poster at one of the houses in Lisari village in Meerut.(HT Photo).
In Meerut village, posters say 'I'm a Muslim, I'm selling my house' to protest
bias | india news | Hindustan Times
Meerut Village, Posters Say ‘I’m A Muslim, I’m Selling My House’ To Protest
Media Forum Calls for Clampdown on Hate Speech in Western Press
Awami League Takes Initiatives to Tap Into Islamist Voter Banks
in Jamaat Deepen Over JUI-F Dominance in MMA
Has Outstanding Counterterrorism Deficiencies Raised By FATF: US Official
Deacons Embrace Other Religions with Pilgrimage
Groups in Gurgaon Claim Stopped From Offering Namaz at Vacant Plot Again
Community Infuriated With Yogi Adityanath's Refusal to Wear Skullcap At Sant
US Are One in Saying Pakistan Deserved To Be Demoted To Anti-Terror Funding
Group's 'Grey List'
encounter: 3 terrorists gunned down, civilian killed in clashes
cow vigilantes who lynched Muslim trader in Jharkhand get bail
funding probe: NIA steps
up heat on Hurriyat leaders
files FIR against Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi
Agency Rejects Trump Nominee Who Made Controversial Islam, Refugee Posts
Arabiya reporting from inside Saturday’s ‘Free Iran’ conference in Paris
Announces End of Ceasefire with Taliban, Orders Resumption Of Operations
Special Forces Senior Commander martyred in an attack in Kabul
Quetta Council leaders mulling peace talks, claims Gen. Raziq
Bangladeshi Militants Bring Jamaat ul Mujahideen to India
transit camps sit empty as Rohingya fear return
Gives Pakistan 10-Point Action Plan to Counter Terror Financing
urges Pakistan to repeal discriminatory laws against Ahmedis
Pulls Extremist from Terror Watch List
govt denies lifting ban from ASWJ
sees tickets award as most unrewarding task
renews govt pledge to rout terror financing
Upgrades Pakistan on ‘Human Trafficking Index’
admits making bomb threat targeting Florida mosque
attack: Deadliest day for journalism in US since 9/11
Plans Crackdown on Condemned Cleric's Militant Network
keen on encouraging more Muslim tourists from Malaysia
defends his praise for Turkish strongman Erdogan
seeks Malaysian promise to protect migrant workers
Takfiri Militants Renounce Violence in Syria’s Dara’a
Seeks Role in Return of Syrian Refugees from Lebanon
offensive displaces more than 120,000 civilians
FSA Commander Flees Dara'a to Jordan with Large Amount of Cash
Army Seizes Large Cache of American, Israeli Weapons from Terrorists in Dara'a
Ezzur: Syrian Army Repels ISIL's Attack on Positions near Border with Iraq
Hashd al-Sha’abi forces will punish those behind attack on its fighters:
of displaced triples to 160,000 during fighting in south Syria: UNHCR
Arrests Former Opposition Lawmaker on Terrorism Charges
Trio Warned Israel about Turkish Drive in Al-Quds: Report
forces kill two Palestinians in Gaza border protests - medics
Army takes control of al-Habl port in Hajjah
says Yemeni legitimate government, Houthis will return to peace talks
wrong policies, interference to blame for terror spread: Iran
nukes threat to global security, peace: Iran
vows to keep Iran ties despite US pressures
Haram; UNIMAID Launches Center for Counter Terrorism
Jubbaland Readies an Anti-Al-Shabaab Push, Says Minister
dead in attack on Mali HQ of G5 Sahel anti-terror force
rejects any foreign military presence to stem migration
migrants die after boat sinks off Libya’s coast
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Meerut village, posters say ‘I’m a Muslim, I’m selling my house’ to protest
Muslim families living in Lisari village of Meerut have threatened to sell
their houses and move out after a fight with a shopkeeper, police said.
families have put up posters saying: “I am a Muslim. I am selling my house.
Here even petty issues are given a communal colour.” The families allege that
small disputes are given a communal colour and the police were biased against
them. a claim refuted by the Meerut police.
Muslim residents alleged that a brawl broke out between a shopkeeper Jony and
some people of the area on June 21. Jony lodged a report against at least six
Muslim men and the police arrested two of them on Wednesday. When the Muslims
approached the police, they allegedly refused to lodge their report.
the allegations, circle officer, Kotwali, Dinesh Shukla, said the families
should have approached senior officers with their complaint instead of putting
up posters. “A meeting of villagers has been convened to solve the issue,” he
Party MLA from Meerut Rafiq Ansari alleged the police had registered a case
against the members of one community under the pressure of a political party.
“They refused to lodge the FIR [on the complaint] of Muslims. They should have
at least registered a case. I spoke to senior police officials but they did not
give a satisfactory reply,” he claimed.
Samaj Party (BSP) leader Haji Noor Saifi of Lisari village said people of both
the communities lived here peacefully but some people were trying to disturb
fair investigation should be carried out into the case,” Saifi said.
media forum calls for clampdown on hate speech in Western press
The first Islamic-European forum for examining ways of cooperation to curb hate
speech in the media began on Friday at the Press Club Brussels Europe, the
Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
the opening session, the head of the Council of Journalists Union in Brussels,
Peter Knappen, spoke about the importance of press freedom and stressed that it
should be used responsibly and follow ethical and professional values.
of the information department of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
Maha Mustafa Aqeel explained that the forum is part of the OIC’s media strategy
to counter Islamophobia.
strategy focuses on interacting with the media, academics, and experts on
various relevant topics, in addition to engaging with western governments to
raise awareness, support the efforts of Muslim civil society bodies in the
West, and engage the latter in developing plans and programs to counter
Islamophobia,” she said.
said that, since 2005, the OIC has adopted many resolutions that call for clear
and tangible measures to address Islamophobia and counter-terrorism resulting
from it. These efforts have included establishing the Islamophobia Observatory,
which issues an annual report on countering Islamophobia.
also pointed out that the OIC has made efforts to engage the media, western
governments, civil society and regional and international organizations such as
the European Union and UNESCO in order to fight Islamophobia.
explained that the OIC established a ministerial Contact Group of European
Muslims in 2016 to communicate more closely and regularly with officials and
communities in Europe, in addition to establishing a correspondence center to
respond to the arguments and fatwas of extremist groups.
OIC is in the process of establishing a global press award for journalists who
contribute to the promotion of inter-cultural dialogue and tolerance,” she added.
said that the two-day forum would explore ways to establish cooperation between
media professionals from OIC member states and the European Union to help curb
hate speech, stereotyping and fake news, “all of which negatively impact
society and provoke intolerance.”
forum’s sessions discussed press freedom from legal and religious perspectives,
and introduced attendees to the contents of the OIC Media Strategy to Counter
Islamophobia and ISESCO’s Program for Training Media Professionals on Redressing
Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims.
the 11th parliamentary election draws near, the Awami League is making an
effort to develop stronger ties with Islamist parties, with plans to form a
polls-time alliance and unite like-minded Islamic clerics under the same
line with maintaining good ties with Hefazat-e-Islam and other Islamist parties,
Awami League has taken a decision to form an Islamic Forum, a party wing
comprised of Islamist parties such as Hefazat, Islami Oikya Front Bangladesh,
and people with Islamist sentiments.
May 22, 2017, following a secretary level meeting of the Awami League, its
General Secretary Obaidul Quader told journalists that the ruling party will
form an Islamic Forum, which would be similar to existing forums for lawyers
League Religious Affairs Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah has been given the
responsibility to form that forum.
with the Dhaka Tribune, Abdullah said: “We will form an Islamic forum with
Islamist parties and clerics who believe in the spirit of the Liberation War
party and person can join us if they believe in the spirit of 1971. I will seek
party President Sheikh Hasina’s counsel on the matter after forming the
religious affairs sub-committee.”
League presidium member Lt Col (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan echoed the same
opinion, saying that the party has no problem maintaining good ties with
Islamist parties who believe in the spirit of 1971 and democracy.
further said: “We did not lose our secular identity [despite our good ties with
Islamist parties]. Rather, we encouraged them to follow the spirit of the
Liberation War and a secular Bangladesh.”
two organising secretaries of Awami League, preferring to be anonymous, pointed
out that several Islamist parties and clerics have vote banks, but they neither
have registration nor the means to participate in the next general polls.
Awami League is planning to utilize the abovementioned vote banks, by bringing
those parties and clerics under the soon to be formed Islamic forum.
ties with Hefazat
Awami League plans to award Hefazat several seats in the upcoming election
under the party banner, but it will not form a direct alliance with the
Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, Khelafat Andolan, Islami Andolan
Bangladesh, Islami Oikya Andolan, Jamiatul Ulama Islam, and several other
Islamist parties are politically active under the banner of Hefazat.
means that Awami League has already developed good political standing with
these parties through Hefazat.
number of sources from both the Chittagong and Dhaka units told the Dhaka
Tribune that the top brass of Hefazat has been in dialogue with the ruling
party since the 2013 Motijheel mayhem.
insiders further commented: “Before 2013, their movement was coordinated by the
Lalbagh Madrasa leaders, but in the last three years, Baridhara Madrasa, led by
its Vice-President Nur Hossain Kashemi is leading the party.
ruling party also maintains control of Hefazat through Maulana Farid Uddin
Masud, chairman of Bangladesh Jamiyatul Ulama, who heads the country’s largest
Eid congregation in Kishoreganj, and is a key figure in the Hefazat’s Dhaka
from the Hefazat claimed that the party will demand at least 50 seats from
Awami League in the next general polls.
about Islami Oikya Front?
Awami League is planning to bring Islami Oikya Front Bangladesh into the
number of 14-party alliance leaders told the correspondent that some members of
the alliance, especially the left-wing parties are not very eager to include
Islami Oikya Front into the alliance.
as the Awami League is the decision maker, these parties have decided to keep
silent on the issue.
to sources from the Awami League, ruling party General Secretary Obaidul Quader
and Awami League Presidium member Mohammad Nasim, who is serving as the
14-party alliance spokesperson, have already held several meetings with Islami
Oikya Front leaders.
those meetings, leaders from the Islamist party expressed interest about
joining the alliance.
the Islami Oikya Front and Awami League are ready to march jointly, but sources
could not confirm when the formal announcement of their alliance would come.
2014, Islamist Oikya Front had taken to the streets against BNP’s atrocities
following the January 5 polls.
of the ruling alliance
Party, Bangladesh Khelafat Andolan, Islami Front Bangladesh, and Bangladesh
Islami Oikya Jote are also trying to be a part of the ruling alliance.
for the 14-party alliance Mohammad Nasim told the Dhaka Tribune that several
other religion-based parties have also approached them.
held a meeting with the leaders of Islami Front Bangladesh, but no decision was
reached,” Nasim said.
the 8th national election, the ruling party gave a seat to Islami Front leader
Sayed Mohammad Bahadur Shah Mujaddedi, but he lost the polls. Nasim however expressed optimism that the
Islamist party will win at least two seats in the next general polls.
14-party alliance member Bangladesh Tariqat Federation has started campaigning
and also made a list of 120 eligible candidates.
party’s Joint Secretary Syed Tayabul Bashar Maizbhandari added that they would
demand 30 seats from the ruling party to contest in the next election. Tariqat
is the only Islamist party to have MPs in the current parliament.
new Islamist alliance?
of several Islamist parties have claimed that votes from people with religious
sentiment will help them secure at least 15 seats in the next parliamentary
Secretary General Ahmad Abdul Quadir also commented that Islamist parties were
preparing to join the next election as part of an alliance.
several Qawmi madrasa-based parties are trying form a coalition. A leader of
Chattogram-based hardliner group Hefazat-e Islam said they were backing the new
Sunnat Wal Jamaat had not clearly announced that it will not join the ruling
coalition, but it is also unclear whether it plans to go alone or be part of a
different alliance for the polls.
Andolan’s Secretary General Maulana Yunus Ahmad stated: “We are prepared to
contest the polls alone. But we will try to form a coalition with like-minded
parties or join a big alliance.”
Yunus however declined to divulge any details.
party has already announced candidates for the upcoming Khulna City Corporation
election and for four parliamentary seats in Bagerhat.
Nurul Islam Khan, chairman of Ganatantrik Islamist Andolan, an unregistered
party, stated that he is trying to form a separate coalition named “Islamist
Democratic Alliance” with 15 like-minded parties.
demanded 30 seats from the Awami League. We will join the 14-party alliance if
our demand is accepted. Otherwise, we will fight the election with our own
alliance,” he added.
senior leader of the abovementioned party, preferring not to be named, told the
Dhaka Tribune: “We were instructed by the Awami League to form an alliance of
Islamist parties. We will work for the Awami League and may contest the polls
under the ruling party’s banner.
there is also the possibility that our coalition will contest the polls alone
if the BNP boycotts it. But our alliance will work to ensure victory for the
in Jamaat deepen over JUI-F dominance in MMA
Rifts in the district units of the Jamaat-i-Islami in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have
deepened as dozens of senior members have quit the party protesting the
dominating role of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl in the religio-political
alliance of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal triggering differences over the award
of tickets for the 2018 general elections.
dissidents blamed JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq and provincial chief Senator
Mushtaq Ahmad Khan for crisis and unrest in the party.
Jamaat has become a rudderless ship since Sirajul Haq took over command at
Mansoora. He (Haq) is visionless and does not have qualities to lead the
party,” said a senior leader, who recently quit the party.
houses the headquarters of Jamaat in Lahore.
is no match between Sirajul Haq and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He (Haq) looks like
a Lilliputian in front of shrewd Maulana,” he remarked, adding that the JUI-F
had overshadowed MMA by occupying all key offices in the center and provinces.
of old guards, including arakeen (cardholders) and office-bearers, have
resigned from the party in various districts due to differences with the
leadership either over policy matters or for giving too much space to the JUI-F
insider said the JI had become part of the MMA in 2007 without seeking the
approval of the All Pakistan Ijtema-i-Arkaan, the party’s highest decision-making
also said it was mandatory for the party head to seek the approval of the body
before rejoining the alliance.
information gathered from different districts revealed that the JI faced
serious internal rifts in Malakand division, Peshawar, Nowshera and southern
districts. Many arakeen have resigned from the party while in some
constituencies they have announced contesting polls against candidates of the
emir (chief) of Nowshera Anwar Islam along with heads of 53 villages has
resigned from the party after their opinion was ignored in allotment of ticket
Advocate, former information secretary of JI and close aide to late Qazi
Hussain Ahmad had resigned from the party and joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
family had been associated with the Jamaat for seven decades. His brother,
Fazlullah, who had served as deputy chief of JI Peshawar District has also left
is the PML-N candidate against MMA’s Asif Iqbal Daudzai. Intikhab Chamkani,
political advisor to Sirajul Haq, has also resigned from JI.
party’s office-bearers in Karak have revolted against their leaders and 70 of
the total 110 arakeen in the district have left the party and announced to
support rival candidates of MMA in the elections.
