and Muslim-American activists gathered across from the US Capitol building on
Wednesday to show solidarity with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
Senators Slam Saudi Rights Record, Call Crown Prince ‘Full Gangster’
Omar's Criticism of AIPAC and Israel Is Not Anti-Semitic, Jewish And Muslim
God’: Masood Azhar Quashes Death Rumours; Warns Liberals, Pakistan from
Attacking 'JeM Institutions'
Was Used By Intelligence to Target India in My Time: Pervez Musharraf
Rights Chief Warns Against Harassment of Muslims in India
Gathering, Islamists Say Ready to ‘Jihad’ Against Enemies
Says It Takes Control of 182 Religious Schools in Crackdown on Militants
Team in Bangladesh to Probe Atrocities against Rohingyas by Myanmar Military
Spokesman Terms US Sanctions Psychological Warfare
Designates Iranian Proxy Group and Its Leader as International Terrorists
measure condemning anti-Semitism following Omar’s remark
Iranian hackers caused losses in hundreds of millions
attacks ‘shameful’ Democrats for not taking tougher anti-Semitism stance
UK arms kill more than 200 Yemeni civilians: Report
postpones 'indefinitely' vote to rebuke Ilhan Omar
involved in grenade attack on Jalandhar police station arrested, says NIA
flip-flop: Its Army says Jaish does not exist in the country
terrorist killed by security forces in Handwara in J&K
Reserves Ayodhya Order, Muslim Parties Want Mediation
aims to strengthen ties with Gulf countries in all sectors
extends ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia
rights chief criticizes Israel denying war crimes
councillors resign over anti-Muslim posts
set for release across EU without proper monitoring
blacklists seven Syrian ministers over links to Assad
Small Gathering, Islamists Say Ready to ‘Jihad’ Against Enemies
Malaysia, special unit formed to monitor insults against Islam
M: With ‘marriage’, has PAS retracted ‘infidel’ tag against Umno?
Blacklists Jeish Al-Adl as Terrorist Group
a first: Congregational prayer offered inside National Assembly
asked to explain if any conditions attached to F-16s deal
India delegation-level visits to further reduce tensions: Qureshi
vice FM reiterates support to Pakistan for regional peace, stability
military chief discusses security cooperation with COAS Bajwa
bomb attack in Afghan city of Jalalabad kills 16
expects $15bn in Saudi investments
of ICNA's Links to Jamaat-e-Islami
in Cox's Bazar demand Rohingya return to Myanmar
Haqqani Network commander arrested in Jalalabad city
claims responsibility for deadly attack in Nangarhar province
child shot dead by Taliban militants in Jawzjan province
Prosecutors Bring Jailed Moderate Sunni Preacher to Secret Trial: Report
Aiding ISIL, Other Terrorists in Western Iraq
Army Foils Terrorists' Massive Attacks on Hama, Idlib
Allied Militants Help Thousands of ISIL Terrorists Out of Eastern Euphrates
Army Heavily Pounds Terrorists' Positions in Hama Countryside
Foreign Minister: We seek the containment of the Syrian crisis
Arabia plays ‘pivotal role’ in fight against global terrorism: General Abizaid
dead in Daesh attack on Iraqi militia
limp out of besieged Syria Daesh enclave
Russia, China Reaffirm Support for Iran Nuclear Deal
Arms Exporters Complicit In Saudi, Israeli Crimes: Iran
demolishes home of Palestinian suspect in deadly shootings
of Palestinian food truck draws Hollywood star to Beirut
Iraq reaffirm resolve to bolster neighbourly ties
forces shoot down Gaza protester as warplanes launch new airstrikes
Palestine committee slams Trump's unilateralism
says to conduct joint raid with Iran against PKK
Coalition targets Houthi reinforcements in Yemen's Hajar
Army Chief Vows To Secure Protest-Hit Country
pile up as rival Libyan governments struggle for power
Africa exhibits relics of Prophet Muhammad
by New Age Islam News Bureau
senators slam Saudi rights record, call crown prince ‘full gangster’
bipartisan group of US senators in Congress have warned against growing human
rights violations in Saudi Arabia, saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman has gone “full gangster.”
the confirmation hearing of new Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid on
Wednesday, Republican and Democratic US senators censured the kingdom over its
devastating war on Yemen and other rights abuses, including the detention and
torture of women’s rights activists and the grisly murder of dissident Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.
Salman is known as the architect of the bloody war on Yemen in his capacity as
Saudi defense minister. The heir to the Saudi throne is reported to have
ordered the assassination of Khashoggi – an outspoken critic of bin Salman’s
policies – last October at Riyadh’s Istanbul consulate.
Senator Marco Rubio said Saudi Arabia was the “most difficult” US ally “because
it almost asks us to agree to stay silent on grotesque violations of human
rights both domestically and abroad.”
is reckless, he’s ruthless, he has a penchant for escalation, for taking high
risks, confrontational in his foreign policy approach and I think increasingly
willing to test the limits of what he can get away with the United States,”
Rubio said. “He’s gone full gangster. And it’s difficult to work with a guy
like that no matter how important the relationship is.”
hearing comes two days after senators received a briefing from administration
officials on Khashoggi's killing.
Bob Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Democrat,
acknowledged the strategic importance of Saudi ties, but said “we cannot let
these interests blind us to our values or to our long-term interests in
Chairman Jim Risch said while Saudi Arabia was a strategically important ally,
the alliance must be reconciled with American values.
Arabia has engaged in acts that are simply not acceptable,” he said.
have been sharply critical of bin Salman and the Trump administration’s
inaction on Riyadh’s human rights violations at home and abroad.
Senate and House of Representatives have adopted resolutions that would put an
end to US support for the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen.
Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to Riyadh, Abizaid, however,
repeatedly stressed the strategic importance of Washington-Riyadh ties and said
Washington should keep up support for the kingdom.
the long run, we need a strong and mature partnership with Saudi Arabia,”
Abizaid said, adding, “It is in our interests to make sure that the
relationship is sound.”
who led US Central Command during the Iraq war, said the Trump administration
believes strongly that US support for the kingdom should continue.
and Muslim-American activists gathered across from the US Capitol building on
Wednesday to show solidarity with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, whose recent
criticism of Israel and US foreign policy has sparked heated debate in
Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group critical of
Israel's human rights abuses against Palestinians, said Omar was "exactly
right" about the pro-Israel lobby's "outsized influence in
the news conference on Wednesday morning, Wise said the leadership of the
Democratic Party, of which Omar is an elected member, should be standing behind
the Minnesota congresswoman.
a time of rampant Islamophobia and anti-black racism coming from the halls of
power, [the] Democratic leadership needs to be decrying xenophobia, needs to be
standing with black Americans and not scapegoating them, as they are doing with
Representative Omar," Wise said.
defending herself from previous accusations of anti-Semitism, Omar was at the
centre of a new wave of outrage this week in relation to a recent speech she
delivered at an event in Washington.
want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK
for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar said at a
town hall at Busboys and Poets Cafe last Thursday.
want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the [gun lobby]
NRA, of fossil-fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful
lobby that is influencing policy?"
use of the phrase "allegiance to a foreign country" led to criticism
that she was accusing Jewish-Americans of dual loyalty.
told Middle East Eye that she was "confused" by the anger that ensued
over the weekend.
read her words - what she said at the Busboys and Poets Cafe - and there's
nothing in there about dual loyalty," Wise said. "It was a willful
reading in order to turn and distort her words."
by party leaders
criticism over her latest comments came after Omar was rebuked by her own
Democratic Party's leadership for suggesting last month that support for Israel
is driven by the financial and political power of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby group.
that time, critics accused Omar of using an anti-Semitic trope that could have
been seen as Jews using money to control society. She later apologised for her
also has repeatedly denounced anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.
this, top Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of
Representatives, prepared a resolution condemning anti-Semitism to indirectly
reprimand Omar this week.
measure was due for a vote on Wednesday, but it was postponed after objections
from African-American and progressive lawmakers.
Bamdad, an activist with IfNotNow, an organisation of young Jewish-Americans
who oppose Israeli policies, called on Democratic leaders to combat real
anti-Semitism instead of silencing criticism of Israel.
those in power denouncing Representative Omar, calling her a terrorist,
threatening her, defaming her - you do not have vision for a safe Jewish
future," Bamdad said at the news conference on Wednesday.
said that the proposed resolution against Omar reveals a "clear moral
hypocrisy" in Congress around anti-Semitism.
Omar's words were not anti-Semitic," Bamdad said. "They reflected a
valid critique of the occupation and AIPAC, which thousands of young Jews,
including me, share."
added that the push against Omar aims to intimidate Israel's opponents,
especially people of colour.
to condemn all bigotry
and other speakers also pointed to clear examples of anti-Semitism that
received less scrutiny than Omar's comments on Israel.
includes a recent tweet by Republican Congressman Jim Jordan in which he used a
dollar sign to spell out the last name of a major Jewish-American donor to the
Democratic Party, billionaire Tom Steyer.
activist and legal scholar Noura Erakat said attacks against Omar show how
"vulnerable" US lawmakers who defend Israel are becoming, as more
people adopt the Palestinian cause as a human rights issue.
you can't stop this movement from the bottom-up, you're going to clamp it from
the top down," Erakat said.
anxiety here that's being raised is not about the concern for Jewish lives; it
is about the concern for Israel's viability as an apartheid state, continuing
and entrenching its settler-colonial encroachment," she continued.
the United States has been the leader of that effort."
the news conference, the activists marched to Pelosi's office to deliver a
letter calling for her to condemn all forms of bigotry, including Islamophobia.
week, Republican Party members in West Virginia displayed a poster in the state
capitol building likening Omar to the 9/11 attackers, a show of Islamophobia
that Muslim activists said amounted to a threat against the congresswoman's
congressional resolution cannot afford to glance over the alarming spike of
actual anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and religious bigotry in the US today,
particularly from the far-right that is by far the greatest purveyor of hate
crimes, as statistics show," the letter read.
single out Congresswoman Omar with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism in
itself perpetuates an Islamophobic stereotype that Muslims are inherently
including Muslims, can and should be able to criticise Israeli policies or
American policies toward Israel without being falsely accused of
anti-Semitism," it said.
God’: Masood Azhar quashes death rumours; warns liberals, Pakistan from
attacking 'JeM institutions'
Hours after Pakistan launched a crackdown on terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed
under National Action Plan (NAP) the terror group kingpin Masood Azhar issued a
stern warning to the country’s ruling establishment to stop persecuting mosques
and true Muslims.
the 11:41 minutes audio clip uploaded on JeM chat platforms Azhar talks about
India, Pulwama attack and liberals in Pakistan. Full of personal stories and
narratives, Azhar starts his speech with his fake death story which circulated
in the media. Saying that he is alive and doing well, he calls on his followers
to start a jihad against India for oppressing Kashmiris.
the next part of the speech he talks about liberals like Malala and says that
Pakistan being an Islamic country should not allow them to take over the
liberals couldn’t tolerate the Islamisation of Pakistan under Zia-ul-Haq so
just imagine what will happen if people like us rise against them,” said Azhar.
Haq pushed for Sharization in the country and was directly responsible for
turning Pakistan into a global centre for political Islam.
India for putting pressure on Pakistan from all corners and Pakistan for
succumbing under the pressure, Azhar says that the political leadership in the
country has failed to understand India’s ploy.
a dig at Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Azhar says that he
was saying things under pressure and even then it is failing. Qureshi had
earlier accepted that Azhar is in Pakistan but said that "he is really
unwell and not even in a position to leave his house."
was used by intelligence to target India in my time: Pervez Musharraf
Delhi: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said the
Jaish-e-Mohammed was a terror outfit but indicated that his country’s
intelligence had used it to carry out attacks in India during his tenure.
the disclosure in a telephonic interview to Pakistani journalist Nadeem Malik
of Hum News in his talk show, Musharraf also welcomed the action against the
JeM, saying it had tried to assassinate him twice in December 2003, as per a
video clip shared on the journalist’s Facebook and Twitter page.
why he had not taken action against the organisation during his stint in power
(1999-2008), he claimed those times were “different”. Both India and Pakistan
were involved in a clandestine struggle, “carrying out bombings in each other’s
territory”, he said, adding his country’s intelligence agencies were engaged in
all this, not much action was taken against the Jaish, he said, adding that he
had also not insisted.
JEM, led by Maulana Masood Azhar, is accused of various attacks in India, including
the February 14 Pulwama attack which left 40 Central Reserve Police Force
rights chief warns against harassment of Muslims in India
United Nations human rights chief has warned India that its "divisive
policies" could undermine economic growth, saying that narrow political
agendas were marginalising vulnerable people in an already unequal society.
are receiving reports that indicate increasing harassment and targeting of
minorities – in particular, Muslims and people from historically disadvantaged
and marginalised groups, such as Dalits and Adivasis," Michelle Bachelet
said in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on
spokesman for India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
dismissed Bachelet's comments as "baseless".
reject the UN human rights chief's report," said Shahnawaz Hussain, a BJP
leader. "These are baseless allegations to tarnish the image of India.
India is the best country for Muslims in the world, and Hindus are their best
warning came a day after Amnesty International's India chapter said it had
recorded a "disturbing" number of hate crimes, including assault,
rape and murder, against marginalised groups in 2018.
on cases reported in mainstream English and Hindi media, the group on Tuesday
said it had documented a total of 218 incidents of alleged hate crimes last
year. Some 142 were against lower-caste Dalits, while 50 were against Muslims.
Patel, executive director of Amnesty India, told Al Jazeera there "was a
culture of impunity for hate crimes" in India.
country's law, with some exceptions, does not recognise hate crimes as specific
offences, he said, urging political leaders to be more vocal in denouncing such
violence and calling on the police to "take steps to unmask any
potentially discriminatory motive in a crime".
reforms that enable recording of hate crimes and strengthen accountability must
be a priority for any government that comes to power following the upcoming
general elections," he added.
Minister Narendra Modi is battling for a second term in an election due by May.
