and Iftar: Muslims to Pray, End Fast throughout Ramadan in Dubai’s Sikh Shrine
Cleric Apologizes For ‘Intolerant’ Views of Sahwa Movement
Islamic State Gets More Followers in South Asia, Lashkar Plans To Encircle
Is No Saffron or Islamic Terrorism, But ‘Government Terrorism’ In the Country,
Claims Muslim Body Chief
Dead in Explosion Targeting Elite Force Vehicle near Lahore's Data Darbar
Seeks ‘Detailed’ Apology from TLP’s Pir Afzal Qadri
Military Council Wants Islamic Sharia Law to Be Source of Legislation
Unit Seizes 'Mother of Satan' Bombs from Terrorist Hideouts
US Clash at UN over Uighur Detentions
School District Wants Teachers to Bless Muslim Students in Arabic during
Ramadan, Religious Liberty Group Claims
Iran to Resume Uranium Enrichment If World Powers Do Not Keep Promises
Sources: US Sending Aid for ISIL in Western Iraq
Army Reinforces Units in Aleppo after Turkish Army's Failed Attack
of Terrorists Killed in Foiled Attempt to Reopen Vital Road in Hama
Family Members Killed in US-Backed SDF Crime in Deir Ezzur
protests grow in Syria’s Deir al-Zor, say sources
coalition aircraft drop food, medicine to Daesh remnants in western Iraq:
Suspect, With Links To Abu Dujana, Deported From Doha; To Be Interrogated By NIA
has made many important contributions to Afghanistan's development: US
Syllabus for Education Institutions, Madrasas Approved
Community Praised For Cordial Ties with Kalash People
ties to benefit Pakistan as well as Afghanistan: Khalilzad
fire destroys four villages in South Sudan, kills 33
of Algerians hold first rally of Ramadan
shoots down military plane in Tripoli, holding Portuguese pilot
PM Conte warns against military action in Libya
panel links airstrikes on Libya’s government to UAE
Government of Somalia, U.S. target al-Shabaab terrorists
Says His Administration Is Serious About Moving the Capital from Jakarta
teams up with brand partners to help Malaysians for Ramadan and Hari Raya
Jakarta pedestrian bridge used for 'tarawih' to be demolished
Name Islamist Leader Bachtiar Nasir a Suspect in Money Laundering Case
Threatens Legal Action against Attempts to Delegitimize Election Result
Americans Most Favourable Towards Muslims: Report
says unannounced visit to Iraq is due to Iran ‘escalating activity’
says US sending carrier, bombers to Mideast is ‘psychological warfare’
Russia should counter US peace plan: Palestine
warns Arab activist of potential Saudi threat
Foreign Secretary under Scrutiny For ‘Lack Of Humanity’ Towards Palestinians
Ready to Reimpose Sanctions If Iran Breaches Nuclear Deal: Official
Regrets Policy On Libya Has Failed Since 2011 Invasion
wants to keep Iran nuclear deal alive, warns Tehran over negative actions
condemns surge in violence in Syria's Idlib
urges Libyan cease-fire during Ramadan
Shops in Sri Lanka Attacked As Tensions Remain After Easter Sunday Bombings
Lanka’s Bombed Church Partially Opens for Prayers
Lanka dismantles big part of bombers’ network, freezes assets
Lanka still faces threat of ISIS terror attacks: PM Wickremesinghe
arrests suspected IS militant back from Syria
Embassy releases details of Khalilzad’s interaction with Indian officials on
Afghan peace process
Says Newly-Developed Tactic Behind ‘Iron Dome’ Failure
Turn to EU to Counter Kushner Plan
says ‘transparent’ elections is in Turkey’s own interest
likely to send four bombers to the Middle East: officials
pres. defends Istanbul election re-run amid protests
by New Age Islam News Bureau
When muezzins recited the Adhan for Maghrib prayer in mosques on Monday — the first
day of Ramadan — the same call to prayer was heard at Dubai’s Guru Nanak Darbar
dozens of Sikhs enjoyed Langar (free community meal) sitting on the floor of
the community kitchen hall of the Sikh shrine, a group of Muslims ended their
fast seated at tables on another side of the hall.
Islamic scholar Hafeez Abdul Huq, who ended his fast with them, then led the
prayer (Salaat/Namaz) in separately arranged areas for men and women in the
same hall. He has agreed to lead the Maghrib prayer throughout Ramadan.
the Muslim expats, who were praying inside a place of worship belonging to
another religion for the first time, was none other than the head priest of the
the Year of Tolerance, the Gurudwara is organising Iftars at its premises
gurudwara, which provides free vegetarian meals three times a day to every
visitor irrespective of their background, has been hosting an interfaith iftar
during Ramadan for the past six years. However, this year, it was decided to
host daily iftars apart from the interfaith iftar on May 15, according to
Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of the gurudwara.
the primary aim was to cater to the Muslim workers in the locality, most of
those who arrived on the first day of Ramadan were those who learnt about it
from their friends or colleagues associated with the gurudwara.
from Karachi in Pakistan and Kerala in India, Awais Baig and Mohammad Sajeer
had never stepped inside a place of worship belonging to any religion other
a second chef at a Dubai hotel, was invited by his best friend and colleague
Kuldeep Kumar when the latter saw a social media post about the Iftar by the
am a Hindu, but I felt nice when I saw the post by the Gurudwara about this
iftar. I wanted Awais to visit the Gurudwara and join this special Iftar,”
said he was touched by the friendliness of the people and the whole experience.
“Indians here are very friendly. This experience has been very touching,” he
Sajeer, a PRO who came with two of his roommates in Deira, it was also an
occasion to learn more about another religion. “We went upstairs to see the
shrine. It is marvellous. We really appreciate this gesture by the Gurudwara to
spread peaceful coexistence among people of different religions,” he said.
Waqqas, another attendee, said this was an example that could be emulated by
all places of worship to improve religious camaraderie.
will bring out a lot of harmony among different religions especially at this
time when there is a lot of intolerance and hatred in the name of religion.”
one of the three female attendees, said she broke down when she heard the
scholar leading the prayer. “It was unbelievable. It just showed that you can
sit in any place and create your religion there.”
Singh, general manager of the Gurudwara, said snacks, fruits, and juices were
separately arranged for the iftar apart from the vegetarian langar meal which
has six items. “We are spreading the word. We hope more people, especially
workers, will join us for iftar in the coming days,” he said.
cleric apologizes for ‘intolerant’ views of Sahwa movement
A prominent figure in the Islamic Awakening (Sahwa) movement has apologized to
Saudi society for what he described as its offenses against Islam.
am today supportive of the moderate Islam, open to the world, which has been
called for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the Saudi cleric, scholar and
author Ayed Al-Qarni said.
invite the world to come over ... our religion was sent as a mercy and safety
to mankind,” he said during a Ramadan show on the Rotana Khalijia channel. “In
the name of Al-Sahwa, I apologize to Saudi society for the mistakes that have
contradicted the Qur’an and Sunnah, and contradicted the tolerance of Islam, a
Sahwa movement, which peaked in the 1990s, was a faction of Saudi Qutbism — an
Islamist ideology developed by Sayyid Qutb, the figurehead of the Muslim
was led by a number of hate preachers including Safar Al-Hawali and Salman
Al-Ouda. The movement’s origins stem from when Muslim Brotherhood members fled
prosecution in Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s, and sought refuge in Saudi Arabia.
demanded a bigger role for clergy in governing and a more conservative society
as a defense against Western cultural influences. They also opposed the
presence of US troops on “Muslim land.” In the same TV interview, Al-Qarni also
spoke of Qatar’s role in luring Sahwa clerics.
further away you are from our country (Saudi Arabia), the more they (Qataris)
like you... and give money, villas for those who oppose Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Islamic State gets more followers in South Asia, Lashkar plans to encircle
deep state is well versed in the art of intelligence warfare. Its human
intelligence-led inputs to the Sri Lankan establishment, though unutilised,
showed that they were on top of their game. India has been tracking the
National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) for sometime now. New Delhi moved with great
alacrity passing on direct actionable intelligence in the weeks and days
leading up to the Easter Sunday bombings. And this happened from material
accessed during interrogations of an ISIS suspect arrested in India.
Sri Lankan government even had a warning that Catholic churches were among the
possible targets. The suspect gave Indian investigators the name of a man -
Zahran Hashmi - he had trained, who is associated with a Sri Lankan extremist
group implicated in the bombings. The shadowy man, Zahran Hashim, was
identified in a video of the purported attackers released by ISIS, which
claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday macabre massacre.
met several top intelligence functionaries to piece together the emergence of
Sri Lanka as the new terror central. While doing so, it unearthed a gargantuan
and deep-seated Lashkar plot which goes back at least 14 years showing how LeT
had invested for years in Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and even Malaysia as part
of a larger encirclement strategy of India.
intelligence has been alive to this and has used all its skill sets and
ground-level inputs to mitigate the terror threat emanating from the island and
other neighbouring countries. It needs to be established here that ISI C Wing
and LeT are two sides of the same coin as far as jihad is concerned.
has been using Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK) as a proxy to radicalise unemployed
Muslim youth in Sri Lanka and coax them to join the NTJ. In parallel, India has
bolstered its security apparatus in Tamil Nadu and Kerala due to the strong
presence of NTJ members in these states.
rise of IS and its vile and noxious thought process of establishing a Caliphate
has found takers in Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives. At least 200-250
Maldivians have reportedly fought for the IS in trouble spots like Syria and
these are mules who make the trek to Yemen where they are further indoctrinated
and trained, then sent on wars sometimes to Mali and Chad for fighting or to
the combat zone in Iraq and Syria to fight under the IS flag.
Tokyo-based online magazine 'The Diplomat' validated this saying a December
2015 report by the Soufan Group, a private intelligence agency run by former
FBI agent-turned contractor Ali Soufan, put out a count of foreign fighters who'd
volunteered to fight for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Four South Asian
countries featured in that list - Malaysia, Pakistan, India, and the Maldives -
sending an estimated 393 fighters among them. It was the island nation in the
Indian Ocean that sent analysts and headlines into a tizzy with the rise of
radical Islam with its bent towards Salafist tendencies. It had by far the
highest per capita fighters in the sandbox.
Indian deep state has been following Islamic militancy in Sri Lanka, a fertile
breeding ground since 2004. The tipping point in the rise of Islamic
fundamentalism in the emerald isle has Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)'s hand prints all
over it. A special group headed by LeT's Muzzamil Bhat from Sialkot and his
lackeys made forays into Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka between 2005
and 2007, knowing fully well that these areas could be used to further their
agenda and to encircle India.
Bhat is one of the planners of 26/11 and is reported to be the architect of the
Chittisinghpora massacre. The entire construct of this plan to use these
countries as a launchpad to train terrorists was part of his larger
FBI in its 26/11 chargesheet named Bhat as D, a key LeT military commander, who
was involved in the Chittisinghpora massacre in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of
President Bill Clinton's visit to India in March 2000.
its second chargesheet, filed in a Chicago court, the FBI named an ISI officer,
Major Iqbal, and four LeT operatives - Sajid Majeed, Abu Qahafa, Abu Alqama and
the unknown Lashkar member 'D'. About 'D' the chargesheet states that after the
arrest of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in Pakistan in connection with the 26/11
attacks, he became the overall operational commander of LeT.
to FBI, 'D', who is yet to be arrested by Pakistan, was a handler of David
Coleman Headley. Headley told Indian investigators that Muzzamil was involved
in the Chittisinghpora massacre. In turn, Headley also said Muzzamil was most
trustworthy lieutenant of Lakhvi and apart from Chittisinghpora killings of
Sikhs, he planned the Akshardham temple attack in September 2002.
to Indian security establishment sources, Muzzamil is a Kashmiri born in 1976.
He is married and his family lives in the Gujranwala town of Pakistani Punjab.
on the other hand, is a planner and his understanding was that with Indian
intelligence and security forces keeping a close vigil on southern India in
those years, he reckoned that taking the training camps offshore would be a better
idea. SIMI was already active in southern India, they had set up a southern
chapter across the four states, while Bhatkal had become a new centrifuge.
central was moving from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to the southern part of
India. Hence Muzzamil arrived in Sri Lanka to test the waters and quickly
realised that there was traction amongst Tamil Muslims after the Tsunami, ditto
in Bangladesh among the Rohingyas between 2004-2008.
RAW which was extremely active in both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka did not allow
Bhat or his henchmen to stabilise their operations.
2011, ably abetted and assisted by ISI officer Amir Zubair Siddiqui (Counselor
in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo), a new name popped up on the radar
- Zakir Hussain - who began to actively consort with and recruit Tamil Muslims
on the island. The plan was to recruit them and unleash hell on diplomatic
missions in Chennai and Bangalore, but RAW once again found the scent and
pursued them to cut off their feed stock of financing, explosives and weapons.
engaged with Colombo and brought it up to speed on Siddiqui's shenanigans who
was then packed off from Sri Lanka. The diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui's plot
was to attack the US Consulate in Chennai, Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru,
Eastern Naval Command HQ in Visakhapatnam and ports across the country.
