Motiur Rahman Nizami arrives at court in Chittagong to hear the verdict
Syria Sends Letters to UN on Saudi-Backed Terrorism
Washington’s New Islamic Front: Expanded US Support to Al-Qaeda Rebels in Syria
Bahrainis Denounce Dissolution of Shiite Group by Manama Regime
Seven militants killed in Sinai raid
Lebanon’s March 14 Alliance Traced in Weapons Smuggling to Syria
Popular wave could lift Egypt army chief to office
Iraqi Premier Says Arming Syria Militants Must Stop
Bombings hit Baghdad, Six Killed as Iraq death toll for January tops 900
Egypt Central Bank receives additional $2 billion from Saudi Arabia: Media
Syria negotiators congratulate themselves for 'positive steps' in peace talks
Senators Urge Islamic Varsity to Train Clerics on Modern Lines to Curb Militancy
Taliban are just ‘buying time’: Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Bilawal urges military action against Taliban
Nawaz launches four-member new team to help govt in Taliban peace talks
Govt’s move has cleared confusion: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl
Support pours in for peace talks with TTP: PML-Q leader
Pakistan says it needs to investigate LoC drug seizure case
Jamaat-e-Islami chief among 14 sentenced to death in Bangladesh arms smuggling
37 Taliban militants killed, 5 others injured in Afghan operations
Suicide car bomb kills two in east Afghanistan
Chinese ambassador announces plans to build 1,500 houses in Maldives
Jamaat-Shibir men on list of prime minister's grant!
Lost limbs, uncertain futures as Afghan army casualties mount
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's constitution is unconstitutional: Kerala govt.
India seeks talks with Pak to resume cross-LoC trade
NIA nails Pakistan in court for pushing fake currency into India
Turkish army strikes al-Qaeda-linked group's convoy in Syria
Iran rejects Obama boast that sanctions forced nuclear deal
Push for federalism faces hurdles in Yemen
Steinitz: Abbas is world’s number one anti-Semitic leader
Israeli general accuses Turkey of sheltering al-Qaeda's Syria fighters
Azerbaijan: Baku Wrestles with a Syria-Salafi Connection
Syria govt razed homes to punish opposition — HRW
Catholic archbishop’s comments outrage Muslims in Germany
Saudi migration policy a failure: French researcher
Theresa May plan capable of making foreign-born terror suspects stateless
'Ice is breaking' in Syria talks: UN mediator
40 Muslim rebels killed in Philippine offensive
Malaysian PM Appeals for Unity amid Racial Tensions
Najib meets Muslim groups to defuse tension over ‘Allah’ and other issues
Immorality among clergy in Ghana on the rise
In South Sudan conflict, churches attacked, looted
Sectarian violence threatens fragile Algeria desert region
Muslim group demands apology for ‘smear’ linking organization to Hamas
Al-Qaeda’s Waning Influence Isn’t an End to International Jihad'
Muslim students lack designated prayer space at MU
US hopes Pakistan is aware of its nuclear responsibilities
Terror suspect challenges NSA surveillance program
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Jan 30, 2014
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry sent two identical letters to the head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General on the terrorist acts of the armed terrorist groups and the Saudi involvement in supporting these acts.
The Ministry said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia has sponsored an armistice among the armed terrorist groups of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Mujahiden Army, al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in an attempt to foil the political solution to the crisis in Syria, Al-Alam reported.
The Ministry stressed that this act reveals Saudi Arabia’s insistence on adherence to violence and terrorism, adding that Saudi Arabia has sought to provide all financial, military and logistic capabilities as to unify the armed terrorist groups against the Syrian state.
The statement stipulated that the Saudi regime has tasked Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sulieman al-Mohaisany, who is one of the religious source, with launching an initiative called "nation’s initiative" on reaching an immediate armistice among all terrorist groups in all the Syrian areas.
The initiative was based on consultations with many of so-called "nation’s scholars", including Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was called by Sheikh al-Mohaisany’s initiative as the "wise man of the nation".
The Ministry said that the ISIL responded to the initiative, which was planned by the Saudi authorities, along with Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, leader of al-Nusra Front and the terrorist groups of "al-Mujahiden Army" and the so-called "Islamic Front".
The Ministry stressed that the patronage of the Saudi authorities to this initiative and its harmony with the calls of leader of Al-Qaeda for unifying the terrorist groups which are supported and backed by Saudi Arabia and the Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Syria indicates that the role of Saudi Arabia has moved from the stage of secret support to public support to Al-Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups.
The Ministry said that the Syrian government calls on the UN Security Council’s sub-committees charged with combating terrorism to list the Saudi-backed militants as terrorist entities with links to Al-Qaeda.
It highlighted that Syria also asks for activating the relevant UN Security Council resolution regarding the importance of international cooperation in combating terrorism in all means through preventing Saudis from providing any kind of overt or covert support to the groups.
The Ministry concluded its messages by saying that Syria highlights that "Not confronting terrorism could foil the ongoing efforts to achieve a political solution and will cause terrorism to spread to other countries, particularly the neighboring countries that are providing training, havens and safe crossing for terrorists to enter Syria through their lands."
