Baloch Vs Beijing: Pakistani Militancy Targets Chinese Investment
Group ‘Who Is Hussain?’ Gets Death Threats, IGP Rebuke after ‘Shiah’ Accusation
Just Below UAE, Albania in ‘Islamicity’ Index, But New Zealand Beat Them All
Defying Curfew, Muslim Auto Driver Takes Pregnant Woman To Hospital
Ashfaq Jailed For Leaving 'Violent Footage' In Shoes At Mosques In England
Group: Police Misunderstand Islamophobia Definition
Lanka Says Hardline Buddhist Groups Likely Behind Anti-Muslim Attacks
White Supremacy as Terrorism, Experts Say
of ISIS Fighters Remain Undefeated In Underground Cells, Coalition General
lawmen killed in Pakistan bombing: police
injured in explosion inside Sadiqabad bank building
to launch street protest against govt after Eid: Zardari
to file corruption reference against Durrani
acquits 2 men convicted for 2014 Kot Radha Kishan lynching of Christian couple
injured in explosion inside Rahim Yar Khan bank building
outbreak sparks panic in southern Pakistan
dead, 13 injured in Khuzdar accident
Temples, Including Batu Caves, On Alert after Malaysia Foils ISIS Threat
transgender Muslims find safe haven for prayer during Ramadan
International Islamic Fair Bridges Diverse Islamic Cultures
the Muslim vote matters in U.P.
warns against taking admission in PoK institutes
Ardern host Paris summit against online extremism
ready for any eventuality on nuclear issue: Iranian envoy to Britain
Russia regrets seeing Iran nuclear deal unravel, done enough to save it
We have common interests with Turkey
urges picking up stalled EU membership talks
slams US pressure campaign against Iran
least 15 militants killed in E. Afghan province
Taliban militants killed in Ghazni and Zabul airstrikes
ISIS members and their family members surrender to Afghan armed forces
Forces arrest suspected terrorist attack plotters in Kabul city
airstrikes pound Taliban positions along Ghazni-Paktia highway
sponsor bill for 4000 visas for the Afghans who have helped U.S. forces
commander, fighter killed in separate premature IED explosions
bomber shot dead before storming government compound in Wardak
U.S. Hostage Was Due To Be Given To Al Qaeda-Linked Katibat Macina
orders departure of ‘non-emergency government employees’ from Iraq
says Iran ‘will want to talk soon’
denies any White House discord over Middle East moves
hasn’t yet learned his lesson from Iraq War: US 2020 candidate
leader, US official discuss border demarcation
TV says 6 killed in insurgent attack on displaced camp
State militants kill two civilians in Iraq’s Diyala
security arrest Daesh tax collector, wife in Mosul
ISIS attack leaves two Kurdish civilians dead in disputed Khanaqin
court upholds sentence for man promoting terror groups
Ministry Document Reveals Saudis' Panic after Yemeni Attacks
Syrian Army Gives Crushing Response to Tahrir Al-Sham's Attacks on Civilian
Ankara-Backed Militants Killed, Injured in Kurdish Offensive in Aleppo
to exhaust all means to retake Israeli-occupied Golan: Foreign Ministry
killed as anti-graft protest rocks Iraq's Najaf
Houthi Rebels Attack Saudi Oil Facilities, Escalating Tensions in Gulf
Body Is Completely Empty’: Family of Palestinian Who Died In Turkish Jail
Fighters Never Give Up Weapons, Never Normalize With Israel: Hamas
Guards commander: We are on cusp of full-scale confrontation with enemy
will defeat the American and Israeli alliance: Iranian defense minister
Houthi attack proves they are indivisible part of IRGC
al-Houthi: Military escalation will extend to depths of enemy states
civilians killed in Saudi strikes on Yemen’s capital
retaliatory drone raids on Saudi Arabia had no links to Iran: Ansarullah
forces injures over 60 Palestinians during Nakba Day protests
hands down heavy jail terms to 3 Hezbollah-linked Lebanese citizens
Opposition Regrets Military Council’s Suspension Of Talks
warns ISIS is taking advantage of the unrest in Tripoli
security forces kill 14 al-Shabab militants in foiled attack
calls for more EU help amid attacks in Africa’s Sahel
ambush soldiers in Niger, 17 killed
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Baloch vs Beijing: Pakistani militancy targets Chinese investment
A vast Chinese-funded infrastructure project in Pakistan has become a major
trigger for separatist insurgents, galvanising their movement as they employ
new tactics — including suicide attacks — in an escalation that could rattle
Beijing, observers say.
deadly weekend attack by gunmen who stormed the luxury Pearl Continental hotel
in Gwadar, a port on Pakistan’s southern coast, was the latest high-profile
assault linked to the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
— part of China’s massive Belt and Road initiative — seeks to link its western
province Xinjiang with Gwadar, giving Beijing valuable access to the Arabian
Sea and conferring new roads, ports, and airports on Pakistan.
authorities routinely tout Gwadar, a former fishing village, as “the next
problem is that Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province through
which much of CPEC runs, is a Pandora’s Box of Islamist, sectarian, and
attack was claimed by the separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Chinese
and Pakistani investors visiting the hotel, isolated high on a ridge
overlooking the port, were the target, a spokesman for the BLA said.
warn China to stop her exploitative projects in Balochistan and do not support
Pakistan in the genocide of Baloch people, otherwise, we would respond with
more attacks,” the English-language message to media read.
BLA has attacked the Chinese in Pakistan before, said analyst Michael Kugelman
of the Washington-based Wilson Centre.
new is the desire and capacity to attack highly visible, well-secured Chinese
targets, he said, citing another deadly attack claimed by the group on
Beijing’s consulate in Karachi last year.
good reason to believe that the Pearl Continental attack spooked [Beijing] in a
big way, given that a major facility was struck in a city that houses one of
the crown jewels of CPEC,” Kugelman said.
project, he continued, “is a major trigger for Baloch insurgents”.
represents everything the insurgents despise: A large infrastructure and
development project undertaken by the Pakistani state and its Chinese ally.”
groups in Balochistan, whose proud population have a turbulent history, have
long demanded autonomy and a fairer share of resources.
years the Pakistani military maintained a crushing grip on the insurgency,
while brushing off accusations of serious rights abuses.
analysts say Chinese investment appears to have imbued the nationalist movement
with new energy, inflaming the long-running grievance over resources and giving
sometimes-disparate groups a common focus.
the same time, Pakistan’s determination to protect Chinese investment saw the
military further intensify its stance, deepening resentment among the Baloch
positions hardening on both sides, one result is the relatively new phenomenon
for Baloch separatists of suicide attacks, such as in the Karachi consulate
politician Jan Mohammad Buledi described the development as previously
“unimaginable and unthinkable” for a movement driven more by socialist
principles than jihad.
locals resist they are kidnapped, tortured and their mutilated dead bodies
appear,” he explained.
state, he argued, has left young Baloch “no option but to blow themselves up.
now with the influx of Chinese, the Baloch separatists are getting
international attention, so it seems the only way out.”
against the Chinese, seen as usurpers, is real and powerful, said Buledi — but
the true enemy for the separatists remains the Pakistani state, with analysts
warning that unless genuine grievances are addressed, a low-level insurgency
could continue indefinitely
blame the state for its long and relentless predatory behaviour in Balochistan,
and for the scorched earth policies used by the military,” agreed Kugelman.
at least, Beijing backs Pakistan’s crackdown, and while the Pearl Continental
attack was widely reported in Chinese media the claim that Chinese investors
were the target was largely played down.
Beijing can do about the threats its faces remains to be seen.
tantalising suggestion came from a Baloch leader based in the United States,
who told AFP that some Chinese officials have sought help from exiled Baloch
nationalists in exchange for bringing them home.
the best of my knowledge they are still in contact with more than half a dozen
nationalist leaders in United States, United Kingdom and other European
countries,” he said.
LUMPUR, May 16 ― The local chapter of the Who is Hussain? charity group urged
police yesterday to investigate a barrage of death and violent threats made
against it online after it distributed iftar, the Muslim end of fast, packs on
the group was left dismayed after Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri
Abdul Hamid Bador instead admonished them last night, which it blamed on
alleged slander by Muslim evangelical group Fakir Ilmu on Monday.
organisation is a charity organisation that aims to bring positive change
towards the community. That is our main aim. It has nothing to do with
religion,” said country representative Natasha, 30. (She declined to give her
patronym due to the sensitivity of the matter).
who professes to be Sunni, told Malay Mail the group focuses on environmental
issues, poverty, and homelessness, among others, and the iftar pack
distribution was part of their advocacy programme.
Malaysia, only the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of
jurisprudence are considered official.
is Islam’s second-largest denomination and practised by an estimated 15 per
cent of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, but is regarded as deviant here.
Who is Hussain group, comprising members of different faiths, distributed the
packs — containing Muslim prayer beads, dates, a juice box, and leaflets
explaining their activities — in the vicinity of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman on
explained that had been no controversy from the public until Fakir Ilmu
published Facebook and blog posts accusing the group of being Shiah.
situation was similar to another incident in September last year, when convert
group Multiracial Reverted Muslims and its founder, Firdaus Wong Wai Hung, made
the same accusation after the group held its event at the same spot in Bukit
Bintang usually frequented by the group’s Street Dakwah volunteers during its
Fakir Ilmu’s accusation, Who is Hussain’s Facebook page was inundated with
derogatory, violent reviews and comments from users purporting to be Muslims.
group subsequently lodged a police report against the commenters and Fakir
IGP Abdul Hamid said the police would work with religious authorities to stop
the group over what he described as an “irresponsible” act that “goes against
expressed her disappointment over Abdul Hamid’s remark, explaining that the
group already met the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi)
to explain its position prior to yesterday.
(alternately spelled Husayn or Hussein) was a grandson of Islam’s Prophet
Muhammad and the son of the latter’s youngest daughter, Fatimah, with his
cousin Ali ibn Abu Talib.
had refused to pledge allegiance to the Umayyad caliph, Yazid, whom he
considered unjust and was later assassinated by the latter’s army along with
most of his family and companions. He was 55 at the time of his death.
incident solidified the schism between Sunnis and Shiahs, with the former
believing Muhammad did not appoint a successor while the latter holds
just below UAE, Albania in ‘Islamicity’ index, but New Zealand beat them all
LUMPUR, May 16 ― Malaysia is ranked the third highest-ranking Muslim-majority
country in this year’s global Islamicity Index which measures a society’s adherence
to Quranic teachings and Prophet Muhammad’s practices.
country’s performance however slid to 47th out of 153 nations worldwide in 2018
compared to 43rd place in the year before. Malaysia ranked just below the
United Arab Emirates (45th) and Albania (46th). Saudi Arabia came in at 85th
Zealand continued to top the list for the third year running.
the performance of Muslim countries in the overall index is bad, their
performance on the Human and Political Index is even worse,” the index’s
coordinator, US-based Islamicity Foundation, said in a statement.
results bring to life the words of Muhammad Abduh uttered over a century ago:
‘I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and
saw Muslims, but no Islam,” it added, citing the renowned Egyptian Muslim
foundation said even the best-performing Muslim-majority countries in the human
and political rights category had performed poorly when compared to the rest,
with Albania merely ranking 43rd in that category, Bosnia and Herzegovina
(50th), the Kyrgyz Republic (76th), Malaysia (79th), and Lebanon (80th).
the top performing countries after NZ were Sweden, the Netherlands, Iceland,
Switzerland, and Ireland.
bottom three countries were all Muslim-majority: Yemen, Sudan, and Chad.
indices do not assess personal requirements of a Muslim (such as daily prayers,
fasting and the like) or belief commitments, they are premised instead on
Quranic goals and the extent of a society’s adherence to its institutional
recommendations and governance,” it said.
a rule-abiding Muslim community there must be political and individual freedom,
no poverty alongside wealth, equal opportunities for self-development
(education, healthcare, basic needs), economic prosperity, accountability of
rulers and governments, and socio-economic justice.”
index is a joint research effort of scholars in 15 Muslim-majority countries,
including two in Malaysia: Islamic economist and author Liza Mydin and managing
director of Islamic finance advisers DVA Consulting Daud Abdullah.
economist and former Council of Eminent Persons member Jomo Kwame Sundaram is
also one of the Foundation’s three Advisory Board members.
index was started in 2000 by Hossein Askari, now the president of the
Foundation, and an emeritus professor of International Affairs, in George
Washington University in Washington DC, US.
make up 61.3 per cent of the Malaysian population, followed by Buddhists at
19.8 per cent, and Christians at 9.2 per cent, according to the latest census
data from 2010.
Defying curfew, Muslim auto driver takes pregnant woman to hospital
(/search?query=Hailakandi) (Assam ) [India],May 16 (ANI): In an example of
communal harmony, a Muslim autorickshaw driver, unfazed by the curfew imposed
in Hailakandi (/search?query=Hailakandi) of Assam (/search?query=Assam), took a
Hindu woman who was suffering
pain to the hospital.
the onset of labour pain, Ruben Das needed an ambulance to take his pregnant
wife Nandita to the hospital. Seeing that nobody came to the woman's aid,
Ruben's neighbour Maqbool came forward and took Nandita to the hospitalat the
right time, regardless of the curfew
woman gave birth to a son, whom the couple eventually named 'Shanti'.
(/search?query=Hailakandi) Deputy Commissioner Keerthi
Jalli(/search?query=Keerthi Jalli) reached the residence of Nandita and Ruben.
"We need more such examples of Hindu-Muslim unity," she told media
also met Maqbool and thanked him for helping Nandita at the hour of need
despite the curfew in the district.
was imposed due to the communal violence that erupted in Hailakandi six days
ago, in which a person was killed and 15 others were injured in firing on May
10. At the same time, 15 vehicles and 12shops were damaged. (ANI)
man who left USB sticks containing terrorist propaganda inside shoes at six
mosques in England has been jailed.
Ashfaq, 24, of St Thomas Road, in Derby, left 17 of the sticks in footwear
while Muslim worshipers were praying between May and June last year.
Police said the sticks contained "violent footage and propaganda
admitted 11 terrorism offences and was given four years and six months in
prison at Birmingham Crown Court.
was also sentenced to one year on licence.
last year's Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, he left the sticks at mosques in
Derby, Loughborough, Coventry, Birmingham and Luton.
the material were two videos entitled 'ISIS children execute spies' and 'ISIS
burn Turkish Apostate soldiers'.
who found the sticks informed mosque authorities who were able to identify
Ashfaq from CCTV footage.
USB stick was discovered by a nine-year-old boy, who had gone to the mosque
with his father.
Ashfaq was arrested at his home, police found a further 15 memory sticks inside
bags marked 'Manchester' and 'Bradford' and notes outlining his plans.
map detailing a route between the mosques was also found.
Insp Donna Sisson, head of Derbyshire Special Branch, said he would have
continued to distribute up to 250 sticks.
USB sticks he managed to deposit contained footage of unspeakable brutality and
promoted an extreme ideology," she said.
March, Ashfaq pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a document
containing information useful to terrorism.
admitted being in possession of three Islamic State group propaganda magazines.
he denied eight charges of dissemination of a terrorist publication.
the first day of his trial on Monday, Ashfaq changed his plea.
Walsh, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Omar Ashfaq found a
novel way to spread violent propaganda in the hope of encouraging British
Muslims to commit terrorist acts.
the mosques he targeted found him on their CCTV recordings and handed in the
footage and the memory sticks to the police.
want to thank them for acting quickly so the CPS had the crucial evidence we
needed to encourage him to plead guilty."
group: Police misunderstand Islamophobia definition
police have been accused of misunderstanding efforts undertaken by a
cross-party group that aims to fight anti-Muslim prejudice with a working
definition on Islamophobia.
inability of senior police officers to understand how Islamophobia -- the
plethora of everyday microaggressions impacting British Muslims is NOT THE SAME
as Hate Crime shows a worrying lack of understanding of the communities they
seek to police," said Sayeeda Warsi, a senior member of the House of
Lords, in a statement on Twitter.
however, has made a warning that efforts to come up with a working definition
of the phenomenon could undermine free speech and the fight against terrorism.
groups and MPs have contested this claim, arguing that the proposed new
definition was consulted extensively with parliamentarians and police officers.
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), the policing body that represents law
enforcement in England and Wales, issued a statement on Tuesday night, voicing
their concerns regarding the cross-party working definition, arguing that it
could cause confusion for officers.
are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could
cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge
legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic
states" said Martin Hewitt, the NPCC’s chairman, adding that "there
is also a risk it could also undermine counter-terrorism powers, which seek to
tackle extremism or prevent terrorism."
Khan, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCP), said that the view of
the NPCC and its head represented a "woeful misunderstanding" of the
proposed working definition and that it is alarming for a public body to make
such intervention without consulting or engaging with those involved in the
operations can only be 'hampered' if counter-terror officers have been
targeting Muslims because of their identity (or Muslimness as the definition
states), categorising them as security concerns," Khan said.
this is the case, it confirms long-voiced concerns about the disproportionate
focus and impact of counter-terror operations on Muslim communities."
would urge Mr. Hewitt to carefully reflect on whether, in a climate where there
are concerns of discrimination, it is sensible to publicly intervene in this
way," Khan urged the police chief.
year, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims alongside the
MCB devised a working definition on Islamophobia with the aim to tackle
anti-Muslim prejudice and hate crime. The definition was also drawn up in part
to tackle supposed police prejudice against Muslims.
Labour and Liberal Democrats parties have adopted the working definition and
the Conservative party is facing growing calls to adopt it as well after
failing to tackle rising Islamophobia within its ranks.
APPG also found that British Muslims face higher levels of hate crime. Official
figures from the report found that the risk of being a victim of race hate
crime was highest for Muslim adults at 1.7% compared to non-Muslim adults at
Lanka said on Wednesday hardline Buddhist groups were likely to blame for a
wave of anti-Muslim riots that swept the island this week in apparent
retaliation for Easter bombings by Islamist militants.
April 21 attacks, claimed by Islamic State, targeted churches and hotels,
killing more than 250 people and fueling fears of a backlash against the
nation's minority Muslims.
the anti-Muslim unrest that started Sunday, mobs moved through towns in Sri
Lanka's northwest, ransacking mosques, burning Korans and attacking shops with
petrol bombs, residents said.
have arrested some 78 suspected rioters, including three described as Sinhala
Buddhist extremists who had been investigated for similar actions in the town
in Kandy district last year.
are organized attacks on Muslim business houses and premises," Navin
Dissanayake, minister of plantation industries, said during a government news
conference about the security situation.
who was organizing the attacks, Dissanayake said: "I think these
organizations that Amith Weerasinghe, Dan Priyasad, and Namal Kumara [are
heading]," referring to the three Buddhist extremists arrested on Tuesday.
media reported on Wednesday that Priyasad was released on bail on Wednesday
while Weerasinghe was remanded until May 28. The status of Kumara was not
police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment on the arrests.
make up nearly 10% of Sri Lanka's population of 22 million, which is
predominantly Buddhist. The Indian Ocean island was torn for decades by a civil
war between separatists from the mostly Hindu Tamil minority and the Sinhala
Buddhist-dominated government. The government stamped out the rebellion about
10 years ago.
recent years, Buddhist hardliners, led by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or
"Buddhist Power Force" have stoked hostility against Muslims, saying
Middle Eastern influence has turned the community more conservative and
the same press conference, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, minister of public
administration, said the group behind the attacks had political aims.
group is trying to tarnish the government's image and show the government is
unable to handle the situation," he said, without naming the organization.
said the island was calm again, with no anti-Muslim violence reported on
on Wednesday, Sri Lanka's army said it was investigating a video posted on
social media that showed a man wearing what appears to be an army uniform
walking away seconds before an anti-Muslim mob attacked a building this week.
the video, the man stands outside the building and then leaves. Seconds later,
about two dozen people, including young men wearing motorbike helmets, run over
and throw stones at the building.
could not independently verify the video. "The attention of the army has
been drawn to a video clip where a person dressed in uniform similar to that of
the army was watching while a group of violent saboteurs were in action in the
general area of Thunmodara," the army said in a statement announcing the
residents of Thunmodara, a town to the northeast of the capital Colombo, told
Reuters that a mosque and some Muslim-owned shops were attacked.
over a dozen interviews in the hard-hit Kurunegala district northeast of
Colombo, Muslims said attacks took place despite the presence of security
police source who declined to be identified told Reuters they did not have
enough officers to handle the rioters. Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera on
Tuesday rejected allegations that police had stood by.
white supremacy as terrorism, experts say
Mallory Simon and Sara Sidner
York (CNN)Americans are being killed. Murdered not for what they have done or
being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
again and again because, whether Jewish, or black, or simply not
"pure" white, they are seen as a pestilence to be purged.
murderers are followers of a vile and hateful ideology that meets the FBI
definition of terrorism. But some top current and former law enforcement
officials say that they are not treated as terrorists, because they are
American, and they are white.
amid the rising number of deadly white supremacist attacks, the officials say
that must change. White supremacy must be called terrorism and tackled with the
same vigor as ISIS and al Qaeda.
District Attorney Cy Vance came to that realization while investigating the
homicide of a black man in the center of New York City.
Timothy Caughman was walking alone in Midtown Manhattan collecting cans to
recycle when a man approached from behind. That man plunged a sword through
uttered his last words as he turned toward his killer: "Why are you doing
man continued to stab him. Caughman bled to death.
answer to Caughman's question would soon become clear. His killer, James
Jackson, had come to New York from Maryland with a plan to start a race war.
was more than a murder, Vance decided. It was more than a hate crime. It was
the targeted killing of a black man with the aspiration of dividing the races
to keep killing each other, ending in the death of every black person in the
United States and around the world, according to Jackson's manifesto, Vance
case was a seminal one for the district attorney's office and for New York
state, where it was the first domestic terrorism conviction of its kind. Vance
hopes it sends a message.
think we needed to call it what it was," he told CNN.
was an act of terrorism," Vance explained. "This exists in our
country and it happened here."
just that Americans are having a hard time admitting it, he said. It is much
easier, Vance continued, for people to call someone a terrorist when they have
a different skin color, or don't speak English. But if you are trying to spread
fear and wipe out a specific group of people, like Jackson was, then you must
call them terrorist, he said. Calling someone a terrorist not only raises the
profile of the case but can yield additional charges, and higher sentences.
the face of it, the killing of Caughman fits into the FBI's category of
"domestic terrorism": Perpetrated by individuals and/or groups
inspired by or associated with primarily US-based movements that espouse
extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or
murder may not have sparked a national outcry. But it is part of a very public
and growing, deadly trend of domestic terror attacks committed largely by white
men. From the Charleston church massacre through the killing of a protester in
Charlottesville and the shootings at synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway,
far-right extremists are responsible for -- or suspected of - most of the
ideological killings in America in the last 10 years, according to data from
the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which tracks extremist activity.
supremacist murders in the US "more than doubled in 2017," with
far-right extremist groups and white supremacists "responsible for 59% of
all extremist-related fatalities in the US in 2017," ADL's audit shows.
They were responsible for 20% of these fatalities the year before.
Omar and Schakowsky: We must confront threat of white nationalism -- together
on who you ask, white supremacist terrorism is either not a problem, or the
biggest threat to American democracy in years, but one that's often ignored.
Donald Trump has said he does not regard white nationalism as a rising global
asked in the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque massacres if he saw a worrying
rise in white supremacy movements around the world, he replied: "I don't
really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious
problems, I guess."
and law enforcement officials under Trump maintain they work to keep up with
all threats, though they often don't single out white supremacism publicly,
instead referring to domestic terror as a whole. A Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) official said the department has a Center for Faith and
Opportunity that works with houses of worship to prepare for acts of terrorism
and there are other programs that religious and other communities can use to
help protect against hate crimes.
it's still a mistake not to call out white supremacy, according to the former
head of the Countering Violent Extremism Task Force at DHS, George Selim.
the same number of Americans had been killed at the hands of an individual that
was inspired or directed by a foreign terrorist organization, you can bet this
Congress and any administration, irrespective of political party would be
reacting much differently," he said.
declined to answer specific questions on this story.
will take his arguments to Congress on Wednesday, when he testifies in front of
the House Oversight's Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The
hearing is titled "Confronting white supremacy: The consequences of
a subject Selim feels he knows too well. During the Bush and Obama
administrations, he was often in the room -- whether the Situation Room or the
Oval Office -- when key decisions were made about tackling extremism at home.
as they saw the threat of white supremacists grow, Selim said he worked with
colleagues on federal programs, specifically at DHS, that aimed to address and
intervene during the radicalization process.
"were on the cusp" of creating a system to do just that, he said.
With bipartisan support, key puzzle pieces were being put in place in the final
months of the Obama administration, he said.
then Trump took office. Selim said during the first seven months of the
administration there was a "decimation of the people, resources and
prioritization" of those key programs and infrastructure that was aimed at
working with law enforcement, counter-messaging, community resilience and
engagement and outreach.
became so frustrated he quit. He saw that the domestic terrorist acts killing
Americans were predominantly perpetrated by those with views tied to white
nationalism or supremacy, but the new administration had different priorities.
a significant enough [threat] that the federal government needs to devote
significantly more people, money and time to both assess and ultimately
mitigate," argued Selim, who now leads the education, law enforcement and
community security programs for the ADL and oversees the work of the group's
Center on Extremism.
new normal': Radicalized white men
some ways, the precursors to the racist murders mirror those before foreign
terrorist attacks. The radicalization, specifically online, is similar to those
who pledge allegiance to ISIS or al Qaeda, experts say. One of the noticeable
differences is these extremists are white.
Caughman's murderer focused on his hatred for African American men before
traveling to New York City and killing him.
the three weeks before Jackson attacked, he spent huge amounts of his days and
nights online studying Nazism and extremism until he was apparently pushed over
the edge, Vance said. Interracial dating was an "insurmountable
problem," in his mind. He read obsessively about Dylann Roof, who killed
nine black worshippers in Charleston in 2015, Vance said.
racial world war starts today," Jackson wrote in his manifesto, according
to Vance. "Negroes are obviously first on the list for
gunman in Charleston and the Pittsburgh and Poway suspects all engaged in
hateful speech online before taking their rage and turning it into deadly
acknowledge this pattern and it's one reason that Selim believes something can
be done to stop these people who are sometimes categorized as untraceable
also said that, too often, there seems to be a reluctance to name white men as
possibly dangerous. And that itself is dangerous because white supremacists and
nationalists are a "real and persistent threat," he said.
I look forward in the next five to 10 or more years, we need to acclimate
ourselves to the new normal, which is increased incidents of domestic
extremism, domestic terrorism, anti-Semitism, and all acts of bigotry or
Islamophobia, xenophobia that target ethnic and religious minority
groups," he said. "Once we understand that that is very likely the
new normal, then we can put in place some of the strong infrastructure related
to counterterrorism and community resilience that we've already built up and
focus it on these new threats that we know we're going to be facing."
CEO: Put hatred back in the sewer where it belongs
the administration prioritizing other matters, Selim is hoping legislators will
hold them accountable and encourage action beyond denunciations of extremist
insists some of the attacks that cost lives are preventable. He advocates for
cooperation between law enforcement, social media companies, community leaders
and groups like the ADL. And he believes that the initiative he led at the
Department of Homeland Security would have borne fruit if funding had been
setback won't be able to be measured here and now," Selim said. "I
can't tell you that funding of these programs would have prevented Pittsburgh
or Poway, but I can say in good conscience that we sure would have stood a
better chance at preventing or intervening in incidents like this had funding
for these programs continued."
a powerful message
Selim is hoping Congress will take steps on the identification of dangerous
white supremacists, Manhattan DA Vance is hoping the same people will take
action on what can be done with suspects once identified.
states do not have terrorism laws on the books or prosecute cases the way he
did with the murder of Caughman, who called himself a can and bottle recycler
and autograph collector on his Twitter account, where he posted a photo of himself
waiting to vote in the 2016 election.
Vance stands by his decision. "It really is no different from him to come
up and to seek out to kill black men than a radical Islamist to come to a place
to seek out, to kill, men and women who weren't of their faith," Vance
calling it terrorism and getting a life sentence can send a powerful message
that white nationalism will not be normalized in New York, Vance said.
wrote a letter to the House Appropriations Committee urging them to increase
federal law enforcement funding. "We can no longer sleep on the danger
posed by this country's increasing number of white nationalists. And we cannot
continue to treat this type of hate-fueled violence as a lesser form of
terrorism, lest we risk normalizing this repulsive behavior and missing
opportunities to prevent future attacks."
Assistant Director Michael McGarrity testified to the House Committee on
Homeland Security last week that the bureau is doing its part to tackle the
issue on a federal level. He shared that the Trump administration has added
domestic terrorism to its national security strategy, a first for the country.
highlighting that there is a domestic terrorism threat that is
persistent," McGarrity said. "We don't differentiate between a
domestic terrorism attack we're trying to stop or an international terrorism
attack. It's a terrorism attack we're looking to stop," he said.
to Selim, the lack of specificity was troubling. He wanted to hear officials
say white supremacists. White terror. White nationalist terrorism. To voice
what is an unsettling truth -- today's terrorism in the US is most often
perpetrated by white Americans who look more like the Founding Fathers than
of perception, the law itself also creates a double standard.
General Jeff Sessions initially told ABC's "Good Morning America"
that the killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville met the "definition
of domestic terrorism." But James Fields, who drove a car into counter
protesters at high speed, wasn't charged with being a terrorist as there is no
single crime of domestic terrorism.
similar attacks are handled differently depending on the perpetrator in the US.
Sayfullo Saipov allegedly rammed a truck along a New York City bike path,
killing eight people, three months after Fields' attack.
Saipov, unlike Fields, was able to be charged with a federal terror offense
because of one simple difference -- his alleged allegiance to the foreign ISIS
case is the Coast Guard lieutenant currently accused of plotting a domestic
terror attack. Prosecutors say he planned to conduct a mass killing of
prominent Democratic politicians and members of the news media, including CNN.
But without a law saying domestic terrorism is a crime, he can only be charged
with lesser offences.
illustrate how ridiculous the current situation is, when I was in the FBI
investigating people inspired by international terrorist groups like ISIS and
al Qaeda, the mere association with those groups was enough to land someone
behind bars," said Josh Campbell, CNN law enforcement analyst and former
FBI special agent. "Not so with domestic terrorism. Even if someone is
politically motivated to cause violence due to their right- or left-wing
extremist views, that's not enough to get them off the street. Opponents to
such a law claim it might infringe on free speech. The issue appears to be a
political third rail that few in Congress actually want to touch."
said that the FBI Agents Association, a private organization that represents
the bureau's approximately 13,000 special agents, has been very vocal about the
need for new legislation that would equip law enforcement with the tools needed
to stop these threats.
last week's House hearing, members asked the assembled law enforcement chiefs
about the online activity of the alleged Poway shooter, who appears to have
posted a manifesto on the 8chan site and been cheered on there, as have white
supremacist attackers before him.
Mike Rogers, the ranking Republican member of the committee, asked intelligence
and law enforcement experts from the FBI, Justice Department and DHS how the US
can tackle the issue, seeking advice to guide possible legislation.
you have any recommendations about what can be done to address the violent hate
speech and incitement of violence found on fringe sites like 8chan and Gab, and
that's for any of you," he asked.
was met with silence.
don't have any suggestions for us?" responded the Alabama congressman.
"That's scary. We can't make policy without good advisement."
officials then explained the difficulties in monitoring the forums and
balancing free speech. And DHS says they have developed robust partnerships
with the tech sector.
at the root of it all, again, is there's no domestic terrorism statute.
is another reason Vance wrote his letter. "I think it's a big problem and
we focused so much on Islamic radicalism since 2000, since 9/11, that I think
perhaps we've taken our eye off the ball of what is an equally large problem --
and that is those who are being radicalized in our midst," Vance told CNN.
admits he was himself late to see the issue.
the Manhattan district attorney -- I'll profess having more ignorance than I
should have had -- but if I'm not paying attention to it, then, probably a lot
of people aren't paying attention to it enough also," he said.
now set his office on a new course, and hopes more will follow, from the
federal level on down, however painful it may be.
think as, as white Americans, we may not be as readily willing to identify this
group of terrorists that are like us," he said. "And I think that's
perhaps a little bit of human nature it's easier to identify the enemy as
someone who doesn't look like you or doesn't speak the language, but when it is
your neighbor and like people you know, then it's, it's harder to, it's hard to
call that out ... and call it terrorism."
of ISIS fighters remain undefeated in underground cells, coalition general
the destruction of the Islamic State's physical caliphate in March, thousands
of its fighters have simply gone underground and remain a significant threat,
carrying out deadly attacks, a senior coalition military officer said Tuesday.
has been reorganizing itself into a network of cells and intent on striking key
leaders, village elders, and military personnel to undermine the security and
stability in Iraq and Syria,” British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, a senior spokesman
for Operation Inherent Resolve, said from Baghdad in a briefing for Pentagon
fighters are still ambushing security patrols, detonating [improvised explosive
devices], and conducting kidnappings,” said Ghika, using the Arabic acronym for
ISIS. “Despite its territorial setbacks, Daesh is still having successes, and
its ideology still inspires people around the world.”
said there are “on the order of 10,000” members of ISIS in Iraq and several
thousand in Syria, including people who are not fighters but support the group.
of the ISIS fighters the U.S.-led coalition drove out of the terrorist group's
final stronghold in Syria are Iraqis, and most of them have returned to Iraq
and have been hiding in mountain caves, where they have been targeted by U.S.,
coalition, and Iraqi airstrikes in recent weeks.
are doing everything we can to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and the global
coalition and the international community must continuously work to prevent the
evil brand from spreading worldwide and terrorizing our communities at home,”
paired his warning with a plea for help. “We cannot do it ourselves. Campaigns
cannot be won by fighting alone,” he cautioned, saying the last defeat of ISIS
depends on international assistance to rebuild the civil institutions and local
governance that can restore peace and prosperity.
Four police were killed and nine people wounded when militants detonated a bomb
hidden under a motorbike in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, police
said on Monday.
Pakistani Taliban claimed the attack.
of the wounded were also police, senior police official Abdul Razaq Cheema told
of the injured are critical,” he added.
motorbike was parked outside a mosque where police personnel were posted in
Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.
attack came two days after Baloch separatists attacked a luxury hotel in the
province’s second city, Gwadar, where development of a port is the flagship
project of a multibillion dollar Chinese infrastructure initiative in Pakistan.
people including a soldier died in the hotel attack, which also left all three
violence comes during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Pakistan’s largest and poorest province which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is
rife with Islamist, separatist and sectarian insurgencies.
Pakistani military has been waging war on militants there since 2004, and
security forces are frequently targeted.
activists accuse the military of abuses, which it denies.
is key to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of Beijing’s Belt
and Road initiative.
seeks to connect China’s western province of Xinjiang with Gwadar, giving
Beijing access to the Arabian Sea.
least 15 people were injured in an explosion that took place inside the
building of a private bank on National Highway in Sadiqabad, Rahim Yar Khan,
Rescue 1122 officials told DawnNewsTV on Thursday.
1122 officials reached the site of the blast as the news broke. The building
where the blast took place collapsed partially.
to Rescue 1122 officials, a search and recuse operation is currently underway
and the injured are being shifted to hospitals.
Commissioner Sadiqabad Jameel Ahmed Jameel has declared an emergency in the DHQ
and Sheikh Zaid Hospital.
Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari
said on Wednesday that his party would launch a street protest against the
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government after Eid.
briefly to journalists after obtaining pre-arrest bail from the Islamabad High
Court in the fake bank accounts case, Mr Zardari said the government was afraid
of his party’s protest and that was why they had fabricated cases against him.
Tuesday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted to the IHC a report
stating that the bureau was proceeding against Mr Zardari in 36 different cases
and out of which his role had been established in at least eight cases so far.
The anti-graft watchdog submitted the 11-page report in response to a petition
filed by the former president seeking details of the cases relating to fake
bank accounts being pursued by NAB against him.
why NAB was conducting dozens of inquiries against him, Mr Zardari
sarcastically said because he owned so much money.
after perusing the NAB report, even the IHC division bench comprising Justice
Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani observed that there were too many
cases and “never ending”.
has so far filed five interim references in an accountability court in the fake
accounts case, besides issuing call-up notices to Mr Zardari, his sister Faryal
Talpur and close aides in 36 inquiries.
defence counsel Farooq H. Naek pointed out “overlapping” of the facts in
different inquiries. He informed the IHC bench that there were fewer issues
against which NAB had initiated about three dozen inquiries and investigations.
He suggested to the court to be specific in the matter since the suspects
flooded the IHC with bail pleas due to variety of inquiries related to the fake
in its report also provided a list of fake accounts cases pending before the
IHC. A majority of the cases are those in which the accused, including Mr
Zardari, Ms Talpur, Hussain Lawai and Anwar Majeed, sought bail from the court.
the registration of the fake bank accounts case with the Federal Investigation
Agency in June last year, 11 petitions have been filed — eight by Mr Zardari,
Ms Talpur and others seeking pre-arrest bail, one by Khawaja Nimar Majeed
seeking information about cases and two by Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza seeking
a reference relating to illegal allotment of amenity plots, three accused filed
bail pleas. In the Pink Residency reference, four accused are seeking
pre-arrest bail. In another reference relating to illegal award of contract by
the Special Initiative Department, Sindh, five accused are seeking bail.
per the NAB report, there are 12 different petitions in which Mr Zardari, Ms
Talpur, former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah and others are seeking bail
from the IHC.
the suggestion of Advocate Naek, the IHC clubbed together the petitions related
to Park Lane properties, luxury vehicles, illegal award of contracts and
receiving kickbacks from private companies and adjourned the hearing till May
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday decided to file a
corruption reference against Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in an
accountability court and conduct investigations and inquiries against some
politicians and government officials of Sindh and other provinces.
decisions were made at a meeting of the NAB Executive Board presided over by
chairman of the anti-graft watchdog retired Justice Javed Iqbal and attended
by, among others, deputy chairman Hussain Asghar.
NAB handout said: “A corruption reference would be filed against Agha Siraj
Durrani, Speaker Sindh Assembly, and others. They have been accused of making
illegal assets by abusing authority, causing Rs600 million loss to national
a meeting of its regional board in Karachi on April 30, the bureau had sought
its chairman’s approval to file a reference against Mr Durrani. The regional
board was told that the suspect had accumulated assets to the tune of Rs1.6
billion “much beyond his known sources of income and worth of declared assets,”
the press release said.
assets are held by the accused, his family and various benamidars who have been
recommended for trial,” the statement said, adding that certain benamidars were
personal servants of Mr Durrani and his family members.
been arrested from a hotel in Islamabad on Feb 20, Mr Durrani is also being
investigated for allegedly making 352 illegal appointments, embezzlement of
public funds in the construction of the MPA Hostel (Karachi) and the new Sindh
Assembly building, as well as irregularities in the appointment of project
directors for these projects.
NAB Executive Board also approved filing of two other references: one against
Mazharul Islam, former executive director of Lok Virsa, Islamabad, for awarding
a contract to favourites, causing a loss of Rs30.13m to the national kitty.
other reference was approved against Fazal Mannan, former director education of
the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and others for making fake
appointments of teachers, causing a loss of Rs.117m to the national exchequer.
meeting gave a go-ahead for conducting an investigation against Atif Kamran,
chief executive officer of Unico Private Limited, a private firm, and others.
were authorised against some politicians and officials, including former
federal minister for housing and works Akram Durrani, former provincial
minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sher Azam Wazir and others; Ali Ghulam Nizamani,
former member of the Sindh Assembly; Saeed Khan Nizamani, member of the Sindh
Assembly; Mohammad Sohail, former director general of Malir Development
Authority, Karachi; Asmatullah, executive engineer, MES, Sialkot Cantonment;
certain officials of Karachi Port Trust and Health Department of Sindh;
programme manager of Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme, Sindh, and
others; officials of Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, KP; officials of Food
Department, Khuzdar, Balochistan; Abdul Wahab Sehato, executive engineer,
Public Health Engineering Division, Larkana, and others; Iqbal Sheikh, a
government contractor and others; and management of Chinone Builders and
NAB board referred an inquiry against management/officials of the Sargodha
Cattle Market Management and others to the chief secretary of Punjab for action
as per law and another inquiry against Rehmattullah Baloch, chief executive
officer of Kesco and others to their department for departmental action as per
NAB board gave its consent to closing inquiries against Senator Hafiz Abdul
Karim, former communication minister Usman Abdul Karim; Anas Abdul Karim, Dr
Najeeb Haider, former MPA Ghulam Qadir Palijo, Abdul Sattar Dero, former
managing director of the Port Qasim Authority, officials of Communication and
Works Department and MechaTech Pvt and others due to lack of incriminating
evidence at the moment.
board also approved closure of an investigation against the owners of A.M.
Construction Company (Pvt) Limited and others due to lack of incriminating
evidence at the moment.
also announced that it was the bureau’s year-long policy to inform the people
about the details of the decisions made at meetings of its executive board.
“The policy is not aimed at hurting anyone. The investigations and inquiries
are initiated on the basis of allegations and as per law NAB proceeds further
after obtaining the point of view of the accused and the complainant.”
the meeting, the NAB chief said taking mega corruption cases to their logical
conclusion was his top priority, adding that the bureau was pursuing
“accountability for all policy” vigorously.
said all resources were being utilised to take looted money back from the
plunderers. “Corruption is root cause of all ills and its elimination is
collective responsibility of all Pakistanis,” he added.
Lahore High Court on Thursday acquitted two men convicted for the 2014 burning
alive of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan.
and Shama Masih were burned alive in a brick kiln by a frenzied lynch mob ─
incited by announcements made
from mosques in the area ─ ranging between 400-1,000 people for their alleged role in the
desecration of the Holy Quran in Nov 2014.
husband and wife were brick kiln workers, and the woman, a mother of three, was
pregnant at the time. Police had registered a case against 660 villagers after
the incident. In 2015, an anti-terrorism court had indicted 106 suspected in
Nov 2016, the ATC sentenced five men ─ identified as Mehdi Khan, Riaz Kambo,
Irfan Shakoor, Muhammad Hanif, and local prayer leader Hafiz Ishtiaq ─
to two counts of death for their involvement in the burning alive of the
others were also charged with involvement in the lynching and sentenced to two
years each in prison.
Muhammad Qasim Khan headed a two-judge bench hearing appeals filed by Muhammad
Hanif and Hafiz Ishtiaq against the ATC's 2016 verdict.
appeals of three other convicts, Mehdi Khan, Riaz Kambo, Irfan Shakoor, were
dismissed today by the court, which upheld their death sentences.
lawyer for the convicts appealed to the court against the punishment handed to
them by the ATC, saying that the court had given its verdict without taking the
law into consideration.
said that all the convicts had been nominated at a later stage in the case and
pleaded for their acquittal.
state prosecutor argued that there was solid evidence against all the convicts
and requested the court to scrap the appeal.
court subsequently acquitted two of the convicts, while upholding the ATC's
earlier verdict on the appeals of three of the convicts.
Radha Kishan lynching
mob of around 400 people lynched Shahzad and Shama for their alleged role in
desecrating the Holy Quran in November 2014. Both husband and wife were brick
kiln workers from Chak-59 of Kot Radha Kishan, a town in Kasur district. The
woman, mother of three, was pregnant.
and witnesses told Dawn in Nov 2014 that announcements had been made from
mosques on Tuesday asking villagers to gather at the Yousaf brick kiln where
25-year-old Shama and her husband Shahzad Masih worked as bonded labourers.
1,000 charged people from three villages took out the couple from a room (where
they had taken shelter) after tearing apart its roof. The mob tortured the
couple before putting them into the kiln’s furnace. The mob also held hostage
five policemen who tried to rescue the couple and the villagers also manhandled
some media personnel and snatched their cameras.
registered a case against 660 villagers, including 60 who were nominated in a
First Information Report lodged on the complaint of Sub-Inspector Muhammad Ali
of Chowki Factory Area.
FIR said the mob had thrashed the couple and dragged them to a kiln where Mohammad
Yousaf Gujar, the kiln owner, and his accountants Shakeel and Afzal, allegedly
removed a lid from one of the openings of the furnace and threw the couple into
nature of the explosion is yet to be determined and the area surrounding the
bank has been cordoned off.
nervously watch as their children wait to be tested for HIV in a village in
southern Pakistan, where hundreds of people have been allegedly infected by a
doctor using a contaminated syringe.
to keep order, police scan the anxious crowd as families hustle into one of
five different screening rooms set up in the last month in the village of
Wasayo, on the outskirts of Larkana in Sindh province.
officials say more than 400 people, many of them children, have tested HIV
positive in recent weeks as experts warn of a surge in infection rates across
Pakistan, due to the use of unsanitary equipment and rampant malpractice —
often at the hands of quack doctors.
and fear continue to swell in the desperately poor village hit hard by the epidemic,
which authorities say could be linked to either gross negligence or malicious
intent by a local pediatrician.
are coming by the dozens,” says a doctor at the makeshift clinic, beset by a
lack of equipment and personnel to treat the surging number of patients.
Pervez waits anxiously to have her daughter tested, worrying a recent fever may
be linked to the outbreak. For others, their worst fears have already become a
Ahmed arrived at the clinic in a furious search for medicine after his
one-year-old daughter tested positive three days earlier.
curse [the doctor] who has caused all these children to be infected,” he says
Imam Zadi accompanies five of her children to be examined after her grandson
entire family is so upset,” she tells AFP.
worry their children’s futures have been irreparably harmed after contracting
HIV, especially in a country whose masses of rural poor have little
understanding of the disease or access to treatment.
is she going to play with? And when she’s grown up, who would want to marry
her?” asks a tearful mother from a nearby village, who asked not to named, of
her four-year-old daughter who just tested positive.
was long considered a low prevalence country for HIV, but the disease is
expanding at an alarming rate, particularly among intravenous drug users and
about 20,000 new HIV infections reported in 2017 alone, Pakistan currently has
the second fastest growing HIV rates across Asia, according to the UN.
surging population also suffers the additional burden of having insufficient
access to quality healthcare following decades of under-investment by the
state, leaving impoverished, rural communities especially vulnerable to
unqualified medical practitioners.
to some government reports, around 600,000 quack doctors are operating across
the country and around 270,000 are practicing in the province of Sindh,” said
UNAIDS in a statement.
health officials have also noted that patients are at particular risk of
contracting diseases or viruses at these clinics, where injections are often
pushed as a primary treatment option.
the sake of saving money, these quacks will inject multiple patients with a
single syringe. This could be the main cause of the spread of HIV cases,” said
Sikandar Memon, provincial programme manager of the Sindh Aids Control
large number of unqualified doctors along with the “reuse of syringes, unsafe
blood transfusions, and other unsafe medical practices” have all led to the
spike in HIV cases in recent years, explains Bushra Jamil, an expert on
infectious diseases at the Aga Khan University in Karachi.
medical malpractices without any effective checks and balances are causing
repeated outbreaks in Pakistan,” said Jamil.
investigating the outbreak in Sindh say the accused doctor has also tested
positive for HIV.
a ramshackle jail cell in the nearby city of Ratodero, he denied the charges
and accusations he knowingly injected his patients with the virus, while
complaining of being incarcerated with common criminals.
for the parents of the newly diagnosed, the ongoing investigation means little
if they are unable to secure access to better information and the necessary
drugs that can help stave off the deadly AIDS virus.
are helpless. I have other children and I am afraid they might catch the
disease,” says another mother whose daughter recently tested positive for HIV.
least six people died while 13 others, including women and children, sustained
injuries after a driver lost control of a bus and hit two other buses parked on
National Highway in Khuzdar district on Tuesday night.
to Khuzdar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ilyas Kabzai, two passengers buses
carrying commuters were parked at Naach area due to rain when a third coach hit
them, ostensibly due to rain.
officials shifted the bodies and the injured to hospitals, with two of them in
Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Longove, along with Adviser for Education Haji Muhammad
Khan Lheri and Adviser for Quetta Development Authority (QDA) Bushra Rind,
expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in separate statements.
temples, including Batu Caves, on alert after Malaysia foils ISIS threat
JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Three temples in Kuala Lumpur have
tightened security following the arrest of four suspects linked to an extremist
religious group said to have ties with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) terror group. The three temples are the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniyar
Temple, Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple on Jalan Tun H.S Lee, and
Courthill Sri Ganesha Temple on Jalan Pudu Ulu.
a statement on Thursday (May 16), Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Devasthanam Kuala
Lumpur, which runs the three historic temples, said it was wary after it was
reported that one of the reasons cited for the planned attack was to avenge the
death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
view the arrests seriously, and their intentions which had been planned, which
was to target places of worship as well as entertainment outlets in a
supposedly act of revenge on the unfortunate death of the fireman in the
Seafield temple incident last year," according to the organisation.
added that among the steps taken were random checks on bags and monitoring of
also urged devotees to keep a watchful eye for suspicious characters.
are consistently looking at steps to be taken to elevate security and safety
measures at all three temples," it said, adding that the Batu Caves temple
alone drew an average of 3,000 tourists a day.
Adib, 24, was critically injured in the early morning of Nov 27 last year after
he and his team members responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha
Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya, where a riot had taken place earlier.
Adib was taken to hospital and later transferred to the National Heart
Institute for further treatment, but he died on Dec 17.
one has been charged over the death, and there is an ongoing inquest into the
Adib's death has become a rallying call for some Malaysian Muslims, including
those in the Malay-Muslim opposition parties, who feel that his death has not
been addressed by the government.
LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A small Islamic school in Indonesia is
providing a safe haven for the marginalized transgender community to pray
during the holy month of Ramadan, its founder said on Thursday, calling for
wider acceptance of LGBT+ people.
around the world are observing the month-long Ramadan - which began in early
May - with fasting from dawn to dusk and extra prayers at mosques until the Eid
al-Fitr celebrations in early June.
people are often stigmatized when they pray in mosques, where women and men are
segregated, said Shinta Ratri, who runs the Pesantren Waria al-Fatah school in
the central Java city of Yogyakarta.
want to provide a safe space for the ‘waria’ because praying in mosques can
feel very uneasy sometimes,” said Ratri, using the Indonesian term which refers
to transgender people.
can express ourselves freely here. We can observe Ramadan and pray together, it
is important for us Muslims in the holy month,” the 57-year-old transgender
woman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
as the world’s only Islamic boarding school for transgender people, the
institution founded in 2008 is a testament to the tolerant brand of Islam long
practiced in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
a surge in anti-LGBT+ sentiments in recent years forced the school to
temporarily shut in 2016 after it was mobbed by a group of Islamic hardliners.
currently has 42 students, all transgender women who are mostly street
performers or sex workers, who attend weekly prayers and classes about Islam
taught by six Muslim preachers.
students can choose to dress as man or woman during prayers, Ratri said.
Ramadan, the school has added extra Koran study sessions and special prayers at
night, while it also holds fast-breaking meals at sunset for the students and
we want to show is that we have the right to worship and we are accepted in
Islam. We are transgender people but we do not forget our obligations as
Muslims,” said Ratri.
rights activists say religious conservatism is threatening to erode the
Indonesia’s long-standing reputation for tolerance of minorities like for the
is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the ultra-conservative province
of Aceh where same-sex acts are banned, but the country has a growing number of
bylaws targeting LGBT+ people.
Indonesian filmmaker received death threats after his latest movie, about a
male dancer exploring his gender identity, was released domestically last month
and sparked an online backlash that led to bans in some cities.
Ratri, her Ramadan prayer has been the same every year for many decades.
The first Indonesia International Islamic Fair was held on May 9 through May 11
at Balai Kartini, Jakarta, bridging the gap between diverse Islamic cultures
from all over the world.
Indonesia International Islamic Fair (IIIF) was inaugurated by event initiator,
Anna Mariana, along with her husband Tjokorda Kusumayudha, celebrity cleric
Yusuf Mansur, and representatives from Palestine, Kuwait and Lebanon.
fair aimed to introduce Islamic cultures
and views to the world through fashion shows, talk shows, competitions, a bazaar,
a food exhibition and other cultural attractions.
showcasing all the best products that are ready to enter the global market.
There are nine Middle Eastern countries directly involved with this event that
are presenting their products," Anna said at the event on Friday.
representatives and the buyers will meet in a Business-to-Business and
Business-to-Consumer gathering which will be held on May 10 and 11," she
the opening fashion show, Anna presented 60 of her best works that are Moroccan-themed.
of my best works came from the brand under House of Marsya by Anna Mariana.
There's Anna & Co, Marsya & Co which is women-only attire, and men-only
RMD Collection. They are all luxurious, international class, and good for
adults and millennials. There's a strong sense of national pride woven into
each and every design," Anna said.
IIIF 2019 was fully supported by the government bodies, embassies, and
businesses involved. Among them were the Ministry of Religion, Ministry of
Tourism, Jakarta city government, South Tangerang city government, the Saudi
Arabian embassy, Turkish embassy, Middle Eastern Trade Chamber, Indonesia
Mosque Council and the Indonesia Traditional Textile Community.
Hasan & Mannika Chopra
Pradesh continues to hold the key to political power in the country. The
results for the 80 parliamentary seats in this keystone State will decide who
governs India. Travelling through five districts of Awadh, including the VIP
constituencies of Lucknow, Amethi and Rae Bareli, makes it amply clear that the
Muslim vote will play a crucial role in the final outcome.
are three interconnected assumptions about Muslim political behaviour, which
may not necessarily be accurate. First, they vote en bloc for one candidate or
party. Second, they are more strategic in their voting than other demographics.
Third, their voting preference is likely to be influenced by clerics or
traditional community leaders. While there was little evidence to support this
view of Muslim unity in the past as they mostly voted for parties that best
protected their interests, in 2019, opposition to the polarising politics of
the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is clearly influencing electoral preferences
and imparting a unity of purpose to the Muslim vote. Although the most
important issues for Muslims, as indeed for any voter, are education, health
care, jobs and infrastructure, today as a community they feel beleaguered;
hence their singular aspiration to vote for the strongest party or alliance
that can defeat the BJP.
previously they did not vote en bloc for any single party, in this election too
they are not voting as a homogenous group but there is a strong preference and
consolidation behind the mahagathbandhan (the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj
Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal, or SP-BSP-RLD, alliance) because it is more likely
than the Congress to overwhelm the BJP. This feeling is so strong that even
elite and upper-middle class Muslim families, which have historically had close
ties to the Congress in Lucknow, have chosen to vote for the alliance.
by Rubicon Project
then, unlike other social groups, Muslims will exercise their vote along
ideological lines, and not on the basis of the candidate’s identity.
Nonetheless, some Muslims may not vote as a unified entity despite the
consciousness that 2019 is a critical election. “This verdict will be the life
or death of democracy in India,” said Manzoor Ali from the Giri Institute of
Development Studies. This was also evident in scores of voters travelling long
distances from different cities to cast their vote on May 6 in Lucknow.
is not surprising because U.P. — which saw the destruction of the Babri Masjid
in 1992 in Ayodhya, is now run by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and has been
long considered to be the pulse of the Hindi heartland — is the centrepiece of
the Hindutva project built largely on creating a fear of Muslims as the Other.
This has resulted in fundamental changes in U.P. politics — and more so in
Awadh, a BJP stronghold since the days of the Ayodhya movement. The landslide
victory of the BJP in 2014 and in the 2017 Assembly elections has seen the
consolidation of the Hindu vote under the BJP, while Muslim votes have remained
split between the Congress and regional parties. At the same time, many Muslims
in Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Amethi, Faizabad and Ayodhya narrate how the Rasthriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been sowing seeds of division and splitting up
BJP has extensively used issues such as national security, terrorism,
uber-patriotism and cow protection to construct a ‘Hindu’ constituency. It has
tried to exploit its so-called progressive stand on the triple talaq issue to
attract Muslims. (After raising the issue with such intensity, ironically the
BJP did not give a single ticket to a Muslim woman). It has also tried hard to
slice the Shia vote by promoting Shia clerics such as Maulana Kalbe Jawad
Naqvi, who issued a statement extending support to Home Minister Rajnath Singh,
the BJP candidate from Lucknow. But this was promptly dismissed by most people as
inconsequential. So, neither of these efforts is likely to help the BJP in
getting a significant chunk of the Muslim vote because of the widely shared
perception that it is an anti-Muslim party.
Muslim identity on the ground is highly fragmented, varying with religious
denomination, caste and class, the lack of security and overriding fear have
neutralised social differences. Madhavi Kuckreja, a social activist, recalled
how a rumour about a stray cattle being injured in a road accident led to
anxious guests promptly leaving a walima (wedding reception) to rush back home.
Such apprehensions are driven by the fear of the mob and police crackdowns
(even when they are the victims of violence). This surcharged environment has been
fostered by repeated incidents of mob lynching over perceived cow slaughter,
ban on the beef trade and its consumption and the vicious anti-Muslim rhetoric
of BJP leaders such as Mr. Adityanath, who portrayed the electoral battle as
one between “Ali” and “Bajrang Bali”.
in the new political context, has been redefined as Muslim appeasement. It has
helped the BJP to gather Hindu support, especially as no party is willing to
represent the concerns of Muslims. Democracy and development should go hand in
hand. but in U.P. the two do not share a symbiotic relationship.
political and social equality in terms of roughly proportionate distribution of
development benefits and representation eludes them. Muslims in rural areas
feel they’ve been left out of government schemes such as the Ujjwala Yojana or
in getting financial support to build toilets or homes while other strong
contenders in the rural hierarchy are benefiting.
is indeed odd that though Muslims constitute 43 million of U.P.’s 200
million-strong population, no party is really talking about issues that concern
them as the battle for 2019 rages. Instead there is a manufactured silence.
Majoritarian impulses, to a greater or lesser degree, are the foundation for
the current political discourse, as are caste alliances in which the Muslim
voice has little space. Their current marginalisation is a far cry from the
time when Muslims were crucial to the political fortunes of parties, especially
the Congress. Today the tendency towards political equality when it comes to
the distribution of power or representation is completely missing. Perhaps the
Muslim is seen as a liability. In 2019, as in 2014, the BJP has not fielded a
single Muslim candidate in U.P., while it is 10 for the mahagathbandhan and
eight for the Congress.
deliberate neglect has had its repercussions. The politics of hate has forced
Muslims to give priority to security of life and property. Even more
worryingly, they are once again looking to clerics for succour whereas a few
years earlier they were beginning to show signs of autonomy and independent
thinking, said Athar Husain, Director, Centre for Objective Research and
Development in Lucknow. They are getting pushed back into ghettos and into the
arms of conservative clerics. Fearing a backlash, they are reluctant to protest
against attacks on their livelihoods, food habits, closure of slaughterhouses
and meat shops or any other issues that matter to them.
of the marginalised
the failure of politics which has invisiblised legitimate issues and allowed a
radical Hindutva consolidation in their name, Muslims continue to believe in
the efficacy of their vote. Even though their representation in Parliament and
State legislatures has fallen drastically and development deficits haven’t been
addressed, there is no dilution in their electoral participation. What is
significant is that discrimination and low representation have not bothered
Muslim voters or affected their political engagement with democracy. This is because
the vote is a weapon of the weak — a political counter against the concerted
effort to render them voiceless and irrelevant. It can establish links between
local voices and regional forces, between the politics of community and the
idea of citizenship.
capitalising on their vote, U.P. Muslims today, more than ever, want to
demonstrate that they still count in India’s democracy. They are using their
vote to demand a new deal which crucially depends on dismantling the BJP’s
Hindutva project in India’s heartland.
Hasan is Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Distinguished
Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi. Mannika Chopra is
Managing Editor, Social Change, Council for Social Development
by Bashaarat Masood
University Grants Commission has warned students against taking admission in
educational institutions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) stating it is an
integral part of India and under illegal occupation of Pakistan.
Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) is an integral part of Union of
India and the educational institutions including universities, medical colleges
and technical institutions and other education institutions situated in PoJK
are neither established by Government of India nor recognized by statutory
authorities such as University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council of
Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI), etc,” states the
May 8 UGC notification issued by Secretary Professor Rajnish Jain.
students are cautioned/ advised against taking admission in any college/
university/ technical institution in any territory under illegal occupation of
Pakistan including the so-called AJK and Gilgit Baltistan, which are currently
not recognized in India,” the notification said.
Umar Farooq, Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference, described the UGC directive
as “politicisation” of education and said it “violates” the fundamental right
of students to take education anywhere in the world. “It is unfortunate
politicisation of education, which violates the fundamental right of students to
seek education anywhere in the globe. It (the UGC notification) has put the
career of those studying there in jeopardy and uncertainty.”
every year, a large number of students from Kashmir valley take admission in
Pakistani colleges, especially for medical courses, very few students choose
PoK as their destination for higher studies. The Pakistani colleges have a
special quota for students from Kashmir.
President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand’s premier Jacinda Ardern will host
other world leaders and leading tech chiefs on Wednesday to launch an ambitious
new initiative aimed at curbing extremism online.
initiative, known as the 'Christchurch call', was pushed by Ardern after a
self-described white supremacist gunned down 51 people in a massacre at two
mosques in the New Zealand city in March, the country’s worst atrocity of
will be asked to commit to pledges to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist
content on social media and other online platforms.
political meeting will run in parallel to an initiative launched by Macron
called 'Tech for Good' which will bring together 80 tech chiefs in Paris to
find a way for new technologies to work for the common good.
summit comes as there is a growing realisation that the current abuse of social
media by extremists must be countered, after the Christchurch attacker
broadcast live footage on Facebook from a head-mounted camera.
but no Zuckerberg
has been the driving force behind the Paris summit following the tragedy.
New Zealand leader earned huge international prominence and respect after the
attacks by reaching out to Muslim communities at home and vowing a widescale
crackdown on extremist content.
key leaders attending include Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Canadian Premier
Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May and EU Commission chief
figures from tech and social networks will also be present, most notably
Twitter founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey, who will also have bilateral
talks with Ardern.
to the disappointment of some, a notable absentee will be Facebook chief Mark
Zuckerberg, who held talks in Paris with Macron last week.
social network giant, under fire from all quarters over its response to violent
extremist content, will instead by represented by its vice president for global
affairs and communications Nick Clegg, the former British deputy premier.
Christchurch call meeting is to get underway around 1400 GMT and finish with a
press conference by Ardern and Macron at 1600 GMT.
Tech for Good meeting will also be attended by the CEO of ride hailing app Uber
Dara Khosrowshahi, who will later have bilateral talks with Macron.
an opinion piece in The New York Times over the weekend, Ardern said the
Christchurch massacre underlined “a horrifying new trend” in extremist
was designed to be broadcast on the internet. The entire event was
livestreamed... the scale of this horrific video’s reach was staggering,” she
said Facebook removed 1.5 million copies of the video within 24 hours of the
attack, but she still found herself among those who inadvertently saw the
footage when it auto-played on their social media feeds.
asking both nations and private corporations to make changes to prevent the
posting of terrorist content online, to ensure its efficient and fast removal
and to prevent the use of live-streaming as a tool for broadcasting terrorist
attacks,” she wrote in The Times.
Zealand officials said she found a natural partner for the fight against online
extremism in Macron, who has repeatedly stated that the status quo is
was one of the first leaders to call the prime minister after the attack, and
he has long made removing hateful online content a priority,” New Zealand’s
ambassador to France, Jane Coombs, told journalists on Monday.
a global problem that requires a global response,” she said.
French presidential source said it was time for tech companies to “anticipate
how their features will be exploited.”
themselves will be urged to come up with concrete measures, the source said,
for example by reserving live broadcasting to social media accounts whose
owners have been identified.
ambassador to the United Kingdom has warned the country is totally ready for
any eventuality, including a war with the United States, over its nuclear case.
Baeidinejad said on Tuesday that Iran still believed that the US way of
handling Iran’s nuclear deal was a theatrical maneuver to pressure the country
to accept Washington’s illegal demands.
he said, Tehran was fully ready to confront any military action by the US.
we have renounced any escalation in the region, I would assure you that Iranian
armed forces are fully ready for any eventuality in the region, so they should
not try to test the determination of Iran to confront any escalation in the
region,” Baeidinejad said.
comments came after reports suggested the White House planned to send more than
120,000 troops to the Middle East for a potential war with Iran.
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the reports could be “fake” while
insisted he had no immediate plan for launching a war on Iran.
has been at odds with the US European allies since he pulled out last year of
an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy.
Tuesday, a senior British military commander allied to Western forces fighting
in the Middle East openly challenged claims by the US that Iran is posing a new
threat to the current security situation in the region.
General Chris Ghika made the controversial remarks while speaking to reporters
at the Pentagon.
who serves as deputy commander of the US-led coalition which is allegedly
fighting terrorists in Iraq and Syria, said the coalition was aware of Iran’s
power and influence in countries like Iraq and Syria, adding, however, that
there was no increased risk from Iran or its allied groups in those countries.
remarks came after US officials ordered partial evacuations of their embassy
and a consulate in Iraq, citing intelligence that showed there could be a
threat from Iran's allies in the Arab country
officials have rejected the claims and doubted that the American intelligence
about heightened risk was true.
swiftly reacted to Ghika’s comments, insisting there was an increased risk from
President Vladimir Putin says Iran's nuclear program is most transparent and
Moscow "regrets" to see the 2015 nuclear agreement unravel since
America's decision to leave it in May 2018.
to reporters after talks with Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen on
Wednesday, Putin aired his frustration with expectations from Moscow to save
the landmark agreement, saying Russia was not "a fire brigade" to
regret that the deal is falling apart," Putin said.
the signing of the agreement Iran was and still is the world's most verifiable
and transparent country in this sense." "Iran is fulfilling all of
its obligations," said Putin, citing the International Atomic Energy
have sharply escalated between Washington and Tehran after Trump withdrew from
the Iran nuclear deal which removed sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's
nuclear program, leaving the fate of the deal at the hands of the remaining
signatories -- the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
pressure on Iran to renegotiate a deal that would address its ballistic missile
program and growing regional influence continued with the imposition of several
rounds of sanctions and reached a point where American officials threatened to
cut the country's oil exports to zero.
out of patience with the EU's inaction in the face of the growing US pressure,
Iran reduced its commitments under the deal last week and warned the EU that it
would consider leaving the accord after 60 days if its demands were not met.
not a fire brigade'
on Wednesday urged Iran not to quit the agreement but added there was only so
much his country could do to keep the deal intact.
is not a fire brigade," Putin said.
cannot rescue everything that does not fully depend on us. We've played our
part," adding that Europe could do "nothing" to salvage the deal
without the US.
in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed concern over rising
tensions between Iran and Washington despite assurances from US Secretary of
State Pompeo that the Trump administration was not seeking war.
far we notice the continued escalation of tensions around this subject,"
are saddened to see the decisions taken by the Iranian side," Peskov added,
while accusing Washington of provoking Iran.
met Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday and assured the Russian
head of state that country did not want war with Iran even though the Pentagon
has recently dispatched an aircraft carrier and a number of B-52
nuclear-capable bombers to the Middle East.
were no assurances from Pompeo," Peskov said. "And one can hardly
talk about some sort of assurances."
Sunday, talk of war was pushed up another notch after unknown assailants targeted
four vessels, including two tankers from Saudi Arabia, off the United Arab emirates in mysterious
acts of "sabotage."
has since accused Tehran of planning "imminent" attacks in the
region. On Wednesday, the US ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its
embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and consulate in Erbil.
however, has dismissed the US accusations and advised Persian Gulf neighbors to
stay vigilant amid plots by "foreign players" and
"ill-wishers" to cause tension in the region.
of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei ruled out the possibility
of war on Tuesday, asserting Washington knows engaging in such a conflict would
not be in its interest.
Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and
in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,” Ayatollah
Khamenei said. “Neither we nor they, who know war will not be in their
interest, are after war.”
Angela Merkel has underlined strategic importance of Turkey for Germany Friday,
despite persistent political differences between Berlin and Ankara.
political values differ in many areas and yet we have common interests,” Merkel
said in an interview with the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.
highlighted Turkey’s important role for a political solution in Syria and in
fight against terrorism, as areas where both countries share common interests.
policy is always conducted as a mixture of values and interests, and one also
needs to find the right balance here,” she said, dismissing criticism by German
opposition parties about her government’s Turkey policy.
for Turkey’s EU membership
about Ankara’s stalled EU membership bid, Merkel expressed ongoing scepticism
about a full membership perspective to Turkey.
current developments after the local elections do not make it more likely that
Turkey will join the European Union,” she said, adding that she has always been
sceptical about a full membership perspective, but favored “special relations”
between the EU and Turkey.
Merkel also supported the continuation of accession talks in an open-ended way,
as this was promised to Turkey in 2005, before her Christian Democrats
(CDU/CSU) came to power in Germany.
EU membership process has long been a divisive issue in German politics, as
Social Democrats have backed a full membership perspective but Christian
Democrats favored a special partnership with Turkey.
is more than a strategic partner for the EU, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
reiterated in an article he wrote for Politico, a prestigious American
political, security and identity-related matters have demonstrated that Turkey
is more than a strategic partner for the EU,” Cavusoglu wrote in the article
published on Tuesday.
shared his views on the history of EU-Turkey relations and negotiation chapters.
turning points in recent history -- including the 9/11 attacks in the United
States, the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis and the refugee crisis --
have repeatedly proven the strategic importance of the Turkey-EU relationship.”
said that Turkey-EU relations were overshadowed thrice; in the aftermath of a
coup in the 80s, the exclusion of Turkey from the fifth enlargement wave of EU
in the 90s, and, most recently, the 2016 coup bid in Turkey.
that each time the relationship showed resilience against interruptions and
found a way out, Cavusoglu said that today Turkey finds itself in a similar
expressed his strong belief that once again Turkey will manage to come to
agreement with the EU to put Turkey’s EU process back on track.
asserted three strong reasons to believe so.
behind difficult times
of all, he stressed, Turkey is leaving behind difficult times that followed the
2016 defeated coup which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
a founding member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has carried out its
post-coup measures in line with the rule of law and international norms."
said those who criticized Turkey on the measures taken miss the point that this
was not a simple political matter but an existential issue for Turkish
said the EU membership process is their top agenda.
this regard, the 100-day action plan announced by President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan includes measures on Chapter 23 and 24 of the accession negotiations
which deal with justice, judiciary and fundamental rights.
all the challenges in striking a balance between freedom and security in one of
the world’s most unstable regions, Turkey has been relentlessly seeking to consolidate
its democracy, as the Turkish nation deserves the highest standards,” Cavusoglu
also emphasized that Turkey has adopted more than 2,000 pieces of legislation
in line with the EU acquis in the last decade -- despite the scourge of
terrorism, heavy burdens of irregular migration and a bloody coup attempt.
that the fundamentals of the post-war order are shaking, Cavusoglu said:
“Assertive unilateralism is replacing rule-based multilateralism, and
destabilizing developments on a wide range of issues -- including regional
politics, trade, environment and security -- are harming the interests of the
EU and Turkey alike.”
stressed the common stance of EU and Turkey on critical matters including the
Palestinian issue and Iran nuclear deal.
also underlined EU’s support for the robust diplomatic efforts of Turkey,
particularly for the protection of civilians in Syria.
the face of increasing volatilities, Turkey and the EU have much work to do for
the security and stability of our Continent and beyond."
stressed Turkey’s meaningful contributions to the EU in the areas of security
threats, irregular migration, aging societies, economic dynamism, soft power,
social security and energy security.
hosting more than 4 million refugees and halting the flow of thousands via the
Aegean Sea, Turkey has prevented a major humanitarian crisis in Europe,” he
the fight against terrorism, he praised Turkey’s position as the leading
country among coalition members that fight Daesh on the ground.
called on his colleagues in Brussels and in the EU’s national capitals to
return to the spirit of the 1999 Helsinki meeting of the European Council in
which Turkey became an official candidate and the EU became a serious anchor.
should restart the accession negotiations as they form the backbone of our
also urged EU to grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel.
foreign minister has sharply criticized the U.S. administration’s recent
escalation of tensions with Iran, warning that this policy might trigger a
military conflict in the region.
maximum pressure campaign would increase the risk of an accidental encounter.
The recent developments in the region, sabotage of oil tankers or pipelines,
show that this risk is concrete and apparent,” Heiko Maas said on Wednesday,
during a parliamentary debate on Iran.
said European foreign ministers conveyed their concerns about rising tensions
with Iran, during their meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in
Brussels on Monday.
must and we will do everything possible to prevent a military escalation,” he said.
top diplomat reaffirmed EU’s continued commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement
with Iran, stressing once again that it provides the best way for a peaceful
also called on Tehran to fully comply with the landmark nuclear deal, also
known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
must continue to implement its commitments under the agreement. They should not
expect any discount or compromise from us, from the EU. This would not happen,”
powers had agreed in 2015 to lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return
for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear activity to peaceful and civilian
agreement was signed between Iran and Russia, China, France, the U.K., and the
U.S., plus Germany.
President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal last year, accusing
Iran of cheating on the agreement.
Afghanistan, May 14 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 Taliban militants have been killed,
five wounded and three others arrested in eastern Afghan province of Ghazni,
the military said Tuesday.
Special Operations Forces conducted operations in Shely locality of Andar
district and Shinkai area of Gelan district on Monday. The security forces
received hostile fire during the mission and returned fire, killing 13 enemy
combatants," the army Corps 203 Tandar based in the region said in a
suspected militants were arrested and six vehicles and eight motorcycles were
destroyed by the security forces in the raids in the restive province, 125 km
south of the country's capital Kabul, according to the statement.
addition, one militant was killed and five others wounded after NATO-led
coalition forces launched an airstrike in Shaleez locality of Ghazni, the
militant was killed following an engagement between army personnel and
militants in Tawhid Abad, an area on the outskirts of the provincial capital
a separate incident, one civilian was killed in a landmine explosion in
Sadokhil area of Muqar district of Ghazni, according to the statement.
rages across the war-torn country and clashes between security forces and
Taliban have been continuing in at least 25 out of the country's 34 provinces
since early April when Taliban launched a yearly rebel offensive.
between government forces and Taliban fighters often gets intense in spring and
summer as the seasons are locally branded as the fighting time of year.
May 2019 0
least 7 Taliban militants were killed in separate airstrikes conducted in the
past 24 hours in southern Zabul and south-eastern Ghazni provinces.
were conducted in Ghazni district killing 3 Taliban fighters and wounding one
other,” the informed military sources said Wednesday.
sources further added that airstrikes were also conducted in Now Bahar district
of Zabul province killing 4 Taliban fighters.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrikes so far.
Zabul and Ghazni are among the relatively volatile provinces in Southern and
South-eastern parts of Afghanistan.
members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group
surrendered to Afghan forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
governor Shah Mahmood Miakhel told reporters that the two ISIS members are
originally hailing from Punjab province of Pakistan.
further added that the two ISIS members surrendered to Afghan forces together
with their family members which include three women and nine children.
also added that the two ISIS members surrendered to the Afghan forces one and
half years after joining ISIS ranks and conducting terrorist related activities
in Achin district.
comes as numerous reports have emerged recently regarding the growing
activities of Pakistani militants in Afghanistan.
least 33 Pakistani nationals who were fighting in the ranks of Taliban were
killed in South-eastern Ghazni province earlier this week.
provincial government and police headquarters issued separate statements on
Tuesday confirming that 42 militants including 33 Pakistanis were killed in
latest operations which were conducted in Andar district.
least four suspects have been arrested on charges of orchestrating terrorist
attacks in capital Kabul, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Thursday.
to a statement released by MoI, the suspects were arrested during an operation
of the Special Forces of Afghan National Police on Wednesday night.
statement further added that the operation was conducted in the vicinity of 8th
police district of the city.
Ministry of Interior in another statement said a similar operation was
conducted in the vicinity of Jalalabd city, the provincial capital of Nangarhar
to a MoI, a suspect who was involved in orchestrating terrorist attacks was
arrested during the same operation.
least 20 militants were killed in a series of air and artillery strikes
pounding Taliban positions along Ghazni-Paktia highway.
provincial government media office in a statement said Wednesday at least four
airstrikes and one artillery strike were carried out along the highway as part
of Khalid-3 operations.
statement further added that the Taliban positions were targeted in Arzoo and
Shaliz areas located in the outskirts of Ghazni city.
Khalid-3 operations are being conducted to clear which connects Ghazni with the
south-eastern Paktika province, the statement said, adding that three
motorcycles, a 82mm artillery, and Dshk machine gun were also destroyed during
number of U.S. Senators have sponsored a new bill aiming to approve 4000 visas
for the Afghan nationals who have helped the American forces and are now
stranded amid fears of persecution by anti-government armed elements, it has
4000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) would be provided for the rest of the
federal fiscal year ending on 30th of September, according to Reuters.
bill has been sponsored by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Republican
Senators Thom Tillis, Roger Wicker and Gory Garnder and Democrats Jack Reed,
Richard Blumenthal and Tim Kaine.
bill has also been supported by the top U.S. Commander Gen. Scott Miller who is
also in command of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.
the program is not fully resourced, our credibility and the sacrifices made by
thousands of Afghans in support of Americans and our Coalition partners could
be undermined,” Gen. Miller was quoted as saying by Reuters.
comes as the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration had earlier cut the
number of U.S. visas provided to Afghans by 60 percent.
Taliban commander and a fighter of the group were killed in separate Improvised
Explosive Device explosions which went off prematurely in northern Baghlan and
central Logar provinces.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said a local Taliban commander who
was planting an improvised explosive device in Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of
Baghlan province was killed when the explosives went off prematurely.
statement further added that the incident took place at around 8pm local time
on Wednesday night.
ministry in a separate statement said a Taliban fighter was killed as he was
transferring an improvised explosive device in Kharwar district of Logar
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incidents so far.
suicide bomber was shot dead before he manages to target the district
administrative compound in Sayedabad district of Maidan Wardak province.
National Police gunned down a suicide bomber who had attempted to storm Sayed
Abad district headquarters but before reaching to his target he was identified
and killed,” the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the incident so far.
Wardak is among the relatively volatile provinces in central parts of
U.S. hostage was due to be given to Al Qaeda-linked Katibat Macina
American hostage freed by a pre-dawn rescue operation in Burkina Faso last week
would have been transferred to an Al Qaeda-linked group had the high-risk raid
not occurred, according to French authorities.
French tourists, a South Korean national and the U.S. woman were being
transported north toward Mali when French special forces stormed their captors'
hideout. Two French naval commandos were killed in the mission, which was
authorized by President Emmanuel Macron.
the identity of their captors remains unclear, the hostages were destined to be
transferred to a group known as Katibat Macina, French Army Chief of Staff Gen.
Francois Lecointre said.
risk of them ending up with an extremist group in Mali — which would have made
efforts to free them impossible — triggered the operation early Friday,
is Katibat Macina?
Macina — which is also known as the Macina Liberation Front — is a Malian
terrorist group that is linked to Al Qaeda, according to Human Rights Watch.
by Malian preacher Amadou Kouffa, Katibat Macina is particularly active in the
central Malian region of Mopti close to the border with Burkina Faso, according
to Andrew Lebovich, an expert in the region and a visiting fellow at the
European Council on Foreign Relations.
said it has ties to Ansar ul Islam, a jihadist group that was initially active
in northern Burkina Faso but that has rapidly expanded.
Zenn, a fellow on African affairs at the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation
research institute, said Katibat Macina was essentially a Mali-based outgrowth
of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
they have extended toward the Burkina Faso border, they have basically formed a
Burkinabe subgroup of themselves called Ansar ul Islam," he added.
group aims to gradually set up an Islamic caliphate in the region, according to
2017, the group merged with four other Malian Al Qaeda-linked groups under the
name Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin or "Group for the Support of Islam
and Muslims," according to Human Rights Watch.
were their captors?
French authorities have said the captors wanted to transfer the hostages to
Katibat Macina, they have not given any specific information about who
kidnapped the foreign nationals in the first place.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has said only that there are "two
principal terrorist movements that operate in this zone — one is affiliated
with Al Qaeda, and the other with the Islamic State."
said the nature of militant organizations in the region made it difficult to
pin down the culprits.
sometimes share fighters or cooperate, or at a minimum, can occupy territory in
proximity to each other without causing problems between the groups,"
way you assess who is responsible is by looking at who’s been operating there
and what the tactics were like," Zenn added.
of the kidnappers were killed and two escaped, according to the French military
is the American hostage?
after the rescue operation, little is known about the American woman who was
the two French citizens and the South Korean woman were flown back to Paris,
the American was nowhere to be seen. It is also unclear where the U.S. woman
went missing, but Lecointre said she had been held for 28 days.
two rescued Frenchmen were kidnapped May 1 while on safari in the Pendjari
National Park wildlife reserve in Benin. Their guide was later discovered dead.
Faso President Roch Kabore said on Twitter on Saturday that he spent time with
the three other freed hostages but did not mention the U.S. citizen.
our thoughts go to the families of the soldiers and to the soldiers who lost
their lives to free us from this hell," ex-hostage Laurent Lassimouillas
told reporters as he met with Kabore.
U.S. Department of Defense has told NBC News that the U.S. woman is in her 60s
but did not give any further details.
State Department confirmed a U.S. citizen was rescued but said "due to
privacy considerations, we have no further information to share."
authorities have said they had no idea the American and South Korean hostages
were also being held when the nighttime raid was launched.
were not aware of their presence," French Armed Forces Minister Florence
Parly told a news conference.
with the United States and South Korea "show that these countries were
probably not aware of the presence of their two nationals on Burkina Faso
territory," she added.
called the rescue "an operation of rare difficulty" that grew more
complex with the discovery of the American and the South Korean.
attended a ceremony in Paris paying tribute to slain commandos Cédric de
Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello on Tuesday.
US has ordered the departure of ‘non-emergency US government employees’ from
Iraq, the US Department of State said in a statement on Wednesday.
to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil, a statement by the US embassy in
Baghdad said “normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended.
The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US
citizens in Iraq.”
statement recommended those affected “depart by commercial transportation as
soon as possible”.
a level four travel advisory, which read “do not travel”, the state department
cited “terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict” as the reason behind the
citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous
terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both
Iraqi security forces and civilians,” the statement read.
added that normal visa services will temporarily be suspended at both posts in
Baghdad and Erbil.
also said that US citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria “to engage
in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping,
injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion)”.
Donald Trump on Wednesday predicted that Iran will “soon” want to negotiate and
denied any discord in the White House over moves that critics say could lead to
war in the Middle East.
opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision -- it is a very
simple process,” Trump tweeted. “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”
Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing
stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle
East. There is no infighting whatsoever....
opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision - it is a very
simple process. All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran
will want to talk soon.
AM - May 16, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
blasted media reports about turmoil in the White House over a series of steps
taken by the administration to up pressure on Iran, saying "there is no
United States on Wednesday ordered non-essential staff to leave its embassy in
neighboring Iraq, claiming there is an "imminent" threat from
Iranian-linked Iraqi militias.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday predicted that Iran will “soon” want to
negotiate and denied any discord in the White House over moves that critics say
could lead to war in the Middle East.
Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing
stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle
East. There is no infighting whatsoever,” Trump tweeted.
opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision -- it is a very
simple process,” Trump said. “I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”
United States on Wednesday ordered non-essential staff to leave its embassy in
neighboring Iraq, claiming there is an “imminent” threat from Iranian-linked
days ago, Trump also ordered an aircraft carrier and nuclear-capable bomber
planes to deploy to the Gulf.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad last
Tuesday and met with Iraqi officials after voicing US concern about Iraqi
sovereignty due to increasing Iranian activity in the region.
to a BBC Arabic report, Pompeo handed over a memory stick to Iraqi Prime
Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi containing evidence of Iran’s plans to attack US
interests in Iraq through its proxies in the country.
in Congress demanded that the Trump administration brief them on what it
considers to be the Iran threat, warning that the US legislature has not
approved military action against Tehran.
national security adviser John Bolton has not yet learned lessons from the
country’s invasion of Iraq in 2001, says Senator Bernie Sanders.
Vermont Democratic senator made the comments in an interview with CNN on
Wednesday amid the US escalation of tensions with Tehran.
anti-war lawmaker, who is running to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020
presidential election, called the hawkish politician "one of the
architects” of the Iraq War, noting that “we should have learned the lessons of
war in Iraq and apparently John Bolton has not.”
listen to the mustache!’
military confrontation with Iran could highly reduce his chances of reelection
in 2020 as he may lose favorability among his anti-war base.
could lose the 2020 bid over listening to Bolton, suggested Hessamoddin Ashena,
advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead.
That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!” he
said in a tweet on Tuesday.
there were reports that Trump may finally dismiss the war hawk as he is busy
escalating tensions not only with Iran but also with North Korea and Venezuela.
: You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war
instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in
PM - May 14, 2019
people are talking about this
US win war with Iran in ‘two strikes’?
the other hand, Washington continues its empty threats against Iran amid the
Trump administration’s psychological war.
Tom Cotton, another Republican war hawk, also claimed Wednesday that the US
will manage to win a war with Iran in "two strikes."
two strikes… The first strike and the last strike," claimed the Arkansas
lawmaker. "I don’t advocate military action against Iran. I’m simply
delivering the message that if Iran were to attack the United States, it would
be a grave miscalculation on their part and there would be a furious
Satterfield, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, met
with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Wednesday to discuss Lebanon’s land and
sea borders with Israel.
believes the demarcation of its land and sea borders [with Israel] will
contribute to stability in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701,” Aoun
told Satterfield during the meeting, according to Lebanon’s National News
also reportedly urged the U.S. to “help realize this objective by promoting
respect for Lebanon's land and sea borders, along with its right to explore for
oil and gas in the exclusive economic zone”.
to the NNA, consultations between the U.S. and Lebanon regarding the latter’s
southern maritime border are set to continue.
April, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab toured areas of Southern
Lebanon near Israeli-occupied territories, after which he declared that his
country would “never surrender one inch of land”.
Syria — Syrian state TV says six people were killed when insurgents lobbed
missiles into a government-controlled displaced people’s camp in the country’s
TV said the dead from Tuesday’s attack on the Nayrab camp southeast of Aleppo
city included two children.
Al-Ikhbariya journalist in Aleppo said the missiles landed around sunset, when
Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan break their fast.
camp houses displaced Syrians and Palestinian refugees who have been living in
attack on Nayrab comes amid an unprecedented escalation between the government
and insurgents who have a last foothold in northwestern Syria, adjacent to
Aleppo city. Government troops have been advancing on the insurgent stronghold
that is home to 3 million people, gaining ground on its southern edge and
displacing tens of thousands.
by Mohamed Mostafa
(IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants killed two tribesmen in in an attack in
Diyala province late Monday, local media reported Tuesday as the country
struggles against remnant extremist cells.
attack, the second of its kind in Habib Abdallah village the town of Khanaqin,
left a father and his son dead, according to Shafaaq News.
declared victory over Islamic State militants late 2017, but continues to
sustain occasional attacks by the extremist group against civilians and
(IraqiNews.com) Iraqi security forces arrested a Daesh (Islamic State) member
and his wife who had used to act as tax collectors for the extremist group in
Mosul in Mosul, north of the country, local media reported.
website quoted Nineveh police Captain, Mohamed Jassem, saying the pair was
arrested as per a tip-off, and were being referred to interrogators preparing
to send them to justice.
State declared in 2014 its self-styled “caliphate” rule from Mosul, before
Iraqi forces recaptured the city three years later. Iraqi security continues to
hunt for the extremist group’s vestiges across their former strongholds.
(Kurdistan 24) – An armed group suspected of being Islamic State militants
attacked the villages of Ahmed-Taher and Habib in the disputed Khanaqin
district late on Monday, killing two Kurdish civilians.
to Jaafar Mustafa, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in
Khanaqin, one of the victims, Dilar Najim, came across the armed group while he
was driving his vehicle.
militants shot Najim and burned his car, Mustafa told Kurdistan 24, adding the
victim had called home for help after he was injured but was shot dead in cold
blood shortly after.
said the second victim was Najim’s father who had rushed to the scene in an
attempt to rescue his son, but the armed group killed him as well.
the past few months, Islamic State militants have carried out insurgency
attacks in villages far from the city, but have now gotten much closer to
Khanaqin’s center, according to Mustafa.
Article: Securing Qarachokh Mountain will end ISIS attacks in Makhmour:
a statement on Tuesday, a tribal leader in Khanaqin said Monday night’s
incident proves the security situation in the city and its surrounding areas is
deteriorating. He warned that if the Peshmerga forces do not return to the
district, the attacks, kidnappings, and security gaps in the area will remain.
Dhabi: The State Security Court of the Federal Supreme Court on Monday upheld a
five-year jail sentence of a man for seeking to damage the reputation of the
UAE and promoting terrorist groups.
defendant, who is a 21-year-old citizen of Comoros Islands, was also fined Dh1
was convicted of seeking to damage the UAE’s reputation and the relationship of
the country with its neighbours by publishing false reports and information on
man was found guilty of swearing allegiance to the terrorist organisation Daesh
was also convicted of publishing material and video clips on social media to
promote the terrorist ideology of Daesh and urge young people to join it.
court confiscated his electronic devices and ordered him to pay all judicial
the UAE cybercrimes law, an imprisonment period not more than five years, and a
fine between Dh500,000 and Dh1 million will be handed down to whoever publishes
information on the computer network or though information technology means with
the aim to incite hate.
first-time offenders, the court may rule for the accused to be placed under
electronic probation, and prevented from using information technology means
during a period not more than the maximum penalty prescribed.
document released by SaudiLeaks website is a letter signed by Colonel Mohammed
bin Nasser al-Harbi, a commander of the Saudi Ground Forces in al-Sharqiyeh
region, addressed to his deputy to put all forces on alert in their mission
zones within the next 72 hours.
added that the Saudi commander has ordered the National Guard Forces to be
dispatched to al-Sharqiyeh region to protect the oil wells, refineries and
ports where the country's crude is exported to overseas destinations. He has
also cancelled all leave of absence of all commanders and forces.
report was released a day after Seven drones of Yemen's armed forces carried
out airstrikes on vital oil facilities in Yanbu region after flying deep into
Saudi Arabia's airspace on Tuesday, halting the operation of the strategic
East-West oil pipeline that pumps some 3 million barrels of oil per day from
the Eastern province to the Western parts of the country.
extensive military operation was conducted in retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s
aggression and siege of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state," a
Yemeni military source told Al-Masirah TV on Tuesday.
official stated that Yemeni fighters stand ready “to execute more significant
and tough strikes as long as the siege continues”.
news network, meanwhile, reported that the goals have likely been oil-related
and economic targets in the Red Sea port of Yanbu in the Al-Madinah province in
Western Saudi Arabia.
Yemen's defense ministry, Al-Mayadeen TV Chanel reported that seven drones
penetrated deep into Saudi Arabia and targeted large-scale vital facilities.
later, member of the political bureau of Yemen's Ansarullah movement Mohammad
al-Bukhaiti told Al-Jazeera Arabic that the attacks occurred in the early hours
of Tuesday morning, saying he expects the targets to be oil installations, but
stated that he had no specific information on the details of the strikes.
later, Saudi Arabia's Presidency of State Security confirmed the report of the
Yemeni drone attacks on the kingdom facilities, saying two oil pumping stations
belonging to Aramco company in the provinces of Al-Duwadimi and Al-Afif
"were partially targeted".
Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih also noted that fire broke out at one
station between 6:00 am and 6:30 am local time on Tuesday, saying, however, it
caused "limited damage".
added that Aramco has stopped the pumping operation, where the damage is being
assessed, to repair the station and restore the situation to the normal state.
later in the day, Yemen's Al-Masirah TV released details of the airstrikes,
saying that the drones bombed Yanbu oil facilities that is home to some 40
percent of Saudi crude production.
Armed Forces Spokesman Yahya Sari' in an official statement released on Tuesday
afternoon said, "Seven drones targeted Saudi Arabia's oil pumping
facilities in Yanbu region and disrupted the pipeline oil transfer
have targeted a pipeline that transfers 3 million barrels of crude per
day," he added, vowing that the Yemeni army will continue to target
strategic facilities in Saudi Arabia.
reports disclosed that following the drone strikes on the strategic Yanbu oil
pumping facilities, the two oil pumping stations in the provinces of
Al-Duwadimi and Al-Afif had also been damaged in separate attacks and were
forced to cease pumping operations.
pumping stations send Saudi oil produced from its oil-rich Eastern
(Al-Sharqiyah) province to the port of Yanbu in the West. The East-West
pipeline is of strategic value to Saudi Arabia's oil exports.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former
Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the
Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh-led aggression has so far killed at least
20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
Weddings, funerals, schools and hospitals, as well as water and electricity
plants, have been targeted, killing and wounding hundreds of thousands.
the United States, the Uinted Kingdom and some other Western countries have
faced criticisms over arms sales to the Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose
aggression against Yemen has affected 28 million people and caused what the
United Nations calls “one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world".
According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in
more than 100 years.
Tahrir al-Sham terrorists stationed in Western Aleppo launched several attacks
on al-Nayrab Refugee Camp in Aleppo which resulted in the death of eight
people, including several children and injury of 14 others.
several civilians were killed in Tahrir al-Sham's mortar attacks on al-Jamileh
district in the center of Aleppo city.
battlefield source, meantime, pointed to the spread of mortar and rocket
attacks in the towns of Nubl and al-Zahra in Northwestern Aleppo, and said that
in response the Syrian Army's missile, artillery and tanks units pounded the
military positions and movements of the terrorists in all battlefronts of
Western and Northern Aleppo, including the towns of Kafar Hamreh, Haritan and
Andan Ma'areh al-Artiq.
source reiterated that several military bases and positions of the terrorists
in Haritan and Kafar Hamreh were destroyed in the Syrian Army attacks and all
terrorists inside them were killed.
a relevant development last week, the Syrian Army dispatched massive military
equipment and a large number of troops to Northern Aleppo in a bid to reinforce
positions in the region after an attack by the Turkish Army and its allied
militants was fended off.
Syrian Army sent a massive military convoy comprising over 200 government
troops and military vehicles carrying military equipment from al-Hamdaniyeh
region in Aleppo to the town of Ahras and Tal Raf'at in Northern Aleppo,
reinforcing their military positions, battlefield sources in Northern Aleppo
said on Tuesday.
Kurdish-language Hawar News website quoted Afrin Liberation Fighters as
announcing that they killed three Ankara-backed militants and injured seven
others in a bomb attack on the so-called Military Police affiliated to Ankara
near Jandaris Garage in the center of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.
the Kurdish fighters in a separate operation targeted and pounded a center of
Jbahat al-Shamia in the town of al-Seyyed Ali in Ma'are region in Northern
Aleppo, killing three terrorists and injuring five others.
a relevant development on Saturday, Kurdish-language media reported that a
number of Turkish Army soldiers and allied militants have been killed in
military operations by the Kurdish fighters in Aleppo in recent days.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported that the Kurdish 'Afrin Liberation Forces'
pounded a gathering of the Turkish Army soldiers in the village of Kimar in
Shirawa region of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, killing two Turkish soldiers
and injuring four others as well as destroying their military vehicle.
the Kurdish fighters also destroyed a drilling vehicle of the Ankara-backed
militants, while it was building a road block in Kimar town in Afrin,
destroying a military vehicle and killing three Ankara-backed militants.
Kurdish fighters also targeted and pounded a military vehicle carrying
militants of Jbahat al-Shamia in Kaljabrin in Izaz region in Northwestern
Aleppo, destroying a vehicle and injuring three terrorists.
a relevant development in late February, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
conducted a military operation against Turkish Army and its allied militants in
the surrounding areas of Manbij city in Northeastern Aleppo, killing a number
of the Ankara-backed militants and that country's soldiers in Afrin region.
News reported that clashes intensified between members of Al-Bab Military
Council affiliated to the SDF and Ankara-backed Euphrates Shield militants in
Qart-Viran, Karhiuk and Kavkoli regions West of Manbij city and East of al-Bab
said that the clashes broke out after the Ankara-backed terrorists' artillery
units pounded the SDF-controlled areas in the region.
News reiterated that sporadic clashes still continue between the two sides in
Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
said that at least three Ankara-backed militants were killed and five others
were severely wounded in a battle between the two sides in a region between
Basouteh and Karzileh villages in Afrin region.
has censured Israel’s land theft and repressive measures against Syrians in the
occupied side of the Golan Heights as a flagrant violation of international
law, saying that Damascus reserves the right to re-establish control over the
letters to the UN chief and the president of the Security Council on Wednesday,
Syria’s Foreign Ministry reiterated that the occupied Golan is an integral part
of Syria and that the Arab country would exhaust all available means to regain
control of the land because it is an “eternal right that can’t be prescribed.”
letter said that the Tel Aviv regime recently forced the Syrian citizens to register
the lands they had inherited from their ancestors at the department of
properties affiliated to the occupation authorities in order for Israeli
ownership documents to be issued for them instead.
areas include the farms which extend between Ayn al-Rihan and Sa’ar river
regions, the letter added.
ministry further called on the UN Security Council to take immediate measures
“to preserve international peace and security by obliging Israel to stop its
illegal settlement policies and repressive measures against our people in the
occupied Syrian Golan, which constitute a flagrant violation” of international
hailed Syrian people for “their resistance against the Israeli occupation and
their rejection of the decision to annex the Golan to the occupation entity.”
seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later
occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international
regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the
region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian
least four people have been killed in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf during an
anti-corruption protest called by a political movement led by Shia cleric
said that Wednesday’s demonstration turned violent after security guards outside
the al-Bashir shopping mall, owned by a former Sadrist, opened fir on the
demonstrators, in response, set fire to the mall.
Hakim Hospital said that the clashes had left four people dead and 17 others
a statement released on Thursday, the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s security media
cell said, “Security forces have arrested five guards of the mall who had
opened fire on the protesters.”
mall is owned by Jawad al-Garawi, who is said to have been expelled from the
Sadrist movement’s ranks on graft charges.
Mohammed al-Iraqi, a Sadrist movement leader, had called on the party's
supporters to target corrupt businesses of individuals.
the corrupt want to return, we are standing in the way and we will prevail over
them,” he said in a post on his Facebook page.
political board of the Sadrist movement condemned “the use of armed force” for
quelling “peaceful and civilized” protests.
Lebanon — Yemen’s Houthi rebels carried out multiple drone attacks on Saudi oil
facilities on Tuesday, a day after Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers had
been damaged in an act of sabotage, ratcheting up tensions in the region.
Houthi spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam, claimed responsibility for the drone
strikes on Twitter, saying that they were a response to Saudi “aggression” and
“genocide” in Yemen.
the Houthis are backed by Iran, it was unclear whether the attacks were related
to increasing tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies in the
total of four oil tankers were damaged off the coast of the United Arab
Emirates on Sunday in what the Emirati government called acts of sabotage.
Though little hard information has emerged about the attacks, American and Gulf
suspicions have centered on Iran, in an area already jittery about the prospect
of a violent clash with the republic.
Trump administration has warned of planned aggression by Iran or its proxies,
though it has not elaborated on that contention, and it has deployed military
forces to the region.
both sides said Tuesday that they were not looking for a war, even as the
threats and counterthreats continued.
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in comments carried on state
television that “no war is going to happen,” The Associated Press reported.
we, nor they are seeking war,” he said. “They know that it is not to their
in a visit to Russia on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We
fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran.”
the Trump administration has not ruled out further increasing the American
military presence in the region.
to a New York Times report that Pentagon officials were drawing up plans to
deploy as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, Mr. Trump called it “fake
news” and said that “we have not planned for that.”
we’re not going to have to plan for that,” he added. “And if we did that, we’d
send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
four ships were damaged on Sunday in coastal waters near the Strait of Hormuz,
the vital waterway to the Persian Gulf, through which much of the world’s oil
Saudi government said two of the ships were Saudi tankers, identified by
industry officials as Al Marzoqah and the Amjad, and a Norwegian shipping
company said another was one of its tankers, the Andrea Victory. The fourth was
an Emirati tanker.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have said they were investigating the
senior Defense Department official said Tuesday that based on a “holistic
assessment,” the military believes that “Iran is likely” behind the tanker
attacks. However American officials said there was no definitive evidence
linking Iran or its proxies to the attacks.
suggested Tuesday that the tanker attacks were a provocation intended to escalate
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran said that it had “previously predicted
that such actions would occur to create tensions in the region,” according to
IRNA, a state news agency.
in New Delhi, he also warned of the danger posed by “extremist individuals in
the U.S. government.”
Zarif and other Iranian officials have sought to portray President Trump’s
national security adviser, John R. Bolton, as a warmonger eager to push the two
countries into conflict.
Pompeo said Tuesday that the United States was still trying to get more
information about the attacks.
working diligently to get answers to what caused those ships to have the
problems that they have today,” he said at a news conference in Sochi, Russia.
attack on the Saudi oil facilities added a new element to the tensions.
Houthi-run television station, Al Masirah, reported that seven drones had
“targeted vital Saudi facilities.”
Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said the attacks on two pumping
stations had caused “limited damage.” He said the government was shutting down
a pipeline while it assessed the damage and made repairs.
Kingdom condemns this cowardly attack,” Mr. Falih said in a statement. “And
this recent terrorist and sabotage act in the Arabian Gulf against vital
installations not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the safety of the
world’s energy supply and the global economy.”
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are fighting the Houthis in Yemen to
restore the government that the Houthis ousted from the capital, Sanaa, in late
2014. The war in Yemen is viewed as another front in the regional power
struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Arabia considers the Houthis an Iranian proxy. The Houthis receive support from
Iran, but deny that they are an Iranian proxy.
affected pipeline runs from the oil production areas in the eastern part of the
country to the Red Sea in the West, where the Saudis maintain export
facilities. Those facilities help ensure they can continue to export oil if
they have difficulties doing so from the Persian Gulf.
I. Al-Husseni, a former executive vice president of Saudi Aramco, said the
strikes did not pose a serious risk to the Saudi infrastructure.
facilities in the kingdom were designed at a time when there were wars going on
in the Gulf,” he said. “So everything was redesigned and upgraded in order to
take advantage or make allowances for the security aspects.”
Reed contributed reporting from London, and Julian E. Barnes from Washington.
body is completely empty’: Family of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail
brother of a Palestinian who died while in Turkish custody said that it was
impossible for the family to perform another autopsy as “there is nothing left
inside” the body.
is impossible to dissect the body again because there is nothing left inside,
the body is completely empty. Even the tongue does not exist,” Zakaria Mubarak,
Zaki Mubarak’s brother, told Al Arabiya from Cairo.
month, Turkey said that Mubarak, one of the two Palestinian men arrested on
alleged espionage charges in April, died while in custody and called his death
family said they were skeptical of the suicide claims and called for an
investigation into the matter.
is a horrible thing, the body showed signs of brutal torture and it was almost
deformed. In fact, I was in shock and amazement. I did not even recognize my
brother,” Zakaria said after receiving the body in Cairo. “His daughters were
able to identify him through distinctive features,” he added.
family has also called into question the coroner’s report from Istanbul, which
was translated into three languages.
report contradicted itself. It stated that the result of death was natural but
at the same time, it said that the cause of death was due to several injuries.
International courts will review all documents,” Zakaria said.
to the family, Mubarak’s body has been fully photographed in order to provide
further evidence of torture.
fighters never give up weapons, never normalize with Israel: Hamas
Palestinian Hamas movement has described its resistance fighters’ weapons as a
red line, strongly denouncing attempts by a number of Arab states and Persian
Gulf kingdoms to normalize diplomatic relations with the Israeli regime after
years of clandestine contacts.
in a statement released on Wednesday in commemoration of the 71st anniversary
of the Nakba Day categorically rejected all projects aimed at the liquidation
of the Palestinian cause or undermining the rights of the Palestinian people,
in particular US President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for peace
between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “Deal of the Century”.
rallies were organized to mark Nakba Day -- or the Day of Catastrophe --the
anniversary of the day when, back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and Israel proclaimed
in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, Palestinian Prime
Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative, asserting that it
was “born dead.”
noted that negotiations with the US were useless in the wake of the country’s
relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, which
Palestinians consider the capital city of their future state.
United States Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt told Fox News television news
network in an interview published on May 11 that Trump’s “peace plan” would not
be unveiled until at least after the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of
Ramadan, formation of a new Israeli administration and the Jewish holiday of
Shavuot, known as the Feast of Weeks in English, which ends on the evening of
emphasized that the so-called deal of the century has been worked out in a way
that it would not endanger Israel, saying, “One thing we won’t do, the Trump
administration won’t compromise on Israel’s security.”
then blasted the Palestinian leadership’s decision to dismiss the deal before
even seeing it, claiming that he was “hopeful for the sake of the Palestinian
people that they get a chance to see it.”
then called upon the Palestinian people to resist the Tel Aviv regime’s
occupation by all means, primarily armed resistance, which is a strategic
option to protect the Palestinian nation and restore their rights.
weapons at the hands of resistance fighters are a red line, and our people are
entitled to work on their development. The process of managing the
(anti-Israel) resistance front falls within the framework of countering the
Israeli occupation in a way that disrupts the Tel Aviv regime’s equations and
guarantees the Palestinian nation’s interests,” the Palestinian resistance movement
statement also roundly dismissed all forms of political, cultural and
commercial normalization with Israel.
attempts amount to a stab in the back of the Palestinian nation and a violation
of their rights. They also encourage the Israeli enemy to commit more crimes
and violations against our people and holy sites (in occupied lands),” it read.
finally called for a mass and effective participation in all events marking the
Nakba Day as well as anti-occupation protests along the fence separating the
besieged coastal enclave and the Israeli-occupied territories.
have held weekly rallies along the Gaza border to protest the siege on the
enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled
during the 1948 creation of Israel.
than 270 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
16,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, 2018, on the eve of the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided with a US
decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem
June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution,
sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, which condemned Israel for Palestinian
civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that they “are on
the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy,” the Fars news agency
General Hossein Salami, named head of the force last month, added: “This is a
moment in history, because the enemy has stepped into the field of
confrontation with us with all the possible capacity, is the most decisive
moment of the Islamic revolution.”
United States has sent further military forces to the Middle East, including an
aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, and Patriot missiles, in a show of force
against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests
in the region.
will defeat the American and Israeli alliance, Iranian Defense Minister Amir
Hatami said on Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
will defeat the American-Zionist front,” he said.
has the highest level of defense-military preparedness to confront any type of
threat and excessive demands,” he added.
United States has sent further military forces to the Middle East, including an
aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against
what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the
on Wednesday, a senior Iranian official told Reuters that Tehran was ready for
all scenarios from “confrontation to diplomacy” but the United States could not
afford another war in the Middle East.
ordered the departure of non-emergency government employees from Iraq on
Wednesday after repeated US expressions of concern about alleged danger posed
by Iranian-backed forces.
will stand with the United States to confront Iran, Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.
are united in our desire to stop Iranian aggression,” he said.
Houthis are an indivisible part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and
are subject to the IRGC’s orders, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,
Adel al-Jubeir, said on Thursday.
added that this is confirmed by the Houthi targeting of facilities in the
a series of tweets on his official account, al-Jubeir said that the Houthis
prove that they implement Iran’s agenda "by sacrificing the need of the
Yemeni people for the benefit of Iran".
Aljubeir عادل الجبير
The #Houthis confirm day after day that they implement #Iran’s agenda by
sacrificing the need of the Yemeni people for the benefit of #Iran
The Houthis are an indivisible part of #Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps
(#IRGC) and subject to the IRGC’s orders. This is confirmed by the #Houthis
targeting facilities in the Kingdom
PM - May 16, 2019
people are talking about this
Tuesday, the Houthi militias claimed responsibility for twin drone strikes on
Saudi Arabia’s main East-West oil pipeline. Iran has repeatedly threatened to
close the vital conduit for global oil supplies in case of a military
confrontation with the United States.
Houthi militias are developing more military capabilities, which have “proven
their effectiveness”, but what’s to come is “bigger and greater”, the militias’
leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a recorded speech shared by al-Masirah TV
“The fifth year (of war) is the
year where there is more and more development of military capabilities. We do
not need to explain the effectiveness of these capabilities- they have proven
their importance and effectiveness. But what’s to come is bigger and greater,
and we will leave the proof of that to the application and actual results,”
comments came only a day after two oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia were
targeted by explosive-laden drones, an attack which the Houthi militias
claimed. They were located in Saudi Arabia’s town of Al al-Duwadimi and the
city of Afif.
Kingdom, as well as several Arab countries, said that it was a “cowardly act of
terror aimed at destruction”, and “a serious threat to the regional and
international security, and the world economy.”
militia-sponsored al-Masirah report stated that this was al-Houthi’s first television
interview. Al-Houthi said that there is current production of weapons, but the
details of this are secret.
least six civilians, including children, have been killed and dozens of others
wounded in multiple airstrikes by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition on various
neighborhoods of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a.
to Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, Saudi-led fighter
jets pounded various parts of the capital on Thursday, killing at least six
civilians, four of whom were children from one family, and wounding dozens
officials said the death toll could rise due to the intensity of the strikes
and the number of those who have been seriously injured. They added that there
could be other civilians, dead or wounded, under the rubble.
of the strikes targeted residential areas in Sana’a, the officials said.
also struck a building of Yemen’s Ministry of Information, al-Masirah added.
There were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of the
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of
ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
senior member of the Houthi Ansarullah movement says Yemen’s recent retaliatory
drone strikes on a vital oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia were an act of self
defense and had nothing to do with Iran, which the Riyadh regime and its allies
falsely accuse of arming Yemeni forces.
a rare interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the
chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, said Yemeni forces
used domestically-built drones to target the East-West oil pipeline, which runs
from Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea.
he added, had no role in the counter-attacks, which hit two pumping stations in
the heart of the kingdom and forced oil giant Aramco to stop pumping crude on
the vital 1,200-kilometer pipeline.
said Ansarullah forces have been defending the country against the Saudi-led
invasion for four years, and that they were not acting “on behalf of Iran.”
also dismissed as “ridiculous” claims that Iran provides Yemeni forces with
missiles, saying “even a single piece of bread cannot get past the siege”
imposed the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors against Yemen.
further said that the retaliatory missile attacks against Saudi targets would
be halted in case the Saudi-led military coalition ends its acts of aggression
against the impoverished country.
will decide on our own about this,” he emphasized.
Saudi regime — along with its allies — accuses Iran of arming Yemen’s Houthi
Ansarullah movement against the kingdom. Tehran has invariably dismissed having
ever armed the movement and any accusation of regional interference for that
US Ambassador to the UN Jonathan Cohen — whose country is the main supporter of
the bloody Saudi war on Yemen — recently repeated the same unfounded
allegations against Iran, claiming that Tehran was “fueling” the war by
“violating” the arms embargo.
Arabia's deputy defense minister, Khalid bin Salman, also accused Iran Thursday
of ordering the drone attacks.
a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had
resigned amid popular discontent and fled to Riyadh. They have also imposed an
all-out blockade against the already-poorest Arabian Peninsula state.
invasion, which has failed to achieve any of its goals, has reportedly killed
over 56,000 people. The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s
infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.
by allied forces, the Houthi movement has been defending the country against
the Saudi-led aggression besides running state affairs in Sana’a in the absence
of an effective government.
was not the first time that Yemeni forces used drones in their retaliatory
raids, but Tuesday’s drone raids, which hit deep inside the Saudi kingdom, was
seen by analysts as a sign of a significant leap in the Yemeni army’s drone
an interview with Al Jazeera, retired Jordanian air force general Mamour
al-Nowar said an un-stealthy aircraft was able to fly for several hours deep
into Saudi Arabia, and was not detected and intercepted in a time of war,
adding, this will ring alarm bells.
air defense system completely failed to handle such attacks” and the Houthis
now have the ability “to reach Riyadh and Abu Dhabi,” potentially paralyzing
the country “if they hit desalination water pumping stations or the [almost
built] nuclear plant in Abu Dhabi.”
the day of the drone raids, Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Political
Council of the Houthi, movement described Yemeni drone strikes against
strategic targets inside Saudi Arabia and the UAE as in line with the right of
self defense, stating that Yemeni forces will cease such aerial assaults once
the Riyadh and Abu Dhabi regime change course and put an end to their military
Yemeni Minister of Information, Fahmi al-Yusufi, also said the drone strikes
carry a clear message to Saudis.
than 60 Palestinians have been injured in the besieged Gaza Strip as Israeli
forces attacked protesters marking the 71st anniversary of the Nakba Day (the
Day of Catastrophe).
al-Qedra, the spokesman for the Gazan Health Ministry, said that 65
Palestinians, including 22 children and five women, were injured during the
protests on Wednesday.
of those injured were hit by live bullets, according to the report.
further said that the Israeli forces also targeted the medical personnel,
hitting three paramedics by rubber bullets.
rallies were also held in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Nakba Day is marked annually on May 15. It refers to the forcible expulsion of
some 700,000 Palestinians from their lands following the creation of Israel in
1948 and their scattering across refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and
commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Nakba Day, the Palestinian Hamas
movement described its resistance fighters’ weapons as a red line, strongly
denouncing attempts by a number of Arab states and Persian Gulf kingdoms to
normalize diplomatic relations with the Israeli regime after years of
have been running high near the fence, separating Gaza from the occupied
territories, since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests
called “The Great March of Return.” Palestinian protesters demand the right to
return for those driven out of their homeland.
than 300 Palestinians have been killed since then, and over 17,300 have been
has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in
court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has handed down lengthy prison
sentences to three Lebanese citizens on trumped up charges of setting up a “terrorist
cell” and planning attacks upon orders from Hezbollah resistance movement.
Wednesday, the Federal Supreme Court put eight Lebanese nationals, all Shia
Muslims, on trial on terrorism-related charges.
International said five of the defendants were acquitted of the charges. The
court, which is the highest judicial authority in the Persian Gulf Arab
country, sentenced one man to life imprisonment and two others to ten years
absence of basic requirements of a fair trial, such as having access to a
lawyer, strips today's verdict of any reliability or credibility,” Amnesty's
Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf, said in a statement.
added, “The eight men were held in solitary confinement for over a year – this
in itself can amount to torture. They were also denied access to their lawyers
from the beginning of the trial; a number of the men claimed they had been
tortured to sign so-called confessions but there have been no investigations
into these claims.”
details leave us with no confidence in the process that led to the conviction
of the three men,” Maalouf noted.
of the Lebanese men, who stood on trial on Wednesday, had lived and worked in
the UAE for more than 15 years, seven of them for Dubai-owned Emirates Airlines,
according to Human Rights Watch.
were detained between December 2017 and February last year, and held for one
year before their trial opened on February 13.
an April 3 session at the state security chamber of the Federal Appeal Court in
Abu Dhabi, one of the men, identified as Abdel Rahman Talal Chouman, described
how he was tortured for six hours at a time and forced to sign a confession he
was not even given a chance to read.
a Ramadan message to his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan and President Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Lebanese
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil had demanded a special pardon for the eight
Lebanese citizens, in addition to three other convicts.
though Hezbollah holds three cabinet posts and has 13 seats in the Lebanese
parliament, it has been blacklisted as a "terrorist" organization by
October 31, 2016, a court in the UAE sentenced seven people to up to life in
prison for establishing a cell linked to Hezbollah.
news agency WAM reported that an Emirati man and two Lebanese men were handed
life sentences and an Egyptian woman and another Emirati man were each jailed
for 10 years.
Iraqi and another Lebanese man were each jailed for 15 years as well.
opposition regrets military council’s suspension of talks
opposition alliance on Thursday said the ruling military council’s suspension
of talks with protesters for 72 hours was a “regrettable decision”.
opposition alliance, known as the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces
(DFCF), also vowed to continue sit-ins outside the defense ministry and across
in the day, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) suspended the talks after
protesters broke a deal on de-escalation, the council head said in a televised
for Sirte Protection Force (SPF), Taha Hadid, said Monday that ISIS is taking
advantage of the ongoing events in Tripoli to reorganize themselves and resume
told the Russian news agency, Sputnik, that they will continue to conduct fixed
and mobile patrols in the west, east, and south of the city to repel any
terrorist acts and to support the state's civil and security institutions,
stressing that there is no other force in the vicinity of Sirte other than the
SPF-aligned forces, which were called after detecting suspicious movements of
ISIS in the south-west of the country.
May 14 (Xinhua) -- Somali security forces killed 14 al-Shabab militants after
they foiled a terrorist attack by the terrorist group in Bariire town in
southern region, the government said on Tuesday.
ministry of information said the terrorists were killed on Monday night during
a fierce fighting between the Somali National Army (SNA) and the militants in
Lower Shabelle province.
terrorists were killed on Monday night when SNA successfully repelled an
attempted attack by terrorist infiltration into Bariire town in Lower Shabelle
province, the ministry said.
which controls large parts of rural southern and central Somalia, continues to
carry out high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere, targeting bases
manned by African Union and Somali security forces.
— The impoverished West African country of Mali on Tuesday urged the European
Union to step up support for the Sahel region amid a spate of extremist
attacks, as France buried two officers killed during a hostage rescue mission.
a race against time,” Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame said, following attacks in
central Mali and across the border in northern Burkina Faso. He called for
action from “Europe and other countries in the world that have the means and
feel concerned by the terrorist threat.”
to reporters in Brussels after a meeting of EU and Sahel country government
ministers, Drame said that “we need support. We need to speed up procedures. We
need international mobilization in a concrete way.”
has deteriorated in the Sahel over the past decade, with extremist attacks
occurring frequently. Both fighters and people seeking better lives in Europe
move easily across the region’s long, porous borders.
groups linked to the Islamic State organization and al-Qaida are active in the
region. In a rare video released late last month, Islamic State group leader
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi congratulated “brothers” in Burkina Faso, Mali and other
countries for pledging allegiance.
Burkina Faso has been increasingly destabilized by jihadists from across the
border in Mali. On Sunday unknown gunmen attacked a Catholic church during
Mass, killing a priest and five worshippers.
have included the kidnapping of foreigners. The French special forces officers
were killed Friday during an operation to free foreign hostages in Burkina
Faso. They were part of a French military operation trying to root out Islamic
extremists in the Sahel.
region also includes conflict-torn Libya’s neighbors Chad and Niger, as well as
Mauritania further west.
is a situation that’s getting worse and we must do something about it,” Belgian
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said.
region is a transit hub and path for migrants trying to reach Europe, and the
EU has earmarked around 8 billion euros ($9 billion) in development support for
Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania for 2014-2020. Last year the EU
and other donors raised more than 400 million euros to fund a regional
5,000-strong force remains short of equipment and training. A branch of
al-Qaida set off a car bomb at its headquarters in central Mali last year.
said the Europeans “want to see the very clear willingness of the Sahel
countries to take charge of border control, the security aspects of all those
pathways used by armed groups to get from one country to another.”
also said the EU must do more to bolster the regional force with military and
Drame said many of the region’s problems are exacerbated by the conflict in
have ambushed Nigerien soldiers near the Malian border, killing at least 17
soldiers, a government spokesman says.
11 soldiers are still missing after the gunmen attacked Nigerien troops near
the town of Tongo Tongo on Tuesday, Abdourahamane Zakaria told Reuters on
spokesman did not identify who is behind the attack, which occurred in the same
region where militants from a Daesh affiliate killed four US special forces and
four Nigerien soldiers in an ambush back in October 2017.
groups, including affiliates of al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist group, have
intensified attacks on military and civilian targets across West Africa's Sahel
region in the recent months, particularly along the porous borders between
Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.
southeast also faces a threat from Nigeria-based Boko Haram and a splinter
group affiliated with Daesh.
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