December, Factchecker.in, a data-journalism outfit, in December said the
"year 2018 saw the most hate crimes motivated by religious bias in India
in a decade".
group said 30 people were killed in 93 such attacks last year, the highest
number of deaths since it began tracking hate crimes in 2009. More than 300
people were wounded, the group said.
of the attacks took place in states ruled by the BJP. Uttar Pradesh topped the
list with 27 cases. Bihar, with 10 cases, came second. The figures by
Factchecher.in show a spike in alleged hate crimes after BJP took power in
governments ruled by the BJP have cracked down on the slaughter of cows, an
animal many Hindus consider sacred, with vigilante groups beating and killing poor
Muslim and Dalit men over allegations of killing cows and eating beef.
has repeatedly said state governments should punish vigilantes who commit
violence in the name of cow protection, but his critics say the government has
not done enough to prosecute the killings.
commentator and former vice chancellor of Islamic University of Science and
Technology in Kashmir, Sidiq Wahid said that people in Muslim-majority Kashmir
could say with confidence that no one better understands the "deficit in
fairness that exists in India, especially, although not exclusively, under the
told Aljazeera: "The report comes at a time that is both apt and
embarrassing. It's apt because India is about to have elections … It is
embarrassing, because the report conveys for the entire world to see the true
state of democracy in the "world's largest democracy".
Erum, author of the book Mothering a Muslim, however, said nothing would change
in the country unless Indian leaders recognised the toll divisive politics was
taking on the country.
we work together in recognising the divisive forces at work, and act against
them together, only then we can make for a stronger nation," she said.
"We simply cannot allow the next generation to grow amidst growing hatred
and narrow confines of resentment towards people of other communities."
small gathering, Islamists say ready to ‘jihad’ against enemies
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
LUMPUR, March 1 ― Hundreds gathered outside the National Mosque here today to
protest against purported anti-Islam elements they claimed were flourishing
under Pakatan Harapan (PH).
and heads of several hardline Islamic groups said the demonstration was an act
of self-defence in the face of what they perceived as a concerted attempt to
undermine Islam and the Malay identity.
warned that Muslims are ready to “jihad” against those who insult the faith.
the situation calls for us to jihad, are we ready?” one of the organisers
we are!” the crowd responded.
protest held just after Friday prayers, was organised as a response to a case
involving a senior citizen who was said to have insulted the Muslim Prophet
Muhammad on Facebook recently.
Foo Sing, 68, was charged with uploading the posting on his Facebook account,
with the profile name “Foo Sing Wai”.
authorities said his action could cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of
enmity, hatred and ill-will on grounds of religion among the people of
different religions in the country.
claimed the incident was yet another sign of minority’s eroding respect towards
the Malay community, and Islam’s official position.
leaders like Umno youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, who spoke at the
demonstration, suggested the Pakatan Harapan administration is to blame.
used to live in peace, in harmony but just after they got some power they’ve
already ‘naik tocang’,” he said, using the Malay phrase to describe the
alleged the new government has not done much to protect the religion, which
encouraged religious provocation.
claimed Attorney General Tommy Thomas was slow to act when the insult was made,
while Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa was seen as
have been accused of pandering to the demands of minority.
government leaders, however, have also condemned the provocation.
present at the gathering was Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and
PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad.
says it takes control of 182 religious schools in crackdown on militants
Pakistan has taken control of 182 religious schools and detained more than 100
people as it intensifies its crackdown on banned militant organizations, the
interior ministry said on Thursday.
enforcement agencies have taken 121 people under preventive detention as of
today,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that religious schools,
hospitals and ambulances were taken over.
began a crackdown against militant groups this week amid growing international
pressure in the wake of a bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir by a militant
group based in Pakistan.
denies aiding militants and says its push against banned outfits is unrelated
to the Indian and global pressure.
A team from the office of the International Criminal Court prosecutor was in
Bangladesh on Wednesday for a preliminary probe into alleged atrocities
committed against the Rohingya by the Myanmar military in 2017.
statement emailed to AFP from the ICC confirmed the tour -- the maiden official
visit by the ICC -- but said it was part of prosecutor office's "ongoing
preliminary examinations concerning the situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar".
preliminary examination is not an investigation. Such visits in the context of
preliminary examinations are standard practice, and the delegation will not
engage in any evidence collection in relation to any alleged crimes," it
independent and impartial preliminary examination of the situation in
Bangladesh/Myanmar is on-going and following its normal course," it added.
Bangladeshi official said the ICC would visit Rohingya camps in the country's
southeastern district of Cox's Bazar where some 740,000 Rohingya took refuge
after they fled a brutal military crackdown in late 2017.
September, the ICC prosecutor opened a preliminary probe into Myanmar's alleged
crimes against the Rohingya Muslim minority, including killings, sexual
violence and forced deportations.
preliminary examination can lead to a formal investigation by the ICC -- which
was set up in 2002 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity -- and
then possible indictments.
Fatou Bensouda will look at whether there is enough evidence to warrant a full
investigation into Myanmar's military offensive.
said in a statement at that time that the initial probe "may take into
account a number of alleged coercive acts having resulted in the forced
displacement of the Rohingya people, including deprivation of fundamental
rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and
is not a part of the visiting team, her office said.
move comes after judges ruled that even though Myanmar has not signed up to the
Hague-based ICC, the court still has jurisdiction over crimes against the
Rohingya because Bangladesh is a member.
week the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation -- of which Bangladesh is a member
-- in a meeting in Abu Dhabi unanimously adopted a resolution to move at the
International Court of Justice (ICJ) for establishing the legal rights of the
Rohingya and addressing the question of accountability and justice, Dhaka's
foreign ministry said.
resolution to pursue a legal recourse through the ICJ came after a long series
of negotiations to seek accountability for crimes committed against humanity
and gross violation of human rights in the case of the Rohingyas in
Myanmar," it said.
army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to
root out Rohingya insurgents who staged deadly raids on border posts in August
do not have any economic and financial interests to be sanctioned by the US,
and al-Nujaba's position towards the US is stable and unchangeable,"
al-Mousavi said on Wednesday.
added that the US lacks legitimacy to accuse others with terrorism. "But
it would be wrong for the US to imagine that it could impose its will on
lashed out at Washington for its double-standard approach, saying that the US
is a country which supports the killers of a journalist (Jamal Khashoggi) in a
Al-Nujaba Movement had also earlier today announced that it would double its
efforts to stand against Washington's plots in the region after it was
designated by the US State Department as a terrorist group.
in the Islamic Resistance are proud that we are always standing in the
forefront of confronting the American terrorism against the oppressed
nations," Deputy Secretary-General of al-Nujaba Movement Nasr al-Shamri
told the Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm.
are the ones who confront the terrorists and destructive occupation of Iraq and
their (the Americans') al-Qaeda and ISIL terrorism," he added.
underlined that al-Nujaba would confront all US plots in the region, adding
that the State Department move would strengthen their determination to insist
on their position.
US added al-Nujaba Movement and its leader Akram Abbas al-Ka'abi, to its
sanctions list, the State Department said.
Department of State has designated the Iranian proxy group Harakat al-Nujaba
(HAN) and its leader, Akram 'Abbas al-Kabi, as Specially Designated Global
Terrorists under Executive Order 13224," the State Department said in a
statement on Tuesday.
al-Nujaba is an Iraqi Shiite resistance group that helped the Iraqi government
liberate territory captured by the ISIL. It has also deployed forces to Syria
to help the Syrian army recapture territories from terrorist groups.
designates Iranian proxy group and its leader as international terrorists
an executive order, the US State Department has on Tuesday designated the
Iranian proxy group Harakat al-Nujaba (HAN) and its leader, Akram Abbas
al-Kabi, as global terrorists.
State Department said: “These designations demonstrate the United States’
unwavering commitment to isolate and deny funding to the Iranian regime’s
terrorist proxies. The United States will continue to stand firm against Iran’s
malign behavior and efforts to undermine Iraq’s sovereignty and stability.”
designations seek to deny HAN and al-Kabi of the resources to plan and carry
out terrorist attacks.
other consequences, all of their property and interests in property subject to
US jurisdiction have been blocked, and US citizens “are generally prohibited
from engaging in any transactions with them.”
in 2013 by al-Kabi, HAN is an Iran-backed Iraqi militia funded by- but not
under the control of- the Iraqi government. HAN has openly pledged its
loyalties to Iran and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
to the media note by the State Departrment, Al-Kabi has publicly claimed that
he would follow any order, including overthrowing the Iraqi government or
fighting alongside the Houthis in Yemen, if Ayatollah Khamenei declared it to
be a religious duty.
also claimed that Iran supports HAN both militarily and logistically, and
stressed HAN’s close ties with IRGC-QF Commander Qassem Soleimani and Hezbollah
Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.
Department of the Treasury designated al-Kabi as global terrorists in 2008 for
planning and conducting multiple attacks against coalition forces, including
mortar and rocket launches into the International Zone.
in January, the Democrats welcomed their brash young newcomers to Congress with
smiles and hugs. That was before the new colleagues dragged the party’s simmering
divisions over Israel out in the open.
comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota have thrust the Democrats into an
uncomfortable debate over Israel policy a few weeks before a high-profile
conference where senior Democrats typically make a show of support for the
the rift appears as much generational as ideological, with newly elected
Democrats showing less deference to the party line.
became the flashpoint after she suggested last week that Israel’s supporters
are pushing US lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance to a foreign country.”
It’s at least the third time she has forced older, pro-Israel Democrats who run
the House into awkward territory over US-Israeli policy.
have been happy to stoke the furor, with President Donald Trump calling Omar’s
remarks “a dark day for Israel” and posting a photo of himself in Jerusalem.
Inside the Democratic family, meanwhile, leaders are in a bind, torn between a
need to admonish Omar for her comments and their desire to defend one of the
first Muslim women elected to Congress.
time Omar is not apologizing. This time pro-Israel Democrats led by Speaker
Nancy Pelosi are not just warning her about the dangers of Jewish tropes.
They’re expected to offer a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on the House
of dual loyalty generally have an insidious, bigoted history,” an early draft
of the resolution reads in part. “The House of Representatives acknowledges the
dangerous consequences of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes and rejects
anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to
the values that define the people of the United States.”
and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced in a meeting of leading Democrats
late Tuesday that the text will be updated to include anti-Muslim bias,
according to a senior Democratic aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to
discuss the private meeting.
Democrats said an outpouring of support for Omar prompted leaders to consider
broadening the measure to avoid dissension. Omar did not speak to reporters
outside her office on Tuesday evening.
is a lot of emotional disquiet about the situation, and it’s a good time to
restate our values,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who is Jewish and a
member of leadership, as he exited a meeting in Pelosi’s office. “That’s what I
hope our resolution can do.”
text, which includes a history of bigotry against Muslims and blacks as well as
Jews, sounds unobjectionable by itself. But the fact that senior Democrats felt
obliged to put the House on-record on the topic points to a transformation in
the country — mostly among Democrats — about supporting the Jewish state.
a poll by the Pew Research Center in January of last year, 46 percent of
Americans said they sympathized more with Israel and 16 percent with the
Palestinians in their Middle East discord.
Democrats are about evenly divided, with about a quarter sympathizing with each
side and the rest saying they side with neither or don’t know — and in recent
years they have become less likely to sympathize with Israel than they were in
Democrats were nearly twice as likely to say they sympathize more with the
Palestinians (35 percent) than with Israel (19 percent).
Americans were much more likely to say they sympathize with Israel than with
the Palestinians, with more division among younger Americans.
a Somali-American, says that what she is questioning the influence game in
Washington and she worries that anything she says about Israel and its
treatment of Palestinians will be construed as anti-Semitic.
opposed to (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the occupation is not the
same as being anti-Semitic,” she tweeted on Sunday. “I am grateful to the many
Jewish allies who have spoken out and said the same.”
Democrats in Congress remain largely supportive of Israel. Pelosi, for example,
often attends the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in
Washington, which is coming up later this month.
on Tuesday got a boost from allies who point out that the congresswoman, too,
has been the target of threats and bigotry.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested in a tweet that her fellow freshman was
being treated unfairly. “No one seeks this level of reprimand when members make
statements about Latinx + other communities,” the New York Democrat wrote.
groups generally said they support the resolution — but say that they are
“concerned that the timing of this resolution will be seen as singling out and
focusing special condemnation on a Muslim woman of color as if her views and
insensitive comments pose a greater threat than the torrent of hatred that the
white nationalist right continues to level against Jews, Muslims, people of
color and other vulnerable minority groups,” said J Street, a nonprofit that
says it’s a home for “pro-Israel, pro-Peace Americans.”
hackers working to penetrate systems, businesses and governments around the
world have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, a report said
for tech giant Microsoft said the attackers stole secrets and wiped data from
computer networks after targeting thousands of people at some 200 companies
over the past two years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
did not immediately respond to an AFP query on the report. The Journal said
Microsoft traced the attacks to Holmium, a group linked to Iran, and that some
of the hacking was done for Holmium by another Iranian group known as APT33.
Lambert, the head of Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence Center, told the newspaper
the attacks were “massively destabilizing events.”
report said the hackers notably targeted oil-and-gas companies, heavy-machinery
manufacturers and international conglomerates in Saudi Arabia, Germany,
Britain, India and the United States.
2017, the security firm FireEye blamed APT33 for destructive malware that
targeted organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday it was “shameful” that Democrats have not
taken a tougher stance on anti-Semitism, following controversial remarks about
Israel by one of the first Muslim women in Congress.
a single tweet the president weighed into a debate that has caused the latest
awkward rift in the Democratic Party, as young progressives clash with the
establishment old guard.
is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against
anti-Semitism in their conference,” Trump said. “Anti-Semitism has fueled
atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to
It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take
a stronger stand against Anti-Semitism in their conference. Anti-Semitism has
fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act
to condemn it!
