Citing New Zealand Attack Is Found After Mosque Fire in California: Arson at
California mosque being investigated as hate crime by local police and FBI
May Happen Before India Polls, Says Imran Khan
Population in Pakistan Has Grown At a Faster Pace than In India
Other Countries Brace for Possible Return of IS Fighters
Citing NZ Attacks Found After US Mosque Fire
Said To Have Tapes of Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Plotting With Co-Conspirators
Zealand Green Lights ‘Intrusive’ Spy Ops after Mosque Attack
Probing Far-Right Figure over New Zealand Terror Attack Link
New Zealand Shootings, Indonesia’s Islamic Council Mulls Videogame Fatwa
Chief Urges ‘Resistance’ Over US Golan Move
Wants ‘Prosperous Pakistan’ For Regional Stability
Population in Pakistan Has Grown At A Faster Pace Than In India
Recruiting Ground for LeT, JeM:
PDP leader offers legal aid to Jamaat-e-Islami, JKLF against ban
ISIS Khurasan Militants Killed In Nangarhar Province: Sources
supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process: Mogherini
ISIS-K leaders killed in separate airstrikes conducted in Nangarhar province
envoy for Afghan peace reacts to Pak PM’s remarks regarding interim Afghan
US pursuit of peace talks, perilous rift opens with Afghan leader
Bank next on US recognition list, Nasrallah warns
Supreme Court backs Sudan in USS Cole bombing lawsuit
warns of 'catastrophic consequences' in Gaza
sanctions financial network aiding Iran's military
Zealand Green Lights ‘Intrusive’ Spy Ops After Mosque Attack
Islamic Academy Attacked For 2nd Time In 3 Months
Rip Quran's In Attack On British Islamic Centre
the far right is weaponising irony to spread anti-Muslim hatred
Zealand police probing potential new suspect in mosque terrorist attacks
fumes as Germany freezes arms sale to Saudi
Peterson’s Cambridge fellowship withdrawn over Islamophobic t-shirt
Slams Brunei’s New ‘Vicious’ Islamic Criminal Laws
Foreign Affairs Minister: Malaysia Should Take Myanmar To ICC Over Treatment Of
Malaysian civil society was unprepared for regime change
Group ‘Appalled’ By Saudi-Led Airstrike That Killed Children
Arabia denounces US recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli territory
protest Trump’s decision on Golan Heights
claims attack that killed seven US-backed fighters in Syria
regrets US decision on Golan Heights
puts 145 people on terrorism list: judicial source
militants kill 7 US-backed fighters in Syria: commanders
To FATF Review, Pakistan under Watch for Terror Funding
recalls ambassador to Pakistan in row over PM Khan's remarks
to visit Islamabad, Kabul again
recommends travel ban on ex-PM Abbasi
chugs off towards Larkana amid chants of party slogans
suspected terrorists blow themselves up in Loralai IBO
Islam Project’ Could Lead To New Ankara-Berlin Tensions
Mocks Trump Administration for Attempt to Take Credit for Daesh ‘Defeat’
Israel embassy move is an attack on the Palestinian people: envoy
fighting subsides after major escalation in Gaza border
resistance groups retaliate against Israel’s airstrikes on Khan Yunis, Rafah
hold mass rallies to condemn Saudi crimes as war enters 5th year
of Houthis killed as battles rage in Yemen
to Investigate ‘Horrific’ Massacre In Central Mali
Death Toll from Friday’s Attack Climbs To 160
Africans unite against Islamophobia, racism
wanted Shabaab terrorist killed in Somali town air strike
Haram fighters on a revenge mission raze Adamawa villages
by New Age Islam News Bureau
by Shubhajit Roy
A significant admission, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has acknowledged
that his country can no longer allow terror groups to organise with impunity on
its soil. Khan also said that he fears further military hostilities with India
in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
an interview to Financial Times, Khan said, “We cannot take the stance any more
where you have these armed groups in our country… We can’t afford being blamed
for any terrorist activity, like Pulwama, like what happened.”
insisted that there was no place for terrorists in his “new Pakistan”, claiming
that he was conducting the most serious crackdown on terrorist groups in the
country’s history. “We’re already cracking down on them, we’re already
dismantling the whole set-up,” he said. “What is happening right now has never
happened before in Pakistan,” he told FT.
also claimed that he is “still apprehensive” that “something could happen”
before the general elections in India. Describing India as gripped with “war
hysteria”, Khan told FT in the interview: “I’m still apprehensive before the
elections; I feel that something could happen.”
Pakistan has claimed to have taken action against terrorist groups, including
taking control of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s facilities, India has described the action
as “cosmetic”. New Delhi has asked for “verifiable, credible, visible and
sustained” action against terrorists, terrorist groups, their proxies and the
February 26, 12 days after the terror attack in Pulwama claimed by Jaish, India
conducted air strikes on the outfit’s camp in Pakistan’s Balakot. “When Pulwama
(the suicide attack in Kashmir) happened I felt that Mr (Narendra) Modi’s
government used that to build this war hysteria,” said Khan.
Indian public should realise that this is all for winning the elections, it’s
nothing to do with the real issues of the subcontinent,” he claimed, while
blaming the Pulwama attack on what he called Modi’s “anti-Muslim” government
and its policies in Kashmir.
also rejected claims that Pakistan had links to Jaish. “There’s
Jaish-e-Mohammad in India, the boy who blew himself up, the 19-year-old boy,
was a Kashmiri-Indian boy… His parents said how he was radicalised by some
abuse by the security force, so it was an Indian boy, Indian operation, Indian
car, Indian explosive. Why was Pakistan blamed?” Khan said.
has given a dossier to Pakistan on Jaish’s involvement in the Pulwama attack,
but there has been no official response so far. It has also shared key excerpts
of the dossier with all UN members, including the Security Council. The US and
France — among other countries — have asked Pakistan to take action against the
perpetrators of the attack.
a time when India is fuming diplomatically at the conversion of two minor Hindu
girls to Islam in the Sindh province of Pakistan, a look at the religious
composition of Pakistan’s population shows that the Hindu population has
increased exponentially over a three-decade period. Pakistan in 2017 conducted
its first census since 1998. Before 1998, the census was last been held in
to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s population in 2017 was 207
million, growth of 146% from 1981. While Pakistan has not yet revealed the
religious composition of its population in the latest census, the 1998 census
pegged the population of Hindus at 2.1 million. In 1998, Hindus comprised 1.6
per cent of Pakistan’s population which made them the biggest minority group in
the country. Assuming that the proportion of Hindus in Pakistan’s total
population remained the same, the number of Hindus in Pakistan, according to
its latest census, would be around 3.3 million.
1981 until the latest census, the Hindu population in Pakistan had grown 93 per
cent. The Muslim population of Pakistan during the same period had increased
one-and-a-half times. The Hindu population in India during the three-decade
period from 1981 to 2011 grew by 72 per cent. Unlike Pakistan, India has always
conducted and published its census on time. The Muslim population in India more
than doubled during this period. Even though Muslim populations in both India
and Pakistan more than doubled, the Muslim population in India grew at a
relatively slow pace of 114 per cent. A majority of Pakistani Hindus live in
the Sindh province of Pakistan.
Christians in Pakistan also constitute a proportion of the population similar
to Hindus, they are more concentrated in Pakistan’s urban areas, especially
Islamabad. Hindus who are primarily concentrated in Sindh constitute almost 10
per cent of the province’s rural population. The district of Ghotki, where the
conversion of the two minor Hindu girls named Raveena and Reena took place, is
one of the bigger districts of Sindh with a population of 1.6 million. Ghotki’s
population has grown faster than that of the entire Sindh province from 1998 to
2017, Pakistan’s Parliament had passed a Bill that recognised Hindu marriages
for the first time in the country’s history. The Bill, however, did not apply
to Sindh, where a majority of Pakistani Hindus live. Sindh has its own set of
laws dealing with Hindu marriages. A US state department report released in
2017 stated, “Historically, Hindu and Sikh leaders had noted the legal
uncertainty surrounding the process of registering marriages for their
communities created difficulties for Hindu and Sikh women in obtaining
inheritances, accessing health services, voting, obtaining a passport, and
buying or selling property. The enactment of the Hindu Marriage Act in March
addressed many of these problems, but the media reported that some Hindu community
leaders expressed concerns that a provision of the national Bill permitting
annulment of Hindu marriages could be used to legitimise forced conversions of
will bar citizens who left to join the Islamic State in Syria, authorities told
BenarNews on Tuesday, as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines took divergent
steps in preparation for the possible return of their nationals after
U.S.-backed forces demolished the extremist group’s last territorial pocket
over the weekend.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by U.S. airstrikes,
announced on Saturday that they had captured the last IS stronghold in eastern
Syria’s Deir Ezzor province and arrested almost 800 foreign fighters, including
an unspecified number of Bangladeshis.
any suspect, in some ways, manages to arrive, we will arrest them and try them
in accordance with law. We will not allow any terrorists to come to
Bangladesh,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told BenarNews, when asked
about the government’s policy in case any Bangladeshi who fought for IS tried
to return home.
United States and other countries have largely refused to reclaim their
nationals. During the past two weeks, thousands of people fled Deir Ezzor, on
the west bank of the Euphrates River, according to an SDF spokesman.
authorities have not determined exactly how many Bangladeshis left the country
to join the militants who rampaged across Syria and Iraq and seized territory
in 2014. But Khan said suspected IS fighters or supporters would be taken into
custody if they landed at any airport in Bangladesh.
have instructed the airports to remain alert for them,” he said.
from South, Southeast Asia
to the United Nations, more than 40,000 foreign fighters from 110 countries
might have travelled to join terror groups in Syria and Iraq.
figure includes 800 from Indonesia, 154 from Malaysia, 100 from the Philippines
and 40 Bangladeshis, according to a July 2018 report from the International
Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King’s College in London.
a Malaysian security official who requested anonymity said Kuala Lumpur would
expedite its efforts to repatriate 23 Malaysians who had sought help to return
are still in negotiation with several parties to bring them home,” the source
told BenarNews in a phone interview, referring to the suspected militants.
“Efforts are still ongoing and there are many procedures we have to follow and
go through because their passports were destroyed because of the war.”
said 51 Malaysians, including 17 children, were still believed to be in a
Syrian prison manned by Kurdish forces. “Malaysia will bring them home on a few
conditions,” he said.
many as 102 Malaysians have ventured to Syria and Iraq since 2013 in hopes of
joining IS, but 40 have been killed in combat or other circumstances, including
nine in suicide bombings, and 11 have since returned home, Malaysian police
officials had told BenarNews previously.
Monday, Indonesia’s national police spokesman, Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, told
reporters in Jakarta that the elite police anti-terrorism unit Densus 88 would
continue hunting suspected terrorists and monitoring terror cells in the
country despite IS’s defeat in Syria.
88 are also still profiling and implementing mitigation efforts by implementing
preventive strikes to anticipate lone-wolf terror attacks,” Dedi said.
year, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu told BenarNews in an
interview in Washington that some 700 Indonesians had joined IS.
its height in 2014, the Islamic State, also known by other acronyms such as
ISIS or ISIL, controlled Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and
considered large tracts of land on both sides of the border among its important
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claimed to be the successor to the caliphs,
the Islamic emperors who ruled the region in past centuries, declared the
establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Mosul and persuaded thousands of
Muslims around the world, including Bangladeshis, Malaysians and Indonesians,
to travel to the region and fight.
August 2017, 18 Indonesians who admitted to having joined IS in Syria were
placed in police custody after returning to their homeland, officials said.
Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Philippine military’s Southern Command, told
BenarNews in a recent interview that security systems had been set in place
that would make it difficult for Filipino fighters to return home.
said at least two Filipinos – Mohammed Reza Kiram and his wife, Ellen Barriga,
a Muslim convert – were believed to have joined the IS in Syria in 2015.
are worried more of the local fighters trained in a foreign land,” he said.
