Owed Its Allegiance to ISIS and Wanted to Establish an ISIS Caliphate in India
Report On Religious Freedom Notes Mob Attacks in India
Dhabi Officially Recognizes Non-Muslim Places Of Worship
Muslim Brotherhood Fatwa App in Apple Store's Top 100 Downloads
Kelantan Religious Council Aims To Convert Orang Asli To Islam Within 30 Years
Islamic Leader: China’s Muslim Concentration Camps ‘Are Great’
Am In No Hurry’: Trump Aborts Iran Strike, Slaps More Sanctions
Silence on Morsi's Death Bares Its ‘Lies’
As It Talks Peace, Taliban Provides Safe Haven to LeT, Al Qaeda in Afghanistan,
Says New UN Report
Leader Indresh Kumar Visits Darul Uloom Deoband; Welcomed With an Open Heart
module planned big terror attack in NCR: NIA
Party Supports What Quran Says: SP’s Azam Khan On Triple Talaq Bill
turns to Hindi while ordering vote on triple talaq
protests as government moves triple talaq Bill
Introduces Triple Talaq Bill In Lok Sabha, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor Calls It
airspace to open only if India promises to not repeat Balakot
To Promote Heritage and Cultural Monuments in Islamic Countries
Dozen Killed, 30 Injured In Bomb Blast Targeting Baghdad Mosque
killed in Baghdad explosion at Shiite mosque
justice could help stabilize former Daesh territory
killed in heavy fighting in northwest Syria
and rescuers among 20 civilians reported killed by Syria regime fire despite
officially invites Pope Francis to visit
East schools struggle to stamp out physical punishment
'to vet civil servants in bid to weed out radical Islamists'
tight in Marawi for Muslim religious leaders meeting
of Indonesian Islam: NU, Muhammadiyah nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
list of RM270m 1MDB fund recipients: Who’s who
committee, groups hand over memorandum against Penang LRT alignment
partially suspends food assistance for Yemen
Saudi prince discuss Iran 'escalatory behavior'
Indictment: Suspect Sent Bomb Threats To Judges 'For Cause Of Islamic State'
suburban men guilty of providing support to Islamic State
Terrorism suspect swore allegiance to ISIS before attacking MCSO deputy
2018 faced 'chilling array' of religious abuses
decries US 'drone airspace intrusion'
after the fall of ISIS, Europe has done little to take back its fighters
deliberately pushing Iran situation to brink of war: Russia
slams Greece for violating Lausanne Peace Treaty
Lanka Extends State Of Emergency In Surprise Move
delegation holds talks in China as part of peace push
2 dozen militants including 16 commanders killed in N. Afghanistan
Cops To Face Charges For Easter Blasts
Groups Slam ASEAN's Positive Take on Rohingya Repatriation Plan
not participating in Pakistan conference on Afghan peace
obtaining Bangladeshi passports via traffickers to go abroad
target Taliban commander’s compound in Farah leaving 11 dead, wounded
Special Forces kill 14 Taliban militants in Ghazni province
militants killed in Special Forces raid, airstrikes in Faryab, Farah and Zabul
Powers Upgrading Arsenals as Number Of Weapons Falls: SIPRI
hopeful Taliban will agree to intra-Afghan dialogue
Peace Conference ‘Lahore Process’ starts in Bhurban
asks Pakistan to do more on religious freedom
orders troops’ deployment inside polling stations in tribal districts
formed to probe public debt use by PPP, PML-N govts
reiterates commitment to completion of FATF action plan
lashes out at PPP over ‘ignoring’ urban areas in Sindh budget
Groups and Strategies Overshadow Jihadist Conflict In Nigeria
works with France, U.S. and Mali in attack on Islamic State fighters
jihadists undeterred by Western-led fightback
slams Sudan protesters for attacks on Darfur premises
IS fighters killed in joint operation with US in Niger
Deputies Urge UN to List Yemen’s Huthi Movement As ‘Terrorist Organization’
leader Ocalan tells Kurdish party to be neutral in Istanbul vote
jets destroy two Houthi drones in Yemeni air space
troops attack Palestinian protesters at Gaza border, 70 injured
forces shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone in Hudaydah
coalition air force units intercept, destroy two Houthi unmanned aircraft
launched from Sanaa
party clashes with Erdogan ahead of Istanbul vote
land mines project clears 105 Houthi devices
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Delhi, June 22: Investigations conducted by the National Investigation Agency
have established that several persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy to
wage violent jihad against India and also establish the caliphate of the
Islamic State. The module was being guided by three ISIS handlers based abroad.
The module made extensive use of encrypted social media applications/chat
platforms. These have been recovered from their mobile phones, the NIA said in
had registered the case on December 20.2018 against Mufti Suhail and others on
the allegation that Mufti Suhail has formed an ISIS module with others to
commit terror activities and the module is amassing weapons and explosives.
had named this module as 'Harkat-ul-Harb-E-Islam' (Movement for War of Islam).
This group owed its allegiance to ISIS and wanted to establish an ISIS
Caliphate in India by resorting to large scale terrorist attacks in and around
National Capital Region. The group carried out reconnaissance of some such
locations in and around NCR. Forensic reports in respect of the seized
chemicals and IED making material has affirmed that these were sufficient to
manufacture sophisticated IEDs. The group wanted to manufacture IED, to be
detonated by remote controlled devices, of more than 100 meters range. A large
quantity of e-books, messages in encrypted chats and detailed manuals issued by
ISIS and affiliated terror entities for training in bomb making, IED making and
methods to inflict mass casualties have been recovered from the seized mobile
phones. Mufti Suhail was also giving radicalisation sermons to the other
members of the module wherein he exhorted them to offer themselves for the
violent Jihad against infidels in India. Two of the accused persons also
recorded rehearsal video of their resolve to fight violent Jihad that was to be
published after their suicide attacks.
mobile phones of accused persons contain high amount of ISIS propaganda
material. These include execution videos, violent Jihadi anthems, videos/audio
proclaiming solidarity with Kashmiri terrorists, audio messages by an ISIS
handler, and radicalisation sermons of Maulana Masood Azhar (Chief of
Jaish-E-Muhammad), Abdus Sami Qasmi (another accused in an NIA ISIS related
case), and Asim Umar ( alleged Chief of Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent).
report on religious freedom notes mob attacks in India
Report on International Freedom consists of country-wise chapters, with the
chapter on India detailing and discussing mob-related violence, religious
conversion, the legal status of minorities and government policies.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo released the State Department’s 2019
Report on International Freedom, an annual submission it makes to the Congress
each year, as mandated by law.
mission is not just a Trump administration priority – it’s a deeply personal
one. For many years, I was a Sunday school teacher and a deacon at my church,”
Mr. Pompeo said. “And that might sound unusual to a lot of folks inside the
Beltway [ i.e., Washington DC] . But I am one of millions of Americans, and
billions of people across the world, who live in the knowledge of a higher
power,” he added.
Pompeo gave examples of religious persecution during his speech – Asia Bibi in
Pakistan, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and
had a chance to meet with some Uighurs here, but unfortunately, most Chinese
Uighurs don’t get a chance to tell their stories. That’s why, in an effort to
document the staggering scope of religious freedom abuses in Xinjiang, we’ve
added a special section to this year’s China report,” Mr. Pompeo said.
report consists of country-wise chapters, with the chapter on India detailing
and discussing mob-related violence, religious conversions, the legal status of
minorities and government policies.
report says that India’s Central and State governments as well as parties took
steps to affect Muslim practices and institutions. “The government continued
its challenge in the Supreme Court to the minority status of Muslim educational
institutions, which affords them independence in hiring and curriculum
decisions. Proposals to rename Indian cities with Muslim provenance continued,
most notably the renaming of Allahabad to Prayagraj. Activists said these
proposals were designed to erase Muslim contributions to Indian history and had
led to increased communal tensions,” the report says.
were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots,
discrimination, vandalism, and actions restricting the right of individuals to
practice their religious beliefs and proselytize,” the report says.
often failed to prosecute perpetrators of ‘cow vigilante’ attacks, which
included killings, mob violence, and intimidation,” it added.
report goes on to say, “There were reports by non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) that the government sometimes failed to act on mob attacks on religious
minorities, marginalized communities, and critics of the government. Some
senior officials of the Hindu-majority Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made
inflammatory speeches against minority communities… According to some NGOs,
authorities often protected perpetrators from prosecution. As of November,
there were 18 such attacks, and eight people [were] killed during the year.”
report notes that the Supreme Court said cow vigilantism is unacceptable and
asked States to take steps to prevent it.
country chapter in the report are prepared by U.S. embassies based on
information gathered from government officials, academics, media, journalists,
NGOs, human rights monitors, etc. The State Department website says the views
“of any particular source are not necessarily those of the United States
Dhabi officially recognizes non-Muslim places of worship
a move that echoes the aims of the country's Year of Tolerance, Abu Dhabi has
announced its plans to legally recognize 19 non-Muslim places of worship across
decision was made in a bid to assist the day-to-day running of the religious
institutions which will now be regulated by the Department of Community
at a news conference on Wednesday, the executive director of community
participation and sport at the department, Sultan Al Dhaheri, said:
such bodies were not officially recognized by the law. Now, these places of
worship will have a point of contact in government to address any issues over
their day-to-day operations."
have met with their leaders and explained to them the guidelines and we will be
holding workshops for them. We have a partnership relationship with them and
are working side by side," he added.
Daheri also explained that the UAE's welcoming of other faiths is nothing new.
houses of worship have long existed in the country; the first church existed
even before the union [of the UAE in 1971], so for more than 40 years," he
who has been living here for many years should have the right to practice his
religion in a proper way," he stressed.
the time being, there are 17 Christian churches of varying denominations across
Abu Dhabi, in addition to one gurudwara - a religious temple for Sikhs.
2015, an anti-discrimination law was passed in the Emirates in an effort to
prevent any behavior that could potentially spread discrimination within the
the law, any act that triggers religious hatred "through any form of
expression, which covers speech and the written word, books, pamphlets or
online media" is prohibited.
UAE is also considered the first country to have a minister of tolerance, a day
(Nov. 16) dubbed "International Day for Tolerance," and a year
dedicated to it. In December 2018, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed declared 2019 as
the Year of Tolerance.
this month, the first Christian site to ever be discovered in the UAE was
opened to the public. While in February, Pope Francis visited the UAE for a
48-hour trip, marking a historic moment for interfaith relations in the Gulf
UAE is home to expats from around the world and includes many houses of worship
where people can freely practice their religions.
are 40 churches in the country (including those in Abu Dhabi) - up from 25 in
2005. There are two Hindu temples in Dubai - to accommodate the roughly 3.3 million
Indians in the country - and one Sikh temple.
Muslim Brotherhood fatwa app in Apple Store's top 100 downloads
“dangerous hate” app linked to the Muslim Brotherhood has been in the top 100
downloads in the Apple store in a third of European countries since its launch,
despite international calls for it to be banned.
Euro Fatwa app, which was launched in April, was created by the European
Council for Fatwa and Research, a Dublin private foundation set up by Yusuf Al
Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
as a guide to help Muslims adhere to Islam, critics including Germany’s
security service, say the app is a radicalisation tool.
contains an introduction by Al Qaradawi, now 93, in which he makes derogatory
references to Jews while speaking about historic fatwas.
also claims European laws do not have to be obeyed if they contradict Islamic
Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, is banned from the US, UK and France for his
learning of the app’s content, Google banned it within hours.
we can’t comment on individual apps, we’ll take swift action against any that
break our policies once we’ve been made aware of them, including those that
contain hate speech,” the company said.
a month after The National informed Apple that the app contains hate speech, it
is still accessible from the App Store.
are reviewing Euro Fatwa again for possible violations of our guidelines and,
if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users, we
will notify the developer and may remove it from the store," an Apple
was also contacted by Northern Irish politician Ian Paisley and German
UK government has previously criticised those making the app available for
download, saying it will take tough action on social media companies that help
to promote hate.
far no country has banned the app because they are only able to put sanctions
in place against social media companies.
one point this month, the Euro Fatwa App was ranked 55th in the German App
app is a building block in the process of radicalisation," said Germany’s
federal office for the protection of the constitution.
app was launched last month at the annual La Foire Musulmane, or Muslim Fair,
in Paris, which was attended by tens of thousands of people.
was introduced by Khaled Hanafy, a Cairo-born theologian and chairman of the
Imams and Scholars' Council in Germany.
senator and member of the Gulf-French Friendship Committee Nathalie Goulet
called the app “poisonous” on Twitter and called for it to be banned.
former French anti-corruption magistrate said it was to blame for last month's
Lyon nail bomb terror attack, in which 13 people were wounded.
outlets such as Google Play and Apple's App Store can take it off the market
but Apple continues to promote it.
UK’s Home Office has advised technology companies that promote hate material
that they will face action.
social media platform should allow themselves to be used to spread extremist
propaganda,” a spokesman said in response to complaints about the app.
continue to work with our international partners and tech companies to tackle
online terrorist and extremist propaganda, but we are clear they must go
further and faster.
is why we are introducing a statutory duty of care to make companies take
responsibility for the safety of their users, and an independent regulator to
take enforcement action where they fail to do so.”
UK government has published its Online Harms White Paper as a precursor to
legislation that sets out expectations for tech companies to keep users safe
2015, an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood by the British government
concluded that membership “may be an indicator of extremism”, and that aspects
of its ideology and tactics were contrary to the UK’s fundamental values.
have repeatedly highlighted the dangers of Al Qaradawi’s web and social media
presence for creating extremists.
makes Qaradawi unique from other extremists are the ways in which his presence
is condoned by social media, specifically through Facebook and Twitter’s
verified user checkmark,” Counter-Extremism Project researcher Joshua
Fisher-Birch said this year.
Paisley described the app as dangerous, calling on UK Home Secretary Sajid
Javid to ban it and launch an urgent inquiry into the Muslim Brotherhood.
essential that the UK continues to lead the fight against extremist ideology
and we co-operate with our neighbours to maximise this," he wrote in a
number of MPs have previously raised issues to do with the spread of extremist
ideology and activity by the Muslim Brotherhood.”
UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt referred to Al Qaradawi’s role as a
terrorist, supported by Qatar, when the four countries announced a boycott of
Doha in 2017.
said the boycott was in response to the country’s support for terrorism and
harbouring supporters of extremism, such as Al Qaradawi.
Egyptian-born imam has defended violence against US troops in Iraq and regularly
delivered vehement lectures against the West on Qatari television.
has also suggested that the Holocaust was "divine punishment" against
Jews and called for Israel's destruction.
LUMPUR, June 21 — The Kelantan Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council
(Maik) has an ambitious plan to convert all the Orang Asli within its state
borders to Islam by 2049, Utusan Malaysia reported.
a report on its website today, the Malay daily cited Maik deputy chairman Nik
Mohd Azlan Abd Hadi saying the council has over 100 preachers, including
personnel from the federal Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim),
and is working with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) on the proselytisation
plan that if we can preach to 500 people about Islam, then God willing, in 30
years more, we can convert all the Orang Asli in this state to Islam.
have a comprehensive preaching network for the Orang Asli, including a
collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,” he was quoted saying after
Maik’s Raya celebration yesterday at the Lundang Islamic Complex in Kelantan.
to Nik Mohd Azlan, the Orang Asli living in Kelantan number roughly 16,000; of
that figure, 5,000 — nearly a third — have embraced Islam.
aborigines in the Malay peninsula have customarily practised animism though
some have converted to Islam and Christianity over the years through various
aid programmes offered by missionaries.
Mohd Azlan also reportedly said that through the collaboration with UKM, Maik
has developed a preaching plan based on three main modules — the first which
involves preparing a database with profiles of Orang Asli members who have
converted to Islam and those who have not.
is a uniformed curriculum, because preaching cannot be done on whim. We enter
and teach how to recite, pray, fast and all that.
third module is training to preachers so they know every best step to be taken
to preach to the Orang Asli members,” he was quoted saying.
the disclosure has drawn the ire of vocal human rights lawyer Siti Kasim, who
also made a startling claim connecting the Islamic conversion to the recent
deaths of several Orang Asli of the Batek (also spelt Bateq) tribe living in
Kampung Kuala Koh in the Gua Musang district.
was told the Bateqs in Kuala Koh do not want to inform the authorities on the
deaths that were plaguing them precisely because they do not want to be buried
under the Muslim rites. A religion where they were forced or coerced to convert
into and never practised as one,” she wrote on her Facebook.
who is known as a staunch campaigner for Orang Asli rights and their welfare,
claimed she was approached by an entire village of Batek tribe members who
wanted to renounce Islam and go back to practising animism.
does the idea of simply trying to follow your faith, loving others, and NOT
trying to convert people cannot be understood by these people? These religious
bodies’ agenda to ‘get’ people is so weird to me. Inserting your religious
ideals or straight up arguing why people need religion so they don’t go to hell
is laughable to me.
if instead of focusing so much on how we can convert, we focused all that
energy on how we can love? Seriously, sit and have meetings to try to figure
out how to love our neighbors better. There are people out there doing this and
they are changing the world and people actually like hanging out with them,”
and independent officials in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Islamic
country, have dismissed assertions by the United States and human rights group
that China is abusing millions of predominantly Uighur Muslims in internment
camps as “American propaganda,” a report by an Indonesian think-tank revealed
the Indonesian government’s position, Agung Danarto, a top official from one of
largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia — Muhammadiyah — praised the Muslim
detention facilities, which China claims to be vocational centers aimed at
combating separatism, religious extremism, and terrorism.
camps are great, there [the students] are given life-skills training, and so
forth. They get lessons in agriculture, restaurant operation, cooking, and
automotive repair,” Danarto declared after visiting Xinjiang, according to the
report issued Thursday by the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).
the report, titled “Explaining Indonesia’s Silence on the Uyghur Issue,” IPAC
revealed that Indonesian officials refuse to interfere on behalf of their
fellow Muslims in China.