Samiur Rehman who along with 69 other arakeen had resigned from JI accused
Sirajul Haq of deviating from the ideology of the party and promoting corrupt
elements. He alleged that an officer who was dismissed from paramilitary forces
in Balochistan on massive corruption charges had been inducted in the party.
will support either Awami National Party or Pakistan Tehreek Insaf candidates
in the elections,” said Maulana Rehman adding that office holders in Lakki
Marwat and other districts were not happy with the policies of the central
Tasleem Iqbal, sitting district Ameer of JI in Karak acknowledged that there
were resentments among the party workers over allotment of tickets in seven
district of southern region.
said that JI had been allotted only five tickets out of 28 provincial assembly
constituencies in seven districts. “This is unfair and unacceptable,” he said
adding that it would put negative impact on MMA in elections in these areas.
JUI-F has been allotted 62 tickets while JI had obtained 37 tickets of the
JUP-Noorani and TI had been given two seats each. For National Assembly, the
JUI-F had been allotted 26 tickets, JI 11 tickets and Jamiat Ahle Hadiat one
ticket. KP has total 48 seats including eight reserved seats for women.
there is an embarrassing situation for the party in Lower and Upper Dir
districts of Malakand division, its stronghold in KP. Large numbers of workers
had either resigned from the party or struck underground deal with the party’s
rival candidates for the elections.
who had earlier filed nomination papers against Sirajul Haq for NA-7, Lower Dir
had launched “Jamaat Bachao Movement.” He was forced to withdraw his papers in
favour of Sirajul Haq.
Hamdard, another office bearer of JI in Lower Dir is contesting election
against JI candidate and former finance minister Muzafar Said on PK-15. Dr
Bashir Khan, an old guard of JI had filed papers against the party candidate Dr
Zakir. He withdrew his papers after reconciliation.
the JI candidate suffers defeat in polls in Upper and Lower Dir districts, that
will be at the hands of its own party supporters and not PPP or any other
party’s,” said MMA leader Ayaz Gul in Lower Dir.
said for the first time, workers had revolted against the party’s candidates in
JI is also in hot water in Upper Dir, another pocket of the party where senior
leader and former MPA Malik Hayat had joined the PML-N. Sahibzada Sibghatullah,
another political stalwart in the district, has quit the party and got PTI
ticket for the elections.
is another stronghold of the JI, where its district units have made alliance
with the PML-N and disowned the MMA.
Speaker Bakhat Jehan has been declared joint candidate of the JI and PML-N for
Ahmad Khan and JI spokesman Jamaat Ali Shah were not available for comments
despite repeated efforts.
has outstanding counterterrorism deficiencies raised by FATF: US official
Pakistan has outstanding counterterrorism deficiencies consistently raised by
the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and needs to take actions, including on
the raising and moving of funds of UN-designated terrorist groups, a top US
official has said.
US State Department official's remarks have come two days after global
financial watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on the
grey list for failing to curb anti-terror financing.
announcement was made despite Pakistan submitting a 26-point action plan and
launching a concerted diplomatic effort to avert the decision.
has outstanding counterterrorism financing (CFT) deficiencies consistently
raised by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)," a State Department
Spokesperson told PTI yesterday.
will need to take a number of comprehensive actions on CFT including the
raising and moving of funds of UN-designated terrorist groups," the
Spokesperson said in response to questions on Pakistan being placed on the gray
list by the FATF.
FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money
laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of
the international financial system.
spokesperson, however, welcomed the assurance given by Pakistan to work in this
are pleased that Pakistan has made a high-level political commitment to work
with the FATF to address weaknesses in its CFT regime," the official said.
strongly encourage Pakistan to work with FATF and the international community
to meet its CFT obligations, including fulfilling its commitments under UN
Security Council Resolution 1267 to freeze and prevent the raising and moving
of funds belonging to or associated with UN-designated terrorist groups,"
the spokesperson said.
January next year, Pakistan will publish updated lists of persons and entities
proscribed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the UN-designated entities.
had tried hard to avoid being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant
with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules.
deacons embrace other religions with pilgrimage
100 Catholic deacons in South Korea made a pilgrimage to places of worship for
other religions in Seoul from June 20-22 to promote religious tolerance and
108 transitional deacons joined a three-day event dubbed the Ecumenical and
Interreligious Pilgrimage of Catholic Deacons organized by the Catholic
Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK).
visited the CBCK's headquarters, the Vatican Apostolic Nunciature in Korea, St.
Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Seoul Anglican Cathedral, Hwagyesa temple of the
Buddhist Jogye Order, the Won Buddhist Temple in Gangnam, and the Seoul Central
CBCK organized the pilgrimage so the deacons could better understand the
different religions in Korea," said Father Stephano An Pong-hwan, the
CBCK's communications director.
visiting [these places of worship] and experiencing the culture of other religions,
they can widen their understanding of other religions and different Christian
the visit to Korea's largest mosque on June 22, Song Bo-ra, an official with
the Korea Muslim Federation, said Islam is often misunderstood as a religion of
violence due to its association with extremist groups like the Islamic State
Quran says, 'Whoever kills a person [unjustly] — it is as though he has killed
all mankind'," he said.
Islam is a religion of peace not violence. That's why we always greet people
with the salutation, 'As-salamu ʿalaykum,'
which means 'peace be upon you'."
Deacon John Lee Heun-kwan said the visit to the mosque was an effective way of
creating greater understanding.
was a good chance to experience another religion and break down barriers and
prejudices," he said.
when talking about Islam, I feel we can coexist harmoniously through dialogue
as we have many things in common. I don't see it as a threat."
Lee Ju-hwa, who preaches at the mosque, hailed the pilgrimage as a example for
others to follow.
feel graced to have had the soon-to-be ordained Catholic deacons visit us with
such open minds," he said.
efforts to understand other religions will serve as a small step toward world
groups in Gurgaon claim stopped from offering namaz at vacant plot again
issue of offering Friday prayers in the open in Gurgaon resurfaced once again,
as several people were stopped from reading namaz at a vacant plot in Phase
III. According to representatives of the Muslim community, they had taken the
space on rent following clashes with locals over reading namaz in the allotted
spots in the area.
had been given space near Moulsari Metro station for Friday prayers, but it was
being disrupted. We then moved to another park owned by the Haryana Urban
Development Authority, but residents there objected as well,” said Wajid Khan,
head of the Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society Charitable Trust.
finally rented a space in Nathupur village. But this week, they were informed
that they could no longer pray at the spot. “The man who rented the space to us
said villagers had warned him that he should either stop giving it to us for
prayers, or he would have to move from the area. So, he asked us to shift
elsewhere,” alleged Khan.
officer at the DLF Phase III police said they had received a complaint. “We
have received a complaint alleging that namaz is being read at spots that have
not been allotted for the purpose… The matter will be investigated,” said
assistant sub-inspector Naresh Kumar.
members of the Muslim community also alleged that a group offering prayers in
Sector 34 had been asked to disperse by police on Friday afternoon. The SHO of
Sadar police station, however, denied the allegations and said no such
directions had been issued, verbally or in writing.
April 20, six men had disrupted namaz in an open field in Sector 53 with chants
of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Radhe Radhe’. The men were arrested before being released
on bail. In the wake of the incident, several outfits formed the Sanyukt Hindu
Sagharsh Samiti and demanded a ban on namaz in the open. They later said that
Friday prayers must be allowed only at five open spaces.
community infuriated with Yogi Adityanath's refusal to wear skullcap at Sant
may not appear to be a big deal on the outset, but UP Chief Minister Yogi
Adityanath's refusal to cover his head with a skullcap during his visit at Sant
Kabir's shrine is having far-reaching reverberations among the Muslim
community, which may create a serious setback for PM Narendra Modi and the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming 2019 parliamentary elections.
PM Modi and the BJP had been making slow but steady inroads in the Muslim community
through the government's reformatory steps like banning triple talaq, when Yogi
Adityanath refused to wear a skullcap, these advances into the Muslim hearts
have suddenly come to an abrupt pause and even reversed.
by the UP CM's refusal to adhere to the simple protocol of visiting the sufi
saint's shrine, the Muslim community is now thinking about giving a fitting
rebuttal to the BJP, which may include bringing about a change in the
community's secular ideals and not vote for the BJP in the coming elections.
a meeting of the officials of Muslim organisations in Agra following the Friday
Namaz, Bharitya Muslim Vikas Parishad chairman Sami Aghai said that the UP
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is unable to rise above his communal mindset
which he has displayed time and again during his tenure of Gorakhpur MP and is
following the same ideas even when he is on a constitutional post of the Chief
Minister of UP.
said that Yogi talks about walking on the footsteps of PM Modi, but while PM Modi
is not averse to visiting Muslim shrines or wearing a skullcap since he became
the PM, Yogi Adityanath is unable to change himself and he represents the
mindset of the majority of the BJP workers and leaders that are against
anything Muslim, including the Indian citizens who were born Muslim.
said that a chief minister belongs to the entire state and he does not belong
to a specific community, but Yogi Adityanath is destroying the sanctity of this
constitutional post by showing that he does not consider himself a chief
minister of the minorities of Uttar Pradesh, chiefly the Muslims. However,
Aghai said, he forgets this distinction between Hindus and Muslims when he
seeks votes for himself or his party and at that time, Yogi claims that he is
the leader of all UP citizens.
Muslim Action Committee Chairman Haji Jamiluddin said that whatever Yogi
Adityanath did, only displayed his true identity, that he will always remain a
right-wing Hindu first and foremost.
US are one in saying Pakistan deserved to be demoted to anti-terror funding
group's 'grey list'
DELHI: India and the US today welcomed a global terror financing watchdog
demoting Pakistan to a 'grey list' for underperforming in rooting out sources
of finance for terrorists within its borders and for not taking enough - or
any, at all - action in curbing activities of terror elements who roam freely
within its provinces.
watchdog, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), on Wednesday
greylisted Pakistan - an international pariah - for its support to terror.
Pakistan avoided the far graver 'black list' by agreeing to comply with a
26-point action plan formulated by the International Cooperation Review Group
(ICRG) of the Asia Pacific Group.
welcomes the decision of the Financial Action Task Force to place Pakistan in
its Compliance Document (grey list) for ICRG monitoring," said India's
ministry of external affairs, in a statement today.
FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money
laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of
the international financial system. And to avoid FATF's black list, Pakistan
has to, by January, publish updated lists of persons and entities proscribed
under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the UN-designated entities.
has "outstanding counterterrorism deficiencies consistently raised by the
Financial Action Task Force" and needs to take actions, including on the
raising and moving of funds of UN-designated terrorist groups, a top US
official said to news agency PTI yesterday.
ICRG's compliance list - to which Pakistan has agreed to work with - envisages
a 26-point plan to root out and erase all sources of financing to terror groups
operating within its borders, including the India-focussed Lashkar-e-Toiba
(LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and any other entities associated with
these two parent groups' head, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). AThe JuD is led by
Hafiz Saeed who masterminded the 2611 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. Also to
be its tragets are Daesh, the Haqqani Network, the Pakistani Taliban and al
- who has a US bounty on his head and is designated a terrorist by the UN - and
other of his ilk roam freely in Pakistan, hold rallies to incite hate - against
India and the US and whomever they don't like - and collect large amounts of
unmonitored money for their terror activities.
freedom and impunity with which the designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and
entities like JuD, LeT, JeM continue to operate in Pakistan is not in keeping
with such commitments" by Pakistan so far, said India's external affairs
Pakistan, to be put on the grey list as opposed to being blacklisted, promised
action to cut the legs from under these entities by constricting their finance
has given high level political commitment to address global concerns on
implementation of FATF standards for countering terror financing and anti-money
laundering, especially in respect of UN designated and internationally
proscribed terror entities and individuals," said India.
said it hopes Pakistan keeps to its commitments, something even the country's
newspaper editorials seemed to cast doubt on yesterday. They said the 26-point
plan will not be easy to implement if some real on-the-ground change and
restructuring doesn't happen. And they believe this restructuring won't happen
or not easily or soon enough.
US, too, said Pakistan needs to take "comprehensive actions",
something India hopes it will, for the safety and security of the entire Asian
hope that the FATF action plan shall be complied with in a time bound manner
and credible measures would be taken by Pakistan to address global concerns
related to terrorism emanating from any territory under its control," said
the external affairs ministry.
is the ninth country to be placed on the Paris-based FATF's grey list, the
other eight being Ethiopia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago,
Tunisia and Yemen, reported Pakistan's The Express Tribune.
Three terrorists were on Friday gunned down in Pulwama district of Jammu and
Kashmir and a youth died in clashes between stone pelters and security
personnel near the encounter site, a police official said.
forces launched a cordon and search operation in Thumna village after getting
information about the presence of militants there, the official said.
and Kashmir Police DGP SP Vaid has also confirmed the killing of three
three militants eliminated. Good Job," he said in a tweet.
terrorists were holed up inside a house. The security personnel managed to
pinpoint the location of the terrorists but the operation had to be delayed due
to the presence of civilians in the house, he said.
encounter broke out between the security forces and the terrorists after all
the civilians were evacuated. All the three terrorists were killed, the
a mob started hurling stones at the security forces engaged in the anti-terror
least five people received pellet or bullet injuries in the security forces
action against the protesters, the police official said.
Jharkhand high court on Friday granted bail to eight of 11 convicted cow
vigilantes serving life imprisonment in Hazaribag central jail for lynching a
55-year-old Muslim trader, Alimuddin alias Asgar Ali.
special fast track court in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district, in a record six-month
time, on March 16 convicted 11 accused. Five days later, it sentenced them to
court held guilty all the accused under Section 302 (murder) and other offences
of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). A mob of over 100 people, including Bajrang Dal
activists, lynched Alimuddin at Bazartand in Ramgarh on June 29 last year.
division bench on Friday granted bail to Nityanand Mahto (a local BJP leader),
Santosh Singh, Vicky Saw, Sikandar Ram, Uttam Ram, Raju Kumar, Rohit Thakur,
and Kapil Thakur.
other three convicts — Chottu Verma, Deepak Mishra and Vikram Prasad — have not
applied for bail. All have filed appeal petition in high court challenging
National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s newly revived Kashmir terror funding
probe may soon land at the doorstep of top separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani,
with the federal investigation agency planning to issue summons for questioning
his associate Ghulam Nabi Sumji, officials familiar with the development said.
will be summoned soon. We have lots of questions for him,” said an investigator
who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.
