Madarsa Having Thousands of Hindu and Muslim Students to Have both Temple and
Government Denies Muslim Students Of A Madarasa Forced To Chant 'Jai Shri Ram'
from ‘Wilayah Turkey’: Islamic State Turkey Province Video Claims New Wilayah
in Old Turf
Could Be ‘Wiped Out’ In A War With Iran, Hezbollah Leader Warns
Girl Makes Emotional Plea to UN Refugee Chief
Arabia, Russia Express Support for China's Treatment of Uyghur Muslims In
German Mosques and Cultural Centers Tied To Hezbollah: Intel Report
Foreign Minister Heckled At London Media Freedom Meet Where He Speaks To Mostly
Madarsa Having Thousands Of Hindu And Muslim Students To Have Both Temple And
in Muslim ‘Dialect’ Kicks Up A Storm In Assam
in Tamil Nadu Attacks Muslim Man for Uploading Picture of Himself Eating Beef;People
On Twitter Express Outrage
won’t open airspace until India pushes back fighters from forward airbases
Precedes Protocol as Indian Army Hands over PoK Boy’s Body To Pakistan
Disrupt World’s Largest Christian Zionist Summit Over Israeli Occupation Of
pulls most forces from Yemen in blow to Saudis: Report
Cleric Says U.K. Will Be 'Slapped in the Face' for Seizure of Its Tanker-TV
Gets Shipment of Russian Missile System, Defying U.S
Said It Thwarted 50 Operations By Iran, ISIS Around the World
says Iran able to bombard Israel if war started
strikes opposition positions on border with Iraqi Kurdistan
troops shoot Palestinian child in head in northern West Bank: Ministry
Calls Rushed Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan a ‘Strategic Mistake’
bomber kills five at wedding party in eastern Afghanistan
militants killed as Afghan gov't forces step up operations: officials
killed, wounded as suicide attack targets wedding party in East of Afghanistan
kill 7 Taliban militants in Farah and Herat provinces
militants suffer heavy casualties after attacking Alam Khel Base in Balkh
commandos killed four at medical clinic: human rights group
looks to boost tourism from OIC states
Jokowi moves to finally unleash Indonesia’s potential
to crowdfund to cover Rizieq's Saudi visa fine
Preserve Malaysia’s close ties with Saudi Arabia
State Sympathizers May Come Home if They Swear Allegiance to Indonesia,
Stranded Refugees Moved Off the Streets
raps US interference, says fully support 'One China' policy
bails Iranian tanker crew but ship staying put for now
working to clear new arms export licenses to Saudi and allies, top official
steps-up monitoring of "extreme right" Identitarian Movement
sends second warship to the Gulf after Iran tanker standoff
Zealanders give up weapons after mosque killings
police arrest Russian Daesh ‘fighter’
move against Turkey on Cyprus to be futile: Cavusoglu
Saeed Challenges Terror Financing Cases In Lahore HC
Russia, China recognise Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace process
explains to SJC why govt filed references against judges
missing persons traced, claims commission
joins US-led call for Afghan ceasefire, talks
spells out requirements for effective UN peacekeeping
general wants strong military ties with Pakistan
hopes judgement in Jadhav case will be in Pakistan’s favour
Bombings Kill at Least Five at Eastern Libyan Army Funeral
Of Thousands Flee Homes In Mali Amid Deadly Militia Attacks
envoy urges greater involvement of youth in anti-terrorism war
toll in migrant ship disaster off Tunisia rises to 72
security forces end militant attack on hotel that killed 13
demands explanation after French missiles found
Shi'ite group says 4 killed in protests
Authorities Arrest Militant Cell Linked To Muslim Brotherhood
clashes, car blast in northwest Syria leave 84 dead
To Designate Hezbollah As Terror Group - Report
Bomb explodes outside church in Qamishli Christian neighborhood
Army Concludes ‘Will of Victory’ Operation against ISIS
committed to tackle terrorism-crime nexus
reduced its forces in Syria, says Nasrallah
on post-war Syria constitution to ‘continue’: Assad
airstrikes kill 10 civilians in Idlib
authorities arrest militant cell linked to Muslim Brotherhood
brothers accused of trying to support ISIS
‘Bike Path Terrorist’ Can’t Keep Cellphones Out of Case: Judge
treatment of Iranian volleyball team grotesque and immoral: Analyst
war hawk neocons targeting Iranian, Chinese and Russian citizens: Analyst
service member killed in Afghanistan
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Setting an example of Hindu-Muslim unity and religious tolerance, Salma Ansari
wife of former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, has decided to build both a temple
and a mosque inside the “Chacha NehruMadarsa” run by her here. She asserts that
this will also ensure the safety and security of students studying here.
security of the students who reside in the Hostel here is our responsibility.
When they go outside the madrasa for visiting a temple or mosque and some
untoward incident happened then it will be our responsibility. Realizing it, we
have decided that both mosque and temple would be constructed within the
premises so that the security and safety of our children is ensured,” she said.
want that in building Hindustan everyone should have a say. Here I am concerned
only with the safety of our children,” said Ansari.
death penalty for mob lynching is a good deterrent. Such crimes are a blot on
society. While running a Madarsa we must look at its every aspect,” she said.
Madarsa houses thousands of students including both Hindus and Muslims.
Uttar Pradesh government has denied that students of a madarasa in Unnao
district were forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram', saying that the news was wrongly
spread to malign the government's image.
Secretary, Information, Avanish Awasthi admitted that a clash took place while
the children were playing cricket but denied that the students were made to
chant the religious slogan.
said that news was being wrongly spread to malign the state government image
and disturb communal harmony.
to reports, four men beat the children and forced them to chant 'Jai Shree Ram'
while they went to play cricket after concluding their namaaz on Thursday
afternoon. Their clothes were torn off and their bicycles vandalized.
children returned to the madarasa and narrated the incident after which police
was called. According to the Imam of the Jama Masjid, a group of men from
Bajrang Dal were involved in the incident.
police had registered a case and identified three accused by tracing their
Facebook accounts. The accused have purportedly identified themselves as
members of Bajrang Dal in their social media accounts. However, no arrests were
made in the case.
is not for the first time that an incident like this has came to light in Uttar
a similar incident which took place on July 4, a group of men locked up an auto
driver in a washroom and pelted stones at him. The auto driver, Mohammad Aatib,
alleged that he was attacked by the men for refusing to chant 'Jai Shree Ram'.
a Muslim youth, who was wearing a skull cap, was allegedly thrashed and
insulted in Kanpur by some unidentified persons after he refused to chant 'Jai
Sri Ram'. The attack took place when the youth, identified as Taj Mohammad, was
returning to his home in the Barra area from the madarasa.
released a propaganda video from ‘Wilayah Turkey,’ showing a small group of militants
pledging bayah, or allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The eighth
in the “And the best outcome is for the righteous” series, the video is the
first from this new province, but ISIS already has a complex presence in
five-minute long video released on July 10 is typical of earlier bayah videos.
It features three militants sitting in front of what appears to be a handmade,
large black standard commonly used by ISIS. They are joined by two more when
making the pledge of allegiance while a sixth presumably operates the shaking
speaker is identified as Abu Qatada at-Turki, and he reaffirms the militants’
allegiance to Baghdadi while also threatening Turkey and America.
weapons researcher known as Calibre Obscura noted that the militants appear
well-armed in comparison to fighters seen in other videos in this series. A
Draganov sniper rifle, a PKM machine gun, an RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade
launcher, two AKMS assault rifles, a Glock pistol, and some grenades appear throughout.
State in Turkey
“And the best outcome is for the righteous” video series has included ISIS
militants from multiple affiliates renewing their pledges to Baghdadi. So far
videos have been released from ISIS affiliates in Khorasan (which includes
Afghanistan and Iran), Qawqaz (Caucasus), East Asia, Sinai (Egypt), West Africa
(which included bayah from Mali and Burkina Faso), and Libya. One video in the
series is from Azerbaijan, although this affiliate has not been publicly called
videos appear part of an effort to emphasize ISIS’s global presence following
its territorial losses in Iraq and Syria, as well as to emphasize unity under
this video is the first official release from Turkey Province, is not the first
mention of a wilayah there. A Turkey province was casually identified in
Baghdadi’s most recent video appearance, released on April 29, the first time
he had been seen in five years. In the video he reviews binders ostensibly
containing information on various ISIS affiliates, including one dedicated to
the never-before-mentioned Wilayah Turkey.
only recently naming it a province, ISIS has had a long history in Turkey,
predating its 2014 declaration of a Caliphate. Turkey has been a key location for
ISIS activities and transit point for fighters crossing into Syria, and ISIS
has carried out several terror attacks in the country.
ISIS propaganda has mentioned and focused on Turkey, and at one point the group
published a Turkish-language magazine entitled Konstantiniyye. The first
edition in June 2015 featured a more neutral position on Turkey, with little
advocacy for violence in the country.
a few months later the September 2015 edition of the now-defunct ISIS
English-language magazine Dabiq attacked the Turkish government and army,
saying they were “one of blatant apostasy.” In November 2016 Baghdadi directly
advocated for attacks in Turkey in a speech, saying, “Turkey today has become a
target for your operations and a priority for your Jihad.”
is believed to be responsible for several terror attacks in Turkey, including
October 2015 bombings in Diyarbakir and Ankara, and a triple suicide bombing at
Atatürk Airport in June 2016.
didn’t admit responsibility for any of those attacks, making its first claim of
responsibility – for another bombing in Diyarbakir – two days after Baghdadi’s
last major ISIS-claimed assault in Turkey was the gun attack on the Reina
Nightclub in Istanbul on New Year’s Day 2017.
by the Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point of 23 attacks and 28 plots in
Turkey showed that all except for two were either directed by ISIS central or
ISIS members were in direct contact with the attackers.
notably, in 2017 an ISIS operative in Turkey sent a partially constructed
improvised explosive device to Australia as part of a plot to bomb a flight
from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.
was also an essential logistical hub that allowed the movement of people and
equipment necessary to its “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. Of the tens of
thousands of foreigners who traveled to ISIS-held territory, the majority moved
through Turkey. Extensive networks were built to help facilitate many of their
movements through Turkey into Syria.
fighters purchased supplies and equipment in Turkey, and had other material
sent to the country to later smuggle into Syria, including various items for
their drone program. Materials used in the production of explosives, including
aluminum paste and nitrate-based fertilizers, were purchased on the Turkish
domestic market, often in bulk.
the capture of ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria, Turkey has continued to
arrest suspected ISIS members and foil plots.
a series of propaganda videos meant to emphasize global credentials primarily
to supporters, it remains to be seen just how much actual activity will follow.
But ISIS certainly has more potential to expand in Turkey then in other
locations featured for the first time in the “And the best outcome is for the
righteous” series such as Azerbaijan or Iran, due to their existing networks in
the country and proven capability to stage attacks.
could be ‘wiped out’ in a war with Iran, Hezbollah leader warns
The head of Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah said Friday that US ally Israel
would not be “neutral” if a war broke out between the United States and Iran.
“Iran is able to bombard Israel with ferocity and force,” Hassan Nasrallah said
in an interview broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television.
remarks came after weeks of increasing tensions between the US and Iran, and as
US President Donald Trump steps up his war of words with the Islamic Republic.
the Americans understand that this war could wipe out Israel, they will
reconsider,” Nasrallah said.
collective responsibility in the region is to work toward preventing an
American war on Iran,” he said.
Friday, the US House of Representatives voted to restrict Trump’s ability to
attack Iran, voicing fear that his hawkish policies are pushing toward a
is considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States, and is the
only faction not to have disarmed after the Lebanese 1975-1990 civil war.
it is also a major political player in the small Mediterranean country, taking
13 seats in parliament last year and securing three posts in the current
also said he had decreased the number of his movement’s fighters supporting the
Damascus regime in neighboring war-torn Syria.
Syrian army has greatly recovered and has found that today it does not need
us,” he said.
are present in every area that we used to be. We are still there, but we don’t
need to be there in large numbers as long as there is no practical need,” he
head of the Iran-backed Shiite movement, which has been fighting in Syria since
2013, did not give details on the extent of the reduction.
by Russia and Iran, the Damascus government has taken back large swathes of
territory from rebels and jihadists since 2015, and now controls around 60
percent of the country.
spoke after Washington announced fresh sanctions Tuesday against Hezbollah,
targeting elected officials from the movement for the first time.
said none of his fighters were currently involved in fighting in Syria’s
northwestern region of Idlib, where regime and Russian forces have increased
deadly bombardments on a jihadist-run bastion since late April.
“if there was a need to return, all those who were there would go back” to
Syria, he added.
to a question about repeated Israeli air strikes on Syria, he said the Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “deceiving his people.”
is playing a game of brinkmanship, because Iran will not leave Syria,” he
has carried out hundreds of strikes in neighboring Syria against what it says
are Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. It has vowed to keep Iran from
entrenching itself militarily there.
interview came to mark the start of his movement’s 2006 war with Israel, which
killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis,
countries are still technically at war, and a UN peacekeeping force has said
three tunnels have been found to have dug under the border from Lebanon into
Israel since late last year.
group’s leader warned that key Israeli installations along the Mediterranean coast
including Tel Aviv were “within range of our rockets.”
girl makes emotional plea to UN refugee chief
Rohingya girl recently wrote an emotional letter to a UN high official seeking
the organization’s help in protecting tens of thousands of Rohingya children
living in crowded makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
have nowhere to go. They have no place to call home. They have no proper
clothes on their bodies. They have no shoes under their feet. They have no
books to read. They have no schools to go (to),” Jamalida Rafique, who now
lives in Ireland, wrote to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) Filippo Grandi.
11-year-old girl migrated to Ireland from the Kutupalong refugee camp in
Bangladesh’s southern Cox’s Bazar district with her parents when she was only
eight months old.
close relatives – including her grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins -- are
still living in the camp, which she visited with her father in 2017 and 2018.
a citizen of Ireland, Jamalida has no lack of food, clothing and shelter. She
is studying in Ireland and enjoying all the basic rights of a citizen there.
she is not happy. Her cousins along with other children from her community are
living in Bangladesh as stateless refugees without access to education and
other basic human rights.
am now a proud Irish citizen. I have so many Irish friends. I have so many good
Irish neighbors. I have so many good teachers. I have so many books to read. I
have an education. I have hope,” she said in her letter.
wish the same for Rohingya refugee children and many around the world. You have
seen their suffering with your own eyes. I have seen them with my own eyes. You
have seen their new lives with your own eyes. I am the witness of that new
to a UN statement issued in April this year, almost half of the 540,000
Rohingya children in the camps in Bangladesh are under the age of 12 and are
missing out on an education altogether, while the remainder only have access to
very limited schooling.
a handful of [Rohingya] teenage children are currently able to access any form
of education or training," it said.
to the need of education for all Rohingya children, Jamalida urged the UNHCR
chief to work for them.
have a voice to speak for them. You have the power for change. You can bring
hope to children without a home and hope.
stand up for their education the way many people have stood up for mine. Please
give them a new chance the way I was given [one] for my new life. All children
need education like me. All children need hope. All children need a future.”