RAW had blown his cover, NIA moved in to chargesheet Siddiqui who was then visa
counselor at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo. Siddiqui was arrested for
allegedly conspiring to attack vital establishments in India and was quietly
withdrawn even before the NIA's request under Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty
(MLAT) reached Colombo.
terror plot was uncovered after the NIA police personnel arrested an ISI agent
Mohammed Zakir Hussain (37) through the 'Q' Branch of the Tamil Nadu police in
2013. The reason was that he was gathering details about vital installations in
Tamil Nadu and sent photographs to Siddiqui. Hussain used his counterparts
Sivabalan and Mohammad Salim to circulate fake currency in the state.
questioning, Hussain also confessed that he had also used Rafeeque (29) to pump
in fake Indian currency in the state.
much larger network of Maldivians, Sri Lankan Muslims and Malaysian Tamils was
discovered through this overarching probe. The hunters caught up with the
quarry - Zakir Hussain - and another lynchpin was caught in Malaysia and the
cartel was busted. Muzzamil Bhat was the spider who spun the web across the
three countries and began the process of indoctrination in Sri Lanka. His
tireless efforts paid dividends for he planted the seeds as far back as the mid
2000s. He was the first to connect the dots between Thowheed Jamaat which
proselytises (mainly among the Tamil community), fights for "pure
Islam" and actively promotes construction of mosques in Tamil Nadu and Sri
Lankan Tamil Muslim areas.
Ulema Council president Maulana Aamir Rashadi, who is fighting against the
'atankgarh' tag to the city, Tuesday, claimed that there is no saffron or
Islamic terrorism, but "government terrorism" in the country.
also claimed that there is a conspiracy to make Muslims "untouchable"
have been fighting for the cause of innocent Muslim youths killed in encounters
or lodged in jails. I feel there is no saffron or Islamic terror. There is
'sarkari atankwad' (government terrorism) in the country," he told PTI.
is a conspiracy going on to make Muslims untouchable in politics and isolate
them," Rashadi, who is not active in this elections due to illness, told
claimed that there is no difference between the Congress and the BJP, who are
competing with each other to tag Muslims as "traitors".
the parties are targeting the community in the name of terrorism. They appear
to be sympathisers of the community but have made their policy to tag Muslims
as traitors and anti-nationals," Rashadi said.
is done to make Muslims politically untouchable so that the leadership among
them does not stand, and with the tag of terrorist they cannot not join any
government," he said.
BJP leader Sadhvi Pragya's claim that she was framed in false cases by
agencies, Rashadi said, "I am saying the same thing...if she was not
involved (in the 2008 Malegaon blast) it means our agencies did it and framed
her. Similar is the case with Muslim youths who are framed by our
asked about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's allegation that the
Samajwadi Party had turned Azamgarh into 'atankgarh' (hub of terrorism), he
said following the Batla House encounter, "we ran a campaign and made it a
symbol, forcing politicians to accept it as fake."
CM has now realised that the encounter was fake and Azamgarh was named
'atankgarh'," Rashadi said.
claimed that Congress leader Salman Khurshid had said UPA chairperson Sonia
Gandhi had tears in her eyes when she knew about the encounter and Digvijaya
Singh had accepted that the encounter was fake.
during an election meeting here last month had alleged that the Samajwadi Party
had turned Azamgarh, which was once known in the field of education and
literature, into a 'atankgarh'.
maulana said, "He will continue to fight for the cause of Muslim youths
framed by agencies and continue with his demand for a probe in the Balta
asked about the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, Rashadi said the Muslim community has
the "experience and will vote wisely".
said he has given the command of his organisation to the second line due to his
phases of polling are over in Uttar Pradesh and two more phases are left to
elect 80 MPs from the state.
in explosion targeting Elite Force vehicle near Lahore's Data Darbar
least eight people — five policemen and three civilians — were killed and 26
others injured in what officials described as a suicide bombing targeting an
Elite Force van detailed to the security of the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore on
blast took place at 8:45am in the proximity of the police mobile, which was
parked near Gate 2 of Data Darbar. Police officials said they suspect the blast
was a suicide attack and that the police mobile was the target. An initial
probe has revealed that the bomb contained seven kilograms of explosive
Edward Medical University Vice Chancellor Professor Khalid Gondal said the
death toll had risen to nine, while the condition of four of the injured is
critical. Some of the wounded have also been admitted to Mayo Hospital, where
an emergency has been imposed.
added that seven bodies were at Mayo Hospital while two were at the morgue in
King Edward Medical University.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz confirmed that five Elite Force
personnel were martyred in the blast.
told reporters that the attack "100 per cent targeted police", noting
that police are posted near the shrine around the clock to provide security. He
said that authorities had maintained a general security alert, but there had
been no specific warning about a threat to the shrine.
IGP said the attacker could have caused more damage because of the direction he
had approached from, but he made a beeline for the police car stationed in the
area for protection of the shrine.
rescue operation was conducted in the area before it was cordoned off for
investigation. The shrine was evacuated, with devotees moved out through exits
away from the blast site. Entry to Data Darbar has since been restricted.
heavy contingent of police, Counter-Terrorism Department and forensic officials
are collecting evidence from the site of the attack. The IGP said police will
share their findings once they conclude their probe.
regional police officers and city police officers have been directed to examine
security in their respective areas and remain alert during the month of
Ramazan. Police have also set up checkpoints on main thoroughfares leading to
the shrine and hospitals have been placed on alert, officials told Reuters.
Minister Imran Khan condemned the loss of lives in the attack, expressing grief
and condoling with the victims’ families for their loss.
to the DIG Operations Lahore, 306 police officials in the city have so far lost
their lives in the line of duty.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry into
the incident, summoning reports from the Punjab Inspector General of Police and
the additional chief secretary of interior, according to a handout issued by
the Punjab government.
chief minister also called a high-level meeting at the Punjab Safe City
Headquarters and cancelled his scheduled visits to Bhakkar, Sargodha and
offered his condolences to the families of the victims and instructed
administrations to provide the injured with the best facilities for treatment.
Darbar, also known as Data Ganjh Bakhsh, is one of the country's most popular
Sufi shrines where Sufi saint Ali Hajveri is buried. Pakistanis in large
numbers visit the shrine, where a pair of suicide attacks in 2010 killed and
wounded dozens of people.
seeks ‘detailed’ apology from TLP’s Pir Afzal Qadri
two-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed the counsel
for Pir Afzal Qadri – former leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) who is
currently facing a treason case – to submit a detailed apology over his
incendiary remarks that he had made during a protest against the Supreme
Court’s decision to acquit blasphemy accused Asia Bibi.
firebrand cleric was booked under sedition and terrorism charges in Gujrat and
taken into “protective custody” by the state during a crackdown in November
2018 after the TLP announced it would observe martyrs’ day on November 25,
2018. During the hearing of a bail plea filed by Qadri and TLP chief Khadim
Hussain Rizvi – whose earlier applications were rejected by an anti-terrorism
court – Justice Qasim Ali Khan directed his counsel, Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry,
to submit the attested apology letter by today (Wednesday).
the onset of the hearing, the court rejected the counsel’s plea to not
highlight the apology letter, and directed the counsel to read it out in the
court. “He [Qadri] should have thought about it when he was using the
mic[rophone],” Justice Khan added. Chaudhry then read out the apology, after
which the court directed him to define the “harsh words” used in the apology
letter. The counsel said that according to the record, Qadri had said that the
three judges [who acquitted Asia Bibi] were liable to be killed, Prime Minister
Imran Khan was a Zionist agent and that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General
Qamar Javed Bajwa’s orders should not be followed by his subordinates.
Khan observed that the comments were incitement to violence. “Saying such
things about army generals – what is it if not treason?” the judge asked.
reiterated that Qadri had apologised in his letter, but Justice Asjad Javed
Ghural pointed out that “he had declared that the judges of the higher
judiciary deserve to be killed”.
Afzal Qadri should have sought an apology over the labels uttered against
judges and generals,” Justice Khan added.
court directed the counsel to contact his client over telephone for fresh
instructions about a more detailed apology. The lawyer did so, and told the court
that Qadri would file a more detailed apology letter today [Wednesday].
military council wants Islamic Sharia law to be source of legislation
military rulers said on Tuesday they generally agreed with proposals made by
protest leaders on the structure of an interim government, but want Islamic
Sharia laws and local norms to guide legislation.
whose months of street demonstrations helped force longtime President Omar
al-Bashir from office last month have kept up their demands for change, calling
on the military officers, who took over, to hand over power to civilians.
to a draft constitutional document presented by a coalition of protest groups
and political parties, the ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) noted
that the document omitted Sharia law.
view is that Islamic Sharia and the local norms and traditions in the Republic
of Sudan should be the sources of legislation,” TMC spokesman Lieutenant
General Shams El Din Kabbashi told reporters.
also said the council believes that the power to declare a state of emergency
in the country should go to the sovereign authority, not the Cabinet as the opposition
suggested. The transitional period should last two years, not four, which was
the opposition’s proposal, he said.
with the opposition were ongoing, but calling early elections within six months
would be an option if they could not reach an agreement, Kabbashi said.
intelligence chief Salah Gosh was under house arrest, he added.
council member said more than four members of the TMC had resigned and that the
TMC was dismantling an unofficial militia group, known as Popular Security,
which was operated by Bashir’s party.
came after Sudanese forces seized explosives belts, guns including rifles
fitted with silencers, devices used to detonate explosives remotely and
satellite telephones in a raid on a property in the capital Khartoum, on Monday
TMC said on Tuesday that those weapons belonged to Popular Security.
Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, an alliance of activists and
opposition groups, sent the military council the draft constitutional document
on Thursday outlining its vision for the transitional period.
on Tuesday, the main group spearheading protests in Sudan said that the TMC had
responded to its plans for an interim government structure, and it would
announce its position once it had studied the reply.
Farid, a spokesman for the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has
played the leading role in the protests, said the council had sent a written
will study the response and will announce our position later,” Farid told
constitutional draft, seen by Reuters, describes the duties of a sovereign
transitional council that the opposition groups hope will replace the TMC but
does not specify who would sit on it. It also outlines the responsibilities of
the Cabinet and a 120-member legislature.
military removed Bashir on April 11 after months of demonstrations against his
Unit Seizes 'Mother of Satan' Bombs From Terrorist Hideouts
A police spokesman said on Monday the National Police's anti-terror unit Densus
88 had seized home-made bombs containing a highly explosive substance called
triaceton triperoxide, also known as the "Mother of Satan," and
arrested six suspected terrorists during a series of raids in West and Central
Java last weekend.
Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the six suspected terrorists are members of Jamaah
Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Islamic State-affiliated group led by 34-year-old
Solihin alias Abu Faiza.
police have been pursuing Solihin, suspected of involvement in a series of
terrorist attacks – including the Thamrin bombing in Jakarta in January 2016 –
in the past three years.
88 raided suspected terrorist hideouts in Bekasi, West Java, and Tegal, Central
Java, on Saturday and Sunday. They captured Solihin in Pondok Ungu near Bekasi
on Saturday along with A.H. alias Abah, a bombmaker, and M.J., another
suspected terrorist. Solihin himself is also known in terrorist circle as a
to Dedi, Solihin was the leader of two terrorist cells that were plotting to
launch an attack that will exploit a people power protest planned by
disgruntled supporters of presidential nominee Prabowo Subianto.
General Elections Commission (KPU) is scheduled to announce the results of its
official vote count, which currently has Prabowo lagging behind incumbent
president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, on May 22.
government on Monday had threatened legal action against individuals or
organizations that attempt to delegitimize the result from KPU's official vote
said Solihin's highly structured terrorist cells are unique among other JAD
groups that usually prefer to launch "lone wolf-style" attacks.
is part of a JAD group from Lampung known for its strong organizational
structure. They swore allegiance to JAD leader Amman Abdurahman in 2014 and had
been working under the supervision of Zainul Arifin, who was arrested in
Lamongan [East Java]. The group met in Malang [East Java] in November 2015 and
after that they launched the attack in Jakarta [in January 2016]," Dedi
police had already captured Amman Abdurahman, who is now on death row.
and his group went on the run after the Thamrin attack but then got themselves
involved in several other terror attacks, including a deadly prison riot at the
Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Depok, West Java, in May last
year, during which five Densus 88 officers and one convicted terrorist were
in the Brimob prison riot confessed Solihin was their leader," Dedi said.
escaped to Papua to establish a terrorist training camp and then returned to
Java and Sulawesi to form two new terrorist cells – one in Bekasi and one in
Poso, Central Sulawesi – in early 2019.
seemed to have disappeared under the security forces' radar until Densus 88
arrested two suspected terrorists, R.H. and M., in Bitung, North Sulawesi, on
and M. are members of Solihin’s Poso cell and were going to join up with the
East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT), a militant group led by Ali Kalora, when they
collected by Densus 88 from the Bitung raid led to Solihin's arrest in Bekasi
of Satan' Bombs
was assisting Solihin to make bombs containing the highly explosive triaceton
triperoxide (TATP), a substance known also as the "Mother of Satan."
same ingredient was used in the Surabaya church bombings in May last year and
in several daring attacks on police stations in Java and Sumatra.
police have also named another captured terrorist with the ability to assemble
home-made bombs, F a.k,a. Samuel. His expertise in making bombs is rated higher
than Solihin or 35-year-old T., who detonated a bomb to avoid arrest in Bekasi
on Sunday but only managed to kill himself.
said Solihin's terror groups were planning to launch several attacks in Jakarta
of them was a plan to send a suicide bomber to the Jati Asih police station in
Bekasi, an attack intended to encourage other terror cells to follow suit, Dedi
planned to attack on-duty police officers, wounding or killing them, and
seizing their weapons," Dedi said.
group had already plotted the attack in great details, including drawing a map
that was found during the weekend raid.
plot was hatched to exploit a people power protest planned by dissatisfied
supporters of Prabowo Subianto.
attack is again intended to mobilize other terrorist cells in Indonesia.
said JAD is likely try to use the momentum to encourage other terror cells to
launch more attacks, "probably" using suicide bombers.
