• US: 2 Muslim Men Face Religious
Profiling, Removed From Flight Because Crew Felt Uncomfortable
• Healing Each Other With Love:
In Kodagu, A Hindu And Muslim Donate Over 1.5 Acres Of Agricultural Land For The Rehabilitation Of
• Indonesia To Vote On Banning
Sex Outside Marriage, Outlawing Same-Sex Relationships: A ‘Disastrous’ Move For
Minorities, Human Rights Groups Say
• Idlib Faces a Fearsome Future:
Islamist Rule or Mass Murder
• Hezbollah’s Nasrallah Says Iran
Would Destroy Saudi Arabia In Any War
• Somalia: About 5,000 Sufi
Fighters Join Army
• US Welcomes Imran’s
‘Unambiguous’ Stance on Kashmir
• Fastest-Growing UK Terror
Threat 'From Far-Right'
• United States Administration
Threatens To Cut Funding From University Course For Teaching The Positive
Aspects Of Islam
• New Jersey man charged with
scouting terrorist targets in Manhattan for Hezbollah
• American Airlines mechanic
shared ‘disturbing’ ISIS videos, told agents he had ‘evil side,’ prosecutors
• At UN Trump to tout leadership
as US seeks to tackle Iran and China
• US imposes sanctions on Iran's
central bank: Trump
• State Department: ISIS scaring
Taliban into peace talks with US
• Healing Each Other With Love:
In Kodagu, A Hindu And Muslim Donate Over 1.5 Acres Of •
Agricultural Land For The
Rehabilitation Of Flood Victims
• Mehbooba Mufti Seeks Details on
Detainees since August 5, Daughter Writes To Govt
• Inscriptions on Babri Entrance
Counter Temple Claims, SC Told
• Muslim Party Presents Key
Evidence Of Babri Masjid Construction
• AMU To Have A Chair on RSS’ Favourite
Mughal — Dara Shikoh
• Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar
Farooq, 6 others sign bonds to secure release
• Trump to Meet Pak PM Imran on Monday,
PM Modi on Tuesday In New York
• Not every Kashmiri potential
stone-pelter or terrorist: Iltija Mufti
• SC seeks response from J&K
on plea challenging detention of five persons
• Indonesia To Vote On Banning
Sex Outside Marriage, Outlawing Same-Sex Relationships: A • ‘Disastrous’
Move For Minorities, Human Rights Groups Say
• Seven states against increasing
minimum marriage age to 18
• Indonesia’s President Halts
Bill That Would Ban Sex Outside Marriage
• For China’s Embattled Uighurs,
a Bank Transfer Abroad Can become A ‘Terrorism’ Ordeal
• Minister: ‘Buy Muslim Products’
campaign not wrong
• Raudhah Ville’s ‘Islamic City’
model no threat to national unity, minister
• Minister dismisses
misinformation about Dr M’s remarks on Dr Zakir Naik
• Indonesia Condemns Statement by
UN Experts on Papua Unrest
• Al-Nouri Mosque restoration aims
to revive spirit of Iraq’s ruined Mosul
• Russia, China Block UN
Humanitarian Resolution on Syria’s Idlib
• CBS News goes inside Syrian
refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters
• Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities
Tests U.S. Guarantee to Defend Gulf
• Lebanon Concerned Over Possible
Hezbollah Engagement in Regional War
• Idlib: Syrian Army Discovers
Center for Producing False-Flag Chemical Attacks Videos by White Helmets
• Iraq: Minibus explosion outside
Karbala kills 12, injures 5
• US man charged with scouting
targets for Hezbollah
• Protests against Egypt’s
president erupt in capital Cairo, some other cities
• Nigeria kills 7 top Boko Haram
• At least 9 killed in suspected
Boko Haram attack in NE Nigeria
• UN agency says 124 suspected
cholera cases in Sudan
• Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda
throws weight behind vote frontrunner
• Kashmir Human Rights Situation Central
Issue at UNHCR, Says FO
• JUI-F chief trying to use
shoulders of PPP, PML-N: Firdous
• PM assures Saudi Arabia of
support against any threat
• Kabul's 'irresponsible,
unwarranted' statement on Durand Line runs afoul of Islamabad
• PM Imran to travel to US today
for highlighting Kashmir issue at UNGA, other forums
• Pakistan Army major, sepoy
martyred in IED explosion near Afghan border: ISPR
• France terror threat: Warning
issued as ‘homegrown jihadis’ remain huge concern
• Interpol detects foreign terror
suspects in Mediterranean
• UK’s Conservative Party faces
backlash over Islamophobic posts
• Prime Minister Hasina Says
Rohingya Are "A Burden" For Bangladesh
• Afghan forces to receive more
advanced rifles from the United States
• Afghanistan: US confirms drone
attack that killed 30 farmers
• Death toll from Taliban bomb
attack rises to 39
• Airstrikes kill 8 Taliban and
ISIS militants; destroy weapons cache and a car bomb
• Special Forces detain 12
Taliban militants in Kabul, other provinces; destroy weapons caches
• Taliban militants suffer heavy
casualties in Kandahar, Ghazni ad Badghis airstrikes
• IRGC ex-head: Iran will respond
to US plots from Mediterranean to Indian Ocean
• Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis say
Hodeidah ‘escalation’ violates Stockholm deal
• Zarif slams US-proposed
'Coalition for Peaceful Resolution' targeting Iran
• Iran Entrenches Its “Axis of
Resistance” Across the Middle East
• 4 killed in bomb attack on
passenger bus in SE Yemen
• Turkey: Ankara, Jakarta
important Muslim democracies
• Israel's Netanyahu clings to
power as coalition talks loom
• Yemen’s Houthis announce plan
to conditionally halt strikes against Saudi Arabia
• Israeli forces injure over 75
Palestinians in Gaza
• Saudi Arabia pressuring wealthy
families to fund Aramco IPO after Yemeni strike
• Yemen’s President Hadi appoints
new ministers in government reshuffle
by New Age Islam News Bureau
States Administration Threatens To Cut Funding From University Course For
Teaching The Positive Aspects Of Islam
Trump administration has threatened to disqualify a university-level Middle
East studies programme from receiving federal funding for teaching the
“positive aspects of Islam”.
US Department of Education has ordered that the programme run by the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University revise their course plans
by 22 September or risk losing future funding.
administration claims the course has “critical shortcomings and impermissible
biases”, with “very little serious instruction” on national security and
instead “considerable emphasis” on the “positive aspects of Islam”.
a letter dated August 29 and sent to the programme’s directors, the Department
says course topics including Iranian art and film offer “little to no
relevance” under the funding guidelines, nor do they “support the development
of foreign language and international expertise for the benefit of US national
security and economic stability”. Instead, the course places “considerable
emphasis on advancing ideological priorities”, the Department has claimed.
programme “should not be funded or subsidised in any way by American taxpayers”
unless the courses “clearly demonstrate that such programmes are secondary to
more rigorous coursework helping American students to become fluent Farsi
speakers and to prepare for work in areas of national need", according to
Department also accuses the programme of having a “lack of balance” in its
discussion of Islam, “while there is an absolute absence of any similar focus
on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion or
belief system in the Middle East”.
secretary Betsy DeVos ordered the investigation in June following a complaint
from Republican North Carolina congressman George Holding alleging “severe
anti-Israel bias and antisemitic rhetoric” at a consortium-hosted conference.
The March conference discussed “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and
Possibilities” at UNC.
letter didn’t confirm those allegations but asserted that the programme
advances “narrow, particularized views of American social issues”.
US National Resource Centre programme was founded in 1965 to offer federal
funding for language and culture programming for students entering careers in
diplomacy and national security. The National Resource Centre awarded $22
million in grant funding to language courses at 40 universities last year; the
Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies received $235,000 from federal
grant funds last year.
have warned that creeping political interest into academia could endanger other
programmes that receive similar funds.
Reichman, chairman of a committee on academic freedom for the American
Association of University Professors, told the Associated Press that “the odour
of right wing political correctness that comes through this definitely could
have a chilling effect”.
2 Muslim Men Face Religious Profiling, Removed From Flight Because Crew Felt
Muslim men from Texas said that American Airlines profiled them and canceled
their flight after crew members said that they didn’t feel comfortable flying
with the pair.
Alkhawaldeh and Issam Abdallah said that they filed a complaint with the US
Department of Transportation against the Fort Worth-based airline, asking the
federal agency to investigate the incident.
men said that American Airlines discriminated against them on Saturday for
appearing Muslim and Middle Eastern during a flight from Birmingham, Alabama,
that was headed to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
pair said that flight attendants reported them because a crew member noticed
Abdallah flush the toilet two times while in the airplane restroom, according
to a letter the men’s attorney sent to the DOT.
men also waved to each other on the plane.
was the most humiliating day of my life, said Abdallah, who spoke Thursday at
the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
passengers were put on a later flight. Alkhawaldeh and Abdallah were questioned
and searched by the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration before
they were cleared to board.
have taken hundreds of flights and to be treated with such disrespect,
suspicion, to be questioned in public and to be singled out and followed around
in front of other airport customers I am really worried as to what my next
flying experience will be, said Alkhawaldeh, adding that he flies with American
often and is an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, the company’s highest
frequent flier ranking.
Airlines spokeswoman LaKesha Brown said the flight was canceled as a result of
concerns raised by a crew member and a passenger.
and all of its regional partners have an obligation to take safety and security
concerns raised by crew members and passengers seriously, Brown said in a
statement. She added that American is reviewing the incident and has reached
out to the men to better understand their experience.
flight was operated by independently owned Mesa Airlines, which handles some
flights for American Airlines.
safety and security of our customers is our top priority, and we are conducting
a thorough investigation of this matter, Mesa spokesman Jack Heller said
Airlines has been criticized before over its treatment of passengers who are
people of color.
NAACP issued a travel advisory in October 2017 for American Airlines after a
string of incidents in which black passengers said they were discriminated
against on flights.
June, a Miami doctor said that he was removed from an American flight for his
Arab and Muslim appearance and for using a phone during takeoff.
is now suing the airline in federal court. That same month, a black doctor and
founder of a telemedicine service said that an American Airlines crew called
her romper inappropriate and told her to cover up or risk being kicked off her
flight back into the US from vacation in Jamaica.
Thursday, Omar Suleiman, founder of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
in Dallas, said the profiling of Muslims is increasing, particularly at
airports and on planes.
are a scary place for Muslims. Especially with the rhetoric of the president
(Donald Trump), Suleiman said.
of the time people do not step forward to talk about their experiences, he
added. Instead of just addressing this issue in isolation, American Airlines
could use this opportunity to create protocols that stop this from happening
all the time.
Each Other With Love: In Kodagu, A Hindu And Muslim Donate Over 1.5 Acres Of Agricultural Land For The Rehabilitation
Of Flood Victims
the face of terrible tragedy, the only glimmer of hope is often people coming
together in solidarity and healing each other with love. Placing humanity ahead
of religious differences, a Muslim man and his Hindu counterpart from Kodagu
district have united to donate over 1.5 acres of agricultural land for the
rehabilitation of flood victims.
to Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy, the recent rains accompanied
by flood in the Kodagu region have washed away over 5000 homes in several
villages close to the Kaveri river, including Kondangeri.
was then that 55-year-old Abdulla Haji came forward with an offer to part with
1.5 acres of his 6-acre agricultural land and donate it to the Kondangeri
Masjid Committee, so that the government can put it to use.
a person sees the people around him suffering so much, it is only natural that
he would go and help others. Although I'm a not a rich farmer, I'm in a
position to help them. I hope that the bereaved people get some strength from
God to overcome their losses and grief,” Haji said.
per Haji’s proposal, the land is suitable for building permanent houses for the
flood victims. But while the Masjid committee was considering the housing
proposal, they soon realised that the construction site will face the problem
of an inaccessible road.
without any hesitation, another Kondangeri resident, Lokesh, approached the
Masjid committee and pledged that the Masjid may attach his part of land to the
charitable cause and lay down a road towards the residential project,” said
Yusuf Haji, President of Kondangeri Muslim Jamath.
to the Masjid authorities, most of the flood victims are labourers who've lost
whatever little they had.
all the flood victims whose houses have been destroyed are labourers from
coffee plantations. They had to forcibly leave their homes as the water level
rose and in the process, they also lost their possession and valuables along
with their home,” said Yusuf.
government authorities are engaged in the rehabilitation process, there is a
lack of temporary relief centres built by the government at Kondangeri village.
Hundreds of victims, including women and children, irrespective of their religious
beliefs, have taken shelter in relief centres at the Kondangeri Masjid while
mourning their losses.
was thoroughly involved in serving the needy at the Masjid when they had
started coming to this shelter. We think he was overwhelmed by their losses and
felt that it was necessary to look into providing the people with long-term
solutions,” Yusuf said.
duo’s decision was hailed by the local authorities who confided that the
district was facing a shortage of land to rehabilitate the victims of floods
is already an ongoing process undertaken by the district administration to
identify government land that has been encroached by a few agriculturists. The
process of its recovery will commence. In the meanwhile, the generosity of
people like Lokesh and Haji is really commendable,” Assistant Commissioner T
Javare Gowda said.
is not the first time that ordinary people in the flood and landslide prone
coffee belt have rushed to help others. Last year, Abdul Latif of Suntikoppa
had come forward and donated 2 acres of his estate land for the rehabilitation
to vote on banning sex outside marriage, outlawing same-sex relationships: a
‘disastrous’ move for minorities, human rights groups say
is set to vote on an ultra-conservative penal code that would criminalize sex
outside marriage, effectively outlawing same-sex relationships in the Southeast
proposed legislation, an update to the country’s criminal code which dates back
to the Dutch colonial era, would also curb freedom of speech.
628-article bill was finalized by a parliamentary task force on Sept. 15, and a
vote by the House of Representatives is expected later this month.
rights groups are sounding the alarm on the dangers of the legislation, and are
urging President Joko Widodo to delay the passing of the bill, hoping to remove
some of its provisions.
should remove all the abusive articles before passing the law,” Andreas
Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher at the Human Rights Watch, said in a
human rights organizations claim that the rights of minority groups, such as
LGBTQ individuals and women, as well as non-Muslims, non-Sunni Muslims and
other religious minorities are in jeopardy.
criminal law overhaul is fueled by religious conservatism, as the world’s
biggest Muslim majority country signals it could shift towards fundamentalism.
making premarital, extra-marital and same-sex relations a crime, the
legislation penalizes anyone who would show or offer contraception methods to
minors under 18.
also calls for the expansion of the country’s existing blasphemy laws, which
have been used against religious minorities in the past, such as Buddhists or
parliament should be encouraging free speech and association, and limiting —
not expanding — the Blasphemy Law,” said Harsono. “The new criminal code is a
precious opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted to remove toxic laws from the
books and build a better, rights-respecting Indonesia.”
the bill becomes law, it could be “disastrous not only for women and religious
and gender minorities, but for all Indonesians,” he added.
Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly, told CNN that the law would
simply update the country’s penal to align it with how Indonesians live today.
would like to change to our new penal code to focus more on Indonesian
perspectives in the law. The reason is because there are some laws in the penal
code that are not suitable for Indonesia any more," he said.
Emhas, the spokesperson for the Nahdlatul Ulama, a major Islamic organization,
told Agence France-Presse that “even though the criminal code bill that will be
ratified still has shortcomings, it’s far better than the [one] today."
bill is set to go to a parliamentary session on Tuesday, according to CNN.
the vote is only a “formality,” said Laoly. “All the parties in parliament have
agreed," he added.
Faces a Fearsome Future: Islamist Rule or Mass Murder
recent months, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the radical Islamist group that now
controls Idlib—the last redoubt of Syria’s armed opposition—has shown a growing
willingness to compromise.
was once as extreme as they come, with roots in al Qaeda. But with Syrian
leader Bashar al-Assad’s victorious Russian-aided forces bearing down, and
mindful of the collapse of the ultra-hard-line Islamic State, the group’s
leaders are taking a more lenient, pragmatic approach to enlistment. The
rank-and-file composition of the group has also changed. Through several rounds
of infighting with more moderate rebel groups, HTS absorbed thousands of
nonobservant Muslim fighters into its ranks from the defeated factions. In
addition, it welcomed more moderate fighters who have been displaced from
further south—much to the surprise of some of the new enlistees.
Damascus I was sure that HTS are like the Islamic State, that no one smokes
among them and they dress in Islamic garb, but honestly, I didn’t find any of
that,” said one HTS fighter called Mazen, who smokes cigarettes and crops his
beard. Like many of the remaining regime opponents, Mazen is a sort of warrior-refugee—a
former Free Syrian Army fighter from the southern suburbs of Damascus who was
displaced to Idlib in 2018 and then joined Hayat Tahrir al-Sham because, he
said, “it was the biggest thing in control of the region.”
for residents of Idlib in northwestern Syria, the organization’s increasing
willingness to engage with outsiders for the sake of expediency is little
comfort. Because despite the group’s ideological pragmatism, one thing has not
changed: its authoritarian conduct. The group’s internal security organ
continues to kidnap opponents and occasionally executes them. Torture is
rampant in its prisons.
internal security cadres in HTS are the most extreme,” Suleiman, an Idlib-based
journalist, told Foreign Policy in an interview. (All names of Syrians in this
story were changed to protect them from retribution by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and
the Assad regime, and the interviews were conducted over the summer on
WhatsApp, in Arabic.) “They routinely arrest people based on false denouncements
without any proof.” Even an HTS fighter named Abdullah admitted: “The people
hate the internal security of HTS.”
only two bleak alternatives now face Idlib’s 3 million residents: a gradual
regime takeover or a long-term de-escalation deal that would ensure the
protection of the region under HTS dominance. The first means death or
imprisonment for many at the hands of a vengeful Assad. The second outcome
would bring a new kind of harsh oppression.
as neighboring powers haggle over their future—earlier this week, Russian
President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani agreed to try to “de-escalate tensions” in Idlib
province, although each is backing different groups—Assad’s Russian-backed forces
are moving in, already breaking the partial cease-fire announced last spring in
know that a regime takeover of all parts of Idlib would spell doom for many of
them. In all previous regime offensives on rebel-held pockets, those refusing
surrender at the end had the option of displacement to Idlib. Idlibis have
nowhere left to go, and the Assad regime sees those who refused to surrender to
it as terrorists and traitors. Interviews and conversations with residents of
areas retaken by the regime describe the return of a highly paranoid and
aggressive police state. Arrests are happening daily, fear is pervasive, and
the population slipped back into the habit of informing on one another to curry
favor with the regime. Those targeted for arrests are former activists, members
of families that are known to have sided with the opposition, civil defense and
medical personnel, rebels who have not joined regime forces, and defectors from
the Syrian Army. Assuming a similar policy is adopted in Idlib, much of the
region’s 1.5 million original inhabitants will be in danger, as peaceful and
armed opposition activity lasted there the longest, implicating many.
the regime regards much of the population in greater Idlib—whether locals or
people displaced to it—as traitors and terrorists and will treat them
accordingly: If it is unable to kill them on the battlefield, it will likely
fill up its prisons with the area’s inhabitants and then gradually notify the
families that their relatives “passed away” in prison. According to a United
Nations report on Syrian government prisons, the regime “has committed the
crimes against humanity of extermination, murder, rape or other forms of sexual
violence, torture, imprisonment, enforced disappearance and other inhuman
frightening prospect is inching closer to Idlib. In late April, the Russian Air
Force, Russian-trained militias, and the Syrian Army launched a new offensive
against Idlib and its environs, which are home to about 3 million people, half
of them children. After an initial stalemate, since early August, regime forces
were able to make relatively rapid gains. The ferocious air campaign, which
repeatedly targeted hospitals, bakeries, schools and other vital
infrastructure, coupled with regime ground advances, have led to the flight of
over 630,000 people who are moving north, to the locked border with Turkey. At
least 1,031 civilians have died in these strikes.
to the end of April, as a result of Turkish and Russian negotiations in
Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and Sochi, the area witnessed a reduction in violence.
