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Islamic World News (22 Oct 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Make Kalam, not Kasab as your role model; RSS-backed MRM tells Muslim youths
















Photo: The MRM was set up in 2002 by former RSS chief KS Sudarshan to enable the Sangh to reach out to Muslims.

 

Talibanisation hit Islam, Pakistan beyond repair, says minister

Syeikh of Al-Azhar University lauds democracy in Malaysia

Arab Analyst: Al-Saud May Face Int'l Criminal Court in Khashoggi's Case

India

Make Kalam, not Kasab as your role model; RSS-backed MRM tells Muslim youths

‘Arranged’ halala shameful and un-Islamic: Darul

"No Right To Use Muslim Name": Religious Body To Activist Rehana Fathima

Muslim groups rise up, seek protection of Urdu schools

Kashmir: Religious ideology is the only problem

India congratulates Afghan people for enthusiastic participation in parliamentary polls

Pakistan troops enter Indian territory, kill three soldiers along LoC

Sikh dominated village gives common land for mosque construction

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Pakistan

Talibanisation hit Islam, Pakistan beyond repair, says minister

Muslim institutions need to disburse latest knowledge: Afridi

PM to visit three friendly countries in two weeks

‘Country needs big dams but water dispute among provinces should also be resolved’

Afghanistan polls have no legitimacy: Fazl

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Arab World

Arab Analyst: Al-Saud May Face Int'l Criminal Court in Khashoggi's Case

Takfiri Fateh al-Sham terrorists move chemical agents to Syria’s Jisr al-Shughour: SANA

Turkish Troops, Allied Militants Suffer Casualties in Kurdish Attacks in Northern Syria

Huge Blast Reported at Tahrir Al-Sham's Base in Central Idlib

Egypt extends state of emergency for three months

US-led Coalition denies targeting civilians in deadly east Syria raid

Kuwait welcomes Saudi King Salman’s decisions on Jamal Khashoggi case

Coalition airstrike targets mosque used by Daesh

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Southeast Asia

Syeikh of Al-Azhar University lauds democracy in Malaysia

Sabah church seeks govt ruling on use of ‘Allah’ in religious education

Malaysia-Saudi Arabia ties remain strong despite uncertainties over Khashoggi killing

British national jailed four months for sending bomb hoax in Singapore

Maldives Supreme Court upholds president’s vote defeat

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South Asia

Pakistan has reportedly released Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar from jail

Pakistan portraying Indo-Bangladesh offensives on radical Islamic militancy as “state sponsored terrorism”

Pentagon says a U.S. General was also wounded in Kandahar incident

Bangladesh hunts suspected militants after deadly police raids

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Mideast

ISIL Plot for Terrorist Attacks in Iran Foiled

Turkey’s Erdogan: Details on Khashoggi case will be provided on Tuesday

Deputy minister breaks with Houthis, says militias spread Iran’s ideology

Houthis deprive two mln Yemeni children from education, closes 3600 schools

Istanbul summit aimed at avoiding new humanitarian disaster in Idlib

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Africa

Jordanian King to end border land lease extension with Israel

‘55 people killed in communal clashes in Nigeria’

Jordanian king wants Israel to return border areas leased under 1994 peace deal

Boko Haram raid in Nigeria leaves 2 dead: witnesses

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North America

Anti-Muslim rhetoric 'widespread' among candidates in Trump era – report

Trump leaves open possibility of bin Salman role in Khashoggi assassination

Saudi, US can weather crisis over murdered journalist: Jubeir

US general shot in last week’s Taliban attack

Canada, others condemn killing of Saudi journalist

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Europe

Britain says Saudi account of Khashoggi's death not credible

Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Egypt denies alleged organ theft after British tourist’s death

UK opposition parties call for change in ties to Saudis

Iran says has ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia in Syria

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/make-kalam,-not-kasab-as-your-role-model;-rss-backed-mrm-tells-muslim-youths/d/116687

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Make Kalam, not Kasab as your role model; RSS-backed MRM tells Muslim youths

October 21, 2018

In a bid to keep Muslim youths away from fundamentalism, the RSS-backed Muslim Rashtriya Manch has started a drive to encourage them to adopt former President APJ Abdul Kalam as their “role model” and not Ajmal Kasab of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack notoriety.

“We have initiated a campaign to make former President Kalam, who was also known as the missile man and made the country proud, as the role model of Muslim students. We are organising national level seminars for this,” MRM convenor Muhammad Afzal told PTI.

He said the campaign’s objective is to “strengthen patriotism among the Muslim students and encourage them to take the path of Kalam”.

When asked about the need for such a campaign, Afzal said, “We want to convince Muslim students that their role model should be former President Kalam and not terrorist Kasab. We will tell the difference between the two.”

“Many a times, Muslim youths divert towards Kasab. We want them to bring close to Kalam’s ideologies. It will help the country grow and progress. With his deeds, Kalam had proved that he was a true patriot,” he said.

He said “in our campaign, we discuss in detail the life and achievements of Kalam to encourage people. Kalam had rejected even a NASA’s offer for a job and gave his prime to the country, working on his dream project Prithvi missile and developing India’s space centre. He remained bachelor to serve the country.”

“Students of madrasas and inter colleges are invited in these programmes and experts, scientists and officers are called to talk to them,” he said, adding the next such programme will be held in Lucknow next month.

One such programme was held in Delhi on October 19 and similar events will be soon be organised in 10 states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal, he said.

He said though students of all religion participate in the events but Muslim students are given priority.

The MRM was set up in 2002 by former RSS chief KS Sudarshan to enable the Sangh to reach out to Muslims. It had held ‘Eid milan’ programmes and ‘Iftar’ parties earlier in a bid to remove, what, it believes, are misconceptions among a section of the people about the Sangh and the BJP.

MRM has been reaching out to Muslims to apprise them of the RSS works and change their views about the organisation, Afzal said.

All india Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), however, termed the MRM’s move as “humiliating”, saying the Muslims do not have to prove their patriotism.

“What else can you expect from an organisation affiliated to the RSS? They are putting forward the name of Kalam to show what they feel about Muslims. How can one insinuate as Muslim youths even thinking of having Kasab as their role model, when the community did not even allowed him to be buried in India?,” asked AIMPLB member Yasin Usmani.

“Such campaigns which demean Muslims’ contribution to the nation building is shameful and humiliating to us,” he added.

https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/make-kalam-not-kasab-as-your-role-modelrss-backed-mrm-tells-muslim-youths/1356214/

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Talibanisation hit Islam, Pakistan beyond repair, says minister

October 22, 2018

LAHORE - Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri said on Sunday that Talibanisation caused Islam and Pakistan an irreparable loss.

Addressing a seminar as chief guest at a local hotel, he said spreading chaos in the name of Jihad was not acceptable and it was negation of Islamic values.

He highlighted the need to adopt Sufism approach to promote brotherhood, peace and love among followers of different religions.

Islamic Research Council organised the seminar on ‘role of Sufis in promotion of religious harmony’ at a local hotel.

The minister said making Pakistan a welfare Islamic state was the main objective of PTI government. The PTI, he said, though was not a religious party but its ideological approach was religious. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s courageous stand on issue of blasphemous caricatures, he said, proved his true love for the Prophet (PBUH). The minister, on occasion, stressed the need of ruthless accountability against every corrupt.

Scholars from different institutions also addressed the sitting and highlighted the role of Saints in promotion of peace and love in world.

https://nation.com.pk/22-Oct-2018/talibanisation-hit-islam-pakistan-beyond-repair-says-minister

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Syeikh of Al-Azhar University lauds democracy in Malaysia

21 October 2018

SEPANG: The Syeikh or rector of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, Prof Dr Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayyib praised the process of power transition in Malaysia after the 14th general election, which went peacefully and without any unrest, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

He said the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar conveyed the matter to him when they met at the university during his working visit to Egypt.

"He was impressed with the power transition process (in Malaysia) because, possibly in his country, or other Arab countries, it is not easy," he told reporters upon his arrival at the KL International Airport here today.

Mujahid said during the visit, he also passed on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's letter to Ahmed, inviting the Syeikh to visit Malaysia.

"He (Ahmed) regards Malaysia as a progressive and respected Muslim country and is excited to come to Malaysia," he added.

Mujahid, who is an alumni of the Al-Azhar University, said the courtesy call on the Al-Azhar Syeikh was the first by a Malaysian cabinet minister and intended to enhance relations between the Malaysian government and the univerity.

He said there were currently about 1,000 Malaysian students at the university and that he met some of them, during which he explained the policies of the new government and and also listened to their problems. — Bernama

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/10/21/syeikh-al-azhar-university-lauds-democracy-malaysia

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Arab Analyst: Al-Saud May Face Int'l Criminal Court in Khashoggi's Case

Oct 21, 2018

"Saudi Arabia's official report to admit killing Khashoggi at the country's consulate in Istanbul is full of ambiguities and indicates the Saudi regime's desperate attempts to buy time; that's why it has faced doubt and suspicions and demands have increased for a clear international probe into this case," Atwan wrote on Sunday.

He noted that an international investigation might start into the case which would end up in a tribunal like what was held for Lockerby case.

Atwan said the Saudis succeeded in killing Khashoggi which was the easy part of the job, but failed to cover it, which, he stressed, could kill Mohamed bin Salman's dream for ascending to the throne.

Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's policies, went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage document. Ankara has accused Riyadh of murdering the Khashoggi and smuggling his body out of the consulate in pieces. Saudi Arabia first denied the charges as “baseless", stressing that the journalist left the consulate shortly after he arrived, without providing any evidence. But, after two weeks of denial by Saudi officials, Riyadh confessed that Khashoggi had been murdered by its security agents at the Istanbul consulate, but made no mention of where his body is.

US intelligence has also revealed that the Saudi crown prince ordered an operation to detain Khashoggi after luring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Washington Post. US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity have told The Washington Post that MbS and other Saudi officials tried to get Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, where he is from, with offers of government employment and protection.

Also, US intelligence agencies are increasingly convinced that the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince played a role in Khashoggi’s disappearance in early October, according to a report.

Citing unidentified officials, The New York Times reported that information leaked to the public – names and photos of 15 Saudis who travelled to Istanbul on October 2 as well as claims Turkey possesses audio recordings of Khashoggi’s death – is helping convince the US intelligence community that the crown prince was involved.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970729000875

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India

 

‘Arranged’ halala shameful and un-Islamic: Darul

Oct 22, 2018

MUZAFFARNAGAR: The influential Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa saying that 'arranged' halala is not Islamic and people doing so must be "ashamed" of this. Under halala, a divorced woman has to marry another man and then get a divorce before she can return to her first husband.

Mohammad Usman, a resident of Deoband, asked a question on halala. In answer, a panel of Islamic scholars replied with a fatwa which read, "In divorce cases, some people decide in advance that a woman has to do halala with another man in order to re-marry her earlier husband. This is completely wrong and Islam does not like this deed. It is shameful and forbidden under Islamic law."

The clerics also explained women's rights in the fatwa. "If any woman is divorced under triple talaq, she has the right to marry any man excluding her ex-husband. But if the second husband divorces her, she can marry her first husband after an 'iddat; (spending a fixed period of time at home). Forcing such a woman to do halala in order to marry her first husband is forbidden," the fatwa added.

Several cases have been reported from the community of women being coerced to do halala after getting divorce from their husbands.

The fatwa was welcomed by other Islamic scholars and NGOs. Social activist Rehana Adeeb from the NGO Astitva said, "It is good to hear that such a fatwa was passed by Darul Uloom Deoband. It will give the right direction to Muslim society to take the correct stand on this issue."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/arranged-halala-shameful-and-un-islamic-darul/articleshow/66310544.cms

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"No Right To Use Muslim Name": Religious Body To Activist Rehana Fathima

October 21, 2018

KOCHI: Activist Rehana Fathima, who had made an attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple, has been expelled from the Muslim community for "hurting the sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees", the Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council said.

Initiating action against Ms Fathima, Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council president A Poonkunju said in a press statement on Saturday that she had been expelled from the community. He said the Council has also directed the Ernakulam Central Muslim Jama'ath to expel her and her family from the membership of Mahallu.

