• ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’:
Hindu-Muslim Calls For Peace Before Ayodhya Order
• Lack of Islamic Literacy A
Hurdle in Giving Zakat to Non-Muslims, Says Ebrahim Moosa of Notre Dame
• Pakistani Islamists Converge On
Islamabad, Urge PM To Resign
• Supporters Begin Flocking to
New Islamic State Leader
• Al-Baghdadi’s Death Won’t Staunch
Terrorist Moves in Africa
• Pakistan Failed To
"Limit" Funding, Recruitment, Training by Lashkar-e-Taiba,
Jaish-e-Mohammed: US Report
• Right-Wing Commentator Slated
Over Anti-Muslim Comments
• Iranian Generals in Iraq,
Hezbollah Thugs in Lebanon: Tehran Demonstrates How to Snuff Out Dissent
• Muslim Clergy Roped In To Refute
and Counter ISIS Online Propaganda; PMO Directs IB, NIA and All the Police
Chiefs across the Country
• Ahead of Ayodhya verdict, All
India Muslim Personal Law Board asks Muslims to repose faith in Constitution
• Muslim dressed as Hanuman
booked for impersonation in Bareilly
• 2 Pakistanis among 6 convicted
for '08 CRPF camp attack
• India works to get Capitol
Hill’s support on Kashmir
• Terrorists hurl petrol bomb at
school in Shopian
• Govt has no dealings with
Israel firm behind WhatsApp snoopgate, says official: Report
• Mufti’s daughter Iltija reacts
to PM’s meeting with mother
• Kalbe Sadiq appeals to Muslims
to gift disputed land to Hindus
• Indonesia's halal tourism bid
faces pushback from non-Muslims
• New National Police Chief
Warned of Daunting Tasks Ahead
• London court extends Altaf
Hussain's bail in 2016 hate speech case
• Fazlur Rehman gives two-day
deadline to Imran Khan to quit
• PM Imran says will give
protesters food supplies but not NRO
• Qalab-e-Hassan of Asma Jahangir
group wins SCBA polls
• Attachment of Musharraf’s
assets ordered in Benazir murder case
• China supports Pakistan’s
efforts to curb terror-financing
• Pakistan honoured its
commitment, ICJ tells UN
• No force can stop Kashmiris
from attaining freedom, says PM Imran
• Hundreds of Pakistanis freed
from Saudi Arabia jails
• Popular anger in the Arab world
is creating an opening for ISIS — again
• Iraq’s top Shia cleric urges
end of bloodshed, warns of civil war
• Iraqis throng streets in
biggest protest since Saddam’s fall
• US envoy: Iran has spent $16
billion on militias in Iraq, Syria
• Baghdad to Prosecute Iraqis who
Committed Terror Crimes in Iraq
• Lebanon: Eyes on Hezbollah,
allies after Hariri resignation
• Hezbollah leader calls for
dialogue between political parties and protesters
• Hunger striking Bahraini
anti-regime activist thrown into solitary
• Lebanese banks open to
customers again as life returns to normalcy
• Assad: Liberating northern
Syria from Kurds 'ultimate goal'
• Al-Baghdadi’s Death Won’t
Staunch Terrorist Moves in Africa
• Nigeria lifts ban on groups it
accused of feeding Boko Haram terrorists
• Nigeria Asks U.S. to Help Fund
Infrastructure, Terror Fight
• Algerians protest election
plan, mark independence war
• Attack on Mali military post
kills 35 soldiers
• Algerian protest movement calls
for 'new revolution' on anniversary
• Despite other rich resources,
South Sudan's oil may fuel war
• Somalia’s biggest telco in
‘forced’ alliance with Shabaab, study says
• Somali army kills 7 al-Shabab
militants in southern regions
• No Peace Unless Taliban
Fighters Reintegrated In Afghan Society, Warns US Report
• US Says Iran Remains ‘World’s
Worst State Sponsor Of Terrorism’
• US Knows New ISIS Leader, Says
• FBI Scrutinizes Over 2,000
Cases Tied to Foreign Terrorist Organizations
• U.S. Troop Withdrawal Creates
Opening for Revitalized Syrian Regime
• Trump Invites 'Hero' Dog from
Al-Baghdadi Raid To White House, Declassifies Name As 'Conan'
• Armenian Assembly: Omar’s
Refusal to Acknowledge Armenian Genocide Doesn’t Represent 'Muslim Values'
• US treasury secretary to hold
talks in India as pressure builds on Iran
• Turkey 'active member' in
anti-Daesh/ISIS effort: US
• Bayonne Mosque Attack Was
Terrorism, Says Survivors' Lawyer
• Court orders Belgium to take
back ISIS militant's wife and children from Syria
• Muslims condemn Rod Liddle’s
‘blatantly racist and Islamophobic remarks’
• German Muslims feel unsafe amid
• Italy bans flights by Iran’s
Mahan Air after US pressure
• U.S. imposes new Iran
sanctions, but waives others
• Iran and Hezbollah financers
listed by Gulf anti-terrorism coalition
• Tighter US sanctions are
weakening Iran’s grip on Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq: Hook
• Iran first VP warns of Daesh
relocation to Afghanistan
• Demolished Palestinian home
becomes conflict symbol
• Israeli retaliatory airstrikes
kill Palestinian, wounds 2
• Airstrike Kills 13 Taliban
Militants In Provincial Capital Of Baghlan
• 11 militants killed, several
villages liberated during cleanup operation in S. Afghanistan
• Bangladesh: Fake news on
Facebook fuels communal violence
• Special Forces kill, detain 4
Taliban militants; destroy weapons cache in Herat
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Clergy Roped In To Refute and Counter ISIS Online Propaganda; PMO Directs IB,
NIA and All the Police Chiefs across the Country
Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) To counter terror organisation ISIS''s literature of jihad
and crimes against humanity, India has started creating an internet-based
"non-official channel of religious leaders" to stop Muslim youths
from falling into their trap, sources said on Friday.
Muslim clergy will be trained to create YouTube channels, podcast, accounts on
social media and websites to counter ISIS narrative. Further, the clergy has
been directed to highlight the atrocities carried on women and children by ISIS
chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
who was the highest-ranking terrorist leader since al-Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden, was killed on October 27 in a US Special Forces raid at a sleepy village
of Barisha, in Idlib province of northwestern Syria.
Centre has stated that ISIS has exploited the internet in a very organized way
for its every terror-related activity such as radicalisation, training,
recruitment, planning and execution. "This needs to be countered in a
similar way," said a senior IPS officer posted with Ministry of Home
Affairs (MHA), adding that merely arresting the Muslim youths is not going to
solve the imminent threat.
said the Prime Minister Office (PMO) has directed Intelligence Bureau, National
Investigation Agency and all the police chiefs across the country to expedite
the process of setting up of non-official channel of religious leaders.
and law enforcement agencies have found that the arrested ISIS members and
sympathizer were radicalized online. They also stated that it was common in all
the modules busted in Hyderabad, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh or Delhi so
far that the leader of the local outfit was in contact with a "foreign
handler" who was channelizing the module through "online
needs to be countered," the officer said.
PMO directives also stated: "Mainstream forces from the Muslim community
should be utilized in countering any instance of radicalistion in any corner of
further stressed: "Creation of an internet-based non-official channel of
religious leaders to provide right kind of advice and guidance to the Muslim
youth who are misled by illogical information which they come across."
said it is found that Zakir Naik, who fled India in the wake of Bangladesh''s
Dhaka cafe blast of July 2016, has done a lot of damage by spreading hatred and
funding terror. He is now in Malaysia, which has given him permanent residency.
month NIA chief Y.C. Modi had said that a total 127 ISIS sympathizers were
arrested from across India in 28 cases since 2014 and they were radicalized
online. "A majority of 127 arrested ISIS sympathizers were following
speeches of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik," NIA Inspector
General Alok Mittal had stated.
numbers are not so alarming, but Indian authorities are taking various
initiatives to bring it down.
the law enforcement agencies, the PMO has suggested publicising and
highlighting the counter narrative. "The negligible participation of
Indian Muslims in international terrorist theatres, despite a large number of
Muslim population, needs to be adequately published to help nip radicalization
in the bud," it stated.
Tehzeeb’: Hindu-Muslim Calls For Peace Before Ayodhya Order
With days to go before the much-anticipated Supreme Court verdict in the
Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute case, religious leaders and organisations from
both Hindu and Muslim communities have made appeals for calm.
Muslim clerics across Uttar Pradesh on Friday led appeals for peace in mosques
just before Friday prayers, asking people from the community to maintain
communal harmony at all costs. In Lucknow, appeals were led by Khalid Rasheed
Firangi Mahali, the Shahi Imam of Lucknow, president of the Islamic Centre of
India and member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
the Supreme Court says, it has to be respected. There should be no celebration
or any public opposition. Nothing should be said to hurt the sentiments of any
other community. We have to maintain peace at all costs," Mr Rasheed told
a crowd of about 500 people at Lucknow's Eidgah.
fabric of communal bonhomie and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb should not be allowed to
be damaged," he said in a statement.
appeal from the Muslim side comes a day after the ruling BJP's ideological
mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS tweeted from its official handle,
"Whatever be the verdict, everyone should accept it with an open mind.
After the judgment, it is everyone's responsibility that the atmosphere of the
country should remain cordial."
right-wing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad, that runs a workshop in Ayodhya where
carved stone pillars that will be used in any future Ram Temple in Ayodhya are
storied, has also announced the suspension of all its November programmes in
anticipation of the Supreme Court verdict.
very heartening to see that organisations of all communities are making appeals
for peace. We are all trying our best to ensure communal harmony is maintained,"
Lucknow's Shahi Imam Mr Rasheed told NDTV.
a top Uttar Pradesh police officer visited Ayodhya on Friday afternoon, to
review security arrangements ahead of the verdict that is expected within the
UP Police say they are already holding meetings at the village-level in Ayodhya
and elsewhere in the state with members of both communities and urging
restraint. Sources in the police say a
plan is already in place to put in a large number of forces - both state and
paramilitary - in Ayodhya in the next few days.
normally, all 365 days, there is a security alert here. In the next few days,
we will send more forces here and train them better. I think we will be able to
secure this place better and ensure there is not even a one per cent
deviation," said P V Rama Sastry, Additional Director General, Law and
Order, Uttar Pradesh Police, who carried out the inspection in Ayodhya.
of Islamic Literacy A Hurdle in Giving Zakat to Non-Muslims, Says Ebrahim Moosa
of Notre Dame University
JAYA: A US-based professor of Islamic studies expects resistance from some
Islamic scholars to the idea of extending zakat distributions to non-Muslim
scholars would need to improve their Islamic literacy, said Ebrahim Moosa of
Notre Dame University in a comment on PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s proposal of
could be unaware of opinions that poor non-Muslims could legitimately receive
zakat, he said. “So it’s a matter of developing advanced Islamic literacy among
spoke of “changing norms” that some religious scholars had not been
acclimatised to and said education was the key to addressing this.
he told FMT the giving of zakat to non-Muslims was a practice going back to
is a religious obligation for Muslims who meet several criteria of wealth. A
Muslim owning wealth above a minimum amount is obliged to pay an annual rate of
made his proposal recently when he called for reforms to Malaysia’s zakat
said Islam encouraged the distribution of zakat funds to non-Muslims in a
multi-religious society although he spoke of the need to ensure that needy
non-Muslims were not sidelined.
said he was in support of including non-Muslims as zakat recipients because it
would help in improving the lives of the poor of all religions and promote
unity across all faiths.
fatwas have already confirmed the benefits of this move,” he said. “All it
requires is the proper political will and a sound moral sensibility.”
said the challenge was in ensuring that zakat funds were effectively
distributed in a way which would stimulate “social improvement, human
development and the advancement of human dignity”.
mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor agreed with Anwar’s proposal, but he said the
distribution to non-Muslims should come after the Muslim community had been
taken care of.
zakat is a type of worship in Islam,” he said. “Second, it is collected only
from the Muslims.
non-Muslims who need aid, the government can make use of other resources. If
the zakat earnings exceed the needs of the Muslim community at the time, there
should be no problem in distributing them to non-Muslims who require aid.”
also said the decision to include non-Muslims should be made by state religious
authorities and rulers.
mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin told FMT his office approved the giving of zakat
to non-Muslims in his state with the release of a fatwa in March 2017.
statement from his office said zakat could be given to non-Muslims who are
harmonious in their attitude towards Islam and their perception of the
Muhammad approved the distribution of zakat funds to heathens and tribal
leaders, the statement added.
Islamists Converge On Islamabad, Urge PM To Resign
of thousands of opposition supporters have gathered in Pakistan's capital,
Islamabad, calling for Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation over economic
giving a two-day deadline for the resignation," Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the
leader of the Islamist Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, told the rally on November
test our patience," Rehman said, without saying what would happen after
the expiration of the two-day deadline.
a veiled reference to Pakistan’s army, he called on the country's
"establishment" not to support Khan's government.
was joined by leaders of Pakistan's main political parties in anti-government
speeches, as Khan remained defiant, accusing his opponents of using religion
against his government.
have disjointed thoughts and don't have any agenda," he told a rally in
opposition claim the prime minister is incompetent and his government was
illegitimately installed by Pakistan’s military after a rigged general election
in 2018. The army denies meddling in politics.
brought his supporters on a five-day journey, dubbed the Azadi (Freedom) March
-- to Islamabad from the southern city of Karachi.
traveled on buses, bikes, and in private cars to gather in the capital by late
evening on October 31 for the anti-government protest.
have deployed police and paramilitary forces and placed shipping containers on
key roads in the capital to prevent the massive march from reaching the Red
Zone, where government offices, parliament, and foreign embassies are located.
phone and Internet signals have been reportedly blocked within a 3-kilometer
radius around the area where the rally is taking place.
leading into Islamabad that are usually clogged by traffic were deserted on the
morning of November 1.
schools were closed in the capital and in the nearby city of Rawalpindi on
the start of the march, the ruling party and opposition parties reached an
agreement to allow the anti-government march as long as they protesters do not
cross the Red Zone.
came to power last year promising to end corruption, help middle-class
families, and get the country's faltering economy on track.
his government was forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $6
billion bailout in July.
military has ruled Pakistan for almost half of its existence since the
country's independence from Britain in 1947.
Pakistani prime minister has completed a full term in office in 70 years.
Begin Flocking to New Islamic State Leader
- Some Islamic State supporters are starting to rally around the terror group’s
new leader, using social media to pledge their allegiance to a man whose true
identity may not be known for some time.
announced the selection of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader
Thursday in an audio message issued by its Amaq news agency and read by the
group’s new spokesman.
is a flag of the flags of jihad, and a scholar of its scholars, and an emir of
the emirs of war,” the voice said, according to a translation by SITE
Intelligence, which monitors jihadist communications.
“has attacked the protector of the Cross America, and made it taste bad,” the
announcement, which also confirmed the deaths of IS’s self-declared caliph, Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, caused what some
analysts described as a ripple of excitement on social media and online
messaging boards frequented by IS supporters.
give bay’ah [allegiance] to Amir al-Muminin, the Khalifah of the Muslims, Abu
Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, pledging to listen and obey,” read one message
being posted by IS-affiliated channels.
that IS had chosen a new leader came less than 24 hours after U.S. military
officials released the first video of the special forces raid this past
Saturday that killed al-Baghdadi as he sought refuge in a compound in Syria’s
Idlib province, just a few kilometers from the Turkish border.
can tell you this. He crawled into a hole with two small children and blew
himself up,” U.S. General Kenneth McKenzie, who oversaw the operation, told
reporters of Baghdadi’s last moments.
now, IS officials had said nothing about the raid that killed five other IS
members, or about a follow-on operation in the Syrian town of Jarablus that
killed Baghdadi’s spokesman.
in Thursday’s announcement, new IS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qurashi cautioned the
U.S. against rejoicing.
have become the joke of the nations,” he said. “Your fate [is] controlled by a
stupid old man who goes to sleep with one opinion and wakes up with another. Do
not be too happy or arrogant. Do you not realize, O America, that the Islamic
State today stands at the threshold of Europe and Central Africa? It is expanding
insults and threats came as little surprise to U.S. military and intelligence
officials, who said they expected IS to seek revenge. Nor did they minimize the
terror group’s potential to wreak havoc in the Middle East and beyond.
is a bureaucracy that’s pretty good at doing succession-planning,” U.S.
National Counterterrorism Center acting director Russell Travers told lawmakers
in Washington on Wednesday, noting the terror group still commanded at least
14,000 fighters as part of a potent insurgency across Syria and Iraq.
U.S. intelligence and security officials, a key question now becomes how
effective Qurashi will be when it comes to making good on the latest threats,
and in keeping IS affiliates and followers from splintering or being poached by
rival terror groups like al-Qaida.
it will be difficult.
is Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi?
than his kunya, or nom de guerre, and references in Thursday’s announcement to
his religious and military credentials, little is known for certain about
officials and analysts have speculated that he may be Hajji Abdallah, one of
IS’s most senior ideologues.
known by other aliases, including Amir Muhammad Said Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, he
is a religious scholar who rose through the group’s ranks and is thought to
have been one of the architects of the slaughter and abduction of the Yazidi
name that has come up is Abdullah Qardesh, said to be a former Iraqi military
officer who spent time with Baghdadi at Camp Bucca, the U.S.-run prison in Iraq
that housed jihadists following the Iraq War. Scholars disagree over whether
Qardesh is a separate person or just another alias for Abdallah.
might never have 100% confirmation, in the near term, at least," said
Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"There was not actual 100% confirmation of who Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was
until he actually went up the stairs of the minbar [preaching platform] in
Mosul in 2014. For the first four years of his rule, he [Baghdadi] never showed
ability to remain so secretive most likely helped play to Baghdadi’s advantage,
allowing him to lead IS for nearly a decade, despite being the target of an
ongoing manhunt by U.S. and allied forces.
that reason, analysts argue, it is unlikely Qurashi will be any more of a
public figure than his predecessor.
the meantime, some analysts see Thursday’s announcement as a sign that IS will
not be crippled by Baghdadi’s death.
its leadership decapitation, by announcing this new leader was chosen by a
Shura council, it’s showing that bureaucracy is still in place,” said Devorah
Margolin, a senior research fellow with the Program on Extremism at George
Washington University. “It’s not about the person. It’s about the group.”
there will be challenges for Qurashi as he begins to lead.
a proto-state, military success and victories on the battlefield,” said Colin
Clarke, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Center. “ISIS doesn’t have any
of that working in its favor right now.”
until this past Saturday, it did have Baghdadi.
was a big part of the brand,” Clarke said. “There’s this cult of personality
that served to really motivate individuals and inspire recruits to travel to
come join the caliphate.”