Sumji, the investigator said, the agency also intends to call Abdul Rahim Wani,
brother-in-law of businessman Zahoor Watali, who has already been charged in
the case; Abdul Razak, a close aide to separatist Shabir Shah; Shakeel Bakshi,
an aide to separatist Yasin Malik; and advocate Shafi Reshi, who is the legal
secretary of Geelani’s Hurriyat. Reshi is also the uncle of Yasir Reshi, who is
a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLC.
secretary general of Geelani’s hardline Hurriyat, is a former member of the
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) assembly from the Homeshalibug constituency. He
remained a legislator between 1987 and 1989 when he was a member of the Muslim
United Front, and resigned after militancy broke out in the Valley.
few weeks ago, Sumji hit the headlines for seeking a revision of his MLA
pension. “I don’t know why the NIA wants to question me though it is true that
my house was raided last year. I have not received any summons from the NIA so
far. And, yes, it is true I had asked for revised pension for being ex-MLA,”
spokesperson for Geelani declined to comment on the issue.
the current round of questioning, the NIA intends to go after the top
leadership of the Hurriyat – which includes the triumvirate of Geelani, Mirwaiz
Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
May last year, the NIA initiated a probe against unnamed Hurriyat leaders and
associates of three terror outfits — Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
and Dukhtaran-e-Millat — suspected of receiving funds from Pakistan-based LeT
patron Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.
January, besides Watali, the NIA charged seven middle-rung separatists,
including Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah ‘Fantoosh’ and Farooq Ahmad Dar
alias Bitta Karate; and two terror chiefs – Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin –
in the case.
NIA conducted raids at many locations including Sumji’s premises between June
and September last year... And now these persons are being called to fill
critical gaps in our investigation,” said the investigator.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said an FIR has been registered
against Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi for allegedly advocating
secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India and calling for Jihad
and use of violence against the country.
FIR was registered on April 26 this year against Asiya and her associates, a
senior NIA official said adding the accused are likely to be questioned by
Central Government has received information that one Aasiya Andrabi and her
associates namely Sofi Fehmeeda and Nahida Nasreen are actively running a
terrorist organisation named as “Dukhtaran-E-Millat” (DEM) which is proscribed
under the First Schedule to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
They are using various media platforms to spread insurrectionary imputations
and hateful speeches that endanger the integrity, security and sovereignty of
India,” NIA said.
probe agency has alleged that DEM, through Aasiya, “openly advocates secession
of Jammu & Kashmir from the Union of India and has also called for Jihad
and use of violence against India”.
who is currently jailed in Srinagar, is the head of DEM, a separatist
organisation founded in 1987. She is also the wife of jailed separatist leader
Dr. Qasim Faktoo. Arrested for alleged unlawful activities, Asiya’s DEM was
named in a earlier NIA case in which Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and
Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahudin were charge sheeted.
spokesperson Alok Mittal told HT that the case against Asiya is a separate one.
Andrabi and her associates have written and spoken words, besides publishing
visible representations that bring into hatred and contempt apart from exciting
disaffection towards the Government of India. DEM is promoting enmity, hatred
and ill-will between different communities on the grounds of religion and is
doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Aasiya Andrabi has solicited
help from proscribed terrorist organizations and along with her associates has
entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against Government of India,”
the agency said.
agency rejects Trump nominee who made controversial Islam, refugee posts
UN's migration agency snubbed the Trump administration's candidate to lead it
on Friday, a major blow to U.S. leadership of a body addressing one of the
world's most pressing issues — and only the second time that it won't be run by
an American since 1951.
Isaacs, nominated by President Donald Trump in February, came third behind
Portugal's Antonio Vitorino and Costa Rica's Laura Thompson in a secret ballot
of member states of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva,
another sign that [U.S.] power, authority and prestige has been so dramatically
diminished," tweeted Keith Harper, who was the ambassador to the rights
council during Barack Obama's presidency. The "IOM Director is seen as an
'American seat' and Trump was unable to place an American in it."
vice-president of U.S. evangelical charity Samaritan's Purse, had caused
controversy after being forced to
for tweets and social media posts in which he disparaged Muslims.
North Carolina native tweeted "#Islam is not peaceful" and
"Muslims fast, they also blast," in response to news events in the
past three years. He also once compared Islam to the People's Temple, the cult
led by Jim Jones at which hundreds were killed in Guyana in 1978.
also suggested Switzerland and Austria should consider building a border wall
to keep illegal aliens out.
retweeted conspiracy theories
Washington Post and CNN, working separately, uncovered over 100 questionable
tweets and retweets from Isaacs that also included conspiracy theories about
deaths of people known to Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as the 2016 killing
of Seth Rich, a young employee of the Democratic National Committee.
apologized after the Post report came to light in February.
need two-thirds approval from voting members. Senegalese diplomat Youssoupha
Ndiaye, upon leaving the voting in Geneva, said: "The American is
Lacy Swing is the outgoing IOM director general. An American has held the post
on all but one occasion since 1951, but comments by Isaacs and Trump as well as
administration policies surrounding immigration and refugees that have included
a travel ban from several countries and the separation of children from parents
requesting asylum may have hampered his chances.
Hetfield, a self-described friend of Isaacs who heads the humanitarian group
HIAS, which works with IOM, put the blame on policies and invective from the man
in the White House, not the candidate.
IOM election really was not about Ken Isaacs, for whom I have a lot of respect
as a humanitarian," Hetfield said. "The election was an international
referendum rejecting President Trump and his xenophobic, Islamophobic and
isolationist policies. Let's face it, Isaacs's tweets were no worse than the
ones coming out of the White House."
61, was ultimately chosen. He is a former EU commissioner for Home and Justice
Affairs who has been president of the "Notre Europe" think-tank for
the past seven years. He is considered very close to UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres, also a Portuguese Socialist early in his political career.
currently an IOM deputy director-general, was vying to become the agency's
first woman chief.
Arabiya news channel revealed that the annual conference of the exiled
“National Council of Resistance of Iran” headed by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK)
due on Saturday in Villepinte in Paris, will host a number of American
officials who are expected to unveil the American administration’s new strategy
towards the Islamic Republic.
the expected American officials to attend the conference, US president Donald
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and advisor Newt Gingrich.
is worth mentioning that the controversial Iranian opposition group (MEK) was
designated during former US president Barak Obama as a terrorist group and
until 2012, but today this group is being marketed under “Change in Iran” in a
direction that reflects the seriousness of Trump’s administration in gathering
dissenting Iranian opposition forces, in order to find a democratic political
alternative to Wilayat al-Faqih doctrines.
pressures on France
Iranian government had officially protested to France for allowing the
Organization to hold activities and conferences.
his meeting with French Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Maurice Gordo
Montaigne last week in Tehran, the Iranian foreign ministry undersecretary
Abbas Arakji called the French government to ban the organization’s activities.
year’s conference is characterized by a high-level organization, an intense
public presence and the influx of supporters of the Iranian resistance from
around the world.
Paris conference will run for two days in the presence of delegates and
international figures from the international community and the Arab world.
an interview with Al Arabiya news channel, Mousa Afshar, the Arabic media
spokesperson in the foreign affairs’ committee for the National Council of
Resistance of Iran, said that the Iranian regime increased its political and
diplomatic pressures on France to discourage it from allowing the conference to
hawks of the American administration, some of whom will attend Paris
conference, point out to the need to implement a plan that will eventually
bring down the rogue regime and replace it with a democratic system that will
restore Iran as a peaceful state that respects the rights of its people and
coexist peacefully with its neighbors and the world.
Bolton, the former American ambassador to the UN, before being appointed national security
advisor at the White House, said in statements that he "does not like to
allow the Mullahs to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their regime," due
in 2019, reviving hopes of a US plan to overthrow the Islamic Republic.
announces end of ceasefire with Taliban, orders resumption of operations
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday announced that the ceasefire with the Taliban
group has ended and the Afghan security forces are allowed t resume operations
against the militants.
during a press conference, President Ghani said the ceasefire has ended and the
Afghan forces are allowed to resume their comprehensive operations.
said the reason for the announcement and extension of ceasefire and its
subsequent end was to prove that the plan for peace was proposed from a
Ghani further added that the environment had changed after the announcement of
ceasefire and the ceasefire was extended after the Helmand peace march
activists made a demand during a meeting with him in Chama Hozuri.
also added that the recent developments proved that no one can bring peace to
Afghanistan and only Afghans can bring peace and stability in their country.
to President Ghani, Afghanistan’s domestic issues have three dimensions,
including government, Taliban, and the nation.
said the nation demands peace and an end to the conflict and the government has
positively responded to the demands, emphasizing it is the time that the
Taliban should also respond positively.
Ghani said the Taliban group is facing the nation, religious scholars of the
country as well as Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Imams and the clerics of the
said such pressures existed on the government as well which have been sidelined
responsibly and the time has come that the Taliban should also prove their
responsibility and decide on how they are going to face the pressures.
Ghani once again called on Taliban to reconcile as he emphasized that the
existing pressures are domestic and have no links with the outside.
said the demands for peace come from the nation, religious scholars, and women.
The Uelmas present the holy Koran and the nation present their children, and it
is the time that Taliban should decide whether they will kill the nation or
respond positively to their demands.
officials are saying that a senior commander of the Afghan Special Forces lost
his life in an attack by unknown gunmen in Kabul city.
spokesman for Kabul Police Commandment Hashmat Stanikzai confirmed the incident
and said at least two people including a senior Special Forces commander were
martyred in the attack.
further added that the incident took place at around 8:30 pm local time in the
vicinity of the ninth police district of the city in Ferdawsi Park.
said the commander of the 01 Unity of the Special Forces for Paktika Azizullah
Karwan was martyred in the attack along with another civilian.
to Stanikzai, at least three more people, including a woman were wounded in the
Taliban group claimed responsibility behind the attack with the group’s
spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claiming that commander Azizullah Karwan was killed
in a tactical attack.
Police Chief of Southern Kandahar province General Abdull Raziq claims that the
Taliban’s Quetta Council leaders are mulling peace talks with the Afghan
Raziq claims that he is in contact with the Taliban group leaders and has
participated in talks for at least four times as efforts are underway to
encourage the group to start peace negotiations, according to RFE/RL’s
to Gen. Raziq, the contacts between him and the Taliban leaders started nearly
two months ago and efforts are underway to start talk for reconciliation.
Police Chief of Kandahar also claimed that representatives of some other
countries, including US, Saudi, and officials of certain European countries are
also engaged in the ongoing efforts for the revival of peace talks.
Taliban group has not commented regarding the latest claims of Gen. Raziq so
the meantime, Gen. Raziq claims that almost half of the Taliban leaders
representing the Quetta Shura (Council) are shown readiness for the peace
comes as reports emerged earlier suggesting that the Afghan officials and
Taliban group leaders will participate in the summit in Azerbaijan to discuss
failed bomb plot that appeared to target the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader,
the Dalai Lama, as he visited a pilgrimage site in Bihar, India, has been
blamed on the militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and an
emerging Indian offshoot.
January 19, a low intensity blast on the grounds of the Tibetan monastery in
Bodh Gaya caused panic among devotees of the Dalai Lama. A subsequent sweep of
the vicinity—the blast occurred after the Dalai Lama had left—led to the
recovery of two improvised explosive devices near the monastery’s Kalachakra
(Wheel of Time) prayer ground (Indian Express, January 20). Investigations into
the incident revealed the involvement of the Bangladesh-based JMB.
elite anti-terror National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Kolkata Police
Special Task Force (STF) believe the JMB was planning to avenge the atrocities
on Rohingya Muslims in neighboring Myanmar by targeting Buddhist pilgrims and
foreign nationals—actor Richard Gere was among those who visited the Dalai
Lama—who had come to listen to the Dalai Lama during his month-long stay (New
India Express, February 3). The NIA initiated a massive search and sweep
operation in West Bengal, a well-known hideout for Bangladeshi militant
fugitives. Subsequently, details of a newly emerged JMB network in India have
February 2018, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata (West Bengal) police
arrested at least six people from the Murshidabad and Darjeeling districts with
suspected links to JMB, including two who police say were involved in the
planting of IEDs in Bodh Gaya (Hindustan Times, February 23). Following the
arrests of the two men—who the authorities named as Azhar Hossain and Shish
Mohammad—police in the town of Dhuliyan, in Murshidabad, seized more than 200
kilograms of ammonium nitrate, 50 detonators, timers and tiffin boxes (metal
lunchboxes) that were allegedly to be used to make IEDs.
other suspects arrested, Paigambar Shaikh and Jamirul Shaikh, revealed more
incriminating details about JMB’s India wing and the recruitment drive in West
Bengal and Bihar. The pair reportedly confessed that fugitive JMB leaders
Salahuddin Ahmed (a.k.a. Salein) and Jahidul Islam, known as “Boma” Mizan for
his expertise in explosives, were the creators of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India
(JMI) and had planned to target Buddhist pilgrimage circuits in West Bengal and
Bihar. They claimed that Salein was the chief of JMI and had been instrumental
in recruiting several new members, and said that at least eight units of JMI,
each comprising 10-12 members, had been tasked with carrying out anti-Buddhist
attacks in India (New Indian Express, February 3).
continued crackdown led to the arrest on June 11 of a suspected militant named
Hazibullah, who the police claim helped in procuring explosives for the Bodh
Gaya bomb plot (DNA India, June 12).
Hazibullah was picked up in Bandel town, in the Hooghly district of West
the formal founding of JMI, the remnants of a fleeing JMB contingent were
visible on Indian soil, especially during the Burdwan bombing episode of
October 2014. According to India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), JMI’s
chief and his deputy are responsible, along with other JMI members, for an
accidental explosion in 2014 in the Burdwan district of West Bengal. The
Khagragarh blast, which was followed by a police raid and a subsequent arms
seizure, exposed for the first time a flourishing JMB network in India (Live
Mint, December 1, 2014). Two JMB militants were killed in the accidental
explosion and a number of others sustained severe injuries. Both NIA and
Bangladesh’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Units have already
announced monetary rewards for credible information relating to JMB fugitives
and its burgeoning network.
Salein has been a senior figure in JMB since 2001. He was in charge of
Sylhet-Mymensingh region in Bangladesh, but fled Bangladesh and is in hiding.
He has possibly been operating from Indian territory since he and Boma Mizan
escaped from a prison van after a JMB orchestrated ambush in the Trishal
locality of Mymensingh district in February 2014 (Daily Star, February 23,
committed jihadist originally from Narayanganj, Salein has been sentenced to
death in Bangladesh for his role in the Mymensingh court bombing in 2007, the
targeting several Christian youths in Jamalpur and the killings of Hridoy Roy
in April 2003 and Joseph Gani Gomez Mandal in September 2004 (Daily Star,
February 21, 2013; Daily Star, March 08, 2015).
cursory look at Salein’s career within JMB’s rank and file suggests he had been
a member of the Jamaat-e-Islami party’s radical student wing, Islami Chhatra
Shibir (ICS). He joined JMB while
studying in Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute in Dhaka, and was influenced by JMB’s
military chief Ataur Rahman Sunny. He was arrested in late April 2006, during a
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) operation at Pahartoli in Chittagong. Boma Mizan
is presently the deputy chief of JMI and has backed Salein since his dramatic
2014 ambush and escape.
