Photo: At least 50 Muslims were picked up by PAC
personnel from Hashimpura village in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, in May 1987
(Picture: Praveen Jain)
of 4,000 Civilians Killed by US, ISIL Found in Raqqa
Another Boko Haram in the Making?
terrorists behind majority of Islamist attacks on the West
case: 16 PAC men sentenced to life imprisonment for murder of 38 Muslims
terror funding in construction of mosque in Haryana: Delhi govt panel
Two Terrorists Killed in Budgam Encounter; Residents Pelt Stones at Security
Forces, Vandalise Media Van
quota seat matrix: Kerala HC dismisses plea of Karuna, Travancore medical
Outlets in UAE to Help Absconding Criminals With Jobs, Convert Them to Islam:
jihadi groups in Kerala open 'support outlets' in UAE
lodges strong protests with Pakistan, China over PoK bus service
in religious discourse on sexual harassment in Egypt
remands Qaradawi daughter in custody for 45 days
Army Repels Terrorists' Heavy Attack in Hama Province
Militias on Alert after Turkish Troops Intensify Attacks on Northern Syria
Forces Refuse to Attack ISIL Commanders at Syrian Borders
Heavy Infighting Reported Between Rival Terrorists in Northern Syria
Military Source: Army on Verge of Massive Military Operations in Demilitarized
Warplanes Bomb Eastern Syria Again, Kill More Civilians
representative for Syria says main goals are confronting ISIS, expelling Iran
freed from Gitmo in exchange for Bergdahl join Taliban’s political office in
World League chief meets with Russia-Islamic World delegation
arrests 400 Shia Muslims after deadly clashes
crackdown on Shiite group sparks fears of escalation
Sudan rebel leader Machar arrives in capital, first time since 2016
of billions from frozen Qaddafi funds investigated by Belgium
supporters bury protesters killed by Nigerian army
toll from attack on Islamic Movement in Nigeria supporters rises to 42
Africa: Stopping the Spread of Terror Onto West Africa's Coast
Haram: FAO distributes 11,000 fuel-efficient stoves to displaced families in
Al Shabaab fighters used as sacrificial lambs, returnee says
trolls’ priority in UK is stirring hatred of Islam
preparing to stage false flag chemical attack in Syria, Russia warns
Milani, the young Muslim politician challenging Boris Johnson
official tells Al Arabiya English details of Iran attack in Denmark
anti-Iran TV channel funded by Saudis: Report
summons Danish ambassador over attack allegations
confront state’: Pak PM Imran Khan warns hardliners protesting SC verdict
acquitting Asia Bibi
‘blasphemer’ violation of law: Haq
chief predicts fall of govt within next three months
urges Pakistan to enact law banning radical groups
welcome Aasia case judgement
paid no heed to center’s security warnings ahead of TLP’s protests
deserted, blocked as religious zealots continue to protest across country
deports Pakistani man over alleged links with Islamic State
providing military, logistical support to Daesh terrorists in Syria: Report
the violent extremists among us
is alienating Muslim voters. Can Democrats take advantage?
Muslim groups raise over $200k for synagogue victims
senators urge Trump to suspend Saudi nuclear talks
advocacy group seeks investigation into mosque threat
emphasises reconciliation as Taliban join Doha office
US doesn’t want to harm friends, allies with Iran sanctions
watchdog: Afghan forces struggle to regain ground as casualties mount
I don’t think the Saudis betrayed me on Khashoggi case
pressured to suspend nuclear talks with Saudi
key Taliban leaders arrive in Qatar amid ongoing efforts for peace talks
among 68 militants killed, wounded in Afghan, U.S. forces operations
control slips, Afghan force losses at record: US watchdog
officials visit camps in Bangladesh in effort to kick-start Rohingya
wins top global award for Rohingya feature
confirms reports of Chinese mass internment camps for Uighur Muslims
Al-Qaeda, LeT Men among 5 Terror Suspects Arrested, Malaysian Police Say
puts Saudi Arabia at a diplomatic arm’s length
Christian comedians get death threats over video about cooking pork
strangled and ‘cut into pieces’ in consulate: Turkish prosecutor
Arbaeen trek ‘display of power’ against enemies of Islam
casts doubt on Saudi help in Khashoggi probe
minister visits Ramallah after Netanyahu talks
Houthi militias kidnap photographer in Sanaa
coalition air raid on Houthi camp in Hodeidah kills 150 militants
seeking to launch psywar against Iran through illegal bans: Official
calls for resumption of Yemen peace talks 'within a month'
attacks in Syria prompt SDF to halt to fight against Daesh
by New Age Islam News Bureau
a trial court’s verdict, the Delhi High Court Wednesday convicted 16 former
Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel and sentenced them to life imprisonment
for the mass murder of 38 Muslims in Hashimpura village in Uttar Pradesh’s
Meerut in 1987. A two-judge bench, comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod
Goel, said the incident was a “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless
people. The trial court had acquitted them in the case in March 2015 after
finding that “it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubts” that the accused
were PAC officials.
accused, who are all retired now, were found guilty of murder and kidnapping,
criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under relevant sections of the
Indian Penal Code (IPC). There were initially 17 accused, but one died during
the course of the trial.
HC, which was hearing appeals filed by Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC) and private parties including Zulfiqar Nasir, a survivor of
the massacre, had reserved its verdict in the case on September 6.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted a senior medical official in Raqqa
named Jamal Issa as saying that the US forces pounded Raqqa city for one month
last August without any interruption after transferring the ISIL terrorists
from Raqqa to Deir Ezzur, adding that the US airstrikes destroyed over 85% of
the city, including all infrastructures, and killed thousands of civilians.
added that a large number of mass-graves have been found after occupation of
Raqqa by the US forces, noting that 4,000 corpses of civilians, including
nearly 2,500 children, women and the elderly, have been unearthed from the
said that in addition to the mass-graves, the bodies of hundreds of people have
been discovered from rubbles, adding that only 2% of the ruins have been
on the report, recently a mass-grave containing 1,500 corpses has also been
found in Panorama region in Raqqa city where bodies of the civilians killed in
the US warplanes' attacks last year were buried.
year after occupation of Raqqa, mass graves of victims of the US raids and
attacks by the ISIL terrorists and the Syrian Democratic Forces are being found
regularly in the city.
dead bodies of over a dozen civilians killed in the US airstrikes on Raqqa were
unearthed one year after Washington and its affiliated militants occupied the
city, local sources reported on Monday.
sources said that the Raqqa civil team has found a sum of 13 corpses of the US
air raids victims, including women and children, from under debris of ruined
buildings in Panorama neighborhood.
sources further said that bodies of 3 more civilians were also unearthed from
ruined buildings in al-Thakana neighborhood in Raqqa.
clashes between government troops and Shiite Muslims have raised fears that
another conflict is about to get out of hand in Nigeria. Civil society is
calling on the central government not to repeat past mistakes.
Muhammadu Buhari's government stands accused of abusing human rights and
oppressing a minority group after clashes over the weekend and on Monday, in
which scores of people were killed. Nigeria's main Shiite Muslim movement IMN
said that troops shot and killed at least 27 of its members during a procession
to the capital Abuja. These claims have not been independently verified.
broke out when soldiers at a military checkpoint prevented the procession from
entering Abuja to mark Arbaeen which occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura,
a day of mourning for Shiites. In the past, the event has often ended in
clashes owing to intervention by security forces.
march at the weekend was more than just a religious rite, since it was also
meant to pressure authorities to release the Shiite cleric Ibrahim Zakzaky. The
founder and leader of the Shiite Islamist Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has been
in jail since December 2015. At the time, security forces killed more than 300
adherents of the movement in the so called Zaria massacre in Kaduna state.
Moslems are mainly Sunnites and there was no real voice for the Shiite minority
until IMN was founded in the 1980s by Zakzaky. Michael Olufemi Sodipo, project
coordinator for the Peace Initiative Network, a Nigerian peacebuilding
organization, told DW that the movement grew out of student enthusiasm for the Iranian
revolution. The number of Shiites in the country is estimated at three million,
a number big enough to scare the central government. "The Shia ideology is
in opposition of what the establishment follows, which is Saudi Arabian
Wahabism. And the IMN has a lot of followers in the north. We are also entering
an election period," Sodipo said.
all over the country are increasingly worried that the IMN could turn into a
second Boko Haram. The movement itself denies any plans to take up arms. IMN
spokesman Ibrahim Musa told DW that he rejects analogies between his movement
and Boko Haram: "The Islamic movement is guided by and led by the
principles of Islam, and Islam is a religion of peace. It only calls on people
to understand it, it doesn't force people to follow it," he said.
need for dialogue
Haram also started as a non-violent group that turned deadly after its leader,
Mohammed Yusuf, was killed by the police in 2009. Ibrahim Gwamna Msheliza, a
political analyst from Maiduguri, says the central authorities have learned
nothing from what happened in the northeast. "Instead of listening to
these people and trying to address their problems, [they] come up and start
shooting people," he told DW, adding that radicalizing the group will only
lead to more violence.
Olufemi Sodipo wants to prevent more violence from happening. He was in Kaduna
in 2015 when the massacre took place. He was also in Kano in November 2016,
when at least 10 people were killed by the police. But he won't give up hope
for peace. "In 2017 we organized a dialogue between the police and IMN and
other Islamic sects in Kano. The result was that everybody showed respect to
each other," he said. As Kano has been spared clashes since then, the
initiative succeeded, the activist believes.
Arabia and Iran's proxy war
dialogue alone will not be enough to solve a problem which has international
dimensions, Sodipo admits. He has no doubts that Saudi Arabia and Iran are
engaged in a proxy war in northern Nigeria, as they are in Yemen. "That's
why we also have to rely on international actors, like the US, the British, the
French and other leading powers in the world," Sodipo said.
him, responsibility lies primarily with the Nigerian government. "The government
must follow the rule of law and comply with the court ruling," Sodipo
said, referring to a court order that Zakzaky and his wife should be released.
The cleric, who is in his mid-sixties and lost the sight in one eye during the
2015 clashes, has only been seen in public twice since he was detained. He and
his wife are said to be in poor health.
of Islamist extremist attacks on western targets were carried out by
foreign-born terrorists in 2017 despite government fears of an increased threat
from homegrown radicals and returning fighters from Syria, according to a
report published on Wednesday.
analysis of 122 terrorist attacks committed in 2016 and 2017 highlighted the
changing nature of modern terrorism with a slight decline in the number of
plots connected to ISIS but a rise in attacks by far-right groups.
280 people were killed and nearly 2,000 injured in western democracies with the
UK, US and France bearing the brunt of violence over the two years. The report
by the London-based Henry Jackson Society – Terrorism in the West: an age of
extremes - showed that 84 per cent of deaths were attributed to Islamist
role of overseas-born fighters in Islamist attacks – up from 40 per cent in
2016 – was in part caused by failures of social integration, poor border
security checks and failures of intelligence, according to the report’s author,
highlighted the role of Moroccan-born terrorists in the 2017 attacks in
Barcelona and nearby Cambrils that left 16 dead when pedestrians were mown down
by a van driven by a member of the gang on the famous La Rambla thoroughfare.
Many of those involved in the plot had lived in Spain for years.
contrast, an Iraqi teenager who left a homemade bomb on a London underground
train in 2017 had only claimed asylum in the UK the previous year when he
claimed that he had been trained to kill by ISIS.
few came simply as terrorists but for the sole purposes of terrorism,” he said
highlighting a machete attack by an Egyptian national on a soldier outside the
Louvre art museum in Paris. The attacker had travelled to France on a tourist
data showed that the number of attacks by far-left and far-right terrorist
groups almost reached the levels of Islamist-inspired groups in 2017.
sharp uptick of far-right activity – predominantly in the United States –
appeared to correspond with online activity that has sought to harness issues
such as the migrant crisis and terrorism to stoke tensions within western
the volume and tone of this content, it is not surprising that we are now
seeing an increase in violence,” said Mr Wilson.
fact-finding committee of the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) did not find
any evidence showing that terrorist organisation’s money was used in the
construction of a mosque in Haryana’s Palwal, according to its report released
Wednesday. The four-member panel, led by human rights activist and DMC advisor
Ovais Sultan, was formed to look into media reports quoting anonymous sources
in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claiming that money routed from
Pakistan-based terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation could have
been used in the construction of the mosque.
committee did not come across any evidence to state that the terror funding was
received for the construction of the Khulafa-e-Rashideen mosque in Uttawar in
Palwal, as was alleged in media reports quoting anonymous NIA sources,” Ovais
said. The panel had visited the village, where the mosque is located, on
October 20. In July, the NIA had filed a case to probe the terror funding
module linked to Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation — a front organisation of the
banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). According to the FIR, some
Delhi-based individuals were receiving funds from FIF operatives based abroad
and were using it for terror activities.
investigation, it emerged that Mohammad Salman, a resident of the Nizamuddin
area in New Delhi, was in regular touch with a Dubai-based Pakistani national,
who in turn is connected to the Deputy Chief of Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation.
The NIA had on September 25 conducted searches at the premises of Mohammad
Salman in Nizamuddin, Daryaganj-resident Mohd Salim (hawala operator) and
Rajaram in Kucha Ghasiram in New Delhi, and seized Rs 1.56 crore in cash, Rs
43,000 in Nepali currency, 14 mobiles phones, five pen drives and several
the seizure of incriminating material, the NIA had arrested from Delhi FIF
member Mohammad Salman (52), and Hawala operators Mohd Salim alias Mama (62)
and Sajjad Abdul Wani (34), a resident of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir,
according to an official release issued then. FIF is placed on the list of
terrorist organisations here and it was also designated as a terrorist entity
by the USA in 2010. As per the report of the DMC, local Muslims and Hindus have
together donated 10 acres of land for the construction of the mosque and a
madrassa. Accused Salman also donated some money for it after selling his
ancestral land in the village, Ovais said.
said that the mosque belongs to Tablighi Jamaat whereas, LeT and FIF belong to
Salafi school of thought and the two do not agree with each others’ teachings
and practices. “So, there is no question of collaboration between them or funds
being given to the mosque,” Ovais said. The committee has recommended the
chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission to write to the Union Home Secretary
about “procedural lapses” in the case being probed by the NIA and issue an
advisory to all media houses and agencies to be careful in reporting the
alleged terror-related cases.
Two terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out between terrorists
and security forces at Zagoo Arizal area in Budgam district of Jammu and
Kashmir during wee hours on Thursday. A search and cordon operation was
launched in the area after the forces received specific inputs of at least 2-3 terrorists
hiding in the region.
terrorists were eliminated in the encounter. We had been tracking this group
for some time, they were here probably to create unrest for upcoming Panchayat
elections. We have recovered two-AK 47s and one pistol,” Colonel AK Nair,
Commanding Officer, 53 Rashtriya Rifles, said.
Budgam encounter comes a couple of days after two terrorists were gunned down
by security forces during an encounter at Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama
district. One of the slain militants was reportedly identified as Mohammad
Usman, the nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, while the other
was identified as Showkat Ahmad, a local. The forces recovered an M-4 carbine
specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area, security forces
had launched a cordon and search operation in Chaanketaar village of Tral in
south Kashmir district on Tuesday afternoon.
bodies were recovered after a day-long encounter that broke in Chaanketaar
village of Tral in Pulwama district,” officials said.
on October 26, an Indian Army soldier was killed in action and two terrorists
were neutralised after an encounter broke out in Sopore town of Jammu and
Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
The High Court on Wednesday dismissed the petitions filed by Karuna Medical
College (MC) and Travancore Medical College challenging the seat matrix for
Muslim quota prepared by the government for admissions in the colleges.
court held a minority community educational institution has no right to
categorise its beneficiaries into different sects within the community and
allocate the community seats reserved for candidates from these different
petitioners argued Article 30 (1) of the Constitution confers a very valuable
right on minority communities to establish and administer educational
institutions of their choice.
Pleader V Manu submitted the reservation sought for by the petitioners was not
permissible either in law or fact. Though minority educational institutions are
entitled to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice,
while making admissions they are bound to make their choice from within a
common source of candidates.
the common source is the NEET rank list. They have no freedom to choose their
own source of candidates.
the government’s submission, the HC said some 10,000 Muslim candidates figure
in rank list, which is over three times
the total number of seats. Hence there
are enough candidates for filling up
seats in Muslim-run minority educational institutions.