US clash at UN over Uighur detentions
NATIONS: China angrily assailed the United States on Tuesday for calling on
countries at the United Nations to deprive Beijing of a seat at a UN forum over
its treatment of the Uighur minority.
was the second time in as many weeks that the two countries openly clashed at
the United Nations over the rights of the Uighurs and other mostly Muslim
minorities held in camps in China’s Xianjiang region.
week, the United States invited the head of the World Uighur Congress, Dolkun
Isa, to address the UN forum on indigenous peoples, infuriating China.
diplomat Courtney Nemoff said ahead of elections on Tuesday that China’s
treatment of Uighurs should be a factor in deciding on membership to the UN
forum tasked with protecting indigenous people worldwide.
United States is alarmed that more than a million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs,
Kyrgyz, and other Muslims have suffered arbitrary detention, forced labor,
torture, and death in camps in China’s Xinjiang” region, said Nemoff.
atrocities must be stopped. We call on member states to bear this in mind in
this important forum.”
Chinese diplomat took the floor to strongly reject the US statement.
US representative made an unreasonable accusation against China and defamation
against China,” he said, expressing Beijing’s “strong displeasure over this and
our firm opposition to it.”
the US appeal, China’s candidate, Zhang Xiaoan, was elected by acclamation to
the 16-member UN forum along with four other representatives from Burundi,
Namibia, Denmark and Russia.
claims the camps in Xinjiang are “vocational training centers” to steer people
away from extremism and reintegrate them, in a region plagued by violence
blamed on Uighur separatists or Islamists.
his address at the UN, Isa said Uighurs were being rounded up to live in “an
open-air prison,” deprived of their religious rights and freedom.
Chinese diplomat told the meeting that Isa was a “terrorist designated by the
Chinese government” and supported by the US, which “is utilising him to attack
and defame China, with no basis at all.”
United States was among a group of countries that asked UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres to raise the plight of the Uighurs during his visit to China
told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that “human rights must be fully
respected in the against terrorism,” according to UN spokesman Stephane
school district wants teachers to bless Muslim students in Arabic during
Ramadan, religious liberty group claims
religious liberty advocacy group is threatening to slap a Seattle-area school
district with a lawsuit claiming the district has urged teachers to bless
Muslim students in Arabic during the holy month of Ramadan and give them
preferential treatment, including skipping tests.
Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) claims the Dieringer School District
is officially endorsing Islam and is following a script by the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that urges schools to make special
accommodations for Muslim students and to wish them "Ramadan
Mubarak," which means "Happy Ramadan," or "Ramadan
Kareem," which means "Have a generous Ramadan."
CAIR guidelines also instruct teachers to monitor Muslim students fasting and
suggests teachers not schedule any tests on the Islamic holidays of Eid Al-Fitr
and Eid Al-Adha.
urging teachers to bless Muslim students in Arabic, the district is running
roughshod over the First Amendment’s mandate of government neutrality toward
religion,” said Daniel Piedra, FCDF’s executive director. “A school district
would never order teachers to ‘welcome’ Catholic students during Easter with
‘He is risen, alleluia!’ Singling out Muslim students for special treatment is
defense fund claims Dieringer Superintendent Judy Martinson blindly followed
the recommendations of CAIR and "enacted the letter as official district
policy." The defense fund sent Martinson a letter stating their complaints
after a teacher and parent complained about the new procedure.
May 6 letter also warned Martinson about CAIR's anti-semitic advocacy and
alleged ties to radical Islamists, which the group has long denied.
did not respond to Fox News' request for comment. However, she put out a
statement to members of the school district later Tuesday, writing: "The
Dieringer School District has not and would not violate the First Amendment by
endorsing any religious observations. Be
assured that we respect the personal beliefs of you and your family."
News also has obtained a March 14 email from Martinson's official account to
district officials including school principals, forwarding a CAIR letter with
suggested guidelines for schools.
Hooper, national communications director for CAIR, the nation's largest Muslim
civil rights and advocacy organization, told Fox News the pushback from FCDF
was a "sign of the growing Islamophobia in our nation that showing respect
for and accommodating the religious traditions of Muslim students could result
in punitive legal action."
in America means recognizing the wide variety of holidays celebrated by
students of different faiths and backgrounds, including by saying 'Merry
Christmas,' 'Happy Hanukkah,' 'Happy Diwali,' or 'Ramadan Mubarak,'"
there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits public schools from
accommodating students' religious exercise to the extent it would not interfere
with educational interests, FCDF claims that by issuing CAIR recommendations to
district employees, Martinson "acted under color of state law to create an
official policy that has a primary effect of advancing religion. The Ramadan
Policy, in both adoption and implementation, plainly imposes liability on the
District under the United States and Washington Constitutions."
also takes issue with the suggestion that schools skip tests on Eid Al-Fitr and
Eid Al-Adha and claims CAIR is trying to justify celebrating the days by
"falsely contending these holidays should receive similar treatment to
approach is wrong for two reasons. First, adding Islamic holidays does not
further the district’s educational mission and academic goals. Recognizing
holidays is constitutional only if the purpose is to provide secular
instruction about religious traditions, rather than to promote the particular
religion involved. Second, CAIR’s recommendation that teachers schedule tests
around Eid Al-Fitr and Eid would alleviate no burden on Muslim students,"
marked the start of Ramadan, a monthlong celebration that began in the seventh
century and commemorates Allah, the Arabic name for God. Muslims are expected
to pray at night, fast during the day and abstain from sexual activity between
sunrise and sunset.
Iran to resume uranium enrichment if world powers do not keep promises
will resume high level enrichment of uranium if world powers did not protect
its interests against US sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
a speech broadcast on national television, Rouhani said the remaining signatories
- Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia - had 60 days to make good on
their promises to protect Iran’s oil and banking sectors.
response, France’s defense minister said on Wednesday it wanted to keep the
Iran 2015 nuclear deal alive and warned that if Iran were to not keep to its
commitments then the question of triggering a mechanism that could lead to
sanctions would be on the table.
to BFM TV, Florence Parly said nothing would be worse than Iran withdrawing
from the deal and that France ,Britain and Germany were doing all they could to
keep the accord alive.
has written to the leaders of those countries, saying it will start rolling
back some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday, and will
no longer sell enriched uranium and heavy water to other nations. “If the five
countries came to the negotiating table and we reached an agreement, and if
they could protect our interests in oil and banking sectors, we will go back to
square one (and will resume our commitments),” Rouhani said.
warned of a firm response if Iran’s nuclear case is referred again to the
United Nations Security Council, but said Tehran was ready for negotiations
over its nuclear program. “The Iranian people and the world should know that
today is not the end of the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, using the acronym for the
nuclear deal. “These are actions in line with the JCPOA.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also tweeted “After a year of patience,
Iran stops measures that US has made impossible to continue.”
President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year, and subsequently
re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran, including on its lifeblood oil exports with
the stated intent of reducing them to zero and starving Iran’s economy.
at the French presidency said on Tuesday that international sanctions could be
re-imposed on Iran if it reneges on commitments under its nuclear deal.
US troops have sent foodstuff and medicine for the ISIL terrorists in
al-Anbar's Western Sahara, the Arabic-language al-Malou'ma News Website quoted
Qasa al-Anbari as saying.
pointed to the vast area and difficult terrain of al-Anbar province, and said
the only way of access to the areas where the ISIL terrorists are stationed
goes through air and the US military choppers are the only aircraft flying to
the region and supplying the ISIL militants with aid consignment.
sources have repeatedly reported the US choppers' attempts to send military
shipments to the ISIL in Salahuddin, Falluja, Mosul, and Diarli as well as
relocating the ISIL commanders to safe regions.
a relevant development on Sunday, The ISIL's plan to start new terrorist cells
in Iraq was foiled after its recent defeats in region, a senior security
official said, adding that a senior terrorist commander was killed in the
of Iraq' Intelligence and Internal Security Abu Ali al-Basri told the
Arabic-language al-Sabah newspaper that Iraqi intelligence forces managed to
thwart ISIL's scheme to regain power and form new groups to start a new wave of
insecurities in Nineveh province.
said that during the operations, which was carried out in cooperation with
Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Sha'abi), several terrorists,
including their notorious commander Vahid Amineh who is accused of
orchestrating massacre of tens of civilians in the cities of Mosul and Tal
Afar, have been killed.
also reiterated that the details of the operations and confessions by the
captured terrorists will be released soon.
Army Reinforces Units in Aleppo After Turkish Army's Failed Attack
Syrian Army sent a massive military convoy comprising over 200 government
troops and military vehicles carrying military equipment from al-Hamdaniyeh
region in Aleppo to the town of Ahras and Tal Raf'at in Northern Aleppo,
reinforcing their military positions, battlefield sources in Northern Aleppo
sources noted that the measure was launched in line with preparing the Syrian
Army for any possible attack after warding off an attack by Turkish Army and
its allied militants on the government forces' positions in Mar'anaz region in
a relevant development on Sunday, an informed security source in Syria said the
Ankara-backed terrorists stationed near the town of Mar'anaz in Aleppo launched
false-flag rocket and artillery attacks against the Turkish army positions
inside Syria to give pretext to Turkey to pound the Syrian army points,
source was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel as saying
that the Ankara-backed terrorists advanced towards the Syrian army positions in
Mar'anaz with the Turkish army's heavy artillery backup but they were
surrounded by the Syrian army forces and a number of them were killed and
wounded in clashes between the two sides.
added that the terrorists called for the Turkish army assistance, but the
Turkish soldiers were trapped in a mine field in the region and a number of them
source said that the Turkish side urged Russia to mediate a ceasefire to
collect the wounded Turkish soldiers, adding that the Turkish army operations
in Northern Aleppo were aimed at delaying the Syrian army's long-awaited
military operations in Idlib province which was due to start on Monday.
added that the Ankara-backed militants conducted the operations after Turkey's
green light, noting that over 200 Syrian army forces have been killed during
suspicious moves by the Turkish side and offensives by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at
(the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) in the past 4 months.
the Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted the Afrin Liberation Forces as saying
that during clashes between them and the Turkish army and Ankara-backed
militants in Mar'anaz, al-Malekiyeh and al-Shawareqah in al-Shahba region in
Northern Aleppo, 40 militants and a Turkish soldier were killed and 30 others
development came after Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the
Damascus government “will not allow Turkey to control even one centimeter of
the Syrian territory”, stressing that Ankara should know that “Damascus will
not accept the survival of militant groups” in Syria’s Northwestern province of
Damascus government’s resolution is to liberate every inch of the Syrian
territory, and Idlib is no exception,” Mekdad told al-Mayadeen television news
added, “The Turks and others should know that the Syrian government is
determined to recover all of Syrian soil. Turkey must also understand that its
support for terrorism and its occupation of the Syrian territory will not
groups of elite militants of Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) attacked the Syrian Army's military positions to
retake control of the regions that they have lost in Northwestern Hama in Tal
Osman and al-Asar axes, the Arabic-language version of the Russian Sputnik news
agency quoted a military source as saying.
source pointed to fierce clashes and dispatch of militants and military equipment
to battlefronts, and said that at least 70 militants were killed and injured in
airstrikes by the Russian and Syrian bombers.
another military source said that the Syrian Army took control of the strategic
Osman Hill (Tal Osman) and its surrounding areas, and managed to cut the vital
line of movement connecting two main bases of the terrorists in Qala al-Maziq
and Kafr Naboudeh.
pointed to the recent advances by the Syrian Army towards borders with Idlib,
and said that the Syrian Army intends to cut the terrorists' lines connecting
Idlib and Lattakia by taking full control of the strategic Kobani region in
a relevant development earlier this month, the terrorists stationed in Hama,
launched tens of rocket attacks on residential areas in the town of
al-Saqilbieh and the village of al-Khandaq in Sahl al-Ghab in Western Hama,
killing and injuring several people.
response to the terrorists' attacks, the Syrian Army's artillery and missile
units heavily pounded the terrorists' military positions in the town of
al-Sahrieh in Shahshabou in Northern Hama, destroying their military positions
and hideouts as well as killing and injuring a number of them.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, meantime, reported that the Syrian and
Russian air forces launched heavy attacks on terrorists' military positions and
movements in al-Maziq Qala and al-Havash in Western Hama and around al-Bashireh
village in Jisr al-Shoghour in Western Idlib which resulted in the destruction
of several key targets, including an arms and military equipment depot.
group of SDF militants backed by American helicopters raided the house of a
civilian in the town of Zaman in Eastern Deir Ezzur, Al-Watan newspaper quoted
media activists in Eastern Syria as saying.
SDF militants took out the entire family, including a pregnant woman, they
activists reiterated that killing of the Syrian civilians in Deir Ezzur was one
of the most horrendous ones which was backed by the US, and said that the SDF
prevented the people from helping the family.
the town of Zaman has been the scene of popular protests against the SDF and
the occupying US troops.
the residents of Hasan town demanded expulsion of SDF militants by holding
popular protests amid revolts against the occupying forces in Eastern Deir
a relevant development on Monday, the residents of a region in Raqqa province
expelled the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces amid intensified popular
protests by civilians against the SDF, local sources said.
people in the village of Jadideh Kahit East of al-Katameh town in Eastern Raqqa
clashed with a group of Syrian Democratic Forces who were arresting civilians
in the region and expelled from the region, local sources in Raqqa said.
sources pointed to intensified differences and tensions among civilians and
Kurdish forces in Raqqa, and said two SDF militants were killed in a bomb blast
carried out by unknown assailants in al-Shaher village in Eastern Raqqa.