Under the Sochi agreement, jihadi factions were to leave a demilitarized zone
bordering the regime and allow the reopening of two highways passing through
the region from regime-held Syria to the cities of Aleppo and Latakia. The
rebels were also obligated to hold fire, as was the regime. Both the regime and
the rebels failed to abide by the terms of the deal, but the cease-fire
continued to hold—until it didn’t.
a certain degree, Russia and Turkey both have an interest in freezing the
conflict in the region, which is why they are carrying out a new round of
negotiations to de-escalate violence. Turkey wishes to avoid the flight of
Idlib’s residents across the border and even into northern Aleppo, an area
under direct Turkish control. Turkish-backed local councils in those regions
are refusing to register displaced persons from Idlib, making them essentially
illegal residents of their own country. Turkish border guards routinely shoot
and kill refugees attempting to cross into Turkey. Russia, for its part, also
has an interest in de-escalation: It wishes to maintain its blossoming
relationship with Turkey, and assaulting Idlib means dispersing thousands of
jihadis across Syria, whereas they are now contained and focused on governance
pressure from Turkey to moderate, HTS in recent months has invited journalists
and foreign researchers to visit Idlib under its protection, whereas its
predecessor, the Nusra Front, routinely kidnapped foreigners for ransom. The
group also allowed Turkey to establish observation posts in areas under its
control, despite the opposition of hard-liners in its ranks. “We were against
the entry of the Turks, but it was forced on us. If the Turks did not enter,
the area was going to be bombed out, so we let them in to keep the population
safe,” Abu Iman, an HTS commander from Aleppo, told Foreign Policy.
this relationship with Turkey rankles hard-line Islamist opponents of HTS.
Mustafa, a fighter in an armed faction belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose
members were assassinated and arrested by the group for opposing its
willingness to work with outside actors, told Foreign Policy that “the
commanders in HTS are not making decisions independently. They [HTS fighters]
are restricted. … If the commander says to withdraw, they will, to appease the
Turks.” He said he intends to fight against HTS in this battle, since he sees
its members as sellouts following foreign orders.
infighting among various radical Islamist factions began taking place in 2016,
after the Nusra Front changed its name and severed ties with al Qaeda. “Some
people [inside HTS] got upset … and split to form Huras al-Din [al Qaeda’s
branch in Syria]. Some of them believed that Nusra deviated and began to follow
the West,” said Abdullah, a fighter who joined the organization when it was
still the Nusra Front. “And concessions follow concessions … all of them due to
pressures” to which HTS was subjected, he said.
further erosion in the rebels’ strength may now be leveraged by Turkey to
pressure the organization to agree to cease-fire terms the faction previously
refused, including the reopening of roads to Aleppo and Latakia, and a greater
role for Turkey and Turkish-backed factions in the region, possibly in the form
of a merger with more moderate factions. HTS and the other factions would then
have to ensure that radical groups do not violate the cease-fire. Hossam, a
member, of the organization, told Foreign Policy that the best solution for
Idlib would be a long-term cease-fire. He expects his organization to be able
to take care of the wayward factions, because “HTS today is the
are going to see a big round of infighting soon,” said Mustafa, the Hizb
ut-Tahrir fighter. “Turkey is going to give [HTS and more moderate factions]
the order to eliminate Huras al-Din, Ansar al-Din, and Ansar al-Tawhid. Because
the jihadi factions are not abiding by the [orders] of the Turkish guarantor.”
growing weakness of the opposition vis-à-vis Assad means that even ardent
jihadis realize that the best outcome they can currently achieve is protecting
Idlib—abandoning, for now, attempts to liberate the rest of Syria. The last
month of fighting further weakened the opposition due to thousands of deaths
and incapacitating injuries in the ranks of the rebels, and particularly among
units adept at fighting under heavy airstrikes.
al-Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric close to HTS’s leadership, has justified focusing
on the protection of Idlib alone. The training for new recruits and ongoing
instruction by clerics has also changed, according to HTS fighters and
commanders. “The clerics always give the advice not to be strict … don’t argue
with people … be nice with them,” said Abu Iman, the commander. All HTS members
interviewed by Foreign Policy said that commanders and clerics from the
organization tell them that the goal is to bring down the regime, but they said
that no details are provided on what type of regime will come next.
the end, the stabilization of Idlib under HTS dominance and a greater Turkish
role in the region would essentially create a new Gaza in Idlib: a besieged
area, under a long-term cease-fire, dominated by an Islamist authoritarian
organization that works to combat more extremist elements. This solution is
hardly ideal for the region’s traumatized inhabitants. But given the prospect
of mass murder that awaits them if the regime takes over, this appears to be
the best option available.
Tsurkov is a research fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking focusing on
Syria and Iraq. Twitter: @Elizrael
Nasrallah Says Iran Would Destroy Saudi Arabia In Any War
Hezbollah warned Saudi Arabia on Friday against betting on a war against Iran
because it would destroy the country and urged Riyadh and the United Arab
Emirates to halt the war in Yemen instead of buying more air defenses.
bet on a war against Iran because they will destroy you,” Hezbollah leader
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. “Your house is made of
glass and your economy is made of glass. Like the glass cities in the UAE,” he
About 5,000 Sufi Fighters Join Army
central Somalia, about 5,000 Sufi fighters are signing up to join the national
a surprise move two months ago, the group decided to have its fighters
far, they are the only local group to go up against al-Shabab fighters and win.
is a mystical branch of Islam and has been widely practised in Somalia before
the advent of Salafism in the country following the civil war that broke out in
Welcomes Imran’s ‘Unambiguous’ Stance on Kashmir
D.C.: The US State Department on Thursday lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s
“unambiguous” and “important” statement, in which he warned citizens against
joining the freedom movement in Indian occupied Kashmir.
a speech on the eve of Torkham border inauguration on Wednesday, Prime Minister
Imran said that anyone wanting to go and fight in occupied Kashmir would do a
“great injustice” to the Kashmiris by undermining their legitimate cause.
an act would be an act of animosity towards the Kashmiris,” he had said, adding
the Indian authorities were waiting for “any excuse” to crack down on the
residents in the disputed Himalayan territory.
Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice G. Wells, while welcoming
the remarks, said via Twitter: “Pakistan’s sustained commitment to counter all
terrorist groups is critical to [regional] stability.”
PM @ImranKhanPTI’s unambiguous & important statement that militants from
Pakistan who would carry out violence in Kashmir are enemies of both Kashmiris
& Pakistan.We agree. Pakistan's sustained commitment to counter all
terrorist groups is critical to reg. stability. AGW
- 20 Sep 2019
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people are talking about this
statement by Wells comes ahead of the address by the Pakistan and Indian prime
ministers at the UN General Assembly on Sept 27. Indian premier Narendra Modi
will speak first, late Friday morning, while Prime Minister Khan will speak
later in the afternoon.
Minister Khan has already announced that he will highlight the Kashmir issue in
his address, exposing the ethical and legal bankruptcy of India’s Aug 5
decision to annex the occupied valley.
the other hand, media reports have emerged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will not talk about the Aug 5 action or its humanitarian consequences. Instead,
he would repeat New Delhi’s claim that Pakistan may send militants into the
Valley to take advantage of the volatile situation.
have soared between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over Kashmir, since India
stripped the occupied Valley of its special status on August 5.
Delhi has repeatedly accused Pakistan of using proxy armed groups in Kashmir.
However, independent Indian as well as international media reports have negated
UK Terror Threat 'From Far-Right'
fastest-growing terror threat in the UK comes from far-right extremism, police
Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism, said seven of the 22 plots foiled since
March 2017 have been linked to the ideology.
said far-right terrorism had gone from 6% of the caseload two years ago to 10%
today, adding: "It's small but it's my fastest-growing problem."
he said, the biggest threat still came from jihadists.
Basu, Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, said some of the
right-wing plots they disrupted were "designed to kill people" - and
methods mimicked those seen in jihadist attacks, with some even using Islamic
at a briefing on Thursday, Mr Basu said about 10% of around 800 live terror
investigations were linked to right-wing extremism.
as young as 14 have been involved in extremist activity, the briefing was told.
also said the government's terrorism-prevention programme, Prevent, which aims
to stop people being radicalised, has seen referrals nearly doubling since
2015/16 to 18%.
the increases, right-wing terrorism remains a relatively small percentage of
our overall demand, but when nearly a third of the plots foiled by police and
security services since 2017 relate to right-wing ideology, it lays bare why we
are taking this so seriously," he said.
a proportion of our overall threat it's definitely increasing, whereas the
Islamist threat is staying the same, albeit at a very high level."
Basu added young people and those with mental health issues were particularly
vulnerable to becoming radicalised.
week white supremacist Vincent Fuller, 50, was jailed for 18 years and nine
months for stabbing 19-year-old Bulgarian Dimitar Mihaylov in what a judge
called a "terrorist act".
other right-wing activists are due to be sentenced in London and Leeds on
Mr Basu said police "can't arrest ourselves out of this problem" and
called on the public to come forward if they fear a friend or family member is
have been called ridiculously idealistic, but I believe more than ever that
evil triumphs when good people do nothing," he said.
whether the police's approach to right-wing threats has changed in recent
years, he said: "I would say that some of the criticism that we did not
look at white supremacist, right-wing violence as terrorism in the past is
said investigations into the banned group National Action "have broken
Action was proscribed in 2016, becoming the first neo-Nazi group to be outlawed
under terrorism legislation.
briefing was also told the threat comes from a "spectrum" of
range from far-right groups that are anti-immigration and anti-Islam and
so-called white nationalists through to neo-Nazi white supremacists, such as
National Action and its spin-offs, System Resistance Network and Sonnenkrieg
last year the Security Service MI5 has been working closely with
counter-terrorism police to tackle the threat.
Jersey man charged with scouting terrorist targets in Manhattan for Hezbollah
New Jersey man has been indicted on charges that he secretly worked for the
terrorist group Hezbollah, scouting potential targets in New York, including
Grand Central Terminal, the New York Stock Exchange and the Port Authority Bus
were announced Thursday against Alexei Saab, 42, and the FBI said he had been
part of Hezbollah for more than 20 years. He also tried to kill a man in
Lebanon under orders from one of his instructors, but the gun didn’t fire,
papers filed in Saab’s case also show that U.S. officials have gotten
significant cooperation from a former member of Saab’s group who was arrested
in 2017 and has since pleaded guilty.
charge that Saab was part of the Islamic Jihad Organization, described as a
wing of Hezbollah tasked with “the planning and coordination of intelligence,
counterintelligence, and terrorist activities.” Officials said Saab was
arrested in July, following several months of FBI interviews in which he
allegedly made admissions about his work for Hezbollah.
lawyer for Saab could not immediately be identified.
Sanctions hit Hezbollah hard
papers say Saab admitted he had been recruited into Hezbollah as a college
student and had received explosives and military training from the group.
first came to the United States in 2000. He became a U.S. citizen in 2008.
though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to
Hizballah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist
attacks that have killed hundreds, including U.S. citizens and military
personnel,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.
2003, Saab was allegedly instructed to “to surveil certain ‘hot spots’ in New
York City and to report intelligence about them to the Islamic Jihad
Organization. Saab then conducted surveillance and intelligence gathering for
the IJO of dozens of locations in New York and elsewhere,” including in
Washington and Boston, according to court papers.
was trained to look for “soft spots” in such targets — places where explosives
could be placed very close to a target for maximum damage, authorities charge.
understood that the information he provided to the IJO would be used to calculate
the size of a bomb needed to target a particular structure and the ideal
location in which to place explosive devices to maximize damage,” according to
the criminal complaint filed against him.
produced a seven- to 10-page report to his terrorist handlers that included a
map of specific locations and a “detailed summary” of each location, including
the U.N. headquarters, Rockefeller Center and the Statue of Liberty, according
to the complaint. The FBI said Saab also scouted possible targets in Istanbul.
is charged with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group,
unlawful procurement of citizenship to facilitate terrorism and marriage fraud.
He faces up to 25 years in prison on the most serious charge.
Airlines mechanic shared ‘disturbing’ ISIS videos, told agents he had ‘evil side,’
American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a plane in July reportedly
told arresting agents he had an “evil side,” a nefarious persona prosecutors
sought to expose Wednesday as they presented alleged evidence of his Islamist
sympathies -- and aspirations -- at a bail hearing in Miami.
said Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani allegedly displayed support for ISIS by
making statements about wishing Allah would use "divine powers" to
harm non-Muslims and sharing ISIS videos on his cellphone -- which he allowed
the FBI to search. One of the videos showed a person being shot in the head,
according to prosecutors.
investigators said they also learned that Alani lied about taking a trip to
Iraq in March to visit his brother and also sent $700 to someone in Iraq. Alani
allegedly told an American Airlines co-worker in June his brother was kidnapped
and became a member of the terrorist organization.
60, worked as a mechanic for the airline when he allegedly sabotaged a
Nassau-bound Boeing 737 with 150 passengers and crew aboard at Miami
International Airport over stalled labor negotiations.
said Alani glued styrofoam inside the nose of the aircraft that disabled a part
used to gauge airspeed and other critical flight data. Pilots detected the
issue before takeoff, and a subsequent inspection discovered the problem.
surveillance captured Alani, who walks with a limp, working on the plane's nose
for about seven minutes. He was identified by co-workers.
his arrest earlier this month, he told agents he acted “out of my evil side”
and “wanted to do something to delay” the plane “to get overtime” for
maintenance repairs, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Medetis told the judge
Alani is not yet charged with a terror-related crime, Medetis said the
potential links to the Islamic State give rise to the possibility that his
actions had a darker purpose beyond what he insisted was a labor issue.
judge ultimately denied Alani bail.
defense has argued that prosecutors can’t prove Alani intentionally put people
in danger. They said Alani was an experienced mechanic who knew the alleged
sabotage would ground the plane before takeoff.
Alani had been fired from Alaska Airlines in 2008 over several maintenance
mistakes, some that led to Federal Aviation Administration investigations,
according to court documents from his unsuccessful discrimination lawsuit that
Business Insider obtained.
UN Trump to tout leadership as US seeks to tackle Iran and China
President Donald Trump will tout US leadership and a collective approach to
challenges while at the United Nations next week, said a senior administration
official on Friday, as Washington seeks to use the gathering of world leaders
to build support to take on Iran and call out China over rights abuses.
Trump has questioned the value of the United Nations and scorned the importance
of multilateralism as he focuses on an “America First” agenda, he will return
for a third time to push religious freedom on Monday, address the General
Assembly on Tuesday and discuss Venezuela on Wednesday.
our overarching concern with Iran’s escalatory violence is going to be a
theme,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We welcome
opportunities to discuss collective response.”
United States and its ally Saudi Arabia blame Iran for an attack last Saturday
on the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and have said they will
present evidence to back that up. Iran denies involvement in the attack.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been fighting a Saudi-led military
coalition since 2015, has claimed responsibility.
has said he is considering how to respond and that military action is an
option. The United States on Friday imposed another round of sanctions on
President Hassan Rouhani is due to address the United Nations on Wednesday.
week Trump flirted with meeting Rouhani, but has since backed away from the
idea. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Iran would never
hold such one-on-one talks but could engage in multilateral discussions if
to a 2015 nuclear pact.
will meet at least a dozen leaders during his three days in New York.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made climate action his priority with a
summit dedicated to tackling the crisis on Monday. But Trump is skeptical of
global warming and he and US Vice President Mike Pence will host an event at
the same time on religious freedom.
it is not clear if Trump or Pence will make reference to any specific
situations, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will host a separate
event on Tuesday on the “human rights crisis in Xinjiang” in China, diplomats
United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have
been detained in Xinjiang. Beijing describes complexes in Xinjiang as
“vocational training centers” helping to stamp out extremism and give people
know that some country is trying to make a fuss on issues relating to China,
including the situation in Xinjiang,” China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said on
they simply want to make the issue a political issue, definitely we have every
right to defend ourselves and we are completely opposed to any such
interference in China’s internal affairs,” Zhang said.
drew gasps during his first speech to the 193-member United Nations in 2017
with a threat to wipe out North Korea and then laughter last year with a boast
about the achievements of his administration.
not specifically addressing Trump’s speech on Tuesday, the administration
official said he would “affirm America’s leadership role in the rules-based
international system, and the need to work collectively within the global
community to address global challenges.”
would also assert “America’s determination to uphold the sovereignty and
independence of member states especially on issues of national security,” the
message is being delivered at a time when some diplomats say US leadership in
global institutions is waning and China’s influence is growing. Since Trump
took office, he has quit the UN Human Rights Council, the UN cultural agency
UNESCO, a global accord to tackle climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and
opposed a UN migration pact.
do think the United States will - in one way or another - come back to the
right track because they will realize ... going back to multilateralism, going
back to international cooperation does serve the fundamental interest of the
United States,” China’s UN envoy Zhang said on Friday.
told reporters the United Nations was at a crossroads and that the “biggest
challenge facing the world is a deficit of trust, especially a deficit among
Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is due to address
the United Nations next week, when more than 135 presidents and prime ministers
and dozens of ministers were expected to attend the 74th UN General Assembly.
imposes sanctions on Iran's central bank: Trump
President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on Iran's central bank in the
latest round of Washington’s anti-Iran measures.
to reporters at the White House on Friday, Trump did not provide any other
details about the sanctions which came after the Trump administration accused
Iran of being responsible of the attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities on
Saturday that knocked out more than half the kingdom’s production.
said they are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by the
United States. He spoke to reporters at the White House in Washington, DC
alongside visiting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that the
bank was Tehran's last source of funds.
response to the move, Iran's central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati described
the new sanctions a sign of Washington's inability to exert
US administration sanctioning the central bank again shows how empty their
hands are in finding leverage against Iran," IRNA quoted Hemmati as
Houthi fighters have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Saudi oil
facilities, but the United States has rejected the claim with Trump saying that
Iran appears to be responsible for the strike.
however, dismissed the allegation, saying Washington seems to be shifting from
a failed campaign of “maximum pressure” to one of “maximum lying” and “deceit”
against the Islamic Republic.
