Ignorant By Ulema of Quranic Instruction to Believe In Previous Scriptures (Quran
4: 162-163), Two Muslim Men Beat Up A Muslim For Regularly ‘Reciting Bhagavad
Gita’ At Home
Clerics Question Nusrat Jahan’s Religious Identity, Slam Her for Visiting Iskon
Temple in Kolkata
Lynchings and Ban, India Stays as Worlds Top Beef Exporter
Vigilante Moral Policing Is Not Islamic and Authorities Must Act Firmly Against
Groups Such As the Badar Squad
Genocide’: China Separating Thousands of Muslim Children From Parents For
Siege’: Fear and Defiance Mark Life for Pakistan’s Hazaras
Jihad Summer Camp: Young Palestinian Men Graduate from Military-Style Training
School in Gaza
Authenticity Are ‘Main Pillars’ Of Islamic Thought: Muslim World League
in Rohingya Camps May Get Radicalized By Violent Militants
Taliban Scramble to Finalize Draft on Troop Withdrawal
University Cuts Seats Of Students In Saudi Endowment
Movement Getting Support from ISI-Backed Muslim Community in UK, Says Expert
to Provide Scholarship to 1 Cr Muslim Students Not Fulfilled In Union Budget: Asaduddin
terrorist killed in Shopian encounter
will not dare attempt Kargil-like infiltration in coming years: Army chief
mob violence: Internet shut, police deployed in tense Meerut days after
persecution of Uighurs, urge Muslim NGOs
blames ‘socialist’ DAP for Putrajaya’s mandatory MPs asset declaration Bill
leader urges Dr M to join PAS-Umno in saving Malays’ future
Army Accuses India of 'State-Sponsored Terrorism'
to deploy army men inside polling stations to be challenged in court: Bilawal
labourers abducted in Balochistan’s Kech: Levies
reward for informers of benami properties: PM
for concrete measures to check smuggling at Iran border
Rehbar Committee agrees to oust Senate chairman
Admit to Pursuing Greater Weapons Capabilities
Media Celebrates Houthi Drone Attacks on Saudi Arabia
calls on Houthis to release Yemeni Bahai leader from detention
explosion in southern Turkey kills three people, say security sources
minister voices frustration with Lebanon over sea border talks idea
injured as Israeli troops attack Palestinian protesters in Gaza
Tehran symphony, music lovers seek escape from reality
former Boko Haram fighters drop arms in Cameroon's Far North region
State claims responsibility for attacks on military camp in western Niger
says militants kill 11 in attack near Tanzania border
Arabia, EU, UN, and UAE hail Sudan landmark deal
Erdogan pledges support for Libya’s GNA to ‘ensure peace, stability’
Zakzaky in dire need of treatement: Rights group warns
calls for Libya cease-fire as death toll climbs to 1,000
frees 42 security personnel in N. Afghanistan
in Sri Lankan highlands to down shutters as hardline Buddhists meet
enormous 201-dome mosque becomes centre of attraction
Taliban militants killed, wounded in Farah airstrike
kills 6 Taliban fighters in Logar province
forces, Taliban militants suffer casualties in Kandahar clash
toll from Taliban mortar attack on Faryab market rises to 53
Taliban militants killed, car bomb, IEDs destroyed in Special Forces raids in
Kapisa and Wardak
Administration Lays Broad Legal Grounds For Military Strike On Iran
lobby in US pushing for war against Iran: Analyst
should take tanker issue to international court: Expert
Isis Ideologues Held In Syrian Camps Represent Long-Term Risk, Warns US-Led
ISIS Sleeper Cells Revived on Demand
corpses found in mass grave in Syria's Raqqa
Says Slain Tunis Suspect Was One of its Militants
war: People live in fear as assault intensifies in Idlib
IS militants killed in Iraq in anti-IS operations, airstrikes
Arabia intercepts Al Houthi drones fired at Jizan airport
US Plans Revival of ISIL in Iraq, Syria
bombardment kills 13 in Syria’s Idlib
bombings kill 14 civilians in northwest Syria
Dialogue Group Launched In Berlin
Moves To Make Companies Block Hate Speech Online
Plans to Stop Militant Fighters Returning Home
Has Turned Its Back on Its ISIS Suspects
Kosovan former fighter bringing Isis wives and children back from Syria
marines seize tanker suspected of carrying Iranian oil bound for Syria
Bosnians jailed for plotting Islamist attack on state police
European Parliament should proscribe all of Hezbollah
terror raids: police allege man said he was the commander of Isis in Australia
to receive 1st shipment of Russian S-400 defense system Sunday: Report
blames NATO for destruction of Libya, warns about flow of terrorists from Syria
Turks stage anti-China protest in Brussels
activist Tommy Robinson found in contempt of court
action launched against Apple in bid to ban hate app
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Muslim man who has been reading "Ram Charitra Manas" and
"Gita" since 1979 was beaten up by Muslim youths here in Uttar
Thursday, Dilsher, 55, was reading the scriptures in his house when two youths,
Zakir and Samir, entered his house and beat him. They broke his harmonium, took
away the scriptures and warned him not to read Hindu books or else he would
have to face dire consequences.
who works as a security guard, said: "I returned from duty and after
taking a bath, I was preparing to read 'Ram Charitra Manas' when these youths
came and attacked me."
the scriptures gives me mental peace. However, I face protests from my own
community from time to time," he added.
has lodged a complaint at the Delhi Gate police station and a case has been
registered against the youths after the intervention of the senior police
Congress MP from Basirhat, Nusrat Jahan, was slammed by Muslim clerics after
she paid a visit to the Iskon temple in Kolkata.
questions over the religious identity of Nusrat Jahan, the clerics asked her to
clarify whether she had renounced Islam and adopted Hinduism as idol worship
and performing religious rituals was prohibited in Islam.
Arshad Faroquee, head of the online fatwa unit of the seminary in Lucknow said,
Muslims were prohibited from performing rituals of any other religion, while
Jamait Dawatul Muslimeen patron Maulana Kari Ishak Gora said that under the
Shariat law, Muslims could only worship Allah and no other God.
(TMC) MP has to clarify whether she is a Hindu or a Muslim. If she admits that
she has converted to Hinduism then there is no issue. But if she still follows
Islam, then she should abide by Shariat and Quran otherwise she will be termed
as ‘gunahgar’ (sinner),” claimed Majlis-Ethid-e-Millat, UP chief, Mufti Ahmed
Jahan attended Jagannath Rath Yatra procession in West Bengal’s Kolkata on
Thursday, where she was accompanied by her husband Nikhil Jain.
ISKCON’s Jagannath Rath Yatra was flagged off by West Bengal Chief Minister
Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.
(Mamata) comes for Eid and stands with all. There is no politics on this. It is
about faith and belief. In West Bengal, we participate in festivals
irrespective of caste, creed or religion,’’ Jahan said.
commenting on reports of a fatwa issued against her, Nusrat Jahan said, “I
don't pay heed to things which are baseless. I know my religion. I have been a
Muslim by birth and I am still a Muslim. It's about faith. You have to feel it
inside your heart and not in your head.”
ISKCON Rath Yatra is considered to be the second largest after Odisha’s Puri
Rath Yatra. The festivities of Rath Yatra will conclude on July 12.
is not the first time the TMC MP has been slammed by Muslim clerics. Earlier
too, Jahan was attacked for wearing a saree, sindoor and chanting Vande Mataram
in Lok Sabha.
clerics had said that Muslim girls should only marry boys of her religion. The
actor-turned-politician got married to businessman Nikhil Jain in Turkey last
has been elected from Bashirhat constituency of West Bengal in the 2019 Lok
Sabha polls. She defeated her nearest rival by over 3.5 lakh votes.
Delhi: Not astonishingly, despite lynchings and ban, India continues to stay as
world’s top beef exporter. India’s exports of beef are on the rise even as
several states expand their bans on the slaughter of cows and bullocks.
against cattle slaughter is in place throughout most states of India except
Kerala, West Bengal, and states of the North-East.
according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), India has
been the largest exporter of beef in the world since last year, and has further
widened its lead over second-ranked Brazil with a projected total of 2.4
million tons exported in 2015 against Brazil’s 2 million.
USDA report, released earlier this month, predicts that global beef exports
overall will rise to a record 10.2 million tons, 3% higher than the October
has also overtaken basmati rice as India’s largest agricultural food export in
terms of value, according to data from the country’s Agricultural and Processed
Food Products’ Export Development Authority.
the slaughter of cows, sacred for the Hindus that make up India’s majority
population, has long been banned in several parts of the country, states like
Maharashtra — one of its largest — recently expanded the ban to include bulls
and bullocks as well. However, since India’s exports are composed entirely of
water-buffalo meat or carabeef, the bans will not affect the figures cited in
JAYA: Vigilante moral policing is not Islamic and authorities must act firmly
against groups such as the Badar squad before other copycats go around
harassing Muslims, say local Islamic leaders.
mufti Datuk Seri Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor pointed out that the prevention of
immorality in the general public spectrum is the responsibility of the
are only duty-bound to admonish evil within certain limited confines such as
among their family members,” he said.
who do so without authorisation should be charged with “invasion of privacy”
and should be sued by the victimised individual or the party, he said.
said those authorised to take action had to be patient and even delay
enforcement until action could be taken without any harm occurring.
Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said authorities must put a stop to
vigilante moral policing or the country could turn into a Taliban-like state.
Thursday, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor said the Badar
squad has been warned by police to stop its vigilante activities.
squad founder Azhar Mohamad was arrested last January and fined RM1,000 for
being involved in an illegal organisation, not registered with the Registrar of
just two days ago, Azhar had vowed to register the Badar squad under RoS,
claiming there is public demand from Muslims to do so.
vigilante squad targeted unwed couples in budget hotels in Sungai Petani, Kedah
and conducted enforcement activities. The couples caught for khalwat were then
given “counselling” at a cemetery.
said that it is important to work within the laws of the country and Islam’s
rules when one is preventing vice.
if everyone does what the squad is doing.
will take the law into their own hands. All Muslims must abide by the laws of the
government,” said Asri.
In Islam (SIS) executive director Rozana Isa said that vigilante moral policing
has become part of the Malaysian Muslim culture with many checking on
neighbours in the name of religion.
said the bigger question is whether those caught by the vigilante moral
policing group get justice in court.
appreciate the deputy IGP telling them off in the legal sense but there is a
bigger picture to this.
have allowed our society to think it is the duty of every Muslim to thwart vice
even without authority and we have allowed it to go unchecked for a long time
-- all under the pretext of religious duty,” said Rozana.
also pointed out that Badar squad was never charged for their vigilante moral
policing but more for being an illegal society.
said one way of stopping vigilante moral policing is to streamline the Syariah
Criminal Offences Act in all states and include vigilante moral policing as an
genocide’: China separating thousands of Muslim children from parents for
of Muslim children in China’s western Xinjiang region are being separated from
their parents in what a new study calls a “systematic campaign of social
re-engineering and cultural genocide”.
research sheds light on what happens to the children of “double-detained”
parents – when both a mother and father have been abducted by the state into
what the report calls compulsory “re-education” facilities.
UN says China has detained more than 1 million minority Muslims, mostly ethnic
Uighurs, since a dramatic escalation of the policy in the spring of 2017.
Independent and international access to the detention centres has been limited
to tightly choreographed official tours.
in the Journal of Political Risk, German researcher Dr Adrian Zenz presents
evidence to show that, from the very start of the Uighur “re-education”
campaign, the Chinese state has made plans to enrol effectively state-orphaned
Muslim children into high-security boarding schools. Obscure but publicly
available official documents show the Xinjiang authorities pre-empted the risk
that children who had lost both parents to detention centres would be motivated
to lash out against the state.
state government issued directives ordering schools to concentrate on Uighur
students’ “thought education” – similar to the sort of language used by the
state to justify its detention of adults. Schools were ordered to establish
“emergency response plans” that include dealing with state-orphaned children,
including regular assessments of their state of mind and one-on-one
presented by Dr Zenz shows enrolment in Xinjiang state nursery schools, for
very young children before schooling age, has gone from being far below the
national average to the highest rate in the country – since early 2017. Around
90 per cent of the new pupils are from Muslim minority groups.
satellite images show that, around the same time China started expanding the
facilities we now know are used for the detention of Uighurs, attached or
independent boarding schools also started receiving dramatically increased
these schools, public documents show, the use of the traditional Uighur
language is banned. Official reports boast that the children receive “improved
Chinese language skills” as well as generally better manners and personal
hygiene – perpetuating negative stereotypes about Muslim ethnic groups in the
majority Han society.
has, Dr Zenz argues, implemented the “weaponisation of education and social
care systems” in order to cut off minority children from their roots. “Boarding
schools provide the ideal context for a sustained cultural re-engineering of
minority societies,” he says.
report concludes that “increasing degrees of intergenerational separation are
very likely a deliberate strategy and crucial element in the state’s systematic
campaign of social re-engineering and cultural genocide in Xinjiang”.
pieces issued for internal consumption extol the benefits of this separation,
claiming that the “left-behind” children of parents who both “need to study”
are “happily growing up under the loving care of the Party and the government”.
despite this and all the other evidence presented by Dr Zenz, China has denied
the existence of any such state-orphaned minority children.
Guixiang, a senior official with Xinjiang’s Propaganda Department, told the BBC
that it was not true the state is having to care for large numbers of children
left parentless as a result of its policies in the province.
all family members have been sent to vocational training then that family must
have a severe problem,” he said. “I’ve never seen such a case.”
editorial issued last night in the Global Times, an English-language newspaper
run by the Communist Party, denied that efforts were being made to wipe out
Uighur culture, or that a million minority Muslims were being detained, saying
that the Xinjiang centres only exist “to nip terrorist activities in the bud”.
China’s efforts to tell what is really happening in Xinjiang, some western
media and politicians insist on making and spreading fake news,” it said.
open interviews with the children or parents involved in China is next to
impossible. A team of Associated Press reporters who photographed a “Kindness
Kindergarten” in Hotan City was immediately surrounded by armed police and
ordered to delete their visual evidence.
some parents did offer testimony at an event for Uighur exiles in Istanbul,
Turkey, where the minority group has close historic ties. Mothers and fathers
there said they understood their children back in China had been “taken to an
orphanage” or to “child education camps”.
to the BBC, one mother holding a picture of her three young daughters said: “I
don’t know who is looking after them. There is no contact at all.”
siege’: Fear and defiance mark life for Pakistan’s Hazaras
walls around the neighbourhoods of Pakistan’s embattled Hazara community in
Quetta are designed to protect them from extremist militants, but also serve as
a constant reminder of the threat they face.
and security checkpoints greet visitors to Hazara Town, one of two large
guarded neighbourhoods in the capital of Balochistan, where religious and
sectarian groups often target the mostly Shia Hazaras with bombs and guns.
improved security in recent years, partly because most Hazaras have moved into
the guarded enclaves, hardline militants keep up attacks, such as a blast in
April that killed 24 people, among them eight Hazaras.
are living under siege for more than a decade due to sectarian attacks,” said
Sardar Sahil, a Hazara lawyer and rights activist.
all these checkposts were established for our security, we feel we were
ourselves also cut off from other communities.”
carries a pistol whenever he leaves home, and relies on his faith as a second
layer of security.
kiss my mother’s hand and she kisses me too, and says goodbye with her prayers
and good wishes,” Sahil told Reuters at his home.
said to be descendants of the Mongols who swept out of central Asia to rule the
subcontinent for many centuries, are easily distinguishable in Pakistan by
their facial features.
has made them vulnerable to attacks by groups such as Pakistan’s banned
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), and Sunni militant group Islamic State, which has
attacked them in both Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, also home to many
community businesses that flourished in Quetta’s bustling wholesale markets
have shuttered and relocated to Hazara Town or Mari Abad, another Hazara
the community is defiant. Some still venture out into Quetta in search of work,
while others keep businesses running.