Deir Ezzur province, meantime, the residents of the towns of Sweidan Jazira,
Geranij, al-Mavilah and al-Hasin as well as the villages of Jadid Akidat and
Jadid Bekareh in Eastern and Southeastern Deir Ezzur revolted against the SDF
and their plundering of oil reserves.
inhabitants of Syria’s Deir al-Zor began a third week of protests against
Kurdish rule, the largest wave of unrest to sweep the oil-rich region since the
US-backed forces took over the territory from ISIS extremist group nearly 18
months ago, residents, witnesses and tribal figures said.
protests which erupted weeks ago in several towns and villages from Busayrah to
Shuhail have now spread to remaining areas where most of the oilfields are
located in the SDF controlled part of Deir al-Zor, east of the Euphrates.
residents under YPG rule who have been complaining of lack of basic services
and discrimination against them in local administrations run by Kurdish
officials have been growing restive in recent months.
forcible conscription of youths into the SDF as well as the fate of thousands
imprisoned in their jails have been major bones of contention, according to
residents and tribal figures.
repressive rule has turned many against them,” said Abdul Latif al-Okaidat, a
protests took a violent turn when angry mobs took to the streets and disrupted
the routes of convoys of trucks loaded with oil from nearby fields that cross
into government held areas.
some villages, SDF forces fired at angry protesters.
to the theft of our oil!” chanted demonstrators in the town of Greinej, part of
the Arab-Sunni tribal heartland seized over a year ago by the Pentagon-backed
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia.
YPG has long sold crude oil to the Syrian government of President Bashar
al-Assad, with whom it maintains close economic ties and exports wheat and
other commodities through several crossings between their territory.
stepping up of oil sales to alleviate a fuel crunch facing Damascus has
infuriated the local Arab protesters, with many placards saying they were being
“robbed” of their wealth.
are deprived of everything while the Kurds are selling our oil to help the
regime and enriching themselves,” said Abdullah Issa, a protester from
most productive fields are now in Kurdish hands since the YPG extended control
over large swathes of north eastern Syria after capturing the city of Raqqa
from ISIS in late 2017.
Syrian government controls areas west of the Euphrates river that are less
endowed with oil resources.
say Washington has also in recent weeks tightened efforts to clamp down on
small shipments of oil by smuggler networks that are exported across the
Euphrates river to traders working on behalf of the Syrian government.
SDF has not publicly commented on the most serious challenge so far to its rule
over tens of thousands of Arabs. The YPG has sought to redress decades of
repression against minority Kurds under Syria’s Arab Baath party.
commander in-chief Mazloum Kobani, in remarks that seem to refer to the unrest,
said his group was the only “institution that had steered away from any form of
protests persisted after YPG commanders failed to make significant concessions
to tribal figures who gathered at their invitation last Friday in the city of
Ain Issa, two attendees said.
the Arabs demands were ending forcible conscription, releasing detainees and
stopping oil sales from their region to the Syrian government.
risks of wider confrontation were now growing, analysts say.
protests are now more organized and wider with a higher ceiling and developing
gradually to a popular uprising where people are asking to be ruled by
themselves and ending Kurdish hegemony,” said Feras Allawi, a political analyst
from the area.
US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has
reportedly dropped foodstuff and medical supplies to the remnants of the Daesh
Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and on the border
with conflict-plagued Syria.
al-Maalomah news agency, quoting Qusay al-Anbari, a spokesman for Iraq's Badr
Organization -- a part of the Popular Mobilization Forces better known by the
common word Hashd al-Sha’abi, reported on Monday that Daesh terrorists are
hiding in the heart of Anbar desert area, and could only be reached by US-led
report then cited locals, requesting not to be named, as saying that they have
seen US-led coalition aircraft dropping food and medicine to the Daesh
on February 17, local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news
agency SANA that US-led military helicopters had landed in the Dashisha area of
Syria’s eastern province of Hasakah as well as Hajin town in Dayr al-Zawr
province, and transported dozens of Daesh commanders and militants to unknown
locations following a deal.
sources added that the extremists, in return, directed the US-led forces to
their caches of stolen gold east of Shaddadi town.
citing information received from local residents, reported on November 13 last
year that American helicopters had evacuated several Daesh terrorists from the
village of al-Suwayda in Hasakah to an unknown location.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and operations against what are
said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any
authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.
suspect, with links to Abu Dujana, deported from Doha; to be interrogated by
Chauhan and Ramesh Babu
Islamic State suspect with alleged links to Riyas Aboobacker alias Abu Dujana —
a member of IS’ Kasargod module in Kerala who was arrested last week — was
deported from Doha on Tuesday evening, an Intelligence Bureau official familiar
with the development said.
National Investigation Agency took the custody of the man, identified as
Faisal, as soon as he was brought to Delhi.
official said, Faisal, also a native of Kerala, had been in regular touch with
Aboobacker, who was arrested last week. The latter was allegedly planning
suicide attacks in Kerala after being inspired by the mastermind of Sri Lanka
bombings, Maulvi Zahran Bin Hashim, leader of National Towheed Jama’at (NTJ).
IB officer said Aboobacker had convinced three-four persons from Kerala and
Tamil Nadu to follow Zahran Hashim’s radical speeches and Faisal could be one
could also be in touch with Abdul Rashid Abdulla, the leader of Kerala’s Kasargod
ISIS module, in which 22 persons including women and children had travelled to
Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province to fight for the ISIS,” said the officer.
added that Faisal’s name cropped up during the interrogation of Aboobacker, who
is still in NIA custody, following which Faisal has been deported to Delhi from
Doha with government’s diplomatic efforts.
suspect that IS members, including Aboobacker, Faisal, Abdulla (in Afghanistan)
and others were planning something big in India as well.
first reported by HT, the members of Coimbatore module and Kasargod module of
IS in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively, were either in touch with Sri Lanka
attacks mastermind or followed his speeches.
Hashim and another Sri Lanka bomber, Mohammad Azaan, had travelled to India in
2017 and 2018 to discuss the plans of Islamic State.
April 21 Sri Lanka attacks, which claimed the lives of over 250 people, there
has been a major crackdown on suspects in both the southern states.
to the NIA, Aboobacker has disclosed that he wanted to carry out “suicide
attacks” in Kerala.
will be confronted with Faisal, said the second IB officer.
NIA has claimed Aboobacker followed speeches/videos of Zahran Hashim for more
than a year and had also followed the speeches of Zakir Naik.
revealed that he was also having online chat with Abdul Khayoom alias Abu
Khalid (suspect in the Valapattanam ISIS case) who was believed to be in
Syria,” the NIA stated in a statement last week.
DELHI: The US on Tuesday said its Special Representative for Afghan peace
Zalmay Khalilzad has recognised the many important contributions India has made
to Afghanistan's development in his talks with top Indian government officials
during his two-day visit here.
held consultations with Indian government officials and other stakeholders on
the Afghan peace process during his May 6-7 visit here, the US Embassy said.
Khalilzad met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor
Ajit Doval, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, and India's ambassador to
Afghanistan Vinay Kumar, among others.
his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad welcomed expressions of support for the
Afghan peace process, which strengthens an emerging international consensus for
peace efforts. He also recognized the many important contributions India has
made to Afghanistan's development," the embassy said in a statement.
said Khalilzad and his counterparts discussed the many important benefits that
peace would bring, which include preventing international terrorists use of
Afghanistan as a platform for attacks, improving prospects for regional peace
and security and increasing regional connectivity and trade.
Khalilzad and his counterparts also discussed that Afghanistan's political
future is for Afghans to decide through an inclusive and legitimate
process," the embassy said.
also agreed that Afghan gains of the last 18 years must be preserved and built
upon. Ambassador Khalilzad will continue to consult with Indian counterparts as
the peace process moves forward," it added.
has been holding talks with the Taliban in Qatari capital Doha to hammer out a
deal to bring lasting peace and stability to war-ravaged Afghanistan.
week, the US officials held their sixth round of talks with the Taliban to end
the over 17-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
March, India conveyed to the US that it should not withdraw its troops from
Afghanistan without putting in place an elected "political structure"
to govern the country.
powers such as the US, Russia and Iran have been reaching out to the Taliban as
part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process.
has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in
a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in "non
official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow in
November last year which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.
conference organised by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan
as well as from several other countries, including the US, Pakistan and China.
The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved a uniform curriculum for all education
institutions in the country, including 30,000 madressahs (religious
a meeting, the cabinet vowed that there would be no power load-shedding during
Ramazan. It also decided to renew licences of mobile cell phone companies for
15 years which will fetch $1.3 billion.
cabinet approved installation of automatic metering system to revamp power
supply and distribution system and overcome the issue of circular debt forever.
the expected approval for the appointment of Syed Shabbar Zaidi as chairman of
the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was not given as the summary regarding his
appointment was not presented before the cabinet.
a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Special Assistant to the Prime
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the
cabinet held a thorough discussion on the uniform syllabus for all education
institutions in the country, including 30,000 seminaries which are presently
being run under the umbrella of Wifaqul Madaris.
Awan was accompanied by Federal Minister for Energy Umar Ayub.
is the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to enforce a uniform curriculum
across the country,” the special assistant said.
said the government did not want to bring all madressahs under its supervision,
but they would be attached to the government. “The government will also monitor
bank transactions and foreign funding of religious seminaries,” she added.
since an initiative by the government of former president retired Gen Pervez
Musharraf, many attempts have been made in the country to bring religious
seminaries under the ambit of the government and to introduce uniform syllabus
across the country, but all such efforts remained in vain.
for Energy Umar Ayub claimed that there would be no power load-shedding during
Ramazan. He said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had
proposed 3.4 per cent increase in electricity charges, but the government had
increased it by 1.87pc with an assurance that the revised rate would not be
applied to 75 per cent consumers.
criticised the previous government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
for leaving behind to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government the
circular debt of over Rs450 billion. He said that it was one of the major
reasons of power load-shedding in the country. He vowed that the government
would reduce circular debt in the power sector through reforms and by 2020
there would be zero circular debt in this sector.
minister alleged that during its last days in government, the PML-N generously
supplied unaccounted electricity to some power theft areas in a bid to get
votes in the election from those areas.
said the whole country would soon have an automatic metering system that would
help overcome power theft. He said the government had taken stern action
against those involved in electricity theft and registered 27,000 cases,
besides arresting 4,225 people.
this Ramazan we wanted to supply electricity to the whole country, including
the power theft areas, but feeders there could not bear the load of both Kundas
and legitimate connection at the same time,” he said.
Awan said the cabinet approved renewal of licences of the cell phone companies
for the next 15 years and as a result the government would fetch $1.3 billion.
She said the prime minister was given a detailed briefing in this regard. A
source in the cabinet told Dawn that the summary for the appointment of Mr
Zaidi as the FBR chairman was not presented in the meeting.
law minister Farogh Naseem has sought some more time from the cabinet to
address legal concerns on the appointment of Mr Zaidi,” the source said.
Khan during a chat with media persons on Monday announced the appointment of Mr
Zaidi, a Karachi-based partner in chartered accounting firm A.F. Ferguson, as
the new chairman of the FBR.
on the expiry of the six-week bail of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on
Tuesday, Ms Awan criticised the PML-N for what she called “glorifying” the
former premier’s return to Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Sharif has been declared a convict by the Supreme Court. He should be
considered a convict not a hero and he should not be given a VIP protocol,” she
Mr Sharif a “winner of world cup in corruption”, she said: “If Nawaz Sharif,
who is a bigger convict, is given VIP protocol, then other petty convicts would
have right to have a same treatment.”
Kalash minority MPA Wazirzada has said the survival of the indigenous Kalash
people is solely because of the majority Muslim community’s cordial relations
the UN’s Indigenous Peoples Organisation in New York the other day, he said
Kalash were known as the indigenous people of Chitral living there for last
2,000 years in three valleys comprising a population of 4,000 people, but they
never faced any threat from the Muslim majority.
said the Kalash and Muslims lived in peace and amity and it was due to this
reason that the population of Kalash was increasing, while a false notion was
being propagated that their population was waning which was totally baseless.
Kalash civilisation is conglomeration of a number of festivals which continue
through most part of the year while their religious dogmas are also festivities
in nature and it is heartening to note that the Muslim community does not
impede the celebrations,” he said.
demanded of the government to give the right of representation to the Kalash
community in the parliament irrespective of their low numerical strength so
their issues could be resolved.
Wazirzada thanked the international community for extending moral and financial
support to the Kalash community for their amelioration.
OFFICE-BEARERS NAMED: The Jamaat-i-Islami’s newly-elected Upper Chitral
district emir Maulana Sher Karim Shah has nominated office-bearers of the party
for five years.
to a statement issued on Tuesday, Qari Faizullah will be patron-in-chief, while
Maulana Fatehul Bari and Maulana Mohammad Murad will be naib emirs.
other office-bearers include Maulana Attaur Rehman general secretary, Mufti
Amin Ahmed deputy secretary, Maulana Habibuddin district spokesman and Mirza
Alam finance secretary.
APPOINTMENT: A resident of Kalash valley of Rumbur, Naseer Kalash, has demanded
of the government to take notice of illegal appointment of a watchman
(chowkidar) in the veterinary dispensary by the department’s director who
picked the man from a village 53 kilometres away.
a press conference the other day and flanked by the elders of the valley, he
said after the retirement of his father as chowkidar of the dispensary in early
2018, he was verbally ordered by the director to start his duties without pay
till the post was advertised and interviews held.
said as he was already working on the post, not a single person from the valley
applied for the job, but to his utter surprise, a person from Denin village was
appointed against the post.
Better economic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan could propel the entire
region forward, said US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad while welcoming direct
talks between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
to see PM Imran Khan and President Ghani spoke” on Sunday, Ambassador Khalilzad
wrote in a tweet.
leaders say they prize the economic dividend peace can bring, especially the
potential gains from regional connectivity and integration,” the US diplomat
observed. “That’s a common vision that can truly propel the region forward.”
two leaders spoke by telephone and resolved to benefit from their geographic
location to enhance regional connectivity. They also vowed to realise the true potential
for socio-economic development that the strategic location provided to the two
media reports claim that President Ghani may visit Islamabad after Eid for
further talks on efforts to improve bilateral ties.
