William visits the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds as he ends a
landmark Middle East tour. William wandered through the al-Aqsa compound
accompanied by a large Israeli security detail and members of the Jordanian-run
religious trust that administers it.
Prince William Tours Al-Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem Al-Quds
Wears Saffron Turban, Just Like the Last Prophet of Islam: RSS Leader
Place for Mandsaur Rape Accused in Community Graveyards: Muslim Leaders
Lifts Ban on Extremist Group, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Hours before Being Placed
On 'Grey List' By FATF
Locals Seek Tunis Synagogue Revival to Honour Once Vibrant Jewish Quarter
Won't Tolerate Pakistan Becoming Haven for Terrorists: Nikki Haley
Prince William Tours Al-Aqsa Compound In Jerusalem Al-Quds
Secretary Javid Hits Back At Those Questioning His Faith
Cell Plotted Attack on French Muslims, Authorities Say
charges 10 suspects over plot to attack Muslims
charges French multinational with crimes in Syria
warplanes, 1,140 Russian troopers withdrawn from Syria over past few days:
agrees to allocate €3 billion for refugees in Turkey
for Mandsaur Rape Accused in Community Graveyards: Muslim Leaders
Sale’ Sign Comes up on Houses of Muslims in UP Village after Alleged Police
System Needs To Be Improved To Bring Muslims into Mainstream
business group wants Rohingyas relocated
to kill Shujaat Bukhari hatched in Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Toiba behind it: J&K
Mumbai terror attack case: Pakistan court issues notice to interior ministry to
produce Indian witnesses
to Choke Terror Funds Lands Pakistan in Serious Trouble
put on FATF grey list despite anti-terror efforts
erupts over Imran’s visit to Pakpattan shrine
says ‘censored democracy’ not to be accepted
case: Division bench to decide on public hanging
Target African Converts To Islam for Recruitment
forces say they have captured Libyan city of Derna
army rescues 33 hostages from Boko Haram
Won't Tolerate Pakistan Becoming Haven For Terrorists: Nikki Haley
Are Not Welcome In America, and That Is Exactly Who We Are
Anti-Muslim Pick for IOM Head Could Be First American Rejected in Decades
Turkey can have 'more productive’ talk: Pompeo
Plans Crackdown on Condemned Cleric's Militant Network
Fail to Sway Regional Indonesian Elections
denies ‘secret talks’ with Israel after entry ban lifted
Commits $2m in Aid to Support Capacity Building in Palestine
withdrawing troops from Saudi-led military coalition: Defense minister
Mahathir Is In Town to Exchange Power Secrets with Jokowi
Abadi Orders Immediate Executions of ISIS Militants on Death Row
Grants Amnesty to 1,000 Militants in Dara'a
civilians killed in air strikes on Southern Syria
The Hague, UAE demands that Qatar must stop supporting terror
army takes key town amid new advances in southwest
10 suspected Daesh members killed in Egypt
day yet in south Syria offensive
Rise against Terrorist Groups in Idlib
Army Repels Terrorists' Attack in Quneitr
Tensions Reported between US-Backed Militants, Civilians in Deir Ezzur
ceasefire in Syria’s Dara agreed upon starting at midnight
Ties with Al-Qaeda, Extremist Salafist Groups Uncovered
Houthi Leader Killed, While 70 Militias Killed In Fighting With Yemeni Army
States’ Intel Heads, Mossad Chief Hold Secret Meeting: Report
to Yemen non-violent radicals
says intelligence sharing key to war on terror
to Pompeo: US, not Iran, squandering own people's resources
confident US won't ease nuclear limits on Saudi Arabia
tank fire kills Palestinian teen near Gaza fence
tests prove Houthi missiles fired at Saudi Arabia were Iranian manufactured
Target Taliban Gathering In Faryab Province
Blast Rips through the Gathering of Youths in Logar Province
Bangladesh start joint ID verification of Rohingya refugees
only non-Muslim candidate vows to fight for justice for all
in Bangladeshi Publisher’s Murder Shot Dead in ‘Crossfire,’ Police Say
Air Force continues to add new capabilities, says Gen. Bunch
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Prince William tours al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem al-Quds
Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar said here on Thursday that Uttar Pradesh chief
minister Yogi Adityanath wears saffron turban, just like the last prophet of
Islam. At an Eid Milan organised by the RSS affiliate Muslim Rashtriya Manch
here, when he was asked about Yogi’s refusal to wear a skull camp offered to
him at Kabir’s shrine in Maghar, convenor of Muslim Rashtriya Manch and senior
RSS leader Indresh Kumar said "the last Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammad
used to sport "Zaafrani"-coloured turban which we call "Kesariya"
(saffron) and Yogi ji wears the same saffron turban."
ji wears saffron turban and he is on the path of the 'Rasool' (Prophet) and the
Maulanas and imams have left the path of Rasool, therefore, there is much
misconception in the country about white skull caps," said Kumar, who is
also the convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch.
to Islam, there were one 1.24 Lakh Prophets and among them one was Lord Rama.
Just like the holiest places of Mecca and Medina, there is only one birth place
of Lord Rama also. Therefore, Muslim community should support the construction
of Ram Temple in Ayodhya."
about the Ram Temple issue, Kumar said that all stakeholders in Ayodhya Temple
case should show restrain and patience, otherwise it could lead to communal
place for Mandsaur rape accused in community graveyards: Muslim leaders
A day after the seven-year-old girl was brutally raped in Mandsaur, Muslim
community leaders on Thursday disowned the accused and said his body will not
be allowed to be buried in any of the community burial grounds in the district.
is no place for such demon in the community. He should be hanged for his
actions," Waqf Anjuman Islam Committee Sadar Mohd Yunus Sheikh told
reporters, after leading a delegation to submit a memorandum to Mandsaur SP
Muslim organisations demanded a death sentence to the accused, Irfan Mev alias
Bhaiyyu through a speedy trial in a fast track court.
crime can’t be pardoned. We have decided that we will not allow his body to be
buried in any of the community burial grounds in the district," Sheikh
Muslim leaders claimed that Irfan will not be offered Islamic prayers upon his
death – Namaz-e-Janaja – and will be boycotted.
move by Muslim leaders came close to the heels of Mandsaur lawyers deciding to
refrain from representing Irfan in the court. The Mandsaur Bar Association took
the decision to boycott Irfan and said that an army of 100 lawyers will appear
on behalf of the victimized girl.
girl was found brutally raped and with her throat slit in a secluded area in
Mandsaur on Wednesday, a day after she went missing from the school. Police had
arrested Irfan on basis of the CCTV grabs showing him escorting the girl away
from the school.
Pakistan has lifted a ban on a Sunni extremist outfit and unblocked assets of
its chief, in a surprise decision hours before the country was placed on the
'grey list' by the Financial Action Task Force for failing to curb anti-terror
financing. The National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) yesterday issued a
notification to lift the ban on Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and unfreeze the
assets of its chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi, the Express Tribune reported.
notification was issued on the recommendations of the Punjab province home
department, the paper said.
is the chief of ASWJ, a banned sectarian extremist group, formerly known as
Sipah-e-Sahaba. He became the group's chief after the killing of his
predecessor Ali Sher Haidri in a 2009 ambush.
1990s, the Sipah-e-Sahaba was actively involved in a number of high profile
attacks on scholars, mosques and gatherings of the minority Shia community. The
groups was banned by the military dictator General Pervez Musharraf in 2002.
The group reemerged under the name of ASWJ.
removal of the ban on the group comes as a surprise amid international pressure
on Pakistan to dismantle terror sanctuaries on its soil.
the decision was made the same day Pakistan had committed to an ambitious
26-point action plan spanning a period of 15 months to avoid being blacklisted
by the Financial Action Task Force, the paper said.
plan envisages choking the financing of terrorist groups like ISIS, Haqqani
network, Jamaat-ud Dawa and its affiliate FIF, LeT, JeM and persons affiliated
with the Taliban.
who is also the joint secretary of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) whose central
leadership includes Mumbai attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, is now
allowed to operate his bank accounts.
is also free to travel abroad as a ban on his movement has been lifted after
this notification. He is also allowed to avail purchase and carry arms after
securing licence from the competent authority," the paper said.
computerised national identity card of Ludhianvi, who had been put on the
Fourth Schedule, has also been unblocked and he is allowed to use it for sale
and purchase of movable and immoveable properties, it added.
Fourth Schedule is a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act under which someone who
is suspected of terrorism is kept under observation and it is mandatory for him
or her to register his or her attendance with the local police regularly.
prominent ASWJ leader, Aurangzeb Farooqui, is contesting on a provincial as
well as a National Assembly seat from Karachi in the July 25 elections.
estimates the cost of preserving the synagogue at about $60,000, including a
unusual structure stands in the middle of the old town of Tunis: the Medina.The
rounded top floor distinguishes it from the surrounding buildings. It is
freshly painted, and a bright blue awning casts shade on a row of cafe tables
the side entrance to the building – an old, faded teal-colored door with
carvings of a Menorah (the golden six-branched ancient Hebrew lampstand) –
hints to the structure’s original purpose: a synagogue belonging to a
long-forgotten Jewish neighborhood.28 synagogues once operated in the Medina of
Tunis. Today, with no Jews longer living in the quarter, only two are left
standing.The building housing the cafe in its basement has been vacant for 35
years, while the other was converted to a multipurpose training center operated
by the Tunisian Women’s Association.
now locals are taking the initiative to restore the buildings to their former glory,
turning them into a museum honoring the once-flourishing Jewish
community.110,000 Jews lived in Tunisia prior to the country’s independence
from France in 1956. In the capital, one of five residents was Jewish. But
hostile policies of the new government and later, backlash over Israel’s
military conflicts sparked waves of migration to Israel and France.Today some
1,500 Jews still live in Tunisia, roughly 300 of them in the capital city. The
majority reside in Djerba, an island off the southern cost of Tunisia that is
home to the oldest synagogue in Africa.The Jewish neighborhood in Tunis’s
Medina, El-Hara -- founded in the 13th century as a home for Jews from other
Tunisian cities, Spain, Italy and the entire Mediterranean -- has become a
faded memory.It was partially destroyed by the French colonial rule that said
it required renovation, but push-back from the community and a lack of funds
stalled the process before World War II left the neighborhood in shambles. With
additional renovations post-independence and again in the 70’s and 80’s,
El-Hara got swept up by a larger neighborhood, El-Hafsia.
now locals are taking the initiative to restore the buildings to their former
glory, turning them into a museum honoring the once-flourishing Jewish community.110,000
Jews lived in Tunisia prior to the country’s independence from France in 1956.
In the capital, one of five residents was Jewish. But hostile policies of the
new government and later, backlash over Israel’s military conflicts sparked
waves of migration to Israel and France.Today some 1,500 Jews still live in
Tunisia, roughly 300 of them in the capital city. The majority reside in
Djerba, an island off the southern cost of Tunisia that is home to the oldest
synagogue in Africa.The Jewish neighborhood in Tunis’s Medina, El-Hara --
founded in the 13th century as a home for Jews from other Tunisian cities,
Spain, Italy and the entire Mediterranean -- has become a faded memory.It was
partially destroyed by the French colonial rule that said it required
renovation, but push-back from the community and a lack of funds stalled the
process before World War II left the neighborhood in shambles. With additional
renovations post-independence and again in the 70’s and 80’s, El-Hara got swept
up by a larger neighborhood, El-Hafsia.
was the first time I realized the richness of the Jewish community here and of
course I was very sad that it’s not there anymore,” she recalled.A guesthouse
owner in her daily vocation, Ben-Gacem decided to commemorate that heritage as
an integral part of the Medina history. She aims to create within the synagogue
a permanent exhibition of Jewish life in the old city and turn it into a
cultural space to debate gentrification trends there.“In my guesthouse I often
got visitors who are Tunisian Jews from El-Hara -- they just come to visit the
place where they grew up or to check on a relative still in Tunisia. So I tell
them about the project and their reactions are always positive. I put myself in
their place: it would be nice to honor the way you grew up, the lifestyle of
your childhood -- you don’t want it to just disappear like that.”Ben-Gacem
estimates the cost of preserving the synagogue at about $60,000, including the
cost of restoring and digitalizing the books discovered there to create a small
library. Currently, the main hurdle is the lack of response from the Jewish
community leaders, whose approval is required for the works to begin.“I wrote
an official letter to the Grand Rabbi of Tunis, hoping that he would reply, but
he never did,” notes Ben-Gacem with disappointment.“I tried a few more times
through Tunisian Jewish friends, but I’m under the impression that the
community officials prefer not to do anything with this space.”Nevertheless,
the locals remain hopeful. “This building represents a big history,” Agrebi
agrees. “We can’t just be lazy and neglect this part of our community. The
least we can do is to fix it, even if the Jewish community doesn’t maintain it.
It is in both of our communities’ interests that this building be maintained.
If this structure just decays, it would be a major loss.”
won't tolerate Pakistan becoming haven for terrorists: Nikki Haley
DELHI: Pakistan becoming a haven for terror groups cannot be tolerated and the
US has already delivered the message to Islamabad, US Ambassador to the UN
Nikki Haley today said.
cannot turn a blind eye to those harbouring terrorists... Communicating to
Pakistan that this cannot be tolerated," she said while delivering a
lecture at a think tank here.
also said that India and the US must be global leaders in the fight against
terrorism adding "we can and must do more."
upon a variety of issues, she said freedom of religion is very important and
that a nation such as "ours can only be held together by tolerance."
China, she said the country was important but noted that its expansion in the
region has been a matter of concern for the US and many other countries as
Beijing does not share democratic values.
to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent remarks at the Shangri-la dialogue in
Singapore to ensure freedom of navigation and stability in the Indo-Pacific,
she said President Donald Trump also believes in this vision.
said the US supports India's membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group as it is a
nuclear state which is widely respected.
was speaking at the Observer Research Foundation.
