Clerics Issue Fatwa against Nusrat Jahan for Applying Sindoor; Sadhvi Prachi
Defends TMC MP
Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT Lure Islamic State Militants Into A Trap?
and Humiliation': Aceh's Islamic Law Violates Human Rights
to Trump: Sanctions Don't Avoid War, They Are War
Says Saudi Crown Prince Doing ‘Spectacular Job,’ As They Hold Talks In Osaka
Safer Since Islamic State Defeat But Threat Endures, Europol Says
Zakzaky Poisoned In Prison, His Health Conditions Serious: Doctors
Ulema Council Says ‘Not All Clerics Are Bad’, Lashes Out At Federal Minister
Crown Prince Welcomes Hosting Of 2020 G20 Summits In The Kingdom
community organises protest against mob lynching
not Indian agents, killed our man in J&K: IS
JeM Militant killed in Budgam encounter, arms and ammunition recovered
denied Tabrez Ansari of medical treatment, threatened his family: Report
Beijing Speech, Minister in Malaysia’s PMO Speaks of ‘False News’ On Xinjiang
Statement on Xinjiang Has Embarrassed Country, Islam, Says Khaled Nordin
Says Not Extraditing Zakir Naik despite Official Request
minorities have a place in PAS' Malaysia?
Islamic groups 'influence' Indonesian campuses
dead in suicide bombing at Philippines military camp
sees some progress on nuclear deal, but not enough
Intelligence: ‘Israel-Egypt Cooperation Key To Beating Back Isis In Sinai’
forces repel Al Houthi attacks in Hodeida
Terrorist Group Planning Assassination against Iranian Officials
new mayor ‘prepared’ for government restrictions
unblocks Gaza fuel, expands fishing, say officials
vows ‘strong response’ to Saudi crime in Ta'izz
forces injure 50 Palestinians in Gaza
army forces, allies shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone
protest en masse against Saudi-led war
Tunes terrorist’ in plea talks over foiled Times Square plot
men plead guilty in foiled plot to bomb a Muslim community in New York state
Senate rejects bid to limit Trump's Iran war power
will sanction any country that imports Iranian oil: US special envoy
on S-400: NATO member Turkey not treated fairly
vote to curb Trump on Iran war fails
and YouTube Must Do More To Stop Terrorists Live Streaming Atrocities, May To
Wounds 2, Kills Himself In Attack Near French Mosque
records small uptick in far-right extremist violence
extends Kosovo, Lebanon troop commitment
Violent Infighting Breaks Out Among Al-Shabaab Ranks
Bombers Attack Security Forces in Tunisia
affects more people than ever before in Africa's Sahel
hit by twin bombings on the same day its president falls gravely ill
urges Sudan to ensure protester safety during rallies
Haftar orders forces to attack Turkish ships, bans flights to Turkey
Haftar orders forces to attack Turkish ships and interests
puts brakes on peacekeepers’ pullout from Sudan’s Darfur
Refugees Allowed To Stay In Pakistan for another Year
Bilawal Stance against Use of Religion Card for Political Gains Causes a Stir
countries’ role in diffusing US-Iran tension sought
dismisses US report on religious freedom as biased
Afghanistan tied by bond of brotherhood: Ghani
outbreaks in Pakistan indicate lapse in regulation of health system: Lancet
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces Hajj gift for India with 30,000
increase in quota
Militants Claim to Have Killed Dozens of Syrian Troops
IS militants killed in airstrike, anti-IS operations in northern Iraq
crisis topped talks between Saudi Crown Prince and Egyptian president at G20
Crown Prince commends ‘great achievements’ with US in meeting with Trump
Lanka's Army Chief Sees No Immediate Terrorism Threat After Easter Blasts
seeks more Chinese support to Rohingya issue
President Travels to Pakistan for Talks On Peace With Taliban
militants killed, roadside bombs and house-borne IED destroyed in Kapisa and
kills Taliban shadow for governor for Logar and his two deputies
officials say Taliban attack kills 25 in north
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Delhi: The wedding of Trinamool Congress’ actor-turned-politician Nusrat Jahan
Ruhi has stoked a row between Deoband clerics and Sadhvi Prachi. Saying that
Muslim girls should only marry Muslim boys, Deoband clerics have issued a fatwa
against the newly-elected MP.
BJP leader Sadhvi Prachi has come to Nusrat’s defence.
Mufti Asad Wasmi said, “After investigation, we got to know that she married
into the Jain religion, Islam says that a Muslim can only marry a Muslim.
Second, I want to say that Nusrat Jahan is an actor and these actors do not
care about religion. They do what they feel like doing. This is what she
showcased in Parliament.”
came to Parliament with Sindoor and Mangalsutra, so it is a waste of time to
talk about this. We cannot interfere in her life. I just told her what Shariat
says with the help of media,” Wasmi added.
Nusrat, BJP leader Sadhvi Prachi lashed out at Maulvis, saying: “If a Muslim
woman marries a Hindu and wears Bindi, Bicchwa, Mangalsutra, the Muslim clerics
call it Haram. I feel sorry for their intellect but many Muslim men trap our
Hindu daughters in the name of love jihad and ask them to wear Burqa, then that
is not Haram. That is justified for them.”
BJP leader’s comments have certainly not gone down well with Muslim clerics.
One of the clerics, Maulana Qari, said: “Sadhvi Prachi does not anything about
Ulema. Such women are not in control (Belagaam), they try to set the country on
fire. They give such statement and spew venom just to create headlines. They
want to divide this nation. She does not have any knowledge of any religion.
Islam is a religion that gives the message of love and peace. Who does not know
anything should first read the Ulema and then speak about it.”
Jahan, the first-time parliamentarian, came to Parliament on June 25 in a white
and purple Saree, more than a week after the other members took an oath. She
had henna motifs on her hands and Bindi on the forehead. She tied the knot with
her businessman beau Nikhil Jain in the Turkish town of Bodrum on June 19.
Jahan was elected from Basirhat in West Bengal on a Trinamool Congress ticket.
She won by more than 3.5 Lakh votes.
rang out in south Kashmir late in the evening on 26 June. It was the first day
of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state but incidents of
shootings and gunfights in the dead of the night no longer evoke concern in the
Valley. However, this time around, the Valley has reason to be worried.
the morning of 27 June, security forces recovered the body of Adil Ahmad Dass
from the orchards in the Bijbehara area. Adil was recruited by the
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba in July 2018, but had recently defected to an
outfit that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. During searches,
security forces also came across and arrested an injured LeT militant.
what seemed to be an incident that will likely further escalate tensions
between the various armed separatist outfits – already at loggerheads with each
other owing to ideological differences, and who until now, had just one enemy:
The Indian State – they had now clashed among themselves.
outfit now called the Islamic State Hindh Province (ISHP) took on defectors
from the traditional pro-Pakistan militant outfits. Although the ISHP has so
far not officially issued a statement on Adil’s killing, a member of the outfit
featured in a video that was circulated on pro-IS Telegram channels on late
Thursday evening, blaming the “conspiracies” of the LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen.
the video, the militant identified by his code name Khateeb ridiculed rumours
that Adil was “killed by Indian agencies” and instead alleged that the HM and
LeT jointly laid out a trap for Adil and his associate, identified by the
militant as Turaib, on the pretext of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State
and its fugitive leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. “After Adil bhai was martyred,
they targeted Turaib bhai with a burst of fire but injured one of their own”
who was eventually left behind without weapons, he says in the video.
the background, helicopters appear to be hovering overhead, but the militants
are unfazed. The militant showed pictures of the three members of the HM and
LeT posing with Adil after allegedly falsely pledging allegiance as evidence of
their complicity. “They are apostates who are doing jihad for Pakistan’s unholy
and apostate government,” Khateeb chided.
claimed that the traditional pro-Pakistan outfits “only wanted to kill Muslims”
and alleged similar plots were hatched against other members of their outfit,
details of which would be released in a subsequent video. Addressing the HM’s
Valley-based chief, Riyaz Naikoo, the militant towards the end once again shows
a picture of Adil with the three militants and declared that “Indian agents did
not kill him, Pakistan agents did. The apostates did”.
HM and LeT have so far not come out with official statements.
for the pan-Islamists
isn’t new to militancy in the state. The first phase of the militancy that
erupted in the late 1980s descended into massive infighting that saw several
clashes between the various militant outfits, all of which in turn helped India
establish its writ in the Valley. In September 2015, three militants of the
Lashkar-e-Islam headed by Abdul Qayoom Najar, a breakaway module of the HM in
north Kashmir, were tortured and killed allegedly by the HM. Najar’s outfit,
like the ISHP and the Ansar Ghazwatul Hind today, was called an Indian intelligence
Wednesday’s incident has come as vindication for pan-Islamist outfits, both the
Islamic State in Kashmir and its rivals in the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar, that
have repeatedly warned against Pakistan and its bartering of “jihad” for its “own
national and strategic interests” in the region.
militant outfits operating in the Valley under the umbrella of the
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir-based United Jihad Council are loyal to Pakistani
interests. Prominent militants of the Ansar, including its founder Zakir Musa
and Pakistani defectors to the outfit, have even accused Pakistan of providing
information on militants to the Indian security establishment from time to
the years since the new militancy openly rebelled against the separatist old
guard, militants of both outfits have claimed to have suffered at the hands of
their parent organisations, including disarmament, entering into scuffles and
sometimes harassment of their families. In an audio call recorded before his
death, a militant inspired by the Islamic State, Firdous Lone, says that the HM
in the Shopian district was “threatening us the way the (Indian) Army does”.
alleged trap laid out for the Islamic State militants comes just weeks after
The Indian Express reported intelligence-sharing by Pakistan, of an imminent
attack in Kashmir, with India. The report quoted a senior police official to
say that activities of pan-Islamist outfits such as those linked to Al-Qaeda is
“seen differently by them”.
Aceh, Indonesia - Hendra, an academic in Indonesia's semi-autonomous region of
Aceh, vaguely remembers the first time he saw a public caning take place in his
20s. It was years ago and it didn't faze him much.
35-year-old cannot even remember what the people were accused of - just that
they were taken to a public square at a local mosque and flogged with a rattan
cane in front of a crowd of onlookers.
in recent years, Hendra, a lecturer in communications at Ar-Raniry University
in Banda Aceh, has started to feel differently.
he avoids public canings. "I always think, 'Imagine if that was a member
of my family'," he told Al Jazeera. "Do these people really deserve
on the northern tip of Sumatra, is one of Indonesia's most religiously
conservative areas, and is the only part of the archipelago to impose penalties
on its residents under Islamic law.
one of the most powerful Islamic sultanates in Southeast Asia, the area had
long used an informal kind of Islamic law mixed with local laws, known as
"hukum adat". But the legislation was enhanced when Aceh's
long-running separatist conflict ended in 2005. The laws have been gradually
expanded to more offences, most recently in 2014.
police monitor public behaviour and enforce the rules, including in relation to
the clothing women choose to wear," Usman Hamid, the executive director of
Amnesty Indonesia, told Al Jazeera.
can be subjected to public canings for a range of offences, including gay sex,
which carries a penalty of up to 100 lashes, sex before or outside marriage,
gambling and the sale and consumption of alcohol."
practice had already caused shock among the international community, and after
Brunei attracted global condemnation over its plan to step up punishments under
Islamic law, attention also turned to Aceh.
from Brunei had travelled to the area for advice on implementing the
punishments. Initially, the plan was to impose the death penalty for gay sex,
but Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei's absolute monarch, then announced that a
moratorium on capital punishment would be extended.
who had picketed the sultan's luxury hotels and called for a boycott of the
country claimed the decision as a victory.
law in Aceh is Aceh's Islamic Criminal Code or the usage of corporal punishment
upholding Islamic views in Aceh," Amnesty's Usman told Al Jazeera.
"But in actuality, the many provisions of the law [are] a breach of
international human rights law and standards that create serious barriers for
women and girls to report rape or other forms of sexual violence."
2016, the first full year when Islamic laws were implemented in Aceh, 339
people, including 39 women, were caned, according to Human Rights Watch.
one who had been whipped was prepared to talk about what had happened to him,
even anonymously. Many choose to move elsewhere after the punishment - to a new
village or town where they can start afresh - due to stigma.
says caning in public violates international law prohibiting torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment set out in the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment to which Indonesia is a state party.
adds the punishment is severer than a "light tapping with a cane" as
it is often described by its supporters.
the academic, says that while there are people who oppose Islamic law
punishments, few are willing to discuss the issue publicly.
are scared of speaking out to say they don't support public canings," he
said. "They take the attitude that they see them, but that they don't know
anything about the cases or the law. 'It's not my concern' is how many people
crowd surrounds a vehicle bringing men and women who have breached Islamic law
to be publicly caned at the Syuhada mosque in Banda Aceh in May 2017 [File:
Nivada, an activist and researcher based in Banda Aceh, said shame and
humiliation was the main force behind Islamic law.
shame factor is why the punishments take place in public, usually in front of a
local mosque, where those watching take photos and videos of the event. Some
are then uploaded to the internet.
the rise of social media," Hendra added, "people can see your face
within five minutes [of the punishment being carried out]."
year, the then Governor Irwandi Yusuf stopped the practice of public caning.
But after he was arrested for corruption last July, the punishments resumed and
the issue barely rated a mention in this year's regional elections.
became Aceh's second governor to be convicted with economy and corruption
topping people's concerns.
said there was no chance punishments under Islamic law would be abandoned given
the close links with traditional Acehnese culture. "Ten years in the
future, Aceh will still have Sharia law," he told Al Jazeera. "It's
part of the character of Aceh."
rising tensions between Washington and Tehran, Iran’s foreign minister has
blasted the U.S. president over what he called "misconceptions" that
aren't alternative to war; they ARE war," Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter
late Thursday, tagging Donald Trump.
U.S. on Monday imposed sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, his officials, and other top military officials after Trump opted
last week not to carry out an attack on Iranian targets he says would have
killed 150 people.
airstrikes were to be carried out following Iran's downing of a U.S. drone.
maintains the drone violated its airspace when it was targeted by a
surface-to-air missile, a claim denied by Washington, which says it was over
international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.
President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday denounced the U.S. sanctions, saying the
move reflects the "desperation" of the Trump administration.