Quetta community held its first Hazara Culture Day this week to celebrate and
showcase its history, music and traditions.
community strives to keep its protests peaceful, despite unrest stirred up by
militants looking to pit people of different sects against each other, said
Abdul Khaliq Hazara, chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP), which has
two provincial assembly representatives.
media often portray the Hazaras as targets of sectarian attacks or holding
sit-ins to demand greater protection, but the community is developing and
growing, said martial arts specialist Nargis Hazara.
one of us has a dream, a target and aim in our heart, to change the image of
Hazaras in the world, and especially in Pakistan,” added the 20-year-old who
last year became Pakistan’s first winner of an Asian Games medal in karate.
Hazaras have joined the armed forces in Pakistan, where the community’s past
and future will stay rooted despite any violence, said another martial arts
expert, Mubarak Ali Shan.
want to serve Pakistan and despite suffering tragedies and incidents, our love
for peace has not diminished,” he added.
Jihad summer camp: Young Palestinian men graduate from military-style training
school in Gaza
of young Palestinians showed off their newly-acquired military skills in Gaza
City on Thursday as they graduated from a summer camp run by terror group
Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
year, tens of thousands of youths - from children to teenagers - take part in
camps run by the PIJ across Gaza which include activities such as military
drills and shooting practice.
PIJ also provides the youngsters with 'religious education' into the group's
extreme Islamist philosophy, which preaches the destruction of Israel and the
establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state on the lands it currently
the graduation ceremony in Gaza City on Thursday, young men posed with wooden
cut-outs of AK-47 rifles, pulled off feats of strength such as building a human
tower and judo-style wrestling, and gave one-fingered salutes a reference to
the 'oneness of God' and fundamentalist Islamic teachings.
to summer camp is a common activity for Palestinian children, and the PIJ is
one of the three largest groups running camps, the other two being Hamas and
2013 report by the Israeli Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
found that up to 100,000 youngsters attend the camps each year, ranging from
children as young as 12 to young adults.
PIJ runs two kinds of camps - one purely military and another that encompasses
a range of activities - each lasting around two weeks. The organisation
encourages media coverage.
camp counsellor quoted by researchers said the purpose was to train a
generation to fight the 'Zionist enemy' and a generation faithful to the
Qur'an, in line with the teachings of PIJ founder Fathi Shaqaqi.
at the military camp include how to raid an Israeli military outpost and
capture one of its soldiers, and how to use machine-guns and other weapons,
according to pro-Israel The Tower Magazine.
camps sponsored by PIJ offer cultural activities, entertainment, security
lessons, marksmanship, and 'advice on the dangers of social networking sites
and drug use', according to the magazine.
The Muslim World League (MWL) concluded its international conference on
“Islamic thought: Approach and message,” which took place in the Senegalese
capital of Dakar.
conference was attended by African scientists and intellectuals, who argued the
importance of people being guided by faith, the values of civilization, human
progress and seeking to live a carefree and dignified life.
called for building a mind capable of comprehending Islamic sciences and
confronting extremist and violent ideas and their negative developments.
Niass, president of the National Assembly of Senegal, praised the MWL for launching
their programs designed to promote scientific and intellectual communication
with different people and cultures.
secretary-general of the MWL, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, underlined
the league’s keenness to promote the true principles of Islam that call for
moderation and confronting hatred and extremism.
pointed out that Islamic thought has enlightened the world with its mercy,
humanity, justice, openness and tolerance, stressing that modernity and
authenticity are the main pillars of Islamic thought. Al-Issa underscored the
importance of Islamic moderation to fight ideological extremism.
also called for raising awareness about the importance of understanding
religious texts and their significance, saying that Shariah rules and fatwas
change with times and circumstances. He invited scholars to support the
formation of a good Muslim personality, especially for Muslim youths.
Mbaye Niang, minister of religious affairs, noted that Islamic thought is
characterized by open and flexible creations and properties guided by Islam.
said that the conference is held within a global context marked by the
escalation of violence in its various forms. “Many scientists and researchers
have become more aware that this is the result of an intellectual crisis that
has escalated and resulted in extremism and terrorism,” he added.
El-Wardini, mayor of Dakar, thanked MWL for organizing the conference, hailing
its pivotal role in promoting the values of moderation, especially in the face
of extremist ideas. “Islamic thought extends bridges of communication with
everyone confidently and capably,” she said.
cooperation agreement was signed between the MWL and the High Authority of Waqf
in Senegal covering the activation of endowments to promote and develop charity
activities and the culture of philanthropy in Senegal.
in Rohingya camps may get radicalized by violent militants
Noor was a ninth-grade student at Leda High School near Teknaf town in
southeastern Bangladesh, but in March he and some other Rohingya refugee
children were suddenly expelled.
only reason given was that as Muslim refugees from neighboring Myanmar, they
were not Bangladesh citizens.
shut out of school was heartbreaking for 16-year-old Noor, the youngest of five
brothers. “I wanted to have an education so that I could have a better life
than my brothers who didn’t go to school at all,” he told ucanews.com.
weeks, Noor sat idly or filled in time playing at the sprawling Leda refugee
camp in Cox’s Bazar district. Noor’s parents fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in
1992 and this camp is where Noor was born and raised.
recently started attending a traditional madrasa Islamic school where he
studies Islamic texts, notably the Quran. While Noor is disappointed that he
cannot also learn secular subjects such as English and mathematics, he has no
of Rohingya refugee children like Noor were expelled from schools following a
government order on grounds that they had no entitlement to be there. The move
effectively reduces the mingling of Rohingya and Bangladeshis, who are also
ban drew domestic and international criticism, but it continues to be enforced.
Bazar is housing more than one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine
State who fled deadly persecution by security forces and their local
to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
more than 723,000 Rohingya have crossed the border into Bangladesh since August
and local aid agencies operating in 30 refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar have set up
hundreds of basic education facilities. They cater for about 180,000 Rohingya
children but only for the primary level of education, which comprises grades
is estimated that there are nearly half a million refugee children in need of a
is a huge gap. And refugees themselves, with support from Bangladeshi Islamist
groups, have established a network of madrasas in the camps where children can
get a Quran-based religious education.
ordering expulsions from schools without providing an educational alternative,
the government has left Rohingya children open to manipulation and
radicalization, according to Abu Morshed Chowdhury, a rights campaigner and
social activist in Cox’s Bazar.
Rohingya people didn’t get any education back home, so they are already a
vulnerable community,” Chowdhury told ucanews.com.
we fail to offer them education, their condition will get worse whether they
stay here or get back to Myanmar. Otherwise, they remain vulnerable to be
exploited and even get radicalized by opportunist, extremist groups.”
a recent report, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group warned about the
presence of extremist groups in refugee camps, although it didn’t accuse
madrasas of spreading radicalism or intolerance.
evidence has emerged of these madrasas promoting violence or intolerance among
children, or of indoctrination or recruitment by local or transnational
jihadists. However, a policy of denying young people formal education and
leaving them reliant on unregulated madrasas almost certainly increases the
risks of such groups gaining a foothold in the camps,” the report stated.
are not a viable alternative for formal schooling because they lack general
education subjects, said James Gomes, regional director of the Catholic charity
Caritas, which operates among Rohingya refugees.
there are risks that Rohingya children might get indoctrinated if the madrasa
system is not monitored, which is so far under control,” he told ucanews.com.
said the government needed to collaborate with aid agencies to come up with the
best approach to address the education requirements of Rohingya children.
government needs to do some research to decide how best Rohingya children can
get a basic education in the camps, and what to do about them when they finish
primary education,” he added.
government education officer, Anandamoy Bhowmick, agreed that there should be
planning in regard to secondary education for Rohingya children.
language, culture and religious practices have much in common with those of
Bangladeshi Muslims, but here they are often considered to be “unwelcome
have traced the presence of Rohingya in what was the independent Arakan
kingdom, now part of Rakhine in Myanmar, to as early as the eighth century.
Rohingya have in more recent times been branded as illegal immigrants from
Bangladesh by successive military governments and much of the Buddhist
the 1970s, in the face of systematic persecution and denial of rights such as
citizenship, they have fled Myanmar to other countries, most notably
deadly military crackdowns in Rakhine in 2016 and 2017, following Rohingya
militant attacks on Myanmar security forces, triggered one of the largest
refugee exoduses in modern times.
international pressure, Myanmar signed a repatriation deal with Bangladesh in
November 2017 to take back Rohingya from the overcrowded refugee camps. But the
plan has been in limbo since then. Not a single Rohingya has been repatriated.
— Taliban and U.S. negotiators are scrambling to finalize a draft agreement
that will outline the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan
and a verifiable Taliban guarantee to fight terrorism ahead of an all-Afghan
peace conference Sunday.
familiar with the talks, but not authorized to speak about them, say
negotiations went late into the night on Wednesday and throughout Thursday —
the sixth day of direct talks between the insurgents and U.S. envoy Zalmay
Khalilzad. They were to resume again on Friday.
Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Qatar, on Friday told
The Associated Press on Friday he wanted to clarify that the draft agreement
was being worked upon in an effort to finalize and was not being rewritten.
rewriting the draft agreement I meant (only) that we are working on the draft
agreement," Suhail said Friday morning. Earlier he said "we have made
he said agreed-upon clauses were being added to the agreement. On Thursday he
also said the two sides had broadened their discussion, without elaborating.
now the two sides had been divided on the withdrawal timetable, with the United
States seeking more time.
officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, earlier said the U.S. was
seeking up to 18 months to complete a troop withdrawal even as U.S. President
Donald Trump told Fox News earlier this week that a withdrawal had already
quietly begun and that troop strength had been cut to 9,000. The president's
statement has since been contradicted by a senior U.S. official, who said the
force strength is unchanged at about 14,000. An American official familiar with
the talks also disputed the 18-month withdrawal timeframe, without saying what
the U.S. was proposing.
Trump's statements reinforced the president's often stated desire to leave
Afghanistan and end America's 18-year war — the longest in his country's
eagerness to pull out has strengthened the position of the Taliban, who
effectively control half the country and won a key concession in the planning
of the upcoming peace gathering, which will include no official delegation from
the Afghan government.
and Qatar, who are co-sponsoring the dialogue and issuing the invitations, said
participants will attend "only in their personal capacity," a
condition President Ashraf Ghani has strenuously opposed. He has made no
comment on Sunday's meeting.
Taliban have steadfastly refused to talk to Ghani's government, calling it a
U.S. puppet, but have said government officials can attend the conference as
a tweet on Wednesday, Shaheen said 60 people will attend the peace gathering,
which Khalilzad called an "essential element" in achieving a peace
agreement in Afghanistan.
Salim, deputy head of a government-appointed peace council, said the delegation
from Kabul will include a cross-section of Afghanistan's civil society,
including women's rights activists.
is a good first step to hear each other's side," he said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who attended two previous meetings with the
Taliban in Moscow, told The Associated Press he won't be attending the Doha
gathering because he will be in China. But, he added, "I fully support the
coming intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and am in the picture."
university cuts seats of students in Saudi endowment
University has ended an agreement with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's
foundation to allocate seats for its summer school program, according to the
agreement was signed back in 2016 between Harvard and Saudi Arabia, and the
university promised to allocate 12.5%, or 800 seats, towards students of bin
Salman's foundation, MiSK.
spokesperson Jonathan Swain announced the decision to end the agreement on
Wednesday in a press release, according to the school's newspaper, The Harvard
however, did not give a reason for ending the agreement.
colleges and universities across the U.S. have come under scrutiny over their
ties to the Saudi royal family in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, who was murdered last October at the hands of Saudi operatives in
initially denying a role in the journalist's death, Saudi Arabia changed its
story and blamed the killing on a botched rendition operation. The UN
rapporteur on human rights and extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, said
that the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible for the death, and the CIA
reportedly concluded with high confidence that bin Salman ordered the killing.
February, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) issued a statement
condemning the murder, but said it would not sever ties with Saudi Arabia.
the university said it would establish an advisory committee to review
international engagement with other governments. This committee will review
future partnerships and also look at ones that are up for renewal.
November, Harvard cancelled a lecture by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, saying
it was due to the Khashoggi murder.
are currently several endowed professorships across Harvard that are named after
members of the Saudi royal family, including a few in the Islamic Studies
division and at Harvard Law School.
movement getting support from ISI-backed Muslim community in UK, says expert
Indian Army veteran has claimed that Khalistanis, the secessionists demanding a
separate homeland in the sovereign territory of India, are getting support from
Pakistani Muslims in Britain and Canada.
is also of the opinion that some Gurdwaras in these countries are the
facilitators of the so-called movement and they have been pumping huge money
and material to keep it alive.
major inflow of funds is coming from Canada and the United Kingdom. However,
the governments of those respective countries are not giving support. In the
United Kingdom, a large Muslim community from Pakistan lives and this is a very
vociferous community," said Major General (Retd.) Dhruv C. Katoch
people are also in touch with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of
Pakistan. They are trying to create a sort of movement within the United
Kingdom, so basically the foreign funding or the foreign support comes from the
two countries," he added.
has for years been working on its agenda of subverting peace and harmony in
India and it has been working relentlessly to achieve its aims.
social media, several videos have gone viral where ISI-funded members of the
Sikh community were seen shouting pro-Khalistan slogans along with Pakistanis
during the ICC World Cup match in the United Kingdom.
believes the pro-Khalistan propaganda is a long devious design perpetrated by
the Pakistani intelligence agencies to create a dent on India's sovereignty.
continues to put its hands where it should not", he said. "They are
playing a very dirty game and this destabilizing effort and I think Pakistan
needs to be told categorically that they must remember that when Maharaja
Ranjit Singh had a Sikh kingdom, the capital was at Lahore and when they try to
create a monster called Khalistan, I think it will lead to the break-up of
Pakistan, the way it is currently situated".
Khalistan separatist movement was completely squashed by the Indian security
forces in the 90s as hundreds of innocent people lost their lives due to
then, Pakistan has been making desperate attempts to gain a foothold in India.
However, it has failed to gather any traction amongst the masses of Punjab.
foreign support provided in the form of man and material by Islamabad has
proven to be of no benefit as all their diabolic plots have been busted by the
vigilant Indian forces.
to provide scholarship to 1 cr Muslim students not fulfilled in Union Budget:
(Telangana) [India], July 6 (ANI): All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen
(AIMIM (/search?query=AIMIM)) lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi (/search?query=Asaduddin
Owaisi) on Friday lashed out at Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi for not fulfiling the promise of providing scholarship to one crore
Muslim students in the Union Budget (/search? query=Union Budget).
a public gathering here, Owaisi said: "Naqvi had promised to give scholarship
to one crore Muslims students every year. Why was the scholarship not provided
in the Union budget?"
also accused BJP (/search?query=BJP) of creating a rift between Hindus and
Muslims in the country, while asserting that his party will not let that happen.
are afraid of being lynched. During Modi's tenure, as many as 50 people have
been lynched. BJP (/search?query=BJP)'s agenda is to create a rift between
Hindus and Muslims, but we will not let this happen," he said at a public meeting
at the Teegal Kunta here.
the meeting, organised to protest the incidents of mob lynching, Owaisi alleged
that since May 23, eight people were killed by mob lynching incidents and
"It seems that mob lynching will continue in India, it is not going to
evoked the incident where 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari was allegedly lynched in
Jharkhand, and said that Muslims are being targetted and labelled as thieves or
killed Tabrez, is the enemy of India, an agent of Pakistan, an agent of the
ISIS and the son of the devil," Owaisi said.
(/search?query=AIMIM) chief further urged the incumbent government to formulate
a law to put a halt to mob lynching.