U.S. State Department has repeatedly said that China is subjecting Muslim
detainees to extrajudicial incarceration, torture, communist indoctrination,
forced labor, and the renunciation of their faith and native language, among
other human rights abuses at the so-called re-education or mind-transformation
camps, primarily located in China’s Xinjiang province.
is home to the largest concentration of the country’s majority-Muslim Uighur
ethnic minority and other Islam adherents.
independent international tribunal recently indicated that China appears to be
preparing Muslim prisoners for organ harvesting.
the IPAC report noted on Thursday:
Indonesia government response [to China’s mistreatment of Muslims] remained
muted as the Foreign Ministry and Office of the President struggled to decide
whether China’s policies in Xinjiang should be considered persecution against
Muslims as a whole or as a legitimate, if heavy-handed response to insurgency
and violent extremism – or a policy with elements of both.
think-tank conceded that “Indonesian officials have made it clear that they
would welcome constructive policy suggestions that might help the Uyghurs
without provoking China.”
May, Randall Schriver, the assistant U.S. secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific
Security Affairs, told reporters that China is interning up to 3 million
Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in “concentration camps.”
a few Muslim-majority countries, the Islamic world has been mostly silent about
China’s Uighur crackdown.
a June 20 press release announcing the release of its report, IPAC noted:
Indonesian government is under little pressure to address the systematic
repression of China’s Uyghur Muslims because many Indonesians see the crackdown
as a legitimate response to separatism; do not trust reports of human rights
organizations, or believe the issue has been politicized in the context of
Indonesia’s April 2019 presidential election.
IPAC report added:
country’s largest Muslim organizations treat reports of widespread human rights
violations with skepticism, choosing to dismiss them as American propaganda in
the Sino-US power struggle. Their leaders have also accepted invitations to
visit Xinjiang and most seem to take China’s assurances of protecting religious
freedom there at face value. The hundreds of Indonesian Muslims studying in
China, by and large, have a positive experience, contributing to an
unwillingness to acknowledge serious restrictions on religious practice.
has reportedly wooed Indonesian Muslims through “highly controlled tours of
Xinjiang, the report points, out, adding that “largesse distributed to Muslim
institutions has also been important.”
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), considered a threat by the United States, is
expected to run through Indonesia. Moreover, China is Indonesia’s largest
trading partner and second largest investor.
jihadis from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda have threatened to
attack China. Xinjiang borders the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, which the
Pentagon believes to be home to the highest concentration of terrorist groups,
including Uighur jihadi organizations.
claims Xinjiang is now safer as a result of its oppression campaign against
Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.
am in no hurry’: Trump aborts Iran strike, slaps more sanctions
Donald Trump said on Friday the US was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against
Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone but he canceled the
strikes minutes before they were to be launched after being told 150 people
did not rule out a future strike but said in a TV interview that the likelihood
of casualties from the Thursday night plan to attack three sites in Iran did
not seem like the correct response to shooting down an unmanned drone earlier
in the day in the Strait of Hormuz.
didn’t think it was proportionate,” he said in an interview with NBC News’ Meet
told NBC News that he never gave a final order to launch the strikes — planes
were not yet in the air but would have been “pretty soon.”
said military officials came to him about 30 minutes before the strikes were to
be launched and asked him for his final approval. Before signing off, he said
he asked how many Iranians would be killed and was told approximately 150.
thought about it for a second and I said, ‘You know what? They shot down an
unmanned drone, plane — whatever you want to call it — and here we are sitting
with 150 dead people.’ That would have taken place probably within a half an
hour after I said go ahead. And I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was proportionate.”
his lengthy, morning tweet, Trump defended his stance on Iran amid criticism
from Democrats who accuse him of having no strategy. He said his exit from the
2015 Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran has crippled
they are Bust!”
am in no hurry,” he said. “Sanctions are biting & more added last night.
Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the
spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Middle East stability and
the oil market, the White House said, after tensions with Iran prompted a rise
in oil prices.
two leaders discussed Saudi Arabia’s critical role in ensuring stability in the
Middle East and in the global oil market. They also discussed the threat posed
by the Iranian regime’s escalatory behavior,” White House spokesman Hogan
Gidley said in a statement.
Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman in his meeting with US Special
Representative for Iran Brian Hook in Riyadh on Friday discussed efforts to
counter hostile Iranian activities that threaten the security and stability of
neglects the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people in favor of using the
country as the main launchpad for its regional terrorism,” Prince Khalid said.
speaking to reporters in Al-Kharj, Hook said that the Iranian regime practiced
an aggressive foreign policy and it was important to do everything to
said: “The Iranian regime runs an expansionist and violent foreign policy
through surrogacy such as the Houthis, Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria,
Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
said: “On the latest efforts to counter Iranian attacks through their
surrogates in Saudi Arabia, our maximum pressure campaign against Iran is
working, Iran is feeling the pressure of the campaign.”
silence on Morsi's death bares its ‘lies’
silence of the West in the face of the death of Egypt's first democratically
elected President Mohamed Morsi shows how they are “insincere” in its so-called
democracy and pro-human rights attitudes, analysts said.
silence of the West in the face of Morsi's inhumane detention in prison and
death exposed its lies of democracy and humanity that first emerged during the
Arab Spring," said a Yemen-based analyst Nabil al-Bakiri.
West's attitude towards Morsi's death is a clear indicative of the 'human
rights lie' that it [the West] proposes to meet its illegal interests,"
the last eight years after the Arab Spring, Bakiri said, there have been crimes
against humanity in many Arab countries, none of which have drawn the attention
of the West.
reveals the West has nothing to do with the discourse of democracy and human
rights,” he added.
a tool for West'
Tuz, an expert on the Middle East affairs, described the international
community's attitude towards Morsi's death as "shameful".
attitude of the West is not a surprise [...] If the incoming manager acts in
their best interests, they support him even if he is not humane," he said.
was a patriot who wanted to contribute to the development of Egypt, which makes
him an “inappropriate ruler” for the West's interests, Tuz said, adding:
"That’s why the West was silent to the coup against Morsi."
were committed against the Egyptian people in the 21st century. They [the West]
wanted to have someone in line with their policies. The West is the partner in
the crimes that Sisi has committed," he added.
death of the Egypt's first democratically elected president in prison and the
West’s “unresponsive attitude to this situation is an embarrassing stain on
humanity,” said Hussein Bakir, a Lebanese writer.
being pushed to death is a dangerous indicator of the nature of the Egyptian
regime and where things can go in the future," Bakir said.
Sisi administration understands this silent attitude of the West a green light
to continue its persecution," he added.
leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi had won the country’s first
free presidential election in 2012.
only one year in office, he was ousted and imprisoned in a bloody military coup
led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- Egypt's then defense minister and commander of
the armed forces, and current president.
the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he along with
numerous human rights groups and independent observers said were politically
as it talks peace, Taliban provides safe haven to LeT, Al Qaeda in Afghanistan,
says new UN report
Delhi: The Taliban's leadership is providing safe havens and resources to the
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups targeting India, a report
produced by a United Nations expert group has revealed. "Foreign fighters
continue to operate under the authority of the Taliban in multiple Afghan
provinces at undiminished levels," the United Nations' Analytical Support
and Sanctions Monitoring Team's report states.
and foreign-policy officials have long been warning that ongoing United
States-led power-sharing negotiations with the Taliban could end up again
turning Afghanistan into a hub for global Islamist terror groups.
week's report, produced by the United Nations' Analytical Support and Sanctions
Monitoring Team's report, says the Taliban "cooperate and retain strong
links with al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, the Haqqani Network,
the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the East Turkistan
Islamic Movement, as well as nearly 20 other regionally and globally-focussed
addition to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is responsible for 26/11
and multiple other attacks in India, counter-terrorism officials in New Delhi
see al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, led by Indian-born jihadist
Sami-ul-Haq, as a significant threat.
intense international pressure, possible economic sanctions and Indian threats
of cross-border military strikes, Pakistan has claimed to have cracked down on
jihadist training facilities and infrastructure-but Indian intelligence
officials fear at least some of that could now being relocated across the
border in Afghanistan.
recent weeks, the Research and Analysis Wing has also pointed to escalating
threats Afghanistan to Indian targets, including diplomatic missions.
our perspective," an Indian intelligence officer said, "it seems
probable Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence is facilitating this transition
since it has excellent relations with, both, the Taliban and groups like the
United Nation's grim findings come even as United States negotiators, led by
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, have
arrived at an understanding with Taliban leaders that Western forces in
Afghanistan will be withdrawn in return for counter-terrorism guarantees.
with a relentless Taliban campaign that has seen it take control of some 25 of
the country's 421 districts, and contest government authority in over 200,
Afghan government officials have, however, been warning a withdrawal of Western
troops will allow the Taliban to resile on whatever promises it makes.
the report warns, "has grown stronger operating under the Taliban umbrella
across Afghanistan and is more active than in recent years." In addition
to strengthening its presence in Badakshan and Paktika, the report states,
al-Qaida is also " intensifying its concentration in the Afghan-Pakistan
border area in close cooperation with Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani
to earn over $400 million each year from opium trafficking, the UN report says
the Taliban have significantly expanded their weapons stockpiles, and raised
their manpower levels to around 65,000 combatants, as well as half that number
again of non-combat personnel. The Taliban's spring offensive of 2019, which
began in April, has been the most intense in two years, Afghan officials say.
particular, the Taliban have expanded their night-fighting capabilities by
purchasing black-market supplies of BAE's OASYS thermal monoculars, as well as
PULSAR and ATN ThOR-HD night thermal scopes.
UN report makes clear international sanctions directed at the Taliban have not
worked, noting members of the organisation "have undertaken visits to Gulf
States to collect cash donations amounting to millions of United States
who maintain legitimate business interests in the Gulf States and in
Balochistan also launder money for the Taliban and share profits with the
Taliban," the report adds.
report cites, in particular, the case of Faizullah Khan Noorzai and Malik
Noorzai, who it says "conduct money laundering and provide funding to the
Taliban through the import and export of spare automobile parts from
Japan." Even though the Noorzai brothers have featured multiple United
Nations reports, it says, they continue to conduct businesses in Japan, the
United Arab Emirates and Pakistan."
leader Indresh Kumar visits Darul Uloom Deoband; welcomed with an open heart
As part of saffron party’s campaign to reach out to Muslims, Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh senior functionary Indresh Kumar visited Islamic seminary Darul Uloom at
Deoband in Saharanpur on Thursday. Kumar is the president of Muslim Rashtriya
Manch (MRM), an RSS affiliate.
reported by the Pioneer, it was a courtesy visit and he had gone to the
seminary with the message of brotherhood and mutual love.
that its doors were open for everyone, the Darul Uloom gave him warm welcome.
After attending a function organised by MRM in Deoband, Kumar went to Darul
Uloom where he was welcomed by Chancellor of seminary, Maulana Abul Qasim
Nomani. He was apprised of the history of ulema’s role in freedom struggle.
Abul Qasim Nomani said, “Our doors are always open for visitors. We welcomed
Indreshji with an open heart.”
Kumar said that he went there with the message of mutual love and brotherhood
which is only way the country can move forward to prosperity. He suggested that
the government should devise methods to upgrade education and increase job
opportunities for everyone.
lamented that there were a few opportunistic leaders who try to create a rift
between two communities and create a sense of fear among minorities. ‘But we
are of the view that all must follow their respective religions and respect
others’ faiths’ he said.
Pritam Pal Singh
National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday filed a chargesheet before a Delhi
court against 10 people for forming an Islamic State-inspired module in Uttar
Pradesh’s Amroha and Delhi, and said that the accused have “planned (a) bigger
terror attack in national capital region”.
agency claimed that the accused had intended to carry out “fidayeen” attacks at
several places in and around Delhi, in which regard they have intimated the
Ministry of Home Affairs.
NIA chargesheet was filed under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, Explosive Substances Act, and under various sections of IPC,
including criminal conspiracy and for possessing arm or ammunition to wage war
against the Government of India against all the 10 accused.
NIA, in its chargesheet, claimed before Special Judge Ajay Kumar Jain that
Mohammed Suhail, a mufti in a seminary in Amroha and the alleged mastermind of
the Islamic State module, was “involved in radicalisation and brainwashing of
other like-minded youth with a view to commit terrorist acts and acts of waging
war against the government of India”.
agency said that Suhail initially formed a group with people having “jihadi”
ideology with Mufti Shaqib Iftekhar, Mufti Mohammed Absar and Mufti Gufran. The
agency claimed that during the initial months of 2018, Suhail formed a module
affiliated to the Islamic State and named it ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’, which
roughly translates as ‘movement for war of Islam’.
its chargesheet, the NIA has also explained role of each accused, who planned
the manufacturing of IEDs which were supposed to be detonated by
the chargesheet on record, the special judge listed the matter for further
consideration by the judge concerned on July 4.
agency had registered a case on December 20, 2018 against Suhail and others on
the allegation that he has formed an ISIS module with others to commit terror
activities and the module is amassing weapons and explosives.
December 26, the NIA had arrested 10 people from Jaffrabad and UP’s Amroha for
allegedly being part of Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam. The NIA also claimed to have
seized a huge cache of arms and explosives that were to be used to target
“vital installations and important personalities, which included politicians”.
agency claimed that they have seized from the accused a recorded “rehearsal
video” of their resolve to fight violent jihad, that was to be published after
their suicide attacks.
party supports what Quran says: SP’s Azam Khan on Triple Talaq Bill
Delhi: On being asked about his party’s stand on the Triple Talaq Bill,
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Friday said that they support what is
written in the Quran.
the day when the government tabled the Bill in Lok Sabha to ban the practice of
instant triple talaq, the Samajwadi Party MP said, “Our stand is similar to
what is written in the Quran.”
religion has given more rights to women than Islam. 1500 years ago, Islam was
the first religion to have given the right of equality to women. Today, we
witness the lowest divorce rate and the lowest cases of violence on women in
Islam. Women are not burnt or killed”, said Azam Khan, MP from Uttar Pradesh’s
Talaq is a religious issue, not a political issue and nothing is more supreme
for a Muslim than Quran. On marriage, on divorce, for everything, the Quran has
clear instructions and we follow it”, he further added.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 was included in the
list of business for Lok Sabha for Friday, as it seeks to replace an ordinance
issued by the previous cabinet in February.
DELHI: Breaking with tradition, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday preferred
to use Hindi when he said “haan paksh jeeta, haan paksha jeeta” instead of “the
ayes have it, the ayes have it” while pronouncing his decision on the
introduction of the fresh triple talaq bill.
pronouncement in Hindi came as a surprise to those who have been following the
proceedings for long as they were used to hearing “the ayes or the noes (as the
case may be) have it”. In recent memory, no other Speaker has used Hindi while pronouncing
his or her decision in Lok Sabha.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, which proposes to
criminalise instant triple talaq was introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday amid
commotion and confusion.
government introduced the new Bill to replace an ordinance, but even before
Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad could introduce it, there
was confusion on whether the Opposition members should get an opportunity to
object to the introduction before he introduced it or after his opening
Speaker Om Birla asked the minister to introduce the Bill, AIMIM’s Asaddudin
Owaisi, NCP’s Supriya Sule, DMK’s A Raja and Kanimozhi, Samajwadi Party’s
Kunwar Danish Ali and leader of Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
objected, claiming that they be given a chance to present their objections.
said once he moves the Bill, the Opposition will get a chance to speak before
the introduction of the Bill and he will respond to them before the vote.
minister “is only asking the permission to move the Bill”, Birla clarified.
Finally the Opposition relented, and Prasad moved the Bill.
of the Opposition then countered it, mostly on two points — that it
criminalises “a civil wrong” and that it targets just one community in the garb
of helping women of the country.
Tharoor of the Congress said he is not “defending Triple talaq” but was
opposing the Bill because of the “text, draft and thrust of this Bill”. “This
Bill conflates civil law and criminal law by criminalising the act of triple
talaq, which is an irregular form of divorce already null and void in our
country post the decision of the Supreme Court in Shayara Bano Vs Union of
India,” he said.
the action of abandoning or deserting a wife and family without responsibility
a criminal act or is the form of desertion, namely, doing it by uttering talaq…
since abandoning or deserting wives and dependents is not unique to the Muslim
community, then why not make a law that universally criminalises the
abandonment of family and dependents without taking responsibility instead of
just focusing on one community.”
bill, he said, was an example of “class legislation, which is pointed at one
community or class and that violates Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution”.
Further, he said the Bill lacks “procedural safeguards and can be easily
misused,” Tharoor added.
N K Premachandran said the Bill “exceeds the legislative power of Parliament”.
Also, he said, “criminalising a civil wrong done by a particular community,
that is, the Muslim community, alone is discriminatory”.
last from the Opposition, Owaisi said the Bill failed on parameters of
“intelligible differentia” and “rational nexus”. “You are not in favour of
women, you are putting the burden of proof on women. For three years (the
husband) will remain in jail, who will give the maintenance, will you give
maintenance?” Owaisi said. He said if the BJP was for women, why was it against
the entry of women in Sabarimala.
to the objections, Prasad said the Bill was not aimed at a religion, but was a
question of “naari nyay, naari garima, naari insaaf”. He said that even after
the Supreme Court’s order, the practice of instant triple talaq continues and
stated that 229 cases have happened since. He said lawmakers are elected “to
make laws” and the court is responsible for “interpretation” of those laws. “Do
not make the Lok Sabha a court,” Prasad said.
Prasad was speaking, Birla asked the members to not speak among them. When
Chowdhury got up to speak to his party members, Birla asked him to sit down or
go to the gallery outside to talk. This prompted a furore from the Opposition,
with Chowdhury saying it was like “Emergency inside the House”.
Prasad had spoken, Birla put up the introduction for a voice vote. Owaisi
insisted that a division vote be allowed. Birla finally agreed for a division
vote, but then, since seats have not yet been allotted to the members of the
new Lok Sabha, machine voting was ruled out.
introduces triple talaq Bill in Lok Sabha, Congress’ Shashi Tharoor calls it
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Friday introduced a fresh bill to ban instant
triple talaq in the Lok Sabha, saying that this will help protect the rights of
the Bill amid protest by the Congress and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, Prasad
said, “This is not a matter of religion, caste or community. It is a matter of
a woman’s dignity and integrity. The rights of Muslim women will be protected
(through this law).” Quoting Article 15 of the Constitution, he said the law is
to give justice to women who were victims of instant talaq. Read in Bangla
introduction of the bill, however, saw huge uproar in the Lok Sabha with the
Opposition demanding that it should not be tabled before thorough consultation
with the parties from the other side of the treasury bench.
move was opposed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who said even as he is against
instant talaq, he is opposed to considering a civil offence as a criminal
offence. He suggested the scope of the Bill should be extended to women of all
the bill a “class legislation”, Tharoor said abandoning of women by their
husbands is not unique to Muslim community and is equally prevalent among other
communities. So, why not make a universal law to provide protection to all
women, he argued.