"Her act hurt lakhs of Hindu devotees," the statement said. Pookunju said Ms Fathima, who had participated in the "Kiss of Love" agitation "has no right to use a Muslim name".

The activist's house was allegedly vandalised by unidentified people while she was away trying to climb the holy hills on Friday. She made a failed attempt to reach the temple with heavy police protection.

The attackers reached Ms Fathima house in Panambilly Nagar here while she was attempting to reach Sabarimala.

A mother of two and employee of the BSNL, the activist had kicked up a row last year by posing for topless photos with watermelons in protest against a Kozhikode-based college professor's statement comparing women's breasts to watermelons.

Full report at:

https://www.ndtv.com/kerala-news/have-no-right-to-use-muslim-name-religious-body-tells-activist-rehana-fathima-1935247

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Muslim groups rise up, seek protection of Urdu schools

Oct 22, 2018

CHARMINAR: Angry against the conversion of Urdu medium schools and junior colleges into English mediums, Muslims groups have sought immediate reinstatement of the converted institutions to safeguard the age-old language.

All India Muslim Think Tank Association and Minority Employees Welfare Association urged Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS) to stop merging Urdu medium schools with English medium schools and restore the ones, already merged.

Telangana State Minority Commission chairman Qamaruddin heard the case in the commission, seeking justice for Urdu medium schools.

“The government has issued order for setting up English mediums schools but it does not mention closing down Urdu or Telugu mediums schools,” said Masooduddin Ahmed, president of Minority Employees Welfare Association.

“But secretaries have ordered principals and headmasters not to enroll Urdu medium students,” Ahmed said.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/muslim-groups-rise-up-seek-protection-of-urdu-schools/articleshow/66311709.cms

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Kashmir: Religious ideology is the only problem

October 22, 2018

Recently a Kashmiri student of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Manan Wani, was killed in an encounter in Handwara in the Kashmir Valley. Two other fellow terrorists belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) were also killed with him. Manan Wani was pursuing a PhD course in Geology before joining the Hizbul Mujahideen.

…the problem in Kashmir is not about democracy or development. It is purely engendered by religious ideology in resonance with Pakistan.

Five months ago, in May 2018, an associate professor of Kashmir University, Mohd Rafi Bhatt, was killed along with five HM terrorists. The professor who taught Sociology had just joined the HM.

There is a message in these two incidents. The message is that the global jihadi ideology overrides sociology, geology etc. It also underscores the fact that the problem in Kashmir is not about democracy or development. It is purely engendered by religious ideology in resonance with Pakistan.

Mehbooba Mufti lamented that Kashmir is losing educated boys every day. It is because Abdullahs and Muftis, all through these years have done nothing to wean away the Kashmiris from the narrative of the global jihad. In fact, they are white collar accomplices to this whole project.

Manan Wani’s status of a PhD student is being touted as ‘scholar’ and his elimination as purge of Kashmiri intellectuals. It will be worthwhile for these spin doctors to ascertain that how many PhDs are serving in the police and security forces, as jawans, sepoys, and constables.

The truth of the matter is that the bigger the educational degree of a jihadi, the more dreaded or beastly, he or she is. Omar Sheikh, the man who carried out so called ‘halal killing’ of the journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002, is a product of London School of Economics. As per some sources, Baghdadi was a PhD in Education. Similarly, Al Zawahiri, who now heads the Al Qaeda, has a Masters Degree in Surgery. His predecessor and mentor, Osama Bin Laden had degrees in Engineering and Public Administration.

As per the National Investigating Agency (NIA), of the cases registered against individuals having ISI connections, nearly 40 percent of them are engineering students.

The US Department of Homeland Security funded a $12 million project ‘Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism’ (START). The research team comprised 30 scientists. The study revealed that 90 percent of the jihadis came from caring families, 63 percent had gone to college. The terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 were well educated and belong to economically well off Saudi and Egyptian families.

As per the National Investigating Agency (NIA), of the cases registered against individuals having ISI connections, nearly 40 percent of them are engineering students.

In the cloak of education, Pak sponsored jihadis from Kashmir are infiltrating various colleges and universities in the country. Recently, on Oct 09, three of them were apprehended in Jullundur in Punjab. They constituted a module of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. These terrorists operated from the hostel. For the sake of cover they had enrolled in Engineering and Management College. This module was busted by a joint operations of Punjab & J&K police. This joint operation was only possible because there is Governor rule in J&K. Earlier Punjab Police apprehended one Ghazi Ahmad Malik in Patiala. He , a resident of Shopian was enrolled in a Polytechnic College. He is a close relative of Adil Basir Sheikh, the SPO who decamped with seven rifles while deployed as part of security team of a MLA. He then submitted himself to the HM. Thus Pak sponsored global jihad through the aegis of Kashmiri has growing tentacles in educational institutions all over India i.e. from JNU to AMU, from Osmania to Jhadavpur , and from Kerela to Punjab.

Clearly Pakistan is widening the arc of jihadi proxy war.

The irony is that these people, who are touting the educated and scholarly status of some of these jihadis, are steeped in the global jihad ideology , which destroyed the Nalanda University and the library in Alexandria.

Now that the AMU like the JNU is in focus with regard to jihad in Kashmir, it is worthwhile to reflect on the former’s past. Jihad to AMU comes very naturally. Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, one of the founding fathers of Pakistan and the President of the Muslim League (1948-50) has written a book ‘Pathway to Pakistan’. In this book he has categorically stated that if there was no Aligarh Muslim University, there would have been no Pakistan. Aga Khan, also was of the same opinion. In 1954 he said: “Often, in civilized history a University has supplied the spring board for a nation’s intellectual and spiritual renaissance… Aligarh is no exception to this rule. But we may claim with pride that Aligarh was the product of our own efforts and for no outside benevolence and surely it may also be deemed that the independent sovereign nation of Pakistan was born in the Muslim University of Aligarh.”

During the partition, some students of the AMU had spat on the face of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad for his advocacy of Hindustan for Muslims.

No wonder that the students union of the AMU still has so much affinity with Jinnah, whose portrait they are not prepared to part with.

During the partition, some students of the AMU had spat on the face of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad for his advocacy of Hindustan for Muslims. In 1979 there was an altercation between AMU students and locals at Dadri Railway Station over eve-teasing. The students were at the receiving end for their misdemeanor. They chose the few, rather negligible, Hindu families quartered in the AMU as their target of retaliation. 60-70 students entered the house ofthe estate officer.All the children of this officer were born and educated in AMU campus. The students ransacked their house, beat up the family, outraged the modesty of women. In the gang was also a hockey-stick wielding professor. This professor was the son-in-law of former President of India. One Shia, from the non-teaching staff tried to rescue the family, he too was abused and beaten. He was abused as belonging to the ilk of those responsible for decline of Muslim power in India. All the shops owned by Hindus in the adjacent Zakaria market were burnt. The famous shop Kitab Ghar near the Suleman Hall was also burnt. One MBBS student Pradeep Johri was killed in the heart of the campus. His body lay for three days as the accomplice university administration ensured that the police was not allowed to enter. Pradeep Johri’s uncle was a professor in the same AMU Medical College. Unlike the rest of the university, 90 percent students in the engineering and medical college were Hindus, who were there by sheer dint of merit. It was with the design to deter Hindus from joining these institutions that Johri was murdered in full public view. When that did not deter, Interview was introduced for manipulation of admission into the Medical College. This fraud continued for some years till it was struck down by the judiciary.

In early 70s there was some gap before A M Khusro took over as Vice Chancellor of AMU. In this intervening period one Prof Harbans Lal Sharma of Hindi department was the acting VC. The radical gang of teachers and students did not allow him to occupy the office and pejorative reasons about his religious status weretouted.The refrain was, ” how can (!!!!!) Hindu be allowed to sully the chair of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.”

Well in Sir Syed’s AMU there was an interesting case of Nikah Halala between a chemistry professor and his Phd student. This was reported in detail by Sunday Mail. The Phd student had married a girl from the campus. The marriage got strained over financial difficulties, because the Phd lingered, as did the prospect of job. In a fit of rage the Phd student blurted triple talaq. When tempers cooled there was deep regret and the student wanted to rescind. He consulted his paternal mentor, the professor. The professor offered ‘nikah halala’ as per the religious tenets, so that the couple could be re-united as soon as possible. The girl never returned to her former husband!!! The Phd went literally mad. AMU straddles between India and Pakistan in several ways. Irfan Habib, the historian, who claims knowledge on all facets of history, except 1400 years of Islamic history, has a brother who is a citizen of Pakistan.

What was the latest mission of HM jihadis like Manan Wani? It was to derail democracy. It was to terrorize Kashmiris against participating in the local elections.

The Abdullahs and Muftis also have strong connections to the AMU. Sheikh Abdullah was educated in this University and so was Rubaiya Sayeed, sister of Mehbooba Mufti. Her staged kidnapping even as her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the Home Minster of India, was to herald global jihad in Kashmir.

What was the latest mission of HM jihadis like Manan Wani? It was to derail democracy. It was to terrorize Kashmiris against participating in the local elections. In this regard, the National Conference (NC) and the PDP are on the same page. They boycotted the elections. They appealed to the Supreme Court that in view of the elections, hearing on Article 35A petition should be postponed. Once it was postponed there was no reason to boycott the elections. But Pakistan wanted it that way.

There are strong reasons for boycott of elections by the NC and the PDP. The main reason is of course, Pakistan; the second reason is that the Muftis and Abdullahas are apprehensive that these elections may throw up new leaders; and third being that the elections may usher in new internal dynamics within the state. It is for no reason, that most acts of terror by the jihadi groups have occurred in South Kashmir, PDP’s stronghold, during this period. These elections are also a mirror to the Indian Establishment regarding the reality of J&K. The reality is that Valley based political parties have no concern for the democratic aspirations of people of Jammu, Kargil and Laddakh, where the voting percentage has been very high.

The moot question is whether the jihadis in form of militants, separatists and mainstream politicians are really serious about Islam, jihad or Kashmir? Is their patron Pakistan serious about it? Are the radicals in AMU, JNU, Jadhavpur, Osmania are serious about it? Are the jihadi leaders like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Sayeed Salahudeen serious about it? Are the Maulvis serious about it? Not the least.

If that had been the case, at least some of them would have raised storm about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province of China. In the Xinjiang province, men cannot sport beard, women cannot wear burqas, officials cannot observe Ramzan, children cannot be named Mohammad, the concept of ‘halal’ has been banned and there is a massive anti-burial drive launched by Xi Jinping since 2012. The Chinese dispensation is of the belief that burials are the cause of shrinking agricultural land, thus impacting on food security.

Why the Kashmiri leaders and others who espouse the jihadi cause in the subcontinent, silent about China’s setting up of re-education camps for Muslims.

Why the Kashmiri leaders and others who espouse the jihadi cause in the subcontinent, silent about China’s setting up of re-education camps for Muslims. It is because they revel in the fact that China as Pakistan is antagonistic, adversarial or even inimical to Hindu majority India.

The former PWD minister of J&K, Naeem Akhtar in an interview had said that the main player in J&K is China and JeM is the adopted child of that country. The Chinese are leveraging on JeM to keep India boxed in, so that the strategic alignment with the US is circumscribed. Pakistan as mentioned earlier vetoes all resolutions against China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in 57-member OIC. The Kashmiri separatists therefore are religious hypocrites, who have two standards on Islam and jihad, i.e. one for India and another for China and Pakistan. Basically, Islam and Jihad is an instrumentality for the Kashmiri separatists and their allies to wreck India. This hypocrisy has reduced the Kashmir Valley into a moral waste land.

As per a recent report in the Pakistan Newspaper, Dawn, about 70 Ahmediayas and Christians, who sought asylum in Thailand, are being deported. They complained of persecution in Pakistan. In all probability, they travelled through the sea route to Thailand. Why this dying desperation? Many Hazara Shias have perished in the mid-ocean, while escaping to Australia. The Pak state has driven out Shias, Ahamadis, Christians and Hindus. It is a consequence of Wahabisation of Pakistan. The same Wahabisation of Kashmir has driven out half a million Hindus from Kashmir Valley. The common factor is Wahabisation and Radicalisation.