Secretary Javid hits back at those questioning his faith
Secretary, Sajid Javid, lashed out at those deriding him as “not Muslim enough”
after he rejected claims by the Muslim Council of Britain that there was
widespread Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
at the Big Iftar Party in the House of Commons hosted by Speaker of the House
of Commons, John Bercow, on June 5, Javid was furious that his faith was being
challenged. He began his speech by reminding the audience that he was “the
first Muslim Home Secretary to be invited” to the iftar.
briefly talked about the significance of Ramadan. “Ramadan is much more than
just fasting, it’s about spiritual reflection, charity, good deeds, spending
time with your loved ones, your family and friends.”
said his job is sometimes “not an easy place to be. Since becoming the Home
Secretary I have been called a ‘coconut’, an ‘Uncle Tom’, and some much worse
than that, and some people have even questioned whether I am really a Muslim,
whether I am a Muslim or not. Some people say I’m too Muslim, others say I’m
not Muslim enough. I just can’t keep up.”
there is one thing that I do know about being a Muslim in Great Britain, and
that is, that I have the right to define myself, not Muslim extremists, not the
far right. My relationship with God is my business as is yours,” he continued.
added that instead, “we should celebrate our different connections to such a
generous and compassionate faith.”
self-described son of a bus driver from Bristol was born to Pakistani
immigrants in Britain and was raised in a Muslim family. However, questions
about his faith arose when he has said he does not practise Islam.
a church-hosted husting in his inaugural election campaign for Bromsgrove on
April 22, 2010, Javid told the audience: “My own family’s heritage is Muslim.
Myself and my four brothers were brought up to believe in God, but I do not
practise any religion. My wife is a practising Christian and the only religion
practised in my house is Christianity.”
Adam Nossiter and Aurelien Breeden
called themselves Operational Forces Action, a small, right-wing vigilante
group from all over France that had planned to kill Muslim civilians,
cracked the cell over the weekend, with prosecutors saying it had already begun
testing explosives. The group was planning to kill veiled women, imams and
recently released Islamist prisoners, and wanted to attack mosques and halal
grocery stores, according to French news media.
charged the group — nine men and a woman — with terrorist conspiracy and
pointed to its literature, which claimed that it was “fighting the Islamic
peril.” The group was led by a former police officer.
10 defendants were charged late Wednesday with terrorist conspiracy, while some
of them were also charged with illegal possession of firearms and the
manufacturing of explosives. Although it was unclear if an attack was imminent,
prosecutors said they found 14 handguns, 22 rifles, thousands of cartridges,
explosive materials and a guide called “homemade napalm” in their homes.
suffered a series of devastating terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016, and fears
of Islamist terrorism still run strong. The news of the militant right-wing
group was received in France with a mix of curiosity and some disbelief, and is
sure to play into a long-running debate about the often-tense relations between
Muslims and non-Muslims.
French news media has resorted to identifying groups like the A.F.O as the
“ultraright” to distinguish them from the political far-right, including the
party of Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen, who was defeated in a runoff for the presidency last year, was quick to
disavow the defendants. But Louis Aliot, a member of Parliament from Ms. Le
Pen’s party who is also her significant other, told the newspaper L’Opinion on
Wednesday that “if groups are forming to defend themselves, it is first and
foremost because the state is being soft on radical Islam.”
website that says it is associated with the vigilante group expressed a similar
sentiment, mocking French security services for being “incapable of stopping
the Islamic attacks.”
former police officer who led the group was once a poll watcher for Ms. Le
Pen’s party, but she said that did not mean it shared his ideas. His name, like
those of the other defendants, was not released by the authorities.
in the United States, where the radical right regularly agitates and holds
noisy and visible rallies, “in France they have very little visibility,” said
Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist of the far-right at the French Institute for
International and Strategic Affairs, a think tank.
very rare to have demonstrations by the ultraright,” Mr. Camus said.
“Everything is very much underground.”
of the defendants remained in detention, while four had been released under
prosecutor’s office said that the group had held meetings to define
“objectives, and the actions that would allow them to attain these objectives.”
It was looking for weapons, had already tested some explosives, and was giving
courses in “survivalism” and “combat.”
arrests were carried out in Corsica, the Paris suburbs, western France, and the
South. Two of the suspects had minor traffic and drug offenses, prosecutors
said, but otherwise they did not have arrest records.
news media said that besides the retired police officer, the group included an
ex-soldier, an ex-teacher, an artisan and a restaurant worker.
website that says it is associated with Operational Forces Action, A.F.O. in
French, is a farrago of threats and vague ideology. The home page calls the
French internal security services “the haunt of Anti-France.” It lists as
adversaries “upholders of the Islamic system,” as well as “sub-Saharan
Africans,” “humanists” and “Rights-of-Man types.” Jews are listed as “targets
if the War of France breaks out.”
specialist in right-wing groups, Stéphane François of the National Center for
Scientific Research in France, said A.F.O. was “not at all” well known in the
constellation of cells on the extreme edges of far-right politics. Nonetheless,
all the groups share some characteristics.
really in the domain of identity here,” said Mr. François, “tied to white
European identity, French or regional, which must be defended in the face of
the supposed Arab-Muslim invasion.” He added that the groups were persuaded
that Muslims would slowly “substitute themselves for the white race and
Mr. Camus, Mr. François suggested that the threat from such groups was, for the
moment, minimal. “These people are fairly clumsy and disorganized,” he said.
“For the moment, they are at an amateur level. The risk is that they organize
themselves more seriously.”
Martinez, a leader of a right-wing group called Volunteers for France that aims
to “defend France’s identity,” said that some of its members, including the
retired police officer, broke off to form A.F.O. last year over disagreements
about how exactly that should be done.
probably considered that we were working within legality, and that might not
have corresponded to their vision, and that’s the reason that led to their exclusion,”
he said in an interview Thursday.
the difference was in strategy, not ideology.
: French authorities have charged 10 suspected far-right extremists in
connection with an alleged plot to attack Muslims, a judicial source said
Thursday. The nine men and one woman aged 32 to 69 were arrested in raids
across France on Saturday.
appeared before a judge on Wednesday evening and were charged with “criminal
terrorist conspiracy”, the source said. Several were also charged with
violations of firearms laws and the manufacture or possession of explosive
have linked the ten to a little-known group called Action des Forces
Operationnelles (Operational Forces Action), which urges French people to
combat Muslims, or what it calls “the enemy within”. The suspects had an
“ill-defined plan to commit a violent act targeting people of the Muslim
faith”, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Monday. Rifles,
handguns and homemade grenades were found during the raids in the Paris area,
the Mediterranean island of Corsica and the western Charentes-Maritimes region.
said in a statement Wednesday that 36 firearms and thousands of rounds of
ammunition were seized, as well as items in one suspect’s home that could be
used in the manufacture of TATP explosives.
suspects include a retired police officer, identified only as Guy S., who was
the alleged leader of the group, according to a source close to the
investigation. The group also includes a former soldier.
remains on high alert following a wave of militant attacks which have killed
more than 240 people since 2015.
have urged people not to confuse the actions of radicalised individuals with
those of France’s estimated six million Muslims - but anti-Islamic violence is
on the rise.
“Guerre de France” (War for France) website of the shadowy Operational Forces
Action depicts an apocalyptic battle scene under the Eiffel Tower, and claims
to prepare “French citizen-soldiers for combat on national territory”.
French cement giant Lafarge has been charged with complicity in crimes against
humanity and funding terrorists in war-torn Syria.
panel of three judges in a Paris court ordered Lafarge on Thursday to pay 30
million euros ($35 million) as security deposit before a trial can open on the
company’s alleged crimes in Syria.
campaigners welcome the very fact that courts are beginning to recognize the
role of the French company in spreading chaos.
faces an array of charges for its conduct in Syria, including crimes against
humanity, financing terrorist groups, including Daesh, and endangering the
lives of former employees to keep its factory open in Syria’s Jalabiya region.
cement company is accused of paying nearly 13 million euros to Daesh and other
terrorist groups to keep the Jalabiya plant running, long after other French
companies and multinationals had pulled out of Syria due to the spread of
Lafarge executives, including former CEO Bruno Laffont, have already been
suspect that Lafarge had viewed the payments by its Syria subsidiary as a “tax”
in exchange for which militants allowed free movement of the company’s staff
and goods inside the warzone. A source close to the probe said that there was
also a suspicion that Lafarge paid cash to buy fuel and other raw materials,
including fuel from suppliers close to Daesh.
group welcomed the court decision to charge the French giant. Sherpa, a French
right advocacy and a plaintiff in the case, described the allegations against
Lafarge as one of the most serious against a French company in years, saying
that it was the first time that a parent company anywhere in the world had been
charged with complicity in crimes against humanity.
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) also hailed the
decision as a historic milestone in recognizing the scope and seriousness of
allegation against multinationals.
activities of Lafarge in Syria, in a context where extremely violent crimes had
been committed – even right outside the factory – are a perfect illustration of
how multinationals can feed conflicts,” said Miriam Saage-Maass who serves as
ECCHR legal director.
says it will appeal against some of the charges. The company, which was merged
with Swiss rival Holcim in 2015, said it was not responsible as a whole.
President Vladimir Putin says his country has pulled out 1,140 military
personnel and 27 aircraft from war-ravaged Syria during the past few days.
you know, we started withdrawing our forces during my visit to Hmeimim base.
This withdrawal continues now,” Putin said at a ceremony for military college
graduates in the Kremlin on Thursday.
the past few days, 13 warplanes, 14 helicopters and 1,140 personnel have been
withdrawn”, Putin said, adding that Russia started withdrawing its forces
during his visit to Hmeimim base in December last year.
air base in Syria’s western province of Latakia serves as Russia’s permanent
air base inside the Arab country and is adjacent to Bassel al-Assad
International Airport, with which it shares some airfield facilities.
withdrawal continues now,” Putin further said, as the Syrian government troops,
backed by Russia’s air cover, have already liberated most of the once
militant-held territories from the clutches of terror groups.
jets have been carrying out air raids against targets belonging to the Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group and those of other terror outfits inside Syria at the
Damascus government’s formal request since September 2015. The airstrikes have
helped Syrian forces advance against anti-Damascus militants, who have been
wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
in March 2016, Putin ordered the bulk of the Russian military forces in Syria
to withdraw from the Arab country, saying that the withdrawal could serve as a
stimulus for peace. The troops returned, however, after several rounds of
UN-brokered peace talks involving anti-Damascus terrorists failed.
terrorists unleashed a campaign of bloodshed and destruction in Syria in 2014,
overrunning considerable expanses of territory.
same year saw the United States launch a so-called campaign against Daesh
together with a coalition of its allies. The military alliance has done little
in the fight against the terrorists, and has instead been repeatedly accused of
targeting and killing civilians and hampering Syrian government operations
against Takfiri terrorists.
European Union leaders on Friday agreed to release the second €3 billion ($3.72
billion) tranche in assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey.
have agreed to allocate the second tranche for Turkey,“ German Chancellor
Angela Merkel told reporters when leaving the EU summit, which dragged into the
early morning hours of Friday.
March 2016, the EU and Turkey reached an agreement to stop irregular migration
through the Aegean Sea, and improve the conditions of more than 3 million
Syrian refugees in Turkey.
EU had pledged €6 billion ($7.44 billion) in funding for the refugees, and
promised to mobilize the second €3 billion ($3.72 billion) tranche by the end
said Turkey has done a lot for more than 3 million Syrian refugees it has
hosted since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Thursday, Italy had raised objections to releasing the additional €3 billion
Italian government demanded stronger solidarity from its EU partners regarding
European Council agrees on launching the second tranche of the Facility for
Refugees in Turkey [...],” Thursday's summit conclusions said.
Sale’ Sign Comes up on Houses of Muslims in UP Village After Alleged Police
Close to a hundred Muslims families in Lisadi village in Meerut district have
announced an exodus due to alleged harassment and one-sided action by police
after communal tension gripped the area over a clash between two groups.
families have put up ‘for sale’ posters outside their houses, asking the police
and other residents to purchase them so that they can relocate. The posters
read, “This house is for sale. I am a Muslim. I am selling my hous
sides approached the police to file complaints against each other, but the
Muslim side accused police of one-sided action, alleging that their complaint
was not taken.
further claimed that two individuals who arrested from their side, while people
from the other side were let go.
a family member of one of the arrested, said that the decision to leave was
taken after discriminatory action by the police.
are some elements in the society who are trying to create a rift between
communities. A small incident was given a communal colour and then action was
taken only against us. Even our FIR was not registered,” the relative said.
family member, Farzana, of the arrested, said, “We are not getting justice, so
we are fleeing. They said that there was a dispute between the children, the
matter could easily have been solved, but the dispute was made big and a
communal colour was given to it. After that one-sided action was taken in the
case. We are not secure here anymore, and also biased action was taken against
Meerut SSP, Rajesh Pandey dismissed the allegations.
was an issue between a shopkeeper and his neighbour, some people tried to give
it a communal colour. However case was registered against those who were found
involved in violence. There is nothing like exodus, this is just a tactic to
build pressure on the police,” Pandey said.
system needs to be improved to bring Muslims into mainstream
Delhi: Addressing the students studying in various institutions of the country,
former union minister K Rahman Khan said Muslim nation was kept backward with a
conspiracy. He said our children are not able to reach till higher education.
In order to bring our society into the mainstream and to make it self dependent
and developed we need to improve our education, he said. He was participating
in the panel discussion organised in Constitution Club of India.
Khan told that primary education needs to be addressed. He opposed UP CM for
his appeal to give reservation to Dalits in JMI and AMU and said we need not
get scared with such remarks. Our constitution is our guard and we should fight
for our constitutional rights, he asserted.
A traders' body in Jammu has sought the intervention of Governor N N Vohra to
relocate the illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants, claiming they posed a
"big threat" to communal harmony and internal security.
Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) made the demand in a letter it
wrote to Vohra on Tuesday.
of Rohingya immigrants has been a long-pending demand of the chamber as it
feels they are a big threat to the communal harmony and internal security, a
press release quoted JCCI president Rakesh Gupta as saying.
the matter of deportation of Rohingya Muslims is sub-judice before the Supreme
Court, the chamber requests they be concentrated in a camp before relocating
them out of Jammu, he added.
the "urgent communication" to Vohra, the JCCI also drew his attention
to the pending tourism, industry and health projects in the region.
various pending projects like Suchetgarh Border Tourism, artificial lake on
river Tawi and Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Gupta said these are vital to
make the winter capital's economy self-reliant. The JCCI also sought the
governor's intervention for early establishment of multi-modal logistics parks
through foreign direct investment (FDI).
memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the state government and Dubai Ports
(DP) World in February has generated hope that it will create employment
opportunities on a massive scale and allow hassle-free imports and exports for
the local entrepreneurs, Gupta said.
the healthcare services in Jammu "worst", Gupta urged the governor to
take up the AIIMS project on priority and suggested outsourcing the work for
Super Specialty Hospital in Maheshpura on the lines of an MoU between the Shri
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Narayana Hospital, the release said.
said it had been decades since the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) project worth
more than Rs 129 crores was sanctioned, but it never saw the light of the day.