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced
heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women,
and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar
forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The
18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and
over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it
is also heartbroken over the inhuman treatment that thousands of Rohingya
Muslims faced in their homeland.
attempted to express her sadness through a painting she sent to the UNHCR
tried to focus on how the Rohingya Muslims fled a military crackdown in Rakhine
to Bangladesh and how they are now living in squalid makeshift camps in Cox’s
painting shows a Rohingya teenager sitting alongside the congested camps with
her head hidden between her knees, reflecting the hopeless lives of tens of
thousands of Rohingya children there.
also sent another painting showing a girl studying at a table in a room with
books and a beautiful bird. The picture represents the lives of those children
across the world who have a dream in life and a promising future.
reply to a query from Anadolu Agency on what inspired her to write such a
letter and draw such pictures, Jamalida said: “I talk to my grandmothers,
uncles, aunties and cousins [almost] every day. I hear sad stories from my
cousins. They cannot study. When I visited the Kutupalong refugee camp in 2017
and 2018, I saw many children doing nothing.”
I heard Filippo was coming to Ireland, I asked my father if I could send him some
drawings and a letter about [Rohingya] children. He allowed me, and I did it.”
main message is that people who have power should be role models. They can
bring changes if they do a little bit more. Children are the future. Freedom of
education is very important. We should not allow our future to be destroyed,”
she said, referring to Rohingya.
added that it is her duty to work for all helpless children, including those
from her own community.
Arabia, Russia express support for China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims in
Arabia, Russia and 35 other states have written to the United Nations
supporting China's policies in its western region of Xinjiang, in contrast to
strong Western criticism.
has been accused of detaining a million Muslims and persecuting ethnic Uyghurs
in Xinjiang, and 22 ambassadors signed a letter to the UN Human Rights Council
this week criticising its policies.
including Australia, Britain, Germany and Japan called upon China to
"refrain from the arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of
movement of Uyghurs, and other Muslim and minority communities in Xinjiang".
in a show of China's growing diplomatic clout, an opposing letter accused the
West of "politicising human rights" and commended what it called
China's "remarkable achievements" in human rights.
addition to Saudi Arabia and Russia, the pro-China letter was signed by
ambassadors from many African countries, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus,
Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab
Emirates and Bahrain.
with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a
series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation measures in Xinjiang,
including setting up vocational education and training centres," it said.
letter said security had returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights
of people of all ethnic groups there had been safeguarded.
had been no terrorist attack there for three years and people enjoyed a
stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security, the letter added.
ruling Chinese Communist Party maintains that its repressive measures in
Xinjiang are "counter-terrorism" tactics against ethnic Uyghur
separatists and Islamic extremists.
only several thousand Uighur Muslims are estimated to have travelled to Syria
and Iraq to fight for Islamic State, some 10 per cent of the entire Uyghur
population is estimated to have been detained.
has established a wide-reaching surveillance state in Xinjiang and has said it
wants to "Sinicise Islam" — a hardline policy increasingly referred
to by observers as "cultural genocide" against the Turkic minority
report from Amnesty International in 2018 claimed that public expressions of
faith were now deemed "extremist" by authorities, including growing a
beard, praying or fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
in detention camps are reportedly forced to chant slogans, watch propaganda
videos, denounce their religion and pledge loyalty to the communist party in
has denied any human rights violations in the region and Chinese Ambassador Xu
Chen, speaking at the close of the Council's three-week session on Friday, said
China highly appreciated the support it had received from the signatories.
happened around the world, particularly in developing countries like China and
African countries, speaks the truth that without development, there are no
human rights to talk about," he said earlier in the week at the Council,
as quoted by Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
leader of a major Muslim-majority country has publicly condemned the treatment
of Muslims in Xinjiang, with many observers noting significant foreign
investment from Beijing across the Muslim world, including via the Belt and
is a fact that the peoples of China's Xinjiang region live happily in China's
development and prosperity," Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is a
staunch supporter of other Muslim minority groups including the Rohingya and
Palestinians, was recently quoted by Chinese state media as saying.
does not permit any person to incite disharmony in the Turkey-China
relationship," Mr Erdogan added.
firmly opposes extremism and is willing to increase mutual political trust with
China and strengthen security cooperation."
German mosques and cultural centers tied to Hezbollah: intel report
30 mosques and cultural centers in Germany have ties to the U.S.-classified
terrorist organization Hezbollah, according to a Hamburg intelligence agency
U.S. government and a bipartisan group of American lawmakers have urged Berlin
to outlaw the Lebanese terrorist group in Germany.
Germany, there are currently about 30 known cultural and mosque associations in
which a clientele regularly meets that is close to Hezbollah or its ideology,”
wrote the intelligence agency.
to the 282-page intelligence document and other German reports reviewed by Fox
News, there are 1,050 Hezbollah supporters and members in Germany.
Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell told Fox News: “The danger that
Hezbollah sympathizers are raising funds in Hamburg is further evidence that
Hezbollah must be banned from Germany in its entirety. Any funds bound for
Hezbollah are used by the Iranian regime to support Assad’s violence in Syria
and sponsor terrorism around the world.”
previously worked as a Fox News contributor.
regime is a major financial sponsor of its chief proxy Hezbollah. Both
Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran are allies of Syrian President
Hamburg intelligence report states “the collection of donations is one of the
most important tasks of the associations” where Hezbollah operatives meet.
the findings raise questions about how much money German Hezbollah members and
supporters are sending to Lebanon to aid their organization in advancing
terrorism in the U.S. and Europe and waging war against Syrian civilians?
to the report, “the associations are characterized by the effort to strengthen
the bonds of the Lebanese living here [in Hamburg] with their homeland and to
document noted that there are 30 Hezbollah supporters in Hamburg.
German intelligence data shows that Hezbollah operatives across Germany send
funds to the terrorist group’s headquarters in Beirut.
Hamburg intelligence report covers a wide range of security threats targeting
addition to the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel, and
the Arab League have designated Hezbollah’s entire movement as a terrorist
organization. In 2013, Germany and the European Union merely proscribed
Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a terrorist entity.
June, a bipartisan group of U.S. congressional representatives — Lee Zeldin,
R-N.Y., Grace Meng, D-N.Y., Ted Deutch, D-Fl., and Gus Bilirakis, R-Fl — urged
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a letter “to designate Hezbollah as a
write to you today to express our concern over the recent failed vote in the
Bundestag to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
We appreciate your government’s commitment to fighting terrorism, and we
believe that taking the step to designate the political wing of Hezbollah [as
terrorist] will have a significant impact on Hezbollah’s activity in Europe and
around the globe," the legislators wrote.
growth of support for Hezbollah will also contribute to the rise of anti-Semitism
in Europe, which has already resulted in deadly attacks against Jews. That is
why we strongly urge Germany to take substantive action against Hezbollah
through sanctions and other means that will hamper their ability to project
influence in the region."
May, a Manhattan federal jury convicted Bronx resident Ali Kourani of eight
offenses that included providing support to Hezbollah to launch terrorist
attacks against facilities in New York City.
34-year-old Kourani, who was born in Lebanon, engaged in surveillance of a
Secret Service facility in Brooklyn, two military sites in Manhattan, and 26
Federal Plaza in Manhattan — which at 41 stories is the tallest federal office
building in the U.S., and contains the FBI’s New York field office.
has vehemently rejected a full ban of Hezbollah in Germany. The chancellor
snubbed her country’s Jewish community in May after the nearly 100,000-member
Central Council of Jews in Germany asked her to outlaw Hezbollah.
president of the council, Dr. Josef Schuster, said at the time that “a full ban
of Hezbollah’s organization has already happened in the Netherlands and the
United Kingdom”, adding that the group is "heavily financed by Iran, and
poses, in its entirety, a threat to the entire world.”
United States government has labeled Iran’s regime the leading international
state-sponsor of terrorism.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Merkel during his visit in May to
proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.
foreign minister heckled at London media freedom meet where he speaks to mostly
Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was heckled by a Canadian reporter
and gave a speech to mostly empty chairs when attending the Global Conference
for Media Freedom in London this week.
gave a half-hour speech on Thursday on “media freedom in Pakistan” at a session
titled “Strengthening Media Freedom across the Commonwealth” but most
international journalists walked out in silent protest, leaving around 15
people in the room.
were chairs for 500 people and only 15 people present for the talk. Six of them
were Pakistan media, six were Pakistan high commission and foreign office
officials and three to four were security. All the journalists emptied the hall
out in protest at the censorship in Pakistan,” a source present told TOI.
or four media organisations wanted to protest Qureshi’s presence but the UK
government told them not to, so instead they lobbied all the individual
journalists and delegates not to attend his session.”
that did not stop Qureshi making a speech about media freedom in Pakistan.
said as foreign minister he was representative of a society “that passionately
embraces diversity of opinion, accepts dissent and celebrates freedom of
expression. Turn on any TV set, pick up any newspaper, any social media
platform in Pakistan, and you will be deluged by a cacophony of voices and a
multiplicity of perspectives”.
media today is perhaps more free, more diverse, and more forceful than in many
across the developing world — perhaps even freer than many other democracies…,”
freedom as a value is dear to me personally and to us as a nation… We have a
very independent judiciary so, believe me, there is no question of gagging or
controlling the media. With the new social media, even if you want to gag you
can gag nothing.”
that did not convince Canadian reporter Ezra Levant, a news personality with
right-wing website TheRebel.media, who had had a blazing row with the minister
during the question and answer session over a tweet he wrote on Pakistan’s
blasphemy laws that he said the Pakistan government got taken down.
censored me. I have a Twitter account in Canada and because I wrote something
that traduced some Pakistani blasphemy law, you complained to Twitter which
took down my tweet in Canada, so can you explain why your Islamic supremacy in
Pakistan is silencing my personal and journalistic freedom in Canada? I know it
happens in the USA too. You should be embarrassed. Who the hell are you to
censor me in Canada? You don’t like free speech. You shut down my tweet,"
berated him for his “tone and manner”. “I did not censor you or shut down your
tweet. How am I responsible for that?” He added, “You have double standards.
What you call freedom at times you are projecting certain sectorial agendas
responded: “The government of Pakistan did. Shame on you, you censorious thug.”
was a silent protest against the UK government inviting the Pakistan foreign
minister to speak on media freedom in Pakistan when the media in Pakistan is in
complete occupation of the military and journalists from all over the world
wanted to show solidarity with Pakistan journalists,” sources told TOI.
private TV news channels were suddenly taken off air in Pakistan on July 6
because of their live coverage of a press conference held by opposition figure
Maryam Nawaz, daughter of jailed ex-PM Nawaz Sharif.
Jillani, an investigative journalist with Pakistan TV news channel Dunya News,
has been charged with cyberterrorism for his coverage of enforced
disappearances and his interview with PPP co-chairman and former president Asif
Ali Zardari was stopped within a few minutes of broadcasting on Geo News on
conference was co-hosted by Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and UK
foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
is ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2019.
India is ranked 140th.
in Muslim ‘dialect’ kicks up a storm in Assam
Doloi, a freelance journalist, had filed the complaint objecting the “use of
certain terms conveying to the world that the Assamese people are xenophobic
and hate Muslims”.
group of people accused of portraying the Assamese as xenophobic through
poetry, in a dialect associated with Bengal-origin Muslims, has asserted that
controversy was being manufactured at a time when the National Register of
Citizens (NRC) was being updated in Assam.
July 11, the Assam Police registered an FIR against 10 people after receiving a
complaint about a poem in Miyah — a dialect of Bengal-origin Muslims —
lamenting the citizenship challenges faced by the religious minorities in the
poem titled I am a Miyah is written by Kazi Sharowar Hussain and translated
into English by Shalim M. Hussain, both based in western Assam’s Barpeta
district. They are named in the FIR along with eight others.
Doloi, a freelance journalist, had filed the complaint on the basis of a viral
video which shows the poem being recited. “They have the freedom to write
poems, but I have objected to their use of certain terms conveying to the world
that the Assamese people are xenophobic and hate Muslims,” Mr. Doloi asserted
to The Hindu.
real intention of this poem is to motivate and provoke their community against
the system. This is a threat to the Assamese people and national security. The
poem talks of their men being gunned down, and women being raped. Assam has no
such history, and Assamese people were not involved even in the Nellie
[February 1983] massacre,” he contended.
Doloi also alleged that the poem had been “copied” from ‘ID Card’ by Arabian
poet Mahmoud Darwish, with certain words replaced for local effect. “Instead of
ID Card number used by Darwish, this poem uses NRC number, which is illegal,”
Mr. Doloi asserted.
poet and the translator, who could not be immediately reached for comment,
however, issued a statement along with the other accused on Friday, rubbishing
the charges made against them.
poetry began in 2016 as a series of poems opposing the use of the ‘Miyah’ as a
slang word for Assamese Muslims of Bengal-origin,” the group of 10 persons
said. “Today, ‘Miyah poetry’ is an umbrella term for poems by many, mostly
young poets, from within and even outside the Bengal-origin Assamese Muslim
community. These poems include stories of humiliation and discrimination, love
poems, poems spreading social awareness, etc.,” they explained.
current debate over Miyah poetry was “baseless” as a few lines of poems written
three years ago were cherry-picked and taken out of context with malicious
intent, they contended. “Not a single Miyah poem uses the word xenophobia,”
also trashed the allegation that Miyah poetry was a threat to the Assamese
language. “This is an utter lie. A huge majority of the Miyah poems are written
in Assamese, some in English and Hindi and a handful in local dialects... the
current controversy is absolutely needless and is being created by groups with
vested interests at a very crucial time when the NRC update in Assam is nearing
completion,” they said in the statement.
K. Das, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Guwahati Central, said
the police had been probing the case in coordination with their counterparts in
the districts where the 10 accused live. “We are taking time since it involves
the use of information technology,” he said.
have not arrested [any one] yet,” he added.
10 persons have been booked under sections 420/406 of the Indian Penal Code,
read with various sections of the Copyright Act, 1957.
in Tamil Nadu Attacks Muslim Man for Uploading Picture of Himself Eating
Beef;People On Twitter Express Outrage
Muslim man was allegedly attacked by a group of people at a village near
Nagapattinam for uploading a picture of himself consuming beef soup, police
said on Friday. Four people have been arrested in this connection, police
CPM state unit condemned the incident and called for stringent action against
the accused. Mohammed Faisan, 24, of Poravachery, had posted the Facebook
picture on Thursday and also described its taste.
group of people objected to the post and went to Faisan's house on Thursday
night and questioned him, police said. After a quarrel, they attacked him,
police said. Faisan was injured and admitted to the government hospital in
the orders of District Superintendent of Police TK Rajasekaran, police
registered a case and arrested four people on Friday. They are: Dinesh Kumar
(28), Agathian (29), Ganeshkumar (27) and Mohankumar (28).
have registered cases against him under various sections of the Indian Penal
Code, including an attempt to murder. Meanwhile, the CPM Tamil Nadu unit
condemned the attack on Faizan and said while such attacks were happening on
Dalits and Muslims in north India, "the state government and police should
nip such episodes in the bud" in Tamil Nadu.
behind the murderous attack should be given stringent punishment," the
party's state unit Secretary K Balakrishnan said in a statement in Chennai.
After extending its eastern airspace ban for commercial flights to and from
India four times in last two months, Pakistan has finally turned down India’s
request to lift the restriction, linking the use of its airspace with the
removal of fighter planes from Indian forward airbases.
aviation secretary Shahrukh Nusrat, who is also director general of the
country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), told the Senate’s standing committee
on aviation on Thursday that New Delhi has been intimated that Pakistani
airspace would remain unavailable for use by India until war jets were removed
from Indian forward airbases.
Indian government approached us asking to open the airspace. We conveyed our
concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,”
Nusrat was quoted by local media as telling the lawmakers.
CAA official also reportedly contested India’s claim that Delhi had opened its
airspace for Pakistan. “Pakistani flights from Thailand have not been restored
since the closure of Indian airspace. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
flights for Malaysia also remain suspended,” the aviation secretary said.
had shut its airspace on February 26 this year following the Indian airstrikes
inside Pakistan, allegedly on a Jaish-e-Muhammed terror camp in Balakot, in
retaliation to a suicide bombing that killed 44 Indian security personnel in
Pulwama, Kashmir, on February 14.