May 2017, another militant faction headed by Isnilon Hapilon, the acknowledged
IS leader in Southeast Asia, took over southern Marawi city and engaged
government forces in a five-month battle that killed 1,200 people, most of them
militants. Hapilon, who was backed by foreign fights, was among those who were
pro-IS militants also killed 23 people in a bomb attack at a southern
Philippine church last January, authorities said.
origin’ not same as Bangladesh citizen
the Bangladeshi home minister, emphasized that many of the IS fighters who had
been identified in the international media as Bangladeshis turned out to be
non-citizens, even though they were of “Bangladeshi origin.”
will not be allowed in Bangladesh,” he said.
instance, he said, Shamima Begum, who grabbed headlines after she fled her east
London family for Syria in 2015 when she was 15 and married an IS fighter, was
confirmed to be a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin.
never even visited Bangladesh. She is not our citizen,” Khan said.
officials dealing with counter-terrorism often decline to talk on record about
IS. But an official with the national police’s counter-terrorist and
transnational crimes unit told BenarNews that around 40 Bangladeshi youths had
gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for IS.
government never admitted the militant group’s presence in Bangladesh even
after militants had claimed responsibility for a massacre at a Dhaka café in
July 2016 – the deadliest terror attack in the nation’s history.
hostages, two policemen and two café workers were killed in the overnight siege
along with the five militants.
an interview with the Bengali newspaper Prothom Alo, Monirul Islam, the police
counterterrorist chief, said Bangladeshis who went to Syria-Iraq to fight for
IS did not keep Bangladeshi passports or any travel documents.
of those who travelled to Syria have been trying to return home. Their
photographs and other relevant data have been sent to the airports,” Islam
said. “We have instructed to ensure that they must not avoid arrest.”
physician Rokonuddin Khandker and his wife, Nayeema Akter, and their daughters
Ramita Rokon and Rezwana Rokon and son-in-law Saad Kayes have been trying to
come back, counter-terrorism officials told BenarNews.
said dentist Arafat Rahman Tushar and siblings Ibrahim Hasan Khan and Junaid
Hasan Khan, who allegedly went to Syria in 2015 and fought for IS, have also
been trying to return.
officials believe that IS fighters would pose security threats in Bangladesh by
joining forces with local militant groups.
returning from the Syrian battlefields must be questioned extensively, Brig.
Gen. Sakhawat Hossain, a security analyst, told BenarNews.
must be separated from the ordinary prisoners inside the jails,” he said. “We
need to know what inspired them to fight for the IS.”
citing NZ attacks found after US mosque fire
in Southern California are investigating a recent fire at a mosque as a
possible hate crime just over a week after terrorist attacks in New Zealand.
Sunday morning, a group of seven congregants at the Islamic Center of Escondido
called the police after spotting a fire and used an extinguisher to put it out.
They had been performing itikaf, the Islamic practice of secluding oneself in
the mosque to pray.
the fire left minor damage to the building’s outer wall, police discovered
graffiti on the center’s driveway that referenced the March 15 terrorist
attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a white nationalist
opened fire on Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayer services, killing 50
and injuring 50 others.
are currently no suspects, the Escondido Police Department said Tuesday.
we are not giving out any of the specifics on the New Zealand reference,"
Lt. Christopher Lick told Anadolu Agency in an email.
said an accelerant was used to set the fire.
police announced Sunday that the attack was being investigated as arson and a
hate crime and that the FBI, the San Diego Police Department and the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be assisting.
is disturbing enough that some sick individual would attempt to burn a house of
worship to the ground, but referencing the slayings in New Zealand is beyond
the pale," Dustin Craun, executive director of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in San Diego, said in a statement.
the majority of humanity has responded to the tragedy to draw closer to one
another and refute hatred, a violent and hate-filled minority seeks further
vandalism and arson is the latest in a series of attacks that have been
reported in the U.S. since the attacks on the two mosques in New Zealand.
man in Phoenix, Arizona was arrested and charged with threatening members of a
mosque a day after the Christchurch attacks.
mosque in Maryland received a threatening message last Thursday saying
"maybe you'll be next" in the run-up to a fundraising event.
has called for mosques around the country to get the Department of Homeland
Security to evaluate their preparedness against such attacks and have held
workshops and webinars to help educate the Muslim community about safety
said to have tapes of alleged 9/11 mastermind plotting with co-conspirators
lawyer, Jay Connell, revealed the existence of the tapes as part of a protest
over plans to use them as evidence at the death-penalty trial of the alleged
by Carol Rosenberg
prosecutors say they have tapes of telephone calls between the alleged
mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and three of his
accused co-conspirators talking in code about the plot months before it took
place, a defense lawyer disclosed Monday.
lawyer, Jay Connell, revealed the existence of the tapes as part of a protest
over plans to use them as evidence at the death-penalty trial of the alleged
conspirators. More than 17 1/2 years after the attacks — in which 19 hijackers
commandeered four commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade
Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people —
there is still no date set for the trial in the proceedings at Guantánamo Bay.
gave defense lawyers the original audio and transcripts of their translation on
Sept. 30, 2016, Connell said, and made clear they planned to use them at trial.
Defense lawyers sought to investigate their origins and later discovered that
the original trial judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, had issued a secret order
preventing them from knowing about the phone call collection system or asking
questions about it.
who is representing Mohammed’s nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi, said prosecutors
secretly obtained a ruling in August 2018 from Pohl forbidding defense lawyers
from learning how the phone calls were collected or investigating that
question. The phone calls in at least two languages were made between April and
said the restriction on investigating the origins of the tapes violated a
defendant’s basic right to challenge the evidence being used against him. He
argued in court Monday that the evidence should be suppressed or that the case
should be dismissed. He said the constraints the defense faces regarding the
tapes violate the Sixth Amendment, which sets out the rights of defendants in a
military trial judges have yet to decide, however, which aspects of the
Constitution apply at the military commissions, the war court established by
President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks.
prosecutor, Clayton Trivett, responded that defense lawyers would be allowed to
question an FBI linguist who compared samples of the voices of the defendants
to the voices on the tapes to confirm they were Mohammed, al-Baluchi and two
other alleged plotters.
said defense lawyers would be allowed to question an FBI analyst who decoded
the conversation. The only restriction, he said, is on defense lawyers trying
to investigate “how the United States government got those calls,” something
prosecutors convinced the judge would endanger national security.
had said prosecutors could describe the evidence as having been acquired from
“telephone calls from between April and October 2001 that were later determined
to pertain to the planned attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.”
McDermott, co-author of “The Hunt for KSM,” said his research found that U.S.
satellites “randomly scooped up” calls between Mohammed and an alleged deputy,
Ramzi Binalshibh. “The NSA intercepted calls but didn’t listen to them or
translate them until after 9/11,” he said. “Afterward, they went through this
stuff and found out what it was.”
did not disclose how or when the FBI got voice samples of the accused plotters.
Connell questioned in court whether they were recorded during the years
Mohammed and the other the defendants were held in the CIA’s secret prison
announced that the samples were not from the CIA black sites where the five
alleged plotters were held before they were brought to Guantánamo for trial in
week a new military judge, Col. Keith Parrella of the Marines, is hearing
lawyers and prosecutors argue in the 34th round of pretrial hearings since the
five men were arraigned in 2012.
Zealand’s intelligence minister said Wednesday he was allowing spy agencies to
carry out “intrusive” activities following the Christchurch mosque shootings
that claimed 50 lives.
government this week ordered a judicial inquiry into whether the South Pacific
nation’s intelligence services could have prevented the March 15 attack amid
criticism the white supremacist gunman went unnoticed as they were too focused
on Muslim extremists.
Little -- the minister responsible for the GCSB and SIS intelligence services
-- said he had signed powerful surveillance warrants as information gathering
continued in the wake of the attack.
have given authority to the agencies to do intrusive activities under warrant,
the number of those (warrants) I’m not at liberty to disclose,” he told Radio
said intelligence services typically monitored 30-40 people but that number had
now increased, although he was unwilling to reveal by how much.
said a warrant permitted anything from physical surveillance to the monitoring
of telecommunications activity.
whole gambit of what would otherwise be described as intrusive activity,” he
told the New Zealand Herald.
purpose of a warrant is to authorize and effectively make lawful what would
otherwise be unlawful activity.”
denied New Zealand had proved a “soft target” for the accused gunman, an
Australian with apparent links to right-wing groups who reportedly moved to the
country with the intention of carrying out an attack.
said he maintained confidence in the intelligence services and until the inquiry
into their actions was complete it was “premature” to say they had failed.
there’s a very microscopic look at what the agencies have been doing and
whether they’ve missed anything, I can’t say for certain,” he told RNZ.
important for me, the agencies, but ultimately for public confidence that we
let that commission of inquiry do its job and reach its conclusions.”
police remained tight-lipped about two raids conducted by armed officers in
raids took place at opposite ends of the city center, the first at 8:00 pm
(0700 GMT) Tuesday and the second around 1:00 am Wednesday.
said the first operation was “in relation to an ongoing inquiry” but refused to
say if either raid was linked to the Christchurch shootings.
probing far-right figure over New Zealand terror attack link
authorities have raided the apartment of a far-right group leader in a probe
linking him to the man behind deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand,
officials said Tuesday.
Sellner of the Identitarian Movement Austria (IBOe) said in a video uploaded
online late Monday that he had received a donation possibly from the
Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant.
he denied having any connection to the March 15 assault, which claimed 50
lives, and instead blamed Tarrant for seeking to involve him by making the
have nothing to do with this terror attack,” Sellner said in the video, adding
his group was a peaceful anti-immigration movement.
said he had had no contact with Tarrant, but prior to the New Zealand attack
found an email with a “disproportionally large” donation with the name
“Tarrant” in the email address.
said he had sent a “thank you” reply as he did with other donation emails.
far-right leader added that authorities had seized his laptop and phone during
Monday’s raid on his apartment in Vienna.
Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed the raid but did not give any further
prosecutor’s office in the southern city of Graz said authorities had noticed
the suspicious email address while probing the donation of around 1,500 euros (1,700
dollars), which exceeded the usual sums given to IBOe.
28, was arrested minutes after the attack on the mosques and has been charged
with murder. The Australian white supremacist streamed his shooting rampage
March, Sellner was prevented from entering the UK, with authorities saying his
presence would not have been “conducive to the public good.”
leading Muslim clerical body met Tuesday to discuss a proposal to declare a
fatwa (religious edict) over violent video games, amid concerns that such
entertainment may have influenced a man suspected of killing 50 people in a gun
rampage at two New Zealand mosques.
Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) said it was reviewing games such as PUBG
(PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) to determine whether it should issue a fatwa
regulating their use among the country’s Muslim majority. Fatwas are not
legally binding but carry moral weight with devout Muslims.
are of the view that PUBG is a factor in the criminal acts of terrorism in New
Zealand, but it’s obviously not as simple as that,” Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, the
secretary of MUI’s fatwa commission, told reporters after the meeting.
is an opportunity to better regulate [such games].”
and similar games have come into the spotlight in Indonesia and other countries
in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, which the suspect allegedly
live-streamed on social media. Some of the footage eerily resembled action
scenes from a graphic, first-person shooter video game.
least 20 million Indonesians play PUBG, a local e-sport official said.
is a battle royale game that allows up to 100 players to fight for survival.
The last surviving player or team wins. The game can be played on a range of
devices including mobile phones, Xbox and PlayStation.
plan to come up with guidelines on the use of games as a technology product so
that it will provide more benefits to users and the community. It could be
modeled after the fatwa on social media,” Asrorun said.
Bangladeshis, an Indonesian and a Malaysian were among those killed in the mass
shootings in Christchurch on March 15.
Zealand’s government immediately branded the attack, carried out allegedly by
an Australian white supremacist, as a terrorist act.
suspect, Brenton Tarrant, 28, grew up with computers and was addicted to violent
video games, Australian media reported.
also urged viewers to “subscribe to PewDiePie,” the nickname of Felix
Kjellberg, a Swedish video game influencer who has 91 million subscribers on
YouTube, reports said.
cannot close our eyes’
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has not commented publicly on the fatwa
issue, but MUI said it would consult the agency.
potential move by the Indonesian clerical body came after a senior Muslim
religious leader, Mohd Yusof Ahmad, the mufti of Negeri Sembilan state in
Malaysia, last week called for a ban on PUBG to prevent a repeat of the attack
in New Zealand, according to a Malaysian media report.
on Tuesday, Indonesia’s communications and information ministry said it
intended to explore the idea of regulating the PUBG and other videos game by
imposing limits on playtime in the country, the Jakarta Post reported.
according to Asrorun, the MUI also views e-sports as a positive thing because
they can teach children competitive skills through video-game contests.
we cannot close our eyes [to the fact] that some video games have negative
content,” he said, citing a report from the Indonesian Child Protection
Commission that addiction to video games could cause erratic and violent
behavior in youths.
president of the Indonesian E-Sports Association, Eddy Lim, who attended the
meeting convened by MUI on Tuesday, said participants concurred that video
games with violent or pornographic content should be restricted.
said he fully supported MUI’s initiative to have a role in reviewing games and
possibly issue a fatwa on them.
they say, after a review, that a game is negative, then we will have no
objections to it being banned,” Eddy said.
Eddy believes PUBG is a stimulating game that is not too violent.
is more of a game of strategy. In terms of violence, it is rather small,” he
is played by 20 million to 30 million people in Indonesia. If it was a bad
influence, there could have been many cases of terrorism,” he said.