= ‘war crime’
Tuesday, Trump again threw down the gauntlet, declaring on Twitter: “Any attack
by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In
some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”
there is war with Iran, it “wouldn't last very long,” Trump later told Fox
= genocide = war crime," Zarif said in response.
war' with Iran is an illusion," he added.
begins war will not be the one ending it," Zarif added.
have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington
unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure
on Iran in order to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian
activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing."
part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian
crude oil, which sent Iran’s economy into a nosedive.
on six oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz have further escalated tensions. The
U.S. has sought to place blame for the mysterious attacks on Iran, a charge
Iranian officials staunchly deny.
strait is a vital international waterway critical to the international energy
trade with roughly one-third of the world's seaborne oil transiting it, as well
as about one-fifth of the world's liquefied natural gas.
The US president on Saturday lavished praise on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince for
his transformative reforms in the Kingdom.
want to congratulate you,” President Donald Trump told Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, as they met for talks in Osaka, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit,
“you have done a really spectacular job.”
referring to the crown prince as a friend, talked of the opening up of Saudi
Arabia, “especially what you have done for women,” he told Prince Mohammed, “I
think what’s happening is like a revolution in a very positive way.”
crown prince said the Saudi people have achieved a lot in the past few years.
“We are trying to do the best for our country,” and we need to do more.
crown prince said that with the president’s support Saudi Arabia has been able
to realize a number of political, security, economic and military achievements,
which he said also contributed to US economic growth and safety.
also highlighted the significant business dealings between the two countries
and the impact on US jobs, “at least a million jobs are created by purchases
made by Saudi Arabia,” he said.
have had meetings on trade and economic development and on the military, of
course, and the meetings have been really terrific.”
thing that you are doing, which is almost at the top of the list and probably
is at the top of the list is your fight on terror,” Trump said, addressing the
Kingdom’s efforts to combat the evils of terrorism and extremism.
remarks were made ahead of a closed-door meeting between Trump, the crown
prince and prominent ministers and advisers from both countries.
(Reuters) - Europeans were safer from jihadist attacks last year than at any
point since Islamic State set up its caliphate in 2014, but a number of foiled
attacks including plots to use poison chemicals show that the threat still
endures, police agency Europol said.
people were killed and 46 injured in attacks by jihadists across Europe in
2018, Europol said in a report. The figures were the lowest by far since 2014,
when Islamic State swept into control of a third of Iraq and Syria and launched
a campaign of mass casualty attacks in Europe.
each of the intervening years, jihadists killed scores of people and wounded
hundreds in Europe, with large scale attacks in cities including Manchester,
Nice, Brussels and Paris.
State has been driven in the past year from all territory it once held in Syria
and Iraq, although authorities say it remains a threat as an underground
attacks last year in Europe were perpetrated by “lone wolves” using firearms
and knives. Such home-grown attacks are less deadly than strikes by former
fighters, but Europol says they are harder for police to spot and stop.
law enforcement foiled 16 jihadist plots, a sign that while Islamic State’s
territorial rule may be over, the group’s ideology and online reach remain a
report underlines that terrorism still poses a real and present danger to the
EU,” Europe’s Security Commissioner Julien King said in a statement.
enduring threat posed by Islamist groups ... along with the rise of far
right-wing extremist violence, clearly shows that there is still much to be
done – notably in tackling the scourge of terrorist content online.”
of the disrupted plots involved using ricin in explosives and one involved a
plan to poison drinking water.
number of Europeans making their way back from conflict zones remains low, with
hundreds of people captured in Syria still detained there by U.S.-backed
State retains a strong online presence, but the group’s retreat on the ground
is likely to give way to an increase in an effort by its rivals al Qaeda to
reclaim influence, Europol said.
State originated as an al Qaeda faction in Iraq, but took advantage of Syria’s
civil war to seize land there and split away from the group founded by Osama
police agency also flagged a rise in the number of arrests linked to right-wing
extremism. While still relatively low, the number of arrests doubled for the
second year in a row to 44 in 2018.
Nigerian Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been imprisoned for four
years now, is said to have been poisoned in prison, according to doctors who
found high levels of toxic substance in his blood.
of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) announced that their cleric was poisoned,
citing results of an investigation by the movement's Academic Forum.
on the findings, a high-level of toxicity has been diagnosed in the cleric’s
blood, which has worsened his health condition.
legal team has long called for his release, saying he is suffering from health
issues that require urgent medical care abroad, but the state high court in
Kaduna has denied the request.
team of medics examining Zakzaky in prison have renewed pleas for him to be
released, saying levels of the chemical toxic substance — lead — is so
dangerously high in his blood that requires an immediate medical treatment.
medical team sent by International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC) to Nigeria
in April said that the imprisoned cleric was in urgent need of medical care
that could only be fully accessed outside Nigeria.
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by
security forces, that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons
dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
has been kept in custody along his wife and a large number of his followers
in 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from
jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
says ‘fatwa-issuing’ clerics are responsible for majority of Pakistan’s woes
Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Friday lashed out at
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry for making
‘controversial’ statements against clerics and challenged the minister to a
a tweet earlier in the day, Fawad said fatwa-issuing clerics were the biggest
threat to Pakistan.
from all sects should perform jihad against this attitude as 75 per cent of our
problems developed due to such clerics,” he said.
a press conference at Lahore Press Club, Ashrafi responded to the minister,
saying clerics played a major and important role during Pakistan’s fights
against terrorism and the freedom movement.
a jibe at the minister, the PUC chairman said Fawad was studying law when the
clerics were fighting against terrorism.
to Fawad’s statement on ‘fatwa-giving’ clerics, Ashrafi said if someone issues
a wrong ‘fatwa’ take action against that cleric. “Not all clerics are bad,” he
said, adding all religious clerics must not be maligned.
an allusion to the clerics ‘services’, he said today there was peace in the
country due to the efforts of religious clerics,” he insisted.
urged PM Imran to speak to his ministers and help change their behaviours.
also commented on Fawad’s moon-sighting app, saying it was fine to use new
technology for the moon-sighting. However, the prime minister should constitute
a committee with religious clerics and astronomy experts on board.
also lauded the government’s effort to bring changes in Pakistan on the same
principles at which the state of Medina was born thousands of years ago.
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed hosting the G20 summit in
the Kingdom in 2020 during his speech at the closing session of the 2019 G20
summit on Saturday.
Crown Prince stressed that the Kingdom is determined to work together with all
countries “to find a consensus to crises in the world.”
empowerment of women and youth is key to global growth,” he added.
the G20, we have a responsibility to create an environment in which the world
thrives,” the Crown Prince said.
against the increasing cases of mob lynching of Muslims in the country,
hundreds of Muslims took out a rally under the banner of Muslim Muttahida
Council (MMC) here on Friday.
a memorandum submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind, through the district
administration, the protesters called the lynching not only a blot on
secularism but also an organised effort to create a fear psychosis among
Muslims in the country.
that Muslims and Hindus had been living in harmony in India for generations,
they pointed out that now, some anti-social elements of Hindutva outfits were
killing Muslims in the name of cow protection and protection of Hindu culture.
to the lynching of Tabrez Ansari recently in Jharkhand, they said he was
accused of stealing motorcycles and brutally beaten while being asked to chant
‘Jai Sri Ram’. The memorandum stated that in the name of Ram, Muslims are being
targeted and victimised through lynching.
that Muslims comprise 20% of India’s population, the memorandum said if a huge
number of the community does not feel safe in the country, then it was most
regrettable and only the ruling government at the Centre must be held
responsible for such inhuman acts.
out several cases in which Muslims have been killed in the last five years in
the country, the memorandum said the government must take stringent action. It
should send a clear message that it does not tolerate such incidents and take
tough action against those involved in such criminal acts. The memorandum
demanded maintenance of peace and religious harmony in India.
programme was attended by MMC president Moulana Tanveer Peeran Hashmi, leader
Abdul Hamid Mushrif and other clerics.
DELHI: The provincial branch of the so-called Islamic State in Kashmir, Wilayah
al-Hind (WaH), on Friday circulated a video on Telegram channels claiming that
one of their members was killed a day ago at the behest of Pakistan.
out at the Pakistan-sponsored terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen and
Lashkar-e-Taiba, a WaH spokesperson claimed that Adil Rehman Dar, whose killing
was attributed by media to a squabble with the Lashkar over an AK-47 rifle, had
been actually murdered.
a video shot against an IS black flag, the WaH spokesperson, later identified
by security agencies as Khateeb Dass, narrated how three Hizb and Lashkar
terrorists tricked and killed Adil at Bijbehera. Describing Hizbul commander Riyaz
Naikoo as infidel, Khateeb said he had “proof to expose his and Pakistan’s
sinful lies that Adil was killed by Indian agencies”.
claimed that along with Adil, there was another WaH member who met three
terrorists from Hizb and Lashkar. After Adil was killed, his aide jumped into a
river while one of Naikoo’s men was hurt by their own fire, Khateeb said.
Displaying pictures of the killers on his phone, Khateeb claimed that they
deceived Adil by convincing him that they were abandoning their organisations
to join WaH. “They wore IS inners and swore their allegiance to the caliphate
and our chief, Al Bhagdadi,” he said.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) affiliated militant was killed by security forces in an
encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district on Friday morning. The
encounter broke out during a cordon and search operation launched by security
forces in Kralpora Checkpora area of the district.
police said arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter.
During the search operation, the militants, who were hiding, fired on the
search party of the forces. The security personnel retaliated, leading to an
encounter in which one militant was killed, the spokesperson said, adding the
body was retrieved from the site.
#encounter update: 01 #terrorist #killed. #Arms & ammunition recovered.
#Identity & affiliation being ascertained. #Search continues. @JmuKmrPolice
AM - Jun 28, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
spokesperson said with efforts of police and security forces, it was a clean
operation and no collateral damage took place during the exchange of fire. From
the incriminating material recovered from the site of the gunfight, the slain
militant was identified as a Pakistani named Zarar affiliated with proscribed
Delhi: The family of Tabrez Ansari, who died on June 22, after being beaten by
a mob which forced him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman” in Jharkhand,
was allegedly threatened by police with a similar fate when his family begged
for him to be given treatment while he was bleeding profusely in custody. In
the lockup, the family found the main perpetrator of the violence addressing
Ansari, asking him why he was not dead yet, in spite of the severe beatings
they administered on him, the online portal The Wire reported.
and many other aspects of the lynching, each outdoing the other in brutality,
have been published in a report written by a fact-finding team of the Jharkhand
Janadhikar Mahasabha. On June 25, the team travelled to the Kadamidiha and
Dhaktidih villages in Jharkhand, where the attack on Tabrez took place.
team, comprising human rights activists and advocates, spoke to Ansari’s family
and his neighbours, all of whom were vehement in suggesting that it was very
unlikely that he would have been involved in a case of thievery.
Twenty-four-year-old Tabrez got married a month-and-half ago and planned to
take his wife to Pune, where he has been working as a welder for the past six
or seven years.
team also tried to speak to villagers living around the scene of the lynching,
at Dhaktidih, but were interrupted by a group of men who swarmed them and begun
saying that they were the “Jai Shri Ram waale” and that a thief has no religion
and could easily be asked to chant “Jai Shri Ram,” be he a Hindu or a Muslim.
Dhaktidih, the report noted, had a significant population of backward castes.
area, the team were told, had little communal tension. Some villagers, however,
recalled a year-old incident when members of religious right-wing organisations
had told the Muslims to stop cattle trade. It did stop, but not for very long.
accounts of Tabrez’s family members, which have been included in the report,
not only does there appear to be a serious lapse in the way the police acted in
the case, but there are also glaring points of cruelty in the name of religious
violence which come to the fore.
of the salient points that led to his death enumerated in the fact-finding
report are as follows:
had called his wife at 10 pm on June 17 from Jamshedpur, where he had gone to
visit a relative with two 14-year-old boys of his in-laws’ village, Behrsarai.
He told her that we would be returning that night. He had taken a bike. This
puts into perspective the lynchers’ claim that the beatings were in retaliation
for Tabrez stealing a bike.
the morning, Tabrez’s wife got a call from him. He told her that he was being
beaten in Dhatkidih village and pleaded with her to help him. She informed his
uncles Maksud Alam and Masrur Alam, who went to the local police station to
look for him. They could not find him in the Kharsawan police station but found
him in the lockup of Saraikela police station. He was found bleeding from the
nose, mouth and head. He also had cut marks on his fingers. The police told
them that he was caught for stealing.
then told police station in-charge Bipin Bihari Singh that Tabrez needed
immediate medical help. Singh told him “Yehaan Se Bhaago. Nahi to Tumhara Bhi
Haath-Pao Tod Ke Tumko Jail Mein Daal Denge.” (“Get away from here or else I
will break your bones and put you in jail too.”)
spoke to his relatives from the lockup. He said a few men had asked him for his
name on the way back from Jamshedpur. He had said ‘Sonu‘ at first, but then
they pressured him for his actual name. After this, they began beating him up.
The two boys ran away.
having been tied to the pole and beaten, Tabrez (according to relatives who
spoke to him in the lockup) had asked for water. He was forced to drink the
juice of Dhatura, a poisonous weed, the leaves of which were stuffed into his
named one Pappu Mandal among his lynchers. Mandal and around 15 people were
also at the police station when his relatives went to see him. Mandal, his
relatives said, was the one who asked Tabrez why he was not dead in spite of
June 19 too, Tabrez was not given medical treatment despite multiple requests
by his family. He was shifted to the local jail. At this point, he could no
June 22, the uncles were informed by an acquaintance that Tabrez was admitted
to the Saraikela Sadar hospital. They went there and found him foaming at the
mouth. The doctor told them that he was dead. A local reporter found that he
was still breathing. He was then referred to the Tata Medical Hospital. When
they reached the hospital in Jamshedpur, he was pronounced dead.
his death, his family members lodged a case against Pappu Mandal and others.