TEHRAN (FNA)- From the outset, the Western military alliance has (covertly) supported the terrorists with a view to destabilizing Syria as a nation state.
Lest we forget, Al-Qaeda is a creation of the CIA.
The US, NATO, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have channeled most of their support to the Al-Qaeda brigades, which are also integrated by Western Special Forces.
British and French Special Forces have been actively training opposition rebels from a base in Turkey.
Israel has provided a safe haven to Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels in the occupied Golan Heights.
Western special forces have been training the rebels in the use of chemical weapons in Jordan.
NATO and the Turkish High command have been involved in the development of a jihad involving the recruitment of thousands of “freedom fighters”, reminiscent of the enlistment of the Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war:
Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (Debkafile, August 31, 2011). Debka, August 2011 emphasis added
This is a war of aggression. It is not a civil war.
The New Islamic Front
The Al-Qaeda fighters integrated by mercenaries, trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar constitute the mainstay of so-called opposition forces, which have been involved in countless atrocities and terrorist acts directed against the civilian population from the outset in March 2011.
The existence of “more moderate opposition brigades” supported by the West is a myth. They exist in name, they do not constitute a meaningful military force. They are not the object of significant support by their Western handlers, who prefer to channel their aid to the Al-Qaeda affiliated brigades.
The FSA and its Supreme Military Command essentially serve as a front organization. The SMC under the helm of General Salim Idriss has largely been used to channel support to the terrorists.
In recent developments, fighting has broke out between the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels covertly supported by the West and the more moderate FSA brigades, officially supported by the West.
Having “expressed their concern”, US officials have announced the holding of talks with the rebel commanders of the New Islamic Front (created in November).
The objective, however, is not to mediate between opposing factions. What is contemplated are new procedures for channeling support to the Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists, through the newly created Islamic Front umbrella organization.
The New Islamic Front regroups six or seven major rebel entities, including the former Syrian Islamic Front al-Jabhah al-Islamiyya as-Suriyyah) which constituted a Salafist umbrella organization. The Salafist Ahrar al-Sham was the lead entity of the (defunct) SIF. The latter has been disbanded and integrated (under a new label) into the New Islamic Front, which is working hand in glove with Washington.
The expected contacts between Washington and the radical fighters reflect the extent to which the (New) Islamic Front alliance has eclipsed the more moderate Free Syrian Army brigades, which Western and Arab powers tried in vain to build into a force able to topple President Bashar al-Assad. The talks could also decide the future direction of the Islamic Front, which is engaged in a standoff with yet more radical Sunni Muslim fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
A rebel fighter with the Islamic Front said he expected the talks in Turkey to discuss whether the United States would help arm the front and assign to it responsibility for maintaining order in the rebel-held areas of Northern Syria.
The Islamic Front rebel told reporters that rivalry with the ISIL had already led to a spate of hostage-taking between the two sides, and that the Front’s decision to talk to the Americans had further escalated tension. Although he described the two Islamist forces as ideologically close, he said ISIL appeared set on confrontation, perhaps encouraged by some of their backers in Saudi Arabia. (Gulf Today, December 13, 2013)
Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Stephen Ford has been involved in negotiations with the Islamic Front. Ford had established contact with New Islamic Front leaders in November.
The involvement of Ambassador Ford should come as no surprise. He was one of the main architects of the death squad brigades sent into Syria, starting in March 2011. He has, no doubt, been in permanent liaison with Al-Qaeda rebel commanders from the outset of the insurgency.
Robert S. Ford had previously worked at the US embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005) under the helm of Ambassador John D. Negroponte. He played a key role in implementing the Pentagon’s “Iraq Salvador Option”. The latter consisted in supporting Iraqi death squadrons and paramilitary forces modeled on the experience of Central America. With regard to Syria, the US State Department has been collaborating with several US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon is overseeing US support to rebel forces in Syria.
A Syria policy committee was created in 2012. It involved the participation of Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, former CIA director David Petraeus, Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Derek Chollet, Principal Deputy Director of Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff at the State Department.
Under Jeffrey Feltman’s supervision, the actual recruitment of terrorist mercenaries, however, is carried out in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in liaison with senior intelligence officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and NATO. The former Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, who remains a key member of Saudi intelligence, is said to be working with the Feltman group in Doha. (Michel Chossudovsky, “The Salvador Option For Syria”: US-NATO Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces”, Global Research, 28 May 2012)
Expanded US Support to Al-Qaeda Affiliated Rebels in Syria
What the US and its allies are establishing are new effective “direct channels” for increasing their support to their Al-Qaeda foot soldiers, essentially using the new Islamic Front as a “Go Between”. This procedure is contemplated following the apparent demise of the Supreme Military Command of the FSA.
Until recently US and allied support to Al-Qaeda was channeled to the rebels through an indirect route, namely through Supreme Military Command (SMC) commander General Salim Idriss.