Wednesday, Trump ordered Mnuchin to “substantially” increase economic sanctions
have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase
Sanctions on the country of Iran!” Trump tweeted without providing any
additional details on the move.
on Wednesday Trump said that the specifics of sanctions would be made public
"over the next 48 hours."
about a possible US war with Iran, Trump said on Friday the United States was
always prepared and that a military strike was always a possibility.
Trump added that he wants a peaceful solution to the conflict following the
weekend oil attacks.
Trump administration has dialed back war rhetoric against Iran after Foreign
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif raised the prospect of "all-out war” if the
United States carried out a possible military strike against the country.
by CNN what the consequence of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran would be,
Zarif said: "All-out war."
Department: ISIS scaring Taliban into peace talks with US
leaders have an interest in negotiating with the United States because of the
risk that an Islamic State offshoot will establish a caliphate in Afghanistan,
according to a senior diplomat.
think the Taliban appreciate ... that there is a cost to Afghanistan’s
development [imposed] by the ongoing war,” Alice Wells, an acting assistant
secretary of state, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a Thursday
hearing. “And they also see, frankly, the rise of other terrorist groups who
pose a threat to themselves and to the future of Afghanistan.”
Khorasan is chief among a “vegetable soup” of terrorist groups that a unified
Afghan government could confront if the Taliban and the U.S.-backed central
government ever strike a peace deal. The ISIS affiliate, named for a historic
region that stretches across multiple modern countries, has coalesced at the
expense of the Taliban, despite an ongoing campaign of airstrikes from U.S. and
is a terrorist group that doesn’t recognize Afghanistan as a nation state,”
Wells told lawmakers. “This is a group that focuses on [a] caliphate and
borderless territory under the organization’s control. That’s a deep threat to
all the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban.”
of State Mike Pompeo appointed Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad to lead
U.S. negotiations with the Taliban that are intended to foster a peace
agreement and an eventual drawdown of American forces from Afghanistan.
Khalilzad arranged an “agreement in principle” to cut the U.S. military
presence in exchange for Taliban pledges to prevent al Qaeda from using
Afghanistan as a staging ground and to set the table for unprecedented
negotiations between the militant group and the U.S.-backed central government.
would assume a peace agreement would provide a unified government that would
reflect the will of all of the Afghan people and that would allow a
concentrated effort against what will be remnant terrorist forces in
Afghanistan,” she said.
talks were derailed by a Taliban attack that killed an American soldier, but
Wells confirmed that U.S. officials are in “consultations” about how to
proceed. The career foreign service officer was testifying instead of Khalilzad
as part of a compromise that allowed the lead negotiator to brief the lawmakers
in a classified setting before the hearing
Taliban do oppose the ISIS Khorasan group,” she said. “They devote resources,
significant manpower resources, to combat ISIS Khorasan. I think one of the
reasons we put such an emphasis on peace is that we need Afghans to be united
against ISIS Khorasan.”
lawmakers and officials regard ISIS-K as a greater threat to the United States
than the Taliban, one of the reasons why some Republican lawmakers are
resisting President Trump’s interest in withdrawing U.S. forces from
Afghanistan.“If we leave Afghanistan under the wrong conditions, which I think,
frighteningly, we’re actually on track to do, we’re going to be back here
anyway,” Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger told Wells.
officials reported in June that ISIS Khorasan has gained territory one year
after the State Department privately told the Washington Examiner that the
organization had “grown stronger ... despite a really withering military
campaign” by the U.S.
Mufti seeks details on detainees since August 5, daughter writes to govt
DELHI: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked the
government to provide, "preferably within three days", details about
people detained since August 5, including children and women, and those who are
lodged in jails outside the state.
who is also under detention following the abrogation of special status given to
Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into Union territories,
sent the communication through daughter Iltija who met her recently.
letter seeking the information was written by Iltija, and was addressed to the
Union home secretary and home secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. She said her
mother has instructed her to seek the information.
mother Ms Mufti has been detained since the evening of August 5. I was able to
meet her in the last week a few times in private ... In my meetings with her,
my mother expressed concern at the number of detention and arrests that have
taken place in the state in the aftermath of the recent constitutional orders
issued by the President and the passage of the Reorganisation Act," Iltija
said in the letter which was also posted on Mehbooba Mufti's Twitter handle.
said her mother's Twitter handle is now operated by her with due authorisation.
said her mother, as the president of a major political party (PDP) and as the
state's most recent chief minister, has instructed her to seek certain
information from the government.
number of residents of the state of J&K who were detained/arrested or
placed under house arrest on or after 05.08.2019. Please provide this
information tabulated by district and police station, and their current status
(eg. 'detained', 'released', 'under house-arrest' etc.)," reads her first
letter also asked the government to provide the number of residents who are
minors (under 18 years), children in the age group between 12 years and 15
years, children in the age group under 12 years; and women, who have been
detained/arrested or placed under house arrest on or after August 5, 2019.
Mufti, through her daughter, also sought information on the number of detainees
or undertrials who have been moved out of the state to jails and other
detention centres outside the state, and the number of deaths reported from
among those who have been detained/arrested or placed under house arrest and
the details thereof.
you are requested to kindly provide me with the following information, as soon
as possible and preferably within three days. I am reiterating here that I am
not a politician or a person with political party affiliations. I am doing this
on behalf and for my mother who is a politician, and a president of a
registered political party," Iltija wrote.
on Babri entrance counter temple claims, SC told
DELHI: Muslim parties on Monday told the Supreme Court that Persian and Arabic
inscriptions at the entrance of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, studied in detail by
experts prior to its demolition in December 1992, deflates expansive argument
of Hindu parties that it was never a mosque as Hindus worshipped at the disputed
site from time immemorial.
for Muslim parties including Sunni Wakf Board before a bench of CJI Ranjan
Gogoi and Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul
Nazeer, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan said the inscriptions also take one to
irrefutable conclusion that it was built in 1528 on the orders of Mughal
said two judges of the Allahabad high court, in their 2010 verdict, had
disbelieved the fact that the mosque was built on orders of Babur in 1528
“merely because of minor discrepancies in the interpretation of the
inscriptions” and felt that there was a strong possibility of it being built by
Aurangzeb in the 17th century.
an earlier question from the bench whether there existed any mosque with Sanskrit
inscription, Dhavan said though he has not come across any such mosque
personally, but there is definite information that such a mosque exists in
Jaunpur. This was to counter the arguments of Hindu parties that since the
rubble of demolished disputed structure had Sanskrit inscriptions, it could not
have been a mosque.
the arguments, which lasted for only two hours on Friday, Dhavan shared an
interesting information with the bench and a large number of advocates as well
as interested persons present in the courtroom. He said, “The religious
importance of 786 to Muslims in India is immense. But it is not so outside. I
once went to Jordan and talked to many locals there and asked them about the
importance of 786. I was surprised to learn that they (the Jordanians) do not
even know about the significance of the number 786.”
number 786 is holiest for Muslims in India. But the Muslims in middle-east
don’t agree,” he said. In 2013, Mumbai RTO had auctioned the registration
number 0786 to a motorbike for Rs 31,000.
party presents key evidence of Babri Masjid construction
Delhi: During the hearing of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title suit, the
Muslim party presented key evidences in support of the masjid existence. It
also claimed that the Masjid was built according to Shariah and no temple was
demolished to build it.
Rajeev Dhavan argued over the signs found on the masjid which indicate that the
structure was a masjid. He said Babur built Babri Masjid in 1528 which has two
key evidences. First one is the Masjid mimbar and the second one is its main
entrance. Besides that, the third evidence is that Islamic ‘kalima’ is
inscribed inside the masjid. Rajeev Dhavan produced over 100 colour photos of
the Babri Masjid before the court.
the Supreme Court also closed a contempt of court case against Tamil Nadu based
professor N Shanmugham after he tendered an apology for his conduct. Shanmugham
had written to Dhavan threatening him over his appearance for Muslim parties in
the Ayodhya case, prompting Dhavan to file a contempt plea before the Supreme
pointed query by a Supreme Court judge on Thursday, seeking clarification on
the statement of a witness who deposed claiming to have witnessed worship of
Lord Ram at the disputed structure prior to 1949, led to an aggressive reply
from the Muslim parties’ counsel.
Nirmohi Akhara, one of the parties in the lawsuit, had claimed no regular namaz
was offered at the disputed structure since 1934. Muslim parties told the court
there was no documentary evidence on record to show that disputed structure was
not being used as a mosque between 1934 and 1949. They cited the agreement
between the imam and the trustee where the latter was paying certain amount to
Ashok Bhushan queried senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the Sunni
Central Waqf Board, a witness had deposed that in December 1935 he had gone to
Ayodhya along with his uncle when he was 12-13 years old and had the darshan at
the Ram Janmabhoomi and other temples.
I first visited the Ram Janmabhoomi premises, the entire area appeared to me
like a temple. In between 1935 and 1949, whenever I went to Ram Janmabhoomi
temple, I had darshan of deity at all religious places, like Ram Chabutra,
Chhaatthi worship place and Sita Rasoi. We also had darshan and made offerings
to the deity at the sanctum sanctorum through grills. We kept the offerings
near the grill”, said the statement recorded as part in the Allahabad High
said the witness was only 12-13 years old and his statement didn’t hold any
sanctity. It was also not a plausible evidence, as he was told this by his
uncle, he submitted.
to the Muslims parties to the dispute, idols were placed in the inner courtyard
on the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949. Hindus prayed at the Ram
Chabutra in the outer courtyard and no prayers were offered in the inner
courtyard, they argued.
Bhushan insisted that in his reply Dhavan should refer to the statement of this
witness where he clearly mentioned having seen the deity at the birthplace in
1935. “I can see some kind of aggression in your statement,” Dhavan replied to
Justice Bhushan in a strong tone.
Dhavan insisted that he was not twisting facts, Justice Bhushan said it was not
about twisting facts rather being factually accurate.
of the Hindu parties criticised Dhavan’s conduct in the court. The Chief
Justice quipped that his brother judge hailed from the north-west part of the
country and was not threatened. Appreciating Dhavan’s command over history,
Justice Gogoi asked him to continue with arguments. Dhavan apologised to the
Bench and the Hindu parties’ counsels.
discredited the witness saying his evidence came after 1989 and it was in
consonance with suit 5 filed by Devki Nandan Agarwal, claiming to be the next
friend of the deity. He referred Agarwal as self-styled next friend.
can he be next friend? He never gave assistance to the temple”, said Dhavan
insisting Agarwal was appointed to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. He told the court
the Nyas movement started in 1985.
to have a chair on RSS’ favourite Mughal — Dara Shikoh
Delhi: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has decided to establish a research
chair in the name of Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, whom the RSS recently hailed as
the “epitome of Indianness”.
Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor told ThePrint the university has decided to set
up the research chair to further the cause of peace studies in the country. The
proposal has already been approved by the institution’s academic council. It is
expected to get the finance committee’s consent soon after which, the proposal
will be submitted to the University Grants Commission (UGC).
said the university will focus on Shikoh’s call for Sanjhi Virasat (common
heritage) in India so that a new opening is provided for long-lasting social
harmony in the country. He added that AMU will work in tandem with senior RSS
functionary Krishna Gopal, whose laudatory speech on Shikoh at a symposium had
created a stir, with critics saying the RSS was attempting to create a binary
of a ‘good Muslim’ and a ‘bad Muslim’.
Ali Naqvi, the chairman and co-ordinator of AMU’s History department, told
ThePrint that the university had been working on the Shikoh chair for three
months. He added that it is among the two that the university has proposed to
from it (Dara Shikoh chair) we have submitted another proposal to set up a
chair in the name of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan,” Naqvi said. “We will
appoint a professor within a month of receiving final consent on these
proposals. We were working for about three months for setting up of this chair
(on Dara Shikoh).”
AMU professor, who did not wish to be named, said the university would promote
the integrity of the nation through the chair. “In today’s vitiated atmosphere,
people are being divided in the name of religion,” he said. “That is why Dara
Shikoh’s ideology — where all religions are treated equally — becomes more
relevant. We are furthering the cause of this research for greater integrity of
also accused the BJP and the RSS of using Shikoh to show that they “respect all
Sangh wants to take leverage out of Dara Shikoh’s name and image. It wants to
show that it respects all religions. In reality, this is not so,” he said.
will be the first instance of an educational institution starting an
intellectual contemplation focused on Dara Shikoh rather than the other big
names of the Mughal dynasty such as Humayun, Akbar or Shikoh’s father Shah
Sangh’s favourite Mughal
RSS has recently propped up Shikoh as a liberal, tolerant Mughal ruler and an
anti-thesis of his brother Aurangzeb, whom the Sangh views as an ‘Islamic
at a symposium, ‘Dara Shikoh: A hero of the Indian syncretist traditions‘, in
New Delhi on 11 September, the RSS Sah Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary)
Krishna Gopal said had Shikoh ruled in place of Aurangzeb, “Islam could have
flourished more in India”.
also urged the Muslim community to follow Dara Shikoh’s legacy and not
“complain that there was an atmosphere of fear in the country”.
also touched upon Shikoh’s fascination with Hindu scriptures and his efforts to
get them translated into Persian. “Dara was a prince, who translated the
Upanishads into Persian. He discussed and debated it with intellectuals,” Gopal
said. “He knew the God was only one and there were different faiths to find
him. Dara was never divisive. He understood the assimilative power of society
and tried to establish compatibility while remaining a true Muslim.”
was the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. He
had three brothers, one of whom was Aurangzeb. Shikoh has enjoyed a reputation
of being a benevolent and more tolerant leader and has seen a revival ever
since the Sangh has regained prominence in Indian polity.
leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, 6 others sign bonds to secure release
Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was among seven individuals,
detained following the abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir
under Article 370, who have signed bonds to secure their release, official
sources said on Friday.
People's Conference chairman Sajad Lone, PDP youth wing leader Waheed Para and
former bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal have refused to sign the bonds.
from Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, two leaders of the National Conference (NC), one each
from the Peoples Democratic Party and People's Conference, and two others,
whose political affiliations were not immediately revealed, signed the bonds,
the sources said.
are among 36 detainees who have been kept at the Centaur Hotel here after their
detainees, mostly politicians, were offered to be released by the Jammu and Kashmir
administration on the condition that they sign the bond, which bars them from
indulging in any political activity after their release, the sources said.
estimates suggest more than a thousand people including politicians,
separatists, activists and lawyers were detained after the August 5 decision of
the central government.
former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti --
were among the detainees.
others numbering around 100 were sent to the jails outside Jammu and Kashmir.
has been detained under the stringent Public Safety Act while other politicians
were mostly detained in different sections of the CrPC.
to meet Pak PM Imran on Monday, PM Modi on Tuesday in New York
US President Donald Trump will meet Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on
Monday, a day after he joins Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the mega
"Howdy Modi" event in Houston and will again hold a meeting with the
Indian leader in New York on Tuesday, a senior official has said.
the meetings with the leaders of India and Pakistan would be held in New York
on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, a senior
administration official told reporters on Friday in a preview of Trump's
engagements in the Big Apple next week.
is expected to arrive in New York on Sunday night after his participation with
Modi at the "Howdy Modi" event in Houston where the two leaders will
address over 50,000 Indian-Americans.
US president will then travel to Ohio where he will be joined by Australian
Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Donald J Trump will be travelling to Houston for 'Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams
Bright Futures' event. That will be the day wherein he will travel on to Ohio
where he will be joined by Prime Minister Morrison of Australia where they will
visit Pratt industry and celebrate US economic relationship with
Australia," the official said.
Monday (September 23), the first day of his stay in New York on the sidelines
of the UN General Assembly session, Trump's first event will be the global call
to protect religious freedom, the official said, describing it as a key event.
that the President is scheduled to meet with the following leaders. Prime
Minister Khan of Pakistan, President (Andrzej Sebastian) Duda of Poland, Prime
Minister (Jacinda) Arden of New Zealand, Prime Minister Lee (Hsien Loong) from
Singapore, President al Sisi of Egypt and President Moon of S Korea," said
the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Tuesday (September 24), Trump will deliver his address to the UN General Assembly.
After that, he will hold a number of bilateral meetings.
Minister (Boris) Johnson of United Kingdom, Prime Minister Modi of India, the
UN Secretary General," the official said, adding that the president will
also meet his Iraqi counterpart and end the day with a diplomatic reception.
Modi-Trump meeting on Tuesday, the two leaders would be meeting for the fourth
time in as many months. The meeting in New York is expected to set the tone of
bilateral relationship between the two countries over the next few years.
every Kashmiri potential stone-pelter or terrorist: Iltija Mufti
Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehobooba
Mufti, on Friday attacked the Modi-led government for holding her mother and
other state political leaders under preventive detention.
at the India Today Conclave here, she also said it is wrong to assume that
every Kashmiri is a potential stone-pelter or a terrorist.
Kashmiri is not a stone-pelter. We are as aspirational as others," she
also challenged the assertion that "political dynasties" had
destroyed Kashmir over the years.
government pushes the narrative of some dynasties having destroyed Kashmir,
because that serves its narrative," she said.
host of political leaders continue to remain under detention in Kashmir,
including three former chief ministers Farooq and Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba
Mufti, after the state's special status was revoked last month.
hear about lynchings. I want to know how many people have been put under
preventive detention over these lynchings," Iltija said.
is called the rape capital, she said. "Are you telling me that you are
going to put all Haryanvi men under house arrest because they may be potential
rapists," she added.
remarks came as the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir completed 45 days.