Beijing Speech, Minister In Malaysia’s PMO Speaks Of ‘False News’ On Xinjiang
JAYA: After riling up netizens with his apparent endorsement of China’s defence
of detention camps in the Xinjiang province, Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa appears to be questioning reports about Beijing’s
policies against Muslims, saying they could be “false news”.
news in China about Muslims being oppressed could trigger a wave of sympathy to
the oppressed and affect relationships,” Mujahid said in a speech he delivered
at the Beijing Foreign Studies University yesterday.
then made comparison to claims of Hindus in Malaysia being mistreated.
false news about Hindu followers being treated unjustly by Muslims in Malaysia,
for example, could trigger hatred towards the Muslim minority in India,” he
remarks come in the wake of criticism of Mujahid’s use of the term “training
centre” to refer to a controversial camp set up to “re-educate” Muslim
dissidents in the restive Xinjiang province.
his visit, Mujahid wrote on Facebook: “This centre carries out industrial
training activities and teaches a variety of skills such as sewing, legal
class, arts and flower arrangement,” he wrote on Facebook in a post accompanied
by pictures of his visit.
post immediately drew criticism from Facebook users, who said Mujahid was
parroting Chinese propaganda in describing detention camps in Xinjiang as
recently denied the existence of such camps, but later said they were
“vocational centres” to help “save” people from extremist influences.
bodies have long accused China of cracking down on dissent in Xinjiang under
the guise of fighting Muslim extremism.
his speech, Mujahid said Malaysia and China shared similar approaches in
integrating different ethnic groups.
practices national integration through preserving each ethnic group’s own
culture and traditions but are united as one big family of being a Malaysian.
Republic of China (PRC) resembles the same approach of keeping each ethnic
group with their own identity but integrating towards a big family unit as
said both the constitutions of Malaysia and China provided their citizens the
right to practise their religions.
only difference being that the Malaysian constitution stipulates Islam as the
religion of the federation while PRC does not consider any religion as a state
religion,” he said.
also praised China’s efforts to combat extremism.
too is actively resorting to such an approach on her long journey of creating a
peaceful and harmonious world.”
statement on Xinjiang has embarrassed country, Islam, says Khaled Nordin
JAYA: Umno claims Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s use of the term “training centre” when
referring to a controversial camp set up to “re-educate” Muslims in Xinjiang
has embarrassed Muslims and the nation.
vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the statement by the minister in the
Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs illustrated how
backward Pakatan Harapan’s stand was regarding the human rights of the minority
Islamic community in Xinjiang.
use of the term ‘training centre’ is an endorsement of the Muslim oppression
policy in Xinjiang.
he’d described the report on the persecution of Muslims in China as ‘false news
from China’ when speaking at the Bejing Foreign Studies University,” Khalid
said in a statement today.
had previously shared on Facebook about his visit to the “training and
vocational centre for the Uighur society”, which is a term used by Beijing to
“re-educate” thousands of Muslims criticising China’s policies in Xinjiang.
to Mujahid, the centre carried out “industrial training” activities, such as
sewing. He ended his statement with the hashtag #RahmatanLilAlamin.
however, said there were no “training centres” in Xinjiang and these were
actually “concentration camps” with the purpose of eliminating the identity,
beliefs and cultures of minorities, such as the Uighurs, Kazakhs, Tajiks and
said Mujahid should have instead conveyed his sense of concern, regret and
protests of the Muslims in Malaysia and the world over on what is happening in
what happened was that he gave his ‘consent’ to a systematic repression policy
against minorities, especially the Uighurs in Xinjiang,” he said.
Amnesty International Malaysia had expressed its deep disappointment with the
statement on the “re-education camps”.
International has first-hand knowledge that the Chinese authorities have
detained Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims – outside any legal process – in
‘political education’ camps for their perceived disloyalty to the government
and Chinese Communist Party,” it said.
Ahmad Farouk Musa, of the Islamic Renaissance Front, had also questioned
Mujahid’s use of the phrase “vocational and training institution”.
LUMPUR - Malaysia has received an application from India to extradite
controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, an Indian national, but is keeping
to its decision not to send him back, a Malaysian Cabinet minister said on
Friday (June 28).
Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said: "We have received the note (on the
extradition application) from the Indian government. I don't remember when, but
we have received it."
now, we do not have any new decision, we still hold to our original
decision," he said, in response to a journalist's question on recent
comments by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that Malaysia won't extradite Mr
53-year old preacher is wanted by New Delhi to face money laundering charges.
He has espoused controversial views in his lectures and videos when answering
issues linked to Hinduism with his puritan brand of Islam.
Zakir is a popular figure in Muslim-majority Malaysia and has been granted
permanent residency status in the country. Previous news reports say he is also
a citizen of Saudi Arabia.
has previously charged Mr Zakir with laundering 1.93 billion rupees (S$38
million) in illicit funds.
October 2014, he was charged by India's National Investigation Agency with
inciting terror and delivering hate speeches.
Tun Dr Mahathir on June 10 said he won't send Mr Zakir back to India even if
requested by New Delhi.
Premier likened his stance to how Australia declined to send back a Malaysian
fugitive, Sirul Azhar Umar, as Canberra was worried that the man would be
hanged in Malaysia.
a former Malaysian police commando who was sentenced to death in 2015 for the
murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, managed to escape to Australia
while on release pending appeal. Australia has refused to send him back to
Malaysia, which practises capital punishment.
about Mr Zakir on June 10, Dr Mahathir said: "Zakir in general feels that
he is not going to get a fair trial (in India)."
there is one thing that PAS has revealed itself to be in its recently concluded
Muktamar is that it is a party that has problems co-existing in a multiethnic
and multifaith country like Malaysia.
is a party that has taken the dark and twisted road of self-preservation by
suggesting to curtail the rights of minorities, even culling ethnic groups to
fulfill its agenda of an Islamic state which, has nothing to do with religion
and everything to do with politics and power.
is a far cry from the days of leaders such as the late Ustaz Fadzil Nor and the
late Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat who portrayed an all-embracing form of
Islam that valued diversity. PAS then received support from the non-Muslims in
Kelantan and Terengganu as well as in the West Coast of the Peninsular due to
the party's leadership then and especially of Nik Aziz who stressed on the
teachings of the Holy Prophet which included the responsibility to protect the
welfare of non-Muslims.
PAS Muktamar witnessed unprecedented Chinese-bashing with unsurprisingly, the
DAP being made the bogeyman once again.
sloganeering was louder this time around since the DAP is in the Federal
Government for the first time and is apparently hell bent on making Malaysia a
"Second Singapore", according to PAS central committee member Dr
comments came in the wake of women's wing vice-chief Salamiah Md Nor who in her
address, rued the day that Mandarin becomes the country's second language.
reasoned that vernacular schools did not promote unity and contended that a
better way of doing so was to make Arabic – specifically the Quran and Sunnah
as the second language.
Halimah, however, had a refreshing perspective on vernacular schools, saying
they should be emulated for their academic track record where even Malay
parents are sending their children there.
the other end of the spectrum, PAS Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin in a
refreshing winding up speech called for making the learning of Mandarin and
Tamil compulsory in a bid to boost national unity.
the muted response from delegates was a barometer of their enthusiasm in
broadening the minds and linguistic skills of our children.
Salamiah whose views many fear represent the majority of PAS members should
ponder why national schools have largely failed to promote national unity.
Could it be the perceived creeping in of Islamisation into national schools
that have fueled the increase in the popularity of vernacular schools among
non-Malays as well as many Malays?
instance, of the 55 students in SJKC Sin Min in Lubok Cina, Alor Gajah, Melaka,
only nine are Chinese while the rest are Malays.
to the Education Ministry statistics, 18% of Chinese primary school population
comprise of non-Chinese, mostly Malays.
PAS is fixated on the hereafter, the fact remains that Mandarin is currently
the most spoken language in the world due to the global native speakers of 1.1
billion as well as China's growing economic might.
harm learning Arabic though, but if the intention is to dakwah, or expose
non-Muslim children to Islam, then it will run into problems getting the
support of non-Muslim parents who are largely suspicious of PAS and its use of
religion for politics.
was a time when PAS was sincere about national unity. Its leaders even held
interfaith dialogues and visited churches and temples to foster ties.
forward-thinking leaders have since left the party to join Parti Amanah Negara
or Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The likes of Khairil may also find that his
forward views may not have a place in his party.
PAS is serious about national unity, instead of talking about conversion and
dakwah, why not moot instead for increased slots for Bahasa Malaysia in Chinese
and Tamil schools? We have to acknowledge that the proficiency of Bahasa
Malaysia is still not satisfactory among many non-Malays.
another development, the PAS-led Kelantan Islamic Religious and Malay Customs
Council (MAIK) had announced an ambitious plan to convert every single Orang
Asli in the state to Islam by 2049.
plan received a much-deserved rebuke from Orang Asli Development Department
(Jakoa) director-general Dr Juli Edo who said it was wrong to take advantage of
the Orang Asli communities.
and their way of life and beliefs are the very essence of the Orang Asli
identity. Any large scale attempt to make them abandon their beliefs in the
name of "progress" is a subtle form of ethnic cleansing similar to
the fate of indigenous peoples in Australia, Africa and Latin America who were
converted and "saved" from their "sinful" way of life by
Christian missionaries and government sponsored assimilation programmes.
a lesser extent, it evokes memories of the "anak angkat" programmes
of the mid-1980s which saw Christian secondary school students from Sabah and
Sarawak being sent to hostels in Kelantan and Terengganu to complete their Form
non-Muslims were valued stakeholders in the Kelantan administration lead by Nik
Aziz, the present State Government's treatment of the Orang Asli have been
atrocious. There is nothing Islamic to the degazetting of reserves and backing
timber companies who bulldoze their way into ancestral land, as well as the
lethargic response to alarming deaths of the Bateq tribe from an epidemic.
assurances by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that non-Muslims should
not feel anxious over a PAS-Umno alliance that could give rise to a monoethnic
government, one is not convinced. This alliance over the past one year have
demonstrated an increasing intolerance to diversity because it is politically
prudent to do so.
seems to be some measure of success in their approach seeing that the more
ethnically diverse Pakatan Harapan government keeps going on the back-foot on
issues such as quotas, merit and open competition.
downright refusal to extradite alleged hate preacher Zakir Naik to India, an
important economic and strategic partner demonstrates an unnatural fear of
losing Muslim support.
recent study by the Nahdlatul Ulama University’s research center (LPPM UNUSIA)
has found that transnational Islamic movements have long had influence in state
universities, blocking access for non-Muslims or other minority groups to
important positions and influencing decision-making. Among the transnational
Islamic movements are the Muslim Brotherhood-inspired Jemaah Tarbiyah and the
radical organization Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which endorses the
implementation of Islam in government and society. The LPPM UNUSIA, therefore,
urged moderate Islamic organizations on campuses to stem the influence of the
exclusive groups to create a more tolerant and inclusive educational
environment. The research, which was conducted in December and January at eight
state universities in Central Java and Yogyakarta, revealed that Jemaah
Tarbiyah and HTI had been controlling influent...
Eight people were killed and 22 were wounded after two suspected "suicide
bombers" attacked a military camp in southern Philippines Friday.
Arvin Encinas, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command
(Wesmincom) spokesperson, said the attack occurred around 12 noon at the
headquarters of the Army 1st Brigade Combat Team in Tanjung, Indanan, Sulu.
the eight fatalities, three were soldiers, three civilians, and the two bomb
carriers. The wounded include 10 civilians and 12 soldiers.
attack took place as the new AFP Wesmincom commander, Maj. Gen. Cirilito E.
Sobejana, assumed post vice Lt. Gen. Arnel B. Dela Vega who retired from the
service, in a ceremony held in Zamboanga City also on Friday.
told Arab News the suspected bombers attempted to enter the camp. The first
suspect, however, was intercepted at the gate of the camp.
appears that the suspects' initial plan was to bring their bombs inside the
camp but during inspection at the gate, our soldiers discovered the explosives
which suddenly went off," according to Encinas.
that point, the suspect detonated the bomb, instantly killing three soldiers
and three civilians who were nearby. The suspect also died in the blast which
destroyed the gate, leaving the entry of the camp open.
said another suspect rushed inside the camp and detonated the second bomb. He
also died in the process.
police report said armed men simultaneously attacked the camp following the
explosion. A brief encounter between the armed men and government forces
whether the suspects who carried out the bombing were Filipinos or foreigners,
Encinas said it has yet to be determined as they were both blown to pieces.
Body parts recovered from the scene may be submitted for DNA testing, he added.
in a statement released by its propaganda agency Amaq, has claimed
responsibility for the attack.
said that two of their bombers, identified in the statement as Khattab and Abu
Muhammed, have made the sacrifice by storming an anti-terror camp of the
Philippine military in Sulu.
were able to blow up their explosive belts inside the camp and they have killed
over a hundred of the crusaders," read the statement.
military have yet to confirm who is behind attack.
group also released a photo of two young men holding a black flag used by the
Daesh. The two were allegedly those who carried out the attack.
(AP) — A meeting of the remaining partners in the Iranian nuclear deal produced
some progress but not enough to satisfy Tehran’s demands, a senior Iranian
official said Friday, offering little prospect for now of the country backing
away from a move to surpass a uranium stockpile threshold that could doom the
Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said after meeting with senior
officials from Britain, Germany, France, China, Russia and the European Union
that a complex barter-type system set up to keep trade with Iran afloat is now
active. But he insisted that for the so-called INSTEX system to be useful,
“Europeans need to buy oil from Iran, or to consider credit lines for this
described the meeting in Vienna, a regular quarterly gathering of signatories
to the 2015 accord, as positive and constructive. He said it was “one step
forward” compared with previous sessions, “but it is still not enough, and it
is still not meeting Iran’s expectations.”
2015 agreement was aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for
relief from economic sanctions. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from
the accord last year and he has imposed new sanctions on Iran in hopes of forcing
Tehran into negotiating a wider-ranging deal.
recently quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium. It previously said
it would surpass a 300-kilogram stockpile limit set by the accord by Thursday,
but then said it was below the limit Wednesday and there would be no new
assessment until “after the weekend.” It is currently a holiday weekend in
countries are pressing for Iran to comply in full with the accord, though they
have not specified what the consequences would be of failing to do so. But
Iranian officials maintain that even if it surpasses the enrichment limit, it
would not be breaching the deal, and say such a move could be reversed quickly.
Europeans also face a July 7 deadline set by Tehran to offer long-promised
relief from U.S. sanctions, or Iran says it will also begin enriching its
uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.
Friday’s meeting, several EU countries said they are supporting efforts to keep
the nuclear deal alive. Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia,
Spain and Sweden wrote in a joint statement that “aware of the difficulties to
implement the economic part of the agreement, we are working ... to establish
channels to facilitate legitimate trade and financial operations with Iran.”
was conceived in January but has taken months to activate. It would help ensure
trade between Iran and Europe by allowing buyers and sellers to exchange money
without relying on the usual cross-border financial transactions.