Indonesian game enthusiasts agreed with Eddy about PUBG.
funny, why PUBG? There are many other games that are far more violent than
PUBG,” Andrue told BenarNews.
attack in Christchurch had nothing to do with video games, he added.
have existed since before there were video games,” he said.
Andrue, who started playing PUBG two years ago, the game has its benefits.
can get to know and communicate with other people. You can be friends with
people from abroad. [This game] can also be a source of income because it is a
form of e-sport,” he said.
game isn’t to blame. People are to blame.”
Rochyadi, another video gamer, was among those supporting a fatwa on PUBG.
addictive, makes people too lazy to study, [and] makes it difficult to
concentrate on their studies,” he told Benar.
most dangerous thing is it teaches violence to children,” he said.
chief urges ‘resistance’ over US Golan move
head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Tuesday called for “resistance” a day after the
United States recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
President Donald Trump on Monday officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over
the strategic border area, seized from Syria in 1967 and then annexed in 1981
in a move not recognized by the international community.
is a key backer of the regime in neighboring Syria, where its fighters have
helped Damascus gain ground during the eight-year civil war.
a televised speech on Tuesday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said the only
option left for Syrians to take back their land -- and for Palestinians to
achieve their “legitimate rights” -- was “resistance, resistance, and
described Trump’s move as “a crucial turning point in the history of the
decision “deals a knockout punch to what is called the peace process in the region,
which is built on (the concept of) land in exchange for peace.”
called on the Arab League, which has suspended Syria’s membership over the
bloody repression of protests leading to the war, to take action at a summit at
the end of the month in Tunis.
21-member bloc should “call for the withdrawal of the Arab peace initiative...
from the table” of negotiations on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, he said.
initiative, born in 2002 in Beirut, called for Israel to withdraw from all land
it occupied in 1967, in exchange for normalization between all Arab states and
Golan decision sparked condemnation from the Arab League, as well as several
regional states, including Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation also criticized the move on
Tuesday, calling it a “flagrant violation of international law,” the official
Saudi Press Agency reported.
and Hezbollah fought a devastating month-long war in 2006, and skirmishes still
erupt along a UN-patrolled demarcation line.
wants ‘prosperous Pakistan’ for regional stability
United States has said that it wants a see a prosperous Pakistan that
contributes positively towards regional stability and security, WIONews
reported on Wednesday.
itself, the secretary (of State Mike Pompeo) has emphasised the need (for
Pakistan) to deliver outcomes and to build confidence and trust between our two
nations and we do want to see a prosperous Pakistan that contributes positively
towards regional stability and security,
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters
Tuesday at his biweekly news conference.
US also reiterated that nuclear proliferation was one of its top security
concerns. Palladino was answering a question on the recent remarks by Pompeo in
which he identified Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation as the third top national
security concerns for the US.
proliferation is one of the very first national security concerns articulated
in our national security strategy. It’s at the very top of the list, he said.
that absolutely remains something that this administration thinks about often
because the level of impact of what could happen is simply so great. So that
remains at the very top of our national security considerations, Palladino
he said, could play an important role in bringing about a negotiated settlement
and the EU Monday announced facilitating the start of a dialogue between the
Afghan government and the Taliban to bring peace in Afghanistan.
4th Session of the Pakistan-EU Strategic Dialogue was held in Islamabad where
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief
Federica Mogherini led their respective sides.
recruiting ground for LeT, JeM:
terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM)
recruited the most number of locals from Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama both in
2018 and in 2019, according to a report prepared by security agencies and
shared with the Prime Minister’s office, among others.
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men were killed in Pulwama on February 14
when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying
the paramilitary troopers. JeM claimed responsibility for the attack.Describing
the attack, the report, a copy of which has been accessed by Hindustan Times,
says the “modus operandi is akin to Syria and Afghanistan.” The main terrorists
behind the Pulwama attack – Pakistani nationals Rashid Ghazi alias Kamran and
Farhad Butt – were killed in counter-terror operations on February 17 in
Pulwama, the report adds.
63 locals were recruited from Pulwama in 2018 and two more this year. Shopian
district was a distant second, with 46 locals joining terror groups in 2018,
but none this year. The report says that the maximum number of terrorists
killed in 2019 belonged to the JeM – 15 terrorists. In comparison, 10
terrorists each of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and the LeT were killed in counter-terrorism
operations this year. Last year, the JeM recruited about 33 locals from the
Kashmir valley. In contrast HM and LeT recruited 79 and 66 local youth in 2018.
JeM lost pre-eminence among Pakistan-based terror groups in the mid-2000s after
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) withdrew its patronage. The JeM
fell out of favour after it tried to attack former Pakistan president Parvez
Musharaff in 2003 and the 2007 faceoff at Lal Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The abnormally high recruitment by JeM should have raised questions as to why
security agencies failed to detect Pulwama suicide bomber ?
were other strong indicators of increasing JeM activity in the valley. For
instance, since 2018, the JeM carried out at least 30 attacks in J&K,
according to figures provided by the J&K Police. In addition, “around 150
JeM terrorist are believed to have infiltrated between 20172018,” a senior
Jammu and Kashmir police official who did not want to be named said.
to J&K police, four days prior to the Pulwama strike, JeM terrorist lobbed
grenades at Palladium Cinema in Srinagar, injuring 11 people. On January 25,
2019, JeM claimed responsibility for as many as eight consecutive grenade
attacks continued all through 2018. For instance, on December 11, 2018, four
police officers were mowed- down by JeM terrorists in Shopian. During last
year’s month-long Ramzan ceasefire the JeM carried out as many as 10 terror
attacks. In February last year, JeM terrorisst also stormed the Sunjwan Army
camp killing six including five soldiers of the Indian Army.
per the report, the Line of Control – the 776-km long de facto border with
Pakistan, will be “restive” in the coming months. The report has predicted that
cease-fire violations or cross border firing will increase. Importantly, the
report has warned that Pakistan could use “heavy caliber weapons” to inflict
civilian casualties, carry out “cross border tactical action” and increase
sniping to target Indian forces deployed along the border.
rise of the JeM was noted by the security agencies. It started with sudden rise
of Afzal Guru squad in 2014. The rise of JeM is linked to the increased focus
on LeT globally. The deep state just changed its terror delivery mechanism for
greater deniability, “a senior officer in the security establishment whom did
not want to be named said.
Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Tuesday offered the Jamaat-e-Islami
Jammu Kashmir and the JKLF legal help to contest the ban imposed on them by the
Centre, saying while these outfits were ideologically opposed to his party, he
would do it to uphold civil liberties.
both Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF are our opponents, we are ready to provide legal
help in contest the ban imposed on them. It is a matter of principles and for
upholding civil liberties," Baig, who is a lawyer by profession, said.
senior leader made the offer of legal assistance to the two banned outfits
while addressing a workers' meeting in Baramulla.
her address, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said if her party came to power, it would
scrap the ban imposed by the government on the JKLF and the Jamaat-e-Islami
Jammu and Kashmir.
organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF will have far reaching consequences
and such measures only increase the level of alienation and frustration among
the people," she said.
former chief minister said the PDP has a clear stand that ideas cannot be
chained, banned or killed.
a democracy, ideas are allowed to flourish and not choked. By taking such
undemocratic, unconstitutional and unnatural measures, the government, in
actual, is trying to show its electorate how tough it is against the Muslims
and against Jammu and Kashmir," Mufti said.
PDP comes to power, it will make strenuous efforts to undo the BJP's wrongs and
revoke the ban imposed on Jamaat-eIslami and JKLF," she added.
Union Home Ministry last week banned the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front
(JKLF), led by Muhammad Yasin Malik, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention)
per a notification issued on March 22, the central government is "of the
opinion that the said organisation is involved in antinational and subversive
activities and is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting
extremism in the state".
ISIS Khurasan militants killed in Nangarhar province: sources
least 87 militants affiliated with the offshoot of Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria, ISIS Khurasan, have been killed during the operations of Afghan Special
Forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
to informed military sources, the militants were killed in the restive Achin
district of Nangarhar province.
the meantime, the Afghan Military in the East has announced that three other
ISIS Khurasan militants were killed in a drone strike in Haska Mina district.
201st Silab Corps in a statement said the coalition forces carried out
airstrikes in Haska Mina district on Monday leaving at least 3 militants of
ISIS Khurasan dead.
statement further added that some weapons and munitions belonging to ISIS
Khurasan were also destroyed in the airstrikes.
anti-government armed militants including ISIS sympathizers have not commented
regarding the operations and airstrikes so far.
High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Federica Mogherini has said that the European Union supports an Afghan-led and
Afghan-owned peace process.
her meeting with Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of National Unity
Government, Mogherini said the European stands by side of the Afghan nation and
supports democratic process, human rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech,
rule of law, and prosperity and development in Afghanistan.
further added that there is no for a retreat in Afghanistan emphasizing that
peace means development and safeguarding human rights and achievements of the
European Union’s continued support to Afghan people, Mogherini said the Union
will its assistance and support to Afghanistan.
to a statement released by the Office of Chief Executive, the two sides also
held talks regarding peace negotiations in Doha, ongoing peace efforts,
regional relations and cooperation.
statement further added that Mogherini international efforts have started
taking shape to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan but added that that
achieving peace in Afghanistan would be subject to intra-Afghan negotiations.
also reaffirmed European Union’s support to democratic process and elections in
Afghanistan and emphasized that efforts should be maintained to organize a
transparent election and a democratic process should not become hostage under
any circumstances. In his turn, Abdullah said achieving peace would be subject
to intra-Afghan dialogue and solemn cooperation of Afghanistan as he emphasized
that Taliban is the main barrier on the way for achieving peace in Afghanistan.
least four local leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan
(ISIS-K) were killed during the airstrikes conducted in eastern Nangarhar
province of Afghanistan.
to informed military sources, the ISIS-K leaders were killed in the past 24
hours in Achin, Pacher Agam, and Khogyani districts.
sources further added that two of the leaders of ISIS Khurasan were killed in
anti-government armed militants including ISIS sympathizers have not commented
regarding the airstrikes so far.
U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad also reacted to Pakistani
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks regarding the formation of interim
government in Afghanistan.
#Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, PM
Khan’s comments did not. The future of #Afghanistan is for #Afghans, and only
Afghans, to decide. The role of the international community is to encourage
Afghans to come together so they can do so,” Ambassador Khalizad said in a
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier suggested an interim government
setup in Afghanistan to help end the impasse in Afghan peace process.
with local journalists at his office on Monday, PM Khan claimed that the Afghan
government was a hurdle in peace process as it was insisting on direct talks
with the Taliban group.
Washington’s relationship with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appears
increasingly at risk of permanent damage, the consequence of a US policy shift
that has so far excluded his government from talks with the Taliban and of his
own determination to retain power and manage peace efforts himself.
feud threatens to undermine the already narrow chances for a peace accord that
President Donald Trump hopes would end America’s longest war.
and former US officials tell Reuters they believe Ghani is positioning himself
to perhaps be a spoiler in still-fragile negotiations, angry that the Afghan
government has been kept out of talks and worried about the implications for
from Ghani’s perspective, the negotiations themselves, led by US special envoy
Zalmay Khalilzad, feel like a personal betrayal and a capitulation by the
United States that could return the Taliban to power, Afghan officials say.
wants to show that he is the champion of peace and President Ghani does not
want to be the villain. The president believes he is being betrayed,” an Afghan
government official said.
growing rift between Kabul and Washington over the peace negotiations erupted
in public view on March 14 when Ghani’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib,
slammed Khalilzad and accused the Afghan-born veteran US diplomat of perhaps
trying to steal the Afghan presidency for himself.
worried) there could be some agreement for an interim government and he’ll be
on the outside looking in,” said one US official, speaking on condition of
official added that Washington should expect Ghani will act like a politician
in an election year, saying: “We shouldn’t expect that Ghani is going to be
Ghani the statesman, where he says: ‘The best thing would be for me to step
blow-up over Mohib’s attack has had serious repercussions. The following day,
the State Department decreed that US officials should have no further contact
with Mohib and his presence at a meeting on Monday between Ghani and NATO
diplomats prompted the US delegation to walk out of the presidential palace,
Afghan sources said on condition of anonymity. The State Department did not
respond to a request for comment.
discord carries echoes of tensions under Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, who
became an intense critic of the United States during his 13 years in power.
the acrimony is still largely behind closed doors. Ghani is dependent on US
support, as Afghanistan’s main economic, diplomatic and security backer, and
there are signs that he will move to limit the fallout on ties.
a nod to Washington’s outrage over Mohib’s remarks, Ghani is considering
replacing Mohib with the Afghan envoy to London, a second Afghan official said.
office did not immediately comment.
round disappoints Ghani
his 2016 election campaign, Trump has made the case to end the Afghan conflict
that began in 2001 and has tied the prospect of troop drawdowns in Afghanistan
to success in peace talks. But it is unclear if Trump will accept a deal at any
cost — something that Ghani and other Afghans increasingly fear.
president has indicated that he hopes for the best in these peace talks but he
also will not accept a bad deal,” a senior Trump administration official said.