March 27, Pakistan had opened its airspace for all flights except for those
from India. Since May 15 the ban on eastern airspace has been extended four
the closure of Pakistani airspace, the Indian aviation industry, according to
media reports here, 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 flights from Europe and the US flying into and
out of New Delhi have been the worst hit.
Delhi-Astana flight now takes three extra hours while the Delhi-Moscow flight
takes more than two additional hours. The durations of the Delhi-Kabul and
Delhi-Tehran flights have also doubled.
precedes protocol as Indian Army hands over PoK boy’s body to Pakistan
Three days after seven-year-old Abid Ahmad Sheikh drowned in the Kishanganga
river (which flows as Neelum in PoK) and his body floated across the LoC to
Kashmir’s Gurez sector, the Indian Army and J&K civic authorities handed
over his body to Pakistan on Thursday, in a gesture of goodwill and compassion.
preceded protocol — which mandates armies meeting only at official exchange
points — as Abid’s body, wrapped in Islamic robes, was handed over to Pakistani
authorities at Dudhgai post of Gurez’s Chorwan area in north Kashmir’s
Bandipora district around 1.30pm. “This time, instead of returning it through
official exchange points like Teetwal, we did so in the same area so that the
mortal remains do not get decomposed… it was a humanitarian gesture,” said Lt
Gen KJS Dhillon, GOC 15 Corps.
this particular border opening — which connects India with Central Asia and has
remained shut since the 1947 raids — was opened after 72 years for the handover
to take place. Top Indian Army officers, police and administrative personnel,
and Gurez residents were in attendance, said Bandipora DCP Shahbaz Mirza.
a resident of Minimarg Astoor area of PoK’s Gilgit-Balochistan region, was on
his way to school when he drowned on Monday. The river carried his body over to
Achoora Sindiyal region of J&K’s Gurez Valley, where some locals fished it
out of the Burzil Nala on Tuesday. The child was identified with the help of a
video released by his distraught family after he went missing. Social media
reports also stated that Abid had been missing since July 8 and it was
suspected that he could have slipped into the Burzil Nala.
post-mortem was conducted and Indian Army contacted their Pakistani
counterparts in Gurez on Wednesday, wanting to hand over the body there itself
before it decomposed. Pakistan, however, was keen on accepting the body at the
official exchange point through the Teetwal crossing in Kupwara district, over
200km away. Pak’s worry was the mines dotting the area around Gurez, officials
said. In the absence of a mortuary in the region, Abid’s body was preserved
using ice packs carved out from the mountains.
disrupt world’s largest Christian Zionist summit over Israeli occupation of
Interfaith peace activists heckled speakers at the summit of the world’s
largest Christian Zionist organization in a protest over the Israeli occupation
were forcibly ejected from the Washington meeting by security staff after
disrupting the speeches of key convention delegates.
than 100 Christian, Jewish and Muslim protesters chanted slogans and waved
banners inside and outside the annual conference of Christians United for
Israel (CUFI), which had CUFI founder John Hagee, Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, and US Vice President Mike Pence as plenary speakers.
joint action by faith leaders and community members was in protest over CUFI’s
support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
protesters disrupted the speeches of Hagee and Pence with Tarek Abuata,
director of Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), standing up and shouting,
“Zionism is racism.” He was handcuffed by security officials and carried out of
the convention center while calling, “People of God, wake up! Protect the
and Jewish faith leaders also interrupted the US vice president’s address,
chanting, “Jews and Christians say no to Zionism.” They too were dragged from
the hall by conference guards.
of them, Jonathan Naher, an American Palestinian activist, told Arab News that
his actions were carried out in order to expose the occupation and express his
views that Christian Zionists were not adhering to the true Christian faith.
national organizer, Rochelle Watson, who also disrupted Pence, said: “We have
reached a point where remaining faithful requires us to take bold action by
speaking truth to power.”
Hagee’s speech, protesters shouted, “Israel imprisons children, our God
liberates” and “Israel demolishes homes, our God shelters.”
the summit, demonstrators blocked one entrance to the conference center, and
later an intersection. They prayed, sang, and read out the names of Palestinian
children they claimed had been killed or injured as a result of Israeli
policies, while holding up posters that read, “Reclaim Our Theology” and “Thou
Shall Not Kill.”
coalition of faith groups included the FOSNA, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP),
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and the US Campaign for Palestinian
Brenneman, a Palestinian-American Christian with the Mennonite Church, said:
“I’m here in sacred witness for Mohammed, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy, whose
leg was amputated after he was shot by Israeli soldiers.”
protester with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, in New York, said: “I’m here
because I have been struggling against the messaging that ‘all Jews support
Israel.’ We just need to resist in a holistic way against the forces of empire
that are using religion to do this work.”
said of the action: “We are here to bear sacred witness and hold CUFI
accountable to a theology of love.”
United Arab Emirates has pulled most of its forces from the Yemen “quagmire” in
a “face-saving” decision that has deeply upset its Saudi allies, The New York
Times has said.
officials have been saying for several weeks that they have begun a phased and
partial withdrawal of forces, estimated at 5,000 troops a few years ago.
significant reduction has already occurred, the Times quoted Western and Arab
diplomats briefed on the drawdown as saying.
the past month, the UAE has cut its deployment around the strategic Red Sea
port of Hudaydah by 80 percent to fewer than 150 men, according to people
briefed on the drawdown. They have pulled out their attack helicopters and
heavy guns, effectively precluding a military advance on the city.
UAE, according to a senior Emirati official, says the drawdown is intended to
support a shaky United Nations-brokered ceasefire in Hudaydah that came into
effect in December.
drawdown, the Times said, is “a belated recognition that a grinding war that
has killed thousands of civilians and turned Yemen into a humanitarian disaster
is no longer winnable.”
Associated Press also quoted experts as saying that the troop drawdown aims to
restore the Persian Gulf country's reputation, even though it may strain ties
with Saudi Arabia at a time of heightened tensions with Iran.
Emiratis are driven mostly by their desire to exit a war whose cost has become
too high, even if it means angering their Saudi allies,” the New York Times
paper quoted Mike Hindmarsh, a retired Australian major general who commands
the Emirati presidential guard, recently telling Western visitors that Yemen
had become a quagmire where the Houthis were the “Yemeni Viet Cong.”
drawdown “is going to expose the Saudis to the reality that this war is a
failure,” said Michael Stephens of the Royal United Services Institute, a
research group in London.
tells us the two main protagonists on the coalition side, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates, don’t have the same idea of what success looks like,” he
told the Times.
to diplomats, the Saudis were “deeply disappointed” by the Emirati decision.
officials with the royal court personally intervened with the Emirati leaders
to try to dissuade them from the drawdown,” a Western diplomat familiar with
the matter was quoted as saying.
Emiratis have avoided publicly announcing their decision in part to minimize
the unhappiness of the Saudis, said several people briefed by the Emiratis.
between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi — yet to play out in full display — could have
major consequences for the Saudi-led coalition, which has for more than four
years been fighting a war it hoped to finish in a matter of weeks.
to command unruly fighters
UAE troops out, command of the fractious Yemeni forces is passing to Saudi
Arabia. People familiar with the matter said Saudi officers had taken charge at
the two main Emirati bases on the Red Sea, at Mokha and Khokha.
the Saudis have little experience in commanding the unruly group of ragtag
fighters, and the sudden changes have stoked fears that without the heavily
armed Emiratis to keep the peace, the Yemenis could start to feud among
Arabia and its allies started the war on the Yemeni nation in March 2015 to
reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who resigned from
presidency and fled to Riyadh in January 2015 amid popular outcry over
corruption and mismanagement of the economy. Houthi Ansarullah fighters then
took over state matters to prevent the country from descending into chaos.
— Britain will soon be "slapped in the face" for the capture of an
Iranian supertanker last week, Iranian state TV quoted a cleric as saying on
Friday, amid heightened tension between Iran and the West in the Gulf.
strong establishment will soon slap Britain in the face for daring to seize the
Iranian oil tanker," cleric Kazem Sedighi told worshippers during Tehran's
Friday prayer sermon, TV reported.
Gets Shipment of Russian Missile System, Defying U.S.
— Defying strenuous American objections and the threat of sanctions, Turkey
began receiving the first shipment of a sophisticated Russian surface-to-air
missile system on Friday, a step certain to test the country’s uneasy place in
the NATO alliance.
system, called the S-400, includes advanced radar to detect aircraft and other
targets, and the United States has been unyielding in its opposition to
Turkey’s acquisition of the equipment, which is deeply troubling to Washington
on several levels.
puts Russian technology inside the territory of a key NATO ally — one from
which strikes into Syria have been staged. The Russian engineers who will be
required to set up the system, American officials fear, will have an
opportunity to learn much about the American-made fighter jets that are also
part of Turkey’s arsenal.
is one reason the Trump administration has already moved to block the delivery
of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, one of the United States’ most advanced
aircraft, to Turkey, and has suspended the training of its pilots, who were
learning how to fly it. (Whether NATO, in turn, might glean some Russian
secrets from Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 is unclear.)
the minds of Pentagon strategists, the S-400 deal is part of President Vladimir
V. Putin’s plan to divide NATO. American officials are clearly uneasy when
asked about the future of the alliance, or even how Turkey could remain an
active member of NATO while using Russian-made air defenses.
is the S-400?]
political ramifications of this are very serious, because the delivery will
confirm to many the idea that Turkey is drifting off into a non-Western
alternative,” said Ian Lesser, director of the German Marshall Fund in
Brussels. “This will create a lot of anxiety and bad feelings inside NATO — it
will clearly further poison sentiment for Turkey inside the alliance.”
positioned at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and sharing a border on the
Black Sea with Russia, Turkey has long been both a vital peg in NATO and one of
its more prickly members.
one foot in the conflicts of the Middle East and a toehold in Europe, its
interests have not always easily aligned with an alliance originally forged as
a Western European defense against the Soviets. Instead, under the leadership
of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has increasingly played both sides in
the East-West struggle.
has stationed the American-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system on
Turkish soil since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, but Mr. Erdogan has
insisted his country needs its own long-range system.
tried for years to buy its own Patriot system, but talks with Washington never
produced a deal — a result that President Trump, at the Group of 20 meeting
last month, said was the fault of the Obama administration.
a mess,” Mr. Trump said. “And honestly, it’s not really Erdogan’s fault.”
as he announced the arrival of three planes bearing the first parts of the
Russian system, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey still hoped to buy its
American counterpart. “We are looking for Patriot procurement and our institutions
are working intensively in that regard,” he said in remarks shown on the
state-owned TRT channel.
does need to fill a gap in its defenses, but in purchasing the S-400, “the
political-military outcomes could turn into a weakness for Turkey’s security,”
said Ahmet Han, professor of international relations at Altinbas University in
Istanbul. “The delivery has already caused a creeping vulnerability because it
has damaged Turkey’s relations with NATO.”
presence of the Russian system — which includes truck-mounted radars, command
posts and missiles and launchers — would introduce an extra consideration into
every NATO operation, he said, and that added strain “is the exact thing that
Russia is after.”
turn to Russia for its own system is a success for Mr. Putin, who has sought to
draw Turkey closer since a dramatic falling-out over the Syrian war, in which
the Kremlin has backed the Assad government, while Turkey has supported a rebel
faction. Turkey shot down a Russian jet on its southern border with Syria in
2015, and the following year, a Turkish policeman who shouted “don’t forget
Syria” fatally shot and killed the Russian ambassador at an art gallery in
two countries still back opposing sides in Syria, but have avoided further
direct clashes and have come to collaborate closely through peace talks led by
Russia, Turkey and Iran.
S-400 delivery comes just ahead of celebrations on Monday in Turkey to mark the
third anniversary of a failed coup attempt against Mr. Erdogan. That upheaval
marked a turn in relations with Russia, said Diba Nigar, the Turkey director
for the International Crisis Group, a research institute based in Brussels.
Turks, she said, believe “that NATO allies didn’t stand up for Turkey, that the
West turned a blind eye during the coup but that Moscow was more supportive.”
sale also promises to add to Russia’s growing reach in the greater Middle East.
Moscow’s decisive intervention in the conflict in Syria has cemented Russia’s
dominance there, and the Libyan strongman Khalifa Hifter is another beneficiary
of its support.
has won friends in Tehran by supporting Iran in its standoff with the Trump
administration while also pursuing business, military and diplomatic ties with
the American-aligned Arab monarchies. And since the military takeover in Egypt
in 2013, Russia has also begun selling jets, helicopters and missiles to Cairo,
another key American ally.
Erdogan has pursued the Russian missile system despite American warnings and the
damage that sanctions could do to his country’s already suffering economy,
including a renewed slide in the Turkish lira. His party suffered a set of
stinging defeats in local elections this year, largely because of the economic
recession, his worst political setback in many years.
last month, Mr. Erdogan warned the United States not to risk a larger fissure
in ties with Turkey over the missile system, and he said he was confident that
he could reach an understanding with Mr. Trump to avoid sanctions.
should think deeply, because losing a country like Turkey will not be easy,”
Mr. Erdogan said of the United States. “If we are friends, if we are strategic
partners, then we should handle this issue between each other.”
dispute could strain the relationship between the American and Turkish
militaries, which goes back decades. The Incirlik air base is a critical post
for American forces in the region, and while American officials never discuss
it in public, the base is also the storage site for scores of American tactical
nuclear weapons, a leftover of the Cold War.
NATO spokesman said on Friday, “we are concerned about the potential
consequences of Turkey’s decision to acquire the S-400 system,” in part because
it is considered technically incompatible with the weapons systems used by NATO
of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations
and missions,” said the spokesman who, in keeping with the organization’s
protocol, declined to be quoted by name. “We welcome that Turkey is working
with several Allies on developing long-range air and missile defense systems.”
Turkish and Russian defense ministries both reported that the first parts of
the system arrived at the Murted airfield in Ankara on Friday. Turkish news
media reported that a team of Russian specialists had also arrived to assemble
officials used the occasion to boast of the S-400’s effectiveness, and to tweak
the United States.
“came under unprecedented pressure and nevertheless prioritized national
security,” Franz Klintsevich, a Russian senator, told the Interfax news agency.
He claimed that Patriot missiles are made to be incapable of locking onto “a
target carrying the U.S. flag,” adding, “everyone knows that.”
S-400 systems guarantee preservation of their sovereignty,” he said of Turkey.
“No wonder the Americans are irate.”
would be liable for sanctions under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries
Through Sanctions Act, which mandates United States sanctions against anyone
making a significant deal with the Russian defense industry. American officials
have said that Turkey would incur sanctions as soon as it received the weapon
system on its soil.
law calls on Mr. Trump to select five sanctions from a list of 12 to impose
against Turkey. There is no waiver or suspension that could apply to Turkey,
but there is no time schedule laid down for enforcement.
Carlotta Gall on Twitter: @carlottagall.
intelligence sources in Tel Aviv announced Wednesday that the Mossad and the
Israeli military intelligence division have thwarted at least 50 terrorist
attacks in 20 countries over the past three years, including Turkey, France,
and some Arab countries.
sources said, according to a report broadcast by Channel 12 of Israeli
television, that some of these operations were plotted by ISIS, while others by
Iran, its militias, and various organs. Of the 50 operations in 20 countries,
12 were foiled in Turkey alone, the report said.
the strained relations between Israel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, Israel has decided to inform the latter of these operations. “In more
than one case, he has been informed of this while he continued his strong
attacks against Israel," according to the sources.
report added that one of the aborted operations was a plan to assassinate
Iranian opposition figures, who participated in a conference in France.