EU diplomat Helga Schmid confirmed on Twitter that the system is “now
operational, (with) first transactions being processed” and more EU member
countries to join. She said that Friday’s discussions were constructive and
added that “full and effective implementation of #IranDeal by all sides remains
said he will report back to Tehran, which will make further decisions. Of the
300-kilogram limit, he said that “the decision to reduce our commitments has
already (been) made in Iran, and we continue on that process unless our
expectations are met.”
whether there would be a follow-up meeting, Araghchi said that delegates
“decided to have a ministerial meeting very soon,” perhaps in the next few
weeks, although a time and place have not yet been determined. Friday’s meeting
was held at a lower level of senior foreign ministry officials.
said on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan that “there’s no rush”
to ease tensions with Iran.
absolutely no time pressure,” he added. “I think that in the end, hopefully,
it’s going to work out. If it does, great. And if doesn’t, you’ll be hearing
have been rising in the Middle East. Citing unspecified Iranian threats, the
U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the region and deployed additional troops
alongside the tens of thousands already there.
U.S. has been worried about international shipping through the Strait of Hormuz
since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington has blamed on
limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denies any involvement. Last week, Iran
shot down a U.S. Navy surveillance drone, saying it violated its territory;
Washington said it was in international airspace.
Adebahr, an associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations think
tank in Berlin, said there was a risk of “a big conflict.”
is so much space for miscalculations, for misperceptions and there is no direct
communication between Iran and the U.S.,” he said. During the Cold War, he
noted, Washington and Moscow had a direct hotline for crises, but now “there is
nothing comparable and that makes this all so dangerous.”
Thursday, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook met top European
diplomats in Paris and said he wants them to get tougher on Iran, instead of
clinging to the nuclear deal.
U.S. is trying to drum up support for an international naval force in the
Persian Gulf, notably to protect shipping. On Friday, Hook met in London with
the head of the International Maritime Organization, the U.N. shipping safety
agency, to share intelligence on “Iran’s recent aggression in and around the
Strait of Hormuz.”
said that “we have put ourselves in a strictly defensive position but we are,
we think, making strides to restore deterrence.”
also stressed that “you can’t do business with the United States and Iran, and
everyone has chosen the United States over Iran for a number of reasons.”
Yonah Jeremy Bob
cooperation is the key to confronting the threat posed by ISIS Sinai, former
director of the US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Nick Rasmussen told
The Jerusalem Post in a recent exclusive interview.
who was the center’s chief from 2014 until December 2017, straddling the Obama
and Trump administrations, complimented the reports of quiet-but-effective
cooperation between Cairo and Jerusalem.
director of the McCain Institute’s Counterterrorism Program, he said that,
“given the extensive capabilities of Israel’s intelligence apparatus,” this
would make it harder for ISIS to attack Israel from Sinai – although it has
some have looked at Sinai as one of the new key bases of operations for ISIS,
he said that the jihadist organization is “not moving en masse to set up the
caliphate” in a single, specific alternative spot.
there are many alternatives, he said, noting that “the Sinai is not the only
added the Philippines and, even more so, Libya. In addition, he said that he
personally is most concerned about reprisal terrorist attacks within other Arab
NCTC has over a thousand intelligence professionals working for it across 20 US
agencies, analyzing and carrying out strategic planning to fight terrorist
threats to America.
was formed after 9/11 based on expert recommendations, which stated that, had
an agency existed to ensure that all of the dozen or so US intelligence
agencies cooperated better in sharing intelligence, the attacks might have been
the potential of ISIS to make a comeback less than two months after its leader,
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, came out with a video showing he was still alive despite
rumors otherwise, Rasmussen said that with ISIS routed from its capitals in
Iraq and Syria, everything “is linked to the question: How do we successfully
address the political aspirations of the broader Sunni community in Iraq or
the extent the Sunni population still feels marginalized and disenfranchised,
this creates a pool of potential adherents or recruits, the same as it did a
decade ago with Islamic State 2.0,” he stated.
he said: “That is a population from which they were allowed to become a mass
movement, and not just a clandestine terrorist organization... Though the
caliphate has been destroyed, ISIS is perfectly able to convert to embed into
the broader Sunni population.”
there, he said that ISIS can “bide its time until an opportunity presents
itself to capitalize on the grievances, to expand again into a broad-based
combat this possibility, Western government and intelligence officials must be
asking themselves, “How do we create a more inclusive political system in Iraq
to stop the Sunni community’s feeling of being marginalized?”
the group’s resiliency, he pointed out that “ISIS had quite a bit of time to
prepare for the current phase. The campaigns against Mosul, Raqqa and smaller
pockets in the Euphrates River Valley took a long time. It was the world’s
longest telegraphed punch.”
ISIS “knew what the coalition was doing, they had plenty of time to prepare for
the outcome,” he said.
he said that it is crucial for the US to have learned that “we don’t turn away
and think the Iraqis can handle it all on their own. That is not a recipe for
success. There is plenty of room for debate about what presence the US should
have, but it must have some role.”
area where the ISIS threat has been less than expected has been that fewer of
its fighters from the West have returned to Europe and beyond.
comments last week by a Syrian Democratic Forces commander that England could
still face a large number of ISIS sleeper cells perpetrating terrorism there,
Rasmussen said that “we were very focused in my tenure” on the volume of ISIS
returnees to the West.
he said, “the analysis has shifted. It is not as much a quantity problem, as a
quality problem... Most foreign fighters have chosen or been compelled to stay
in conflict zones to fight and die, or go to the countryside... and our defense
against outflow of fighters [to the West] is better than before.”
the “SDF commander’s words are something to worry about,” he said. “Maybe not
hundreds of ISIS fighters will return to the UK, but should the UK be concerned
if the wrong three to five fighters are returning?... If they are very capable
and highly trained?... We still have a quality problem, so we need to find out
who we should be the most worried about and get the right intelligence.”
ON to American and Israeli intelligence cooperation, such as tips Israel’s
Mossad has taken credit for relating to sabotaging ISIS plots to explode
airplanes using laptop computers, Rasmussen demurred.
constrained; I was in government too recently,” to discuss specifics, but he
said that in general, “we have a very robust dialogue and intelligence exchange
with Israeli intelligence services on the full range of terror-related issues
in the Middle East. ISIS has featured prominently in those discussions. We
looked to Israel as helpful partners.”
what he called generally excellent intelligence cooperation, when pressed,
Rasmussen acknowledged that sometimes the US and Israel, especially under
different administrations, may even view intelligence differently, based on the
differing threats and constellation of national priorities in play.
of my career I was in the White House, the National Security Council and the US
State Department. I was not a career intelligence professional. But at NCTC I
was involved in intelligence. Even with our closest partners, we can have
different perspectives. That happens with the US, Israel, England and almost
any country you can think of, with whom you have a close intelligence
continued, saying that “I hope to be open and honest about differences, so we
can evaluate what we are hearing from our partner” and understand each side’s
policy choices and preferences, since “I don’t want to question the veracity of
the information” itself, and “I never saw anything like that happen with the
terror issues I dealt with.”
addition, he said that “Israel is an aggressive and very direct partner in
bringing terror concerns to the US. At meetings with Israeli intelligence
officials, you knew you would get well developed and thoughtful presentations –
for example, what is happening with Hezbollah – instead of just general
also got to know issues relating to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
intimately during his service.
to the Trump administration’s recent decision to define the entire IRGC as a
terrorist group, “I understood the political views for wanting to do it,” but
questioned whether it was more effective than other moves.
said that the US could have “designated specific entities and individuals
associated with the IRGC, to make a point in a very direct and precise way
about who was involved in terror-related behavior.”
contrast, he said that “by designating the entire group as a terror
organization, you set up a potential conflict where you are demonizing an
entire segment of the Iranian national security apparatus.”
that may be politically useful to make the case about Iran... I am not sure it
puts us in a better place,” implying that he would have preferred a scalpel in
applying sanctions rather than a big machete.
HAS some cutting-edge ideas about redefining how we think about “international”
am not sure we have all the answers. In some ways, my thinking on this started
evolving after the Christchurch attack. It is almost embarrassing that I did
not think about this before. This brought it home to me.”
point was that attacks are perpetrated in the US by white supremacists and
antisemites, with non-jihadist ideologies, where the attackers benefit from,
coordinate with, or are inspired by domestic terrorists in other countries –
even without an apparent ideological bridge between them.
the Pittsburgh attack, he said, the US needed to explore the idea of
international links between those individuals who share such violent
to the Christchurch attack, he said: “We noted from travel patterns that an
attacker had some interaction with people who thought like he thought,” though
they lived in other countries and were not part of a joint network.
doesn’t mean they have a network or organization like ISIS or Hezbollah, but
maybe there can be an international dimension to domestic terrorism. This has
not been completely explored,” he noted.
said that recently, he was having dinner with his former British counterpart
and that the two of them remarked how strange it was that they never dealt with
sharing information about domestic terrorism with international dimensions as a
properly combat this kind of terrorism, new questions need to be asked, such as
“what kind of new intelligence and sharing do you need from German, French,
Danish and Belgian security services? Until now this conversation related only
to ISIS-inspired attackers,” but he said that making international connections
needed to expand.
THE cyber realm, Rasmussen said he was astonished by the level of detail in a
recent New York Times story about the US planting cyber booby traps in the
Russian electrical power system.
said the US hack of Russia and the decision to leak it was a “signaling device
to the Russians” that the US is degrading Russian capabilities.
need to find the art of striking” and sending whatever signal you want to send,
while managing the level of detail that is leaked into the public domain,
noting that he found the specificity of detail leaked in this case “troubling.”
he said. He explained that the US wanted Russia to know that we “are working
aggressively to develop these capabilities” of planting cyber booby traps. The
purpose of these tools and of advertising them in public is to deter the
Russians, though he said that, “I hope we do not need to use these tools.”
worked with US peace negotiator Dennis Ross from 1996 to 2001 during the height
of the Oslo process, Rasmussen said that the current state of broken-down
Israeli-Palestinian relations can be hard to take.
worries that the next generation on both sides of the conflict may find it more
difficult to continue to envision any kind of peace horizon.
Yemeni government forces had repulsed fierce attacks by Iran-allied Al Houthi
militants that had targeted residential areas inside the coastal city of
Hodeidah and outskirts, military forces said on Thursday.
Houthis had shelled the district of July 7, about four kilometres from the
Hodeidah port, and the city’s southern suburbs, they added.
government troops had also inflicted heavy casualties on the extremists.
attacks violated a UN-brokered peace ceasefire deal reached in Sweden six
December, the Yemeni government and Al Houthis reached an agreement after
UN-sponsored indirect talks near Stockholm, providing for a truce and
withdrawals from Hodeida. At the time, the deal was hailed as a breakthrough to
end the fighting in the impoverished country. However, the accord has since
bogged down over Al Houthis’ procrastination.
Houthi militia failed in their attacks on the positions of the army and joint
troops. So, they turned to target citizens with mortar and artillery in the
liberated areas,” Walid Al Qadeemi, a senior official in Hodeidah, said,
according to pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.
attacks come amid a fresh attempt by UN peace envoy Martin Griffiths to revive
Yemen’s peace process.
humanitarian aid and imports to Yemen enter through the Hodeida port. Al
Houthis, who controlled the Red Sea area in late 2014, have been repeatedly
accused of using the harbour to illegally smuggle weapons from Iran to sustain
their military operations.
conflict erupted after Al Houthis unseated the internationally recognised
government and overran parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, in
MKO terrorist group specified the targets as Major General Qassem Soleimani,
who commands the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and
Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.
terrorist organization said it would “welcome” their assassination, adding that
it desired for the ranking officials to “join” Asadollah Lajevardi, Tehran’s
former chief prosecutor, and Ali Sayyad-Shirazi, a former commander of the
Iranian Army’s Ground Forces during Iraq’s 1980-88 war against Iran.
and Sayyad-Shirazi, both prominent figures in the country’s struggle against
campaigns led by the United States and its allies following the victory of
Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, were assassinated by the MKO terrorists
respectively in 1998 and 1999.
MKO has a dark history of assassinations and bombings against the Iranian
government and nation. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein in the eight-year war.
of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the
Revolution’s victory, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO’s acts of
group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American,
Western, and Saudi officials as its guests of honor. These include US National
Security Advisor John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy
Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi
Arabian spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal.
comes as Western countries, topped by the US, have taken the group out of their
terror blacklists, while frequently accusing Iran of conducting terrorist
attacks against regional countries.
the latest instance of their accusations, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
echoing Trump, accused Iran of being behind a recent attack on two tankers in
the Sea of Oman.
week, a leaked audio of a phone conversation between two members of MKO,
revealed Saudi Arabia has colluded with the MKO elements to frame Iran for the
recent tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf.
the audio, which is being released by the Iran Front Page for the first time,
Shahram Fakhteh, an official member and the person in charge of MKO’s cyber
operations, is heard talking with a US-based MKO sympathizer named
Daei-ul-Eslam in Persian, IFP news reported.
this conversation, the two elements discuss the MKO’s efforts to introduce Iran
as the culprit behind the recent tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf, and how
the Saudis contacted them to pursue the issue.
the past week we did our best to blame the [Iranian] regime for the [oil
tanker] blasts. Saudis have called Sister Maryam [Rajavi]’s office to follow up
on the results, [to get] a conclusion of what has been done, and the possible
consequences,” Fakhteh is heard saying.
guess this can have different consequences. It can send the case to the UN
Security Council or even result in military intervention. It can have any
consequence,” Daei-ul-Eslam says.
on two commercial oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, and an earlier
attack on four oil tankers off the UAE’s Fujairah port on May 12, have
escalated tensions in the Middle East and raised the prospect of a military
confrontation between Iran and the United States.
US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have rushed to blame Iran for the incidents, with
the US military releasing a grainy video it claimed shows Iranian forces in a
patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the side of a Japanese-owned
tanker which caught fire earlier this month.
later released some images of the purported Iranian operation after the video
was seriously challenged by experts and Washington’s own allies.