Asaduddin Owaisi also took a dig at the BJP, saying the party has so much
affection for Muslim women but is opposed to rights of Hindu women to enter
Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. He went on to say that the bill violates
constitutional rights as it stipulates three-year jail term for Muslim men
while non-Muslim men get only one year of jail term for a similar offence, he
Bill, which proposes to make the practice of instant triple talaq
(talaq-e-biddat) a penal offence, had faced objections from the opposition
parties during the last Parliament session in February too. They had claimed
that jail term for a man for divorcing his wife was legally untenable.
The Imran Khan government will continue the closure of its eastern airspace for
flights from and to India until there is a commitment from New Delhi that it
will not repeat Balakot-like air strikes inside the Pakistani territory.
had shut the airspace on February 26 this year following the Indian airstrikes
inside Pakistan, on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot, in retaliation
to a suicide bombing that killed 44 Indian police personnel in Pulwama Kashmir
on February 14.
sources told TOI that though the ban has been extended till June 28, Pakistan
is likely to keep the airspace shut for India until there is some assurance
from New Delhi that there would be no repetition of Balakot like a strike.
March 27, Pakistan opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi.
Since May 15 the ban on eastern airspace has been extended three times. Earlier
this week, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had said the government
will again review the matter on June 28 but avoided giving further details on
said Islamabad was looking for an assurance from New Delhi that Balakot-like
incident will not be repeated in future.
ban will remain in place until the issue is raised and resolved at the top
level between Islamabad and New Delhi, sources said.
that the closure was due to security and diplomatic reasons, a top CAA official
said on the condition of anonymity that it was very surprising that no
back-channel diplomacy has been used in the last four months to lift the ban,
given the huge losses to flag carriers of both the countries.
month, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson, Dr Muhammad Faisal, had said:
“We want de-escalation. If de-escalation takes place we would not like to have
a ban on our airspace for India for a single day but for the purpose India will
have to talkto us. India should show rational behaviour and must understand
that issues will not be resolved through confrontation.”
the closure of Pakistani airspace, the Indian aviation industry, according to
media reports, is incurring more losses than Pakistan. Several foreign airlines
are also being forced to take longer routes to reach other destinations. The
closure of Pakistani airspace has affected flights from Europe to Southeast
Asia while the flights from Europe and the US flying in and out of New Delhi
have been the worst hit.
Delhi-Astana flight now takes three extra hours while Delhi-Moscow flight takes
more than two additional hours. The duration of Delhi-Kabul and Delhi-Tehran
flights have also doubled.
to promote heritage and cultural monuments in Islamic countries
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has
launched an initiative to register 100 tangible and intangible heritage
cultural monuments of OIC member states on the Islamic World Heritage List.
to the Union of News Agencies in OIC member states (UNA), ISESCO called on
member states to nominate sites to be registered to pave the way for their
preservation and refer them to decision-making centers such as the World
initiative was launched as many historical buildings and landmarks in Islamic
countries have been damaged due to wars and conflicts, in addition to the
theft, smuggling or illicit trade of masterpieces.
has clarified that cultural heritage covers all antiquities, including
architectural works, sculpture and photography as well as landmarks with an
exceptional value to civilization and sites that are the result of the work of
humans or joint work of humans and nature, including archaeological sites
distinguished by an exceptional value to civilization.
urged member states to write down the names of cultural monuments, the name of
the country and region where monuments are and their location, along with
official topographic maps recently published and updated to determine the
current state of the monument.
has called on member states to include in the candidacy file a list of the most
adequate legislative and regulatory procedures for the protection of the
monument and provide suggestions on the main indicators to measure and assess
the state of the cultural or natural moment, along with the factors that affect
it and the measures taken to maintain it.
is currently working on activating the Islamic Heritage Committee that was
established following the resolution of the fifth Islamic Conference of Culture
Ministers in the Libyan capital of Tripoli in November 2007, to enlarge its
powers and provide it with new working methods to carry out its functions more
directives of ISESCO Director General Dr. Salem Al-Malek included promoting the
institutional nature of the committee, activating its roles, especially those
related to registering more archaeological sites in member states and
intangible elements on the Islamic heritage list, increasing efficiency of its
related frameworks and suggesting the best means to activate the content and
directions of ISESCO’s reference documents in the field.
committee recently held its eighth meeting at ISESCO’s headquarters in Rabat,
with the participation of member states: Kuwait, Mauritania, Indonesia,
Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, in addition to a
representative from the Scientific Commission from Morocco.
experts adopted the report of the ISESCO Archaeology Experts Committee, in
charge of preparing technical reports on Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa
Mosque and the inscription files of member states’ heritage sites on the
Islamic Heritage List.
a dozen people have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when
a bomb explosion ripped through a mosque in the eastern flank of the Iraqi
security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language Baghdad
Today news agency that a bomber detonated his explosive belt among a group of
worshippers attending the weekly Friday prayers at al-Muntadar Mosque in
source added that the blast left ten people dead and 30 others injured.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but it bears the hallmark
of such attacks carried out by the Daesh Takfiri terror group.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
bomb blast killed seven people at a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad on Friday
and wounded more than 20, police sources said.
blast hit the Imam Mahdi Al-Muntadhar Mosque in Baladiyat, near the massive and
densely populated district of Sadr City.
least one attacker wearing a belt of explosives tried to enter the building but
was stopped by the guards, and detonated himself outside,” one officer said.
civilians were killed and nine people were wounded,” the source said. The
second officer confirmed the details and toll for the attack. At the scene,
security forces quickly deployed to cordon off the site, a photographer at the
was a rare attack on a Shiite place of worship in the Iraqi capital.
carried out high-profile bombings of Iraqi Shiite sites during the worst of the
country’s sectarian violence after the US invasion that toppled dictator Saddam
Hussein in 2003.
security improved significantly with the defeat of Daesh in 2017 and bomb
attacks of any kind in the city have been rare since then.
the territorial defeat of Daesh in northeastern Syria, Kurdish-led local
authorities are now grappling with bringing the group’s members to justice. The
scale of the crimes and the sheer number of victims — combined with massive
shortages in resources and personnel — make the task extremely difficult to
address through the traditional legal system. An alternative approach would be
transitional justice mechanisms, which are often used after political conflicts
to redress human rights abuses. So far, however, relevant authorities do not
seem inclined to implement such solutions.
is at stake is the long-term stability of northeastern Syria. There are
hundreds of thousands of families with ties to Daesh and, in the absence of a
credible justice process, an enormous risk of extrajudicial revenge killings
targeting not only former militants but also their entire extended families.
The current judicial approach simply cannot cope with the volume of cases and
the atrocities involved.
current efforts by the Kurdish-led self-administration entity to bring justice
to victims are largely focused on detaining Daesh members and, where possible,
charging them with terrorism offences. Authorities have set up local
counterterrorism courts to prosecute thousands of locally recruited Daesh
members who are in custody.
not all detained Daesh followers end up in jail. Members of the group who are
from the region but did not hold senior roles and are not accused of major
crimes are being released under limited reconciliation deals. Fighters
qualifying under those criteria are being discharged after discussions with
prominent tribal leaders in their communities, who are responsible for
preventing them from rejoining Daesh.
top of concerns regarding due process, particularly that suspects are not
allowed representation by defense lawyers, local courts are seriously
understaffed and limited in number. At the current rate of prosecutions, it
would probably take more than a decade to process the cases of all of the Daesh
suspects in detention. Many victims are also upset at seeing Daesh members walk
free without even admitting their guilt publicly, especially in cases where the
court proceedings have lacked transparency.
concern is that the local administration is holding tens of thousands of
civilians with ties to Daesh or its members in camps scattered across the
northeast. Most of them are women and children who are not officially under
arrest, but in reality, they are being detained in the camps without any clear
strategy to deal with them.
broadly, the current counterterrorism approach has largely failed to address
the full range of crimes committed by Daesh. In addition, there are no formal
mechanisms to determine the fate of people detained or forcibly disappeared by
Daesh. Human rights groups have documented more than 8,000 people detained by
Daesh whose fates remain unknown, but the actual number of victims is assuredly
there are still no official mechanisms or entities to obtain and process
information from families of victims and Daesh members or to properly excavate
mass graves to determine the status of the missing. Local courts are mainly
focusing on establishing whether Daesh members were fighters to establish their
guilt or innocence, but there is not a clear process to highlight the personal
responsibility of individuals for war crimes or crimes against humanity. The
counterterrorism courts also do not allow victims to file charges for crimes
such as rape, theft and kidnapping, or to provide evidence against Daesh
overcome the limitations of the counterterrorism framework, transitional
justice provides mechanisms to establish accountability for Daesh crimes and
give victims a sense of justice. The formation of community-led fact-finding
commissions could help to document and gather evidence about the full range of
Daesh crimes, including individual responsibility. The commissions could also
complement counterterrorism trials by sharing findings with relevant local
authorities and encouraging victims to participate in proceedings.
commissions should also consult with residents of the region on alternative
paths to justice, such as monetary compensation and public apologies, to
realize a sense of closure. Clearly, some compensatory measures should be
limited to former Daesh members who did not commit violent crimes or were
released for lack of evidence.
who committed serious crimes should be tried, while ensuring the participation
of victims in court proceedings, with transparency about the verdicts. All this
is currently lacking. The commissions could also cooperate with existing local
reconciliation committees comprising local tribal leaders and other community
figures to lead reconciliation and mediation efforts between former Daesh
members, their victims and the families involved.
Syria is a clear example of the limitations of counterterrorism laws to provide
victims with a sense of justice. A transitional justice model could provide
alternative avenues to resolve grievances and help communities heal and
reconcile with hundreds of thousands of families previously linked to Daesh.
is little local expertise in such a model and few precedents applying
transitional justice to the crimes of violent extremist groups. While a lot of
time has been lost, it is not too late for the international community, the
local self-administration entity and Syrian civil society groups to develop
more coherent transitional justice mechanisms to ensure victim participation
and bring Daesh members fully to account for their crimes. In the absence of
such an effort, the long-term stability in that region will remain in doubt
regardless of Daesh’s territorial defeat.
than 100 combatants have been killed over the past 48 hours in fighting between
Syrian forces and rebels in the country's besieged northwest, a war monitor has
clashes and aerial bombardment centred on the village of Tal Meleh in the north
of Hama province, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on
to the Observatory, which has a network of sources on the ground in Syria, 89
opposition fighters were dead with 41 fatalities among government forces.
Jazeera was not able to independently verify the figures in the war zone.
Wednesday, Syria's state news agency SANA reported "army operations"
had been launched against the former wing of al-Qaeda - Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham
(HTS) - in Tal Meleh and the surrounding countryside that it dominates.
of the terrorists and their vehicles scattered in the surroundings of al-Jalmah
village due to the strikes of the army," SANA reported, without specifying
a death toll.
Meleh sits near the southwestern edge of Hama's neighbouring Idlib province,
which has come under increasing bombardment by Syrian government forces and
warplanes from Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria, home to some three million people, is the last remaining bastion of anti-government
rebels after eight years of war that has killed hundreds of thousands of
and Turkey, long-time backers of rebel groups operating in the country,
brokered an agreement intended to stave off an all-out government-led assault
on Idlib in September, but that deal was never fully implemented as opposition
fighters refused to withdraw from the planned buffer zone.
this week, United Nations officials alleged Syrian and Russian forces might be
deliberately targeting hospitals and schools in the area in a bid to
aid chief Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that since Syrian troops began
pushing into Idlib on April 30, an estimated 330,000 people have been forced to
flee their homes and more than 230 civilians have died.
also said the World Health Organization had confirmed 26 incidents affecting
healthcare facilities in the province.
of Syrians have been displaced since the war started in 2011 with the repression
of anti-government protests.
AL-NUMAN, SYRIA - Regime bombardment killed 20 civilians including eight
children and three rescue workers in jihadist-run northwest Syria Thursday, as
fighting killed dozens on the edges of the anti-government bastion.
Idlib region, home to some 3 million people, is supposed to be protected by a
months-old international truce deal, but it has come under increased
bombardment by the regime and its Russian ally since late April.
United Nations has warned that the spike in violence could spark one of the
worst humanitarian disasters in Syria’s grinding eight-year conflict.
regime airstrike targeted an ambulance in the town of Maaret al-Numan, killing
three rescue workers inside, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
AFP photographer saw a destroyed ambulance and rescuers carrying a survivor
from the vehicle with his arm in shreds.
charity Benefsej, which owned the ambulance, said three of its workers had been
was a direct targeting of the ambulance,” said charity member Fouad Issa.
woman also died in the ambulance while she was being transported for treatment,
a statement posted on social media networks, the charity described the attack
as a “violation of international humanitarian law.
the protection of humanitarian and health facilities via the international
community is a necessity for us to continue our work.”
and rebel backer Turkey brokered an agreement in September seeking to stave off
an all-out regime assault on Idlib, but the deal was never fully implemented as
jihadis refused to withdraw from the planned buffer zone.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group, led by ex-members of al-Qaida’s former Syria
affiliate, extended its control over the region, which spans most of Idlib
province as well as slivers of the adjacent provinces of Latakia, Hama and
Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since
late April, killing more than 440 civilians, the Britain-based Observatory
United Nations says more than 23 hospitals and one ambulance have been hit in
the Idlib region since late April.
330,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, it says.
humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock on Tuesday warned the world is facing “a humanitarian
disaster unfolding before our eyes.
same day U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called on Russia and Turkey to “stabilize
the situation,” warning “civilians are paying a horrific price.”
raged Thursday in the north of Hama province, leaving at least 27 anti-regime
fighters and 31 loyalists dead in the clashes around Tal Meleh village, the
than 90 fighters were killed in the same area over the two previous days, said
the war monitor.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Wednesday pledged a full return of regime
control to Idlib in the latest such warning from the Damascus government.
is a Syrian province and the operations the Syrian army is conducting are on
Syrian soil and a legitimate right towards liberating the land,” he told the
Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen television channel.
have, however, said they did not expect a full-out offensive to retake the
region on Turkey’s doorstep for now.
expert Sam Heller said the regime and Russia were seeking to secure neighboring
loyalist areas and a key Russian military airbase to the west of Idlib, as well
as exert pressure on Turkey to implement the September buffer zone deal.
is still evidently intent on taking the whole of Idlib, and all Syrian
territory nationwide,” the International Crisis Group analyst said.
it’s Russia that’s enabled this latest military push, seemingly with more
Thursday, President Bashar Assad met the Kremlin’s Syria envoy, Alexander
Lavrentiev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin in Damascus, state
news agency SANA reported.
discussed developments in Syria, including efforts to eradicate “terrorism,”
SANA said, using the regime’s term for rebels and jihadists.
Barham Saleh has sent an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit Iraq
after the pontiff said he would like to travel to the Muslim country despite
this month Francis said “I want to go next year” to Iraq, which has been a
battleground for competing forces, including ISIS extremist group since the
US-led ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
am honored to officially extend an invitation to Your Holiness to visit Iraq -
the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of Abraham, the father of the
faithful and messenger of the divine religions,” Saleh said in the letter, a
copy of which was seen Thursday by AFP.
holiness’ visit will be an opportunity to remind and enlighten Iraq and the
world that this land gave humanity its first laws, irrigated agriculture and a
legacy of cooperation among people” of different religions, it said.
said he hoped the visit would be “a milestone in the healing process and Iraq
can once more be a peaceful land where the mosaic of religions and faiths can
live together in harmony again as they did for millennia.”
has made boosting ties between Christianity and Islam a cornerstone of his
has this year visited Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.
pope had already visited several Muslim countries in previous years, including
Turkey in 2014, Azerbaijan in 2016 and Egypt in 2017.
Beatings and violent physical punishments persist in many Middle East schools
despite international laws banning abuse of children and widespread concern
about the effects of corporal punishment.
abuse is a grim reality in schools in the region, according to recent studies
by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and UNICEF, which highlight Lebanon as a country of
use of corporal punishment is one of the leading factors behind Lebanon’s
rising school dropout rate, the HRW report said.
Van Esveld, senior researcher for children’s rights at HRW, told Arab News that
reports suggest that up to 76 percent of schoolchildren in Lebanon have been
physically abused by teachers.
involved being whipped with an electric cable, or struck with rulers or
classroom objects, and often resulted in broken bones.
punishments included “slapping the face or back of the neck or head, twisting
ears, pulling hair, hitting the hands with a ruler, being shoved into walls or
desks, or being beaten with objects to hand such as a book, electrical cable
and a propane-tank hose.”
Esveld said: “The injuries can be severe. We met one child who had suffered a
deep cut on his hand that bled for days. Another boy’s nose was broken. One
boy, aged just six, said his ‘Miss’ hit the children in his class regularly and
painfully, and that he did not like going to school and felt afraid in his
punishment and verbal abuse at school “mean that adults are inflicting pain and
fear on children,” he said.
scientific study has ever demonstrated a long-term benefit of corporal
punishment. But myriad studies find that corporal punishment causes both short
and long-term harm, from heightened dropout rates and lower educational
achievement to increased incidences of emotional disorders such as depression,
aggression and even suicidal ideation.”
Shin, author of the watchdog’s report — “I Don’t Want My Child to Be Beaten:
Corporal Punishment in Lebanon’s Schools” — said: “In documented cases,
children avoided or dropped out of school, or their parents pulled them out of
school due to the pain, fear, humiliation and risk of further harm from
show that corporal punishment is one of the leading factors behind school
dropouts in Lebanon,” he said.