United States has long advocated better relations between Afghanistan and
Pakistan, arguing that the two neighbours can defeat terrorism if they
US also urges Pakistan to allow a more liberal use of its territory for
promoting trade between Afghanistan and India, which will also benefit
Khalilzad’s statement reinforces this message and also indicates his
appreciation for the help he has received from Islamabad for moving forward the
Afghan peace process.
a recent statement, the US envoy acknowledged that Pakistan had released a key
Taliban leader, Mullah Baradar, at his request to facilitate his talks with the
week, Mr Khalilzad also appreciated Prime Minister Khan’s stance on
Afghanistan, saying that it has the potential to positively transform the
region and give Pakistan a leading role.
a statement released by his office last Thursday, the prime minister underlined
Pakistan’s unconditional support to the Afghan peace process and urged the
Taliban to call off their spring offensive.
Khalilzad also attached to his tweet a link to Mr Khan’s statement, which
points out that the Afghan conflict has brought great suffering for both
Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last 40 years.
US envoy, who leads the US team in peace negotiations with the Taliban,
expressed similar views in a recent statement, noting that civilian casualties
in Afghanistan indicated that this war “has gone on too long”.
the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported 1,773 civilian casualties in
Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2019. The UN also reported 582 child
casualties, including 150 deaths and 432 injured.
Khalilzad reiterated his appeal for peace in his latest tweet as well. “I wish
peace and prosperity to all Afghans this Ramadan. Afghans have suffered war’s
catastrophic impact for too long,” he wrote.
hope all Afghans take this season to reflect, forgive, and renew faith and
commitment to end violence and embrace peace.”
bush fire fanned by gusty winds has gutted four villages in South Sudan’s
Western Bahr el-Ghazal region, killing 33 people, the president’s spokesman
said, adding the toll was likely to rise.
spokesman said in a statement late on Monday that 60 other people were in a
critical condition after the fire on Sunday.
injured are receiving medication which is not sufficient given the remote state
of the area in which the incident has taken place,” Ateny Wek Ateny said in a
statement at the statehouse on Monday evening.
Tuesday, Mathok Wal, Lol State’s information minister, said the fire had also
destroyed 138 houses in the villages in Korok East County and killed 10,000
of Algerian students joined the first rally of Ramadan on Tuesday, pressing on
with weeks of protests against the ruling elite after president Abdelaziz
national flags over their shoulders, crowds gathered around the post office of
central Algiers, which has become the focal point of demonstrations. “We will
go on with the marches and the protests during and after Ramadan,” said
Kheredine, a second-year chemistry student.
true that it’s hot and that we fast, but we want to let the regime know that
the mobilization continues,” he added. “If you think we’re tired, you’re
wrong!” read a placard held by Sedik Ait, one of Kheredine's teachers.
rallies were also held in cities across the country, Algerian media reported,
as protesters push for a sweeping overhaul of the political system.
stand opposed to July 4 elections called by interim president Abdelkader
Bensalah, who was appointed after Bouteflika stepped down last month.
polls are strongly backed by Algeria’s army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah,
once an ardent supporter of Bouteflika who ultimately called for the
protest comes days after the arrest of the former president's brother, Said
Bouteflika, a hugely influential figure who was frequently cited as a likely
successor to his elder sibling.
former intelligence chiefs, General Mohamed Mediene, known as Toufik, and
General Athmane Tartag were also detained and are facing charges including “conspiring”
against the state.
Libyan National Army (LNA) said they had shot down a military plane in southern
Tripoli and are holding a foreign Portuguese pilot.
LNA forces of military commander Khalifa Haftar said they had shot down a
military plane in the southern district of al-Hira on Saturday.
reports said the pilot was Italian, but in a video seen by Al Arabiya English,
the pilot, appearing with a head injury, identified himself by name and said he
is from Portugal.
video showed the pilot confessing to having been hired on a civilian contract
to “destroy roads and bridges” in Libya.
a fake Facebook account falsely attributed a spokesperson from the LNA saying
the jet was a European surveillance plane used by the EU’s Operation Sophia in
monitoring illegal migrant smuggling routes in the Mediterranean. The LNA
issued a statement denying that false reports that the pilot was working for
the EU and that he was being returned to his country.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned Tuesday against possible military action in
Libya, as the head of Tripoli’s UN-recognized government, Fayez al-Sarraj,
kicked off a European tour to drum up support against a possible attack by
contents of a meeting between Conte and Sarraj – which Italian media said
lasted about 90 minutes – were not made public. But Conte said on the sidelines
of a separate event that “there is no military solution that could guarantee
the stabilization of the country”.
military solution would, in any case, come at the cost of human lives and
humanitarian crises,” Conte said. Sarraj is seeking support against an attack
on Tripoli by Haftar, who has urged his troops to “wipe out” government forces.
his meeting with Conte, Sarraj was set to travel to Berlin to meet German
Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Tuesday and then to Paris to meet French
President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.
visit to France, in particular, comes after the GNA repeatedly accused Paris of
politically backing the assault, which Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA)
launched on Tripoli on April 4.
Libya’s former colonial power, is a key backer of the GNA and has echoed calls
by Merkel for a “unified” European position and a political solution to resolve
a slip of the tongue, Conte said he had spoken “with president Haftar,” but
immediately corrected himself to say: “I’ve spoken with president Sarraj. I am
confident I will be able to meet General Haftar soon. We are seeking to
establish how and when.”
Nations inspectors are reportedly probing missile attacks on Libya’s capital of
Tripoli with the apparent use of drones used by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
a confidential report to the Security Council, a UN panel of experts said that
it had inspected photographs of missile debris and identified the weapon as a
Blue Arrow air-to-surface missile that had never been used in Libya in the
past, AFP reported Tuesday, citing a leaked copy of the classified report.
attack on the southern suburbs of Tripoli was carried out on April 19-20 by the
so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) forces loyal to renegade strongman General
Khalifa Haftar — who is backed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Washington
— in efforts to capture the capital city from the internationally-recognized
Government of National Accord (GNA) in the divided North African nation.
a phone call to the Libyan general last month, US President Donald Trump
“recognized Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and
securing Libya’s oil resources,” according to the White House. Saudi Arabia,
the UAE and Egypt have also been praising Haftar’s field victories against
other militia forces in the country.
the Blue Arrow air-to-surface missile used in the attack by LNA forces is
possessed by only three countries: China — which is its manufacturer —
Kazakhstan, and the UAE, and is paired with the Chinese-built Wing Loong drone,
press reports said. “Probable use of Wing Loong UAV variants by the LNA, or by
a third party in support of the LNA” is under investigation by the UN panel,
said the report submitted Thursday to the Security Council.
panel said, however, that it was “almost certain” that the missiles were not
directly supplied to Libya by the manufacturer or by the Chinese government. It
has also contacted Chinese authorities for information that could help identify
the suppliers of the weapon.
UN inspectors also pointed out that the use of the drones was “likely a recent
non-compliance of the arms embargo as the weapon system reported on has not
been identified in Libya before.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres renewed on Monday his call for a
ceasefire and for an end “to foreign interference to allow Libyans to be able
to once again come together” and find a political solution.
April 4, fighting between the LNA and GNA forces has killed at least 432
people, wounded 2,069, and displaced more than 50,000, according to the UN.
a message late Sunday, Haftar called on his forces to “uproot” GNA troops from
“our beloved country.” The attack, however, appears to have mired after GNA
forces in the capital put up strong resistance.
support the Federal Government of Somalia's continued efforts to degrade
al-Shabaab, U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike targeting al-Shabaab
militants in the vicinity of Tortoroow, Somalia, on May 5, 2019.
forces were leading an operation to disrupt the terrorist network in the area
and to bolster local support for the Federal Government of Somalia. The
airstrike was conducted in collective self-defense of our Somali partners after
they were engaged by al-Shabaab militants during this operation.
airstrike is an example of the niche capabilities we provide our Somali
partners as they take the fight to al-Shabaab,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj.
Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. “Our precision
strike capabilities support our Somali partners as they continue to lead
operations against the terrorist network.”
this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed three al-Shabaab terrorists.
we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
When warranted, processes and procedures exist that allow for additional
information to inform post-strike analysis.
Says His Administration Is Serious About Moving the Capital From Jakarta
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has quashed any doubts on the
possibility of the Indonesian capital being moved from Jakarta by saying that
the government has the determination and seriousness to execute the plan.
plan to move the capital is not new, as it was initially put forward in 1957 by
the country's first president, Sukarno, who wanted Palangkaraya in Central
Kalimantan as Indonesia's seat of government. Jakarta, the country's financial
center, has been struggling with various problems, including traffic gridlock,
poor urban planning and overcrowding.
are serious about this, because we have been discussing it internally for the
past three years. A year-and-a-half ago, we asked Bappenas [National
Development Planning Agency] to conduct more detailed studies from an economic,
sociopolitical and environmental perspective," Jokowi said during iftar
(Muslim fast-breaking dinner), attended by ministers and heads of state
institutions at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Monday.
president wasted no time in proving his resolve to relocate the capital. On
Tuesday morning, he departed for Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, to visit several
was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Public Works and Housing
Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, National Development Planning Minister Bambang
Brodjonegoro and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil.
president is scheduled to spend the night in Palangkaraya before visiting more
locations on Wednesday.
Monday's iftar dinner at the State Palace, Jokowi some took time to explain to
the guests what the government has done so far to carry out the plan.
the guests were Vice President Jusuf Kalla, People's Consultative Assembly
(MPR) chairman Zulkifli Hasan, House of Representatives (DPR) Speaker Bambang
Soesatyo, Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Speaker Oesman Sapta Odang,
Constitutional Court Chief Justice Anwar Usman and Jaja Ahmad Jayus, chairman
of the Judicial Commission.
Syarifuddin, the Supreme Court deputy chief justice for judicial affairs, House
Deputy Speaker Fahri Hamzah, Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) deputy chairman
Bahrullah Akbar and several key ministers were also present.
have prepared three regions where land is available to use, as alternatives.
There is a region of 80,000 hectares, one with 120,000 hectares and another
with 300,000 hectares that have been provided to us, even though we have not
decided which we want to use," Jokowi said.
Jakarta Special Capital Region has a total area of approximately 66,000
hectares – considerably smaller than the three proposed regions.
is available, is more than enough if it is only used as the center of
government. So we only have to decide," Jokowi said.
population distribution is heavily concentrated in overpopulated Java, with
about 57 percent of the country's people living on the island. In comparison,
only 21 percent of the population lives on Sumatra Island, which is more than
three times the size of Java.
will decide on the relocation of the capital city soon, but we will consult
with you on these major steps, especially with the relevant institutions,"
Jokowi told his guests.
assured them that, following discussions with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani
Indrawati and the public works minister, the government was able to provide the
necessary budget to build a new capital city.
the finance minister told me that there was no problem regarding the
numbers," he said.
government will come up with a scheme to finance the relocation as Jokowi
insists that the plan to relocate the capital should not place a burden on the
Mark Ryan Raj
JAYA, May 7 — Grab Malaysia has teamed up with their brand partners to provide
Muslims with a fuss-free festive season this year.
comes via a new all-in-one festive pack for Muslims this year through the
#PekSenangRaya from today to June 17, 2019.
aim is to be a convenient, one-stop destination for Muslims to handle all their
Ramadan and Hari Raya duties, like ordering food for your family to “buka
puasa” when you are busy at work or even do your Raya shopping.
have teamed up with brands like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, McDonald’s,
Domino’s Pizza, The Alley, Baskin Robbins, Lazada and Fashion Valet with an aim
to provide Muslims with a variety of online and offline discounts, rebates and
mark both Ramadan and Hari Raya with great enthusiasm, regardless of their
religious or ethnic background,” said Grab Malaysia country marketing head Iris
Chang, in a press release.
customers of Grab will be able to enjoy offers of up to RM600 in value if they
purchase the #PekSenangRaya priced at RM2 on the Grab platform.
of these offers are such as 20 per cent off when customers dine-in or order via
GrabFood at Domino’s Pizza and Baskin Robbins, 20 per cent off McDonald’s when
they order via GrabFood and 20 per cent off when they shop at Fashion Valet and
Poplook, as well as many others.
are honoured to be working with our partners to offer our customers a holistic
convenience and ease that saves them time and money — through offers,
discounts, rebates and rewards,” added Chang.
Grab will also be introducing new Ramadan-themed widgets in their app.
young Muslims performed their last tarawih (evening prayers during Ramadan) on
the Jl. Basuki Rahmat pedestrian bridge in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, on Monday,
as the structure will soon be demolished to make way for the
Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu (Becakayu) toll road project.
Ramadan, the pedestrian bridge has been used by youths in the area as a place
to pray because the nearby Mushola Miftahul Jannah prayer room only allows older
is our last year. There are five neighborhood units [RT], from RT 8 to RT 12,
that will be evicted for the Becakayu toll road. This is our last chance seeing
young Muslims praying on the bridge," Arafat, the mushola’s caretaker,
said as quoted by Wartakota.tribunnews.com.
went on to explain that the area would be cleared for the construction of an
elevated ramp road that will connect Cawang, East Jakarta, to the toll road.
toll road developer, Arafat added, had measured the mushola several months ago
as it would build a new prayer room of the same size elsewhere.
building is valued at Rp 900 million [US$63,000]. The total area is 88 square
meters," he added.
caretaker, Ponco, said he was sad to see the mushola, which was built in the
1980s, torn down soon.
mushola has served as a place where young Muslims of the area learned about
Bachtiar Nasir, the former chairman of the National Movement to Safeguard the
Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa, or GNPF-MUI, which was instrumental in
staging the country's biggest Islamist rallies in recent years, has been named
a suspect in a two-year-old money laundering case.
Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo confirmed that the Saudi-educated
cleric would be summoned for further questioning on Wednesday.
[he was called as a suspect] and it is an old case," Dedi said on Tuesday.
February 2017, the National Police's Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim)
questioned Nasir as a witness in a money laundering case involving the transfer
of funds from the Justice for All Foundation (YKUS).
foundation was one of many that collected donations to stage the mass rallies
prior to the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election to protest then-incumbent
Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama over a remark he made deemed
blasphemous of Islam.
police believe some of the money from the YKUS found its way to an organization
linked to the Islamic State jihadist group. Under Indonesia's 2018 law on money
laundering, any person guilty of financing terrorist activity may be jailed for
a maximum of 20 years and liable for a fine of up to Rp 10 billion ($700,000).
have so far named Islahudin Akbar, the foundation's financial officer, a
suspect in the case.
Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said on Feb. 22, 2017 that Islahudin withdrew
more than Rp 1 billion from the foundation's bank account and handed it over to
Nasir, who then allegedly transferred funds from the GNPF-MUI's account to a
Turkey-based aid agency with links to Islamic State.
who is also a key supporter of presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto, has
denied all allegations.
admitted at the time that he had handled Rp 3 billion in the YKUS's bank
account, but that a portion of the money collected by the foundation was used
to fund the gatherings, known as the "212" and "411"
rallies. The remainder, according to Nasir, was used to help earthquake victims
in Pidie Jaya, Aceh, and flood victims in Bima and Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara.
Threatens Legal Action Against Attempts to Delegitimize Election Result
The Indonesian government is threatening legal actions to stop anyone
attempting to delegitimize the results of the official election count by the
General Elections Commission, or KPU, the Coordinating Minister for Politics,
Law and Security Wiranto said on Monday.
won’t hesitate to take strong actions against those who violate the law to
delegitimize government institutions," Wiranto said after a meeting with
top government officials to evaluate the results of last month's elections.
then, presidential nominee Prabowo Subianto has refused to concede defeat
despite quick count results showing a decisive win for his rival, incumbent
president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
the former general's campaign team has been throwing doubts on the legitimacy
of the KPU's official count.
claimed that KPU's election data were corrupted to favor Jokowi and his running
mate Ma’ruf Amin.
has claimed at least four times that he is the real winner of the presidential
race according to a vote count by his own team. Prabowo said he won 62 percent
of the votes, but has never provided real data to support his claim.
has also suggested that there has been umpteen instances of voter fraud during
the elections and called on his supporters not to trust the KPU.
accompanied by his running mate Sandiaga Uno, invited foreign journalists to
his residence in South Jakarta on Monday afternoon to repeat his claim that
voter fraud may have lost him the election, at least according to the quick
IT team has also filed a report with the Election Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu)
last week, charging that the quick count results were unreliable since they
contradicted election data compiled by their own team.
Shihab, the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), who has been living in
exile in Saudi Arabia since 2017, said in a video broadcast last week that the
KPU should disqualify Jokowi and Ma'ruf from the presidential race because they
have committed a "systematic, structured and massive voter fraud."
this reason, Rizieq demanded that the KPU declare Prabowo and Sandiaga as
winners of the election irrespective of the number of votes that they won.
had escaped Indonesia to avoid facing various criminal charges, including a
porno tape scandal.
is one of a number of hardline Islamic organizations that threw their support
behind Prabowo and Sandiaga in the election.
is someone, now living abroad, who speaks every day to the media to provoke
people to take unconstitutional actions," Wiranto told Suara Pembaruan,
obviously referring to Rizieq.
said he has asked the National Police to take firm a action against provocators
like Rizieq, and also against newspapers and magazines that publish his
media that helps people violate the law, we can shut down. The law exists to
allow us to take such actions for the sake of national security," Wiranto
chief security minister also said that the government will not hesitate to take
legal action against anyone trying to delegitimize the KPU on social media.
those people who keep trying to break up this country and delegitimize
government institutions by spreading hatred and slander, please stop,"
Wiranto said in a written statement.
urge people to ignore any agitation to rise against a legitimate government.
That would be a violation of the law and totally unconstitutional," he
Americans most favorable towards Muslims, according to survey by Institute for
Social Policy and Understanding
: Islamophobia in the United States is not rooted in a clash of religious
beliefs but is driven by politics, according to a survey focusing on Muslim
survey, conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU),
noted that anti-Muslim sentiment is influenced by a host of factors, including
personal and national politics and how much a person knows about Islam, but is
not due to their religious affiliation.
found that Americans who personally know a Muslim are more than twice as likely
to have a positive opinion of Muslims compared to those who do not.
the ISPU’s Islamophobia Index rose from 24 in 2018 to 28 in 2019, indicating
that Muslims remain the most likely group to face discrimination for their
index is a measure of the level of public endorsement of five negative
stereotypes associated with Muslims in America – that most Muslims living in
the U.S. are more prone to violence than others, that they discriminate against
women, that they are hostile to the U.S., that they are less civilized than
other people, and that they are partially responsible for acts of violence
carried out by other Muslims.
to the ISPU’s data, the Jewish community scored the lowest on the index at 18
while white evangelicals scored the highest at 35.
survey also found that Americans who hold favorable views of blacks, Jews and
the LGBTQ community tended to score 10 points lower on the index.
33% of the Muslims surveyed were more optimistic about the direction of the
country, despite being dissatisfied with U.S. President Donald Trump’s
performance in office.
may have been due in part to the survey being conducted after the first two
Muslim women lawmakers, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, were elected to Congress,
according to ISPU Executive Director Dalia Mogahed.
was against this backdrop that ISPU conducted its fourth annual 2019 poll of
American faith and non-faith groups,” Mogahed said in the report, referring to
Omar and Tlaib’s election to office.
total of 2,376 Americans, including 804 Muslims and 360 Jews, were polled
during the survey, which was conducted in January and published this week.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday
and met with the Iraqi prime minister and other senior officials after voicing
US concern about Iraqi sovereignty due to increasing Iranian activity in the
visit came two days after US national security adviser John Bolton said the
United States was deploying the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its
strike group to the region as well as a bomber task force because of a
“credible threat by Iranian regime forces.”
has ramped up sanctions pressure on Iran over its nuclear program in recent
months and listed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.
wanted to go to Baghdad to speak with the leadership there, to assure them that
we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent
nation,” Pompeo told reporters en route to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi Prime
Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
if there was a threat to the Baghdad government from Iran that raised US
concerns about Iraqi sovereignty, Pompeo said, “No, no, generally this has been
our position since the national security strategy came out in the beginning of
the Trump administration.”
Iraqi government source confirmed the meeting with Abdul Mahdi but did not
elaborate on the details.
with reporters ahead of his meeting with the Iraqi leaders, Pompeo also said he
would have an opportunity to discuss pending business accords with Iraqi
officials, including “big energy deals that can disconnect them from Iranian
will obviously talk about the security situation there, and the forces that we
have in Iraq as well, ensure that we continue to support the Iraqi security
forces, the ISF, and can train them, professionalize them, so that the new
leadership there in Iraq can have security control inside of the country,”
security body said a US announcement of sending a carrier strike group and
bombers to the Middle East to send a message to Tehran amounted to
“psychological warfare”, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said on Tuesday.
National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday the United States was
deploying the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to
the Middle East to send a message to Iran.
statement is a clumsy use of a burnt-out happening for psychological warfare,”
said Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council,
according to Tasnim, adding that the carrier had arrived in the Mediterranean
acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had approved
dispatching the carrier strike group and bombers due to indications of a
“credible threat by Iranian regime forces”. Shanahan provided no details of the
state-run Press TV earlier said: “The deployment seems to be a ‘regularly
scheduled’ one by the US Navy, and Bolton has just tried to talk it up.”
said last month it was prepared for a US decision to end waivers granted to
buyers of Iranian oil, as the elite Revolutionary Guards repeated their threat
to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if Tehran was barred from
using it. Around 30 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports get shipped
through the strait.
neither Shanahan nor Bolton elaborated on the gist of US intelligence, other US
officials told Reuters there were “multiple, credible threats” against US
forces on land, including in Iraq, by Iran and proxy forces and at sea.
week, President Donald Trump’s administration said it would end waivers for
countries buying Iranian oil in an attempt to reduce Iran’s crude exports to
zero following Washington’s withdrawal from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal
administration also blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps.
tensions escalated further after Washington acted on Friday to force Tehran to
stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant.
Washington’s step intensified a campaign aimed at halting Tehran’s ballistic
missile program and curbing its regional power.
European Union (EU) and Russia should take action to save a two-state solution
to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if the U.S. peace plan does not lead to two
independent nations, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday.
Mansour said he told EU officials that support for a two-state solution is
appreciated, but it is “not sufficient -- they have to act on it".
month, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared
Kushner, said Washington's Middle East peace plan, billed 'the Deal of the
Century', would be revealed after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Kushner provided no details as to what the plan entails, he said "there
will be tough compromises for both sides" and that past efforts have not
worked, referencing the two-state solution, a long-held framework for a
solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
ministers of the Arab League have rejected the U.S. plan, saying that without
giving the legal rights of the Palestinians, these kinds of plans will never
bring comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.
said if the U.S. plan does not end with two independent nations -- Palestine
and Israel -- then the EU should take action against it to save the two-state
European Union could call for an international conference on the basis of the
global consensus supporting a two-state solution “to see how we can open ways
to move forward", Mansour told reporters at the UN.
also said that European countries – particularly France, Italy, Spain,
Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg -- could offer their support by
recognizing the state of Palestine.
the runup to Washington’s peace plan, U.S. President Donald Trump has moved to
year, the U.S. cut all its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides critical
aid to Palestinian refugees. It also unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as
Israel’s capital and closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s
Washington office, which served as the de-facto Palestinian embassy in the U.S.
CIA warned an Arab activist in Norway that he faces a potential threat from
Saudi Arabia, it was reported Tuesday.
crazy - concerning my personal safety - happened two weeks ago which I haven't
been at liberty to speak about, but is breaking today. The last two weeks have
been very stressful, but I hope I've managed well given the pressure” Iyad
el-Baghdadi wrote on Twitter.
intelligence contacted Norwegian authorities April 25 regarding the potential
threat to el-Baghdadi‘s life from Saudi Arabia. He was taken by authorities to
a secure location where he was warned of threat.
way I understood it was, the Saudis have a crosshairs on me, but there is no
idea of what they are going to do,” el-Baghdadi told the Guardian newspaper.
assured me that they are taking it very seriously. They came prepared,” he
said, explaining that a police squad transferred him to the safe location and
another briefed him on the situation.
is a Palestinian-born writer and a pro-democracy activist who has been a vocal
critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was granted political
asylum in Norway in 2015 after being arrested and expelled from the United Arab
pro-democracy campaigner is active on Twitter and has gained a large following
because of his satirical and abrupt analysis on Middle Eastern governments,
including the Saudi royal family and political issues in the region.
the murder last fall of Jamal Kashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for the
Washington Post, el-Baghdadi warned that bin Salman would become more dangerous
if he was not held to account by the West.
they get away with kidnapping the next step will be assassinations in your
capitals, and I’m not joking even a little bit,” he said on Twitter.
outspoken activist further warned that bin Salman is still seeking to silence
critics of the Saudi government outside the kingdom and the rising number of
educated Saudis who are politically active and living outside the kingdom “is
shaping up to be a long-term problem for MBS,” using the prince’s initials.
of a threat comes months after Kashoggi’s torture and murder inside the Saudi
Arabian Consulate in Istanbul last October. The high profile murder caused
international outrage and saw widespread condemnation of bin Salman.
the murder, the CIA fingered bin Salman as being behind the order to kill the
Washington Post journalist who was also a U.S. resident.
foreign secretary under scrutiny for ‘lack of humanity’ towards Palestinians
foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has received fierce criticism for his statement
on Gaza that some say has revealed the UK’s position on Israel-Palestinian
tweet on Sunday, expressing deep shock “by events in Israel” and blasting Hamas
for its “indiscriminate and abhorrent rocket attacks”, attracted over 1,000
comments calling out the foreign secretary for his apparent blind spot on
Israel’s role in the escalation of tension.
shocked by events in Israel and Gaza over the last 48 hours & thoughts with
the families of innocent civilians killed and affected by Hamas’ indiscriminate
and abhorrent rocket attacks. UK fully supports vital role UN and Egypt have in
securing a ceasefire.
PM - May 5, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
International’s UN representative Sherine Tadros criticised Mr Hunt for
displaying a “lack of humanity” for Palestinians.
between militants in Gaza and the Israeli military saw four civilians in Israel
and 25 Palestinians killed, more than half of them civilians. A ceasefire to
bring an end to the bloodiest fighting in the Gaza Strip since 2014 was reached
on Monday, as fighting petered out and Palestinian groups said Egypt had
mediated the truce.
Friday, four Palestinians were shot dead and 51 injured after soldiers fired at
protestors in Gaza.
there a second part to this tweet that I missed? Maybe where @Jeremy_Hunt
expresses the same concern for innocent Palestinian victims of Israeli fire? Do
they not also have families that deserve thoughts and prayers? It’s truly
unbelievable the lack of humanity.