AM - Mar 7, 2019
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criticism comes as Democrats grapple with how to reprimand one of their own,
first-term Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, for her repeated criticisms of
Israel and a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington that prides itself on its
influence in US politics.
a former Somali refugee, was assailed by Democrats and Republicans alike for
suggesting last Friday that supporters of the Jewish state are urging lawmakers
to have “allegiance to a foreign country.”
lawmakers expressed outrage, warning that Omar was peddling in age-old
anti-Semitic tropes about Jews having dual allegiances. The Democratic-led US
House had been expected to vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution
on Wednesday in a closed-door meeting of Democrats, the debate appeared to
morph into a discussion over broader efforts to address hateful rhetoric, with
some lawmakers pushing to include resolution language that decries anti-Muslim
Democrats also have expressed anger that Omar could be facing an implicit
rebuke while racist statements by Trump and other Republicans go largely
unchallenged. Number two House Democrat Steny Hoyer said the language of the
resolution was still being worked out, and that a vote date had yet to be set.
also offered a defense of sorts of Omar, saying he did not believe she is
anti-Semitic. A small group of activists gathered outside the Capitol Wednesday
in support of Omar, including Council on American-Islamic Relations head Nihad
Awad who warned that House leaders were seeking to “intimidate” the embattled
Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition has killed more than 200 people,
including women and children, using U.S. and British-made weapons in Yemen,
said a report Wednesday.
report, "Day of Judgment: The Role of the US and Europe in Civilian Death,
Destruction, and Trauma in Yemen" was prepared by the U.S.-based
University Network for Human Rights and the Yemeni human rights group Mwatana.
128-page investigation documented 27 "apparently unlawful" attacks on
civilians carried out by the coalition between April 2015 and April 2018.
twenty-seven airstrikes killed at least 203 people and injured at least 749. At
least 122 children and at least 56 women were among the dead and wounded,"
said the report.
of the attacks appeared to take place far from any potential military target.
Others caused harm to civilians that vastly outweighed any likely military
benefit," it said, adding the coalition forces had not taken adequate
precautions to minimize harm to civilians.
to the report, U.S.-made munitions, including cluster bombs, had likely been
used in 25 attacks and UK-made munitions, including Paveway IV and
"Hakim" precision guided bombs, in five of the attacks.
said 16 attacks were on civilian gatherings, civilian homes and a civilian
boat; five attacks were on educational and health facilities; five attacks were
on civilian businesses; and one attack was on a government cultural center.
cases reinforce prior evidence demonstrating that the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition
is failing to fulfill its obligations under the laws of war and repeatedly
using U.S. weapons in apparently disproportionate and indiscriminate
attacks," said the report. The release comes weeks after the U.S. House of
Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require President
Donald Trump to halt U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led coalition's war in
in February, an all-party committee of the House of Lords concluded in a report
that the British government’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful.
has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran
much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a
Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at
rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
mounting pressure from its base, the Democratic leadership in the US House of
Representatives has indefinitely postponed a vote on an anti-Semitism
resolution in response to fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s criticism of
the Associated Press and the Washington Post reported late on Wednesday that
the vote on the anti-Semitism resolution has been postponed indefinitely. The
move was initially planned for Wednesday before being delayed by a day, but
then divisions within the Democratic Party and a push from Ms Omar’s colleagues
on the left, prompted the indefinite delay. Ms Omar is the first Somali
American elected to Congress, and one of two first Muslim women in the House of
which didn’t mention the Minnesota congresswoman by name ̶ was in direct response to her remark
cautioning against “the political influence in this country [the US] that says it is okay to
push for allegiance to a foreign country [Israel].” The remark was read by many
supporters of Israel as an accusation of “dual loyalty”. Their resolution would
have affirmed that it “rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of
intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the
on Wednesday, ranking figures in the Democratic Party among them two Presidential
hopefuls, warned against the effort. “We all have a responsibility to speak out
against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all
forms of hatred and bigotry, especially as we see a spike in hate crimes in
America,” said California senator and candidate for President Kamala Harris in
a statement. “But like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus,
I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her
at risk” she added.
Harris said: “there is a difference between criticism of policy or political
leaders, and anti-Semitism. At the end of the day, we need a two-state solution
and a commitment to peace, human rights, and democracy by all leaders in the
region, and a commitment by our country to help achieve that.”
Bernie Sanders also opposed the campaign against Ms Omar. “What I fear is going
on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of
stifling that debate. That's wrong,” he said.
is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the
United States and around the world,” Mr Sanders, who is running for President
said in his statement. “We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with
legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel,” he
divide around Ms Omar statements came as a new Gallup poll revealed that
support for Israel in the United States is at the lowest it has been in 10
years. The support for Israel dropped to 59 percent among Americans, compared
to 21 percent who said they sympathise with the Palestinians. That's the
highest level of support for the Palestinians and the lowest for Israel since
on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a militant who was involved in lobbing
grenade on a police station Maksudan in Jalandhar.
said Amir Nazir Mir of Dadsara, Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and
Kashmir was arrested in connection with the grenade attack.
is a key accused as he procured and facilitated delivery of 4 grenades used in
the attack on the directions of Ansar Ghazawat-ul-Hind (AGH) chief Zakir Musa.
was the active link between the arrested accused and AGH chief Zakir Musa,”
said an NIA spokesman.
has been taken on transit remand to be produced before the Special NIA court,
Mohali, for obtaining his police custody for interrogation.
September 14, 2018, grenades were hurled at Maksudan police station, injuring
one police personnel.
investigation revealed that the attack was the handiwork of Kashmir based
terror outfit Ansar Ghazawat-ul-Hind (AGH).
accused, Fazil Bashir Pinchoo and Shahid Qayoom, from Awantipora were earlier
arrested in the case.
were pursuing their B.Tech (Civil) from St. Soldier Group of Colleges,
Jalandhar,” the spokesman said.
other accused Rauf Ahmed Mir and Umar Ramzan of Pulwama were killed in an
encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on December 22, 2018.
global scrutiny on the activities of Jaish-e-Mohammad after it claimed
responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack, and with China announcing its
Vice Foreign Minister’s arrival in Islamabad to discuss India-Pak tensions, the
Pakistan Army spokesperson Wednesday claimed that the JeM “does not exist” in
an interview to CNN, Major General Asif Ghafoor said, “Jaish-e-Mohammad does
not exist in Pakistan. It has been proscribed by the United Nations and
Pakistan also. Secondly, we are not doing anything under anybody’s pressure.”
also claimed that the JeM’s claim of responsibility for the Pulwama attack had
not been made from inside Pakistan. Asked about India’s air strike in Balakot,
he said “their claims are false”.
remarks came just a day after Pakistan placed 44 “members of proscribed
organisations” in “preventive detention” for investigation, including two
family members of JeM chief Masood Azhar.
week, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had told BBC that Azhar is
in the country and is “very unwell”, and that the establishment was in touch
with the Jaish leadership.
sources in Delhi pointed to an earlier CNN interview with Foreign Minister
Qureshi in which the interviewer repeatedly referred to Azhar as the “JeM
chief”. “Qureshi did not deny it even once. This counters Pakistan’s claims at
the UNSC that Azhar is no longer the leader of JeM, and has retired, is unwell
and is a preacher… Qureshi’s interview establishes that they not only know that
he is in Pakistan, but that they are in touch with them,” said sources.
meanwhile, called for the creation of an “enabling atmosphere” for its close
ally Pakistan to cooperate with “other parties”. Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Lu Kang said Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou’s visit is “designed
for communication with Pakistan for the situation concerning both India and
Pakistan”. “China will play a constructive role to promote dialogue between
them,” Lu said.
whether Kong would discuss counter-terrorism efforts with Pakistan, Lu said,
“In fact, Pakistan has been making efforts and exercised policies to combat
terrorism. We think we should encourage this.” Without referring directly to
India, he said: “We hope relevant parties will create an enabling atmosphere to
help Pakistan to cooperate with other parties to form synergy.”
whether Kong would visit India too, Lu said, “China is in contact with India
and Pakistan concerning the current circumstances.”
said Delhi is asking Beijing to support the terror listing of Azhar at the UN.
After 9/1, the US made a choice against Pakistan. Delhi has told Chinese
interlocutors that it has to take a call on their strategic ally. Sources said
Beijing’s envoy has told South Block that it is a “political call” to be taken
by the Chinese leadership.
meanwhile, is likely to highlight the JeM’s activities in J&K and link them
to Azhar’s statements in its dossier to the UNSC member countries. New Delhi is
also learnt to have firmed up evidence to suggest that Azhar is the head of
involvement of Jaish cadre in terror incidents in the Valley between 2017-19
will be key, officials said, adding that JeM has carried out attacks every time
Azhar’s provocative speeches were aired.
February 5, 2019, nine days before the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF
personnel were killed, Azhar was heard saying in an audio clip available with
Indian agencies about “a befitting reply to India’s atrocities on their
mothers, sisters and youths”.
said India will also cite details of JeM’s activities available in the public
domain, including its propaganda mouthpiece, Al-Qalam, where Azhar is believed
to have written “anti-India propaganda under a pen name ‘Saadi’”.
also pointed to the suicide attack carried out by JeM on an Army camp in
Sunjwan on February 10, 2018, when five officers were killed. They said
Al-Qalam claimed that participants of a congregation in Lahore on February 20,
2018, praised the organisational activities of JeM and the role played by
One terrorist was killed in an exchange of fire between terrorists and security
forces in Handwara in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on
terrorist is believed to be trapped in the joint operation of security forces
that is continuing in Handwara.
search operation is underway.
Internet services have been snapped in the Valley.
reserves Ayodhya order, Muslim parties want mediation
Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on appointing mediators to find
an amicable solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in
Ayodhya even as Hindu and Muslim parties to the dispute took diametrically
opposite stands on the court’s move.
parties, except Nirmohi Akhara, opposed mediation while Muslim parties to the
dispute supported it.
five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
said if the parties to the dispute wanted, they could suggest names of
behalf of the UP government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed mediation,
saying it was not advisable in given circumstances.
believe Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya thousands of years ago. During Mughal
emperor Babur’s rule, a mosque was constructed at the place in 1528 after
destroying the temples existing there. On Wednesday, the Bench said, “We are
not concerned about what Mughal ruler Babur had done and what happened later.
We can go into what exists in the present moment.”
advocate CS Vaidyanathan, representing Ram Lalla, said the temple had to be
built at the Janmasthan (birth place). “What can be considered is alternative
place for mosque. We are ready to crowd-fund it,” he said, opposing mediation.
The top court said it was conscious of the gravity of the dispute and the
outcome of mediation on the body politic of India. The Bench said the case was
not about property alone but also about people’s sentiments and faith.
Hindu Mahasabha counsel said “it is the property of the deity and nobody has
the right to mediate… the parties have been waiting for a decision since 1950,”
the Bench asked him not to “pre-judge” the whole issue.
is working to strengthen ties with the Arabian Gulf states in different
sectors, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a joint press
conference with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah.
said that Saudi Arabia sees a necessity in forming a constitutional committee
in Syria as fast as possible and that the international community connects
delivering aid to Syria with a political solution. From his side, al-Sabah said
that the reintegration of Syria with its Arab neighbors would be positive and
called for a faster political solution.
also stressed on Saudi Arabia and Russia are working towards defeating terrorists
Russian FM also expressed his country’s desire to hear more about the American
plan for a peace process in the region.
Qatar, the Lavrov said that there are no Russian initiatives to solve the “Gulf
crisis” and that Moscow supports the mediating efforts of Kuwait.
trip to Kuwait is part of a regional tour, and he is scheduled to arrive in the
UAE on Tuesday evening.
has extended a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia imposed over the kingdom’s
deadly campaign against Yemen and the murder of dissident journalist Jamal
in the government have decided to extend the export ban until the end of March,
and we have done this with an eye on developments in Yemen," German
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told journalists in Berlin on Wednesday, confirming
last week’s reports.
believe that the Yemen war must end as soon as possible."
November 2018, Germany announced it would no longer issue arms export licenses
to Saudi Arabia until March 9, following the murder of Khashoggi in Istanbul on
October 2 that year.
Arabia launched the devastating campaign in March 2015, with the aim of
bringing the government of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to
power. According to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data
Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi war has
claimed the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis so far.
only will there not be any permits issued until the end of this month, but
products with permits already granted will also not be delivered," Maas
decision to halt arms sales to the kingdom has drawn criticism of European
partners, including France and Britain, due to the fact that the move has
impacted joint defense projects.
month, Britain warned that the new policy damages Berlin’s security commitments
while adversely affecting the British military industry.
magazine Der Spiegel reported on February 19 that British Foreign Secretary
Jeremy Hunt had raised the issue of arms exports in a letter to his German
rejecting a report accusing it of committing “war crimes” by killing
Palestinian protesters was a disappointment, said the head of the UN Human
Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday.
at the UN offices in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet decried Israel's "immediate
dismissal" of the commission of inquiry report "without addressing
any of the very serious issues raised."
end of this month will mark one year since the start of demonstrations which –
as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry reported – have been met with deadly,
disproportionate force by the Israeli security forces, leading to a very high
toll of killings and injuries,” she said, referring to the Great March of
Return weekly protests by Palestinians in Gaza which started on March 30, 2018.
parties concerned should exercise restraint as the date of March 30
approaches," she added.
protests call for the removal of the blockade on the Gaza Strip by Israel and
the return of Palestinian refugees.
by the 47-member UN Human Rights Council last May, the commission of inquiry
was tasked with investigating all violence linked to demonstrations on the
Israel-Gaza border from March 30 to Dec. 31, 2018.
to the report, 183 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army gunfire --
including 35 children -- since demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone
6,106 Palestinians were injured by live ammunition," the report said,
"while a further 3,098 were hurt by shrapnel, rubber-coated bullets,
councillors from Britain’s ruling Conservative party have resigned after they
were accused of sharing Islamophobic posts on social media. It comes after the
Tory’s suspended 14 members on Tuesday who had posted anti-Muslim videos on a
BBC named the two men as Len Milner and Chris Smith of East Staffordshire
council. They were said to have ‘liked’ a carton on Facebook that showed the
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, being beheaded.
said members of the council who were Labour walked out of a meeting in protest
on Monday over the posts, which have now seemingly been taken down.
Tory men have now quit, although Mr MIlner claimed to have been cleared of any
are a proudly anti-racist association and will not tolerate any form of
prejudice including Islamophobia or anti-semitism," said Aaron Bell,
treasurer of the East Staffordshire Conservative Association.
Conservative Chairwoman Baroness Warsi has consistently said members of the
party had failed to tack Islamophobia in the party.