MKO which is said to be a cult which turns humans into obedient robots, turned
against Iran after the 1979 Revolution and has carried out several terrorist
attacks killing senior officials in Iran; yet the West which says cultism is
wrong and claims to be against terrorism, supports this terrorist group
new mayor of Istanbul said on Friday he is ready to work with Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan but that he was also preparing to deal with any attempts
by the government to restrict his powers.
to international media in Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu said the government had
already put into practice new regulations to bypass the mayor in appointments
to municipal companies and to give authority to municipal assemblies where
Erdogan’s party has a majority. The mayor said such measures were against the
current laws governing local government.
are prepared even for the most risky situations,” said Imamoglu, who won last
weekend’s rerun definitively. “Right now I am the Metropolitan Mayor of
Istanbul and Mr. Erdogan is President. I think we can contribute great things
to this country and the city by coming to an agreement.”
was elected mayor for a second time on Sunday after Turkey’s electoral board
annulled the results of the March 31 polls in Turkey’s largest city. He beat
his opponent, the government candidate Binali Yildirim, with more than 806,000
before the election’s re-run, Erdogan hinted that the judiciary could
investigate Imamoglu, who represents the opposition Republican People’s Party,
for insulting a public official.
his stunning victory, which represented a major setback for Erdogan, the
president quickly congratulated the mayor. And in a speech on Thursday in Japan
where he is attending the Group of 20 leaders’ summit, Erdogan struck a
somewhat conciliatory tone in, saying his party would support “realistic
projects to the benefit of Istanbul.”
we will never support unacceptable projects for the benefit of Istanbul.”
on Friday, the leader of Imamoglu’s party in Istanbul went on trial on numerous
charges, including insulting the country’s president and allegations of terror
propaganda, with sentences up to 17 years in prison.
Kaftancioglu has called the trial, which was adjourned until July 18,
echoed her position and said he stands with Kaftancioglu “until the very end.”
allowed Gaza fuel deliveries to resume and expanded its fishing zone on Friday
in exchange for calm in the enclave, Israeli and Palestinian officials and a UN
began blocking deliveries of fuel to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after new
incendiary balloons were launched from the Palestinian territory, causing fires
on Israeli farmland.
source at the United Nations, which along with Egypt mediates between Israel
and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas, said on Friday that Israel had agreed to ease
these restrictions in exchange for calm.
has been agreed to immediately stop launching incendiary devices and other
violent acts,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
will allow the import of fuel to the Gaza Power Plant to be restored, the
return of fishing boats that had been confiscated and will extend the fishing
zone up to 15 nautical miles,” the source said.
source added: “Implementing these understandings in full is critical to
trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Friday morning to help increase production at
its sole power plant, a Hamas source said.
spokesman for the fishing union confirmed the distance they were allowed to
fish off Gaza’s coast had been increased to 15 nautical miles.
Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the UN and
Egypt had brokered the understanding, which includes an “end to violence on the
part of Hamas.”
Hamas does not live up to its commitments, Israel will re-impose these
sanctions,” the official said.
Foreign Ministry has condemned Saudi Arabia’s bombing of the southwestern
province of Ta'izz, vowing a “strong response”.
ministry official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told Saba news
agency that the fresh Saudi killing was yet another flagrant violation of
international law and human values.
also warned that the crime would be met with a “strong response and
warplanes targeted two houses in the Khadir district of Ta'izz on Friday,
killing at least eight members of a family.
airstrike also left five Yemeni civilians wounded, reports said.
spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement denounced the Ta'izz killing,
stressing that it would only increase the Yemeni people's resolve to confront
the Saudi aggression.
and injuring a number of citizens is considered a continuation of the
aggressive bloody approach in targeting civilian houses," Mohammed
further expressed regret that the bodies of innocent Yemeni women and children
do not lead international parties to stop lucrative arms sales to aggressor
Arabia and its allies have been waging a brutal war on Yemen since March 2015
in an attempt to reinstall the country's Riyadh-allied former regime and crush
the Houthis -- objectives that have failed to materialize due to Yemenis’ stiff
Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has
destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.
least 50 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli forces who attacked
anti-occupation protests taking place near the border separating the besieged
Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.
Gazan Health Ministry said Israeli forces opened fire on the protesters on
Friday, leaving 19 people injured.
to the ministry, the remaining 31 suffered other types of injuries.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the ministry, said eight paramedics as well as a
journalist were among the casualties.
rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. The Palestinians
demand the right to return of those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
aggression. Israeli troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the
beginning of the rallies and wounded more than 17,000 others, according to the
Gazan Health Ministry.
March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
this week, the enclave saw a new wave of protests against a US-led conference
in Bahrain, rejecting US President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan for the
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
army forces, supported by allied fighters from the Popular Committees, have
intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led
military coalition while flying in the skies over Saudi Arabia’s southwestern
border region of Jizan.
unnamed source in the Yemeni air defense forces told the media bureau of the
Houthi Ansarullah movement that Yemeni forces and their allies shot down the
drone as it was on a reconnaissance mission east of the mountainous Jabal
al-Nar area of the region, located 967 kilometers southwest of the capital
Riyadh, on Friday afternoon.
development came only hours after Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from
Popular Committees downed a Saudi-led spy drone in the skies northeast of
al-Durayhimi district in the country’s western coastal province of Hudaydah.
June 23, Yemeni air defense forces and fighters from Popular Committees shot
down a Saudi-led drone over al-Sadis area of Saudi Arabia’s southern border
region of Najran.
day earlier, Yemeni air defense forces and their allies had downed a drone as
it was flying over al-Mazraq area in the Harad district of Yemen’s northwestern
province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest of Sana’a.
army forces and fighters from Popular Committees shot down a spy drone of the
Saudi-led military coalition in the skies over Hudaydah on June 21.
snipers shoot dead two Saudi troopers
on Friday, Yemeni forces and their allies fatally shot two soldiers in the
al-Shabakah area of the kingdom’s Najran region.
eight people, including women and children, lost their lives and several others
sustained injuries when Saudi-led fighter jets launched two airstrikes against
a house in Wadi Warzan area of Dimnat Khadir district in Yemen’s southern
province of Ta’izz.
three women sustained injuries when Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to Yemen's
former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi lobbaed a barrage of mortar shells at
residential buildings in al-Salkhaneh area of al-Hali district in Hudaydah
boy and a man were also injured as shells fired by Saudi-paid militiamen struck
Shuhada area in the same Yemeni district.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
have taken to the streets of the northern city of Sa’ada to protest against the
Saudi-led war on their country and to condemn the United States’ support for
the 17th anniversary of the “Scream in the face of the arrogance” protests,
Yemeni people on Friday censured the US as well as other Western and regional
countries supporting Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen, carrying banners
denouncing US policy in the region.
2002, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the late leader of the Ansarullah movement,
designated the group’s slogan, or “sarkha” in Arabic (also meaning scream), as
“Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
the Friday demonstration, people also carried Palestinian flags in support of
the Palestinian cause, voicing their rejection of the recent US-led conference
in Bahrain, which was held in support of President Donald Trump’s proposal for
alleged “peace” between the Israeli regime and Palestinians.
public opinion, as well as the Arab street in general, is fiercely opposed to
the plan, which Trump himself calls “deal of the century.” Certain Arab
governments, however, back the initiative in an attempt to win the Trump
also held similar rallies in the capital, Sana’a, on Friday, with more protest
being set to go ahead in Hudaydah and other Yemeni provinces.
Arabia launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing a
former Yemeni regime back to power and eliminating the Ansarullah movement.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has killed over 60,000
Yemenis since January 2016.
“Looney Tunes terrorist” is already in plea talks with the government following
his foiled plot to shoot up Times Square, according to a federal prosecutor.
Alam pleaded “not guilty” Thursday to an indictment charging him with
possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Assistant US Attorney
Jonathan Algor told the court both sides “have begun plea negotiations.”
22, allegedly underwent Lasik eye surgery first because he worried that if he
bungled the shooting he’d be dubbed the “Looney Tunes Terrorist” or “Blind
Terrorist,” according to federal charging documents.
say we are in an attack, right, say that my glasses fall off. What if I
accidentally shoot you?” Alam is quoted as telling an undercover law
enforcement officer in the filing in the Brooklyn federal court filing. “You
know what I mean? Imagine what the news channel would call me, the ‘Looney
Tunes Terrorist’ or the ‘Blind Terrorist.’ ”
Queens man was arrested earlier this month following months of plotting an
attack with informants and undercover agents.
say he originally planned to buy suicide vests and hand grenades, but
eventually settled on attacking Times Square.
lawyer, Deirdre von Dornum, declined to comment on her clients behalf as she
left court with his family, who also declined to speak.
due back in court July 18, and remains held without bail.
men pleaded guilty Friday to criminal terrorism charges in connection with a
foiled plot to attack an Islamic community in New York state.
Vetromile, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of
a weapon in the first degree as a crime of terrorism, according to Monroe
County District Attorney spokeswoman Calli Marianetti.
Crysel, 19, and Brian Colaneri, 20, both pleaded guilty to one count of
conspiracy in the second degree as a crime of terrorism. The three men will not
face additional federal charges as a part of the plea deal, Marianetti told
faces a prison sentence of at least seven years and Crysel and Colaneri face a
prison sentence of four to 12 years, according to Marianetti. Sentencing for
the three men is set for August 8.
has reached out to their defense attorneys for comment but have not heard back.
against a fourth suspect, a minor male who was 16 when he was arrested, are
still pending, Marianetti told CNN.
Crysel, Colaneri and the unidentified minor were arrested in January in Greece,
New York, a day after a student reported a comment made during lunch at a local
high school. All were accused of making homemade bombs and plotting to attack
the Muslim community of Islamberg in Delaware County, New York.
is a community of several hundred Muslim Americans located about a three-hour
drive northwest of New York City.
four individuals are from the Rochester, New York, area and were originally
each charged with three felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon and
one felony count of conspiracy, according to Greece Police Sgt. Jared Rene.
Police Chief Police Patrick Phelan hailed the swift investigation as an example
of how teaching kids to "see something, say something" can work.
plot quickly uncovered
said the investigation began when after a student overheard the minor male
suspect showing a photo of another student and making a comment to the effect
of, "he looks like the next school shooter, doesn't he?"
student reported the comment and school security immediately interviewed the students
involved in the conversation. School security also notified Greece Police, who
took over the investigation that eventually involved the New York State Police,
federal law enforcement, and officers from nearby towns.
conducting further interviews and executing several search warrants, police
found 23 firearms and three "improvised explosive devices" associated
with the four males, as well as details of the alleged plot to attack
appeared the plot had been in the works for about a month, Phelan said. Three
of the four males knew each other through their participation in Boy Scouts,
Hoitt, CEO of the Boy Scouts of America's Seneca Waterways Council, said in a
statement in January that "we were shocked and disturbed to learn about
the allegations against these individuals."
senators have blocked a largely Democratic-led amendment that aimed to restrict
President Donald Trump’s authority to militarily strike Iran without first
obtaining congressional approval.
a voting session on Friday, the proposal by Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Tom
Udall was rejected 50 to 40, but for the amendment to be added to the National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), supporters needed 60 yes votes.
must tell the president and affirm to the American people that we will assume our
constitutional responsibility,” said Udall, Democrat of New Mexico. “And we
must do so now before — through miscalculation, mistake or misjudgment — our
nation finds itself in yet another endless war.”
Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) also told reporters that “the American
people are very afraid that this president, even if he doesn’t want to start a
war, would bumble us into one.”
increased between the US and Iran after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
(IRGC) shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern
coastal province of Hormozgan on June 20.
the downing of the RQ-4A drone, Trump claimed he had called off US strikes on
three different Iranian sites 10 minutes before they were planned to be launched.
few days later, the White House introduced new sanctions that targeted Leader
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and senior commanders
of Navy, Aerospace, and Ground Forces of the IRGC.
special envoy for Iran Brian Hook has said the United States will sanction any
country that imports oil from the Islamic Republic and there are no exemptions
in this regard.
will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil... There are right now no oil
waivers in place," Brian Hook said on Friday in London when asked about
the sale of Iranian crude to Asia.
added that the United States would investigate reports of Iranian crude going
will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil," he told
President Donald Trump on Monday announced new sanctions against Iran targeting
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top commanders of
the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the Tehran's recent
downing of a surveillance US drone by the IRGC. He said the Leader was
ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the
on Tuesday warned that the new US sanctions meant “closing the doors of
diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday denounced the Trump administration
as being “afflicted by mental retardation.”
also called the sanctions against the Leader “outrageous and idiotic.”
Trump administration said on April 22 that, in a bid to reduce Iran's oil
exports to zero, buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face
sanctions. The move ended six months of waivers, which allowed Iran’s eight
biggest buyers -- Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and
Taiwan -- to continue importing limited volumes.
United States' insistence on zeroing out Iran's oil exports has cause many
problems in the global market, keeping confused both experts and buyers as they
look straight into what is shaping up to be a chaotic chapter for the petroleum
President Donald Trump said Saturday that Turkey “was not allowed to buy
Patriot missiles by the Obama administration” and his administration is looking
at different solutions regarding its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missiles.
is a NATO member and was not treated fairly," Trump said in a joint
presser with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to the Obama
administration's reluctance to sell Patriots to Turkey in 2013.
about possible sanctions against Turkey, Trump said “we are looking at it, but
it’s a two-way street”.
also touched on the trade volume between Turkey and the U.S., saying "$75
billion is small. I think it is going to be well over $100 billion soon."
amendment to restrain U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to wage war on Iran
failed to clear the Senate Friday.
the measure Trump would have still been allowed to attack Iran in self-defense,
but Republicans mounted sufficient opposition to it, saying it is unnecessary
and could undermine efforts to check Iran.
amendment needed 60 votes to clear the Senate, but over 40 senators voted in
opposition in the 100-member chamber effectively scuttling it even though
voting remains open.
was to be added to the annual military spending bill, which cleared the Senate
Thursday, if it had gained enough support.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allowed the amendment to be tacked on
retroactively -- a rarity in the federal legislature -- but voiced stern
opposition to it.
amendment would be a radical departure from constitutional traditions and
norms. It would weaken American deterrence and diplomacy at a time of
heightened tensions caused by Iran’s aggression in the Middle East. The Senate
must defeat it," he said.
and Iran's top officials have exchange bellicose rhetoric over the past couple
of weeks as tensions have ratcheted higher.
president on Tuesday starkly warned Iran that should it attack American targets
the U.S. response would be overwhelming including the obliteration of at least
some sites that would be hit in response.
and YouTube must do more to stop terrorists live streaming atrocities, May to
May is calling on tech giants like Facebook and YouTube to co-operate more
closely with governments and security agencies to stop terrorists from being
able to broadcast their atrocities in real time over the internet.
at the G20 summit in Japan, the prime minister will urge the companies to
development technology to allow livestreams of atrocities to be swiftly
identified and removed from the web.
will highlight a new crisis response mechanism being developed in response to
the murder of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, when the killer
broadcast his murders as they happened via Facebook Live.