Education Ministry has prohibited all forms of corporal punishment in public
schools since 1974. In 2001, the ministry issued a detailed circular to both public
and private school staff banning corporal punishment as well as verbal abuse.
due to a lack of enforcement, surveys have found that widespread abuse
Esveld said teachers hit and humiliate children for a host of reasons,
including the knock-on effects of the Syrian war and consequent overcrowding in
Lebanon’s classrooms. Since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, enrolment in
Lebanon’s public schools has doubled, with roughly 210,000 Lebanese and 210,000
Syrian students in primary and secondary schools in 2018.
ministry warned in 2014 that overstretched, undertrained teachers were also
increasingly likely to resort to corporal punishment in light of the influx of
Syrian refugee children into the public school system,” Shin said.
across the region, governments are working to crack down on corporal
the UAE, physical punishment in state schools was banned in 1998, while in
Saudi Arabia the Ministry of Education has told schools to ban hitting and
2017, the Kingdom also announced it was launching a campaign called No Hit
Zone, which aimed to show parents alternative methods of disciplining a child,
and called for similar projects in the region.
in many schools, the old adage “spare the rod, spoil the child” continues to
play a part in the classroom.
Esveld said there is a lack of data about the prevalence of corporal punishment
in other Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, but HRW is beginning
research into the problem.
reports from different MENA countries indicate it is a serious problem;
children have reportedly died due to corporal punishment at school in Egypt,
for example,” he told Arab News.
forthcoming World Bank report indicates that the prevalence in Lebanon is worse
than the global average.”
has also highlighted widespread corporal punishment, both in the classroom and
in the home, in its latest report, “Violent Discipline in the MENA Region.” Of
85 million children (aged between two and 14) in the region, 71 million are
estimated to have experienced some form of violent discipline.
Tawile, a child protection program specialist at UNICEF, told Arab News that
the organization is launching a study on the causes of violence in schools,
with the results expected by mid-2020. The study will be carried out in
partnership with Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Save
against children can have an important long-term impact. When children feel
safe, without worry and threat, they are calm and focused, they learn better,
they grow up as stronger and active contributing members of society,” said
can cause harm to the physical health and emotional well-being of a child. Harm
can include physical injuries, but can also negatively affect the self-esteem
of children, depression, school dropouts ... sexual violence can lead to
unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV.”
and UNICEF hope to see the tide turning in Lebanon.
May 2018, the country’s Education Ministry launched a comprehensive child
protection policy, which Tawile described as “a very important step.”
Esveld said that more accountability and transparency around complaints of
corporal punishment are needed. He hoped the ministry’s new policy banning all
corporal punishment will have a positive influence on a new generation of
• Indonesia plans to tighten the vetting of senior public servants amid fears
that hardline Islamist ideology has permeated high levels of government,
according to documents seen by Reuters and a senior official involved in the
is officially secular, but there has been a rise in politicians demanding a
larger role for Islam in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, with some
groups calling for an Islamic state.
rise in conservatism was a major test for President Joko Widodo in the April
election, with some Islamist groups accusing him of being anti-Islam and
supporting his political rivals, including challenger Prabowo Subianto.
Joko was re-elected for a second term but voting patterns revealed deepening
divisions between areas known for a moderate following of Islam and
conservative Muslim regions that backed Mr Prabowo.
senior government official, who is part of a team formulating the new vetting
policy, said Mr Joko intends it to be a part of his legacy of ensuring
Indonesia remains a model for moderate Islam.
official said the President strongly believes that radical Islam threatens the
state apparatus as well as the future of democracy. The vetting plan was a big
priority for him, said the official, who declined to be identified.
Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, wants hardline and radical elements to be
weeded out before the next election, in 2024, said the official. Mr Joko's
office did not respond to requests for comment.
to the documents seen by Reuters, the government wants to introduce stricter
background checks and a new psychological test to gauge candidates' political
leanings - especially for those seeking promotions to the top two rungs of the
official said the plan will be rolled out by the end of the year at 10 of the
country's biggest ministries by budget and several state-owned enterprises.
to be targeted as priorities include finance, defence, health, education,
religious affairs, and public works.
enterprises include state energy company Pertamina, flag carrier Garuda
Indonesia, the biggest state bank BRI, state miners Antam and Timah, and two
state media companies.
servants would not be sacked but the new policy could be used to keep those
with hardline leanings from rising through the ranks, the official said.
we're seeing is not sudden but the result of seeds that were planted years ago
through small movements that at the time were not considered a threat to the
state. For over 10 years, these ideas have been tolerated, accepted, and
perhaps even used by elements of the state," a government paper said.
government official who spoke to Reuters is part of a team of 12 officials and
experts that will work with the National Agency to Promote Pancasila and with
civil society organisations to formulate new metrics to strengthen existing
recruitment tests. Pancasila, the country's official, foundational
philosophical theory, includes upholding national unity, social justice and
democracy alongside belief in God, and enshrines religious diversity in an
officially secular system of government.
official said the government is expecting a backlash both from within the state
bureaucracy and from rights activists who could liken the moves to the
authoritarian era of former president Suharto, when loyalty to the state
ideology was mandatory and equated with loyalty to the regime.
representative for the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), an Islamist group that
calls for syariah law in Indonesia, said the planned vetting procedures would
"amount to discrimination against Islam".
government is affected by the disease of secularism and is trying to separate
politics and religion, which is very dangerous," said Mr Novel Bamukmin of
the FPI's Jakarta chapter.
should be focusing on targeting the communists and Shi'ite (minority Muslims)
in the bureaucracy instead," he added.
authorities have tightened security in the southern Philippine city of Marawi
for a study and prayer gathering called a “Joohur” attended by Muslims from
across the country and from overseas.
to a 1,000 members of the non-political global missionary movement, Tableegi
Jamaat Ijtima, or Tabligh, are gathered in Marawi for the three-day event that
started on June 21.
civic leader Zia Alonto Adiong said the "Joohur" is a religious event
staged by the Tabligh that aims to bring into Muslim consciousness the early
days of Islam.
year's activities are being held at the Abubakar Masjid in the Basak Malutlut
area of the ravaged city where the 2017 conflict started.
May 2017, a large gathering of Muslim missionaries provided cover for dozens of
foreign militants who later joined local extremist groups who seized the city.
of the foreign fighters reportedly answered a call from Malaysian militant
leader Mahmud Ahmad to rescue Filipino fighter Isnilon Hapilon who was injured
was later reported killing during the liberation of Marawi from the terrorist
gunmen in October 2017.
Lt. Col. Ebra Moxsir, who is also a Muslim religious leader, stressed the
significance of this year's event.
is an Islamic assembly to enhance our faith to our Creator and emphasize the
significance of our preaching and revisiting our principles," Moxsir said.
will also allow us to see how we, as Muslims, are going to share our traits and
principles that are very important during the time of the prophet," he
said those attending the gathering will have to return to their communities and
relay the message of the event.
people, however, have expressed apprehension about the event.
are posts on social media that there are [Islamic State fighters] inside Marawi
attending the Joohur," said Brig. Gen. Romeo Brawner, commander of the
army's 103rd Infantry Brigade.
is fake news," he said, but added he understood the fear and trauma of the
general assured that the organizer of the event had been coordinating with the
military prior to it taking place.
said "security measures" have been put in place to ensure the safety
of participants and residents.
agreed that they should also police their own ranks and make sure no [foreign
terrorists] can take advantage of the event," Brawner said.
said organizers have also agreed to report any "suspicious-looking
provincial government of Lanao del Sur has also issued a statement dismissing
rumors of an impending attack on Marawi.
measures are already in place," it said in a statement.
Indonesian scholars have supported the nomination of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and
Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s two largest Islamic organizations, for the Nobel
Peace Prize, saying the two groups have played a key role in promoting
religious tolerance in the country and the region.
priest and renowned philosopher Franz Magnis-Suseno credited the two
organizations for helping shape the face of Indonesian Islam.
and Muhammadiyah present the face of Islam that is completely different from
what extremists are trying to portray, he said.
role is very important. I and my other Indonesian friends nominate NU and
Muhammadiyah for the Nobel Prize,” Franz told a seminar titled Challenging
Islamic Extremism in Indonesia, hosted by the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia
in Oslo and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) on Thursday.
added that both groups, which were established before Indonesia’s independence,
played a part in nation-building.
is because of their attitude that Indonesian Islam stays moderate, that
Indonesians enjoy internal peace and Indonesia is an important stabilizing
factor in Southeast Asia and globally,” Magnis said.
participants of the seminar included dozens of academics, ambassadors,
government officials, representatives of Norwegian civil organizations, as well
as NU executive board chairman Marsudi Syuhud and Muhammadiyah
secretary-general Abdul Mu'ti. The event was supported by Jakarta-based think
tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Wahid
Ambassador to Norway Todung Mulya Lubis said the country was currently
witnessing the emergence of religious extremism. Such extremism, he said, came
from beyond its state borders and spread as an effect to globalization.
their ideas took root among the Indonesian people, religious conflicts would
erupt and the country would practically vanish from the globe, said Lubis.
will be destroyed, just like Syria," he added.
argued that NU and Muhammadiyah, as the “backbone” of moderate Islam in
Indonesia, were crucial to stemming the tide of religious extremism.
Islamic scholar Azyumardi Azra acknowledged the two organizations’ contribution
in the making of Islam à la Indonesia.
Islam, no doubt, is a wasatiyyah Islam [justly balanced or middle-path Islam],
which is by and large, an inclusive and accommodative Islam and the least
Arabicized Islam,” said Azra.
noted historian, who is known for his seminal work The Origin of Islamic
Reformism in Southeast Asia: Networks of Malay-Indonesian and Middle Eastern
'Ulama' in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, outlined three points
explaining why NU and Muhammadiyah were important for Indonesia.
the two strengthened social cohesion after the democratic transition in 1998.
Indonesia was swept by a democratic wave, these two organizations played a
crucial role to maintain the unity of the nation," Azra said.
Pancasila as the state ideology is adaptive to the concept of middle-path Islam
promoted by NU and Muhammadiyah.
said, "For mainstream Muslims, Pancasila is already Islamic enough. All
the pillars of Pancasila are basically in conformity with the fundamental
teaching of Islam."
Indonesian Muslims have largely always chosen the middle path. Despite the fact
that 87 percent of the Indonesian population is Muslim, Islamic parties have
never won major elections.
Muslims] prefer secular political parties. They believe that the middle path is
the best one for Indonesia," Azra said.
argued that as long as NU and Muhammadiyah uphold the middle path and
Pancasila, the extremist groups would never win.
and Muhammadiyah are too big to fail," he concluded.
Institute director Yenny Wahid said that proponents of moderate Islam had
fought hard to curb religious extremism and radicalism.
is an increase of intolerance, but that does not mean that extremism and
radicalism also increase," she said.
further argued that the involvement of some Indonesians in the global terrorism
network did not necessarily reflect the general trend in the country.
Wahid Institute was founded in 2004 to honor the ideas and intellectual vision
of the late Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, Indonesia's fourth president
who was also a towering figure in NU.
to Yenny, both NU and Muhammadiyah had provided counter-narrative against the
highly divisive identity politics.
researchers from PRIO, Marte Nilsen and Trond Bakkevig, said the role of
moderate Islamic organizations in Indonesia was vital to the emergence of a new
Islamic power outside the Middle East.
can be an example of moderate Islam to the global society," said Nilsen.
Lubis noted a growing public support for the nomination of NU and Muhammadiyah
for the Nobel Peace Prize from both national and international agencies. Former
Timor Leste president Jose Ramos-Horta, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996,
is among those supporters.
IDA LIM AND DANIAL DZULKIFLY
LUMPUR, June 22 ― The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday
announced it had started a civil lawsuit to recover RM270 million allegedly
from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds and which were said to have
flowed from Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s AmBank account.
is Malay Mail’s compilation of who some of these 41 recipients are believed to
be, based on news reports and other publicly-available information.
the MACC did not provide any other identifying details on the individuals
listed, we opted not to speculate on the people listed, to avoid incidents of
just before we go into the list below, it will be helpful to remember these
66, was prime minister of Malaysia from April 2009 to May 2018, and finance
minister from September 2008 to May 2018. The 1MDB investment firm is under the
Finance Ministry’s Minister of Finance (MoF) Incorporated.
is still the Pekan MP after serving the Pahang seat as federal lawmaker for
decades, and was Umno president from March 2009 until May 2018. He won the
Pekan Umno chief seat uncontested last year.
Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Pekida)
has in the past been in the news eg in relation to a controversy over then Home
Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s alleged remarks in October 2013, and
when one of its leaders in January 2015 urged police to investigate then Umno
leader Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan for lodging a police report regarding 1MDB.
June 2018, a man identified as a Pekida member was arrested over alleged online
death threats against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but Pekida’s
president the next day denied that the man was a member.
been seen as a Malay right-wing group, a Pekida leader was in 2014 reported by
local daily The Star as saying the group is a Muslim charity body.
online search for Akademi Pemuda, which sounds like a generic name when
translated to English (youth academy), suggests it is linked to Umno's youth
wing. (Not to be confused with others such as the similarly-sounding Akademi
Kepimpinan Pemuda by PAS.) A blog under Akademi Pemuda's name with the tagline
Gagasan Generasi Gemilang has only four posts, all made in September 2009,
including one that states that it was formed as a non-profit entity on May 17,
2002 with the aim of offering strategic planning and to carry out programmes in
line with Umno Youth's vision.
had then listed its chairman as Khairul Azwan Harun (who later became Umno
deputy youth chief), and also featured Khairy Jamaluddin's photo as the then
Umno Youth chief.
Gerakan Belia Gagasan 1Malaysia (GBG1M)
group that sports the ubiquitous tag of the 1Malaysia concept pushed by Najib
when he was prime minister also appears to have links to Umno, with its
president Datuk Shahrul Nasrun Kamarudin currently an Umno Youth exco member
for the term 2018-2021. According to Gerakan Belia Gagasan 1Malaysia's Facebook
page, it was officially registered on December 13, 2011, with the aim of
mobilising Malaysian youths to support the Gagasan 1Malaysia concept.
group was in May 2012 reported to have protested outside then Bersih 2.0
co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan's house against the polls watchdog Bersih
2.0's April 2012 rally for electoral reforms.
Yayasan Permata Malaysia
foundation was reportedly launched on March 10, 2011 with an initial capital of
RM4.4 million; it was formed to carry out all programmes under Permata which
had Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as its patron.
had at the foundation's launch said the initial funds were contributed by
organisations such as 1MDB, Yayasan AlBukhary, Khazanah Nasional and Perbadanan
the time of writing, Permata's website was down, but internet archives showed
that Permata was a division parked under the Prime Minister's Department during
the Najib administration.
April 2019, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the Permata Negara programme
has been rebranded as Genius.
Yayasan Tun Hussein Onn
is registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia as having been formed
in May 2002, with the stated nature of business including the purchase or
maintenance of any office, workshop, mill, plant or machinery necessary for the
foundation’s purpose and is required to have the prior approval of the Inland
sounds really similar to Yayasan Guru Tun Hussein Onn, which had in December
2015 replaced the Teachers' Provident Fund (KWSG). It is currently unclear if
these two entities are related or the same.
to be linked to the Community Development Department (KEMAS) under the Rural
Development Ministry, Yayasan Persatuan Bekas Anggota KEMAS Malaysia (PBAKM) is
registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia as a company formed in
foundation carries out activities relating to the welfare of those who were
formerly KEMAS members, and has been reported to provide financial aid for
those who were formerly KEMAS contractual staff.
Yayasan Penyelidikan Transformasi (FORT)
registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia as a company formed on
October 10, 2013, its nature of business is stated as including the
establishing, maintenance and administration of scholarships and educational
grants, as well as the organisation of studies, research, seminars, conference
and camp programmes.
foundation is alternatively known as Foundation of Research on Transformation
(FORT) where Najib was the patron, and has published lengthy books regarding
foundation established by Najib's mother Tun Rahah Mohd Noah is also registered
with the Companies Commission of Malaysia with the company number 530565-M and
is listed as having been incorporated in 2000.
Rahah was mentioned as the founder of Rumah Penyayang Tun Abdul Razak, a
welfare home in Pekan, Pahang for orphans. The welfare home's trustees received
a RM400,000 cheque from Najib issued from one of his AmBank accounts.
Binsabi Sdn Bhd
to Binsabi's website, the company was founded by former national shooter and
the country's first Olympic shooting participant Datuk Sabiamad Abdul Ahad on
March 26, 2010 as an event specialist currently serving more than 50 clients
from both the private and government sector. It is registered with the
Companies Commission of Malaysia with the stated business of constructing and
supplying tents to government agencies.
listed among its clients (although it was not specified if these are current or
former clients) Umno, the Prime Minister's Office, various ministries, Kuala
Lumpur City Hall and Petronas.
Rayhar Travels Sdn Bhd
a press statement yesterday, Rayhar Travels explained that it was named in this
case due to its receiving of a payment via cheque from an individual who had
sponsored Pekan residents in 2013 for umrah or Muslim pilgrimage.
Travels said it was notified in 2018 by authorities that the cheque was
believed to have originated from Najib's Ambank account.
travel agency, which was founded in 1990 and conducts Muslim pilgrimage trips,
told customers that it was operating as usual.
and 12. Jakel Trading; Jakel Trading Sdn Bhd
textile giant which can trace its roots back to Johor, it imports textiles
which it sells wholesale, besides serving retail customers. It was named twice
as respondents in MACC’s forfeiture action.
his own defence, Najib posted on Facebook yesterday that the funds paid to
Jakel were for the supply of sarong, robes and other supplies via Umno and
non-governmental organisations to over 7,000 mosques nationwide in conjunction
with Ramadan for several consecutive years.
Perano Sdn Bhd
on May 18, 2007, Perano Sdn Bhd is registered as an investment holding company
that does business as a textiles trader.
of the 26 subsidiaries under Jakel Trading, Perano Sdn Bhd owns the Muslim
headscarf brand Galeri Hajra Tudung & Selendang and operates 10 branches
on a Google listing with crowd-sourced photos, this appears to be a textile
store located along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur. (It’s that part
of the city that is populated by textile stores and just four minutes’ walk
away from Jakel Trading’s textile mall Jakel Mall).
K&Z Enterprise Sdn Bhd
since April 1998, this long-standing company touts itself to be a leading
garment manufacturer and exporter that has been dealing with clients in the US
and Europe for over a decade.
Johor Baru-based apparel company boasts a long list of certifications,
including being a Walt Disney certified factory and Walmart certified factory.
Habib Jewels Sdn Bhd
in 1958 in Penang, this little-known family business grew to be one of the
nation's most renowned jewellers with some 30 branches nationwide.