PM - May 6, 2019
people are talking about this
Jeremy Hunt is doing is blaming the victim. In this latest assault Hamas
rockets came after Israel killed a mother and a 14-month baby,” Neve Gordon,
professor of international law at Queen Mary University of London, told the
said that the sheer number of Palestinian civilians wounded shows that “there
is no comparison” between Palestine and Israel on the effects of war.
locked up in the world’s largest open prison (Gaza and the West Bank) have a
right in international law to use armed struggle to liberate themselves.”
Gordon says that Hunt’s purposeful highlighting of Hamas, rather than Israel’s
military, is “consistent with many, many years of the UK’s foreign policy,
under both Labour and Tory governments”.
Hunt used the Jewish Chronicle newspaper to announce a landmark change to
British policy on Israel in March.
his column, Mr Hunt said the UK would oppose all motions criticising human rights
abuses in Gaza and the West Bank brought forward at the UN’s human rights
council under a special protocol.
believe that this disproportionate and discriminatory focus on Israel
undermines the credibility of the world’s leading human rights forum and
obstructs the quest for peace in the Middle East. That is why the UK will be
opposing every Item 7 resolution at the HRC,” he said on March 21.
Hunt chose to make the announcement himself as opposed to allowing Alistair
Burt, then Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, to publicly declare
long serving Middle East minister resigned on 26 March over Brexit concerns.
served two spells as Middle East minster, Mr Burt gained a reputation for being
well briefed and well-respected across party divides.
Burt was a brilliant champion of peace and security for both Israelis and
Palestinians and will be missed by all those who work to promote a political
resolution to the conflict,” said Hannah Weisfeld, director of British-Jewish
former minister had told Yachad that the British government viewed Israel’s
demolition of homes in the West Bank as “unacceptable”.
Hawwesh, a British-Palestinian professor based at the University of Birmingham
and founding member of the British Palestinian Policy Council, says Britain is
quietly changing its policy on Israel and Palestine and has aligned itself
closer to US foreign policy under President Donald Trump in recent months, as
seen through the language it uses to denounce attacks.
Britain and the US are not only shielding Israel from accountability for its
crimes; they are damaging the standing of international law and international
humanitarian law. They are also emboldening Israel to continue to feel that it
can operate above the law,” he said.
Palestinian negotiator tweeted in March that Mr Hunt’s announcement was “a gift
for Israeli settlers and the Israeli government. The British government has
consistently opposed any concrete step against the occupation.”
ready to reimpose sanctions if Iran breaches nuclear deal: official
would have to reimpose sanctions on Iran if Tehran reneged on parts of the 2015
nuclear deal with world powers, a French presidency source said on Tuesday.
state-run IRIB news agency reported on Monday that Tehran would restart part of
its halted nuclear program in response to the US withdrawal from the 2015
nuclear deal, but added Tehran does not plan to pull out of the agreement.
Iran’s president is due to speak on Wednesday.
do not want Tehran to announce tomorrow actions that would violate the nuclear
agreement, because in this case we Europeans would be obliged to reimpose
sanctions as per the terms of the agreement,” the source said. “We don’t want
that and we hope that the Iranians will not make this decision.”
regrets policy on Libya has failed since 2011 invasion
Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt has expressed regrets that his country’s policy on
Libya has failed since London and allies in the NATO military alliance launched
an invasion in 2011 to oust long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
have not covered ourselves in glory with our policy on Libya. Let us face it,”
Hunt said in a Tuesday interview with the Guardian newspaper.
top British diplomat said if London knew that Libya would become a hotbed of
militancy in North Africa, it would have second thoughts on the 2011 invasion.
if we knew in 2011 we would be in the situation we are now we would be asking
ourselves some searching questions,” he said.
comments came as Britain and other international powers are in disagreement
over how to help Libya regain peace after some eight years of civil war.
main row is over Khalifa Haftar, a Gaddafi-era military general who has defied
the international community by launching an all-out offensive against a United
Nations-backed government in the capital Tripoli.
and his large army of militant groups have enjoyed funds and support from
oil-rich countries in the Persian Gulf region. However, countries to the west
of Libya and certain countries outside the region are against his rise to
power, saying it would destabilize the region.
said Britain should take a lesson from its failure in the 2011 invasion of
Libya and allow Haftar to have a role in the future Libyan government.
do not agree with what Haftar is doing. We do not think it is possible for
Haftar to achieve a military victory, and as a government he will not be seen
as legitimate by whole swathes of the country. So we want a political process,”
he said without elaborating how Haftar could help Libya’s future.
defence minister said on Wednesday it wanted to keep the Iran 2015 nuclear deal
alive and warned that if Iran were to not keep to its commitments then the
question of triggering a mechanism that could lead to sanctions would be on the
President Hassan Rouhani earlier threatened to resume high level enrichment of
uranium if world powers did not keep their promises under the agreement.
to BFM TV, Florence Parly said nothing would be worse than Iran withdrawing
from the deal and that France, Britain and Germany were doing all they could to
keep the accord alive.
China's foreign ministry said the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement should be fully
implemented and all sides have a responsibility to ensure it happens. Foreign
ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks during a daily briefing.
European countries said on Tuesday that they will reimpose sanctions on Iran if
it reneges on commitments under its nuclear deal, a source at the French
presidency said on Tuesday, after Tehran said it would scale back its
compliance a year after Washington pulled out.
dismissed a US announcement of the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the
Middle East as old news, recycled for psychological warfare, and said it would
soon announce plans to roll back some of its commitments under the 2015 deal.
have risen on the eve of the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal
from the nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program
in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
Trump administration has restored US sanctions and extended them, effectively
ordering countries around the world to stop buying Iranian oil or face
sanctions of their own.
has continued complying with the deal. Washington’s European allies, which
oppose the US pull-out, have tried and failed to come up with ways to blunt the
economic impact of the US move while urging Iran to continue to comply.
media reported that Tehran will write to the countries still signed up to the
deal — US allies Britain, France and Germany as well as Russia and China — on
Wednesday to give them details about plans to “diminish its commitments” under
state news reports have said Iran does not plan to pull out of the deal, but
will revive some nuclear activity that was halted under it.
French presidential source said the European countries did not yet know
precisely what steps Iran was now planning, but they would have to reimpose
sanctions on Iran if those steps amount to reneging on the deal.
do not want Tehran to announce tomorrow actions that would violate the nuclear
agreement, because in this case we Europeans would be obliged to reimpose
sanctions as per the terms of the agreement,” the source said.
sent messages to Tehran to say that we were determined to implement the
agreement, that we really wanted them to stay in this agreement even though we
took into account the complexity of the situation and passed on the same
messages to our American allies,” the French source said.
officials have spoken in recent days of intelligence suggesting a military
threat from Iran, although they have not given specific details.
national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday the United States was
deploying the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to
the Middle East in a warning over threats by Iranian forces.
Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said
the Abraham Lincoln was already due in the Gulf and dismissed the announcement
as a “clumsy” attempt to recycle old news for “psychological warfare.”
United States typically rotates an aircraft carrier in the Gulf to serve as the
flagship of its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain. The previous carrier in the area,
the John C Stennis, left in April to sail for home at the end of its
US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had approved
dispatching the carrier strike group and bombers due to indications of a
“credible threat by Iranian regime forces.” He gave no details of underlying
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter: “If US and clients don’t
feel safe, it’s because they’re despised by the people of the region — blaming
Iran won’t reverse that.”
state-run Press TV earlier said: “The deployment seems to be a ‘regularly scheduled’
one by the US Navy, and Bolton has just tried to talk it up.”
military adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United
States was “neither willing nor capable” of military action against Iran,” the
semi-official news agency ISNA reported.
jitters over the war of words rose, Iran’s rial currency extended its fall on
Tuesday, hovering around a seven-month low of 150,500 against the US dollar on
the unofficial market, foreign exchange websites reported.
withdrawing from the nuclear deal, Washington has given waivers to some
countries, mainly in Asia, to keep buying Iranian oil for a limited time. But
last week it said it would now end the waivers to reduce Iran’s crude exports
administration also blacklisted Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as
terrorists. The Guards control a large swathe of Iranian industry, so their
blacklisting could make it harder for foreign companies to do business with
has responded by declaring all US forces in the Middle East to be terrorists.
It has also made threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if
Tehran were barred from using it. Around 30 percent of the world’s seaborne oil
exports pass through the strait.
on Tuesday condemned the recent escalation of violence in Syria’s Idlib
province following increased military action by Russia and the Syrian regime.
Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was deeply concerned by the latest developments
in the region.
has included horrifying reports of attacks on schools, hospitals and first
responders as well as the use of barrel bombs for the first time in seven
months,” Hunt said, noting that more than 57 civilians have been killed and
over 150,000 forced from their homes in recent days.
said the latest offensive, “a flagrant violation of the ceasefire agreement
that Russia itself agreed with Turkey, is only compounding what was already a
dire humanitarian situation in Idlib”.
urged Russia and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime to respect their obligations
under the Sochi agreement and international humanitarian law.
must also remember that any future use of chemical weapons in Syria would be
met with a swift and appropriate response,” he added.
announced Tuesday support for UN-led efforts to reach a humanitarian cease-fire
in Libya during the holy month of Ramadan.
announcement came after Chancellor Angela Merkel met Fayez al-Sarraj, the
leader of Libya’s UN-recognized government in Berlin.
Chancellor has called for a return to a political process under the aegis of
the United Nations," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a
statement. "She has welcomed the proposal of UN special envoy for a
ceasefire in Libya during the Ramadan." Al-Sarraj, who is leading the
UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), visited Berlin as part of
diplomatic tour of European capitals seeking support.
early April, forces loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar,
launched a wide-ranging campaign to capture Tripoli from the GNA.
Haftar has so far failed to wrest the capital from pro-GNA forces, sporadic
fighting on the city’s outskirts has left numerous casualties on both sides.
the course of the last six weeks, at least 392 people have been killed, while
2,000 others have been injured, according to the World Health Organization
has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was
ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
shops in Sri Lanka attacked as tensions remain after Easter Sunday bombings
Sri Lanka (CNN)Violence erupted in a Sri Lankan town bombed on Easter Sunday
after a largely Catholic mob attacked Muslim-owned shops and a vehicle --
prompting church authorities to call for calm and no further hostilities
against Muslims in the area.
minor riot broke out Sunday in Porutota village near Negombo after a dispute
between a Muslim tuk tuk driver and a group of Catholics, who wanted to inspect
the vehicle, an army intelligence source told CNN. The source requested
anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to media about the case.
argument over the tuk tuk descended into violence and dozens of rioters
rampaged through the streets that evening, the source said. The vehicle was set
alight and two Muslim-owned shops also attacked, they added.
Lanka Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told a press conference on Monday that
two drunk groups were responsible for the riot.
ensuing violence led to extra police forces being deployed to the coastal
village and a curfew being enforced on Sunday "to control the
situation," Gunasekara added.
turns into violence
Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said in a statement that anyone
who lost property in Sunday's clashes would be compensated by the government.
of the incident seen by CNN showed a street of the coastal town littered with
debris and a number of men brandishing sticks.
Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, blamed the incident on drunkenness and
called for the closure of liquor shops in the area.
people are under the influence of alcohol, people sometimes behave worse that
animals," he said, according to state media.
the number of deaths, I commend the people for remaining calm and acting with
restraint. I take this opportunity to thank the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim
religious leaders. Some parties are trying to instigate communal hatred to
create religious clashes."
Muslim and Christian community leaders have expressed concerns of potential
further violence in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, which left more than
250 people dead and 500 injured.
Negombo, more than 100 worshipers were killed after a suicide bomber walked
into St. Sebastian's Church on Easter Sunday. The National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ)
Islamist extremist group, which aligned itself with ISIS, has been blamed for
and Christians make up tiny minorities in Sri Lanka, which is predominantly
Buddhist. Both groups have faced pressure in the past from hardline Buddhist
groups, and typically worked together to promote better intercommunal harmony.
earnestly request the Catholics not to raise a hand against the Muslims,"
Ranjith said. "The Muslims are not behind this incident. Those behind this
attack are misguided persons who are being manipulated by international forces
to realize their political aims. According to the teachings of our religion, we
should not harm anyone."
and army soldiers have been deployed to many churches and mosques around Sri
Lanka since Easter Sunday, both over fears of further terrorist violence, and
leaders across Sri Lanka told CNN of how they repeatedly attempted to warn the
authorities about the potential for extremist violence growing within the
community, including from the preachings of the alleged leader of the Easter
Sunday attacks, Zahran Hashim.
Lanka’s bombed church partially opens for prayers
Lanka’s St. Anthony’s church partially opened for worship Tuesday even as
security forces were rebuilding a shrine inside following the Easter suicide
faithful were allowed into a section of the church to pray before a statue of
Saint Anthony, said Father Edmond Tilakaratne, spokesman for the Archbishop of
Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.
church was partially opened today under very tight security,” Tilakaratne told
are already under way,” he added.
said pilgrims will be allowed into the special area of the church for a 12-hour
policemen and three women frisked pilgrims lined up to enter the shrine while
heavily armed navy personnel and police kept watch outside.
1740 church shares a boundary wall with the port of Colombo. New steel
barricades were established Tuesday to prevent vehicle access to the church
Anthony’s was among the three churches attacked by extremist suicide bombers in
coordinated attacks that also targeted three luxury hotels in Colombo on April
total of 257 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded. At least 44 foreigners
were among the dead.
50 of the victims were young children.
St. Anthony’s is venerated not only by Catholics, but also by followers of other
religions in this majority Buddhist nation.