Mizan, who was finally arrested in May 2009 after years of work by the
Bangladesh security agencies, came onto the security radar following JMB’s
countrywide serial bombings on August 17, 2005. He played a major role in
making more than 500 bomb attacks across Bangladesh that killed and injured
more than a hundred people. His
bomb-making skills were employed by JMB in a series of attacks against the
Court Houses and judges in Bangladesh, between October and November 2005 (Dhaka
Tribune, February 23, 2014; BDNews24.com, September 26, 2017). He was arrested
in May 2009 in the Mirpur area of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital.
to Bangladesh’s investigating agencies, like many JMB operatives, Boma Mizan
had received arms and explosives training from the Rohingya Solidarity
Organization (RSO), an insurgent group that fought for the cause of Rohingya
Muslim minorities and against alleged atrocities by Buddhists in Myanmar (Daily
Star, May 19, 2009). These long-standing operational links with the Rohingya
group may lie behind the attempts by fugitive JMB leaders to target Buddhist
pilgrimage circuits in West Bengal and Bihar.
Training and Armed Combat
founding of JMI on Indian soil indicates two things—that Bangladesh’s concerted
counterterror operations have pushed the JMB remnants into neighboring India in
search of a safe haven, and that there has been somewhat of an ideological rift
within the original JMB with the different strands adhering to either the
jihadist ideals of al-Qaeda or those of Islamic State (IS).
al-Qaeda-influenced, India-based faction is attempting to regroup and recruit
new members under the banner of JMI, and its seemingly broad based jihadist
objectives and geographical reach. Long before the confessions of arrested
militants in February revealed the existence of JMI, Salein and his team had
attempted to reinvigorate the old JMB and had broadcast their future agenda
through a Bengali language media arm, Sahm al-Hind (Dhaka Tribune, August 5,
and Sahm al-Hind media used popular online publishing platforms like WordPress
and Justpaste.it, as well as social media channels such as YouTube, to post
their propaganda. In mid-July 2017, Sahm al-Hind published an interview with
Salein that gave details about future activities and the objectives of his new
group, although these details appear worryingly to have escaped the attention
of India’s intelligence agencies. 
the JMB’s reorganization as JMI and the larger agenda of jihad on the Indian
subcontinent, Salein in his interview with Sahm al-Hind outlined JMI’s three
main objectives: proselytization, training and armed combat with a view to
establishing Islamic rule across the Indian subcontinent. According to Salein, JMI’s
target would oust “unbelievers” in the “land of Allah” by force of arms. He
vehemently denied the existence of any New-JMB in Bangladesh and rejected
suggestions of a split in the JMB, calling the suggestion a conspiracy intended
to malign the movement. He urged Muslims of the region to wage the mythical
Ghazwa tul Hind (battle between infidels and believers in India) to establish a
caliphate in the Indian subcontinent. .
is highly critical of IS in Syria and Iraq and adheres instead to the ideals of
JMB’s original influencer, al-Qaeda. In sharp contrast, the Neo-JMB faction
that has dominated the militant landscape in Bangladesh in recent years and
masterminded several high profile attacks in the country—including the July
2016 attack on the Holy Artisan bakery—is ideologically and operationally
influenced by IS and its violent principles (Prathom Alo, August 17, 2016;
Hindustan Times, February 10).
northeastern region, including Assam and West Bengal, provides a safe haven for
illegal immigrants and Islamic militants because of its porous border and poor
security. The regions have predominate Muslim populations, with mosques and
madrasa networks that have allowed Bangladesh-based militant groups like JMB
and Harkat ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI) to raise money, material and manpower.
transit camp in Myanmar’s Rakhine state stands ready to welcome back 150
Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh every day.
on most days it lies completely empty, as members of the stateless minority
dread returning to a place they were violently driven from by the military, and
Myanmar makes little effort to reassure them things will be different this
have been ready to receive them since January, when we opened,” said Win
Khaing, immigration director at Nga Khu Ra, standing in the desolate camp with
reporters on Friday as part of a two-day government-chaperoned trip to the
result is a stand-off, as Myanmar immigration officials wait in empty offices
shuffling papers and arranging biometric equipment but with little to no work
to do except greet visiting delegations and journalists.
than 200 Rohingya Muslims have been resettled in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine
state from the 700,000 who fled a violent army crackdown in August.
women say they were raped by security forces, while witnesses described summary
executions and a merciless campaign of violence that the UN has said amounts to
says it only targeted militants, although the military has admitted one
instance of executing captured suspects.
the limited number of Rohingya who have returned have all done so under murky
April the government trumpeted the arrival of a Rohingya family of five, but it
was later slammed as a PR stunt as it emerged they had come from a buffer area
between the two countries that is technically part of Myanmar.
authorities nevertheless created a billboard with several large photos of the
family near the border, heralding the “photo records of steps of repatriation”.
recent months, Myanmar says dozens have been repatriated after crossing over
from Bangladesh illegally.
says others who tried to flee to Bangladesh by boat but accidentally washed up
back in Myanmar have also been sent to live with relatives after being
processed at the transit camp.
does not recognise these as legitimate returnees.
repatriation process has not begun,” Bangladesh refugee commissioner Mohammad
Abul Kalam told AFP.
‘We haven’t been to Bangladesh’ –
Rohingya purportedly released from prison in May after crossing back over
illegally were brought by Myanmar officials to meet journalists on Friday.
cracks quickly emerged in the story, with some saying they had never even been
to Bangladesh and were “repatriated” from prison in Myanmar.
were arrested in November last year (in Myanmar) and sentenced to four years
imprisonment each under the immigration act,” said Yar Sein, 35, a farmer and
were arrested from school and accused of coming from Bangladesh. We haven’t
been to Bangladesh.”
prolonged delays in repatriation have also strained relations with Bangladesh,
which plans to send a protest note after a 10-year-old Rohingya boy in the
buffer zone was struck by a bullet from the Myanmar side on Thursday.
says it fired at people attempting to damage the border fence.
the two countries blame each other for the delay, Myanmar has embarked on what
is says is a massive development project in northern Rakhine, bulldozing
Rohingya towns and remaking the entire landscape in the name of reconstruction.
UN has said conditions in Rakhine are not ripe for a safe, voluntary and
dignified repatriation, but signed an agreement with Myanmar to assess
conditions on the ground to help refugees make an informed decision.
‘No one’ at the camps –
has faced global condemnation for its treatment of the Rohingya, and Amnesty
International said this week that several senior military figures should be
tried for crimes against humanity.
US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report Thursday downgraded Myanmar for failing
to protect Rohingya Muslims fleeing the crackdown and leaving them vulnerable
to exploitation and trafficking rings.
Rohingya are loathed by many in Myanmar, where they were stripped of
citizenship and branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite calling
Rakhine their homeland.
Aung Hlaing, the army chief, said last month that Rohingya have nothing to fear
as long as they stay in places “designated” for them, raising concerns that
they would be placed back into the apartheid-like conditions they escaped.
Htoo, district administrator in Maungdaw — the epicenter of violence in the
western state — told reporters Myanmar is “planning to create a good
environment for them to stay if they come back.”
he admitted, “there is no one” at the camps.
residents have also spoken of not being willing to coexist alongside their
former neighbours, whom many associate with a Rohingya militant group that
attacked police posts.
gives Pakistan 10-point action plan to counter terror financing
After grey-listing Pakistan due to its ‘terror-financing deficiencies’,
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday gave a 10-point action plan,
welcoming the high-level political commitment conveyed by the country.
Plenary Meetings held in OECD, Paris, from June 24-29, 2018, to discuss the
issues relating to security and integrity of the global financial system, FATF
said it has “identified Pakistan as a jurisdiction with strategic AML/CFT
deficiencies”. The body has recommended an action plan to address the issues
regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing.
action plan includes:
Demonstrating that TF risks are properly identified, assessed, and that
supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis
Demonstrating that remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of
AML/CFT violations, and that these actions have an effect on AML/CFT compliance
by financial institutions
Demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and taking action to
identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or value transfer
Demonstrating that authorities are identifying cash couriers and enforcing
controls on illicit movement of currency and understanding the risk of cash
couriers being used for TF
Improving inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal
authorities on combating TF risks
Demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (leas) are identifying and
investigating the widest range of TF activity and that TF investigations and
prosecutions target designated persons and entities, and persons and entities
acting on behalf or at the direction of the designated persons or entities
Demonstrating that TF prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and
dissuasive sanctions and enhancing the capacity and support for prosecutors and
Demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions
(supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373
designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including
preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets
(movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services
Demonstrating enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and
criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on
Demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by designated
persons are deprived of their resources and the usage of the resources
Pakistani delegation was led by caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar
along with officials from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
State Bank of Pakistan and Financial Monitoring Unit. On the sidelines of FATF
and ICRG meetings, the Pakistani delegation held bilateral meetings with
several FATF members to ensure their support for Pakistan in the FATF process.
FATF members were informed that the government already sent its commitment
letter to the FATF President on the Policy Action Plan on June 22, 2018.
special intervention to FATF/ICRG was made by Dr Akhtar where she emphasised
that Pakistan was steadfast in upgrading the AML/CFT standards and ensuring
their enforcement. She reiterated Pakistan’s strong resolve to strengthen its
counter measures against terrorism and terrorism financing, and to implement
the action plan by adopting a “whole-of-government” approach.
opportunity was instrumental in ensuring Pakistan’s commitment to the world for
compliance of international standards and increasing effectiveness of
regulatory and enforcement regimes for its own benefit,” she said.
a statement issued by the finance ministry, the government said, “The FATF/ICRG
group supported Pakistan’s proposition on keeping the timeframe realistic for
implementation of policy actions.”
to the decision already made at the FATF Plenary held in February 2018, the
FATF Plenary of June 2018 approved the Action Plan for Pakistan and placed
Pakistan on its Public Statement in the Ongoing Compliance section.”
forward, the Government of Pakistan is putting in place a strategy to implement
the Action Plan in the next 15 months. Given the complexity and size of the
action plan, the Minister for Finance has established a high-powered, inclusive
and robust institutional coordination and monitoring mechanism to ensure that
the Action Plan is implemented within time and the country is brought out of
FATF’s Public Statement the soonest,” it added.
meetings were attended by delegates from several countries as well as the UN,
IMF, World Bank and other multilateral institutions.
Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday urged the government to immediately act to allow
the full and equal participation of members of the Ahmadiyya religious
community in the general elections scheduled for July 25, 2018.
in a statement issued, said that “the government should drop discriminatory
provisions in the electoral law that effectively exclude Ahmedis because of
their religious beliefs.”
register as voters, Ahmedis must either renounce their faith or agree to be
placed in a separate electoral list and accept their status as “non-Muslim”.
Self-identification as Muslims, however, is the cornerstone of Ahmadiyya
religious belief, and thus they end up not voting at all.
elections in Pakistan can’t be ‘free and fair’ if an entire community is
effectively excluded from the electoral process,” said Brad Adams, Asia
director. “Religious disagreements cannot justify denying people their right to
choice is between practically renouncing our faith or vote,” said an Ahmedi
activist. “This is not a real choice. It would have been better had the
government outright banned Ahmedis from voting since then they would rightly
receive international criticism for doing that.”
is a vicious cycle,” said an Ahmedi businessman. “We are persecuted and
discriminated by laws which ensure that we don’t get a voice in the parliament,
and since we don’t have a voice, there is nothing that we can do to have these
laws against the Ahmadiyya community violate Pakistan’s international legal
obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), including the rights to freedom of conscience, religion, expression,
and association; to profess and practice their own religion; and to vote and be
elected at genuine periodic elections. Pakistan ratified the ICCPR in 2010.
HRW further said that the government of Pakistan should also investigate and
prosecute as appropriate intimidation, threats, and violence against the
Ahmadiyya community by militant Islamist groups.
Pulls Extremist From Terror Watch List
government has lifted a ban on extremist religious leader Mohammad Ahmed
Ludhianvi, at a time when the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
has placed the country on its terror watch list for its alleged failure to curb
known to be a staunch Sunni Islamist, is the leader of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat
(ASWJ), a radical sectarian outfit that is accused of orchestrating several
deadly attacks against minority Shiites in Pakistan over the past two decades.
experts in Pakistan believe the decision will undermine the state's
counterterrorism regulations and its narrative that the country is targeting
militant groups, along with their money-laundering and terror-financing
just been placed on FATF's gray list and this decision would further complicate
the situation," Rasul Baksh Raees, a Lahore-based political analyst, told
VOA. "Two days ago, Pakistan presented a 26 point anti-terror-financing
strategy in front of the FATF countries. Who will take it seriously if people
like Ludhianvi are set free?"
viewing the move as "irrational," Raees dismissed the notion that
Ludhianvi's freedom is some sort of retaliation against the FATF's decision.
country has a caretaker government setup and cannot afford to take any such
rash and foolish measures," Raees added.
Bilal Mehboob, the head of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development
and Transparency (PILDAT), said the announcement of setting Ludhianvi free has
placed a question mark on the integrity of the caretaker government.
decision could be a result of any political pressure. I'm still unable to
comprehend why would the caretaker provincial government set free the ASWJ
leader, a group that has established terror ties," Mehboob said.
to Pakistani laws, with his name cleared, Ludhianvi can run in the upcoming
general elections and will have access to his previously frozen financial
assets. He also can freely travel within and outside the country.
to VOA, provincial government officials have downplayed the lifting of the ban
is a routine matter for the provincial home department to revisit names on the
terror list and remove those who are acting according to the law," Shaukat
Javed, Punjab's provincial interior minister, told VOA.
Ludhianvi's name was taken out of the watch list after a close review of his
case by the provincial government," Javed added.
Askari Rizvi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab province, told Reuters the
decision was made by the federal government. The "Punjab government is
implementing decisions of [the] election commission and the federal government
in this regard," Rizvi said.
is among the experts saying the decision is a "sheer mistake that should
be corrected" and "it doesn't matter whether the decision was taken
by the federal government, Punjab government or NACTA."
is a sectarian Sunni militant group established in Punjab province in 1985 to
counter the Shiite Islam in the country. It was previously known as Sipah-e-Sahaba
placed ASWJ on its terror watch list in 2002. Over the years, however, the
outfit has resurfaced with several identities, including Anjuman
Sipah-e-Sahaba, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan and
group has had several alliances and links with terror groups including al-Qaida
and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), and has been blamed for several deadly attacks
against the Shiite minority in the country.
group is also a staunch supporter of the country's controversial anti-blasphemy
2011, ASWJ follower Mumtaz Qadri fatally shot Punjab's governor, Salman Taseer,
after Taseer demanded changes in the blasphemy law.
addition, ASWJ has operated as a political party and, despite being banned
several times, its candidates, through affiliations with various political and
religious groups, have openly participated in past elections.
Farooqui, a Karachi-based ASWJ member, and several others will be contesting
for seats in the upcoming elections in July.