Death Won’t Staunch Terrorist Moves in Africa
State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is dead, but the militant’s followers are
still regrouping and spreading their ideology across remote patches of Africa.
the Sahel region, the arid band on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert that
stretches through some of Africa’s poorest and least-governed countries,
Islamic State followers are launching attacks against government forces. U.S.
officials point to the Sahel as one of the biggest concerns in their
threats in the Sahel are very real -- as seen in the sharp increase in the
number of attacks in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso,” Nathan Sales, the State
Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism, said in response to e-mailed
questions. “The security of countries across the region is closely linked, and
terrorists aspire to create territorial safe havens from which to plan
threat from Islamic State persists even as President Donald Trump boasts of the
defeat of the terrorist group’s “caliphate,” which once stretched across a
swath of Syria and Iraq. Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the
organization will remain a threat wherever local forces are unable to control
it. “We don’t see a bloodless future,” General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of
U.S. Central Command, told reporters.
met with Senegalese officials on Wednesday in Dakar, where he reaffirmed the
“strong U.S. commitment” to supporting that nation’s counterterrorism efforts,
according to the State Department. His agenda included talks about terrorism in
the Sahel as well as U.S. counterterrorism support for the coastal region of
West Africa, the State Department said.
Niger Urges More U.S. Involvement in War on Jihadists
the U.S. maintained pressure on Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, militants fled
across the Mediterranean to Libya. A breakdown in security in the country once
ruled by Moammar Qaddafi has allowed both extremists and run-of-the-mill
criminals to smuggle people, weapons and ideology. They traverse a string of
oases and routes in the region that were once used by the Roman empire to move
goods, animals and slaves for gladiator games in Rome.
is the target of increasing U.S. military strikes. An American attack killed
seven suspected Islamic State members on Sept. 29, the fourth that month,
according to a tally of casualties from statements released by the U.S.
military’s Africa Command. The death of al-Baghdadi, following a strike late
Saturday by U.S. forces in northern Syria, may have little impact on Islamic
State’s ability to expand its reach.
was the highest-ranking terrorist leader targeted by U.S. forces since
al-Daedalus leader Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 in a raid in Pakistan
during the Obama administration. Trump said on Monday that U.S. troops later
killed the “No. 1” replacement for al-Baghdadi, a spokesman for the terrorist
group. Islamic State said Thursday that it has named a “new caliph,”
identifying him as Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurashi.
analysts said the successor’s identify wasn’t clear because he was given a new
name to reflect his ascension, Trump said in a tweet on Friday that “we know
exactly who he is!”
like bin Laden, who was viewed as a “symbol and source of ideological inspiration”
before U.S. special forces killed him in Pakistan, al- Baghdadi may have been
exercising little influence over the militant group before his death, according
to Paul Pillar, a former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer.
impact of Baghdadi’s death probably lessens the farther away one goes from Iraq
and Syria,” said Pillar, a non-resident senior fellow at Georgetown University
in Washington. “In the Sahel and elsewhere in Africa, the role of ISIS is more
one of an ideology being injected into conflicts that have local roots, rather
than of a central headquarters asserting control and organizational
intelligence officials say that since late 2017 Islamic State has devolved more
responsibility to local offshoots, which had previously been managed centrally.
That’s empowered affiliates outside the Middle East, particularly in weakened
states in north and central Africa.
a result, the Sahel region is experiencing unprecedented levels of violence.
has been engulfed in conflict since a loose alliance of ethnic Tuareg
separatists and Islamist fighters with ties to Algeria and Libya seized large
swaths of the north in 2012. A 15,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping
mission is struggling to cope and is often treated with hostility by the
Worst Jihadist Attack in Years Stokes Anger Over Mali’s Response
violence is also spreading farther south and west.
U.S. is “increasingly concerned about the spread of terrorism into coastal West
Africa, as evidenced in the kidnapping earlier this year of French tourists in
Benin and the killing of their Beninese guide,” Sales said.
counter the threat in Africa, the U.S. is working with local partners to
improve policing. The U.S. State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance program
is training, equipping and mentoring foreign law enforcement agencies to deter
and disrupt terrorists. The global reach of the program has provided training
to more than 150,000 law enforcement officials and first responders from 154
countries, according to the State Department.
also support targeted community policing programs to build trust between
security forces and the populations they protect,” Sales said. “This trust is
vital to thwarting terrorists’ efforts to exploit local tensions to weaken
communities and radicalize individuals.”
al-Baghdadi’s death will have little impact on Islamic State’s capacity to
expand its global brand without a greater effort to confront the ideology
spawned by religious extremism, according to Sheikh Mohammed al-Issa, the
secretary general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League.
are all grateful to the American efforts but it is way too early to announce
and state that we defeated ISIS,” al-Issa said on Thursday at an interfaith event
in Washington. “ISIS is wounded now, but it is not the end of them. We have to
beat them ideologically.”
Failed To "Limit" Funding, Recruitment, Training By Lashkar-e-Taiba,
Jaish-e-Mohammed: US Report
Pakistan has failed to "significantly limit" major terror outfits
like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) from funding, recruiting
and training terrorists on its soil and has allowed some "overtly"
affiliated with their front organisations to contest the general elections in
July last year, according to a report released by the US State Department.
to the 'Country Reports on Terrorism 2018', Pakistan has failed to restrict the
Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network from operating in safe havens on its
soil, despite Islamabad's open support for a political reconciliation between
the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government.
the report noted Pakistan's efforts in connection to the implementation of
conditions laid down by Financial Action Task Force or FATF, it slammed the
country for failing to uniformly implement UN sanctions against terror groups
like LeT and its affiliates.
the Pakistani government voiced support for political reconciliation between
the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban, it did not restrict the Afghan
Taliban and the Haqqani Network (HQN) from operating in Pakistan-based safe
havens and threatening the US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan," it said.
government failed to significantly limit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) from raising money, recruiting, and training in Pakistan
- and allowed candidates overtly affiliated with LeT front organisations to
contest the July general elections," the report said, referring to the
Milli Muslim League (MML) founded by global terrorist Hafiz Saeed, which
fielded candidates in the 2018 general election in Pakistan.
document highlighted significant terror attacks in Pakistan in 2018, which was
conducted by several outfits like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), ISIS's Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), and the sectarian
group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami (LJA).
experienced significant terrorist threats in 2018, although the number of
attacks and casualties has continued to decrease from previous years. The major
terrorist groups that focused on conducting attacks in Pakistan included
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), Islamic State's
Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), and the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami
(LJA). ISIS-K claimed several major attacks against Pakistani targets, some of
which may have been conducted in collaboration with other terrorist
groups," the report said.
groups conducted attacks against governmental, non-governmental, and diplomatic
targets in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, it continued.
located in Pakistan, but focused on conducting attacks outside the country,
included the Afghan Taliban, HQN, LeT and its affiliated front organisations,
and JeM. Terrorists used a range of tactics to attack individuals, schools,
markets, government institutions, and places of worship, including IEDs,
VBIEDs, suicide bombings, targeted assassinations, and rocket-propelled
grenades," the report underlined.
terror outfits targetted civilians, journalists, community leaders, security
forces, law enforcement agents, and schools killing and injuring hundreds in
2018, the report noted adding, that religious minorities faced significant
threats from the terror groups.
report said that Pakistan, being a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money
Laundering (APG), an FATF-style regional body, agreed to implement
international standards to combat money laundering, terrorism finance, and
proliferation finance. While the country "criminalises terrorist financing
through the Anti-terrorism Act, the implementation remains uneven".
June 2018, the FATF placed Pakistan on its 'grey list' for deficiencies across
its AML/CFT regimes, specifically citing concerns over Pakistan''s failure to
fully implement the UN Security Council ISIL (Daesh) and al-Qaeda sanctions
regime. FATF noted that UN-listed entities, including LeT and its affiliates,
were not effectively prohibited from raising funds in Pakistan, or being denied
financial services," it said.
Pakistan's laws technically comply with international AML/CFT standards, authorities
failed to uniformly implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and
individuals such as LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of
economic resources and raise funds," the report noted.
commentator slated over anti-Muslim comments
UK’s finance minister criticised a right-wing magazine on Friday after one of
its highest-profile contributors suggested that Muslims should be stopped from
voting in national elections.
column by Rod Liddle in the Spectator Magazine suggested that a date for the
election be chosen when “Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell,
suggested that preventing Muslims from voting at the elections, now slated for
December 12, would give the ruling Conservative party, which is backed by the
Spectator, an extra 40 seats.
Liddle claimed that the column was “light-hearted” but was criticised by Sajid
Javid, the UK’s most prominent Muslim minister, campaigners and from within the
a tweet, Mr Javid said: “Not clear if the Rod Liddle comment is supposed to be
a joke - but it's not funny and not acceptable. No community in our country
should be put down that way.”
Conservative Party MP Nick Boles described Mr Liddle as a “repulsive man” in a
tweet. “Rod Liddle once said I was never a ‘proper Tory’,” he wrote. “Presumably
because, in his view, ‘proper Tories’ are out and out racists who hate British
Muslims. Repulsive man.”
Liddle once said I was never a ‘proper Tory’. Presumably because, in his view,
‘proper Tories’ are out and out racists who hate British Muslims. Repulsive
man. https://twitter.com/tellmamauk/status/1189981638878531584 …
is appalling in the @spectator by Rod Liddle.
suggestions are that Muslims should be unable to vote. What do we call that -
in 2019, when 3 Muslims have been murdered since 2013 for being - British
image on Twitter
PM - Nov 1, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
magazine’s assistant editor, Isabel Hardman, said she profoundly disagreed with
the article and said she was not involved in its publication.
his response to the outcry, Mr Liddle – a former editor of the BBC’s flagship
radio news programme – claimed there was “no hate speech or Islamophobia
whatsoever” in his piece. “It was patently a joke,” he said.
article is just the latest by Mr Liddle in the Spectator to cause upset. The
190-year-old magazine was fined £3,000 and forced to issue a grovelling apology
after Mr Liddle wrote a column that nearly brought to a halt a notorious
race-hate murder trial in 2012.
magazine said that article was published because of an “unprecedented and
bitterly regretted failure”. The magazine could not be reached for comment on
Generals in Iraq, Hezbollah Thugs in Lebanon: Tehran Demonstrates How to Snuff
month ago, a little after the mass protests began in Iraq against the
government, Iranian general Qasem Soleimani arrived on a night flight at the
Baghdad airport. Soleimani continued on in a helicopter from the airport to the
heart of the Green Zone in Baghdad, the area where the Iraqi government
ministries and defense establishment are located – alongside the American
Embassy, according to a report from The Associated Press.
commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, surprised a group
of senior officials in the Iraqi security forces when he showed up to run a
meeting supposed to be led by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
journalists managed to speak with two Iraqi senior officials who took part in
the meeting, or received a report later on what happened. The officials said
Soleimani told the Iraqi participants in the meeting: “We in Iran know how to
deal with protests.” The Iraqis got to work over the next few days: Snipers, it
seems members of the Shi’ite militias, opened fire on protesters. About 150
demonstrators were killed. The protests resumed a week ago, after a pause of a
few weeks – and dozens were once again killed across Iraq.
to the protests that began in mid-October in Lebanon, the Iraqi protests expressed
discontent with the internal political scene – the government’s failure in
economic matters, corruption and spending money on powerful sectors and groups,
such as the pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon. A
certain amount of anti-Iranian sentiment was lurking in the background:
Protesters in both countries called on Tehran to stop intervening in their
internal affairs. In Iraq they even burned Iranian flags and protested in front
of the Iranian consulate in Karbala, a holy city for Shi’ites.
Lebanon, too, Hezbollah is working to repress the protests, but so far it has
not used firearms to do so. Hezbollah sent its thugs on motorcycles, armed with
truncheons, to battle protesters and scare them off. For now, they have failed.
In the middle of the week, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, the senior
partner with Hezbollah in the government coalition, announced his resignation
in the face of the protests.
was right. The Iranians do have experience in putting down wide-scale public
protests. In 2009, about a year and a half before the Arab Spring broke out,
the authorities in Tehran harshly put down mass demonstrations that began in
the wake of claims of vote fraud in the presidential election. The Green
Revolution failed. But so far the Iranians have found it hard to pass on this
professional knowhow to their allies in Baghdad and Beirut.
protests are continuing, and in Iraq they have led to quite a lot of bloodshed.
The fall of the government in Beirut seems to worry Tehran and its man in
Beirut, Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah. In his most recent
speeches, Nasrallah accused the United States and Israel of supporting the
protests from behind the scenes. On Wednesday, the website of Iran’s “supreme leader,”
Ali Khamenei, repeated these claims.
is hard to believe these claims from Iran and Hezbollah. From the Israeli
perspective, for now there are no signs of immediate implications from the
tensions in Beirut. The Israeli security establishment is carefully following
the events, but for now they are not worried. Continued protests in the two
countries could very well shake the confidence of the Iranian leadership, which
has looked in recent months like it has racked up a string of successes – in light
of the lack of an American response to its military actions in the Gulf, and
the capitulation of the Trump administration, which has abandoned the Kurds in
on from Israel, the protests damage the legitimacy that Hezbollah has accumulated
thanks to the participation of its ministers in the government. It was very
convenient for Nasrallah to hide behind Hariri. The division of the spoils in
government seems to have enabled Hezbollah to provide a living for its
activists by allowing them to join the bureaucracy of the government ministries
under Hezbollah’s control. This was pure profit during a period in which the
organization has been suffering from a cut in Iranian financial support, which
is the result of harsher American sanctions.
the past, Hezbollah has taken more violent steps. It happened in 2008, when the
organization threatened a direct confrontation with the government, after it
asked Hezbollah to remove its men from part of the Beirut airport complex and
to stop operating its own national infrastructure. In the long run, an ongoing
internal confrontation in Lebanon could also endanger Israel: In 2006,
Nasrallah approved the kidnapping of IDF soldiers – which in retrospect turned
out to be the opening act of the Second Lebanon War – because of internal
tensions inside Lebanon.
was then in a different type of trouble. Hariri and his supporters accused
Nasrallah – it seems justifiably – of the murder of Hariri senior, Rafiq,
Saad’s father and also a former prime minister of Lebanon. The calls grew in
Lebanon at the time to disarm Hezbollah, a promise that was never carried out –
even though it was included in the Taif Agreement from 1989 to end the
country’s civil war. The escalation with Israel was intended to enable
Nasrallah to once again present himself as the defender of Lebanon. But in the
end, it led to the exact opposite. The provocation spun out of control, and
many in Lebanon blamed Nasrallah and Hezbollah for sparking the widespread
destruction caused by the Israeli bombings during the war.
unrest in Lebanon and Iraq indirectly reflects what is going on in a different
arena too, the Palestinian one. What is showing signs of becoming the second
wave of the events of the Arab Spring is reawakening the unfulfilled calls to
strengthen the democratic processes in many Arab countries. The two Palestinian
regimes, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza
Strip, are suffering from a lack of legitimacy in the eyes of their publics –
because the last elections were held in the Palestinian territories back in
2006. The chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is aware of the
growing criticism of him in the West Bank, as well as the tempting model of the
protests set by the protesters in Beirut for their brothers in Ramallah and
Nablus: youthful, secular by nature and nonviolent. This too is lurking in the
background of the public dialogue Abbas is conducting with Hamas concerning the
possibility of holding new elections for the Palestinian parliament and
began as a game of accusations between Abbas and Hamas could very well end
differently. As Michael Milshtein of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern
and African Studies at Tel Aviv University notes, a rolling dynamic often
develops in the Palestinian territories that is stronger that the basic
interests of the parties involved. A situation could well develop in which the
rival camps will be afraid to be seen as the side that opposes the democratic
process, and so they will express willingness to make progress toward
elections. These developments could influence Israel, too, Milshtein told
to 2006, the Palestinians might demand elections in East Jerusalem too. At the
time, Ariel Sharon’s government gave in to the pressure from the Bush
administration. Given present political circumstances, it’s hard to believe an
Israeli government – headed by Benjamin Netanyahu or even Benny Gantz – would
allow itself to make such a concession.
of Ayodhya verdict, All India Muslim Personal Law Board asks Muslims to repose
faith in Constitution
Ahead of the Ayodhya case verdict, senior member of the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali on Friday said imams
should advice Muslims to repose faith in the Constitution and judiciary and
maintain communal harmony. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is expected to
deliver verdict in the Ayodhya case before his retirement on 17 November.
a statement Maulana Khalid said, "As media reports suggest the Supreme
Court's judgment on Ayodhya is going to come soon. You are aware of the fact
that the Ayodhya case is the biggest and most sensitive case of independent
India. The entire country and global community is looking towards the judgment.
Hence, it is the responsibility of every citizen to honour the judgment of the
court and maintain peace."
appeal is to every imam of various mosques to make appeal that Muslims need not
to feel afraid, but they should repose faith in country's Constitution and
judiciary, and whatever the judgment comes, we should honour it," he said.
Maulana Khalid also appealed to people not to indulge in any type of
celebration after the judgment is out, not to indulge in sloganeering nor
issue should be raised which may hurt religious sentiments. The fabric of
communal bonhomie and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb should not be allowed to be
damaged," he said. A 5-judge
Constitution bench headed by the CJI had reserved the verdict on October 16
after concluding the 40-day-long hearing in the politically sensitive case.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad
High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in
Ayodhya be partitioned equally among three parties: the Sunni Waqf Board, the
Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
dressed as Hanuman booked for impersonation in Bareilly
Police have charged a Muslim youth with cheating on the complaint of the
members of Bajrang Dal after he was caught dressed up as Hanuman from near a
temple in Subhash Nagar locality of Bareilly on Thursday evening. The man was
charged under IPC's section 419 (cheating by personation) and sent to jail by
police on Friday.