Mishra and Chandrachud had directed the Centre to make law on the mob lynching.
Why has it not been made?" asked Owaisi.
lawmaker said that even as the Modi government is gearing up to celebrate the
150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi but Muslims continue to be killed."
minister added that everyone has the right to defend themselves when attacked.
teach your children the law, make them lawyers, enough of doctors and engineers
... Let there be an advocate from every house," Owaisi said at the public
Parliamentarian alleged that the Prime Minister had expressed displeasure with
BJP (/search?query=BJP) legislator Akash Vijayvargiya, who had thrashed a Municipal
Corporation officer with a cricket bat but did not raise the issue of mob
lynchings with the Jharkhand chief minister even once.
also referred to the manner in which Parliamentarians chanted "Jai Shri
Ram" during the ceremony in Parliament where he took oath.
kind of message are you trying to give out to the country?" he asked.
also spoke on the recent announcement by Bollywood actor Zaira Wasim to quit
the child (Zaira) wrote that she is quitting fims it created quite a furore with
people saying that she was scared away by mullahs."
A Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terrorist was Friday killed in an encounter with
security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
on specific information about the presence of terrorists in Batpore-Narwani
area of Imam Sahib in Shopian district of south Kashmir, security forces
launched a cordon and search operation Friday morning, a police official said.
the forces were conducting searches of the area, the terrorists fired upon
them, he said.
forces retaliated, ensuing in an encounter in which one terrorist was killed,
the official said, adding the body was recovered along with arms and
said the slain militant has been identified as Sameer Seh of Shopian who was
affiliated with the proscribed outfit HM.
DELHI: Pakistan will not dare to attempt to infiltrate India like it did Kargil
in 1999 because it has "seen the consequences", Army chief Gen Bipin
Rawat said on Friday and asserted that the armed forces are keeping a tight
watch in border areas. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an
event to commemorate 20 years of Operation Vijay, India's limited war against
Pakistan in Kargil.
is no such area that we have left unguarded. Our surveillance team is keeping a
tight watch and regularly patrolling the areas," Rawat said in response to
a question on whether Pakistan can attempt a Kargil-like infiltration.
don't think Pakistan will attempt something like that (as during Kargil)
because they have seen the consequences... I can clearly say, in coming days
and years, Pakistan will not dare to attempt any infiltration," the Army
chief told reporters at the event held at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi
services were shut on Friday as Meerut remained under heavy police deployment
amid tension, days after a police lathi-charge on a group of people assembled
at Indira Chowk in the city to protest against the mob violence in Jharkhand
last month which led to the victim’s death four days later.
than 50 people have been arrested so far in connection with the protest.
Ali, who allegedly led the protests, was arrested on Thursday from near a mall
in Meerut. The police will initiate proceedings under the National Security Act
(NSA) against him; his properties will be seized, officers said.
SSP Ajay Sahni said: “Police patrolling is on since 6 am and the deployment was
made as a precautionary measure. Internet services were shut since rumors of a
Bharat Bandh were afloat. Members of the community concerned have claimed that
they are not supporting the bandh and things have returned to normalcy.”
accused have been booked under IPC Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly
weapon), 352 (assault), 336 (act endangering life personal safety), among
police personnel, along with members of Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed
Constabulary, were deployed in areas around Indira Chowk. A flag march was
conducted by senior police officials, including Meerut zone ADG.
Sunday, local residents said, fewer people have ventured out of their homes.
Hassan, who runs a welding shop near Indira Chowk, said: “It was supposed to be
a peaceful march. Yes, there was no permission, but the police action made it
worse. Now that Internet has been shut down and there is heavy police presence,
people fear something might happen. Most people are not leaving home.”
Sunday, a group of people led by Badar Ali congregated at Faiz-e-Aam Inter
College and were supposed to conduct a 2-km march up to Hapur Adda to protest
the death of Tabrez Ansari, who was beaten up by a mob in a Jharkhand village
and allegedly asked to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. He succumbed
LUMPUR: A coalition of local Muslim NGOs urged Beijing to cease its alleged
oppression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang during a protest outside the Chinese
embassy here today.
ask for all those who have been detained in concentration camps in Xinjiang to
be freed immediately,” said Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim, president of the Muslim
Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim).
secretary Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz accused the Chinese government of
concealing the plight of the Uighurs by offering NGOs and government agencies
free trips and painting a rosy picture of the camps in Xinjiang.
treating us as if we are uninformed people.”
Azmi Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Malaysian Consultative Council Of Islamic
Organisations (Mapim), said the atrocities committed against the Uighurs could
not be denied or disguised.
also urged Putrajaya to not remain silent about this issue just for the sake of
economic and trade relations.
asked to comment on Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s use of the term “training centres” in
reference to detention camps in Xinjiang, Azmi said: “You go and ask him.”
week, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department drew criticism for using
the term after a visit with his delegation to one of the camps.
the 30-minute protest, about 30 people chanted “Me too, Uighur” and “Peduli
the NGO representatives failed to hand over a memorandum to embassy officials
as the gates to the embassy stayed closed.
July 5 — The government’s Bill compelling all federal lawmakers at both the
Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara to declare their assets is due to the DAP’s
influence, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claimed today.
PAS president asserted that the asset declaration initiative was derived from
communist and socialist philosophies — a system he claimed is practised by the
socialists supposedly want to limit the wealth, but the fact is that the
leaders who are in the socialist country are the riches,” he told the
Terengganukita news portal in a video interview aired on his Facebook page.
then said that while Islam does permit asset declaration, the practice depends
on the situation.
depends on the situation. If a person has cases or accusations of corruption,
money laundering and tax issue, then it is compulsory for the person to declare
if we know that the person doesn’t have any case, then it should not be made
compulsory for them,” he said.
Marang MP insisted that there is currently no law that empowers the Pakatan
Harapan government to force the move on lawmakers.
such, he demanded the government explain in detail their basis for their
added that there were many other issues that should be given precedence
compared to asset declarations.
there are many other issues than the asset declaration, but since Pakatan
Harapan failed to fulfil their promised manifesto so they are doing this to
cover it,” he said.
LUMPUR, July 5 — American singer-songwriter Maggie Lindemann’s recent arrest is
actually due to the mismanagement of the agent handling applications for her
professional permit to perform in Malaysia, her show’s venue host The Bee said
Bee expressed its “sincerest regret” that the June 21 incident happened at its
premises, but went on to explain that both the restaurant and the show’s
organisers are not to blame.
clarifying the arrest to Lindemann’s fans and media outlets, The Bee cited
sources when confirming that she was held overnight by local immigration
authorities and that she was released in less than 24 hours.
understand that the organisers of the show worked around the clock and did
everything in their power to successfully get her and her crew released and
placed in a safe and comfortable environment pending the Immigration hearing
date, upon which she was returned home to the US,” The Bee said in a brief
Bee said the arrest followed the visa permit agent’s wrongly informing the
organisers that local authorities had allegedly approved Lindemann’s
performance and that the agent has since been brought to court.
understand that the incident occurred due to the wrongful actions of the visa
permit agent, who has also misinformed the organisers that the show was
approved by the relevant authorities, and permitted to go on. The Agent was subsequently
charged, found guilty for his negligence and had to pay a fine for his
actions,” The Bee said.
clarity, The Bee, as a venue, was not responsible for the arrest and does not
condone any foreign acts to proceed to perform when there are such
irregularities,” it added.
are deeply sorry that this unfortunate incident happened to Maggie and we hope
to welcome her to The Bee again,” it also said.
Bee gave its assurance today that it will be taking steps to ensure such an
incident does not happen again, promising to be more careful in checking the
relevant documents related to future performances.
a venue who believes in bringing the best entertainment into the country, we
will be more diligent in vetting all documentation before we allow any show to
go on,” it said.
who has 3.7 million Instagram followers and over 490,000 Twitter followers,
yesterday posted a message on the two social media platforms to apologise to
her fans who bought tickets for her show in Asia.
her post yesterday, Lindemann said she was arrested mid-show on June 21 and was
confined for the next five days in a “living hell”, but offered no explanation
for the reasons behind her detention.
20, reportedly cancelled her South-east Asian tour to Vietnam and Singapore on
June 22 and 24 respectively.
today, Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department director Hamidi Adam was reported by
local daily The Star as confirming Lindemann’s recent arrest for not having a
professional visit pass at the time of the performance.
reportedly said Lindemann was detained at the Kuala Lumpur’s Immigration
Department’s office for documentation purposes, and that she was released with
bail the next day.
Army accuses India of 'state-sponsored terrorism'
least five Pakistani soldiers have been killed after an explosion near the de
facto border with India in the disputed region of Kashmir, Pakistan’s military
said, terming it "state-sponsored terrorism" by its eastern
blast took place in the Barnala area close to the Line of Control (LoC), which
divides Pakistan- and Indian-administered portions of Kashmir, on Wednesday, a
Pakistani military statement said.
incident is evidence of state sponsored terrorism by India violating bilateral
ceasefire agreement and the international rules," the statement said.
government and military did not immediately offer a response to the charge.
Calls made to India's foreign ministry by Al Jazeera were not answered.
gaining independence from British rule in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought
two of their three wars over the disputed mountain region of Kashmir, which
both claim in full but administer separate portions of, divided by the Line of
Control (LoC). Earlier this year, a
suicide attack in the Indian-administered Kashmir town of Pulwama that killed
more than 40 Indian security forces personnel sparked a military standoff
between the two countries.
nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours reached the brink of war, with Indian
aircraft conducting air raids on Pakistani territory and Pakistan launching retaliatory
attacks a day later.
least one Indian fighter jet was shot down by Pakistani forces during the
height of hostilities.
between the two countries was defused after Pakistan returned a downed Indian
air force fighter pilot.
then, firing across the LoC has increased, with civilian and security
casualties on either side of the de facto border.
least 19 civilians have been killed by Indian firing across the LoC into
Pakistan-administered Kashmir this year, Pakistani officials say.
Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Friday that his
party would move the court if the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) failed
to withdraw its decision of deploying army personnel with magisterial powers
inside polling stations in elections for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s seats in
the erstwhile Fata.
a meet-the-press programme at the Peshawar Press Club, he said that his party
had already requested the ECP through a written application to reconsider its
decision about deploying army personnel inside polling stations.
said a fair, free and impartial election could not be expected in the
prevailing situation, adding that polling was scheduled for July 20, but the
opposition parties had so far been not allowed to run their campaigns.
said imposition of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in
different areas during election days was beyond reason, adding that its only
purpose was to harass workers of opposition parties and keep them away from
said the restriction on the movement of opposition leaders was meant to rig the
elections for the candidates of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He
regretted that the government did not allow him to lay a wreath on the monument
of police martyrs in the Peshawar Police Lines.
Bhutto-Zardari alleged that the Mohmand tribal district’s administration had
withdrawn permission for his party’s public meeting at the eleventh hour
without giving any reason. On the other hand, he added, the PTI candidates were
running their campaign under foolproof security which proved mala fide
intentions of relevant institutions.
said despite many incidents during both military regimes and civilian
governments in the past, army personnel were not given magisterial powers inside
PPP chairman said his party would resist interference of military personnel in
the elections, saying that it would be considered a martial law inside polling
stations. He said the government was using different tactics to build pressure
on opposition parties, adding that the arrest of opposition leaders, including
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Rana Sanaullah, was part of this plan. “All
these are old tactics of interior minister Ijaz Shah,” he added.
said the PPP would not come under pressure even if his whole leadership was
sent to jail. He said the PPP would not compromise on the 18th Amendment, share
of federating units in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award and its
stance against military courts. “I have launched a mass contact movement to
expose the real face of the incompetent rulers,” he said. He accused the
government of trying to create differences among federating units over the NFC
award and 18th Amendment.
said the PPP government had increased budget for the erstwhile Fata by 500 per
cent. He criticised the PTI government for what he called not providing any
relief to the people of tribal areas. He urged the government to announce a
special financial package for the newly merged tribal districts. The government,
he said, should follow the constitution and stop political victimisation.
Bhutto-Zardari said the opposition parties had built consensus for changing the
chairman of Senate democratically.
severely criticised the performance of the PTI government, claiming that Prime
Minister Imran Khan did not have the capacity to run the country’s affairs. He
said the “IMF-budget” did not have a solution for the country’s economic
problems. The country was facing a worst kind of economic crisis which had led
to unprecedented price hike.
least eight labourers have gone missing after they resisted extortion by
unknown gunmen in Kech district of Balochistan, said Levis officials on Friday.
to Levies, the armed men were asking for money; however, when refused, they
started shooting and injured a labourer as well.
identity of the labourers couldn’t be ascertained immediately to tell if this
was an ethnic attack.
this is not the first time labourer come under attack in Balochistan.
least three labourers belonging to Sindh were killed and another was wounded
after unidentified men attacked them in Nasirabad district of Balochistan on
to details, the assailants sprayed bullets on the labourers engaged in routine
work in Dera Murad Jamali, killing three on the spot and injuring others
separatist elements in Balochistan often target non-native labourers working on
development projects in the province.
May 4, six Punjabi labourers were killed and one was injured in firing in
to Levies, unknown gunmen targetted labourers in Kharan.
year, four labourers from Sindh working on a road project were gunned down in
the same area.
Minister Imran Khan on Friday stressed the need for Pakistan and Iran to take
concrete measures against smuggling and ensure more business opportunities for
the people residing along the border.
to Iranian Minister for Industry, Mines and Trade Reza Rehmani at the PM’s
Office, Imran reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to strengthen relations with
Iran in diverse fields, including people-to-people exchanges. He said
geographical proximity and close brotherly ties rooted in historical, cultural
and religious commonalities offered huge potential to enhance mutual trade and
economic cooperation for the benefit of the people of two countries. The Iranian
minister conveyed greetings from the Iranian leadership to Imran Khan, whose
visit to Iran had provided momentum to the efforts aimed at cementing bilateral
relations especially trade and economic ties.
expressed great satisfaction over the progress being made by Pak-Iran Joint
Trade Committee in removing obstacles in way to enhancing mutual trade.
opposition parties’ Rehbar Committee on Friday decided to remove Senate
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani from his position, and a resolution will be submitted
in Senate on July 9 in this regard.
to reporters after the meeting, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Akram
Khan Durrani, who was presiding over the meeting, said the name of the
opposition’s candidate for the top slot of the Upper House will be decided in
the next session on July 11. Durrani said he has been unanimously named as the
first head of the committee, adding that a convener of the Rehbar Committee
will be nominated from each party for a period of two months. The position will
rotate among all member parties, he said.
also announced that the opposition will observe July 25, the anniversary of the
2018 general election, as a ‘black day’. All parties have been asked to have
their members resign from the parliamentary committee set up to probe election
rigging, he added.
announced support of the opposition parties for the Pakistan People’s Party
candidate in Ghotki by-election. He demanded issuance of production orders for
two arrested MNA who were elected from the erstwhile FATA.
the situation, Durrani said that price hike and unemployment rate has increased
after the general elections. He said a new ‘political order’ is being framed in
the country, and that the opposition has expressed grave concern over the
situation. He claimed that the state institutions are crossing their
jurisdiction and interfering in other matters. “We condemn any such order. We
also reject the posting of soldiers inside polling stations in [erstwhile]
FATA. We condemn the arrest of Rana Sanaullah and demand the production orders
of two members of the National Assembly from erstwhile FATA,” he added.
a question about what the ‘new political order’ is, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the
PML-N responded saying they are referring to rumours about imposition of
presidential system in the country.
of opposition’s candidate for the slot will be decided on July 11
a reporter pointed out that the prime minister has publicly opposed the
issuance of production orders to under investigation lawmakers, Nayyar Bukhari
of the PPP said, “The prime minister has no right to issue or stop production
orders. By doing so, he is denying people the right of representation.”