Ahmed Ludhianvi, the current chief of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat and the joint
secretary of Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an alliance of about 40 political
and religious parties, hails from Pakistan's Punjab province.
is known to be a strong proponent of a strictly Sunni Islamic Pakistan and is
referred to as Safeer-e-Aman (Ambassador of Peace) among his followers. He took
charge of the outlawed ASWJ after Ali Sher Haidri, its former chief, was killed
in an attack in 2009.
Punjab government on Friday termed a news-item published in a section of the
press with regard to participation of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) in the
elections of 2018 as baseless, beyond facts and misguided.
to a statement issued here, Punjab government spokesperson made it clear that
ASWJ was a banned outfit and it had no permission to carry out any sort of
law enforcement agencies have initiated legal action under Anti- Terrorism Act
1997 for violating the law and all the offices of this outfit have been
sealed,” said the spokesman, adding that the name of Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi
was not included in the fourth schedule under Anti-Terrorism Act, therefore,
the law did not stop anybody, whose name was not included in the fourth
schedule, to take part in the elections.
Wednesday, it was reported that the government had ordered to unfreeze the
assets of Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and removed the ban placed on his movement –
to reports, National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Wednesday had
issued a notification in this regard following the recommendations of Punjab’s
ASWJ chief, who is also the joint secretary of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council
(DPC), was reportedly allowed to operate his bank accounts which were frozen on
the recommendation of the same department earlier.
For Imran Khan, the ticket-award exercise is the most painful task of his life.
He not only described this exercise as “Azab” (torment) but also called it “the
most difficult time of my life.”
will be thankful to Allah for coming out of the crisis of awarding party tickets,”
he said as he briefly came out of his Zaman park residence late on Friday
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman is facing severe criticism over award of
party tickets to turncoats, while completely ignoring the party’s ideological
and loyal workers.
the workers have lifted this party to its present position but the fruits are
being offered to turncoats, many of whom had recently joined the party,” Junaid
Shahzad told Dawn.
number of PTI workers from different Lahore constituencies as well as other
districts continued protesting outside Zaman Park residence on Friday -- the
last day to finalise the party tickets before going ahead for intense election
campaign for the general election.
MPA Seemal Kamran, who claims to be the wife of PML-Q government’s Punjab law
minister Raja Basharat, also protested outside the PTI chairman’s residence.
She said Basharat was a liar and demanded that the PTI chairman should withdraw
the ticket from him.
the PTI chairman had claimed that there is a system in place to ensure that
only the right candidates are given tickets, many aspirants say the most
deserving candidates have been ignored in a bid to accommodate turncoats who
defected the former ruling PML-N party.
of the candidates who could have won respective seats have been ignored,” said
we were kept on toes to keep a close contact with voters in our constituency as
well as remain available at all party events whether sit-ins or public meetings
during the past five years in particular – and spending huge money,” a ticket
aspirant expressed his dismay while speaking to Dawn.
Khan had spent a full day to ‘placate’ the disgruntled elements while
explaining them the ground realities as well as reasons leading to parliamentary
boards’ decisions at his Lahore residence on Thursday. Still many a protester
believed that the chairman had only given (false) hope to many ticket aspirants
that they would be accommodated in the by-elections and for other positions
after forming the government.
PTI chairman had arrived in Lahore on Wednesday night and was limited to
indoors owing to round-the-clock protest outside his residence. As he came out
of his residence late on Friday evening and met some protesters, he said in
sheer frustration, “I will heave a sigh of relief, when Allah rescues me from
this Azab (torment) of awarding party tickets to candidates.”
- Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar reiterated the government's strong
resolve to strengthen measures against
terrorism and terrorism financing, and to implement the Action Plan by adopting
a “whole-of-government” approach during FATF Plenary meetings held in OECD,
Paris, from June 24 to 29, 2018, to discuss issues relating to security and
integrity of the global financial systems.
opportunity was instrumental in ensuring Pakistan’s commitment to the world for
compliance of international standards and increasing effectiveness of
regulatory and enforcement regimes for its own benefit.
delegation was led by Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar along with
officials from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Bank of
Pakistan and Financial Monitoring Unit, said a press release issued here
the sidelines of FATF and ICRG meetings, the Pakistani delegation held
bi-lateral meetings with several FATF members to ensure their support for
Pakistan in the FATF process. FATF members were informed that the government of
Pakistan already sent its commitment letter to the FATF President on the Policy
Action Plan on 22 June 2018.
special intervention to FATF/ICRG was made by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar. She
emphasized that Pakistan was steadfast in upgrading the AML/CFT standards and
ensuring their enforcement.
preparation in consultations with all the concerned authorities and initiating
some actions prior to the Paris meetings was helpful in strengthening
Pakistan’s case. The FATF/ICRG group supported Pakistan’s proposition on keeping
the timeframe realistic for implementation of policy actions.
to the decision already made at the FATF Plenary held in February 2018, the
FATF Plenary of June 2018 approved the Action Plan for Pakistan and placed
Pakistan on its Public Statement in the Ongoing Compliance section.
forward, the government of Pakistan is putting in place a strategy to implement
the Action Plan in the next 15 months.
upgrades Pakistan on ‘human trafficking index’
The United States has moved Pakistan from a watch list to another group of
countries that have taken significant steps to curb human trafficking, says a
report released on Friday.
government of Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do
so,” says the report released by the US State Department.
government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting
period, therefore, Pakistan was upgraded to Tier 2.”
move came two days after an international financial watchdog placed Pakistan on
its monitoring list — known as the ‘grey list’— for allowing terrorist groups
to collect funds.
slavery has no place in the world, and I intend to ensure, through diplomatic
engagement and increased action, that the United States government’s leadership
in combating this global threat is sustained in the years to come,” said US
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo while releasing the trafficking in persons
2 on the State Department’s list includes countries that do not fully comply
with these minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring
themselves into compliance while tier 2 watch list includes countries being
monitored for compliance.
report notes that the Pakistan government demonstrated increasing efforts by
raising the number of victims it identified and investigations and prosecutions
of sex trafficking.
provincial government of Punjab increased investigations, prosecutions, and
convictions for bonded labour, the country’s largest human trafficking problem.
government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir adopted a law prohibiting bonded labour.
governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh reported operating two additional
women shelters and three additional child protection units, respectively.
federal government continued to implement its 2015-20 national strategic
framework against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.
report, however, points out the Pakistan government did not meet the minimum
standards in several key areas:
government law enforcement efforts on labour trafficking remained inadequate
compared with the scale of the problem; Punjab continued to be the only
province to report prosecutions and convictions for bonded labour.
for sex trafficking decreased and the government’s overall convictions remained
small compared with the extent of trafficking in Pakistan.
complicity in trafficking crimes remained a pervasive problem, yet the
government did not report new law enforcement efforts to hold such officials
accountable, including failing to investigate serious allegations of
trafficking regarding a high-ranking diplomatic official.
protection efforts remained inconsistent; only a small number of the total
victims identified were referred to assistance services.
report urges Pakistan to increase prosecutions and convictions, particularly of
forced and bonded labour, while strictly respecting due process; pass an
anti-trafficking law that criminalises all forms of human trafficking,
including sex trafficking of those under 18 without requiring coercive means.
also urges Pakistan to prescribe penalties commensurate with other serious
crimes, such as rape; thoroughly investigate credible allegations of government
complicity in trafficking and stringently prosecute and punish officials who
should also provide additional resources to increase trafficking-specific
services for victims, including for men and boys, and ensure victims are not
penalised for acts committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking.
States Department also urges Pakistan to ensure the creation, dissemination,
and use of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for victim identification and
referral to rehabilitation services at the provincial level; expand ability for
freed bonded labourers; to obtain identification documents and gain access to
should also take steps to eliminate all recruitment fees charged to workers;
issue policies and provide trainings to government officials that clearly
distinguish between human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
report urges Pakistan to strengthen the capacity of provincial governments to
address human trafficking, including bonded labour, through training, awareness
raising, funding, and encouraging the creation of coordination task forces and
the adoption of provincial-level anti-trafficking action plans.
A 26-year-old Florida man has admitted obstructing the free exercise of
religious beliefs through the threatened use of a dangerous weapon and
explosive after he called in a bomb threat to a mosque, federal prosecutors
said on Friday.
Allen Hughes of Cutler Bay, Florida, pleaded guilty on Thursday during a
hearing in the Southern District of Florida, federal prosecutors said in a
faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 6.
confessed to calling an emergency contact for the Jamaat Ul Muttaqeen Mosque in
Pembroke Pines, Florida, on May 5 and leaving "a hate-filled and
profanity-laden voicemail message denigrating Islam and threatening to blow up
the mosque," the prosecutors' statement said.
the message, Hughes said he had a detonator, that he was "going to blow
your ... temple up," and that "you guys are all going to be up in
flames after I'm done with you," according to the statement.
enforcement was contacted and immediately responded, but no bomb was found at
the mosque, prosecutors said.
attack at the Capital Gazette newspaper is the deadliest day for journalism in
America since 9/11. Four people died at the newspaper's office in Annapolis,
and a fifth person died after being transported to the hospital.
identities of the victims were released on Thursday night. Rob Hiaasen, Gerald
Fischman, Wendi Winters, and John McNamara were editors, and Rebecca Smith was
an ad sales assistant for the paper.
"What happened here was very calculated," Capital Gazette
reporter Selene San Felice said on "Anderson Cooper 360."
was in the newsroom when the shots rang out. "I think this person was
going after editors," she said.
Reporter Phil Davis said on "AC360" that he hid under a desk
during the attack. When he heard the gunman reload, he said he wondered to
himself, "Are we all going to die?"
authorities said the newspaper as a whole was "targeted." Multiple
law enforcement officials have told CNN the suspect in the shooting is Jarrod
Warren Ramos, who had previously filed a defamation lawsuit against the paper.
The suit was dismissed.
of the shooting spree caused a chill in newsrooms across the United States on
Thursday. Law enforcement in several cities stepped up security around major
news organizations as a precautionary measure.
Threats against members of the media have been on the rise in recent
years. But murders of American journalists are very rare. The last time multiple journalists were
killed while on assignment in the U.S. was in 2015, when an ex-employee
attacked two members of a WDBJ TV news crew during a live report in Virginia.
Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were killed. On Thursday, Chris
Hurst, who was engaged to Parker when she was killed, tweeted in response to
the Annapolis shooting, "The threat to journalists is real and became
deadly once more today in Annapolis. My condolences to everyone impacted at the
Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks threats to journalists around
the world, said that "seven journalists have been killed in relation to
their work in the United States" since the group began its tracking effort
group noted that "a music journalist was killed in Chicago" earlier
this year, but "CPJ is still investigating the motive for that
like the Gazette do vital work, and our thoughts are with them amid this
unconscionable tragedy," the group's executive director Joel Simon said in
a statement. "Violence against journalists is unacceptable, and we welcome
the thorough investigation into the motivations behind the shooting."
database includes one journalist death on 9/11 -- a freelance news
photographer. Six broadcast engineers working for TV stations were also killed
in the terror attacks, for a total of seven members of the news media.
why Thursday's death toll of five stands as the deadliest day for the industry
since the terror attacks. Capital
Gazette Communications publishes multiple papers, including the Capital and the
Maryland Gazette. Danielle Ohl, a reporter for The Capital, pointed out on
Twitter that the shared newsroom has "about 20 news staffers, a few more
the attack, The Capital will still be publishing a newspaper Thursday night.
Multiple newsroom staffers, plus reporters from its parent company, The
Baltimore Sun, are working on stories for Friday's edition.
Sun is owned by Tronc, which operates papers in many local markets. Tronc
executives are on the way to Annapolis, according to an internal memo from CEO
Justin Dearborn Thursday night.
the memo, obtained by CNN, Dearborn said that "out of abundant precaution,
we are increasing security presence at the company."
Indonesia's elite counterterrorism squad Densus 88 plans to arrest more than
100 suspected militants in a bid to prevent retaliatory attacks after a radical
cleric linked to Islamic State was sentenced to death, National Police
chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said on
Abdurrahman, regarded as the ideological leader of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, a
loose grouping of hundreds of Islamic State sympathizers, was convicted last
month for masterminding four deadly attacks in Jakarta and elsewhere in
has been in prison since 2009 but was accused of orchestrating the attacks from
behind bars. No date has been set for Abdurrahman's execution, which is likely
to be by firing squad, but in the meantime Indonesian security forces have been
put on high alert.
price we have to pay is the possibility of his networks retaliating," Tito
told Reuters in an interview at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta.
the good news is we have detected most of his networks and cells... More than
100 of them will be arrested. We have to move before they move," said
Tito, who previously headed Densus 88.
country has faced a surge in homegrown militancy in recent years and around 30
people were killed in suicide bombings in Surabaya, East Java, last month,
marking the deadliest militant attack in over a decade in the Muslim-majority
attacks on three churches and a police station in Surabaya were carried out by
families, who took children as young as 8 on their mission, marking the first
time such a tactic had been used, according to terrorism experts.
said the authorities had been aware of the risk of female suicide bombers but
had no information that a whole family unit or children would be used to carry
families behind the attacks had been monitored by authorities for four months
last year, but there had been no suspicious activity involving the children, he
the Surabaya attacks, the police have detained more than 120 suspects and
key suspect, Kholid Abu Bakar, who officials believe was the leader of the
attackers' Islamic study group, remains at large.
said Kholid and his family had attempted to travel to Syria last year to join
Islamic State but were caught in Turkey and deported back to Indonesia.
said surveillance teams in Indonesia had now been doubled and provincial police
headquarters instructed to set up joint teams involving local-level military,
intelligence and paramilitary police. In the wake of the attacks, Indonesia
toughened up its anti-terrorism laws last month to allow police to arrest and
detain suspected militants for longer periods, and without having to wait until
they acquired weapons or carried out attacks.
gives us more room to maneuver. It is much, much easier because we don't need
to watch and wait until they possess weapons," he said.
expanded authority or firepower may not always be enough to foil attacks, Tito
said, calling for radicalization programs to be strengthened.
believe Densus 88 is good enough in monitoring people, foiling plans and
investigating attacks ... but there is no use in this hard approach if we
cannot change their mindset."
LUMPUR: Taiwan is keen on encouraging more Malaysians especially Muslims to
visit the island republic as it continues to expand its halal hub facilities
throughout the country.
Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia representative James Chang Chi-ping
said presently there are 150 restaurants and hotels that are certified by the
Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) in Taiwan.
an effort to promote more Malaysian Muslims to visit Taiwan, we are continuing
to work with Jakim and they have since certified around 800 Taiwanese products
comprising of food and cosmetics with many other products pending review and
certification," he told reporters after officiating the MEET Taiwan
networking session with local and Taiwan Tourism Agencies at the Berjaya Times
Square, here, today.
said this year marked MEET Taiwan's fifth consecutive year in the country aimed
at further developing bilateral relations between both countries.
year Taiwan is promoting itself as the global destination for the MICE
(meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) market with hundreds and
thousands of visitors arriving each year for business activities," he
such, he called on Muslim entrepreneurs and corporations to conduct their MICE
activities in the country as its facilities are well suited and cater to the
exhibition centres, conference buildings and train stations are equipped with
prayers rooms for the Muslims. Muslim travellers need not worry when getting
halal food as an app is available which gives the location of halal hubs
throughout the country," he said.
increase in halal facilities in Taiwan, he said is proven when Taiwan ranked
fifth in the latest Global Muslim Travel index (GMTI) under the
non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) category for the first time this
is an improvement of two places from last year. In the GMTI's general category,
Taiwan rose to 27th position this year from 33 in 2017.
significant improvement is a clear indication of Taiwan's commitment to
becoming a Muslim friendly travel destination," he said.
Asean, he said Malaysia has the most number of tourists visiting Taiwan with
528,000 out of the 2.13 million visitors in South East Asia.
said it foresees the number of tourists from Malaysia visiting Taiwan to
increase with a significant double-digit growth.
2016 the number of Malaysian tourists were 474,000 while the year before saw
the total tourists, one-tenth are Muslims. More Muslims will arrive if we
continue to expand a more halal-friendly environment for them. As such, we
encourage more restaurants and hotels to get the certification from
Jakim," Chang said.
line with this year's theme "High Five Taiwan", the MEET Taiwan initiative
which promotes MICE efforts by providing travel incentive promotions is already
ongoing with Nestle Malaysia among the first local company to select the
country as its incentive travel destination.
MEET Taiwan initiative which is organised by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and
Taiwan External Trade Development Council (Taitra) and the Taiwan Trade Centre
of Kuala Lumpur will also see companies that sign up under the initiative
participate in the Asia Super Team: Dare for Future event.
cross-border contest is expected to attract teams from eight countries
including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the
Philippines and Vietnam.
Ibrahim, Malaysia’s democracy champion and the country’s most famous former
political prisoner, had barely tasted five weeks of freedom when he flew to Ankara
last week and stood beside Turkey’s strongman President Recep Tayipp Erdogan to
praise his “commitment to democracy”.
Erdogan’s election victory last Sunday, which critics say brings him ever
closer to one-man rule, was a “victory for the Islamic world in portraying a
modern and progressive face of Islam that embraces change while not
compromising on the values of our faith and the fundamental teachings of the
Holy Prophet”, Mr Anwar declared on his return home.
comments by Malaysia’s prime minister-in-waiting have triggered alarm at his
apparent disregard for the deterioration of human rights and democracy in
Turkey, and wider international concern over what to expect from an Anwar-led
Anwar yesterday defended his praise for Mr Erdogan, saying he supported
Turkey’s democratic transition under Mr Erdogan after decades of military rule,
but acknowledged “institutions need to be fortified”. “I emphasised democratic
accountability in my remarks,” he told The Weekend Australian. “That would
include the rule of law and an end to all draconian measures. I’m confident
that Turkey would evolve into a more mature democracy.
some valid criticisms against his rule, Erdogan persists on a democratic
Anwar also accused Western nations of being “somewhat ambivalent, if not
hypocritical” in dealing with the numerous attempted military coups in Turkey.
Asia expert Bridget Welsh — who taught at Turkey’s Ipek University until the
failed coup in 2016 triggered a crackdown and purges against the civil service,
academics and media — says Mr Anwar’s praise for Mr Erdogan could at best be
seen as poor judgment and at worst a worrying portent for Malaysia under his
future leadership. “He should have shown much more prudence before making this
visit and even greater prudence before making those remarks,” she said.
has raised serious questions in the international community about the future of
his leadership and whether or not he is actually a democrat. I think it’s
deeply troubling and sends worrying signals for those concerned about reform in
if he believed such criticism was valid, Mr Anwar said he remained “consistent
in my views against any excesses and would encourage (Mr Erdogan) to respect
the rule of law”. “My commitment is for democratic accountability,” he said.
Mr Anwar’s comments have also caused discomfit within his People’s Justice
Party (PKR), part of the ruling Pakatan Harapan government under Mahathir
Mohamad since the four-party coalition toppled the government of Najib Razak in
a shock election victory last month.
a deal struck between Mr Anwar and Dr Mahathir, two former political foes, Dr
Mahathir, 92, will serve half a term as prime minister before stepping aside
for the 70-year-old.
vice-president Tian Chua said he believed Mr Anwar had been stating a personal
opinion and not that of the party when he praised Mr Erdogan.
Anwar started his political career, Erdogan represented the hopes for the
Islamic world to bring about a democratic system,” Mr Chua said. “No doubt he
is an improvement from the previous military system, but … Erdogan has, during
his time, tailor-made the constitution for his own power base and that is not
the behaviour of a democrat.”
year, Mr Erdogan narrowly won a referendum allowing him to abolish the prime
minister’s office and grant the president executive authority to effectively
rule by decree.
Western nations see Mr Erdogan as an illiberal leader bent on subverting
democracy to amass power, and as an increasingly problematic NATO ally, many in
the Muslim world — including in South and Southeast Asia — see a modern
rushed to congratulate Mr Erdogan on his victory this week, as did separatist
leaders in Indian Kashmir. Indonesian President Joko Widodo also praised Mr
Erdogan’s victory, although in more measured tones, saying the Turkish people
would be “more prosperous under your wise and measured leadership”.
Anwar’s enthusiastic endorsement of Mr Erdogan is puzzling, not least because
it ignores the tens of thousands of citizens in jail on spurious charges — a
fate Mr Anwar shared for more than a decade.
Erdogan’s measures to consolidate his power also resemble those of the
Malaysian government, which Mr Anwar spent two decades fighting.
his release last month, Mr Anwar told The Weekend Australian Canberra’s “muted”
response to the oppression of the former Najib government had been “painful for
democrats, those who are struggling for freedom in their countries”. “Those
countries that are supposed to be beacons of democracy must rise up to the
occasion and be seen to be playing a role and not just working with people who
are known to be corrupt and authoritarian,” he said.
Welsh says many Pakatan Harapan politicians have romanticised Mr Erdogan’s
early victories and failed to fully comprehend what is happening in Turkey,
and the parallels between how Mr Erdogan and Mr Najib maintained support.
the fact that Anwar would choose to go to Turkey and effectively campaign for
Mr Erdogan speaks to a fundamental lack of a sense of principles of democratic
governance. He didn’t speak up for one moment about the 200,000-plus people
imprisoned in Turkey — many of them much more vulnerable than Anwar ever was —
and, in fact, was supporting their jailer,” she said. “I think Anwar is blinded
by personal loyalties and is focused on himself and not the bigger challenges
the country faces.”
Mr Anwar insisted his visit was based on “long-term friendship” and not politics,
he endorsed Mr Erdogan before last Sunday’s election, calling him the “one
leader who shows courage against the powers in the world” on the Palestinian
issue and the plight of Rohingya Muslims.
Anwar noted with gratitude that the Turkish president would “remind (Najib)
about my release” at every meeting, but did not mention that it was to the
Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur he turned in 2008 when facing a second spurious
University of Malaysia associate professor Muhammad Takiyuddin bin Ismail
believed Mr Anwar knew well the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey, but felt
praising Mr Erdogan was the practical thing to do for the sake of securing his
image in the Muslim world. “Erdogan, Anwar and Mahathir are widely seen as
leaders who can confront and, at the same time, bridge the gap between Muslim
and Western countries,” he said, adding both Malaysia and Turkey believed in
the idea of “our way of democracy”.
a layman’s perspective, of course, it is poor political judgment to support an
authoritarian leader like Erdogan, especially in the era of the ‘New Malaysia’,
but Anwar must also appease the segments within the Muslim world who see
Erdogan as someone who can represent their view.”
is not the first time Anwar has shown such poor judgment and let what
University of NSW emeritus professor Clive Kessler calls his “soft Islamist
sentimentality” overshadow democratic principles. He was among the first
foreigners in 1980 to go to Tehran to congratulate Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
following the Iranian revolution.
Kessler last month noted that, as deputy prime minister in the 1990s, Mr Anwar
“often proved a facilitator for harder-line Islamists” and could again “succumb
to the same temptations”.
Anwar’s supporters believe experience and hardship has moderated the former
firebrand, and refined his ambitions for an Islamic renaissance in which the
religion’s main tenets are harmoniously incorporated into a democratic system.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has pledged to protect millions of
Indonesians living and working in the country, Indonesian President Joko Widodo
said after talks between the two leaders.
have asked about protection to migrant workers in Malaysia as well as the
establishment of schools for Indonesian children there,” Widodo said during a
joint press conference with Mahathir at the Bogor Palace in Bogor, West Java,
are about 2.7 million Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia working as
domestic helpers, and plantation and construction workers — the largest
concentration of the Indonesian diaspora abroad. Almost half work there
illegally, according to data from the government.
acknowledged that there are Indonesians in Malaysia who entered the country
illegally, many with children. “These children need to go to schools. We
already have Indonesian schools in the peninsula, but we still don’t have any
in Sabah and Sarawak. We will see to it,” Mahathir said.
neither of the leaders said anything about the stalled negotiation of a
bilateral memorandum of understanding on protection and placement of Indonesian
migrant workers in Malaysia, which expired in 2016.
workers advocacy group Migrant Care has urged both leaders to make migrant
workers’ protection a priority in their bilateral discussions. “Indonesian
migrant workers in Malaysia are still prone to various abuse, such as physical,
fall victim to trafficking, and some of them are on death row,” Migrant Care’s
executive director, Wahyu Susilo, told Arab News.
also said the two leaders should finalize negotiations on the MoU and refer it
to the principles on the ASEAN Consensus on Protection and Promotion the Rights
of Migrant Workers and other international human rights instruments to protect
called on Indonesia to band together to counter accusation from the EU, which
aims to phase out the use of biodiesel made from palm oil by 2030, that the two
countries’ palm oil plantations have caused massive deforestation and ignited
is not correct,” he said, adding that both Malaysia and Indonesia have the
right to clear its land for wider cultivation grounds and benefit from them
said Europe was also once covered by forests, which have now been cut down.
one objected to it, we never objected to it. However, now when we need to have
larger cultivation areas, they accuse us of destroying the environment and
causing climate change,” Mahathir said.
added that EU’s position was mainly based on economic grounds instead of
and Malaysia are two of the world’s biggest producers of palm oil, accounting
for roughly 90 percent of global oil palm production.
premier was on a two-day official visit in Indonesia, which ended Friday. It
was his first visit to a Southeast Asian country since he became prime minister
for the second time in May after defeating then-prime minister Najib Razak. It
is customary for newly installed leaders of ASEAN countries to make their first
official visits to fellow member states of the regional bloc.
wanted to make Indonesia as our first trip abroad because Indonesia is our
closest neighbor,” Mahathir said, taking into account the family ties between
people in both countries.
are not strangers to each other and many Malaysians are originated from
Indonesia,” he added.
Takfiri militants renounce violence in Syria’s Dara’a
Takfiri militants in a number of areas in the northern sector of Syria’s
southern province of Dara'a have laid down their arms and renounced violence in
the wake of territorial gains being made by government troops and allied
fighters from popular defense groups.
media bureau of Syria's Operations Command announced in a statement released on
Friday that militants in the towns of Abta'a, Da'el – located approximately 14
kilometers north of the provincial capital city of Dara’a – and Tafas have
statement added that extremists in the towns of al-Taybeh, Saida and Umm
al-Mayazen have expressed readiness to surrender.
Syrian soldiers and their allies have made a major advance west of Dara’a.
official news agency SANA reported that Syrian troopers have managed to capture
the strategic hilltop of Tal Zamitiyah village following a short battle with
militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army.
report added that the assault was led by the Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized
Division and Republican Guard forces.
army soldiers and fighters from popular defense groups are now working to cut
off militant supply routes to the southern part of Dara’a, which serves as the
main terrorist stronghold inside the city.
southwest is strategically sensitive because of its proximity to the frontiers
with both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
recapture of Dara’a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan
Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants for years.
territory's return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported
collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv's plans
to annex the Golan Heights.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
has been helping Syrian forces in an ongoing battle in the province of Dayr
al-Zawr as the Daesh terrorist group struggles to keep its last positions in
Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official
request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as the Syrians continue
to recapture key areas from Daesh and other terrorist groups across the country
with the backing of Russian air cover.
May 21, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a
statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside
after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp had been totally purged of
development was preceded by flushing the Takfiris out of the towns of Yalda,
Babbila and Beit Sahem on the southern outskirts of Damascus.
seeks role in return of Syrian refugees from Lebanon
head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Friday his powerful movement was creating a
mechanism to help Syrian refugees in the country return home, in coordination
with Lebanese authorities and Damascus.
hosts just under one million registered refugees from the conflict in neighboring
Syria, although authorities say the real number is much higher.
some battlefronts in Syria’s devastating seven-year war have quietened,
Lebanese officials are ramping up demands that refugees go home, and Hezbollah
said on Friday it wanted to play a role.
in Hezbollah, facing the slow progress in resolving this issue and based on our
good and strong relationship with the Syrian state, we want to help,” said its
head Hassan Nasrallah.
of Hezbollah fighters, as well as Russian warplanes, have helped Syrian
government troops retake swathes of territory in recent years.
said the group was setting up centers with phone numbers and social media
accounts where refugees could sign up to return home.
will submit these lists to the relevant authorities in Syria,” said Nasrallah,
and would also coordinate with Lebanon’s General Security agency.
will work together so that as many Syrian refugees as possible who want a
voluntary and safe return can go back,” he said in a televised address.
said Hezbollah would take advantage of the summer months as Syrian families
would want to be home before schools open in September.
is no time to lose,” he said. “There is a huge difference between living in a
tent and returning home, to your neighborhood, your school.”
spoke a day after several hundred Syrian refugees left the Lebanese border town
of Arsal, returning to their hometowns around Damascus.
operation was coordinated between Lebanon’s General Security and Syrian
this year, around 500 refugees also left southern Lebanon for Syria in a return
organised by Beirut and Damascus.
thousand have independently left in recent years.
said neither his group nor the Lebanese government wanted to force refugees to
he warned of local and international efforts aimed at dissuading refugees from
Syrian government offensive in the southwest has uprooted more than 120,000
civilians, driving most of them towards the border with Jordan and the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a war monitoring group said on Friday.
senior Israeli minister said refugees gathering at the Golan frontier must be
prevented from crossing into Israel.
already hosting some 650,000 Syrian refugees, also says its border will remain
closed to more refugees.
government forces backed by Russian air power have turned their focus to the
rebel-held southwest since defeating the last remaining insurgent pockets near
the cities of Damascus and Homs.
advances in areas east and northeast of Daraa city, and bombardment of the
heavily populated rebel-held town of Nawa to its northwest, have triggered a
mass flight of civilians.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said tens of thousands had gathered at Syria's
border with Jordan while thousands more had fled to the Golan frontier, many of
them from Nawa.