The Pakistan state is least ashamed out these minorities including Hindus leaving the country, but the Indian state is also not ashamed about Hindus being driven out from one of its own pieces of territory. The tragedy is that Pakistan is an unapologetic Sunni state and India prides in being a secular state.

After having fought three wars and shed so much of blood of our men in uniform, with so much security forces around, if Hindus were driven out in their own country, then there are definitely grave inadequacies in our security thinking and security architecture. And that grave inadequacy is that we never devoted our energies or applied our mind on the ideology, which created Pakistan in 1947 and which now consumes Kashmir.

Full report at:

http://www.thenorthlines.com/kashmir-religious-ideology-is-the-only-problem/

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India congratulates Afghan people for enthusiastic participation in parliamentary polls

Oct 21, 2018

NEW DELHI: India on Sunday congratulated the people of Afghanistan for their "enthusiastic" participation in the parliamentary elections, notwithstanding terrorists attacks in various parts of the country.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) said spirited participation of Afghan people, including women, in the democratic process, despite terrorist violence, was a "testament" of their resilience.

It said the elections in Afghanistan reflected people's desire and faith in democratic governance and rejection of the evil forces that foment and spread terror and violence.

Afghanistan witnessed series of terror attacks and widespread violence in the run up to the long-awaited parliamentary elections held on Saturday and Sunday. The Taliban opposed the polls and vowed to disrupt them.

"India congratulates the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for exercising their democratic rights at parliamentary elections held today. The enthusiastic participation of people, including the women, despite terrorist violence is testament of resilience of the people of Afghanistan," the MEA said.

It said India supported the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to build a "peaceful, stable, united, inclusive and prosperous nation".

"We hope that these elections would contribute to strengthening of democratic institutions and deepen inclusive democratic system in Afghanistan," the MEA said in a statement.

India also complimented the Afghan government, the country's election commission and security forces for facilitating holding of the elections.

"The National Unity Government, the Indepedent Election Commission and the Security forces of Afghanistan deserve appreciation for creating enabling environment and organising these elections despite numerous challenges," the MEA said.

According to Independent Election Commission's (IEC) initial figures, around three million people risked their lives to vote on Saturday - many waiting hours for polling centres to open - despite scores of militant attacks.

Nearly nine million voters registered for the parliamentary election.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-congratulates-afghan-people-for-enthusiastic-participation-in-parliamentary-polls/articleshow/66306542.cms

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Pakistan troops enter Indian territory, kill three soldiers along LoC

by Arun Sharma

October 22, 2018

Three soldiers were killed and another injured on Sunday afternoon as Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) attacked an Indian Army patrol along the Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Official sources told The Indian Express that around 1.45 pm, the Pakistani intruders sneaked 50 metres inside Indian territory near Lalyali post in Rajouri and attacked the Army patrol. As the Indian soldiers retaliated, two of the intruders were killed and their bodies, along with arms and ammunition, were recovered.

The dead soldiers have been identified as Havildar Kausal Kumar from Nowshera, Launce Naik Ranjeet Singh from Doda and rifleman Rajat Kumar Basan from Akhnoor. Rifleman Rakesh Kumar of Samba has been hospitalised.

An Army spokesperson said the area had been cordoned off and a ‘search and destroy’ operation was in progress.

Full report at:

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-troops-enter-kill-three-soldiers-along-loc-5411797/

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Sikh dominated village gives common land for mosque construction

Oct 16, 2018

LUDHIANA: Setting an example of communal harmony, a village of mostly Sikh population has donated land for construction of mosque and the community is even providing food to the workers working at the religious place. Gaggewal in Barnala district, which is around one and half kilometers from Nathowal village, last village of Ludhiana district, has ten Muslim families.

“We wanted to construct a mosque in the village but didn’t have land for the purpose. As a result, we had to say Namaz (prayers) at our homes. For Friday and Ramzan prayers, we would go to nearby Nathowal village which has a mosque. However seeing our problem, the majority community came forward and decided to give us common land of village for the construction of mosque,” said Saudagar Khan, a grocery store owner and a prominent young voice of Muslims in the village.

“The village has now given us 5 Biswa land for the mosque. With the active support of villagers including Sikh and Hindu brothers, we have started construction work of mosque around ten days ago. It will take us around six months to get the construction work completed. Already a mason and four labourers and many villagers are working for constructing the mosque which will be named as Mecca Madina Masjid”. He added that they have no words to thank the Sikh brotherhood for such a great gift and salute the communal harmony and inclusivity of Punjab which the state is known for.

A muslim, Mansa Khan, who is from adjoining village Nathowal in Ludhiana District, said that they were touched to see the brotherhood in the village.

“A group of community members went for the roof construction work of the mosque in the Gaggewal village and found that a villager Rajwinder Singh got food for all of us including the labourers working at the mosque site. Also we are happy that villagers are contributing for mosque irrespective of their religion which is a great symbol of communal harmony,” said Khan.

The Sikh community members are happy that mosque is coming up in the village.

Hargunpreet Singh, a villager who is helping in the construction, said that they are elated that mosque is coming up in the village. He added that they are helping in pious cause in all the possible ways and are involved in construction work as well.

Full report at:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ludhiana/sikh-dominated-village-gives-common-land-for-mosque-construction/articleshow/66234627.cms

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Pakistan

 

Muslim institutions need to disburse latest knowledge: Afridi

October 21, 2018

Interior Minister Sheharyar Khan Afridi has said that the educational institutions of Muslim countries need to disburse latest knowledge and technology to empower the Muslim world to uplift and give them respect.

This was stated by the minister during a meeting with International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) President Dr Ahmed Yousif Ahmed Al Draiweesh who called on him on Sunday.

During the meeting, issues related to betterment of Muslim world, Pak-Saudi bilateral ties and education were discussed. Sheharyar Khan Afridi said that Pakistan gives great importance to ties with Saudi Arabia as both nations are in close contacts with each other.

IIUI President Dr Al-Draiweesh presented an overview of the varsity. He highlighted importance of university and its role in disseminating peace and discouraging extremism.

Dr Al-Draiweesh also invited the minister to visit International Islamic University and share vision of new Pakistan with students.

https://nation.com.pk/21-Oct-2018/muslim-institutions-need-to-disburse-latest-knowledge-afridi

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PM to visit three friendly countries in two weeks

Syed Irfan Raza

October 22, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In the next two weeks Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit three friendly countries where he is likely to seek monetary assistance, according to sources.

Mr Khan would leave on an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday (today), said the sources. He would embark on a visit to Malaysia later this month and to China early next month.

A member of the federal cabinet said the prime minister was likely to take up the issue of financial aid with his hosts in the three friendly countries because Pakistan badly needed assistance to ease the ongoing economic crisis.

He said the government immediately needed $12 billion to $13bn to ease the financial crisis and retire foreign debt. “We need $8bn to retire foreign debt and $5bn to run the affairs of government,” he said.

“If we get good monetary support from our friendly countries then there is a possibility that we will not require support of the International Monetary Fund [IMF],” he added.

According to the Foreign Office, Prime Minister Khan is going to Riyadh on the special invitation of King Salman bin Abdel Aziz to participate in the Future Investment Initiative conference being held there from Tuesday to Thursday.

Interestingly, several countries have announced their decision to boycott the conference in reaction to the death of a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. But it is believed that the Riyadh conference, dubbed “Davos in the desert”, will still be attended by many leading businesspersons, investors, representatives of industry and media outlets.

Visit to Malaysia

The cabinet member said the prime minister would visit Malaysia for two days (Oct 28 and 29) and would meet his Malaysian counterparts and other government functionaries.

In his recent telephonic conversation with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mr Khan had expressed his desire to learn from their experiences. He had also accepted the veteran leader’s invitation to visit Malaysia.

Prime Minister Khan wants to see the two countries collaborate with each other in various fields, according to the sources. It is expected that bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries will be strengthened as a result of the visit.

Shift in CPEC projects

Prime Minister Khan would embark on an official visit to China on Nov 3. There he will discuss in detail the strategic relations between the two countries.

During his meetings in the friendly country, Mr Khan would inform the Chinese leadership that his government wanted to bring about a significant shift in the projects falling under the purview of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said the sources.

Under the previous government there was an emphasis on infrastructure schemes, but the present government wanted projects involving agriculture, job creation and foreign investment take centre stage.

Reports, meanwhile, have said that due to suspension of funding to CPEC’s infrastructure projects, the National Highway Authority’s (NHA) road projects worth over Rs1 trillion have been adversely affected. Many projects in the energy sector have also been hit.

The affected projects include the 210km Dera Ismail Khan-Zhob road, the 110km Khuzdar-Basima road and a 136km portion of the Karakoram Highway.

In a recent meeting about his visit to China, Prime Minister Khan said that early implementation of the CPEC projects would help realise the true potential of the economic ties between the two countries.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1440552/pm-to-visit-three-friendly-countries-in-two-weeks

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‘Country needs big dams but water dispute among provinces should also be resolved’

October 22, 2018

HYDERABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar has said that big dams are required to be built and the chief justice of Pakistan is playing an important role in this regard but inter-provincial water dispute should also be resolved.

He was speaking to reporters at a temple within the circuit house here late on Saturday evening where he also attended a ceremony organised by the Hindu community to celebrate the religious festival of Dassehra.

He said that Pakistan needed big reservoirs to store water and appreciated efforts being made in this regard by Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. He said people must also participate in this campaign. However, he also called for resolving the water sharing dispute between provinces.

When Sukkur and Guddu barrages had been built, then dams could also be built, he argued, and said construction of small water storage projects was also an option that should be considered as well.

About his position in the MQM-P, he said he was part of the party and had made his position known to everyone in his recent press conferences.

Speaking about rights of minorities in Pakistan, he said they, being Pakistani citizens, had equal rights as enshrined in the Constitution. He referred to the Aug 11, 1947 speech of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in which he had envisioned a state where Muslims and religious minorities would have equal rights. He said that Jinnah’s speech should be made part of the Constitution.

Dr Sattar said that he would stand for religious minorities’ rights. They must have rights in social, education and health sectors, adding that if any conspiracy was hatched against religious minorities, it would be conspiracy against this country. “Pakistan must progress and prosper,” he said.

The MQM-P leader said that minorities should know that the Muslim community was under religious obligation to protect their fundamental and religious rights and their places of worship.

Rallies and demonstrations

The Sindh Sufi Sangat (SSS) took out a rally from Hyderabad against construction of Kalabagh dam and other “anti-Sindh projects” on Sunday.

Led by Akash Mallah, Punhal Sario, Abdul Fatah Channa, Ali Raza Khaskheli, Darshan Sachdev, Dr Ashothama, Niaz Ahmed Panhwar and other nationalist and rights activists, the rally reached Tando Mohammed Khan in the evening.

Speaking to the participants, the activists described Kalabagh dam as a controversial project and claimed that the recent announcement in favour of the dam was aimed at “inciting Sindhi people to a revolt against the project”. They said that it [announcement] was tantamount to hurting sentiments of people of three [smaller] provinces.

They also urged the government to order repatriation of “aliens” to their countries of origin from Sindh in order to put an end to terrorism in the country.

They were of the view that successive governments had been implementing “anti-Sindh projects” only to perpetuate their rule.

Separately, activists of the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) held a demonstration here on Sunday against Kalabagh dam and proposed issuance of national identity cards to illegal immigrants living in Karachi.

Led by Dr Aziz Talpur, Dr Gulzar Jumani, Zeenat Samoon and others, they participants also held a sit-in at Pakorra bus stop. The leaders, speaking to the protesters, said that a robbery had been committed to deprive Sindh of Indus water and render the province barren.

The activists pointed out that tail-end growers of Sindh were facing tremendous difficulties due to unavailability of water.

“Prices of farm produce are artificially brought down; sugar cane crop’s price is not fixed because 18 sugar mills are owned by those who are in power; even last year’s liabilities of growers against millers are not cleared,” one of the activists said.

They observed that illegal immigrants, including Afghans, Bengalis, Bihari and Burmese converted Sindhis to a minority in this province. They claimed that issuance of NICs to them was aimed at getting their votes.