Karuna MC, of the 70 seats for Muslims -
15 for those from Palakkad, five from
All India, seven for dependents of Safe
Development Alms Trust, 10 for District Salafi Educational Association, three
seats for PMAC Committee, three for dependents of Al Nazar Trust, three for
Grace Educational Trust, three for Prime Educational and Charitable Trust,
three for KMEA, three for Salsabeel Educational Welfare Trust, five for NRI
open merit quota and 10 seats for NRI Muslim community.
Delhi: The Home Ministry has received Intelligence communication that
Kerala-based jehadi groups have opened business outlets in UAE. These outlets
are meant to provide employment to Indians with a criminal background staying
put in Gulf countries to evade arrest back home. According to an exclusive Zee
News report, dozens of such outlets have been opened in many parts of UAE.
(Also read: Chidambaram Says Calling Rahul Jehadi-Maoist Sympathiser Absurd)
Intelligence report, accessed by Zee News, said jehadi business outlets had a
team of volunteers targeting economically weaker sections of Indian expatriates
in UAE, eventually motivating them to convert to Islam.
said these volunteers then persuade these converts to encourage their relatives
to accept Islam and collect funds in the name of Islamic ‘Daawa’ activities. A
Home Ministry official was quoted as saying, “We have input that one jehadi
group of Kerala is collecting Rs 3 crore in Qatar for managing the court cases
of Muslim groups who participated in various protests in India. Their members
in Qatar are also sending money to Kerala through Hawala channels.”
number of cases reported from Kerala in the past decade show that it has
emerged as a hub for radicalization. According to the National Investigation
Agency (NIA), around 54 people from Kerala have joined ISIS so far. “We are
trying to ascertain how many jehadis with a criminal background or those convicted
are hiding in UAE and also who are the leaders in Kerala linked to their
network,” said another Home Ministry official. As per media reports, the Centre
was mulling over a ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) for the alleged
involvement of its members in murder cases.
Delhi: Intelligence agencies have warned in a letter to the Home Ministry that
jehadi groups based in Kerala have opened business outlets in UAE to provide
jobs to Indians with criminal background who are hiding in Gulf countries to
evade arrest back home.
is learnt that dozens of outlets have been opened in many parts of UAE to
report, accessed by Zee News, reveals that jehadi business outlets have a team
of dedicated volunteers who target economically weaker sections of Indian expats
in UAE and start motivating them to adopt Islam.
forum is also persuading recently converted Muslims to encourage their
relatives to accept Islam and collect funds in the name of Islamic 'Daawa'
activities. The volunteers are urging them to 'Satya Sarn' in Manjeri of Kerala
for further indoctrination in Islam and are reportedly providing them with
financial assistance for the same.
have input that one jehadi group of Kerala is collecting Rs 3 Crores in Qatar
for managing the court cases of Muslim groups who participated in various
protest in India. Their members in Qatar are also sending money to Kerala
through Hawala Channels," said a Home Ministry official.
has been a hub for radicalization and this has been proven in a number of cases
that have been reported from the state over the last decade. According to
National Investigation Agency (NIA), around 54 people have joined ISIS from
Kerala so far.
are trying to ascertain how many jehadis having criminal background and those
convicted are hiding in UAE and also who are the leaders in Kerala linked to
their network," said another Home Ministry official.
per media reportsm, the Indian government is considering a ban on Popular Front
of India (PFI) for the alleged involvement of its members
DELHI: India on Wednesday said it has lodged strong protests with China and
Pakistan over a proposed bus service between the two countries through
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor
of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Wednesday the bus
service will be a violation of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
to reports, the new bus service will be launched between Lahore in Pakistan and
Kashgar in China via Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on November 13.
said it has been India's consistent and well-known position that the
"so-called China-Pakistan 'Boundary Agreement' of 1963 is illegal and
invalid, and has never been recognised by the Government of India."
any such bus service through Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir will be a
violation of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.
MEA spokesperson was responding to media queries regarding the proposed bus
harassment has for years been plaguing the Egyptian society and endless
initiatives were launched in an attempt to counter the growing phenomenon. It
was only recently that al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest religious authority, decided
to step in. Following an incident that went viral on social media, al-Azhar
issued a statement in which it supported the criminalization of sexual
harassment regardless of the circumstances and asserted that sexual harassment
is religiously forbidden. The most remarkable part of the statement was the one
about women’s responsibility, which has always been a point of contention in
the debate about sexual harassment especially amongst religious scholars.
sexual harassment to women’s behavior or clothes is unacceptable,” said the
statement. “Sexual harassment is a violation of women’s privacy, freedom, and
dignity and its prevalence compromises their feelings of security.” The
statement added that a society only becomes civilized when it respects women.
Through its unconditional support for women, the statement did mark a major
shift in religious discourse in Egypt, but whether it would have the desired
impact on the ground remains to be seen.
the statement conveyed an undebatable state on sexual harassment, questions
about whether different departments and scholars at al-Azhar adopt the same
view. This was mainly because a few hours after the statement was issued, the
Azhar-affiliated Global Center for Electronic Religious Edicts, issued a report
in which women were partially held accountable for sexual harassment. The
report, which constituted the conclusion of a workshop on sexual harassment
organized by the center, cited women’s appearance as one of the triggers of
sexual harassment. “We condemn men’s behavior, but this does not mean that women
are not to blame,” said the report. “While men are required not to gaze at
women, women are also required to cover up.”
Abdel Fadil, head of the Global Center for electronic Religious Edicts, denied
allegations that al-Azhar is divided over the issue of sexual harassment. “The
center did not issue a statement like al-Azhar did. This was just a report that
summed up scholars’ input during the workshop,” he said, adding that workshop
included different points of view on the issue. “The report is in no way a
rights researcher Amr Ezzat said that the discrepancy between the statement and
the report is due to one of two possibilities. “The first possibility is that
the stance taken in the statement did not go beyond the office of al-Azhar’s
grand imam, which means it would not have the expected impact on society,” he
said. “The second possibility is that different entities within al-Azhar have a
commented on removing the report from the center’s website a few hours after
its release as an indication that the statement was given precedence and that
it represents the official stance of al-Azhar on sexual harassment. Ezzat,
however, argued against the intervention of al-Azhar in the issue in the first
place. “Even though the content of the statement is extremely positive, I still
believe that al-Azhar should stick to its scholarly role and not interfere in
issues related to freedoms and rights.”
what seemed to be a confirmation of al-Azhar’s stance, the cover of its
official newspaper Sawt al-Azhar (Voice of the Azhar) featured a number of
unveiled women writers and activists whose views on sexual harassment were
discussed in the issue. This was seen by women rights activists as a remarkable
change in al-Azhar’s view on women’s dress code, an argument that was confirmed
by the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Ahmed al-Sawi. “We wanted to show that
al-Azhar does not categorize women based on their clothes and that harassment
is unacceptable regardless of how a woman looks or what she wears,” he said.
Sawi added that al-Azhar started a new approach based on involvement in social
issues in order to take part in introducing reforms to society. “Through
dealing with such issues, al-Azhar asserts its role as the beacon of moderate
Islam.” Women rights activist and head of the Center for Egyptian Women's Legal
Assistance Azza Soliman, one of the women on the newspaper’s cover, argued that
while al-Azhar discourse on women’s issues has been quite moderate, action on
the ground is still lacking. “The fact the al-Azhar is now addressing sexual
harassment is very positive, yet it still needs to communicate with women’s
right organizations and civil society to come up with real solutions,” she
said, adding that al-Azhar should impact society through a discourse that
supports women rights in general and stresses the necessity of respecting
within al-Azhar were, however, demonstrated by the individual comments of its
scholars on the statement. Professor of Islamic culture at al-Azhar University
Mohamed Abu Zeid al-Fiki argued that the statement looks at only one side of
statement overlooked the fact that women are required to dress decently and not
to wear makeup in public, hence are also responsible,” he said. Fiki called
upon al-Azhar to issue another statement in which they call upon girls to dress
modestly and to abandon attempts at becoming attractive. Professor of
comparative jurisprudence Ahmed Kerima begged to differ. “The statement issued
by al-Azhar prioritized warding off harm over making gains,” he said. “Seeing
the phenomenon of sexual harassment growing, al-Azhar saw that its main mission
is to counter it and warn people of its consequences, which is now the main
Egyptian court has remanded the daughter of prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf
al-Qaradawi in custody for a further 45 days pending further investigation into
charges against her, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency.
with her husband, Ola al-Qaradawi, 55, was arrested from her home in June of
last year by the Egyptian authorities, who later accused her of having links to
the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Tuesday, a Cairo criminal court ruled to prolong the couple’s detention by an
additional 45 days amid accusations that they had helped fund “terrorism”, MENA
news agency added that 15 other individuals in the same case had also had their
this month, the al-Qaradawi family said that Ola’s health had deteriorated
while in detention.
August, the Egyptian authorities froze Ola’s financial assets, along with those
of her six brothers.
months earlier, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
jointly accused 59 individuals -- along with 12 Qatar-based charity
organizations -- of having “links to terrorism”.
list included the elder al-Qaradawi, who currently serves as president of the
Qatar-based International Union for Muslim Scholars.
Syrian Army's missile and artillery units opened heavy fire at a group of
terrorists in the village of Atshan in Northern Hama, repelling their attack on
the government forces' positons.
artillery units pounded terrorists' strongholds in the town of al-Latamina in
Northern Hama, inflicting major damage on them.
suffered heavy casualties in the failed attack and pulled the remaining pockets
of gunmen from the battlefield.
today, the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Reconciliation of Opposing
Sides in Syria registered several ceasefire violations in the Syrian provinces
of Lattakia and Hama over the past 24 hours.
the ceasefire regime being established throughout the country, there are still
cases of ceasefire regime violation by illegal armed formations in the Idlib
de-escalation zone. Over the past day they attacked Tall-Bazzam, and Maan (two
times) in Hama province, and Ikko in Lattakia province," the bulletin
read, Sputnik reported.
Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides urges leaders of illegal
armed formations operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone to cease hostilities
and move towards peaceful settlement of the situation in areas they
occupy," the bulletin read.
sources said that the Turkish army's mortar units pounded the Kurdish militias'
positions in a border-crossing near the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.
further said that an SDF gunman was killed and another one war injured in the
the meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) kept forces on alert in the
town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka at the border with Turkey.
has several times in the last week threatened the Kurds of military operation.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the National
Liberation Front (NFL) terrorist group as saying on Monday that while
implementation of the Sochi agreement to create a demilitarized zone in
Northern Syria has come to a halt, Ankara ordered its allied militants in Idlib
and Northern and Western Aleppo to get ready for a major assault on the Kurds
in Northern Syria.
added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan grew disappointed at
Washington's promises on the Manbij agreement, and Ankara decided to engage in
clashes with the Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
local and Kurdish sources in Ein al-Arab (Kobani) in Eastern Euphrates reported
that Turkey intends to gain full control over the region to later advance to
other regions controlled by the Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
Nasrallah, the commander of Hashd al-Shaabi in Western al-Anbar, said on
Wednesday that his forces attacked three ISIL gatherings near al-Baqouz region
in Syria at the borders with Iraq with artillery fire.
added that during the operations, 2 notorious ISIL commanders, namely Abu
Sayyaf and Abu Laith, who had led the recent ISIL attacks on the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF), which has withdrawn from the borders, were killed.
said that Division 8 of the Iraqi army had provided the American forces with
intelligence and coordinates of the ISIL concentration centers but they refused
to attack the terrorist group.
sources in Eastern Syria had disclosed last week that the US forces' backup for
ISIL had enabled the terrorists to recapture the entire lands they had lost to
the SDF in Eastern Deir Ezzur in the last 2 months.
Arabic-language website of RT quoted the sources as disclosing that in complete
absence of the US-led coalition forces to support the Washington-backed SDF to
counter ISIL's heavy offensive, the terrorists managed to recapture the small
but key towns of al-Sousah and al-Baqouz in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
al-Sham stormed the positions of the National Liberation Front and managed to
capture the small town of Kafr Hamra.
the meantime, other units of the National Liberation Front drove Tahrir al-Sham
out of Jam'iyat al-Nour region South of the town of Anadan in Northern Aleppo
and also captured Tahrir's checkpoints in the small town of Yaqed al-Adas in
the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that heavy
fighting is underway between Tahrir al-Sham and National Liberation Front over
control of the highway that connects Aleppo to the Turkish town of Gaziantep,
adding that both warring sides are reinvigorating their positions in Northern
and Northwestern Aleppo.
further said that the National Liberation Front had cut off a road from Tahrir
al-Sham's positions in Western Aleppo to the Northwestern part of the province.
number of terrorists, including commanders, have been killed or wounded in the
news reported on Tuesday that Ahrar Al-Sham launched a surprise attack on a
military base of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in the Northwestern part of Aleppo.
attack resulted in a series of fierce clashes between the two militant groups.
a result of the Ahrar Al-Sham's attack on Kafr Hamra, two military commanders
from Tahrir Al-Sham were reported dead.
two military commanders of Tahrir Al-Sham were identified by opposition
activists as “Abu Turab” and “Abu Akram.”
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted the source as saying on
Tuesday that given Turkey's failure to implement its undertakings based on the
Sochi agreement with Russia, the Syrian army will kick off military operations
against the terrorists in the demilitarized zone if they continue attacks
against the army positions.
added that Northern Hama has in recent days witnessed attacks by the terrorist
groups, specially Horras al-Din, against the Syrian army near the region under
the supervision of Turkey near the town of Murak, noting that Jeish al-Izza
militants have also sent military equipment from Southern Idlib to al-Latamineh
front in Northern Hama.
source said that the Syrian army has responded to the terrorists' offensives in
demilitarized zone so far, adding that the army will launch massive military
operations in the region if they continue.
the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the terrorists are
stationed in the arms-free zone from Northeastern Lattakia to Hama, Idlib and
Northwestern Aleppo, adding that the army has targeted the moves by Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) terrorist
group in the village of al-Janabereh and al-Latamineh in Northern Hama with
artillery fire, inflicting heavy tolls on them.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Tuesday that illegal armed groups with
heavy weaponry remained in Syria's Idlib province despite the Russian-Turkish
agreements reached in Sochi.
of the agreement on Idlib, of the creation of a demilitarized zone 15-20
kilometers wide. Until now, the terrorists are present there with their heavy
weapons, which indicates the lack of desire by Turkey to fulfill its
obligations," Muallem said at a meeting with the joint delegation of the
International Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Peace
minister concluded that the province was still under control by the terrorists.
the Idlib province is still under control by the terrorists who are supported
by Turkey and the West," Muallem stressed.
statement follows the recent summit on Syria, which took place in Istanbul on
October 27, during which Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia
reserved the right to give active assistance to the Syrian government in
liquidating terrorist threat in the Idlib zone. The president explained that the
main threat in the province posed radicals and armed provocations.
sources said that the warplanes targeted residential areas in the small towns
of al-Shafa'ah and al-Kashmah in Southeastern Deir Ezzur on Tuesday afternoon,
killing at least 17 civilians, including 4 women and 3 children, and injuring
tens of others.
sources said that death toll is likely to rise as some of the injured are in
Arabic-language website of SANA news agency quoted several local sources in
Deir Ezzur as saying on Monday that the US warplanes targeted several districts
in the town of Hajin in Eastern Deir Ezzur with white phosphorous bombs which
are forbidden internationally.
Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey said the US has three
goals in Syria: To confront ISIS, expel Iranian forces and ones supported by
Iran from all Syrian territories and to establish a political process based on
international resolution 2254.
told Al Arabiya in Paris that expelling Iran out of Syria is a political goal,
hence the US’s mission on that front will not be a military one, adding: “The
Israelis did not put the military option aside in Syria, and they’re trying to
strike Iran’s military capabilities there.”
also defended Israeli strikes against Iranian targets and said Israel is
responding to the deployment of long-range missiles and the use of drones that
infiltrated Israeli airspace more than once.
added that the US wants the Iranians and their supporters as well as all the
foreign troops which entered Syria after the conflict to withdraw, “starting
with the Russians.. whom we are discussing Iranian presence with on all
on Hezbollah’s role in Syria, he said the Lebanese party has been an essential
element in guaranteeing the security of the Syrian regime, adding that Iran,
which did not want to use ground troops, used Hezbollah, Iraqi militias and
Hazara militias instead.
that Hezbollah militants have been returning to Lebanon, Jeffery said: “This
will not be surprising because Hezbollah’s ground campaign has ended to a large
extent,” hence, some of the group members are returning home.
on joint American-Turkish patrols in Manbij, west of Euphrates, which Ankara
wants to get PKK members out of, he said the US resumes efforts to reach a
solution between its “two partners,” the Kurds and Turkey.
the presence of American troops in northeast Syria, Jeffery said they were
coordinating with the Syrian Democratic Forces and with local forces to deter
who was the US ambassador to Iraq, said there were challenges in all Arab
countries and that one must bear in mind that ISIS had occupied one third of
Iraq and that Iraq’s economic power that is based on oil exports decreased due
to the decline of oil prices in 2014.
members of the Afghan Taliban who were freed from the U.S. military prison at
Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have
joined the insurgent group’s political office in Qatar, Taliban spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahid said Tuesday.
will now be among Taliban representatives negotiating for peace in Afghanistan,
a sign some negotiators in Kabul say indicates the Taliban’s desire for a peace
fear the five, all of whom were close to the insurgent group's founder and
hard-line leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, bring with them the same
ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam that characterized the group's
five-year rule that ended in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion.
Taliban are bringing back their old generation, which means the Taliban have
not changed their thinking or their leadership," said Haroun Mir,
political analyst in the Afghan capital. "What we are more worried about
is if tomorrow the Taliban say 'we are ready to negotiate,' who will represent
Kabul? That is the big challenge because the government is so divided, not just
ideologically but on ethnic lines."
to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan's protracted war have accelerated since
Washington appointed Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad as envoy to find a
peaceful end to America's longest war, which has already cost the U.S. more
than $900 billion.
Mohammed Ismail Qasimyar, a member of a government peace council, warned
Washington against negotiating peace terms with the Taliban, saying Khalilzad’s
only job is to set the stage for direct talks between the Afghan government and
the Taliban, something the insurgents have so far refused, calling the
government a U.S. puppet.
officials reported meeting with Khalilzad in Qatar earlier this month, calling
the exchange preliminary but pivotal. Washington neither confirmed nor denied
the meeting, but Khalilzad was in Qatar at the time.
Taliban official familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press that
talks ended with an agreement to meet again. Key among the Taliban's requests
was recognition of their Qatar office, said the official, who spoke on
condition he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the
an unexpected development, Pakistan also bowed to a long-standing Afghan
Taliban demand that it release its senior leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar,
who had been in jail in Pakistan since 2010. At the time, Baradar was
reportedly jailed after bypassing Pakistan to open independent peace talks with
Hamid Karzai, who was then Afghanistan's president.
release followed Khalilzad's first visit to Pakistan since being appointed
Washington's peace envoy.
issued an audio message after his release to the Taliban. The Pashto-language
message, heard by an Associated Press reporter, seemed to indicate he was
preparing for a role in the insurgent movement moving forward.
Mujahed, a former Taliban member who is now also a member of the Afghan
government peace council, said the presence of the five former Guantanamo
prisoners in the Taliban's Qatar office is indicative of the Taliban's resolve
to find a peace deal. He said the stature of the five within the insurgent
movement will make a peace deal palatable to the rank and file, many of whom
have resisted talks believing a military victory was within their grasp.
people are respected among all the Taliban," said Mujahed. "Their
word carries weight with the Taliban leadership and the mujahedeen."
there are some among the five who have a disturbing past.
Rights Watch accused Mohammed Fazl, the former Taliban army chief arrested in
2002, of overseeing the deaths of thousands of minority Shiites in 2000. The
massacre outraged the world and followed the killing the year before of an
estimated 2,000 young ethnic Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan by Taliban
of the five is Khairullah Khairkhwa, a former governor of Herat province, who
was close to both Taliban founder Mullah Omar and al- Qaida leader Osama bin
Laden. Khairkhwa also had a friendship with former president Hamid Karzai.
others include Abdul Haq Wasiq, deputy intelligence minister, Mullah Norullah
Nori, once described as the most significant Taliban leader held at Guantanamo
Bay because of his particularly close relationship with Mullah Omar, who fought
U.S.-led coalition forces in northern Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif and Mohammad
Nabi Omari, a Taliban communications officer.
five are from southern Afghanistan, the Taliban's heartland.
five Taliban were released in 2014 in exchange for Bergdahl during the
administration of President Barack Obama after drawn out negotiations.
Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim
Al-Issa received the coordinator of the Russia-Islamic World strategic vision
group, Dr. Veniamin Popov, and his accompanying delegation in Riyadh on
the meeting, a number of issues of common interest were discussed.
Russia-Islamic World strategic vision group was established in 2006, in
response to Russia joining the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an
group currently consists of over 30 officials and prominent public figures from
27 Muslim countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “I would like to stress that the Islamic
world can fully count on Russia’s help and support.”
police have arrested 400 members of a Shia Muslim sect after days of deadly
protests in the capital.
pro-Iran Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) protesters demanded the release of
their leader Ibraheem Zakzaky, in custody for 34 months.
army admits that three people were killed in clashes in Abuja on Monday, but
the IMN says that dozens died.
2016, a judicial inquiry found that the army had killed more than 300 Shia
Muslims during clashes in the north.
accused the army of using "excessive force" when trying to head off
an alleged attempt to kill army chief Gen Tukur Buratai in Zaria, Kaduna state,
in December 2015.
leader Sheikh Zakzaky was arrested in the aftermath and held without charge
until April 2018 when he accused in court of inciting violence.
soldiers have been arrested, despite the judicial inquiry advising
army, which fired live rounds on Monday at the protesters, said the deaths came
after the demonstrators tried to overrun a checkpoint.
security forces also accuse the Shia protesters, who took to the streets of the
capital for three days, of having 31 petrol bombs as well as other dangerous
are minority in Nigeria but their numbers are increasing
IMN, formed in the 1980s, is the main Shia group led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky
operate their own schools and hospitals in some northern states
have a history of clashes with the security forces
IMN is backed by Shia-dominated Iran and its members often go there to study
jihadist group Boko Haram condemns Shias as heretics who should be killed.
Nigerian police fired shots and tear gas at thousands of supporters of an
imprisoned Shiite cleric in Abuja on Tuesday, just a day after three people
were killed in similar clashes which sparked warnings to the government that a
heavy-handed crackdown could radicalise the group.
least six Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) supporters have now been killed
since Saturday during protests calling for the release of Ibrahim Zakzaky, who
has been in custody since December 2015.
police said 400 members of IMN were arrested, some of whom were carrying
to an AFP correspondent at the scene, the march of several thousand IMN members
in central Abuja was peaceful, though some unarmed protesters threw stones at
police, who then fired into the crowd and used tear gas to stop the procession.
least six injured IMN members were taken away in cars while the area was patrolled
by dozens of police.
lot of our people had been injured, so far we don’t have any record of death,”
IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa told AFP.
Tuesday evening the head of Abuja police Bala Ciroma reported that “a total of
400 members of IMN… who participated in the violent protest of today are
currently being detained” for investigation, after which they would be
arraigned in court.
added that “dangerous weapons were also recovered from them.”
military said on Monday three IMN supporters were killed during another protest
on the outskirts of Abuja.
army said troops and police “repelled the attack” and that IMN “fired weapons”
and threw stones and Molotov cocktails.
photographs of the aftermath showed several civilians on the ground near police
but it was unclear whether they were dead or injured.
Saturday, three other IMN members were killed during protests in Abuja.
army claimed the protesters attacked a military convoy and tried to steal
weapons and ammunition — an account the IMN “categorically” denies.
spokesman Musa claimed 27 people have been killed since Saturday and that the
death toll could be higher since “scores” of people were injured and troops
took away others.
are working towards their release to us for burial,” Musa said.
rights group Amnesty International on Monday said reports that troops fired
live bullets at protesters were “very disturbing” and would be unlawful if they
IMN has staged a series of demonstrations demanding the release of leader
Zakzaky, who has been detained since bloody clashes broke out in the northern
city of Zaria in 2015.
the military was accused of killing more than 300 IMN supporters and burying
them in mass graves.
has been at loggerheads with Nigeria’s secular authorities for years because of
his calls for an Iranian-style Islamic revolution. Northern Nigeria is majority
cleric, who is in his mid-sixties and lost his sight in one eye during the 2015
clashes, has been seen in public only twice since he was detained.
government has previously ignored a court order to release Zakzaky and his
April, at least 115 IMN supporters were arrested at protests in Abuja during
which police used tear gas and water cannon.
processions for the annual Ashura festival have frequently been flashpoints. In
November 2016, at least 10 people were killed when police opened fire near the
northern city of Kano.
clashes and the military’s use of deadly force have raised fears of a repeat of
the 2009 crackdown on the Islamist group Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria.
some 800 people, including Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf, were killed in the
Borno state capital Maiduguri, forcing the group underground.
then re-emerged a more deadly force under Yusuf’s deputy, Abubakar Shekau. The
insurgency since then has killed more than 27,000 people and displaced more
than two million others.
Nwokolo, a security analyst at the Roman Institute for International Studies in
Abuja, said the security forces had “no right to use that maximum force” on
unarmed protesters, warning that it might “motivate others to radicalise”.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, was elected in 2015 on a
promise to defeat Boko Haram and bring greater security.
Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar returned to the capital Juba on Wednesday,
according to a Reuters witness, more than two years after he fled the country
after the collapse of a 2016 peace deal.
the former vice president, fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in
2016 after fierce fighting broke out in Juba, killing hundreds of people.
later travelled to South Africa, where he was held under house arrest until
earlier this year.
is investigating whether funds up to $5 billion from the frozen funds of late
Libyan Moammar Qaddafi were disbursed to unknown people and parties in Libya.
Attorney General Georges Gilkinet said on Monday that he launched an
investigation into the disappearance of billions of dollars from Qaddafi’s bank
accounts in Libya, adding that the UN was also investigating this.
told the Belgian television channel RTBF that around $5.6 billion disappeared
from Belgian banks, adding that all they know is that hundreds of millions that
belong to Qaddafi were sent to unknown figures and parties in Libya.
means that Belgium did not commit to the UN’s decision to freeze Qaddafi’s
assets,” he also said, and called on the government to clarify what happened
“so it does not lead to a huge scandal.”
issue has sparked controversy in Belgium as there are fears of the government’s
possible involvement in disbursing this money to armed militias to fund the war
in Libya, strengthen chaos and harm stability.
had frozen all of Qaddafi’s bank accounts in 2011 in compliance with a UN
decision. However it later turned out that it did not halt payments of interest
and dividends of these funds as they disappeared from the accounts and were
sent to mysterious beneficiaries.
Orief, the head of a Libyan committee to counter smuggled and looted funds,
told Al Arabiya.net that he does not have any information about this case.
of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have buried 42 of their fellow members
that have been killed by the Nigerian army during peaceful protests in the
capital Abuja over the past two days.
army opened fire on members of the IMN who had marched to demand the release of
their imprisoned leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, jailed since 2015.
protests have frequently been met with force. In April, police fired bullets
and tear gas during days of protests by IMN, wounding at least four protesters.
groups have accused Nigeria's military of killing more than 300 IMN supporters
and burying them in mass graves during the 2015 conflicts, a charge the
military strongly denies.
crackdown on IMN followers began in December 2015, when the army attacked a
religious ceremony in the city of Zaria in the northern Nigeria. Nigerian
forces later raided the house of Sheikh Zakzaky and arrested him after killing
those attempting to protect him.
Federal High Court ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release in 2016, but the
Nigerian government has so far refused to abide by the ruling.
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says 42 of its members have been killed by
Nigerian security forces during protests in the capital Abuja over the past two
supporters have taken to the streets over the past two days to demand the
government release their imprisoned leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
number of fatalities caused by Nigerian fire previously stood at 25.
army troops opened fire at protesters on the outskirts of Abuja on Monday. The
police shot at marchers in the city center on Tuesday.
death toll of yesterday's attack on our members has risen to seven as of
now," IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa said Wednesday.
died as a result of the injuries they sustained yesterday. And the number of
those killed on Monday at Maraba (an area on Abuja's outskirts) has also risen
to 35," he added.
crackdown on IMN followers began in December 2015, when the army attacked a
religious ceremony in the city of Zaria in northern Nigeria. Nigerian forces
later raided Zakzaky's house and arrested him after killing those attempting to
protect the prominent Muslim cleric.
Federal High Court had ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release in 2016, but the
Nigerian government has so far refused to abide by the ruling.
rising number of attacks by gunmen this year have shaken the eastern part of
Burkina Faso, increasing insecurity in the area. Although no group has claimed
responsibility, the attackers are believed to be linked to violent extremist
groups in the Sahel. These groups have carried out numerous assaults on
increasingly ambitious targets, including the 2 March attacks on the country's
military headquarters and the French embassy, both in Ouagadougou. They have
extended their geographical presence particularly to the Liptako-Gourma border
areas, moving through central and southern Mali towards western Niger, and to
northern and more recently eastern Burkina Faso.
proximity of the eastern region to neighbouring Benin and Togo raises the
possibility of a spillover of violent extremism from the Sahel into the coastal
states of West Africa.
first attack in the eastern region of Burkina Faso took place on 13 February
against defence and security forces in Natiaboani, a town located between Fada
N'Gourma and Pama. The region, which borders the W-Arly-Pendjari complex, a
large forest reserve previously popular with tourists, and currently a no-go
area, has for years been notorious for large-scale banditry.
attacks, numbering about 30 so far this year, have been recorded in the region.
Although no extremist groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks, the
use of improvised explosive devices and the targeting of schools, local
authorities, defence and security forces, among others, indicate the probable
involvement of extremist groups active in the Sahel. Among them could be elements
of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and Ansarul-Islam.
could be several reasons for the extremists' expansion into Burkina Faso's
eastern region. The need for new operational bases could be a way of adapting
to military pressure, particularly from France's Operation Barkhane and the G5
Sahel Joint Force operations. Groups are taking advantage of the region's vast
forest reserve, the porosity of its borders, poor security and weak state
alone is however not a sufficient analysis. Local grievances have also
facilitated the expansion of violent extremist groups. Conflicts between
farmers and herders over access to the land and grazing areas delineated by
local authorities have strained inter-communal relations and relations between
the Burkinabe state and local communities. Extremist groups have used these
tensions to establish a foothold in the region.
that have been attacked in eastern Burkina Faso, such as Doga and Tantega, are
near the border with Benin. This creates fears of possible extension into
Benin, especially considering that Benin contributes to the Multinational Joint
Task Force against Boko Haram.
attacks have continued in the northern Sahel region, the situation in eastern
Burkina Faso seems to have calmed down since a 4 October air strike
intervention by Operation Barkhane in Inata in the Soum province of the Sahel
region, and a ground operation on 6 October in the Kompienga province (eastern
an attack apparently aimed at stealing arms was reported on 16 October in
Sideradougou in the Cascades region near the tri-border area of Burkina Faso,
Côte d'Ivoire and Mali.
states have taken measures to stave off potential attacks in their territories.
In May 2018, Benin, Ghana and Togo jointly conducted Operation Koudalgou. This
resulted in the arrest of about 200 people, some of whom were suspected members
of violent extremist groups.
a meeting on 25 October in Cotonou, the chiefs of the armed forces of Benin,
Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo discussed pooling their resources to
counter terrorism in countries sharing the W National Park and the Togolese
border. Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are also channelling
their actions through the implementation of the Accra initiative, which aims to
provide responses to security challenges common to the five countries.
July, Togo hosted the joint summit of leaders of the Economic Community of West
African States and of the Economic Community of Central African States. In the
resulting declaration, countries committed to investing in intelligence for the
prevention of violent extremism, building the capacity of the defence and
security forces, and implementing public policies and development programmes in
the affected regions.
coastal countries shouldn't focus only on countering violent extremism in
neighbouring countries affected by violent extremism - they should also invest
in preventing it in their territory. They should do this specifically by
improving governance in the border regions, enhancing trust between states and
their citizens and reinforcing not only the authority but also the utility of
the state in the peripheral zones.
responses should be based on a recognition of the vulnerabilities that violent
extremist groups use to integrate themselves into local communities. Such
responses adapted to contextual realities would help prevent violent extremism
from reaching West Africa's coastline.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says it has distributed 11,000
fuel-efficient stoves to families displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in
Pink, FAO’s Communication Officer, said in a statement in Maiduguri on
Wednesday that the stoves were provided under the Norway supported Safe Access
to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) programme.