11-member Rehbar Committee also took an oath of confidentiality and formulated
a policy to run the anti-government movement. The participants were not
permitted to carry their mobile phone in the meeting room.
coup militias in Yemen claimed responsibility for terror attacks that killed
dozens in the last two months. Boasting about the militia’s missile, rocket and
drone capabilities, a senior Houthi spokesman said Iran-armed group can strike
targets inside neighboring Saudi territory.
parallel to Houthi militiamen scaling up attacks that violate a UN-brokered
ceasefire deal for the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, coup leaders
are openly debating on how to distribute illegitimately collected levies at
docks and whether or not the money should be used to pay salaries to Houthi
spokesman and it’s the group’s acting foreign minister, Mohamed Abdel Salam
Fleeta, touted Houthi weapons capabilities as efficient enough to stage further
terrorist attacks against civilian targets inside Saudi Arabia.
a tweet, Fleeta said that information revealed at another Houthi officer’s
presser shows the "qualitative development" the pro-Iranian group war
tactics have seen.
officer Yahya Saree had listed the outcome of two months of continuous
terrorist attacks waged by Houthi gunmen against civilians in Yemeni
governorates such as Taiz, Ad Dali' and Hajjah, or in cross-border offensives
striking inside Saudi territory.
acknowledged that the group is responsible for launching more than 347
terrorist attacks within the last 60 days, and admitted to actively pursuing to
boost military capabilities.
the Houthi officer failed to mention great losses incurred by the insurgency
group at the hands of qualitative strikes spearheaded by the pro-government
national army and adjunct Arab Coalition forces.
for details on the group’s decision to acquire advanced weapons systems, Houthi
leadership said its army engineers are close to drafting a new collection of
Iran-made drones and ballistic missiles to the insurgency’s depots.
to reports published by the militia’s official media outlets, the new arms
additions will be put to display at an exclusive exhibition named after the
late coup leader, Saleh Ali al-Sammad.
comes at a time Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,
Houthis’ persistent looting of internationally-sent relief aid and raiding of
the countries public institutions.
Media Celebrates Houthi Drone Attacks On Saudi Arabia
Seth J. Frantzman
a growing and increasingly consistent sign that Iran is linked to the Houthi
drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, Iranian media plastered their headlines with a
story of drone attacks on Jizan airport in southern Saudi Arabia.
report from Fars News says that the Yemeni armed forces, their term for the
Houthi rebels, launched a drone attack Thursday night on Jizan airport and
“significant military targets” at the airport. The drones were described as
Qasef K2 which were using precision guidance. The Houthis claimed the attack is
the latest in a series retaliating for Saudi airstrikes over the last four
years since Riyadh intervened in Yemen to stop the Houthis seizing the port of
Houthis also said the drone raid was an attempt to show the US what they are
Houthis celebrated what they claimed was the end of flights in Jizan due to the
drones. Tasnim news also reported the attack.
some other prominent Iranian websites, such as Press TV, ISNA and Mehr did not
yet have reports.
is interesting is the attention Iranian media tends to put on the drone
strikes, sometimes announcing them just after the Houthis claim they happened
in the past. This means Iranian media get their reports from the Houthis and
closely follow the Houthi attacks.
is evidence that Houthi drones and rockets are linked to Iranian technology and
National Security Advisor John Bolton blamed Iran for Houthi drone attacks in
study in 2018 presented to the UN concluded that the Qasef-1 drone was
assembled from parts shipped from outside Yemen. The report also noted that it
was “virtually identical” to an Ababil-T drone made by Iran Aircraft
Manufacturing Industries. It can fly around 150km with a 45kg warhead. A survey
of recent attacks on Saudi Arabia show that drone attacks have been carried out
several times a week since early May. Jizan was targeted at least five times,
Abha nine times and Najran at least twice. Qasef K2 drones have been used in
many of these attacks.
means that the Houthis have increased their attacks. Nine people were injured
in July 1 attack on Abha. In two other attack in June dozens were injured and
one killed. The use of drones by the Houthis is part of a growing use of drones
by Iran and its allies.
United States religious freedom body urged Yemen's Houthi rebels this week to
pardon and release a prominent Bahai leader facing a death sentence, following
the postponement of his appeal hearing.
bin Haydara, 55, was sentenced to death for espionage and apostasy by a Houthi
court in the rebel-held capital Sanaa in January last year, charges that were
filed against him in 2015.
Yemen’s internationally recognised government and his family say the charges
are baseless and are part of broader persecution of the country’s tiny Bahai
minority by the Houthis.
Haydara was expected to appear in a Houthi court on Sunday but the hearing was
postponed until July 9, the US Bahai Office of Public Affairs told The
Haydara’s case is an egregious violation of justice based on the Houthis’
intolerance of Bahais and other religious minorities in Yemen,” said Andy
Khawaja, commissioner on the United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal body set up by congress to
monitor threats to religious freedom abroad.
Khawaja advocates on behalf of Mr Haydara as part of USCIRF’s Religious
Prisoners of Conscience Project.
Haydara’s situation encapsulates the suffering of Yemen's Bahai community.
has been deprived of his liberty and dignity simply because he had been seeking
to live according to his beliefs,” Mr Khawaja said in a statement.
Hayadara is among dozens of Bahai followers who are currently detained in
year 24 Bahais were accused of apostasy and espionage in a Sanaa court. Five of
them are being held in prison and their case is being presided over by the same
judge who sentenced Mr Haydara to death, according to the Bahai International
USCIRF's 2019 annual report suggested designating the Iran-backed rebels as an
“entity of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act,
based on the group’s egregious violations of religious freedom in 2018.
the State Department designated the Houthis as an “entity of particular
concern” in November 2018, the USCIRF's suggestion solely focuses on the rebels
religious violations in Yemen.
designation enables the imposition of US sanctions.
Bahai faith calls for unity among religions and equality between men and women.
was founded in Iran in 1844, and considers itself a universal religion, but is
opposed by the regime in Tehran.
car exploded in southern Turkey near the border with Syria on Friday, killing
three Syrian people, security sources said.
explosion took place in the town of Reyhanli, and Turkish media quoted the
local governor as saying the cause of the explosion was being investigated.
person was also wounded in the blast, the sources said.
energy minister voiced frustration on Friday with what he called Lebanon’s
failure to agree to US-mediated talks on setting their maritime border, suggesting
Iran-backed Hezbollah was applying pressure on Beirut.
US official David Satterfield has been shuttling between Lebanon and Israel in
an effort to launch the talks between the countries, which have remained
formally in a state of war since Israel was founded in 1948.
and Lebanon have long disagreed on border demarcations in the eastern
Mediterranean, an issue that gained prominence in the past decade when large
deposits of natural gas were found there.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on June 19 he expected US-mediated talks to
start within a month.
Wednesday, Lebanon insisted any demarcation of its sea boundary with Israel be
implemented only as part of a wider package including the land border -
something Israel has previously ruled out.
sounded less upbeat on Friday.
Lebanese on the one hand really want to develop their natural resources, and
the unresolved dispute with Israel is disruptive for them - for us too, but for
them more,” Steinitz told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM.
Steinetz added Lebanon could also be facing “internal pressure, that they (are)
under the sway of fear of Hezbollah,” referring to Lebanon’s most powerful
armed force. Hezbollah is also part of the Lebanese coalition government.
said Lebanon had yet to formally refuse the overture for mediation.
forces have attacked Palestinians taking part in protests near the border fence
separating the besieged Gaza Strip from the occupied territories, leaving
scores of people injured.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the Gazan Health Ministry, said 40 Palestinians
were injured during the Friday protests, adding that 22 of them were hit by
rallies have been held every week since March 30 last year. The Palestinians demand
the right to return of those driven out of their homeland by Israeli
troops have killed at least 305 Palestinians since the beginning of the rallies
and wounded more than 17,000 others, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
Aficionados of Western classical music have carved out a niche for themselves
in Iran, where cultural expression remains tightly controlled by strict rules
imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution. And perhaps surprisingly, musicians
in their 20s and 30s perform for overwhelmingly young audiences.
week, the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, including female musicians in burgundy
headscarves on cello, horn and harp, played works by 19th-century Russian
composers for an enraptured crowd in the capital’s main concert venue, Vahdat
major draw is Shahrdad Rohani, 65, the orchestra’s charismatic music director.
The Iranian-American composer, musician and conductor who has led orchestras in
the US and Europe, said he is proud of his homegrown crop of young musicians.
music may not have mass appeal, but Rohani said in a backstage interview that
there’s potential for growth, citing a large turnout during a stadium concert
last year in Abadan, a provincial city in southwestern Iran.
music is growing, and as you see, the audience, they are really supporting the
arts and classical music,” he told The Associated Press during the intermission
of Wednesday’s sold-out concert.
four decades of conservative rule, the space for artistic expression in Iran
has expanded or contracted, depending on whether political hard-liners or
the first decade after the Islamic revolution, including the eight-year war
with Iraq, pop music disappeared from the public sphere, said Nima Mina of the
School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Tehran Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1933, continued its work after 1979, he
said. Live performances were initially rare, but have increased in number since
during periods of eased controls, red lines are enforced.
includes a ban on female singers performing for mixed audiences, considered
“haram,” or religiously forbidden. In February, female guitarist Negin Parsa
sang a solo during a concert by pop singer Hamid Askari. The authorities cut
her microphone, and Askari’s permission to perform was briefly suspended.
music cafe in downtown Tehran complies with the ban on female singers during
live shows, but not when playing records. On a recent afternoon, a blues
recording featuring a soulful female vocalist played in the background, as
customers sipped coffee and smoked cigarettes.
rarely challenge the playing of recorded music in the cafe, and mainly argue
about the hijab issue,” said waitress Nillofar Dailami, 29, referring to the
headscarf all Iranian women are required to wear. Dailami also professed a love
for classical music as a result of her study of guitar.
days, the influence of hard-liners appears on the upswing again as moderates
find themselves on the defensive because of the seeming collapse of the 2015
nuclear deal they negotiated with world powers.
US walked away from the deal a year ago, instead embarking on a “maximum
pressure” campaign against Iran, including unprecedented economic sanctions.
sanctions have hurt ordinary Iranians, sending prices for staples and consumer
goods soaring and weakening the local currency, while raising the specter of
war with the US
Tehran music lovers, events like Wednesday’s concert on the main national stage
next to the Russian Embassy offers a momentary escape from reality.
is little moments that build up your life in the end,” said Shafa Sabeti, a
36-year-old architect whose business has suffered as the result of the economic
downturn linked to the US sanctions. “Public spaces have gotten more crowded
recently. People are just living the moment — maybe it’s some coping
tensions and fear of escalation are a “major big black cloud hovering over the
country,” he said.
concert featured works by Russian composers Alexander Borodin, Sergey
Rachmaninov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
audience was entranced.
was no fidgeting or coughing. A young couple in the balcony held hands. A woman
nearby recorded the concert on her iPhone. Rohani, the conductor, was greeted
by loud applause and addressed the crowd several times, including announcing
details about an upcoming concert.
love the work of Rohani,” said concert-goer Ali Reza, 26, who was introduced to
classical music by learning to play the piano. He said most of his friends
prefer other styles of music, including rock and pop.
said there’s a generational divide, with older people tending to prefer
traditional Iranian music.
is a lot of interest in Western culture among the young urban middle class
population,” said Mina, portraying it as pushback against the lifestyle and
artistic expression promoted by the authorities.
said that since the 1940s, Tehran’s music conservatory has provided a steady
supply of musicians, including those who later join the Tehran Symphony
of the graduates of the conservatory, violinist Ed Nekoo, spent 10 years in the
Los Angeles area but returned home to care for his mother.
July 4 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon's National Committee on Disarmament, Demobilisation
and Reintegration (NCDDR) said Thursday its center in Far North region is
hosting 150 ex-fighters of terror group Boko Haram who have voluntarily laid
down their weapons.
Fai Yengo, national coordinator of NCDDR, told reporters the ex-fighters will
benefit from professional training in agriculture, livestock, business and
handicraft during their stay in the center.
visited the center with officials from International Organization for Migration
and United Nations Development Programme.
is facing serious security challenges in the two Anglophone regions of
Northwest and Southwest where separatists want to create an independent nation
and in the Far North, where terror group Boko Haram is intensifying attacks on
civilians and government forces.
was created by President Paul Biya last year "to avoid the use of extreme
measures" and supervise and manage the disarmament and reintegration of
ex-combatants of Boko Haram and armed separatists in the Anglophone regions.
total of 56 separatist combatants have already dropped their weapons according
officials of NCDDR.
(Reuters) - The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Wednesday for attacks
on a military camp in western Niger on Monday, the group’s Amaq news agency
least 18 soldiers were killed and four others were missing after suspected
Islamist militants blew up two cars and fired on a military camp in Niger, the
army said on Tuesday.
Islamist militants took control of the base near the town of Inates, Amaq news
agency reported, close to the border with Mali.
ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed in an attack last week by an
Islamist militant armed group in northern Mozambique near its border with
Tanzania, Mozambican police said on Wednesday.
of the attackers from the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama (ASWJ) group were later arrested,
police added, referring to a militia operating in the gas-rich northern
province of Cabo Delgado province since at least 2014.
people were wounded in the raid, said Orlando Mudumane, spokesman for
Mozambique Police’s General Command, adding that the arrested gunmen included
both Mozambicans and foreigners.
26 of June, 2019, a group of bandits perpetrated an attack in the village of
Itole, in Palma District, killing 11 civilians; 9 Tanzanians and 2
Mozambicans,” he said.
dismissed reports the that deaths were by beheading, a method of killing used
by the group in some previous attacks.
of them died of gunshot wounds, no beheadings. The defence forces combed the
area and have already detained some elements of the group, foreigners and
about the attack has been scarce, with conflicting accounts from local and
international media on the number of deaths and nature of the attack in the
Muslim-majority region of the southern African nation.
week’s ambush was the latest in a spate of execution-style attacks in the area
since 2017 that have so far killed more than 100 people, while forcing hundreds
to flee into the interior.
security officials on Saturday also confirmed the attack and number of deaths,
but were unsure of the identity of the suspects.
attack took place on June 26 in Mozambique where the Tanzanians had gone to
work in paddy fields,” Tanzania’s police chief Simon Sirro said at a weekend
briefing near the border.
to eyewitness accounts, unidentified gunmen raided the paddy farmers and
carried out the attack.”
said Tanzanian and Mozambique police had launched a joint investigation into
Cabo Delgado, surrounded by dense forests and isolated villages, houses a
growing clutch of multinational companies developing one of the biggest
offshore gas finds in a decade - estimated to be worth at least $30 billion.
the attacks have mostly targeted civilians and government buildings, in
February U.S. energy giant Anadarko said one worker was killed and several
others injured in two attacks near the construction site for its massive
liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Cabo Delgado.
attacks by the Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, or “followers of the prophetic tradition”,
have drawn comparisons to Islamist groups in Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya and the
Great Lakes region.
Arabia, the European Union, the United Nations, and the United Arab Emirates
have welcomed the landmark deal between protest leaders and Sudan’s ruling
generals to bring months of unrest to a close.
Arabia’s foreign ministry welcomed the agreement reached in Sudan, according to
the Saudi Press Agency, and expressed that the Kingdom is looking forward to
the step as a new secure and stable phase in the African country.
spokesman for the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that “the
agreement reached by the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for
Freedom and Change in Sudan on a three-year civilian-led transition, as
announced by the African Union, is a breakthrough.”
also stressed the need for forming a government. “A competent and empowered
civilian government that can restore peace, deliver economic prosperity, and
protect the human rights of all in Sudan should be formed promptly.”
his side, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was encouraged by the
“encourages all stakeholders to ensure the timely, inclusive, and transparent
implementation of the agreement and resolve any outstanding issues through
dialogue,” said a UN statement.