Information reached Israel, which was quick to inform the French intelligence.
The report also noted that Israel prevented a plot to detonate a civilian
head of Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah said on Friday that US ally Israel
would not be “neutral” if a war broke out between the United States and Iran.
remarks came after weeks of increasing tensions between the United States and
Iran as US President Donald Trump steps up his war of words with the Islamic
collective responsibility in the region is to work towards preventing an
American war on Iran,” he said.
Revolutionary Guards used drones and missiles to strike the headquarters of a
Kurdish militant group near Iran’s border with neighboring Iraq’s Kurdistan region,
the Iranian semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Friday.
large number of terrorists were killed and wounded in the attacks that had
started from Wednesday to target terrorist headquarters and their training
camps,” said the agency, citing a statement from the Guards.
report from Tasnim in Arabic and a tweet in English from Iran’s Press TV
described the strikes as taking place on the Iraqi side of the border. However,
the full statement in Farsi said only that the strikes had taken place along
statement said the strikes were launched in retaliation for recent attacks by
the group that killed at least five members of the Guards in northwest and
Iraqi Kurdistan government is expected to take Iran’s warnings seriously and
not allow terrorists to use its territory as a shelter to train, organize and
endanger Iran’s sustainable security by carrying out terrorist attacks,” the
Guards ... will respond harshly to any aggression against Iran’s security.”
soldiers have shot and critically wounded a Palestinian child during clashes
between Israeli forces and protesters in the occupied West Bank.
child was in the operating room in a “critical condition, after being shot in
the head with live ammunition” by Israeli troops on Friday, said the
Palestinian health ministry in a statement.
official WAFA news agency identified the child as Abdulrahman Shteiwi, adding
that he was 10 years old and was injured during clashes in the village of Kafr
Qaddum in the vicinity of Nablus in the northern West Bank.
of Kafr Qaddum regularly hold weekly protest rallies against the Israeli
closure of a nearby road. Reports by eyewitnesses said that the regime’s
soldiers use unusually violent tactics to disperse dozens of protesters on
at least 33 Palestinians were shot and wounded during weekly demonstrations
along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, the health ministry in Hamas-run
besieged Gaza Strip.
incidents comes amid a relatively calm period along the fence after a ceasefire
brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations came into force between the
Israeli regime and Hamas in May.
weekly rallies along the border have been held since March 30 last year. The
Palestinians demand the right to return of those driven out of their homeland
by Israeli aggression.
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.
Over 16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Calls Rushed Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan a ‘Strategic Mistake’
— Withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan too soon would be a “strategic
mistake,” President Trump’s nominee for Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said
Thursday, clearly outlining the Pentagon’s position as the White House wrestles
with whether to pull military forces and end the 18-year war.
think it is slow, it’s painful, it’s hard — I spent a lot of my life in
Afghanistan — but I also think it’s necessary,” Gen. Mark A. Milley, the
nominee, said about the American military’s continuing mission at his
confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Milley’s tough line on the war comes as the United States and the Taliban
navigate their seventh round of peace negotiations.
peace dialogues have focused on two main planks: the withdrawal of Western
troops and the Taliban’s pledge to deny any safe haven to terrorist groups in
Thursday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran American diplomat leading the
negotiations with the Taliban, sought to make clear that the United States was
not just looking for an exit ramp from the war.
not cutting and running,” Mr. Khalilzad said in a taped video statement to a
Georgetown University forum on ensuring that women and civil society are
included in the peace talks. “We’re not looking for a withdrawal agreement.
We’re looking for a peace agreement.”
Tuesday, the Taliban and some representatives from the Afghan government agreed
to a basic outline for negotiating a political future and reducing civilian
casualties. Until this week, the Taliban had refused to meet with the Afghan
government, which it described as an American puppet regime.
Milley, who is currently the Army chief of staff, said during his testimony
that there had been “some progress” in the peace efforts.
a Defense Department official separately told The New York Times that the
Pentagon was privately urging Mr. Trump to keep Special Operations forces in
Afghanistan even if all other American troops depart as a result of a peace
agreement. Mr. Trump has resisted the idea, said the official, who spoke on the
condition of anonymity to discuss the internal policy debate.
an interview with Fox News this month, Mr. Trump said he wanted to withdraw but
was later talked into staying the course — for now — by military officials.
American-led mission in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, has warned of the
continuing threat posed to the United States by the Islamic State’s affiliate
in Afghanistan. Military officials have predicted that the Taliban would not be
able to defeat Islamic State fighters without help from American forces.
Milley’s confirmation hearing comes as much of the Pentagon’s leadership is in
Wednesday, past accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Gen. John E.
Hyten, the Air Force general who is nominated to be the next Joint Chiefs vice
chairman. In a statement on Thursday, the Air Force said an internal
investigation found insufficient evidence against him.
on Sunday, Adm. William F. Moran, who was nominated to be the Navy’s next
chief, abruptly announced his retirement, citing a continuing ethics
investigation. There is also no Senate-confirmed defense secretary, but the
confirmation hearing for the department’s acting chief, Mark T. Esper, is set
for next week.
suicide bomber on foot targeted a wedding party in Afghanistan’s eastern
province of Nangarhar on Friday, killing at least five people and injuring 40,
local officials said.
Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar province’s governor, said a 13 year old boy
set off his explosives inside the house of a pro-government militia commander
in Pacheragam district.
said 40 wounded men and women were rushed to hospital and local residents said
10 people were killed.
militias often work with overstretched Afghan security forces to prevent
territories falling into the hands of the Taliban and ISIS fighters.
month, Taliban militants killed at least 26 members of a pro-government militia
in northern Afghanistan.
July 11 (Xinhua) -- At least 53 militants have been killed over the past 24
hours as Afghan government forces have intensified operations, security
officials said Thursday.
one crackdown on militants, government forces struck Taliban hideouts in
Jalalabad area of Argo district in northern Badakhshan province early on
Thursday and the firefight lasted until the security forces recaptured the area
and forcing militants to flee after leaving five bodies behind and injuring 11
others, provincial administration spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari said.
to Nazari, no security personnel had been hurt.
government forces, according to Jilani Farhad, the spokesman for western Herat
provincial government, launched operations against Taliban hideouts in Obe district
of the province on Wednesday and so far 15 insurgents had been killed and 10
forces have also killed nine militants and injured four others in Bilchiragh
district of the northern Faryab province over the past 24 hours, provincial
police spokesman Abdul Karim Yurash said.
total of 17 militants have been killed in the southern Kandahar and seven more
killed in the neighboring Helmand province since Wednesday, officials said
suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a wedding party in eastern Nangarhar
province killing or wounding at least 20 people.
Governor’s Office in a statement said a suicide bomber targeted a wedding
ceremony in Pacher Agam district at around 8:30am local time.
statement further added that the suicide bomber targeted the wedding party of
one of the relatives of Malik Tor, one of the tribal elders of Pacher Agam.
the Nangarhar Governor’s Office said the attack killed six people and wounded
the Governor’s Office said the explosion killed the tribal elder Malik Tor and
security forces conducted airstrike in Farah and Herat provinces in the West
killing at least 7 Taliban militants.
informed military officials said Saturday an airstrike killed 3 Taliban
militants in Khak-e-Safayd district of Farah province.
sources further added that a similar airstrike killed 4 Taliban militants in
Farsi district of Herat province.
Afghan forces repelled a coordinated attack by Taliban militants on Alam Khel
Base in Balkh province inflicting heavy casualties on assailants.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the Taliban militants attacked the base
in the early hours of Friday morning.
statement further added that the Afghan forces effectively responded to the
attack using the reserve forces and air power.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the security forces killed 16 Taliban militants
and wounded 10 others during the clash.
Afghan commandos must be prosecuted after they “executed” four civilians during
a night raid on a medical clinic in central Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch
and hospitals have been frequently targeted during the country’s decades-long
conflict, with 2019 already proving far deadlier than last year for aid
witnesses told the US-based non-governmental organization that Afghan special
operations forces entered the clinic, the only one operating in Wardak province
west of Kabul, on the night of July 8-9.
killed a family caregiver and then detained and bound staff and family members
accompanying patients,” HRW said in a statement.
other people — a lab worker, a guard and another person caring for a patient —
were later found dead from gunshots. HRW said they had been “executed.”
on medical facilities challenge the very foundations of the laws of war, and
will persist if those responsible go unpunished,” HRW’s associate Asia director
Patricia Gossman said.
imperative for the Afghan government to prosecute the commanders who ordered
the killings as well as the soldiers who pulled the trigger.”
the Afghan defense ministry nor US forces in Afghanistan immediately commented.
It was not clear whether the US military had supported Afghan troops in the
said deliberate attacks on medical facilities and the summary killing of
civilians or incapacitated combatants are war crimes.
clinic — run by the non-governmental Swedish Committee for Afghanistan — was
attacked in 2016, allegedly by both international and Afghan army troops. Three
people were killed in that incident.
Wednesday, Toby Lanzer, deputy head of the UN Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan, said 2019 has been a deadly year for health and aid workers. So
far this year, 77 aid workers have been killed, injured or abducted compared
with 76 in all of 2018, he said.
To attract tourists from these countries, Dhaka has proposed to build a special
tourist zone at the world’s longest sea beach in Cox’s Bazar.
Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the proposal during the inaugural session of a
two-day festival called “Dhaka the OIC City of Tourism 2019” on Thursday.
program was attended by tourism ministers from Sierra Leone and Gambia and all
other OIC states’ ambassadors in Dhaka.
was chosen as the “city of tourism” for 2019 during the 10th Islamic conference
of tourism ministers, held in Dhaka between Feb. 5-7, 2018.
has many historic Islamic sites, such as ancient mosques, holy shrines of
different preachers of Islam, and great architectural structures of the
country boasts special natural spots including the beach at Cox’s Bazar, the
world’s only mangrove forest Sundarbans, and the serene beauty of Chottogram
addressing the OIC delegates, Hasina talked about the potential of increasing
tourism in the country.
value of the Islamic tourism market will increase to $243 billion by 2021, with
an annual 8.3 percent growth. We’ll have to take great efforts and prepare a
roadmap aimed at promoting Islamic tourism as a global business brand, which
will attract tourists further,” Hasina said.
an urgent need to galvanize our tourism sector. Islamic tourism is the best
possible area where we have the opportunity to work together,” she said.
boost tourism from OIC citizens, Hasina proposed to “promote intra-OIC tourist
flows through easing visas,” and “for investment promotion, branding and
standardization and capacity building.”
said that her country is willing to “designate and develop a particular place on
the Cox’s Bazar sea beach for their tourists.”
we want to develop our tourism sector internationally, we can also designate
and develop a separate place for the tourists from the western world,” she
has a strong tradition of halal foods. Moreover, we have so many Islamic
heritage sites across the country which will attract the Muslim tourists,” said
Dr. Bhubon Chandra Biswas, CEO of Bangladesh’s Tourism Board.
will work on preparing a special tourist zone for OIC nationals on Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh will organize a series of tourism fairs in the OIC states,” Biswas
Mobin Chowdhury, former ambassador and foreign secretary of Bangladesh,
suggested that the country needs to build more infrastructure to attract foreign
80 percent of our tourists are domestic. We need to introduce e-visa and
port-entry arrival systems for OIC nationals to promote intra-OIC tourism,”
Glancing at an iPad attached to a keyboard on a long wooden table in his
palatial Jakarta office, Indonesian President Joko Widodo doesn’t look like
your average political street brawler.
known as Jokowi, the 58-year-old leader of the world’s fourth most-populous
nation routinely flashes a disarming smile while laying out his long-term
economic vision for in a mix of English and Indonesian, the language that
unites the diverse archipelago of 17,000 islands.
behind the traditional Javanese politeness was a steely determination that
underpinned his resounding election win in April.
confidence, Jokowi said he’s learned from his first five years in office and is
ready to take on political opponents who resist his efforts to overhaul the
will do my best for this country,” Jokowi said in an interview Friday. “I have
nothing to lose.”
came into office in 2014 riding a wave of support after his stint as Jakarta
governor shook up a national political scene filled with the same old
characters, mostly from the military, big business or powerful dynasties.
quickly got Indonesia’s finances in order, winning a credit-rating upgrade,
though ran into trouble taking on entrenched interests that benefit from
protectionism and endemic corruption.
with a larger mandate and more experience in the capital, Jokowi is pushing to
make Indonesia more open to foreign investment in order to unleash the
country’s potential and achieve growth rates closer to the 7% he promised – but
failed to reach – in his first term.
he doesn’t have much time before he’s perceived as a lame duck: Already some
potential candidates have started signalling they’ll run in the 2024 election.
far, investors have given him a vote of confidence. Indonesia’s stock market
has gained about 8% since he was declared the winner on May 21, while the
currency is up 3% against the dollar.
the interview, Jokowi brushed off concerns that reforms would run into staunch
political opposition, pointing to the nearly two-thirds majority in parliament
that his coalition won.
outside our coalition want to join us as well,” he said, adding he would be in
a “stronger” position during his second term.
touted moves during the first term to build a range of infrastructure projects,
which included a subway line in Jakarta that had been planned for at least
a big coalition doesn’t necessarily bode well for sweeping changes. More
parties in the ruling alliance increase the complexity of balancing various
parochial interests, some of which could end up hurting from greater foreign
competition and market-based pricing.
am sceptical that the president has as strong a hand as he suggests,” said
Aaron Connelly, a research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic
Studies in Singapore, adding that many lawmakers are more loyal to patronage
networks than political parties.
those networks will thwart reform, he said, while taking them on “risks
significant political instability.”
has ambitious plans: He wants to build infrastructure at a faster pace while
also investing more in health and education, all while maintaining fiscal
discipline and keeping inflation under control.
do so, he’ll have to increase tax revenues that have lingered around 10%-12% of
gross domestic product, one of the lowest rates in the region.
most difficult will be adjusting stringent labour laws that make it difficult
for companies to hire and fire employees.
severance pay for a worker in Indonesia with 10 years of tenure is about 95
weeks, according to the World Bank, ranking it among the world’s most generous
and more than twice as much as Vietnam.
knows that this is why the business community is not investing any more in
labour-intensive industries,” said Sofjan Wanandi, the chief adviser to
outgoing Vice President Jusuf Kalla. “Even Indonesian companies are going to
Indonesia’s jobless rate is at a 22-year low, about a third of the formal
labour force is considered underemployed, working one to 34 hours a week.
Another 74 million people are employed in the informal sector.
said he’s hopeful the labour law will be changed by the end of the year,
particularly as Indonesia looks to boost its attractiveness to manufacturers as
the US-China trade war risks reshaping global supply chains.
mentioned that both the unions and the business community aren’t completely
happy with the government’s policies.
all complain, so we have to meet halfway,” the president said.
ability to push through tough compromises on the economy will also signal whether
he can ease social divisions that flared up in recent years, particularly over
the role of Islam in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
groups have questioned his faith and managed to push out one of his allies as
Jakarta governor in 2017.
president dismissed investor concerns about Islamism rising in Indonesia,
saying religious attacks were “common in politics.”
is moderate Islam, modern Islam, tolerant Islam,” he said.
the election out of the way, Jokowi’s focus is now on creating a legacy that
will last far beyond the next five years – in part by bringing in a new
generation of talent.
wait until October,” he said when asked about a possible reshuffle of his
leadership team. “Many young people will fill the cabinet.”