1.5 million copies of the footage were removed by Facebook, but film of the
atrocity could still be found on YouTube for as long as eight hours after it
was first posted.
a discussion on the digital economy at the Osaka summit, Ms May will say that
governments around the world need to learn the lessons from the attack and will
urge close collaboration between security officials and social media and tech
May will say: “We should do all we can to bring the best minds together across
industry to develop technology to tackle the misuse of livestreaming. We’ve
seen the damage when terrorists can advertise into people’s homes - now we
mustn’t let them broadcast their atrocities in real time.”
PM will highlight new methods of tackling the abuse of the internet by
terrorists developed as part of the Christchurch Call to Action, which world
leaders signed at an online extremism summit in Paris earlier this year.
these are a new crisis response mechanism involving the establishment of
networks of “online first responders” within tech companies, who are directly
linked to the heart of international governments’ counter-terrorism units and
law enforcement agencies, allowing a rapid and co-ordinated response to stop
the spread of violent extremist content.
crisis hotline can be used to share digital fingerprints to allow companies to
prevent the re-upload of existing terrorist content on their platforms. The
companies involved - Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft - are already
making use of technology to automatically remove terrorist propaganda.
the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, established after the
Westminster attack of 2017, is working with more than 100 small platforms to
spread use of the mechanism.
PM will say tools and expertise should be shared more widely to build the
capacity of the industry to tackle terrorist content.
are no easy answers but I am sure that by combining different methodologies to
detect illegal and harmful content we will be able to find an approach that
severely limits terrorists ability to live-stream,” she will say.
the UK we are encouraging social media companies to develop these techniques at
pace. Others should do the same.”
wounds 2, kills himself in attack near French mosque
— An unidentified gunman shot and wounded an imam and one other person Thursday
in front of a mosque in the western French city of Brest, then killed himself,
motive for the attack is unclear. France’s interior minister ordered security
tightened at places of worship around the country.
shooter fired at two people then fled the scene in a car, according to a
national police spokesman. The shooting took place in front of the Mosquée
Sunna de Brest, on France’s Atlantic Coast.
launched a manhunt, but soon found the attacker’s Renault Clio car in a nearby
neighborhood — and nearby lay the attacker, who had shot himself in the head,
the spokesman said. The manhunt was called off, as police do not suspect the
attacker had accomplices.
two wounded people were hospitalized but “are doing OK,” the police spokesman
said. He was not authorized to be publicly named.
of them was prominent imam Rachid Eljay, the police spokesman said. Authorities
released no details about the identities of the suspect or the other victim.
anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said it is evaluating the situation and
whether there is a reason to suspect terrorist motives.
Thierry Ropars, working near the site of the attack, said he heard six or seven
domestic intelligence service recorded a small rise in the number of far-right
extremists and the number of far-right violent crimes in 2018, a new report
published Thursday has shown.
2018 report by the Germany's domestic security agency (BfV), presented in
Berlin by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and BfV head Thomas Haldenwang,
found that there were 24,100 right-wing extremists in Germany — 100 more than
in 2017 — of whom 12,700 were considered "violence-oriented."
the overall number of right-wing extremist crimes dropped by 0.3% in 2018, the
number of violent crimes committed by known right-wing extremists rose by 3.2%
(from 1,054 to 1,088), according to the report.
marks a new upturn after the number of crimes dipped in the wake of a high
point during the "refugee crisis" of 2015 and 2016. There were also a
total of 6 attempted homicides categorized as right-wing extremist crimes in
2018, the report found, up from 4 the year before.
year's BfV report has come at a particularly sensitive moment: On Thursday
morning, police made new arrests in the ongoing investigation into the killing
of Walter Lübcke, a conservative politician who had become a target for
extreme-right hate speech and death threats over his support for Chancellor
Angela Merkel's refugee policy in 2015.
main suspect, Stephan Ernst, who confessed to the killing this week while in
custody, is known to have neo-Nazi sympathies and connections to various
far-right organizations. German media investigations in the weeks after his
arrest found he had a history of violent crime against immigrants, including a
stabbing and the attempted pipe bombing of refugee housing, both in the early
new arrests, of two men alleged to have supplied Ernst with weapons, have led
to concerns that he was part of a terrorist cell similar to the National
Socialist Underground (NSU), a trio of neo-Nazis who committed ten murders, as
well as several bombings and bank robberies, over an eight-year period.
Thursday's press conference, Seehofer reiterated his "shock" at
Lübcke's death and pledged that all the relevant security forces would carry
out a thorough investigation into whether Ernst had a support network. Seehofer
also rejected the accusation, often repeated in the wake of the NSU case, that
the domestic security agency was "blind" to the threat of neo-Nazi
terrorism, either now or in the past.
problem we have is when we say we will improve, it is understood as a criticism
of the past, or that we were asleep before," he told reporters. "Of
course it's natural that one always tries to improve, to stay good."
Haldenwang described the politician's killing as a "turning point"
for the security services, he also said that a number of reforms inside the BfV
had been introduced in the wake of the NSU murders. Those reforms, he said,
took place under his predecessor Hans-Georg Maassen — who was dismissed amid
controversy over his allegedly lax stance toward the far-right amid the fallout
when investigative failings were revealed in the NSU murder series.
is a more intensive cooperation with other security forces," Haldenwang
said. "Since I came to office, I have always emphasized that in the last
few months we are seeing a new and intensified development in far-right
extremism." The agency is reacting, he said: "We are intensively
addressing the issue of networks in far-right extremism. We are very alert to
the activities of far-right extremists in the internet."
Kahane, head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an NGO that tracks and counters
far-right extremism, said it was "surprisingly good" that the BfV
report acknowledged the existence of far-right terrorism and interconnected
neo-Nazi networks in Germany.
she questioned how, precisely, the agency determined which extremists were
"violence-oriented" and which were not. "It's so speculative;
the criteria aren't clear," she told DW.
death has sent a shockwave through Germany's political establishment, with
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas calling for a new campaign initiative along the
lines of the climate protection campaign "Fridays for Future."
the motto (and social media hashtag) "Thursdays for Democracy," Maas
called on citizens to speak out against internet hatred aimed at local
politicians. "This cannot be accepted," Maas told the ARD public
broadcaster on Thursday morning.
foreign minister also wrote an open letter to all members of the German
Bundestag, inviting them to show support for local politicians on their social
media platforms under his hashtag. "I am absolutely convinced that the
great majority in our country wants Germany to be an open and tolerant
country," he said.
on Friday extended its troop commitment to the NATO mission in Kosovo and the
UN mission in Lebanon.
Federal Parliament or the Bundestag approved a 12-month extension of presence
of troops in Kosovo. The parliament, however, halved number of committed soldiers,
from 800 to 400, for the NATO's Kosovo force (KFOR).
number of German soldiers serving in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
stands at 300.
Left Party and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) opposed the
extension of commitments for these missions.
reports have confirmed that in the morning of Thursday 27th of June, violent
skirmishes broke in Jiliib pitting core Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen commanders
against each other.
to the report Strategic Intelligence, hhe violence, though actual incident
reports are yet to be reviewed, confirms that the infighting between the groups
ranks and file forced the group's leadership to worry, possibly call for a
shura council meeting.
fighting is largely blamed on successful airstrikes targeting top intelligence
and military commanders in the groups' bastions, specifically Central Somalia.
Amniyaat, the intelligence wing of the group claimed that moderate members of
the governing council covertly met representatives of the government of Somalia
in what could have been the onset of negotiating a political truce and
subsequent de-escalation by the terror group.
Critical review of the terror groups activities around Mogadishu confirm indeed
the number of attacks have almost fizzled after the accused group shared
locations of terrorist safe-houses, operatives, and weapon safes around and
inside the capital, an outcome that crippled the groups capability to mount
large scale attacks.
it's the killing of field intelligence and military operations commanders that
has made the fissures bare leading to violent confrontations between commanders
allied to the suspected group and the mephitic terror group.
coming days, Al-Qaeda branch in Somalia, Harakat Shabaab Mujahideen, is going
to conduct a violent purge targeting moderates in its governing council accused
of helping the Federal Government of Somalia in exchange of money and
events will further culminate to possible divisions at the governing council
and subsequent morphing of the outfit into a more violent religious-political
outfit that'll fast track its core objective of governing Somalia under strict
sharia law and further Al-Qaeda Central expansionist goals in the region.
Fadil Aliriza and Declan Walsh
— Two suicide bombers struck security forces in quick succession on Thursday
morning in the Tunisian capital, killing at least one police officer and
wounding at least eight other people, the Interior Ministry said.
was the second suicide assault on the streets of Tunis in nine months, stoking
worries of renewed instability in a country that emerged as a rare democratic
success after the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011.
previous attack, in October 2018, was carried out by an unemployed female
graduate who, according to her family, had been radicalized online.
first bomber on Thursday morning struck a security patrol in the city center,
near the site of the October attack, killing one police officer and wounding
other officers and passers-by, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
minutes later, another bomber detonated a device at the back door of a police
building in the El Gorjani area of the city, wounding four security officers,
the ministry said. The building is part of a large complex that includes the
headquarters of an antiterrorism brigade.
state news agency also said that unidentified “terrorist elements” tried to
sabotage a radio transmitter on Mount Orbata, about 175 miles south of Tunis,
early on Thursday. Soldiers stationed nearby chased the attackers away and no
equipment was damaged, the report said.
one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Tunis, which took
place months before an election and during the height of the tourist season,
and on the same day that Tunisia’s elderly president was taken to a hospital
for what officials called a health crisis.
Minister Youssef Chahed condemned the attacks as a “cowardly operation” that
aimed to “confuse” Tunisians ahead of the presidential vote in November. “I
want to tell Tunisians, ‘Don’t be scared,’” he said in a statement.
was the only North African country to achieve an enduring democratic transition
after the Arab Spring in 2011, adopting a new constitution in 2013 and holding
free presidential elections a year later.
its progress has been blighted by terrorist attacks and economic decline. The
Islamic State claimed responsibility for two major attacks in 2015 that killed
60 people, mostly European tourists. In recent years the national debt has
ballooned, while soaring prices led to nationwide street protests in January
taken shortly after the first explosion on Thursday showed debris and what
appeared to be body parts scattered across a street near the French embassy.
One officer could be seen clutching a wound on his torso and had blood smeared
on his neck.
sense of crisis was compounded by the announcement hours later that Tunisia’s
president, Béji Caïd Essebsi, 92, had been taken to a military hospital after
suffering a “severe health crisis,” the presidency said in a statement. Later,
as reports circulated on social media that Mr. Essebsi had died, the
president’s office issued a statement on its Facebook page saying the president
was in stable condition.
Essebsi won Tunisia’s first free presidential election, in 2014. In March,
Tunisia’s Truth and Dignity Commission named him for his role in human rights
violations in 1963, when he served as a security official under Tunisia’s
post-independence leader, Habib Bourguiba.
Thursday afternoon, a sense of strained normality prevailed in Tunis, as shops
reopened near the site of the bombings.
Belhaj, 28, one of the founders of a co-working space located near the site of
the first attack, on Rue Charles de Gaulle in the city center, said he heard
noises that he initially thought were the sound of malfunctioning electric
when he heard ambulances and police sirens, he knew something was wrong.
here in the neighborhood was checking Facebook,” Mr. Belhaj said, which is how
they found out about the attack.
violence is a further blow to Tunisia’s tourism industry, a key source of
income, which is still recovering from the violence of 2015. But the country’s
tourism minister, René Trabelsi, vowed that the city would return to normal.
continues,” he said to reporters after the attacks. “We’ll show them that
Tunisia isn’t scared of anything.”
added that he hoped the attacks would not damage the tourism industry.
was an attack on Tunisian security,” he said. “It has nothing to do with it.”
March 2015, gunmen killed 22 people at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis.
Three months later, attackers killed 38 people, most of them British tourists,
at a beach resort near the town of Sousse. In November that year, a suicide
bomber killed 12 members of the presidential guard in central Tunis.
2017 the BBC investigative program Panorama, citing investigative documents,
said the Bardo Museum and Sousse attacks had been orchestrated by the same
Islamic State commander, Chamseddine al-Sandi, now believed to be at large in
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Violence in West Africa’s Sahel region has never
spread so fast nor affected so many people, the United Nations said on
Thursday, warning of an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis.
number of people uprooted in Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger has increased
five-fold since last year, said the U.N. humanitarian agency (OCHA).
have never seen the levels of violence that we’re seeing today,” said Sofie
Garde Thomle, regional head of OCHA, at a press conference in Senegal’s capital
displacement is happening so fast that it makes us all a bit afraid,” she said.
countries of the Sahel, a semi-arid strip below the Sahara desert, have been
struggling with rapid population growth, extreme climate shifts and Islamist
violence for years.
the fighting has worsened in recent months as jihadists have expanded their
reach and stoked inter-communal fighting.
the new nexus of violence, where Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger meet, more than
1,200 civilians have been directly targeted and killed this year through May,
4.2 million people are displaced across the Sahel, a million more than a year
ago, according to OCHA, and most are living in communities already stretched
the militants has diverted state funds from services like healthcare and
education, said Mads Oyen, regional emergency advisor for the U.N. children’s
is very rapidly being transferred from social spending to security spending and
this will aggravate the issues we’re seeing,” Oyen said.
including the United States and the European Union have funded a joint military
operation by five Sahel countries to contain the violence, and thousands of
French and U.N. troops have been deployed to the region.
U.N. officials and aid agencies said an overly militarized response to the
crisis is only making it worse.
cannot tell the difference between military vehicles and cars bringing food or
medicine, so aid workers have increasingly become the target of attacks and
struggle to assert their neutrality, representatives of several U.N. agencies
— Suicide bombers carried out two separate attacks on security forces in
Tunisia’s capital early Thursday, killing one police officer and injuring at
least seven other people, Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said.
bombings occurred in rapid succession and shattered a sense of relative calm in
Tunis, which had gone eight months without a major militant attack. The Islamic
State claimed responsibility for the bombings later on Thursday, saying they
were carried out by two of the militant group’s “fighters,” according to a
message distributed on social media accounts affiliated with the group.