United Arab Emirates also congratulated Sudan after the deal, with its Minister
of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash saying the Gulf country would stand
with Khartoum in “good times and bad times”.
hope that the next phase will witness the foundation of a constitutional system
that will strengthen the role of institutions with broad national and popular
support,” Gargash added in a Twitter post on Friday.
agreement was reached in the early hours Friday after two days of talks
brokered by Ethiopian and African Union mediators.
calls for setting up a sovereign council with a rotating military and civilian
presidency for a period of three years and three months.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an end to “unlawful attacks” by
Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces during a meeting
with the Libyan prime minister on Friday, the Turkish presidency said.
president renewed his support for the internationally-recognized government and
urged an end to unlawful attacks by Haftar’s forces,” the presidency said in a
met with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul earlier Friday.
comes after the LNA accused Turkey of being actively involved in battles, and
helping the Government of National Accord (GNA) to seize the town of Gharyan,
around 100 kilometers (around 60 miles) southwest of Tripoli.
Turkish leader told Sarraj his Libyan Government of National Accord had
Ankara’s support in its bid to “ensure Libya’s peace and stability,” the
forces, which hold much of eastern and southern Libya, launched an offensive in
early April to seize the capital from the government.
month Haftar ordered his forces to target Turkish companies and arrest Turkish
nationals after he lost a major town to forces backing Sarraj’s government.
Turkish sailors were briefly held by the strongman’s forces but were released
earlier this week after Turkey vowed to retaliate if they were not freed.
has been mired in chaos as multiple militias vied for power after a NATO-backed
uprising resulted in dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s death in 2011.
London-based Islamic rights organization has called on Nigeria to immediately
release top Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky from prison and send him
abroad for urgent medical treatment.
Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said it has received reports about Zakzaky’s
health condition that has further deteriorated.
of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) said last week that the cleric was
poisoned in prison and requires urgent medical care abroad.
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by
security forces that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons
dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
IHRC which sent a medical team to Nigeria in April to examine health condition
of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife has already said the specialist treatment they
require can only be fully accessed outside the African country.
Buhari responsible’ if anything happens to Zakzaky
the meantime, the IMN issued a statement on Thursday, saying the group’s
leaders will hold Nigerian President Buhari Muhammadu responsible “if anything
should happen to Zakzaky or his wife in detention.”
health status is of paramount significance to us all and Buhari must be held
responsible should anything untoward happen to either the Sheikh or his wife,”
the group said in a statement.
are once again calling for the immediate release of our leader and his wife,
whose health situations appear to be deteriorating very fast, especially in view
of the reported poisoning they were subjected to in detention,” said the IMN.
House of Representatives also said in a statement on Thursday that it would
help to resolve the issue.
came in response to a letter from a group of protesters, who gathered in front
of National Assembly to call for Zakzaky’s release.
Buhari has poisoned Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and the deafening silence of
all those that are detaining Sheikh Zakzaky and his unlawfully is creating high
tension,” read the letter.
The UN Security Council called Friday for a cease-fire in Libya as the death
toll from a three-month offensive on Tripoli reached 1,000, including scores
killed in an air strike that hit a detention center for migrants.
council condemned the late Tuesday attack on the Tajoura detention camp east of
Tripoli and “stressed the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the
situation and to commit to a cease-fire,” said a joint statement.
commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces hold eastern Libya and much of the
country’s south, launched an offensive in early April to wrestle the capital
from forces loyal to the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
strikes and ground fighting have since left nearly 1,000 people dead and some
5,000 wounded, the UN’s World Health Organization said.
fighting has forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes and threatens
to plunge Libya into deeper conflict.
the dead are 53 migrants killed Tuesday night in an air raid on a detention
center in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura, held by the GNA, which accused
Haftar’s forces of carrying out the strike.
Geneva-based spokesman for the International Organization for Migration said
six children were among the migrants killed.
Millman said that 350 migrants, including 20 women and four children, were
still detained at the center, one of five air hangars hit in the raid.
powers have been divided over how to respond to Haftar’s offensive, with the
United States and Russia refusing to condemn the Libyan strongman.
British-drafted council statement condemned the attack on the migrant camp,
called for a return to political talks and for full respect of the arms embargo
followed a closed-door council meeting on Wednesday during which US diplomats
said they needed more time to consult with Washington on the proposed text.
United Nations has called for an independent investigation to determine who was
responsible for the strike on the center, which housed some 600 migrants,
mainly from African countries.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey — which backs the GNA — called for an end to
“unlawful attacks” by Haftar’s forces during a meeting with Libyan Prime
Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj in Istanbul on Friday, the Turkish presidency said.
agencies and humanitarian groups have repeatedly voiced concern over the plight
of thousands of migrants and refugees held in detention centers near combat
zones in the capital.
Antonio Guterres has expressed outrage over the attack and said the United
Nations had shared the coordinates of the detention center with the warring
sides to protect the civilians.
carnage in Tajoura was “a tragedy that should have never happened,” said
Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the UN’s refugee agency.
has become a major conduit for migrants seeking to reach Europe and remains
prey to numerous militias vying for control of the country’s oil wealth.
groups say migrants face horrifying abuses in Libya, and their plight has
worsened since Haftar launched the offensive against Tripoli.
to the UN, some 5,700 refugees and migrants are being held in detention centers
in Libya, 3,300 of whom are vulnerable to fighting in and around Tripoli.
initial lightning assault in early April saw Haftar’s self-styled Libyan
National Army steam toward the capital. But they have since been bogged down on
its southern outskirts, where frontlines have been frozen for months.
forces launched a surprise counter-attack late last month, seizing the
strategic town of Gharyan, the main supply base for Haftar’s offensive.
the setback, Haftar’s forces threatened to intensify strikes against their
sides have launched daily air raids throughout the fighting and each lost
rival camps have remained convinced that with the help of their backers, they
can win the battle.
July 4 (Xinhua) -- Militants loyal to the Taliban group have released 42 army
personnel who were arrested during the fall of Qush Tepa district in
Afghanistan's northern Jawzjan province days ago, an army spokesman in the
northern region said on Thursday.
released army personnel, according to Abdul Hadi Jamal, arrived in Jawzjan
provincial capital Shiberghan city on Wednesday evening.
heavy fighting, the Taliban fighters overran Qush Tepa district on Tuesday
morning, during which a number of security personnel have gone missing,
obviously killed, arrested or escaped.
Taliban militants who are in control of Qush Tepa district are yet to make
comment on the reported release of the army personnel.
in Jawzjan province said preparations were underway to recapture Qush Tepa
Shops owned by Muslim traders in the Sri Lankan central highlands district of
Kandy will remain closed on Sunday as thousands of hardline Buddhist monks
gather to decide who to back in the country's upcoming presidential elections.
gathering, called by Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the influential head of
Buddhist nationalist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), is worrying Muslim traders and
residents in Kandy, an ancient capital that was rocked by violence last year as
mobs ran amok for three days vandalising mosques, homes and businesses.
have also been a spate of anti-Muslim riots in the country in recent weeks,
blamed in part on Buddhist groups, in apparent reprisal for April bombings
claimed by Islamic State that killed more than 250 people.
Muslim-owned shops are likely to be closed on Sunday to avoid any possible
confrontation, as thousands of monks are expected in the town for the
conference," Niyaz Muheeth, president of the Kandy Muslim Traders
Association, told Reuters.
Lanka's apex body of Islamic scholars, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU),
urged Muslims to avoid visits to the central district that contains Kandy on
response, BBS said in a statement thousands of monks are expected to gather in
Kandy to take a crucial decision on behalf of the country.
a letter to police seen by Reuters, Dilantha Withanage, CEO of BBS, accused
Muslim groups including ACJU of trying to sabbotage the Sunday event, by
misleading the police with fabricated information and complaints.
Lanka has had a history of ethnic and religious violence and was torn for
decades by a civil war between separatists from the mostly Hindu Tamil minority
and the Sinhala Buddhist-dominated government. The war ended in 2009.
recent years, Buddhist hardliners, led by BBS, have stoked hostility against
Muslims, saying influences from the Middle East have made Sri Lanka's Muslims
more conservative and isolated.
make up about 70% of Sri Lanka's 22 million people while Muslims account for
Buddhist gathering on Sunday comes ahead of presidential polls scheduled to be
held either in November or December in which President Maithripala Sirisena,
former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe could be possible candidates.
a hardline monk who is accused of inciting violence against Muslims and has been
leading the campaign against Islamic extremism, has called for as many as
10,000 Buddhist clergy to attend the meet, in an effort to unite Sinhala
monk, who was released from prison last month after a pardon by Sirisena over
contempt of court charges, has also hinted BBS may back a surprise candidate,
whose views are more aligned with the group's ideology, to contest the
is built on the bank of the Jhinai River in Tangail's Gopalpur upazila, some
140 km from the capital Dhaka
201-dome mosque in Bangladesh has become the centre of attraction for people
all around the country.
is built on the bank of the Jhinai River in Tangail's Gopalpur upazila, some
140 km from the capital Dhaka.
451-foot minaret of the mosque is the tallest concrete minaret in the world,
recognized by Guinness World Records, said Humayun Kabir, caretaker of the
minaret is equivalent to the height of a 55-storey building. The mosque will
hold more than 15,000 devotees at a time. Among the 201 domes, the tallest one
is in the middle and is 81-feet high. The other 200 domes surrounding it are
work on the mosque began in January 2013, with an area of 15 Bigha (1 Bigha=33
decimals). Over 80% of the construction work is complete.
budget for the project was initially determined at Tk15 crore, however, until
now over Tk100 crore has been spent.
project began when Rafiqul Islam, from South Pathalia village, Gopalpur,
dreamed of building the mosque at his birthplace. Later, he formed the Rafiqul
Islam Trust to look after the construction of the mosque.
has donated some of his ancestral land for the building of the mosque. At the
same time, some of the villagers helped make Islam’s dream true. Finally, the
construction of the mosque started.
Islam told Dhaka Tribune that many people from home and abroad came to witness
the beauty of the 201-dome mosque and during every holiday around 10,000 people
visit the mosque.
security forces conducted an airstrike in western Farah province killing or
wounding at least 8 Taliban militants.
military officials said Saturday that the security forces conducted the
airstrike in Farah district of the province.
the officials said the airstrike killed 5 Taliban militants and wounded 3
Taliban group has not commented regarding the airstrike so far.
security situation in Farah province has deteriorated during the recent years.
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
security forces conducted an airstrike in Logar province killing at least 6
informed military sources said Thursday that the security forces conducted the
airstrike in Pul-e-Alam district of Logar.
security situation in Logar province has deteriorated during the recent months.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups this province.
Afghan forces and Taliban militants suffered casualties during a clash in
southern Kandahar province on Friday night.
Police Chief of Kandahar Gen. Tadin Khan Achakzai said in a Twitter post that
the clash took place in Maruf district.
Tadin Khan further added that Taliban militants attacked the district
administrative compound late on Friday night.
Gen. Tadin Khan said the attack badly damaged the district compound and claimed
the lives of some Afghan soldiers.
he did not disclose further information regarding the exact number of soldiers
who lost their lives in the attack.
Afghan military has confirmed that the casualties toll from mortar attack on
Faryab market has climbed to 53 people.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the Taliban militants fired mortars on
Khwaja Sabz Posh market early on Friday.
statement further added that the attack killed 14 civilians and wounded 39
others including several children.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the Taliban militants launched the attack as
dozens of people had gathered in the market to shop in Friday Bazar.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said the security forces launched an immediate
operation to shift the wounded civilians to medical facilities.
Afghan Special Forces killed four Taliban militants and destroyed a car bomb
and several IEDs.
informed military said Saturday that the Special Forces killed the militants
and destroyed the IEDsin Kapisa and Wardak.
sources further added that the Special Forces killed the 4 militants in Chak-e
Wardak district of Wardak province.
the Special Forces detained 1 Taliban fighter and destroyed a building
containing several IEDs.
the Special Forces called in an airstrike after identifying a suspicious
vehicle in Kapisa.
military sources said the airstrike destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised
security situation in Kapisa and Wardak provinces has deteriorated during the
militants are active in some districts of the two provinces and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in the two provinces.
administration lays broad legal grounds for military strike on Iran
Karen DeYoung and
it has contemplated military action against Iran, the Trump administration has
opened the door to virtually every legal authority it might use to justify an
attack, from tying Iran to al-Qaeda, to President Trump’s assertion that it
would not involve American ground troops and “wouldn’t last very long.”
and some Republicans have tried repeatedly to pin the administration down,
including last week’s unsuccessful attempt to muster 60 Senate votes for an
amendment requiring Trump to ask Congress before launching any military
asked directly about legal justification, senior administration officials have
offered undetailed assurances that any action would “consistent with our Constitution,”
as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month, or they deferred to lawyers.
not a scholar in this area,” Brian Hook, Pompeo’s special representative for
Iran, recently told the House Armed Services Committee under persistent
about the possibility of U.S. military action against Iran has grown since the
administration cited new intelligence that Iran or its proxies were planning to
attack U.S. troops or American interests in the Middle East. The United States
has also blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz. Most
recently, Iran shot down a U.S. drone it said — and the U.S. denied — had
crossed into its airspace.
and Iranian leaders have traded insults following the U.S. withdrawal from the
2015 Iran nuclear agreement and subsequent reimposition and escalation of
sanctions, and Iran’s announcement that it was stepping up its uranium
enrichment. Following President Hassan Rouhani’s assertion on Wednesday that
Iran could enrich to “any amount we want” in the absence of a nuclear deal,
Trump warned him to “be careful with the threats . . .
They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before.”
Trump canceled a U.S. strike against Iran following the drone shoot-down, the
administration has continued to lay the legal groundwork for a strike.
in public and classified testimony, according to lawmakers, has said there are
ties between Iran and al-Qaeda. Such a relationship would seem to provide the
foundation for military action against Iran under the 2001 congressional
Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the perpetrators of the
al-Qaeda attacks that year.
a determination has doubters even within the administration. Defense officials
have taken unusual steps in recent weeks to distance themselves from Pompeo’s
assertion amid fears that the administration may be driving toward a conflict
that most Pentagon officials expect would be long, costly and detrimental to
American interests in the region.
a statement, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said the
department “does not believe 2001 AUMF can be used against Iran.” That position
has been affirmed by the Pentagon’s top lawyer, Paul Ney Jr., according to
officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to address internal
Pentagon officials do not deny that al-Qaeda has had ties to Tehran, those
links are generally seen as limited and nonoperational.
officials say they have not put forward such links as a basis for connecting
military action against Iran to the 9/11 attacks and the AUMF that resulted
Mulroy, the Pentagon’s top policy official for the Middle East, said in a
statement last week that neither he nor Katie Wheelbarger, another senior
Pentagon policy official, raised al-Qaeda’s links to Iran — or the AUMF —
during a classified congressional briefing on Iran last month, as the New York
historical and ongoing ties between Iran and the Taliban, not al-Qaeda, were raised
at the briefing,” Mulroy said.
up Hook’s suggestion to ask government lawyers about both the 2001 AUMF and a
subsequent 2002 congressional resolution authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq,
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote last week to
Marik String, who became acting State Department legal adviser six weeks ago.
asked for “any and all legal analysis” relating to whether either measure was
“applicable to any actions that could be undertaken by the Executive Branch in
or against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
brief reply from the State Department’s legislative affairs bureau came three
days later. “The administration has not, to date, interpreted either AUMF as
authorizing military force against Iran,” it said, “except as may be necessary
to defend U.S. or partner forces engaged in counterterrorism operations or
operations to establish a stable, democratic Iraq.”
have interpreted that response as leaving the door open to administration
assertions that such authorization is justified in the future.
very concerned the administration hasn’t categorically said Congress hasn’t
authorized war with Iran,” a Democratic congressional aide said, speaking on
the condition of anonymity to discuss the concerns of lawmakers. “The AUMF has
already been stretched.”
successive administrations have cited the 2001 AUMF as a basis for fighting an
array of militant groups across the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and
Africa, as Congress has failed in repeated efforts to pass a new authorization
that would apply to military actions that seem far afield from those originally
the legal caveat referring to Iraq, the subject of the 2002 authorization,
appears to cast a wide net over interference in U.S. or partner forces’
operations in that country.