Nagar station house officer Harishchandra Joshi said, "We have filed an
FIR for cheating as the accused is a Muslim and took the guise of Lord Hanuman
to cheat people of the community and hurt their sentiments. We have sent the
accused to jail after it was found that he is a member of a nomadic group and
failed to provide accurate details about himself."
Naseem, 19, was caught by the members of Bajrang Dal while he begging outside a
temple after they found his act to be "an insult to the dignity of the
god". During questioning, they identified that man in the guise of Hanuman
was actually a Muslim. They later handed him over to police along with a
questioning, Naseem told police that he is an artist and changes his guise
frequently for earning money.
Pakistanis among 6 convicted for '08 CRPF camp attack
A local court on Friday convicted six accused, including two Pakistani
nationals, for the attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur in 2008 in which seven
jawans of the force and a civilian were killed.
court of the additional district judge held them guilty under various sections
and will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Saturday. It, however, acquitted
Muhammad Kausar and Gulab Khan, who were accused of hiding the weapons used in
the attack, which took place on the intervening night of December 31, 2007 and
January 1, 2008.
found guilty include two Pakistanis — Imran Shahzad and Mohammad Farooq. The
four others are Sharif, Sabauddin, Baba, and Faheem Arshad Ansari. The
convicted include two men who were earlier acquitted in the 26/11 attacks.
works to get Capitol Hill’s support on Kashmir
DELHI: Taken aback at the sharp anti-India sentiments that manifested itself in
the US Congress recently, both India and the US are taking corrective steps to
restore the balance.
Holding (R) from South Carolina made the most spirited defence of the Modi
government's Kashmir policy in the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Article 370 as an "outdated provision of law that the Indian Constitution
recognised as “temporary", he said the steps that Prime Minister Modi and
Indian Parliament have taken “are needed, they’re good for the long-term
stability of the region, and they should be applauded”.
Pakistan's continued policy of cross-border terrorism, Holding, the co-chair of
the India Caucus, said, "Pakistan-based terror groups have recently
floated posters warning common citizens against venturing out, going to work,
and visiting public places. The groups have continued to engage in cross-border
terrorism and have attacked civilians and children. These militant groups have
also attacked migrant workers and those who are involved in the apple business
which is the chief crop of Kashmir."
Modi government, he said, was right to address a situation which was being used
by forces to foment terrorism and separatism. "The Modi government had to
make a decision on whether to continue with the old policy or pursue progress
by changing the region’s legal status."
its part, the Indian government is improving its own Congressional outreach
processes, putting together what officials called a comprehensive strategy.
This comes after it was concluded that many of the officials in the mission
have been less than outgoing, coming late for meetings and refusing to take
questions from their interlocutors etc leading to several complaints about
strategy includes focused outreach with key Congress leaders by Indian
ambassador Harsh Shringla. Indian officials are increasing the frequency and
intensity of their briefings of Congressional staffers and aides, most of whom
are very powerful and hold a strong influence with the lawmakers.
the next few weeks, Indian officials from the mission are expected to meet a
large number of Congress leaders in their constituencies, particularly those
having large number of Indian community members.
the Capitol Hill is a full time effort, but the Indian mission has
traditionally put in a few political officers on the job. Sources said this
would be intensified over the coming weeks. For instance, ambassador Shringla
met Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman on Thursday to address the differences.
used to be more positive about India, but at a recent foreign relations
committee hearing, he seemed hostile to India. Both sides were working to
restore the relationship, sources said.
hurl petrol bomb at school in Shopian
Suspected terrorists on Friday evening hurled petrol bomb at a school building
in South Kashmir's Shopian district.
said militants hurled petrol bomb at a school building in Kundalan village in
Shopian district on Friday.
school is designated as an examination centre for the ongoing 10th board exam.
has no dealings with Israel firm behind WhatsApp snoopgate, says official: Report
government has no dealings with Israeli company NSO that is said to be behind a
software used to snoop on activists and journalists around the world, a top
government source said on Friday.
source, who requested anonymity, said WhatsApp had not disclosed the alleged
spying incident in its conversations with the Indian government that it has had
since the attack in May this year.
the source said, will continue to insist on WhatsApp bringing in traceability
and will also want the Facebook-owned company to respond to the latest incident
in full details.
has been given time till November 4 to respond, and the government will decide
on the future course of action once it receives a reply from the company. A
WhatsApp spokesperson said that in May, the company had “quickly resolved a
security issue and notified relevant Indian and international government
then we’ve worked to identify targeted users to ask the courts to hold the
international spyware firm known as the NSO Group accountable”, the
spokesperson said in a statement.
emphasised that it accords the highest priority to the privacy and security of
its users. “We agree with the government of India it’s critical that together
we do all we can to protect users from hackers attempting to weaken security.”
NSO has so far maintained that it only sold its “technology to licensed
government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them fight
terrorism and serious crime” and is not “designed or licensed for use against
human rights activists and journalists.” It was not clear to whom the company
has sold its software to in India and at whose behest journalists and activists
source said there has been no dealing between the government and the NSO, and
that the fight is between NSO and WhatsApp. The Indian government is concerned
only because Indian names are involved, the source said.
source said WhatsApp Global Head Will Catchcart (in July) and Facebook Global
VP Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg (September) had met IT Ministry
officials and that the government, in these meetings, had insisted on
disclosure of malicious source under compelling reason that did not require any
decryption. Even at that point in time, WhatsApp did not disclose this
incident, the source pointed out, adding that any hacking incident pertaining
to the country has to be reported to the authorities. WhatsApp has over 1.5
billion users globally, of which India alone accounts for about 400 million. In
the past too, WhatsApp has drawn flak from the Indian government on the
platform being misused for spreading misinformation that led to incidents of
government has categorically told WhatsApp that it wants the platform to bring
in a mechanism to enable tracing of the originator of messages, a demand that
WhatsApp has resisted citing privacy issues. The source raised questions on
whether the disclosure by WhatsApp was a rearguard action to prevent the
government from bringing measures on traceability and accountability.
parallels with a letter in an envelope, the source said the government was not
interested in the contents of the letter but the address of the sender. The
person said it was not acceptable that WhatsApp resist demands for message
traceability when in fact people are being snooped on, and that challenges
around end-to-end encryption technology can be certainly solved with
on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in a California federal court against NSO Group,
which allegedly developed the spyware, saying an attempt was made to infect
approximately 1,400 “target devices” globally with malicious software to steal
valuable information from those using the messaging app.
attacks allegedly targeted civil society members like journalists and human
rights activists across the world, including India. On Thursday, WhatsApp had
said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally
spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli spyware Pegasus. Following the
disclosure, the government asked WhatsApp to explain the matter and list out
the measures that have been taken by it to safeguard privacy of millions of
Indians. WhatsApp on Friday said it has taken a “strong action” in the incident
and that it supports the Indian government’s stand on the need to safeguard the
privacy of all citizens.
agree with the government of India’s strong statement about the need to
safeguard the privacy of all Indian citizens. That is why we’ve taken this
strong action to hold cyber attackers accountable and why WhatsApp is so
committed to the protection of all user messages through the product we
provide,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI.
spokesperson, however, did not comment on whether WhatsApp has submitted its
response to the government’s query. The government is also questioning the
timing of the disclosure of the hacking incident, particularly against the
backdrop of Supreme Court allowing the Centre three months to come up with rules
to curb misuse of social media in the country, the source added.
daughter Iltija reacts to PM’s meeting with mother
Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti in
her tweet addressed to PM Modi today asked for how long does he intend to keep
sons away from their mothers.
Iltija was responding to recently clicked photographs of Modi meeting his
mother that a news agency shared, Indian Express reports.
Iltija calling the photographs heartwarming asked PM Modi about her mother and
thousands of politicians including members, minor boys held in detention for
the past three months.
much longer will you separate those mothers from their sons,” Ms Mufti asked
indicating about J&K people held in detention by the state authorities.
in September, Ms Iltija after meeting her mother, sent an email to Home
Secretary of Government of India seeking information on number of detentions,
arrests carried out in the state.
Iltija emailed the Home Secretary of GOI & Home Secretary of J&K on
18th September seeking certain information for my mother, Ms Mufti. I am still
awaiting a response,” she said.
her meeting with Ms Mufti in September, Iltija said over the past three months
in detention, her mother was neither briefed by any member of her political
party nor had any access to newspapers.
my meeting with her, my mother expressed concern at the number of detentions
and arrests (and in particular the reports of detention of children) that have
taken place in the state,” she wrote.
Iltija was allowed to travel to Srinagar to meet her mother after the Apex
Court allowed her plea on September 5.
pleaded before the court that she is concerned about her mother’s health as she
has not met her in a month.
Sadiq appeals to Muslims to gift disputed land to Hindus
Ahead of Ayodhya verdict, politicians and clerics are appealing to the people
to maintain harmony. They are asking people to maintain peace and accept the
Shia cleric and vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board
(AIMPLB) Maulana Dr Kalbe Sadiq has appealed to the community to gift the
disputed land to the Hindus, if the Supreme Court gives its judgement in their
favour. UNI reported.
Sadiq issued a statement saying that ‘it would be a good gesture by the Muslims
to their Hindu brothers to gift the disputed land for the construction of Ram
temple at Ayodhya if the apex court gives its verdict in their favour.’
asserted that such an act would strengthen the relationship between the Muslims
and the Hindus in the country. He said winning the heart of the people is more
important than winning the case.
halal tourism bid faces pushback from non-Muslims
(AFP) - Indonesia's bid to lure more visitors by spreading halal tourism across
the archipelago is facing a backlash, with a Christian celebration of pigs -
forbidden for Muslims - the latest act of dissent.
weekend festival-cum-protest in Sumatra, featuring pig racing, chubbiest hog
contests and a porcine fashion show, comes as holiday hot spot Bali pushes back
against rolling out more Muslim-friendly services on the Hindu island.
National Police Chief Warned of Daunting Tasks Ahead
CARLOS K.Y. PAATH
Idham Azis rose to become a police general after being sworn in as the new
National Police chief on Friday, with predecessor Tito Karnavian warning him of
tough days ahead.
a National Police chief is never easy. You have to manage 450,000 personnel, 34
provincial forces, more than 500 district forces and almost 5,000 sub-district
forces," Tito said after the inauguration ceremony at the State Palace in
to mention the main tasks of keeping national security in order while also
improving services to the public," he said.
Idham's immediate challenges are the gubernatorial and district head elections
across multiple regions next year.
enforcement in a very pluralistic country and free democracy is not an easy
task. Many ideological and political problems will arise during next year's
270-region elections," Tito, now the home affairs minister, said.
2016, Tito faced a series of mass demonstrations involving hundreds of
thousands of Islamic protesters calling for the then Jakarta Governor Basuki
"Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to be tried for blasphemy.
furor led to a very heated Jakarta gubernatorial election the following year,
marred by sectarian conflicts and ended with Ahok's loss to Anies Baswedan and
his blasphemy conviction.
was followed by national political contests heading to last April's legislative
and presidential elections.
endured very hard times during the three years and three months [of my
tenure]," Tito said.
court extends Altaf Hussain's bail in 2016 hate speech case
A London court on Friday extended the bail of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)
founder Altaf Hussain in connection with a 2016 hate speech case where he had
allegedly urged his supporters to take the law into their hands.
appeared before Justice Nigel Sweeney at the Central Criminal Court where it
ruled that a preliminary hearing in the case will be held on March 20, 2020,
and the trial will begin on June 1, The Dawn reported.
development comes after the Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 10 passed
the matter to the criminal court for trial.
October 11, the MQM chief was charged with a terrorism offence in connection
with the case. If convicted, he could face a jail term of 15 years along with a
that hearing, he pleaded not guilty, following which Judge Emma Arbuthnot
granted him conditional bail.
six-year-old Hussain is barred from addressing crowds for fear of instigating
them and is bound to stay at the designated address under curfew conditions
from morning to evening. Hussain cannot leave the UK without police permission
the 1990s, Hussain has been living in the UK in a self-imposed exile following
a crackdown on his party in Pakistan. He later gained British citizenship.
regularly makes television addresses or telephone speeches to his supporters,
where he criticises the Pakistan Army and ISI for alleged military oppression
has been accused by his opponents of encouraging his party workers to indulge
authorities have repeatedly sought the MQM chief's return to Pakistan to face
trial in a number of murder and violence cases lodged against him.
Rehman gives two-day deadline to Imran Khan to quit
Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leading the Azadi
march demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, has given him a
two-day deadline to resign.
the march at Metro Ground in Islamabad on Friday, Rehman said that we are
giving two days' time to Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign and other
'National Organisations' to withdraw support to the incumbent government. Several
opposition leaders are also participating in the march.
said that he doesn't want any conflict with the 'National Organisations',
rather he wants them to be stable and neutral.
said, "If we feel that the organisations continue to back and protect the
illegitimate government, then they have two days' time. After that we shouldn't
be stopped from forming our perspective about them. Prime Minister Imran Khan
has two days to resign. If he doesn't resign in two days, then the people of
Pakistan are capable of entering the PM House forcefully and arrest the prime
slammed the government for failing to live up to its promises. He said that the
government had promised to build five million homes for the poor but they have
demolished more than five million homes instead.
Imran says will give protesters food supplies but not NRO
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an indirect message to the opposition-led Azadi
March protesters, said on Friday that he will even send food and other supplies
to the participants, but will not grant any concession under the National Reconciliation
the Azadi Parade on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day of Gilgit, the prime
minister reiterated that he will not step down from his post by resigning.
prime minister, who had set up a seven-member government committee to hold
talks with opposition ahead of the march, targeted Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan
Achakzai in his speech at a gathering.
prime minister used the occasion to highlight the Indian atrocities in occupied
Kashmir where Narendra Modi government had imposed a curfew for three months
reiterated his support for people of Kashmir and said no one can stop occupied
Kashmir from becoming independent.
will not leave Kashmiris alone, I fill fight their case", he said.
"Nobody can stop Kashmir from becoming independent."
prime minister added he would continue to raise the issue of Kahsmir across the
world as the ambassador of Kashmiris.
tribute to people of Gilgit-Baltistan, he said they fought a war to win their
people of Gilgit-Baltistan would have also become victims of Modi's oppression
if they had not fought the war for their independence," he said.
prime minister further said, "A Muslim does not bow before anyone but
Allah," he said adding that two superpowers came to their knees before
Muslims within a decade.
is the only country which came in to being in the name of Islam," he said
adding that the country would become a Madina like state.
have to follow the principles of state of Madina," PM Imran said.
about the natural beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan, he said the region was matchless
in the world.
of Asma Jahangir group wins SCBA polls
Asma Jahangir group’s Syed Qalab-e-Hassan has been elected by a wide margin as
the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president at the SCBA annual election
belongs to Islamabad and has worked as a judge of the Islamabad High Court
(IHC) from February 15, 2008 till July 31, 2009. Currently, he is a member of
Pakistan Bar Council’s (PBC) enrollment committee.
bagged 400 votes more than the runner-up Shoaib Shaheen of the Hamid Khan
Group. Shaheen’s defeat is a setback for the federal government as Law Minister
Dr Farogh Naseem and Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan were
actively involved in his election campaign.
wings of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party
(PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) backed the Asma Group’s
the SCBA secretary’s seat was won by Malik Shamim – a candidate belonging to the
Hamid Khan Group – by a small margin.
to reporters late on Thursday, Hassan demanded the resignation of Law Minister
Naseem, who, according to him, was involved in pre-poll rigging by giving
different offers to lawyers for gaining support for the opponent candidate.
of Musharraf’s assets ordered in Benazir murder case
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday ordered attachment of the properties
owned by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for being a fugitive in the
Benazir Bhutto murder case.
Shaukat Kamal Dar of the Rawalpindi ATC issued the order after the prosecution
completed the process required to declare the former military dictator
‘fugitive’ and ‘absconder’ in the murder case of the former prime minister and
then chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
to the prosecution, Musharraf has eight bank accounts, besides immovable
properties in Islamabad and Gwadar. He was declared an absconder in the PPP
chairperson’s murder case after he left the country in 2016.
the Aug 31, 2017, verdict, the ATC convicted CPO Saud Aziz and SSP Khurram
Shehzad for criminal negligence and acquitted five others suspected to be
affiliated with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. Both police officers
later filed an appeal in the Lahore High Court, which suspended their
Musharraf had been declared a proclaimed offender, the ATC then initiated a
process for attachment of his movable and immovable properties.
trial of the Benazir murder suspects had commenced in January 2008. However,
the government in 2009 ordered a fresh probe into the assassination.
Subsequently, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation
Agency (FIA) implicated the ex-military ruler Musharraf, then city police
officer Aziz and SSP Shehzad as accused.
prosecution submitted eight challans to the ATC that separated Musharraf’s
trial after he left the country in March 2016.
the Rawalpindi ATC on Friday ordered attachment of his properties for being
fugitive in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, a special court had earlier also
initiated similar proceeding because of absconding of the ex-dictator in the
high treason case.
the high treason case, the properties could not be attached because the spouse,
daughter and a close relative of Musharraf claimed the ownership of the
properties in question.
to the documents submitted by the interior ministry in the special court, the
former military dictator owned seven immovable properties and nine bank
immovable properties included a farmhouse in Islamabad’s Chak Shahzad, land in
the Army Housing Scheme in Karachi, Khayaban-i-Faisal, Defence Housing
Authority (DHA), Karachi, Beach Street, DHA Islamabad, and DHA Lahore.
former military ruler also had accounts in Bank Alfalah, Standard Chartered
Bank, Askari Bank, Habib Metropolitan Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan.
farmhouse mentioned in the interior ministry’s details, however, was disputed
as the matter was sub judice. His wife claims ownership of the house that she
said he had gifted to her in 2008.
interior ministry informed the special court seized with high treason trial
that it was difficult to attach even local properties of the absconding
dictator as some of the properties were disputed, his spouse, daughter and a
relative claiming to have share in the property.
supports Pakistan’s efforts to curb terror-financing
Chinese Foreign Ministry said that it supports Pakistan’s efforts to improve
the country’s system for countering terror-financing.
ministry also said that FATF’s purpose is assisting countries to combat illegal
activities such as money laundering and terror-financing in a better way,
rather than sanctioning them.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang issued the statement while responding
to a question on the comments of a senior Chinese official who said that
Beijing is opposed to blacklisting of Pakistan by FATF.
official also mentioned the FATF plenary’s appreciation of Islamabad’s
long ago, the FATF plenary meeting decided to keep Pakistan’s rating unchanged.