Taliban, which sees Ghani as an Afghan puppet of the United States, has refused
to meet with him.
the United States had historically balked at the prospect of unilateral talks
with the Taliban, the Trump administration made a decision to move ahead with
them, something that veteran US officials sharply criticized.
acceding to this Taliban demand, we have ourselves delegitimized the government
we claim to support,” Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador to Afghanistan, wrote
in a Washington Post column, adding that the US move signaled “we were
second round of US-Taliban talks lasting 16 days ended this month in Doha,
Qatar, with discussions including potential US troop withdrawals and Taliban
assurances on counter-terrorism.
those talks disappointed Ghani, who had hoped Khalilzad would make some
progress on negotiating a cease-fire for Afghanistan and convincing the Taliban
to negotiate with Ghani’s government, several Afghan officials said.
Khalilzad flew to Washington without such progress and without discussing the
details of the talks with Ghani, which made the Afghan president paranoid, they
two sides discussed and agreed on issues concerning them but it did not change
anything for the (Afghan) people or the government,” the first Afghan official
current and former US officials are sympathetic to Ghani and believe the United
States must find a way to reassure him — and fast.
Kabul’s frustration, the senior Trump administration official said: “It’s
urgent that we convince the Taliban to sit down with the Afghan government and
other Afghans and engage in a political process.”
Afghan election is shaping up as a major challenge for Ghani’s government, with
speculation that the poll may not be held at all if a peace deal is first
reached with the Taliban. Delayed twice already, it is now slated for Sept. 28.
former US official said Ghani hoped that the United States would fail to reach
an agreement before the vote so the ballot can move forward.
“thinks that if the peace process goes through and the election doesn’t take
place, he loses everything,” said a former senior Afghan official.
so much in play politically, Ghani is seen as trying to tightly control the
process — something experts fear could exclude opposition elements that would
be crucial for any lasting agreement between the Taliban and Afghan society.
former US official said Ghani’s controlling personality was one reason
Washington long worried he could prove to be “more an obstacle than a help on
the peace process.”
warns that the United States could next choose to recognize Israel’s
“sovereignty” over the Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank unless the Arab world
springs to action.
Lebanese resistance movement’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah issued
the caution during a speech on Tuesday.
the entire world allows [US President Donald] Trump to declare [Jerusalem]
al-Quds as Israel’s eternal capital, and especially the Arab world remains
silent, this opens the way for all US violations,” he said.
institutions and International laws fail to serve the American agenda and their
interest, they just simply disregard it in all disrespect, and what is called
'the international community' is not able to protect any right of the people
whatsoever, including land ownership and sovereignty, taking back conquered
land like what happened in Golan or what happened before that in (Jerusalem)
al-Quds," Nasrallah said.
recognized the holy city, which the Israeli regime occupied as part of the
Palestinian territory of the West Bank during a war in 1967, as Israel’s
“capital” in late 2017. On Monday, the US president took his second most
controversial pro-Israeli action during his tenure by recognizing the regime’s
“sovereignty” over Syria’s Golan Heights. Tel Aviv occupied the latter
territory during the same war.
must expect Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank,”
said such a potential move “is part of the deal of the century,” referring to
an under-wraps Washington proposal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which
reportedly includes outrageous violations against Palestinians’ historical
can say the Palestinian people can go and live in Gaza,” the Hezbollah chief
said, envisioning expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank as part of the
urged the Arab world to resort to what “conscience” it had left by preventing
Arab League, Nasrallah proposed, should use its upcoming summit in Tunisia to
withdraw the so-called Arab peace initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002,
and instead press for more negotiation.
initiative offers normalization of ties between Israel and 22 Arab countries in
return for Tel Aviv’s withdrawal from the West Bank.
after ‘civil war’ in Lebanon
Nasrallah pointed to remarks made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a
recent visit to Lebanon. Attending the Lebanese Foreign Ministry, the top
diplomat urged that the Lebanese “face” Hezbollah and branded the group as an
obstacle to realization of the Lebanese people’s dreams.
said his movement was in the service of Lebanon’s protection as has been the
case during Israel’s several invasions of the country. Hezbollah rather upheld
the Lebanese people’s dreams of retrieving the part of their land, which has
been occupied by Tel Aviv, and eradication of corruption.
Hezbollah standing in the face of these dreams? Or is Hezbollah part of the
apparatus, which people pin their hopes on,” he asked.
Hezbollah chief also referenced the US’s history of sowing instability,
destruction, and bloodshed across the world through military invasion. By
singling out the resistance group as the source of the country’s problems, the
US is rather trying to pit the Lebanese people against each other and trigger a
“civil war,” Nasrallah noted.
(Pompeo) is trying to incite us and wants the Lebanese people to shed each
other’s blood. Pompeo is frustrated with the stability and peaceful coexistence
in Lebanon,” he said.
US Supreme Court on Tuesday prevented American sailors injured in the deadly
2000 al Qaeda bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole from collecting $314.7
million in damages from the government of Sudan for its alleged role in the
a 8-1 decision, the justices overturned a lower court’s decision that had
allowed the sailors to collect the damages from certain banks that held
Sudanese assets. The decision represented a major victory for Sudan, which
denies that it provided any support to the al Qaeda militant group for the
attack in Yemen.
was backed by President Donald Trump’s administration in the case.
lower court had levied damages by default because Sudan did not defend itself
against allegations that it provided support to the Islamist militant group.
of the injured sailors and three of their spouses sued the government of Sudan
in 2010 in Washington. At issue was whether mailing the lawsuit to Sudan’s
embassy violated the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a US law governing when
foreign governments may be sued in American courts.
Trump administration had told the justices that a ruling against Sudan could
impact how the US government is treated by foreign courts because the United
States rejects judicial notices delivered to its embassies.
sailors were highly critical of the administration’s position. “Particularly
given this administration’s solicitude for veterans, its decision to side with
a state sponsor of terrorism, against men and women who are seeking to recover
for grievous injuries suffered in the service of our country, is inexplicable
and distressing,” they said in a legal brief.
Oct. 12, 2000, attack killed 17 sailors and wounded more than three dozen
others when two men in a small boat detonated explosives alongside the Navy
guided-missile destroyer as it was refueling in the southern Yemeni port of
Aden, blasting a gaping hole in its hull. The vessel was repaired and later
returned to full active duty.
2012, a federal judge in Washington issued a default judgment of $314.7 million
against Sudan. Individual plaintiffs were to receive between $4 million and $30
UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process expressed concerns
Tuesday that violence in Gaza may lead to devastating consequences.
am concerned that we may, once again, be facing another very dangerous
escalation of violence in Gaza, with potentially catastrophic
consequences," Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council. "The
last two days show how precariously close we came to the brink of war once
who also serves as the UN Secretary-General's personal representative to the
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority, said the
firing of rockets by Israel violates international law and it must stop.
Israeli military launched a wave of airstrikes Monday across the Gaza Strip
following rocket fire from the enclave that injured seven Israelis north of Tel
army reportedly deployed missile-defense batteries in several locations across
the country while sending two additional infantry brigades to the Gaza-Israel
announced late Monday that Egypt managed to secure a cease-fire between Israel
and Gaza-based resistance factions.
there was no comment from Egypt, several Israeli officials denied any
cease-fire deal with Gaza-based factions.
urged all Palestinian factions to work with Egypt in order to implement the
2017 Cairo agreement, which, if enacted, would give the Palestinian Authority
control over the Gaza Strip in exchange for an end to the sanctions placed on
the Strip, which includes cuts to electricity.
has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, after ceasing the territory from Fatah.
further shared his concerns over the lack of progress on the two-state solution
between Israel and Palestine, which is in line with UN resolutions.
U.S. issued sanctions Tuesday on a network of over two dozen companies and
individuals alleged to facilitate more than $1 billion in transfers to Iran's
military, including the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
network was also critical in helping Iran's defense ministry procure millions
of dollars worth of vehicles, the Treasury Department said in announcing the
are targeting a vast network of front companies and individuals located in
Iran, Turkey, and the UAE to disrupt a scheme the Iranian regime has used to
illicitly move more than a billion dollars in funds,” Treasury Secretary Steven
those blacklisted are Iran-based Ansar Bank, which the Treasury said is
controlled by the IRGC and has been used to establish a front company scheme
that spanned Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Ebrahimi, whom the Treasury said is the bank's managing director, was also
of the scheme described by the U.S. included the conversion of Iranian rials
into over a billion U.S. dollars and euros through Ansar's exchange house.
Atabaki, the exchange's managing director, was also hit with sanctions.
new penalties come amid the Trump administration's "maximum pressure"
campaign aimed at bringing Iran to the negotiating table after President Donald
Trump unilaterally withdrew from a multinational accord world powers struck
with Iran to curtail its nuclear program.
Islamic academy attacked for 2nd time in 3 months
Islamic academy has been attacked and vandalized for the second time in three
months, head of the academy said on Tuesday.
Bahr Academy in the city of Newcastle was attacked on Monday evening by six
individuals, who broke into the school and area of worship, smashed the windows
and desecrated the copies of the Quran, Imam Abdul Muhit told Anadolu Agency.
of the neighbors had called and told us that some people were inside the school
and they were breaking stuff. When we arrived at the masjid the police arrived
at the same time and we caught six youths,” Muhit said.
didn’t see the fire but there was a carpet that was burnt and we have a feeling
they were ready to set the building on fire. When we arrived they were talking
about Muslims and making racist jokes amongst themselves,” he added.
to a neighborhood watch, the attack took place at 9.00 p.m. local time
(0900GMT) and leaders of the institution and the police arrived at the academy
at 9.20 p.m. where the perpetrators were still inside causing damages.
the individuals were caught by the police, Muhit said they weren’t able to
arrest them in that moment as there weren’t enough police personnel on the
scene. However, after identifying the suspects, police were able to arrest them
on Tuesday morning.
how the attack has had an effect on the Muslim community in Newcastle, Imam
Muhit said it was still too early to say. However, he said this was the second
attack in less than three months and the fourth overall and that such attacks
have left the community feeling vulnerable but has also united them.
is the only Islamic academy in north England […] and if our community don’t
come together to defend it, a worse attack can happen in the future,” the imam
Islamic institution was previously vandalized in January 2019, with racist
graffiti being sprayed on its walls. The school had to relocate in order to
rebuild the academy and repair the damages.
hate crimes have soared across the U.K. in the aftermath of the terror attacks
at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 50 Muslims dead.
attacks rose by nearly 600 percent in the week after the Christchurch shootings
with reports of Muslims being verbally abused, according to Tell Mama, a
non-governmental organization that documents Islamophobic incidences in the
rip Quran's in attack on British Islamic centre
teenagers were arrested by British police suspected of ripping up copies of the
Qu’ran and vandalising an Islamic centre in Newcastle.
were smashes and walls were graffitied at Bahr Academy in Newcastle, situated
at a set of a former British children’s television programme.
say they are treating the incident as a hate crime.
18-year-old woman, two 16-year-old boys, two 14-year-old boys and a 14-year-old
girl have been arrested and remained in police custody.
is a very distressing incident for members of the Bahr Academy, particularly as
it is the second break-in this year,” said Alan Davison, a neighbourhood
there is not the same racist graffiti as we saw in the first incident, we are
treating this as a hate crime. We are aware of the impact incidents of this
nature can have on the community and I want to be clear that this type of
behaviour is completely unacceptable.”
incident comes as anti-Muslim hate crimes rise dramatically off the back of the
New Zealand mosque attacks.
attacked 5 mosques in the British city of Birmingham just five days earlier.
Counter terrorism police were called on March 21 after windows in neighbouring
mosques were smashed.
charity Tell Mama, which records and measures anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK,
said hate crimes against Muslims had soared 593 percent since the New Zealand
terrorist attack. Ninety-five incidents were reported to the charity between 15
March, the day of the New Zealand atrocity, and midnight on 21 March.
Christchurch terror attack prompted New Zealand’s cabinet to reform gun
legislation in 72 hours, banning and recalling all military-style weapons,
assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.
15 March our history changed forever. Now our laws will too,” said Prime
Minister Jacinda Ardern.
guns are only the tip of the iceberg. A legal framework to safeguard against
online radicalisation faces much more complex challenges.
online history of Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter, shines a spotlight
on the calculated efforts by the far right to use internet subcultures to stoke
hatred and promote violence.
opening fire, the attacker said it was “... time to make a real-life effort”.