Jewels yesterday said that it had not formally received the court papers but
confirmed that it has and will fully co-operate with the authorities in this
company confirmed that all of its transactions were done “in good faith” and
are supported by legitimate documentation, including any that may be under MACC
Naza Quest Auto Sdn Bhd
Group yesterday said its subsidiary Naza Quest was named in the MACC forfeiture
action due to two transactions of RM105,000 (in 2012) and RM164,662 (in 2013)
for the purchase of four Chevrolet cars.
Naza Group said in a statement yesterday that it would provide co-operation and
the necessary assistance to the authorities regarding this matter.
AGA Touch (M) Sdn Bhd
in June 2008, its nature of business is registered as being a website designer,
software developer and information technology service provider.
the website of the Shah-Alam based AGA Group of which it is part of, AGA Touch
is named as having the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia status as well
as providing “tactical communications” and a “data-driven approach”.
IPG Mediabrands Sdn Bhd
company which provides media buying services has been incorporated since 1979.
Media Edge CIA (M) Sdn Bhd
company in the communication, media & entertainment industry was listed as
a finalist in two categories in the Malaysian Media Awards in 2010 for its work
for advertising clients.
TOWN, June 21 — Members of the Masjid Jamek Sungai Nibong Besar Committee and
several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) held a peaceful demonstration
against the proposed alignment of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) that may pass
over the mosque and Muslim burial grounds.
group of about 100 held up banners demanding that the LRT alignment be shifted
to another location so as not to affect the mosque and the cemetery.
shouted for the mosque to be saved and for the state government to respect the
Muslims in between of shouting Allahuakbar and Takbir.
Noor Kamarudin, the mosque committee’s treasurer, said the group wants the
state to realign the LRT so that it doesn’t cross in front of the mosque.
don’t want it to cross right in front of the mosque, we want the state to
review the alignment,” he said.
also asked for the government to continue the construction of the mosque which
was demolished last month.
mosque was demolished to make way for a new mosque to be built on the same
said construction works by the Public Works Department (PWD) on the new mosque
have yet to start.
later submitted a memorandum listing their demands with regards to the LRT
alignment and construction of the mosque to a special officer of Penang Deputy
Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman‘s office.
mosque was built back in the 1880s and is believed to be one of the oldest
mosques in the state.
2010, the mosque’s committee decided to demolish and build a new mosque as the
old mosque could no longer accommodate its growing congregation.
today, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told a press conference that the
alignment of the LRT has not been confirmed as it was not approved yet.
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) began to partially suspend food
assistance program to areas in Yemen, a UN spokesman said Friday.
suspension falls within areas of the country that is under the control of authorities
based out of the capital Sanaa, which will affect 850,000 people.
spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephen Dujarric said the decision was
"taken as a last resort" after negotiations between both parties to
introduce controls stopping the diversion of food had stalled.
the organization will continue their nutritional programs for children
suffering from malnutrition, and pregnant and nursing mothers.
has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran
much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a
devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have
been killed in the conflict, while another 14 million are at risk of
starvation, according to the UN.
to UN figures, Yemen is facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,
with more than 10 million people driven to the brink of famine. More than 22
million people in Yemen are desperate for humanitarian aid and protection.
spokesperson said that some people were trying to profit by praying on the most
vulnerable and diverting food away from where it is most needed.
organization suggested a biometric system that could identify individuals in
order to ensure food reaches families in need of supplies the most.
said the WFP "remains optimistic that a way forward can be found and is
ready to immediately resume food distribution" once an agreement on the
biometrics is reached.
President Donald Trump spoke Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman
to discuss Iran's "escalatory behavior."
addition, the leaders "discussed Saudi Arabia’s critical role in ensuring
stability in the Middle East and in the global oil market," the White
House said in a brief statement.
prices have surged as much as 10% over the past week amid regional tensions
that have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since Washington unilaterally
withdrew last year from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to ramp up
pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
of its campaign has included the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on exports of
Iranian crude oil, which has sent the Iranian economy into a nosedive. The U.S.
has largely relied on Saudi Arabia to make up the declined global oil outputs
following the economic penalties on Iran.
U.S. has also increased its military presence in the Middle East, deploying a
carrier strike force, bomber task force and Patriot missile battery and using
threats from Iran as justification for the actions.
indictment: Suspect sent bomb threats to judges 'for cause of Islamic State'
former inmate at Blackwater River Correctional Institution in Milton claimed he
threatened to blow up the secretary of state and several judges around Florida
"for the cause of the Islamic State," a federal indictment issued
this week said.
D. Stirn, 24, was indicted on 12 counts Tuesday relating to letters to state
and federal agencies he allegedly sent out while a state inmate between April
and May. The letters threatened to use "C4" and "car bombs"
to do harm to public officials, Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District
of Florida, announced today.
was originally charged by a criminal complaint sworn out by the Federal Bureau
of Investigation. The FBI affidavit said Stirn admitted to writing threatening
letters to the Florida Secretary of State, the Social Security Administration, and
several U.S. courts in Pensacola, Miami, Gainesville, Panama City and
indictment describes six separate letters Stirn sent to federal judges in both
the Southern and Northern Districts of Florida. In another letter he claims,
"This is a direct attack on the U.S. Government."
first sent a threatening letter around April 23 to the U.S. Southern District
Court in Miami saying, "There is an improvised explosive device inside of
your building ... This is an orchestrated attack in the name and for the cause
of the Islamic State."
so-called Islamic State — also known by the Arabic acronym Daesh — is a
militant group and former proto-state that Stirn mentions in other threatening
letters, the indictment said.
letter addressed to the same court dated May 6 said there were bombs in the
building and, "Some of this federal Courthouse will explode when our I.S.
cell detonates ... Death to America, truly."
day later, a similar letter was sent to the U.S. Northern District stating
there was a bomb in the courthouse made of "TEXTER UNIBOX C4" and
other "combustible liquids are hidden as well, with something similar to a
pipe bomb, in cooper encasing."
similar threat was sent to the Florida Secretary of State that cleared out the
R.A. Gray Building for about 40 minutes the morning of May 17.
letter addressed to the Secretary of State was postmarked "Mr. Noah Devon
Stirn," gave his inmate number and the street address in Milton for the
Blackwater prison. "THIS LETTER IS NOT A JOKE OR A HOAX," the letter
said and was "of 100 % unquestionable fact."
described that explosives, pipe bombs and "TEXTER UNIBOX C4" was
placed in their offices and "a car bomb for the Secretary of State which
should be in place as you read this. Your terror, as I imagine, is well
grand jury indictment filed Tuesday merely alleges that a defendant has
violated federal law and is not evidence of guilt. His arraignment is scheduled
for 2 p.m. Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope T. Cannon in Pensacola.
was serving a 10-year, four-month sentence for grand theft auto, witness
tampering and witness intimidation with force when the federal charges were
initially filed in May. The Collier County Sheriff's Office also has lodged a
detainer against Stirn for pending charges relating to a false bomb threat.
said the investigation included the FBI, U.S. Marshals Services, the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, the Pensacola Police Department, and the
Tallahassee Police Department.
FBI was initially notified May 8 by the U.S. Marshal Service about a letter
sent to the U.S. District Court in Pensacola that said judges were being
followed home, and if they didn't resign gang members would kick in the doors
of their homes and "viciously murder the judges" and their families,
the FBI affidavit said.
days later, the FBI received a report from the U.S. District Court in Miami
that judges received a threatening letter from Stirn, saying, "I have
assisted in planning and strategy to place Texter Unibox C4 into your judicial
chambers, explosives, in order to assassinate Magistrate Judge P. White for his
political wrongdoing." The letter also said there were bombs in the
building, and "Im not crazy. This is no damn joke."
were included demanding a wire transfer of $50,000 to a specified account, and
once confirmed, he would call off the murders.
letter delivered to the Social Security Administration in Pensacola May 14
forced the building's evacuation while police dogs swept for explosives that
were said to be planted. Among the usual threats was the statement that
"this is a direct attack on the U.S. Government."
day later, Pensacola police reported a similar letter delivered to the U.S.
Attorney's Office, again addressed by Noah Stirn.
May 16, Blackwater correctional officers told the FBI that Stirn had placed
four other letters in the outgoing mail the previous day that hadn't left the
building yet. They were addressed to the clerks of U.S. District Court in
Panama City, Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Pensacola.
reading Stirn his rights, FBI agents said, he admitted that he wrote the
letters and placed them in the outgoing mail, stating he disagreed with various
policies of the U.S. government and this was his attempt to change those
FBI descended on their north suburban home in a raid two years ago that began
with a “boom,” neighbors said.
the feds unveiled a 77-page criminal complaint in April 2017 that accused
Joseph D. Jones and Edward Schimenti of sharing gruesome Islamic State videos
online, fantasizing about the ISIS flag “on top of the White House” and,
crucially, collecting cellphones they thought could be used as detonators by
the 37-year-old Zion men have been found guilty of a conspiracy to provide
material support to the Islamic State. A jury convicted them Thursday after
more than a day and a half of deliberations, ending their roughly three-week
jury also found Schimenti guilty of lying to the FBI about a matter involving
international terrorism. Both men face significant prison time at sentencing
hearings that have not been scheduled.
and Jones looked sullen after U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood read the verdict
Thursday afternoon. Jones’ lawyer, Patrick Boyle, later told reporters he was
disappointed. It’s rare for a terrorism case to go to trial at the Dirksen
Federal Courthouse. And in the lead-up to this one, defense attorneys convinced
the judge they should be allowed to present an entrapment defense to the jury.
investigation of Schimenti and Jones lasted a year and a half, and it involved
several law enforcement agents working undercover, records show. Their
attorneys said they never “took any affirmative steps” to help the terrorist
group until a federal confidential informant got involved.
never researched on their computers how to make explosives, or how cell phones
can work as detonators,” the lawyers argued.
said Jones shared Islamic State videos that depicted the deaths of people who
were beheaded by a child soldier, drowned in a cage, and blown up by a
rocket-propelled grenade while locked inside a vehicle. Another video
demonstrated various ways to stab someone. It was titled, “Some of the Deadly
Stabbing Ways: Do not Forget to Poison the Knife.”
their lawyers argued, “this is all protected speech, [no] matter how morally
objectionable it may seem. Supporting distasteful, objectionably horrible
groups is in and of itself not a crime. In fact, it is protected by the
crossed paths with one of the FBI’s confidential informants in November 2016,
records show. He was led to believe the man was from Iraq and had a brother in
ISIS. Schimenti told him he supported ISIS and, when the man said he wanted to
return to the Middle East to fight for the group, Schimenti introduced him to
also met the man at a gym for physical training exercises, records show. There,
Schimenti told the man about ISIS videos and how their fighters trained hard,
even “jumping through fire.” He told the man, “inshallah [God willing] the
brothers will just have me be the one to cut the neck.”
Schimenti and Jones helped that man collect cellphones they thought would be used
as detonators, introduced him to an undercover fed they believed would get him
overseas, and then drove the man to O’Hare Airport to begin his journey on
April 7, 2017.
allegedly told the man to “drench that land with they, they blood.”
the investigation, an undercover fed asked Jones if he ever thought about
joining ISIS. Jones replied, “every night and day,” court records show.
Schimenti also fantasized about how, under Islamic law, they could put gay
people “on top of Sears Tower and we drop you,” according to the feds.
want to see blood flowing, whatever way,” Schimenti said.
man facing terrorism charges called a 911 dispatcher and swore allegiance to
ISIS before attacking a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy, according to a
recently unsealed Sheriff's Office report.
report claims 18-year-old Ismail Hamed repeatedly called 911 on the evening of
Jan. 7 and demanded that a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputy meet him at
an MCSO substation in Fountain Hills. He also swore allegiance to ISIS, the
say Hamed threw rocks and approached the responding deputy, Sgt. Brandon Wells,
with a three-inch knife before Wells shot him. Hamed was treated at a
Scottsdale hospital before being booked into jail on one count of aggravated
assault involving a deadly weapon.
prosecutors eventually filed a complaint charging him with aiding a terrorist
organization and engaging in an act of terrorism. A grand jury agreed to indict
Hamed on the terrorism charges on Jan. 17.
County Sheriff Paul Penzone held a press conference shortly after the
confrontation where he claimed Hamed wanted to harm or kill Wells as part of a
terrorist ideology but refused to elaborate.
of Columbine is within me'
previously sealed police record claims Hamed shared multiple YouTube videos
linked to terrorist organizations — including Osama Bin Laden's declaration of
jihad — to a group chat between himself and several friends.
highlighted Hamed's text messages that reference various mass shootings,
including the ones that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip and a nightclub in
one instance, Hamed texted "the spirit of columbine is within me" —
referencing the infamous high school massacre — to a friend in September 2018.
highlighted text says "Life without jihad is meaningless."
police interviews with Hamed's family and coworkers painted a different
parents described their son to investigators as a mild-mannered person who
shied away from conflict and were stunned to learn of the charges against him.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rolled out the State Department's report on
religious freedom Friday, saying it found a "chilling array of
abuses" on religion last year.
called out China, Iran, and Russia for religious freedom violations, as well as
Myanmar for its oppression of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community beginning in August 2017.
UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young
children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state
report, which documented the countries in 2018, also added a separate section
on China's persecution of Uyghur Muslims, saying that "history will not be
silent about these abuses."
State Department moved up Uzbekistan in their report this year, moving from
being a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) to being placed on a special watch
list after making significant progress in religious freedom.
CPC list is comprised of countries that have the lowest records of religious
freedom and are subject to U.S. sanctions.
was created from the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, enacted by
Congress as a foreign policy tool to raise awareness about religious freedom
violations around the globe.
however, made no mention of Saudi Arabia, which is also on the CPC list.
asked about Saudi Arabia, Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador on religious
freedom, told reporters that the country "continues to be one of the worst
actors in the world on religious persecution."
has protested the "violation" of its airspace by a U.S. "spy
drone" which it downed on Thursday.
an emergency phone call, Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi expressed
his country's protest to Swiss Ambassador in Tehran Markus Leitner, whose
country represents U.S. interests in Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a
Thursday, Iran’s military released a video of the downing a U.S. surveillance
drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
and the U.S. dispute the drone’s location when it was downed. Tehran maintains
the drone violated its airspace, while Washington says it was in international
asserted there was "indisputable evidence that the drone had breached
was not the first time Americans have committed such an act, as this has
happened a number of times before," he stressed.
"will not hesitate for a moment to decisively defend its territory against
any aggression," Araqchi added.
the incident, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that "Iran made
a very big mistake."
— European leaders have hammered the United States for nearly two decades about
the injustice of Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners are held indefinitely at a
detention camp outside the normal U.S. justice system.
faced with what to do about European nationals who went to fight for the
Islamic State and ended up in Syrian detention camps, the continent’s leaders
are proving reluctant to bring their citizens to trial at home.
months after the collapse of the Islamic State, about 2,000 foreign fighters
are imprisoned in Syria and Iraq, and about 800 of them are believed to be
European, according to U.S. officials. Those figures don’t include the
thousands of wives and children with foreign citizenship.
leaders have made little movement to repatriate their citizens, even as U.S.
and Kurdish authorities beg them to take back their people. Some security
officials warn that inaction could enable future attacks, and human rights
advocates deplore the conditions in overcapacity camps.
obvious that there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding in the camps in northeast
Syria and the prisons in Iraq that are holding thousands of foreigners,” said
Letta Tayler, a global terrorism researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Western
Europe’s response has been to look the other way. It just goes against
everything that Western Europe says it stands for.”
leaders have taken a hard look at what their domestic populations want — and
blinked. Popular opinion is overwhelmingly against bringing back the European
fighters. The anger sharpened after terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015 and
Brussels in 2016, in which some of the perpetrators had visited the caliphate.
Belgians want them to be taken care of over there,” said Koen Metsu, a Belgian
lawmaker who has worked on security issues. The Europeans who joined the
Islamic State “knew up front what they were about to do,” he said.
bringing back the children of the fighters is unpopular. France and the
Netherlands have taken back orphans in recent days, because those children are
free from the leaden political baggage of having parents who might also want to
return alongside them. Belgium last week announced plans to do the same.
Britain, meanwhile, has sought to strip suspected Islamic State sympathizers of
fighters and sympathizers have been convicted in absentia — unable to appear at
their European trials because they were in Syria. But authorities have little
appetite to bring people home to serve their sentences.
countries have also begun to outsource prosecutions to Iraqi courts. Justice is
swift, the burden of proof light, access to lawyers minimal and the punishment
consistent: death by hanging, according to human rights groups who have
witnessed the proceedings. In recent weeks, 11 French citizens, among others,
have been sentenced to death. France, which opposes the death penalty, signaled
it will not stand in the way of the trials, saying it respects Iraqi
of 11 French nationals sentenced to death by a Baghdad court for joining the
Islamic State. From left, top: Vianney Ouraghi, Salim Machou, Mustapha
Merzoughi, Brahim Nejara. Bottom: Fodil Tahar Aouidate, Kevin Gonot, Yassine
Sakkam and Leonard Lopez. (AFP/Getty Images)
of shifting prosecutions to Iraqi courts, including Metsu, acknowledge that
some fighters may have fought in Syria only, not Iraq, raising questions
whether Iraqis truly have jurisdiction. But they say justice is better served
close to where crimes were committed and where witnesses and evidence are
question of whether to reclaim fighters and their families is less pressing for
the United States, because only a few dozen U.S. citizens are known to have
traveled to join the Islamic State, according to counterterrorism analysts. But
America has started to bring its people home. This month, six children and two
women were flown back from the al-Hol camp to be resettled in the United
States, according to Syrian Kurdish authorities. Three men and a woman are
awaiting U.S. trial. Three others agreed to plea deals. And one Virginia man is
appealing a sentence of 20 years for providing material support to a designated
officials, having made greater progress than their European counterparts, have
sought to claim the moral high ground and to impress that the current situation
is not sustainable.
is not a solution to leave these people in camps in northeast Syria. This is a
burden on the people of northeast Syria,” James Jeffrey, the U.S. special
representative for Syria engagement, told reporters last week. “It is
absolutely imperative that countries take action as necessary to deal with
their own citizens.”
challenge bloomed as a U.S.-led coalition took over the final pockets of
Islamic State territory in Syria and Iraq. That sent a wave of refugees and
ex-fighters into the already fragile camps in Kurdish-controlled northeast
Syria. Many of the men are in improvised prisons. Women and children are not
under the same tight control, but those suspected of Islamic State sympathies
are not allowed to move freely.
al-Hol, more than 73,000 people are packed into facilities built to house about
half that. The camp population includes 3,200 foreign women and 7,900 foreign
children, alongside more than 60,000 Syrians and Iraqis, according to Kurdish
authorities. There are just three mobile clinics at the camp, and shortages of
medicine are acute.