Tunisia’s 92-year-old president, Beji Caid Essebsi, was hospitalized on
Thursday after what his office said was a “severe health crisis.”
did not disclose the nature of his illness but sought to tamp down rumors
throughout the day that Essebsi had died, on a day already filled with anxiety.
a veteran political figure, became Tunisia’s first freely-elected leader in
2014, after a pro-democracy uprising ended the 23-year dictatorship of
President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
has largely avoided the chaos that has plagued several other Arab countries in
the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts, such as Syria and Libya. But
Tunisia’s tenuous transition to democracy has been threatened by arguments over
how to deal with the crimes of past governments and over the nation’s identity
groups, including the Islamic State, have carried out periodic deadly attacks,
threatening tourism, a cornerstone of Tunisia’s economy.
Thursday, the first explosion happened shortly before 11 a.m.,
when a bomber approached a security patrol on Charles de Gaulle Street near the
in central Tunis. A police officer was killed. Ten minutes later, another
bomber detonated explosives at a security installation in the Qarajani
district, the Interior Ministry said.
least three civilians and several officers were injured in the blasts,
according to the ministry. Video purporting to depict one of the attacks showed
a group of police officers surrounding a wounded colleague, who appeared to be
bleeding from the head.
2015, large-scale militant attacks on tourists killed at least 60 people and
helped plunge the country into a recession, but such attacks have become
International said Friday that Sudanese military rulers must guarantee the
safety of protesters ahead of planned mass rallies over the weekend calling for
civilian rule and following a deadly military crackdown that has left more than
100 dead since early June.
pro-democracy movement said they would proceed in their demonstrations despite
intensified efforts by the African Union and Ethiopia to end the political
impasse and bring protest leaders and the ruling military council back to the
negotiating table. The rallies are planned nationwide, with a focus on
horrific unprovoked use of lethal and unnecessary force against peaceful
protesters as witnessed on June 3 must not be repeated this Sunday, or ever
again,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty’s secretary general.
leader Sherif Osman, from The Forces for Decoration of Freedom and Change,
which represents the protesters, told reporters in a news conference in
Khartoum that the “peaceful” marches planned for Sunday could only be called
off “if the military council handed over power to civilians.”
demonstrations are planned to mark the 30th anniversary of the Islamist-backed
coup that brought Omar al-Bashir to power in 1989, toppling Sudan’s last
warned the military council of repeating the June 3 crackdown, when security
forces led by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces violently broke up a
protest sit-in outside the military’s headquarters, dealing a massive blow to
the protest movement.
break-up of the sit-in and ensuing clampdown has killed at least 128 people
cross the country, according to protest organizers. Authorities say the toll is
at 61, including three security forces.
military took over the country after protests drove Al-Bashir from power in
April. Negotiations with protesters over the transfer of power to civilians
reached a deadlock following the clampdown on their sit-in.
recent weeks, Ethiopia and the AU have been mediating between the two sides. On
Thursday, they presented a proposal to resume talks after the military refused
to accept an Ethiopian initiative, which had been approved by the protesters.
military council did not comment on the joint proposal and a spokesman for the
council did not answer phone calls seeking comment.
Ethiopian proposal also stipulates that the military would chair the council in
the first 18 months, and the FDFC the second half of the transition.
of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar has ordered his forces to attack
Turkish ships and interests in the country, his spokesman said on Friday,
accusing Turkey of being actively involved in battles.
have been given to the air force to target Turkish ships and boats in Libyan
territorial waters,” said General Ahmad al-Mesmari, adding that “Turkey
provided air cover using drones during the militia invasion of Gharyan city.”
spokesman accused Turkey of helping Haftar’s rivals- the Government of National
Accord (GNA)- seize the town of Gharyan, around 100 kilometers (around 60 miles)
southwest of Tripoli.
strategic sites, companies and projects belonging to the Turkish state (in
Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces.”
Libyan National Army, which holds eastern Libya and much of the country’s
south, launched an offensive to take the capital in early April.
has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed
dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with a multitude of militias vying for
control of the oil-rich country.
a retired general who had taken part in the revolt against Qaddafi, unleashed
an offensive in May 2014 to purge Libya of Islamists he branded “terrorists.”
added “all Turkish nationals on Libyan territory will be arrested” and “all
flights to and from Turkey will be banned.”
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar has ordered his forces to attack Turkish ships
and interests in the country, his spokesman said on Friday, accusing Turkey of
backing his rivals in Libya’s conflict.
have been given to the air force to target Turkish ships and boats in Libyan
territorial waters,” said General Ahmad Al-Mesmari, adding that “Turkish
strategic sites, companies and projects belonging to the Turkish state (in
Libya) are considered legitimate targets by the armed forces.”
self-styled Libyan National Army, which holds eastern Libya and much of the
country’s south, launched an offensive to take the capital in early April.
did not explain how the flight ban could apply to areas not under Haftar’s
spokesman accused Turkey of helping Haftar’s rivals — the internationally
recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) — seize the town of Gharyan,
around 100 kilometers (around 60 miles) southwest of Tripoli.
on Wednesday lost control of the city he had seized on April 2 and made his
center of operations.
sides accuse each other of using foreign mercenaries and receiving military
support from foreign powers.
NATIONS: The UN Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to put the brakes
on the withdrawal of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s
vast western Darfur region as the country deals with a political crisis.
council approved a resolution to extend the current mandate of the force, known
as UNAMID, for four months until October 31.
asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide an update in 60 days on the
situation on the ground — and it asks the UN and AU to make recommendations by
Sept. 30 on what the council should do about continuing the withdrawal.
July, the Security Council voted to dramatically cut the UNAMID force in
response to reduced fighting and improved security conditions. The target for
ending the mission is June 30, 2020.
UN deputy ambassador Jonathan Allen, whose country co-sponsored the resolution
with Germany, said the council made “the responsible decision to pause the
withdrawal,” which he said aligns with the decision of the AU Peace and
refugees allowed to stay in Pakistan for another year
has extended the stay of nearly 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees for
another year, officials said on Friday.
federal cabinet has formally approved the extension to those Afghan refugees
who hold the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, the country’s Ministry of
States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), which deals with the refugees’ issues,
said on Friday. The PoR cards allow the refugees to legally stay in Pakistan.
UN refugee agency on Friday welcomed the cabinet’s decision to let 1.4 million
Afghan refugees stay in Pakistan until June 30, 2020. The previous nine-month
extension will expire on June 30, 2019.
appreciate the government decision to extend the PoR cards for twelve months,
since this will provide predictability to Afghan refugees who were facing
uncertainty and anxiety,” said UNHCR Country Representative in Pakistan
appreciated the people and government of Pakistan for generously hosting Afghan
refugees for four decades.
has been an exemplary host throughout,” she said, adding that the UNHCR would
continue to support government policies that promote the resilience and
voluntary repatriation in dignity and safety, of the refugees, according to a
said the UNHCR would continue to call for international support to Pakistan for
Pakistani host communities and Afghan refugees living in the country.
1.4 million registered Afghan refugees reside in Pakistan, the UNHCR says.
Besides registered Afghan refugees, Pakistan also hosts about 900,000 Afghans
who were documented last year and they hold Afghan Citizenship Card (ACC), but
they are considered illegal immigrants. Thousands others skipped the
and UNHCR officials say that voluntary repatriation of the Afghan refugees from
Pakistan was slow, citing security issues in Afghanistan and also the UNHCR
decision to reduce cash grants for those returning.
UNHCR says only 1,700 individuals returned to Afghanistan since the voluntary
repatriation started in April 2019.
agency has reduced the cash grant to $200 for an individual, citing financial
problems. Earlier, a returnee would receive $400.
started taking refuge in Pakistan after the erstwhile Soviet Union invaded
Afghanistan in 1979. Pakistan still hosts the largest refugee community in the
world, according to the UN refugee agency.
Bilawal stance against use of religion card for political gains causes a stir
The All Parties Conference (APC) on Wednesday left little impact on the
government of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) amid reports of
differences within the opposition parties over a strategy to topple Imran
People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took a principled stand in the
APC against a number of suggestions made by APC chairman and convener Maulana
Fazlur Rehman, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).
the APC, Fazlur Rehman suggested mobilising the masses against Prime Minister
Imran Khan’s recent televised address to the nation in which he had allegedly
made blasphemous remarks against ‘Sahaba’ (Fellows) of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
told Gulf News here Friday that almost all the participating high-profile
leaders of the Opposition parties were about to approve this suggestion when
Bilawal put his foot down firmly saying he and his party would never support any
political gain based on exploiting people’s religious sentiments.
a strategy would serve to divide the society in the name of religion and that
the PPP is against using religion for political benefits.
was quoted as saying he had lost his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, mother
Benazir Bhutto and two maternal uncles, Murtaza and Shah Nawaz, in opposing the
forces of extremism and fanaticism and if he okays use of ‘religion card’
against the current government, he will be doing great injustice to them.
Bilawal’s opposition, the suggestion was deferred for another time. Another
suggestion that met the same fate was that of en masse resignation of MPs.
presiding over the session, Fazlur Rehman suggested resignation of opposition
legislators from the assemblies, but the main opposition parties said such a
move was not a solution to national issues.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PPP said they would not be able to effectively
push their stance outside parliament, adding that a joint strategy should be
opted inside and outside the parliament against incumbent government.
Bilawal’s stance showed fissures among the opposition parties it also raised
his stature as a visionary leader who was not in favour of using religion for
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Friday in his tweet,
welcomed Bilawal’s stance and said fatwa (decree)-issuing clerics are the
biggest threat to Pakistan.
his Twitter account, Chaudhry further wrote that people from all sects should
wage Jihad against this attitude as 75 per cent of “our problems develop due to
Representatives of different religious and political organisations have
demanded the Islamic countries’ leadership take action on prevailing unrest in
of different religious and political organisations while addressing "Unity
of Ummah Conference" that held here Friday under the aegis of Pakistan
Ulema Council, Lahore Chapter, demanded UNO and OIC to take action on rising
unrest in Gulf countries stating that mounting tension between Iran-US and
Arabian countries could be very sabotaging for world peace.
Rejecting the latest report of the US State Department on the international
religious freedom, Pakistan has said people of different faiths are living
together in the country and their rights are guaranteed under the Constitution.
Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a statement on Friday that the
US report on Pakistan was “a compendium of unsubstantiated and biased
is of the view that all countries are obliged to promote religious harmony and
have a duty to protect their citizens in accordance with national laws and
international norms. “A glaring discriminatory aspect of the report is that it
has ignored the systematic persecution of minorities, particularly Muslims, in
India, which are subjected to alien domination and foreign occupation such as
in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he stated.
said that Pakistan, which is a multi-religious, multi-cultural and pluralistic
society, had always played a positive role and engaged the international
community, including the US with a view to have better and mutual understanding
of the issue of religious freedoms, which were under stress around the world.
often raised its own concerns internationally, including with the western
governments and the US over the growing trend of Islamophobia in their own
countries, said the FO spokesperson. “At the United Nations, OIC and other
platforms, Pakistan will continue to be part of global efforts to combat
religious intolerance, discrimination based on religion and belief and
the US report, the spokesperson made it clear that as a matter of principle,
“Pakistan does not support such national reports making observations on the
internal affairs of sovereign states”.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived here on Friday after spending in
Islamabad the first day of his two-day visit to Pakistan.
Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar welcomed the Afghan President at Allama
Iqbal International Airport.
welcome the Afghan president in Lahore from the core of our hearts. President
Ghani’s visit to Pakistan is indeed a new chapter in the history of Pak-Afghan
relations,” said Mr Buzdar.
chief minister termed Mr Ghani’s visit to Lahore an honour and privilege for
him and expressed the hope that with his visit, relations between the two
countries would improve.
and Afghanistan need to work together for the sake of peace in the region.
Peace is important for stability and prosperity of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
When Pak-Afghan relations will improve, trade activities will also flourish
between the two countries,” said Mr Buzdar.
on the occasion, President Ghani said that he was happy to be in Lahore. Later,
the Afghan president visited the Governor House.
the Afghan president to the Governor House, Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said that
a peaceful and strengthened Pakistan needed a peaceful neighbourhood. He said
that road to peace in Kabul goes through Islamabad.
are facilitating the Afghan government in our fullest capacity to bring peace
and stability there,” the governor said.
Sarwar also discussed with Mr Ghani matters pertaining to Pak-Afghan relations,
security situation in the region, terrorism and trade.
governor said that terrorists and their abettors did not belong to a particular
country or a particular nation, adding that these elements were against
humanity in the region and it was necessary to eliminate networks of these
terrorists to ensure peace in the entire region.
said that members of security forces of Pakistan had rendered great sacrifices
in their fight against terrorism.
governor said that Pakistan had played a very positive role in bringing peace,
stability and prosperity in Afghanistan as Islamabad was in favour of a
political solution of the Afghan issue and it was a great proponent of
Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
Sarwar said that Pakistan believed that a peaceful Afghanistan was in the best
interest of Pakistan.
that terrorism had become the greatest threat for the region, the governor said
the need of the hour was to intensify collective battle against terrorists and
their abettors. He said it was also obligatory upon other regional countries to
contribute to the elimination of terrorism effectively to make the region free
from chaos, disorder and terror.
hope that with your visit, both Pakistan and Afghanistan would come closer and
enhance bilateral engagement through increased mutual cooperation,” the
Ghani said that he was greatly obliged and thankful for the love, hospitality
and affection he received in Lahore from Mr Buzdar and Mr Sarwar.
Ghani said that he had fruitful meetings with President Arif Alvi and Prime
Minister Imran Khan and added that Pak-Afghan relations would be strengthened
in future and trade relations would also get a boost.
and Afghanistan are not mere neighbours, we are more than that, we are
connected by Muslim bond of brotherhood,” Mr Ghani said.
Afghan president also held a meeting with a delegation of Pak-Afghan Business
Forum, led by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Abdul Razaq Dawood at the
on the occasion, Mr Ghani said that though Afghanistan was a landlocked
country, it could still play an effective role for an improved connectivity
between countries of Central Asia and South Asia.
is developing its infrastructure to come up with a new direction of
connectivity through energy transmission and modernisation of transport sector
in an effort to cater to needs of modern day age,” he said.