This referred to premeditated acts of disseminating heaps of online content to
create confusion and sow discord, including the dissemination of purportedly
satirical pieces of media (“memes”) as a gateway to the more extreme elements
of far-right ideology.
of these images entrench existing prejudices that people might already have
about marginalised groups,” Cindy Ma, who researches the use of irony by the far
right at the Oxford Internet Institute in the UK, told The National.
memes include depictions of refugees as ill-intentioned scammers or predators
and veiled Muslim women as criticisms of Islam. One of their goals is to push
the boundaries of what is acceptable within mainstream audiences – a concept
known as the “Overton window” or the “window of discourse”.
online memes are produced every day on message boards such as 4Chan and 8Chan,
which offer various forms of participation, a jargon and a sense of belonging.
Some of these “memes” are directed at a mass audience and can be widely
understood, while others contain implicit symbols that can only be decoded by
members of the subculture.
is the case of the hand gestures made by the shooter at the Christchurch
District Court in New Zealand (an “OK” sign associated with white supremacy)
and the song Remove Kebab (used by the attacker in the live broadcast and
described as a “memetic euphemism for ethnic cleansing.”)
to the Oxford researcher, the internet subculture the attacker belonged to lies
dangerously at the intersection between two phenomena: a long-brewing
resentment against globalisation and multiculturalism and the emergence of a
young battalion that is digitally based and wants to rebel against “polite
think there is real danger to the mental health of people who participate in
these forums,” Ms Ma said. “We have seen the way in which the shooter was
engaging in this meme-dense rhetoric, the sense that he was doing it for the
laugh, to engage in this kind of transgressive rule-breaking.”
study on disinformation and radicalisation by Data & Society, a New York
think tank, found that the dislike of “political correctness” is being
exploited by the far right to radicalise the average young man – or, in jargon,
to “redpill the normies”.
Toube, director of policy at the anti-extremism organisation Quilliam in the
UK, added that hiding this ideology behind satirical images provides
deniability to their mission.
rationale is to produce material which could be understood by those in the know
to be racist, but in a way which makes those fussing about it appear
ridiculous,” Mr Toube told The National.
effect is that these ideas become commonplace cultural references within meme
social media platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter have so
far erred on the side of freedom of speech and failed to tackle white
supremacist content as aggressively as Islamist content.
Hett, a creative technologist and digital artist whose brother Martyn was
killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena attack at the hands of a man radicalised in
part by online content, argued in an op-ed this week that these tech companies
must be held fully accountable.
often asked: what can the platforms do? There’s so much content, and moderating
is so difficult, right? Wrong. I’m not having this for a second. I will say
this with confidence: the platforms can do a whole lot, but aren’t doing it,”
he wrote. “I know this because I’ve spent the past decade sitting in audiences
at conferences listening to these people show off their impressive tech.”
content is likely to mushroom again on other platforms, but “the average
at-risk young person isn’t logging on to the dark web or frequenting relatively
obscure, impenetrable forums – they’re trawling YouTube,” Mr Hett wrote.
companies have argued that they cannot take an editorial stance and, indeed,
recognising truly satirical content from the one peddled by far-right groups
may not be an easy task.
despite the challenges, experts believe more should be done. “They [the
companies] and we as a public need to grapple with the idea that algorithms are
a form of editorialising, because they decide what videos to push to the front
page,” Ms Ma said.
dangers of irony-drenched messages, which offer a way for racism and
Islamophobia to hide in plain sight, must not be underestimated, according to
in New Zealand have launched an urgent investigation to determine whether a man
whom they sought on a tip-off and who died in a standoff with them had links to
the recent terrorist attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.
54-year-old man, whose name was not released, was involved in a standoff with
police forces just outside central Christchurch early on Wednesday.
stopped his car and began negotiations with the man, but after about three
hours, they decided to approach the vehicle. They found him critically injured
from a stab wound. It was not clear how the wound was caused, and the man later
died of the injury. There were no firearms in the car.
had been notified about the individual on a public tip-off and had raided his
house late on Tuesday, finding a cache of firearms.
on Wednesday, an investigation was launched for possible links to the terrorist
attacks in two mosques that killed 50 people in the same city on March 15.
high priority investigation is underway to determine whether or not the
deceased man posed a threat to the community,” police said. “At this time there
is no evidence to suggest this person had any involvement in the attacks of
March 15; however, this forms an important part of the investigation.”
this week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered an independent
judicial inquiry into the mosque attacks to decide whether intelligence
services and police could have prevented the killing spree.
Zealand has been taking prompt measures in the wake of the rampage.
Little, New Zealand’s intelligence minister, told Radio New Zealand on
Wednesday that he had authorized spy agencies to carry out “intrusive
activities under warrant.”
French government has strongly criticized Germany for stalling joint military
projects in the wake of a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
implemented a temporary arms ban until the end of March on the Saudi regime in
the aftermath of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, last October, by a
Saudi hit squad inside the Kingdom's Istanbul Consulate.
and other European partners are growing restless as a Saudi order worth $13.18
billion for 48 fighter jets is at stake.
the project is led by BAE Systems, a British defense and aerospace firm,
Germans are expected to produce a third of the components for the planes.
of losing a defense contract, France has acted impatiently over Germany's
position on the Khashoggi killing, a grave human rights violation that has been
Monday, the French envoy to Germany, Anne-Marie Descotes warned the German
government against the “politicization” of arms sales that might jeopardize
joint ventures for jets, drones, and tanks.
an article published by the Federal Academy for Security Policy of the German
military, Descotes said Germany's position is leading more companies to develop
“German-free” weapons, referring to weapons developed without German input.
University withdrew a fellowship from divisive academic Jordan Peterson because
he posed with a man wearing a t-shirt emblazoned “I’m a proud Islamophobe”, a
senior member of the institution said.
Canadian professor, an advocate for male rights and critic of transgender
identity activism, is somewhat of a darling among the anti-establishment.
offer of a two-month visiting fellowship was rescinded last week. The
56-year-old psychology lecturer, a staunch critic of political correctness, has
amassed tens of millions of video views online and 1.13 million followers on
last week, the faculty became aware of a photograph of Professor Peterson
posing with his arm around a man wearing a T-shirt that clearly bore the slogan
'I’m a proud Islamophobe', said a statement by Vice-Chancellor Professor
Stephen Toope, himself a Canadian.
casual endorsement by association of this message was thought to be
antithetical to the work of a faculty that prides itself in the advancement of
inter-faith understanding,” he added.
but bigotry does seem to follow you. This is New Zealand, less than a month
AM - Mar 16, 2019
James Edward's other Tweets
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the rescindment hit the headlines last week, Mr Peterson said the divinity
faculty, which had initially made the offer, “could hardly have been more
narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious” in its handling of the
academic said the school had showed “their solidarity with the
accused the department of failing to care about the apparent decline of
Christianity amid a fall in church attendance, rise in agnostic or atheistic
views and “irrelevance” of theological education.
to accusations Cambridge had pandered to so-called "snowflake"
sentiments of people unable to take criticism, Mr Toope referred to a statement
he made nearly 10 years ago as vice-chancellor of the University of British
Columbia, where he said “we are a community that values respect for all
debate can scarcely occur, for example, when some members of the community are
made to feel personally attacked, not for their ideas but for their very
identity,” he said.
vice-chancellor universities needed to remain places of “often challenging and
even uncomfortable dialogue” while ”balancing academic freedom with respect for
members of our community”.
Peterson’s self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos became an
announcing his fellowship on March 18, Mr Peterson had said it would be a “a
thrill” to talk to "religious experts of all types… as well as students”.
slams Brunei’s new ‘vicious’ Islamic criminal laws
LUMPUR, Malaysia — Amnesty International has slammed plans by Brunei to
implement what the rights group calls “vicious” Islamic criminal laws such as
stoning to death for gay sex and amputation for theft.
says the new penalties, which also apply to children, are provided for in new
sections under Brunei’s Sharia Penal Code and will come into effect April 3.
sultan instituted the Sharia Penal Code in 2014 to bolster the influence of Islam
in the tiny, oil-rich monarchy, which has long been known for conservative
policies such as banning the public sale of liquor.
on Wednesday called the new laws “cruel and inhuman” and urged the sultanate to
“immediately halt its plans to implement these vicious punishments.”
LUMPUR, March 26 — Former foreign affairs minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar has
said that Malaysia should consider taking the Myanmar government to the
International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Rohingya genocide.
said in a report by English daily The Star that the ICC was not the last resort
to address the issue but one of the avenues that Malaysia has to seriously
consider, unless Myanmar takes steps to change the situation.
perpetrators of the crime of genocide, crime against humanity and gross
violation must be brought to justice. It is about humanity and justice,"
he reportedly told journalists at the International Symposium On The Path To
Justice For The Rohingyas here today.
Hamid, who is also a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia member, added that Myanmar
should follow Malaysia's example of inclusive democracy which has allowed the
nation to strengthen itself and achieve independence.
LUMPUR, March 27 — Malaysian civil society groups did not prepare alternative
strategies because they did not expect Barisan Nasional (BN) to lose the 2018
election, a report suggested.
to the annual report by global civil society organisation (CSO) alliance
Civicus, local groups not only face the challenge of resisting being co-opted
by Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, but also to provide a new approach
after years of attrition under BN.
there was momentum for change and a number of initiatives that saw civil
society coalitions or collaborations focused on the outcomes of the elections —
for example, by issuing alternative manifestos — there was little real
discussion on the possible scenarios, given the uncertainties and concerns that
unlawful methods would be used to resist this change.
wasn’t clear what civil society’s stance would have been had the outcomes been
different, and how it proposes to move forward in this environment,” University
of Nottingham Malaysia’s assistant professor Gayathry Venkiteswaran was quoted
saying in the State of Civil Society Report 2019.
was listed as one of the examples where the establishment has been shocked in
2018, along with Armenia, Ethiopia, Maldives, Mexico, and South Korea.
report noted that Malaysian CSOs had to deal with the possibility that BN and
its supporters would reassert themselves, while at the same time deal with a
federal administration that may be resistant to change.
may still be fears that the BN coalition, especially members of Umno and
organisations associated with them, use provocations to destabilise the
situation, and that Malay-Muslim electorates are pressed hard to become more
fundamentalist in response to a multiracial narrative.
the same time, there are concerns that the ruling coalition could backtrack on
its promises in order to accommodate the opposition and resistance from among
BN and Umno supporters,” Gayathry added.
added that local CSOs should ensure that any reforms take place for the
long-term, irrespective of which political parties are in power, pointing to
now defunct Coalition for Good Governance in Selangor, and the Penang Forum,
following the 2008 regime changes in both states.
comes as the report said that globally, government attacks on humanitarian
organisations are on the rise, while right-wing populists, nationalists and
extremist groups are being mobilised to attack vulnerable groups such as
refugees, migrants, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
society, acting on humanitarian impulses, confronts a rising tide of global
mean-spiritedness, challenging humanitarian values in a way unparalleled since
the Second World War,” said Civicus secretary-general Lysa John.
annual State of Civil Society Report examines major events that involve and
affect civil society around the world.
contains contributions from civil society across the world and findings from
the Civicus Monitor, an online platform that tracks threats to civic space in
group ‘appalled’ by Saudi-led airstrike that killed children
prominent children’s rights organization says it has been “shocked and
appalled” by a recent Saudi-led airstrike against Yemen that killed four
children, calling for an investigation into the raid.
UK-based Save the Children said on Tuesday that the airstrike hit the vicinity
of a hospital supported by the organization near Sa’ada Province’s capital of
the same name. Three more people, including health workers and security guards,
were also killed during the attack, while two more adults are still unaccounted
for, it added.
the Children called for “an urgent investigation into the latest atrocity.”
are shocked and appalled by this outrageous attack,” its chief executive Helle
hospital is just one of the many Save the Children supports across Yemen,
delivering life-saving aid to children living in what is the worst place on
earth to be a child,” she said. “These children have the right to be safe in
their hospitals, schools, and homes… Children must be protected.”
recent report by the organization said the Saudi-led war on Yemen has killed at
least 2,500 Yemeni children — 30 children every month — since March 2015, when
the aggression started.
August, Saudi warplanes used US-supplied bombs to target a school bus in
Sa’ada, killing 40 children on board.
overall death toll from the war — launched to reinstate a former Yemeni regime
that had been submissive to Riyadh — stands at above 57,000, according to
multinational humanitarian organization Action against Hunger.
including children, are indiscriminately targeted by the Saudi-led coalition,
which receives intelligence and logistical assistance from the US and the UK.