Restrictions were put in place in the state after the Centre moved to scrap
Jammu and Kashmir's special status and to separate the state into two Union
government says the restrictions are needed to maintain peace in Kashmir and to
prevent untoward incidents.
seeks response from J&K on plea challenging detention of five persons
Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir administration
over a plea challenging the detention of five persons in Kashmir following the
revocation of the state’s special status under Article 370 on August 5.
bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Solicitor General Tushar
Mehta, who was appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir administration, to file his
response within two weeks
reports claiming that people can’t access the High Court due to the lockdown,
CJI Gogoi said the court has received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu
and Kashmir which rejected the claim. He, however, added that the apex court
has also received some conflicting reports.
the last date of hearing, the petitioner counsel Senior Advocate H Ahmadi had
told the court that they could not approach the J&K HC due to the shutdown.
Court had taken a stern view of this and sought a report from J&K chief
bench also said it would entertain a petition regarding alleged detention of
children in Kashmir as the plea has raised “substantial issues” regarding
minors. During the hearing, the apex court directed the Juvenile Justice
Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within
week, while hearing a plea by child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly and former
National Commission for Child Rights Chairperson Shanta Sinha, who highlighted
the condition of children in J&K as reported in the media and sought the
court’s intervention, CJI Gogoi had asked senior advocate H Ahmadi why he
hadn’t moved the J&K High Court. Citing the lockdown, the counsel said this
had made it difficult for people to access the court.
the lockdown, the counsel said this had made it difficult for people to access
the court. The CJI said it was a “serious matter. If people can’t approach HC,
we will have to do something about it”. Asking the HC to file a report, the CJI
observed that “if required, I will go personally and check”.
states against increasing minimum marriage age to 18
Teoh Pei Ying
LUMPUR: The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) is in the midst of
amending the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) 1984 (Act 303) to
increase the marriageable among Muslims age to 18 years old.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the department was also
coordinating with other states on a similar change involving their respective
Islamic Family Law.
she said seven states had disagreed to the federal government’s proposal to
increase the minimum marriageable age to 18.
Wan Azizah who is also the Woman, Family and Community Development Minister
revealed that the states which rejected the change are Sarawak, Pahang,
Terengganu, Perlis, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Kelantan.
are taking action on the legal aspect, some states are amending the laws, some
are agreeable and some are disagreeable.
are also developing strategies and plans to address the root causes of child
marriage holistically that involves government and non-governmental agencies,”
she said, here, today.
October, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad issued a directive ordering all
state governments to raise the legal minimum marriage age to 18 years for both
Muslims and non-Muslims.
far, Selangor, Sabah and Penang had agreed to increase the minimum marriage age
from 16 to 18.
Wan Azizah said an application for minors under the Law Reform (Marriage and
Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) had also been tightened.
she said by adopting a standard operating procedure that takes into account the
social and health aspects of the applicant.
Tuesday, Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, had raised the
minimum age at which women can marry to 19, in a ruling which is expected to
curb child marriage in the Asean country.
the move, numerous Malaysian non-governmental organisations had urged the
government to follow the republic’s footstep.
a separate matter, the deputy prime minister said foreigners who buy unsold
luxury homes through the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program would not be
entitled to Malaysian citizenship.
said the potential buyers would instead be offered a 10-year visa, with
will not be granted a MyKad or a Permanent Resident (PR) status document, just
a visa for 10 years. This will be discussed at the cabinet level.
the foreigners must sufficiently have liquid assets and are able to contribute
to the country," she added.
Wan Azizah also clarified that the campaign was open to all foreign nationals
and was not limited to China and Hong Kong citizens only.
was reported that Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin had
proposed to promote RM100 billion worth of unsold high-end houses to buyers in
China and Hong Kong.
Azizah was speaking to reporters after visiting Nour Shafinar Harun, widow of
the late Major Mohd Zahir Armaya at her quarters in Wardieburn camp.
36, a commando of the 11th Special Forces Regiment, died after being shot
during a demonstration in conjunction with the launch of the 5th Infantry
Division and the 13th Infantry Brigade.
Wan Azizah also handed over a RM5,000 contribution to Nour Shafinar.
was Army chief General Tan Sri Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi and 21st Special
Service Group commander Major General Datuk Hasan Ali.
President Halts Bill That Would Ban Sex Outside Marriage
Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono
Indonesia — Sweeping legislation that would have criminalized sex between
unmarried people, including gays and lesbians, was pushed back on Friday by
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, days before it had been expected to pass.
measure, aimed at overhauling Indonesia’s penal code, had appeared likely to
win approval next Tuesday from the country’s outgoing Parliament, with Mr.
after an outpouring of opposition to many of its provisions from rights
activists, women’s groups, legal experts and other Indonesians, Mr. Joko
announced that he had asked lawmakers to drop the legislation and leave the
matter for the next Parliament, which will be seated in October.
examining input from various groups who objected to some of the substance of
the criminal bill draft, I concluded that there were still materials that
needed further study,” Mr. Joko told reporters at the presidential palace in
Bogor, south of Jakarta.
Islamists in Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim-majority
population and an officially secular government, passing the bill would have
been a major victory. Some had said that if Mr. Joko secured its passage, his
name “would be written in history with golden ink.”
of the wide-ranging bill’s provisions — it had 628 articles — mirrored elements
of Shariah, the Islamic legal code. It would have restricted access to
contraception for minors, outlawed cohabitation without marriage, restricted
freedom of speech, reduced the rights of religious minorities and imposed harsh
punishment for insulting the dignity of the president.
provision punishing sex outside marriage with up to a year in prison would have
effectively banned gay and lesbian relations, although the bill did not spell
that out. Indonesia does not allow same-sex marriages.
Muslims are known as being relatively moderate, but intolerance has been on the
rise for the last two decades. Around the sprawling archipelago, local
governments have enacted more than 600 measures adopting aspects of Shariah,
including requiring women to wear hijabs and imposing curfews on them unless
they are accompanied by a male relative.
the president has pulled the plug on the national legislation for now, similar
measures are certain to be introduced after the new Parliament is sworn in.
is the slow-moving Islamization of Indonesia,” said Andreas Harsono, senior
Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “For the Islamists, this is the
crown jewel of their advocacy.”
legislation would have taken effect in two years, once regulations had been
drafted to implement it.
of the bill were particularly concerned about provisions that targeted
reproductive rights, including restrictions on abortion and on providing
contraception to anyone under 18.
ban on consensual sex between unmarried adults would have applied to foreigners
as well as Indonesians, and it would have been likely to discourage some
Westerners from visiting at a time when the country is trying to attract more
foreign investors, also much desired by the government, are likely to take such
far-reaching legislation into account when deciding where to put their money.
Some international companies, especially those with diversity policies
protecting their workers, were concerned about how the bill would affect their
employees in Indonesia who are gay or in nonmarital relationships.
change in the criminal justice law would obviously have a potential impact on
the investment climate,” said A. Lin Neumann, managing director of the American
Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, which represents nearly 300 American
companies operating in the country.
Harsono of Human Rights Watch said the bill would also have restricted the
rights of nonsanctioned religious groups and government critics.
would have strengthened Indonesia’s law against blasphemy, which protects the
country’s six officially recognized religions — Islam, Protestantism,
Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism — but is most often invoked by
legislation also would have expanded the country’s laws against treason, which
is punishable by death, to include actions that could be considered political
speech, he said.
articles would have prohibited insulting the president, the vice president, the
government or state agencies.
of the proposals in the legislation have been discussed for years but had never
made much headway in previous Parliaments.
after April’s presidential election, in which Mr. Joko easily won a second
five-year term, the move to adopt the legislation gained steam.
Joko’s vice-presidential running mate was Ma’ruf Amin, the 76-year-old head of
the Indonesian Ulema Council, an influential body of Muslim leaders. In a
letter to the president last month, the council urged Mr. Joko to approve the
bill. The letter was signed by Mr. Ma’ruf, who will be sworn in as vice
president next month.
Friday, the president seemed to be backing the legislation, which had advanced
in Parliament with his apparent approval.
lawmaker who supported the bill, Arsul Sani of the United Development Party,
one of four Islamist parties in Parliament, said the legislation reflected a
turn against Western ways of thinking.
has social values, moral values, also cultural values that are different from
those in Western countries,” said Mr. Arsul, who studied in Australia and
China’s embattled Uighurs, a bank transfer abroad can become a ‘terrorism’
China — The Chinese state has come down not once, but twice, on Mayila Yakufu.
the 41-year-old insurance company worker was taken away for 10 months of
“vocational training” in one of the internment camps China has set up in the
mostly-Muslim Xinjiang region as part of an extensive campaign to strip the
Uighur minority of its culture and language.
was out for barely four months before the authorities picked her up again —
this time for financing terrorism. Now, the single mother of three is in a
prison for criminals, serving a sentence of unknown length.
are targeting us like the Nazi government targeted the Jews,” said Mayila’s
cousin, Nyrola Elima, who lives in Sweden. “We just want to be able to live a
Chinese campaign to forcibly assimilate the mostly-Muslim Uighur minority,
whose culture and language is Turkic, into the Han ethnic majority is showing
signs of entering a new phase.
living abroad have started to hear reports of family members being arrested and
jailed on suspicion of financing terrorism after sending money to relatives
abroad. Those relatives have also had their savings and assets confiscated by
the state, they say.
new and alarming effort appears aimed at keeping Uighurs in China from having
any contact with their family members beyond the country’s borders, analysts
is the first I’ve heard of this,” said Rian Thum, who specializes in Uighur
history at the University of Nottingham and has been monitoring the crackdown
in Xinjiang. “This shows that there has not been any letup or any softening of
the policy of pursuing Uighurs who have any connection with the outside world.”
authorities declared in July that their effort to “de-radicalize” the
population of Xinjiang had been a success and that 90 percent of the people put
into camps had been released — a claim analysts and activists say is highly
the past three years, Chinese authorities have taken somewhere between 1
million and 3 million people, mostly Uighurs and ethnic Kazakhs, into what
Beijing calls “vocational training schools” designed to root out extremism in
the majority-Muslim area. Western governments and human rights activists have
condemned the camps and the broader operation to control Uighurs in Xinjiang,
to no avail.
celebrates ‘very happy lives’ in Xinjiang, after detaining 1 million Uighurs
story of Mayila and her extended family in Yining — pieced together through
interviews and documents — is just one of the many accounts of state-led
pressures imposed on Xinjiang and is emblematic of new efforts targeting the
charges against Mayila appear to relate to money she sent to her parents, who
had traveled to Australia in 2007 to see their son and his family in Adelaide,
about 850 miles west of Sydney.
tragedy struck. Their son drowned in the sea on New Year’s Eve. Her parents decided
to stay in Australia to support their widowed daughter-in-law and take care of
opened a Uighur restaurant selling shish kebabs and noodles, and they started
saving. After six years, they were ready to buy a house.
June 23, 2013, they signed a contract for a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house
in an Adelaide suburb for 377,500 Australian dollars, or about $259,000 at the
current exchange rate. The settlement date was July 9, 2013, according to a
copy of the contract provided by Marhaba Yakub Salay, Mayila’s sister, who also
lives in Adelaide.
in Xinjiang, Mayila got busy transferring the savings her parents had left
behind — the proceeds of years of running trading businesses in Xinjiang and
compensation for land sold to the Chinese government.
of Chinese banking regulations, Mayila split the transfer into three parts.
first tranche arrived in Australia on July 2, 2013, with Mayila listed as the
sender. The following day, two deposits were sent: One in an aunt’s name and
another in her uncle’s name, according to bank statements. By July 9, the
settlement date, Mayila’s parents had enough to pay for the house in cash.
stayed in touch with her parents and her sister in Australia and her cousin
Nyrola in Sweden.
was busy at home in Yining, near the border with Kazakhstan. She would bike to
the markets early to sell walnuts, before going to her day job at China Life
Insurance Co. She was so good at her work that the company awarded her a
certificate with a red star.
night, Mayila, who studied in a Mandarin Chinese school and university, would
teach Uighur children the majority language.
wages crackdowns on its Muslims. But Saudi Arabia stays quiet as it bolsters
ties with Beijing.
relax, she enjoyed watching “Modern Family” with her children. Among the
characters on the sitcom is a gay couple, and Mayila liked the idea of
supporting and accepting one another no matter what.
in 2017, things began to change.
authorities started to sever links between Uighurs in Xinjiang and family
members overseas. Officials began conducting spot checks of phones and then
installing software so they could monitor electronic communications remotely.
by one, my old friends said goodbye to me through WeChat and deleted me,”
Marhaba said, referring to the social media app that is the lifeblood of
communication in China. “I felt like my sister would delete me soon, too.”
enough, she did.
authorities have “created an atmosphere where any contact with relatives
overseas or even in a different city is viewed with suspicion,” said James
Leibold, an academic at La Trobe University in Australia who has written
extensively about the repression in Xinjiang.
family later learned that Mayila had been taken to an internment camp.
aunt and uncle — Nyrola’s parents — took care of her children, a girl and two
boys, and tried to keep them safe. Children of some interned Uighurs have been
sent to orphanages.
many Uighur families, they kept their heads down to try to avoid more attention
from the state.
December 2018, Marhaba suddenly received a call from her sister. “We’re good,
we’re all good. The Communist Party of China is looking after us very well,”
she recalled Mayila saying.
think she might have been in a police station and that someone had asked her to
make the call,” Marhaba said.
April, four months after her release, Mayila went missing again. Marhaba
contacted the Australian authorities, who made inquiries about the case.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade informed the family that Mayila had
been arrested May 15 on suspicion of financing terrorist activities. This week,
officials informed the family they had received an update from the Chinese
embassy in Canberra.
“was prosecuted in July 2019 for allegedly financing terrorist activities and
is currently in good health,” an Australian official wrote in an email to
prosecutions in China almost always result in conviction, but the family has
not been able to find out what sentence she received or to visit her. Officials in Yining and in Beijing did not
respond to requests for comment or information.
Uighur living abroad, Halmurat Idriss, said his sister was also accused of
financing terrorism. She wired $2,800 to his bank account in Turkey, where he
moved in 2016 with his parents, his wife and their three children for the
promise of work and a better life.
money was my parents’ pension funds, and we needed it to survive because I did
not have a job at that time,” he said. His sister was detained over the
transfer, he said, and he has not heard from her in three years.
charge of “terrorism” has become a byword for any activity deemed to undermine
the ruling Communist Party.
party-state uses the term ‘terrorism’ for anyone who opposed it, from the Hong
Kong protesters to the Dalai Lama to Xinjiang,” said Leibold. “I don’t think we
can take the party-state at face value when they use that term.”
cousin and sister say she has been held in prison for the past six months, with
no access to lawyers or family members.
authorities also confiscated all of Mayila’s savings — the equivalent of about
$56,000, Nyrola said. It was money she had saved from working three jobs. “They
are now targeting people with money so that they can take it,” Nyrola said.
Senate revives bill that could sanction China over treatment of its Muslims
aunt and uncle continue to look after Mayila’s children. Abide, 17, is a straight-A
student who likes to sing songs by Taylor Swift and read Harry Potter books in
English. Lutfulla has just started seventh grade and loves taekwondo. Mayila’s
youngest, Zikirulla, was born two months premature and is, in the words of his
aunt, “smart but not strong.”
three of them go to Mandarin Chinese school in Yining, not schools taught in
the Uighur language.
aunt and uncle, 60-year-old Gulebaikeremi Maimutimin and 63-year-old Hasimu
Tuoheti, live in constant fear that the children will be taken from them.
month, they received notices from the Public Security Bureau that they were
being investigated on suspicion of helping finance terrorist activities and
illegally possessing articles of extremism.
trace this action to the fact that their names are associated with the money
sent to Australia in 2013 for Mayila’s parents’ house.
can prove that this money didn’t go to terrorist activities,” Nyrola said,
referring to the bank statements and the housing contract.
‘Buy Muslim Products’ campaign not wrong
GAJAH, Sept 21 ― The “Buy Muslim Products” campaign is not wrong if it does not
boycott other products, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd
said the racial tension that was stirred by the campaign was due to
is not wrong for a campaign to buy Muslim or non-Muslim goods because it is up
to the consumer's own decision making.
is not wrong to campaign, the choice is that of consumers whether to buy Muslim
or non-Muslim products. This is an open market. We cannot force the people to
buy,” he told reporters at a walkabout programme with Tekun Nasional
entrepreneurs yesterday. Also present were Tekun Nasional chairman Datuk Seri
Muhamaad Suparadi Md Noor and its chief executive officer Datuk Adam Abd Ghani.
another development, Mohd Redzuan said Malaysia should move forward in an
effort to boost the country’s halal market globally.
Ville’s ‘Islamic City’ model no threat to national unity, minister
LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin
today dismissed concerns regarding a planned Islamic township called Raudhah
Ville, which is located in Cyberjaya.
to reporters today, she said that the residential project puts focus on
universal values and that there are pockets of non-Muslims who have purchased
(it shouldn’t be a problem for national unity) because even though it’s
focussed on Islamic community, it goes on Islamic values which are universal
values. So, there are no issues there because there are non-Muslims living
it’s okay. It’s talking about cleanliness, making sure rubbish is thrown away
into bins, composting and community living values,” said Zuraida.
asked if there should be a regulation on ethnic balance in urban areas, the
Ampang MP dismissed such notion saying that there should not be any
interference with the free market.
she does plan on implementing economic activity-based quotas on her public
housing projects (PPR).
the moment I think it’s a free market, it falls into place I don’t think we need
to have that. But my PPR homes probably there is a need for us to give quotas
not by ethnic (lines) but by the economic groups — such as government servants,
teachers...” “I want them to get into integrated living so that Malaysians can
get more matured in integrated living,” said Zuraida.
in Cyberjaya, Raudhah Ville is part of Bandar Raudhah which is a mega project
jointly developed by PKNS and Raudhah City International Sdn Bhd.
development is estimated to worth RM12.3 billion and has been going on since
2015. It aims to become the world’s first modern Islamic city.
dismisses misinformation about Dr M’s remarks on Dr Zakir Naik
LUMPUR, Sept 20 — Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has urged
certain parties to not speculate or make baseless allegations over Prime
Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent remarks on controversial Islamic
preacher Dr Zakir Naik. He said such comments are cynical and misleading, as
well as far from the truth, and thus, uncalled for.
Honourable Prime Minister was simply and truthfully stating the matter-of-fact
about what transpired during his meeting with the Prime Minister of India, His
Excellency Narendra Modi, on September 5, in Vladivostok, the Russian
Federation,” Saifuddin said in a statement.
minister said he can vouch for the truth of the matter as he was personally
present in the meeting between the two prime ministers, but also added that his
Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was not.
and India have strong and comprehensive relations for more than six decades.