Ghani also held a meeting with investors and experts in the education sector.
Afghan president along with the governor offered Friday prayers at the Governor
Mr Ghani visited Badshahi Masjid, Allama Iqbal’s mausoleum and Lahore Fort.
The recent HIV outbreaks in Pakistan indicate a worrying but potentially
addressable knowledge gap in infection control processes and mechanisms of HIV
transmission and a severe lapse in regulation of country’s health system, which
allows people without appropriate training and certification to call themselves
is stated in a recent editorial in the Lancet Infectious Diseases — a leading
international medical journal.
refers to the letters it has received from Pakistan about the recent HIV
outbreaks in Sindh and Punjab that appear to have stemmed from unsanitary and
unregulated medical practice usually in rural towns.
March, 2019, an outbreak of HIV was reported in a single village in Sargodha
district, Punjab, where the prevalence of HIV infection increased from 1 per
cent to around 13pc in six months.
with many patients revealed that many of them had been treated by the same
unlicensed practitioner before testing positive for the virus.
also talks about the HIV outbreak in Larkana and says that so far around 700
cases have been identified, affecting more than 600 children, most of whom are
younger than five years.
reports of HIV epidemics in Pakistan linked to health providers (legitimate or
not) have highlighted a potentially unappreciated source of the burden of blood
borne infections in the country, which has previously been attributed to
transmission among the country’s considerable population of injecting drug
users and sex workers.
reports are concerning for several reasons. First, they could indicate a
worrying but potentially addressable knowledge gap in infection control
processes and mechanisms of HIV transmission among health workers in Pakistan,”
says the editorial.
a deeper analysis of the situation in the country, it suggests there could be a
severe lapse in regulation of country’s health system, which allows people
without appropriate training and certification to call themselves doctors.
they could lead to fear and mistrust of the health system, further exacerbating
the country’s health woes and putting health targets out of reach,” it says.
also notes the consistent poor performance of Pakistan in the health sector and
cites a 2018 Unicef report which ranked it as the riskiest place to be born in
health indicators particularly those related to maternal and child health are
worse in Pakistan than elsewhere in the South Asian region.
communicable diseases remain a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the
country, a situation that can be attributed to many complex societal, political
and structural factors that lead to inadequate sanitation, unsafe drinking
water, overcrowding, low socio economic status and poor vaccination coverage.”
Pakistan’s 2017-18 Demographic and Health Survey, it says that as little as
32pc of women and 67pc of men in Pakistan have ever heard of HIV/AIDS with
comprehensive knowledge of the disease limited to 4pc and 10pc, respectively.
findings are despite the Pakistani government launching the NACP, an HIV/AIDS
prevention and awareness programme in 1986-87.
the response to the HIV outbreak in Larkana, the editorial says it ‘was fairly
swift involving various international agencies and provincial and federal
new antiretroviral treatment clinic for children has been established in
Larkana, although how long these treatments will be unavailable in unclear,
with access to ART generally limited in the country.
DELHI: Saudi Arabia has increased India’s Hajj quota by 30,000, lifting the
figure to 200,000 per year. The enhanced quota means India will send the
second-highest number of pilgrims for Hajj after Indonesia.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided to raise the quota after a bilateral
meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Japanese city of Osaka.
Gokhale, India’s foreign secretary, said that the “crown prince has promised PM
Modi the quota will be increased.”
is important and this has been done,” he said
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the increase was a result of
Modi’s “cordial and friendly” relations with the Saudi leadership.
is the third hike in three years. When the Modi government came to power in
2014, India’s Hajj quota was 136,000. That has now been increased to 200,000,”
Ausaf Sayeed, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, welcomed the crown prince’s
are grateful to the Kingdom for increasing the Hajj quota. This will be the
highest number of pilgrims to be handled by the Indian Hajj mission in its
history,” he told Arab News. “The decision reflects the increasingly close and
developing strategic relationship between the two countries, which has taken an
upward trajectory in the recent years,” he said.
are geared up to receive the Indian Hajj pilgrims starting from July 4, 2019.
The Saudi leadership involved in Hajj management, including Makkah Gov. Prince
Khaled Al-Faisal and Hajj Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin, have promised to make
Indian pilgrims’ stay in the Kingdom as comfortable as possible.”
Sadat, a New Delhi resident, also welcomed the increase in the quota. “I waited
for three years before my turn came to perform Hajj. The increase of 30,000 is
significant ... I feel that the quota should go up further.”
least 27 Syrian troops were killed and three wounded in two attacks on Thursday
by al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in the central Syrian province of Hama,
according to jihadi sources.
two surprise attacks took place against Syrian military positions near the
village of Atshan in the northern part of Hama, al-Bayaan, an Arabic website
dedicated to jihadi news in Syria, reported.
website also published a statement by a jihadi coalition that has launched an
offensive against Syrian regime forces in parts of Hama and the nearby
northwestern province of Idlib.
blessed operation resulted in killing and wounding more than 30 soldiers and
officers from the [Syrian] army … an ammunition depot unit was destroyed, and
the army retreated from the checkpoints near the location of the raid, due to
the fear that struck them," the statement said.
pro-rebel media outlets reported on the attacks as well, but attributed them to
rebel forces that are also active in the region.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has researchers on the
ground, told VOA that it couldn't confirm whether the jihadists or rebels were
behind Thursday's attacks.
ongoing battle in northern Hama is a complicated one," said Rami Abdulrahman,
head of the Syrian Observatory. "Rebel groups and radical jihadists are
fighting regime troops separately but simultaneously."
added that oftentimes during Syria's civil war — which has been raging since
2011 — Syrian rebels and terrorist groups would take credit for the same attack
against Syrian regime forces.
media activist in Hama said that jihadist militants were trying to take
advantage of the new rebel advances on several villages in the area.
regime is under enormous pressure in the areas along the border between Hama
and Idlib provinces. That's why radical groups are pressing forward in the same
areas," the activist, who declined to be identified for fear of
retribution, told VOA.
province has largely been under the control of the Syrian regime, with parts of
it briefly captured by rebel groups and the Islamic State (IS) militants during
different stages of the Syrian war.
northern part of Hama came under intensive strikes after several rebel groups
launched an offensive against regime forces last week in an apparent attempt to
shift Syrian government troops and their allied forces from embattled Idlib,
which is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.
Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a powerful Islamist group that was once al-Qaida's Syria
branch, controls a lot of territory in Idlib. However, several small yet
significant jihadist groups have broken away from HTS, while remaining loyal to
October, these jihadist forces established a "command center" to
coordinate attacks against Syrian troops and allied Russian forces in many
parts of northwestern Syria.
move came after Russia and Turkey reached an agreement in September 2018 that
required Turkey to remove jihadist militants from Idlib while Russia would stop
the Syrian regime from carrying out attacks on the province.
June 27 (Xinhua) -- A total of six Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on
Thursday in an airstrike carried out by the U.S.-led coalition aircraft and
operations by the Iraqi army in the northern province of Nineveh, the Ministry
of Defense said in a statement.
U.S.-led coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike on a tunnel used by IS
militants as a hideout in the province, killing four of the extremist militants
inside, the statement said, without providing further details about the exact
location of the tunnel.
in the province, a force from the Iraqi army carried out search operation
looking for IS remnants in al-Fawarat area in al-Baaj area near the border with
Syria, killing two IS militants, one of them a Syrian national, the statement
the security forces conducted another search operation outside the town of
Bashiqa in northeast of the provincial capital Mosul, about 400 km north of
Baghdad, and found a minefield, four explosive devices and three artillery
shells left by IS militants and destroyed them all, it added.
security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security
forces fully defeated the extremists IS militants across the country late in 2017.
Syrian crisis topped talks held between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the G20 summit,
Egypt’s state TV said on Saturday, citing the presidency.
presidency also said the talks between the two showed matching views regarding
the latest developments in the Gulf region, state TV reported.
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on Saturday with US President
Donald Trump, and commended the “great achievements” between the two countries,
stressing that more needs to be done.
you Mr. President we did a lot of great achievements, in the political side,
security side, military side, and economical side,” the Crown Prince said
during a working breakfast on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan.
praised the “spectacular job” that the Crown Prince is doing with reforms in
the Kingdom, highlighting what he has done for women especially.
an honor to be with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia... a man who has really
done things in the last five years in terms of opening up Saudi Arabia,” Trump
like a revolution in a very positive way.”
have done a spectacular job,” Trump told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
referring to him as “a friend of mine.”
had some meetings on trade, and economic development, and on the military of
course, and the meetings have been really terrific,” Trump added.
Lanka's army chief sees no immediate terrorism threat after Easter blasts
June 27 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's army chief Mahesh Senanayake said there was no
immediate terrorism threat in Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday terror
explosions, but security forces would continue to remain vigilant, local media
reported on Thursday.
testifying before the Special Parliamentary Committee probing the suicide
attacks on April 21, said that army forces, police and intelligence agencies
were ensuring that all attempts to revive terrorism had been thwarted.
added since the terrorist attacks in April, coordination between the military,
police and intelligent agencies had been strengthened and they were
coordinating with foreign intelligence agencies as well.
meet regularly and have been able to create an integrated intelligence network
with inputs from foreign intelligence agencies as well," Senanayake said.
forces have been able to contain the situation and have reached a critical juncture
where sweeping arrests have been made and links to the banned organizations
have been weakened. The security forces are now maintaining their state of
alertness," he added.
250 people were killed and 500 injured when suicide bombers targeted churches
and luxury hotels on April 21.
said over 100 suspects were in custody while President Maithripala Sirisena
told journalists on Wednesday that all the main suspects had either died or had
will ask more support from China on the issue of safe and dignified
repatriation of Rohingya Muslim to their own land in Myanmar, an official said
are hopeful that we will get China’s full support to pressurize Myanmar to
return their citizens [Rohingya] with safety and dignity”, Foreign Minister AK
Abdul Momen told reporters in Dhaka while briefing about Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina's upcoming visit to Beijing.
her 5-day official tour to China between July 1-5 to attend the World Economic
Forums annual meeting, Hasina will raise the issue to Chinese President Xi
Jinping during a bilateral meeting.
said that China has been playing a role in favor of Bangladesh on the Rohingya
not only China but Russian and even India are mostly doing a role in favor of
Bangladesh against Myanmar on peaceful repatriation of Rohingya," he
the most persecuted community in the world has long been facing government
atrocities in the western Rakhine state of Maynamar.
to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and
children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces
launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
southeastern Cox's Bazar district is currently hosting more than 1 million
Rohingya refugees living in temporary shelters. Rohingya have long been shouted
to return to their country as Dhaka and Naypyitaw have signed a repatriation
agreement in late 2017.
Dhaka repeatedly accused Myanmar of the failure of peaceful repatriation so
main target is to permanently return Rohingya people to their home country with
peace and dignity so that there is no situation in future that may push them
again to move to Bangladesh”, Momen added.
to the current global scenario he said that it is not wise to believe that Myanmar
will abide by any instruction of China.
reply to a query about repeated controversial role of China on Rohingya issue,
Momen said: “We do not believe that Myanmar is being patronized by China."
recent proposal of US Congressman Brad Sherman for separating the Rakhine
State, the homeland of Rohingya, from Myanmar and adding it as a territory of
Bangladesh, Momen said that Dhaka is not thinking such way. “We are always
trying to solve the Rohingya crisis peacefully.”
reiterated the Bangladeshi government's called on the international community
to support Dhaka and put more pressure on Myanmar.
have to gain our goal with the joint effort of the whole international
Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s
state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development
than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others
were beaten, said the report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The
President Travels To Pakistan For Talks On Peace With Taliban
president has held talks with Pakistan’s prime minister as momentum builds for
peace talks with the Taliban that are aimed at ending Afghanistan's decades of
war and conflict.
Ghani’s June 27 meeting with Imran Khan came as the Afghan leader started a
two-day trip to Pakistan, his first since elections that brought Khan to power
addition to the Taliban peace negotiations, Ghani’s visit is also seen as an
attempt to improve the often-strained relationship between the two neighbors.
to a statement released by Khan’s office, the two leaders "agreed to open
a new chapter of friendship and cooperation…based on mutual trust and harmony
for the benefit of the two peoples and countries and for advancing the cause of
peace, stability and prosperity in the region."
Ghani met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi where he "praised
Pakistan's role in the peace process," according to a Foreign Ministry
has facilitated ongoing peace negotiations between Washington and the Taliban,
with U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad trying to find a negotiated exit to the
17-year war in Afghanistan.
visit comes a week after dozens of Afghan political leaders attended a peace
gathering in Pakistan.
Taliban has refused to talk directly with Kabul government representatives,
calling them U.S. puppets.
meanwhile, traveled to Tajikistan for talks with Tajik officials on the Afghan
has held six rounds of talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha. The
next round is scheduled to begin on June 29.
Afghan Special Forces killed 9 Taliban militants during the operations in
Kapisa and Wardak.
informed military sources said Friday that the Special forces killed 3 Taliban
militants in Tagab district of Kapisa.
the Special Forces destroyed 10 roadside bombs and one house-borne Improvised
Explosive Device during an operation in Nijrab district of Kapisa.
the Special Forces killed 6 Taliban militants during an operation in Chak-e
Wardak district of Wardak province.
Special Forces also destroyed a weapons cache belonging to Taliban militants,
the sources added.
airstrike killed the shadow governor of Taliban for Logar and his two deputies,
the Ministry of Defense said Friday.
defense ministry said the airstrike was carried out in Charkh district of
statement further added that the airstrike killed Haji Lala, the shadow
governor of Taliban group for Logar province.
Ministry of Defense also added that the airstrike also killed Baryalai and
Faridoon, the shadow deputy governors of Taliban for Logar.
Taliban group has not commented regarding the airstrike so far.
security situation in Logar province has deteriorated during the recent months.
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
Afghan officials say a Taliban attack against pro-government forces has killed
at least 25 in the northern province of Baghlan.
chief Fazeluddin Muradi says that the insurgents’ attack also wounded at least
eight pro-government fighters, during several hours of battle late Friday in
the area of Nahrin.
police official, who was not authorized to speak on the issue, confirmed the
high death toll.
did not immediately claim the attack, but recently the militant group has
stepped up its offensive against Afghan security forces.
New Age Islam, Islam Online,
Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women,
Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and