JAMMU and Kashmir Police on Thursday said it had “tangible evidence to
establish” that the conspiracy to kill senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was
hatched by the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan, and executed by its operatives in
(51), editor of the daily Rising Kashmir, was gunned down outside his office in
Srinagar on June 14. Two of his personal security officers were also killed in
the attack. Police had earlier released CCTV footage of three attackers on a
motorcycle. The police on Thursday identified the killers as Naveed Jatt alias
Hanzullah, a Pakistani national who escaped from Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital in
February this year, and two local militants — Muzaffar Ahmad alias Talha from
Qazigund, and Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada, the LeT’s district commander in
Talha is reported to be “active” since January this year, Dada is said to have
been “active” in South Kashmir since 2016, and reportedly escaped an encounter
site two months back.
General of Police (Kashmir) S P Pani also named a fourth accused, Sajjad Gul, a
resident of Srinagar who is suspected to be living in Pakistan now, as the
person behind a “malicious” social media campaign against Bukhari. Police said
the “hate campaign” against Bukhari was run on social media platforms like
“kashmirfight.wordpress.com”, Facebook account “kadwa sach Kashmir”, Twitter
handle Ahmadkhalid@313. The blogs, according to police, are still active.
has established that there was a campaign on certain social media platforms
against Shujaat Bukhari, spreading hate, malicious and intimidating content
against him,” said Pani. “During investigation, with the cooperation of service
providers, tangible evidence has been collected to establish that individuals
behind it belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist organisation and all the content
on social media was posted from Pakistan,” he said.
said Gul was “associated with Lashkar”, and had been arrested twice in the past
— by the Delhi Police in 2002 and by the Srinagar police in 2016 in
terror-related cases. He “obtained a passport fraudulently and left the
country, and is now based in Pakistan,” said Pani.
a lookout notice has been issued, Pani said they would approach the Interpol
for a Red Corner Notice against Gul after obtaining a non-bailable warrant
against him from the local court.
about the involvement of another suspect, Zubair Qayoom, who was arrested two
days after the incident, the IGP said his role was also being investigated. In
a video clip released after Bukhari’s killing, Qayoom was seen picking up a
pistol from one of the dead PSOs.
Pakistani court hearing the Mumbai terror attack case has issued a notice to
the interior ministry asking it to file a reply about presenting 24 Indian
witnesses in the case within a week, an official said today.
2008 Mumbai attack case has entered into the 10th year but none of its suspects
in Pakistan is punished, indicating this case had never been in the priority
list of the country that appears to be keen to put it under the carpet.
Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi held hearing at Adiala Jail (Rawalpindi)
yesterday and issued a notice to the interior ministry asking it to file a
reply about presenting Indian witnesses by July 5,” a court official told PTI.
said a prosecution official told the court about India’s reluctance to send its
nationals to Pakistan. The court adjourned the hearing till July 5.
weekly hearing in this case rarely takes place since the anti-terrorism court
has completed the statement of all (70) prosecution witnesses.
to the prosecution, case may not further proceed till the Indian government
sends its 24 witnesses to Pakistan to record their statements. Pakistan has
written to India in this regard.
replied that Pakistan first put Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed on trial
based on evidence it had provided to it.
number of Pakistani witnesses both official and private testified and provided
evidence against the seven accused but the Pakistani authorities have been
insisting on sending Indian witnesses to Pakistan for reaching a verdict in the
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attack that
killed 166 people.
LeT suspects Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq,
Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are facing charges of abetment
to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the attack since 2009.
to choke terror funds lands Pakistan in serious trouble
Pakistan on Thursday was officially placed in the ‘grey list’ after it failed
to convince the global anti-money laundering agency Financial Action Task Force
that it has taken significant steps to curb terror financing on its soil. Apart
from embarrassment at the global level, the move will have serious financial
implications for Pakistan at a time when it is already in a serious economic
crisis which will require an IMF bailout.
to several economists, the grey listing of Pakistan means that the country’s
financial system will be designated as risky to the international markets
because of “strategic deficiencies” in its ability to thwart terror financing
and money laundering. The placement could also be a precursor to Pakistan’s
eventual addition onto FATF’s ‘black’ list, which would mean more serious
decision was taken on Wednesday night at FATF’s planery session in Paris. The
action comes three years after removal of Pakistan from FATF’s grey list.
Earlier, media reports from Paris had indicated that Pakistan may get more time
to take measures to implement the FATF’s regulations. Pakistan now, experts
believe, will be directly scrutinised by the FATF until it is satisfied.
to media, Pakistan’s interim interior minister Muhammad Azam Khan said that the
FATF was under immense pressure from the US and India. He said the US and India
had also pressurized China and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s closest allies, to
withdraw their support. It was decided during the plenary meeting of the FATF
in February this year that Pakistan would be placed on its grey list in June if
it did not take sufficient measures to curb terror financing.
ahead of a 37-nation FATF’s February meeting, Pakistan had changed the
country’s anti-terrorism law, allowing its law enforcement agencies to take
action against groups on the UN Security Council list, including Jamaatud Dawa
(JuD) and the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), the fronts for banned
terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, headed by Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind
of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
a bid to build its case before the FATF members, the then government had taken
some cosmetic measure like seizing offices, seminaries and ambulances belonging
to Saeed’s charities. Earlier this month, the National Security Committee,
Pakistan’s top civil-military tasked to makedecisions regarding security and
foreign affairs matters, issued ‘Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing
of Terrorism Regulations 2018’, to meet FATF’s recommendations.
the FATF was not satisfied with any of these measures.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to re-put Pakistan on its grey
list following a meeting in Paris on Wednesday, as Pakistan’s Foreign Office
warned that the country could face ‘problems’ if it fails to ensure the
implementation of its 26-point action plan against terror financing and money
laundering by Sept 2019.
US motion, to have Pakistan added to the “grey list” of countries, was backed
by Britain, France, Germany. Pakistan’s closest allies — China, Turkey and
Saudi Arabia did not oppose the move.
Pakistan’s case at the FATF talks, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the interim minister of
finance and planning, apprised the global watchdog of the steps the country has
taken to stem money laundering and terror financing, and put up a robust case
for not placing its name on the grey list.
Pakistani delegation also spoke about Islamabad’s efforts against the banned
outfits and various terrorist groups. It said that the nation was working to
curb financial assistance to terrorists, made existing laws better, and ensured
improved implementation of the current regulations.
compliance with the FATF’s recommendations, the Securities and Exchange
Commission of Pakistan (SECP), on June 20, issued the Anti Money Laundering and
Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018. Prior to that, on June 8,
the National Security Committee (NSC) had reaffirmed its commitment to
cooperate with FATF and strive towards realising “shared objectives”.
the FATF members remained unsatisfied with Pakistan’s efforts.
must now follow a 26-point action plan spanning a period of 15 months to avoid
being blacklisted by the FATF.
plan, prepared by the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) of Asia
Pacific Group (APG), makes it mandatory on Pakistan to deliver on the first
goal by January next year and complete all the 26 actions by September 2019.
February 2018, the FATF approved the nomination of Pakistan for monitoring
under its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) commonly known as Grey
ICRG of the APG identified four key areas of concerns, including deficiencies
in the supervision of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism
Financing regimes, cross-border illicit movement of currency by terrorist
groups, progress on terrorism financing investigation and prosecution and
implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1267 and
1373, for curbing terror financing.
was further reported that the number of conditions taken into account are the
concerns of the UNSC resolutions.
was followed by eight commitments to address the issues regarding terrorism
financing prosecution, four about curbing currency movement across the border
and five recommendations related to improvement in the supervision mechanisms
of banks and companies.
MUST ENSURE COMPLIANCE’:
the weekly briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FO Spokesman Dr
Muhammad Faisal said, “We will have to ensure the implementation of the action
plan shared with FATF while we are on the grey list.”
adequate measures are taken, we can be removed from the grey list,” he
emphasised, while warning that the country will be “facing problems” if action
is not taken.
reminded reporters that the country was made aware of this development before
were told in February that we will be placed on the grey list,” he said.
FO spokesman said that Pakistan supports the Afghan peace process and will
support all efforts for reconciliation led by the Afghan leadership.
Masood | Shafiq ButtUpdated
shaky video of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his wife Bushra
Maneka arriving at Pakpattan to pay their respects at Baba Fariduddin
Ganjshakar’s shrine went viral within hours of being made available on social
media on Thursday.
video shows Mr Khan, his wife and Zulfi Bukhari heading to Baba Farid’s grave
on Wednesday night where the PTI chief bowed in front of the door which
appeared to be a sajda.
a look: Of pirs, goats and kaali daal: Pakistani leaders and their
visit had reportedly been kept a secret as local party office-bearers had no
idea about it. Muhammad Shah Khagga, the party’s candidate for NA-145, and
Dewan Azmat Chishti, their candidate for PP-192, were aware of the visit.
Khan and his wife walked to the shrine’s main entrance barefoot. Dressed in
white with a black ribbon around her hand, the party chief’s wife waved to the
devotees who were surprised to see the celebrity couple.
women are not allowed entry into the mausoleum itself, Ms Maneka went to the
women’s portion which is adjacent to the tomb. Mr Khan laid a wreath and chadar
on the grave. After offering fateha, he went to the women’s section and the
couple distributed sweets among the devotees.
Chishti, the custodian of the shrine, presented Mr Khan with a shawl from the
shrine as a token of respect.
hearing about the party chief’s arrival, young supporters rushed to the shrine
where the 13th century Sufi saint is buried. Many devotees took selfies with Mr
Khan and his friend — who stayed at the shrine for about an hour before heading
back to Lahore.
the PTI had reportedly awarded the ticket for PP-192 to Mahar Moeenuddin
Chishti, who recently joined the party with the support of the Pir of Golra
Sharif, Rawalpindi. However, the party has now cancelled the ticket and given
it to Dewan Azmat Chishti.
close to the leadership claim that this was a decision influenced by his wife
who spent more than 30 years of her life in Pakpattan before her marriage to
the party chief.
soon followed Mr Khan, as many people on social media disapproved of his visit.
Several asked if he was visiting the shrine because of his wife’s religious
beliefs — something he has been grilled over before as well.
disapproval was further ignited by Maryam Nawaz, who used her official Twitter
account to retweet the video with an emoji (hand over mouth) — which was liked
more than 1,000 times and shared as well.
Twitterati jumped to Mr Khan’s defence, including Journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi
who said: “How ImranKhanchooses to practice his faith is nobody’s business but
his own. All this outrage at how he paid respect at the Baba Farid shrine is
part of the same continuum as fatwas over the Khatam-I-Nabuwwat issue and
and singer Fakhr-i-Alam tweeted: “I love it how our collective intellect keeps
regressing. As a nation we need to up our game and pose serious questions to
our leadership. Why do we all make issues out of non issues? We are in a
serious situation economically & other things.”
Please, a popular Twitter account, poked fun at the attention the PTI chief was
receiving: “Guys, go easy on ImranKhan. There are things a husband has to do to
please his wife. I have a husband and I know how to twist him around my little
finger. Nice and caring husbands deserve sympathy, not scorn!”
the day’s controversy, in an interview with a talk show host Mr Khan claimed
that he was just paying his respects to a man of God. “Baba Farid is someone
who helped spread Islam here,” he said. He said he did not prostrate himself
but merely kissed the doorsill.
a tweet, PTI’s official account reshared Mr Khan’s statement and said: “Sufism
speaks about removing the ‘main’ the ego in an individual, people see these
things superficially and declare fatwas without knowing the religion.”
Expressing concern over imposition of “censorship” on media, Pakistan Peoples
Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday declared that his party would
never accept “manipulated and censored democracy”.
is a historic occasion that a second democratic transition is about to take
place in the country. On one hand, this seems to be a big step in the right
direction; at the same time, the conspiracies being hatched by enemies of
democracy are at their peak,” he alleged, adding that “an atmosphere of
uncertainty and fear is being created”.
young PPP chairman was speaking at the launch of his party’s election manifesto
during an extremely disorganised ceremony at the National Press Club. Due to
mismanagement and presence of a large number of party workers, the journalists
could not put questions to the top PPP leadership, including former president
Asif Zardari, Farhatullah Babar, Sherry Rehman, Aitzaz Ahsan, Murad Ali Shah
and Qamar Zaman Kaira.
censorship is being imposed on freedom of expression. Such things do not happen
in democracy. Today, curbs are being placed on freedom of association in an
unprecedented manner,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari regretted.
want to say it in categorical terms in front of the masses that the PPP will
not accept this kind of censored or manipulated democracy,” he said, asking the
state institutions “to stay within the constitutional limits”.
PPP chairman urged the politicians to work for the strengthening of parliament
“through their attitudes”.
an apparent reference to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that democracy could
not be strengthened by staying away from parliament for years and by staging
sit-ins and cursing the legislature.
Bhutto made a promise to the people of Pakistan. It was the promise of a
peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan for all our people, and we are to
fulfil her dream to save the country,” he said while referring to his party’s
election slogan, BB ka waada nibhana hai, Pakistan bachana hai.
lashed out at the policies of the PML-N government, terming the present
economic situation “unstable, intolerable and unsustainable”. “Short-sighted
quick fixes directed at the welfare of tiny elite have compromised the lives of
the poorest and most vulnerable, denied them economic justice, and at the same
time compromised Pakistan’s economic sovereignty,” he said.
alleged that many of the measures taken by the PPP government for ensuring
devolution of power had been subverted, and the momentum for further reforms
had been stalled.
institutions for accountability were subverted. The parliament was reduced to
the position of a bystander, as major crises threaten the state and the
economy. State institutions appear to be at loggerheads. This raises alarm
bells for Pakistan,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari warned.
we pledge to free all our people from the fear of hunger, thirst and
helplessness and to open opportunities for all our children and youth so that
they may excel, become active citizens of Pakistan and confident members of the
global community; to rebuild and build an economy that works for all our
people, now and into the future; to deepen democracy by fostering harmony among
our people, between our people and our state, and among the institutions of our
state, and to make the government accountable and answerable to the people by
strengthening the parliament and other institutional frameworks; to secure
rights and peace for our state and for all our people and to reclaim Pakistan’s
rightful place in the world,” the PPP chairman said while highlighting salient
features of the manifesto.
said the PPP would continue to struggle for the creation of South Punjab
province, the merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas with
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and ending the “undemocratic steps taken by the PML-N
government in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB)”.
announced that the PPP would ensure elections in Azad Kashmir and GB
simultaneously with Pakistan. He also criticised the foreign policy of the PML-N
government, saying “there is absolutely no recognition of the sacrifices
rendered by our brave soldiers, police and innocent civilians; instead there is
a serious trust deficit and a concentrated effort [is] underway to make
Pakistan a scapegoat for others’ failures”.
realise that many 21st century challenges recognise no borders. Terrorism and
climate change require regional and global solutions, so we must always seek to
be in dialogue with our neighbours and all global powers,” he said.