Children are also the main victims of a widespread famine caused by a blockade
that the Saudi-led coalition has imposed on Yemen.
Arabia denounced US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel’s 1981
annexation of the Golan Heights, a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency
said early on Tuesday.
to impose fait accompli do not change the facts,” the statement said. It said
the Golan Heights was an “occupied Syrian Arab land in accordance with the
relevant international resolutions”.
will have significant negative effects on the peace process in the Middle East
and the security and stability of the region,” it said.
with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking over his
shoulder during a visit to Washington, signed a proclamation on Monday
officially granting US recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War and annexed it
in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
state news agency says thousands of Syrians have gathered in the streets of
different cities to protest President Donald Trump’s formal recognition of
Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.
posted photographs of a march in the southern city of Sweida on Tuesday
morning, in which men and women carried Syrian and Palestinian flags and
banners reading “Golan is Syrian.”
said another protest took place in the southern city of Daraa.
formally signed the proclamation alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu on Monday, reversing more than a half-century of US policy in the
on Tuesday claimed an attack killing seven US-backed fighters in the northern
Syrian city of Manbij, days after their “caliphate” was declared defeated.
caliphate’s soldiers attacked a checkpoint... west of Manbij city last night,”
said a statement published on the group’s social media channels.
is a former ISIS stronghold that is now ruled by a military council affiliated
with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US-backed Kurdish-led alliance
which declared victory over ISIS in its last redoubt in eastern Syria on
around midnight (2200 GMT) on Monday, gunmen opened fire at fighters manning a
checkpoint at the entrance to the city, killing seven, the council said. There
was no immediate claim of responsibility.
spokesman Sherfan Darwish said it could be a revenge attack by ISIS sleeper
cells. “After the victory over ISIS, we have entered the phase of sleeper
cells,” Darwish told AFP. “These sleeper cells are being activated and carrying
out attacks but we will foil their operations.”
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said
the attack was probably the work of ISIS, which would make it “the first attack
of its kind” since its defeat last week.
head Rami Abdul Rahman said it was also the bloodiest attack in Manbij since
January 16, when 19 people, including four US service personnel, were killed in
a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS.
has vowed to carry out revenge attacks against the SDF for the six-month
offensive, which culminated in the group’s defeat in the village of Baghouz,
close to the Iraqi border, on Saturday.
Observatory said hundreds of SDF members had been killed in attacks believed to
have been carried out by ISIS sleeper cells since August.
said on Tuesday it regretted the US decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty
over the Golan Heights and called for the respect of international laws.
foreign ministry reaffirms its position that Golan Heights are an Arab and
Syrian territories, occupied by Israel since June 1967, as it is confirmed by
the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” the ministry said in a statement.
An Egyptian court upheld Tuesday a decision to put 145 people, including
staunch Muslim Brotherhood supporters, on the country’s “terrorism list,” a
judicial source said.
Court of Cassation rejected appeals against a ruling passed by a lower court in
June last year.
defendants were accused of training militants and plotting violence in the
country, the source said.
list includes senior Brotherhood figures, many of whom fled Egypt following the
military ouster of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.
Brotherhood was designated a “terrorist organization” months after Mursi’s
TV hosts Moataz Matar and Mohamed Nasser, who both work for pro-Muslim
Brotherhood channels, are among those on the list.
has recently been in the crosshairs of the state after initiating online calls
for protests against President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Daesh militants killed seven US-backed fighters in the northern Syrian city of
Manbij, its military council said on Tuesday, days after the group’s
“caliphate” was declared defeated.
has claimed the Manbij attack. Manbij is a former Daesh stronghold that is now
ruled by a military council affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),
the US-backed Kurdish-led alliance which declared victory over Daesh in its
last redoubt in eastern Syria on Saturday.
around midnight (2200 GMT) on Monday, gunmen opened fire at fighters manning a
checkpoint at the entrance to the city, killing seven, the council said.
caliphate’s soldiers attacked a checkpoint ... west of Manbij city last night,”
said a statement published on the group’s social media channels.
spokesman Sherfan Darwish earlier said it could be a revenge attack by Daesh
the victory over IS, we have entered the phase of sleeper cells,” Darwish said.
sleeper cells are being activated and carrying out attacks but we will foil
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said
the attack was probably the work of Daesh, which would make it “the first
attack of its kind” since the SDF declared the defeat of the caliphate last
head Rami Abdul Rahman said it was also the bloodiest attack in Manbij since
January 16, when 19 people, including four US service personnel, were killed in
a suicide bombing claimed by Daesh.
has vowed to carry out revenge attacks against the SDF for the six-month
offensive which culminated in the militants’ defeat in the village of Baghouz,
close to the Iraqi border, on Saturday.
Observatory said hundreds of SDF members had been killed in attacks believed to
have been carried out by Daesh sleeper cells since August.
is also a major point of contention between the Kurds, who lead the SDF, and
neighboring Turkey, which is deeply opposed to their autonomous administration
in northeastern and parts of northern Syria.
city is one of the few areas west of the Euphrates that remains under Kurdish
influence after Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies overran the
Kurdish enclave of Afrin in March last year.
December, Ankara threatened to launch a new offensive to dislodge the People’s
Protection Units (YPG) — the Kurdish force that forms the backbone of the SDF —
from the entire length of the border.
to FATF review, Pakistan under watch for terror funding
by Rahul Tripathi
more international pressure for Pakistan, the Asia/Pacific Group (APG) has
expressed displeasure over Islamabad’s lack of compliance with global
anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing norms, The Indian Express
APG is an inter-governmental organisation modelled on the lines of the
Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which decided in January to keep Pakistan
on its “grey list” for having made only “limited progress” in curbing money
laundering and terrorism.
as FATF Style Regional Bodies (FSRBs), APG covers 41 jurisdictions, including
India and Pakistan. The two-day mutual evaluation process by the APG, which
started Monday, is separate from an FATF review but will examine Islamabad’s
compliance with 40 recommendations made by the global task force. Sources said
the APG committee visiting Pakistan comprises six members, including from the
US, China, the UK, Turkey, Indonesia and the Maldives.
to APG, this is its second mutual evaluation for Pakistan in the last ten
years. The organisation will submit its report after the ongoing on-site
evaluation to FATF, which is expected to take it up in October.
non-compliance report from APG could push Pakistan further into a corner,
sources said, adding that the country has failed to comply with 28 out of the
40 FATF recommendations.
said that if Pakistan fails to comply with “at least 10-12” of the 40 FATF
recommendations, it faces sanctions by international monetary bodies.
that case, they said, Pakistan faces the risk of being downgraded by
multilateral lenders like the IMF, World Bank, ADB, etc. It may also be subject
to a downgrade in risk rating by agencies such as Moodys, S&P and Fitch,
the 40 FATF recommendations, Islamabad is said to be either fully or partially
compliant with only eight, sources said. During the FATF review earlier,
Pakistan had submitted a 26-point action plan in June 2018 to the task force
and committed to implementing it over the next 15 months.
action plan included a squeeze on the finances of terror outfits such as the
Jamaat-ud Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniyat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani
Network and the Afghan Taliban.
has recalled its ambassador to Pakistan over reported remarks by Prime Minister
Imran Khan that suggested that Kabul should set up an interim government,
calling the comments "irresponsible".
premier had told journalists on Monday that forming an interim Afghan
government would smooth peace talks between the United States and Taliban
officials since the militant group refuses to speak to the current government,
according to comments published in The Express Tribune.
Afghan government was a hurdle in (the) peace process that was insisting that
Taliban should talk to it, Prime Minister Khan was quoted as saying.
also said he had cancelled a scheduled meeting with Taliban leaders because of
objections by the Afghan government.
summoned Pakistan's deputy ambassador to discuss the "irresponsible"
remarks by Prime Minister Khan, said Afghan foreign affairs ministry spokesman
Sibghatullah Ahmadi in a series of tweets on Tuesday. A statement issued by the
Afghan embassy confirmed the development.
Afghan government deemed Khan's statements as "an obvious example of
Pakistan's interventional policy and disrespect to the national sovereignty and
determination of the people of Afghanistan," Ahmadi said.
has reached out to the Foreign Office in Islamabad for a comment on the matter.
a tweet, US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad
also appeared to criticise the prime minister's reported comments.
said "while Pakistan has made constructive contributions on the Afghan
Peace Process, PM Khan's comments did not".
future of Afghanistan is for Afghans, and only Afghans, to decide."
row marks the third time in just over a month that Kabul has demanded an
explanation from Pakistan over comments related to peace talks, illustrating
the flaring tensions between the two neighbours at a sensitive time.
and Taliban officials have held recurring talks to end the 17-year war, but the
Taliban consider the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani as
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US envoy for Afghanistan, began a fresh tour that will
take him to Islamabad and Kabul, besides other capitals in the region, for a
new round of talks with the Taliban, the State Department said on Tuesday.
Khalilzad will also visit Belgium, Britain, Jordan and Uzbekistan as he seeks
global support for a peace deal. The trip is scheduled to run through April 10.
envoy met representatives from China, Russia and the European Union last week.
State Department did not confirm Mr Khalilzad would hold fresh talks with the
Taliban, but said he would stop in Qatar, the usual location for negotiations
with the militants.
more: Afghanistan recalls ambassador to Pakistan in row over PM Khan's remarks
trip is “part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that brings
all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations”, the State
Former prime minister Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday appeared before the National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a multi-billion-rupee liquefied natural gas
(LNG) case after which the anti-graft watchdog recommended travel ban on him.
Abbasi said he would soon hold a press conference on Prime Minister Imran
Khan’s “revelation” about “big” offshore oil reserves near Karachi.
has been learnt that NAB wrote a letter to the interior ministry on Tuesday,
asking the latter to bar the former premier from leaving the country since an
inquiry pertaining to alleged irregularities in LNG import is under way against
coming out of the NAB office, Mr Abbasi told the media that he was summoned by
NAB for the fourth time. “I will keep appearing before NAB, even if they call
me every day.”
prime minister appears before anti-graft watchdog in LNG case
Abbasi sought time from NAB to submit more records demanded by the bureau and
said the required record was available with the petroleum ministry, and not
with him. “For this I have written a letter to the petroleum secretary,” he
time Mr Abbasi had appeared before NAB was on Feb 19 as the inquiry against him
is being conducted directly under the supervision of NAB Chairman retired
Justice Javed Iqbal.
Jan 2, NAB’s executive board had authorised two investigations against Mr
Abbasi, being former minister for petroleum and natural resources — one for his
alleged involvement in irregularities in import of LNG and the second relating
to appointment of Naeemuudin Khan as president of Bank of Punjab.
the other hand, Mr Abbasi had claimed several times in the recent past that he
had not committed any illegality in the award of contracts for LNG import and
could prove his innocence at any forum. He was of the view that the import of
LNG was the need of the time in 2013 when the country was facing an acute
shortage of gas.
is the first NAB case against Mr Abbasi, who has served as prime minister for
almost a year since the removal of Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court on July
during the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, NAB Karachi in its
regional board meeting had closed down the inquiry against Mr Abbasi in
the then opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had opposed the bureau’s decision
and claimed that “the inquiry was stopped despite the fact that it had been
proved that the contract had been awarded in a non-transparent manner”.
the NAB inquiry had revealed that the management of Inter-State Gas Systems and
Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) had, in a non-transparent manner,
selected M/s Engro as a successful bidder for LNG terminal at Karachi Port.
NAB inquiry found that the SSGCL had signed the 15-year contract with a
subsidiary company of Engro for re-gasification of LNG at fixed daily
processing charges. The government authorised the Pakistan State Oil to procure
LNG on behalf of the SSGCL.
Led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Tuesday
launched its Caravan-i-Bhutto — a two-day train journey from Karachi to
Larkana. The caravan was originally aimed to coincide with the April 4 death
anniversary of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but it’s largely
believed that the party is using the activity to strengthen its anti-government
perception was reinforced when the party chairman in his addresses to workers
at different stations targeted the federal government’s policies, alleged
rigging in the 2018 general election, criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for
taking ‘U-turns’ and questioned the effectiveness of the operation against
a large and charged crowd at Karachi Cantt Station before embarking on a
special train with senior leaders and hundreds of workers, the PPP chairman was
confident that the caravan would help strengthen democracy.
chairman to address party workers at 25 different locations before reaching his
government is using the law which was introduced by dictator Musharraf to
victimise his political opponents,” he said, amidst a roar from the crowd. “Do
they think that the grandson of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto will get scared with these
tactics? Would they silence us through such cheap moves? Would they stop us
from raising voice? Never! It can never happen. We didn’t bend before the
dictators — Zia and Musharraf; how can we compromise with this puppet
government? Let’s be there in Larkana on April 4 to send a loud and clear
message about the future of this country.”
speaking to the crowd, he asked the people to attend the April 4 rally in
Larkana in large numbers to send a message to “anti-democracy forces”.
the journey began, the PPP chairman was welcomed amidst party slogans by
hundreds of charged workers, who were dancing to the tune of party songs.
atmosphere further electrified when the PPP chairman, defying all security
protocols, stood in the gate of a compartment, waved to workers and even shook
hands with many of them.
minister and senior PPP leader Saeed Ghani said the party chairman would address
his supporters at 25 different locations before reaching his final destination.
party has booked the train using its own money,” he said. “We are peaceful and
only using our democratic and constitutional rights for a political activity.