It shows the FATF membership’s recognition of Pakistan’s progress in improving
the system of countering the financing of terrorism, as well as encouragement
for Pakistan’s efforts,” he said.
said that the decision was in line with the FATF purpose of fighting
terror-financing and upholding the security of the international financial
honoured its commitment, ICJ tells UN
International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has
submitted a report to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres,
wherein he said that Pakistan honoured its commitment of granting consular
access to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.
ICJ president said that on August 1, Pakistan had notified the international
court about its commitment to implement the July 17 verdict as it had informed
the Indian spy of his rights under the Vienna Convention, and had invited
Indian officials to visit him.
particular, Pakistan stated that Mr Jadhav had been immediately informed of his
rights under the Vienna Convention and that the consular post of the High
Commission of India in Islamabad had been invited to visit him on 2 August
2019,” the report stated.
about the reparation and remedies in line with the court’s ruling, the ICJ
president said that an appropriate remedy was effective review and
reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and sentence.
Court moreover clarified what it considered to be the requirements of effective
review and reconsideration. It stressed that Pakistan must ensure that full
weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in the
Vienna Convention and guarantee that the violation and the possible prejudice
caused by the violation are fully examined,” the report stated.
the Court left the choice of means to provide effective review and
reconsideration to Pakistan, it noted that effective review and reconsideration
presupposes the existence of a procedure that is suitable for this purpose and
observed that it is normally the judicial process that is suited to this task,”
the report added.
July 17, the ICJ rejected had India’s plea for Jadhav’s acquittal, ruling that
the convicted Indian spy be allowed consular access immediately and asking Pakistan
to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and
Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf had announced the verdict in the presence of both
Pakistani and Indian delegations.
ICJ had rejected all other remedies sought by India, which included the
annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, restricting
Pakistani from executing the sentence, securing Jadhav’s release and ordering
his return to India.
ICJ had said that even though it had found Pakistan in violation of Article 36
the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), “it is not the conviction
and sentence of Mr. Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article
36 of the Vienna Convention.”
most the ICJ had said it could do was to order Pakistan to cease violation of
Article 36 and review the case in light of how that violation may have affected
the case’s outcome.
Court notes that Pakistan acknowledges that the appropriate remedy in the
present case would be effective review and reconsideration of the conviction
and sentence,” it had observed.
this end, Pakistan was directed to immediately inform Jadhav of his rights
under Article 36, grant him consular access, and then review the case while
considering, under the laws of Pakistan, how not doing so earlier may have
impacted the case.
September 2, Pakistan granted consular access to Jadhav and allowed Indian
officials to meet the convicted Indian spy.
force can stop Kashmiris from attaining freedom, says PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday paid tribute to the martyrs of
Gilgit-Baltistan and said no force can stop the people of Indian Occupied
Kashmir (IOK) from attaining their freedom.
the 72nd independence day celebrations in Gilgit-Baltistan, the premier
reiterated Pakistan’s support for the people of the occupied region, adding
that he is the ambassador and spokesperson for the Kashmiris and will plead
their case at every forum.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the premier said his counterpart in New
Delhi has played his “last card” by revoking special status of occupied
Kashmir, adding that once the draconian curfew is lifted, the people would take
to streets in protest against the Indian government.
tribute to the struggle of thousands who sacrificed their lives for the
country, the premier noted that if Gilgit had not fought the war against the
Dogra regime, they too would be suffering Indian oppression today.
congratulate the people on this Independence Day as they fought a war to win
their freedom,” said the premier who earlier visited the graveyard of the
martyrs of the war of independence.
premier also appreciated the beauty of Gilgit, adding “I’ve seen the whole
world but the beauty in Gilgit-Baltistan I’ve never seen anywhere”.
to the steps taken by the government to promote tourism in the country, he said
visa requirements for the citizens of seventy countries have been abolished and
expressed confidence that tourism in the country will flourish.
of Pakistanis freed from Saudi Arabia jails
Saudi Arabia released 1,245 Pakistani prisoners from its jails this year, while
Pakistani representatives were in touch with the Saudi government for the
release of many others, the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas
Pakistanis said on Thursday.
February, Pakistan’s Information Ministry announced that Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the release of about 2,100 Pakistani prisoners
from the Kingdom’s jails during a high-profile visit to Islamabad.
with 1,245 prisoners released from Saudi jails, approximately 3,400 deported
from Makkah, Riyadh, Dammam, Tabuk and other Saudi cities have also been
released from deportation camps since the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman,” Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari told Arab News.
than 3,300 Pakistani prisoners are currently jailed in Saudi Arabia. Bukhari
said in the last year, the government had succeeded in getting 2,559 Pakistani
prisoners freed out of a total of 6,880 imprisoned in Gulf countries, including
1,200 in the UAE, 55 from Oman, 18 from Kuwait, 17 from Bahrain, 14 from Qatar
and 10 in Iraq.
Pakistanis are in detention in the Gulf for forgery, drug trafficking, illegal
border crossing, theft and bribery. Most of those released had been sentenced
to between one and five years in prison.
said the Saudi government was fulfilling its promise for the speedy recovery of
prisoners but there was a problem devising the correct mechanism: “They
(Pakistanis imprisoned in Saudi Arabia) include deportees, while our prime
minister asked for those prisoners jailed for different crimes.
are thankful to the Saudi government for the release of such a number,
approximately 38 percent of the total,” Bukhari added. “We hope that the
ongoing process will result in the release of more prisoners in the remaining
two months of the year.”
anger in the Arab world is creating an opening for ISIS — again
Pletka is senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the
American Enterprise Institute.
Trump’s desire to dance on the grave of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi, who was killed on Saturday by U.S. Special Operations forces, is
entirely understandable. But his time would be better spent reflecting on the
circumstances that facilitated Baghdadi’s rise in the first place —
circumstances that are now driving a surge of protests around the Middle East.
the region, dictators and kleptocrats continue to preside over young and
restive societies. Most of these leaders are better at filling prisons than
delivering basic services or providing opportunity. As a result, protests are
now roiling Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt, and they are threatening to spread
further. Without a strategy to address this unrest, the region risks a repeat
of the cycle of chaos that brought the Islamic State to power in the aftermath
of the 2011 Arab Spring.
Lebanon, the public anger that led to this week’s resignation of Prime Minister
Saad Hariri has been mounting for years. Popular rage has been simmering since
a garbage collection scandal in 2015 left the streets teeming with trash. There
are daily power cuts in most Lebanese cities, and word on the street is that
the electricity contracts are lining the pockets of the prime minister and his
foreign minister — who is, not coincidentally, the son-in-law of the president.
Youth unemployment hovers close to 20 percent; more than a million Syrian
refugees also strain the national system. But the main culprit is the sectarian
political spoils system that has dominated Lebanon since its founding.
Political patronage and corruption dominate everything from employment to
education to access to light and heat. The Lebanese rank their country as one
of the most corrupt in the Middle East.
Iraq, a fragile democracy has struggled — and for the most part failed — to
contend with a decade and a half of turmoil since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
With a spoils and sectarian spoils system much like Lebanon’s — allocating the
presidency, premiership and speakership of parliament based on religion, sect or
ethnicity — Iraqis have become accustomed to patronage abuses, power shortages
and nonexistent municipal services. In September, the government suspended the
license of U.S.-government funded broadcaster Al Hurra after an exposé of graft
in the country’s religious endowments. “Ghost employees,” outright theft and
pay-to-play have stifled job creation. And as in Lebanon, crowds protesting the
government’s corruption have been joined by others angered by Iranian efforts
to dominate every aspect of Iraqi political and military life.
both countries, Iranian proxies have sought to quell protests with little
success. In Beirut, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah called for an end to
demonstrations, sending thugs into the street to beat anti-government
protesters. But neither Hezbollah’s weapons nor Hariri’s resignation —
perceived by many as little more than a stunt — will satisfy. More than 250
have died in Iraq at the hands of security forces and Iranian proxy militias,
yet protests continue.
Egypt, more than 2,000 protesters, opposition members, lawyers and some unlucky
random individuals were recently arrested and stuffed into overflowing prisons
and police stations in an attempt to nip public rallies in the bud. The spark,
allegations from a now-exiled businessman of corruption and waste involving top
government figures, will sound familiar to anyone watching other protests
across the region. Demonstrations have taken place despite a harsh climate of
oppression that has already landed tens of thousands in prison.
the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the 2013 military-led crackdown on the
Islamist government that followed, President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has managed
to re-create conditions that earned his predecessor the contempt of the nation.
The economy has slowly begun to grow, but the benefits are largely invisible to
the estimated 60 percent of Egyptians living in poverty, and foreign investors
who might generate jobs remain uneasy about the country’s direction and
the face of this unrest, Western governments caught off guard by the Arab
Spring appear just as flummoxed. Many seem to have decided that the predictable
dictator-imposed stability of the pre-Arab Spring era is preferable to the
turmoil ushered by the revolutions. And looking at Syria, Libya or Yemen, it’s
understandable that the devil we know — even Bashar al-Assad — is better than
the alternative. But that’s not how these stories end.
way such dictatorships and kleptocracies end is conflict, violence, civil war
and death. All of this is catnip to jihadists like the late Baghdadi.
time to recognize that tyranny only exacerbates a tendency to violence in
repressed societies. The Arab Spring taught us that every tyrant has a shelf
life, and that failing to manage a transition to more transparent, accountable
government results in disaster. Perhaps the time has come to step in with the
soft power that should be the antidote to last-ditch military interventions.
Perhaps it’s time to tie assistance and recognition (not to speak of
presidential phone calls and visits) to real economic reform and measures of
accountability. Perhaps the time has come for Western governments to demand
collectively that the region’s leaders be answerable to their own people before
we face another wave of refugees, the next iteration of the Islamic State and
top Shia cleric urges end of bloodshed, warns of civil war
top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has urged the end of bloodshed in the
Arab country, warning of a civil war and chaos after dozens of deaths during
the recent wave of protest rallies across Iraq.
a statement on Friday, Ayatollah Sistani expressed regret over the continued
clashes between demonstrators and security forces, which have resulted in the
deaths and injuries of many innocent people from both sides and damages to
public and private properties.
innocent blood shed during the past few weeks is very valuable to us, and
measures must be taken to prevent further bloodshed,” the top cleric said.
country must be kept from slipping toward the edge of the precipice of a civil
war, chaos, and destruction,” Ayatollah Sistani urged.
is only possible if all parties join hands to resolve the current crisis in the
country with good faith, he added.
top cleric once again condemned any assault on the peaceful protesters and any
unjustifiable violence, calling for investigation into those who use violence.
Sistani also warned any individuals and groups inside Iraq as well as regional
and world countries against attempting to exploit the Iraqi people’s protests.
al-Shaabi says won’t interfere in rallies
Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, also known as Hashd al-Sha'abi, announced
that it will support the legitimate demands of protesters without interfering
in the country’s political situation.
a statement on Thursday, the PMU stressed that it is not going to meddle in the
public demonstrations as it is a force tasked with ensuring the security and
integrity of Iraq and defending the country against terrorism.
statement further dismissed rumors circulating on social media against Hashd
al-Sha'abi, the latest of which was about the deployment of military vehicles
from the house of PMU commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad’s Jadriyah
it said, has no base or house in Jadriyah and his office is the Hashd
al-Sha'abi headquarters in the Green Zone of Baghdad.
PMU played a decisive role in Iraq’s uphill 2014-2017 battle against the Daesh
terrorist group. The Iraqi parliament on November 26, 2016 approved a law
giving full legal status to Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters.
ongoing demonstrations in Iraq follow a previous bout of anti-government
protests in early October over corruption, unemployment and lack of basic
than 200 have been killed and thousands of others wounded since the protests
erupted, with security forces using tear gas and rubber bullets against those
taking to the streets.
part of efforts to meet the anti-corruption demands, the Iraqi Supreme
Anti-Corruption Council announced on Friday that it has issued arrest warrants
for a minister, a provincial council chief, five lawmakers, two former
ministers, and 60 local officials for corruption.
in Thursday remarks, Iraqi President Barham Salih said the country’s embattled
Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is ready to step down if a replacement is
found, emphasizing that a snap parliamentary election will be held once a new
electoral law is passed.
elections cannot be held until a new electoral law is passed, Salih said,
adding that he expected a bill to be introduced in parliament by next week.
throng streets in biggest protest since Saddam’s fall
Tens of thousands of Iraqis thronged central Baghdad on Friday demanding the
root-and-branch downfall of the political elite in the biggest day of mass
anti-government demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
woman died after she was struck in the head by a tear gas canister, Iraq’s
Human Rights Commission said, and at least 155 people were wounded on Friday as
security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters camped out in
the capital’s Tahrir Square.
people died on Thursday night from similar injuries.
have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across
Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides to reject the political parties in power
the Muslim main day of prayer, drew the biggest crowds yet, with many taking to
the streets after worship.
the afternoon tens of thousands had packed the square, condemning elites they
see as deeply corrupt, beholden to foreign powers and responsible for daily
have been comparatively peaceful by day, becoming more violent after dark as
police use tear gas and rubber bullets to battle self-proclaimed
least 250 people have been killed over the past month.
have focused on the ramparts to the Republic Bridge leading across the Tigris
to the heavily fortified Green Zone of government buildings, where the
protesters say out-of-touch leaders are holed up in a walled-off bastion of
time we smell death from your smoke, we yearn more to cross your republic’s
bridge,” someone wrote on a nearby wall.
International said on Thursday security forces were using “previously unseen”
tear gas canisters modelled on military grenades that are 10 times as heavy as
are peaceful yet they fire on us. What are we, Islamic State militants? I saw a
man die. I took a tear gas canister to the face,” said Barah, 21, whose face
was wrapped in bandages.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged all sides to reject violence,
adding that Iraq’s official inquiry into the early October violence “lacked
Iraqi people deserve genuine accountability and justice,” Pompeo said in a
statement. “The Government of Iraq should listen to the legitimate demands made
by the Iraqi people.”
Baghdad, protesters had set up checkpoints in the streets leading into and
surrounding Tahrir Square, redirecting traffic.
people swept the streets, many sang about the sit-in. Helmets and gas masks
were now a common sight.
woman pushed her baby in a stroller draped with an Iraqi flag while
representatives from several Iraqi tribes waved banners pledging support for
Najm, a jobless engineering graduate, said the square had become a model for
the country he and his comrades hope to build: “We are cleaning streets, others
bring us water, they bring us electricity, they wired it up.
mini-state. Health for free, tuk-tuks transporting for free,” he said. “The
state has been around for 16 years and what it failed to do we did in seven
days in Tahrir.”
Iraq’s oil wealth, many live in poverty with limited access to clean water,
electricity, health care or education. The government of Prime Minister Adel
Abdul Mahdi, in office for a year, has found no response to the protests.
his weekly sermon, top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned of
“civil conflict, chaos and destruction” if the security forces or paramilitary
groups crack down on the protests.
he gave an apparent nod to protesters who say the government is being
manipulated from abroad, above all by Iran.
one person or group or side with an agenda, or any regional or international
party, can infringe upon the will of Iraqis or force an opinion upon them,”
Sistani’s representative said during a sermon in the holy city of Kerbala.
reported this week that a powerful Iran-backed faction had considered
abandoning Abdul Mahdi, but decided to keep him in office after a secret
meeting attended by a general from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Iranian security official confirmed the general, Qassem Soleimani, had attended
Wednesday’s meeting, to “give advice”.
see the political class as subservient to one or another of Baghdad’s main
allies, the United States and Iran, who use Iraq as a proxy in a struggle for
have suffered at the hands of this evil bunch who came atop American tanks, and
from Iran. Qassem Soleimani’s people are now firing on the Iraqi people in cold
blood,” said protester Qassam al-Sikeeni.
Barham Salih said on Thursday that Abdul Mahdi would resign if parliament’s
main blocs agreed on a replacement.
say that wouldn’t be enough; they want to undo the entire post-Saddam political
system which distributes power among sectarian parties.
what if Adel Abdul Mahdi resigns? What will happen? They will get someone
worse,” said barber Amir, 26.
were protests in other provinces, with the unrest having spread across much of
the southern Shi’ite heartland.
southern city of Diwaniya, roughly 3,000 people including many families with
small children were out.
Iran has spent $16 billion on militias in Iraq, Syria
US envoy for Iran said Thursday that Tehran has funded militia groups in Syria
and Iraq to the tune of $16 billion.
State Department Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, who made the
comments in an interview with Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya, did not specify
over what time period the money was sent.
has longstanding ties to a number of armed Shiite groups in Iraq and was a key
backer of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a paramilitary group that fought
against the Islamic State jihadist organization.
Syria, Iran supports militias fighting on behalf of its ally Syrian President
Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war.
also backs other armed factions such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group and
the Houthis in Yemen.
has accused Iran of seeking to place advanced weaponry in Iraq and Syria that
could be used to target the Jewish state. On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said Iran was trying to launch precision-guided missiles at Israel
from Yemen and elsewhere in the region.