Bhutto-Zardari stressed the need for internationalising the issue of “water
terrorism” by India.
said his party would announce massive agriculture reforms through registration
of male and female farmers and by issuing the Benazir Kissan Cards. Through
these cards, he said, the farmers would get direct subsidy on fertilisers and
insurance of their crops in case of any natural calamity.
said the PPP would fix the prices of DAP and urea fertilisers at Rs1,700 and
attention towards growing unemployment, the PPP chairman said his party would
launch a programme through which the youths would be guaranteed a one-year
internship. He also announced setting up of an employment bureau for creation
of job opportunities in the country.
announced that the PPP after coming into power would overhaul the textile
industry and make efforts to bring down the cost of doing business.
promised lifting of ban from trade and student unions across the country. He
also highlighted a number of achievements of the PPP government in Sindh in the
health and education sectors and announced launching of family health cards
under “Ilaj Programme” after coming into power.
A Lahore High Court single bench on Thursday referred a petition to a division
bench to decide whether convict in Zainab’s rape-cum-murder case should be hanged
Muhammad Anwarul Haq was hearing a petition moved by father of Zainab demanding
public hanging of Imran Ali, the convict.
judge observed that a division bench should decide the matter since the convict
had been sentenced under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. Therefore, the judge
referred the petition to the chief justice for its fixation before division
father Amin Ansari had contended through counsel that appeals of the convict
stood dismissed by all legal forums including the high court and the Supreme
Court. He said section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 empowered the
government to hang a convict publicly.
counsel requested the court to order the government to ensure that the convict
was hanged publicly to satisfy the requirement of deterrence in society.
target African converts to Islam for recruitment
Kenya (RNS)—Christians who convert to Islam in East African countries often
become targets for recruitment by extremist groups such as the Islamic State
and al-Shabab, the al-Qaida affiliate in East Africa.
is one finding in a June report from PeaceTech Lab, a Washington, D.C.,
nonprofit that works to reduce violent conflict using technology. The report
comes at a time when governments and religious leaders in East Africa
increasingly are concerned about Islamic radicalization in a region that
includes Somalia and the Kenyan coast.
finding is based on research conducted from May to July 2017 examining how
violent extremist groups use hate speech on social media and online messaging
to recruit youth. The 100 participants came from various backgrounds, including
ranks of the unemployed, as well as students and mosque attendees. Survey
questions probed participants’ relationship to hate speech and social media
to counter violent extremist recruitment have to start with an understanding of
the narratives and terminology driving radicalization,” said Caleb Gichuhi, a
senior specialist at PeaceTech Lab. “When we understand how recruitment
unfolds, we can develop alternatives.”
conducted in the coastal city of Mombasa focused on community and individual
resilience to violent extremism. Mombasa has a history of extremist activity,
including bombings by suspected al-Shabab militants, recruitment of thousands
of Kenyan youth for battle in Somalia and radicalization under extremist teaching.
to the report, family and friends cut ties with Christian converts to Islam
when they learn of the conversion. As a result, converts become isolated and
vulnerable to being manipulated by extremists disposed to using violent
report, which looks at correlations between speech patterns and violent
extremism, found that many Kenyans switch religions as they pursue employment
opportunities in which religious affiliation makes a difference. They also
switch for marriage and the desire to blend in with neighbors when they move to
a new region.
Lagho, vicar general of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa, said some
former Christians do not want to convert to Islam but do so under duress.
coercion has been used, the person’s faith tends to be shallow,” said Lagho.
Mbela, a pastor at Redeemed Gospel Church in Mombasa, said conversions from
Christianity to Islam are rare in the coastal region except in extreme
have heard that some have converted to receive food in periods of drought but
have taken the food and failed to convert,” said Mbela.
report says al-Shabab is recruiting not only Somalis living in Kenya but also
Kenyan Muslims. The recruitment process often begins with disseminating an extremist
preacher’s message via social media. Further indoctrination comes through CDs
and mosque lectures.
groups have lured economically desperate youth through false offers of
high-paying jobs, Mbela said. He’s learned about the process from young
Christian men who have been approached by recruiters.
come to discover they have been recruited later,” said Mbela. “Coercion is
widely employed, and the radicalized youth believe they have no other choice in
life. This is very secretive, and those who have undergone it do not want to
come out or give details.”
coastal Muslim leaders are skeptical of the PeaceTech Lab findings. While
recent converts might be recruited on occasion, they said, the numbers have
think these are just perceptions,” said Sheikh Ahmed Mundhar, a former chief
religious judge in Mombasa’s Islamic courts. “Some groups talk about it, but we
have been challenging them to provide some statistics. I think the numbers are
Okwany, a former Pentecostal bishop who converted to Islam and turned his
Kenyan church into a mosque in 2017, said recruitment by extremist groups isn’t
about religious identity.
the extremist groups has nothing to do with true religion and God,” said
Okwany. “I believe those who join the groups have criminal minds. Both
Christian and Muslims are being recruited.”
commander Khalifa Haftar declared victory on Thursday against rivals including
local fighters and Islamists in the city of Derna, the last bastion of
opposition against him in the east of the country.
Derna, a city of 125,000 about 265 km (165 miles) west of Libya’s border with
Egypt, marks an important step for Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) as it
tries to consolidate its power.
in eastern Libya, the LNA is one of the main factions that have vied for power
since the 2011 Nato-backed uprising that ended more than four decades of rule
by Muammar Gaddafi.
was not possible to independently verify the extent of LNA control in central
Derna, where the LNA’s rivals had been holding out. The victory announcement
followed clashes in the city on Thursday and heavy airstrikes against the LNA’s
opponents, military sources said.
be to God, the armed forces control the entire city of Derna,” said a statement
posted on the LNA’s Facebook page.
who presents himself as the scourge of Islamist extremists, congratulated his
supporters for what he said was a victory against “terrorists” in a televised
the banner of terrorism is lowered by your victories, to be replaced by the
banner of peace and tranquility despite the terrorists and those who support
them,” said the 75-year-old commander, dressed in a khaki military uniform and
standing at a podium next to a large Libyan flag.
brigades launched a ground offensive in Derna last month after encircling and
largely blockading the city over the past two years.
Derna completes the takeover of Libya’s east by Haftar, who built up the LNA
during three-year campaign for Benghazi, Libya’s second city.
the Derna fighting could also undercut U.N.-led efforts to stabilize Libya by
reconciling eastern-based factions aligned with Haftar and rival groups located
in the country’s more populous west.
victory announcement came days after the LNA moved to take control oil exports
and revenues from eastern ports following fighting in two terminals.
Derna, the United Nations has warned of the devastating impact of the LNA
encirclement and recent fighting on residents.
also expressed alarm earlier this month at allegations of serious human rights
abuses including pillage, destruction of property, arbitrary detention and a
video of summary executions.
Haftar declared victory in Benghazi in July last year, fighting continued for
several months in parts of the city. In Derna, the LNA’s progress has been much
faster, aided by what their opponents said were precision air strikes carried
out by drones.
Egypt, one of several foreign powers that has provided support for Haftar, has
in the past carried out air strikes in Derna against what it described as
training camps sending militants into Egypt to carry out attacks.
known for its mixed social make-up and as a center of opposition to the Gaddafi
regime, was the first Libyan city in which Islamic State established a foothold
military said Thursday it rescued 33 hostages from Boko Haram terror group in
a written statement, Nigerian Army spokesman Texas Chukwu said an operation was
carried out against Boko Haram in Damboa and Bama local government areas of Borno
that resulted in the recovery of the hostages.
said among the rescued hostages were 12 women and 13 children; six members of
the Boko Haram were also neutralized.
2 million people have been displaced and close to 20,000 killed in the violent
campaign in the region that started in 2009.
are not welcome in America, and that is exactly who we are
is now openly hostile to Muslim immigrants. Don’t let anyone tell you
country’s stance has been rendered clear: If you’re Muslim, you’re not welcome
don’t want that to be the case. I condemn that stance as fundamentally un-American.
I’m no longer going to parrot the oft-tweeted line that has become ubiquitous
in the Trump era: “This is not who we are!”
line was everywhere this week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President
Donald Trump has the authority to block people from certain majority-Muslim
countries from coming to America.
exploded with “This is not who we are” tweets, well-intentioned pleas that
people around the world maintain a belief in the basic decency of Americans.
let’s be honest. That line isn’t meant to reassure a wary world. It’s meant to
make the people who type or utter it feel better. It’s as much a cop-out as it
travel ban may not be who you are. It’s not who I am. But it is who we — as a
country — are right now.
a country that doesn’t want Muslims to come here. We are a country that doesn’t
want people from Mexico or South America or Central America or Africa to come
here. We are a country that wants people who weren’t born in America but have
lived here and put down roots to leave, even if it means they’ll return to
countries plagued with violence and poverty. We are a country that will
intentionally separate mothers from their children as a means to deter
non-white people from coming here, even if they’re facing certain death and
who we are. It gets dressed up in “we’re a nation of laws” rhetoric, but it is
what it is, and the world can see it more clearly every day. No amount of
denial will make that change.
Ostadhassan, a petroleum engineering professor at the University of North
Dakota who is an Iranian national with an American wife and son, told the
Washington Post: “The message to Muslims is that you’re not welcome here, we
don’t want you here, we want to ban you from traveling to the U.S. and picking
the U.S. as your future home. The message is that they cannot really count on
the United States as their home, and they should probably seek other places to
so Ostadhassan, who doesn’t have a green card, will likely leave America with
that’s exactly what the people who support the travel ban, and support the man
who created it, want. They want a whiter America. That’s what they were
promised, and the travel ban and the draconian immigration crackdowns and the
thinly veiled white supremacy of the Trump administration aren’t bugs, they’re
can be appalled by that and say, “Well, those people don’t represent me.” But
that doesn’t halt the deportations or the ICE raids or the banning of Muslims.
paying attention to Trump’s rhetoric from the first moments of his presidential
campaign could see this coming. If you voted for him, you’re getting exactly
what you wanted. Congratulations, and shame on you.
you didn’t vote for him but sat out the election or cast a protest vote, you
can’t act surprised now. Trump is doing what he said he would do — you were
either too naive to believe it or too selfish to care.
for all who opposed him and his white-nationalist agenda from the get-go, stop
pretending that he, as president of the United States, doesn’t represent
America. He does. And we don’t have any excuses to hide behind.
I’m a Muslim born in any other country, I assume America wants nothing to do
with me. If I’m a Muslim-American, I’m harboring serious concerns as well.
I’m a foreign government or a foreign company, I’m looking at America in a
different light, and no amount of “That’s not who we are!” shouts coming from
Americans will lessen my concerns. And that’s as it should be. Foreign
businesses, global organizations, tourists, politicians and academic
institutions should all be wary of America right now. Because America right now
is unfriendly, unkind and unconcerned with the plight of anyone who isn’t
wealthy, white, straight, American and Christian.
you want to show the world we’re not a country that goes out of its way to make
people of a certain faith feel unwelcome, don’t deny the fact that we are
presently a country going out of its way to make people of a certain faith feel
that fact. Direct your disgust into action. Call your lawmakers and let your
voice be heard. Volunteer to help political candidates who share your
revulsion. Help get people registered to vote.
that’s all that’s going to matter. Declaring that we, as a country, are not
what we have clearly become is a fool’s errand.
have to fix this if the world is going to believe we aren’t Trump’s version of
America. And the first step will come in November.
then, we are who we are.
anti-Muslim pick for IOM head could be first American rejected in decades
Donald Trump's nomination of a Christian charity executive who has disparaged
Islam to head the U.N. migration agency could see countries reject an American
for the first time in nearly 50 years when they pick its new leader on Friday.
the body now known as the International Organization for Migration was founded
to manage the vast movement of people in post-World War Two Europe, all nine of
its leaders have been Americans apart from a Dutchman who ran it in the 1960s.
Trump's choice of Ken Isaacs, a vice president of U.S. evangelical charity
Samaritan's Purse, could end that streak.
whose only major government experience was a 2004-2005 stint under George W.
Bush as a political appointee in charge of disaster relief at the U.S. overseas
aid agency, is one of three candidates to succeed William Swing, a veteran U.S.
and U.N. diplomat retiring after a decade as IOM chief.
IOM is involved in politically-sensitive operations around the globe, from
helping European countries manage the arrival of hundreds of thousands of
asylum seekers to aiding Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
February, shortly after the Trump administration nominated Isaacs to lead the
IOM, the Washington Post dug up tweets and social media posts in which he
has since apologized for hurting anyone's feelings and said he had "never
shown discrimination against anybody or anything, period." He said he had
been retweeting and commenting on material to provoke debate.
one post reported by the paper and since deleted, Isaacs wrote in a comment on
a CNN story about a militant attack in London: "...if you read the Quran
you will know that 'this' is exactly what the Muslim faith instructs the
faithful to do."
another, he wrote on Twitter: "If Islam is a religion of peace, let's see
2 million Muslims in National Mall marching against jihad & stand for
America! I haven't seen it!"
U.S. State Department said it was "proper" that Isaacs had
apologized, but his "private" social media posts did not disqualify
him for the IOM post.
Isaacs is committed to helping refugees and has a long history of assisting
those who are suffering. We believe that if chosen to lead IOM, he would treat
people fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve."
says he will not represent the U.S. administration if he leads the IOM. But he
has also made clear he would not challenge Trump policies widely viewed as
hostile to immigrants, such as a ban on citizens of seven Muslim majority
nations entering the United States and a drastic scaling back of the U.S.
program to accept refugees.
not going to speak on any country's domestic policy," he said, when asked
at the March briefing about Trump's plan for a wall on the Mexican border.
have a right to protect their borders the way that they deem necessary,"
he said. "If it's inhumane, then I'll come back and have private
conversations. But I think states have a right to protect their borders the way
that they want to."
a press event in Geneva in March, Isaacs was introduced by Jennifer Arangio,
senior director of the White House National Security Council: "He embodies
what the United States believes."
is up against Portuguese politician and ex-EU Justice Commissioner Antonio
Vitorino, and Laura Thompson, a Costa Rican now serving as Swing's deputy. The
vote will be held in secret.
vote poses a dilemma for IOM states, Jeremy Konyndyk, who like Isaacs served as
a head of U.S. foreign disaster assistance, told Reuters.
they risk angering the Trump administration by rejecting its preferred
candidate, or risk validating Trump's migration agenda by putting a Trump
nominee in charge of IOM at the very moment his administration is attacking
asylum in the U.S.?"
said Isaacs must disavow the views uncovered in his social media posts.
