lives in Kabul and
still espouses Islamic rule in Afghanistan, said in an interview
toKomsomolskaya Pravda that “We are ready to shake hands with Russia in order
to rid ourselves of the scourge of America.” He further noted that “history has
proven that we are closer to Russia and the former Soviet republics than to the
seems clear that Russia and the Taliban share common concerns about both the
Islamic State and the continued US presence in Afghanistan. Such thinking is
also shared by China and Iran and consequently Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran
are pursuing a policy towards Afghanistan that is very different from that of
the Afghan government continues to face a host of security challenges posed by
the Taliban forces. As recently as January 10, 2017, the Taliban claimed
responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul that killed more than 30 people
and wounded some 70 others including the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates
to Afghanistan and the governor of Kandahar province. One analyst even asserts
that “the Taliban isn’t interested in peace and security. The jihadist group
wants to win the Afghan war and it is using negotiations with regional and
international powers to improve its standing.”8
to expect that the Taliban would give up its terrorist activities is highly
unlikely, which means that Russia will not be able to bring about a
reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban. In addition, Russia also has to
contend with the view of the Afghan government, which was articulated by its
representative Mohammad Ashraf Haidari at the February 15 meeting in Moscow.
Haidari emphasized that the National Unity Government (NUG) is the only
legitimate government representing all Afghans. And as for the role of the Taliban
in the peace process, he stated that “Taliban lack the national and moral
legitimacy to represent the Afghan people, who reject terrorism perpetrated by
the Taliban and their foreign terrorist allied networks in the name of Islam—a
religion of peace, tolerance, and co-existence.”9
is not only taking a relatively benign view of the Taliban but it is also
cosying up to Pakistan, the Taliban’s sponsor. Russia’s decision to send troops
to Pakistan for a joint military exercise in September 2016 demonstrated this,
especially as it came in the wake of the terrorist attack in Uri carried out by
the Pakistan-based and-backed jihadi group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Russia justified
its military overture to Pakistan by saying that military cooperation was aimed
at fighting against the Islamic State. Kabulov argued that “We understand all
concerns of India about your western neighbour…But we cannot combat (terrorism)
efficiently and productively and eliminate (it) without the cooperation of
Pakistan. We need their cooperation and they should realise their importance
Tanveer Ahmed inspires Pakistani hardliners from Scottish jail
Tanveer Ahmed was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in jail for murder last
August, Judge Lady Rae said he had committed a "brutal, barbaric and
stabbed to death Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah - who belonged to the persecuted
Ahmadi sect - because he believed he was committing blasphemy by uploading
online videos in which he claimed to be a prophet.
in Pakistan, Ahmed is developing a growing number of supporters who see him as
a "defender of Islam" for having killed someone they believed to be
disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad.
Monday evening, about 400 gathered outside his family's home in the city of
Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir for a rally in his honour. The crowd
chanted slogans praising Ahmed as "brave" and "courageous".
man attending said: "Because of what he did, the whole of Pakistan knows
who he is."
of Tanveer Ahmed chant slogans in Mirpur
speaker told supporters Ahmed could help mediate their prayers.
should close your eyes, raise your hand towards the sky and pray, making Ghazi
[warrior] Tanveer your representative," he said.
event was organised by the anti-blasphemy religious lobby group Labaik Ya
Rasool Ullah (Here I am present, o Prophet of Allah).
same group has championed another killer - Mumtaz Qadri - who in 2011 shot dead
a high profile Pakistani politician for trying to reform the country's
is an emotive issue in Pakistan, where it is legally punishable by death.
Qadri was executed last year, tens of thousands of his supporters attended his
funeral, and a shrine housing his tomb has been built in Rawalpindi.
cleric Khadim Rizvi is one of the leading figures in Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah, and
is the most prominent supporter of Tanveer Ahmed.
well as images of Mumtaz Qadri, Rizvi now uses images of Ahmed to promote his
rallies and talks.
had cited Qadri as his inspiration for killing his victim, and their supporters
often compare the two killers.
a BBC interview Rizvi said support for Ahmed was not as widespread as that for
Qadri - but that Ahmed was held in particularly high esteem for having killed
someone accused of blasphemy in a non-Muslim country.
the past few months a Facebook page run by Rizvi's followers has released a
number of audio messages from Ahmed whilst in jail. The messages included Ahmed
justifying his own actions - and repeating slogans that "the penalty for
blasphemers is for their heads to be cut off".