Pink disclosed that 5,000 deserving families had so far benefited from the
programme while additional 6,000 stoves would be distributed before the end of
said the programme was designed to address the energy needs of the displaced
households; enhance protection and control deforestation, as well as checking
violence against women and children.
revealed that the organisation had established three production centers in
Maiduguri, Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas of the state, adding that
100 artisans were trained in the making the stoves.
FAO official said that the stove lessened the demand for firewood by about 65
per cent and drastically cut the amount of smoke produced, compared to
traditional cooking methods.
to her, the organisation is working in collaboration with the Borno State
Ministry of Environment and International Centre for Energy, Environment and
Development to facilitate successful implementation of the programme.
of Kenyans joining the Al Shabaab are being used as sacrificial lambs, a former
foreign fighter and returnee has revealed.
fighter, who came back into the country in 2013, says this has contributed a
lot to discrimination against foreign fighters within the group.
returnee has since reformed after being taken through a rehabilitation program
by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
revealed that Al Shabaab’s explosives unit, Istishadi, and foot soldiers
component, Jabha, mostly use foreign fighters as a litmus test on their loyalty
and to reduce their influence on the group.
use Kenyans and other regional foreign fighters as sacrificial lambs – for
suicide missions or on the frontlines against the enemies," he said on
condition of anonymity.
comes as police sources say foreign recruits planning to join Al Shabaab, and
those fighting for the terrorist organisation, are now increasingly worried.
followed an emerging trend indicating increased incidents of persecution and
executions of foreign fighters.
returnee said the mistrust between Somali and foreign fighters within the
militant group is not new.
has reportedly led to a large number of Kenyan fighters sneaking back into the
country, and a few remaining ones operating, almost semi-independently, within
the densely forested Lacta area that cuts across the Kenya-Somalia border.
persecution of foreign fighters has also reduced local, regional and global
support for Al-Shabaab.
sources indicate that in October alone, Shabaab has executed 10 foreign
fighters, accusing them of spying for foreign enemies.
to the source, Shabaab gunmen on October 10 executed five of its members,
including a Somali British citizen, for allegedly collaborating with the UK’s
foreign intelligence service, M16, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
five men, aged between 22 and 36 years, were killed in the Southern Somali town
days later, it is said the militants assassinated five others by firing squad
in front of hundreds of residents in Sakow district.
terror organisation claimed that the five were convicted of spying for the
Somali and Kenyan intelligence services.
Ahmed Mohamed, 32, who travelled from Britain to Somalia in 2013 to join the
terror group, was suspected of spying for Britain’s M16.
three other men who al Shabaab accused of spying for the United States are Abdi
Aziz Abdisalam Sheik Hassan, 22, Mohamed Abdullahi Awil, 35, and 36 year old
Jeylani Abdullahi Nur.
group is said to have released a statement alleging that the three culprits
helped guide drones to carry out airstrikes in Somalia against its targets.
other accused, Abdulkadir Isaq Amin, was blamed for allegedly eavesdropping for
the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).
another case of internal wrangles with foreign fighters, two Kenyan Al-Shabaab
fighters, Ahmed Yusuf Hassan and Ahmed Nur Abdi Osoble, were on April 2, 2017,
killed in Buq Aqable, Hiraan region, over spying suspicions.
two Kenyans were accused of collaborating with the Somali government and AMISOM
say other Kenyans executed by Al Shabaab recently include former Moi University
student Jared Omambia, Mombasa-born Faraj Abdulmajid, and Ramadhan Abdallah
Manman - a former resident of Majengo slums in Nairobi.
to police, the latest high profile case of foreign fighters' mistrust was the
sidelining of the once influential Kenyan Al-Shabaab commander Ahmed Iman Ali
in late 2017.
reportedly fell out of favor with Shabaab leadership after claims emerged
linking him with plans to either surrender to Kenyan government or form his own
independent unit in Boni forest, Lamu county.
sources say the militants are planning to kill one Mohamed Bilal Olow, one of
its middle-level commanders who has been conducting operations along the
is said Bilal has reportedly defected from the group and has been engaging in
banditry for survival with a small group of militants.
operates in areas around Fafi sub-county in Garissa County.
June 2011, a Comoros-born al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Harun Fazul is believed to
have been sold out and killed after falling out with Al-Shabaab leadership.
division over Islam has been the primary tactic of Russian trolls targeting
Britain on Twitter, according to research.
about Islam far outnumbered those about Brexit and were also more widely
shared, an analysis of nine million posted by a troll factory in St Petersburg
found. Last month Twitter released the dataset of the tweets, which had been
posted by 3,841 blocked accounts affiliated to the notorious Internet Research
investigations highlighted the prevalence of pro-Leave messages, including a
co-ordinated push on the day of the 2016 vote. However, Demos, a cross-party
British think tank, has since found that the messages most widely shared
related primarily to Islam and stirring up Islamophobia.
Russian troll accounts with the biggest following were more likely…
Defense Ministry says it has information that militants in Syria are preparing
to stage false flag chemical attacks in Idlib province and other regions in
order to incriminate the Syrian government.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told a Wednesday
briefing in Moscow that on October 27, militants from the so-called Islamic
Party of Turkestan had "transferred 20 containers with 10 liters of
chlorine each" from the northwestern Syrian city of Maarrat al-Nu'man,
situated about 30 kilometers south of Idlib.
said the terrorists have unloaded the chemicals in the settlements of Kafr Nabl
and al-Hawash, and are set to use them to stage provocative acts.
residents reported to the Russian Reconciliation Center that this group of
White Helmets searched for residents who would like to take part in staged
video footage in exchange for food," he added.
to Konashenkov, “similar provocative acts are planned in other areas of Syria.”
yesterday, residents of Aleppo province received information about the training
for the next such action by militants. To carry it out, members of the White
Helmets organization with professional video equipment arrived in the Azaz,
Marea and al-Rai settlements; containers with toxic substances were also
delivered, presumably it was chlorine,” the Russian spokesman went on to say.
military experts are closely monitoring the situation. Six special radiation,
chemical and biological reconnaissance vehicles have been deployed to Russian
posts in the immediate vicinity of the demilitarized zone in Idlib province.
The combat units of these machines will regularly assess the radiation,
chemical and biological situation."
comments came a couple of days after Lt. General Vladimir Savchenko, the head
of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, said Western-backed White
Helmets have already started the filming process for staging a false flag
chemical attack in Aleppo in northwestern Syria.
arrived in Aleppo from the neighboring province of Idlib, bringing along
containers holding toxic agents, he added.
so-called White Helmets group, projected by the West as “civil defense
workers,” was founded by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier in 2014.
The self-styled volunteer rescue group has been repeatedly accused of acting as
the media arm for Takfiri groups, and charged with staging false flag chemical
attacks in a bid to prompt Western military intervention in Syria.
the Wednesday briefing, Konashenkov also took a jab at the US-led coalition
purportedly fighting Daesh in Syria and said the forces launch airstrikes on
the eastern bank of the Euphrates using banned ammo, resulting in numerous
deaths of civilians. According to the Russian spokesman, the coalition’s
warplanes are launching intensive airstrikes using ammunition prohibited by
airstrikes are characterized by low efficiency and most importantly by low-rate
precision, which leads to numerous casualties among civilians."
the past month alone, the airstrikes on residential areas in eastern Syria have
killed at least 120 civilians, he said.
also expressed regret over the fact that the inability of the US and its allied
Kurdish forces in Syria to effectively fight terrorists in Eastern Euphrates
has helped Daesh retake areas that were previously liberated from militants.
to available information, Daesh units continue to receive cutting-edge weapons
and military equipment,” Konashenkov said, adding that Moscow is closely
monitoring the arms supply channels and has established a special commission
for that purpose.
recent forum hosted by the Russian Defense Ministry put on display samples of
Western-made weapons seized from terrorists in Syria, which particularly
included the Javelin anti-tank missiles.
US support for Takfiri terrorists was once again proved in a Wednesday report
by Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak, which revealed that the US has been
supplying advanced weapons to Daesh militants in Syria.
sources, the Turkish daily reported that there had been many cases of US forces
directly delivering material and technical assistance to militants in the town
of al-Mansurah, which is located in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah.
- A British Muslim of Iranian descent will fight Boris Johnson for the former
foreign secretary's constituency, marking a moment in politics that, according
to the young parliamentary candidate, could come to represent "poetic
Milani, 24, recently graduated in International Relations from Brunel
University London, and has been selected by Britain's main opposition Labour
Party to take on Johnson in his constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
54, is a politician with the ruling Conservative Party. He was foreign
secretary and London mayor, but has attracted most attention for his outlandish
statements and often racist language, including derogatory remarks about
next general election is due to take place in 2022, but Prime Minister Theresa
May's minority government is teetering on the brink of collapse amid divisions
within her party - largely stirred by Johnson - over Brexit.
Conservative leader's aides had hinted at a ballot taking place as early as
November to shore up support within the party, but that now seems unlikely to
Johnson, a Brexit hardliner has emerged as May's primary challenger.
plans to make his mark on history and thwart Johnson's ambitions.
(Labour Party members) thought there was a lot of poetic justice in me standing
against Boris," he told Al Jazeera. "A young local Muslim activist
who's grown up in the area, versus someone who's not from the area and who as
far as I know, doesn't live there."
Boris, it's always about Boris'
in the Iranian capital, Tehran, Milani moved to the UK when he was three years
old and has spent the rest of his life in Hillingdon, the area where he is now
standing to become an MP.
cut his teeth in student politics as an elected executive in the National Union
of Students and was later elected as a Labour councillor.
political leanings tilt heavily to the Labour Party's left, in line with its
leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
British Iranian said his campaign would focus on his credentials as a local,
affected by similar issues and concerns as his fellow constituents.
he added, would be in stark contrast to Johnson's record as an MP.
use the local hospital, I've been to school there, I've worked there, and lived
there, and all of that. That is what's ultimately going to defeat him."
is a member of an out-of-touch elite, according to Milani, someone who had been
politically parachuted into the area and was using the constituency as a
platform to advance his own scheming within the Conservative party.
can see that for Boris, it's always about Boris. Everything is a ploy to him,
he doesn't care."
rival has faced accusations of dog whistling to the far right, recently causing
a media uproar by comparing Muslim women who wore the face veil to letterboxes.
previous racist outbursts include using the racial slur
"piccaninnies" to describe black people and referring to their
"watermelon smiles", another offensive trope.
later apologised for the remarks but has had more race-related controversies
since, notably blaming former US President Barack Obama's Kenyan heritage for
his "ancestral dislike of the British empire."
Milani, such remarks additionally render Johnson unfit to represent the
community is one that is proud of its diversity and sees it as a source of
strength," he said.
have [an MP] who so readily and frequently uses such offensive and incendiary
remarks proves to us that he is not only unfit to be a foreign secretary, but
he is unfit to be in any public office."
of an upset
faces a difficult challenge.
has a significant majority of just over 5,000 votes, and that was despite a
stronger than expected Labour showing in the 2017 election, which saw the
ruling Conservatives lose their majority in the House of Commons.
Milani sees more than a glimmer of hope after Labour cut Johnson's majority during
the 2015 election in half. He also believes Johson's behaviour during the
Brexit negotiations will cost him further support.
is some evidence to support such an optimistic outlook.
February, a report by the Global Future think-tank said several seats,
including Johnson's, were at risk as voters shifted away from traditional party
allegiances and increasingly based decisions on where candidates stood on the
issues they cared about.
Griffiths, a senior lecturer in Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London,
said Milani's challenge would be in taking on such a well-known rival.
wouldn't like to predict what will happen," he said, adding: "That
would be a big majority to overturn though, and Johnson's name will help him
compared to the rivals - voters certainly know who he is."
optimism lies in the belief that his and his party's vision of the future will
win out over the lure of Johnson's brand of personality politics.
key thing for me is that Boris thinks it's about Boris, for me it's a platform
to help our community," Milani said.
a new development regarding Denmark’s move to recall its ambassador to Iran, it
has been revealed that a foiled attack was targeting the leader of the “Arab
Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz” who is residing in the
an interview with Al Arabiya English the spokesman of the “Arab Struggle
Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz” Yaquob Hurr al-Tisteri said that the
Danish security authorities thwarted an attempt targeting the head of the
movement Habib Jaber.
asked whether this failed plan is a continuation of the plan that led to the
assassination of Ahmed Mawla (who was also a leader of the “Struggle Movement”)
last year in the Netherlands, al-Tisteri said: “Iran has never stopped its
plots against our Arab Ahwazi people and its activists, especially since our
cause and the struggle of our people has now escalated considerably, but
certainly this will not discourage the movement of the struggle and the rest of
our organizations from going forward to lift the injustice and oppression of
our people and their right to self-determination.”
spokesman revealed that they are coordinating with a law firm in the
Scandinavian country “to prepare a legal file based on the available information
on the role of the Iranian regime in this failed attack to be presented to the
confirmed during the interview that “Denmark has officially announced that it
will move to urge the EU countries to take a common stand against the Iranian
regime for its direct role in this thwarted operation,” adding “the Danish
security chief also issued a strong warning to the Iranian intelligence
services’ reluctance to repeat any attempt of this kind.”
UK-based anti-Iran television channel is being funded through a secretive
offshore entity and a company whose director is a Saudi Arabian businessman
with close links to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, British media have
source has told the Guardian newspaper that the Saudi prince, who is also known
as MBS and is likely responsible for the murder of Saudi dissident journalist
Jamal Khashoggi, is the force behind Iran International.
source told the Guardian that Saud al-Qahtani, who served as media adviser to
MBS and was among several senior officials removed in connection with
Khashoggi’s murder, was involved in the funding of Iran International.
is money coming from the royal court,” the source said, when speaking about the
Saudi crown prince.
Media, the company that runs Iran International, has a director named Adel
Abdulkarim, who is a Saudi national. He has had a long working relationship
with well-connected Saudi executives, some of who have links to the Saudi
Saudi Arabia shows zero tolerance for criticism of its absolute monarchy, as
underlined by Khashoggi’s murder, it is setting up media organizations in other
languages promoting free speech,” the Guardian said.
disclosures contradict the channel’s claim that it has editorial independence,
and come at a time of growing fears about a number of Saudi-linked stations
operating across London.
International emerged abruptly on the London media scene last year, with many
of its 100 or so employees receiving generous salaries, often double what rivals
paid, but has been elusive about its source of funding, according to the
station, which is operating out of Chiswick, a district in London, has become a
hub of anti-Iran Persian language channels, which also include BBC’s Persian
to one source, Saudi Arabia gave $250 million (£197 million) in funding to help
the launch of Iran International, which runs no commercial advertising.
appears that Iran International is part and parcel of the Saudi crown prince’s
decision to take a more aggressive posture against Iran, emboldened, no doubt,
by the Trump administration,” said Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, a postdoctoral
research fellow in modern Iranian history at the University of Oxford.
this summer, the station was criticized for broadcasting live coverage of a
rally by the anti-Iran terrorist group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO),
which has links to Saudi Arabia and was once listed as a terrorist organization
in the US and Europe.
officials in the administration of US President Donald Trump, including
National Security Adviser John Bolton, as well as Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy
Giuliani, are advocates of MKO.
the damning revelations, Rob Beynon, the acting head of Iran International,
denied that the television station was getting orders from the Saudi
he did not deny that the channel was funded by Riyadh.
Iran's foreign ministry summoned the Danish ambassador on Wednesday, following
the arrest of an Iranian-Norwegian national for allegedly plotting an attack in
to statement from the ministry, the Danish ambassador met with a senior
official for European affairs at the foreign ministry Wednesday morning.
this meeting the official strongly denied the biased reports on a foiled attack
plot on an Iranian dissident in Denmark and its attribution to the Islamic
republic of Iran,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, warning against “hasty and
the British government has also expressed deep concern over recent reports of
Iranian assassination attempts abroad.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday that his country fully supported
Denmark’s move in the face of illegal Iranian intelligence activities.
statement came after Denmark’s foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Iran
for consultations in response to an alleged plot from Tehran which targeted to
assassinate the leader of the Danish branch of the Arab Struggle Movement for
the Liberation of Ahwaz. Iran’s ambassador to Denmark Morteza Muradine was also
summoned for a meeting
Norwegian citizen of Iranian background was arrested on Oct. 21, Denmark’s
security service chief Finn Borch Andersen said, on suspicion he was aiding an
unknown Iranian intelligence service “to act in Denmark” and for involvement in
planning to kill an opposition member.
are dealing with an Iranian intelligence agency planning an attack on Danish
soil. Obviously, we can't and won't accept that,” Andersen told a news
violent protests spread in Pakistan against the acquittal of a Christian woman,
Asia Bibi, by the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday
appealed the people to maintain calm and warned hardliners not to confront the
State. Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 after being found guilty of
insulting Islam. Her death sentence was maintained by the Lahore High Court in 2014.