General Idriss is reported to have fled Syria for Doha, “as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters.” The takeover of SMC headquarters has, according to reports “prompted the United States and Britain to announce (December 11) that they were suspending non-lethal aid to Northern Syria, due to fears of equipment ending up in the wrong hands”.
This again is a smokescreen; the New Islamic Front which attacked the SMC headquarters is working in close liaison with its Western handlers including Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford.
Washington intends to use the Islamic Front to channel its support to the more radical Al-Qaeda factions, including Al Nusrah Front which, according to reports, has established ties to the New Islamic Front.
The Obama Administration has committed itself to “an expanded Syrian insurgency that includes the recently-formed Islamic Front”.
The Front has been pressing for inclusion in the SMC, and wants to be represented at the Geneva talks, according to rebel commanders … Ex-Ambassador Ford is traveling to London on Friday to meet other international backers of the opposition, and then to Turkey for discussions with the Syrian National Coalition. He may also meet there with the Islamic Front, said the senior official. (EA World View, December 13, 2013)
The propaganda ploy is to portray the new Islamic Front as “moderate”. With the FSA Supreme Military Command in disarray, Washington’s objective is to provide a semblance of legitimacy to the insurrection largely integrated by the Western military alliance’s Al-Qaeda foot soldiers.
The creation of a pro-US Islamic Front serves that purpose, namely to channel money and weapons directly to the rebels via the new Islamic Front umbrella organization.
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
This article has originally appeared on Global Research.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Bahraini demonstrators took to streets to protest against the dissolution of a prominent Shiite clerical group by the Al Khalifa regime.
The protesters rallied across the country on Wednesday to censure the regime for dissolving the Islamic Scholars Council, press tv reported.
The protest was held in a number of locations including the Northeastern island of Sitra, the Northwestern town of Diraz, and the residential area of Saar in the West of the capital, Manama.
Earlier in the day, a court in the tiny Persian Gulf country ordered the dissolution of the clerical group.
Following the dissolution, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the main opposition bloc in the country, censured the move, saying that "the regime has declared war on Shiites."
In Diraz, the protesters also condemned the killing of a young boy in a protest rally by the regime.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of the tiny Persian Gulf country, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they had "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Seven Islamist militants have been killed in an air raid in Egypt’s restive Sinai peninsula, the country’s armed forces said on Thursday.
The seven died in “a strike by the air force on two houses belonging to highly dangerous takfiri [Islamist extremist] elements loyal to the terrorist [Muslim] Brotherhood organization south of Sheikh Zuwaid on Wednesday morning”, military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali wrote on his official Facebook page.
Militant attacks in Sinai have increased in intensity and have spread to mainland Egypt since the deposition by the military of Islamist president Mohammed Morsy.
Many of the attacks, including recent bombings in Cairo and the assassination on Tuesday of a senior security official, have been claimed by a radical group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
The authorities have blamed Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood for the attacks, and have designated it a terrorist organization.
The Brotherhood, for its part, has condemned the attacks and occasionally suggested that they are orchestrated by the security forces.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Apprehension of a Lebanese security officer has disclosed the close relations between Lebanon’s March 14 Alliance and an arms trade network that has supplied weapons to the foreign-backed militants in Syria, media reports disclosed on Wednesday.
The March 14 Alliance is a coalition of the Lebanese political parties headed by Sa’ad Hariri and its pro-western stances are against the Syrian government. The alliance has helped the Syrian militant groups on several occassions.
Lebanon has recently arrested an officer of the country’s National Security Organization on charges of launching and directing an arms network to smuggle weapons to foreign-baked militants in Syria, media reports said.
“This officer has close relations with a former minister of the March 14 movement and several other security forces, including the officer’s driver, have also been arrested in this relation,” the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Akhbar reported.
Full report at:
AP | Jan 30, 2014
CAIRO: Unknown only two years ago, the head of Egypt's military, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, is riding on a wave of popular fervor that is almost certain to carry him to election as president. Many Egyptians now hail him as the nation's savior after he ousted the Islamists from power and as the only figure strong enough to lead.
Still, if he becomes president, el-Sissi runs enormous risks.
His presidency would enmesh the military even deeper into politics, putting the credibility of the powerful institution on the line if he fails to resolve the country's woes. Turmoil may only increase with a backlash from Islamists, who now despise el-Sissi for his ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and for the brutal crackdown on their ranks that has arrested thousands and killed hundreds since.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on the United States and its allies to stop providing weapons to the militants in Syria.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi prime minister said providing the foreign-backed militant groups in Syria with arms could further ignite violence in its neighbor, Iraq, press tv reported.
"I am appealing to the countries that talked about supporting armed groups in Syria with weapons. I tell them, you are supporting terrorism in Iraq," Maliki stated in his weekly televised speech.
He added that other countries in the world must help Iraq in its fight against terrorism.
"The international community must take the responsibility of supporting us and helping all those who stand against terrorism. Allowing weapons to reach terrorist organizations and extremists in Syria means supporting terrorism in Iraq".
The Iraqi premier also commented on recent seizure of weapons meant to be transferred into Iraq.