was prevented from attending the rally in Mirpur by police, but I met him
earlier this month after another rally.
said that until recently he would talk to Tanveer Ahmed on the phone
"every couple of weeks", and that he was proud of his friendship with
proud of the fact that we are in contact - and this pride will remain until the
day of judgement and beyond."
added that his conversations with Ahmed included discussions on the topic of
blasphemy, and chants in support of the Prophet Muhammad.
a BBC report in January 2017 on Ahmed's audio messages from jail, the Scottish
Prison Service banned him from using the phone.
said since the ban he had not spoken to Ahmed - but was confident they would
willing it won't change anything - phonecalls have been banned - letters
haven't - he will write to us."
Ahmed and Qadri all come from the Sufi Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, one
normally associated with more spiritual interpretations of the religion.
for example, is vocal in his condemnation of recent attacks in Pakistan, and of
militant groups like the so-called Islamic State.
in Pakistan, Barelvis have been at the forefront of anti-blasphemy campaigns.
Sufi is someone who devotes his life to the Prophet Muhammad - if someone
insults the Prophet and they just let it go - they are not a real Sufi,"
Sufi Barelvi scholars strongly disagree with Rizvi's position - but he is an
influential figure in Pakistan.
the mosque in Glasgow that Asad Shah used to attend, there is concern at how
hardline views on blasphemy from Pakistan are being spread in the UK.
Abid, former president of the Scottish Ahmadiyya community, said:
"Pakistan has got a problem - and this problem is being exported outside
it seems Tanveer Ahmed - from a jail cell in Scotland - is helping strengthen
the anti-blasphemy movement back in Pakistan.
Balochistan police decide to launch joint operation against militant hideouts
The Counter-Terrorism Departments (CTD) of both Sindh and Balochistan police on
Tuesday decided to launch a “joint operation” in parts of the country’s largest
province where the intelligence wings of the law-enforcement agency had
identified “hideouts” of suspects allegedly involved in recent terrorist
attacks in Sindh, officials said.
officials flew from Karachi to Quetta, where a meeting of the CTD from both
provinces was scheduled. After hours of deliberations and presentations, the
Sindh police authorities finally convinced their counterparts about the
presence of the hideouts of some banned militant outfits in Balochistan which
were used by terrorists for the recent attacks in Sindh.
was a formal meeting after our earlier correspondence and
intelligence-sharing,” said chief of the Sindh police’s CTD Additional IG
Sanaullah Abbasi while speaking to Dawn.
showed them not only the findings of a JIT (joint interrogation team) report
about high-profile militants but also data and reports of our intelligence
units that strengthened our case. The Balochistan authorities agreed to
cooperate with us and move with Sindh police in pursuit of these hideouts,” he
officer said the police had already been coordinating with other
law-enforcement agencies in general but the recent meeting with the Balochistan
authorities was different in that it finally decided to launch a crackdown on
militants and their hideouts under a joint strategy.
areas which have been identified initially by our side include Mastung and Wadh
— a town in Khuzdar district — and a few pockets along the Afghanistan border
of Balochistan. The police from both sides would hopefully make a joint
strategy against the militants and their hideouts here,” said Additional IG
security establishment in Sindh has already proposed raising a dedicated force
to keep an eye on its border with Balochistan after investigators found that
the suspects involved in recent terrorist attacks in the province had come from
the neighbouring province. This concern was raised multiple times at meetings
which were held after the bomb attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in
Sehwan in February, sources said.
issue came under the spotlight for the second time within a year, as the Sindh
police had earlier, in September 2016, claimed to have found concrete evidence
that the suspects involved in a foiled suicide bombing attempt in Shikarpur had
come from the neighbouring province.
least three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and one civilian were injured in an
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on Quetta's Sariab Road on Wednesday
morning, police sources said.
bomb, which was planted on the roadside, targeted an FC vehicle while it was on
patrol. The explosion left the vehicle partially damaged.
and FC personnel reached the site after the blast and started an investigation.