Islam Defenders Front (FPI) plans to raise money through crowdfunding to help
its leader, Rizieq Shihab, pay a fine for overstaying his visa in Saudi Arabia,
according to Sugito Atmo Prawiro, head of FPI legal aid.
said the FPI has asked the Indonesian government to pay the fine, since the FPI
claims Jakarta was behind Rizieq overstaying his visa, and the organization
would resort to crowdfunding if the government refuses.
the Indonesian government does not pay, the Muslim people will consolidate to
help each other to pay the fine,” Sugito said on Friday as quoted by tempo.co.
leader Rizieq Shihab has stayed in Saudi Arabia longer than legally allowed. He
left for Saudi Arabia in 2017 to go on umrah (minor haj) and has remained there
ever since. Prior to his leaving Indonesia, the firebrand cleric was charged in
connection with a pornography case and for insulting Pancasila. The police
dropped both charges last year but he remained in Mecca in self-exile despite
his visa having expired in July 2018.
to the Indonesian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Rizieq had remained in the country
with four other people. Each person is estimated to have incurred Rp 110
million (US$7,099) in fines for overstaying.
said the money would not be difficult to raise if the people loyal to Rizieq
110 million is big, but if the people consolidate, it won’t be expensive or
big,” he said.
to Sugito, Rizieq did not intend to overstay in Saudi Arabia. He said the
cleric had tried multiple times to leave Saudi in 2018, on July 9, 12 and 15,
but was prevented from doing so by an Indonesian institution.
was reportedly planning to finish his PhD dissertation in Malaysia.
July 13 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa
Billah yesterday expressed hope that the long-existing close ties between
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will be preserved for mutual benefits.
Majesty said the close ties between the two countries were proven by the
fruitful cooperation forged in various fields.
presence here is at the invitation of the King of Saudi Arabia and I hope this
visit will strengthen the ties between the two sovereign countries.
are a lot of similarities and fields that we need to further explore in the
future for the wellbeing of the people and both countries,” Sultan Abdullah
said when addressing the Malaysian diaspora at a tea reception here, which was
also attended by his son, Tengku Amir Nasser Ibni Sultan Abdullah.
present were Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Tabung Haji head of
Malaysian Haj delegation Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman.
Abdullah also hoped that Malaysians who are abroad could become the country’s
mini ambassadors to keep Malaysia’s flag flying and maintain good relations
with other countries.
those who are here (in Saudi Arabia), I hope you too can represent the country
with a high level of discipline and integrity. This way, you are not just doing
good for the country, but also for Islam,” he said.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Tuesday that thousands of Indonesian
Islamic State sympathizers will be allowed to return to their home country on
the condition they take an oath to be loyal to the Unitary State of the
Republic of Indonesia and its official state ideology Pancasila.
must also admit their wrongdoing, show contrition and promise not to join
terrorist groups upon their return, the former Army commander said in Jakarta.
those things [then they can return home]. Don't come home if they still believe
in IS," Ryamizard said.
officials will be dispatched to Syria to bring these IS sympathizers back home
on humanitarian grounds.
government has been facing a conundrum on what to do with Indonesian IS
sympathizers who are still stranded in Syria after the caliphate was wiped out
early this year.
Indonesian citizenship law, despite having professed allegiance to IS these
sympathizers are still considered Indonesian citizens and technically there is
nothing to stop them from coming back to Indonesia.
returnees from Syria have often been involved in domestic terrorist attacks,
such as the suicide attacks on two churches in Surabaya last year.
suicide bombers turned out to be a family of six who had spent time in Syria as
The Jakarta administration has decided to relocate hundreds of refugees who
have been living rough on the streets near the United Nations Refugee Agency
office in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, to an old military building in
Kalideres in the west of the city.
were going to move them to the Islamic Center, but there were too many of them
so we're relocating them to a disused military building in West Jakarta,"
Jakarta Regional Legislative Council chairman Prasetyo Marsudi said on
to Prasetyo, the Jakarta administration will pay for the refugees' new
temporary accommodation for one week. The UNHCR will need to take over after
decided to get involved for humanitarian reasons. We want the UNHCR to come up
with a concrete solution to solve this problem," Prasetyo said.
240 refugees queued to be transported by six Transjakarta buses to their new
shelter on Thursday.
Social Affairs Ministry is also helping out by providing meals and sanitary
have also sent our social disaster protection and social rehabilitation teams
to help the refugees," Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita
said on Thursday.
ministry's social rehabilitation director general Edi Suharto said the teams
will focus on providing psychosocial care to the refugees' children.
of refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan and Somalia, have been
demonstrating in front of the UNHCR office in Central Jakarta in the past few
weeks, living rough on the streets at night. They had moved to Kebon Sirih from
their temporary housings in Kalideres, West Jakarta.
director of human rights at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Achsanul Habib, said
on Tuesday that the refugees felt frustrated with the slow process of their
resettlement applications at the UNHCR. Many of them have been stuck in limbo
in Jakarta for years, some of them up to seven years.
Foreign Ministry spokesman has denounced the "harmful" interferences
of the US and UK governments in China's internal affairs and their recent
provocative moves regarding Taiwan and Hong Kong.
his Friday statement, Abbas Mousavi also expressed Tehran's strong support for
the "One China" policy, which says there is only one sovereign state
under the name China.
remarks came after the US State Department announced a $2.2 billion arms sale
to Taiwan, which includes 108 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger surface-to-air
after Washington's Monday announcement, the Chinese government lodged formal
complaints through diplomatic channels, expressing "strong dissatisfaction
and resolute opposition" to the US' move. It also demanded that the US
"immediately cancels" the arms sale to the self-ruled Taipei.
US, however, has shrugged off China's complaints, saying the military equipment
would contribute to "peace and stability" in Asia.
Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned the United States “not to play
with fire” regarding Taiwan.
urge the US to fully recognize the gravity of the Taiwan question... (and) not
to play with fire on the question of Taiwan,” Wang said at a press conference
in Hungary on Friday.
has also condemned the US for hosting Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who
arrived in New York on Friday on a two-night "transit" stop on her
way to four Caribbean nations. Beijing has urged the US to "abide by the
'One China' principle" and asked Washington to "not allow Tsai
all world countries recognize Chinese sovereignty over the island under a
policy known as One China. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over
Taiwan but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to counter Beijing.
four crew members of the impounded Iranian Grace 1 tanker have been released on
bail without charge by authorities in Gibraltar after their vessel was detained
on suspicion of breaking European sanctions on Syria.
police said earlier on Friday that they had arrested the two second mates from
the tanker, a day after the vessel's captain and chief officer were arrested.
a statement, the police said all four crew members were granted bail with
conditions. It did not elaborate but said the investigation was ongoing and
that the Grace 1 continues to be detained.
Grace 1 was apprehended in British waters around the overseas territory on July
4 and ordered to dock at Gibraltar. Authorities on the outcrop said that has
2.1 million barrels of light crude oil aboard and is believed to have been
trying to transport the cargo to Syria – in contravention of sanctions due to
the ongoing civil war.
Picardo, the rock’s chief minister, said the decision to order the Royal
Marines to seize the tanker was taken independently and not at the request of
any other country.
decisions of Her Majesty's government of Gibraltar were taken totally
independently, based on breaches of existing law and not at all based on
extraneous political considerations," Mr Picardo told Gibraltar's
important decisions about breaches of our laws were not decisions taken at the
political behest or instruction of any other state or third party."
has demanded that Britain release the ship and denies that it was taking oil to
Syria in violation of sanctions. The affair has led to an increase in tension
in the Gulf, with Britain saying on Thursday that it fended off Iranian ships
that tried to block a British tanker. The UK has since ordered the HMS Duncan,
the largest of the new Daring-class destroyers built by the Royal Navy, to
redeploy to the Gulf.
blames the United States for arranging to have the Grace 1 seized. Washington
has imposed sanctions against Iran with the aim of halting all Iranian oil
exports. European countries do not have sanctions against Iran, but have had
them in place against Iran's ally Syria since 2011.
relevant decisions in respect of this matter were taken only as a direct result
of the government of Gibraltar having reasonable grounds to believe the vessel
was acting in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria," Mr
will not allow Gibraltar to be used or knowingly or unknowingly complicit in
the breach of EU or other international sanctions."
said the provenance and origin of the cargo had not been relevant to the
actions, which he also said could be challenged in the courts.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has tried to ease concerns of escalation, on
Friday telling Sky News that Britain is not seeking to exacerbate the situation
are reacting to what is happening in a measured and careful way and we are
being clear to Iran that we are not seeking to escalate this situation,"
British government wants to expedite decisions on new licences for arms export
to Saudi Arabia and its allies despite an adverse court order, a top defence
intention is to take new export licensing decisions as soon as we can put in
place the right processes," Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer, Britain's
senior defence adviser to the Middle East who recently visited the UAE, told
the state news agency, Wam, in an interview.
UK government has always taken its export control obligations very seriously
and we seek to address this matter as soon as possible, in accordance with our
legal obligations," Lt Gen Lorimer said.
UK Court of Appeal ruled on June 20 that the British arms sales to Saudi
Arabia, which could be deployed by the Arab Coalition to restore the legitimate
government in Yemen, were "unlawful", a decision Lt Gen Lorimer
described as disappointing.
UK is disappointed with the recent decision, and we are appealing the outcome.
Our commitment to the security of the Gulf remains unchanged. This judgment
does not immediately affect existing export licences, which will continue to be
valid," he said.
we cannot currently grant new licences for Saudi Arabia and Coalition partners
for items that might be used in the conflict in Yemen, while we consider the
implications of the judgment."
Gen Lorimer, who studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cambridge University
from 1985 to 1988, has served as Britain's senior defence adviser to the Middle
East since January 2018. He previously served as Chief of Joint Operations from
October 2014 until June 2017, heading Britain's Permanent Joint Headquarters
that plans and controls joint and multinational military operations abroad. His
senior overseas army postings include Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Iraq and
commitment of the UK to the security of Saudi Arabia and the stability of the
region remains unchanged," Lt Gen Lorimer said. "The UK’s security is
intertwined with that of the Middle East; our values require us to play our
part in making a constructive difference, and our unique links mean that we
have the ability to do so."
UK continues to lead a sustained diplomatic campaign to support the UN-led
peace process to resolve the conflict in Yemen, he affirmed.
have used our diplomatic reach to bring those fighting together around the
table to find a political solution. We need the international community to do
the same. We are also working to provide humanitarian assistance to
Yemen," he said.
UN-backed peace process is the only way we will achieve lasting peace, security
and stability in Yemen and everyone has to play their part."
Gen Lorimer, who visited the UAE for third this year in June, praised the UAE
Armed Forces as "one of the most experienced and capable militaries in the
is an honour for the UK to have such a strong and longstanding relationship
with the UAE Army," he said.
continue to support a regular programme of training, advice and exercises, in
line with mutual development objectives. The UK remains committed to promoting
regional stability and security through our work with the UAE Armed
said during his last visit that "the longstanding friendship between the
UAE and the UK runs deeper than defence engagement and trust remains critical
to our success".
UK remains strongly committed to working with all regional partners to develop
modern, capable and agile armed forces. "In support of this objective, we
hosted a meeting of military leaders from across the region on July 4 [in the
UK]," Lt Gen Lorimer said.
forum provides a means for peers to exchange their ideas and work more closely
together on a shared transformation journey, in an ever-changing world."
-- The German domestic intelligence agency said Thursday it is stepping up
observation of the far-right Identitarian Movement in Germany, a group that
campaigns against immigrants and Islam. The agency, known by its German acronym
BfV, said after two years of investigating the group it has concluded that it
has "passed beyond the stage of suspicion" and "is now
classified as a verified extreme right movement.
a statement, it said the group "ultimately aims to exclude people of
non-European origin from democratic participation and to discriminate against
them in a way that infringes their human dignity."
decision comes amid fresh fears about far-right extremism in Germany following
the arrest last month of a man with a long history of neo-Nazi activity over
the killing of a regional politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party.
in the U.S.
Identitarian Movement in Germany was founded in 2012, after originating in
France. It has sister organizations in other European countries, and many of
its members are students. There is a Facebook page for the "American
Identitarian Movement," but it has less than 100 followers. According to
the page, the "goals of the American Identitarian Movement is to push back
against 'multiculturalism' and to preserve American culture."
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors and works to expose and
thwart organized extremism in the U.S., wrote in 2015 that "small American
hate groups" were "stepping up efforts to spread local variants of
identitarianism" in the U.S.
organization said the Identitarian Movement "preaches opposition to
multiculturalism, often taking shape in the form of anti-Muslim xenophobia.
While Identitarian groups on both sides of the Atlantic claim their opposition
to multiculturalism isn't racist, their direct action tactics and end goals
efforts are multiplying," the SPLC wrote. "At least four American
groups are pushing versions of Identitarianism, often parroting the words and
the flashy, youth-oriented style of the Europeans."
American white nationalist Richard Spencer announced on his altright.com
website at the end of 2017 that an umbrella group he backs would work to
"train and mentor young activists, and foster collaboration among
Identitarians in America and around the world," according to the SPCL.
Germany, the group has thus far refrained from openly engaging in the kind of
street violence for which the country's established neo-Nazi groups are known,
though its flags are often seen at far-right rallies. It is best known for
publicity stunts such as draping banners from public buildings and disrupting
lectures or theater performances.
BfV chief Thomas Haldenwang accused the group of "intellectual
arson," saying "there mustn't be any tolerance of extremists."
new classification assessment gives the BfV additional powers of surveillance
against the group, which is estimated to have about 600 members.
announcement also comes exactly one year after the verdict in Germany's
highest-profile neo-Nazi murder trial. Beate Zschaepe, the only known survivor
of the National Socialist Underground group, was sentenced to life in prison
for her role in the killings of 10 people -- most of them migrants -- who were
gunned down between 2000 and 2007.
Britain said on Friday it was sending a second warship to the Gulf and raising
the alert level in the region as tensions spike after Iranian gunboats threatened
a UK supertanker.
decision was disclosed as US President Donald Trump stepped up his war of words
with the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme and its alleged support
for terror groups in the Middle East.
better be careful," Trump told reporters outside the White House.
"They're treading on very dangerous territory. Iran, if you're listening,
you better be careful."
officials said the naval deployment was part of a pre-planned rotation and
meant to ensure a continued British naval presence in one of the most important
but volatile oil shipment routes in the world.
a source said the switchover was brought forward by several days and should see
two of Britain's most advanced warships jointly navigating the waters off Iran
for a period that might last a number of weeks.
government spokesman said the HMS Duncan was "deploying to the region to
ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence while HMS Montrose
comes off task for pre-planned maintenance and crew changeover".
News television reported that HMS Duncan would not be part of the international
military escort team for vessels in the Gulf proposed on Thursday by the United
Duncan is an air defence destroyer that carries a set of heavy Harpoon anti-ship
missiles and a crew in excess of 280.
BBC reported that it had reached Turkey's Bosphorus Strait as it makes its way
from the Black Sea through the Suez Canal to the Gulf.
Montrose was forced to warn off three fast Iranian gunboats on Wednesday that
UK officials said were trying to "impede" the progress of a British
supertanker through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf.
officials have denied the incident ever happened.
Strait of Hormuz episode occurred a week after UK Royal Marines helped the
Gibraltar authorities detain an Iranian tanker that US officials believe was
trying to deliver oil to Syria in violation of separate sets of EU and US
has bristled at the arrest and issued a series of increasingly ominous warnings
to both the United States and Britain about its right to take unspecified
actions in reprisal.
the enemy had made the smallest assessment they wouldn't have done this
act," Iran's Revolutionary Guards deputy commander Ali Fadavi said on
source said the British government decided at the start of the week to raise
the alert level for ships travelling through Iranian waters to three on a
decision means that Britain views the security threat in Iranian waters for
commercial ships as "critical".