Bombings near a market and a restaurant in Baghdad killed six people today as the death toll for January topped 900, with no end in sight to Iraq's worst violence since 2008.
The protracted surge in bloodshed, coupled with a deadly standoff between security forces and anti-government fighters in Anbar province, has fuelled fears the country is slipping back into all-out conflict with elections looming in just three months.
Washington plans to sell Iraq 24 Apache attack helicopters to help the country fight militants, but foreign leaders have also urged the Shiite-led government to address long-term grievances in the disaffected Sunni community to undercut support for militancy.
Blasts struck the Baghdad neighbourhoods of Kasra and Talbiyah on Thursday morning, hours after several car bombs ripped through commercial areas of the capital.
The latest bombings killed at least six people and left 20 others wounded, security and medical officials said.
Egypt's Central Bank (CBE) received $2 billion from Saudi Arabia, the Egyptian daily Al-Mal reported.
The funds were mostly used in the exceptional FOREX auction worth $1.5 billion at the beginning of the week, added Al-Mal, quoting an unnamed source.
Official sources at the CBE declined to comment, saying that “Hisham Ramez, head of CBE will soon clarify the issue.”
Foreign reserves held at the CBE were not affected by the auction and will remain current levels of $17.03 billion, Ramez said in a telephone interview with an Egyptian talk show.
By the beginning of 2013, reserves had fallen below what the IMF considers a safe point for Egypt – about $15 billion.
Syrian government forces have dropped barrel bombs on rebel-held districts of Aleppo killing 13 people, including children, according to a monitoring group.
The latest slaughter came just hours after both sides congratulated themselves for 'positive' developments at peace talks in Geneva, following four days without a breakthrough.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the new government offensive saw barrel-bombings in the Maadi and Salhin districts of south Aleppo, and separate gun battles on the main road toward the city's Nairab airbase and near the famous Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers.
ISLAMABAD: Senators on Tuesday urged International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) to come up with a systematic programme to train clerics and other people related to madrassa administration on modern lines to curb the menace of militancy and intolerance in the country.
The senators float the suggestion during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Training at IIUI, while Rector Masoom Yasinzai was giving a presentation.
Senator Jaffar Iqbal said if the university was doing work in Islamic finance and Sharia Law, why are short courses not arranged for seminary staff who were still unaware of modern terms like Ijtihad (interpreting religious text and codes in line with modern needs), jurisprudence and spreading messages of peace in the contemporary world.
ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar on Wednesday reacted cautiously to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s announcement to hold talks with the Taliban. Sattar asked what message is being sent to people after sacrifices of thousands of civilians and security personnel. He said that militants would buy time through renewed peace offer and that too at a time when the whole nation has been mobilised for action against the militants. Sattar said that a wrong message would go to the country that we have handed over Pakistan to terrorists by acting in confusion. He asked the government as to which TTP faction would it approach for talks and said that talks should be held with those militant factions that were ready. He also said that the government should also notify a timeframe.
LONDON - The son of the assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has called on the country’s authorities to take military action against militant groups.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said politicians must “wake up” to the threat posed by armed groups such as the Taliban.
Bilawal Bhutto is under scrutiny for everything - from his fluency in the Urdu language to his very active Twitter account. He’s also under constant death threat from the Taliban he blames for his mother Benazir Bhutto’s death.
Talking to BBC on Tuesday, Bilawal appeared poised and confident as he took questions on everything from his suitability for politics, his party’s record, to allegations of corruption against his own father, former president Asif Ali Zardari.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to give peace ‘another chance’ and named a new four-member non-political team to help government in its efforts for peace with Taliban.
“Entire nation will stand by government if it decides to eliminate terrorists by force, I know it. However, we want to give peace another chance since offer of talks has come from the other side,” the prime minister told the National Assembly, amid doubts government’s move will have any serious impact given deep mistrust between the two sides as well as what are being described highly impracticable pre-conditions by Taliban for the negotiation process to start.
The committee announced by the prime minister comprises his Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (r) Aamir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai and former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand – two journalists, one former intelligence man and a former diplomat.
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said on Wednesday that the decision to hold talks with the Taliban reflected the decision of parliament and has cleared confusion. Fazl said he would fully cooperate with the government on the talks to ensure a successful outcome. Endorsing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s initiative to hold talks with the Taliban, the JUI-F chief said that it would have been better if he had been consulted on the talks so that he could have given the government positive suggestions. However, he said now that the government has taken the decision, he would fully support its steps. He said that prime minister’s speech removed ambiguity on various issues regard dealing with the Taliban, and a clear roadmap has been laid down to deal with the terrorism issue.
January 30, 2014
LAHORE / FAISALABAD: “We support peace talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” said Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Express News reported on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, he said the party supports Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision to “give peace a chance”.
Elahi added that the government should make a time frame for the dialogue. He said that the talks should be significant and purposeful.
“A target should be set,” he added.
“The whole country is in a state of torment,” Elahi said, “it is time that there should be some relief.”