BADIN: Awami Tehreek (AT) president Dr Rasool Bux Khaskeli, along with Noor Mohammed Katiar, Begum Zauner and other party colleagues led a rally here on Saturday against construction of dams over Indus and moves to grant nationality to illegal immigrants. Expressing their concern over corrupt ministers, officials and other people being granted bail, they claimed that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials were facilitating their release on bail. “Looted wealth [of the country] should be recovered from big fish after arresting them,” they stressed.

AT women wing (Sindhiyani Tehreek) leaders and children also took part in the rally. A group of activist observed a token hunger strike during the two-day protest outside the local press club.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) activist Dr Musrrat Hussain Khwaja, Jaey Sindh Mahaz-Riaz (JSM-R) chief Riaz Chandio and others visited the protest camp and expressed solidarity with them.

LARKANA: An organisation calling itself the National Peace Committee for Interfaith Harmony (NPCIH) organised a rally here on Sunday in favour of constructing big dams.

Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of new dams, the participants held a march from Tank Chowk to Jinnahbagh.

The rally was led by NPCIH chairman Zulfikar Magsi, Jan Mohammed Tunio and others.

The leaders said that construction of Diamer-Bhasha and other dams was essentially needed to address the growing water and energy issues. They said the country could face a major crisis if the dams were not built now as it was already faced with a serious water and electricity shortages.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1440527/country-needs-big-dams-but-water-dispute-among-provinces-should-also-be-resolved

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Afghanistan polls have no legitimacy: Fazl

October 22, 2018

CHARSADDA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Sunday that parliamentary elections in Afghanistan did not carry any legitimacy in the presence of foreign forces.

Talking to mediapersons here on Sunday, he said elections in the war-torn country were meaningless and would not put any positive impact on the country’s future.

He argued that Afghanistan was an occupied territory where America and other countries had stationed their troops.

“As the right of self-determination has no substitution in the Indian held Kashmir, same is the case of Afghanistan,” he replied when asked about the parliamentary polls in the neighbouring country.

He was of the view that a puppet government had been installed in Kabul which did not enjoy support of the Afghan nation.

He said negotiations were the only way to end four-decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Mr Rehman said Pakistan had been handed over to “incapable” people by rigging the July 25 general elections.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1440477/afghanistan-polls-have-no-legitimacy-fazl

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Southeast Asia

 

Sabah church seeks govt ruling on use of ‘Allah’ in religious education

October 22, 2018

PUTRAJAYA: A Sabah church pursuing the right to use the word “Allah” in religious education has written to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government asking it to make an administrative ruling on the matter.

Federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), which has a pending legal challenge, had written to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

He said SIB’s lawyer Tan Hooi Ping also informed Court of Appeal deputy registrar Haslina Basaruddin that a copy had been given to Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.

“However, I do not know the contents of the letter,” he said after a case management before Haslina today.

Tan meanwhile said she would write to the court to vacate the Nov 7 date scheduled for the hearing of SIB’s appeal on an interlocutory matter.

“We will be writing to the court for more time pending the ongoing discussion with the government,” she added.

Last year, SIB filed an appeal as part of attempts to reverse a High Court ruling in which justice Nor Bee Ariffin dismissed its discovery application for documents used by the home ministry to support its ban on the church’s right to use the word “Allah”.

Nor Bee ruled that there was no necessity for such an order in a judicial review application.

“The issue can be decided based on affidavits and available documents exhibited in the case,” she said.

The Sabah church asked the court to order the government to disclose the documents supporting its ban on non-Muslims using the Arabic word, but the government objected by saying such documents were “official secrets”.

SIB’s lead counsel Lim Heng Seng had argued that it was necessary for the government to reveal information relating to its original ban in 1986 on the word “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

Lim said this ban was the main cause for recurring problems faced by local Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians who had been using the word “Allah” for hundreds of years.

SIB president Rev Jerry Dusing, in his discovery application, sought a clear resolution of the matter as Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, where SIB was founded, had been using the word in their prayers, sermons, education and songs.

SIB and Dusing filed the lawsuit on Dec 10, 2007, after three boxes of Malay-language Christian educational books containing the word “Allah” were seized by the Customs Department at the then low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang in August that year.

The books were returned to SIB in January 2008.

Full report at:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/10/22/sabah-church-seeks-govt-ruling-on-use-of-allah-in-religious-education/

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Malaysia-Saudi Arabia ties remain strong despite uncertainties over Khashoggi killing

21 October 2018

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 21 —  Malaysia’s bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia remain strong despite the international community putting pressure on Riyadh following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia would not intervene in the issue and he believed that Saudi Arabia could take care of it themselves.

“When many of our people were killed in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy, Malaysia remained with the stand to look at the results of the full investigation.

“In the same spirit, since the investigation (on Khashoggi’s death) has begun, we will just wait for the investigation to be completed,” he told a press conference after chairing the Consultative Council on Foreign Policy meeting here today.

He was asked about Malaysia’s stand on the issue as several countries have reportedly withdrawn their participation in the Saudi Arabian investment conference in Riyadh following Khashoggi’s murder.

Yesterday, the Saudi state news agency reported that the country admitted Khashoggi was killed in its consulate in Istanbul.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1685227/malaysia-saudi-arabia-ties-remain-strong-despite-uncertainties-over-khashog

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British national jailed four months for sending bomb hoax in Singapore

22 October 2018

SINGAPORE, Oct 22 — He was angry about being sent to prison in Singapore for an immigration offence.

After his release, a British national decided to send an email to the Government claiming that three suicide bombings would take place at the 2005 National Day Parade (NDP).

Khor Chye Siew sent the email from a cyber cafe in Thailand two weeks before the parade to make the authorities “anxious” and “worried”.

He then cooked up an elaborate story when Singapore investigators flew over to interview him, claiming that two Pakistani inmates spoke about the NDP after discussing the 2005 London bombings.

Khor was sentenced to four months’ jail after pleading guilty to one charge of giving false information to an assistant manager at the then-Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (Mica). The assistant manager had opened the email Khor sent to the SingGov Feedback account.

The court heard that earlier that year, Khor — then a Malaysia citizen — had served six months in Portsdown Prison and was given three strokes of the cane for an immigration offence. It was not said in court when he became a British national.

After his release, he was repatriated to Malaysia and later made his way to the Thai city of Hatyai.

“Feeling angry and resentful about his time spent in Portsdown Prison, the accused decided to create a fictitious suicide bombing plot in order to make the Singapore Government ‘anxious’ and ‘worried’ as the NDP was around the corner,” deputy public prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran told the court.

On July 24, 2005, Khor went to a cyber cafe and created a Yahoo email account under the moniker “Malik Mahmud”.

He wanted to hide his identity and thought any bomb threat would be convincing if the email came from an account with Malay or a Muslim-sounding name.

The email read: “To Whom It May Concern, I’m writing this mail just to inform (you of) something (that) your country’s Intelligent Service has failed to do, which is to track down 100 (per cent of) the terrorist activities in your country. Kindly take this information seriously or else don’t blame me if something horror & ugly happens.”

Khor added that the authorities had about two weeks to take action.

The Mica officer who received it forwarded it to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence.

The email was traced to the cyber cafe, and officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) flew to Thailand five days after the email was sent. The officers interviewed Khor after tracking him down in Hatyai.

He continued claiming that the information on the suicide bombings was correct, adding that he had been housed with two Pakistani inmates, “Billal” and “Qadeer”, while at Portsdown Prison.

Khor claimed that the two inmates spoke about the terrorist suicide attacks on London’s public transport system on July 7, 2005, before they began talking about the NDP.

Khor claimed that was how he concluded that the two inmates were planning to attack the NDP. To make things more believable, he provided their inmate numbers and said they had been released sometime in July 2005.

The CID team found that the inmate numbers actually belonged to Singaporeans who had never met Khor. The officers only managed to track them down in May 2006, and determined that Khor’s bomb threat was a hoax.

He was arrested on May 26 this year at Changi Airport after flying in from London.

It is unclear how and when he travelled to London, and why he came to Singapore.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1685388/british-national-jailed-four-months-for-sending-bomb-hoax-in-singapore

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Maldives Supreme Court upholds president’s vote defeat

Oct 21, 2018

The Maldives' top court Sunday ended weeks of uncertainty by rejecting strongman President Abdulla Yameen's controversial bid to annul last month's election results, upholding his landslide defeat to an opposition candidate.

The five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled that Yameen had failed to prove his claim that the election was rigged and a fresh poll was necessary in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Under international pressure, Yameen initially conceded defeat in the September 23 poll.

But he then filed an appeal this month, throwing the island nation into turmoil and attracting warnings from the United States and regional superpower India to respect the outcome.

Yameen claimed magic ink had been used to rig the election and that votes marked for him disappeared inside ballot boxes.

Opposition activists celebrated outside the Supreme Court in the capital Male after the decision was read out, effectively drawing a line under Yameen's five years of iron-fisted rule.

"After weeks of uncertainty, the Maldivian people can finally enjoy clarity regarding the outcome of the election," said President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who swept September's poll in an unexpected landslide victory.

"The petition to annul the election was frivolous from the start, and spoke more about an inability in some quarters to accept defeat, than any genuine concerns about the vote."

Opposition legislator Mariya Didi said Yameen -- who lobbied the Supreme Court in 2013 to nullify election results in his favor -- should now allow a smooth transition of power.

"We are pleased that the court ruled unanimously to uphold the will of the people," Didi said on Twitter.

"The case was based on conjecture and conspiracy theories."

The country's independent Elections Commission, through its lawyers, had argued his petition was based on false allegations and should be dismissed.

Fresh uncertainty

The Supreme Court bench last week refused to accept the testimony of three unnamed witnesses that Yameen's lawyers said would prove the election was fixed.

The next day Yameen went on national television to concede defeat a second time, making no reference to his controversial legal bid.

"This is my final address to the nation before I leave," said the 59-year-old, whose term in office ends on November 17.

"During my tenure, the most difficult thing for me was my failure to learn about the people. I just couldn't find out what shapes their wishes."

Ahead of court hearings in the capital Male last week, the United States warned "appropriate measures" would be taken if the will of the Maldivian people was undermined.

Europe and India have also issued similar warnings in the past.

The situation was similar to 2013, when Yameen convinced the Supreme Court to nullify the first round of voting, which he was trailing to opposition candidate Mohamed Nasheed.

A subsequent vote was then twice delayed, allowing Yameen time to forge alliances that helped him narrowly win a contested run-off.

He has ruled with an iron fist ever since, crushing dissent and jailing or exiling all his major opponents.

In February, Yameen jailed the chief justice and another Supreme Court judge after accusing them of trying to topple him.

Yameen had initially suspended the court, parliament and the constitution and declared a state of emergency when legislators were about to impeach him.

Since his election defeat, several high-profile political prisoners including his estranged half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives for 30 years until 2008, have been released from jail.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577685/Maldives-Supreme-Court-election-opposition-Abdulla-Yameen-judge

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Arab World

 

Takfiri Fateh al-Sham terrorists move chemical agents to Syria’s Jisr al-Shughour: SANA

Oct 21, 2018

Members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist group, have reportedly moved banned chlorine and sarin munitions to a strategically important city in Syria’s militant-held northwestern province of Idlib as government forces are preparing to retake the last major terrorist stronghold in the country.

Local sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that the extremists moved the ammunition from the small city of Ma'arrat Misrin, located 50 kilometers southwest of Aleppo, to the city of Jisr al-Shughour.

The sources added that the munitions were transported inside a refrigerator truck used by the so-called civil defense group White Helmets, and under the supervision of the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria (TIP) militants.

Car bomb blast kills 4, injures nearly dozen in Idlib

Meanwhile, at least four people have lost their lives and eleven others sustained injuries when a car rigged with explosives went off in Idlib city.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the explosion ripped through the area mostly inhabited by Uzbek militants, noting that the death toll could rise as some of the injured are in a critical condition.

Under a deal reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on September 17, all militants in a demilitarized zone, which surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15.

The National Front for the Liberation of Syria is the main Turkish-backed militant alliance in the Idlib region, but the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group, which is a coalition of different factions of terror outfits, largely composed of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, holds a large part of the province and the zone.