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called on Friday for "cool heads" to
prevail as threats mount and Iran's response to its growing isolation -- and
economic suffering from US sanctions -- becomes increasingly unpredictable.
want to do everything we can to make sure that we don't have an unintended
escalation which could be very dangerous for the world," Hunt said.
authorities of Gibraltar -- a British overseas territory on Spain's southern
tip -- said on Friday that the Iranian supertanker was carrying 2.1 million
barrels of light crude oil.
also insisted that they had asked British Naval Marines to help with the
Iranian tanker's arrest without any outside political pressure.
important decisions about breaches of our laws were certainly not decisions
taken at the political behest or instruction of any other state or of any third
party," Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo said.
Gibraltar police on Thursday announced the arrest of the Iranian tanker's
Indian captain and officer.
of New Zealanders handed in their firearms Saturday as a gun buyback scheme
went into operation aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons in
the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.
first of more than 250 collections to be held nationwide was held in
Christchurch where 51 Muslim worshippers were gunned down while at prayer less
than four months ago.
government, with support from opposition parties, immediately rushed through
legislation to tighten New Zealand's gun laws.
Minister Stuart Nash said the one objective was to “remove the most dangerous
weapons from circulation.”
armed police monitoring the handover, 68 firearms owners handed in 97 weapons
and 94 parts and accessories in the first two hours.
regional police commander Mike Johnson said 903 gun owners in the Canterbury
area had registered 1,415 firearms to be handed in.
recognize that this is a big change for the law-abiding firearms community and
we are hearing really positive feedback from people as they come through today
that they are finding the process works well for them,” Johnson said.
Berard, who moved to New Zealand from Canada 25 years ago, handed in an assault
rifle and told reporters he had been in the Canadian army and on the Canada
shooting team but believed there was no place for military-style firearms in
wife is working as one of the project directors on the hospital rebuild and we
were there on the day of the shooting and watched the 35-odd hearses leave the
next day,” he said.
person can “do a lot of damage to a lot of people... if you're mentally unwell
and you have a weapon that can shoot 100 rounds a minute.”
Brenton Tarrant has been charged with the killings and is alleged to have used
an arsenal of five weapons, including two military-style semi-automatic rifles
(MSSAs), in the attacks on two mosques.
A Russian national accused of fighting for Daesh against Syrian government
forces was arrested in Albania and will be extradited to Russia, Albanian
police said on Friday.
said the 34-year-old man, identified as R.M., who was born in and a resident of
Norilsk in Russia, entered Albania illegally after a court in Russia’s Chechen
Republic ruled in April 2015 he should be arrested for being part of a
June 2013, this citizen left Russia for Syria, joined the illegal armed group
named ‘Islamic State’ and was an active participant in fighting against
government forces in Syria,” a police statement said.
European Union's steps against Turkey would not yield any result on Cyprus
issue, Turkish foreign minister said on Friday.
steps that it [EU] would take towards us would be useless, it would
backlash," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference
alongside his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.
Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "Despite our
best intentions to keep good neighbourly relations with Turkey, its continued
escalation and challenge to the sovereignty of our Member State Cyprus will
inevitably lead the EU to respond in full solidarity as agreed by #EUCO."
said the EU should not "stand behind the wrong" for the so-called
solidarity, and added that Turkey would take additional steps in case of any
move against itself.
one can prevent it," he warned, stressing that Greek Cypriots have been
violating Turkish Cypriots' rights by continuing drilling activities without
ensuring the latter's share.
reiterated that Turkey only then started its drilling activities in the Eastern
Mediterranean as the guarantor country, when the warnings did not bear any
has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral
drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus's annexation by Greece, Ankara
intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.
this spring Ankara has sent two drill ships -- Fatih and Yavuz -- to the
Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the
resources of the region.
Turkish-flagged drill ship Fatih launched offshore drilling operations this May
in an area 75 kilometers (42 nautical miles) off the western coast of the
island of Cyprus.
and southern Cyprus have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’
crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.
also thanked his Swiss counterpart for always hosting the negotiations on
Cyprus issue and iterated that Ankara is always in favor of a lasting solution
on the island.
of Russian S-400s
delivery of first batch of Russian S-400 hardware to Turkey, Cavusoglu said:
“It is [S-400] a done deal and the process is ongoing in due course."
said Turkey is coordinating the transaction and added that the process of the
permits required for the plane and personnel is ongoing.
National Defense Ministry has also made the necessary statement. There is no
problem. The process will continue without any flaw,” he added.
on Friday, Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said on Twitter: "The first
batch of equipment of S-400 missile defense system, which is procured to meet
Turkey's air and missile defense need, has started to arrive at Murted Air Base
in Ankara as of July 12, 2019.”
protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the U.S. with no
success, Ankara signed the supply contract in April 2017 to purchase the
officials urged Turkey to buy U.S. Patriot missiles, arguing the Russian system
would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible
however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and
would not pose a threat to the alliance.
has urged formation of a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the
U.S. has failed to respond to this proposal.
bilateral ties, Cavusoglu said Cassis was the first Swiss foreign minister
visiting Turkey since 2011, and expressed will for regular official visits from
desire is to increase investments in both sides," Cavusoglu said.
would like to increase the current $5 billion bilateral trade volume, he added.
Ankara’s support for Swiss investors in Turkey, Cavusoglu said that there are
around 890 Swiss-origin firms in Turkey, while around 130,000 Turkish people
live in Switzerland.
also said that Ankara wishes to be in close cooperation with Bern in fight
bilateral relations between the two countries have strained mostly lacking a
standard in the matters of human rights, freedom of demonstration and
democracy, he stated.
we consider the things happening in Switzerland, I would like to say clearly
that there is a double standard," he said, adding that pro-PKK terror
group demonstrations were being held in the country with the permission of
the Turks, who wish to demonstrate against the PKK terrorist group leader
Abdullah Ocalan, were being prevented.
we don't have any political problem with Switzerland," Cavusoglu said.
for his part, said that the two countries have been enjoying bilateral ties for
nearly a century, and added that they wish to further improve the relations.
Saeed challenges terror financing cases in Lahore HC
The alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and chief of the
proscribed organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed, challenged on Friday
terror financing cases lodged against him in the Lahore high court.
this month, Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) had said that
Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), the Saeed-led
charities that act as fronts for the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), were
involved in raising money for terrorism. The CTD claim prompted Pakistani
authorities to book Saeed and more than a dozen of his close aides in 23 cases
related to terrorism-financing.
action against Saeed was described by officials and observers as a renewed
effort by the country to comply with the requirements of the Financial Action
Task Force (FATF), an international terror finance watchdog.
his associates Amir Hamza, Abdur Rehman Makki and Yahya Aziz, and four others
filed an appeal in the Lahore HC challenging the terror financing cases against
them and named the federal government, Punjab government and the CTD as
plea requested the court to declare the FIR registered against the petitioners
null and void. It stated that Saeed has no relation with the banned LeT,
al-Qaeda or any other similar organisation. “The accused are not involved in
any activities against the state. Accusations by the Indian lobby naming Saeed
as the mastermind behind the Mumbai attacks are not based on reality,” the plea
and the US both accuse Saeed of being the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, but
several cases against him in the past were dismissed by Pakistani courts citing
lack of evidence.
countries accuse Pakistan’s military of continuing to nurture extremist groups
as proxies against neighbouring countries, including the Taliban against
Afghanistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba against India. Publicly, Pakistani officials
insist that the country has changed and no longer believes in achieving its
objectives through proxies. But there is still a lot of scepticism about such
claims given Islamabad’s record of making similar promises in the past that remain
The United States, China and Russia have jointly welcomed Pakistan to a
four-party consultation process that seeks to end the 18-year-old war and
decades of blood-letting in Afghanistan, says a joint statement issued in
Russia and the United States welcomed Pakistan joining the consultation and
believe that Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in
Afghanistan,” said the statement issued by the State Department.
appreciated the constructive efforts by the China-Russia-US trilateral
consultation on the Afghan peace process,” it added.
statement recognises Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process and will be
seen in Islamabad as a vindication of its long-held view that any development
in Afghanistan also impacts Pakistan. Islamabad also believes that as a country
with the largest Pashtun population, Pakistan must be involved in the Afghan
peace process and major world powers, particularly the United States, should
not ignore its interests while negotiating a deal in Afghanistan.
major diplomatic recognition of Pakistan’s role comes days before Prime
Minister Imran Khan’s scheduled visit to Washington on July 22 and endorses
media claims that Afghanistan will figure prominently in the US-Trump talks and
in consultations between US and Pakistani officials.
observers in Washington also link the prime minister’s visit to Pakistan’s
support to the Afghan peace process, noting that Islamabad played a key role in
persuading Taliban representatives to stay engaged with US officials in Doha,
US diplomats and generals have publicly acknowledged Pakistan’s support to the
US-Taliban negotiations, urging it to play a greater role in ensuring that the
process leads to a durable peace in the region.
White House, while confirming the PM’s visit to Washington, said earlier this
week that the Trump-Khan talks will focus on strengthening bilateral
cooperation, which will “bring peace, stability and economic prosperity to a
region that has seen far too much conflict.”
Beijing text was jointly released by the governments of the United States,
Russia, Pakistan, and China on the occasion of the four-party meeting on the
Afghan peace process, held in the Chinese capital on July 10-11.
was the third meeting of the trilateral forum, which includes China, Russia,
and the United States and the first in which Pakistan was also involved.
US State Department noted that the four sides exchanged views on the current
situation and joint efforts for realizing a political settlement to advance
peace, stability, and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region. They also
emphasised the importance of the trilateral consensus on the Afghan peace
process reached in Moscow on April 25.
sides welcomed recent positive progress as the crucial parties concerned have
advanced their talks and increased contacts with each other,” the statement
added. “All sides also welcomed intra-Afghan meetings held in Moscow and Doha.”
four sides called for relevant parties to “grasp the opportunity for peace and
immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban, Afghan
government, and other Afghans”.
United States, Russia, China, Russia and Pakistan reaffirmed that negotiations
should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” and should “produce a peace framework
as soon as possible”.
underlined the need or this framework to “guarantee the orderly and responsible
transition of the security situation and detail an agreement on a future
inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans”.
four sides encouraged all parties to take steps to reduce violence leading to a
comprehensive and permanent ceasefire that starts with intra-Afghan
also agreed to maintain the momentum of consultation and to invite other
important stakeholders to join on the basis of the trilateral consensus agreed
on April 25 in Moscow.
Attorney General Anwar Mansoor appeared before the Supreme Judicial Council
(SJC) on Friday to explain why the government had moved the references against
two superior court judges.
also furnished a reply on behalf of the government to rebut the stand taken by
Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court against the allegations levelled in
the presidential reference. The attorney general argued for about 90 minutes
before the SJC which met for a third time.
July 5, the SJC had asked Mr Mansoor to come up with replies to the written
submissions furnished by Justice Isa and Justice K.K. Agha of the Sindh High
Court against the allegations made by the government in the presidential
five-judge SJC consisting of Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa,
Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Sindh High Court Chief
Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed
Seth is hearing the references against Justice Isa and Justice Agha for
allegedly possessing properties in the United Kingdom.
earlier SJC sessions, representatives of different bar councils and bar
associations staged protest demonstrations on the Supreme Court premises and
chanted slogans against the government and in favour of independence of the
judiciary and rule of law and the Constitution.
the last hearing on July 2, the SJC held a brief session in which the attorney
general was not summoned. It is believed that the council during the hearing
had token up the written replies filed by the judges to rebut the allegations
levelled against them by the government.
June 14, the SJC in its first preliminary hearing had provided the contents of
the references to the two judges with a directive for them to volunteer and
clarify their position on the allegations levelled against them. However, none
of the judges had been issued any formal show-cause notice under the Supreme
Judicial Council Procedure of Enquiry 2005. The judges were provided the
opportunity to volunteer their responses to the allegations under Section 8(3)
of the enquiry rules.
section suggests that if the council is of the view that before forming an
opinion it should also hear the judge under the enquiry, it will require the
accused judge to present himself before the council, which will provide him the
information and the material received against him.
Friday, Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) vice chairman Syed Amjad Shah, senior member
Hamid Khan, former Supreme Court Bar Association presidents Ali Ahmed Kurd and
Yasin Azad and other leaders of lawyers demanded that the council inform the
nation about the proceedings against the judges.
to the media, they said the lawyers’ community would never compromise on the
matter since it involved independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and
demanded that the references be quashed immediately. “We do not want any
situation which leads us to any deadlock,” they said, adding that the
references reflected mala fide intention of the government and, therefore,
these should be rejected immediately.
PBC has already called a convention on Saturday to protest the filing of the
references by the government. It will be at the office of the Peshawar High
Court Bar Association.
The Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances has claimed to have traced
3,938 out of 6,156 missing persons.
to an official press release issued on Friday, the commission headed by retired
Justice Javed Iqbal, who is also the chairman of National Accountability Bureau
(NAB), disposed of 3,938 cases out of a total of 6,156 by June 30.
commission conducted 702 hearings in June — 194 in Islamabad, 86 in Lahore, 210
in Karachi, 126 in Quetta and 86 hearings in Peshawar.
press release said that relatives of missing persons had praised the head and
members of the commission for taking personal interest in disposing of cases of
their near and dear ones.
Justice Iqbal is serving as head of the commission in an honorary capacity and
availing no salary and other facilities, according to the press release.
NAB chairman also presided over a meeting held to review monthly performance of
the anti-graft watchdog.
meeting was told that the prosecution division of NAB was providing legal
assistance to the bureau’s operation division and regional bureaus in carrying
out complaint verification, inquires and investigations as per the law and laid
down standard operating procedures and pleading cases in accountability courts,
high courts and the Supreme Court.
NAB chief said that due to constant monitoring and performance analysis of the
prosecution division, the overall conviction ratio was approximately 70 per
cent in accountability courts, which was one of the best such ratios.
meeting was informed that NAB had rationalised its workload and timelines had
been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases,
putting a maximum limit of 10 months from complaint verification to inquiry and
investigation and finally to filing of a reference in an accountability court.
meeting was informed that NAB had established an e-library at its headquarters
having more than 50,000 electronic books, including law journals and annual and
monthly law reports.
was told that NAB had devised and implemented an effective monitoring and
evaluation system at its headquarters and regional bureaus to review their
performance in qualitative and quantitative terms.
Pakistan on Friday joined the United States, Russia and China in a call on the
Taliban to agree to a ceasefire and negotiations with Kabul, as Washington moves
closer to an agreement with the militants to pull troops from war-torn country
and end its longest-ever war.
joined the three powers in talks in Beijing. The four countries “encouraged all
parties to take steps to reduce violence leading to a comprehensive and
permanent ceasefire that starts with intra-Afghan negotiations,” said a joint
statement issued by the United States.
called for direct negotiations involving the Taliban, President Ashraf Ghani’s
government and other Afghans to “produce a peace framework as soon as
of the Taliban and government met earlier this week in Qatar, a breakthrough
even though participants were said to be there in a personal capacity. An
Afghan campaigner who took part in breakthrough talks said she saw subtle
improvements in the attitude towards women of the insurgents.
Wardak, a women’s rights campaigner who works for the Afghan foreign ministry,
said she was surprised at the positive atmosphere in Doha as women mingled
directly with the Taliban over dinner and tea breaks. “It was interesting to me
as an Afghan woman as they didn’t shake hands but they warmly welcomed us,” she
told a symposium at Georgetown University on the peace process, speaking by
video from Kabul.