These strong multifaceted ties have been mutually benefiting the peoples of the
two countries,” Saifuddin said.
press reported that Dr Mahathir and Modi discussed several issues on the
sidelines of the 5th East Economic Forum in Russia, which included extraditing
Dr Zakir to India where he is currently wanted for money laundering and
inciting hate speech.
on Wednesday, the prime minister maintained that although Modi mentioned Dr
Zakir during their meeting, he did not make any extradition request.
Condemns Statement by UN Experts on Papua Unrest
Indonesia has condemned a press statement issued by five independent United
Nations Human Rights Council special rapporteurs in which they expressed
serious concern over recent development in Papua.
five rapporteurs also urged the Indonesian government on Tuesday to drop all
charges against human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, whom they said had been
"subjected to harassment and abuse online for her work on alleged human
rights violations in Papua."
have declared Veronica a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information
and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the
protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.
unrest in broke out in several cities in Indonesia's two easternmost provinces
after racial animosity by hardline Muslims and members of the police and
military against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, in August.
government said false information and provocative content spread on social
media, including by Veronica, had contributed to the unrest.
government managed to restore order in Papua and West Papua after about two
weeks of unrest.
welcome actions by the government against the racial incident, but we urge it
to take immediate steps to protect Veronica Koman from any form of retaliation
and intimidation and drop all charges against her," the special
rapporteurs said in the press statement.
also expressed concern that the authorities may revoke Veronica's passport,
block her bank accounts and request Interpol to issue an international arrest
warrant against her.
rapporteurs advised the government to maintain full internet access in Papua,
after blocking it between Aug. 21 and Sept. 4.
urge the government of Indonesia to recognize the rights of all protesters and
to ensure the continuation of the internet service... Restrictions on the
internet and access to information in general have a detrimental impact on the
ability of individuals to express themselves, and to share and receive
information," they said.
permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva issued a statement expressing
regret over the press release by the UN special rapporteurs.
on internet access were imposed in accordance with the law and the
Constitution. The public interest and respect for freedom of speech were
considered, especially to prevent the spread of hate speech and hoaxes, which
triggered unrest in Papua," the mission said in the statement the Jakarta
Globe received on Monday.
added that Veronica was a suspect and had ignored several police summonses for
spreading of hoaxes and hate speech] is evidently unmatched with her
self-proclamation as a human rights defender, but rather as an individual act
that was intentionally spreading false news, which caused incitement and
provocation resulting in the unrest," the mission said.
East Java Police have, in response, refused to intervene in Veronica's case,
said they would soon put her name on a list of wanted suspects.
should be no intervention. Indonesian law is sovereign," East Java Police
spokesman Chief Comr. Frans Barung Mangera said on Wednesday, as quoted by
has defended herself in a statement posted on her Facebook account on Sunday.
Indonesian police have overstepped their authority and gone over the top with
exaggerations in an attempt to criminalize me," she said, adding that the
government was unable to handle the prolonged conflict in Papua and thus made
her the scapegoat.
Papua has for decades been among the most restricted regions worldwide. My
criminalization is nothing more than the continuation of a longstanding
strategy to prevent information leaking out to the rest of the world," she
have also expressed concern over multiple bank accounts in Veronica's name,
which showed withdrawals of large amounts, some from Papua. However, she
accused the police of abusing their powers by looking in her bank accounts.
Mosque restoration aims to revive spirit of Iraq’s ruined Mosul
Government officials and NGOs are taking the initiative to restore vital
historical sites across the Middle East after years of destruction by militant
UN cultural agency UNESCO recently announced that the reconstruction of
Al-Nouri Mosque — which was blown up by Daesh in June 2017 — in the Iraqi city
of Mosul will start at the beginning of next year.
in 2018, the mosque restoration plan will be the most eye-catching part of a
$100 million UNESCO-led heritage reconstruction called “Revive the Spirit of
timeline of the restoration plan for the 12th-century mosque, famed for its
leaning minaret, was finalized during a meeting in Paris between UNESCO and
Iraqi government officials.
they call the Arab Spring is really the Arab Fall because many historic sites
in Iraq, Syria and Libya have been erased,” said Samir Saddi, founder and
director of the Beirut-based architecture and design institute ARCADE.
destruction is very upsetting because it’s not only about heritage itself as
much as it is about these monuments and their meaning in social and religious
sees restoration in the Middle East as a costly, recurrent endeavor as
extremists have repeatedly targeted historical monuments due to their
importance to local communities.
can kill a person, but here you’re erasing centuries of cultural and religious
meaning. It’s very important to restore these buildings,” he said.
also important is what should be done in terms of educating people and creating
awareness on how to maintain these monuments.”
said the challenge for the Middle East is not only restoration but also how to
make sure this kind of destruction does not happen again, and how to preserve
monuments and traditional architecture.
really the biggest subject because you can restore the mosque, but what about the
daily destruction of heritage in terms of habitat and nature?” he said.
leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate from Al-Nouri Mosque in the
summer of 2014, only for his own fighters to blow it up three years later as
Iraqi government forces closed in.
mosque was not the first victim of Daesh’s cultural nihilism. In January 2017,
Daesh fighters destroyed the Roman theater in the Syrian city of Palmyra — a
historical landmark dating back to the 2nd century AD — and other monuments in
Great Umayyad Mosque in Syria’s largest city Aleppo was another target. The
8th-century mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was demolished in April 2013.
are many sites across the Middle East and North Africa that are very rich in
Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Islamic history,” Saddi said.
fighters knew what they were doing. They selected prominent sites and
systematically destroyed them because this is how you really make the most
damaging impact on people.”
Mosque is one of Iraq’s many war-devastated historical places. Others include
the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, located on the eastern bank of the Tigris
River in Mosul, and Nimrud, the first Assyrian capital from over 3,000 years
such sites is vital because they’re part of the history, culture and
civilization of the area,” said Rashad Bukhash, chair of the Architectural
Heritage Society in the UAE.
Mosque is very old and went through different stages of restoration. It’s
important to keep these sacred buildings as part of Iraq’s culture and part of
UAE is providing more than $50 million to finance UNESCO’s “Revive the Spirit
of Mosul” project, focusing on the restoration of Al-Nouri Mosque, with the EU
providing another $24 million.
addition, the UNESCO initiative will make funds available for the rebuilding of
churches, schools, and a street in Mosul’s Old City that was famous for its
said what will help in the restoration process is that Al-Nouri Mosque’s
complete documentation, drawings and photos have survived.
who lived and worked on it will help to rebuild the mosque exactly as it was.
As a mosque where people prayed, it’s important to restore it for history on
the one hand, and to send a message to terrorists on the other hand that we’re
building history back no matter what they do,” he said.
suggested an alternative to restoring devastated historical sites, such as
building a museum nearby to tell their story.
is a continuous cycle of violence and reconstruction. The destruction of
Al-Nouri Mosque is an act of extreme terror,” he said.
mosque is partially destroyed, and we can’t go back in time and pretend it
didn’t happen,” he added.
should stay as it is today, but there should be a museum project to show what
this mosque was, its history and relation to the community, when and why it was
destroyed, who did this act of savagery and why, and how to avoid the
repetition of these barbaric acts in the future.”
said a museum for Al-Nouri Mosque as the main “artefact” would represent a much
stronger statement than rebuilding it to its original state, which he believes
will never match its original form.
other words, there is before and after. The Mosul population should remember
the destruction by seeing it, but also by learning and gaining knowledge, hence
the idea of an Al-Nouri Museum,” he said.
spoke of the relevance of a project he is working on: A museum for changing
times. “What’s happening in the Arab world is a complete change, both social
and economic,” he said.
project is a museum for architecture in the Arab world — not modern but
historical, traditional architecture that has disappeared,” he added.
you go to Palmyra, you see an old city but only stones or arches. However, in
Syria and Iraq you have entire community settlements that are disappearing, not
just because of war but also because of development and because people are
moving from rural areas to cities.”
recommends preserving memories of such architecture, as well as research into
their intrinsic value.
now living in a period where sustainability is the key word. People are
emigrating from the Middle East to Europe, leaving behind a lot of knowledge
and know-how, so something should be done in that sense,” he said.
should have a setup where you can understand how the built environment was done
from Iraq to Morocco, the richness of our architecture and how it has been
vandalized not only by war but also by modern developments. In other words,
what’s the future of our past?”
future could well be riding on UNESCO’s restoration project. Two years after
Daesh was ousted, it is a city in ruins, still struggling with basic services
such as electricity, water and health care.
UN is working to restore private houses in the historic Old City, but most of
its residents still reside in camps.
China Block UN Humanitarian Resolution on Syria’s Idlib
NATIONS - Russia and China joined forces Thursday to block adoption of a U.N.
Security Council resolution aimed at establishing a cease-fire in northwestern
Syria and gaining full access for humanitarian workers to the province of
two veto-wielding powers blocked the text put forward by drafters Belgium,
Germany and Kuwait, who hold the Syria humanitarian file on the Security
remain convinced that the council cannot stay silent and must act,” German
Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said. "That is why we have tabled this
humanitarian resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities.”
Russia said the text was “doomed to failure” and ignored the need for fighting
terrorists. Thursday’s veto was its 13th on Syria since the conflict began in
Syrian air force, with support from the Russians, has carried out months of
airstrikes on Idlib, one of the last opposition strongholds in Syria. More than
3 million Syrians live in the province. It has become a haven not just for
Syrians displaced from other parts of the country, but also for some fighters
and members of terrorist groups who have sought havens there. It is those
elements that the Syrians and Russians say they are seeking to eliminate.
phase of armed combat in the Syrian conflict has almost come to end,”
Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.
colleagues and the United Nations have said Russia and Syria must respect
international humanitarian law and principles including distinction,
proportionality and precaution in their military operations to avoid killing
civilians and damaging hospitals and schools.
world knows that despite their denials, Russian and Syrian planes dominate the
skies in northwest Syria, and so far, the Russian Federation has failed to
comply with the U.N.’s deconfliction arrangements intended to keep civilians
and hospitals safe,” U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said. “We are disappointed
that China has decided to be complicit in these activities and joined Russia in
its decision to veto the resolution.”
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has created a board of inquiry to look into
strikes on hospitals and schools in the area that were on a so-called
deconfliction list to protect them from harm. They are due to begin work on
News goes inside Syrian refugee camp filled with ISIS supporters
Syria — A sprawling refugee camp in northeast Syria is described as a breeding
ground for ISIS and a ticking time bomb. A few hundred U.S. allies guard the
Al-Hol camp, where the strict laws of ISIS are followed.
guards call the Syrian refugee camp the "Islamic State" because while
they control the fence, inside, they said, ISIS is in charge. Ten thousand
foreigners live there. They are wives and children of accused ISIS fighters.
The men are mostly dead or in prison.
News went inside and met women who wouldn't say where they come from, but sound
British, and they defended ISIS terror attacks in Europe and the U.S.
is ISIS ideology, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. That's what it
is," one woman said.
there's violence here, and there have apparently been several murders, it's
almost impossible to find the perpetrators, because all of the women are
an ISIS propaganda video, women send a message from the camp. We're a ticking
bomb, one says, just you wait and see. In another video, young boys chant that
they'll crush the heads of non-believers.
are no real schools there, but one guard said the entire camp is effectively an
women said they're repentant. A pair from France and Belgium said they want to
go home if their governments will have them, and said ISIS hardliners have
threatened to burn their tents down at night.
CBS News met women who don't want to go home. They came to the camp to live
under Islamic law.
are in favor of what Alah sends upon us. If he says an adulterer should be
stoned, then it's said and I have to accept it. That's it," one woman
on Saudi Oil Facilities Tests U.S. Guarantee to Defend Gulf
David D. Kirkpatrick and Ben Hubbard
oil-rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf have relied for decades on the promise
of protection by the United States military, a commitment sealed by the
rollback of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait and reinforced by a half dozen American
military bases that sprang up around the region.
that commitment is facing its most serious test since the first gulf war: an
attack last Saturday by a swarm of at least 17 missiles and drones that
crippled Saudi Arabia’s most critical oil installation and temporarily knocked
out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply.
and Riyadh blamed Iran, despite its denials, and President Trump threatened
that the United States was “locked and loaded.” Yet despite months of such
bravado, Mr. Trump has been hesitant to take military action that might risk an
expanded conflagration. For better or worse, such a muted response could signal
another turning point for the region.
is enormous,” said Gregory Gause, a scholar of the region at Texas A&M
University. “This is the most serious challenge since the invasion of Kuwait to
the status of the United States as a great power that would protect the free
flow of energy from the region, and unless there is a big change in the
response from the Trump administration I think Gulf leaders will start to
question the value of that security commitment.”
expectations on all sides of the Persian Gulf, the attack and its aftermath
have laid bare a cascade of revelations about the regional balance of power.
stunning success of the attack has shown that billions of dollars in Saudi
military spending has left the kingdom’s central industry vulnerable, and it
has demonstrated to the world that the increasing availability of low-flying
cruise missiles and drones may have rendered many other defense systems
has also shown the world a new side of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the
hard charging and often impulsive de facto ruler of the kingdom: He, too, has
been forced in this case to back away from immediate retribution against his
Iran carried out the attack directly, as Washington and Riyadh say, then it has
taken a brazen step beyond its familiar strategy of working through allied
militant groups to strike at its foes, evidently surprising the White House.
to exact a price from the United States for its sanctions on Iranian oil sales,
Tehran may also now be emboldened to carry out further attacks, calculating
that President Trump will balk at another war in the region. The attack on
Saudi Arabia was just the latest in a string of recent attacks carried out by
Iran or a proxy — including attacks on oil tankers and the downing of an
American drone — with little or no cost to Iran.
President Trump, focused on his re-election, has so far shown himself less
willing to match Iran’s escalation than his ferocious tweets about “obliteration”
and “the official end of Iran” had suggested. He recently fired the adviser
most hawkish on Iran, John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser. And
instead of emphasizing the traditional American interest in the free flow of
oil, he appears to have returned to a view he espoused before his election —
“Saudi Arabia should fight their own wars,” as he wrote in a tweet in 2014.
Iran would seek in some way to attack Saudi oil production, though, was hardly
unexpected. Experts had predicted for months that the Trump administration’s
“maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Iran’s oil sales would drive
it to lash out against the oil production of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf
rulers of those Arab states had previously accused President Obama of trying to
pull back from the American commitment to the region. They faulted him for
negotiating a 2015 deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for
relief from economic sanctions without further constraining its military or
other activities. And the Gulf leaders were outraged when Mr. Obama called off
a planned strike against Syria, an Iranian ally, for using chemical weapons
some prominent voices in the Arab Gulf States accuse Mr. Trump of an even
greater betrayal. “Trump, in his response to Iran, is even worse than Obama,”
said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a prominent political scientist in the United Arab
of reversing the perceived pullback as Gulf leaders had expected, Mr. Abdulla argued,
President Trump let down his Arab partners by failing to respond more
forcefully to Iranian aggressions.
United States has said that Iran was behind naval mines that damaged five oil
tankers in the Persian Gulf this spring, and in June Iran boasted of shooting
down an American surveillance drone. Yet President Trump did little in
retaliation for the tanker attacks and called off a planned airstrike against
Iran in response to the downing of the drone.
inaction gave a green light to this,” Mr. Abdulla said. “Now an Arab Gulf
strategic partner has been massively attacked by Iran — which was provoked by
Trump, not by us — and we hear Americans saying to us, you need to defend
is an utter failure and utter disappointment in this administration,” he added.
Trump has not ruled out a military strike, and senior national security
officials met Thursday to refine a list of potential targets should President
Trump go that route. Still, he has made clear his opposition to another war,
and has ordered new sanctions.
Iran is already under acute economic pressure from the existing sanctions,
which use the reach of the American financial system to try to choke off
Iranian oil exports anywhere in the world. After pulling out of the 2015
nuclear deal, the Trump administration implemented the sweeping new penalties
this spring to try to force Iran to accept a more restrictive agreement.
leaders have denounced the sanctions as “economic warfare,” and they appear to
have orchestrated an escalating series of attacks that threaten the flow of
Persian Gulf oil in order to inflict some of the same pain on the United States
and Washington’s Arab allies.
Iranians do feel cornered,” Professor Gause said, and that is why they appear
to be taking more aggressive action than they have in the past. “This is an
effort by Iran to break out of what they see as strangulation.”
the administration’s policies, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued this week
that the sanctions may have limited Iran’s ability to strike with even more
sophisticated missiles or drones.
have more complex ones but for the sanctions we put in place that have
prevented them from getting access to money, most importantly, but also parts,
spare parts, information technology,” he told reporters on a trip to Saudi
leaders have denied responsibility for the attack last weekend, but at the same
time they have openly reveled in its success. It showed the United States “that
playing with the lion’s tail carries serious dangers and if they take action
against Iran there will be no tomorrow for them,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan of
the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp boasted Thursday, Iranian news media
Iranians may have previously worried about Mr. Trump’s threatening tweets and
hawkish advisers, said Suzanne Maloney, an Iran scholar at Brookings
Institution. “But now they see that he is not going to follow through on the
bluff that he has carried out on behalf of the American people,” she said.
analysts argued that the alarms from the Persian Gulf about an American retreat
were overblown under President Obama and remain so under President Trump.
American warships are patrolling the gulf to help protect tanker traffic. American
satellite and surveillance drones patrol the skies. The many large American
military bases deter invasions or other large-scale military actions.
President Trump’s combination of tough threats and a weak response “is the
worst of both worlds,” argued Jeremy Shapiro, research director of the European
Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department official in the
Obama administration. “It would be foolish to counter this escalation with an
escalation, but it was foolish to get into this position in the first place,”
he argued, leaving the Trump administration “to choose between an unwise
escalation or a humiliating climb-down.”
on military technology said Saudi Arabia should not be faulted for failing to
stop the attack. Like those of other countries, Saudi Arabia’s defenses were
designed to stop ballistic missiles. This attack appears to have been carried
out with low-flying cruise missiles or drones that would escape detection by
most radar systems.
don’t think that there is any country that could have defended any better than
Saudi Arabia did, and that includes the United States,” said Peter Roberts,
director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, an
international research institute.
the attack appears to have caused some rethinking by Crown Prince Mohammed.
after he was first named defense minister, in 2015, he plunged the kingdom into
a military campaign in neighboring Yemen to drive from power a faction backed
by Iran. Saudi media outlets proclaimed that the prince was asserting the
kingdom’s power and leading a new drive to roll back Iranian influence.