"He has never fully repudiated his attacks on Muslims, descriptions of
refugees as security threats, and mockery of climate science," Konyndyk
wrote in an opinion piece for IRINnews.org, a news agency for humanitarian aid
Schwartz, president of Refugees International, wrote in the Washington Post on
Monday that Isaacs' social media posts were "bigoted,"
"appalling" and must disqualify him.
than 600 aid agencies that work in the migration field signed a letter to IOM
member states last week which did not mention Isaacs by name but said the new
IOM chief must demonstrate "a record of and commitment to respecting
diversity and condemning xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance."
aid agency officials say their chief concern is that the real aim of the Trump
administration -- which has already withdrawn from the Paris climate treaty,
the U.N. human rights council, the U.N. cultural body UNESCO and U.N.
negotiations on a "global compact" to manage migration -- is to undermine
the IOM's role as a global body engaged in migration.
and Washington can now begin a “more productive conversation” as presidential
and parliamentary elections in Turkey is over, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
said U.S. and Turkey have reached an agreement, Manbij Roadmap, about how their
forces would work together to resolve very complicated issue between different
ethnic groups in the northern Syrian city of Manbij.
They will ultimately be part of political resolution there and an important
part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside
them," Pompeo noted.
plan was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Pompeo.
deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from
Manbij and on stability in the region.
Turkish General Staff said in a statement Sunday that the two countries' forces
conducted patrols separately in the area between the Operation Euphrates Shield
region in northern Syria and Manbij.
first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began June 18.
on Sunday reelected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with more than 52 percent of
the vote, according to preliminary results. Final results will be announced
have existed between Ankara and Washington because of the U.S. support for the
PYD and its military wing the YPG. Differences have also centered around the
U.S. for not taking sufficient legal action against Fetullah Gulen, the
U.S.-based leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). Ankara accuses
the group of being behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
(Reuters) – Indonesia’s counter-terrorism police plan to arrest more than 100
suspected militants in a bid to prevent retaliatory attacks after a radical
cleric linked to Islamic State was sentenced to death, the country’s police
chief said on Thursday.
Abdurrahman, regarded as the ideological leader of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, a
loose grouping of hundreds of Islamic State sympathisers, was convicted last
month for masterminding four deadly attacks in Jakarta and elsewhere in
has been in prison since 2009, but was accused of orchestrating the attacks
from behind bars. No date has been set for Abdurrahman’s execution, which is
likely to be by firing squad, but in the meantime Indonesian security forces
have been put on high alert.
price we have to pay is the possibility of his networks retaliating,” General
Tito Karnavian told Reuters in an interview at the national police
the good news is we have detected most of his networks and cells…More than 100
of them will be arrested. We have to move before they move,” said Karnavian,
who previously headed Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism squad Detachment 88,
known locally as Densus 88.
Southeast Asian nation has faced a surge in homegrown militancy in recent years
and around 30 people were killed in suicide bombings in Surabaya last month,
marking the deadliest militant attack in over a decade in the Muslim-majority
attacks on three churches and a police station in Surabaya were carried out by
families, who took children as young as eight on their mission, marking the
first time such a tactic had been used, according to terrorism experts.
said authorities had been aware of the risk of female suicide bombers, but had
no information that a whole family unit or children would be used to carry out
families behind the attacks had been monitored by authorities for four months
last year, but there had been no suspicious activity involving the children, he
the Surabaya attacks, the police have detained more than 120 suspects and
key suspect, Kholid Abu Bakar, who officials believe was the leader of the
attackers’ Islamic study group, remains at large.
said Bakar and his family had attempted to travel to Syria last year to join
Islamic State but were caught in Turkey and deported back to Indonesia.
said surveillance teams in Indonesia had now been doubled and provincial police
headquarters instructed to set up joint teams involving local-level military,
intelligence, and paramilitary police.
the wake of the attacks, Indonesia toughened up its anti-terrorism laws last
month to allow police to arrest and detain suspected militants for longer
periods, and without having to wait until they acquired weapons or carried out
gives us more room to manoeuvre. It is much, much easier because we don’t need
to watch and wait until they possess weapons,” he said.
expanded authority or firepower may not always be enough to foil attacks,
Karnavian said, calling for deradicalisation programs to be strengthened.
believe Densus 88 is good enough in monitoring people, foiling plans and
investigating attacks….But there is no use in this hard approach if we cannot
change their mindset.”
fail to sway regional Indonesian elections
resounding win by an Indonesian mayor targeted by some hardline Muslims over
the construction of a church highlighted a broader failure by Islamists to
influence regional and local elections in the world's biggest Muslim-majority
Effendi, the mayor of Bekasi, a city of 2.7 million on the fringes of the
capital Jakarta, is on course to be re-elected after winning about 68 percent
of the vote in Wednesday's elections based on unofficial quick counts. Effendi,
a Muslim, faced sustained criticism from hardliners for approving the building
of the Santa Clara church in the staunchly Muslim city after 17 years of
rebuffs by local authorities.
boiled over last year when riot police used tear gas to subdue protesters
attacking the site where the church was being built. The mayor was also
lambasted by prominent clerics and pilloried in social media posts falsely
claiming he planned to allow hundreds more churches. His victory and exit
polling of voters, showed that the religious and ethnic divisions that characterised
last year's race for Jakarta governor were largely absent in elections for 171
city mayors, regents and provincial governors, said pollster Djayadi Hanan.
was an effort to use identity politics, especially Islamism, as an issue in
this election. It didn't work," said Djayadi, executive director of Saiful
Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC).
this year, senior government officials warned of a "black campaign"
to stoke sectarianism in Indonesia’s most populous province, West Java, amid a
spate of mysterious attacks on clerics, mosques and schools. The incidents were
inflamed by a co-ordinated social media campaign depicting Islam as under
attack and blaming the moderate President Joko Widodo and his political allies.
Kamil, a moderate Muslim and U.S.-trained architect perceived as sympathetic to
Widodo, said in a interview ahead of the polls that rivals had accused him of
not being “Islamic enough”. He still prevailed in the contest for West Java
governor according to quick counts, albeit by a slender margin.
common denominator of the unrest in Bekasi and West Java was the involvement of
the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Islamist group that spearheaded the
ouster of former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama last year. Known as
212, the movement led by the FPI mobilised hundreds of thousands on to the
streets of Indonesia's capital amid accusations the ethnic Chinese, Christian
Purnama had insulted Islam. Purnama, previously hugely popular, was defeated
and later jailed.
members participated in the riots in Bekasi, according to media reports.
Journalists revealed in March that FPI cadres concocted a viral video falsely
accusing a vagrant of attacking an Islamic boarding school in West Java.
FPI and 212 were not influential during the election campaign,” said Deka
Anwar, a researcher at the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of
analysis of exit polling by SMRC found more voters cast their ballots on
policies, rather than religion or ethnicity. This favoured incumbents and
candidates with policy achievements in previous posts, Djayadi said.
affiliation appeared to have played a role in North Sumatra, though. SMRC exit
polling suggested Purnama’s former deputy, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, got only 15
per cent of the Muslim vote. Djarot is a Muslim but his running mate was a
cautioned about interpreting the regional elections as a predictor of the
campaign for president in April.
government has denied Israeli claims that it engaged in secret diplomatic talks
with Israel that led to the latter’s decision to lift its entry ban on
Israeli Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that the ban had been lifted
after Indonesia agreed to lift its moratorium on granting visas to Israelis,
the Times of Israel reported.
news outlet quoted an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman saying through his
Twitter account that after “silent” contact between the two countries, “visa
restrictions on Indonesian tourism to Israel were lifted, in parallel to the
lifting of restrictions by Indonesia on Israeli tourists. Good news.”
were no diplomatic talks [between Indonesia and Israel] over visa issues,”
Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said on Thursday.
foreign minister] has asserted that […] there were no secret talks about visas
with Foreign Ministry officials in Jakarta."
announced last month that it would ban Indonesian tourists from entering Israel
in retaliation to Indonesia’s decision to stop granting visas to Israeli
tourists. Indonesia’s move, Israel claims, was in response to the ongoing
violence in Gaza.
ban was supposed to take effect on June 9, but it was later extended to June 26
following protests from the Israeli tourist industry.
confirmed it had denied issuing visas to dozens of Israelis but declined to
disclose the reasons behind the move.
decision to lift the ban came only weeks after a top Indonesian Muslim cleric,
who is also an adviser to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, made a controversial
visit to Jerusalem on the invitation of the American Jewish Committee.
Indonesia will provide Palestine with $2 million in aid for capacity building
programs as part of the country's longstanding commitment to support the Arab
nation's struggle for independence.
Minister Retno Marsudi made the announcement during a ministerial meeting of
the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian
Development (Ceapad) in Bangkok on Wednesday (27/06).
capacity building program will cater to Palestinians' needs in agriculture,
entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, education and communications and
to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this week's Ceapad meeting resulted in a
three-year work plan, which will commence in 2019.
meeting in Bangkok was attended by officials from 11 countries, including
Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Jordan, and five international organizations,
including the World Bank and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
in 2013, the Ceapad is a Japan-initiated forum for Asian countries and
international organizations to coordinate and discuss effective ways to provide
assistance to Palestine.
three-year Ceapad program specifically includes the proposed capacity building
program, which will be in accordance with the needs of Palestinians and the
resources or capacity of participating Ceapad countries," the statement
financial aid from Indonesia will either be channeled through the Ceapad
program, or other relevant programs, it added.
has organized 169 capacity building programs for Palestine, involving almost
2,000 Palestinians. The government said it is currently preparing the provision
of medicines and water desalination in Gaza.
Southeast Asian country also offered what Minister Retno called the "3+1
Formula" for Palestinian independence.
approach includes capacity building for the Palestine government across various
sectors, creating a conducive environment for economic development, and
cooperation on capacity building efforts by Ceapad and other organizations.
addition, Retno said the international community must make a political
commitment. Countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel should not
move their embassies to Jerusalem and must formally recognize Palestine as an
independent Palestine cannot be set up in a short time; it will take a while.
Indonesia's commitment to Palestinian independence will never fade; it will
only expand," Retno was quoted as saying.
added that Indonesia will prioritize the Palestinian issue during its two-year
term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which
will begin in 2019.
the Ceapad meeting, Retno also highlighted key issues hampering the Palestinian
struggle for independence, including weakening commitments, a halt in the peace
process and violence committed by Israeli forces.
met with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki on the sidelines of the
meeting to discuss ways to move the Palestinian-Israeli peace process forward.
says it is pulling its troops out of the Saudi-led military coalition, which
has been relentlessly pounding impoverished Yemen in an imposed war for the
past three years.
Cabinet made the decision (to bring soldiers home) last week. We are waiting
for the preparations carried out by the Armed Forces,” Malaysia’s Defense
Minister Mohamad Sabu told journalists in a select media interview at the
ministry in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
are also waiting for the cooperation from the Foreign Affairs Ministry that
will assist in the move,” he added.
Arabia and some 20 of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco
and Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against
Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s
former president and an staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Houthi
Houthi movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the
country against the invading forces, has been running state affairs in the
absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
military aggression against the impoverished nation was initially consisted of
a bombing campaign but later coupled with a naval blockade and the deployment
of ground forces into Yemen.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured until then. The war and the
accompanying blockade have also caused famine across Yemen.
Saudi-led aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's facilities
and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United
Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food
aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
remains a friend of the countries as well as their neighbors. [However,] we
don’t want to be part of the conflict with Saudi Arabia’s neighboring
countries,” Sabu added.
Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, quoted the defense minister as saying
that his country could be dragged indirectly into the Saudi-led war on Yemen by
dint of its military troops being stationed there by the previous Barisan
the incumbent defense minister, his predecessor, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin
Hussein, had sought to assure Malaysians in March last year that the Southeast
Asian country would not be affected by the Saudi-led war, claiming that the
troops were there for humanitarian purposes.
troops have been in Saudi Arabia since 2016, when the brutal war triggered a
deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen, which has already killed thousands of people.
Mahathir Is In Town to Exchange Power Secrets With Jokowi
express deep respect for 92-year old Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad,
Indonesia’s 57-year-old President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo intended to personally
welcome the former at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport on Thursday.
is four years younger than Mahathir’s eldest child, the dedicated columnist and
is an ASEAN tradition that the new leader of a member state pays an
introductory visit to fellow leaders of the region. Mahathir chose Indonesia as
his first destination. Mahathir recently praised Jokowi’s leadership, his
achivements to make Indonesia more advanced — for the first time according to
Mahathir — than Malaysia.
two leaders are slated to hold bilateral talks and have a working luncheon at
Bogor Palace on Friday. Mahathir and Jokowi will discuss bilateral relations,
especially on economic and international affairs. But this time around, the two
leaders need to sideline formalities.
is likely more interested in hearing insights from his guest on what happened
in Malaysia and how Mahathir made such a shocking comeback. His return to power
is indeed inspiring many Indonesians, especially some elderly politicians who
think they can emulate Mahathir.
has hinted at his reelection bid next year. He may ask Mahathir to share his experience
of uniting a nation, because his political opponents describe him as an enemy
of Islam. Of course the problems of Malaysia and Indonesia are strikingly
different even though Islam is the majority religion in both countries.
also needs to learn about Mahathir’s experience in dealing with ASEAN. The
President should pay more attention to foreign policy affairs, including
relations with neighbors. He can learn much from an experienced politician like
Mahathir must be eager to know about Indonesia’s political landscape, because
he has to prepare his successor. Malaysia needs much younger leaders who are
not part of the old system.
serving as prime minister, Mahathir was known for his ambitious plan to
prioritize Malays in the development of the country. Later, he realized that it
did not work, and the Chinese and Indian minorities demanded equal treatment.
coalition surprisingly defeated former prime minister Najib Razak because
Malaysian voters, including Malays, were angry about the rampant corruption
that implicated Razak and his wife Rosmah.
Najib’s fall from grace in May, Malaysian government officials, including
diplomats and even the mainstream media, defended Najib and accused the foreign
media of using the case for commercial gain.
research on the internet will explain that none of the accusations leveled
against Mr. Najib Razak are true,” Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zahrain
Mohamed Hashim stated.
openly said he would be a transitional leader. It is natural that the next
Malaysian leader will be his former foe and “golden boy”, Anwar Ibrahim, whose
party won the May 9 election. His wife, Wan Azizah, is deputy prime minister, a
position he once held under Mahathir.