The Supreme Court, however, on Wednesday freed her, sparking angry protests and
death threats from an ultra-religious party.
a tough stand, Khan warned hardliners not to “confront the State” and refrain
from vandalism, while addressing the nation through a video message. I ask
these elements (protestors) to avoid confronting the State. But if they opted
to do so, the State will fulfil its responsibilities,” Khan said.
will protect life and property of people…We will not let them (protestors)
involve in vandalism or close down the roads,” said Khan. He was referring to
protesters blocking a highway linking the capital Islamabad with garrison city
of Rawalpindi. Many parts of Karachi were paralysed due to the protests and
most of the main roads were shut down by the protesters who were burning tyres
and pelting stones at vehicles.
prime minister also held a meeting with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa
and discussed the security situation in the country. Information Minister Fawad
Chaudhry tweeted that Khan and Bajwa “discussed overall situation and important
affairs during the meeting.” Gen Bajwa was also targeted by a protest leader
who in a video message asked senior army officers to rebel against the army
appealed to the public to remain calm and refrain from joining those trying to
create law and order problem in the name of Islam. The prime minister said that
he was forced to give the address after the reaction by protestors against the
verdict and the kind of language they were using against State institutions.
Khan also played a video clip of a leader of protestors on social media in
which he said that the judges who gave the verdict were liable to murder.
a State can function in such circumstances…Those involved in this are not doing
any service to Islam. They are in fact enemies of Islam,” Khan said. Referring
to the protesters who have disrupted routine life across the country, he said:
“If the Supreme Court does not issue a verdict according to their wishes, will
they come out on the roads?” Khan also said Pakistan was created in the name of
Islam and no law can be made against the teachings of Islam.
the Supreme Court verdict, Khan said it was issued in the light of the
Constitution of the country which is also based on Islam. He said the
government was working hard to improve the economy and the protestors were
creating hurdles to get political mileage out of the verdict. “We are already
facing such tough economic hurdles. We have yet to take a day off… we are
struggling continuously to uplift the people [and] to improve the conditions of
the underprivileged,” he said. “The people are to bear the brunt of this. The
labours who are reliant on daily wages… how will they survive?” he asked.
was the first woman who was given death sentence under the blasphemy laws.
According to officials, Bibi might be flown out of Pakistan due to the threat
to her life. It is not clear where she will go as several countries, including
Canada, have offered asylum to her.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Senator Sirajul Haq has said that the Supreme
Court’s decision to acquit “blasphemer” Aasiya was a violation of the law and
had shocked the entire nation.
a statement issued here on Wednesday, he called upon the government to place
Aasiya’s name on the ECL [Exit Control List] so that she could not flee the
country as her presence was essential during the hearing of the review
powers are ready to airlift Aasiya,” he claimed.
said that the proper legal process warranted remanding the decision of the
sessions court and the high court for retrial instead of rejection, and
deplored the blackout of “public reaction” over the court verdict by the
electronic media. “It is a question mark on the media’s independence,” he said.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also came hard on
the government and said that Aasiya’s acquittal had hurt the sentiments of the
Muslims around the world.
Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Wednesday predicted
that the incumbent government would fall within three months from now onwards,
a private media outlet reported.
said the performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is not
satisfactory, and it has become difficult for the people to bear it further.
said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif only has differences over the
agenda of the all parties’ conference (APC) and not the idea of convergence of
is the duty of the opposition not to let this government function,” Fazl
maintained. He termed the happening of APC an “obligation” on the opposition
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif will finalise an agenda
for the APC and the conference will definitely be held,” he stated.
to a question regarding Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari
holding out an olive branch to the government, Fazl said it is the first speech
by the former president in the National Assembly since the new government took
over, and so it had to have a polite and a positive manner.
is pertinent to mention here that Zardari had met Fazl at his residence a few
days ago, where the two figures had agreed to summon the APC.
the decision to summon the APC was postponed by Fazl after he was conveyed that
Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif would not be attending the conference.
Hours before members of religious organisations spread across country to
protest a Supreme Court decision to free Aasia Bibi, the United States urged
Pakistan to immediately enact legislation that formally proscribes radical
US suggestion followed a decision announced last week for ending a ban on two
radical religious organisations, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat
United States has designated both as terrorist groups.
Pakistani media reported that the two outfits temporarily came off the list of
banned outfits in Pakistan because the ordinance that proscribed them under a
UN resolution had lapsed.
new Pakistani government is working on a proposal to extend the ban.
development underscores the importance of Pakistan “urgently enacting
legislation that formally proscribes” both JuD and FIF, a spokesperson for the
US State Department told reporters in Washington.
expiration of the ban on JuD and FIF runs counter to Pakistan’s commitment to
work with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to address weaknesses in its
counter-terrorism financing regime,” said the US official.
we have said before, the United States is deeply concerned that this
development will jeopardise Pakistan’s ability to meet its commitments under UN
Security Council Resolution 1267 to freeze and prevent the raising and moving
of funds belonging to or associated with UN-designated terrorist groups,” the
February 2018, former president Mamnoon Hussain signed an amendment to the
antiterrorism law that allowed the state to ban charities linked to Hafiz
Saeed, like Jamaatud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation.
Constitution, however, requires a presidential amendment to be ratified or
renewed by the parliament within four months of its issuance.
Hafiz Saeed filed a petition, arguing that the amendment to Pakistan’s
antiterrorism law had become unconstitutional as the parliament failed to
Saeed initially headed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), formed in the 1980s, which was
designated a terrorist outfit by the US, the United Nations, Britain, Russia
and the European Union. In 2012, the United States announced a $10 million
bounty for Hafiz Saeed’s arrest. Pakistan has also banned the group.
US officials say that Hafiz Saeed has evaded the ban on LeT by creating
multiple other organisations, including JuD and FIF, that work as LeT’s fronts.
Pakistan’s Christian community rejoiced on Wednesday at the acquittal of
Aasia Bibi, who spent years on death row for blasphemy, saying their prayers
had been answered after years of begging for justice.
make up around two per cent of the country’s 210 million population.
acquittal of the illiterate mother represented a rare victory for the community
— with Christians in Islamabad hailing the Supreme Court’s decision.
has been done,” said Reverend Javed Masih, who heads a Presbyterian church in a
Christian slum in the capital.
are happy that the law is still ruling in this country and that’s why Aasia
Bibi has been set free,” added another Christian resident Shafaqat Masih.
are extremely happy that God has responded to our prayers. The church of
Pakistan was praying for years for the release of our sister,” Reverend Masih
said, adding that a special worship service was being held to celebrate Bibi’s
was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010 on blasphemy charges.
was innocent and she was being discriminated [against],” said the pastor.
rights activist Tahira Abdullah called for “state protection” of the acquitted
woman along with her family and attorney.
Masih feared unrest could be triggered by the court’s decision.
he said his community would “pray for peace in this country”.
Ashiq, another resident in the neighbourhood, said he was “very proud of our
Supreme Court and the decision”.
federal government had warned provincial governments of protests and violent
demonstrations by the far-right group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) ahead of
the announcement of the verdict in the Aasia Bibi case.
reveal that the Ministry of Interior had directed provincial governments to be
prepared for any impending threats to civil security and take measures to
maintain peace as TLP leaders had asked party members to remain alert for a
call to protest. However, the authorities did not pay heed to those directions
and no extensive security plans were chalked out.
should also be noted that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been directed
to monitor social media for any religious instigation by TLP leadership, and
security measures had been ordered for Supreme Court (SC) judges and other important
The protests by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers against the acquittal
of Christian blasphemy convict Aasiya Bibi continued for the second day on
Thursday, paralysing daily life in various cities of the country.
were empty and certain routes were blocked in major cities. Although, most of
the routes that were closed a day earlier in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have
now been opened been for traffic, some are still blocked.
Karachi, traffic has been blocked at nine points owing to ongoing protests.
Star Gate at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Numaish, Liaquatabad No 10, Sohrab Goth, Korangi
No 5, Bara Board, Baldia No 4 and New Karachi have been blocked for traffic.
in Lahore, Charring Cross at Mall Road, Data Darbar and Shahdara Chowk have been
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Faizabad Interchange is also blocked.
to a motorways spokesperson, Pindi Bhattian-Lahore, Pindi Bhattian-Faisalabad
and Faisalabad-Gojra motorway are blocked for traffic.
and flights are, however, operating as per schedule.
Wednesday, following the protests, Section 144 was imposed across Punjab, Sindh
and Balochistan barring the gathering of more than four persons in public
places as well as pillion riding. Section 144 has been imposed till November
10. Moreover, hospitals were put on high-alert to deal with any untoward
situation arising out of the protests.
Minister Imran Khan had also appealed the nation to remain vigilant against
those who incite violence, warning that the state will take action against the
violators to fulfil its duty of protecting the people.
state will fulfil its responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of
people and take strict action against violators.” the premier had said while
addressing the nation on TV and radio on Wednesday.
had also said the reaction on the Supreme Court (SC) decision in Aasiya Bibi
case by a small segment of society was inappropriate.
Supreme Court had acquitted Aasiya Bibi on blasphemy charges on Wednesday after
accepting her 2015 appeal against her sentence. On October 13, TLP chief Allama
Khadim Hussain Rizvi had threatened to “paralyse the country within hours if
the Supreme Court set Aasiya Bibi free”.
wake of the situation arising out of the protests, the Punjab and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governments had decided to keep the schools closed on
Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association (APPSCA) has also decided
that all the private institutions across the country would remain closed.
in view law and order situation in Pakistan, APPSCA has announced that all
private institutions in Pakistan will remain closed on Thursday,” said APPSCA
Central President Malik Abrar Hussain.
association also called on the Sindh Education Department to announce the
closure of schools.
the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training decided that the
educational institutes will remain open on Thursday.
Spain on Wednesday deported a Pakistani national for alleged links with Islamic
State terrorist group, also known as Daesh.
authorities at New Islamabad Airport arrested the man on his arrival here.
to media reports, Afzal Ahmed, a resident of Kharian city in Gujrat District,
along with his two brothers, was arrested on July 1, 2016, in Spain over
alleged involvement in terrorist attacks and for spreading extremism.
were arrested in a raid on their home in the North Eastern city of Lleida.
three brothers, aged between 25 and 34, were kept in detention for two years
and later released on July 29 this year.
Ahmed, however, was arrested again after being called in at a police station
and later deported to Pakistan.
to Spanish police, the brothers operated several social media accounts which
they used to upload videos praising group executions carried out by Islamic
State, the Taliban and other Pakistani extremist groups.
said the brothers had gathered a large group of followers in their attempts to
spread extremist ideology.
recent media report says members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group are being
provided with advanced weapons by the United States in Syria, revealing
Washington’s support for terrorists in the Arab country.
Şafak, a Turkish daily newspaper, quoting sources, reported on Wednesday that
there had been many cases of US forces directly delivering material and
technical assistance to militants in the town of al-Mansurah, which is located
in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah.
large cache of US-made weapons, specifically shells and ammunition, was also
dispatched to the al-Tanf border crossing with Jordan, which lies at the
ultra-strategic intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders, it
US, which has a military base in Tanf, is believed to be regularly training
terrorists in the area. The US has unilaterally declared a 55-kilometer
“de-confliction zone” around the base, and frequently threatened to target
Syrian forces within the area.
cordoned-off area also contains the Rukban refugee camp, which, according to
Syrian and Russian officials, is home to terrorists, including those of the
al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror group, formerly known as
report also said that a US-backed group comprising ethnic Kurds and Arabs was
being used by the US forces to deliver weapons and material.
US-backed Kurdish groups such as the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),
militarily led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), have been
accused of colluding with Daesh Takfiri militants.
early June, Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in an interview
with NTV channel that the YPG had likely provided Daesh terrorists with a safe
corridor out of Raqqah.
government forces have frequently discovered US- and Israeli-made bombs and
weapons, some of which were extremely rare in the Arab country, during the
ongoing anti-terror campaign across the country.
Syrian government has also recently sent a message to the United Nations,
accusing the US-led coalition of reaching deals with Daesh and coordinating its
actions with the terror group’s commanders.
September, the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh, airlifted to a safe
sanctuary several commanders of the foreign-sponsored terror outfit from a
region in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
August, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that US-led
choppers had transported four Daesh members and a civilian from a house used as
an arms depot in Beqres, a suburban area east of Dayr al-Zawr, to a safe area.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
weekend, as I struggled to explain to my young children that there are
terrorists living among us who murder people because of how they pray, I felt
tugged back to the profound anguish I felt after 9/11.
Certainly the scale of recent attacks has been nowhere near the thousands that
perished on that singularly horrific September day in 2001; a day that changed
the course of American history. So on that front, there’s zero comparison.
feel the thrust back to 9/11 because, after the dust settled that day, the
question on Americans’ lips was: “Why do they hate us?” Today, I am asking
myself the same question: “Why do they hate us?”
then, the “us” was easy to identify. The “us” were Americans. It was the idea
and institutions of America that were attacked on that fateful day. “They” were
the 9/11 terrorists, Osama Bin Laden and those who inspired them.
some, “they” extended to Muslim communities and Muslim-majority countries
around the world. Indeed, violent hate crimes against American Muslims spiked
within a week of the attack, President Bush addressed the nation from a leading
Washington mosque to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry, saying, “The face of terror
is not the true face of Islam,” and, “Islam is peace.”
that didn’t solve things, but America’s conservative president pressed forward
with the vision of an inclusive America at home, while he rightly went to war
against al-Qaida overseas.
things are more complex. Is the “us” under attack comprised of Americans? From
mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats, to the slaughter of American Jews at
prayer, to a man who murdered African-Americans at a grocery store after
failing to break into an African-American church, it certainly seems that a
foundational ideal of America is indeed under attack.
foundational ideal is: “E pluribus unum” (“Out of many, one”). It’s printed on
the coins in our pockets and on the Great Seal of the United States.
more complicated and painful is to attempt to answer the question of who the
“they” is. That’s what brings me to shudder when I grapple with how to discuss
this with my children: The “they” is also the “us.” Or at least it’s within us.
murderers are effectively terrorists, and these terrorists are Americans. They
are our neighbors. They are not some easily vilified foreign entity or
individual. The killers are within us. They are of us. We can no longer avoid
forcefully organizing ourselves to address this.
this isn’t something new. Organized hate has had a home in America for
centuries. And we have institutions that track it and fight against it: units
within the FBI and civil society groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the
Southern Poverty Law Center and Muslim Advocates.
America needs now, just as it did after 9/11, is to rally around a common
purpose. We need a political leadership that wholeheartedly espouses unity at
home and unreservedly, loudly and consistently condemns racism and bigotry when
rears its ugly head. We need a government re-focused on fighting hatred and the
roots of extremism. And we need a civil society the pulls together to offer not
just solidarity and comfort but also understanding among our fellow citizens.