The HTS, which is said to be in control of some 60 percent of Idlib province, has yet to announce its stance on the buffer zone deal.

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 members of different factions of armed groups, which Syria, Russia and Turkey consider terrorists, are active in the volatile province, which is home to around three million inhabitants.

Russia believes that a buffer zone would help stop attacks from Idlib-based militants on Syrian army positions and Russia's military bases in the flashpoint region.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577675/Takfiri-Fateh-alSham-terrorists-move-chemical-agents-to-Syrias-Jisr-alShughour

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Turkish Troops, Allied Militants Suffer Casualties in Kurdish Attacks in Northern Syria

Oct 21, 2018

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that 2 bombs, planted by the Kurdish militias in the Turkish army vehicles, broke out in al-Maqla'a area in Tarandah neighborhood in the town of Afrin, killing 4 Turkish soldiers and injuring 3 more.

It further said that the Kurdish gunmen attacked one of the bases of Ankara-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiyah in the village of Qastal Khazriya in Bolboleh region, killing two militants.

The report added that a Turkish army vehicle was targeted along a road to Mobata region that left a soldier dead, adding that the Kurds launched another attack on a military vehicle of Ankara forces along a road to Rajou region, killing two more Turkish soldiers.    

Hawar news had also reported on Thursday that the Kurdish forces attacked one of the strongholds of Firqat al-Hamzeh terrorist group in the village of Kimara in Shirawa region, killing 4 of the militants and wounding 3 others after severe clashes.

Based on the report, the Kurdish forces also targeted a military vehicle of Fayalq al-Sham terrorist group in the village of Kafr Nabu in Shirawa, smashing the car and killing and wounding 5 Turkey-backed militants.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970729000980

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Huge Blast Reported at Tahrir Al-Sham's Base in Central Idlib

Oct 21, 2018

The bomb-laden vehicle broke out in al-Qosour neighborhood in Central Idlib that is under Tahrir al-Sham's control and destroyed several buildings.

Al-Qosour is home to houses and base of Turkistani and other Asian terrorists, a militant-affiliated source disclosed, adding that Tahrir al-Sham and Uzbek and Turkistani terrorists laid siege on the neighborhood and kept gunmen on alert.

At least 6 people were killed and 25 others, including civilians and non-Syrian members of Tahrir al-sham were killed in the blast.

Last week, two notorious commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at and National Liberation Front (NLF) were killed in a bomb and gun fire attacks by unidentified raiders in Southern Idlib.

Abdulhamid al-Azo, a field commander of NLF, was killed in a bomb blast along a road connecting Dayer Sharqi to Ein Qari'a in Southern Idlib.

In the meantime, Abu Osama al-Terablosi, a notorious commander of Tahrir al-Sham, was gunned down by unknown raiders near the town of Ma'arat al-Nu'aman in Southern Idlib.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970729000946

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Egypt extends state of emergency for three months

21 October 2018

Egypt’s parliament voted on Sunday to extend a state of emergency in the country for three months, prolonging the authorities’ ability to use special powers into 2019.

Egypt first imposed a state of emergency in April 2017 after two church bombings killed at least 45 people, and has extended it at three-month intervals since.

The renewal starting October 15, was published in the official gazette last week, and required parliamentary approval within seven days.

It allows security forces to “take (measures) necessary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,” the gazette said.

The state of emergency grants the authorities sweeping powers, allowing them to make arrests and crack down on what they call enemies of the state.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told parliament ahead of Sunday’s vote that national security needed to be balanced with the protection of public freedoms.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/10/21/Egypt-extends-state-of-emergency-for-three-months.html

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US-led Coalition denies targeting civilians in deadly east Syria raid

21 October 2018

The US-led coalition denied Sunday that it targeted civilians in a recent deadly raid in eastern Syria, insisting instead that it had fired on an ISIS terrorist group command post.

Air strikes on Thursday and Friday on the village of Sousa killed 41 civilians, 10 of them children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based monitor blamed the coalition, which is backing an offensive launched last month by a Kurdish-Arab alliance against ISIS’s last redoubt in the country’s east.

The majority of those killed in the strikes were family members of ISIS militants, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP on Sunday.

“Only six are Syrians, the others are mostly Iraqi,” he said.

The coalition said it did not carry out any bombing runs on Friday, but that a raid on Thursday targeted a mosque being used as a “command and control center”.

“Our assessment is only ISIS militants were present at the command center at the time of the strike,” Colonel Sean Ryan said in response to questions from AFP sent by email.

He said “12 Daesh(ISIS) terrorists” were killed in the raid, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIS.

“If there are credible claims of possible civilian casualties, they will be investigated,” he added.

According to the Observatory, Thursday’s strike killed 18 civilians, including seven children, all of whom were related to ISIS militants.

It said 11 ISIS militants were also killed in the raid.

ISIS overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.

But the terrorist group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.

In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and a pocket that includes Sousa in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor along the border with Iraq.

Since 2014 the US-led coalition has acknowledged direct responsibility for more than 1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much higher.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says coalition strikes in Syria alone have killed more than 3,300 civilians.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/10/21/US-led-Coalition-denies-targeting-civilians-in-deadly-east-Syria-raid.html

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Kuwait welcomes Saudi King Salman’s decisions on Jamal Khashoggi case

21 October 2018

Kuwait has praised the decisions taken by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman regarding the case of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, a foreign ministry source told state news agency KUNA on Sunday.

The source added that the decisions “depicts the Kingdom’s keenness and commitment to establish the truth and its respect for legal principles to bring to account those behind this regretful event”.

Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that Khashoggi had died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate and that investigations are still ongoing with 18 suspects in custody.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/21/Kuwait-welcomes-King-Salman-s-decisions-on-Jamal-Khashoggi-case.html

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Coalition airstrike targets mosque used by Daesh

October 21, 2018

AL-UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar: The US-led coalition fighting the Daesh group says an airstrike on a mosque in Syria targeted an insurgent command and control center and killed a dozen fighters.

The coalition in a statement says that while the law of war protects mosques, the use of the building as a headquarters by Daesh caused it to lose that protected status.

Syrian state media and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last week that strikes in Sousa near the Iraq border killed and wounded dozens, including civilians and Daesh fighters.

The coalition says Daesh deliberately chose the mosque and repeatedly used it to plan and coordinate attacks on US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Sousa is in the last Daesh-held pocket in Syria where those forces have been fighting extremists for weeks.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1391446/middle-east

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South Asia

 

Pakistan has reportedly released Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar from jail

Oct 22 2018

Pakistan has reportedly released the former deputy chief of the Taliban group Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar from the jail.

Informed sources have told a local media outlet ‘The News’ that Mullah Baradar has been released from jail on the solicitation of the government of Qatar.

Recently, high level delegation of Qatar visited Islamabad and met senior leadership of Pakistan, the sources added.

Mullah Baradar was captured by security agencies in Karachi in 2010.

This is comes similar reports emerged few years earlier that Mulla Baradar has been released in Pakistan to negotiate with Afghan Taliban.

The Taliban group in Afghanistan has not commented regarding the release of the group’s former co-founder so far.

Mullah Baradar was among the four key people who had helped with the formation of the Taliban group in 1994.

https://www.khaama.com/pakistan-has-reportedly-released-taliban-co-founder-mullah-baradar-from-jail-06205/

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Pakistan portraying Indo-Bangladesh offensives on radical Islamic militancy as “state sponsored terrorism”

October 21, 2018

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

In a recently published research report conducted by Abdullah Khan, the Managing Director of Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), counterterrorism and counter-militancy initiatives of Bangladesh and India are portrayed as “state sponsored terrorism”. It said Islamic State (ISIS) is “provoked by the governments of India and Bangladesh which are known for their ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ against the Muslim communities”. The report claims, “Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are under a new threat of the deadly terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS), also called Daesh, resulting from a major shift from the Middle East.”

According to the PICSS report, ‘Wilayat-e-Hind’ (WeH) is the new chapter of Daesh which is quickly attracting the educated youth in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and promoting its radical Islamic and antisemitic ideology.

The study titled “Prospects of Daesh’s Expansion in South Asia” says that an unorganised presence of WeH militants has been identified in parts of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and other countries of the South Asian region. The WeH operates as an Indian chapter of the ISIS which was formally announced in 2016.

It highlights that the Indian citizens, especially from Kerala State, find ISIS more attractive than any other radical Islamic militancy group and at least 54 people from Kerala have announced to join the ISIS during the past three years.

“Those who have joined the Wilayat-e-Hind are well-educated and most of them are engineers, doctors and MBA degree holders. Indian citizens are mostly joining Khorasan chapter of Daesh than the core group in Syria or Iraq. However, the possible launching route of Indian ISIS members to Afghanistan is not clear yet,” the study reads.

Criticizing the counter-militancy initiatives of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Abdullah Khan told Pakistan Today, “…… the WeH Bangladesh chapter was another surprise addition where the so-called secular regime of Prime Minister Hasina was targeting religious Muslim groups under a witch-hunt drive.”

Here, Pakistani research group falsely portrays notorious radical Islamic militancy groups such as Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), Ansar Al Islam (AAI), Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and the student front of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JIB) as “Muslim groups” with the ulterior motive of misleading the global and in particular Western counterterrorism bodies.

The report said, “The ongoing targeting of scholars linked to Jamat-e-Islami and other religious right-wing outfits has provoked educated youth to take up arms. On November 7, 2015, Dr Sajit Debnath, aka Muhammad Saifullah Ozaki [from Bangladesh], gave a lecture to the audience at the Asia Pacific Conference at Ritsumeikan University. The topic of the lecture was Womenomics in Business. But this was one of the last public appearances of Dr Sajit before he disappeared along with his family in December 2015. Dr Sajit is a PhD and was considered an expert on the Islamic finance and economic theory. Later, he announced to join the ISIS.”

Abdullah Khan said that Daesh has successfully replaced Al-Qaeda as global champion of terror and it uses the concept of Khilafah [Caliphate] to inspire Muslim youth [in waging war against non-Muslims – particularly Jews, Hindus and Christians] from around the globe.

“The concept of Khilafah [Caliphate] is the next level of the concept of global Jihad or ultimate goal of global Jihad. The conquering of most parts of Iraq and Syria helped IS get a global attraction. Some Pakistani and Afghan Taliban commanders and commanders of some smaller groups got in contact with ISIS,” he said.

According to Khan, Abdur Rauf Khadim, an Afghan Taliban Commander from southern Afghanistan and former Guantanamo detainee, Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost, were the first to join ISIS and propagate for the ISIS.

Abdullah Khan also sheds light over Khurasan chapter’s different approach to recruit militants.

“In this part of the world, ISIS focused on making allies. Except for Afghan Taliban, the ISIs is pursuing a policy of cooperation instead of confrontation with other militant groups of the region. It found an ally in the form of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Aalami (LeJ-A),” he said, adding that Daesh was part of the five-member alliance formed against Pakistan in Paktia in 2016, including TTP, JuA, LI, LeJ-A.

“Differences have developed with Lashkar-e-Islam as they are fighting at some places, but cooperation with other groups continues. He said that ISIS Khorasan militants have developed an arch along Pakistani border to target the local areas and are interested in waging a war from the Afghan soil.

“The arch was developed by creating bases of ISIS militants in Badakhshan, Nuristan, Kuner and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan,” he added.

Khan argued that the ISIS terrorists had resorted to guerrilla-style attacks and they are capable of penetrating high-security zone of the Afghan capital.

“The quality of attacks and ability of ISIS militants to inflict heavy losses on the enemy is improving.  More militants from Syria and Iraq are joining Khorasan chapter which will further enhance operational capabilities of the group,” he stated.

Asked about the ideological aspects of ISIS terrorists, Abdullah Khan reacted that the group professes extremist views of Islam and mostly people from Deobandi and Salafi (Ahle-e-Hadith) schools of thought have joined the group in the region.

Romance between ISIS and Hefazat e Islam:

Hefazat e Islam (HeI), an Islamist group formed in 2010 under the leadership of Ahmad Shafi, the chief of Hathazari Madrassa in Bangladesh. This group comprises thousands of madrassa teachers and students. It may be recalled here, there are over ninety thousand Qaomi [Koranic] madrassas in Bangladesh. This group clearly confronts democracy, empowerment of women, secular institutions and individuals and demands enactment Sharia rule. HeI has connections with various Islamist groups including Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB), Khelafat Andolan, Khelafat Majlist and Islami Oikya Jote [Islamist Unity Front]. It also enjoys direct support from Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jatiyo Party.