Wednesday, Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin said the military’s
multi-tiered network of air defense systems was “on alert” amid a general
threat of attack by Iran.
recent weeks, the military has begun to believe that Tehran intends to
eventually retaliate against Israel’s regular airstrikes against its forces and
proxies in the region.
appears to have been building up its drone activities and attacks in recent
months. In August, Israeli fighter jets carried out airstrikes in Syria to
thwart a planned attack on Israel by Iran-backed fighters using armed drones,
the Israel Defense Forces said. The Israeli military said its strike targeted
operatives from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force as well as
Shiite militias who had been planning on sending “kamikaze” attack drones into
Israel armed with explosives.
to Prosecute Iraqis who Committed Terror Crimes in Iraq
Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said on Thursday that Iraq’s judiciary is committed
to prosecuting Iraqi terrorists and foreigners who committed crimes in the
he said Baghdad is not prepared to put foreign militants who fought with ISIS
in Syria on trial for crimes committed against non-Iraqis.
take responsibility for our own citizens, their wives and children,” the
minister said in a television interview with the Dutch Media Network and the
countries such as the Netherlands should take responsibility for their own
nationals. That is what we advise these countries,” Hakim explained.
also pointed out that Iraq is not allowed to take to trial people for offenses
committed in countries other than Iraq.
European countries including France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark,
Sweden and Norway have been working on having their nationals, convinced on
terror charges, put to trial in Iraq without taking them back into Europe.
Hakim said: "Iraqi justice does not allow this.”
minister stressed the importance of continuing international efforts in
fighting terrorism, cutting off its funding, holding terrorists accountable for
their crimes, and reaffirming Iraq’s keenness to bring to justice victims of
said the Iraqi government values the relationship with Netherlands pointing out
that the main directions of Iraq’s foreign policy aims to build the best
relations with the countries of the world.
was in the Netherlands for two days of talks on Dutch-Iraq relations. The
minister’s comments came a few days after US President Donald Trump announced
that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had died as a result of a US raid in
Eyes on Hezbollah, allies after Hariri resignation
Lebanon - With the recent resignation of now-caretaker Prime Minister Saad
Hariri amid unprecedented protests, Lebanon is entering a phase of political
wrangling in which Hezbollah and its allies will be decisive.
resigned on Tuesday, saying he was responding to the will of the Lebanese
people who for 13 days had taken to the streets in massive protests calling for
the end of the country's confessional political system and for corrupt
politicians to be held accountable.
want the caretaker government to be replaced with a cabinet of independent
experts who can lead Lebanon out of a deepening financial crisis, secure basic
services such as electricity and water, and create a new, non-sectarian
most who have taken to the streets do not want to see a return of Hariri, the
49-year-old remains the most likely candidate to lead the next government due
to support among a number of political groups and much of the international
while he saw the size of his parliamentary bloc reduced by about a third in
last year's polls, Hariri is still the single most-popular politician among
Lebanon's Sunnis - important in a country where the prime minister must be
Sunni, the speaker of parliament Shia and the president a Maronite Christian.
think it's clear Hariri should head the next government, but it can't be the
same kind of government - it must be cleaner, lighter politically and more
professional," veteran politician Marwan Hamadeh told Al Jazeera.
a longtime Hariri ally, is currently an MP in the bloc of the Progressive
Socialist Party (PSP), which is headed by Druze leader Walid Joumblatt.
group should put a bit of water in their wine, starting with Hezbollah and
[Lebanese President Michel] Aoun, so that we reach consensus and shelter
Lebanon from … the impending financial crisis and start the reforms process
that would satisfy the masses who have been demonstrating," he said.
resignation came after he said he had reached a "dead end" in
negotiations with parties on the shape of a new government.
Nasrallah, the leader of the Shia group Hezbollah, flat-out opposed any change
in government, while Aoun insisted that his son-in-law, Foreign Minister Gebran
Bassil - a controversial figure who has been the prime target of protesters -
remain part of it.
Reuters news agency reported that a political adviser to Nasrallah advised
Hariri against giving in to the protesters, telling him "we are next to
you, steel yourself".
resigning without any agreement in place, Hariri defied both Aoun and Hezbollah
- a fact which may complicate the formation of a new government.
a new government to be formed, the president must set a date for binding
consultations with MPs. At that point, MPs head up to the presidential palace
in Baabda, just outside the capital, Beirut, and inform Aoun who they would
like to see as prime minister.
on who the majority of MPs support for the post, the president then designates
the prime minister to form a new government.
while he can count on the votes of his 20 MPs, as well as the nine MPs of his
allies in the PSP and the 15 in the Lebanese Forces, Hariri will need some backing
from political rivals who control more than half of the 128-seat legislature.
means he will need to get the votes of the groups he defied with his
resignation. Hezbollah and its allies, including the Amal Movement and Aoun's
Free Patriotic Movement, together control at least 67 seats.
get the ball rolling, Aoun must call for consultations - but he has so far not
done so. On Thursday, he said he was making "necessary efforts" to
facilitate the process before setting a date.
are three main scenarios being floated for the shape a new government could
take on. The first and most likely is one headed by Hariri, with independent
figures and experts thrown in, in order to satisfy the street.
think that if we see the president call for consultation in the next 48 to 72
hours, it is likely to be Hariri," Sami Atallah, the director of the
Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, told Al Jazeera.
prospect of it not being Hariri is I think something that everyone will be
thinking very carefully about," he said, alluding to the caretaker prime
minister's international standing.
inherited strong ties with Western nations - particularly France - from his
father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005.
was France that organised an international conference known as CEDRE in April
2018, bringing together many mainly European nations as well as the World Bank
to pledge $11bn in soft loans to Lebanon for infrastructural projects.
funds have been viewed in Lebanon as a lifeline for a country nearing economic
and financial collapse, and Hariri has been the main link with the nations who
pledged the sum.
resignation on its own had made accessing the CEDRE funds "a very remote
dream", Hamadeh said. Appointing someone other than him could be the nail
on the coffin.
the presence of a pro-Western figure such as Hariri at the head of a government
has also shielded Lebanon from collectively paying the price of increasing
United Stations sanctions on Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.
is why the second scenario, a government appointed by Hezbollah and its allies,
could spell doom for Lebanon, according to some. "At this delicate
financial moment, that might be very messy for us," Atallah said.
third scenario - the formation of an independent government of experts, headed
by an independent - is the one that would most satisfy protesters. Yet, it is
perhaps the least likely due to the fact that it would exclude established
is of the essence
the shape of the new government is important, the time it takes to form it is
equally of essence. Hariri's now-caretaker cabinet took just under nine months
to form due to political wrangling between parties. It lasted just about as
long, nine months, minus a few days.
no longer has that kind of time. High debt, stagnant economic growth and
decreasing inflows of remittances - a vital lifeline - have put the country's
finances under increasing strain.
leader calls for dialogue between political parties and protesters
of Lebanese Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah called on Friday for dialogue between
Lebanon’s political parties and the representatives of the protesters.
addressed Saad Hariri’s resignation as prime minister, saying his stepping down
has frozen the reform package. His remarks echo statements made by Hezbollah's
parliamentary bloc on Thursday that Hariri's resignation wasted time needed to
striking Bahraini anti-regime activist thrown into solitary
prison officials have reportedly placed an imprisoned anti-regime dissident
into solitary confinement, as the ruling Al Khalifah regime presses ahead with
its heavy-handed clampdown on political dissidents in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
media activists said authorities at the notorious Jau Prison decided to throw
hunger striking Moqdad al-Jaziri into solitary confinement after he revealed a
T-shirt on which he had written “We demand the removal of [visitation]
barriers” in an act of protest, the Arabic-language Lualua television network
this week, the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
reported that Jaziri is among at least 15 prisoners, who have been on hunger
strike for the past 20 days, demanding unobstructed family visitation.
was arrested in 2012 and later sentenced to 14 years in prison over what human
rights campaigners describe as politically motivated charges.
also accuse authorities in Jau Prison of repeatedly denying the Bahraini
detainee access to medical care.
court sentences five dissidents to life in prison
a court in Bahrain has sentenced five anti-regime protesters to life
imprisonment and handed down prison sentences to two more.
court sentenced the quintet to life in prison on Thursday after finding them
guilty of “planning terrorist attacks during the Formula 1 2019 Bahrain Grand
Prix” motor race that took place on March 31.
other two defendants in the case received 7-year prison sentences for allegedly
aiding the other five.
of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost
daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February
are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just
system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14,
2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to
assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or
got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
banks open to customers again as life returns to normalcy
banks on Friday reopened their doors to customers for the first time in two
weeks as the people’s lives start to get back to normal after an unprecedented
wave of protests that made Prime Minister Saad Hariri resign.
the two-week hiatus, the number of customers entering major banks was
relatively small, according to Reuters’ witnesses.
is returning to normalcy in Lebanon after almost two weeks of huge protests
against the ruling elite, which finally forced Hariri to resign on Tuesday.
resignation has somehow eased the protests, but has not been enough to send
demonstrators back home, as people have continued their rallies mainly in major
squares of the Lebanese cities.
Thursday demonstrations in Riad al-Solh Square in the heart of downtown Beirut,
protesters set fire on the Israeli flag and chanted ‘Death to Israel’.
few days ago, Saudi-owned Al-Hadath TV claimed that the Lebanese people had
been chanting slogans against the Islamic Republic of Iran as well, but facts
on the ground reveal it’s just another piece of fake news.
its Twitter account, the Saudi channel posted a photo of a Lebanese protester
with the country’s flag on which a slogan reads “Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen are
Arabs, not Iranians; Get out, Iranian mercenaries.”
the original photo shows no such slogan and reveals the Saudi network has
manipulated the image in a bid to provoke anti-Iran sentiments.
withholding $105mn in aid for Lebanon
US President Donald Trump's administration has reportedly decided to withhold
$105 million in aid for Lebanon despite the ongoing unrest and the ailing
economy of the Arab country.
State Department told Congress on Thursday that the White House budget office
and National Security Council had decided to withhold the foreign military
assistance, two US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
officials did not say why the aid was blocked. One of the sources said the
State Department did not give Congress a reason for the decision.
decision comes as the US administration had earlier described the aid as
crucial for Lebanon to protect its borders.
US official told Reuters he believed the security assistance was necessary for
Lebanon, as it struggles with instability not just within its own government
but in a turbulent region and houses thousands of refugees from war in
has repeatedly expressed concern over the growing role in the Beirut government
of the Hezbollah resistance movement, a key party in the Lebanese parliament
aware of Hezbollah’s key role in the Lebanese economy, however, Washington has
imposed sanctions against a number of lawmakers, officials, and bodies linked
to the movement.
50 Hezbollah individuals and entities have been blacklisted by the Treasury
Liberating northern Syria from Kurds 'ultimate goal'
President Bashar al-Assad says his country's ultimate goal is to restore state
authority over Kurdish-controlled northeastern regions in the wake of an abrupt
US troop withdrawal and a Turkish offensive against the Kurds there.
an interview with state TV on Thursday, the Syrian president also said an
agreement last week between Turkey and Russia to drive out Kurdish-led People's
Protection Units (YPG) militants from a 30-kilometer "safe zone"
along the border was a step that would help Damascus in regaining control,
though gradually, over the northeastern areas.
Turkey-Russia deal, which would halt the weeks-long Turkish invasion, calls for
the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish militants from areas along the Turkish border
with the aim of establishing a "safe zone" that Ankara claims will be
used to repatriate some of the three-million-plus Syrian refugees it currently
said during the interview that agreement is "temporary."
have to distinguish between ultimate or strategic goals... and tactical
approaches," he said, stressing that his forces will eventually reclaim
territory taken by Ankara's latest offensive.
Kurdish YPG militia had reached a deal with Damascus to take up positions near
the border after US President Donald Trump's announcement of pullout of US
troops in northeastern Syria left them feeling abandoned.
however, added that Damascus will not demand that armed groups there hand over
weapons immediately when the army enters those areas in a final deal with the
Kurds that restores state control.
Syrian head of state said he did not intend to call Turkey an "enemy"و
but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and many Turkish political elite
were enemies of Syria because of their hostility towards the Arab neighbor.
must ensure that we don't turn Turkey into an enemy and here comes the role of
friends" such as Russia and Iran, he said.
and his group are enemies, because he leads these policies, but until now most
of the political forces in Turkey are against Erdogan’s policies," he
noted that Iran and Russia, as state-guarantors of Syrian peace efforts, have
been negotiating with Turkey over the past year.
Tehran and Moscow, along with Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement have
helped Syria with its war against foreign-backed militancy over the recent
Syrian president asserted that Turkey had agreed as part of the Astana peace
talks to end its presence in Idlib province. However, he said, the Syrian
forces decided to liberate the province.
Turks did not abide by this agreement, but we are liberating Idlib," he
lifts ban on groups it accused of feeding Boko Haram terrorists
federal government of Nigeria has lifted a ban on the operations of two
prominent international aid groups.
aid groups are Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps, who have been dispensing
humanitarian support to displaced persons in Nigeria’s restive northeast region.
government had accused the groups of providing food and medicines to members of
the Boko Haram terrorist sect.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, Mercy Corps announced that it was suspending its
operations in Nigeria because the Army had shut down its offices in Borno and
Yobe states without an official explanation.
Corps is suspending operations in Borno and Yobe States, Nigeria, following the
closure of four of our field offices by the Nigerian military.
have not yet received an official reason from the Nigerian authorities for the
closure and we are seeking to work with them to resolve this as soon as
possible," the agency had said.
week before, the Army announced a similar ban on Action Against Hunger, stating
that credible intelligence revealed that the Paris-based agency had been
supplying food and medication to Boko Haram terrorists.
has been declared persona non grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic
State West Africa by supplying them food and drugs despite warning from the TC
– OPLD," the Army announced.
aid groups had denied the allegations.
lifting of the ban and relieved aid groups
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the government lifted the ban on the aid groups
but said all non-governmental groups must be vetted and registered before they
can offer humanitarian aid.
government will also screen all vendors working with aid groups, the government
United Nations says humanitarian groups in Nigeria are relieved after the
government lifted the ban on the operations of the two prominent international
U.N. humanitarian office in Nigeria says that with the lifting of the ban, more
than 350,000 people will receive the food assistance they have waited for.
Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast has resulted in a humanitarian
crisis in the region. Millions have been displaced, more than 50,000 have been
killed and hundreds have been abducted since Boko Haram commenced its war
against the Nigerian state in 2009.
Asks U.S. to Help Fund Infrastructure, Terror Fight
asked the U.S. to help fund power and other infrastructure projects and the
fight against an Islamist insurgency, the West African nation’s presidency
President Muhammadu Buhari met U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a
conference in Riyadh Wednesday and discussed increased funding, the presidency
said in a statement emailed Thursday from the capital, Abuja.
has struggled with crippling electricity shortages for decades despite its
potential to generate 12,522 megawatts of power from existing plants, but only
generates a third of that.
funding will help the West African nation of nearly 200 million people “address
current challenges confronting her power sector as well as general upgrade of
infrastructure,” presidency spokesman Garba Shehu said in the statement.
protest election plan, mark independence war
are demonstrating against plans for upcoming elections they fear will be
manipulated by a long-despised power structure.
protest coincides with celebrations marking 65 years since the beginning of
Algeria’s war for independence from France.
of people converged on the capital for Friday’s protest, the 37th since their
pro-democracy movement began in February.
demonstrated peacefully in the streets overnight, while others banged on pots
and pans in their homes to show support.
re-convened Friday morning for a march through Algiers.
protesters’ anger focuses on the Dec. 12 presidential election, to replace
longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika after he was pushed out in April.
on Mali military post kills 35 soldiers
soldiers were killed Friday in a “terrorist attack” on a Mali military post in
the northeast of the country, the army said.
provisional death toll has risen to 35 deaths,” it said on Facebook late
Friday, adding that the situation is “under control”.
investigation into the attack on the outpost in Indelimane in the Menaka region
is ongoing, it said.
attack came a month after two assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with
Burkina Faso, one of the deadliest strikes against Mali’s military in recent
group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s assault.
Malian government earlier condemned the “terrorist attack,” saying it had left
numerous dead or wounded but without giving a precise toll.
said reinforcements had been rushed to the area to boost security and track
down the attackers.
Mali came under the control of al-Qaeda linked extremists after Mali’s army
failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012. A French-led military campaign was
launched against the extremists, pushing them back a year later.
the extremists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine
attacks to central and southern Mali.
protest movement calls for 'new revolution' on anniversary
converge on Algiers for a mass rally called by protest leaders to coincide with
official celebrations of the anniversary of the war that won Algeria's
independence from France.
other rich resources, South Sudan's oil may fuel war
Sudan oil has been fueling conflict in the country as oil revenues have been
used to fund war, according to one of the country’s top political analysts.
government use oil money to buy arms,” James Okuk of Juba University told
Anadolu Agency in the country’s capital, Juba.
you’re buying arms using oil money, then oil is contributing to war. If it’s a
time of peace then the oil money is not contributing, but people are fighting
in the country, which means that oil is contributing seriously.”
said that if the government is buying arms and military supplies using oil
revenues, then oil left its fingerprints on the crisis in the country.
you’re recruiting soldiers and the payment is coming from oil money than oil is
contributing, unless there are no fighting soldiers. If there are fighting
soldiers, then oil is contributing. The supplies you give to the military
fueled the war and that makes oil the cause of the instability.”
revenues and income from other natural resources have continued to fund the
[South Sudan civil] war, enabling its continuation and the resulting human
rights violations," according to The Sentry, a website focused on “dirty
money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers.”
Petroleum Ministry funded food, fuel, and satellite phone airtime and sent
money to militias accused of attacking civilians, the website added.
have used the country’s oil to buy weapons, fund deadly militias, and hire
companies owned by political insiders to support military operations that have
resulted in horrific atrocities and war crimes,” J.R. Mailey, who leads special
investigations at The Sentry, said in a statement.
government dismissed the accusations as a fabrication designed to damage its
addition to being the world’s youngest country, South Sudan is also the one
most dependent on oil, and Dar Petroleum is one of the country’s most important
includes China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, Malaysia’s
state-owned Petronas, Chinese state-owned Sinopec, the private Egyptian-based
firm SSTO, and South Sudan’s state-owned Nile Petroleum.
most of the country’s oil rigs were shut down or destroyed during the long
civil war, the oil consortium continued operating.
revenues constitute more than 98% of the government of South Sudan's budget,
according to government data.
negotiators from the U.S., U.K., and Norway coaxed President Salva Kiir’s
forces and rebel groups into a truce and power-sharing accord 13 months ago,
oil production has almost doubled to 200,000 barrels a day -- still far less
than the 350,000 barrels before the conflict. But the two sides remain at odds
over regional boundaries and security arrangements, and prospects are bleak
that they will meet a Nov. 12 deadline -- already delayed by six months -- to
establish a unity government.