Michael Avenatti got up to speak Sunday night at a fundraiser for a Muslim
American activist group in Northern Virginia, he knew the crowd might be
surprised to see him. He also knew his anti-Trump, anti-racism,
pro-immigration, Democratic political message would connect with the audience.
you may be asking tonight is what is some porn lawyer doing here in Northern
Virginia to talk to us about the future of the republic,” Avenatti told the
crowd organized by Emgage, a Muslim American nonprofit that is organizing for
and aiding candidates all over the country.
he has not yet decided whether to run for president, Avenatti gave what could
only be described as a stump speech to the 300 or so attendees, and he even
pledged $10,000 from his new Fight PAC to help the group’s political wing
support mostly Democratic candidates in local and national races across the
an interview afterward, Avenatti told me that President Trump’s policies and
rhetoric demonizing Muslim Americans in particular and immigrants in general
has opened up a huge opportunity for Democrats to make the case that their
party shares the values — and therefore deserves the support — of this
increasingly active and organized voter bloc.
no question it’s a big opportunity for Democrats, and shockingly many Democrats
have ignored this community,” he said. “The Muslim American community has been
ignored for far too long, and yet they have been disproportionately impacted by
the policies of the last two years.”
estimates that half of the nation’s approximately 3.5 million Muslims are
registered to vote and notes that their turnout numbers have increased greatly
over the past eight years, especially in key states including Virginia,
Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas. The group has used its limited but
growing resources to get out the Muslim American vote through phone calls,
door-knocking and social media ads.
political wing, Emgage Action, is supporting a raft of not just Muslim
candidates but also non-Muslim candidates who share its views, such as
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum in Florida. While the group is
officially nonpartisan, its focus has shifted markedly to Democrats since Trump
became president, for a lot of understandable reasons.
his campaign, Trump called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United
States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is
going on.” His administration pushed through a travel ban that this community
still views as a “Muslim ban” because it disproportionately targets Muslim-majority
countries. Trump’s treatment of Hispanic immigrants seeking asylum on the
southern border also offends many Muslims whose families recently found safe
harbor and opportunity in the United States.
American political organization is not new. During the 2016 presidential
election, both Trump and Hillary Clinton had help from groups representing
Muslim or Arab Americans. But these were mostly focused on wrangling wealthy
donors and defending the policies of whichever campaign they were already associated
younger Muslim American activists and politicians are coming to the fore. About
100 Muslim Americans ran for office in 2018, many of whom represent a younger
generation that is less tied to their families’ country of origin and more concerned
with issues such as immigration, the economy, social justice, education and gun
control, said former State Department official Wael Alzayat, Emgage’s CEO.
new generation of American-born Muslims, they want to engage with politicians
on issues that affect Muslims but also on issues that they care about as
Americans,” he said. “We can and have supported Republican candidates, but
right now the overwhelming number is Democratic because very few Republicans
are articulating the type of vision for an inclusive and tolerant America that
all of us demand.”
example, in the 2016 cycle, Emgage’s Virginia chapter supported Rep. Barbara
Comstock (R-Va.), who had made it a point to engage with the Muslim American
community in her district in Alexandria. This cycle, the group is supporting
her Democratic opponent, Jennifer Wexton.
made all the right noises of not being a Trump Republican. She turned out to be
a Trump Republican,” journalist Mehdi Hasan said about Comstock at the
fundraiser. “Yes, she turned up at mosques, and yes, she offered mild criticism
of the very first version of the Muslim ban, right at the start. But she’s also
voted with Trump more than 90 percent of the time.”
Republican Senate candidate Corey A. Stewart tweeted that a Democratic
candidate for governor in Michigan was an “ISIS commie.” A TV ad aired
criticizing Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.)’s challenger for teaching English literature
at an Islamic academy in Alexandria that the ad refers to as “Terror High.”
Emgage is supporting their opponents, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Abigail
groups raised more than $200,000 Wednesday to aid Jewish victims and their
families after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the state of
fundraising campaign organized by CelebrateMercy and MPower Change received
national attention for the amount of money raised in a short period of time.
money raised was in response to a gunman opening fire during a ceremony at the
synagogue Saturday, leaving 11 dead and six others injured, including four
suspect, Robert Bowers, 46, used social media to post anti-Semitic rhetoric,
saying "Jews are the children of Satan".
Founding Director Tarek El-Messidi said in a statement his group wanted to
adhere to the tenets of Islam with the campaign. "We wish to respond to
evil with good, as our Islamic faith teaches us, and send a powerful message of
compassion to the Jewish community - our Abrahamic cousins."
money helps pay for funerals and medical costs for the victims, and their
families, and any other immediate or short-term needs. Funds will be delivered
to the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh to work directly with the Tree of Life
initial fundraising goal was set at $25,000 on Oct. 27, but was quickly
surpassed within six hours. Four days later, the groups raised at least
$214,000 with six days left in the fundraising campaign.
just want to know what you need. If it's more money, let us know. If it's
people outside your next service protecting you, let us know. We'll be
there," said Imam Wasi Mohamed of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, as he
recalled the Jewish community’s response to Muslims after 9/11 and U.S.
President Donald Trump’s election.
senators urged U.S President Donald Trump on Wednesday to suspend negotiations
on a nuclear energy agreement with Saudi Arabia.
Marco Rubio, Todd Young, Cory Gardner, Rand Paul and Dean Heller said in a
letter sent to Trump that even prior to the death of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, the lawmakers had "serious reservations" about bringing
nuclear technology to the kingdom. "In turn, these serious questions have
solidified our reservations about pursuing a potential U.S. civil nuclear
agreement with Saudi Arabia," the letter said.
Arabia previously refused to accept any agreement that includes the "Gold
Standard" requirements which would stipulate it to not pursue uranium
enrichment and processing procedures that could allow it to develop nuclear
senators noted it must be necessary for the Saudis to accept the "Gold
Standard" in order for the U.S. to accept any agreement.
concluded, however, they would block any approval of the agreement by Congress,
due to the lack of transparency and accountability on part of the Saudis.
murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as certain Saudi actions
related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further serious concerns about the
transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision makers in Saudi
Arabia," the letter said.
a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2
inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. After weeks denying involvement,
kingdom said he was killed in a fist fight.
Muslim advocacy organization is asking for an investigation into what it says
was a bomb threat against a mosque in North Carolina.
Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a news release it would like the
alleged incident investigated as a hate crime.
said someone called in a bomb threat to Muhammad Mosque 36 in Charlotte last
director Ibrahim Hooper said at a time of attacks and threats targeting houses
of worship, members of minority groups and national political figures, it's
imperative that the bomb threat be investigated as a hate crime and the
perpetrator brought to justice.
As five members of the Afghan Taliban joined the group’s political office in
Qatar, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis declared that reconciliation was
the most important aspect of the strategy for Afghanistan.
US media reported on Wednesday that the five officials who were freed from the
US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured US Army Sgt. Bowe
Bergdahl could participate in future talks with officials in Doha.
US officials have already held two rounds of talks with Taliban representatives
in Doha. The last round, held earlier this month, led to the release of a key
Taliban leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
media identified the five as Mohammad Fazl, Khairullah Khairkhwa, Abdul Haq
Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Nori and Mohammad Nabi.
is a former Taliban army chief. Khairkhwa is a former governor of Herat
province and was also close to former Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Wasiq was
a deputy intelligence minister. Nori was a senior aide to Mullah Omar and Nabi
was a Taliban communications officer.
Mujahed, a former Taliban representative now a member of the Afghan government
peace council, told the Associated Press news agency that the presence of the
five former Guantanamo prisoners in the Taliban’s Qatar office indicated the
Taliban’s resolve to find a peace deal.
national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday the Trump
administration wants sanctions on Iran’s crude exports to strain Tehran, but
does not want to harm countries that depend on the oil.
United States is preparing to impose the new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry
after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global
powers earlier this year, but is also considering offering waivers to some
allies that rely on Iranian supplies.
want to achieve maximum pressure but we don’t want to harm friends and allies
either,” Bolton said in a talk at the Hamilton Society.
said the administration understands that a number of countries, some close
geographically to Iran which he visited last week, and others “may not be able
to go all the way, all the way to zero immediately.” It was a more conciliatory
tone about the sanctions from Bolton, a proponent of being tough on Iran and
winding down its crude exports to zero.
Bolton said that consequences can already be seen in Iran including the
collapse of the rial, its currency. “I think it’s important that we not relax
in the effort,” he said.
a presidential memorandum addressed to secretaries of State, Treasury and
Energy, Trump said he determined there was sufficient supply of petroleum and
petroleum products elsewhere than Iran to permit a reduction in purchases from
the Islamic Republic. Under the law, the US president must periodically issue a
“determination” on whether there is sufficient supply in the market from
non-Iranian sources for countries to significantly cut their Iranian purchases.
administration’s renewed sanctions are set to come into effect on Nov. 5.
US law, Washington can sanction the financial institutions of foreign countries
that fail to significantly reduce their purchases of Iranian oil and petroleum
purpose of the law, which came into effect during the Obama administration, was
to put pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear program by forcing its major oil
customers to reduce their purchases.
of Iran’s five largest buyers of crude - China, India and Turkey - have
resisted calls by Washington to end their oil purchases outright.
Afghan government is struggling to recover control of districts lost to Taliban
insurgents while casualties among security forces have reached record levels, a
US watchdog agency said on Thursday.
latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction (SIGAR) underlines the heavy pressure on the government in Kabul
even as the United States has opened initial contacts with the Taliban on
possible peace talks.
control of Afghanistan’s districts, population, and territory overall became
more contested this quarter,” the agency said.
Taliban have still not succeeded in taking a major provincial center despite
assaults on Farah in western Afghanistan and Ghazni in the center this year but
they control large stretches of the countryside.
from Afghanistan’s NATO-led Resolute Support mission showed that government
forces had “failed to gain greater control or influence over districts,
population, and territory this quarter”, the agency said.
of September, it said the government controlled or influenced territory with
about 65 percent of the population, stable since October 2017, after a year of
heavy fighting in Farah and Ghazni as well as other provinces like Faryab and
Baghlan in the north.
it reported only 55.5 percent of the total 407 districts were under government
control or influence, the lowest level since SIGAR began tracking district
control in 2015.
the districts, territory, and population under insurgent control or influence
also decreased slightly, the districts, territory, and population ‘contested’ -
meaning under neither Afghan government nor insurgent control or influence
-increased,” it said.
months before presidential elections, the figures are a sign of the degraded
security situation in Afghanistan, even as the US special envoy, Zalmay
Khalilzad, has met Taliban officials to map out possible peace talks.
the Taliban have kept up pressure on the government, SIGAR quoted the Resolute
Support mission as saying the average number of casualties among Afghan
security forces between May 1 and Oct. 1 was “the greatest it has ever been
during like periods”.
Afghan government no longer releases exact casualty figures but this month
General Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, said Afghan casualties were
increasing from last year and were an issue “we are paying very, very close
Sept. 24, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that while he could not
confirm reports that about 500 police and soldiers had been killed and 700
wounded over the previous month, the figures “sound about right”.
President Donald Trump has said that he does not think the Saudis have betrayed
him on the issue of the late Jamal Khashoggi.
Arabia said on last week that 18 people were arrested over the killing of Jamal
Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul.
President Donald Trump has been urged to suspend nuclear talks with Saudi
Arabia after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
received a letter Wednesday from five Republican lawmakers, led by Senator
Marco Rubio, in the wake of “ongoing revelations about the murder.”
ongoing revelations about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as
well as certain Saudi actions related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further
serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of
current decision makers in Saudi Arabia,” wrote the senators, also including -
Cory Gardner, Rand Paul, Dean Heller and Todd Young.
lawmakers asserted that they could use the Atomic Energy Act to block any
US-Saudi nuclear agreements.
therefore request that you suspend any related negotiations for a US-Saudi
civil nuclear agreement for the foreseeable future,” wrote the lawmakers.
statement was released in the aftermath of the killing of Saudi dissident and
Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
intelligence intercepts reportedly show that Khashoggi, who was last seen
entering the Saudi mission in Istanbul on October 2, was tortured and murdered
on a direct order from Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Senator Edward Markey himself wrote a separate letter to Trump, urging him to
revoke any approvals for the transfer of nuclear services, technology or
assistance to the monarchy.
further noted that nuclear talks should be based on the country’s attitude and
Saudi Arabia’s actions “have made it clear that any nuclear cooperation with
its government does not currently meet that bar.”
are also engaged in the incessant bombing of impoverished Yemen since March
group of five key Taliban group leaders, who were released for a captive U.S.
soldier in 2015, have reportedly joined the Taliban political leaders in Qatar
as efforts are underway for the revival of Afghan peace talks.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid has confirmed to Associated Press that a
group of five Taliban leaders have arrived in Qatar and joined the Taliban
political leadership in their office in Qatar.
has also confirmed that the five Taliban leaders have previously served in
Guantanamo detention facility.
the meantime, reports indicate that the Taliban leaders have joined the
political leadership of the group in Qatar with an aim to participate in peace
five key Taliban leaders who have recently travelled to Qatar, include Mullah
Noorullah Noori, Mullah Khairullah Khairzada, Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq, and Mawlavi
Mohammad Nabi Omari.
comes as the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador
Zalmay Khalilzad had met with the Taliban political leaders in Qatar three
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had also confirmed the meeting and had said
that the two sides have agreed to continue negotiations in a bid to find a
solution for the existing issues.
least sixty eight militants including two foreign militants hailing originally
from Pakistan have been killed or wounded during the separate operations of the
Afghan and U.S. forces in southeastern Ghazni and Paktia provinces.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
at least 16 militants including two Pakistanis were killed during the
operations of the Afghan forces in Waghez district of Ghazni.
statement further added that the Afghan Air Force also carried out airstrikes
in Maidanak, Perugi, Shap, Dargari, Qala Kohna, Nasratabad, Mullah Hussain, and
Laiq areas along the Highway No. 1 in Ghazni, leaving at least 39 militants
dead and 8 others wounded.
to 203rd Thunder Corps, the U.S. forces also carried out airstrikes in Choni
area in the outskirts of Paktia’s capital, leaving at least 3 militants dead
while a motorcycle of the militants was destroyed.
control of Afghanistan slipped in recent months as local security forces
suffered record-level casualties while making minimal or no progress against
the Taliban, a US government watchdog said Thursday.
latest glimpse into Afghanistan’s security crisis highlights persistent
problems among police and army units who have faced years of devastating
losses, and shows the Taliban’s resilience 17 years after the US-led invasion.
provided by Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan, show that
during the last quarter, the Afghan government controlled or influenced 226 of
the country’s 407 districts — or 55.5 percent.
to the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR),
which compiled the data, the figure marks a slight drop (0.7 percent) over the
is the lowest level since SIGAR began tracking district control in November
the remaining districts, SIGAR assessed that 49 were under insurgent control or
influence (12 percent).
balance — 132 districts — are considered “contested” between the Kabul
government and the Taliban or other insurgent groups.
terms of the Afghan population itself, Kabul controls or influences 65.2
percent, the same amount as a year ago.
Insider attack –
John Nicholson, who is now retired but at the time was head of Resolute
Support, said in November 2017 that the Afghan security forces would expand
control of the population to 80 percent over the next two years.
Roggio, an Afghanistan expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense
of Democracies, told AFP such a scenario is unlikely.
a dramatic turnaround by Afghan security forces and the US re-committing itself
to improving the security situation, I do not see how that is possible,” he
who runs a website called Long War Journal, co-wrote a piece in which he
assessed that more than half the Afghan population now lives outside of
the security weaknesses, powerful police chief General Abdul Raziq was among
three people killed in a brazen insider attack on a high-level security meeting
this month in Kandahar.
meeting was also attended by General Scott Miller, the top US and NATO
commander in Afghanistan.
escaped unhurt, but US Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley was among 13 people
wounded in the shooting, which the Taliban said had targeted Miller and Raziq.
Donald Trump launched a revamped Afghan plan more than a year ago that saw the
US scrap any timetables for a US pullout and re-commit thousands more troops to
Afghanistan, most of them dedicated to training and advising local forces.
for casualties suffered by Afghan security forces are not available to the
public after Washington last year agreed to Kabul’s request to classify the
the blackout, according to figures published by SIGAR, there were more than
5,000 each year.
its latest report, SIGAR cited Resolute Support as saying this summer’s toll
has been worse than ever.
the period of May 1 to the most current data as of October 1, 2018, the average
number of casualties the (Afghan forces) suffered is the greatest it has ever
been during like periods,” Resolute Support said, according to SIGAR.
this week said more than 1,000 “Afghan lads” were killed or wounded just in
August and September.
added that data show the Afghan forces “made minimal or no progress in
pressuring the Taliban over the quarter.”
officials visited camps for Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh on Wednesday
in an effort to kick-start a process to repatriate hundreds of thousands who
fled an army crackdown last year.
than 700,000 Rohingya refugees crossed into Bangladesh from western Myanmar, UN
agencies say, after Rohingya insurgent attacks on Myanmar security forces in
August 2017 triggered a sweeping military response.
said after meetings in Dhaka on Tuesday returns would begin next month, but the
UN refugee agency said conditions in Rakhine state were “not yet conducive for
agency had completed the second phase of assessment in Rakhine, but its access
remained “limited”, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic said in Geneva on Wednesday.
and other Muslims in three townships suffer hardship and economic vulnerability
due to restrictions on their movement and the prevailing sentiment is “fear and
mistrust”, he said.
group of about 60 Rohingya community leaders met a delegation of about a dozen
Myanmar officials in the Kutupalong camp, the largest refugee settlement in the
world in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar district, said two Rohingya men who were
says it has been ready to accept back the refugees since January, and has built
camps near the border to receive them.