In 2013 Hefajat-e-Islam was reformed after the allegation that some of the protesters in the Shahbagh protests demanding trial of the war criminals, were involved in publishing of content offensive to Muslims on blogs, including the depiction of the Prophet of Islam as a pornographic character. They arranged a rally towards capital city Dhaka, demanding enaction of capital punishment of the “atheist bloggers” involved in the Shahbag movement and a blasphemy law.

The 13 points of the Islamist group includes:

Restore the phrase “Complete faith and trust in the Almighty Allah” in the constitution,

Pass a law in parliament keeping a provision of the capital punishment of death sentence to prevent defaming Islam,

Taking measures for stringent punishment of self-declared atheists and bloggers, who led the Shahbagh movement, and “anti-Islamists” who made derogatory remarks against Muhammad. Also taking steps to stop the spread of “propaganda”,

Stopping infiltration of all “alien-culture”, including “shamelessness” in the name of individual’s freedom of expression, anti-social activities, adultery, free mixing of males and females and candle-lighting. Stopping harassment of women, open fornication and adultery, sexual harassment, all forms of violence against women and an end to the tradition of dowry,

Make Islamic education mandatory from primary to higher secondary levels canceling the women policy and anti-religion education policy,

Officially declare Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslim,

Stopping erection of sculptures at intersections, schools, colleges and universities across the country,

Lifting restrictions on prayersfor ulema in all mosques across the country, including Baitul Mukarram  National Mosque in Bangladesh,

Stopping Anti-Islamiccontent in media,

Halt to anti-Islam activities by NGOs across the country, including in the Chittagong Hill Tracts; Hefazat fears a “foreign conspiracy” to separate Chittagong Hill Tracts from Bangladesh and “make it a Christian state”,

Stop attacks and extrajudicial killing of ulema,

Stopping harassment of teachers and students of Qawmi madrassas [Koranic schools]  and Ulema,

Freedom for all arrested ulemaand madrassa students and withdrawal of all cases filed against them, compensation for the victims, and bringing the assailants to justice.

In my opinion, the above mentioned 13-point demands pressed by HeI was clearly destined as transforming a secular Bangladesh into another caliphate.

According to BBC Bangla Service, “The government of Sheikh Hasina has sought to treat Hefazat softly, and preferred to engage in negotiation.”

Commenting on Hefazat e Islam, English newspaper the Dhaka Tribune, “The radical group also scored a victory when PM Hasina recognised top Qawmi madrasa degree Dawrah-e-Hadith as equivalent to post-graduate degrees, attracting protests from many secular-leaning organisations and individuals.”

In a report titled ‘Bangladesh’s radical Muslims uniting behind Hefazat-e-Islam’, the Guardian quoting a leader of the organization wrote, “Hefazat had previously kept a low profile.”It represents poor people, with little education, mainly country folk, who have always been despised by the urban middle classes. There is nothing transnational or terrorist about the movement, but it may become more radical if it is sidelined,” says Farhad Mazhar, a political commentator. Hefazat enjoys the support of millions of believers, thanks to the control it exerts over the vast majority of Qur’anic schools in Bangladesh. “Our schools train the best imams. About a quarter of them then leave for the Gulf States, the United Kingdom or the United States, and they support us financially,” says Habib Ullah, the movement’s deputy-general-secretary.”

It may be mentioned here that the members of HeI support radical Islamic militancy groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah etc, while many are affiliated with these groups.

Radical Islamic teachers entering the West:

From the above statement of the deputy-general-secretary of HeI it is evidently proved that the members of this antisemitic radical Islamic group are entering the Western nations including the United Kingdom and the United States. This certainly is disturbing news as these radical teachers can preach radical Islam in the West and also radicalize local Muslims and provoke them towards militancy.

Threats posed by radical Islam in Bangladesh:

One of the key principles of the creation of Bangladesh was secularism. But the spirit of secularism was daunted when military dictator Hussein Muhammed Ershad made a constitutional amendment thus giving Islam the status of state religion. This was the continuation of his predecessor General Ziaur Rahman who began the process of Islamization of the country.

Ever since creation of Bangladesh, all of the successive government had followed a policy of appeasing radical Islam considering the vote bank. Moreover, Bangladesh has been a diehard supporter of the Palestinian jihad against the State of Israel. Criticizing Palestinians and leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Arafat is considered as a punishable crime under country’s blasphemy law. For this “crime”, I had been wrong convicted with 9-year’s rigorous imprisonment in 2014 by a court in Bangladesh and had to serve the entire period before walking out of the prison on July 29, 2018. Pending the appeal against this wrong conviction, when my bail petition was moved with the Appellate Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, the then Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha exhibited all out eagerness in cancelling the bail, which was granted by a High Court Division. Later it was proved; Justice Sinha is a puppet of the antisemitic and radical Islamic group named Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB).

Bangladesh’s romance with the Palestinian jihadists and Hamas are such strong that it had no hesitation in ignoring a House Resolution (HR-64) passed by 409 votes by the United States Congress in my defence in 2007.

Full report at:

https://www.weeklyblitz.net/news/pakistan-portraying-indo-bangladesh-offensives-on-radical-islamic-militancy-as-state-sponsored-terrorism/

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Pentagon says a U.S. General was also wounded in Kandahar incident

Oct 22 2018

The officials in the U.S. Department Defense, Pentagon, have confirmed that a U.S. General had also sustained injuries during last week’s deadly incident in southern Kandahar province.

The U.S. General wounded in the attack has been identified as U.S. Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley.

Navy Commander Grant Neeley, a spokesman for the NATO Resolute Support mission, has told the U.S. media “I can confirm that he is recovering from a gunshot wound he received during the attack in Kandahar.”

“He is being treated at a Resolute Support hospital in Kandahar,” Neeley added.

The incident in southern Kandahar province last Thursday left the Police Chief of the province Gen. Abdul Raziq dead along with the provincial intelligence chief Gen. Abdul Momin Hussain Khel.

The provincial governor of Kandahar Zalmay Weesa also sustained injuries in the attack along with some other individuals.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/pentagon-says-a-u-s-general-was-also-wounded-in-kandahar-incident-06204/

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Bangladesh hunts suspected militants after deadly police raids

October 19, 2018

Bangladeshi authorities are on the hunt for suspected Islamic militants in the wake of police raids on suspected militant hideouts where two people were killed.

Alleged militants — a male and a female — were killed when police counterterrorism units raided two suspected militant hideouts in Narsingdi district of central Bangladesh on Oct. 16.

Police officials also detained two suspected female militants the following day.

Police are now hunting for 17 suspected militants believed to have links with those killed or detained, said Abdul Mannan, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, the Daily Star reported Oct. 19.

The raid is part of an ongoing anti-militancy crackdown in Bangladesh, a moderate Muslim-majority South Asian country that has seen a sharp rise in Islamic militancy in recent years.

Father Albert T. Rozario, former secretary of Catholic bishops' Justice and Peace Commission, said the latest crackdown signals that weakened militant networks are trying to regroup.

"Militancy is a global phenomenon and it is far from over yet," Father Rozario told ucanews.com. "Militants are hiding, trying to revive and are changing their tactics to evade security agencies."

Global terror outfits

Islamic militants, pledging allegiance to global terror outfits — the so-called Islamic State and Al-Qaeda — have since 2013 murdered about 50 people including atheist writers, liberal academics, gay activists, religious minorities and foreigners in Bangladesh.

In the worst terror attack, five militants murdered 20 people, most of them foreigners, at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in an upmarket diplomatic area of Dhaka on July 1, 2016.

In response, law enforcers launched a massive anti-militancy campaign that resulted in more than 50 militants including top leaders being killed and hundreds of suspects being arrested.

Father Rozario said that despite such efforts in fighting militancy, Bangladesh has failed to promote a 'counter ideology', nor reach a political consensus denouncing it. 

"We have a long tradition of religious harmony, yet there are small groups that back militancy," said Father Rozario.

"Sadly, ruling and opposition parties are yet to reach a consensus that says a strong 'no' to militancy," the priest added.

Broader population rejects militancy

Dhaka-based security analyst retired Major General Abdur Rashid told ucanews.com that the latest crackdown has multiple revelations, both positive and negative.

Rashid noted that since the café attack, security forces have enhanced their skills in combating militancy. 

"Now, security officials are able to intercept 'militancy indicators' before militants can make any move. That's why we see now and then militant dens being busted, which was rare before the Holey Artisan attack," he said.

The recent events also show that militancy remains a threat, he said.

Full report at:

https://www.ucanews.com/news/bangladesh-hunts-suspected-militants-after-deadly-police-raids/83676

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Mideast

 

ISIL Plot for Terrorist Attacks in Iran Foiled

Oct 21, 2018

"The intelligence team which had infiltrated the terrorist groups could provide the quadrilateral coalition of Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia with intelligence about ISIL's moves," the head of al-Soqour intelligence group at the Iraqi interior ministry Abu Ali al-Basari was quoted as saying by Iraq's SNG news agency on Sunday.

He added that the terrorists had plots to carry out terrorist attacks in Turkey, Iran and Suleimaniyeh region, noting that the numerous airstrikes launched by the Russian fighter jets in Syria foiled the ISIL plots to infiltrate Iran, Iraq, Turkey and some of the European states and operations in Raqqa and Albu Kamal in Syria.

The Quadrilateral Intelligence Sharing Center, with military attachés from Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria, is headed by the Iraqi Military Information Organization since its foundation in 2015.

The Quadrilateral Intelligence Sharing Center of Iran, Russia, Iraq and Syria holds different meetings to broaden cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

The participants discuss activities of the four countries in the security and intelligence fields and present security reports on countering terrorism.

Tehran, Moscow, Baghdad and Damascus have stressed the need to expand cooperation between the four countries in the fight against the ISIL terrorists and other terrorist groups.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970729001005

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Turkey’s Erdogan: Details on Khashoggi case will be provided on Tuesday

21 October 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will announce on Tuesday details of Turkey’s investigation into the case of Saudi citizen and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan is expected to make the statement at a meeting with members of his ruling AK Party in parliament on Tuesday.

“I will make my statement about this issue on Tuesday at the party group meeting,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul on Sunday.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/21/Turkey-s-Erdogan-Details-on-Khashoggi-case-will-be-provided-on-Tuesday.html

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Deputy minister breaks with Houthis, says militias spread Iran’s ideology

22 October 2018

The deputy minister of education in the coup-government of the Houthi pro-Iranian militias, Dr. Abdullah al-Hamdi, said that he broke with the militias, calling to rise up against these rejected militias from 90% of the Yemeni people who are suffering from hunger, death and poverty due to the militias.

Hamdi revealed in a television interview on Sunday that these militias import Iranian ideology and their destructive project to enslave the Yemeni people, exploiting them to terrorize and control the society.

He explained that the terrorist militias spread alien ideas on the culture of the Yemeni society, establishing the so-called Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurist) ideology, occupying the mosques and destroying them, replacing them with Husseiniat instead, adding that the militias kidnap and recruit children by force and put them on the front lines.

He stressed that the biggest historical mistake occurred in Yemen is the alliance of the General People’s Congress with the Houthi terrorist organizations, as he puts it.

Hamdi said that the Yemeni people are suffering- under the control of the Houthi pro-Iranian militias- from famine.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/22/Deputy-minister-breaks-with-Houthis-says-militias-import-Iran-s-ideology.html

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Houthis deprive two mln Yemeni children from education, closes 3600 schools

21 October 2018

Yemeni Minister of Education Abdullah Salem Lemmles said that the war launched by the Houthi militias had devastating effects on the educational system and on the opportunities of millions of children to receive education according to the general education system in Yemen.

Some 3,600 primary and secondary schools have been closed since the beginning of the war, depriving 1.9 million children of access to formal education, according to the minister.

Minister Lemmles said about 2,000 primary and secondary schools were damaged or used by Houthi militias as barracks, and about 67 percent of schools did not pay their staff salaries for almost two years.