14 suspended on Tuesday had posted on an unofficial supporters group for Jacob
Rees-Mogg, the right-wing and Eurosceptic Conservative member, who distanced
himself from their views.
we find evidence of members making offensive or inappropriate comments, we
consistently take decisive action. Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong
and will not be tolerated,” a Conservative party spokesman said at the time.
NEW: 11 Labour councillors from East
Staffordshire walked out of a council meeting on Monday night after
Conservative Mayor Chris Smith refused to answer quesitons about a social media
post he was alleged to have 'liked' which showed Sadiq Khan being beheaded by
PM - Mar 6, 2019
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countries will release 1,500 convicted terrorists over the next 12 months,
posing a major security challenge for authorities grappling with the fallout
from wars in Syria and Iraq, a London counter-terrorist conference heard on
wave of releases coincides with pressure to reabsorb thousands of exiled
citizens who volunteered for the ranks of ISIS and have been rounded as the
group lost its last swathe of territory.
a third of the prisoners will be set free in France where experts have warned
that the prison system has failed to confront extremist ideologies. Some
inmates are likely to emerge more dangerous than they went in, according to
is struggling with the scale and scope” of the task, said Dr Magnus Ranstorp,
research director at the Swedish Defence University, told the Security and
Counter Terror Expo in London.
1,900 people from France were reported to have joined ISIS ranks in Syria and
Iraq, more than any other European nation, according to a study last year by
the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.
addition to returning foreign fighters, senior prosecutors said the release of
prisoners – some of whom were radicalised while behind bars for non-terrorist
crimes – posed a risk of further attacks in France by its own nationals.
is a major risk of seeing people who are not at all repentant at the end of
their sentence come out of prison, who could even be more radical given their
stay in prison,” France’s leading counter-terrorist prosecutor Francois Molins
said in an interview last year.
set for release include those who have served their sentences but are still
considered dangerous and require continued monitoring, adding a further burden
to already stretched police and counter-terrorist agencies across the EU.
already released in the last 12 months have included the extremist preacher
Anjem Choudary, the former British leader of Al Muhajiroun, a now-banned group
which has seen nearly 70 of its followers convicted of terrorist-related
seen by the National suggest that Mr Choudary faces a series of 20 restrictions
on his movements to prevent his ability to rally the support of domestic
other European nations will find it harder to monitor dangerous prisoners who
are able to easily slip across borders under the EU’s rules on freedom of
movement, said Dr Ranstorp.
can’t solve this, security services can’t solve this,” he said. “Every day they
have to decide who they are going to follow. They do it well – but there will
be 1,500 across Europe who have been convicted of terrorist offences.”
releases will be the largest scale of convicted terrorists since a wave of
terrorism that hit the European mainland starting in 2004 with the Madrid train
bombings by Al Qaida that killed 192 people.
the long-term nature of the threat, Dr Ranstorp said that many governments were
still experimenting with the best ways to de-radicalise known extremists.
cited the case of Danish man Omar El Hussein, 22, who was flagged as dangerous
extremist while serving a prison sentence for knife crime, but was released
without being monitored.
weeks after his release, he targeted an arts centre hosting an event with
Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks whose depiction of the Prophet Mohammed sparked
anger in the Muslim world. Hussein killed one person at the event and then
killed another at a synagogue in the city before he was shot dead by police.
prison authorities reported that he was radicalised but the authorities didn’t
respond,” said Dr Ranstorp. “If we spend any money and resources we should look
at the prison aftercare, reintegration and rehabilitation to make sure we lock
them into structures and monitor them so they don’t pose a security threat.”
comments came as a British judge jailed a Muslim convert, Lewis Ludlow, for a
minimum term of 15 years for plotting an attack in London by mowing down
shoppers in a van and providing support for ISIS.
EU added Syria’s interior minister and six other ministers to a sanctions
blacklist for their role in what it called President Bashar Al Assad’s “violent
repression” of civilians.
ministers, who were appointed to Mr Al Assad’s government in November, have
been barred from travelling to Europe and will have their assets frozen.
those added to the blacklist are Maj Gen Mohammad Khaled Al Rahmoun – the
interior minister – and Mohammad Rami Radwan Martini, the tourism minister.
Minister Imad Muwaffaq Al Azab, Higher Education Minister Bassam Bashir
Ibrahim, Housing Minister Suhail Mohammad Abdullatif, Communications Minister
Iyad Mohammad Al Khatib, and Industry Minister Mohammad Maen Zein-Al Abidin
Jazba were also included in the sanctions.
The UK will continue to back sanctions against
members of the Asad regime and those who support its repressive actions towards
the Syrian people. We welcome the news of 7 new cabinet ministers being listed
by the EU this week.
PM - Mar 6, 2019
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are 277 people under EU sanctions for links to the Al Assad regime, as well as
72 entities. Other EU sanctions include an embargo on Syrian oil, investment
restrictions and a freeze on Syrian central bank assets within the European
also cover export restrictions on equipment and technology that Damascus could
use to repress its people as well as those it could use to monitor or intercept
internet or telephone calls.
January 21, the EU Council sanctioned a number of prominent businessmen for
profiting from their ties with the regime.
included Anas Talas, chairman of the Talas Group, Nazir Ahmad Jamal Eddine, a
leading businessman with significant investments in the construction industry
through the company Apex Development and Projects LLC, and Samer Foz, who is
involved in the development of Marota City, a luxury residential and commercial
LUMPUR, March 7 — The federal government has set up a special unit to monitor
insults against Prophet Muhammad and Islam, Minister in the Prime Minister's
Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa announced today.
who is also in charge of religious affairs, said his ministry will not
compromise on any acts that insult Prophet Muhammad and Islam, pointing out
that the country has laws that should be meted out against those who are found
guilty of such.
initiative to set up the unit supervised by the Islamic Affairs Department
(Jakim) is to monitor any writing or provocation deemed insulting to the
Prophet and Islam across all media platforms, including social media.
have instructed the unit to accept any complaints about insults directed
towards Prophet Muhammad and Islam and to immediately report them to the police
and the Communications and Multimedia Commission,” he said in a statement here.
said all complaints can be forwarded via WhatsApp to 010-3005260 or via email
hope all of us can stand shoulder to shoulder to protect and preserve the
harmony of our country. I believe the authorities have done the necessary to
address this issue,” he said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the police have
detained a 28-year-old man for allegedly insulting Islam and the Prophet
Muhammad on social media, within 24 hours of detaining a 43-year-old suspect
for the same.
month, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the government will
treat seriously any alleged attempts to insult religions and cause disharmony
in the country.
who described recent alleged attempts to insult Islam as a dangerous trend,
noted that it has also triggered outrage among Muslims.
LUMPUR, March 6 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lambasted PAS for formalising its
collaboration with former rival Umno, pointing to the Islamist party’s previous
censure of the latter as secular and “infidels”.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said PAS pioneers were religious scholars who
left Umno for the sake of Islam, and no such collaboration had happened as the
splinter party has always considered Umno “infidels”.
has never retracted the ‘edict’. Has PAS reverted Umno back to Islam?” he asked
in a blog post.
Mahathir recalled PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s mandate called
“Amanat Hadi” against Umno which led to strife between supporters of the two
parties — including the refusal of their supporters to participate in Islamic
worship and rituals together.
these restrictions and practices been retracted or instructed to be halted?
Have Umno folks accepted that they and PAS were dubbed of different faiths, but
these differences have been accepted by both sides?” Dr Mahathir asked.
Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan announced a formalised alliance
between his party and PAS, likening it to a “marriage”.
had said that the two parties will not be contesting under the same banner, but
will work together in an unconditional political cooperation especially for
by-elections in the interest of uniting Muslims and Malays.
Dr Mahathir said the collaboration between the two parties only meant to return
Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a political leader and “legitimise” his alleged
PAS assumed that Najib, who is facing graft and power abuse charges, is
innocent?” asked the prime minister.
graft, power abuse and crimes be made ‘halal’ for the sake of Malay and Muslim
unity? Is this an ‘obligated’ lie?” he asked, taking a jab at PAS’ previous
admission that it lied over an audio recording implying it took money from
Mahathir also asked if PAS would still accept Najib as its leader if the former
Umno president is found guilty of his charges.
has so far, listed 69 organizations and their splinter outfits which have been
notified as proscribed under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
growing pressure from Iran, Pakistan decided to ban Jeish al-Adl as a terrorist
announced that measures will be adopted against the groups whose activities are
banned in Pakistan, adding that the terrorists cannot use the country's
territories as a hideout.
al-Adl, a Pakistan-based radical Wahhabi terrorist group staging cross border
attacks into Southeastern Iran from South-West Pakistan, claimed responsibility
for the February 13 attack against members of the Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps in Iran which killed 27 IRGC personnel.
group has bases in Southwestern Pakistan and started operations nearly 6 years
ago after recruiting the remnants of Jundullah notorious terrorist group and
reorganizing them. Iran had captured leaders of Jundullah notorious Wahhabi
terrorist group and dismantled the terrorist organization years earlier.
terror attack has stirred fury among Iranian officials, specially the military
brass. On February 19, Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major
General Yahya Rahim Safavi lashed out at Pakistani Intelligence service’s
backing for terrorists, advising Islamabad and its intelligence apparatuses
that Saudi Arabia is not a reliable partner.
in Iranian central city of Isfahan, General Safavi said that the Pakistani
government and its intelligence service have to respond to the Iranian nation
and government, holding Islamabad responsible for the recent terrorist attack
in Sistan and Baluchistan.
General Safavi reiterated that Iran wants to have good relations with its
neighbors as it believes that insecurity in the region only serves the
interests of the United States and Zionists who had gathered in Warsaw
conference, but vowed that Iran and the IRGC would give a "crushing and
proper response in due time to the provocateurs and puppet perpetrators of the
terrorist attack against the IRGC".
on February 16, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General
Mohammad Ali Jafari warned Riyadh and Abu Dhabi of Iran's revenge for the
terrorist attack, and blasted Pakistan for supporting the terrorist groups
which act against Tehran.
traitor governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE should know that the Islamic
Republic of Iran's patience has run out and the Islamic Republic will not
tolerate your secret supports for the Takfiri grouplets. We will take revenge
for our martyrs from the UAE and Saudi governments and want the president to
give us more free hands than the past for retaliatory operations," General
Jafari said in the Central city of Isfahan, addressing the burial ceremony of
the IRGC personnel killed in the terrorist attack.
said that the Saudi and UAE intelligence agencies were clearly hatching
different plots to foment insecurity in Southeastern Iran in addition to the US
and Israeli plots to create insecurity and conduct assassination operations,
noting that Iran has reliable intel in this regard.
Jafari also asked the Pakistani army and intelligence body why their country
was sheltering Takfiri groups, including Jeish al-Adl which has claimed
responsibility for the terrorist attack, and noted, "We believe this
silence is kind of support for this grouplet and the Pakistani intelligence
organization should account for it."
should also know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence
organization's support for Jeish al-Zolm (as Jeish al-Adl is called in Iran)
from now on and this price will not doubt be very heavy for them," he
the Pakistani security organization knows the hideout of the grouplets but it
has kept mum," General Jafari said.
on February 21, Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani
warned the Islamabad government to stop cross-border attacks by the terrorists
based in neighboring Pakistan.
have always offered Pakistan help in the region, but I have this question from
the Pakistani government: where are you heading to? You have caused unrest
along borders with all your neighbors and do you have any other neighbor left
that you want to stir insecurity for," General Soleimani said, addressing
a ceremony in the Northern Iranian city of Babol in Mazandaran province.
the Pakistani government, General Soleimani asked, "Are you, who have atomic
bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several hundred members in the
region? How many of your own people have been killed in different terrorist
operations? We do not want your condolences, how could your condolence help the
people of Iran?"
Soleimani went on to say, "I tell the Pakistani people that the Saudi cash
has influenced Pakistan and they want to destroy Pakistan with such
warned that the Pakistani Army should not let several billion dollars of
"a Saudi criminal" burn alive Muslims on a bus and finance other
terrorist operations in the region, and said, "I ask the Pakistani
government what has been left for Pakistan?"
warn you not to test Iran and anyone who has tested Iran has received firm
response. We are speaking to Pakistan with a friendly tone and we are telling
that country not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for
the neighboring countries; anyone who has made this plot for Pakistan is
seeking to disintegrate that country, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take
revenge of its martyrs from those mercenaries who have committed this crime no
matter where they are in the world," General Soleimani added. "We
will punish this wicked group in any part of the world and we will not allow
the blood of our youth to be shed in the country and cleaned (and forgotten)
US officials have repeatedly stressed that they would take every possible
measure to pressure Tehran, including support for groups operating against
Iran. The incident came hours before the start of a US-sponsored security
conference against Iran in Warsaw, Poland.
mid October, Jeish al-Adl group abducted 14 Iranian Basijis (volunteer forces)
and border guards at Mirjaveh border in Southeastern Sistan-Balouchestan province.
Five were released a month later on November 15.
IRGC Ground Force then blamed foreign intelligence services for supporting and
assisting the terrorist group.
al-Adl also abducted five Iranian border guards in Jakigour region of Sistan
and Balouchestan Province and took them to Pakistan in 2014. After two months
of abduction, four of them were released and the fifth one was killed. His body
was returned to Iran months later.
early in March, 2015, Pakistani sources told the country's media that
authorities in Southwestern Pakistan had arrested the ringleader of Jeish
al-Adl terrorist group as he was traveling on a bus from the lawless border
Rigi, cousin of the Jundollah terrorist group's ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi, was
seized by Pakistani authorities who were tipped off to his movements and
intercepted the bus some 50 km from Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's
Baluchistan, a security official said on the condition of anonymity.
Rigi was accused of involvement in suicide bombings in Iran and Pakistan, as
well as sending terrorists to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
sources said the terrorist arrested was Abdo-Sattar Rigi (Abdolmalek's
brother), explaining that he was carrying his cousin's ID card at the time of
arrest, but further investigations revealed his true identity.
reports proved that the captured terrorist was Abdo-Sattar Rigi.