If the federal government attempts to interfere during this journey, the PPP
will deal with it accordingly.”
the train moved to other Sindh districts and made a stopover at different
stations, the PPP chairman maintained his aggressive tone against Prime
Minister Imran Khan and his government. Addressing a large crowd at Jungshahi
railway station, Mr Bhutto-Zardari contended that “anti-democracy forces” would
never succeed in their “nefarious designs to eliminate the party of the
fact, they used all ugly tactics to obstruct his [Zulfikar Ali Bhutto] grandson
from contesting elections,” he said. “Our camps in Larkana and Lyari came under
bomb attacks, our workers were threatened and pressurised and 54 activists went
missing during the campaign, but they could not succeed in their designs. The
establishment could not succeed through NAB while implicating our workers and
leaders in false cases.”
at the Kotri station, the PPP chairman alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan
first “robbed” Sindh of Rs120 billion and then opted to victimise activists and
leaders of the opposition parties to strengthen his grounds through
the name of accountability, political victimisation continues. We will not
allow anyone to decide the fate of Sindh. We and the people of Sindh will
decide our fate,” he said and added that the government had offered an “NRO” to
the banned organisations.
of trial to Rawalpindi criticised
a few thousand highly charged party workers at Hyderabad railway station, where
he arrived from Karachi on his way to Larkana, Bilawal devoted most of his
speech to the shifting of the trial in a case against him and other PPP
leadership to Rawalpindi from Sindh.
said anti-democracy forces had thought that by hanging Z.A. Bhutto they would
do away with the PPP. But Bhutto didn’t take a U-turn on his principles. He
preferred going to the gallows to compromising on his ideology, he remarked and
said that likewise his mother and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto did not bow down
before Zia and Musharraf.
today they are still afraid of Z.A. Bhutto’s ideology and his thinking,” said
the PPP chairman.
the media faced censorship and I was not allowed to run my political campaign
in the elections,” he said and added that till today Form-45 of the Malakand
and Lyari constituencies were missing.
know Rawalpindi always becomes a ‘Karbala’ for the Bhuttos,” he said amid
applause and asked the government “to desist from ridiculing the rule of law”.
At least four suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up during an
intelligence-based operation (IBO) conducted by security forces in
Balochistan’s Loralai district on Tuesday.
to sources, personnel from the Counter-Terrorism Department and other security
agencies conducted the raid in Nasirabad area of Loralai.
least four security personnel were injured during the raid and taken to Loralai
hospital, police officials said.
to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the suspected terrorists were
involved in several attacks in the province, including the one in Ziarat where
six Levies personnel were killed on March 20.
police source said that a mastermind of attacks on the levies personnel was
also among the suspects who blew themselves up.
large cache of weapons, suicide jackets and heavy explosives, personal
belongings including service cards and NICs of Levies personnel killed at
Sanjawi were also recovered, ISPR said.
Islam project’ could lead to new Ankara-Berlin tensions
Germany has reportedly initiated a campaign to push German Muslims to develop a
new interpretation of Islam, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
we need now is an Islam for German Muslims that belongs to Germany,” Markus
Kerber, the government representative responsible for relations with the Muslim
community under the German Interior Ministry, reportedly told the Financial
move of Europe’s economic powerhouse is expected to influence Turkey’s
state-led diaspora engagement with German-Turks as well as its state-level
relations with Germany. But experts do not anticipate relations to further
deteriorate as they say they are already as bad as they can get.
mostly from the conservative section of society, have been emigrating to
Germany since the early 1960s; originally as guest workers during the economic
boom. They have since become the largest Muslim community in the country.
new plan aims to counter foreign influence on the Muslim community and provide
homegrown training to all imams preaching in Germany.
largest Islamic organization in Germany is the Turkish-Islamic Union for
Religious Affairs, which is affiliated to Turkey’s state directorate for
religious affairs. Turkey is sending imams to Germany who are paid by the
Turkish government and who are preaching in Turkish in 900 mosques funded by
to Yoruk Halil, a halal butcher living in Frankfurt, Germany’s new move will be
beneficial for the Turkish Muslim community.
imams coming from Turkey do not benefit Turkish youth in Germany because these
young people have been raised with a totally different culture and they mostly
speak German, so they cannot establish a healthy dialogue with those imams,”
Halil told Arab News. “In order to reach out to the Muslim community, including
Turks, there is a need to use homegrown imams.
15-year-old son has been going to the mosque for five years and he even told me
that he has better communication with imams being trained and educated in
Germany,” he said.
is also a continuing debate over requiring Muslims in Germany to pay a worship
is against any “Germanification” of Islam and considers any redefinition of
Islam for Germany against the universality of the religion.
move intends to further integrate Muslims’ daily routines into German society,
to boost the loyalty of the 3 million members of the German-Turkish
community. It is therefore considered a
move for breaking the Turkish community’s ties with their national and
religious identity as well as their traditions.
year, German police recorded some 578 hate crimes against Muslims between January
and September, while about half of Germans think that Islam is incompatible
with the values of their nation, according to recent research by pollster
has been developing diaspora politics since the mid-2000s, and Turks in Germany
have been put at the center of it,” Murat Onsoy, an expert in Turkey-Germany
relations at Hacettepe University in Ankara, told Arab News.
for Onsoy, the presence of imams in Germany who have been appointed by Turkey
is a socialization factor for the Turkish diaspora — who show relatively low
rates of crime — and to maintain their links with their home country.
Germany rejects Turkish funding to these mosques, they will face serious
difficulties in covering their expenses,” he said.
has a community of about 4.5 million Muslims worshipping at about 2,400
mosques, and the number is expected to rise with the refugee influx from Muslim
countries such as Afghanistan and Sy The German federal constitution, called
Basic Law, gives autonomy to Muslim communities to receive funding and
religious officials from abroad to operate mosques in Germany.
is unlikely that this article of the constitution would be easily amended.
Various provinces would react to such a move, resulting in widespread protests.
The Turkish government would raise the issue at the intergovernmental Islamic
organizations, and the German government would be obliged take a step back,”
however, draws attention to the timing of the debate.
coincides with the upcoming local elections in Turkey this Sunday, and in the
past we witnessed that such potential crises with Western countries have been
used by the ruling government to consolidate its voters through engaging in
international polemics and assuming the role of the defender of external Turks
and ‘Islam’ worldwide,” he said.
Kaya, professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, said that the move in Germany to
bring a homegrown reading to Islam had already been on the table since Angela
Merkel’s initiative in 2006.
it contradicts with the Sunni Islam rhetoric, what Germany did is a
counter-move against the lobbying strategies of Muslim countries such as
Turkey, Morocco or Algeria within German territories,” he told Arab News.
also noted that in the past Germany and Turkey developed joint projects to
train imams who would be appointed in Germany by providing them with linguistic
and cultural-integration skills.
latest move is a dialectic result of the political maneuvers on the diasporas
by countries who are sending and receiving migration,” he said.
mocks Trump administration for attempt to take credit for Daesh ‘defeat’
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has ridiculed the administration of US
President Donald Trump for attempting to take credit for “defeating” a
notorious terror group of Washington’s own making in the Middle East.
& Co try to take credit for the ‘defeat of ISIS’—which was created &
nourished by their invasion of Iraq & their fomenting of unrest in Syria,”
Zarif said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Monday, using an
acronym for the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
& Co try to take credit for the "defeat of ISIS”—which was created
& nourished by their invasion of Iraq & their fomenting of unrest in
Syria. He’s also given credit for saving the Jews. So, while they're at it, he
might as well take the credit for Xexes' defeat of Sparta.
PM - Mar 25, 2019
people are talking about this
White House and Trump on Friday announced that Syria was now free from Daesh.
House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the terror
group’s territorial rule had been “100 percent eliminated” from Syria, while
showing a map to reporters that she said displayed the eradication of Daesh’s
so-called caliphate over the last two years, in what was viewed as an attempt
to give the US president credit for the “defeat” of Daesh.
in the day, Trump took to Twitter and said Daesh no longer held any territory
Washington, the US-backed militants in Syria pronounced the death of Daesh’s “caliphate”
after driving out the terrorists from a small village in Dayr al-Zawr Province.
was largely defeated in late 2017 by the Syrian army thanks to support from the
Damascus government’s allies, namely Iran and Russia, losing almost all the
swathes of land it had captured from the Syrian government in the course of its
2014, when Daesh showed face in Syria, the US and a coalition of its allies
invaded the Arab country under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri outfit. That
military campaign not only did little to eliminate the terror group, but, on
numerous occasions, hampered national army advances on the battlefield against
Daesh and led to civilian casualties.
the past few years, Russia and Syria have frequently reported that the US
provides support to Daesh in areas where Washington has stationed military
forces and runs military bases. There have also been numerous reports of the US
military airlifting Daesh terrorists from different locations to protect them
against advancing Syrian army forces.
is not the first time that that Trump claims victory over Daesh.
December, the US president announced that he would withdraw all 2,000 American
troops from Syria.
a reversal, The Wall Street Journal, later reported that Washington was
planning to keep about 1,000 troops in Syria.
US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph Dunford rejected the report as
“factually incorrect,” stressing that there was no change to the planned 400
troops, which the White House wanted to keep in Syria.
US special representative for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, said on Monday that American
forces would remain in Syria in limited numbers to continue the so-called fight
against the Takfiri group and find the whereabouts of Daesh leader Ibrahim
al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
is not the end of the fight against Daesh. That will go on, but it will be a
different kind of fight,” he said, according to the Middle East Monitor.
February, an Iraqi lawmaker said that al-Baghdadi, was being protected by US
forces in a western desert area located in the Iraqi Province of al-Anbar.
Salem from the Parliament’s Al-Sadiqoun Bloc, which is associated with the
Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) paramilitary group, said, “He is
traveling between Iraq and Syria under US forces’ protection.”
in his tweet, Zarif also mocked members of Trump’s administration for
attempting to credit Trump – a New York real estate mogul -- with saving Jews.
also given credit for saving the Jews. So, while they’re at it, he might as
well take the credit for Xe[r]xes' defeat of Sparta,” Zarif said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently that it was possible God raised
Trump to be president in order to protect Israel from Iran.
made the remarks in a recent visit to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, where he
paid a controversial visit to the Buraq Wall, called by Israel as the Wailing
Wall, in the Old City.
“could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a
time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the
Iranian menace?" he said, "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's
is home to some 25,000 Jews who are a recognized minority and are even
represented in the parliament.
Hebrew Bible has repeatedly praised Persian King Cyrus the Great as the patron
and deliverer of the Jews who put an end to their Babylonian captivity.
Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be an “attack” on Palestinian
people and a breach of international law, the Palestinian envoy to the Latin
American country said Tuesday.
comments by Ibrahim Alzeben come days before Brazil’s far-right President Jair
Bolsonaro makes an official visit to Israel where his earlier pledge to move
the embassy from Tel Aviv is expected to be raised.
the embassy of any country... is a violation of international law and an attack
on the Palestinian people,” Alzeben told AFP.
taking power in January, Bolsonaro reiterated his promise to follow US
President Donald Trump’s lead in relocating the embassy to Jerusalem.
controversial proposal has raised fears the shift could endanger Brazil’s
valuable meat exports to Arab markets.
minister Ernesto Araujo told reporters last week the government was “still
studying” the plan.
decision to move the embassy is highly sensitive because Israel claims all of
Jerusalem as its capital, while Palestinians view east Jerusalem as theirs.
all countries agree that Jerusalem’s status can only be defined through wider
Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
far, only the United States and Guatemala have broken with that consensus by
opening embassies in Jerusalem. Paraguay backtracked on a decision last year to
move its embassy. Israel and the US have spoken with Honduras about its embassy
going to Jerusalem.