When asked what he thinks about the four-member committee – comprising Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, former ISI official Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former Pakistan ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand – Elahi said, “we should give them an opportunity to prove themselves before doubting their abilities.”
Even if one accepts that there were drugs on the truck, then the next question is how does one proceed further? "Do we bring everything to a halt or find a way out?," Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam asked.
Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ms. Tasnim Aslam reiterated on Thursday the need to find a way out of the Line of Control (LoC) trade standoff and said the issue was under discussion.
Responding to questions at the weekly media briefing, she said that, "You are well aware that the allegation was that in one of the trucks, within some edible item, some narcotic drugs were discovered. The discussions are on and obviously there will be investigation on that side as well."
She said even if one accepts that there were drugs on the truck, then the next question is how does one proceed further? "Do we bring everything to a halt or find a way out? Our view is that if the driver is handed over who may be innocent and even if there were drugs on the truck, he may not be aware of it," she said.
CHITTAGONG: A Bangladesh court sentenced Thursday the leader of the country's largest religious party and 13 others to death over a huge 2004 arms smuggling racket, sparking fears of new political unrest.
Motiur Rahman Nizami, 70, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was convicted over the racket involving 10 truckloads of arms seized by police at a Bangladesh port a decade ago.
“We're satisfied with the verdict. This is an unprecedented case and all those accused have got due justice,” prosecutor Kamaluddin Ahmed told AFP from the southern port city of Chittagong.
Prosecutors said Nizami helped unload the weapons at the port that included 4,930 sophisticated firearms and 27,020 grenades destined for a rebel group across the border in northeastern India.
Nizami, who was industries minister at the time, was among 50 people charged with smuggling, arms possession and other offences over the racket thought to be the largest of its kind in Bangladesh history.
Jan 30 2014
At least 37 Taliban militants were killed during joint military operations by Afghan national security forces.
The interior ministry of Afghanistan following a statement, said the operations were conducted by Afghan security forces in various provinces of Afghanistan during the past 24 hours.
The statement further added that 37 Taliban militants were killed, 5 militants were injured and 2 others were detained by Afghan security forces.
The operations were jointly conducted by Afghan police, Afghan army and Afghan intelligence in Kabul, Nangarahr, Parwan, Kunduz, SAr-e-Pul, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Farah and Helmand provinces of Afghanistan, the interior ministry said.
KABUL: A suicide car bomber killed two police officers in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday while policemen elsewhere in the same province foiled another suicide attack, officials said.
The car bomber targeted a police and intelligence compound in Nangarhar province's Pachir Wagam district, said provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.
In an e-mailed statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded three members of the Afghan security forces.
The Chinese ambassador to the Maldives announced plans to construct 1,500 housing units during a Chinese New Year celebration in the capital Malé last night.
“We will work with the Maldivian side on how to make the best use of Chinese grant aid and the concessional loans to further benefit the economic and social development of Maldives,” said ambassador Wang Fukang.
Also in attendance at the event, Maldives Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon expressed gratitude for the growing Chinese support in the country’s development.
“Maldives has always looked to China as an invaluable friend whose contribution to the social, cultural and economic development of the Maldives is immense. Some of the projects and some of the businesses that are currently underway are indeed very exciting,” Dunya said.
The district administration will investigate the alleged inclusion of some BNP and Jamaat-Shibir activists in the victims' list for getting the Prime Minister's grant as Gaibandha Deputy Commissioner Ehsan E Elahi received a written complaint yesterday.
The complainant, Khairul Islam, a local ward unit president of Awami League (AL) in Laxmipur union under Sadar upazila, named four people 'belonging' to BNP and four others to Jamaat-Shibir, as recipients of the grant. He also demanded cancellation of the grant for the eight people.
GULBAHAR, Afghanistan — Taking his first faltering steps since his left leg was blown off by a landmine, Sergeant Muneer Ahmad is grim proof that the Afghan army is paying a heavy price in its war against the Taliban and struggling to care for its wounded.
Ahmad, 23, trod on a mine while fighting in the southern province of Kandahar six months ago as Afghan forces assume control of the anti-insurgent campaign after 12 years of well-funded US-led NATO operations.
With the NATO mission now shrinking rapidly, the future of Afghanistan rests with its national army and police, but rocketing casualty rates point to weaknesses in first-aid and a lack of long-term treatment.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind's constitution is unconstitutional, Kerala govt says
KOCHI: The constitution of the Islamic organization, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JEIH), shows disregard to the Indian Constitution and encourages its followers to think against the national interest, state government has submitted in the Kerala high court.
The submission was in the form of an affidavit in response to a public interest litigation filed by Abdul Samad. The PIL had sought a proper and fair investigation into the functions, financial sources, and ideologies of JEIH in the state. It had also demanded the seizure of JEIH publications containing antinational ideologies and banning them.
The affidavit filed by Mary Joseph, under secretary of home department, said, "on verification of the constitution of JEIH in Malayalam published in 1957, it is seen that JEIH directs its followers to relinquish any key posts which he/she holds under an ungodly governmental system or the membership of its legislature or a judicial officer under its judicial system (Article 8). Similarly, Article 9 of their constitution states that 'in case of being part of any ungodly governmental system or being instrumental in giving effect to its laws, should readily part with that means of sustenance'. The said Article further states that 'do not go to un-Islamic law courts for settlement of matters, except under compelling necessity'."