Sri Lankan authorities say they have dismantled a major part of the network
linked to the Easter Sunday bombings, confiscating bomb-making material and
freezing assets worth about $40 million linked to the plotters.
an audio statement issued by the defense ministry on Monday, acting police
chief Chandana Wickramaratne said almost all suspects and plotters involved in
the April 21 attacks had either been arrested or were dead.
were also two people among that group of plotters who are experts in bombs and
those two are dead now,” Wickramarate said. “They had stored part of the
explosives for future attacks and we have confiscated all of this.”
are still tracking down 10 more key players associated with plotting the bombings,
which killed more than 250 people, including 42 foreigners, a military source
told Reuters on Tuesday.
investigations show there were another 8 to 10 people who attended meetings
with the other plotters,” the source said.
worth about $40 million belonging to the bombers and plotters linked to the
April 21 attacks have been frozen, police spokesman Ruwan Gunesekera said.
Lankan authorities have said the bombings were believed to have been carried
out by two little-known domestic Islamist groups, the National Tawheed Jamaath
(NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI). Islamic State has claimed
from eight countries, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and
Interpol, are helping Sri Lanka with the investigation.
Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that authorities
have arrested or killed all the militants responsible for the deadly Easter
blasts, but warned that the country still faces the threat of ISIS terror
in Parliament during a debate on the current security situation in the country,
Wickremesinghe said all those directly linked to the Easter Sunday attacks were
either killed or are in custody.
suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through
three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday. The Islamic State
claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group
National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the bombings that killed more than 250
said investigations had revealed the bombers had direct or indirect links with
Islamic State and the island nation needed sophisticated technology to deal
with the threat posed by such terror networks.
danger is not over, we are now a victim of global terrorism," he said.
said that Sri Lanka must work with the international community to face the
global threat from terrorism.
assume working with the international community means bringing down foreign
troops. That will not happen," he said.
comments came as Sri Lankan police and military chiefs assured that the country
is now safe and can get back to normalcy.
a press conference on Monday night, the tri-forces commanders and the police
chief said the security of the country following the April 21 bombings has been
ensured with adequate measures and steps have been taken to implement a special
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickremaratne said that all those
directly linked to the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels have
been arrested or were killed.
said that all the explosives believed to be linked to local Islamist outfit
National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), blamed for the attacks, have been found.
explosives possessed by the terrorist group has been seized. Almost everyone
identified with the group have been arrested. Two of their bomb experts have
died in the clashes. The police can happily announce that everyone with direct
links have been either arrested or killed by now," he said.
did not say how many people have been arrested over the bombings, but police
spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera has said that 73 people, including nine women, were
arrested and being questioned by the CID and the Terrorist Investigation
spokesman also said the Criminal Investigation Department identified more than
Rs 140 million cash and other assets worth over Rs 7 billion belonging to the
who was named acting police chief last week after President Maithripala
Sirisena suspended his predecessor over his failure to act on intelligence
warnings about the attacks, said the country can now get back to normalcy with
the lifting of curfews imposed after the attacks.
urged the public not to be misled by unverified reports.
government reopened schools on Monday, but attendance dropped to below 10 per
cent in many places with parents still fearing attacks.
said a joint security operation with schools authorities are underway. He
pointed to unverified security fears spread through social media as the cause
for unfounded security concerns.
chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake said the military has taken steps to ensure
national security under the emergency regulations.
said that over the past two weeks normalcy was returning to the country and the
public must not be misled by false claims.
security measures to ensure safety in the country has been taken. The security
forces were empowered by the emergency regulations since the attacks,"
tourism industry leaders have urged the government to make strong measures to
enable the industry to revive following the Easter Sunday attacks on three
suicide bombers attacked breakfast rooms of the Shangri La, The Cinnamon Grand
and the Kingsbury Hotels.
attacks in which 44 foreigners including 11 Indians were killed prompted
adverse travel advisories.
the moment most bookings are cancelled, with less than 10 per cent of occupancy
we are in trouble," Hoteliers Association president Sanath Ukawatta said.
government has already decided on a package of concessions to the tourism
industry which contributes 5 per cent of the island's GDP.
Tourism Authority said the total number of tourist arrivals during April was
166,975. This is an year on year decline of 7.5 per cent as the arrivals were
180,429 in April 2018.
the St. Anthony's church partially opened for worship Tuesday. Devotees will be
able to visit the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kotahena from 7 am to 7 pm.
will not be held at the Shrine. At present, the Navy is currently carrying out
restoration activities at the Church.
counter-terrorism police have arrested a suspected Islamic State member who
returned to the country after fighting for the militant group in Syria, police
launched a major crackdown against homegrown extremist outfits following an
attack by a local outfit on a cafe in the capital in 2016 that killed 22
people, including 18 foreigners.
said Motaj Abdul Majid Kafiluddin Bepari, 33, joined IS in Syria after he
travelled to the war-torn country from Saudi Arabia, where he was born to a
returned to Bangladesh in February and made contact with a new faction of local
IS-inspired Islamist extremist outfit Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB),
blamed for a series of attacks, including the 2016 cafe attack,
counter-terrorism official Wahiduzzaman Noor told AFP.
arrested Bepari near a mosque in Dhaka's Uttara neighbourhood on May 5, and he
has been charged under anti-terrorism laws for alleged plans to establish a
caliphate in the moderate Muslim-majority country, Noor added.
went to Syria in 2018 and fought for the IS."
arrest came after counter-terrorism police alerted airport authorities about
the possible return of more than 50 Bangladesh-origin IS extremists after the
group's defeat in Syria, deputy commissioner of Dhaka police Mohibul Islam Khan
is the latest in a series of IS-related security incidents in Bangladesh.
week, Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said the British-born Shamima Begum,
who married an Islamic State militant in Syria and whose parents held
Bangladeshi citizenship, would "face the death penalty" for terrorism
if she came to the South Asian country.
in April, Bangladeshi security forces raided a suspected extremist hideout in
Dhaka, killing at least two militants.
U.S. Embassy in New Delhi released details of Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s
interaction with the Indian officials on Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad met with senior Indian officials including Minister of External
Affairs Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary
Vijay Gokhale, and India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar, during his
visit to New Delhi on 6th and 7th of May, the Embassy of the United States in
New Delhi said in a statement.
his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad welcomed expressions of support for the
Afghan peace process, which strengthens an emerging international consensus for
peace efforts. He also recognized the many important contributions India has
made to Afghanistan’s development,” the U.S. Embassy said in its statement.
statement further added “Ambassador Khalilzad and his counterparts discussed
the many important benefits that peace would bring, including: preventing
International terrorist use of Afghanistan as a platform for attacks; improved
prospects for regional peace and security; and increased regional connectivity
says newly-developed tactic behind ‘Iron Dome’ failure
military wing of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement says it successfully
“overcame” Israel’s so-called Iron Dome missile system during its recent
confrontation with the Tel Aviv regime thanks to its new rocket-launching
Obeida, a spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a social media
post on Monday that the fresh rocket-launching tactic had overwhelmed the
so-called Iron Dome missile system, leading to the deaths and injuries of
numerous Israelis in two days.
Qassam Brigades, thanks to God, succeeded in overcoming the so-called Iron Dome
by adopting the tactic of firing dozens of missiles in one single burst,” he
high intensity of fire and the great destructive ability of the missiles that
were introduced by the Qassam [Brigades]… succeeded in causing great losses and
destruction to the enemy,” Obeida noted.
aerial assaults on Gaza prompted the most intense fighting between the regime
and the Palestinian resistance fighters since Tel Aviv’s bloody war on the
blockaded enclave in 2014.
retaliation, the Palestinian fighters fired around 700 rockets from Gaza into
the occupied territories, killing four Israeli settlers and injuring at least
80 others over the weekend.
the course of Israel’s seven-week war in 2014, five Israelis died and 67 others
media reported that the "Iron Dome" intercepted only 240 of the
projectiles, adding that some 35 rockets and mortar shells had struck populated
areas over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
an interview with The Jerusalem Post, former head of Israeli military
intelligence’s research department, Yaakov Amidror, revealed that the
"Iron Dome" had failed to intercept all the missiles launched from
Gaza due to a number of reasons.
to him, one of the key issues was that some of the rockets were launched from a
very close range, giving the Israeli system next to no time to react and
added that in general the rockets launched from the Gaza Strip are not unique
and are “within the capabilities of the Iron Dome.”
reason for the failure, the military expert explained, is the system's peculiar
design, which makes it ignore missiles aimed at areas it deems empty or
changed rules of engagement in Gaza’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that the Tel Aviv regime
changed the rules of engagement in Gaza in the past few days.
have changed the rules of the game, and Hamas understands this very well. With
that, it is clear that this is not the end of the campaign, and I therefore
gave instructions to prepare for what will come next, and gave directives to
leave armored and artillery forces around the Gaza Strip,” he said.
further said Israel had officially renewed its old policy of targeted killings
of “senior terrorists,” a term he used in referrence to members of Hamas and
Islamic Jihad resistance groups, and claimed that the Tel Aviv regime had
killed "dozens of them" over the weekend.
Sunday, the Israeli military specifically targeted a Hamas member in Gaza,
Hamed Ahmed Khudari, by bombing his car, marking the first targeted killing
since the 2014 Gaza war.
fresh Israeli aggression killed 27 Palestinians and wounded dozens of others in
the attacks. Two pregnant Palestinian women and two infants were among the
two-day Israeli onslaught also demolished or damaged hundreds of Palestinian
homes in Gaza.
conflict came to a halt on Monday following a ceasefire between the two sides.
Tensions erupted on Friday after the killing of four Palestinians, two in an
Israeli air raid on Gaza and two during the regime’s live fire at
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that although the recent flare-up in Gaza
had come to an end, the wider conflict would continue.
resistance managed to deter” the Israeli military, he said, according to
Israeli Kan public broadcaster.
message is that this round is over, but the conflict will not end until we
regain our rights,” he said.
ceasefire, however, has angered Israelis, who say they are tired of having to
run to shelters.
a month, in two weeks, in a month and a half, it will all happen again — we
achieved nothing. I think Israel needs to strike them very, very hard so that
they learn their lesson,” said Haim Cohen in Ashdod, located 25 kilometers
north of the Gaza Strip.
Ein Hashlosha, a kibbutz about a mile and a half from Gaza, Meirav Kohan, 46,
said she was shocked and disappointed at the truce.
is a war of attrition” she said, adding the Tel Aviv regime “is not looking for
a long-term solution to bring us peace. There’s no policy. We’re just pawns in
says its warplanes targeted some 350 sites in the Gaza Strip. The tiny coastal
territory has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade for over a decade.
turn to EU to counter Kushner plan
NATIONS: The Palestinians are asking the European Union to pick up the mantle
in defense of the two-state solution if the upcoming US peace plan ditches
Palestinian statehood, their UN envoy said Tuesday.
Donald Trump’s administration is expected to unveil the long-awaited plan
possibly as early as next month, but the Palestinians have already rejected it
as heavily biased in favor of Israel.
ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters that he urged European officials during
recent meetings in Brussels to seize the initiative and not allow the United
States to be the preeminent player in the Middle East peace process.
Palestinians urged the EU to call for an international conference that would
reaffirm the global consensus of a two-state solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reject the US approach.
are engaging them,” Mansour told reporters about his meetings with EU
officials. “They have to act.”
would be extremely happy to show that there is more than one player in the
field, trying to determine how we move forward.”
Palestinians have also urged European countries — in particular France, Italy,
Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg — to recognize Palestine as a
resolutions have advocated a two-state solution providing for an independent
Palestinian state alongside Israel, and stressed that this outcome is to be
agreed by the parties.
said the Palestinians also wanted Russia to step up its Middle East diplomacy
and suggested that the United Nations could convene the Middle East peace
US peace plan is expected to feature proposals for regional economic
development that would include Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon but the Palestinians
have been adamant that it will fail.
son-in-law Jared Kushner is the chief architect of the proposals.
said the US plan — which he has not seen — appears to be aimed at providing a
“pretext” for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to annex
more Palestinian territory.
promised during the election campaign to annex West Bank settlements, a move
that would kill off prospects for a viable Palestinian state.
said he was convinced that the Palestinians still enjoyed “massive support in
the international arena,” but suggested that if diplomacy failed, the battle
could then turn to demographics.
United States said Tuesday that a “healthy democracy” with transparent
elections is in Turkey’s own interest, after authorities annulled the Istanbul
mayoral election following the defeat of the ruling party.
State Department, without directly criticizing the election body’s decision,
said that free elections were “a fundamental pillar in any democracy.”
expect a free, fair and transparent electoral process to be fully respected by
all involved so that the will of the voters is acknowledged in the results,” a
State Department spokeswoman said.
healthy Turkish democracy is in the interest of Turkey and its partners,
including the United States, and helps ensure a stable, prosperous and reliable
ally,” she said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a former Istanbul mayor with Islamist roots who has led
Turkey since 2003, saw his bloc suffer its first defeat in 25 years in the
country’s largest city during the March 31 vote. A recount confirmed the
opposition candidate’s narrow win.
bomber task force the United States said it was sending to the Middle East will
likely include four bombers along with personnel to fly and maintain the
aircraft, US officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they would likely be
B-52 aircraft and had not yet departed for the Middle East.
House national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday that the Trump
administration was deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to
the Middle East in response to troubling “indications and warnings” from Iran
and to show the United States will retaliate with “unrelenting force” to any
acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Monday he had approved
sending a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East because of
indications of a “credible threat by Iranian regime forces,” but did not
provide any details on the underlying intelligence.
Turkey, the ousted Istanbul mayor says he will again run as the main opposition
party’s candidate in next month’s repeat of the elections. On Monday, Turkey’s
election board annulled the vote. The country opposition party described the
move as treacherous. Rahshan Saglam reports from Istanbul.
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