Palestinians cut off ties with the Trump administration after its decision was
first announced in December 2017, saying the government’s pro-Israel bias meant
it could no longer lead peace negotiations between them and Israel.
fighting between Israel and Hamas abated on Tuesday after a day of Palestinian
rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes, but Israel said it reserved the right
to strike again and kept its forces massed at the Gaza frontier.
biggest Israeli-Palestinian escalation in months, which began on Monday with
the longest-range rocket attack to cause casualties in Israel for five years,
appeared to have been curbed overnight by Egyptian mediation.
responded to Monday’s rocket attack with a wave of strikes on targets belonging
to the Hamas militant group that controls the Gaza strip. Seven Israelis were
injured in the initial rocket attack and five Palestinians were wounded by the
retaliatory Israeli strikes, although most of the targets hit appeared to have
been evacuated in advance.
border area fell quiet on Tuesday morning after Hamas said Egypt had brokered a
truce. As in past escalations that ended with Egyptian mediation, Israel denied
it had agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas, which it views as a terrorist group.
escalation was the biggest since November between Israel and Hamas, which
fought three wars between 2007 and 2014 and have come to the brink of all-out
conflict several times since.
don’t want war”
Israeli air strikes in Gaza lit up the night sky and explosions rocked the
densely-populated coastal enclave, destroying targets that included the office
of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The military said extra Israeli soldiers and
tanks had been moved to the border.
the morning, with the bombing having stopped, Gazans picked through the rubble
of destroyed buildings to search for valuables and documents. Some Gaza
universities were shut but schools were open, although many families kept
don’t want war, but if Israel wants it then what should we do? We ask our
factions to respond,” said Mohammad Sayed, 40. “But we hope Egypt reaches a
deal to end this.”
militants fired barrages of rockets into Israel late into Monday night. Some were
shot down by Israeli defenses and others landed in empty areas.
resistance groups have fired rockets into Israel in response to the regime’s
fresh airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip for the second night in a row.
air raids targeted several areas including the town of Khan Yunis and the Rafah
border crossing south of the Gaza city.
sources in Gaza Strip say Israeli airstrikes on Rafah damaged residential homes
and electricity network.
retaliation, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas fired rockets toward
airstrikes came hours after the United Nations' Middle East envoy warned about
catastrophic consequences of a new outbreak of violence in Gaza.
Mladenov said the situation is extremely tense despite the declaration of a
ceasefire between Israelis and Palestinians.
Israeli prime minister had also warned that Tel Aviv is prepared for further
military actions in the Palestinian territories.
Israeli military has also deployed artillery and tank brigades along the
so-called buffer zone with Gaza.
new Israeli aggression against the coastal enclave came after Tel Aviv
authorities said earlier on Monday that a long-range rocket launched from the
Gaza Strip had struck an area near Tel Aviv in central Israel, wounding seven
early morning attack on Mishmeret, an agricultural town north of Tel Aviv, came
a day after Israeli warplanes bombed the besieged enclave ahead of the
anniversary of Gaza fence protests at the weekend.
forced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short his trip to
Washington immediately after meeting US President Donald Trump later on Monday,
his office said.
Hamas official, who asked not to be named, told AFP on Monday, "No one from
the resistance movements, including Hamas, has an interest in firing rockets
from the Gaza Strip towards the enemy."
of Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, and other major
cities to mark the fourth anniversary of the Saudi regime’s devastating war
against the Arab country and reiterate their steadfastness in the face of the
provinces and cities, including Sana’a, Sa’ada, Ta’izz, Ibb, Bayda and Raymah,
have been witnessing mass rallies since Monday, Yemen's al-Masirah television
the protests reached their peak on Tuesday, March 26, the anniversary of the
day the Saudi regime and a coalition of its vassal states launched the
US-backed military campaign against Yemen in 2015 to reinstate the ex-Yemeni
government – a close Riyadh ally – and destroy the popular Houthi Ansarullah
demonstrators carried placards and Yemeni national flags, chanting slogans
against Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US, which has been providing military
support to the Saudi-led coalition in the course of the war.
offensive initially consisted of a bombing campaign, but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.
to eventually defeat enemy’
Grand Mufti was among the keynote speakers at the rally in Sana’a, where he
called on the Arab country’s religious scholars as well as the Muslim world not
to remain silent in the face of the crimes the Al Saud regime and its allies
have been committing against Yemenis.
Ali al-Houthi, the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen,
also delivered a speech during which he said, “The Yemeni nation will continue
fighting to the end and [we] will never give in. We will finally defeat the
further condemned US President Donald Trump’s decision on Monday to formally
recognize Syria’s occupied Golan Heights as part of the “Israeli
a televised speech broadcast live on Monday evening, Leader of Yemen’s Houthi
Ansarullah movement Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the Saudi regime has failed to
achieve its objectives despite enjoying support from Washington and its other
said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- a key member of the
Riyadh-led alliance -- are today facing economic challenges because of the
protracted war, even though the Saudi regime had predicted victory within a few
to the former Saudi-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the Houthi leader
said no one has the right to sell his country and to waste the blood of his
resigned shortly before the war and fled to the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Houthi movement has been both running state affairs from Sana’a and leading
Yemeni armed forces in counter-operations against the Saudi-led aggressors.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying
hospitals, schools, and factories.
UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of
food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world
body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
Dozens of Houthi militia have been killed in battles across Yemen, the Saudi
Press Agency reported on Monday.
Yemeni army killed 45 militia and wounded 30 in Ibb province, while another 40
Houthi fighters were killed in clashes in Qaataba district.
Marib province, coalition raids killed a Houthi commander and his men.
coalition-backed forces sieged the main route that connects the provinces of
Al-Dhale and Ibb south of Sanaa.
picked up in Hodeidah despite a truce agreement between the warring sides in
December. An offensive by Yemeni forces last year liberated much of
Houthi-controlled territory along the strategic Red Sea, about four years after
the Iran-supported group ousted the internationally-recognized government.
team to investigate ‘horrific’ massacre in central Mali
The United Nations is deploying crime-scene investigators, human rights
officers and a child protection expert to central Mali to investigate
intercommunal violence over the weekend that killed more than 150 people,
one-third of them children.
Ravina Shamdasani of the UN human rights office says the massacre in Ogossagou,
in Mali’s Mopti region, mostly targeted people from the ethnic Fulani, or
said Tuesday the “horrific attacks” signal a “spike in killings” in a cycle of
violence in the region that has caused 600 deaths and displaced thousands since
said the attacks appeared to be motivated by an effort to eliminate violent
Islamic extremist groups active in Mali, but that “millions of people are being
painted as violent extremists simply because they are Muslim.”
Death toll from Friday’s attack climbs to 160
death toll from Friday’s armed attack in Mali has risen to 160, local media
reported on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita visited the region and vowed to restore peace in the
village, according to MaliJet, a local media outlet.
Friday, militants had stormed the village of Egossagou in central Mali, leaving
many people dead and many houses burnt.
have seen innocent children and elders are shot dead. I have seen burnt houses
and 40 people in a mass grave. It reminds me of our horrible past that we think
has passed," Keita said.
has also sacked and replaced the West African country's army chief of staff and
chief of land forces following the attack.
government said the village has been completely evacuated and that it is
working to stabilize the region. Food and necessary support has also been
provided to the victims, according to the media outlet.
erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Touareg rebellion that
ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take control of the
northern half of the country.
2015, a peace deal was signed between the government and some insurgent groups.
Africans of different faiths on Monday condemned rising incidents of
Islamophobia and racism globally in the wake of the recent attacks on mosques
in Christchurch, New Zealand.
should be addressed by all religious and racial groups because Muslims now live
in fear wherever they go,” Pauline Naidoo, president of the Hindu Maha Sabha
community, told an audience in Johannesburg.
said leaders in western countries should educate their citizens about the
cultures of racial and religious communities living in their midst to help stem
the increasing hatred and attacks.
should appreciate the freedoms we have in our country, but we should never
believe that South Africa is immune to such attacks of white supremacists,”
Ismail Vadi, a board member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, said in his
who is also Gauteng province’s minister of transport, said some white
supremacists had emigrated from Europe to South Africa, where they are now
allegedly training white South African farmers on how to protect themselves.
farmers in South Africa say they are facing genocide and are being attacked and
killed by organized criminals, a claim the government denies.
urged South Africans to take action against racism in their communities
whenever such incidents occur.
need a Greenpeace movement against racism in our country,” he said.
must never allow the stigmatization of any community because this breeds hatred
against a community,” Moulana Ebrahim Bham, secretary general of the Jamiatul
Ulama South Africa (Council of Muslim Theologians), said in his address.
said right-wing politicians in western countries have been spreading hatred
against Islam since the 9/11 attacks in the United States by generalizing
Muslims as ‘terrorists’.
actions legitimize violence against Muslims or a whole community,” he said.
said as much as the Muslim community condemns the recent terrorist attacks on
the two mosques in New Zealand, they also appreciate the unity shown by the
people of New Zealand, who stood together with Muslims during their period of
moments of darkness call on us as humanity to unite,” a representative of the
South African Council of Churches said in his solidarity message to the Muslim
member of the South African Human Rights Commission said racism and other forms
of hate were punishable by the country’s laws.
mourn the lives of those who were killed in the houses of worship,” Rabbi Sa’ar
Shaked of the Beit Emanuel Progressive Synagogue said, adding those responsible
for the Christchurch mosque attacks had the same ideology as those who attacked
a synagogue in the United States.
will not stop acting in unity. They won’t divide us,” he said.
least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured earlier this month when a
terrorist -- identified as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant -- entered the Al
Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and shot worshippers in
cold blood, including four children younger than 18.
the fifth time, security forces have reported that Al-Shabaab’s director of
Kenyan operations has been killed in an air strike.
Iman Ali, according to intelligence sources, is reported to have been killed
last Friday when an unidentified aircraft conducted an operation on a building
complex in the town of Bu’aale in middle Juba.
within the ranks indicated that the Kenyan-born terrorism suspect was hit and
killed together with over 40 Al-Shabaab members.
Tuesday, the Kenya Defence Forces’ communication department would not confirm
the information, as the head, Col Paul Njuguna, said he was in a meeting all
of Defence spokesman Bogita Ongeri too did not confirm if the commander was
killed in any attack by KDF or any other forces.
who was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) by the US in
March 2018, took over the leadership of the group in 2012, and is perceived to
have been behind the establishment of various terrorist cells in Kenya, leading
to radicalisation of youth.
is believed to have also spearheaded the establishment of cells in Tanzania,
Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, and DR Congo.
he was declared an international terrorist, the US said it was denying him the
resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.
the consequences, all of their property and interests in property subject to US
jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging
in any transactions with them,” the statement from the government read.
brief said that Ali, also known as Abu Zinira, had targeted Kenyan troops
serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), such as the January
2016 attack in El Adde.
is also responsible for Al-Shabaab propaganda targeting the Kenyan government
and civilians, such as a July 2017 video in which he issues threats to Muslims
serving in Kenya’s security forces. Ali has also served as an Al-Shabaab
recruiter, focusing on poor youth in Nairobi slums, and has fundraised at
mosques to support Al-Shabaab activities,” the statement indicated.
2015, Kenyan security forces announced that they were cracking down on
investments they suspected were run by Ali in Nairobi’s Majengo and stalls at
District Head of Duhu and the
surrounding communities in Adamawa
State, Mohammed Sanusi, said on Tuesday
Boko Haram fighters attacked two
villages in Michika and Madagali on Monday night, burning houses and looting
food stores. The incidents forced many of the villagers to flee their homes.
of the villagers, who spoke to our correspondents from their hideouts,
said the sick, the elderly and children
were threatened at gunpoint by the insurgents.
our correspondents could not confirm if lives were lost during the attacks.
to Sanusi, the insurgents were on a revenge mission after they were repelled by
troops when they attacked Michika and Madagali seven days earlier.
reports said the attacks had something
to do with the political uncertainty in the state after the Independent
National Electoral Commission declared the March 9 governorship election
said, “Boko Haram fighters attacked Kofar Adamawa and Kofar Borno at about
6.30pm on Monday night. They burnt half of the houses in Kofar Adamawa and
razed the houses in Kofar Borno. They marched through the villages, threatening
to kill whoever challenged them. When they came to Michika seven days ago, they
came in through these two villages because their usual routes were blocked by
villagers and soldiers. I cannot confirm now if there were casualties.
last time they came, they destroyed Union Bank’s vault but there was no money
there. They stole medicines from drugstores, petrol from functioning stations
and foodstuffs from markets and stores. But when the soldiers confronted them,
they left some of their vehicles behind with the items.”
said soldiers were unable to reach Kofar Borno to confront the terrorists
because of the trenches along the bank of the river between Adamawa and Borno
stop the insurgents from attacking the villages, trenches were dug along the
bank of the river separating the villages from Sambisa Forest where the
insurgents have their base.
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