State Department did not respond to questions about the scope of its statement.
other legal authority available to the president, short of Congress’s approval
under its constitutional authority to declare war, is the president’s own
constitutional power as commander in chief of the armed forces, in charge of
keeping the nation secure. Here, previous presidents and the current Justice
Department have laid a broad foundation for action that Congress has done
little to constrain.
only public statement the administration has made interpreting those powers was
a May 31, 2018, opinion by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel on
authority for the April 2018 U.S. airstrikes against Syrian chemical weapons
strikes were legal, the OLC concluded, because “the President reasonably
determined that this operation would further important national interests” and
that “the anticipated nature, scope and duration of the operations were
sufficiently limited that they did not amount to war in the constitutional
sense and therefore did not require prior congressional approval.”
Justice Department OLC did not respond to requests for comment.
2018 opinion, which drew substantially from an Obama-era justification for the
2011 air operations in Libya, put an attack against Iran squarely in the
context of decades of U.S. military operations, including Haiti, Bosnia,
Kosovo, Libya and many others, conducted without authorization from Congress.
previous definitions of the “national interest,” the Trump OLC opinion cited
protection of U.S. people and property, assistance to allies, and the promotion
of regional stability — all of which have been mentioned by the administration as
U.S. goals regarding Iran.
second test examined whether U.S. troops would be directly involved in
hostilities, noting that the Clinton administration OLC, in judging the Bosnia
deployment, concluded that the size and duration of operations, and the deployment
of ground troops, were key tests.
an interview last week with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Trump said that
“If something should happen, we’re in a very strong position. It wouldn’t last
very long, I can tell you that. It would not last very long.”
I’m not talking about boots on the ground, I’m not talking we’re going to send
a million soldiers. I’m just saying if something would happen, wouldn’t last
An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Rep. Eliot L. Engel as
the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He is chairman of the
Foreign Affairs Committee. Also, this story was updated on July 4 to provide
Israel lobby in the United States is pushing the administration of President
Donald Trump to launch war against Iran because the regime in Tel Aviv does not
want to fight Tehran itself, according to E Michael Jones, an American writer
and former professor.
new opinion poll shows that a vast majority of American voters oppose a
military conflict with Iran and express support for US President Donald Trump’s
decision last month not to launch a military strike against the Islamic
Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, released to The Hill newspaper on Tuesday, found that
78 percent of voters said they believed Trump’s decision to call off the strike
on Iran was the right move.
survey also found that 57 percent of respondents were against military
confrontation with Iran if the US was not directly attacked by the country.
recent poll taken in the United States says the majority of the people there
supported Donald Trump’s decision not to attack Iran. This has been obvious to
me for years now,” Jones told Press TV on Friday.
next question is, well if the majority of the people are against it, who is in
favor of it? And the answer to that, of course, is the Israel lobby. The Israel
lobby controls the Congress. It controls the president to a certain extent, and
the extent is precisely what we are beginning to see now, when Trump called
back the attack with about ten minutes to go. This happened because he thought
150 people would die and this was not proportionate to Iran’s downing of an
unmanned drone,” he added.
the question is now that we know this, how we are going to proceed? Donald
Trump has painted himself into a corner in the Middle East because of his
support for Israel. Israel wants the United States to fight Iran because Israel
does not want to lose any soldiers, or does not want to take the time or effort
to fight Iran itself,” he stated.
have been running high between the two countries since Washington’s decision in
May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on
Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to
renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and
regional influence as well.
US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the
wake of suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has blamed on
Iran without providing evidence.
between Washington and Tehran hit a new high after Iran shot down a US
surveillance drone on June 20 following its violation of Iranian airspace.
US president said a day later that he had ordered and then reversed a decision
to strike Iran after the drone incident, claiming that he had learned 10
minutes before the US strike that 150 Iranians would die as a result.
political analyst from New York has advised Iranians to take the tanker issue
to an international court.
Williams, a senior analyst at Foreign Policy in Focus from New York, told Press
TV in an interview on Friday that the Strait of Gibraltar was an international
waterway and vessels from all countries had a right of passage to go through
of passage in international law gives the country's right for its ships to pass
through the territorial seas of foreign states and straits used for
is no international law forbidding ships to travel to Syria,” Williams pointed
addition to that, the ship is flying the flag of Panama, and both Panama and
Britain are signatories to the international convention of the law of the sea
which has very definite procedures,” he said.
said that Panama was legally responsible for the ship.
should go straight to the international tribunal of the sea to seek interim
measures,” he said, adding that the Latin American country should take the
issue of the tanker to the international tribunal on the law of the sea and
complain this ship has been detained illegally.
said Panama should ask the tribunal to order the UK to release it immediately.
suspect the British will be ordered to release the tanker,” Williams said.
senior analyst of foreign policy added that an interesting point about the
incident was the outlaw US National Security Adviser John Bolton approving it.
on Thursday hailed Britain's "illegal" seizure of the Iranian oil
contrary to senior Iranian officials, who have called for retaliatory measures
against Britain in case London refuses to release the Iranian vessel it had
illegally detained in Gibraltar, Williams insisted that court action was the
right way to respond to the UK.
ISIS terrorist organization doesn’t pose a serious threat to Iraq, however, its
sleeper cells are dangerous, according to Iraqi officials and security experts.
leaders and officials still believe the military institution is capable of
inflicting defeats on ISIS cells, despite warnings against the emergence of new
ranks of the terrorist organization, according to a US report released this
only thing ISIS is capable of doing now is to occupy the security forces and
services, claims security expert Fadel Abu Raghef.
to Asharq Al-Awsat, the expert indicated that ISIS’ activity will not affect
official bodies’ pursuit of the terrorist organization, questioning the
organization’s ability to affect the security given that Iraqi intelligence and
military performance have developed a lot during the past years, and local
community’s rejection of these terrorists.
have successfully put out a fire at a strategic oil pipeline in northern Iraq
that links oil-rich Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, a security source
told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that the pipeline is currently not operational.
source explained that the fire started after six improvised explosive devices
went off in succession in the Ain al-Jahsh village of Nineveh province’s Shura
sub-district, 70 km south of Mosul.
mayor Mahma Khalil Agha warned of ISIS sleeper cells in the disputed Sinjar
district between Erbil and Baghdad.
said in a statement that every now and then, these cells attack farmers and
Yazidi farm workers in Gohbal village, near Jari.
added that four cars carrying armed fighters attacked farmers and Yazidi
workers in the village, and the farmers thwarted the attack without any help
from army units, which did not lift a finger.
mayor called for the replacement of the army forces in the region because of
their inability to control security.
pointed out that the activities of these sleeper terrorist cells can bring back
migration among Yazidis, and lead to disruption of all plans devised by the
Iraqi government for the return of displaced persons to their areas.
other news, directorate of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) announced the
death of two ISIS elements and the destruction of four vehicles, south of Tal
Afar to the west of Mosul.
“Security Media Unit” announced the death of four terrorists in a tunnel in
Nineveh. The unit announced that during a pre-emptive operation, a joint force
killed four terrorists who were inside a tunnel in the Sheikh Ibrahim mountain
hundred corpses, including those of people believed to have been executed by
the Islamic State(IS) group, were found near the Syrian city of Raqqa, a local
official and a war monitor said Wednesday.
mass grave contained the bodies of five middle-aged men in orange jumpsuits of
the kind typically worn by IS group hostages, Yasser al-Khamees and the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
were shackled and shot in the head," said Khamees, who heads a team of
were believed to have been killed more than two years ago, he said, adding that
his team was not immediately able to identify them.
grave also included the bodies of three women who were believed to have been
stoned to death, Khamees and the Observatory said.
skulls were severely fractured and displayed signs of stoning," the local
digger said his team first discovered the mass grave early last month on the
southern edges of Raqqa, the IS group's former so-called "capital" in
many as 800 people could be buried there in total, he said.
discovery could help identify even more of the several thousand people whose
fates remain unknown, including foreigners imprisoned by the IS group.
IS group took full control of the city of Raqqa in early 2014 and made it the
de facto Syrian capital of its infamous cross-border so-called
forces ousted the IS group from the devastated city in October 2017, leaving
the Raqqa Civil Council (RCC) to run it.
RCC has been retrieving bodies from the rubble across Raqqa, left in ruins by
the months-long assault to oust the IS group.
February, an exhumation team uncovered a mass grave holding an estimated 3,500
people in Raqqa's Al-Fukheikha agricultural suburb -- the largest to date.
has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb blast in the Tunisian capital
earlier this week.
wanted militant wearing an explosives belt blew himself up in Tunis on Tuesday
after being surrounded by police, the government said, but there were no other
was the third such incident within a week and came a few months ahead of an
election and at the peak of a tourist season in which Tunisia is hoping for a
record number of visitors.
suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks on police in Tunis on
June 27. ISIS militants claimed responsibility for both attacks.
passerby wounded in one of the bombings has died of injuries, bringing the
death toll to two.
Ministry spokesman Sofiane Zaag announced the death on Radio Mosaique on
United Nations has condemned the death of hundreds of Syrian civilians living
in areas controlled by rebels.
Syrian government and its Russian allies have been bombing areas in the
provinces of Idlib and Hama for more than two months.
say around two children are being killed every day.
July 3 (Xinhua) -- A total of 18 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on
Wednesday in operations by Iraqi security forces and airstrikes by
international U.S.-led coalition aircraft, the Iraqi military said.
Iraq's western province of Anbar, four IS militants were killed and their
vehicle destroyed when paramilitary tribal fighters raided their hideout in
Akashat area in the desert near the border with Syria, the media office of the
Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement.
in the province, the international aircraft carried out an airstrike on IS
hideout in south of Sneislah Lake in east of the borderline with Syria, killing
four of the extremist militants, the statement added.
militants are still active in the vast Anbar desert which stretches to the
border with neighboring countries of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as many
civilians have been kidnapped or killed by the extremist group recently.
Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, the Iraqi army carried out an anti-IS operation
in Sekheirat area in west of the provincial capital Mosul, killing two IS
militants and destroying their vehicle, in addition to destroying a tunnel and
killing five more IS militants inside, the JOC said in a separate statement.
the U.S.-led coalition aircraft, based on intelligence reports, bombed an IS
vehicle and killed three extremist militants in west of al-Munayif Mountain in
a desert area near the border with Syria, a JOC statement said.
security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security
forces fully defeated the extremists IS militants across the country late in
Saudi-led military coalition said on Thursday it had intercepted drones
launched by Yemen’s Al Houthi group that were targeting Jizan airport, a
statement on Saudi state media said.
the Houthis said they carried out drone attacks on Jizan and Abha Saudi
Al Houthis, who are fighting in neighbouring Yemen, have repeatedly launched
attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition battling
Arabic-language website of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted Hessam
Sho'aib, a Syrian military expert on terrorist organizations, as saying that a
recent report by the US-based Institute for Studies of War (ISW) on rebirth of
the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria exposes this reality that the US Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) has created the ISIL and is preparing the grounds for
the return of the terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, to the region.
noted that the ISW's report on ISIL's dominance over several regions in Iraq
and Syria such as Mosul shows that the US is not looking for establishment of
peace in the region and ISIL's retreat from Raqqa has taken place on CIA's
order and not a defeat in war against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
reiterated that the SDF is also a part of the CIA's plot for Syria, and said,
"The US has come to know that it cannot conduct any kind of military
operation against Iran, and therefore it has resorted to reviving the terrorist
groups to carry out terrorist attacks as a much cheaper scenario for the
noted that Washington uses the terrorist groups in the region as a pressure
lever, and said that the purpose for reviving the terrorist organizations is
preoccupying the regional countries' armies, specially Iraq, Syria and Iran.
a relevant development in late June, a prominent Iraqi security expert warned
of the US plot to transfer the ISIL terrorists to the bordering areas with
Syria in collaboration with the two countries' tribes.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted Hossein al-Kanani as saying
that the US attempts to transfer the ISIL terrorists to the bordering areas of
Iraq and Syria and build safe shelters for them through coordination with a
number of tribal leaders in the region.
referred to the recent attempts by US Ambassador to Baghdad Matthew Tueller to
meet the Iraqi tribal leaders, and said other goals are also pursued by the
measure, including targeting the Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) and
Iraqi security forces in these regions and cutting
Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut connections by taking control over the
a senior official in al-Qiyarah region in the Southern parts of Nineveh
province said that the ISIL terrorists have increased their operations in the
desert areas in the Western parts of the region under the nose of the US planes
and drones that fly over the same regions.
Syrian regime's bombardment of the province of Idlib killed 13 and wounded
dozens, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported on Saturday.
Syrian regime bombardment has killed 14 civilians including seven children in
northwestern Syria, a war monitor said Saturday, in the latest deadly raids on
the embattled opposition bastion.
and helicopters late Friday carried out air strikes on Mahambel village in
Idlib province, killing 13 civilians including the seven children, the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights said.
woman was also killed early Saturday in regime rocket fire on the outskirts of
the town of Khan Sheikhun in the south of the province, the Britain-based war
a region of some three million people, many of whom fled former rebel-held
areas retaken by the government, is the last major bastion of opposition to the
Russia-backed Damascus government after eight years of civil war.
region on Turkey’s doorstep is administered by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda
affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, but other extremist and rebel groups are also
is supposed to be protected from a major regime assault by a September deal
between Moscow and Ankara, but Damascus and its Russian ally have ramped up
their deadly bombardment of the region since late April.
than 520 civilians have been killed since then, according to the Observatory.
United Nations says 25 health facilities in the region have been hit, the
latest including the second attack in two months on an underground hospital in
the town of Kafranbel on Thursday.
attacks happened despite the fact that the coordinates of this hospital had
previously been shared with the parties to the conflict in a deliberate,
carefully planned effort to prevent any attacks on it,” an UN official said on
am horrified by the ongoing attacks on civilian areas and civilian infrastructure
as the conflict in northwest Syria continues,” said Mark Cutts, UN deputy
regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syrian crisis.
dialogue group launched in Berlin
— Jewish and Muslim entrepreneurs met in Berlin on Wednesday to launch an “an
unconventional Jewish-Muslim dialogue.”
Shalom Aleikum: Jewish-Muslim Dialog, the project of the Central Council of
Jews in Germany began with young business leaders having an open exchange on
the issue of cultural identity and the job market. TV journalist Shakuntala
Banerjee served as the moderator.
Council President Josef Schuster said the project aims to break down
stereotypes and prevent anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
has seen a rise in anti-Semitic crimes. Although German officials report that
the vast majority of anti-Semitic incidents are carried out by members of the
far right, some Jewish leaders worry that anti-Semitic acts by Muslims are more
widespread than believed and are being underreported.
is not too soon to intervene, Schuster suggested.
who who speak to each other from the realities of their lives can approach each
other without reservations,” Schuster said in a media statement.
nationwide project has the support of Minister of State Annette Widmann-Mauz,
who heads Germany’s Federal Commission for Migration, Refugees and Integration.
The first year’s events are funded with 1.2 million euros ($1.35 million), and
will encompass various dialogue formats nationwide.
to a Protestant news service, Widmann-Mauz said the project was designed to
break down barriers between Jews and Muslims, as well as prevent anti-Semitism
and anti-Muslim sentiments from developing at an early stage.
said she was appalled at the reported increases in hate crimes related to
is not a situation that we want in our country,” she said.