Taliban delegates even showed flashes of humour, telling the Afghan women that
they heard they would be coming and saying, “‘Please don’t give us a hard
time,’” she said. “Maybe I’m wrong but their attitude has totally changed
towards women, towards government employees,” she said.
Haress, a constitutional scholar at the American University of Afghanistan,
said it remained unclear what the Taliban were saying by signing the
declaration in Doha. “The term ‘Islamic regime’ is very vague, it’s very broad
and there is a fear of what it will mean under the interpretation of the
Taliban,” she said.
we mean an Islamic regime like the one in Malaysia or Indonesia? Do we mean an
Islamic regime like Saudi Arabia or Iran? Or do we mean one like Pakistan?” she
said, referring to governments with varying degrees of openness toward women.
NATIONS: Pakistan has called for “proactive and robust” triangular cooperation
among the UN Security Council, the troop-contributing countries (TCCs) and the
UN Secretariat for effective and result-oriented peacekeeping in trouble spots
around the world, as a two-day Chiefs of Defence Conference opened on Thursday.
countries are the United Nations eyes and ears on the ground, Ambassador
Maleeha Lodhi said, while participating in the Security Council’s debate on
‘Strengthening Triangular Cooperation”.
her remarks, she highlighted the value of their (troop-contributing countries’)
input for the work of the Secretariat and the Security Council, and assured of
Pakistan’s continued support to U.N. peacekeeping operations.
further improve those relationships, she cited a need to institutionalise
triangular cooperation, especially against the backdrop of more volatile
operating environments and a chorus of demands for doing more with less.
missions do not need another layer of formal mechanisms, Ambassador Lodhi
stressed, adding that formal meetings should be revitalised to maximize their
benefits and ensure meaningful dialogue well ahead of mandate renewals.
elected members of the Security Council are playing a bridge-building role, she
also called for efforts to further strengthen that element of triangular
is one of the largest contributors of uniformed personnel to UN Peacekeeping.
Currently, Pakistan contributes more than 5,200 military and police personnel
to the UN peace operations in the Central African Republic, Cyprus, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.
Lodhi told the 15-member Council that Pakistan has been a consistent troop-and
police-contributor for nearly six decades, with over 200,000 personnel serving
in 46 missions around the world. Pakistan’s troops are dedicated, professional,
well-trained, well-equipped and prepared to act in all circumstances, she said.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations,
said triangular Cooperation was particularly relevant today, in the light of UN
chief Antonio Guterres’s Action for Peacekeeping Initiative (A4P).
strategy is designed to make missions stronger and safer, refocusing
peacekeeping with more realistic expectations, and assembling greater support
for political solutions, he said.
the Defence Conference, which began on Thursday, is the third such conference,
which is held every other year. One hundred and twelve countries are attending
the conference, with more than 500 delegates present.
theme of this year’s Conference is Generating Capabilities to Meet
High-Performance Requirements in UN peacekeeping.
A top American general on Thursday said that Pakistan has made positive
contributions in the Afghan reconciliation process as he underscored the need
to maintain strong military ties with Islamabad.
statement comes ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US
President Donald Trump at the White House later this month
we have suspended security assistance and paused major defense dialogues, we
need to maintain strong military-to-military ties based on our shared
interests,” General Mark A Milley, who has been nominated as Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff said in response to written questions for his
confirmation hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
president’s South Asia Strategy recognises Pakistan as a key partner in
achieving US interests in South Asia, including developing a political
settlement in Afghanistan, defeating al Qaida and ISIS-Khorasan, providing
logistical access for US forces, and enhancing regional stability, he said.
confirmed as Chairman, my objective would be to preserve the defense relationship
between the United States and Pakistan even as we press Pakistan to take action
on US requests,” he added.
to another question, Milley said Pakistan has made positive contributions in
support of Afghan reconciliation.
Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Friday said Pakistan fought the legal
battle in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case very well and hoped that the
International Court of Justice (ICJ) would issue judgement in Islamabad’s
favour. The FO spokesperson said Pakistan would accept the court ruling, and
consultations will be made with lawyers regarding the procedure of
implementation after the verdict. India could not present any evidence
regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav, he added.
car bombs targeting the funeral for a special forces commander in Libya’s
second-largest city killed at least five people, the pan-Arab satellite channel
least another 11 people were wounded in the attack in Benghazi, Al-Hadath and
SkyNews Arabia reported. Al-Hadath said no military leaders were among the
Libya is the base for strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose Libyan National Army is
waging an offensive on the capital, Tripoli, the seat of the
internationally-backed government led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It comes as Islamic
State is reportedly making a comeback in Libya and has vowed to target Haftar’s
forces. The Libyan commander has cast his campaign to secure the country as a
battle against terrorists.
Vows No Let Up in Tripoli Fight as He Dismisses Rival
State secured the central city of Sirte in 2015, hoping to use it as a
launchpad for attacks in Libya and neighboring countries. The militants,
however, were driven out by forces loyal to Sarraj, with the backing of U.S.
airstrikes. The group also held Derna before being routed.
July 11 (Xinhua) -- African countries should harness the energy and creativity
of the youth to revitalize action on violent extremism that has gained foothold
amid poverty, conflicts and social exclusion, an African Union (AU) envoy said
Chebbi, AU youth envoy said that success of counter-terrorism initiatives in
Africa depends on robust engagement of the continent's youthful population in
policy formulation and awareness on the menace.
governments should change policies that discriminates the youth in leadership
and policy formulation to ensure they play a meaningful role in peace, security
and prevention of violent extremism," Chebbi said on the sidelines of a
Pan African counter-terrorism forum underway in Nairobi.
31-year old Tunisian peace activist said the African regional high-level
conference on counter-terrorism presented an opportunity to discuss greater
involvement of youth to fight a vice that is a drawback to the continent's
quest for stability, development and peace.
leadership and policymakers in this continent have a duty to engage the youth
as partners in the war against terrorism," said Chebbi.
youth are in a better position to fight radicalization through countering
divisive narratives spread by militant groups," she added.
urged governments and multilateral lenders to finance youth led grassroots
campaigns to prevent spread of violent ideologies in marginalized regions.
should support existing efforts to combat violent extremism that are led by the
youth. We need to create space for the youth to make them feel they are part
and parcel of efforts to fight terrorism," said Chebbi.
credited the success of counter-terrorism initiatives in northern Nigeria, Tunisia
and Kenya to the meaningful engagement of young people.
youth in these countries are engaging religious and cultural leaders to address
the root cause of violent extremism and offer sustainable solution," said
bodies were found from a ship packed with migrants that sank off the Tunisian
coast last week, bringing the official death toll to 72 in a disaster feared to
have killed more than 80 people, the Tunisian Red Crescent said on Friday.
boat capsized after setting off for Europe from neighboring Libya. Four
survivors have been rescued, who told Tunisian coast guards the ship was
carrying around 86 people.
coast of western Libya is one of the main departure points for African migrants
hoping to reach Europe.
International Organization for Migration's Missing Migrants Project estimates
682 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far in 2019.
security forces on Saturday ended an overnight attack by the al Shabaab
militant group on a hotel in the southern port city of Kismayu that killed at
least 13, a police officer said.
operation is over,” police officer Major Mohamed Abdi told Reuters by telephone
far we know 13 people died. Many people have been rescued. The four attackers
were shot dead.”
UN-recognized government on Friday called for answers after Paris admitted the
presence of missiles in the Libyan territory, which were found at a base used
by commander of rival forces Khalifa Haftar.
Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala has asked his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le
Drian to explain as to when and in what quantity the arms were sent to Libya
and how they reached Haftar forces, according to Libya’s Foreign Ministry.
to media reports on Wednesday, the forces of Libya’s UN-recognized Government
of National Accord (GNA) based in capital Tripoli had seized four French
missiles when it overran a camp of Haftar forces in northwestern city of Garyan
to the reports, the French Defense Ministry said the anti-tank Javelin missiles
were intended for the “self-protection” of French forces deployed for
counterterrorism, confirming the presence of French forces on Libyan territory.
the ministry denied providing missiles to forces loyal to Haftar.
has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led
to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after more
than four decades in power.
least four members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shi’ite) have been
killed, 30 injured and about 50 missing during clashes between the group and
police in three Nigerian cities.
of the Shi’ites, Ibrahim Musa told Anadolu Agency on Friday that police fired
gunshots on thousands of the group members who were demanding the release of
their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife held by the secret police since
2015. He said two were killed in Abuja, the nation’s capital and two in the
northwest city of Kaduna on Thursday.
now, casualty figure in the Abuja protest stands at two dead, 20 of our members
were injured and about 50 still missing, likely arrested by the police. Dozens
arrested in Kaduna, two were killed by the police and 10 injured,” he said.
vowed the group will continue the protest until authority obeys the ruling of
the court which ordered his release since 2016.
protest was also held in Lagos, Nigerian commercial city without casualty.
Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command; Bala Elkana said the Lagos protest was
peaceful. “No arrest was made since it was peaceful,” he said.
Shi’ite leader and his wife were arrested in December 2015 during a raid at his
center in northwest Zaria town by soldiers for allegedly obstructing and
attacking the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff on official visit to the area.
group said about 100 of his members were killed and injured by the army during
the raid. El-Zakyzaky has been in detention despite court ruling in favor of
Members of a militant cell linked to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group have
been arrested in Kuwait, the interior ministry said on Friday.
arrested people were wanted by Egyptian authorities, the ministry added in its
of the cell had escaped and were evading Egyptian authorities, making Kuwait
the center of their operations, a statement made by the Ministry of Interior on
units of the ministry discovered the cell, and were able to identify the
location of members and arrest them in different places after launching a
initial investigations, the members of the cell admitted carrying out terrorist
operations and breaching security in Egypt.
are still ongoing to find out who helped them evade the authorities and
cooperated with them.
ANKARA: Regime forces and allied Syrian fighters were locked in clashes on
Thursday on the edge of an opposition bastion in northwest Syria after an
opposition-led advance that killed 71 fighters overnight, a monitor said.
and regime aircraft have ramped up their deadly bombardment of the Idlib region
— administered by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)
— since late April, despite a months-old international truce deal.
have also raged on the edges of the region, including in the north of Hama
Wednesday, HTS and allied opposition fighters took control of Hamameyat village
and hilltop, in clashes that killed 41 regime troops and 30 opposition
fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
fighting is ongoing as regime planes and artillery pound the area,” the head of
the Britain-based monitor Rami Abdel Rahman said on Thursday morning.
spokesman Abu Khaled Al-Shami said the militant and opposition fighters
attacked after dark, taking control of the “heavily fortified” hill from forces
loyal to Syria’s Bashar Assad.
Mustafa, a spokesman for the allied National Liberation Front fighters’
grouping, said: “The hill is very strategic because it overlooks ... supply
routes to enemy forces.”
airstrikes killed one civilian in the town of Latmaneh and opposition artillery
fire took the life of one woman in the regime-held area of Karnaz, the
September deal between Russia and opposition backer Turkey was supposed to
avert a massive regime offensive on Idlib, but it was never fully implemented
and HTS took full administrative control in January.
than 560 civilians have been killed in regime and Russian airstrikes on
northwest Syria since the end of April, according to the Observatory.
fire during the same period has killed more than 40 civilians in adjacent
regime-held areas, it has said.
another development, a car bomb exploded on Thursday at the entrance to a
northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish forces and allied Syrian fighters,
killing at least 13 people including eight civilians and wounding 35, a war
troops and their Syrian proxies took control of Afrin from Kurdish forces in
March last year after a two-month air and ground offensive.
car bomb exploded near the checkpoint at the entrance to the town where
vehicles were gathering to be checked,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said.
killed also included four fighters and an unknown person, the Observatory said.
the victims, at least six are originally from Eastern Ghouta,” a former
opposition stronghold outside Damascus retaken by the regime last year,
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
was no immediate claim for the blast, which is the latest deadly explosion to
rock the city.
state-run Anadolu Agency said the bomb in a fuel truck exploded in Afrin,
igniting a fire and causing considerable damage to the surrounding area.
and allied Syrian fighters took control of Afrin last year in a military
operation that expelled local Kurdish fighters and displaced thousands of
Kurdish residents. Ankara considers the Kurdish fighters who were in control of
Afrin terrorists. Since then, there have been a series of attacks on Turkish
targets in the area.
supports the Syrian opposition in the war against Assad but has joined with
Russia to secure and monitor local cease-fires. Turkish troops have also
crossed into Syria in recent years to battle Kurdish fighters and Daesh
militants operating along the border, setting up bases in the area.
civil war that has raged for eight years has killed more than 450,000 people
and uprooted more than half of Syria’s population. The Syrian regime has
regained control of more than 60 percent of the territory once in the hands of
armed groups and militants.
northwestern Syria, where the fighters have their last stronghold and where
nearly 3 million civilians live, regime forces have been pushing their way in
to at least restore their access to a strategic highway in the area. Despite a
Turkey and Russia-backed cease-fire, fighting has raged since late April,
displacing hundreds of thousands and killing hundreds.
Thursday, the White Helmets said at least five people were killed in air raids
on residential areas in the town of Jisr Al-Shughur, southwest of Idlib. The
Observatory put the death toll at three, with eight injured.
government is planning on designating the Lebanese-based Hezbollah group as a
terror organization for its role in the terror attacks against the Israeli
embassy and the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentinian
newspaper La Nacion reported on Tuesday.
are evaluating different possibilities. One of them is to pass a decree,"
sources in the Ministry of Security and the Financial Intelligence Unit told
the newspaper. The two entities have been tasked by President Mauricio Macri to
find the "most rapid" solution to achieve the goal of including the
Iranian-backed group in the list of terror organizations.
do not have a majority in Parliament, and it would take too long to pass a law
there," highly-placed sources in the Argentinian government explained to
18, 2019, will mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Argentine
Israelite Mutual Association in the country's capital. The attack left 85
people killed and 300 injured.
report added that on that day Macri would pay tribute to the victims with US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is scheduled to visit the country next
will participate in the Western Hemisphere Ministerial anti-terrorism summit
that the government of Argentina will host commemorating the bombing on July
United States and Argentina already held a workshop on countering Hezbollah’s
terrorist activities in the western hemisphere in Buenos Aires in June.
Nacion highlighted that the move by Macri's government appears to be connected
to the US official's visit. The paper called it a critical turn in Argentina's
car bomb that blew up outside a church in a Christian area of the city of
Qamishli in northeast Syria injured nearly a dozen people, security services in
northeast Syria said.
State said it carried out the bombing, which Syrian state television said
wounded 11 people and damaged several cars.
services have said eight people were injured, mostly lightly, the Rojava Information
Center told The Defense Post. The bomb exploded just as people were leaving a
Church service around 5:45 p.m. local time (1445 GMT).
bomb went off at the Virgin Mary church in the majority Christian district of
al-Wasta, which is held by Syrian government forces.
continues to claim deadly attacks in Syria despite the loss of its last
stronghold of Baghuz in March.
which Kurds who make up the majority in the city call Qamishlo, is the capital
of the self-declared autonomous region of North and East Syria. Most of the
city is under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a mixed Kurdish-Arab
militia that is supported by the U.S.-led Coalition in the fight against ISIS,
although parts of the city are also under the control of the Syrian government.
to our research, this attack is the eleventh in eleven days in Hasakah province
and the fourth in a month in Qamishlo – the de facto capital of North East
Syria, which has for some years been secure from ISIS attacks,” RIC researcher
Joan Garcia said.
such, these attacks form part of a steady increase in ISIS-linked attacks in
previously-secure, Kurdish-majority cities close to the border. This particular
attack targeted worshippers leaving a church, part of the Christian minority
which in Qamishlo exists peacefully alongside Arab and Kurdish communities.