Thu, permanent secretary at Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leader of
the Myanmar delegation, said Myanmar had verified about 5,000 names of refugees
and that repatriation would begin with a first batch of 2,000 returnees in
are here to meet with the people from the camps so that I can explain what we
have prepared for their return and then I can listen to their voices,” he told
reporters in Cox’s Bazaar.
handed over an additional list of more than 22,000 Rohingya refugees to be
verified by Myanmar, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Abul Kalam told Reuters.
leaders said after Wednesday’s meeting that they were unconvinced about the
told us we don’t have to stay (in a camp) for long, but when we asked for how
many days they could not say,” said Mohib Ullah, an influential organizer in
the camps, reflecting what the officials said.
Ullah said Rohingya leaders wanted Myanmar to recognize them as an ethnic group
with the right to Myanmar citizenship before they return.
does not consider the Rohingya a native ethnic group. Many in the
Buddhist-majority country call the Rohingya “Bengalis”, suggesting they belong
pamphlet given to refugees by Myanmar officials on Wednesday, seen by Reuters,
encourages them to accept new identity cards as a “first step” to citizenship.
Many Rohingya reject the cards, which they say treat them as foreigners.
with “national verifications cards” – known as NVCs – would be guaranteed
“socio-economic development”, but those without will be “stateless”, the pamphlet
we asked about our citizenship there was no answer,” said Abdur Rahim, another
Rohingya at the meeting. “They told us to accept NVCs. We are not accepting
NVCs. We are not Bengali.”
Rohingya leaders handed over a letter to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi
setting out their demands, including “compensation and reparations” for
violence committed against Rohingya.
rights investigators said in August that Myanmar’s military acted with
“genocidal intent” in the crackdown last year.
administration of Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has denied most of the allegations,
arguing it was a legitimate response to quell “terrorism”.
which has provided diplomatic cover to Myanmar over the exodus, has brokered
talks with Bangladesh aimed at speeding up repatriation.
countries and the United Nations, while calling for accountability for abuses
committed by the military, have stressed that any returns must be voluntary.
repatriation faces resistance from Rakhine Buddhists who make up the majority
in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state, which the Rohingya also consider their
Tun, a Rakhine community leader, said those who return should be confined to a
part of the Maungdaw area close to the border and not allowed to resettle some
formerly Muslim-majority areas.
three journalists had walked through the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar,
Bangladesh, for more than nine hours each day for nearly three days when it
struck them that something was not right.
were nearly a million people who had fled a military crackdown in Myanmar in that
cramped, makeshift township, and Straits Times associate editor Rahul Pathak,
executive photojournalist Kua Chee Siong and artist Pradip Kumar Sikdar had
seen and spoken to hundreds of them. But where were all the teenage girls?
took some more digging to establish that while there were nearly 60,000 girls
between 12 and 17 in the camps, their conservative Muslim community did not
permit them to step out of their tiny huts - despite the tragedy that had
moving package of stories - on the unfortunate Rohingya girls, on children who
had become heads of households because their parents had been killed, and on
the suffocating life in the camps - has won the ST team the top place in the
best news or event feature category at the prestigious Editor & Publisher
package tied for this top global award with a CNN feature on illegal executions
in El Salvador.
ST of the win, the EPPY Awards committee chairman Martha McIntosh wrote:
"The competition was fierce, there were hundreds of entries and the judges
chose your submission as exemplifying the very best in its category."
winners this year include Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, USA Today and ESPN.com.
Mr Warren Fernandez, ST editor and editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil
Media group: "The Rohingya crisis is a major humanitarian issue playing
out in our backyard and we wanted to bring this story home to our audience.
Credit to Rahul, Chee Siong, Pradip and the team for the gripping stories and
pictures they came back with.
accounts were heart-wrenching and helped many readers to grasp the full extent
of the suffering on the ground in Cox's Bazar."
all, the ST team spent nine days in Bangladesh in July to curate a first-hand
account of the day-to-day existence of the Rohingya refugees in camps there.
package comprised touching reports, gripping photographs as well as detailed
ink wash drawings by Mr Sikdar, 52, who is now with Singapore Press Holdings'
integrated marketing department as a senior art director.
Mr Pathak, 57: "The existing spate of coverage was all about what the
refugees underwent in Myanmar, but what we wanted was to detail the daily lives
of a people who had been completely displaced."
explained that another barrier in portraying the true plight of the Rohingya
was that very few understood their dialect. The default option for
international journalists was to turn to "fixers" who would offer to
source for victims and translate what they said for a fee.
decided against taking that route. "To treat these people like commodities
whose stories can be sold cheapens their plight,' said Mr Pathak.
he would ask questions in English, Mr Sikdar would translate them into Bengali
and a local journalist would then translate them into the Rohingya dialect.
answer would come back through the same route.
were real answers from real people," said Mr Pathak.
all the photos Mr Kua, 44, took on the trip, his favourite was one of a boy
with a yellow umbrella. He said: "The picture gives a sense of peace and
beauty, but this belies the monumental problems that they face."
is ST's second year winning at the annual EPPY Awards, which were launched in
1996 and honour the best media-affiliated websites across 30 categories. Last
year, ST won its first EPPY Award for best website infographic.
diplomats who visited Xinjiang have confirmed that reports of mass internment
camps for Uighur Muslims were “broadly true”, the foreign secretary, Jeremy
Hunt, has told parliament.
faces mounting international criticism over its policies in Xinjiang, a
far-western territory of China where researchers believe an estimated 1 million
members of Muslim minorities have been detained in a network of camps.
told parliament on Tuesday that diplomats had visited Xinjiang in August and
“concur that those reports are broadly accurate”.
comment puts pressure on Beijing before a UN human rights panel that will on 6
November review China’s human rights record. The UK, the US, the Netherlands,
Sweden, Austria, Norway, Germany and Belgium have asked about Xinjiang in
questions submitted for China ahead of the process known as the universal
periodic review (UPR).
said he had raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart, the foreign
minister, Wang Yi, on a trip in July. “We continue to be extremely concerned
about what is happening,” he said.
senior cabinet member raising the issue in parliament sends a message to China
that the UK is serious about what’s happening in Xinjiang and China will likely
hear more at the UPR,” said Frances Eve, a researcher at Chinese Human Rights
of the panel, China has ramped up its defence of the camps, where ex-detainees
have said they were abused, forced to learn Mandarin, as well as undergo
denying their existence, China has begun acknowledging them but described the
camps as vocational training centres that embody the “humane management and
care” of a campaign in the name of counter-terrorism.
arrested five suspected militants in counter-terrorist raids since mid-October,
including a former member of the South Asian extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba
(LeT) and an ex-field operative of al-Qaeda, police said Wednesday.
50-year-old Egyptian who had worked as an executive with a Kuala Lumpur-based
advertising company was arrested on Oct.13 outside the country’s capital,
national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said.
suspect was a member of the al-Qaeda militant group during his stay in
Afghanistan from 1988 to 1993,” Fuzi said in a statement. “He also met with
Osama bin Laden, the former leader of al-Qaeda.”
suspect, who entered Malaysia with his wife in May this year, told
investigators he had been arrested previously in Canada and Egypt for using
fake travel documents, which he also used to enter Azerbaijan and Pakistan in
the past, Fuzi said.
Egyptian had also been imprisoned in his home country for terror activities,
Fuzi said. He did not identify the suspect.
man was not cooperative with investigators at the moment,” a high-ranking
government source told BenarNews.
have not seen evidence that the suspect had denounced his involvement with the
global militant organization, the source said.
are afraid that Malaysia will become a terror organization’s base. Al-Qaeda,
unlike the IS, is good at making long-term plans,” the source said, using the
other acronym for Islamic State.
cited the meeting of al-Qaeda terrorists who met in 1999 in Kuala Lumpur as
they plotted the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States. The four
coordinated terror attacks, which involved hijacked planes, killed almost 3,000
people and injured 6,000 others.
2000, the source said, high-level al-Qaeda members also met in Kuala Lumpur to
plan the bombing on that year of the U.S. Navy ship USS Cole in Yemen, killing
17 American sailors and injuring 39 others. Some of the attendees in that
meeting were hijackers of the plane that was flown into the Pentagon in the
9/11 attacks, he said.
meeting was organized by Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, a former army captain, believed
to be one of al-Qaeda's anthrax researchers. Malaysian authorities arrested
Yazid in 2001, released him in 2008 and was rearrested in 2013 under the
Security Offences (Special Measures) Act for incitement of terrorist acts.
from the Egyptian, the counter-terror agents also arrested a 31 year-old
Pakistani with suspected links to the South Asian militant group
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Fuzi said.
said a 31-year-old man, who was only identified as a Middle Eastern, was
arrested after he had allegedly posted Facebook comments threatening to kill a
Malaysians, aged 32 and 40, were also arrested, he said. All of the suspects
were detained separately in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak and the Borneo state
Sabah between Oct. 13 and Oct. 26, the police chief said.
said the Malaysians were believed to have channeled funds to slain Malaysian IS
recruiter Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi and another top Malaysian militant,
Muhamad Fudhail Omar, who was believed killed in Syria last year, and also to
the Abu Sayyaf, a group of militants operating in the southern Philippines.
of the suspects were detained under the Security Offenses (Special Measures)
Act 2012 while the Pakistani was arrested on charges of violating the country’s
deradicalization expert told BenarNews that the presence of former al-Qaeda
militants in nations outside of their home country was expected.
a residual effect of the phenomenon of militants who were active somewhere
else, like Afghanistan,” said Ahmad el-Muhammady, a political science lecturer
at the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
their early activities, Ahmad said, militants would want to seek safe
sanctuaries. Muslim-majority Malaysia, being an open country with friendly
citizens, fits the bill, he said.
security measures at the border and stronger intelligence cooperation with
countries in the region and others, such as the Middle East and Europe, are
needed to prevent the entry of foreign militants,” he said.
arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Malaysia, analyst says
South Asian terrorism analyst told BenarNews the case involving the Pakistani
could be unprecedented in Malaysia.
believe it’s the first such a case in Malaysia,” said Faran Jeffery, deputy
director of the Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism, a London-based think
which literally means the Army of the Righteous, is one of the largest and most
active militant organizations in South Asia, operating mainly in Pakistan.
blames the Pakistan-based LeT for several attacks on its soil, including the
2001 assault on the Indian Parliament that claimed 14 lives and the 2008 Mumbai
news broke that US$681 million dollars had been transferred to the personal
bank account of Malaysia’s then Prime Minister Najib Razak, investigators had
already pieced together a trail linking the funds to 1Malaysia Development
Berhad (1MDB), a sovereign fund now synonymous with one of the biggest heists
in financial history.
however, had another explanation for where the millions came from: Saudi
Arabia. For years, the now ex-premier denied any role in the massive
embezzlement at 1MDB, claiming the funds found in his account were a “donation”
from a Saudi prince offered in recognition for governing Malaysia according to
Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir vouched for Najib in 2016 when
asked about the so-called donation, saying it was “genuine” and “given with
nothing expected in return.” He pointed out that the then Attorney General of
Malaysia had “found no wrongdoing” during investigations and that he considered
the matter closed.
now tells a different story. On a recent three-day visit to Malaysia, the first
by Riyadh’s top diplomat since May elections returned Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad to office, he admitted the millions received by Najib had “nothing to
do with the Saudi government,” contradicting his earlier explanation which gave
political cover to the ex-premier.
in response, dismissed the foreign minister’s remarks and posted a series of
letters on Facebook, purportedly from a Saudi prince, which he argues are proof
that the funds were a donation from the kingdom. He also posted receipts of a
fund transfer to him originating from Saudi Arabia’s Finance Ministry.
investigators have established that US$80 million did indeed originate from the
ministry, which Adel did not acknowledge in his comments, investigators from
the US Department of Justice (DoJ) maintain that the US$681 million in question
came from Tanore Finance Corporation, owned by an associate of fugitive
financier Low Taek Jho, rather than Riyadh.
asked by reporters if Adel’s reversal was aimed at appeasing the ruling Pakatan
Harapan government, Mahathir answered: “Maybe, but I don’t know what he was
thinking.” Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysia’s foreign minister, says Adel informed
him that Riyadh would be willing to cooperate with the ongoing 1MDB
foreign minister’s trip follows a series of measures taken by Mahathir’s
government to reverse Najib-era initiatives that brought Malaysia’s foreign and
defense policies into closer alignment with Riyadh, moves that were seen as
undermining the Southeast Asian country’s traditionally non-aligned foreign
known to have been enamored by the wealth of the Gulf region’s royal families,
sought investment from the Middle East, including from Saudi Arabia.
an apparent quid pro quo, he involved Malaysia in Saudi Arabia’s conflict in
neighboring Yemen, sending armed personnel and equipment to Riyadh in 2015 and
joining a Saudi-led, 34-member Islamic alliance against the Islamic State (IS)
grouping was nominally formed to counter threats posed by armed extremist
groups, though observers regard the Saudi-led alliance as a sectarian military
bloc against Shia-majority rival Iran and a boost to the military campaign in
Yemen, where the kingdom is pitted against Shiite Houthi rebels who have held
the capital Sanaa since 2015.
government maintained that Malaysian soldiers were not involved in hostilities
and were deployed to Riyadh only to evacuate Malaysian civilians in Yemen.
Those claims were called into question by some in Malaysia as armed personnel
maintained a presence in Riyadh years after their initial deployment.
was ostensibly integrated into the Saudi military fold when it joined the
region’s biggest ever military exercises at the invitation of Riyadh. That
included the so-called “Northern Thunder” maneuvers in 2016 and the sprawling
“Gulf Shield-1” exercise held in April this year.
2017, plans were unveiled for the establishment of a Saudi-funded
anti-terrorism center – the King Salman Center for International Peace (KSCIP)
– slated to be built on 16 hectares of land in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s
administrative capital. Though its role and envisioned operations were vague,
the facility was touted as a counter to radical ideologies.
and other top officials boasted domestically about the center to boost their
Islamic credentials, noting that past Malaysian leaders had never received such
acclaim from the kingdom, whose monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,
claims religious guardianship as custodian of Islam’s holiest sites.
has since reviewed its relationship with Saudi Arabia and significantly changed
course since Mahathir’s Harapan government came to power. Many credit veteran
politician Mohamad Sabu, a long-time opposition parliamentarian who was
appointed defense minister earlier this year, for pushing the change.
who is better known as Mat Sabu, is a prominent critic of Saudi policies who
before being elected into government published several scathing commentaries
last year cautioning against the perceived dangers posed by Najib’s close embrace
of the Gulf kingdom, which he claimed shattered Malaysia’s neutrality.
is playing with fire,” he wrote in a commentary published last December taking
aim at the KSCIP and ridiculing moves to partner with Saudi Arabia to counter
terrorism and extremism when the kingdom’s own literalist strands of Islam –
known as Salafism and Wahhabism – are known to have influenced an array of
condemned 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for showing “animosity
against all who don’t agree with him” and argued that Malaysia should keep
Riyadh at arm’s length. “By being close to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia must
sacrifice its relationships with Qatar, Iran, potentially, even Turkey, too,”
after taking the reins as defense minister, Mat Sabu announced that Malaysian
soldiers would be withdrawn from Saudi Arabia due to Putrajaya’s opposition to
the military conflict in Yemen. Malaysia, he said, would bring the troops home
and stood opposed to involvement in “a war with another Muslim nation.”
then ordered the immediate closure of the KSCIP and appointed an agency under
the defense ministry’s umbrella to assume the center’s counter-terrorism role,
prompting objections from Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s former defense minister,
and Najib, who said the cancellation would “offend” the kingdom and complicate
the wake of moves to decouple itself from the previous administration’s
alliance with Saudi Arabia, some suggest Putrajaya is moving toward a period of
cooler relations with Riyadh. Experts who spoke to Asia Times believe that
while there is little danger of a full rupture of Saudi-Malaysia ties, the
relationship is indeed changing.
is not seeking to fracture its relations with Saudi Arabia, but rather to carve
sufficient diplomatic space to have good relations with other countries in the
Islamic world as well, most notably Iran and Turkey,” says Mustafa Izzuddin, a
fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.