TNN | Jan 30, 2014
NEW DELHI: With Pakistan refusing to resume cross-LoC trade after the detention of a trucker, who was found in possession of brown sugar worth Rs 100 crore by Indian authorities, India has demanded that Pakistan share information of their investigation of the "consigner" of these drugs.
India has also proposed to Pakistan to hold a meeting of the official level Joint Working Group on Trans-LoC CBMs in the second week of February, said the government.
"Over the last two weeks, India has repeatedly emphasized to Pakistan to allow the full resumption of travel and trade across the LoC and to hold an immediate meeting of the trade facilitation officers at Kaman so that both sides can exchange information with regard to the narcotic seizures that have been made. Pakistan must also share with us information with regard to their investigations of the consigner of these drugs,'' foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
NEW DELHI: In first case where Pakistan's involvement in printing of fake Indian currency notes (FICN) has been nailed by forensic evidence, an NIA special court on Wednesday convicted all six accused. It is also the first FICN case to be registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) making such printing and distribution a terror activity.
NIA had produced evidence through RBI experts and forensic tests by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) to show that FICN features, paper quality and printing quality matches exactly to Pakistan currency and thus could only have been printed by Pakistan government press.
The Turkish army said Jan. 29 it had opened fire on a convoy of vehicles in northern Syria belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group.
The army said the attack, carried out Jan. 28, came after two Turkish military vehicles had been fired upon at the Çobanbey border post in the southern Kilis province.
"A pick-up, a truck and a bus in an ISIL convoy were destroyed," read the statement, released by the Turkish General Staff. There were no casualties on the Turkish side.
The incident is the first pitting Turkey against the Syrian jihadist group which has been fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad as well as fellow rebel groups in the north of the country since January.
Iran on Thursday dismissed as "unrealistic and unconstructive" comments by US President Barack Obama that international sanctions linked to its nuclear programme had forced Tehran to the negotiating table.
"The delusion of sanctions having an effect on Iran's motivation for nuclear negotiations is based on a false narration of history," foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
Obama, in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, said US and international pressure had led to the interim deal struck in November between Iran and six global powers, under which Tehran agreed to scale back uranium enrichment in return for sanctions relief.
"American diplomacy, backed by pressure, has halted the progress of Iran's nuclear programme and rolled parts of that programme back," Obama said.
DUBAI: Reconciliation talks have outlined Yemen's future as a federal state, but its leaders now face the challenge of implementing change in an impoverished country grappling with multiple revolts.
A political transition stipulated by a UN-backed deal that saw long-ruling president Ali Abdullah Saleh step down in the face of Arab Spring protests was supposed to culminate this February with a new constitution and free elections.
But a national dialogue that is part of the same agreement concluded four months late on Saturday, extending the transitional period and allowing an extra year to draft a charter and vote on it.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is the world’s most anti-Semitic leader, and peace with him is not possible until he stops his incitement against Israel and the Jewish people, Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said on Wednesday.
“There is no doubt that Abu Mazen [Abbas] is now worthy of the title of the number one anti-Semitic leader in the world,” Steinitz said as he addressed the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv at the end of its two-day annual conference.
“One has to call a spade a spade. The level of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement has reached new heights,” he said.
The incitement is present in Palestinian schoolbooks, on state-sponsored television and on websites, including Abbas’s official site, he added.
Some of the al-Qaeda militants going to fight in Syria have bases in neighbouring Turkey and can easily access Europe from the NATO member state, Israel's military intelligence chief said on Jan. 29.
Major-General Aviv Kochavi, presenting a map of the Middle East marked with areas of al-Qaeda presence, told a security conference al-Qaeda fighters from around the world entered Syria weekly, "but they do not stay" there.
The map showed three al-Qaeda bases inside Turkey. A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly denied Turkey is providing shelter or backing to al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria.
Azerbaijan: Baku Wrestles With a Syria-Salafi Connection
As the Syrian civil war nears its third anniversary, Azerbaijanis fighting for militant Islamic groups increasingly feature among those reported killed. While such reports are unsettling to officials in Azerbaijan, non-governmental observers in Baku believe the implications are limited for domestic stability.
The first reports about Azerbaijani citizens fighting in Syria appeared in May 2013. Most of those Azerbaijani citizens who have taken up arms against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime appear to be adherents of Salafism, a puritanical form of Sunni Islam that has its roots in Saudi Arabia.
Of the four Azerbaijani fighters reported killed this month in Syria, three were members of Salafi militant factions with ties to the al Qaeda network. Salafis, also described as Wahhabis in the Azerbaijani press, remain a distinct, urban-concentrated minority in mainly Shi’a Azerbaijan.
BEIRUT: The Syrian government used controlled explosives and bulldozers to raze thousands of residential buildings, in some cases entire neighborhoods, in a campaign that appeared designed to punish civilians sympathetic to the opposition or to cause disproportionate harm to them, an international human rights group said Thursday.
The demolitions took place between July 2012 and July 2013 in seven pro-opposition districts in and around the capital, Damascus, and the central city of Hama, according to a 38-page report by Human Rights Watch. The New York-based group said the deliberate destruction violated international law, and called for an immediate end to the practice.
“Wiping entire neighborhoods off the map is not a legitimate tactic of war,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher for HRW. “These unlawful demolitions are the latest additions to a long list of crimes committed by the Syrian government.”
Muslims in Germany have criticized comments by a senior Roman Catholic archbishop that suggested they were worth less than Catholics.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner told members of the conservative Catholic group Neocatechumenal Way that “I always say one of your families replaces three Muslim families.”
The lay group, founded in Spain in the 1960s, celebrates unique liturgies and emphasizes missionary evangelization.
JEDDAH – The Saudi migration policy, aimed at preventing foreigners from integrating into Saudi society and, hence, from staying in the country, has been a failure.
Hélène Thiollet, associate researcher at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, or simply, Sciences Po, said that data showed that the “proportion of immigrants versus Saudis” has been “pretty consistent over time, starting in the 70s. The Saudi population is growing, and so is the migrant population.” The latter represent 31 percent of the population, and expatriate male laborers account for 22 percent of this whole. The top three countries expatriates originate from are India (1.4 million), Egypt (1 million), and Pakistan (1 million), according to the 2007 World Bank data.
Nick Clegg has signed up to a plan drawn up by Theresa May to strip foreign-born terror suspects of British citizenship – a move that would render them stateless – if they are judged to present a threat to national security.
In a last-ditch bid to reduce a damaging Tory rebellion in the Commons on Thursday, the home secretary rushed out the plan which was branded by Liberty as "irresponsible and unjust".
The move came as Tory rebels warned of a "parliamentary riot" if ministers press ahead with plans to "time out" a separate amendment that would strip foreign criminals of the ability to resist deportation on the grounds that they have a right to a family life. The amendment is supported by more than 100 MPs, including the former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears.
One rebel said: "The government is risking a parliamentary riot over the way they are handling the agenda – trying to squeeze off the vote on the deportation of foreign criminals."
GENEVA: The ice is slowly breaking in peace talks between Syria's warring sides, UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday, warning though that no substantive results were expected during this round.
“The ice is breaking, slowly, but it is breaking,” Brahimi told reporters after a fifth day of talks in Geneva, which both sides described as “positive.”
He acknowledged he did not expect “anything substantive” to come out of the initial round, which is set to conclude Friday.
But he stressed that simply getting the parties talking for the first time since the conflict erupted in March 2011 was an important step forward.
“These people have not sat together for three years. They do not expect that there'll be a magic wand,” Brahimi said, insisting he was “not disappointed”.
The delegations from President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition National Coalition are set to determine Friday when they will return to Geneva, likely after a week, Brahimi said.
Press Trust of India | Manila | January 30, 2014
Philippine troops, 40 Muslim rebels killed, Philippine military, Islamic Freedom Movement fighters, Philippine Islamic rebels, Islamic fighters, Philippine, World news
Philippine troops have killed at least 40 Islamic fighters and captured a rebel stronghold with a bomb-making facility in a two-day offensive against insurgents opposed to a new peace deal, military officials said on Thursday.
President Benigno Aquino III said the military launched the assault to protect villages after Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement fighters staged attacks in southern Maguindanao province. Troops were aiming “to seriously degrade their abilities to again act as spoilers,” Aquino told reporters.
The rebels involved in the fighting have opposed peace talks between the government and the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which were concluded over the weekend in Malaysia. They have promised to continue their uprising because the Malaysian-brokered talks would not lead to a separate homeland for minority Muslims in the south.
Malaysian PM Appeals for Unity Amid Racial Tensions
Kualu Lumpur. Malaysia’s prime minister has appealed for unity and an end to “the politics of hate” amid soaring racial and religious tensions in the Muslim-majority country.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, weakened by an election setback last May, is seen as widely under pressure from conservatives in his ruling party intent on rolling back his reforms and pledges of greater civil liberties.
Najib said in a statement late Wednesday his government aimed to develop an environment “which is conducive to and will help promote national reconciliation.”
“We must all commit to avoid spreading lies and slander, finally putting to rest the politics of hate,” he said.
Conservative Muslims have raised pressure in recent weeks for minority Malay-speaking Christians to stop using the word “Allah,” souring relations between the two groups.
The prime minister today met with the leaders of 40 Muslim groups to explain that he had kept silent on the "Allah" issue because he did not want to add fuel to the fire, said the organiser of the meeting, Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Dr Asyraf, who is the president of the Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak had a fruitful 40-minute closed-door discussion with the leaders of the Muslim NGOs.
"He wanted to engage the NGOs because he wanted to know what were the thoughts and fears of the grassroots," Dr Aysraf told reporters at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya today.