Director Rami Abdulrahman, speaking by phone, said some people had also crossed
into government-held areas, while others had gone to a corner of the southwest
held by an Islamic State affiliated group.
think we must prevent the entry of refugees from Syria to Israel, in the past
we have prevented such cases,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a senior
minister, told a Tel Aviv Radio.
says the international community must find ways to support Syrians inside
Syria. “Jordan has reached its capacity in receiving refugees,” Foreign
Minister Ayman Safadi told the pan-Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera late on
Thursday, affirming the government position.
Sidra, commander of FSA artillery battalion has fled Dara'a to Jordan while
taking a plenty of cash.
Sidra was the FSA commander in charge of Nasib border region.
Sidar's escape comes as the Syrian army is making rapid advances toward the
Nasib border crossing.
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian army continued military
operations in Eastern Dara'a as reinforcement and new military equipment were
dispatched to the region.
Army forces regained control of the towns of Nahetah, Western Malihah and
Eastern Malihah on Wednesday after clashes with the terrorists in Eastern
tens of terrorists withdrew from their positions after the army forces advanced
in the region.
the Syrian air force and artillery and missile units attacked the terrorists'
positions in the towns of al-Harak, Kharba and Rakham and the regions near the
old customs office, inflicting heavy damage on them.
sources reported that the Syrian army has sent a large number of its forces and
new military equipment to Eastern Dara'a, adding that a big convoy has been
dispatched to Eastern Dara'a through the town of Basari al-Sham.
said that a large convoy of the Syrian army has been sent to the army positions
in al-Ashrafiyeh, al-Saqiyeh and Tal al-Asfar in Eastern Dara'a, raising the
speculations that the army might open a new front against the terrorists in the
Syrian army troops managed to liberate a sum of 44 towns and villages in
Eastern Dara'a in less than a week, seizing more than 10 military vehicles in
the battlefield, a military source said on Wednesday.
source said that the army men managed to capture the town of Azra'a after
driving terrorists out of Busral al-Harir and Malihah al-Atash regions in
army has now freed the entire territories between Northern Dara'a and Sweida
province, the source further said.
source went on to say that the army liberated a sum of 44 villages and towns in
Eastern Dara'a in less than a week, killing tens of terrorists and destroying
source further said that the army soldiers destroyed over 10 tanks and military
vehicles of Amoud Houran terrorist group in Busra al-Harir operation.
army found a huge depot of arms and ammunition that is the largest ever seized
from the terrorists and has branches in several caves and hideouts in al-Petra
Mountain in Eastern Qalamoun.
Syrian army's engineering units seized large caches of terrorists' military
equipment during their mopping operations in the towns of Basr al-Harir and
Naheteh in Northeastern Dara'a.
government troops also found US-made TOW missiles, RPGs, mortar rounds, tanks
and a large amount of bullets.
al-Harir and Nahete were among the largest terrorist bastions in Northeastern
Dara'a that link Dara'a with Jordan's borders and al-Lajah region in the North.
Syrian army had previously seized field hospitals and medicine made in Israel
and Saudi Arabia from the terrorists in its military operations in Dara'a.
a relevant development earlier on Friday, the Syrian army continued its
military operations in Eastern Dara'a and managed to impose control over six
crucial areas and cut the terrorists' supply routes.
Damascus government troops continued their advance in Eastern Dara'a and
captured Suker strategic hill and cut off the terrorists supply routes between
Um Walad and Habib villages.
Syrian army also took control of Air Defense Battalion 49 and the town of Ulema
West of Qazaleh town in Eastern Dara'a.
government troops engaged in heavy clashes with the terrorists and liberated
Hamd Tal, Abta Dam and Battalion 271 West of Sheikh Meskin city in Eastern
Ezzur: Syrian Army Repels ISIL's Attack on Positions Near Border with Iraq
Syrian army troops engaged in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists who were
planning to attack the army positions near Point 400 close to the border with
Iraq and thwarted their attack.
government forces destroyed a number of military vehicles of the terrorists and
seized a drone and a large volume of their weapons and military equipment.
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian army fully cleansed Badiyeh
(desert) of Deir Ezzur of the remnants of the ISIL terrorists in an operation
in the Southeastern parts of the province, regaining control over 5,800 sq/km
Syrian army's operations command center announced in a statement on Thursday
that its forces have been able to retake control of the entire Badiyeh region
in Deir Ezzur in military operations also backed by the air force.
added that the army units have won back control of 5,800 sq/km of the country's
soil after heavy clashes with the terrorists and inflicting heavy losses and
damages on them.
Syrian army has fully purged the terrorists from regions in Eastern Homs and
Badiyeh of Deir Ezzur to the borders with Iraq.
a relevant development on Monday, government troops in Syria continued their
cleansing operation in Southeastern Deir Ezzur and drove the remaining pockets
of ISIL terrorists out of a vast stretch of land.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with the remaining pockets of ISIL in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur and freed 1,800 sq/km of land along the border with
Syria near Point 400 in Albu Kamal region.
secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the Iraqi
voluntary and pro-government Popular Mobilization Units would give a befitting
response to those responsible for a deadly air raid on their fellow fighters in
Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr earlier this month.
his supporters via a televised speech broadcast from the Lebanese capital city
of Beirut on Friday evening, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the forces – better
known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi – will get revenge for the late June
17 strike against the border town of al-Hari near the frontier with Iraq.
further noted that Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters played an effective role in
defeating the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq.
Hezbollah chief also stressed that his movement seeks “the speedy formation of
a new cabinet in Lebanon,” saying, “Clear and unified criteria must be set for
the new cabinet fails to represent all parliamentary blocs, it would not then
foster national unity,” Nasrallah pointed out.
added that the voluntary repatriation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon must be
facilitated, and that no reason should complicate such a process.
hurdles on the path to the return of Syrian refugees will harm the displaced
population, Lebanon and Syria. We must join forces to help more Syrian refugees
return to their homeland,” Nasrallah said.
also brushed aside allegations that Hezbollah is in charge of the Lebanese
government, and controls all affairs in the Arab country.
also dismissed some reports alleging that Lebanese citizenship is being offered
on the basis of monetary incentives, demanding an explanation for President
Michel Aoun’s decision to sign a naturalization decree and grant Lebanese
citizenship to over 400 foreign nationals.
in his remarks, the Hezbollah secretary general said Washington and the Tel
Aviv regime are colluding to ensure the success of US President Donald Trump’s
much touted “deal of the century” for Palestine.
said Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is in line
with the impending deal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
also rejected Saudi media reports regarding the presence of Hezbollah and
Iranian fighters inside Yemen, stressing that no Lebanese resistance fighter
has been killed in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
then stated that Saudi and Emirati military forces, together with their
regional and Western allies, have suffered serious losses in Yemen’s western
port city of Hudaydah.
Hezbollah leader also extended his gratitude to Malaysian Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad to pull troops out of the Saudi-led military coalition, which
has been relentlessly pounding impoverished Yemen in an imposed war for more
than three years.
The number of displaced people in southern Syria has more than tripled to
160,000 in the latest fighting, the UN refugee agency’s Jordan spokesman
Mohammad Hawar said on Friday.
expect the numbers during the night to rise further,” Hawar said. The last UN
figure issued Monday was 45,000.
arrests former opposition lawmaker on terrorism charges
Turkish court has ordered the arrest of a former lawmaker from the main
opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on several charges, including aiding
a movement led by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara
government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Friday, a court in Istanbul took the decision against Eren Erdem shortly after
he was detained in capital Ankara following a warrant issued by the Istanbul
Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on charges of “being a member of a terrorist
are seeking a jail sentence of up to 22 years for Erdem.
faces charges connected to reports in the Karşı daily, where he had been
editor-in-chief and published stories linked to the Gulenist Terror Group
is also charged with violating the confidentiality of an investigation,
membership in an armed group and exposing the identity of a secret witness.
reportedly tried to leave Turkey after his party failed to re-nominate him for
parliament in the June 24 general elections, and he lost his immunity from
is the second CHP politician to be jailed after Enis Berberoglu, who was
sentenced to 25 years in jail for his role in leaking secret documents to a
newspaper showing the country's National Intelligence Organization (MIT)
shipped weapons to foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
June 14, 2017, Istanbul’s 14th Heavy Penal Court handed down the sentence to
Berberoglu for releasing secret documents with the purpose of political or
was arrested in the courthouse after the hearing.
in May 2015, the Cumhuriyet daily posted on its website footage showing Turkish
security forces in early 2014 intercepting a convoy of trucks carrying arms for
the militants in Syria.
paper said the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade
launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy
denied the allegation and claimed that the trucks had been carrying
humanitarian aid to Syria. However, Berberoglu defended the video, saying it
incident triggered a huge controversy in Turkey with many bashing the
government for explicitly supporting terrorism in neighboring Syria.
former editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul were among
other defendants in the case.
and Gul were sentenced to at least five years in jail for revealing what was
said to be state secrets. The prosecutor is now seeking an additional 10 years
in prison for the two over the report on MIT trucks.
trio warned Israel about Turkish drive in al-Quds: Report
Ha'aretz says Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have
warned Israel about increasing Turkish activities in the occupied East
said the trio had told the regime about "an attempt by Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan to 'claim ownership over the Jerusalem [al-Quds]
daily wrote that Saudi Arabia had purportedly "expressed concern over
Erdogan trying to mobilize the Jerusalem issue in order to boost his image
across the Arab and Islamic world, and present himself as the only leader truly
standing up to Israel and the Trump administration."
officials had specifically warned that Israel was “sleeping at the wheel” while
Turkey carried out the activities, saying Tel Aviv was slow to react because of
a reconciliation agreement it signed with Ankara in 2016.
main source of concern" for the Palestinian Authority was that Turkey’s
support would boost groups that opposed the PA, and were closer to the
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in Gaza," Ha'aretz added.
daily, meanwhile, said Turkey was pushing its clout in East al-Quds through a
range of activities, including by donating to certain organizations there. It
also said Turkey-based groups, some with alleged ties to Erdogan's ruling
Justice and Development Party, had been organizing tours of East al-Quds and
that Turkish activists had established "a prominent presence" in
demonstrations around Haram al-Sharif in al-Quds' Old City.
also cited an Israeli police source as saying that the same groups were trying
to buy real estate and strengthen their political standing in the city.
and Tel Aviv’s once close relations soured after Israeli commandos attacked the
Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31,
2010, killing nine Turkish citizens and injuring about 50 other people. A tenth
Turkish national later succumbed to his injuries. The vessel was attempting to
break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.
the reconciliation deal, Turkey ordered the Israeli ambassador to leave last
month after the regime went on a killing spree of protesters in the Gaza Strip.
Israel retaliated by expelling the Turkish consul general in al-Quds.
year, Trump recognized al-Quds as Israel's "capital" in May, and said
the US was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy occupied city. It
relocated the diplomatic mission in May.
want the city's eastern part as the capital of their future state.
forces shot and killed two Palestinians, one of them a 14-year-old boy, and
wounded 415 others with live fire and tear gas during protests along the Gaza
border on Friday, Gaza health officials said.
medical officials said the boy, Yasser Abu Al-Naja and Mohammad Al-Hamayda, 24,
were hit by live bullets. They added that four other men wounded by live fire
were in critical condition.
Israeli military said in a statement that troops had used “large amounts of
riot dispersal means”. In some cases, when the non-lethal means proved
ineffective, live fire was used “in accordance with the standard operating
said thousands of Palestinians had “participated in extremely violent riots”,
hurling a grenade and rocks at troops and the border fence and burning tyres.
said the reported death of the boy would be investigated and that legal action
could be taken, if appropriate.
officials say Israeli troops have killed at least 135 people since the weekly
protests began on March 30.
say the protests are a popular outpouring of rage against Israel by refugees
demanding the right to return to homes their families fled or were driven from
on Israel’s founding 70 years ago.
says the demonstrations are organized by Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip and
denies Israel’s right to exist. Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked
the violence, a charge Hamas denies.
of thousands took part when the protests were launched at several locations
along the Gaza border but the number has dropped significantly in the past few
weeks and only a few thousand have participated more recently.
deadly tactics have drawn international condemnation. But support has come from
its main ally, the United States, which like Israel, has cast blame on Hamas.
has accused Hamas of stoking the violence in an attempt to deflect domestic
opinion from Gaza’s energy shortages and faltering economy.
Yemeni army and the popular resistance backed by Arab coalition air defense
took control over al-Habl port in Hajjah governorate in northwest of the
squad of the Yemeni army navy unit along with a ground force and air cover from
the coalition, managed to take control of the port of al-Habl under Hiran
directorate in Hajjah, following clashes with the Houthi militias.
military sources said that the army recovered three boats and various kind of
source added that the Yemeni army inflicted losses among the Houthi militias
inside the port, while the coalition air strikes destroyed a number of vehicles
which were being used to transport weapons and ammunition.
Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths expects to get all parties in Yemen back to the
negotiating table for the first time in years, and both sides have confirmed
their willingness to talk, he said in a UN radio interview late on Thursday.
like to get the parties together within the next few weeks at the very latest,”
he said. “I’m hoping that the (UN) Security Council will meet next week and
we’ll put a plan before them as to how we’re going to bring the talks back.”
said that in the last few days he had met President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in
the southern city of Aden, and Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the chief negotiator of
the Houthi militias fighting against the legitimate government.
parties have confirmed to me their willingness to come to the table to restart
negotiations. I think it's long overdue that that should take place. It’s been
about two years since the last talks on Yemen.”
long negotiations and disagreements within their ranks, the Houthis had agreed
to giving the UN a lead role in managing the port.
the moment we are still in negotiations as to whether a UN role would help to
avoid an attack, and more importantly, and this is where I think we’re going,
whether in fact the restart of negotiations will mean the attack on Hodeidah or
the move towards war will be avoided.”
expected more talks with the Houthis in the next few days to be clear about the
timing and details of negotiations between the two sides.
were estimated to be up to 1 million Yemenis fighting and it would be a massive
task to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate them, but that was the priority for the
ordinary people of Yemen, he said.
has hit back at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his latest meddlesome
comments about the Islamic Republic's role in the Middle East, saying
Washington's "illegitimate interference and wrong policies" are the
root cause of the expansion of terrorism and insecurity in the region.
extremism, insecurity and the growth of terrorism as well as other problems and
crises in this region are created by the US illegitimate interference and wrong
policies," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on
made the comments after Pompeo claimed in a post on his Twitter account that
Iran’s support for Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement "not only enables
attacks on Saudi Arabia & UAE, but also risks increasing Yemen's already
massive humanitarian crisis."
Iranian spokesperson reacted to Pompeo's allegations and said such false
comments and blame game against Tehran cannot hide the destructive and
destabilizing role of the United States, which is "interfering in the
affairs of our region from thousands of kilometers away."