70-year-old Anwar will also be a temporary leader, just to restore his dignity
and honor. Malaysia needs a much younger leader with no links to the old,
corrupt political system.
this case, Mahathir can get advice from Jokowi.
will become a nostalgic visit for Mahathir. In November 1994 he attended the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by then-president Soeharto. He
seemed less enthusiastic, not just because he disliked the United States and
Australia, but also because Soeharto sidelined his East Asia Economic Group
(later the East East Asia Economic Caucus) idea. He insisted it would become a
new regional grouping between ASEAN with Japan, China and South Korea.
the Asian financial crisis Mahathir attacked the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund and refused to cooperate with them in overcoming the crisis.
Mahathir took a fixed currency policy by pegging ringgit to the US dollar.
recovered much speedier than Indonesia, but Indonesia insisted it could happen
because Malaysia was much smaller. Mahathir demonstrated his solidarity to
Soeharto who was struggling to restore the economy. People were outraged with
Soeharto’s cronies and children whom they accused of robbing the state coffers.
Soeharto’s 32-year rule collapsed in May 1998.
remained in power until his resignation in 2003 after ruling the country
practically like Soeharto: A dictatorship. Five years before, he jailed his
deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, for sodomy. There was a joke at that time Mahathir fired
and imprisoned Anwar for jealousy.
two-day visit of the new prime minister — new but actfrom old stock — will
atract wide-ranging public attention here for several reasons. For many
Indonesians who experienced life under Soeharto, the medical doctor Mahathir
will likely remember him as a leader who diligently acted as the “champion of
developing countries” against Western countries.
ministers often joked that Mahathir often tried to steal the show on
international stages from Soeharto, but often to no avail. His confrontational
remarks against the industrialized countries often provoked outrageous such
from the US presidents or Australian prime ministers.
Abadi orders immediate executions of ISIS militants on death row
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday ordered the immediate execution of all
convicted ISIS militants on death row, in a swift retaliation for the terrorist
group execution of eight captives.
ordered “the immediate punishment of terrorists condemned to death whose
sentences have passed the decisive stage”, his office said, referring to
convicts whose appeals have been exhausted.
than 300 people, including around 100 foreign women, have been condemned to
death in Iraq and hundreds of others to life imprisonment for membership of
ISIS, a judicial source said in April.
of the convicted women are Turkish or from former Soviet republics, while a
Russian man and a Belgian national are also on death row.
vowed on Thursday to avenge the deaths of the eight ISIS captives, a day after
their bodies were found along a highway north of Baghdad.
security and military forces will take forceful revenge against these terrorist
cells,” he told senior military officials and ministers.
promise that we will kill or arrest those who committed this crime,” he said.
corpses, found at Tel Sharaf in Salaheddin province, were decomposing and had
been strapped with explosive vests, the army said.
included six abductees who had appeared in an ISIS video with badly bruised
faces. ISIS claimed they were Iraqi police officers or members of the Hashed
al-Shaabi paramilitary force.
the video posted on Saturday by the Amaq propaganda outlet of ISIS, the
militants threatened to execute their captives unless Baghdad released Sunni
Muslim women held in its prisons within three days.
Abadi said that autopsies indicated the captives were already dead when the
video was posted.
declared victory over ISIS in December after expelling the jihadists from all
urban centers including second city Mosul in a vast military campaign.
the Iraqi military has kept up operations targeting mostly desert areas along
the porous border with Syria.
sources reported on Thursday that 550 ex-militants in the towns of Southern
Karim, Ayeb, Jadal and al-Rawisat as well as the village of al-Shara'eh in
Northeastern Dara'a surrendered themselves and their weapons to the army on
added that 450 more militants asked for government's amnesty in Northeastern
Dara'a in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of ex-terrorists to 1,000.
the army is still conducting military operations in Southeastern Dara'a from
Syrian army started the second phase of its large-scale anti-terrorism
operation in Southeastern Dara'a after imposing control over the Northeastern
part of the province on Wednesday.
army men kicked off the second phase of their operation in Southeastern Dara'a
by opening heavy fire at terrorists' positions in al-Sawameh region, Qaraz
prison and East of Refugee Camp.
army men intend to advance towards silos to cut off the roads from Eastern
Dara'a to Dara'a al-Balad district and from Tariq al-Saad to Dara'a al-Balad
that will end at the border with Jordan.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units and aircraft pounded
terrorists' movements and positions in Dara'a al-Balad and the small town of
al-Qariyeh Sharqi in Dara'a countryside.
barrage of Russian air strikes on rebel-held areas of southern Syria killed 22
civilians on Thursday, a monitoring group said, most of them in a single
least 35 Russian air strikes hit the town of Al-Mseifra,” the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said.
of them hit a basement where people were taking shelter, killing 17 civilians,
including five children,” the Britain-based monitor said.
Observatory says it determines who carried out particular strikes based on the
type of aircraft and munitions used, the locations and the flight patterns.
hospital in Al-Mseifra had been put out of service by Russian strikes on
Tuesday night, the Observatory said.
five civilians were killed in other rebel-controlled areas of Daraa, the main
province in southern Syria.
is the highest toll since the escalation began on June 19,” said Observatory
head Rami Abdel Rahman.
forces have been ramping up their bombardment of rebel-held areas of the south
since June 19, and allied Russian warplanes carried out their first raids on
the region in a year on June 23.
July last year, Russia, the United States and Jordan had agreed on a
de-escalation zone for rebel-controlled parts of the south.
the Hague, UAE demands that Qatar must stop supporting terror
United Arab Emirates demanded that Qatar stops supporting terrorists and terror
groups, rejecting claims in front of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
in the Hague, that it violated the rights of the Qatari people.
United Arab Emirates ambassador to Holland Saeed al-Nouwais said in front of
the international court that his country has repeatedly asked Qatar to stop
this behavior, adding that though Doha pledged to stop supporting terror more
than once, it failed to meet its
said the United Arab Emirates cut all ties with Qatar because of Doha’s support
of terror and for meddling in neighboring countries’ affairs and for its
propaganda of hate.
troops have regained control of al-Harak town in Dara’a Province from Takfiri
terrorists as the government widens a major offensive against foreign-backed
militants in the troubled southwest.
military media unit of Lebanon's Hezbollah reported the recapture on Thursday.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that
government forces had advanced into the
town's center but fierce fighting continued.
Britain-based monitoring group, which is sympathetic to militants, also said
Syrian aircraft bombed Takfiri hideouts in Busra al-Sham, Nawa, Rakham and
other towns in the province.
to the Syrian state television, government forces entered two villages further
northeast. It also said hundred of militants in the Laja area, which the army
seized earlier this week, handed themselves in with their weapons to “settle
their affairs” with the government.
official news agency SANA also said units of the army restored control over the
strategic Sukar hill and cemented their positions in the eastern countryside of
said the terrorists’ supply routes were cut off after new advances in the area
between Um Walad and Jbeibib villages of the region.
southwest is strategically sensitive because of its proximity to the frontiers
with both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
recapture of Dara’a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan
Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants for years.
territory's return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported
collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv's plans
to annex the Golan Heights.
says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist
groups operating inside the Arab country, while Tel Aviv carries out sporadic
strikes against Syrian government forces.
police forces have launched raids across the country, killing and arresting
suspected militants linked to the Daesh Takfiri organization hailing from Iraq
members of the Hasam outfit have been killed and two others arrested, Egypt’s
interior ministry said on Thursday, without specifying when the raids and
arrests took place.
one police raid, six militants were killed and a weapons cache was unearthed in
Beheira province northwest of Cairo, the ministry said.
said a suspect was arrested in a residential apartment in Alexandria where arms
and explosives were also seized.
shootout in Assiut province south of Cairo left four other suspects dead, the
ministry said. A Hasam member who had allegedly acquired the car used in a
March 24 car bombing in the Alexandria in northern Egypt was also arrested.
suspected militants were allegedly all involved in the bombing on the eve of
elections targeting a security chief for Alexandria that killed two policemen.
accuse Hasam of being an armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was banned
after the army ousted Egypt's democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi in
2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule.
was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood which denies any involvement with militant
than seven years ago, an uprising led to the ouster of long-time dictator Hosni
Mubarak from power. Since then, Egypt is suffering from a tattered economy and
militants affiliated with Daesh.
BEIRUT - A barrage of Russian strikes on rebel-held
towns in southern Syria killed 22 civilians on Thursday, the bloodiest day yet
of the government’s latest offensive in the strategic region.
Russia’s help, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army has battered the south
for more than a week with air strikes, rocket fire and crude barrel bombs.
bombardment has forced more than 45,000 people to flee in search of safety,
according to the United Nations, while others huddle in their basements to wait
out the raids.
Thursday, dozens of air strikes identified as Russian killed 22 civilians, a
monitor said, mostly in the town of Al-Mseifra. “One of them hit a basement
where people were taking shelter, killing 17 civilians, including five
children,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
air raids struck near the hospital in Al-Mseifra on Tuesday night, causing
damage that forced medics to close it down, the Observatory said.
monitor determines who carried out strikes based on the type of aircraft and
munitions used, locations and flight patterns.
five civilians were killed in other rebel-controlled areas of Daraa, the main
province in southern Syria. “This is the highest toll since the escalation
began on June 19,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman, adding that it
brought the overall civilian toll since then to 93.
doctor in Daraa’s western countryside said his staff were preparing for an
influx of critically wounded from Al-Mseifra.
there are no medical services in the eastern countryside and because of the
security situation, most of the wounded will be brought to us in the west,”
said Baha Mahameed, who manages the Union of Medical Care and Relief
Organizations (UOSSM)’s operations in the south.
said one of its medical staff was killed late Wednesday in an air strike in
Daraa province, the third killed there in less than a week.
government offensive has already forced five hospitals to close in the past
week, including three in the past 48 hours, the Observatory said.
has become infamous for attacks on health workers, with more facilities hit so
far this year than in all of 2017. Rebels hold a horseshoe-shaped band of
territory in the south spanning most of Daraa and Quneitra province to west.
They also control southern districts of the city of Daraa, known as the cradle
of Syria’s seven-year uprising.
rest is held by government forces, who also control most of Sweida province to
an internationally brokered ceasefire in place since 2017, the regime began
ramping up bombardment of rebel-held towns in Daraa on June 19. Russian
warplanes began raids on Saturday and on Tuesday the two air forces launched
bombing operations against rebel-held neighbourhoods of the provincial capital.
At the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Britain, France and the United States
condemned Russia’s role in the offensive.
ambassador Francois Delattre called on “everyone, starting with Russia, to
uphold their commitments so that this offensive ceases immediately”.
a divide-and-conquer strategy that served them well across Syria, troops have
already lopped off the northeastern arm of the rebel horseshoe.
strikes were focused on Daraa’s east, with White Helmets rescuers saying dozens
of raids hit the towns of Busra al-Sham and Herak and pushed waves of people to
Observatory said raids were increasingly targeting urban areas. “The shelling
is aimed at cutting off all means of life and to push people out en masse,”
said analyst Ahmad Abazeid who hails from Daraa.
regime and Russians are focusing on areas packed with residents and refugees,
to produce the highest number of victims and push these areas to surrender or
reconcile,” he said.
neighbourhoods of the provincial capital were practically drained of residents.
the residents and civilians left. There are no civilians here,” said Ahmad Abu
Hazem, 26, a rebel fighter inside the city.
of the 45,000-plus people who already fled have headed to the sealed Jordanian
in Nawa, a rebel-held town heavily hit in strikes on Thursday, issued a
statement asking Jordan to take in refugees. But Amman has said the border will
remain closed. The kingdom already hosts more than 650,000 registered Syrian
refugees and estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million.
sources in Idlib reported that over 500 civilians poured to the streets in
Idlib city in Northern Syria on Thursday to protest at the terrorist groups'
acts and severe insecurities in the region.
sources reported that a field commander of Faylaq al-Sham terrorist group,
affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), named Abdollah Batal, was killed
after a bomb was detonated in his car between the villages of Arab Saeed and
Mourin in Western Idlib.
also said that heavy clashes have erupted between unknown assailants and
security forces affiliated to Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in the Central hospital of Idlib.
a bomb went off in the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib. There has been no
report on the number of casualties and no one has claimed responsibility for
a relevant development on Tuesday, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham was
killed by unidentified attackers in Idlib province amid intensified infighting
among rival militants in the region.
assailants opened fire at the vehicle of Abu Ja'afar al-Janoubi, a notorious
Tahrir al-Sham commander, in the town of Saraqib, killing him.
the meantime, Tahrir al-Sham militants engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL
terrorists in the town of Kafr Nubl in Southern Idlib, inflicting several
casualties on both sides.
army units engaged in heavy clashes with the militants on Thursday morning
after the latter attacked their positions in regions near the village of Joba
in Eastern Quneitra through Joba-Um Batenah road.
army's artillery and missile units also targeted the terrorists' positions in
the village of Um Batenah in Quneitra with precise attacks, killing a number of
sources also reported that the army forces warded off the terrorists'
offensives after killing a large number of them and destroying their weapons
and military equipment.
the Syrian army troops forced other militants to flee to their positions in the
village of al-Hamidiyeh in Queitra which is under occupation of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front).
a relevant development last Thursday, the Syrian army repulsed attacks by
Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group on several military points in Northern Queitra.
Syrian army forces engaged in fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham militants who
had attacked a number of military bases in the town of al-Ba'ath in Northern
Quneitra from the village of al-Hamidiyeh on Thursday.
army units killed and wounded a large number of militants during the clashes,
destroying their weapons and military equipment.
terrorists fled towards al-Hamidiyeh and adjacent areas after the heavy defeat.
army troops also pounded the terrorists' moves in the road between the two
towns of Masharah and Naba'a al-Sakhar in Quneitra, killing and wounding a
number of militants.
sources said on Thursday that residents of the town of al-Shahil have held
protest rallies against the SDF and blocked the roads in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
added that the SDF then detained nearly 70 local residents of the region,
noting that several other people were also arrested in the town of Zabiyan and
the village of al-Hawayej in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
a number of SDF forces have been killed and wounded during repeated explosions
and assassination attempts by unknown assailants in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
SDF forwarded more gunmen and military hardware to Eastern Syria on Monday as
attacks on the SDF is on rise in Deir Ezzur province.