Iranians, they’re the cause of problems in the Middle East, but they are not a
big threat to Saudi Arabia,” the prince boasted confidently to Time magazine in
2018. “Saudi Arabia’s economy is double the size of the Iranian economy,” he
said, adding that Iran’s army was “not among the top five” in the Middle East.
will work so that the battle is for them in Iran, and not in Saudi Arabia,” he
promised on a Saudi news channel.
the damage to the oil installation was a painful lesson in the potential costs
of a wider conflict, at a time when the Saudi military remains bogged down in
Yemen and Prince Mohammed has been pushing for a public sale of the Saudi state
Concerned Over Possible Hezbollah Engagement In Regional War
Lebanese are watching with great concern the developments in the region, most
notably the attacks on Saudi Aramco’s oil plants, the purported Iranian
involvement and its serious repercussions.
recent events have brought back to their mind a speech by Hezbollah Secretary
General Hassan Nasrallah, when he put himself at the disposal of Iran’s supreme
leader, Ali Khamenei, and stressed that any military strike against Iran “will
ignite the whole region and annihilate countries and peoples.”
the dangerous local and regional developments, the Lebanese State has kept
silence about the possibility of Lebanon’s involvement in a regional war, while
no official stance was issued by President Michel Aoun or his political team,
the Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah’s main ally.
this regard, the coordinator of the General Secretariat of the March 14 Forces,
former MP Fares Soueid, said he was not surprised at Aoun’s silence over the
risks facing Lebanon due to Nasrallah’s comments.
comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said: “The bargain, which took place between
the Christian team and Hezbollah, based on a Maronite-Shiite duality, considers
that the alliance with Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime… is more important
than Lebanon’s interests and Arab affiliation.”
President Michel Aoun goes to Moscow and thanks President Vladimir Putin for
protecting minorities in the region, he means that he considers Christians just
a frightened minority in need of protection. He found this protection with
Hezbollah and Iran at the expense of the Arab interest,” Soueid underlined.
forces and anti-Hezbollah figures consider Nasrallah’s words as putting the
state with all its constitutional institutions from the presidency to the
parliament and government, under the authority of the Iranian supreme leader,
and placing the fate of the Lebanese in the hands of Iran and the Revolutionary
Deputy Prime Minister Major-General Issam Abu Jamra (dissident from the FPM)
blamed the forces that made the settlement with Aoun, especially Prime Minister
Saad Hariri, and Lebanese Forces Party Leader Dr. Samir Geagea “responsible for
Hezbollah’s domination over the decision-making in Lebanon.”
Syrian Army Discovers Center for Producing False-Flag Chemical Attacks Videos
by White Helmets
Arabic-language channel of Russia Today quoted a Syrian Army commander
Abdolkarim Mayhob as saying that the Syrian Army troops found a very equipped
and engineered underground base used by White Helmets to achieve their military
also reiterated that the military base was not only considered for stationing
3,500 terrorists, but it was also equipped with studios that White Helmets used
to make false-flag videos on alleged chemical attacks on Syrian citizens by the
also said that the Syrian Army troops also discovered different kinds of
weapons, military equipment, helmets and gas masks as well as military uniforms
from the base.
a relevant development on Wednesday, Director of the Fund for Research of
Problems of Democracy Maxim Grigoryev stated that members of the so-called
civil defense group White Helmets have deliberately executed women and children
for the purpose of disseminating false information about the situation in
Helmets, who style themselves as a non-governmental organization,
systematically release vast amounts of false information about Syria,” TASS
news agency quoted Grigoryev as saying in Paris.
added, “Thorough verification of all information allowed us to completely
refute false information about chemical attacks, of which those disinformers
regularly accuse the Syrian authorities.”
further noted that volunteers are not part of the so-called White Helmets, and
its members “get monthly fees for their services” and the group’s co-founder
James Le Mesurier has close ties with British special services.
said images that regularly pop up on social networking sites confirm that White
Helmets “are sometimes directly engaged in hostilities” against Syrian
civilians alongside foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups.
highlighted that White Helmets, on certain occasions, have used the bodies of
hostages executed by terrorists on their territories to take photos and make
video records of a staged chemical attack.
of them, including women and children, were deliberately executed for the
purpose,” he added.
White Helmets group is known for its coordination with terror outfits in Syria
to carry out staged chemical attacks aimed at falsely incriminating Syrian
government forces and inventing pretexts for possible acts of aggression on
army troops by a United States-led military coalition present in Syria since
roughly 2014. The group has been involved in such attacks before.
Minibus explosion outside Karbala kills 12, injures 5
civilians were killed on Friday in a bomb blast on a bus at the northern edge
of the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Karbala, medical officials said.
civilians have been killed and five wounded in an explosion on a bus at the
main checkpoint for the northern entrance to Karbala”, the city’s health
authorities said, adding the victims included women and children.
to the officials, the blast occurred as the bus was passing through an Iraqi
army checkpoint between Karbala and al-Hilla.
forces arrived quickly to the scene of the attack, which was not immediately
have been rare in Karbala in recent years, but sleeper cells of the ISIS, which
Iraq declared victory against in late 2017, continue to carry out attacks
across the country.
man charged with scouting targets for Hezbollah
US citizen was charged Thursday with transmitting information to Hezbollah for
possible terrorist attacks in the United States, the Justice Department said.
to prosecutors, 42-year-old New Jersey resident Alexei Saab, who became a
naturalized US citizen in 2008, began training in 1999 with the Lebanese
Hezbollah, which the US designated as a terrorist organization in 1997.
became a member of the Hezbollah branch concerned with foreign operations -
such as a 2012 attack on Israeli tourists at an airport in Bulgaria - and since
his 2000 arrival to the US, Saab passed information to the group about possible
targets in major American cities, such as New York’s Empire State Building,
Times Square, bridges, tunnels, and airports.
the US, he attempted in 2005 to kill a man suspected of being an Israeli spy,
the Justice Department said.
Saab allegedly used his training to scout possible targets throughout the US,”
said New York US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in a statement.
though Saab was a naturalized American citizen, his true allegiance was to
Hezbollah, the terrorist organization responsible for decades of terrorist
attacks that have killed hundreds,” Berman said.
faces nine indictments, including a charge related to supporting a terrorist
organization, for which he could face 20 years in prison if convicted.
also accused Saab of entering into a “marriage fraud conspiracy” for the
purpose of applying for citizenship for an unidentified spouse in 2012.
could face 25 years in prison if convicted of offenses related to the
fraudulent marriage charges.
against Egypt’s president erupt in capital Cairo, some other cities
of Egyptians have held rare protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in
capital Cairo and several other cities.
protests were held in central Cairo and several other Egyptian cities late on
Friday with demonstrators shouting anti-government slogans, responding to an
online call for a rally against government’s alleged corruption.
have become very rare in Egypt following a widespread crackdown on dissent
under Sisi, who took power after ousting Egypt’s first democratically-elected
president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 through a military coup following mass
protests against Morsi’s rule.
forces moved to break up the crowds in the capital using tear gas in at least
one location. But, according to witnesses and residents, many young people
stayed on the streets in central Cairo, shouting “Leave Sisi,” Reuters’
reporters at the scene said.
kills 7 top Boko Haram commanders: Army
forces say they have killed seven top Boko Haram commanders in a fierce battle
around the Lake Chad region.
Sagir Musa, an army spokesman, said the commanders were killed by
counter-terrorism troops in an offensive against the group.
said the combined efforts of "artillery and air bombardments" of
terrorists' hideouts in the Lake Chad region, led to the killing of the
least 9 killed in suspected Boko Haram attack in NE Nigeria
Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 9 people have been killed in an attack suspected
to have been carried out by terror group Boko Haram in a village in Nigeria's
sources who confirmed the attack said it occurred late Wednesday in Aljilati
Ngomari village near Maiduguri, the capital of the northern state of Borno and
stronghold of the outlawed group.
of the victims were killed with bow and arrows while five others were hacked to
death with machetes, a military source, who requested anonymity, told Xinhua.
Rufai, a leader of the government-backed militia group, the Civilian Joint Task
Force, said bodies of the victims were, thereafter, dumped in a nearby bush.
silent killing tactics of using the bow and arrows, as well as machetes or
knives, were likely deployed by the militants to prevent the people in the
community from knowing what was happening at the time of the attack," said
of the victims were brought back to the village early Thursday, set for burial,
agency says 124 suspected cholera cases in Sudan
UN’s humanitarian agency says that two of Sudan’s southeastern provinces have
reported 124 suspected cholera cases with seven deaths.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a statement
Friday saying that the provinces of Sennar and the Blue Nile were among Sudan’s
areas with the highest risk of cholera outbreak, following flash floods that
swept the country in late August and affected water sanitation.
statement adds that the current fatality rate stood at 5.6 percent but could be
brought down below one percent with “proper treatment.”
OCHA says the outbreak can be contained if there is immediate action and
Islamist Ennahda throws weight behind vote frontrunner
Tunisia’s influential Islamist-inspired party Ennahda said on Friday it will
support law professor and political outsider Kais Saied in a presidential
runoff against jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui.
has chosen to support the people’s choice,” party spokesman Imed Khemiri told
AFP after last Sunday’s first round of polling in which Saied finished ahead
with 18.4 percent of the vote.
surprise result of the election, contested by more than 20 candidates, thrust
to the fore both Saied and Karoui, likewise from outside the world of
traditional Tunisian politics.
came second with 15.6 percent, said the electoral commission ISIE, while
Ennahda, a main force in Parliament, scored 12.9 percent with its first-ever
candidate to run for the presidency, Abdelfattah Mourou.
result was a major upset for Tunisia’s political establishment, in place since
the fall of late leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali eight years ago after mass
protests that sparked the Arab Spring revolts.
a fiercely independent academic aged 61, advocates a radical decentralization
of power, with local democracy and the ability to remove elected officials from
office during their mandates.
is also perceived as very conservative on social issues, and has defended the
death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and a sexual assault law that
punishes unmarried couples who engage in public displays of affection.
a 56-year-old media magnate, has been held in prison since Aug. 23 under
investigation for alleged money laundering.
remains eligible to run as long as any conviction does not also specifically
deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.
human rights situation central issue at UNHCR, says FO
The Foreign Office (FO) on Friday said Islamabad has initiated a number of
processes to keep a sustained focus on the human rights situation in Indian
Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
human rights situation in the occupied valley has become a central issue at the
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said FO Spokesperson Mohammad
spokesperson further said Pakistan will continue efforts to ensure that the
proceedings at the UNHRC have an impact in the occupied valley.
month, New Delhi revoked occupied the valley’s autonomous status and snapped
communications for much of the Muslim-majority region. India’s actions drew
criticism from the UN human rights chief and rights groups, with Pakistan
urging pressure on India.
a diplomatic push, PM Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have
held telephonic and in-person conversations with world leaders, including US
President Donald Trump, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and others.
premier is headed to Washington DC to attend the United National General
Assembly (UNGA) where he will highlight the Kashmir issue.
FM Qureshi demanded an international investigation into the situation in the
IOK while addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council gathering in
Geneva. He warned of the risk of “genocide” in the Muslim-majority region.
joint statement by Pakistan on behalf of over 50 countries at the UNHRC over
the human rights situation in the occupied valley called for the “removal of
restrictions, respect and protection of the Kashmiri people, implementation of
the recommendations of UN’s Kashmir reports and peaceful resolution of the
Jammu and Kashmir dispute through the implementation of the UN Security Council
chief trying to use shoulders of PPP, PML-N: Firdous
Sep 20 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and
Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam,
chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was trying to use the shoulders of Pakistan
Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N.
the democratic system, everyone holds the right to stage sit-in or protest
demonstration, she stated while talking to a private news channel program.
dismay over misusing the name of Islam, she said such political elements in the
past had been clinching votes on the name of Islam, adding that these political
figures were still gaining benefits by using card of Islam.
assures Saudi Arabia of support against any threat
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have reaffirmed the resolve to enrich their deep and
multifaceted relationship as Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded his two-day
official visit to the kingdom on Friday before heading to the United States to
attend the UN General Assembly session from Sept 21 to 27.
his separate meetings with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman in Makkah, the prime minister strongly condemned the recent
attacks on oil installations in Abqaiq and Khurais and assured them of
Pakistan’s commitment against any threat to Saudi Arabia’s security and
the dire human rights situation in India-held Jammu and Kashmir and the grave
risks posed to peace and security by India’s illegal and unilateral actions of
Aug 5, Mr Khan called for urgent lifting of curfew in the valley and resolution
of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
also laid emphasis on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s pivotal role in
extending consistent support for the Kashmir cause.
Saudi leadership expressed concern over the Kashmir situation and reiterated
its steadfast support and solidarity for the Kashmir cause. It was agreed to
continue to work together for peace, security and peaceful resolution of
Minister Khan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser
to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant to the PM on
Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari and other senior officials
during his visit.
a warm welcome to the prime minister, the Saudi leadership underscored that the
relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan was based on “real brotherhood”.
the bilateral relations, Mr Khan recalled the visit of the Saudi crown prince
to Pakistan in February and noted that it had imparted a strong momentum to the
growth trajectory of the relationship. The two sides reiterated the resolve to
intensify bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people contact. Mr Khan
also expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s inclusion in the Road-to-Makkah project
and hoped for its extension to other major cities of the country.
was his fourth visit to Saudi Arabia over the past 13 months. During his last
visit to the kingdom in May, he attended the 14th session of the OIC Islamic
Minister Imran Khan along with his wife Bushra Begum performed Umrah and
prayed for the prosperity and stability of the country.
PM also had the rare opportunity of entering the Holy Kaa’ba as the door was
specially opened for him.
when Mr Khan left for Madina, he was seen off at the airport by Jeddah Governor
Prince Mashaal bin Majid Al Saud.
prime minister will pay homage at Roza-i-Rasool (peace be upon him) and perform
Nawafil at Masjid-i-Nabvi, according to a statement issued by the PM’s media
Arabia is among the founding members of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and
Kashmir. This year the two countries established the Saudi-Pak Supreme
Coordination Council (SPSCC), co-chaired by the prime minister and the crown
prince. Its next session is due to be held in February 2020.
General Assembly session
Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead a Pakistani delegation during the week-long
session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Minister Qureshi will also attend the General Assembly session, interact with
his counterparts from various countries and address important ministerial
meetings, especially the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
prime minister will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from
various regions and participate in the UN summits on climate change,
sustainable development, universal health coverage and financing for
Khan will also attend and speak at the side events co-hosted by Pakistan and
Turkey on countering hate speech, and on environmental protection and poverty
alleviation, co-hosted by Malaysia and Pakistan.
trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey will be held on
the sidelines of the General Assembly.
from these engagements, the prime minister will interact with cross-section of
international media outlets, including meetings with editorial boards. The
prime minister’s speaking engagements at leading think tanks and meetings with
heads of major rights organisations are also envisaged.
Khan will deliver his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept 27 to share
Pakistan’s perspective and position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and its
current human rights and related dimensions, besides some other key
contemporary issues. Overall, the key issue of Jammu and Kashmir would be
emphasised through myriad engagements.
'irresponsible, unwarranted' statement on Durand Line runs afoul of Islamabad
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has termed its Afghan counterpart's renewed refusal
to recognise the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan as
"irresponsible and unwarranted".
Afghan foreign ministry's statement, issued on Friday in response to the
opening of the 24-hour Torkham crossing by Pakistan earlier in the week,
emphasised that Kabul "does not recognise the Durand Line as an official
border between the two countries".
statement issued by the Foreign Office in response pointed out that the
"Pakistan-Afghanistan border is an internationally recognised, official
border between the two countries in accordance with all relevant international
laws and conventions".
statement further highlighted that Pakistan believes the 24/7 opening of the
new Torkham crossing point to be a "significant step forward to facilitate
the people and traders of both sides".
statements only serve to undermine the resolve for peace and cooperation
between the two countries and should be avoided," the FO regretted.
Afghan foreign ministry statement had issued a muted acknowledgement of
Pakistan's move to open the Torkham crossing.
Torkham crossing in order to further help patients and facilitate trade between
the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will
operate round the clock," it said.
Minister Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the border crossing on Wednesday.
Imran to travel to US today for highlighting Kashmir issue at UNGA, other
Minister Imran Khan — currently on a visit to Saudi Arabia — will reach the
United States today to highlight the occupied Kashmir situation at the UN
General Assembly session and other forums.
to the Foreign Office, PM Imran will lead the Pakistan delegation during the
high-profile week of the UN General Assembly Session in New York from September
prime minister will deliver his address to the UNGA on Friday, September 27,
and share Pakistan’s perspective and position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute
and its current human rights and related dimensions," an FO statement
said, adding that the premier will also articulate Pakistan’s perspective on
some key contemporary issues.
the centrality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be emphasised through
myriad engagements," it added.
FO said the prime minister would hold several bilateral meetings with his
counterparts from various regions and participate in high-level UN summits on
climate change, sustainable development, universal health coverage and
financing for development.
prime minister will also attend and speak at side events co-hosted by Pakistan
and Turkey on countering hate speech, and on environmental protection and
poverty alleviation co-hosted by Malaysia and Pakistan," read the
trilateral summit meeting of Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey will be held on the
General Assembly sidelines," it added.
to the FO, the premier will also interact with a cross-section of international
media outlets and hold meetings with editorial boards.
prime minister’s speaking engagements at leading think-tanks and meetings with
heads of major international human rights organisations are also
envisaged," the FO said.
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will also attend the UNGA session, interact with
his counterparts from various countries, and address important ministerial meetings
especially the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.
Army major, sepoy martyred in IED explosion near Afghan border: ISPR
major and a sepoy of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive
device (IED) explosion near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Mohmand tribal
district, the military's media wing said on Friday.
Adeel Shahid and Sepoy Faraz Hussain "fell victim to an IED planted by
terrorists from across the border", the director general of the
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted.
squad under the martyred officer was supervising fencing work in an area
"which carried [a] critical infiltration route", the ISPR added.
Adeel belonged to Karachi while Sepoy Faraz hailed from Kotli district of Azad
Jammu and Kashmir.
incident comes less than a week after four soldiers of the Army were martyred
and one other was injured in two separate incidents of firing by militants near
the Afghan border.
first of those incidents had occurred in North Waziristan tribal district,
where miscreants had opened fire on a routine patrolling party of security
forces near the Abba Khel area of Spinwam tehsil, claiming the life of Sepoy
Akhtar Hussain, 23. Two miscreants were also killed in the subsequent exchange
banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the
second incident in Dir, suspected terrorists had opened fire from across the
Pak-Afghan border on Pakistani troops who were busy in border fencing. Three
soldiers were martyred.
the attacks, the Foreign Office had summoned the Afghan Charge d’ Affairs to
lodge a formal protest against the firing incidents.
has already fenced an over 900-kilometre-long portion of the Afghan border in
an attempt to prevent movement of miscreants and terrorists between the two
terror threat: Warning issued as ‘homegrown jihadis’ remain huge concern
M Nuñez warned the threat “has not diminished”. He told FranceInfo radio:
“Unfortunately, the threat level remains unchanged.” The UK Foreign Office has
also warned “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in France”.