He pointed out that more than one million children are unable to attend school because of the war staged by the Houthi militias, and that 2 million children do not have access to a formal education system.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/10/21/Houthis-deprive-two-mln-Yemeni-children-from-education-closes-3600-schools.html

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Istanbul summit aimed at avoiding new humanitarian disaster in Idlib

October 21, 2018

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to attend a critical four-way summit on Syria in Istanbul next Saturday.

They will discuss recent developments in the war-torn country as well as projections for a political settlement.

Experts have underlined the importance of this summit in providing a strong push for key EU countries to work together with regional players to end the years-long conflict in Syria as it will gather the four countries’ leaders at the highest level.

The summit will focus on the recent developments in the opposition-held northwestern province of Idlib, and the parameters of a possible political settlement.

The ways for preventing a new refugee inflow from Idlib into Europe via Turkey, which is home to about 3.5 million Syrian residents, following a possible offensive by the Assad regime will also be raised as a topic that mainly concerns France and Germany and pushes them to work more closely with Turkey and Russia.

The summit will also aim at “harmonizing joint efforts for finding a lasting solution to the conflict,” presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin announced on Friday.

Germany and France welcomed the Turkey-Russia deal on Idlib that had set Oct. 15 as the deadline for removing all radical groups from a demilitarized zone in the province. Although the withdrawal of some opposition groups from the zone has not been accomplished in due time, Ankara and Moscow have agreed to extend the deadline for Idlib, which is still a strategic area where the opposition holds out.

“Turkey and Russia want the status quo for Idlib. Although the jihadists have not withdrawn from the demilitarized zone, Russia is turning a blind eye,” said Fabrice Balanche, an associate professor and research director at the University of Lyon II.

“Turkey will make some efforts to save face. Turkish proxies have withdrawn because Turkey pays wages, so they must obey, but for the jihadists it is more complicated,” he told Arab News.

According to Balanche, without the complicity of Turkey, the Syrian regime cannot take over the north of the country.

“In exchange, Turkey wants a buffer zone in the north, all along its border. The main objective is, of course, to eliminate the Syrian Kurdish YPG from the border as it has already done in Afrin. A secondary objective is to protect its opposition allies and the Turkmen minorities, many in the province of Idlib but also between Azaz and Jarablus,” he said.

But the summit also shows that these four countries need each other in the Syrian theater as each of them has stakes regarding the settlement of the crisis.

Emre Ersen, a Syria analyst at Marmara University in Istanbul, said the main goal of the summit is to provide a major diplomatic boost to the ongoing Astana and Sochi peace processes, which have so far been led mainly by Turkey, Russia and Iran.

“A second and maybe even more important goal is to include France and Germany in the reconstruction efforts in Syria once the civil war is over,” he told Arab News.

Considering the cost of the reconstruction, estimated at about $400 billion, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran are not ready to take this enormous financial burden without the financial support of the West, Ersen said.

“Both Paris and Berlin hope that Ankara’s ongoing efforts to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Idlib can be successful. If the settlement in Idlib does not work, everybody is aware that this may lead to a big refugee crisis for both Turkey and Europe once again,” he added.

Martina Fietz, deputy spokeswoman for the German government, told a news conference in Berlin that her country is also hopeful about the forthcoming summit’s potential contribution to the stabilization of Idlib’s de-escalation zone.

“Progress in the UN-led political process, in particular the commencement of the work of the constitutional commission, will be discussed,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1391696/middle-east

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Africa

 

Jordanian King to end border land lease extension with Israel

21 October 2018

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday ended a clause in the Wadi Arabah treaty, saying that Amman would not to agree renew an extension of a 25-year Israeli lease of border land under the 1994 agreement.

“Al-Baqura and al-Ghamr have always been our top priorities and our decision is to end their extension from the peace agreement based on our keenness to take everything necessary for Jordan and Jordanians,” the king tweeted on Sunday.

Protests have taken place over the past period demanding that the lease not be renewed after the end of the legal period according to the initial agreement.

Netanyahu, in public remarks, said Jordan wants to implement its option to end the lease, and Israel “will enter negotiations with it on the possibility of extending the current arrangement”.

Under an annex to the peace agreement, Israel leased about 1,000 acres of agricultural land in the southern sector of its border with Jordan, as well as a small area known as the “Island of Peace” near the Sea of Galilee.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/10/21/Jordanian-King-to-end-border-land-lease-extension-with-Israel.html

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‘55 people killed in communal clashes in Nigeria’

Oct 21, 2018

Nigeria says dozens of people were killed earlier this week in sectarian violence sparked by a dispute in a market in the country’s north.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday that a total of 55 people had lost their lives in clashes between young Christians and Muslims in the northwestern Nigerian state of Kaduna.

Local sources told AFP that the fighting erupted between Adara Christian and Hausa Muslim youths in the town of Kasuwan Magani’s market following a dispute among wheelbarrow porters.

The state police commissioner said 22 people had been arrested after the unrest.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest communal violence in Kasuwan Magani in Kaduna State, which claimed 55 lives,” the presidential office said in a statement.

The Nigerian president expressed concern that Nigerians were too frequently resorting to violence over misunderstandings that could be resolved peacefully.

“No culture and religion supports the disregard for the sanctity of life,” he said, adding that “peaceful coexistence is necessary for the progress of any society and its well-being.”

Buhari also said that without harmony between communities, an environment conducive to “our everyday businesses would be impossible to achieve.”

“Violence cannot be an alternative to peace. On the contrary, reliance on violence leads to ultimate self-destruction. Violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Embracing peace is a necessity,” he said.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577641/Nigeria-communal-violence-55-deaths

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Jordanian king wants Israel to return border areas leased under 1994 peace deal

Oct 21, 2018

Jordan’s King Abdullah II says Amman has already notified Israel that it will not extend its lease of two border territories to the Tel Aviv regime, stressing that his country is resolute to reclaim both regions under a bilateral peace deal signed almost a quarter of a century ago.

The two pieces of territory are Baqoura, also known Naharayim, a border area of six square kilometers in Jordan’s northern Irbid province situated south of the Lake Kinneret, in the north of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, while Ghumar, also known as Zofar, another border area that covers four square kilometers in the southern Aqaba province and is located south of the Dead Sea.

According to a peace treaty inked by Jordan and Israel on October 26, 1994, the two pockets of border areas were leased to Israel for a 25-year renewable period upon the signing of the treaty, under which the lease is automatically renewable unless either side gives a year’s notice to terminate the deal.

“We have informed Israel [that we are putting] an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding Baqoura and Ghumar,” said King Abdullah on Sunday, quoted by Jordan’s official news agency Petra.

He added that Tel Aviv was “informed” regarding Amman’s decision on Sunday, and stressed that the two border areas “are Jordanian land and will remain” part of the Arab country.

“Baqoura and Ghumar have always been at the top of our priorities, and we have decided to put an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding Baqoura and Ghumar,” King Abdullah further said.

The deadline for renewing both leases of the deal is this coming Thursday.

Israel seeks negotiation with Jordan

Later on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in public remarks, said Amman wanted to implement its option to terminate the leases, and Tel Aviv in return “will enter negotiations with it on the possibility of extending the current arrangement.”

He added that no doubt the bilateral agreement “is an important asset.”

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577695/Jordan-King-Abdullah-Israel-lease

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Boko Haram raid in Nigeria leaves 2 dead: witnesses

2018-10-22

Boko Haram jihadists razed three villages in northeast Nigeria in attacks that killed two people and injured several others, civilian militia and residents told AFP Sunday.

The jihadists arrived in trucks to attack the neighbouring villages of Dala-Melari, Fuguri and Femari villages, 6km outside Borno state capital Maiduguri.

"The terrorists fired indicriminately and forced residents to flee," said militia leader Ibrahim Liman.

Liman blamed fighters loyal to Boko Haram factional leader Abubakar Shekau for the attacks.

"Two people were killed and several injured."

"They completely burnt the villages after looting food supplies," Liman said.

A resident, Modu Malari, said the jihadists invaded the villages around 22:00 and "spared nothing".

"They stole all our food and burnt all our homes. They killed two of our men," Malari said.

The attacks came hours after the jihadists hacked to death a dozen farmers working on their fields in Kalla village, five kilometres away.

Liman blamed the same jihadists who killed the farmers for the village raids.

In recent days Boko Haram militants have increasingly attacked civilian targets in the region.

On Thursday, they looted and burnt a village in northeast Borno state after fighting off soldiers protecting it, a local official told AFP

The jihadists believed to be loyal to Shekau invaded Kalli village outside the town of Damboa, 89 killometres from Maiduguri.

"The terrorists attacked the village and forced residents and troops to flee after a fight," a local official of Damboa local government said.

"They looted food and livestock and set the village on fire, burning it completely," said the official speaking from Maiduguri.

Kalli lies on the fringes of the jihadists' Sambisa forest enclave from where the militants launched the attack, according to a civilian militia assisting troops in fighting the jihadists.

Full report at:

https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/boko-haram-raid-in-nigeria-leaves-2-dead-witnesses-20181021

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North America

 

Anti-Muslim rhetoric 'widespread' among candidates in Trump era – report

22 Oct 2018

Sabrina Siddiqui

The 2018 midterm elections have seen a dramatic rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric, a new report has found, as political campaigns are emboldened by Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House.

The findings demonstrate the depth of anti-Muslim messaging ahead of the 6 November vote, tactics that echo attempts to inflame fears around immigrants and people of color.

“We’ve seen anti-Muslim candidates running in every region,” said Scott Simpson, public advocacy director of Muslim Advocates, which commissioned the report.

“We’ve seen them running at every level of office, from the school and planning boards all the way to governor and Congress. We’ve seen it in liberal places and conservative places.

“It has really taken root and become very widespread.”

The report examined more than 80 campaigns across the US run by candidates who have engaged in anti-Muslim campaign attacks over the last two years. Almost all of the candidates are Republican.

Conspiracy theories targeting Muslims have increasingly entered the political mainstream. The majority of the candidates openly targeting Muslims – 64% – are either elected or appointed officials or boast of a presidential endorsement.

More than a third have claimed that Muslims are inherently violent or pose an imminent threat, the report found, and have propagated the existence of a Muslim conspiracy to take over communities or infiltrate government. Just under a third of the candidates considered have called for Muslims to be denied basic rights or declared that Islam is not a religion.

Many such attacks echo rhetoric used by Trump and other Republican presidential contenders in 2016, as anti-Muslim sentiment reached new heights within the party’s primary electorate.

Trump called for a ban on all Muslims coming to the US and flirted with the idea of a Muslim registry. He also falsely claimed Muslims celebrated in New Jersey following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and openly declared that “Islam hates us”.

“Since the 2016 election, how easy it is for candidates to really use Islamophobic and hateful rhetoric as a part of their platform,” said Mohamed Gula, political director at Emgage, an organization focused on electing more Muslims to public office.

“Whether you go to a masjid or are part of any institution within the Muslim community, you’re attached to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

That line of attack recently thrust a congressional race in California into the national headlines.

Representative Duncan Hunter, a Republican, ran an attack ad suggesting his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, was a “security risk … working to infiltrate Congress”. The television spot invoked Campa-Najjar’s Mexican-Palestinian heritage and claimed without evidence that he was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Campa-Najjar, who is Christian, told the Guardian the attack was “blatantly ignorant” and “unhinged from reality”. The ad was also denounced by a bipartisan group of national security veterans as “racist and bigoted”.

Elsewhere, a Republican Super Pac has gone after a Democratic candidate, Abigail Spanberger, for her work as a substitute teacher at a Saudi-funded Islamic school in northern Virginia.

“What is Abigail Spanberger hiding?” the narrator asks in a TV ad funded by the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan. “Spanberger doesn’t want us to know that she taught at an Islamic school nicknamed ‘Terror High, a terrorist breeding ground.”

Spanberger taught at the school from 2002 to 2003, while awaiting a security clearance to work at the CIA. She disclosed this and was granted two federal security clearances and dispatched to fight terrorism overseas.

There is some evidence that such attacks do not work. Of the 80 anti-Muslim candidates identified in the research, only 11–14% – were elected or are safely projected to win in November.