SDF gunman was killed after unknown assailants opened fire at the US-backed
militia near Konico Gas Company in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
the meantime, several SDF militias were killed or wounded in an attack by
unidentified raiders near al-Amr oilfield in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
a local source pointed to the assassination of several SDF members in Badiyeh
(desert) of the town of Khusham in Eastern Deir Ezzur, adding that
assassinations have been increasing in the region after recent tensions between
civilians and the SDF in the regions held by US-backed militias.
revealed to Al Arabiya news channel that a 12-hour ceasefire in Daraa province
in southern Syria has been reached between Russia and some armed factions,
starting at midnight local time.
the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that air strikes on
rebel-held areas of Daraa province led to the killings of 46 civilians, among
intensifying its military actions in southern Syria supported by Russia, the
Syrian regime’s military jets bombarded in the last few days many villages in the
human rights observatory said that the Syrian regime’s forces and allied
militias have succeeded in advancing towards eastern Maliha and southern Maliha
amid intense clashes in an attempt by the rebels to re-take the area.
news agency also reported that the military central operation room in southern
Syria warded off intrusion attempts by Bashar Assad’s forces and allied
Hezbollah militias towards a military air defense base in western Daraa.
the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura expressed his concerns towards the Syrian
regime’s attack on Daraa, warning of a repeated scenario similar to what
happened in eastern Ghouta and Aleppo.
ties with al-Qaeda, extremist Salafist groups uncovered
documents from Abbottabad, the Pakistani city where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden was hiding out, uncovered details of deep ties between Iran’s Khomeini
regime and several armed “Salafists” groups.
US Central Intelligence Agency had seized documents in 2011 from Abbottabad
that revealed ties between al-Qaeda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“Salafist” groups identified in the newly-exposed document include the Armed
Islamic Group of Algeria, which began its operations in 1992, and the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group, which started its operations in 1982 and reformed again
in 1989 before joining al-Qaeda in 2007.
the groups are the Egyptian radical Islamist group, the al-Takfir wa al-Hijra,
Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Khomeini regime has been working with members of “Salafist” groups since the
Islamic Jihad group assassinated Anwar Sadat in October 6 of 1981.
assassination and the success of the Iranian Revolution launched bilateral
alliances between several political Islamist groups, with Lebanon’s Hezbollah
and its Sunni counterparts supporting them.
it an “Islamic Awakening” or “Islamic Revolution,” the allied groups devised a
“pragmatic” political goal to overthrow the leaders of the Arab nations
was no mention of who wrote the document, which Al Arabiya reviewed, but a
highly-ranked al-Qaeda member is said to be responsible for the file.
unidentified leader said the document was meant to clarify al-Qaeda’s
relationship with Tehran following an influx of information in the media that
had left their supporters confused. It also outlined how al-Qaeda leaders first
developed their political strategy and when the Khomeini regime began working
with other extremist Salafist “jihadi” groups.
the time of al-Qaeda’s formation and its early years, which the document
described as the “meagre years,” the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria faced
strong opposition, followed by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in 1995-1997.
writer added, “Islamic jihadists grew more frustrated as more political groups
faced opposition over the years. One of those instances was when the Sudanese
government expelled members of the Muslim brotherhood, among them Sheikh Osama
and his party, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and several others.”
to the document, “Several groups traveled to other countries to find shelter
for their leaders and members. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood intended to
settle in Iran, where they could live freely and safely.”
advantage of their ongoing strife with Egypt, Iran agreed to shelter the
Brotherhood. But Iran’s support of the Brotherhood soon drove other Salafi
extremist groups, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, to try to form
alliances with the country.
to the document, “Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq” or Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, leader of
the Libyan Fighter Group and son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, pushed to
form an agreement with Iran.
the document continued, that the Sharia Council, headed by Sheikh Abu Mundhir
and Sheikh Abu Yahya, two of the most high-ranking jihadi officials with strong
ties to al-Qaeda, and others insisted that the state of the group was not
critical enough for them to join forces with Iran.
the Sharia Council’s refusal to form ties with Iran did not stop the Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group leaders from sending several members to Tehran, where they
joined forces with other jihadists from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
deep ties with Iran
the withdrawal of Taliban leader Mohammed Omar, “Mullah Omar,” the seizing of
Kandahar, and the American strikes that followed 9/11, al-Qaeda was forced to
withdraw into the Afghan cities of Khost and Gardez.
document also revealed that Hezbollah sent a representative to al-Qaeda leaders
with advice to contact him and offered the group shelter.
writer added, that “Abu Musab al-Suri,” a Syrian al-Qaeda member, also
suggested he contact some of the old dignitaries that he knew from Saddam
Hussein’s regime. The problem, the writer continued, was the ever-growing
number of members that needed to be protected.
first stage in Tehran
al-Qaeda leader continued to detail how several groups began relocating to Iran
after the fall of the “Islamic Emirate”
in Afghanistan. “Most of the Jihadists went to Pakistan or settled in
Tehran. I was one of the people who went to Waziristan and then to Karachi,
where we stayed for about three months,” he wrote.
added: “We received orders from the Brotherhood to go to Tehran, and leaders
from all the other groups, whether it was al-Qaeda or the Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group, passed on the same orders. So a large number of members began
traveling to Tehran, some of them received visas to enter the country while
some went in without visas at all.”
which included junior officials from al-Qaeda were among the first to be
stationed in Iran. They were also joined by other leaders from the Egyptian
Brotherhood, Egyptian jihadists, and other jihadi groups from the Levant, like
to the document, Abu Hafs was put in charge of forming a deal with Iran to
allow the “brothers” to come to the country for refuge. While the influx of
Salafist jihadists was welcomed with open arms, they were asked to abide by a
certain number of rules.
to the document, the pre-arranged deal meant “the Brotherhood could not use
mobile phones nor make any phone calls, because the American security services
were tracking the calls. While they could rent houses, they were ordered to
refrain from suspicious activities.”
Iran, al-Qaeda members and other Salafists were considered “heroes” who were
going to take down America, wrote the operative. According to the document,
they were respected and celebrated.
second stage in Tehran
operatives failed to keep up their end of the bargain, Iran set up residential
complexes to prevent any information from leaking to the American authorities.
to the document, Abu Hafs could not manage all the members, who “behaved
erratically, bought mobile phones and cars, they went around Tehran whenever
they pleased, and they even spoke to members in Chechnya on the phone,” the
a result, Abu Hafs and Iran agreed that members from the Gulf, Syria, and other
countries, were to be sent back to their countries. However, the document
explains, when many members did not follow the rules of their agreement, and
Iran soon turned on the very people who they promised to protect.
forces began raids to capture al-Qaeda members, many of whom the file described
as “ordinary members of al-Qaeda” as well as a few prominent members. Those who
managed to escape went to the Iranian city of Zahedan.
of extremist groups were separated throughout Iran, and began renting out homes
all over the country with the help of “trusted Sunni brothers” who rushed to
their aid. According to the document, Iranian authorities helped members who
had visas, and those who did not were shown where they could acquire the
to the uncovered document, officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
treated captured members with the “utmost respect,” and even offered apologies
to the detainees. The guards disclosed that they were under “a lot of pressure”
and were ordered to capture the brothers for their own protection.
al-Qaeda leader revealed that detainees were “investigated” and only asked to
divulge their names, age, and general information about themselves. The
prisoners were “offered food, treated well, and some members were even put on
house arrest in hotel rooms.”
between Iran and the Salafist jihadi groups have not come to an end, and
extremists set up ground in multiple Arab and Islamic countries.
two of this article will outline Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s leadership in Iraq,
al-Qaeda operations in Saudi Arabia, and details of Tehran’s additions to
“Sunni” militant groups.
Houthi leader killed, while 70 militias killed in fighting with Yemeni Army
Houthi militias in Yemen have announced the death of a senior leader among its
ranks, without giving any further details.
so-called political bureau of the Houthis announced in an obituary that its
leader Abdul Nasser al-Junaidi was killed. Junaidi was a member in the delegation in Kuwait
negotiations back in 2016.
the militia did not specify how and when he was killed, sources said that he
may have been killed in an air strike by the Arab coalition and which targeted
a meeting for senior Houthi leaders at the presidency office in Sanaa early
another military development, around 70 Houthis have been killed recently in
confrontations with the Yemeni legitimate forces, the popular resistance units
and airstrikes backed by the coalition at fronts in al-Bayda, west coast, Taiz
and north of Lahij, amid a field advancement by the legitimate forces.
Gen. Abdul Rab al-Subhi, commander of the 117th Infantry Brigade, said: “At
least 25 militia members were killed and others wounded during battles in the
eastern front of al-Bayda province.”
added that more than “30 militia members were killed in the West Coast Front by
coalition air strikes targeting gatherings of the Houthi militias in the
eastern districts of al-Tahita, a -Duraiham and Zubaid.”
the same time, fierce fighting continues in the north of Lahij province, where
the national Yemeni army forces advanced towards al-Raheda area, southeast of
Taiz, after regaining control of sites and highlands in the areas of Qubaytah
states’ intel heads, Mossad chief hold secret meeting: Report
chiefs of Israel and regional Arab countries have reportedly attended a secret
summit hosted by the US president's senior advisor as Washington moves to
conclude a controversial "peace" plan on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict without the consent of the Palestinian side.
news outlet Intelligence Online reported Thursday that the intelligence heads
of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia as well as Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, took part
in the clandestine conference initiated by US President Donald Trump’s senior
adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and US envoy to the Middle East, Jason
Greenblatt, who were on a regional tour earlier this month.
report said Palestinian intelligence chief, Majed Faraj, also joined the
meeting. However, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, the
Palestinian Authority (PA) has denied having sent its representative to the
Online claimed the US views Faraj as an option to replace Palestinian
Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas.
report did not say where or when the summit took place, but Israel's Arutz
Sheva radio station said it had been held "ten days ago."
had reportedly met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo two months ago for a
conversation that dealt mainly with the situation of the Palestinian Authority
on the day after Abbas leaves office.
and Jordan are the only two Arab countries with official relations with Israel.
Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel and has no formal ties with
the regime, but under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh has stepped up
its public overtures towards Israel, which are viewed as an attempt to prepare
public opinion at home and elsewhere for potential normal relations with
Saudi regime has long been seeking to depict itself as an advocate of the
Palestinian cause, but reports over the past months suggest that the kingdom is
helping the US behind the scenes to impose the hugely pro-Israel “peace” plan
Monday, Israel's Hayom daily reported that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates, Egypt and Jordan had given the green light to the contentious US plan
on the Palestine issue, which is said to have been devised based on Israeli
interests at the cost of Palestinian rights.
US is pushing to conclude the proposal despite the Palestinian Authority's
rejection of its mediation role in the conflict with Israel.
US-Palestine ties deteriorated last December, when Washington recognized Jerusalem
al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and announced plans to transfer the embassy
from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community
views the city’s eastern sector as an occupied territory and Palestinians
consider it as the capital of their future state.
contentious move led Abbas to formally declare that Palestinians would no
longer accept the US as a mediator to resolve the conflict, because Washington
was “completely biased” towards Tel Aviv.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently described Israel's relations with
the Arab world to be at their “best ever.”
June 22, Israel's Maariv newspaper reported that Saudi crown prince and
Netanyahu had held secret meetings in Amman.
The groups from Kerala that have gone to Yemen for religious studies are
‘nonviolent radicals’ who are against any form of violence, it is learnt.
who study Yemeni Salafism said that it was an error to equate Dammaj Salafis
(Dammaj is a city in Yemen) with the terror outfit Islamic State (IS), though
their views on certain issues are dangerously close to that of the IS.
two families from Kasaragod who were missing since June 15 are believed to have
landed in Hadramout in Yemen and are pursuing course on Hadees under Sheikh Abu
the early 2000, a section among the Muslims in Kerala started showing keen
interest in Darul Hadees (Hadees study centres) in Dammaj established Salafi
scholar Sheikh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi in 1980. The Dammaj Salafism is
characterised by dislike for organizational set up and an intense yearning to
keep a distance from kaffirs (non-believers) .Following the Dammaj Salafis, a
group emerged in Kerala led by Salafi preacher Subair Mankada, who set up a
commune in Athikkad near Nilambur. Internal strife led to the final disbanding
of the commune.
groups of Yemeni Salafis exist even now who look towards Yemen as the fountain
head of knowledge, though the city of Dammaj was destroyed in the attack by the
Houthi rebels. Hadramout has emerged as the new destination of Malayalis.
Salafism is now a fragmented phenomenon under different sheikhs, but most of
them share some common traits. A Yemeni Salafi is taught to reject democracy,
pluralism and secularism and are told that kaffirs are to be hated for their
beliefs. And these are, incidentally, part of the ideology of the IS too.
major point that distinguishes the Yemeni Salafis from the IS the issue of
Jihad. The Dammajis firmly believe that to rebel against a ruler is against the
tenets of Islam as it would invite anarchy in the country. The IS, on the other
hand, has declared an open Jihad against kaffirs.
non-violent Yemeni Salafis are against the IS, but there is a chance of them
straying to extremism,” said Sufyan Abdul Sathar, who studied about Yemen
ideology is not suited to a pluralistic society. They go to Yemen to seek
knowledge because they believe that there are no scholars in India. Most of
them wanted live in true Islamic environment,” he said.
Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali
Khoshroo has called for the creation of enhanced intelligence sharing
mechanisms among nations as a necessary move that can help halt the spread of
terrorist activities across the world.
a Friday address to a subsidiary panel of the UN High-Level Conference on
Counter-Terrorism in New York, Khoshroo said UN member states needed more
sophisticated initiatives to coordinate their joint fight against terrorism.
is essential that the member states strengthen their cooperation at the
international, regional, sub-regional and bilateral levels including through
enhanced operational and timely information sharing,” said Khoshroo.
Iranian envoy said such cooperation could boost efforts by governments to
prevent the entry of terrorists and enhance security at borders, stressing that
it could also prevent the terrorists from using money laundering schemes
said Iran enjoyed strong working relations with Interpol in the area of
exchanging information specifically over the movements of terrorists, adding
that this intelligence sharing had already led to “intensified practical
arrangements” to ensure security and safety in civil aviation, at borders and
in the banking system.
senior Iranian diplomat further highlighted Iran’s efforts in the area of
fighting terrorism, citing a national strategy adopted by the Supreme National
Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2013 as a clear example of
said all countries were in urgent need of cooperating on the issue of
top diplomat says the US is squandering the resources of its own nation to push
ahead with its policy of adventurism abroad and support "terror-sponsoring
regimes," stressing that the American people have had enough of
"corruption" and "injustice" at home.
Javad Zarif posted a press statement on his Twitter page on Thursday to hit
back at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his latest interventionist
comments about recent protests against economic issues in Tehran.
the statement, Zarif mimicked Pompeo, who sought on Wednesday to take advantage
of guild-related protests in Tehran and denounce the Iranian establishment's
policies -- a usual practice of the Washington administration.
attention to the negative impacts of Washington's harmful foreign agenda on the
lives of American people, Zarif said, "The US government is squandering
its citizens' resources, whether its adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan, its
blind support for Israel and terror-sponsoring regimes, or its wasteful
expansion of its nuclear arsenal: it will only add to the suffering of the
people of America."
also touched on the latest wave of protests across the US over the past days
against President Donald Trump’s "zero tolerance" immigration policy,
under which more than 2,000 migrant children who illegally crossed into the US
with adult relatives were separated from them.
of those children ended up in concrete-floored cages in detention facilities or
were placed with foster families.