Sudan slid into crisis when Kiir sacked Riek Machar as vice president in Dec.
2013 on suspicion of plotting a coup.
country plunged into a civil war that has claimed tens of thousands lives and
forced four million people to migrate from their homes.
the leaders finally struck a peace deal in 2018, which remains to be
production from the Unity oilfields, operated by China National Petroleum
Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd and India’s Oil & Natural Gas
Corp., has resumed after being halted by the war. And output from the Paloch
oilfields, operated by a consortium made up of CNPC, Petronas, Nile Petroleum
Corp., Sinopec Corp., and Tri-Ocean Energy Co., which continued operating
through the conflict, has been scaled up.
government is targeting daily output of 250,000 barrels by the end of next
year, and ultimately 350,000 barrels from existing fields.
economy of South Sudan is one of the world's weakest and most underdeveloped.
South Sudan has little existing infrastructure and has the highest maternal
mortality and female illiteracy rates in the world.
Sudan is rich in agricultural land and has one of the largest populations of
pastoralists in the world. However, since 1999, when Sudan first started
exporting oil, agricultural production in the country has fallen. According to
the World Bank, the average annual growth rate of the agricultural sector
between 2000 and 2008 was only 3.6%, a mere shadow of the 10.8% growth rate of
the previous decade.
extensive satellite land survey done by the UN Food and Agriculture Agency
(FAO) showed that just 4.5% of the available land was under cultivation when
South Sudan became independent.
Sudan relies on food imports from neighboring countries, such as Uganda, Kenya,
and Sudan. These come at a high transportation cost which, coupled with
inflation, have caused food prices to rise dramatically.
declining agricultural production and reliance on expensive foreign food
supplies have contributed to a severe food shortage in South Sudan.
are several marble deposits in the southeastern Kapoeta region, the largest
just about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the town of the same name. In 1978, a
German cement company discovered about 8 million tons of marble in the area.
Sudan has a few aluminum deposits, with at least three of the areas containing
the mineral at a value above 4.5%. The amount of aluminum reserves in the
country is not known but the government estimates it at approximately 10
South Sudan has several deposits of iron ore, the mineral remains largely
unexploited due to the ongoing civil war and lack of proper infrastructure.
Many foreign companies have also been scared away by the violence.
biggest telco in ‘forced’ alliance with Shabaab, study says
largest telecom has been “forced” into an unholy alliance with Al-Shabaab, and
this is paradoxically enabling the firm to grow.
new report lays blame on a symbiotic relationship between Hormuud Telecom and
Al-Shabaab for the resurgence of raids in Kenya and Somalia.
think-tank International Policy Group says in its report that the telco has
been threatened and forced into working with the terrorist group, but from
which it receives protection in return.
think-tank is not related to the consultancy firm IPG.
has used extreme force to get Hormuud to kowtow to its guidelines, pay taxes
and allow its agents access to the company’s technology for
counter-intelligence operations,” the report titled Reaping the Whirlwind says.
company has been a victim of terror attacks in the past.
to the report, some of those attacks were because of rivalry between Al-Shabaab
factions. It says telco may have learnt survival skills in Al-Shabaab
strongholds, and now takes part in facilitating raids which ultimately scares
certain regions, Hormuud has enjoyed monopoly of mobile communication services
… but this love affair with Al-Shabaab has its downside. It has dented
Hormuud’s reputation,” it says.
is using Al-Shabaab as part of its strategy to gain monopoly in Somalia and
shut out Kenyan telecommunication firms 50 kilometres into north eastern
spokesman Abdulahi Mohamud dismissed the report, saying the company has been
the link channel for Somalia’s resilience in the face of insecurity.
suggest that a business with an international reputation … would be engaging
with terrorist groups is outrageous,” he told the Nation on Thursday.
pride ourselves in providing Somali people with the much-needed
telecommunications infrastructure to fuel … growth, conducting our operations
to the highest standard.”
said Hormuud would continue to seek dialogue with stakeholders but added that
the company would not answer questions on “baseless” claims by the Policy
report comes in the wake of frequent attacks on Kenya’s towns in Mandera, Wajir
and Garissa counties where police stations, communication masts and kidnappings
Tuesday, Al-Shabaab fighters raided a camp in Wajir and killed two people
arrested in connection with the October 12 attack in which 11 police officers
kinds of attacks are supported by Hormuud technology which ensures merchants
are paid through mobile money, or communication is disrupted so Somali security
agents can’t track the movement of attackers,” the report says.
operates mainly in central and southern Somalia.
to the UN Panel of Experts on Somalia, it controls about 45 per cent of the
market with four million subscribers. It has about 6,000 employees, sustains
15,000 indirect jobs and has 12,000 shareholders.
is not the only Somali entity criticised for kowtowing to Al-Shabaab. Other
companies forced into extortion include Som Tel, Golis Telecom Puntland,
Telecom Somaliland, Dahabshiil, Salaam Somali Bank, Taaj Express, Iftin
Express, al-Buruj Construction Company, Becco Power and logistical firms at
company is caught between a rock a hard place with its investors and managers
torn between adherence to business norms and ethos and goals of political
Islam,” the report says.
founder Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale was once listed by the UN and the United States
as a sponsor of terrorism. Jim’ale, a former member of the Islamic Courts
Union, which preceded al-Shabaab, was later dropped from the sanctions list in
2012 following lobbying by the Federal Government of Somalia.
had also been was sanctioned in 2012 by the US Office of Foreign Assets
Control. The sanctions were lifted in 2014.
2016, the then UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (now known as the UN
Panel of Experts on Somalia) said al-Shabaab operatives were being paid mainly
through Hormuud’s EVC-PLUS money transfer service and that the firm was not
cooperating with authorities in sharing records of the transactions.
are performance-based rewards. Every surviving participant of the El-Adde
campaign received a $200-$400 bonus,” the report adds.
army kills 7 al-Shabab militants in southern regions
Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Somali national forces backed by the Jubaland state army on
Wednesday killed seven al-Shabab extremists and injured eight others in an
operation in Lower Juba region in southern Somalia, an official said on
Omar Barush, a senior officer in Somali National Army who was one of the
commanders leading the operation told journalists that the joint operation was
conducted in areas bordering Jamame town.
started the offensive in Koban village passing through Bangeni, Arare and Mana
Mufo villages and there was stiff resistance from the militants, but our forces
finally drove them out of those villages and we killed seven of them and
injured eight others," Barush said.
added that among the dead was the militants' commander of the battle. Residents
said there was confrontation in the town.
militants in the town were attacked by the government army, both sides
exchanged heavy artilleries, but the forces are now in the town and the
militants are outside of it," Hawa Elmi, a resident told Xinhua by phone.
Oct. 19, the Somali army killed 20 al-Shabab militants in an operation in the
central region of Hiran.
peace unless Taliban fighters reintegrated in Afghan society, warns US report
None of the US-backed reintegration programmes enabled any significant number
of ex-combatants to socially and economically rejoin the Afghan society, says
an official US report sent to Congress this week.
Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR),
which compiled the report, also pointed out that programmes targeting Taliban
insurgents did not substantially weaken the insurgency or contribute
meaningfully to parallel reconciliation efforts.
there is ever to be a true, sustainable peace in Afghanistan, reintegration of
the Taliban and other combatants will be a necessary component of that process,
whether that process begins days or years from now,” warned Inspector General
SIGAR report, which was released to the public on Friday, also reviews efforts
to revive the Afghan peace process, which seeks to end the 18-year-old war.
September, the Taliban and the Trump administration appeared on the verge of a
breakthrough deal. But Mr Trump abruptly declared the peace talks “dead” after
a Taliban attack in Kabul killed an American soldier. He made the announcement
hours before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Taliban leaders was set
to arrive at a US presidential resort to sign the deal.
SIGAR report notes that since October 2018, US and Taliban representatives have
been meeting in Doha, Qatar, to find a peaceful end to the Afghan conflict. The
Kabul government, however, did not participate in talks as the Taliban does not
reports notes that the topics discussed in Doha included conditions for
withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and for preventing terrorists
from again using Afghanistan as a platform for planning and launching attacks.
the suspension, both sides appear keen to start the talk process while the
United Nations is calling for direct talks between the Taliban and the Kabul
government “as soon as possible,” the report adds.
the SIGAR report warns that “even if intra-Afghan talks produce an agreement, and
even if reintegration programs are undertaken, other complications can arise.”
Such as, some Taliban fighters may decide they want no part of a peace
report also warns that even if a peace agreement covering all insurgents in
Afghanistan were reached, “failure to reintegrate former fighters may simply
produce an interval between bouts of violence.”
why SIGAR believes that the “reintegration of ex-combatants is going to remain
highly relevant if and when we get a peace process.”
the enormity of the reintegration program, SIGAR points out that an estimated
60,000 full-time Taliban fighters, as well as numerous other non-Taliban
combatants will have to be reintegrated if, and when, the Afghan government and
the Taliban reach a political settlement.
major reintegration effort is very likely to fail in the absence of an
agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban on terms for the
reintegration of former fighters,” Mr Sopko warned,
former fighters and their families “face enormous risks of retribution” with
likely little protection from the government, he added.
says Iran remains ‘world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism’
remains the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism, according to a report
released on Saturday by the US State Department.
regime has spent nearly one billion dollars per year to support terrorist
groups that serve as its proxies and expand its malign influence across the
globe,” the State Department said in its annual release of the “Country Reports
on Terrorism” for 2018.
has funded international terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It also has engaged in its own terrorist plotting
around the world, particularly in Europe,” the report added.
cited an incident in January 2018 when German authorities investigated 10
suspected Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force (IRGC – QF)
operatives. During summer last year, Belgian, French and German authorities
thwarted an Iranian plot to bomb a political opposition rally near Paris.
to Al Arabiya, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said that
Washington has made it harder for Iran to conduct foreign interference
operations as “Iran doesn’t have the money that it used to.”
Knows New ISIS Leader, Says Trump
U.S. has identifying information on the man who succeeded former Daesh/ISIS
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after he was killed by U.S. forces, President
Donald Trump said Friday.
has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!" Trump said on Twitter using
another name for the Daesh terrorist organization.
confirmed al-Baghdadi's death on Thursday, naming Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi
al-Qurayshi as its new leader, according to a statement distributed by
al-Furqan, the group's media wing.
information is publicly available on al-Qurayshi, and the name itself appears
to be a kunya, or nom de guerre.
Baghdadi, Daesh spread over wide segments of Iraq and Syria beginning in 2013,
eventually claiming the formation of a "caliphate" in the region as
it plotted and carried out gruesome attacks that reached far beyond its main
territorial bastion. It further set up local affiliates in other regions as it
released heinous execution videos on to the internet.
had been a top target for both the Trump and Obama administrations, and had a
$25 million bounty placed on his head.
Scrutinizes Over 2,000 Cases Tied to Foreign Terrorist Organizations
- The FBI says it is investigating more than 2,000 cases tied to groups
designated by the United States as foreign terrorist organizations, a figure
that reflects the persistent threat posed by outfits such as al-Qaida and
are currently 68 individual groups on the U.S. State Department's list of
foreign terrorist organizations, the vast majority jihadi outfits such as
al-Qaida. The designation allows the U.S. to freeze the groups' and their
members' assets and investigate their activities.
FBI's renewed focus on foreign terrorist organizations and their members partly
reflects the quiet resurgence in recent years of al-Qaida, said Seamus Hughes,
deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington
the primary focus was ISIS the last few years, al-Qaida used that time to bide
their time and build up a network," Hughes said. "And so, these cases
are still out there, and they're going to have to look at them. It's not just
ISIS — there are al-Qaida, its affiliates, and then you have groups like
of about 5,000 terrorism cases under investigation, approximately 850 are
focused on domestic terrorism such as far-right violence, while the rest have a
nexus to international terrorism, the FBI said in response to a query from
Voice of America.
international terrorism investigations are in turn divided into about 1,000
cases each of so-called homegrown violent extremism and Islamic State. The rest
are made up of "thousands of other cases associated with foreign terrorist
organizations like al-Qaida and Hezbollah," the FBI said.
Director Christopher Wray first disclosed the top-line number of terrorism
cases last October when he testified before the House of Representatives
Committee on Homeland Security.
FBI provided a breakdown of the figure after Wray appeared before the same
panel on Wednesday to discuss the threat of international terrorism to the U.S.
terror threat, he said, has morphed from sophisticated plots directed by
foreign terrorist organizations to individual attacks carried out by lone
actors inspired by these organizations, Wray said.
remain concerned that groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham
(ISIS) and al-Qaida have the intent to carry out large-scale attacks in the
U.S.," Wray said in prepared remarks.
the FBI recently elevated domestic terrorism to a "national threat
priority," Wray said homegrown violent extremists, or so-called "lone
wolf actors," pose "the greatest, most immediate terrorism threat to
individuals are FTO-inspired individuals who are in the U.S., have been
radicalized primarily in the U.S., and are not receiving individualized
direction from FTOs," Wray said, using an initialism for foreign terrorist
FBI conducts several types of investigations: a 30-day assessment, a six-month
preliminary investigation and a full investigation based on a national security
threat or criminal activity. All 5,000 open cases are full investigations, the
5,000 is not just the total number of cases they're dealing with," Hughes
said. "They're probably dealing with orders of magnitude larger than
FBI did not provide historical data on terrorism investigations, making it
difficult to assess the aggregate figure. However, the number in several categories,
including homegrown violent extremism and domestic terrorism, has hovered
around 1,000 cases in recent years, according to FBI officials.
the post-9/11 era "they're obligated to open and investigate every
plausible threat," said David Gomez, a former FBI special agent and
vast majority of the investigations do not lead to prosecution, Gomez noted,
adding that the FBI opens investigations for both intelligence-gathering and
Troop Withdrawal Creates Opening for Revitalized Syrian Regime
President Bashar al-Assad clawed back control over much of his country with the
help of Russia and Iran. Now he is poised to take back much of the rest—in
large part because of the U.S.
invites 'hero' dog from al-Baghdadi raid to White House, declassifies name as
Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that a dog used by United States special
operations forces in a raid that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria would leave the Middle East to come to the White
House next week -- and then he declassified the dog's name.
sharing a fake image from the conservative news website The Daily Wire that
showed Trump putting a medal with a paw print around the dog's neck, the
president tweeted that the "recreation" was "Very cute" but
that the "'live' version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the
White House sometime next week!"
you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the “live” version of Conan will be
leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!
AM - Oct 31, 2019
people are talking about this
was the first time any U.S. official had confirmed the name of the dog -- a
Belgian Malinois named Conan -- something military officials had declined to do
in recent days, citing security reasons.
Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a
Pentagon briefing Monday that the dog was "slightly wounded and fully
recovering." Milley said that because the dog was returned to duty as part
of a classified military unit, he would not be disclosing its identity.
a press briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday, two more details about the dog
were released: It has served for four years and has participated in 50 combat
Assembly: Omar’s Refusal to Acknowledge Armenian Genocide Doesn’t Represent
reporting on the refusal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Ankara) to vote for a House
resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, NBC News quoted Van Krikorian, the
co-chair of the Armenian Assembly of America, saying that Omar’s “votes and
actions...do not represent the best of American or Muslim values. Innocent
people were and are being slaughtered, and there is a universal need to defend
the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing, not to stand with or defer to the
his statement reflects the dominant view in the United States and all over the
West about how Islam is really a cuddly religion of peace if you just get to
know it, Van Krikorian is wrong. The Armenian Genocide was carried out in
accord with “Muslim values,” and that may be why Ilhan Omar, who makes a public
show of her devoutness in Islam by wearing the Sharia-mandated hijab, would not
vote to condemn it. The History of Jihad from Muhammad to ISIS reveals the
shocking truth about 1,400 years of jihad activity, including the genocide of
1894, the Ottoman sultanate began massacring Armenians ruthlessly, committing
mass rapes, killing even children, and burning Armenian villages. The chief
dragoman (Turkish interpreter) of the British Embassy wrote that those who
committed these atrocities were “guided in their general action by the
prescriptions of Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the ‘rayah’
[subject] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep
the limits of privileges allowed to them by their Mussulman masters, and free
themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited,
and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind, the Armenians had tried
to overstep these limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England.
They, therefore, considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to
destroy and seize the lives and property of the Armenians.”
jihad against the Armenians went on even in Constantinople, after Armenian
revolutionaries seized the Bank Ottoman in 1894. In retaliation, Muslim mobs
for two days bludgeoned Armenians to death with cudgels wherever they found
them. The British chargé in Constantinople wrote that the “Turkish mob” was
aided by “a large number of softas [student of Islamic theology] and other
fanatics...individuals wearing turbans and long linen robes rarely seen in this
part of the town. They mostly carried clubs which had evidently been carefully
shaped after a uniform pattern; some had, instead of these, iron bars...there
is nothing improbable in the stories current that the clubs and bars...were
furnished by the municipal authorities.”