The injured was shifted to a nearby hospital.
was suspended in the area following the incident and security was tightened.
has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.
is experiencing a fresh resurgence in terror attacks.
month, over 100 people were killed in terror attacks in Sindh, Balochistan, KP,
Fata and Punjab.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has become chairman of
ECO council of ministers.
the meeting after assuming the chairmanship of the 22nd Council of ministers
meeting on Tuesday, Sartaj said the region was facing terrorism and extremism
and all will have to make efforts together to face the challenges. Prosperity
will come in the region with forging connectivity among member countries.
stressed the need for implementation of ECO trade agreement and removal of
trade and non-trade barriers besides establishment of a Free Trade Area in the
also identified the priority areas for ECO to help realize the dream of
transforming the organisation into a strong economic block.
said immediate attention should be paid to increase intra-regional trade which
is far below the potential. He pointed out that lack of regional connectivity
was a major impediment to economic cooperation. He said for movement of goods,
there should be focus on corridor based projects for greater connectivity
advisor said there is need to increase the membership, scope and activities of
ECO Trade and Development Bank as well as ECO Re-Insurance Company.
also proposed enhanced cooperation of public and private sectors of member
states through ECO Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He suggested an increase
in membership and ratification of ECO Science Foundation to promote scientific
and technological cooperation in the region.
Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Yurevich Dedov called on Chief of Army
Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ on Tuesday.
visiting ambassador condemned recent terrorist incidents in the country and
expressed grief on behalf of his country. He acknowledged Pakistan's efforts in
fight against terrorism and initiatives for economic growth. The ambassador
also praised the launching of Operation Radd-ul- Fasaad which will play an
important role in elimination of terrorism from Pakistan.
army chief thanked the ambassador for Russian concerns, acknowledgments and
ongoing cooperation between the two countries and its armed forces. General
Bajwa said that enhanced Pakistan-Russia military to military cooperation will
have positive impact on regional security. Separately, Finance Minister Ishaq
Dar called on General Bajwa at GHQ. The financial requirements of the army were
discussed during the meeting, in the context of the budget for next financial
on-going development projects of Pakistan Army as well as the future
- As part of recently launched Raddull Fasaad operation, Khairpur police
conducted raids in different localities of the city early Tuesday morning and
arrested 10 alleged terrorists, including Ali Muhammad Birohi, Niaz Ali Birohi,
Abdur Rahman Birohi, Abdul Wahab Birohi, Abdul Latif Birohi, who, the police,
said, belonged to Hafeez Birohi group, the alleged mastermind of Sehwan Sharif
suicide blast. Police said the terrorists belonged to Shikarpur district, and were wanted in many terrorist activities.
Police also recovered identity cards and pamphlets of different organizations
from them. Meanwhile Khairpur police raided various places and arrested 12
Afghan nationalists who were living without legal documents.
GAH - Taliban fighters in the southern Afghan province of Helmand attacked a
checkpoint with silenced weapons and hand grenades early on Tuesday killing 12
policemen and stealing weapons and ammunition, officials said.
a provincial official said that it could be an insider attack as one of the
guards was still missing. "An investigation is ongoing to find out if
someone from inside has defected to the Taliban and paved the way for this
crime," he said.
attack, in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, underlined the threat facing
Afghan security forces in the opium-producing province, where they struggle to
match well-equipped Taliban fighters who now control several districts.
police killed in the attack had been pulled back from the southern district of
Khanshin district which security forces abandoned last year.
Taliban attacked a guard with silenced guns and then entered the check
post," Helmand deputy police chief Haji Gulai told reporters.
attacked other policemen with hand grenades and killed all of them. They later
took their weapons and ammunition and escaped." he said.
a separate incident, another 12 policemen were killed in the Marjah district of
Helmand after an hour-long gunbattle, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid
said. Taliban fighters now control most of Helmand, including areas in Lashkar
Gah. British and US forces suffered their heaviest casualties of the war in the
province in years of fighting following the removal of the Taliban in 2001.
security forces now control less than 60 percent of the country, according to
US estimates, with the Taliban in control of about 10 percent and the remainder
contested between government and insurgent forces.
bombers attack Taliban compound in West of Afghanistan
group of suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on a compound of the
Taliban insurgents in western Herat province of Afghanistan.
to the local government officials, the incident took place late on Sunday night
in the restive Shindand district.
governor’s spokesman Jilani Farhad confirmed the incident and said reports
suggest at least two suicide bombers stormed into the compound of a rival group
led by Mullah Rasool.
said the clashes continued for at least half hour before the two suicide
bombers were killed during the exchange of fire.
further added that reports indicate at least three militants loyal to Mullah
Rasool were also killed during the clash.
anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report
is not the first time infighting has taken place among the rival Taliban
factions in the country, particularly in western Herat province.
of insurgents were killed and scores of others were wounded after infighting
erupted among the rival groups in this province last year.
commander of the Taliban group was among at least five militants killed or
wounded in a US drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials, the airstrike was carried out late on Monday
night in Chaparhar district.
police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal confirmed that the militants were
targeted in Sangini area of Chaparhar late on Monday night.
said a commander of the Taliban group was killed along with another insurgent
and at least three others were wounded.
further added that the airstrike did not incur any casualties to the local
residents or security personnel.
has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban regime
but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their
insurgency activities in some remote districts during the recent years.
US forces based in Afghanistan resumed their counter-terrorism operations last
year under a broader role granted by the Obama administration.
military defended its crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority as a lawful
counterinsurgency operation at a rare news conference on Tuesday, adding it was
necessary to defend the country.
was the first time the top generals directly addressed the mounting accusations
of human rights abuses which, according to UN experts, may amount to crimes
against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
want to say that I am very sad because of these kind of reckless accusations
and neglect of the good things that the government and the military have done
for them," said General Mya Tun Oo, Chief of the General Staff, referring
to the reports in the media quoting Rohingya residents describing the alleged
abuses such as burning of houses in the area.
presented a series of slides with selected media reports claiming the military
had "investigated" them and that the villagers told military
investigators they did not know about any abuses.
military launched the operation after nine policemen were killed in attacks on
security posts near the Bangladesh border on October 9. More than 70,000
Rohingya have since fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to UN estimates.
the conference, the military supported its claims by quoting international
observers who have briefly visited some villages in the area as saying that
they did not find any evidence of abuses.
the visitors, such as the UN independent human rights expert Yanghee Lee and
Western diplomats based in Yangon, have said the point of their visits has
never been to conclusively investigate the media reports.
US forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) has vowed to continue to their work with the
Afghan forces to target the enemies of peace and prosperity of Afghanistan.
US forces reaffirmed the support in statement issued to confirm the death of
the top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Salam.
part of an operation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, United
States Forces conducted a strike that killed Mullah Salam, the Taliban
commander for Kunduz. Salam was killed along with four other enemy combatants
in an operation targeting the insurgent group in Kunduz province, Feb. 26. No
civilians were hurt or killed in this strike,” the statement said.
to USFOR-A, Salam was responsible for immeasurable suffering among the
population of Kunduz. Salam and Taliban forces attacked civilians and other
non-combatants and destroyed bridges and key infrastructure despite claims that
they would protect civilians and property.
Salam and the Taliban fighters under him murdered and terrorized the people of
Kunduz for too long,” said Gen. John Nicholson, commander, U.S. Forces –
Afghanistan. “Salam’s death is an opportunity for change. The people of
Afghanistan want peace and the Government of Afghanistan is committed to
achieving peace through reconciliation. The Taliban know the only path forward
least five people were killed or wounded in an explosion in the outskirts of
Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province of
to the local government officials, the incident took place as a convoy of the
Afghan police special forces was transferring a number of detainees to
neighboring Kandahar province.
officials further added that the convoy was targeted in the explosion in Do
Rahi area of Lashkargah city.
also added that five people including policemen were killed or wounded in the
another official said two prisoners were killed in the attack and at least
three policemen were wounded.
group including the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind
Muslims face discrimination in Germany: UN
of Africans descent face growing discrimination in Germany due to worrying
levels of Islamophobia, a UN monitoring group warned on Monday.
Sunga, chairman of the UN's Working Group of Experts on People of African
Descent, announced results of a fact-finding visit to Germany at a news
conference in Berlin.
Muslims are facing increasingly difficult times in the enjoyment of their
rights due to increased Islamophobia and Afrophobia,” he said.
praising Germany’s promotion of human rights and diversity, Sunga expressed
concern over widespread problems faced by Africans, and said Africans Muslims
often become victims of discrimination in the workplace or in schools.
Muslim women face further discrimination when it comes to access to the labor
market," he said, referring to discrimination against them due their
appearance or Muslim dress.