M Nuñez said “homegrown” jihadists inspired by the Islamic State (Isis) group’s
ideology remained the biggest security threat to France, stoking fresh concerns
over the organisation’s ability to wield influence even after its territorial
defeat in Iraq and Syria.
greatest threat is the so-called homegrown threat by radicalised individuals
based in France. These are people who obey ISIS and are inspired by its
propaganda,” he said, adding that would-be jihadists were most likely to launch
low-tech knife and vehicle attacks.
forces pushed Isis out its remaining territory in March.
of foreign fighters are now being held in detention camps while western
governments try and work out what to do with them.
has so far refused to take back citizens who joined the group’s so-called
“caliphate,” insisting adults captured in Iraq or Syria should face trial
locally despite the risk of capital punishment.
should “remain prudent” amid claims Isis has strengthened its insurgent
capabilities in Iraq and is re-surging in Syria.
is crucial for western governments to “track” their movements, he said.
security chief’s warning echoed a recent, alarming UN report on global
terrorism, in which analysts said that Isis could launch a fresh wave of
terrorist attacks before the end of the year, including those designed to
“exacerbate existing dissent and unrest” in Europe.
experts on the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee said that Isis
officials were currently focused on “adapting, consolidating and creating
conditions for an eventual resurgence” despite their recent setbacks.
group, though short on funds, is actively seeking ways to “reinvest in the
capacity to direct and facilitate complex international attacks,” the July
current abatement of such attacks, therefore, may not last long, possibly not
even until the end of 2019,” according to the UN.
which is still worth between £40 million ($50m) and £240 million ($300m), is
using propaganda to maintain its “virtual caliphate,” the analysts added.
report was based on the intelligence assessments of UN member states.
governments believe that around 5,000 to 6,000 of their citizens travelled to
Syria and Iraq to join extremist movements, most of them pledging allegiance to
a third were killed, while another third are being held in detention or have
moved elsewhere. More than 2,000 may have returned to Europe.
and other European capitals are on high alert after a string of attacks in
recent years by Islamist militants, most of them inspired by Isis.
have killed more than 230 people in France since early 2015 and dozens more
have lost their lives in attacks in London, Manchester, Barcelona and Brussels.
detects foreign terror suspects in Mediterranean
says it has detected more than a dozen suspected "foreign terrorist
fighters" crossing the Mediterranean Sea during a six-week operation.
international police organisation carried out more than 1.2 million searches at
ports in six countries between 24 July and 8 September.
Neptune II focussed on busy tourist routes between North Africa and southern
resulted in 31 active investigative leads, Interpol says.
a separate development, France and Italy called for a new system to
automatically redistribute migrants across the EU as the number of people
entering Europe surged.
current system, French President Emmanuel Macron said, was particularly unfair
this week, hundreds of migrants arrived in Italy and Greece, many travelling by
boat from Libya and Turkey.
did Interpol say?
the operation Interpol used its vast database to look for signs of illegal
activity such as stolen travel documents and vehicles.
from Algeria, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia carried out the
searches at seven ports in the area.
information is shared between regions via Interpol's networks at the global
level, every check, border control or random search is a potential break in a
terror investigation," said Interpol's Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
is how Interpol acts as a global tripwire, by disrupting the movement of
individuals linked to criminal and terrorist activities," Mr Stock added.
Conservative Party faces backlash over Islamophobic posts
UK’s Conservative Party faces a backlash after the recent suspension of some of
its members over their Islamophobic posts.
Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, confirmed on Friday that action had been taken when
those particular Conservative Party members were suspended, but the minister
failed to elaborate on what specific actions they took.
than 20 new cases were recently linked to Islamophobia, ranging from
individuals “liking” Islamophobic pictures or statements on one or two
occasions, to people who said they were Tory members regularly posting
news marks the latest to come from a surge in far-right, as well as mainstream,
Islamophobic views in British politics.
Guardian last month unearthed a 2007 essay written by current PM Boris Johnson,
which further incited Islamophobic attitudes. He said that Islam has caused the
Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the West.
last year, Mr. Johnson compared Muslim women wearing burqas to bank robbers and
report by an independent monitoring group found that the number of anti-Muslim
hate crimes reported across Britain increased by 593% in the week after a white
supremacist killed worshippers at two New Zealand mosques earlier this year.
real figures are likely to be higher. Only some hate crimes incidents are
reported, with victims often feeling there is no point in complaining.
comments made by prominent figures are, according to them, a means of allowing
the UK to end uncontrolled immigration.
Minister Hasina says Rohingya are "a burden" for Bangladesh
(AsiaNews) - The Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Myanmar are a burden
for Bangladesh, this according to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
(pictured) who spoke to the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)
by president Anne Main, British lawmakers presented the prime minister with the
final report on their visit to Cox’s Bazar refuge camps.
“the Liberation War in 1971 when an estimated 10 million Bangladeshis took
shelter in India as refugees, we know pain and sufferings of refugees but now
the Rohingya have emerged as a big burden for us and the local people have to
face immense suffering for them,” Sheikh Hasina said.
recent weeks, some Bangladeshis have complained about the Rohingya, echoing
people in Rakhine, the Myanmar state the Muslim minority left starting in
Cox’s Bazar refugee camps, many refugees use cell phones and smartphones
illegally; crimes have increased with robberies, murders, prostitution and drug
Rohingya have been able to get away from the reception facilities and reach
neighbouring towns where they have mingled with the local population in an
attempt to obtain a passport and move to a third country.
claim that the refugees represent a threat to security since Islamist militancy
is spreading increasingly among them.
9 September, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission ordered
all operators to shut down 3G and 4G services in the camps. The refugees report
that the high-speed service was closed the following day.
week earlier, the government had ordered the closure of all 3G and 4G services
between 5 pm and 6 am. At present, 2G services seem to remain available but
limited only to calls and text messages.
and NGOs working in Cox’s Bazar camps are urging the Bangladeshi government to
lift the restrictions immediately.
forces to receive more advanced rifles from the United States
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will receive more advanced
rifles from the United States as per a new contract of the Department of
Department of Defense in a statement said it has awarded a new contract worth
$41,924,594 to Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut for the
production of M4 and M4A1 carbine rifles.
statement further added that the company will deliver the rifles to Afghan
armed forces and the armed forces of Bahrain, Djibouti, Federated States of
Micronesia, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Marshall Islands,
Palau, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Tunisia.
the Defense Department said Work locations and funding will be determined with
US confirms drone attack that killed 30 farmers
US forces in Afghanistan have admitted that a drone attack that killed at least
30 pine nut farmers in Nangarhar province on Thursday was conducted by them.
least 40 others were injured in the attack in Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani
district that was previously attributed to the West-backed Afghan government.
spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan confirmed on Thursday that the drone
attack was conducted by the US with the intention of destroying a hideout used
by the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS)
indications are members of Daesh [ISIL] were among those targeted in the
strike," Colonel Sonny Leggett, spokesman for the American-led coalition
in Afghanistan said.
we are working with local officials to determine whether there was collateral
Qaderi, a provincial council member in Nangarhar said on Thursday that the
drone attack killed 30 workers in a pine nut field and at least 40 others were
defence ministry in Kabul confirmed the raid, but refused to share casualty
Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar confirmed the
government is investigating the incident. So far nine bodies are collected from
the attack site near a pine nut field," he said.
Rahat Gul, a tribal elder in Wazir Tangi, said the air raid happened at a time
when tired workers, mainly daily wage earners, had gathered near their tent
after harvesting pine nuts in a field nearby.
workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted
them," said Gul.
this month, four brothers were killed in a raid by the CIA-trained and funded
02 Unit of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spy agency.
in Taliban attacks
on Thursday, at least 39 people were killed in Zabul province's Qalat city in a
suicide car bomb blast claimed by the Taliban armed group.
of people have been killed in the past several weeks, as the West-backed
government forces and Taliban fighters have stepped up attacks since a peace
deal between the armed group and the United States collapsed earlier this
Taliban fighters wanted to target a training base for Afghanistan's powerful
spy agency, NDS, in Qalat city but parked the explosives-laden truck outside a
hospital gate nearby, a defence ministry source said.
Jazeera's Rob McBride, reporting from the capital, Kabul, said several women,
children, health workers and patients in the hospital were critically injured
in the blast.
truck bomb that drove up against an exterior wall of the NDS building
detonated, but right next door was a provincial hospital that has taken the
brunt of this explosion ... the death toll is likely to rise," he said.
spike in Taliban attacks comes as Afghanistan prepares for the presidential
election scheduled to be held on September 28.
Taliban has warned that its fighters will step up their campaign against the
Afghan government and foreign forces to dissuade people from voting in the
government is still going ahead with its preparation for elections and trying
to open up the number of polling stations," McBride said.
the Taliban say, they are still open to peace talks; the Afghan government is
saying it has to resume only after elections."
than nine million Afghans are expected to vote in the presidential election,
for which the government has deployed more than 70,000 security forces across
President Donald Trump abruptly ended talks with the Taliban earlier this month
for a deal on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan
in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban.
toll from Taliban bomb attack rises to 39
The death toll from a massive Taliban bomb attack which flattened a hospital in
southern Afghanistan earlier this week has risen to at least 39, officials said
jump in the toll from the blast, which took place in the town of Qalat in Zabul
province on Thursday, takes the total number of people killed in just three
days of violence across the war-torn country this week to at least 91.
toll from the hospital attack in Qalat has jumped to 39 killed, 140 others
wounded," Gul Islam Seyal, the spokesman for the provincial governor, told
authorities had said the blast had killed 20 people.
official put the toll even higher Friday, at 41.
surge in violence, with civilians paying the heaviest price, has come after US
President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban that could have seen
Washington begin withdrawing troops, and as the country gears up for a
insurgents responded to Trump's declaration that the talks were
"dead" earlier this month by promising to continue fighting, and have
vowed to target the September 28 polls.
they also left the door open for talks to resume. The White House has said the
talks will not continue if the violence does, but the Taliban have argued that
the US is also killing people in Afghanistan.
bloodshed began with the Qalat bomb near dawn.
later, reports emerged of an air strike in eastern Nangarhar province said to
have killed at least nine civilians.
forces conducted a precision strike against Da'esh terrorists in Nangarhar
early (on September 19)," Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US
Forces-Afghanistan, said in a statement on Friday, using the Arabic acronym for
the Islamic State militant group. "We are aware of allegations of the
death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the
facts to ensure this is not a ploy to deflect attention from the civilians
murdered by the Taliban at a hospital in Zabul earlier."
strike came just hours after four people were killed on Wednesday when unknown
gunmen and a suicide bomber stormed a government building in nearby Jalalabad,
capital of Nangarhar.
Tuesday, the Taliban killed nearly 50 people in two separate attacks -- one at
a campaign rally for President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan,
and the other in Kabul.
kill 8 Taliban and ISIS militants; destroy weapons cache and a car bomb
security forces conducted airstrikes in four provinces in the past 24 hours
killing at least 8 Taliban and ISIS militants.
military officials said Friday that the security forces conducted an airstrike
in Qarah Bagh district of Ghazni province which killed a Taliban fighter.
officials further added that an airstrike in Charkh district of Logar destroyed
a car bomb.
an airstrike killed 3 Taliban militants and destroyed a small cache of weapons
in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province.
Forces detain 12 Taliban militants in Kabul, other provinces; destroy weapons
Afghan Special Forces arrested at least 12 Taliban militants during the
operations in Kabul and other provinces.
military officials said Friday that the Afghan Special Forces conducted
multiple raids in Deh Yak district of Ghazni during which they arrested 4
officials further added that the Special Forces also destroyed a small cache of
weapons during the operations.
the Special Forces arrested 6 Taliban militants during an operation in
Arghistan district of Kandahar province.
militants suffer heavy casualties in Kandahar, Ghazni ad Badghis airstrikes
security forces conducted airstrikes in Kandahar, Ghazni and Badghis provinces,
inflicting heavy casualties on Taliban militants.
military officials said Saturday an airstrike in Arghistan district of Kandahar
killed 10 Taliban militants and wounded 2 others.
officials further added airstrikes in Andar district of Ghazni province killed
3 Taliban militants.
ex-head: Iran will respond to US plots from Mediterranean to Indian Ocean
top military advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on Friday that
Iran will respond from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean against any US
conspiracies, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said that, “Thirty years after the Sacred Defence, the
Islamic Revolution has become an invincible power in West Asia, and if the
Americans are thinking of conspiring [against Iran], the Iranian nation will
respond to them starting from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and the Indian
“Sacred Defense” is a term used by the Iranian regime to refer to the
eight-year-long war with Iraq. Iran celebrates “Sacred Defense Week” every year
at this time of the year.
Americans should take [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah’s words seriously.
Any anti-Iranian move will transform the region,” added Safavi.
had reaffirmed his loyalty to Iran and Khamenei on September 10, and had
stressed that he will not be on the fence if “Iran is involved in any war.”
also praised Iran's military strength. “The Americans are well aware that we
have a wise and brave leader, as well as powerful armed forces,” claimed
also said that Iran is pursuing “the policy of creating peace and lasting
security in West Asia,” adding that “We hope that our regional and
trans-regional enemies know that Iran does not intend to attack or invade any
made other comments on topics ranging from Iran's regional role to US Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo, who he accused of lying.
Supreme Leader is not [only] Iran’s commander-in-chief, but he is the commander
of the forces defending Palestine, Syria and Yemen,” said Safavi.
Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo was formerly the head of the CIA. their job is
to deceive and lie,” he added, presumably reacting to Pompeo blaming Iran for
attacks on key Saudi oil facilities on September 14.
Americans know that the emerging power of the Islamic Revolution and the
Resistance Front is on the rise, and that the power of their supporters is on
the decline,” he added.
also addressed US President Donald Trump and his administration's sanctions
policy of maximum pressure, which aims to cut Iran off from international
finance in response to Tehran's refusal to stop supporting terrorist
organizations across the region.
President Donald Trump will “suffer the same fate as the six presidents who
came and went before him, all of whom failed in imposing their political will
on the Iranian nation and government,” he said.
patient Iranian nation will overcome these economic pressures and sanctions,”
Iran-backed Houthis say Hodeidah ‘escalation’ violates Stockholm deal
Iran-backed Houthi militia said on Friday that the “escalation” north of
Hodeidah violates the Stockholm deal, in reference to an Arab Coalition
Arab Coalition launched a military operation north of the port city of Hodeidah
against what it described as legitimate military targets, the coalition sources
reported on Friday.
coalition reported the destruction of four assembly sites for remote-controlled
boats and naval mines.
day earlier, the Arab Coalition had intercepted and destroyed an
explosives-laden boat launched by Houthis from the port of Hodeidah.
slams US-proposed 'Coalition for Peaceful Resolution' targeting Iran
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed the US' proposed
"Coalition for Peaceful Resolution" seeking to "counter"
compared the US-backed initiative to a list of eight peace initiatives proposed
by Tehran in a tweet on Friday.
the list were the Iran's recently proposed Persian Gulf region non-aggression
pact, the 2017 Astana accord for Syria and a 2015 peace plan for Yemen.
for Peaceful Resolution"?
Security in Persian Gulf
Dialogue Among Civilizations
World Against Violence
Syria Peace Plan
Regional Dialogue Forum
Yemen Peace Plan
Regional Non-Aggression Pact
AM - Sep 20, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
made the tweet a day after Washington said it was seeking to create an
anti-Iran coalition. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had described the
initiative as a "coalition aimed at achieving peace."
so-called "coalition" announcement came in response to an attack led
by Yemeni Armed Forces against Saudi Arabia's oil facilities over the weekend.
attack effectively halved the kingdom's oil production.
and Riyadh rushed to blame Tehran for the air raids, prompting an outright
rejection from Iranian officials.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating
western-backed war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the
government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and
crushing the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
by Yemen’s armed forces, led by Ansarullah, has, however, pushed the Saudi war
to a stalemate, with Yemeni forces increasingly using sophisticated home-made
weaponry in retaliatory strikes against the coalition.
on Friday, Zarif also slammed US hypocrisy regarding the war on Yemen,
highlighting that Washington effectively valued oil more than the Yemeni lives
lost amid the ongoing aggression against the country.
blood vs. Arab oil / A primer on U.S. policy:
yrs of indiscriminate bombardment of Yemen
100,000 dead Yemenis
20M malnourished Yemenis
2.3M cholera cases
carte blance for culprits.
Retaliatory Yemeni strike on oil storage tanks
unacceptable "act of war"
AM - Sep 20, 2019
people are talking about this
heads to New York despite visa delay
top diplomat made the remarks shortly before leaving Tehran to attend to the
73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
President Hassan Rouhani is also scheduled to go to New York on Monday.
departure comes after a long visa delay for the Iranian delegation had prompted
wide speculation regarding possible cancellation of the foreign minister and
the president's trip.
US imposed sanctions on the Iranian foreign minister late July, with US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming that the top Iranian diplomat is a “key
enabler” of Iran’s policies throughout the region and the world.
move was seen as part of Washington's campaign of “maximum pressure” against
Tehran in a bid to isolate and weaken the country after Trump withdrew from the
Iran 2015 nuclear deal May last year, and re-imposed sanctions lifted under the
about whether Iranian officials would be banned from taking part in the UN
General assembly on Wednesday, Pompeo had suggested that Washington may
consider the measure.
would say this: if you’re connected to a foreign terrorist organization, it
seems to me it would be a reasonable thing to think about whether they ought to
be prevented to attend a meeting which is about peace," he said.
however, slammed his "novice counterpart's" remarks on Thursday, reminding
him that Washington was obligated to issue the visas.
tries to dodge US obligation to issue visas for UN delegates by resorting to
history lesson, perhaps, for my novice
Mandela was on U.S. Terrorist Watch List until 2008; 15 years after receiving
Nobel Peace Prize.