Urfa in December 1895, the Armenians gathered in their cathedral and requested
Ottoman government protection, which the officer in charge granted, surrounding
the cathedral with troops. Then other Ottoman troops, along with local Muslim
civilians, rampaged through the city, slaughtering Armenians and plundering
their houses. A large group of young Armenians was taken to the local imam, who
ordered them to be held down. An eyewitness said that the sheik then recited
some verses of the Qur’an and “cut their throats after the Mecca rite of
German historian Johannes Lepsius visited the devastated areas at the time and
chronicled the atrocities. He referred to the cover-up of these horrific events
that had already begun: "Are we then simply forbidden to speak of the
Armenians as persecuted on account of their religious belief? If so, there have
never been any religious persecutions in the world... We have lists before us
of 559 villages whose surviving inhabitants were converted to Islam with fire
and sword; of 568 churches thoroughly pillaged, destroyed and razed to the
ground; of 282 Christian churches transformed into mosques; of 21 Protestant
preachers and 170 Gregorian [Armenian] priests who were, after enduring
unspeakable tortures, murdered on their refusal to accept Islam. We repeat,
however, that those figures express only the extent of our information, and do
not by a long way reach to the extent of the reality. Is this a religious
persecution or is it not?"
also reported that the Muslims had destroyed 2,500 Christian villages and 645
churches and monasteries, and that the number of those who had been forced to
convert to Islam was fifteen thousand. Three hundred twenty-eight churches were
converted into mosques, and 508 more were plundered.
is much more of this in The History of Jihad, as well as a huge mass of
evidence to show that for all its savagery, the Armenian Genocide was no
outlier, but was a manifestation of a will to violence that has played out all
too often in Islamic history. If we had any actual journalists in America today,
they would be asking Omar hard questions about what she thinks of that bloody
history. But we don’t.
treasury secretary to hold talks in India as pressure builds on Iran
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will hold talks with Indian leaders in New
Delhi on Friday, Indian official said, as part of a tour to build support
against Iran over its nuclear program and its ties to militant networks.
Wednesday, the United States and six Gulf countries agreed to jointly impose
sanctions on 25 corporations, banks and individuals linked to Iran’s support
for militant networks including Hezbollah, the US Treasury Department said.
accompanied by Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner,
began a regional tour from Oct. 25 through Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab
Emirates, India and Qatar.
New Delhi he will hold talks with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, an
Indian government official said.
details were provided.
members of the US delegation include under secretary for international affairs
Brent McIntosh and assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial
crimes Marshall Billingslea.
a long-time buyer of Iranian oil, halted purchases in May in the wake of
renewed US sanctions, and its refiners are now buying more crude from some
suppliers, including Mexico, and signed new contracts with US firms.
were re-imposed on Tehran by President Donald Trump after he withdrew the
United States from Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.
from throttling Iran’s oil exports, the sanctions also cut Iranian banks’ ties
to the financial world.
'active member' in anti-Daesh/ISIS effort: US
is an "active member" in efforts to secure the lasting defeat of the
Daesh/ISIS terrorist organization, the U.S. State Department said in a report
department said in its annual, congressionally-mandated Country Reports on
Terrorism, that in 2018 Ankara "continued its efforts to defeat terrorist
organizations both inside and outside its borders," including by taking
anti-PKK and anti-Daesh/ISIS measures.
further noted that Turkey has been an "active contributor" in
international anti-terror organizations, including the Global Counterterrorism
Forum (GCTF) and the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition.
is an active member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, co-chairs the
Defeat-ISIS Coalition FTF Working Group, and continued to provide access to its
airspace and facilities for operations in Iraq and Syria," it said using
another name for Daesh.
also contributes to the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of
Law, a GCTF-inspired institution, and provides expert support to assist
training for judges and prosecutors handling terrorism cases," it added.
department further said the PKK, a U.S. and Turkey-designated terrorist group,
espouses "a range of extremist and nationalist ideologies," and
continued "to plot against police and military targets in Turkey and raise
funds throughout the rest of Europe" last year.
added that Ankara "continued to receive U.S. assistance to address the
terrorist threat posed by the PKK in 2018," including the listing of three
senior PKK leaders on the U.S.'s Rewards for Justice program in November 2018.
In all, the U.S. offered $12 million for information on the individuals.
mosque attack was terrorism, says survivors' lawyer
lawyer for two men who were injured in an attack on a mosque in south-west
France this week has said the case should be treated as terrorism.
Mouhou, who represents two men aged 74 and 78 who were shot when they disturbed
the suspect trying to set fire to the mosque in Bayonne, said: “This was a
Sinke, 84, a former far-right supporter, has been charged with attempted
murder, arson and gun violence but not terrorism offences.
said the charges were a “masquerade” and a result of “judiciary ineptitude”,
and he has sought a meeting with the state prosecutor to push for the case to
“There were preparatory acts in which he observed the mosque. His motives were
clear. Everyone in his entourage says he was Islamophobic and racist. There was
a gas canister, arms and targeting. So he was perfectly aware of what he was
who once stood as a local election candidate for Marine Le Pen’s far-right
party Front National (now renamed National Rally), was arrested at his home
shortly after the attack on Monday.
was accused of shooting the two men – one in the neck and the other in the
chest – and setting fire to a car near the mosque before he fled in his own
car. Police said he had admitted the crimes.
said Sinke wanted to set fire to the mosque to avenge the fire that tore
through the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris in April, which he blamed on
Muslims. Paris police are treating the Notre-Dame fire as accidental and there
has been no suggestion of arson or any connection to Muslims.
was put through two days of psychological tests to determine whether he
understood what he had done. The state prosecutor in Bayonne had suggested
there were questions about Sinke’s mental health, but it was decided he could
be held criminally responsible. He has been detainedand if convicted he could
face life imprisonment.
left Front National in 2015 when his local federation removed him for comments
found to be “against the spirit and political line” of the party. Mike Bresson,
the deputy mayor of Sinke’s home village, Saint-Martin-de-Seignanx, said Sinke
was known for his “verbal excesses”.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, described the mosque attack as “heinous”.
France has been grappling with calls by some on the right to ban Muslim mothers
in headscarves from volunteering on school trips.
month 90 personalities, including actors and writers, signed an open letter in
Le Monde calling on Macron “to say with force that Muslim women, whether they
wear a headscarf or not, and Muslims in general have a place in our society –
and to refuse our fellow Muslim citizens being monitored, stigmatised or
denounced for the practice of their religion”.
orders Belgium to take back ISIS militant's wife and children from Syria
(REUTERS) - A Brussels court has ordered Belgium to repatriate from Syria
within 75 days a woman whose husband fought for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) and her children.
23-year old woman and her two children are awaiting the chance to return to
Belgium from the Al-Roj refugee camp in an area of northeastern Syria that is
under Kurdish control.
Brussels Court of First Instance said Belgium would start facing a daily fine
if the woman was not repatriated in the time it set.
European Union created a common counter-terrorism register in September, hoping
to facilitate prosecutions and convictions of suspected militants and people
returning home from fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
move was partly aimed at addressing concerns about the fate of hundreds of EU
citizens who fought for ISIS and are now detained in Iraq and Syria.
of them could return to Europe and not face trial because of a lack of evidence
against them, a factor that has contributed to unease in several EU countries
over returning fighters.
EU security commissioner, Julian King, told Reuters last month that at least
1,300 EU citizens, more than half children, were held in Syria and Iraq.
condemn Rod Liddle’s ‘blatantly racist and Islamophobic remarks’
Muslim groups have condemned Spectator columnist Rod Liddle for ‘blatant
Islamophobia and racism’ after he suggested planning elections for a time when
Muslims cannot vote. In an article headlined ‘If you do one thing this
election, stop your kids voting’, Mr Liddle wrote: ‘My own choice of election
date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to
do anything on pain of hell, or something. ‘There must be at least one day like
that in the Muslim calendar, surely? That would deliver at least 40 seats to
the Tories, I reckon.’ Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is of Muslim heritage,
said Mr Liddle’s words were ‘not funny and not acceptable’. He Tweeted: ‘Not
clear if the Rod Liddle comment is supposed to be a joke – but it’s not funny
and not acceptable. ‘No community in our country should be put down that way.’
Streeting MP who is Co-Chair of the APPG on British Muslims said Mr Liddle’s
comments were ‘blatantly Islamophobic and the Spectator should be ashamed of
publishing them.’ He told Metro.co.uk: ‘The comments made by Rod Liddle in the
Spectator are truly reprehensible. ‘British Muslims are part and parcel of our
democracy like all other groups. Minority communities’ right to vote should not
be attacked by preachers of hate but celebrated, promoted and encouraged.
‘British Muslim communities in the UK won’t stand alone against such attacks.
There will be many others, including me, who will stand up to defend their
rights. ‘Mr Liddle and The Spectator should apologise immediately.’ The Muslim
Council of Britain (MCB) accused Mr Liddle of ‘denying Muslims their democratic
rights’ and of ‘discrimination against Muslims’.
MCB spokesperson said: ‘Mr Liddle’s hate is not new and is in fact the usual
bigotry that Muslims have become accustomed to. ‘Here he calls for the
discrimination against Muslims and a denial of their democratic rights,
particularly when the far-right are on the rise. ‘Outlets such as the Spectator
regularly give racists a platform to share their anti-Muslim propaganda and
feed into far-right narratives that thrive on Islamophobia.’ Meanwhile the
Spectator’s assistant editor Isabel Hardman also said she ‘profoundly
disagrees’ with Mr Liddle’s piece and was ‘hugely upset’ by it.
section in Mr Liddle’s column appeared to mock Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who
last month spoke out about a previous abusive relationship she had while
discussing the Domestic Abuse Bill. Mr Liddle described Ms Duffield as ‘the
sobbing and oppressed Rosie ‘#MeToo’ Duffield’. In response Ms Hardman said: ‘I
know personally how strong and brave survivors of domestic abuse are and Rosie
Duffield is one of the finest among us.’ Anti-Racism campaigner Shaista Aziz
said: ‘To minimise the experiences of courageous Rosie Duffield MP, who spoke
about her painful experiences of cohesive control and domestic abuse and to
then go on to target Muslims is exactly the type of bigotry and disgrace Rod
Liddle has become known for and paid very well to produce. ‘A few days into a
general election campaign and it’s already open season for islamophobic and
sexist views to be given prominence.’
Faisal, founder and chair of Lantern, a charity that seeks to increase social
and political representation among Muslim women said: ‘Rod Liddle’s words are
deeply misogynistic, racist and Islamophobic. ‘Whilst as a nation we value free
speech, we must recognise that he is peddling a narrative of hate that seeks to
strip Muslim citizens of their basic rights. Liddle is advocating for
discrimination in a very direct sense. ‘This dehumanising language has a direct
impact on the physical and mental well-being of my community.’ In response Mr
Liddle said: ‘There was no hate speech or Islamophobia whatsoever. ‘It was a
very light-hearted series of suggestions about when to hold an election, based
upon the dispute over the proposed dates for the election.
Muslims feel unsafe amid mounting Islamophobia
Muslim community is "not feeling safe enough" amid the country's
growing Islamophobia, a German Muslim leader told Anadolu Agency in Berlin on
year we had more than 80 attacks on mosque communities in Germany. The security
situation is very tense. Muslims are not feeling safe enough. Talks with
security authorities have shown that no sufficient concept exists and, above
all, it is so that we as Muslims are not being sufficiently advised," said
Burhan Kesici, the chairman of the Berlin-based Islam Council.
authorities need to definitely work closer with the communities, develop
concepts and provide advice [to them]. Otherwise, Muslims lose confidence in
the security agencies, because protection is simply being blurred," he
remarks came only a day after police were forced to evacuate a mosque in the
western German city of Cologne on Thursday following a bomb threat.
by Anadolu Agency about a reaction to the latest bomb threat against the
mosque, Interior Ministry Spokesman Steve Alter said: "The minister has
repeatedly expressed concern about attacks on religious institutions in recent
a thorough search at the Cologne Central Mosque complex with special teams and
bomb-sniffing dogs, police found no bomb and determined the threat was a hoax.
was the second time in four months that the Turkish-Muslim umbrella group
DITIB, which runs the mosque, had been threatened with a bomb attack.
mosque complex in Cologne also houses the headquarters of DITIB.
June, a bomb threat, apparently emailed by a far-right organization, had also
forced the evacuation of visitors and staff at the mosque complex, however it
also turned out to be hoax.
has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years sparked by hate propaganda
of far-right parties.
than 100 mosques and religious institutions were attacked by by far-right
extremists in 2018.
recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including verbal insults,
threatening letters and physical attacks which led to the injury of at least 54
country of over 81 million people, Germany is home to the second-largest Muslim
population in Western Europe after France.
bans flights by Iran’s Mahan Air after US pressure
Italian government will cease all flights into the country by the Iran-based
airline Mahan Air, submitting to US diplomatic pressure.
has followed France and Germany in banning flights by Mahan Air after US
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Rome at the beginning of October. The
Italian newspaper La Stampa reported the cessation of flights by the Iranian
carrier to Italy was high on Mr Pompeo’s agenda.
Air, which the US has said has clear links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Corps (IRGC) and its shadowy international wing the Quds Force, had operated
regular flights to both Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and Milan’s Malpensa.
move by the Italian government comes as the administration of US President
Donald Trump in Washington seeks to place a stranglehold on the Iranian economy
through a campaign of “maximum pressure”.
Italian economy, along with other European economies, had opened itself up to
Iran during the period of rapprochement that followed the 2015 nuclear
agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
the deal struck between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and
the US, curbed Tehran’s nuclear powers in exchange for relief from economic
January 2016, six months after the landmark deal was achieved in Vienna, the
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Rome.
trip was not just remarkable because of his declaration that Italy would be
Iran’s “gateway” to Rome but also because the city’s naked statues were covered
as a mark of respect for the Iranian leader.
since Washington withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, European nations in
particular have been under pressure from their US allies to sever economic
links with Tehran.
moved to deny Mahan Air landing rights in March 2019 following a similar move
by Germany in January. The United States has said Mahan is not just financially
linked to the IRGC but its aircraft have also been used to transport weapons
and fighters across the Middle East.
three European signatories to the 2015 deal, France, Britain and Germany, have
all sought to mitigate the financial pressure exerted on Iran through the
renewed US sanctions.
June, the three nations announced that INSTEX, the Instrument in Support of
Trade Exchanges mechanism, which allows a European route to trade around US
sanctions, was operational. The mechanism has been a point of friction between
the United States and its European allies.
Sanam Vakil, a senior research fellow for the Middle East and North Africa
Programme at Chatham House, told The National the INSTEX had been blocked by a
number of obstacles including fresh US sanctions on Iran’s central bank.
remains a big challenge going forward, really because of the sanctioning policy
coming from the Trump administration,” Ms Vakil said at the Chatham House
launch of a research paper on the prospect of a new peace deal with Iran.
recent designation of Iran's central bank, as I understand, is causing problems
to facilitate INSTEX. Any time there is progress on the European side there is
an obstruction and this recent designation is a problem,” she added.
September, the United States imposed another round of sanctions on Iran’s
central bank and a development fund. The imposition of the sanctions came a
week after attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia which the US and its
allies have blamed on Iran.
imposes new Iran sanctions, but waives others
(Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it had imposed sanctions on the
Iranian construction sector and trade in four materials used in its military or
nuclear programs, even as it waived sanctions to let foreign firms continue
non-proliferation work in Iran.
decisions announced by the U.S. State Department reflect an effort to increase
pressure on Iran by putting wider swaths of its economy under sanctions, while
leaving a door open to diplomacy by allowing work to proceed at Iranian nuclear
facilities that makes it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.
Donald Trump’s administration last year pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in
which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for the lifting of
sanctions that crippled its economy.
administration has since restored and tightened U.S. sanctions to try to force
Iran to negotiate a broader deal that would also limit its ballistic missile
program and regional activities.
State Department said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had determined Iran’s
construction sector was controlled directly or indirectly by Iran’s Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington regards as a foreign
a result, the sale of raw and semi-finished metals, graphite, coal, and
software for integrating industrial purposes will be sanctionable if the
materials are to be used in Iran’s construction sector, the department said in
a fact sheet.
a second determination, Pompeo identified four “strategic materials” as being
used in connection with nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs,
making trade in them subject to sanctions.
fact sheet identified the materials as: “stainless steel 304L tubes; MN40
manganese brazing foil; MN70 manganese brazing foil; and stainless steel
CrNi60WTi ESR + VAR (chromium, nickel, 60 percent tungsten, titanium,
electro-slag remelting, vacuum arc remelting).”
a separate statement, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the
determinations gave Washington the ability “to prevent Iran from acquiring
strategic materials for the IRGC, its construction sector, and its
reported on Wednesday that the United States planned to allow Russian, Chinese
and European companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear facilities to make
it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
Trump administration would let the work go forward by issuing waivers to
sanctions that bar non-U.S. firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy
Organization of Iran (AEOI).
source familiar with the matter said on Thursday that the State Department had
indeed renewed the waivers for 90 days.
work to continue includes redesigning Iran’s heavy water Arak research reactor
to render it unable to make bomb-grade plutonium under normal operation and
modification of centrifuges at Iran’s Fordow fuel enrichment plant, the source
waivers also cover support for Iran’s existing nuclear reactor at Bushehr, the
provision of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer
of spent and scrap nuclear fuel out of Iran, the source added.
state-owned China National Nuclear Corp has done non-proliferation work at
Arak, and Russia’s Rosatom has done it at Fordow as well as provided uranium
fuel to Iran.
to Reuters’ story that the waivers were to be renewed, a China National Nuclear
Corp spokesman said by email that it was “starting to cooperate with the
Iranian side under guidance from Beijing on seeking a positive solution to the
Iran nuclear problem.” It did not give further details.
Trump abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal last year, he began a “maximum pressure”
campaign designed to force Iran to return to the negotiating table.
has demanded the United States first resume complying with the 2015 deal.
has sought to bring the two into talks but has so far failed, suggesting
neither is willing to abandon core elements of policy - the U.S. belief that
pressure will bring Iran to its knees, and Iran’s refusal to capitulate to U.S.
and Hezbollah financers listed by Gulf anti-terrorism coalition
seven-member Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre in Riyadh on Wednesday
designated 25 targets affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah, in the largest single
designation to date.
body, which brings together the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar
and the US, listed targets affiliated with “the Iranian regime’s terror-support
networks in the region".
entities sanctioned on Wednesday support Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps and Tehran’s regional proxy Hezbollah.
commission said that several of the businesses targeted provided financial
support to the Basij Resistance Force.
force is “a paramilitary force subordinate to the IRGC that has long been used
as shock troops by the regime to oppress domestic opposition with brutal
displays of violence, while also recruiting, training and deploying fighters in
IRGC-fuelled conflicts across the region".