Jewish-Muslim dialogue forums are planned for the coming months with teachers,
athletes, students, seniors and women’s groups, the Central Council’s managing
director, Daniel Botmann, told the news service.
moves to make companies block hate speech online
lawmakers have approved a measure that is intended to force search engines and
social networks to take hate speech off the internet.
measure adopted Thursday by the lower house of the French parliament would
require social networks to remove hate speech within 24 hours of a confirmed
violation. Search engines would have to stop referencing the content as well.
provision, part of a bill on internet regulation, targets videos or messages
inciting or glorifying terrorism, hate, violence, or racist or religious abuse.
Violators could face hefty fines.
prompted heated discussion in the National Assembly over how to define hate
- Australia is expected to introduce anti-terror laws to parliament Thursday
that would ban foreign fighters from returning home for up to two years. The government has said the measures are
necessary to protect Australia from extremism, but critics have insisted they
would violate the rights of citizens.
bill is based on legislation in the United Kingdom, and aims to prevent the
return of Australian citizens suspected of fighting with militant groups
have said Australia needs new powers to stop them bringing their dangerous
ideology home until authorities are ready to deal with them.
the proposed new law, they could be excluded for up to two years.
people want to do us harm," says Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
"For us, we are dealing with people who have now acquired the skill of
putting together an IED [improvised explosive device], have worked with ISIL
[Islamic State] and have a right to come back to our country, and we need to
protect our citizens.”
critics believe the proposed legislation is unconstitutional. The Law Council of Australia said it was a
‘dog’s breakfast’, or a mess. It
insisted all citizens have the legal right to return home without permission
Irving, a professor of law at the University of Sydney, believes the plans to
exclude foreign fighters should be scrapped.
Australian citizens have a constitutional right to return to Australia without
having to obtain a licence, or a clearance, from the executive [the
government]. It is in the nature of
Australian citizenship,” she said.
week, two men were charged with an alleged terrorist conspiracy to attack
targets in Sydney. Investigators say the
pair — Radwan Dakkak and Isaak el Matari, who are both in their early 20s —
were influenced by Islamic State, and that el Matari had planned to travel to
Afghanistan to join the extremist group.
They were arrested in coordinated raids in Sydney Tuesday.
Bougana, a 24-year-old Italian, was one of thousands of western European
recruits who traveled to fight alongside the Islamic State after 2014. But he
differs from all of them in one key respect: His own government is taking him
home to stand trial. Bougana was captured and held for almost a year by Kurdish
forces in Syria before Italy took custody of him, in a decision the State
Department praised and urged other western European countries to emulate. But
so far, none of them has taken one of its citizens back to face a terrorism
trial for joining ISIS.
2,000 suspected fighters from dozens of countries, including hundreds from
Europe, languish in Kurdish detention in northeastern Syria, and the Trump
administration has been pushing its democratic allies to bring them home to
face justice. Although Donald Trump himself vowed during his campaign to use
the prison at Guantánamo Bay—which remains open but hasn’t taken in any new
prisoners since 2008—and “load it up with some bad dudes,” his administration’s
actual policy has been far more humane and measured.
repatriation is a rare issue wherein the administration’s efforts largely align
with the recommendations of legal scholars and human-rights groups. Many have
argued that, in democracies at least, there is no more legitimate, efficient,
and secure way to handle terrorism suspects than to use the domestic
criminal-justice system. They have condemned such practices as stripping
citizenship, which the U.K. did in the case of the 19-year-old ISIS bride
Shamima Begum, or allowing their nationals to stand trial in Iraq, which has a
documented history of prisoner abuse and unfair trials, as France has done with
several of its citizens.
irony is that some western European countries, whose representatives were
appalled by America’s indefinite detention of terrorism suspects at Guantánamo
Bay after September 11, are now by default accepting a sprawling Guantánamo in
seem to be fine with letting their own citizens sit there,” a senior State
Department official, who requested anonymity to discuss the issue, told me.
This official said that the U.S. was working to identify its own citizens in
the custody of America’s local Kurdish allies—the Syrian Democratic Forces, or
SDF—and has repatriated four so far for trial. (One dual Saudi American citizen
the U.S. had suspected of joining ISIS, but never brought to trial, was freed
in Bahrain last year; in another case, the State Department controversially
argued that an accused ISIS propagandist, Hoda Muthana, was not actually a
citizen despite being born in Alabama.) But thousands of other foreign
fighters—not even counting Iraqis and Syrians—are in makeshift prisons
democratic countries, which arguably have the best means to bring them to
justice and hold them securely, there is very little interest in bringing them
home to face prosecution—or even in bringing home the wives and children of
ISIS fighters, who are being held separately in squalid detention centers.
further irony is that authoritarian Central Asian countries, such as
Kazakhstan, have been leading the way on repatriating their citizens from Iraq
and Syria—especially women and children—and casting their efforts in
humanitarian terms, Letta Tayler, a senior researcher in terrorism and
counterterrorism at Human Rights Watch, told me. “Western Europe is hiding its
head in the sand when it should be taking care of its citizens,” said Tayler,
who recently visited separate camps in northeastern Syria, where the families
of suspected ISIS members are being held in conditions she described as squalid
and horrifying. “If Kazakhstan can repatriate by the hundreds, surely western
Europe, with far greater resources and far fewer suspects and family members …
can do the same.” (Tayler has written that France, for example, has brought
back 17 children—but has left at least 400 people, including children, behind.)
a rare moment of praise for a post-Soviet dictatorship, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin,
the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human
rights and fundamental freedoms, said the country was showing “much needed
leadership on the critical global issue.”
are, of course, concerns that, public messaging aside, authorities in
dictatorships like Kazakhstan may themselves abuse prisoners. Ní Aoláin
highlighted the country’s use of domestic-counterterrorism laws against
religious minorities and political dissenters. Tayler says Human Rights Watch
has been pushing for transparency about what happens to prisoners in custody.
But the broader significance of policies like Kazakhstan’s, she says, is that
they expose the weakness of the western European argument that it’s too
difficult or dangerous to take such suspects back.
far, Washington’s pleas are being mostly ignored. For instance, in May, an
Iraqi court tried seven French suspects, and handed them the death penalty
after four days of hearings. Though France opposes the death penalty and had
told the Iraqis so, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said recently:
“Those French nationals tried in Iraq for belonging to [ISIS] left their
country to join the ranks of a terrorist organization which, among other
things, has killed and tortured Iraqis. It’s logical that they should be tried
where they committed their crimes and where justice claims jurisdiction.”
U.K. official, who also requested anonymity to discuss the issue, wrote in an
email: “We’re continuing to explore justice mechanisms in the region and of
course it’s up to every country to decide what the best course of action is
regarding foreign fighters in line with their national security priorities.”
the administration’s perspective, the best course of action is already clear:
Unless prisoners would be tortured in their home countries, they should be sent
home to face trial. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human
Rights has embraced a similar position, declaring that states have
responsibilities toward their own nationals—and that foreign family members in
particular should be repatriated unless they are to be prosecuted under
himself may not have humanitarian concerns in mind when he presses Europe. He
has not given the issue anywhere near the public attention that, say, Barack
Obama did to closing Guantánamo. That was a much less complicated project
involving far fewer people from far fewer countries, plus it enjoyed far more
high-level attention from the U.S. Yet that effort remains unfinished a decade
after Obama vowed to close the prison—which still holds some 40 people. Trump
did, in February, call on Europeans to take their citizens back for trial,
warning darkly on Twitter that the U.S. “does not want to watch as these ISIS
fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.” Rather, he
pointed to how much the United States had done and spent to fight ISIS, and
made clear his preference to leave once the fight was over. This spring, he
again accused the Europeans on Twitter of not doing enough to take back their
citizens following the reclamation of ISIS territory.
the meantime, the world’s attention is flagging. Summer holidays are
approaching in Europe; in northeastern Syria, Tayler points out, the season
also means triple-digit temperatures where prisoners—and, at separate camps,
their family members—languish in poor conditions. The Islamic State was
America’s top national-security priority for years; now that the group has lost
its territory, it’s hard to focus on what’s happening in its former lands.
Besides, it’s always easier to draw attention to a threat than to what looks
like a humanitarian problem.
also a limit to how much the Trump administration itself is willing to focus on
the issue, given its other priorities. “If this was truly a Trump
administration priority, then the signals that were coming out didn’t
demonstrate that to our partners,” Elizabeth Dent, a nonresident scholar at the
Middle East Institute who previously served as a special assistant to the
special presidential envoy to the global coalition to defeat ISIS, told me. And
it’s difficult to predict the outcome, given the seemingly ever-shifting policy
on the U.S. presence in Syria. If Bashar al-Assad’s forces attempt to retake
the territory held by America’s Kurdish partners, for example, “this could go
very badly,” Dent said—not least because it would stretch the Syrian regime
even more thinly to regain control of more than a third of the country and take
custody of thousands of detained fighters and their families.
Elezi fought alongside foreign jihadists during the struggle for Kosovar
independence. They were fewer in numbers than the large contingent in the
Bosnia conflict, but they were experienced, well-armed, and were vowing
solidarity with fellow Muslims in the last chapter in the violent break-up of
of the foreign fighters left after intervention by Nato and the withdrawal of
Serbian forces. A new nation was born and Elezi, along with most other members
of the resistance, drifted back into civilian life, as the Kosovo Liberation
Army (KLA), in which they had served, was disbanded.
however, kept in touch in the intervening two decades with some of the
Islamists he had got to know and watched as they sought jihad in other lands –
Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Some are still there, but others,
including a prominent Saudi, have been killed.
began to notice that his compatriots were also journeying to join the
international Islamist brigade in increasing numbers. Kosovo, a land which
gained its independence with the help of western bombing and a British-led Nato
force, was to provide more than 320 recruits for Iraq and Syria, the highest
per head of any European nation, with many gravitating to Isis.
surge in radicalisation followed the arrival of imams from the Middle East and
some from Turkey as Elezi and a group of colleagues observed with rising
concern. They tracked the movements of the clerics and the converts through
their contacts among Islamists, warning the country’s security agencies, some
of whom were former comrades from the KLA, about what was unfolding with mixed
then Elezi, a 41-year-old businessman, has been travelling to the Syrian
borders to help bring the children and wives of jihadists home. In marked
contrast to other European countries, Kosovo has a stated policy of taking back
fighters and their families – and has an extensive rehabilitation programme in
there is continuing and acrimonious controversy about the policy of Britain on
the issue of returnees – highlighted by the government’s decision to ban
teenager Shamima Begum from going home and stripping her of her citizenship –
Kosovo recently flew back 106 children and women from Syria, the latest in a
number of batches.
of Elezi’s latest missions was to track down a young boy, Alvin Berisha, who
had been taken to Isis’ (supposed) capital, Raqqa, five years ago, at the age
of six. He had been brought there by his mother Valbona, from Italy, where the
family, of Kosovar Albanian family background, had settled.
who had adopted the name Yushra in Syria, was trying to flee the last shrinking
territories of Isis with Alvin, whose name had been changed to Yusuf, and a son
from a marriage with a jihadi Albanian, when the car they were in was hit in a
western air strike. Alvin was seriously injured in the attack, his mother and
was asked by Alvin’s father Afrimm Berisha, Valbona’s former husband, to find
his son. Afrimm had tried to get Alvin out of Syria before, following messages
from the boy saying how frightened he was and how he wanted to get away. But
all attempts had been blocked by his mother who tried to force her son to join
the child fighters of Isis, “Cubs of the Caliphate”, instead.
weeks of searches, Alvin, now aged 11, was found by Elezi at the vast refugee
camp at al-Hol, in northeast Syria. He remains in the camp while the process to
get him home continues, through liaison with governments and aid organisations.
and his colleagues say they are prepared to help people, from wherever in the
west, get back relatives from Syria and Iraq if they can.
country obviously has its own laws and we don’t want to break any laws, but if
we can use our contacts to get people out safely then we try to help,” he
wanted to stress, sitting at a cafe in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina.
government here in Kosovo has been bringing back families and we think that is
the correct approach,” he added.
you leave the young in these camps for years then you are creating people who
get desperate and angry, and they can be exploited by extremists to create
another generation of fighters. But as I said, each country makes up its own
the same time we need to keep a watch on fighters who are not coming back
through the government system but secretly. This is a problem not just for
Kosovo but for this region and the rest of Europe.
know it is of concern to the UK because we have had officials from London, we
think from MI6, who have been here to investigate people with links [to the
UK]. This region is well known for smuggling and that is one of the worries for
people in northern Europe. We cannot hide the fact that people went from Kosovo
to join Isis. So we must manage the situation now."
example of the continuing problem was illustrated by the arrest last month of a
Kosovar national earlier by German police. He had been sending, it is claimed,
thousands of euros to Isis members.
man, named only as Hassan Rejan B under German laws regarding identification of
suspects, has been charged with terrorist offences by prosecutors in Hamburg.
of the more high-profile Isis commanders, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the
self-proclaimed chief of the Balkans Battalion, was from Kosovo. He appeared in
a number of videos of killings, including one in which he beheaded a “spy” in
Iraq, and another in which he was seen blasting a man with a rocket propelled
grenade in Syria and then kicking the body parts.
from the town of Kacanik, the first staging post for Nato’s British-led Kosovo
Force (KFOR) when it entered the country in 1999.
worked for Nato in Kosovo, at the high-security US base Camp Bondsteel, as a
civilian employee. He later joined a training camp of the US-led International
Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The jihadi commander was
reported to have been killed in an airstrike, although some in Kosovo maintain
they cannot be totally sure that was the case.
can only be sure when we have definite evidence they are dead or those who have
been brought back here with their families,” says Elezi.
may be dead, but there are others, meant to be dead, who may actually be
21-year-old woman who lived with Valbona and Alvin in Raqqa is now back in
Kosovo under the rehabilitation scheme. An Isis fighter she married in Syria is
in jail in neighbouring Albania.
woman, who does not want to be named because she fears for her safety, is
living with her family in a town outside Pristina under house arrest. Sitting
under a tree in the sunny garden of the home, she looked at photographs of
Alvin that Elezi has brought back from the Syrian camp.
am so glad that he is alive, he never wanted to be there, he was very nervous,
upset and wanted to go home. He has had a really bad time and he needs to be
taken care of,” she says.
young woman wore a niqab hiding her body and face. None of the other female
family members sitting around her were dressed in the same way. The grandmother
wore a headscarf just partially covering her hair.
is the prettiest of my daughters, but no one can see that of course, because of
the way she is dressed,” the young woman’s father wanted to point out.
— British Royal Marines in fast boats and helicopters on Thursday seized a
supertanker suspected of carrying Iranian oil to Syria near the Mediterranean
peninsula of Gibraltar, the first such detention of a ship under the terms of
European sanctions targeting supplies to Syria.
delivery appeared to violate European Union and U.S. sanctions on oil
deliveries to the Iran-allied Syrian government. But suspicions that the oil
originated in Iran could also aggravate the tensions between Western countries
and Tehran that erupted after recent attacks on shipping in the Persian Gulf.
Grace 1 tanker was seized after Gibraltar received information that offered
“reasonable grounds” to conclude that the vessel was likely to be delivering
oil to Syria in breach of E.U. sanctions on that country, according to a
statement from the government in Gibraltar, which is indirectly ruled by
Royal Marines assisted Gibraltar authorities to board the ship in the early
hours of Thursday and detained the vessel and its cargo, the statement said. A
British Defense Ministry spokeswoman said 30 British marines boarded the ship
from boats and a helicopter after a request by Gibraltar, which lies along the
coast of Spain at the mouth of the Mediterranean.
did not disclose the origin of the oil. The vessel is registered in Panama and
owned by a Singapore-based company.