By Daily Guide Ghana
The National Imam of Ahlussunnah Wal-Jama’a, Sheikh Umar Ibrahim Imam, has condemned the alleged sexual abuse of children by their teacher as reported by DAILY GUIDE a couple of days ago.
He described as worrying the rising spate of immorality among so-called men and women of God.
His reaction was contained in a press release in which he called on parents to be sensitive to the conduct of those they entrusted their children to.
He accordingly called on the authorities to deal with the suspect who has now been arrested to face the full rigours of the law when found guilty. This way, he went, on others would be deterred from following similar path.
The Imam charged the Islamic leadership to be mindful about the welfare of the vulnerable such as children and women.
African church leaders are urging parties in the South Sudanese conflict to respect places of worship, after rebels attacked and looted church compounds in the town of Malakal.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Malakal was looted at gunpoint, forcing priests and civilians to flee, a regional church leader said.
Catholic and Presbyterian churches, a hospital and an orphanage have become safe havens for refugees escaping the fighting in the city.
“I came to know myself what it means to be asked for something under the threat of a gun when a group in uniform stopped me on the way from the hospital to the church,” said one Catholic priest, who did not give his name because he fears for his safety. “They blocked me and took my watch and a key.”
Weeks of violence between two rival communities have swept Algeria's desert city of Ghardaia, enflamed by the destruction of a historic Berber shrine, with analysts warning of sectarian conflict engulfing the fragile region.
For more than a month, the city of 90,000 inhabitants has witnessed clashes between the Chaamba community of Arab origin and the majority Mozabites, indigenous Berbers belonging to the Ibadi Muslim sect.
Three people were killed in the violence, which both sides accused the other of starting.
Houses were looted and burned, shops and schools closed and thousands of police deployed as the authorities scrambled to contain the unrest.
"The fear is that if Ghardaia is destabilised, the entire region will find itself in a vulnerable situation," Algerian political analyst Rachid Tlemcani told AFP.
OTTAWA — A major Canadian Muslim group is demanding an apology from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his chief spokesman for a comment it says linked the organization to a terrorist group.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims has filed a notice of libel in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that accuses Jason MacDonald of acting maliciously when he made the comment earlier this month.
The council had criticized the inclusion of a controversial rabbi in Harper’s delegation that went to the Middle East last week.
“Rather than responding to our legitimate concerns, the PMO’s director of communications attacked us and attempted to smear our name by claiming NCCM had ‘documented ties to a terrorist organization such as Hamas,”’ Ihsaan Gardee, the council’s executive director, told a news conference Tuesday.
Al-Qaeda’s international leadership is splintering, but the threat from independent Islamist movements around the globe is growing. Ben Hubbard in the NYT argues that this decentralization doesn’t mean that the international jihadist movement is losing strength:
What links these groups, experts say, is no longer a centralized organization but a loose ideology that any group can appropriate and apply as it sees fit while gaining the mystique of a recognized brand name. In short, Al Qaeda today is less a corporation than a vision driving a diverse spread of militant groups (…)
“Al Qaeda is kind of a ready-made kit now,” said William McCants, a scholar of militant Islam at the Brookings Institution. “It is a portable ideology that is entirely fleshed out, with its own symbols and ways of mobilizing people and money to the cause. In many ways, you don’t have to join the actual organization anymore to get those benefits” (…)
As the power of the central leadership created by Osama bin Laden has declined, the vanguard of violent jihad has been taken up by an array of groups in a dozen countries across Africa and the Middle East…
When sophomore Adam Mefrakis came to MU, one of the problems he had was finding a space where he would pray.
With no designated spot for Muslim students to pray on campus, Mefrakis would make the trip to The Islamic Center of Central Missouri, located at the intersection of Fifth and Locust streets downtown — the only designated Muslim prayer space in Columbia.
“I didn’t know too many other people,” Mefrakis said. “It took me a while to start making it a habit on campus.”
Mefrakis, now an education officer for the Muslim Student Organization, works the MSO desk in the Center for Student Involvement and uses this space to pray with the rug folded neatly beneath his desk.
PTI | Jan 30, 2014
WASHINGTON: The US has said that it is confident that Pakistan is well aware of its responsibilities regarding its nuclear weapons.
"The United States is confident that Pakistan is well aware of its responsibilities with respect to nuclear security and has secured its nuclear arsenal accordingly," the State Department said in a statement yesterday.
The US has stated this clearly earlier too, including in a State Department press statement of September 4, 2013 and the October 23, 2013 US-Pakistan Joint Statement issued as part of the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
By Associated Press
DENVER — A terror suspect is challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program, saying in a court document filed Wednesday that spying by the federal government has gone too far.
In the motion filed in federal court in Denver with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, Jamshid Muhtorov also requested that prosecutors disclose more about how surveillance law was used in his case. Muhtorov denies the terror charges he faces.
Surveillance under current law “is exceptionally intrusive and it is conducted by executive officers who enjoy broad authority to decide whom to monitor, when and for how long,” Muhtorov argued in his motion.