US must answer to world public opinion about its destructive and wrong
policies, he added.
emphasized that Washington is exacerbating the crises in the region and selling
destructive arms to some regional countries on one hand and milking the
resources of Muslim countries in the region on the other hand by resorting to
different pretexts such as its threadbare policy of Iranophobia.
said the oppressed Yemeni people, particularly the defenseless and innocent
women, children and the elderly, are suffering from the round-the-clock
bombardment by the Saudi regime, which enjoys the US government's financial and
perpetrators and supporters of these war crimes must be held accountable for
their criminal acts one day, the Iranian spokesman pointed out.
Arabia and its allies launched a brutal war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall
former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement that the war had left
more than 600,000 civilians dead and injured.
Saudi aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's facilities and
infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
2016, the impoverished nation has also been grappling with a deadly cholera
outbreak, which has already killed thousands of people.
Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are accused of
being complicit in the aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with
advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday the hike in Saudi Arabia's
bombardment of civilian targets in Yemen shows the coalition's frustration in
falling short of the goals.
Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the Islamic Republic is the
biggest victim of chemical weapons, stressing that the Israeli regime's
possession of a massive stockpile of nukes is a threat to international peace and
made the remarks in a message on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of a
deadly chemical attack by executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on the Iranian
city of Sardasht in West Azarbaijan Province during the Iraqi-imposed war.
occupying Zionist regime is a threat to international peace and security with
regard to its possession of a huge stockpile of banned chemical, biological and
nuclear weapons,” he said.
added that the deadly chemical attack on Sardasht was carried out at a time
when the United States, which has been claiming to advocate human rights, had
vetoed efforts by a majority of the United Nations Security Council to issue a
statement in condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqi
was the third most populated city in the world, after Japan's Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, to be deliberately targeted with weapons of mass destruction. It was
also the first city in the world to be attacked with poisonous gas.
actual death toll is far greater than announced. Nearly 5,000 residents of the
city, which had a population of 20,000 at the time of the attack, are still
suffering from serious respiratory and skin ailments and disorders.
once possessed a huge arsenal of chemical weapons, the production of which was
partly facilitated by exports of chemicals from the United States and Western
Iranian defense minister further said two decades after the establishment of
the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the region is
still facing threats to security and peace.
added that the US has violated international law and regulations of the
Security Council and the OPCW and conducted a military attack on Syria under
the pretext of the Arab country's use of chemical weapons that led to the
creation of more insecurity in the West Asia region.
incident will definitely cause new serious threats and challenges to the future
of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," the Iranian
defense chief pointed out.
pointed to the support by certain Western and Arab countries and the Israeli
regime for terrorist groups and their collusion with the extremists and warned
against the formation of organized chemical terrorism in West Asia.
criticized the change of approaches and main priorities of the OPCW,
particularly its politicization, and said transforming a disarmament
organization into a security and political body would lead to its lack of
independence in dealing with Western states.
which has a long history of waging wars and occupying sovereign states, has
been trying to portray Iran, which has not attacked any nation for hundreds of
years, as a threat to world peace.
a meeting with OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü in Tehran in July 2017,
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic, as per
its core principles, opposes the use of chemical weapons in any form and by any
Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized that no group has the right to
use chemical weapons in armed conflicts,” Iran's top diplomat said, adding,
“However, the Daesh terrorist group has used chemical weapons in its war
against the Syrian government.”
a message on July 1, 2017, Zarif lashed out at major world powers for refusing
to adopt a firm stance on Saddam's chemical attack on Sardasht, urging the
international community to react to any use or proliferation of weapons of mass
says it remains determined to maintain trade ties with Iran in an apparent
defiance against a purported plan by the US to urge all nations to cut imports of
Iranian oil from November.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted by media as saying that Ankara
would not cut off trade ties with Iran “at the behest of other countries” in a
clear reference to the US.
the United States' decisions are aimed at peace and stability, then we'll
support them, but we don't have to follow every decision. Being allies doesn't
mean following every decision word for word," Cavusoglu told the Turkish
broadcaster NTV in an interview.
is a good neighbour and we have economic ties. We are not going to cut off our
trade ties with Iran because other countries told us so."
Turkey's economy minister had emphasized that Washington’s demand to stop
purchasing oil from Iran will not be binding for Ankara.
Zeybekci told reporters on Wednesday that Turkey would only respect measures
announced by the United Nations toward its eastern neighbor.
decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us. Of
course, we will follow the United Nations on its decision. Other than this, we
will only follow our own national interests. In addition, we will pay attention
so our friend Iran will not face any unfair actions,” Turkey’s Economy Minister
Nihat Zeybekci told reporters on Wednesday.
has been Turkey's leading supplier of crude oil for most of the past two
decades, ceding first place to Iraq only for three years during the recent
period of US sanctions.
last year came to 11.493 million tonnes, or 44.6% of the total supply, at an
average of 230,800 barrels per day (bpd), up 66% from the 6.939 million tonnes
supplied in 2016, according to reports.
Turkish top diplomat finally said his country had conveyed to Trump its
discomfort about a purported decision by Washington to cancel delivery of F-35
jets to Ankara.
US has warned Turkey against the purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems
from Russia, threatening to impose sanctions on Ankara and also stop delivery
of F-35 fighter jets it is contracted to give to the country.
Haram; UNIMAID launches center for counter terrorism
University of Maiduguri, one of the most attacked tertiary institutions in the
ongoing Boko Haram conflict, has commissioned a newly established resource
centre for countering violence extremism (CVE) within and around the Lake Chad
CVE Resource Centre, the facility, which was commissioned on Thursday, is
expected to carry out research and develop counter-narratives against extremism
like Boko Haram. It is donated by an international aid agency, the North-East
Region Initiative (NERI).
within the complex of the university’s already existing Centre for Disaster
Risk Management and Development Studies, the CVE Resource centre, a first of
its kind in the country, is to be operated by staffers of the university, while
NERI takes charge of its funding.
University of Maiduguri has suffered several attacks by Boko Haram.
insurgents had carried out suicide attacks in the varsity during which several
lives including that of a professor were lost in 2017.
during the commissioning of the centre, Program Manager of NERI, Suleiman
Dauda, said the centre was initiated in accordance with the desire of NERI to
have a very stable recovery in the post insurgency period.
believe sustainable recovery cannot be achieved unless we prepare grounds for
such to thrive; and that involves engaging the right human resources, putting
in place the right scholarly and knowledge based research and ideas; because
the ideas of stabilisation and recovery must have to come from a recognised
body of knowledge or institutions”, he said.
is the basic reason that informed us choosing the University of Maiduguri for
the purpose of establishing the countering violence extremism center which will
work collaboratively with other universities across the Lake chad basin to
ensure that we forge a common front in countering violent extremism. This
collaboration will seek the active involvement of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and
Dauda said the day to day activities of the centre will be solely run by the
University of Maiduguri while the NERI will continue to function as a
facilitating partner until the project becomes sustainable.
is a donor funded project and as such it comes with a life span; so we are
hoping that by the time NERI is folding up some day, we will be able to leave
behind a very sustainable system that the University who has all the manpower
can effectively carry on.
said NERI is responsible for the design and provision of support mechanism for
the establishment of the centre.
have provided the furniture, the e-library, the dozens of computers, 20kva
generator, air conditioning of the offices, office equipment like printers,
photocopiers, the internet facilities, and of course funds for the daily
running the generator,” he said.
is also responsible for designing organogram and what is expected of the centre
in terms of objective research and promoting programmes that will promote the
core objective of the CVE.
broad expectation is for the CVE Resource Centre to achieve a very stable post
insurgency recovery across the communities in the Lake Chad region, through the
churning out of information that are credible and making it accessible to those
in the highest position of government, the federal legislature, the military
and other stakeholders in the northeast for the purpose of effective decision
making and policy formulation”.
commended the University of Maiduguri for opening up and accepting the idea of
such partnership despite what it had experienced in the continuing Boko Haram
centre was declared open by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri,
Abubakar Njodi, who described the CVE resource centre as one of the best
collaborative partnership that has ever happened in the life of the
said the CVE Resource Centre is not the first kind of support that NERI had
given to the university, saying ‘the campus’ FM radio station would not have
been on the air today without the ample support from NERI”.
said the establishment of the centre is the kind of support that the university
has been craving for especially in this challenging times of insecurity. He
said the centre is coming at an appropriate time and place because there is no
better place to establish such centre for countering violent extremism other
than Maiduguri and the university in particular which is the epicenter of the
don who was represented by a deputy vice chancellor, Haruna Godowoli, advised
the managers of the CVE centre to link up with the Nigeria Armed Forces Resource
Center for possible collaboration in countering extremism.
administration in southern Somalia announced it has mobilized hundreds of
troops for fresh offensives against the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab militants.
Jubbaland security minister Abdirashid Janan said the new offensive is aimed at
liberating areas remaining under the control of Al-Shabaab, mainly Gedo and
added that the operation will be unleashed in the coming weeks with the support
of Somali and Africa Union forces in the region. The Kenya-backed Jubbaland has
previously announced similar operations to take back springboards from what has
been beleaguered militant group. Al-Shabaab maintains to hold the whole Middle
Jubba region and other large swathes of ground in Lower Jubba and Gedo
provinces in southwest of Somalia.
suicide bomber in a vehicle painted in UN colours attacked the Malian
headquarters of an international anti-terror task force, the G5 Sahel, on
Friday, killing two soldiers and a civilian, according to a security source and
a local leader.
building’s entrance wall was destroyed, with the force of the blast throwing
the vehicle inside it, according to witnesses and pictures of the scene.
Al-Qaeda-linked Support Group for Islam and Muslims, the main jihadist alliance
in Africa’s Sahel region, claimed the attack in a telephone call to the
Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar.
secretary general Antonio Guterres condemned “the complex attack perpetrated
against the G5-Sahel Joint Force’s Headquarters”, his spokesman said in a
was the first attack on the headquarters of the five-nation force, set up with
the backing of France in 2017 to roll back jihadist insurgents and criminal
groups in the vast, unstable Sahel region.
after Friday prayers, a suicide bomber in a vehicle painted with UN colours
blew up at the entrance to the G5 base in Sevare. It was a huge blast,” a
military source in the G5 Sahel force told AFP.
soldiers from the force and a civilian were killed, as well as two attackers,
according to a source within the force and the governor of Mopti, the regional
Malian government later said that the two soldiers killed were members of its
previous toll of six people killed was revised down.
Sidi Alassane Toure said there had been “confusion” in the morgue.
have arrested four suspects,” he told AFP, adding that search operations would
take all night.
Security shortcomings –
who visited the Sevare headquarters last month, highlighted security
shortcomings on several of the force’s sites in Mali in a report published in
conditions on and around the site represent an important security threat, and
are delaying the deployment of the remaining soldiers,” the report said.
in Sevare, 600 kilometres (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, hid
inside their homes during Friday’s attack, according to Bouba Bathily, a trader
who sheltered from the gunfire in his house.
local orange seller, Haoussa Haidara, said “there was a huge blast” followed by
shooting that lasted more than an hour.
attack came three days before a meeting in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott
between French President Emmanuel Macron and the heads of the G5 Sahel states
to discuss progress made by the force.
G5 Sahel aims to have a total of 5,000 troops from five nations — Burkina Faso,
Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, but has faced funding problems.
operates alongside France’s 4,000 troops in the troubled “tri-border” area
where Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso meet, and alongside the UN’s 12,000-strong
MINUSMA peacekeeping operation in Mali.
Force’s problems –
armed forces minister, Florence Parly, condemned the “cowardly attack” in a
with our African partners with whom we will continue the fight against
terrorism,” she said.
G5 Sahel was scheduled to be fully mobilised by mid-2018, but its deployment
has faced delays, equipment worries and accusations of human rights abuses.
Tuesday, the UN said Malian soldiers within the force had “summarily” executed
12 civilians in a market in central Mali in May in retaliation for the death of
Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga said that the government had “taken the
necessary measures” after the bloodshed, which he condemned.
intervened militarily in Mali in 2013 to help government forces drive
Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists out of the north.
large tracts of the country remain lawless despite a peace accord signed with
ethnic Tuareg leaders in mid-2015 aimed at isolating the jihadists. The
violence has also spilled over into both Burkina Faso and Niger.
Friday, French military headquarters said troops from its Barkhane mission in
Mali had killed or captured 15 jihadists on June 22 in a joint operation with
clash took place in a woodland area of the Inabelbel region, southeast of
Timbuktu, it said in a statement.
forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar on Friday rejected any foreign
military presence in the south of the country to stem migration, after EU
leaders struck a deal to deter Mediterranean crossings.
bloc’s leaders agreed to consider setting up “disembarkation platforms” outside
Europe, most likely in North Africa, to discourage migrants from boarding
have taken advantage of the turmoil in Libya since the 2011 fall of Muammar
Qaddafi to establish the country as a major people-trafficking hub.
heads the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and supports a parallel
government in eastern Libya that challenges the authority of the UN-backed
Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.
LNA said any attempt by “foreign parties to deploy a military presence in some
areas of southern Libya on the pretext of stemming illegal migrations” is
army’s general command warns these foreign parties that any such (military)
deployment would be considered a flagrant violation of international law and a
heinous aggression against Libyan sovereignty,” a statement said.
added that the LNA would take “all the necessary measures to protect Libya and
Monday, GNA Vice President Ahmed Maiteeq said that the UN-backed government
“categorically refuses” the installation of migrant centers in Libya.
made the remarks during a visit to Tripoli by Italy’s new far-right Interior
Minister Matteo Salvini.
the visit, Salvini had called for processing centres to be set up “south of
Libya, on the external border of Libya” as a way to block attempts by migrants
to head for Europe and “to help Libya as well.”
forces control much of eastern Libya and some regions in the country’s largely
strongman has been accused by his opponents of wanting to establish a new
military dictatorship in Libya, which has been wracked by violence since the
NATO-backed 2011 uprising.
least three undocumented migrants drowned after their boat sank off Libya’s
coast in the Mediterranean Sea, an official said Friday.
Ayoub Qasim, a spokesman for the Libyan navy, told Anadolu Agency that coastguard
teams recovered the bodies of three migrants off the coast of the capital
others were rescued, Qasim said, adding more than a hundred migrants were
boat, which was carrying around 120 migrants, was old, overloaded and the
weight was piled up at the stern due to a crack in the fore, Qasim said, citing
the reasons why it sunk.
undocumented migrants were Yemeni, Egyptian, Sudanese, Moroccan, Ghanaian,
Nigerian and Zambian nationals, he added.
Monday, the Libyan Coast Guard announced that a boat carrying undocumented
migrants had sunk off the country’s coast.
785 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail
to Europe, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).
to the Libyan navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.
since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s
northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other
countries in Europe.
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