Kurdish forces who operate the jammed camps have few resources. Some of them
complain they are being forced to lavish more money on their defeated enemies
than on their own war-frayed population.
President Trump has said he wants to withdraw U.S. forces from the region. A
pullout could threaten the viability of the camps, because the U.S. military
has been a crucial source of support for the Kurds.
tweeted his frustration at the end of April: “European countries are not
helping at all, even though this was very much done for their benefit. They are
refusing to take back prisoners from their specific countries. Not good!”
inaction by European politicians also comes over the objections of some of
their own security officials. Many who work to keep Europeans safe — but who
don’t have to win their votes — would prefer to keep terrorism suspects and
convicts close by, where they can be watched, instead of running the risk they
could vanish abroad and plot future violence.
is a disconnect between the political world that is very concerned about the
political risks that are associated with the repatriation of terrorists, and
the various services that are dealing with counterterrorism daily,” said Thomas
Renard, a terrorism expert at the Brussels-based Egmont Institute. “Having
these individuals here, prosecuting them here, is not only feasible but also probably
from a security point of view, we should not make the mistakes of the past. We
should not create a new Guantanamo Bay,” said one senior European security
official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive
assessments that do not line up with those of national leaders.
of Europe’s objections to Guantanamo, the U.S. detention facility in Cuba, had
to do with torture. But other factors that led the United States to detain
people there — a lack of confidence in civilian courts to handle terrorism
trials and a fear of the political backlash of bringing terror detainees onto
U.S. soil — echo in the European decisions, the official said.
sentences for terrorism-related charges tend to be lighter than in the United
States — the lightest offenses are punishable with two- to five-year sentences.
Prisons can be hotbeds of radicalization. And European politicians warn that
mustering the battlefield evidence necessary for convictions on serious charges
can be difficult. Some countries, such as Sweden, never criminalized travel to
Syria, making it difficult for law enforcement to charge people for basic
association with the Islamic State.
political suicide to try to bring them back, because the public doesn’t want
them back,” said Magnus Ranstorp, a counterterrorism expert at the Swedish
Defense University. “They’ve committed atrocities, but you cannot convict them.
And if you can convict them, it won’t be for that long unless you can prove
murder. It’s a ripe mess.”
leaders are advocating a different approach.
said we will not repatriate terrorists to Sweden,” said Swedish Home Affairs
Minister Mikael Damberg in an interview. Damberg has pushed for an
international tribunal near Syria to prosecute Islamic State crimes. He said
that would provide a way to process the detainees without bringing them to
doing anything in the region, close to evidence and witnesses, is also
complicated, and risks not actually prosecuting and condemning them,” he said.
of the effort, including the U.S. government, say setting up a tribunal could
take years, by which time evidence would be lost and memories faded. They also
say it would force an even bigger burden on Iraq, which is already struggling
to rebuild after Islamic State occupation. The Iraqi government is in talks to
take back about 30,000 of its own citizens who traveled to Syria to live under
Islamic State rule.
families of terrorism victims say they would prefer that justice be served
closer to home.
want those trials to happen in France,” said Georges Salines, whose daughter,
Lola, died in the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. “We really want for those
people to be heard by judges. We want to know how they got radicalized.”
Ariès contributed to this report.
says the United States is deliberately stoking dangerous tensions around Iran
and pushing the situation to the brink of war.
Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Friday called on Washington to weigh the
possible consequences of a conflict with Iran, the RIA news agency reported.
Russian diplomat touched on a report in the New York Times, saying it showed
the situation was extremely dangerous.
US paper reported on Friday that President Donald Trump had approved military
strikes against Iran for downing an intruding American spy aircraft, but pulled
back from launching them on Thursday night.
initially issued a series of cataclysmic threats, insisting that the RQ-4
Global Hawk was flying over international waters when it was taken down by an
the GPS coordinates released by Iran put the drone eight miles off the
country’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore, which is Iran's
envoy, Saudi defense official discuss Iran
the downing of the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone, US Special Representative for Iran
Brian Hook met Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman
in Riyadh on Friday.
to meet with United States Special Representative for Iran Mr. Brian Hook to
explore the latest efforts to counter hostile Iranian acts and continuous
escalation that threaten the region’s security and stability," the Saudi minister
said he had affirmed Riyadh's support for the US' "maximum pressure
campaign" on Iran, and discussed what he called "Iranian
attacks" on Saudi Arabia.
on Friday decried a decision by Greece that local religious leaders, known as
muftis, among the Turkish minority living in the Western Thrace would
henceforth be appointed by the state instead of being elected by the local
violates the Lausanne Peace Treaty by not recognizing the muftis selected by
the Turkish minority," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said.
said the move violated the minority's religious rights.
that this decree would eliminate the autonomy of the Mufti establishment in the
country, he urged Greece to have intimate and comprehensive communication with
the Turkish minority to resolve this problem in line with the Lausanne Treaty.
said Greece must recognize the muftis elected by the minority and reverse its
policy of imposing illegally appointed ones.
also underlined that it was "worrying" that such intrusive and
negative acts took place in an EU member state.
Greece, the muftis of the Turkish minority in Western Trace are appointed by
the government; however, the Turkish minority rejects this policy and demands
the muftis be locally-elected by them.
about 150,000 ethnic Turkish people reside in Western Thrace with their status
set by the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and their rights guaranteed by several
bilateral and multilateral agreements.
Lanka extends state of emergency in surprise move
state of emergency was extended by Sri Lanka’s president Saturday, going back
on pledges to relax the tough laws introduced after the Easter Sunday attacks
that killed 258 people.
Sirisena said in a decree he believed there was a “public emergency” in the
country, and was invoking provisions of the public security act extending the
state of emergency.
tough laws, granting sweeping powers to police and security forces to arrest
and detain suspects, were due to expire on Saturday.
over 100 people, including 10 women, are in custody in connection with April’s
Easter Sunday suicide attacks against three churches and three luxury hotels in
late May, Sirisena told diplomats -- from Australia, Canada, Japan, the US and
European states -- the security situation was “99 percent back to normal” and
he would allow the emergency laws to lapse by June 22.
assured diplomats security forces had either detained or killed all those
directly involved in the attacks, blamed on a local jihadi group and claimed by
the Islamic State group.
was no immediate word from the government why Sirisena changed his mind, but
security remains tight in the capital.
emergency can be declared for a month at a time, and parliament must ratify it
within 10 days.
continuation of the emergency came as police announced criminal investigations
against several top officers, including the Inspector-General, for negligence
and lapses ahead of the bombings.
himself has been criticised for failing to act on precise Indian intelligence
that jihadists were about to hit Christian churches and other targets in Sri Lanka.
parliamentary public inquiry has been told Sirisena -- who is also the minister
of defense and law and order -- failed to follow proper national security
mainly Buddhist nation of 21 million people was about to mark a decade since ending
a 37-year-long Tamil separatist war when the Islamic extremists struck.
(Reuters) - China recently played host to a Taliban delegation as part of
efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, China’s foreign
ministry said on Thursday.
of the Taliban, who have been fighting for years to expel foreign forces and
defeat the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, have been holding talks with U.S.
diplomats for months.
focus has been the Taliban demand for the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign
forces, in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used as a base
for militant attacks.
negotiators have also met senior Afghan politicians and civil society
representatives, including in Moscow recently, as part of so-called
intra-Afghan dialogue to discuss their country’s future.
foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing that Abdul Ghani
Baradar, the Taliban representative in Qatar, and some of his colleagues had
recently visited China, though he did not say exactly when.
officials met them to discuss the Afghan peace process and counter-terror
issues, Lu told the briefing, without saying who met the delegation.
pays great attention to the evolving situation in Afghanistan in recent years.
We have always played a positive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation
process,” Lu said.
supports Afghans resolving their problems themselves through talks, and this
visit was an important part of China promoting such peace talks, he said.
sides believe that this exchange was beneficial and agreed to keep in touch
about and cooperate on continuing to seek a political resolution for
Afghanistan and fighting terrorism.”
far western Chinese region of Xinjiang shares a short border with Afghanistan.
has long worried about links between militant groups and what it says are
Islamist extremists operating in Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur
people, who speak a Turkic language.
a close ally of Pakistan, has been deepening its economic and political ties
with Kabul and is also using its influence to try to bring the two uneasy
Afghanistan, June 20 (Xinhua) -- A total of 26 militants including 16 senior
and junior Taliban commanders have been killed in the beleaguered Ghormach
district of the western Badghis and parts of the neighboring northern Faryab
province in target attacks over the past 24 hours, an army spokesman in the
northern region Mohammad Hanif Rezai said Thursday.
to the officials, the senior commanders killed in the air raids backed by the
NATO-led Resolute Support mission include Hajji Mullah the Taliban military
chief for Ghormach, Mullah Abdul Rauf, Mullah Abdul Sattar, Mullah Torjan and
Qari Surgul and 11 junior group commanders.
cops to face charges for Easter blasts
Nine senior Sri Lankan police officials will face criminal investigations for
their failure to act on the intelligence warnings, including from India, to
prevent the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people.
general Dappula de Livera directed acting inspector general of police Chandana
Wickramaratne to conduct the probe against the officers found liable for
criminal negligence during an inquiry commission appointed by President
series of coordinated blasts targeted churches and hotels, killing 258 people.
India had issued a warning to the neighbouring country in early April about the
possibility of attacks at various locations.
- A report by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Myanmar's
readiness to repatriate Muslim Rohingya who fled to neighboring Bangladesh
paints a mostly positive picture of the country's efforts.
rights groups say the report glosses over still-dangerous realities in western
Myanmar's Rakhine State, where the U.N. accuses the country's security forces
of orchestrating a violent campaign of ethnic cleansing in late 2017 that drove
some 700,000 Rohingya across the border.
rights advocates are urging the regional bloc to rethink its approach and focus
on the root causes of the crisis at its leader summit in Bangkok this weekend.
its last leader summit in November, ASEAN called on its disaster management
unit, the AHA Center, to assess Myanmar's readiness to resettle the refugees
and how the center could help.
and Myanmar agreed in November 2017 to start repatriating volunteer refugees
within two months. But hardly any of them have taken up the offer, insisting
that Myanmar first ensure their safety and rights to land, freedom of movement
U.N. has repeatedly said that conditions are "not conducive" for the
yet-to-be-released report, or "preliminary needs assessment,"
obtained by VOA, concludes that the Myanmar government "has made
substantial effort in terms of developing procedures, processes and systems, as
well as in building facilities to ensure a smooth and orderly repatriation
says communal relations between the Buddhist Rakhine and those Rohingya who
stayed behind "while stable, is fragile," kept in check only by an
"invisible line that separates them."
the right technical help, it adds, Myanmar could repatriate 500,000 Rohingya in
in a statement, Human Rights Watch rebuked the bloc over the report for all but
ignoring the alleged spree of state-sponsored rape, murder and arson that drove
the Rohingya out, not consulting with the refugees themselves, and avoiding the
very term "Rohingya," which the Myanmar government rejects.
International told the French news agency, which first reported on the
assessment, it was "astonished" that it downplayed the military's
alleged crimes, the continued segregation of Rohingya in western Myanmar displaced
by earlier bouts of communal violence, and ongoing fighting there between the
military and Rakhine rebels.
the grassroots level, a lot of the Rohingya feel ...that the situation on the
ground is not safe and that the conditions for repatriation will not be met. So
there is a disconnect there between the sort of overoptimistic representation
in the report versus what the Rohingya on the ground actually feel," Saqib
Sheikh, a program director with the Rohingya Project, which aids displaced Rohingya,
to the AHA Center's head office in Jakarta, and an emailed request for comment,
went unanswered Friday.
the center's executive director, Adelina Kamal, defended the report in an
interview with Channel NewsAsia earlier this month.
said the Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) the center sent to
western Myanmar had a very specific mission to look for ways the bloc could
help Myanmar improve its repatriation plan.
ERAT has specific areas of expertise — disaster management," she said.
so we have been requested by Myanmar to provide assessment for them — it's very
focused and we cannot go beyond our mandate."
"preliminary needs assessment" says it was beyond that mandate to
judge whether broader conditions were conducive for repatriation. It adds that
a "comprehensive needs assessment" that could answer that would
follow once the first few thousand refugees start to return, or after.
main concern there is, that may be too late," said Sheikh
you can guarantee that not just security, but also ... the more fundamental
issues of citizenship and due human rights to the Rohingya, whether they're
going to be met — if that's still in a cloud, then it wouldn't really make
sense to begin a repatriation process," he said.
report says Rohingya technically have a path to citizenship via Myanmar's 1982
it's not that simple, said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's deputy Asia
reading I've seen of the 1982 Citizenship Act indicates very clearly that the
vast, vast majority of Rohingya would be excluded, that they would not be found
to be citizens and that they would be officially rendered stateless persons
since they would be neither of Bangladesh nor Burma," he told VOA, using
another term for Myanmar.
former Afghan President Hamid Karzai will not participate in Afghan peace
conference which will kick off in Pakistan today.
said he would be unable to attend the conference due to the lack of time for
consultations and preparations for the trip.
thanked the organizers of the conference for the invitation and added that he
is hopeful to visit Pakistan on another occasion.
also added that he wishes success for the conference and urges the Pakistan to
maintain efforts for peace in Afghanistan.
a delegation of prominent political leaders have arrived in Pakistan to attend
delegation includes Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Ata Mohammad Noor and Karim Khalili
and some other prominent leaders.
say it is difficult to prevent this as the traffickers are helping the Rohingya
no hope for their repatriation to their homeland in Myanmar’sRakhine state with
dignity, a large number of desperate Rohingyas are now either opting to go
abroad illegally or spread to different parts of Bangladesh, creating a fresh
problem for the country.
to local police and NGO officials, a human trafficking racket is encouraging
the Rohingyas, mainly women, to take the risk of going to Malaysia and
Indonesia by sea, or flee the camps in Cox's Bazar to collect Bangladeshi
passports with fake documents.
racket is providing them with the false documentsand helping them trick the
authorities to get their hands on the passports. The traffickers are also
helping the Rohingyas escape therefugee camps and contact their relatives
living in different Muslim countries.
Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan, the project directorof Introduction of e-Passport
and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh, told UNB that almost all
the Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh have registered their
are taking steps to incorporate the fingerprints of the Rohingyas in our
system,to make sure they cannot get Bangladeshi passports by any means. I hope,
the process will be completed by July," he said.
that some Rohingyas also show Bangladeshis as their parents, as locals help
them, while collecting necessary documents for passports.
than 1.1 Rohingyas, who have fled brutal persecution in Myanmar over the past
few years,are currently sheltered in a number of camps at Teknaf and Ukhiya of
NayeemNasim, an official at the Cox's Bazar regional passport office, said they
have already identified some 300 applications submitted by Rohingyas.
said they are now very careful in issuing passports so that Rohingyas cannot
get them with false documents.
Relief and Repatriation CommissionerAbul Kalam said it is a very tough job to
control nearly 1.2 million Rohingyas. "They are making various efforts to
either go abroad or spread to different parts of the country. Many of them have
already left their camps."
said they are taking various steps to stop it by intensifying monitoring on the
Rohingyas. "We are strongly dealing with the issue and law enforcement
officials are also playing an active role to preventthe Rohingyas from fleeing
police, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and coastguards have intensified their
monitoring and launched special drives to prevent the Rohingyas from escaping
enforcement officials set up eight check posts at Ukhiya and Teknaf, while
coastguards took position at different points of the Naf River and the Bay of
their separate drives, BGB, coastguardsand Police detained around 600 Rohingyas
over the last one-and-a-half-month, foiling their bid to flee to Malaysia
through the sea.
Bazar Superintendent of Police (SP) ABM Masud Hossain said Rohingyas are mainly
fleeing their camps through different secret ways in the hills and jungles.
he said, the displaced Myanmar nationals are now taking help from the locals to
learn their language, dress-up style, and way of communication. "So, they
now make efforts to escape their camps pretending to be local people."
also said most of the Rohingyas detained during their escape attempts were
June 6, police arrested 18 Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar Link Road and produced
them before a court.
May 30, coastguards arrested 56 Rohingyas — 26 women, 20 men and 10 children —
and two human traffickers from the deep sea while heading towards Malaysia.
law enforcement officials detained 517 Rohingyas and 32 human traffickers in
their different drives.The detained Rohingyas were taken back to their camps,
and the traffickers were produced before the court.
of the Rohingyas who got scattered to different parts of the country were also
detained by police.
May 10, police arrested 23 Rohingyas from Dhaka’sKhilkhet area as they were
preparing to leave Bangladesh for Malaysia with Bangladeshi passports.
Rohingya women were detained at HazratShahjalal International Airport while
attempting to go to Saudi Arabia by a Kuwait Airlines flight on May 25.
day before, police detained 50 other Rohingyas during a drive in Chittagong’s
KazirDewri area and sent them back to their camps.
Wednesday, Armed Police Battalion also arrested two Rohingya men with 9,000
yaba pills at the HazratShahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
around 50 Rohingyas were detained from different parts of the country during
their attempt to collect passports with fake documents.
for a better life
Biswas, an official of Inter Sector Coordination Group, said many Rohingyas are
desperate to go abroad seeking a better life as there is no progress in their
he said, some Rohingyas are contacting their relatives who stay abroad and
taking their help to flee Bangladesh through various ways.
feared Bangladesh may face a fresh problem if Rohingyas continue to flee their
Sharma, executive director of JagoNariUnnoyonSangstha — whichworks for the
welfare of the women in the camps,said many Rohingya girls now dream of getting
married and going to Malaysia.
Rohingya girls have a perception that they will have good husbands and a better
life if they can go to Malaysia by any means.Human traffickers give them these
ideas,” she said.