PM - Sep 19, 2019
people are talking about this
Pompeo's earlier remarks, President Trump said he would "let them
come" when asked about the matter on Thursday, raising speculation that
the president was unaware of the visa issue.
always felt the United Nations is very important. I think it’s got tremendous
potential. I don’t think it’s ever lived up to the potential it has, but I
would certainly not want to keep people out if they want to come.”
departure on Friday also came shortly after UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres said that the international body had intervened to solve the matter.
have been in contact with the host-state to solve all outstanding visa problems
in relation to delegations and I hope that this will allow to solve the
problem," he said.
has repeatedly signaled his apparent willingness to meet with Iranian officials
in a bid to "renegotiate" the 2015 nuclear deal, with some analysts
floating the idea that a meeting could have taken place in the upcoming UN
officials have, however, dismissed any prospect of talks as long as the US doesn't
adhere to the previously multilaterally-agreed nuclear deal.
Entrenches Its “Axis of Resistance” Across the Middle East
Mountain, the moniker for Mt. Avital, rises high on the Biblical Golan Heights.
Surveillance antennas are conspicuous atop a heavily fortified installation.
It’s Israel’s forward observation post peering into Syria; it’s also now the
place from which Israel monitors Iran and its allies on the other side of the
border. Roughly a kilometre away, on the Syrian side, is Sleeping Elephant
Hill, nicknamed for its shape. In 2012, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and its
Hezbollah allies set up a signals-intelligence post on the hill to monitor
Israel. In 2015, they attempted to set up a more robust military presence
nearby. An Israeli air strike took out their reconnaissance team, including the
Revolutionary Guard general Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi and Jihad Mughniyah, the
Iranian-trained son of Imad Mughniyah, the assassinated first military
commander of Hezbollah.
it usually does, Iran temporarily stepped back, regrouped, and modified its
tactics. In 2016, the Revolutionary Guard started shipping kits to convert
short-range rockets into longer-range missiles, with precision guidance systems
capable of hitting strategic targets in Israel, from an electricity grid to an
airport or a desalination plant. “That’s what’s called a game-changer,” Uzi
Rubin, the former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, told me. “They
converted a weapon of terror into a military weapon for war. They’d only need
two hundred to stop Israel’s ability to wage its own war.”
early 2018, the Revolutionary Guard had deployed at some forty military
facilities in Syria, with their own headquarters, drone-control rooms, and
training centers. At least a third of them were deployed to target Israel, not
just to prop up the Syrian regime in its civil war, Israeli defense officials
told me. Since early 2017, Israel has launched more than two hundred strikes
against Iranian targets in Syria—the most recent in August—to contain the
a sunny day last year, I looked across a peaceful plateau that surrounds Spy
Mountain and Sleeping Elephant Hill. The area is green with farmland, apple and
pear orchards, and vineyards for Golan wine. Most of the time, it’s deceptively
quiet. The Iranians are not visible. They now come and go dressed in Syrian
military uniforms, a decoy tactic since Russia brokered a deal, a year ago, to
keep Iran’s personnel and weaponry eighty-five kilometres from the border,
Israeli officials told me. They’ve also hired residents in the Golan to work
for them, as part of a widening network of armed allies in Syria, not all of
whom are Syrian. And their weapons transfers keep coming.
and Jerusalem may be a thousand miles apart, but Iran’s so-called axis of
resistance—which, by some counts, totals more than a hundred Shiite militias,
with widely diverse manpower and matériel—has become entrenched across the
Middle East, right up to Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon. Iran’s
network spans half a dozen countries and has so fundamentally altered the
region’s strategic balance that no nation can take on Iran and its proxies
without risking multiple military challenges, major loss of life, devastating
damage to infrastructure, or instability rippling through other nations. That
applies even to the United States, nuclear-armed Israel, or Saudi Arabia, which
spent fifty-five billion dollars—or roughly five times—more on defense in 2017
than Iran did.
is unlikely to win a conflict. But it could insure that others don’t win,
either, at least not in the classic sense of a decisive victory. If Israel
tried to destroy Iran’s ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah, “we would be able to
destroy Beirut, but they would be able to destroy parts of Tel Aviv,” Eran
Etzion, the former head of policy planning at the Israeli Foreign Ministry,
same general principle applies to other countries contemplating military action
against Iran after the September 14th attack on two Saudi sites that process
more than half of the kingdom’s oil production. The Trump Administration blamed
Tehran. On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense displayed parts of the
weapons used in the attacks by eighteen unmanned drones and seven cruise
missiles. Iran “sponsored” them, it claimed.
route to Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the
attack was “an act of war.” In an interview with CNN on Thursday, the Iranian
Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, shot back with a warning of “all-out
war” with “a lot of casualties” if the United States or Saudi Arabia strikes
Iran. “I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a
military confrontation,” he said. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”
could respond to any strike on its territory by unleashing its allies elsewhere
in the Middle East, as it did in the nineteen-eighties, when it aided proxies
that bombed two U.S. embassies and the barracks of U.S. Marine peacekeepers in
Lebanon. The attacks ended up forcing the Reagan Administration to withdraw its
oldest, most sophisticated, and best-armed proxy is Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Iraq
has the largest collection of Iranian-backed militias—more than sixty. Some are
decades old; others are new. Syria hosts a growing array of Iran-orchestrated
warlords, gangs, and armed groups created during the chaos of its civil war.
Iran also arms and trains Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who claimed the September 14th
attack on Saudi oil installations, and Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Palestinian
Islamic Jihad. Among the more recent Iranian-mobilized militias are the Fatemiyoun,
from Afghanistan, and the Zainabiyoun, from Pakistan. “Iran wants hegemony in
the region not by re-creating the Persian Empire that occupied all lands to
Egypt but, this time, by building up a satellite force across the region,”
Rubin told me. Last year, the U.S. National Defense Strategy, the first in a
decade, concluded, “In the Middle East, Iran is competing with its neighbors,
asserting an arc of influence and instability while vying for regional
hegemony, using state-sponsored terrorist activities, a growing network of
proxies, and its missile program to achieve its objectives.”
Trump Administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign, aimed at squeezing Iran
economically, and Israel’s air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, Lebanon,
and Iraq have had limited impact, according to a report by the Center for
Strategic and International Affairs. “There has been an increase in the overall
size and capability of foreign forces that are partnered with the Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps,” Seth Jones, a former adviser to the commanding
general of U.S. Special Operations Forces, wrote. “Iran’s economic woes have
not contributed to declining activism in the region.”
shifted in recent years is Iran’s ability to consolidate allies and proxies
into a web or grid that can operate regionally. The Islamic Republic
facilitates the movement of militias to bolster other allies. The Quds Force
pulled Shiite militias from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to fight
in Syria. In 2014, it manipulated the transfer of militias from the
Shiite-dominated region of southern Iraq to Sunni regions in the north, to
fight isis. It has fostered offshoots of Hezbollah in Iraq, Syria, and the
Gulf, albeit with mixed effectiveness. “What matters is that Iran can now connect
the dots—from Lebanon to Syria to Iraq,” an Israeli defense official told me.
allies in the axis of resistance have, in turn, entered politics, transforming
armed movements into powerful players in governments that decide policy.
They’re altering the political status quo across the Middle East, too.
Hezbollah emerged from the underground in 1992 to run for parliament in
Lebanon, the most Westernized Arab country. Today, it has seats in parliament
and also cabinet posts, and the Christian President is its hand-picked ally. By
2003, Iran had deepened its presence in Iraq through a network of Shiite
militias commanded by Iranian-trained operatives. By 2014, a proliferating
array of militias—with tens of thousands of fighters—merged into the Popular Mobilization
Forces (P.M.F.) to fight isis after the Iraqi Army collapsed. The Baghdad
government put them on its payroll. In 2016, Parliament made the P.M.F. an
independent arm of Iraq’s security forces. In 2018, militia leaders and
politicos ran for parliament. They now constitute one of the strongest blocs
and had a major role in selecting Iraq’s latest Prime Minister.
Yemen, the Houthis are a political movement—called Ansar Allah, or “Supporters
of God”—and also a militia. In 2015, they seized control of Sana’a, the Yemeni
capital, and ousted the government. The Houthis now rule much of northern
Yemen. Iran’s role in arming and training the Houthis has deepened since Saudi
Arabia launched an air war against the Shiite rebels, four years ago. Iranian
missiles and drones have allegedly been used in targeting Saudi installations.
Under Iranian tutelage, Hezbollah has created a branch in Yemen.
has even out-gamed Israel—despite Tehran’s military limits, economic woes, and
diplomatic challenges. “Israel is tactical. Iran is strategic. Israel is
short-term, Iran is long-term,” Etzion said. “Iran is the master of the
indirect proxy war—and Israel is not.”
Iran’s prism, it’s a survival strategy—defensive rather than offensive. “Iran
feels strategically lonely,” Nasser Hadian, a U.S.-educated political scientist
at the University of Tehran, told me. Strengthening Shiite minorities across
the region—whether arming or politically empowering them—is Iran’s ultimate
line of defense. The common denominator is Iran’s Quds Force and its commander,
General Qassem Soleimani, a former bodybuilder turned military commander, who
has become Iran’s strategic puppeteer. He has been photographed with Shiite
militias across the Middle East. Iran may now be able to count on more than a
hundred and eighty thousand armed men in proxy forces in six countries—Lebanon,
Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan—Jones wrote, in the C.S.I.S.
report. That’s an increase of up to fifty thousand since 2011.
killed in bomb attack on passenger bus in SE Yemen
Yemen, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- A roadside bomb explosion hit a passenger bus in Yemen's
southeastern province of Hadramout on Thursday, leaving four people killed, a
security official told Xinhua.
Yemeni security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the
roadside blast struck the civilian bus while it was traveling near the
Saudi-Yemeni border post of Wadia in Hadramout province.
explosive device hit a traveling bus carrying 46 passengers near the Wadia
crossing, killing four passengers and injuring 21 others, six of them
seriously," the source added.
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was apparently planted to target a military
convoy of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that passed later through the same
road, according to the official.
in the day, a roadside bomb blast struck a military patrol of the Saudi-led
coalition forces in the historic town of Shibam in Hadramout province that's
controlled by Yemeni government forces.
Yemeni official based in Hadramout confirmed to Xinhua that the blast killed a
Saudi army commander named as Abu Nawaf along with five of his bodyguards.
one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Hadramout. But
militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch are active in the region and often
use roadside bombs to target government officials as well as Yemeni security
Ankara, Jakarta important Muslim democracies
and Indonesia are two important democracies in the Muslim world, Turkey's
parliament speaker said Friday.
at reception of the 74th independence of Indonesia in Ankara, Mustafa Sentop
said the two countries needed to strengthen their strategic partnership.
and Indonesia need to increase the frequency of bilateral visits," Sentop
said in his speech during the celebrations themed, "Advance human
resource, advance Indonesia".
can contribute greatly to the regional and global peace," he added.
underlined that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to
Indonesia in first few months of next year would further accelerate bilateral
his part, Indonesian ambassador Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said Turkey and his country
had "millions of reasons to be close".
and Turkey are bound by destiny… We can easily find chemistry in our
relations," he told the listeners including diplomats from various
identified education, tourism, industry, science, culture, defense as areas in
which the two countries "cooperate closely" in bilateral and
that current bilateral trade volume stood at $1.6 billion as of 2018, he said:
"It is far below our potentials…Together, we will be able to meet the
target set out by our two leaders to reach $10 billion in the coming
years of diplomatic relations
and Indonesia will celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations in 2020. The two
countries set up formal diplomatic contacts in 1950.
the occasion, Turkey's parliament speaker and Indonesia's ambassador jointly
inaugurated the activities for the commemoration ceremony.
and Indonesian participants presented choreographed Indonesian traditional
dance inspired by both Indonesian and Turkish Islamic Sufism.
logo to mark the 70 years of bilateral relations was also unveiled.
two-minute silence on the demise of former Indonesian President Bacharuddin
Jusuf Habibie was also observed during the event.
Netanyahu clings to power as coalition talks loom
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced local media headlines on Friday
suggesting power is slipping from his grasp after an election in which he
trails his main rival with nearly all votes counted.
right-wing leader failed on Tuesday, for the second time in five months, to
secure a clear election victory and the centrist Blue and White party led by
ex-armed forces chief Benny Gantz rebuffed his calls to join a unity government
results released on Friday by the Knesset's election committee showed Blue and
White will be the largest single party in the new parliament with 33 of the 120
seats, with Netanyahu's Likud winning 31 seats, three less than it had before.
newspapers and commentators depicted the 69-year-old leader as in a weakened
position, with headlines such as: “Himself Alone” and “Political Death Spasms”.
president Reuven Rivlin will on Sunday start consultations with the parties
about choosing a leader to put together a coalition.
were only narrow differences in the two main parties' campaigns on many
important issues, and an end to the Netanyahu era would be unlikely to bring
significant changes in policy on relations with the United States, the regional
struggle against Iran or the Palestinian conflict.
President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to see Israel's coalition drama as an
opportunity for his government in the occupied West Bank to announce election
told reporters outside Norway's parliament that he would issue a decree for
elections across the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem when he returns
to the Palestinian Territories following the UN General Assembly in New York.
a long rift with Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, Abbas said his Palestinian
Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, would be ready
to accept a Hamas victory “because Hamas is a part of our people, we cannot
exclude Hamas. They have a right to vote and to nominate themselves.”
political analysts said Abbas was unlikely to follow through on his election
pledge, pointing to difficulties holding a national vote across Gaza and the
West Bank and East Jerusalem, each of which has a different ruling entity.
have not been any national Palestinian elections for 13 years. Abbas was
elected president in 2005 and Hamas won a 2006 parliamentary election, plunging
Palestinian politics into a bitter power struggle from which it has not
uncertainty is the timing of US President Donald Trump's long-delayed Middle
East peace plan, which was expected soon after Israel's election, but could
unsettle a weakened Netanyahu if released during complex coalition
Friday, Netanyahu met Trump's outgoing Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, a
chief architect of the plan.
political analysts are waiting to see how Netanyahu tries to prolong his
political survival, not least to claim a public mandate in the face of possible
corruption charges that prosecutors may bring within months.
denies wrongdoing, accusing his critics of mounting a witch-hunt. In his
election campaign, Netanyahu pledged to annex large swaths of the West Bank,
territory Israel captured in a 1967 war where Palestinians seek a state along
with Gaza and East Jerusalem.
move drew condemnation from world leaders as detrimental to achieving a lasting
has urged redoubled efforts to restart peace talks with the Palestinians but
stopped short of any commitment to the statehood they seek. He has spoken less
concretely of Israel maintaining security control of the Jordan Valley.
and Gantz will now seek potential coalition allies, prominent among whom is the
far-right former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman. He secured eight seats for
his Yisrael Beitenu party, making him a potential kingmaker.
turnout by Israel's 21-per cent Arab minority saw the Arab-dominated Joint List
coalition grouping win 13 seats, making it the third largest grouping.
religious parties representing Israel's Ultra-Orthodox communities, known as
Haredim, remain a significant force, with Shas winning nine seats and United
Torah Judaism eight seats.
Houthis announce plan to conditionally halt strikes against Saudi Arabia
Houthi Ansarullah movement says it will stop launching retaliatory missile and
drone attacks against positions inside Saudi Arabia if the Saudi-led military
coalition, which has been pounding impoverished Yemen for the past several
years, reciprocates the initiative in kind.
Ansarullah’s president of the Supreme Political Council in the Yemeni capital,
Sana'a, Mahdi al-Mashat, made the announcement on Friday.
are announcing that we will stop targeting Saudi territories with drones and
ballistic missiles and all kinds of targeting, and we will wait for the favor
to be returned with a similar or even better one by (Saudi Arabia) announcing a
halt to all sorts of air strikes against Yemeni territories,” Yemen’s
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network quoted him as saying.
comments came almost a week after Houthi fighters conducted drone and missile
strikes on two of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, in Abqaiq and Khurais. The
attacks led to a halt in about 50 percent of the Arab kingdom’s crude and gas
production, causing a surge in oil prices.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Yemen’s former regime
back to power and crushing the Houthi movement, which significantly helping the
Yemeni army in defending the country against invaders.
Houthi top official also called for serious negotiations to be held among all
parties involved in the persisting conflict.
“I call on all parties from different sides of
the war to engage seriously in genuine negotiations that can lead to a
comprehensive national reconciliation that does not exclude anyone,” Mashat
said, while boasting the Houthi movement’s rapidly improved military
capabilities and “significant advancement” in air and missile defense.
also warned that that the Houthis “would not hesitate to launch a period of
great pain” if their call for peace was ignored.
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than
91,000 lives over the past four and a
war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying
hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in
dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme
levels of hunger.
Houthis publicly took credit for the September 14 attacks against Saudi oil
facilities, but the US swiftly blamed Iran.
forces injure over 75 Palestinians in Gaza
than 75 Palestinians have been injured as the Israeli forces attacked
anti-occupation protests near the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and the
Gazan Health Ministry said 74 protesters and two medics were injured during the
75th Friday of protests.
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the ministry, said in a tweet that 48 of the
wounded were hit by live ammunition fired by the Israeli troops.
have been holding weekly rallies in Gaza since last year to protest the siege
on the enclave and stress the right to return of the Palestinians who have been
externally displaced by Israeli aggression since 1948.
least 307 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since the
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
18,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
March, a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces
committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian
protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
Arabia pressuring wealthy families to fund Aramco IPO after Yemeni strike
Arabia is pressuring wealthy families to invest in the initial public offering
(IPO) of Aramco after suffering substantial damage from a major Yemeni drone
attack, according to reports.
has drawn up a plan to "strong arm", "coerce" or
"bully" the families into the project, according to the London-based
international business daily The Financial Times.
of the targeted families were already being pursued as part of a so-called
"anti-corruption" crackdown launched in 2017, when Saudi royal family
were imprisoned in the Ritz Carlton hotel, some of which were tortured.
report comes nearly a week after the Yemeni Armed Forces launched a major drone
attack against Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, effectively halving the kingdom's
latest attack also came as Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, had
been accelerating preparations for a much-anticipated initial public offering
IPO forms the cornerstone of a program envisaged by de facto ruler Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, a son of King Salman, to replenish the kingdom’s once
buoyant reserves which have dwindled amid falling oil prices and the protracted
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among Western financiers
working on the IPO.
President Hadi appoints new ministers in government reshuffle
President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree on Thursday evening appointing
new foreign and finance ministers in a cabinet reshuffle to lead the key state
a statement, the president's office, based in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh,
said that Hadi appointed Ahmed Obaid Al-Fadhli as governor of the Central Bank
of Yemen, succeeding Hafedh Meyyad and Salem bin Breik as Minister of Finance,
succeeding Minister Al-Fadhli.
Yemeni president also appointed former ambassador Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed
Al-Hadrami as Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing Khalid Al-Yamani, who
resigned last June.
becomes the fourth governor of the central bank since its relocation in Aden
from the Houthi controlled capital, Sanaa.
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