Similar attacks have targeted churches in Hasakah city and the Khabur region in
has been targeted several times in recent years, including by ISIS, but has
seen less violence than other parts of Syria. Last month ISIS set off a vehicle
bomb targeting the Asayish police force in the Qidurbek neighborhood injured
several people, including an 8-year-old.
July 2016 truck bombing claimed by ISIS killed 45 people and injured over 100,
the deadliest ever attack in the city. In January, the Asayish dismantled a car
bomb that had been discovered in the city.
gathered by the Rojava Information Center indicated two explosions in Qamishli
in May, one in April, and none in March.
Iraqi Army has concluded the operation dubbed as the ‘Will of Victory’, which
was launched starting this week by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi
against ISIS in three provinces.
operation coincided with the 3rd anniversary of liberating Mosul on July 10 in
2017, which represented the key to military elimination of the group at the end
of this year.
this context, Iraq's National Wisdom Movement Leader Ammar al-Hakim has called
for putting a comprehensive political, security and community strategy to
maintain the victory.
a statement issued Thursday, Hakim stressed that this historic achievement
should be retained via setting a comprehensive strategy, especially in the
liberated regions. He called on the Iraqi government and the parliament to
exploit this occasion to reconstruct liberated cities and march towards
Joint Operations Command announced Thursday that the first phase of the ‘Will
of Victory’ has been completed. Deputy of Army Chief of Staff for Operations
Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah revealed in a statement that the military sectors
participating in the operation managed to achieve the determined goals.
a press conference on Thursday, Member of Iraq's parliamentary Security and
Defense Committee Nayef al-Shammari said that the committee held a meeting with
the Iraqi PM.
meeting tackled the operation as well as the necessity of reinforcing it.
Mahdi promised to follow up the situation, Shammari highlighted the necessity
of monitoring the Iraqi-Syrian border, especially that some ISIS members fled
the battle to the Syrian side.
York: The UAE has reaffirmed its commitment to continue implementing best
practices and the most advanced international initiatives to combat the
linkages between organised crime and international terrorism, including
combating money-laundering and strengthening border security in the interest of
maintaining international peace and security.
commitment was made at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on
threats to international peace and security: linkages between international
terrorism and organised crime yesterday.
a statement at the debate, Saud Al Shamsi, Deputy Permanent Representative and
Charge d’affaires of the UAE to the UN, stressed that the UN focuses on
strengthening the capacity of member-states to better understand and implement
their obligations when the UN Security Council adopts new resolutions on this
issue, in addition to holding member-states that finance and support terrorist
groups accountable when they violate these resolutions. He emphasised the need
to better understand the linkages between international terrorism and organised
crime, and to implement tailored programmes that take into consideration the
regional context to effectively combat these crimes.
the main commercial and financial centre of the Middle East, the UAE works diligently
to combat international terrorism and organised crime,” underscored Al Shamsi.
is a growing linkage between terrorists and criminals from organised crime
syndicates. Terrorists benefit from the trafficking of persons, weapons,
cultural property, natural resources and financial resources to support their
operations. Therefore, the elimination of international terrorism requires
disrupting every source of financial and logistical support, including
terror-financing is checked in the UAE:
Shamsi stated that at the national level, the UAE has strengthened its legal
frameworks to combat terror-financing and implemented the latest
recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), ensuring continued
compliance with international standards in this regard. He also pointed out
that the UAE’s financial intelligence units have been adequately equipped to
analyse and investigate suspicious transactions. He stressed that tackling the
linkages between international terrorism and organised crime cannot be
effective without close cooperation with the private sector and not-for-profit
and charitable institutions.
Hezbollah has cut down its forces in Syria as fighting died down though it
still has fighters all over the country, its leader said on Friday.
are no regions in Syria that we have fully emptied out, but there is no need
for the numbers to stay the same,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview
with Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV. “We have reduced the forces based on the needs of
the current situation.”
heavily armed, Iran-backed group has played a vital role in helping President
Bashar al-Assad’s military reclaim much of Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad said on Friday discussions would “continue” over the
composition of a body to draw up a post-war constitution for the country.
with Russian envoy Alexander Lavrentiev, the president discussed ongoing
efforts towards “creating a committee to discuss the constitution”, the
and Moscow’s representative “agreed to continue working and intensely
coordinate between both sides on the next steps”, it said in a statement.
Wednesday, the Syrian government and visiting UN envoy Geir Pedersen announced
“progress” towards forming the body, whose composition has dragged for more
than 17 months.
have raged over the names to be included in the committee, a third of which are
to be nominated by the regime, another by the opposition, and a final third by
the UN envoy.
hopes to amend the current constitution, while the opposition wants to write a
new one from scratch.
UN envoy met the Syrian Negotiation Commission opposition grouping late
Thursday “to discuss the results of Pedersen’s latest visit to Damascus”, it
said on Twitter, without further details.
newspaper Al-Watan on Tuesday reported that a body could start work as early as
September if Damascus agreed to Pedersen’s list.
month, the United States said it was time to scrap the constitutional committee
initiative and come up with other ways to end the war.
rounds of UN-led peace talks have failed to end a war that has killed more than
370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the
repression of anti-government protests.
recent years, a parallel negotiations track led by regime ally Russia and rebel
backer Turkey has taken precedence.
least 10 civilians were killed Friday in Syrian regime airstrikes in the
country’s northwest, including three children, a war monitor said. Another 45
civilians were wounded in the strikes across the extremist-held Idlib region,
according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
killed included three people in Idlib city, which until Friday had been spared
strikes by the regime and its Russian ally since they stepped up bombardment of
the region more than two months ago.
the first time that the raids hit the centre of Idlib, after being confined
until now to its suburbs,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
month a civilian was killed in an airstrike on the outskirts of the regional
capital, considered the stronghold of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat
Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The group in January took full administrative control of
the Idlib region, home to three million people, although other extremist groups
and rebel factions are also present.
and regime aircraft have ramped up strikes on Idlib since the end of April,
killing more than 580 civilians. Rebel and extremist fire has killed 45
civilians over the same period, according to Observatory figures.
airstrikes hit residential buildings in one of the city’s largest squares,
Sabaa Bahrat, an AFP photographer said. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene
to tend to the victims, he added.
in neighbouring Hama province, six children were wounded by opposition fire in
the regime-held area of Karnaz.
clashes have raged in the northern sliver of Hama province in recent days, with
at least 22 fighters killed Friday, according to the Observatory.
least 10 regime fighters and a dozen extremists and allied rebels were killed
in the battle near the village of Hamameyat and its strategic hilltop.
forces retook the area in the north of Hama province overnight into Friday
after relentless fighting, according to the Britain-based war monitor.
latest figures bring to more than 120 the number of fighters killed since
Wednesday evening, when Hamameyat was seized by rebels and extremists.
recent uptick in violence has forced 330,000 people to flee their homes,
according to the United Nations.
of a militant cell linked to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group have been
arrested in Kuwait, the interior ministry there said on Friday.
arrested were wanted by Egyptian authorities and some of them had been
sentenced to 15 years behind bars in their home country, the ministry added in
of the group had fled from Egypt to Kuwait, but were arrested in different
places in the country.
interrogations, they admitted to carrying out terrorist operations in Egypt,
the ministry said, according to the official Kuwaiti news agency KUNA.
federal grand jury on Thursday indicted two Indiana brothers for allegedly
attempting to provide firearms and other support to the Islamic State (ISIS).
Dannon, 21, and Mahde Dannon, 20, both of Fishers,appeared in U.S. District
Court in Indianapolis, where they face various firearms-related charges and one
count of attempting to provide material support and resources, including
firearms, to the terrorist group.
younger Dannon was already awaiting trial on felony theft charges when he
introduced his brother to a person working for the FBI in a scheme to provide
firearms to the informant, the Justice Department said.
prosecutors said the pair sold illegally obtained firearms to the informant
between July and December 2018. They began to make "ghost guns,"
weapons that can't be traced, by purchasing firearms parts without serial
numbers online and making .223-caliber semi-automatic rifles.
rifles were sold to an undercover FBI agent introduced to the pair by the
informant, according to prosecutors. In February, Moyad Dannon traveled with
the undercover agent to the U.S.-Mexico border to sell rifles to a potential
buyer who said the weapons were going to be shipped to the Middle East for
brothers agreed to make 55 more untraceable rifles they were told would be used
by ISIS. They were arrested May 15 during a sting.
men face up to 10 years for each firearms charge and 20 years for attempting to
provide support to ISIS.
‘bike path terrorist’ can’t keep cellphones out of case: judge
judge has denied a bid by the alleged “bike path terrorist” accused of killing
eight people in a Halloween 2017 truck attack to exclude evidence gathered from
two cellphones he had on him during the attack — one of which was ringing after
police shot him and took him into custody.
Saipov is accused of acting on behalf of the Islamic State when he allegedly
drove a flatbed truck onto the cycling and pedestrian path on the west side of
Lower Manhattan, and the authorities say his phones contain thousands of images
of ISIS propaganda.
could face the death penalty if convicted. It was revealed in March that
investigators had Saipov, who was born in Uzbekistan, in their sights for years
before the attacks.
United States treatment of the Iranian volleyball team at the airport in
Chicago is a grotesque and immoral action, an American writer and political
Patrick Welch, a political commentator in Boston, Massachusetts, made the
remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday.
Monday, Iran denounced the US for mistreating its national men’s volleyball
team, which had traveled to Chicago for the Final Six of the 2019 FIVB
Volleyball Nations League, calling on Washington to issue an apology for its
misbehavior, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.
team was delayed for four hours upon arrival at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on
Saturday, while the Iranian volleyballers were detained and interrogated by US
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.
Baharvand, the Iranian Foreign Ministry official for US affairs, filed a
complaint through the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, whose country represents
American interests in the Islamic Republic.
America cannot host all sports teams fairly and unbiased, it’d better avoid
hosting sport events,” he said.
said, “This latest spectacle where the Iranian [volleyball] team was held for
hours at the airport in Chicago is just the latest in this kind of a petty game
the United States plays, like denying visa entry to politicians and foreign
diplomats going to the UN in New York--these completely illegal and immoral
actions aimed to politicize every aspect of the interaction between foreigners
and the US."
thing is, it is so offensive to Iranians because Persian culture is so centered
on hospitality, especially inviting strangers. Americans who visit rave about
this pretty much uniformly—and of Middle Eastern culture in general and a lot
of different cultures," he added.
people also say this about Americans—individually—that they are very welcoming,
and they are very hospitable and they want to get to know you. And while it may
be true on an individual level, this kind of xenophobia and white supremacy are
state doctrine, really. I mean this really is the part of the founding
mythology of the country. It filters down and it filters up as well from a kind
of base instinct, the darker angels of our nature so to speak, this fear of the
‘other,’” he stated.
from the top, through state doctrine and the propagandizing of history teaching
and how the idea is taught. Quite honestly, it has to be said that despite the
myth surrounding its own propaganda and what it teaches to its own citizens—and
what it projects around the world—It’s not a welcoming place. And it was never
meant to be. When the Puritans talked about a ‘Shining City on a Hill,’ they
didn’t want people to come and join them. It was a thing to be imitated or die
in the fires of hell. That’s what it meant," the analyst noted.
can be understandably let off the hook in some respects because US history is
mythology, actually. The national narrative that is taught in schools is about
these freedom loving people who came in, even though it was really founded on
the genocide of the original inhabitants and the enslavement of Africans, who
built the country," he said.
actual independence, which we just celebrated [July 4th] was partly—maybe not
primarily, but partly—a response to the American ruling class realizing that
they were going to lose the debate on slavery. Abolished in the British empire
in the 1780’s and then existed for another 75 years in the United States,"
their founding documents, saying ‘we believe that all men are created equal’
while clearing enshrining in their constitution the concept of slavery, is a
national hypocrisy that can’t be recovered from," he said.
far as immigration itself: well this has always been what the US is about. The
Border Patrol was founded in the 1920's as an objectively racist and white
supremacist gateway, along with all the quotas on Asians, Africans (though
these weren’t really allowed at all) Eastern and Southern Europeans. To keep
the influx of people mostly white protestants from Europe. That was what they
wanted, and that still is what [informs] what they do," he said.
is not a democracy—it’s an oligarchy'
Americans can be excused for the fact that we don’t really live in a
democracy—it’s an oligarchy. Information is controlled, and people are kept
working, working 60 hours a week at crap jobs just to make ends meet. So they
don’t have any time to worry about this. And we also have zero input into the
policies that shape our lives," he said.
I think that foreigners in general give Americans a bit too much of a free
pass. I’ve seen it travelling in Central America, in Europe, in Africa. All
over the world, really, where local populations are very generous in
distinguishing between the people and the government: ‘We love the US people;
it’s the government.’ ‘US people are not represented by their
government,’" he added.
fine. But you know, Americans have to take stock. There is no excuse for the
ignorance of what the government does in our name, with taxes that we pay,
under a mythology that we accept. There is ample access to all this
information, of all racism and imperialism—the victims of US policies at home
and abroad—for Americans to wake up," Welch said.
of the problem is that Americans don’t travel. Something like 3-5% of Americans
travel abroad. Americans go to Disneyland. If they have a few thousand dollars
to drop, they take the family to Disneyland, or to the Grand Canyon, or
something like that, and not to other countries. So the exposure is
self-limiting. It’s a very closed society," he observed.
hawk neocons in the administration of US President Donald Trump are targeting
Iranian, Chinese and Russian citizens in the US as part of a “propaganda game”
to demonize their governments and justify an international war, a former US
Senate candidate says.
is part of a targeted attempt on the part of these homeland security people to
play the neoconservative tune,” said Mark Dankof, who is also a broadcaster and
pastor in San Antonio, Texas.
are trying to create as bad an image of Iran, as bad an image of Russia…and the
Chinese can be thrown in there as the third one; they’re trying to get the
American public to have a sense of these countries which has no relationship to
reality nor to the truth,” Dankof told Press TV.
is] all part of the bigger and evil picture of what has happened with the
foreign policy that is being led along by people like John Bolton and Mike
Pompeo,” he added.
officials say the United States has set a trap for Iranian scientists, enabling
their entry into the country before arresting them.
Iranian scientist will go on trial in the United States after he was charged
with violating trade sanctions by trying to transport to Iran medical material
he uses in his research.
Masoud Soleimani was arrested upon his arrival to the city of Chicago in
October last year on charges that he had violated trade sanctions against Iran.
He has been held in detention south of Atlanta since then.
scientist was planning to complete the final stage of his research on treating
stroke patients as a visiting scholar at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in
and two of his students, who are free on bond, are accused of conspiring and
trying to export biological materials from the US to Iran without a license
from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
attorneys say he seized on the plans of a former student to travel from the US
to Iran in September 2016 as a chance to get recombinant proteins used in his
research at a lower price than what he'd pay at home.
A US service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the NATO-led Resolute
Support mission said in a statement.
gave no further details and withheld the name of the service member until the
next of kin were informed.
latest fatality brings the tally of US service member deaths in Afghanistan to
at least seven in 2019.
20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan as part of a
US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some US forces
carry out counter-terrorism operations against hardline Islamist militant
record 3,804 Afghan civilians were killed last year due to stepped-up air
attacks by US-led forces and more suicide bombings, the United Nations said in
a February report.
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