“The rhetoric is not popular with American voters,” said Simpson. “It is popular with a really isolated and very extreme part of the electorate that is very hostile to Muslims, that will parrot back the most out-of-touch conspiracy theories about American Muslims without even thinking twice.”

The sharp rise in Islamophobic campaigns comes as a record number of Muslim Americans seek elected office.

Gula said groups like Emgage believe the best way to counter anti-Muslim sentiment is to build a formidable presence in public office and as an electorate.

“Being able to rewrite and redefine what it means to be socially responsible and civically engaged within our communities is of huge importance,” he said. “We’ve seen a little over [100] Muslims run for office … That was once unheard of.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/22/anti-muslim-rhetoric-widespread-among-candidates-trump-era

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Trump leaves open possibility of bin Salman role in Khashoggi assassination

Oct 22, 2018

US President Donald Trump continues his defense of the Saudi royal family in the possible assassination of an outspoken critic of the kingdom in Turkey.

Trump took part in an interview late Saturday with The Washington Post, which he often refers to as “fake news,” in order to protect Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the case of Jamal Khashoggi.

"There is a possibility he [bin Salman] found out about it afterward. It could be something in the building went badly awry. It could be that's when he found about it," he said, acknowledging that "their stories are all over the place."

The US president further left the door open for possible implication of the prince, the country’s de facto leader.

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible," Trump said. "Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point ... I would love if he wasn’t responsible.”

Saudi Arabia acknowledged the murder for the first time on Friday, yet leaving many questions unanswered, a denial welcomed by Trump.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies," Trump said.

Intelligence intercepts reportedly show that Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi mission in Istanbul on October 2, was murdered on bin Salman’s direct order.

Turkish media have previously released the identities of Saudi operatives, who had apparently travelled from Riyadh to Istanbul on two private jets and entered the Saudi mission for that matter.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/22/577721/Trump-leaves-open-possibility-of-bin-Salman-role-in-Khashoggi-assassination

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Saudi, US can weather crisis over murdered journalist: Jubeir

Oct 21, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says the kingdom and the United States can sustain the crisis created by the murder of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The strategic relationship is important for both countries," Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday. "The relationship will weather this."

Khashoggi, a US resident, The Washington Post columnist, and a leading critic of Riyadh, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his pending marriage, but he never left the mission.

Saudi officials originally said Khashoggi had left the diplomatic mission unharmed, before announcing on Friday that he had been killed inside the building in what they described as an altercation.

Jubeir said King Salman was “determined” to punish those behind the murder, which he claimed had been "a tremendous mistake" and part of a "rogue operation."

"I believe that when the investigation's over and the facts have been revealed and ... people know who is responsible, and see those individuals being punished, and see procedures put in place to prevent this from happening,” the top diplomat said.

Jubeir brushed off accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which Khashoggi would openly criticize, had ordered the foul play.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, delivered his strongest comments yet about the affair in an interview with The Post, saying, "Obviously, there's been deception and there's been lies." "Their stories are all over the place."

Trump, however, emphasized the importance of US-Saudi relationship to Washington's regional strategic goals.

He described the 33-year-old crown prince as a "strong person; he has very good control."

Trump added that he has yet to be shown any evidence by intelligence officials that would make him believe the royal had any direct role in the murder.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577715/Saudi-Arabia-US-journalist-Jamal-Khashoggi-murder

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US general shot in last week’s Taliban attack

October 21, 2018

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has confirmed that US Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was shot in a Taliban attack that killed two Afghan leaders in Kandahar province last week.

US military spokesman Cmdr. Grant W. Neeley provided no other details. The Washington Post reported earlier Sunday that Smiley was recovering after suffering at least one gunshot wound while he was inside the Kandahar governor’s compound.

The Taliban assassinated two top provincial officials Thursday in an attack on a security conference attended by the top US military commander in the country, Gen. Scott Miller. He escaped injury.

Smiley was assigned in the summer to lead a Kandahar-based command with a mission to train and advise Afghan security forces and help with counterterrorism operations in southern Afghanistan.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1391686/world

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Canada, others condemn killing of Saudi journalist

21.10.2018

By Fatih Hafız Mehmet

Canada, Australia and New Zealand have condemned the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland in a statement on Saturday criticized Saudi Arabia's explanation regarding the killing of Khashoggi.

“The explanations offered to date lack consistency and credibility,” she said.

“Canada condemns the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed took place in its consulate in Istanbul,” the statement added.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also condemned the killing of the Saudi journalist.

“We deplore the killing of Jamal Khashoggi...We expect the Saudi government to cooperate fully with Turkish authorities regarding the investigation of this matter," he said.

The Australian government has also announced it was no longer “appropriate” to attend next week’s Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker in a joint statement on Sunday said: "The New Zealand government continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives."

“The killing by government operatives is deeply disturbing. Many questions remain unanswered,” Peters said.

“We look forward to the results of the investigation being led by Turkey and we urge Saudi Arabia to implement its undertaking to participate openly and transparently in that investigation,” he added.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/canada-others-condemn-killing-of-saudi-journalist/1288357

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Europe

 

Britain says Saudi account of Khashoggi's death not credible

Oct 21, 2018

The United Kingdom says that Saudi Arabia's explanation of how dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul was not credible.

The remarks by Brexit minister Dominic Raab came on Sunday two days after Riyadh had confessed that Khashoggi was murdered.

In a Friday announcement, Saudi Arabia said that the preliminary results of its investigation indicated Khashoggi had been killed in a "fight with people who met him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”

However, Raab told the BBC that "I don't think it's credible," adding there was a "serious question mark over the account that has been given."

"We support the Turkish investigation into it and the British government wants to see people held to account for that death."

Saudi Arabia's narrative of Khashoggi's murder has been criticized by several other countries too. They demanded greater clarity regarding the case.

Since the very early hours of Khashoggi’s disappearance on October 2, many pointed the finger to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, saying the crown prince had clear motives to kill the journalist.

Later revelations in the Turkish media showed that a 15-member hit squad, among them members of bin Salman’s personal guard, had carried out the murder inside the Saudi consulate.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577652/UK-Saudi-Arabia-Jamal-Khashoggi

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Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia

21.10.2018

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

Germany has announced on Sunday that it would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid doubts over Riyadh’s explanation on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded urgent clarification on Khashoggi’s killing. 

“As far as arms exports are concerned, those can’t take place in the current conditions,” Merkel said. 

She also underlined that Berlin would hold talks with its international partners for a common response.

Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Full report at:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/germany-stops-arms-exports-to-saudi-arabia/1288837

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Egypt denies alleged organ theft after British tourist’s death

22 October 2018

Egyptian authorities on Sunday denied reports of alleged organ theft after the body of a British tourist who died suddenly while on holiday was returned home without some organs.

David Humphries, 62, died in the seaside resort of Hurghada on the shores of the Red Sea on September 18. His body was returned to the UK where a second post-mortem ordered by a coroner discovered that his heart and some other organs had been removed, a British media outlet said in a report.

Accusing the UK media of publishing “flawed reports”, the Egyptian state information service (SIS) said allegations of “organ theft are unfounded”.

Cause of death

The statement said that samples were taken and the heart, parts of the liver, kidneys and other organs had been removed in order to establish the cause of death. It did not give an explanation as to why they had not been replaced.

The service said the tourist had probably died of a heart attack, citing the medical report. It also quoted his daughter Anita Goodall as saying that she did “not accuse anyone of having a hand in the death of her father”.

In another case in Hurghada on August 21, travel operator Thomas Cook moved all its clients to another hotel after a British couple died in what their daughter called “suspicious” circumstances.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2018/10/22/Egypt-denies-alleged-organ-theft-after-British-tourist-s-death.html

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UK opposition parties call for change in ties to Saudis

Oct 21, 2018

The five main opposition parties in Britain have called on the government to change its stance toward Saudi Arabia, saying the kingdom has already crossed many boundaries in committing crimes and violating human rights.

In a joint letter to British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, the five parties, namely, Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, said it was time for a change of policy toward Saudi Arabia following the death of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey and in light of continued crimes committed by Riyadh in the war on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been subject to renewed pressure over its role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an exiled journalist who was brutally killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Governments around the world have been considering punitive measures against Riyadh since it admitted the assassination on Friday.

Many have called on Britain, a major ally of Saudis, to stop supplying the regime with weapons. However, the Conservative-led government says such a ban would benefit rivals in the weapons market.

The five British opposition parties said in their letter to Hunt that it was “hard to imagine what crime the Saudi government would need to commit” for the UK government to condemn it.

The letter, signed by the foreign representatives of the parties and seen by the Guardian newspaper, said reports showing that Khashoggi was tortured and murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul constituted “the latest in a litany of charges that have been laid before the Saudi regime by the international community”.

“It cannot be business as usual with a regime that displays blatant contempt and disregard for international law and human rights. The consistent inaction of your government is utterly incompatible with our most basic value as a democracy,” read the letter, which was organized by the SNP.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/21/577686/UK-opposition-Saudi-policy-Khashoggi-case

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Iran says has ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia in Syria

Oct 22, 2018

Iran has been working with Russia in a “strategic partnership” format based on mutual interests but is in no such “alliance” with any Eastern or Western power, says Iran’s point man on the Middle East, who has been working closely with the Russian Federation on Syria’s dossier.

Asked about the nature of Iran’s relationship with Russia, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, a top aide to the Iranian foreign minister, told Press TV’s website in an exclusive interview on October 10 that the Islamic Republic has since its foundation defined itself as nationally independent of any global power but has recognized and duly employed “partnerships” with countries within the framework of its national interests.

He meticulously differentiated between a “strategic alliance” — which he said was an obsolete practice of the Cold War-era and never in the policy toolkit of the Islamic Republic — and “strategic partnership.”

“Russia is not our strategic ally; neither are we Russia’s strategic ally, in the sense that was very popular particularly in the bipolar era [of international politics], in the era of blocs and great […] alliances,” he said.

“We don’t have a strategic alliance with Russia, but we have strategic partnership [with it], in specific projects, based on specific mutual interests — and in spite of the differences we have [with Moscow] — and we can continue to have [such partnership] in the future, too,” Jaberi Ansari said.

He said Iran “exited the framework of alliances and affiliations with powers in the West and the East” after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

The Islamic Republic, he said, has achieved its national independence “at great cost” and will not let that independence be dented in any shape or form.

“Neither in its relations with Russia, nor in its relations with any other power will Iran step toward violating its own national independence,” he said.

‘The facts’

But Iran highly values its relationship with Russia for a number of factual reasons, he said.

“Russia is our neighbor to the north, [and] Russia is a large neighbor and a global power. These are facts,” Jaberi Ansari said. “As such, the same rule that governs our relations with all our neighbors applies to Russia all the more.”

“No [Iranian] administration or politician can afford not to insert into its/his calculations the fact that Russia is our globally powerful neighbor.”

In his official capacity as senior assistant to the Iranian foreign minister on special political affairs, Jaberi Ansari has been working with Russia — and Turkey — in a peace process for Syria.

Iran and Russia, allies of the Syrian government, have been giving Damascus advisory military help in coordination with one another. Russia has also been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign in Syria on behalf of the Syrian government.

‘Iran subordinate to no country’

Jaberi Ansari said China, too, is another neighbor that, although not in Iran’s immediate neighborhood, has on various occasions — “in times of difficulty, at times of sanctions, conflicts, and wars” — been willing to cooperate and is thus well looked upon inside Iran.

“But none of that means that we are part of global blocs, or [involved in] East-West disputes, or that we have become subordinate to the East or the West,” he said.

He seemed to say that Iran considered its interests above all.

“Iran’s interests are in employing all the capacities that really exist in its international relations with Eastern and Western powers according to Iran’s national agenda. Whatever window is open, Iran and its wise politicians will use that window,” Jaberi Ansari said.

The Iranian official said while Russia has been willing to cooperate with Iran in economic, political, and security areas, the West, particularly America, has consistently sought to confront and contain Iran since 1979.

Full report at:

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/10/22/577724/Iran-Russia-relationship-strategic-partnership-Hossein-Jaberi-Ansari-exclusive-interview

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