African Muslim students describe their experiences in school as traumatic as
they experience not only anti-Black racism but also anti-Muslim racism,” he
UN’s expert group visited Germany this month to monitor the human rights
situation of people of African descent in Germany, whose population estimated
called on the German authorities to take stronger measures to combat all forms
of racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance.
also urged Germany to recognize its responsibility in mass killings committed
in its African colony Namibia in the early 20th century.
should recall its own share in the history of colonization, enslavement and
genocide, and use a reparatory justice approach as a way forward. The Ovaherero
and Nama people must be included in the negotiations currently ongoing between
the German and Namibian governments,” he said.
Namibia killings are considered to be the first genocides of the last century
and were carried out against the Ovaherero and Nama peoples in southwestern
Africa by the then German empire.
government has acknowledged its historical and political responsibility towards
Namibia, and also provided significant amount of development aid to the
it has dismissed negotiations with the victims’ descendants, and ruled out
paying financial compensation to them.
and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said Monday that he
deliberately introduced Islam in the new education curriculum because "it
had always been in the content" since 1980.
is under fire from parents, the church and other interest groups in the
education sector for bringing in Islam in the new curriculum which he
introduced this year.
over the development even reached cabinet level, President Robert Mugabe
revealed last week, adding that Dokora, who keeps faith with a longish fuzz on
the chin, earned the moniker 'Ayatollah Dokora' amid concerns he had converted
(Dokora) refused to be called Ayatollah, insisting that his beard was not proof
of conversion to Islam," Mugabe, speaking in Shona, said during an
interview with the ZTV for his birthday.
said he had visited Iran and that that was where he converted to Islam but he
said 'no I am not a Muslim at all. I remain a Catholic'."
added that the minister had told colleagues that "I cannot shave it
Monday, the minister said there was nothing novel or radical about encompassing
Islam in the new curriculum.
minister also proposed the wearing of uniforms by teachers which was rejected
Tunisian police response to the 2015 Sousse beach resort massacre was "at
best shambolic, at worst cowardly", the judge investigating the deaths of
30 Britons in the attack said Tuesday.
response by the police was at best shambolic, at worst cowardly," he said,
adding that the hotel guards were not armed and had no walkie-talkies.
he said there was no "neglect" by the tour operator TUI because the
victims were "not in a dependent position" and said there was
"nothing that the hotel might have done before the attack".
Seifeddine Rezgui killed 38 people, including 30 British tourists and three
Irish citizens, in a shooting spree in June 2015 at the Riu Imperial Marhaba
Hotel in Sousse, Tunisia. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State jihadist
simple but tragic truth in this case is that a gunman armed with a gun and
grenades went to that hotel intending to kill as many tourists as he
could," the judge said.
British inquest, which is in fact a series of individual inquests into the
circumstances of death of each British citizen, is not a trial but the ruling
could be used in civil lawsuits.
families said they were now planning to sue TUI.
will now be preparing to commence civil proceedings against TUI," said
lawyer Kylie Hutchinson, whose firm represents most of the victims' families.
Australian counterterrorism police arrested an unidentified man after a raid on
a countryside property on Tuesday (28/02) and accused him of seeking to help
the Islamic State group by developing missile technology, the first arrest of its
kind in Australia.
of police, including a dog squad and some officers with metal detectors, raided
a property in Young, about 270 km southwest of Sydney, earlier on Tuesday,
pictures on Australian media showed.
McCartney, Assistant Commissioner of counter-terrorism for the Australian
Federal Police, said police will allege the 42-year-old man had been advising
the radical Islamist group on how to develop the technical capability to detect
guided missiles and to build their own missiles.
will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems
to assist ISIL's efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile
capabilities," McCartney said, using another common term to describe
police alleged the man had been attempting to research and design a laser
Australian-born man, who was trained as an electrician, was expected to face
court later on Tuesday, police said.
Islamic State group has come under sustained attack in recent weeks from
coalition air strikes, which have seen the group lose much of its foothold in
Syria and Iraq.
air force planes have been involved in some of those strikes against the group.
staunch US ally, Australia also sent troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq
and has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014.
authorities say they have thwarted a number of plots in recent years,
particularly involving radicalized teenagers, Australia had not yet made any
arrests of individuals accused of offering such technical assistance to an
100 people have left Australia for Syria to fight alongside groups such as
Islamic State, Australia's immigration minister said last year.
have also been several "lone wolf" assaults, including a 2014 cafe
siege in Sydney in which two hostages and a gunman were killed, and the killing
of a police accountant in 2015.
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