Yemen pull-out can be seen in that regard, including the fact that the Pakatan
Harapan leaders felt that being part of the warring coalition was not in the
national interest of Malaysia, which is to be non-aligned in its foreign
policy,” said Mustafa, who believes Saudi Arabia viewed Malaysia as a gateway
to bolstering its religious legitimacy in Southeast Asia.
is in the midst of reorienting itself to “allow it the necessary diplomatic
room to cultivate relations with as many countries in the Islamic world as
possible,” he says. As such, the new government under Mahathir is “unlikely to
be as close to Saudi Arabia as compared to the previous government under
has been, in other words, a reset in relations,” says James Dorsey, a senior
fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “Look
at the pattern of what Mahathir is doing. He’s positioning Malaysia much more
independently, whether its versus Saudi Arabia or versus China.”
Najib government “saw Islam as a political utility, as a tool” and was
welcoming of Saudi money flowing into religious and educational institutions
that promoted “an ultra-conservative, anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian strand [of
Islam],” he said. “Most of the funding went through official channels and
is moving to null Malaysia’s sedition laws and redefining to some degree the
relationship between Islam and an ostensibly more liberal form of democracy,”
says Dorsey. “Obviously, that’s not the direction Saudi Arabia is going in. I
wouldn’t read too much into the notion that relations are cooling or strained,
but they are changing without question.”
a global outcry prompted by the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who
Riyadh admits was killed in its consulate in Turkey on October 2, Malaysia’s
reaction initially appeared diplomatic. Foreign Minister Saifuddin said that
Malaysia would await the result of investigations and that bilateral ties with
Saudi Arabia “remain strong.”
asked by reporters the following day, Mahathir appeared to contradict his
foreign minister’s position, calling Khashoggi’s killing “an extreme and
unacceptable act of tyranny” that could not be condoned. He added the
journalist’s death was something that his government deemed “unacceptable.”
Tretan Muslim and Coki Pardede have claimed to have received several death
threats after uploading a video on the popular video sharing platform Youtube
in which they cooked a pork dish.
am very open and thankful if anyone wants to reproach me or give me advice,
because if someone is wrong, they should be reproached and reminded,"
Tretan said in a YouTube video posted on Tuesday. "But curses, insults,
persecution, condoning the killing of me and my friend and death threats toward
me and people close to me – I am sure that those things do not reflect Islamic
both Tretan and Coki apologized for any offense caused by the video and
announced they were leaving comedy group Majelis Lucu Indonesia (MLI) because
of the brouhaha.
said several MLI events had been canceled because of protests from Muslim
organizations over Tretan and Coki's video.
just from Majelis Lucu Indonesia; the two of us are also leaving Indonesia's
entertainment scene," Tretan said.
added that the pair would concentrate on improving their knowledge of comedy
and other matters before returning.
"blasphemous" video was part of Tretan's comedic cooking series
"Last Hope Kitchen", where he and other comedians prepare dishes with
unusual ingredients. Previous examples include chicken soup with herbal drink
Adem Sari and rawon (beef soup) with isotonic drink UC1000.
the video, Tretan, a Muslim, teamed up with Coki, a Christian, to cook pork
with date syrup and honey.
joked that he could hear the pork saying "Hell, hell, the fires of
hell!" and the two speculated on whether adding dates, which Muslims are
encouraged to consume when breaking the fast, would reduce the haram level of
video went viral after popular preacher Derry Sulaiman posted a short clip of
it on his Instagram account on Oct. 20 with a message condemning the two
are these people? [They are] disrespectful, they want to be famous by making
fun of our religion," he wrote. "Please tell me where these two
people live, I want to hear their jokes in person (that are not funny at
all)." The post has since been deleted.
has long been part of Indonesian culture, and some high-profile figures,
including late cleric Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, are known to have
often joked about religion.
Jamal Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul and then “cut into pieces”, Turkey’s chief prosecutor said Wednesday,
making details of the murder public for the first time.
statement from the office of prosecutor Irfan Fidan said meetings with his
Saudi Arabian counterpart, who visited Istanbul this week, had produced “no
concrete results” on the killing, which it said was premeditated.
a 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, was murdered after entering the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork ahead of his upcoming
wedding. His body has not been found.
statement comes hours after Saudi Arabia’s chief public prosecutor ended his
visit to Istanbul, during which he met Fidan twice and visited the kingdom’s
consulate and the regional offices of the Turkish intelligence agency. Saudi
Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb reportedly refused to share information
from Riyadh’s own investigation. “In accordance with plans made in advance, the
victim, Jamal Khashoggi, was strangled to death immediately after entering the
consulate on October 2,” the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
victim’s body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation
— again, in line with advance plans,” it added. Turkish authorities said they
were not satisfied after the talks with the Saudi prosecutor. “Despite our
well-intentioned efforts to reveal the truth, no concrete results have come out
of those meetings,” the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said. President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly urged Riyadh to reveal the location of the body
and who ordered the hit. And contrary to media reports, Mojeb also said no
statement was made by the Saudi authorities that the body was given to a “local
cooperator,” according to the Istanbul prosecutor’s office.
message of Arbaeen is that of fighting oppression, defending freedom and
independence, not bowing before the bullies and tyrants of the time, fighting
terrorism and making efforts toward global security and peace,” Rouhani said in
Wednesday’s cabinet session, ILNA reported.
one will be harmed by Arbaeen … but the Islamic world, Europe, America and the
whole world would benefit from it,” he added.
religious ritual of Arbaeen is performed to observe the end of the 40-day
mourning period following the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his loyal
companions on Ashura. Pilgrims from various countries flock to the Iraqi city
of Karbala during Arbaeen to visit the shrines of Imam Hussein (AS) and his
brother Hazrat Abbas (AS).
president voiced his gratitude to the people of Iraq for their hospitality,
saying, “The Iraqi people, especially the people of Karbala, have always been
good hosts for Arbaeen pilgrims.”
also thanked all executive agencies, ministries of interior, health and medical
education, petroleum, energy, roads and urban development, the Red Crescent
Society, law enforcement, municipalities and religious groups all over the
country for their hard work during Arbaeen.
in his remarks, Rouhani pointed to Washington’s maximum-pressure campaign
against Iran, saying “people should know with certainty that the administration
is not afraid of U.S. threats.”
situation might have been tough for our people in recent months, but the
administration will be making every effort to attack the problems, and by the
grace of God and the help of the people, producers, exporters and
entrepreneurs, we won’t let this trend continue,” he added.
cast doubt Wednesday on whether Saudi Arabia was willing to “genuinely
cooperate” in the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
as international pressure increased on Riyadh to provide answers.
to draw a line under a crisis that has brought near unprecedented scrutiny on
Saudi Arabia and its powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi
had criticised, Riyadh sent the head of its investigation to Istanbul this
a senior Turkish official said Wednesday that Saudi officials seemed “primarily
interested in finding out what evidence Turkey had against the perpetrators”.
did not get the impression that they were keen on genuinely cooperating with
the investigation,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
a 59-year-old Washington Post contributor, was killed after entering the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming
marriage. His body has not been found.
initially insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, then saying he died
in a brawl, the Saudi government has admitted he was killed by a “rogue
operation” and arrested 18 people.
reports in the Turkish media have alleged the journalist was murdered and
dismembered by a team sent from Riyadh to silence him.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the Saudi regime to reveal the
location of Khashoggi’s body and who ordered the hit.
has also repeatedly called for the suspects to be extradited for trial in
Turkey, but Riyadh has rejected the request.
needs to come out’
case has sorely strained relations between the ultra-conservative kingdom and
said Wednesday that “not enough” was being done to find those responsible for
the murder of Khashoggi, who was an insider in Saudi royal circles before going
into self-imposed exile in the United States last year.
crime has to be punished and the perpetrators identified. The truth needs to
come out,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Arabia’s Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, who was the first Saudi
official to acknowledge that the killing was “premeditated” based on the
results of Turkey’s investigation, arrived in Istanbul on Sunday.
met with Istanbul’s chief prosecutor twice, visited the consulate and spoke
with Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency.
who has not made a public statement in Istanbul, was headed for Ataturk airport
on Wednesday afternoon to leave the city, Turkish broadcaster TRT reported.
Selvi, a well-connected pro-government columnist for Turkey’s Hurriyet
newspaper, accused the Saudi prosecutor of “working to save the crown prince by
covering up the investigation rather than shed light on the murder”.
also wrote that Mojeb was in pursuit of Khashoggi’s phone, which the journalist
handed to his Turkish fiancee before entering the consulate.
an editorial published Tuesday, the Washington Post accused Riyadh of
“deflecting questions by pretending to investigate” the murder.
said the administration of US President Donald Trump was “playing along” and
“pretending to believe that the Saudis can conduct a credible probe — even
though a chief suspect is the kingdom’s own autocratic ruler”.
Omani minister met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday and
delivered a letter about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s surprise
visit to the Gulf sultanate last week, official Palestinian media said.
bin Alawi, minister in charge of foreign affairs, gave Abbas the letter from
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.
gave no further details on their discussions in Ramallah, in the occupied West
Palestinians have been concerned by Israel’s bid for rapprochement with Gulf
peace efforts and Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory have
been obstacles to Israeli attempts to win official recognition from countries
in the region.
there has long been talk of under-the-radar contacts, particularly regarding
two Arab countries -- Egypt and Jordan -- have full diplomatic relations with
October 25 visit to Oman, which was not announced beforehand, was a major coup
for the Israeli premier.
had also visited Oman in the days before Netanyahu’s trip.
Houthi militias in Yemen kidnapped a photographer, Hamad al-Qaoud, from a
public street in Sanaa, local Yemeni news sites reported.
was kidnapped near the presidential palace in Sanaa and taken to an unknown destination,
according to the news publications.
is the son of prominent Yemeni writer Mohamed al-Qaoud.
Minister of Information Moammar al-Eryani condemned the kidnapping on his
official Twitter account, stating that the many abductions carried out by the
Houthis are “crimes against humanity.”
crimes and violations committed by militias against journalists, detaining
dozens with prosecuting them are crimes against humanity. This requires firm
positions from international community and human rights organizations,” Eryani
the abductions by Houthis were that of over 80 students from Sanaa University
early October. Armed groups belonging to the Houthis have been carrying out
raids and arrests in various neighborhoods of Sanaa, based on a list prepared
in advance which includes their targets.
least 150 Houthi militants were killed and hundreds injured by air strikes
launched by the Arab coalition on the militias’ training camp in the district
of Marawha of Hodeidah.
media center of the Yemeni army’s Giant Brigades quoted field sources as saying
that the coalition aircraft launched several heavy air raids on a training camp
for the Houthi militias, and that the Iran-backed militants imposed a security
cordon around the camp and prevented any approach. Houthi vehicles were seen
transporting the dead and wounded outside the city after the strikes.
says the US is seeking to wage a “psychological war” on Iran by slapping the
country with illegal sanctions in a bid to hurt its economy and cover up
Washington’s own crimes against Middle Eastern nations.
Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks on Tuesday in response to US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had claimed in a tweet that the Iranian
economy is in decline, and that the Islamic Republic “steals from its people”
to invest in the Damascus government.
top US diplomat was referring to the Iranian military’s advisory assistance to
Syria in its fight against Takfiri terror groups, many of which have the
support of Washington in their bid to topple the Damascus government.
said Pompeo’s comments are “merely based on populism, fallacy.”
Iranian economy has, contrary to Pompeo’s claims, seen a growth of more than 8
percent over the past years, at the same time that Tehran has been on the
frontline of counter-terrorism battles, the official added.
also said Iran’s anti-terror fight and peace efforts in the region as well as
firm defense of its borders have raised worries among US officials, and dealt a
blow to their hostile agenda against the Islamic Republic.
American officials are seeking to find a pretext to cover up their crimes
against the people in the region and Iran, using economic terrorism and
oppressive and illegal sanctions as a tool,” he said.
are trying “to launch a psychological war [against Iran], turning a deaf ear to
international reactions well as criticisms of the US’s confrontational and
inhumane sanctions from countries and human rights institutions,” he added.
Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the administration of US President Donald
Trump is committing yet another “strategic mistake” by pursuing “deceptive”
anti-Iran policies, which are based on the “hollow dreams” of certain “isolated
and notorious” regimes, figures and terror groups.
tweet came as a second round of US sanctions is about to return in place
against Iran months after Washington scrapped a 2015 multilateral deal on the
Iranian nuclear program despite international objections.
first round of the bans – which had been lifted under the nuclear deal -- was
re-imposed in August.
has vowed resistance in the face of Washington’s economic pressure. It is now
in talks with its other five partners in the deal – France, the UK, Germany,
Russia and China – to help keep the international document alive and blunt the
impact of the retuning US bans.
United Nations says it aims to resume Yemen peace talks "within a
month", a day after a similar call made by the United States that was
condemned by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
United Nations' envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths welcomed calls for an
immediate re-launch of negotiations and a ceasefire in Yemen.
urge all concerned parties to seize this opportunity to engage constructively
with our current efforts to swiftly resume political consultations to agree on
a framework for political negotiations," he said in a statement on
remain committed to bring the Yemeni parties to the negotiations table within a
month," Griffiths added.
Tuesday, American officials called for a ceasefire in Yemen and demanded that
the sides to the conflict come to the negotiating table within a month.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the US had been watching the conflict “for
long enough,” and that he believed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
were ready for talks. This is while officials of the former Yemeni government
said on Tuesday that the Saudi-led coalition has sent 10,000 new forces to the
Red Sea coast, ahead of a new offensive on Hudaydah "within days".
have got to move toward a peace effort here, and we can’t say we are going to
do it sometime in the future,” he said. “We need to be doing this in the next
call was later echoed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who urged the
coalition to stop airstrikes in Yemen’s populated areas, saying the “time is
now for the cessation of hostilities.”
Houthi Ansarullah movement opposed the US proposal for mediation in efforts to
resolve the conflict in Yemen, holding Washington responsible for the Saudi-led
aggression against Yemen.
al-Bakhiiti, a member of Ansarullah’s Political Council, further stressed that
Washington's proposed solution for the Yemen conflict included dividing the
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
this month, the Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen said the
ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the impoverished and
conflict-plagued Arab country has claimed the lives of more than 15,000
invited the Houthis and the former officials to talks in Geneva in early
September in an attempt to restore a UN-backed negotiation process that had
broken off in 2016.
Turkish attacks in Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria have led to a
temporary halt in an offensive by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
against Daesh in eastern Syria, the SDF said on Wednesday.
SDF general command said the Turkish attacks had "led to the temporary
halt" of the campaign it is waging against Daesh in the Deir al-Zor
continuation of these attacks will cause a long halt in our military campaign
against (Daesh)," it said in a statement.
Turkish forces fired howitzer shells across the border into Syria’s Ayn Al-Arab
region on Wednesday, killing four Kurdish militants, state broadcaster TRT
barrages were launched from Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa, along
the Syrian border, TRT said. Six other militants were wounded in the strikes on
the region, which is also known as Kobani.
SDF, which controls much of northern and eastern Syria, said it returned fire
after Turkish forces targeted positions along the border.
SDF alliance, which the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia spearheads, said it hit a
Turkish military vehicle and reserved the “right to respond to all kinds of
has repeatedly warned it would launch a cross-border offensive against the YPG
east of the Euphrates River in Syria, if the US military which supports the
Kurdish fighters does not ensure their withdrawal.
Tuesday, President Tayyip Erdogan said he crush Syrian Kurdish fighters east of
the Euphrates, where Ayn Al-Arab is also located, announcing an offensive
against the US allies.
the past two years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria to push YPG
fighters out of territory west of the Euphrates in two separate military
offensives halted at the banks of the river, in part to avoid direct confrontation
with the United States, which has troops alongside the Kurdish fighters further
Erdogan said Turkey was now prepared to press on, issuing what he said was a
“final warning” last week to those who would endanger Turkey’s borders.
said Turkey would focus its attention on the east of the Euphrates, rather than
Manbij where Turkish and US forces agreed to carry out joint patrols in June.
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
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism