Tells Imran Khan: PM Modi Asked Me To Help With ‘Disputed’ Kashmir Region
Denies Trump Claim PM Modi Asked Him To Mediate On Kashmir
Bengal: Muslim Hawker Beaten Up For Refusing To Chant Jai Shri Ram
Want to Start My Life Anew, Says Freed Man Picked Up By NIA on Terror Charges
Khan Welcomes Donald Trump's Offer Of Mediation On Kashmir, Says It Won't Be
Offers To Mediate Between India and Pakistan on Kashmir
Win the War in Afghanistan In A Week But Don’t Want To Kill 10 Million People:
Fears as 40 Jihadis Who Fled Australia To Join Islamic State Return Home
Thanks UAE for Backing Its Xinjiang Policies
Investigations into Deaths of Palestinians Often Reach Nowhere
opposition wants Modi to clarify Trump Kashmir claim
Lawyer Calls To Take Up Arms; Asks Minorities, Dalits to ‘Sell Property, Buy
Guns for Self-Defence' India
U-Turn, Shia Cleric Kalbe Kalbe Jawad Takes Back Appeal To Muslims and SC/Sts
To Buy Firearms
Seeks Time to Decide On Supply of Untruncated Chargesheet to 2008 Malegaon
Blast Case Accused
Muslim-Majority Blitar, Villagers Maintain Interfaith Harmony Brick By Brick
Arrested For Assaulting Muslim Waiter In Aurangabad
a bilateral issue between India, Pakistan; US welcomes them sitting down: State
and Kashmir: Brothers of Rifleman Aurangzeb killed by militants join
Meeting’: SC Notice on NIA Plea Challenging Acquittal Of 5 Accused
Islamic State in plans with Pak army to target Indian assets in Afghanistan
says Vishakha guidelines can’t be applied in religious places, nixes plea
Holds Historic Vote in Former 'Epicenter' of Terror
Khan a great athlete, a very popular Prime Minister: Donald Trump
intelligence led CIA to Bin Laden: Imran Khan
enjoying religious freedom in Pakistan: Ashrafi
with Pakistan much better today than before, says President Trump in meeting
with PM Imran
calls PM’s US speech ‘anarchic, provocative’
accepts PM Imran’s invitation to visit Pakistan, says Qureshi
to have PM Imran at the White House, says Melania Trump
committed to helping US in resolving Afghan issue, Imran tells US senator
has given charge of Pakistan to IMF: Marriyum
A Muslim U.S Marine, And I'm Staying, To Make America Great Again. Just Not The
Is the US-Born Jihadi Believed To Have Radicalised Isis Bride Lisa
sanctions Chinese oil trader for violating Iran restrictions: Pompeo
says the ‘report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false’
to deploy 250 troops to Mali for peacekeeping operations
says US, Pakistan seeking 'tremendous' potential
Trump says US working with Pakistan's Imran Khan to find way out of Afghan war
condemns Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes
intelligence fears Gulf crisis could lead to attacks on UK by Iranian terror
military rejects dozens of candidates over extremist links
to seek European maritime mission to counter Iran’s ‘piracy’
Francis envoy tells Syria’s Assad of concern for Idlib’s civilians
Foreign secretary accuses Iran of 'state piracy'
wants compulsory pre-wedding course for non-Muslims too
face of Indonesia's moderate Islam nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
to make splash on TV with Fallon-style talk show
'Ready to Strike' In the West Using Sleeper Terror Cells: Report Claims
Conflict with U.S. Grows, Some Iran Hard-liners Suggest Talking to Trump
as Tensions with Iran Rise Over Seized Ship, U.K. Stays ‘Committed’ to Nuclear
Houthi rebels raise nearly $300,000 for Hezbollah
says it will meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday
ship seizure in Strait of Hormuz not retaliation: Zarif
Saudi-funded hospitals in Yemen treat thousands daily
Israel’s demolition of Palestine homes amount to war crime
threatens to launch offensive in Syria if no safe zone established
Prince Sattam bin Khalid Blasts King Salman for Sanctioning Unislamic Freedom
Minister of Endowments Warns of ‘Muslim Brotherhood Terrorism’
Saudi preacher Awad Al-Qarni: Justifier of terror
hands out 11 life sentences for joining Daesh
coalition preventing Houthis from threatening navigation
regime, Russian forces kill over 40 civilians in Idlib province: Monitor
forces launch anti-IS operation north of Baghdad
Coalition Says it Destroyed Houthi Ballistic Missiles Around Yemeni Capital
Siding with Iran, Hezbollah Could Put Lebanon’s Future At Serious Risk
air force kills 20 militants after deadly suicide blast
MP: Several Israeli Spies Stationed in US-Occupied Bases in Iraq
rocket attack kills seven civilians in Syria’s Hama
Movement In Nigeria Rejects Allegations Of Violence
dead, 28 wounded in Somalia bomb blast: Hospital official
people killed in car bomb blast in Somali capital
warplane lands on road in southern Tunisia
security forces clash with Shia protesters
police kill 6 protesters demanding release of Sheikh Zakzaky
Attack Security Checkpoint and Hospital in Pakistan
kills 28 militants in N. Afghanistan
Bombing at University Kills 10 as Violence Surges in Afghanistan
Strike Forces kill 4 Taliban militants in Helmand province
militants suffer heavy casualties in Faryab clashes
to visit Afghanistan, Qatar for the talks with the Afghan government and
of Taliban militants killed, detained in Special Forces raids in Logar, Paktika
forces kill seven civilians in attack on militants
by New Age Islam News Bureau
tells Imran Khan: PM Modi asked me to help with ‘disputed’ Kashmir region
President Donald Trump Monday offered to mediate in solving the Kashmir issue
between India and Pakistan during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister
Imran Khan. Trump said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to help ease
tensions between the two neighbouring countries on the “disputed” Kashmir
region and that he would love to be a mediator, Reuters reported.
Washington DC: Pakistan PM Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump reply to
journalists when asked on Kashmir.
PM - Jul 22, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
the wake of Trump’s remarks, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated its
stand that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the that Kashmir
continues to be bilateral issue. Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar stated
that no such request has been made by PM Modi to US President. It has been
India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are
discussed only bilaterally. “The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration
provide the basis to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally,”
have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if
requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been
made by PM @narendramodi to US President. It has been India's consistent
PM - Jul 22, 2019
people are talking about this
March this year, responding to a query by a journalist, MEA Spokesperson Ravish
Kumar had said: “As regards the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, our stand is
consistent and well known. We reaffirm that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral
part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India.”
Khan’s first meeting with the US president, Trump also said the United States
is working with Islamabad to find a way out of the war in Afghanistan.
also held out the possibility of restoring US aid to Pakistan, depending upon
what is worked out, and offered assistance to Islamabad in trying to ease
strained ties with India.
to Trump’s statement that entailed about an American mediation to Kashmir
issue, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned the
“undeclared shift in India’s position on third party involvement in Kashmir”.
Abdullah also said that personally, he is of the opinion that the US President
is “talking out of his hat” in reference to Trump’s comments on PM Modi asking
for asking US assistance in solving Kashmir issue.
Govt of India going to call @realDonaldTrump a liar or has there been an
undeclared shift in India’s position on third party involvement in #Kashmir?
PM - Jul 22, 2019
people are talking about this
spokesperson Randeep Surjewala attacked the Modi government for supposed
requests to US President to mediate in the Kashmir issue. “India has never
accepted third party mediation in Jammu & Kashmir! To ask a foreign power
to mediate in J&K by PM Modi is a sacrilegious betrayal of country’s interests.
Let PM answer to the Nation!” Surjewala stated.
told Trump there was only one solution for Afghanistan and that a peace deal
with the Taliban was closer than it had ever been. He said he hoped in the
coming days to be able to urge the Taliban to continue the talks.
who was accompanied by Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi among others, was greeted by Trump upon his arrival at the White House.
Prime Minister of Pakistan is here to showcase his vision of a ‘Naya Pakistan’
and to start a new era of bilateral relations. We have come with a narrative of
peace and prosperity in the region,” Qureshi tweeted soon after arriving at the
remarks that angered New Delhi and were quickly denied, US President Donald
Trump Monday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to play the
role of a mediator on Kashmir, and “if I can help, I would love to be the
mediator” between India and Pakistan.
made the remarks in the presence of visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
at the White House ahead of their bilateral meeting. Within an hour, the
Ministry of External Affairs contradicted the US President’s remarks saying “no
such request has been made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
have seen @POTUS’s remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if
requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been
made by PM @narendramodi to US President. It has been India’s consistent
position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only
bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border
terrorism. The Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis
to resolve all issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally,” Raveesh Kumar,
spokesperson for the MEA, tweeted.
statement by the US President is likely to create a diplomatic and political
firestorm given that Parliament is in session. Prime Minister Modi is also
likely to travel to the US in September.
the White House, Imran Khan, responding to a question on Kashmir, said he will
be asking Trump’s support to push for dialogue with India.
is… It is the most powerful country in the world, the United States. It can
play the most important role in bringing peace in the subcontinent. There are
over a billion and a quarter people in the subcontinent. They are held hostage
to the issue of Kashmir. And I feel the most powerful state, headed by
President Trump, can bring the two countries together. From my point, I can
tell you — we have tried our best. We made all overtures to India to start
dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue. But, unfortunately, we
haven’t made headway as yet. But, I am hoping that President Trump can push
this process,” he said.
then said: “I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago. We talked about this
subject, and he actually said would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator? I
said: Where? He said: Kashmir. Because this has been going on for many many
years. I was surprised at how long it has been going on.”
this point, Khan said, “70 years”.
continued: “I think they would like to see it resolved. I think you would like
to see it resolved. And If I can help, I would love to be a mediator.”
impossible that two incredible countries that are very very smart, with very
smart leadership can’t solve a problem like that. But if you want me to mediate
or arbitrate, I would be willing to do it,” he said.
then said, “President, I can tell you that right now you will have prayers of
over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve this issue.”
responded, “It should be resolved. He asked me the same thing. So, I think
there is something. So, may be we will speak to him, or I will speak to him and
we will see if we can do something… because I have heard so much about Kashmir.
Such a beautiful name. It’s supposed to be such a beautiful part of the world.
But right now, there are just bombs all over the place. Everywhere you go, you
have bombs and it’s a terrible situation and has been going on for many years.
If I can do anything to help, let me know.”
is the first time Trump has claimed that Modi asked him to mediate on Kashmir.
The two leaders met in Osaka on the sidelines of the G-20 summit on June 27.
Age Islam News Bureau
Another incident of beating up
of a Muslim youth for not chanting Jai Shri Ram occured in Asansol of West
A poor street hawker named Mohammad Rizwan was
beaten up by some Hindu miscreants for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram. He was
injured and was admitted to a hospital. Rizwan is the son of a muezzin and
sells bedsheets. As usual he was going around in Kala Jharia area of Asansol
seeing bedsheets. Some youth of the area caught hold of him and asked his name.
When he said that his name was Rizwan, the miscreants forced him to chant Jai
Shri Ram. When he refused the boys beat him badly and fled. Rizwan came back to
his house in an injured state and told his family members about the incident.
Rizwan alleged that the miscreants snatch Rs 4000 from him. Angry people
gheraoed the police station and demanded the arrest of the miscreants.
According to eye witnesses, the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the
protesters. No arrests have been made so far.
don't want to say anything. I am satisfied after coming home. I hope my brother
comes soon," said Rais Ahmed, a native of Saidpur village in western Uttar
Pradesh. Ahmed was arrested on terror charges by National Investigation Agency
this month Rais Ahmed was released from Tihar Jail as the investigating agency
was not able to prove the terror charges.
was arrested in December 2018 after NIA conducted raids in Uttar Pradesh and
Delhi and arrested 14 suspects of Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam (Movement for War of
Islam), a terror group inspired by the Islamic State (IS)
on June 21 NIA filed chargesheets against 10 suspects. But the investigating
agency did not file chargesheets under terror charges against four accused --
Mohammad Irshad, Rais Ahmed, Jaid Malik and Mohammad Azam.
spending six months in jail the four finally got bail in early July.
and his elder brother Shahid were arrested from their shop in Amroha. Shahid is
still in jail. Their father died after they were arrested on terror charges.
said, "I want to start my life anew. Our shop is closed. I don't want to
comment on what happened in the past. I am satisfied that I came back from
took me from my shop. They also took a car jack and they kept asking me from
where I got the jack," he said adding that after he went to jail he came
to know that he was arrested on terror charges. When asked NIA said that the
jack was used in making rocket launchers.
said he never met Mufti Mohammad Suhail who, according to an NIA press release,
"was the amir of pro-IS module, who mobilised funds and procured weapons,
ammunition and explosive materials to prepare IEDs etc. with other
June 21, NIA filed chargesheets against the 10 arrested men under Sections
120B, 121, 121A, 122 of IPC, Sections 17, 18, 18B, 20, 21, 23, 38 and 39 of
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Sections 4 and 5 of Explosives Substances
Act, and Sections 25, 26 and 29 of the Arms Act. Investigation against three
more accused continues.
had registered a case on December 20, 2018, against Mufti Mohammad Suhail and
others on the allegation that Suhail has formed a pro-IS module with others to
commit terror activities and the module is amassing weapons and explosives.
had named the module Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam. The group wanted to establish an
Islamic caliphate in India by resorting to large-scale terror attacks in and
around National Capital Region. The group carried out reconnaissance of some
locations in and around NCR.
Khan welcomes Donald Trump's offer of mediation on Kashmir, says it won't be
Buoyed by US President Donald Trump's offer of mediation on Kashmir, Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the contentious issue between
the two South Asian neighbours can never be resolved bilaterally.
statement came hours after Trump offered to be the "mediator" between
India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue as the two leaders met at the White
House where they discussed a host of issues, including the Afghan peace
Indian government has denied Trump's astonishing claim that Prime Minister
Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate.
who is on a three-day official visit to the US, welcomed Trump's offer of
there will never be (a resolution of the Kashmir dispute)," Khan told Fox
News, the favourite channel of president Trump.
was one point when there was General (Pervez) Musharraf and Prime Minister
(Atal Bihari) Vajpayee of India when we did get close to the resolution of the
Kashmiri issue. But since then we are poles apart and I really feel that India
should come on the table; US could play a big part. President Trump certainly
can play a big part," Khan said hours after he met Trump at his Oval
Office for the first time at the White House.
are talking about 1.3 billion people on this earth. Imagine the dividends of
peace if somehow that issue could be resolved," Khan said when the Fox
news anchor read out the Indian statement that it has been India's consistent
position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only
engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The
Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all
issues between India and Pakistan bilaterally," India said on Monday,
refuting that Prime Minister Modi ever asked for US mediation on Kashmir.
welcomed Trump's remarks, saying "President, I can tell you that, right
now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and
resolve this issue".
to another question, Khan said Pakistan will give up its nuclear weapons if
India did so.
because nuclear war is not an option. Between Pakistan and India, the idea of
nuclear war is actually self-destruction because we have two-and-a-half
think there's a realisation in the subcontinent that and (if) there was some
incident happened last February and we again had tensions at the border... So,
there's a realisation and that's why I asked, president Trump that if he could
play his role, the US as the most powerful country in the world, the only
country that could mediate between Pakistan and India and resolve the only
issue is Kashmir," he said.
only reason for 70 years that we have not been able to live like civilised
neighbours is because of Kashmir," Khan said.
has not been engaging with Pakistan since an attack on the Air Force base at
Pathankot in January of 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists, maintaining that
talks and terror cannot go together.
this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber
of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's
mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation,
hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February
offers to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir
Donald Trump on Monday offered to mediate the decades-long Kashmir dispute
between India and Pakistan, a move that would signal a shift in long-standing
US policy that the issue must be solved bilaterally.
I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said at the White House,
where he was hosting Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. “If I can do
anything to help, let me know.”
win the war in Afghanistan in a week but don’t want to kill 10 million people:
U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed that he could win the war in
Afghanistan in a week and could wipe the country ‘off the face of the earth’ in
he said he did not want to kill ten million people, suggesting that pakistan
could play a vital role to ‘help the U.S. out.’
made the remarks during a press conference with the visiting Pakistani Prime Minister
Imran Khan at the White House.
the war ‘ridiculous’, Trump went on to claim that the fight against Taliban has
made the US the world’s ‘policemen.’
Said “I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan
would be wiped off the face of the earth, would be gone, it would be over.
Literally in ten days.”
the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said “And there is no military solution
in Afghanistan, there is no military solution because as Mr. President says if
you go out all military there will be millions and millions of people who would
die.” He also expressed hopes that they would be able to ask the Taliban in
coming days to negotiate with the Afghan government and come to a settlement
and political solution.
fears as 40 jihadis who fled Australia to join Islamic State return home
jihadis who fled Australia to join Islamic State have since returned home.
men pose a 'significant' security concern, government officials told The Sunday
to 230 Australians joined extremist groups to fight in Syria and Iraq since
those who have returned from the Middle East are Sydney man Belal Betka, 25,
who has pleaded guilty to foreign incursion.
returned is Isaak el Matari, 20, who spent nine months in jail in Lebanon for
trying to join ISIS.
was charged earlier this month for allegedly planning terror attacks around
Sydney landmarks in the city's CBD.
comes as Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton prepares to push a controversial
bill that will ban high security risk individuals from coming back home for up
to two years.
passed, the tough new Counter Terrorism Bill will allow government to delay
proceedings of bringing radicalised jihadists back into Australia so officials
can fully investigate their security risk.
allowed to be brought back into the country, certain conditions may be placed,
meaning authorities will be aware of their whereabouts, employment and
the bill strives to keep Australians safe, there are concerns it may be applied
to innocent people.
Mr Dutton is adamant the Bill is instrumental in protecting the public as it
will ensure all suspect jihadis are closely monitored.
is hoping the bill will pass through parliament as early as this week but
understands that the Labor Party may need more convincing.
Labor Party is torn on this issue,' Mr Dutton told The Daily Telegraph.
in Labor has to stand up and support this vital law, which will save Australian
is believed a further 80 Australians are still overseas in active conflict
Mail Australia has contacted the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs for
thanks UAE for backing its Xinjiang policies
China on Monday thanked the United Arab Emirates for backing its security
crackdown in Xinjiang, state media said, as President Xi Jinping played host to
Abu Dhabi’s crown prince.
has come under growing international scrutiny for placing an estimated one
million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in internment camps in the name of
counter-terrorism, but Muslim countries have largely refrained from criticising
his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Beijing, Xi
thanked the UAE for its “valuable support” on Xinjiang and urged the two
countries to strengthen cooperation on anti-terrorism, said state-broadcaster
return, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince said the UAE “highly appreciates China’s
efforts to protect the rights and interests of ethnic minorities”, according to
also said the UAE would be willing to “jointly strike against terrorist
extremist forces” with China, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a
militant group Beijing has accused of attempting to foment Uighur separatism.
crown prince’s remarks come as Beijing seeks to corral more international
support for its controversial policies in the country’s northwest region.
initially denying the existence of re-education camps, China has been on a
public relations blitz to counter the global outcry against what Beijing calls
“vocational education centres”.
far, Beijing has scored multiple successes, with UN ambassadors from 37
countries — including majority Muslim nations Saudi Arabia and Algeria —
releasing a letter earlier this month in defence of China’s treatment of
Uighurs and other ethnic minorites in Xinjiang.
letter came after 21 Western nations and Japan co-signed a text denouncing
China’s conduct in Xinjiang.
investigations into deaths of Palestinians often reach nowhere
REFUGEE CAMP/WEST BANK: Hamedo Fakhouri clearly remembers the moment when the
young Palestinian who worked at his neighborhood coffee shop was shot dead.
troops were lingering after an overnight arrest raid in the northern West Bank
city of Tulkarem when he noticed the mentally disabled Mohammed Habali limp up
the street with his wooden walking stick. Seconds later, he heard gunshots and
spun around to see Habali collapse.
cannot forget and will not forget how this poor man was killed,” said Fakhouri.
videos of the shooting drew outrage from Palestinians and human rights groups.
Soon after, the Israeli military launched an investigation.
say Habali was killed by Israeli troops. The military has acknowledged its
forces opened fire and has not disputed the cause of his death. But seven
months later, the investigation into whether soldiers were criminally at fault
shows no signs of progress, illustrating what critics say is a disturbing
Israeli military has opened investigations into 24 potentially criminal
shootings of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip over the
past year, The Associated Press has found. Yet none of the cases have yielded
convictions or even indictments. In most instances, the army hasn’t interviewed
key witnesses or retrieved evidence from the field.
Israel’s leading human rights group, grew so frustrated with the system that in
2016 it halted its decades-long practice of assisting military investigations.
came to the conclusion as a human rights organization, we’re actually creating
more harm than good by cooperating with the system because it is in fact a
whitewash mechanism,” said the group’s spokesman, Amit Galutz. The system’s
success, he said, “is measured not by its ability to protect victims, but
the last eight years, nearly 200 criminal investigations into the shootings of
Palestinians have secured just two convictions, according to B’Tselem. One of
them, a high-profile case in which a soldier was caught on video fatally shooting
a wounded Palestinian attacker who was lying on the ground, resulted in a
reduced sentence of nine months.
says it must regularly carry out military operations in the West Bank to
prevent Palestinian attacks and protect Jewish settlements. While acknowledging
investigations could be faster and better staffed, Israeli officials say the
system is effective, especially in light of the challenging environment in
which it operates.
didn’t build a robust legal system, one of the best in the world, just to help
soldiers escape accountability,” said Maurice Hirsch, a former chief military
prosecutor in the West Bank who is now director of legal strategies for
Palestinian Media Watch, a group that monitors anti-Israel rhetoric by
debate could have serious implications. The Palestinians have appealed to the
International Criminal Court in The Hague to press war crimes charges against
Israel. Although Israel does not recognize the court’s authority, the court can
pursue cases if it finds Israel unwilling or unable to carry out justice.
week after 22-year-old Habali was shot, Palestinian teenager Mahmoud Nakhleh
sat chatting with friends outside the hardscrabble West Bank refugee camp of
Jalazon. Suddenly, soldiers descended from a hilltop, provoked by a different
group of youths slinging stones further down the highway.
say Nakhleh and his friends panicked and bolted at the sight of advancing army
jeeps. Troops chased them into the camp and opened fire, killing the 18-year-old
Hameedat, 21, watched the episode unfold from his balcony. “They started
shooting spontaneously,” he said, pointing to video he captured on his
cellphone. “No clashes, nothing.”
the months since the killings of Habali and Nakhleh, Israeli authorities have
neither interviewed witnesses nor requested footage from them.
witnesses, including Hameedat, said they are prepared to cooperate.
both cases, the army released similar statements, saying troops had responded
to “disturbances” in which “dozens of Palestinians hurled stones“— a situation
that automatically loosens the rules of engagement.
in such contexts are typically explained as regrettable accidents, and “usually
not the consequence of any criminal decision,” said Eli Baron, Israel’s former
deputy military advocate general.
criminal intent is an especially high standard in Gaza, where some 200
Palestinians, most of them unarmed, have been killed in the past year during
demonstrations along the border.
which withdrew its troops from the territory in 2005, says the ruling Hamas
militant group uses the protests as a cover to stage attacks and notes that
many protesters have tried to break through a separation fence to enter Israel.
In response, the military applies the law of armed conflict, giving soldiers
more leeway to open fire. This interpretation has been challenged by rights
groups and the UN
a dim living room in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, Ibrahim Ayyoub recalled the
afternoon his 14-year-old son Mohammed was shot through the head by an Israeli
who executes a child will never confess to it,” Ayyoub said. “But we have to
raise our voice.”
family filed a complaint to the military through the Palestinian Center for
Human Rights, which said that in May, over a year after the event, two
witnesses were asked to provide basic details to investigators over Skype. They
have not heard back since.
Mezan Center for Human Rights said the army has not asked for testimony or
evidence in more than 50 cases it represents.
government is obligated under international law to investigate reports of human
rights abuses “promptly, thoroughly and in good faith,” said Annyssa Bellal, an
expert in international humanitarian law at the Geneva Academy.
failure to do so could give the International Criminal Court jurisdiction, she
said. The court opened a “preliminary investigation” into Israeli practices in
2015, but has not said when it will complete the probe.
to a request for updates on the ongoing investigations, the army said it has
launched seven criminal probes in Gaza and 16 in the West Bank over the past
of the cases were closed following a military police investigation. Another two
cases were treated as an internal disciplinary matter and closed at the outset,
including the shooting of a 16-year-old who was wounded in the West Bank while
handcuffed and blindfolded.
military also launched an investigation — but not a criminal probe — into the
shooting of an AP cameraman who was struck in the leg while wearing a vest
marked “PRESS” several hundred meters from the Gaza fence.
the case of the AP journalist, neither the cameraman, who spent weeks
recovering in an Israeli hospital, nor his supervisors were asked to testify.
The army also never asked to see video of the shooting.
its conclusion, the army said “no fire was directed” at the cameraman. It
encouraged journalists to “exercise caution” when covering protests.
of the remaining Gaza investigations, and several in the West Bank, including
the deaths of Habali and Nakhleh, remain in the initial stage of military
police review. Just two West Bank cases, including a medic killed in clashes at
a refugee camp, are in the final stage of review before a recommendation is
made on whether to press charges.
a statement, the army stressed that its investigations are conducted in an
“independent and effective manner.” It also said it often faces access and
security challenges on the ground, making investigations “complicated and often
debrief every bullet,” Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, the head of Israel’s southern
command, which is responsible for the Gaza border, told a conference last
spring. “But we don’t always have results because of the tough conditions we’re
Gaza is off limits to Israeli investigators. Collecting evidence in
Palestinian-administered parts of the West Bank can involve risky late-night
operations, or relying on intermediaries who sometimes refuse to cooperate.
Investigators can also struggle to get autopsy results due to the Islamic
custom of quick burials.
however, say these obstacles can be overcome with technology like video
conferencing, better cooperation with Palestinian security forces and improved
training for investigators based on past cases going back to Israel’s 1967
seizure of the West Bank and Gaza.
say the army has instead created a system that relies almost entirely on
one-sided testimony from soldiers in which insufficient evidence becomes a
common justification for closed cases.
army tends to give the benefit of the doubt to its own soldiers,” said Yuval
Shany, a Hebrew University expert on military law.
DELHI: Opposition leaders are angrily demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi
clarify his position in Parliament about President Donald Trump mediating
India’s long-running dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.
Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in Parliament on Tuesday that Modi made no
such request to Trump as the US president had claimed.
leaders Anand Sharma and D. Raja said India’s position was that Kashmir was a bilateral
matter with Pakistan and it will not accept any third-party mediation.
said Modi recently asked him whether he would like to be a mediator or
arbitrator on Kashmir. Trump spoke to reporters in Washington before Monday’s
meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, the Himalayan territory they
both claim that is divided between them.
Lawyer Calls To Take Up Arms; Asks Minorities, Dalits To ‘Sell Property, Buy
Guns For Self-Defence' India
Delhi: In a shocking call to take up arms, a Muslim lawyer has sparked a row by
suggesting that members of minority communities and Dalits should apply for
firearms licence even if they have to sell their properties and goods to
arrange for funds for the licence.
Mahmood Pracha has asserted that Muslims, Dalits, and members of the SC and ST
community should apply for gun licences to protect themselves following several
incidents of mob lynching in the country.
a press conference, Paracha stated that he would provide legal help to people
from minority communities who face any problems while applying for the gun
said, “We will provide them with legal support if they have a problem filling
the form or in procuring the licence. If they access their right to private
defence and if the cases are filed against you, in that case, we will help
lawyer further said, “We only look at the legal aspect. For the SC/ST
community, the government is responsible to finance them. However, we would
like to request the minorities to sell their precious gold and goods, gather
money and apply for the licence.”
had made the statement on Saturday, stating that a camp would be set up on July
26 to help Muslims and SCs and STs apply for the firearm licences.
on Sunday, Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad said that he had asked Pracha to
postpone the setting up of the camp in light of the controversy generated by
refuted speculations that arms training would take place at the camp, and said
that he had asked the lawyer to wait to see what measures the government takes
to bring perpetrators of mob lynching to justice.
cleric said, “All we want is for them to be safe. They said it on their own
that they did so compulsively, as things were getting out of control. (UP CM)
Yogi ji and (Prime Minister) Modi ji have also promised action and we've
requested for the program to be taken forth. Even if it is not taken forth,
they will be able to fill in forms. The media took this by storm claiming
things like there will be arms training, camping and all there.”
further stated that the government should come up with a law on mob lynching. He
said, "If the government takes any strict action against mob lynching,
then there cannot be anything better than this. The government should be given
a chance to act against mob lynching.”
the last two months, at least three incidents of mob lynching have taken place
in Bihar and Jharkhand.
U-Turn, Shia Cleric Kalbe Kalbe Jawad Takes Back Appeal To Muslims and SC/Sts
to Buy Firearms
In the eye of a storm for prodding Muslims and SC/STs to apply for arms
licences and procure weapons for self-defence, prominent Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad,
in a volte-face, urged the government to come up with a strict law against mob
a press release, Jawad clarified that his intention was not to give arms
training to Muslims, SCs and STs as reported in a section of media. His
intention was just to arm the deprived and vulnerable against incidents like
mob lynching. The cleric asked advocate Mahmood Pracha to postpone the proposed
camp to help Muslims and SC/STs fill application forms for licences in Lucknow
on July 26.
the government takes strict action against mob lynching, then there cannot be
anything better than this. The government should be given a chance to
act," he said here on Monday. Jawad, a member of the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), had held a press conference along with Pracha on
Saturday evening calling upon Muslims and SC/STs to procure arms by applying
had even asked the communities to sell off their gold to get the licensed arms
to defend themselves from mob lynching. Pracha had floated the idea of holding
a camp on July 26 at Bada Imambara in Lucknow to help Muslims and SC/STs fill
up application forms for firearm licenses in the light of recent mob lynching
incidents and the Sonbhadra firing incident.
have requested Pracha to postpone the programme as media quoted us wrongly. It
was said that arms training will be given in the camp which was totally wrong.
So, now we have asked Pracha to postpone the programme to see whether the
government acts against mob lynching incidents or not. We will meet leaders to
demand a law against lynching," he said.
the Shia cleric had justified his advice to the Muslim community to collect
arms by procuring licences by saying that it was allowed in Islam.
“Self-defence is a right Islam gives to its followers. Our religion gives
permission for defensive jihad, not offensive jihad,” he had said while
interacting with media persons recently.
camp was about to tell the people how to fill up forms which are needed to
apply for licensed weapons. No one will be given weapons training," Jawwad
told reporters at a conference here.
reacting to the Shia cleric's appeal, member of the All India Muslim Personal
Law Board and Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor, Zafaryab Jilani said the
call for procurement of arms licence was logical. “In view of increasing
incidents of mob lynching, especially, in villages, I agree with Jawwad Sahab.
Even law also has a provision to this effect. But it will have to be seen how
far this campaign will be successful,” he said.
seeks time to decide on supply of untruncated chargesheet to 2008 Malegaon
blast case accused
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday sought time before the Bombay
high court to decide whether a truncated copy alone can be supplied to the
accused facing trial in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case.
counsel Sandesh Patil on Monday said the agency will not examine prosecution
witnesses whose names were not disclosed in the truncated list supplied to the
accused in the on-going trial before a special court in Mumbai. The HC will
hear the matter now on August 2.
of the blast accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit had filed a plea to demanding the
list of names of witnesses and an untruncated chargesheet copy. His counsel
Shrikant Shivade had submitted that an in-camera trial is a prerequisite to
handing over a truncated chargesheet to the accused. He argued that even the
1993 serial bomb blasts case and the 26/11 terror attack case, “where the
accused were international terrorists" chargesheet copy was not truncated
when supplied to them. He further questioned , “Why deprive the accused a
serving Lt Col from the same constitutional privilege."
Muslim-majority Blitar, villagers maintain interfaith harmony brick by brick
was early in the morning when Salamun rushed to Al Falah mosque in Krisik
village, Blitar regency, East Java, to make an announcement on kerja bakti
(community activity) to local villagers on Saturday. Through the mosque’s
loudspeaker, he called on neighbors to come together to build a 32-meter-tall
landslide barrier on the slope of a hill where Pura Agung Surya – one of the
three grand Hindu temples in the regency – stands. Minutes after Salamun’s
announcement, dozens of villagers from Wonorejo hamlet, one of four hamlets in
the village, gathered in the mosque yard to depart together to the temple, located
about 4 kilometers from the mosque. They were apparently not the only group to
participate in the activity, as Salamun and his neighbors were joined by
residents of the other three hamlets, most of whom were Muslims and Christians,
to help in constr...
arrested for assaulting Muslim waiter in Aurangabad
least four persons have been arrested by the police for assaulting a Muslim man
in Maharashtra's Aurangabad on Friday. Investigating Officer Madhukar Sawant
said the accused will be produced in court on Monday.
to the police, Imran Ismail Patel, 27, who works at an eatery in Muzaffarnagar
locality here, was returning home on his motorcycle shortly after midnight on
Friday, when he was stopped by the group of men at the Hudco corner.
away the ignition key of his motorcycle, the group asked him his name, where he
was going and hurled abuses at him. The crowd then assaulted him. One of them
menacingly raised a stone on his head and ordered him to say "Jai Shri
Ram", which a terrified Patel repeated loudly thrice.
the fracas, some local residents rushed out of their homes. One Ganesh
Mandapwale rescued Patel from the clutches of the violent group and even got
back his motorcycle keys.
later, Patel lodged a complaint with the Begumpura Police station. The police
arrested a history-sheeter G.V. Sonawane on Sunday. A few more arrests were
made on Monday morning.
Aurangabad Police, which beefed up security in and around the
minority-dominated globally-renowned tourist centre, have however, tried to
play down the incident. The police said that it was not a communal incident and
appealed to people not to believe rumours.
The Trump administration has launched a damage control exercise after the
President's remarks about mediation on Kashmir, with the state department on
Tuesday saying it was a "bilateral" issue between India and Pakistan,
and the US "welcomes" the two countries "sitting down" for
also said Pakistan taking "sustained and irreversible" steps against
terrorism is key to a successful dialogue with India.
Kashmir is a bilateral issue for both parties to discuss, the Trump
administration welcomes Pakistan and India sitting down and the United States
stands ready to assist," a state department spokesperson told PTI in
response to a question if Trump's remarks reflect a change in the country's
policy on Kashmir.
has already rejected Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his
mediation on the Kashmir issue.
have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested
by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM
@narendramodi to US President. It has been India's consistent position...1/2
people are talking about this
all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally. Any
engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism. The
Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all
issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally.2/2
people are talking about this
more than a decade, the US has consistently insisted that Kashmir is a
bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and it is for the two countries to
decide on the nature and scope of the dialogue.
believe the foundation for any successful dialogue between India and Pakistan
is based on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants
and terrorists on its territory. These actions are in line with Prime Minister
(Imran) Khan's stated commitments, and Pakistan's international
obligations," the state department spokesperson said.
will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment
conducive for dialogue. This first and foremost means tackling the menace of
terrorism. As the President indicated, we stand ready to assist," the
spokesperson said in response to a question.
Monday, Trump stunned India by saying that Prime Minister Modi, during the G20
summit in Osaka, Japan, sought his help in resolving the Kashmir issue.
was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago and we talked about this subject
(Kashmir). And he actually said, 'would you like to be a mediator or
arbitrator?' I said, 'where?' (Modi said) 'Kashmir'," Trump said during
his talks with Khan, their first since the latter came to power in August,
this has been going on for many, many years. I am surprised that how long. It
has been going on (for long)," he said, with Khan responding 70 years.
think they (Indians) would like to see it resolved. I think you would like to
see it resolved. And if I can help, I would love to be a mediator. It should
be....we have two incredible countries that are very, very smart with very
smart leadership, (and they) can't solve a problem like that. But if you would
want me to mediate or arbitrate, I would be willing to do that," Trump
all those issues should be resolved. So, he (Modi) has to ask me the same
thing. So maybe we'll speak to him. Or I'll speak to him and we'll see if we
can do something," Trump said.
welcomed these remarks. "President, I can tell you that, right now, you
would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate and resolve
this issue," he said.
New Delhi, The ministry of external affairs was quick to deny that Modi ever
asked for a mediation on Kashmir.
have seen President Trump's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate,
if requested by India and Pakistan, on the Kashmir issue. No such request has
been made by Prime Minister to the US President," MEA spokesperson Raveesh
has been India's consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan
are discussed only bilaterally. Any engagement with Pakistan would require an
end to cross border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration
provide the basis to resolve all issues between India and Pakistan
bilaterally," Kumar said.
the past two and half years, the Trump administration has gone a step ahead, as
compared to his predecessors', in supporting India's fight against terrorism.
In the immediate aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, the White House
supported India's right to self defense.
and Kashmir: Brothers of rifleman Aurangzeb killed by militants join Territorial
year after his son, Rifleman Aurangzeb, was abducted and later killed by
militants in Kashmir, Mohammad Haneef on Monday saw two other sons getting
enrolled into the Territorial Army as soldiers at an event in Palma, in the
border district of Rajouri.
siblings, Mohammad Tariq and Mohammad Shabir, were among 100 recruits selected
from among 11,000 people who participated in the recruitment rally conducted at
Surankote in March this year.
and wife Raj Begum were present when the brothers donned the olive-green
whose eldest son Mohammad Qasim is also in the Army, said, “I am a proud father
today, as two more of my sons have joined the forces. One who is born has to
die some day, and what can be bigger than sacrificing your life for your
added, “Even our religion tells us to die for the nation.”
a soldier posted with 44 Rashtriya Rifles, was abducted and killed by militants
in Shopian district in July 2018 when he was headed home, in adjoining Poonch
district, to celebrate Eid with the family. He was awarded the Shaurya Chakra
to his son’s killing, Haneef had said, “I had got him recruited in the Army to
serve the nation. A soldier’s job is to kill the enemy or get killed.”
had also asked other people not to stop sending their children to the Army
because otherwise there will be no one left to fight for the country.
Ministry spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand here described the enrolment parade
as a unique initiative of 156 Infantry Battalion of Territorial Army (Home
& Hearth), Punjab, of Indian Army. Pointing out that most recruits come
from humble backgrounds, he said six are graduates, 76 have cleared Class XII,
and the rest cleared Class X.
meeting’: SC notice on NIA plea challenging acquittal of 5 accused
Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on a plea by the National Investigation
Agency (NIA) challenging the acquittal of five men accused of organising a
meeting of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Kerala’s
Panayikkulam in August 2006.
bench headed by the Chief Justice of India issued the notice on the petition
challenging the HC verdict of April 12 this year. Solicitor General Tushar
Mehta appeared for the NIA.
were 17 accused in the case, one of them a minor. In November 2015, the NIA
court in Kochi convicted five of them —- P A Shaduly, Abdul Razik, Ansar Nadvi,
Nizamuddin and Shammas —- and sentenced them to varying degrees of
imprisonment. The court acquitted the rest. The case against the minor was
separated from the rest.
to the prosecution, the 17 accused assembled in an auditorium at Panayikulam on
August 15, 2006. The secret meeting was arranged by accused 1 to 5 and attended
by the others.
accused, claimed the probe agency, brought pamphlets containing anti-national,
seditious and inflammatory writings with intent to bring hatred and contempt
against the Government of India. Two of the accused “addressed the audience and
advocated for cession of Kashmir through Jihad and for bringing back Muslim
rule in India”. The books and pamphlets brought by accused 1 to 5 were
publications of SIMI, the prosecution alleged, adding that the meeting “was
convened by the accused with intent to cause disaffection towards Government of
India, to conduct Jihad for cession of Kashmir from India and to bring back
Muslim rule in India”. They were charged with sedition under Section 124A and
other offences under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
them, the HC disagreed with the agency’s charge that their speech amounted to
citing case laws on the matter and discussing the charges, the HC ruled that
“taking into consideration all these facts and principles evolved in
appreciating a case under Section 124A, we do not think that the statements
aforesaid even if read as a whole was intended to create any hatred or contempt
or disaffection towards the Government of India. Nothing has been stated
against the Government of India. Of course, it is stated that certain laws like
TADA and NSA are oppressive and Muslims are tortured. It is also stated that
the persons who are doing Jihad in Kashmir are gunned down by Indian military
and all persons have to fight against the same. It might be true that it may
trench upon making a malicious speech. But in so far as the speech does not
create any hatred or contempt to Government of India, nor does it excite any
disaffection, the provisions u/s 124A cannot be invoked.”
Gupta and Rezaul H Laskar
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is working closely with Islamic State in Afghanistan and
has drawn up plans with the Pakistan Army to target Indian and US assets and
interests in the war-torn country, people familiar with developments said on
a recent meeting between LeT operatives and a team of Pakistan Army and the
country’s spy agency Inter- Services Intelligence in Jaba area of Dangam
district in Kunar province, the terror group was directed to attack Indian and
US assets, the people, including intelligence officials and diplomats in New Delhi
and Washington, said on condition of anonymity. LeT commanders were tasked to
carry out different types of attacks, including with suicide bombers sent from
Pakistan, they added. The move comes at a time when Pakistan is under intense
pressure from the US and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to crack down
on LeT and other groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Jaish-e-Mohammed
(JeM). LeT founder Hafiz Saeed was recently arrested on terror financing
also coincides with reports by the Pentagon and a UN panel about the presence
of hundreds of LeT cadres in Afghanistan. The Pentagon report put the number of
LeT operatives at 300, while the UN report said 500 fighters are active in
Kunar and Nangarhar provinces alone.
presence in Afghanistan has been observed to be steadily on the rise. According
to recent inputs, Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed is taking more interest in
operational affairs in Afghanistan,” said an official who didn’t want to be
named. The information on LeT activities has been shared with the US and Afghanistan.
reasons for LeT focusing on Afghanistan are strategic rather than ideological,
including the creation of safe havens for its fighters and a belief the Taliban
are in a commanding position, the people said. With its fighters easily
crossing the porous border, LeT wants to take credit for an “Islamic victory”
in Afghanistan and has been increasing its presence in Kunar, Nangarhar and
Nuristan, they said.
presence of LeT fighters has also been reported in Badakhshan, Laghman, Kabul,
Ghazni, Wardak, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Kandahar and Helmand provinces and it
maintains good relations with IS, the people said. The IS has provided tacit
support for LeT to increase its presence, they added. While the LeT has so far
avoided carrying out direct attacks in Afghanistan, it coordinates with
al-Qaeda and Taliban in attacks on foreign and Afghan forces. The UN panel had
also reported the LeT was a key provider of fighters, weapons and finance for
the Taliban and Haqqani Network.
madrassas in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar are supporting the LeT
in Afghanistan, including Ganj Madrassa, which helps recruit cadres, Jamia
Ashrafia, Hazrat Bilal Madrassa, Markaz Khyber, which is headed by local JuD
leader Qari Nouman, Markaz Al-Madina.
JeM, which has traditionally had strong ties with the Afghan Taliban, has also
stepped up its operations in Afghanistan and its cadres are fighting under the
leadership of the Taliban, the people said. These cadres include a significant
number of battle-hardened JeM militants and suicide bombers from Pakistan’s
Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, they said.
JeM leadership also conducts its own operations in Afghanistan that are
directed from a base in Peshawar, the people said.
Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition demanding application
of Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment at workplaces to places of worship.
the petition, a bench led by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said,” the
guidelines are meant for cases of sexual harassment at work places and cannot
be extended to places of religious worship”.
petition filed by one advocate Maneesh Pathak had sought that Vishakha
guidelines against sexual harassment at workplace should be made applicable to
ashrams, madrasas and Catholic institutions.
the matter before the court senior advocate RK Khanna tried to impress on the
court the necessity of enforcing the Vishakha guidelines in places of worship
because in the past these places had seen a spurt of sexual harassment cases.
But the court was unmoved by the argument said, “if such incidents are taking
place the aggrieved parties have recourse to filing FIRs.”
apex court had in, 1997, in the Vishakha case, laid down guidelines to be
followed by employers to prevent or deter acts of sexual harassments against
women at workplace.
- Pakistan organized its first ever provincial elections Saturday in a
northwestern region along the mountainous border with Afghanistan that until a
few years ago was condemned as the “epicenter” of international terrorism.
officials said the elections in the seven districts of what were formerly known
as the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) are central to steps the
government has taken to supplement regional and global efforts to bring peace
to Afghanistan and counter violent extremism.
election officials said some 2.8 million registered voters were to choose from
285 candidates for 16 seats in the legislative assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
contestants, including two women, represented major mainstream political
parties. The election was held under tight security and no incidents of
violence were reported.
historic vote came on a day when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan left for
the United States for his first meeting with President Donald Trump at the
White House on Monday, where the two leaders will discuss counterterrorism
measures among a range of other issues.
landmark constitutional amendment pushed through the parliament last year paved
the ground for the tribal territory to be merged in the adjoining KP province
to bring it into the national mainstream.
last year, the lawless border regions of FATA were federally administered
through a set of British colonial laws that were not applicable to the rest of
Pakistan, and residents could vote only in the national assembly, lower house
of the parliament. FATA anti-terror campaign
and military leaders in Pakistan hailed Saturday’s democratic process as
testimony that years-long security operations have rid most of the ex-FATA of
militant groups, including al-Qaida and fighters loyal to the Taliban waging a
deadly insurgency against U.S.-led intentional forces on the Afghan side of the
has been for years accused by American and Afghan officials of harboring
training camps and sanctuaries for the Taliban. Pakistani officials have
consistently denied those charges.
anti-terrorism Pakistan army offensives, backed by airpower, over the years had
displaced several million residents of FATA, although officials say 95% of them
have since been rehabilitated.
government document shared with VOA claimed the operations killed more than
15,000 militants and captured another 5,000. The remnants have fled and taken
refuge in “ungoverned” border regions of Afghanistan, it added.
was not possible to ascertain the veracity of the data through independent
sources because conflict zones in FATA had remained inaccessible for
journalists and aid workers during military operations.
recent months, however, the military has organized media trips to showcase
infrastructure development, particularly in North Waziristan, which Pakistani
officials say was the final battleground in their bid to clear FATA of terror.
retaliatory terrorist attacks and suicide bombings in FATA districts and
elsewhere in the country also killed thousands of Pakistanis, including about
8,000 military personnel, according to Pakistani officials.
violence, which stemmed from Pakistan’s participation in the U.S. “war on
terror," also has inflicted direct and indirect losses to the national
economy totaling more than $200 billion, according to government estimates.
critics also had been referring to FATA as the “most dangerous place”on the
globe, and the U.S. repeatedly called for Pakistan to dismantle the terrorism
most dangerous spot on the map may well be the source of another 9/11 type of
attack on the Western world or its surrogates in the region,” concluded the
Center for Strategic and International Studies in a 2009 study on FATA..
security and reconstruction
Pakistani army is currently building a robust fence and new posts along most of
the 2,600-kilometer Afghan border to deter militant infiltration in either
direction. The massive border management project is expected to be completed by
the end of 2020. “With fencing of Pak-Afghan border, cross border movement of
terrorists, drugs and smugglers has reduced to almost 5% of what was happening
before,” according to a Pakistani government document shared with VOA.
ensuing reconstruction effort has established roads, bridges and
telecommunication networks, schools, health facilities and markets.
key infrastructure was previously almost non-existent in many FATA districts.
Pakistani officials cited a lack a government authority in the region for
decades, saying it long served as a “transit zone for Jihadi groups where they
had established a de-facto government.”
military lately, however, has faced allegations of abuses from a newly emerged
group in FATA, known as Pakistan Tahafuz Movement or PTM. But both army and
government officials deny the charges, alleging that some of the PTM leaders
are being supported by Afghan and Indian spy agencies in their bid to undermine
Pakistan’s counterterrorism gains.
Minister Imran Khan's nearly one-year-old government takes credit for arranging
an ongoing peace dialogue between the U.S. and the Taliban aimed at ending the
war in Afghanistan.
recent trips to FATA districts, Khan has announced new projects and allocated
substantial funds for the development of the regions, hoping they will become a
commercial and transit trade hub between Pakistan and Afghanistan if peace
eventually returns to the neighboring country.
US President Donald Trump in his maiden meeting Monday with
cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan described him as a great athlete and a
very popular prime minister, and jokingly said that he would help him get re elected.
my great honour to have the very popular and, by the way, great athlete -- one
of the greatest -- but very popular Prime Minister of Pakistan," Trump
said while welcoming Khan to the Oval Office of the White House.
was Khan's first visit to the US after being elected as the prime minister of
Pakistan last year. Khan is currently on a three-day official visit to the US
at the invitation of Trump.
the more than 40 minutes meeting, the two leaders spent time with the media --
responding to a volley of questions. The mood and atmosphere in the Oval Office
was quite comfortable.
appeared to be at ease and confident answering questions. Former PM Nawaz
Sharif read from prepared statements during his two joint media appearances with
the then US President Barack Obama.
the unusually lengthy question and answer session with the media, wherein they
gave almost all the Pakistani journalists present an opportunity to ask
questions - the two leaders appeared to have forged a good chemistry instantly,
laughing and joking several times.
should be doing tremendous business together. So, I look forward to it,"
Trump said as he concluded his welcome remarks for the visiting Pakistani
leaders who was seated next to him in a deep navy blue sherwani.
Khan said, adding that he has been looking forward to this meeting since he
assumed office as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
described it as a "very important meeting".
think the potential with Pakistan and likewise, the opposite way, I think we
have not even come close to meeting it. There is tremendous potential between
our country and Pakistan," he said.
fact, in response to a question, Trump said that he would love to visit
Pakistan, but he has not received an invitation yet. "Well, I can't say
that yet because, so far, he has not extended me an invitation," he said
after today's meeting, maybe he won't. But I have a feeling he might. Yes, I'd
love to go Pakistan at the right time," he said.
lighter vein, Trump said that he likes reporters from Pakistan, "better
than" Americans. There was another moment of laughter in the room when
Trump did not agree with Khan when he said that he is experiencing
unprecedented criticism from his Pakistani media.
you say 'unprecedented,' it can't --Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait. There's no
way you're treated worse than I am (by the US media)," Trump said amidst
response to another question, Trump said he would help Khan in his reelection.
Pakistan's main spy agency provided the US with a lead that helped them find
and kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan
said on Monday.
has until now officially denied having any knowledge of the terror chief until
he was shot dead in a night time raid by US special forces on May 2, 2011, an
incident that was a major national embarrassment and caused ties between the
two countries to plummet.
who is visiting Washington on his first official trip, made his claim in an
interview with Fox News when he was asked whether his country would release a
jailed doctor whose fake immunization drive helped the US track and kill the
terror chief in 2011.
is a very emotive issue, because Shakeel Afridi in Pakistan is considered a
spy," he told host Bret Baier, referring to the doctor.
in Pakistan always felt that we were an ally of the US and if we had been given
the information about Osama Bin Laden, we should have taken him out."
then asked if Khan understood the skepticism around the Inter Services
Intelligence agency (ISI) for leaking key information, to which Khan replied:
yet it was ISI that gave the information which led to the location of Osama Bin
you ask CIA it was ISI which gave the initial location through the phone
was not immediately clear what Khan was referring to and he did not provide
Pakistan officially denies knowing that Bin Laden was living on its territory,
Asad Durrani, a former spymaster, told Al Jazeera in 2015 that the ISI probably
knew where he was hiding and hoped to use him as a bargaining chip before he
Al-Qaeda chief was tracked down after a 10-year manhunt to Abbottabad, a
garrison town north of Islamabad where Pakistan's military academy is
headquartered, sparking allegations authorities were colluding with the terror
leaked Pakistani government report in 2013 said Bin Laden arrived in Pakistan
in the spring or summer of 2002 -after the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan
- and settled in Abbottabad in August 2005.
report, which coined the term "governance implosion syndrome" to
explain the extent of official failures to detect him, said he was once stopped
for speeding and enjoyed wearing a cowboy hat.
Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council and Muttahida Ulema Board Allama Tahir
Mehmood Ashrafi has said that all non-Muslim communities are enjoying equal
rights and religious freedom in Pakistan and no one will be allowed to spread
hatred on the name of religion in the country.
was addressing a press conference after a consultative meeting with religious
scholars from various schools of thought at the Lahore Press Club on Monday.
said the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan guarantees rights to
every Muslim and non-Muslim citizen and minorities were fully protected in the
said the Ulema during the meeting condemned the propaganda from enemies of
Pakistan at the time of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s US tour regarding alleged
exploitation of Qadiyanis and termed it baseless.
said Pakistani nation would safeguard the Islamic clauses and especially
Muslim’s faith on Khatm-e-Nabuwwat at every cost.
a question, he told that Qadiyanis were a non-Muslim minority under Pakistani
constitution and no power could abolish this Islamic clause regarding
another query, he replied that Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab launched a massive
action against hatred religious publishing material and speeches besides
recommending 50 books to seize. He added that no one would be allowed to spread
hatred among the religious communities in the country.
said Qadiyanis were non-Muslims under the law and they should stop propagating
against Pakistan and introduce themselves according to their religion freely.
Minister Imran Khan arrived at the White House on Monday for his first
one-on-one meeting with US President Donald Trump.
was received by President Trump, who greeted him with a handshake and a pat on
two waved to PTI supporters gathered outside the White House before heading
inside for their meeting.
televised remarks from inside the Oval Office, President Trump noted that the
US is working with Pakistan to leave Afghanistan, saying that he does not want
the US to be "a policeman" in the region.
is helping us a lot now on Afghanistan," he said, adding that relations
with the country are much better now than before.
wide-ranging remarks, he also offered to intercede to improve strained
relations between Pakistan and India, and further said that aid to Islamabad
could be restored depending on the kind of understanding reached between the
a question asking him about his own unfavourable views about Pakistan in the
past, Trump said: "I don't think Pakistan respected the United States [in
the past]. I don't think Pakistan respected its [the United States']
presidents. I think Pakistan could have done a tremendous amount with respect
to Afghanistan: they didn't do it — another blame game because they were
dealing with the wrong presidents — who knows?
think they could have help us a lot in the past, but it doesn't matter [now].
We have a new leader, he is going be a great leader of Pakistan. We have a sort
of new leader here [...] but now I think Pakistan could have done a lot [in the
past] but it choose not to just because they didn't respect US
leadership," he said.
were paying $1.3 billion as aid for many years but the problem was that
Pakistan — it was before you [PM Imran] — was not doing anything for us. They
were really, I think, subversive.
be honest, we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than we did
when we were paying that money. But all of that can come back depending on what
we work out [...] and I think at the end of this, the end of very short time,
we can have a very great relationship with Pakistan.
is a great country, they are very great people. I have many friends from
Pakistan [...] they are great people, smart, tough — they are tough, there is
no question about that. They are like him [pointing to PM Imran], they are
tough," said Trump.
US president also offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between India and
Pakistan. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said.
I can do anything to help, let me know," he said, to which PM Imran said
that if Trump would, he would "have the prayers of more than a billion
premier said the US, being the most powerful country in the world, can play the
most important role in bringing peace to the subcontinent.
are over a billion and quarter people in the subcontinent, they are held
hostage to the issue of Kashmir, and I feel that only the most powerful state,
headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries together.
my point, I can tell you we have tried our best, we have made all overtures to
India to start a dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue, but
unfortunately we haven't made headways as yet. But I am hoping that President
Trump would push this process," said Prime Minister Imran.
response, Trump revealed that India had also asked him to mediate.
was with Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi two weeks ago. We talked about the
subject and he actually said, 'Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?'.
I said where, he said Kashmir, because it has been going on for many, many
was surprised to know how long it has been going on. I think they would like to
see it resolved, you [Pakistan] would like to see it resolve [...] and if I can
help, I would love to become a mediator," said Trump.
have heard so much about Kashmir; it's a beautiful place."
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, however, shortly after
the remarks by Trump denied that any such request had been made by Modi.
Trump said that he could win the war in Afghanistan in a week, but that he
doesn't want to kill millions of people and wipe Afghanistan “off the face of
Minister Imran told reporters that there was only one solution for Afghanistan
and remarked that a peace deal with the Taliban was closer than it had ever
is the closest we have ever come," he said, agreeing that a military
'solution' to the Afghan war would result in a catastrophic loss of lives.
said he hoped that in the coming days, "we will be able to urge the
Taliban to talk with the Afghan government and come to a political
solution", a point that was promptly appreciated by Trump — who again
noted that Pakistan had helped tremendously in recent weeks.
Minister Imran also highlighted Pakistan's own sacrifices in the so-called 'War
on Terror', reminding Trump that Pakistan had lost 70,000 people and billions
of dollars due to the conflict.
think Pakistan is going to do a lot [with respect to Afghanistan]. I really do.
I think Pakistan is going to make a big difference," said Trump.
think Pakistan is going to save millions of lives in Afghanistan because I
really believe they can, they have a power that other nations don't have with
respect to Afghanistan and I would say, as of the moment, they are working very
hard and very nicely."
Trump also said that the US is willing to invest in Pakistan and sees great
trade opportunities there. He also talked about expanding trade "10, 20
US leader stressed that not enough opportunities had been explored between the
two countries, indicating that both sides would be see more trade with each
reply to a question on whether he would ever go to Pakistan, which he at one
point described as a "wonderful country", Trump joked that while he
had yet to be invited by PM Imran, he would "love to" visit one day.
the two leaders spoke to the media, the senior military leadership, including
Chief of Armed Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence
chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, arrived at the White House for delegation-level
premier later met First Lady Melania Trump.
sides then held a working lunch to discuss matters of mutual interest.
of the meeting, US Senator Lindsey Graham, who by some accounts has been
instrumental in arranging the meeting, tweeted the following:
meeting with the PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan.
my opinion he and his government represent the best opportunity in decades to
have a beneficial strategic relationship the US. This will help us secure
Afghanistan and the region long-term."
business opportunities exist between Pakistan and the US through a free trade
agreement tied to our mutual security interests," he continued in a
also our best chance in decades to reset the relationship between the US and
Opposition parties on Monday lambasted Prime Minister Imran Khan over his
speech in the US and termed it “provocative, anarchic and full of venom”.
number of senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), including Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal
Bhutto-Zardari, responded to the prime minister’s speech through their social
media accounts, press statements and even news conferences and described Mr
Khan’s latest diatribe against their top leadership on foreign soil an act of
bringing disrepute to the country.
Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a community event at Washington’s Capital
One Arena on Sunday, had stated that the problem in Pakistan was that when
political leaders were asked for answers, they said that political revenge was
being taken. While referring to political leaders in the country, the premier
had said they had just one purpose — they wanted him to offer them a deal.
to Mr Khan’s speech, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari tweeted that it seemed
the prime minister had not come down from his container, saying that Mr Khan
had become a ruler but not a leader.
even when representing our country abroad (the) selected PM can’t get off his
container. Imran is a ruler not a leader. Pakistan needs a leader who speaks
for all Pakistanis not just himself. If government does opposition and
opposition does opposition then who’s left to run the country?” asked Mr
in a statement released to the media, the PPP chairman condemned media
censorship by the government of the rally of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and said
it was proof that “Imran Khan is a selected PM and his government is a selected
Bhutto-Zardari said the party which staged a sit-in in front of parliament for
126 days was not able to tolerate a single rally of opposition which proved that
Mr Khan was unable to listen to any voice of dissent.
vice president Maryam Nawaz through her social media account on Twitter stated
that the prime minister had to do a public meeting in the US because “owing to
the havoc he has played with the people of Pakistan, for him to come out in
public and face the simmering wrath and rage in Pakistan may not be possible”.
also questioned the logic of spending millions of dollars on the “event”. She
said the Pakistanis should ask “the selected” that what conditions he had
accepted before going to the US.
over Mr Khan’s statement that he would remove TV and air-conditioner from her
father’s room in jail, she said such an action could be “detrimental” to Mr
Sharif’s health as the doctor said that perspiration in this humid weather
could affect his kidneys.
speaking at a news conference at National Press Club, PML-N leaders Ahsan
Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Musadik Malik also hit out at the prime minister,
saying that it was a pity that even in Washington Mr Khan was only thinking
about Nawaz Sharif.
Iqbal said the “selected PM” had delivered the same speech in Washington, which
he had been delivering for the past many months as he had nothing more to say.
He said the prime minister was damaging the country’s image by declaring it a
corrupt country. He said Mr Khan was making speech like an NGO leader doing
a foreign visit, you should be a representative of Pakistan. He delivered a
speech which a politician does while standing at Mochi Gate,” he said.
Iqbal advised Mr Khan to think about the country, instead of Nawaz Sharif. He
said it was ironic that Nawaz Sharif remained under discussion for most of the
time even during the cabinet meetings. He said the government’s policies were
now becoming a “security risk” for the country.
speaking at a news conference in Lahore, PPP’s Punjab president Qamar Zaman
Kaira said the nation expected that the prime minister would represent the
nation in the US and draw the attention of the Americans towards the sacrifices
Pakistan was offering in the war on terror, but he continued hurling threats at
political rivals in his speech to the Pakistan diaspora.
Kaira said the prime minister was speaking as a superintendent of a prison when
he talked of withdrawing certain facilities being availed by some incarcerated
D.C.: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday disclosed that US
President Donald Trump has accepted the invitation extended to him by Prime
Minister Imran Khan to visit Pakistan.
who is currently accompanying Prime Minister Imran Khan on his three-day maiden
visit to the US, was addressing a press conference in Washington, where he said
that the matters pertaining to President Trump’s visit will soon be agreed
further said the meeting between Prime Minister Imran and President Trump
demonstrated joint resolve to promote peace and reconciliation process in
observed the meeting also conveyed a commitment to promoting peace in South
Asia and US President Trump has expressed his facilitation role in resolving
the Kashmir issue.
talks were also held between the two countries and Trump said we are going to
have a very good relationship with Pakistan,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White
House, US First Lady Melania Trump expressed happiness at hosting the premier.
tweeted pictures of the American first couple with the Pakistani premier,
saying “Great to have Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI of Pakistan at the
to have Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI of Pakistan at the @WhiteHouse today!
image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
- 22 Jul 2019
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people are talking about this
in his maiden visit to the US, PM Imran held a one-on-one meeting with the US
president in which mattersof mutual interest were discussed between both sides.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that Pakistan desired peace in
Afghanistan and was fully committed to working with the United States in
achieving a political settlement in the war ravaged country.
was talking to US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who called on him at the
Pakistan House here.
also the head of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a press
statement, “has been the most vocal and active supporter of refreshing
US-Pakistan bilateral ties in the interest of regional peace and security”.
the Graham-Khan meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign
Secretary Sohail Mehmood, and Pakistani Ambassador to the US Dr Asad Majeed
Khan were present.
PM and Senator Graham discussed bilateral relations and the regional situation.
Imran appreciated Senator Graham’s efforts and support for strengthening
Pakistan-US relations and apprised the senator of his government’s development
and economic priorities.
said Pakistan desired a broad based relationship with the United States that
safeguarded the two countries’ interests and promoted win-win cooperation in
areas ranging from the economy to trade and investment to energy and education.
Graham agreed with Imran that sustained and high-level engagement between
Pakistan and the United States were to the two countries’ mutual advantage. He
appreciated Pakistan’s support for the peace and reconciliation process in
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Monday that
Prime Minister Imran Khan has handed over charge of Pakistan to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF).
PML-N spokesperson was also critical of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to
overseas Pakistanis in Washington DC.
prime minister should tell overseas Pakistanis that roti, business, employment
and freedom of speech are all shut in Pakistan. He should also tell them about
Pakistan being handed over to the IMF,” Aurangzeb said.
Aurangzeb further said the prime minister should have also spoken on the rising
inflation and lowering investment in the country.
IMF’s Executive Board on July 3 had approved a three-year bailout package worth
$6 billion to Pakistan.
Minister Imran Khan during his three-day visit to the US met with officials
from the IMF.
needs to mobilize domestic tax revenue to ensure funds for social and
development programs while reducing debt, the acting director of the IMF said
after the meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
two officials discussed recent economic developments and implementation of
Pakistan’s IMF-supported economic reforms, which are aimed at stabilizing the
economy, strengthening institutions and paving the way for sustainable and
balanced growth, David Lipton said in a statement.
government faces mounting pressure as rising prices and tough austerity
policies under Pakistan’s latest bailout from the IMF are squeezing the middle
class that helped carry it to power.
a few years ago. I'm in the midst of heavy traffic in Baltimore City, and out
of nowhere, a man walks in front of my car, forcing me to suddenly break.
Naturally, I honk my horn. Without any hesitation, he responds "Go back to
your country." And it doesn't stop there - to make it clear I didn't
belong he hurls a plastic bottle my way, hitting my windshield.
racism, xenophobia and bigotry were nothing new to America, I had always felt
that our nation was moving in the right direction; that slowly, but surely, we
were mending our ways. Always, that is, until President Trump got elected to
the highest office of the land.
2016. My eldest son is at his middle school, when a fellow student states, in
passing: "I guess this is goodbye, no offense, but see you later
man." My son is left processing as to exactly what this was supposed to
mean, considering he had been born in America.
now it's 2019, and the President of our United States tells a press conference:
"If you're not happy in the U.S., you're complaining all the time, very
simply, you can leave, you can leave right now—come back if you want, don't
come back if you want, its ok to, but if you're not happy here you can leave."
entered the United States at the age of six and became a U.S. citizen a few
years later. At 18, I decided to embark on a journey very few Americans
(including those born here) experience—the kind of journey where you take your
most treasured gift, life, and put it on the line. I signed up for U.S. Armed
Forces and became a United States Marine.
I was an immigrant, yes, I had tan skin and black hair, and yes, I was a Muslim
by faith but nevertheless I was, and am, a proud American. At least that's what
I always thought. And just in case you're wondering about the whole Muslim
American U.S. Marine thing, loyalty to your country of residence was a part of
my Islamic faith, according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. In fact, it
was very Muslim of me to become a US Marine. Contrary to popular belief, there
was zero conflict of interest between my Islamic faith and my US Constitution.
So I served proudly and honorably.
as I reflect on today's state of America, I begin to wonder. Did the America I
always thought to be my America ever think the same of me? Was I as much
American to my fellow Americans as everyone was to me? Did my service even
really mean anything? Was "thank you for your service" just a bunch
of talk that had little meaning for those Americans who seemingly can't get
past a man born with tan skin, black hair, or who happened to choose Islam as
his faith? And was my sense of internal pride, patriotism all an illusion?
These are the questions creep up more and more often in my mind – questions I
can't help but ask myself, but also questions I now put before my fellow
Americans. Meanwhile, the President later tweeted, "those tweets were NOT
Racist. I don't have a Racist bone in my body..."
sure. Maybe we got it all wrong. Maybe we read too much into tweets and
comments. Or maybe our interpretation of the President's words was fused by
internal bias. Fine, benefit of doubt given! Maybe I was wrong.
then it had happened again. At a rally in North Carolina, the President doubled
down on his rhetoric. This time there was no internal bias or misreading. His
own supporters were confirming exactly what many of us had already been
thinking. "Send her back," they chanted, referring to Congresswoman
Ilhan Omar. The President stood silent. Not a word out of his mouth to tell his
followers to stop.
couldn't believe what I was witnessing. Americans were telling another
American, and not just any American—a U.S. Congresswoman—to go back to where
she came from. She hadn't been accepted. To them she wasn't American.
is the man who is believed to have radicalised Dundalk Isis bride Lisa Smith in
the months before she travelled to Isis terror capital Raqqa.
Georgelas, 35, a Greek/American convert to Islam, climbed the Isis ranks to
become one of the most high-profile foreign Isis members and is described by
some as ‘the Isis Goebbels’.
produced English-language propaganda for Isis on the terror organisation’s
English language publications Dabiq and Rumiyah and organised material for
Isis’s radio station.
by his kunya — or Arabic name — ‘Yaya Abu Hassan’, Ms Smith spoke to the
American convert via Facebook before travelling to the Islamic State in autumn
Ayn Issa refugee camp in northern Syria — where this reporter travelled on
assignment with RTE — Ms Smith admitted knowing the US jihadi well and said FBI
agents had travelled to the camp to quiz her on the most high-profile American
Smith previously told Extra.ie that she was radicalised online by an American,
and that she lived with a Syrian family after leaving the madaffa (women’s
guest house), which she described as a ‘house full of chickens’.
that interview she failed to mention that she had also lived with the
high-profile US jihadi.
in the past fortnight during a series of interviews for RTE, Ms Smith explained
further details of her radicalisation: ‘After spending time in a madaffa, I
stayed with a guy called Abu Hasan who I knew before from Facebook. He invited
me to come and stay with him and I stayed with him for three months. We got on
well online. He was very nice to me, so I went and spent time with the family,’
Smith claimed she did not know the prominent role her host played in Isis and
said he was mainly reclusive.
we lived with him he had a room and he used to go in and lock
door. Maybe he’d come out for food or to talk to us for 10 minutes. I heard he
was connected to senior people after I left Isis territory. To me, he was just
a knowledgeable guy on Facebook. He knew a lot about religion,’ she said.
Hasan guided her to Isis, Ms Smith said, and told her she was practising Islam
contacted me and asked me how I was. “What did I follow?” He told me everything
I knew about Islam I should erase it and start again. He wasn’t extreme — he
said music wasn’t haram [forbidden],’ she said.
said he was excited by her military background and insisted she could come to
‘help’ the caliphate.
told me it would be good for me to come and help out but I couldn’t remember my
Toet (test of elementary training),’ she said.
Ms Smith, Georgelas was well-known to US counter terrorism and was sentenced to
three years in 2006 for accessing passwords and planning to attack the website
of a pro-Israeli lobby.
Smith lived with Georgelas for less than a year after he divorced his British
wife Tania, who fled Syria after three weeks in the country in 2013.
remarried a Syrian woman and it was with this wife and their children that Ms
previously to Extra.ie from Syria, Ms Smith described how she decided to travel
to Isis-run territory.
first husband, this Tunisian, he was so mad at me because I was saying, “Oh,
look, there’s a caliphate. We must give our pledge because in Islam it’s the
first caliphate in over 1,000 years.” But we were shocked at the same time. We
were looking at some videos and we were just like, “Oh my God, who are these
people? These people are crazy.”
they’re killing people, you see. The videos, we wouldn’t associate ourselves
with it but when I heard the caliphate was announced, I said to him, “We must
go now because there’s a caliphate.” And he was, “No, no, no, you’re not
going.” And he’s screaming at me, “These people are bad, bad, people. You’re
not going — we’re not going.” And he was so angry and I said, “Okay, we won’t
went back to Ireland and I stayed there for a while. In Ireland, I spoke to a
few people on the internet and I asked them, “You know is this legit? What
happens if we don’t go to the caliphate?” Because I want to go back to Tunisia
to my husband. He had got a house there and he wanted us to live there and
start a family. So I was like, “Do I go back to Tunisia or do I go here, you
know?” So this guy I was speaking to [on the internet] he was very strong.”’
at that stage if the man was Irish or based in Ireland at that stage, she said:
‘No, no, he was American or something on the internet.’
said the caliphate was legitimate and that Ms Smith owed her allegiance to it
and, if she didn’t go, she’d go to ‘hell fire’.
said, “You’d go to the hell fire,” because you’d die a death of ignorance and
that will lead you into the hell fire. I just was like, “Oh my God, what am I
going to do?” I was so scared. And they were saying to me, “With your history,
you might be good. You might be able to help people…” I was like, “What would I
know, I can’t even remember my own Toet [test of elementary training] or my gun
or anything” but he just said, “You must go and if you don’t, you’re a sinner.
On judgement day you’ll be judged.”
then I was sitting in my house [in Ireland], going, “Will I go? Will I not go?
Will I go? Will I not go?” I must have sat for three months thinking. I was so
confused, talking to these people all the time and them saying, “You have to
go, and then every time I said “Look at these Islamists — they’re killing
people,” he’d [Georgelas] say to me, “No, no this is wrong. They’re
Photoshopping everything. They’re telling lies.” Then they showed me videos of
Raqqa, [people] eating icecream…
they tell you everything is so normal. They don’t tell you that you’ll be
sitting there and next minute a bomb will fall on your house — the next day you
could be dead. They just say, “It’s great here, it’s okay. It’s the life — it’s
the Islamic State.”’
Smith’s Muslim friend told Extra.ie the Dundalk woman had been radicalised by a
man on Facebook.
[Smith] went on Facebook and said: “Here’s a picture of me in my hijab,” the
young Muslim women do that and, if their page is open and people can see it publicly,
the marriage proposals start flooding in. That’s what they do. They say,
“You’re so beautiful – are you married?” “Come live with me — you’ll have this
life with me in this country.” “I love you.”
this c**p starts and, if you’re bombarded with that and you’re not previously
getting this type of attention, that’s a powerful thing for a vulnerable woman.
If you’re not clever enough to recognise it, you get sucked into it. That’s
what happened to her.
wouldn’t just be men. A lot of girls would message too and would convince her
to leave Tunisia and brainwash her to think her husband wasn’t a “real Muslim”
because he wasn’t out fighting. They made her feel like she had to be a part of
warned her friend about the man she was talking to on Facebook in 2012, after
Ms Smith started displaying a negative attitude towards non Muslim people: ‘She
[Smith] was talking to a man, a married man. She said there was nothing
romantic going on. It wasn’t romantically inappropriate… but he was getting
into her head.
United States is placing a leading Chinese oil importer on its sanctions
blacklist for trading in Iranian crude, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
part of that maximum pressure campaign, I am announcing that the United States
is imposing sanctions on the Chinese entity Zhuhai Zhenrong and its chief
executive Youmin Li, Pompeo said in a speech.
violated US law by accepting crude oil,” he said.
also took time during his keynote address at Veterans of Foreign Wars National
Convention to criticize the nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers.
President Donald Trump says Iran’s claim that it arrested 17 Iranian nationals
recruited by the CIA to spy on the country’s nuclear and military sites is
said Monday the arrests were made in recent months and some of the individuals
have been sentenced to death.
tweeted that there is “zero truth” to the claim.
Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies
and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that
is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will
get much worse. Iran is a total mess!
PM - Jul 22, 2019
people are talking about this
relations have spiraled downward and tensions have spiked in the Arabian Gulf.
Iran’s economy is suffering from crippling economic sanctions imposed after
Trump last year pulled the US out of Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers.
says Iran is a “total mess” and that the government is failing and doesn’t know
what to do.
is to send 250 troops to the West African nation of Mali next year as part of a
United Nations peacekeeping operation, the defense ministry said on Monday.
one of the world’s poorest and most fragile regions it is right that we support
some of world’s most vulnerable people and prioritize our humanitarian and
security efforts in the Sahel,” defense minister Penny Mordaunt said.
U.S. and Pakistan are seeking to meet the "tremendous potential" in
their bilateral ties, President Donald Trump said Monday.
haven't met the potential of either country," Trump told reporters in the
Oval Office while hosting Pakistani Premier Imran Khan. "I think the
potential with Pakistan, and likewise the opposite way, we haven't come close
to meeting it."
is in Washington for his first visit to the U.S. since becoming prime minister
in August 2018.
"To be honest, I think we have a better
relationship with Pakistan right now than we did when we were paying that money,”
said Trump, referring to the roughly $1 billion in security assistance to
Pakistan he cut off last year, blaming Islamabad for not doing enough to fight
“But all of that can come back depending on
what we work out," he said. "We are working on things that are very,
said he will be asking the U.S. president to help establish peace with India,
noting the subcontinent's people "are held hostage to the issue of
the most powerful state, headed by President Trump, can bring the two countries
together," said Khan. "We have made all overtures to India to start
dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue, but unfortunately we
haven't made headway as yet."
expressed a willingness to take up the herculean task, saying Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi asked him to mediate.
I can help, I would love to be a mediator. It’s impossible to believe two
incredible countries that are very, very smart with very smart leadership can’t
solve a problem like that," Trump said.
however, denied Modi made the overture and quickly rejected any role for the
U.S. in the talks, citing its policy "that all outstanding issues with
Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally".
engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism. The
Shimla Agreement & the Lahore Declaration provide the basis to resolve all
issues between India & Pakistan bilaterally," Raveesh Kumar, the
spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, said on Twitter.
has been contested by India and Pakistan since 1947 when each country seized
portions of the territory. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory in
they were partitioned in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought three wars -- in
1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
The two leaders met to discuss how both
nations could work together to bring peace, stability and economic prosperity
to South Asia, according to a White House statement.
President and Prime Minister discussed the threat that terrorism presents to
regional stability and discussed ways in which Pakistan can support a peaceful
resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan," said the statement.
"Trump acknowledged initial steps that
Pakistan has taken to facilitate Afghan peace efforts. He also affirmed Prime
Minister Khan’s stated commitment to take action against militants and
terrorists," it said.
and Khan agreed that economic engagement between the two countries would foster
development in Pakistan as well as investment and jobs in the U.S.
leaders concurred that such engagement would also contribute to peace and
prosperity in the wider South Asia region," it said.
President Donald Trump met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Washington on
Monday to work together on a way to end America's troop presence in
Khan was escorted by Mr Trump to the White House, where they were scheduled to
meet for two hours.
their meeting, Mr Trump said the agenda for the talks involved Afghanistan, and
security and trade ties with Pakistan.
trade with Pakistan reached an all-time high in 2018, exceeding $6.6 billion
(Dh24.24bn), US government numbers show.
Trump appeared defiant in his remarks on the conflict in Afghanistan.
could win that war in a week," he said. "I don’t want to kill 10
million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth.
don’t want to go that route. I have a plan that could win that war in a very
short period of time.”
Trump said there was the possibility of restoring US aid to Pakistan, depending
on what was worked out, and offered assistance to Islamabad in easing strained
ties with India.
I can help, I would love to be a mediator," he said. "If I can do
anything to help, let me know."
White House visit is meant to smooth tensions and deal with complex problems
facing both nations.
Trump administration wants Islamabad to use its influence with the Taliban for
a ceasefire in neighbouring Afghanistan, advance the peace process and create
stability so America's involvement could be ended or substantially reduced.
which is suffering economically, wants to broaden the relationship in the hope
of securing more investment, trade and possibly restore the US aid cut by Mr
Khan tried to embellish the strained relations between the two countries and
struck a soft tone in addressing the US president, with whom he shares an
unconventional political rise.
have relied on persona and nationalistic populist tones in rallying support,
and both come from non-political backgrounds. Mr Khan is a former Pakistani
cricket captain and Mr Trump a former property mogul.
Pakistani leader asked Mr Trump to help resolve the Kashmir dispute with India,
and that he would have “Pakistanis' prayers” if he succeeded in that goal.
officials were looking to press Pakistan mainly on the peace process in
Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and ties with China.
purpose of the visit is to press for concrete co-operation from Pakistan to
advance the Afghanistan peace process and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and
sustain its recent effort to crackdown on militants and terrorists within its
territory,” a US official said before the meeting.
US has been engaged in rounds of peace talks with the Taliban to try to end
America's longest war. But security challenges and terror attacks by the
militants have impeded plans.
State Department's official for South and Central Asian affairs, Alice Wells
recently told Congress that Washington was hoping to “secure Pakistan’s support
for the Afghan peace process”.
Wells said the administration expected Pakistan to continue to play a
constructive role in reconciliation efforts, and to do more in
must sustain these measures and expand on them, including by prosecuting
terrorist leaders," she said.
reality is that terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and
Jaish-e-Muhammad will continue to pose a grave risk to international peace as
long as they are able to operate freely in Pakistan."
a signal to Washington, Pakistani authorities last week arrested US designated
terrorist Hafez Saeed, whose militant group was behind the 2008 terrorist
attack in Mumbai.
Trump welcomed the move but the US appears to be looking for more before it
considers resuming any of the $800 million in aid to Islamabad, which it cut
on the agenda was China’s rising influence in Pakistan, with Beijing pledging
to invest $60bn there.
Mr Khan on his US visit are his Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi, trade adviser
Razzak Dawood and finance adviser Hafeez Pasha.
condemned a move by Israel on Monday to demolish Palestinian homes near
Jerusalem, saying the destruction set a “dangerous precedent” and violated international
condemns the demolition by the Israeli army of several buildings in the area of
Wadi al Hummus, in the southeast of Jerusalem,” a statement from the French
foreign ministry said.
demolitions have taken place for the first time in an area controlled by the
Palestinian authority under the Oslo Accords. They represent a dangerous
precedent, which poses a direct threat to the two-state solution,” it added.
The UK could come under attack from Iranian-backed terror cells if the ongoing
Gulf crisis worsens and relations between London and Tehran continue to
deteriorate, intelligence sources have said.
intelligence officers in the UK now rank the Islamic Republic only behind
Russia and China as the severest threat to the national security of the UK, a
Daily Telegraph report on Monday said.
between Britain and Iran have heightened following the seizure of UK-flagged
tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz last week, raising concerns of top
intelligence bodies in Britain.
to MI5 and MI6, Iran is funding a network of terror cells across the European
continent — including in the UK — and, depending on how the Gulf crisis plays
out, could give the green light for attacks to be carried out.
counter-terror operation in 2015 against a Hezbollah-linked cell found the
group had been stockpiling tons of explosives on the outskirts of London,
something first disclosed by the Telegraph in June, and described as “proper
source told the newspaper: “Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry
out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the
domestic threat Iran poses to the UK.”
and Metropolitan Police said they were confident that the 2015 raids had
“severely disrupted” Iranian terror activity in the UK, but that cells still
existed on the European mainland.
report also disclosed that Iran had been blamed for a series of cyberattacks on
the UK, including hacking of politician’s and peers personal information, on
the Post Office as well as local government bodies and private sector companies
UK government has sent a letter of protest to the UN Security Council over the
seizure of the tankers in “Omani waters when it was interrupted by Iranian
forces,” which it says is an “illegal interference by Iran.”
armed forces, the Bundeswehr, has rejected 63 candidates over the past two
years due to their apparent links to extremism, the Funke Media Group reported
newspapers cited a response from the Defense Ministry to a parliamentary
inquiry from left-wing parties.
revealed that the applicants included 21 neo-Nazis and so-called Reichsbürger
(Reich citizens), 12 Islamists, two left-wing extremists and several people
convicted in the past of violent offenses.
members reject the authority of the German state and refuse to pay taxes, fines
and social security contributions.
more: German court backs Bundeswehr decision to dismiss far-right janitor
scrutiny was put on two other applicants over their membership of the
Identitarian Movement — also classified as a right-wing extremist group.
report revealed that 43,775 new recruits were checked by the Military
Counterintelligence Service (MAD) between July 2017 and June 2019. The
applications of 1,173 men and women were subsequently looked at more closely.
terror plot foiled
increased security measures followed what authorities believe was a neo-Nazi
terrorist plot within the Bundeswehr to assassinate senior government figures
and lay the blame for the murders on asylum-seekers.
more: German military lacks equipment and recruits, says damning report
authorities said they wanted to prevent extremists from receiving
weapons-training in the army that could later be used to carry out individual
acts of violence at home or abroad.
Left party parliamentarian Ulla Jelpke welcomed the additional scrutiny but
questioned why long-serving soldiers were not subject to the same checks.
German military has been rocked by several other scandals involving enlistees'
links to right-wing extremist groups that almost forced the resignation of
then-Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
April 2017, the army admitted it was investigating 275 suspected cases of
right-wing extremism within its ranks.
will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to ensure
safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged
vessel in what London said was an act of “state piracy”.
international law, Iran had no right to obstruct the ship’s passage - let alone
board her. It was therefore an act of state piracy,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy
Hunt told parliament.
will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to
support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region,” Hunt said.
He said he would discuss how this would complement US proposals in the area.
the seizure of the Stena Impero on Friday, Britain will now ask all
British-flagged ships to give the government notice of intentions to pass
through the Strait of Hormuz, Hunt said.
Francis’s envoy told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a meeting on Monday of
the Pope’s concerns for the humanitarian situation in northwest Syria, a
Vatican spokesman said in a statement.
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson gave Assad a letter in which the pontiff expressed
“deep concern” over the situation in Syria, and especially for the civilian
population in Idlib province
Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday accused Iran of state piracy for illegally
detaining a British ship in the Persian Gulf, urging it to release the vessel
and its crew immediately.
argued that Iran had breached international law as well as the freedom of
navigation by blocking the Stena Impero’s access to the Strait of Hormuz and
illegally boarding and detaining the vessel and its crews.
us be absolutely clear, under international law Iran had no right to obstruct
the ship’s passage, let alone board her, it was therefore an act of state
piracy in which the House will have no hesitation in condemning,” Hunt said in
a statement to the House of Commons.
more worryingly, this incident was a flagrant breach of the principle of free
navigation on which the global trading system and world economy ultimately
depends. I therefore urge Iran to release the Stena Impero and her crew and
observe the rules that safeguard commercial shipping and benefit Iran as much
as any other country,” he added.
said that Iran has presented the situation as a “tit-for-tat” incident
following the detaining of the Grace 1 Iranian oil tanker by the royal navy in
Gibraltar. However, he said, unlike the Stena Impero, the Grace 1 had breached
EU sanctions by transporting oil to Syria and thus the government of Gibraltar
was implementing EU law.
said as the British oil tanker was in Omani territorial waters and abiding by
international maritime law, there could be no comparison between Iran’s illegal
seizure of a vessel inside international shipping lanes and the enforcement of
EU sanctions against an Iranian tanker inside the waters of Gibraltar, a
British overseas territory.
said that since the July 4 detention of the Grace 1, the U.K. government has
made strenuous efforts to resolve the tanker crisis, including speaking to the
Iranian Foreign Ministry on July 13 to ensure its release if there were
guarantees it would abide by EU law and not transport oil to entities listed on
of responding constructively, Iran chose to seize the Stena Impero, so we must
now take the appropriate action to support the safe passage of vessels through
the Strait of Hormuz,” Hunt added.
what further action the government was taking, Hunt said the Department for
Transport has raised the threat level to 3 for all British commercial shipping
in the region and that the U.K. along with other nations is seeking to build a
European-led maritime mission to support the passage of all commercial shipping
in the region.
new mission, according to Hunt, will not be a part of the U.S.’ “maximum
pressure policy” on Iran, as the U.K. wishes to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear
agreement but nonetheless has dispatched a second warship to the world’s
busiest shipping lane and has advised all British ships to navigate with extra
Friday, the Stena Impero was seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
According to Hunt, the tanker was surrounded by four vessels and a helicopter
and was rerouted into Iranian waters. Although the ship is U.K. owned, none of
the 23 crew members are British.
second ship, the Mesdar, which is Liberian flagged but managed by a British
company, was surrounded by 10 speed boats and is believed to have been escorted
into Iranian waters but Hunt has said the ship’s location is unclear
week, a British warship prevented three Iranian navy vessels from obstructing
the course of a British tanker exiting the Persian Gulf. The government accused
Iran of breaching international law as the tanker was not in Iranian waters.
Britain dispatched a second warship to the Persian Gulf to support U.K. forces
in the region and to ensure the safety of British commercial ships.
navy marines and commandos boarded the Syria-bound Iranian oil tanker on 4 July
in Gibraltar, preventing the vessel from entering the Mediterranean.
has demanded the release of its crew and vessel, accusing the royal navy of
piracy, and has threatened London with retaliatory measures, rhetoric that is
raising tensions between the two nations in a region already inflamed with war
and brinkmanship with the West.
LUMPUR: A senator has proposed that a marriage course be made compulsory for
non-Muslims wishing to tie the knot, saying it would help address the rising
number of divorces.
Ehtook (PH-PPBM), the sole representative for the Siamese community in the
Dewan Negara, said non-Muslim couples were currently learning by mistakes.
in a marriage may range from small ones with no adverse effect, to those which
could lead to an ugly divorce,” he told Dewan Negara yesterday.
said couples should be taught about their rights, duties and responsibilities
in a marriage.
said the government-funded course “SmartStart” through select NGOs was
“virtually inexistent” because it was voluntary.
urged the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to make pre-wedding
courses compulsory for all, and not only for Muslims.
said HIV tests should be also made mandatory for couples planning to get
response, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh
said the government does not plan to make pre-wedding courses compulsory for
she said said the National Registration Department would encourage couples
registering their marriage to enrol for the SmartStart course.
(AsiaNews / Agencies) - Indonesia's greatest scholars support the candidacy of
Nahdlatul Ulama (Nu) and Muhammadiyah - the two major moderate Islamic organizations
in Indonesia - for the Nobel Peace Prize, stating that the two groups play a
key role in the promotion of religious
well-known Catholic philosopher and priest Fr.
Franz Magnis-Suseno (photo 2) acknowledges that the two institutions
have helped shape the face of Indonesian Islam.
"This is completely different from what extremists are trying to
portray," he says. Two days ago,
Fr. Magnis-Suseno was among the
participants in the conference "Challenging Islamic Extremism in Indonesia"
. The event took place in Oslo (Norway)
and was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and the Peace
Research Institute (Prio), an institution based in the Norwegian capital.
priest adds that both groups, established before independence, had a
fundamental role in the construction of the nation. "It is thanks to them that Indonesian
Islam has remained moderate; that
Indonesians enjoy internal peace; that
Indonesia is an important stabilizing factor in Southeast Asia and the world, "he
in the Oslo seminar included dozens of academics, ambassadors, government
officials, representatives of Norwegian civil organizations, as well as the
chairman of the executive committee of Nu, Marsudi Syuhud, and general
secretary Muhammadiyah, Abdul Mu'ti. The
event was facilitated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(Csis) of Jakarta and by the Wahid Institute.
Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has recently expressed
interest in hosting his own talk show on television as part of his long-term
plan following his contentious political career.
to a group of people at a private gathering that has since been recorded as a
video and posted on YouTube, Basuki said he had envisioned the show to consist
of several segments per episode.
love to host a show on [Jakarta-based private news channel] Metro TV, which
would probably consist of eight or 12 segments. The first segment must be
stand-up comedy,” he said in the video posted on his official YouTube channel,
Panggil Saya BTP (Call Me BTP), on Sunday.
went on to say that every segment in his forthcoming television show would be
titled after his own initials, BTP. The stand-up comedy segment would be called
"Bicara Tanpa Pikir" (Mindless Banter), while the talk show segment
would be titled "Berita Terkini Populer" (Popular Latest News).
entertained the idea that he would model his upcoming talk show after popular
American late-night talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
you watched Jimmy Fallon’s show? I will also wear a suit to look a little bit
cooler. I’m now working on looking less chubby,” he said jokingly, adding that
he would donate a percentage of the show’s profits to social causes.
was released from prison earlier this year after serving nearly two years.
was convicted of blasphemy following a speech he made in the Thousand Islands
regency in September 2016 that referred to Al-Maidah verse 51 in the Quran.
Ahok said the verse -- believed to ban Muslims from choosing a non-muslim
leader -- had been used by politicians to manipulate people into voting against
'Ready To Strike' In The West Using Sleeper Terror Cells: Report Claims
tensions between Iran and Britain escalating over the seizure of the Stena
Impero tanker, the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph reported on Monday (July 22) that
British intelligence agencies "believe Iran has organized and funded
sleeper terror cells across Europe including the U.K. and could greenlight
attacks in response to a conflict in the Gulf."
claims refer to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi'a group that has been designated as
a terrorist organization—in whole or part—by much of the West. In June, the
same newspaper reported that a devastating cache of explosives, linked to
Hezbollah, had been discovered in London by security agencies back in 2015. The
three tons of ammonium nitrate was "more than was used in the Oklahoma
City bombing that killed 168 people." Hezbollah is sponsored by Iran, and
back in 2015, the U.K. had just signed on to the Iranian nuclear deal. Nothing
was made public at the time.
seizing a British oil tanker was always going to test London's patience and
restraint, but thus far the primary response to the incident has been interplay
in the media. As I've written before, the media plays a part beyond reporting
events. Its anticipated response to events is part of the "enemy's"
planning process. The western media cycle is predictable, manageable, the
thirst for the drip-drip of ever new headlines. And that also links to
population interference through the abuse of social media platforms.
is the hybrid warfare we now face, cyber and physical, military and civilian,
direct and indirect. And on that last point, cue proxies. Iran has already
mobilized its sphere of influence in the Middle East—attacks on Saudi targets
will come to mind, and now speculation inevitably turns to sponsored terrorist
groups operating in the West.
capture of a British tanker by Iran's military arguably justifies a military
response—but conflict is no longer that simple. Iranian quasi-state media
carried footage of Iran's flag being raised above the tanker in Bandar Abbas.
"Make no mistake," Iran's foreign minister warned the U.K. by Twitter
on Sunday (July 21). "Having failed to lure Donald Trump into War of the
Century... John Bolton is turning his venom against the U.K. in hopes of
dragging it into a quagmire. Only prudence and foresight can thwart such
ploys." Also on Sunday, Iranian media reported that Teheran's U.K.
ambassador had warned Britain "against provocation over the seized tanker,
as reports emerged that the British government is considering freezing Iranian
assets and may take other measures as well in a standoff between the two
Daily Telegraph quoted an unnamed intelligence source saying that "Iran
has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the
event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to
the U.K." There is clearly a serious and multifaceted terrorist threat in
the U.K., as elsewhere. But, thus far, there has been no spillover from the
latest Middle East conflict beyond the region.
both the physical and cyber domains, Iran can hit non-military targets
(directly or through proxies) in retaliation (or preemptively) for U.S. axis
action in the more conventional sphere. Physically, Iranian action is more akin
to insurgency. And in the cyber domain, as I reported over the weekend, Iran
understands that retaliation against the U.S. (or U.K.) might be akin to
throwing rocks at a tank, but it can hit the vast and under-protected Western
corporate sector at will. An Iranian cyber attack hit high-profile U.K. targets
late last year, and two weeks after U.S. Cyber Command hit Iran's command and
control structure in the aftermath of the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone,
came its warning that an Iranian-led hack was targeting the millions of
unpatched Microsoft Outlook systems."
the physical domain, Iran's proxies in the Middle East have been mobilized for
some time now—the mobilization of sleeper terror cells is in effect no
different. The escalating conflict is multidimensional—cyber and physical,
military and civilian. As we watch and wait to see what happens thousands of
miles from home, the conflict is neither that simple nor that contained. The
threat of proxy terrorist activity on Western soil is the physical
manifestation of the same equation we have already seen in the cybersphere.
this week, Britain anoints a new prime minister, likely Boris Johnson, who is
expected to be closer to the U.S. administration than his predecessor Theresa
May—although Johnson has said that Britain will not support a fullscale
conflict with Iran. Over the weekend, the U.S. president signaled his own
support for Johnson, telling reporters he anticipated a strong relationship
between them. On Iran, though, Johnson has poor form. He badly misstepped as
foreign secretary back in 2017, when he haphazardly stated that British-Iranian
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran to teach journalism, rather than on
vacation. Zaghari-Ratcliffe remains imprisoned in Teheran.
the other side of British politics sits Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's
left-leaning Labour Party. Corbyn has railed against the
"demonisation" of Iran and has even presented Teheran-friendly
propaganda on the country's Press TV. Back in 2009, Corbyn described Hezbollah
as his "friends" and invited the group (along with Hamas) to speak at
an event in Parliament.
Conflict With U.S. Grows, Some Iran Hard-liners Suggest Talking to Trump
most revered Revolutionary Guards commander says talking with President Trump
would be admitting defeat. The country’s supreme leader has ruled out any
dealings with Washington.
now, in a surprising split among Iranian hard-liners, some are expressing a
different opinion: It’s time to sit down and resolve 40 years of animosity with
the United States, by talking directly to Mr. Trump.
the most striking voice in that contrarian group is former President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, largely known in the West for his anti-American bombast, Holocaust
denial, and suspiciously lopsided victory in a disputed vote a decade ago that
set off Iran’s worst political convulsions since the Islamic revolution.
Trump is a man of action,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in a lengthy telephone
interview with The New York Times. “He is a businessman and therefore he is
capable of calculating cost-benefits and making a decision. We say to him,
let’s calculate the long-term cost-benefit of our two nations and not be
Ahmadinejad’s remarks are among several signals from different ends of Iran’s
political spectrum that Iranian officials want to talk.
signals reveal a fracture with the hard-liners led by the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps, which has seized or harassed foreign ships in the Persian Gulf —
including at least one British-registered tanker impounded on Friday — and
raised the risk of a slide into armed conflict.
risk was further punctuated by Mr. Trump’s assertion on Thursday that American
naval forces in the region had downed an Iranian drone, which the Iranians have
denied. “We hope for their sake they don’t do anything foolish,” Mr. Trump said
Ahmadinejad, who spoke before the Americans first reported their claim about
the drone, said through an aide on Friday that it had not changed his view that
both sides should talk.)
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran, who had previously insisted there could
be no negotiations with the United States unless it rejoined the nuclear
agreement Mr. Trump abandoned last year, said Thursday he was willing to meet
with American senators to discuss possible ways out of the nuclear crisis. For
the first time, Mr. Zarif floated modest steps that Tehran would be willing to
take in return for the simultaneous lifting of sanctions Mr. Trump reimposed.
the rivalries that pervade Iran’s political hierarchy, the American-educated
Mr. Zarif is a big contrast to Mr. Ahmadinejad, who as president pushed Mr.
Zarif out of government. Yet both are now seeking ways to communicate with the
Ahmadinejad’s self-aggrandizing demagogy in some ways makes him Iran’s version
of Mr. Trump, in the view of some Iranians.
he still commands a following in the country of 80 million, mostly among
low-income people who associate his tenure with better economic times and cash
subsidies from the government.
also has a seat on the elite Expediency Council, a body appointed by the
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to supervise the work of elected
he was disqualified from running for president again two years ago, he still
travels around the country making speeches and writing open letters criticizing
the government and the judiciary.
other hard-liners, he dares to criticize the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
for its influence over Iran’s economy and the power it gives Mr. Khamenei, who
has sole authority to direct the vast paramilitary force.
is shaking things up by boldly talking about all the issues that everyone knows
but nobody dares talk about publicly, and be willing to pay the cost,” said
Roozbeh Mirebrahimi, an Iranian political analyst based in New York.
he has become the most high-profile hard-line figure to advocate the unorthodox
view of talking with Mr. Trump.
The Times interview, which lasted more than an hour, Mr. Ahmadinejad said that
Tehran and Washington should directly resolve the litany of disputes that began
with the 1979 revolution, the seizure of the United States Embassy, the taking
of American hostages, the mutual accusations of regional meddling and all the
Ahmadinejad said Iran should scrap the approach of enlisting Europe and other
intermediaries to influence Mr. Trump over his hostility to the 2015 nuclear
agreement. This would be possible, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, if Mr. Trump first
eased some of his “maximum pressure” tactics, most notably the onerous
sanctions he reimposed after having abandoned the agreement, called the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action, between Iran and the big powers.
peace, economy and culture would greatly benefit from us working together,” Mr.
Ahmadinejad said. “The U.S. wants to address wider issues than the J.C.P.O.A.
The issues at stake are more important and wider than whether the J.C.P.O.A.
should live or die. We need to have a fundamental discussion.”
Ahmadinejad said he had written three letters to Mr. Trump: in February 2017 to
congratulate him on his election; in June 2018 after Mr. Trump had exited the
nuclear deal; and last month as the forces of both countries were facing off in
the Persian Gulf.
Ahmadinejad said he sent all three letters, which offered long philosophical
musings and governing advice, via mail to the care of the Swiss ambassador in
Tehran, via message to Mr. Trump’s Twitter account and to a White House email
address. The Swiss Embassy looks after American interests in Iran in the absence
of direct diplomatic ties.
was unclear if Mr. Trump ever received the letters. White House officials said
they needed more information about precisely how and when they were sent but
pointed out that Mr. Ahmadinejad could not have directly messaged them via
Twitter because Mr. Trump does not follow him. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran
declined through a spokesman to comment.
Ahmadinejad said he had not been reprimanded for attempting to correspond with
Mr. Trump and that Mr. Khamenei can change his mind and approve negotiations
with Washington if the administration shifts its approach. He pointed out that
Mr. Khamenei, who has the final word on Iran’s relations with the United
States, had allowed nuclear talks with the Americans under President Barack
timing of the messages of both Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Zarif were notable: The
Trump administration has sent several signals in recent days that it wants to
begin talks with Iran with “no preconditions.”
for the first time since Mr. Trump abandoned the nuclear agreement, both sides
are talking about the need to negotiate, even if each has set out unilateral
demands that the other must meet.
is no guarantee, of course, that both sides will find a way. Mr. Khamenei has
described Mr. Trump as an evil trickster and has prohibited talks with him
under any circumstances. And Gen. Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the elite
Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who is rumored to be a future president,
has said that talking to Washington would be like surrender.
Ahmadinejad conceded that for talks to happen, in his view, the United States
would need to soften its approach.
you choke the throat of anyone in the world and say come and talk it won’t be
valid,” he said. “Negotiations must take place in calmer, more respectful
conditions so they can be long lasting.”
the past few weeks Iranian media have reported that besides Mr. Ahmadinejad, at
least three prominent conservatives have advocated talks with the United
States, underscoring the divisions in Iran’s hierarchy.
Gen. Hossein Alaei, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards joint
forces and founder of its navy, said, “We must use the mechanism of
negotiations and should not set aside talking.” He also criticized the decision
not to sit down with Mr. Trump when he offered talks without preconditions.
Zonnour, a conservative cleric and head of Parliament’s national security
committee, said that the “Islamic Republic is not running away from talks and
the path to talking remains open,” but that it should take place within the
framework of the Iran nuclear deal.
Reza Bahonar, a prominent leader of a conservative political party, said the
Islamic Republic had learned in its 40-year history how to turn “maximum threat
from the enemy” into “opportunity.”
the current ping-pong situation between Islamic Republic and Trump’s craziness,
intermediaries have entered and we’ve had some serious discussions and prepared
several scenarios,” Mr. Bahonar said of the potential for negotiations.
trying to present himself as a political alternative for Iran, Mr. Ahmadinejad
tried in The Times interview to walk back some of his comments and policies
that are considered incendiary in the West.
Israel’s right to exist and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, he said that he would accept whatever Palestinians decide in a free
the brutal crackdowns by his government on protesters and dissidents contesting
his re-election in 2009, Mr. Ahmadinejad denounced the clashes and tensions but
said that the other side should have accepted the vote. He contended it was not
his decision to place his political adversaries, the opposition leaders Mir
Hossein Mousavi, his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi under house
Iran political analysts say Mr. Ahmadinejad’s eagerness to talk with a Western
news organization shows that Iranian leaders are pursuing several policies
simultaneously to see which one works in their standoff with the United States:
escalating tensions, decreasing nuclear commitments and exploring diplomatic
as Tensions With Iran Rise Over Seized Ship, U.K. Stays ‘Committed’ to Nuclear
David D. Kirkpatrick
— Britain took new steps on Monday to distance itself from the Trump
administration’s escalating confrontation with Iran, even while pushing for the
release of an oil tanker seized by Tehran three days earlier.
efforts to bolster maritime security in the Persian Gulf “will not be part of
the U.S. maximum pressure policy on Iran,” Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said
after an emergency cabinet meeting about the tanker.
Hunt’s pointed statement was the first indication that a broad disagreement
over Iran still persists between the two allies despite the Iranian seizure of
the British-flagged tanker on Friday.
the American side of the divide, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted on
Monday that both the British and American disputes with Iran arose from the
same essential cause: the fundamental character of the Iranian government.
is a bad regime,” Mr. Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News.
officials have said the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps seized the tanker,
the Stena Impero, for various infractions like polluting, but also as
retaliation for the British impounding of an Iranian tanker off the coast of
Gibraltar two weeks ago. Britain said it had detained the ship on suspicion of
violating a European Union embargo on the delivery of oil to Syria.
analysts and some former British diplomats had wondered if the tanker “tit for
tat,” as Mr. Hunt called it, would push Britain into closer collaboration with
the Trump administration in its own showdown with Iran.
year, President Trump withdrew from a 2015 accord that the United States,
Britain and other international powers had reached with Iran to trade relief
from economic sanctions for limits on its nuclear program. In May, the
administration hit Iran with sweeping new sanctions in an attempt to force it
to negotiate a new and more restrictive agreement.
has called the new sanctions “economic warfare,” and since May it has begun calibrated
steps to restart its nuclear program, exceeding limits on uranium enrichment
imposed by the 2015 deal.
the same time, Iran has taken steps like the seizure of the tanker that have
reminded the international powers of the country’s ability to threaten the flow
of shipping out of the Persian Gulf through the narrow Strait of Hormuz. The
channel accounts for a fifth of the world’s oil supply, a quarter of the
liquefied natural gas, and a half a trillion a dollars in trade every year.
has so far joined France, Germany and the European Union in trying preserve the
2015 deal in defiance of Mr. Trump. Any hope of success would almost certainly
be doomed if Britain were to react to the seizure by joining the United States
in re-imposing sanctions.
Mr. Hunt, the foreign secretary, instead reaffirmed the depth of the
government’s disagreement with the Trump administration despite Britain’s own
rising tensions with Iran over the tankers. “We remain committed to preserving
the Iran nuclear agreement,” he said.
the government’s most substantial response yet to the seizure, Mr. Hunt said
that Britain was now dispatching additional warships to the Persian Gulf while
working in concert with European allies to better guard commercial traffic.
Iran continues on this dangerous path, they must accept the price will be a
larger Western military presence in the waters along their coastline,” Mr. Hunt
warned. He described the new maritime security effort as “European-led.”
the United States has said it intends to lead its own multilateral maritime
security operation in the Gulf, Mr. Hunt said only that he would talk to
Washington “later this week” about how “to complement this with recent U.S.
is now deploying its Navy “with a heavy heart,” Mr. Hunt said, “because the
focus of our diplomacy has been on de-escalating tensions, in the hope that
such changes would not be necessary.”
for its part, released photographs indicating that the 23 crew members of the
seized tanker were in good health.
the broader overtones of the conflict with Washington continued as Iran also
announced that it had arrested 17 Iranian citizens on charges of spying for the
Iranian announcement, which did not include the names of those arrested or
offer any evidence of spying, drew a swift denial from the White House.
Truth. Just more lies and propaganda,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, calling Iran
“a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do.”
Pompeo, in his interview with Fox News, was equally dismissive. “The Iranian
regime has a long history of lying,” he said, casting blame on its supreme
leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“It is part of the nature of the ayatollah to
lie to the world,” Mr. Pompeo said.
the chronology of American actions and Iranian responses, Mr. Pompeo asserted
that what Iran is doing “isn’t because of the American sanctions.”
is because the theocracy, the leadership in Iran, their revolutionary zeal to
conduct terror around the world for now four decades continues,” he said.
contrast to more conciliatory statements occasionally made by Mr. Trump
himself, Mr. Pompeo appeared to leave little room for negotiations with the
current Iranian leadership. “I am ultimately convinced,” he said, “that the
Iranian people will get the leadership behavior that they so richly deserve.”
Pompeo also disclaimed any American responsibility for the captured British
tanker. “The responsibility in the first instance falls to the United Kingdom
to take care of their ships,” he said.
a new conference to announce the arrest of the 17 unnamed spies, an Iranian
counterterrorism official said they had been recruited and trained by the
running battle to root out American spies is a staple of the news media in
Iran, and its English-language Press TV recently broadcast a documentary about
what it called a successful “mole hunt” for C.I.A. agents.
Iranian intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, claimed in the documentary that
the spy hunt had resulted in the C.I.A. “crumbling like a house of cards,”
according to a report by the BBC monitoring service.
television this year also broadcast a fictional series, titled “Gando,” about
the exploits of heroic counterintelligence agents battling a villainous
American spy who is undercover as a journalist.
director and producer have said that the villain is modeled on Jason Rezaian, a
reporter for the Washington Post who spent 18 months in an Iranian prison on
charges of espionage, which he and American officials denied.
rebels in Yemen have announced that they have raised nearly $300,000 in the
latest stage of their campaign for Hezbollah.
a video published on Saturday, the director general of Houthi radio station Sam
FM posed with wads of cash as the team celebrated raising 74,010,000 Yemeni
riyals (Dh1.1 million, or $296,000) for the Lebanese militants.
Yemen the faith to Lebanon’s resistance, salute to the well-being of
Yemen," they yell.
to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews.”
Houthi Radio Sam FM publishes video at end of 3rd phase of fundraising campaign
for Lebanese Hezbollah. They shout: “From Yemen’s faith to Lebanon’s
Resistance! God is great! Death to America! Death to Israel”
PM - Jul 21, 2019
people are talking about this
funds would “support, aid and assist the resistance in Lebanon", said a
statement published by Sam FM alongside the video.
donations for Hezbollah from the third stage of the “Live for the good of
Yemen” campaign add to about $200,000 raised this year and in 2018 for the
Houthis’ general military spending in Yemen, according to documents seen by The
the Houthis’ self-reported figures are accurate, it means more than half of the
fund raised by the Iran-backed rebels has gone to Tehran’s Lebanese proxy. The
National could not independently verify the fundraising claims.
has come under increasing pressure from US sanctions, and in March its
secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, called on support for the group as it
launched campaigns to raise funds in Lebanon.
Hezbollah is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the GCC, the US and the
UK, and is widely believed to be providing training and advice to the rebels in
“Houthis view their support to
Hezbollah now as a sign of support and payback to Hezbollah,” said Fatima
Alasrar, a senior policy analyst at the Arabia Foundation in Washington.
“It is a clear message of
solidarity. The Houthis are basically saying, 'You can count on us to support
FM defended the amount raised for Hezbollah as Yemen suffers widespread
poverty, starvation and frequent cholera outbreaks.
“This is what Yemeni donors
prefer of their own will, despite the siege and the cutting-off of their
salaries,” a source at the station told The National.
Afrah Nasser, chief editor of Sanaa Review website, said the Houthis sometimes
took "donations" for their military action from Yemenis without their
“Houthis have masterfully milked
the population under their control with unbelievable taxation and many times
forcibly deducted money from businessmen, and through corrupt methods,” Ms
“The main method, though, has
been mobilising the population into buying this idea to donate for the
‘military effort’, meaning to the Houthi army. And many people do donate many
times without realising it.
instance, the Houthis force mobile telecommunications companies to deduct 10
per cent of a purchase of a Sim card or internet unit card.
if you want to refill your mobile and you buy a card worth $10, automatically,
10 per cent will be deducted and you will receive an auto reply saying, ‘Thank
you, you donated to the military effort’.”
organisations raised concerns over large sums of cash apparently being shipped
out of Yemen, as humanitarian support falls short.
tracking report shows only about a third of Yemen’s $4 billion funding needs
the time when families are starving in #Yemen and parents are forced to watch
their children die of malnutrition #Houthis divert the humanitarian aid,
stealing everything in sight and send the money to #Hezbollah
PM - Jul 21, 2019
people are talking about this
leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi “will deliver the proceeds of the campaign to
Hassan Nasrallah, on behalf of the campaign's management and all those
involved", Sam FM said.
media office was not able to confirm if that meant the Houthi leader would
travel to Lebanon to deliver the cash.
ties between Hezbollah and the Houthis run deep, analysts say.
supports the Houthis on its media platforms.
messaging apps provide regular military updates while its press office provides
round-ups of Yemen-related humanitarian and security news.
Houthi-affiliated Al Masirah television station is based in a
Hezbollah-dominated southern suburb of Beirut.
“Many important analysts still
refuse to see the links between the two groups, despite the evidence and
disruptive impact it has on the sociocultural Yemeni environment,” Ms Alasrar
of Arabia Foundation said.
said it will attend a meeting in Vienna on Sunday of diplomats from countries
still party to the 2015 nuclear deal, as they try to salvage the landmark
hard-won deal has been threatened with collapse since the United States
withdrew from it last year and reimposed biting sanctions against Iran as part
of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
was agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in
Vienna on July 28,” Iran’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, using the acronym
for the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
meeting would be held at the level of deputy ministers and political directors,
it said in an English-language statement.
was requested by the European parties to discuss the “new situation”, the
statement added, referring to Iran’s reduced nuclear commitments under the deal
in response to the US withdrawal.
said on May 8 it would disregard certain limits of the deal as long as the
remaining parties -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- fail to do
more to mitigate the impact of the US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
has also threatened to take further measures.
has since exceeded limits the deal had set on its enriched uranium and heavy
water stockpiles, as well as passing a cap the deal had imposed on its uranium
4.5 percent enrichment level it reached is well below the more than 90 percent
required for a nuclear warhead.
took measures against a ship in the Strait of Hormuz to implement international
law, not in retaliation to actions by Britain, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif said on Monday in Nicaragua, where he met with his local
Iran military seized the Stena Impero ship in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday in
what appeared to be an act of retaliation for the British capture of an Iranian
tanker two weeks earlier.
the seizure of the Stena Impero on Friday, Britain will now ask all
British-flagged ships to give the government notice of intentions to pass
through the Strait of Hormuz, Foreign Secretary Jeremy said.
hospitals in Yemen’s Hajjah and Saada are fully supported by the Kingdom as it
“strives to help those in need in all regions of Yemen,” according to Mohamed
al-Jabir, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen.
Hospital in Saada and the Saudi Hospital in Hajjah are operating with Saudi
support to: Salaries, operation and maintenance, materials and medical
equipment to support our brothers in Yemen,” said al-Jabir, who is also the
supervisor of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen, in a
average number of daily visitors in al-Salam Hospital is 3,000, according to
the official Saudi Hospitals in Yemen (SHY) website.
Saudi Arabia established al-Salam Hospital in Saada in 1982, it has fully and
regularly funded and supported this vital medical facility in all its
operations and staffed it with qualified personnel. The Kingdom strives to help
those in need in all regions of Yemen,” he added.
Saudi Hospital in Hajjah has over 295 employees and a capacity of 150 beds,
while the Saudi al-Salam Hospital in Saada has 284 employees and a capacity of
170 beds, the SHY website says.
hospitals offer treatment services in various departments, including
outpatient, inpatient, emergency, and operations.
to Medecins Sans Frontieres International (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders,
the neonatal unit in al-Salam Hospital admits around 80 newborn babies each
here in our neonatal unit, we have quite a high mortality rate,” said Jane
Hancock, an MSF nurse, in a video posted on MSF’s Twitter account.
is actually no other facility in the area for people to go to,” Hancock added.
take very extreme low birthweight babies and extremely premature babies,”
Hancock said, adding that most patients “don’t just come from down the street,
they come from hours away.”
colleague, Jane Hancock, explains some of the challenges mothers and babies
face trying to survive in #Yemen, a country at war.
AM - Jul 13, 2019
people are talking about this
said that the Kingdom “deeply appreciates and supports the work of
international agencies such as MSF in caring for the health and wellbeing of
children and all people in Saada as in every other region of Yemen experiencing
two billion dollars for Yemen
of June 2019, the Kingdom has donated over two billion dollars in 361 projects
in Yemen, according to the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center
(KSRelief), with a focus on health and food security.
$500 million were donated in 68 projects related to food security, and over
$400 million in 154 health-related projects. Donations were also made for
humanitarian and emergency relief coordination and for water, sanitation, and
محمد ال جابر
Kingdom through @KSRelief and in cooperation with @WHO continue to support the
health of Yemeni people with no discrimination even in areas controlled by the
Iranian-backed Houthi Militias.
Jumhori hospital in Hajja is supported by WHO. It was provided with a
lifesaving Oxygen station. The station covers 8 hospitals in Hajja governorate
& works around the clock to produce 40 oxygen cylinders a day- saving the
lives of people in #Yemen.
image on TwitterView image on Twitter
PM - Jul 14, 2019
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in June, the Yemeni health minister said that KSRelief is the largest financier
for the health sector and medical needs in Yemen, according to the Saudi Press
April, Saudi Arabia and the UAE pledged $200 million to the “Imdaad” initiative
to support the people of Yemen, according to Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah, the
supervisor general of KSRelief.
resistance movement Hezbollah has condemned as a “war crime” the Israeli
regime’s demolition of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of the occupied East
Jerusalem al-Quds, saying such demolitions are the outcome of anti-Palestine
plots hatched by the US and its Arab allies.
a Monday statement, Hezbollah said Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes in
the village of Sur Baher is aimed at expelling the Palestinians from their land
and expanding the settlements built on occupied land.
Lebanese resistance movement further criticized certain Persian Gulf littoral
states for rushing towards normalization with Israel.
said a US-led conference held in Bahrain last month to rally support for US
President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli
regime and Palestinians amounts to the normalization of Arab ties with the Tel
statement also denounced a first ever public meeting between Bahraini Foreign
Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah and his Israeli counterpart Israel
Katz in Washington last week, saying it is further proof of Arab normalization
Lebanese resistance movement expressed “disgust” at attempts to harm the
“Palestinian cause,” saying the measures are intended to cover up Israeli
crimes against Palestinians in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
condemnations are pouring in following the Israeli demolition of scores of
Palestinian homes in the village of Sur Baher.
body slams Israel
United Nations expressed sadness over the demolitions, saying “Israel’s policy
of destroying Palestinian property is not compatible with its obligations under
international humanitarian law.”
the Arab League described the move as “the worst episode of Israel's crimes
against the Palestinian people for decades.”
Arab League assistant secretary general for Palestine and occupied Arab
territories, Said Abu Ali, called on the UN Security Council and the
International Court of Justice to hold “Israel accountable for its crimes and
put an end to its violations of Palestinians’ rights.”
has threatened to launch an offensive in Syria if a US-planned safe zone is not
established in the northern parts of the Arab country.
the safe zone is not established and threats towards our country continue, we
will launch the operation in the east of the Euphrates," Turkey’s Foreign
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber on
has been in talks with the US over the establishment of a militant-free safe
zone across its border in northern Syria.
revised plans for a total pullout of troops from Syria by saying in February
that in total between 800 and 1,500 foreign troops would be sent on a mission
to police northeastern Syria in the near future, around 400 of them American.
is deemed as a reversal of promises by President Donald Trump to withdraw all
2,000 US troops from the Arab country once Washington's alleged fight against
Turkey suspects the US and allies are helping the Kurdish People's Protection
Units (YPG) forces based in east of the Euphrates river to establish a
permanent foothold in the region. Ankara views the armed Kurds in northeastern
Syria as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK).
said on Monday that talks with the US have slowed down, adding that his country
had told Washington that it should not use the fighting in Syria's province of
Idlib as a pretext for deserting the proposed safe zone further east.
also expressed his hope that an agreement will be reached after talks on Monday
with the visiting US special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey.
Americans sent Jeffrey and said there were new proposals in the talks that will
start today. We hope an agreement can be reached on this. Concrete steps are
needed on this now."
Sattam bin Khalid bin Nasser al-Saud wrote on his twitter page that the Saudi
king has issued a decree which says that only the board of grand muftis can
issue fatwa and their fatwas should come into practice.
added that everyday a new fatwa is issued while most of those who issue them
are "idiots and not specialists".
will likely hear soon a fatwa which says wine is halal," Sattam said.
Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority announced 2019 as the “Year of
Entertainment” in the kingdom. With a $64 billion budget granted by Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the plan comes complete with a social media
platform and an app — Enjoy_Saudi — and aims to "transform the Kingdom
into one of the top ten international entertainment destinations".
same week, Amnesty International published new reports of systematic torture
and sexual abuse of numerous female activists currently being held in Saudi
prisons. Most of the women are now in their ninth month of detention, where
they’ve been held without charges or legal representation. Evidence linked the
women’s mistreatment to Saud al-Qahtani, a former top adviser to bin Salman who
has been implicated in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal
Minister of Endowments Mohammed Mokhtar Jomaa warned of the threat of the
Muslim Brotherhood, officially classified as a terrorist group since November
accuses the group of stoking chaos and violence in the country following the
ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, but the group usually
denies the accusation.
minister reiterated his rejection of the Brotherhood and its rhetoric, pointing
out in a statement that the group’s slogan is “either to rule or kill and
ruled the country for a year before his ouster, after which he was imprisoned.
He died while standing trial in June this year.
said members of the Brotherhood claim they are “God's chosen group”, noting
that since its establishment, the terrorist organization has been threatening
Egypt. It is driven by its treasonous collaboration with enemies of the Arab
world and its belief that its authority can only be built on the ruins of its
called for “complete vigilance and hard work to uproot extremism”.
of Brotherhood leaders and supporters are being tried in Egypt in cases mostly
linked to violence.
Sunday, an Egyptian military court adjourned to July 29 the trial of 304
defendants in the Hasm movement case, involving the attempted assassination of
the assistant attorney general. Defendants include former minister and member
of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau Mohammed Ali Bishr.
revealed that the suspects received intelligence support from Qatar and Turkey,
in agreement with Brotherhood fugitive leaders, to attack the police and armed
forces and obstruct state institutions.
another case, the criminal court of Cairo adjourned to August 4 the trial of 11
defendants, including Brotherhood fugitive leaders in Turkey, suspected in the
assassination attempt of the Alexandria security director.
years detained Saudi cleric Awad Al-Qarni, this week’s preacher of hate, used
TV interviews to glorify terrorism, spread conspiracy theories and launch
tirades against the West.
radical views and dogmatic interpretation of religion was criticized in the
Saudi press, on social media and by scholars.
that did not shake his many firm convictions, one of which was that the fight
against terrorism was “fabricated” by the West to colonize the East and destroy
its way of life.
in 1957 and raised in Balqarn governorate in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Asir
region, Al-Qarni went on to serve as a professor at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud
long before the emergence of social media, he managed to misguide a large
number of followers with his politically charged rhetoric delivered via mosque
sermons and after-school programs for youths in the city of Abha.
the West’s claims of peace since the founding of the League of Nations, and
subsequently the UN, the Security Council and organizations everywhere,
humanity hasn’t suffered from war, destruction, colonialism, enslavement, confiscation
of wealth, intervention in the affairs of nations and peoples, control over
their capabilities and wealth, and the overthrow of their regimes and
governments, as they suffered in the time of the domination of the West and the
time of the Security Council,” Al-Qarni told the anchor of the program
“Al-Malaf” on Al-Majd satellite TV channel in January 2017.
THEORIES OF AL-QARNI
“war on terror”
“It is one of the tools of the West through which it establishes a new era of
colonialism, domination, exploitation and enslavement of peoples as much as it
can, without a doubt.”
“We’re living the biggest lie history has ever known. Many Third World leaders
understood these facts and talked about them. Many realized them but few talked
about them, like (Nelson) Mandela, (Fidel) Castro, Ahmadu Bello in Nigeria and
King Faisal. Therefore, they were assassinated or there were attempts to
assassinate them, or they became prisoners or fugitives.”
“It’s in the West’s interest for (terrorism) to continue. This terrorism
doesn’t pose an existential threat to the West and its countries.
Three-thousand Americans were killed in a certain operation. All the
accumulated evidence proves that the operation was premeditated, fabricated and
calculated. ... In a nutshell, it’s in the West’s interest for terrorism to
continue in Islamic countries so it can exploit and utilize it.”
“One of the ideas that has plagued the nation ... is an intellectual doctrine
that seeks to destroy everything that is inherited, eliminate everything that
is old and revolt against ethics, values and beliefs. This doctrine is called
by its preachers and servants of its idols modernism.”
Al-Qarni’s view, the war on terror is “one of the tools of the West through which
it establishes a new era of colonialism, domination, exploitation and
enslavement of peoples as much as it can, without a doubt.”
Al-Ghamdi, a Saudi political analyst, told Arab News that Al-Qarni’s arguments
reflect the thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose followers believe that
the “West will stop meddling in the affairs of the Middle East only when it’s
burned by terrorism.
certain that any campaign against terrorism threatens their plans and
is why these preachers of hate instigated young men to go to warzones in the
Middle East, Al-Ghamdi said.
did all that they could, through persuasion and offers of financial support, to
get young men to travel to warzones and get themselves killed,” he added.
think that through this process, the region will end up being only for (the
Brotherhood’s followers), so they can achieve their goal of seizing political
vehement opposition to the anti-terror campaign is unsurprising given that he
considers Western culture and thought as racist, and based on the rejection or
enslavement of the other.
runs in their (Westerners’) blood, no matter how they try to deny it. There’s
no doubt that there are a number of thinkers, philosophers, reformers and some
social strata who tried to be human … But the mainstream of Western thought and
culture, represented or served by politicians who try to win them over, is a
racist and exclusionary thought that seeks to eliminate others,” the detained
dealings with the Red Indians, the indigenous peoples of Australia and New
Zealand, the African and Muslim peoples are clear.”
his 1998 book “Modernism in the Balance of Islam: Islamic Perspectives in
Literary Modernism,” Al-Qarni identifies modernity as an imminent threat to
of the ideas that has plagued the nation … is the intellectual doctrine that
seeks to destroy everything that is inherited, eliminate everything that is old
and revolt against ethics, values and beliefs,” he wrote.
doctrine, he said, is called “modernism by its preachers and servants.”
Al-Qarni’s perspective, “modernism” is an idea that creates great and
irreparable damage, and should therefore be resisted.
is a subversive idea. The modernists present a destructive vision of the lives
of people that includes all its aspects,” he wrote.
term ‘modernism’ is an invasion that must be confronted. The basis of modernism
is reason and rationality that reject everything that the mind does not
a corollary, Al-Qarni said, modern literary works could lead mankind to believe
in falsehoods that aim to destroy Islamic teachings.
years after his polemic against modernity was published, Al-Qaeda carried out
the Sept. 11 attacks against the US, which left nearly 3,000 people dead and
6,000 injured, and caused damage estimated at $10 billion.
said the attacks were “fabricated” — the West was exploiting terrorism in
Islamic countries for its interest.
another interview on Al-Majd TV, the detained Al-Qarni declared that the West
wanted terrorism to remain, especially because “it doesn’t threaten” Western
in the West’s interest for (terrorism) to continue. This terrorism doesn’t pose
an existential threat to the West and its countries,” he said.
Americans were killed in a certain operation (9/11). All the accumulated
evidence proves that the operation was premeditated, fabricated and
asserted that it was not he who was making the claim. “Noam Chomsky said this,
and recently a Western scientific engineering institute said the (twin) towers
were toppled by a controlled explosion,” Al-Qarni said, falsely attributing the
conspiracy theory to the American linguist and social critic.
in the West’s interest for terrorism to continue in Islamic countries so it can
exploit and utilize it.”
said such views are unsurprising given that Al-Qarni believes that acts of
violent extremism by Muslims, whether in Saudi Arabia or abroad, are not really
is of the view that terrorist attacks inside the Kingdom are a way for them to
claim their ‘right’ to establish control over the country. Power is their
goal,” he said.
added that Al-Qarni’s antipathy toward the Saudi legal system, among other
institutions, is rooted in the Brotherhood’s political philosophy.
though they don’t publicly say it, followers of the Brotherhood don’t recognize
the Saudi judiciary,” Al-Ghamdi said.
deviant thoughts and hate-filled views are in sharp contrast to our country’s
fair and unbiased laws and regulations.”
March 2017, Al-Qarni was fined SR100,000 ($27,000) and banned from writing by
Riyadh’s Specialized Criminal Court, which handles terrorism cases.
was convicted for spreading content on Twitter that “could jeopardize public
order and provoke public opinion.” However, his political commentary became
even more outrageous and provocative.
September 2017, along with fellow hate preachers Salman Al-Odah and Ali
Al-Omari, Al-Qarni was arrested.
An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 people to life in prison on charges of
joining the Daesh group in Syria and Iraq.
criminal court on Monday says the defendants all traveled abroad to fight for
Daesh and receive military training.
other defendants got 15-year sentences, and another was given three years for
the same charges. These include possessing weapons and plotting attacks against
security forces and state institutions.
verdicts can be appealed, and the court has dropped the charges against another
is battling its own Daesh-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. That fight
intensified in 2013 after the military overthrew an elected but divisive
The Arab coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government in Yemen said
on Monday it is continuing its duty to prevent the Iranian-backed Houthi
militia from threatening international shipping.
speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, spokesperson Col. Turki
Al-Maliki also said the threat of international navigation is the
responsibility of the international community
Al-Maliki added that 16 permits have been issued to secure the passage of ships
heading to the port of Hodeidah.
also said that the Houthi militia continues to obstruct the arrival of
humanitarian aid and violates international humanitarian law by targeting
civilians and civilian sites, which have escalated to war crimes.
coalition is protecting the Yemeni citizens at the request of the legitimate
government in Yemen and we will continue to provide assistance to the Yemeni
people,” Al-Maliki added.
AL-NUMAN/SYRIA: Regime and Russian airstrikes killed 43 people in northwest
Syria on Monday, most of them in a crowded market, a war monitor said, in the
latest violence to plague the opposition bastion.
Maaret Al-Numan in Idlib province, men drenched in blood were carried away by
residents and rescue workers, who used mattresses as makeshift stretchers, an
AFP photographer said.
saw the corpse of one man sprawled on the ground near a motorcycle, rubble
surrounding his lifeless body.
his eyes closed and his face covered in dust, another man clutched the arms of
two people helping him out of the bombed area, the photographer added.
five civilians and two unidentified people were killed in raids that hit the
vegetable market and surrounding areas in Maaret Al-Numan, according to the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which blamed the airstrikes on regime ally
however, denied it was responsible, calling the reports “fake.”
Russian air force was not carrying out any missions in this part of Syria,”
said a Defense Ministry statement.
than 100 other people were wounded, according to the monitor, which said many
of those injured were in a critical condition and people trapped under rubble.
White Helmets rescue group said one of its volunteers was killed during the
raids, raising the number of rescue workers killed since April to at least 6.
opposition-run Idlib region, home to some 3 million people, is supposed to be
protected by a months-old international truce deal, but it has come under
increased bombardment by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia since late
spike in violence has killed more than 650 civilians and damaged or knocked out
of service two dozen health facilities.
than 330,000 people have fled violence in the area over the past three months,
according to the UN. In the Idlib town of Saraqib, another six civilians were
killed in regime airstrikes on Monday, the Observatory said.
retaliatory rocket fire by opposition groups killed seven civilians in the
northern countryside of Hama province, state-run SANA news agency said.
and opposition backer Turkey brokered an agreement in September seeking to
stave off an all-out regime assault on Idlib, but the deal was never fully
implemented as militants refused to withdraw from a planned buffer zone.
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham group in January extended its control over the region,
which spans most of Idlib province as well as slivers of the adjacent provinces
of Latakia, Hama, and Aleppo.
Sunday, airstrikes on Idlib killed 18 people, including a young citizen
Al-Dyab, a photographer and videographer in his early 20s, was a member of the
White Helmets who also contributed to AFP. He was killed in Russian airstrikes
in his hometown of Khan Sheikhun, rescuers and the Observatory said.
Idlib region “has fast become one of most dangerous places in the world for
civilians and aid workers today; a crisis within a crisis,” said David Swanson
of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
violence must stop and it must stop now,” he told AFP.
Damascus, President Bashar Assad on Monday received two Vatican cardinals who
handed him a letter from Pope Francis expressing “deep concern for the
humanitarian situation in Syria, especially the dramatic conditions of the
civilian population in Idlib.”
forces have been locked in battle with opposition fighters on the edges of the
Idlib region but have failed to secure significant advances.
to Sam Heller, an analyst at the International Crisis Group think-tank (ICG),
the violence is likely to continue until “Russia and Turkey reach an agreement
to calm” the frontline.
the meantime, “each side will try to put pressure on the other through their
Syrian partners on the ground” or “directly, (as) with the Russian bombing of
parts of Idlib,” he added.
— Iraq’s military said Saturday its troops in partnership with security
agencies and paramilitary forces launched the second phase of an operation
aimed at clearing remnants of the Islamic State group from north of Baghdad and
is the second phase of the operation dubbed “Will to Victory,” which started
two weeks earlier and targeted the area along the border with Syria. The
military said the new target area is north of Baghdad and in the Diyala,
Salahuddin and Anbar provinces.
Iraq declared victory against IS in July 2017, the extremists have turned into
an insurgency and continue to carry out deadly attacks in the country.
military said Iraqi troops, Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the
federal police and others are taking part in the operation supported by the
Iraqis and the U.S-led international coalition.
Saturday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited the operation room
alongside the deputy head of the PMF, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
this month, the Iraqi government moved to place the Iranian-backed militias
under the command of the armed forces. The move was believed to be an attempt
to curb the powerful militias, particularly amid rising tension between Iran
and the U.S., the power brokers in Iraq.
- Saudi-coalition spokesman Col. Turki al Maliki says that coalition fighter
jets took out at least five Houthi air defense sites around the Yemeni capital,
Sana'a, early Saturday. Amateur video showed a number of explosions rocking
video broadcast by Arab media showed a series of explosions around the Yemeni
capital Sana'a, early Saturday, followed by loud percussive explosions.
media, quoting coalition spokesman Turki al Maliki, indicated that at least
five Houthi air defense sites were bombed by Saudi warplanes. Maliki claimed that
a number of Houthi ballistic missiles were destroyed in the air attacks.
Saudi-owned Asharqalawsat newspaper quoted Maliki as saying the "operation
[overnight] targeted the Houthis air defense capabilities, as well as their
ability to launch aggressive attacks." Maliki went on to say the coalition
raids "conformed with international human rights law."
Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut,
tells VOA that he doesn't think the Saudi air raids are going to have much
effect on the ongoing war or the Houthis military capabilities:
is not the first time the Saudis announced launching attacks on missile sites
in Yemen," he said. "It happened in the past and it's highly unlikely
that such attacks are going to have any tangible effects on the Houthi war
stressed that most of the Houthis' attacks on Saudi territory in recent weeks
have been launched "using drones, rather than by firing ballistic
Houthis military spokesman, Gen. Yahya Saree, claimed Saturday that his group
had launched a retaliatory drone attack Saturday, which "destroyed several
radar [sites] and other military equipment at the King Khaled airbase in
southern Saudi Arabia." Saudi-owned al Arabiya TV countered that the drone
was shot down near Abha and "hit no targets."
siding with Iran, Hezbollah could put Lebanon’s future at serious risk
- While Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Israeli Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu have been quick to use the Gulf’s escalating tensions to
rattle sabres, analysts downplayed the likelihood that the exchange of threats
would develop into full-scale conflict in the immediate future.
the situation across the Gulf is tense cannot be denied. Iran claimed to have
seized the British oil tanker Stena Impero as it navigated the Strait of Hormuz
on July 19, an apparent retaliation against the British impounding of the
Iranian vessel Grace 1 in early July. It was the second possible seizure of a
foreign vessel by Iranian forces after the UAE-registered Riah was intercepted
July 14 in the Gulf.
to an already febrile mix was the downing of an Iranian drone by a US vessel in
the strait the day before the Stena
Imperio’s interception, an incident denied by Tehran.
tensions up further has been the deployment of a third British warship to the
region, ostensibly to replace the frigate HMS Montrose but unlikely to be
viewed in Tehran as anything but Western provocation.
speaking July 12 on Al-Manar TV, said: “Are we going to sit back and watch?
Iran won’t be alone in the war, that is clear.”
threatened Israel with all-out attack by Iran and its proxies in the region,
breaking down the nature of the threatened action and potential targets.
comments drew a predictably bellicose response from Netanyahu, who used a
cabinet meeting July 14 to threaten to deal Hezbollah “and Lebanon a crushing
military blow,” irrespective of the large portions of Lebanese society opposed
to Hezbollah and its allies.
downplayed the risks of the verbal exchange.
think Nasrallah’s rhetoric here is entirely standard, expected and aligns with
how Hezbollah talks about itself and its relationship to Iran,” said Emily
Hawthorne, senior Middle East and North Africa analyst at risk consultancy
said, Hezbollah is a very potent weapon of Iran’s, should Iran choose to deploy
it. However, we are far from that stage in a potential conflict between the US
and Iran and I don’t think there’s a near-term risk of Hezbollah deployments.”
in May, confirmed by the US State Department, indicated the withdrawal of
Hezbollah’s forces from Syria where they had deployed in significant numbers
United States claimed this was evidence that US sanctions were beginning to
affect Iran’s ability to sustain Hezbollah’s presence in Syria. Nasrallah
confirmed the pullback on July 12, attributing it to changing circumstances in
drawdown in Syria is related more to the dynamics of the Syrian conflict
winding down,” Hawthorne said, “as well as the reality of how Israel has been
able to effectively target Hezbollah assets in Syria.”
fighters return from Syria a far more potent military force than when they
experience fighting in the Syrian conflict has given it training and practice
that has made it a more capable fighting force should a conflict arise in which
it (is) deployed,” Hawthorne said.
posturing jeopardises significant sections of Lebanon as well as loans and aid
packages that help maintain Lebanon’s faltering economy.
March, concluding a visit to Lebanon, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used a
news conference to issue a stark choice to policymakers in Beirut: contain
Hezbollah or risk the loss of US aid and face potentially devastating
sanctions. Last year, the United States provided Lebanon with approximately
$800 million in aid.
its economy faltering and ratings agency Moody’s downgrading Lebanon’s credit
worthiness in June, it is aid Beirut can ill afford to lose.
Hezbollah remains relatively secure.
is no real risk of political censure in Lebanon,” Hawthorne said, “so long as
Hezbollah allies hold the presidency (as they currently do) and so long as
Hezbollah has a strong political and security position in the country.
officials say that at least 20 militants have been killed in an air strike in
the restive northern Sinai Peninsula.
air force hit more than 100 mountainous hideouts used by the militants near the
city of El Arish and the small town of Bir Al Abd late of Friday.
strikes came after a suicide bombing killed a soldier and a civilian on Thursday
in the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid. ISIS said a militant named Abu Omar El
Seedy had detonated his explosive-laden vest near a military checkpoint at dawn
security officials had said the bomber targeted an armoured vehicle near the
local market of Sheikh Zuweid. They added that as well as the soldier and a
civilian, three other soldiers were wounded.
day earlier, militants beheaded four people and kidnapped a fifth in Bir Al Abd
after accusing them of co-operating with the security services.
group tied to ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.
military has been battling a bloody insurgency in the remote desert peninsular
for several years but in 2018, the government announced a massive offensive
aimed at destroying the extremists. The move has degraded the ability of the
tribal and extremist groups to launch attacks into the rest of the country, but
they still pose a deadly threat.
militants regularly carry out hit and run attacks on security checkpoints. Due to
the remote, rugged landscape, it can take too long for air support units or
reinforcements to arrive. In previous attacks, entire units stationed at desert
bases have been overrun.
hardline groups have regularly targeted tourists and Christians.
has vowed to go after Egypt’s Christians, in part as punishment for the
church’s support of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi who, as defence minister,
led the military’s 2013 intervention to remove an Islamist president amid mass
protests against his one-year divisive rule.
attacks against Christians have led to tighter security for places of worship
and church-linked facilities, like metal detectors at their street gates and
Christians are not the only community to be targeted by attacks. In November
2017, 305 worshippers were murdered and another 128 wounded during Friday
prayers at a Sufi mosque in northern Sinai, one of the worst terror attacks in
recent Egyptian history.
al-Mohammadawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Monday
that several Israeli spies are stationed in the US bases in Iraq's Western
added that the recent attack by Israeli F-35 fighter jets against Hashd
al-Shaabi in Amerli region of Salahuddin province was conducted based on
precise intelligence provided by Israeli spies in Iraq.
Al-Mohammadawi said that Washington does not allow the Iraqi government to
access advanced weapons in a bid to Iraq under the hegemony of the US forces.
media outlets had reported on Sunday that the positions of Hashd al-Shaabi in
Salahuddin province were attacked on Friday by an Israeli fighter jet.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website quoted informed security sources as saying
that Hashd al-Shaabi positions were targeted by three Israeli Harop missiles, 'Loitering
Munition', which weight 23kg, are mounted on a flying object and explode when
hitting the target.
added that these warheads can be controlled remotely and their range is
Israel is in possession of this type of weapons in the Middle-East,"
security sources told al-Ahd that the Israeli F-16 fighter jets infiltrated
into Southeastern al-Ratbah in al-Anbar province over the Baghdad-Amman and
Baghdad-Damascus international road and fired the warheads.
reports said that an unmanned drone had on Friday bombed a base operating by
Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq with sources saying two people were wounded.
Al-Shuhada base of the Hashed al-Shaabi in the Amerli region was hit at dawn…
by an unidentified drone, wounding two people,” the Iraqi military said in a
statement on Friday.
a spokesman for Iraq's Hashd al-Shaabi forces dismissed media claims that the
Iranian military advisors had been killed in a recent drone attack against
Amerli base, located in the Tuz Khurmatu district of Northern Iraq’s Salahuddin
to what the biased media said, no advisors or IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps) forces have been killed," Ali al-Hosseini was quoted by the
Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website as saying on Saturday.
the Arabic-language al-Etejah news channel quoted special sources in Nineveh
province as saying that before the Friday attack against the Hashd al-Shaabi
base in Amerli, a US spy plane conducted reconnaissance operations against the
Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army forces in the region.
source said that the spy plane carried out reconnaissance operations over
Sanjar mountain and the Southern areas of the region.
least seven civilians, including two children, have lost their lives in a
rocket attack by foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants against a residential
district in Syria’s west-central province of Hama.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency
SANA that terrorists positioned in the de-escalation zone of the neighboring
province of Idlib fired several rockets at Na'ur Jurin village on Monday
of the projectiles struck a vehicle, leaving seven people dead. A number of
civilians sustained injuries as well.
rockets also caused substantial damage to public property and several houses in
the targeted area.
four people suffered wounds of different severity after several rockets
launched by Takfiri terrorists struck areas in al-Suqaylabiyah city.
unnamed medical source at al-Suqaylabiyah Hospital said the quartet were
admitted with shrapnel injuries, and that they had received the necessary
one civilian was killed when an improvised explosive device planted in a car
went off in al-Qadam neighborhood in the southern part of the capital,
said the IED explosion claimed the life of the driver, causing damage to nearby
houses and shops.
Movement in Nigeria rejects allegations of violence
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has dismissed claims of violence raised
against the movement, holding President Muhammadu Buhari responsible for the
was behind the Nigerian army's massacre of Shia Muslims supporting Sheikh
Ibrahim Zakzaky in the northern city of Zaria in 2015, a spokesman for IMN,
Muktar Aabdulrahman Auwal, told reporters at an event on Sunday.
spokesman called for the release of the prominent cleric, who has been in custody
since 2015, following the deadly crackdown on his supporters.
criticized the Buhari government for ignoring a court order to release Zakzaky,
adding that the IMN will continue protests until the movement’s leader is set
free and those responsible for the Zaria massacre are brought to justice.
wish to state as follows: that the protests on the streets of Abuja are as a
result of the government’s disregard to the judgment of a court of competent
jurisdiction, the Federal High Court Abuja, which freed the leader of the
Movement from an illegal detention insinuated by the government as Protective
Custody,” he said.
spokesman insisted that the IMN was a peaceful group, rejecting the allegation
the presidential spokesman, on Friday, urged members of the movement to halt
further street protests and await the outcome of a judicial decision on their
far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving
El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands
in the matter and, to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to
be clear of any alleged violation of court orders as being trumpeted every
day,” Garba Shehu said, adding, “These rallies and street dances ostensibly to
openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead
told Zakzaky supporters to respect the rights of other citizens, warning them
to cease their protests.
supporters believe the Buhari government ordered the bloody 2015 Zaria
is not possible to exonerate President Muhammadu Buhari from the genocide
perpetrated by the Nigerian Army under his command as Commander-in-Chief, where
over 1000 unarmed members of the Movement including men, women and children
were killed on 12th-14th of December 2015,” IMN reiterated in a statement.
IMN also accuses the Buhari government of concocting fresh court cases against
the movement’s leader, who is debilitated by illness, to coax the movement into
the use of violence.
therefore call on the Nigerian government to stop deceiving the public by
trying to paint itself as Saint in a place its actions are worse than those of
death toll from a car bombing in Mogadishu on Monday climbed to 17, hospital
officials said, with more than two dozen wounded in the explosion claimed by
bodies of 17 people killed in the blast were taken to the hospital mortuary
while 28 others were admitted for various wounds,” said Mohamed Yusuf, the
director of Medina Hospital, the main trauma facility in the Somali capital.
least 10 people were killed and several others wounded, when a car bomb blast
targeted a security checkpoint, in Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday morning,
local media reported.
explosion took place at KM4 area in Mogadishu” Goobjoog News, a local radio and
TV station reported after the attack.
to Anadolu Agency, Aamin Ambulance Service Chief Abdukadir Aden confirmed the
attack. But did not confirm the number of casualties caused by the car bomb
eyewitness Ahmed Ali Hassan, 31, told Anadolu Agency that the car, hit the
security checkpoint on the road, leading to Adan Adde international airport in
was at my shop, close to the checkpoint, I saw a car parking near the
checkpoint and then minutes later it exploded. I saw dead people laying on the
ground,” Hassan said.
Libyan warplane landed on Monday on a road in the southern Tunisian town of
Beni Khadash, witnesses and local media said.
state news agency TAP said the plane had made an emergency landing, and that
the pilot, the sole occupant, had been arrested by the military units that
surrounded the area.
said the plane had landed on a road and been surrounded by civilian vehicles
stopping to watch.
senior police officer was killed and three other people injured Monday in
clashes between security forces and thousands of Shia protesters in Nigeria’s
capital city of Abuja.
Police Commissioner Usman Umar was shot and later died of his injuries in a
hospital, police spokesman Frank Mba said in a statement.
assistant superintendents of police and a staff member of Channels Television
sustained serious injuries and are receiving treatment, the statement added.
said the protesters also torched the office of emergency responders.
police have arrested 54 suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects
are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as
possible," the statement said.
a counter statement, the Shia protesters said claims that they were carrying
arms were not true, insisting they have chosen the path of peace.
group said at least 11 Shias were killed in the bedlam.
strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them,
because throughout our processions, we have not been carrying any arms right
from 2015 to date," said Ibrahim Musa, a spokesman for the Shia.
was also the police who shot at the reporter of Channels TV, another indication
that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their
this era of social media, the brutality displayed by the police today has been
captured, with some pictures showing the police setting up bonfires, and there
are videos that captured the police carting away their victims," he added.
Shia have stepped up their protests in the capital over the continued detention
of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, since 2015.
security forces have killed at least six protesters who were demanding the
immediate release of the senior Muslim figure Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, who
has been locked up in a government jail since 2015.
deadly clashes were occurred in capital Abuja on Monday when security forces
attacked a group of pro-Zakzaky peaceful protesters and opened fire on them
using live bullets.
citing eyewitnesses, said at least one of the victims was an underage boy,
adding that a large number of others sustained varying injuries in the brutal police
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), led by Sheikh Zakzaky, was the organizer
behind the protest rally, the latest in a series of demonstration for the
release of the top Shia cleric.
now 66, has been in detention since December 2015 after his residence in the
city of Zaria was raided by Nigeria’s forces, during which he was beaten and
lost vision in his left eye.
the brutal arrest, three of his sons were also killed, his wife sustained
serious wounds, and more than 300 of his followers were killed.
was charged in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly,
disruption of public peace, and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty,
vehemently rejecting all accusations brought up against him.
reports said that his health has been deteriorating, but prison authorities
have prevented him from getting much-needed treatment.
this month, Zakzaky's son said after visiting him that he had been shocked by
his father’s worsening medical condition, stressing that he needed to be
immediately hospitalized as “large and dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium
have been found in his blood.”
added that Nigerian authorities had not taken any action so far and that they
intended to murder his father.
Pakistan — At least nine people were killed and at least 30 others wounded on
Sunday in Taliban attacks on a security checkpoint and a hospital in
northwestern Pakistan, breaking a lull in militant violence in the country,
spokesman for the Taliban said the attacks — by gunmen on motorbikes and a
suicide bomber — had been carried out to avenge the killing of one of its
militants last month in the district of Dera Ismail Khan. A senior police
official said the suicide attacker had been female, but the Taliban later
released a photograph of a longhaired man whom the group identified as the
two-pronged attack on Sunday took place in the same district, Dera Ismail Khan,
which is in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the first attack, two police
officers at a security checkpoint in the town of Kotla Saidan were shot dead.
assailants escaped after the shooting, and the security forces cordoned off the
area to search for them.
after the bodies of the two officers were taken to the hospital, an explosion
ripped through the emergency and trauma center there, killing four other police
officers and three civilians. The suicide bomber detonated about seven
kilograms of explosives near an entrance to the hospital, according to a
preliminary police investigation.
Riaz Khan, the police chief of Dera Ismail Khan, said that initial inquiries
suggested that the suicide attacker had been a woman, but another security
official said that the bomber had been a young boy with long hair, a common
look for most Taliban militants.
a few suicide bombings have been carried out by women in the long history of
militant violence in the country.
blast heavily damaged the entrance of the hospital, and the emergency
department shut down afterward. Those injured in the second attack were shifted
to a military hospital in the district.
June 23, counterterrorism police officials killed a militant fighter during a
raid at his compound in Dera Ismail Khan. He had been wanted by the police in
more than a dozen cases of killings and kidnapping for ransom.
violence has ravaged Pakistan for years, especially in the northwestern
regions, where the Taliban have a strong presence, but the attacks have
declined in recent years. Sporadic violence still takes place, however.
Salman Masood on Twitter: @salmanmasood.
Tipu Mehsud contributed reporting.
Afghanistan, July 21 (Xinhua) -- At least 28 Taliban militants have been killed
following an airstrike in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province, a military
source said on Sunday.
on a confirmed tip-off, an Afghan Air Force A-29 aircraft targeted a Taliban
hideout in Bilchiragh district, Faryab province on Saturday evening, leaving 28
armed Taliban killed," Hanif Rezai, spokesman of army Corps 209 Shaheen
based in the region, told Xinhua.
targeted militants were meeting for planning attacks against security forces.
has escalated in the previously peaceful northern region over a past few years
as Afghan security forces push against the militants in the south and east
David Zucchino and Fahim Abed
Afghanistan — As law students waited outside Kabul University to take
fourth-year exams shortly after daybreak on Friday, a suicide bomber drove up
and detonated an explosive device, killing 10 people and wounding 33.
bombing was the latest in an aggressive series of attacks by insurgents in the
10 days since American and Taliban negotiators suspended peace talks in Doha,
Qatar, that were aimed at reaching a political settlement and a cease-fire in
the 18-year-old war.
Interior Ministry blamed the Taliban for Friday’s attack, which killed students
and a traffic officer. A Taliban spokesman denied that the group was involved
in the bombing, although it has claimed responsibility for many recent attacks.
a burst of violence noteworthy even by Afghan standards, the Taliban have
launched a number of sophisticated attacks aimed at government security forces
and compounds, in some cases killing and maiming civilians.
Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said in an interview on Friday that “the
enemy’s raids on civilian Afghans and their killing of civilians are forcing us
to aggressively target their strong and secured centers, which are in the
the peace talks began last fall, both sides have escalated operations, in part
to increase leverage in negotiations. From Tuesday through Thursday alone, the
Ministry of Defense claimed to have conducted hundreds of combat operations and
dozens of airstrikes, killing more than 200 militants.
the audacity of the Taliban attacks has been notable since the latest round of
peace talks was suspended on July 9. Insurgents killed an American Special
Forces soldier in combat on July 13, the Pentagon said.
rising at the scene of a car bomb blast that targeted police headquarters in
in the past four days, according to provincial and military officials, the
Taliban killed an Afghan Army brigade commander in an insider attack in eastern
Afghanistan; assassinated a senior bodyguard of President Ashraf Ghani; and
killed up to 35 elite Afghan commandos in a nighttime raid in western
Afghanistan, according to local officials who said at least 30 Taliban were
Mir, a security analyst in Kabul, said the Taliban have sought to undercut
government authority and convince their own fighters they are winning the war,
all while maintaining pressure on the United States to withdraw its troops.
are showing their capacity to undermine government functions anywhere in the
country and thus not allow it to protect major population centers,” Mr. Mir
Taliban, Mr. Mir added, were also concerned about the morale of their fighters
and commanders. “They are under tremendous pressure by relentless military
operations by both U.S. and Afghan forces,” he said.
Roggio, editor of The Long War Journal at the Foundation for Defense of
Democracies, said the latest insurgent attacks are a continuation of an
intensified campaign that began this spring. The Taliban, he said, have sought
to overwhelm what he called “overstretched” Afghan security forces.
Taliban has all the leverage it needs as the U.S. has signaled it is desperate
for a peace agreement and President Trump said he wants to end the war in
Afghanistan,” Mr. Roggio said in an email.
Amarkhel, a retired Afghan Army general and military analyst in Kabul, said the
recent attacks made a mockery of a July 9 declaration in Doha to reduce
civilian casualties. After two days of informal talks between Taliban and
Afghan representatives, the two sides pledged to “minimize civilian casualties
to zero” and protect hospitals and schools.
Doha, the Taliban said they won’t attack civilians, but that was just words,”
Mr. Amarkhel said. “They keep attacking civilians — anytime, anywhere.”
man received treatment last week after a suicide attack at a wedding in
recent insurgent attacks have seemed rapid-fire and well-planned. On Thursday,
Taliban suicide bombers exploded a vehicle at a police headquarters in
Kandahar, penetrating the base and triggering a firefight. Local officials said
two police officers and nine civilians were killed, and 89 people were wounded.
Eight Taliban were also killed, the Kandahar police chief said.
Saturday, two Taliban gunmen took over a hotel in Qala-i-Nau, the capital of
Badghis Province in northwestern Afghanistan. In the ensuing siege, two
government security agents and two police officers were killed, local officials
July 12, a boy detonated a suicide vest at a wedding party in eastern
Afghanistan, killing eight civilians — including a child — and the commander of
a local pro-government militia. No group took responsibility.
on July 11, local officials said three farmers who had refused to pay taxes to
the Taliban in Sar-i-Pul Province were killed by the militants, who also burned
fighting has ensnared civilians in other ways. On Wednesday, the Swedish
Committee for Afghanistan said the Taliban had forced the agency to close 42
health facilities in Taliban-controlled areas of Wardak Province, cutting off
care for thousands. The clinics reopened on Friday, according to the ministry of
government had conducted its own raid on a Swedish Committee clinic in Wardak
this month, searching for a Taliban official and prompting the militants to
close all the clinics in reprisal.
government has also acknowledged killing civilians in certain cases. On July 9,
the day the Doha talks were suspended, local officials reported that seven
civilians died when their home was struck by an Afghan airstrike in Baghlan
Province in northern Afghanistan.
Defense Ministry statement confirmed the civilian deaths and said an
investigation had begun. “Avoiding civilian casualties,” it said, “is a
Cobra Strikes of the Afghan Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants during an
operation in southern Helmand province.
Special Operations Corps in a statement said the Cobra Strike Forces conducted
the operation in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand.
statement further added that the Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants
during the operation.
the Special Operations Corps said the Special Forces also destroyed a vehicle,
a motorcycle and 4 improvised explosive devices during the same operation.
security forces inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban militants during separate
clashes which took place in three districts of Faryab.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said the security forces clashed with
Taliban in Sherin Tagab, Qaisar and KOhistan districts of Faryab.
statement further added t4aht the security forces killed 16 Taliban militants
during the clashes and wounded 23 others.
the 209th Shaheen Corps said an Afghan soldier also lost his life during the
clashes and two others sustained injuries.
to visit Afghanistan, Qatar for the talks with the Afghan government and Taliban
U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to
Afghanistan and Qatar for the talks with the government and Taliban
State Department in a statement said “Special Representative for Afghanistan
Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan and Qatar from July
22 – August 1, as part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that
ends the conflict in Afghanistan.”
statement further added “In Kabul, Special Representative Khalilzad will
consult closely with the Afghan government on next steps in the peace process,
including identifying a national negotiating team that can participate in
the State Department said Ambassador Khalilzad will also engage representatives
of civil society, including peace advocates and women’s rights groups, to
further encourage broad participation in the peace process.
Statement Department also added that Ambassador Khalilzad will resume talks
with the Taliban in Doha.
Afghan Special Forces killed or detained dozens of Taliban militants during
separate raids conducted in Logar and Paktika.
informed military sources said Tuesday that the Special Forces killed 27
Taliban militants during the operation in Pul-e Alam district of Logar.
sources further added that the Special Forces also arrested 5 Taliban militants
during the same raid.
the sources said the Special Forces killed 4 Taliban militants during a raid in
Sharan district of Paktika.
Afghan government forces mistakenly killed seven civilians, including children,
in an attack on militants south of the capital, a provincial official said on
Monday, the latest victims of a war undiminished by peace talks.
forces, have been facing Taliban attacks across much of the country, and have
responded with air strikes aimed at killing insurgent leaders, even as US and
Afghan representatives have been negotiating with the militants in Qatar.
seven civilians, including women and children, were killed in Logar province,
just south of Kabul, on Sunday night said Hasib Stanekzai, a member of Logar’s
provincial council. Six people were wounded, he said.
police confirmed the attack on militants by government forces but said they
were investigating the casualties.
to our initial information a number of militants were killed or wounded, but
local people gathered in the area, claiming that a house belonging to a Kuchi
family had been bombed, causing civilian casualties,” said Shahpor Ahmadzai, a
spokesman for Logar police.
are nomadic herders, but some now live in permanent settlements.
who said police were investigating, also said foreign forces were involved in
the attack on the militants. Officials with Afghanistan’s NATO force were not
immediately available to confirm or deny their involvement in the operation.
forces, backed by US advisers, have in recent months stepped up their air
strikes and raids to the highest levels since 2014.
latest phase of Afghanistan’s war — which began when US-backed forces the
overthrew the Taliban following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United
States — has intensified despite the most sustained peace talks of the war.
United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern about civilian casualties,
which reached their highest level last year since detailed accounting began
nearly a decade ago.
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