(the third of the notorious Rigi brothers) headed the Jeish al-Nasr terrorist
group, but his cousin Salam leads Jeish al-Adl.
two older brothers, Abdolmalek and Abdolhamid Rigi, who led the more powerful
terrorist group, Jundollah, were both captured and condemned to death by Iran
early 2009, Abdolhamid Rigi, the Jundullah terrorist group's number two man and
brother of its ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi, was arrested by Iranian security
had conducted a number of bombing operations and other violent attacks in Iran
resulting in many casualties and was sentenced to death by the court in 2009,
but his execution was delayed on several occasions. Officials did not mention
any specific reason for the delayed execution of Abdolhamid at the time.
arrested Abdolmalek Rigi, the number one man of the Jundollah terrorist group
in late February 2011. Abdolmalek was executed in June 2011.
military and police officials voice concern over the presence of terrorist
groups in Pakistan's territories, criticizing the Pakistani army and border
police's lax control over shared borders.
two sides' state and military officials have exchanged frequent visits to
enhance anti-terrorism cooperation specially in border regions. In early
December, top security officials from Iran and Pakistan met in Iran’s
Southeastern city of Zahedan to hold the 22nd joint meeting on border
cooperation between the two countries.
in October, Commander of the IRGC Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad
Pakpour announced his forces' preparedness to launch joint operations against
the terrorists who abducted the Iranian border guards in Southeastern Iran.
have had different contacts with the Pakistani army and urged them to guarantee
extradition of the outlaws and healthiness of the abductees and they should
show more responsibility," General Pakpour said, referring to the fate of
the 9 border guards that are still kept by Jeish Al-Adl.
terrorists have a stronghold and a base on Pakistan's soil and we are prepared
for any joint operations with the Pakistani army against the outlaws to release
the hostages," he added.
The National Assembly on Wednesday saw lawmakers offer prayer in congregation
for the first time inside the house.
to Geo News, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F lawmakers sought permission to present a
resolution condemning Federal Minister for Water Resources. The Speaker Asad
Qaiser rejected the demand.
lawmakers gathered in front of speaker's
dice and started protesting. Later, they
offered prayer which was led by JUI-F Maulana Asaad Mehmood. Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz lawmakers also attended the prayer.
The government has been asked to explain if there are any conditions
restricting the use of F-16 fighter jets amid reports that the US is
investigating if Pakistan ‘misused’ American-made F-16s during a recent aerial
engagement with India.
is the use of the F-16 jets if they cannot be used for self-defence?” former
chairman of the Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said during the proceedings of the
upper house of parliament on Wednesday, asking the government to explain if any
conditions were attached to the use of F-16s.
a look: Foreign journalists find holes in Indian narrative on F-16 usage,
recalled the remarks made by former vice chief of air staff Air Marshal Shahid
Latif, who had signed the agreement of purchase of latest 18 F-16 Block-52 from
Washington in 2008, that no India-specific condition was attached in this
the recent shooting down of an Indian fighter jet which had intruded into
Pakistan’s airspace and arrest of its pilot, the Indian Air Force had claimed
that Pakistan used US-made F-16 fighter jets in the action, in a possible
had stated that no F-16s were used in the operation, though it had not
specified what military equipment was involved.
US Department of State official has said that the US is “aware of reports” that
and is “looking into them”.
Rabbani lashed out at India for its war hysteria and intrusions into Pakistan
and said that “message they are taking from Israel is that you can violate
international border and international law while looking for so-called
terrorists”. He said the same was done by Israel against Arab countries.
said the government needed to reassess and re-evaluate the foreign policy of
Pakistan. “The recent shift in foreign policy alignment doesn’t seem to have
borne fruit as the Abu Dhabi Declaration of the OIC in its 50 points does not
talk about Indian aggression against Pakistan. The resolutions that were passed
with reference to Indian terrorism in Kashmir were sponsored by Pakistan”.
Rabbani said there might have been a flurry of activity in foreign capitals,
including Washington, for de-escalation of the tension between Pakistan and
India, but at the end of the day it was an activity full of sound and fury
signifying nothing. “Despite Pakistan being a victim of Indian aggression, the
emphasis was for us to do more,” he regretted.
PPP stalwart advised the government to constitute a joint committee of
parliament to look into the emerging situation in the region and form a policy.
“The situation is dangerous,” he warned.
said that it was also condemnable that India, which termed itself a leader of
human rights, had handed over the “decapitated” body of a Pakistani prisoner to
Pakistan. “We should tell the world what the leader of human rights is doing,”
Rabbani said the designs of India and its strategic partners, the US and
Israel, were long term and dangerous in the region and the parliament should
look into this matter and take a step.
retired Gen Abdul Qayyum of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said there was no
restriction on the use of F-16 jets. “We had given hard cash to purchase these
aircraft,” he remarked.
said that Pakistan should appeal to the United Nations Security Council to summon
an emergency meeting as Indian aggression had become a threat to world peace.
He said that under Article 94 of the UN charter, its secretary general could
convene a meeting of the Security Council when world peace was in danger.
parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman assailed the government for
its “failure” to raise the issue of Indian violation at international forums
and said there was a compete silence from the government side.
up the debate, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said he was unaware whether any
agreement existed between Pakistan and the US regarding F-16s. “I will inform
the house soon if such a deal exists.”
said the India submarine intruded into Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone up to
90 nautical miles and the intrusion was foiled. “We are carrying out
surveillance and if it is detected in Pakistan’s waters again, we will take
action,” he said.
to be registered against India
for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari told the house that according to the Foreign
Office, Pakistan was going to register a case against the jail superintendent
for killing Pakistani prisoner Shakirullah, who was allegedly beaten to death
by other inmates at India’s Jaipur Central Jail.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday said that delegation-level
meetings between Pakistan and India will further de-escalate the tensions
between both countries.
met Sohail Mehmood, Pakistani High Commissioner to India, and discussed the
bilateral ties between Islamabad and New Delhi.
wants de-escalation and improvement in the current situation,” the foreign
minister said, adding that the delegation-level visit will be a huge help in
further said that both countries will hold consultations on the Kartarpur
corridor in March. “Cordial ties between Pakistan and India will ensure
stability and peace in the region,” the minister asserted.
high commissioner was set to leave for India after the meeting with Qureshi.
in the day, while addressing the All Pakistan Chambers of Commerce in
Islamabad, Qureshi said that Islamabad wants peace in the region and has taken
several steps in this regard.
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou has reiterated China’s support to
Pakistan for peace and stability in the region. He also acknowledged Pakistan’s
measures against terrorism.
who concluded his two-day official visit to the country on Wednesday, also
underscored Pakistan and China are close friends and partners, said a statement
issued by the Foreign Office.
his stay in Islamabad, he called on Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army
Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi. He also held talks with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
two countries reaffirmed their time-tested and all-weather strategic
cooperative partnership during the meetings, said the FO statement, adding that
Islamabad thanked Beijing for its steadfast support
Chinese vice foreign minister was briefed on Pakistan’s efforts to resolve all
issues with India through dialogue.
sides noted with satisfaction the strong bonds in their bilateral relations and
agreed to further enhance cooperation and coordination at all levels.
matters of mutual interest, regional security, bilateral cooperation and
current situation between Pakistan and India were discussed in VFM Xuanyou’s
meeting with Army Chief General Qamar.
dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace and stability,”
said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General
Asif Ghafoor on Twitter.
Chinese diplomat’s visit comes as tensions between Pakistan and India escalated
rapidly following a suicide car bombing on February 14 that killed at least 40
Indian paramilitary police in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
Delhi accused Islamabad of harbouring the Jaish-e Mohammad group behind the
attack, which Islamabad denied, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a
said the Indian planes missed whatever they were aiming at, and that nobody
died in the attack outside Balakot in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
Germany’s Chief of Defence Staff General Eberhard Zorn called on Chief of Army
Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ here on Wednesday.
the meeting, matters of mutual interest were discussed including defence and
security cooperation and overall regional security situation particularly
standoff between India and Pakistan. Visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s
positive role for peace and stability in the region. He also made mention of
Pakistan’s services in UN Peacekeeping and expressed desire to enhance
blasts rattled eastern Afghanistan’s Jalalabad early Wednesday killing at least
16 people, officials said, as militants appeared to target a private company
near the city’s airport.
attackers detonated their vests, and two more were gunned down by security
forces,” provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP, saying that at least
16 people had been killed.
suicide bombers attacked and managed to enter the building of a private
construction company early this morning,” said Nangarhar Provincial council
member Zabihullah Zmarai.
number of civilian workers of the company have been killed,” he added.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
bombings come as US and Taliban negotiations continue to hold ongoing peace
talks in Qatar aimed at ending the nearly 18-year conflict.
a two-day break before the weekend, negotiations continue on “a daily basis
right now and progress is being made”, US State Department spokesman Robert
Palladino told journalists Tuesday.
discussions are ongoing and what we’re focusing on are the four interconnected
issues that are going to compose any future agreement,” Palladino said --
listing them as terrorism, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue and
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an exchange with high school
students in Iowa he hoped sufficient gains would be made for him to be able to
take a trip to help advance the negotiations “in a couple weeks”.
continuation of the talks follows a major attack on a joint US-Afghan base in
southwestern Afghanistan’s Helmand province last week, with at least 23
security forces killed in the hours-long assault on one of the largest military
installations in the country.
snowfall across large swathes of Afghanistan has led to a sharp reduction in
violence this winter, but warmer weather in the country’s south will likely
spark an increase in bloodshed with the arrival of the spring fighting season.
have warned that the Taliban are likely to ramp up attacks in the coming months
as they seek to maintain momentum on the battlefield and leverage at the
Donald Trump has repeatedly voiced his eagerness to end America’s involvement
in Afghanistan, where 14,000 US troops are still deployed.
has been enmeshed in nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of
1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the US invasion
in late 2001.
M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development
Authority (BIDA), said the government is expecting $15 billion to $20 billion
in investments from the kingdom in at least 16 different projects.
will be finalised during the meeting with the delegation on Thursday in Dhaka,”
Islam said in a press briefing on Wednesday, accompanied by Bangladesh
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Golam Moshi.
ambassador said this will be the biggest ever delegation of Saudi Arabia in the
history of Bangladesh. “Thirty years back they made a small investment in the
of Commerce and Investment Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi and Minister of Economy
and Planning Mohammed bin Mezyed Altwaijri will lead the delegation that will
arrive in Dhaka Wednesday night by their special aircraft.
of the members of the delegation are from private sector companies such as
Aramco, one of the world’s biggest oil companies.
delegation also includes officials representing Saudi Arabia’s Public
Investment Fund which is worth a quarter of a trillion US dollars and headed by
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
will also join a dialogue on investment and trade cooperation with
representatives of Bangladeshi ministries and state-owned enterprises at
Dhaka’s Intercontinental Hotel.
Arabia is signing investment deals in South Asian countries marked by the Crown
Prince’s visits to Pakistan, India and China.
ambassador said their investments in the US and Europe have reached its peak.
they are looking to the East and Bangladesh is a perfect destination for that.”
is expecting investments in energy sector, oil refinery storage, electrical
equipment, solar, health, and aircraft maintenance and repair, among others.
focus in bilateral relations is now on both employment generation and
investment,” said the ambassador citing the two million Bangladeshis working in
the kingdom, 20,000 more travelling there for work every month.
relations with Saudi Arabia took a new turn in the last three-and-a-half years
during which, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made four official state visits.
countries also signed a defence cooperation deal in which Bangladesh will help
Saudi Arabia in their efforts to clear landmines along the Yemen border.
BIDA chief said that relations would scale a “new height” with the arrival of
the large Saudi delegation.
did not reveal the details of the deals which will be signed on Thursday as
talks are still ongoing.
the health sector, the ambassador said that two Saudi companies are coming with
will invest in the biomedical technology sector. They will train Bangladeshi
technicians in Mymensingh and Jamalpur and recruit them in Saudi Arabia and
other middle-eastern countries.
recruit biomedical technicians from across the world. Each year they will train
4,000 Bangladeshi technicians and certify them for jobs in the middle-east and
will invest in the aviation industry for maintenance, repair and services.
need service support for our aircrafts. We usually send them to other countries
for maintenance work. But the prime minister wanted this done in our own
country and that’s why we made this proposal.
international standard service facility for aircrafts will be built in
Lalmonirhat. Other countries will be able to send their aircrafts to us for
servicing,” the ambassador said, adding that the scale of investment in this
sector may range from $500 million to $1 billion.
$100 million solar project will be installed in the Feni district.
focus of the current government is to achieve development across Bangladesh. So
we are taking investments in every district of the country,” the BIDA chief
Jim Banks (R-Indiana) has introduced House Resolution 160, Expressing concern
about the threat posed to democracy and human rights by theocratic groups
operating in South Asia
important bill calls on the Governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh to disrupt
and dismantle the network of organizations and front groups run by the South
Asian Islamist movement, Jamaat-e-Islami. It also names prominent Jamaat proxy
groups in the United States, calls for USAID and the State Department to halt
all partnerships with Jamaat organizations; and urges an investigation into
American Jamaat funding of terrorists in Pakistan and Kashmir.
particular, the resolution shines a light on the Islamic Circle of North
America (ICNA), Jamaat-e-Islami's chief proxy in the United States.
ICNA denies that it is a Jamaat-e-Islami organization, stating that it has
"no structural, collaborative, organizational or any other ties" with
here in this blog post, we'll be keeping a running list of examples of ICNA's
ties to Jamaat-e-Islami. We'll update the post each time we find more examples.
1996 article published in ICNA's own publication, The Message International,
states that: "Using the organizational development methodology of Maulana
Mawdudi [the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami] and the Jamaat Al-Islami of Pakistan,
which lays special emphasis on spiritual development, ICNA has developed a
Message article openly states that in the 1970s, ICNA was "striving to
recruit Islamic movement oriented Urdu speaking Muslims and to strengthen the
same issue of the Message also includes an interview with the leader of
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, Qazi Hussein Ahmed, in which he praises ICNA,
discusses his appearance at one of ICNA's conventions, and emphasizes the role
of Islamic movements in creating "an Islamic society, an Islamic
government and an Islamic state."