Bazar Additional SPIqbal Hossain said it is difficult to check the trafficking
of Rohingya as they are willing to leave Bangladesh. "The situation has
turned critical with the local human traffickers assisting them."
security forces conducted airstrikes against the compound of a Taliban
commander in Farah province killing at least 6 militants.
Police Headquarters of Farah in a statement said the security forces carried
out the airstrikes in Rokan Village of Posht-e-Rod district.
statement further added that the airstrikes targeted the compound of Taliban
commander Syed Shafiq alias Fahim Agha.
airstrikes also wounded five other militants, the Police Headquarters of Farah
the security forces conducted similar airstrikes in Gowhar area of Charsada
district in Ghor province.
Police Headquarters of Farah said the airstrikes destroyed a 75mm artillery, a
82mm mortar, 2 motorcycles and a fighting position of Taliban.
Taliban militants have not commented regarding the airstrikes so far.
security situation in some districts of Farah and Ghor provinces has
deteriorated during the recent years .
militants are active in the restive districts of the two provinces and often
conduct terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in the two province.
Afghan Special Forces killed 14 Taliban militants during an operation in Ghazni
informed military sources said Friday that Special Forces conducted the
operation in the restive Deh Yak district of Ghazni.
sources said “Afghan Special Forces conducted a raid in Deh Yak district
killing 14 Taliban fighters.”
Taliban militants have not commented regarding the operation so far.
security situation in some districts of Ghazni province has deteriorated during
the recent months.
militants are active in some restive districts of the province and often
conduct terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
security forces killed 10 Taliban militants during the operations in three provinces
of the country.
informed military sources said Friday that the Afghan Special Forces killed 4
Taliban militants during an operation in Gurziwan district of Faryab.
the security forces conducted an airstrike in Bala Boluk district of Farah and
killed 3 Taliban fighters.
security forces killed also conducted a similar airstrike in Shinkai district
of Zabul and killed 2 Taliban fighters.
an airstrike killed 1 Taliban fighter in Shah Joy district of Zabul province.
comes as the security situation in some districts of Faryab, Farah and Zabul
provinces has deteriorated during the recent years.
militants are active in remote and restive areas of the three provinces and
often conduct terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in these provinces.
powers upgrading arsenals as number of weapons falls: SIPRI
Nuclear-armed countries, including India and Pakistan, are increasing the size
of their arsenals despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear
warheads, a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report
Sweden-based SIPRI launched its latest report on Monday, which assesses the
current state of armaments, disarmament and international security.
SIPRI governing board’s chairman, Ambassador Jan Eliasson, who is a former
deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, said: “A key finding is that
despite an overall decrease in the number of nuclear warheads in 2018, all
nuclear weapon-possessing states continue to modernise their nuclear arsenals.”
the beginning of this year, nine states — the United States, Russia, the United
Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea (North Korea) — possessed approximately 13,865 nuclear
marked a decrease from the approximately 14,465 nuclear weapons that SIPRI
estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2018.
these 13,865 nuclear weapons, 3,750 were deployed with operational forces and
nearly 2,000 were kept in a state of high operational alert.
nuclear arsenals of the other nuclear-armed states are considerably smaller,
but all are either developing or deploying new weapon systems or have announced
their intention to do so. China, India and Pakistan are increasing the size of
their nuclear arsenals.
and Pakistan, which have 130 to 140 and 150 to 160 nuclear warheads
respectively, were also developing new systems, it said.
and Pakistan are expanding their military fissile material production
capabilities on a scale that may lead to significant increases in the size of
their nuclear weapon inventories over the next decade,” said Shannon Kile,
director of the SIPRI Nuclear Arms Control Programme.
decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world, it said, was
due mainly to Russia and the US, which together still account for over 90 per
cent of all nuclear weapons, further reducing their strategic nuclear forces
pursuant to the implementation of the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further
Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) while also
making unilateral reductions.
2018, Russia and the US announced that they had achieved the final New START
force reduction limits by the specified deadline.
Russia and the US have extensive and expensive programmes under way to replace
and modernise their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems,
and nuclear weapon production facilities.
2018, the US Department of Defence set out plans to develop new nuclear weapons
and modify others to give them expanded military roles and missions.
Korea continued to prioritise its military nuclear programme as a central
element of its national security strategy, although in 2018 it announced a
moratorium on the testing of nuclear weapons as well as medium- and long-range
ballistic missile delivery systems. The availability of reliable information on
the status of the nuclear arsenals and capabilities of the nuclear-armed states
Pakistan is cautiously optimistic that the Taliban will soon agree to
initiation of an intra-Afghan dialogue, which could pave the way for an
eventual political settlement of the Afghan conflict that is in its 18th year.
Afghan peace process has reached a promising but delicate stage. Pakistan will
continue to play a role in helping the peace efforts with the expectation that
this can soon transition to the next critical stage: an intra-Afghan dialogue.
The international consensus is firmly in favour of this,” Pakistan’s permanent representative
at the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi told Dawn by phone.
breakthrough is expected at the seventh round of talks between the United
States and the Taliban expected to take place in Doha early next month. The six
rounds held so far have remained stalemated because of Taliban’s refusal to
talk to the Afghan government until the US gives a clear commitment and
timeframe for withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
to the Voice of America, a two-day intra-Afghan meeting, which would include
government representatives, is being scheduled for July 7. The meeting will
follow the Taliban-US talks. It should be recalled that a similar meeting
planned for April had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour because of the
Taliban’s reservations over the composition of the dialogue.
Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has,
meanwhile, said: “As we prepare for the next round of talks with the Taliban,
(it’s) important to remember (that) we seek a comprehensive peace agreement,
NOT a withdrawal agreement.” He has emphasised that any deal would comprise
“four inter-connected parts: counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal,
intra-Afghan negotiations that lead to a political settlement; and a
comprehensive & permanent ceasefire”.
The inaugural edition of the Afghan Peace Conference titled “Lahore Process” is
being held in Bhurban today.
inaugural session of the conference will be addressed by Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi, while heads of political parties and political stalwarts from
Afghanistan will be in attendance.
Hikmatyar, Ustad Atta Noor, Chairman Afghan High Peace Council and former
vice-president Karim Khalili, Second Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad
Mohaqiq as well as Uzbek leader and current vice-president Rashid Dostum will
also attend the peace conference.
areas of interest will come under discussion during the conference, including
trade, economy, health and bilateral relations. The case of Afghan refugees who
are here in Pakistan for the last four decades will also be discussed in
delegates in their address will present suggestions on the future course of
action for Afghanistan.
conference will also provide an opportunity to strengthen the relationship
between two neighbours and also allow to connect people from both sides.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged Pakistan to do more to stop the
abuse of blasphemy laws after the release of Asia Bibi, who escaped a death
sentence in a case that drew international scrutiny.
an annual report on international religious freedom, Pompeo estimated that more
than 40 others were serving life sentences or facing execution for blasphemy in
continue to call for their release and encourage the government to appoint an
envoy to address religious freedom concerns," Pompeo said. Blasphemy is an
incendiary issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where mere allegations of
insulting Islam have sparked lynchings, although activists say many cases stem
from personal disagreements.
a Catholic, was convicted of blasphemy in 2010 and sent to death row. Despite
public protests against her, Bibi was acquitted on appeal last year and in May
was able to leave for Canada.
also strongly criticized US adversaries Iran and China, pointing to Beijing's
detention of some one million Muslims, mostly from the Uighur ethnic minority
group, and its "intense persecution" of Tibetan Buddhists, Christians
and the Falungong spiritual movement.
President Donald Trump's administration has often hesitated to criticize ally
Saudi Arabia, the report spoke of widespread abuses in the kingdom which
promotes the puritanical Wahabi school of Sunni Islam.
non-governmental groups, the report said Saudi Arabia has detained more than
1,000 minority Shiites since 2011, mostly for non-violence offenses such as participating
in or promoting protests on social media.
Brownback, the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom,
acknowledged disappointment since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
think there was a lot of hope at first in the change of leadership that things
would open up substantially. We need to see actions take place in a positive
direction," he told reporters.
continue to be one of the worst actors in the world on religious
persecution," Brownback said.
April, which was after the timeframe of the 2018 report, Saudi Arabia conducted
a mass execution of 37 people, most of them Shiites.
The Election Commission of Pakistan has ordered the deployment of armed forces
and civil armed forces inside and outside polling stations during the upcoming
elections for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the newly-merged tribal
ECP notification said, “Pakistan Armed Forces/Civil Armed Forces shall be
deployed inside and outside all the polling stations from July 18 to July 21
for provision of secure environment to assist ECP in conduct of election in
free, fair and transparent manner.”
in seven newly-merged tribal districts and six subdivisions of the erstwhile
Fata is scheduled to take place on July 20.
ECP had earlier fixed July 2 for polling. However, the electoral process was
delayed at the request of the provincial government due to security reasons.
Awami National Party expressed reservation about the troops’ deployment in
polling stations and requested the ECP to withdraw its decision about it.
the request was turned down.
Pakistan Peoples Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Jamaat-i-Islami have also
opposed the troops’ deployment inside polling stations.
and fair election is not possible in the presence of army troops inside polling
stations,” said JUI-F MNA Mufti Abdul Shakoor, who belongs to former Fata.
ECP had issued the final list of 297 candidates, including nominees of
political parties and independents, for 16 general seats of provincial assembly
for the region.
major political parties, including the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, JUI-F,
PPP, ANP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamaat-i-Islami have fielded
candidates for elections.
ECP notification said after the polling ended, the troops would be deployed at
the offices of returning officers until the consolidation of election results.
added that the troops would be deployed on the premises of the Printing
Corporation of Pakistan, Islamabad, from July 5 to July 20 to make foolproof
security arrangements during printing/staking and storage of ballot papers.
ECP said the troops deployed (inside and outside) a polling station while
performing their security duties were supposed to report to the presiding
officer any irregularity or malpractice they observed inside or outside a
polling station and act according to instructions given by him in that regard.
added in case the presiding officer didn’t act to prevent the commission of any
reported irregularity or malpractice, security staff would immediately bring
the matter to the notice of the designated officer-in-charge of the Pakistan
Army and civil armed forces of an area of said constituency, who would
immediately take action in light of powers delegated to him.
a related development, the ECP issued a notice to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief
Minister Mahmood Khan for violating the code of conduct and instructions
notified by it for the upcoming elections in tribal districts.
Election Commissioner Pir Maqbool Ahmad issued the notice over the holding of a
ceremony at the CM’s Secretariat on July 20 for awarding interest-free loan
documents to the youths of tribal districts by the provincial government.
Mahmood had given away the documents of the Insaf Rozgar Scheme to those
notice said, “this office vide letter of even number dated June 20 interdict
you (CM) not to conduct the said activity keeping in view the election in
has come to the notice of the undersigned through print media that the said
activity had been conducted contrary to the standing instructions and code of
conduct issued by the ECP.”
provincial election commissioner asked the CM to stop the programme forthwith
and explain position on it by today (Friday) and warned that if that didn’t
happen, disciplinary proceedings under the relevant provisions of the law would
be recommended to the commission for further necessary action in the matter.
the district returning officers of Kurram and Khyber tribal districts issued
notices to senior minister Mohammad Atif Khan, MNA Iqbal Afridi and PTI
candidate for PK-107, Khyber-III, Zubair Afridi, respectively, for violating
the code of conduct and asked them to clarify their positions on the matter.
ECP also directed the provincial government to stop the implementation of Insaf
Rozgar Scheme immediately and not to release funds for the purpose.
the programme, the government has planned the provision of interest-free loans
to youths of merged districts.
separate notification said if funds had already been released before the
issuance of the order, the same would stand frozen until further orders.
chief secretary was told to submit report of compliance with the order along
with other details of the scheme to the commission by July 25.
National Party provincial president Aimal Wali Khan flayed the ECP’s decision
to deploy soldiers inside polling stations for July 20 elections in tribal
districts and said the move was tantamount to the army’s interference in the
a statement issued here on Friday, he said international observers should be
provided with an access to tribal districts to monitor elections.
ANP leader asked ECP to review its decision regarding the deployment of troops.
The government on Friday notified an 11-member Commission of Inquiry to
determine if increase in public debt between 2008 and 2018 was justified by
infrastructure development programme or misused by public office-holders of the
last two governments of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim
notification has been issued by the cabinet division under Section-3 of the
Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017. The commission will have the powers
to co-opt or engage any person from public or private sector, local or from
abroad, as a member, consultant or adviser to assist it.
by Deputy Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Hussain Asghar,
a former grade-22 police officer, the commission comprises unnamed
representatives of the Military intelligence, Inter-Services Intelligence,
Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, NAB, State Bank of Pakistan,
Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan,
Accountant General Pakistan Revenue and special secretary of finance division.
commission shall furnish its final report within six months of its formation,
with periodical interim reports on a monthly basis. The time limit may,
however, be extended with prior approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
its terms of reference (ToR), the commission will determine significance of
major infrastructure or public sector development works carried out from 2008
to 2018, and commensurate them with the increase in public debt from Rs6,690
billion in 2008 to Rs30,846bn till Sept 2018.
commission will also investigate about the award or implementation of any
contract, agreement or project and whether any debt was taken for a particular
project or undertaking and the same was then spent on that project or not.
will also conclude if the terms and conditions of any public contract were
tainted, benevolent or artificially inflated to facilitate any kick-backs and,
if so, in whose favour.
will also ascertain whether any holders of public office or their spouses,
children and any person connected to them expended any public funds to meet
personal or private expenditures, beyond what is permitted under the law and
the commission will also investigate if “the cap prescribed under the Fiscal
Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act, 2005 has been busted” and if so,
reasons and justifications thereof. It may be noted that all successive
governments since fiscal year 2007-08 have been in breach of this law and
reporting its reasons to the parliament every year.
commission will also examine if the amendments to the 2005 act were made with
the spirit of Article 166 of the Constitution or not.
will be required to get forensic and special audits conducted through any
reputed international or local auditor or set of auditors to determine real
nature, scope, volume, cost and trail of the investments or expenditures of the
federal government (or any part of it) from Feb 2008 to Sept 2018.
commission will fix responsibility in respect of any of the given TOR and refer
any irregularity or illegality found for investigation and prosecution to a
relevant agency or department.
appropriate budget will be sanctioned for the commission and it will be
entitled to utilise and spend the funds in its discretion, the notification
reiterated its commitment to taking all necessary measures to ensure completion
of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan in a timely manner, a
press release issued by the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
statement, issued after a plenary meeting of the FATF took place in Orlando,
Florida, said that the meeting reviewed the compliance of a number of
countries, including Pakistan, with the international standards on Anti-Money
Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT).
was placed by FATF in its compliance document in view of an action plan agreed
with Pakistan in June 2018 to strengthen its AML/CFT Regime," the
today's meeting, the FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan towards
implementation of the action plan, the statement said.
acknowledged the steps taken by Pakistan to improve its AML/CFT regime and
highlighted the need for further actions for implementing the action plan. FATF
will undertake the next review of Pakistan’s Progress in October 2019,"
the ministry said.
Government of Pakistan reiterates its commitment to take all necessary measures
to ensure completion of the Action Plan in a timely manner," it added.
FATF also issued a statement following its meeting today, in which it expressed
concern that Pakistan had failed to complete the action plan first by a January
deadline and then again by a May deadline.
urged Pakistan to "swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 when
the last set of action plan items are set to expire".
the FATF will decide the next step at that time for insufficient
progress," it warned.
has been on the global money laundering watchdog’s radar since June 2018, when
it was placed on a grey list for terror financing and money laundering risks
after an assessment of the country's financial system and security mechanism.
was the only country that had opposed the move backed by the United States, the
United Kingdom and India. However, Islamabad’s longtime ally, Beijing,
one step further, New Delhi — co-chair of the joint group of FATF and Asia
Pacific Group — wants Islamabad to be placed on the Paris-based watchdog’s
blacklist of the countries, which fail to meet international standards in
combating financial crimes.
at a meeting in Guangzhou, China last month, was reportedly asked to "do
more" as its compliance on 18 of the 27 indicators — pointed out in the
action plan — was deemed unsatisfactory.
in recent months, has taken some major steps in accordance with the action
plan, which includes no foreign currency transactions without a national tax
number, and a ban on currency change of up to $500 in the open currency market
without submission of a national identity card copy.
addition to that, Islamabad has also proscribed several militant groups and seized
their assets, including Jamat-ud-Dawa’h, and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) — the
groups blamed for several terrorist attacks such as the 2009 deadly Mumbai
attacks killing over 150 people.
back on watchlist
has been placed back on an international money laundering watchlist by the
FATF, the Central American country's economy minister announced on Friday.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has condemned the Pakistan Peoples Party
government’s Sindh budget for financial year 2019-20 and said that it had
“completely ignored” the urban parts of the province.
the past two decades, Pakistan has been gripped by terrorism while the urban
areas of Sindh have fallen prey to economic terrorism for the past decade,”
MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told a press conference here on
Siddiqui, who is the federal minister for IT and telecom, was referring to the
PPP’s rule over Sindh for the past 11 years.
the MQM-P rejected the PPP’s Sindh budget, it did not use similar words for the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s tax-heavy federal budget.
Karachi-based party is a junior coalition partner of the PTI government at the
Centre with two ministers in the federal cabinet. Recently Prime Minister Imran
Khan announced that the MQM would get another ministry — apparently in return
for its support in the passage of the federal budget.
exception to a recent speech of former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali
Zardari in the National Assembly in which he alluded to Urdu-speaking community
as a small minority in Sindh, Dr Siddiqui said: “The PPP co-chairman must keep
in mind that by contributing 70 per cent of the total revenue of the country
this small minority of Sindh has been running the [economy of] the province and
said despite its limited seats in the lower house the MQM-P was still the
biggest representative party of urban Sindh.
said that Karachi provided 70pc revenue to Pakistan and 95pc revenue to Sindh
but in return it got a mere 10pc share.
MQM-P convener lashed out at the PPP and said that due to its “biased attitude”
the party had practically divided Sindh.
said that the Sindh government did nothing for the urban and rural parts of the
province; it had especially destroyed the infrastructure of Karachi.
said that instead of providing relief to the masses, the Sindh budget was aimed
at snatching the hard-earned money of the people by imposing “unjust” taxes.
completion not in sight
on the occasion, senior leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel said that the most
important project of Karachi was of K-IV water supply scheme.
said that due to the “incompetence” of the PPP government the estimated cost of
the project rose to over Rs100 billion.