Iranian foreign minister further condemned the US government's "futile
tactics of suppression, imprisonment of protesters, separation of immigrant
families and caging of their babies, and the denial of Americans'
American people, he added, want their leaders "to share the country's
wealth and respond to their legitimate
needs," said his Twitter statement.
further emphasized, "The people of the United States are tired of
corruption, injustice and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears
this week, a group of businesspeople in Tehran Grand Bazaar shut down their
businesses in protest at the economic performance of the administration as well
as foreign exchange problems -- which are mainly rooted in Washington's hostile
policies toward Iran, particularly the re-imposition of economic sanctions on
Iran after leaving the 2015 nuclear deal.
energy minister says the United States is not planning to ease nuclear
non-proliferation limits on Saudi Arabia in case it strikes a nuclear power
deal with the Arab kingdom.
a Reuters interview published Wednesday Yuval Steinitz said Israel vehemently
opposes any attempt by Saudi Arabia to clinch nuclear power deals with the US
that relax the so-called "gold standard."
standard bans Riyadh from enriching uranium or reprocessing spent nuclear fuel
to extract plutonium.
you allow one country to enrich uranium or reprocess fuel, it will be extremely
difficult to tell other countries in this vicinity or elsewhere in the world
not to do so," Steinitz said, after discussing the matter with US
officials in Washington.
relaxing the limits "you deteriorate the non-proliferation effort, so I am
confident the Americans would listen to our concern," he added.
US and Saudi Arabia had discussed possible cooperation on nuclear energy under
former US President Barack Obama, but those talks were frozen after the Saudis
refused to accept the “gold standard.”
US President Donald Trump, who has been willing to drop that requirement, has
already authorized his Energy Secretary Rick Perry to work with Saudi Arabia on
a civilian nuclear agreement.
who was in the US capital for the World Gas Conference, noted that Israel would
support a Saudi deal for nuclear power only if the kingdom adhered to the gold
standard protections and purchased uranium from the US.
development comes as the Israeli regime is the sole possessor of nuclear
weapons in the Middle East. Ironically, the regime has been accused by its own
nuclear experts of selling Saudi Arabia information that would allow the
kingdom to develop nuclear weapons.
a lack of formal diplomatic relations, Israel and Saudi Arabia have become
de-facto allies against Iran.
and Israeli officials were delighted when Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran
nuclear deal on May 8. The kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir even said they were ready to pursue making
nuclear weapons in the wake of Washington's withdrawal from the agreement.
Palestinian teenager has been killed after being hit by Israeli tank fire at a
fence along the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories, Gaza's Health Ministry
to the ministry, Abdel Fattah Abu Azoum, 17, was hit in the head earlier on
Thursday near Rafah in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave.
Tel Aviv regime's army has confirmed the killing, claiming that he and a
companion were seeking to breach the fence.
medics said the other escaped with minor injuries.
along the Gaza fence since March 30 have led to clashes with Israeli forces in
which dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and hundreds of others
May 14, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who had gathered near the
Gaza fence for the climax of a six-week demonstration coinciding with the
inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds. Over 60 Palestinians were
shot dead and over 2,700 wounded by Israeli snipers who had been positioned
along the fence.
year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to
commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible Israeli
eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.
least 135 Palestinians, including 14 children, have been killed by Israeli
forces during the Return rallies at the fence separating Gaza from the
Israeli-occupied territories. Over 15,000 Palestinians also sustained injuries.
death toll has drawn international criticism, but the United States which has
angered Muslims with its embassy move, has supported Israel.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said children in the besieged Gaza
Strip are the main victims of the Israeli atrocities, where some 1.8 million
people are living under a crippling blockade.
has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
The United Nations Secretary-General for Political Affairs confirmed that the
technical assessments conducted by the UN on the missile fragments fired at
Saudi Arabia were Iranian manufactured, the UAE’s press agency WAM reported on
Marie DiCarlo said that the five missile fragments that were found in the areas
of Yanbu and Riyadh in July 2017 were similar to the Iranian missile type
“Qiam-1,” with the words “Made in Iran” written on some of the components of
Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted and destroyed several ballistic
missiles launched by Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen over the past year.
her testimony before a UN Security Council session on Wednesday evening,
DiCarlo revealed UN tests on other weapons seized on a boat intercepted at sea
by the UAE which contained Iranian explosives.
target Taliban gathering in Faryab province
Taliban militants suffered casualties during the airstrikes targeting a
gathering of the militants in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the airstrikes
were carried out in the vicinity of Khwaja Sabs Posh district.
by the Shaheen Corps stated that a large number of Taliban militants had
gathered in Khwaja Qashri area, apparently planning attacks.
statement further added that the Afghan forces carried out at least five
airstrikes targeting the gathering which left at least 15 militants dead.
airstrikes were carried out at around 1:30 pm local time and as a result at
least eight militants also sustained injuries, the Shaheen Corps added.
least two vehicles and three motorycles belonging to Taliban militants were
also destroyed during the airstrikes, Shaheen Corps said.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
latest airstrikes in Faryab have been carried out as the government is
observing a ceasefire but the Afghan officials had earlier said any aggression
by the militants would be responded accordingly.
blast rips through the gathering of youths in Logar province
deadly blast ripped through a gathering of youths supporting peace process in
central Maidan Wardak province of Afghanistan.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast said the incident
has taken place in the vicinity of Charkh district.
statement by the Thunder Corps stated that a number of youths had gathered in
Ismail Khel village in support of peace process when an explosion took place
statement further added that the blast has left at least eight people dead
while at least four others were wounded.
woman and child were among those killed, the Thunder Corps said, adding that
the Afghan armed forces strongly condemn the attack on ordinary and innocent
civilians, calling it a move against the humanity and Islamic values.
is among the relatively calm provinces in Central parts of Afghanistan where
fewer security related incidents have taken place since the fall of the Taliban
Bangladesh’s government and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have
jointly launched an identity verification process for Rohingya refugees living
in camps in Cox’s Bazar.
process is expected to last six months and use biometric data, including iris
scans and fingerprints, to confirm people’s identities, said the UNHCR.
exercise is a major step forward to establish the legal identity of Rohingya
refugees from Myanmar,” said Kevin Allen, head of operations for the UNHCR in
makes clear that the Rohingya exist, that their rights must be respected, and
that we are committed to laying the foundations for solutions.”
refugees older than 12 years will get ID cards after their identities are
verified, said Bangladeshi officials.
150 UN and Bangladeshi government field workers are engaged in the verification
use this database for better planning of aid management, and it’ll help aid
agencies and Bangladesh’s government,” Refugee, Relief and Repatriation
Commissioner (RRRC) Mohammad Abul Kalam told Arab News.
help in avoiding service duplication, and ensure that every registered family
and all verified people receive necessary aid.”
November 2017, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a deal to start repatriating
Rohingya refugees by Jan. 22, but Myanmar officials made identity verification
this UN database, Myanmar’s government won’t get the chance to delay
repatriation in the name of verification,” said Rashid Khan, a refugee in
than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees live in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar,
is an important milestone in contributing to securing the identity of persons
who have fled from Myanmar and are now being generously hosted in Bangladesh,”
the UNHCR said.
When Avtar Singh Khalsa tried to fill up the only slot for a non-Muslim
minority in the last round of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan years back
there was an outcry from many Muslim candidates.
seat was abolished by a majority vote of the lawmakers until the current
government, in a decree, ordered its return for the shrinking Hindu and Sikh
community who lived in Afghanistan long before the arrival of Islam, and
dominated the country’s economy and trade.
a large number of incumbent MPs under fire for enriching themselves rather than
addressing the needs and grievances of supporters, this time Khalsa has not
only received the backing of Hindu and Sikh minority, but also the support of
Muslims he does not know.
I succeed, my first job will be to try to help the widows and the impoverished
people from any part of the country. I will try to work for the unity of all
Afghans who live under the flag of Islam here,” Khalsa told Arab News in an
interview in his office in Kabul’s main joint temple.
has created us all. We are like a garden: there are pomegranate trees, apricot,
peach…trees, God has created us like these trees, He could have created us all
Muslims, Hindus,” he said speaking of religion and tribes as more of an
identity than a societal status.
country is like a mother and a mother wants her elder child to be the servant
of all of her children, he added. “I will serve all, my focus will not be the
Sikhs and Hindus (alone),” he said.
53-year-old has been the chief custodian of Hindu and Sikh temples, as well as
their leader for years.
second priority will be to get the government to allocate plots for Hindus and
Sikhs to build clinics, hospitals and small businesses to create jobs.
projects will be funded by rich Afghan Hindus and Sikhs who — like millions of
other Afghans — have been living overseas as refugees for decades, he said.
are fed up living abroad and are proud to be called Afghans. Even in India (the
birthplace of Hindusism) they are called Afghans. They desperately want to
come, but need assurances and means to invest and work,” he said.
a dark blue turban and with the long beard characteristic of many Sikhs, Khalsa
said that after more than four decades of war and foreign interventions,
Afghans need unity more than anything else.
proudly recalled serving as an officer in the Soviet-backed communist
government of Afghanistan and how his Muslim neighbors took care of his family
members who were wounded and killed in a rocket attack on a fateful day in
southeastern Paktia province.
lost eight family members of mine that day while some were wounded. But the
help and care I got from my neighbors then was unique and even my fellow Sikhs
would not have been more helpful than my Muslim neighbors,” he said.
Khalsa, as for many Sikhs and Hindus, the Moscow-backed government led by the
late president Mohammad Najibullah, was a champion of their rights and freedom.
started to flee Afghanistan during the civil war that erupted in the 1990s,
when there were around 200,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan compared to
around just a few thousand in recent years.
warring factions fought over Kabul, razing neighborhoods in deadly rocket
barrages, the two communities became targets, partly because of their religion,
but also because they did not have a militia of their own for protection.
escaped when armed men stormed their temples in various parts of the country,
and tore their religious book to avenge the destruction of a mosque by Hindu
fanatics in India.
complaining of extortion, intimidation, kidnappings, theft and even rape, those
with the means, fled to India where they live as aliens requiring visas, like
has deep nostalgia for the Taliban government who, like rest of his fellow
community men, view the Islamists as helping their communities to regain their
usurped properties, enforce rule of law and security.
days and nights, we were not locking our house doors, no one dared to enter or
steal our house. The Taliban did not harass or suppress us,” he said.
complained that corruption and injustice have been on the rise both in the
current government and the administration that took over when the US ousted the
Taliban in 2001.
laments how billions of dollars in foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban
was wasted and squandered both by donors and the powerful Afghans.
many of his countrymen, he believes that the US is protecting its vested
interests in Afghanistan, so wants to manage a controlled chaos in the country.
suspect in the June 11 murder of a secular publisher was killed in a “crossfire”
incident in Dhaka on Thursday, four days after being taken into custody, police
Rahman was arrested Sunday as a suspect in the killing of writer and publisher
Shahzahan Bachchu, according to Mohammad Zayedul Alam, the police superintendent
of Munshiganj district.
Thursday, Rahman was accompanying security forces who were preparing to raid a
suspected militant hideout when militants opened fire, prompting authorities to
fire back, Alam said.
collaborators attacked us and tried to snatch him from us. Then police also
opened fire,” Alam told BenarNews. “During the gunfight between police and
militants, Abdur Rahman was shot dead.”
officers were injured in the gunfight, district intelligence officer Nazrul
Islam told reporters.
described Rahman as the Dhaka regional military commander of local militant
group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Rahman had confessed to shooting
Bachchu, he said.
57, was at a pharmacy in his village in Munshiganj when four suspects on two
motorcycles gunned him down 17 days ago, police said.
said the suspects set off Molotov cocktails before shooting Bachchu, a former
secretary general of the Munshiganj branch of the Communist Party of
Bangladesh. The gunmen shot Bachchu after dragging him out of the pharmacy, a
witness told BenarNews at the time.
linked JMB to Bachchu’s killing after Rahman and his 28-year-old wife were
arrested on Sunday following a raid on a militant hideout in Gazipur district,
near the capital Dhaka, police told BenarNews.
pro-Islamic State JMB claimed responsibility for synchronized nationwide bomb
attacks in August 2005, in which the group set off almost 600 bombs within 30
minutes across the country. The bombs, mostly detonators or without explosive
charges, killed two people, forcing the government to admit the presence of
militants in Bangladesh.
government shattered JMB’s organizational network in 2007 by executing its
founder, Shaikh Abdur Rahman, and his military wing chief, Suddiqul Islam,
after convicting them in the killings of two assistant judges.
militants have targeted secularist bloggers, publishers and writers in recent
years, killing at least 10 of them between February 2013 and April 2016 in
machete attacks, police said. Dozens of suspects have been arrested and
imprisoned in connection with the killings.
July last year, the New York-based Human Rights Watch called on the Bangladeshi
government to investigate allegations of summary executions of people caught in
so-called “crossfire” incidents, a common term for alleged shootouts between
police and suspects in the custody of authorities.
activists in Bangladesh have suggested that that many of these incidents are
rights activist Nur Khan Liton, in a phone interview with BenarNews, questioned
the circumstances that led to Rahman’s death.
top US General in Afghanistan has said that the Afghan Air Force continues to
add new capabilities as efforts are underway to boost the fighting the
capabilities of the Afghan national defense and security forces.
General Lance Bunch, assistant deputy commanding general for Air, U.S.
Forces-Afghanistan, and vice commander of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary
Task Force-Afghanistan, U.S. Forces Central Command, made the remarks during a
video teleconference with the reporters in Pentagon on Wednesday.
of our mission is training, advising and assisting the Afghan Air Forces as
they build — both build their — and train their air force, while simultaneously
fighting this war,” Gen. Bunch said.
Bunch further added ” Building on our last conversation back in December, we
are witness to the growth of the Afghan Air Force in capacity and proficiency
as they continue to target the Taliban across this country.”
to Gen. Bunch, the Afghan Air Force continues to add new capability, from
dropping laser-guided bombs, to combat air drops, to integrating the UH-60 into
their operations. This is an air force
that gets better every day.
March of ’18, this year, they dropped their first laser-guided bomb, a
significant increase in their capability and their precision as they go after
the Taliban targets wherever they are in the country,” he said in response a
question, adding that they’ve dropped up to 75 of those now.
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