TFTC’s co-ordinated disruption of the financial networks used by the Iranian
regime to fund terrorism is a powerful demonstration of Gulf unity," US
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
action demonstrates the unified position of the Gulf nations and the United
States that Iran will not be allowed to escalate its malign activity in the
are proud to join forces with our TFTC partners to expose and condemn the
Iranian regime’s gross and repeated violations of international norms, from
attacking critical oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia to fomenting strife in
neighbouring countries through regional proxies such as Hezbollah.
co-ordinated action is a concrete step towards denying the Iranian regime the
ability to undermine the stability of the region.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the taskforce’s move to reimpose
measures on Iran for its “failure to uphold international anti-money laundering
and countering the financing of terrorism standards".
deliberately ensures there is no transparency in its economy so it can continue
to export terrorism,” Mr Pompeo said.
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continues to engage in large-scale, illicit,
financing schemes to fund its malign activities.”
said the international community made it clear that Iran must live up to its
commitments to behave “like a normal nation".
of the 25 entities fund the Basij, using a network of shell companies and other
measures to mask their control of “multibillion-dollar business interests in
Iran’s automotive, mining, metals and banking industries, many of which have
significant international dealings across the Middle East and Europe.”
entities were listed as specially designated global terrorists by the Office of
Financial Asset Control on October 16, 2018.
Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre was established in 2017 to bring together
regional countries in an effort to stop the funding of militants and proxies.
body was formed after a visit to Saudi Arabia by US President Donald Trump
shortly after he took office.
of the designates were Hezbollah-affiliated people who lead and co-ordinate the
group’s operational, intelligence and financial activities in Iraq, the US
move “highlights the degree to which Hezbollah operates as a clandestine,
terrorist arm of the Iranian regime by smuggling oil for Iran, raising funds
for Hezbollah, and sending fighters to Syria for the IRGC-Quds Force on behalf
of Qassem Soleimani.
is the head of the IRGC's Quds Force, its foreign operations arm.
US sanctions are weakening Iran’s grip on Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq: Hook
recent tightening of US sanctions on Iran has weakened the regime’s grip on
Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, raising the prospect of reform and peace across the
region, America’s top Iran advisor told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview.
Trump administration has imposed a “maximum pressure” campaign - increasing
targeted sanctions on the Iranian regime since leaving the Obama-era nuclear
deal in 2018, which has succeeded in decimating its industrial sector, reduced
its funding of conflict across the Middle East and offers hope for resolution
of some of the region’s most long-standing conflicts, US Special Representative
for Iran Brian Hook said in an interview in Saudi Arabia.
are sanctioning Iran on an almost weekly basis and there is still plenty left
for us to do. And, unfortunately for the Iranian regime, this is the price that
they are paying for an expansionist and revolutionary and violent foreign
policy that has caused so much suffering,” said Hook, mentioning September’s
attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, which the US has attributed to Iran,
and attacks on Saudi Arabia by the Iranian-backed Houthis.
said the US administration is making it harder for Iran to conduct foreign
interference operations as “Iran doesn’t have the money that it used to.”
is money that the regime spends in places like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen,”
Trump administration’s oil sanctions on Iran, which Hook described as
unprecedented, have led to “a complete collapse of Iran’s oil sector.” Hook
said US sanctions have collapsed Iran’s petrochemical, industrial metal, and
precious metals sectors, as well. Meanwhile the administration announced
Thursday that it imposed sanctions on Iran’s construction sector.
President Donald Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw from the Iran nuclear
deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has given
“enormous leverage” to sanction Tehran, according to Hook.
going to keep imposing sanctions on Iran until we’re able to get a new and
better deal to replace the Iran nuclear deal that we left,” said Hook.
Arabia, the first country to support Trump’s decision to withdraw from the
JCPOA, has borne the brunt of Iran having the largest missile inventory of any
state in the Middle East, according to Hook. He said the US has responded to
Iranian attacks by providing its ally with military assistance.
[Iranian] missiles find their way…into Saudi Arabia…After getting Iran’s oil
exports to zero, there have been a number of attacks here in Saudi. We [The US
administration] have increased the number of troops in this region by 14,000
since May and in October, we announced another 3,000 forces to Saudi Arabia
alone,” said Hook.
said the maximum pressure campaign isn’t limited to Iran, but countries like
Russia and China.
have sanctioned Russia for its complicity in helping to illegally move Iranian oil
to Syria. Some of [China’s] private companies started to import Iranian crude
oil and they did not have a waiver to import that oil. And so we sanctioned
them. This is a message to any country in the world, if their companies are
considering importing Iranian crude oil, it’s not worth the risk,” said Hook.
economic pressure, Hook said the US’ diplomatic isolation of Iran is spreading
have seen a number of Iranian diplomats expelled from Europe for conducting
terror operations or terrorist attempted attacks. Morocco has severed
diplomatic relations with Iran. We have seen a number of countries, especially
the UK, France and Germany, identify Iran by name as responsible for attacking
Saudi Arabia on September 14,” said Hook, adding that more countries need to
identify Iran as the country behind the Saudi Aramco attacks.
Yemen’s Houthis claimed responsibility for the attacks, the international
community largely rejected the claim.
Iran asked the Houthis to claim responsibility for the attacks…It was a mistake
for the Houthis to do that. I think they recognized it. They were embarrassed
by it,” said Hook.
said Iran’s strategy in Yemen is to do “what they accomplished 40 years ago in
Lebanon with Hezbollah.”
has no legitimate interests in Yemen. And yet here, here they are in the middle
of the civil war using this proxy to attack Saudi Arabia. They would like to
turn the Houthis into their proxy right on Saudi’s southern border so that
they’re able to attack at will - through the Houthis - Saudi Arabia, Israel,
UAE,” said Hook.
blasted Tehran’s leadership as being “a corrupt religious regime that robs its
own people blind” to pay for their proxies in Iraq and Lebanon, where recent
demonstrations have called for Iranian presence to leave the countries.
no surprise that these same proxies [in Lebanon and Iraq] are as corrupt as the
Iranian regime…We're seeing these protests against corruption and a lot of the
frustration and anger that we're seeing and protesters is directed at Iran and
its proxies,” said Hook.
has accused the US and Arab states of stoking unrest in Lebanon and Iraq, as
demonstrators in the countries call for reforms and the end of corruption.
first VP warns of Daesh relocation to Afghanistan
First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has warned that the Daesh Takfiri group
may seek to transfer its terrorists to Afghanistan against the backdrop of its
consecutive defeats in Iraq and Syria, urging the Afghan government to remain
vigilant in the face of such a plot.
who is in Uzbekistan to attend the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of
Government of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),
made the remarks in a meeting with Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah
Abdullah on Friday. "Afghanistan's government should show great sensitivity
in this regard and prevent efforts by Daesh terrorist group to increase
insecurity along the borders," he added.
October 27, US President Donald Trump announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the
leader of Daesh, had blown himself up after American forces trapped him inside
a dead-end tunnel in a village in Syria.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in January last year
expressed regret over the deaths of Afghan civilians in terrorist attacks by
Daesh, saying the United States has been relocating the terror group from the
Middle East to the South Asian country to rationalize its military presence in
transferring the Daesh terror group from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan, the US
seeks “to justify the continuation of its presence in the region and to create
security for the Zionist regime,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
in the meeting, the Iranian vice president pointed to recent presidential
election in Afghanistan and expressed hope that the country would witness more
development after the establishment of the legal and popular government.
added that the election was an "important step towards democracy" and
expressed hope that ongoing problems would be solved in Afghanistan as soon as
possible and security would be restored to the country through vigilance of
Islamic Republic of Iran, like in the past, will support the government elected
by the Afghan nation," Jahangiri said.
to an agreement signed among Iran, Afghanistan and India in 2016 to boost trade
and economic cooperation in Iran's Chabahar Port, Jahangiri said, "Both
state sector and private sector are ready to make investment and carry out
necessary measures in this regard."
urged Kabul and New Delhi to play a more active role in implementing the
agreement. "Chabahar can pave the way for India's connection and
interaction with Central Asia and be a gate for Afghanistan to connect to
important countries in the world."
May 2016, Iran, India and Afghanistan signed a key trilateral deal, known as
the Chabahar agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route
connecting the three countries.
agreement was signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani,
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the
Iranian capital of Tehran.
Afghan chief executive, for his part, said the Daesh terrorist group seeks to
expand its activities in east Afghanistan and stressed the importance of
thwarting such a plot through collective cooperation.
Palestinian home becomes conflict symbol
The pile of rubble that Latifa Naji used to call home has become an unlikely
symbol in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
two-story cement house in the Al-Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank
has been demolished by the Israeli army four times, most recently this month,
as punishment for attacks carried out by the widowed 71-year-old’s sons.
Palestinians, the desire to keep rebuilding symbolizes an ability to withstand
Israeli collective punishment and a refusal to be forced from their homes.
Israelis, it is evidence of the widespread support among Palestinians for
attacks like those in which Naji’s sons were implicated.
Palestinian Authority led by president Mahmud Abbas paid for the Najis’ home to
be rebuilt each time it was razed, one of a raft of benefits it provides to the
families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
more often called Umm Yusef Abu Hamid, currently has six of her 10 sons behind
bars over attacks on Israelis, while a seventh was killed.
71-year-old says she doesn’t regret her children’s choices.
is no mother alive who wants her sons so far away from her but this is their
path and they chose it,” she said.
(Palestinian) house has a prisoner, every house has a martyr,” she said. “But
we are suffering a little more.”
has controlled the West Bank since seizing it in the Six-Day War of 1967, with
nearly three million Palestinian residents living alongside roughly 400,000
Israelis residing in settlements considered illegal under international law.
routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians who carry out attacks against
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has argued that the tactic is a tool to
prevent suicide attacks.
by their nature, they do not particularly care if they die, but they care if,
in some cases and often many cases, if their homes are demolished afterwards or
sealed,” he said in 2014.
rights groups say the tactic amounts to collective punishment and doesn’t
actually deter attacks.
has demolished six Palestinian homes this year in reprisal for attacks,
Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq said.
demolition of the Abu Hamid family home comes in the context of a systematic
Israeli policy, in which all arms of the Israeli state take part... so that
Palestinians are forced to leave their place of residence to be replaced by
settlers,” said Al-Haq’s Tahsin Alian.
Yusef says every demolition makes her more determined to stay.
collective punishments only make families stronger and more steadfast,” she
told AFP in a temporary home, surrounded by pictures of her 10 sons and late
of her offspring were sentenced to life in prison in the early 2000s after
admitting carrying out attacks against Israelis.
is being held without trial, while a sixth, a Hamas militant, was killed in the
1990s — prompting the Israeli army to first demolish the house.
May 2018, a seventh son, Islam, threw a concrete block from the roof of his
building onto soldiers as they carried out a raid inside the camp.
Lubarsky, a 20-year-old soldier, was killed and in July an Israeli military
court sentenced Islam to life in prison for murder.
theory the camp is in a part of the West Bank under full Palestinian control
but the Israeli army routinely carries out raids there.
December 2018, troops entered the camp to demolish the house and the Israeli
army later released a video showing Islam re-enacting the attack for
Palestinian government pledged to rebuild and work started until the Israeli
army again returned on October 24.
Yusef said an Israeli officer called her days before the latest demolition
telling her the land technically belonged to Israel.
army confirmed that the demolition was carried out in accordance with a
regulation that means that the “rights of the home and the real estate are
transferred to the military command and that use of this land or construction
on it is prohibited.”
began on the building, despite the order being in place, and the re-demolition
took place under the same order,” the army said.
Yusef says the home will again be rebuilt with the support of the Palestinian
retaliatory airstrikes kill Palestinian, wounds 2
A Palestinian was killed by Israeli airstrikes on Saturday, the health ministry
in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said, in an attack launched in response to rocket
of strikes hit the Palestinian enclave in the early hours, targeting bases of
the strip’s Islamist rulers and allied groups, a security source in Gaza said.
Israeli army said the strikes targeted “a wide range of Hamas terror targets,”
including a Hamas naval site, a military compound and a weapons manufacturing
health officials said the 27-year-old killed was among three men wounded in an
air strike on a militant training camp and that he had died in hospital. It was
not immediately clear whether he was a civilian or a gunman.
sound of explosions could be heard up and down the impoverished territory, an
AFP correspondent said.
Hamas source said they had fired at the Israeli aircraft carrying out the raids
and the Israeli army confirmed fresh “incoming fire” from Gaza.
strikes came in response to at least 10 rockets fired from Gaza late Friday at
Israeli army said the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system
intercepted eight of the rockets.
rockets were fired in waves, the army said, with air raid sirens sounding.
house was hit and damaged, without any casualties, the army said, posting a
picture of the damage on Twitter.
was the second consecutive evening that the army reported rocket fire from the
Palestinian enclave, which is ruled by Hamas.
to Thursday, there had been no such reported rocket fire from Gaza since
August, a series of rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli retaliations, as well
as border clashes, raised fears of an escalation between Hamas and Israel, as
elections approached in the Jewish state.
polls — Israel’s second elections this year — took place on September 17, but
have yet to yield a new government.
say a fourth round remains likely.
kills 13 Taliban militants in provincial capital of Baghlan
airstrike killed at least 13 Taliban militants in Pul-e Khumri, the provincial
capital of Baghlan province.
military officials said Friday the security forces conducted the airstrike in
the past 24 hours as part of the ongoing offensive to suppress the
anti-government armed militants.
security situation in Baghlan province has deteriorated during the recent
militants are active in some districts of the province and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely conduct counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in this province.
U.S. forces also conduct regular airstrikes in restive parts of the country to
suppress Taliban and other anti-government militants.
militants killed, several villages liberated during cleanup operation in S.
KOT, Afghanistan, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- A total of 11 militants have been killed
in Gizab district of Afghanistan's southern Uruzgan province as cleanup operation
has been continuing in the restive area, said an army statement released here
villages including Taliban main bastion Gharchino have been liberated from the
Taliban clutches during the operations, the statement added.
providing more details, the statement said that the crackdown on the armed
insurgents would continue in Gizab district and its vicinity to ensure lasting
Fake news on Facebook fuels communal violence
is one of the fastest-growing countries of internet users in Asia, with
government data showing more than 50% of its population actively use the
internet users, Facebook is the most popular social networking platform, with
some 50 million subscribers — almost one-third of the country's population. In
2017, a study by We Are Social and Hootsuite found that Bangladesh's capital
Dhaka was the city with the second largest number of active Facebook users.
while the platform does contribute largely to making the voices of marginal
communities heard, in recent years it has sparked some significant social and
communal conflicts in the country.
news sparks violence
number of violent clashes in Bangladesh following rumors and fake news spread
through Facebook have resulted in deaths.
October 20, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets in the town of Borhanuddin
in Bangladesh's Bohla district, 195 kilometers (120 miles) from the capital,
Dhaka, to protest a derogatory Facebook post about Islam's Prophet Muhammad
that was allegedly written by a Hindu man.
between protesters and police ensued and four people were killed. Police said
the Facebook account of the alleged youth had been hacked and that the hackers
had been orchestrating a clash between the two communities.
in June, a rumor spread on Facebook that a bridge under-construction required
human sacrifices as offerings and consequently people were looking for children
to kidnap. Agitated mobs in Bangladesh beat several people on the street to
death after suspecting them of being kidnappers.
efforts not enough
spokesperson from Facebook told DW that the company is equipped with proactive
tools to detect hate speech, rumors, and related content. It has a team of
15,000 people who speak 50 different languages and are employed to review
content from around the world.
company also said it is working to develop effective artificial intelligence
(AI) to proactively detect violent content.
experts say the steps Facebook has taken are not enough to tackle the millions
of texts and images uploaded by almost 2 billion users every day.
September 2018, the United Nations Fact Finding Mission in Myanmar released its
full report on potential genocide, human rights abuses and war crimes against
the Rohingya ethnic minority.
report stated that, "Facebook has been a useful instrument for those
seeking to spread hate, in a context where, for most users, Facebook is the
Mission noted that "the response of Facebook has been slow and
ineffective" and that "Facebook is unable to provide country-specific
data about the spread of hate speech on its platform, which is imperative to
assess the adequacy of its response."
has expressed similar concerns regarding Facebook's steps on reviewing content.
drawn between Myanmar and Bangladesh
Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar criticized Facebook
"for its inability to come up with immediate measures to identify content
spreading hate speech and disinformation in Bangladesh."
seems to me, Facebook is either unable or not paying necessary attention in
this regard,'' Jabbar, who is also an IT expert, told DW.
noted that Facebook's automatic system often fails to identify Bengali
language, and questioned how a system would be able to review content if it
cannot detect the language properly.
told DW that in light of the incident in Bhola, Bangladesh, it was closely
monitoring the situation and was in touch with local authorities and their
partners on the ground.
will take any action necessary to remove content that violates our policies or
poses a risk to people's safety," Facebook said. "We also urge
everyone to use our reporting tools if they see any behavior that puts people's
safety at risk."
Rahman, a media expert and PhD researcher at Australia's Queensland University
of Technology, said that Bangladesh's collective social structure meant it does
not take much time for information to be spread widely.
who is also an associate professor of Bangladesh's state-run Chittagong
University, said Facebook would only be able to tackle such a situation if they
set up a monitoring team that considered the nature of Bangladesh's society.
Jabbar echoed Atiqar's sentiment, saying that instead of looking at
Bangladesh's culture from the perspective of Europe, Facebook should focus on
understanding the local context.
have said the responsibility for checking hate speech and rumors rests not only
with Facebook authorities but also the subscribers using the platform.
has urged the Bangladeshi government to develop Facebook users' media literacy
to help them use social media in a responsible manner.
requires a high level of awareness among the users, said Atiqur, adding
thatsocial and political awareness among the people and good governance should
be in place for checking such unwanted content.
Bangladeshi government has initiated a number of awareness-raising programs
related to social media education, according to Minister Jabbar.
Forces kill, detain 4 Taliban militants; destroy weapons cache in Herat
Afghan Special Forces killed 3 Taliban militants during a raid in western Herat
province of Afghanistan.
military officials said Saturday the Special Forces conducted the raid in
Shindand district of Herat.
officials further added that the Special Forces also arrested a Taliban
militant and destroyed a cache of weapons during the same raid.
security situation in some districts of Herat has deteriorated during the
militants are active in parts of the province and often conduct terrorist
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