ICNA brochure defines ICNA as "an Islamic Jama'ah (organized group) and
movement. The brochure states that at the time of ICNA's establishment in 1971,
"several concerned North American Muslims initiated a plan to launch an
Islamic movement in this continent. The idea was to inspire and help Muslims
adopt and practice the Islamic way of life and share it with fellow
Naseen, the former head of ICNA's Tarbiyah Program and a member of its Shura
Council, is openly named by ICNA as a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami branch in
Lucknow, and a "member of the Central Shura of Jamaat Islami Hind"
(Jamaat-e-Islami's national Indian branch).
Islahi, a regular speaker at ICNA conventions and the "Chief Patron"
of ICNA's WhyIslam project, is a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami's Indian
the 1971 Liberation War, in which Jamaat-e-Islami fighters helped the Pakistani
army murder Bangladeshi independence activists, a Jamaat-e-Islami operative
named Ashrafuzzaman Khan fled to the U.S. and helped develop ICNA, eventually
becoming its Vice-President. Testimony and evidence during Bangladeshi War
Crimes Tribunals revealed that Khan served as the "chief executor" of
a Jamaat killing squad named Al-Badr.
Ansari, the chairman of ICNA's foreign aid charity, Helping Hand for Relief and
Development, and the former chairman of ICNA Relief, ICNA's domestic charity,
openly identifies as a JI member. He is an alumnus of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba,
the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami's branch in Pakistan. Today he runs a
"networking" group for its graduates in the United States. Ansari
refers to convicted Jamaat-e-Islami war criminal as "heroes" whom the
"Pakistani nation will remember... for centuries to come." In 2016,
Ansari revealed that ICNA was asked to arrange funeral prayers for an executed
Jamaat-e-Islami war criminal, Motiur Rahman Nizami, the founder of the Al Badr
killing squad. Ansari praised Nizami and noted that his son had "has
worked in USA tirelessly for years to help relieve the victimization of Jammat
workers in Bangladesh."
Bukhari, the Executive Director of ICNA's Council for Social Justice, openly
identifies as a Jamaat-e-Islami support on social media.
recent post on ICNA's website eulogizes Ameenuddin Hussaini, a "senior
ICNA leader" who served as leading Jamaat-e-Islami activist in Pakistan.
is a partner and funder of the Al Khidmat Foundation, the official
"welfare arm" of Jamaat in Pakistan, which openly funds designated
terrorist movements such as Hamas. ICNA openly acknowledges its long-standing
partnership with Al Khidmat on its website.
international aid charity, Helping Hand for Relief and Development also works
with Al Khidmat in Pakistan. According to the Indian BBC journalist Subir
Bhaumik, Al-Khidmat "aids militancy and helps to support the
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Jamaat's armed wing and other groups."
Rural Education and Development (READ) Foundation is another Jamaat-e-Islami
charity in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, which ICNA and its various sister
organizations describe as their "partner." READ's social-media posts
include a homage to Mumtaz Qadri, an Islamic extremist who, in 2011, murdered
Punjab governor Salman Taseer in retribution for Taseer's public support for a
Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy. Other READ posts include text
denouncing the "American Secular Terrorists . . . dirty people" who
"destroyed Iraq and killed 150,000 Iraqis" on the "instructions
Helping Hand for Relief and Development is also a partner of the Ghazali
Education Trust, another official Jamaat charity.
is frequently referred to as a Jamaat organization by other radical Islamist
data reveals that the registered agent for ICNA's website, icna.org, was listed
as another website – farrukh.net, a website run by Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan.
logo is identical to that of Jamaat-e-Islami's student wing.
WhyIslam project, an Islamic educational website, features the work of Abul Ala
Maududi, the founding ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as religious
teachings by Khurram Murad, the late vice-President of JI in Pakistan.
writings of Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, have been
promoted on the website of ICNA's youth division, Young Muslims.
Reza Nasr, a leading Iranian-American academic at John Hopkins, has described
ICNA has one of the leading Jamaat-e-Islami institutions in the West.
of local residents in Cox's Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh took part in
hours-long protests on March 4 demanding the speedy repatriation of Rohingya
Muslims to Myanmar, and more jobs with aid agencies operating among the
banners and placards, about 5,000 people blocked the Cox's Bazar-Teknaf highway
for nearly two hours at the Koat Bazar area in Ukhiya, close to the refugee
camps, stopping vehicles and putting forth their 14-point list of demands while
they formed a human chain.
from demanding the swift return of the Rohingya to their homeland, they called
to fence off the camps with barbed wire, and sought employment opportunities
with NGOs active in the area.
Odhikar Bastobayon Committee (Rights Realization Committee) organized the
one point, police charged with their batons raised to disperse the protesters,
who responded by pelting brickbats at them.
least 16 people, including two policemen, were hurt in the clashes. The
protesters also vandalized five vehicles, two of which belonged to the police.
Azad, one of the committee's leaders, said the Rohingya pose a threat to the
they started fleeing to Bangladesh in 2017, we welcomed them with open arms.
But now they have become a threat," Azad, a Bengali Muslim, told
recently killed a doctor and an Imam. In the dark of night, they come out of
the camps and engage in illegal and anti-social activities," he said.
need to be properly fenced off, and the surveillance inside the camps needs to
many local people are struggling to find work, the Rohingya are making money
working for the NGOs, he alleged.
of Rohingya work for the NGOs operating among them, which is illegal and
unethical. If this continues, the sense of frustration we feel will only get
worse," he said.
Kamal Hossain, the chief government officer in Cox's Bazar, dismissed most of
their demands as "illogical."
already contacted local and international NGOs asking if they could offer jobs
to locals, and many local people have been working for them," Hossain told
protesters demands … are illogical. Security has been always tight in the camps
and it will continue to be so," he added.
Islam, who is running a Rohingya refugee project with Caritas, the social arm
of the Church, said most of the NGOs have been supporting the local community.
NGOs rely on them for 30-60 percent of their workforce, but they can't employ
people who are not qualified for technical jobs such as engineers, doctors or
nurses," he said. "About 60 percent of our staffers are locals."
agreed that some Rohingya do slip out of the camps after dark, saying the
authorities need to impose more stops and checks.
Sayed, a Rohingya community leader from Kutupalong refugee camp, sent a message
of thanks to their hosts.
are grateful to the Bangladeshi people, especially the government and the
people in Cox's Bazar, for offering us shelter and support," he said.
don't want to stay here forever, and we don't want to cause them any harm. Once
we have a more favorable situation in our homeland, we all want to go
have lived in Myanmar for centuries, but many in the Buddhist-majority country
consider them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Bazar is now home to more than a million Rohingya, mostly from Myanmar's
Rakhine State, where they are denied citizenship and basic rights.
majority fled two military crackdowns in 2016 and 2017 after Rohingya militant
groups attacked security forces in Myanmar.
prominent commander of the notorious Haqqani terrorist network has been
arrested during an operation in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior in a statement said Wednesday that Mullah Mirwais, a
prominent Haqqani Network commander was arrested in Jalalabd city on Tuesday.
statement further added that Mullah Mirwais alias Kamran was during a joint
operation of the police forces and security personnel belonging to other
National Defense and Security institutions.
to the Ministry of Interior, Mullah
Mirwais was leading a group of 40 militants in Nangarhar province and was
involved in planning and coordinating several suicide attacks and assassination
of individuals in this province.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has claimed
responsibility for the attack on a private construction firm in eastern
News Agency, the pro-ISIS media outlet reported that the attack was carried out
by militants affiliated with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.
to reports, at least 16 people lost their lives during the attack which was
carried out in the outskirts of Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of
media office of Nangarhar had earlier reported that 11 workers of EBE
Construction Firm lost their lives in the attack and 9 others have sustained
to a statement released by the provincial government, a soldier of the Special
Forces of Afghan Intelligence also lost his life in the attack.
Afghan military in the North claims that a child was shot dead by Taliban
militants in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan on Wednesday.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the 8-year-old
child was shot dead on Wednesday morning as he was playing close to the
proximity of security outposts.
statement further added that the child was apparently killed on charges of
bringing food and water to security personnel.
the killing of child as a grave human rights violation, the 209thShaheen Corps
said the safety of children remains a top priority even in worst conflicts but
the terrorist groups never value the lives of men, women, elders, and children.
prosecutors bring jailed moderate Sunni preacher to secret trial: Report
public prosecutors have reportedly put an imprisoned political dissident on
secret trial as a brutal crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
against Muslim preachers and intellectuals widens in the oil-rich kingdom.
al-Awda wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Wednesday that his
father, Sheikh Salman, had to fight criminal charges leveled against him
without a lawyer, and that his family had not heard from him.
public prosecutors had earlier demanded the execution of the prominent Muslim
is the assistant secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim
Scholars, which the Riyadh regime has listed as a terrorist organization.
authorities detained Awda on September 7, 2017, and have held him in solitary
confinement without charge or trial ever since. The officials have imposed
travel bans on members of his family as well.
family member told Human Rights Watch that the distinguished cleric was being
held over his refusal to comply with an order by Saudi authorities to tweet a
specific text to support the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar.
instead, posted a tweet, saying, “May God harmonize between their hearts for
the good of their people,” - an apparent call for reconciliation between the
Persian Gulf littoral states, the US-based rights group said in a statement.
has been prevented from communicating with the outside world since October last
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties
with Qatar on June 2017, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring
administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later
joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its
diplomatic relations as well.
Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was
unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution and
conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and
oil-rich Eastern Province.
Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination
against the oil-rich region.
protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime with
security forces increasing security measures across the province.
the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target
January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqir
al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr
had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.
Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted Qusai al-Anbari as saying on
Wednesday that the Americans are assisting a terrorist group called Ghosts of
Desert in desert areas of al-Anbar, adding that they have been airdropping
foodstuff packages for the ISIL from helicopters hovering over the region in
the past few days.
Hassan Salem, a representative of Iraq's al-Fatah coalition in the parliament,
referred to the American forces' illegal deployment in Iraq and Washington's
attempts to revive the terrorist groups in the country, and stressed the
legislature's firm determination to expel them and close Ain al-Assad base
which is under the US occupation.
had also warned last week that the US army was training hundreds of ISIL
terrorists in al-Anbar province after relocating them from Syria to Iraq to
prepare them for a new round of insecurities in the country.
700 to 1,000 ISIL militants are being trained by the US troops in al-Anbar
province," al-Maloumeh quoted al-Anbari as saying.
pointed to the special conditions considered for the ISIL militants, and said
that the US troops had specified redlines for third parties to avoid
approaching the region.
is while the Arabic-language Arabi Post recently disclosed that the US troops
had been intensively training the ISIL terrorists in two military bases of Ain
al-Assad and al-Habanieh in al-Anbar province under name of Ghosts of Desert.
terrorist groups were preparing to launch massive attacks from several directions
on the Syrian Army, but the Syrian Army inflicted heavy losses and casualties
on the militants after foiling their attempted attack and forcing the remaining
terrorists to retreat to the depth of the regions under their control in
Southern and Southeastern Idlib.
Northern Hama, the Syrian Army units also targeted the terrorists' movements
near the town of Mourek, killing a number of militants and making the rest
Syrian Army troops also targeted and destroyed the positions and hideouts of
terrorists in al-Karjat and Qaleh al-Maziq areas of Sahl al-Ghab, killing all
the militants inside their hideout.
Arabic-language service of the Russian Sputnik news agency, meantime, pointed
to the attacks by Tahrir al-Sham and their allies on Northern Hama and Southern
Idlib from the Ankara-backed monitoring points, and said that Ankara supports
these terrorist groups in terms of supplying weapons and military equipment.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Army made final preparations for
cleansing Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at terrorists in the demilitarized zone after
massive assault by the militants on government forces' military positions
Syrian Army troops are in a state of alert in all contact lines with terrorists
in Northern and Northwestern Hama in a bid to launch military operations soon,
the Arabic-language service of the Russian Sputnik news agency quoted a Syrian
military source as saying.
reiterated that the Syrian Army cannot always be on a defensive mode against
the terrorists' attacks from the demilitarized zone, and said, "After the
recent attack by the terrorists on the Syrian Army's military positions in
Hama, there are contacts between the Syrian sides to come to a solution for
responding to the recent terrorist attacks from the demilitarized zone."
source added that the primary goal for carrying out military operations against
terrorists is to put an end to the presence of the terrorists in demilitarized
zone and restoring security to the surrounding areas of towns near the
battlefronts of Hama which are exposed to the terrorists' constant missile
the Syrian Army troops engaged in heavy clashes with Tahrir al-Sham and
Turkistani Party terrorists as well as other foreign militants who had carried
out massive attack on the Syrian Army's military positions in Tal al-Qaleh axis
of Abu Ali mountain in Northeastern Lattakia. The terrorists sustained losses
and casualties in clashes with the Syrian Army soldiers after their attack was
a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army attacked terrorists' bases
and positions in response to their offensives from the demilitarized zone on
safe regions under the army's control in Northern Hama.
terrorist groups stationed in the demilitarized zone in Northern Hama targeted
the Mahrada city with 40 missiles, leaving heavy damage on the city's power
plant and residential areas as well as wounding a number of civilians.
Syrian army units responded the offensive with heavy missile and artillery
attacks, targeting the terrorists' positions and moves South of Mourek town in
Northern Hama and a military convoy carrying weapons and military equipment.
Several hideouts of the terrorists were destroyed and a number of them were
killed in the Syrian Army attacks.
the Arabic-language service of the Russian Sputnik news agency reported that
Jeish al-Izza terrorists also launched a missile attacked Mahrada City in
military source, meantime, pointed to the intensified attacks by terrorists
from the demilitarized zone in recent days, and said that Haras ul-Din
terrorists, stationed near the Turkish-controlled region in the surrounding
areas of Mourek town, attacked residential areas in Souran City with several
missiles. This comes as the terrorists' missile attacks have been extended to
the towns of al-Mahrouseh, Na'or Shatheh and Tal Bazam in Northern Hama.
relevant reports said last Tuesday that Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the al-Nusra Front) had recently delivered 3,000 long-range
and mid-range missiles jointly produced by a number of Arab states in one of
the North African countries to the underground caches of Jeish al-Izza
terrorist group in the towns of Kafr Zita and al-Latamineh in Northern Hama.
Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted special sources in Idlib as saying
that the operations to deliver the missiles was carried out at night and took
for two days, adding that commander of Tahrir al-Sham for weaponry named Abu Ahmad
al-Checheni has ordered transfer of the missiles from the depots in Idlib city,
Saraqib and Ariha in Idlib province to Jeish al-Izza after coordination with
its commander Jamil al-Salih.
the missile attacks by Jeish al-Izza against the residential areas in the town
of al-Saqilbeh and Mahrada in Northern and Northwestern Hama, a civilian was
killed and 7 others, including a child, were severely wounded and a large
number of houses were destroyed.
on the report, the terrorists stationed in Southeastern Idlib also launched
missile strikes against the Western parts of the town of Abu al-Zohour, killing
7 Syrian military forces and injuring 20 others near the town of al-Sukriyeh.
the Syrian army forces in response targeted the terrorists' moves in Western
Abu al-Zohour, inflicting over 25 tolls on them and smashing their military
than two thousands ISIL terrorists who were stationed in al-Baqouz town in
Eastern Euphrates near Syria's borders with Iraq surrendered to the SDF on
Monday after they were given a safe corridor," the Kurdish-language Bas News
the London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a sum
of 3,140 ISIL militants and their families left the last areas under their
control in Eastern Euphrates.
pro-militant Baldi news website also pointed to the presence of about 1,000
ISIL terrorists in Baqouz, and said that the surrendered ISIL militants will be
transferred to the US-controlled Omar Oil Region.
sources close to the SDF said they will impose full control over the town of
Baqouz to declare the end of ISIL in Eastern Euphrates in coming days.
a relevant development last Wednesday, a pro-militant media said that tens of
ISIL terrorists were transferred to the US base in Deir Ezzur and the American
forces have evacuated family members of ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
and other senior commanders from the Eastern parts of the province.
SOHR reported that over 700 people, including 40 ISIL militants, a large number
of them from Turkistani and Asian origins, left Eastern Deir Ezzur on 15 trucks
belonging to the SDF.
added that the ISIL members have been transferred to the US-led coalition's
base in Deir Ezzur, noting that 51,750 people with different nationalities have
been evacuated from the region so far.
Syrian Army's military operation came in response to the terrorists' offensives
and repeated violations of the agreement on the de-escalation zone in the
Northern countryside of Hama.
terrorists sustained heavy losses and casualties in the Syrian Army attacks on
their movements and positions.
Syrian Army troops, meantime, destroyed a military vehicle carrying a group of
terrorists in al-Latamaneh town in Northern Hama, killing all militants on
terrorists' military positions also came under heavy attacks of the Syrian Army
in the town of Mourek, killing a number of terrorists and foiling an attack by
another terrorist group from Sakik hill and Sakik region.
a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Army backed by Air Force warded
off a massive attack by Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board
or the Al-Nusra Front) on government forces' military positions in Northern
Hama, killing tens of terrorists.
Syrian Army engaged in heavy clashes with the terrorists in al-Masasaneh axis
in Northern Hama.
field source pointed to the terrorists' attempted attacks on Syrian Army's
military positions in al-Madajen, Zour al-Hayeseh, Kharba Ma'arin, and said the
Syrian Army troops fended off the attack, inflicting heavy losses and
casualties on the militants and forcing many more to flee the scene.
Arabic-language service of Russian Sputnik News Agency reported that 48
terrorists were killed in failed attack by Tahrir al-Sham terrorists on
government forces' military positions.
20 Syrian Army soldiers were also killed in clashes with the terrorists and
some others were also wounded.
United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister has said that Abu Dhabi seeks to discuss
the containment of the Syrian crisis with Moscow during Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to the emirate.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said there was
“intention and desire” by Arab parties in seeing Syria return to the Arab world
but added that much work was needed.
is no doubt that we have had disagreements with the Syrian government’s
approach in the many steps it has taken internally. But we are now in front of
developments where we see an increase in the influence of Russia and Iran while
there is an Arab absence. We think that this Arab absence is unacceptable,” he
told reporters during a joint press conference with Lavrov.
that reason, we have worked with our Russian brothers and others to discuss the
containment of the crisis but to also contain Syria. When we say containment,
we are talking about Syria being a part of the Arab region; being part of the
Arab countries and efforts. Unfortunately, we are now seeing Syria far from that,”
his part, Lavrov said that Russia and the UAE shared common stances on ensuring
regional stability and security.
also share stances on efforts to ensure stability in the region and we are
confident that regional security cannot be achieved unless crises are overcome
through diplomatic means based on international legitimacy,” Lavrov said.
UAE Foreign Minister said that Abu Dhabi decided to open its embassy in
Damascus to begin such steps but “this needs interaction from Damascus and the
believe that we are still at the beginning of this march but this requires
joint efforts from Damascus and Arab parties to work together. We are still far
from this situation but I believe there is an intention, and a desire, but it
still requires much work from different parties,” he said.
Retired four-star Army General John Abizaid, President Donald Trump's nominee
to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia plays a
“pivotal role” in the fight against global terrorism.
Abizaid, speaking on Wednesday at his Senate confirmation hearing, said it
would be a “great honor” to work on strengthening the relationship between the
US and Saudi Arabia.
the long run, we need a strong and mature partnership with Saudi Arabia,”
Abizaid said. “It is in our interests to make sure that the relationship is
sound,” he said.
added that Saudi Arabia's contribution to tackling extremism had effectively
cut off funding networks for Daesh — which he said has been “nearly vanquished
on the ground,” but remains a “potent threat” to the US and its allies — and
that any “reduction of relations between America and Saudi Arabia” would
undermine regional security.
also blamed the Iranian regime for destabilizing the region.
An official with a mainly Shiite militia organization in Iraq says Daesh
militants attacked a bus carrying the group’s forces in northern Iraq, killing
six militiamen and wounding 31 fighters.
official from the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces told The
Associated Press that the Wednesday night ambush took place near the town of
Makhmour, south of the northern city of Mosul.
official says the bus was en route from Mosul to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to
Veiled women carrying babies and wounded men on crutches hobbled out of Baghouz
on Wednesday after US-backed forces pummeled the last militant village in
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leading the assault expected more militants to
surrender with their families in tow before moving deeper in the Daesh’s last
and bedraggled, gaggles of suspected militants in long brown robes limped away
from the hellscape of Baghouz across fields of yellow flowers to reach an SDF
tiny village on the banks of the Euphrates River where diehard Daesh miltants
have made a bloody last stand has regurgitated unexplained numbers of people.
officers in the SDF and aid groups have voiced their surprise that the flow of
evacuees never seemed to dry up after weeks of evacuations.
Tuesday alone, “3,500 people were evacuated from Daesh-held territory,” said
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali.
10 percent of the 57,000 people who have fled Daesh’s last bastion since
December were militants trying to slip back into civilian life, SDF officers
and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have said.
operation to smash the last dreg of the proto-state Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
proclaimed in 2014 resumed on Friday after a long humanitarian pause.
assumption was that close to no families remained holed up in Baghouz and that
those who did were refusing to surrender and choosing to die there. The deluge
of fire unleashed by SDF artillery and coalition air strikes at the weekend
appears to have broken the determination of some families.
Iraqis and militants who had come from France, Finland and other countries to join
Daesh turned themselves in to Kurdish troops.
still lots of people inside,” said Safia, a 24-year-old Belgian woman who was
among those trucked out by the SDF on Tuesday, adding that her French husband
was still inside.
forces from the US-led coalition — which also includes France, one of the main
purveyors of foreign fighters to Daesh — could be seen looking for wanted
individuals among the new arrivals.
Tuesday, the wife of French militant Jean-Michel Clain confirmed her husband had
been killed in Baghouz, days after his brother Fabien.
brothers were featured in a video claiming responsibility for a 2015 shooting
rampage in the streets of Paris that remains France’s deadliest ever terrorist
widow Dorothee Maquere fled the embattled enclave with her five children and
told AFP she did not want to return to France.
want to be left alone after everything I’ve been through... some place where I
can live, where I won’t be bothered, where I can live my life.”
than 50,000 evacuees have been squeezed into the Kurdish-run camp of Al-Hol,
where the foreigners await a decision on their fate.
countries of origin have been reluctant to take them back, wary of the security
risk some of them could pose and of a negative reaction from the public.
SDF have warned however that they would not carry that burden much longer and
other avenues are being explored.
has already confirmed receiving 14 French nationals from Syria to be tried
filing out of Baghouz are often weak, after living for weeks with scarce food
and hiding from bombs in underground shelters.
authorities in Al-Hol and the other camps where evacuees are dispatched are
overwhelmed and entire families have had to sleep rough.
arriving in Al-Hol camp have been without access to health and other essential
services for a long period of time and ... in a fragile state, compounded by
the fatigue of the journey to the camp,” the UN office for human rights said.
of children are unaccompanied and the toll of those who died shortly after
arriving or en route from Baghouz keeps growing.
deaths have been reported; two thirds of them children under the age of five,”
it said, adding that the main causes of death were hypothermia, pneumonia,
dehydration or malnutrition complications.
militants are massively outnumbered in Baghouz.
Kurdish-led SDF, who launched their broad offensive on remaining Daesh
strongholds in the Euphrates Valley six months ago, say they expect a victory
Russia, China reaffirm support for Iran nuclear deal
says the remaining signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal have reaffirmed their
“strong support” for the Islamic Republic despite the United States' decision
to unilaterally leave the agreement last year.
Araghchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, said Wednesday that Russia, China,
Britain, France and Germany had “acknowledged that the deal can only survive if
Iran can receive the benefits of the deal,” and remain committed to keeping it
made the remarks in Vienna, the Austrian capital, after a high-stakes meeting
with representatives from the remaining signatories to the landmark deal, known
as the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the
the deal, Iran agreed to limit certain parts of its nuclear energy in exchange
for the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions.
US President Donald Trump announced May last year that he would re-impose all
the sanctions and punish countries who traded with Iran.
and China reacted to Trump's move by reassuring Tehran that they would stick to
remaining three European signatories also promised to come up with a mechanism
that would secure trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian and European
companies would stay out of harm's way.
spending months discussing possible mechanisms to guarantee continued trade
with Tehran, the Europeans last month unveiled the Instrument in Support of
Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) with strings attached.
praised the Europeans’ establishment of INSTEX, a barter-type system that is
supposed to help businesses on both sides perform direct transactions and evade
possible US penalties.
Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations
Mikhail Ulyanov said Tuesday that the JCPOA and its supporting UN Security
Council resolution were aimed at boosting economic and trade ties with Tehran.
call on all countries committed to the UN Charter to bear in mind that,
according to Resolution 2231, the JCPOA is aimed at boosting economic and trade
ties and cooperation with Iran," Ulyanov said.
Russian envoy said Moscow was confident that the ongoing efforts would help
resolve the current challenges.
need to restore the balance of interests enshrined in the JCPOA is obvious.
Russia will continue to work together with its JCPOA partners and other interested
countries," Ulyanov added.
arms exporters complicit in Saudi, Israeli crimes: Iran
has blasted Saudi Arabia and Israel for killing innocent people in Yemen and
Palestine, saying the Western countries selling weapons to Riyadh and Tel Aviv
are “complicit” in the atrocities the two regimes have been committing.
Baghaei, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva, made the
remarks at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
“organized killings” of the Yemeni and Palestinian people are “a disgrace to
humanity,” he said, adding that arms exporters to Saudi Arabia and the Zionist
regime are “complicit” in their crimes.
also criticized the hypocrisy of some countries in exerting pressure on
independent states under the pretext of defending human rights.
rights violations in the Middle East stem from occupation, foreign invasion and
illegal interference in the affairs of countries, he said.
countries, which have turned the region into a “weapons depot” and fuel
extremism there in line with their short-sighted political and economic
objectives, should be taken to task, he added.
Iranian envoy further noted that the US, Britain and other European countries
must be held accountable for Israeli and Saudi crimes.
he strongly denounced illegal US sanctions against other countries such as
Iran, saying such bans constitute “crimes against humanity.”
uses ‘disproportionate force’ in Gaza
on Wednesday, the UN human rights chief said she was disappointed with Israel’s
“immediate dismissal” of a recent report about the regime’s deadly crackdown on
the 2018 anti-occupation rallies in the Gaza Strip.
report, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, said Israeli forces may
have perpetrated “war crimes” or “crimes against humanity” during the Gaza
unrest. It infuriated Israel, with Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz calling
it “hostile, deceitful and biased.”
end of this month will mark one year since the start of demonstrations which –
as the Council’s Commission of Inquiry reported – have been met with deadly,
disproportionate force by the Israeli Security Forces, leading to a very high
toll of killings and injuries,” Michelle Bachelet said.
also criticized Tel Aviv for expelling an international observer group tasked
with safeguarding Palestinians in the flashpoint West Bank city of al-Khalil
on Thursday demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of shooting dead two
soldiers in the West Bank and aiding another attack that caused a baby’s death,
the army said.
military statement said that troops, border police and defense ministry
officials “demolished the residence of Assam Barghouti in Kobar, north of
Ramallah,” in the Israeli-occupied territory.
is accused of shooting the soldiers at a bus stop near the Givat Assaf
settlement in the Ramallah area on December 13.
least two other people - including another soldier - were wounded, the army
said at the time.
domestic security service, the Shin Bet, has also accused him of involvement
along with his brother in another shooting attack nearby, close to the Ofra
settlement that caused the death of a baby and wounded seven.
the December 9 shooting, a pregnant woman was seriously wounded and her baby
was born prematurely by emergency caesarean and later died.
brother, Salah, 29, was killed during an arrest raid on December 12.
armed wing of Palestinian movement Hamas, which has fought three wars with
Israel since 2008, has claimed Salah Barghouti as one of its “fighters.”
a statement following Assam Barghouti’s arrest, last month Hamas praised him
and the Palestinian “resistance” without claiming him as a member.
Barghouti was arrested at the home of an alleged accomplice near Ramallah and
was allegedly preparing more attacks, the Shin Bet said.
Kalashnikov assault rifle, night-vision equipment and ammunition were seized
during his arrest, according to the Shin Bet.
regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks
groups criticize the practice as collective punishment since family members
suffer from the actions of relatives.