Jameel, who is the parliamentary party leader of the MQM-P in the Sindh
Assembly, said that the current pace of work on the project suggested that this
vital scheme for the people of Karachi would not be completed in the next 10 to
said that Karachi was facing a severe water crisis and it seemed that the
government was only interested in making an increased allocation in the head of
K-IV project in the budgets of coming financial years.
said that the Sindh government had reduced Rs1.88bn in the next financial
year’s allocation for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.
Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who is also one of the many deputy conveners of the MQM-P,
said that the budget the KMC got from the Sindh government was not even
sufficient for the salaries of the municipal employees and because of the
provincial government the KMC employees did not get salaries on Eid.
most corrupt province’
mayor accused the PPP government of allocating hefty sums for its desired
development schemes only to mint money.
said that the corruption during the PPP’s rule could be gauged from the remarks
of a senior Supreme Court justice who said Sindh was the “most corrupt”
province of Pakistan.
leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hasan said that
the Sindh government was trying to engineer “water riots” in Karachi only to
divert attention from its incompetence and corruption.
groups and strategies overshadow jihadist conflict in Nigeria
(Nigeria) (AFP) - Two attacks less than 24 hours apart in northeastern Nigeria
this week have laid bare the deadly but divergent strategies of Boko Haram and
a rival jihadist group, the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).
these insurgencies evolve will greatly shape the course of the country's
decade-old crisis, say security experts.
twin threats facing security forces came into focus with the attacks in Borno
Sunday, a triple suicide bombing killed at least 30 football fans in Konduga --
an assault that bore the hallmarks of the original Boko Haram group, led by its
long-time leader, Abubakar Shekau.
faction typically use young women and children to target places of worship,
markets and public places, seeking maximum civilian casualties.
on Monday, more than 15 soldiers were killed, as heavily-armed militants
overran Gajiram military base in a coordinated attack.
followed the blueprint of attacks by ISWAP, whose stronghold is the Lake Chad
region, where the porous borders of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon come
rival factions are rooted in Boko Haram, which in 2009 launched an insurgency
with the goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria.
then, more than 27,000 people have died and 1.8 million have fled their homes.
Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger have reeled as violence has spread there too.
a faction loyal to the so-called Islamic State (IS) group and led by Abu Musab
Al Barnawi, a leader who has since fallen out of favour, emerged from Boko
Haram in 2016.
rejected Shekau, a tyranical figure who has appeared in several videos, deeming
his strategy of indiscriminate attacks on Muslim civilians to be too brutal.
is active in northeastern Nigeria, as well as the border area with Cameroon,
the shores of Lake Chad and Niger.
number of Boko Haram militants who have remained loyal to Shekau continue to
operate in the Sambisa Forest and Mandara Mountains of the northeast,
exploiting the region's rugged terrain.
Terrorism as governance -
to the International Crisis Group (ICG), ISWAP poses as an alternative
government, fulfilling a role in one of the poorest regions in the world where
many state services have been absent for years.
filling gaps in governance and services, (ISWAP) has managed to generate some
support from local people," it said last month.
group "digs wells, monitors livestock thefts, provides a minimum of health
care. In the communities they control, taxes imposed are generally accepted by
civilians," said the report.
despite some attacks against civilians, ISWAP's targets are mostly military
bases, where the group recovers weapons and vehicles.
Gajiram, where at least 15 soldiers were killed on Monday night, the jihadists
looted food stocks, but "did not hurt any civilians and made no attempt to
attack the people who had taken refuge in the area, in the bush or at
home", a local resident, Mele Butari told AFP.
the conflict rages, with suicide attacks and killings on one front, and attacks
on military bases on another, Nigeria's army have suffered.
of soldiers have been killed this year across the region. Lacking equipment and
training, troops have suffered a plunge in morale and desertions are on the
army have been unable to degrade ISWAP's activities, according to a member of a
militia, fighting alongside the Nigerian army.
totally controls Lake Chad. None of its leaders have been arrested and none of
its camps dismantled," he said, including in the districts of Duguri,
Marte, Kukawa and Ngala where the main commanders live.
'Back in the game' -
years of conflict, the Shekau-led Boko Haram have been left weakened by a lack
of resources and men -- with a force between 1,500 to 2,000, compared to
ISWAP's 3,500 to 5,000 force, according to ICG estimates.
with ISWAP's rise and prominent media and propaganda campaigns, Boko Haram have
countered, publishing a series of news releases and videos recently.
suicide bombing last weekend in Konduga could serve as a statement, helping
Shekau to "get back into the game," according to Jacob Zenn, a
researcher at the Jamestown Foundation, an institute based in Washington.
has no operational problems on the ground, but faces an internal leadership
crisis", he said.
pointed to the eviction in March of Abu Musab Al Barnawi by supporters of a
more radical faction within the group, and the assassination a few months ago
of his deputy, Mamman Nur.
ISWAP's leadership turmoil, statement attacks by Boko Haram are a way of
re-asserting their standing, he said.
reunification of the two groups is "entirely possible," Zenn warned.
members of the Islamic State affiliate active in Niger have been killed in a
10-day operation completed by the Nigerien military in partnership with France,
Mali and the United States.
according to defense minister Moutari Kalla in Niamey, who announced the
results of the ACONIT operation in a statement issued Thursday in which he
praised the productive military cooperation between Niger and its strategic
action was taken between June 8 and 18 in the North Tongo Tongo region where
the armed extremists have been active. It was coordinated in response to a May
14 attack near Tongo Tongo – not far from the border with Mali – that left more
than two dozen Nigerien soldiers killed.
Issoufou Mahamadou called the May attack barbaric, but it is one of many the
Nigerien government has been forced to cope with in the ongoing battle with
terrorists across Sahelian nations.
recently, it was U.S. personnel who were targeted by an improvised explosive
device near Ouallam on June 8. There were no casualties in that incident, which
occurred during a joint exercise with Nigerien and U.S. forces.
is a vital partner in the fight against violent extremist organizations. U.S.
forces are in Niger to work by, with, and through Nigerien partners to promote
stability and security while enabling them to address their security threats,”
the U.S. said in a statement on the IED incident.
(AFP) - The Sahel region has become a haven for jihadist groups, who are now
carrying out attacks almost daily in the vast, fragile region despite a
fightback by international and local armies.
latest strikes included Tuesday's raid in northern Burkina Faso, which killed
17, and another at the gates of the Niger capital Niamey that claimed the lives
of two policemen.
members of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara were meanwhile killed in a
joint operation by US, French and Niger troops near Niger's border with Mali,
Niger's defence ministry announced on Tuesday.
June 8-18 operation took place in the northern border region of Tongo Tongo and
targeted a group "implicated in an ambush on May 14," in which 28
Nigerien soldiers were killed," it said.
volatile western rim of the southern Sahara includes conflict-ravaged Mali as
well as Mauritania and Chad, which have become hunting grounds for a range of
armed militia including some linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.
Sisyphean, it never stops!" said a French security source, referring to
the figure in Greek mythology whose name signifies endless labour and
was punished for eternity by being forced to roll a boulder to the top of a
hill, only to see the rock roll down again once it neared the peak.
complicating matters are the Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria who have now
extended their attacks to neighbouring countries in a decade-long campaign of
violence that has killed 27,000 people in Nigeria alone.
are 13,000 soldiers in a UN peacekeeping force in Mali, while France -- the
former colonial ruler of several western Sahel countries -- has deployed 4,500
troops to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to
help local forces flush out jihadists.
so-called G5 Sahel group -- comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and
Niger -- have sent 5,000 troops to help expand their anti-terror campaign.
their impact seems so far to be meagre.
President Roch Marc Christian Kabore on Thursday called for "more
concerted action" against the jihadists and said the countries "must
overcome our differences and individual interests."
'Insurrection growing' -
security expert said that despite repeated operations (the jihadists) still
have this ability to strike regularly.
month there are fairly complex attacks, improvised explosive devices are
planted... giving the impression that the insurrection is growing slowly but
surely," the expert said.
number of incidents and victims are not reducing, rather it's the
problem facing the international forces was that they were
"reactive", said Jean-Marc Balencie, an Africa expert at French
consultancy firm Risk&Co.
can assume that the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (present in Mali, Niger
and Burkina Faso) has suffered some serious blows, lost chiefs, been in a state
of withdrawal and yet they have successfully pulled off several spectacular
operations in recent weeks," he said.
real area of concern is the capacity of resilience and recovery from
Savadogo, a researcher at Senegal's Gaston Berger University, said the
jihadists' huge advantage was their invisibility.
just melt into the population," he said, and then stage "sporadic
foreign armies face a problem of intelligence. For the time being, the locals
seem more inclined to provide information to armed groups than to local
armies," he added.
often play on inter-ethnic tensions, further complicating an explosive
situation and breeding hostility towards local armies.
'Down with foreigners' -
soldiers often face suspicion and anger from people who view their presence as
a loss of sovereignty.
the end of May, around 1,000 people gathered in the Niger capital shouting
"Down with foreign military bases!" and "Down with the French
violence was largely unknown in Burkina Faso before 2015 and some claim that
the arrival of the French Barkhane troops fuelled Islamist attacks.
also fan the flames by blaming external forces for the mess, analysts say.
personally think if France had not intervened in Mali in 2013 (when a rapid
response from French military prevented Islamist groups from storming Bamako),
there wouldn't be a Malian state, so that was a good thing. But since then, the
situation hasn't really improved," Burkinabe Defence Minister Cheriff Sy
said in a recent interview.
peacekeepers said Friday that a group of protesters looted and destroyed
several properties of the World Food Programme and aid agency World Vision in
Sudan’s war-torn region of Darfur this week.
“dangerous attacks” were carried out on June 19 and 20 in the town of Graida in
the state of South Darfur, the joint African Union and UN peacekeeping mission,
also known as UNAMID, said in a statement.
said the mission is “deeply concerned about the looting and destruction of
premises and property belonging to the World Vision and World Food Programme”.
ransacked the offices of the two agencies, stole money and damaged vehicles,
the statement said without detailing what the group was demonstrating about.
behavior is totally unacceptable, especially the looting and destruction of
humanitarian property causing serious disruption to the work of humanitarians
providing lifesaving assistance to the most vulnerable people of Graida,”
Gwi-Yeop Son, UN chief for Sudan said in the statement.
chief Jeremiah Mamabolo decried the limited support given to the UN “in the
face of such dangerous attacks that inevitably place the lives of its staff and
local citizenry at risk in Sudan.”
week’s attacks in Graida come just weeks after a similar incident in El-Genina
in the state of West Darfur, the statement said.
wanton destruction of UN property and assets cannot continue with impunity,”
Mamabolo said, adding that it was the responsibility of Sudanese authorities to
protect all UN staff and its properties inside the country.
UN peacekeepers have been deployed in Darfur since 2007 after a brutal conflict
erupted in the region four years earlier.
ethnic African rebels took up arms against the then Arab-dominated government
of now ousted leader Omar al-Bashir, accusing it of marginalizing the region
economically and politically.
United Nations says the conflict has left more than 300,000 people dead and 2.5
who is now held in a prison in Kober, has been charged by the Hague-based
International Criminal Court with genocide, war crimes and crimes against
humanity for his alleged role in the conflict. He denies the charges.
(AFP) - Eighteen members of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara were killed
in a joint operation by US, French and Niger troops near Niger's border with
Mali, the defence ministry said Tuesday.
June 8-18 operation took place in the northern border region of Tongo Tongo
"targeting a gang of ISGS terrorists implicated in an ambush on May
14," in which 28 Nigerien soldiers were killed, it said.
toll on the enemy side is: 18 terrorists neutralised, five terrorists, of whom
three are Nigerien, taken prisoner."
were "no human or material losses" during the operation, which was
codenamed ACONIT, it said.
materiel was recovered including equipment belonging to the Niger armed forces
which were taken by the attackers after the ambush," the statement said.
October 2017, the ISGS claimed responsibility for a raid which killed four US
soldiers and five Nigerien troops in the same region, a mere 20 kilometres (12
miles) from the Malian border.
ambush claimed the largest number of American lives in combat anywhere in
sub-Saharan Africa since the "Black Hawk Down" incident in Somalia in
June 8, a US army vehicle hit a landmine near the town of Ouallam, about 100
kilometres north of the capital Niamey, but there were no casualties.
area is near a major training camp where Nigerien soldiers are trained to serve
in a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.
Tuesday, gunmen attacked a police station on the northern edge of the Niger
capital Niamey, killing two policemen.
is one of a number of poor, fragile countries in the Sahel region that have
been hit by a jihadist revolt.
United States has a big base for drones in the northern city of Agadez and
Niger recently gave the Americans permission to arm their drones.
French also have a military base near Niamey airport and another at Madama in
insurgent groups operate in the country's west and north, and Nigeria's Boko
Haram is present in its southeast.
Deputies Urge UN To List Yemen’s Huthi Movement As ‘Terrorist Organization’
group of lawmakers from the Arab bloc have called on the United Nations to
label the Iran-backed Huthi rebel movement in Yemen a "terrorist
meeting in Cairo on June 19 asked "the UN and the Security Council to take
a firm and immediate position by classifying the putschist Huthi militia a
terrorist organization," the group said.
body is made up of representatives from the parliaments in the pan-Arab region.
body accused the Huthis of "regularly targeting civilian and vital
infrastructure in Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles or drones."
also asked the Arab League to put "the issue of Iran's threats and
interference" before the UN Security Council.
Arabia and the United States, among other allies, accuse Iran of being behind a
recent series of attacks in the region, either directly or through its support
of the Huthi rebels.
the attacks have been several drone strikes on Saudi Arabia, including an
attack that damaged two oil pipeline pumping stations on May 14.
bloody civil war in Yemen has been called a "proxy war" between Sunni
Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite-led Iran.
Yemeni government, supported by Saudi Arabia and its military allies, has been
battling the Iran-backed Huthi rebels since 2015.
10,000 people have been killed and 14 million Yemenis have been pushed to the
brink of famine.
for jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan confirmed on Friday that he
had called on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to remain neutral
ahead of Sunday’s Istanbul election re-run.
lawyers issued a statement from Ocalan after state-owned Anadolu agency
reported late on Thursday that he had made such a call to the HDP, which has
supported the opposition against the ruling AK Party of President Tayyip
fighter jets of the Arab Coalition backing the legitimate government in Yemen
on Saturday intercepted and destroyed two drones in the Yemeni air space.
Coalition said the drones were launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia
from the Sanaa Governorate.
Arab Coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki said: “We affirm the right
of the Coalition to take appropriate deterrent measures in accordance with
least 70 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli troops during protests near
the border fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip from the Tel Aviv-occupied
Gazan Health Ministry said that Israeli forces inflicted different types of
injuries on 70 people taking part in the rallies — called the “Great March of
Return” — in eastern Gaza Strip on Friday.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the ministry, said that paramedics were also among
rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. The Palestinians
demand the right to return for those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies
and wounded more than 17,000 others, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
army forces, supported by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition while flying in the skies over Yemen’s strategic western
coastal province of Hudaydah.
media bureau of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement announced in a statement
that Yemeni air defense forces and their allies shot down the drone with a
surface-to-air missile on Friday afternoon.
statement added that the drone was struck as it was on a surveillance mission
over al-Fazah area in the al-Tuhayta district of the province.
Thursday evening, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General
Yahya Saree said, said Yemeni army forces, backed by allied fighters from
Popular Committees, had launched a string of airstrikes against unmanned aerial
vehicles and military targets at Jizan Airport, using a squadron of
domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drones.
further noted that the attacks led to the suspension of flights at the airport.
have sophisticated military hardware that US-built and other air defense
systems deployed in Saudi Arabia cannot intercept. Our ballistic missiles,
rockets and drone can hit any target all across Saudi Arabia. Our strikes will
not be limited to Asir, Najran and Jizan. The Saudi enemy must know that we
will d expand the scope of deterrence in case the military aggression
continues,” the top Yemeni military official pointed out.
June 15, Houthis said in a statement that they had launched drone strikes
against Jizan Airport as well as Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s
southwestern province of Asir.
statement added that the control rooms in Jizan Airport and the fueling station
at Abha airport were the main target of the attacks.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
Coalition air force units managed to intercept and destroy two unmanned
aircraft launched by Houthi forces, spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on
said the first was destroyed at 9:28 p.m. local time, and said the aircraft
were launched from the province of Sanaa and were intercepted and destroyed in
reiterated the coalition’s desire to implement “appropriate deterrence measures
to deal with hostile and terrorist acts” by the Houthis, which break
international humanitarian law.
Pro-Kurdish political leaders accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on
Friday of trying to sow discord among Kurds ahead of a re-run of an Istanbul
election on Sunday that is seen as a crucial test of support for Erdogan and
his ruling AK Party.
pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also reaffirmed its support for
opposition mayoral candidate Ekrem Imamoglu who won the March municipal poll.
Election authorities ordered a re-run after AKP allegations of poll
irregularities, a ruling that has prompted concerns about Turkish democracy.
an unexpected and ambiguously worded statement, Kurdish militant leader
Abdullah Ocalan called for “neutrality” in the Istanbul vote, in comments that
could be understood as suggesting Kurds not take part.
support was key in helping Imamoglu narrowly defeat the AKP mayoral candidate
Binali Yildirim in the March vote. Kurdish voters account for about 15 percent
of Istanbul’s 10.5 million eligible voters and many support the HDP.
after state-run Anadolu agency released details of Ocalan’s hand-written letter
late on Thursday, Erdogan speculated in a TV interview that the statement
pointed to a “serious power struggle” among senior Kurdish leaders. The HDP’s
co-leaders Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli responded angrily to Erdogan’s
The Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) in Yemen extracted 2
anti-personnel mines, 47 anti-tank mines and 56 unexploded ordnance — totaling
105 mines — during the second week of June.
total of 72,381 mines have been extracted since the beginning of the project.
An estimated 1 million mines have been planted by the Iranian-backed Houthi
militias in Yemen over the past three years claiming hundreds of civilian
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