Iran is the only nation known to be seeking to supply oil to Syria in defiance
of an E.U. embargo as well as strict new U.S. sanctions targeting oil
deliveries to Syria that have contributed to severe fuel shortages in
government-held areas of the country.
Reuters news agency said it had reviewed shipping data that suggested the
tanker had been loaded with Iranian oil off the coast of Iran. The ship’s
documents, however, say the oil is from neighboring Iraq, Reuters said.
is the first time a European country has sought to impound deliveries of fuel
to Syria, which has been subjected to E.U. sanctions since the ongoing conflict
there erupted in 2011. Iran has regularly supplied fuel to President Bashar
al-Assad’s regime throughout the war, as part of Tehran’s effort to sustain his
hold on power.
said the oil was destined for Syria’s Baniyas refinery on the Mediterranean
coast. As a government-owned entity, it was added to the E.U. sanctions list in
2014. Some European diplomats questioned, however, whether the sanctions could
be legally applied to third countries and not just E.U. member states.
U.S. sanctions imposed in November went further than the E.U. measures,
targeting shipping owners and insurers associated with oil deliveries to Syria
as well as the suppliers. They prompted a dramatic curtailment of Iranian
supplies earlier this year and acute shortages of fuel, which prompted
widespread grumbling among Syrians.
supertanker had apparently made a circuitous journey from Iran around the Cape
of Good Hope in Africa to the Mediterranean to avoid traversing the Suez Canal,
the route previously taken by tankers sailing between Iran and Syria. Egyptian
authorities detained a ship carrying Iranian oil to Syria at the canal earlier
this year, and although Egypt has said the seizure was unrelated to the U.S. sanctions,
Syria has said it suspects it was.
Gibraltar incident could trigger new tensions between Britain and Spain over
the peninsula’s status. Speaking in Madrid on Thursday, Spain’s acting foreign
minister, Josep Borrell, said Spanish authorities were “looking into how this
[operation] affects our sovereignty.”
(Reuters) - Bosnia’s state court on Thursday sentenced two radical Islamists to
four and 2-1/2 years respectively in prison after convicting them of plotting a
terrorist attack on security police.
Bozic, an Orthodox Serb convert to Islam, and Edin Hastor, a Bosniak Muslim,
both members of the ultra-conservative Salafi movement, were found guilty of
cooperating with unnamed persons in obtaining weapons and explosive device.
said the pair planned an attack on the headquarters of the State Protection and
Investigation Agency in Sarajevo and the interior ministry of the northern
canton of Tuzla.
were arrested in 2018 and police seized grenades, automatic weapons, combat
vests and other military equipment.
great majority of Bosnia’s Muslims are moderate but some have adopted radical
Salafi Islam under the influence of foreign fighters who came to the country during
its 1992-95 war to fight alongside Muslims against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic
recent years Europe has been subject to an unprecedented terror threat which
has destabilised our societies and left blood in the streets of towns and
cities across the continent. Yet a policy of appeasement towards the world’s
most capable and potentially dangerous terrorist organization is endangering
Europeans across the continent and beyond, orchestrated by a country Europe
still seeks to appease, in the form of Iran.
Sunni Jihadists of al-Qaeda and Islamic State have certainly been responsible
for more casualties and have been able to amplify their message in the media
most effectively. However, it is the more calculated and insidious long-term
threat from the Lebanese Shiite extremists of Hezbollah which Europe must now
European Union currently designates the ‘military wing’ of Hezbollah as a
terrorist group but not the ‘political wing’. It is true that Hezbollah is
simultaneously one of the largest parties in the Lebanese parliament and an
active terrorist and criminal enterprise – but the distinction is a false one
which exists only in the imagination of European policymakers.
there are functional divisions and councils responsible for different areas of
Hezbollah’s complex and myriad operations, all wings report directly to the
same leadership council under Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General –
a structure not unlike any other large-scale operation in business or government.
top Hezbollah officials have publicly rejected any separation between the
group’s activities, with Hezbollah deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem telling a Lebanese
newspaper: “Hezbollah’s secretary-general is the head of the Shura Council and
also the head of the Jihad Council, and this means that we have one leadership,
with one administration.”
proving a threat since the 80s, fear of complicating relations with Lebanon and
provoking Iran, means the EU has avoided designating the entire organisation as
a terrorist group. Yet the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and more
recently the United Kingdom have shown that it is possible, and entirely
legitimate, to adopt this very action. If the EU now refuses to do so, then it
must explain why.
the 1980s Hezbollah attacked a number of European targets, including French
military bases and diplomatic targets in the Middle-East, as well as killing
civilians at shopping centres and restaurants in mainland France and Spain.
They have historically carried out violent acts on European soil that Iran may
wish it could have but can’t be seen to.
the Syrian Civil War, Hezbollah has proven one of the most effective and
capable fighting forces at the disposal of the brutal Assad regime in Damascus,
participating in human rights abuses against Syrian civilians and losing up to
1,500 fighters in the conflict. They have been on the opposing side of Europe
in this and other conflicts, supporting a regime the European Commission
completely withdrew its support for.
the continent itself, Hezbollah’s terror attacks have declined somewhat since
the 1980s but there can be no doubting their strength, particularly with
Tehran’s backing. German officials have estimated that up to 900 operatives are
active in Germany, and earlier this month it was revealed that British security
services had uncovered a Hezbollah ‘bomb factory’ in 2015 on the outskirts of
the relative lull in attacks against Europeans, Hezbollah has still not shied
away from attacking Israelis in Europe, including the bombing of an Israeli
tourist bus in Bulgaria in 2012, killing 5 Israelis and the driver.
new European Parliament has an opportunity to listen to Hezbollah themselves
and end the fantasy that there are distinctive political and military
self-declared commander of Islamic State in Australia was a teenager when he
began telling his followers “we are terrorists”, sought out guns and explosives
and tried to set up a stronghold in the Blue Mountains, police allege.
El Matari, now 20, was one of three men arrested in Sydney this week during
counter-terrorism raids. He was charged on Wednesday with being an Isis member,
planning a terrorist attack and preparing for a hostile incursion into a
had declared himself “the general commander of IS in Australia” and told other
persons of interest “we are terrorists”, court documents state.
investigators allege he had “answered the call of war” and spoke of
“sacrificing himself” for Isis.
Greenacre man was allegedly planning on travelling to Khorasan province – an
Isis stronghold in Afghanistan. His preparations allegedly included obtaining
an Australian passport and visiting the Pakistani consulate to obtain a visa,
Penrith’s Flight Centre he allegedly purchased a ticket for a flight to
Islamabad via China. He would then be smuggled across the border into Khorasan
province and, once there, get his hands on a rifle, authorities believe.
Matari’s plots were also focused on Australia, according to court documents.
was allegedly trying to import guns and TNT explosive and had collected United
States army uniforms at an undisclosed location.
is accused of planning to “create a stronghold in the Blue Mountains” and
operate a contingent of Isis fighters, and choosing locations in Sydney to
conduct guerrilla-style terrorist attacks.
assistant commissioner Ian McCartney earlier this week said the plot was in the
“early stages” of planning and targeted police stations, defence
establishments, embassies and consulates, councils, courts and churches in
did not appear at Parramatta local court on Thursday and his lawyer did not
apply for bail. Two of his friends turned up but did not speak to media as they
hurried from the court.
day earlier, one of the men also sat in the public gallery of Bankstown local
court when Matari’s co-accused, Radwan Dakkak, appeared.
23, was arrested in the same raids and also charged with being a member of a
the prosecutor on Wednesday named that organisation as “Islamic State” the
alleged terrorist smiled to supporters and raised his eyebrows. A group of
young men smiled back.
documents allege Dakkak “knowingly” joined Isis in mid-December.
say Dakkak, from Toongabbie, is “prominent in the global online extremist
community”. He did not apply for bail.
first shipment of Russian S-400 air defense systems to Turkey are set to be
delivered to the NATO member country next week, Turkish media say.
initial S-400 delivery will be made on two cargo planes departing from a
Russian military air base on Sunday, privately-owned Haberturk TV reported
Friday, adding that a Russian technical team tasked with overseeing the
system’s installation is also due to arrive in Turkey by Monday.
comes amid Washington’s threat that Turkey will be subjected to sanctions when
the Russian air defense missile system ordered by Ankara are actually delivered
to its NATO ally.
and the US have been at loggerheads over Ankara’s decision to purchase the
S-400s, which Washington claims are not compatible with defenses of the NATO
military alliance and would also compromise American F-35 fighter jets, which
Turkey has purchased and also helps build.
is while Washington has further begun the process of formally expelling Turkey
from the program for developing F-35s, built by Lockheed Martin Corp.
President Reecep Tayyip Erdogan described US refusal to deliver the F-35
stealth fighters to Ankara as “robbery” in reported remarks he made Wednesday
on a visit to China.
you have a customer and that customer is making payments like clockwork, how
can you not give that customer their goods? The name of that would be robbery,”
Erdogan was quoted by Turkey’s English-language Hurriyet Daily News as saying
during a press briefing in China.
was reportedly reacting to statements by US officials about Washington’s intent
to impose sanctions on Ankara and remove it from an F-35 development program if
Ankara does acquire the S-400 defense system.
Turkish president further underlined that his country had so far paid 1.4
billion dollars for the F-35s and received four out of 116 jets, with Turkish
pilots traveling to the United States for training.
have made an agreement to buy 116 F-35s. We are not just a market, we are also
joint producers. We produce some of the parts in Turkey,” Erdogan added as
quoted in the report.
President Vladimir Putin says the US-led NATO military alliance is to blame for
the destruction of Libya, warning that the situation there was deteriorating as
more and more militants are moving from Syria into the North African country.
at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome,
Putin said it is important to recall how the chaos unfolded in Libya.
you remember who destroyed Libya? It was a NATO decision. It was European
aircraft that bombed Libya,” he said.
North African country has plunged into a civil war since longtime ruler Muammar
Gaddafi was toppled and killed after an uprising and a NATO military
intervention in 2011.
said that “it is necessary to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible. It is
necessary to start dialogue as soon as possible.”
do not think that Russia needs to be the main contributor to a resolution of
the conflict. Let's ask those who created the problem," he added.
also expressed concern about the flow of terrorists into Libya from Syria’s
northwestern province of Idlib, a situation which he described as “very
ouster created a huge power vacuum in Libya and led to the emergence of
numerous militant outfits, including the Daesh terrorist group.
need to work with our EU friends to maintain dialogue with all parties in Libya
in order to help the Libyan people restore the functioning of their
institutes,” said the Russian leader.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also called on the international community to
unite and help all the involved parties in Libya come to the negotiating table
and reach a ceasefire.
100 Uighur Turks on Friday gathered in front of the European Parliament in
Brussels to protest against China and its East Turkistan policies.
representatives of Turkish and Azerbaijani NGOs also attended the protest,
which was organized by Uighur Human Rights Project.
protesters chanted slogans against China while unfurling banners: "China
stop genocide", "Save Uighurs".
protest lasted around two hours under intense security measures of the police.
Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group,
which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s
authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
activist Tommy Robinson faces up to two years in jail after being found in
contempt of court by the UK High Court. He was found guilty of filming and then
sharing online footage of defendants facing sexual exploitation charges
arriving in court. He denied the charges.
also known at Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was found to have “aggressively”
confronted the defendants and to have breached reporting restrictions.
our judgement his conduct amounted to a serious interference with the
administration of justice,” High Court judges said in their rulings.
Furlong, representing Robinson, said Robinson was facing the charges “because
of who he is” and his political opinions.
Facebook livestream on May 25 2018 lasted 90 minutes and was viewed 250,000
times online. He was originally jailed for 13 months after being found in
contempt of court but his sentence was overturning after two months inside by
the Court of Appeal in August 2018.
the Attorney General said in March proceedings would recommence because it was
in the public interest.
founder of the far-right English Defence League – although he has since left -
he has attracted repeated controversy for his outspoken views against Muslims.
stood as an independent candidate to become a member of the European Parliament
for north west England in May but was not elected.
pan-European anti-extremism campaign is launching legal action against Apple
over its hosting of a radical hate app linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
a special conference in Paris, a group of British and French politicians joined
anti-extremism think tanks to call on a blanket ban on the Euro Fatwa App.
hate app, which was launched in April, was created by the European Council for
Fatwa and Research, a Dublin private foundation set up by Yusuf Al Qaradawi,
spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
as a guide to help Muslims adhere to Islam, critics including Germany’s
security service say the app is a radicalisation tool.
contains an introduction by Al Qaradawi, now 93, in which he makes derogatory
references to Jews while speaking about historic fatwas.
also claims European laws do not have to be obeyed if they contradict Islamic
Google immediately pulling the app from its platforms, Apple has continued to
allow the free app to be downloaded.
Friday, Apple faced heavy international criticism to remove it.
Nuseibeh, chair of Muslims Against Antisemitism, said: “We really have had
enough of turning a blind eye on such incitement.
in the public interest we have instructed our legal teams to start legal
proceedings against all those hosting the app. We will spare no efforts to
ensure the app is no longer legally available. We are calling on the
government’s in Europe to ban the app.
legal team are looking at all legal options including injunctive relief against
those facilitating the app.”
politician Nathalie Goulet has presented a report to France’s Interior Minister
on the app.
want to take political action in our shared desire to ban this,” she told the
congregation at the Palace du Luxembourg.
the governments in the world are saying they want to cut financing of terrorism
but not enough is being done.
someone like Qaradawi can be banned physically nonetheless he has been able to
enter these places digitally.”
consortium are travelling to Dublin, where the legal action will be lodged, to
urge for immediate action to be taken.
MP, Ian Paisley said: “We are travelling to Dublin and speaking to the
authorities to highlight how easily these treacherous and terrible things can
arise in their jurisdiction and how they need to be more vigilant.”
has written to British banks to block the finances behind the app.
Goulet said they have “absolutely no doubt” that this is being financed by a
criminal network and it needs addressing.
Rafiq, former CEO of think tank Quillam, said: “This is an Islamist supremacist
groups like this who are affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood there would be no
Al Qaeda, no ISIS and we would not have Islamist terrorism.
organisation behind the app even though it is in Dublin, comes from the UK and
was set up by Qaradawi. In 2004, 2,500 Muslim academics called him a Sheikh of
Death in a letter to the UN.
are seven stages of radicalisation. This app takes everybody through the first
six stages of behavioural radicalisation.
Apple is serious about stopping the next ISIS group they have to get rid of
has been approached for a comment, it previously told the National that while
the app was available for download it was not promoting it in its store.
are reviewing Euro Fatwa again for possible violations of our guidelines and,
if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users, we
will notify the developer and may remove it from the store," an Apple
Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, is banned from the US, UK and France for his
UK government has previously criticised those making the app available for
download, saying it will take tough action on social media companies that help
to promote hate.
far no country has banned the app because they are only able to put sanctions
in place against social media companies.
Mughal, of Faith Matters, said: “There are a whole range of people here who are
saying the values we hold dear in Europe are under attack.
kind of values the Euro app has been pushing are the type of poison we have
seen with Al Muhajiroun in the uk.
know from the UK experience they have produced some of the most violent
extremists who have been exported globally. “These groups are now battling for
hearts and minds, their version of Islam is a twisted version and we must not
allow that to happen.” At one point last month, the Euro Fatwa App was ranked
55th in the German App Store.
specialist report has used evidence from the National’s investigations into the
report states: “Although Qaradawi has chosen not to be the supreme chief of the
Muslim Brotherhood, he is nonetheless its undisputed leader,taking Qatar as a
starting point for controlling minds and coordinating positions among the
branches of the organisation in different countries.
speeches have always been inflammatory and called for armed jihad.”
Paisley has renewed calls for the British government to ban the Muslim
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