Mariam Shaar’s idea of using Palestinians’ national cuisine to provide hope and
opportunity for refugee women has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams.
project “Soufra,” which means a table laden with food, drew the attention of
Hollywood actress and social activist Susan Sarandon, whose documentary, also
called “Soufra,” was screened for the first time this week in Beirut.
film tells the story of Shaar’s efforts to set up a food truck and harness the
culinary talents of the women living in the refugee camp of Burj al Barajneh,
which was established in a southern suburb of Beirut in 1948 and is still home
to thousands of Palestinians.
documentary premiered at the El-Gouna film festival in Egypt in 2017 and
created a stir that helped Shaar’s NGO, the Women’s Program Association (WPA),
to raise funds to build a pre-school that will create jobs and educate about a
the ‘Nawras’ school on Monday, Sarandon expressed her joy at Shaar’s success.
just goes to show you that when people pull together, you know, things get
bigger and bigger and bigger, and especially the school, how fabulous to have
that happen,” said Sarandon as she sang English nursery rhymes with the kids.
the United States “whipped into a fearful state of being” over immigrants and
asylum seekers, she added, it is vital “to redefine the word ‘refugee’, to put
a face on that story and show how important it is to support people who are
displaced or trying to survive in very difficult circumstances.”
who escorted Sarandon around the camp, said she also had plans now to establish
a small restaurant which could serve as “a safe place for women to come and
relax mentally and physically, to come to eat, drink and express themselves
NGO, Alfanar (Arabic for beacon), helped the WPA to set up Soufra, providing
management support, funding, and training.
executive director Myrna Atalla said the Soufra project was all about giving
refugees the tools to take charge of their own lives.
we’re just throwing money at problems and not actually empowering people to
shape their destiny,” she said.
that view, the documentary’s director Thomas Morgan said the project had helped
to change how Shaar and the other women viewed themselves, “like they were
contributors for the first time, (that) they were able to do something”.
Shaar, Sarandon, Morgan, and the refugee women watched the documentary at a
screening also attended by US actor Ben Stiller, local artists, and
gifted the “Soufra” team the awards that the film has garnered worldwide over
the past two years.
top parliamentarian holds talks with high-ranking Iranian officials on a wide
range of issues, including ways to bolster bilateral relations, uproot
terrorism and strengthen regional peace.
evening, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani received Iraqi Parliament Speaker
Mohamed al-Halbousi on the sidelines of a visit to the northern Iranian
Province of Gilan.
two officials reaffirmed the resolve of their nations to further enhance cordial
bilateral relations as well as cooperation in the battle against terrorism.
Rouhani emphasized the significance of stability in neighboring Iraq, saying
peace and security in both countries are intertwined.
congratulated the Iraqi nation for defeating the “dangerous” Daesh terrorists
and subsequently holding successful elections, stressing that the Islamic
Republic “is ready to broaden bilateral cooperation in the areas of economy and
Iraqi speaker, in turn, stressed the need for stronger ties with its eastern
neighbor, censuring the US’s campaign of economic pressure and sanctions
also thanked Iran for standing by the Iraqi nation in its fight against
terrorism. On the back of Iran’s military advisory support, Iraqi armed forces
managed to liberate their home country from Daesh, the world’s most notorious
terror outfit, in late 2017.
said Iraq believes closer cooperation with Iran strengthens regional stability.
in the day, Halbousi sat down for talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif in Tehran over issues of bilateral importance, among them President
Rouhani’s upcoming official visit to Iraq.
Iraqi parliament speaker also met with Iran’s top security official for talks
on defense relations.
that meeting, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security
Council, warned that the American military presence is posing security threats
to the troubled region.
to the futility of Washington’s military intervention in Iraq under the banner
of fighting Daesh, Shamkhani said “experience showed the US is not only not
ready to protect nations and governments against terrorists in times of crisis,
but even employs all its logistical and intelligence resources to manage
terrorism and use it as a tool” in the service of its own goals.
forces have fired at Palestinian protesters during a night-time protest in the
Gaza Strip, killing a teenage boy, on the same night when the regime’s
warplanes launched fresh airstrikes on the besieged enclave.
15-year-old boy, identified as Saif al-Deen Abu Zeid, was shot dead by the
Israeli forces during a protest rally held in eastern Gaza on Wednesday night,
medical sources in the enclave confirmed.
Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that the boy died “due to the
wounds he sustained a few hours ago.”
other Palestinian youngsters were also injured by live bullets.
shooting came as Israeli warplanes also launched fresh air raids on the
southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis.
warplanes have in recent weeks increased their airstrikes on various parts of
the besieged Strip, mostly targeting posts belonging to Hamas resistance forces
and their military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
killing of the Palestinian teen came a couple of weeks after the Israeli
regime’s forces shot dead another Palestinian boy on February 22 and injured
dozens more in mass protests along the fence separating the besieged Gaza Strip
and the Israeli-occupied territories.
blockaded Gaza Strip has been witnessing tensions since last March following
have held weekly protests on the Gaza border since last year over the siege on
the enclave and the right for refugees to return to their homes they were
forcibly expelled from during the 1948 creation of Israel.
than 260 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since
anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over
26,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
United Nations committee charged with pursuing the rights of Palestinians
visits Brussels to lobby EU officials, lawmakers and civil society
organizations. Members of the delegation are very critical of how the United
States is currently treating the people of Palestine.
says it is planning to carry out a joint attack with Iran against the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-and-a-half decade
armed campaign against Ankara for independence.
willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with
Iran,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Anadolu news agency
did not specify which PKK positions were going to be targeted in the planned
operation or when the attack would take place. However, Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdoğan has in the past indicated that he would order the military to
attack militant hideouts in Iraq.
(pictured below) said the operation was part of Turkey's efforts to eradicate
the group after successfully blocking most of its inroads at the border and
basically trapping the few hundred PKK militants left in the country.
are less than 700 terrorists in Turkey," he said. "The terrorist
entry into the country is so little, as well. 12 people entered Turkey since
January. We are taking serious measures at our borders.”
also accused the group of recruiting teenagers to fight the Turkish government
Turkey, the European Union and the US have also declared the PKK a terrorist
organization. The militant group has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
January 2018, Ankara launched a cross-border military operation inside Syria,
code-named Operation Olive Branch, with the declared aim of eliminating the
Syrian Kurdish militants of the People's Protection Units (YPG).
YPG forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an
anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants supported by the
views the YPG as a terrorist organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed
than 40,000 people have been killed during the three-decade conflict between
Turkey and the autonomy-seeking militant group.
clashes with PKK affiliates
has had its own struggle with the PKK's Iranian offshoot, the so-called
Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), which has waged several terrorist attacks in
western Iran over the past years.
terror group carries out attacks in parts of Iran's West Azerbaijan province which
borders Iraq, Turkey, and Armenia.
September last year, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired as
many as seven missiles at a gathering of terrorist commanders in Iraq's
semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
then, the IRGC said in a statement the missile attack was carried out after
terrorist groups affiliated with the global arrogance from the Kurdistan region
ignored serious warnings about Iran's determination to dismantle their bases
and the necessity to end their aggressive and terrorist acts against the
More than 30 Houthi militants, including a commander, were killed by Arab
coalition raids aimed at militia reinforcements coming from Imran to the Hajar
Front in the province of Hajjah in north-west Yemen.
forces continued to supply Hajar tribes with food, medical, and logistical
supplies, particularly in the besieged Qashar district of the Houthis.
coalition aircraft carried out an air strike Wednesday night, the seventh since
the start of the clashes.
army chief vows to secure protest-hit country
army chief on Tuesday pledged to guarantee the country’s security following
mass demonstrations against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fifth
term in office.
Ahmed Gaid Salah also criticized those who he said want to return to the
“painful years” of the 1992-2002 civil war “during which the Algerian people
experienced all forms of suffering and paid a heavy price.”
armed forces chief of staff said in a speech at a military academy outside
Algiers that the country’s success “in eradicating terrorism... has displeased
some parties who are upset to see Algeria stable and safe.”
people will continue to enjoy “security and stability” of which the army “will
remain the guarantor”, the general, who is close to Bouteflika and considered
one of Algeria’s most powerful figures, said according to an official
army chief, who is deputy defence minister, urged Algerians to be ready to
“erect a rampart against anything that could expose Algeria to unpredictable
have seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets of the North African
country since last month demanding the 82-year-old president resign.
of students marched in the capital and other cities on Tuesday in the latest
display of public anger.
who suffered a stroke in 2013 and is rarely seen in public, promised on Sunday
that if he wins elections in April he will organise a “national conference” to
set a date for further polls which he would not contest.
pledge, made in a letter read out on state television, has been dismissed as an
insult by Algerians weary of his two-decade-old rule.
has been in Switzerland since February 24 for what the presidency has described
as “routine medical tests”.
Libya: Libya’s parallel government in the east has sold bonds worth more than
$23 billion to fund its wage bill, bypassing the central bank in Tripoli and
creating a potential financial black hole if the country reunifies, bankers and
eastern government’s finance ministry has been selling the debt to a parallel
central bank in the east and the proceeds of the sales are used to pay eastern
state employees via local banks, in large part using dinars printed in Russia.
debt has been piling up since 2014, when the country split into two
administrations — one in Tripoli and the other in the east — as a result of the
power struggle that followed the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
eastern government is backed by Khalifa Haftar, a general whose Libyan National
Army (LNA) controls the east and has been deployed in the south since January,
taking control of oilfields. The recent success of the LNA has led its
supporters to urge Haftar to order his troops north to take Tripoli.
United Nations has been trying to overcome Libya’s divisions but the rival
camps have dug in, with the east setting up its own government ministries and
Tripoli, the UN-backed authorities and central bank control an annual budget
worth 40 billion dinars ($29 billion), but they only partly fund the east,
mainly paying wages of public employees hired before 2014.
since then, the east has hired thousands of soldiers as well as public servants
to staff its new ministries.
cover the wage bill and fund its army, which has just fought a three-year
battle for control of Benghazi, the east has raised 32 billion dinars ($23
billion) since 2014 via bonds, bypassing Tripoli.
year, bonds worth around 7 billion dinars will be issued, eastern central bank
governor Ali Salim Al-Hibri told Reuters in an interview in Benghazi.
order to charge annual interest of 3 percent on the bonds, the east suspended a
general ban on such payments under Islamic law.
the east is suffering a shortage of banknotes, its central bank has had 10
billion dinars printed in Russia — cash that has been used to pay wages and
interest on the bonds, diplomats say.
bonds are sold by the eastern finance ministry to its own central bank branch,
now installed in a new building in Benghazi.
most desks have no computers or telephones, while some offices are empty as
staff have little to do. Libya’s oil revenues and foreign reserves worth $80
billion are managed by the Tripoli central bank.
there is little concern in Benghazi about how the eastern bonds will be paid
law allows me to delay payment of the principal for 15 years,” Hibri said. “So
there is no problem.”
are less relaxed, describing the bonds as a liability that Libya will have to
cover once the two governments and banks unify under an eventual political
central banks will be audited this year, part of a UN peace plan to unify the
east has sold bonds they don’t plan to settle. How do you value them in a
future deal, at face value or less?” asked one Western diplomat.
said trouble loomed for state banks that are paying public salaries as the
central bank has used part of their deposits to pay interest on the bonds. They
might struggle to pay private depositors, entrepreneurs say.
said he is considering starting a secondary bond market to raise 10 billion
dinars from citizens and state bodies in the east, such as social insurance
funds and banks.
east has been spending 400 million dinars every month for public salaries and
basic services, said Hibri.
top of this comes up to 245 million dinars for the salaries of the Libyan
National Army, which claims to have tens of thousands of soldiers. Diplomats
say part of that money is used to buy equipment.
spending is set to increase since the LNA launched a southern offensive in
January. Hibri said his bank had sent 82 million dinars in cash to supply banks
in the main southern city of Sabha.
a small reprieve for the east, Tripoli as agreed to public pay salaries from
2018 worth 177 million dinars a month, Hibri said.
eastern debt comes on top of an estimated 65 billion dinars that the Tripoli
authorities have piled up since 2014, turning to the central bank there to fund
a welfare state and expensive public services.
debt is covered by interest-free quasi loans from local banks to the central
bank. Tripoli has also been printing money, this time in Britain.
Bey, a prominent business leader, said borrowing in both west and east had
added to the national debt, increased inflation and put local banks at risk.
the east, the Tripoli administration has been hiring since 2014, putting
members of armed groups on the payroll in a vain attempt to buy loyalty.
graduates have also been added, swelling the number of public servants in Libya
to 1.8 million from little over one million in 2010, diplomats say.
is little room for development as the budget is almost entirely spent on wages,
fuel subsidies, funds for the state oil firm NOC and benefits such as medical
a result, Libya has launched no major infrastructure plan since 2011, leaving
roads and hospitals in poor shape.
no budget, most state bodies, especially in the east, do little real work. NOC
east employs about 500 people in a Benghazi building but managers admit they
have nothing to do as oil exports are handled by Tripoli.
are ready to work but we are waiting for orders,” said a bored-looking senior
manager, sitting in a spacious office with an almost empty desk and a phone
that never rings.
in South Africa have been given an opportunity for the first time to view the
holy relics of Prophet Muhammad at an ongoing exhibition in the country.
exhibition is hosted by South African group Chishty Sabiree Jahangiri Khanqa in
collaboration with Sayyid Ehraz Ahmad, the 15th generation custodian of the
relics housed at the Jama Mosque based in Delhi India.
are 10 items to be exhibited. Some of them include a hair of the prophet, one
of the prophet’s sandals, a prophet’s cloak, and a piece of another cloak of
the prophet that still has the smell of musk on it,” the event’s spokesman
Naeem Khan told Anadolu Agency via phone from Cape Town.
also said other items at display include a piece of the prophet’s turban, sand
from his grave and an ancient lock used on the Prophet's burial place at
Medina’s grand Mosque.
said the International Sacred Trusts Exhibition opened on Feb. 22 in South
Africa, and was hosted in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban. It will end
today at the Gatesville Mosque in Cape Town.
aim of our exhibition is to inspire people to love the Prophet Muhammad [Peace
be upon him] and also protect our Islamic heritage,’’ he said.
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